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Slaughter and May has made up two new partners for the second year running, with just one of the two based in its London head office.
Having been overlooked last year, the corporate team has been boosted by the elevation to full partnership of Richard Smith in London and Lisa Chung, who works across the corporate and finance practices in Hong Kong.
Chung, who has been a local partner at the firm since 2006, takes the full partnership count in the jurisdiction to five, with one more - George Goulding - in Beijing. In addition, there are four local partners in the Hong Kong office.
Capital markets partner Benita Yu was the last to be made up to full partnership in Hong Kong, making the grade in 2005.
Hong Kong senior partner Richard Thornhill said: “It’s recognition of the importance of China and this part of Asia, as well as the fact that we had an excellent candidate.”
Last year, the firm made up two partners - David Ives and Michael Lane - but none in corporate. Practice partner Paul Olney (pictured) said the beefing up of the corporate team did not reflect any change in strategy.
He commented: “When we look at candidates it’s about the right qualities rather than to reflect short-term trends.”
Although the firm invites only a few associates to become partner each year, that number has fallen in recent times. In 2008, Slaughters promoted four associates to the partnership, down from five in 2007 and eight the year before.
The firm is the first of the top 10 UK firms to announce its annual round of promotions. Yesterday, Olswang announced that it too was promoting two associates this year (17 March 2010).