CC shakes up partner pension scheme

Clifford Chance is putting retiring partners firmly on its 2008 agenda after amending its pension package to remove all references to age.

As reported on www.the lawyer.com (15 January), the firm previously paid partners retiring between the ages of 50 and 60 a percentage of their final profit share for up to five years after retirement. After consultation within the firm, the pension package, which applies to those who joined the partnership before 2005, will now be paid over five years to those retiring after 15 years as a partner. An enhanced rate will be paid to anyone who has been a partner for 20 years or more.

Senior partner Stuart Popham said, with greater numbers of partners now retiring each year, planning for their departures has become increasingly important for both the firm and those who are retiring.

“We’re looking at how best to plan to ensure that knowledge and skills aren’t lost just because partners retire,” said Popham. “The majority don’t necessarily announce their retirement and would not have told clients more than a year in advance. We need to plan better because client relationships aren’t something we develop overnight.”

Clifford Chance has offered consultancy roles to former partners for a number of years, but Popham said the scheme is being reviewed so a more holistic approach can be taken.