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Clifford Chance lawyers have voted overwhelmingly in favour of sweeping reforms to the firm’s constitution, simplifying the cumbersome process of expelling partners.
The result of a three week ballot, as exclusively revealed by The Lawyer, saw the firm’s management secure over the 85 per cent majority needed to push through the changes while well over 50 per cent of the equity partners took part in the process.
Until now, the firm has required an 85 per cent majority to expel partners from the firm. Under the new constitution, Clifford Chance’s management will now also have the means to freeze and indeed move partners down the lockstep.
The success of the vote is a boost to the firm’s management which is currently battling against a tide of falling profits and underperforming partners.
Peter Cornell, managing partner at Clifford Chance said: "We now have the appropriate system in place for the very rare occasions when we might need to use it.
"Partners subscribe to the principle that equivalence of contribution and effort from all partners is the foundation of a successful partnership, and this process simplifies and streamlines the process for removing partners from the equity while retaining safeguards to preserve fairness."