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Ahead of the publication of the Hot 100 2017 next week, The Lawyer has caught up with four leading lawyers in the Hot 100 2016 to find out how their lives have changed since appearing in the list.
Shortly after appearing in the Hot 100 2016, Aedamar Comiskey had entered the race to become Linklaters’ first female senior partner.
This was a historical moment for the firm and for the magic circle, as she was the only woman to put herself forward in a year of elections at Allen & Overy, Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer and Slaughter and May.
In the end, the top job went to favourite and frontrunner Charlie Jacobs – one of Comiskey’s corporate colleagues and fellow Linklaters’ lifer.
However, her late entry into the race secured her status as one of the most influential female leaders in the legal world.
“My name emerged in the consultation as one of the people who should consider running for senior partner,” Comiskey tells The Lawyer.
“Part of being a partner is about being prepared to step up to various challenges. I gave it my best shot and it’s always tough when you don’t win. But you don’t win them all and there’s no shame in losing.”
Despite missing out on the top management job, Comiskey fought her way to one of the most prestigious practice head roles at Linklaters last summer – that of global head of corporate. The new title means Comiskey is now closer than ever to the heart of Linklaters’ decision-making processes in which the US and lockstep overhauls are on top of the agenda.
“I’ve got to spend a lot of time with partners and associates in the firm, and it’s been great to build strong relationships with my colleagues,” she says.
“I’ve really enjoyed getting to know my partners better and one of the things I feel passionate about is maintaining our positive momentum. I see my role as fostering that environment.”
Comiskey cites 2016 as being one of the most interesting years to have been made global corporate boss, with many deals collapsing or being put on hold due to Brexit and the US election. And while 2016 was a comparatively quieter year for the M&A partner in terms of deal activity, she still had her hands full closing a number of high-profile transactions for clients such as HSBC, Visa and Amlin.
Post-Hot 100 status, Comiskey says colleagues and clients were quick to congratulate her on her success.
“People were very pleased for me and clients were very excited about it,” she says. “You get lovely feedback and it’s one of those events that makes you feel good about what you’re doing.”
Client and colleague appreciation was clearly a short-term effect of appearing in the Hot 100. But in the long-term, Comiskey has cemented her position as one of the leading figures within Linklaters.
Hot 100 2016: Aedamar Comiskey, Linklaters
In the past few years corporate partner moves have hit the headlines. But Linklaters lifer Aedamar Comiskey has stayed put throughout, winning lead roles on multiple billion-pound M&A deals last year. Soon after closing Amec’s merger with Foster Wheeler at the end of 2014 Comiskey was advising another longstanding client Amlin on its £3.48bn acquisition by Mitsui Sumitomo Insurance, while Alent was bought by Platform Speciality Products in a £1.35bn deal.
As the firm’s lead relationship partner for both Amlin and Alent, as well as Aviva, HSBC, Tate & Lyle and Dixons Carphone, Comiskey is Linklaters’ gateway to many FTSE 100 companies.
She additionally worked on Visa Europe’s €21.2bn (£16.1bn) acquisition by Visa, with HSBC’s $5.2bn (£3.7bn) sale of its Brazilian business strengthening her position as one of Linklaters’ key Latin American experts.
A member of the magic circle’s partnership board, Comiskey is heavily involved in its Women Leadership Programme, mentoring female associates coming up the ranks.
Read the entire Hot 100 2016 here and watch out for the Hot 100 2017, published on 30 January 2017.
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