Weekly Update – 11th March 2024


UK & Ireland

Kirkland Hires from HSF for London ESG Boost

After more than 12 years at HSF, where she oversaw the U.K., U.S., and EMEA ESG business, Rebecca Perlman has joined Kirkland. She oversaw the company’s worldwide impact and sustainable investing practice as well.

DLA Piper Hires Ex-UK Home Secretary David Blunkett

The appointment comes after David Lidington, a former Conservative MP and minister of state for justice, was added to DLA’s board in December as a non-executive director.

Mayer Brown grows Energy and Finance capabilities with appointment of Massimo Amoruso

Massimo Amoruso is a new partner in the company’s London-based Global Energy department, specializing in energy and infrastructure deals in well-known markets like LNG and energy-transition technologies like batteries, hydrogen, and CCUS. He brings more than 15 years of experience in the energy and infrastructure sectors to Clifford Chance.

Ashurst expands Disputes & Investigations offering with senior white collar hire in London

In an effort to expand its Disputes & Investigations portfolio, international legal firm Ashurst has appointed Judith Seddon, a specialist in white collar crime and investigations, as a partner in London.

Blake Morgan expands Banking and Finance offering

Oliver Storey-Harris has joined the esteemed and well-respected Banking & Finance division at law firm Blake Morgan as a new partner.

ReganWall hires Emma Cafferky as Dublin corporate partner

Emma Cafferky has been named as a corporate partner in the Dublin office of business law firm ReganWall.



McDermott Takes Ashurst Duo in Germany, Milbank Hires From Kirkland

Corporate partners Benedikt von Schorlemer and Maximilian Uibeleisen are joining McDermott. While von Schorlemer concentrates on the energy and infrastructure sectors, Uibeleisen is especially interested in renewable energy efforts.

Gide Adds Three Partners to Paris M&A Team in Hire from French Rival

Prior to their partnership at Darrois, Marcus Billam and de Martigny collaborated at Clifford Chance and Allen & Overy. Counsel at Darrois, Alexandre Durand, had formerly worked at Allen & Overy. All three become partners with Gide.

BCLP strengthens Dubai Corporate Real Estate & Funds Team

In March, Chris Beaumont-McQuillan, a partner in BCLP’s Corporate Real Estate & Funds division, will move from London to the company’s Dubai office as part of the ongoing expansion of our transactional real estate practice, which is now the best in the Middle East.

Habib Al Mulla and Partners Welcomes New Partner

Rabih Tabbara has been named as the new Construction Arbitration Partner in the Arbitration and Litigation Department by Habib Al Mulla and Partners.



Kirkland Lays Off Capital Markets Lawyers in Greater China

During a meeting with associates, a partner within the firm ascribed the firm’s decision to market conditions and the size of the team, namely it being ‘too big’.

Pinsent Masons Takes Two Partners From KPMG for Australian TMT Practice

Six attorneys will be joining the two partners, James Arnott, who headed KPMG’s technology and digital transformation division, and Veronica Scott, who oversaw the firm’s cyber, privacy, and data practice.

Appleby Adds Two in Hong Kong from Offshore Rivals

Lily Miao and John McCarroll SC are joining the business from Mourant Ozannes’ Hong Kong office and Harneys’ British Virgin Islands office, respectively.

Australia’s Mills Oakley Poaches Squire Partner to Start Energy Group

Natalie Lonergan, a partner at Squire Patton Boggs, was lured by Australian law firm Mills Oakley to help the company expand its energy and resources division and secure further business in the industry.

Greenberg Traurig Appoints Singapore M&A Head with KWM Hire

Jake Robson, a partner at King & Wood Mallesons, has joined Greenberg Traurig as head of mergers and acquisitions in Singapore and co-managing shareholder.

Dechert Scales Down Hong Kong Corporate Offering, Partner and Associates to Leave

Stephen Chan, formerly a partner at the firm, will be departing as well as three corporate associates in Hong Kong as the firm scales down its corporate offering in Greater China, according to two sources with knowledge of the matter.

China’s Han Kun Eyes UK Presence Amid International Expansion

The firm set up in New York and Singapore less than 12 months ago.


