BLM's new managing partner has left the firm, with no replacement in place.

Gary Allison assumed the role on 1 December 2016 for a three year term when he took over from longtime MP Andrew Relton. Senior partner Mike Brown said at the time that Allison "has all the experience and credentials to make a real difference in the months and years ahead”. 

But it's turned out to be just months. Eight of them. Sources told RollOnFriday that the only evidence of Allison's departure has been the quiet removal of his profile from BLM's website. There has been no announcement of his departure or confirmation of his replacement. When approached by RollOnFriday, a spokeswoman for BLM said, “Gary Allison has decided to retire from BLM to pursue other interests. Gary would like to thank his colleagues for the last 23 years’ of support and wishes BLM all the success in the future”. Asked for the identity of the new MP, she said "we shall be announcing this next week to the firm".

If you're thinking it sounds unusual for a firm to have no new managing partner in place when the old one retires, it is.

  "Hello BLM, Otto is now flying the firm." 

One source asked, "What's going on at BLM?" and referred to "plummeting profits and poor staff survey results". The firm was certainly thrashed by its staff in the RollOnFriday Firm of the Year 2017 survey. One lawyer said, "management's vision to 'future proof' us, aka Project Graphene, is so sexed up with management speak that it is totally unfathomable". 
After "losing AXA, the MOD, and half the Southampton office", said another, "Mike Brown reminds me of that dog in the meme surrounded by fire saying 'this is fine'". Staff told the survey that morale was "at an all time low" predominantly due to the "diabolical" management's "ridiculous goal of being 'leading global risk and insurance business by 2020'". They said the ambitious vision was "undermined by 'Where's Brown Been?'", which is a "monthly map showing him travelling, by jet, from Manchester to Liverpool". In June, as revealed on RollOnFriday, the firm attracted even more criticism from its staff for a mass axing of secretaries.


Anonymous 18 July 17 16:22

Why this constant reference to staff being 'hardworking' or 'longstanding'? So what. If there isn't the work to keep them occupied what are the firm meant to do? Keep them on? Join the real world!

Anonymous 18 July 17 16:25

To 8.19am. OK so I.m not very good at spelling...but I still earn more than you and drive a really flashy car and wear a rolax!!

Anonymous 18 July 17 17:28

Ahhh 12.56.An admission that working practices are changing everywhere-not just BLM. So is BLM expected not to adopt new technology and change with the times but retain excess staff? What is your excuse as a fee earner for staying on? Perhaps you aren't a very good one and not particularly attractive in the open market? Please explain.

Anonymous 18 July 17 19:06

Described as a 'year of investment and change', this year's PEP figure will decline further. The firm's reasonable equities should leave this sinking ship and set up their own business. BLM's competitors are doing fine - better than well, in fact! - so this can't be put down to an 'industry-wide challenge'. The point regarding Keoghs vs. Clyde & Co is well made. You can't be Tesco and Harrods at once - it doesn't wash.

Anonymous 18 July 17 19:56

To anon at 15.25, "...I still earn more than you and drive a really flashy car and wear a rolax!!..."
If that is what it says on the dial of your watch I suspect it may be a rather questionable fake.

Anonymous 18 July 17 21:02

16:28 Very interesting that you assume I'm a fee earner, why? And you state: "Perhaps you aren't a very good one and not particularly attractive in the open market." Maybe a case of a Freudian slip there or an admission that "perhaps you aren't a very good?"

Anonymous 19 July 17 16:52

Some of the current partners that are left couldn't even manage a Burger King! Can't wait to leave the Southampton Office and stick my fingers up when I do!

Anonymous 19 July 17 19:37 we go again with the moaning. I'm do hardworking....I'm so loyal...I've worked here for ever....I could have been a partner if I didn't work in Leeds.This is an open market. Please get another job.

Anonymous 19 July 17 22:57

I am an ex employee of BLM and can confirm I took early retirement as the there was no "moral" I have not looked back since I left that place. I agree going down faster than the titanic!

Anonymous 20 July 17 08:29

More like the Bismarck, completey rudderless, directionless and a target.

The crew are either jumping over board or being checked over by Captain Graphene. "Be away with you all, you loyal, trust worthy long standing members of the crew" he roars before hopping into a cozy little life boat with the rest of the Management/Contractors/Hatchetbods as they tow away their money in another boat.

