Morning Briefing: Want to make partner? You may have to be patient

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Want to make partner? You may have to be patient
Younger lawyers may find their journey to partner is a long one; longer than those that preceded them. Colliers International has been looking into workplace trends in law firms and reports that in Australian firms 90 per cent of the partners are ‘baby boomers’ (51-69 years old) which suggests that retirement could be on the cards for many; however there is also a glut of law graduates. Colliers says that in the period from 2001to 2012 there was an increase in law firms’ workforce of 12 per cent but there was a 100 per cent increase in the number of graduates. It calculates that despite retirement ages increasing and a larger number of younger lawyers being in the workforce, there will be a larger percentage of over 60s. The stats suggest that it will take lawyers longer to make partner.
International law firm pulls out of alliance in SA
DLA Piper has ended its alliance in South Africa. The firm has worked with its affiliate Cliffe Dekker Hofmeyr for 10 years but it’s understood that the SA firm did not want to integrate with the international group. DLA Piper is now aiming to open its own office in Johannesburg and Cliffe Dekker Hofmeyr will operate separately. 
Asia-Pac partner joins new diversity committee at Hogan Lovells
Eugene Chen, a white collar and fraud investigations partner at Hogan Lovells is part of a newly reconfigured diversity committee at the law firm. Chen will represent the Asia-Pacific region on the team, which replaces the global diversity and board diversity committees. The new committee is chaired by London partner Ruth Grant who was previously co-chair of the global diversity team.
Uber lawyer warns against class action
A law suit in the US which claims that drivers should be considered as employees rather than self-employed contractors could set a risky precedent, according to one of the firm’s lawyers. Reuters reports that three drivers have filed papers in California seeking reimbursement for expenses including fuel and maintenance together with tips on the basis of being employed by Uber. They are seeking a class action but that, says Uber lawyer Theodore Boutrous, would set a precedent and he wants a trial for just the three drivers. In the federal court in San Francisco judge Edward Chen told the Uber lawyer: “If you're confident in your case it would be a good gamble.”