The title of partner at CMS Cameron McKenna is set to be extended way into the associate ranks, heralding a shake-up of its partnership.
The firm is looking at bringing the local partner role from its Central and Eastern Europe (CEE) offices to the UK. In CEE around 60 lawyers already have the title. The role is the next layer down from the salaried partner level, which lawyers occupy for three years before joining the equity.
Local partners are not members of the partnership – they have no voting rights and do not receive a profit share, although they have extra responsibilities and are invited to some partner events.
The firm has also begun a push to improve the interpersonal skills of its associates, who are being sent on life-coaching lessons to learn how to interact with clients. The initiative won the Award for Excellence in Training at The Lawyer HR Awards 2009.
Camerons had an all-equity partnership until it introduced salaried partners in 2007. At the end of the last financial year 127 of 133 partners were in the equity.
The firm declined to comment on the local partner scheme.