Partner

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People Anatomy

A spotter’s guide to the men and women of finance.

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Partners are the sainted men and women who own, and reap equity benefit from, law firms. Having been trained to work incessant 90 hour weeks, partners are invincible, undefeatable, and invulnerable monsters of the industry, at least until they turn 45 and find themselves defenestrated without warning to make way for their younger, more vigorous, more invincible, better-looking colleagues whom they had not noticed mutating from callow trainees to monsters of industry in their own right.

Retirement it is not always a downer: many use the partner cachet to snag non-executive board memberships, and for those who can’t manage that there is a good furrow to be ploughed as a senior consultant in a small mid-Atlantic law firm that is struggling to establish a foothold in London. One can usually get away with this for two or three years before being found out.

What with the modern vogue for incorporating, or at least limiting the liability of, partnerships, law firm partners no longer have as much downside skin in the game as they used to, but fear not, they have plenty of upside skin in the game, so rest assured they will be motivated to act in strange and counterintuitive ways.

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