A&O makes up just two women in 20-strong round as diversity conundrum persists

Allen & Overy (A&O) has promoted just two women to partnership in this year’s round, as the firm continues to struggle with the challenge of meeting gender diversity targets for its senior ranks.

The firm has announced that 18 men – equating to 90% of the partner intake – have been made up this year, weeks after the firm renewed its push to boost gender diversity at the firm. Last year, the firm also promoted just two women to partner in a 24-strong round.

Earlier this month, senior partner Wim Dejonghe acknowledged that the amount of women made up this year was likely to be low. The firm has set a new target for partnership candidates – stating that by 2021, 30% of partner candidates must be female, and the firm is working towards a 30% target for the partnership in the longer term.

The firm also recently announced that it was opening a hub office in Vauxhall to make it easier for staff to work remotely.

The bulk of this year’s 20 new partners are based outside of London. Eighty percent of the new partners hail from the firm’s international network, including seven in the Asia-Pacific region, with five in Singapore and one each in Perth and Seoul.

Just four London lawyers have been promoted – Hannah Valintine in banking, John Kicken in international capital markets, James Freeman in litigation and Andrew Cork in corporate.

A&O managing partner Andrew Ballheimer (pictured) said: “The international spread of this year’s new partners is testament to our continued investment in a global offering, which has proved so compelling to clients. I would like to congratulate each of the candidates on their achievement and welcome them to the partnership.”

A&O partner promotions in full

  • Jonathan Heeringa, Amsterdam – international capital markets
  • Jasper de Jong, Amsterdam – corporate
  • Frederiek Adams, Brussels – corporate
  • Antoine Haddad, Casablanca – banking
  • Yacine Francis, Dubai – litigation
  • Christian Hilmes, Hamburg – real estate
  • Henry Sohn, Seoul – banking
  • Hannah Valintine, London – banking
  • John Kicken, London – international capital markets
  • James Freeman, London – litigation
  • Andrew Cork, London – corporate
  • Ignacio Hornedo, Madrid – corporate
  • Brian Jebb, New York – corporate
  • Simon Clark, New York – banking
  • David Jenaway, Perth – litigation
  • Sheila Ahuja, Singapore – litigation
  • Chris Bishop, Singapore – banking
  • Scott Lovell, Singapore – banking
  • Tim Beech, Singapore – international capital markets
  • James Mythen, Singapore – corporate