The Americas

Freshfields, Recruiting From Latham, Hires New Leaders for Private Capital Practice

Neal Reenan and Ian Bushner, two New York-based private equity M&A attorneys from Latham & Watkins, have joined Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer to support in leading its private capital practice, this was announced by the company on Monday.

Ex-Stroock Partner Jumps to Dentons After Short Tenure at Hogan Lovells

Kim Pagotto was one of a multitude of partners who joined Hogan Lovells on Nov. 15 from Stroock. A couple of months later, Dentons announced her arrival.

Orrick Adds Wilson Sonsini Tech Partner in New York

As the firm grows its tech team on the East Coast, Josh Beser, a partner at Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati, joined Orrick Herrington & Sutcliffe as a member of the technology companies’ group in New York.

Fried Frank Lands Paul Weiss Finance Partner

Monica Thurmond was previously the deputy chair of the corporate department at Paul Weiss.

Former Walgreens Legal Chief Lands Executive Post at UnitedHealth Group

Danielle Gray said, through a post on LinkedIn, “I’m thrilled for this next chapter, and I look forward to working with my new colleagues on the critically important mission of helping people live healthier lives”.

Winston, Vinson & Elkins, Chamberlain Hrdlicka Hire Partners in Hot Practices

founded in Houston Charles Rettig, a former Internal Revenue Service Commissioner, was brought on as a stakeholder by Chamberlain Hrdlicka, a firm with a notable tax controversy practice, in California. In Houston, former Vinson & Elkins energy and infrastructure partner Mark Brasher rejoined Winston & Strawn as a partner, and Jones Day commercial attorney J. Laurens Wilkes was appointed the firm’s chair of infrastructure and projects—global disputes.

Dechert Parts Ways with Two Partners in a Week

White collar giant Judith Seddon is joining Ashurst as the firm continues to grow its disputes and investigations offering.

Midsize Moves: Lippes Mathias Takes on 4 Attorneys, Flaster Greenberg Hires Shareholder From Offit Kurman

Tony Pezzano, Matthew Asbell, David Johnson, and Chintan Desai, who have collaborated for a number of years from the Offit Kurman law offices, have joined Lippes Mathias as an integrated group of four attorneys. Meghan K. Finnerty has joined Flaster Greenberg as a shareholder in its litigation and insurance counseling and recovery departments.

People in the News—March 7, 2024—Nochumson, Lamb McErlane

Nochumson declared that Jared Klein has become an of counsel attorney at the firm.

Mid-Market Roundup: Mid-Atlantic Firms Look Beyond Home State, Trial Boutique Nets Federal Prosecutors

Midsize businesses in the mid-Atlantic region are expanding, moving from regional to national reach. Meanwhile, a federal prosecutor drawn to the flexibility of mid-market enterprises joins trial boutique MoloLamken.

Cravath M&A Partner Moves to White & Case, Attracted to Firm’s Cross-Border Practice

Keith Hallam, a partner in mergers and acquisitions, has relocated to White & Case in New York, the company said on Monday, following nearly 20 years at Cravath, Swaine & Moore.

Freshfields continues US hiring drive with addition of two Latham private capital partners

Ian Bushner will lead US private capital, while Neal Reenan has joined as co-head of private capital globally. Alongside Charles Hayes and Arend von Riegen, who are based in Frankfurt and London, respectively, Reenan will co-lead the firm.



Zoom Taps Silicon Valley Veteran to Fill CLO Post That’s Had an Interim Leader for 4 Years

Newly appointed Chief Legal Officer Cheree McAlpine said “I want to make sure that we have an engaged legal team and that they are as excited about that engagement as I am,”.

Elanco Hires GC Just as Activist Investor Calls for CEO’s Ouster

A high-stakes assignment for Shiv O’Neill will be assisting the business in managing its relationship with Ancora Capital.

Geico Hires Chief Legal Officer With Deep Experience at Financial Bluebloods

The 37-year-old Seth Ingall’s retirement left a vacuum in the position of chief legal officer, which was filled by senior in-house lawyer Tangela Richter, hired by insurance giant Geico.

