Ashurst has unveiled its 2009 promotions, with only 10 lawyers making the cut this year compared with 17 in 2008.
The 40 per cent reduction is a reflection of the ongoing credit crisis, according to the firm’s senior partner Charlie Geffen.
He added: “Clearly times are tough, but it’s not really just a numbers game. You get the candidates you get coming through, though at times like this the bar goes up and the test on individual groups is tougher. But nobody sits down and says ‘we’re only going to make up X partners this year’.”
The 10 new partners are equally split geographically between London and Ashurst’s international network. The overseas promotions are in Frankfurt, Singapore, Abu Dhabi and Milan.
The two largest practice group beneficiaries are corporate and finance, with restructuring, arbitration, tax and real estate all receiving one partner each.
“About a third of the business is non-London now, so the fact that half of the lawyers we’ve made up are outside London shows that the strategy is to continue growing the firm internationally,” Geffen added.
Unlike last year’s promotions round, when 35 per cent of the 17 new partners were women, only one of this year’s 10 is female.