Allen & Overy promotes 39 in bumper round

Women make up 36% of cohort dominated by banking and corporate

Guled Yusuf and Claire Rajan Images courtesy of Allen & Overy

Allen & Overy has become the UK latest firm to announce a bumper crop of promotions in its latest round, making up 39 to partner. 

The cohort is noticeably larger than those of the last two years, when 29 and 30 lawyers got the nod. 

Only one more woman was included this year (14) than in 2020 and 2021, meaning the percentage of women has fallen from 45% two years ago to 36%. This group nevertheless met a target set in 2017 to ensure that by 2021 at least 30% of the partner promotions each year are women.

Banking gained 13 new partners, just nudging out corporate, which welcomed 12, as the dominant practice area. Next up was litigation, with nine, while international capital markets gained four. The sole promotion in A&O’s tax team went to London-based Tim Harrop, who advises on the tax aspects of matters including M&A, joint ventures and disputes and investigations.   

The firm’s London headquarters saw 13 lawyers made up in total, two of whom – Rafi Allos and Guled Yusuf – were welcomed by the litigation team. Their promotion follows a number of senior lateral hires for the London litigation group, which in January added Norton Rose Fulbright’s EMEA head of disputes, Michael Godden, and RPC’s head of civil fraud, Andy McGergor.

Their arrival, intended to position the firm to take advantage of an anticipated rise in Covid-19 related fraud cases, was followed by the hire of David Herlihy from Skadden Arps Slate Meagher & Flom in March, a move that handed the firm a major figure in the field of investor-state dispute settlement and public international law. 

Sixteen lawyers were made up across nine of the firm’s bases in Continental Europe, with Frankfurt and Luxembourg both welcoming three. Madrid, Paris and Milan each gained two new partners, while one apiece moved up the ranks in Amsterdam, Brussels, Hamburg and Warsaw. 

Restructuring specialist Adam Banks and Kamar Jaffer, who advises on structuring and establishing investment funds, were promoted in Dubai in the banking practice, while in Hong Kong Daniel Tan also got the nod in the banking team. The other Hong Kong promotion went to James Yao in the international capital markets practice, with the Asia promotions rounded out with one in Tokyo and another in Shanghai. 

The sole promotion in Australia went to Sydney-based tech transactions lawyer Saranpaal Calais, who moved up in the corporate group. 

Finally, the firm’s US offices gained three new partners. Karen Buzard, who heads the US banking efforts on the firm’s cross-border working group that prepares clients for the transition away from LIBOR, was promoted in New York. Litigators Claire Rajan and James Gagen got the nod in Washington DC, just a few months after the firm hired a highly rated five-partner life sciences IP litigation team from Goodwin Procter in a move that also handed it an office in Boston. The quintet is based between New York, Washington DC and Boston. 

Global managing partner Gareth Price commented: “The talent represented by this group of new partners is exceptional and I’d like to offer my congratulations to each of them. That this is one of the largest groups we have ever promoted demonstrates our continuing growth ambitions across multiple geographies and practice areas.”

The promotions follow a sustained run of US expansion by A&O, which last July reported its revenue had climbed 5% to £1.77bn against a 17% jump in profit per equity partner. As well as the expansion into Boston, last March the firm hired a six-partner project finance and renewables team from Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld to open in Los Angeles and in August secured an eight-partner White & Case technology team to launch in Silicon Valley. 

A&O also reaffirmed its faith in South Africa as a strategic base for wider Africa work last September when it hired a six-partner team from Linklaters ally Webber Wentzel to bolster its banking and finance offering in Johannesburg.

A number of other UK firms have had bumper promotion rounds recently, including Ashurst, which a few days ago announced it had made up a record 25 to partner. Clyde & Co said last week it had promoted 23 in its largest cohort since 2019, while earlier this month Eversheds Sutherland reported a 31-strong crop, 65% of which were women, a landmark achievement. 

The full list of new partners:


Erik-Jan WagenvoortBankingAmsterdam
Adam BanksBankingDubai
Kamar JafferBankingDubai
Daniel TanBankingHong Kong
Brendan McCarthyBankingLondon
Emma DanforthBankingLondon
Hannah GatesBankingLondon
Megan LawrenceBankingLondon
Jan SkuhravyBankingLondon
Thomas WilkinsonBankingMadrid
Karen BuzardBankingNew York
Geraldine LezmiBankingParis
Anna MadraBankingWarsaw
Frances DethmersCorporateBrussels
Roman KastenCorporateFrankfurt
Jonas WittgensCorporateHamburg
Tom MastermanCorporateLondon
Andrew KenningCorporateLondon
Monika PrzygodaCorporateLondon
Catherine Di LorenzoCorporateLuxembourg
Sylvain Cailleau CorporateLuxembourg
Bosco de ChecaCorporateMadrid
Emilio De GiorgiCorporateMilan
Saranpaal CalaisCorporateSydney
Taro NakashimaCorporateTokyo
James YaoICMHong Kong
Paul AllanICMLondon
Francesca BennettsICMLondon
Mia DassasICMParis
Tim MuellerLitigationFrankfurt
Peter WehnerLitigationFrankfurt
Amilcare SadaLitigationMilan
Rafi AllosLitigationLondon
Guled YusufLitigationLondon
Thomas BergerLitigationLuxembourg
Jill GeLitigationShanghai
Claire RajanLitigationWashington DC
James GagenLitigationWashington DC
Tim HarropTaxLondon


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