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Managing partners should be as far from dictatorial as possible

By Peter Watson, Managing Partner, Simpson Millar

12 February 2015

Having joined Simpson Millar in the early 1990s, I had been an equity partner for a little over 12 months when, at the age of 33, I was elected managing partner. Clearly, it was for situations like this that words like 'rabbit' and 'headlights' were first brought together in the same sentence.

In 1996, our English law firm comprised two offices (London and Leeds) and it had turnover of around £3m. I would be fibbing if I was to say those first six months or so didn't cause me many more sleepless nights than restful ones.

Perhaps it was understandable that I was a bit overanxious about my right to impose my ideas on partners who had considerably more experience and seniority than myself. But the experience eventually led me to the conclusion that, for me at least, the role of managing partner should be as far from a dictatoria...

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