UK & Ireland

Morrison Foerster secures senior Bank of England adviser to bolster London fintech offering

Top 40 US law firm Morrison Foerster (MoFo) has hired a Bank of England senior adviser to boost its financial services and fintech offering in London.

Macfarlanes invests in funds team with partner hire from Sidley Austin

Top London independent law firm Macfarlanes has hired a highly rated investment funds partner from Sidley Austin in London.

Simpson Thacher Hits Travers As Firm Suffers Another Blow

U.S-headquartered firm Simpson Thacher & Bartlett has hired a London financial regulatory partner from Travers Smith, in the latest blow to the U.K. firm. Stephanie Biggs, who will co-lead the firm’s European financial services and funds regulatory team at Simpson Thacher alongside partner Owen Lysak, had been a partner in Travers’ financial services & markets department for eight years

Corporate and Real Estate Teams See Partnership Influx

Three firms have hired into their corporate, funds and real estate practices, amid a busy London lateral hiring market. Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner has added to its London partnership with a Reed Smith corporate and real estate partner. Chris Beaumont-McQuillan will join BCLP this February, and is set to form part of the firm’s corporate real estate and funds team. He was a partner at Reed Smith since 2021.

White & Case Loses Second High-Yield Partner Of The Day

Clifford Chance has strengthened its high yield practice in London following the appointment of a White & Case partner.

Double Partner Hire Strengthens High Yield Partnership for Weil

Weil, Gotshal & Manges has announced the arrival of two new London partners in a bid to boost its high yield practice.

Deloitte Legal Boosts Partnership with Freshfields’ Former Innovation Chief

Deloitte Legal has strengthened its legal management consulting team with the addition of Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer’s former legal innovation chief, who joins as a partner.

Linklaters Dealt Another Blow With London Corporate Partner Exit

Linklaters has been dealt another blow to its London operations with the departure of corporate partner Sarah Flaherty.

Law Firm Clyde & Co Adds HSF Aviation Finance Head In London

Clyde & Co has hired Herbert Smith Freehills’ London head of aviation finance as partner moves in the city continue in 2023.

DWF recruits Dentons’ UK real estate head

Dentons’ UK real estate head is leaving the firm after five years to join DWF in a new leadership role.

Kirkland funds partner leaves for Goodwin

Goodwin Procter has snapped up a private equity and investment funds partner from Kirkland & Ellis. Jacqueline Eaves has spent nearly four years as a partner at the US firm, where she focused on advising private investment funds on a range of complex business transactions in the secondary market.


Davis Polk secures Allen & Overy partner duo to launch in Brussels

Leading Wall Street firm Davis Polk has hired two partners from Magic Circle UK firm Allen & Overy (A&O) to open a Brussels office.

Paris private equity boutique adds former Brown Rudnick restructuring trio

French private equity boutique Moncey Avocats has added a trio of ex-Brown Rudnick lawyers in Paris to expand its restructuring team.

Leading Singapore disputes bodies form alliance to promote city state as centre for dispute resolution

Three leading Singaporean disputes bodies have banded together to promote Singapore’s attractiveness for dispute resolution, with two new initiatives encouraging an integrated approach for businesses seeking to resolve their disputes in one of Asia’s most popular dispute hubs.

Ropes makes first hire for fledgling Dublin office

Law firms are continuing to expand with offices in the Republic of Ireland, as Ropes & Gray hires from the country’s competition regulator to launch its operations.


Linklaters adds senior financial regulation partner in Singapore from Ashurst

Linklaters has added a senior partner to its financial regulation and structured finance practice in Singapore from Ashurst.

Baker McKenzie bolsters South Africa transactional practice with three partner hires from local rivals

Baker McKenzie has bolstered its transactional offering in Johannesburg with a trio of partner hires from local rivals.

The Americas

Pallas Partners grows in New York with partner hire from Gibson Dunn

London-based litigation boutique Pallas Partners has grown in New York with the hire of a commercial litigation partner from Gibson Dunn & Crutcher along with two associates from other firms.

Freshfields New York Managing Partner Exits For King & Spalding

Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer’s New York managing partner has left the firm for a U.S. led outfit.

7 Dentons Shareholders Split to Launch Private Equity Practice at K&L Gates’ Pittsburgh Office

Leaders at K&L Gates said they expect the team of seven new partners to have an “immediate” impact on boosting the firm’s business, given the quantity of client work they are bringing over.


London Metal Exchange GC Steps Down To Pursue Own Venture

The London Metal Exchange’s (LME) long-time legal chief has stepped down after seventeen years at the company. Tom Hine, who joined the LME in 2006, announced via LinkedIn on Tuesday that he was leaving the metal trading platform to set up his own consultancy venture.

Promotions & Appointments:

Lewis Silkin, Fox Williams and TLT among firms changing up London management

Several law firms in London have rung in the new year with changes to their top management. U.K. top 50 firm Lewis Silkin has ushered in new co-managing partners, with intellectual property partner Jo Farmer and employment partner Richard Miskella set to head the firm until 2026.

Norton Rose EMEA Managing Partner Handed Second Term

Norton Rose Fulbright has reappointed its managing partner for Europe, Middle East and Asia to a second three-year term.

Mergers & Alliances:

Shearman’s Merger Talks Have Also Included Baker Botts

Shearman & Sterling has spoken with multiple law firms for a potential merger, including Texas-based Baker Botts, according to two sources familiar with the talks.

Orrick to Merge With AmLaw 200 Outfit to Create $1.5B Firm

Orrick Herrington & Sutcliffe is merging with Washington, D.C.-founded Am Law 200 firm Buckley, adding significant strength to Orrick in financial regulation, enforcement and litigation and doubling its footprint in the nation’s capital.

Addleshaws and Linklaters lead on Diageo acquisition

Addleshaw Goddard and Linklaters have led on the €260m acquisition of a dark rum brand by drinks giant Diageo.

Office Openings & Closing:

The Brussels Boom is Coming

When Brexit became final in 2020, there was an abundance of talk about the world’s premier law firms pivoting away from London to European hubs like Frankfurt, Paris and, in particular, Brussels.

Eversheds Sutherland Opens San Francisco Office as ‘International Hub’

About a year after Eversheds Sutherland announced plans to launch in San Francisco, the global firm has opened an office, which will act as a hub for both local and international lawyers. It is also Eversheds’ first office to experiment with hoteling.


As Productivity Drops, Will More Law Firms Move Away From Billable Hour?

Alternative fee arrangements and pricing outside the billable hour is getting more attention this year. A pandemic surge in demand followed by an historic drop in productivity have set the stage in 2023 for a shift toward pricing that emphasizes value instead of time, some analysts say.

Simpson Thacher Enjoys Another Year Of Growth At London Office

Simpson Thacher & Bartlett’s London office revenue grew more than 13% in 2022, hitting $378 million, marking another year of expansion for the U.S. firm’s U.K. base.

Clifford Chance’s Highest Paid Partner Took Home Almost £5M Last Year

Clifford Chance’s highest paid partner took home £4.94 million in the 2021-22 financial year, the law firm’s latest limited liability partnership accounts show. The figure is 35% higher than the £3.21 million taken home by the top paid member in the previous financial year.

Revealed: Ince partners hold barely 8 per cent of shares in their listed business

The Ince Group is now majority owned by external shareholders, with just 8.1 per cent of the equity retained by the firm’s partnership, new documents have revealed.

Milbank pay rises after exchange rate tweak

Milbank has become the latest firm to increase its associate pay scale, including salaries for newly-qualified lawyers.

Technology & Innovation:

Legal Tech Predictions For 2023

Legal technology is set to present a range of opportunities and challenges for law firms in the coming year, according to industry experts. The range of legal tech available to lawyers continues to grow in areas such as knowledge management, data storage and improved artificial intelligence. Firms are likely to need to adapt as in-house requirements change.

Diversity & Inclusion:

BCLP Launches New Billable Hours Policy Including ‘Vacation Bonus’ Reward

Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner has become the latest firm to shake up its billable hours policy, introducing a scheme the allows its best performers to earn a vacation bonus.

4 Firms Create Black-Owned and Female-Driven Africa Alliance

South African law firm LNP Attorneys has spearheaded the creation of a female driven, 100% black-owned legal network.

Pérez-Llorca Program Focuses on Putting More Women Partners Into Male-Dominated Practice Areas

Among the four new partners at Spanish firm Pérez-Llorca named earlier this month, two are women whose practices focus on the male-dominated area of corporate law.


UK & Ireland

Cleary Gottlieb has added more partners to its London office

Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton has continued a recent push to grow its London office, hitting Dechert for its most recent lateral additions.

CMS Expands Financial Services Practice with Partner Hire

CMS has expanded its financial services practice with a partner hire from King & Spalding.

Linklaters Hit Again in London as Infrastructure Leaders Quit For Paul Hastings

Linklaters has taken another blow in London with the departure of a pair of partners to a U.S. rival.

Deloitte Legal secures Shoosmiths team to build new UK real estate business

Deloitte Legal has hired a four-partner team from UK law firm Shoosmiths to establish a new real estate legal business in the UK.

Cleary Gottlieb raids Travers Smith and Dechert in London for partner trio

Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton has boosted its London arm with the hire of a senior private equity partner from Travers Smith and two insolvency partners from Dechert.

Goodwin recruits fourth BCLP lateral since merger

Goodwin has hired a new London partner from Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner’s (BCLP) litigation team.

Ropes makes first hire for fledgling Dublin office

Law firms are continuing to expand with offices in the Republic of Ireland, as Ropes & Gray hires from the country’s competition regulator to launch its operations.


Norton Rose Fulbright Establishes Africa Leadership Group

The new group, designed to enable partners from around the world to co-ordinate on opportunities in Africa, consists of leaders from across the firm’s London, Paris and South Africa bases.

Law firm Allen & Overy has hired a partner from leading Benelux firm De Brauw

Allen & Overy has hired a long-time partner from leading Benelux firm De Brauw Blackstone Westbroek for its investigations practice group.

DLA Piper Lawyer Joins Apple In Germany

Tech giant Apple has appointed a DLA Piper lawyer as a senior legal counsel for IP litigation in Europe.

Clyde & Co adds litigation and insurance partner from Simmons & Simmons for Italy debut

UK insurance giant Clyde & Co has added a partner from Simmons & Simmons’ litigation and insurance team to launch an office in Milan, Italy.


Linklaters, Kennedys, Ashurst and Atsumi Sakai Kick Off 2023 With Hires Across Asia

A number of local and international law firms have kicked off the year with new lateral hires in Asia, particularly in Southeast Asia.

Withers Launches Japan Desk in Singapore with Partner Hire

Over 40% of Japan’s outbound annual investment is focused on Southeast Asia, and Japan is the region’s largest investor.

Law firm King & Spalding Adds Another Shearman & Sterling Partner Leaver

King & Spalding has hired another partner who recently left Shearman & Sterling, bolstering its Abu Dhabi office with the addition.

Law Firm Allen & Overy Names Perth Managing Partner

Allen & Overy has announced the appointment of David Jenaway as its office managing partner for Perth.

Gibson Dunn adds seven-strong team from Shearman & Sterling for Abu Dhabi launch

Gibson Dunn & Crutcher has added a seven-strong team from Shearman & Sterling including a trio of partners to launch in Abu Dhabi.

Pérez-Llorca bolsters finance and corporate teams with senior hires from Allen & Overy, Clifford Chance and KPMG España

Spanish heavyweight Pérez-Llorca has bolstered its corporate and finance teams in Madrid and Barcelona with the hire of partners from Allen & Overy and KPMG España, a counsel from Clifford Chance and two internal partner promotions.

Pinsents ends GC search with Dentons hire

Pinsent Masons has hired its inaugural general counsel, with ex-Dentons partner Andrew Cheung taking the role.

The Americas

Goodwin’s Layoffs Spotlight Challenge in Balancing Partner and Associate Preferences

Simpson, Thacher & Bartlett is strengthening its environmental, social and governance expertise, adding three lawyers with a focus in the area, including partner Leah Malone, who comes from PricewaterhouseCoopers.

