New partnership structure will see up to 25 leave Cobbetts

Cobbetts has embarked on a major overhaul of its partnership structure, which has left the futures of eight partners undecided and will see another 17 leave within the next five years.

Prior to the changes Cobbetts had 97 partners, 33 of whom were equity partners.

But under the new structure, 28 partners will become variable equity partners (VEPs) and 44 will become assured equity partners (AEPs). The 17, who are within five years of retirement, will be fixed-share partners. In addition, there are a further eight legacy partners who are likely to leave but who may yet be offered the new partnership deal.

The new structure, the result of an extensive consultation process, replaces what managing partner Michael Shaw has referred to as “a mishmash of historical arrangements” for which there was “very little cogent rationale”.

AEPs will have 10 per cent of their remuneration packages contingent on the firm hitting its budget, while VEPs will have all earnings determined by points they are awarded by an elected committee.

Immediately below partner level Cobbetts has introduced the role of director. This is for those who are seven to 10 years’ PQE. They are included in partnership meetings. The firm now has 10 directors.