Growing up fast

News that Ashurst has appointed Alistair Holland as Abu Dhabi managing partner might have been only a small eye-turner were it not that the corporate partner was just a mere senior associate less than five months ago.

Holland joined the partnership in the latest promotions round on 1 May, and has already been parachuted into the role following the transfer of incumbent David Wadham to the firm’s City office (see story). Wadham, an energy partner, will still be spending half of his time in the Gulf.

Fellow Abu Dhabi partner David Jardine, another beneficiary of the 2011 promotions, moved to the office from London this summer, meaning the youthful Holland will have the mammoth task of running a team of two partners, one of whom is himself.

Nonetheless, Ashurst should be commended for continuing its practice of paying high achievers back with fast-track promotions. After all, the firm has made a habit of high-speed elevations – remember when corporate partner Stephen Lloyd was zoomed to the top of the equity lockstep, missing out the second-from-top rung (see story)?

If you stay in line, it seems, Ashurst will reward you. Fast.

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Next Monday The Lawyer UK200 Annual Report 2011 goes live. For a sneak preview go to www.thelawyer.com this Friday.

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Also on TheLawyer.com: Gilbert & Tobin helps Google seal Aussie courtroom victory; Jones Day raids Simmons and Addleshaws and makes lateral hires to its energy and financial institutions practices; and readers debate the motives behind MacFarlanes’ recent departures, with one reader calling it an ’exodus’.