Weekly Update – 20th of February 2023


UK & Ireland

Simpson Thacher swoops on Travers Smith in London for two funds partners

Top New York law firm Simpson Thacher & Bartlett has hired two funds partners from leading UK independent Travers Smith in London as it positions itself to exploit the increasingly lucrative secondaries deals market.

Dechert Partner Named in Neil Gerrard Cases Leaves Firm

Dechert has parted ways with Caroline Black, a senior white collar partner well known for her association with controversial former partner Neil Gerrard.


Weil builds up Paris banking team with leveraged finance partner duo from Allen & Overy

Weil Gotshal & Manges has added a pair of banking partners in Paris from UK rival Allen & Overy (A&O), following on from three partner hires in London last month from leading rivals.

Kirkland & Ellis Lures Clifford Chance’s Germany Restructuring Head

Attention is turning to the restructuring market, which is expected to rally across Europe with recession looming and several large corporates making cuts.

Dentons Hires In Next Spain Disputes Head from Simmons

The appointment comes just weeks after Dentons announced that it will integrate its Barcelona team into its Madrid office.


Cyril Amarchand Grows TMT Practice With Partner Hire In Mumbai

Cyril Amarchand Mangaldas has expanded its current two-member TMT practice with the hire of intellectual property and education lawyer Aarushi Jain for its Mumbai office.

Baker McKenzie’s Sydney Finance Practice Loses Partner, Gains A&O Lawyer

The Sydney finance team loses an experienced partner but gains a new partner, a former Allen & Overy associate.

The Americas

Foley Hoag refreshes litigation and arbitration leadership

Foley Hoag has appointed a new leadership team for its international litigation and arbitration department.

Skadden Lands Morrison & Foerster Securities Litigation Co-Chair

Mark Foster is Skadden’s first lateral partner hire of 2023, highlighting the law firm’s focus on securities litigation, especially in Northern California.

In House

Tesla hires GC from Dish as it promises ‘world class’ legal team

Tesla has appointed a seasoned lawyer from the telecoms sector as its general counsel in the latest shake-up of its legal department as it promises to build a ‘world class team’.

Software Maker Sprinklr Taps Insider to Succeed Departing GC

Company founder Ragy Thomas said newly appointed GC Jacob Scott will be “an invaluable and trusted adviser in guiding us through our next phase of growth.”

Promotions & Appointments:

Colombia’s Gómez Pinzón Abogados Appoints New Managing Partner

The selection of tax partner Mauricio Piñeros to lead the firm comes during challenging economic times for Colombia.

Linklaters Scraps Global COO Role Amid London Partner Exits

Following a reorganisation of the firm’s business teams leadership, the global COO has left.

Addleshaw Goddard Elects Next Senior Partner

The firm’s partnership has elected Aster Crawshaw to the role, with the professional practices partner replacing Charles Penney.

Office Openings & Closing:

Alternative Legal Service Provider Launches in Honduras

IO-EPIK aims to disrupt the legal services market in Central America and the Caribbean by rolling out budget-friendly solutions with the help of technology and flexible talent.

International law firm Herbert Smith Freehills is shutting its Seoul office

Herbert Smith Freehills is shutting its office in Korea, following other international law firms in the same move in recent years. HSF has had a base in Seoul for almost a decade and will close its doors this year. Office managing partner Mike McClure—recently appointed a King’s Counsel—will relocate to the firm’s London office, HSF said in a statement on Monday.

Mergers & Alliances:

‘This is Not Reactive’: Shearman Outlines Growth Strategy, Accepting Some Partner Losses

Shearman’s leaders are seeking scale and a path to $3 billion in revenue, but they say the firm doesn’t need a merger to survive.


Almost half of US lawyers see no rate increases in 2022, Wolters Kluwer report shows

In-house legal departments are fending off rate increases at some of the largest US law firms, with 40% of law firm timekeepers across all firms seeing average fees stay the same or fall, according to a Wolters Kluwer report.

‘We Knew It Would Get Worse Before It Got Better’: Law Firm Profitability Index Hits New Low

Law firms can see some signs of improvement, including moderating expenses and transactional demand that remains above pre-pandemic levels. But a shaky economy in 2023 could put that in jeopardy.

Private Equity In-House Lawyer Pay Outstrips Other Sectors, Report Shows

Recruitment company Taylor Root’s salary guide shows the state of in-house remuneration across various UK business sectors.

Gibson Dunn Continued Record Revenue, Profit Streak in 2022

Firm chair and managing partner Barbara Becker said the firm’s success in London has been “extraordinary” and in the Middle East, where the firm launched a new office in Abu Dhabi, it has also seen very positive results.

Proskauer Again Sees Record Revenue and Profits in Year of ‘Large Transactions and Trials’

The percentage growth wasn’t as high as in 2021, but the firm’s 2022 performance managed to build on that banner year and then some.

Technology & Innovation:

Allen & Overy integrates ChatGPT-style chatbot to boost legal work

Allen & Overy (A&O) has partnered with a startup backed by ChatGPT creator Open AI to introduce a chatbot intended to help its lawyers with a variety of legal tasks.

Mishcon de Reya Looks Further into ChatGPT

The UK firm is the latest in a host of law firms looking to find uses for the fast-developing chat technology.

Meet the K&L Gates Partner Who Wants Crypto to Be Better Regulated

“I spend most of my waking hours thinking about the regulation of these assets and I love it. I just wish the law was clearer so companies will know what is required to bring crypto products to market,” said K&L Gates partner Andrew Hinkes.

Diversity & Inclusion:

Gibson Dunn and Arnold & Porter Achieve Black Equity at Work Certification

The holistic program prompts participants to advance Black equity across their organizations and within their communities.

DLA Piper tops global ESG law firm ranking as UK firms dominate

DLA Piper has topped Impactvise’s inaugural environmental, social and governance (ESG) law firm ranking, which measures the ESG performance of more than 1,000 firms globally.

Simmons is fixing its women problem

Women in law still face very many challenges, but despite this it should be acknowledged that gender diversity within partnerships has come a long way, and the speed of change is accelerating. In The Lawyer’s UK Signal channel this month, we have looked at the firms that have done the best at moving towards gender parity in the last five years. And in the City, Simmons & Simmons stands out.

Clifford Chance Tops Stonewall’s 2023 Employer Rankings

While Linklaters was another strong performer this year, former high achievers Slaughter and May and Pinsent Masons have dropped out of the rankings altogether.

Market Commentary:

Is Working In-House Still The ‘Easy’ Option?

With law firms adopting better working practices and in-house lawyers being increasingly ‘exposed to all the harshness of the corporate world’, could we see the work-life pendulum swing?

Are UK Law Firms Also Going to Make Job Cuts?

A few months ago, a London partner at a large international firm spoke to a room of associates about the importance of coming back into the office. The firm expects you in at least three days a week, ideally more, he said.

Half of UK Partners Want to Set Up Their Own Law Firms, Research Shows

Partners at larger law firms are increasingly likely to break away from their current firm to go it alone, research by litigation funder Harbour has found.

read more