Weekly Update – 15th of January 2024


UK & Ireland

Quinn Emanuel London Revenue Leaps 47% as Profits Swell

The firm’s triumph this year was ‘boosted by a material one-off success fee’, claims Richard East, Senior Partner at Quinn Emanuel’s London office.

Duo Score Roles on First London IPO of 2024

This potential IPO is set to be the primary market float in months as London grapples with a decline in its appeal as a destination for companies seeking to go public.

Two former senior government lawyers join Kingsley Napley

Senior government lawyers Natalie Cohen and Lord Carter join Kingsley Napley, strengthening the firm’s public law litigation presence.

Browne Jacobson hires William Darmody to lead corporate team

William Darmody joins Browne Jacobson as partner and head of their Irish corporate team at the UK&I firm.

Taylor Wessing hires Ryan Ferry as disputes and investigations partner

Taylor Wessing’s Dublin office welcomes senior litigator Ryan Ferry as partner.

Millar McCall Wylie appoints Chris Phillips as director

Chris Phillips joins Millar McCall Wylie as director of the Northern Irish firm.



Veteran Paul Hastings PE Partner Jumps to French Firm August Debouzy

Paul Hasting’s move could signal a potential increase activity for Paris’ growingly competitive PE market.

Freshfields Finance Head Rejoins A&O in Middle East

Simultaneously, Clifford Chance’s head of disputes for the Middle East is acquired by CMS.

Perez-Llorca Adds Four More Partners in Lisbon

Perez-Llorca is ahead of schedule, having originally planned to launch their Lisbon office in Q1 2024, the Spanish law firm claims to already have 11 partners on the ground.

White & Case Bolsters Disputes Practice in Paris With 2-Lawyer Hire From Quinn Emanuel

This practice head and partner acquisition is set to strengthen the firm’s commercial disputes, cross-border litigation, and criminal investigations offering in Paris.

Kennedys Enters Polish Market Through Tie-Up With Warsaw Firm

Kennedys lands in Warsaw, making them the latest international law firm to expand their European presence to Poland.

CVC Capital Partners’ General Counsel Leaves Firm

Lauren Livingston leaves the European PE heavyweight following a 17-year tenure at the firm.

Bowmans Lures Team of 6 From Johannesburg Competitor

Bowmans team’s client portfolio includes liquidators, corporate entities, financial institutions and business rescue practitioners.



South Korea’s Shin & Kim Hires Senior Advisers to Launch New Offering on AI

Two Shin & Kim new hires join the group of three experienced advisers leading their latest offering.

K&L Gates Takes Two from Herbert Smith Freehills Singapore

With these latest appointments in Singapore, the firm welcomes its first aviation finance partners in the city-state. Meanwhile, Herbert Smith Freehills restructures their aviation offering, saying goodbye to their dedicated Singapore-based partners.

Clayton Utz Partner Leaves to Join Australian Insurer IAG

Karen Ingram, a disputes and litigation lawyer, joins IAG as interim general counsel.

Kirkland Corporate Veteran Duo Set to Leave Hong Kong Practice

Having joined Kirkland along with six partners in 2011, forming one of the most significant moves in Hong Kong’s legal market, David Zhang and Nicholas Norris are due to exit the practice.

Akin Hong Kong Partner Leaves to Become Independent Arbitrator

Shortly after the closure of Akin’s Beijing office, Ing Loong Yang departs the firm.


The Americas

Shearman’s Co-Managing Partner Leads Team Move to Linklaters in New York

Allen & Overy leaders set to take charge of the firm as George Casey’s team of six depart ahead of merger.

Longtime Vinson & Elkins Partner Moves to Condemnation Boutique in Houston

Charles McFarland is reunited with Vinson & Elkins partner and ex-colleague Billy Coe Dyer, at the condemnation boutique established by the former in 2015.

Dechert Loses 2 Litigation Partners Who Held Leadership Roles

David Kelley, ex-SDNY U.S. attorney and former co-head of Dechert’s white-collar practice joins O’Melveny & Myers, while chair of their tech committee, Benjamin Barnet was welcomed by Seeger Weiss.

Blank Rome Adds 5 Attorneys from Dissolving NYC White Collar Boutique

Established by two ex-SDNY assistant U.S attorneys 17 years ago, Spears & Imes terminated operations in Q4 of 2023.

Duane Morris Appoints Ex-US Attorney McSwain White-Collar Co-Chair

Duane Morris welcomes William McSwain, ex-federal prosecutor into a new role as the co-chair of their white-collar practice as they set their sights on national growth for the upcoming year.

