Cuatrecasas welcomes all partners into equity

Iberian firm Cuatrecasas Gonçalves Pereira is ditching its salaried partner rank and bringing all its partners into the equity.

The decision was made at the firm’s partnership meeting last week, which also saw the promotion of five lawyers to partner. The restructure has already taken effect and the firm now has 210 equity partners.

Some 28 partners were not immediately promoted, but the intention is for them to join the equity in the future.

Chief executive Rafael Fontana said: “Those partners who have not joined the firm’s professional career should fulfill certain objectives before being named equity partners over the next years. The former structure was not equal for everybody and now we just begun a process for integrating all partners into the same professional career, as equity partners, consultants or the best position considering each case.”

The move is a major step for Cuatrecasas. The firm reported that in 2011 it had 224 partners, of whom 130, or 58 per cent, were equity partners. Cuatrecasas uses a modified lockstep.

Fontana added that the decision would contribute to the firm’s cohesion, integration and growth. He added: “Unifying the partner structure puts us in an optimum position to tackle the challenges we have set for ourselves.”

Cuatrecasas is the second major European firm in a year to reform its partnership. Last year Italian firm Bonelli Erede Pappalardo scrapped its junior equity partner title and shortened its lockstep in a bid to encourage the career development of younger partners (15 December 2011).

The Spanish firm recently announced a marginal turnover increase for 2011 (7 February 2012), consolidating its position as Europe’s fourth-largest law firm.

The five newly promoted partners – Pedro Blázquez, Ramón Gil, Alfredo Lafita, Alfonso Reina and Gonzalo Susueta – are based in Cuatrecasas’s Barcelona, Bilbao and Madrid offices.