Weekly Update – 11th of September 2023


UK & Ireland

Paul Weiss Raid on Kirkland & Ellis Continues with 4 More London Partner Hires

The firm has also brought in a private equity partner from Linklaters, as part of an aggressive hiring spree that saw the firm add Neel Sachdev and others to its London office. Paul Weiss Rifkind Wharton & Garrison is set to further bolster its private equity offering in London with the addition of four more partners from Kirkland & Ellis and a partner from Linklaters. Kirkland private equity partners Roger Johnson and Andreas Philipson, and tax partners Timothy Lowe and Cian O’Conner—both of whom were previously lawyers at Linklaters—will all join Paul Weiss alongside Linklaters partner Will Aitken-Davies, people with knowledge of the move said.


Shearman Loses 4-Partner Private Equity Team in Paris as A&O Merger Vote Looms

They will be joining Proskauer Rose in a few weeks, according to a person with knowledge of the matter. Shearman & Sterling has lost four partners from its private equity team in Paris, the latest partner departures from the firm ahead of a planned merger vote next month with Allen & Overy. Xavier Norlain, Jeremy Scemama, Maud Manon and Matthieu Lampel, all partners in corporate/private equity, are leaving after just over two years at Shearman. They arrived in 2021 from DLA Piper in Paris.

Allen & Overy Finance Partner Flies to Bird & Bird in Warsaw

Bird & Bird has also hired a Dentons partner in Madrid. An Allen & Overy partner who had been with the firm for over 25 years has left the firm to join Bird & Bird. Piotr Lesinski, a debt capital markets and finance regulatory partner based in Warsaw, had been with A&O since 1998. He became an A&O partner in 2010, according to a person with knowledge of the hire.

Webber Wentzel Lures Forensics Team From PwC

The new team hire will bolster Webber Wentzel’s disputes practice as it navigates the legal landscape of the complex area of business crime. Webber Wentzel has hired a four-person team of business crime specialists from PwC. Lionel Van Tonder is joining the South Africa-based law firm as a partner in its disputes practice, effective 1 September having retired from PwC where he was a director in June this year.

Garrigues Hires Partner to Lead Criminal Law Practice in Lisbon

The firm is currently focused on recruitment in order to build a team under João Lima Cluny’s leadership, a spokesperson told Law.com International.

White & Case Launches Spain Antitrust Practice With 2 Hires

José Antonio de la Calle and Sanna Orkan previously made up a purely antitrust legal boutique, which has now been fully integrated into White & Case’s Madrid office.


Litigation Boutique Grows China Practice With Partner Hire from Loeb & Loeb

Benjamin Qiu, who has deep experience with cross-border transactions involving firms in China, joins the firm as increased regulations on both side of the Pacific are pushing international firms scrutinize their business operations in the region.

Herbert Smith Expands Asia Private Capital Team With Hire From White & Case in Singapore

White & Case has lost several partners and local partners to firms in Asia over the last year. Herbert Smith Freehills has expanded its Asia private capital team in Singapore with the hire of Peiwen Chen, who was most recently a local partner at White & Case in the Southeast Asian city-state. She joins the firm as a partner. Chen’s hire takes place as Sydney-based M&A partner Malika Chandrasegaran relocates to Singapore. Chen and Chandrasegaran are expected to help respond to growing client demand for private capital advice in their specialty areas of energy transition and technology, respectively, according to a statement.

Clifford Chance Poaches HSF Real Estate Partner for Sydney Office

Clifford Chance has poached Herbert Smith Freehills real estate and infrastructure partner Philip Podzebenko to join its Sydney office. Clifford Chance said Podzebenko will add senior capabilities in real estate and infrastructure investments, deepen relationships with private capital investors and strengthen the firm’s offerings in private equity, energy transition and infrastructure.

RPC Adds Contentious Practice Partner to Hong Kong

Reynolds Porter Chamberlain has hired a new partner for its Hong Kong office. Joining RPC is dispute resolution partner Ivan Chang, who was previously a partner in the now-defunct Hong Kong office of Addleshaw Goddard.

