in Careers Advice, Changing Jobs, Staying in Your Job

Dangling Partnership Carrots

The Partnership Carrot

Dangling the carrot of a partnership when being offered a job or at an annual review is either because:

1. The firm genuinely like you, are genuinely nice and genuinely see a long term future for you at the practice. Partnership is a good way of cementing your relationship and committing you to the business for years to come.
2. The law firm is run by a bunch of crooks who plan to commit serious fraud in your name and leave you to take the rap.
3. The law firm are trying to keep your pay rise to a minimum by dangling the carrot of prestige and status in front of you rather than cash.
4. The law firm are in dire financial straits and have planned your partnership offer in the hope you start to take an interest in investing into the practice in future to save the business.

So when you are considering partnership make sure you are going with the idea for the right reasons. Never take partnership (or equivalent – director/shareholder or member) without seeing the accounts, think about instructing an accountant to review the accounts for you including a closer audit of the books if you can negotiate access, grill the other partners carefully to make sure all is well and ensure you know of everyone who has an interest in the business whether as a shareholder or a controlling party. Never take partnership in lieu of a pay rise unless you are sure you are being offered it for the right reasons..

Jonathan Fagan

Jonathan Fagan LLM FIRP is Managing Director of Ten-Percent Legal Recruitment. He has been recruiting solicitors and legal support staff for law firms and in house legal departments for over 20 years and handles roles from junior fee earners through to partners and law firm sales/purchases. A non-practising solicitor on the Roll since 2000, he is also the author of a number of legal career books, which are available at You can contact Jonathan at