Weekly Update – 29th of January 2024



UK & Ireland

White & Case London Trade Partner Exits to Launch Solo Practice

Iain MacVay, a veteran partner, formerly oversaw several trade practices across London.

Brown Rudnick adds UK white collar chief from Jenner & Block

Paul Feldberg, a former prosecutor for the SFO, is the most recent in a line of senior lateral hires for Brown Rudnick’s London office.

Joe Beashel to head Matheson’s London office

Joe Beashel is a partner at Matheson and has been named head of the Irish legal firm’s London branch.

Five new partners at Matheson

Ruadhán Kenny, John Coary, Raphael Clancy, Susan Carroll Chrysostomou, and Connor Cassidy have all been promoted to partner at Matheson.

M&A Heavyweight Patrick Sarch Returns to White & Case

After three years at Hogan Lovells, Patrick Sarch is returning to White & Case, where he also assisted in leading the firm’s global financial institutions group.



Ashurst Continues Run of European Corporate Hires, Adding Baker McKenzie Partner in Luxembourg

The firm anticipates that by bringing on Jean-Phillippe Smeets, they would be able to better serve the growing clientele in Luxembourg, an increasingly important European hub.

Orrick Vows to Rebuild Paris Arbitration After Series of Exits

According to the firm’s website, departures have left it with two Paris arbitration partners; however, sources close to the matter indicate that one of them is currently on vacation and it is unknown when they will return.

Second Executive Committee Member Exits Allen & Overy

The head of the company’s London-based structured finance and derivatives division left at the same time that CVC selected a fellow executive committee member to lead its Netherlands team.

Hogan Lovells Lures Prominent Partner and Disputes Team From White & Case in Paris

Arriving from White & Case are Jean-Pierre Picca who is an assistant to Nicolas Sarkozy’s French presidency as well as partner Jean-Lou Salha and three other people. Their concentration will be on compliance and investigations.

Pérez-Llorca beefs up leadership structure by appointing two executive partners

The firm has named Iván Delgado as its first international executive partner and Julio Lujambio as its first executive partner. The company intends to close the 2023 fiscal year having quadrupled sales over the previous ten years.

Iberian Firms Start Year With Series of Appointments

Firms in Portugal and Spain, including Pérez-Llorca and Andersen, have announced several moves will be taking place in January.



Two Partners Return to Australia’s Gilbert + Tobin from White & Case

Christopher Flynn and Nirangjan Nagarajah have returned to the Australian corporate law firm.

Singapore’s Big Four Allen & Gledhill Debuts in Shanghai

The Chinese Ministry of Justice approved the opening of offices by five foreign law firms, including Allen & Gledhill, in mainland China.

HKIAC Appoints A&O Partner as New Secretary General

Joanne Lau, an Allen & Overy partner, has been named the new secretary-general of the Hong Kong International Arbitration Centre. She will start work on the 26th of February.

HK: Howse Williams hires regulatory lawyer from Dechert

Jason Chan, a regulatory and compliance attorney, was a senior associate at Dechert before joining the Hong Kong legal firm Howse Williams as a partner.

Australia’s Allens Adds to IP Practice with Partner Hire

Natasha Burns, a Melbourne based lawyer, joins from her own firm.

Mayer Brown Adds Banking Partner in Singapore

After being partner at Norton Rose Fulbright, Janelene Chen is leaving for her new role.


The Americas

Baker McKenzie Lands Latham Dealmaker to Head California PE Practice

“We are going to build a full-sized PE practice in California with Eric Schwartzman’s arrival,” stated Leif King, who oversees Baker McKenzie’s transactional group in California.

Davis Polk Lures Another Cravath Partner, Adding M&A Litigator

Davis Polk has employed at least four Cravath partners in the past few years, including Rory Leraris.

Bracewell, King & Spalding Grow Energy Teams With In-House Adds

A Bechtel Energy energy and construction lawyer was brought on as a partner by King & Spalding in Houston, while Bracewell hired a Houston-based attorney with knowledge of energy transition tax credits.

Willkie Farr Taps Bay Area Gibson Dunn Partner to Help Lead White-Collar Practice

After more than 12 years with Gibson Dunn, Michael Li-Ming Wong is leaving the company.

