Part-time partners included in largest promotions round to date at Australia’s Lander & Rogers
Seven made partner alongside 12 special counsel and 30 senior associates in response to ‘strong firm growth’
Australian independent Lander & Rogers has added seven partners as part of its largest promotions round yet, including two who work part-time.
The round also features 12 lawyers who have been made special counsel and 30 newly-minted senior associates for a total cohort of 49.
The latest cohort represents a marked step up on last year, when the 31 promotions included five new partners, and 2020, when there were also seven new partners but 32 promotions overall.
Lander & Rogers chief executive partner, Genevieve Collins, said the record round was in response to strong firm growth.
"The promotions speak to our investment in professional development as we scale to meet client demand across construction and infrastructure, real estate, insurance, the digital economy, and M&A and equity capital markets, particularly in growth markets in Sydney and Brisbane," she said.
Like the last two years the latest round saw mainly women make partner, with five of the seven to get the nod this time being women. Effective 1 July, the promotions will bring the Melbourne-based firm’s partnership to more than 80, almost half (48%) of which is female, which it said was among the highest of any Australian law firm.
The firm’s insurance law and litigation practice gained the most new partners this time, with a quartet of lawyers – Allison Haworth, Elizabeth Brookes, Melissa Tan and Ralph Bankes – joining the ranks in Sydney and Brisbane. Scott Traeger was also welcomed in the commercial disputes practice in Melbourne.
In a rare move for the industry, the remaining partner promotions went to lawyers who will maintain part time work. Caroline Mills, who was made up in the compensation law team in Melbourne, works three and a half days per week with no specific set days, while Sydney-based Monique Robb, who got the nod in the family and relationship law group, works four days each week and has set days.
Mills commented: "Balancing family and work commitments can be challenging, but working part time has not been a barrier to career progression. The firm has embraced my decision to give equal energy to work and home commitments."
Lander & Rogers first promoted part-time lawyers to partner last year, when two who work in a part-time job share arrangement were made up in the workplace relations and safety team. Both had been using the firm’s flexible model to work three days per week since 2018.
Collins also confirmed that five from this year’s wider cohort, four women and one man, are currently on parental or extended leave.
"The promotions are recognition of their exceptional work and evidence that flexible arrangements do work, while still delivering great client service," she said.
Collins added that the firm is seeing increased appetite for greater work-life integration from lawyers.
"We're talking a lot more about permanent flex working. We’ve introduced policies that enable 100% hybrid working, with no mandated days or number of days in the office, as well as additional parental leave provisions including support on return from leave and a focus on personal and professional development," she said.
News of the promotions follows Lander & Rogers adding David Morris, founding partner of KPMG Law and former head of its M&A and corporate practice, last month to lead its corporate team in Sydney along with a trio of M&A and equity capital markets lawyers.