The review has been commissioned by incoming senior partner Richard Bond, who is chairing a six-strong committee.
Representatives from all the firm's practice areas – property, corporate and litigation – comprise the committee, plus Paris managing partner Neil Brimson and Hong Kong managing partner David Willis.
The firm has commissioned Harvard Business School professor Jack Gabarro as a consultant. Gabarro teaches the university's professional services management course.
It is understood that one of the main considerations is to better represent the firm's foreign offices in its management structure, possibly by putting representatives on the firm's executive.
Another idea being mooted is to bring back the role of managing partner which was scrapped when Andrew Congreve retired in 1993.
After an external review by management consultants, the firm replaced the job with a partnership council to deal with strategy and an executive that deals with day-to-day matters.
Parkes oversees the support functions of the firm, and chairs the executive. But some partners now reportedly believe this is an unwieldy management structure for a firm of Herbert Smith's size and that the firm needs stronger day-to-day management.
Executive partner Tim Parkes' term comes to an end on 1 April. The results of the review are subject to a worldwide consultation process with partners