30 April 2021

Record percentage of women in latest Ashurst partner promotions round

Newly minted Ashurst partners Madeleine Pope and Cassandra Wee

Women comprise 78% of those made up, with corporate transactions getting more new partners than any other practice area

Ashurst has elevated 14 lawyers to its partnership in its latest promotions round, with women making up a record 78% of the new cohort.  

The latest round of partner promotions includes 11 women, the firm’s highest number of promoted female partners to date. This year’s gender split builds on the momentum set by last year’s round, which saw female partners make up two thirds of the 15-strong round. 

This year’s total tally is up by just one from last year, when the firm elected to promote its smallest partner class since 2016 following a six month delay in the promotions process as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic

In regional terms, the firm’s London headquarters saw the highest number of promotions, adding five partners to its ranks. Australian promotions were halved this year from eight to four, including three appointments in Sydney and one in Melbourne. 

All of the new Australian partners are women, with Jennifer Ingram (transport and infrastructure) moving up in Melbourne and Julie Ma (transport and infrastructure), Lindy Randall (real estate) and Cassandra Wee (energy and resources) making the grade in Sydney. 

The firm strengthened its partnership network in Asia this year after skipping over the region in 2020, adding two lawyers apiece in Hong Kong and Singapore. The round was completed by one promotion in Spain — Madrid-based global loans expert Irian Martinez. 

Paul Jenkins, Ashurst’s’ global managing partner, said: “We are seeing significant growth opportunities and client demand in our priority practice areas and industry sectors, with which our new partners are aligned. Their appointments acknowledge the critical contribution each has made to clients and the firm and they will all play a significant role in the future success of our business,” he added. 

Corporate transactions had a narrow lead this year in terms of practice areas, with three partners making the cut, up by two from 2020. 

Dispute resolution and transport and infrastructure gained two partners apiece, with the remainder of the new cohort represented by one appointment in the firm’s finance regulatory, investment and funds, global loans, competition, real estate, and energy practices. 

Recently, magic circle firm Clifford Chance unveiled its latest partner class, promoting a record 11 women to its partnership. Linklaters also made a big push for diversity in its 2021 promotions round, having made up 14 women partners and hitting its 40% gender balance target. 

The full list of new partners

Catherine Gokah, Investment Funds, London

Jennifer Ingram, Transport & Infrastructure, Melbourne

Li Jiang, Corporate Transactions, Hong Kong

Jeffrey Johnson, Corporate Transactions, London

Lorraine Johnston, Finance Regulatory, London

Sophie Lyall, Restructuring and Special Situations, Hong Kong

Julie Ma, Transport & Infrastructure, Sydney

Irian Martinez, Global Loans & Global Markets, Madrid

Angie Ng, Competition, Singapore

Madeleine Pope, Dispute Resolution, London

Lindy Randall, Real Estate, Sydney

Harry Thimont, Corporate Transactions, London

Michael Weatherley, Dispute Resolution, Singapore

Cassandra Wee, Energy & Resources, Sydney

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