Weekly Update – 2nd of May 2023


UK & Ireland

White & Case Hires Kirkland London Antitrust Partner

Michael Engel was partner for just over two years at Kirkland. Prior to that, he was part of Sullivan & Cromwell’s European competition team for over a decade, and also spent a two-year stint at the legal arm of Goldman Sachs’ investment banking division, according to his LinkedIn profile.

Greenberg Traurig Boosts Finance with Paul Hastings Partner

Greenberg Traurig has added to its London finance practice with the hire of partner Sierra M. Taylor.


Clyde & Co Hires Morgan Lewis Dubai Partner

Rebecca Kelly rejoins the firm after a nine-year stretch at Morgan Lewis & Bockius, where she was Dubai office managing partner and head of litigation, leading its Middle East regulatory and disputes team.

Cuatrecasas Adds Partner-Led Dentons Trio in Barcelona

Leading the move, Diego Pol was a partner at Dentons for more than four years, where he led the Spanish Compliance team within the firm’s corporate and M&A practice and co-chaired the European compliance group. Prior to his time at Dentons, Pol worked as a senior associate at Baker & McKenzie.

DWF Splits with Global Infrastructure Co-Head in Dubai, But Adds 2 Other Partners

DWF has parted ways with its Dubai-based global co-head of infrastructure, construction and energy—who leaves for HFW—but adds two other Dubai-based partners.


Simmons & Simmons Hires Latham Energy Partner David Blumental in Hong Kong

The appointment bolsters Simmons’ cross-border capability and will help it further develop its energy, natural resources and infrastructure practice in the Asia Pacific and Greater China, the firm said.

Squire Patton Boggs Adds K&L Gates Energy Partner In Singapore

Lian Yok Tan, who is qualified in four different jurisdictions, including the U.K. and Singapore, has 30 years of experience.

Han Kun Hires Two From Sidley in Beijing

Beijing-based Han Kun Law Offices has added two new partners, Lan Tao and Gloria Wang, from Sidley Austin’s Beijing office.

Two Years After Ending China Alliance, McDermott Appoints New China Head, Hires Baker McKenzie Team

Peter Lu has joined the firm in London from Baker McKenzie, where he has spent over four years. Lu joins McDermott with a team of lawyers including Tina Hartwright, who has been promoted to counsel at McDermott, Ennio Keyte and Alonso de Reyes Lanfranco, all of whom are corporate lawyers.

Clyde & Co Nabs Australian Finance Partner and Seven-Lawyer Team

Global law firm Clyde & Co has hired a partner-led team from a local firm to join its financial services regulatory team. Liam Hennessy joins the firm in Brisbane along with seven lawyers from local firm Gadens.

Australian Firm Takes Insolvency Partner From Norton Rose Fulbright

Sydney-based Jonathon Turner joins the firm’s restructuring and insolvency team with a focus on growing contentious matters, complex litigation and restructuring.

The Americas

McCarter Adds to Miami Office With Hinshaw & Culbertson Partner

Ira Gonzalez is joining Newark-based McCarter after over three years at Hinshaw. While he helps build out the Miami office, he’ll be a partner in the firm’s products liability, mass torts and consumer class actions practice.

Winston & Strawn Builds Crypto, International Strength with Greenberg Traurig Tech Partner

Will Turner spent most of his career in Chicago until the pandemic hit and he relocated to Florida.

‘An Obvious Choice’: Reid Rejoins Eversheds Sutherland as Partner

“I wanted to get back to being more of a subject matter specialist in the privacy, cybersecurity and technology areas,” Rachel Reid said of her move from in-house work back to law firm work.

Hogan Lovells Nabs Top Jones Day Environmental Partner in Mexico

Mauricio Llamas is bringing three associates with him to Hogan Lovells, where he will head the firm’s environmental law practice in Latin America’s second-biggest economy.

Paul Hastings Lands Veteran Kirkland Funds Partner, With Others Expected to Join Him

Paul Hastings has hired John Budetti, a 17-year veteran of Kirkland & Ellis’ investment funds group, as the new global chair of its investment funds and private capital practice, the firm said, with five current and former Kirkland attorneys expected to join him.

SEC Private Funds Attorney Joins Morgan Lewis Amid Big Law Demand for Regulatory Lawyers

Christine Schleppegrell is one of several former SEC veterans who have joined Morgan Lewis since the start of 2022.

Shearman Loses Energy Co-Head To Mayer Brown in Houston

Gabriel Salinas’ exit comes shortly after Omar Samji, another leader of Shearman & Sterling’s energy innovation team, moved to Weil, Gotshal & Manges in Houston.

