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24 November 2020

McDermott promotes 37 to partnership across 14 offices

Specialist corporate adviser to Middle Eastern high-net-worth-individuals is among 13 new women partners

By John Malpas

Amira Shaker

New partner, London-based Amira Shaker

McDermott Will & Emery has promoted 37 partners across its network of offices in the US and Europe with the proportion of women in the cohort edging up from 30% last year to 35%.

A spokesperson described the proportion of new women partners as “notable" and a reflection of the firm's “ongoing commitment to promoting gender equality”. 

There were six promotions in Europe this year, nearly half the figure for the 2020 cohort when there were 11 European promotions out of 39 overall.

Germany accounted for four of the promotions with one each in London and Paris. The Chicago-headquartered firm’s Milan office – where four partners were made up last year – missed out this time.

The four new German partners are all transactions specialists, with two made up in Düsseldorf (Pierre-Andre Brandt and Sebastian Keding), and one each in Munich (Bjorn Biehl) and Frankfurt (Florian Lechner).

In Paris, M&A and life sciences counsel Anne-France Moreau, who joined the firm from Dechert in 2014, has been promoted while in London a relatively new recruit, Amira Shaker, has won out, having joined the firm in January from Ince & Co.

Shaker specialises in advising high-net-worth clients, family offices and family businesses on corporate transactional and related advisory work.

Having grown up in Cairo and studied law in the Egypt and the US, she counts herself as one of relatively few Middle Eastern women lawyers who are trained internationally and, according to the firm, advises many prominent women on their worldwide investments.

Last year, the firm’s Washington DC office recorded the most promotions (eight): this year the firm’s Chicago headquarters accounted the highest proportion (27%), with ten lawyers made up, while there were five promotions apiece in Boston and Washington DC, four in Los Angeles, and three in New York. 

Elsewhere, the firm’s Silicon Valley office is welcoming corporate and securities specialist Aroma Sharma to the partnership: she recently served a term as president of the Northern California branch of the South Asian Bar Association.

In Miami, where earlier this year the firm hired a team of three private client partners and a corporate partner from DLA Piper, it made up transactions and regulatory healthcare specialist Justin Aiello.

In terms of practice areas, 15 of the promoted partners, who assume their positions on 1 January, are transactions lawyers, seven work in disputes and five are healthcare specialists. The other represented practice areas are regulatory (three), employment (three), private client (two) and IP and tax (one apiece).

Recent international strategic moves have seen the firm cease to have a physical presence in Asia after its long-term Shanghai alliance partner struck a new deal with Winston & Strawn in June while in September McDermott unveiled a Latin America practice.

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