Lewis Silkin management rejig gives birth to new department

Lewis Silkin has elected a new managing partner as part of a wide-ranging management shake-up.

Media partner Ian Jeffery replaces Trevor Watkins at the firm’s helm, while senior partner Roger Alexander takes on a new role as chairman of the partnership. Watkins and Alexander have both held their respective positions for six years.

Meanwhile, Lewis Silkin is formally establishing its fifth department – ‘media, brands & technology’. Brinsley Dresden has been elected as the department’s head, with Giles Crown as his deputy.

Jeffery said the changes were part of a drive to focus Lewis Silkin’s strategy on its three core areas of media and marketing, employment and commercial property.

“Allied to that is a significant focus on clients and the business, and we have some very important clients in these practice areas,” added Jeffery.

Alexander’s role as chairman will also be focused on business development, particularly within his practice area of marketing law. He said that, after 31 years in various senior management positions, “it’s about time I took less of a management role and more of one that concentrates on developing some of the major client relationships”.

Within the firm, corporate head Clare Grayston is standing down to concentrate on building private markets and will be replaced by Jo Evans.

Lewis Silkin’s turnover in 2003-04 was £19.1m, with its average profit per equity partner at £222,000. Turnover was up 6 per cent at the half-year mark in September compared with the corresponding period in the previous financial year.