Holland & Knight Picks Up Public Finance Duo From Greenspoon Marder

Incoming Holland & Knight counsel Denise Ganz stated, “It’s great to be part of a larger public finance department so that we can share ideas, kick around issues, and give each other input on things that apply to our practice area.”

Freshfields Hits Cravath Again for Latest New York Partner Addition

Freshfields, which has been looking to the esteemed New York firm for senior corporate recruits in recent years, has spotted Cravath as being top target.

McDermott Lands Julia Boyd for PE Group, Anticipating Strong Year for Transactions

Boyd, who is one of the founders of the Senior Women in Private Equity network, is planning to move the majority of her clientele from Reed Smith to McDermott.

Amid ‘Brutal Competition’ and Demand in Patent Practices, Orrick Grows IP Group

This past week, D.C. partners were also acquired by Miles & Stockbridge, McCarter & English, Crowell & Moring, and Arnold & Porter in their major practices.

Foley & Lardner Expands in New York With Partner Hires From Paul Hastings, Nelson Mullins

The goal of Milwaukee-based Foley & Lardner is to grow its offices on the East Coast.

Ballard Spahr Data Privacy Co-Chair Jumps to Equivalent Role at Blank Rome

Along with partner Sharon Klein, Philadelphia native Philip Yannella will resume the position of leadership at Blank Rome’s privacy, security, and data protection practice.

Former Power Company Exec Returns to Gowling WLG

Paul Harricks, who oversaw the energy group at Hydro One, is rejoining the company where he served as CLO.

On the Move and After Hours: Riker Danzig; CSG Law; Norris McLaughlin; Einhorn Barbarito; Littler Mendelson; Resnick Law Group

Littler Mendelson elevates a new shareholder; CSG Law selects a new chair for their corporate & securities group; and other developments.

Morgan Lewis Adds Former Ballard Spahr Practice Leader

Aliza Karetnick had been at Ballard since 2019, when she arrived from Duane Morris.

Midsize Moves: Munsch Hardt Adds Hamilton Squibb Name Partner, Nutter Hires Perkins Coie Partner

Clifton Squibb became a shareholder in Munsch Hardt Kopf & Harr’s energy practice, while Susan von Herrmann became a partner at Nutter McClennen & Fish, expanding the firm’s private client section.

Energy Litigation Partners Leave Alston & Bird in Fort Worth to Launch Boutique

Rob Vartabedian and Conrad Hester are leaving Alston & Bird, Rob is reported as saying “we thought we would enjoy the flexibility of a smaller firm, and we thought our clients would enjoy it also,”.



Microprocessor Giant AMD Hires Super-Connected Tech Lawyer as GC

At least nine tech companies, including AMD, have seen the significant contribution of recently engaged General Counsel Ava Hahn. She was also a general counsel for Kleiner Perkins, a venture capital firm, before.

Dr. Bronner’s Magic Soap Hires First GC to Help Navigate Growth, Advance Mission

Over 50 years ago, Emanuel Bronner would hand out free samples of soap to attendees of his lectures espousing unity across religious and ethnic divides. As of today, the same soap is available in mass-market retailers such as Target and Walgreens and in around 40 countries.

Chip-Maker Micron Scoops Up Legal Leader From Rival That’s Restructuring

Micron, which plans to invest $150 billion in manufacturing and research and development over the next ten years, is luring Michael Ray away from Western Digital.

Pair of Biopharma Companies Tap Compliance Veterans to Lead Legal

Tris Pharma focuses on addiction and ADHD meanwhile BPGbio finds potential drugs using an AI platform.

Public Interest Law Center Hires Hausfeld Global Managing Partner as Executive Director

From next month, Brent Landau, the Global managing partner at Hausfeld, will lead the Public Interest Law Center as its executive director.

Defense Contractor Mercury Systems Swaps Out Legal Chief

Stuart Kupinsky has been appointed chief legal officer by CEO Bill Ballhaus. Kupinsky led Blackboard’s legal department when Ballhaus served as CEO.


Promotions & Appointments:

Stradley Ronon Taps Litigation Leader as New Managing Partner

Michael O’Mara, a former chair of the litigation department, took over the position earlier this month, replacing Jeffrey Lutsky, who is still the firm’s co-chair.

Smith Gambrell, Arnall’s Promotions Reflect Emphasis on Transactional, IP Practices

Compared to prior years, fewer attorneys were promoted to partners by both firms this year.

