Weekly Update – 15th April 2024


UK & Ireland

Another Linklaters London Partner Exits, This Time to Skadden

After more than 12 years at Linklaters, financial regulatory partner Sebastian Barling is expected to join Skadden Arps Slate Meagher & Flom’s London office. In 2018, he became a partner.

Paul Weiss Hits Linklaters Again for Latest London Partner Hire

M&A partner Matthew Hearn is set to be the latest partner to join Paul Weiss’ growing London office. Hearn, who has been at Linklaters for over a decade, follows in the footsteps of his former Linklaters M&A colleague, partner Dan Schuster-Woldan, who joined as the new head of European public M&A in late January.

Cooley Taps Norton Rose’s London Antitrust Head

Mark Simpson, the head of antitrust and competition at Norton Rose, is scheduled to join the Palo Alto-based company after more than 15 years there, ten of those as a partner.

Eversheds Taps DLA Veteran as McDermott Brings in Sidley Partner

Barney Smedley, who has worked at DLA for more than 20 years, will be joining the Leeds branch of Eversheds.

Trowers & Hamlins continues growth into mid-market Private Equity space with key double partner hire:

The UK Corporate practice of Trowers & Hamlins has added two new partners, bolstering the firm’s private equity capability even more. Established associates Mark Metcalfe and Sarah Souter, who were both partners at Gateley Legal in the past, have joined Trowers in an effort to strengthen the company’s image as the premier legal supplier in the lower and midmarket private equity arena.

Kirkland raids Allen & Overy for second London debt finance partner in past month

Vanessa Xu, a debt finance attorney from Allen & Overy in London, has joined Kirkland & Ellis. She is the second partner to join the firm in the last few weeks.

Mason Hayes & Curran recruits funds partner Anthony O’Hanlon

Anthony O’Hanlon has been named a partner in the financial services unit of business law firm Mason Hayes & Curran.



Paul Weiss Eyes Brussels Expansion With Second Partner Hire in a Week

Partner Richard Pepper of Macfarlanes is joining the firm’s new Brussels office, which was opened last week with the addition of antitrust partner Ross Ferguson of Simpson Thacher & Bartlett.

Jones Day in Paris Grabs Partner-Led Government Regulation Team From White & Case

François-Guilhem Vaissier, a partner, has provided advice on a variety of projects, including a desalination plant in Morocco, conventional and renewable energy projects in Africa, and high-speed rail projects in France.

Curtis promotes in London and Milan

Valerio Salvatori has been made counsel in Milan, and Juan Carlos Boué and William Hampson have been promoted to the partnership at Curtis Mallet-Prevost Colt & Mosle in London.



Australia’s Wotton + Kearney Debuts in Asia With 2 Partners From Kennedys Singapore

Partner Ben Nicholson and partner Tom Morrison, who both join Wotton + Kearney from Kennedys in Singapore, will lead the practice there.

Kirkland White Collar Heavyweight Resurfaces at Litigation Boutique

After serving as a partner in Kirkland’s government, regulatory, and internal investigations division for more than 11 years, Satnam Tumani departed the company in December.

East & Concord HK firm Makes M&A Hire from Akin Beijing

Dennis Yeung, an M&A specialist, has joined Yang & Yang Solicitors, the Hong Kong association firm of East & Concord Partners, a PRC legal practice. Dennis formerly worked in the Beijing office of Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld, which closed recently.

SG: Another McDermott Energy Partner Joins WFW

Clarinda Tjia-Dharmadi, a second energy partner, has joined Watson Farley & Williams in Singapore from the U.S. law firm McDermott, Will & Emery.

Offshore Firm Campbells Makes HK Finance Hire from Rival Mourant

Renowned offshore law company Mourant has lost partner Paul Trewartha, an expert in banking and finance, to Campbells, a Caymans-based law practice.


The Americas

A&O Shearman Announces First Partner Promotions Round Ahead of May Merger

The day Daniel Sinaiko, a co-chair of an A&O U.S. energy practice, was enticed to join Latham, was also the day that Shearman and A&O announced the promotions.

Simpson Thacher Recruits Milbank Partner to Continue Building Energy Practice

The newest partner at Simpson Thacher operates in the infrastructure and energy sectors and is named Javad Asghari.

