Well, its about time. Nine months of management elections will come to an end in April to give way to the senior partner elections. London partner Aedamar Comiskey, who specialises in public and private M&A as well as corporate governance advice, is the first woman to add her name to the roster of runners. Until now, the election had been considered a tête-à-tête between London-based corporate partner Charlie Jacobs and Belgium-based Jean-Pierre Blumberg. Some sources suggest that Jacobs is a strong favourite over his Antwerp-based colleague.
The announcement separates Linklaters from its Magic Circle cohort such as Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer and Allen & Overy (A&O) as a strong promoter of putting women into top management positions. During their elections last year, neither Freshfields nor A&O put any women forward for the top job despite an experienced pool of potential candidates.
Both Comiskey and Jacobs have a wealth of prominent clients and notable deals within their repertoires. Comiskey has advised the firm’s most prised FTSE 100 clients including Aviva, Dixons Carphone and HSBC as well as advising Visa’s acquisitions of Visa Europe for £16.1bn and HSBC’s £3.7bn sale of its Brazilian division. She is also heavily involved in Linklaters’ Women in Leadership mentoring initiative. Jacobs is undoubtedly one of Linklaters’ principal forces within corporate M&A, having advised on the £71bn merger between SABMiller and AB InBev throughout 2015.