Weekly Update – 25th March 2022

Ukraine Legal Developments:

Quinn Emanuel acts pro bono for Ukraine in human rights proceedings over Russia invasion

Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan has been appointed as counsel by Ukraine’s Ministry of Justice in European human rights proceedings being brought against Russia. The proceedings, which will be brought under the European Convention on Human Rights, arise from Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, which the firm called ‘unprovoked, unjustified and unlawful acts of aggression’.

International law experts join campaign for ‘Nuremberg-inspired’ tribunal to investigate Putin

Justice for Ukraine calls for a tribunal modelled on the legal framework created to prosecute criminals from the Second World War in the Nuremberg trials. Its 140 signatories include Ukraine foreign minister Dmytro Koleba, former prosecutor for the Nuremberg Military Tribunal Benjamin Ferencz, and former president of the European Court of Human Rights Sir Nicolas Bratza, as well as former UK prime ministers Sir John Major and Gordon Brown.

Baker McKenzie – Kyiv

Baker McKenzie has resumed its operation in Kyiv following the earlier suspension of work resulting from the Russian attacks on Ukraine.

What Happens Next? The Practical Challenges of Leaving Russia

Whilst they think that any lawyers in either Moscow or St. Petersburg who are overseas citizens or there on secondment will most likely be relocated elsewhere, there is an issue with staff on the ground who are Russian. “Some firms will relocate their personnel to other regions, and some won’t. For the lawyers [in Russia] who don’t get relocated, the two fundamental questions for firms are—what do you pay them, and how do you pay them?”

Ukraine Has Changed the World. Has It Also Changed Law Firms?

Values. This is a topic that has come up again and again in both the corporate and legal worlds. International law firms have seen that it is no longer possible for them to sit on the fence—that they are in and of the broader world and cannot always be issue agnostic. They saw this after the murder of George Floyd and the rise of the Black Lives Matter movement. They witnessed this as Jones Day, which represented President Donald Trump in post-election lawsuits aimed at overturning the 2020 election, was targeted by protesters, in social media, and even by some of its own lawyers.

After the Moscow Exodus, Where Will Big Law Go?

But as the West takes Russia offline, several emerging economies have maintained a deafening neutrality on Ukraine as they seek to hedge against Western dependence and maintain links with governments and investors in all parts of the world. Notable countries in this camp include Saudi Arabia, the UAE and China. And for law firms faced with the twin concerns of relocating Russian lawyers, where feasible, and rethinking international strategies post-Russia, this could spell opportunity.

‘They’ve Shattered the Playbook:’ MoFo Lawyers on Response to Russian Sanctions for War on Ukraine

Morrison & Foerster partners John Smith and Brandon Van Grack, both co-chairs of the firm’s national security practice, recently spoke with Law.com about how they’re managing the crisis for clients and why the U.S. government has “shattered the playbook” in its response.



Freshfields partner exits for Eversheds

Alex Carver moves from Freshfields to Eversheds to boost its infrastructure practice.

Withers tech builds strengths with arrival of transatlantic venture capital partner Sarah Melaney

Sarah Melaney has joined Withers’ London office from Brown Rudnick.

WFW hires first GC from UK firm

Mary Mackintosh, formerly of Gowling’s, joins WFW as their first general counsel.

DLA Piper appoints Richard Harbot as Tax partner in London

Rich Harbot, formerly of BCLP, joins DLA Piper.

Morrison & Foerster expands global competition/antitrust and UK national security capabilities

Marie-Claire Strawbridge has joined Morrison & Foerster from Freshfields, where she was a counsel.

Dentons London Partner Leaves For US Rival

Martin Sharkey, finance partner, joins Schulte Roth from Dentons.

Dechert hires leading financial crime lawyer in London from Ropes & Gray

Judith Seddon, one of the UK’s top financial crime lawyers, has joined Dechert from Ropes & Gray.

Shoosmiths Manchester corporate team builds on ambitious growth strategy

Elia Montorio, corporate partner, has joined Shoosmiths’ Manchester office from DLA Piper.

Birmingham law firm’s family team bolstered with specialist partner appointment

Aasha Choudhary has joined Shakespeare Martineau’s family team in Birmingham from Mills & Reeve.

Simmons expands investment funds team with new Bristol partner.

Dan Faundez, private funds specialist, has joined Simmons & Simmons’ Bristol office from Osborne Clarke, where he was an associate director.

Leading arbitration academic and practitioner joins Clyde & Co

Loukas Mistelis has joined Clyde & Co’s London office.

DLA Piper strengthens its litigation and international arbitration practice with partner Dr Marc Jacob

Dr Marc Jacob joins DLA Piper’s Frankfurt office from Shearman & Sterling.

Ashurst strengthens Energy & Resources offering with trio of hires in Perth

Paul Lingard, Miriam D’Souza, and Jessica Davies have joined Ashurst’s Perth office from Norton Rose Fulbright.

Prada Hires Next General Counsel from US Chocolate Maker

Cristina De Dona, international chief counsel, has moved from The Hershey Company to Prada Group.

