Corporate promotions to the fore as Herbert Smith and Freshfields unveil partnership lists

Corporate has led the way at Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer and Herbert Smith – the two largest firms to have announced their promotions.

The corporate group at Herbert Smith bagged a whopping seven of the new places in the partnership, following two years of four new partners each time.

Notably, however, just one of those is based in London, with the Paris and Hong Kong corporate practices each gaining two new partners and Beijing and Tokyo receiving one new corporate partner apiece.

For the first time the firm’s international offices have gained the lion’s share of new partners. Last year all bar one of the firm’s promo36%of new Freshfields partners are from the corporate departmenttions were made in London, with Tim Mak making partner in Hong Kong.

This year, by contrast, just eight of the 18 new partners are in London, while Paris accounted for four of the remainder, Hong Kong and Tokyo bagged two each and the Beijing and Brussels offices received one apiece.

Unsurprisingly, given current market conditions the firm has also sought to swell its litigation and arbitration ranks after two years of promoting just one to the practice, upping that number to five this time around.

Freshfields made up 25 partners in total and, as always, corporate dominated, with nine out of 25, or 36 per cent, of the promotions.

Three of the new corporate partners are in London – presumably a sign of the firm’s confidence.

And like Herbert Smith there is a growth in litigation numbers, with four this year. Last year the firm made up three and the previous year none. It also mirrored Herbert Smith’s international flavour, as 15 of the 25 new partners work overseas.