Addleshaws appoints four partners to unitary board

Addleshaw Goddard has appointed four partners to its new unitary board as the firm looks to pick itself up after a “disappointing” financial performance.

Paul Devitt
Paul Devitt

Financial services partner Adam Bennett, partner and head of business support and restructuring John Joyce, litigation partner Simon Kamstra and employment partner Michael Leftley, have all been elected to the firm’s recently created unitary board.

The four partners join senior partner Monica Burch, managing partner Paul Devitt, chief financial officer Martin Gaskin, non-executive member Margaret Salmon and partners Adrian Collins and Richard Papworth.

The Lawyer reported in May (23 May 2011) that the firm was merging its governance board and executive leadership team to create a unitary board, and reduce the number of partners in management roles.

According to Devitt, the unitary board was created to streamline management at the firm: “We needed to make sure that we have the right number of partners across the firm in leadership. Before, we had 14 partners in the structure, which was nearly 10 per cent of our partnership. This way, we free up more partners to concentrate on clients and fee-earning.”

The move was just one of the initiatives undertaken by the firm, as it announced a 3 per cent drop in turnover and 17 per cent drop in profits for the 2010-11 financial year.

After posting its results, Addleshaw Goddard announced that it was to begin a redundancy consultation with 40 staff (24 May 2011). The consultation is expected to close at the end of this week.

“Our financial performance was disappointing, there’s no way around that,” said Devitt. “Although, it does need to be taken in the context of the firm’s decision to engage in conditional fee arrangements on a wider scale, as well as it being the first full year of cost and investment in the new office at Milton Gate.

“But we face up to the fact that our financial results should be better and we’re looking at a range of things: enhancing and preserving profitability, growing the firm, simplifying the management structure, and continuing to be meritocratic with regards our pay.”

Devitt also said that the firm was always looking at ways to strengthen the practice whether by lateral hires, taking on entire teams, or even a merger, listed in order of preference.