Weekly Update – 20th of May 2024

Moves:

UK & Ireland

US law firm Perkins Coie hires Ian Bagshaw for London launch

Perkins Coie, a US law firm, is establishing its presence in London with the hiring of heavyweight private equity lawyer Ian Bagshaw.

Emma Dwyer has joined Fieldfisher as a Partner in their Derivatives and Structured Finance Group

Emma makes her move from Allen & Overy where she was a partner for over 10 years.

McDermott Adds Heavyweight London Finance Duo From Morrison & Foerster

McDermott Will & Emery have enhanced their finance and restructuring expertise in London with the addition of a heavyweight finance duo from Morrison & Foerster. Christopher Kandel and John Burge join after spending almost five years each at Morrison & Foerster.

Cleary Gottlieb adds private equity lawyers from Kirkland, Travers Smith in London recruitment drive

Counsel Joanna Roberts leaves Travers Smith to become a partner in their debt finance practice as Alexander van der Gaag joins from Kirkland.

Beauchamps appoints John Gaffney as EU and competition partner and head of ESG

During his role as a partner at a prominent Dublin law firm’s EU, competition, and regulatory unit, Mr. Gaffney advised a wide range of public and private clients on matters pertaining to state assistance, competition, merger control, and public procurement law.

Tayor Wessing recruits patent specialist Eoin Martyn as partner

Mr. Martyn is admitted to practice as an attorney in Queensland, Australia, England & Wales, and Ireland. He joins from Mcann FitzGerald LLP.

 

EMEA

Senior lateral hires for Hausfeld: two leading competition disputes lawyers join in London and Hamburg

Hausfeld, a global disputes-only law firm, is happy to announce that partners Joanna Christoforou from Morgan Lewis and René Galle from A&O Shearman will join its London and Hamburg offices, respectively. Both have extensive experience in antitrust law and antitrust litigation.

Addleshaw Goddard adds new Employment partner to growing Middle East business

Addleshaw Goddard has appointed Rachel Hill as a Partner in its regional employment practice. Her appointment comes shortly after Anna Zeitlin from PwC joins the firm to build a fintech practice.

Standard Bank Loses Top Lawyers, Including Former Norton Rose CEO, to African Firms ENS and CDH

CDH South Africa has named Marelise van der Westhuizen, Standard Bank’s head of disputes, as a director in its dispute resolution practice.

Goodwin and White & Case Grow Investment Funds Practices in Luxembourg

In order to address the increasing demand from clients for specialized funds counsel and to pursue new market opportunities, White & Case has appointed Emmanuel Gutton, a seasoned global investment funds attorney, as a partner. Virginie Leroy, a partner in private investment funds, has joined Goodwin Procter’s expanding Luxembourg office. She comes from AKD, a Benelux firm, where she co-headed the investment management practice and served as a partner.

 

APAC

Bird & Bird to open office in Tokyo, Japan, recruiting new partner Hiro Iwamura

Bird & Bird plans to create an office in Tokyo, Japan, before the end of the year, with Hiroyuki (Hiro) Iwamura serving as a partner in the region.

Baker McKenzie, Adds New Litigator as Firms in Korea Fight to Bolster Disputes Offering

Sunyoung Kim, who is dual-qualified in the United States and Korea, has spent the last ten years with Big Six firm Lee & Ko, her move to Baker McKenzie marks a return to the company, where she previously worked as an associate in the Hong Kong office.

Nishimura & Asahi Adds Hunton Andrews Kurth Tokyo Partner in Vietnam

Following Sean Conaty’s departure, Hunton Andrews Kurth will have one dual-based partner and one associate in Tokyo.

Trowers & Hamlins Hires Former Squire, McDermott Singapore Managing Partner

Ignatius Hwang has joined the firm as a partner and will oversee its Asian energy and infrastructure practices.

 

The Americas

Akin Adds Sidley Energy M&A, Projects Partner in Houston

Akin has announced that Trent Bridges, an energy transactions partner, has joined the firm’s Houston office. He comes to the firm from Sidley Austin and previously worked as vice president and assistant general counsel for Magellan Midstream Partners, L.P.

