BLM names new managing partner after surprise exit of former chief

BLM has appointed Manchester claims solutions head Vivienne Williams as its new managing partner, following the surprise departure of Gary Allison just eight months into a three-year term as head of the firm.

Allison, who had been at the firm for 23 years, had been managing partner since December last year, when he replaced longstanding leader Andrew Relton.

A BLM spokeswoman said Allison had decided to retire to “pursue other interests”.

Williams succeeded him in the role today (17 July), taking up a three-year term.

During her time at BLM she spent three years as a member of the executive board, and has led the firm’s claims solutions business stream and large loss and technical business stream.

Williams said: “BLM has made a number of strategic decisions over the last 12-18 months, which has meant a great deal of change at the firm.

“I have worked here for almost 30 years and I have seen so much positive change, including most recently the expansion of our firm throughout the UK and Ireland and the launch of Global Insurance Law Connect, of which we are a founder member.”

Global Insurance Law Connect, which was launched at the end of June, is a network of seven insurance-focused law firms in different countries.

The firms working alongside BLM are Batini Traverso Grasso & Associati in Italy, Byrd & Associates in France, Foran Glennon Palandech Ponzi & Rudloff in the US, Blanco & Asociados in Spain, India’s Khaitan Legal Associates and Santos Bevilaqua in Brazil.

BLM has made a number of job cuts in recent months, including offering voluntary redundancy to 50 support staff, while this February the firm announced it was reviewing its healthcare teams in London and Manchester, with up to six jobs at risk.

Last year BLM posted a 28% drop in profits per equity partner for 2015-16, alongside a 3.5% increase in revenue.