Weekly Update – 12th of February 2024


UK & Ireland

Paul Weiss Continues Rapid London Growth With Another Partner

After being a partner at Ropes & Gray for two years, Annie Herdman is set to join Paul Weiss’ antitrust practice.

Proskauer Lures Sidley’s Investment Funds Head in London

Leading international law firm Proskauer is delighted to welcome James Oussedik to their Private Investment Funds Group in London, James will be arriving as a partner.

Simpson Thacher raids Skadden for London disputes partner

David Edwards is set to co-lead the firm’s European disputes practice alongside Tyler Robinson.

Former Director of Public Prosecutions Sir Max Hill KC joins King & Spalding in London

The former Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) of England and Wales, Sir Max Hill KC, has joined top 20 US law firm King & Spalding’s London office as a counsel.



Gibson Dunn Hires From Weil Gotshal in Germany

Gibson Dunn is expecting the arrival of Benjamin Rapp in the next few months; however the precise date of arrival is yet to be confirmed.

Norton Rose Fulbright Taps K&L Gates for Antitrust Team in Germany

Jens Steger joined the firm’s Frankfurt office at the start of February as a partner, making the transition from K&L Gates, where he served as a partner since 2021.

Compliance Head at France-Based Luxury Group Kering Leaves For Hughes Hubbard

Gaëlle Thuault has worked worked in-house at energy giant Total and at the European Union Court of Justice. He has also worked at Cleary Gottlieb and Skadden Arps.

White & Case Bolsters Antitrust Practice With Germany Veteran

The appointment of a veteran Düsseldorf-based partner from Gleiss Lutz Hootz Hirsch has helped White & Case to expand its antitrust practice in Germany.

Dentons Welcomes New Partners to Abu Dhabi Corporate Team

Global law firm, Dentons has expanded its corporate practice in Abu Dhabi by welcoming two new partners, Stephen McKenna and Ross Barfoot formerly of Clyde & Co. Both partners officially joined the firm on February 5th. This deliberate move reinforces Dentons’ commitment to meeting the diverse corporate legal needs of the Middle East region.



Watson Farley Hires Energy Expert, Leaving McDermott With Only 1 Partner in Singapore

With the hiring of Merrick White, a new partner at Watson Farley & Williams, McDermott Will & Emery’s Singapore office now has just one partner remaining in its city-state outfit.

Cuatrecasas Hires Barclays Bank’s Mexico Legal Director

Mariana Campos carries with her a wealth of experience in private banking, capital markets and other financial matters, having also worked at the Mexican stock exchange BIVA and JPMorgan.

Stephenson Harwood Adds Yet Another Hong Kong Corporate Partner

Amy Yu, a mergers and acquisitions and equity capital markets lawyer, has spent almost nine years practicing at Eversheds Sutherland, where she made partner in 2018.

Asia Moves: Japanese Boutique Adds Baker McKenzie Veteran, Korea’s Yulchon Appoints Former Prosecutor, Australian Practices Bolster With Trio

Jean-Denis Marx, who is a Baker McKenzie veteran partner, has joined the boutique Japanese firm Tokyo International Law Office.


The Americas

People in the News—Feb. 5, 2024—Willig Williams, Dailey

Willig, Williams & Davidson  a known Labor, employment, workers’ compensation and family law firm has announced that attorney Samuel H. Datlof has joined the firm’s labor law practice group.

Orrick Hires Greenberg Traurig Energy Renewables Shareholder in Chicago

Alejandra Garcia Earley, a shareholder at Greenberg Traurig with expertise in project finance and energy tax equity financings, has become a partner at Orrick Herrington & Sutcliffe’s Chicago energy and infrastructure group.

Clifford Chance Lures 2 Partners From Kirkland & Ellis

Ty’Meka M. Reeves-Sobers and Marcia Hook, partners from Kirkland & Ellis, have joined Clifford Chance as the company continues to grow its energy and infrastructure expertise in the United States. They will be based in the firm’s Houston and Washington, D.C., offices, respectively.

