Ukrainian Legal Developments:
Council leaders have issued safeguarding and resource concerns, after the government opened its Homes for Ukraine scheme to unaccompanied children. Levelling up secretary Michael Gove announced yesterday that 1,000 Ukrainian children who had already made applications under the scheme would be allowed to travel to the UK without their parents to stay with a sponsor, so long as they had parental consent.
Larysa Denysenko is a journalist, attorney, human rights activist and co-founder of the Association of Women’s Lawyers of Ukraine, “JurFem”. Before the war, Denysenko and JurFem mainly advocated for women’s leadership in legal professions, provided mentorship and supported strategic court cases related to domestic violence and gender-based discrimination. Now, this has extended to representing the interests of those who have survived conflict-related sexual violence allegedly perpetrated by the Russian military in Ukraine.
UK & Ireland
Tariq Zafar Rasheed is set to join Reed Smith’s financial industry group from BCLP. A group of associates will also be joining with him.
Jason Brooks and Tom Cartwright are joining the Los Angeles-based firm’s UK private equity and structured credit groups respectively.
Stephenson Harwood has added Dan Smith, former Latham & Watkins counsel, as a partner to its litigation department in London.
Partner Andrew Henderson has joined Goodwin’s private investment funds practice according to a press release from the firm.
Reed Smith has hired structured finance partner Tariq Zafar Rasheed from Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner.
Tony Downes, who had been a corporate partner in Proskauer Rose’s private equity group since 2020, is set to join Sidley Austin, according to a person at Sidley.
Werner Eyskens has moved from Allen & Overy to Crowell & Moring as US firms continue run of partner laterals from UK rivals in Belgian capital.
Dentons has hired DWF’s former head of its Middle East finance and banking group Umera Ali to grow its banking and finance practice in the region.
Hogan Lovells is set to expand its compliance and investigations practice in Germany with the hire of experienced in-house compliance chief Philip Matthey, who is set to join as a partner in Munich in October.
Hogan Lovells has recruited Weil, Gotshal & Manges’ Cassandra Porgès as a partner in its banking and loan finance practice in Paris.
K&L Gates has hired Nikolaos Peristerakis from Linklaters to boost its antitrust and trade regulation platform in Brussels.
Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton has hired Herbert Smith Freehills’ (HSF) German managing partner Nico Abel to its M&A practice in Frankfurt.
U.K. competition boutique Euclid Law has hired Andrea Zulli from Covington & Burling to head up its Brussels office.
Norton Rose Fulbright South Africa’s has hired Tapiwa Gandidze after nearly 17 years at Cheadle Thompson & Haysom.
Latham & Watkins has hired cross-border disputes specialist John Pierce from WilmerHale to co-chair its international arbitration practice.
Herbert Smith Freehills (HSF) has hired a trio of tax partners in Australia from former local tax advisory associate firm Greenwoods, which was acquired earlier this year by PwC. Toby Eggleston and Ryan Leslie have joined HSF in Melbourne while Nick Heggart has moved across in Perth, shortly after around 65 employees from Greenwoods, including 15 partners, made the move to PwC earlier this month.
White & Case has built out its Tokyo base with the hire of Norton Rose Fulbright partner Julien Bocobza. He joins the firm’s global project development and finance practice.
DLA Piper has added Adam Smith from Norton Rose Fulbright in Melbourne.
Chris Fletcher, who has held previous roles at Deliveroo, Amazon and Gett, has joined Infinium Logistics as its new general counsel.
Promotions & Appointments:
Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer litigation and antitrust partner and global competition litigation co-head Mark Sansom has been appointed London dispute resolution head in addition to his current role.
Mergers & Alliances:
Eversheds Sutherland has announced a combination with Bulgarian firm Tsvetkova Bebov & Partners (TBP) as it seeks to expand its client coverage in Central and Eastern Europe. The deal adds four partners and 15 lawyers to the firm’s international roster, with Sofia-based TBP rebranded as Eversheds Sutherland Bulgaria. The partners include corporate, M&A and commercial lawyer Irina Tsvetkova, who becomes managing partner of the Bulgaria office, and capital markets and financial services specialist Nikolay Bebov.
DAC Beachcroft has expanded its European presence through a cooperation agreement with German firm BLD Bach Langheid Dallmayr. The agreement builds on an existing relationship between DACB and BLD as founding members of Legalign Global, an international alliance of insurance-focused law firms, and will see close cooperation such as being able to contract as one, cooperating to train and develop their insurance specialists, and sharing business intelligence and know-how, among other things.
the absorption of Estudio Central in the city of Cuenca adds four partners and a fourth office for the firm in Ecuador.
Office Openings & Closing:
The base in Austin will be its third office in the US, after New York and Los Angeles. It is expected to focus predominantly on infrastructure investment, development and finance matters in transport, social infrastructure and water. The new office will be headed by Wes Strickland, a projects partner in the firm’s Los Angeles office who will divide his time between Texas and California. He joined last year from Holland & Knight.
Chicago-based McDermott Will & Emery, which has Texas offices in Houston and Dallas, is launching an office in Austin and hiring an eight-partner intellectual property group from Baker Botts.
Goodwin Procter is set to launch a Singapore office, as more international law firms pivot their focus to the country. According to people at the firm, it has applied to the Ministry of Law in Singapore for a Foreign Law Practice License, which has yet to be approved.
