Vizards’ overhaul chases off three partners

West End firm Vizards Wyeth has lost three partners in a month, as it moves away from its traditional core practice of insurance litigation into more lucrative commercial fields.

The three-partner group includes Fiona Wilson, who left to rejoin her old firm ASB Law after three years at Vizards.

Vizards business development partner Alan Bannister said: “We’ve had three partners leave recently, all were recruits from ASB Law. I think that any firm moving out of its traditional market and bringing in people to assist on that is bound to find that some people will fit and some won’t.

“Our strategy is to diversify out of the traditional insurance offering we’ve had and to balance that with a more commercial practice, doing things such as commercial property. This is because of the appalling rates available in insurance at the moment – it’s less than half of those for commercial work.”

The push into commercial work bore fruit in July, when Vizards was appointed to easyJet’s first-ever legal panel. The firm is also looking to expand its regulatory offering, setting up a website to advise insurance brokers on new Financial Services Authority guidelines in June.

The departures leave Vizards with 25 partners, but the firm has plans to hire aggressively to restock. Bannister said: “We’ll have more people joining. We’re on the verge of securing an employment partner, and we had five assistants join this month.”