Latest issues

18 July 2016

No5 counsel secure jail term for young mother’s killer

No5 Barristers’ Chambers’ David Mason QC and Samantha Crabb acted for the prosecution in a trial which saw killer John Broadhurst jailed for three years and eight months. Broadhurst, 40, of Wolverley, left his injured and bleeding partner to die after “rough sex, informing the 999 operator on December 18, 2016, that he had found […]

No5 Barristers’ Chambers helps in conviction of murderer

Counsel at No5 Barristers’ Chambers have secured the murder conviction of a brutal teenager over the stabbing of a grandad in a Kingstanding park. The court heard how Leary Dalton-Byrne repeatedly stabbed Dean Ward earlier this year and later boasted about the killing, telling a friend that he had “done an ‘M’”. The friend recorded him making […]

Conyers Dill & Pearman appoints attorney to strengthen its Cayman Islands team

Partner and Head of the Cayman Islands Office, Kevin Butler, said, “It is a pleasure to welcome Delia to the firm. Our Cayman Islands practice has grown substantially in recent years and this appointment will bolster our standing in the jurisdiction.” Delia joins Conyers Financial Institutions Group (“FIG”). She will provide legal, regulatory and compliance […]

Azerbaijan

Fried Frank and Dechert strike decisive blow in Sberbank case

Fried Frank Harris Shriver & Jacobson and Dechert have fought off an appeal from White & Case upholding an earlier High Court decision in favour of Russian lender Sberbank. The appeal made by the International Bank of Azerbaijan (IBA) was unanimously dismissed by Lord Justices Lewison, Henderson and Baker, with White & Case now expected […]

CC

Clifford Chance confirms role in Africa deal with anti-corruption pledge

Clifford Chance has pledged to engage other elite law firms in a bid to counter corruption, after the firm came under pressure for acting on a deal involving the son of Equatorial Guinea’s long-serving president. The firm confirmed it played a role in the sale of a private jet to Teodoro Obiang in 2006, with the magic […]

gas

Centrica names new GC as longstanding chief retires

Centrica’s deputy general counsel Justine Campbell has been named as the company’s new legal head following the retirement of its longstanding chief Grant Dawson. Campbell joined Centrica in 2013 as general counsel of its British Gas business, before rising through the ranks to the role of Centrica’s general counsel for UK and Ireland and then […]

Conyers Dill & Pearman advises LVMH in the acquisition of Belmond Hotel Group

Conyers advised LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton (“LVMH”), which owns iconic brands like Louis Vuitton, Christian Dior and Dom Pérignon, on its acquisition of the Belmond hotel group. LVMH acquired Belmond for US$25.00 per Class A share in cash. This represents an equity value of US$2.6 billion in a transaction with an enterprise value of […]

Walder Wyss advises Pepperdine University to purchase Château d’Hauteville

Pepperdine University and the Grand d’Hauteville family have announced the sale and purchase of the historic Château d’Hauteville, in Saint-Légier-La Chiésaz, Switzerland. Set in the shadow of the Prealps, overlooking Lake Geneva, the breathtaking 30-hectar property is a step into history and will offer an exceptional backdrop for an unparalleled educational experience for Pepperdine students. […]

Walder Wyss advises Baidu to invest in aiCTX

Baidu Ventures L.P. and aiCTX AG executed investment agreements pursuant to which Baidu Ventures became a new equity investor in aiCTX. aiCTX is a Swiss startup company focused on neuromorphic computing. It provides dedicated mixed-signal neuromorphic processors which overcome the limitations of legacy von Neumann computers to provide an unprecedented combination of ultra-low power consumption […]

No5 Barristers’ Chambers declares retirement of Jeremy Cahill QC

After 42 years at the Bar, of which the last 35 were at No5 Barristers’ Chambers, Jerry Cahill QC is announcing his retirement from the Bar. Jerry would like to express his deep gratitude to all of his lay and professional clients for all the support that they have given him from early years in […]