Anonymous 20 July 17 08:56

Have any of you lot thought that maybe posting on here isn't helping? I like working at BLM. Is it perfect? God no but where is?? But you lot make me worried sick for my future and feel so unhappy. If it's that bad then leave. It'll do us all a favour if the place was filled with more positivity

Anonymous 20 July 17 09:50

I once worked at BLM. Nice enough people but run by managers not leaders and certainly no one with any vision. GA was a decent chap, but he was no managing partner and to say that he was their best shot in a firm of 200 partners is a sad indictment on all of them. As to the rest, with a raft of major client losses, they are clinging on to their positions, desperately trying to hold on to insurer clients for volumes of work on pitifully low rates just to secure turnover with little or no profit margin. A claims manager once famously said "we pay more for our carpets than our lawyers". That’s how much insurers respect their lawyers. It’s no industry to be involved with. Get out if you can.

Anonymous 21 July 17 22:08

The Keoghs people who left must be having a good laugh. Valuable people replaced by inexperienced management = complete chaos and people clinging on for dear life as they believe less people to compete with for Equity or promotion. Good luck with any form of promotion now guys. You will be lucky if you keep your jobs!

Anonymous 22 July 17 09:22

Big Viv "did someone say turkey"....flunkie "er no Big Viv, that'll just be my reference to staff that we're setting up to lose their jobs" Big Viv "oh, ok, it's just I thought there maybe some turkey, get me some turkey".....flunkie "sure Big Viv, I'll get you some turkey"

Anonymous 22 July 17 10:53

Anon at 8.22
Nothing better to do on a Saturday morning than mock someone's weight?

Very very sad.

Say what you want about BLM but I think that's pretty low, unnecessary and hurtful

Anonymous 22 July 17 12:18

Oops, the defenders are out! - What's 'very, very sad' is that people are being mocked and treated without courtesy or respect before being cast aside like trash, and the Management are responsible - a bit of personal jousting is the least of Big Viv's worries, if she's actually worried at all, given her reputation for speaking people like dirt.

Anonymous 22 July 17 19:26

Anon at 11.18

Would be interesting to see what "personal jousting" you'd adopt if Viv were male.

And not defending anyone or anything. Just think that if personal jousting is all you've got then at least have the courage not to hide behind anonymity and tell us who you are so I know whose sad little air I have to share at work.

Also, I think attacking someone for their appearance is a bit more than personal jousting.

Get a life. And something to do at the weekend.

Anonymous 22 July 17 21:18

To anon at 9.53am. Come on BIG Viv...haven't you anything better to do than respond to comments about you on Roll on Friday? As said in a previous post you have spoken to people in a vile fashion for years so I wouldn't take offence about eating a bit of Turkey!!!

Anonymous 22 July 17 22:29

As an ex employee of BLM who was part of the Facilities team I think Cheetham should be the next Managing Partner cos Cheetahs don't change their spots !!

Anonymous 23 July 17 11:04

11:18 - Does Big Viv know some flunkie has launched online security on her behalf, frantically waving the yellow card in the face of alleged sexism! A suggestion that if the MP was a chap called Gary Allison then he wouldn't be referred to as Big Gazza, just Gazza?! Climb down off your liberal soap box flunkie, this has nothing to do with Big Viv's gender!

As for squealing "not defending anyone or anything" you clearly are - your "anyone" is Viv and your "anything" is Big. What a moron. Suppose your description of personal jousting is sacking people, and whilst you're on the subject of anonymity let's see who you are, let's see who's spending their weekend defending the very Management that recently put so many out of work and many more lined up. No? don't want to share that with us?

Anonymous 23 July 17 12:19

Cheetham & McCarthy-Teague aka Tweedledee & Tweedledum are the future drivers of the company........for what's left of it anyway !!!!

Anonymous 23 July 17 13:54

18:26 - What offends you more Anon, Big Viv being referred to as Big Viv or staff being referred to as turkeys lined up at Christmas? Read the posts above, this is actually being said to staff!

Anonymous 24 July 17 21:40

I love the way the official BLM spokesperson makes out that Gary was an old duffer and has been there for decades and has now decided to retire to water his garden....he's only in his late 40's isn't he? What really happened between December 2016 and June 2017 to make him go? Surely he had access to the financials throughout? What was the real reason?

