Simmons set for management rejig

Simmons & Simmons’ new managing partner Mark Dawkins is set to shake up the firm’s management as soon as he enters office.

Dawkins aims to internationalise the firm’s executive committee, which at the moment comprises the firm’s eight practice heads, all of whom are based in London.

“I want an international executive that is representative of the whole firm,” Dawkins told The Lawyer.

Dawkins is to convene a meeting next month of all of the firm’s national managing partners and all of the London practice area heads to discuss the best way to structure the decision-making unit.

London heads include: Richard Binns (intellectual property), Nick Cronkshaw (tax), Ian Hammond (litigation and dispute resolution), Damon Le Maitre-George (corporate and commercial), John Sirs (real estate), Simon Watson (employment and benefits), Tony Woodgate (EU and competition), and Jeremy Hoyland, who will replace current finance head Dawkins when he takes up his position as managing partner.

Dawkins said: “Historically, the management of the firm has been weighted towards London and although the offices around the world have had input, I don’t think the way we’re structured encourages that.”

Simmons has 19 offices around the world, spread throughout 13 jurisdictions. More than 50 per cent of the firm’s turnover is now generated overseas. Turnover in the overseas offices was up 13 per cent during the first seven months of the financial year.

Simmons has also found a new financial director, app-ointing David McLaughlin, who was number two in Linklaters’ finance function. He replaces Paul Edwards, who left at the end of 2004 for DLA.