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Macfarlanes makes up six partners in male-only round

Macfarlanes has made up six new internal partner promotions across its tax, real estate, corporate and disputes practices, with senior partner Charles Martin (pictured) expressing concern that the group is ‘disappointingly lacking in women.’

Set to take effect from 1 May 2016, the new partners include tax lawyer Peter Abbott, commercial real estate lawyer Nick Barnes, corporate M&A duo Alexander Green and Justin Hope, and litigation specialists James Popperwell and Gideon Sanitt.

Senior partner Charles Martin said the promotions constituted a ‘large group by historic standards but one that is uncharacteristically and disappointingly lacking in women.’

The London-only firm has previously told Legal Business it wishes to improve diversity internally. At June last year it had just 16% female partners, half the Solicitors Regulation Authority’s estimated female partner average of 31% at UK firms.

Martin added in a statement: ‘On a more positive note, the majority of these lawyers trained at the firm, a further vindication of our policy of nurturing home grown talent. We are amongst a small group of firms that has increased trainee intake over recent years. We supplement that carefully with outstanding lawyers from other firms who are attracted by our distinctive offering at a slightly later stage in their careers.’

Although an increase on five promotions last year, the stats still lag on the firm’s 2014 round where nine lawyers were made up – though the 2014 figure had been its highest round since 2005.

It follows Mishcon de Reya making up six to its own partnership across its disputes, real estate, employment, immigration, and tax practices, with a further six taking the role of legal director. The promotions are the first since the firm converted to a limited liability partnership in October last year.

Macfarlanes partner promotions 2016:

Peter Abbott, tax

Nick Barnes, commercial real estate

Alexander Green, M&A

Justin Hope, M&A

James Popperwell, litigation

Gideon Sanitt, litigation

Mishcon partner promotions in full:

Steven Bostock, immigration

Stephen Diosi, tax

Sarah Houghton, disputes

Kirpal Kaur, commercial real estate

Jennifer Millins, employment

Maria Patsalos, immigration