Freshfields moves to increase partners’ global mobility

Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer

‘s London office head Tim Jones is putting partner mobility at the top of his agenda and formalising a strategy for moving talent between the firm’s offices.

Until now, partners have been deployed to different offices on an ad hoc basis, but Jones is focusing on working overseas stints into individual career plans.

“Getting London to play its role in the international fabric of the firm is important,” he said. “In the 1980s and 1990s, when we were growing the Continental Europe and Asia practices, there was a lot of demand for people from London to go to those places.

“The continental markets internationalised very quickly and by 2000 didn’t need people from London. Now with emerging markets there’s another pull and there’s a demand for people from London to go elsewhere again.”

Russia, China and the Middle East are set to be the most likely destinations and demand will be assessed at practice group level, with Jones overseeing the actual process of leaving London – and coming back.

“The reintegration issue is an important one, but not one that’s handled particularly well,” said Jones.

Jones is asking the firm’s international offices to look at what their long-term needs will be so that secondments can be planned up to 10 years ahead.