Weekly Update – 22nd April 2022

Ukrainian Legal Developments:

Kyiv-based lawyer features in record 60-strong CMS partner promotions round

A lawyer based out of CMS’s Kyiv office is among a record tally of 60 partners being promoted across the firm’s global network, up from 52 last year. Olga Shenk, a counsel who serves as Ukraine dispute resolution coordinator, is one of 39 lawyers being promoted across mainland Europe in a partnership round noticeably skewed towards the continent at the expense of the UK, where there are 15 promotions, down from 23 last year.

US Congressman Calls for CMS, Schillings Lawyers to Be Banned Over Russian Work, Slams UK ‘Blood Money’

A U.S. congressman has written an open letter to U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken, urging him to deny U.S. visas to a number of U.K. lawyers caught up in criticism about Russia-related work. Steve Cohen, a Democrat from Tennessee, argued that a travel ban is required for “foreign enablers of Russian oligarchs.”

‘Everyone’s Exhausted’: A London Barrister’s Struggle to Get Ukrainian Refugees Into the UK

Only 1,200 Ukrainians have arrived in the U.K. under the Ukraine Sponsorship Scheme according to the most recently available official data.

Don’t Criticise Lawyers For Representing Sanctioned Persons

“Recent criticism of solicitors and barristers acting for a sanctioned person is wholly misconceived. It comes from a place of ignorance and betrays a dangerous lack of understanding as to the way in which a civilised society operates when governed by the rule of law.”

Ex-Big Law Partners Launch Russian Class Actions Against Apple and Netflix

The two companies were part of a plethora of Silicon Valley giants to distance themselves from Russia in March in response to Putin’s offensive against Ukraine. Apple halted its payment service while Netflix said it would not add Russian state channels to its service and would cease all future projects in the country, according to people close to the matter. In launching the two separate actions, Moscow-based law firm Chernyshov Lukoyanov & Partners (CLP), led by former partners of White & Case and Linklaters, has argued that, by withholding services from Russian customers, both companies have breached local laws.

Clifford Chance Lines Up $1M Donation For Ukraine Aid

Clifford Chance has said it will donate $1 million to humanitarian relief efforts in response to the Ukraine war over the next 12 months. In an update to the firm’s alumni, the firm also announced a global match funding programme which will provide funding directly to seven NGOs, including the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR).



New GCs at Trust Payments and Zilch

Rickin Patel has joined Trust Payments from Starling Bank, meanwhile at Natalie Salunke has joined Zilch from RVU.

Network Rail GC stands down to focus on O-Shaped Lawyer

Dan Kayne has stepped down as Network Rail GC to pursue The O-Shaped Lawyer initiative he originally set up three and a half years ago. The purpose of  The O-Shaped Lawyer is to drive positive and meaningful change with people and relationships at the heart of the legal profession. In his new role, he will be partnering with law schools, law firms and in-house teams, to bring behaviours, mindset and skillsets of The O-Shaped Lawyer to life in their organisations.

Former Skadden partner set for return to the Bar

Patrick Heneghan, who left Skadden in 2015 to assist Sir William Blackburne in his appellate role in relation to complaints concerning the Global Restructuring Group at RBS. He is set to join 3 Paper Buildings as a junior tenant.

Coca Cola adds senior Facebook lawyer as international GC

Willie Hernandez has joined the Coca-Cola Company from Meta.

Expert partner joins to head up law firm’s national charity team

Catherine Rustomji has joined Shakespeare Martineau after five years at Browne Jacobson.

Hogan Lovells Veteran Partner Heads to DACB

Joe Bannister has joined DAC Beachcroft after 36 years at Hogan Lovells.

Simmons & Simmons lands London real estate partner duo from Stephenson Harwood

Jonathan Wilkes, former Real Estate Head, and Ashley Davidson have joined Simmons & Simmons from Stephenson Harwood.

Gatwick adds new legal eagle from Capita

Rachel Ford, formerly of Capita, has joined Gatwick, succeeding GC Robert Herga ahead of his retirement this year.

Bank of America Assistant General Counsel Joins Dechert in London

Richard Pugh has joined Dechert after over ten years with Bank of America.

London Banking Partner Joins Latham After Five-Year Career Break

Tania Bedi has joined Latham & Watkins after a five-year career break. She was previously at Ropes & Gray.

Hill Dickinson grows healthcare property team with hire of partner Emma Brecknock

Emma Brecknock joins Hill Dickinson from Capsticks.

DAC Beachcroft bolsters its market-leading health sector team through another partner appointment

Oliver Crich joins DAC Beachcroft’s Manchester office from Hempsons.

Shakespeare Martineau appoints a Birmingham specialist corporate finance partner

Michael Stace has joined Shakespeare Martineau’s Birmingham office from Browne Jacobson.

