UK & Ireland
Emily Brown joins White & Case’s global mergers & acquisitions practice and global private equity industry group after almost three years at Ropes & Gray, where she was part of the asset management group.
William Needham will join the firm as co-chair of its European restructuring practice, working alongside London office co-head Mei Lian. He is expected to start at the firm imminently, according to a person with knowledge of the move.
Litigation boutique Stewarts has hired Norton Rose Fulbright’s head of EMEA international arbitration and head of India practice in London.
Sherina Petit, who is joining after almost 15 years at Norton Rose, will head up Stewarts’ own international arbitration practice from London.
Alston & Bird has brought on Will Hooker from Pallas Partners in London, as it moves to expand its litigation and dispute resolution bench in the U.K.
Hooker joined Alston & Bird on Monday as a partner after almost two years with Pallas in London, where he also was a partner, and five years with Boies Schiller Flexner’s London office, where he rose from counsel to partner, according to his LinkedIn page.
Northern Ireland firm Davidson McDonnell has recruited former London lawyer Victoria Sterritt to lead a new private client department.
Ms Sterritt is joined in the new private client team by senior solicitors Rachael McKee and Sara Ord.
Eversheds Sutherland’s international arm has taken on a group of former King & Wood Mallesons’ (China) London partners and staff as part of the cooperation agreement the two firms announced back in July. The group moving across to Eversheds’ London office includes five partners, 10 lawyers and an additional eight business services staff, representing the bulk of KWM’s London office. The five London partners moving across include three from the corporate team – Greg Stonefield, Joseph Newitt and Barri Mendelsohn – and two commercial dispute resolution lawyers – James McKenzie and Wilson Antoon.
A retired Weil Gotshal & Manges partner credited with establishing the majority of the firm’s offices in Europe has taken a job at global recruiting firm Major Lindsey & Africa, where he will play an advisory role to law firms seeking to grow on the continent.
Joe Tortorici, who retired from the Weil partnership in June 2020, started at Major Lindsey this month as an adviser to law firms serviced by MLA’s partner practice group, the search firm announced Thursday.
Goodwin Procter has bolstered its debt finance practice in Asia with the partner hire of debt and leveraged finance lawyer Stephen Howard, who was most recently a local partner at White & Case in Hong Kong.
Herbert Smith Freehills has seen the departure of two aviation finance partners, Siva Subramanian and Samuel Kohlemainen, in Singapore.
Subramanian has already joined Singapore law firm Allen & Gledhill as the firm’s head of aviation finance and co-head of its maritime and aviation practice, while Kohlemainen is still serving out his notice at the firm but it is unclear where he is headed. Kohlemainen was unavailable for comment.
A former partner at Beijing firm Han Kun Law Offices, Charles Wu, has recently left the firm to join Clyde & Co as a U.S.-qualified counsel in Hong Kong.
Beijing-brd Haiwen & Partners has hired private equity and M&A lawyer, Duan Fu, who was most recently a senior legal counsel at Chinese e-commerce behemoth Alibaba Group and the general counsel of Alibaba New Retail Fund. Fu is joining Haiwen as an international partner as the Chinese firm continues to deepen its rank of senior lawyers with international backgrounds. Just this year, the firm has already hired three partners from Herbert Smith Freehills including the firm’s former Beijing managing partner Tom Chau, and two other partners from Mayer Brown.
Philip Desjardins’ experience will help build out the firm’s growing medical device practice, Arnold & Porter said.
Joseph Swanson comments “[Foley’s] Tampa office is very strong, and it’s growing. The firm’s overall national footprint and platform are very attractive to me, both from a cybersecurity and privacy standpoint, as well as the white collar and government enforcement standpoint. They have very robust practices in both of those areas that I look to contributing to.”
Katherine Wawrzyniak, the deputy chief of the criminal division of the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of California, joined Goodwin as a partner.
Greg Lavigne is one of several partners who have departed Allen & Overy and Shearman in recent months in the wake of the two firms announcing their plans to merge.
Will Hooker, from Pallas Partners, will “expand our international arbitration practice and increase our litigation and arbitration presence in London,” said Matt Richardson, co-chair of Alston’s litigation group.
Ed Herlihy and Daniel Neff will remain on the firm’s executive committee.
Proskauer has added first-chair trial lawyer Joseph (Joe) Drayton as a partner in its intellectual property group. He joins from Cooley.
