National firms turn away from international promotions in 2014

National firms have turned their attention to growth at home in this year’s partner promotions round, with a 15 percentage point drop in the number of new partners working in UK firms’ overseas offices.

Research for this week’s cover feature shows that between 2012 and 2014, an average of 66.6 per cent of newly-promoted partners at national firms were based in the UK.

However, this year the balance tipped dramatically in favour of the UK, with 76 per cent of the partners made up being UK-based and only 24 per cent overseas.

Of those that did occur overseas during the three years between 2012 and 2014, DLA Piper was responsible for all promotions from national firms in the US and Australia, accounting for just under half (43.3 per cent) of all overseas promotions.

When DLA’s Australian and US promotions are excluded, the data shows a steady decrease in the number of promotions at national firms who are made up overseas. While there were 39 overseas partner promotions outside the US and Australia in 2012, this number dropped 26 per cent to 29 in 2013, and by a further 14 per cent to 25 this year. 

The research also shows that Manchester is the most consistently promoted into city in the UK, although London still attracts the greatest number.

Almost a third of all UK promotions were in London, with 102 in total between 2012 and 2014. In 2013 there was a notable spike in regional promotions, with 74.5 per cent of the UK promotions outside of London.

Manchester attracted 21 new partners in 2012, 22 in 2013 and 24 this year.

Across the three years, almost two-thirds (65 per cent) of the newly-promoted partners were men. This proportion remained steady each year.