Mills & Reeve announces new senior and managing partners

We are delighted to announce our new senior and managing partners, Justin Ripman and Claire Clarke.

Justin and Claire, who have served on the Mills & Reeve board since June 2012, will officially take over from Mark Jeffries and Guy Hinchley respectively on 1 June 2015. Claire is the first female managing partner at Mills & Reeve. 

Justin joined Mills & Reeve in 1991 and is a private tax and landed estates expert. He has previously headed-up the firm’s private tax team and has been a key player in building private client work as a core sector at Mills & Reeve. 

Claire joined Mills & Reeve in 1996 and has been a partner since 1999. A corporate lawyer focusing on education and business clients, Claire is also leader of the firm’s corporate and commercial services division. She has recently been involved in driving forward board initiatives around partner performance and development. 

Guy will remain a partner, working on a number of projects to provide the wider management team with the benefit of the many skills and experience which he has acquired over the last eight years as managing partner. This will include progressing the delivery of the firm’s growth plans in Leeds and Manchester. Mark, who has been with Mills & Reeve for 35 years and was also managing partner from 2001-2007, will also continue with the firm as a consultant, which will include work in the health sector and on client care and development programmes. 

Justin said: “Both Claire and I would like to thank Mark and Guy for handing us the reins of a firm that is financially well managed, has a strong culture, a wish to focus on quality work, and where all staff are treated fairly and with respect. 

“This is a firm that has just posted a healthy turnover of close to £80 million and good profit. However, we are operating in a fiercely competitive market and we need to make sure that we continue to differentiate ourselves from other law firms. The market is also changing relatively quickly so we must be able to react and develop to meet the challenges which will face us and make sure we stay ahead of the curve.” 

Claire added: “We must certainly avoid any degree of complacency and be quick to embrace and adapt to change. It’s also vital that as a firm we focus on our key strengths and are brave enough to back and invest in these, avoiding diluting our offering by trying to cover all bases at the expense of our distinctiveness. 

“Growth will continue to be carefully managed but we are determined to build further on the successful merger with George Davies in 2013 and continue to grow our Manchester office. We are also keen to see our Leeds office become closer to full service and, as we continue to look to do more work for our world-class clients our international offering, which now accounts for approximately 20 per cent of our business, certainly remains an important focus.” 

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