Anonymous 25 July 17 09:38

20.40 Err wasn't he there for decades and in a very senior position for at least the last 10 years. He oversaw the clin neg department which apparently lost loads of work and has / is making people redundant. Doesn't that make him a duffer? Or now that he is gone should we laud him as the only person that could have saved BLM? He was surely part of the problem!! Surely someone at BLM knows the real reason(s) why he left?

Anonymous 25 July 17 22:05

One person out of 1200 makes an ET claim (apparently) and 'its all looking dire'!!! Yeah right!! So BLM is the only employer who faces these sorts of claims? BLM will go from strength to strength after its re-structuring. No more Titanic or Bismark nonsense please. Back to work everyone and get on with your jobs.

Anonymous 26 July 17 06:41

Sums it up doesn't it that someone from
BLM is trying to defend the management and is ordering everyone to get back to work ( at 9pm ha ha)
I wonder how many are sending out CVs at the same time?
Sheer panic at the thought that their profits may take a further nose dive if fee earners are spending time posting comments highlighting the truth. Let's silence everyone with a false promise it's all going to be good.
Of course it would not be so bad if just one person had an active ET claim on the go but let's put it in context:
- MP leaves suddenly
-other senior equity partners have left in the last 18 months
- crisis team engaged to try and sort out the mess
- profits nosedive
- huge clients abandon BLM
- damaging staff survey shows the firm to be in a shocking state
- mass redundancies which have been v badly managed
- move to new offices which the firm cannot afford
- whole teams leave suddenly to set up elsewhere
- public shaming of the management
- large proportion of staff off sick for stress
- HR carrying out a culling of " dead wood" ( anyone expensive/ a threat etc)
- management failing to admit the firm is in trouble and continuing with a PR disaster
- long term and v loyal staff being given basic redundancy pay only
- fee earners being marched into meetings and intimidated if their monthly targets are not met 100% ( no excuses at all accepted)

Oh and ET claims

Yeah, all looks great to me
Now back to work you naughty staff. You don't know how lucky you are.

Anonymous 26 July 17 10:34

But this is a highly successful "international " firm (office in Dublin counts as global?? He He
The website says

To be recognised as one of the leading global insurance and risk legal specialists by 2020

Zilch chances we say.

Anonymous 26 July 17 14:12

05.41. You are blowing small issues hugely out of proportion. Few questions for you. Who are the 'huge clients' that have left? Who equity partners have left in last 18 months? What is wrong with expecting fee earners to do their jobs? All a storm in a tea cup.

Anonymous 26 July 17 14:12

05.41. You are blowing small issues hugely out of proportion. Few questions for you. Who are the 'huge clients' that have left? Who equity partners have left in last 18 months? What is wrong with expecting fee earners to do their jobs? All a storm in a tea cup.

Anonymous 26 July 17 15:42

If Tweedledum was not a reality it would be a complete joke. Not even all those confidentiality clauses can hide her shocking grab for power and the firm's condoning of unfair and intimidatory conduct towards staff. Glad its all finally exposed/exploded rather than kept silent within the firm's hidden rotten core. Well done ROF. and all those who got out or were "managed" out. It is better elsewhere.

Anonymous 26 July 17 16:24

"05.41. You are blowing small issues hugely out of proportion. Few questions for you. Who are the 'huge clients' that have left? Who equity partners have left in last 18 months? What is wrong with expecting fee earners to do their jobs? All a storm in a tea cup"

Ha ha "small issues"??? !! Well unless the place has an outbreak of Ebola, the office is on fire or being shut down by the SRA I think that these are massive problems. Insulting and arrogant to say its all a storm in a tea cup.

Anonymous 26 July 17 18:50

Anon 3.24pm
Note you didn't answer my questions...perhaps because there is no foundation to your rantings

Anonymous 16 July 17 20:04

Disgusting! Management taking strategic decisions without consulting the plebs. Grow up people! If you don't like it then you don't though!

