Norton Rose Fulbright pushes back EMEA partner promotions amid move to calendar year-end

Norton Rose Fulbright has pushed back its EMEA partner promotions until the end of the year as part of plans to shift the firm’s accounting to a calendar-year system.

The decision comes as part of a plan to globally coordinate its financial reporting and will see the firm’s EMEA promotions cycle delayed until later this year.

A spokesperson for the firm confirmed the delay to the firm’s normal promotions round in a statement, saying: “The EMEA promotions cycle has been moved to align with our global financial year.”

It is understood that the move towards a calendar-year accounting timetable will not result in any changes to the way partners are remunerated.

In the firm’s 2017 partner promotions round, the firm made up 45 lawyers across its global offices including 18 women. Women accounted for 40% of the firm’s partner promotions, an increase on 31% in 2016.

In that round, the EMEA promotions were effective as of 1 May, whereas the Australia, Canada and US promotions had already taken effect on 1 January 2017.

In January this year, the firm promoted 10 lawyers to partner in the US.

The change in year-end follows the firm’s second US merger, after its combination with Manhattan-based Chadbourne & Parke went live in June 2017.

It comes after Berwin Leighton Paisner (BLP) confirmed it was moving to a calendar year-end following its merger with St Louis-headquartered Bryan Cave, with the merged firm adopting a US pay and accounting system that saw legacy BLP partners ditch lockstep.

Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner now operates to a calendar year-end using US-style cash accounting, with the legacy UK arm ditching both its April financial year-end and accruals accounting system, as well as its lockstep.

In 2017, Hogan Lovells changed the way it reports its financial results, in an effort to more closely align the firm’s international partnership with its US arm.