Wendy LaManque has joined Pryor Cashman as counsel to the firm’s labor and employment group. She joins from The American Guild of Musical Artists, where she was counsel and director of organizational compliance.
A total of 28 partners from dissolving firm Stroock & Stroock & Lavan are scheduled to join Hogan Lovells on Nov. 15, the latter firm said Wednesday. The group includes equity and nonequity partners in real estate, transactions, litigation and tax, including several who held leadership roles, such as Jeff Keitelman, Christopher Doyle and James Bernard.
Katten Muchin Rosenman white-collar defense partner Barrett Howell joined Blank Rome in Dallas on Tuesday, as the firm builds out the 4-month-old office.
For Manny Nneji, a Nigerian American who is believed to be the first Black person to hold the post, it was his first run for public office.
Riker Danzig announced that Liz Small joined the firm as counsel in the securities litigation, arbitration, regulation and investigations group.
“I don’t think I appreciated it the way I should have when I was here my first stint,” said Michael Shaheen about Crowell.
Joe Tortorici helped build the New York firm’s footprint in Europe and later in the Middle East.
Sidley Austin has hired three partners and a counsel from rival Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison in a boost to its M&A and private equity group in New York, building on its major partner additions in London earlier this year.
Jeffrey Kochian, Gerald Brant and Brittany Harrison all join the firm as new partners from Paul Weiss, Sidley said in a statement.
“Very quickly in the process, after they asked me whether I wanted to do this, I started asking myself why I wouldn’t do this. And I didn’t have a good answer to that question,” said Akshay Verma, SpotDraft’s newly hired COO.
Ama Romaine has joined Progress Residential, the nation’s largest owner of single-family rental homes—a segment that has seen torrid growth.
On October 27th, 2023, Partner Patrick J. Sweeney started his one-year term as President of the Defense Research Institute. DRI is the largest international membership organization of attorneys defending the interests of businesses and individuals in civil litigation with 29 substantive law committees.
America’s Public Television Stations COO Lonna Thompson said Michelle Shanahan “will be a great asset to our stations on a broad variety of legal and regulatory issues arising in our media industry.”
CEO Brian Niccol said newly hired HR chief Ilene Eskenazi “will be instrumental in growing Chipotle’s culture of people development.”
Fox Corp. has tapped Campbell Soup general counsel Adam Ciongoli to replace departing chief legal and policy officer Viet Dinh.
Alan Klinger said Thursday he is making the move with fellow partner Dina Kolker and special counsel David Kahne. Steptoe & Johnson is also assuming Stroock’s lease in Los Angeles.
Tegna, which owns 66 TV stations in 54 markets, has filled its legal chief vacancy with Lauren Fisher, who has deep digital media experience, including stints at Hulu and AOL.
CEO Jim Bankoff called newly appointed General Counsel Brian Leung “an empathetic leader who manages our risks and opportunities with a deep understanding of and care for our business and our people.”
BMG veteran Jonathan Baker is taking the legal reins of Hipgnosis Song Management, which is run by former Elton John and Beyoncé manager Merck Mercuriadis.
US healthcare giant McKesson has hired Michele Lau as its next legal chief, replacing Lori Schechter who is retiring next year, the company said in its quarterly earnings report and first reported by Bloomberg.
Garry helped turn back false claims about former President Barack Obama’s place of birth, and Donald Trump before the businessman entered politics.
Promotions & Appointments:
Ken DeStefano, Adventist HealthCare’s general counsel for the last 25 years, is retiring and passing the reins to his top deputy, Dwayne Leslie.
The incoming senior partners at both firms are set to step into their new roles early next year. At CMS, UK corporate co-head Charles Currier has been named as the successor to Penelope Warne. At Travers Smith, Andrew Gillen will succeed Siân Keall.
Justin D’Agostino was first elected to the CEO role in 2019, taking up the position in May 2020.
As Wilmer Cutler Pickering Hale and Dorr seeks to enact “generational change,” Washington, D.C., litigator Jamie Gorelick is stepping back as co-chair of the firm’s prominent crisis management and strategic response group, though will remain chair of the firm’s regulatory and government affairs department, which oversees the practice.
Barley Snyder announced that partner Kevin C. Myhre has been elected vice chair of the patent law committee for the American Intellectual Property Law Association (AIPLA).
White & Case has appointed London partner Deji Adegoke as the head of its Africa practice to solidify the international firm’s presence on the continent and capitalise on business opportunities.
Although not announced formally, Adegoke took on the role from partner Mukund Dhar and his appointment was effective from November 1, as confirmed by a spokesperson of the firm.