Anonymous 16 July 17 22:41

19.04. Half the southampton office did leave as have Clients MoD, MDU, MPS, Ageas, NHSLA.........oh and two managing partners in two years. One before a replacement had been found. BLM wa caught with its pants down on this

Anonymous 16 July 17 22:57

Who is this spokeswoman? The media sound bite is more like a quote u see when a scandal ridden MP has had to resign suddenly. This firm is only going in one direction.....oblivion....

Anonymous 17 July 17 09:20

OK so a few clients lost and some redundancies follow. Big deal. In areas like disease we are best in class with a great strategic vision and clients on board.

Anonymous 17 July 17 09:56

@ 8.20 - u must be a Manc disease team partner with all that management strategy/visions speak - going to too many internal meetings/vid cons to talk about, well not much..... so losing clients and jobs and reputational damage is not a big deal ....deluded dimwit.

Anonymous 17 July 17 10:47

What a shambles. Managing partner "retired". Anyone who believes that nonsense is as deluded as that anonymous poster who awoke at 8.20 all fired up.

Anonymous 17 July 17 12:27

Overheard a conversation from someone in the FM team that someone from their management described them as being 'turkeys and it's christmas' so they must be next on the hit list. Shows how much the company thinks of their staff members. Utter disgrace

Anonymous 17 July 17 12:36

As managers of the UK''s biggest insurance practice then yes, sometimes we have to make tough choices to achieve our strategic goals. You need to get on board or get off. Next year you will see the rewards of higher pep-which is what this game is all about.

Anonymous 14 July 17 15:27

"There's no reason to become alarmed, and we hope you'll enjoy the rest of your flight. By the way, is there anyone on board who knows how to fly a plane?"

Anonymous 14 July 17 18:23

when was the last time a managing partner stepped down with no replacement and the firm carried on without one? whenever it was I'm sure that turned out just fine so nothing to worry about here

Anonymous 14 July 17 20:05

It’s confirmed - BLM is a 1970s Ray Cooney farce. Is the vicar about to walk in with Lynda Bellingham and Robin Askwith? I shall celebrate its demise.

Anonymous 14 July 17 20:15

This article most certainly was an exclusive: the official BLM announcement - the one to its own staff - came only AFTER this story appeared on ROF!

Anonymous 14 July 17 23:29

Project Graphene From Outer Space (2017) Crowned as the “worst movie ever made”. Critics said: "Despite a discernible lack of talent and resources, Director Mike Brown staged an alien invasion epic". "It’s impossible not to be amazed and somehow charmed that he tried to fulfill this ambition with an amateur cast starring Gary Allison who had to retire halfway through the filming.

Anonymous 15 July 17 00:09

Was GA pushed or did he jump ship? If the latter which firm has he jumped to? Who is next to jump? Is this just a temporary down turn or is the firm in genuine trouble?

Anonymous 15 July 17 12:48

The announcement of GAs 'retirement' came after the ROF exclusive and the replacement MP was announced to staff after everyone had left for the day!

Anonymous 15 July 17 18:28

MP election deadline was 5pm and announcement made to whole firm within 30 minutes. What were they supposed to do? Damned if they do, damned if they don't.

Anonymous 17 July 17 20:43

To anon 11:36 - so, BLM manager, higher pep is what this '"game" is all about, is it? Firstly, it's not a "game"; you BLM managers have made a number of hard working, loyal fee earners and support staff redundant, and overseen a terrible drop in morale thst has people concerned about their jobs. Salaries have been frozen for years for some people. Your view of this as a "game" is indicative of everything wrong with your BLM management. Secondly, if PEP is what it's all about, then the 27% drop in PEP last year, to a rock bottom £205,000, is hardly an indication that you are doing well. So wow, pat yourself on the back if the impending year end accounts see you rise from the abysmal £205,000 level. But do enlighten us as to where the high profit margin work has come from this financial year. Or is the PEP going to rise because you have cut costs by making numeroua hard working people redundant?

Anonymous 17 July 17 21:02

Next in BLM News - Mike Brown and Viv Williams fulfill BLM's global ambition by offshoring its legal advice function to a call centre in Mumbai. "This is part of our unfathomable futureproofing plan" said a spokesman for BLM who refused to be named. "Unfortunately it will mean we will have to make a few hundred people redundant, but hopefully our PEP will go up a couple of grand". Staff in the Manchester office, when offered to relocate to Mumbai, were reported to be delighted at the prospect of working in an office with working toilets, running water, and some natural ligbt".

