Trowers & Hamlins is drawing up plans for next year to introduce an alternative to the partner role as part of a potential restructuring of its career path.
Like many other firms that have gone down this route, including Addleshaw Goddard and Berwin Leighton Paisner, the alternative would be a senior legal managerial position with client-facing duties but without the responsibilities associated with being a partner.
The Trowers proposal came out of an ongoing global consultation with fee-earners over replacing the lockstep with a merit-based approach (The Lawyer,
Head of HR Paul Robinson explained: “An alternative to partner wasn’t part of the proposal that we came to the table with. We’d discussed it, but we felt there wasn’t a compelling business reason to include it.
“However, it did come up in our discussions and those involved in the consultation have gone back to their groups to get more information. What we in HR have agreed to do is put clarity and definition around what that role would look like.”
Trowers has one of the tightest equities of the top 100 firms’, with 24 per cent of partners having a share. However, Robinson argued that the creation of an alternative to partner “has no bearing at all on the ease or otherwise of entering into the equity”.
Robinson was reluctant to comment on the possible shape of the role, but did say: “It shouldn’t be an end in itself, but might offer an opportunity for those whose progression to partner is a little different.”