Exclusive: Slaughter and May makes up same partner twice
31 March 2017
Slaughter and May
has made up seven partners including three women - although one of them first became a partner at the firm three years ago.
Slaughter and May promoted five associates to the partnership in London, one of them female. However, a keen-eyed source noticed that the new Hong Kong partner, Natalie Yeung, is not that new. She was actually made up in 2014. A spokesman for the firm told RollOnFriday that Yeung "was previously a Hong Kong partner and now becomes a worldwide partner
". He said there was a separate Hong Kong partnership whose partners "participate in the profits of the Asian business
" only and that while "worldwide partners participate in the business of the whole firm",
including Hong Kong,
"local partners in the Hong Kong office, as the title implies, participate mainly in the business of the firm in Hong Kong".
||The Hong Kong partnership experience. Trippy.
While the firm has never hidden the existence of its separate Honkers partnership, you have to look closely to find it. Yeung is not labelled as a "local partner
" on her profile, nor was she identified as such in the firm's 2014 press release announcing her first promotion to a partnership. And Slaughters is never shy of making much of its supposedly pure equity model. Its spokesman said, "we have always been open internally and externally about the distinction between HK partners and worldwide partners
", but "the media has not necessarily always picked up on this distinction, which may explain why Natalie’s move from HK to worldwide partner appears unusual
". He revealed that Yeung is actually the third Hong Kong partner to be made up a second time. One HK partner joined the worldwide partnership in 2005 and another in 2010.
The existence of 'local partners' underlines that Slaughters, which only has offices in London, Brussels, Beijing and Hong Kong and has not followed the rest of the Magic Circle down the route of global expansion, remains as defiantly UK-focused as ever. And understandably so, because in Slaughter and May terms the Hong Kong office is a risky new bolt-on: it only opened in 1974. Slaughters has been slightly caught with its trousers down by this announcement. Which is a little embarrassing for the firm, but jolly good news for Yeung who presumably now triples her drawings overnight.