Weekly Update – 2nd of October 2023


UK & Ireland

Greenwoods snaps up nine-strong private client team from Ince & Co as exits continue

The team is led by Ince’s former head of private client and tax Matthew Biles and follows the arrival of former Ince tax lawyer Roger Harding, who joined Greenwoods earlier this month as head of tax and trusts.

Orrick hires first chief digital officer from Pinsent Masons

Nigel Tranter will head up the firm’s data and business transformation team in Birmingham. Tranter joins the firm’s Birmingham, UK office alongside a team of five, including head of data Chad Schuessler and director of business transformation Adam Marsland. The team will work closely with the firm’s innovation and IT teams, as they seek to use data, AI and other tools to improve productivity and client service.

Axiom Ince suffers further partner defections as future of firm in doubt

Latest losses include exits to Birketts, HF and Wikborg Rein. The team of 17 lawyers joining Wikborg Rein’s London office bring expertise across international dispute resolution and finance. They include a team of seven shipping disputes experts (Michael Volikas, Ian Chetwood, Charles O’Connor, Amanda Urwin, Sophie Henniker-Major, Jack Maxted, Alice Hoare), a team of three finance lawyers (Beatrice Russ, Sian Sanders and Ben Orchard) and a team of seven commercial disputes and international arbitration lawyers (Gillie Belsham, Ben Ogden, Chris Crane, Daniel Boden, Tim Wright, Iain Preston and Ellie Jones).

Clifford Chance makes twin energy partner hire from Latham & Watkins

The pair include Craig Nethercott and Chirag Sanghrajka who join in London and Dubai respectively. Nethercott brings with him almost three decades of experience in banking, capital markets and Islamic finance, advising energy and infrastructure companies on a range of project financings. Sanghrajka adds 16 years of experience advising on energy and infrastructure projects and complex financings, including export credit agency-led deals.


Quinn Emanuel secures King & Wood Mallesons partner duo for UAE launch

Litigation giant hires KWM Dubai office head plus another partner to set up shop in Dubai and Abu Dhabi. The litigation heavyweight has hired a pair of partners from King & Wood Mallesons (KWM) for the launch – current Dubai managing partner Joanne Strain and Parnika Chaturvedi, who will join Quinn Emanuel later this year.

Morgan Lewis and Addleshaw Goddard bolster Dubai disputes offerings with partner hires from Al Tamimi, Clifford Chance

Sara Aranjo joins Morgan Lewis to lead arbitration practice in Africa and Middle East as Arun Visweswaran moves over to Addleshaw Goddard from Clifford Chance.

Proskauer raids Shearman for 19-strong corporate team in Paris

Team includes Shearman’s former Paris office head Xavier Norlain and three other partners. The partners include Xavier Norlain, Jeremy Scemama, Maud Manon and Matthieu Lampel alongside a team of 15, who all bring extensive experience in private and public M&A, leveraged finance and restructuring. They regularly advise private equity firms, banks and alternative lenders, services groups and management teams.

Paula Fallon joins Gartlan Furey after merger

Gartlan Furey LLP has welcomed Paula Fallon to its private client team following a merger with Paula Fallon & Associates. Ms Fallon brings nearly four decades of experience in the law, having qualified in 1986 and run her own specialist practice in the area of wills and administration of estates since 2001. Her areas of practice include wills and estate tax planning, powers of attorney, probate and administration of estates and trust management.

Clifford Chance Swoops For PwC Tax Partner in Frankfurt

Stefan Herr will work in the German and European tax and funds practice of the firm.

Squire Patton Boggs Taps McDermott For Corporate Duo in Frankfurt

The hires are the latest development in the firm’s corporate and private equity expansion strategy across Europe and the UK.


Australia’s Mills Oakley Takes Public Law Team from MinterEllison

Partner Julian Pinder will join the firm in Sydney, while MinterEllison associate David McLaren also joins as a partner. Five other lawyers will also join Mills Oakley from MinterEllison.