Loyens & Loeff appoints four new partners to stimulate growth and innovation

Amsterdam, the Netherlands, 17 December 2018 – Loyens & Loeff has invited Robrecht Coppens, Antoinette van der Hauw, Guido Koop and Michiel Schul to join the firm as partners with effect from 1 January 2019. With the appointment of these 4 new partners, Loyens & Loeff continues to focus on its growth and international integration of […]

Battersea power station

City trio lead on £1.6bn Battersea Power Station takeover

Linklaters, Addleshaw Goddard and Norton Rose Fulbright are advising on the £1.6bn takeover of Battersea Power Station by two Malaysian investors, making it the latest deal within the multi-phase £9bn redevelopment scheme. Battersea Power Station Development Company (BPSDC), advised by Addleshaws, has struck a deal with a joint venture between Permodalan Nasional Berhad (PNB), the Malaysian […]

Bakers and Freshfields lead on Hitachi’s power grid purchase

Baker McKenzie and Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer have won the top roles on Hitachi’s largest-ever overseas acquisition, as it clinches a stake in ABB’s power grids division that values it at $11bn. Bakers is acting for Hitachi, led by head of private equity David Allen and corporate partner Jannan Crozier, with support from partners Akifusa Takada and Yutaka Kimura […]

Gender pay

Osborne Clarke improves partner gender pay gap in latest figures

Osborne Clarke has revealed the gender pay gap among its partners has dropped to 16 per cent (both on an average and median basis), as it publishes its second round of reporting for its highest-earners. The firm has attributed the gap reduction to the increase in the number of women in higher-paid roles, making up […]

11 july 2016

Paralegal

The long read: Why your paralegals hate you

The paralegal remains one of the most ill-defined jobs in the legal profession. Exclusive research by Lawyer 2B has found long hours, poor pay and dangling the “carrot” of a training contract could create serious problems for UK firms.

In-house interview: Jonathan Waltho, Fidessa

Jonathan Waltho made the move to in-house work in 1998 when he became sole counsel at Leicester City FC, a role which saw him set up the club’s first legal function. Since then Waltho’s career has seen him enter the field of technology, culminating in his role as the first general counsel at software company Fidessa.

LMI analysis: Accenture

Reaping the rewards of a diversification strategy and the will to invest, Accenture boasted record revenue of $31bn (£24bn) in 2015, an 11 per cent increase on the previous year. The global consultancy, technology services and outsourcing giant also delivered new bookings of $34.4bn and returned $3.8bn to its shareholders. This strong performance continued into 2016 and, after raising its full-year revenue forecast following a successful Q1, there seems no stopping the Dublin-headquartered company.

Romania: infrastructure input

Last year, the European Commission adopted the Large Infrastructure Operational Programme for Romania, which equated to a €9.5bn investment in the country’s transport, environment and energy projects.

Moves: 11 July 2016

Latham & Watkins has hired Dechert partner Jeremy Trinder to its City finance department. Trinder joined Dechert in 2012 after being made up to partner at White & Case in 2010. He works on real estate finance matters, representing lenders, borrowers, investors and servicers. Latham has also hired GE Capital Real Estate in-houser Quentin Gwyer, who was executive counsel for European Debt.

Debunking the myth of the law firm verein

Recently Joe Andrew, the chair of the Dentons’ verein, wrote an opinion piece entitled ‘Debunking the myth of the pay-to-play network’. Unfortunately, he overlooked one fact. He did not mention that Dentons’ verein structure, in almost all respects, could be characterised as a territorially exclusive pay-to-play network but with much higher fees. Dentons has adopted essentially the same structure of the traditional networks Andrew is critiquing.

