Hello and welcome to the Fides Weekly Update. Take a look at this week’s key trends, moves and developments in legal and compliance.
1. Clifford Chance acquires Carillion’s low cost arm in Newcastle
Clifford Chance (CC) has acquired the legal services arm of collapsed construction giant Carillion, known as the Carillion Advice Service (CAS).
The firm is taking on 60 paralegals in Newcastle, who will create a new UK low-cost centre for CC and continue to be led by Director Lucy Nixon.
She will report to new London managing partner Michael Bates and Oliver Campbell, the firm’s head of client services solutions. Campbell also leads Clifford Chance’s legal support centre in India, which launched in 2007
However, the deal does not include the 10 CAS staff employed in Telford to carry out insurance claims handling work.
CAS was 75% owned by Carillion Construction, one of the six Carillion companies to have entered liquidation. As well as providing support services to Carillion, CAS also had external clients for which it handles routine, low-cost legal work such as contract management, document review and due diligence.
From January 2013, Carillion’s 12 panel firms were also mandated to use CAS for commoditised aspects of any work they undertook for the company in order to cut costs.
This included firms such as Slaughter and May, Linklaters, Ashurst, Addleshaw Goddard, Clyde & Co, DLA Piper and Pinsent Masons, with Slaughters offering the services of CAS to Vodafone after a successful trial in 2013.
CC UK managing partner Michael Bates said: “By working with the CAS team, we will enhance our ability to provide extremely cost-effective, efficient and high-quality service on a range of low complexity legal tasks, as an integral part of our overall client offer.”
Global head of client service solutions Oliver Campbell added: “We have been very impressed by the CAS team in Newcastle. They bring a huge amount of expertise in areas that are already an important priority for the firm, such as legal tech and process-driven service delivery.”
Legal Week revealed last month there had been significant interest in the managed services arm, with initially 20 buyers interested in acquiring the business.
Before the collapse of Carillion, CAS had been in the process of applying for an alternative business structure licence. It was acquired by Carillion in 2011, prior to which it was attached to energy services company Eaga.
Carillion filed for liquidation in January after talks with its creditors and the government failed to reach a deal on Carillion’s £1.5bn liabilities.
2. Credit Suisse announces regulatory investigation into hiring practices
A bribery and corruption investigation has kicked off, with US regulators looking into hiring decisions made by Credit Suisse in the Asia Pacific region.
The Swiss bank made the announcement themselves this week, citing that the probe is investigating “potential violation of the U.S. Foreign Corrupt Practices Act and related civil statutes.”
Both the Department of Justice (DoJ) and the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) are working on the case, which will examine whether certain hires the bank have made were in fact referrals from government agencies and other state-owned entities in exchange for investment banking business and/or regulatory approvals.
Credit Suisse is cooperating with authorities in handling this matter.
There have previously been similar cases to this, as JP Morgan in 2016 were fined $264 million for FCPA offenses. Dubbed the “Sons and Daughters Program”, JP Morgan hired approximately one hundred interns and full time employees at the request of government officials in China and other parts of Asia. The revenues generated off the back of these hires was expected to amount to $100 million for the bank.
Similarly in the Middle East, BNY Mellon were accused by the SEC for dishing out student internships to family members of foreign government officials affiliated with a Middle Eastern sovereign wealth fund. $14.8 million was paid as a settlement by the bank.
Movers & Shakers of the week
Currently on the business’ panel are Eversheds Sutherland, Addleshaw Goddard, Bond Dickinson and Dentons
Timon Grau will split his time between Duesseldorf and Frankfurt and advise clients on matters such as transactions, internal investigations and restructurings.
Milbank Tweed Hadley & McCloy has continued to expand in London with the addition of capital markets partner Rebecca Marques, who joins the firm alongside Shearman’s European and Middle East capital markets head Apostolos Gkoutzinis.
Partner Alistair Francis joins Osborne Clarke following former UK head of Private Equity Tim Hewens.
Peter Wright and Rinku Bhadoria join the firm from Simmons & Simmons and King & Wood Mallesons respectively.
Poupak Anjomshoaa is to join the London office of NRF from Egyptian energy company Carbon Holdings where she was general counsel.
Partner Paul Feldberg joins K&L Gates from Willkie Farr & Gallagher where he was a counsel
Employment partner Stephen Ravenscroft joins Memery Crysal, where he will work with a cross-sector of UK and international businesses on HR issues.
Employment partner Fiona Bolton established and led the specialist financial institutions sector employment team at Eversheds, and her clients include Citi, Goldman Sachs, HSBC and Lockton.
Simmons has expanded its Milan office with the hire of a three-lawyer team from Baker McKenzie. Dispute resolution partner Leonardo Giani is set to join the firm to lead its Milan insurance litigation team next month along with two associates.
Weightmans has hired corporate partner Oliver Harker from Reed Smith in London. He was promoted to partnership at Reed Smith in 2017, and last year he acted for miner Gemfields in connection with its takeover by Pallinghurst Resources.
King & Wood Mallesons (KWM) has expanded in Frankfurt with the hire of tax partner Markus Hill from US firm McDermott Will & Emery.
Global and European head of technology and innovation Mike Rebeiro is set to join Macfarlanes as the firm’s new senior adviser and head of digital and innovation
Simmons & Simmons is adding partners Niamh Ryan and Elaine Keane to its asset management and investment funds practice in Dublin. They both join from A&L Goodbody
Christof von Dryander has returned to Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton as senior counsel in Frankfurt having spent six at years at Deutsche Bank, where he served as general counsel for Germany and Central and Eastern Europe.
17 partners and 311 staff from Hill Dickinson’s insurance business group have been sold to Keoghs, delivering the firm a new Liverpool base, whilst also bolstering its capability in Manchester and London.
General counsel and company secretary Andy McDonald has left Premier Foods to join construction group Interserve. He will also sit on the business’ executive board.
National construction head Paul O’Kane and Manchester head Paul Barge have both left DWF, along with six further lawyers, to join Addleshaw Goddard in Manchester
Caroline Jury will be joining the London office of Morrison & Foerster having retired from Clifford Chance’s partnership last year.
Paull financial services regulatory head Lorna Finlayson and Eversheds Sutherland consumer finance partner Clare Hughes will join the Addleshaw Goddard’s Edinburgh and London offices, respectively
King & Spalding makes additional hire to its special matters team in the City with Berwin Leighton Paisner’s corporate crime and investigations head Aaron Stephens
Former director of the Department of Justice Eric Mahr joins Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer in the firms DC office and US antitrust practice
Mergers & Alliances
Office Openings & Closings
Clyde & Co opens second German office after Dusseldorf, hiring a four partner team from insurance and shipping rival Ince & Co. Ince’s former head of English law Daniel Jones will be joining, as well as its head of admiralty and energy Eckehard Volz. Partners Tim Schommer and Volker Lücke will also join Clydes in Hamburg.
Berwin Leighton Paisner (BLP) is launching its third UK office in Southampton with the hire of two partners from Womble Bond Dickinson.Real Estate partners Anna Robbins and Verity Waington will join BLP later this year, with the office launch planned for May.