BLM searches for new managing partner after shock retirement

BLM managing partner Gary Allison has chosen to retire from the firm eight months into a three-year term as firm’s struggles continue.

Allison replaced Andrew Relton as managing partner in December last year. He leaves a firm undergoing a strategic review across all of its offices.

The firm announced that it would be cutting 50 secretarial roles while its Leeds office saw headcount drop from 40 to 19 as the firm made 21 redundancies involving both lawyers and support staff.

BLM has not yet announced who will replace Allison but it is understood than an announcement will be made next week.

A statement from the firm said: “Gary Allison has decided to retire from BLM to pursue other interests. Gary would like to thank his colleagues for the last 23 years’ of support and wishes BLM all the success in the future.”

Speaking about the cutbacks in staff at the time, senior partner Mike Brown said: “Earlier this year we embarked on a programme of business improvement, including a strategic review of our current workplaces. This has culminated in a proposal to align our Leeds operation with this strategic review, creating a paperlite, lean office, modernising the way we work.

“Regrettably, if this proposal goes ahead, the decision will have an impact upon our current team in Leeds and we are working closely with those affected within that office.”

According to The Lawyer Market Intelligence (LMI), BLM posted a 3.5 per cent turnover growth from £104.1m to £108m for the 2015/16 financial year. These results were offset by a 26.5 drop in PEP from £279,000 to £205,000 which was caused by net profits falling 26.4 per cent from £15.9m to £11.7m.

The firm also lost its place on the NHS disputes panel after being bumped from the clinical negligence and non-clinical lots it had featured in.