Lawyer mobility is to become a key part of Clifford Chance’s strategy, with partners and associates expected to serve time in various offices across the firm’s network.
Global managing partner David Childs told The Lawyer: “We’re going to expect someone coming up for partnership to have done a stint with a client or in a different office.
“Because of a fall in profitability a few years ago mobility went down, but it’s important to us to have quite a mobile partnership.”
The aim is to move resources from mature markets such as London and Hong Kong to higher-growth areas such as Eastern Europe or Asia, where there is a shortage of skills.
Currently 90 per cent of the firm’s lawyers work in mature markets with the remainder in growing markets. The aim is for the split to become 85/15.
As part of the drive London corporate partner Alex Erasmus, who was made up in May, has moved to the Moscow office, while London capital markets partner David Eatough has been transferred to the fledgling Bucharest office (www. thelawyer.com, 27 June).
As part of the firm’s relaunch in the US (The Lawyer, 23 July) it is likely that a number of UK lawyers will move across to New York in due course.