Allen & Overy aims to retain more women to full equity partner with announcement of part-time partne

From: Allen & Overy
Published: Thu Jan 21 2010

Allen & Overy LLP today announces the introduction of formal arrangements for full equity partners to work part-time. These arrangements have the key aim of retaining more women through to partnership. When combined with the full range of existing flexible working policies, Allen & Overy believes it has one of the most advanced packages available for lawyers in a major international law firm.

Allen & Overy's existing flexible working policies, such as career breaks for associates, part-time working, job sharing, home working, term-time working, increased paternity leave and emergency childcare, helped it achieve first place in the FT Innovative Lawyer Awards in 2006 for its work helping parents and it was commended in the same category again in 2008.

Open to all partners globally, part-time partnership aims to provide a genuine option for men and women to adjust the amount of time they work, while continuing to progress as an equity partner, for a maximum period of eight years.

In practice, partners will be able to work a minimum four day week or will be entitled to a maximum 52 days extra leave a year. Remuneration will be paid pro rata to the amount of time worked. The exact structure of the flexible working arrangements will be agreed with the practice group or office to suit each partner's needs while accommodating client commitments.

Senior partner David Morley comments: "The introduction of part-time equity partnership provides greater career flexibility and removes some of the existing obstacles to promotion faced in particular by women.

"It's no longer realistic to provide just one option and say 'take it or leave it'. If you are going to make any real change you have to address the options available to people at all stages of their career – from associate through to equity partner – to help balance their professional and personal aspirations. We don't pretend this is a cure-all but it's a serious attempt to take positive steps and to send a strong signal of our intent to retain talent in our business."

Allen & Overy has been consulting with its partnership over the past 18 months to develop the arrangements announced today. Part-time partnership is one of a number of measures being introduced to improve retention and grow the partnership pool. Other initiatives include a greater focus on skills training and other capabilities needed for senior associates to progress to partnership.

The steering committee, chaired by partner Geoff Fuller, which conducted the consultation with partners will continue to be responsible for driving forward this agenda and exploring more options.
Company: Allen & Overy
Contact Name: Campbell McIlroy
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Contact Phone: +44 (0)20 3088 2783

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