It would be wrong to describe Herbert Smith Freehills partner Allen Hanen as a rising star in his firm, but his profile has shot up since standing unsuccessfully for senior partner at Herbert Smith in 2009/10.
Hanen was a rank outsider then – a Moscow-born Canadian who had not trained at the firm – but surprised people with his eloquently delivered vision. Hanen eventually lost out in the race to Jonathan Scott but had become a powerful voice within the firm in the process, and he was rewarded for his efforts with a seat on the executive committee.
As part of the executive committee, Hanen contributed his vision to project Blue Sky – the blueprint for Herbert Smith’s international overhaul – helping Herbert Smith shake off its image as a firm unwilling to adapt for the sake of its future.
In 2012 the firm merged with Australia’s Freehills, opening in New York and announcing plans to launch in Germany, Seoul and Guinea. Following the merger with Freehills, Hanen was made managing partner for Emea, which he describes as a “dream job”.
Hanen still practises, too, helping large corporates navigate Russia. He’s also the relationship partner for Gazprom and Alfa Group. “[Lawyers] really love their craft and they want to be respected as craftspeople,” says Hanen. “The challenge for [Herbert Smith Freehills] now is to be an attractive place for lawyers to practice their craft and still be a global law firm.”