Locke Lord Adds M&A Partner in LA With High-Profile Entertainment Clients

Locke Lord welcome Corporate and M&A partner Katy Spillers from L.A firm Greenberg Glusker Fields Claman & Machtinger as she hopes to benefit her clients with the firm’s wider resources and national coverage.

SDNY Prosecutor Moves to Sher Tremonte’s White-Collar Practice

Previously, Alison Moe was deputy chief of the U.S Attorney Office’s criminal division.

Greenspoon Marder Expands Litigation Arm in Miami With Former Saul Ewing Litigator

With previous tenures at Cozen O’Connor and Greenberg Traurig, Jeffrey Gilbert approaches almost forty years of experience in the sector.

On the Move: Former Gordon Rees Office Leader Moves to Barnes & Thornburg

Previously, Leslie served Gordon Rees’ as managing partner of its offices in Birmingham, Alabama and Jackson, Mississippi as well as co-managing partner of their Atlanta office.

Eyeing Rate Flexibility, Longtime Sidley Litigator Decamps to Midsize Manhattan Firm

Isaac Greaney, a well-known Securities litigator, has left Sidley to expand the types of work available to him as a result of more flexible rates.

Dinsmore Enters Texas by Luring 8-Lawyer Litigation Team From Lewis Brisbois

Following the rapid expansion of the Am Law 200 firm, in Florida, Dinsmore & Shohl has stated that it is applying a similar “blueprint” for Texas. This news is in accordance with the statement of their Chair, Josh Lorentz.

Dickinson Wright Scoops Up 10-Lawyer Toronto Team from Minden Gross

The U.S.-based firm’s Canadian office is anticipating the arrival of a full team of lawyers and support staff from Minden Gross.



Legal Chief at Silicon Valley Pioneer Exiting After Quarter Century with Company

According to Western Digital, Michael Ray is stepping aside “to pursue another opportunity,” this news follows the revelation that Western Digital is preparing to split itself into two.

ALM’s Grezlak Joins Furia Rubel as Legal Marketing Firm Expands Services

Grezlak joined Furia Rubel last week after an extensive career working at ALM, parent company of The Legal, for 30 years. Most recently he was editor-in-chief of legal themes, regional brands and Law.com, overseeing ALM’s U.S.-based legal newsroom.

Sony Pictures General Counsel to Exit After Three Decades with Media Giant

During her time at Sony, Leah Weil assisted the media giant in acquiring IP rights to Spiderman for a mere $7 million, obtaining MGM for $2.9 billion and recovering from a crippling 2014 cyberattack as well as much more.

GC of Liquor Juggernaut Passing Legal Reins to Deputy

After a 16-year run as legal chief of Brown-Forman, which owns the Jack Daniel’s and Woodford Reserve brands, Matt Hammel is retiring.

HP Enterprise Veteran to Captain Legal Team at Cargo Shipper Cargill

Rishi Varma, who has been part of the team at HP Enterprise since it was borne of the computing giant in 2015, will take the legal reins over at Cargill.


Promotions & Appointments:

People in the News—Jan. 9, 2024—Hangley Aronchick

Hangley Aronchick Segal Pudlin & Schiller is delighted to have elected Colleen Norcross as a shareholder.

King & Spalding Re-elects Robert Hays to Seventh Term as Chairman

Since Robert Hays took up the mantle of chairman of the firm in 2006, they have more than tripled its revenues and profitability and multiplied the number of offices they operates worldwide by four times.

Axinn Names DC-Based Antitrust Partner as Next Leader

The 100-lawyer firm, which is well known for its antitrust and litigation expertise, has represented numerous firms such Google, Tyson Foods, Ball Corp., Thermo Fisher Scientific and VMware. They have named Jeny Maier as their next managing partner.

People in the News—Jan. 10, 2024—Capehart Scatchard, Ogletree Deakins, Munley

Capehart Scatchard has announced that, Brian P. Berkoff; Daniel W. Klementowski; Vivian Marmaras; and Nicholas D. Stephens, who are from the firm’s workers’ compensation department, have been admitted as shareholders:

Hrelic, Marafito and Zeid Promoted to Members at Pullman & Comley

Dana Hrelic, Michael Marafito and Zachary Zeid have ascended to the position of members from the professional liability, property tax and employment law practices.

Hopeful on 2024 Market, Klehr Harrison Appoints New Real Estate Leaders

Klehr Harrison managing partner Brad Krouse stated that “These are three leaders with separate skillsets that really complement each other,” he also said that “They’re leaders in their respective practice areas, which ultimately gives us a much broader reach at the leadership level.”

