Freshfields, Links associates made up with promotion round

Feel that balmy buzz in the air today?

That’s the warm glow that only a hefty pay rise can create, and 80 new partners are basking in it today.

As familiar a rite as spring’s first daffodil is the circular from City firms announcing their partner promotions.

Although not the first out of the block this season, today’s promotions by Linklaters and Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer are closely scrutinised, not least by each other.

Linklaters managed 38 new partners [see story] , six more than last year, which means its partnership grew by 7.5 per cent.

Meanwhile, arch-rival Freshfields, which is just ending the type of restructuring that Linklaters finalised a couple of years ago, doubled its promotions on 2006 with 22, [see story] marking an increase of 4.5 per cent in partnership headcount.

Both firms, despite boasting strong corporate teams that have enjoyed a bumper 12 months, cut the relative percentage of corporate promotions this year and made sure that the good times were shared beyond London.

Yet it wasn’t all about the magic circle today. Spare a thought for Pinsent Masons. Yes, it may have made a record amount of promotions [see story], but releasing that news on the same day as Freshfields and Linklaters released their figures made it more ‘April fool’ than ‘April cool’.