Weekly Update – 10th of July 2023


UK & Ireland

Gibson Dunn Hires Two Shearman Projects Partners in London

The moves are the latest in a line of Shearman partner exits across the UK, Europe and Middle East over the last nine months, as it seeks to merge with Allen & Overy. Ben Shorten and Trinh Chubbock both join the firm from Shearman & Sterling, where Shorten spent 23 years as a partner in the firm’s project development and finance group, most recently leading the group.

Slaughter and May Hires Human Rights Lead from Vodafone

The appointment is expected to advise clients on implementing human rights and ESG programmes.

Proskauer London Leveraged Finance Partner Walks to Eversheds

Eversheds replenishes its ranks after it lost a partner from its leverage finance practice earlier in the year. Ben Davis joins Eversheds after seven years in Proskauer’s corporate and multi-tranche finance groups.

Goodwin Continues London Private Equity Expansion with McDermott Lateral

The latest hire for the firm, which is proving hawkish on the London hiring scene having taken partners from key rivals, was the co-chair of the fintech and blockchain practice. Arvin Abraham joins Goodwin having spent nearly three years as a partner at McDermott.

DLA Piper Global Investigations and Compliance Head Joins Rival in London

Patrick Rappo is well known in the sector and had even been touted as a contender for the director role at the Serious Fraud Office.


Portugal’s CS’Associados Adds Competition Head from Morais Leitão

The newcomer replaces Margarida Rosado da Fonseca, who left the firm at the end of February.

Goodwin Builds Out Tech and Life Sciences Practice in Paris With Team Hire From Bird & Bird

The three-lawyer, partner-led team specializes in M&A, venture capital and private equity, adding to Goodwin’s capabilities in a key practice area for the firm.

Taylor Wessing Hires in to Launch Dubai IP Practice

The firm, which is in expansive mood, plans to grow to 25 lawyers in Dubai.

Pair of International Firms Expand Middle East Practices

Baker McKenzie and Baker Botts are building in the region.

White & Case Lures Senior Ex-HSF Madrid M&A Duo

Oliver Brettle, a member of the firm’s global executive committee, said in the firm is investing in its Madrid office “strategically and carefully”.


Australia’s JWS Hires Disputes and Insolvency Partner from Jones Day

Australian law firm Johnson Winter Slattery (JWS) has hired Jones Day arbitration partner Lucas Wilk as the firm sees an increase in disputes and insolvency work.

Allen & Gledhill Disputes Team Breaks Away to Form Singapore Boutique

In Singapore, dispute resolution lawyers have increasingly been drawn to leave established law firms to set up or lead new ventures.

Haiwen & Partners Takes Greater China Partner Trio from HSF

All three lawyers have spent more than a decade at Herbert Smith Freehills. Tom Chau, most recently Herbert Smith Freehills’ Beijing managing partner, is joining Haiwen with two other of Herbert Smith Freehills’ capital markets partners, Zhong Wang and Isaac Chen. All three lawyers will be dually-based in Haiwen’s Hong Kong and Beijing offices.

HSF Hires Tax Advisory Partner from Deloitte

Prior to joining Deloitte in 2014, James Pettigrew spent over 20 years at Greenwoods, Herbert Smith Freehills’ former affiliate tax advisory firm.

The Americas

Taking ‘Long-Term View,’ Paul Hastings Adds 2 Capital Markets Partners From Goodwin

Seo Salimi, a capital markets partner who focuses on early-stage life sciences companies, will co-head Paul Hastings’ equity capital markets practice and co-chair its corporate life sciences practice. Salimi will be based in the firm’s New York office.

Assistant Counsel to New York Governor Returns to Private Practice With Anderson Kill

Paul W. Ryan’s experience in government also includes a run with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, where he served as senior counsel from 2003-10.

Stroock Sees Partner Exits Amid Protracted Merger Talks

The chair of Stroock’s litigation practice and the leader of its LA office are planning to leave for Steptoe & Johnson, while a real estate partner has landed at Jones Day.

Antheil Maslow, Cipriani & Werner

Antheil Maslow & MacMinn announced that Jocelin A. Price has joined as a partner in the firm’s estates and trusts practice group.

Akin Recaptures Allen & Overy Energy Transition Tax Lawyer

Allen & Overy tax counsel Sam Guthrie has returned to Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld as a partner in Washington, D.C., to focus on projects and energy transition matters.

O’Melveny Lands Shearman Real Estate Finance Leader

Malcolm Montgomery returned to O’Melveny & Myers after 22 years at Shearman & Sterling, where he led the firm’s global real estate practice and co-led REIT and hospitality practices.

