Law Practice

New Partnership Alternatives in UK

Struggling to reduce the number of departing lawyers, a number of London law firms are creating alternatives to partnership.

A survey of 59 leading British firms found that two-thirds of those in the city now allow career attorneys to work in unspecified senior lawyer positions, compared to a smaller percentage of British firms generally (60 percent) that permit partnership alternatives, reports Legal Week. Among city firms, about 30 percent have decided during the last 12 months to change their employment structure to provide partnership alternatives, according to the article.

Opinions differ about whether the change is a good idea. Some welcome the idea, and 1 in 10 associates sees working in a nonpartnership role as a “favoured” career goal, reports Legal Week. However, others worry that not maintaining partnership as the sole option for successful associates could reduce junior lawyers’ drive.

“I do not think that these structures are very helpful and could mean people make the wrong career decision,” says Nigel Boardman, a partner at Slaughter and May. “It is difficult to keep up commitment to client service without the motivation of partnership.”

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