Freshfields refills partnership

Monday, March 17th, 2008
Freshfields refills partnership

It’s a bumper crop at Freshfields this year with 25 partners made up in total. As always, corporate dominates with nine out of 25 or 36 per cent of promotions.

Three of the new corporate partners are in London – presumably a sign of Freshfields’ confidence in maintaining its standing, even in difficult times. The three Brits to get the nod are Adrian Maguire, Graham Watson and Simon Weller. The trio are former Freshfields trainees who have been rewarded for their loyalty. Once again though, there were no female partners added to the corporate group. The such last promotion was five years ago – Karen Fountain in 2003.

Perhaps more significantly is the growth in litigation numbers, with four this year: Marcel Kaufmann in Berlin and Alexander Yanos in New York (the only new US partner among this class of 2008) and in London James Kennedy and Sarah Parkes. Last year the firm made up three and the previous year nil.

But the group which will be most closely watched is finance. Freshfields has promoted three into the partnership this time round: Tazim Hall and Alex Mitchell in London (two more to benefit from training at Freshfields) and Thijs Pieter Flokstra in Amsterdam. But as The Lawyer has reported over the last week, the firm has also voted to have Maurice Allen and Mike Goetz, formerly of White & Case, join the partnership. Their distinct lender-facing experience (although Allen’s links with CVC will further strengthen the magic circle firm’s corporate relationship with the private equity house) gives some senior ballast to a very young banking group. New partners Hall and Mitchell have both spent time in the firm’s New York office. Could this be a trend?

Last year the firm promoted five into banking of whom one was in London. These were Emiliano Conio in Milan, Adam Gallagher in London, Paul Ng in Hong Kong and Fabrice Grillo and Amir Jahanguiri in Paris. But of course, the finance practice saw the most turbulence at Freshfields during the firm’s restructuring, with numerous departures. Allen and Goetz’s arrival will compensate for the loss of David Ereira and Brian Gray, who both moved separately to Linklaters last year.

The competition group will be celebrating. After two years of drought, it made up three partners – Andrea Gomes da Silva in London, Alvaro Iza in Madrid (one of two Spanish promotions this year) and Andreas von Bonin in Brussels.

And here’s something surprising. One of the more successful specialist groups at getting associates into partnership is employment pensions and benefits. This year it got two – Raquel Florez in Madrid and Brechje Nollen in Amsterdam.
So what of the gender split? Of the 25 partners this year five are women, with one, dispute resolution lawyer Sarah Parkes, based in London. This represents a slight improvement on last year’s three promotions.

Partnership prospects:
Corporate and finance – sunny
Litigation and tax – fair to middling
IP/IT and real estate – poor

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