Withers adds life sciences partner duo in Boston from Brown Rudnick

Top 30 UK firm Withers has added a senior life sciences intellectual property partner in Boston from US rival Brown Rudnick.

Cuatrecasas bolsters LatAm presence with Mexico City boutique bolt-on

Top two Spanish law firm Cuatrecasas has absorbed Mexico City transactions and disputes boutique Rico Robley y Libenson (RRL), in a move that sees the firm’s headcount in Mexico top 50.

In Big Law Moves, Holland & Knight, Akerman, Add Kirkland Partners

Arthur Lotz joined Holland & Knight as a partner in the financial services and private equity practice in Dallas, and David Thompson joined Akerman as an M&A and private equity partner in Houston.

Fenwick Hires National Security Partner as Trade Regulations Hit the Tech Sector

Fenwick & West hired Kelley Drye & Warren trade and national security partner Robert Slack, as the Silicon Valley-founded firm continues to make inroads in Washington, D.C.


Aviva cuts defendant legal roster down to four

Aviva has reduced its defendant legal panel from nine firms to a modest four, in its first comprehensive review in ten years.

Laid-Off In-House Lawyers Still Finding Jobs, But Could Face Stiffer Competition

In-house attorneys have been largely spared in the barrage of layoffs pummeling the tech industry. And while there are still jobs aplenty for those seeking reemployment, legal recruiters warn that that tide could be turning.

Former Boeing Attorney Lands in Tyson’s General Counsel Seat

Arkansas-based Tyson Foods appointed Adam Deckinger as general counsel. He replaces Chief Legal Officer Amy Tu, who the company promoted to chief administrative officer and international division president last September.

CVS Doubles Down on Health Care With GC Hire

Rhode Island-based CVS Health announced Thursday that Sam Khichi will join the company next month as chief policy officer and general counsel.

Promotions & Appointments:

Norton Rose Shifts Focus Away From London With Next Global Practice Head Appointments

Norton Rose Fulbright has handed two global practice leadership roles to partners based in Continental Europe, in a shift of focus away from its London base.

Norton Rose makes up five City lawyers in promos round

Norton Rose Fulbright has promoted five of its UK lawyers to partner, alongside 31 other elevations globally.

Reed Smith unveils 37-strong promotions round

A total of eight lawyers in London have been promoted to partner at Reed Smith this year.

Office Openings & Closing:

Law Firm Clyde & Co Set To Open In Milan

The office is set to open in the coming months and will achieve a “long term ambition” for the firm.


Value of UK Competition Group Actions Increased 550% in 2022

The value of U.K. competition-related group actions soared by 550% last year, according to research from Thomson Reuters highlighting the rapid advancement of such cases.

Allen & Overy Americas Revenue Leaped 56%, LLPs Show, After Expansive Push in Region

Greenberg Traurig’s U.K. accounts have also been published, revealing that the firm spent £4 million on U.K. marketing in the last financial year.

Quinn Emanuel’s London arm records 5% increase in revenue

Quinn Emanuel’s London office has posted a 5% increase in revenue for the 2022 financial year.

Skadden increases its NQ pay by 5 per cent

Skadden Arps Slate Meagher & Flom has become the latest firm to increase its newly-qualified lawyer salaries.

Technology & Innovation:

Slaughter and May Makes ‘Bring your Dog to Work Day’ a Permanent Fixture

Slaughter and May has made its ‘bring your dog to work day’ a permanent monthly fixture, following the success of its initial trial-run in 2022.

Three reasons why tech will reduce your litigation spend

The next recession is knocking at the door and unfortunately for in-house lawyers, there’s no punchline. Instead, legal teams face tighter budgets and increased pressure to manage costs as businesses become increasingly vulnerable to disputes spurred by the downturn.

Court Reviews Fair Use Protection for Publishers Embedding Social Media Posts

The early internet was created to facilitate the robust sharing of information among the research institutions and military facilities that were its first nodes. As the network grew, it retained that character and became the foundation for new ways to access and share information—including what we now know as the Web and various social media services. Almost all these services were designed around an ethos of making content as widely and easily accessible as possible, and in the social media world, an entire sharing economy arose, with its own “currency”—engagement (itself based on sharing and reposting).

Diversity & Inclusion:

Exclusion and lack of recognition powerful drivers of gender inequality in Hong Kong legal profession, report finds

A combination of bias, exclusion and lack of recognition of their contributions is affecting women in Hong Kong’s legal sector at every stage of their careers and could explain why leadership in the profession is still male dominated, according to a new report.

International Bar Association welcomes first woman president in twenty years

Spanish lawyer Almudena Arpón de Mendívil y Aldama has assumed the presidency of the International Bar Association, becoming the first woman in 20 years to hold the role.

Women and Diversity in Law Awards unveil 150-strong shortlist

More than 150 individuals working across the UK legal profession in a wide array of capacities are today unveiled as contenders for the Women and Diversity in Law Awards.

NALP Report Shows Small Gains of Diversity in Law Firms

The National Association for Law Placement (NALP) released its annual Report on Diversity at U.S. Law Firms on Thursday, which indicates that overall gains—though not substantial—continued to be made in the representation of women, people of color and LGBTQ individuals in the associate and summer associate ranks at major U.S. law firms in 2022, as compared to 2021.


UK & Ireland

5 Shearman Partners Quit As Firm Eyes ‘Weighted’ Vote On Hogan Lovells Merger

Five partners have quit Shearman & Sterling as the firm prepares for a possible merger with Hogan Lovells.

Clydes hires 19-strong team from DWF

Insurance expansion is continuing at Clyde & Co as the firm has recruited a product liability team from rival DWF.

Kirkland partner to take on new in-house role

A partner from Kirkland & Ellis’s London office is set to leave the firm for an in-house legal position at GLP Capital Partners.

Revolving doors: Winston & Strawn builds City restructuring team as Linklaters makes disputes play

The festive season has not deterred firms from making significant lateral moves, with disputes, restructuring, competition and tax among the areas targeted for strategic growth among global players.

Deloitte Legal secures Shoosmiths team to build new UK real estate business

Deloitte Legal has hired a four-partner team from UK law firm Shoosmiths to establish a new real estate legal business in the UK.

Fieldfisher underlines international arbitration ambitions with hire of London-based partner from Omnia

Fieldfisher has secured an arbitration specialist from Omnia Strategy in London as it looks to build on an ongoing project to establish a leading international practice.

DLA Piper secures DWF’s head of Scottish commercial disputes in Edinburgh

DLA Piper has secured the head of DWF’s Scottish commercial litigation team.

The Americas

Taylor English Consulting Group Exits for Freeman Mathis

After a seven-person departure, Taylor English’s plans for its consulting group are not publicly clear. The group represents companies in government strategies and lobbying.

Goodwin announces cuts across US offices

Goodwin Procter has kicked off a redundancy round that is to affect fee-earners, paralegals and other business services staff in its US offices.


Gibson Dunn adds seven-strong team from Shearman & Sterling for Abu Dhabi launch

Gibson Dunn & Crutcher has added a seven-strong team from Shearman & Sterling including a trio of partners to launch in Abu Dhabi.

K&L Gates secures senior funds trio from rival firms for Dublin debut

Top 40 US law firm K&L Gates has hired a trio of senior asset management and investment funds (AMIF) lawyers from rival firms to launch its ninth European office, in Dublin.

Linklaters bolsters global dispute resolution offering with partner hires in Spain and China

Linklaters has boosted its dispute resolution offering internationally with a partner hire apiece for its Spanish office and Chinese partner firm.

Promotions & Appointments:

People in the News—Jan. 5, 2023—Holland & Knight, Cipriani & Werner

Holland & Knight announced that 52 attorneys, 33 associates and 19 senior counsel from across the firm’s offices have been elected to partnership effective Jan. 1, two of which are from the firm’s Philadelphia office: associate Eric Yoon and senior counsel Cory Thomas.

Downey Brand Appoints Litigation Leader as First Female Managing Partner

Downey Brand, unlike many law firms, is no stranger to a leadership transition. The 96-year-old Sacramento firm estimates that it has had some 15 managing partners, though its litigation leader Janlynn ‘Jan’ Robinson Fleener will be its first female managing partner.

Alston & Bird Grows New Partner Promotions

Atlanta-based Am Law 100 law firm Alston & Bird has increased the size of its partner promotions. The firm this week said it has elected 23 attorneys to partnership, including seven in Atlanta, effective Jan. 1.

Six London lawyers make the grade in Hogan Lovells’ promotions

Hogan Lovells has promoted 38 of its lawyers to partner globally, with six of those lawyers based in London.

‘Why shouldn’t she?’ A new take on partnership as Pallas takes first non-lawyer into the fold

Pallas Partners has taken advantage of its alternative business structure (ABS) to appoint its first non-lawyer, chief administrative officer Linda Penfold, to the partnership.

KPMG names Linklaters deals guru Bedford as new UK law chief

While traditional law firm leaders have to date largely scoffed at the progress made by the Big Four, today’s (20 December) news of KPMG appointing a Magic Circle corporate veteran as its new UK legal head will have turned heads.  

Leadership round-up: Shebson wins second term at HFW as Norton Rose Fulbright names new global chair

HFW has re-elected managing partner Jeremy Shebson for a second four-year term, effective 1 April 2023.

Milbank and Akin Gump unveil promotions rounds

London lawyers have been promoted to partner at firms including Milbank Tweed Hadley & McCloy and Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld.

Transactions department dominates in 18-strong promotions round at Morrison Foerster

The transactions team has dominated Morrison Foerster’s 2023 partner promotions round that saw 18 lawyers made up across the US, Europe and Asia.Top 40 US law firm K&L Gates has hired a trio of senior asset management and investment funds (AMIF) lawyers from rival firms to launch its ninth European office, in Dublin.

Hausfeld targets commercial, competition and human rights work as it makes up three partners

Specialist disputes firm Hausfeld has made up three partners – two in London and another in Washington DC – as it targets competition, commercial and human rights work.

Mergers & Alliances:

Hogan Lovells and Shearman Respond to ‘Merger Talks’ Report

Hogan Lovells and Shearman & Sterling have issued statements outlining their search for “opportunities” amid widespread speculation that they are in merger talks.

Buffalo’s Lippes Mathias Triples IP Bench Via Combo With Cleveland Boutique

Buffalo-based business law firm Lippes Mathias finalized a combination earlier this month with Cleveland-based intellectual property firm Fay Sharpe, tripling the former firm’s head count of intellectual property counsel.

Maynard and Nexsen to Merge, Creating 550-Lawyer Southeast Powerhouse

Alabama-based Maynard Cooper & Gale and Carolinas-based Nexsen Pruet said Thursday that they are merging, creating a 550-lawyer law firm operating out of 23 offices in the U.S.

Clark Hill Combines With Philadelphia Real Estate Boutique

The combination with Larsson & Scheuritzel helps Clark Hill meet a strategic goal of expanding its real estate team working in the Northeast, adding a total of four lawyers in the region.

Holland & Knight Announces Merger With Nashville’s Waller Lansden

Holland & Knight has been demonstrating an appetite for expansion in recent years. This latest move follows a 2021 merger with Texas-based Thompson & Knight.


California Regional Firms Expect to Sell Talent on Stability and Flexibility in 2023

Despite layoffs that hit Silicon Valley lawyers in 2022, several firm leaders at California’s Am Law Second Hundred and regional firms have had little to say about layoffs. In the context of lawyer headcount, they’ve mostly talked about opportunities rather than challenges.

California Firm Leaders Eye Growth in Environmental, Health Care and Real Estate Practices in 2023

Law firms in the Golden State are taking a conservative approach to 2023, though several firm leaders at California’s Am Law Second Hundred and regional firms anticipate growth opportunities in environmental, health care and real estate practice areas.

BLM accounts reveal plummeting profits pre-Clydes deal

BLM’s annual profits significantly decreased prior to its merger with insurance rival Clyde & Co last year, new financial records show.

