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Freshfields promotes 22 lawyers to partner — 50% women

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Six in London

Magic circle giant Freshfields has announced the appointment of 22 new partners globally — half of them women.

Six lawyers receiving the nod are based in London and will take up their new partner roles on 1 May 2021, Freshfields confirmed. Eleven women make the grade this year (five in London), compared to just four in 2020.

The fresh round of partner promotions comes just weeks after the firm announced it was targeting a global leadership team of at least 40% women as part of a new diversity action plan. It also wants 40% of global partner promotions to be women by 2026.

Commenting on the promotions, Freshfields senior partner, Georgia Dawson, said: “I am delighted to welcome such a strong group of colleagues to Freshfields’ global partnership. Our new partners bring diverse thinking, backgrounds and experience to our partnership, all critical to helping our clients navigate the ongoing complexities of the legal and business landscape.”

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Dawson, who broke new ground when, in September, she became the first woman to lead a magic circle law firm, continued:

“The promotion of our new partners reflects the firm’s focus on diversity over several years and I look forward to working with each of them as we continue to build our firm for the future.”

Last month fellow MC player Linklaters added 35 lawyers to its global partnership, including 14 women, while Allen & Overy recently announced the promotion of 30 new partners — a third of them women.

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14 Comments

No name

names please?

(0)(1)

Barry

Anyone remember the last time a press release or interview with a senior lawyer didn’t include the word ‘diversity’?

(38)(7)

What’s really being said

“Focus on diversity” really means in this context “discrimination against men” and in many cases the burden of that discrimination usually falls most on men from working class backgrounds.

(39)(28)

FlourPour

Diversity = Southern white middle/upper class women or middle class BAME from London/abroad.

I’ve just looked at the promoted London partners’ profiles. 4/5 are white, two went to Oxford, three went to Bristol (famed for its diverse intake). They are surely able and very bright but calling this diversity is a bit of a stretch. It’s like a private members’ club reluctantly admitting women.

(37)(1)

Anon

50% women = massive anti-male discrimination given the female professional attrition rate prior to partnership election seniority.

(47)(14)

Anon

I wouldn’t want to be a male gunning for partnership at these firms obsessed with ‘diversity’. Hard enough as it is.

(23)(14)

JS

How does that work? In 2019 there were 4,421 female solicitors admitted to the roll and 2,551 male solicitors. Overall the ratio is about 50-50.

(8)(5)

Bill

JS admission to the roll is entering the profession. The women choose to have kids and leave or have kids and take easier jobs. So by the stage of pre-partnership the profession is heavily male dominated (hence the 50/50 overall figure, duh). Stopping professional women marrying professional men who can support a family with their income might help stop the leakage, but for some reason the feminist lobby is not advocating that.

(16)(12)

FlourPour

Good work from them making it to partner at 2pqe.

(1)(3)

JD

How many of those 2019 intake are currently up for partner bro? Yup, apologies accepted in advance.

(2)(1)

Anonymous

So five out of six new partners in London were women.

(5)(3)

Bill

“Diversity” at work.

(14)(6)

Touker

By drawing attention to the fact that 50% happen to be women and bearing in mind their nauseating diversity drive, they have inadvertently created the idea that at least some of these women were just diversity promotions.

(22)(6)

Anon

So everyone commenting “male discrimination” agrees that in the past where it’s been male dominated it was female discrimination? Or do you genuinely see women partners as sub-standard diversity promotions and refuse to believe it could actually be on merit? Female associate numbers have been increasing over the past 5-10 years so it absolutely makes sense. It seems you’re the type of people to say “oh but it takes a while for equality to reach the top that’s why it’s not diverse” and then get triggered when it starts to.

(33)(18)

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