Freshfields in straight-to-equity hire

Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer’s Paris office has hired Shearman & Sterling finance counsel Linda Hesse and broken with tradition by allowing her straight into the firm’s equity.

US-qualified Hesse was a European counsel at Shear-man, where sources say she was a partner in all but name. However, Freshfields Paris has never before hired a new partner straight into the equity.

In January, The Lawyer revealed that Freshfields took on Linklaters banking and restructuring associate Chris Howard for its London office – its first ever associate hire into the partnership.

Hesse is a US-qualified securities lawyer who focused primarily on corporate clients while at Shearman such as France Telecom and Danone.

London-based US corporate partner Sarah Murphy said: “Paris is a very active market. It was important to have US capacity on the ground there rather than just servicing it out of London.”