Freshfields Hires Global Chief Innovation Officer From Deutsche Bank

Gil Perez, who will work with clients as well as internally throughout the company, will bring more than 25 years of innovative expertise to the position.

Former GC and CEO of Merck Joins Harvard Governing Board, Jumping Into Fray

Kenneth Frazier, a former general counsel at Merck and CEO from 2011 to 2021, will take over a board position while the company works to repair its damaged reputation.

Dechert Partner Who Repped J&J, 3M and BP in High-Profile Trials Moves to Paul Weiss

After working for Dechert for over four years, partner Kimberly Branscome joined Paul Weiss’s Los Angeles office on Saturday, leading the latter company to name new practice heads.

Federal Prosecutor in Georgia Joins Baker Hostetler as It Builds ‘Elite White-Collar Team’

After more than 12 years of service, Jennifer “Jenna” Solari has joined the Southern District of Georgia U.S. Attorney’s Office.

Bracewell Adds High-Profile Federal Judge as a Partner in New York

Judge Roslynn Mauskopf, who left the court at the end of January, became a partner in the government enforcement and investigations practice of Am Law 200 firm Bracewell in New York.

Alston & Bird Partner Heads to Lowenstein as New Data Privacy Chair

Amy Mushahwar has worked at Holland & Knight, Reed Smith, Ballard Spahr and Davis Wright Tremaine.

Calling the Move ‘Irresistible,’ Orrick Trial Partner Jumps to Steptoe

Claudia Wilson Frost, Who was a litigation partner  at Orrick Herrington & Sutcliffe, said she joined Steptoe’s new Houston office partly because of the large group of trial lawyers there.

McDermott Lands Sports and Entertainment Partner From Venable for Transactions Group

Alexei Cowett had worked at Venable since 2015 and during this time has advised on more than $60 billion in closed transactions across various media.

People in the News—Feb. 7, 2024—Eckert Seamans, Barley Snyder

Laura DelFratte has become a special counsel in the tax, estates, and employee benefits practice of the national legal firm Eckert Seamans Cherin & Mellott, based in Pittsburgh.

Paul Hastings, Further Building Finance Team, Hires Shearman Partner

Paul Hastings, which has been hiring laterals until 2024, has added finance partner Stephen Gruendel from Shearman & Sterling in New York.

People in the News—Feb. 8, 2024—Tucker Arensberg, Blank Rome

Shariane Taylor has joined the business and finance department of Tucker Arensberg as a shareholder attorney.

Head of Mayer Brown’s US Upstream Energy Practice Moves to Hunton Andrews in Houston

Carl von Merz, who became a partner at Hunton Andrews Kurth on Tuesday, will lead the company’s oil and gas practice in the United States.

Baker Botts Adds Orrick Patent Litigators in Texas, California

Robert Benson and Jeffrey Johnson, patent litigators at Orrick Herrington & Sutcliffe with a concentration on Taiwan and China, have joined Baker Botts as partners in the intellectual property department.

Attorneys ‘On the Move’: Hinshaw Adds Financial Services Litigator; SEC Enforcement Attorney Joins Davis Wright

Johanna Schmitt, a partner at Norton Rose Fulbright, specializes in intellectual property. She joins from Kirkland & Ellis.

On the Move and After Hours: Stevens & Lee; Schenck Price; Einhorn Barbarito; Trenk Isabel; Rawle & Henderson; Lowenstein Sandler; Capehart Scatchard

A new chair for white collar criminal defense is named by Lowenstein Sandler, Stevens & Lee welcomes a litigation and finance specialist, and there are other changes.

Litigation Boutique Rebrands as Name Partner Joins SDNY Leadership Team

Three former SDNY prosecutors created the company that is now known as Krieger Lewin in 2017, and former AUSA Dan Noble is now joining its ranks.

On the Move: Maynard Nexsen Looks to Rebuild Cybersecurity Team; Taylor English Adds Tax Partner

According to news reported on Wednesday, E. Miller Williams Jr. has moved to Taylor English Duma LLP as a partner in the corporate department in Atlanta.