Paralegals are hard workers, not minions

When was the last time you were a minion? If you are a typical reader of The Lawyer the answer is probably a long time ago, if ever. Even as a lowly trainee or pupil you were one of the favoured children: the future of the business. This week’s cover feature, however, looks at the […]

Africa – the great opportunity

Africa is rapidly becoming the global economic growth engine. Half of the world’s 25 fastest-growing nations are in Africa and almost 40 per cent of the continent will achieve GDP growth of more than 5 per cent in 2016. The population is set to grow by 50 per cent to 1.5bn by 2030, and by 2040, Africa’s working-age population will rise to 1.1bn from about 500m today – greater than the working-age populations of China and India combined.

In-house Financial Services Conference: open to debate

Regulatory change, compounded by Brexit, is just one of many challenges faced by in-house lawyers in financial services. These were the issues under discussion at The Lawyer’s in-house financial services conference in London, attended by over 100 in-house lawyers.

4 July 2016

LMI analysis: Visa

One company reaping the benefits of consumers shifting their spending from cash and cheques to electronic payment is Visa. In addition to generating operating revenue of $13.8bn (£9.4bn) in 2015 – 9 per cent up on the previous year – the financial services company saw a total payment volume of $7.4trn. There were 71 billion […]

Moves: 4 July 2016

Move of the week McDermott Will & Emery has appointed Michael Holter to the firm as a partner in its corporate team. Holter was formerly managing partner of WilmerHale’s London office, where he was based for over 20 years. He specialises in the aviation and new media sectors, advising international airlines, internet providers and satellite […]

Report: Hungary’s economy gathers pace

Earlier this year, Dentons and DLA Piper joined Linklaters in announcing the launch of low-cost service centres in Poland. However, fellow CEE nation Hungary has not yet been singled out as a possible relocation point owing to its slower economic growth and fewer investment opportunities

Business city

Star legal writers: banking

Gowling WLG: Fraud update: Economic crime; TalkTalk’s cyber attack; the SFO By Andy Petherbridge By Sean O’Toole Crime of failure to prevent economic crime According to the justice minister, the Ministry of Justice has decided against introducing a new criminal offence of failing to prevent an economic crime. He stressed that the principle of corporate criminal liability […]

In-house interview: Christian Keim, Adobe Systems

It’s likely that on a daily basis everyone reading this will use an Adobe product, probably the company’s document reader Adobe Acrobat. But Acrobat is not the only product Adobe Systems produces, and the sale and licensing of its more than 200 offerings keeps EMEA general counsel Christian Keim and his 19-strong team constantly busy. […]

In-house interview: Andrew Garard, ITV

If there’s one thing ITV group legal director and company secretary Andrew Garard thrives on, it is a challenge. So when the media company’s then-executive chairman Michael Grade tried to tempt him away from Dewey & LeBoeuf legacy firm LeBoeuf Lamb Greene & MacRae just a year into his partnership there, he jumped at the chance

More borders, more fees: opportunities for lawyers after Brexit

In the wake of the Brexit vote, there is a need for some clarity on the general subject of globalisation and a law firm’s strategic positioning. First, globalisation is not a decision. It is a force and, for all intents and purposes, a force of nature. It is the movement of people, ideas, products, ­services, […]

Best in agility: Keystone’s agile working initiatives

The UK’s first dispersed law firm Keystone Law picked up two awards at last year’s Business Leadership awards, Best Innovation in Agile Working and Marketing and Communications Team of the Year. The firm’s marketing director Kristina Oliver, formerly of Odeon Cinemas and Thomas Cook, looks outside the industry for inspiration and for people with real tech and business acumen. This was reflected in Keystone’s campaigns

Shearman & Sterling needs to bare its teeth

How do you revitalise a fading brand? That’s the question that should be on the lips of the leadership team at Shearman & Sterling. The US firm has a stellar global heritage; it was one of the first American firms to crash into the English-law market and was a dominant player in leveraged and project […]

