Weekly Update – 30th of October 2023


UK & Ireland

Brown Rudnick secures Mishcon de Reya’s banking disputes head in London

Derval Walsh joins hot on the heels of commercial litigator Robin Pickworth’s move from Armstrong Teasdale. Brown Rudnick has hired a senior partner from Mishcon de Reya in London to bolster its disputes bench. Derval Walsh has joined the US firm’s litigation and arbitration practice as a partner after 13 years at Mishcon, where he was head of finance and banking disputes.

Pillsbury Recruits Hughes as Investment Funds Partner in London

Gawain Hughes has joined Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman as a partner in London, the firm said Tuesday. Hughes works with global institutional fund managers and investors on the structuring of an investment into unregulated investment funds. He has a focus on private equity, infrastructure, real estate, and debt investments, according to Pillsbury. He previously practiced at Morgan Lewis and led the EMEA funds practice at DLA Piper, Pillsbury said.


Pinsent Masons expands team in South Africa with new senior hires

Pinsent Masons is expanding its Johannesburg office with the hire of new Partners, David Woodhouse and Anthony Crane, Legal Director Mark Thomas, and Senior Associates Nanri Labuschagne and Annelle Kamper. The new additions, together with other Associates from their teams, will join Pinsent Masons from the highly regarded, boutique Johannesburg law firm, Tabacks, and will help expand the firm’s client service offering in Africa, bringing in expertise in commercial and M&A law, employment and competition law, and commercial dispute resolution.

Firm strengthens Middle East practice with new Head of Disputes

Norton Rose Fulbright has bolstered its disputes offering with the appointment of top-ranked partner Nick Sharratt as its new regional Head of Dispute Resolution in the Middle East. Known for his exceptional client service, Nick has worked in the region for more than a decade, focussing primarily on litigation, international arbitration, asset recovery and multi-jurisdictional enforcement. His bluechip client base spans across a range of industry sectors including financial institutions, energy and infrastructure, construction, commodities, hospitality and transport. Nick will be based in the UAE.


HSF Turns To King & Spalding Again For Asia Energy Lateral

Anglo-Australian law firm Herbert Smith Freehills has hired a second energy-focused M&A partner from U.S. law firm King & Spalding in Asia in less than a month, as Lachlan Clancy joins the firm in Tokyo. Herbert Smith Freehills added energy pro-Anthony Patten from K&S in Singapore last month. The latest hire is part of a planned expansion of its Asian energy practice in response to growing client demand, the firm said in a statement. “At such a critical time for energy transition investment, their appointments strengthen both the firm’s energy credentials and its ability to respond to growing client demand in Asia and beyond,” said Graeme Preston, Asia managing partner.

The Americas

Bracewell expands IP practice with USPTO patent judge

Christopher Crumbley moves into private practice after long stints at the US Patent and Trademark Office and Department of Justice. A lead administrative patent judge at the US Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) has joined Texas-headquartered firm Bracewell as a partner in its Austin office. Christopher Crumbley brings more than 20 years’ experience to his new firm.

Senior Canadian Pharma GC Joins Fasken in Montreal

Robert Quesnel was head of legal affairs at Paris-based Sanofi for 15 before joining the national law firm.

High Profile Addition from Pharma Sector for Fasken

Montreal (Canada) – Fasken is pleased to announce the appointment of Robert Quesnel as a legal counsel in the Life Sciences group at our Montreal office. He was until recently the Head of Legal Affairs & General Counsel Canada for one of the largest pharmaceutical companies. With over 25 years of experience in the pharmaceutical industry, Robert advises his clients on issues primarily related to life sciences and intellectual property. He is recognized for his expertise in managing complex product liability class actions, as well as high-profile patent litigation.

Potter Anderson & Corroon LLP Announces Addition of Brett M. Haywood

Potter Anderson & Corroon LLP recently announced the continued growth of its bankruptcy practice with the addition of Brett M. Haywood as counsel. With the addition of Brett, the Potter Anderson bankruptcy group now includes 5 partners, 2 counsel and 8 associates dedicated to advising clients in complex restructurings. Haywood joins Potter Anderson from Bespoke Financial, Inc. where he was Vice President, Corporate Counsel.

