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The promotions round for 2007 has revealed that it takes an average of 8.6 years of PQE for UK associates in the top 10 UK firms to be promoted to the partnership, a rise of almost a year compared with promotions in 2004.
This also represents a slight rise on the previous year, when it took associates an average of 8.2 years' PQE to be made up.
Research by The Lawyer has also revealed statistics for the past four years, which show that Allen & Overy's London associates have had the quickest track to partnership compared with its magic circle counterparts', with associates taking an average of 7.9 years to become partners. This compares with Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer, where associates took an average of 9.2 years to become partners - more than at any of its magic circle rivals, although Freshfields has traditionally been an all-equity partnership.
Freshfields' associates have had to wait the longest before becoming partners at 12 years' PQE, up four years from 2006.
Associates in Eversheds' UK offices had suffered the next longest wait to achieve partner status this year, with associates being promoted after racking up an average of 10.2 years' PQE.
This year Slaughter and May associates were on average being made up to partner level at seven years' PQE, representing the quickest partnership track out of the top 10 UK firms. The firm was followed closely by DLA Piper, Lovells and Ashurst, where associates were on average being made up at 8.5, 7.6 and 7.7 years' PQE respectively.