Midsize Moves: Balch & Bingham Hires Adam and Reese Partner, Constangy Adds CDF Labor Law Partner

Phil Buffington has joined Balch & Bingham as a partner in the banking and financial services group. Meanwhile, Constangy, Brooks, Smith & Prophete has announced the addition of Thomas Song as a partner in the firm’s Orange County, California, office.



7th-Largest US Foundation Taps Ballard Spahr Partner as GC

Kathryn Krecke is being succeeded by Kahlil Williams as legal chief of the W.K. Kellogg Foundation, which has assets of $8.8 billion and focuses on improving the health and well-being of children.

Shein Loses U.S. General Counsel as It Fights Flurry of Litigation, Preps for IPO

Valerie Ho helped Mold the fast-fashion giant’s global legal and compliance structure and was aiding if their efforts to fend off questions about its IP and labour practices as it preps for an IPO.

Top Coal Producer Hires General Counsel Who Previously Was Congressman, West Virginia Supreme Court Justice

One of North America’s largest coal producers, Ramaco Resources, has hired West Virginian Evan Jenkins. Evan is a Republican who served in the U.S. House from 2015 to 2018, as general counsel.

Legal Chief Steps Up to Lead Forward Air After Disastrous Acquisition, Ouster of CEO

Interim CEO Michael Hance has been reported as saying. “Forward has been my professional home for the last 18 years, and I am honoured to serve in this important role,”.

Las Vegas Sphere-owner appoints legal chief from dating app Bumble

Laura Franco has been appointed general counsel for both US entertainment and venue firms Madison Square Garden Entertainment (MSGE) and Sphere Entertainment. Jamal Haughton departed the position in November, and Franco takes over as general counsel for both organizations.



Lathrop GPM Expands in Dallas With Ferguson Braswell IP Team

Lathrop GPM expanded its intellectual property team in Dallas with the hiring of four Ferguson Braswell Fraser Kubasta lawyers, filling a strategic priority in the important Texas market.

Fried Frank Hires Goodwin PE Trio in London

Michelle Tong, Christian Iwasko and Priya Rupal have all joined the firm’s private equity practice.

Polsinelli secures 10-strong Maynard Nexsen cybersecurity team

Am Law 100 firm Polsinelli is developing its cybersecurity and data privacy team with the hire of a nine-lawyer group, including four former practice leaders, from Maynard Nexsen.

Arnold & Porter adds six partner team across US from BCLP

The multi-practice team is led by partners Donal O’Brien, Eric Prezant, and Randy Miller. Prezant and O’Brien will join the 1,000-lawyer firm in Chicago alongside partners Karl Marschel and Brandon Neuschafer and counsel Monica Carroll, while Miller joins in Denver and the final partner, James Attonito, joins in New York.


Promotions & Appointments:

People in the News—Feb. 6, 2024—Lamb McErlane, Meyer Unkovic, Sweeney & Sheehan

Sonal Parekh, Lamb McErlane attorney, has been appointed the vice president of law student outreach for the South Asian Bar Association—Philadelphia Chapter (SABA-Philly) for the 2024 term.

Morris James Attorney Appointed to US Bankruptcy Court Local Rules Committee

Morris James announced that Eric Monzo has been appointed to the local rules committee for the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the District of Delaware, this appointment will be effective from Feb. 1.

Long Island Midmarket Firm Announces New Managing Partner, Leadership Structure

Moritt Hock & Hamroff’s managing partner Marc Hamroff is handing off the reins to Michael Cardello III and assuming a newly established role of chairmanship as the firm gets ready to make place for a new generation of lawyers in leadership roles.

People in the News—Feb. 9, 2024—Post & Schell, Cipriani & Werner, Knox McLaughlin

Post & Schell recently announced that the firm’s principals have elected Mason Avrigian Jr as a member of the firm’s board of directors. Mason has been principal and co-chair of the firm’s construction practice group.

Gateley appoints consultant to grow international arbitration practice in Africa

Perenami Momodu, who was previously a partner at a leading West African law firm, joins Gateley to lead our African practice and support the continued expansion of our multi-jurisdictional strategic international disputes services, particularly across oil and gas, infrastructure, technology, fintech, construction, investments, and renewable energy.


