Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer has elected 22 new partners worldwide - half of them women, the highest proportion announced by a magic circle firm this year.

Six of the new partners, who begin their new roles on 1 May 2021, are based in London and 11 are female. Last month, the firm announced an 'ambitious' set of diversity targets under the leadership of its first female senior partner, pledging that women will occupy at least 40% of leadership roles by 2023. It also wants at least 40% of partner promotions to go to women over the next five years.

Senior partner Georgia Dawson said: ‘I am delighted to welcome such a strong group of colleagues to Freshfields’ global partnership. Our new partners bring diverse thinking, backgrounds and experience to our partnership, all critical to helping our clients navigate the ongoing complexities of the legal and business landscape.

'The promotion of our new partners reflects the firm’s focus on diversity over several years and I look forward to working with each of them as we continue to build our firm for the future.’

Earlier this month, magic circle rival Linklaters announced a bumper partner promotion round, electing 35 partners worldwide, with 40% of the promotions went to women. Meanwhile, Allen & Overy has appointed 30 new partners worldwide, up from 29 last year. Some 34% of new partners are based in London and a third are women.