Rogers & Wells partners are to receive a bumper payout of partner profits when the firm merges with Clifford Chance.
The US firm's partners will receive extra profits because the firm is switching from cash accounting to Clifford Chance's accruals system, which takes into account unpaid bills and work in progress.
Sources say this makes Rogers & Wells instantly more profitable, and that partners will reap the rewards.
Clifford Chance denies reports that its own partners will receive a windfall before the merger takes place. Sources say the firm will pay a chunk of the profits it holds in reserve to partners before the merger takes place.
But managing partner Tony Williams says Clifford Chance does not keep profits in reserve. "Partners will be receiving extra because profits are up. The main distribution for 1998/99 is at the end of the year, but that is purely coincidental," he says.