Holland & Knight Snags 17 Lawyers From Mexico’s Sánchez DeVanny

The raid brings seven partners, including some former practice and office heads, plus two senior counsel and eight associates as the U.S.-based firm wagers big on near-shoring for manufacturing.

Leaning Into Diversified Practices, McDermott Lands Holland & Knight Real Estate and Private Wealth Partner

McDermott Will & Emery has brought on Holland & Knight real estate and private wealth partner Elena Otero in Miami, as the firm continues building up practices that remain flexible with economic conditions.

Covington Names New SF Leader as Regulatory Work Ramps Up

Covington’s regulatory and investigations roots are giving it a boost in the Northern California legal market, according to San Francisco office managing partner Gretchen Hoff Varner.

Sullivan & Cromwell, Recruiting From BlackRock, Becomes Latest Law Firm to Add Talent in Financial Reg Practices

The Wall Street firm is at least the third Am Law 25 law firm to hire a financial regulatory partner in D.C. in the last week, with the addition of Dalia Blass as a partner.

A&O New York Team Defects to Paul Hastings

The structured finance team, including several associates, is joining rapidly growing Paul Hastings. The team is led by A&O partner Nick Robinson, who leaves the firm after four years as a partner in A&O’s structured finance practice.

Barley Snyder Adds Immigration Attorney, Andrew J. Mahon to its Growing Roster

Mahon brings over a decade of experience in the areas of immigration and employment law. In his immigration practice, he represents families and businesses seeking immigration benefits in addition to defending individuals placed in removal proceedings.

Milbank Lands 27-Year Paul Weiss Finance and Restructuring Vet

Lawrence Wee’s practice, which focuses on out-of-court restructuring, sits at the strategic center of several key practice areas, according to Milbank leaders.

Kleinbard Brings on New Executive Director, Four New Attorneys

The additions qualify as “pretty dramatic growth” for the 35-lawyer firm, according to managing partner Michael Frattone.


Sabre Replaces Freshly Hired CLO It Had Wooed With Millions

The travel company appointed Ann Bruder as chief legal officer, succeeding Chadwick Ho, a former Disney attorney who’d started in September.

Swiss Luxury Goods Giant Names Kraft Heinz Veteran as Top Lawyer

Thomas Loest’s climb up the legal department ladder included stops at Georgia-Pacific, Nike and Kimberly-Clark.

Twilio Welcomed Impossible Foods’ Legal Chief With $13M New-Hire Stock Grant

Dana Wagner, chief legal officer of San Francisco-based Twilio, also received a massive stock grant as part of his normal 2022 compensation. The two awards left his pay just shy of that of Apple GC Kate Adams.

Deutsche Bank Hires From Pharma Giant For Next General Counsel

Deutsche Bank has hired its next general counsel, appointing Friederike Rotsch to the role.

Freshly Public Travel-Tech Company Hires Apple Lawyer as First GC

Meredith Waters is taking the legal reins of Mondee, which aims to capitalize as the travel industry becomes increasingly technology-driven.

Lyft Lays Off Chunk of Legal Team, Names Former GC as President

Kristin Sverchek, who’s been with Lyft since 2012 and was general counsel until 2021, will help the company’s new CEO execute his strategy of slashing costs to make the service more affordable for riders and profitable for drivers.

DoorDash Attorney’s Promotion to GC Earned Her $15M Stock Grant

Tia Sherringham took the legal reins in January 2022 after the food-delivery company promoted her boss to chief business officer.

Promotions & Appointments:

DLA Piper Elevates 72 Lawyers to Global Partnership

Allen & Overy announced it had promoted 36 lawyers. Last week, Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer promoted 30 to partner, while last month Linklaters elevated 41.

Clifford Chance Promotes 32 in Latest Partner Promotions Round

Twelve of the 32 promotions are women, giving an overall tally of 38%, a slight decrease on last year’s 41%.

Simmons & Simmons announces partner promotions for 2023

International law firm Simmons & Simmons today announces its cohort of partner promotions for 2023. This year’s round comprises 13 lawyers from five countries across the UK, Europe and Asia. The promotions will take effect on 1 May 2023.

Mergers & Alliances:

Carmody Inks Deal With DDN in Guilford for Boost in Litigation Talent

Managing Partner Rick Street said representatives from both firms had been talking about a merger for the past two years, and following a COVID lull, the discussions heated up again late last year.

Embattled UK Firm Ince Group’s Administrators Find Buyer

The listed law firm went into administration earlier this month. The Ince Group has announced that its administrators have sold the firm to another U.K. law firm—Axiom DWFM.

