Transactional advisory powerhouse Slaughter and May has promoted just one lawyer to its partnership in its 2019 promotions round.
The Magic Circle firm made up four new partners in 2018, seven in 2017 and 10 in 2016.
The only lawyer to make the grade this year is City M&A and corporate finance practitioner Harry Bacon who joined the firm in 2009 as a trainee solicitor.
Bacon joins a select few in Slaughters partnership which will number 109 partners as of 1 May.
Slaughters is estimated to be the most profitable of the UK-headquartered law firms although it does not release any financial information.
Industry publication Legal Week estimated that the firm’s profit per equity partner (Pep) last year was £2.7m, compared to the second-most lucrative Magic Circle firm Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer which had a Pep of £1.7m.
Slaughters has focused on being a premium London firm with scattered overseas outposts, in contrast to its Magic Circle rivals which have attempted to become truly global legal players.
It has more FTSE 100 clients and clients listed on the London Stock Exchange than any other law firm.
Eighty three of the firm’s partners are male and 26 female, 92 are based in London and 17 based overseas.
The firm has also re-hired Hong Kong M&A and capital markets lawyer Jing Chen as a partner.
He started his career with Slaughters as a trainee in 2006 before being seconded to the listing division of Hong Kong Exchanges and Clearing and then joining the Exchange permanently in 2017.
The firm’s senior partner Steve Cooke said: “Harry is a highly skilled lawyer in our financing group and will make a major contribution to the growth of our worldwide practice. We are also very pleased that Jing is returning to the firm and know that he will play an important role in building on our long-established Asian presence.”