Simpson, Wachtell and Kirkland Lead Principal M&A Adviser Rankings

The latest rankings capture the firms handling the highly prized—and lucrative—work of serving as the M&A lawyer to merging or acquired companies.

Germany is the tail wagging Milbank’s European dog

Milbank’s finance practice has been a major contributor to its recent growth

Technology & Innovation:

New Privacy Suits Hit TikTok: ‘They’re Collecting and Building a Database.’

Attorneys have alleged in at least six new class actions that TikTok has inserted JavaScript code into websites of third parties its users accessed through its app.

3 Reasons to Expect Legal Automation to Grow in 2023

As the regulatory framework of privacy and cybersecurity evolves, along with new challenges of a tough labor market, the industry is likely to rely on legal automation solutions even more in 2023.

Diversity & Inclusion:

Richards Layton Names New Chief Diversity Director

Doneene Keemer Damon—immediate past president and a director of Richards, Layton & Finger—is to serve as the law firm’s chief diversity director, effective immediately.

Fieldfisher, Kirkland and Norton Rose lawyers discuss balancing City law with their faith

Despite a drive to promote diversity in law firms, there is still one conversation being pushed aside: how the legal industry can better include people of faith.

Latham, Paul Hastings and Ashurst Lawyers Shortlisted for WIPL Awards

Lawyers at Paul Hastings, Ashurst and Latham & Watkins are among the shortlist for this year’s Women, Influence & Power in Law (WIPL) U.K. Awards.

The end of the year is approaching making it the perfect time to look back on all the legal developments that have taken place throughout the year.  From law firms’ financials to the transfer market, or the challenges that the legal industry has had to face – in this article we review the year in full.

Frist of all, this year, we saw a number of moves – from Kirkland’s whirlwind months of intense hiring to the occasional departure and hire at smaller national firms. Considering the events that took place this year, the transfer market shows no sign of slowing down.

On the financial front, despite a year of uncertainty the performance of UK law firm exceeded expectations with almost 90% of firms increasing fee income and 65% seeing a rise in profits. Firms in the top 10 achieved average increases of 10.2% in terms of fee income, considerably ahead of the predictions made this time last year of 4.5%. However, with the looming economic downturn, the tail end of the pandemic, the Ukraine war, and the ensuing political upheaval both at an international and national scale it’s no surprise that the legal market has had to respond to various other factors that have put pressure on the legal system to adapt.

More specifically, here are some the central themes and trends that we have noted.  Firstly, UK law firms are still grappling with trade and labour implications and the shifting regulatory and compliance landscapes created in the aftermath of Brexit.

Secondly, the cost of external legal advice has increased, and the needs of companies have complexified. This has led to more companies leaning towards in-sourcing with a growing number of companies expanding their in-house legal team in order to reduce this cost through minimising work given to external advisors. This has in turn created a lower demand and higher competition for corporate legal services. This trend has further been supported by the supply side effect of an increasing number of lawyers looking for career opportunities with improved work-life balance following the fall out of the pandemic, which caused a shift in many lawyers’ mentality. This trend is only expected to increase, although at a slow rate due to the growing disparity in salaries between top law firms and in house teams. Which leads us to our third point, lawyer compensation.

There is increasing competition for hiring top talent, also referred to as the “war for talent”, which is in turn increasing lawyer compensation across law firms. Salaries were already trending upwards in previous years. In private practice in 2021, the base salary of an NQ in an upper quartile UK law firm ranged between £85k-£105k up from between £82k-£95k in 2020. The pace of change has only markedly increased in 2022, where we’ve seen international firms paying NQ lawyers a base salary of up to £120k. This has been reflected at all levels of seniority within private practice salaries.

Another pressing issue on the forefront of law firm’s agenda is that of global reach. Law firms are engaging in a more M&A activity in order to expand their geographic reach. This market consolidation has been occurring as part of a global strategy in which top law firms look to expand geographically and supplement various practice areas.

Alongside this already charged environment, UK law firms are beginning to see the legal needs of their corporate clients evolve. For example, UK clients now are placing a huge emphasis on a lawyers’ ability to grasp the strategic challenges with which their clients are wrestling. Furthermore, legal services models have diversified with new structures available to seek legal advice. From the traditional full-service law firm to specialist law firms to contact lawyers and online services, people and businesses are now choosing legal services from a wide range of providers, who are delivering their services in new ways.

Lastly, technology is an increasingly significant theme not only in the legal world, but across all industries. Technology has infiltrated the legal market with a growing number of law firm increasingly investing in order to improve client service and to drive operational improvements.

Technology is actively redefining the legal field. Online research databases, digital contracts alongside countless other advancements have transformed the legal industry, leaving law firms asking themselves how they can continue integrating technology to make the business efficient whilst maintaining the ability to deliver high standard clients services. However, legal tech comes with its own host of risks, the most significant being the heightened risk of cyberattacks.


All these factors are tied together by more trivial issues. Since the pandemic, digitisation and remote working have moved to the forefront of the legal industry’s mind. A lot of companies, including  law firms, have successfully adapted to remote working and research shows that hybrid work and remote communications are here to stay. However, the pandemic has left additional challenges, such as the test of retaining employees who are feeling burnt out in an increasingly competitive industry. In fact, burnout has been a recurring theme in legal news with new research from the CIPD Health and Wellbeing at work 2022 report showing that almost half of employees strongly agree that health and wellbeing activity at work encourages a more inclusive culture. Even though the same report reveals that there has been a 16% drop in management focus on health and wellbeing in the workplace compared to the first year of the pandemic.

This year we have in fact seen a lot of movement in terms of diversity and inclusion from implementing a menopause policy, to talking more about mental health and disability in the workplace – progress is being made. However, other research further highlighted that there is still a long way to go. In recent years, law firms have been talking more about diversity. Terms such as ‘diversity committee’, ‘targets’, and ‘mentoring’ are becoming commonplace within firms, as they attempt to improve the make-up of their ranks, to better reflect the societies in which they work. But reports say that it could take more than 125 years for the judiciary system in England and Wales to reflect the right proportion of women, Black and Asian people that is found in the wider population at the current rate of progress, according to analysis from the Law Society.

The average number of Black lawyers across the largest U.K. law firms remains well below the national average in the U.K. population, according to the latest research. Across 68 major legal institutions, 2.2% of lawyers and 1.05% of partners are Black, the research found, compared with 4.1% of the U.K. population recorded by the Office for National Statistics in 2020.  However, steps are being taken to remedy this with the Law Society of England and Wales publishing a diversity and inclusion framework to help the legal industry create faster and lasting change. It includes an action plan template, links to additional guidance and resources, and a call for law firms to submit diversity and inclusion case studies so that ‘best practice that actually worked’ can be shared.


Following the Russian invasion of Ukraine, many firms and companies were quick to respond. With several firms, of the likes of Allen & Overy, Clifford Chance, Herbert Smith Freehills, Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner and Winston & Strawn shutting down their Moscow offices in response to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. Further law firms set up initiatives in aims to support refugees – such as DLA Piper who set up a pro bono project which provided free legal advice to Ukrainian refugees and connected Ukrainians fleeing the war with lawyers who can advise about legal pathways into the UK. Similarly, James Goold, a partner in Taylor Wessing’s private equity practice, travelled to the Ukraine border to hand deliver aid, travelling with 400 sleeping bags, donated by Mountain Warehouse, as well as a consignment of medical kits. Or the fantastic opportunity that is available at the University of Pittsburgh who is offering legal study options for Ukrainian law students and lawyers, with specialized programs aimed at preparing them for the global practice of law. They also have funding resources available for a full year of study in Pittsburgh.

At Fides Search, we had the idea that if we could help even just one Ukrainian lawyer who had been displaced by the war get settled in the UK and help them find suitable employment, then that could provide an entire family with a degree of stability, so we launched our Fides Ukraine Initiative. Since March, we have connected with hundreds of wonderful Ukrainian lawyers, and we have been working with many top law firms and companies who have shown initiative in their compassion to hire these individuals. This crisis is ongoing and unfortunately there appears to be no immediate end in sight, and we are still working with many lawyers who are looking to settle in the UK and continue their legal careers.


Another substantial topic this year was the COP 27 and what this entails for the legal system in terms of ESG and green washing.  In recent years, when it comes to climate change mitigation, it is a lot of talk and very little action. Across all industries, there is a significant reluctance to take the necessary steps and changes to limit global warming by 1.5 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels.  Law is no exception. Even those firms with net zero targets largely ignore the impact of the deals they facilitate.

Slaughter and May being the latest firm scrutinised for its difficult moral choices. By defending Shell in climate change litigation while promoting its Net Zero aspirations Slaughters is left itself wide open to greenwashing accusations.

However, when considering the environment legal professionals are in fact at a crossroads: How can law firms and lawyers reconcile conducting their business in a sustainable way all the while mitigating the impact this could have on the advisory work for longstanding clients in a highly competitive market. Especially as a recent open letter to the legal profession, signed by 150 UK and international lawyers, urged lawyers to abide by an ethical rule to guard against the risk of a global warming catastrophe. Law firms were called upon to advise clients, where relevant and appropriate, of the risks associated with certain deals that are inconsistent with the UNs climate change targets.

The future calls for caution, according to a new survey by KPMG, the environmental, social and governance programs that many legal departments have putting in place up could take a hit as companies put resources elsewhere in attempts to weather the economic storm ahead. The survey  also found that, as economic uncertainty continues, 50% are pausing or reconsidering their existing  ESG efforts, and 34% have already done so.


In conclusion, as was noted in 2021 the legal market experienced some disruption during the pandemic but when compared to other sectors it fared well through this challenging time. In response, the market is now showing renewed growth. This renewed growth has been channeled by law firms into adapting their long-term strategy to fit a changing world. With all that has come to pass and everything to come on the horizon, we can say that this year has been an eventful year which has been well weathered by those at the forefront of market. However, with all signs pointing to an equally lively time next year the novel strategies put in place by law firms in attempt to soldier on will inevitably be tested by the challenges to come as another year rolls around.

Written by Imogen Scott, Researcher

2022 In Review:

The Top 10 UK Partner Moves, 2022

Major teams and star individuals moved firms throughout the year, with exits still grabbing the market in the final weeks of 2022. There has been no let up when it comes to talent moves within the U.K.’s legal industry in 2022, with both individual partners and teams in hot demand. Hiring kept up pace throughout the year, with some major partner moves occurring just in recent weeks.

3 Things That Fazed Law Leaders in 2022

Dozens of law firm heads have opened up about the biggest issues they faced this year. In the 12 months prior, firms had turned record profits as the industry bounced back from successive lockdowns, the deal market had never been in ruder health—M&A soared, IPOs flowed—the ‘new normal’ of hybrid working soon seemed old, and corporate lawyers reaped the benefits. But no law firm leader could have predicted the trouble that lay ahead. In February, Russia invaded Ukraine, adding fuel to a developing pandemic-driven energy crisis that continues to rattle the world, with recession and stagflation stalking. A dissatisfaction was rising among people on both sides of the return-to-office debate and a shortage of lawyers was pushing wages even higher.

Report Shows Positive Outlook for Cross-Border M&A in 2023

Technology, media and telecommunications will continue to be the most appealing sector for cross-border deals, according to a new report from Dentons Canada and Mergermarket. The “Shifting Tides of Cross-border M&A,” released this week, showed 72% of U.S./Canada respondents and 93% of their peers outside North America predict they’ll be involved in transactions in the TMT sector. Financial services, cited by just over half the respondents, was the next most popular industry, followed by pharma, medical and biotech (PMB).


UK & Ireland

Clydes’ former senior partner to exit firm

Clyde & Co’s former senior partner is leaving the firm. Simon Konsta will leave Clydes for DAC Beachcroft next year. Konsta was the senior partner of Barlow Lyde & Gilbert (BLG) from 2008 until Clydes merged with the insurance firm in 2011. That same year, Konsta was appointed Clydes’ global head of insurance.