People in the News—April 8, 2024—McNees, Burns White

Attorney Allen C. Tucci joined the company as a member of the venture capital and emerging companies, international law, mergers and acquisitions, corporate and tax practice groups, and securities law departments at McNees Wallace & Nurick, which is located in the Devon office.

Dentons Ex-US Leader McNamara Exits Partnership for CEO Role at Industry Advisory Shop

Mike McNamara was the founding CEO of Baretz + Brunelle and is currently an equity partner. In July 2021, he announced his resignation as Dentons U.S.’s CEO.

Recruiting From Paul Hastings Again, Akin Adds Financial Restructuring Lawyer

Avi Luft, a Paul Hastings financial restructuring lawyer, has become a partner at Akin in New York.

Sheppard Mullin Hires Locke Lord Corporate Partner in Chicago

Michael Wilson, formerly a co-chair of the corporate and transactional department at Locke Lord, represents numerous private equity and venture capital firms.

Berger McDermott Adds New Del. Counsel

Periann Doko, an attorney, has joined the corporate and commercial litigation division of Berger McDermott as counsel.

Newsmakers: Bracewell Expands Energy Practice With Addition of Parker Lee in New York

Parker A. Lee, an energy transactional lawyer, has joined Bracewell as a partner in the New York office.

Allen & Overy Arbitration Partner Jumps to Hughes Hubbard

Gaela Gehring Flores is part of a recent exodus of elite talent with that specialty, and she will co-chair the firm’s international arbitration group, headquartered in Washington, D.C.

Becker & Poliakoff Adds Real Estate Shareholder From Fox Rothschild Focused on Growing Equestrian Sector

Since Donald Dufresne’s book of business is portable, he anticipates that all of his clients—whose work primarily focuses on equestrian matters—will accompany him.

Morgan Lewis, Hogan Lovells, Ropes, Wiley and Cohen Milstein Add DC Laterals

Morgan Lewis added R. Latane Montague, a former head of Hogan Lovells’ transportation department, while Hogan Lovells hired litigators Nadira Clarke, Lily Chinn, and Anne Carpenter from Baker Botts.

People in the News—April 12, 2024—McNees, Margolis Edelstein

Cara Mia Pinto, a trademark attorney, joined the Pittsburgh team of McNees Wallace & Nurick as of counsel. She brings over ten years of experience building trademark portfolios and safeguarding businesses to the intellectual property division.

Kirkland, Proskauer, Hogan Lovells Add Partners Amid Brisk Lateral Activity in Big Firms

On Tuesday, Kirkland announced the appointment of real estate partner Victoria Shusterman in New York.

Proskauer Rose welcomed Christiana Lazo, a partner in private client services based in New York.

Christi creates and manages complex estate and tax strategies both domestically and internationally for extremely wealthy individuals, family offices, and closely held companies.



GC Who’s Helped Guide Garmin for Quarter-Century Hands Role to Deputy

Garmin CEO Cliff Pemble said “Andrew Etkind has been at the forefront of the most consequential business and legal matters that shaped Garmin into the company it is today,”.

Bears Hire Up-and-Comer as Legal Chief Amid Stadium Negotiations

Once again, Krista Whitaker’s fortuitous encounter with Kevin Warren—the current CEO of the Bears—during her time at Stanford Law School has paid off, as she has been hired for one of the top CLO positions in professional sports.

DISCO Names Eric Friedrichsen as New President and CEO

Following “an extensive global search,” as the e-discovery company put it, Friedrichsen was chosen by DISCO’s board of directors to succeed temporary CEO Scott Hill and the troubled former CEO and co-founder Kiwi Camara.

On the Move and After Hours: Cooper University; McCarter & English; CSG Law; Becker; Goldberg Segalla; Capehart Scatchard

Former District Judge John Vazquez has joined Cooper University Health Care as Chief Legal Officer; attorneys from Capehart Scatchard are present at a reception honouring Rutgers alumni; and further changes.

IBM Plucks New Legal Chief From Mutual Fund Giant

With extensive experience in the financial services industry, Anne Robinson has held leadership positions at Vanguard, American Express, Citigroup, and Deloitte.

