International firm Herbert Smith Freehills has elected its first female senior partner. Rebecca Maslen-Stannage is to succeed James Palmer as senior partner and chair of the global council on 1 May 2021. Based in Sydney, Maslen-Stannage specialises in mergers and acquisitions and equity capital markets. She joined the firm in 1994 and served on the firm’s global council from 2012 to 2019, including as deputy senior partner from 2015.

Rebecca Maslen-Stannage Herbert Smith Freehills

Rebecca Maslen-Stannage

The firm said she has been closely involved in the firm’s recruitment and pro bono activity, as well as its diversity and mentoring initiatives. Palmer, who steps down after more than six years in the role, will return to full-time practice.

Maslen-Stannage said: ‘I am proud of our incredible, diverse talent and positive culture and the fact that we are trusted by clients to advise on an impressive array of matters around the world. I look forward to working with and leading the partnership council in its important role and supporting our CEO Justin D’Agostino and the executive team in achieving the next phase of our strategic goals.’

All staff at Herbert Smith Freehills will receive a one-off Covid bonus this month for their 'dedication and hard work' during lockdown. The firm said it is ‘performing well so far this year’ and will pay its employees around the world a bonus amounting to 5% of their salary.