Berwin Leighton Paisner (BLP) has promoted 13 lawyers to the role of associate director (AD), the largest number since the role was first created by the firm in 2006.
The promotions bring the total number of lawyers that have been made up to this partnership alternative to 25.
Three of the new ADs were formerly professional support lawyers (PSLs), a role that provides an alternative career path for fee-earning lawyers.
From 1 May 2008 PSLs will be known as knowledge development lawyers (KDLs).
Director of knowledge management Lucy Dillon said the term KDL should better reflect the fact that these fee-earners were “involved in training and are increasingly expected to be available for clients”.
Seven of this year’s promotions were in the real estate department – five in pure real estate and two in construction. There were two promotions in corporate tax and one each in EU and competition, trust and personal tax, business and technology services, and employment, pensions and incentives.
The firm made up four ADs last year and nine in 2006. The upsurge in the number promoted to AD over the last two years is in direct contrast to the fall in the number of partner promotions over the same period. BLP made up 13 to the partnership in 2006, six in 2007 and just five this year.
Eight of the new ADs are women and five of the group work on a part-time basis, reflecting the firm’s goal to increase its flexible working practices.