Clifford Chance has put its plans for a firmwide partnership retreat on hold because of security worries related to the pending war with Iraq

It is understood that Clifford Chance had hoped to gather its 650 partners for a meeting in Paris later this month.

The firm's management had previously brought forward the firmwide get-together. The retreat had originally been pencilled in for February 2004, but following a number of changes at Clifford Chance, including its expansion on the West Coast of the US and last year's now infamous associates memo, management decided to have the meeting sooner than planned.

A large number of the firm's partners would have been flying in from the US, and it is believed that Clifford Chance was also concerned about partners who may have had to travel through the Channel Tunnel.

It is understood that the meeting will return to its original time next year.