Linklaters LLP, based in the United Kingdom, has announced that it is making preparations to drastically restructure its partnership. This includes its partnership with close to 35 partners, which comes out to 8 percent of the law firm’s total equity partners. These 35 partners could wind up leaving the firm according to reports on Law360 Thursday.
The firm has not released any details regarding how many lawyers will actually leave the firm according to Legal Week. The firm did say that those partners who do leave will be a mix between exits and de-equisitsations. A partner from the firm, speaking anonymously, said that close to 20 partners could be leaving the firm, which is based out of London. The unnamed partner also said that the transactional practice of the firm could be one of the hardest hit within the firm when the restructuring begins.
This would be the second restructuring in three years for the firm. The New World program for Linklaters forced close to 35 partners to leave the firm back in 2009. That restructuring also included major staff reductions according to Legal Week.
The report also said that lawyers working in the transactional practices of the firm could be moved to other, busier practices in the firm in an effort to avoid layoffs involving associates. The transactional practice of the firm was affected by the European economic downturn. Some of the junior lawyers working in the firm could be moved to Linklaters’ restructuring and insolvency, litigation and regulatory practices. All of these practices within the firm have much higher amounts of activity.
Sam Davies, the managing partner for the firm, said that the partner restructuring is based on individuals and trying to estimate the exact number would not be an appropriate thing to do. Davies did go on to say that, “We continually look at our business and partner base in the context of the markets and our clients’ needs. A natural part of this process includes some partners moving on.”
An unnamed partner in the firm did say that the partner restructuring does not come from where the firm’s revenues are coming from at the time. The former head of the firm, Tony Angel, left the firm to become the co-global chairman of DLA Piper.
A new office was opened by Linklaters in Abu Dhabi back in July, which is the second office for the firm in the United Arab Emirates, and its 27th office overall. The firm’s office in Abu Dhabi was launched practicing specializations in mergers and acquisitions, securities, and other financial issues. The firm also plans to freeze the pay of its associates in the United Kingdom, keeping the pay level the same that it was at in 2009.
Even though the firm is freezing the pay levels, it is still expected to issue performance bonuses for its associates. Linklaters worked on 243 cases that totaled $194 billion in 2010.
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