Carsten Zatschler SC has joined UCD Sutherland School of Law as an adjunct full professor.
LK Shields has promoted Muireann Granville to partner in the firm’s litigation team. Ms Granville joined the firm as a litigation associate in 2016, advising clients on a wide range of commercial disputes.
Carson McDowell has announced 11 promotions across its offices in Belfast and Dublin, including eight senior associates and three associates across its teams.
The new senior associates are Judith Rountree in the defence insurance litigation team, Gavin Kerr in construction, Emily Smith in NI healthcare claims, Emma Stephenson in real estate, Kathryn Laverty in corporate, Rachel Toner in commercial, Rachel Lewis in banking and finance, and Stephanie Johnston in healthcare, regulatory and professional discipline.
The new associates are Shannon Gawley in the commercial team, Andrew McWilliams in real estate and Ciara Fitzpatrick in NI and ROI healthcare claims.
Eversheds Sutherland Ireland has appointed partner Cian MacGinley as head of its real estate department.
Mr MacGinley, who has been with the firm for over two decades, takes over the leadership fo the department from Joseph Stanley, who will continue as a real estate partner.
Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner (BCLP) has elevated 24 lawyers to partnership in its 2024 promotions round.
That is a 14% increase on its 2023 intake, when 21 lawyers made partner. However, there was a significant drop off in the proportion of female promotions, with women making up 25% of the 2024 cohort, compared to 38% this year.
Hill Dickinson has named business services group head Craig Scott as its next CEO, replacing long-serving leader Peter Jackson who will step down at the end of April next year.
Mergers & Alliances:
Fieldfisher has announced the end of its arrangement with its partner firm in Italy.
The U.K. law firm and Italy’s Studio Associato Servizi Professionali Integrati (SASPI)—made up of lawyers and tax accountants—merged in 2016 and have since operated as Fieldfisher Italy, structured as a Swiss verein.
Office Openings & Closing:
“We have hundreds of clients in San Diego, and all of the industry sectors that are prevalent and strong in San Diego happen to be the same sectors that we are strong in,” Manatt managing partner Donna Wilson said. “You can’t get someone who is more tied to the legal and business community than Randy Grossman.”
If successful, Jingsh will be the only Chinese law firm to have an office in North Korea. It will also be the first Chinese law firm to be operating in the country.
The deal meant KWM would close its six offices in the UK, Europe and Middle East, with select KWM staff being invited to join Eversheds, subject to practice needs.
The firm’s chair pointed to “a very, very busy year” across the firm—one in which productivity was “materially” increased, as well as increasing cost of living.
Cravath has been approaching counsel-level attorneys about joining its non-equity tier since at least last summer, according to one Am Law 50 firm leader.
The market hesitation was underscored by the lack of immediate, similar moves. Some firms were still waiting on other market leaders to move, sources said.
Some GCs are voicing concerns about further rate hikes after associate pay raises. But Milbank’s chair said the salary raises wouldn’t have a material effect on its billing rate decisions in the future.
A few firms have omitted PEP from their most recent financial results—there’s really only one way the market will interpret this, writes The London Lawyer.
Technology & Innovation:
While artificial intelligence is an evolving technology with promising use cases, it is also attracting regulatory scrutiny.
In this installment of our ongoing series on e-discovery and information governance, we will delve into the world of AI and discuss how organizations can mitigate legal and compliance risks and maintain an evolving approach to an equally evolving technology.
IAPP’s first ever AI Governance Global 2023 conference in Boston discussed how AI governance can fit into today’s data privacy regime while also allowing technology to flourish.
Previously seen as gatekeepers of compliance and risk management, corporate legal departments now play a crucial role in strategic decision-making and business innovation, including the integration of AI into legal operations.
The artificial intelligence (AI) revolution is underway in nearly every industry, including the real estate industry, but have the consequences of such use in the world of architecture been fully considered?
Many CLM systems have added numerous capabilities to fit the “end-to-end” label. But users often find themselves disappointed—leading some to wonder if “end-to-end” is even possible.
A recent study from Harvard Business School presents a compelling case for GAI’s transformative potential on knowledge worker productivity and quality.
While most lawyers respondents in the Future Ready Lawyer 2023 survey, conducted by Wolters Kluwer, said that they wanted to explore new technologies, some worried that organizational barriers and a lack of skills could inhibit such endeavors.