Fox Rothschild Adds ‘Niche’ Charlotte-Based Boutique via Merger

Dempsey Law, with two attorneys as well as support staff, focused on family law, particularly domestic and international adoption efforts as well as work involving assisted reproductive technology and surrogacy.

DAC Beachcroft in Talks with Private Equity Investor Over Partial Sale

A deal would represent the first major private equity investment in a large commercial UK law firm.

Office Openings & Closing:

Disputes Firm Three Crowns to Open in Madrid

Last year, the firm entered the Singaporean market, making the upcoming Madrid office its fifth globally.

China’s DeHeng Breaks Into South Korea With Seoul Office Launch

DeHeng’s Seoul office, its ninth international outfit, will be headed by Korean-speaking partner Cuiying Zhu, who specializes in cross-border investment and finance, as well as dispute resolution.

Spain’s ECIJA Opens Office in Uruguay

Cecilia Amieva, an ECIJA partner who previously worked out of the firm’s Buenos Aires office, will be the managing partner in Montevideo.

Shin & Kim Expands in Southeast Asia with an Office Launch In Singapore

Shin & Kim’s new Singapore outfit marks the Big Six South Korean law firm’s fifth overseas office.

Seeing ‘Explosive’ Growth in Class Actions, Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner Opens in Seattle

King County, Washington has been a magnet for a wave of claims. “We’re seeing a lot of attorneys from outside the jurisdiction testing new legal theories,” said one of the new partners at BCLP.

Nelson Mullins Plants Flag in Chicago Via Another Group Pickup

The firm is adding seven partners from Benesch, with four in the Windy City and three bolstering its existing Cleveland presence.

McNees Hires Group of Real Estate Attorneys, Opens Second Maryland Office

The arrival of seven real estate and construction attorneys from Towson-based boutique Sagal Filbert Quasney & Betten is neither an acquisition or a merger, according to McNees. One attorney from the Sagal firm is not making the move.


Shearman’s Financial Issues Mount, Sources Say, But New Leader Sees Path Forward

Senior partner Adam Hakki noted that while 2023 will be a transition year, many of the firm’s practices are thriving and partners are being paid “consistent with our long-standing profit distribution practices.”

Alphabet Legal Chief’s Pay Surged 66% in 2022

Kent Walker earned nearly $10 million more than he did in 2021, but it was only half of what he made in 2020.

Netflix CLO Saw Pay Surge in 2022, Despite Growth Challenges

David Hyman and the company’s other top executives saw compensation rise in 2022, even as Netflix shares tumbled.

‘Take Advantage of the Leverage’: How Legal Departments Can Rein in Rate Hikes

“The data we have shows that some of the largest purchasers of legal services in the world are paying way over average,” said Nathan Cemenska of Wolters Kluwer ELM Solutions.

ABA Employment Outcomes Show Modest—but Slower—Growth

The actual number of full-time, long-term Bar Passage Required or J.D. Advantage jobs increased by 888 (+3%) year-over-year as compared to last year, when the ABA reported an 11.2% year-over-year increase.

Keystone Posts 8% Growth Despite Shadow Over Listed Firm Model

CEO James Knight has distanced his firm from the recent fallout around the collapse of fellow-listed firm the Ince Group.

Technology & Innovation:

The Growing Role of Legal Tech in M&As and Fundraising

Legal’s role in shaping and maintaining an organized and thorough process enables the organization to successfully and efficiently manage the due diligence process and tees up the strongest negotiating position possible.

Companies Flummoxed by Regulatory Chaos Around Cybersecurity

“There’s a lot of unpredictability right now. There’s a lot of head-scratching about what’s going to come next—what sectors are going to get hit with the next emergency directive, for example,” said Megan Leef Brown, a partner with Wiley Rein.

Tokyo-Based Contract Review Startup Launches in US, Unveils GPT-4 Powered Contract Editing Tool

LegalOn Technologies took advantage of its U.S. release to announce new capabilities around its collaboration, search and editing features.

Navigating the Future of In House Practice: Embracing Technology and Process Advancements

Recent research shows that while many legal departments are utilizing established legal technologies like e-billing and matter management systems for useful purposes, there are opportunities to enhance technology value even more. Especially in areas like process automation and advanced reporting.

Legal Sector Must Learn to ‘Fail Quickly’ on Technology, Partners Say

‘As a sector, we’re bad at failure because it’s opposed to what we’re trained to do for clients,’ said one London conference panelist.

Artificially Intelligent, Legally Confusing: The Rights in AI-Generated Works

If neither the AI system nor its operator hold rights over the material, are these works simply public domain? Not necessarily.

As AI Advances, Is Prompt Engineering the Next Crucial Legal Skill?

