Weekly Update – 17th of June 2024


UK & Ireland

Paul Weiss Adds Senior Google Lawyer in Latest London Hire

Ludovic Ghesquiere, who previously led Alphabet’s EMEA regulatory response, investigations, and compliance, will be based in London and California with Paul Weiss.

Another Cadwalader London Partner Departs, This Time to Greenberg

Two people with knowledge of the move say that real estate finance partner Duncan Hubbard is leaving the company to join rival Greenberg Traurig in the United States. Over the course of his 25-year career, he has worked with investors, financial institutions, and global funds.

Travers Smith hires Blackstone Credit legal counsel to bolster funds group

Joel Grossmark becomes a partner and contributes to the expansion of Travers Smith’s retailisation business.

MKB Law welcomes corporate banking specialist Neil Logan

Belfast-based Neil Logan has been hired by MKB Law as a consultant in the corporate, banking, and commercial sectors of the company.



Trowers taps Ashurst for Dubai project finance partner

Brad Sandford, whose LinkedIn profile states that he was most recently a senior associate at Ashurst, has joined the firm as a partner in the projects, energy, and infrastructure (PEI) division.



Dentons Adds Former Dechert Corporate Partner in Hong Kong

This year, Dentons has hired two partners in Hong Kong: Stephen Chan. After parting ways with Dacheng Law Offices in China last year, the company now manages its business in Greater China out of Hong Kong alone.

Gibson Dunn Adds Partner from White & Case in Hong Kong

Daniel Abercromby was formerly a partner at Kirkland & Ellis and Weil Gotshal & Manges.

White & Case Loses Second Partner in Greater China, M&A Lawyer Defects to Hogan Lovells

Following Daniel Abercromby, a finance partner, who departed for Gibson Dunn & Crutcher in Hong Kong, Jiang is the second partner to depart White & Case in Greater China this week.

Asia Pacific Regional Firms Add to their Partner Ranks

Firms including, JunHe, Adnan Sundra, JSA and MinterEllison have all added new partners recently across China, India, Malaysia and Australia.

Ashurst Adds Two Partners to West Australian Office

Australian firm HWL Ebsworth sends Richard Johnson to the firm’s restructuring and exceptional situations department, while Australian firm Johnson Winter Slattery sends Kirsten Scott to the employment team as an investigations partner.

Tokyo International makes two senior hires

Two senior appointments have strengthened Tokyo International Law Office’s roster: in-house counsel Yuri Aihara from Fujifilm and disputes lawyer Victor Sai from Procopio, Cory, Hargreaves & Savitch in San Diego.

Bengaluru: Sam Hires Infra Partner from JSA

The Indian legal firm Shardul Amarchand Mangaldas & Co (SAM) has announced its second hire in as many days following the addition of JSA partner Anjana Jamalamadaka Potti, an expert in projects and infrastructure.

JSA Hires Back Banking Partner from S&R Amid Lateral Spree

Indian law firm JSA has re-welcomed banking and finance expert Divyanshu Pandey from S&R Associates as an equity partner, as the firm continues an aggressive lateral hiring spree.


The Americas

Cozen Adds NY Partner Amid Demand for Higher Education Labor Advice

Thomas Giotto, chair of the L&E department said that Sandi Dubin’s addition will help Cozen address “a substantial increase in organizing activities” taking place in higher education and nonprofits across the country”.

Wilmer Hires Latham Partner as Co-Chair of Growing Life Sciences Practice

“We see the biggest growth opportunity in life sciences,” according to Mick Bain, chair of the transactional department.

People in the News—June 11, 2024—Rothman Gordon, Greenberg Traurig

Attorneys at Rothman Gordon have announced that Maria V. Rossi has joined the firm.

Polsinelli Adds to New York Headcount—and List of Recent Real Estate Hires

With roughly 72 attorneys in New York, Polisinelli serves a number of major corporate and healthcare customers who are constantly increasing their real estate holdings.

McGinnis Lochridge Adds Executive Director From Midsize Oklahoma Law Firm

Silvano Parducci said he sees great opportunity as executive director of Austin-founded McGinnis Lochridge, because the Texas market is a ‘hotbed’ right now.

Manatt Hires Crypto Partner in New York, Continuing Growth in Financial Services and Digital Assets

Prior to this, Michael Katz oversaw the legal division of the cryptocurrency venture capital firm Digital Currency Group.

Sidley Adds Cooley Partner to Lead New VC Fund Formation Group

According to Sidley, Shane Goudey has established more than 1,000 funds, spanning from multibillion-dollar venture capital and leveraged buyout funds to early stage and pledge funds.

Schulte Loses Investment Funds Partner to Morgan Lewis

After sitting on the other side of negotiations from her new colleagues representing fund managers and investors, Leonora Shalet claimed she received a call from Morgan Lewis.