Pinsents Hit Again For Irish Talent as Firms Continue to Add Dublin Partners

Several lateral hires have been made by international law firms in Dublin as the year end approaches, as a number of outfits continue bolstering their ranks. Pinsent Masons has been hit again for its talent in the city, with the exit of intellectual property partner Michael Finn to fellow London-headquartered Bird & Bird.


McDermott bolsters Paris private equity offering with Dentons team hire

McDermott Will & Emery has bolstered its private equity offering in Paris with the hire of a team from Dentons led by partner Guillaume Panuel. Panuel has joined the firm along with associates Houda Bourrich, Agathe Marcelin and Bréa Kamtcheu. McDermott said the team brought extensive fund structuring experience and would develop secondary transactions capabilities in collaboration with its existing private equity team, which in Paris comprises 10 partners and nearly 50 lawyers.

Eversheds Sutherland Boosts Amsterdam Litigation Practice with Partner Hire

Eversheds Sutherland has hired a founding partner of a Dutch boutique for its Amsterdam office as part of its strategy to boost its litigation offer. Marie-Hélène co-founded the Amsterdam-based boutique firm TOON Advocaten in 2020 and which advises on employment law and civil law. Before joining TOON Advocaten, Berghuijs worked as a senior litigation associate at Rutgers & Posch, according to her LinkedIn profile. She spent nine years as an associate at the Benelux firm Stibbe prior to that.

Clyde & Co Hits Baker McKenzie for Senior Dubai M&A Hire

Clyde & Co has hired a senior M&A partner to its Middle East and Africa (MEA) region, in the latest boost to its global corporate & advisory practice. Mohamed Barakat joins from Baker McKenzie, where he was a longtime corporate partner. He is a U.S.-qualified lawyer with more than 17 years’ experience working in the U.S. and the Middle East, according to the firm’s statement. He advises clients on complex M&A and restructuring transactions in the energy, financial services, infrastructure and real estate sectors.


Cooley Adds Corporate Partner in China From Morrison & Forester

Cooley has expanded its cross-border strategic investment advisory capabilities in Asia with the hire of corporate partner Ruomu Li from Morrison & Foerster for its Shanghai office. Li has a legal career spanning more than 15 years specializing in cross-border mergers and acquisitions, private equity deals and venture capital investments, with a particular focus on global technology and life sciences markets.

Ashurst Hires Sydney Partner to Boost Australian Real Estate Offering

International law firm Ashurst has hired real estate partner Kitty Vo for its Sydney office as it seeks to expand its offering to developer and investor clients. The hire is a return to Ashurst for Vo, who spent 14 years at the firm before joining Australian firm Hall & Wilcox as a partner in 2019.


Life sciences consultancy Trinity adds veteran tech GC as first legal leader

Life sciences business consulting and services company Trinity Life Sciences has added in-house veteran Paul Lucchese as its first general counsel. Lucchese has joined the Waltham, Massachussetts-based company after seven years as vice president and general counsel at software development company EnterpriseDB and brings 30 years’ in-house legal experience at technology companies.

London fintech Hi Group hires McGuireWoods’ former EMEA finance head as general counsel

London fintech company Hi Group has added a senior finance lawyer with experience at international firms including McGuireWoods, White & Case and Mayer Brown as its general counsel. Cullinane has joined the startup, which offers a service financing companies’ payrolls to boost their liquidity and provide employees with flexible access to their pay, having most recently led the EMEA finance group at US law firm McGuireWoods’ London office.

Promotions & Appointments:

O’Melveny elevates 11 to partner in litigation focused round

O’Melveny has elevated 11 lawyers to partner across the US in its latest promotions round, which is dominated by litigators. The round is a slight dip on last year, when the firm elevated 13, and unlike in 2021, when there were promotions in the firm’s offices in Beijing and Shanghai, this cohort includes only US lawyers.

Seyfarth elects first woman to lead firm

Seyfarth has announced that Lorie Almon is to be its next chair and managing partner, making her the first woman to lead the firm in its 77-year history. Almon, a partner in labour and employment, will initially serve as chair-elect alongside current chair and managing partner Pete Miller prior to his stepping down in the second half of 2023.

Mason Hayes & Curran elects financial services chief to succeed veteran managing partner

Mason Hayes & Curran has elected the head of its financial services team to succeed veteran managing partner Declan Black. Will Carmody will begin his three-year term 1 January 2023 at the end of Black’s nine years at the helm, during which the firm more than doubled revenue and size to become one of Ireland’s largest law firms by lawyer headcount and opened its fourth office globally in San Francisco.

Sidley Promotes Largest Round of Promotions

Sidley Austin has announced its round of partner promotions for 2022, unveiling a record number of additions to its partnership. A total of 44 lawyers have been elected partners, the majority of which are based across the firm’s U.S. offices, including nine at its Chicago headquarters. The total, the firm’s largest partnership class, marks an increase from last year’s 42. In 2020 it promoted 28.

Australia Chair Selected as Next Global Chair of Norton Rose Fulbright

Norton Rose Fulbright has tapped Scott Atkins, the firm’s Australia chair, to serve as global chair effective Jan. 1, 2023, succeeding London partner Farmida Bi in that global leadership role. Atkins, who will serve a one-year term as global chair, will continue as chair in Australia, global co-head of the restructuring team, and the Australian head of risk advisory.

Herbert Smith Freehills Appoints Next Asia, Australia Leader

Herbert Smith Freehills has become the latest firm to appoint a female leader in Australia, with the announcement that Sydney intellectual property partner Kristen Stammer will become executive partner Asia and Australia next year. Stammer, who has been with the firm for 25 years, will succeed incumbent Andrew Pike on May 1 next year.

Mergers & Alliances:

Milbank swoops for Dickson Minto

The London office of Anglo-Scottish boutique Dickson Minto has secured a US deal with Milbank after talks with Fried Frank fizzled out. Dickson Minto’s London team will be joining Milbank’s City operations, led by Suhrud Mehta and Julian Stait. The Edinburgh office of Dickson Minto will remain independent.

Office Openings & Closing:

Former A&O partner launches business and human rights focused boutique in London

A former partner at UK magic circle firm Allen & Overy (A&O) has launched a business and human rights focused boutique in London with a team of seven other lawyers, including a trio who were previously at A&O. The new firm, named Paxus, will offer strategy, due diligence and dispute resolution services to corporate and government clients in the areas of international law, international arbitration and transnational law.

Mayer Brown To Move Frankfurt Base, Offer ‘More Uniformly Sized’ Offices For Lawyers

Mayer Brown is opting for a more “efficient” Frankfurt office as it plans a move to the city’s banking district, as several international law firms review their real estate offerings. The U.S. headquartered firm is slightly trimming the space it currently occupies, from 5100 sq m to 4700 sq m, for the move in early 2024.

Australia’s Mills Oakley to Open Adelaide Office

Australian law firm Mills Oakley is to open an office in Adelaide after poaching a real estate partner from corporate law firm MinterEllison to lead the new office. The firm already has several lawyers based in Adelaide and said the hire of Stephen Hill has provided the impetus for a permanent office which is expected to have 15 lawyers and staff at launch.

Technology & Innovation:

AI Bias: The EU’s Artificial Intelligence Act is Coming – You Need to be Ready

Companies developing or using artificial intelligence systems in the European Union need to act now to mitigate the risk of bias ahead of new regulation.

Diversity & Inclusion:

‘Your purpose is your North Star’ – how law firms and in-house teams are redefining their goals

A panel at the Law Firm Marketing Summit explored how the legal profession should respond to the need for businesses to deliver more than just profits

Keeping Up With the Evolution of Globalization and Other Challenges

Globalization isn’t dead, but it is evolving. The Global Lawyer looks at how the legal industry is adapting as governments increase protectionist measures, as well as how sometimes the changes that occur in the industry seem as if they were a long time coming.

Better Training and Axing Billable Hour in First Years of Practice Are Key to Lawyer Mental Health, Says Report

Newly released recommendations in a report titled “Towards a Health and Sustainable Practice of Law in Canada” call on law schools and firms to better prepare young lawyers psychologically for the stresses of legal practice. Key recommendations include better mental health training in universities and doing away with the billable hour for lawyers in their first two years of practice.

Ukrainian Legal Developments:

Dentons to Complete Spin-off of Russia Offices Into Independent Firm

The creation of the new firm, called Nextons, completes a plan announced by Dentons in March following the Russian military invasion of Ukraine. Dentons will complete the spin-off of its Russian practice effective Jan. 1, 2023, with the creation of an independent law firm under a new name, Nextons. Present in the country for more than 30 years, with offices in Moscow and St. Petersburg, Dentons originally announced in March that it planned to separate from its Russian operations following the invasion of Ukraine on Feb. 24, 2022.


UK & Ireland

Wilmer Cutler Makes Rare London Lateral Hire

Fellow U.S. headquartered firm Dorsey & Whitney has also added to its London ranks in a rare move.

Osborne Clark UK Leader To Take Up San Francisco-Based Role After Term Ends

Osborne Clarke U.K. managing partner Ray Berg will take up a new role in the firm’s San Francisco office after his current term ends, as the firm seeks to drive forward its U.S. expansion. Berg, who has been U.K managing partner for eight years, is set to begin his next position in early 2023, following the end of his second term as U.K. managing partner on January 1.


Portugal’s Abreu Hires Spanish Rival’s Litigation Head

Portuguese law firm Abreu Advogados has brought in a new partner to its litigation and arbitration practice from rival firm Goméz-Acebo & Pombo.

Paris Criminal-Defense Heavyweight Joins Gaillard Banifatemi Shelbaya Disputes

The arrival of Safya Akorri, who has represented the defendants in some of France’s most prominent terrorism trials, is part of a strategy by the firm to explore and strengthen the links between arbitration and criminal law


In One Fell Swoop, KPMG Conquers Southeast Asia With 275 New Lawyers

KPMG has implemented an expansion strategy that when completed will make it the largest Big Four accounting firm in Asia by lawyer head count.

The Americas

Greenberg Traurig Hires Team to Launch Tax Practice in Mexico City

The hires come as tax matters have taken on more urgency and complexity in Mexico, where the administration of Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador has adopted tough tactics in an effort to improve tax collection.

New Partners at Firms in Bridgeport and Stamford

Jeffrey Wisner, Douglas P. Morabito and Kelly Fitzpatrick have joined Koskoff Koskoff & Bieder, while Carolyn Cavolo joins Carmody Torrance Sandak & Hennessey.

Paul Hastings, Making Another Boost to Finance Practice, Adds Longtime Weil Partner

Paul Hastings, continuing to build its finance practice, has hired Weil, Gotshal & Manges partner Morgan Bale in New York, according to sources close to the firm.

McDermott Picks Up the Latest Prosecutor Departure in Chicago

White-collar and litigation hiring in Chicago continues to ramp up, with McDermott adding James Durkin from the Northern District of Illinois U.S. Attorney’s Office.

Goodwin Adds Private Equity Partner, Blank Rome Hires Tax Litigator and Other ‘Attorneys On The Move’

Dianna Lee has joined Goodwin Proctor as a partner in the firm’s private equity practice. She joins from Latham & Watkins.

Akin Gump Lands Former Virginia Officials to Co-Lead State AG Practice

The arrival of Mark Herring and Martine Cicconi marks the first time Akin Gump has had a dedicated state AG practice with co-leadership.


Former HHS Counsel Joins Digital Health Company Ro

Gia Lee is taking the legal reins of an online pharmacy and telehealth company that was valued early this year at $7 billion but recently had layoffs.

Promotions & Appointments:

DA Bragg Names Justin McNabney as New Head of Special Victims Division

An 11-year veteran prosecutor, McNabney served as deputy chief of the Human Trafficking Response Unit beginning in 2019, and was appointed its chief earlier this year.

Morris Manning’s Partnership ‘Big as It’s Ever Been’ After Partner Promotions

he Am Law 200 firm considered economic factors when deciding promotions. “We look at the abilities of the attorney, the economic circumstances of the practices and the firm, and the market,” said firm leader Simon Malko.