Mergers & Alliances:

New England’s Hinckley Allen Expands Southward, Opening 7th Office in Fort Lauderdale

New England-brd Hinckley, Allen & Snyder is absorbing Fort Lauderdale-anchored, construction-focused law firm Ferencik Libanoff Brandt Bustamante & Goldstein, this will provide the Am Law 200 firm with its first office south of New York.

A&O Shearman Merger: Addressing Insiders’ Concerns and Navigating Initial Hurdles

Following the announcement of A&O Shearman’s approaching merger, internal discussions have started occurring to addressing concerns about the operational logistics in the US. This major alliance has led to discussions among insiders about potential initial obstacles that the firm may confront.


Office Openings & Closing:

Phila.-undefinedd Weber Gallagher Opens Florida Outpost With Fowler White Partner

With the opening of a new office in Coral Gables, Florida, Weber Gallagher Simpson Stapleton Fires & Newby has increased its geographic reach to eleven locations as rate pressures lead to consolidation in the insurance defense market.

New Fort Worth Trial Firm Adds Offices in Dallas, West Texas

Vartabedian Hester & Haynes, launched on Jan. 29 with 10 former Alston & Bird lawyers, opened an office in Dallas with two Holland & Knight litigators.

Willkie Transfers Frankfurt Lawyers to Open Office in Munich

About a quarter of the attorneys of Willkie Farr & Gallagher will be moving from Frankfurt to Munich to open the office.

Clyde & Co Moves Middle East Regional HQ to Saudi Arabia

International law firms have long regarded Dubai as their de facto Middle East headquarters, however two of the region’s four largest law firms are now headquartered in Riyadh.



A Steady Litigation Year Helped Drive Big Law Revenue Gains

The latest annual numbers from Wells Fargo’s Legal Specialty Group, a survey drawing on financial data from more than 130 law firms, reported that revenues grew year-over-year by 6%, with some momentum coming into 2024 thanks to strength in countercycle practices and rate increases.

Midsize Firms Use Bonuses, Culture to Compete for Talent After High Payouts for Associates

If midsize firms can’t match the top of the market in associate compensation, they should touch other perks to potential recruits, said recruiter Steve Stone. For some, non-financial benefits include work-life balance and earlier access to client contact.

Arnold & Porter Sees Revenue and Profits Jump, With PEP Rising 15% to $1.6M

With regard to their financial performance last year Arnold & Porter Kaye Scholer hit a new firm record, growing gross revenue by 9.7% to $1.139 billion in 2023, while its profits per equity partner rose nearly 15% to $1.610 million after falling to $1.403 million in 2022.

Billing Rate Increases and Demand Growth Push DC Firms to Strong Financial Year

“D.C. was our best-performing region,” stated Owen Burman, of Wells Fargo Legal Specialty Group. “The regulatory side was on fire for so many firms.”

Atlanta Law Firms See Faster Profit Growth, Despite Slowdowns in Revenue

Atlanta-brd firms grew revenue on average by 4.4% last year, this is according to data from Wells Fargo Private Bank Legal Specialty Group,

Kilpatrick, ‘Getting Deeper and Broader’ With Largest Clients, Sees 13% Profit Growth

The Atlanta firm decreased its equity partner tier by 7.6% to 106 partners, meanwhile its nonequity partner ranks expanded by 6% to 146.

Asia Deal Digest: UK Firms Leading on Capital Market, Financing and Funds Deals

Clifford Chance, Linklaters, Allen & Overy, MoFo and Dechert lead on the market’s deals.

Mason Hayes & Curran grows revenue 7% to €114m

Turnover at Mason Hayes & Curran (MHC) has surpassed €100m for the second consecutive year after the Dublin firm grew revenue 7% in 2023 to reach €114m.


Technology & Innovation:

Pennsylvania’s Am Law 100 Firms Are Diving Into Gen AI

Ten firms with roots in the commonwealth that discussed their AI use with Law.com. Most of them indicated that most of their use cases for the new technology were internal rather than client-facing.