Kennedys’ revenue was up 8 per cent over 2021/22, while London growth slowed due to the ongoing effect of Covid-19 across its business. Overall turnover increased from £264m to £286m, a rise of 8 per cent. In the previous financial year, Kennedys’ global revenue rose 11 per cent.
Early reports suggest that profit and revenue will remain strong into 2022. Among the first to post results were Osborne Clarke and Gateley, which both delivered improved double-digit growth.
US firm Milbank is weighing up introducing a salaried layer into its current partnership structure, The Lawyer has learned. The Lawyer understands the change to the partnership structure is being pondered in order to retain talent and with the intention of accelerating lawyers on to its partnership track. The new layer of salaried partners is understood to be predicated on Kirkland & Ellis’ model of equity and non-equity partners.
Just look to Cravath, Swaine & Moore, which has created a bonus pool funded by 15% of points from each partner, according to two sources familiar with the arrangement. The pool, dispersed at the discretion of firm management, will be awarded to whoever the firm considers high performers. Exactly how the firm determines the high performers is not clear.
If you are a general counsel who’s long been wanting to add employees to your legal department, now might be the right time to make the pitch. Certainly, that’s counterintuitive thinking. With fears of a recession looming, companies are preparing to batten down the hatches, perhaps even lay off workers, not add to their head counts.
The combined revenue of all 100 firms for the 2021 financial year grew by roughly €1bn between 2020 and 2021, rising 9.4 per cent from €11.2bn to a new record of €12.2bn. According to the report, released today, headcount numbers also peaked with new records set both for overall lawyers (27,047) and partners (7,956.8). The two figures were an increase of 2.7 per cent and 4.2 per cent, respectively, on the previous year.
The private equity money will help the firm pursue growth. But partners also want to draw on the investors’ business acumen.
Technology & Innovation:
Lawyers have labelled the European Commission’s court defeat against chipmaker Qualcomm as an “extremely disappointing loss” for the competition enforcer that could affect its appetite to crack down on big tech in the future. The U.S. tech company triumphed against a €997 million fine imposed by EU antitrust regulators for allegedly illegal exclusivity rebates with Apple. Europe’s second-highest court annulled a 2018 decision by the European Commission to impose the near-billion euro fine on Qualcomm for its use of incentive payments to Apple in exchange for exclusive use of its chipsets, “preventing competition on the merits.”
Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton LLP announced today the official launch of ClearyX, a new platform designed to reimagine how legal services can be delivered using innovative combinations of people, process and project-management discipline, augmented by a range of technologies.
The pivot to remote work, more efficient processes, and new digital tools put previously unheralded knowledge management lawyers at the forefront of law firms’ success during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Diversity & Inclusion:
The country is one of the most progressive in the world, but the legal industry had not hosted a LGBTQ conference until this month.
The strategy will see disadvantaged students receive 75% of internship and work experience opportunities at Squire, which has also committed to achieving the diversity targets it announced in April last year. Among them was to have 25% of UK partners be women and 16% ethnic minority representation across the firm by 2026.
Climate litigation is flourishing. The Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) and the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) are grappling with several significant climate litigation cases. However, future growth may be impeded by a recent CJEU ruling in the so-called People’s Climate Case, launched in 2018 by families across Europe, as well as Kenya and Fiji.
The mental health of minority and women lawyers appears to have improved over the last year, according to the results of Law.com and ALM Intelligence’s 2022 Mental Health and Substance Abuse Survey, which also showed positive wellness trends for all lawyers. This year’s survey, sent to over 3,400 lawyers at law firms around the globe in March and April, indicated that some of the most significant disparities in mental health between white male attorneys and all others, particularly women and attorneys of color, had shrunk since the 2021 survey.
Anne Todd, Hannah Edwards and Manjit Sandhu all took several years out of law before returning through the Reignite Academy, an organisation that focuses on helping lawyers break back into the industry after time away. They tell their stories.
Different languages present different challenges but many countries have now published guidelines to encourage lawyers to avoid gender bias, writes Ricci Hackner of Bowmans in South Africa.
Those working at law firms who are aged 45 and over are unhappier in their jobs and with their work-life balance than their younger counterparts are, new research has revealed, while just 2% expect to remain at their current firm for more than the next decade.
Burnout continues to be a major issue for the legal industry across many levels of seniority. In May, legal career coach former Clifford Chance lawyer Tami Irokawa McGonical called the uptick she has seen in burnout in the profession as “devastating”. Many associates have left the profession entirely, often due to their own feelings of burnout.
Almost 400 law firms and large corporations in the US including Google and Apple have made a public pledge detailing the steps they will take to improve diversity, equity and inclusion in the legal profession. Some 93% of the Leadership Council on Legal Diversity’s (LCLD) members have made the pledge, with the LCLD working with the remaining 7% to complete their pledges as soon as possible. The pledges are part of the council’s Leaders at the Front campaign, which aims to make the legal profession as diverse as the wider society it represents by encouraging legal leaders to push for change.
Slaughter and May will trial its first ever ‘bring your dog to work day’ this week, with the benefits of animals in the office extolled by managing partner Deborah Finkler.
Speaking at the Commercial Litigation Forum’s pro bono event at the Royal Courts of Justice on Wednesday, Wardle explained that ESG-related matters were the “flavour of the month” for general counsel of large companies and that pro bono work was core to that as it has a “huge social benefit”.