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26 Apr 2022

Stephenson Harwood promotes ten to partnership

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Law firm Stephenson Harwood LLP has promoted ten lawyers to its partnership, effective from 1 May 2022.

"This is our second largest promotion round ever, and reflects our commitment to strategic growth," said Eifion Morris, chief executive, Stephenson Harwood. "As part of our new strategy, we've identified five areas of focus in which to grow our business: decarbonisation, life sciences, private capital & funds, technology and transportation & trade. These talented lawyers bring the skills and depth of commercial expertise that our clients expect and will help us to achieve our ambitious plans.

"Diversity is really important to us; like most law firms, we recognise that we have work to do in this space. To mark our commitment in this area, earlier this year we set ourselves a clear target: by 2025, we want 35% of our partners globally to be women – and we're making headway: by 1 May, when these promotions take effect, we'll be at 29.2%. We've made real progress in recent years: in each of the last two years – for both internal promotions and lateral hires – we achieved a 50:50 gender split, although this year's cohort isn't as evenly split. We've made great strides in our leadership team too, with more than half our central management team now being women, and a good balance across our global leadership team too: it's something which really matters to me. We've a range of programmes already in action, which will be vital in supporting us to achieve this important aim."

The firm's new partners:

Jide Adesokan has been named a partner in the firm's international arbitration group. He is dual qualified in England & Wales and Nigeria. He is based in London, and his practice is mainly focused on disputes – arbitration and litigation – in the energy sector, as well as M&A and shareholder disputes. He also represents clients in contentious and non-contentious offshore energy matters. Adesokan is a key member of the firm’s Africa group having been closely involved in its development over the past few years, and has worked on the group's most important mandates. He is also a member of the firm's offshore energy group.

Nick Axup has been named a partner in the firm's restructuring and insolvency team, based in London. Nick represents insolvency practitioners, lenders, investors and stakeholders in both contentious and non-contentious distressed situations. Nick has a particular specialism in sports-related insolvencies, having worked on a number of high profile football and other sporting mandates.

Jon Cripps has been named a partner in the firm's finance group. Based in London, he specialises in asset finance, and his practice area covers the financing and leasing of ships, aircraft and other movable assets. He has significant experience acting for a variety financial institutions, lessors, owners, operators and other investors on a wide range of transactions, including JOLCOs and other structured financings, ECA-backed facilities, conventional debt transactions, private equity investment, sale and purchase, leasing, joint ventures and restructuring.

Richard Freedman has been named a partner in the firm's employment, pensions and private wealth group. Based in London, he is part of the employment team, and advises on all aspects of the employment relationship from recruitment, issues arising during employment and termination. He has significant experience advising employers in the Employment Tribunal on a wide range of issues including complex discrimination and whistleblowing claims. His practice also includes advising on the enforcement of restrictive covenants and complex TUPE matters. He has also become a trusted adviser to many senior executives in relation to exits. Freedman works closely with the firm's transactional teams frequently leading on the employment aspects of matters such as investments, private acquisitions and outsourcing arrangements.

Nick Horton has been named a partner in the firm's corporate group. Based in London, he is an investment funds specialist, who advises on the launch of a range of fund structures, as well as on post-launch events including secondary issues, reconstructions, changes to management arrangements and regulatory matters. Horton has a particular focus on closed-ended funds, both UK and offshore, and advises investment managers, funds and brokers in the sector. He also acts for funds on public and private investment and divestment work across a range of sectors.

Emily Li has been named a partner in the firm's commercial litigation group. Based in Hong Kong, she has extensive experience in commercial litigation and dispute resolution (in particular disputes involving PRC elements), as well as international trade finance disputes. She is also experienced in regulatory matters, and often advises clients in investigations conducted by the Stock Exchange of Hong Kong, Securities and Futures Commission and Hong Kong Monetary Authority.

Pedram Norton has been named a partner in the firm's finance group. Based in Singapore, he is part of the shipping and offshore finance team, and specialises in advising banks, funds and ship-owners on a broad range of syndicated and bilateral financings, leasing transactions, restructurings and enforcement work throughout the Asia-Pacific region. He also has particular expertise assisting ship-owners with ship sale and purchase transactions, vessel registrations, re-flaggings, re-domiciliation, newbuild financings, fleet refinancings, joint ventures and chartering arrangements.

Shaun Park has been named a partner in the firm's finance group. Based in London, he is an asset finance expert, with a particular focus on the marine sector. His experience covers a wide range of international asset finance and leasing transactions, and he acts for banks, financial institutions, investors and owners on syndicated and bilateral loan facilities, ship sale and purchase, and shipbuilding transactions. Park's practice also covers cross-border and domestic real estate financing, receivables financing, finance and operating leases, and hire purchase arrangements.

Alan Ward has been named a partner in the firm's commercial litigation group. Based in London, he is part of the regulatory litigation team, and advises corporate entities and individuals in the context of regulatory and criminal investigations – concerning allegations of bribery and corruption, insider dealing, regulatory breaches and manipulation of financial markets – commenced by agencies such as the Serious Fraud Office, Financial Conduct Authority and Prudential Regulation Authority. 

Kate Worthington has been named a partner in the firm's corporate group. Based in London, she is a member of the tax team, and advises on a broad range of corporate and real estate tax matters. She has particular experience advising on real estate transactions and has acted extensively for institutional investors, listed funds (including REITs), private companies and individuals in this context. Kate also has experience in corporate and financing transactions, funds, joint ventures, domestic and international tax structuring, and tax disputes.

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