I've been a senior writer on The Lawyer since May 2014, having joined the publication as City editor in 2007 and become news editor in 2008. I have an interest in the whole legal market, from in-house and the bar to City firms and ABS, but particular areas of focus have included private equity, pensions, diversity, Asia and Scotland. In my current role I am focusing on long-form features and research, leading on our standalone Africa Elite and Southeast Asia Elite market reports and contributing to our UK 200, Global Litigation Top 50, European 100 and Asia-Pacific 150.
Mere months before retiring, the GC of Pennon Group Ken Woodier tells The Lawyer about 18 years spent working for an acquisitive FTSE 250 company and why he prizes personal relationships over panels.
Collapses among big Scottish law firms had more to do with management failings and the partnership system than big bank-mania and ‘Scottishness’.
400 brands sold in 190 countries is one major global footprint to keep on the right legal track. The trick is to build strong teams, says Unilever legal chief Ritva Sotamaa, who launched a company-wide legal academy this year
During a career that’s included an unusually hard-working hiatus in post-handover Hong Kong, the FCA’s Sean Martin has remained keenly aware of the importance of sensible spending.
Scotland’s Harper Macleod has continued to bolster its practice by taking over a firm in Shetland a week after hiring five partners from failed firm McClure Naismith.
A further seven partners of defunct Scottish firm McClure Naismith have found new homes, with virtual law firm Excello Law taking one, Scotland’s Wright Johnston & Mackenzie (WJM) hiring two and London firm Marriott Harrison picking up four.
Cable & Wireless Communications (CWC) general counsel Belinda Bradberry is gearing up to install the company’s first-ever legal panel, with growth in the business changing the way its legal function operates.
A total of 42 partners and staff of failed firm McClure Naismith have been left with no jobs to go to after the firm’s administrators worked to secure positions for the majority of the firm.
Scottish firm McClure Naismith has appointed administrators after several years of tumbling revenues meant it was no longer able to service its debt or other liabilities.
Scotland’s Burness Paull has again rewarded its staff with a bonus after a strong set of financial results.
Scottish firm McClure Naismith is understood to be preparing to appoint administrators, and is thought to have approached firms such as Bond Dickinson, DWF and Irwin Mitchell, as well as a number of Scottish competitors, in the hope of securing a pre-packaged deal.
Competition specialist Mrs Justice Rose has been appointed to succeed Mr Justice Peter Smith on a £1bn British Airways (BA) dispute after the latter agreed to recuse himself.
The announcement of the Scottish government’s vastly expanded legal panel has been delayed by almost two months after firms were given time to appeal the body’s initial decisions.
Mr Justice Peter Smith has agreed to recuse himself from a £1bn air cargo price-fixing case after lead defendant British Airways claimed that he could be biased against the company.
Gateley tests the public water subscription
When Gateley became the UK’s first law firm to float it gained a lot of publicity. What is important now is how it makes the most of its plc opportunity.
Scottish firm Gillespie Macandrew has reported a slight rise in turnover for the 2014/15 financial year, with the figure nudging up from £9.6m to £9.8m.
Boodle Hatfield may have set a trend when it vacated its 300-year Mayfair seat, with firms – both in London and nationwide – being forced by soaring property prices to get creative with their real estate.
Edinburgh-headquartered Shepherd and Wedderburn saw a marked improvement in turnover in the 2014/15 financial year, with its pre-packed acquisition of Tods Murray helping it achieve a figure of £48m.
Bangkok-headquartered Tilleke & Gibbins has continued its march across Southeast Asia with the launch of an office in Cambodian capital Phnom Penh.
Overseeing an IPO is a logistical headache for most general counsel. It can also be the most exhilarating type of deal to work on. Four in-house lawyers reveal the secrets of going public
Exeter-headquartered Michelmores has given its backing to the launch of a London-based PRC firm that has been set up to cater solely for China-based clients.
Linklaters has supplanted magic circle rival Allen & Overy (A&O) as the international firm seen to have the most robust India practice, with the firm coming highly-recommended by clients and Indian firms.
The brothers behind dissolved Indian firm Amarchand & Mangaldas & Suresh A Shroff & Co have launched two separate firms less than a week after confirming the dissolution of the family business.
The Indonesian member of the ZICOlaw network has teamed up with Japanese firm Anderson Mori & Tomotsune (AMT) to offer advice to Japanese clients making inbound Indonesian investments.
Scottish firm Brodies has made up a record seven lawyers to its partnership at the same time as creating a managing associate position.
Baker & McKenzie has bolstered its fledgling Yangon office with the addition of the managing partner of Grant Thornton’s Myanmar offering.
Following a contested election that pitted ultimate victor John Cleland against property head Adrian Barlow and client operations head Richard Masters, Pinsent Masons’ new managing partner stepped into the role today.
Two more Fried Frank Hong Kong partners have found a home, with corporate specialists Douglas Freeman and Victor Chen set to join Paul Hastings.
Norton Rose Fulbright (NRF) has continued to bolster its Hong Kong operation with the addition of a disputes team from Fried Frank’s soon-to-close local office.
Bird & Bird has added a Berwin Leighton Paisner (BLP) corporate partner to its Singapore team with the aim of upping its expertise across the Southeast Asian region.
Australian firm Minter Ellison has taken on a Lavan Legal partner to head its Perth-based disputes practice with the expectation of growing its focus on Asian arbitration work.
Pensions – Don’t take pot luck subscription
April’s pensions reforms give UK pensioners wider choice but employers face greater responsibility over schemes. Firms must be ready with the right advice.
The head of Baker & McKenzie’s Asia Pacific practice is very clear on what it was that gave him the skills necessary to fulfil his current role: a spell in-house at telecoms company Optus (now Singtel Optus).
Scottish firm Gillespie Macandrew has revamped its management team to create the role of chief executive, with non-lawyer chief operating officer Chris West being first to fill the position.
Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer has continued to bolster its Asian practice by hiring from magic circle rival Linklaters, this time taking a Beijing banking and finance partner for its Hong Kong office.
Scotland-headquartered Maclay Murray & Spens has bolstered its Aberdeen oil and gas practice with the hire of Dana Petroleum general counsel Jill Reid.
Africa Elite executive summary: firm profiles subscription
Our essential guide to the top legal outfits south of the Sahara advising on private equity
This year’s Africa Elite reveals the domestic firms and international lawyers leading the continent’s rise. As this executive summary shows, private equity is a growing force
Malaysian firm Zicolaw has expanded its IP capabilities across the Southeast Asian region with the addition of a team in Thailand and additional personnel in Indonesia and Malaysia.
The head of Linklaters’ Asia-based US securities practice has quit the firm to join magic circle rival Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer.
Taylor Wessing’s Singapore member firm RHTLaw Taylor Wessing is preparing to list its professional services arm on the Singapore Stock Exchange’s secondary Catalist board, with a flotation expected in the first quarter of 2016.
Kennedys has added local law capability in Singapore by entering into a joint law venture (JLV) with local firm Legal Solutions.
Norton Rose Fulbright (NRF) has added K&L Gates partner David Johnson to its Hong Kong office, two years after he joined the US firm from Allen & Overy.
It’s been a difficult few years for Shepherd & Wedderburn, what with turnover stagnating and the ‘Scottish big four’ group it formed a nominal part of disintegrating when Dundas & Wilson and McGrigors were taken out by merger.
Ashurst has bolstered its Tokyo practice by moving two partners including its Asia head from Singapore to the Japanese capital.
DLA Piper has continued to rebuild its depleted Asia practice with the addition of a Hong Kong corporate partner from US firm Morrison & Foerster (MoFo).
Herbert Smith Freehills (HSF) reduced its debt position in its first full year as a merged firm, although it still ended the 2013/14 year with borrowings of £141m.
CMS Cameron McKenna paid £2.3m to Dundas & Wilson prior to taking the firm over, with the cash being used to cover the cost of a pre-deal restructuring.
PRC firm Dacheng has made its first significant hire since its tie-up with Dentons became public knowledge, taking on a team of six equity partners from fellow Chinese firm Haworth & Lexon.
The amount that Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer expects to pay to fund current partners’ pensions fell in the 2013/14 financial year, despite the firm’s total future commitment to retired partners continuing to hover around the £1bn mark.
When Indian firm Amarchand Mangaldas Suresh A Shroff & Co splits in two on 1 April this year it will bring an end to the history of one of India’s oldest and best-known law firms.
Wilson Sonsini loses Beijing head Li to Sidley subscription
The head of US technology firm Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati’s Beijing office has quit the firm to join Sidley Austin.
DLA Piper has begun to rebuild its depleted Asia practice with the hire of two partners and an of counsel, reuniting a group of former Jones Day colleagues in the process.
