While these new female law leaders clearly excel within the existing culture of their firms, many of them are also actively working to move that culture toward greater equity and work-life balance—changes that, they say, are designed to benefit all lawyers, not just women.
Law.com International spent months researching and calling for submissions from top law firms about exceptional up-and-coming female lawyers practicing in Continental Europe and Ireland.
All candidates were judged against the following criteria: the quality of their client base; examples of driving forward the size or reputation of their practice area; the scale, significance, and complexity of their cases; their client feedback and general market reputation; the standing of their mentor; and any other examples of career success and innovation.
Uría Menéndez Financial Regulatory partner Isabel Aguilar Alonso and Cuatrecasas Labour partner Almudena Batista Jiménez, both from Madrid are the two Spanish female lawyers on the list.
According to Law.com, Isabel Aguilar Alonso showed her prowess at both this year, leading a team that advised on the establishment of an investment firm dedicated to trading in derivatives.
As part of the firm’s Benelux desk, Aguilar is charged with managing and growing the firm’s financial services contacts in Luxembourg, many of which she acquired during a secondment to a Luxembourg law firm in 2014. Having studied business as well as law, she sees parallels in the corporate world of the career challenges for women lawyers.
The same media shows how one of the youngest female partners at Cuatrecasas, Almudena Batista Jiménez has become a go-to employment lawyer in Spain in sectors in which there are few specialists, including fashion law, diversity and inclusion, and pensions. Among her more impressive mandates, she successfully defended a major company in court against 57 unfair dismissal procedures with $3.8 billion at stake.
She also advised a leading Spanish company with a workforce of over 2,000 on its gender equality plan, navigating a shifting regulatory environment on a project critical to the client’s future prospects. She credits her mother, also a lawyer, for giving her “a passion for the legal profession from a young age,” and counts among her proudest achievements being named an equity partner and serving on her firm’s recruitment committee—“a major responsibility” to participate in building “the most valuable asset for our firm and our profession.”
You can see the complete list on law.com here.