Half the partners in BLM's Southampton office have resigned.
According to an inside source, eight partners have handed in their notices en masse, including the head of the Southampton and Bristol offices, Michael Renshaw. The office has 16 partners in total.
The partners who are bailing are apparently citing management issues and the salary and bonus system as the key reasons for leaving BLM. Although presumably Renshaw thought his own leadership skills were ok. There are, say RollOnFriday's sources, "more disillusioned partners waiting in the wings". Other lawyers and non-fee-earners are also expected to leave. Which is perhaps not surprising given that a lot of work is presumably about to walk out the door.
|They all agreed not to break into a run until they were round the corner
The firm got a pasting in the RollOnFriday Firm of the Year 2016 survey, in which it came fourth from bottom with 33%. Staff said the pay was "horrendous", entreating, "you should look into it - it really is a complete joke". Others said there is "terrible communication from the top" and a "totally opaque" bonus system. Employees are apparently so used to departures they have found a silver lining: "Members of staff leave and are not replaced which means there is room to stretch out on spare desks". At this rate they will have a floor each to themselves, following news that BLM is making mass redundancies in its Manchester office.
A spokeswoman for BLM told RollOnFriday, “We have received a number of resignations from lawyers within our Southampton office who have chosen to pursue new opportunities elsewhere at some point in the future".
But although half the office may be about to vanish, "We have strong relationships with customers currently supported by lawyers in Southampton and have been assured of their continuing support for BLM. We do not anticipate any impact on our existing relationships with those customers".
In fact, "The firm continues to attract talented people from within the industry and we look forward to announcing a number of key appointments at the firm in the very near future”.