Fladgate has appointed a corporate lawyer as its new senior partner.

Sunil Sheth took up the role on 1 April 2021, replacing Richard Reuben, who will remain with the firm in its real estate practice. Reuben seved three years in the role, although the job title has reverted from ‘chairman’ to ‘senior partner’ during his tenure.

Like Reuben, who originally joined from Macfarlanes, Sheth is not a Fladgate lifer, having joined the firm in 2003. A corporate partner, he co-headed Fladgate’s India team and also spent four years as its diversity and inclusion partner.

He will be working alongside COO David Rowe and executive partner Grant Gordon as part of the management team.

Sheth said: “I am honoured to have been elected by my peers to lead Fladgate at this critical point in the firm’s history. Looking forward, my priority is also to ensure that we continue to embed a culture that celebrates diversity of thought in all that we do and deliver on our vision and values programme across the firm.”

Reuben added: “It has been an absolute privilege to lead Fladgate over the past three years, and I am delighted to pass the senior partner baton to Sunil. As a long-standing partner of the firm, Sunil brings a great blend of experience and commitment to the role, and I am confident that under his leadership, the firm will continue to go from strength to strength.”

Fladgate’s revenue climbed 5 per cent in 2019/20, from £53.3m to £56m. Both average profit per equity partner (PEP) and net profit continued to slip, with PEP down 2.6 per cent from £803,000 to £782,000 and net profit down 5.9 per cent from £16.9m to £15.9m. Reuben attributed the drop to investment in IT, particularly in ensuring the firm was equipped to work remotely when the pandemic struck.

Over the past three years, Fladgate has broadened out its practice areas; corporate remains the largest revenue generator, bringing in 40 per cent of revenue, followed by real estate at 28 per cent. However, the 15-partner litigation practice, which over 2018/19 accounted for 18 per cent of revenue, now contributes 22 per cent. A key element of the firm’s current three-year strategy, which started on 1 April 2020, is the development of the litigation practice. Reuben said he expected the practice to contribute to more than a quarter of revenue by the end of the 2020/21 financial year.