Simmons & Simmons will give all of its associates the option of becoming of counsel rather than partner.
Some of the firm's offices, such as Brussels and Germany, have used the of counsel title for several years, but firm managing partner Mark Dawkins told The Lawyer that there had been no consistent approach to the position across Simmons' 21 offices.
From this year, though, all offices' management can choose to promote associates to the of counsel position as an alternative career path.
"Some associates felt that they needed more external market recognition for the work that they did and the seniority that they'd achieved," Dawkins said. "The of counsel title means something in those markets, so they used that."
The title, which does not necessarily bring with it any monetary improvement, will not be a holding bay for partnership. Associates can be promoted directly into the partnership without being of counsel beforehand, explained Dawkins.