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White & Case reverts to London in 40-strong global partner promotions round 

White & Case has refocused on the City in its latest partnership promotion round, after largely overlooking London last year in an uncharacteristic move for the firm.

The firm announced today (9 October) that as of January 2021 nine lawyers in the City will be minted as part of a wider 40-strong promotion round. The London figure is a marked increase on last year, when just three lawyers received the nod in the City with other jurisdictions prioritised. 

‘What really matters is the long-term figure, and we continue to grow and build in London,’ executive committee member Oliver Brettle (pictured) told Legal Business. ‘Our aim is always to continue to promote the best to partnership and that is what we have done.’

It was finance and M&A which received the lion’s share of this year’s round in London. Deji Adegoke has been promoted to the firm’s global project development and finance practice alongside Kamran Ahmad; Nicola Chapman has been named partner in global debt finance; Margot Lindsay has been promoted to partner in the firm’s M&A practice alongside James Pullen; and Morvyn Radlow will become a partner in the firm’s global financial restructuring and insolvency practice.

In addition, the firm promoted Nicole Vella to its global M&A practice, and Jenna Rennie and Swati Tripathi to its global commercial litigation practice, all in London.

Including the latest cohort, since the start of 2017, White & Case has made up 39 London lawyers to partner and hired 25 strategic lateral partners during the same period. Over the past five years the number of partners in London has increased by nearly 50% from 80 to 118. Elsewhere, 12 new partners were made up in the US, five in Germany, four in Paris, and two in Cairo.

Regarding the firm’s wider hopes for the year, London executive partner Melissa Butler told Legal Business: ‘Obviously there are very choppy waters ahead, the only certainty right now is uncertainty, given the last couple years have been dominated by Brexit and now Covid. We are now trying to close the year and our 2020 strategy in a strong way and leverage that into the future.’

The firm also recently announced its new City legal salaries, which saw increases across the board. First year trainees can now expect a salary of £50,000 rising to £55,000 in their second years, an increase on £48,000 and £53,000 respectively. Meanwhile, the firm’s NQ salary received a significant bump, rising from £105,000 to £130,000. This figure will rise to £137,500 a year after qualification before rising again to £150,000.