OC prepares for autumn vote as managing partner Beswick’s term expires

Osborne Clarke’s Simon Beswick is set to step down from his UK managing partner role on 31 December 2014, as his third and final term in the position comes to a close.

Simon Beswick
Simon Beswick

He will continue to serve as the firm’s global CEO – a post which he has held since its first-ever international board was established in July 2012. Beswick’s three-year term in that role is due to expire next summer (9 July 2012).

Since becoming Osborne Clarke’s UK managing partner in 2002, Beswick has overseen the growth of the firm from a six-office firm with a turnover of £60.9m in 2002/03 to an 18-office £142m firm in 2013/14 (12 May 2014).

The firm will kickstart the process to find a new managing partner in the autumn. It will instigate its usual management election process, whereby any UK partner is able to stand as a candidate and provide a written statement of their agenda.

The entire domestic partnership will have the opportunity to ask questions and cast their votes at a partner meeting, currently pencilled in for November 2014. The majority of partners are expected to attend in person, while the remainder can vote via an electronic system.

Senior partner Andrew Saul said: “At Osborne Clarke, we have fixed terms for all senior management roles. This enables us to address succession planning in a structured way. It would be premature to speculate who may stand, but we are lucky enough to have many gifted partners who have already had experience of senior management positions and who would make excellent managing partners.”

Saul continued: “I’m in ongoing discussions with Simon as to the nature of his role at the firm after the UK managing partner election has taken place. His term of office as CEO of Osborne Clarke International continues beyond the expiry of his role as UK managing partner.”

Over the past 12 months there have been a number of management changes at Osborne Clarke. Saul was elected into the senior partner spot in November, replacing Tim Birt who returned to fee-earning at the end of his second (and therefore final) term in the role (26 November 2013).

The firm’s employment chief David Cubitt was elected to step into Saul’s shoes and lead the firm’s London office the following month (20 December 2013).

News of this latest management change follows a record year for the firm. Osborne Clarke grew its revenue by 25.9 per cent to £142m in 2013/14. Net profit increased by 32 per cent to £35.4m, and average profit per equity partner soared by 46 per cent, from £350,000 to £513,000.