Legal Business Blogs

Partner promotions: Bird & Bird maintains a steady 11

Bird & Bird has maintained steady partnership promotion levels for a third consecutive year with 11 associates made up to partner, a figure that represents just over 4% of the top 20 firm’s current partnership numbers.

Announced today (14 April), the promotions will bring the total partnership up to 270 across 26 offices. Four of the promotions are in London, with the remainder spread across the firm’s international network including one in Shanghai.

Last year also saw the 966-lawyer firm promote 11, while in 2012 that figure was 12, a significant increase on 2011 numbers, when just two were promoted.

Bird & Bird chief executive David Kerr said: ‘As we continue to grow as a firm, it’s fantastic to be able to welcome more talented lawyers into our partnership. Each of these individuals has demonstrated exceptional commitment to our strategic priorities and we look forward to seeing them further develop Bird & Bird’s client offering.’

Promotion numbers at other leading UK firms have largely been down this year, as Trowers & Hamlins, Nabarro, Berwin Leighton Paisner, and Olswang all promoted fewer senior associates than last year, while Addleshaw Goddard maintained the same promotion level of eight associates.

Macfarlanes more recently defied the downward trend by making up nine lawyers, its highest number since 2005, while Wragge & Co more than doubled the number of partner promotions to five, as DAC Beachcroft appointed 16 to partnership. That figure was more than three times the five associates promoted in each of the last two years.

Bird & Bird has felt the cost of its strategic investment in 2012/13 as indicated in its most recent limited liability partnership (LLP) accounts published in January, which showed that its overdraft facility rose 55% to €21m from €13.6m in 2011/12, while net debt was up 20% from €22.6m to €27.1m during that period. Turnover, however, was up 8% to €293,248 from €270,745 the previous year.

Bird & Bird 2014 partner promotions in full:

Elizabeth Belsey, London, PPP projects and infrastructure

Guido Bormann, Dusseldorf, commercial, public and procurement law

Ted Chwu, Hong Kong, IP

Alexander Csaki, Dusseldorf, public procurement

James Froud, London, employment

Thomas Larsen, Copenhagen, procurement and disputes

Melissa Murray, United Arab Emirates: disputes

Tom Snaith, London, IP

Garreth Wong, London, disputes

Coral Yáñez, Madrid, disputes

Guohua Zhang, Shanghai, Guohua, corporate