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US partner promotions: Sidley Austin and Dechert place different weight on City

Dechert made London a core focus in its promotions this year with three associates making the grade in the City, over 25% of the firm’s 11-strong round, while Sidley Austin elected just two London lawyers to partner as part of its 32-lawyer list.

The US dominated Sidley Austin’s promotions round this year, with 23 of its 32 lawyers who made partner coming from six US offices. London featured less prominently, with two promotions, having last year made up four associates. Following on from its US rivals, the firm boosted its finance practice as European offices attract clients looking to tap into US investment pools and products. Finance lawyer Aparna Sehgal was made a partner in the City, alongside competition specialist Patrick Harrison.

With sanctions work on the rise and an increasing concern for businesses, Geneva was also a core focus during this year’s promotions, with international trade specialist Iain Sandford joining the partnership. Home to the World Trade Organization, which recently noted its concern about the rising tide of state disputes it is having to administer, international arbitration specialist Dorothee Schramm also made the grade as political distractions in Europe’s other major arbitral centres push parties, particularly those in the Middle East and Russia, towards Geneva due to its perceived neutrality.

Dechert made a stronger push in London than its US compatriot, with three out of its 11 promotions based in the City. The gains made by US investment banks in the capital, and the knock-on benefits for US law firms due to their longstanding relationships with them, was again witnessed, with the firm promoting debt capital markets specialist Patrick Lyons to help meet demand.

Litigator Caroline Black, who advises clients on UK Serious Fraud Office cases and is often on the frontline when dealing with raids on corporate or personal premises, was also promoted, along with corporate lawyer Andrew Harrow. Harrow recently advised the Mohamed Al Fayed family trust on its sale of Fulham Football Club to Shahid Khan, who also owns American Football team Jacksonville Jaguars.