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Sinclair Roche & Temperley (SRT) will not place a single partner on a permanent basis on Stephenson Harwood's partnership council once the two firms merge at the beginning of May
SRT's managing partner Jeff Morgan will join Stephenson Harwood's 13-strong ruling partnership council, but only during the firm's 'integration period'. SRT's partners will be placed in Stephenson Harwood's existing two-tier salaried partner and equity-based system, which is based on full contribution and performance. This is assessed by three Stephenson Harwood partners elected by the firm. The eight departments will remain under Stephenson Harwood's leadership and there is no suggestion that will change in the longer term. SRT is adding considerable expertise in asset finance and shipping litigation to the new structure, which is still subject to due diligence and partner approval. The new firm's partnership council will continue to be run on a full-time basis by the senior partner, the finance and marketing directors, the elected heads of five disciplines and three elected members. It is not clear who the other two members are. Subject to ongoing talks, it is expected that SRT will shed most of its infrastructure, such as IT. Stephenson Harwood stressed the point of its dominance in the deal when one insider told The Lawyer: "SRT's joining us." Both firms quashed rumours that SRT's Hong Kong office will be excluded from the merger deal. SRT's Hong Kong partners said that all the firm's offices have signed heads of terms. Michael Hoddinott, Stephenson Harwood's Hong Kong managing partner, said: "Discussions are continuing into how much of Sinclair Roche will be brought into the new structure."