The senior management at Reynolds Porter Chamberlain (RPC) has categorically denied that it ran a sweepstake on which unsuccessful partnership candidates would leave the firm.
Adrian Martin, the firm's chief exec, said the stories that had allegedly been doing the rounds at RPC were "an exaggeration".
The root of the dispute appears to lie with RPC's decision to send six senior lawyers away on an external people development course for assessment. Two of the six were subsequently made partner, but one of the remaining four promptly resigned.
"A couple of the people who didn't make it to partner were a bit disgruntled," said an internal source. "But the assessment wasn't even directly aimed at identifying partners anyway."
Martin remained adamant in his contention that there had been no discussion among the partnership or the executive committee about book, odds or prize money. "I give you my word," he said. "Although, maybe among the trainees..."
Meanwhile, the lucky two new partners, James Mee and Ollie Bray, took up their positions on 1 May.