Jones Day Boosts Asia Pacific Energy Practice with Ashurst, Akin Gump Hires

Simon Brown joins in Brisbane and Paul Greening joins Singapore office.

White & Case Lands Restructuring Partner from Ashurst Hong Kong

Sophie Lyall has more than 15 years of experience, specializing in all aspects of front-end restructuring and insolvency matters across industries.

China’s Haiwen Makes Duo Partner Hire From Mayer Brown

Haiwen’s duo-partner hire from Mayer Brown comes three months after the Beijing firm added three new partners from Herbert Smith Freehills to its Greater China capital markets practice. Beijing-based Haiwen & Partners has hired banking and projects lawyers Hallam Chow and Boya Shen from Mayer Brown, who will both be dually-based in Haiwen’s Beijing and Hong Kong offices.

K&L Gates Hires Tech Partner from Seyfarth Shaw Hong Kong

Paul Haswell becomes the 19th partner at K&L Gates Hong Kong. K&L Gates has added a new partner in Hong Kong. Technology lawyer Paul Haswell has joined the Pittsburgh-headquartered firm from Seyfarth Shaw, where he was the head of the firm’s regional technology practice.

Appleby Adds First Shanghai Partner Almost a Decade After Office Launch

Appleby became the first offshore law firm licensed to provide offshore legal advice in mainland China in 2014. Hannah Yao is the firm’s first ever partner hire to be based full time in Shanghai, where it has had a presence since 2012. Admitted in the U.S. and in China, Yao was a counsel at Beijing firm Fangda Partner and formerly a lawyer at King & Wood Mallesons.

Litigation Boutique Co-founded by Ousted Hong Kong Legislator Dennis Kwok Grows China Practice With Partner Hire from Loeb & Loeb

Benjamin Qui, who has deep experience with cross-border transactions involving firms in China, joins the firm as increased regulations on both side of the Pacific are pushing international firms scrutinize their business operations in the region.

The Americas

Jackson Walker Adds 2 Winston Trial Lawyers in Houston

Hugh Tanner, who was chair of Winston & Strawn’s oil and gas litigation practice and a member of the executive committee, joined Jackson Walker along with James “Jim” Nye.

Kennedys Hires in General Counsel as a Partner in Chile

The UK Top 50 firm has six offices in Latin America, as well as a regional hub in Miami that serves the region and associations in other countries. Rodrigo Hayvard was general counsel and chief compliance officer at FID Seguros, a general insurance company, before returning to Kennedys, where earlier in his career he was a senior associate.

Canada’s Fasken Grows Emerging Tech Practice With Hire From Blakes

Marc Shewchun is the Canadian firm’s third significant hire in just over a week.

Paul Weiss Securities Attorney Heads to Schulte

Schulte Roth & Zabel has added Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison counsel David Curtiss as a partner in its M&A, acquisitions and securities group in New York, the firm said Wednesday. Curtiss had been at Paul Weiss the previous three years.

White & Case Takes Veteran IP Tech Partner From Orrick

Jordan Coyle, a longtime intellectual property and technology litigation partner with Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe, has joined White & Case as a partner in its IP practice and technology industry group in Washington, D.C.

Toronto’s Fasken Grows Emerging Tech Practice With Hire From Blakes

Marc Shewchun is the Canadian firm’s third significant hire in just over a week. Fasken Martineau DuMoulin has snapped up leading technology lawyer Marc Shewchun from Blake, Cassels & Graydon, where he launched Nitro, a legal services program that provides cost-effective legal services tailored to the needs of emerging technology companies.

Schnader Attorneys Scatter in Wake of Firm Dissolution

Ten lawyers have landed as shareholders at Segal McCambridge. Additionally, the firm’s Pittsburgh-based higher education chair joined Ogletree Deakins, while several New York partners have moved to Pryor Cashman and Gordon Rees.

Boies Schiller Hires Partner From Kobre & Kim to Handle Government Investigations

“Federal authorities in Miami have become increasingly more aggressive in pursuing cross-border and international cases,” said Martin De Luca, an incoming Boies Schiller white collar-focused partner.

