Weekly Update – 4th of December 2023


UK & Ireland

Amid Talent Battle for Energy Partners, Hogan Lovells Adds Clifford Chance Lawyer

James Doyle has been vocal about the importance of renewables and energy transition practices, arguing that they are “strategic priorities for the firm and many of our clients”.

Weil, Cooley and BCLP Latest Firms to Announce 2024 Partner Promotions

The majority of the promotions across the three firms were in the US, however five of Weil Gotshal’s promotions were in its London office.

Oliver Rule joins Enyo Law from Allen & Overy

Oliver Rule specialises in complex financial litigation and is very excited to be joining Enyo Law stating that they are one of the “best disputes firms in London”.

Travers Smith announces new Head of Corporate M&A and ECM

As Andrew Gillen, the previous head, starts his new role as senior partner, Adrian will step up and take over the reigns of the corporate practice.

Global law firm Eversheds Sutherland has appointed Lisa Boyd as partner in its procurement team in Belfast.

Ms Boyd carries with her 17 years of assorted experience in multiple areas of procurement. This move is projected to greatly enhance the success of the firm’s full-service strategy in Northern Ireland.

Addleshaw Goddard recruits Cormac Doyle to launch Irish tax practice

After spending 20 years working accountancy and specialising in Tax, Cormac is heading to Addleshaw’s.

Byrne Wallace expands tax team with appointment of Nadia de Wet

Nadia has accumulated over 10 years of experience working within a big 4 practice and her appointment as tax director and head of compliance has been accepted with open arms by many including the firms head of tax Anthony Smyth.


Allen & Overy Swoops on Bird & Bird for IP Partner Hire

Following the launch of the Unified Patent Court earlier this year, Anna Wolters-Höhne will guide clients on proceedings. This is a great addition to their IP practice.

Covington Expands Global Public Policy Team with Elżbieta Bieńkowska

Elżbieta will bring over a wealth of key and diverse knowledge and expertise. She has had various roles such as former European Commissioner and Deputy Prime Minister of Poland. She will join Covington’s Public Policy Practice in Brussels.

Gowling WLG grows in Germany with quartet of senior hires

In an increased effort to build its presence in Germany, Gowling WLG have hired four senior Lawyers from under their rivals’ noses. These rivals include global law firms, Norton Rose Fulbright and DLA Piper.


Clyde & Co’s Australian Managing Partner Departs for Kennedys

After only holding the role for a year Lucinda Lyons is taking her expertise to Kennedys.

Dentons Takes TMT Partner from Australia’s Allens

This addition marks an interesting milestone for the Global 200 Top 10 firm in Australia. Michael Park is their sixth lateral move this year.

Linklaters’ China Joint Operation Firm MP Joins Haiwen & Partners’ Corporate Bench

This marks a continued shift in Haiwen’s hiring tendencies. They have been deepening their repertoire of senior lawyers with international backgrounds.

Baker McKenzie Korea Joint Venture Firm Lands Lee & Ko’s Disputes Head in Seoul

This hire is the first one that has been completed by Baker McKenzie & KL Partners’ Joint Venture Law Firm, which was officially launched in October this year.

Ashurst Eyes Top spot among Australia ‘Big Six’ elite Law firms

Ashurst’s Head of Australia Lea Constantine states that Ashurst want to position themselves to be the leading law firm in Australia in the upcoming years. She has plans of bolstering key areas such as their “corporate M&A, digital economy, disputes and investigations, energy transition, funds, risk consulting and New Law division, Ashurst Advance”.

The Americas

People in the News—Nov. 27, 2023—Ballard Spahr, Reed Smith

Emilia McKee has been well known as a litigation partner for Ballard Spahr, however she now faces a new role as Pennsylvania Gov. Josh Shapiro has appointed her to the Pennsylvania State Ethics Commission.

Dechert Litigator Joins Klehr Harrison, Seeking ‘Front-Facing’ Role

Jonathan Krause, the firm’s litigation chair, has praised the move as a step in the right direction stating that “We’ve had a really strong track record of success in bringing on Big Law attorneys who found our platform attractive”.

College Sports Law Specialist Moves to Barnes & Thornburg in Atlanta

Since 2019 Barnes & Thornburg’s Atlanta office has experienced incredible growth having more than doubled its ranks in the last four years, Daniel A. Cohen who has specialized in College Sports Law is the latest to join their ranks.

People in the News—Nov. 29, 2023—Pietragallo Gordon, Eckert Seamans

Law firm Pietragallo Gordon Alfano Bosick & Raspanti has announced that they will be adding two new associates to their office in Pittsburgh.

Katten Taps Chicago Office Head as Incoming Chair

The longtime managing partner of Katten’s Chicago office and co-chair of the litigation department Gil Soffer will succeed Roger Furey as chairman, this action will come into effect on July 1, 2024.

‘Deeply Honored and Proud to Serve’ Columbia Law Dean on Plans to Step Down

In a letter to the Columbia Law community, Dean Gillian Lester said that “It has been a joy to usher nine classes of graduates across the stage (albeit some virtually) who have gone on to become brilliant, skilled, empathic legal professionals equipped with the skills and tools to become the next generation of leaders in our society”, she says this looking back on her illustrious career.

