22 partners have left Shoosmiths in the last 13 months, eleven of whom had occupied the role for less than three years.
Of the 11 who lasted less than three years, all but one were lateral hires. One U-turned out of Shoosmiths so quickly, spending under a year at the firm, that he hasn't bothered to mention his stint on his LinkedIn profile.* Within the last 12 months, an additional two partners have suffered the indignity of demotion from the partnership.
"Lateral hires tend to struggle to make the Shoosmiths brand attract decent work in the commercial sector", said a source, who suggested the problem was that "businesses most commonly encounter the firm in association with bulk debt-recovery work run by spotty teenagers in Reading". Ouch.
Can you guess what the Shoe People are up to this week?
A spokesman for Shoosmiths said the rate of departure of partners was "not unusual" and "around half the average market turnover for law firm partners which runs at around 25%". The firm has more than replaced the losses. In April 2018 there were 187 Shoosmiths partners, whereas now there are 201. He said partners leave "for a variety of reasons".
“Lateral hires come with their own risks", he acknowledged. But "the industry average according to the Citibank Law Firm Leaders Survey averages around a 50% success rate, so again our stats compare favourably".
*Although the record is held by the Hill Dickinson lawyer who lasted less than 24 hours at his firm. Made up at Hill Dicks on 1 May 2018, he resigned the same day to set up his own firm.