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US partner promotions: Latham makes up two in the City as female promotions dwindle

Ever expanding US heavyweight Latham & Watkins has added two to its City office in a global round of 27 but its push for gender diversity has dropped significantly.

Last year women made up 48% of those promoted. This year the firm promoted just four females in its total promotions. Following his election in 2014, global chair Bill Voge promised to make diversity a priority.

Across the board promotions are up by 8% on last year’s round of 25 but London will see two fewer than last year when four were promoted.

London corporate lawyers Ekin Akar and Deborah Kirk join the partnership on 1 January. Akar’s practice focuses on representing investment banks, private equity firms and corporate issuers in cross-border public and private debt and equity offerings. Kirk will bring her experience focusing on intellectual property and technology-related advice in connection with M&A and private equity transactions.

Across Latham’s global network, 21 have been made up in the firm’s US offices while Frankfurt received two promotions and both Hamburg and Dubai received one.

The firm has been on a persistent recruitment drive within the City across the past 12 months, hiring one of London’s most high-profile banking lawyers Stephen Kensell and M&A partner Edward Barnett both from Allen & Overy. This year Latham also hired Slaughter and May’s former head of structured finance Sanjev Warna-kula-suriya as well as Ashurst’s global co-head of financial regulation Rob Moulton and restructuring partner Simon Baskerville.

Other US firms which have recently released their partner promotions include White & Case which bolstered its partnership by 40 this year, an increase of 23% on last year’s numbers with eight made up in the City. Kirkland & Ellis also announced it had made six up to partner in London in an 81 global partner promotion round. The firm has made up two fewer in the City than last year, when it made up eight in London of a total of 90 promotions. Boston-based Ropes & Gray has promoted two in London as partner of its modest promotion round of 11.

The full list of promotions is as follows:

London – Ekin Akar, corporate

London – Deborah Kirk, corporate

Boston – Stephen Ranere, corporate

Chicago – Christopher Drewry, corporate

Chicago – Jason Morelli, corporate

Chicago – Jonathan Solomon, corporate

Chicago – Eric Swibel, litigation

Dubai – Brian Meenagh, corporate

Frankfurt – Alexander, corporate

Frankfurt – Axel Schiemann, finance

Hamburg – Nils Röver, corporate

Los Angeles – John Heintz, environment, land and resources

Los Angeles – Jordan Miller, corporate

Los Angeles – Winston Stromberg, environment, land and resources

New York – Paul Bonewitz, finance

New York – Alexandra Kelly, corporate

New York – Matthew Dewitz, tax

New York – David Hammerman, finance

Orange County – Andrew Gray, litigation

Orange County – Daniel Rees, corporate

San Diego – Omar Nazif, finance

San Francisco – Christopher Campbell, litigation

San Francisco – Andy Gass, litigation

Silicon Valley – Giri Pathmanaban, litigation

Washington DC – Adam Greenfield, litigation

Washington DC – Matthew Murchison, corporate

Washington DC – Stacey VanBelleghem, environment, land and resources