15 Dec 2022

HFW's managing partner signals further hires and bolt-ons as he secures second term

Jeremy Shebson says UK firm will 'continue to actively target partners, teams and bolt-ons' across international network

Jeremy Shebson Image courtesy of HFW

Jeremy Shebson has won a second term as HFW’s managing partner. 

London-based Shebson will begin his next four-year term 1 April 2023, having taken over as managing partner in 2019 from veteran partner Marcus Bowman.

HFW said Shebson will continue to work alongside global senior partner Giles Kavanagh, who succeeded Richard Crump in the role in January, and the firm’s board to manage strategy and operations. 

"This is an exciting time for HFW,” said Shebson, who ran unopposed. “Having invested significantly in expanding internationally and broadening our practices, we now have lawyers and business services professionals across five continents and we are seeing that clients increasingly value the fact that, as a sector-focused law firm, we understand their business and their industry, as well as the law.

"We are now seeking to really ramp things up across our sectors, services, and global network, and will continue to actively target partners, teams and bolt-ons that align with our strategy and that can deliver sustainable, profitable growth,” he added. 

Shebson’s re-election comes amid a period of sustained growth for HFW, which since 2015 has seen revenue increase by almost 75%. 

The firm said its two most recent financial years were the best in its 140-year history, with turnover rising 2.6% to hit the £200m mark for the first time in FY2020/21 before falling slightly to £198.7m in 2021/22, which the firm chalked up to exchange rate pressures and a cut in lawyer headcount during the pandemic. 

This year HFW has added 17 new partners and legal directors globally. Among the new arrivals was disputes partner Paul Evans, who joined the firm in Perth in April alongside a special counsel and senior associate from Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan’s local office, which he founded. 

In February the firm secured an offshore base when it took over the British Virgin Islands office of a Bahamas litigation firm, in the process securing partner Scott Cruickshank and a pair of associates, and shortly after launched in Denmark with the hire of leading shipping partner Jens Mathiasen from Danish independent Gorrissen Federspiel. 

Kavanagh added: "In his first term Jeremy has driven profitability, professionalism, and a collegiate culture at all levels and locations in the firm. His achievements enable us now to embark upon a period of sustained and significant growth. I am looking forward to continuing to work with him to drive the firm forward."