Addleshaw Goddard has opened nominations for its managing partner election with a vote expected to take place no less than two weeks from now.
The firm is facing its first contested election in five years following the news that incumbent managing partner Paul Devitt is to stand down from the role a year early (17 March 2014).
The firm initially set a deadline of 1 May to have the new managing partner in place but is now expecting it to be mid-May before an official announcement can be made.
An insider said the timings will depend in part on whether partners reach a majority decision with one vote.
Last month The Lawyer reported that Addleshaws partners were bracing themselves for a contested election, with former head of real estate Adrian Collins and the firm’s head of business support and restructuring John Joyce surfacing as potential candidates (17 February 2014).
Devitt was first appointed as managing partner in 2009 and began his second term in January 2012 after an uncontested election (12 January 2012).
The news that Devitt will return solely to fee-earning comes after the departure of the firm’s longstanding financial director Martin Gaskin and, just last week, the exit of corporate managing partner Philip Goodstone to Ernst & Young to establish its legal capability in the UK (27 March 2014).
The firm was plagued by a series of internal financial reporting errors at the half-year which senior partner Monica Burch admitted had “annoyed” some partners.
Meanwhile, the firm’s fixed-share partners are among the many at firms across the country who are being asked to invest extra capital into the business as a result of HMRC’s changes to partnership taxation (24 March 2014).
Pinsent Masons is also preparing for elections later this year, with managing partner David Ryan expected to be challenged for the first time since he was elected in 1999 (31 March 2014).