Comment: ‘This ain’t stewardship’ – delaying partnership until mid-30s is unsustainable

Comment: ‘This ain’t stewardship’ – delaying partnership until mid-30s is unsustainable

Having recently shared a few drinks with one of the most talked-up youngish corporate lawyers in the City, the question came up about mid-way through as to what age they made partner. The answer: 36! And there lies much of what ails major law firms, though older partners continue to float around effecting increasingly unconvincing attitudes of surprise.

Consider a few issues for a moment. The haemorrhaging of female talent at mid-level from private practice. The disengagement of associates under 30 with major law firms. The loss of talented lawyers to US law firms. Client dissatisfaction with lack of partner time. Inter-generational tension in law firms. All of these issues have a common theme: the sustained yet unsustainable practice of major law firms pushing partnership decisions until far too late. And let’s be frank: routinely delaying partnership decisions until lawyers hit their mid-thirties is ludicrous. Continue reading “Comment: ‘This ain’t stewardship’ – delaying partnership until mid-30s is unsustainable”

The big 30 – Make ‘em partner or you’ll lose ‘em

The big 30 – Make ‘em partner or you’ll lose ‘em

Having recently shared a few drinks with one of the most talked-up youngish corporate lawyers in the City, the question came up about mid-way through as to what age they made partner. The answer: 36! And there lies much of what ails major law firms, though older partners continue to float around effecting increasingly unconvincing attitudes of surprise.

Consider a few issues for a moment. The haemorrhaging of female talent at mid-level from private practice. The disengagement of associates under 30 with major law firms. The loss of talented lawyers to US law firms. Client dissatisfaction with lack of partner time. Inter-generational tension in law firms. All of these issues have a common theme: the sustained yet unsustainable practice of major law firms pushing partnership decisions until far too late. And let’s be frank: routinely delaying partnership decisions until lawyers hit their mid-thirties is ludicrous. Continue reading “The big 30 – Make ‘em partner or you’ll lose ‘em”

Watching the watchmen – inside the growing market for legal advisory work

Watching the watchmen – inside the growing market for legal advisory work

It used to be that law firms were rather more comfortable doling out advice than receiving it, but in an increasingly complex and regulated environment, major law firms can no longer make do bluffing their way through. Given that corporate governance at law firms can often be much less virtuous than the example they preach to their clients, it takes a certain kind of tenacity for the growing band of advisers to the legal industry to influence their clients.

As Iain Miller, regulatory partner at law firm Kingsley Napley, puts it: the professionalisation of risk management over the last five to ten years has been ‘huge’, which has encouraged a fertile breeding ground for advisory firms offering services in the legal sector. Continue reading “Watching the watchmen – inside the growing market for legal advisory work”

Comment: Yet unremarked, generational conflict cripples City law

Comment: Yet unremarked, generational conflict cripples City law

Our cover feature this month largely speaks for itself in assessing the changing face of partnership as Millennials begin colonising the senior ranks of City law firms. Within five years, this group will be the driving force of elite commercial advisers.

Yet this column is not about the changing attitudes of youngish lawyers, more an issue that touches so many topics in the pages of this magazine, spanning remuneration, strategy, governance and talent. Quite simply, that is the success – and much more often failure – of leading law firms in balancing the interests of their younger ranks with their older partners. Continue reading “Comment: Yet unremarked, generational conflict cripples City law”

Yet unremarked, generational conflict cripples City law

Yet unremarked, generational conflict cripples City law

Our cover feature this month largely speaks for itself in assessing the changing face of partnership as Millennials begin colonising the senior ranks of City law firms. Within five years, this group will be the driving force of elite commercial advisers.

Yet this column is not about the changing attitudes of youngish lawyers, more an issue that touches so many topics in the pages of this magazine, spanning remuneration, strategy, governance and talent. Quite simply, that is the success – and much more often failure – of leading law firms in balancing the interests of their younger ranks with their older partners. Continue reading “Yet unremarked, generational conflict cripples City law”

The Last Word: Generation Next

The Last Word: Generation Next

As part of our partnership special, we asked young partners and managers alike for their take on the latest wave of partners coming through

Buck stops here

‘The biggest change for me when becoming partner was this immediate sense of responsibility – a responsibility to retain and attract talent, and to bring in interesting work. Suddenly you are supervising work and the buck stops with you. I miss the gossip! You got all the gossip when you were an associate, but when you become a partner people don’t want to gossip with you that much.’
Nicole Jadeja, partner, Fieldfisher Continue reading “The Last Word: Generation Next”

A dramatic break with lockstep for Freshfields but will it be enough to galvanise the City giant?

A dramatic break with lockstep for Freshfields but will it be enough to galvanise the City giant?

Nathalie Tidman assesses the Magic Circle firm’s high-stakes partnership shake-up

‘Freshfields has overhauled its partnership for two reasons – to mollify restive partners in leveraged finance and private equity – and to make it moderately easier to recruit in the US,’ notes one former partner. ‘It’s insufficient for both of these purposes.’ Continue reading “A dramatic break with lockstep for Freshfields but will it be enough to galvanise the City giant?”

‘Needed a degree of reinvigoration’ – Linklaters reviews banking equity points

‘Needed a degree of reinvigoration’ – Linklaters reviews banking equity points

City firms restructure rewards as practices move from traditional lending

Linklaters has undertaken a review of equity points in its finance practice, as banking groups continue to move toward sponsors and away from traditional lenders.

Continue reading “‘Needed a degree of reinvigoration’ – Linklaters reviews banking equity points”