Clifford Chance Elects New Senior Partner

Clifford Chance has elected Adrian Cartwright as its new senior partner. In a surprise move, Cartwright will take over the role from incumbent Jeroen Ouwehand for a four-year term from January 1, the firm announced on Tuesday.

Northwestern Mutual Elevates Longtime VP to General Counsel

In-house veteran Ryan Heinemann is moving into the GC slot as part of a slate of leadership changes at the 6,000-employee financial services giant.

All change as Pinsents elects new managing partner

Pinsent Masons has appointed a new managing partner to take over from John Cleland, who has held the position since 2015, The Lawyer can reveal.

Mergers & Alliances:

Saxton & Stump to Gain New Practices in January Merger With Lancaster Firm

The six attorneys of Kegel Kelin Litts & Lord will join the 95 attorneys of Saxton & Stump, which has its own roots in Lancaster.

Office Openings & Closing:

Mayer Brown, Snell & Wilmer Scale Up in Southern California

Mayer Brown took 55,000 square feet in downtown Los Angeles, while Snell & Wilmer grew to 12,000 square feet in the Del Mar Heights area of San Diego.


A Recession Will Push More Lawyers Back to Office

A challenging economic environment will enable law firm leaders “to be more forthright in directing people back to the office,” industry analysts said. “We have already seen signs of this.”

Weil Gotshal boosts NQ pay

As firms continue to face market competition over newly-qualified lawyer salaries, Weil Gotshal & Manges has increased its pay yet again for its junior lawyers. NQs at Weil are expected to receive a salary of £165,000 from the start of 2023.

Technology & Innovation:

Norton Rose Fulbright Global Chair Focused on Sustainability, Connectivity During Year as Leader

As global chair of Norton Rose Fulbright, London partner Farmida Bi, who is visiting Texas this week, selected a global charitable project to help a threatened fishing community in Cambodia.

How Will Big Tech’s Implosion Impact Legal Tech?

As Big Tech is battling with massive layoffs and having a “midlife crisis,” legal tech is unlikely to face the same fate, and companies that strategically chart a steady course will weather the coming economic storm.

Leading Into This Downturn, Cooley Has Been Tech’s Rightful Go-To

Though Cooley conducted layoffs last month as the tech industry cooled, it was that bench strength and long-time ties to the sector that earned it the Corporate Practice of the Year-Tech/Telecom honors for the specialty category as part of The American Lawyer Industry Awards.

Elon Musk Faces Class Trial Over Twitter Statements That Tesla Going Private

Elon Musk plans to testify in a Jan. 17 jury trial in which Tesla shareholders allege his 2018 statements on Twitter about going private were fraudulent.

Newly Launched Tool Helps Companies See How They Stack Up on DEI

“Many leaders want to build or improve their DEI program and are just unsure of where to start or how to move forward as they face limited time and resources,” said Jennifer Chen, executive director of the Association of Corporate Counsel Foundation.

Diversity & Inclusion:

6 Attorneys Face Consequences for Ethics Violations

In November, six Connecticut attorneys received the consequences of violating legal ethics rules, and one was reinstated, according to information from the Statewide Grievance Committee.


UK & Ireland

Fried Frank builds up PE team with Kirkland hire

A Kirkland & Ellis partner is joining Fried Frank Harris Shriver & Jacobson as the latter’s private equity rebuild continues. Rachel Wolfenden is making the move, having been at Kirkland for seven years. She joined in 2015 as an associate and made partner in 2020. Prior to switching to Kirkland, Wolfenden worked at Taylor Wessing, where she also trained.

Brown Rudnick adds Fieldfisher partner in London to lead UK and European IP team

Brown Rudnick has added a partner from Fieldfisher in London to lead its UK and European intellectual property practice. David Knight has joined the firm just days after it emerged Brown Rudnick’s former lead partner for UK and European IP, Steven James, had left with three colleagues to build the UK contentious IP practice at US rival Morrison Foerster.Knight’s practice covers the full range of IP rights, with a particular focus on patents. He advises companies on both offensive and defensive patent litigation and on corporate matters, including structuring, transactions and licensing.

MoFo targets London contentious IP work with four-strong team hire from Brown Rudnick

Morrison Foerster (MoFo) has hired a four-strong team from Brown Rudnick in London to build a contentious IP practice. The group is led by Brown Rudnick’s former lead partner for UK and European IP, Steven James, along with counsel Ruth Arkley, senior associate Hattie Chessher and paralegal Rebecca Jenkins.

Ashurst Adds Hausfeld Competition Partner to London Ranks

Ashurst has strengthened its contentious competition practice in the U.K. as it adapts to the changing post-Brexit regulatory climate. London partner Anna Morfey joins Ashurst from specialist litigation firm Hausfeld, which in recent years has taken on several major class actions in the U.K.

DLA Piper Boosts London Real Estate With Bryan Cave Hire

DLA Piper has strengthened its real estate offering in London. Andrew Yates joins DLA Piper’s real estate team from Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner, where he has been a partner since 2008. Prior to that he had also been a partner at Pinsent Masons, and also spent time at Ashurst and U.K. elite firm Slaughter & May

Osborne Clarke and Morrison & Foerster Add to UK Ranks

Osborne Clarke and Morrison & Foerster have added to their ranks across their U.K. offices. Osborne Clarke has added PwC legal director Tom Lewis as its head of corporate structuring and simplifications. Tom Lewis is the second partner to join Osborne Clarke from PwC in two months.

DLA Piper Duo Quit to Join EY Law in the UK

Two DLA Piper asset finance partners are leaving to join the legal arm of Big Four firm EY. The duo are led by Alan Cunningham, who heads DLA’s asset finance practice in the U.K. He first joined the firm as a partner in 2011 from DWF and previously worked as an associate in Norton Rose Fullbright’s Paris office, Reed Smith’s Hong Kong office and at Harbottle & Lewis, according to his Linkedin profile.


DLA Piper underlines Africa ambition with projects partner hire from Watson Farley & Williams

DLA Piper has bolstered its Africa offering with the hire of an international projects partner in London from UK rival Watson Farley & Williams.  Titus Edjua brings a strong track record in advising on Africa-related transactions in both civil and common law jurisdictions to his new firm, which he has joined after three-and-a-half years as a partner at Watson Farley.  His practice spans all aspects of project development and finance, including advising on conventional and renewable power, mining, gas, infrastructure, brownfield and greenfield projects, as well as general financing and commercial transactions. He also brings expertise in policy, regulatory and governance advice.

Ashurst Swoops for King & Spalding UAE Corporate Partner

Ashurst has swooped for King & Spalding partner in the UAE. Simon Rahimzada has over 20 years’ experience in cross-border M&A, private equity and joint venture transactions, the firm said in a statement.

Five Strong Ex-White & Case Team Heads to Slovakian Firm

Bratislava-based firm Hillbridges has claimed a five strong team of ex-White & Case lawyers after the latter firm exited Slovakia last year. The move comes within a year of White & Case pulling out of the Slovak market in March, spinning off its Bratislava office, with the 11 lawyers at the time continuing to operate under the mantle of independent firm Aldertree.

Cuatrecasas Lands Jones Day’s Madrid White Collar Head

Cuatrecasas has expanded its white collar criminal law practice with the hire of a senior Jones Day partner in Madrid. José Bonilla, who leads Jones Day’s investigations and white collar defense practice in Madrid, will join the Spanish law firm as a partner on New Year’s Day 2023.


Ashurst Adds Ex-Addleshaw Goddard Partner To Hong Kong Restructuring Team

Ashurst has expanded its restructuring and insolvency team in Asia with the hire of a former Addleshaw Goddard partner in Hong Kong. The firm has hired corporate restructuring partner Lance Jiang after Addleshaw shuttered its Hong Kong office earlier this year.

Kirkland Hong Kong Partner Leaves for King & Spalding Singapore

King & Spalding has added Kirkland & Ellis’ government and internal investigations partner Richard Sharpe to its Singapore stead. Sharpe has relocated from Hong Kong to Southeast Asia for his new role. Sharpe advises clients on investment-related risk, the design and implementation of compliance programs, anti-bribery and corruption, anti-money laundering, and international sanctions. He has experience in acting for private equity funds, financial institutions, and individuals who are under investigation by Hong Kong and U.S. regulators.

The Americas

CMS Recruits Former Government Vice Minister in Peru

CMS Grau, the Peruvian arm of global law firm CMS, has hired as a partner a former government vice minister at the Peruvian Ministry of Energy and Mines, as the firm anticipates greater demand for advice on energy matters. Eduardo Guevara Dodds was appointed in 2018 as the Peruvian government’s vice minister of hydrocarbons, responsible for developing sustainable policies including those related to the social impacts of extractive industries.


Scottish Rail Finds Next General Counsel

Scottish Rail Holdings has added its next general counsel and company secretary. Emma Dixon has joined the company, which is owned and controlled by the Scottish Government. There have been a number of notable in-house moves in recent months across the industry.

Promotions & Appointments:

TotalEnergies appoints six firms to reduced roster

TotalEnergies (formerly known as Total) has reduced its global panel by 25 per cent, appointing six firms instead of eight to the new list. The firms that have gained places on the panel are Clifford Chance, Gide Loyrette Nouel (itself and with the Lex Mundi network), Jones Day, Latham & Watkins, Norton Rose Fulbright and White & Case. Gide has been a long-standing firm for TotalEnergies, and its position on the panel alongside the network Lex Mundi will allow TotalEnergies access to a large network of high-quality local firms. The company said this is particularly attractive for its low-margin renewables sector, which requires firms with strong local presence with specific local knowledge.The new panel will run from 1 January 2023 for a period of three years.

Dechert names successors to chair Levander as it rings in new global leadership team

Dechert has announced that two of its leading corporate lawyers will succeed chair Andy Levander as part of a wider leadership shake-up that will also see the firm replace the CEO role with joint global managing partners. Partners David Forti and Mark Thierfelder will take over 1 July 2023 from Levander, who has served as chairman of the top 35 US law firm since 2011. At the same time Henry Nassau, who has served as Dechert’s CEO since 2016, will step down, after which the firm will retire the role.

Herbert Smith Freehills names UK ECM lead next joint corporate managing partner

Herbert Smith Freehills (HSF) has appointed Mike Flockhart as the new joint managing partner for its global corporate practice and the UK/US regional head of practice. Flockhart will begin in his new role 1 December and succeed fellow London-based partner Stephen Wilkinson, who returns to full-time practice after four years in the role. Flockhart will work with fellow corporate managing partner Carolyn Pugsley, who is based in Melbourne, maintaining a UK-Australia axis that reflects the firm’s key jurisdictions.

Mergers & Alliances:

Han Kun Bolsters Capabilities in Hong Kong Via Merger With Local Firm

Beijing-based Han Kun Law Offices has established a local law firm in Hong Kong following a merger between the firm’s Hong Kong office and its associated law firm in the city, Miao & Co—a move designed to bolster its ability to work across Greater China.  The newly merged firm, which will go by the name Han Kun Law Offices, began operating on Nov. 28. The Hong Kong branch will be headed by Felix Miao, a U.S.-qualified lawyer who founded Miao & Co and previously worked at Morrison & Foerster, Latham & Watkins and Linklaters, according to his bio on Han Kun’s website.

Ashurst to launch in Korea after striking first ever joint venture deal

Ashurst is to become the first international law firm to practise local law in South Korea after securing a joint venture with domestic firm HwaHyun. The move also signals the Anglo Australian firm’s launch in Seoul, where a number of its rivals have operated representative offices for several years.


What Effect Will a Recession Have on The Legal Hiring Landscape?

Following a hiring frenzy which saw firms onboarding from the bottom up with unrelenting pace and eyewatering salaries, it seems the curve has now peaked. With potential stormy waters on the horizon for law firms, the legal hiring market has been met with some turbulence over the past few months. Whilst it is no surprise that firms have become a lot more strategic given the volume of hiring last year, the struggle to attract quality talent remains prevalent.

