8 lawyers make the grade in new minority business power list

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By Thomas Connelly on

Strong showing from the magic circle

A new power list acknowledging the endeavours of black, Asian or minority ethnic (BAME) business leaders internationally, features eight lawyers.

The “UPstanding Executive Power List” has been compiled by eight judges, including non-practising barrister Sophia Cannon, executive recruitment expert Suki Sandhu, Barclays UK chief executive Ashok Vaswani and global economist Dr Linda Yueh.

The panel examined and scored nominees on their “professional and business achievements”, how they are assisting the BAME agenda within their “community” and “workplace”, and finally what influence they have within their current organisation. Those who made the cut — who are from both the UK and US — were given a score out of 100 and ranked accordingly.

Timothy Wilkins — who is partner at Anglo-German firm Freshfields — was the highest-placed lawyer on the list, in 16th position. Wilkins operates out of the magic circle outfit’s New York office. Not far behind him was Linklaters’ Tom Shropshire. Placing 28th, Shropshire specialises in mergers and acquisitions and is based out of Linklaters’ City office.

Dispute resolution specialist and Slaughter and May partner Sarah Lee finished in 55th position, seeing off fellow Slaughters partner, Nilufer von Bismarck, who claimed 73rd place. Bismarck heads up the firm’s equity capital markets department.

There were also places in the top 100 for Patricia Menendez-Cambo (75th), the global practice chair of Miami-founded Greenberg Traurig Maher and Freshfields’ real estate partner Annette Byron (81st).

The judges also gave places on the list to in-house duo Funke Abimbola and Simon Dowson-Collins. Abimbola, who is general counsel for global health-care company Roche UK and also features on the First 100 Years compilation of women in the law, placed 19th, and Dowson-Collins, who is general counsel for publishers Harper Collins, finished in 90th position.

Top spot on this latest list went to Coca-Cola’s chairman and chief executive Muhtar Kent.