Luxembourg – on the IP offensive subscription
Intellectual property is the next weapon in Luxembourg’s armoury of business offerings – but first it must past the EC ‘state aid’ test
Scottish firm Burness Paull strengthened its cash position by over £2m in the first full year following the merger of Burness and Paull & Williamsons, with the figure rising from £3.6m to £5.8m.
The partner who manages Linklaters’ relationship with private equity house Carlyle Group in Asia has left the firm to take up partnership at White & Case.
Bird & Bird consolidated its debt into one single unsecured facility in November 2014 just as the balance on two sizeable loans was due for repayment.
PRC firm Dacheng is to merge with global firm Dentons in only the second tie-up between a Chinese and Anglo-Saxon firm in history.
Silicon Valley firm Fenwick & West has added a corporate partner to its Shanghai office, having opened in China’s largest city last year.
Norton Rose Fulbright continues to shuffle global energy team with Singapore relocation subscription
Norton Rose Fulbright (NRF) has sent the head of its Asia-Pacific energy team from Sydney to Singapore just as global practice head Simon Currie arrives in Sydney from London.
Penningtons more than doubled its debt in the year it took over cash-strapped Manches, with a number of its partners giving personal guarantees that the loans would be repaid.
Servicing debt and dealing with staff costs including historical pension liabilities continued to preoccupy firms in the 2013/14 financial year, LLP accounts filed with Companies House have revealed.
Shepherd & Wedderburn has bolstered its commercial litigation practice with the addition of two Crowell & Moring lawyers to its London office.
Reed Smith has hired a Stephenson Harwood partner to launch a Singapore corporate practice two years after opening a base in the city-state.
Kennedys has taken over a litigation boutique and hired a partner from McClure Naismith as part of a plan to rapidly grow a presence north of the border.
Allen & Overy, Bakers and Clifford Chance best placed for “fantastic opportunity” in ASEAN subscription
Baker & McKenzie, Allen & Overy (A&O) and Clifford Chance have the most developed networks across the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) countries and as such are best placed to take advantage of the ASEAN Economic Community (AEC), which launches later this year.
Global and local firms are poised to exploit the potential from ASEAN’s new single economic market in our first Elite report into the region’s legal sector
Allen & Overy (A&O) saw its total staff costs reduce by £15m in 2013/14 largely thanks to shifting a swathe of its support function from London to Belfast over the past few years.
Ropes & Gray has beefed up its Hong Kong office with the addition of a former Skadden Arps Slate Meagher & Flom partner who most recently was a member of DLA Piper’s partnership.
The last partner left in now-defunct Bingham McCutchen’s Hong Kong office after his colleagues jumped ship to Akin Gump has taken partnership at Mayer Brown JSM.
Indian firm J Sagar Associates (JSA) has expanded its domestic footprint with the addition of an office in Gujarati city Ahmedabad.
China’s Gaopeng takes on high-profile Microsoft hire subscription
PRC firm Gaopeng & Partners has bolstered its Beijing practice with the addition of Microsoft’s China general manager and assistant general counsel Ron Xie.
Australia’s Minter Ellison has bolstered its tax practice with the addition of three partners from rival firm Maddocks.
Allen & Overy (A&O), Norton Rose Fulbright, Pinsent Masons and Shepherd & Wedderburn have advised on the financing of a controversial road that will bypass the city of Aberdeen.
Withers has entered the Australian private client market with the launch of a strategic alliance in Melbourne and Sydney, just months after it opened in San Francisco.
Herbert Smith Freehills (HSF) has suffered another departure from its Asian practice, with Tokyo corporate and M&A head James Robinson defecting to Morrison & Foerster (MoFo).
Chinese red circle firm Zhong Lun has signed up to employment alliance L&E Global, marking the network’s first step into the Asian markets.
King & Wood Mallesons (KWM) has named two partners to succeed global managing partner Stuart Fuller as head of its Hong Kong practice after he decided to give up one part of his dual role.
Stephenson Harwood has signed an alliance deal with a Guangzhou firm that was set up after the UK firm closed its own base in the southern city three months ago.
Australian firm HWL Ebsworth is bulking up its Adelaide offering with the addition of six-partner insurance and litigation firm Lawson Smith Lawyers.
Australia’s HWL Ebsworth expands national footprint with two Northern Territory offices subscription
Australian firm HWL Ebsworth is forging ahead with its national expansion plan with the launch of two offices in Australia’s Northern Territory.
King & Wood Mallesons has revamped the management of its Australia corporate practice as Sydney-based M&A and tax head Tim Bednall prepares to transfer to London.
Beijing-headquartered IP firm Schmitt & Orlov is extending its reach in the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) region with the launch of an office in Laotian capital Vientiane.
Clyde & Co has lost the chief representative of its fledgling Beijing office to Stephenson Harwood in a boost to the latter’s energy and resources group.
Indian technology boutique TMT Law Practice has expanded its offering in the Chennai market by taking over local firm APR Associates.
Beijing firm Han Kun Law Offices has launched a base in Hong Kong via an association with local firm Choy Cheung & Co.
Aberdeen firm Aberdein Considine has expanded into Stirling with the acquisition of two-partner firm Muirhead Buchanan.
The head of Norton Rose Fulbright’s global energy practice is relocating from London to Sydney to focus on transactions in the Asia Pacific region.
Blackstone Chambers silk Michael Fordham QC has failed to gain temporary admission to Singapore’s courts after a judge ruled he did not meet the criteria required for the ad hoc admission of foreign counsel.
UK lawyer Lucy Wayne has relaunched a practice in Myanmar 12 years after international sanctions placed on the country forced her to pull out.
A business associated with Malaysian law firm network Zicolaw is seeking to raise $14.4m on the Singapore Stock Exchange with the aim of funding expansion across the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) region.
Baker & McKenzie has bolstered its Melbourne office with the addition of a partner from Australian firm Corrs Chambers Westgarth.
Bird & Bird to merge with Aussie ally Truman Hoyle subscription
Bird & Bird is to merge with its Australian alliance partner Truman Hoyle a year and a half after signing a co-operation agreement with the TMT firm.
The head of Clifford Chance’s Perth office is set to leave the firm for investment house Gresham Partners three and a half years after the firm that bore his name joined the magic circle giant.
Hogan Lovells has added the first partner to its Vietnam practice with the addition of an Allen & Overy (A&O) lawyer in Ho Chi Minh City.
Baker & McKenzie names new head of Asian offices subscription
Baker & McKenzie has named Hong Kong-based Milton Cheng as managing partner of its Hong Kong, China, Korea and Vietnam offices.
Pinsent Masons has named corporate partner Barry McCaig as head of its Glasgow office following a management reshuffle that was prompted by the election of Richard Foley to senior partner.
Switzerland: Peaked performance? subscription
An innovative labour market and sophisticated business sector make Switzerland inviting to investors, but developments could diminish its appeal
Tods Murray: Death by real estate subscription
After seven years of plummeting turnover, Tods Murray finally accepted the inevitable and called in the administrators last Friday night.
US litigation firm Kobre & Kim has launched a Hong Kong law practice with the hire of a partner from local firm Gall.
Scotland’s fourteenth largest firm by turnover, Tods Murray, has been bought out of pre-packed administration by Shepherd & Wedderburn after calling in FRP Advisory partners Thomas MacLennan and Iain Fraser to handle its administration.
Malaysia’s Zicolaw has continued its march across the countries in the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean) with the launch of a second office in Vietnam.
Turkey - Upgrade nation subscription
The rise of the Turkish aviation sector reflects a wider trend of prosperity
In-house interview: Emma Thomas, HomeServe subscription
Emma Thomas’s crisis management skills, honed at Britvic and Woolworths, gave her the expertise to put HomeServe’s house in order after a mis-selling scandal
For incoming Pinsent Masons senior partner Richard Foley there is a clear distinction between the role he will assume on 1 October and the one that whoever replaces managing partner David Ryan by next year will fulfil.
A leading Scottish firm with offices north and south of the border has shifted its cash out of Scottish banks for fear that a vote in favour of independence could lead to a run on them.
Herbert Smith Freehills (HSF) has named litigation partner Alastair Henderson as its new South East Asia head, with incumbent Michael Walter due to retire from the firm next year.
Scottish independence: Nervous System subscription
Scotland is in the grip of referendum fever. From the “proud to be Scottish, delighted to be united” sloganeering of the ‘Naws’, to the schismatic buttonholing of the ‘Ayes’, there’s no escaping the fact that something big is about to happen in Scottish politics.
Scotland’s firms hold their nerve subscription
With just over a week to go until Scotland decides whether to maintain a 300-year-old union or branch out on its own again, its law firms are feeling the effects of referendum fever. And not necessarily in a good way.
South Korea: Losing its shine subscription
Despite being a top recipient of foreign direct investment, South Korea’s business activity potential is not being realised. Do policymakers have the remedy?
