Ukrainian Legal Developments:
Linklaters is set to pay out “generous” financial packages to its Russian-based lawyers and support staff unable to relocate roles within the firm, as the legal industry deals with the fall out from the war in Ukraine.
Greenberg Traurig has aligned with Avellum, a Kyiv based firm. Initially, Avellum lawyers will be seconded to Greenberg Traurig offices in London, Amsterdam, and Berlin.
Linklaters has joined Weil Gotshal and Manges in contributing towards the Warsaw-based Legal Solidarity Fund.The fund was initiated by Adam Bodnar, the dean of the Law School of the University of Social Sciences and Humanities in Warsaw, and retired Weil partner Anna Frankowska. Each contribution is valued at PLN 100,000 (£18,184.71).
The task force will also include legal experts from U.S. firm Covington & Burling LLP, led by Nikhil Gore, the French firm Sygna Partners, led by Luke Vidal, as well as the Withers firm, led by Emma Lindsay. Each of these firms is already representing Ukraine, including at the International Court of Justice.
In rejecting the leading offshore firm’s application to ‘come off the record’, Mr Justice Jack held that VTB’s right to litigate had not been curtailed by the UK’s sanctions and that Ogier’s duties to the court ‘outweigh’ other considerations including reputational damage.
Mark Shillito, former head of IP at Herbert Smith Freehills, has joined CMS.
Lisa Sewell is expected to carry out her duties and responsibilities until the post is transitioned.
David Herlihy has joined Allen & Overy’s litigation, arbitration and investigations team from Skadden.
Charlotte Heiss has moved to Very Group from RSA.
Alexis Werl leads the corporate criminal team that is joining Eversheds Sutherland from McDermott Will & Emery.
Michael Ehret joins Kirkland & Ellis’ Munich office from Allen & Overy.
Jonas Kopone, competition partner, is moving to Cooley’s from Linklaters
Pawel Banjo, formerly the head of private equity at Bird & Bird, has joined KPMG.
John (Jay) Neukom, veteran trial lawyer, has joined Debevoise from Skadden.
Jennifer Salinas has joined Cerence, an AI software company that develops voice-powered digital assistants for the car industry.
Mark Stolzenburg has joined Morgan Lewis from Vedder Price.
Peter Greene, Benjamin Kozinn and Eileen Overbaugh have joined Schulte Roth & Zabel’s New York office.
Jessica Ball and Jessica Shearer have both joined White & Case from Proskauer Rose.
U.K.-headquartered law firm Kennedys is continuing its U.S. growth push with the addition of four lawyers, including two partners, in its Miami and New York offices.
George Elvira has joined Gowling’s IP team from Smart & Biggar.
A team of four, led by Graham Lovett, former head of Gibson Dunn’s Middle East disputes practice, has joined Akin Gump.
A team of six, led by Xavier Mangino, have joined Holland & Knight from DLA Piper in Mexico City.
Promotions and Appointments:
Pinsent Masons has given the nod to 17 partners in its UK offices, with a further six making the cut across Continental Europe, the Middle East, Africa and Australia.
Clifford Chance has re-appointed Michael Baes as its U.K. regional managing partner.
This round of promotions brings the partner headcount for Ireland’s largest law firm up to 105.
Mergers & Alliances:
Clyde & Co and BLM have agreed to a merger between the two firms in a transformational deal for the legal insurance market. The vote was last week, with the combination going live in July. Under the merger, BLM will lose its name with the merged firm coming together under Clyde & Co’s brand.
The transaction between Ogier and Leman closed on 22 March and the two firms will combine to form the Ireland-registered LLP Ogier Leman in June.
Office Openings & Closings:
Mills & Reeve is opening its seventh UK office in Oxford.
Baird Fogel has joined Eversheds to become the Partner in Charge of the new Bay area office.
Paul Hastings has seen global revenue rise 20% to reach $1.57bn, while the London office has had revenue rise 40.6%.
Della, an Anglo-French contract review legal technology startup – whose clients include Mishcon de Reya, Eversheds Sutherland, and Fidal – has raised $2.5m in its first seed funding round.
Simpson Thacher’s revenue jumped 43% to reach $333m, and their headcount has risen 18%, up to 145 qualified lawyers.
Technology & Innovation:
Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom, Kirkland & Ellis and White & Case are among the law firms advising on private equity firm HG’s investment in cloud software vendors IFS and WorkWave.
The Justice and Home Affairs Committee publishes its report Technology rules? The advent of new technologies in the justice system. The report explores the use of Artificial Intelligence (AI) and other advanced algorithmic tools in activities to discover, deter, rehabilitate, or punish people who breach the law in England and Wales. The report acknowledges the potential of these technologies but warns against the pace of their deployment and the absence of appropriate safeguards.
Diversity & Inclusion:
Alternative legal services provider Lawyers On Demand (LOD) has developed an in-house tailored Solicitors’ Qualifying Exam programme which will allow its trainees to train while also working at clients such as Adidas and Airbnb.
The Legal Services Board (LSB) published its 2022-2023 business plan today, outlining it will continue to focus on diversity and inclusion (D&I) and technology and innovation in the profession.
The Coca-Cola Co. has officially walked away from race-based staffing requirements for law firms doing work for the company, following blowback from some investors and the removal of the executive who developed the plan.