Ukrainian Legal Developments:
Together with a coalition of Ukrainian, U.S. and European firms, U.K. human rights boutique McCue Jury & Partners is to coordinate hundreds of civil claims against Russian officials and oligarchs over property damaged in Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. The civil claims will seek to obtain compensation for destruction to private property as well as governmental, national, infrastructural and other types of property, a person close to McCue Jury told Law.com International.
Three large Am Law firms representing Russian banks that were sanctioned following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine—White & Case, Debevoise & Plimpton and Latham & Watkins—will be able to withdraw from the case provided that substitute counsel file notices of appearance this month. White & Case and Debevoise & Plimpton were granted permission to withdraw provided that substitute counsel file a notice of appearance by June 24. Latham & Watkins, which already missed one deadline to get substitute counsel to file an appearance notice, has been given until June 15.
The Gatekeepers Project was announced following what the IBA called ‘existing and sustained charges levied against the profession,’ arising not just from the Russian-Ukraine war, but also in relation to perceived facilitation of illicit financial activity, greenwashing of climate change activity and frustration of the UN’s sustainable development goals.
UK & Ireland
EY Law has is continuing its U.K. expansion with the hire of Dentons partner and UKME head of employment Virginia Allen.
Charles Leveque, who has been at the firm since 2007, has succeeded Glen Atchison as managing partner.
RPC is celebrating the arrival of Shai Wade from London rival Stephenson Harwood while Boies Schiller Flexner’s former deputy chair, Natasha Harrison, has secured her new firm’s first lateral partner recruit: Debevoise & Plimpton counsel Nelson Goh.
Jessica Jenner will join the firm’s real estate finance practice in London later this year, according to a statement by Linklaters on Tuesday.
Christopher Bellamy, who returned to Monkton Chambers in 2020, has been named by the UK Government as a Parliamentary Secretary of State in the Ministry of Justice.
Charles Alberts will create and lead the firm’s wellbeing strategy and consult on mental health and general staff welfare concerns.
Simon Pollock has joined Addleshaw Goddard’s investment management group after nearly 29 years with BCLP.
Niall Collins joins from Mason Hayes & Curran as head of the EU, competition and regulatory practice, while Karen Sheil joins from William Fry as a commercial property partner.
Restructuring partner Adrian Cohen has left the firm after over 30 years to join U.S. firm Proskauer Rose, while former leveraged financing partner Matt Dunn is rejoining the firm after a stint at Irish firm Arthur Cox. Cohen joins after almost 32 years at Clifford Chance, according to his LinkedIn.
RPC has added insurance lawyer Mike Newham as a partner in London from Mayer Brown.
Weil, Gotshal & Manges has strengthened its London-based restructuring practice with the hire of Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld partner Lois Deasey.
Crowell & Moring has added to its London corporate team with the hire of partner David Ramm from Baker Botts.
The group of professional indemnity lawyers is led by partner Michael Appleby and includes two senior associates, two associates, and one other lawyer. The group will join Browne Jacobson in Manchester.
Listed UK law and professional services firm Ince has added seven new faces from rival firms to its office in Piraeus, Greece, in a move it says has been triggered by an increased volume of business.
Maxime Deuquesne has joined Squire Patton Boggs from private equity boutique Lamartine Conseil.
Partner Mario d’Avossa leads the move after practising for two years at CMS Adonnino Ascoli & Cavasola Scamoni.
Eversheds Sutherland in Paris has added a seven-lawyer corporate/M&A team, including two partners, from CMS Francis Lefebvre. The team is led by partners Jean-Robert Bousquet and Alexandre Morel and includes counsel Célia Mayran and Geoffroy Loncle de Forville, and associates Anaïs Fritzinger, Jade Huard and Victor Grillo.
Eduardo Gallardo is the latest addition to join Paul Hasting’s New York office as the headcount nears 400.
Partners Luc Jansen and Prem Amarnani have joined the firm in the Big Apple from Kirkland & Ellis and Skadden Arps Slate Meagher & Flom respectively, while Nathan Mihalik, previously counsel at King & Spalding, has joined as a partner in Atlanta.
