Hello and welcome to the Fides Weekly Update. Take a look at this week’s key trends, moves and developments in legal and compliance.
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1. Spring promotions: Reactions so Far
This week saw the start of the spring promotions round, with a number of magic circle and international firms announcing the lawyers made up to partner.
Herbert Smith Freehills were the first to announce, with a 17-strong global promotions round comprised of 14 women (80%). This is in-line with their internal diversity targets to achieve 30% female partnership by 2019, after missing their interim target in May 2017. Promotions were evenly split globally, with 10 partners based in the Asia-Pacific region and seven in the UK and US.
Linklaters also announced the promotion of 30 lawyers to counsel across 14 of the firms offices. This complements their annual promotions round in March, which saw 27 lawyers promoted to partner. 10 new partners were made up in London, and the firm outstripped its 30% target for female partner promotions set in 2012, with women making up 37% of the newly promoted cohort. The majority of the promotions were in London, with 10 partners made up, with 9 made up across Asia.
Magic circle rival Allen & Overy struggled to meet gender diversity targets for the second year running as it announced a 20 strong promotion round comprising just two women. This is similar to last year’s promotions, which saw two women made up in a 24-strong round. In response to industry pressure, the firm has set a new target for 30% of partner candidates to be female by 2021, to enable the firm to work towards a 30% female partnership target in the future. Eighty percent of this year’s partner promotions occurred outside of London, including seven in the Asia-Pacific region, with five in Singapore and one each in Perth and Seoul.
Clifford Chance announced a 26-strong promotions round, with 7 promotions in London and 10 female lawyers made up. This is up on last year’s round, and marks a significant improvement in female representation as only four women were made up.
|Firm||2018 Promotions||2017 Promotions||Promotions in London||Prominent Practice||Female Partners||% of Cohort|
|Herbert Smith Freehills||17||21||6||Dispute Resolution||14||80%|
|Linklaters||27||26||10||Finance & Projects||10||37%|
|Allen & Overy||20||24||4||Corporate / Banking||2||10%|
2. Jes Staley probe concludes with a slap on the wrist
Staley receives a financial penalty and pay cut for his actions against a whistleblower in June 2016.
An investigation has been underway into Jes Staley’s conduct by the Prudential Regulation Authority (PRA) and Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) for attempting to uncover a whistleblower at Barclays in 2016.
It was announced this morning that the UK regulators have decided not to take enforcement action against the bank, whilst Staley faces an undisclosed fine and a pay cut from the board. He will however remain CEO of Barclays, and has been deemed fit and proper to run the bank.
The probe is in relation to written allegations from an individual inside the bank, raising concerns around past questionable dealings of a senior employee, who has a personal relationship with the Barclays CEO. The allegations were treated as whistleblowing, after which Staley had ordered an internal investigation team to uncover the individual responsible.
Having implemented the Senior Managers & Certification Regime only three months before the incident took place, this scandal would have been a key case for the FCA and PRA in demonstrating the need for senior banking officials to be accountable for misconduct.
Last month, it was reported that the FCA may be reverting to its light-touch regulation approach, as was so familiar with the FSA, as it reveals a drop in the number of fines levied in the industry.
Movers & Shakers of the week
The US firm has announced the appointment of London-based Uli Kleinsteuber, who served as Linklaters’ chief operating officer of emerging Europe, Middle East and Africa since 2016
Head of international compliance Bahare Heywood is appointed as the magic circle firm’s first chief risk & compliance officer as the firm looks towards the looming deadline of GDPR
Mayer Brown has appointed former London partner Jeremy Clay as its next global managing partner
In a heavyweight hire from outside of the legal sector, Ashurst has appointed GE Capital International’s IT director Noel Jordan as its new chief technology officer (CTO)
Squire Patton Boggs London managing partner Robert Weekes is stepping down as head of the City base, with the firm’s global managing partner Stephen Mahon relocating to London to take over leadership of the office
Clifford Chance global head of corporate Guy Norman has been reappointed to a second term in the role, effective from 1 May.
Corporate life sciences partner Ruediger Herrmann is making the move alongside a team of three lawyers, comprising biotechnology transactions partner Jochen Eimer and two counsel. This follows the departure of London corporate partners Andrew Harrow and Graham Defries to launch a European life sciences practice at Goodwin Procter.
Trade partner Aline Doussin joins Hogan Lovell’s London office from Squire Patton Boggs in response to client demand ahead of the UK’s exit from the EU next year.
Four Watson Farley & Williams partners, including aviation head Rex Rosales, have left the firm to join Herbert Smith Freehills
White & Case partner Michael Doran joins the firm’s structured capital markets team, whilst of counsel Nick O’Grady and Bevis Metcalfe have joined the banking practice from Ropes & Gray
Partner Matthew Hebburn joins the firm’s City office from the magic circle firm’s Singapore base
Squire Patton Boggs partner Alison Hardy joins the firm’s City real estate dispute resolution group after four years as a partner at the US firm