Weekly Update – 18th of September 2023


UK & Ireland

Allen & Overy Swoops on Akin for Corporate Partner Hire

The hire represents a rare corporate lateral partner addition for A&O in London. Sophie Jermine will join the firm’s London office as a partner in the firm’s corporate practice—leaving Akin after nine years with the firm. She has been a partner since 2006.

Allen & Overy Hits White & Case For Second Lateral Hire of the Week

Daniel Garton has joined the firm from White & Case, leaving after over 16 years with the U.S. firm. He has joined A&O’s international arbitration practice, and specialises in construction arbitration.

13th Kirkland Partner Quits for Paul Weiss

The dramatic team departure started in mid-August when Neel Sachdev quit the world’s largest law firm alongside several others. Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison has hired its 13th partner from Kirkland & Ellis in the space of a month with the appointment of London debt finance partner Stefan Arnold-Soulby. Arnold-Soulby, who has acted for private equity firms including Warburg Pincus, Investindustrial, Carlyle, Bain Capital and Partners Group, joins Neel Sachdev and eight other London partners making the move from Kirkland in addition to four partners in the U.S., according to a person with knowledge of the situation.


Freshfields Adds White & Case Veteran Partner to White-Collar Defense Team in Paris

Firms in Europe are bulking up their teams in anticipation of more compliance work. Ludovic Malgrain joins Freshfields as a partner in the litigation team within the firm’s dispute resolution department.

Hogan Lovells Hires Energy M&A Team From Dentons in Germany

The team, led by two partners, will be based in Berlin and bring Hogan Lovells’ broader infrastructure and energy team to more than 40 lawyers, the firm said.

ECIJA and Andersen Make New Partner Hires in Spain

ECIJA adds to its urban planning and public law areas, whilst Andersen brings on a former CMS banking and finance partner. For ECIJA, the rapidly growing law firm brought on two partners: Ignasi Subirachs joined the firm’s urban planning, administrative and public law practice in Barcelona, while Jorge González Cortade joined to lead the public and regulatory law area in Madrid.

Clyde & Co Swoops for Tax Expert as UAE Implements New Corporate Tax Regime

The tax will be effective in financial years starting on or after June 1, 2023. Rachel Fox joins the firm from William Fry in Ireland, where she was made partner in 2019, and will lead the firm’s Middle East tax offering in its global corporate and advisory practice.


Proskauer Rose Greater China Partner Duo Finds New Home at Stephenson Harwood

The two partners are joining Stephenson Harwood with two other counsel. Two former Proskauer Rose partners, Jay Tai and Yong Ren, have joined Stephenson Harwood in Asia. Tai has relocated from Hong Kong to Singapore while Ren has moved to Hong Kong from Beijing for their new roles.

CMS Grows Hong Kong Offering with Team of Four Lawyers

The firm now has 16 fee-earners in its dispute resolution, shipping and insurance practice. CMS has expanded its Hong Kong offering with a team of four lawyers including partner, Adrian Elms.

Mayer Brown Adds New Corporate Partner in Hong Kong

Allison Lee was most recently an international counsel at Debevoise & Plimpton, where she had spent 15 years.

Australia’s Gadens Hires Data Partner from Allens

Michael Morris joins Gadens Brisbane office. Morris, who joins Gadens’ corporate advisory practice in Brisbane, has over 23 years of legal experience and is “a well-recognised legal expert” in data, intellectual property, information technology and telecoms, Gadens said.

The Americas

Fox Rothschild Adds Trust and Estate Partner in Wilmington

Fox Rothschild welcomed Denise D. Nordheimer to the firm’s Wilmington office as a partner in the taxation and wealth planning department.

Kirkland Private Equity Departures Continue, as Goodwin Picks Up Partner in San Francisco

Leon Johnson’s hiring is a signal that Goodwin is seeking to be a more comprehensive partner with its private equity clients as those firms diversify how they are investing their capital.

Potter Anderson Hires New Del. Partner

Potter Anderson & Corroon announced that Lauren E.M. Russell has joined the firm as a partner in the labor and employment group.

Trio of Pillsbury Partners Exits for Clifford Chance

Clifford Chance has hired three tech transaction partners from Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman, as the firm focuses on regional expansion in the Americas in several practices.New York-based Vipul Nishawala and Washington, D.C.-based Meighan O’Reardon and James McPhillips have all joined Clifford Chance’s global tech group.

Meta Associate GC Heads to Squire

Marty Mackowski has joined Squire as law firm demand for antitrust partners stays high. The “antitrust stakes have never been higher” for clients, Squire’s Diarmuid Ryan said.

Former Schnader Chair Moves to Welsh & Recker

Dennis Suplee led the now defunct firm from 1992 to 1998. Former Schnader Harrison Segal & Lewis chairman Dennis Suplee has moved to Welsh & Recker as of counsel, following former Schnader partners Bruce Merenstein and Sam Silver who jumped to the Philadelphia litigation boutique prior to Schnader’s dissolution.