KFC and PE House Hg Name New Legal Chiefs

Ella Smith will take over as KFC’s chief legal officer. Samantha McGonigle, meanwhile, leaves Paul Hastings’ London private equity practice after just 11 months to join Hg. She had co-founded Farview Equity Partners in 2019, where she worked for five years before that.

US animal healthcare company Elanco promotes deputy to GC on permanent basis

After four months, Shiv O’Neill takes over as interim general counsel after Marcela Kirberger left for 3M.

Paul Hastings adds ‘firepower’ to IP bench with six-strong US team from Allen & Overy

The firm is welcoming IP litigators Shamita Etienne-Cummings, Lisa Nguyen, Eric Lancaster, James Gagen, and Grace Wang. The Washington, DC office will welcome a sixth litigator who has not yet been identified.


Team Moves

8-Lawyer Team From Nelson Mullins Moves to Baker Donelson for Charlotte Office Launch

CEO Tim Lupinacci says that The Carolinas is a “real growth market” for Baker Donelson.

FisherBroyles Spinoff Pierson Ferdinand Adds 25 New Partners in Second Month of Existence

The additions, which include 16 lawyers from FisherBroyles, align the new firm’s head count with the 130 “commitments” that Joel Ferdinand and co-chairman Michael Pierson said at the firm’s founding.

McGuireWoods Expands in Dallas With White Collar Team

Former federal prosecutors Michael Elliott and Mindy Sauter, together with attorney Chris Quinlan, joined McGuireWoods on Monday as partners in Dallas.

Paul Hastings Recruits 6-Partner IP Litigation Team From Allen & Overy

Allen & Overy, with offices in Palo Alto, New York, and Washington, D.C., has provided its six-partner IP litigation team to the Am Law 25 firm.

CMS Poland Takes 5-Lawyer Team from Deloitte Legal

Ryszard Manteuffel, the team leader, was previously employed by Baker McKenzie and Dentons.


Promotions & Appointments:

People in the News—March 5, 2024—Barley Snyder, Antheil Maslow

George C. Werner, a lawyer, was appointed general counsel of the company, according to a statement made by Barley Snyder.

Newsmakers: Sheppard Mullin Promotes Partner

Jonathan Clark of Dallas is one of the eighteen attorneys who have been promoted to partners at Sheppard, Mullin, Richter & Hampton.

Joseph Belluck Is Reappointed to New Term With NY Judicial Watchdog

For one-third of the commission’s 46-year history, Joseph Belluck served as a member and as chair since 2016.

People in the News—March 8, 2024—Post & Schell, Faye Riva

Post & Schell recently announced that principals Anthony L. Miscioscia and Steven J. Schildt have been appointed as co-chairs of the firm’s insurance law department.

Hoagland, Longo Managing Partner Selected to Lead New AI Practice Group

Hoagland, Longo’s managing partner Chad M. Moore discussed the firm’s new artificial intelligence practice group saying that, “Everyone has to try to get on board with that, to avoid the point of litigation. Especially here in New Jersey, we are very protective of the consumer. You have to make sure that any of this information is used in a neutral way that is not going to compromise those protections”.

Six senior appointments at Maples and Calder

Aoife McDonagh, an attorney specializing in funds and investment management, and Joe O’Neill, a finance lawyer, have joined the firm’s Irish partnership. In finance, the new attorneys are Eoin O’Leary and Alex Walsh, while in funds and investment management, the new attorneys are Jennifer Dobbyn and Richard O’Donoghuge.


Mergers & Alliances:

Slaughter and May, Clifford Chance Lead as Nationwide to Acquire Virgin Money for £2.9B

The agreement might establish “the second largest provider of mortgages and savings in the UK,” making it a relative rarity in the country’s sluggish M&A market.

Big Law Recruiting Firms Merge, Aiming to Form ‘One-Stop Shop for the Am Law 20’

To control the best lateral partner transfers in the industry, Johnson Downie and Lippman Jungers have merged.

UK arms of rival US class action firms unveil merger

The UK arms of two leading US class action law firms – Keller Postman UK and Lanier Longstaff Hedar & Roberts – have merged to form a new outfit, KP Law, which is owned by litigation funder Asertis.


Office Openings & Closing:

Perkins Coie Fourth US Firm to Shutter China Office in 8 Months

In no more than eight months, Proskauer Rose, Akin Gump and Latham have all closed offices in mainland China.

