BLG brand to disappear as part of Clydes merger

The Barlow Lyde & Gilbert (BLG) brand will be scrapped in favour of Clyde & Co when the firms merge in November with BLG’s partners moving onto Clydes’ lockstep structure.

Michael Payton
Michael Payton

Around 15 per cent of BLG’s 100 partners are expected to leave the firm as part of the deal, which partners at both firms voted through last week (29 July 2011).

Clydes’ current management will continue in their positions post-merger with Michael Payton remaining as senior partner and Peter Hasson continuing as chief executive of the enlarged firm. BLG senior partner Simon Konsta, who was elected to his position in May 2008 (29 May 2008) will gain a place on the new management board along with current BLG chief executive David Jabbari, who will become chief operating officer of the new entity. A further BLG partner will also be co-opted onto the board.

The decision to adopt the Clyde & Co brand, Hasson said, was driven by the firm’s international presence.

“In the US and Middle East we’ve worked very hard to ensure that the Clydes brand  is known and that is broader than just insurance so everywhere we will have the single brand,” he told The Lawyer, adding: “We’ve decided to make the tough decisions at the outset of this process.”

Jabbari added: “It reflects a professional management team coming at the merger from a practical and robust viewpoint.”

The decision on the BLG partnership, said Jabbari, was a continuation of a stated BLG strategy to refocus the firm.

During the 2009-10 financial year BLG saw the exit of several high-profile partners, including litigation chief Julian Randall, who joined Taylor Wessing along with Andrew Howell and Tim Strong.

In November last year Jabbari told The Lawyer that the departures would continue as the firm adopted a new strategy (1 November 2010).

“We’ve been restructuring over a three year period and this can be seen as a continuation of that,” he said this week. “We must also recognise the vital importance of bringing the PEP [in the two firms] into line.”

David Jabbari
David Jabbari

At the latest year-end Cydes posted turnover of £212m, up from £192m a year earlier. Average profit per equity partner (PEP) has sat at £605,000 for the last two years (23 May 2011).

At BLG turnover rebounded during the last financial year with the firm posting a 17 per cent rise in turnover, up to £94.5m from £80.8m in 2009-10. The firm has not yet revealed its PEP figure, but it is expected to be approximately £310,000 (16 May 2011).

The firms operate on broadly similar remuneration structures, but BLG partners will be moved onto the Clydes structure with those at the top end of BLG’s equity becoming senior equity partners at Clydes.

The combined firm will have 270 partners and an international network consisting of 27 bases.