Lowenstein Brings on Hedge Fund GC, Expects More High-Level Laterals

Am Law 100 firm Lowenstein Sandler is set to bring on Glenview Capital Management general counsel and chief compliance officer Jonathan Danziger, effective Sept. 18, with investment management group chair Robert Minion teasing more high-profile laterals to come later in the month. Jonathan Danziger spent the last 12 years at Glenview Capital Management, where he served as general counsel and chief compliance officer.

Judge Timothy K. Lewis Joins Blank Rome Following Schnader Dissolution

Lewis joins former federal Judges Stephen Orlofsky, from the District of New Jersey, and James Giles and Edward Cahn, from the Eastern District of Pennsylvania, at the Am Law 100 firm.

Arnold & Porter Lures 6-Lawyer Trial Team From Shook Hardy

The group has represented clients in the medical device, tobacco and pharmaceutical industries, among others, in pretrial litigation and as trial and appellate counsel. Arnold & Porter Kaye Scholer has brought on a six-lawyer trial team in its product liability litigation practice from Shook, Hardy & Bacon, as demand for litigation matters continues to soar across Big Law. Frank Cruz-Alvarez, Brian Jackson, Christopher Nease, David Thorne and Michael Walden joined the firm as partners and Rachel Forman joined as of counsel, the firm said Thursday.

Big Law Turns to Federal Government for Litigation and Regulatory Hires

Steptoe has hired former DOJ national security official Andrew Adams in its investigations practice, while Foley Hoag brought on former Biden administration official Beth Neitzel to its litigation team.

Offit Kurman Latest Firm to Add Schnader Talent

The firm is adding five principals and two associates split between Philadelphia, New York and Bethesda, Maryland. Joining Offit are principals Brad Jacobs, Ronald Karam, W. Drew Kastner, Stephenie Yeung and Deborah Rouse, alongside associates Andrew Chou and Niamh Drury.


Moody’s Hands Legal Reins to 17-Year Company Veteran

The ratings agency opted for an insider to fill its first opening for the GC role since 2000. Moody’s Corp.’s Richard Steele is taking the legal reins from longtime general counsel John Goggins. Steele will serve as senior vice president and general counsel. He will oversee Moody’s global legal and compliance functions and has joined the company’s executive leadership team.

Former PayPal Legal Chief Lands at Disney After 2 Years of Renewal

Louise Pentland made a surprise exit from the fintech star at the height of the Great Resignation, saying, “None of us are maximizing our potential if we continue in the same role forever.”

Star Startup Fetch Adds GC Amid Executive Hiring Spree

Madison, Wisconsin-based Fetch, a retail rewards app and customer-engagement platform with a $2.5 billion valuation, has hired the former general counsel of pet telehealth startup Fuzzy to head its legal department as it looks to move beyond rewards to become a shopping-data juggernaut. David Toomey departed Fuzzy after it abruptly shut down in June after seven years in business and $80 million in fundraising.

Ex-J. Crew GC Who’s in Court Fight Over Firing Lands Legal Chief Role in Academia

Maria Di Lorenzo alleged the retailer failed to accommodate her hearing disability as required by law and dismissed her instead. She had been out of work since late 2021.

Promotions & Appointments:

Reed Smith Gains CFO With Big Four and Staffing Solutions Background

James Metzger joins Reed Smith at a time when law firms seek to optimize their operational efficiency and closely track profitability and other business performance metrics.

AIG Lauds GC Lucy Fato for ‘Pivotal Role’ in Rebound, Hands Her Promotion

Fato is shifting from roles with a litany of specific duties to one with the general mission of helping “support AIG’s journey to become a top performing global insurer.” American International Group has elevated Lucy Fato, already one of the most powerful executives at the insurance giant, to vice chair, a newly created role.

Amid Rapid Growth in Region, Baker Donelson Names New Nashville Office Leader

  1. Allen Roberts acknowledged that competition in the health care law field is strong but said Baker Donelson is in a good position to take advantage of Nashville’s economic growth.

