Weekly Update – 19th of February 2024


UK & Ireland

Clifford Chance Builds Private Capital Capability with Paul Hastings Partner Hire

The move comes a merely a few months after the firm parted ways with two senior corporate partners.

Gateley recruits corporate finance expert Jose Lazaro

Jose Lazaro, an expert in corporate finance, has joined Gateley Legal as an associate in its Belfast office.

Pinsent Masons appoints corporate partner Paul White in Dublin

Multinational law firm Pinsent Masons is continuing to expand its transactional services group with the appointment of corporate partner Paul White to its Dublin office.

Clifford Chance Builds Private Capital Capability with Paul Hastings Partner Hire

Clifford Chance has hired structured finance partner, Blake Jones from U.S. firm Paul Hastings, as the firm looks to boost its private capital offering.

Reed Smith Adds Fourth McDermott Private Equity Lawyer in Last Nine Months

Tom Whelan has moved from McDermott to Reed Smith in London, at McDermott he was head of the firm’s private equity and corporate transactions group.

Paul Hastings Poaches Latham Partner Duo in London

Litigation partners Stuart Alford KC and Oliver Browne are joining Paul Hastings’ London office.

Trowers hires Farrer & Co’s arbitration head as it wins licence to open in Singapore

The arrival of Hendrik Puschmann occurs as the UK firm finalises its plans to launch in Asia’s premier arbitration hub.



DLA Piper’s Nigerian Partner Firm Gets New Leader

DLA Piper added Olajide Oyewole to its African alliance network in 2017.

People in the News—Feb. 16, 2024—Weber Kracht

Weber Kracht and Chellew announced that senior associate Kathryn Liebhaber, has been appointed to the board of directors of Perkasie Pride.



Clifford Chance Hires Away HSF Private Equity Partner in Singapore

Jamie McLaren has been hired by Clifford Chance; he is a corporate partner with Herbert Smith Freehills who focuses on private equity deals.

Australia’s Hamilton Locke Adds Clifford Chance Veteran and Former Corrs Partner

Tim Grave joins from Clifford Chance where he was a partner for over a decade. He co-led the U.K. firm’s Australian regulatory investigations and financial crime team, he is Sydney based.

Simmons & Simmons Hires in Private Funds Head in Hong Kong

Jeffrey Friedenburg has worked at Pathway Capital Management, Blackstone, Kirkland & Ellis as well as Latham & Watkins in the US.

In Australia, Litigator to Leave Corrs for Ashurst, Pinsent Masons Launches Health and Safety Practice

The Head of gender equality and Commercial litigation partner at Australian firm Corrs Chambers Westgarth Felicity Healy is to leave for Ashurst.

Australia’s Gilbert + Tobin Hires Luke Barrett to Lead Pension Funds Team

Previously, Luke Barrett was the general counsel at Australian pension funds firm UniSuper


The Americas

Morris Nichols’ Bankruptcy & Restructuring Group Adds 2 Attorneys

Morris Nichols Arsht & Tunnell announced the recent additions of Brenna Dolphin and Clint Carlisle to the firm’s bankruptcy and restructuring practice.

People in the News—Feb. 12, 2024—Marshall Dennehey, McNees

Medical malpractice litigator Alyson J. Kirleis has joined Marshall Dennehey’s Pittsburgh office as a shareholder in the health care department.

Skadden and Squire Build DC Partner Ranks With Government Hires

Rejoining Skadden as head of its energy regulatory department is former FERC chair James Danly, meanwhile Squire has hired Bridget McGovern, a former assistant secretary at the Homeland Security Department.

People in the News—Feb. 14, 2024—Rawle & Henderson, Flaster Greenberg

Patrick T. Finnegan joined Rawle & Henderson as a partner in the Philadelphia office.

Weil Private Credit Partner Jumps to Dechert Amid Growing Signs of Transactional Thaw

Four years ago, Eliot Relles joined Weil, Gotshal & Manges after co-chairing the finance practice at Schulte Roth & Zabel.

Clark Hill Adds on Dentons Cohen & Grigsby Real Estate Duo in Pittsburgh

Previously, Blaine Lamperski oversaw the local real estate practice for the multinational company’s Pittsburgh division. Member John Bonaccorsi joins him.