In Latest Exit, Stroock Litigation Partner Heads to Crowell

As “Stroock was going through its challenges, and I decided to make a move again,” Eric Aronson said, he contacted Crowell. “This was the only place that I really wanted to go.”

In Latest Exit, Stroock Litigation Partner Heads to Crowell

As “Stroock was going through its challenges, and I decided to make a move again,” Eric Aronson said, he contacted Crowell. “This was the only place that I really wanted to go.”

Kirkland Partner Jumps to McDermott to Lead Exec Comp Practice in New York

Kate Vera did most of her work at Kirkland with private equity clients and now looks to grow the practice at McDermott.

Duane Morris Lands 2 Securities Litigators From Maynard Nexsen in Atlanta

Terry Weiss and Stefanie Wayco arrive at the firm as it pursues growth in Texas, New York, California, Chicago and South Florida, as well as Georgia.

Hogan Lovells Picks Up Pryor Cashman Media Entertainment Partner in Miami

“I’ve been watching what they’ve been doing in sports, entertainment and media, and high-stakes litigation, and thought it’d be exciting to go back to the bigger global platform,” Hans Hertell said. “When I thought, in my career, I’d be going more boutique, I found that as I’ve grown my practice I’ve needed a more global platform to grow my own career and my client base.”


US Foods Goes Outside to Fill Legal Chief Vacancy

Martha Ha is jumping into the food-supply business after a legal career spent mostly in health care.

Ex-Facebook Lawyer Takes Legal Reins of GM-Backed Battery Startup

Mitra Future Technologies is focusing on North American production and distribution, believing it can overcome the stronghold China currently has in the lithium-ion battery market.

Banged-Up Airbnb Competitor Appoints General Counsel

Katherine Potter is taking the legal reins of Sonder after more than a decade at the senior living firm AlerisLife, where she rose to CEO.

Urgent Care Giant Taps Health Care Veteran for GC Role

Allison Kirk Griffiths has taken the legal reins of NextCare after rapidly ascending the legal leadership rungs at her last employer.

Taylor English, Seeing ‘Strong’ Demand in GC Practice, Adds Former Tesla Lawyer

The firm’s practice provides in-house counsel to about 50 clients that range from startups to 30-year-old companies. “There are certain entities that love this model,” Taylor English’s Allen Nelson said.

Promotions & Appointments:

UnitedLex Announces James Schellhase as New CEO in ‘Seminal Moment’ for the ALSP

The company’s previous CEO will stay on as UnitedLex’s chairman of the board of directors.

Microsoft CLO’s Retirement Sparks Chain Reaction of Promotions

A 26-year Microsoft veteran is taking over for chief legal officer Lisa Tanzi, who joined the company just before Windows 95 came out, thinking she’d get a few years of tech experience and move on.

In Transition to Next-Gen Leaders, Thompson Coburn Taps Litigator as New Chair

Chris Hohn, a Thompson Coburn partner in St. Louis who is on the management and executive committees, will become chair in August 2024.

After Nearly 2 Decades, Winston & Strawn Will Have a New Chair

Steve D’Amore, currently global co-leader of Winston & Strawn’s litigation department, has spent his entire career at the firm, starting more than 30 years ago. Outside of the U.S., Winston & Strawn has offices in Brussels, Paris, London, Hong Kong, Shanghai and São Paulo.

Irwin Mitchell Names Group CEO Following Predecessor’s Passing

In August, Irwin Mitchell said that Andrew Tucker had passed away after an ‘unexpected illness’. The U.K. Top 50 firm has named Craig Marshall as Tucker’s successor. Marshall has been with the firm since 2007, becoming group chief operating officer in 2021.

Norton Rose Names Class Action Litigator as New Canadian Managing Partner

Jennifer Teskey takes over the role Jan. 1 from incumbent Charles Hurdon.

Mergers & Alliances:

Indian Firm JSA Revives Chennai Office with Merger

Indian firms have been bulking up significantly over the past few years.

Office Openings & Closing:

Ex-FTX GC Launches Law Firm, Says His ‘Hugely Disappointing Experience’ Will Be Asset for Clients

“The difference between something that’s illegal and something that needs your advice and counsel to get corrected is usually pretty stark,” said Ryne Miller, who left FTX after CEO Sam Bankman-Fried was charged with carrying out a massive fraud.

Denver Sees More Big Law Competition as Womble Plants Flag With Hogan Lovells Laterals

Citing a boom in energy and natural resources work and opportunities for an Am Law 100 firm focused on the upper middle market, Womble Bond Dickinson is launching an office in Denver with two laterals from Hogan Lovells.