Looking to Enter Philadelphia, Montco Law Firm Selects New Managing Partner

“We began transitioning our clients from more senior partners to junior partners and began with certain practice areas,” new managing partner William Roark said of Hamburg Rubin Mullin Maxwell & Lupin’s succession planning. “The analysis then turned inward, and we realized we should probably have a transition put into place as well.”

Baker McKenzie Promotes Houston-Based DEI Exec to Global Role

Marredia Crawford, now Chief Inclusion, Diversity & Equity Officer at global firm Baker McKenzie, said her focus is continuing to move forward with inclusion at the firm.

Norton Rose Fulbright CEO Retires Early, Leaving US and EMEA Managing Partners to Chair Executive Committee

The law firm did not state the reason for global CEO Gerry Pecht’s early departure.

Mergers & Alliances:

With Latest Merger, Spencer Fane Lands in Both Northern and Southern California

While billing rate increases were among clients’ top concerns about a potential merger, Pahl & McCay told clients their hourly rates wouldn’t go up, the firm leader said.

Macau Law Firms MdME, DSL to Merge

The combined firm will offer legal services out of its Macau, Hong Kong and Lisbon offices from October 1.

Reelected Hogan Lovells CEO Says Merger Still a Possibility, Highlights Other Paths to Growth

“I don’t want to talk to firms that have huge pension commitments or revenue drops because of partner departures or that are suffering in branding recognition. We would like to be opportunistic and associate ourselves with winners,” said Miguel Zaldivar.

Canadian Legal Tech Companies CiteRight and Jurisage to Merge

The merger of the two companies will create a comprehensive, integrated legal research and drafting solution that is available in Canada and will soon also be available in the U.S.

Nishimura & Asahi Strikes Alliance with Philippine Firm

The Japanese firm has already allied with local law firms in Indonesia, Thailand and Malaysia.

Office Openings & Closing:

Greenberg Traurig Renews Office Lease in Miami, Leaving Footprint Intact

The deal, for over 128,000 square feet, marks the largest office lease in the Miami market in the past five years, according to broker Cushman & Wakefield.

Greenberg Traurig Gets UAE Law License as Big Law Continues Middle East Expansion

This summer saw Am Law 100 firms gaining law licenses, opening offices and making partnerships in the UAE and Saudi Arabia.

Allen Matkins Launches in New York With 2 McDermott Partners: Marshall Brozost and Aly Shivji

California law firm Allen Matkins has added boots on the ground in New York, which will help it expand relationships with East Coast and international clients in the real estate industry.

Goodwin Secures New Phila. Lease, Marking Its Permanent Entry Into the City

The firm is moving into 31,500 square feet of space at Schuylkill Yards, close to 30th St. Station and a number of life sciences clients in University City.

Pérez-Llorca Continues International Push With Lisbon Launch

When the opening takes place in 2024, three of the Spanish firm’s five international offices will have been opened in just a three-year period.


Facing Falling Profits, Cahill Seeks to Adjust Amid Drop in Leveraged Finance Market

This slowdown “is the longest since leveraged finance has been around,” said Cahill executive committee co-chair William Hartnett.

Nishimura & Asahi Changes Ownership Structure, Foreign Lawyers to Own Equity

Nishimura’s New York and Germany-admitted international dispute resolution partner Lars Markert has since been promoted into the firm’s equity partnership.

Gateley After-Tax Profits Take 47% Hit After Recent Acquisitions

Staff bonus payments will not be paid out this year, with the firm citing ‘the challenging economic back drop’. Listed U.K. law firm Gateley has announced reported group profits after tax of £12.2 million—representing a 47% drop on last year’s figure. While underlying operating profit climbed by 11% to £25 million, the firm said that discretionary staff bonus payments would not be paid out this year, “due to the challenging economic back drop”.

Technology & Innovation:

5 Lessons Legal Tech and Legal Departments Should Learn From Growing Generative AI Lawsuits

While the generative artificial intelligence lawsuits are ongoing, experts are already pointing to key ways legal technology providers and in-house teams can avoid risk.