The law firm will be one of the first in the region to enhance the platform’s Arabic-language proficiency.
While transforming existing buildings for alternative purposes is not a new concept, this article seeks to explore the feasibility of alternative repurposing options with a focus on pre-existing New Jersey office buildings; namely, converting vacant New Jersey office space into vertical farms or cannabis growth operations.
The AI Co-Pilot 4-Stage Maturity Model shows how AI can be used in law, starting with essential AI tools and ending with advanced features that give law practitioners more capabilities as their roles evolve.
The contract solution comes with a chat feature designed to let users have conversations with their contracts and ask questions about clauses, draft language or find inconsistent terms, among other use cases.
Diversity & Inclusion:
An in-depth survey of nearly 200 UK associates at large law firms has found nearly a third feel morale has dropped over the last year, with emphasis on billable hours, salary disappointment and a ‘tough’ office culture among the factors responsible.
Including nonlawyer professionals in law firm DEI initiatives will result in greater engagement, a stronger firm culture, better retention, and increased opportunities for success, which will help to foster a truly diverse legal profession.
“We’re expecting firms to find a way to get out there and find, groom and support diverse and inclusive talent. Companies are definitely watching,” Ginny Johnson, chief legal officer of Aspen Aerogels, said.
The law firm’s new partner class is 38% female, an increase over last year’s 31%. Six of the new partners are based in London.
Dechert, Reed Smith and Hogan Lovells have claimed the top spots for the 2023 pro bono rankings, following months of research by Law.com International.
Having analyzed nearly 50 submissions, Law.com compiled and ranked the top 25 law firms for pro bono in the U.K., as the industry marks the 22nd annual Pro Bono Week.
As general counsel of the Fred Hollows Foundation, a non-profit that aims to provide affordable eye health care and end avoidable blindness in disadvantaged communities around the world, Katrin O’Sullivan oversees seven different legal entities across 25 mostly African and Asian countries.
There is a growing push among in-house lawyers to participate in pro bono work, despite a distinct lack of opportunity and resource available to them.
Private practice law firms have increasingly embedded pro bono work into their offerings. Indeed, a large number of law firms now count pro bono work towards utilization targets and bonuses, and also appoint designated pro bono counsel.
Many of the world’s largest law firms are failing to properly demonstrate their responsible business commitments to clients, according to a study by Lamp House Strategy.
The inaugural Lamp House Strategy Responsible Business Annual Report showed that less than a quarter of firms (22%) publish a holistic responsible business report, with firms falling short in a wide-range of areas including diversity and sustainability.
The leaders of Paul Weiss, Davis Polk and Paul Hastings weigh in on how they keep their firms going in the right direction, with some commonalities.
There’s been a “bifurcated” recovery among the Am Law 200, but all segments have cut their first-year associate classes, according to the latest Law Firm Financial Index report.
“In emerging markets, the needs for energy and infrastructure at reasonable prices are endless,” said Oscar Stephens, a New York-based shareholder for Greenberg Traurig focused on renewable energy and infrastructure financing.
The report singles out Ashust and King & Wood Mallesons as being lax on cybersecurity when it comes to advising Chinese clients. Both firms say the report is inaccurate.
“People want to control their own destiny,” one spinoff leader said. “And the number of successful spinoffs makes it easier… there is more trust in the market. Corporate America is more meritorious these days. They are looking for the best.”
“The more significant challenge that leveraged M&A is facing is the breadth of available financing,” noted Ethan Klingsberg at Freshfields.
D.C. law firms weigh in on how public policy practices are seeing activity pick up surrounding big agenda items.
Although the patchwork of changing laws in the region is eliciting concerns and some countries are even seeing increased interest from the U.S. Office of Foreign Assets Control, lawyers are finding opportunities from capital entering and exiting the U.S.
The 2023 Torts Litigation Report, by Lex Machina, a division of LexisNexis, found there were 14,375 tort lawsuits filed in federal courts last year, among the lowest levels in a decade.
The M&A and ESG space seem to be creating the most headaches for legal departments.
An analysis by former Big Law partner Paul Denis of leadership departures over the past few decades shows recent changes may be based less on satisfaction and more on growing tenure length.
Leaders of Norton Rose and Lathrop GPM pointed to the pandemic as one of the catalysts for rethinking their offices, and both said they contain a mix of open and private/reserved workspaces.
Cyber-attacks on A&O and Kirkland, as well as changing regulations, may engender an age in which large firms no longer hold client data, writes The Global Lawyer.