Elite Indian firm Amarchand & Mangaldas has expanded its office network with the launch of a base in Gurgaon.
A yearning for pioneering digital work across international boundaries means Ian Haslegrave has found his niche at electronics company Electrocomponents
Minter Ellison’s newly installed chief executive Tony Harrington is clear on how the Australian firm can succeed: it has to turn words into action. And he means three words in particular.
Scotland-headquartered Shepherd & Wedderburn has added the former head of DLA Piper’s Scottish construction and engineering group to its own construction and projects practice.
Former King & Wood Mallesons (KWM) partners Tony O’Malley and Tim Blue, who set up a Sydney boutique earlier this year, have joined accounting giant PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) to launch an Australian legal services arm.
Singapore firm WongPartnership has extended its South-East Asia footprint by sealing a strategic alliance with Indonesian firm Makes & Partners.
King & Wood Mallesons (KWM) and Baker & McKenzie have topped a survey of Asia-Pacific general counsel aimed at identifying the firms with the strongest brands in the region.
San Francisco firm Pillsbury has launched a Beijing base after taking a two-partner team from US rival Paul Hastings.
Scotland’s Harper Macleod is to take over Glasgow-based private client boutique Bird Semple, creating a £23m firm in the process.
Scotland’s Burness Paull has bolstered its corporate finance practice with the addition of MacRoberts partner Robert Burns.
A slight rise in business confidence and commercial activity in Australia looks set to thaw out pay freezes and potentially help stem the flow of partner exits that were the mark of the 2013/14 financial year.
Linklaters, its Asia alliance partner Allens and US firm Squire Sanders have all advised on a deal that will see nationwide fixed and mobile telephone networks developed across Myanmar.
International network TAGLaw has expanded its Asia footprint with the addition of Indonesian firm Budidjaja & Associates.
In-house interview: Karen Kerrigan, Seedrs subscription
When she found herself off work with back problems Simmons & Simmons associate Karen Kerrigan hatched a plan: she would leave the law and set up a community forum for people experiencing the same kind of pain as her.
Mayer Brown has poached a five-person team from Bryan Cave in Singapore to set up an Asia-focused consulting arm in the city-state.
Blackstone Chambers silk Michael Fordham QC has applied for temporary admission to Singapore’s courts to launch a judicial review relating to alleged overbilling by local firm WongPartnership.
Service is the name of the game for Steven Webb, GC at IT distributor Premier Farnell
FTSE 250 outsourcer Serco has hired BT Global general counsel David Eveleigh as its legal chief in the wake of accusations that it overcharged the Government for electronic tagging.
Three more partners quit DLA Piper’s Asia practice subscription
DLA Piper has suffered three more partner departures in Asia Pacific, two in Hong Kong and one who recently transferred from Hong Kong to Singapore.
A former Herbert Smith Freehills (HSF) partner has joined the line-up of partners that have launched a Brisbane office for Baker & McKenzie.
Romania – In a good place subscription
Geographically and economically, Romania is well-placed to attract foreign investment – so long as imminent elections don’t scupper its stability
Scottish-headquartered firm Maclay Murray & Spens saw turnover hit £43.3m in the 2013/14 financial year, a rise of 7 per cent on the previous year.
Malaysia’s Zicolaw expands into Laos subscription
Malaysia’s largest law firm Zicolaw has continued its regional expansion by adding a firm in Laotian capital Vientiane to its network.
Squire Patton Boggs has completed its first bolt-on since the merger of Squire Sanders and Patton Boggs, taking on three-partner Tokyo firm Mamiya Law Offices.
Mills & Reeve and Veale Wasbrough Vizards (VWV) are to give employment advice to the British Library after winning a mini-tender run by the London Universities Purchasing Consortium (LUPC).
Reed Smith turns to Pinsents for latest finance hire subscription
Reed Smith has continued to add to its finance practice with the hire of Pinsent Masons partner Matthew Heaton.
Boutique firms CM Murray, Hierons and Maurice Turnor Gardner have joined forces with chartered accountants Buzzacott to go to market as a one-stop-shop for professional practices.
Herbert Smith Freehills (HSF) turned over £800m in its first full year as a merged firm, with a net profit of £232m giving it a margin of 29 per cent for 2013/14.
India: Modi operandi subscription
Political chaos has deterred foreign investors, but lawyers hope new prime minister Narendra Modi can create a more business-friendly environment
In-house interview: Yoo group GC, Geraldine Mirabile subscription
When creative maestro Philippe Starck’s interior design vehicle Yoo invited Geraldine Mirabile to be group GC, she wondered whether she would be cool enough. No problem, as it turned out
Thorntons: Life in Scotland is sweet subscription
Dundee-headquartered Thorntons is on a mission to become the premier firm in the east of Scotland and has just sealed a double merger in Fife to help it on its way.
Nigeria: Crowned glory subscription
A rebasing has elevated Nigeria as the top African economy and brought to light new business potential
The accountants are coming... subscription
The big auditors are targeting the legal sector again, and this time the mid-market had better be prepared
Deloitte prepares to take on the UK legal market subscription
Deloitte is to become the last of the Big Four audit firms to enter the UK legal market after appointing a new chief of Deloitte Legal to draw up an action plan.
South Africa: Down and clout subscription
South Africa’s status as the biggest and most developed legal market in the continent means it is still the destination of choice for foreign tie-ups
West Africa: West win subscription
Dominated by the energy and natural resources sector, West African firms are being courted by the world’s top players. But the locals are keeping their options open with loose networks of referral firms
Pinsent Masons has made up 14 partners in its second promotions round since it took over Scottish firm McGrigors on 1 May last year.
Nabarro has promoted eight lawyers to its partnership, six based in London and two in Sheffield.
Scotland feature: Saltire in the wounds subscription
While Scottish banks prospered law firms lived like lairds, moving into modern, high-end premises. But then came the crash
The Lawyer unveils digital makeover subscription
The Lawyer is today launching a dramatically enhanced new website to showcase more of its market-leading content than ever before.
Glasgow 2014 head of legal: Games theory subscription
Shonagh MacVicar, head of legal at Glasgow 2014, is adamant the Commonwealth Games will emulate the glories of London 2012
Midlands firm Knights Solicitors has been granted SRA approval for its capital injection from Dragons’ Den star James Caan.
Former Clyde & Co chief operating officer David Jabbari has joined national firm Pannone as a partner with specific responsibility for building the firm’s UK-wide referral network Connect2Law.
Women drivers needed subscription
Ever wondered why women are so under-represented in the upper ranks of law firms when so many continue to enter the profession at the junior level?
View from the top subscription
Although half of the Scottish top 20 firms saw revenues decrease in 2011-12, some have benefited from tough decisions made earlier in the recession
Branding a sweet spot for law firms, research finds subscription
According to research into branding which has compared favourite chocolates with well-known law firms, Berwin Leighton Paisner was compared by a focus panel to Hotel Chocolat because of its high quality, creative image.
Scotland: big four into two subscription
Office launches and mergers as Scottish firms battle a flat market
Salmond fishing subscription
There’s nothing like an Olympic Games for stirring up some nationalistic fervour, and the scenes of jubilation that have accompanied each Team GB win certainly paint a picture of a nation united – even if we should by rights be cheering on Team UK.
Maclays turns to Deloitte as it eyes City growth subscription
Scotland-headquartered firm Maclay Murray & Spens has called on Deloitte to carry out a strategic review of its operations as it weighs up its options for the future.
Interview with James Caan: Capitalist gains subscription
Dragons’ Den star James Caan plans to stir up major change in the legal world. How? By sticking to proper business principles
Stars in the darkness subscription
These are curious days of light and shade.
Ashurst has posted a 6 per cent rise in revenue for the 2011-12 financial year, with the figure coming in at £322m.
Speak up, ladies subscription
Is it surprising that Alison Eddy, Irwin Mitchell’s highly rated clinical negligence head and newly anointed London managing partner, is the first woman to hold a regional managing partner role at the firm? Probably not.
Clifford Chance has made up 27 lawyers to its partnership, up from 23 last year and four ahead of its nearest magic circle rival.
Lawrence Graham welcomes four lawyers to partnership subscription
Lawrence Graham (LG) is making up four new partners in its 2012 promotions round, double the number that made the grade last year.
Simmons to open low-cost Bristol base subscription
Simmons & Simmons is to open an office in Bristol in a bid to slash its fee rates.
Eversheds has made up 22 lawyers to its partnership, the same number as made the grade last year.
After a recent spate of high-profile cases, Spurs director of football administration and barrister Darren Eales is aiming to keep future disputes out of court
Dundas & Wilson managing partner Donald Shaw has stood down from the role with immediate effect.
Chinese checkers subscription
During an autumn lunch with a magic circle managing partner I was party to a bit of a confession: aside from King & Wood, his knowledge of Chinese firms was seriously lacking.
