Law Firm Partner Moves in London - Issue 69

May - June 2022

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Welcome to the 69th edition of Law Firm Partner Moves in London, from the specialist partner team at Edwards Gibson, where we look back at announced partner-level recruitment activity in London over the past two months and give you a ‘who’s moved where’ update.

This edition marks the midpoint of 2022 and we have included some facts and figures below comparing the partner-level recruitment activity in the first half of 2022 with that over the same period of the past five years.


  • A summary of the first half of 2022


January to June 2022 has seen a total of 264 announced partner moves, 12% up on the five-year average for the same period (236) – and a “real terms” half-year record, bettered only by the first half of 2017 when the figure - 287 - was artificially inflated due to scores of laterals being involuntarily dumped onto the market following the insolvent collapse of King & Wood Mallesons’ European verein. The elevation seen in the first half of 2022 is in large part explained by the continuation of the post-Covid bounce we saw throughout 2021 and the start of the year which saw record law firm profitability on the back of cheap central bank money and a resulting deal bonanza.   

The most prolific hirer in the first half of 2022 was Eversheds Sutherland which welcomed 10 partners (7 of whom were laterals), succeeded by Addleshaw Goddard, Mishcon de Reya and Pallas Partners, which snapped up no fewer than 7 partners apiece. On the other side of the coin, over the same period, Norton Rose Fulbright suffered the highest attrition rate, losing 9 lateral partners.  

Top partner recruiters in London 2022 (inclusive of moves from non-partnership)*


Eversheds Sutherland


Addleshaw Goddard    


Mishcon de Reya  


Pallas Partners    


CMS Cameron McKenna 


Kirkland & Ellis 


Stephenson Harwood 



Firms with largest attrition in London 2022 (partnership to partnership moves only)*


Norton Rose Fulbright                   




Boies Schiller Flexner                    




Brown Rudnick                               





*To 30 June 2022. 


  • Other fun facts from the first half of 2022


  • Just over 5% of all partner hires (14) were to the magic circle – likely a record proportion  
  • Nearly a third (32%) of moves so far this year have been female
  • 2% of all moves (6 in all) were in-house lawyers moving into law firm partnerships


  • May – June 2022


This bi-monthly round-up contains 91 partner moves – up 14% on the 80 we saw for the same period in 2021 (and 18% and 22% more than the cumulative five-year and ten-year averages for the same period – both 74).

In addition to the above, and not recorded in our main report as the destinations of the individuals are yet to be announced, are three partners departing from their firms: Addleshaw Goddard’s Leona Ahmed and Lee Sheldon (real estate and corporate real estate respectively) and Allen & Overy international arbitration partner Suzanne Spears, who is set to launch a, as yet unnamed, business and human rights law boutique.


  • Top partner recruiters in London May – June 2022


  • Addleshaw Goddard
 5 (5 laterals)
  • Akin Gump   
 3 (3 laterals)
  • Eversheds Sutherland
 3 (2 laterals 1 vertical)
  • Stephenson Harwood 
 3 (3 verticals)


  • Also of note in this edition


  • 25% of all hires were female
  • 34% of all moves were non-partners moving into partnership


  • Market outlook for the second half of 2022


In our January-February publication we forecast that, despite the continued red hot Big Law recruitment market of the preceding 12 months, economic headwinds – magnified significantly by a major European conflagration - would appreciably cool law firm partner hiring in the second half of this year. At the time of writing there still appears to be plenty of bite left in the market, moreover, due to the often very long lead in times on lateral partner hires, the statistics will in any case lag, nevertheless, unfortunately we stand by our previous assessment.   


Please do not hesitate to contact us if you would like to discuss this article or any other aspect of the market in more depth.

Scott Gibson, Director or +44 (0)7788 454 080

Sloane Poulton, Director or +44 (0)7967 603 402

Mark Coates, Senior Consultant or +44 (0)7541 666 856


Please click here to understand our methodology for compiling Partner Moves

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