UK & Ireland
Top 40 US law firm Morrison Foerster (MoFo) has hired a Bank of England senior adviser to boost its financial services and fintech offering in London.
Top London independent law firm Macfarlanes has hired a highly rated investment funds partner from Sidley Austin in London.
U.S-headquartered firm Simpson Thacher & Bartlett has hired a London financial regulatory partner from Travers Smith, in the latest blow to the U.K. firm. Stephanie Biggs, who will co-lead the firm’s European financial services and funds regulatory team at Simpson Thacher alongside partner Owen Lysak, had been a partner in Travers’ financial services & markets department for eight years
Three firms have hired into their corporate, funds and real estate practices, amid a busy London lateral hiring market. Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner has added to its London partnership with a Reed Smith corporate and real estate partner. Chris Beaumont-McQuillan will join BCLP this February, and is set to form part of the firm’s corporate real estate and funds team. He was a partner at Reed Smith since 2021.
Clifford Chance has strengthened its high yield practice in London following the appointment of a White & Case partner.
Weil, Gotshal & Manges has announced the arrival of two new London partners in a bid to boost its high yield practice.
Deloitte Legal has strengthened its legal management consulting team with the addition of Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer’s former legal innovation chief, who joins as a partner.
Linklaters has been dealt another blow to its London operations with the departure of corporate partner Sarah Flaherty.
Clyde & Co has hired Herbert Smith Freehills’ London head of aviation finance as partner moves in the city continue in 2023.
Dentons’ UK real estate head is leaving the firm after five years to join DWF in a new leadership role.
Goodwin Procter has snapped up a private equity and investment funds partner from Kirkland & Ellis. Jacqueline Eaves has spent nearly four years as a partner at the US firm, where she focused on advising private investment funds on a range of complex business transactions in the secondary market.
Leading Wall Street firm Davis Polk has hired two partners from Magic Circle UK firm Allen & Overy (A&O) to open a Brussels office.
French private equity boutique Moncey Avocats has added a trio of ex-Brown Rudnick lawyers in Paris to expand its restructuring team.
Three leading Singaporean disputes bodies have banded together to promote Singapore’s attractiveness for dispute resolution, with two new initiatives encouraging an integrated approach for businesses seeking to resolve their disputes in one of Asia’s most popular dispute hubs.
Law firms are continuing to expand with offices in the Republic of Ireland, as Ropes & Gray hires from the country’s competition regulator to launch its operations.
Linklaters has added a senior partner to its financial regulation and structured finance practice in Singapore from Ashurst.
Baker McKenzie has bolstered its transactional offering in Johannesburg with a trio of partner hires from local rivals.
London-based litigation boutique Pallas Partners has grown in New York with the hire of a commercial litigation partner from Gibson Dunn & Crutcher along with two associates from other firms.
Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer’s New York managing partner has left the firm for a U.S. led outfit.
Leaders at K&L Gates said they expect the team of seven new partners to have an “immediate” impact on boosting the firm’s business, given the quantity of client work they are bringing over.
The London Metal Exchange’s (LME) long-time legal chief has stepped down after seventeen years at the company. Tom Hine, who joined the LME in 2006, announced via LinkedIn on Tuesday that he was leaving the metal trading platform to set up his own consultancy venture.
Promotions & Appointments:
Several law firms in London have rung in the new year with changes to their top management. U.K. top 50 firm Lewis Silkin has ushered in new co-managing partners, with intellectual property partner Jo Farmer and employment partner Richard Miskella set to head the firm until 2026.
Norton Rose Fulbright has reappointed its managing partner for Europe, Middle East and Asia to a second three-year term.
Mergers & Alliances:
Shearman & Sterling has spoken with multiple law firms for a potential merger, including Texas-based Baker Botts, according to two sources familiar with the talks.
Orrick Herrington & Sutcliffe is merging with Washington, D.C.-founded Am Law 200 firm Buckley, adding significant strength to Orrick in financial regulation, enforcement and litigation and doubling its footprint in the nation’s capital.
Addleshaw Goddard and Linklaters have led on the €260m acquisition of a dark rum brand by drinks giant Diageo.
Office Openings & Closing:
When Brexit became final in 2020, there was an abundance of talk about the world’s premier law firms pivoting away from London to European hubs like Frankfurt, Paris and, in particular, Brussels.
About a year after Eversheds Sutherland announced plans to launch in San Francisco, the global firm has opened an office, which will act as a hub for both local and international lawyers. It is also Eversheds’ first office to experiment with hoteling.
Alternative fee arrangements and pricing outside the billable hour is getting more attention this year. A pandemic surge in demand followed by an historic drop in productivity have set the stage in 2023 for a shift toward pricing that emphasizes value instead of time, some analysts say.
Simpson Thacher & Bartlett’s London office revenue grew more than 13% in 2022, hitting $378 million, marking another year of expansion for the U.S. firm’s U.K. base.
Clifford Chance’s highest paid partner took home £4.94 million in the 2021-22 financial year, the law firm’s latest limited liability partnership accounts show. The figure is 35% higher than the £3.21 million taken home by the top paid member in the previous financial year.
The Ince Group is now majority owned by external shareholders, with just 8.1 per cent of the equity retained by the firm’s partnership, new documents have revealed.
Milbank has become the latest firm to increase its associate pay scale, including salaries for newly-qualified lawyers.
Technology & Innovation:
Legal technology is set to present a range of opportunities and challenges for law firms in the coming year, according to industry experts. The range of legal tech available to lawyers continues to grow in areas such as knowledge management, data storage and improved artificial intelligence. Firms are likely to need to adapt as in-house requirements change.
Diversity & Inclusion:
Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner has become the latest firm to shake up its billable hours policy, introducing a scheme the allows its best performers to earn a vacation bonus.
South African law firm LNP Attorneys has spearheaded the creation of a female driven, 100% black-owned legal network.
Among the four new partners at Spanish firm Pérez-Llorca named earlier this month, two are women whose practices focus on the male-dominated area of corporate law.