08 Apr 2022

Freshfields hits gender and racial diversity targets in latest partner promotion round

Women make up 41% of the 27 new partners, hitting its 40% female gender diversity target

Georgia Dawson

Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer has hit its diversity target for partner promotions for the second year in a row, with women making up 11 of the 27 new partners.

Freshfields’ diversity and inclusion programme calls for at least 40% of new partners to be female, this year hitting 41%, slightly fewer than the 50% who made the cut in 2021. The successful 11 include antitrust lawyers Ermelinda Spinelli in Rome/Milan and Merit Olthoff in Brussels, plus a trio of dispute resolution lawyers – Nina Bayerl, Kate Gough and Anne-Laure Vincent – who are based in Munich, London and Paris respectively.

Also making the cut is global transactions specialists Samira Afrasiabi and Tamara Young in London, Elizabeth Oberholzer in Munich, Saloua Ouchan in Amsterdam and Sarah Su in Hong Kong. Vienna-based tax lawyer Kathi Kubik completes the 11.

Georgia Dawson, Freshfields’ senior partner, who last year became the first woman to lead a Magic Circle firm, said: “We are absolutely delighted to welcome such a talented and diverse group of colleagues to our global partnership. We are excited about what they will bring to Freshfields and our clients, and the contribution they will make to the long-term success of the firm and the communities in which we live and work.”

London accounted for the biggest share of partner promotions, with seven. Dusseldorf and Hong Kong followed with three; Munich, Vienna, Paris, New York and Frankfurt had two each, while Brussels, Washington, Italy and Amsterdam had one each. The firm’s global transactions team saw the most promotions by practice area (12), followed by dispute resolution (eight), antitrust, competition and trade (four), people and reward (two) and tax (one).

Some 30% of the 10 new UK and US-based partners self-identify as part of an under-represented group, exceeding the firm’s racial and ethnic diversity targets for new partners in the US (20%) and the UK (15%).

This year’s 41% female promotion round matched Magic Circle rival Linklaters, whose 41-strong partner round was also 41% female. Slaughter & May had one of the least gender diverse partner rounds, with just 12.5% of its eight new partners being female, compared to 40% last year. Eversheds Sutherland’s, meantime, significantly boosted its gender diversity, with 65% of its 31 new partners being female.

Read the GLP UK partner promotions gender diversity tracker

The full list of partners

Antitrust, Competition and Trade
Tom McGrath, London
Merit Olthoff, Brussels
Jan Rybnicek, Washington, DC
Ermelinda Spinelli, Milan / Rome

Dispute Resolution
Nina Bayerl, Munich
Kate Gough, London
Eric Leikin, CE / Vienna
Xin Liu, Hong Kong
Daniel Travers, Düsseldorf
Ricky Versteeg, London
Anne-Laure Vincent, Paris
Tom Walsh, New York

Global Transactions
Samira Afrasiabi, London
Alon Gordon, London
Sami Jebbour, Paris
Ziyad Nassif, London
Elizabeth Oberholzer, Munich
Saloua Ouchan, Amsterdam
Philipp Pütz, Düsseldorf
Sarah Su, Hong Kong
Johannes Vogel, Frankfurt
David Yi, Hong Kong
Tamara Young, London
Zheng (Jonathan) Zhou, New York

People & Reward
Thomas Granetzny, Düsseldorf
Frank Schaer, Frankfurt

Tax
Kathi Kubik, Vienna

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