Partner promotions slump to three-year low at Eversheds

Partner appointments at Eversheds have slumped to a three-year low, while early signs emerge else-where in the market of modest growth in partner promotions.

Partner appointments at Eversheds have slumped to a three-year low, while early signs emerge else-where in the market of modest growth in partner promotions.

Of Eversheds’ new partners, two are in commercial, three in corporate, and two in employment, while the legal systems group, litigation and real estate have one apiece. Last year the firm promoted 22 associates, with 18 made up in 2003.

Eversheds managing partner David Gray pointed out that over the last three years 50 new partners – or one in seven of the total partnership – have been made up. “All law firms including ourselves will always promote exceptional people. We have all increased our expectations of, and rewards for, new partners,” he said.

Herbert Smith also saw a drop in its new partner numbers, from 13 in 2004 to nine this year. Of the nine, seven hail from the firm’s London office, with Paris and Tokyo each producing one new partner.

Freshfields, meanwhile, has made up 21 associates into its all-equity partnership, a 31 per cent in-crease on 2004. The appointments are spread across the firm’s global network, with corporate and finance accounting for the bulk of the promotions.

DLA has promoted 23 lawyers into its UK, European and Asian partnership, a 35 per cent rise on 2003, with the bulk of the new partners hailing from the London office. The Sheffield office, from which managing partner Nigel Knowles hails, produced no new partners this year.

Norton Rose promoted 15 associates to its partnership. Banking accounted for more than half of the new appointments, with eight new partners.

Of the regional firms, Bristol’s Burges Salmon has made up six new partners, up from three last year, while Wragge & Co promoted three associates.

Partner promotions 2004-05

  2005 2004
DLA 23 17
Freshfields 21 16
Norton Rose 15 12
Eversheds 10 22
Herbert Smith 9 13
Clyde & Co 8 5
Burges Salmon 6 3
Wragge & Co 3 1
Source: The Lawyer