Clifford Chance prioritises finance and Asia in 21-strong promo round

Clifford Chance has made up 21 partners, one more than the year before, with one third of its promotions based in Asia.

Last year the firm made up 20 partners in a reduced promotions round (29 April 2013), down from 27 in 2012, with the bulk of its appointments going to continental Europe and its London base (27 April 2012).

But this year the magic circle firm has bulked up its Asian corporate and finance capability with seven new capital markets, corporate and finance partners across its Asia Pacific offices.

Its Singapore office took on a corporate partner with the appointment of Valerie Kong as well as Paul Landless, a finance partner. In Beijing the firm added corporate partner Richard Blewett and in Hong Kong capital markets partner Lui Fang and capital markets partner Richard Lee joined the team.

Last year the firm added only three new partners to its Asian offices with two in Singapore and one in Shanghai but added ten to the partnership across continental Europe.

However its decision to make up seven in London is a departure from its former strategy of keeping its new City crop small. In 2012 the firm made up just four in its Canary Wharf headquarters, preferring to build up markets in Middle East and the West, and last year it made up five partners in London.

The firm has continued its focus on corporate and finance across its offices however, taking on 15 corporate, finance and capital markets partners in total and nine in finance. Its London office was its most diverse offering, with two litigation partners added as well as new real estate partner Alis Pay.

The firm’s private equity team has taken a series of blows recently, most recently losing star partner Kem Ihenacho to Latham & Watkins (18 February 2014). It followed the exit of former private equity head David Walker and Tom Evans who both quit for Latham & Watkins in 2013 (9 October 2013).

Its London office was also the strongest office for female partners. Four out of its seven new City partners were women. Overall 33 per cent of its new partners were women. The firm has been aiming to boost its number of female partners since 2009, when managing partner David Childs stated his aim to increase the ratio of female partners from its then level of 15 per cent to a 30 per cent long term goal (28 September 2009). However the level is still hovering around a total of 17 per cent of  the firm’s partnership.

Partnership promotions in full 

Michael Seaton – tax, pensions and employment, New York

Richard Blewett – Corporate, Beijing

Liu Fang – Capital markets, Hong Kong

Valerie Kong – Corporate, Singapore

Paul Landless – Finance, Singapore

Richard Lee – Capital markets, Hong Kong

Phil Sealey – Finance, Perth

V. Joseph Tisuthiwongse – Finance, Bangkok

Joachim Hasselbach – Corporate, Frankfurt

Anne Lemercier – Tax, pensions and employment, Paris

Delphine Siino Courtin – Finance, Paris

Michiel Sunderman – Tax, pensions and employment, Amsterdam

Paul van den Abeele – Corporate, Luxembourg

Barry O’Shea – Finance, London

Caroline Meinertz – Finance, London

Alis Pay – Real Estate, London

Matthew Scully – Litigation and dispute resolution, London

Judith Seddon – Litigation and dispute resolution, London

David Towers – Finance, London

Maggie Zhao – Capital markets, London

Antony Single – Finance, Abu Dhabi