Weekly Update – 10th of June 2024


UK & Ireland

MKB Law welcomes corporate banking specialist Neil Logan

Belfast-based Neil Logan has been hired by MKB Law as a consultant in the corporate, banking, and commercial sectors of the company.

Eversheds Sutherland increases its global employee incentives capability on appointment of new Partner

Richard Surtees, a new partner in employee incentives at Eversheds Sutherland, has joined the company’s specialized global employee incentives division. Richard comes from Slaughter and May, where he was an expert in Executive compensation and share incentives. He received his training and credentials at the US company Covington & Burling before that.



Corporate partner duo join Saudi’s K&A

Christian Both and Omar Iqbal join the independent Saudi Arabian law firm’s Riyadh office from Addleshaw Goddard and Baker Botts, respectively.

Kirkland & Ellis adds restructuring muscle in Riyadh with lawyer relocation from London

To head the financial restructuring and capital solutions practice, Husni Almousli has relocated to a different office.



RPC Takes Another Corporate Partner from Singapore Boutique

Kiat Wee Lau, the newest member of RPC, is a former partner of a Big Four Singaporean company that provides advice on M&A, financial regulation, funds, venture capital, private equity, and private wealth problems throughout Asia Pacific.

Six Partners to Leave Clyde & Co in Australia Following Review

After an assessment of the company, Clyde & Co. is eliminating six partners and adding a salaried partner position to its Australian partnership. For the long-term benefit of clients and the company, the firm has to increase profitability and its operating model, this opinion is based on a message sent to employees by managing partner Rebecca Kelly of the Australia-based firm.

Malaysia’s ASL hires two corporate, finance partners

Adnan Sundra & Low (ASL), a Malaysian law firm, has added banking and finance partner Yong Wee Hoo and M&A partner Liza Uma (L) to its corporate offerings.


The Americas

Outgoing SDNY Deputy US Attorney Lands at Skadden

Andrea Griswold was working at the U.S. Attorney’s Office for more than a decade, moving from line prosecutor to chief counsel to the U.S. attorney and then to deputy U.S. attorney.

Foley & Lardner Hires Former SoftBank GC in San Francisco, Eyeing Fund Formation Opportunities

At SoftBank Investment Advisors, Brian Wheeler assembled a group of 40 lawyers who were responsible for overseeing over $130 billion in assets. He most recently served as general attorney for the technology and art services company HENI.

Quinn Emanuel, Paul Weiss Stock Up on Antitrust Talent in DC

Former DOJ trial lawyer Chris Wilson joined Paul Weiss from Gibson Dunn, while former FTC general counsel Kevin Arquit joined Quinn Emanuel from meat processing behemoth JBS.

Locke Lord Beefs Up in Boston With Burns & Levinson Co-Chair of Business Litigation

Andrea Martin, who came from the recently dissolved midsize Boston firm Burns & Levinson, joined Locke Lord as a litigation partner.

McDermott Taps King & Spalding Lawyer to Grow White-Collar Group in Atlanta

Amy Bentsen, the first partner in the firm’s white-collar criminal defense and investigations practice, has been stationed in McDermott’s Atlanta office for the past four years.

People in the News—June 5, 2024—Pond Lehocky, Eckert Seamans

Jose De Los Santos, a workers’ compensation lawyer, just joined Pond Lehocky Giordano.

Alston, Eversheds, Dentons and Bracewell Bring on DC Partner Hires

Jennifer Everett was recruited by Alston & Bird from Jones Day as a partner in its privacy, cyber, and data strategy division. A portion of Everett’s research will be on artificial intelligence.

Newsmakers: Real Estate Partner Joins Bell Nunnally

Spencer C. Diebel, an attorney, has joined Bell Nunnally as a partner in its Real Estate practice.

On the Move and After Hours: Rimon; Genova Burns; Lindabury; Riker Danzig; CSG Law

Rimon welcomes a new IP partner in Princeton; CSG Law appoints a new leader for its employment law division; and further developments.

