Ukrainian Legal Developments:
Taras Bezpalyy, head of criminal law at Ukrainian law firm Legal Alliance, considers how businesses can collect compensation for damage caused by an aggressor state.
UK & Ireland
Paul Joseph, intellectual property partner, has joined Linklaters’ London office.
Colm Ó hUiginn, David McGuiness, and Michael McDonald have joined from Shearman & Sterling, Allen & Overy, and Gilbert & Tobin respectively.
Siri Siwardene has left BLM for Irwin Mitchell, while Gemma Brannigan of Clyde & Co has joined DAC Beachcroft.
Rosie Shapiro, healthcare partner, has joined DWF from BLM.
Anupreet Amole, formerly of Brown Rudnick, joins Eversheds’ London office.
Joseph Marx and Simon Weiß, formerly at McDermott, have joined Willkie’s Frankfurt office.
Ronald Monfort heads the three-person team that has moved from EY to BCLP.
Brendan Milne, employment and industrial relations partner, has left HFW for Kingston Reid’s Melbourne office.
Andrew McCormack has joined Ashurst in Brisbane, while Chris Campbell moves to the firms Perth office.
Gordon Gao, formerly of Fangda, has moved to King & Wood Mallesons in Beijing.
Robert Freedman, Alexandro Padres, and Gregory Tan have joined Paul Hastings from Shearman & Sterling. Freedman and Tan are set to co-chair the infrastructure and energy practice.
Jenny Hochenberg has joined Freshfield’s New York office from Cravath.
Juan Pablo Qin, formerly an administrative assistant at the Center for Asian Studies of Pontificia Universidad Catholica de Chile, has joined Carey, addressing the growing need for legal practitioners who can navigate the cultural nuances of South America’s top trade partner.
New York-based Nicole Runyan and Brad Green, Washington, D.C.-based William Tuttle, Erin Lett, and David Marcinkus, and Boston partner Lisa Goldstein have joined Kirkland from Proskauer Rose.
Shaun Clarke, criminal defense and civil trial lawyer, has returned to New Orleans to join Phelps Dunbar.
Jason Levin, who previously spent 22 years at Steptoe & Johnson, has joined Alston & Bird’s Los Angeles office.
Promotions & Appointments:
Travers Smith has promoted 11 lawyers into the partnership – out of 11, four of those had trained at Travers Smith.
German firm Hengeler Mueller has elected Thomas Müller and Bernd Wirbel as co-managing partners, succeeding Georg Frowein and Rainer Krause in the top roles.
Willkie Farr & Gallagher and Davis Polk have both increased the number of trainees they will take in starting next year.
Mergers & Alliances:
The Lawyer has compiled a table of mergers and acquisitions made by law firms since 2009.
Knights has continued its expansion with the acquisition of Coffin Mew. The acquisition will add 102 fee earners to Knights, which has expanded rapidly through mergers in the last few years. Prior acquisitions include Spearing Waite, ASB, Shulmans, Mundays, Keebles, Archers Law and most recently Langleys.
The proposed merger between London firms Seddons and Lawrence Stephens will not take place after talks fell through. The tie-up looked to be a done deal after the pair announced in April they were in advanced discussions to combine in October 2022. The deal would have created a firm of over 180 people with turnover of £25m and in April the leaders behind the talks has stated an ambition to hit £30m and thus making the UK top 100.
Office Openings & Closing:
Kirkland & Ellis is one of two US firms set to open an office in Miami, recruiting lawyers to bulk out its headcount in the fledgling base. Four existing Kirkland partners will relocate to kickstart operations. They are Chicago trio Jeremy Liss, Matthew Arenson, Jeffrey Swatzell, who work in the firm’s corporate and private equity groups. Eduardo Leal is also moving over from New York.
Clifford Chance’s UK shared services centre is to boost its support role to offices across the Americas. The North East England base is doubling down on efforts to support lawyers operating across the Atlantic, including those operating within the magic circle firm’s New York, Washington and São Paulo offices.
The office, which the firm said will open this summer in the centre of the city, will be led by Germany managing partner and IP litigation specialist Dr Marcus Grosch. An associate will join him for the launch, though the firm intends to build a team of up to 10 lawyers in the capital.
A UK-based flexible law firm targeting high-net-worth clients has launched with the goal of bringing solicitors, barristers, chartered legal executives and paralegals under one roof. The new business, Wildcat Law, is regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority as an alternative business structure and is currently awaiting Financial Conduct Authority approval so it can begin providing financial services advice alongside legal counsel.
Three Big Law firms without Texas offices have hired lawyers who report that their primary practice location is in Texas, in what is a surge in remote hiring and may be an indicator of an office in the works.
Miami office managing partner Enrique Martin said Winston plans to build the office into a large full-service location.
Shoosmiths has announced that salaries will rise by 16%. The London rate will raise to £87,000 and the regional rate will be upped to £58,000.
Davis Polk, Paul Weiss, Skadden, and Simpson Thacher have all hit an average revenue per partner (RRP) of $10m or higher.
Technology & Innovation:
As the non-fungible token (NFT) market heats up, there has been a feeding frenzy at law firms to service spikes in demand. As a result, in-house teams, government agencies and law firms are all vying for a small pool of talent that can understand this increasingly important space. Corporate legal departments, in particular, are scrambling to find lawyers who are versed in NFT issues, amid an uptick in regulatory scrutiny and recent crypto market crashes.
On the heels of the arrival of several Big Law firms in Northern California, one of the world’s leading antitrust enforcers, the European Union, is planting its flag in the region as the clock runs down on a set of new competition rules aimed at the tech industry. The EU said last month it plans to open a San Francisco office in the fall, though the purview of the office is not entirely clear. The EU said the new outpost will operate under its Washington, D.C., office, which is overseen by the bloc’s foreign affairs branch.
The Series B round, which was backed by Octopus Ventures, adds to the $7m it raised in March last year and comes amid sustained appetite for financing legaltech-focused startups despite a broader retreat from tech investments this year. Legl’s cloud-based platform helps law firms digitise their businesses by automating tasks such as compliance, onboarding and payments. The fresh round of capital will also be used to further develop and expand its product offering.
Companies are facing an increase in cyber-risk, and the issue is dominating board and management agendas, according to a report by Australian law firm MinterEllison. “A concerted focus on cyber risk and cyber resilience is more pressing than ever for Australian organisations,” MinterEllision wrote in its Perspectives on Cyber Risk 2022, citing an increased reliance on information and communications technology and hacking activities by Russia.
This special report examines a range of issues, from risks to competition, asset management in untested spheres, international rumblings, the metaverse, cryptocurrency, non-fungible tokens or NFTs, and the emerging digital world.
Diversity & Inclusion:
Former White & Case U.K. tax partner Michael Wistow has accused the firm of disability discrimination, claiming the firm had a “toxic work environment”, in part due to the behaviour of senior management.
Alongside contributing financially to this new partnership, volunteers from Sidley will participate in a wide range of activities in and around the hub, including putting on community events, and providing mentorship for young people interested in developing professional skills and experience, according to a firm statement.
CMS has decided to introduce beehives across its UK and international offices as part of the firm’s new sustainability programme. CMS’s new initiative to bring in beehives coincides with World Bee Day. As part of the move, CMS is expecting to establish “bee clubs”, where staff will be able to look after the bees and learn the basics of beekeeping, guided by professional beekeepers.