Lee & Thompson
2013 was an exceptional year for Reno Antoniades, both managing partner of media boutique Lee & Thompson and head of its film group. The firm’s overall turnover soared by 35 per cent, while revenue in the film and TV group shot up by 45 per cent in the first six months of this financial year.
Antoniades says it has probably been the busiest period since he joined the firm nearly 20 years ago and points to a string of lateral hires from firms, companies and barristers chambers such as Davenport Lyons, FremantleMedia UK and Queen Elizabeth Building as a highlight.
2014 is going to be an exciting year too, with Antoniades planning to broaden the firm’s reach in the creative industries.
Senior partner of public services firm Bevan Brittan, Bethan Evans is spearheading the emerging trend of local council and law firm coalitions. The firm’s agreement with Barnet and Harrow councils will see it offer public sector clients combined legal services.
After training at legacy firm Veil Benson, Evans worked for no fewer than five Welsh and West Country councils in the following two decades before becoming a partner at the firm in 2002 and being elected senior partner 10 years later.
“We’re not afraid to do new things,” she says. “The public sector can’t keep doing what it has been doing – it has to be imaginative and as a law firm we have to be there right alongside it.”
Hogan Lovells of counsel Mac Macmillan was a software developer before becoming a lawyer. Now at the forefront of data protection and IT law, her work is cross-jurisdictional as a matter of course.
She recently advised long-standing client Mars on its appointment of a global chief privacy officer and is working with several corporations on strategically locating their databases – a new concern for most corporate groups.
Macmillan’s original passion for software development stemmed from it being the only professional industry to accept her purple hair, rather than any burning desire to develop code. She realised how serious she was about the law when she was prepared to dye her hair a conservative shade of brown to get a job – although the purple hue has now returned.
HowardKennedyFsi consultant Daniel McLean spent much of last year advising the US government on a claim, on behalf of the Cambodian authorities, against Sotheby’s. The US and Cambodia are trying to persuade the auction house to return the Koh Ker statue, a Khmer artefact looted during Cambodia’s 1970s civil war.
Other disputes in which McLean is involved include representing a group of artists from Iran whose works recently surfaced at auction in Dubai after being loaned to Californian dealers in the 1960s and seeking the return of artworks consigned to auction but originally owned by Holocaust victims, the grandparents of McLean’s client.
McLean has always specialised in art law. He trained at Mishcon de Reya before moving to Withers on qualification, then joined legacy Finers Stephens Innocent.
Covington & Burling London corporate partner Louise Nash became the sole Europe-based – and first-ever non-American – member of the firm’s eight-partner global management committee last year.
Quite a coup for the self-confessed “deals junkie”, whose only condition for taking a position at the heart of the firm was that she could continue practising.
Nash’s appearance on the £4.6bn takeover of Nokia’s mobile phone business by Covington client Microsoft is evidence that this was not just wishful thinking.
The launch of a major initiative focused on lifestyle brands, fashion houses and beauty industry brands – including the blog CovBrands – has helped raise Covington’s and Nash’s profile in the space. Early indications are that it has also helped to raise revenue.
Should go down well with the board.