Linklaters elects first female senior partner as Comiskey wins leadership race

Linklaters has elected global corporate head Aedamar Comiskey as its new senior partner, becoming just the second Magic Circle law firm to elect a female leader.

The firm announced on 11 May that Comiskey will take up her five-year term on 1 July, succeeding Charlie Jacobs, whose term ends on 30 June.

Comiskey defeated Milan finance partner Claudia Parzani and London corporate partner Sarah Wiggins in the partner vote.

US head Tom Shropshire dropped out of the race after he announced in February he was leaving the firm to take the role of general counsel at drinks giant Diageo.

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Financial News first reported in January that Irish deals lawyer Comiskey was the candidate to beat in the race to succeed Jacobs, with her high profile inside and outside the firm and her success as head of corporate seen as strong points in her favour. 

Corporate heavyweight Jacobs is leaving the firm at the end of his term to start a career in banking with JPMorgan.

“I am hugely proud to have been elected the firm’s first female senior partner. It is an honour and a privilege. 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 said.

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“The Linklaters partners have chosen a terrific next senior partner, Aedamar Comiskey. 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,” Jacobs added.

Financial News recognised Comiskey in its inaugural top 20 most influential in legal services list this year thanks to her prominent position in the European M&A sector and her reputation among her colleagues and peers.

Comiskey will lead the firm alongside managing partner Gideon Moore, who is in post until 2022.

Comiskey is the second woman to lead a Magic Circle firm following Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer’s appointment of Georgia Dawson, who took up her role as the firm’s senior partner earlier this year.

Over the past year, Comiskey advised security firm G4S on its recommended £3.8bn cash offer from Allied Universal and its defence of a hostile £3.68bn cash offer from GardaWorld. 

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Previous major deals include advising Visa Europe on its €18.4bn sale to Visa Inc in 2016 and representing Unilever in its defence of Kraft-Heinz’s $145bn takeover attempt in 2017. 

She leads Linklaters’ relationships with some of its largest clients, including HSBC, Visa, Capita and G4S. Comiskey joined Linklaters in London in 1992, having studied at University College Dublin, and made partner in 2001.

To contact the author of this story with feedback or news, email James Booth