27 June 2016

Business Leadership Awards shortlist: the top business service teams

Last Tuesday and Wednesday four groups, including a mix of some of the UK’s top in-house lawyers, private practice business services group heads and law firm leaders, pored over the entries for this year’s Business Leadership Awards. The judges had already had access to the entries over previous weeks and scored them on their merits. […]

20 June 2016

LMI insight: BAE Systems

BAE Systems is one of the largest defence contractors in the world and, in its legacy incarnations, has produced iconic brands ranging from the Spitfire to the Concorde

In-house interview: Sam Plant, PZ Cussons

Consumer product group PZ Cussons is the company behind household names such as Carex, Imperial Leather and Morning Fresh. The FTSE 250 company is headquartered in Manchester but its global footprint is spread across Nigeria, Ghana, Indonesia and Thailand

13 June 2016

Ireland report: Shortlisted firms for Irish Firm of the Year

Ireland’s biggest firms appeared on the shortlist for the Irish Firm of the Year category at The Lawyer European Awards, each showcasing their differing strategies and visions in what turned out to be a record year for many. With previous winners including A&L Goodbody, Arthur Cox and Matheson, 2016 turned out to be McCann FitzGerald’s […]

Hot 100 alumni: Shami Chakrabarti

Shami Chakrabarti says she was surprised that the 13 January announcement of her imminent departure from civil rights charity Liberty attracted so much attention. Sandwiched between the deaths of celebrities David Bowie and Alan Rickman, the news still made the front page of several national newspapers, notably left-leaning The Guardian and The Independent

gas

LMI energy report: fuel’s gold

The legal world’s appetite for energy work is more ravenous than ever. As the sector grapples with low oil and gas prices law firms are enjoying the work, with an abundance of high-value projects and M&A activity.

In-house interview: Mark Collins, Accudyne Industries

Dallas-based Accudyne Industries is a manufacturer of engineered pumps and compressors, with 18 manufacturing facilities based across five continents. As the first and only lawyer for EMEA and India, head counsel Mark Collins is a busy man. However, he has a trick: to let the business do the work

Moves: 13 June 2016

Allen & Overy (A&O) has hired Simmons & Simmons partner Marjan Noor, giving the magic circle firm a sixth intellectual property partner in London

Energy report: the most successful firms in European renewable energy

Renewable energy is big business for European law firms. Picture the development of a typical wind or solar farm and you can see why. It involves a series of steps that need specialist legal advice from nearly every practice area. At the outset, securing land rights and planning permission for a project requires real estate […]

Predictive coding: taming the data tiger

There is growing interest in predictive coding in the UK, with the first-ever judicial approval for its use during disclosure in English High Court proceedings coming in February, in the Pyrrho Investments case. In May The Lawyer’s live webcast, in association with FTI Consulting, examined issues raised by the case and assessed the impact it will have on the UK market for predictive coding.

Global 200: The invisible US firms in London

As the first-ever Global 200 report, published next week, will highlight, while London remains one of the world’s legal market magnets many US firms either choose or are forced to remain small in the City and below the radar.

Global 200 reveals London-US divide

Back in the old days – remember those? – the core rationale for US firms to open up in London was to give their American-based partners a reason to visit during certain parts of the year. Let’s say, during Wimbledon fortnight

6 June 2016

GC Strategy Summit: Arbitration roundtable

Arbitration is a popular alternative to litigation for in-house counsel. However despite providing a confidential forum to resolve issues and a definitive and binding conclusion to the dispute, the process can be lengthy and give rise to significant costs

Nigeria report: focus on arbitration

Places such as London and Singapore are still the main hubs for international arbitration but Nigeria has been attempting to raise its status in the past few years

LMI analysis: Thomas Cook

After coming close to collapse in 2011, in 2015 Thomas Cook returned to profit for the first time since 2009. However, terrorist attacks in Tunisia and Egypt, a crippled Greek economy and reputational damage have all hit the company hard and plenty of challenges remain for the UK’s oldest travel operator

The long read: The numbers game at Slaughter and May

Slaughter and May is an anomaly. It has shunned international growth and become utterly distinct from other firms in its price range. But will this strategy work forever? It’s up to new boss Steve Cooke to decide whether tradition or transformation is the way forward.

