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Cravath Promotes All-Female Class of Three to Partner (1)

Nov. 8, 2018, 8:29 PM; Updated: Nov. 8, 2018, 9:56 PM

The storied Wall Street law firm Cravath, Swaine & Moore has promoted an all-woman class of attorneys to partner for the second time in the last three years.

The new Cravath partners are Lauren Roberta Kennedy, Sasha Rosenthal-Larrea, and Allison Wein, according to a firm announcement.

Kennedy is a litigator and focuses on general commercial cases. Rosenthal-Larrea and Wein work in the firm’s corporate department with focuses on capital markets and M&A, respectively. Each of the associates will become members of the firm at the start of 2019.

All-female partner classes are noteworthy as Big Law continues its push to integrate women lawyers into top earning and decision-making spots, often with mixed success.

Cravath’s elite reputation also gives the promotions extra weight. The firm, which has offices in New York and London, has topped the Vault 100 most prestigious law firm rankings for three years running.

In 2016, Cravath also advancedthree women and no men to partner. The promotions included two litigators and one tax lawyer.

Cravath has taken other steps in recent years to advance its women lawyers. Faiza Saeed in 2016 became the firm’s presiding partner – the first female in that leadership post in the history of a firm that next year will celebrate its bicentennial.

On its Women’s Initiative web page, the firm notes that “we have remained committed to ensuring that women are represented and supported at all levels of the Firm.” This has included women’s recruiting receptions, and dinners at partners homes for mid-level associates, the firm said.

Currently, 23 percent of Cravath’s partners are women, but the percentage is rising, Saeed told Bloomberg Law in an email. Including the newly announced partners, two-thirds of the firm’s last three partner classes have been female, she wrote.

“Lauren, Sasha and Allie have done tremendous work for our clients and are highly skilled and talented lawyers,” Saeed said of the promoted attorneys. “They are active in the Firm’s diversity efforts, including our Women’s Initiative, and each has been involved in student recruitment and associate mentorship as well.”

Among AmLaw 200 firms, women hold 25 percent of firm governance roles, which include spots on compensation and leadership committees, according to a study released last month by the National Association of Women Lawyers. That number rises to 37 percent when including the country’s top 50 firms as gauged by revenue.

(Updated to include interview with Faiza Saeed)

To contact the reporter on this story: Sam Skolnik in Washington at sskolnik@bgov.com

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Jessie Kokrda Kamens at jkamens@bloomberglaw.com

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