Stuck in the middle subscription
The big firms are getting aggressive, the small firms are consolidating. Where does that leave the mid-market?
Ancestry.co.uk vice-president of legal: Folk law subscription
As vice-president of legal at Ancestry.co.uk Ruth Daniels has to keep her eye on privacy and digitisation issues while avoiding international incidents
Feature: Herbies’ growing pains subscription
Herbert Smith’s conservatism stops here, with the firm embracing Allen Hanen’s strategy to catch up to the magic circle on both profitability and international spread
Pension Protection Fund director of legal services David Taylor is braced for a slump-fuelled boom in work for his organisation
The European alliance between Herbert Smith, Germany’s Gleiss Lutz and Benelux firm Stibbe will officially come to an end on 31 December.
The past year may not have been marked by a constant flow of deal activity, but there were still a number of prized mandates to be had.
Herbert Smith is to de-equitise around 15 partners, which represents 10 per cent of its equity partnership, as it seeks to attain magic circle-level profitability in the wake of its Project Blue Sky strategic review.
Mergers on the Orient express subscription
Clifford Chance must be kicking itself. Exactly three years ago we revealed that the magic circle firm had, for the second time, pulled the plug on merger talks with Australia’s Mallesons Stephen Jaques.
Linklaters and Skadden Arps Slate Meagher & Flom have taken lead roles on Russian steelmaker Evraz’s London listing.
Angel clocks on at DLA after winning partner backing subscription
Former Linklaters managing partner Tony Angel has today started work at DLA Piper after his hire won the backing of the firm’s partnership.
As easy as ABS subscription
As George Papandreou sent the eurozone into a frenzy last week, the news closer to home was hardly less bleak.
Allen & Overy (A&O) is holding exploratory conversations with Linklaters’ Singapore joint venture partner as it looks to expand its reach in Asia and Australasia.
Angel ain’t dusty subscription
Not so long ago a certain law firm chief balked when comparisons were drawn between his firm and DLA Piper.
Merger talks between Edinburgh-headquartered Dundas & Wilson and London firm Bircham Dyson Bell have collapsed after partners at the respective firms gave a lukewarm reaction to the proposed deal.
PPF to pilot panel-sharing scheme with 12 regulators subscription
Cost-cutting measures see PPF’s legal roster touted to Government watchdogs for same fees
Scotland-headquartered firm McGrigors has bolstered its team by making six promotions across its network and adding a Jones Day senior associate to its City partnership.
Scottish firm Brodies has opened its first office on foreign soil with the establishment of a base in Brussels.
Thistle down subscription
Apart from four standout performances, a tough year for Scottish firms was characterised by a static market.
Porter Dodson subscription
Dorset and Somerset firm Porter Dodson effected two mergers in the last financial year, but did not manage to increase its revenue from the £7.6m it generated in 2009-10.
FBC Manby Bowdler subscription
It is three years since West Midlands firms FBC Solicitors and Manby Steward Bowdler joined forces and a post-merger restructuring is finally starting to pay off.
London firm Bindmans has been much in the news this year, winning a number of instructions relating to the News of the World (NoW) phone-hacking scandal and having its contact details passed out to London rioters.
Focus: London riots - Riot angles subscription
City law firms were left untouched by last month’s riots. But for lawyers in Tottenham and Croydon, it was quite a different story
BLP and SJ Berwin shine; Stephenson Harwood in new leap forward.
Scottish firm Burness is awarding all staff members a 10 per cent bonus after posting rises in turnover and profits for the 2010-11 financial year.
Herbies’ remedy subscription
Is Herbert Smith finally waking up to itself? Long known for its schizophrenic approach to international expansion, the firm appears to be taking decisive action.
McGrigors has advised a pair of housing companies on a joint venture with Sheffield County Council that will see 2,500 homes built across 19 sites.
Scotland’s mightiest firms face up to the downturn subscription
Scottish chiefs put brave face on stagnant figures as deals conveyor belt keeps rolling.
London Underground sues magic circle firm over Metronet advice
As many as 25 phone-hacking cases against News International are to be heard jointly at the beginning of 2012, with five high-profile individuals acting as lead claimants.
Met’s false economy subscription
You can just imagine the uproar if the Metropolitan Police had assembled a legal panel littered with the City’s elite.
Counsel services subscription
Axiom’s business model of sourcing contract lawyers to corporations has been a hit with clients, but it still needs to tweak its offering
Edinburgh-headquartered Anderson Strathern has taken over fellow Scottish property player Bell & Scott, giving it a sporting chance of re-entering the UK 100 this year.
Newcastle-headquartered firm Dickinson Dees is to launch an office in Leeds, transferring everyone in its York base in the process.
A&O launches in US capital with O'Melveny team subscription
Allen & Overy (A&O) is to expand its US footprint with the launch of an office in Washington DC, following magic circle rivals Clifford Chance and Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer into the American capital.
Scottish-headquartered Shepherd & Wedderburn has posted a 6 per cent rise in turnover for the 2010-11 financial year, representing a turnaround in fortunes on the previous year, when revenues fell by 11 per cent.
Harbottle family chief ups sticks to niche firm subscription
Harbottle & Lewis family head Tom Amlot has left the firm to join niche family boutique Alexiou Fisher Philipps (AFP) as its sixth partner.
Herd about the country solicitor… subscription
As a trainee at Lincoln’s Inn firm Wedlake Bell, Nigel Davis acquired a taste for open, green spaces. But there was one thing lacking from nearby Lincoln’s Inn Fields and Gray’s Inn Gardens - sheep.
The Indonesian associated firm of Australia’s Blake Dawson has expanded with the addition of one partner and 13 associates.
Australian firm Allens Arthur Robinson (AAR) took a place opposite Clifford Chance on a deal that will see mining giant Rio Tinto join forces with Aluminum Corporation of China (Chinalco) to explore mainland China in search of mineral deposits.
Mills & Reeve has promoted three lawyers to partner, boosting its partnership headcount to 97.
Herbert Smith has added a Goodwin Procter partner to its Hong Kong team as a senior consultant quits the firm to join Clifford Chance.
Weil Gotshal & Manges has raided Linklaters’ City office for the hire of banking partner Stephen Lucas.
King & Spalding has opened a base in Moscow after hiring a team of lawyers from Hogan Lovells and White & Case.
Newcastle firm Ward Hadaway has added six to its partner ranks in this year’s promotions round.
Norton Rose promotes 15 to global partnership subscription
Norton Rose has made up 15 new partners, representing its highest level of promotions since 2008.
Nabarro makes up five partners in 2011 round subscription
Nabarro has promoted five associates to its partnership, the highest number it has made up in the last three years.
A senior moment subscription
Law firm bosses know a thing or two about internationalisation and, if recent manoeuvres are anything to go by, it looks like the quickest wits among them are doing their best to position their firms for the ongoing West-to-East power shift.
LG keeps promotions tight as two make partner subscription
LG has promoted two lawyers to partner, with the corporate and dispute resolution practices gaining one each.
Addleshaw Goddard, Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer and Hogan Lovells are the only law firms to feature on The Times’ Top 50 Employers for Women list.
Eversheds favours UK in 22-strong promotions round subscription
Eversheds has welcomed 22 lawyers to its partnership in this year’s promotions round, an increase of three on last year’s number.
McGrigors ups global reach with US alliance subscription
Edinburgh-headquartered McGrigors has taken a further step into the international market by signing a referral agreement with US firm Husch Blackwell.
Revised guidance on the Bribery Act, which will come into force on 1 July after being delayed due to widespread business concerns, has met with a mixed response from the legal sector.
McGrigors, Pinsents bag regeneration work in North subscription
McGrigors and Pinsent Masons have advised on a £265m deal that has seen Newcastle City Council partner with a consortium of developers to regenerate the Scotswood area of Newcastle upon Tyne.
McGrigors launches first overseas office in Qatar subscription
Edinburgh-headquartered McGrigors has opened a base in Qatar, marking its first expansion into international markets.
US firm Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman has become the latest to pick at what is left of the Howrey partnership, taking on a six-partner litigation team in the States.
SRA to cut 80 jobs in preparation for ABSs subscription
The Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) is slashing its staff headcount ahead of the introduction of alternative business structures (ABSs), cutting numbers from 640 to 560.
McGrigors hands second term to managing partner subscription
Edinburgh-headquartered firm McGrigors has handed managing partner Richard Masters a second term at the helm.
A class apart subscription
Herbert Smith’s management team believes elite international status is the firm’s destiny. And with rivals progressing their offerings, the time to prove it is fast approaching
Scottish firm Brodies has marked the first phase of its new three-year strategy with the addition of six partners and the launch of an office in Aberdeen.