PwC Australia Exodus Continues, Corporate Partner Joins Squire Patton Boggs in Perth

Samantha Smart becomes at least the seventh partner to depart the global accounting giant in the wake of its tax advice scandal.

The Americas

Akin Hires Space Industry Executive in Light of ‘Rapidly Expanding’ Commercial Space Industry

The firm has hired former government official and space industry executive Michael Mineiro to build out its space capabilities.

Winston Corporate Partner Duo Reunites With Colleagues at Holland & Knight

Winston & Strawn partners Douglas Lionberger and James Brown joined Holland & Knight as partners in the corporate, M&A and securities practice group in Houston, rejoining former Thompson & Knight colleagues.

Weil Continues Private Equity-Fueled Houston Energy Expansion With Pillsbury Hire

Irina Tsveklova is the fourth partner hired to the firm’s Houston energy team since April.

New Partners Added to Nelson Mullins’ Rapidly Expanding Office Footprint

“We find our growth curve to be very significant and we don’t see that diminishing,” said Michael Snyder, partner in charge of the firm’s five-office Midwest region.

With Sector Demand at ‘All-Time High,’ Willkie Adds Renewable Energy Deal Team

“We are seeing big developments in the industry overall related to energy transition and more, and this has brought increasing demand from clients and also new opportunities for us to expand our practices,” Eric Pogue said. Eric Pogue is joining as Willkie’s global chair of power and renewable energy; Samantha Leavitt and Amanda Rosenberg are joining as partners.

Arnold & Porter Lands Latin America-focused Finance Partner in New York

Carlos Lobo, who has worked at top firms in New York and Brazil, joins from Hughes Hubbard & Reed.

White and Williams Expands ‘Backbone’ Insurance Practice With 4 Additions

Victoria Fuller, Daniel Bryer and Dirk Haarhoff join the firm as partners in Boston, Newark and New York, respectively.

Schulte Hires Experienced Perkins Coie Regulatory Partner as SEC Gets Tougher on Private Equity

Schulte Roth & Zabel has hired Perkins Coie’s Michael Didiuk, who brings to the firm deep experience on both sides of the financial regulation coin as the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission prepares to enforce new rules for private equity and asset management.

Mayer Brown Adds King & Spalding International Arbitration Partner in Houston

David Weiss, who joined Mayer Brown on Monday, said the firm is a good fit for his international arbitration practice, because of its global reach, and the caliber of its arbitration and energy practices.

Mintz’s Toronto Office Nabs Another Partner From Dentons, Continuing Its Canadian Expansion

Alex North is the 21st lawyer to join Mintz’s Canadian office since it opened six months ago.

Latham & Watkins Hires M&A, Private Equity Partner Duo From Fried Frank

Latham & Watkins has hired mergers & acquisitions and private equity partners Brian Mangino and Amber Banks from Fried, Frank, Harris, Shriver & Jacobson, as the firm continues to bolster its M&A practice.


Around the house: LGBTQ social app Grindr hires first GC, ONEOK replaces retired GC with energy industry veteran

LGBTQ social network Grindr has appointed Zac Katz as general counsel, a newly created position. Katz joins from digital education provider Age of Learning, where he was head of legal and corporate affairs. At Grindr, in addition to his legal responsibilities, he will also serve as head of global affairs where he will be responsible for building the department and providing support to its Grindr for Equality initiative. He will report directly to CEO George Arison. The legal team was previously led by Bill Shafton, vice president for business and legal affairs, who remains in that role.

EV Startup Faraday Future Fills GC Seat

Scott Graziano will try to help Faraday Future Intelligent Electric stay on track after years of struggle. Last month, the company began delivering its $300,000 crossover, the FF 91.

Atlanta Children’s Hospital In-House Chief Moves to New All-Female Health Care Boutique

“You draw on the expertise of the team,” Rachel King, previously the chief compliance officer for Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta, said of the model at Health Law Strategists.

