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Freshfields and Linklaters & Paines have made up more partners abroad this year than they have in the UK.
Of the leading firms, Freshfields has the highest ratio of foreign to domestic partners. It has made up six domestic and 10 foreign-based partners. Five of the overseas partners are based in the Far East and five in Europe.
Ian Terry, managing partner at Freshfields, said that making up international partners "reflects our growing international presence".
Linklaters has announced 23 new partners, of whom 11 are based in London and 12 abroad. Senior partner Charles Allen-Jones commented that the appointments reflected the firm's "continued commitment to strengthening our service to clients across our international practice".
The firm's Paris office has four new partners, including Georges Dirani, who moved from the Paris legal department of Deutsche Morgan Grenfell, which he headed.
Linklaters has shown confidence in Hong Kong, where it has made up two banking partners, Steven Christopher and Kelvin Lo, and one project finance partner, Peter Treacy.
Clifford Chance has shown a similar commitment to the future of Hong Kong, where it has appointed three partners: Paul Kruger, Philip Rapp and Robert Trefney.