A partner is a lawyer who is promoted within a firm to partnership level. This person will have ideally clocked up at least 6 years’ experience and will either become equity or non-equity partners. Equity partners have an ownership stake in the firm and share in the law firm’s profits, while non-equity partners are generally paid a fixed salary and may be vested with certain limited voting rights in law firm matter. As well as having proved themselves as highly proficient lawyers, partners in a law firm will need to understand ‘critical areas of performance’ to ensure the firm flourishes. These include business development, people management, client relationship management and financial performance.
What does a partner do?
Day-to day responsibilities of a partner may consist of:
- To manage and remain in overall control of the management of the firm (and each office) within it on an operational basis
- To ensure that the Partners and Fee Earners are effective in the delivery of the Firm’s services to its clients and do so profitably
- Establishing organisational strategies of the firm through strategic thinking and direction
- Establishing operational strategies of the firm
- Establishing financial strategies
- Generating revenue through client management
- Increasing revenue through new and additional services, and developing cost-benefit analysis;
- Maintain stability of the law firm
- Preventing and managing conflict
- Enhancing the firm’s reputation by setting an example regarding ethics, morals, legal and professionalism and reaffirming this throughout the organisation
- Creating and establishing human resource strategies by determining the structure of the firm
What key skills should a partner have?
- A high level of ability with regards to client and customer care and management
- Legal compliance
- Relationship building
- Verbal and written communication
- Financial planning and strategy
- Outstanding management ability
- Strategic thinking for long term
- Outstanding knowledge of your firm’s specialism and industry as a whole
- The ability to communicate exceptionally
- Excellent organisational and interpersonal skills
- The ability to work independently
- Problem solving and decision making
- Extensive work experience in legal environment
What qualifications will I need to be a partner?
To become a partner, you must first have ideally clocked up at least 6 years’ experience and will either become equity or non-equity partners. You don’t necessarily have to have a degree in law, however, aspiring candidates should the relevant work experience in a legal role and be able to prove their worth.
How much does a partner earn?
The starting salary for a partner is usually around £42,510, according to Payscale.
The average salary for a partner is £90,414.88, according to our data in 2019.
The map below also shows the regional average salaries for partner roles in the UK in 2019, from Simply Law Jobs data.