Binance Europe Legal Head Steps Down as Société Générale Gets New GC

After a year on the job, Binance’s head of legal for Europe resigned, while Société Générale, the major French bank, appointed a new general counsel when its long-serving previous GC moved on to a new position.

Emer Walsh named chief legal officer at Gas Networks Ireland

Ms. Walsh will be in charge of overseeing the organization’s corporate governance, legal, and data protection initiatives throughout Gas Networks Ireland. She will also be instrumental in implementing the company’s low-carbon energy network transition plan.


Team Moves

Goodwin Gains 5 Cooley Partners in Boston

Pat Mitchell, who established Cooley’s Boston office in 2007, claims that the group has been working together as a team for more than ten years.

Barclay Damon Picks Up 5-Member Team From Murtha Cullina, led by Tony Gangemi

Barclay’s Strategic Expansion Damon mentions the lateral relocation of this IP team into its premises in New Haven.

Hogan Lovells Hires 6-Lawyer Team, Including Former French Energy Regulator, in Paris

Other movements made in Paris included the return to Herbert Smith Freehills of a seasoned banking and finance partner from a French firm and the establishment of a new firm by a seasoned Big Law arbitration partner.

Fieldfisher relaunches in Italy with five-partner team from former ally

The action comes after the top 20 UK firm declared in November of last year that it was severing its connections with Studio Associato Servizi Professionali Integrati (SasPi), a longstanding Italian partner firm that was a member of the Swiss Verein Fieldfisher Global and traded as Fieldfisher Italy.

ArentFox Schiff hires automotive partner quartet from Burns & Levinson

Kelly Ballentine, Sara Judge, Gregory Paonessa, and Paul Marshall Harris are partners on the new team. Their vast knowledge in the automotive sector encompasses a range of areas, such as mergers and acquisitions, franchise conflicts, regulatory adherence, legal defense, and other business affairs.


Promotions & Appointments:

Ropes & Gray Names Next London Managing Partner

After working for McDermott Will & Emery for about 15 years, Rohan Massey joined Ropes and has been there for more than eight years.

People in the News—April 10, 2024—Hamburg Rubin, Goldberg Segalla

The firm Hamburg, Rubin, Mullin, Maxwell & Lupin has announced the election of John F. McCaul and Danielle M. Yacono to partnership.

People in the News—April 11, 2024—Flaster Greenberg, Sweet Stevens

William Burnett, a shareholder in Flaster Greenberg, was recently named to the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania’s new standing local bankruptcy rules committee.

J.D. Silva & Associates Announces New Firm Managing Partner Armando Córdova

Córdova, an associate attorney who joined J.D. Silva & Associates PLLC in 2022, focuses on criminal defense and lawsuits involving personal injury victims.

Veteran IP Lawyer Tapped as Managing Director for IPH Limited Canadian Member Firm

For thirty years, Dario Pietrantonio has held several managerial positions with ROBIC, a company established in Quebec.

Three new partners among Eversheds Sutherland promotions

As part of a spring promotions round, David McKeating, Jonathan Ennis, and Michelle Stewart were promoted to partners at international law firm Eversheds Sutherland.

Two new partners at Fieldfisher Ireland

With the addition of Jonathan Moore and Johan Verbruggen, Fieldfisher Ireland LLP now has 15 partners in total.

Herbert Smith Freehills Refreshes Global Arbitration Leadership

According to a statement from the firm, Paula Hodges will retire at the beginning of next month, and Simon Chapman KC and Andrew Cannon will take over. Hodges, who has worked for HSF for more than 37 years, is leaving the company.


Mergers & Alliances:

HubSpot Legal Boss Poised for Big Payout as Acquisition Speculation Swirls

Alyssa Harvey Dawson has just been HubSpot’s legal officer for 15 months, but according to Reuters, Alphabet is thinking about acquiring the rapidly expanding Salesforce rival.

Shearman NQ Pay to Shrink by £20K Post-Merger

Following A&O Shearman’s go live, the company will implement A&O’s present compensation plan, which pays NQs £125,000.

Spain’s Pérez-Llorca to Absorb Mexico’s González Calvillo

Pérez-Llorca of Spain and González Calvillo of Mexico have decided to merge, adding about 100 attorneys from the second-biggest economy in Latin America to the rapidly growing Iberian firm1. By this strategic alliance, they hope to improve their position in the area and fortify their legal services.

