Global partner promotions plummet

The number of international partners made up by UK firms in 2011 has dipped, despite this being the first round of promotions since last year’s spate of transatlantic mergers.

In 2011, across the 19 firms surveyed, 165 out of the 279 partner promotions made were in foreign offices.

Hogan Lovells led the way with 80.6 per cent of new partners coming from outside the UK, followed by DLA Piper at 77.4 per cent and Norton Rose at 73.3 per cent.

The average percentage of new partners coming from abroad was 39.8 per cent, some way below the 2010 figure of 50.1 per cent and 2009’s 42.7 per cent.

This drop was despite legacy firms Lovells and Hammonds making joint promotions with their respective US merger partners, Hogan & Hartson and Squire Sanders & Dempsey.

SNR ­Denton, created by a merger between the UK’s Denton Wilde Sapte and US firm Sonnenschein Nath & Rosenthal in September 2010, announced its UK LLP promotions and US promotions separately.

Although fewer international partners were made up this year, no managing partner cited any reason for this, with most restating their commitment to ­international offices.
“We’re absolutely ­conscious of making sure a good number of partners are made up abroad,” commented one managing ­partner. “Our offering to the market is an international one, so we need to make sure our ­profile reflects this.”

The spread of international partner promotions was, however, distributed more evenly this year. More than half of international promotions were in Europe, with 83 new partners made up across the continent.

The US was next with 38 ­followed closely by the Asia-Pacific at 30 and the Middle East at 11. Eversheds was the only firm to make up any partners in Africa, promoting three associates in its Johannesburg office.

In 2010 just over 60 per cent of the international partners promoted came from Europe. There were almost half as many ­partners made up in the US in 2010.

Click here to view UK firms’ International Promotions 2011