04 May 2021

Bird & Bird makes up 14 partners in Europe-focused round

International firm follows up on lean 2020 with bumper cohort, but gender disparities remain

European Parliament in Strasbourg, France

European Parliament; 11 of the 14 appointments came from within the EU MDart10

Bird & Bird has made up 14 partners in its annual partnership round, up from just seven last year.

Eleven new partners step up to the role this month with three having been appointed in November 2020. 

All the promotions are in Europe, with Germany receiving the largest share: the four-strong tally is made up of two IP specialists – Marc Grunwald and Roman Brtka, both in Munich – Hamburg-based commercial lawyer Miriam Ballhausen and antitrust specialist Stephan Waldheim, who works out of the Dusseldorf office.

Warsaw and London both saw three promotions each. In Poland the successful lawyers are Karolina Stawicka (employment), Marcin Swierzewski (real estate, from November) and Maciej Georg (finance) while stepping up in London are IP lawyer Chris de Mauny, Gavin Punia (finance) and Richard Bush (commercial). 

Denmark, Italy, Spain and France saw one promotion each. From the commercial team, Copenhagen-based Annette Printz-Nielsen (from November) and Madrid’s Pablo Berenguer have been made up, while IP specialist Edoardo Barbera made the grade in Milan and corporate lawyer Carole Bodin stepped up in Paris. 

There were no partner promotions in Asia or Australia. Only four women were promoted in 2021’s round, the same number as in 2020, out of a reduced seven-partner round. 

While double the number of partners were promoted compared to 2020, 2019 remains the firm’s largest-ever round, with 23 partners elevated, eleven of whom were women. 

Overall, commercial and IP claimed the lion’s share of practice area promotions, as was the case in 2020. Meanwhile, there were 17 counsel and legal director appointments, of whom only six are women.

Graeme Maguire, chair of the board, offered his “heartfelt congratulations” to the cohort. CEO David Kerr, added: “In the face of a very challenging year, your dedication to your clients and commitment to your teams has shone through. I look forward to celebrating with you all in person when we can.”

There were no disputes promotions in 2021, however, last month the firm hired Nick Peacock from Herbert Smith Freehills to head up its international arbitration practice. He will develop his new firm’s reach in London, Singapore, India, and Scandinavia, all key markets for Bird & Bird.

In February, the disputes practice also benefited from a two-partner team move from Hogan Lovells in Madrid as well as the hire of former Proskauer Rose partner David Chu in Hong Kong at the start of the year. 

Last week, Ashurst elevated 14 lawyers to its partnership, with women making up a record 78% of the new cohort.