Watson Burton confirms ousted MP’s successor

Newcastle-based firm Watson Burton has elected construction head Rob Langley to replace toppled managing partner Andrew Hoyle.

As first reported on www.thelawyer.com (September 26), Hoyle was ousted by the partnership last month following internal rows about the direction of the firm.

As predicted in The Lawyer (October 2), Langley will take the reigns of the 40-partner practice, confirming the construction group’s status as the firm’s prioritised team.

Watson Burton will seek to use construction as a replacement for its now dwindling stream of personal injury work from Tyneside’s miners, in particular from sufferers of the ‘vibration white finger’ industrial disease, which has been a mainstay over the last five years.

With nearly 40 specialist lawyers, construction is already Watson Burton’s largest and most lucrative group. Two of the firm’s six equity partners, Langley and Lawrence Bruce, are members of the practice, and construction is the basis of the London operation.

In addition to his status as head of construction, Langley has been at Watson Burton since 1981, longer than any other partner including Hoyle.