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In a rare move for a top City firm, Herbert Smith has promoted its first part-time assistant to the partnership
Julia Pike, who has just been made a partner, works in the corporate department. The firm is confident that Pike will be able to combine working in a department handling transactions over weekends and evenings with her part-time status. "Julia works on transactions which are long-running deals where meetings are scheduled a long time in advance. At the end of the deal, she'll obviously be available whenever the client needs her," said Herbert Smith head of corporate Caroline Goodall. Goodall agreed that top City firms and other City institutions should lead the way in proving that flexible working is possible at a high level. "It's really a question of organisation and flexibility from the firm as well as the clients," she said. "Part-time workers are hard workers, as they're more organised. I've never heard of a director of an investment bank working flexibly, but it could be done." Pike will work a four-day week and will be paid pro rata the same as other entry level partners, who take a fixed share of equity. Her billing targets will also be set pro rata. Herbert Smith has a small number of part-time equity partners, although they were not part time when they were promoted to the partnership. Responding to enquiries from The Lawyer, Norton Rose was the only other top 10 City firm that had promoted a part-time assistant to the London partnership before. Lovells has just promoted Ina Brock, a part-time assistant specialising in product liability litigation, to the partnership of its Munich office. Eversheds also has two part-time partners who were also part-time assistants.