Legal Business Blogs

DLA and Simmons promote fewer partners as firms continue to favour Europe

DLA Piper and Simmons & Simmons are among the latest UK firms to announce a reduced number of partnership promotions, appointing 34 and seven lawyers respectively, down from 58 and 10 in 2012.

DLA’s appointments came largely across its US offices, where 19 lawyers were made up to the partnership, with a further seven in continental Europe, four in the UK and four in Australia.

Simmons & Simmons, meanwhile, continued the recent trend among the UKs international firms to favour European promotions, with four in London, compared with one each in the financial hubs of Paris, Milan and Brussels and none in the Middle East or Asia.

Simmons & Simmons senior partner Colin Passmore said: ‘The firm’s business plan envisages significant growth for the firm over the next few years and the promotion of our homegrown talent is integral to this.’

Elsewhere, international firm Kennedys made up five associates in the UK (one each in London, Sheffield and Chelmsford and two in Belfast) and one in Hong Kong. The firm’s six promotions represent a 50% increase on last year and half of this year’s promotions round were women.

Kennedys senior partner Nick Thomas added: ‘I’m proud that we continue to have one of the highest proportions of female partners amongst the top 30 law firms.’

Similarly, DAC Beachcroft has made up five new partners, the same number as last year, taking its total partner numbers to 247. The firm’s London, Birmingham and Manchester offices will take up one partner each while the remainder will be based in Madrid, which saw a number of departures to rival Clyde & Co last month.

Two of the firm’s promotions were within its claims solutions arm – representing around one third of the firm’s staff and approximately £64m in revenue.

The European promotions and nurturing of homegrown talent come as international firms are increasingly focusing their expansion efforts further afield, particularly in Asia.

Other firms to have liberally promoted in London include Berwin Leighton Paisner (BLP), which made up a total of nine lawyers – seven in the firm’s London headquarters and one each Frankfurt and Moscow.

Magic Circle firms Clifford Chance and Linklaters also promoted heavily across Europe this year, as did Pinsent Masons.