Morris Manning Adds Atlanta Real Estate Partner, Labor Firms Increase California Ties

Henry “Butch” Bailey Jr., a commercial real estate attorney, has joined Morris, Manning & Martin as a partner in Atlanta. Bailey Jr. previously worked as an associate at Troutman Pepper Hamilton Sanders, and he is returning to the company.

Schwartz Sladkus Adds New York Partner, Nossaman Hires Arizona Partner

Greenberg Sladkus Reich Schwartz Nossaman announced that Emily Smith has joined the firm’s pensions, benefits, and investments group; Atlas reported that Andrew Bauer has joined the firm as a partner in its New York office.

Finance Partner Leaves King & Spalding for McDermott, Following 11-Partner Move to Paul Hastings

After ten years, partner in lender-side finance Ellen Snare left King & Spalding to work in the New York office of McDermott Will & Emery.

Littler, Dentons Partner Laterals Among Latest in Canada’s Nonstop Spring Moves Bonanza

Over a dozen attorneys have found new positions in the past few weeks, and three more have lately changed companies.


In house

Skydance Hires Legal Exec as Upstart Shakes Up Hollywood With Paramount Merger

Jean Chi left a prominent position at Spotify to take on the position of president of Skydance’s global business and legal affairs.

JPMorgan Chase’s Top Consumer-Banking Attorney Jumps to SoFi as GC

Rob Lavet, who joined the online bank shortly after its inception in 2011, will hand over the reins of legal authority to Stephen Simcock.

TikTok Parent Hires Hollywood Heavy Hitter as Global GC Amid Showdown With US

As the popular social media app’s future in the US is in doubt, former Warner Bros. General Counsel John Rogovin is assuming legal control of the platform.

Morgan Stanley-Backed Startup Aiming to Disrupt Auto Insurance Hires First GC

Cover Whale Insurance Solutions, which employs innovation and technology to streamline and lower risk in the commercial truck insurance industry, is putting Rachel Dugan in charge of legal affairs.

Pa.-Based Allied Universal Taps New GC With IPO Experience

Steve Jones, Allied Universal’s global chairman and CEO said, “Loretta’s experience leading phenomenal legal teams at publicly traded companies and technology focused organizations perfectly lines up with the future I see for Allied Universal.”

Allied Universal names next legal head as former GC retires

David Buckman, who is retiring from Allied Universal after nearly 20 years with the company, has been replaced as global general counsel by Loretta Cecil, who was hired by the US security and facilities services provider.

Thunes names Ruwan De Soyza General Counsel

Thunes recently declared Ruwan De Soyza as General Counsel to manage all secretarial, legal, and compliance matters as the business expands globally. De Soyza will oversee a team in a variety of practice areas, such as payment regulation, licensing, compliance, M&A, and commercial contracts, under the direction of CEO, Floris de Kort.


Team Moves

Paul Hastings Lands 11-Partner Private Credit Group From King & Spalding

Jennifer Daly, who at the time of her resignation was co-head of King & Spalding’s worldwide finance and restructuring practice, is among the incoming group.

Holland & Knight Hires Team from Loeb & Loeb in Los Angeles, Signaling Finance Team Expansion

Paul Severin, the vice chair of Loeb & Loeb until recently, is one of the three new partners.

IP Leader of Dentons’ Pittsburgh Branch Brings Group to Eckert Seamans

Nolan Cheung, who previously served as U.S. co-chair of Dentons’ IP group said, “a global name for global companies is certainly very important; but when you deal with the IP side, it’s a very unique client-attorney relationship.”

K&L Gates Expands German IP Practice with Four-Person Disputes Team

A skilled group of intellectual property conflicts attorneys have been recruited by K&L Gates. They will be situated in Frankfurt and offer clients comprehensive cross-border legal counsel.

India’s JSA Raids Rival SAM for 20 Lawyers

Leader of SAM Shardul Shroff claims that the defectors have violated the terms of the partnership deed of the company and that leaving equity partners must give at least six months’ notice.

