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Partner Takes Over Her Partner's Job... Literally!

When a law firm partner leaves the firm to move in-house, the firm typically asks another partner to assume responsibility for the the departing lawyer's matters. Indeed, that's what London-based Allen & Overy did when Graham Vinter, head of the global energy projects division, left the firm to become general counsel at BG Group -- it replaced him with another project finance partner, Anne Baldock.  But there's a twist -- Vinter and Baldock weren't just law partners; they're also life partners.

As this piece in the Times Online describes, Baldock was an established name in the project finance field and also one of the most senior female lawyers among London's Magic Circle law firms.  When Baldock joined the firm (which hired her even though she showed up four days late for her job interview) in 1982, there were fewer than ten women.  But Baldock claims that she never experienced discrimination by her colleagues -- and that it was not until she worked in a secondment at Chase Manhattan, an American bank, that she was condescended to because of sex.

I'm not familiar with any situations here in the U.S. where a large firm passed the baton from one managing partner to his spouse, and indeed, I would guess that most law firms have nepotism policies that might well preclude this practice.   Still, I'm curious -- how would you feel if a managing partner's spouse were promoted at your firm? 

Posted by Carolyn Elefant on March 27, 2008 at 03:05 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)

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