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An opportunity to ‘get involved’: Shoosmiths to move to an all-equity partnership

National law firm Shoosmiths will move to an all-equity partnership from 1 May 2015 with 76 salaried partners becoming fixed-share – and bringing the total number of equity partners to 126.

Some 92% of the existing salaried partners have chosen to become members of the LLP as fixed share equity partners with the remaining 8% staying as salaried partners.

Speaking to Legal Business, Shoosmiths chairman Andrew Tubbs said the decision was part of the firm’s three-year strategy to drive growth: ‘Currently our strategy runs from 2014 – 2017 and the key focus of that strategy is growth. We have a strategy committee and any strategy document doesn’t just sit there as a bit of paper – it evolves. The proposal to move on this basis came out of that committee then it went to a debate with the current fixed share and full equity partners and was voted on in that forum.’

The firm then carried out consultations with its salaried-partner group with the leadership team making presentations around the firm’s offices before salaried-partners were given the choice to join the membership.

Tubbs added: ‘Any decisions that require ordinary or special reservations of the LLP – those partners will now be involved in voting in those decisions. Strategically for example – where we merged with ACH in Scotland in 2012 – that sort of decision would be an opportunity for all those members to vote and get involved in debate.’

Taylor Wessing announced last week it is also set to convert into an all equity partnership on 1 May following a lengthy review and partnership vote. While 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’.