Malaysia’s Asl Hires Three-Partner Ip Team from CLO

With the addition of a five-person IP, sports, and gaming group from nearby rival Christopher & Lee Ong (CLO), led by practice leader Sri Sarguna Raj, Malaysian law firm Adnan Sundra & Low (ASL) have greatly strengthened its intellectual property capabilities.

Ashurst further strengthens Disputes & Investigations offering with international products law team in London

Sarah-Jane Dobson, a partner in product safety and liability, has joined the London-based Disputes & Investigations office of international law firm Ashurst. Sarah-Jane will expand Ashurst’s product litigation and product risk (safety and regulatory) practice area with the help of a group of colleagues.

Taylor Wessing expands with Corporate Crime & Compliance team led by Charlotte Posthuma

With the addition of Partner Charlotte Posthuma, Associate Leonie Hogenkamp, and Associate Loes Joosten, Taylor Wessing has further enhanced its competence in Corporate Crime & Compliance. Charlotte is in charge of this rapidly expanding practice.

Four tech partners join to expand Simmons’ Digital Business practice

Having previously collaborated, Hayley Davis, Calum Murray, Andrew Joint, and Rich Folsom have all been appointed partners in the firm’s London office, marking a noteworthy development for the practice and its technological offering.


Promotions & Appointments:

Employment Litigation Leader to Replace Mary Beth Hogan as Debevoise Litigation Co-Chair

Andrew Ceresney will be joined by longtime partner Jyotin Hamid in leading the division, which generated $546 million in revenue in the previous year. After 33 years with the company, Hogan is retiring.

People in the News—June 6, 2024—Barley Snyder, McMonagle Perri

Barley Snyder declared that partner Thad M. Gelsinger has been appointed to the board of directors of Berks Catholic High School.

People in the News—June 7, 2024—Panitch Schwarze, Tucker Arensberg

Ava E. Lutz, a lawyer specializing in intellectual property, has been elected to the position of secretary on the board of governors for the Philadelphia Intellectual Property Law Association (PIPLA), a group of lawyers and law student affiliates based in Philadelphia. This announcement was made by Panitch Schwarze Belisario & Nadel.

Willkie Farr Elevates Partner to Latin America Practice Chair

Maria-Leticia Ossa Daza, a Brazilian, steps down to make way for Anna Martini Pereira of Brazil to open a practice in Latin America at Paul Weiss.

Angus McCullogh KC to lead PSNI review into alleged surveillance

The PSNI has assigned London attorney Angus McCullough KC to lead an impartial investigation into the force’s purported use of surveillance against reporters, attorneys, and non-governmental organizations.


Mergers & Alliances:

Deal Watch: Energy, Pharma Continue to Drive Deal Activity as Wachtell, Kirkland Lead $22.5 Billion ConocoPhillips/Marathon Oil Deal

The transaction is the latest in a series of consolidation moves in the energy sector, coming shortly after two earlier multibillion-dollar mergers this year.

New York Firm Combines With Atlanta Boutique to Create ‘Powerhouse’ Tax Practice

When talking about the 40-lawyer firm, Todd Welty said, “We weren’t shopping the firm, we weren’t hunting for a merger. This was just a natural, organic discussion about how well we worked together”.

Amid Law Firm Merger Frenzy, Former Leaders of Wilmer and Hale Offer Insights

Bill Lee said, “The fact that we brought all these people into the loop in October and it never leaked until we made it public on May 31 said to me that it was going to work.”

Clifford Chance Leads on Brookfield’s $6.1B Acquisition of French Renewable Company

Positions on one of the largest deals in Europe this year have also been secured by Gide and Bredin Prat.

Global Firms Lead on Deals in Kenya, Egypt, and South Africa

U.S. Philip Morris International (PMI) received legal advice from Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton and Alliance Law in Egypt on the purchase of an indirect 14.7% minority interest in Eastern Tobacco Company, which is Egypt’s largest cigarette maker, for a sum exceeding $1.2 billion.