Littler adds experienced litigator Michelle Ann Clark as a shareholder in Fresno

Michelle Anne Clark joins Littler, the worlds largest employment and labor law practice representing management, from Quinn Emanuel in Fresno.

Jones Day welcomes Jennifer Bennett as a partner in San Francisco

Jennifer Bennett, IP specialist, joins Jones Day’s San Francisco office from Dentons.

Goodwin adds venture capital funds partner Eunice Choi in San Francisco

Eunice Choi, formerly a special counsel at Cooley, joins Goodwin.

Accomplished product liability litigator Patrick Clyder joins McGuireWoods in Chicago

Patrick Clyder joins McGuireWoods from Swanson, Martin & Bell, where he co-chaired the product liability practice group.

Global finance partner Steven Rutkovsky joins Sidley in New York

Steven Rutkovsky, formerly of Ropes & Grey, has joined Sidley Austin’s New York office.

Weil adds restructuring partner Jeffrey D. Saferstein in New York

Jeffrey D Saferstein, formerly of Paul Weiss, has joined Weil Gotshal.

Paul, Weiss adds private equity M&A partner in New York

Megan Ward Spelman has joined Paul Weiss’ corporate department from Kirkland & Ellis.

National litigator joins Winston & Strawn litigation practice

Chris R.J. Pace joins Winston & Strawn’s Dallas office.

DLA Piper expands its corporate practice

James Fischer and Alexander Meiseles join from Faegre Drinker and will be based in the Short Hills office and New York City office, respectively.

SEC Regional Trial Counsel Joins Ropes & Gray’s Litigation & Enforcement Team as Partner in Los Angeles

Amy Jane Longo joins Ropes & Gray’s Los Angeles office from the SEC’s Los Angeles Office.

Matthew Barnett joins White & Case as a partner in Los Angeles

Matthew Barnett, M&A lawyer, has joined White & Case from Sullivan & Cromwell.

Womble Bond Dickinson Welcomes Patent Litigation Partner in Atlanta

Rodney R Miller has joined Womble Bond Dickinson’s Atlanta office from Hall Booth Smith.

Former senior SEC enforcement division official Anita Bandy joins Skadden

Anita Bandy, formerly of the SEC, joins Skadden’s Washington, D.C. office.

Greenberg Traurig adds Jeffery M. Chiow to government contracts practice in Washington, D.C.

Jeffrey M. Chiow joins Greenberg Traurig from Rogers, Joseph, O’Donnell.

Erin Ashwell Joins McGuireWoods as Partner in Richmond

Erin Ashwell, former Virginia Chief Deputy AG, joins McGuireWoods.

DLA Piper (Canada) LLP welcomes Partner Deepak Gill to the Vancouver office

Deepak Gill, formerly of Cassels Brock & Blackwell has joined DLA Piper in Vancouver.

 Phil Kennedy rejoins Gowling WLG’s litigation team in Hamilton

Phil Kennedy rejoins Gowling’s Ontario office after five years at other national firms.


Promotions & Appointments:

New Square Chambers’ new head sets out her vision

Twenty years after joining New Square Chambers as a receptionist, Michelle Greene has worked her way up to become the set’s top-ranking clerk. Now in the top role, she wants to stamp out “doing as it’s always been done” attitudes.

Eight make the cut in Slaughters’ promotions

In London, the lawyers who made the cut are: Richard Hilton (corporate and M&A), Kevin Howes (financing), Charles Osborne (tax), Megan Sandler (disputes and investigations) and Chris Sharpe (pensions, employment and incentives).

Crypto trading firm appoints new GC

Ehsan Haque joined Amber Group, a Singapore-based crypto trading firm, as the first GC for the EMEA region.

Tui names next legal leader as it refocuses on growth following heavy pandemic losses

Dr Nina Scherf will begin as the Hanover-based company’s chief legal counsel on 1 April and succeeds Dr Hilka Schneider, who left Tui at the start of the year to be general counsel for chemicals manufacturer Akzo Nobel in Amsterdam.


Office Openings & Closings:

Addleshaws continues European expansion with two German offices

Addleshaw Goddard has opened offices in both Frankfurt and Munich, bringing in four new teams to strengthen its commercial litigation, global investigations, tax, and intellectual property offerings.

Addleshaw Goddard opens in Luxembourg with corporate trio from Fieldfisher

Addleshaw’s has opened in Luxembourg with the hires of Richard Ledain Santiago, a corporate lawyer who is spearheading the launch, Benjamin Devouassoux, a banking and finance lawyer, and Theodoros Karantanos, a corporate finance expert.


Mergers & Acquisitions:

DWF builds LatAm and Africa expansion potential with Iberian associations

Listed UK law firm DWF has unveiled two exclusive associations with a Portuguese law firm and a Spanish loss adjusting business in a move it says will enhance its ability to expand in Latin America and Africa. The association with Nobre Guedes & Associados (NGA) will see 19 lawyers, including four partners, join DWF in Lisbon and Porto, where NGA has offices. Led by managing partner Luis Nobre Guedes, the firm regularly advises clients outside Portugal in the UK, Spain, France and Lusophone Africa and Brazil.

