UK & Ireland
Linklaters’ Nick Rumsby is leaving the magic circle firm for Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton’s London office. Rumsby has been a lifer of Linklaters, joining as a trainee in 1997 and promoted to partner a decade later.
Macfarlanes has hired pensions expert Faye Jarvis from Hogan Lovells to strengthen its pensions team in a relatively rare lateral move for the firm. Jarvis joins as a partner in London and brings with her extensive experience advising employers and pension trustees on funding issues, liability management exercises, scheme mergers and demergers and other pension-related strategies and transaction support.
Clare Sibson KC is set to join Fountain Court Chambers this week from specialist criminal set Cloth Fair, in a move that underscores the former’s commitment to grow its commercial crime team. Sibson brings considerable experience of disputes at the intersection between commercial crime, civil fraud and regulatory law to Fountain Court. Ranked by both Chambers & Partners and The Legal 500 for her financial and business crime practice, she also brings a strong reputation as an advocate and cross-examiner.
Several international law firms have added to their U.K. ranks in the last month including Hogan Lovells, DLA Piper, Norton Rose Fulbright, Paul Hastings and Goodwin. DLA Piper, Norton Rose Fulbright and others have also made hires in the last month.
Clifford Chance has hired two European IP partners and one counsel from a European intellectual property boutique in anticipation of the 2023 launch of the Unified Patent Court. Starting on January 1, 2023, IP partners Tobias J. Hessel and Stefan Richter will join the law firm’s IP practice in Düsseldorf from Hoyng Rokh Monegier.
A longtime Bonn Steichen & Partners partner has left the Luxembourg firm after 17 years to join the Benelux firm Loyens & Loeff. Frédéric Lemoine joined Bonn—then still known as Bonn Schmitt Steichen—as a junior lawyer immediately after completing his legal studies in 2005. It is Loyens’ second significant hire in a month, having added a De Brauw Blackstone Westbroek’s Amsterdam partner in October.
The so-called ‘Big Four’ auditing giants have shut down their legal affiliations in China following intense regulatory scrutiny, according to an investigation by Law.com International. In a major development for Asia’s legal industry, PwC and Deloitte confirmed that they had closed their associated Chinese law firms. KPMG and EY have also closed, and both no longer have operational local law-firm websites. We are still trying to determine where many of the partners who previously worked for the Big Four-affiliated firms have landed.
Kennedys has promoted Singapore-based aviation partner Anita Quy to head of aviation in Asia Pacific, replacing former partner Peng Lim who has recently moved in-house in London. Quy was among six lawyers, including Lim, who joined the Singapore office of Kennedys from Clyde & Co back in 2014. The new hire will work alongside new partner Tristan Thompson, who joined the firm’s Singapore office in September from DLA Piper.
Beijing-based Fangda Partners has added capital markets lawyer Aaron Chen to Shanghai and IP specialist Zou Wen to Shenzhen. Joining in Shanghai is capital markets partner Aaron Chen, who was most recently a partner at Chinese firm Jiayuan Law Offices. Chen advises on capital markets deals, corporate restructurings as well as private equity investments
Paul Hastings has boosted to its capital markets stead by adding Deacons partner, Peter Cheng, to its Hong Kong office. Cheng primarily represents issuers and underwriters on Hong Kong initial public offerings (IPO). He also advises corporates on compliance with Hong Kong Listing Rules, as well as on M&A and private equity investments. He has particular experience acting for companies dealing in the TMT sector.
Pinsent Masons has poached an energy and infrastructure team from K&L Gates to join its Sydney office, while Baker McKenzie and HFW have also made hires in the city. The Pinsent Masons team consists of partner Kirstie Richards and senior associates Luke Salem and Alec Kibblewhite, who will lead the firm’s Australian planning and environment capabilities, the firm announced.
Orrick Herrington & Sutcliffe has added a four-strong team of life sciences-focused IP litigation partners from Milbank in California. The team is recognised for its record protecting the innovations of major biotech companies in complex patent cases and is made up of David Gindler, who headed Milbank’s IP litigation and licensing practice, along with Gary Fischling, Lauren Drake and John Lu. Frischling has joined the firm in Santa Monica while the rest of the team will be based in Orrick’s Los Angeles office.
Sidley Austin has hired international deals lawyer Michiel Visser from White & Case to boost its M&A and private equity practice. Visser joins as a partner in New York where his practice will focus on a range of cross-border M&A and corporate work, with a particular focus on Middle Eastern clients including sovereign wealth funds, government-related entities, family offices and companies. He advises on acquisitions, asset sales, joint ventures, co-investments, restructurings and corporate governance. He is dual-qualified in New York and England.