Cooley lays off 150 lawyers and staff in response to ‘unexpected economic downturn’

Tech-focused law firm Cooley is laying off 150 employees in the US including 78 attorneys, blaming the move on a market downturn that is expected to continue into next year. The move was revealed by chairman and CEO Joe Conroy in an internal memo yesterday, which was obtained by Above the Law, in which he conceded that the firm’s aggressive hiring during 2020 and 2021 had backfired in light of an ‘unexpected economic downturn’.

Are There Enough Restructuring Lawyers For This Recession?

Restructuring lawyers sometimes have a reputation for being doomsayers. The economy is due a downturn, they frequently say, and insolvencies are soon to pick up. Those forecasts can be wrong for a long time before they become right. But there is a strong feeling that this economic downturn time really will lead to increased restructuring & insolvency activity, especially in the U.K.

Technology & Innovation:

Gowling unveils tech trainee seat to help lawyers “stand out”

Gowling WLG has created an innovation and legal tech seat for trainees across its UK offices, The Lawyer has learnt.The optional programme sees trainees split their six-month seat between the firm’s innovation team and on secondment to Avail – an artificial intelligence (AI) start-up with a focus on transactional real estate teams, with which Gowling has a joint venture.

Cybersecurity 101: Politicians Show Firms What Not to Do

Recent hacking incidents involving the phones and mobile devices of prominent UK politicians can serve as a valuable learning exercise for firms looking to shore up their data protection and cybersecurity practices.

Diversity & Inclusion:

Law Society backs calls for step-change in socio-economic diversity of professional services by 2030

The Law Society of England and Wales has welcomed the final report from the City of London’s Socio-Economic Diversity Taskforce, which calls for half of senior leaders from the financial and professional services sector to come from a non-professional background by 2030. The report provides a roadmap that Law Society president Lubna Shuja said sets out how employers can speed up progress and achieve equity of progression.

Is Flexibility Enough? How to Support Parents in the Legal Sector

Working parents will know – winter bug season is already upon us. With the NHS warning of a ‘twindemic’ and encouraging certain demographics to get both their Covid and flu jabs, some headlines have warned of an illness-filled winter ahead and for working parents this means months of dreaded calls from nurseries to collect children and school absences. For many working parents, these winter months can be full of intense juggling periods of trying to keep up with work and care for sick children but of course, being a working parent, especially in the legal sector, can be difficult and stressful no matter what time of year it is.

France’s Jeantet Creates Sustainable-Energy Department With 14-Person Hire

Jeantet has recruited a 14-person team, including three partners, from a rival French firm to create a new multidisciplinary department dedicated to energy transition and sustainable development. The move is part of a growth strategy for Jeantet, an elite firm with headquarters in Paris and offices around the world.

Ukrainian Legal Developments:

DLA Piper associate recognised for spearheading pro bono project to advise Ukrainian refugees

DLA Piper’s UK pro bono manager has been recognised by London’s legal community for her work coordinating a project to provide free legal advice to Ukrainian refugees. Associate Olivia Clark is this year’s recipient of the Wig & Pen Prize, which is jointly awarded by the City of London Law Society (CLLS) and City of London Solicitor’s Company and celebrates the pro bono legal work of City lawyers. She secured the award for her work coordinating the Ukraine Advice Project, which connects Ukrainians fleeing the war with lawyers who can advise about legal pathways to the UK. The portal has provided information to more than 4,300 Ukrainians and their families and has linked more than 1,500 Ukrainians with pro bono immigration legal support.


UK & Ireland

A&O swoops to recruit Shearman finance partner

A finance partner, who has been at Shearman & Sterling for 16 years, is moving to Allen & Overy. Marwa Elborai specialises in both capital markets and leveraged finance. She was given the nod to partner in 2016.

From secondment to GC: Ropes partner lands legal role at Bain

Ropes & Gray’s former London managing partner has left the firm having been on secondment at client Bain Capital for over a year. Will Rosen joined Bain for a temporary period in September 2021 to fill a senior gap in the private equity house’s in-house legal team. He has now left the partnership at Ropes and has joined Bain Capital as its European general counsel for private equity.

DLA Piper Duo Quit Firm To Join EY Law

Two DLA Piper asset finance partners are leaving to join the legal arm of Big Four firm EY.The duo are led by Alan Cunningham, who heads DLA’s asset finance practice in the U.K. He first joined the firm as a partner in 2011 from DWF and previously worked as an associate in Norton Rose Fullbright’s Paris office, Reed Smith’s Hong Kong office and at Harbottle & Lewis, according to his Linkedin profile.

Allen & Overy Seals Partner Hire From Shearman & Sterling

Allen & Overy has bolstered its U.K. leveraged finance bench with a partner hire from U.S.-headquartered Shearman & Sterling. High yield partner Marwa Elborai has spent the last 16 years at Shearman, nearly seven years of which were as partner, according to her LinkedIn profile. She also spent some time working in the firm’s New York office.

Goodwin Appoints Private Investments Funds As New London Co-Chair

Goodwin Procter has appointed a private funds partner as its next London co-chair, as long-standing incumbent Paul Lyons steps down.Private funds partner Ajay Pathak takes the reins alongside current co-chair, private equity partner Gemma Roberts who took on the role last year. Pathak joined Goodwin as a partner in the private equity group in 2017 from King & Wood Mallesons. He spent 15 years at KWM, joining after the firm collapsed in late 2016. His practice focuses on the establishment, management and regulation of private investment funds across a range of alternative asset classes.

MoFo makes first group IP hire with four-strong team

After a search spanning several years, Morrison Foerster has added a four-strong intellectual property litigation team in London. The US firm’s London office has hired a team led by Steven James from Brown Rudnick. James, who starts at MoFo’s offices in the Scalpel on Thursday, was head of the IP practice across Brown Rudnick’s UK and European regions.


Squire Adds 4-Lawyer Private Equity Team in Madrid

Squire Patton Boggs has added a four-lawyer, partner-led private equity and M&A team to its corporate practice in Madrid. Private equity lawyer Carlos Blanco, who led Spanish law firm RocaJunyent’s corporate and M&A department in Madrid and was the office’s managing partner from 2017 to 2020, has joined the now-twenty-lawyer corporate department at Squire and brought with him three team members: senior associate Javier Arenas and associates Elena Ferrer and Iñigo Oliván.

The Americas

Allen & Overy Takes More Washington DC Space as US Growth Continues

Allen & Overy has expanded its office footprint in Washington D.C., as the firm continues its concerted efforts to grow in the U.S. The firm is adding more space to its current occupancy at 1101 New York Avenue, NW in the U.S. capital and is set to renovate its current area. A&O will grow its occupancy by 10,000 sq ft to lease 40,914 sq ft, which includes its current presence on the 11th floor and will add part of the 10th floor, according to a person with knowledge of the matter.

People in the News—Nov. 23, 2022—Gawthrop Greenwood, Tucker Arensberg, Barley Snyder

Gawthrop Greenwood welcomed Jeremy Grivensky as an associate attorney practicing in the firm’s litigation department at the West Chester office.


From secondment to GC: Ropes partner lands legal role at Bain

Ropes & Gray’s former London managing partner has left the firm having been on secondment at client Bain Capital for over a year. Will Rosen joined Bain for a temporary period in September 2021 to fill a senior gap in the private equity house’s in-house legal team.

International Airlines Group hires GSK lawyer as new GC

International Airlines Group (IAG) has hired Sarah Clements, previously legal head of group transformation and separation at GSK. Sarah Clements worked at GSK for over four years, with her most recent role created to oversee the demerger between GSK and Haleon.

Promotions & Appointments:

Wayne State University Law Names Inaugural Associate Dean of Diversity

“I have spent my entire professional career working not only to promote diversity and belonging, but also, recognizing that neither diversity nor inclusion are power-neutral, advancing civil rights and equality in education,” Nancy Chi Cantalupo said in a statement. “However, that work has almost always been bifurcated—either focusing on research or on the implementation of DEI programs and initiatives.”

Memphis Partner Elected New Chair of Adams and Reese

Litigation partner Clarence Wilbon, who joined the Adams and Reese executive committee in 2021, has been elected chair as of Jan. 1, 2023.

Mergers & Alliances:

Birketts enters Kent with social housing firm merger

South East firm Birketts has announced a tie-up with Batchelors Solicitors, a 40-strong firm with offices in Kent and London. The merger deal sees Birketts operate in Kent for the first time. The majority of Batchelors’ team is based in Bromley, but it will move over to new space taken up by Birketts in April 2023.

A merger won’t save you

Rather than reinvigorating consolidation of the UK legal market, merger activity between firms is likely to contract further next year as firms batten down the hatches to protect margins. But while acquisition appetite may fall among the larger firms, the number of smaller firms looking for a buyer is expected to escalate. This could create the perfect conditions for a flurry of distressed purchases.

Office Openings & Closing:

FordHarrison Adds Houston Office, Its Second in Texas

Management-side labour and employment firm FordHarrison launches an office in Houston, founded by a former Morgan, Lewis & Bockius associate.

Law Firm Leasing Back to Normal Dynamic

Volume has held up while the technology sector pauses as it considers an upcoming recession. This year has signaled a return to more normal dynamics for legal leasing, but where firms are signing leases has seen a substantial change, according to Savills’ U.S. Law Firm Activity Report Q3 2022.

CMS sets its sights on Leeds office launch

Leeds has been home to a number of office openings this year, with CMS Cameron McKenna Nabarro Olswang the latest firm to be seeking a launch. The firm has three offices across the north of England in Liverpool, Manchester and Sheffield, but sources say the firm has identified an opportunity in Leeds and is actively trying to establish itself in the city.


Dentons unveils newly-minted five-year strategy

Dentons has launched a five-year strategy for the UK, Ireland and Middle East (UKIME) region that includes practice area expansion, career progression initiatives and technology investment. The firm’s UKIME CEO Paul Jarvis said the goal of the new strategy is “not to add revenue for revenue’s sake” and that it is about “being connected to our clients, global USP and people”.

Latham wins mandate on possible Manchester United sale

Latham & Watkins is the firm that has scored the mandate for the Glazer family on its strategic review of Manchester United. The club said in a statement it would “evaluate all options to ensure that we best serve our fans and that Manchester United maximises the significant growth opportunities available to the Club today and in the future.”

Inflation is already eroding growth

Growth that outpaces inflation is a core objective for any law firm in expansion mode. But with inflation currently running at around 10 per cent and predicted to rise higher, achieving real money growth in 2022/23 will be tougher than ever before. If firms are to maintain momentum through a lengthy recession, then partner profits will need to be scrutinised and charge-out rates potentially raised in line with inflationary levels.

Raising Billing Rates in 2023 Becomes a ‘Singular Focus’ for Law Firms

“We’re seeing higher planned rate increases at this point than we’ve ever seen, and we’ve been tracking this for 15 years,” said a Wells Fargo analyst.

Baker McKenzie Remains Alone on Bonuses as Firms Grapple With Excess Capacity

A downturn in transactional work will likely cause more segmentation in year-end bonus payments following two years of bonus-matching.

This is the fastest growing firm in Europe

Which firm based in the European region has achieved the highest level of organic growth over the last five full financial years? Few of you may have looked outside the UK, but the correct answer is Spanish firm Pérez-Llorca. International network leaders, or those with Iberia connections, may have had an inkling of the firm’s rampant growth, but the majority, no doubt, would not have put Pérez-Llorca on the ‘one to watch’ list.

Technology & Innovation:

Crypto Lawyer Says Mining Moratorium Is Built to Survive Legal Challenges, But Deep-Pocketed Industry Is Likely to Sue

Cryptocurrency clients feel they were lured to New York “by policy statements made as early as 2020—and now that they’re here, they’re being shelved,” said a lawyer with industry clients.

For E-Discovery Professionals, a Twitter Shutdown Is Problematic, but Not Dire

Concerns around Twitter’s future are another reminder for e-discovery teams about the preservation challenges that come with ephemeral data and ever-evolving social media platforms.

