Freshfields beats gender target for fourth year in a row in latest partner promotion round

Magic Circle firm elevates 23 to partner, with women accounting for more than half of promotions

Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer has promoted 23 lawyers to its partnership – seven fewer than last year – with women making up more than half of this year’s cohort.

The 52% of female promotions marks the fourth year in a row that the Magic Circle firm has beaten its diversity target where at least 40% of new partners should be women. That represents a sharp turnaround from 2020, when just four (19%) of the 21-strong cohort were women.

The 12 women who made the cut this year include four in London: restructuring lawyer Emma Gateaud, financial services regulatory lawyer Claire Harrop, M&A lawyer Maria Ledeneva and tax lawyer Emily Szasz.  

The firm also has a target for 15% of its new UK partners and 20% of its new US partners to identify as being part of an under-represented group. This year the figure was 10%, down from last year's 18%. 

Freshfields’ senior partner, Georgia Dawson, said: “We’re delighted to welcome these colleagues into the global partnership. They represent the best of Freshfields through the excellence of their work and the values they uphold. Their talent and expertise will enrich our bench of lawyers globally for the benefit of our clients and the wider firm. I look forward to working with them in the years ahead.”

The newly promoted partners represent all five practice groups and regions in which Freshfields operates.  

The firm’s global transactions group gained the most new partners, with 11, followed by dispute resolution, which welcomed seven. There were also three promotions in its antitrust, competition and trade group and one apiece in its tax and people and reward practices.

The promotions are spread across 13 global offices. London dominated with six new partners, while in total there were seven promotions in Germany, including two apiece in Dusseldorf and Hamburg and one each in Munich, Berlin and Frankfurt. The US had four, with three in New York and one in Washington DC, with the promotions rounded out with one each in Paris, Hanoi and Dubai.  

The firm has also been building up its US partner bench through lateral hires. The firm hired Cravath lifer Sanjay Murti in New York in January to bolster its M&A team and last month added private equity dealmakers Neal Reenan and Ian Bushner to the office from Latham & Watkins to lead its capital markets team.  

The promotions are effective 1 May 2024.  

Here is the full list of new Freshfields partners:

Antitrust, Competition and Trade  

Dominic Divivier, Düsseldorf  

Ilka Oberländer, Munich  

Vanessa van Weelden, Brussels  

Dispute Resolution  

Mark Egeler, Amsterdam  

Stefanie Fay, Berlin  

Jonathan Kelly, London  

Jennifer Loeb, Washington  

Tobias Timmann, Düsseldorf  

Alexandra van der Meulen, Paris  

Kristina Maria Weiler, Hamburg  

Global Transactions  

Oliver Board, New York  

James Chapman, London  

Emma Gateaud, London  

Claire Harrop, London  

Janina Heinz, Frankfurt  

Eric Johnson, Hanoi  

Maria Ledeneva, London  

Saad Mian, Dubai  

Tomas Rua, New York  

Jan-Philip Wilde, Hamburg  

Taryn Zucker, New York  

People & Reward  

Satya Staes Polet, Brussels  


Emily Szasz, London 

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