Ukrainian Legal Developments:
The University of Pittsburgh School of Law is working to bring a half dozen Ukrainian lawyers to the United States to spend a year studying and doing pro bono work related to their home country. The initiative is part of the school’s Ukrainian Legal Assistance Project, which aims to apply human rights law and other legal remedies to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. The university committed to paying the Ukrainian LL.M. students’ tuition and covering their travel and living expenses as needed.
This week, Hogan Lovells partner and global energy practice leader Amy Roma discusses international energy security challenges in light of the war in Ukraine and her legal advisory role with E.U. as well as U.S. stakeholders.
UK & Ireland
Tom Cartwright, private equity partner, has left Morgan Lewis for Paul Hastings.
Suzanne Spears, former Co-Head of Allen & Overy’s global business and human rights practice has left to found her own Boutique in London.
Frances Stocks Allen joins Cooley after more than eight years at Latham.
Financing partner Oliver Storey has left White & Case for Ince.
Matthew Cowie, white collar and securities litigation partner, has left Dechert.
James Collis, former Ashurst managing partner, joins Norton Rose Fulbright.
Keating Chambers CEO Declan Redmond is leaving the set to join corporate investigations and risk consulting firm Kroll in London.
Javier Monzon, corporate partner, has joined White & Case’s Madrid office from Freshfields.
Corporate partner Nico Abel, formerly the managing partner of HSF, joins Cleary’s Frankfurt office.
Estelle Vernejoul joins the firm from her role as founding partner of AVOCATALYSE, which she established in 2018. She moves across alongside associate Angélique Charrier. Thomas Coëffé joins from Taylor Wessing where he was a real estate counsel. He joins the firm along with real estate associate Elise Milani.
Webber Wentzel has rehired a fintech partner from Cliffe Dekker Hofmeyr, along with two other lawyers.
Vincent Ohannessian joins the firm from French outfit Wan Avocats, where he has spent the past two years.
US firm WilmerHale has landed a high-profile partner hire with the arrival of former US Attorney for the Southern District of New York Preet Bharara.
Holland & Knight has made its second lateral partner hire in Columbia this year after persuading tax expert Gustavo Pardo Ardila to incorporate his independent practice into the firm.
Liyong Xing, funds and investment management partner, has joined Clifford Chance from Kirkland & Ellis.
Clare Lynch, former head of legal at Vodafone, will join Ocado in September.
Pharma Intelligence has appointed Vicky Harris as general counsel from Warburg Pincus, where she was a consultant.
Aimee Williams-Ramey has joined the Dallas-based amusement park operator as one of a number of leadership appointments the company said underscored its commitment to diversity and inclusion.
Promotions & Appointments:
James Beatton will replace Gavin Tyler from May 2023, who will retire upon stepping down ater 39 years at Cripps.
Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer has appointed London disputes leader Sarah Parkes as its next global disputes head as it presses on with plans to grow a heavyweight US practice and an innovative mass claims unit in Germany.
Shearman & Sterling stayed close to home in its latest partner promotions round with nine of the 12 spots going to lawyers in the US. The US focus marks a pivot from the New York firm’s round last year, when nine of the 14 promotions were made across its international network following a six-month delay. The latest promotions arrive a year after the delayed round was unveiled last June. Four of the new partners are women (33%), representing a slight dip on last year when six of the 14 made up were women, or 42% of the total.
Brown Rudnick has elected New York-based tax partner Vincent Guglielmotti as its next chief executive officer and chair of the firm’s management committee, succeeding William Baldiga.
Herbert Smith Freehills’ chief executive, Justin D’Agostino, has been appointed to the executive board of the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) in a move that promises to grow his profile in the wider business community.
Commercial litigator Emily Lawrence is the new managing partner of Canadian litigation boutique Paliare Roland Rosenberg Rothstein.
Four non-executive board directors have stepped down from Mishcon de Reya, following the news that the firm’s planned IPO has been postponed “for the foreseeable future”. The directors were appointed to the board of Mishcon de Reya Group in February this year, along with the firm’s current chief financial officer Matt Hotson, who joined the firm in the newly established role in December 2021.
