Fides Weekly Update – 28th April 2017

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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This week:

1. Spring promotions 2017: The full breakdown 

With May fast approaching, this week saw a number of the UK elite release their spring promotion rounds.

Clifford Chance

Clifford Chance was the first to announce a 24 strong global promotions round, matching the number of partner promotions made last year. The corporate and finance practice areas were the main beneficiaries at the magic circle firm, which saw 9 partner promotions in each, with six partners being made up in London overall.

This year’s round also saw the promotion of four women (16%), with CC’s overall female partnership rising from 15% to 19% over the last five years.


CMS were the next to announce, making up 48 into partnership in an increased global promotions round. This included 10 UK promotions, split evenly between their offices in London and Scotland, as well as four partner promotions from Nabarro and Olswang ahead of the firm’s three-way merger next week

Of the 48 new partners, 27% are female, down from 39% last year, when the firm made up 31 new partners.

Norton Rose Fulbright

Also on the verge of its merger with Chadbourne & Parke, Norton Rose Fulbright announced an equally sizable promotions round of 45 global partners, with eight lawyers making partnership in the London office. This is up from 2016 where 39 associates were promoted globally, with the Corporate, M&A and securities practice and dispute resolution practice both seeing 13 new partners each.

Eighteen female partners (40%) were also made up in this year’s promotion round, up from 31% in 2016.

Eversheds Sutherland

Eversheds too announced a 20-strong global promotions round, the first since its merger with US firm Sutherland Asbill & Brennan in February. This is slightly down on last year where 26 were made up, and does not include any legacy Sutherland lawyers due to the US and UK sides of the business remaining financially independent.

Of the new partners, half are based in the UK with only one in London, with the firm’s Birmingham, Leeds and Manchester offices seeing the bulk of the promotions. Regarding practice area, 14 of the global promotions are into the firm’s company commercial practice group with four in litigation and dispute management and two in real estate.

This promotion round also included six women (20%), down from 11 (42%) last year.


Finally, in an increased round, Ashurst also promoted 19 to partnership globally with these promotions distributed evenly across London and Australian offices. Banking and Corporate again featured heavily as the most prominent practice areas, both of which have received four new partners.

However, of this year’s cohort only four partners made up were women (21%), compared to the 33% female partnership rate achieved by the firm last year.

2. Top Deutsche compliance exec says 4,000 UK jobs at risk

As Brexit looms, banks are in the midst of deciding on possible plans for relocation, and Deutsche Bank have recently announced up to 4,000 UK jobs at risk as a result.

Sylvie Matherat, chief regulatory officer for Deutsche Bank, said on Wednesday that the potential shift could likely include 2,000 client-facing staff, as well as up to 2,000 additional members of staff supporting those teams, such as those in a risk management capacity, if regulators deem it necessary.

The German bank hasn’t yet stated where these positions will be redistributed, but Frankfurt and Berlin seem to be the two locations most likely to benefit from the move.

Deliberations are being made across the banking sector as to how best to relocate their offerings. HSBC have hinted at 1,000 investment banking jobs moving to Paris, UBS are considering shifting towards Frankfurt and Madrid, whilst J.P. Morgan are apparently in talks to buy office space in Dublin, with room for up to 1,000 employees.

Earlier this month, the Bank of England (BoE) set a deadline of 14 July for financial firms to deliver their contingency plans for the aftermath of Brexit. BoE governor Mark Carney has declared that firms must prepare for “the full range of possible scenarios”, including a hard Brexit.

Meanwhile, banks have released more optimistic news this week, with Barclays and Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) both posting positive first quarter results for 2017. RBS saw profits of £259m in Q1 2017, compared to a £968m loss a year earlier, and Barclays surpassed analyst expectations with their pre-tax profit for Q1 doubling to £1.682bn. These results demonstrated strong performance from the core bank division, although the investment bank had a poor first quarter, with income falling by 4 per cent.

Movers & Shakers of the week 


Network Rail appoints new GC

Stuart Kelly has been promoted from deputy general counsel to group general counsel for Network Rail after former GC Suzanne Wise joined Japan Tobacco International last month


Fieldfisher strengthens structured finance capability with magic circle hire

Former Freshfields Paris finance head Dougall Molson will be joining Fieldfisher’s London office

Three partner exits for BLP

Joining Mischon de Reya are restructuring and insolvency partner David Leibowitz and property litigator Joanna Lampert from Berwin Leighton Paisner, whilst US securities partner Bobby Schrader also leave the firm to join Barclays

Newly merged Ladbrokes Coral loses GC

Harry Willets has stepped down from his role as general counsel for Ladbrokes Coral, having acted as GC and company secretary for legacy Gala Coral since 2006

Morgan Lewis gains investigations duo

Chris Warren-Smith has left Norton Rose Fulbright as its global investigations head to join Morgan Lewis & Bockius, along with fellow partner Melanie Ryan

W&C continues City expansion

White & Case has hired finance partner Chris McGarry from Ropes & Gray to join their capital markets practice in London

Freshfields makes a three-partner team hire in US

Three restructuring partners from Arnold & Porter Kaye Scholer, including the firm’s US chair of bankruptcy and restructuring, will be joining the New York office of Freshfields Brukhaus Deringer. Mark Liscio, Madlyn Primoff and Scott Talmadge are all legacy Kaye Scholer partners.

Covington opens two new offices with partner hires from Chadbourne

Four partners at Chadbourne & Parke have announced their departure ahead of the upcoming merger with Norton Rose Fulbright. Dubai managing partner Jack Greenwald and project finance partner Richard Keenan will launch Covington & Burling’s Dubai branch, whilst Ben Donovan will lead the new Johannesburg office. Project finance partner Agnieszka Klich will be joining Covington’s London office

Office openings & closings

Clifford Chance closes its Bangkok office and ends Indonesian alliance

Mergers & Alliances

Linklaters set to practice under Chinese law by joining forces with local firm Zhao Sheng

Weightmans and Ward Hadaway call off merger talks

Partner Promotions

Please see above for analysis and a full breakdown of this week’s partner promotions


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