BCLP boosts real estate disputes team with new partner

Victoria Blanchard, formerly a consultant at Lawyers of Demand, has joined BCLP as a partner.

TLT expands employment services expertise with appointment of business immigration specialist

Joanne Hennessy has joined TLT’s Glasgow office from Pinsent Masons

Norton Rose Fulbright bolsters Brussels antitrust team with senior hire from Covington

Miranda Cole, formerly of Covington & Burling, has joined Norton Rose Fulbright.

Greenberg Traurig Amsterdam continues strategic expansion

Jack Schrijver has joined Greenberg Traurig’s Amsterdam office from Dentons.

Brown Rudnick adds Cadwalader’s head of crisis management in Washington DC

Mark Grider, formerly of Cadwalader, has joined Brown Rudnick.

Gwendolyn Keyes Fleming joins DLA Piper’s environmental regulatory practice in Washington, DC

Gwendolyn Keyes Fleming has joined DLA Piper from Van Ness Feldman

Latham & Watkins taps White & Case for US energy and infrastructure partner duo

Christopher Peponis and Hamad Al-Hoshan, formerly of White & Case, have joined Latham and Watkins’ Houston and New York offices, respectively.

Daniel Forman joins Ropes & Gray in New York as a partner

Daniel Forman, capital markets partner, has joined Ropes & Gray from Proskauer Rose.

Goodwin adds financial restructuring partner Alexander Nicas in New York

Alexander Nicas has joined Goodwin from Kirkland & Ellis.

Corporate partner Jason Koenig joins Akin Gump in New York

Jason Koenig, previously at McDermott Will & Emery, has joined Akin Gump.

Katten adds global bank exec to financial markets and funds group

Stephen Morris, formerly an in-house counsel at Morgan Stanley, has joined Katten’s New York office.

Weil adds private equity partner in New York

Gareth Clark has joined Weil’s New York office from Dechert.

Baker McKenzie adds experienced commercial litigator

Nancy Nguyen Sims has joined Baker McKenzie’s Los Angeles office from DLA Piper.

Greenberg Traurig adds Austin Wyker to tax practice in Dallas

Austin Wyker as joined Greenberg Traurig’s Dallas office from Munsch Hardt Kopf & Harr.

Winston & Strawn adds LeElle B. Slifer to Dallas litigation practice

LeElle B. Slifer, formerly of Burns Charest, has joined Winston & Strawn.

Womble Bond Dickinson adds M&A partner in Charlotte, N.C.

Damian C. Georgino, formerly of Norton Rose Fulbright’s New York office, has joined Womble Bond Dickinson’s Charlotte office.

Greenberg Traurig adds cross-border tax practitioner in Fort Lauderdale

Scott Bakal has joined Greenberg Traurig from Neal Gerber Eisenberg in Chicago.

DLA Piper adds major top-tier middle market private equity practice in Chicago

DLA Piper have added 27 attorneys to their Chicago office, including Harris Eisenberg, Alex Plakas, Nathan Wilda, and Drew Rosenberry, from local firm Honigman.

Cooley grows elite M&A practice in Seattle

Nicholas Davis, previously at Perkins Coie, has joined Cooley.

Lefosse hires infrastructure partner from Brazilian peer Stocche Forbes

Miriam Signor, formerly of Stocche Forbes Advogados, will head up project finance and project development at Lefosse’s Sao Paulo office.


Promotions and Appointments:

CMS adds eight partners to City HQ in record-breaking global promo round

CMS has appointed 60 lawyers across its international offices in the firm’s largest-ever promotion round. Out of the 15 lawyers made up across the firm’s UK offices, eight are women.

Osborne Clarke reveals UK 2022 partner promotions

Osborne Clarke has made up eight new partners, five men and three women, across their London and Bristol offices.

Stephenson Harwood launches ‘fast track to equity’ programme

The firm is revitalising its approach to partner development with its new ‘Accelerate’ programme designed to support the next generation of law firm leaders. The Accelerate programme was devised in collaboration with the Oxford Saïd Business School and will give junior partners guidance on people management, business development and career progression.

Fieldfisher Promotes Five To Partner

Of the five promotions, four are based in London and one is based in Brussels, with 60% being women.

Clydes unveils 23-strong promotions round

A total of 23 lawyers have been promoted to partner globally at Clyde & Co. Seven have been promoted in the UK, with six of those promotions based in the London office.

The most impressive US firm this year is neither Kirkland nor Goodwin

Willkie sits in first place in this year’s ranking of the fastest-growing US firms by headcount Willkie sits in first place in this year’s ranking of the fastest-growing US firms by headcount in April’s City Signal report. Over the past five years, lawyer numbers at Willkie have risen by 100 per cent, going from 53 to 106.