Linklaters has signalled a drive to grow its market share of energy transition work in the US with the hire of a partner from Sidley Austin to head up its regional energy and infrastructure projects team. Ron I. Erlichman has joined the UK Magic Circle firm as a partner and head of energy and infrastructure in the Americas and will lead an Americas team currently comprising two partners, a counsel and six associates.
Holland & Knight, which last week confirmed the hiring of five Eversheds Sutherland energy transition lawyers in Houston and Washington, D.C., has expanded the team further with two more in Atlanta, one in New York and another in Washington. The four hires in Atlanta, New York and Washington, D.C., make a total of nine Eversheds Sutherland energy transition lawyers that Holland & Knight has hired this month as it focuses on expanding its energy practice.
Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton has added Deborah North, an Allen & Overy derivatives and structured finance partner, as a partner in New York, the firm said Wednesday. North had been at A&O for just over 22 years and was promoted to partner in its London office in 2008. Her hire comes as Cleary anticipates current economic factors will drive work in the practice.
White & Case has recruited yet another partner for its Mexico City office as it experiences strong demand for its corporate services. Carlos Martínez joins the global firm’s tax practice from Mexican firm Creel Abogados to help field consistently strong demand for corporate work. He joins just a few months after the firm brought on two other partners—Eduardo Flores Herrera and Narciso Campos Cuevas.
Promotions & Appointments:
Spanish law firm Garrigues has announced the appointment of 16 new partners across Spain and Latin America, half of whom are women. All new partners become part of the firm’s equity, according to the firm’s statement.
Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton has added two new partners to its London office as part of its latest global promotions round, while adding its first female partner since 2017. The US firm has elevated nine lawyers in total across its offices in London, Paris, New York, Frankfurt and Hong Kong,
Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner (BCLP) is promoting seven UK lawyers to partner, based in both London and Southampton, alongside 14 other elevations globally. In London, Tom Bacon sits in the corporate practice, James Banks focuses on real estate and Benjamin Blacklock works on disputes.
US firm Gibson Dunn & Crutcher has promoted 37 lawyers to its partnership, 10 more than last year’s promotion round. Women accounted for 16 of this year’s cohort, or 43%. Last year 12 made the cut, or 44% of the overall round. US promotions dominated, with just five outside North America, including Hanna Chalhoub and Nooree Moola in Dubai, Piers Plumptre in London, Katharina Humphrey in Munich and Jan Schubert in Frankfurt. New York saw the most promotions with eight, followed by seven in Washington DC, six in its Los Angeles headquarters and five in Dallas. The firm’s West Coast offices including LA, San Francisco and Palo Alto accounted for more than a third of promotions in total.
Travers Smith has elected Kathleen Russ to a second term as senior partner, effective from July next year. Russ was first elected in 2019, having previously been head of the firm’s tax department, where she has been a partner for more than two decades. She has also helped shape the firm’s business strategy as a member of its partnership board and co-chaired the firm’s international board, as well as chairing its diversity and inclusion board and the firm’s audit committee.
TLT has named Bristol- and London-based pensions partner Sasha Butterworth as its next senior partner, succeeding Andrew Glynn. Butterworth will begin her three-year term on 1 January 2023 at the end of Glynn’s sever-year tenure as senior partner, Glynn having been re-elected in 2019
Tokyo-based advertising and public relations giant Dentsu Group has promoted Alison Zoellner to general counsel, effective in January. The post will give Zoellner responsibility for legal and compliance teams for 900 companies owned by Dentsu, which does business in 145 countries.
Stephen Brogan, who has served as the managing partner at Jones Day for two decades, announced Friday that he is stepping down at the end of 2022. He will be succeeded by Gregory M. Shumaker, who currently leads the firm’s global disputes practice. Brogan, one of the longest-serving leaders in the Am Law 100 and only the seventh managing partner in Jones Day’s 130-year history, has the power under the firm’s unique management structure to name his own successor.
Mergers & Alliances:
Specialist insurance law firm Wotton + Kearney has acquired a Melbourne-based boutique health law firm and its four partners as it boosts its healthcare practice. Ball + Partners is a medical negligence and malpractice law firm. Partners Lara Larking, John Arranga, Andrew Smith and Russell Ball will be joining Wotton + Kearney. The acquisition bolsters Wotton + Kearney’s medical defense team, giving it 11 partners in the practice serving Australia and New Zealand.
Office Openings & Closing:
After six years as a boutique acting in top-level sports disputes, Solesbury Gay has decided to close after a change in career for its founders. The firm was founded by Tom Solesbury and Mark Gay back in 2016 to work on sports and employment law. The firm acted for several high-profile clients, including racing driver Sam Bird, the Force India Formula One Team, F1 Alpine’s team, UK Athletics and the English Football League. Tom Solesbury decided to move in-house to a UK Athletics, while Mark Gay has decided to take on a new role at Payne Hicks Beach.