Legal Tech Startup Darrow Launches PlaintiffLink, AI-Powered Plaintiff-Finding Service

Darrow’s AI-powered PlaintiffLink aims to connect law firms with high-qualified plaintiffs for their cases. Though it has been offered in beta to a select group of firms in the past, the offering is now available to all customers.

African Legal Tech Network SALT Launches Online Courses to Fill ‘Modern’ Gaps in Legal Education

The South African Legal Technology network has launched its SALTed division to improve legal education to make it more inclusive and representative of the diverse African demographic.

A Letter to the Legal Client About Lawyers’ Use of AI

The article is an assurance to the client that attorneys have regulation when it comes to their use of technology, in general and AI in particular.

Can Big Law Extract the Maximum Value of AI?

Legal departments of major corporations along with the industry’s most elite firms are actively using generative AI, and the belief that any organization would wait on identifying and testing use cases is seen as a significant competitive risk.

Gen AI Providers Offer IP Indemnity. Here’s Why It’s Not Foolproof

Large cloud and AI providers including Amazon, Google and Microsoft, among others, say they’ll take on the legal risk of a copyright claim arising from the use of their offered LLMs. But there are significant limitations to these protections.


Diversity & Inclusion:

As Black Women Still Face Hurdles in the Legal World, Mentorship Remains Critical to Success

Two Holland & Knight attorneys and a Hialeah assistant city attorney emphasise the relationships that have assisted them in thriving in a profession in which women continue to be underrepresented.

Mid-Market Roundup: Women Lead in Connecticut Legal Scene, Defense Firm Sees High Verdicts as Opportunity

idsized firms are in the headlines for a variety of reasons, including the dominance of women CEOs in Northeastern legal firms, an insurance defense firm that bases its business model on nuclear verdicts, and an Am legal Second Hundred firm that pays bonuses that are higher than those offered by top firms.

Ashley Picker Dubin on Becoming Day Pitney’s First Woman Discovery Counsel

According to Dubin, a leader in a discovery practice will have particular difficulties this year, such as developing AI strategy and managing the plethora of new data kinds that developing technologies like generative AI are increasingly producing.

Diversity Twice as Important to Associates than Partners, Survey Finds

One associate has been reported as saying that ‘There is a growing cultural divide with boomer partners failing to… meaningfully advance DEI issues beyond empty statements on the website,’.


Market Commentary:

How to Show the Real Value of Your Litigation Team

This article discusses about how one of the most difficult aspects of working in-house as litigation counsel is demonstrating value to the company. That means establishing that you are more than a “cost center”.

Study: Civil Legal Services Lawyers Make as Much as 45% Less Than Public-Sector Counterparts

The decades-old IOLA fund pays for low-income state residents’ civil legal services, and the coalition said the account is a critical source of infrastructure that will be used to increase salaries. But Gov. Kathy Hochul’s proposal could curtail that plan, they said.

Law Firms’ Debt Secret

Using debt to fund expansion and investments seems sensible, but it also points to a possible lack of financial planning, writes the Global Lawyer.

Compensation, Work-Life Balance Among Top Drivers of Associate Satisfaction

Money continues to be the primary motivation for law firm associates, this is followed closely by work-life balance, career opportunities and office attendance policies.

‘There is Concern’: A&O Shearman Insiders on Initial Hurdles Facing Firm

Questions are being asked internally about how the imminent tie-up will work in the US, the timing of merger architect Wim Dejonghe’s departure, and the integration of certain offices.

Investors Want Companies to Prioritize Climate Change Over AI

According to a new survey by the EY Center for Board Matters,  as business leaders zero in on the risks and opportunities of artificial intelligence, investors remain focused on conventional priorities, such as climate change. And they want the companies they invest in on the same page.

White Box vs. Black Box Compensation Systems

A remuneration scheme that makes partner expectations explicit and gives partners a way to confirm the results by reporting them back to them fosters collegiality more than an opaque scheme that, by its very nature, encourages mistrust and animosity amongst partners.

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