New year heralds announcement of new Mills & Reeve senior leadership team

Charles Staveley has been elected as the new Mills & Reeve senior partner and will work alongside Claire Clarke who continues as managing partner for a third term.

Charles will officially take over the senior partner role from Justin Ripman at the beginning of September 2023. Justin, who became senior partner in 2015, is stepping down from the role after two terms in office ahead of his retirement as a partner in 2024. Both Claire and Charles’ appointments were uncontested and voted on by the partners. 

The duo is focussed on growing Mills & Reeve’s overall profile and reputation as a firm and in its key sectors and will be looking to build further on the firm’s strong performance in recent years, which has seen turnover rise to a record £131.2 million. The firm also opened an office in Oxford in 2022, it’s seventh in the UK. 

In October 2022 the firm’s latest Fearless Feedback client survey revealed clients are more satisfied with Mills & Reeve than ever. Compared to the 2021 survey results, the client recommendation score increased from 89% to 91%, client satisfaction increased from 89% to 91% and client loyalty increased from 85% to 90%. The firm has set an ambitious goal of achieving a 95% client recommendation score by 2025. 

Charles, who currently leads the firm's real estate investment sector and sits on the firm’s executive board, said: “Claire and Justin have built an incredible platform over the last eight years. I’m looking forward to driving the firm to the next strategic level with Claire, leveraging our deep sector specialisms and firm culture that has an increasing relevance with our clients in today’s ever more complex world. 

“Equally important is continuing to foster the firm’s spirit of collaboration and collegiality, and to enhance and articulate our culture of achieving more for clients, their organisations and the wider world. We want more people to know about the great things that we’re doing here, whether that’s our legal work, our push to improve diversity in the legal sector or our commitments to ESG.” 

Claire, a corporate partner who joined Mills & Reeve in 1996 and took up the role of managing partner in 2015 alongside Justin as senior partner, added: “I’m very proud of what we’ve accomplished as a firm over the last eight years and look forward to achieving even more in the coming years. Lots of law firms say that they’re the best when it comes to client service but we really do believe that by adopting a client centred approach in everything we do we can reach a 95% client recommendation score in the next two years. 

“I also remain passionately committed to developing and strengthening our reputation for innovation and continuing to create an inclusive environment where our people thrive and others want to join which is at the heart of our culture and who we are as a firm.” 

Justin, who joined Mills & Reeve in 1991 as a private tax and landed estates expert, said: “It’s been such a privilege to serve as senior partner for eight years and I’m incredibly proud of what we collectively have achieved. We’ve seen really significant growth while ensuring we remain true to our vision and values and have preserved a real sense of partnership. I believe our focus on our people and maximising the opportunities open to all, while adhering to our sense of purpose and community, remains a real differentiator for us in today’s legal market.” 

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