Law firms added a net 307 new partners to their ranks last year - a dramatic rise on the previous year's increase of 17, according to figures published this morning.

Chartered accountant Hazlewoods, which specialises in the legal profession, found that a total of 4,594 lawyers became partners in 2017/18, while 4,287 departed. The increase appears to defy concerns about the impact of Brexit and about the attractiveness of the partnership model.  

Hazelwoods partner Andy Harris said: 'Whilst it’s argued that younger lawyers seem to be less interested in becoming partners at law firms, it is still a very attractive prospect for many. The financial rewards and the status that comes with a partnership position makes up for the notoriously long working hours that lawyers have to deliver on the way.' 

This year’s increase in the number of partners is the fourth consecutive year of growth. Partner numbers in the sector dropped sharply in 2013/14, when changes to partnership tax rules made it less tax efficient to promote lawyers to a salaried partner position.