Legal: Law firm undertakes restructure; Trademark accreditation for partner and firm gets top spot in branding index

Law firm Weightmans, which has offices in Leeds and Manchester, has undertaken a restructure after “the biggest review in decades” of the business.

The restructure comes with a five year strategy, and has seen the restructuring of the board.

John Schorah and Tony Cannon remain managing partner and finance director respectively, whilst senior partner Dan Cutts is poised to take on the role of director of client relationships alongside his current position.

Andrew Cooper, former head of Public Sector will become director of Legal Operations – Claims. Stuart Jones, former head of Employment is now director of Legal Operations – Litigation, Transaction and Advisory and Stuart Whittle takes the role of director of business Services.

It has introduced a new client relationships arm, which includes six client markets seeking to provide a full service to the customers within them: Insurance, Public Bodies, Corporates, Owner Managed Businesses, Built Environment and Private Client.

As part of the new strategy the firm also made a significant financial investment in technology, implementing innovative platforms 3E® and MatterSphere® in order to provide a more efficient service and solutions for clients.

Dan Cutts said: “This was a major consultation that involved staff at all levels. Weightmans has a fantastic portfolio of clients, and in order to continue to deliver value and client satisfaction we are embracing change. The new structure prepares us to face the current challenges in this market head on, in order to optimise efficiency and deliver what the client needs.

“We are embracing new ways of working to truly respond to client and staff requirements – as well as technological advances to futureproof the business, the new structure places more Partners in roles of total client focus and service delivery, enabling the firm to provide a wider scale of services and grow deeper relationships with customers.

“Many say they put the client at the centre of what they do – we’re proud to say that we’re actually doing it.”


Rob Lucas, a partner at law firm Shulmans, has been appointed to the International Trademark Association’s mediator panel – the first lawyer in the North of England to do so.

After 19 years in the field, and extensive training and development Lucas achieved the criteria necessary to meet the standards of INTA’s mediator panel.

It will enable him to act for the global association’s owner and professional network in supporting trademark and related intellectual property cases.

As part of his role, Lucas will assist parties facing litigation to resolve matters before they reach court, while promoting fair and effective commerce under INTA’s founding principles.

Lucas said: “It is an honour to be appointed to the panel of an internationally recognised association such as INTA. The recognition enables Shulmans to provide a unique offering in the sector, previously unavailable on a local level to businesses in the North.

“There is a growing demand for mediation in trademark matters on a national scale, with judges actively recommending this route to resolution to save time and money and avoid lengthy court proceedings.

“My appointment to the panel will enable our firm to lead the way in the mediation of trademark disputes and help us to continue being a prominent legal services provider in the Intellectual Property sector.”


Eversheds Sutherland has topped the 2017 UK Law Firm Brand Index for the third year in a row.

Since the UK Law Firm Brand Index was first launched in 2012, Eversheds Sutherland has been ranked first in all but two of these years.

The index is based on Sharplegal survey data from interviews with major UK companies and global companies with UK service needs.

Analysis takes into account criteria including: name awareness, favourability towards each firm, reputation in top level litigation and M&A, as well as which firms are most used for high value work.

Eversheds Sutherland (International) CEO, Lee Ranson, said: “This outstanding result speaks for itself, with Eversheds Sutherland achieving a number one ranking for a record third consecutive year.

“Our firm has dominated the Acritas UK Law Firm Brand Index since its launch, topping the table for four of the last five years. It is also pleasing to see the strength of our brand recognised in London, where we continue to be well-placed in the top ten.

“Building a strong and differentiated brand is a core part of our strategy, driven by a laser-like focus on providing a consistent, quality experience for our clients. For clients, and the market, to once again recognise our achievements in this area is very heartening.”

Acritas CEO, Lisa Hart Shepherd, explained: “Eversheds Sutherland has received extra attention since the announcement of its US merger, now offering a sizable presence in the largest and most important legal market in the world.”

The London-based firm has offices in Leeds, Newcastle, Manchester, Nottingham and Birmingham in the North and Midlands.