KLegal founder walks out

James Hodgson, a founding partner of KLegal, has resigned over growing discontent with the firm’s post-Enron strategy and the management takeover by McGrigor Donald.
Hodgson’s resignation depletes further the contingent of remaining legacy partners since last year’s tie-up with McGrigors. Out of 21 KLegal partners at the time of the deal, nine have now left, many of them singled out in a partner cull that left McGrigors unscathed. Hodg-son, who has not been pushed, is the third founding partner to go, leaving three remaining.
Hodgson will start six months’ gardening leave this week before leaving at the end of the year. Sources said that he has yet to decide on his next career move, but a role at KPMG is one possibility. He remains a leading exponent of the multidisciplinary partnership (MDP) model.
Hodgson was responsible for many senior appointments at KLegal since its launch in 1999, including the six-lawyer intellectual property team from H2O. However, he was increasingly sidelined from any management role and last year turned his attention to building a regional IP practice on the back of KPMG’s non-London client base.
He declined to comment on his reasons for leaving, but a source close to KLegal said: “James is unhappy that the firm is distancing itself from KPMG at a time when Ernst & Young’s alliance is seeking to strengthen its relationship with non-audit clients.”
Other sources said he was frustrated by the dominant management position of the Scottish partners, who he felt were not committed to the MDP model. One said: “I think he expected, as one of the founding partners, to be in senior management… To his dismay, he wasn’t.”