Partner promotions at the Global Top 30 in Europe

This report contains:

  • five-year data on partner promotions at the Global Top 30 in Europe
  • analysis of which firms made the largest proportion of their global promotions in Continental Europe
  • breakdown of promotions by jurisdiction and year
Posted October 2023
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For the past three months on the International Signal channel, we have assessed, analysed and attempted to understand headcount patterns in the 30 largest global law firms across the Californian, Asian-Pacific and European legal markets. This month we analyse one key trend which fundamentally underpins headcounts and illustrates where firms allocate their resources and plan for the future: promotions.

The way in which major law firms promote their junior talent and pack their pipelines for the future says a great deal about their strategic direction. For this report, we focus solely on Europe and the way in which the law firms featured in September’s International Signal report promoted their young talent in the five-year period between 2019 and 2023.

One fascinating development we have tracked is how the Covid-19 pandemic markedly impacted the investment firms were willing to place into Europe. Indeed, this was not a solely European phenomenon: promotion pipelines everywhere were narrowed as firms waited to see what the pandemic’s impacts would be.

The pause caused overall promotion numbers to dip slightly in the first year of the pandemic before reaching what in all likelihood will be an all-time high this year. In 2019, these 30 firms combined made up 210 new partners in Continental Europe. The following year, that number fell by around 16 per cent to 176 as the pandemic raged and the future looked as unclear as it has ever done. In each successive year since, 200, 251 and 276 lawyers, respectively, have been promoted to partner. Put simply, the appetite and desire to have a strong partner base in Europe has never been so strong.

To find out which of the Global Top 30 firms are the top European promoters and which jurisdictions they favour read the report now.


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Posted October 2023
Written by