Baker Botts Swells in Texas With Big Law Restructuring, Energy Litigation Partners

Squire Patton Boggs restructuring partner Travis McDavid joined Baker Botts in Dallas and David Applebaum, Jones Day energy litigation partner, joined in Houston, as the firm adds to high-demand practices in Texas.

Former GSK Patent Leader Moves to Troutman Pepper

Duke Fitch started his journey at the company as a medicinal chemist and has risen to vice president of U.S. pharmaceutical patents after earning his law degree.

On the Move and After Hours: Stevens & Lee; Porzio Bromberg; Hartmann Doherty; Kennedys; New Jersey Office of the Public Defender; Genova Burns

Reports from the law firm Porzio, Bromberg & Newman have revealed that Dr. Lee Goldsmith and his son Jordan Goldsmith have joined the firm’s Morristown office as of counsel and counsel, respectively, in the personal injury and medical malpractice group.

Adams and Reese Adds Industry Experts to Lead New Aviation Practice

Marc Warren and Paul Alp arrive from Jenner & Block and are based in Washington, D.C.

BakerHostetler Picks Up Private Equity Dealmaker Amid Firm’s M&A ‘Expansion’

Salomon “Sol” Sassoon spent the last thirty years with Morrison & Cohen.

Midsize Moves: Rothman Gordon Adds K&L Gates Associate, Wilson Turner Welcomes Back Partner From Van Dermyden

Wilson Turner Kosmo stated that the company welcomed back Loleena Ansari May as a partner in its employment practice group, where she will concentrate on carrying out independent workplace investigations and assessments. Also, Rothman Gordon announced the appointment of Natalia A. Holliday as an associate.



Former Air Force GC Takes Legal Reins of Airbus-Backed Space Station Startup

In addition to being the former top legal officer of the U.S. Space Force, which defends American and ally interests in space, Thomas Ayres managed 2,600 attorneys while serving as the Air Force’s legal commander.

Longtime Dell Attorney Joins UnitedLex as First GC

CEO James Schellhase commended Renee Meisel, saying she “has built a career simplifying complicated legal issues into business-enabling operational solutions in both startups and global Fortune 500 companies.”

JP Morgan Lawyer Becomes Housebuilder GC as Ashurst Partner Joins Boeing

Kirsten Keegan an associate general counsel of wholesale payments, treasury and securities services and a JP Morgan managing director becomes the first GC of SNG since the company formed as part of a merger in 2023.

Vail Resorts Deputy GC Wins Promotion to Top Job

Julie DeCecco, a longstanding attorney at Sun Microsystems, is the new GC of the company, this companies reach consists of 41 mountain resorts across 15 states and four countries.

US legal data provider UnitedLex hires former Dell lawyer as inaugural GC

Renee Meisel is set to step into the firm’s newly established general counsel function.


Team Moves

Hogan Lovells Hires 23 M&A Lawyers from Orrick in Italy

According to Orrick, the departures, which also include another exit to BonelliErede, are a strategy of the firm’s ambition to offer sector-specific counsel.

Orrick Faces Second Major Blow as 15-Strong Team Joins BonelliErede in Italy

With a 15-person Milan team leaving the company for Italian giant BonelliErede, Orrick Herrington & Sutcliffe’s Italian division has experienced its second raid in as many weeks.

Pinsent Masons establishes WHS team with Sparke Helmore hire

Carlie Holt joins the firm as a new partner, she will be accompanied by two other lawyers.

Business Litigation Firm Sees Founding Partner Leave for Spinoff With Pa., NY, NJ Offices

Five lawyers, including one of the former founding partners, left the business litigation firm that was once known as Littleton Park Joyce Ughetta & Kelly. They left the firm and formed P&K Park, a products liability and business litigation boutique with offices in Pennsylvania, New York, and New Jersey.


Promotions & Appointments:

People in the News—Feb. 13, 2024—King Spry, Kleinbard

King, Spry, Herman, Freund & Faul in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, congratulated attorney Jennifer Bolivar who has been appointed to the board of the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce of the Lehigh Valley.

