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Six in the City: Freshfields makes up 18 partners as London dominates promotions

Following several City exits in 2016 for the Magic Circle firm, Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer has reinforced its London bench with six new partners as part of an 18-strong promotions round, its largest since 2012.

In the first round revealed from the Magic Circle in 2017, the firm added partners in six practice groups across ten offices. The election of the partners will be effective from 1 May.

The promotions are a boost from previous years, with the firm making up 16 partners in 2016 and 17 in 2015. In 2012 the firm made up 20 partners. The six new London partners also make up the largest round for the City office in recent years, with the firm making up just three in 2016 and 2015.

The City cohort includes James Scott as a new corporate partner, Nicholas Frey and Nicholas Williams in disputes, Michele Davis in antitrust, competition and trade, Richard Hart in finance and May Smith in tax.

They will be joined by three new partners in Frankfurt and two in Berlin, as well as one a piece in Vienna, Milan, Amsterdam Dubai, Beijing, Tokyo and New York. The round also sees five female partners made up, around 22%.

Freshfields senior partner Edward Braham (pictured) said: ‘We are delighted to welcome these exceptional individuals into the partnership. Their legal expertise and commercial know-how will help us continue to grow our market-leading offering for our clients around the world.’

Exits for Freshfields in 2016 have included the resignation of Ben Spiers for Simpson Thacher & Bartlett, while Kirkland & Ellis took on finance partner Jonathan Birks. Real estate finance specialist Jeffrey Rubinoff moved to White & Case and Ian Frost left for Vinson & Elkins in February.

Freshfields partner promotions 2017:

Antitrust, Competition and Trade

Michele Davis, London

Kaori Yamada, Tokyo


Yan Chen, Beijing

Lars Meyer, Frankfurt

Omar Pringle, New York

Hanneke Rothbarth, Amsterdam

Simon Schwarz, Frankfurt

James Scott, London

Jason Xu, Beijing

Dispute Resolution

Nicholas Frey, London

Michael Ramb, Berlin

Sami Tannous, Dubai

Nicholas Williams, London

Employment, Pensions and Benefits

Karin Buzanich-Sommeregger, Vienna


Richard Hart, London

Robin Helmke, Frankfurt


Roberto Egori, Milan

May Smith, London