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This year, The Lawyer’s annual ranking of the largest UK law firms by turnover is available as an interactive, digital benchmarking tool. For the first time this will allow you to manipulate each data set against the metrics of your choice.
Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer has launched a full-scale review of its cherished all-equity partnership model, including the possibility of de-equitising partners.
In what is a momentous U-turn, the magic circle firm's senior management has confirmed that it is considering a wide range of changes to its partnership model, including the creation of fixed-share partners across the firm.
The review follows the firm's momentous move in February to ditch its all-equity partnership model in the Far East and introduce salaried partners in Beijing, Hong Kong and Shanghai.
Co-senior partner Konstantin Mettenheimer confirmed to The Lawyer that he had been in talks with fellow co-senior partner Guy Morton regarding a number of different options, including whether possible changes would affect existing partners, groups or individuals.
"We're thinking in all directions," he said. "We feel there's a need for flexibility and there are a number of other firms which have done this, such as Slaughter and May and Herbert Smith, which we can take into account."
Sources said a proposal was likely to be put to the partnership in the coming months.
Freshfields move is the latest in a turbulent year. The firm is actively seeking a US merger. Raising average partner profits to match those on Wall Street would be a key component of that strategy.
It is understood that there is a management meeting this week, where the changes will be discussed and where it will be decided when to take it to the partnership.
Sources suggested that this would be a firmwide policy, not determined on a country-by-country basis.
Mettenheimer said: "We're listening to what our clients say. We have to look at how we structure our remuneration so that it's in line with our clients' needs."