Now it’s time for top City partners to go into the age-guessing mincer

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By Judge John Hack on

Have a guess, how old do you reckon the guvnor is …?


We tried, but in the end the Legal Cheek editorial team could not resist the tidal wave of requests from readers to follow our coverage of Supreme Court judges by putting leading City law firm partners through the mill of the software age-guessing package.

So we’ve rustled up the managing and senior partners from the magic circle and from several other leading Square Mile practices.

A stark difference between this exercise and our hugely popular earlier story is that while the true ages of those sitting on the highest bench in the land are matters of record, it’s all a bit of a guessing game with the big beasts in the City.

Therefore we put it to the subjects listed here to put up their hands and give us a steer on how accurate the software is. Don’t be shy; age is in the mind — and in any event those brutal billing targets are bound to have resulted in a few wrinkles.

Wim Dejonghe (Managing Partner) — Allen & Overy

First up, the magic circle’s very own Joe 90, who qualified as a Belgian lawyer in 1989 …


David Morley (Senior Partner) — Allen & Overy

Followed by his apparently very youthful colleague, who was bizarrely admitted as an English solicitor seven years earlier, having graduated with a law degree from St John’s College, Cambridge in 1979. But has Morley down as 39, meaning he’d have completed that degree aged just three …


Simon Davies (Managing Partner) — Linklaters

This chap has been man and boy with his firm, finishing his training contract in 1992 …


Robert Elliott (Senior Partner) — Linklaters

While his SP colleague finished his law degree at Queen Mary College, University of London, in 1973 …


Matthew Layton (Managing Partner) — Clifford Chance

Down Canary Wharf-way, this smiley character put the finishing touches on his law degree from Leeds University in 1982 …


Malcolm Sweeting (Senior Partner) — Clifford Chance

And its odds on that his collegue is senior in more ways that one; he graduated from an un-named institution with a business law degree in 1978 …


David Aitman (Managing Partner) — Freshfields

Back in Fleet Street where this firm doesn’t give many clues. All we know about this chap is that he was appointed global MP at the beginning of last year …


Will Lawes (Senior Partner) — Freshfields

Likewise, his colleague has a long academic record — having studied at Victoria University of Wellington, New Zealand and Gonville & Caius College, Cambridge, as well as being a visiting fellow at the Centre for Corporate Reputation, Said Business School, Oxford — but no dates …


Chris Saul (Senior Partner) — Slaughter and May

Discretion is even more of a watchword at this law firm to the establishment; all we know about this matinee idol is that he joined the practice back in the dark ages of 1977 …


Richard Clark (Executive Partner) — Slaughter and May

While Saul’s executive partner colleague jumped on board four years later …


Ian Cox (Managing Partner) — Herbert Smith Freehills

Surely the Australians aren’t bothered by age … Well, if so, that message hasn’t filtered through to this firm post merger; we get no dates at all from the online profile …


James Palmer (Senior Partner) — Herbert Smith Freehills

Hang on … spoke to soon. The top man tells us he joined the firm in 1986 …


Peter Martyr (Global Chief Executive) — Norton Rose Fulbright

Down to the south bank of the Thames, now, where we are informed that this chap qualified as a solicitor in the year of Britain’s winter of discontent …


Martin Scott (Managing Partner) — Norton Rose Fulbright

His youthful-looking colleague qualified four years later …


Susan Bright (Regional Managing Partner) — Hogan Lovells

One of the few women members of the City legal profession top brass was at Somerville College, Oxford, but we’ve no idea when …


Sir Nigel Knowles (Global Co-Chairman) — DLA Piper

While the great northern knight of solicitordom joined Yorkshire firm Broomheads in 1978, when the partners dining room was in a metal shed and all they had for tea was a lump of coal …


Paul Rawlinson (Managing Partner) — Baker & McKenzie

What’s this?! Another Joe 90?!! This head of the London branch of the global franchise completed his Law Society Finals course at the then College of Law in 1986.


Margaret Robertson (Managing Director) — Withers

And what’s this?! Another woman?!! And what’s more, in common with the only other lady on this list, she too attended Somerville College … but no indication of when …


You can try analysing your own photo here.


How old Supreme Court judges look vs how old they really are [Legal Cheek]