Clifford Chance has put the emphasis on its foreign offices with its new partner appointments for 1999.
It has also increased the length of the list by over half, while many rivals have cut down this year.
Out of 33 new partners, 20 are based overseas, with a particular emphasis on the firm's Hong Kong practice, where six lawyers have been made up.
Last year there were 20 new partners, half of which were from overseas offices, bringing the total number of partners in the firm to 370.
Senior partner Keith Clark says: “These appointments reflect the strong sense of confidence, optimism and purpose we have about Clifford Chance's future as a truly global firm. In addition to being highly talented lawyers, each is personally committed to helping Clifford Chance achieve its 10-year strategy to become the world's premier law firm.”
In the past year Clifford Chance has opened offices in Washington DC and Sao Paulo, and rumours of forthcoming international mergers have changed by the week.
Linklaters & Alliance has also released its list of new partners, with five out 18 based overseas. Six of the list are non-UK nationals.
It, too, has emphasised its Far East practice, with two new partners in the Hong Kong office and one in Bangkok.
One of the new London partners is Matt Hagopian, who is joining from US firm White and Case and will practise US law. His colleague Jennifer Schneck, made up to partner, specialises in US law.
Senior partner Charles Allen-Jones says: “I am particularly pleased to see the international bias of our new partners, in terms of legal discipline and location as well as nationality. This reflects our commitment to the provision of premier legal services on a global scale. I am delighted to welcome them all into the partnership.”
Linklaters has opened offices in Madrid and St Petersburg and formed its European alliance. Xavier Hunter becomes a partner in the Moscow office.
The news follows Freshfields' list last week, which also had the majority of new partners based overseas.