Wragges takes control of post-merger management board

Wragge & Co and Lawrence Graham (LG) have confirmed the line up of the new post-merger management board, with just two spots taken up by Lawrence Graham partners.

Wragge & Co and LG finally decided to merge after partners voted for the move in December, creating a £170m firm under the brand Wragge Lawrence Graham & Co (11 December 2013). 

When the merged firm goes live on 1 May it will be structured around five practice groups: commercial and projects; corporate; finance and private capital; dispute resolution; human resources; and real estate.

LG managing partner Hugh Maule is the only LG partner to become a practice group head as head of corporate, finance and private capital.

The remaining practice groups will be led by Wragges partners with Michael Luckman leading commercial and projects; Davinia Gransbury becoming dispute resolution head; Jason Coates as head of human resources; and Richard Bate as real estate chief.

The practice heads will sit on the board alongside Wragges’ projects head David Fennell, who will become chief executive of the merged firm having been elected to replace incumbent Ian Metcalfe as the global managing partner. Metcalfe had been due to step down next year (8 October 2013).

Wragges senior partner Quentin Poole will remain in his role, with LG senior partner Andrew Witts to become chairman of the new firm.

There are also two non-executives on the new-look board.

Helen Owers also holds non-exec roles at Informa, Eden Project and PZ Cussons and was formerly chief development officer of Thomson Reuters. Alastair McLeish joins Owers as the second non-exec having been at KPMG since 1994 in a variety of roles, most recently head of tax and pensions.

Five LG partners have landed roles as team leaders within the merged firm’s new structure. They are: corporate partner Geoff Gouriet; real estate finance partner Nick Turner; private capital partner Anthony Thompson; insurance and reinsurance partner David Breslin; and commercial development and investment partner Richard Miles.

Poole would not be drawn on the details of why the management board consisted so heavily of Wragges partners but said: “The reality is that, in the end, the board constitutes […] the right people when you look at the merged firm”.

Poole added that the firm has intentions to expand internationally in a similar fashion to Norton Rose Fulbright or Dentons.

He said: “We have a lot on our plates with the merger but it’s no secret that we’re pursuing a German merger.” It is also believed the firm has ambitions to merge in Canada.