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Linklaters & Alliance is facing a potential assistant exodus if the results of a firm-wide survey are to be believed.
According to a number of sources, a "climate" survey sent out to all the firm's offices reveals that a high percentage of assistants in certain groups of the practice are planning to leave the firm.
One source says that in one of the firm's corporate groups, 70 per cent of assistants anticipated that they are looking to move on within six months. Another source states that a high percentage of litigation assistants also believe that they will be seeking alternative employment in the coming months.
One lawyer says: "One corporate group came off very well, with 80 per cent of lawyers wanting to stay at the firm, but other groups did less well."
It is the first time that the firm has introduced such an initiative. Lawyers were asked questions ranging from whether they want to be provided with a laptop to where they saw themselves within the firm in five years.
One source says: "One of the positive things was the relationship among the assistants. It showed that there was no backbiting and that assistants get on well with their colleagues."
Mark Payne, executive partner at Linklaters, says the firm decided to launch the survey for a number of reasons, including the firm's changing shape through its alliance strategy, the globalisation of both law firms and the business and IT revolution.
He says: "I'm not going to go into details, but there are a high number of things to be proud of, and there are other things we need to work on."