‘A Market for the Work We’re Doing’: Cleary Sees Its Bay Area Offices Bloom in Year 1

After just one year in the Bay Area, the Wall Street firm is seeing plenty of demand as the technology sector confronts a new regulatory landscape.

Diversity & Inclusion:

Roundtable: How to retain talent through culture

As political turmoil continues to temper financial markets, hamper international trade relations and exacerbate political insecurity, ensuring client stability and satisfaction still remains of vital concern for all law firms. In a recent roundtable co-hosted by Scottish-based Morton Fraser and The Lawyer, participants discussed the biggest challenges facing law firms in maintaining client satisfaction into the future. The “war for talent” stood out as an aspect of legal services that firms simply must get right.


UK & Ireland 

Cleary expands City M&A team with Linklaters recruit

Linklaters’ Nick Rumsby is leaving the magic circle firm for Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton’s London office. Rumsby has been a lifer of Linklaters, joining as a trainee in 1997 and promoted to partner a decade later.

Macfarlanes hires pensions partner from Hogan Lovells in London

Macfarlanes has hired pensions expert Faye Jarvis from Hogan Lovells to strengthen its pensions team in a relatively rare lateral move for the firm. Jarvis joins as a partner in London and brings with her extensive experience advising employers and pension trustees on funding issues, liability management exercises, scheme mergers and demergers and other pension-related strategies and transaction support.

Commercial crime silk leaves Cloth Fair for Fountain Court in London

Clare Sibson KC is set to join Fountain Court Chambers this week from specialist criminal set Cloth Fair, in a move that underscores the former’s commitment to grow its commercial crime team. Sibson brings considerable experience of disputes at the intersection between commercial crime, civil fraud and regulatory law to Fountain Court. Ranked by both Chambers & Partners and The Legal 500 for her financial and business crime practice, she also brings a strong reputation as an advocate and cross-examiner.

Hogan Lovells, Paul Hastings and Goodwin Strengthen London Ranks

Several international law firms have added to their U.K. ranks in the last month including Hogan Lovells, DLA Piper, Norton Rose Fulbright, Paul Hastings and Goodwin. DLA Piper, Norton Rose Fulbright and others have also made hires in the last month.


Clifford Chance Hires 2 IP Partners in Düsseldorf

Clifford Chance has hired two European IP partners and one counsel from a European intellectual property boutique in anticipation of the 2023 launch of the Unified Patent Court. Starting on January 1, 2023, IP partners Tobias J. Hessel and Stefan Richter will join the law firm’s IP practice in Düsseldorf from Hoyng Rokh Monegier.

Loyens & Loeff Hires M&A Luxembourg Partner From Rival

A longtime Bonn Steichen & Partners partner has left the Luxembourg firm after 17 years to join the Benelux firm Loyens & Loeff. Frédéric Lemoine joined Bonn—then still known as Bonn Schmitt Steichen—as a junior lawyer immediately after completing his legal studies in 2005. It is Loyens’ second significant hire in a month, having added a De Brauw Blackstone Westbroek’s Amsterdam partner in October.


The Big Four’s China Law Partners Find New Homes

The so-called ‘Big Four’ auditing giants have shut down their legal affiliations in China following intense regulatory scrutiny, according to an investigation by International. In a major development for Asia’s legal industry, PwC and Deloitte confirmed that they had closed their associated Chinese law firms. KPMG and EY have also closed, and both no longer have operational local law-firm websites.  We are still trying to determine where many of the partners who previously worked for the Big Four-affiliated firms have landed.

 Kennedys Replaces APAC Aviation Head as Incumbent Moves In-House

 Kennedys has promoted Singapore-based aviation partner Anita Quy to head of aviation in Asia Pacific, replacing former partner Peng Lim who has recently moved in-house in London. Quy was among six lawyers, including Lim, who joined the Singapore office of Kennedys from Clyde & Co back in 2014. The new hire will work alongside new partner Tristan Thompson, who joined the firm’s Singapore office in September from DLA Piper.

Fangda Partners Adds 2 Partners to Shanghai and Shenzhen

Beijing-based Fangda Partners has added capital markets lawyer Aaron Chen to Shanghai and IP specialist Zou Wen to Shenzhen. Joining in Shanghai is capital markets partner Aaron Chen, who was most recently a partner at Chinese firm Jiayuan Law Offices. Chen advises on capital markets deals, corporate restructurings as well as private equity investments

Paul Hastings Takes Hong Kong Securities Partner from Deacons

Paul Hastings has boosted to its capital markets stead by adding Deacons partner, Peter Cheng, to its Hong Kong office. Cheng primarily represents issuers and underwriters on Hong Kong initial public offerings (IPO). He also advises corporates on compliance with Hong Kong Listing Rules, as well as on M&A and private equity investments. He has particular experience acting for companies dealing in the TMT sector.

Pinsent Masons Poaches Energy and Infrastructure Team from K&L Gates

Pinsent Masons has poached an energy and infrastructure team from K&L Gates to join its Sydney office, while Baker McKenzie and HFW have also made hires in the city. The Pinsent Masons team consists of partner Kirstie Richards and senior associates Luke Salem and Alec Kibblewhite, who will lead the firm’s Australian planning and environment capabilities, the firm announced.

The Americas 

Orrick secures four-partner life sciences IP litigation team from Milbank

Orrick Herrington & Sutcliffe has added a four-strong team of life sciences-focused IP litigation partners from Milbank in California. The team is recognised for its record protecting the innovations of major biotech companies in complex patent cases and is made up of David Gindler, who headed Milbank’s IP litigation and licensing practice, along with Gary Fischling, Lauren Drake and John Lu. Frischling has joined the firm in Santa Monica while the rest of the team will be based in Orrick’s Los Angeles office.

Sidley Austin taps White & Case for Middle East-focused M&A partner in New York

Sidley Austin has hired international deals lawyer Michiel Visser from White & Case to boost its M&A and private equity practice. Visser joins as a partner in New York where his practice will focus on a range of cross-border M&A and corporate work, with a particular focus on Middle Eastern clients including sovereign wealth funds, government-related entities, family offices and companies. He advises on acquisitions, asset sales, joint ventures, co-investments, restructurings and corporate governance. He is dual-qualified in New York and England.

Linklaters targets US renewables market with senior partner hire from Sidley Austin

Linklaters has signalled a drive to grow its market share of energy transition work in the US with the hire of a partner from Sidley Austin to head up its regional energy and infrastructure projects team. Ron I. Erlichman has joined the UK Magic Circle firm as a partner and head of energy and infrastructure in the Americas and will lead an Americas team currently comprising two partners, a counsel and six associates.

Eversheds Sutherland Loses 4 More Energy Transition Lawyers to Holland & Knight

Holland & Knight, which last week confirmed the hiring of five Eversheds Sutherland energy transition lawyers in Houston and Washington, D.C., has expanded the team further with two more in Atlanta, one in New York and another in Washington. The four hires in Atlanta, New York and Washington, D.C., make a total of nine Eversheds Sutherland energy transition lawyers that Holland & Knight has hired this month as it focuses on expanding its energy practice.

Cleary Lands Longtime A&O Derivatives, Structured Finance Partner in New York

Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton has added Deborah North, an Allen & Overy derivatives and structured finance partner, as a partner in New York, the firm said Wednesday. North had been at A&O for just over 22 years and was promoted to partner in its London office in 2008. Her hire comes as Cleary anticipates current economic factors will drive work in the practice.

White & Case Adds Yet Another Partner in Mexico City as Business Thrives

White & Case has recruited yet another partner for its Mexico City office as it experiences strong demand for its corporate services. Carlos Martínez joins the global firm’s tax practice from Mexican firm Creel Abogados to help field consistently strong demand for corporate work. He joins just a few months after the firm brought on two other partners—Eduardo Flores Herrera and Narciso Campos Cuevas.

Promotions & Appointments: 

Garrigues Promotes 16 to Partner, Half Are Women

Spanish law firm Garrigues has announced the appointment of 16 new partners across Spain and Latin America, half of whom are women. All new partners become part of the firm’s equity, according to the firm’s statement.

Cleary announces first female partner promotion in London since 2017

Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton has added two new partners to its London office as part of its latest global promotions round, while adding its first female partner since 2017. The US firm has elevated nine lawyers in total across its offices in London, Paris, New York, Frankfurt and Hong Kong,

BCLP makes up seven UK lawyers to partner in promos round

Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner (BCLP) is promoting seven UK lawyers to partner, based in both London and Southampton, alongside 14 other elevations globally. In London, Tom Bacon sits in the corporate practice, James Banks focuses on real estate and Benjamin Blacklock works on disputes.

Gibson Dunn announces 37-strong US-dominated partner promotions round

US firm Gibson Dunn & Crutcher has promoted 37 lawyers to its partnership, 10 more than last year’s promotion round. Women accounted for 16 of this year’s cohort, or 43%. Last year 12 made the cut, or 44% of the overall round. US promotions dominated, with just five outside North America, including Hanna Chalhoub and Nooree Moola in Dubai, Piers Plumptre in London, Katharina Humphrey in Munich and Jan Schubert in Frankfurt. New York saw the most promotions with eight, followed by seven in Washington DC, six in its Los Angeles headquarters and five in Dallas. The firm’s West Coast offices including LA, San Francisco and Palo Alto accounted for more than a third of promotions in total.

Travers Smith opts for ‘stability and continuity’ as it re-elects senior partner for second term

Travers Smith has elected Kathleen Russ to a second term as senior partner, effective from July next year. Russ was first elected in 2019, having previously been head of the firm’s tax department, where she has been a partner for more than two decades. She has also helped shape the firm’s business strategy as a member of its partnership board and co-chaired the firm’s international board, as well as chairing its diversity and inclusion board and the firm’s audit committee.

TLT elects pensions lead as next senior partner

TLT has named Bristol- and London-based pensions partner Sasha Butterworth as its next senior partner, succeeding Andrew Glynn. Butterworth will begin her three-year term on 1 January 2023 at the end of Glynn’s sever-year tenure as senior partner, Glynn having been re-elected in 2019

Japan’s Dentsu Group Appoints Ex-New York Times, Honeywell Attorney As General Counsel

Tokyo-based advertising and public relations giant Dentsu Group has promoted Alison Zoellner to general counsel, effective in January. The post will give Zoellner responsibility for legal and compliance teams for 900 companies owned by Dentsu, which does business in 145 countries.

Jones Day Managing Partner Brogan to Step Down After 20 Years, Names DC Partner Shumaker as Successor

Stephen Brogan, who has served as the managing partner at Jones Day for two decades, announced Friday that he is stepping down at the end of 2022. He will be succeeded by Gregory M. Shumaker, who currently leads the firm’s global disputes practice. Brogan, one of the longest-serving leaders in the Am Law 100 and only the seventh managing partner in Jones Day’s 130-year history, has the power under the firm’s unique management structure to name his own successor.

Mergers & Alliances: 

Australia’s Wotton + Kearney Acquires Melbourne Boutique Health Law Firm

Specialist insurance law firm Wotton + Kearney has acquired a Melbourne-based boutique health law firm and its four partners as it boosts its healthcare practice. Ball + Partners is a medical negligence and malpractice law firm. Partners Lara Larking, John Arranga, Andrew Smith and Russell Ball will be joining Wotton + Kearney. The acquisition bolsters Wotton + Kearney’s medical defense team, giving it 11 partners in the practice serving Australia and New Zealand.

Office Openings & Closing: 

 Sports boutique closes as founding duo depart

After six years as a boutique acting in top-level sports disputes, Solesbury Gay has decided to close after a change in career for its founders. The firm was founded by Tom Solesbury and Mark Gay back in 2016 to work on sports and employment law. The firm acted for several high-profile clients, including racing driver Sam Bird, the Force India Formula One Team, F1 Alpine’s team, UK Athletics and the English Football League. Tom Solesbury decided to move in-house to a UK Athletics, while Mark Gay has decided to take on a new role at Payne Hicks Beach.