US Patent Boutique Hires Partner from McDermott to Launch Debut International Office in Tokyo

Groombridge, Wu, Baughman & Stone, founded by four former Paul, Weiss partners last November, now has three offices in New York, Washington D.C. and Tokyo. Groombridge, Wu, Baughman & Stone, a U.S. patent litigation boutique established late last year, has launched its debut international office in Tokyo with the hire of partner Maxwell Fox from McDermott, Will & Emery.

Osborne Clarke Opens Third US Office in Miami

The firm also has offices in New York and San Francisco, but does not practise US law.


Perkins Coie, McGuireWoods Among Top-Paid Counsel for DNC, RNC

Several Big Law firms and prominent boutiques have received large sums this year from the RNC and DNC. Legal spending by the parties has ballooned, as complex election laws have led to more litigation.

Paul Weiss’ Trio of Kirkland Hires Could Each Score $20M Yearly

Their potential pay may not be the highest for partners at high-end Am Law 25 firms, where annual compensation for a handful is more than $25 million.

2023 GC Compensation Survey: Find Out Who’s Atop New York’s Rankings

Legal chiefs for private equity giants snagged three of the top 10 spots. “Their GCs have gold-plated resumes, and those resumes command a lot of gold,” said Jason Winmill, an in-house consultant.

Are Cuts Looming for UK Law Firms? The Devil is in the Detail

This year’s ranking contains several warnings—chief among them being the need for further corrective measures to address the shrinking profit margins.

UK Top 50 Results: Are Cuts Looming? The Devil is in the Detail

This year’s ranking contains several warnings—chief among them being the need for further corrective measures to address the shrinking profit margins.

UK Top 50 Ranked by PEP: Biggest Drop Since the Financial Crisis

Many of the astronomical rises of the past couple of years have been ‘corrected’, with PEP at some firms dropping by as much as 55%.

Technology & Innovation:

Death of SEO? Nope, It Still Heavily Relies on Thought Leaders

In this article, Ioana Good presents a brief discussion on whether artificial intelligence will eventually replace the human element involved in SEO strategy and practices—and why that may not be the case.

Legal Tech’s Problem: Generative AI Is Readily Available, But Not Legal Data

While legal tech vendors are launching a host of generative AI-powered tools, clients are often prohibiting them from using their data for training purposes.

Legal Tech Vendors Are Taking On Generative AI Education. Are Attorneys Welcoming It?

While legal technology providers have often coupled their products with educational or training resources in the past, such offerings seem to be gaining traction in the age of generative artificial intelligence.

Diversity & Inclusion:

Littler Mendelson’s Newest Trial Lawyer Sees ‘Positive’ Signs in the DEI Landscape

Matt Stephens, one of the few openly transgender trial lawyers in California, joined Littler Mendelson as a partner in San Diego.

Big Law Sees Growing Client Demand for DEI Advice as Law Firms Also Face Scrutiny

McGuireWoods’ new DEI team was partly driven by the “onslaught of questions” from clients, said partner Amy Morrissey Turk.

Market Commentary:

Are Law Firms’ Real Estate and Tech Spending Invariably at Odds? It’s Not That Simple

The second and third largest capital expenses for most law firms can both compete for resources and be utterly dependent upon each other.

Top GCs Call for Role to be Formalised in UK Corporate Governance Code

A letter on behalf of nearly 80 GCs criticises the code’s ‘extraordinary’ lack of reference to the role of general counsel.

How Paul Weiss’ ‘Shocking’ Raid on Kirkland Unfolded—and What It Means for the London Market

The firm’s aggressive hiring strategy has so far seen 12 arrivals from Kirkland & Ellis, and one from Linklaters.

Remote GC Revolution Fizzles Out as Employers Flock to ‘Hard Hybrid’

“It has now moved to where, in most cases, you do need to work where the job is,” said Mike Evers, a Chicago-based in-house recruiter.

Will Lateral Battle Between Kirkland and Paul Weiss Create ‘Ripple Effects’?

If your firm is in the Am Law 100, the odds are good that the moves affect you and your firm, according to some veteran recruiters.

Slaughter and May Agrees to Meet Lawyer Climate Pressure Group

Slaughter is first large U.K. firm to engage with the climate group, which asks lawyers to pledge to withhold their services on matters that could support ‘new fossil fuel projects’.

Top GCs Call for Role to be Formalised in UK Corporate Governance Code

A letter on behalf of nearly 80 GCs criticises the code’s ‘extraordinary’ lack of reference to the role of general counsel.

‘A Remarkable Comeback’: Australia’s Legal Sector Has Coped Well With Softening Demand, Report States

Demand dropped in the first half of the year but counter-cyclical practices offset the decline, resulting in an increase in demand in the second half of the year.

Law Firms’ Herd Mentality is (Sometimes) a Force for Good

Law firms have the habit of following one another, which has sometimes resulted in inertia on the most serious social issues—but this week has shown that it could have positive effects, writes The London Lawyer.

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