Weekly Update – 01st of July 2024

Technology & Innovation:

AI Is Not Our Ally, Yet

Generative AI is transforming various aspects of our lives, from writing emails and LinkedIn posts to creating whimsical images of pets as medieval royalty, revolutionizing corporate industries, and producing convincing deepfakes of politicians. As the landscape rapidly changes, many wonder about the future of generative AI. Is it taking over? Its integration into our daily routines suggests it might be. However, a more intriguing question to consider is, “What exactly does generative AI make of us?”

Ashurst Rolls Out Harvey AI to All Lawyers and Offices

Ashurst has rolled out generative AI platform Harvey across all its offices worldwide, providing access to all its lawyers and business services staff.

Big Law Firms, Seeking ‘Seat at the Table,’ Join AI Safety Consortium in US

Law firms including Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher, DLA Piper, Clifford Chance and Manatt, Phelps & Phillips are all members of the AI Safety Institute Consortium (AISIC), which also includes large corporations, AI creators, academics, industry researchers, nonprofits and others in addressing AI safety.

Tracking Generative AI: How Evolving AI Models Are Impacting Legal

In late 2022, commercially available generative artificial intelligence tools saw an exponential increase in sophistication and ability, taking the legal world by storm. As the underlying models continue to involve and improve, these tools will become more powerful—increasing both their applicability to legal work and their implications for existing law in the process.


UK & Ireland

Paul Hastings Boosts London Finance Offering With Weil Partner Hire

Paul Hastings has bolstered its London finance practice by recruiting Reena Gogna, a leveraged finance partner from U.S.-led rival Weil, Gotshal and Manges. Gogna, who has spent nearly a decade at Weil’s banking and finance practice, will join Paul Hastings in the coming weeks. Before her tenure at Weil, she was a partner at Latham & Watkins for over 11 years and began her legal career as a solicitor at Slaughter & May, where she worked for four years.


Eversheds Sutherland Hires Osborne Clarke Partner to Boost Real Estate Practice

Eversheds Sutherland has recruited a partner from Osborne Clarke’s Amsterdam office to strengthen its corporate real estate capabilities in the Netherlands. Berend Zwart joined Osborne Clarke in 2018, according to his LinkedIn profile, after a decade at NautaDutilh and a brief period at RechtStaete Vastgoedadvocaten & Belastingadviseurs, a specialized Dutch firm of property attorneys and tax consultants.


Dentons Hires Construction Partner from Australian Firm

Global law firm Dentons has recruited a construction partner from an Australian firm to expand its Melbourne office. Nathan Abbott, formerly with Colin Biggers & Paisley, brings expertise in construction and engineering law, advising on major projects and handling significant disputes.

Baker Hires IP Partner from KWM, Ashurst Appoints India Co-Heads, Mayer Brown Sees Hong Kong Defection

King & Wood Mallesons IP partner Cassidy Guo has left after two years to join Baker McKenzie’s joint operation in China, FenXun Partners.

Baker Hires IP Partner from KWM, Ashurst Appoints India Co-Heads, Mayer Brown Sees Hong Kong Defection

In Hong Kong, Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer has hired Tony Chow to lead its contentious insolvency practice in Greater China. Chow, formerly the director of restructuring and insolvency at King & Wood Mallesons, strengthens Freshfields’ restructuring team.

Baker Hires IP Partner from KWM, Ashurst Appoints India Co-Heads, Mayer Brown Sees Hong Kong Defection

Offshore firm Appleby has added Ben McCosker to its Shanghai office. McCosker joins from Mayer Brown, where he was a Hong Kong-based counsel.

Baker Hires IP Partner from KWM, Ashurst Appoints India Co-Heads, Mayer Brown Sees Hong Kong Defection

Simmons & Simmons has brought on Lijun Chui as a new dispute resolution partner in Singapore. Chui, previously a partner at Bird & Bird, specializes in cross-border commercial disputes and investigations in the TMT and financial sectors, including cybersecurity and data issues.

Baker Hires IP Partner from KWM, Ashurst Appoints India Co-Heads, Mayer Brown Sees Hong Kong Defection

Ashurst has revamped its Indian practice with the hires of Kalpana Unadkat and Shishir Mehta from Khaitan & Co. They will co-head Ashurst’s India practice from London.

Baker Hires IP Partner from KWM, Ashurst Appoints India Co-Heads, Mayer Brown Sees Hong Kong Defection

In Japan, Atsumi & Sakai has appointed Dio Inoue as a new partner. Inoue, formerly head of legal at Guardant Health, advises on medical, healthcare, and pharmaceutical matters, including IP, licensing, data protection, and unfair competition.

