Fides Weekly Update – 2nd August 2019

Hello and welcome to the Fides Weekly Update. Take a look at this week’s key trends, moves and developments in the UK legal sector.

Tweet us @Fides_Search to let us know your thoughts.

This week:


1). No-deal Brexit to cost the UK legal sector £3.5bn according to The Law Society

As part of the UK-EU future partnership and legal services report released on Thursday, the cost of a no-deal Brexit on the UK’s legal sector would be £3.5bn according to The Law Society.

The findings estimate that the UK legal sector would see a 10% decrease in turnover, as well as 10,000 job cuts, if the UK leaves the European Union on 31 October without a deal.

This is due to a crackdown on the access provided by EU Lawyers Directives, impacting the trade surplus for legal services with the EU27 that exists currently.

At present, a UK qualified lawyer can provide legal advice on English law, EU law and local law to individual and business clients across the EU, and work without a visa or a residence permit in other member states on a temporary or permanent basis.

They can also re-qualify in another member state after 3 years of practicing there or after taking a qualifying exam in the local laws. However, these rights would be removed if no deal was retained.

Last year the UK legal sector brought £27.4bn into the economy, 1.4% of total GDP.

The total tax contribution of legal and accounting activities in 2018 was estimated to be £19.1bn, another reason as to why it is critical for the UK government to negotiate a future agreement to enable UK solicitors to maintain their right to practise in the EU.

Without this agreement, the UK will be negotiating legal services market access with 31 regulatory regimes, hampering its productivity according to the report.


2). Movers & Shakers 

Panel Watch

A&O Bags Trophy Freshfields Client Tesco on Multi-Billion Pound Banking Mandate

HS1 Railway Kicks Off Legal Panel Tender



Sports Direct Appoints New Head of Legal Amid Financial Turmoil

Tom Piper has simultaneously been appointed company secretary and Head of Legal on July 1. He joined the company’s property arm in 2017, and prior to that was an associate at U.S. firm Faegre Baker Daniels

BT creates new legal transformation role

Dave Hart has been named BT’s Director of Transformation, in charge of delivering the technology vision for the function and managing its operations globally



Clifford Chance Investigations Director Jumps to US Firm

CC’s investigations director Zoe Osborne has left the Magic Circle firm to join U.S. outfit Steptoe & Johnson, following the departure of white-collar star Judith Seddon to Ropes & Gray last year

Former magic circle duo join new City boutique Avonhurst

Founded last month by ex-Jones Day partner Jonathan Bloom, leveraged finance partner Ian Frost and project finance partner James Wyatt join from Vinson & Elkins and Linklaters respectively

Six-Strong Norton Rose Team Defects to DAC Beachcroft

The team of insurance lawyers includes partner Kirsty Hick, legal directors Rebecca Bailey and Sarah O’Connell, and senior associates Jack Holling, Natasha Marshall and Cathryn Teverson

Funds Heavyweight Among Further London O’Melveny Defections

Jonathan Blake is among the latest to have resigned from the firm, which remains in merger talks with A&O. He becomes the fifth O’Melveny lawyer to join Akin Gump this year

Latham’s chair Trobman heads Stateside after spearheading City growth

After nearly 20 years at the forefront of Latham & Watkins’ expansion in London, firm chair Richard Trobman is set to relocate back to the US to focus on growth across the Atlantic.


Mergers & Alliances

Dentons Continues Global Expansion with New Zealand Merger


Office Openings & Closings

Hogan Lovells Restructures South African Arm



Hill Dickinson PEP Rockets 27%, But Insurance Disposal Shrinks Revenue

DWF Grows Revenue 15% as IPO Cost Revealed

HFW PEP Drops to 11-Year Low As Profits Slide 9%


Inclusion and Diversity

Baker McKenzie and Gary Senior Referred to SDT Over Historical Allegations



Wedlake Bell Launches Redundancy Consultation for Senior Associate in Disputes and Real Estate

SRA could drop skills test from super-exam Part One after first pilot

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