Clifford Chance: Popham puts his money where his mouth is.

Monday, April 7th, 2008, 16.55
Clifford Chance: Popham puts his money where his mouth is.

Clifford Chance’s senior partner Stuart Popham predicted at the start of the year that firms will have to follow work around the globe in 2008. See story. And Clifford Chance’s promotions certainly reflect that.

While, as usual, the firm’s London office gained the bulk of this year’s promotions at 11, HQ’s share of the total has dropped.

Last year London gained 13 out of 38 new partners – the equivalent of 34 per cent – while this year the City won just 11 out of 35, or 31 per cent.

That leaves 11 other offices to reap the benefits of this year’s promotions round.

Okay, last year the new partners were divided across a total of 13 offices (including London), but this year’s split is more interesting.

For a start, New York has been gifted 11 per cent of the new partners, while last year the office received just eight per cent.

This ties in with managing partner David Childs’ desire for the firm to make a fresh onslaught on the US.

Despite the firm having largely failed in its past Stateside jaunts, last year Childs put growth in the States at the centre of his management strategy.

Interestingly, the firm has shied away from promoting fresh New York partners in its finance practice, however, an area it really needs to build up to compete credibly. Instead, it has promoted two in corporate and one each in capital markets and tax, pensions and employment.

While the firm has continued to favour Germany, promoting five between Frankfurt and Dusseldorf compared with last year’s six, a clear shift in focus this year has been to favour Dubai, which last year received no new partners, but this year got three.

Although the Middle East is a hotspot for infrastructure as well as Islamic finance, all three of Clifford Chance’s new Dubai partners have been promoted in finance.

(Interestingly the other infrastructure hotspot – Moscow – which gained four new partners last year, has been overlooked in the latest round).

And in terms of practice areas not geographies, finance fared well best overall, followed by corporate – a reversal on last year¹s statistics, but which also represents a return to form for the firm.

And for the second time this year – see our Hunton & Williams post below – one of the new partners was featured in The Lawyer Hot 100 in recognition of his top-billing peformance in corporate finance, including the Kohlberg Kravis Roberts (KKR) acquisition of Alliance Boots.

Lastly, females hoping for partnership at Clifford Chance will not take comfort from this year’s promotions, with just three of the 35 made up being women.

Previous Partnership 2008 blogs.

Slaughter and May: ladies, long hours and longevity – Thursday, April 10th
Russell Jones & Walker: More to the core – Tuesday, April 8th
A&O in the Middle East: one new partner, back-up on the way – Monday, April 7th
Clifford Chance: Popham puts his money where his mouth isMonday, April 7th
Nabarro, Hunton & HosseiniFriday, April 4th
Addleshaws: managing associatesFriday, April 4th
Nabarro promotions down (under) Thursday, April 3rd
Hunton & Williams: The London eye Thursday, April 3rd
The corporate partnership: Superwomen only?Wednesday, April 2nd
Ashurst promotions: expectation management Wednesday, April 2nd
Pinsents’ Leeds’ ladies take the lead Monday, March 31st
Herbies…continued… Thursday, March 27th
Herbies shakes things upThursday, March 27th
Macfarlanes predicts a good yearThursday, March 26th
Burges Salmon talks the talkWednesday, March 26th
Trowers promotions dwindleTuesday, March 25th
Wragges’ ups the firm’s real estate profileThursday, March 20th
Olswang‘s year of change Thursday, March 20th
Camerons goes East Wednesday, March 19th
Ince & Co: happy days for men in boats Tuesday, March 18th
Freshfields refills partnershipMonday, March 17th