UK & Ireland
Paul Hastings has officially unveiled a four-partner finance team secured from Latham & Watkins in London, including Latham’s former global banking co-chair and the former co-chairs of its London finance department. Mo Nurmohamed, Ross Anderson, Karan Chopra and Rob Davidson have all joined as partners in the Los Angeles firm’s global finance practice, with Nurmohamed taking on a leadership role as co-chair of finance.
Partner Michael Mountain joins the firm after a nine-year stretch at White & Case where he made partner over three years ago, according to a firm statement.
International law firm Shearman & Sterling has hired White & Case finance partner Florian Ziegler in Germany, marking the firm’s fifth lateral hire in continental Europe this year.
Partner Juan Delgado and associate Axel Miranda join the firm’s global M&A and private equity practice. After months of lateral hiring in South Florida, Sidley Austin formally announced its Miami office this week as it signed a lease for a large Miami office, stating that it has over 40 lawyers there.
Loretta Pearce has joined the firm in New York following a year-long stint at Meta, parent company of Facebook, where she led the company’s diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) global talent management programs.
King & Spalding has lured project finance partner Fradyn Suárez from Jones Day as it continues to build out its capabilities in Latin America via its Miami office.
The new team join in New York and includes four partners, a senior counsel and an associate. Richard Stern leads the team and will become co-chair of Stroock’s restructuring and bankruptcy group alongside existing Stroock partner Jeffrey Lowenthal. The other Luskin partner arrivals include Matthew O’Donnell, Alex Talesnick and Stephen Hornung, with Michael Luskin joining as senior counsel and Genna Grossman as associate.
Promotions & Appointments:
Forsters has elected a new senior partner, with property litigator Natasha Rees taking the top job.
Herbert Smith Freehills has refreshed its leadership in Paris, naming a new managing partner and four new partners to the management board of the office. Régis Oréal, a banking and finance partner since 2006, has been named managing partner for a three-year term beginning July 1.
DLA Piper has shaken up its US leadership team by handing vice chair Joe Alexander a new position as Advisor to the Chair. In his new role, Miami-based Alexander, who led the transactions team as vice chair and also sits on DLA Piper’s global board, will advise Americas chair Frank Ryan on the firm’s financial performance, competitive position and strategic priorities.
2022 is turning out to be a significant year for Latham & Watkins’s London office. Not only has it become the largest U.S.-headquartered law firm in London by headcount and revenue, but perhaps just as significantly the U.K. operation has promoted several lawyers to partner who had joined the firm as trainees.
Office Openings & Closing:
The office will work with Australian businesses in the UK and UK businesses with a presence in Australia as they expand to have dual jurisdictional advice, the firm said. Commercial lawyer Alexandra Geelan has relocated from Law Squared’s Brisbane office to lead the new base, which will cover market entry, corporate, employment and commercial matters, as well as legal operations and technology consulting.
Pallas Partners, the litigation boutique founded by former Boies Schiller Flexner deputy chair Natasha Harrison, is opening an office in New York just five months after launching its home base in London. Harrison’s firm has secured yet another Boies Schiller partner to get the job done, this time turning to trial lawyer Duane Loft to lead the newest office. The move into Boies Schiller’s home territory has raised some eyebrows within London’s litigation community given Pallas Partners’ statement at the time of its launch that it would co-counsel with Boies Schiller on some cases.
Silicon Valley law firm Gunderson Dettmer Stough Villeneuve Franklin & Hachigian has opened in São Paulo, its first office in Latin America. The new office launch is being led by corporate partners Brian Hutchings, Adan Muller and Christel Moreno, giving the firm a hub for its existing Latin America practice on the ground in the region. The firm has represented Latin America-based companies in almost $4bn of M&A deals since 2014, most recently working on the acquisition of banking tech provider Technisys by SoFi. The practice has also handled more than 600 cross-border venture and growth equity financings in the region since 2017.
Partners in Eversheds Sutherland’s International LLP saw profit per equity partner (PEP) soar by 26 per cent last year to a record level of £1.24m. Net profits at the firm grew by a similar level, rising 23 per cent to £150.3m from the previous year’s £122.2m. Turnover also rose 8 per cent to £678.4m from £628.1m.
Listed law firm DWF has reported revenue growth of 4 per cent to £416.1m for 2021/22, while net profit rose by nearly a quarter. While figures are on the up, the rate of growth has slowed. In 2020/21, DWF’s revenue grew by 14 per cent to £338m from £297m.
CMS’ global revenue grew by 18 per cent for the 2021 calendar year, an improvement from the 3 per cent increase it witnessed the year before. The figures stand at €1.746bn, a rise from 2020’s global revenue of €1.475bn.
