A better chance for CC

Clifford Chance has had a tough time in recent months – what with mass job cuts and plunging PEP, the firm has been desperately in need of some good news.

Which is what seems to have just materialised: not only has the firm finally announced its 2009 partnership promotions, but it has taken steps to strengthen its Turkish presence while its Indian ally AZB & Partners has expanded into Southern India.

Okay, so the promotions round isn’t great for the firm’s London office, which has received just three of this year’s 17 new partners (see story). Given that the promotions generally take effect from 1 May and we’re about to enter the August lull, the firm must be breathing a sigh of relief that they’ve happened at all.

Then there’s India. The news may actually be AZB’s (see story), but, given the close relationship between the two firms, any expansion on the Indian side can only bode well for Clifford Chance. Especially as it now has a man on the ground, so to speak, in the shape of India head Chris Wyman.

But it is the firm’s Turkish ambitions that have the potential to yield the most fruit in the medium term. The firm is mulling a strategic alliance with a Turkish firm after establishing a toehold in the country earlier this year (see story).

While such a move could hardly be seen as a cure for the firm’s flagging PEP, being able to build a decent presence in Turkey could turn out to be key for Clifford Chance. City firms have been murmuring about the country for some time, but Clifford Chance has form, having advised on Turkey’s first major private equity deal two years ago (see story).

A proper crack at the market could be just what Clifford Chance needs to help it relocate its lost mojo.

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Also on TheLawyer.com today: the firm where top associates are earning more than the equity partners; more on the law and class; Clifford Chance wobbly in Italy; and the Ashurst partner who knows a bit too much about bacon.