Nation’s Largest Milling Company Hires Regulatory Expert as Legal Chief

After nine years of working her way up at Ball Corp., Kate Kimball is taking on her first general counsel position.

Amex-Backed Startup Using Tech to Take Estate Planning to the Masses Hires First CLO

Doug Luftman, who has served as the legal head of five Silicon Valley startups, has been appointed chief legal officer of Trust & Will.

Gold-Mining Giant Newmont Hires CLO With Deep Global Experience

Most recently, Peter Wexler was the legal chief at Schneider Electric, a company based in Paris, where he was in charge of over 300 employees in 32 nations.

Debevoise Lands New National Security Practice Head, As Firm Eyes M&A Uptick

Rick Sofield, a former senior DOJ attorney arriving from V&E, looks to help Debevoise in CFIUS matters, as national security issues bubble up in deal work.


Mergers & Alliances:

Dilworth Acquires Suburban Phila. Trusts & Estates Boutique

Dilworth is taking over the Jenkintown, Feasterville, and Doylestown leases held by Yorkway Law Group, in addition to hiring one partner, two associates, and four employees.

Seyfarth Launches Restructuring Practice, Snagging Lateral Group from BCLP

The move lands as soon as Am Law 100 firms saw billable hours in bankruptcy increase by almost 7% last year.

Big Four Japanese Firm Mori Hamada Steps Up Southeast Asian Game with Philippines Alliance

Due to the growth in trade between the two regions, Japanese legal firms have made a significant push into Southeast Asia.


Office Openings & Closing:

Saltz Mongeluzzi Duo Launch New Catastrophic Injury Firm

“The days of having a physical server and hard files, and requiring everyone to show up every day are, one, gone and, two, not what we’re interested in,” Baer stated.

Simmons & Simmons announces Saudi Arabia debut

As Saudi Arabia grows in importance for clients, Simmons & Simmons has revealed plans to open in Riyadh, making it the latest legal firm to expand in this particular geographical area.

Kennedys opens tenth US office in Fort Lauderdale

Kennedys, an insurance specialist with headquarters in the UK, has expanded its presence in the US with the opening of its tenth office in Fort Lauderdale.

Big Law’s Rush Into Florida Has Slowed, but Miami Leasing Activity Remains Hot

While leasing activity nationwide slowed down in 2023—a year marked by remote work, construction slowdowns, and tighter budgets—law firms in Miami continued to snap up office space.

Will Allen & Overy, Freshfields, Clifford Chance and Linklaters Find America’s Streets Paved With Gold?

International law firms have been launching offices in the U.S. and paying top dollar for talent in the world’s largest and most lucrative legal market. But growth potential exists elsewhere, and firms shouldn’t give the rest of the world short shrift, writes The Global Lawyer.



Big Law Has ‘False Sense of Security’ as Clients Depart for Midsized Firms

A new report from Thomson Reuters and Georgetown Law has argued that since the financial crisis of 2007-2008, “market power shifted decisively from law firms to the clients, rapidly moving from a sellers’ to a buyers’ market for legal services,”.

Big Law Lobbyists See Boost in Earnings in Q4, Pushing Some Firms to Their Highest Annual Revenue on Record

From 2022, lobbying revenue increased year over year according to reports from Brownstein, Akin, and Holland & Knight.

Dallas, Houston See Notable, Above-Average Billing Rate Increases

In Dallas, the going pay for partners climbed by around 14% from $674 to $770 per hour in 2022. Associates in Houston experienced a roughly 10% increase in mean going rates, which went from approximately $477 to $525 per hour.

Pressure on UK Law Firms as US Competitors Raise NQ Pay Again

As US firms match the Cravath scale, domestic UK firms will fear falling too far behind.

Cozen O’Connor Announces First-Year Salary Increases in Phila., New York and Washington

Philadelphia first-year associates will make $195,000, while those in New York and Washington, D.C. would earn $205,000 more.

Milbank’s Revenue Jumps 18%, as Profits Soar 19% and Nonequity Tier Grows

The firm’s 18.6% jump in PEP to $5.114 million occurred as Milbank saw a 51% expansion in its nonequity tier.

How Midsize Firms Can Compete In Wake Of High Payouts For Associates

Pro Mid Market columnists at recruiting agency The Foster group suggest that in reaction to recent increases in associate base salary, midsize firms who are unable to match will emphasize to their colleagues that they have an accessible and meaningful career path.