30 May 2016

LMI insight: G4S

High-profile problems such as the failure to provide sufficient security for the London Olympics and the recent controversy over its running of secure training centres have resulted in security giant G4S having to defend its reputation vigorously.

The Lawyer Awards: Who will take the corporate crown?

In less than four weeks’ time, a new corporate team will be crowned champions at The Lawyer Awards, in association with Travelers. The winners join an impressive list of previous victors, with Macfarlanes and Jones Day picking up the trophy in 2014 and 2015 respectively.

Hot 100 Connect: The Bar and litigation

Every year The Lawyer gathers together the best lawyers in the business, the cream of the crop from in-house, private practice and the bar, for the Hot 100 list. Everyone who makes the roll call have made an impact not just on the performance of their firm, company or chambers, but also the wider business […]

23 May 2016

In-house interview: Nuno Bastos, Zurich Portugal

“Insurance is a kind of promise: if everything goes south, I’ll be here,” Zurich Portugal general counsel Nuno Bastos claims. But insurers are taking the hit from unstable markets, an increase in regulation and unpredictable natural catastrophes and have to adapt. Quickly

Moves: 23 May 2016

Move of the week Latham & Watkins partner Martin Cotterill has joined Taylor Wessing’s technology, media and communications team. Cotterill worked at Latham for 13 years, in which time he was also the global technology practice group co-chair. As a commercial lawyer, he has worked on multiple technology and outsourcing transactions. UK London US firm […]

Pale imitation of a network

They say imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, and I’m more than happy to take the compliment that large firms are paying to legal networks such as ours

Euro firms go global

After a year of buoyant M&A activity and a continued flow of contentious and restructuring work, the financial results for the biggest European firms are in – and it was a record year

16 May 2016

Moves: 16 May 2016

Travers Smith partner Helen Croke is joining Ropes & Gray’s private equity team in the City. Croke qualified at Travers in 2001 and moved up into the partnership seven years later. Her clients include Silverfleet Capital, Arle Capital and Bridgepoint Development Capital. 

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Shirking from home: the flexible working myth

Now that most of us have access to the same standard of technology, connectivity and IT security at home as we do in the office, that place you battle public transport to get to daily isn’t really necessary any more

property monopoly hotel

Real Estate Team of the Year: the shortlist

Last year Taylor Wessing fought off stiff competition to win the award for Real Estate Team of the Year at TheLawyer Awards, in association with Travellers. This year our external panel of judges, currently in the process of reviewing the submissions, has narrowed the potential winners for this category down to a shortlist of seven firms.

Never too senior to seek outside counsel

The Oxford English Dictionary’s definition of the word mentor is ‘an experienced and trusted adviser’. In the popular imagination that has come to mean a relationship where someone very senior imparts wisdom to someone very junior. But does it have to be that way?

9 May 2016

Star legal writers: In-house

While in-house work can cover a myriad of topics, last year it was electronic signatures and patent-infringing bras that most piqued our online readers’ interest.

Moves: 9 May 2016

Baker & McKenzie has hired Barclays head of competition Nicola Northway to join its antitrust and competition practice based in London.

Tony Williams

A new model Law Society

Once the EU referendum is over the Ministry of Justice is expected to publish a paper considering the separation of the representative and regulatory functions of the various legal professional bodies.

2 May 2016

Business Leadership awards alumni: Addleshaw Goddard KM team

The trend for knowledge management (KM) and its specialists, to move ever closer to the strategic core of law firms’ businesses was highlighted perfectly by the success of Addleshaw Goddard at last year’s Business Leadership Awards. The award also highlighted the trend towards firms working in partnership on client matters.

