CC rejigs partnership in drive to lead ‘elite group’

CC rejigs partnership in drive to lead ‘elite group’Clifford Chance global managing partner David Childs underlined his plan to make the firm the world’s best ;when ;announcing ;a ­wholesale restructuring of the firm’s partnership.

Clifford Chance partners will next month vote on whether plans to slash ­partner numbers should be given the go-ahead (The, 4 February).

The news comes after Linklaters announced a similar restructuring, which managing partner Simon Davies said was designed to make Linklaters the ­“leading global law firm”.

Childs said: “Our strategy has been that we want to be the leader of the elite group of international law firms that will emerge over the next six to seven years. Others are trying to get into that space, but we’re still the only single-partnership law firm with real depth of resource across Asia, Europe and the US.”

Details ;of ;Clifford Chance’s cuts will be finalised as and when the plan is okayed by the partnership, but Childs said all practice areas and offices will be affected, with both salaried and equity partners at risk.

Clifford Chance has ­promoted strongly to its partnership over the past four years after having seen promotions slump from 31 in 2003 to 18 in 2004. In the years since the firm has consistently promoted 30 or more, with 2007 seeing the greatest number of new partners elected at 38.

Last year the firm’s ­banking practice, which has been particularly quiet since the banking crisis began, received the greatest ­number of new partners, with 10 out of 35. In the preceding two years the firm favoured its corporate practice, while in 2005 the litigation department received the highest number of new partners.

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