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Slaughter and May hires first ever London partner from outside the firm
24 February 2017
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Slaughter and May has made its first ever lateral hire of a partner in London.

The Magic Circle firm has appointed Daniel Schaffer, formerly Head of Pensions at Herbert Smith Freehills, to its Pension & Employment Group. Before Herbies, Schaffer spent 12 years at Freshfields as a partner. He's the first London partner to come from outside 1 Bunhill Row since Slaughters was founded in 1889.

    "Who's got a Slaughters extension
And a way with a draft pension?
(Schaffer!)
You're damn right
Who is the partner
That would risk his neck for his brother partner?
(Schaffer!)
Can ya dig it?
Who's the cat that won't cop out
When there's danger all about
(Schaffer?)
Right on"

Senior Partner Steve Cooke noted the magnitude of the move in an email leaked to RollOnFriday, telling staff "we have not previously had anyone join the firm in London directly into partnership laterally". He sought to reassure them, writing, "I would like to emphasise that the election of Dan does not represent a change in our strategy or our focus on organic growth".

The hire is not unprecedented. Slaughters made a single lateral partner hire in Hong Kong three years ago. But that was chalked up as a one-of, required because the firm just didn't possess expertise in the relevant market. Shaffer's arrival means the seal is well and truly broken, and lateral partner hires can be expected at a rate of at least two every 128 years.
 

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