Ballot battle

2012 has been chock full of firm management elections, almost all of which have been uncontested. This is great for a firm’s stability but a little on the dull side.

Indeed, the closest there has been to any real excitement was in February, when Linklaters’ managing partner Simon Davies stumbled in his bid for re-election despite being the only candidate. But then, that’s what happens when you cut vast swathes of partners and then ask the rest to vote for you.

Thank goodness, then, for Addleshaw Goddard and Nabarro. The Lawyer revealed yesterday that Addleshaws’ Leeds-based litigation chief Simon Kamstra was challenging incumbent Monica Burch for the senior partner job when the latter’s first term comes to an end in 2013.

And today The Lawyer reports that it’s a two-horse race to succeed Simon Johnston as senior partner at Nabarro. Real estate head Ciaran Carvalho and corporate partner Graham Stedman have both put their names in the hat to lead the firm, and Nabarro is planning to pick a winner in time for its partner conference at the beginning of next month.

Of course, there are drawbacks to management elections: they are a distraction (which no firm needs right now) and the unsuccessful candidate often suffers – or is perceived to suffer, which is just as bad – a displacement. Many a good lawyer has left their firm after failing to win a management role.

Must it be that way? Losing an election should not be a cause for concern. Unless you stood unopposed.

Also on

  • Squire Sanders follows up on last year’s entry into the Perth market with a Sydney launch, pinching a partner from Australia’s Allens

  • Dundas & Wilson employment partner Robert Davies asks whether chancellor George Osborne’s employee-owner contracts will result in workers disengaging from their businesses

  • And, a trainee at defunct firm Dewey & LeBoeuf’s London office was forced to leave the country earlier this year because his visa expired