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‘A significant cultural shift’: Taylor Wessing to move to all equity partnership

Taylor Wessing is set to convert into an all equity partnership on 1 May following a lengthy review and partnership vote held last week.

A significant 95% of the partnership voted yes to the proposed change which involve a ‘modest’ capital increase from ex-fixed equity members according to the firm, in order to bring them fully in line with their proportionate share of equity contributions but there will not be a firm wide capital call to implement the change.

The firm’s current two-tier partnership for the UK comprises 52 equity partners and 50 fixed share partners. Having been a merit-based system for years, it follows an appraisal led by a structure review committee made up of an equal number of equity and fixed share partners nominated by the partnership to ‘ensure a balanced and consultative approach’. The committee included managing partner Tim Eyles, HR director Caroline Rawes, and finance director William Barnes.

Managing partner Eyles (pictured) said: ‘We have been thinking for some time, because we are a very collaborative partnership, about how to ensure dynamic progression for everyone within the partnership. We’ve always been a purely merit based partnership and we wanted to take that a step further and find the right structure to create a shared sense of interest in and ownership of the firm.’

Eyles added: ‘For our associates, it also reinforces our merit-based culture and their ability to progress based on performance. It’s a significant cultural shift…We have consulted extensively and every effort was made to make sure all the angles were carefully considered.’

Others set to make the move to all equity structures include Mishcon de Reya this autumn, where current equity partners will become ‘senior equity partners’ and junior partners will become ‘junior equity partners’.