On The Move: Nelson Mullins Adds Immigration Partner; Kilpatrick Gains Stroock Partner

John Jennings, a partner at Nelson Mullings is excited about the moves, stating that Nelson Mullins has a “large number of national clients” who are in need of assistance with navigating the “highly complex and evolving” legal restrictions on hiring foreign workers.

Polsinelli Adds Real Estate Finance Shareholder in Dallas

Tara Darling joined Polsinelli as a shareholder in the real estate and financial services department she was previously managing partner of the Cassin & Cassin Dallas office. Her move is a key development as the firm continues to extend its recent hiring efforts in the real estate sector.

Loeb & Loeb Elects Corporate Practice Leaders as New Firm Co-Chairs

After Kenneth Florin steps down in February, Mitchell Nussbaum and Arash Khalili will be taking over the position as co-chairs at the firm.

Willkie hires litigation counsel from Google to bolster West Coast investigations practice

Michael Rome was formerly a litigation counsel and will join as partner in the firm’s litigation department. He will be spreading his time across the firms LA and San Francisco offices.

FisherBroyles Litigation and Corporate Leaders Depart, Presaging Mass Exodus From Am Law 200’s First Distributed Firm

The former global managing partners of the firm’s litigation and global corporate practices Joel Ferdinand and Michael Pierson have resigned to start their own private venture, there is a possibility that they could be followed by almost 140 of their former colleagues.


Promotions & Appointments:

The Hartford Opts for Continuity as Longtime GC Steps Aside

Don Hunt is stepping up and taking the legal reigns over the 213-year-old company.

Cynthia Nance Named Permanent Dean of U of A Law

U of A Law Executive Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs Terry Martin stated that “her experience within the School of Law and the university, as well as her expertise in legal education and respect of the bench and bar, is unmatched,”. These kind words come as we look back on her 30-year long career at this institution.

Senate Confirms Former Prosecutor Jamel Semper as New Jersey’s Next Federal Judge

Jamel Semper who has been serving New Jersey in public service for the last fifteen years has been promoted to the federal bench. Senator Cory Booker stated, “I know he will be a fair and just jurist.”

Addleshaw Goddard Elects Managing Partner John Joyce’s Successor

Andre Johnston has been elected and this appointment will take effect on the 1st of May 2024. He has been the head of the firms practice in the Middle East and has ambitions of doubling Addleshaw Goddard in size by 2030.

Eckert Seamans Announces New Leadership in Phila., Boston, DC

Eckert Seamans Philadelphia branch is receiving new leadership as Marc stein is succeeded by Amy Snyder and Frank Emmerich.

Mergers & Alliances:

Buchalter Acquires Real Estate and Trusts Boutique

Los Angeles Based firm Buchalter has re-emphasized its commitment to making its mark in Sacramento with the acquisition of real estate and trusts boutique Trainor Fairbrook.

Greenberg Traurig Expands Health Care Practice With Brownstein Hyatt Team

After over six years at Brownstein, Erin Eiselein and Anna-Liisa Mullis are joining Greenberg Traurig as shareholders and Ishra Solieman is joining as counsel.

Office Openings & Closing:

Dechert’s Paris-Based International Arbitration Group to Break Away from Firm

The Paris office has recently shifted towards delivering, life science, tech, private assets and private capital practices, this has led to their arbitration team breaking away from the firm. As arbitration teams across the country continue to be cast aside from lucrative cases, this reaction is seemingly more likely to become the norm.

Baylor Law Launches Family Law Clinic for Pro Se Litigants

After collaborating with judges who manage most of McLennan County’s family court docket, professor Stephanie Tang has launched a new and exciting Family Law clinic.

A Cohen & Gresser Spinoff Opens in Paris to Focus on Litigation and White-Collar Defense

Henriot & Associés is the new firm in question, and they aim to stand out in an already saturated field that includes not only established specialty firms but also growing departments of Global 200 players.

Cozen Announces New Global M&A Group, Looks to Carve Out Space in Cross-Border Deals

The new practice is a sign of the firm’s recent growth in Canada.

Boies Schiller Flexner Opens in Rome

This is the firms second office in Continental Europe to have opened. The operation will be spearheaded by two partners and three associates.


Cravath Exceeds Milbank Salary Scale for Senior Associates

This has inspired Paul Hastings and McDermott to act claiming that they will match the Cravath scale.

Paul Weiss, Dechert, Hogan, Proskauer and Baker McKenzie Match Cravath Salary Scale

Leading on from the above article this article discusses how law firms are aiming to match Cravaths scale. Paul Weiss and Baker McKenzie have claimed that they will pay “discretionary” or “premium” bonuses for high performers.

Kirkland, Quinn, Davis Polk, Wachtell and Sidley Line Up to Match Cravath Salary Scale

Many firms are pushing to match the Cravath Salary scale, Quinn Emanuel is not only joining this influx but are also projecting themselves to increase profits by more than 20% this year.

