PwC Legal makes up five in all-female promotions round

PwC Legal has promoted five women to the rank of director, the equivalent to partner at the accountancy giant’s legal arm.

Three of the promotions are in the firm’s corporate immigration practice, with senior managers Andrea Als, Sapna Patel and Lindsey Barras all made up.

Barras has been at PwC since December 2010, when she joined from EY, while Als joined from Bindmans in 2008. Patel trained and qualified at the firm.

PwC Legal’s immigration team, which is led by former CMS Cameron McKenna partner Julia Onslow-Cole, is one of the firm’s key practices and recently embarked on a major expansion drive, investing more than $8m (£5.5m) in new technology and recruiting Katrina Cooper as a director from US firm Faegre Baker Daniels.

The firm also entered the Canadian legal market in 2014, with the acquisition of Toronto law firm Bomza Law Group.

The other two director promotions are banking and finance lawyer Annalie Croney, and corporate solicitor Cynthia Chan, who joined the firm from Baker & McKenzie in 2001 and leads PwC Legal’s China business group.

Separately, the firm has also made two promotions to its equity partnership ranks – Kate Elsdon, a director in the firm’s entity governance & compliance team, and pensions lawyer Oliver Reece.

PwC Legal converted to an alternative business structure in January 2014, allowing the wider accountancy firm to directly own the legal arm and invest in the business.

The firm has since made a number of notable hires, including Allen & Overy’s former China senior partner Joseph Tse, McDermott Will & Emery London corporate partner Mark Crofskey, and Addleshaw Goddard corporate partner Neal Shepherd.