Mergers & Alliances:

London barristers’ sets announce merger to great 120-strong common law giant

London barristers’ chambers 9 Gough Chambers and 1 Chancery Lane have agreed a merger that will create a new set to be known as 5 Norwich Street.

Gateley Makes Largest Acquisition To Date

Gately has acquired Smithers Purslow, chartered surveyors, for £20 million.


Office Openings & Closings:

Goodwin opens long-awaited Munich office for German PE push

The Munich office will be led by PE Partner Jan Schinkoth, it will be Goodwin’s 14th office globally and their second German office.

Norton Rose Fulbright opens in Chicago as Midwest expansion continues

The Chicago launch will be spearheaded by an 11-lawyer team who join from a trio of firms including K&L Gates, DLA Piper and Polsinelli. The group bring with them expertise across technology transactions, intellectual property, projects and employment law and includes five partners: Andrew Cripe, Daniel Farris, Sameer Ghaznavi, Christopher Hines and Joe McClendon. Mary Kathryn Curry also joins as senior counsel.

Irwin Mitchell to open two new UK offices

Irwin Mitchell is opening in Cardiff and Liverpool, bringing the firm’s total number of UK offices up to 17.



Ashurst ups maintenance grants for future trainees

The value of the grant has risen by 25 per cent from £8,000 to £10,000 and is for the Graduate Diploma in Law and Legal Practice Course LPC or LLM LPC.

Slaughters boosts NQ pay to £115,000 and enhances benefits package

The firm is increasing pay across all PQE levels by up to 20%, and NQ salary will be raised by 7.5% from £107,500 to £115,000.

Pinsents raises regional NQ pay by a third

Pinsent Masons regional NQ salaries will raise by 35.5% from £45,000 to £61,000, while Londond NQ’s will see a 22.6% pay increase to £92,000.

Weil Gotshal & Manges boosts NQ pay

Weil has raised NQ salary by £5,000, up to £150,000.

Irwin Mitchell dishes out ‘cost of living’ bonus to staff

All staff, excluding partners, are set to receive a one-off bonus of £900 to help them with the rising cost of living.

HFW hands out extra performance bonuses of up to £10,0000

Associates who meet certain performance-related criteria will receive a one-off bonus of up to £10,000 this month in recognition of the firm’s strong performance in the 2022 financial year.

What’s Significant About $5B and $6B Law Firms?

With Latham & Watkins grossing $5.48 billion and Kirkland & Ellis reaching $6.042 billion, the legal industry’s newest top-line figures reflect the speed at which law is moving beyond just a profession, to a business model that rivals a firm’s own clients and one that can bring top recruits. At the same time, a law firm’s exponential business growth comes with its own challenges—and few competitors are eager to try to keep up with these top-line figures.

Legal operations tips for controlling outside counsel costs

The strategic path to controlling law firm expenses often begins by getting the legal department’s affairs in good order first.


Technology & Innovation:

Baker McKenzie launches £100,000 fintech fund

The fund was initiated after the UK’s fintech week which took place 4-8 April. It’s purpose is to provide legal support to three budding fintech companies over the course over six months and is open to all fintech companies based in the UK.


Diversity & Inclusion:

HSF offers UK staff the ability to swap some public holidays

As part of Public Holiday Swap, UK employees will have the choice to take up to three public holidays at another time in the same calendar year. The UK generally has eight public holidays, but it will be nine this year due to the Queens Platinum Jubilee.  This initiative is effective immediately but won’t be eligible for all public holidays in the UK this year. Employees can only swap New Year’s Day, early May bank holiday, Spring bank holiday and this year’s Platinum Jubilee bank holiday.

Values and culture under the spotlight for industry health check

A poor culture can be disastrous for a firm. In these post-pandemic days of soaring demand and recruitment shortages, the pressures are higher than ever before. It one reason why so many firms are looking again at what their lawyers and BSPs value most in 2022, using survey after survey to understand what engages and motivates their people. Law firm leaders know an upbeat culture is not only good for their people, but also for attracting fresh recruits and keeping clients happy.

‘I Just Wanted to Fit In’: A Muslim Lawyer on Finally Embracing Her Faith at Work

‘Making it in the legal industry shouldn’t mean compromising on any aspect of your faith,’ says a young lawyer who has struggled to observe her faith in the workplace.

‘The Issue Is Much Wider Than Race’: Yapily’s CLO on Her Diversity Mission

“The current picture does not reflect well on our profession, and I’m surprised it is still this way,” says Selene Brett.
Hogan Lovells Launches Advisory Clinic Amid UK Cost of Living Crisis

Hogan Lovells has launched a cost of living advisory clinic to help those struggling as food and fuel prices surge, in its latest pro bono drive.

Are Older Lawyers Becoming More Welcome in UK Firms?

‘Across the Atlantic the approach in many walks of life has traditionally been to place a greater value on the wisdom and experience of the older generation’, writes Richard Beresford.

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