Dentons LuatViet Merges with Vietnam Boutique EPLegal

Annie Ngo, managing partner of EPLegal, has also been named head of the combined entity’s energy practice.


Office Openings & Closing:

Brown Rudnick Launches Houston Office, Hires Trial Partner From Boutique

Adam Schiffer, a trial attorney and the founder of Schiffer Hicks Johnson in Houston, has become a partner in Brown Rudnick’s recently established Houston office.

Adding to Salt Lake While Remaining ‘Unique,’ Polsinelli Opens in Park City

Marla Bell, managing partner for the firm’s Salt Lake City office as well as the new one, described Park City as a “destination for high-wealth individuals with second homes or who have chosen to live here rather than Salt Lake.”

With Investigation Practices in Hot Demand, Shook Launches Group That Emphasizes Government Expertise

The recently established government investigations practice “benefits our clientele. A co-leader of the group named Bill Corrigan said, “It’s a clearer message of our capabilities.”

Akerman Was Sole Florida-Founded Am Law Firm to Significantly Reduce Office Space in 2023

With the exception of Akerman, which stated it has been reducing its size as it accepts hybrid work and consolidates back-office activities, Florida-founded Am Law 100 firms have maintained their footprints.

Al Tamimi establishes region’s first mediation practice

Lead attorneys Christine Maksoud and David Holloway talk about the practice’s future goals.

Birketts announces opening of office in Bristol

Bristol is now home to Birketts, a UK Top 50 law firm with offices throughout southern England. In addition to the company’s offices in London, Sevenoaks, Cambridge, Chelmsford, Ipswich, and Norwich, Birketts will open a seventh location in Bristol.

Bird & Bird’s former London arbitration head launches own practice

Nick Peacock, the former head of Bird & Bird’s international arbitration business in London, has established Peacock Arbitration, a solo firm.



Amid Growing Battle for Talent, 3 DC and Virginia Firms Increased Their Equity Partner Pay Spreads

In Washington, D.C., Maryland, and Virginia, six additional Am Law 200 firms either maintained or reduced similar margins between 2022 and 2023.

Midsize Firms Enjoy Historic Demand for Bankruptcy, Restructuring Work

Lenders and sponsors are growing increasingly impatient with overleveraged, foundering enterprises.

Lewis Brisbois Threatens Legal Action to Claw Back ‘Overdistribution’ to Former Partners

The company allegedly missed the revenue objectives from previous years, which it used to justify earlier draws.

Goodwin Latest Firm to Raise NQ Salaries as Pay War Looms

According to insiders at the firm, the Boston-based firm is increasing its charges to £175,000, up £15,000, to better compete with firms like Kirkland & Ellis, Milbank, and Vinson & Elkins, whose prices are higher than £170,000.

Canadian In-House Counsel Salaries Up 9%, Report Shows

According to a 102-page research published by the Canadian Corporate Counsel Association (CCCA) and The Counsel Network, which is now a part of Caldwell, the national base compensation for in-house counsel in Canada climbed by nearly 9% to CA$196,000 from $180,000 in 2022.


Technology & Innovation:

K&L Gates Joins Orrick in Offering Gen AI Training for Summer Associates

Law firms are hoping an early introduction to generative AI will make next year’s incoming associates more excited about using the technology.

AI Deepfakes: Unauthorized Depictions and Protection of Property Rights to Name, Image and Likeness

The No AI FRAUD Act, which was just introduced, aims to safeguard people’s rights to regulate how their voice and likeness are used against the unauthorized use of AI-generated content. This aims to close the gap created by the disparate state and federal intellectual property and privacy rules and regulations.

AI Boom Has Left Employers With Head-Spinning Governance Challenges

According to FTI Technology Global CEO Sophie Ross, businesses and governments are “grappling with how to set boundaries while staying competitive in the technology transformation race”.

Sirion Acquires Eigen Technologies to Expand Capabilities and Financial Services Footprint

According to Sirion, the agreement will enable it to collect data from more documents than just contracts.

