Ukrainian Conflict Legal Developments:
James Goold, a partner in Taylor Wessing’s private equity practice, is making the trip with his wife, Sarah Marris, according to a post on his LinkedIn profile. They began their journey on March 16, and are travelling with 400 sleeping bags, donated by Mountain Warehouse, as well as a consignment of medical kits.
The International Court of Justice (ICJ) has ruled that the Russian Federation should suspend its military operations in Ukraine.
Noerr is among the major German firms to recently provide a statement, telling Law.com that the firm would no longer accept mandates for Russian clients or companies that are “under Russian control or are attributable to the Russian sphere of influence.”
Akin Gump’s withdrawal means all 25 large international law firms that had a base in the country have now confirmed they are leaving.
As the war in Ukraine continues, attention has landed squarely on the largest corporate law firms and their work for Russian clients. Most of them have now made some statement, however limp, though there are still a few holdouts among the transatlantic elite.
As the flood of refugees from the Russian invasion of Ukraine approaches 3 million, humanitarian efforts by international law firms are gathering pace—and Warsaw is becoming a headquarters city for a broad cross-section of initiatives. Many firms with offices in the city, including Clifford Chance, Gide Loyrette Nouel, Hogan Lovells, and Eversheds Sutherland, are helping in various ways.
While President Joe Biden says the United States will welcome Ukrainians “with open arms,” he has yet to articulate how a pathway for them to relocate to American soil will work. And in the meantime many seeking refuge from Russia’s onslaught are having their requests for tourist visas declined. Dana R. Bucin, chairwoman of Murtha Cullina’s immigration practice, says the current system is inadequate to allow Ukrainian refugees into the United States. She’s advocating for a “travel lane” to help Ukrainians with relatives in the United States to reach the country—and stay for the foreseeable future.
DLA Piper and Hogan Lovells are set to leave Russia, becoming the latest law firms to pull out of the country.
Baker McKenzie has announced the spin out of its Moscow and St Petersburg offices into an independent law firm, completing the withdrawal from Russia of all but three of the major international law firms that were based there when the invasion of Ukraine began.
The analysis of the regional Limited Liability Partnership accounts filed in the U.K. for Norton Rose Fulbright, Hogan Lovells, Herbert Smith Freehills, Allen & Overy and Linklaters reveal an array of challenges for their Moscow offices. The numbers also shine a light on the very modest contributions the operations made to their global turnovers, although some argue the numbers do not reflect an accurate picture of their Moscow operations and the wider contribution those offices made.
Dentons has announced the spin out of its Russian arm into an independent firm in response to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, but says it hopes it will be able to rejoin the global giant ‘when it is lawfully and practically possible to do so’.
Several local firms say they are picking up mandates dropped by international firms that have hurriedly exited Russia leaving some clients without legal counsel.
Christopher Thomson has joined Squire Patton Boggs from Dentons
Hannah Laming joins form Peters & Peters as the Head of European Government Investigations & White-Collar practice. Wayne Barnes joins from Fulcrum Chambers. Ben Ticehurst joins as a director from Howard Kennedy. Marion Seranne joins the Paris office from ebl Lexington Avocats.
John Deacon, Hannah Rose, and Dominic O’Brien will move from Orrick to Osborne Clarke next week.
Caroline Hobson, competition partner, has left CMS for Cooley.
Claire Gregory, formerly a Legal Director at Pinsent Masons, has joined Mills & Reeve.
Karim Kassam, formerly of Kirkland & Ellis, has joined Centerbridge.
Noel Hughes, Giacomo Reali, and Christianne Williams have left Vinson Elkins for the magic circle firm.
Stuart Catchpole QC has joined Atkin Chambers from 39 Essex Chambers.
Carlo Alberto Demichelis joins as a partner and head of brand protection along with his three teammates.
Matt Shanahan joins NRF’s Dubai office from Clyde & Co.
Isabel Rooms, competition and antitrust partner, joins the Brussels office as a partner, and Matt Brigham, tax lawyer, joins as a counsel in New York.
