Herbert Smith breaks up corporate department

Herbert Smith is overhauling its management structure as it begins the search for partners to head two newly-created divisions.

The firm was previously split into three divisions – litigation/arbitration, corporate and property.

But under the new structure, which is due to be implemented in May and June, the corporate department will split into two units – corporate and finance. Litigation/arbitration will remain as one unit.

Other areas which were previously housed under the three-pronged structure will be broken down to include property, IP/IT, EC/competition, tax, employment/trust, and construction and engineering.

Richard Bond will leave a vacancy when he steps down from his role as head of corporate. The firm will also look for a partner to lead the newly-created finance unit. The appointments are expected to be decided before the new structure is implemented on 1 July.

It is understood that Harry Anderson will retain his post as head of litigation/arbitration.

Bond says: “The new structure takes account of the need to be able to act swiftly in a fast-moving environment to exploit opportunities, while recognising that the firm remains a partnership owned by its partners.”

As part of the restructure, Bond will head the partnership council which will oversee the entire firm.

Executive partner Tim Parkes will head the firm’s management committee to concentrate on the day-to-day running of the firm.

Practice development partner Richard Fleck will be in charge of the practice development committee. The group has been set up to focus on business strategy and international development.

In an attempt to increase the input of its international offices, Hong Kong managing partner David Willis and Paris managing partner Neil Brimson will hold “enhanced” roles in the new management committee.