Ashurst announces another record partner promotions round – but proportion of women dips

Twenty-five strong cohort matches last year as percentage of women falls from 48% to 32%

Quentin Robinson (l) and Lindsey Bouchara Images courtesy of Ashurst

Anglo Australian law firm Ashurst has promoted 25 to partner in its latest promotions round, which matches 2022’s record cohort in terms of size but sees markedly fewer women make the cut. 

The latest round includes eight women, or 32% of the total – a significant dip from 2022 when women made up 48% of the group and 2021’s 14-strong round, which was 78% female. 

Ashurst highlighted that over the past five years it has promoted 52 women into its partnership, more than half the total. 

Two years ago the firm published a target that at least 40% of its partnership and senior business services leaders would be female by 2026 and said that its global partnership is currently 31% female, up from 19% in the 2018/19 financial year.

Ashurst global chair Karen Davies said the high number of promotions reflected the firm’s commitment to developing a future pipeline of talent. 

"I am delighted to welcome a record number of new members to our global partnership this year and would like to congratulate each of them on their well-deserved promotion. Their appointment is a testament to the important contribution they have made to our clients and the firm," Davies said.

Like last year Australia featured heavily in the round, with 13 lawyers there getting the nod across Sydney (seven), Brisbane (two), Melbourne (two), Perth (one) and Canberra (one). The Asia Pacific promotions were completed by one apiece in Jakarta and Tokyo. 

The rest of the promotions went to lawyers in Europe and the Middle East. London gained the most new partners, welcoming Stuart Blacklock and Sarah Winter in the global loans team and Quentin Robinson, Lindsey Bouchara and Chris Benbow in the international projects, projects Europe and real estate groups respectively. The remaining five promotions were split between Paris, Milan, Madrid, Luxembourg and Dubai. 

In terms of practice area, corporate transactions, global loans and international projects gained the most new partners, each adding four, while real estate welcomed three. There were two in Ashurst’s employment team and one apiece in digital economy transactions, global markets, investment funds, planning, access & environment, projects Europe, competition and tax. 

The final promotion went to Sydney-based John MacPherson in the firm’s consulting business Ashurst Risk Advisory, which expanded to the UK late last year. 

"As we embark on our 2027 strategy for the firm from 1 May we are excited to welcome our new partners", said Ahurst global chief executive officer Paul Jenkins. "The strength of skill and experience that we see in this round of promotions reflects our commitment to invest in the future of our firm and our people. I am confident they will play a vital role in the future success of the business."

The round follows a record financial year for the firm in 2021/22 when a 12% increase in revenue to £798m pushed profit per equity partner (PEP) up by 13% to 1,175k, the firm’s highest PEP since before the global financial crisis in 2008. 

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