Potter Anderson Welcomes New Delaware Counsel

Potter Anderson announced that Nicole K. Pedi has joined the firm as counsel with the General Litigation Practice Group.

Sullivan & Cromwell Lands 2 Skadden M&A Partners in Silicon Valley

Mike Ringler and Peter Jones are set to join from Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom, according to a firm statement.

People in the News—May 16, 2024—Fitzpatrick Lentz

David M. Steckel has been welcomed to Fitzpatrick Lentz & Bubba’s employment law and labour relations group.

Slew of Big Law Firms Invest in Lateral Partners in California

This past week, over a dozen Am Law 200 firms announced lateral hires in California. The majority of California hiring were made in Orange County and Los Angeles, but some also came from Palo Alto, Silicon Valley, and San Francisco. Several new attorneys were hired as part of the firm’s transactional practices.

Manufacturing Industry CLO Returns to K&L Gates After Two Decades

Dan Fayock was most recently executive vice president, chief legal officer, and corporate secretary for Arconic, an aluminium company.

Winston & Strawn Adds New IP Leader From Buchalter in San Francisco

Marlene Williams joins Winston & Strawn’s trademarks practice as global lead and counsel. Previously, Williams was a shareholder in Buchalter’s intellectual property firm, which operated out of Los Angeles and San Francisco.

On the Move and After Hours: Goldberg Segalla

Goldberg Segalla has announced the addition of Christopher J. Major, Esq. as a partner to the firm’s worker’s compensation group in Newark.

Norton Rose Fulbright Gains Private Equity Partner in Dallas

Nate Christensen, a private equity lawyer, has joined the firm’s Corporate, M&A, and Securities group as a partner in its Dallas office.

Debevoise Lands Clifford Chance US Antitrust Head

Tim Cornell had worked at Clifford Chance for almost 14 years and spent the last 11 as the firm’s head of antitrust in the United States.

Harter Secrest Adds Rochester Counsel, Nossaman Hires Denver Partner

Douglas R. Smith has joined Harter Secrest & Emery as counsel in the intellectual property practice group of the firm’s Rochester, New York, office; also, Nossaman has added Brent Butzin to its infrastructure group.

Lex Mundi Appoints Partner at Mexican Member Firm Basham as Chair

Carlos Velázquez De León will manage a network of over 150 renowned independent law firms from around the world as Lex Mundi begins on a new strategic plan.

 

In house

UnitedHealth Carves Out New Job for Legal Chief as DOJ Antitrust Probe Looms

Rupert Bondy will now be senior counsel and executive vice president for governance, compliance, and security.

Owner of Luxury Hotels Plucks New GC From Apartment Industry

Anika Fischer has taken over as legal director of DiamondRock Hospitality, which is experiencing leadership changes 20 years after its founding.

US coal mining business Alpha rehires former CLO to head legal team

Mark Manno has been rehired by US mining business Alpha Metallurgical Resources as general counsel. Roger Nicholson is departing the company at the end of this month.

US pizza chain Marco’s Pizza promotes former Subway lawyer to legal chief

US pizza business Marco’s Pizza has elevated Kristin Corcoran to the position of chief legal counsel, taking Todd Watson’s place as general counsel and top legal officer.

 

Team Moves

Venable, adding 8-Lawyer Lateral Team, Joins Fast-Growing Legal Market in Colorado

Venable LLP announced that they are expanding their geographic reach to include the state of Colorado, with the addition of eight top commercial and employment litigators and counsellors stationed in Denver. James (Jim) Sawtelle, a trial lawyer with over 30 years of experience, will be the partner in charge of Venable’s new office.

K&L Gates Recruits 4-Lawyer International Trade Group From DLA Piper

K&L Gates, a prominent international law practice, have taken a significant strategic step in hiring a four-lawyer International Trade Group from DLA Piper. The new hires join K&L Gates at a time when trade practices in Big Law are expected to grow.

HFW Poaches Again from MinterEllison, Takes Team of 7 in Hong Kong

A group of five associates, led by two disputes partners, Steven Yip and Malcolm Chin, has joined the UK company. Yip and Chin co-led MinterEllison’s building, infrastructure, and projects practice in Hong Kong. The team’s departure will leave the Australian corporation with no construction or project-focused offerings in the city.

