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Pinsents ushers in new era with Cameron unveiled as first female managing partner

Pinsent Masons has elected litigation and regulatory head Laura Cameron as its first female managing partner, succeeding the longstanding John Cleland who steps down after eight years.  

Cameron, who will assume the role on 1 May 2023, has considerable pedigree at Pinsents. During her 28 years at the firm she has fulfilled various leadership responsibilities, and already broke new ground by becoming the firm’s first female board member. Pinsents describes Cameron as ‘an ambassador for gender parity in management positions.’  

Cameron (pictured) told Legal Business that she lent on her experience as head of the firm’s risk advisory division to inform her vision for the firm: ‘It’s the largest group in the firm and has the widest geographic spread. As a result, I’ve had a fantastic exposure in that role to see all the strengths and potential across the network. I see that as our next stage of development – further growth in all our jurisdictions.’ 

For Cleland it is the predestined end of his tenure, having served the second of a maximum of two terms. He can be satisfied with the firm’s progress throughout the period, with revenues expanding by 64% from £323.2m in 2014 to £531.1m this year.  

This led to significant plaudits in recent years – in 2021 Pinsent Masons was named Legal Business’s Law Firm of the Year, with judges impressed by the firm’s desire to match strong financial performance with its commitment to ESG principles, client handling and innovation. 

Reflecting on his stint, Cleland recognised the 64% revenue uplift and the opening of ten new offices, as well as the firm morphing ‘into a truly multinational business with almost a third of our lawyer headcount now sitting outside the UK.’ 

He added: ‘Our achievements have been the result of a clear vision, hard work and having the confidence to make bold decisions. Congratulations to Laura, I’m confident she’ll continue to inspire the business to embrace the opportunities that lie ahead.’ 

Cameron hailed Cleland’s impact on the firm, commenting: ‘I certainly have big shoes to fill. John will be handing over the reins with the firm in great shape. It will be challenging to follow in his footsteps but it’s also a great time to take over too – we are in prime position.’