Kilpatrick Plans Move to Smaller NY Office, Embracing ‘Modern Law Firm Work Environment’

The Am Law 100 firm signed a 10-year lease for 27,667 square feet at 3 Times Square building, regarding a 38.5% decrease in space from its current office.

‘We Believe There’s a Purpose to Being in the Office’: Dechert Grows San Francisco Footprint Via Sublease

At the beginning of the month, the company moved into new space previously occupied by Slack, adding an extra 2,000 square feet.

Former Brafman & Associates Counsel Split To Launch New Firm, Agnifilo Intrater

Renowned criminal defence lawyers Marc Agnifilo, Zach Intrater, and Teny Geragos are in charge of the new company.

China’s Han Kun Eyes UK Presence Amid International Expansion

The company opened offices less than a year ago in New York and Singapore.



Struggling With Succession Planning, Midsize Law Firms Consider Compensation Strategies

Adam Smith Esq. partner Janet Stanton said, “Five years ago, if you said the phrase ‘succession planning,’ people’s hair would catch on fire”.

King & Spalding Sees PEP Spike 12% Amid ‘Solid and Even Demand’ Growth

Whilst speaking on the firm’s 5.8% revenue rise, Robert Hays said that “The reality is they worked harder. The head count didn’t grow, but the work did.”

Fish & Richardson Saw Growth in Core Practices Despite Revenue, Profit Slump

Firm president and CEO John Adkisson argued that a slow year for contingency collections contributed to the IP firm’s 2.4% decline in gross revenue.

Finnegan, Recovering From Earlier Revenue Losses, Sees 6% Top-Line Growth

Managing partner Erika Arner stated that the company has been making investments in “adjacent services” to supplement its conventional core IP offerings.

Without Contingency Fees Windfall, Crowell’s Gross Revenue Inched Up 0.9% to $595 million

There was no substantial inflow of funds from contingency receipts, and PEP dropped. According to Phil Inglima, the chair of Crowell, the company’s base business income increased by 6.8%.

Cozen O’Connor Sees Modest Growth in 2023, Owing to Diversified Revenue Stream

Firm chairman Michael Heller explained that the firm’s revenues climbed by 5.5% to hit $653 million. “We’re not looking for a business that’s up 20% in the good years and down 8% in the bad years”.

Ogletree Deakins Rebounds, Seeing Revenue and Profit Growth Amid Strong Employment Practice Demand

“The largest part” of the revenue increase could be attributed to demand remaining strong and lawyers “working harder” after its hours billed increased 6.7%. Said Firm leader Liz Washko.

Venable Sees Another Consecutive Year of Growth With Revenue Up 12% to $812 Million

For almost a decade, Venable has consistently experienced growth in its revenue.

Baker & Hostetler Reverses Profitability Declines But Compensation Pressures Mount

In 2023, revenue increased by 7.6% to surpass $971 million, while PEP increased by 3.6% to exceed $1.8 million.

Fisher Phillips Sees Litigation Demand Boost Revenue by Double Digits for Second Year

The firm, which was founded in Atlanta, increased revenue to $338.96 million in 2023–a 10.9% increase from 2022 and an 85% increase since 2016.

Revenue Was Flat at Locke Lord in 2023, But Profits Per Partner Inched Up in ‘Solid’ Year

After years of dropping lawyer counts, the Dallas-founded firm saw a small increase in the number of lawyer heads.


Technology & Innovation:

Navigating the Intricacies of Intellectual Property in Legal Tech: Lessons from Recent Cases

Maintaining a strong and continuous commitment to IP awareness and compliance is essential for the legal tech industry to maintain its current growth and innovative trajectory.

Gowling WLG Launches AI-Based Brand Protection Service

After being seconded to a customer, a Gowling associate saw how difficult and costly brand protection can be. This realization gave rise to the idea for the product, which is known as Saturn.

Inside DechertMind, a Proprietary Suite of Gen AI Tools for Law Firm Work

Legaltech News was recently provided with an inside peek at the set of in-house generative artificial intelligence capabilities that Dechert has been internally implementing since April 2023 by Thor Alden, associate director of innovation at the company.

