24 July 2020

Simmons promotes six to partnership in slimmed down round as annual results show steady growth

Simmons & Simmons' CityPoint office, London

More than half of partner promotions were women, underscoring firm's commitment to diversity

Simmons & Simmons announced its delayed 2020 partner round this week, with the firm making fewer promotions than previous years.

The firm promoted six lawyers to partner this year compared to 15 in 2019 and nine the year before.

Originally slated to take place in May, Simmons, along with Ashurst, chose to postpone its promotions round due to the coronavirus pandemic. Four of the six partners were women, with the promotions concentrated in the UK and Europe, with just one promotion in Asia Pacific.

Colin Passmore, the firm’s veteran senior partner, said he was confident the new partners would help the firm navigate “turbulent times”.

He added his delight that “more than half of our new partners this year are women, demonstrating the firm’s commitment to gender diversity within the partnership and the legal profession as a whole.” 

Six of the partners promoted last year were also women, just shy of half.

Finance group promotes three

The firm promoted corporate partner Ariel Nachman in its Milan office, while Paris-based Asdrig Bourmayan was promoted in finance, one of Simmons’ key practice groups, reflecting the firm’s continued interest in Europe post-Brexit. It previously hired a Dutch arbitration partner in March and expanded its Milan office with a four-lawyer team in January.

In a boost to the firm’s Hong Kong office and a nod to that city’s strong banking sector, Ivy Yam was promoted in the financial markets team.

No dispute resolution lawyers were promoted, in contrast to 2019 when six were elevated, which may have disappointed the firm’s head of disputes, Paul Baker, a year on from his appointment. However, it made a senior corporate crime hire in Camilla de Silva from the Serious Fraud Office back in February.

London saw two promotions, with James Curry promoted in real estate and Sarah Crabb in finance, while corporate lawyer Stephanie Featherstone was promoted in Bristol, a growing satellite office for the firm.

Simmons will also benefit from the hire of Jamie Corner, an equity capital markets counsel at Davis Polk & Wardwell, who announced on LinkedIn that he will join the firm as a partner in September.

Financial results announced

The firm also announced steady growth figures in its year-end financial results to April 2020, showing that profit had risen to £126m, while revenue was up 4% at £390m. There was also a 7% rise in profit per equity partner (PEP).

The firm had earlier taken moves to cut pay by 20% after consultation with staff, while also temporarily moving to a four-day week to avoid redundancies, having postponed both partner distributions and staff bonuses pending a review later in the year.

Jeremy Hoyland, the firm’s managing partner, said that while financial performance was strong overall, he was particularly pleased with regional growth, in both profit and revenue terms, with Europe and Asia having particularly encouraging results.

Hoyland said: “These results give us a strong foundation to weather the crisis and will help us navigate through the difficult times that no doubt lie ahead.”

In a testament to the firm’s supportive pandemic culture, Hoyland praised the dedication and commitment to partners and staff “who continue to deliver excellent service to our clients, despite the challenging conditions in many of our countries.”

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