Ukrainian Legal Developments:
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.
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.”
Only 1,200 Ukrainians have arrived in the U.K. under the Ukraine Sponsorship Scheme according to the most recently available official data.
“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.”
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 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).
Rickin Patel has joined Trust Payments from Starling Bank, meanwhile at Natalie Salunke has joined Zilch from RVU.
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.
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.
Willie Hernandez has joined the Coca-Cola Company from Meta.
Catherine Rustomji has joined Shakespeare Martineau after five years at Browne Jacobson.
Joe Bannister has joined DAC Beachcroft after 36 years at Hogan Lovells.
Jonathan Wilkes, former Real Estate Head, and Ashley Davidson have joined Simmons & Simmons from Stephenson Harwood.
Rachel Ford, formerly of Capita, has joined Gatwick, succeeding GC Robert Herga ahead of his retirement this year.
Richard Pugh has joined Dechert after over ten years with Bank of America.
Tania Bedi has joined Latham & Watkins after a five-year career break. She was previously at Ropes & Gray.
Emma Brecknock joins Hill Dickinson from Capsticks.
Oliver Crich joins DAC Beachcroft’s Manchester office from Hempsons.
Michael Stace has joined Shakespeare Martineau’s Birmingham office from Browne Jacobson.
Victoria Blanchard, formerly a consultant at Lawyers of Demand, has joined BCLP as a partner.
Joanne Hennessy has joined TLT’s Glasgow office from Pinsent Masons
Miranda Cole, formerly of Covington & Burling, has joined Norton Rose Fulbright.
Jack Schrijver has joined Greenberg Traurig’s Amsterdam office from Dentons.
Mark Grider, formerly of Cadwalader, has joined Brown Rudnick.
Gwendolyn Keyes Fleming has joined DLA Piper from Van Ness Feldman
Christopher Peponis and Hamad Al-Hoshan, formerly of White & Case, have joined Latham and Watkins’ Houston and New York offices, respectively.
Daniel Forman, capital markets partner, has joined Ropes & Gray from Proskauer Rose.
Alexander Nicas has joined Goodwin from Kirkland & Ellis.
Jason Koenig, previously at McDermott Will & Emery, has joined Akin Gump.
Stephen Morris, formerly an in-house counsel at Morgan Stanley, has joined Katten’s New York office.
Gareth Clark has joined Weil’s New York office from Dechert.
Nancy Nguyen Sims has joined Baker McKenzie’s Los Angeles office from DLA Piper.
Austin Wyker as joined Greenberg Traurig’s Dallas office from Munsch Hardt Kopf & Harr.
LeElle B. Slifer, formerly of Burns Charest, has joined Winston & Strawn.
Damian C. Georgino, formerly of Norton Rose Fulbright’s New York office, has joined Womble Bond Dickinson’s Charlotte office.
Scott Bakal has joined Greenberg Traurig from Neal Gerber Eisenberg 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.
Nicholas Davis, previously at Perkins Coie, has joined Cooley.
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 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 has made up eight new partners, five men and three women, across their London and Bristol offices.
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.
Of the five promotions, four are based in London and one is based in Brussels, with 60% being women.
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.
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’ 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.
Gately has acquired Smithers Purslow, chartered surveyors, for £20 million.
Office Openings & Closings:
The Munich office will be led by PE Partner Jan Schinkoth, it will be Goodwin’s 14th office globally and their second German office.
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 is opening in Cardiff and Liverpool, bringing the firm’s total number of UK offices up to 17.
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.
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.
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 has raised NQ salary by £5,000, up to £150,000.
All staff, excluding partners, are set to receive a one-off bonus of £900 to help them with the rising cost of living.
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.
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.
The strategic path to controlling law firm expenses often begins by getting the legal department’s affairs in good order first.
Technology & Innovation:
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:
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.
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.
‘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 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.
‘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.