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Hitting the target: Latham & Watkins boosts female partner promotions in latest round

Almost half the lawyers made partner in Latham & Watkins’ latest 25 partner promotion round are female, following global chair Bill Voge’s pledge for diversity.

Following his election last summer, Voge promised to make diversity a priority and this is evident in the latest promotion round where 48% of those made up to partner are female. This is a significant leap on 2014, when just three of the 19 new partners were female, or 16% of the total. In 2013, it was just 15%.

Of the promotions at the world’s largest law firm, four London lawyers were made up to partner, with the firm investing heavily in the City despite a US-focused round.

Unsurprisingly, 20 of the firm’s 25 lawyers to make partner came in the US, the engine of the firm. But of the firm’s five overseas promotions, four of those new partners were based in the City, with Milan M&A associate Giovanni Sandicchi the only new partner outside of the US and the UK.

There are three more promotions in the City than last year with the focus on the firm’s finance and corporate practices. Finance associates Adrian Chiodo, who focuses on cross-border leveraged finance, and restructuring specialist Helena Potts were both made up to partner in the London, as was Robbie McLaren.

Farah O’Brien, a private equity dealmaker who joined from Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer a decade ago, was made up in the corporate department after work on a string of high-profile deals, including advising key clients The Carlyle Group and Kohlberg Kravis Roberts, such as KKR’s €1.1bn purchase of UK harness maker Capital Safety in 2012.

Four other associates in the City were promoted to counsel positions, with all promotions set to take effect on 1 January.

This City promotions round is the joint-largest ever by Latham in London, equalling the four lawyers made up to partner in 2013. While globally this year’s cohort of new partners is six larger than in 2014, and five larger than in 2013, the promotions are distinctly more American than in previous years. Last year there were overseas promotions across London, Madrid, Hamburg, Milan, Paris, Hong Kong and Abu Dhabi, but this year only lawyers in London and Milan secured partnership outside of the US.

City lawyers have missed out on partnership promotions at McDermott Will & Emery, with no promotions in its latest round of 30. The firm made up three partners in Europe: Gregor Lamla in Düsseldorf, Pierre-Arnoux Mayoly in Paris and Steffen Woitz in Munich.

The Latham & Watkins 2015 partnership promotions are:

Rachel Bates, real estate, Chicago

Marc Zubick, litigation, Chicago

Thomas Brandt, corporate, Houston

Stephen Szalkowski, corporate, Houston

Adrian Chiodo, finance, London

Robbie McLaren, corporate, London

Farah O’Brien corporate, London

Helena Potts, finance, London

Douglas Burnaford, finance, Los Angeles

Michelle Carpenter, tax, Los Angeles

Giovanni Sandicchi, corporate, Milan,

Kegan Brown, environment, land & resources and litigation, New York

Adam Goldberg, finance, New York

Lori Goodman, tax, New York

Austin Ozawa, tax, New York

Jesse Sheff, finance, New York

Hilary Shalla, finance, Orange County

Jennifer Koh, litigation, San Diego

Lisa Nguyen, litigation, Silicon Valley

Benjamin Potter, corporate, Silicon Valley

Chad Rolston, corporate, Silicon Valley

Sarah Greenfield, litigation, Washington DC

Shagufa Hossain, corporate, Washington DC

Leakhena Mom, corporate, Washington DC  

Andrea Ramezan-Jackson, tax, Washington DC