Partner promotions at Baker McKenzie dip to 67 after bumper year in 2020

Proportion of women slips to 36% following 40%-plus rounds in each of two previous years
Portraits of the new London partners

The new London partners

Baker McKenzie has promoted 67 of its lawyers to its partnership across its global network, 17 short of its 84-strong promotional round last year that marked the firm’s largest new partner class since 2016. 

With its latest set of promotions, Baker McKenzie joins a number of other international firms including Eversheds Sutherland and Herbert Smith Freehills announcing trimmed-down partnership rounds. 

The proportion of women made up also slipped, coming under the target the firm set in 2019 for at least 40% of the partnership to be women by 2025. The 24 women getting the nod make up 36% of the new intake, down from 41% last year and 40% in 2019.

Regionally, Asia recorded the highest number of promotions with 18 lawyers being made up, down by one from last year’s new cohort. US and European promotions took a hit this year after both regions saw 22 lawyers make the grade in 2020, though the US still saw the second-highest number of promotions (16) across its offices New York, Chicago, Houston, Washington DC, San Francisco and Palo Alto. 

Meanwhile, 15 lawyers made the cut in continental Europe, with five appointments in Germany and two apiece in Sweden, Switzerland, Spain and France. Michal Piekarski (projects) and Koen Bos (private equity) round out the European tally, joining the partnership in Poland and The Netherlands, respectively. 

In London, the promotions were on par with last year, with eight lawyers receiving the nod, bringing the number of partners in Bakers’ biggest base up to 131. 

The lawyers moving up in London (pictured) are Robert Gray (M&A), Georgia Marshall (capital markets), Judith Mulholland (dispute resolution), Oliver Pendred (tax), Jason Raeburn (IP and tech), Jonathan Tuck (employment), Priyanka Usmani (banking and finance) and Rachel Wilkinson-Duffy (IP and tech). 

Six lawyers were promoted in Latin America, while two were made up in Australia. Finally, the firm added one partner apiece in South Africa and Bahrain — M&A lawyer Ashlin Perumall banking and finance specialist Delwar Hossain respectively — after it opted to skip over its Africa and Middle East offices in last year’s round. 

In terms of practice areas, M&A took centre stage this year, with 15 lawyers moving up the ranks. Tax came in at a close second with 14 appointments, while dispute resolution gained a total 12 new partners. 

The rest of the promotions were made across the firm’s banking and finance (7), employment (6), IP and technology (7), projects (5), real estate (3), private equity (2), international commercial and trade (4), capital markets (2), and antitrust (2) practices. 

Combining the latest promotions with lateral hires, the firm has added a total of 95 new partners to its ranks so far this year. 

The promotions in the Americas went live on January 1, while the rest will take effect in July. 

Commenting on the new cohort, Milton Cheng, global chair at Bakers, said: “I am very pleased to welcome 95 new partners, both home-grown and lateral, particularly against the backdrop of a global pandemic. This indicates our strategy of nurturing the careers of our people and recruiting the best possible talent to join our firm.

Click here to read the full list of partners

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