Abreu Advogados Acquires Portuguese Rival With Global Reach

Abreu Advogados has acquired Acrlex Advogados, a firm that is a member of an alliance of independent law firms including Perkins Coie and Taylor Wessing.



Debevoise’s London turnover nudges up to nearly $173m

Revebue worldwide has a 9% rise, totalling $1.329bn, while the revenue per London partner rose by nearly 14%, reaching $8.8m.

Orrick’s London revenue soars to over $90m

Orrick’s London revenue rose by 45%, jumping to $90.9m.

Dentons overhauls bonus scheme for fee-earners

Dentons is boosting its base pay for newly-qualified lawyers by 15 per cent, with further rewards on offer for fee-earners hitting chargeable hours targets. The pay for NQs in London is increasing from £80,000 to £92,000. However, a change in the firm’s bonus scheme means that those recording as many as 1,700 chargeable hours will receive a total compensation package of £107,640.

Latham’s turnover soars to hit nearly $5.5bn

Following a rise of 27 per cent, Latham & Watkins’ global turnover has jumped to nearly $5.5bn.

WFH culture is hammering Knights’ share price

Knights’ share price dropped this week after the market’s self-proclaimed consolidator issued a warning to investors over its second-half performance. Omicron and recent macro conditions, the firm said, meant people weren’t returning to office working, hampering its “team-based culture” while economic confidence was waning and corporate work is slowing. How did the market respond? On Monday (21 March) Knights’ shares were trading at 365p; by the time the markets closed on Thursday (24 March) it had dropped to its lowest point ever: down 65.4 per cent to 145p.

To Stem Lateral Movement, Firms Are Adding Clawback Clauses in Partnership Agreements

Since January, three Am Law 30 firms have incorporated clawback provisions into their partnership agreements that make it more difficult for a partner to leave, according to legal recruiter Larry Watanabe. These agreements “will impact the complexion of the market, as firms try to retain laterals more aggressively than ever,” Watanabe says. Such arrangements could allow firms to go after bonus payments in 2022, he says. For instance, a partner with a $1 million compensation plan could be entitled to a bonus of up to $5 million expressed in January, but paid in April or the summer.


Technology & Innovation:

Law Firms May Be Unprepared for Increased Cyberrisk From Russian-Ukraine War

For U.S. law firms, an increased threat of cyberattacks and data breaches, whether from Russia or other bad actors using the conflict as an opportunity, may be inevitable. Unfortunately, cybersecurity experts don’t think most of the legal sector is prepared for what is likely to come.

Freshfields New US Tech Leader says the Invasion of Ukraine Could Ease the Crackdown on Big Tech

The effects of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine have already rippled through Big Law, prompting firms to shutter offices and kicking national security practices into high gear. But the longer-term implications of the war and its aftermath could transform the Big Tech economy as we know it, according to Boris Feldman, the new co-leader of Freshfields’ technology, media and telecommunications group.

Is Employment Law Ready for the Metaverse?

As the metaverse continues its march towards the working world, we can expect employees to spend more and more time in the virtual world. Many employers will be keen to adopt this technology as a means of bridging geographical spaces between their global workforce, and for employees, the ability to work in an immersive way with their colleagues from the comfort of their own homes, will be hugely appealing.


Diversity & Inclusion:

Lowering the Bar on Disability in London Law

Many lawyers and legal staff will be relishing the prospect of returning to their offices following revisions to the Government’s guidance on working from home. While re-connecting with colleagues and feeling a sense of “normality” will be a happy prospect for some, disabled legal staff may face a very different reality – one that involves difficulties in finding accessible methods of public transport for the daily commutes, as well as navigating unaccommodating and antiquated offices.

Hire Smarter: DWF’s Ethnic Minority Access Scheme

DWF partner and head of the firm’s diversity and inclusion leadership group Seema Bains led the initiative. She says: “The Black Lives Matter movement had raised a lot of important questions about representation for Black, Asian and Ethnic Minority candidates within the legal industry.” Having already done a lot of work on diversity, particularly emerging talent, DWF decided to build on that momentum by collaborating with Aspiring Solicitors to create the Ethnic Minority Access Scheme.

Diversity fears as NQs shun race disclosure

The Law Society’s Annual Statistics Report 2020 paints a picture of a profession that is majority female and in which the proportion of people from a minority ethnic background exceeds that of the general population in most of the country. However the statistics indicate that the more senior and higher paying ranks of the profession remain a disproportionately white male preserve.

Street Law program hopes to increase diversity in legal professions

Welle describes the Street Law program as a mini law school. It takes place during the spring semester and is in partnership with the Boys and Girls Club. Students meet other weeks to go over various aspects of the law and put them into practices, that includes everything from mock contract negotiations to an argument in front of an appellate judge panel and a mock investigation of a sexual harassment allegation.

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