Clifford Chance elects 29 new partners in latest promotions round

Eleven women included in round that sees firm exceed ethnicity targets for third year running

Image courtesy of Clifford Chance

Clifford Chance (CC) has elected 29 lawyers to partner in a global promotions round that nudges the firm closer to its targets for gender equality.  

The latest round – slightly smaller than last year’s 32-strong cohort – includes 11 women, or 38% of the total. That is the same proportion as last year, and sees the firm achieve a five-year rolling average of 38% of new partners being women.  

It also sees CC stay on track to meet its target to have its global partnership, which as of 1 May when the promotions come into effect will be 25.8% female, increase to at least 40% female by 2030.  

The round was also diverse in terms of ethnicity, with 20% of the 15 new US and UK partners that disclosed ethnicity identifying as under-represented minority ethnic, a result that saw the firm exceed its target of 15% of new partners by 2025 for the third year running.

Like last year, the UK and Europe received the bulk of the promotions, with 14 made up in London, including five apiece in the firm’s global financial markets and corporate practices. The promotions follow the firm’s London head of private equity, Christopher Sullivan, joining Paul Weiss last December alongside finance partner Taner Hassan, as the US firm continued the eye-catching buildout of its London office.  

Meantime on the continent three got the nod in Frankfurt, two in Paris and one each in Munich, Madrid and Amsterdam.  

Having made up five partners in the US last year, this time round CC’s sole promotion there went to corporate lawyer Carla Ruggero in New York.  

The firm has been concentrating on stateside growth, increasing its US lawyer headcount by 17% over the past year to 367 lawyers including 114 partners, according to data from Pirical. That compares to a 10% growth in headcount across the firm. CC hired seven partners last summer to open an energy-focused office in Houston – its third in the US – including Latham & Watkins duo Jonathan Castelan and Trevor Lavelle.  

The promotions were rounded out by one apiece in Riyadh, Dubai, Sydney, Perth, Tokyo and Hong Kong, where finance lawyer Michael Pallaras’s elevation follows CC hiring leading M&A partner Alex Bidlake last summer from Magic Circle rival Linklaters.  

In terms of practice area, global financial markets and corporate once again dominated, welcoming 12 and nine partners respectively. Litigation and dispute resolution saw five lawyers made up and tax, pensions and employment two, with the final promotion going to London-based Martin Power, the firm’s head of legal in the general counsel’s office.

Charles Adams, Clifford Chance’s global managing partner, commented: “Investing in and nurturing our top talent in the areas where we can have the biggest impact on our clients’ success, is right at the heart of our one firm global strategy. We look forward to these individuals continuing to achieve fantastic outcomes for our clients and to help define our long-term success as one of the world’s leading global elite firms.” 

A full list of the new promotions can be found here.

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