Partnership: an idea on the brink?

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  • How long will the 2 tier partnership model survive the HMRC coming back for an even larger bite at the fixed share member capital contribution issue? (what, 50% of drawings and still no say and no key to the executive washroom?). Looking at what's happened since 2008 (including to some very good and pretty blameless people) we "junior equity" are starting to be far less interested in titular baubles and far more interested in the risk/reward/job satisfaction balance. And if you're not, well you jolly well should be. After the hikes in junior associate salaries, for the majority, our compensation doesn't look quite so "silly" any more for the real and largely unquantifiable risk we are being persuaded to take, so what exactly is it all for? Our saner counterparts out there in the real world would say it's "just a job".

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  • I agree with much of what Charles says. Fairness is the challenge and not necessarily partnership per se. A "partnership" in spirit based on collaboration and collegiality must be the right route forward for a profession, but to achieve that a focus is needed on the legal structure of partnership and the pyramid model which sits at the heart of most law firms whether legal partnerships or not.

    Modern 21st Century law businesses need to be flexible, agile and to adapt quickly to conditions. large, hulking and inflexible overheads get in the way of this to the detriment of the lawyers who carry the liability the risk and the clients who pay the price.

    At least we're starting to talk about the subject - even if the headline is a dramatic one!

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  • In reality, there are few partnerships in the true sense of the word, in the legal profession. There are none among the larger commercial Firms, rather loose associations of sole practitioners jealously guarding their own practice and seeking to maximise their own "take", with no regard for any other member or employee of the particular Firm they happen to be at. They will go to the Firm which offers the best opportunity for their practice to flourish and will leave at the drop of a hat if a better opportunity arises.

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