Baker McKenzie Expands Chicago Private Equity Team with the Addition of Erika López

Firm continues to strengthen its global M&A and private equity bench. Global law firm Baker McKenzie announced today that Erika López has joined as a private equity and M&A partner in the Firm’s Chicago office. A rising star in private equity and M&A, Erika brings significant experience advising clients on all aspects of complex M&A and private equity transactions. “Erika has very strong business acumen and a legal skillset that fits squarely within our needs in North America” said Alan Zoccolillo, M&A Partner and Baker McKenzie North America Transactional Practice Chair.

Williams Mullen lures another lawyer team, this time from Hampton Roads firm

For the second time in two months, Williams Mullen has lured a group of attorneys over from a smaller competitor. The downtown Richmond-based law firm in recent days added a team from Norfolk-based Pierce McCoy. The move involves six lawyers, including Pierce McCoy co-founder and namesake Gabe McCoy, and follows Williams Mullen’s addition earlier this month of a group of 10 attorneys from Richmond firm KVCF.

Quinn Emanuel Taps DOJ Official to Co-Chair Securities Litigation and Derivatives Group

Quinn Emanuel has hired Avi Perry, the justice department official who oversaw market-rigging cases, he will co-chair Quinn Emanuel’s securities litigation group as well as its commodities and derivatives group.


Kidney Care Startup Backed by Cigna and CVS Hires First Legal Chief

Monogram Health, the nation’s leading value-based provider of in-home, evidence-based care and benefit management services for patients living with chronic kidney and end stage kidney disease, has hired Adam McAnaney as Chief Legal Officer and Secretary. Adam is a proven leader, and his extensive history of successful executive leadership roles at public companies as well as large-scale healthcare organizations demonstrates his robust capabilities. Adam served as General Counsel and Secretary for Signify Health, following its acquisition of Remedy Partners.

Locus Robotics Appoints New Executives to Support Global Growth, Expanding Global Warehouse Automation Leadership

Locus Robotics, the market leader in autonomous mobile robots (AMR) for fulfilment warehouses, today announced the appointments of Kian Sin Ng as General Manager, APAC, and Joel Collins as Chief Legal Officer. These executives join Locus Robotics’ leadership team as the company continues expanding globally to serve growing customer demand. As Chief Legal Officer, Joel Collins will lead Locus’s global legal operations.

Standard Chartered Names Next GC for Global Investment Banking

Samallie Kiyingi, who will be based in Singapore, joins the bank from the Africa Export-Import Bank and will take over the role from current group GC Sandie Okoro, according to a LinkedIn post by the latter.

Vista Outdoor recruits GC for renamed outdoor goods business

US outdoor and sporting brands giant Vista Outdoor has named Jung Choi as general counsel of its outdoor products business following the announced sale of its sporting goods division to Czechoslovak Group (CSG).

Promotions & Appointments:

Lynsey Mallon to take reins of Arthur Cox in Northern Ireland

Arthur Cox has named Lynsey Mallon as the next managing partner of its Northern Ireland practice. Ms Mallon will take up the position in April 2024 in addition to her role as head of the firm’s corporate and commercial department, succeeding Catriona Gibson who, after an eight-year tenure as managing partner, will become chair while continuing as head of litigation. Having joined Arthur Cox in 2007, Ms Mallon is among the most pre-eminent corporate lawyers in Northern Ireland and is a specialist in mergers and acquisitions, investments, and corporate reorganisation and restructuring.

White & Case names new executive partner in London

Inigo Esteve succeeds Dipen Sabharwal as head of US firm’s 500-plus lawyer London office amid wider leadership reshuffle. White & Case has named capital markets lawyer Inigo Esteve as the new executive partner of its London office. Esteve will take over on 1 November from international arbitration partner Dipen Sabharwal KC, who has led the London office since the start of last year and has recently been appointed to White & Case’s global executive committee.

Blank Rome Brings In New Chief Innovation And Value Officer

Blank Rome has brought on Ashton Batchelor, formerly chief value and analytics officer at Robins Kaplan, as the firm’s latest chief innovation and value officer. Batchelor took up the position, previously held by Linda Novosel.

Taylor Wessing names next UK senior partner

Private wealth sector head Nick Warr to succeed Dominic FitzPatrick in January. Taylor Wessing has appointed the head of its international private wealth practice, Nick Warr, as its next UK senior partner. London-based Warr will begin his three-year term in January and succeeds Dominic FitzPatrick, who completes six years in the role in December having been re-elected to serve a second term in November 2020.

