Linklaters Germany set to weed out 19 from equity

Frankfurt chiefs kick off massive review of German partnership as magic circle firm tightens its belt

Linklaters Germany set to weed out 19 from equity” />Linklaters’ German management is introducing a radical shake-up of its equity, with nearly 20 per cent of
the partnership slated for departure or de-equitisation.
The robust reorganisation is understood to have already begun, with management conducting one-on-one meetings with individual partners.

Sources state that 19 of the firm’s total 93 German-based partners, which includes those at salaried level, will be affected by the changes that are believed to include four options.

Equity partners will either be moved down the lockstep, be frozen on their current step of the lockstep, shifted to salaried partner status or managed out of the firm completely.

It is understood that the changes are still being finalised, although the plans were mentioned at the German partners’ retreat, which took place on 18-19 June.

Overall the retreat was deemed to be a success, with most partners expressing confidence about the progress of the German operation. Michael Lappe, the region’s senior partner since March, was the man who addressed the issue at the retreat.

It is not clear if the changes will accelerate the German offices’ drive to reach parity with the majority of the rest of the firm. Under the terms of the 2001 tie-up with Oppenhoff & Rädler, partners in the region earn a percentage, for example 0.7 of one profit point.

Depending on levels of profitability, it had been hoped that German equity partners would receive the equivalent on one full profit unit within a finite period. However, it is understood that the German partners have yet to be paid at parity.

Linklaters declined to comment.