Milbank, A&G Advise Philippines’ Hotel101 Global on $2.3bn SPAC Merger

According to Reuters, Hotel101 Global would list as the first Philippine company in the United States after the agreement, and the “condotel” operator’s equity value is expected to exceed $2.3 billion as a result of the merger. Depending on shareholder and regulatory approval, the purchase is expected to completion in the second half of 2024.

PRC’s Guantao, Hong Kong Law Firm Gallant in Association

In an effort to better serve clients with regard to cross-border legal work, particularly in regard to the Greater Bay Area, the Hong Kong office of PRC law firm Guantao has partnered with local firm Gallant.


Office Openings & Closing:

As Big Law Interest in Denver Grows, Frost Brown Todd Lures 9 Laterals to Open Office

Citing opportunities in the energy, finance and technology industries in Denver, firm chair Robert Sartin said “having a physical presence” will help the firm to grow business there and serve current clients.

Bressler, Amery & Ross Is Growing Across Florida Despite Insurance Defense Work Narrowing

Bressler Amery executive committee member Hope Zelinger said “We have more work than ever because insurance companies are limiting the outside counsels they work with, and we continue to remain on that list”.

Addleshaws Swoops for KWM’s Spanish Arm as it Launches in Madrid

The news was released after KWM’s partnership with Eversheds caused some attorneys to search for new residences.

Fieldfisher Launches Italian Operation

Fieldfisher Italy, a fully integrated legal practice in Milan, employs 26 professionals at first, including five partners, six directors, and 15 lawyers.

Addleshaw Goddard extends global footprint with launch of 13 partner Madrid office

Addleshaw Goddard has announced today that it will open an office in Madrid upon the arrival of all 13 partners and their teams from KWM in Spain in May 2024. Roberto Pomares, Managing Partner of KWM Madrid, will oversee the new office.

UK Insurance firm Fenchurch to enter Asia with SG office

In order to access policyholders and brokers from throughout the island nation and the larger Asia-Pacific region for high-value commercial insurance disputes, Fenchurch, a London-based firm, has decided to establish its Asia centre in Singapore.

Kingsley Napley launches arbitration practice with partner raid on boutique

James Glaysher leaves Candey to run a new practice at an independent UK firm.



Profits Swell at Pillsbury Amid Strong Demand and Costs Trimming

In 2023, Pillsbury’s net income increased by 10% as a result of the company concentrating its expansion on profitable processes, cutting expenses, and increasing operational effectiveness.

Sidley Crosses $3B in Revenue, With Growing ‘Share’ of Private Equity Market, Focus on Top Talent

Executive Committee Chair Michael Schmidtberger stated that although private equity may have decreased in 2023, “our share of private equity is growing because we’ve been enlarging that practice.”

AT&T GC’s Comp Marches Higher as Company’s Workforce Shrinks

The number of employees at the corporation has decreased from 281,450 to 149,900 after David McAtee II took over as legal head in 2015.

Boosted by Restructuring and Lit Practices, Brown Rudnick Sees 6% Revenue Gain

While the firm’s equity tier increased by over 5% to 60 partners and Brown Rudnick’s PEP increased by 0.2% to $1.68 million in 2023, profit growth stalled.

Boosted by Litigation, IP and Regulatory Work, Revenue Ticks Up at Wilson Sonsini

Demand was uneven across the corporate practices of the company, but there was a lot of activity in certain areas, such cybersecurity, privacy, and environmental efforts.

Cuatrecasas 2023 Revenue Grows More Than 10% to €388.7M

Based on its most recent financials, the Spanish legal practice has seen a 52.2% increase in revenue over the last ten years.

Sidley Austin London Office Revenue Breaks $200M in ‘Choppy’ Market

Tom Thesing, the firm’s head of London, discusses how the company is driven by lawsuits and regulations while aiming to become as successful as Kirkland & Ellis and Simpson Thacher.


Technology & Innovation:

Lawyers Say Technology Improves Employee Satisfaction. So Why Are Firms Slow to Modernize?

Intapp’s 2024 Technology Perceptions Report found that a minority of lawyers consider their law firms tech-savvy, while many claim they don’t use AI in their day-to-day jobs.