Maclay Murray & Spens chief executive Magnus Swanson is standing down after three terms and will be replaced by the firm’s real estate chief.
Allen & Overy (A&O) has bulked up its Frankfurt office with the hire of the co-head of Hogan Lovells’ global employment practice.
BLP busts lockstep to pay top earner £1.6m subscription
Berwin Leighton Paisner’s (BLP) top-earning partner took home £1.6m during 2009-10, a profit share 60 per cent above that paid to partners on the top rung of the firm’s modified lockstep.
Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer has named Robert Ashworth as the successor to Asia regional managing partner Simon Marchant, who is returning to the firm’s London office.
LSC chief exec named in New Year's Honours list subscription
The chief executive and former commissioner of the Legal Services Commission (LSC) are among the representatives of the legal profession to be named in the Queen’s New Year’s Honours list.
UAE law firm Hadef & Partners has promoted four lawyers to its partnership, all in its Dubai office.
McGrigors won the mandate to sit across the deals table from Slaughter and May on the £607m sale of oil services company PSN to Aberdeen-based FTSE 250 company Wood Group.
Manchester firm Lewis Hymanson Small has issued a timely reminder to office workers to exercise caution over when choosing their Secret Santa presents.
Web heads: the rise of the machines subscription
The last year has been TheLawyer.com’s best ever, with figures from the Audit Bureau of Circulations showing that the site now has 235,425 unique users.
Ashurst loses another partner to Clifford Chance subscription
Ashurst corporate partner Steven Fox has quit the firm to take up partnership at Clifford Chance.
German silver subscription
Linklaters’ German partners must have rubbed their hands with glee when the firm broke its lockstep to effect the 2007 hire of Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer stars Ralph Wollburg and Achim Kirchfeld.
Wright Johnston subscription
For Scottish firm Wright Johnston & Mackenzie (WJM) clients are at the centre of everything it does - so much so that it has developed a strategy it dubs ’ClientCentric’.
Paul Weiss Rifkind Wharton & Garrison partner Ted Wells has sealed victory for Citigroup in a court action brought by the founder of private equity group Terra Firma.
Macfarlanes and Sacker & Partners have advised on a pensions deal that has seen record company EMI agree to pay almost £200m into its pension scheme.
While most leading Scottish firms view an Edinburgh office as a prerequisite for success, Dundee-headquartered Thorntons Solicitors has only had a presence in the capital since 2004.
McGrigors to cut 40 jobs in UK-wide redundancy round subscription
Edinburgh-headquartered McGrigors has launched a redundancy consultation with the aim of cutting 40 jobs across its UK network of offices.
CMS Cameron McKenna and Travers Smith have won roles on 3i’s secondary sale of NSL Services Group to ACC Capital Partners.
In restructuring its management team, Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer has brought its management system in line with those adopted by its magic circle peers, while at the same time ensuring there will be practically no change to the way the firm is run.
Hogan Lovells has landed a role advising Eurasian Natural Resources Corporation (ENRC), a client close to Herbert Smith, on the acquisition of a Brazilian minerals company.
Maclay partner takes up GC role at Wood Group subscription
Maclay Murray & Spens corporate partner Robbie Brown has left the firm to take up an in-house role at global energy business Wood Group.
Lawes wins Freshfields senior partner race subscription
Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer has elected former financial institutions co-head Will Lawes as its next senior partner, replacing incumbents Konstantin Mettenheimer and Guy Morton as the sole holder of the role.
McGrigors has done away with the dual senior partner role, naming erstwhile Scotland senior partner Kirk Murdoch as the sole holder of the post.
You pays your money… subscription
College of Law (CoL) chief executive Nigel Savage is intractable in his refusal to refund prepaid fees to LPC students who, by dint of securing a training contract, are obliged to complete the course at a rival institution.
Mcclure Naismith subscription
Scottish firm McClure Naismith’s heavy exposure to the transactional markets continued to prove problematic in the 2009-10 financial year, with turnover falling by 11 per cent, from £15.6m to £13.9m.
Niche City firm Starr & Partners has won a role on the administration of property group Connaught, advising building company Morgan Sindall on its acquisition of the group’s assets.
Former Clifford Chance partner Michael Dakin is returning to the firm after a one-year stint as chief legal officer at Dubai-based investment company Future Group.
Baker & McKenzie, Hammonds and Herbert Smith have worked on a pensions deal that has seen Alliance Boots offload the liabilities on the smaller of its two pension schemes to insurer Pensions Insurance Corporation (PIC).
Firm Profile: Harper Macleod subscription
When the financial crisis hit in 2008 Scottish firm Harper Macleod took swift action to prepare its business for the worst.
Clifford Chance, DLA Piper and Simmons & Simmons have missed out on spots on Jumeirah Group’s revamped legal panel after the hospitality company’s legal chief slashed the roster from 12 firms to five.
McGrigors has bolstered the Manchester team it hired from Hammonds earlier this year with the addition of seven lawyers at the same time as bulking up its Aberdeen and City practices.
Brodies wrests top four Scot spot from Shepherds subscription
The line-up of the so-called big four Scottish firms altered in the past financial year, with Brodies usurping Shepherd & Wedderburn in fourth place and McGrigors regaining the top spot after a four-year hiatus.
Pensions boutique Sacker & Partners posted a strong set of financials for the last reporting year, although the firm expects its profits for the current year to be hit by an impending move to new premises.
Birmingham set No5 names new chambers head subscription
No5 Chambers has named Paul Bleasdale QC as the set’s new head following the death earlier this month of Ralph Lewis QC.
Legal process outsourcer (LPO) Integreon is making a 26 per cent greater loss than anticipated in its Bristol operation, with firms’ reluctance to send work overseas understood to be impacting on its bottom line.
Earlier this year (22 March) The Lawyer published a report that suggested that domestic outsourcing could eclipse offshoring as a means of cutting legal costs, with law firms’ conservatism preventing them from sending any large-scale projects overseas.
Linklaters and Slaughter and May and have advised on an innovative deal that will see drinks company Diageo use maturing whisky to help plug its £862m pension deficit.
Scottish firm Brodies has posted marginal drops in turnover and average profit per equity partner (PEP) for the 2009-10 year while maintaining its profit margin at around 25 per cent.
Pensions are fun subscription
Pensions, it has to be said, could bore even the most committed of geeks.
RBS’s litigation chief Stephen Pearson is leaving the bank to take on the newly created general counsel position at Virgin Money.
Herbert Smith’s German alliance partner Gleiss Lutz has taken over Hamburg corporate boutique Rittstieg Rechtsanwälte to launch its sixth German office.
A Brick Court Chambers barrister has successfully appealed an earlier decision which found that a male-to-female transsexual should not receive a pension from the age of 60.
Eversheds and Linklaters have advised on a crucial pension recovery agreement between British Airways (BA) and its two final salary pension funds that should clear the way for the airline’s merger with Iberia.
Ashurst's revenues fall 3 per cent as PEP nudges up subscription
Ashurst has reported a turnover drop of just under 3 per cent for the 2009-10 financial year, with the total falling from £301m in 2008-09 to £293m.
The London office of Hogan Lovells has suffered its first high-level departure since the 1 May merger of Hogan & Hartson and Lovells, with partner Garry Pegg set to join US firm King & Spalding.
Scottish firm Harper Macleod saw revenues rise 6.5 per cent in the last financial year, up from £14.1m in 2008-09 to £15m.
Bakers gives Senior third term as London head subscription
Baker & McKenzie London managing partner Gary Senior has been reelected for a third term at the helm.
Scottish firm Brodies has boosted its partnership with the promotion of three lawyers, while also reelecting its managing partner and chairman for further terms.
The newly merged Hogan Lovells and Slaughter and May could both win the greatest number of gongs at this year’s Lawyer Awards, having been jointly shortlisted in the most categories.
The head of Lovells’ Beijing office has left the firm on the eve of its merger with Hogan & Hartson to join China’s AllBright Law Offices.
Channel 4 turns to Travers for HD advice subscription
Travers Smith has advised new client Channel 4 on a deal that will see it broadcast Channel 4 HD on Freeview.
Eversheds handed £450m Qatar skyscraper project subscription
Eversheds has advised Qatar General Insurance and Reinsurance Company (QGIRC) on a QAR2.5bn (£450m) project to construct four skyscrapers in Qatar.
Scottish law agents undone over ABSs subscription
The Scottish Law Agents Society (SLAS) has arguably paved the way for alternative business structures (ABSs) to be introduced north of the border despite orchestrating a vote to oppose them.
Scottish solicitors have voted against the introduction of alternative business structures (ABSs) despite the profession giving them their backing two years ago and again in a referendum earlier this month.
Two former HBJ Gateley Wareing partners have been found not guilty of trying to extort money for the safe return of a stolen Leonardo da Vinci masterpiece.