Freshfields Adds M&A Partner Joshua Ayal in New York

Over the past ten years, Josh has gained substantial experience in high-profile mergers and acquisitions with both strategic and private equity clients. Apart from his emphasis on mergers and acquisitions, he also counsel’s companies and their directors on problems pertaining to corporate governance and activist defence.


In house

Century-Old Books-A-Million Hires GC to Help Plot Next Chapter

Courtney Adair, Excelon’s assistant general counsel is set to be taking the lead on legal matters.

FisherBroyles Adds Legal Ethics Lawyer as GC as Firm Continues Rebuilding

Since January 1st, the company has added 12 partners, including Devika Kewalramani. Prior to that, 128 partners, including its previous general counsel, left to create Pierson Ferdinand, one of the biggest law firm spinoffs ever.

Seagate Technology Hires Former Senior Aramark Attorney as Legal Chief

The third IT company where Jim Lee has held a senior legal position is the massive data storage company.

Skadden Hires First Chief People Officer as More Law Firms Take Holistic Approach to Talent

Skadden said Annemarie Crouch “will lead all aspects of the firm’s people strategy for lawyers and business professionals”.

Exxon Hires Fox Corp.’s General Counsel as Its New Top Lawyer

Jeffrey Taylor is joining the oil and gas behemoth after failing to secure the position of chief legal officer at Fox when it became available last year.

M&A Guru Taps Familiar Face to Lead Legal for Growth-Hungry Startup

Brad Jacobs, a serial entrepreneur, has appointed Christopher Signorello as QXO’s chief legal officer. QXO wants to grow to be a $50 billion company in the building supplies distribution market.

BeReal GC Departs as App Sold in $500M Deal, Weil and Orrick Lead

The GC leaves after just over a year in the role following its takeover by fellow French app developer Voodoo.

ExxonMobil names former Fox lawyer as next GC

Craig Morford, who will retire at the beginning of July, will be replaced by Jeff Taylor.

US data storage business Seagate fills vacant CLO seat with Maxar hire

Kate Schuelke, who joined Credo Technology in January, is replaced by Jim Lee.

Susan Small is appointed as General counsel at the London Metal Exchange Group

Susan will start working there in June and will answer to the CEOs of LME and LME Clear. She comes from J.P. Morgan’s Corporate and Investment Bank (CIB), London, where she was previously the head of the EMEA Markets Practice Group and the Deputy General Counsel for the CIB in EMEA.


Team Moves

ArentFox Schiff Recruits 13-Lawyer Team, in Latest Group Exit from Burns & Levinson

The 13-attorney IP and litigation group that ArentFox Schiff hired from Burns & Levinson has joined its Boston office, becoming the most recent group to leave the Boston-based firm this year.

Willkie Raids Latham for 11-Lawyer Restructuring Team in Major German Expansion

As part of its new German strategy, Willkie Farr & Gallagher has brought in counsel Jan-Philipp Praß and a group of seven associates, as well as former Latham bankruptcy and restructuring attorneys Jörn Kowalewski, Ulrich Klockenbrink, and Hendrik Hauke.

4-Partner Cadwalader Team Moves to King & Spalding

The increased emphasis on financial work is driving the move, according to several with knowledge of the plans.

Cooley Grows Compensation, Benefits Practice With Cadwalader, Wilson Sonsini Partners

With the growing number of public company customers seeking assistance on increasingly comprehensive compensation and benefits matters, Cooley expands its team by adding partners in San Diego and Washington, D.C.

Norton Rose Fulbright Lands a Dozen Attorneys From BCLP, Adding to Global Investigations Practice

While Laura Perlov and Jeff Ziesman have been with the team for more than ten years, new partners Jeff Kalinowski and Eric Martin have collaborated for almost twenty-five years. The others are located in St. Louis, but Perlov is based in Denver.

Rimon Deepens Global Lending Practice With Group From Akin

Two former colleagues joined three partners who had come from Akin to Rimon in London and Washington during April and May.

Gatti Pavesi Bianchi Ludovici Adds 4-Lawyer Finance Team in Milan

The appointments follow the addition of seven lawyers to the Italian firm’s Milan office in the previous month.

Former Linklaters Real Estate Partner Leads 7-Lawyer Exodus to Local Swedish Firm

Former real estate transactions practice heads Magnus Lidman and Anna Eriksson take with them five associates to Gernandt & Danielsson


Diversity & Inclusion:

Diversity Lab Hackathon Targets DEI Headwinds, Inclusive Talent Management

Diversity Lab’s “Moments to Movements Hackathon” assembles more than 100 law firm partners, in-house leaders and others to address leading issues in diversity, equity and inclusion.

