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

Magic circle firm elevates 30 to partner – three more than in 2022 – with women accounting for 53% of promotions

Freshfields' senior partner Georgia Dawson

Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer has promoted 30 lawyers to its partnership – three more than last year – with women making up more than half of this year’s cohort.

The 53% of female promotions marks the third year in a row that the magic circle firm has beaten its diversity target where at least 40% of new partners should be women, having hit 41% last year and 50% in 2021. That represents a sharp turnaround from 2020, when just four (19%) of the 21-strong cohort were women. 

The 16 who made made the cut this year include five in London: antitrust lawyer Jenny Leahy, disputes lawyers Cat Greenwood-Smith and Emma Probyn and transactions lawyers Rachael Annear and Jenny McIvor.

Other women to join the partnership include disputes lawyer Amani Khalifa, who will split her time between Riyadh and Dubai, transactions lawyer Tomoko Nakajima in Tokyo, people and reward lawyer Sarah Ghulamhussain in Silicon Valley and tax lawyer Tanja Walter-Yadegardjam in Frankfurt.

The firm is also on track with its race and ethnicity targets, with 18% of its new UK and US partners identifying as part of an underrepresented group, beating its UK target (15%) and coming up just short of its US target (20%).

Georgia Dawson, Freshfields’ senior partner, said: “[The new partners] all bring varied experience and insight and deliver fantastic outcomes for our clients. With the addition of these new partners, we continue to strengthen our global offering and our efforts to deliver long-term success for the firm around the globe.”

The firm’s dispute resolution and global transactions groups accounted for the bulk of promotions with 13 each. There were also two promotions in its antitrust, competition and trade group and one a piece in its tax and people and reward practices.

The promotions are spread across 15 global offices. London dominated with 11 new partners, followed by three each in New York and Munich. In total there were six promotions in Germany, with a seventh – disputes lawyer Lutz Riede – splitting his time between Düsseldorf and Vienna. The US also had six, with two promotions in Silicon Valley and one in Washington adding to the three new partners in New York.

The firm has also been building up its disputes team through lateral hires. In February, it announced the hiring of Mijke Sinninghe Damsté as a partner in Amsterdam. She joins from Dutch firm Loyens & Ioeff and starts her new role next month.

Magic circle rival Linklaters also hit its gender target for a third consecutive year last month, with women accounting for 41% of its 2023 cohort.

Here is the full list of new Freshfields partners:

Rikki Haria, Antitrust, Competition and Trade, London
Jenny Leahy, Antitrust, Competition and Trade, London
Stephanie Brown Cripps, Dispute Resolution, New York
Dan Cendan, Dispute Resolution, New York
Brock Dahl, Dispute Resolution, Washington
Cat Greenwood-Smith, Dispute Resolution, London
Amani Khalifa, Dispute Resolution, Riyadh/Dubai
Laura Knoke, Dispute Resolution, Berlin/Hamburg   
Federico Mercuri, Dispute Resolution, Rome
José Luis Prieto, Dispute Resolution, Madrid
Emma Probyn, Dispute Resolution, London
Lutz Riede, Dispute Resolution, Vienna/Düsseldorf
James Roberts, Dispute Resolution, London
Samantha Tan, Dispute Resolution, Singapore
Elisabeth Weber, Dispute Resolution, Munich
Rachael Annear, Global Transactions, London
Elizabeth Bieber, Global Transactions, New York
Toby Bingley, Global Transactions, London
Scott Blumenkranz, Global Transactions, Silicon Valley
Mark Brewer, Global Transactions, London
Tom Godwin, Global Transactions, London
Steffen Kleefass, Global Transactions, Frankfurt
Maximilian Lasson, Global Transactions, Munich
Jenny McIvor, Global Transactions, London
Tomoko Nakajima, Global Transactions, Tokyo
Verena Nosch, Global Transactions, Munich
Andy Robinson, Global Transactions, London
Marie Roche, Global Transactions, Paris
Sarah Ghulamhussain, People & Reward, Silicon Valley
Tanja Walter-Yadegardjam, Tax, Frankfurt

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