Latham & Watkins Poised to Bring in Cahill Partner Trio in London

After more than three years at Cahill Gordon, Jonathan Brownson, Joydeep Choudhuri, and Prue Criddle are expected to join Latham. Between 2020 and 2021, all three of them moved from Allen & Overy, now known as A&O Shearman, to the Cahill’s London office.

 

Promotions & Appointments:

Freshfields Partner, NFL Players Union Attorney Named Legal Aid’s Servants of Justice

Mary Eaton, partner and co-head of securities and shareholder litigation at Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer, received the prize this year, as did DeMaurice Smith, former executive director of the National Football League Players Association.

Womble Bond Plans US Leadership Shift, After 9-Year Term of Betty Temple

Womble Bond Dickinson (US) LLP announced today that Merrick Benn has been appointed US Chair and CEO, beginning January 1, 2025. Benn, a member of the firm’s Global Board, will succeed Betty Temple, who has served as US Chair and CEO since 2016.

People in the News—May 15, 2024—Holland & Knight, Buchanan Ingersoll

Dana Feinstein, an employment attorney at Holland & Knight in Philadelphia, was recently elected to the Anti-Defamation League’s (ADL) board of directors.

Ashurst appoints Arnaud Julien as Luxembourg office Managing Partner

Ashurst, a global legal company, has announced that Arnaud Julien has been appointed managing partner of its Luxembourg office; previously, he was a partner in the investment funds department.

Bennett Jones Names New Office Leaders in Vancouver, Montreal, and Toronto

Kwang Lim will take the leadership title in Vancouver, Preet Gill takes on the leadership role in Toronto, meanwhile acting Montreal managing partner Pascale Dionne-Bourassa now has the official title.

Norton Rose Fulbright Names Longtime Corporate Lawyer as New Managing Partner in Montreal

Nicolas Labrecque succeeds Luc Morin, who was just appointed as a judge.

Bird & Bird appoints Michael Finn to lead Irish office

Since becoming a partner in 2023, he has overseen some of the company’s most significant client engagements in the areas of intellectual property litigation, business conflicts, technology, and life sciences.

Keoghs NI announces 21 new appointments and promotions

The insurance law expert Keoghs has announced 21 new hires and promotions, including two new partners, six associates, and six more lawyers, marking a significant increase in Northern Ireland.

 

Mergers & Alliances:

Shearman-Associated Firm Is Being ‘Dissolved’ Following A&O Merger

Studio Legale Associato Shearman & Sterling (Studio Legale), the Italian firm that has served as Shearman & Sterling’s affiliated firm since 2021, is being dissolved, according to four sources familiar with the issue.

SurePoint Technologies Acquires Business Intelligence Provider Leopard Solutions

SurePoint Technologies has announced the purchase of Leopard Solutions as part of a strategic effort to strengthen its business intelligence capabilities. This acquisition is a big step forward for SurePoint Technologies as it attempts to strengthen its position in the competitive landscape of data analytics and business solutions.

Locke Lord, in Merger Talks, Was Ordered to Pay $12.5M Over Alleged Client Fraud. What Does That Mean for the Deal?

Due diligence, done early in merger talks, should mitigate any potential surprises about litigation against a law firm.

 

Office Openings & Closing:

Paul Weiss Funds New Litigation Center to Combat Hate-Driven Violence

Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison LLP today announced the establishment of The Center to Combat Hate, which will work with civil rights organizations and educational institutions to pursue impactful litigation to address and rectify hate-motivated violence and intimidation.

Cahill Opens Delaware Office, Rolls Out Expanded Digital Assets Practice

Cahill Gordon & Reindel will create a new office in Wilmington, Delaware, as it develops its cryptocurrency business with three additional partners, the firm announced Wednesday.

Nelson Mullins Opens New LA Office, Adds 6-Lawyer Product Liability Team

Nelson Mullins Riley & Scarborough LLP, a full-service national legal firm with offices across the country, announced the opening of a new office in downtown Los Angeles, California, as well as the addition of six litigation professionals from LondonFischer to the firm’s product liability practice.