Anonymous 17 July 17 21:05

To 19.43. Yes increasing profitibility can be achieved both by through new income but also by cutting costs. So yes by cutting out some dead wood then expect pep to increase-simples.

Anonymous 18 July 17 09:19

To 20:05 - all of those fee-earners in healthcare who were made redundant, as a result of BLM's senior partners and bid team failing to maintain panel status with the NHSLA and MPS, are "dead wood" were they? All of those support staff who have worked at BLM for years, even decades, offered voluntary redundancy, are "dead wood" were they? Charming. Do you understand that it's not "simples" to raise PEP when you have a demoralised workforce paid below market rate, not motivated to put in extra hours because they are unlikely to get a pay rise or a bonus if their team as a whole doesn't meet unrealistic targets? Or the cost of management time patching up client relationships and redistributing workloads when numerous people leave for better working environments? Or the cost of recruiting and training new staff when experienced fee earners get fed up and leave, taking years of expertise with them? No, of course you don't, because in your head it's "simples". Where are the high profit margin income streams coming from, that will boost PEP and counteract the increasing level of low margin fixed fee work? What percentage of BLM's revenue comes from hourly rate work charged at more than, say, £200 per hour for a partner? 1%? What about £300+ per hour? 0%? Oh, by the way, it's 'profitability', not 'profitibility'.

Anonymous 18 July 17 11:24

08:19 Well Said. When loyal long serving support staff start calling BLM Shawshank you know it time to get out.

Anonymous 18 July 17 11:45

It's clear the Manchester office has taken over the rest of the firm and brought everyone else down to their standard. It was a bad merger to begin with and a race to the bottom. You cannot have one part of the firm aspiring to be Keoghs and the other lot aspiring to have a practice like Clyde & Co or Kennedys. This will not end well.

Anonymous 18 July 17 13:56

10:33 It wouldn't be moan, moan, moan, if the place was a half decent environment to work and it's not that easy for demoralised support staff to find other positions after they have been made redundant due to new "agile working conditions." Maybe It's the senior partners that should leave, leave, leave.

Anonymous 14 July 17 13:44

Obviously because managing partners do just retire on the quiet without the firms staff members even knowing! So not only do they think their staff are stupid but they think everyone else is too.

Anonymous 17 July 17 13:14

I think anonymous at 11.36 makes an excellent point. Talking about increasing profit per equity partner is an excellent way of getting clients and the rank on file on board with your strategic vision.

Anonymous 17 July 17 13:48

Do people seriously think it is better elsewhere? It's a hard job, in a hard legal world. The good old days are long gone. If you don't like how the firm is run then go somewhere else and stop moaning on here and dragging people down with you.

People have been calling BLM the Titanic for 2 years's old/boring/not true/a crap analogy

Anonymous 17 July 17 13:51

11:36 - if you think insurance law is about PEP, you're seriously deluded. Brown has been mismanaging the firm for years now. I guess that's a strategic vision of sorts. Managing decline.

Anonymous 17 July 17 14:14

With Big Viv now as MP expect no prisoners! She will eat dissenters alive-literally!! I would call BLM the titanic but note the comment at 12.48. Can't think of any other famous big ship that sank so sorry-IT IS THE TITANIC

Anonymous 17 July 17 14:56

12:48 You are quite correct about the Titanic analogy as being old boring and not true. How about changing it to the Bismarck as this had support staff on board when it went down with the Officers.

Anonymous 19 July 17 14:03

The BLM model doesn't work. Plain as that. Other firms like Clyde's and DACB at least have commercial and real estate practices that can compensate for the pittance that insurance work pays. Get out while you can.

Anonymous 19 July 17 08:58

I've had a pay rise for the last two years.
I took a pay cut when I moved to BLM (for unavoidable reasons) and I now earn more than I did at a competitor where I worked previously.
When was the last time any of you spoke to a recruitment consultant? If you think you can earn a lot more elsewhere then you're sadly mistaken.
And FYI the competitor that I moved from now doesn't allow fee earners to drink the tea and coffee provided for visitors when they have a meeting and they have to take their own crappy cup and nescafe in whilst offering their visitor a decent drink.
Grass? Greener?

