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US partner promotions: Nine minted in the City as Jones Day, Sidley, Cadwalader and Akin announce latest rounds

Jones Day, Sidley Austin, Cadwalader Wickersham & Taft and Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld have unveiled their 2019 partner promotions, together welcoming four more London based-lawyers to their partnerships than last year.

Jones Day saw the largest cohort in a bumper round, with the firm promoting four in the City out of 46. Last year it promoted just one in London out of 39.

The vast majority of this year’s promotions were in the States, with 34 promoted across 15 US outposts. In continental Europe, Brussels got three new partners, while Paris and Frankfurt have one each. In Asia-Pacific, Singapore, Brisbane and Sydney got one each.

Globally a third of Jones Day’s new partners will sit in the firm’s contentious practice. In London, Gregory Barden, Daniel Travers and Annabel Treadgold were added to its disputes practice and Jeremy Philpott to banking, finance and securities.

The City promotions add to the firm’s efforts to replenish its UK partnership after a number of departures earlier this year. In the summer it announced the hires of Lee Federman from Dentons and Ewen Scott from Ashurst to its finance practice.

Meanwhile, London took the lion’s share of Cadwalader’s scaled back promotion round, with three lawyers out of five minted in the City. The Manhattan firm reduced its round for the third year in a row, down from nine in 2018 and ten in 2017.

It follows the firm posting three consecutive years of falling global revenue, which in 2017 dropped to $408.1m amid a 5% dip in its lawyer headcount to 373.

Litigator Melis Acuner and capital market lawyers Suzanne Bell and Robert Cannon were given the nod in its London office, which started the year losing five partners to Milbank, Tweed, Hadley & McCloy and Brown Rudnick but has since added Samantha Hutchinson from Dentons. The other two promotions were to the firm’s Washington DC litigation and New York financial services practices respectively.

Another City base which has seen some lateral movement lately, Sidley Austin returned to promoting in London after a year’s break amid a 30-strong promotion round. It added Lyndsey Laverack to its M&A and private equity partnership, building on its European PE focus of late after the hire of 13 partners from Kirkland & Ellis between 2016 and 2017.

But the firm saw some prominent departures from its City finance practice this year, including restructuring star Yen Sum, who quit for Latham & Watkins and former London head Matthew Dening, who joined Baker McKenzie.

Finally, Akin Gump added financial regulatory lawyer Ezra Zahabi to its London partnership in an 11-strong promotion round, with all the other new partners based in the US.

Next year will also see the first three partners promoted in Cooley’s four-year-old City base. The Silicon Valley firm announced last month that Aaron Archer was promoted in its London corporate practice, Sascha Grimm and Henry Stewart in its City litigation practice. In total, the firm promoted 19 lawyers to the partnership.