UK & Ireland
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.
The appointment is expected to advise clients on implementing human rights and ESG programmes.
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.
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.
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.
The newcomer replaces Margarida Rosado da Fonseca, who left the firm at the end of February.
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.
The firm, which is in expansive mood, plans to grow to 25 lawyers in Dubai.
Baker McKenzie and Baker Botts are building in the region.
Oliver Brettle, a member of the firm’s global executive committee, said in the firm is investing in its Madrid office “strategically and carefully”.
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.
In Singapore, dispute resolution lawyers have increasingly been drawn to leave established law firms to set up or lead new ventures.
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.
Prior to joining Deloitte in 2014, James Pettigrew spent over 20 years at Greenwoods, Herbert Smith Freehills’ former affiliate tax advisory firm.
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.
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.
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 & MacMinn announced that Jocelin A. Price has joined as a partner in the firm’s estates and trusts practice group.
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.
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.
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.
Robert Leonard and Michael Mavrides specialize in advising asset managers in the sourcing and use of “alternative” data.
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.
Michael Weinberger arrived at Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher’s New York office this month after 31 years at Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton.
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.
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:
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 announced that it has elected attorneys Robert Greco, Antonios Roustopoulos and Brendan Schlauch as directors of the firm, effective July 1.
Nick Nichola, who has led the firm’s Australian practice for over 18 years, will remain a partner at K&L Gates.
Incumbent Pranav Trivedi spent 10 years as London head.
Mayhew, who architected Berwin Leighton Paisner’s 2018 merger with Bryan Cave, will finish her second leadership term at the end of the year.
Both Cindy Clarke and Vincent Frenette have careers spanning more than 25 years.
Australian general counsel Meredith Beatty also to leave.
Mergers & Alliances:
The merger will create one of the top construction law and government contract-oriented firms in the U.S., a firm leader said.
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.
The IP firm has offices in Germany, France and Belgium, as well as its London base.
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.
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:
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.
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.
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.
Aquaxis currently has five partners, including former Clifford Chance and K&L Gates lawyers, Atsushi Yamashita, Naoki Watanabe and Ayuko Nemoto.
The firm’s international CEO said more consolidation in the industry was ‘inevitable’ given difficult market conditions.
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.
CEO Lee Ranson described the results as “pleasing” in the face of “volatility” across the market.
The firm’s leaders have attributed the strong set of financial results to a refreshed firm strategy.
Though steady increases are being made by several large law firms, there is little indication that the pay war will return this year.
The Refinitiv data showed a dramatic 49% decrease in the value of European M&A, marking a 10-year low.
The firm offered the bonus to everyone at the firm, excluding partners, in the previous two financial years.
Technology & Innovation:
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.
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.
An update on the legal tech market’s past few weeks, from product launches to new partnerships.
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.
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:
35% of partner or principal positions held by women in Australia’s largest state.
Companies are already facing regulatory requirements related to the environmental and governance aspects of ESG, and more are on the way.
Health care, life sciences, nickel mining and telecommunications are sectors that lawyers are focusing on now.
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.
There are fewer cross-border unions materializing lately, despite “an awful lot” of interest among U.K. firms in the U.S. market.
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.
The pandemic may have accelerated the trend of companies winnowing down their lists of preferred providers.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Crowell & Moring, Katten and Kilpatrick have all made plans to downsize their office spaces in D.C., according to real estate reports.