New partner promotions across the U.K.’s top 50 law firms plunged by a third between 2008 and 2009, with the downturn impacting lawyers’ opportunities to advance into the partnership.

Taking into account promotions at firms such as Clifford Chance and Simmons & Simmons, which pushed their decisions back until the summer, there were 399 promotions across the U.K.’s 50 biggest firms by revenue in 2009. This compared with 598 in 2008.

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