Linklaters hits 40 per cent gender target with new promotions
The new promotions vindicate a recent decision by the firm to raise its target to achieve gender balance
Magic Circle firm Linklaters has promoted 14 women lawyers as partners allowing it to hit its newly set target of achieving a 40 per cent gender balance.
Overall, Linklaters' 2021 tally of new partners is up by five from 2020, when the firm expressed disappointment on failing to deliver on its then gender diversity target of 30 per cent.
Linklaters has claimed that out of 25 per cent of the new partners in London, New York and Washington DC are from minority ethnic backgrounds, against the 15 per cent target the firm set out in its race action plan in October 2020.
"The diversity of talent we see in these promotions, including across practice and jurisdiction, is testament to the strength of our global network and to the firm's ability to attract, retain and invest in leading individuals," Charlie Jacobs, senior partner and chairman at Linklaters, said.
In geographical terms, Linklaters' promoted UK cohort fell by just one from last year's tally of 14 while its European network recorded a far better result, up from 10 to 15.
In Asia, Linklaters notably promoted two partners in its affiliated firm in China, Linklaters Zhao Sheng: Wendy Cheng (corporate) and Xi Liao (antitrust and foreign investment).
Corporate specialist Iris Yeung and capital markets expert Taiki Ki were made up in Hong Kong, joining a partnership strengthened by the recent double hire of M&A lawyer Xiaxi Lin and leveraged finance expert Alessandro Nolet, who joined Linklaters from Kirkland & Ellis and White & Case, respectively.
In terms of practice areas, corporate accounted for the most promotions (nine), followed closely by banking (eight) with four apiece in capital markets and dispute resolution.
Four of A&O's newly promoted female partners are banking specialists: MaameYaa Kwafo-Akoto (London), Nikki Johnstone (London), Vanessa Cuellas (Madrid) and Viola Jing (Hong Kong).
In terms of practice areas, A&O's promotions leaned heavily towards banking (11), followed by corporate (eight) and litigation (five).
European appointments also made up a large proportion of A&O's promotions, up by four to 10, while the London tally remained unchanged at 10.