Freshfields Outperforms Diversity Goals for Third Year in a Row, Elevating 30 Lawyers to Partnership

Freshfields Outperforms Diversity Goals for Third Year in a Row, Elevating 30 Lawyers to Partnership

Magic Circle firm Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer has exceeded its gender diversity target for the third consecutive year in its latest round of partner promotions.

The firm has elevated 30 lawyers to its partnership, three more than the previous year, with women comprising over half of this year’s cohort, at 53 percent. The firm has been working towards achieving more female partners for some time.

Diversity has been a catchcry for many law firms, particularly the big law firms that have often lagged in created the diversity goals set by many in the profession.

This exceeds the diversity target set by the firm, which stipulated that at least 40 percent of new partners should be women. Freshfields hit 41 percent in 2022 and 50 percent in 2021, demonstrating significant progress since 2020 when only 19 percent of the 21-strong cohort were women.

Of the 16 lawyers who were promoted to partner this year, five were based in London.

Other women to join the partnership include disputes lawyer Amani Khalifa, who will be splitting her time between Riyadh and Dubai, transactions lawyer Tomoko Nakajima in Tokyo, people and reward lawyer Sarah Ghulamhussain in Silicon Valley, and tax lawyer Tanja Walter-Yadegardjam in Frankfurt.

Freshfields is also progressing well with its race and ethnicity targets, with 18 percent of its new UK and US partners identifying as part of an underrepresented group. This exceeds its UK target of 15 percent and falls just short of its US target of 20 percent.

The bulk of the promotions were in Freshfields’ dispute resolution and global transactions groups, with 13 each. There were also two promotions in its antitrust, competition, and trade group and one each in its tax and people and reward practices. The promotions were spread across 15 global offices, with London dominating with 11 new partners, followed by three each in New York and Munich.

Georgia Dawson, (pictured above) Freshfields’ senior partner, said that the new partners “all bring varied experience and insight and deliver fantastic outcomes for our clients.” She added that with the addition of these new partners, the firm will continue to strengthen its global offering and efforts to deliver long-term success for the firm worldwide.

In February, the firm also bolstered its disputes team through lateral hires with the announcement of the appointment of Mijke Sinninghe Damsté as a partner in Amsterdam. She joins from Dutch firm Loyens & Loeff and will commence her new role next month.

Freshfields’ magic circle rival, Linklaters, also achieved its gender target for the third consecutive year last month, with women accounting for 41 percent of its 2023 cohort.

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