Trowers promotions dwindle

Tuesday, March 25th, 2008, 10.15
Trowers promotions dwindle

After four years of steady growth, the dearth of promotions at Trowers & Hamlins was unexpected.

Just four new partners were announced this week, all of them in the UK, after a record 15 in 2006-07 that reflected that year’s whopping turnover of £68.1m.

Of that, the firms’ burgeoning Middle East practice contributed a whopping £12.5m.

Since then the Middle East has also re-launched its Saudi Arabia office and won a mammoth instruction as a result – advising the Knowledge Economic City Development Company on the creation of a $8bn (£4.03bn) new city. So surely this should have been another good year Middle East associates looking to join the equity?

Apparently not. Though Trowers finance partner Jennie Gubbins says that despite the absence of Middle East promotions, the firm remains “strongly committed” to its international practice, no new promotions is an unencouraging sign.

Not that things are much rosier back in Blighty, mind, where the firm’s four UK promotions represent a major fall off from last year’s 10.

And while the firm’s traditionally strong construction, employment, public sector and real estate groups saw just a solitary new partner, corporate – one of Trowers’ top performers in recent years, providing 39 per cent of revenue last year – lost out entirely.

Gubbins points out that the firm has made several lateral partner hires in recent months, including one in corporate, two in banking and finance, one in commercial property and one in environmental.

But while nine new partners make for a far less gloomy picture than just four, with such strong financial performance, that total is still far from generous.

On a final and more positive note, however, can any other UK firm boast that 75 per cent of their newly promoted partners are women?

“We’ve always been known for our diversity. It is something I’ve always been pretty proud of,” says Gubbins.

Beat that Herbert Smith.

Partnership prospects:
Real estate: fair
Construction: clouds clearing later
Corporate: showers likely
Middle East: overcast

Previous Partnership 2008 blogs.

Slaughter and May: ladies, long hours and longevity – Thursday, April 10th
Russell Jones & Walker: More to the core – Tuesday, April 8th
A&O in the Middle East: one new partner, back-up on the way – Monday, April 7th
Clifford Chance: Popham puts his money where his mouth isMonday, April 7th
Nabarro, Hunton & HosseiniFriday, April 4th
Addleshaws: managing associatesFriday, April 4th
Nabarro promotions down (under) Thursday, April 3rd
Hunton & Williams: The London eye Thursday, April 3rd
The corporate partnership: Superwomen only?Wednesday, April 2nd
Ashurst promotions: expectation management Wednesday, April 2nd
Pinsents’ Leeds’ ladies take the lead Monday, March 31st
Herbies…continued… Thursday, March 27th
Herbies shakes things upThursday, March 27th
Macfarlanes predicts a good yearThursday, March 26th
Burges Salmon talks the talkWednesday, March 26th
Trowers promotions dwindleTuesday, March 25th
Wragges’ ups the firm’s real estate profileThursday, March 20th
Olswang‘s year of change Thursday, March 20th
Camerons goes East Wednesday, March 19th
Ince & Co: happy days for men in boats Tuesday, March 18th
Freshfields refills partnershipMonday, March 17th