Baker McKenzie Veteran Joins Japanese Firm Amid International Talent Drive

Baker McKenzie’s long time banking partner Akiko Hosokawa has defected to Japanese firm Atsumi & Sakai.

The Americas

Freshfields Hires Skadden’s New York Head of Tax

Freshfields Bruckhaus & Deringer has added Steven Matays, the head of the New York tax practice at Skadden, Arps, Meagher, Slate & Flom, the international firm said Thursday.

LatAm Hires: DLA Piper, Demarest Hire in Brazil; Clyde & Co Adds Tax Muscle in Chile

Brazil’s Demarest Advogados, one of Latin America’s largest full-service law firms, has strengthened its tax practice by recruiting Jerry Levers de Abreu from cross-town rival TozziniFreire Advogados.

LatAm Hires: DLA Piper, Demarest Hire in Brazil; Clyde & Co Adds Tax Muscle in Chile

DLA Piper’s newly launched São Paulo office has expanded with the addition of Violeta Libergott, a New York-licensed M&A counsel with nearly 15 years of experience. She specializes in cross-border M&A, joint ventures, and private equity transactions involving Latin American markets.

LatAm Hires: DLA Piper, Demarest Hire in Brazil; Clyde & Co Adds Tax Muscle in Chile

Clyde & Co has bolstered its presence in Chile by hiring Cristóbal Cibie as legal director. Cibie, a well-known tax lawyer with experience at international firms like EY and Baker McKenzie, specializes in cross-border transactions, project finance, and advising large corporations.

Paul Hastings Launches Privacy, Cybersecurity Team in Dallas With Akin Practice Leader

Michelle Reed, a co-head of Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld’s cybersecurity, privacy and data protection practice, joined Paul Hastings as a partner in Dallas, where she intends to build a large team.

Davis Polk Lands White & Case Partner to Co-Head Infrastructure Finance Practice

Davis, Polk & Wardwell has brought on White & Case partner Elena Millerman in New York as a partner and co-head of its infrastructure finance practice, the firm said Monday.

Weil Lands Willkie Real Estate Practice Co-Chair

Weil lands longtime Willkie real estate partner Thomas Henry to lead its U.S. real estate practice.

Consumer Finance Law Enforcer Takes Private Practice Job at Morgan Lewis

Alice Hrdy spent three decades in government service and had been at the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau since the agency’s inception in 2010.

Porzio Bromberg Hires Chicago-Based Attorney to Launch New Tech Practice

Porzio, Bromberg & Newman is launching a new technology practice, bringing on Jill Williamson, previously the managing attorney of the Seattle office of Eastern Washington-brd Gravis Law, to spearhead the firm’s dive into blockchain and cryptocurrency work.

In house

Former Vodafone GC Joins Deloitte Legal

Deloitte Legal has hired Vodafone Group’s former general counsel in London. Rosemary Martin was Vodafone’s GC for more than 12 years, having joined the telecoms giant in 2010, retiring in 2022.

Partner at Leading Dutch Firm to Become Netherlands’ State Secretary for Legal Protection

A longtime banking and finance partner at one of the Netherlands’ largest firms is set to become the country’s next state secretary for legal protection. Teun Struycken, a partner in NautaDutilh’s Amsterdam office, was put forward for the role by NSC, a center-right Dutch party.

Team Moves

Paul Hastings Expands in Paris With Partner-Led, 12-Lawyer White-Collar Litigation Team

Paul Hastings is bringing on a 12-lawyer, three-partner global litigation team from a prominent litigation and investigations boutique in Paris. The group is led by veteran white-collar and investigations partner Antonin Lévy, who brings along partners Ophélia Claude and Joris Monin de Flaugergues, both also joining as partners. They will be accompanied by nine associates.

Baker McKenzie Raids Cliffe Dekker for 5-Lawyer Banking & Finance Team in S. Africa

International law firm Baker McKenzie has hired a five-lawyer banking and finance team from Cliffe Dekker Hofmeyr (CDH) in Johannesburg as part of the firm’s expansion plan.

Lerisha Naidu, Baker McKenzie Johannesburg managing partner, said the new joiners have an impeccable track record of leading in banking and finance transactions in Africa.


Paul Weiss Matches Market Leading London NQ Pay, Launches Training Contract

Paul Weiss has introduced a new U.K. training contract, supporting its rapid expansion in London. The firm will offer newly qualified lawyers £180,000, matching the top pay of U.S. firms Quinn Emanuel and Gibson Dunn.

