I've been associate editor of The Lawyer since May 2014, having joined the publication as City editor in 2007 before becoming news editor in 2008. I have an interest in the whole legal sector, from in-house and the bar to City firms and ABS, but particular areas of focus have included private equity, pensions, diversity and Scotland. As associate editor I am taking a more active role in research, looking in-depth at firms’ financials as well as particular countries and regions, such as India and West Africa.
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.
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.
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.
Special report: 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 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 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
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
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.
A rebasing has elevated Nigeria as the top African economy and brought to light new business potential
The big auditors are targeting the legal sector again, and this time the mid-market had better be prepared
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.
While Scottish banks prospered law firms lived like lairds, moving into modern, high-end premises. But then came the crash
The Lawyer is today launching a dramatically enhanced new website to showcase more of its market-leading content than ever before.
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.
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?
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
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
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.
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.
Dragons’ Den star James Caan plans to stir up major change in the legal world. How? By sticking to proper business principles
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.
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 (LG) is making up four new partners in its 2012 promotions round, double the number that made the grade last year.
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.
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.
The big firms are getting aggressive, the small firms are consolidating. Where does that leave the mid-market?
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
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.
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.
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 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.
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.
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.
Apart from four standout performances, a tough year for Scottish firms was characterised by a static market.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
You can just imagine the uproar if the Metropolitan Police had assembled a legal panel littered with the City’s elite.
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.
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 & Lewis family head Tom Amlot has left the firm to join niche family boutique Alexiou Fisher Philipps (AFP) as its sixth partner.
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 has made up 15 new partners, representing its highest level of promotions since 2008.
Nabarro has promoted five associates to its partnership, the highest number it has made up in the last three years.
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 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 has welcomed 22 lawyers to its partnership in this year’s promotions round, an increase of three on last year’s number.
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 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.
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.
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.
Edinburgh-headquartered firm McGrigors has handed managing partner Richard Masters a second term at the helm.
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.
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.
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.
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 corporate partner Steven Fox has quit the firm to take up partnership at Clifford Chance.
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.
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.
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 Murray & Spens corporate partner Robbie Brown has left the firm to take up an in-house role at global energy business Wood Group.
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.
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.
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).
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.
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.
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, 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 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.
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.
Travers Smith has advised new client Channel 4 on a deal that will see it broadcast Channel 4 HD on Freeview.
Eversheds has advised Qatar General Insurance and Reinsurance Company (QGIRC) on a QAR2.5bn (£450m) project to construct four skyscrapers in Qatar.
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.
Trial lawyers firm Kobre & Kim has hired Serle Court silk James Corbett QC for its nascent City office.
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 has promoted 21 lawyers to its partnership in its largest promotions round since 2007.
There’s something about a good libel case that makes all other litigation look, well, just a little bit boring.
Members of the Law Society of Scotland (LSS) have voted narrowly in favour of alternative business structures (ABSs) being introduced in Scotland.
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).
Top firms’ ultimatum escalates regulatory crisis north of the border
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 is to close its seven-partner Chicago office after it underperformed for a number of years.
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.
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 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
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.
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.
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 Partners general counsel Philip Price’s role has been expanded to include the remit of chief operating officer.
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 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.
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.
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.
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’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.
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”.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Scottish firm Burness has been appointed as sole employment law adviser to gaming company Gala Coral Group.
Partners to scrutinise fine print of deal ahead of key merger vote
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.
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.
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
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.
While independent law firms are growing in popularity in Germany, making the move is not without its risks.
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.
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 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 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 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.
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.
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.
Twelve months after the collapse of Lehman Brothers, the aftershocks are still being felt in the legal world.
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 has formed a co-operation agreement with Paris-based insolvency boutique Kuntz & Associés.
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.
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 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
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
?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.
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.
?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
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.
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
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.
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.
Clifford Chance has made up 17 lawyers in its delayed promotions round, with its London headquarters gaining just three of the new partners.
Edinburgh-based firm Lindsays has disposed of its investment management arm to focus purely on providing legal advice.
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.
Media boutique Lee & Thompson and 5 Raymond Buildings have secured libel damages for Peter Andre in a case against People newspaper.
Clifford Chance has made up 17 lawyers in its delayed promotions round, with its London headquarters gaining just three of the new partners.
Clifford Chance’s Indian ally AZB & Partners has extended its presence in India via a merger with the Bangalore firm of Anup Shah.
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 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
?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.
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.
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.
Magic circle redrawn; Clifford Chance relegated to third place while its PEP plummets to half of rivals’
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 is to pull out of Hungary, with the lawyers in its office there set to form a standalone firm.
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 is to merge with Deacons Australia, giving the combined entity a turnover of more than £420m and 12 offices across Australasia.
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.
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.
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.
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 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).
Welter of litigation predicted as pension trustees eye legal actions over alleged bad advice in the 1990s
What is it with Hammonds and convoluted partner disputes?
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.
Former SJ Berwin partner Charlotte McMillan has joined Virgin Media in the newly created role of assistant general counsel.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Pensions boutique Sacker & Partners maintained its turnover during the 2008-09 financial year, although profit dipped slightly.
Lovells is the latest firm to freeze salaries at this year’s levels with all lawyers, support staff and legal PAs affected.
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’s former corporate head Roger Finbow has joined the Competition Commission as a reporting panel member along with Linklaters partner Tony Morris.
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.
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 has tripled the partner headcount in its Berlin office by hiring a real estate team from Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer.
Clifford Chance partners have voted in favour of amending their partnership agreement to allow management to forge ahead with a partnership cull.
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.
Former Symantec Corporation head of legal Romny Gray has joined BSI Group as director of legal affairs and company secretary, replacing Richard Catt.
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 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.