The Role of the Law Firm Partner, 2nd Edition

Fully revised and updated, this is a well-researched, analytical report that provides first-hand key insight and conclusive guidance on the key success factors for a partner/leader to make the most of their existing or future role, and for a firm to make the most of its partners. 

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As the legal landscape continues to change considerably, so too does the role of the partner.

Not only are partners responsible for leading, winning new business, building a brand and managing people, they are also compared and measured according to demanding financial performance criteria.

It is a demanding role, and with more varied career routes now open to associates (for many of whom partnership is no longer the ultimate goal), and more options for partners looking to the future and retirement, lawyers at all stages of their careers need sound advice on both career mapping and maximising their skills in their current roles.

Fully revised and updated, the 2nd edition of this bestselling report, provides first-hand insight and expert guidance on the key success factors for partners.

This report provides insight into:

  • The role of the partner in a global context – duties, traits and KPIs;
  • How to nurture lawyer's individual strengths to retain talent, maintain competitive advantage, and hold onto the knowledge partners have built up during their time at the firm;
  • Partner selection and lateral hiring practices;
  • Performance management and evaluating success – the critical business skills, behaviours, and emotional intelligence required at senior level;
  • Remuneration strategies and alternatives to the traditional lock-step;
  • Current partner trends, with analysis based on the author's own research and expert input.

PLUS… this practical handbook comes with useful appendices for partners and firms, including:

  • Promotion criteria for partners;
  • The Partner Core Role©;
  • Summary of self-review;
  • Performance management for partners – Track Surveys Ltd;
  • A key competency Feedback Scorecard©;
  • Staying competitive in a time of transition.



Chapter 1: The role of the partner in a global context

Chapter 2: Existing structures for delivering legal services

Chapter 3: Current role of a partner

Chapter 4: Future structures for law firms

Chapter 5: The future roles of partners and leaders

Chapter 6: Performance management – Evaluating success

Chapter 7: Remuneration strategies for partners

Chapter 8: Career paths

Chapter 9: Portfolio career mapping and transitioning

Chapter 10: Behaviours and emotional intelligence

Chapter 11: Conclusions and recommendations


TOC and Executive summary


Patricia Wheatley Burt
Patricia Wheatley Burt (PWB) has been consulting and advising in this sector for over 20 years. Projects include mergers, acquisitions, lateral hires, re-structuring leading to partner development, performance and remuneration management, and other business-focused services. She develops and delivers valuable interpersonal skills programmes, and leadership and management programmes Patricia Wheatley Burt is an experienced researcher: she has undertaken extensive research into the role of a MP and on leadership of which key information is provided in this report She is also a regular contributor for professional journals and is the author of Leadership in Law Firms (after the Legal Services Act, December 2010), The Role of the Managing Partner in a Law Firm (2006), Profitable Performance Management (2005), and The Role of the Law Firm Partner (first edition, 2012).

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