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Partner promotions: Cleary makes up two in London as BCLP unveils 21-strong round

Cleary Gottlieb has made up nine new partners in its latest round of promotions, two of which are in London, while Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner (BCLP) has included five UK lawyers in its latest cohort.

The promotion of Chrishan Raja and Naomi Tarawali to partner in Cleary’s London office is indicative of firm’s steady approach. Raja, a capital markets lawyer, has experience representing Barclays, Citigroup, J.P. Morgan and UBS, while the disputes-focused Tarawali specialises in representing financial institutions, funds and sovereigns. The 2022 round matches last year’s efforts in the City, which saw Henry Mostyn and Gareth Kristensen welcomed into the equity, though in total, the latest class falls short of the 11 partners made up across the firm in 2021.

Speaking to Legal Business, Cleary M&A partner Tihir Sarkar (pictured) said: ‘In the UK we’re 23 partners so we’ve increased by 10%, which is significant. For us to do two is slightly unusual. It’s a reflection of practice groups where we’ve identified the right candidates. The UK-focused disputes practice started from scratch about 10 years ago, and Naomi is our second home-bred associate-to-partner candidate [James Brady-Banzet was made partner in 2019]. That shows the growth and continued importance of the disputes practice. On the capital markets side, we haven’t made up somebody for quite some time. Historically, it’s been a very important practice for Cleary Gottlieb, so we’ve bolstered our English law capabilities with Chrishan.’

Globally, the firm promoted a further three partners in New York, as well as two in Paris and one each in Hong Kong and Frankfurt.

On Europe, Sarkar added: ‘Europe is a big part of our DNA. We opened in Paris soon after we opened in New York, so we’ve been in continental Europe for a long time. If you look at the standard of our lawyers and matters in Paris, Brussels and Rome, we feel we have got one of the strongest European franchises. We need to continue to keep replenishing those areas.’

Meanwhile, BCLP has announced 21 new partners. The new cohort, which is spread across 13 offices, will take up their new positions on 1 January 2023.

Seven of the class are based in the UK, including five in the capital. Corporate and M&A lawyer Tom Bacon, real estate specialist James Banks, commercial litigator Benjamin Blacklock, construction-focused Kimberly Roberts, and tax lawyer Andy West have all made the grade this year. They are joined by a further two new partners in the Southampton office: Eleanor Penton, who focuses on real estate finance; and Emma Sadler, who advises on non-contentious real estate issues.

Though sizeable by the firm’s standards, this year’s class did not surpass the cohort of 2021, where the firm unveiled 25 new additions to the equity in November last year, the largest promotion round in its history.