Revenue has grown from £711m to £798m, while average profit per equity partner (PEP) was up by a slightly larger percentage of 13 per cent. PEP has now reached £1.175m from £1.038m in the previous financial year.
Associates at the firm are paid in US dollars and it is understood they will now be paid on the exchange rate of £1 to $1.31. Prior to this, the ratio was set at £1 to $1.45. Latham sets this based on a five-year average. The changes mean that associates in London will pick up more than before. For instance, Latham NQs will now pick up £163,997 instead of £148,276
Clifford Chance’s turnover increased to the tune of 8 per cent over 2021/22, as average profit per equity partner (PEP) broke through the £2m barrier for the first time. Revenue grew from £1.828bn to £1.969bn following sluggish growth of 1 per cent recorded over the previous financial year. Meanwhile, PEP rose 10 per cent to £2.04m while the partnership profit increased 9 per cent to £783m.
Shoosmiths has released a set of positive financial results for 2021/22, while announcing it will also hand out an additional £1,000 cost of living payment in September. Revealing its financials, Shoosmiths said its average profit per equity partner (PEP) has hit £675,000 for the year 2021/2022, a further 3 per cent increase on the firm’s 41 per cent rise witnessed for 2020/21. The firm’s revenue also rose 8 per cent to £181.8m and net profit increased by 9 per cent year-on-year to £60.7m.
RPC grew its global turnover by 10 per cent over 2021/22, while average profit per equity partner (PEP) fell to £571,000 after a 49.5 per cent rise in the previous financial year. PEP dropped from £634,000 to £571,000, while turnover increased from £136m to £149.4m.
Bird & Bird has announced nearly a 10 per cent increase in its sterling revenue for the 2021/22 financial year, up from 5.6 per cent the previous year. For 2020/21, the firm recorded £405.6m (€455m) in global revenue. The current figure stands at £445.6m (€525.3m).
Revenue at Mishcon de Reya jumped 22% to £230m in the year to 9 April 2022, as profit per equity partner (PEP) returned to pre-Covid levels at £1.05m.
Technology & Innovation:
The Netherlands’ data protection authority’s strict interpretation of the GDPR’s “legitimate interest” ground for processing data has sparked a wave of criticism from privacy law professionals, local courts and even the European Commission. While privacy law professionals don’t believe the Dutch interpretation is likely to catch on in other EU nations, what happened in the Netherlands underscores the tensions between local DPAs and the European Commission on interpretations of the GDPR, which will likely prompt more guidance to come out in the near future.
Diversity & Inclusion:
Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer and Herbert Smith Freehills have both announced their latest programmes to support racial diversity and justice. Freshfields has admitted 16 new scholars to its Stephen Lawrence Scholarship Scheme. The scheme is designed to address the under-representation of black men from less socially mobile backgrounds in large commercial law firms and other City institutions.
Finkler, who took up her position on May 1, said that “the benefits of all animals and especially dogs to mental health, morale and alleviating stress are widely recognised”. Her approach comes as unprecedented workloads and inflated salaries are increasingly cited as being behind worsening mental health in the legal industry, specifically younger professionals. Often viewed as a conservative outfit, Slaughters has shifted its approach in recent years. In 2021, the firm introduced diversity targets for the first time in a bid to improve matters in the coming years. Since the post-Covid return to the office, it has also allowed the “majority” of its London and Brussels based lawyers the opportunity to work remotely 40% of the time.
Two London Cooley partners are leading a call for lawyers at. U.S. firms in London to act in the wake of the reversal of Roe v. Wade. The open letter, circulated by London partners Sascha Grimm and Natasha Kaye, mirrors a similar open letter signed by U.S female partners in support of women’s rights.
Following a harrowing year that included the “most difficult” 24 hours of her life, Afghan law student Shakira Yazdani arrived in Canada on Canada Day to a rousing welcome from students at the University of Calgary Law School, where she will be studying to get her J.D. Among the more than 100,000 Afghans who applied for evacuation as the Taliban took control of Afghanistan in August 2021, Yazdani is a lucky one. Thousands are still trapped and seeking legal advice, advocates say.
Ukrainian Legal Developments:
Allen & Overy is the latest firm to relocate its Russian lawyers to Dubai following the winding down of its operations in Moscow. Its Moscow base had comprised 55 people, including 24 lawyers, before the firm announced its intention to close in early March following the Russian invasion of Ukraine. A person with knowledge of the situation said that the Russia lawyers would most likely be based in the firm’s office in the Dubai International Financial centre, rather than the firm opting to open a separate base to house them. In response to the Russian invasion of Ukraine, all 25 large international firms with Russian bases had ceased operations in the region by mid-March.