British Firm Spencer West Opens Office in Sydney

The firm has appointed former BBC lawyer Andrew Ailwood as its new office lead.

Australia’s HWL Ebsworth Announces New Leaders After Managing Partner’s Death

Russell Mailler, the chief strategy officer who worked closely with Martinez, is promoted to chief executive partner, while Kris Hopkins is promoted to CEO.

Addleshaw Goddard Appoints New Middle East Managing Partner

Robin Hickman, who was chosen as Addleshaw Goddard’s regional managing partner for a four-year term beginning May 1, 2024, follows Andrew Johnston, who left the region to become the firm’s managing partner in London on the same date.

 

Financials:

Boosted by Energy Work, Bracewell Grew Revenue by 7.6%, PEP by 11.4% in 2023

With high demand in the energy sector in the United States and around the world, Bracewell’s revenue increased by 7.6% in 2023. In a year of great financial performance, revenue per lawyer increased by 14.1%, as did profits per equity partner by 11.4%.

Pay for GC of AI Darling Nvidia Jumps 21%, but That’s Nothing Compared With How His Stock Has Performed

According to Nvidia’s proxy statement filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission on Wednesday, Timothy Teter’s remuneration has increased by 21% from the $9.1 million he received last year.

Q1 Results Suggest Texas Law Firms On Track for a Strong 2024

Larger legal firms started 2024 on a high note, with strong first-quarter performance. According to recent studies, revenue, demand, and rates increased, indicating a strong start to the year for the legal profession.

In-House Counsel Saw Pay Rise Over Past Year, Despite Drop in Job-Hopping

According to the research, median salary for in-house counsel increased by 4.4% in 2024 compared to the previous year, with managing counsel experiencing the highest rise (3.8%), followed by general counsel (3.2%) and senior counsel (2.9%).

Top Partner Pay at Simpson Thacher to Breach $20M

Simpson Thacher & Bartlett’s top partners are set to earn more than $20 million this year, as the Wall Street law firm widens the pay gap between its best and lowest-paid equity partners.

City pay war: Linklaters matches Freshfields with £150k NQ lawyer salary

The move represents a £25,000 or 20% rise in rates, which were previously £125,000. The raise went into effect at the beginning of the month.

 

Technology & Innovation:

Hence Technologies to Launch AI Software to Help Law Firms With Geopolitical Risks

Hence Technologies, a prominent provider of AI solutions, is going to launch innovative software to help law firms navigate geopolitical concerns. This new AI technology promises to provide legal professionals with real-time information and analysis to help them manage geopolitical risks and protect their clients’ interests.

Optimize AI Outputs With a Repeatable, Scalable Human QC Process 

In this article, Mary Bennett, shares her story with AI and uses tools like ChatGPT and Grammarly are not just tools; they are game changers. They significantly enhance the quality and consistency of content, providing a reassuring boost to our work.

Big Law’s AI Talent War Aims to Influence Software Development

The current legal landscape shows an increase in Big Law’s interest in Artificial Intelligence (AI). Many of the major law firms are shifting to a more tech-centric approach, leveraging their status as leading users of legal technology to influence vendor development of AI-powered services.

Wilson Sonsini Brings ‘Agentic AI’ to Clients With New Neuron Contracting Module

The commercial solution is the latest addition to Neuron, Wilson Sonsini’s next-generation proprietary software platform that streamlines, automates, and digitizes the normal legal processes that a start-up goes through—from formation to exit.

‘Another Arrow in the Quiver’: Quinn Brings AI-Backed Litigation Forecasting Tools to All US Lawyers

Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan, the world’s largest all-disputes law firm, announced this morning that it will collaborate with Pre/Dicta, a legal technology start-up that uses artificial intelligence and data analytics to produce forecasting tools for litigators.

Swedish Gen AI Assistant Leya Raises $10.5M in Seed Funding

Leya offers a platform with an AI system that integrates with the papers and information that firms have accumulated over time, as well as legal data from over 15 jurisdictions.

Everlaw Offers Free Gen AI Access Through ‘Everlaw for Good’ Program

Everlaw has launched the ‘Everlaw for Good’ program. This effort seeks to democratize access to cutting-edge legal technology by providing free access to Gen AI, Everlaw’s powerful AI-powered document analysis tool.