The Constitution Has Entered the ‘Chat’: AI Violates the Right to Effective Assistance of Counsel

This column addresses how using artificial intelligence in the criminal justice system may be unfairly prejudicial to defendants and violates their constitutional right to effective assistance of counsel.

Microsoft Says It Will Pay Tab for Infringement Suits Against Its AI Customers

The tech giant says it doesn’t want uncertainties surrounding patent infringement law for generative AI to scare away customers from its Copilot tool.

Tracking Generative AI: How Evolving AI Models Are Impacting Legal

A running compilation of how the legal landscape continues to be shaped by generative AI tools, from GPT technologies to art generation tools and beyond.

Innovation Concerns Grow Over EU AI Regulation

“From the perspective of AI companies, people want clarity around which applications are prohibited, and what the obligations are associated with each category,” said Shannon Yavorsky, an Orrick Herrington & Sutcliffe partner.

Diversity & Inclusion:

Female GCs Who Break Into Fortune 1000 Earn Big Bucks, But Men Hold Most of the Jobs

“We still have gender pay gaps in many companies, so let’s keep making progress,” said Melba Hughes of the recruiting firm Major, Lindsey & Africa. Female general counsel at Fortune 1000 companies received slightly higher total compensation than their male counterparts last year, but they continued to be drastically outnumbered.

GCs Collaborate with Skadden and Others to Ramp Up Corporate LGBTQ+ Inclusivity

The campaign, which involves top lawyers from Rolls Royce, BP and others, comes just months after Law.com revealed stagnant LGBT representation in the legal industry.

Market Commentary:

Challenges to Corporate Decision-Making in the Face of Increasingly Polarized Responses to ESG Initiatives

A wave of “conservative” political lawsuits and advocacy campaigns seeking to advance “anti-ESG” or “anti-woke” themes have resulted in certain companies de-emphasizing disclosure of their ESG initiatives, according to Simpson Thacher & Bartlett’s Stephen Blake and Sareen Armani.

Flexibility Is a Talent Attractor, But It Comes With Its Own Challenges

For all the draws of flexible work, some firms still face challenges around compensation, expectations and cultural alignment that may stand in the way of using it as a strategy to attract talent.

CMS Launches UK Redundancy Process Among Corporate Associates

It comes after the firm revealed a slowdown in global revenue growth earlier this summer. CMS is conducting a review ahead of a redundancy process targeted at its associate ranks, according to a person with knowledge of the matter. The review will centre on the firm’s U.K. corporate practice, the person added.

GCs, Outside Counsel Share Responsibility for Eliminating Artificial Emergencies

Highly paid lawyers know they signed up for responsiveness, but rising rates and modern connectivity are enabling some clients to expect instant responses on nights and weekends.

‘The Market Is Virtually Dead’: International Law Firms Are Struggling to Hire in China

International firms are struggling to hire and domestic Chinese firms are growing at a much slower pace than just two years ago. With continued volatility in China, law firms aren’t sure how to plan their growth and lawyers looking at the lateral market are wondering where they should go.

Can Continuation Funds Be a Lifeline for Private Equity?

In this article, Sonia Bhasin discusses the use of continuation funds as a solution for private equity funds that are nearing or past their expiration date and have unrealized assets in their portfolio.

Australian Government Plans to Consider Law Firms’ Pro Bono Efforts When Allocating Work

The Australian government wants law firms to log at least 35 hours per lawyer per year of pro bono work. The Australian government is planning to take account of how much pro bono work a law firm does when allocating work to firms. It will also publish a list of law firms on government procurement panels that do not meet its target of 35 pro bono hours per year per lawyer, according to an open letter by Attorney General Mark Dreyfus, a member of Australia’s Labor Government.

Will Cahill’s Brand Save It From the Modern Big Law Environment?

The firm is smaller in partnership than most of its peers and lacks extensive practice diversification. “Is there a place for a 400-person firm in Big Law?” said an Am Law 50 chair.

All This Growth: What Is it For?

Law firms are obsessed with growth. More are merging, launching new offices, teaming up through associations, and even changing their structure so they can compete globally. But is their focus on expansion and revenue growth the way to go? Might it be short-sighted?

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