Indian boutique Chandhiok & Mahajan builds pan-Indian presence with Hyderabad launch

Indian boutique Chandhiok & Mahajan builds pan-Indian presence with abad launch. Indian boutique Chandhiok & Mahajan (C&M) has opened an office in the southern city of Hyderabad as it moves to build its presence across the country. The Delhi-based firm, which has worked on deals including the $20bn mega-merger of chemicals giants Clariant and Huntsman, also has bases in Mumbai and the southern city of Bengaluru and said the launch would enable it to better meet client need across the country’s south.


Qatar Will Make Billions From the World Cup. Which Law Firms Could Benefit?

DLA Piper, Dentons, K&L Gates, Eversheds Sutherland and others have already taken on World-Cup related work, according to a International analysis. Qatar v Ecuador mightn’t be a clash of footballing giants, but Sunday’s fixture will signal the start of what many expect to be the highest grossing football world cup tournament of all time. The Qatar World Cup 2022 could generate “maybe $10 billion or more” for Qatar, a partner at an elite Middle East firm said, while Bloomberg has placed a more conservative $5.4 billion value on it. Either way, though dogged by controversy, the four-week competition will be a money spinner for the wealthy Gulf nation.

Norton Rose Fulbright increases net cash as firms brace for economic headwinds

Norton Rose Fulbright (NRF) has reported a 100 per cent rise in its net cash, according to its recent LLP accounts, putting it in a strong position to weather a potential period of economic challenges. Net cash leapt from £23m to £47m. Meanwhile revenue for its Europe, Middle East and Asia (EMEA) operations rose by 8 per cent from £488.6m to £527m in 2021/22, while net profit increased by 6 per cent from £146.9m to £156m.

Majority of small US firms optimistic about growth outlook, Thomson Reuters study finds

Small law firms in the US are more optimistic about their future growth prospects than they were at this point last year, according to a new report from Thomson Reuters Institute. Nearly six in 10 lawyers at small US firms said they expect growth over the next 12 months across areas including revenues per lawyer, billable hours and profits per lawyer, according to the 2022 Report on the State of US Small Law Firms. By contrast, fewer than half of lawyers in last year’s report thought billable hours or profits per lawyer would grow over the following 12 months.

Law’s Cost of Living Crunch

The cost of living is soaring. U.K. inflation is at a 41-year high. Chancellor Jeremy Hunt’s Autumn Statement made grim reading for many as the government attempts to balance the country’s books with tax rises and spending cuts. Several firms are reacting to the current economic situation by handing out cost of living bonuses to their lowest earners, which in most cases means trainees and business support professionals. This week Simmons & Simmons became the latest to do so, following the likes of Norton Rose Fulbright, Clifford Chance and Bird & Bird. The pay war for junior lawyers finally seems to have calmed down, but don’t be surprised if this becomes a new way of attracting and retaining talent at the lower-wage end.

Diversity & Inclusion: 

“We’re not just environmental lawyers, we’re environmentalists”

When it comes to climate change mitigation, it is all words and very little action. Otherwise, we would not be on the “highway to climate hell”, as UN secretary general António Guterres proclaimed on the first day of COP27. Across all industries and countries, there is a reluctance to take the plunge and make the necessary changes to limit global warming by 1.5 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels. And law is no exception. Even those firms with net zero targets largely ignore the impact of the deals they facilitate. Slaughter and May being the latest firm scrutinised for its difficult moral choices.

New mentoring programme aims to supercharge senior leadership skills for women lawyers

Two founding partners of specialist London disputes boutique Edmonds Marshall McMahon have launched a project to help women legal professionals achieve greater business development results and career progression. The project, called Networking Nuance, has been set up by Kate McMahon and Tamlyn Edmonds specifically to address the under representation of women at the top of the profession. It follows a report published by the UK Government last year that found while the overall number of lawyers was fairly evenly split in terms of gender just 13.8% of female solicitors were partners compared to 31% of men.

Men’s Mental Health: We Must Strive To Be More Open

Ahead of International Men’s Day on November 19 one solicitor writes about the need for men to open up. He writes: “Mental health was something I was never really aware of growing up. I just thought all men knew exactly what they were doing all of the time and were just completely unaffected by anything that came their way. I wanted to be one of them men. For me, that meant showing no emotion at all. I was always the guy that never let anything phase me, moved relentlessly towards goals I had set for myself and was always there for other people. That was what people thought, but inside I was a mess. I didn’t talk about it because I didn’t know how to. I didn’t want to bother anybody else, and I was too used to masking my own emotions and feelings.”

Simmons Latest To Hand Out Cost Of Living Payment in UK

The firm said the payments were in “recognition of the challenging economic climate”. U.K. law firm Simmons & Simmons has become the latest firm to offer assistance to its people in light of economic pressures in the U.K. The firm will hand all its U.K. staff earning below £50,000 a one off cost of living payment of £1,500.

‘Attractivity’ and its Role in Law Firm Success

Brand attraction is more important than ever in the legal market amid underlying competitive market pressures. The word ‘attractivity’ might puzzle you. It’s best thought of as organisational charisma—the quality or degree of a law firm’s attractive power or influence. How compelling is its proposition to clients and the market? This extends to all the elements that attract partners and clients to one firm rather than another. Where a firm experiences problem with these elements, there will probably be similar underlying causes because the different strands contributing to a firm’s brand attraction connect.


UK & Ireland 

Hogan Lovells London Corporate Heavyweight Exits For Vinson & Elkins

His move will go some way to rebuilding Vinson & Elkins’ London outpost, which has suffered several losses in recent months.

Former Top Lawyer at HSBC Joins Oracle as Legal Chief

Stuart Levey is taking the legal reins of the software giant, the latest step in a wide-ranging legal career that has included key government and private-sector roles.


Wilson Sonsini Snags Former European Commission Lawyer and Hong Kong Competition Official in Brussels

The Brussels base of the California-headquartered firm has hired an official who has worked for both the European Commission’s antitrust watchdog and Hong Kong’s competition authority.

Portuguese Law Firm Abreu Hits Rival for 4-Lawyer Finance Team

The team joins the firm amid a market shift from high-yield investment to infrastructure investments, the partner leading the move said.


Reed Smith Adds From Milbank in Singapore

Reed Smith has upped its Asia expansion in the past year, adding from Milbank in Singapore.

Mishcon’s Hong Kong Associate Firm Adds Two Lawyers To Ranks

Hong Kong law firm Karas, which operates in Hong Kong in association with U.K. firm Mishcon de Reya, has added two family dispute lawyers to its team.

The Americas 

Leech Tishman Adds New Delaware Counsel

Leech Tishman Fuscaldo & Lampl announced the addition of a new attorney to the firm: Jeffrey M. Carbino.

Former Kagan Clerk Tapped for DOJ’s Office of Legal Counsel

Zachary Schauf, a partner in Jenner & Block’s energy and Supreme Court and appellate practices, has been appointed deputy assistant attorney general in the U.S. Justice Department’s office of legal counsel.

In House

Maybourne Hotel Group lands Virgin Atlantic hire for new GC

The Maybourne Hotel Group has hired Virgin Atlantic’s associate general counsel (GC) as its global group general counsel.

Promotions & Appointments: 

Law Society of Ireland names Maura Derivan as its 152nd president

The Law Society of Ireland has named Maura Derivan as its 152nd president, but only the sixth woman to hold the role.

Mergers & Alliances: 

BCLP has lost its identity

A raft of exits from BCLP in the UK raises questions about the cultural fit of its 2018 merger.

Dickson Minto will merge. Will it take the Edinburgh office with it?

Meetings between law firm leaders can be casual, just a polite meeting to chew the fat over a cup of coffee, or they can have a serious intent. Last month, when Dickson Minto’s de facto managing partner Jordan Simpson met with a delegation from New York’s Fried Frank, it was the latter. Make no mistake, the private equity boutique is in play.

Spain’s Cuatrecasas integrates with Portuguese firm SLCM in Lisbon

Top two Spanish firm Cuatrecasas has signed an integration agreement with Portuguese firm Serra Lopes, Cortes Martins & Associado (SLCM), with the Barcelona-based firm absorbing SLCM within its Lisbon office.

DWF enters Canada legal market through £27.7m deal to buy Vancouver law firm

Listed UK law firm DWF is expanding into the Canadian legal market through a tie-up with Vancouver independent Whitelaw Twining Law Corporation for £27.7m.

Office Openings & Closing: 

Squires hires Pinsents partner for Dublin debut

Squire Patton Boggs is the latest firm to open an office in Dublin, hiring a Pinsent Masons partner to kickstart its operation.

Sometimes, you have to put the brakes on

About 20 years ago, the management at Vinge took a look at its global footprint. As well as its offices in Stockholm, Gothenburg, Malmö and Helsingborg, it was in Brussels, Hong Kong, London, Moscow, Paris and Shanghai. Vinge’s clients increasingly didn’t need Swedish lawyers in these financial hubs and so the decision was taken to wind down the international network. Today, only Brussels remains.

US Law Firm Leasing ‘Back on Course’ as Firm Leaders Refocus on Office Space

The Savills U.S. Law Firm Activity Report Q3 2022 shows law firm leasing in key markets was up during the third quarter, with Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer and Kirkland & Ellis making the most sizable expansions.

Hinshaw & Culbertson Looks to Expand in South Fla. as Insurance Demand Swells

“A number of companies have moved down to Florida the past two years, and with that, you have a massive amount of business in Florida,” said Miami partner Pedro Hernandez.


It’s a terrible time to specialise in ECM

The ECM train has come off the rails. So far in 2022, 11 companies have debuted on the Alternative Investment Market (AIM), the same number to have listed in December 2021 alone. Unless there is a drastic change in sentiment, one imagines the run-up to Christmas will be far less fraught.

Majority of small US firms optimistic about growth outlook, Thomson Reuters study finds

Small law firms in the US are more optimistic about their future growth prospects than they were at this point last year, according to a new report from Thomson Reuters Institute.

The Law Firm Disrupted: Still Wrestling With the Future of the Office

Real estate might soon be firms’ third biggest expenditure, down from second. But that doesn’t mean that firms aren’t thinking hard about how to make the most of their spending.

Gunderson Associates Out of a Job After Dip in Billable Work

Two rounds of cuts affected about 30 associates this fall at Gunderson Dettmer, according to sources in contact with affected individuals, as demand falls for emerging companies and venture capital work.

Technology & Innovation: 

UK Twitter staff seek out legal advice after Musk’s global job cuts

National firm Winckworth Sherwood is set to represent a group of UK Twitter employees, after new owner Elon Musk announced last week that 3,700 staff were to be laid off globally.

The future of data class actions: All eyes are on Mishcon and Quinn

This week marked a year since the Supreme Court’s decision in Lloyd v Google in which a multibillion-pound data protection claim brought against the tech giant was thrown out. The immediate aftermath saw a long pipeline of data claims dropped in a flash. But 12 months on and claimant firms are anticipating a bounce-back.

Diversity & Inclusion: 

Slaughter and May’s Big Oil dilemma

By defending Shell in climate change litigation while promoting its Net Zero aspirations Slaughters is leaving itself wide open to greenwashing accusations.

Beltway Firms Champion Associate and New Partner Training

Beltway firms are touting their innovative training programs as a way to attract and retain talent, and shape the lawyers they need in a changing legal services market.

Can Lessons From Diversity Training Help Build Bridges?

Different kinds of training have been described as “diversity” training. But much of what the practice has been about is teaching participants to understand and appreciate one another’s differences—differences in experiences, values, aspirations and perspectives.

 A Bar Association Tried to Put Minorities in Leadership Role

Superior Court Judge Joseph Rea said quota systems are not always unlawful under the New Jersey Law Against Discrimination but the bar association’s quota system is unlawful.

A&O has entered the apprenticeship game

It is the national and regional firms that have shown the strongest support for Trailblazer apprenticeships in recent years. With the cost of newly-qualified (NQ) lawyers rocketing, many smaller firms have valued the apprenticeship arena as a haven away from the recruiting maelstrom. It is seen as a healthy route by which to recruit lawyers who may never have considered a career in the profession, or those who simply didn’t want to carry the debt of a university education.