Big Law Firms Offering ‘Mixed Bag’ of Rate, Comp Structures in Emerging Markets, Including Miami

One law firm leader has been reported as saying “Our real value proposition is we provide coastal expertise at Midwestern rates,”.

Even as Billing Rates Soared, Atlanta Law Firms See Slowdown in Revenue Growth

According to a survey completed by Wells Fargo, this year law firms in Atlanta have experienced an increase in billing rates of an average of 9.5% in the 9 months building up until October, this is 1.6% higher than the growth of the wider industry.

Bankruptcy Filings Ticked Upward This Year, and Lawyers Are Expecting a Busy 2024

Joe Pack, the founding partner of Pack Law spoke on this topic of bankruptcy and the busy times the industry will face in the upcoming year. He said, “The trend in restructuring is that the lawyers are getting much more creative in what options to use to actually restructure businesses, more so than they ever have”.

Technology & Innovation:

Gen AI May Not Replace Legal Professionals, But It Will Force Them to Adapt

Lawyers are looking to history to find precedents set by technological advancements of the past, hoping that it will clarify some of the uncertainties surrounding the impact that AI will have on the legal profession.

Generative AI Boosts Speed for All Legal Work, Quality for Some, Study Finds

Professors at the University of Southern California and University of Minnesota have dubbed their research as the “premier form of randomized controlled trial studying the effects of large language models on legal analysis”.

Cybersecurity Spend Among UK Top 10 Jumps 21% as Threats Become Priority

After researching and reporting on cybersecurity, experts at PWC are arguing that law firms should incorporate an element of “human cyber risk” into their cyber strategies.

Who’s Still Pushing for AI Disclosures in Legal?

Demands for disclosure of AI use have greatly increased in recent years as the use of AI in legal and financial services have increased, some think that this could set up potential headaches for the legal industry.

With Gen AI, Is There a Machine ‘Unlearning’ Alternative That Is GDPR-Compliant?

This question comes as a response to the reality that GDPR has a “right to be forgotten”, but large language models trained on publicly available personal data do not have the option nor the ability to “forget”.

Legal Tech Rundown: Clearlaw and Tonkean Partnership, Linklaters’ Upgraded Gen AI Chatbot, and More

This is a general update on the legal tech market over the past few weeks, covering topics like new partnerships and product launches.

Diversity & Inclusion:

Dominican Judge Breaks Ground in Manhattan Appellate Term

The judge in question is the first person of Dominican descent to preside over the appellate bench.

Congress Should Amend the Diversity Statute to Address LLCs

This article discusses the controversial topic of the diversity statute and claims that congress should take action to amend it to reflect public opinion.

ABA Names Longtime Law Dean as First Woman Managing Director of Legal Ed

The person in question is Rosato Perea who has been described by the dean of Seattle University School of Law as “a brilliant and highly effective leader, a broadly experienced legal scholar, teacher and law school administrator, and a history-maker and ceiling-shatterer as one of the longest serving law deans of colour, and women law deans, in history”.

Mansfield Certification Triples in 3 Years, Signaling That Legal Departments Are Still Keen on Diversity

Diversity Lab CEO Caren Ulrich Stacy stated that “There’s nothing that makes Mansfield unlawful and it’s really low risk because these are just generally good talent practices”.

An Am Law CDO’s Take: The Impact of the Middle East Crisis on DEI in U.S. Firms

This piece discusses how the heightening of the problems in the Middle East has led to lack of compassion and tolerance on US soil amongst certain law firms.

Market Commentary:

What’s Really Driving the Business of White-Collar Defense?

This article delves into the topic of the rising activity of big white collar defence groups, asking the question is enforcement rising or are clients simply being more proactive?

Big Law Is Slowly Infiltrating Emerging Markets: The Morning Minute

This article offers the market analysis on the impact of big law on new and emerging markets.

In-House Workload Grows as Staff, Outside Spending Shrink

A study that has been undertaken by Harbor Law has argued that “Despite the widely anticipated increase in demand for legal services, only 22% of in-house teams plan to increase their use of outside counsel to handle the overflow”.

Is Singapore the Answer to US Law Firms’ Woes in Asia?

Singapore is widely seen as the gateway to practices in Southeast Asia. But is it the answer to US Law firms’ woes?

The Four Core Pillars of Law Firm Year-End Financial Planning, Part I

Without the ongoing monitoring of financial performance, firm leaders are putting themselves in a position where they are forced to blindly gamble on the outcome that their firms will stay afloat in the upcoming year, regardless of the circumstances that might be placed in front of them.

The Pressure to Match Associate Pay Raises

This article discusses the current trends in salary raise amongst associates as at least 70 law firms, mainly across the Am Law 100, have increased to $215,000 or more.

Traditional Biz Dev Methods Are Fine, Just Not Enough

This article discusses business development strategy, in particular client and lawyer relationships. Many say there is a lack of personal interest and concern towards clients by lawyers.

Global Firms in Japan Rev Up Hiring to Fill Roles and Add Practices

This news comes as a new and exciting change following a year of limited and cautious hiring in Japan caused by warnings of economic recession last year.


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