The incoming chairman of the Institute of Barristers’ Clerks (IBC) has put dealing with alternative business structures (ABSs) at the top of the agenda as chambers grapple with ways of adapting to the new structures.
Kobre & Kim’s QC hire bestows English nous subscription
Trial lawyers firm Kobre & Kim has hired Serle Court silk James Corbett QC for its nascent City office.
The Lawyer’s party piece subscription
Politicians are a disparate bunch. But if there’s one thing they’ve got in common it’s their love of a long-winded debate.
Lovells promotes 21 ahead of Hogan merger subscription
Lovells has promoted 21 lawyers to its partnership in its largest promotions round since 2007.
I'm a celebrity... subscription
There’s something about a good libel case that makes all other litigation look, well, just a little bit boring.
Scottish referendum gives narrow backing to ABSs subscription
Members of the Law Society of Scotland (LSS) have voted narrowly in favour of alternative business structures (ABSs) being introduced in Scotland.
Lewis Silkin promotes five to partnership subscription
Lewis Silkin has expanded its partnership by five in the latest promotions round.
Lovells US managing partner Marc Gottridge has vowed to continue building the firm’s New York presence following its May merger with Hogan & Hartson, despite the UK firm closing its Chicago base last week (TheLawyer.com, 30 March).
Scottish big four to defect to England over ABS row subscription
Top firms’ ultimatum escalates regulatory crisis north of the border
The Scottish showdown subscription
It’s all kicking off north of the border. Just as the Scottish government was getting tantalisingly close to enacting an amended Legal Services Bill, a massive spanner has been rammed in the works, with the Scottish Legal Agents Society (SLAS) demanding that the Law Society of Scotland (LSS) drop its support of the bill.
Lovells to shut Chicago after Hogan merger goes live subscription
Lovells is to close its seven-partner Chicago office after it underperformed for a number of years.
Jack Straw moots end to UK libel tourism subscription
The eradication of libel tourism will be a key concern for the next UK parliament, with Justice Secretary Jack Straw today announcing a range of libel reforms.
Dyson LJ named as final Supreme Court justice subscription
Appeal Court judge Lord Justice Dyson has been named as the final justice of the Supreme Court, ending months of speculation over who would fill the role.
Lovells’ junior partners face Hogan-style pay subscription
Lovells is revolutionising the way it pays salaried partners ahead of its merger with Hogan & Hartson, abolishing a profit-linked portion in favour of a performance-related bonus to mimic the US firm’s model.
Advisers bet on hedging as trustees, employers go all-out to cut risk. By Margaret Taylor
RBS posits Mexican wave model to cut legal outlay subscription
New legal chief Campbell to reassess external legal work; favours pairing advisers over LPO
Barlow Lyde & Gilbert (BLG), LG and Norton Rose have won roles on the transfer of £3bn of pension liabilities from BMW’s pension scheme to Abbey Life Assurance Company.
Herbert Smith has bolstered its pensions practice with the hire of a partner from Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer.
RBS group general counsel and group secretary Miller McLean is retiring from the state-backed bank at the end of April with his deputy Chris Campbell set to step into the lead legal role.
Wild in the country subscription
Public sector poster boy Geoff Wild is at it again. Not content with generating a £1.42m profit for Kent County Council (KCC) in 2008-09 - which was used to fund frontline services and allowed the authority to set the lowest council tax rise in its history - the legal chief has teamed up with regional firm Geldards to punt out services to public bodies across England and Wales.
Clifford Chance and Slaughter and May have been handed the mandates to advise on New Look’s IPO in a deal that is expected to raise £650m for the company.
Hogan Lovells to choose between Murdoch and ITV subscription
Merged firm’s global executive kicks off high-stakes conflicts probe
Herbert Smith finance partner Malcolm Hitching has beaten off competition from partner Ewen Fergusson to take on management of the firm’s global banking practice.
Candover GC takes on wider COO role subscription
Candover Partners general counsel Philip Price’s role has been expanded to include the remit of chief operating officer.
Discrimination blames subscription
Eversheds has come in for some serious stick this week, with readers of TheLawyer.com venting their collective spleen after we reported that the firm cleared one of its partners following an investigation into potential discrimination
Allen & Overy (A&O) global co-head of corporate Richard Cranfield has stepped into the role of chairman of the practice, with London corporate chief Andrew Ballheimer taking his place in the firmwide role.
Clifford Chance and Slaughters lead on New Look IPO subscription
Clifford Chance and Slaughter and May have been handed the mandates to advise on New Look’s IPO in a deal that is expected to raise £650m for the company.
Old Square Chambers silk John Hendy QC is back in court this morning trying to overturn changes to employment contracts introduced by British Airways (BA) last year.
Ropes raids Weil for restructuring hire subscription
Weil Gotshal & Manges restructuring partner Tony Horspool is leaving the firm to join Ropes & Gray less than two years after defecting from Cadwalader Wickersham & Taft.
Clifford Chance has lost out to Simpson Thacher & Bartlett on Kohlberg Kravis Roberts’ (KKR) £955m buyout of retailer Pets at Home, with partner Adam Signy giving M&A advice to the US private equity house.
MoFo bags HMRC, NPIA and Tata sourcing work subscription
Morrison & Foerster’s (MoFo) London global sourcing group has advised on a trio of deals, one apiece for clients HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC), the National Policing Improvements Agency (NPIA) and Tata Consultancy Services.
WorldSpreads brings home Bacon as counsel subscription
CMC Markets’ former group director of legal Dominic Bacon has joined spread-betting company WorldSpreads as general counsel and group head of compliance.
Herbert Smith will unveil new corporate and finance practice heads next months as the partnership gears up for a further round of elections.
Reed Smith spin-off Hill Hofstetter bags ex-chief subscription
Reed Smith’s former UK head Tim Foster has quit for Birmingham-based Hill Hofstetter, which was spun out of Reed Smith at the end of 2008.
We can work it out subscription
When is a litigation not a litigation? When the opposing sides agree to work together to find a resolution to the matter in hand.
When 13 Old Square Chambers clerk Warren Lee celebrated 50 years at Lincoln’s Inn last year, Lord Justice Munby, who Lee clerked for when both were at 1 New Square, hailed the occasion as “splendid and memorable”.
Iceland crisis: what Ashurst and Mishcon advised subscription
Weeks after asking Ashurst and Mishcon de Reya about the legal consequences of delaying or rejecting a deal to repay the UK and Netherlands almost €4bn (£3.6bn) lost in Icelandic bank Icesave, the country’s president has chosen to hold a referendum on the matter.
Dundas partners give Shaw second term at helm subscription
Partners at Scotland-headquartered firm Dundas & Wilson have elected Donald Shaw as the firm’s sole managing partner after his co-chief Alan Campbell stood down from management.
John Hendy QC of Old Square Chambers is facing Bruce Carr QC of Devereux Chambers this morning as British Airways (BA) heads to court seeking an injunction to stop its workers striking over Christmas.
Hogan Lovells merger gets backing of firms' partners subscription
The merger between Lovells and Hogan & Hartson will go ahead at the beginning of May after the two firms’ partnerships voted in favour of the union.
Bakers adds ‘listening ears’ to diversity facility subscription
Baker & McKenzie has launched a diversity contact network aimed at allowing potential recruits to grill people within the firm about any diversity-related issues.
Newly merged firm Veale Wasbrough Vizards has hired a barrister to head its insolvency litigation team after the previous holder of the post was named managing partner of the firm.
Clifford Chance global managing partner David Childs has been reelected for a second term after standing unopposed for the position.
Amarchand flies in UK talent as Mumbai COO subscription
Indian firm Amarchand & Mangaldas & Suresh A Shroff & Co has turned to the UK legal market for the hire of a chief operating officer (COO) for the Mumbai region.
Linklaters’ turnover is down 9.5 per cent at the half-year stage, with the firm attracting £591m compared with £653m during the same period last year.
Burness scoops sole Gala employment role subscription
Scottish firm Burness has been appointed as sole employment law adviser to gaming company Gala Coral Group.
Lovells partners in line for post-merger windfall subscription
Partners to scrutinise fine print of deal ahead of key merger vote
New Zealand lawyers launch outsourcing team subscription
A new legal process outsourcing (LPO) company has entered the marketplace, offering law firms and in-house counsel the services of UK-qualified lawyers based in New Zealand.
Hackney legal teams merged into two sections subscription
The Legal chief at the London Borough of Hackney has restructured her legal department to create better-defined career paths for her lawyers.
Linklaters has guided private equity client HgCapital to success in a convoluted battle to buy generic drugs company Goldshield Group.
The In-house Interview: Local hero subscription
With huge changes underway at the London Borough of Hackney, legal chief Gifty Edila is working hard to help improve the outlook for residents.
