Legal Business Blogs

Partner promotions: Macfarlanes defies downward trend by making up nine lawyers

Macfarlanes is the latest of a small number of City firms to announce growth in the number of lawyers made up to partner, with the firm confirming today (7 April) nine new partners, its highest number since 2005.

The nine new partners work across a total of seven different practice areas, including M&A, derivatives & trading, funds, litigation, private client, tax, financial services and regulation.

The figures constitute a healthy boost on the firm’s promotions, with the firm averaging around four promotions over the last three years. The last time the City firm made a higher-than-usual promotion round was in 2005, with six made to partner.

The top-40 LB100 firm also appointed four new senior counsel including Robert Daniell (derivatives and trading), Anne-Marie Ellis (private client property group), Lorna Emson (litigation) and Lora Froud (investment funds).

Senior partner Charles Martin said: ‘The appointment of nine new partners is great news for us and shows our confidence in long-term prospects for our business. Our clients expect our partners to be of the highest quality and we are proud of the strength of our homegrown talent across the practice. We can see strong partners and senior counsel of the future right the way across the firm.’

Partner promotions at the UK’s leading firms have generally been in decline so far this year, with Trowers & Hamlins, Nabarro and Berwin Leighton Paisner all promoting fewer senior associates than last year while Addleshaw Goddard maintained its promotion level from the year before. Slaughter and May is the only other firm to buck the trend so far, promoting seven lawyers to partner – substantially up from its usual average.

Macfarlanes partner headcount growth has also been bolstered by its accelerated rate of lateral hiring  in the last 18 months. It was one of the strongest performers in last year’s LB100 with a 12% rise in revenues to £114.2m, alongside an enviable profit per equity partner figure of £985,000.

Another City elite firm to announce promotions today is Linklaters, which has elected 21 new partners across its global network, including seven in London.

The full list of partner promotions:

Christopher Acton, derivatives & trading

Harry Coghill, M&A

Alex Edmondson, M&A

Paul Ellison, financial services regulatory

Christopher Good, financial services

Lois Horne, disputes

Michelle Kirschner, financial services regulatory

James McCredie, tax

Jenny Smithson, private client