Clifford Chance has been hit by a barrage of criticism from its younger London partners over a change in their salaried partnership status.
Senior partner Stuart Popham and some members of a 10-strong group reviewing partner status attended a meeting convened by the salaried partners on 24 July, where the non-equity partners set out their complaints.
A key concern of the salaried partners was the length of the salaried term, which has been unexpectedly extended from two to three years. More than 40 out of 55 London salaried partners attended the meeting.
One source said: “[The management] is forcing us all to go through a second process. It’s not clear what is required to get into the equity. It’s insulting that there’s so little transparency.”
The lengthening of the salaried partner gateway to three years caused considerable confusion at the meeting, since it was unclear what the firm’s official policy is.
Sources say Popham and London partner John Bar-nard, a member of the partner status group, appeared to disagree on the point.
However, sources also indicate that salaried partners now believe their concerns are being addressed. A spokesperson admitted that the issue was under consideration, but said the firm was at an early stage in the process.