Camerons ditches all-equity partnership

CMS Cameron McKenna has overhauled its equity partnership, introducing a new level of salaried partner.

All new partners promoted in 2007 will be subject to the salaried tier. A spokesperson for the firm said that lateral hires may be able to leapfrog the salaried partner rank, depending on their seniority.

Non-equity partners will only have limited voting rights, said the firm in a statement.

The firm is hoping that around 20 lawyers will fill this new role, which is expected to be a three-year preparatory position before full partnership.

Three years will be the minimum time that salaried partners can hold the position before being considered for full equity, although being a salaried partner was no guarantee of becoming a full equity partner, said the spokesperson.

The move is a result of a three-year strategic review, which also set a target revenue of £250m over the next three years, as first reported in The Lawyer (18 December). At the end of the last financial year, Camerons had a turnover of £182m.

Firm managing parnter Dick Tyler denied that this was an overhaul of previous strategy: “This is not a major departure from our previous approach.”

But all-equity partnership was only introduced in 2001 when the distinction between junior and senior partner was removed.

Since 2003 overall net profits have increased 23 per cent but at the half-year stage in the current financial year, Camerons was only posting a six per cent growth in turnover.

For those with full equity, the lockstep runs eight years, from 28 to 70 points, with partners moving up the lockstep by the same percentage each year.