Withers promotes five as turnover rises by 12 per cent

Withers has announced a bumper round of partner promotions, with five added to its partnership.

Margaret Robertson
Margaret Robertson

In the international wealth planning team Tim George becomes a partner in London while Michael Parets and Aaron Schumacher become partners in Zurich and Geneva, respectively.

In the family team, Hong Kong-based Rita Ku and Stacey Devoy in London join the partnership, though Ku’s appointment is pending regulatory approval.

The promotions come as Withers unveiled a 12.4 per cent hike in turnover from £100.8m to £113.3m. For the firm’s 64 equity partners average profit per equity partner stood at £386,000, compared with £323,000 a year ago. Withers’ equity spread narrowed from £202,000 to £600,000 in 2010-11 to £261,000 to £548,000.

The firm is reviewing its remuneration structure, but currently operates a modified lockstep that runs from 10 to 24 points, with partners expected to move up or down by a maximum of two to three points every year.

Withers’ tax, private wealth and family groups have grown over the last 12 months, contributing £58m of the firm wide turnover, the equivalent of 51 per cent of the total, with £46.5m of that generated by the London office. The latest round of promotions reflect that growth.

Withers managing director Margaret Robertson said: “We’re confident that our new partners will help reinforce the firm’s market-leading position in the wealth planning and family areas, as well as the continued growth of our corporate business.”

The firm has expanded significantly in the last 12 months despite a fall in its overall partner count from 113 to 107. Withers launched a Singapore office in May (17 February 2012), this came after the firm opened a base in Zurich (24 January 2011).

The new partners are:

Stacey Devoy – Commercial litigator with a focus on family law. Her practice focuses on the commercial aspects of relationship breakdown, including asset tracing, injunctive work and dealing with complex offshore entities. She is dual-qualified in England and Wales and New Zealand.

Tim George – Advises high-net-worth individuals in relation to tax, trusts and estate planning.

Rita Ku – Represents husbands and wives in disputes concerning divorce, children and ancillary relief. She deals with complex financial and multi-jurisdictional cases particularly in the People’s Republic of China as well as having extensive expertise in cases involving the Cayman Islands and BVI.

Michael Parets – Advises financial institutions, corporations and individuals on international tax planning. His practice is primarily focused on international aspects of US taxation and multi-jurisdictional succession planning.

Aaron Schumacher – Specialises in international and domestic income and estate tax planning and has particular expertise advising on US federal income tax.