10 Generative AI Questions Every Chief Legal Officer Should Be Able to Answer

CLOs ought to be ready to offer the essential legal safeguards that both safeguard the company and give it the ability to outperform the competition and increase consumer value. The ten questions that follow outline the concerns that all CLOs should have in order to facilitate the adoption of GenAI by businesses and revolutionize their legal role at the same time.

Litera Releases Gen AI-Powered Foundation Dragon, KM Solution for Deal Data

Though Litera is first focusing Foundation Dragon on mergers and acquisitions, the platform will eventually be used for a range of transaction types, such as credit, real estate, venture capital, and fund formation.

Africa Should Not Rush to Regulate AI, Says Clifford Chance Co-Head

The partner’s remarks are made in spite of the fact that the EU just passed the first comprehensive AI law and that the Canadian Parliament is currently considering a similar proposal.

US bill would require AI companies to disclose copyrighted work in training models

Legislative guidelines on using copyrighted content to train software “seems inevitable” given the increasing use of AI in the creative industries.


Diversity & Inclusion:

Innovations in Diversity and Inclusion Winner, Law Firm: Baker McKenzie

JeanMarie Campbell, Head of Client Development, North America CMO Baker, McKenzie said that “Innovation is relevant to all of our clients—not just the most innovative or tech-savvy,”.

Gender Pay Gap: Elite UK Firms Show Little to No Improvement

Freshfields, Clifford Chance, Allen & Overy, Linklaters and Slaughter and May have all published gender pay gap data for 2023.

Lawyer, Mother and the Dark Night of the Soul: What We Are Doing to Women at Law Firms

“I was confident that my company would be receptive to a request for flexible work schedule, based on what I had been taught regarding its concern for keeping women. It didn’t cross my mind it would say no” writes Megan Gray.

Could AI Be a ‘Pivotal Moment’ for the Legal Aid Market?

The field of legal aid is investigating applications of artificial intelligence that may not be the same as those that Big Law has been experimenting with in the past year or two.


Market Commentary:

Dialogue Over Discord: Bridging the Gap Between Gen Z Lawyers and Law Firm Partners

It makes sense that there is a lot of generational conflict given the diversity of generations represented in our legal organizations. But in today’s clash of generations, there’s a more constructive balance to be struck.

GCs and C-Suites See Vastly Different Legal Challenges Looming

In a recent report Thomson Reuters said that “As GCs prepare their departments to be tomorrow’s value centre, they will need to be as ready to advise the business on these future issues as they are comfortable today advising on labour and litigation matters,”.

Companies Deluged by Class Actions as ‘Employee Activism Surges’

According to the recently released Carlton Fields Class Action Survey, labour and employment class actions accounted for 43.4% of law departments’ class action matters in 2023, an increase of nearly 10 percentage points from the previous year.

Alston Makes Major Leap in Latest M&A League Tables

Periann Doko, an attorney, has joined the corporate and commercial litigation division of Berger McDermott as counsel.

At 18%, Law Firm Associate Attrition Rate Continues 2-Year Decline

Jennifer Mandery, vice president for research at the NALP Foundation said that “Starting with the pandemic years we saw high levels of attrition, and we’re starting to see those attrition levels start to revert to what we saw pre-pandemic,”.

Midsize Firms Poised to Gain Market Share as Big Law Sheds Rate-Sensitive Practices

Strong rate increases for Big Law in 2019 will put more pressure on practices that can’t keep up with firm-wide growth, while also creating opportunities for more adaptable smaller firms.

Indian, Australian Firms Take Top Spots on M&A League Tables as Q1 Dominated by Domestic Deals

Four of the twelve biggest M&A agreements disclosed in Q1 of this year are centred on Greater China.

The Saudi Demarche: Measuring the Kingdom and the UAE’s Relative Success:

Given that qualifying institutions must have at least two additional Middle Eastern offices, some saw the RHQP as a subtly disparaging jab at Dubai. However, a lot of them are setting up shop in Riyadh as their regional headquarters because they need to get this license in order to bid on Saudi government contracts.

Clifford Chance Poland Office Under Investigation, Laptops ‘Seized’

Despite being well-known globally for its legal knowledge, Clifford Chance has come under fire. Laptops have reportedly been seized, according to certain unnamed sources, while the company’s Poland branch is being investigated.

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