Movers and shapers: Ten who will shape the transatlantic market

Top-tier and mid-tier firms alike will play their part in helping to form the transatlantic legal market; indeed, hiking consolidation in the upper mid-tier may mean that those firms will create momentum in this space.

The Lawyer nominates 10 of the most influential lawyers of the next decade who are likely to lead firms’ thinking and shape the future of the transatlantic elite.

Ralph Baxter, Orrick Herrington & Sutcliffe
With occasional canny use of PR and the odd divaesque demand, Baxter has transformed himself into one of the most effective law firm managers ever. And his vision has turned Orrick into the highly successful operation that it is today. The question is, when will Baxter finally slow down?

Eric Berg, White & Case
Berg pioneered the global relationship with Deutsche Bank
and helped develop the firm’s international finance brand.
After turbulence in the London office, Berg (who also acts for Citigroup and Morgan Stanley) came to the UK this spring to temporarily head the finance group. Pivotal.

Stephen Cooke, Slaughter and May
One of Slaughters’ two corporate heads (the other being the newly appointed Frances Murphy), Cooke has the classic Slaughters track record in M&A. But his importance within the transatlantic market resides in his diplomatic relations with a string of Wall Street powerhouses. One of a handful of partners charged with maintaining the firm’s best friends relations, Cooke’s input is strategically vital.

Marc Hanrahan, Latham & Watkins
Latham’s co-head of global finance Hanrahan jumped ship from Skadden Arps Slate Meagher & Flom four years ago. Hanrahan’s clients (among them Barclays, Credit Suisse and Goldman Sachs) were attractive, but even more so was his declared ambition of consolidating Latham into a global finance powerhouse.

Peter Kalis, Kirkpatrick & Lockhart Preston Gates Ellis
K&L Gates managing partner Kalis is a deal-doer in the mould of DLA Piper’s Nigel Knowles, snapping up firms everywhere – and his firm is currently well positioned for the Asia market. Kalis has the ability, still rarer than one would think among law firm leaders, to make things happen.

Nigel Knowles, DLA Piper
DLA Piper joint-CEO Knowles is the charismatic driving force behind one of the fastest law firm expansions in history. In 1990 Knowles was head of commercial at Dibb Lupton broomhead, then a small Yorkshire firm in England.

He became the managing partner of what was to become DLA in 1996, when the firm turned over a mere £60m. Having perfected the art of the law firm merger, together with US equivalents Frank Burch and Lee Miller, Knowles now sits atop a £1bn mega-firm – the world’s largest in terms of lawyers and, since 2007, revenue.

Paul Maher, Mayer Brown
Seven years on from Mayer Brown & Platt’s merger with UK mid-tier firm Rowe & Maw, Maher is now relishing the opportunity to reshape the transatlantic firm entirely.
The driving force behind the partnership shake-up and merger with Hong Kong stalwart Johnson Stokes & Master, Maher has now set his sights on making his firm a global player.

Deirdre Trapp, Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer
Competition head Trapp is set to play an important role – and not just because her team is one of the firm’s most successful. She is overseeing a rejig of how Freshfields manages its global client relationships and is tipped to lead the firm one day – should she want the job.

John Tucker, Linklaters
Last October finance head Tucker was sent to New York to
inject some energy and order into the US practice. It was a
smart move by managing partner Simon Davies. Tucker had
already revitalised the banking team. New York, watch out.

Bart Winokur, Dechert
Chairman Winokur may have a reputation as a hard nut, but it has served his firm well. With backing from his more approachable second-in- command Steve Feirson, Winokur has
transformed Dechert into a transatlantic contender. Being a
smart lawyer is only half the game. The other half is judgement and commercial sense. Winokur has both in spades.