At the Intersection of Law and Technology: Navigating Generative AI in the Legal Industry: Part 1

According to K. Lance Anderson, Benton B. Bodamer and Andrew M. Robie of Dickinson Wright.” one of the reasons GenAI is so dangerous is that the law surrounding it is only just beginning to form”.

In ‘Ultra-Dynamic’ AI Environment, More Law Firms Are Launching Devoted Teams

Norton Rose, Husch and Winston are a few of the firms that have officially launched AI groups during Q1 of 2024, with firm leaders pointing to increased client interest and a surge of AI-related cases hitting courts.

The Law Firm Disrupted: Orrick, Reed Smith and Dechert Make Time to Get Comfortable With AI

Orrick and Reed Smith have been awarding billable hours credit to associates for innovative work for the past five years, and during that time, generative AI has become increasingly popular.

How Tech Is Helping Fuel the Rise of the Mid-Market

There are several reasons why the mid-market is becoming more and more popular. However, a number of them have a technological origin, either directly or indirectly.

Former Latham Partner Launches Product Suite for Kids Safety and Compliance Technology Platform

Kieran Donovan, a former partner at Latham & Watkins, has formally introduced the initial range of solutions for his kid’s safety and compliance technology platform.


Diversity & Inclusion:

People in the News—March 6, 2024—Capehart Scatchard, Royer Cooper

With effect from February 14th, workers’ department shareholder Ana-Eliza T. Bauersachs will lead the company’s diversity and inclusion committee, according to a statement from Capehart Scatchard.

Glass Ceiling? Another Generation of Women Rises to Lead Global Law Firms in Asia

For many years, Asian women have been at the helm of some of the biggest and most powerful legal companies globally. We spoke with a few of the current generation of female leaders in the region’s law firms in honour of International Women’s Day.

Women in Big Law: Progress, Challenges and the Road Ahead

In light of former Chief Judge Judith Ann Kaye’s 1988 lecture on the subject, Sophia Cahill and Danielle Vrabie compare the current situation for female litigators in large litigation with what is still true.

‘Change is Glacial’: 4 Women on Being Leaders in the Legal Industry

Despite the fact that the average percentage of female partners increased to 36% this year from 27% in 2022, as per the 2023 Law.com gender diversity survey, the barriers facing women in the legal field, regardless of their professional stage, remain evident.

Another Bite at the Apple: Neuroinclusion as a Way to Lead the Diversity Challenge

With neurodiversity Celebration Week, which takes place March 18-24, quickly approaching, it is a great time to take stock of your current neurodiversity efforts, assess what specific actions you can take to become more inclusive, and become a change agent.


Market Commentary:

Can Paul Weiss Challenge Kirkland’s Private Capital Dominance in London?

Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison has played Kirkland & Ellis at its own game in London: actively hiring a who’s who of top partners, most of which from Kirkland, in an attempt to build out an office from the ground up.

Florida’s 3 Biggest Firms Lean Into Real Estate Hires, at Home and Beyond

So far in 2024, Akerman, Holland & Knight and Greenberg Traurig have all added to their roster’s several times. The demand for practitioners is “insatiable,” according to a local recruiter.

Global Patent Trends Report: Asia Leading the World in Patent Publication

Several intriguing currents were identified in MaxVal’s annual study on worldwide patent publication trends, which was just issued. The collected data, covering the previous five years, aids in illuminating the intricate web of technology advancements, innovation, and factors that have shaped the intellectual property landscape.

Why ‘Growth for Growth’s Sake’ May Actually Help Law Firms

Firm consultant Kristin Stark stated that “The movement over the past month has confirmed that we’re going to continue seeing some of the largest, highest-profit firms have this tremendous recruiting advantage.”

Law Firm Leaders Want Lawyers to Spend More Time in the Office, But With Less Space

According to the CRBE 2024 U.S. Law Firm Office Benchmarking Survey, 42 percent of all firms anticipate having the same number of offices after three years.

Pinsent Masons seeks ‘lasting change’ after inquest into partner’s death sparks mental health debate

The Managing partner of Pinsent Masons has vowed to pursue “positive and lasting change,” following the loss of a partner to an “acute mental health crisis” after working on a high-profile project.


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