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Law Practice Management

Partner Promotions at Top UK Firms Fell 33% Over Past Year

Posted Sep 3, 2009 12:06 PM CDT
By Martha Neil

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A number of British law firms have recently added up the numbers for fiscal years that run from 2008 to 2009 and, after a year of economic turmoil that has hit the legal industry particularly hard, the picture isn't pretty.

Partner promotions plunged among the United Kingdom's 50 largest firms by revenue, with only 399 new partners being named in 2009 compared to 598 in 2008, reports Legal Week.

As in past years, about 25 percent of those promoted to partner were female attorneys.

The 33 percent decrease is attributable not only to one bad year but a sense that the business model for the legal industry is changing, observers tell the legal publication.

"I suspect that most firms are coming to the realization that the 20 years of growth in the U.K. legal market has come to an end and do not think anyone expects their bit of the legal market to get much bigger," says Tim Jones. He heads the London office of Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer.

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