Ashurst's management board is facing two crucial decisions, on conversion to a limited-liability partnership (LLP) and whether to reappoint managing partner Simon Bromwich for a second term by the end of the year.
It is understood that the firm will discuss a possible conversion to LLP status on either 1 May 2007 or 2008 during the firm's next quarterly partnership meeting later this month.
At the same time the management board is kicking off a process of informally canvassing the partnership on whether Bromwich will be reappointed for a second three-year term from January.
Under the firm's management process, the managing partner is appointed directly by its eight-member management board, rather than by a partnership ballot.
As such the board is now understood to be considering possibilities for the next three-year term of the managing partner role, based on the firm's financial performance over the past three years and the views of the partnership.
A ballot on whether to convert to an LLP is also thought unlikely, with the board likely to make the decision based on a general consensus within the partnership.