Dentons Continues to Strengthen Network in Central America as Demand in Region Grows

Central America is a region often overlooked by international law firms and the focus on smaller economies such as Costa Rica is paying dividends as international investors explore more corners of the world.

Proskauer Rose Hedge Fund Duo Moves to Dechert

Robert Leonard and Michael Mavrides specialize in advising asset managers in the sourcing and use of “alternative” data.

Cuatrecasas Adds Natural Resources and Labor Partners in Peru

The new partners will lead two hot practice areas in the copper-rich country. Global demand for copper has increased with the growth of electric vehicles.

Gibson Dunn Poaches Cleary Gottlieb Real Estate Finance Partner in New York

Michael Weinberger arrived at Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher’s New York office this month after 31 years at Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton.


Rising HR Platform Bambee Hires Poshmark GC as First Legal Chief

Bambee CEO Allan Jones said newly hired legal chief Evan Ferl, in addition to having deep legal and business skills, brings energy and creativity. “We enjoy operating leaders who bring a sense of joy to their work,” Jones said.

Binance GC Exits as Regulators Up Scrutiny of Crypto Exchange

Hon Ng, who was a senior Uber attorney before joining Binance in 2020, is stepping aside at Binance amid a Department of Justice investigation of the company.

Promotions & Appointments:

Eckert Seamans Elevates Del. Attorney to Member

National law firm Eckert Seamans Cherin & Mellott has promoted three associates to member (partner), effective July 1, including Jessica L. Reno, based in the firm’s Wilmington office.

Richards, Layton & Finger Elects New Firm Directors

Richards, Layton & Finger announced that it has elected attorneys Robert Greco, Antonios Roustopoulos and Brendan Schlauch as directors of the firm, effective July 1.

K&L Gates Appoints Jason Opperman to Lead Australian Offices

Nick Nichola, who has led the firm’s Australian practice for over 18 years, will remain a partner at K&L Gates.

Skadden Elevates Richard Youle to London Head

Incumbent Pranav Trivedi spent 10 years as London head.

Lisa Mayhew to Step Down as Co-Chair of Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner

Mayhew, who architected Berwin Leighton Paisner’s 2018 merger with Bryan Cave, will finish her second leadership term at the end of the year.

Borden Ladner Gervais Appoints New Office Managing Partners in Toronto and Montreal

Both Cindy Clarke and Vincent Frenette have careers spanning more than 25 years.

PwC Global Legal Head to Leave in Near Future, New Australian Leader Says

Australian general counsel Meredith Beatty also to leave.

Mergers & Alliances:

Atlanta’s Smith Currie Sees Competitive Advantage After Merger

The merger will create one of the top construction law and government contract-oriented firms in the U.S., a firm leader said.

Law Firm Mergers May Accelerate in Second Half of 2023

The timeframe for completing a merger is lengthening, and the likelihood of a roadblock is greater, but “given the level of activity,” Fairfaix analysts anticipate an acceleration in completed deals.

UK Top 50 Firm Snaps Up IP Outfit

The IP firm has offices in Germany, France and Belgium, as well as its London base.

‘The Easiest Part of the Whole Deal’: A Merger Between A&O and Shearman in Europe

As shown in the map and charts compiled by Law.com International below, A&O’s footprint in Europe far outweighs Shearman’s, both in number of offices and lawyer head count.

Stroock and Nixon Peabody Call Off Merger; Stroock Pursuing Other Combo Candidates

Leaders at Stroock had been hoping to hammer out a deal by the end of June, people familiar with the talks said.

Office Openings & Closing:

Morgan Lewis to Launch Fourth Greater China Office in Shenzhen

The firm’s new office will be led by partner Shaobin Zhu, who is also its China IP practice head. He will be based in Shenzhen full time.

Scottish Legal Scene Fizzes with an Office Launch and its First £100M Law Firm

Though overall growth is slowing in line with other parts of the UK, Scotland is nevertheless attracting interest with a UK top 50 firm planting its flag in Glasgow.

Trowers & Hamlins Prepares Singapore Office Launch

The application for the FLP license will go hand-in-hand with a proposed collaboration with domestic Singapore firm Braddell Brothers, a two-partner practice that focuses on dispute resolution.

Former Clifford Chance, K&L Gates Lawyers Launch Own Practice in Tokyo

Aquaxis currently has five partners, including former Clifford Chance and K&L Gates lawyers, Atsushi Yamashita, Naoki Watanabe and Ayuko Nemoto.


PEP Drops 13% at Osborne Clarke

The firm’s international CEO said more consolidation in the industry was ‘inevitable’ given difficult market conditions.

