Clifford Chance equity overhaul plans still rough
Clifford Chance Global managing partner Matthew Layton is following up on his commitment to enact significant change at the firm under his watch. That has recently involved reviewing plans, although not yet concrete, that would adapt the partnership structure at the magic circle firm.
Some of the plans consider a move to a full-equity partnership. At present, almost 30% of partners at the firm are non-equity partners. The firm has demonstrated a willingness to enact change during Layton's term. Early last year, a modified lockstep was voted in, giving the firm a tool to attract start talent via lateral hires. Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer subsequently adopted a similar change.
Layton was appointed to his current position in May 2014 after winning elections several months prior. He quickly enacted a radical overhaul of the firm's constitution, making all senior leadership roles other than the managing partner, senior partner and partnership council membership appointed rather than elected roles.