Slaughters partner departure signals greater transformation

Days like these come around once in a blue moon. It’s a rare Slaughter and May partner exit, in the form of tax specialist Graham Iversen who has upped sticks for Greenberg Traurig Maher.

He follows in the footsteps of a handful of partners who have left Slaughters for another firm in recent years, including tax partner Richard Carson who retired in 2011 before resurfacing at Taylor Wessing, and Nigel Swycher who took a break from the law to later pop up at Olswang in 2007.

But is the exit just one symptom of a deeper-rooted transformation at Slaughters? There have certainly been a host of strategic changes rumbling away beneath the firm’s relatively conservative surface.

Not only has Slaughters abandoned its strict associate lockstep and introduced a couple of extra so-called special advisers over the past few years, it has also made its first-ever lateral partner hire.

The arrival of Morrison & Foerster’s China head of capital markets John Moore into Slaughters’ Hong Kong office posed some tough decisions for management over where he should sit in the firm’s lockstep model.

In some ways Slaughters remains a traditional beast, but there’s no doubt that it’s made some fundamental changes over the past 18 months.

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