Buchanan Taps Real Estate and Bankruptcy Chair as Next CEO

Pittsburgh-based shareholder James Newell will take over from Philadelphia-based Joe Dougherty in May.

M&A Lawyer Takes Second Turn as Global Chair for Norton Rose Fulbright

Walied Soliman has previously served as global chair in 2019 and has been chair of the firm’s Canadian arm since 2017.


Mergers & Alliances:

Texas-Based Ferguson Braswell Launches in Orange County Via Merger

Kyle Ferguson, CEO of Ferguson Braswell has stated the firm’s goals, which are to establish a full-service office in Costa Mesa, where there is a “strong middle-market industry” and “a lot of wealth and opportunity.”

Paladin Rings in 2024 With Pro Bono Manager Acquisition, New Partnership

This Pro Bono Manager has highlighted Paladin’s first-ever acquisition and will provide the company with the opportunity to expand its network and access more pro bono data and insights.

Barclay Damon Combines With DC-Based Shapiro, Lifschitz & Schram

Barclay Damon has been keen on the idea of expanding its footprint in the D.C. market for a considerable amount of time in an effort to advance the firm’s regulatory experience at the federal level.

Kilpatrick Merges With Chicago Law Firm, Significantly Expanding Corporate Practice

Henry Walker, CEO of Kilpatrick said that HMB’s expertise in mergers and acquisitions and private equity “enhances the depth and breadth of Kilpatrick’s corporate department,” Henry is ranked No. 90 in the Am Law 100.


Office Openings & Closing:

More Law Firms in New York Opt for Larger Spaces

Paul Weiss and King & Spalding are among the latest firms to secure new, larger spaces in New York.

Pace of Law Firm Office Leasing Picked Up in Late 2023, With More Firms Shedding Space

Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner decreased its space by 73% by shedding two full floors, after acquiring a new office lease in D.C.

Cozen O’Connor Launches DEI Strategies and Solutions Practice

Group leader Simeon Brier has been reported as saying, “One of the fundamental things that we receive are clients who have solely relied on a law firm or solely relied on a consultant,” Simon Brier is based in South Florida and followed up his previous statement saying, “It’s hard to operate with the left arm not knowing what the right arm is doing.”

Marc Mukasey’s Law Firm Announces Rebrand as Mukasey Young

This change is occurring after co-founder Robert Frenchman departed and Torrey Young has been elevated to a name partner.



As Billing Rates Soar, Law Firm Clients Move to Spread Work Around

According to a new industry report, “Many law firms have seen their ability to collect on those increasing rates falter, and clients have become more aggressive about trying to tier work to lower-cost firms”.

Top Big Law Partners Are Earning More Than $2,400 Per Hour, as Rates Continue to Climb

According to recent bankruptcy court filings, Dechert has been reported as increasing rates for top partners by 20%, while McDermott is charging top partners out at $2,590 hourly.

Law Firms Embracing ‘Hoteling’ to Save On Office Lease Costs

Workplace strategies in many law firms have been shifting; flexibility, balance, space efficiency, and attorneys/staff that work remotely more than pre-pandemic are gaining relative normality.

Paul Weiss Hides Partner Pay Inside ‘Black Box,’ as Firm Shells Out for Top Laterals

A non-transparent pay system has been adopted as firm leaders seek to decrease internal tensions as the spread of compensation develops.

Associates See a Pay Boost at Largest Law Firms, but Few May Match in Atlanta

Both Alston & Bird and King & Spalding are increasing associate pay to the top market scale, however other Atlanta-based law firms have not been confirmed to be doing the same.

Quinn Emanuel London partner profit averages £5.3m in stellar year

Quinn Emanuel’s average London partner profit has increased to £5.3m in 2023. This increase is congruent with the standout year the US litigation law firm have had.


Technology & Innovation:

Are Tomorrow’s Lawyers Prepared for Legal’s Tech Future? 4 Recent Trends Shaping Legal Education?

Advanced legal technology means little if attorneys don’t know how to use it. Whilst some key law schools are impacting change in efforts to mitigate that issue, others are falling behind in this particular area.

Automation and Algorithms: How Pierson Ferdinand Aims to Build a New Type of Law Firm

Pierson Ferdinand, a new law firm which has been launched by the managing partners from FisherBroyles recently, has sought to build legacy systems that can stay flexible enough to accommodate future needs, and automate as much non-billable work as efficiently possible.