Technology & Innovation:

Geopolitical Risks Force Us to Fastrack AI in Financial Crime Compliance

The increasing tempo of change combined with the unpredictability of updates from major regulators has created a heightened sense of pressure on legal and compliance professionals to keep pace.

Is AI-Generated Information Likely to Start Showing Up in Legal Reviews?

Lawyers and experts in electronic discovery must make sure they are ready and devise efficient plans for locating, confirming, and incorporating artificial intelligence (AI)-generated material into the legal review and electronic discovery procedures, even in the lack of official regulations.

Deloitte Launches Gen AI-Powered NavigAite Solution on RelativityOne and Relativity Server

The new solution has been proposed to help organizations accelerate document review, employee conduct investigations, PII identification and compliance activities.

Florida Bar Provides Attorneys with Roadmap for Integrating AI into Their Legal Practice

Scott Westheimer, president of the Florida Bar has been reported as saying that “Ethics opinions like this are crucial because they are going to help us with the latest technologies,”.

Compliance-as-a-Service (CaaS): Legal Tech Investment in the Non-Profit Industry

Unexpectedly, funding for legal technology is starting to go toward not-for-profit organizations (NPOs), such as public charities and private foundations.

Keeping Track of Developments in Cases That Pit Creative Content Against AI Programs

2023 saw the emergence of court rulings and procedural orders in litigation concerning the collision of generative AI systems with artistic output, and these developments culminated in 2024. Due to the unauthorized copyright works that AI companies incorporate into their AI programs, the majority of complaints allege copyright infringement and related allegations.


Diversity & Inclusion:

‘Diversity Facilitates Excellence’: AIG’s ACG Dawson Horn on Why He Co-Founded New Organization BUiLT

Blacks United in Legal Technology (BUiLT), which Horn co-founded with a number of legal and legal IT professionals, seeks to address a number of inequalities that still exist in the legal industry.

Gibson Dunn Partner Named First Black Dean of Drake Law

“A Drake Law education is unique due to its focus on theory and practical learning,” Roscoe Jones Jr. said in a statement. He proceeding this by saying, “I am humbled to lead a community committed to an unwavering collegiality and a singular mission to prepare students to promote justice, service and ethics.”

Doubling Down on DEI

“One activist who has made an entire career of attacking policies … essentially admitted that he does not care about whether the legal profession has a place for everyone. Well, we do,” says Hanson Bridgett’s Kristina D. Lawson and Jennifer M. Martinez.

Despite ‘Anti-Woke’ Political Pushback in the US, Big Companies See ESG Risk on the Horizon

In Baker McKenzie’s annual survey of 600 senior legal and risk professionals from companies with more than $500 million in revenue based in the U.K., the U.S., Singapore and Brazil, 73% cited ESG disputes as a risk to their organization which makes it by far the most commonly cited risk to a business.

Partner Comp Systems and Competitive Advantage: Lessons From the Kirkland, Cravath, and Paul Weiss Lateral-Hiring Wars

Comp systems are particularly sneaky since they are very difficult to modify.


Market Commentary:

Growing Geopolitical Threats Expand Role of GC

David Bamlango, general counsel of the Eastern and Southern African Trade and Development Bank has been reported as saying, “you cannot not be aware. Otherwise, you will not be relevant in the boardroom or relevant for the senior executives who come to you for advice”.

3 Use Cases for AI in Litigation Finance

Co-chief operating officer of Burford Capital David Perla describes how he believes AI can help the litigation finance company make more and better investments.

Profit Obsession Evokes Cold Sweat From Today’s Lawyers

The most prominent feature of law firm culture that has been found to engender lawyers’ animosity toward their firms is “profit-mindedness”.

Deal Watch: Big Week in Multiple Verticals in M&A

PE, energy, and technology deals drive the week, with several large deals for Skadden and Paul Weiss in the previous few days. In addition, four additional IPOs occurred.

Implement Good Habits To Reduce Malpractice Risks

Even small steps can help break old habits that create big risks of malpractice claims, according to Dentons’ Alanna Clair and Shari Klevens.

Is a Boutique the Right Fit? A Legal Recruiter Weighs In

Legal recruiter Karen Vladeck stated that. “Boutique firms are not the right fit for everyone, but they have many features that can significantly benefit attorneys,”.

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