Robert Chalmers and Simon Smith

EAST Anglia-based Kester Cunningham John (KCJ) has elected a new management team.The law firm has announced a number of key changes as part of a comprehensive review of its governance structure, designed to take advantage of current and expected market opportunities in the sector.

EAST Anglia-based Kester Cunningham John (KCJ) has elected a new management team.

The law firm has announced a number of key changes as part of a comprehensive review of its governance structure, designed to take advantage of current and expected market opportunities in the sector.

Robert Chalmers has been elected to take on the newly-created role of chairman, and managing partner Simon Smith has become chief executive. Both will work with a new partnership board of five members, elected from the KCJ partnership.

During his four years as managing partner, Mr Smith has overseen the firm's development and growth to become a major regional firm, with a turnover of �11million to March 31, 2009.

Mr Smith said: “I am very pleased that despite the worst recession in a generation, our diversified strategy has enabled us to hold overall business levels within 3% of the previous boom, with our investment in specialist, individual client work really paying off, and the value of work in the pipeline showing a real increase on a year ago.”

Mr Chalmers, a prominent wealth management practitioner, who advises businesses and farming families on estate planning and agricultural tax issues, said: “The growth of the firm in recent years has meant that a new management structure was required to provide us with the platform from which we can expand and develop in a radically changing legal marketplace. We are preparing ourselves for the inevitable upturn in several key markets, whenever that may be, as an ever-strengthening regional player”.

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KCJ has 175 partners and staff across its four offices in Bury St Edmunds, Cambridge, Thetford and Norwich.