Freshfields unveils new role for lateral hire

Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer has created a new job description for a senior lateral hire focused on developing the firm’s employment practice.

The magic circle firm’s employment, pensions and benefits (EPB) group has hired the founder and managing director of Ius Laboris, the international network of firms that specialise in employment law.

Jean-François Gerard joins Freshfields’ Brussels office as the firm’s first international practice development lawyer. He will mainly focus on business development rather than fee-earning.

The role is unique to the EPB group and there are no plans to extend it to the rest of the firm.

Meanwhile, Ius Laboris, which comprises 36 firms across 34 jurisdictions, is expected to announce a new managing director next week after its membership congress.

Freshfields’ Brussels office now has over 70 lawyers, but did miss out during the firm’s recent round of partner promotions. By comparison the EPB practice group scored one new partner in Paris with Gwen Senlanne.