The Magic Circle global law firm triples intake of new women partners to achieve its target of 50/50 gender split with the promotion of 11 female lawyers
Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer has proved its ability to walk the talk on the gender equality issue. With the promotion of 11 female lawyers as partners, the global law firm has easily surpassed its gender diversity target. Women partners are now making up half of the 22-strong tally.
Georgia Dawson, who this year became the first woman ever to lead a Magic Circle law firm, had in March 2021 announced a new diversity and inclusion action plan that included the goal that at least 40 per cent of new partners would be women, 40 per cent men and the remaining 20 per cent either men, women or non-binary from 2021 to 2026.
"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," Dawson said in a statement.
"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," Dawson added.
The 11 women making partner compare to just four who had made the grade in 2020, which was just 19 per cent of the cohort of 21.
Out of six London-based Freshfields lawyers making partner, five are women. They include Sharon Malhi (antitrust), Laura Whiting (dispute resolution), Holly Insley (people and reward), Lauren Honeyben (global transactions) and Sarah Bond (tax).
There is also a clean sweep of female appointments in the antitrust, competition and trade team with London's Malhi being joined by colleagues Jenn Mellott (Washington/Brussels) and Maria Dreher (Vienna/Brussels).
The group is completed by corporate and M&A lawyers Olga Stürmer (Munich) and Andrea Merediz Basham (New York), Madrid-based dispute resolution specialist Natalia Gómez, and TMT specialist Theresa Ehlen, who shares her time between Frankfurt and Düsseldorf.
The trend of evenly spread of women partners are visible across the firm's network of offices with five in Germany, three in the US, two in Austria, and one apiece in France, Spain, The Netherlands, Abu Dhabi, Tokyo and Singapore.
In terms of practice areas, the largest number of promotions were in the firm's global transactions and dispute resolution outfits with 11 and five new partners apiece.
Freshfields also added partners in tax (two) and people & reward (one) practices alongside the three antitrust, competition and trade lawyers.