Ivor Fitzpatrick & Co announce appointment of new partner

Ivor Fitzpatrick and Company Solicitors has announced the appointment of Sandra Casey, previously a senior associate, as a litigation partner with the firm. Sandra joined the firm in 2001 and has been a valued, dedicated and hardworking member of the litigation team.

Two senior appointments at McInnes Dunnes Murphy

Specialist boutique employment law firm McInnes Dunne Murphy LLP has appointed Jane Babb as a consultant and Fiona Sharkey as a senior associate. Ms Sharkey joins from one of the biggest Irish law firms, where she trained and practised as an employment solicitor for eight years.

McDermott makes up 46 to partner in latest promotions round

Cohort grows 26% from 2022 in round once again focused on US firm’s transactions team. McDermott Will & Emery has made up 46 lawyers to partner in its latest promotions round, which also saw eight lawyers become counsel. The class represents a 26% increase on the 2022 cohort, when 32 lawyers made partner and 11 became counsel, and also sees the proportion of women increase from 47% last year to 61%. Last year the firm reported that 37% of the cohort identified as racially, ethnically and/or LGBTQ+ but declined to disclose the figure this time round.

Porter Hedges Elects Joyce Soliman as Co-Managing Partner

Porter Hedges has  announced the election of Joyce Soliman as Co-Managing Partner – External Affairs. She succeeds Rob Reedy who has served in that role since July 2022 and prior to that, as the Firm’s sole Managing Partner since 2009. Joyce will lead the Firm alongside James Cowen who serves as Co-Managing Partner – Administrative Affairs. Rob will assume the role of Chair Emeritus. Joyce will prioritize lateral partner recruiting, marketing and business development, innovation, strategy and growth, and will serve as the primary external spokesperson for the Firm.

Target promotes general counsel

Target Corporation has promoted Matt Zabel, who has been executive vice president and general counsel at the company since 2022, to become chief corporate affairs officer. Matt Zabel has been with the retailer since 2010.

Mergers & Alliances:

Pillsbury Ends Merger Talks With Strook

The firm said it couldn’t reach an agreement “that adequately balanced Pillsbury’s long-term strategic objectives with the more immediate financial and other risks involved.”

A&O Shearman Merger – What’s Next?

Clients, compensation, partner exits, and regulator consent is next on the agenda for the management of the merged firm, writes one partnership expert.

Office Openings & Closing:

Mourant Set to Launch in Singapore with Funds Partner Hire from Maples

The Singapore office will start off with an initial team of five staff members consisting of associates and paralegals with Craig Luton being the first partner on the ground.

McNees Wallace & Nurick to Sell Harrisburg HQ Following Layoffs of Longtime HR Leaders

McNees Wallace is thying to modernise its approach to the business of law, by letting go of the three professionals that made up its HR team in September and putting their headquarters on the market for nearly $11 Million in August.


Millar McCall Wylie to exceed growth target

Northern Ireland law firm Millar McCall Wylie is on track to exceed its goal of growing turnover by 50 per cent in three years, the firm has announced. Having set the three-year target in 2021, the locally-owned firm said expansion across its real estate, matrimonial and family, and employment law departments has outperformed expectations.

England: Solicitors to pay price for Axiom Ince collapse

All practising solicitors in England and Wales may have to pay up to £400 in order to cover the costs to clients following the collapse of a City law firm.  Axiom Ince was closed down by regulators last month and police are investigating allegations of a £64 million fraud. The Law Society Gazette has calculated that each of the approximately 160,000 practising solicitors south of the border will have to stump up as much as £400 in top-up fees for the profession’s compensation fund.

In Cost-Saving Bid, Legal Departments Snatching Back Work From Law Firms

Legal departments are ramping up efforts to control costs by bringing more work in-house, shifting work to smaller firms, and leaning more on technology, including artificial intelligence, a new report from the Association of Corporate Counsel and Everlaw revealed.

‘It Takes a Long-Term View’: How Mills Oakley has Kept Up its Remarkable Growth

The Australian firm, which is now a national legal brand, has enjoyed 18 years of consecutive double-digit growth.

