A&O, CC, Freshfields: no Links-style cull

Allen & Overy (A&O), Clifford Chance and ­Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer have vowed not to carry out a partnership cull in response to the latest downturn.

Their avowels come after the news last week that Linklaters is set to axe up to 30 partners globally as part of its biggest restructuring in three years.

A Clifford Chance spokesperson said: “We currently have no plans for a repeat of the exercise we undertook in 2009 to rebalance our partnership.

“We currently have no plans for [associate or ­support staff] redundancy programmes in the firm.”

While A&O earlier admitted that it had returned to managing its equity following a two-year break after its 2009 global redundancy programme, the firm has denied that it is making more extensive cuts into the partnership. It added that it also has no plans to restructure or reshape its partnership or make any redundancies among associates or support staff.

Freshfields sources indicated a similar message.

One source said: “The reality is that, over the years, [Linklaters’] corporate department has always been very tight and hasn’t grown that much.

“Linklaters’ finance practice did very well in the boom and grew quite large.”