Retallack heralds new democracy at Edges

Edge & Ellison's new senior partner James Retallack last week issued a rallying call to all his 600 staff in Birmingham, Leicester and London in a series of talks to explain his new three-year strategy, “The Way Forward”.

He said the firm was making its management structure and remuneration structure more democratic following the departure on 30 April of senior partner Digby Jones, whom he said “we had expected to run the firm almost singlehandedly”.

The firm's old management board, which was largely appointed by Jones, has been replaced by an elected partnership council which will oversee Retallack's performance and that of managing partner designate Simon Ramshaw and current managing partner Gil Hayward.

Up until now, profit shares have been allocated to each partner at the beginning of each year, according to what Jones and Hayward thought each partner's contribution was likely to be.

Retallack said that under a new system, department heads would have to agree the profit points for each of their partners at the beginning of the year. In addition, each partner would be allowed to earn up to 25 per cent more if personal objectives set for that year had been met.

“We want to extend that system throughout the firm so that everyone has the chance to increase their remuneration,” he said.

As earlier revealed by The Lawyer, the three-year plan also includes a “declaration of independence” – to show the firm is not seeking a merger – a doubling of the size of the London office and the trebling of its transatlantic business through referrals from a network of US firms.