Linklaters Elects First Female Senior Partner

Aedamar Comiskey joined the firm as a trainee almost 30 years ago

Magic circle player Linklaters has elected its first female senior partner. Aedamar Comiskey, who currently serves as the firm’s global head of corporate, will begin a five-year term from 1 July 2021.

Aedamar Comiskey studied a bachelor of civil law at University College Dublin before joining Links as a trainee in the early 90s. Rising through the ranks to make partner in 2001, Comiskey is one of the country’s leading public and private M&A lawyers, with a client list boasting the likes of HSBC, Visa Europe, G4S and Unilever.

Comiskey replaces outgoing senior partner, Charlie Jacobs, who is set to join global investment bank JP Morgan as co-head of UK investment banking.

Commenting on her election success, Comiskey said:

“I am hugely proud to have been elected the firm’s first female senior partner. It is an honour and a privilege. Thank you to my colleagues for their trust and confidence in me — I intend to deliver on the vision set out in my manifesto.”

She added: “I want Linklaters to stand out as the law firm with the best minds in the business from truly diverse backgrounds, contributing different perspectives to solve the complex challenges facing business and society today. And as we launch out of lockdown, our focus will be on fostering drive, ambition and creativity from our high-performing teams across the world, to deliver outstanding results for our world-class clients.”

Comiskey joins a growing list of female lawyers to secure senior positions in recent months.

Hogan Lovells appointed its first female solo chair, Marie-Aimée de Dampierre, in February, while Georgia Dawson assumed the role of senior partner at Freshfields earlier this year. Elsewhere, Herbert Smith Freehills recently appointed Rebecca Maslen-Stannage as its first female senior partner and chair of the firm.


Hogan Lovells to launch Office in the Irish Capital

International law firm Hogan Lovells is opening an office in the Irish capital of Dublin, it announced today.

The new office will initially focus on financial regulatory and antitrust work, with a number of the firm’s lawyers based in London, who specialise in these areas, relocating to Dublin.

Christopher Hutton, Hogan Lovells’ new Dublin office managing partner, said in a statement:

“Putting clients at the centre of everything we do is a strategic priority for the firm, and having a presence in Dublin is about doing just that. Hogan Lovells opening an office there is welcomed by our existing clients, and also presents new opportunities. I am excited to head up the firm’s new offering in Ireland.”

Hogan Lovells hasn’t ruled out offering training contracts or opportunities for trainees to be seconded to the Dublin office. “We would not rule anything out if the right opportunity arises,” a spokesperson for the firm told Legal Cheek. “Staffing and recruitment [including secondments] will be driven, as always, by the needs of our clients and the business.”

Hogan Lovells is the latest law firm to set up a base in Dublin. Ashurst opened an office in Dublin earlier this month, while Dentons launched in the Irish capital last year.

Thousands of solicitors from across England and Wales registered in Ireland in the wake of the 2016 Brexit vote to maintain their EU practice rights. The Law Society of Ireland delivered a blow in the autumn when it said they won’t be entitled to qualify in Ireland unless they have a physical presence in the country.

Other international firms that opened Dublin offices in the aftermath of the Brexit referendum include DechertDLA PiperFieldfisher and Pinsent Masons. It’s likely several other firms will follow suit so they can continue to practise in Europe.

Marie-Aimée de Dampierre

Hogan Lovells gets its first female solo chair

Hogan Lovells has appointed its first female solo chair. Marie-Aimée de Dampierre, managing partner for the Europe, Middle East and Asia (EMEA) region, will serve a three-year term from 1 May 2021.

The intellectual property partner takes over from current post-holder, Leopold von Gerlach, who will return to practice when his term ends. Read more

Hogan Lovells, Diversity and inclusion

Credit system applies to activities including organising D&I events and mentoring underrepresented colleagues

Lawyers at Hogan Lovells have been told that time spent on diversity and inclusion (D&I) activities can count towards their billing targets.

The new initiative means associates can set aside up to 50 billable hours for activities including organising D&I events or diversity network initiatives, mentoring and sponsoring underrepresented colleagues, and preparing for and participating in client-related D&I activities. Additional efforts will be approved on a case-by-case basis, the firm said in a statement.

The credit system is being implemented across the firm’s global offices, including London, after it was first introduced in the US in November.

Global managing partner for diversity & inclusion and responsible business, Susan Bright, commented:

“The introduction of D&I billable hour credit is part of our global strategy to create and maintain a diverse and inclusive working environment throughout our firm, and at the highest ranks. It also enables us to achieve our global minority and LGBT+ goals, and measure engagement at a substantive level. We recognise that diversity of all kinds creates better teams, and better serves our clients.”

News of the credit system follows Hogan Lovells’ announcement in October that it had set two new targets to increase D&I among its UK and US partnership. The firm aims to have 15% ethnic minority and 4% LGBTQ+ partners by 2025. These figures currently sit at 11% and 2.5%, respectively.

Hogan Lovells listed in The Times Best Law Firms 2021

The Times has listed Hogan Lovells among England and Wales’ top law firms in its Best Law Firms guide, for the third consecutive year.

The report, published in conjunction with international market research firm Statista, is based on a survey of legal professionals and their views of competitors, across a range of 26 categories.

In addition to ranking in the overall list, Hogan Lovells has been commended in the following categories: administrative & public law; banking & finance; commercial dispute resolution; commercial property; company & commercial; energy & renewables; insolvency & restructuring; intellectual property; landlord & tenant; technology, media & telecoms.

Hogan Lovells to Cut 43 Business Services Roles in Mexico and US

Hogan Lovells is shedding 43 staff roles in the United States and Mexico as part of a business services restructuring.

The cuts, announced Friday, amount to 4% of the firms business services workforce in the Americas. The firm’s restructuring will also include a voluntary redundancy program for business services and secretarial staff in the U.K.

Hogan Lovells reports rise for equity partners

Partners at transatlantic firm Hogan Lovells increased their profit share in the last calendar year, the firm’s latest results indicate. Profit per equity partner rose 4% to £1.035m in the year ending 31 December 2018, up from £996,000 in 2017.

The firm did not provide an overall pre-tax profit figure. Revenue rose from £1.581bn to £1.596bn – a 0.9% increase. Calculated in US dollars, profit per equity partner was $1.381m, up from $1.283m. Revenue was $2.11bn, up from $2.037bn.

Chief executive Steve Immelt said the firm expects an ’increasingly volatile global economy’ in the year ahead, with trade tensions and uncertainty caused by political instability such as Brexit creating a slow-down effect.

He added: ‘Having broken through the $2 billion revenue barrier in 2017 we have consolidated that position with further growth of just over 4% of revenue in 2018, as well as higher increases in revenue per lawyer and profits per equity partner.’

London City

White & Case’s London rampage continues with finance hire

White & Case has continued its hiring spree in the City, this time calling in Taylor Wessing’s financial services regulatory head Jonathan Rogers. This is the first US firm Rogers has worked at, having spent 10 years at Taylor Wessing, and seven years as an associate at Hogan Lovells before that.