Trowers makes up smallest partner round in four years

Trowers & Hamlins has made its smallest promotions round in four years, making up four partners, down from seven the year before.

It is a marked decrease on a high of 11 in 2012, when seven London partners were made up as well as one in the Middle East and Manchester (27 March 2012). The firm made up six partners in 2011.

This year the firm moved away from its traditional London focus for the first time in the past four years, with only one of its new partners based in the Capital

In 2013 five out of its seven new partners were in London and in 2012 the firm added seven partners to its London ranks compared to four in the Middle East (3 April 2013).

The new partners are Dubai-based real estate partner Sallie Bowtell, corporate partner Jamie Gibson in Oman, Bahrain-based partner Peter Greatrex and real estate partner Rebecca Wardle in London.

The decision to bulk up internationally comes following losses to its Oman office, which suffered the exits of partners Charles Schofield and Roger Byrne to launch Addleshaw Goddard’s new office in 2013 (15 January 2013). 

The departure was an acrimonious one, with Trowers accusing them of having breached their agreement with the firm by taking shares in a competitor.

The firm has seen other departures in the Middle East, closing its Cairo office in 2014 (3 January 2014) and it terminated its Riyadh alliance two years earlier (23 February 2012).

However it has maintained a grip on its Oman and Bahrain offices and in April 2013 named Bahrain resident managing partner Dominic O’Neil as first international managing partner (3 April 2013).

Three out of four of this year’s promotions were in real estate, a departure from previous promotions rounds, which were more diverse.

In 2013 the firm added a banking and finance partner as well as employment and litigation partners.

The year before, it added corporate lawyers Nick Green, IP specialist Caroline Hayward, banking and finance lawyer Katharine Lewis and disputes specialist Lucas Pitts.

The addition of Bowtell, Gibson and Wardle is a return to its real estate focus.

The smaller round comes at the same time the firm puts secretarial roles at risk across its UK offices, calling into question jobs within its 100-strong non-lawyer ranks.

The firm has typically promoted more women than the market norm, having made up a female-only partner round in 2011. The firm is currently 29 per cent female and of the 2011 round senior partner Jennie Gubbins said: “People thought we were doing something deliberate but we just thought they were the best people.” Half of this year’s round are women

Partnership promotions in full  

Sallie Bowtell – real estate, Dubai

Jamie Gibson – corporate, Oman

Peter Greatrex – real estate, Bahrain

Rebecca Wardle –  real estate, London