20 April 2020

Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer makes up 21 partners in male-dominated round

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Freshfields: 'Taking active steps to improve diversity'

Four women promoted to partnership; US arm boosted by four partner appointments across New York and Washington DC

Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer has promoted 21 lawyers to the partnership in a male-dominated round of appointments.

Just four of the appointments are women — down from six last year — although total appointments held up well compared to last year (22) and easily exceeded the 2018 tally of 12.

This means that 19% of the successful partners are women, representing a gender balance that is significantly below top-10 UK rivals Linklaters (27%), Herbert Smith Freehills (50%) and CMS (41%), which have all unveiled their promotions in recent days.

Three of the successful women are London-based — Ali Kirby-Harris (disputes), Kate Cooper (corporate and M&A) and Lindsay Hingston (restructuring and insolvency) — meaning 38% of the eight new UK partners are female. Hamburg-based Julia Sellmann (corporate and M&A) is the only other woman across the network to make partner.

‘We continue to take active steps across the firm to improve diversity around talent from different backgrounds including race, ethnicity, LGBT+, disability and social mobility,’ the firm said in a statement. ‘We know that diverse teams perform better, to the benefit of our clients and the firm.’

The firm added that in the last six years, 49% of promotions in London and 55% in the US were diverse (women, ethnic/racial minority, LGBT+).

Senior Partner, Edward Braham said: “This is an exceptional group of lawyers. Freshfields is delivering expert advice and support to our clients through these uncertain times and these promotions reflect the contribution each of our new partners has made to our clients and our firm.  We continue to invest in the firm for the medium to long term and I am proud of the quality of our people.”

London accounted for the bulk of appointments (eight) — the same number as last year — with continental European appointments slipping from ten to seven.

The number of US appointments was up by two from last year to four: two in New York — Lee Rovinescu (disputes) and Kyle Lakin (Finance) — and two in Washington DC — Justin Stewart-Teitelbaum (competition) and Nabeel Yousef (disputes).

The US tally reflects a concerted drive by the firm to build its US practice and follows the high-profile hire last October of leading M&A adviser Ethan Klingsberg from Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton, along with two other M&A partners and a litigation partner.

Last week, however, the firm lost US head of M&A Mitchell Presser to Morrison & Foerster.

Of the 11 transactional lawyers promoted, eight are corporate and M&A specialists, two are from finance and one — Hingston — is an insolvency specialist.

The remainder are made up of disputes (six), competition (two) and employment and tax (one each).

Antitrust, Competition and Trade

Justin Stewart-Teitelbaum, Washington

Paul van den Berg, Amsterdam/Brussels

Dispute Resolution

Simon Duncombe, London

Ali Kirby-Harris, London, 

Martin Mekat, Frankfurt/Munich

Lee Rovinescu, New York

Carsten Wendler, Frankfurt

Nabeel Yousef, Washington

Global Transactions

Vincent Bergin, London

Alastair Brown, London

Kate Cooper, London

Rhys Evans, London

Bing Guan, Hong Kong

Lindsay Hingston, London

Nick Jones, London

Kyle Lakin, New York

Julia Sellmann, Hamburg/Munich

Fedor Teselkin, Moscow

Bui Thanh Tien, Hanoi/Ho Chi Minh City

People & Reward

Ulrich Sittard, Düsseldorf

Tax

Philipp Redeker, Düsseldorf

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