Simpson Thacher Appoints First Female London Head

Wheatly MacNamara, a partner within the firm’s real estate practice, will take over from Glover in October.

Dentons UKIME Arm Re-Appoints CEO

Dentons U.K., Ireland and Middle East (UKIME) has re-appointed Paul Jarvis as chief executive officer, commencing his second three-year term on May 1, 2024.

Clifford Chance Appoints New CFO From Consulting Giants Accenture

Daniel Burton is set to take over the role of global CFO in June, after almost 25 years at Accenture.

Gavin MacLaren to Lead Australia’s Corrs Chambers Westgarth Until 2033

Senior Partner and chief executive at Australia’s Corrs Chambers Westgarth, Gavin MacLaren, has been reappointed to the top job for another term.


Mergers & Alliances:

Caution, Merging Ahead: The FTC and DOJ’s New Merger Guidelines

Following months of anticipation, the FTC and Antitrust Division of the DOJ unveiled their new Merger Guidelines on Dec. 18, 2023. More than 30,000 stakeholders offered input on proposed changes to the Guidelines, which were previously updated in 2010.

Australia’s Gilbert + Tobin Acquires Perth Legal Practice

Gilbert + Tobin has acquired a legal practice and two partners in Perth, the latest move by the top-tier Australian firm as it seeks to boost its energy, infrastructure and mining capabilities in Western Australia.

Korea’s Big Six Firm Shin & Kim Launches Alliance with Indonesia’s ARMA Law

Big Six South Korean firm Shin & Kim has committed to a non-exclusive alliance with Indonesian law firm ARMA Law.


Office Openings & Closing:

Opening 2 New Offices, Vaughan Baio Prepares for Aggressive Growth in 2024

The Philadelphia-based litigation defense firm has expanded its footprint into Cherry Hill and Long Island.

Pinsent Masons Launches Flexible Services Business Vario in the Middle East

Vario, Pinsent Masons’ flexible legal services business, has come to the Middle East—11 years after its inception.

Pogust Goodhead to open in Sydney amid multi-billion-dollar BHP class action claim

New Australia office will be led by partners Joshua Carton and Amie Crichton.



Aggressive Rate Hikes, Head Count Management Helped Am Law 50 Squeeze Profits From Sluggish Demand in Q4

Despite a drop in demand, the Am Law 50 ended the fourth quarter with almost 8% more fees worked than Q4 2022, according to a recent Thomson Reuters report.

Impressive Gains at Quinn Emanuel, Hogan Lovells, Milbank Suggest a Healthy 2023 for Am Law 100

In regard to early reports, Marci Taylor, a law firm strategy consultant and founder of Mantra Partner said that “It’s interesting to me that those in the top 50 did even better than those in the next 50”.

Hogan Lovells Rebounds in 2023 With Most Profitable Year in History

The global firm brought in $2.68 billion in revenue, which was converted into $2.74 million in profits per equity partner.

Jenner, Looking at ‘Stretch’ Goals, Reached Double-Digit Revenue and Profit Growth

In 2023, Jenner exceeded not only its own revenue goals but also increased PEP by almost 18% despite a 4% decrease in its equity tier.

Hours Down. Revenues Up. What Gives?

The authors of a report issued this week by The Thomson Reuters Institute assert that “Billable hours worked, the market’s favored measure of demand for legal services, is simply becoming a less useful measurement,”.

Steptoe’s Revenue Grew 13% Amid Lateral Expansion and Rising Litigation Demand

Profits per equity partner at the company increased by roughly 16% to $1.91 million even as the ownership tier grew. Furthermore, Steptoe’s revenue per lawyer increased by more than 8% to $1.2 million last year amid lateral growth, with the company’s overall full-time equivalent head count rising by approximately 4% to approximately 396 lawyers.

The Future of Partner Compensation: How Profit-Sharing Systems Shape the Firm’s Culture and Success

Firms like Paul Weiss and Linklaters have to decide on a remuneration system that reflects their culture and strategic objectives.

