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Ashurst has delayed its partner promotion round until later in the year in response to the Covid-19 pandemic in a move that sets it apart from many of its UK rivals which have already unveiled their new partners.
The firm confirmed today that it had made the ‘difficult decision’ to defer the promotions — which would have been due on 1 May — as part of its ‘Stronger Together’ programme in response to the crisis, which it unveiled on 16 April.
“We have an outstanding group of future partners and we want to ensure they are set up for success in relation to this next important step in their careers,” said a spokesperson.
“We continue to monitor global market developments and look forward to celebrating the achievements of our new partners when we have a clearer understanding of ongoing market movements and their longer-term impacts on our business."
The decision puts it out on a limb when compared to the host of UK rivals that have pressed ahead with the promotions despite taking a range of other measures to shore up their finances in the face of the pandemic.
Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer, Linklaters, Allen & Overy, Herbert Smith Freehills and CMS are among the firms to have already announced their new partners, with most firms recording a reduction in the number of promotions compared to last year.
The most likely date for the delayed promotion round is 1 November, when deferred associate salary reviews are slated to take place and a second tranche of delayed associate bonus payments are due.
Also part of the programme is a part-time working regime, which comes into force on 1 May, when most staff will be asked to reduce their hours by 20% for a three-month period although associates in the busiest areas may be asked to work full-time.
Partner distributions are also being reduced by 20% for the next six months.
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