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Five get promoted: Freshfields makes up handful of partners in London amid slimmed down global round

Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer has elected five London-based lawyers to its partnership from its dispute resolution and corporate practices as part of a 12-strong promotions round spanning seven offices.

This was the smallest global promotions round by the firm for some years. Last year there was an 18-strong round, of which six were London-based, while five London lawyers were among the 17 promoted in 2016.

The latest partners provide a slight fillip for the City giant’s corporate bench in the aftermath of rainmaker David Higgins’ exit last year to Kirkland & Ellis with the addition of two new partners.

Emma Rachmaninov, a senior associate in the financial institutions group, specialises in financial services regulatory work, advising investment banks, financial sponsors and insurers on M&A, IPOs and reorganisations. She has worked on secondment at two investment banks and a central bank, as well as serving two years in Freshfields’ Hong Kong-based team.

Intellectual property specialist David Brooks has been promoted from counsel in the firm’s global transactions practice. He has advised across the pharmaceutical, healthcare, retail, technology and financial sectors on the acquisition, disposal, licensing and separation of IP assets including in M&A, joint ventures and carve-outs. He qualified at Freshfields in 2002 and has worked in the firm’s London, New York and Singapore offices.

Dispute resolution saw a three-partner boost, including Samantha Trevan, who has been promoted from senior associate in the firm’s commercial disputes group. A specialist in fraud and asset tracing, she also advises on multijurisdictional investigations involving regulators and advising Big Four accountancy firms of practice protection matters.

Deba Das has been promoted from senior associate in Freshfields’ EU disputes team, where he has advised on contentious competition matters, including litigation in the telecoms and pay TV sectors.

Rhodri Thomas has been promoted from senior associate in Freshfields’ financial institutions disputes group. He has advised banks in high-value cases and has significant experience of disputes involving complex structured products. He has also advised clients on global regulatory and internal investigations involving international regulators. He is also experienced in sports disputes, advising national and international sports governing bodies, teams and individual athletes.

Of the 12 lawyers promoted, only three are women. This is the lowest figure since 2013 when three women represented 21% of 14 partners promoted.  Freshfields had fared better on this front in recent years. In 2017 there were five women in the 18-strong round, or 28%, while 2016 saw five women promoted, making up 31% of partner promotions that year.

All the promotions are effective from 1 May 2018.

Freshfields’ partner promotions in full:

Markus Benzing, Frankfurt, corporate
Richard Blair, Hong Kong, corporate
David Brooks, London, corporate
Deba Das, London, dispute resolution
Alfonso de Marcos, Madrid, corporate
Nigel Gleeson, Singapore, corporate
Nicholas Günther, Düsseldorf, corporate
Julia Haas, Hamburg, real estate
Emma Rachmaninov, London, corporate
Daniel Schnabl, Frankfurt, dispute resolution
Rhodri Thomas, London, dispute resolution
Samantha Trevan, London, dispute resolution