Akin Gump Revenue and PEP Up Double Digits as Aggressive Hiring Pays Off

Chairperson Kim Koopersmith has stated that the firm’s London office had a “fantastic year” and Akin also performed well in the Middle East, particularly in Dubai, where demand and lawyer head count grew.


Technology & Innovation:

To Implement Gen AI, Lawyers and Large Language Models Go Back to School

Attorneys are being trained by law firms in rapid engineering and data input into LLMs to establish a rapport between the parties.

AI and Hospitality: Transforming Law Firm Workplaces for the Future

It should come as no surprise that workplace experience is a top strategic lever being driven by law firm leaders as the world ushers in a new era post-pandemic of hybrid operations and they reimagine the space their professionals are occupying.

Protecting Technology-Assisted Works and Inventions: Where Does Smart Technology End and AI Begin?

This article explores certain questions. At what point does a “smart” computing system, or advanced software program, qualify as AI in the eyes of pertinent regulatory or judicial authorities? When is an individual considered to have merely deployed an AI-based computing tool to assist with creating a work of art or conceiving of a technological innovation?

Ethical Considerations for Litigators Navigating the Artificial Intelligence Landscape

With AI, the ability to drive massively greater levels of productivity is within reach, but there are risks if the technology is not used properly.

Beyond the Black Box: Unpacking Legal Tech Vendors’ Gen AI Lingo

The terms “customizing,” “training,” and “fine-tuning” that legal technology companies used to characterize their approach to generative AI were deconstructed by data scientists and engineers. These tactics might differ greatly, even though they are sometimes used interchangeably.


Diversity & Inclusion:

AccessLex Grant Program Keeps Focus on Race, Ethnicity Despite Affirmative Action Ruling

The terms “racial” and “ethnic” are being used by AccessLex without hesitation in its definition, despite recent decisions by the US Supreme Court. As per the statement made by Aaron Taylor, the AccessLex Institute’s executive director, “They neither endorsed nor forbidden them.”

Simpson Thacher Appoints First Female London Head, Jason Glover to Step Down

Wheatly MacNamara, a partner within the firm’s real estate practice, will take over from Glover in October. She becomes the firm’s first female London leader, according to a person close to the matter.

Industry Luminary Clare Maurice on Being A&O’s First Female Partner and Avoiding the ‘Downward Spiral’

Maurice was appointed an A&O partner in 1985 and founded the private client spin-off firm Maurice Turnor Gardner in 2009.

Nixon Peabody Targets 30% Women Equity Partners by 2025, as Firm Hires DEI Leader From Paul Weiss

Ramla Farzad joined as senior director for diversity, equity and inclusion at the end of January.


Market Commentary:

Even With More Competition in DC, These Law Firms Still Have an Edge

Firms in Washington, D.C. claim that their extensive experience in litigation and regulations is helping them to boost earnings, especially in years when transactional work has been less demanding.

The Risks Junior Lawyers Face by Switching Firms Too Soon, and the Benefits of Staying the Course

It’s wise to consider whether committing to career and personal development could provide a more fulfilling route than following the seemingly better opportunity before taking the plunge.

GCs Face Daunting Emerging Risk, Fanned by Global Economic Pessimism and Social Media Algorithms

According to a survey by consulting firm Gartner, “individuals often seek out non-mainstream information sources that align with preexisting beliefs” as public faith in civic institutions falls.

Using Communication Aids in a Law Practice

Although there are some risks associated with using transcription and live captioning services, they can be helpful for attorneys and clients who are having trouble hearing or comprehending information.

Have Transactional Demand Levels Slowed Lateral Partner Hiring?

Despite declining in 2023, partner lateral movements were still strong, according to Law.com Compass statistics. Furthermore, the market remains fragmented, even with regard to lateral hiring.

Freshfields Dominates 2023 Top Corporate Lawyers Ranking

Victoria MacDuff and Robert Cleaver, partners at UK corporate heavyweights Slaughter and May and Linklaters respectively, bagged the top two spots in the list.

Can I Protect Something That I Created Using Artificial Intelligence?

Additionally, the USPTO has released data regarding modern technologies and their effects on copyrighted works and is researching copyright concerns brought up by artificial intelligence. Through December 2023, the office will assess areas that might be addressed by legislative action.

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