The EU AI Act Will Transform Practices for AI Governance In the U.S.

The EU AI Act sets in writing one of the world’s first comprehensive attempts to provide governance to unlock innovation in AI. But this beckons a question that has been in the forefront of the mind of many US firms and practices, what exactly does this development mean for their businesses?

A Tale of Two Nations: How China and the United States Confront Generative AI Challenges

Legislative bodies across the world have exercised their authority to harness GenAI’s transformative power and mitigate potential risks. This divergence is exceedingly clear when we compare the GenAI laws enacted in the People’s Republic of China with the growing efforts of President Biden and Congress to react to these new challenges.

Generative AI May Be in the Spotlight, but Search Terms Still Dominate in E-Discovery

Generative AI tools are becoming more and more popular, subsequently they should be researched, studied, and ultimately embraced if proven for their ability to assist lawyers with legal tasks, however, they first must be properly and accurately trained, tested, and verified.


Diversity & Inclusion:

More Judges, Less Diversity: 92% of Kemp’s 2023 Judicial Appointments Are White

Minorities have been stated to account for 8% of state court or higher judicial appointments made by Gov. Brian Kemp in 2023. This figure is a sharp drop from 30% in 2022.

Women in Academic Leadership Still Face Systemic Barriers

“The legal academy was not built for anyone other than white males,” this was a statement made by Nicola Boothe, dean of the University of Illinois Chicago School of Law, during the AALS session. She followed that statement up by saying that “there are always going to be opportunities for us to feel that we do not belong in this space.”

Many Companies Doubling Down on DEI Despite Backlash

A new study by Littler Mendelson found that companies are determined to press on with their DEI initiatives, however it also found that companies are avoiding “legally thorny” practices, for example providing incentives to executives to advance diversity.

St. John’s Law Names First Black Dean To Succeed Longtime Dean Michael Simons

The incumbent dean Jelani Jefferson Exum said in a statement, “I’m honored to serve as the next dean of St. John’s Law”.

Women Make Up the Majority of Associates for First Time

Based on figures which have been broken down in accordance to geographical location, Miami holds one of the highest percentages of female associates, their numbers constitute 55% of the associate population, Phoenix comes in at a close second, with 54% women associates, while St. Louis trailed behind in last place.

Combating the Tide of Anti-LGBTQ+ Laws and Regulations

The chair of the LGBTQ+ Law Section, Samuel W. Buchbauer, stated that “Providing a state-wide community for LGBTQ+ identified legal professionals and allies through CLE programming, live events and advocacy work strengthens our Section’s purpose to promote equality in the law for LGBTQ+ people”.

Taking Steps to Combat Antisemitism and Anti-Asian Hate

The co-chairs of the Task Force on Combating Antisemitism and Anti-Asian Hate, Brian S. Cohen and Vince Chang have been reported as saying that their “task force has focused on statutory changes to address the hate crimes crisis and the problem of Internet hate speech, responses to the underreporting of hate crimes and an educational initiative to combat racial harassment and discrimination in schools”.


Market Commentary:

How Effective are Legal Networks in the African Market?

Local firms are joining independent networks in order to remain competitive in the face of international competition, however many experts disagree on the usefulness of these legal networks.

Well-Being and Engagement: Why a Firm Needs to Prioritize Both

This article discusses the balancing of two key areas of importance namely that Law firm leaders must keep in mind the concept of engagement to create a healthy, high-achieving work environment. It discusses how “wellness and engagement are not interchangeable terms”.

In-House Lawyers May Get Chance to Dust Off Their Dealmaking Prowess in 2024

In a new report that has been published, Morrison & Foerster have been reported as saying that “Savvy companies … are expected to look for ways to effect strategies for growth, including by expanding product lines, and to enhance performance, including by divestitures, in the face of technological and other disruptions,”.

Sullivan & Cromwell Led 2023 M&A Activity in Latin America

The firm is New York-based but also ranked high in the Caribbean despite last year being a slow year globally for cross-border transactions.

Clifford Chance Mulls Lockstep Change to Better Reward Top Performers

The anticipated change is projected to help it to retain its strongest performers in an increasingly monied hiring market, many might suggest that this is an important move for them as recently, star talent has been exiting the firm.

DLA Piper leads global M&A for 14th consecutive year

According to Mergermarket’s league tables, DLA Piper is the highest-ranked legal advisor in the world for M&A deal volume they have received this accolade for the 14th consecutive year. Despite a down market for global M&A in 2023, DLA Piper continued to gain market share and completed more deals than any other firm.

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