Hot 100 Leaders 2019

Michael Bates Clifford Chance

Michael Bates, Clifford Chance

Michael Bates has already come to wide notice as a banking dealmaker and latterly managing partner of Clifford Chance’s London office. However, his inclusion in the Hot 100 recognises his imaginative leadership of two important projects for the global firm: the acquisition of Carillion’s legal operations hub in Newcastle, and the agenda-setting approach to gender […]

Farmida Bi, Norton Rose Fulbright

There cannot have been many blank spaces on Farmida Bi’s calendar last year. After a long career within the transactional practice at NRF, Bi took over as its first female chairman of EMEA last May. From then on, it has been a whistle-stop waltz for Bi around every one of the firm’s offices in that […]


Claire Blakemore, Withers

Withers family partner Claire Blakemore has a thriving practice. What put her on this year’s Hot 100 list was her leadership and contribution in transforming Withers’ London office. Following her promotion to the London managing director role at the end of 2016, one of her major projects was the office move – a two-year process. Blakemore […]

Joanna DeBiase, IBB Solicitors

It is fitting that Joanna DeBiase is managing partner of IBB, because it is a certainty no one knows her firm better. A litigator who qualified in 1992 and joined IBB in 1999, she has held a plethora of roles at the firm, including head of technology and information services; compliance partner; deputy MLRO; COLP; […]

Nicola Foulston, Rosenblatt

Nicola Foulston, Rosenblatt

Few stories have created as much interest in and around the UK legal market as the trend for law firm IPOs. Indeed, there is enormous interest not only in the businesses that have gone public but also the people driving forward this seismic shift. And none more so than the person behind the era change […]

Kerry Glanville, Pemberton Greenish

Kerry Glanville, who until last year was the senior partner and head of real estate dispute resolution at London-based property and private client firm Pemberton Greenish, has just taken on a major new role. Glanville is now head of the Chelsea office at freshly merged Cripps Pemberton Greenish, a firm that can claim to have […]

Andrew Leaitherland, DWF

There are few leaders who have had as much of an impact on their firm as DWF’s Andrew Leaitherland. At the end of 2017, he was reappointed as managing partner for a fifth consecutive term. Indeed, he is DWF’s first and only managing partner. Since originally taking on the role, Leaitherland has helped transform DWF […]

Maggie Moodie, Morton Fraser

Maggie Moodie began her current three-year stint as Morton Fraser’s firm-wide chair in May 2017 and made changes immediately. Notably, she formalised agile working across the entire firm. Moodie is adamant that this was not done as a space- or money-saving initiative, but was about treating people as adults and trusting them to get on […]

Elaine Motion, Balfour + Manson

Elaine Motion is the first female chair of Scottish firm Balfour + Manson, and a well-known name in Scotland for her public law and clinical negligence expertise. However, what put her in the spotlight in 2018 was the year-long legal battle she fought seeking clarity over an important point of public law which could potentially […]

David Pollitt, DAC Beachcroft

One of the great unnoticed success stories of the last few years has been the internal financial revolution at DAC Beachcroft spearheaded by managing partner David Pollitt. In the last half-decade, the firm has more than doubled its average profit per equity partner, growing that figure by 103.1 per cent from £250,000 at the end […]

Sarah Walker-Smith, Shakespeare Martineau

Sarah Walker-Smith had always planned to go to drama school, but at the last minute ‘bottled it’ and trained as a chartered accountant instead, qualifying with Deloitte and then moving to Coopers & Lybrand (now PwC). Yet she has managed to play many parts across her career, which has spanned finance roles and change management […]

Sandra Wallace, DLA Piper

Birmingham-based DLA Piper employment partner Sandra Wallace is destined for great things. From a legal practice perspective, she already has a stellar reputation for representing national and international clients on the full remit of employment law services. From a management point of view, DLA Piper’s UK managing partner between 2015 and 2018, who led the […]