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Promotions latest: Global 100 players adopt mixed approach to new year partnership rounds as diversity tops agenda

The new year has kicked off with a number of large Global 100 firms revealing their latest partner promotion rounds – with the City and gender diversity receiving varying levels of attention. 

Norton Rose Fulbright yesterday (6 Jan) announced a bumper promotions round of 47 new partners, with eight in London. Although the total number is down slightly on the 53 announced a year ago, it does just beat the 2019 cohort of 46. Notably, 25 of the new partners are women – 53% of the total. 

Global chief executive Gerry Pecht commented: ‘Practising in 22 offices across 11 countries on six continents, these lawyers reflect the truly global nature of Norton Rose Fulbright and its wide range of client offerings. Most importantly, our firm’s continued focus on diversity and inclusion is showing positive results, with female lawyers accounting for more than half of our promotions.’ 

Promoted in London are: Will Alete (finance); Zayed Al Jamil (intellectual property); Julia Lloyd (tax); Sarah Lucey (risk advisory/compliance); Katie McDougall (disputes); Andrew Reeves (disputes); Kirstin Russell (finance); and Andrew Williams (finance). 

NRF’s large cohort almost matches that of Jones Day, which before Christmas announced 50 new partners (24 of which are women) – but with just two in London. Private equity specialist Laura Pembridge and real estate lawyer John Crowley joined the partnership on 1 January. 

Elsewhere, Hogan Lovells has made up 25 partners globally, with the proportion of US promotions jumping to more than 56% (14 in total), while five were made up in London. Total promotions are down from 29 last year and 44% per cent of the overall cohort are women, close to last year’s tally of 45%. There were no promotions in Asia, the Middle East, Latin America or Africa. 

The London promotions are: Florian Agnel (infrastructure, energy and projects); Francis Booth (banking); Oliver Humphrey (litigation); Julia Marlow (regulatory); and Yasmin Waljee, the firm’s international pro bono director. 

The firm also said that 16% of its new partners are from ethnic minorities, while 5% are LGBT+. CEO Miguel Zaldivar said: ‘Delivering on our commitments to diversity and inclusion is a strategic priority of the firm, so I am particularly pleased that 16% of our new partners are racial and ethnic minorities.’ 

Meanwhile, Reed Smith has promoted 31 new partners this week, including nine to its London office. The 2021 cohort is up slightly from the reduced round of 29 in 2020 but short of the bumper promotions round of 2019, when 43 lawyers made partner. Of the 31 new partners, 42% are women and the class is 22% diverse, according to the firm. 

The London promotions are: Chris Beaumont-McQuillan (corporate real estate); Nick Breen (entertainment and media); Frances Furness (energy & natural resources); Simon Greer (disputes); Adam Hedley (environment and regulatory); Andrzej Janiszewski (finance); Thor Maalouf (transport); Stephen Mooney (corporate); and Jody Wood (transport). 

Morrison & Foerster, on the other hand, has cut its 2021 promotions by half to just nine globally, after announcing 18 new partners a year ago. Just three of those new partners are based outside the US, including white-collar crime specialist Saqib Alam, who splits his time between London and Singapore. 

Finally, LB100 firm Withers has made up 12 new partners globally after making none last year. Half of the promotions were made in its London HQ and include five women. These are: Sinead Harris (disputes); Mara Monte (private client); Natasha Oakshett (private client); Adele Pledger (family); Natasha Stourton (trust disputes); and Ben Williams (IP).