The region has been pushed into the spotlight with a host of UK related deals. By Margaret Taylor
UK still wants bite of American pie subscription
For a while there it looked as if the passion had gone from the UK legal world’s love affair with the US. After years of outrageous flirting, punctuated by the odd failed romance, it seemed as if the Brits had begun shifting their affections towards Australia.
?Partners at Clifford Chance are anticipating a profit per point uplift of around 25 per cent at the half-year stage following a year when average profit per equity partner (PEP) at the firm slumped by 37 per cent.
Independents’ day subscription
While independent law firms are growing in popularity in Germany, making the move is not without its risks.
Lovells, Hogan leaders give green light to tie-up subscription
The merger between Lovells and US firm Hogan & Hartson looks almost certain to go ahead after the two firms’ management teams unanimously backed the union.
Offshore firm Ogier has won a mandate to advise on the launch of one of the first funds to focus on investing in companies with a high number of women in senior roles.
Management teams at Lovells and Hogan & Hartson have unanimously backed the firms’ proposed merger and will recommend that their respective partnerships back the union.
Hackney to re-examine barristers panel subscription
London Borough of Hackney legal chief Gifty Edila is reviewing the authority’s barristers panel in a bid to cut down its £6m annual legal spend.
Baker & McKenzie revamps management committees subscription
Baker & McKenzie London partner Beatriz Pessoa de Araujo has been elected to the firm’s international executive committee, freeing a space on the London management committee.
The victor in the race to become Clifford Chance’s next London managing partner could have a short-lived reign, if plans being drawn up by global chief David Childs are actioned.
Clifford Chance global real estate head Cliff McAuley has been re-elected to a further four-year term in the role.
Clifford Chance London finance head Mark Stewart and London capital markets chief David Bickerton are set to go head-to-head in a battle to become the firm’s next City chief.
Clifford Chance’s Indian best friend AZB & Partners is sending four associates for training at the magic circle firm’s European training centre.
Outsourcing, it would seem, is the new black, but the fact that ultra-stylish, super-conservative Slaughter and May is bang on trend with this is more than a little surprising.
US firm’s merit-based system hailed as selling point for merger.
Mayer Brown revisits Pompey merry-go-round subscription
Mayer Brown corporate partner Rob Hamill has led a team advising on the sale of Portsmouth Football Club, just six weeks after advising on its purchase.
Lovells is in merger talks with US firm Hogan & Hartson with the aim of creating a transatlantic player with a combined turnover of £1.1bn.
Mayer Brown advises on latest sale of Portsmouth FC subscription
Mayer Brown corporate partner Rob Hamill has led a team from the firm advising on the sale of Portsmouth Football Club - six weeks after advising on its purchase.
CC outsources 300 deals to Indian service centre subscription
Clifford Chance passed 12,000 hours of work to its Indian service centre in the last financial year, the equivalent level that would be done by seven London associates at 100 per cent utilisation.
SRA to establish first regulatory panel subscription
The Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) is looking to establish its first-ever roster of external regulatory advisers and is currently asking firms to tender for places.
Allen & Overy (A&O) star German corporate partner Rolf Koerfer has left the firm for partnership at Linklaters spin-off Oppenhoff & Partner.
Lehman: the day the financial world changed subscription
Twelve months after the collapse of Lehman Brothers, the aftershocks are still being felt in the legal world.
Eversheds gets wrist slapped in Rover report subscription
Eversheds has been mildly rebuked in an otherwise damning report into the collapse of MG Rover.
Pensions body the Personal Accounts Delivery Authority (Pada) has named a former Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer partner as its general counsel.
Competition teams at Clifford Chance and Norton Rose are striving to make a tie-up between Orange UK and T-Mobile UK work as their European parents try to create the UK’s largest mobile phone operator.
Eversheds has been mildly rebuked in an otherwise damning report into the collapse of MG Rover.
Lovells enters tie-up with France's Kuntz subscription
Lovells has formed a co-operation agreement with Paris-based insolvency boutique Kuntz & Associés.
Norton Rose joins CC on Orange's T-Mobile merger subscription
Clifford Chance and Norton Rose are advising on the potential merger of T-Mobile UK and Orange UK in a deal that would create the largest mobile phone operator in the UK.
Body overseeing pensions personal accounts names GC subscription
Pensions body the personal accounts delivery authority (PADA) has named a former Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer partner as its general counsel.
Every sector has provided Scotland’s law firms with challenges, but projects lawyers have been feeling the recession most keenly. By Margaret Taylor
The power of 10 subscription
The past decade has brought recession, consolidation and a cultural revolution to the legal sector in the UK. Catrin Griffiths and Margaret Taylor assess how the top firms have evolved and defined the changing times
Vexed in the city subscription
The London large peer group has had a tough time of it, but management is looking to international growth to offset disappointing financials. By Margaret Taylor
2Birds joins forces with Chinese IP boutique subscription
?Bird & Bird has formed an alliance with Beijing IP boutique Xiang Kung Law Firm, with the aim of strengthening its contentious capabilities in China.
Allen & Overy (A&O) and Linklaters have played key roles in the restructuring of German company Schaeffler’s debt, paving the way for the ball-bearing producer to merge with auto-parts manufacturer Continental.
Engaged tone subscription
What a difference a year of mass job cuts makes. A year ago YouGov’s first legal sector employee engagement survey revealed a chasm between the level of engagement felt by lawyers and business services staff, with the latter feeling undervalued, underpaid and out of the loop.
Hewitsons cuts salaries to stave off job cuts subscription
?Fee-earners across Cambridge-headquartered firm Hewitsons’ offices have had their pay cut, but their hours have been reduced by a disproportionate amount.
?With the catastrophic predictions of the economic downturn failing to fully materialise, Margaret Taylor reflects on firms’ past, present and future strategies
2Birds seals alliance with Chinese IP firm subscription
Bird & Bird has formed an alliance with Beijing IP boutique Xiang Kung Law Firm, with the aim of strengthening its contentious capabilities in China.
Herbert Smith is bolstering its Middle East disputes practice by relocating London partner Stuart Paterson to Dubai.
Allen & Overy (A&O) and Linklaters have played key roles in the restructuring of German company Schaeffler’s debt, paving the way for the ball-bearing maker to merge with auto-parts manufacturer Continental.
FoxMandal pays Delhi salaries after two-month hiatus subscription
Indian firm FoxMandal Little has paid the salaries owed to Delhi fee-earners after cashflow difficulties led to a two-month delay.
The former head of legal at technology and engineering company GKN has been appointed to the Competition Commission’s strategic management board.
Scottish firm Brodies has ended its eight-year run of double-digit turnover growth after posting a turnover rise of 5 per cent for 2008-09.
Barristers’ chambers hike pupil pay by a third, but newly qualified solicitor salary cuts spread across the UK
Shepherd & Wedderburn results reflect tough times subscription
Edinburgh-headquartered Shepherd & Wedderburn’s turnover fell by 7 per cent in the 2008-09 financial year, with average profit per equity partner (PEP) dropping 26 per cent.
Raleys appeals SDT decisions on miners case subscription
North-east firm Raleys Solicitors is appealing two Solicitors Disciplinary Tribunal (SDT) decisions relating to the firm’s role in handling compensation claims from sick coalminers.
CC looks to global growth with City promotions down subscription
Clifford Chance has made up 17 lawyers in its delayed promotions round, with its London headquarters gaining just three of the new partners.
Lindsays dispenses with investment arm subscription
Edinburgh-based firm Lindsays has disposed of its investment management arm to focus purely on providing legal advice.
Pinsents, Eversheds scoop lead roles on Viking deal subscription
Eversheds and Pinsent Masons have lined up on opposite sides of a rare private equity deal, with the former advising the vendor and the latter the buyer of offshore oil and gas company Viking Moorings.
Lee & Thompson wins libel damages for Peter Andre subscription
Media boutique Lee & Thompson and 5 Raymond Buildings have secured libel damages for Peter Andre in a case against People newspaper.
CC shuns London in delayed promotions round subscription
Clifford Chance has made up 17 lawyers in its delayed promotions round, with its London headquarters gaining just three of the new partners.
CC's Indian ally merges with Bangalore firm subscription
Clifford Chance’s Indian ally AZB & Partners has extended its presence in India via a merger with the Bangalore firm of Anup Shah.
Maclays' PEP slides at end of "disappointing" year subscription
Scotland-headquartered firm Maclay Murray & Spens saw average profits per equity partner (PEP) fall 32 per cent over the last financial year on the back of a turnover drop of 9 per cent.
Lovells advises on Babcock & Brown fund sell off subscription
Lovells has been instructed by a group of former Babcock & Brown staff who have bought out the failed firm’s €2.2bn (£1.9bn) European infrastructure fund.