Generative AI has taken the legal world by storm, and that means legal professionals are going to have to learn to communicate with machines. One key skill for doing so has emerged: prompt engineering.

‘Innovation Discipline’: How Firms Navigate Growing Generative AI-Legal Tech Options

Firms have been paying close attention to how legal tech vendors are incorporating generative AI into their tools. While few are opposed to such updates, these implementations come with a new set of questions.

Legal Insurer’s ChatGPT Warning Is Impacting Law Firms’ Generative AI Projects—But Not All

A blanket warning over not using ChatGPT altogether, as issued by one insurance provider, might not necessarily fit with client demands or law firms’ own view of the technology.

How GCs Can Leverage AI to Negotiate Contracts

“AI won’t replace contract professionals. Contract professionals who use AI will replace those who don’t,” said Otto Hanson, CEO of TermScout.

Key Legal and Operational Risks for Enterprise AI

The ability of machines to learn and improve without explicit instructions has the potential to revolutionize many industries, but businesses that use AI must be aware of the legal and operational risks that come with it.

Regulatory Technology, Vendor: Wolters Kluwer Legal & Regulatory U.S.

“Legal innovation should capitalize on highly enriched, modeled data sets by producing advanced functionality and workflow solutions that anticipate what a client needs to stay out of litigation,” says Nicole Stone; Director, New Product Development Content Strategy at Wolters Kluwer Legal & Regulatory U.S.

Diversity & Inclusion:

New Task Force Aims to Increase Latinx Representation in Legal Profession

“A lot of positions of high responsibility in government are fed by law school professors and deans, who are appointed to these roles, but there are not many, if any, Latinos and Latinas to pick from,” Seattle University Law Dean Anthony Varona said. “This is a very big problem not just for law but for democracy itself.”

Allen & Overy Expands IP Litigation for Clients in the US With Female-Led Team

“We think we are the only firm that can offer top-tier IP litigation capabilities in every major country in the world,” said A&O’s U.S. head of IP, Elizabeth Holland, who is one of several female partners leading the firm’s growth for tech and life sciences clients.

Market Commentary:

Watson Farley and Bird & Bird Continue Industry Trend of Increased Partner Promotions

Watson Farley’s promotions follow the recent announcements of offices in Seoul and Tokyo.

How to Define Environmental, Social and Governance Is ‘the Million-Dollar Question’

“Now is the time for companies to closely review their existing disclosures on file and make sure the activities they have chosen to disclose are commensurate with the disclosure,” says Skadden partner Anita Bandy.

Is a Merger in Baker Botts’ Future?

Having talked in the past to DLA Piper and Shearman & Sterling, Baker Botts may view a combination as a way to strengthen its market position.

More Companies Opt for Fractional GCs Over Full-Time Legal Chiefs

“Law firms really want the big stuff—the deals and litigation. What a lot of corporations struggle with is not those things,” said Noel Elfant, founder of General Counsel Practice.

Young Lawyers Are Willing to Sacrifice Their Comp for These Benefits

Many young lawyers said they would exchange some of their pay for lower billable hours, a recent survey found. Now more law firms are creating additional paths to partnership with lower hours requirements.

Longtime Paul Hastings CFO Departs Following Wave of Exits

Kathleen Deuschle had been at the firm since 2009. She’s the fifth member of the firm’s C-suite to depart since February 2022.

Will U.S. Firms Start to Open Locations in India?

For all the talk of pre-liberalization of the market there, firms are cautious now.

Some GCs Fear Remote Work Could Render In-House Teams ‘Obsolete’

In-house leaders tell Law.com International that remote working could see them lose their place at the leadership table that they fought so hard for in the first place.

Where Are All the Financial Regs Lawyers? Big Law Has a Need for More

Demand currently outweighs supply for a small pool of financial regulation lawyers, as banks need to make sense of an environment that’s evolving rapidly following the demise of Silicon Valley Bank and Signature Bank.

Xerox Legal Chief Pulls Plug After Five Years in Role

The office equipment giant says Louie Pastor is stepping down to pursue other opportunities. It’s not clear where he’s headed.

India’s Hands-Off AI Approach Could Spur More Litigation, and Innovation

India is not a necessarily litigious society—but with an open legal market and the decision to keep AI unregulated, that could soon change.

Estee Lauder Vice Chair and Former General Counsel to Retire

Sara Moss has been with the cosmetics giant for two decades, most of that time as legal chief. She was promoted to vice chair in 2019.

Pandemic Woes: Professionals Struggling as Lines Between Home and Office Become Blurred

By investing in the space where you spend most of your time, you are investing in yourself as a productive business person who also values intimacy and recognizes the importance of true balance across all aspects of life.

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