Indian boutique Chandhiok & Mahajan builds pan-Indian presence with abad launch. Indian boutique Chandhiok & Mahajan (C&M) has opened an office in the southern city of Hyderabad as it moves to build its presence across the country. The Delhi-based firm, which has worked on deals including the $20bn mega-merger of chemicals giants Clariant and Huntsman, also has bases in Mumbai and the southern city of Bengaluru and said the launch would enable it to better meet client need across the country’s south.
DLA Piper, Dentons, K&L Gates, Eversheds Sutherland and others have already taken on World-Cup related work, according to a Law.com International analysis. Qatar v Ecuador mightn’t be a clash of footballing giants, but Sunday’s fixture will signal the start of what many expect to be the highest grossing football world cup tournament of all time. The Qatar World Cup 2022 could generate “maybe $10 billion or more” for Qatar, a partner at an elite Middle East firm said, while Bloomberg has placed a more conservative $5.4 billion value on it. Either way, though dogged by controversy, the four-week competition will be a money spinner for the wealthy Gulf nation.
Norton Rose Fulbright (NRF) has reported a 100 per cent rise in its net cash, according to its recent LLP accounts, putting it in a strong position to weather a potential period of economic challenges. Net cash leapt from £23m to £47m. Meanwhile revenue for its Europe, Middle East and Asia (EMEA) operations rose by 8 per cent from £488.6m to £527m in 2021/22, while net profit increased by 6 per cent from £146.9m to £156m.
Small law firms in the US are more optimistic about their future growth prospects than they were at this point last year, according to a new report from Thomson Reuters Institute. Nearly six in 10 lawyers at small US firms said they expect growth over the next 12 months across areas including revenues per lawyer, billable hours and profits per lawyer, according to the 2022 Report on the State of US Small Law Firms. By contrast, fewer than half of lawyers in last year’s report thought billable hours or profits per lawyer would grow over the following 12 months.
The cost of living is soaring. U.K. inflation is at a 41-year high. Chancellor Jeremy Hunt’s Autumn Statement made grim reading for many as the government attempts to balance the country’s books with tax rises and spending cuts. Several firms are reacting to the current economic situation by handing out cost of living bonuses to their lowest earners, which in most cases means trainees and business support professionals. This week Simmons & Simmons became the latest to do so, following the likes of Norton Rose Fulbright, Clifford Chance and Bird & Bird. The pay war for junior lawyers finally seems to have calmed down, but don’t be surprised if this becomes a new way of attracting and retaining talent at the lower-wage end.
Diversity & Inclusion:
When it comes to climate change mitigation, it is all words and very little action. Otherwise, we would not be on the “highway to climate hell”, as UN secretary general António Guterres proclaimed on the first day of COP27. Across all industries and countries, there is a reluctance to take the plunge and make the necessary changes to limit global warming by 1.5 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels. And law is no exception. Even those firms with net zero targets largely ignore the impact of the deals they facilitate. Slaughter and May being the latest firm scrutinised for its difficult moral choices.
Two founding partners of specialist London disputes boutique Edmonds Marshall McMahon have launched a project to help women legal professionals achieve greater business development results and career progression. The project, called Networking Nuance, has been set up by Kate McMahon and Tamlyn Edmonds specifically to address the under representation of women at the top of the profession. It follows a report published by the UK Government last year that found while the overall number of lawyers was fairly evenly split in terms of gender just 13.8% of female solicitors were partners compared to 31% of men.
Ahead of International Men’s Day on November 19 one solicitor writes about the need for men to open up. He writes: “Mental health was something I was never really aware of growing up. I just thought all men knew exactly what they were doing all of the time and were just completely unaffected by anything that came their way. I wanted to be one of them men. For me, that meant showing no emotion at all. I was always the guy that never let anything phase me, moved relentlessly towards goals I had set for myself and was always there for other people. That was what people thought, but inside I was a mess. I didn’t talk about it because I didn’t know how to. I didn’t want to bother anybody else, and I was too used to masking my own emotions and feelings.”
The firm said the payments were in “recognition of the challenging economic climate”. U.K. law firm Simmons & Simmons has become the latest firm to offer assistance to its people in light of economic pressures in the U.K. The firm will hand all its U.K. staff earning below £50,000 a one off cost of living payment of £1,500.
Brand attraction is more important than ever in the legal market amid underlying competitive market pressures. The word ‘attractivity’ might puzzle you. It’s best thought of as organisational charisma—the quality or degree of a law firm’s attractive power or influence. How compelling is its proposition to clients and the market? This extends to all the elements that attract partners and clients to one firm rather than another. Where a firm experiences problem with these elements, there will probably be similar underlying causes because the different strands contributing to a firm’s brand attraction connect.