In addition to purchasing an equity stake in their firm, most new partners at the English law firm Slaughter and May buy a napkin ring, too.

After Slaughter partners finish their lunch in the firm’s partners-only dining room, they roll up their napkin and slide it into the ring, for use the next day. (Particularly messy partners can claim a fresh napkin.) In the late 1980s the number of partners at the firm had swelled to the point that it was necessary to install a special napkin cabinet with numbered pigeonholes, one for each partner. This addition allows lawyers to forgo the napkin rings altogether if they choose. Still, most prefer to use their rings.

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