UK & Ireland
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 has parted ways with Caroline Black, a senior white collar partner well known for her association with controversial former partner Neil Gerrard.
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.
Attention is turning to the restructuring market, which is expected to rally across Europe with recession looming and several large corporates making cuts.
The appointment comes just weeks after Dentons announced that it will integrate its Barcelona team into its Madrid office.
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.
The Sydney finance team loses an experienced partner but gains a new partner, a former Allen & Overy associate.
Foley Hoag has appointed a new leadership team for its international litigation and arbitration department.
Mark Foster is Skadden’s first lateral partner hire of 2023, highlighting the law firm’s focus on securities litigation, especially in Northern California.
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’.
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:
The selection of tax partner Mauricio Piñeros to lead the firm comes during challenging economic times for Colombia.
Following a reorganisation of the firm’s business teams leadership, the global COO has left.
The firm’s partnership has elected Aster Crawshaw to the role, with the professional practices partner replacing Charles Penney.
Office Openings & Closing:
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.
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:
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.
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.
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.
Recruitment company Taylor Root’s salary guide shows the state of in-house remuneration across various UK business sectors.
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.
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 (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.
The UK firm is the latest in a host of law firms looking to find uses for the fast-developing chat technology.
“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:
The holistic program prompts participants to advance Black equity across their organizations and within their communities.
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.
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.
While Linklaters was another strong performer this year, former high achievers Slaughter and May and Pinsent Masons have dropped out of the rankings altogether.
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?
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.
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.