Macfarlanes Introduces Largest Percentage NQ Pay Increase Yet

Macfarlanes has joined the fray in the latest NQ pay war by increasing its newly qualified salaries to £140,000 from £115,000, the biggest proportionate rise so far.

Stephenson Harwood Gets Results Season Underway, Revenue up 16%

Stephenson Harwood has kicked off the financial results season, posting a 16% rise in revenues and a 10% increase in net profit for the financial year ending April 2024. The firm recorded revenues of £264.2 million, while net profit is up to just over £90 million, an additional £7.6 million on last year’s showing. Meanwhile, profit per equity partner has also increased to £775,000, an uplift of 7%.

Billing Rate Hikes ‘Not Slowing Down,’ With Pricing Surges Expected in 2024

About 86% of large firms in the U.S. and U.K. expect to increase billing rates over the next 12 months, according to new survey results.

Promotions & Appointments:

ICC International Arbitration Court’s 1st-Ever Woman President Reelected

Claudia Salomon, a former arbitration partner at Latham & Watkins in New York, has been re-elected for a second three-year term as president of the International Chamber of Commerce’s International Court of Arbitration in Paris.

Fish & Richardson Looks To Steady Growth in DC Under New Leadership

Richard Sterba has been named as office managing principal of Fish & Richardson’s D.C. office. Sterba succeeds Lauren Degnan, who will focus on co-leading the firm’s newly formed appellate group.

Mergers & Alliances:

China’s Grandall Launches Office Duo in Madrid, Malaysia

Grandall Law Firm has broken into the Malaysia market via a tie up with local practice Richard Wee Chambers in Kuala Lumpur. The Chinese firm’s latest launch in Southeast Asia follows its recent opening in Madrid.

Market Commentary:

What You Need to Know: Cooley Lawyers on 4 Things Changing Arbitration

As we enter mid-2024, Cooley’s arbitration chair Charlie Lightfoot and associate Juan Nascimbene highlight four key developments shaping the field for 2025.

Partner Poached by Paul Weiss: ‘This Is the Most Exciting Place to Be Right Now’

Latin America practice lead Leticia Ossa Daza discusses why she made the leap after a long run at Willkie Farr. “As a lawyer, this is the most exciting place to be right now,” Ossa Daza told Law.com International after the move. “The way they look at clients and add value to them creates a stickiness that goes beyond legal work.”

Is the ‘Magic Circle’ Dead, Or Just Different?

Today, it’s widely understood that the ‘Magic Circle’ brand is outdated; if observers came to the market anew, it’s unlikely they’d identify the quartet as particularly deserving of special designation. But…the four do still rank top for U.K. revenue.

Simpson Thacher, Kirkland, Latham Lead UK Revenue Per Lawyer Rankings

Simpson Thacher & Bartlett, Kirkland & Ellis, Latham & Watkins, Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom and Weil, Gotshal and Manges lead the rankings, as they did last year, in a table calculated by dividing the largest 30 firms’ U.K.-only revenues by their U.K. lawyer headcount.

US Firms Rising? The Law Firms with the Largest UK Market Share, 2024

Law.com International launches the latest ranking of the top 30 law firms in London, irrespective of where they are headquartered.

Japan’s PE Market Is the Bright Spot That Asia Needs. But Will Law Firms Step Up to the Plate?

Private equity is thriving in Japan, in part because the weak Japanese yen has made local assets incredibly appealing to foreign investors. Foreign law firms want a piece of the action.

Diversity & Inclusion:

Pride Month: The Importance of Visibility, Not Just Transparency, in the Workplace

During Pride month, the importance of workplace transparency is widely discussed. Despite growing awareness about the experiences of LGBTQ+ individuals in the legal profession, many lawyers still hesitate to disclose their LGBTQ+ identity at work.

A Linklaters Partner Shares On Her Pride Journey

Aditi Srivastava, a Linklaters lifer, is a partner in the firm’s structured finance practice. She first made partner in 2022, is currently based in the firm’s London practice, but has also spent time in Dubai. The firm describes Srivastava as “passionate” about diversity and inclusion matters, having been involved in a variety of the firm’s LGBTQ+ initiatives.

Ranked: The Best Law Firms for Junior Lawyer LGBTQ+ Representation

Representation of people identifying as LGBTQ+ at associate and trainee level continues to outpace partner level, fresh U.K. data shows, as U.S. law firms once again dominate tables.

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