Chris Shoff, David Ajalat and David Pendergast join from Latham & Watkins, bringing with them experience representing emerging-growth companies and venture capital firms.
Matthew Ferry has joined the San Diego office as a partner after six years at Perkins Coie, where he served as counsel and focused on IP litigation and technology transactions.
A&O has hired corporate partner Jesse Debban in Silicon Valley from Farella Braun + Martel, while Linklaters has secured Paul Weiss Rifkind Wharton & Garrison employment partner Andrew Gaines in New York.
John Kelly, who served as Nashville-based Bass Berry’s managing partner in DC for just over a decade, joins the firm to chair its 80-lawyer healthcare department and healthcare industry practice. He arrives alongside Jacquelyn Papish, who joins as a partner after a year as an associate at Bass Berry, and associate AJ Bolan.
Andrew Kimball has joined the firm from Kirkland & Ellis in DC, while Andrew Cheng has moved over from Gibson Dunn in Santa Monica, the firm said.
Norton Rose Fulbright has hired US renewable energy lawyer Elizabeth Sluder from Morrison & Foerster as it seeks to strengthen its West Coast projects team.
Wendy Hansen, who was vice president and legal counsel at Mandarin Oriental Hotel Group for the last 14 years, has joined Eversheds’ Atlanta office.
Mark Rigotti, the former global CEO of Herbert Smith Freehills, is set to leave the firm to take up a leadership role at the Australian Institute of Company Directors (AICD).
Jane Hyde ha moved from currency printing service and authenticator De La Rue to RWS Holdings, an intellectual property group, as their general counsel.
Aisha Christian has joined True from the GC role at KIPP NYC, a network of private schools in New York.
Promotions & Appointments:
Brown Rudnick has promoted litigation specialist Camille Vasquez to partner as a direct result of her role in winning a $15m jury verdict for actor Johnny Depp’s defamation claim against ex-wife Amber Heard.
Under the changes, corporate M&A head Lieke van der Velden and disputes head Sjoerd Meijer will take up co-managing partner roles alongside incumbent Chris Warner, who is staying as one of the firm’s three co-heads. Stepping down are Jaap Jan Trommel and Petra Zijp, who will return to their M&A and capital markets practices respectively.
Australian independent Lander & Rogers has added seven partners as part of its largest promotions round yet, including two who work part-time.
Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer has appointed London partner Sarah Parkes as its next global head of dispute resolution.
Liisa Thomas succeeds Larry Eppley, who took charge of the Chicago office when it opened in 2012. Eppley is set to remain with the Los Angeles-based firm as the leader of its hospitality industry team.
Hogan Lovells has named corporate and finance partner Jane Ross as its office managing partner in Silicon Valley ahead of its move to a new office space in Redwood City.
Australian Big Six firm Corrs Chambers Westgarth has promoted eight lawyers to partner in its latest round, six of them women.
Baker McKenzie has unveiled a new Johannesburg leadership team more than nine months after implementing a ‘three-step plan’ to address management issues at the office. South Africa head of competition and antitrust Lerisha Naidu will become managing partner of the office from 1 July at the head of a management team that also includes head of employment and compensation Johan Botes and corporate partner Marc Yudaken.
Mergers & Alliances:
The global economy has seen more M&A activity in the last 12 months than for a number of years. It is therefore no surprise to see this reflected in the legal services market, where law firm mergers and acquisitions are on the rise.
The firm has added local firm Kenny Solicitors to its ranks, which comprises eight partners and is led by partner Graham Kenny.
Nigeria’s Aluko & Oyebode has joined African law firm alliance ALN to bolster its cross-border and pan-African capabilities. The alliance takes ALN’s jurisdiction count across the continent to 16 and gives existing partner firms and their clients access to legal expertise in Africa’s largest economy. It also provides member firms access to Aluko & Oyebode’s broader pool of specialist teams and resources, which bring vast regional and international experience to the table.
