Edwards Gibson Methodology for Compiling Partner Moves

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Edwards Gibson collates Partner Moves based on announced law firm partner hires in London. Our round-up is limited to hires of business lawyers into partnership roles at commercial law firms. We do not, for example, record family law or residential real estate hires even where these have been made by a commercial law firm.

In order to be included in our report, the lawyer joining a given law firm must be styled as “Partner”, “Shareholder”, “Member” or equivalent. So, for example, a partner who joins another law firm as a non-partner would not be included. Moreover, the role being undertaken by the partner must primarily be the provision of legal services rather than, say, HR or IT.

Since 2019, Edwards Gibson has made a distinction between “lateral hires” (where an existing partner moves for partnership at another law firm) and “vertical hires” where a non-partner, for example, a senior associate or counsel, is promoted into partnership at another law firm.

Edwards Gibson only records hires by law firms with conventional partnership (or corporate) structures. Nevertheless, whilst we do not record moves to alternative law firms, we do include moves to and from large accountancy firms where the lawyers are primarily providing legal advice to third parties.

Whilst Edwards Gibson will make reference to a law firm merger or combination in the relevant bimonthly report, we generally do not record the transfer of individual partners to their new entity on merger as a “partner move”.

We do not publicise partnership retirements or internal promotions nor moves by law firm partners to in-house legal roles. Very often Edwards Gibson will be aware of pending partner hires, or team moves, but we will only publish these if they have already been acknowledged elsewhere or the partner in question has commenced working for their new firm.

Where a law firm purports to hire a partner in London, but the location appears to be only partly in London, Edwards Gibson will make a determination as to whether to include the hire in the report.

Very occasionally we find that we miss individual hires, or that those which have previously been announced do not in fact take place. Where this occurs, we adjust our own records, but depending on the time elapsed, the individual hire (or withdrawal) is not always reflected in subsequent published reports.

Our records of London commercial law firm hires go back to 2007. Since 2010 Edwards Gibson’s Law Firm Partner Moves in London has been the publication of record for the London legal market.

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