Mishcon de Reya has launched an international seat for its trainee lawyers as the firm bids to make best use of its fledging Asia-Pacific presence. The international seat was set up earlier this year with the trainee, Laura Price, beginning in Singapore on 21 March for a six-month period.
Mergers & Alliances:
AmLaw 100 firm Davis Wright Tremaine is to merge with financial services boutique law firm McGonigle in a move that will double the size of its banking and financial services practice and add two bases to its national platform.
US national firm Fennemore has continued its West Coast expansion with its second Californian merger in two years, this time joining forces with Wendel Rosen, one of the oldest firms in the East Bay region. The combined firm will be known as Fennemore Wendel in Northern California where Wendel Rosen has three offices, in Oakland, Modesto and Walnut Creek. The tie-up adds 56 lawyers to Fennemore’s roster, taking its total attorney headcount to 250. Wendel brings a full-service offering with particular expertise in real estate, land use, litigation and trusts and estates. The merger will be effective from the start of July.
Australian and New Zealand law firm Wotton + Kearney has sold a 30% stake to local private equity firm Straight Bat to fund its expansion. As part of the unusual deal, Straight Bat will appoint two non-executive directors to the specialist insurance firm’s board to provide insight and “challenge our traditional thinking,” Wotton + Kearney said.
Osborne Clarke will hand out at least £2,500 to each UK staff member as the firm offers a profit share award on the back of positive financial results. The rewards come as the firm reports 20 per cent growth across its UK offices from £166.4m to £199.1m over 2021/22.
In-house legal teams, particularly at smaller companies, are spending more of their legal budget internally and less on outside counsel, according to new research by the Association of Corporate Counsel and Major Lindsey & Africa. The 2022 Law Department Management Benchmarking Report found that more than half (54%) of legal spend was in-house, a shift from last year’s survey, which tilted slightly toward a larger external spend – 51% on average.
The firm said its revenue increased by 13% to £137 million, improved growth on 2021 when it posted a 10% top line rise. Additionally, the firm’s underlying adjusted profit before tax jumped by 11%, up to £21.5 million.
Seven firms—DLA Piper, Eversheds Sutherland, Norton Rose Fulbright, Irwin Mitchell, Fieldfisher, Gateley and Weightmans—reduced their debt by 100% as of April 2021, according to analysis of their most recent limited liability accounts on Companies House by auditor Evelyn Partners.
Technology & Innovation:
More than two thirds of general counsel in Europe say complex data rules are preventing their organisations from embracing data-driven business models, according to a new study by Osborne Clarke and the European Company Lawyers Association (ECLA).
The need to maintain legaltech has an important regulatory angle, explain 3Kites’ Paul Longhurst and Richard Kemp of Kemp IT Law.
Diversity & Inclusion:
Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom, White & Case and Herbert Smith Freehills are the firms with the highest proportion of LGBTQ+ representation in its U.K. lawyer ranks, research by Law.com International has found. Sixty-eight major legal institutions provided data for a comprehensive survey—which was sent to Top 50 U.K. law firms and large U.S. law firms operating in London with a U.K. headcount of over 50 lawyers, asking for the proportion of lawyers who identify as LGBTQ+.
Thousands of workers across the U.K. have this month started working a four-day week as part of a nationwide trial. Thought to provide significant benefits to well-being, productivity, revenue, as well as the environment, it’s a concept that is taking off in other European nations, such as Belgium. The trial, which started last week, involves around 3,300 workers at 70 companies who will enjoy a four-day week with no effect on pay. But can a four-day week fit within the confines of the hyper-competitive legal industry, where meeting client needs and round-the-clock availability have been prioritised for so long? Has the advent of flexible working enabled industry leaders to rethink what is possible?
Figures published by Sky News, suggests that 1 in 10 women left employment because of the detrimental impact that menopause had on their working lives. Gender equality has long plagued the legal profession and has clouded the career ladder for many women. With more women going into and staying in the legal field, there will inevitably be more people dealing with the menopause at some point in their career, so ignoring this topic is no longer an option.
Travers Smith is set to offer its London workers three meals a day, five days a week – all for free. The UK law firm is preparing to launch a limited evening service this summer, whereby all staff – including business service professionals – can eat dinner free-of-charge from its office cafe, Braithwaite’s. Travers’ free dinner scheme will start officially in September, when there will be a full selection of meals available.