How to Navigate and Respond to Government Alerts on Attending Pride Events in the US, Abroad

These alerts, while prioritizing safety, evoke painful memories of past attacks and heighten anxieties about the ongoing threats faced by LGBTQ+ individuals.

Rising Stars: The UK Legal Industry’s Best Up-and-Coming Black Lawyers, 2024

Law.com International has released its first list of 10 outstanding Black lawyers under 40 who practice law in the UK.

Great minds don’t think alike – why LGBTQ+ allyship is a business must-have

An increasing number of law firms are beginning to embrace corporate allyship, but what are the tangible actions behind the rainbow marketing?

How Carey Olsen drives gender diversity and inclusion

Carey Olsen, an offshore legal practice, has put in place a number of programs to encourage inclusion and diversity, with a focus on gender diversity.



Canadian In-House Counsel Salaries Up 9%, Report Shows

The basic salary difference between corporate lawyers who are male, and female is still made present by the results of the annual report, but it has narrowed somewhat from the previous year.

The UK Law Firms With the Highest Profit Margin

A review of LLP accounts shows that the top five operational profit margin-achieving corporations in the UK Top 50 are still the same five.

De Brauw Revenue Bounces Back After Slump

Prior to COVID, the company recorded sales of €200 million; by 2022, that amount had dropped to €177 million.

Hogan Lovells Overtakes Slaughter and May on NQ Pay

In recent weeks, A&O Shearman, Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer, Clifford Chance, and Linklaters have all decided to raise their own wages to £150,000.

Watch: 4 Worrying Numbers for the UK Top 50 Law Firms

Paul Hodkinson, editor-in-chief of Law.com International, describes how the biggest corporations’ fundamental health has gotten worse.

Sidley Raises NQ Rates Again as Pressure to Join Fray Mounts

The Chicago-based company is increasing its prices to £175,000 from £166,500, which it established only a few months before in January, according to an individual with knowledge of the situation.

Pay for Autodesk Legal Chief Jumped 37% in Latest Year

Ruth Ann Keene, who spent 11 years at the software maker before departing in 2016 for a legal chief post elsewhere, returned in 2022 when her former boss retired.

Latham & Watkins proposes ‘super points’ for stars to boost pay above $20m

The planned changes coincide with a fierce pay war among elite US law firms that has driven top partners’ salary packages above $20 million.


Promotions & Appointments:

People in the News—June 12, 2024—Barley Snyder, McNees

Barley Snyder declared that attorney Caitlin M. Long has been appointed to the board of directors of the Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA) of Berks County, and attorney Zachary D. Griffith has been elected vice president.

Changes at BBB Attorneys: Personal Injury Litigators Added, 2 Trial Lawyers Promoted to Partner

Zachary Reiland and Christopher Kenworthy are joining the group after more than 30 years of private practice experience between them, and BBB promoted two lawyers internally (Kenneth Krayeske and Megan Boorsma) to partner in recognizing its “commitment to the firm and its clients.”

As New Chair Takes Reins of Winston, He Wants to Do Things A Little Differently

Steve D’Amore has employed a small management team that includes four other partners to handle areas such as talent, branding and overall strategy.

Fenwick Elliott rings in new senior partner after 23 years

Next April, Karen Gidwani will take over as head of the UK construction and energy boutique, replacing seasoned leader Simon Tolson.

Clyde & Co and RPC partners step up as LIDW co-chairs

In addition to Henrietta Jackson-Stops, Loukas Mistelis and Jonathan Cary will chair London International Disputes Week.

New Managing Partner and Heads of Commercial Disputes for Hausfeld in London

Nicola Boyle is set to become Hausfeld’s new Managing Partner in London. In addition, Lucy Pert and Ned Beale will become Co-Heads of the Commercial Disputes Team.


Mergers & Alliances:

Deal Watch: As PE Deal Activity Ramps Up, Skadden, Paul Weiss, Latham Lead $11B Chip Deal

It is unreasonable to separate the private equity sector’s relative performance from the M&A markets as a whole.

Mid-Market Buffalo-Based Firm Continues Expansion Plan in Combination with Health Care Boutique

Together with the 11-attorney health care law boutique CCBLaw, the Buffalo-based mid-size firm Lippes Mathias has expanded into the Syracuse region, adding a 15th legal market to its ever-expanding nationwide reach.

White & Case Acts as North Sea Oil Company Waldorf Files for Administration

The company has added a restructuring partner in Hong Kong and opened an insolvency business in Australia.

Latham, Orrick and Linklaters Land Roles in €3.1B Budapest Airport Sale

France’s Vinci Airports has been expanding its holdings; it recently acquired airports in Scotland and Mexico.

