Ukrainian Conflict Legal Developments:
Linklaters said it would wind down operations in Russia and close its Moscow office while continuing to support its Russia team, ‘doing all we can to help them transfer to new roles within Linklaters or otherwise’. CMS has placed their base under “critical review”.
Norton Rose Fulbright is to shut its 50-strong Moscow office and wind down Russian work connected with the regime as soon as possible in response to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. The global firm has also pledged to donate any profits it makes from ongoing work it cannot immediately extricate itself from ‘to appropriate humanitarian and charitable causes’.
Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton is temporarily shutting down operations in Moscow, a spokesperson for the law firm said Tuesday. The New York-based, 1,100 attorney firm said it will halt its work in Russia “pending further developments, while continuing to support our Moscow colleagues.”
The United Kingdom is imposing new sanctions on Russia almost daily in response to the ongoing and deteriorating situation in Ukraine. The newest measures include asset freezes, economic prohibitions and other trade and financial restrictions.
Eversheds Sutherland and Gowling WLG are pulling out of Russia, joining a growing number of international law firms calling time on their Russian operations in response to the Ukraine invasion.
Debevoise & Plimpton is terminating “several client relationships” based on “an ongoing review of our Moscow client base,” it said in a statement Wednesday.
Allen & Overy (A&O), Clifford Chance, Herbert Smith Freehills (HSF), Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner (BCLP) and Winston & Strawn have joined the ever-expanding roster of law firms shutting down their Moscow offices in response to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
Six leading international law firms have announced plans to pull out of Russia today, including global giants Latham & Watkins and Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer. Morgan Lewis & Bockius, Squire Patton Boggs, Eversheds Sutherland and Gowling WLG are also winding down their Russia operations, joining Norton Rose Fulbright and Linklaters, which announced similar plans on Monday and last Friday respectively. Akin Gump, meanwhile, has suspended operations ‘pending further developments’.
Four Big Law firms — including Baker Botts – said Thursday they’re closing their Moscow offices as Russia presses its invasion of neighbouring Ukraine.
Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom will maintain a Moscow base, its chairman has told its people in an internal memo, but will relocate its lawyers there due to “anti-American sentiment in the country.” In an internal memo obtained by Law.com, Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom executive partner Eric Friedman said on Wednesday that, effective Thursday, the firm’s Moscow-based lawyers will have relocated outside of Russia “to ensure their safety in the face of increasing anti-American sentiment within Russia.”
Slaughter and May is to maintain its referral relationship with Moscow-based law firm Alrud, as elite firms across Europe reassess their links to the Russian capital.
White & Case, a New York-founded firm, said its Moscow office is open but it is no longer representing certain Russian and Belarusian clients or accepting new instructions from them.
Legal 500 has removed its usual write-ups on the firms and lawyers active in the Russia and Belarus markets, replacing the page with a large color photograph of the Ukrainian flag, and an accompanying statement.
Reached by phone, Timur Bondaryev, founder and managing partner of the leading Ukrainian independent firm Arzinger, said some lawyers had taken up arms to protect their homes, while others were volunteering with charities or sheltering. Stressing that there was no difference between lawyers and the country’s population at large, he added: “It’s our country, we have to protect it. Therefore, everybody’s doing what he or she is best fitted for.”
Mark Jones, Competition and Antitrust Partner has joined Jones Day from Hogan Lovells.
Daniyal Ansari, formerly of Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner, has joined Greenberg Traurig as a shareholder.
DWF has hired Órlaith Molloy, formerly of Arthur cox, into their global real estate team.
Julia Smithers Excell has left White & Case after nearly four years at the firm to return to JP Morgan Chase.
Susana Martínez has joined Clyde & Co from Kennedys, where she was Head of Financial Lines and Cyber for Latin America.
Gábor Báthory, EU trade and competition law specialist, has joined Advant Beiten as a partner from Van Bael & Bellis.
Wolf Theiss Warsaw continues to grow, as Anna Tomowicz joins the team in the role of partner in the real estate practice, and Adrian Krzyżanowski joins as counsel to foster project finance and leveraged finance expertise in banking & finance practice.
Partners Hannah Koyfman and David Lu have joined the Pittsburgh firm from Lando & Anastasi alongside a 10-person team of lawyers, patent agents and technology specialists.
Withers has strengthened their IP practice with the hire off Carlo Alberto Demichelis, who brings his one associate and two paralegals with him from Baker McKenzie.
UK insurance law firm Kennedys has added a veteran commercial litigator from US firm White and Williams to open in Wilmington, Delaware.
Heidi J. Azulay has joined the firm as a partner from DLA Piper, where she was the US Co-Leader of the Global Proptech practice.
