find the latest legal job
Senior Associate - Litigation & Dispute Resolution
Category: Litigation and Dispute Resolution | Location: Melbourne CBD & Inner Suburbs Melbourne VIC
· Come work for a firm ranked in Lawyers Weekly Top 25 Attraction Firms
View details
Associate - Workplace Relations & Safety
Category: Industrial Relations and Employment Law | Location: Brisbane CBD & Inner Suburbs Brisbane QLD
· Employer of choice · Strong team culture
View details
Freelance Lawyers
Category: Banking and Finance Law | Location: All Perth WA
· Freelance opportunities through Vario from Pinsent Masons
View details
Freelance Lawyers
Category: Other | Location: All Adelaide SA
· • Qualified lawyer with a strong academic background
View details
Freelance Lawyers
Category: Other | Location: All Melbourne VIC
· • Qualified lawyer with a strong academic background
View details
Freehills rolls out “executive counsel” position

Freehills rolls out “executive counsel” position

Responding to demand from senior lawyers for an alternative career path to partnership, Freehills has created a new "executive counsel" role.The role - which is salaried - is designed to provide…

Responding to demand from senior lawyers for an alternative career path to partnership, Freehills has created a new "executive counsel" role.

The role - which is salaried - is designed to provide an alternative promotion opportunity for senior associates who do not wish to become equity partners.

The firm's managing partner for people, Peter Butler, said that the firm has been losing high-calibre, senior lawyers who didn't want to become partners because it couldn't offer an alternative for career progression beyond the senior associate level.

"We lose these very senior lawyers because, while they don't aspire to be partners, they regard a role less than that - senior associate for instance - as being sub-optimal," he said.

"We want this executive counsel role to be positioned so that it carries very considerable status internally and externally. That it's regarded - as it ought to be - as a partner-quality role. It offers a real alternative to partnership to those who don't necessarily aspire to be partners."

Butler explained that, similarly to partners, executive counsel will be involved in managing teams and mentoring junior lawyers, but they will be less involved in business development and bringing in new work. He said the role also differs from special counsel roles, which, at least at Freehills, are reserved for senior lawyers with highly specialised niche practices. In contrast, executive counsel would - much like partners - have broader expertise.

According to Butler, the introduction of the role has been well received, particularly by senior legal staff. "The feedback we've had has been very pleasing. There's no doubt there's a need for this role. The fact is that these days not everyone wants to be a partner. In fact many say that it's just not for them. We would like to give them a role in this firm where they feel they've been successful and they're acknowledged in the market as being successful, too.

The firm will announce the appointment of its first executive counsel in late June, at the same time as the new partners, special counsel and senior associates are announced.

- By Zoe Lyon

Like this story? Read more:

QLS condemns actions of disgraced lawyer as ‘stain on the profession’

NSW proposes big justice reforms to target risk of reoffending

The legal budget breakdown 2017

Freehills rolls out “executive counsel” position
lawyersweekly logo
Promoted content
Recommended by Spike Native Network
more from lawyers weekly
Oct 20 2017
Podcast: One of law’s most infamous alumni – in conversation with Julian Morrow
In this episode of The Lawyers Weekly Show, Melissa Coade is joined by The Chaser’s Julian Morrow....
Oct 20 2017
High Court overturns ‘excessive’ anti-protest legislation
Bob Brown’s recent victory in the High Court over the Tasmanian government was a win for fundament...
Oct 20 2017
Changes to Australian citizenship laws blocked
Attempts to beef up the requirements to obtain Australian citizenship were thwarted this week, after...
Allens managing partner Richard Spurio, image courtesy Allens' website
Jun 21 2017
Promo season at Allens
A group of lawyers at Allens have received promotions across its PNG and Australian offices. ...
May 11 2017
Partner exits for in-house role
A Victorian lawyer has left the partnership of a national firm to start a new gig with state governm...
Esteban Gomez
May 11 2017
National firm recruits ‘major asset’
A national law firm has announced it has appointed a new corporate partner who brings over 15 years'...
Nicole Rich
May 16 2017
Access to justice for young transgender Australians
Reform is looming for the process that young transgender Australians and their families must current...
Geoff Roberson
May 11 2017
The lighter side of the law: when law and comedy collide
On the face of it, there doesn’t seem to be much that is amusing about the law, writes Geoff Rober...
May 10 2017
Advocate’s immunity – without fear or without favour but not both
On 29 March 2017, the High Court handed down its decision in David Kendirjian v Eugene Lepore & ...