Brexit will “test the mettle” of lawyers

There’s a lurid fascination that comes with watching the UK’s Brexit debate from the US. At one level, it seems not unlike a marriage in its death throes. You know both ­husband and wife and feel terribly about it all, but cannot avert your eyes. The only winner? Neil Sedaka. Breaking up, as we’re told, is hard to do.

Moves: 2 May 2016

Gibson Dunn & Crutcher has hired Ashurst financial regulatory partner James Perry. Perry has been a partner at Ashur

Oh Manchester, so much to answer for

In March pretty much the entire editorial team of The Lawyer spent a week in Manchester. We came away certain of several things. First things first: sorry Birmingham and sorry Leeds – Manchester is definitively UK Law’s second city.

25 April 2016

Offshore report: the key trends affecting a changing market

After a busy year in the offshore world, several trends appeared: the ongoing divestment of fiduciary businesses, the move into more jurisdictions, and a hot recruitment market. In responses gathered as part of our annual offshore survey, the world’s biggest offshore firms give their thoughts on the key issues affecting their businesses.

Insight: How RSA runs its legal team

In January, after five years at RSA Insurance, Derek Walsh said he was leaving his role as group general counsel and company secretary. Walsh saw RSA through some troubled times including large losses in Ireland, stringent regulation and unprecedented levels of transactional activity but his tenure ended on a high as the UK-based general insurance company saw a 43 per cent rise in operating profit in 2015.

Moves: 25 April 2016

King & Wood Mallesons (KWM) IP partner Campbell Forsyth has joined Dentons’ partnership in London. Patent litigator Forsyth was a partner at KWM for nearly two years, having left the partnership of Olswang in 2014. He has a particular focus on the telecommunications, electronics and life sciences sectors.   

Hot 100 alumni: Howard Barrie, Eversheds

Eversheds project finance partner Howard Barrie first appeared in the Hot 100 in 2008, when his move to Paris at legacy Denton Wilde Sapte signalled a new era in the firm’s investment into Africa. Between 2007 to 2010, when Barrie led the Africa committee, Denton Wilde Sapte had a strategy for winning and working on […]

Get to grips with the new insurance rules

Imagine you are a general counsel or director in whose department sits the person who buys your company’s insurance policies. You may be about to become a star witness in insurance disputes. Is that news to you? Are you concerned by it?

Panama’s problem with the Mossack Fonseca leak

The leak of 11.5 million documents from the files of offshore ‘law firm’ Mossack Fonseca & Co is one of the largest data breaches ever. Since the publication of the first stories – unearthed by a consortium of journalists from around the world – the focus of the public, the media and politicians has been squarely on the way the world’s wealthy seek to minimise tax payments.

Star legal writers: intellectual property

IP rows involving rock band Radiohead, Lego and the Happy Birthday tune, and charity domain name developments are just some of the subjects discussed by our expert briefings writers.

Ashurst and Sidley: where strategy should have trumped culture

Two tales emerged last week that under different circumstances could have been told together. First, the story of Sidley. As our unmissable long read sets out, Sidley has occupied a solid but monochromatic position in the City, despite its bold beginnings in the nineties when it was the first US firm to hire UK lawyers. […]

18 April 2016

Switzerland report: Mutual appreciation

At The Lawyer’s recent Global Collaboration Summit, law firms of all sizes expressed the growing strategic importance of referrals within their own firms as well as with other law firms in the region.

Moves: 18 April 2016

King & Wood Mallesons (KWM) has bolstered its capital markets offering with the hire of partner Greg Stonefield, who joins from the partnership of Mayer Brown. Corporate finance specialist Stonefield has been at Mayer Brown for two years and was previously a partner at White & Case for more than a decade.

1

Does Pyrrho signal the rise of the RoboLawyer?

