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Partner promotions – Trowers, Nabarro and BLP see reduced numbers as Addleshaws holds on eight

Partner promotions at the UK’s leading firms have largely been down so far down this year, as firms including Trowers & Hamlins, Nabarro and Berwin Leighton Paisner all promote fewer senior associates than last year, with Addleshaw Goddard maintaining a promotion level of eight associates.

Trowers & Hamlins made up just four new partners globally, down from seven in 2013, of which three were in the Middle East – Oman, Dubai and Bahrain – and just one in London.

Three of the promotions were across the top 50 firm’s global real estate practice, with the remaining one promotion in corporate. The promotions were a 50:50 split in female and male promotions. All promotions will take effect from 1 April 2014. Last year, the majority of promotions took place in London, while elsewhere they were in Manchester and Dubai.

Trowers’ senior partner Jennie Gubbins said: ‘We have a strong, international portfolio of work across real estate and corporate, which are both highly important, strategic areas for the firm. We are actively developing and expanding these core areas in the UK and overseas. These promotions will help us make additional strides towards bolstering our offering to clients and – with three promotions in the Gulf – further strengthening our Middle East offices.’

Meanwhile, Nabarro announced last week (27 March) that three associates would be made up, down from eight last year, taking effect from 1 May. The top 30 firm said this year’s round focused on the firm’s intellectual property, funds and real estate practice areas in London. All the partners came of age through Nabarro’s talent development programme for senior associates – a joint venture with the London Business School set up in December 2010 to create a wider pool of potential partnership candidates.

Elsewhere Berwin Leighton Paisner (BLP) made up eight senior associates to partner level, down one from last year, of which the lion’s share are in London.

Six promotions took place in London, while the remaining two were in Moscow and Hong Kong. BLP’s corporate department saw the largest intake with four partner promotions, followed by finance with two, and one each in disputes and real estate. All of the appointments are effective from 1 May 2014. BLP’s managing partner Neville Eisenberg said: ‘I am delighted to welcome these very talented lawyers into the partnership.’

Addleshaw Goddard, on the other hand, promoted eight, in an all-male round of promotions, also taking effect from 1 May. Last year, the firm made up three female partners, also from a total of eight. Promotions have remained UK-based for the last two rounds, with London and Leeds taking on three partners this year and two in Manchester.

‘Unusually for us, this year all the successful candidates meeting the competencies in those areas are male,’ says Addleshaws senior partner Monica Burch. ‘We have a strong cohort of managing associates pushing for partnership and I anticipate that we will have a more gender balanced slate next year and going forward.’

The results follow a mixed set of numbers from the Magic Circle so far: Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer is promoting 15 this year, up one on last year; Allen & Overy is promoting 16, down from 19; and at Slaughter and May it is a bumper year for promotions, with seven associates made up to partner, up from two in the previous two years.