M&A specialist Rebecca Maslen-Stannage takes up new role from 1 May
Herbert Smith Freehills (HSF) has appointed its first female senior partner and chair of the firm.
Rebecca Maslen-Stannage, a corporate partner with specialities in M&A and equity capital markets, will serve a four-year term from 1 May 2021. She takes over from James Palmer, who will return to full-time practice when his term ends next month.
Maslen-Stannage has been with the firm since 1994, and is based out of its offices in Sydney, Australia. The University of Western Australia law graduate who also holds a bachelor of civil law from Oxford University served on the firm’s global council from 2012 to 2019, including as deputy senior partner from 2015. Maslen-Stannage will continue fee-earning alongside performing the role of senior partner/chair.
Commenting on her appointment, Maslen-Stannage said:
“I am proud of our incredible, diverse talent and positive culture and the fact that we are trusted by clients to advise on an impressive array of matters around the world. I look forward to working with and leading the partnership council in its important role and supporting our CEO Justin D’Agostino and the executive team in achieving the next phase of our strategic goals.”
CEO Justin D’Agostino added: “Rebecca is uniquely qualified for this role. She has always excelled as a dynamic and inspirational leader. I look forward to working closely with her to realise the firm’s ambitions.”
Maslen-Stannage joins a number of women in leadership roles at global law firms. Last month Marie-Aimée de Dampierre was appointed Hogan Lovells’ first female solo chair, while Georgia Dawson became the magic circle’s first female leader when she assumed the role of senior partner at Freshfields in January.
Elsewhere, three female partners are said to be vying for the role of senior partner at rival MC firm Linklaters ahead of next month’s election.
In other HSF-related news, the firm is awarding all of its staff with a COVID bonus in recognition of their “dedication and hard work” during the pandemic. Every employee across its global network will be handed a one-off bonus amounting to 5% of their salary.