Investigation Into $2.5B Deal Shows EU Means Business with New Foreign Subsidies Rules

Attorneys claim that businesses should have considered the extra obstacle that the new regulations may present to the completion of M&A transactions.

4 Firms Take Lead Role in CA$5 billion Bank Tie-Up

The second significant bank acquisition in the nation this year is the purchase of Canadian Western Bank by National Bank of Canada.

Burns & Levinson in Merger Talks After Latest Round of Departures

Burns & Levinson, a Boston-based firm that lost 17 employees to ArentFox Schiff, is considering merging with another company in the future or bolstering its staff. According to a statement from Burns & Levinson, “We are exploring several growth options.” Among them is “bolstering our team via senior lateral hires or a merger with another company that supports our dedication to an entrepreneurial and cooperative culture.”


Office Openings & Closing:

Cravath Set for London Office Move

After many years at its current central London site, Cravath Swaine & Moore are moving to a new location in London.

FisherBroyles continues robust performance with expansion to Nevada

Through its Partners, Adam Yowell and Rob Phillips, FisherBroyles will first offer IP and patent litigation services to clients located in Nevada. In the upcoming months, the firm will expand its coverage to include all of its practice areas.

Docvit Latest PRC Firm to Launch Hong Kong Office

In the midst of an increasing number of mainland Chinese legal practices in the city, Beijing-based DOCVIT Law Firm has increased its reach by opening a new office in Hong Kong, making it the firm’s ninth branch nationwide.


Technology & Innovation:

Legal Research, Drafting Startup Alexi Raises $11 Million in Series A Funding

According to Alexi, the company will use the funding to expand its workforce and keep creating new solutions for the legal firm industry.

CaseMark AI Announces $1.7M Seed Funding Round Led by Google-Backed Investment Firm

Over the course of the last year, Google’s parent firm Gradient Ventures has shown interest in at least three legal tech startups, including CaseMark.

Is It Legal and Ethical for Child Custody Evaluators To Use AI?

Our day is one of advanced technology. Artificial Intelligence can help individuals in all aspect of their lives by utilizing a vast reservoir of knowledge. What if the “expert” child custody assessor uses artificial intelligence (AI) to compile their findings?

Tracking Generative AI: How Evolving AI Models Are Impacting Legal

An ongoing collection of the ways that generative AI tools—from GPT technologies to art creation tools and beyond—are continuing to influence the legal landscape.

AAA Launches ClauseBuilder AI to Simplify Drafting of Arbitration and Mediation Agreements

The GPT-4o model from OpenAI powers the new tool, which provides over 500 carefully selected provisions to speed up the creation of understandable and practical ADR agreements for a variety of industry uses.

Lexis Announces General Availability of Lexis+ AI in the UK

After a few months of a commercial preview program and the announcement earlier this month of Lexis+ AI’s equivalent availability in Australia, Lexis formally expanded the generative AI platform to the U.K.

Robin AI Launches ‘Robin AI Reports,’ Automating Contract Report Generation

Robin AI promises to reduce the expense of outside counsel contract reviews for businesses with this new tool.

Filevine Launches New Document Management System ‘Docs by Filevine’

The company is touting unlimited document storage at a lower cost in order to present its new DMS solution as a rival to established providers iManage and NetDocuments.

Draftwise Launches ‘Markup’, Gen AI-Powered Contract Drafting, Review and Redlining Tool

Draftwise announced Markup and added that it will now use Claude 3 Opus, one of Anthropic’s most current generative AI models, noting its broader context window and better memory capabilities.

The Hype Behind Harvey: How Firms Are Using the Gen AI Startup

A number of well-known legal firms and corporations have become clients of Harvey, the legal tech startup supported by OpenAI. This is how a few of them are utilizing the tech.

As Law Firms Embrace AI, Will Dedicated Executive Roles Give Them an Edge?

According to Carlos Pauling, executive director of Major, Lindsey & Africa’s partner practice group, firms need to consider who should be in charge of the development and application of generative AI within their organizations.


Market Commentary:

Young People are Setting the Political Agenda. Can Law Firms Cope?

According to The Global Lawyer, social media has provided young people with a voice and the ability to dictate the political (and moral) agenda, and legal companies are finding it difficult to keep up.

How Attorney Titles in Big Law Can Mean Everything, and Nothing, All at Once

According to one recruiter getting a title suggests “that the partner, and by extension his or her clients, could be prioritized and important to the firm”.

Inflection Point: The Pecking Order of India’s Top Law Firms is Set to Change

Jessica Seah outlines why competitors are expected to overtake the nation’s well-established top legal firms in this week’s edition of Asia Legal Briefing.

Saudi Arabia Considers Relaxing Regulations For Foreign Law Firms

The plan may cause more international legal firms to create offices in Saudi Arabia with less restrictions than those that have been in place recently.

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