White & Case has promoted 31 lawyers to partner, three quarters of them in London and the US, as the firm continues its investment in the City and New York.
Evenly spread between US and EMEA, the promotions – effective on 1 January 2018 – represent a 29% drop on last year’s round, when the firm made up 40 .
Seven of the new partners will be based in London, making up 22% of the promotions, slightly up from last year’s 20%.
‘New York and London are the focus of our 2020 strategy,’ London executive partner Oliver Brettle told Legal Business. He cited the promotions of James Greene and James Hardy as part of the ongoing strengthening of the firm’s capital markets and banking capabilities in the City, and Steven Worthington as an addition to the firm’s ‘phenomenal’ private equity London practice.
Together with Greene, newly appointed M&A partner James Johnson first joined the firm as a London trainee. Kamilla Azamat was named partner in the firm’s City project finance practice, Tim Hickman in IP and Rebecca Shorter in international arbitration.
Brettle added that there was a ‘strong link to London’ with some of the other promotions as well, with new Abu Dhabi project finance partner Alexander Malahias also a former London trainee. Claire Matheson Kirton and Ali Shaikley also joined the UAE partnership in Dubai’s banking and M&A practices respectively.
‘Notwithstanding Brexit, for a global firm having English-qualified lawyers continues to be crucially important,’ said Brettle.
White & Case has the largest City office among US-originated firms for fee-earner headcount according to our Global London 2017 report, the firm will have around 110 partners in London when the promotions take effect.
The 360-lawyer London office recorded 4% revenue growth last year to $290m, a weaker performance compared to the 22% bump in 2015. Globally, turnover grew 7% to $1.63bn, with profits per equity partner up 2% to $2.05m.
This year, the London office acted for PPF Investments on establishing ClearBank and advised Alfa Financial Software on its flotation on the London Stock Exchange (LSE).
And, despite losing its PE co-head Richard Youle to Skadden, Arps, Slate Meagher & Flom, the firm hired Ropes & Gray capital markets partner Chris McGarry this year.
Another Global London firm, Kirkland & Ellis, this month made one of the largest promotion rounds ever, with 13 of its 97 new partners based in the City.
White & Case London promotions in full:
Kamilla Azamat, project finance
James Greene, capital markets
James Hardy, banking
Tim Hickman, IP
James Johnson, M&A (real estate)
Rebecca Shorter, international arbitration
Steven Worthington, M&A (private equity)