Slaughter and May: ladies, long hours and longevity

Slaughter and May: ladies, long hours and longevity” /> Thursday, April 10th, 2008, 17.35
Slaughter and May: ladies, long hours and longevity

Last week Slaughter and May broke with tradition by electing a woman as head of corporate for the first time (see story). Today the firm’s gone a step further, making the male of the species a minority among its new partners.

In its latest round of partnership promotions the firm has made up a total of four, who will assume their new roles on 1 May.

Of the four, new financial regulation partner Ben Kingsley is the only man, with Rebecca Cousin entering the corporate partnership, and Sarah Cardell and Isabel Taylor made up in competition.

This is a real turnaround for Slaughters, which last year favoured only men with its five promotions.

The practice area breakdown of the promotions is also interesting with competition, not normally one of the firm’s most prominent, receiving the largest share.

Interestingly, the firm’s flagship corporate practice was gifted just one new partner, but that hasn’t dampened the excitement for new corporate partner Cousin.

And, despite working towards partnership in one of the most long-hours-ish of practice areas, Cousin reckons she was built for life in corporate.

“It’s been a busy time in M&A in recent years and things are still pretty busy. It’s not the easy choice but I was just naturally drawn to corporate. It’s just the nature of the work,” she says.

“I like doing transactional work and working with a large number of interesting people in the firm as well as clients. It’s a very rewarding and interesting area so when I was deciding on qualification it was a clear-cut decision.”

The gruelling hours can be an issue for any young corporate lawyer, but Cousin is philosophical.

“Obviously in any corporate role in the City it’s busy and there are hours that need to be put in. It’s just a matter of managing the work/life balance,” she says, right on message.

“I’m always very jealous of teacher friends who have long summer holidays. I’m very lucky though that I have a job I really enjoy and therefore putting in the hours is something that’s all part of the role.”

We just hope you feel the same way in ten years time.

Partnership prospects
Female associates: scorching
Male associates: cloudy
Competition: hot, hot, hot

Previous Partnership 2008 blogs.

Slaughter and May: ladies, long hours and longevity – Thursday, April 10th
Russell Jones & Walker: More to the core – Tuesday, April 8th
A&O in the Middle East: one new partner, back-up on the way – Monday, April 7th
Clifford Chance: Popham puts his money where his mouth isMonday, April 7th
Nabarro, Hunton & HosseiniFriday, April 4th
Addleshaws: managing associatesFriday, April 4th
Nabarro promotions down (under) Thursday, April 3rd
Hunton & Williams: The London eye Thursday, April 3rd
The corporate partnership: Superwomen only?Wednesday, April 2nd
Ashurst promotions: expectation management Wednesday, April 2nd
Pinsents’ Leeds’ ladies take the lead Monday, March 31st
Herbies…continued… Thursday, March 27th
Herbies shakes things upThursday, March 27th
Macfarlanes predicts a good yearThursday, March 26th
Burges Salmon talks the talkWednesday, March 26th
Trowers promotions dwindleTuesday, March 25th
Wragges’ ups the firm’s real estate profileThursday, March 20th
Olswang‘s year of change Thursday, March 20th
Camerons goes East Wednesday, March 19th
Ince & Co: happy days for men in boats Tuesday, March 18th
Freshfields refills partnershipMonday, March 17th