UK & Ireland
London disputes boutique Bellevue Law has hired a senior manager from Slaughter and May as its first chief operating officer. Kay Osborne has joined Bellevue after nearly six years at Slaughters, where she was most recently a senior manager in the firm’s partnership and executive office, working with outgoing senior partner, Steve Cook, who will retire in May 2024.
Leading disputes boutique confirms arrival of Sherina Petit after nearly 15 years at NRF.
Experienced barrister Richard Samuel adds disputes capabilities as part of international growth push.
Hire of arbitration specialist Melis Acuner brings litigation firm’s UK partner count to 28.
Signature Litigation announces 20% revenue hike as Philipp Kurek joins after 14 years at US giant.
Construction specialist Daniel Garton adds to Magic Circle firm’s ranks ahead of Shearman merger
At least 15 lawyers have quit the troubled Axiom Ince group over the past week. The outgoing lawyers joining RWK Goodman include Marta Mendiondo, Martin Pratt, Holly Freuchen and Sudipta Dey. Mendiondo joins as head of immigration London and employment lawyer Pratt joins as a partner. Freuchen joins as a senior associate in the employment team and Dey joins as an associate and a senior immigration advisor.
Paul Weiss’ raid on Kirkland is ongoing, with 13 partners making the move in recent weeks.
Omar Momany joins having led Bakers’ UAE corporate/M&A practice
Álvaro Rodríguez de la Calle joins the Spanish law firm after more than two years directing KPMG Spain’s labor area.
Herbert Smith Freehills counts 56 lawyers in its Singapore office while King & Spalding now has 29. King & Spalding project finance partner Antony Patten has left the firm to join Herbert Smith Freehills as a partner in Singapore.
Michael Harrington spent 26 years at Fox Rothschild and roughly a dozen as chair of its corporate department.
“There’s a culture of congeniality here that’s very palpable. But they also hold each other accountable,” said new Baker Donelson shareholder Scott Bowers.
Antitrust specialist Amadeu Ribeiro, who is licensed to practice in Brazil and the U.S., has been the face of a leading Brazilian firm in the U.S. for more than a decade.
Susan Shin has joined Hunton Andrews Kurth as a partner in its commercial litigation group. She joins from Weil, Gotshal & Manges, where she was a partner in that firm’s complex litigation practice. Brown Rudnick has hired Kevin Brown as a partner in the firm’s tax group. He was previously counsel at Davis Polk & Wardwell.
The firm just added two litigation shareholders in Phoenix, after adding another one in July. Laura Sixkiller’s practice mainly revolves around securities and M&A litigation while Kate Benveniste is focused more on real estate litigation, particularly in the property tech space. Both are rejoining Greenberg Traurig after leaving the firm for DLA Piper a number of years ago.
Foley & Lardner hired a four-lawyer Husch Blackwell real estate team in Texas because of the Lone Star State’s robust economy.
This week’s roundup of top in-house moves also includes appointments at Disney Parks, Alcoa, Webster Financial Corporation and Cogeco. Global software giant Microsoft has promoted Hossein Nowbar to chief legal officer, replacing Lisa Tanzi, who announced her departure from the tech company earlier this month. Nowbar is elevated from general counsel, with former deputy GC and head of litigation Jonathan Palmer moved up to the GC role, Bloomberg reported. Cynthia Randall will take over Palmer’s previous role.
Andrew Hastings is taking the legal reins of Alcoa, which has 15,000 employees and $12.5 billion in annual revenue.
“I am honored to be joining Hilton, a company I have long respected for its history, innovation and award-winning workplace culture,” said Anne-Marie D’Angelo, who started Friday as general counsel.
Promotions & Appointments:
John Joyce to stand down next April a year before end of third term. The managing partner of UK law firm Addleshaw Goddard (AG), John Joyce, has announced he will stand down a year ahead of the end of his third term. Joyce will step down as managing partner 30 April 2024 at the end of the current financial year, 10 years after he was first elected and at the end of his 25th anniversary as a partner in the business.
San Francisco corporate head Rachel Proffitt to take over in 2024; Conroy to stay on as chair
Global litigation co-chair Steve D’Amore to succeed veteran chair Tom Fitzgerald in June 2024
“I am looking forward to working with my teams to address the challenges we face in light of industry headwinds and to execute on our plans and deliver results,” newly appointed CEO Horace Dawson said.
Mergers & Alliances:
UK firm absorbs North East-based Silk Family Law just a few weeks after snapping up 95-strong Scottish firm.
The firms have signed a non-exclusive letter of intent to combine, sources confirmed.
Katz Banks Kumin, a civil rights boutique known for its work representing victims of sexual harassment by Harvey Weinstein and others, launched in San Francisco via a merger with another boutique with wage-and-hour class action expertise.
The partnership votes to approve the tie-up will start on September 28 and will be completed by October 13.
Office Openings & Closing:
Arnold & Porter Kaye Scholer has become the latest law firm to open an office in Boston, securing a co-leader of Foley Hoag’s life sciences industry group for the launch. Hemmie Chang has left Foley after nearly 13 years to lead Arnold & Porter’s new office, which the Washington DC-based firm said would focus on life sciences and health care transactions, litigation, regulatory counselling and government investigations.
Firm hires Samaniego Law’s Javier Fernández-Samaniego to head Miami office
Seyfarth Shaw has opened an office in Dallas, with real estate lawyers and litigators, nearly three decades after it moved into Texas with an office in Houston. A Bryan Cave real estate partner in Charlotte, North Carolina, also made the move to Seyfarth.
As Bracewell appoints partner to the firm’s corporate and securities practice in Dubai.
Chinese firm revenue plummeted despite growth in head count.
“Base salary and bonus cash compensation isn’t something I’ve spent a lot of time discussing with my peers, because at some point it tops out. What we talk about is equity,” said Danielle Sheer, general counsel of Commvault.
Like their U.S. counterparts, lawyers at the U.K.’s top commercial firms on average brought in less this year, with notable exceptions.
The 200 largest law firms in the world, made up mainly of U.S. firms, saw growth slow in the latest fiscal year, with some regions out-performing others.
The 100 largest law firms in the world saw profit decline on the back of several boom years.
Technology & Innovation:
LLMs and generative AI are still under development, but they have the potential to revolutionize the way lawyers work, including automating the drafting of contracts, translating legal documents, and identifying potential risks in contracts.
The firms with a decided advantage in the AI arms race will be those who are operating from a place of “connectivity,” meaning that their internal operational teams are empowered to interact seamlessly. And this starts with an overlooked but crucial practice: good data hygiene.
While blockchain-related law firm practices are still expanding, blockchain may have lost some of its development potential in the eyes of some lawyers.
Legal leaders can no longer be distracted by bells, whistles and gimmicks, and instead must be focused on identifying and implementing meaningful tools that enable in-house teams to be true catalysts for change across the business.
Diversity & Inclusion:
A New York State Bar report from a group of Big Law partners, corporate lawyers and academics focuses on methods of enhancing diversity that won’t leave organizations vulnerable to legal risks.
Many legal tech panels on generative artificial intelligence are still dominated by a homogenous group: white men. It’s a glimpse into the more insidious barriers that stand in the way of women tech founders fighting to make it in the industry.
That the pace of change is “accelerating” is surely an understatement. What seemed almost a near certainty a year ago — that law firms would fully and permanently embrace work-from-home — is experiencing a seeming reversal. While many firms have, in fact, embraced hybrid operations, the meaning of hybrid has evolved from “office optional,” to an average required 2 days a week, to now many firms coming out with four-day work week mandates — this time, with teeth.