Will the young guns push Rawlinson out of pole position? Margaret Taylor investigates
Silver circle tarnished as financials slide subscription
?Equity partners at firms in the silver circle will be taking home a significantly lower share of profits following the 2008-09 financial year, with profit per equity partner (PEP) falling by an average of 34 per cent.
UK firms dig in their heels subscription
There’s nothing like a bit of protectionism for stirring up ill-feeling. As our lead story details, what started out as a group of Bulgarian firms marking their territory against an influx of foreign competition has turned into a full-scale battle, and each side is utterly incensed at the other’s actions.
Brian Green QC of Wilberforce Chambers has won a Court of Appeal case that will have implications for the raft of pension schemes currently grappling with equalisation issues.
Orrick Herrington & Sutcliffe and Slaughter and May are advising as talks continue between Centrica and North Sea gas producer Venture Production.
Glasgow athletes’ village builder turns to Burness subscription
Scottish firm Burness has won a choice mandate to advise the preferred bidder for the development of the athletes’ village for the 2014 Glasgow Commonwealth Games.
Linklaters’ financial results herald new world order subscription
Magic circle redrawn; Clifford Chance relegated to third place while its PEP plummets to half of rivals’
TwoBirds rolls out bursary scheme subscription
Bird & Bird has launched a bursary scheme to give students from underprivileged backgrounds financial assistance to study law.
Clifford Chance’s average profit per equity partner (PEP) figure plummeted by 37 per cent in the last financial year, down to levels last seen at the firm eight years ago.
Clifford Chance spins off Hungarian office subscription
Clifford Chance is to pull out of Hungary, with the lawyers in its office there set to form a standalone firm.
Hard nut to craic subscription
The Irish legal market is notoriously hard for foreign firms to break into. But this hasn’t stopped some from trying. Margaret Taylor reports
Norton Rose signs tie-up with Australia's Deacons subscription
Norton Rose is to merge with Deacons Australia, giving the combined entity a turnover of more than £420m and 12 offices across Australasia.
UK firms become Cape crusaders subscription
As a topic for conversation, legal outsourcing is as close to yawn-inducing as you can get, but if the IT speak is stripped away it’s clear that there’s something of a quiet evolution going on in the legal market
The partners of Hammonds’ debt collection spin-off Drydens have sold the business months after another Hammonds spin-off, Hammonds Direct, went into administration.
GM’s crash and US govt rescue throws up some tricky issues on both sides of the Atlantic. By Margaret Taylor
Scottish firm Harper McLeod has seen its average profit per equity partner (PEP) figure drop by 10 per cent over the past financial year, despite posting a marginal rise in turnover.
Herbies senior partner calls time on position subscription
Herbert Smith senior partner David Gold will not seek a second term in the role, meaning the firm will begin the process of finding a successor in November.
Herbies’ international revenues offset City dip subscription
Herbert Smith’s international offices continued to grow turnover share over the 2008-09 financial year, with London accounting for 70 per cent of total revenue compared with 77 per cent last year.
Addleshaws wins key mandate on West Brom deal subscription
Addleshaw Goddard has advised the West Bromwich Building Society in a deal with its bond holders designed to bolster its financial position.
Herbert Smith’s average profit per equity partner (PEP) figure has dropped below the £1m mark for the 2008-09 financial year after smashing the financial landmark for the first time last year.
CMC Markets legal director departs subscription
CMC Markets group director of legal Dominic Bacon has left and started a three-month period of gardening leave.
The chief executive of the Legal Services Commission (LSC) has hit out at claims made in The Lawyer by the head of the London Legal Support Trust (LLST).
Pensions time bomb threatens A&O, Eversheds subscription
Welter of litigation predicted as pension trustees eye legal actions over alleged bad advice in the 1990s
Justice of the lease subscription
What is it with Hammonds and convoluted partner disputes?
Lovells reaps rewards of poor pound as rivals toil subscription
The first financial results from firms in the top 10 have started trickling out, with the massive impact of sterling’s decline against the euro and the dollar helping bolster Lovells’ 2008-09 revenue figure.
Venture capital house Scottish Equity Partners (SEP) has appointed its first-ever general counsel, after hiring Maclay Murray & Spens associate Andrew Buchan.
The massive impact of sterling’s decline against the euro and the dollar has helped bolster Lovells’ 2008-09 financial results, with the firm posting a rise in revenue of 11 per cent over the past financial year.
Virgin hires ex-SJ Berwin partner subscription
Former SJ Berwin partner Charlotte McMillan has joined Virgin Media in the newly created role of assistant general counsel.
The Transatlantic Elite 2009: International rescue subscription
With the recent demise of so many financial institutions, Margaret Taylor takes a look at the firms that have benefited from the ensuing flood of work
Magic circle firms Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer and Linklaters have lined up to advise on brewing giant Heineken’s surprise investment in Globe Pub Company’s senior debt.
With the 2009 promotions season well under way, the theme so far is that generally fewer partners are being promoted.
THE?SCOTTISH Branch of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators has set up a new north of Scotland section ahead of the Arbitration (Scotland) Bill.
All being fair and equal… subscription
The legal profession has come a long way in recent years, with many - but not all - lesbians, gays, bisexuals and transgender (LGBT) people no longer having to fear that their chance of partnership will be jeopardised if lunchtime conversations turn to discussions about weekend activities.
CC restructuring plans put promotions on hold subscription
Senior associates at Clifford Chance will have a longer-than-normal wait to discover whether they have made partnership this year with the firm postponing its promotions round until its global restructuring has been taken care of.
Firms ramp up Brussels regulatory teams subscription
A range of firms have boosted their Brussels offices with new hires.
Hammonds head of construction Jeff Brown has left the firm to join Reynolds Porter Chamberlain as a consultant.
Happier endings? subscription
Maybe it’s an end-of-year lull, but the sense of panic that characterised the post-Christmas period seems to have finally abated. For now.
WHITE & Case’s decision to deploy a number of London-based lawyers in Africa is a useful way of dealing with some of its issues in the City, but it is also a good strategy in a wider context.
White & Case’s decision to deploy a number of London-based lawyers in Africa is a useful way of dealing with some of its issues in the City, but it is also a good strategy in a wider context.
Linklaters gains 18 new partners, six in London subscription
Magic circle firm Linklaters has promoted 18 to its partnership, favouring London on a regional basis and corporate on a practice group basis.
Kirkland & Ellis and Maitland Chambers have secured a High Court ruling that has clarified the position for creditors of Financial Services Authority (FSA)-regulated companies that deal with client money.
Sackers posts profit dip despite turnover stasis subscription
Pensions boutique Sacker & Partners maintained its turnover during the 2008-09 financial year, although profit dipped slightly.
Lovells freezes salaries and cuts 79 jobs subscription
Lovells is the latest firm to freeze salaries at this year’s levels with all lawyers, support staff and legal PAs affected.
Lovells revamps partnership council subscription
Lovells has elected five new members to its partnership council with five existing members coming to the end of their terms at the end of April.
Ashurst corporate head joins Competition Commission subscription
Ashurst’s former corporate head Roger Finbow has joined the Competition Commission as a reporting panel member along with Linklaters partner Tony Morris.
Freshfields leads on partner promotions subscription
Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer has led this year’s promotions round, making up a total of 14 to its partnership.
SJ Berwin has won a mandate from the Government to advise on the establishment of its Capital for Enterprise fund.
Tods Murray’s bid to scotch ‘damaging’ rumours subscription
Market gossip in an upmarket is little more than a gentle annoyance. In a downmarket, on the other hand, it can be extremely damaging.
Scottish private client firm Turcan Connell has promoted two non-lawyers to partner-equivalent status in preparation for the introduction of alternative business structures (ABSs) to the legal market.
Olswang triples Berlin office with Freshfields hires subscription
Olswang has tripled the partner headcount in its Berlin office by hiring a real estate team from Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer.
CC restructure given green light by partners subscription
Clifford Chance partners have voted in favour of amending their partnership agreement to allow management to forge ahead with a partnership cull.
Freshfields leads promos with 14 new partners subscription
Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer has promoted a total of 14 to its partnership, a significant drop from the 25 who were made up in last year’s round.
BSI brings in former Symantec legal head subscription
Former Symantec Corporation head of legal Romny Gray has joined BSI Group as director of legal affairs and company secretary, replacing Richard Catt.
Dentons helps raise cash for African power projects subscription
Dentons signs up Glyn Marais to African roster subscription
Ex-Coca-Cola counsel emerges at Aids charity subscription
The Former legal chief at The Coca-Cola Company Paul Meadows has taken the top legal role at the International HIV/Aids Alliance two years after leaving the soft drinks giant.
Tods Murray chief slams insolvency rumours subscription
Tods Murray executive partner David Dunsire (pictured) has publicly defended his firm in a letter to a Sunday newspaper in an unprecedented attempt to scotch damaging rumours about the legal industry, and his firm in particular.