I very much doubt that Master Matthews regards himself as a visionary of a dystopian future in the style of George Orwell or John Wyndham, irrespective of some portrayals of his recent judgment in Pyrrho Investments Ltd v MWB Property Ltd. The issues in Pyrrho were relatively narrow. The court approved the use of predictive coding […]

LMI technology report: Jobs for all

Investment in innovation, the rapid growth of companies, the rise of cyber security and the uptick in high-value M&A meant the technology sector provided plenty of work for law firms in 2015.

In-house interview: Ovo Energy, Daphne Yao

Ovo Energy general counsel Daphne Yao started her legal career as a self-proclaimed “deals junkie” at a magic circle firm. Since then, her appetite for new challenges has taken her on a varied path through the corporate, music and sports media industries. Now she spends her days navigating the regulatory minefield for a burgeoning energy company.

Star legal writers: energy and environment

Commercial implications of prioritising the UK economy in Continental Shelf strategy, how new energy rules affect business, and bees, trees and pesticides – The Lawyer’s most popular briefings.

The known unknowns in Dentons’ game

Since the January 2015 merger between Dentons and China’s Dacheng scarcely a week has gone by without the ‘world’s largest law firm’ hitting the headlines. Last year the firm carried out seven mergers in four continents, launched offices in Europe and Africa, and made lateral hires on a regular basis worldwide. For a while, it […]

11 April 2016

In-house interview: Oliver Basi, CMC Markets

You could call CMC Markets brave for listing on the London Stock Exchange’s main market earlier this year. Few companies have made the move in 2016 and the markets are choppy to say the least. But after pulling out of an IPO almost 10 years ago the trading platform was unlikely to get cold feet again.

Hot 100 alumni: Helen Croke, Travers Smith

Now in her 16th year at Travers Smith, Helen Croke has been key to the success of the firm’s private equity group. One of eight partners in the firm’s dedicated private equity and M&A team, Croke qualified at Travers in 2001 and moved up into partnership seven years later. The team has remained largely unchanged […]

Tax avoidance and walking the dog

The news outlets are awash with information from Panama’s Mossack Fonseca. Predictably, journalists and politicians are making urgent statements on the subject. These include calling for the Government to “get its house in order” (The Guardian), impose direct rule on tax havens (Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn) and demanding clarification from the Prime Minister that he […]

Firms’ eerie silence after Panama leaks

Normally, after a big piece of business news, journalists get a succession of press releases punting a legal angle. Super-injunctions, bribery, Budget Day, workplace bullying; you name it, the PRs are on it. So it was notable last week that we got zero releases from any major law firm on the implications of the Panama […]

4 April 2016

In-house interview: Gita Parihar, Friends of the Earth

In the fight against climate change, much of the talk is about the practical ways of limiting the effects of global warming on our planet. But from an office building in south London, a small group of lawyers are trying to use their skills to help those affected by humanity’s impact on the planet.

In-house interview: Aviva GC Kirsty Cooper

Aviva general counsel Kirsty Cooper is celebrating her 25th year at the company this June. But the small Gloucestershire-based business she joined and the listed £45bn revenue insurance giant she helps manage today are worlds apart.

LMI analysis: ITV

For ITV 2015 was a profitable year. The UK’s biggest commercial terrestrial broadcaster achieved total revenue of £3.3bn, up from £2.9bn the previous year. Strong advertising, increased M&A activity and the continuing growth of its online, pay and interactive services has helped the broadcaster’s revenue climb 14 per cent in 12 months.

Business Leadership Awards: awards alumni – CMS

At last year’s The Lawyer Business Leadership Awards the firm that walked off with the Grand Prix Business Leadership Team of the Year prize was CMS, thanks largely to its move to tech-driven, open-plan offices in Cannon Place. CMS’s move was the culmination of a three-year programme of change that included its transformative merger with […]

SFO self-reporting concerns misplaced

Imagine you have a corporate client with a fraud or corruption issue. The client conducts its business responsibly. It has a code of ethics its leadership believes in. It wants to put its house in order and manage the associated risk. What do you advise? You won’t be surprised to read what my recommendation would […]

Moves: 4 April

Reed Smith arbitration partner Simon Sloane has joined Fieldfisher’s dispute resolution practice in London. Sloane has been Singapore-based since 2006, having joined Reed Smith in 2013 after a 17-year career at Holman Fenwick Willan. He focuses on the energy, construction and insurance industries.

