In a move said to recognise the strategic importance of technology within the firm, Foot Anstey’s IT director Duncan Eadie has been promoted to equity partner after a rigorous selection process.
The 200-lawyer firm, which became an alternative business structure (ABS) in April last year, has 47 partners, of which all are equity partners. (These figures have been updated from the firm’s most up to date data, which differs from the top 100 law firm charts – Ed.)
Foot Anstey has invested a seven figure sum on technology during the last two years and in October 2013 signed up for three major Thomson Reuters Elite (TRE) solutions: its flagship financial system 3E, matter management system MatterSphere and legal process management application Engage, the latter of which was this year sunsetted by TRE but will be maintained until 2017.
The top 100 firm has also rolled out Intapp’s time recording solution and ‘Skype for enterprise’ solution Lync across fee-earners’ desktops.
John Westwell, Foot Anstey’s managing partner, said: “[Duncan’s] well-deserved promotion is a recognition of the strategic importance of technology to our business, in delivering high quality services to our clients now and in future.”
Law firms have been able to bring non-lawyers into the partnership since the Legal Services Act came into force in 2011, enabling firms to convert to ABS status, under which non-lawyers can manage and own the firm.
In order to become a partner, Eadie had to undertake five hours of psychological tests, submit proposals and make a presentation to the board and receive approval from the Solicitors Regulation Authority – a process that took three months – as well as inject a significant amount of capital as an investor in the business.
Eadie said: “As one of the ‘early adopter’ non-lawyer partners in the country from an IT discipline, I believe this appointment is representative of Foot Anstey’s progressive values and recognition of the value of IT as well as strengthening the wider partnership through a more diverse skill set.”
Other IT directors who have been promoted into a partner role include Winckworth Sherwood’s head of IT Christel Aguila and Jeff Wright, currently head of transformation at TLT, who became a partner while IT director at Morgan Cole.
At Foot Anstey Eadie’s appointment to partner follows that of non-lawyer commercial and financial director Duncan Ralph.