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If you’re an associate you can hardly have failed to notice that the number one topic of conversation right now is pay (see story).
Hard on its heels is status (see story). Never before have these two pillars of a junior lawyer’s life been under so much pressure.
The stories we’ve published over the past few days have generated much debate about the real reasons firms are becoming much more willing to slash pay and hold back associates from climbing the greasy pole.
Here’s one example: “Meritocracy sounds nice but never works, in reality it depends on whether an associate and, more importantly, his partner has sufficient influence to enforce things. A number of cases have shown that the real merits of an associate are irrelevant. The so-called flexibility only makes it even easier for partners to do whatever they like. Associates: do not trust any talk about meritocracy!!”
So it is in this context that The Lawyer would like to [virtually] applaud SJ Berwin associate Vanessa Therrode, who has just been promoted - outside the normal partnership season - to partner so she can head the firm’s structured finance practice (see story).
Therrode takes up her new role following the exit of former head Brian Carne. Both lawyers joined the firm in 2005 from Lovells and Therrode has effectively been heading the structured finance team since Carne’s departure in the summer.
It’s not yet known where Carne has moved on to but clearly for some associates, for whatever reason, it’s not all doom and gloom.