Technology & Innovation:

Legal regulation conference tackles challenge of AI

Artificial intelligence, access to justice and ethics in the legal profession are among the issues being examined by the two-day International Conference of Legal Regulators (ICLR) which opened this morning in Dublin. Ireland’s Legal Services Regulatory Authority (LSRA) is hosting the 12th annual event, welcoming more than 100 attendees to the Royal Marine Hotel in Dún Laoghaire to share experiences and good practices, explore trends and themes, and network. The theme of this year’s conference is ‘The Future of Legal Regulation – Navigating the Decade Ahead’.

Mexican Law Firm Von Wobeser Launches AI-Powered Chatbot

The firm plans to use the chatbot as an in-house legal assistant that can field questions and summarize content.

LexisNexis Publicly Releases Generative AI – Powered Lexis+ AI, With New Functionalities

Initially unveiled in May, Lexis+ AI is now publicly available and comes with an updated user interface, new educational resources and added capabilities.

Inflation Redux: Legal Tech Prices are Skyrocketing

While legal tech prices didn’t come out of last year’s peak inflationary period unscathed, law firms’ technology budgets are feeling even more of a pinch these days.

Diversity & Inclusion:

Mothers Still Face Disproportionate Burden in Legal Field, ABA Report Finds

“The differences that data reflects are that mothers are disproportionately not getting important assignments, not being assigned matters with travel, not having sponsors and mentors, and there’s a disparity in income particularly as income rises”, attorney Roberta Liebenberg, a co-author of the report said.

Why More Female Lawyers Should Harness the Power of Storytelling

Telling your story can inspire, help others speak out and made a great impact – something more women in law should be encouraged to do, writes the London Lawyer.

The 2023 NLJ Awards: Professional Excellence – DC Diversity Initiative

We salute these law firms and lawyers for their success in their perspective fields.

Market Commentary:

Law firm marketing and BD teams spend more time on firefighting than strategy, study finds

Law firms also lack sufficient investment in their marketing and business development teams. A majority of law firm marketing and business development (MBD) teams are spending most of their time dealing with problems rather than on strategic initiatives, according to new research, presented at the Law Firm Marketing Summit earlier this month.

Paul Weiss Said to Mull Non-Equity Partner Tier

Paul Weiss reportedly is considering tinkering with the firm’s partner compensation system, including potentially creating a non-equity tier. A move to convert bonus payments to equity shares for the firm’s top-paid partners is also said to be on the table.

‘It’s the Main Industry We’re Getting Reach Out From’: How Sports Became Big Law’s Favourite Sector

As traditional deal markets remain deathly quiet, sports has developed into its own asset class, spawning all kinds of work for Big Law firms that have their foot in the lucrative door.

‘We Got the Mandate to Grow’: Linklaters Ups Focus on Latin America

The firm is building muscle in a region that increasingly intersects with its global network, while it has also increased referrals from local law firms.

White & Case is fastest-growing law firm in Africa since 2019, study finds

US firm grew African headcount 177% between 2019 and 2022, according to Africa Legal. US firm White & Case was the fastest growing law firm by headcount in Africa between 2019 and 2022, according to new research published by Africa Legal.

Lateral Partner Moves in DC Slow, as Law Firms Show Caution in Hiring

Lateral partner moves in Washington D.C., have slowed down in 2023, according to two legal industry groups, as law firms continue to show caution in hiring. Still, organisations that track lateral moves and recruiters say they are still seeing sustained demand for laterals in antitrust, competition, and government practices. Recruiters and practice leaders have pointed to robust demand within regulatory practices in D.C. this year.

Lack of a Succession Plan Can Lead to the Death of a Law Firm

Firms with aging managing partners should develop a succession plan for transferring clients and management responsibilities (over a five-to-ten-year transition period) to the firm’s younger attorneys.

Why More Big Law Firms Are Outsourcing Associate Training

An increasing number of law firms are questioning whether senior associates and partners are the best people to train associates on foundational skills. When Abdi Shayesteh arrived at King & Spalding as a New York corporate associate in 2007, he had a scary realization: Law school didn’t teach any of the tasks he was being asked to complete.

‘US Is Calling the Shots’: The Power Shift That’s Americanizing Freshfields

Once described as Anglo-German, the 280 year old firm is steadily transforming itself into a US firm, with far-reaching consequences for partners in its former power bases, sources say.

Law Firms Doing More ‘Tyre Kicking’ Before Hiring Lateral Partners

Recruiters who place laterals at Big Law firms said firms in many cases are more focused on Due Diligence before hiring, assessing books of business of the prospective partners and talking to their clients.

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