Payment-Processing Unicorn Taps Fintech Veteran as Legal Chief

Lisa Roberts joins Stax from NCR, where she was chief counsel of payments.

AIG Hires Legal Chief at Star Startup as General Counsel

Patricia “Trish” Walsh is taking the legal reins of American International Group, returning to a corporate giant after four years in the startup sphere.

Fast-Growing Lazy Dog Restaurant Chain Hires Ex-Bloomin’ Brands VP as Legal Chief

Veteran restaurant lawyer Mark Heilig has exchanged the Bloomin’ Onion for BBQ bison meatloaf as the new general counsel of the fast-growing Lazy Dog Restaurant & Bar chain.

Promotions & Appointments:

BCLP names Segun Osuntokun as new global senior partner

Leading litigator to step up from UK managing partner role in January to work alongside new global CEO Steve Baumer. Osuntokun, currently UK managing partner, also leads the firm’s Africa and civil fraud litigation practices, with deep experience of such disputes in that continent’s key industries. He will work alongside the firm’s global chief executive officer, Steve Baumer, from 1 January 2024.

Jeanne Kelly elected president of British Irish Chamber of Commerce

Browne Jacobson partner Jeanne Kelly has been elected as president of the British Irish Chamber of Commerce (BICC). Ms Kelly, a founding partner of Browne Jacobson’s Dublin office, has spent the last year as vice-president of the Chamber and is also outgoing chair of its ICT committee. She will now lead the organisation alongside vice-president Marie Doyle, president at Deloitte Northern Ireland.

BCLP London Head Elevated to Global Senior Partner

The firm’s current co-chair, Steve Baumer, will step up to global CEO.

Mergers & Alliances:

Allen & Overy and Shearman & Sterling partners start voting on merger approval

Voting will be completed on Friday 13 October, with the outcome to be announced shortly after. If partners approve the deal, Allen & Overy and Shearman & Sterling will – subject to customary closing conditions – come together to create a transatlantic behemoth with just under 4,000 lawyers and about $3.4bn in annual revenue. The combined firm will be known as A&O Shearman.

CMS enters alliance with Brazilian firm FAS Advogados

Agreement adds to CMS’s Latin America presence in Chile, Colombia, Mexico and Peru. São Paulo-based FAS has 11 partners and more than 120 professionals, covering a full range of services including M&A, tax, banking and corporate law. It is also active in sectors with cross-border advisory and transaction work opportunities with CMS, including renewables, infrastructure, technology, consumer products, life sciences and healthcare, manufacturing, automotive and agribusiness.

Drew & Napier’s Regional Network Expands with Thai Firm Tilleke & Gibbins

The network’s member firms are preferred local advisors to each other, though the arrangement is not an exclusive one.

Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman … & Stroock? Market Observers Are Bullish on Merger Talks

Firm leaders with fresh experience of acquisitions said the non-exclusive nature of Pillsbury and Stroock’s letter of intent is unusual. But other market watchers find evidence of compatibility.

Office Openings & Closing:

Private client quartet launch MEUM Group in London to cater for the ultra wealthy

Firm will provide legal advisory and financial management services under one roof. The founders include Keystone Law partners Sofia Syed and Gregor Kleinknecht, Spencer West family law specialist Julie Taylor and former Mishcon de Reya lawyer Gray Smith. The team will focus on law but with a range of advisory services bolted on, including financial management and support.

Axiom Ince set to close as departures intensify

Partner exits continue apace from troubled firm as SRA says it has told regulator it cannot continue “in its current format”.

Ince & Co: 1870-2023

After more than a century of being a top adviser to some of the world’s largest shipping companies, Ince’s brand began to tarnish before it ended in inglorious fashion.

CMS Extends Africa Footprint with Exclusive Mozambique Firm Tie-Up

The firm already has a presence in Angola, Morocco, South Africa, and Kenya, and further growth across the continent remains a strategic priority.

