Freshfields names Amsterdam partner as people head

Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer has named Amsterdam corporate partner Richard Norbruis as its new global people partner, replacing Caroline Stroud who will return to fee-earning after a three-year stint in the role.

Employment partner Stroud became the firm’s first-ever people partner when the role was created in March 2008. During her tenure, Stroud launched a number of initiatives aimed at increasing female lawyer retention. These included a mentoring programme for senior associates  and a flexible working scheme.

Managing partner Ted Burke said: “Under Caroline’s guidance and with the support of our global HR team, we have made enormous strides in our approach to recruitment, development and engagement at all levels. I would like to thank Caroline for her outstanding leadership during the last three years.”

Norbruis will establish his priorities in the next few weeks and will initially focus on implementing the associate ‘Career Milestones’ programme and working on diversity objectives and employee engagement.

He added: “I am delighted to have the opportunity to build on our efforts to become one of the best employers in the international legal sector. I look forward to working with colleagues across our international network.”

Norbruis joined Freshfields as a partner in 1999 from Dutch firm Nauta Dutilh’s New York office. He has previously been a member of the partner recommendation committee.