Office Openings & Closing:
Browne Jacobson, a firm with five offices across the UK, is to open its first base overseas later this month in Dublin. Permanently based in the office will be technology and IP litigation partners Jeanne Kelly and Ciaran Markey, who join from LK Shields. The firm has also hired senior associate Darragh Killeen from LK Shields, along with two further associates joining in the summer.
Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer is building presences in the German cities of Nuremberg, Mannheim and Hanover as part of its expansion of its Dieselgate-style mass litigation unit.
Level Legal Services launched this month alongside relocations and ‘some’ expected redundancies.
The Lawyer has created a live-update blog as firms release their data from the 2021/22 year.
Thomson Snell & Passmore, the Kent law firm acknowledged by Guinness World Records as the world’s oldest, has posted fee income of £27.7m for the 2021/22 financial year, an increase of 11 per cent.
Peterborough-founded firm Buckles has stated its aim to become a £30m firm by 2028 after almost doubling in size in the last five years. The growth has come organically and through a series of mergers. Buckles acquired DCH Law of Nottingham in 2018, Lyndales Solicitors, which was based on Furnival Street in London, in 2019, followed by Cambridge’s Miller Sands Solicitors in 2020.
In a statement on Wednesday, a firm spokesperson said: ”We can confirm that we have decided to put our IPO plans on hold for the foreseeable future due to market conditions. We remain an ambitious and bold business with a clear strategy and vision for our future.”
Technology & Innovation:
Three-year-old virtual law firm Chronos Law has received financial backing from entrepreneur community Founders Forum Group to further accelerate the firm’s growth. The deal will see Chronos – which specialises in legal advice for scaling fintechs – rebrand as Founders Law and become part of Founders Forum’s growing professional services offering. That will enable the firm to provide legal services to tech scale-ups in the Founders Forum network. Chronos was founded in 2019 by former White & Case lawyer and fintech specialist Tom Bohills with the idea to combine private practice expertise with the accessibility of in-house legal counsel.
A 2020 report from the Solicitors Regulation Authority found that 75% of firms in England and Wales have reported being victims of a cyber attack, with almost a quarter of those being directly targeted resulting in more than £4m of client money being stolen. Half of those firms were found to have allowed unrestricted access to external data storage, the report said.
The government-backed LawtechUK initiative launched in collaboration with tech industry body Tech Nation has created a ‘sense of urgency’ around the development of legaltech, according to an external impact report.
As a well-known privacy activist and founder of one of Europe’s most influential privacy enforcement NGOs, Austrian lawyer Max Schrems seems surprisingly sympathetic to companies that are not complying with the General Data Protection Regulation, commonly known as GDPR—Europe’s trailblazing 2018 privacy law.
Diversity & Inclusion:
As the ructions of Covid-19 continue to trail two years after the pandemic started, the concept of hybrid working continues to populate law firms’ priority lists. This topic was debated in a roundtable hosted by Speech Processing Solutions’ Ryan Prins and Ben Capstick at The Lawyer’s Business Leadership Summit. The spectre of Covid-19 infections remains prevalent globally – prompting questions as to how this will play out in the future of the workplace.
Top U.K. law firms hire far more female lawyers than male at trainee level, but there is a massive drop-off in female retention after the three-year post-qualification point, new research has found.
Law firms that put financial performance and productivity above all else could create unhealthy working practices that harm lawyer well-being, according to a study by Krill Strategies and the University of Minnesota’s Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences.
New research from the CIPD Health and Wellbeing at work 2022 report shows that almost half of employees strongly agree that health and wellbeing activity at work encourages a more inclusive culture. However, the same report reveals that there has been a 16% drop in management focus on health and wellbeing in the workplace compared to the first year of the pandemic.
Herbert Smith Freehills has been named the principal legal partner of next year’s WorldPride festival taking place in Sydney. HSF will provide the Sydney WorldPride event organisers with legal advice and support ahead of festival, which takes place between February 17 and March 5 next year in conjunction with the 2023 Sydney Gay & Lesbian Mardi Gras.