3 Key Things to Know About the New Colorado AI Act

Despite the fact that the Colorado AI Act may be the first of its type, lawyers point out that businesses won’t need to start from scratch in order to ensure compliance.

Ontario Bar Association Launches Novel AI Initiative to Boost Use in Everyday Practice

As the association’s innovator-in-residence, legal tech expert Colin Lachance will oversee a year-long program designed to help lawyers better comprehend and use artificial intelligence.

Spending Too Much Time on Emails? This Pillsbury IP Partner Developed an AI Tool to Solve the Problem

Josh Tucker, a Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman IP partner in Austin, said that his goal is: “to be able to yell at my computer and make it do what I want.”


Diversity & Inclusion:

The Surge of Anti-LGBTQ+ Bills and How We Can Protect Ourselves

Our community is extremely alarmed by the extraordinary rise in anti-LGBTQ+ legislation that has been introduced around the country. Every aspect of our lives is impacted by these bills, including health care, sports, the job, residences, and schools.

11th Circuit Pick Talks Pro Se Cases, Diversity Efforts, Mentorship at Senate Hearing

Judicial nominee Embry Kidd said, “I have conversations with students and potential clerks about clerking and why they haven’t thought about clerking… and one thing that I learned is that for many of them, it’s no surprise, they have a very heavy loan burden”.

Fired for Wanting Less Diversity Efforts? White Employee Sues HP

Dean Wicke,” the complaint alleged, “the statement made by the plaintiff regarding the defendant’s DEI efforts were falsely branded as ‘dogpiling,’ and ‘racist’ by managers in the employ of the defendant, including the plaintiff’s supervisor.


Market Commentary:

Letter From Asia: The Americans Are Leaving China in Droves, but Will It Level the Playing Field?

China’s allure is now much outweighed by the hazards involved in operating a lawful business there. However, no British law firms have left China or shut down any mainland locations in the last 18 months.

Texas Bar Hopes to Get in Line with Nation on Conflict Rule for Attorneys

According to Kinard, the existing restriction has hampered lawyers’ mobility by making it more difficult for them to move companies. It is an especially difficult problem for partners.

The Winding Path Some Litigators Take to Partnership

The Great Recession interrupted the early careers of a few of the litigators from boutiques and mid-size law firms who took part in Law.com’s “How I Made It” series last year.

Linklaters Halts Plans to Withhold Distributions to Departing Partners

The decision is a part of a larger set of adjustments to the way the company rewards departing partners, and it will result in the firm no longer awarding bonuses to partners who leave after more than 20 years of employment.

Is Big Law’s Opulent Space a Match Made In Heaven for Associates and Clients?

Do boomers actually want this kind of working space at their company? Being socially conscious and working for ethical companies is highly valued by Gen Z associates. The company’s ESG profile, pro bono goals, and DEI compliance are probably more significant factors. What about the customers?

Seeing Advantages in Solo Practice, Big Law Partner Launches Firm for Compliance, Monitorship Matters

Steve Solow, who left Big Law after more than 20 years noted “Clients really want to just pick their lawyers more than they want to pick sometimes the law firm”.

The Rise of Legal Finance in Spain’s Growing Market

The nation’s litigation finance business is growing swiftly thanks to suitable legislation and quick trial durations.

South African Investors and Law Firms on Edge Over ANC Coalition Talks

Investors are concerned that a compromise reached by the parties would result in the nationalization of the South African Reserve Bank and other important organizations, the expropriation of private property, and a departure from the rule of law.

Hiring of Law Firm Associates in Canada Remains Strong but Salaries Not Rising Significantly

Precedent magazine, which has been following hire backs in the Toronto market, states that most significant firms have recruited back more than 70% of their articling students this year, which is on track or better than 2023.

Wall Street firms’ muscle into pro sports deals

In an attempt to overtake well-established competitors that cater to billionaire buyers and sellers, Wall Street law firms are pushing their way into the burgeoning sports deals sector.

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