Move On Up: Bright sparks

The top associates are lining up for recognition at The Lawyer Awards 2012. We name the rising stars in the legal firmament


Stephen Fox
Stephen Fox

In the five months since The Lawyer overhauled the design of its weekly print copy and introduced several new features to the magazine, we have been profiling a range of firms through the lens of their associates.

Move On Up aims to cast a light on associate life by ­assessing salaries, partnership ­promotions and firms’ HR policies. Once a year, however, we assess some of the brightest associates in the market through another lens – our annual awards.

Next month at London’s Grosvenor House hotel seven associates from seven different firms will mix with more than 1,000 other lawyers and wait nervously to see if their names are one of those to be read out. Here, in no particular order, they are:

Linzi Bull, Harbottle & Lewis

Family law senior associate Bull at was lead lawyer in the groundbreaking Children Act case of Re WB ­(children), which established the concept of ‘secondary parenting’ to describe the significant role played by the two gay men who had entered into an artificial insemination arrangement with a lesbian couple leading to the birth of two children.

The case resulted in the milestone creation of pre-conception agreements. The case also highlighted Bull’s willingness to go above and beyond the call of duty for her clients.

Mike Cain, Russell Jones & Walker

Cain qualified in 2009, but the employment lawyer has already acted in numerous significant cases, including two highly complex collective claims (the Woolworths redundancies and Abbott & Ors v Littlewoods) on behalf of a large number of individual claimants. The Woolworths case ­established that the administrator had failed in its duty to consult with the union before making redundancies, winning some £67.8m for more than 28,000 former staff.

Stephen Fox, Weil Gotshal & Manges

Fox, a senior associate in the private funds group in Weil’s London office, hit the headlines last year when he plumped for the US firm rather than returning to Clifford Chance after a secondment to Apax Partners.

Fox, featured in The Lawyer Hot 100 2012, had been tipped for partnership at Clifford Chance before quitting along with four partners. He specialises in private investment funds matters for a range of independent and institutional fund managers across a range of asset classes, and also advises a number of institutional investors on their participation in private investment funds.

Kate Jackson, Anthony Collins

Court of Protection and mental health tribunal specialist Jackson is one of the rising stars of Anthony Collins’ respected practice. Her passion is to help ensure the legal rights of some of society’s most vulnerable members. It is a practice that brings her into contact with clients with mental health or physical problems at difficult periods of their lives.

Jackson recently worked with local judges and other firms to set up a Court of Protection users’ group in Birmingham to provide a forum for the local legal community.

Anna Rodbourne, Addleshaw Goddard

Not every junior lawyer can claim to have successfully developed a whole new field of work for their firm, but Addleshaws managing associate Rodbourne is one who can.

The growing area of payment transactions, which encompasses both e-commerce and m-commerce payments systems, such as contactless payment terminals, is one that Rodbourne has made it her business to know inside out.

That knowledge led her to help ­establish a joint venture worth around £500m and spearhead the development of Addleshaws’ specialist payments team.

James Tumbridge, Gowlings

Tumbridge has great skills as a ­networker and has put these to use by raising both the profile and headcount of Gowlings’ London office.

A founder member of Gowlings in the City, Tumbridge helped create the dispute resolution and IP practice, bringing in IP litigation partner Paul Harris and senior policy adviser Richard Heath last year.

He was also instrumental in ­Gowlings achieving its first High Court trials and applications to the Court of Appeal and has organised participation in UK trade missions for clients to Russia, the Middle East and the US.

Andrew Wingfield, SJ Berwin

Senior associate Wingfield, who sits in the corporate finance department at SJ Berwin, took the operational lead role advising the management of high street electrical retailer Comet on the sale, by Anglo-French retailer Kesa, of its 250 stores to ­private equity house OpCapita.

Wingfield also advised Lloyds Banking Group on a complex ­disposal and CVC Capital Partners on its £3bn purchase of iShares.

Clearly, Wingfield’s two-year stint at Simpson Thacher & Bartlett in New York and his role in-house as general counsel of a FTSE350 asset rental/finance business stood him in good stead for front-line deal-doing at SJ Berwin.