With ABS on the horizon and firms facing huge change management programmes, it’s not surprising that there’s lots of comings and goings with regards to leadership. And it’s interesting to note an increase in non-legal appointments in senior positions. Here’s a few that caught my attention:

  • 750 lawyer Taylor Wessing appointed a COO who was previously chief of staff at accountancy firm Deloitte.
  • 15 partner media specialist firm Wiggin promoted non-lawyer John Bannister (previously at Merrill Lynch, KPMG and Linklaters) from COO to CEO.
  • Tony Angel (formerly managing partner at Linklaters) took a role as senior partner of DLA Piper’s international LLP and co-global chair in November 2011.
  • Siddhartha Mankad (previously at Boodle Hatfield as director of operations and IT, and prior to that at Andersen) joined technology and digital media firm Kemp Little as its first chief operating officer last summer as a fixed-share partner and a member of the management board.
  • Meanwhile, last year’s first non-lawyer chief executive (Mark Dembovsky) at Howard Kennedy (64 partners) may have contributed to today’s announcement in The Lawyer of redundancy talks with a number of non-equity property partners.

It’s perhaps worthwhile remembering that at this time last year, Dawsons replaced the chief executive role with that of managing partner. It subsequently merged with Penningtons.

And barristers are also playing the game:

  • 11 KBW made its first Chief Executive appointment with the hire of David Stead, formerly director of marketing and business development at patent attorneys Gill Jennings & Every.
  • South Square appointed a former Thompsons Commercial director (Hurley) as chief executive in November 2010 when long term practice director (Paul Cooklin) left and joined construction and arbitration set Keating Chambers. The CE then departed to become COO at Russell Jones and Walker (which was then acquired by Australians).
  • Cornerstone Barristers appointed former Blake Lapthorn London senior partner Warren Foot as chief executive. Previous post holder Lynn Osborne joined Hardwicke Buildings as operations director.

Meanwhile, shares in the accountancy group RSM Tenon fell after Chairman Bob Morton and chief executive Andy Raynor resigned and issued a profits warning citing “pricing pressure”. Deputy chairman Adrian Martin is promoted to Executive Chairman while it searches for a new Chief Executive.