City firm Herbert Smith Freehills has announced its biggest partner promotions round since its merger in 2012, despite growing concerns about coronavirus.

The firm has elected 26 partners worldwide – four more than last year – and 50% of promotions have gone to women. Eight new UK partners have been elected and Australia has seen the first partner promotion in the firm’s pro bono practice.

Justin D’Agostino, CEO Elect, said the firm is determined to look to the future in spite of the pandemic. ‘These outstanding lawyers have shown a real commitment to our firm’s culture and values. While Covid-19 continues to create uncertainties and challenges, we remain focused on taking steps to navigate its impact while looking to the future – and promoting partners is an important part of this,' he said. 'These promotions reflect our long-term commitment to investing in our people and our focus on continuing to bring through talented partners to build the sustainable success of our firm.’

Earlier this month Herbert Smith Freehills announced that it is reducing partner profit distributions and has postponed pay reviews. There will be bonuses for the 2019/20 financial year, but only half will be paid in July. The other half will be paid by the end of the calendar year.

Last week, Linklaters announced it has promoted 30 partners globally, while CMS has elected 41.