Hammonds makes up fifteen after raft of exits

Hammonds is making up a record 15 new partners this year, following a year of turmoil at the firm that has seen 14 partners quit since January.

Many firms in the City have made up fewer lawyers than usual in this latest partnership round, but Hammonds has bucked the trend by promoting seven more partners this year than it did in 2004.

It is believed that the new partners will all join Hammonds’ fixed-share equity, which was created last May to replace salaried partner status. The firm’s fixed-share equity partners contribute £20,000 each to the equity, meaning the new partners will contribute a potential £300,000 in new capital to the firm.

The firm is promoting 14 assistants to partnership status in the UK and one in Germany from a range of departments and offices.

The bulk of the promotions come in London, which sees five new partners in four departments. Hammonds’ Birmingham office will have four new partners, Leeds three and Manchester two. The new German partner, commercial and IP specialist Philipp Suss, is based in Munich.

The corporate department and commercial and IP team will gain the most new partners, with three assistants made up in each.

The promotions will be a boost to the firm, which last Monday (4 April) announced that 83 of its 85 equity partners had committed formally to a 15-month lock-in following several months of partner departures.

Managing partner Peter Crossley said the commitment was a positive move for Hammonds and that the firm is looking forward to an improved financial year following February’s announcement of a projected slide in profits.

Meanwhile, the firm has lost its respected Birmingham head of corporate Patrick Somers to the London corporate team of Berwin Leighton Paisner.

Somers, who resigned from Hammonds in January, was one of the two equity partners at Hammonds not to sign up to the lock-in.