09:22, November 21 614 0

2017-11-21 09:22:07
BLM loses two London partners as HSBC steps in over assets

BLM London managing partner Jennette Newman has resigned from the firm’s London office, amid HSBC taking a second charge on the firm’s assets.

Partner Jonathan Edwards has also resigned. Both will be on gardening leave for the next six months as BLM confirmed the pair had left to “explore other opportunities”.

Newman’s departure leaves the London office without a head, though a replacement is expected to be announced later this week.

A spokesperson for the firm said: “Jennette Newman and Jonathan Edwards made a decision to leave BLM to pursue other opportunities. Both are partners in the London office which continues to be a thriving location for BLM with a strong presence in the London Market.”

This is the second sudden prominent departure from the firm this year after managing partner Gary Allison stepped down eight months into a three-year tenure in July. Vivienne Williams, a BLM veteran of 29 years, replaced Allison just three days after it was revealed he had left the firm.

The firm has also entered into a charge with HSBC taking over its assets after Barclays had come in over an initial charge in 2014.

The firm said: “Off the back of a strengthened balance sheet and falling debt, we made a decision to review our banking arrangements and agreed new terms this month. We’ve banked with Barclays for some time and now we’re pleased to say that we’re also being backed by HSBC, which is testament to our strong financial position.

“Support from both banks provides ample opportunity for future expansion and, together with our increased net asset base, a stable platform to support our development.”

The firm has had a mixed year so far. The firm entered into a consultation over its secretarial staff following the loss of its spot on the new NHS panel as well as trimming 29 roles with the relocation of its volume motor business from Southampton to Liverpool and Manchester.

Newman, whose departure was first reported by RollOnFriday this morning, was involved in a three-partner team which helped launch the Global Insurance Law Connect (GILC) earlier this year. Seven firms launched the network in September with Norwegian-based Riisa & Co, Swiss firm gbf and Belgium’s Lydian all joining since.

BLM also took 33 lawyers, including 11 new partners, from Slater & Gordon in October as it seeks to diversify out of its core risk and insurance offering.