Kasim Reed has joined Squire Patton Bogg’s Litigation Practice from Holland & Knight
Jeff Ehrlich, former Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s deputy enforcement director, has joined McGuireWoods.
Daphne Higgs and Teresa Tate join Morrison & Foerster from Perkins Coie.
Teri O’Brien joined Latham & Watkins from Paul Hastings.
Jonathan Shapiro has joined Goodwin from Baker Botts.
Jessica Kaiser has joined Arnold & Porter’s Intellectual property practice.
Ethan Glass has joined Cooley’s Washington D.C. office from Quinn Emanuel.
Leonard Birmingham has joined Denton’s Trinidad and Tobago office.
Scott Dresser joins Ericsson’s US office after eight years at Veon.
Promotions and Appointments:
Katherine Brennan, General Counsel of the insurance broking and risk management practice, has been promoted to take over from Peter Beshar, who was recently nominated to head up the US Air Force’s legal team.
Tesla has appointed its head of compliance as acting head of legal and corporate secretary, the third person to lead the electric car giant’s legal team in the past two years. David Searle joined Tesla last February as deputy GC and head of compliance after an almost two-year stint at Walmart, where he served as VP and chief ethics and compliance officer.
According to a statement by the firm on Thursday, Jeremy Hoyland’s term has been extended by two years, with his term now ending in April 2025.
Mergers & Acquisitions
New York-based legal service provider Epiq has acquired legal management consultancy Fireman & Co for an undisclosed amount in a bid to broaden its data and knowledge management expertise.
Firms including Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan and Harbottle & Lewis were called out in a Parliamentary hearing yesterday, as scrutiny is heaped on law firms acting for oligarchs and influential businesspeople.
The firm’s UK revenue rose 60% in the last year, increasing to $63m.
German firm Heuking Kühn Lüer Wojtek has posted a 2.4% decline in revenue to €185.4m for 2021 as it continues to adjust to a profession-wide winding down in diesel emission collective claims in Germany.
Garrigues’ revenue growth bounced back to 7.1% in 2021 to hit €414.2m after a lacklustre performance in 2020. The Spanish firm, which saw revenue increase by just 1.4% to €386.9m in 2020, claims its latest results make it the first Iberian law firm to see billings pass the €400m mark.
“2021 was a very good year, with strong client demand,” Wilson Sonsini managing partner Douglas Clark said, noting the firm added a record 20 lateral partners additions in the year.
Revenue improved by 11.7% and net income swelled by 29.9% at Clark Hill in 2021, as demand hit an “all-time high,” and the firm’s investments in practices and geographic expansion are paying off.
Technology & Innovation:
Crypto assets have been on the rise for years and the first law firm to accept payment in that form must tread very carefully.
The City has become used to US firms posting record results over the past few years but already in 2022 there are some astonishingly large numbers flying around. They are sure to be eyed by exasperated UK managing partners who recognise the City market is becoming ever more segmented, and not entirely to the latter’s benefit.
3Kites’ Jon Howells offers practical steps for law firms to tackle an issue that can seem overwhelming
A few weeks ago, Belgium’s data protection authority released a decision that is likely to fundamentally alter Europe’s online advertising industry if it becomes enforceable once the legal process has fully played out. In its 127-page decision, the embattled data protection authority found a consent framework for online advertising developed by IAB Europe, the European trade association of the digital and interactive marketing industry, in violation of GDPR. Stating that its decision would “restore order” in the online advertising industry, the Belgian regulator – which has been roiled by infighting for months – issued the industry body a fine of €250,000 and gave it two months to address its concerns.
Diversity & Inclusion:
While statistics show a slow but steady increase in diversity among all lawyers (based on the SRA’s survey of diversity carried out in 2021, when compared with its 2019 survey) the gender gap at more senior levels remains a challenge, with just 35 per cent of partners being female (compared to 61 per cent of solicitors being female).
Norton Rose Fulbright has won the 2022 Legalweek Leaders in Tech Law award for Innovations in Diversity and Inclusion.
Law Society president I. Stephanie Boyce has been honoured in the Burberry British Diversity Awards. She was named a joint winner of the award for Inspirational Role Model of the Year.