Kirk Ogrosky has joined Goodwin’s Washington, D.C. office from Arnold & Porter.
Paul B. Salvaty has joined Winston & Strawn’s Los Angeles office from Hogan Lovells.
Maj Vaseghi, a founding member of Freshfield’s Silicon Valley office, returns from Lathams.
Ned S. Schodek has joined the firms’ New York office from Shearman & Sterling.
Philip Augustine has joined Gowling’s Ottawa office.
Promotions & Appointments:
Jon Hayes, a London-based corporate partner, has been elected as the next senior partner, as Andrew Darwin’s four-year term ends.
Abdullah Mutawi joins Taylor Wessing as head of corporate for MENA from Al Tamimi & Company.
Kim Rivera has joined the Atlanta-based unicorn after six years at HP.
Office Openings & Closings:
The new firm Aldertree legal will be led by Juraj Fuska, a White & Case partner who currently heads the firm’s Bratislava base. The corporate lawyer was promoted to partner in 2017.
Goodwin Procter’s London revenue has increased more than 63%, reaching £122.47m for 2021.
King & Spalding’s Revenue has jumped 20% to hit $1.83bn, while their PEP has increased 25% to $4.37m.
The Palo Alto-headquartered firm says it advised a record number of US public company clients in 2001, closing more than 385 fundings to raise $46bn in capital, and advising on more than 1,400 financings with an aggregate value of more than $93bn.
Gross revenue at the firm climbed 6% to $1.23 billion, picking up from just 1.6% growth in 2020. With the decrease in head count, revenue per lawyer increased 9% to $1.24 million.
Ken Doran, the firm’s chair and managing partner since 2002, handed the reins last May to Barbara Becker, who was proud to be able to announce $2.48 billion in revenue, an increase of 14.8% from the previous year.
Last year, Greenberg Traurig added fewer than 40 full-time equivalent lawyers but grew its revenue by $270 million for an RPL increase of nearly 14%. The firm also exceeded $2 billion in revenue for the first time.
As part of their 17.5% revenue growth, the firm topped the $1 billion mark for the first time, coming in at $1.012 billion. Shearman also saw profits per equity partner jump from under $2 million in 2020 to just over $3 million in 2021.
Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld’s London office revenue rose to $150.4m over 2021, representing growth of less than 1 per cent.
Technology & Innovation:
Legal Week has released the 2022 short list, with categories including AI Innovation, Championing Diversity in Tech Innovation, and many others.
Despite lawyers’ reputation for being averse to change, the reality is that the impact of innovation can be seen in many aspects of the law. In this context, lawyers cannot wait for innovation to come as a top-down initiative but should instead seek to develop their own innovative mindset to stay relevant.
At its core, the idea of streamlined legal services is a great one. Where work has elements of repetition and doesn’t need the skills and strategy of a core in-house team, why not do it differently? Clients do still ask for this in multiple ways, grappling with how to get complex contracts done in a systematic efficient way. So why hasn’t the managed services idea scaled in the way so many people expected?
Diversity & Inclusion:
To mark this year’s International Women’s Day, Law.com International has spent months researching and calling for submissions about exceptional up-and-coming female lawyers from across the top law firms.
Hogan Lovells has published new practical guidance for lawyers working with survivors of economic abuse to increase awareness surrounding economic abuse in the civil and criminal justice systems in the UK.
In recognition of International Women’s Day, Multilaw invited founder of their member firm Omar Alrasheed Law Firm in Saudi Arabia – Omar Alrasheed – as well as three of its female legal associates to provide their views and experiences on the rise of women in Saudi society, particularly their impact in the legal field
Enter the College of Legal Practice UK (CoLP), the wholly-owned subsidiary of the College’s Australian parent, which established itself as a training provider over here in 2019. As an exclusively online training provider it is banking on the market’s willingness to embrace hybrid learning, as opposed to the old way of learning by osmosis, permanently.
The ALM Intelligence survey found that 62.2% of respondents believe their legal departments’ personnel was more diverse or much more diverse than their primary outside law firms.
In 2008, Simmons & Simmons mid-level associate Emma Sutcliffe discovered a concerning statistic: her firm was at the bottom of a ranking of the number of female lawyers across London law firms. That stat was one of the major reasons she decided to launch the firm’s gender network, TNOC: The Number One Club. She is currently co-chair of the network, alongside London corporate partner Ania Rontaler.
City firms have all recognised that they need to take steps to flex progression so that it better fits around the lives of women, rather than make women fit into an artificially-constructed ladder of reward. But creating an environment where both sexes can step off and on the carousel – and in particular, celebrating male part-timers – would do a lot more for women’s progress than an annual #IWD catchphrase.