"...Then my wife had the audacity to say that women could run this place, one day. Jean, are you getting this down?"
Linklaters has elected its first female senior partner since the firm was founded in 1838.
Aedamar Comiskey starts her five-year term as senior partner on 1 July 2021, taking over from Charlie Jacobs, who is leaving for JPMorgan.
“The Linklaters partners have chosen a terrific next Senior Partner, Aedamar," said Jacobs. "I have known Aedamar for her whole career at Linklaters. I have so much admiration for her client focus, strategic thinking and leadership skills not to mention her energy and passion for our people, culture and communities."
"I am hugely proud to have been elected the Firm’s first female Senior Partner. It is an honour and a privilege," said Comiskey. "Thank you to my colleagues for their trust and confidence in me - I intend to deliver on the vision set out in my manifesto."
Comiskey joined the Magic Circle firm as a London trainee 29 years ago, becoming a partner in 2001. She is currently Global Head of Corporate and has lead high-profile deals, including recently advising G4S on the successful outcome of its high-profile and contested takeover.
Linklaters follows HSF and Freshfields in appointing a female senior partner. Georgia Dawson became the first woman to lead a Magic Circle firm when Freshfields made their announcement in September last year. And in March this year, HSF announced that it had elected its first female senior partner, Rebecca Maslen-Stannage.
The smaller proportion of senior women in firms, has been a bugbear for some respondents in RollOnFriday's in-house survey. In one survey, an in-house lawyer said that they wanted their law firms to "be like the business I work in", but instead found that most firms are "pale, male and stale".
One female client said that it was depressing to attend meetings at a law firm where she was "the only senior woman in the room". She added that it was time for firms "to join the 21st century" since they were "making financial services look good, and that is really saying something".
Nonetheless, the high-ranking promotions of women in some firms doesn't mean there isn't still room for bold, female-friendly initiatives.