New Guard takeover at London firm

Philip Langford, senior partner at London firm Edward Lewis, has quit at the same time as the firm announced a new management structure.

Langford, who is going to Goodman Derrick, is replaced by senior litigation partner Tony Collins who becomes chair of the partnership.

Langford, who led the corporate group, is the second senior departure from the firm in recent months – IP specialist Alexander Carter-Silk defected to DJ Freeman to head up its IP practice. Another partner, Robert McKellar, also joined Goodman Derrick recently.

A source said the split resulted from a difference of opinion between older and younger partners over practice management after a period of fast growth. The source said this led to tensions. Langford and Carter-Silk represented a more conservative approach, while younger partners wanted a new structure. The partnership is now made of lawyers under 40, the source said.

The new structure has each partner managing key areas of the firm and reporting back to the full partnership at board meeting-style monthly meetings. Each partner oversees “line managers” who, in turn, take responsibility for the day-to-day running of the firm.