The feminisation of the legal profession has led to a predictable consequence. A piece in today’s Sunday Times:
Monaghan native Aedamar Comiskey is tipped to be Linklaters’ next senior partner
Linklaters is poised to elect its first female senior partner this week, and Irishwoman Aedamar Comiskey, 54, its global head of corporate law, is being widely tipped as the frontrunner for the role.
In an all-female ballot, Comiskey is up against London-based corporate and M&A partner Sarah Wiggins and Claudia Parzani, the firm’s Milan-based managing partner for western Europe.
Corporate partner Tom Shropshire had been expected to stand, but quit instead to become general counsel at drinks maker Diageo, owner of Guinness.
The 183-year-old firm will become the second of London’s so-called “magic circle” law firms with a woman at the helm. Last year the Singapore-based Georgia Dawson was named senior partner of Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer.
From Co Monaghan, University College Dublin graduate Comiskey was in the running for the top job at Linklaters five years ago, but was beaten by Charlie Jacobs, a banking specialist.
Jacobs, 54, announced he was stepping down in February to become co-head of UK investment banking at JP Morgan, prompting the latest leadership race.
Linklaters’ profits dipped just over 3 per cent last year to £727 million, with sales edging up 0.7 per cent to £1.7 billion. Profit per equity partner fell by 5 per cent to £1.6 million.
The fifth of six children, Comiskey grew up in a high-achieving family, with two of her sisters in the medical profession. She has been a partner at Linklaters since 2001 and is a member of the firm’s international board. Comiskey specialises in international and domestic UK mergers and acquisitions, joint ventures and fundraisings, and was heavily involved in expanding the business in Latin America.
Before joining Linklaters, she worked for two years as a consultant with Accenture in Dublin, Chicago and Belfast.
A member of the Linklaters’ executive committee, which is the management body of the firm globally, Comiskey leads the firm’s relationships with many of its large international clients, including Capita, G4S, HSBC, MS Amlin, Tate & Lyle, Vesuvius and Visa.
Her mergers and acquisitions work includes advising Unilever on its defence of a $145 billion approach from the Kraft Heinz Company and she worked with Dixon’s on its £4 billion merger with Carphone Warehouse. She advised the security firm G4S on the recommended £3.8 billion cash offer by Allied Universal and its defence of the hostile £3.68 billion cash offer by Garda World Security Corporation.
Comiskey is also senior independent director at James Fisher and Sons, a FTSE quoted marine engineering services company, headed by Irishman Eoghan O’Lionaird.
The all-female ballot at Linklaters comes after recent strides in the representation of women at the top of the legal profession.
In March, Herbert Smith Freehills elected Rebecca Maslen-Stannage as its first female senior partner, while Marie-Aimée de Dampierre has become chairwoman of Hogan Lovells.
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