DLA Piper introduces legal director role

DLA Piper is set to overhaul its associate career path with the introduction of the role of ‘legal director’.

As first reported on www.thelawyer.com (4 September), DLA Piper has undergone a major consultation process with its associates, exploring alternative career paths for those who may not want to become partners.

Currently, upon qualification, trainees are promoted to the role of ‘solicitor’ and become eligible for promotion to associate level after four years’ PQE. The next step is partnership. With effect from 1 January 2007, associates will have the added option of promotion to the role of ‘legal director’.

Global chief people officer Robert Halton said: “It is not a hurdle to becoming a partner. This is a statement to within the firm and to our clients that those selected individuals have made important contributions.”

Promotion to ‘legal director’ will be based on the individual’s level of fee-earning, specialist knowledge, and supervisory and management abilities.

The promotion will not necessarily be accompanied by an increase in salary, as this will follow the normal salary review.

Halton said: “Introducing the role of legal director allows associates to manage their careers within the company.”