Eversheds makes strategic secondments as part of global growth plan

Eversheds is seconding top-performing partners to emerging markets as part of its three-year plan to bring its international offices in line with the UK.

Eversheds is establishing a financial services dispute resolution (FSDR) practice in the Middle East and is sending commercial litigation partner Ben Bruton to its Dubai office for a long-term secondment that will last at least three years. Bruton will be joined in Dubai by London associates Clint Dempsey and Nick Sharratt.

“Ben’s one of our top-performing partners and is going out there to establish a FSDR practice in Dubai and develop relationships with the banking sector,” said litigation head Ian Gray, who is also ultimately responsible for the firm’s Middle East business.

“It’s part of [Eversheds’] continued investment in key emerging markets,” added managing partner Lee Ranson. “The secondments are now more strategic and in line with where we want to grow. We’re putting quality people into these markets, it’s not about moving people [who aren’t busy] around.”

Eversheds is also seconding Birmingham-based corporate partner Stephen Kitts, who has been with the firm since 1987, to Asia as part of its drive on global M&A. From 1 November, Kitts will be based in Hong Kong, though he will operate across the region as a whole.

Eversheds’ company commercial head Keith Froud said: “The link with Asia and the rest of the world is key from a corporate perspective. We’re already seeing a lot of interest in Asia from our global clients and we expect this to increase. Stephen’s presence, combined with our existing strength in the region, means that we’ll be strongly positioned to take advantage of these opportunities, as well as helping us to target opportunities to advise Asian clients looking to invest in other parts of the world.”

News of the secondments comes after Eversheds chief executive Bryan Hughes, who was re-elected to the role earlier this month after standing unopposed (9 October 2012), announced his three-year plan to accelerate integration among the firm’s international offices and establish a consistent standard of work (9 July 2012).

At the same time, Eversheds is looking at reviewing its associate pay structure (10 October 2012). Ranson said that the firm is looking at the structures in place at companies like John Lewis and Legal & General, where staff are given shares and interests in the business as they progress, for inspiration and is keen to break away from law firms’ traditional model of high basic pay combined with a small bonus based on hours billed.