Bingham promotes two City lawyers in 13-strong round

Bingham McCutchen has elected two lawyers to its London partnership as part of a 13-strong global promotions round. 

James Roome
James Roome

The new partners, who took up their positions on 1 January, are Emma Simmonds, who handles cross-border and domestic restructuring, and Christian Halász, a financial restructuring specialist who splits his time between the firm’s Frankfurt and London offices. One of his colleagues in Frankfurt, financial restructuring lawyer Alex Vogelmann, was also promoted in the round up.

Remaining promotions largely spanned the firm’s US offices, although two lawyers were made up in Tokyo. These include Goh Aizawa, a former member of the Japanese prime minister’s National Policy Unit, and Yukari Murayama, a financial restructuring and insolvency specialist who has previously held the role of deputy director of the Japanese Financial Services Agency’s Supervisory Coordination Division.

Nearly half of the new partners are women, with female lawyers making up six out of the thirteen promotions at the firm.

The number of lawyers promoted in London is half that of last year, when the firm promoted four in a global round of nine (5 January 2012). However Bingham London managing partner James Roome told The Lawyer that organic growth in London remains a focus.

“A majority of the 21 partners in our London office have been promoted from our associate ranks,” he said. “Although our English law practice was only launched in September 2000, we’ve been fortunate in the quality of our younger lawyers. Consequently, while we’ve continued to build our bench depth with high-profile lateral hires, including most recently Sarah Smith and Mark Dawkins, the growth of our core practices is being increasingly driven by organic promotions.”

Bingham’s London lawyers have acted on a number of  high-profile financial restructuring and financial litigation cases in  recent years. This includes representing the bondholders  of Icelandic banks Glitnir, Kaupthing and Landsbanki, which are all currently being restructured; the bondholders of Polish telecom and energy conglomerate Elektrim on nearly a decade of litigation, which resulted in a total recovery for bondholders of more than  €700m; the noteholders on the €1.3bn financial restructuring of the Quinn Group;  and the bondholders in nearly all the restructurings of high yield bonds in Norway, including Petromena and Skeie Drilling.