Parabis lost: a cautionary tale

There’s a lot to digest in this week’s cover story. In short, the collapse of Parabis is a cautionary tale for management in any business, not just those in the admittedly tightly squeezed insurance sector. But, naturally, there are also insurance sector-specific issues here. For one thing insurance companies, and the legal services suppliers they […]

21 March 2016

israel-index

Is boycotting Israel anti-Semitic?

On 17 February 2016 the UK Government issued guidance making it clear that procurement boycotts by public authorities are inappropriate. The guidance was expressly targeting those “town halls” who the Government described as “poisoning and polarising debate” as well as “fuelling anti-Semitism”. The Government’s response to the “Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions” (BDS) movement, which was […]

14 March 2016

Moves: 14 March 2016

Mayer Brown has hired energy partner Mathew Kidwell from Morgan Lewis & Bockius. Kidwell served in Morgan Lewis’ London office for three years, having previously worked at other US firms such as K&L Gates and Shearman & Sterling. During his career, he has represented companies, banks and project sponsors in transactions spanning the Middle East, Africa and Europe.

7 March 2016

Moves: 7 March 2016

Taylor Wessing has hired Bird & Bird partner Angus Miln to its corporate technology team in London. Miln was at his former firm for over nine years and founded and led its venture capital practice. Prior to this, he was a solicitor at US firm Latham & Watkins.

LMI company focus: RB

Consumer health business RB has seen a number of senior departures from its in-house team. Who are now the key individuals and which firms do they turn to?

Star legal writers: company and commercial

This week’s briefings include tips on in absentia signing powers for a holiday free from office interruptions, and six reasons why companies must master the new EU data protections rules

2

Business intelligence: optimal ways to compare firms’ profitability

By Alan Hodgart, principal, Hodgart Associates The profitability of a law firm is a key competitive tool. It is not the only performance measure but its importance should not be underrated. A firm that underperforms its competitors on profitability over a sustained period is likely to face a decline in performance relative to competitors. It […]

29 February 2016

Moves: 29 February 2016

Mayer Brown has hired Reed Smith  private equity head Perry Yam to lead its practice in London. Yam joins as a partner after a four-year career at Reed Smith, where he was Europe and Middle East private equity head, after joining from legacy SJ Berwin in 2012.

Star legal writers: litigation

The legal and ethical implications of medical staff saying sorry, and will a CoA inheritance judgment open the door to the ­disappointed and disgruntled? Top briefings writers advise

22 February 2016

Moves: 22 February 2016

Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan has announced that litigation specialist Paul Friedman will join the firm as a partner based in the London office. Friedman joins from Clyde & Co, where he has been a partner for over 12 years. Prior to this, he was a partner at Baker & McKenzie. Friedman handles commercial litigation and has represented investment banks, private equity houses and high-net-worth individuals.

Day of reckoning looms for UK firms

For those with long memories there might seem to be nothing new in this week’s feature about the rise of the accountants. True, this time the tone of PwC, EY and KPMG suggests a more measured, less potentially hubristic story. But don’t be fooled. There is no lack of ambition. Look at the numbers. The […]

8 February 2016

Hot 100 alumni: Chantal-Aimee Doerries QC, Atkin Chambers

Atkin Chambers’ Chantal-Aimée Doerries QC was named in the Hot 100 in 2008, the same year she held the impressive accolade of being the youngest woman to be made up to silk in that round. Since then her energy, infrastructure and shipping practice has gone from strength to strength as she has taken on weightier […]

Moves: 8 February 2016

DLA Piper has hired Latham & Watkins debt finance partner Andy Kolacki. