Weekly Update – 13th of February 2023


UK & Ireland

Star signing: Former BLP chief switches to Mishcon

The former leader of Berwin Leighton Paisner (BLP) has joined Mishcon de Reya, where he will be an adviser.

Silk joins bench after two decades at Keating Chambers

Keating Chambers silk Adam Constable KC is soon to be elevated to the bench as a judge at the Technology and Construction Court (TCC), The Lawyer understands.

Dickson Minto partner leaves firm ahead of Milbank deal

Fried Frank Harris Shriver & Jacobson has hired a partner from Dickson Minto ahead of the latter’s merger with Milbank.

Stephenson Harwood makes double partner hire in London to boost tech disputes coverage

Stephenson Harwood has hired two dispute resolution partners from Hausfeld and Herbert Smith Freehills to bolster the firm’s technology group in London.

Shearman & Sterling’s London M&A head quits for Sidley as international partner departures mount

Shearman & Sterling has lost its EMEA and Asia M&A head to Sidley Austin as partner departures from the New York firm’s international network mount up against the background of merger talks with Hogan Lovells.


Herbert Smith Freehills secures Simmons & Simmons team to launch Italy private equity and capital markets practice

Herbert Smith Freehills (HSF) has secured a five-strong team from UK rival Simmons & Simmons to launch a private equity and capital markets offering in Milan.

Charles Russell Adds 2 Disputes Partners in Dubai, London

Charles Russell Speechlys has added two new partners to its litigation and dispute resolution practice, in Dubai and London.

Al Tamimi Hits Gowling, Trowers for Corporate Partner Duo

The Middle East powerhouse has set the pace for new hires in the region in 2023.


Clyde & Co adds lawyers from Baker McKenzie for Egypt debut

Clyde & Co has relocated two of its lawyers and added a further two from Baker McKenzie to open an associated office in Cairo, Egypt.

Duane Morris targets ‘marquee’ IP talent with triple partner hire

Duane Morris has hired three IP partners — in Washington DC and Silicon Valley — as it looks to grow its national practice by securing “marquee talent”.

Morrison Foerster secures private equity real estate partner in Singapore from White & Case

Top 40 US law firm Morrison Foerster (MoFo) has bolstered its private equity bench in Singapore with a partner hire from White & Case — its second partner-level lateral in the city state this year.

The Americas

Orrick secures former Hughes Hubbard arbitration group co-head in New York

Hagit Elul arrives hot on the heels of Orrick’s deal to merge with US litigation firm; Hughes Hubbard reshuffles leadership.

Big Law Kicks Off 2023 by Adding Corporate Firepower in California

Pillsbury and Holland & Knight added corporate partners this week, right on the heels of big hires at Latham and Goodwin in California last week.

‘We’re Not Done Yet’: Duane Morris Hires Yet Another California Partner

Shireen Wetmore is one of nearly two dozen attorneys to join Duane Morris in California in the last six months.

Jordan Belfort Prosecutor’s Move to White & Case Latest in Recent Gibson Dunn Practice Leadership Moves

Joel Cohen had been a leader of Gibson Dunn’s white-collar practice. His exit follows the hiring of two co-chairs this year and the departure of two global litigation leaders last fall.

Dechert Hires Transatlantic Trio of Partners From Orrick

The firm is adding the former leader of Orrick’s antitrust and competition practice in Washington, D.C., as well as partners in San Francisco and London. Douglas Lahnborg will be the first “on the ground, permanent” antitrust practitioner for the firm to be based in London.


Fico lands head of legal from Databricks

Software analytics company Fico has hired its new head of legal EMEA from software rival Databricks.

Chicken Salad Chick Taps GE Veteran as First Legal Chief

Because of the chain’s rapid growth, “we saw the need to add a high-level general counsel to our executive team,” CEO Scott Deviney said.

UK Engineering Giant Meggitt Shakes Up In-House Legal Team Following Takeover By US Rival

British engineering company Meggitt has had a shake up of its in-house legal department following its $6.3 billion acquisition by U.S. giant Parker-Hannifin last year.

Promotions & Appointments:

Blackstone Chambers appoints new director

Magic circle set Blackstone Chambers has elected Mat Swallow as its new chambers director, after stalwart Julia Hornor announced she will retire in May.

US Firm Changes Up London Management for First Time in Over 20 Years

U.S. law firm Duane Morris is switching up its London management for the first time since it launched an office in the city over 20 years ago.

Mergers & Alliances:

Aging Lawyer Demographics Provide Growth Opportunities for Acquisitive Firms

The buying and selling of law firms has accelerated over the last two years, thanks to leaders who see retirements of older lawyers as a strategic opportunity to grow their practices.

Office Openings & Closing:

Rimôn Opens Second Office in Colombia With Partner Hire

Partner Natalia Martinez Villa joins Ibarra Rimôn in Medellín, where she was previously in-house counsel at an electricity and construction firm.

Litigation Funder Burford Capital Launches in Middle East to Meet Growing Demand

While the firm does not claim first-mover advantage in the region, it believes the litigation funding market there is far from saturated.

Clyde & Co Opens Associated Office in Cairo

The firm’s ambitious international expansion strategy has also seen it open offices in Italy and Thailand in 2023 alone.


Ince Group delays results for fifth time

The Ince Group has missed yet another deadline in publishing its 2022 annual report and interim results for H1 2023.

Shearman & Sterling lays off 38 US lawyers and staff

New York law firm Shearman & Sterling has laid off 38 lawyers and professional staff in the US, citing “continuing and growing economic headwinds”.

Davis Wright Tremaine lays off staff, citing ‘excess capacity’

Top 100 US firm Davis Wright Tremaine has let go of 21 professional staff members, becoming the latest US law firm to cut jobs amid more challenging economic conditions.’

How Goodwin Procter Turned 1,000 Lateral Associates Into 250

Prior to January’s layoffs, the law firm had hired more than 600 lateral associates and lost nearly 400 since 2020, a Law.com analysis found.

Clifford Chance, HSF Lawyers Anticipate Muted Asia M&A Market

The firms both published reports charting their expectations for M&A in the region, forecasting a slowdown amid growing investor caution.

Technology & Innovation:

Freshfields’ paralegals take on new roles to improve client delivery

Freshfields is offering paralegals new roles to improve the interaction between its lawyers and support services in a client delivery revamp.

O Shaped Lawyer strikes first partnership deal with global firm

O Shaped Lawyer was founded by general counsel Dan Kayne, who wanted to see a movement for change in the legal profession by combining leadership expertise and general counsel insight and experience to make the legal profession more human.

TLT and Simmons & Simmons partner with Barclays to launch joint training contracts

Barclays has partnered with UK law firms TLT and Simmons & Simmons to launch a joint training contract that will see trainees split their time evenly between in-house and private practice.

Diversity in E-Discovery Is Hindered by Lack of Data on Marginalized Workforce

There is far more the e-discovery industry could be doing to understand and address its diversity shortcomings, said Appellate Division, First Department Justice Tanya R. Kennedy at the Annual University of Florida E-Discovery Conference.

What Successful Hybrid Firms Are Doing

March 2023 will mark the three-year anniversary of the onset of the coronavirus pandemic and the mandated closure of non-essential businesses. During the two-year span of work-from-home that ensued, law firms — for the most part — performed well financially, posting record profits.

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.

CMS, Eversheds Sutherland and Simmons & Simmons Venture Further into ChatGPT

Staff and partners at firms are exploring the much-vaunted generative AI, urging a balance of excitement and caution.

Law Firms May Not Be Embracing GPT-3.5 Anytime Soon

While legal tech providers are steadily releasing tools leveraging GPT-3.5, even innovative law firms who regularly develop legal tech may have a challenging time following suit.

Diversity & Inclusion:

Law Has a Race Problem and Too Few People Care

Added to the widespread apathy is a growing resistance to change, and Black lawyers are noticing, writes The London Lawyer.

Rosenblatt’s ex-CEO accused of using racial slur in discrimination claim

Listed law firm RBG Holdings, which incorporates the businesses of Rosenblatt and Memery Crystal, has failed to strike out a race discrimination claim by its former head of employment.

Letter to the Editor: Column Reinforced Harmful Gender Stereotypes About Lawyers, Caregiving Roles

A better approach, in our view, would have been to write this headline and column without gender-assuming language, and instead speak about the needs of all parents and caregivers, whether caregiving for young children, elderly relatives, or any other individuals who might need support and assistance.

Overlooked in Meetings, Comments on Appearance Among Obstacles Women Face in Law

Respondents to a survey by Mayer Brown and a non-profit group spoke of a “boy’s club culture” in the Hong Kong legal scene that helped marginalise women and exclude them from opportunities.

Former Law Society President I. Stephanie Boyce Joins Linklaters

Former Law Society of England and Wales President I. Stephanie Boyce has joined Linklaters as a strategic adviser, as law firms continue to focus on ramping up their diversity efforts.

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