Slaughter & May elevates five London lawyers in latest partner promotion round

The five associates work across practice areas including corporate, finance, IP and disputes

Near namesakes: Claire Cooke and James Cook

Slaughter and May has announced its latest partner promotion round, with five London associates making the cut.

The successful associates are corporate lawyer James Cook, financing associates Claire Cooke and Charlie McGarel-Groves, IP lawyer Laura Houston and disputes and investigations lawyer Peter Wickham. Last year eight associates were included in the promotion round, seven in London and one in Hong Kong. That was a significant increase on 2019, when just one associate was promoted in total. 

Steve Cooke, Slaughters’ senior partner, said: “It is welcome news for everyone at the firm and our clients that we’ve again promoted a good number of lawyers from a broad spread of practice areas. The promotions of these five talented lawyers reflect the enduring strength of the firm across the piece.”

Cooke has seven years of experience in banking-related matters, most recently advising RSA Insurance on its £7.2bn sale to a consortium of two Canadian and Norwegian insurers. She works alongside McGarel-Groves, who has been at Slaughters since 2014, working in its banking and finance practice. He previously spent almost four years as a capital markets associate at Simmons & Simmons, having started his career at legacy firm SNR Denton as a trainee and completing secondments at Goldman Sachs and Deutsche Bank.

Corporate associate Cook has been at Slaughters since 2011, working on a wide-range of M&A, equity capital markets deals and general corporate matters for clients including Vodafone, Drax Group and Schroders. He is based in London, but also had a secondment in Hong Kong back in 2013. In addition, he had a six-month secondment at Rothschild, working on its global M&A specialist advisory team with a particular focus on public companies.

Wickham joined Slaughters in 2011 as a trainee solicitor, being promoted to an associate in its dispute resolution group in 2013. IP and IT associate Houston completes the quintet, who will become partners at the start of May. 

The latest promotion round follows two recent senior departures from Slaughters in London that underscored the challenge top tier UK firms face from their US rivals, even on their home turf. Earlier this month, Jackie Holland – special advisor in Slaughters’ competition practice – left for Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton, while in February corporate partner Murray Cox quit to join Weil Gotshal & Manges.

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