Anonymous 19 July 17 09:54

Clearly the number of people leaving or managed out are not all "dead wood" - such a lovely phrase to categorise co-workers. Is it no surprise they have a hatchet job ruling their HR with bog all in terms of people skills or empathy? Also, whilst it is a tough market you are not a rainmaker or clever if you agree to do work for a few quid FF in the elusive hope you will be compensated by more lucrative hourly rate work .....which never arrives or goes instead to a rival. Whatever is the truth these stories and comments about BLM are gonna hurt. Mr L + Mr M must turning in their respective graves. RIP

Anonymous 02 August 17 09:21

List of Equity partners that have left : Gary Allison, Andrew Relton, Mike Renshaw (plus another 7 partners at the same time), Chris Wiggin, Sarah Mansfiled, David Hill, Brian Goodwin, Rodney Wilson, Paddy Mullarkey,

List of big clients that have left : MPS, MoD, AXA, NHSLA, MDU, Ageas.

If you don't want the answers made public Viv, don't ask the question!!! Wake up to the fact that BLM's behaviour of late is indefensible and start doing something about it. It's time to justify the mortgageless house in the UK and abroad (something you enjoyed boasting about regularly). At least Mike Brown only has a caravan.

Anonymous 02 August 17 15:03

Perhaps something could also be done to get people to remember they all work for the same firm, We have been beset with power blocs, inter office intrigue, partners with their own fiefdoms and loyalty (?) structure, not satisfied with seeing their power increase but seeing it increase at a cost to other 'outsiders' (other BLM offices). Not even Westeros is like this. Maybe now Viv sits on the Iron Throne..........

Anonymous 27 July 17 16:09

17.50 I don't work at BLM but the following Equity Partners have left: Andrew Relton (Managing Partner), Gary Allison (Managing Partner), Mike Renshaw (Head of Southampton and Bristol), Chris Wiggin (former Head of Birmingham). Terry Renouf is now "a consultant" rather than an owner despite being ranked the senior statesman of Defendant Insurance law.

"Huge clients" I believe include NHSLA, MoD, MPS, MDU, Ageas and AXA

maybe that is normal for BLM if it is just a storm in a teacup. Or maybe it is that attitude that is causing the firm to fall apart.

You obviously work there so why don't you tell us whether this is an accurate or complete list?

Anonymous 27 July 17 18:15

OK so leaving aside the 7 'huge' clients who have left what other clients have walked? None! And apart from those equities listed above who have gone / become consultants what other ones have left? None. Ha...a storm in a tea cup. Now stop all this rather pathetic moaning and bleating. You are fee earners...start earning some fees!!

Anonymous 27 July 17 18:49

"OK so leaving aside the 7 'huge' clients who have left... And apart from those equities listed above who have gone"

Egg on face

Anonymous 27 July 17 18:53

Dear "storm in a tea cup" defender
On behalf of all employees and ROF posters I dare you to publish the staff survey

Anonymous 27 July 17 21:43

BLM propaganda lackies are doing a bit of leaflet dropping! Reminds me of when the Iraqis were giving a statement on live TV years back "Baghdad is secure, we are standing strong against the invaders" as an American Tank rolled past in the background. Will take more than a few paid rats to dampen the passion for outing the truth.

Anonymous 27 July 17 22:30

Fee earners you are all "plebs", now go and kill yourselves trying to hit unrealistic targets while I sit back and relax with my door closed. Anything you do earn from your slavery is mine. Better not tell you how good you are, you may challenge me too much. Let's just tell you that you are lucky to have a job.

Anonymous 27 July 17 23:46

Isn't the office empty by 5.30pm so don't think anyone is 'killing themselves' to reach target. No doubt doors are kept shut so don't hAve to listen to fee earners' pathetic bleatings. Yes you are lucky to have jobs! If you hhad any talents you would have left already.

Anonymous 28 July 17 09:37

Reminds me of the way the dysfunctional CEO of Olswang was ousted. 10 months after the firm sold itself for almost nothing. Bad omen for BLM.

Anonymous 28 July 17 10:41

"The survey will be issued in due course when deemed appropriate and not on the request of plebs!"

Couldn't be a better time than now in my opinion.
The arrogance is astonishing.