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.
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1). Reed Smith looks to move to an ABS as Dentons launches new risk consultancy offering
US firm Reed Smith has confirmed that it will look to transfer its UK limited liability partnership (LLP) to an alternative business structure (ABS) by the end of the year, making it one of the largest firms to operate under such a structure.
The move was initially expected to take place earlier this year, although gaining regulatory approval across multiple jurisdictions has delayed the process. The firm’s U.K. LLP consists of operations in London, France, the UAE, Greece, the PRC and Singapore.
Operating as an ABS offers Reed Smith a number of acquisition and investment opportunities without which it would not be able to realise. The conversion would allow it to bring non-lawyers into the equity and share profits, opening up potential closer integration with non-lawyer teams or businesses in the consulting and technology spheres that could offer something different to the firm’s clients.
To the same end, Dentons announced the launch of its risk consulting practice this week led by managing directors John Davison and Christian Blackwell formerly of Norton Rose Fulbright
Dentons Risk Consulting will be run as a separate LLP business under the Dentons name, within the same office, but will be able to pull in legal services where required.
“Legal will offer companies the expertise on what they should and shouldn’t be doing. We will help implement and operationalise that advice, aligning legal and non-legal services into an overall offering” explains Davison, who was the former head of NRF’s regulatory compliance consulting practice for the past three years.
2). Movers & Shakers
American Airlines Appoints New General Counsel
Former Worldpay GC takes up new role at FTSE 100
Ince Appoints Duo as Joint London Managing Partners
Willkie Farr Hires Frankfurt Heavyweight as European Growth Continues
Finance partner Ralf Defren joins the firm’s Frankfurt office from Hengler Muller
Proskauer Continues London Funds Expansion with Hire from US Rival
Proskauer Rose has hired funds partner Leith Moghli from U.S. rival Reed Smith, in a boost for its London office
Ince Gordon Dadds Monaco Team Quits to Launch HFW’s Offering
The seven-strong group, led by former Ince partners Ian Cranston, Andrew Charlier and Marco Crusafio will launch HFW’s office
Mergers & Alliances
Herbert Smith Freehills Forms China Association, Adds Local Law Ability
Dentons to Combine With South Korean Firm
Dentons to Combine With Honduras Firm
Inclusion and Diversity
Workplace #MeToo Legal Advice Line Launches, Backed by Actress Emma Watson
Lloyd’s of London Calls In DWF For Conduct Training
Industry Heavyweights Respond as SDT Lowers Standard of Proof for Misconduct
Technology and Innovation
Reed Smith prepares to bring in lawyers to Leeds tech hub
Taylor Wessing seals first tech deal under Wilson Sonsini partnership
Clifford Chance invests in Continental European “brainstorming platform”
Reed Smith Closes In On Move to Alternative Business Structure
Former Co-op Group GC and A&O Partner Dies
Dentons sets up separate consulting business with Norton Rose Fulbright duo
Independent Portuguese firm PLMJ loses 10% of partnership following management shake-up