Linklaters Plans to Move People Into New London Office Early

Linklaters is taking 17 floors of the new 27-storey building at 20 Ropemaker from 2026.


How Much? Law Firms Grappling With Cost of Leveraging Generative AI in E-Discovery

While a powerful technology, generative AI can also come with a hefty price tag. While some law firms are hopeful of lower bills down the line when using the technology in e-discovery, others aren’t so sure yet.

Ka-Ching: What’s Behind Legal Tech Providers’ Spike in Prices?

Many legal technology companies are under pressure from their venture capitalist and private equity founders, which some say has led to a surge in prices across the industry.

2023 GC Compensation

In The Legal’s GC Compensation supplement, find out how general counsel fare across the state and take a look at how the SEC’s new disclosure rule has held up one year in.

Technology & Innovation:

In-House Counsel: Big Law’s Clear and Present Danger

Hugh Simons looks at the growth of in-house counsel, the future impact of Gen AI and what it will really take to be an equity partner in Big Law moving forward.

The New Frontier: AI in Arbitral Decision Making

As AI technology evolves at a rapid pace, so do the opportunities that it will present to substitute human decision-making. As we approach this threshold, we must carefully consider and determine whether the lack of a human element in decision-making is acceptable to all those involved and whether AI might undermine trust in the process.

Cuatrecasas Deploys Harvey Artificial Intelligence Tool

The Spanish firm plans to use the technology across its 27 offices in 13 countries to dramatically cut turnaround time for drafting documents and other legal needs.

AI Study Reveals How Employers Are Using the Tools, and With What Safeguards

“Corporate adoption, while swift, is never breakneck speed, especially when the regulations are not finalized and the tech itself is not stabilized,” Niloy Ray, a Littler Mendelson shareholder, said.

Diversity & Inclusion:

We Cannot Relent: The Need to Remain Resilient in Your Firm’s DEI Efforts

The most recent threats to dismantle DEI in the United States are now aimed at the legal industry, but we cannot relent against these attacks and instead must remain resilient with our DEI efforts now and well into the future.

Market Commentary:

AI, Cybersecurity, and the Economy: Three Predictions for the Last Few Months of 2023

The author revisits three predictions made at the beginning of the year regarding AI, cybersecurity and the economy, and see where things are headed as 2023 winds down.

Lewis Silkin doubles Belfast workforce in first 24 months

UK-based employment law firm Lewis Silkin has more than doubled its Belfast footprint since expanding into Northern Ireland in 2021, the firm has announced.

With Consolidation Still Hot, What Should Small Firms Looking to Merge Keep in Mind?

“We learn how to be lawyers in law school, but law school doesn’t teach you how to run a business,” said Kristen Corpion, founder of CORPlaw, which recently merged with Trembly Law.

How Travers Smith Stopped the Partner Exodus

Former insiders spoke of issues around the firm’s inflexible lockstep and a perceived lack of global ambition—but the firm’s managing partner Edmund Reed explains how these and others matters are being addressed.

How Can Global Law Firms Embrace Change?

A ‘one-size-fits-all’ approach won’t necessarily work across offices, but one that is ‘purposeful’ will ensure they aren’t left behind in the dust.

Africa Top 50 2023: A&O, Eversheds and CMS Among Fastest Growers But ENS and DLA Still Lead

International firms made up 13 of the top 50, while 15 South African firms featured in the table and 11 were from Nigeria, according to the research produced in partnership with Africa Legal.

Asian Law Firms Seek Mergers as ‘Critical Mass’ Takes On New Meaning

Law firms across Asia are feeling pressure from both foreign and domestic players, prompting them to seek out mergers. Smaller firms fear they could end up missing out on a share of the pie, or worse, become irrelevant.

London’s Legal Industry Cannot Get Much More American

That means U.S. firms may not see the gains in the region they once experienced.

The China Dilemma: Should Law Firms Call It Quits?

U.S. leaders are finding it harder to justify substantia

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