Revealed: Eversheds’ 45 partner exits in 18 months

Eversheds has seen approximately 45 partners leave the firm since the start of January 2012.

The most recent exit was announced last week with Lloyds Banking Group commercial banking relationship partner Colin McKay heading to Shepperd & Wedderburn.

The firm refused to reveal how many of the 45 had retired but an insider said it was a “significant” number, although many more have been managed out as part of the firm’s wider restructuring programme.

In January the firm put 82 lawyers and 84 non-lawyers on notice of redundancy consultation (24 January 2013), eventually cutting 116 roles (24 May 2013).

Between 2008 and 2009, the firm cut 735 jobs over four redundancy rounds, offering departing employees only the statutory minimum redundancy package.

The 45 partner departure figures come on top of the announcement that 116 roles have been cut as a result of the latest consultation (24 January 2013).

The latest restructuring has also led to a reorganisation of the firm’s practice groups, with the announcement at the end of May that it had added four new sector groups and overhauled a number of key leadership positions (31 May 2013).

The exits have proven fruitful for the firm’s rivals. Field Fisher Waterhouse hired equity capital markets head Neil Matthews (7 June 2013), while Osborne Clarke took on UK corporate head Mark Spinner in February (27 February 2013).

Gordons also recently took a team in Leeds including partner Terry Saeedi to launch a pensions team (4 June 2013). DWF took a team of property lawyers, including five partners into its Manchester and Newcastle offices (9 May 2013) and another six-strong real estate team left the Birmingham office for Shakespeares (14 May 2013).

Bryan Hughes 250
Bryan Hughes

Olswang has also benefited, hiring tax partner Andrew Quayle for its employee incentives team in June (12 June 2013).

Eversheds insisted that overall partner count had increased by 13 in the last financial year, up from an average of 317 for the 2011/12 year.

In April the firm put an international spin on its partner promotions, taking 28 into the fold, with more 60 than per cent of the new partners based outside the UK (30 April 2013).

Partners at the firm voiced their support for chief executive Brian Hughes ‘Vision 2020’ strategy last week, backing the transformation of the firm to respond to economic pressures (3 July 2013 ). Hughes’ vision includes “setting the standard” in areas such as innovation, relationships and quality.

According to the firm: “A number of partners have left the business over the last year, for a variety of reasons. We have however continued to build the business and notwithstanding these departures, through a combination of lateral hires and promotion, partner numbers in Eversheds actually increased by 13 in the period.”

The firm said average profit per equity partner had increased by 2 per cent to £642,000 while turnover was also up 6 per cent to £85.4m (5 July 2013). The statrement added that this was “a clear demonstration of our intent to invest and build the business and a reflection of our financial robustness”.