Klarna Lawyers Told to Use ChatGPT to Save Time Drafting Contracts

The CEO of the fintech company has instructed employees to “test, test, test, and explore,” with 86% of the legal function already using generative AI models in their daily work.

 

Diversity & Inclusion:

‘Walk a Fine Line’: Managing Hyperpolarized Environment Zooms Up Employers’ List of Worries

According to the Littler Mendelson 12th Annual Employer Survey, 49% of the 400 in-house lawyers, business executives, and HR professionals polled were moderately or very concerned about managing controversial political or social ideas in the run-up to the 2024 elections.

Rising Stars: Europe’s Best Up-and-Coming Female Lawyers, 2024

As businesses prioritize diversity and work-life balance, women lawyers say they are more able to establish their own pathways to success—meeting the demands of their practices while preserving and prioritizing their personal connections, family life, and passion projects.

Japan’s Big Law Firms Are Nurturing Female Talent. But What If the Talent Pool Dries Up?

In February, lawyer Reiko Fuchigami was elected president of the Japan Federation of Bar Associations, heralding a triumph for gender equality in Japan. Her election garnered domestic and worldwide headlines because she is the first woman to lead Japan’s largest legal organization, which was created in 1949.

Q&As With The Legal’s Diversity Initiative Honorees

The Legal Intelligencer is proud to announce four finalists for the 2024 Diversity Initiative award.

Lawyer Suing King & Spalding Asks Law Firm to Apologize for Diversity Program Exclusion

A former University of Baltimore School of Law student claims King & Spalding refused to accept her for a summer associate diversity fellowship. She claims in a federal lawsuit that she was discriminated against because she is white and heterosexual.

 

Market Commentary:

‘A Leap of Faith’: Some In-House Leaders Join Fight to Fix Big Law’s Mental Health Crisis

Partner Michael Kraut is cited in a Corporate Counsel article about the possible role of legal departments in promoting the mental health of professionals at law firms.

How Much Deference Makes a Difference?

This article compares New York and New Jersey’s appellate standards of review for pain and suffering awards in medical malpractice claims.

Navigating a New Legal Landscape: Protecting the Corporate Veil in the Med Mal Suit

David G. Tomeo and Melissa A. Dziak, shareholders with Marshall Dennehey, write that “This article explores the historical roots and status of the “piercing the corporate veil” doctrine in New Jersey and Pennsylvania”.

Pennsylvania Legal Awards: 2024 Lawyers on the Fast Track (Large Firms)

This award honours the region’s most promising Pennsylvania and Delaware lawyers under the age of forty.

It’s a Good Time to Be a Sports and Entertainment Lawyer in Sunny South Florida

This article discusses how sports and entertainment are hard industries to navigate, but they are also incredibly enjoyable to work in.

Osborne Clarke becomes first firm referred to tribunal over alleged ‘SLAPP’

Osborne Clarke is one of two firms referred to the Solicitors Disciplinary Tribunal (SDT) for allegedly utilizing a’strategic lawsuit against public participation’ (SLAPP) to represent former Conservative Chancellor Nadhim Zahawi.

Can Hong Kong’s Independent Law Firms Survive Without a Chinese Tie-Up?

The legal business has seen a surge of mergers between Hong Kong- and mainland China-founded firms, indicating that Hong Kong local practices are reconsidering their future as independent firms.

Eversheds and Fieldfisher miss out on £4m HS2 panel

Three companies have secured £4 million slots on the most recent panel of High Speed Two railway (HS2), taking the place of Eversheds Sutherland and Fieldfisher. Sharpe Pritchard, Gowling WLG, and Burges Salmon have all been awarded positions on the panel for general, commercial, and procurement legal services.

A problem shared is a problem halved: is that the case for lawyers?

This article was written by Nikki Edwards and Avneet Baryan who believe that creating a safe space for lawyers to share their feelings can improve mental health and wellbeing.

Nurturing the Next Generation: Professional Development in the Legal Sphere

By embracing lifelong learning, ethical leadership, and technological innovation, young attorneys may negotiate the intricacies of the legal world and make significant contributions.

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