Miller Thomson’s Chair Eyes Continuing Growth at Canada’s Largest Midsize Law Firm

With 10 offices across Canada, the Global 200 law firm Miller Thomson is building up the firm’s bench strength at a time when the midmarket in Canada’s legal industry is particularly active and several U.S. firms have moved in. Managing partner Peter Auvinen discusses the firm’s challenges and achievements.

Eversheds Maintains Revenue Growth Against Difficult Backdrop

CEO Lee Ranson described the results as “pleasing” in the face of “volatility” across the market.

HFW Posts Double-Digit Growth Alongside PEP, Profit Rises

The firm’s leaders have attributed the strong set of financial results to a refreshed firm strategy.

More Firms Up NQ Salaries Despite Easing Pay War

Though steady increases are being made by several large law firms, there is little indication that the pay war will return this year.

Slaughters and Linklaters Slide Down H1 UK M&A Rankings Amid Dismal Market

The Refinitiv data showed a dramatic 49% decrease in the value of European M&A, marking a 10-year low.

Taylor Wessing Scraps Profit Share Bonus Scheme After UK Profits Fall

The firm offered the bonus to everyone at the firm, excluding partners, in the previous two financial years.

Technology & Innovation:

Competitive Necessity, Job Disrupter: Legal Professionals Predict Major Generative AI Impact

A new survey from Wolters Kluwer and Above the Law found that legal professionals across the industry see generative AI as both essential and, for many, unwelcome.

Making Room for Generative AI in Legal Workflows

Is there room for generative AI in legal workflows? The answer is “yes,” but finding the right way to apply this technology requires a thoughtful approach based on an understanding of both its strengths as well as its limitations.

Aderant Launches AI Chatbot, Latham & Watkins’ Web3 Venture, and More

An update on the legal tech market’s past few weeks, from product launches to new partnerships.

Generative AI Is Bringing Waves of Funding to Legal Tech. Can It Last?

While legal technology investments have slowed in recent months, generative AI advancements have caught the attention of investors who may have once overlooked the legal tech market.

Ethical and Thoughtful Use of AI in the Legal Industry

Artificial intelligence won’t replace lawyers, but lawyers who don’t learn how to responsibly leverage the power of AI will be replaced by those who do.

Diversity & Inclusion:

Women Taking More Partner Positions in Australian Firms, But Still Lag Men

35% of partner or principal positions held by women in Australia’s largest state.

Market Commentary

ESG’s Renewed Focus is All Around Risk

Companies are already facing regulatory requirements related to the environmental and governance aspects of ESG, and more are on the way.

Law Firms in Indonesia Pivot to Stave Off Tech Venture Capital Slump

Health care, life sciences, nickel mining and telecommunications are sectors that lawyers are focusing on now.

Latham Leads Legal Adviser Tables, as Worldwide M&A Hits Lowest Point in 3 Years

Latham and Kirkland were top ranked while several Wall Street law firms picked up market share and rose up the league tables released by Refinitiv.

As Law Firm Mergers Get More Complex, Fewer Are Crossing Borders

There are fewer cross-border unions materializing lately, despite “an awful lot” of interest among U.K. firms in the U.S. market.

The Way Big Law Reacts to Economic Cycles Is Unrealistic, Unhealthy and Inhumane

The problem isn’t that economies are cyclical, that’s a fact of life. The problem here is that Big Law can sometimes have unrealistic reactions to both upturns and downturns. If this happens, it’s not in the interests of their own attorneys or their clients. It’s inhumane and unhealthy.

GCs Keep Cutting Outside Counsel Panels, as Law Firms See Heightened Competition

The pandemic may have accelerated the trend of companies winnowing down their lists of preferred providers.

California’s Largest Law Firms Continued to Expand in 2022

Most California law firms saw head count growth in 2022, while more than a dozen new offices among the nation’s largest firms launched in the state.

‘Seismic Shift’: Top Brass Increasingly Craft ESG Strategy, Taking Reins From Legal Departments

Even so, legal departments must remain integrally involved, as rising regulation and increasing anti-ESG sentiment make the subject a legal and reputational minefield, according to a new report.

Just How Much Do ALSPs Threaten Traditional Law Firms in Asia?

Alternative Legal Service Providers say the sector has grown considerably in the past few years. That could be bad news for traditional private practices—a sign that the market has changed and the attitude towards traditional law firm models and what they have to offer has evolved.

Luxembourg Opens its Doors to UK Qualified Lawyers

Its tax friendly status has seen the small nation rake in huge direct investment and around €5 trillion in assets under management, making it the second-largest investment fund centre after the US.

Big Law Firms Continue Downsizing Office Spaces Amid Hybird Work Arrangements

Crowell & Moring, Katten and Kilpatrick have all made plans to downsize their office spaces in D.C., according to real estate reports.

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