Linklaters’ bittersweet symphony

As we report today, its Asia managing partner Zili Shao is leaving the firm for JPMorgan, just a few short months after he was tussling with litigator Marc Harvey for the top job in the region.

Leaving a top job six months into a top role would not normally fill your workmates with deep joy, particularly if that role was contested (see story).

However, the statement by Links’ boss Simon Davies today showed the firm was looking on the bright side. “We look forward to working closely with Zili as a client,” he said.

You bet he will be. As The Lawyer revealed last year, Linklaters got into all sorts of hot water after it sued Bear Stearns (now owned by JPMorgan) on behalf of Barclays (23 June 2008). Linklaters was dumped off the JPMorgan panel, despite high-level negotiations led by senior partner David Cheyne.

With Linklaters winning the mandate for JPMorgan on its £1bn Cazenove deal, the news is almost enough to put a shine on its 10 per cent drop in turnover at the half-year stage (see story).

Almost, but probably not quite.

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On TheLawyer.com today: Shadbolts may be surrendering independence to Clydes, but Bristows is still flying the flag for the niche firm; what the SEC probe means for BPP; and more inside information on LPOs.