A&O Shearman announces first partner promotions round ahead of May merger

Allen & Overy accounts for 32 of the promotions and Shearman eight, with women making up 42% of the cohort

A&O Shearman senior partner elect Khalid Garousha Image courtesy of Allen & Overy

A&O Shearman has announced its first round of partner promotions ahead of its official merger date at the start of next month, with 40 lawyers making the cut – 32 from Allen & Overy and eight from Shearman & Sterling.

The firm said the split between A&O and Shearman promotions is consistent with the relative size of the two firms and their geographic footprints. The US dominates the first cohort, with 13 promotions – nine of them in New York – followed by nine in London and 13 in mainland Europe, spread across its offices in Brussels, Paris, Amsterdam, Munich, Frankfurt, Düsseldorf, Luxembourg and Madrid. There was also four partner promotions in Asia – split between Jakarta and Singapore – and one in the Middle East in the firm’s Dubai office.

Women made up more than 42% of the first A&O Shearman cohort, 14 of them from Allen & Overy and three from Shearman. That is broadly in line with A&O’s promotions round last year, when 42% of the 36 new partners were women. For Shearman’s contribution, that was a little more than the 33% of female partner promotions in its 12-strong round last year.

The first round of promotions saw the combined firm’s banking practice account for the most promotions with 10, including Rebecca Noble and Rachel O’Reilly in London and Luke Whibley in Amsterdam. The corporate practice followed with eight promotions, including Puja Patel in New York and Ayesha Thapar in Singapore, and six in litigation, including Leila Siddiky in New York and David Schmid and Sebastian Schulz in Frankfurt. International capital markets saw five promotions, with four in tax, two in antitrust and two in compensation, government and ERISA, and one apiece in management, M&A and emerging growth.

Khalid Garousha, interim managing partner of A&O and senior partner elect of A&O Shearman, said: “We are thrilled to welcome this exceptional group of lawyers to the A&O Shearman partnership. I am also pleased that 42% of those promoted across both firms are women, in line with our goal of increasing diversity. These partners will bring a wealth of expertise to our soon-to-be merged firm, providing exceptional service to our clients in the world’s most dynamic markets.”

A&O and Shearman partners approved the merger last October to create a transatlantic law firm with revenue of around $3.5bn, housing 3,950 lawyers across 48 offices. However, since the merger was first announced both firms have lost a number of senior lawyers. Last month, A&O London capital markets partner Marwa Elborai quit to join Kirkland & Ellis, while Paul Hastings tapped a six-strong IP team from A&O in US. A&O also lost global managing partner Gareth Price, who resigned for personal reasons back in July. 

Shearman, meantime, saw its global co-managing partner George Casey decamp to Linklaters in New York along with a five-strong M&A team back in January.

The full list of partners:

Allen & Overy

United States

New York
Lena Kiely, International Capital Markets
Puja Patel, Corporate
Derek Poon, International Capital Markets 

Washington D.C.
Michael Sykes, Banking
Gideon Wiginton, Banking

United Kingdom

Tim Bates, International Capital Markets
Imogen Carr, Corporate
Vanessa Morgan, Management
Rebecca Noble, Banking
Rachel O'Reilly, Banking
Kate Pumfrey, Litigation
Alex Shandro, Corporate
Jason Symington, Banking
David Weaver, Corporate

Continental Europe

Brussels, Belgium
Axel de Backer, Banking

Amsterdam, Netherlands
Luke Whibley, Banking

Paris, France
Laurie-Anne Ancenys, Corporate
Charles del Valle, Tax
Anne-Caroline Payelle, Corporate

Düsseldorf, Germany
Catharina Glugla, Corporate

Munich, Germany
Rauni Ahammer, Banking

Frankfurt, Germany
Tim Drach, Tax
David Schmid, Litigation
Sebastian Schulz, Litigation

Baptiste Aubry, International Capital Markets
Franz Kerger, Tax

Madrid, Spain
Ishtar Sancho, Tax

The Middle East

Dubai, United Arab Emirates
Arash Koozehkanani, Litigation


Jakarta, Indonesia
Mohammad Andrew, International Capital Markets

Matthew Del Rosso, Banking
Jessica Lee, Banking
Ayesha Thapar, Corporate

Shearman & Sterling

United States

New York
Melisa Brower, Compensation, Governance and ERISA
Jonathan Cheng, Antitrust
Joshua Ebersole, Litigation
Jai Garg, Compensation, Governance and ERISA
Christopher Glenn, Mergers & Acquisitions
Leila Siddiky, Litigation

Washington DC
Brian Hauser, Antitrust

Michelle Kwan, Emerging Growth

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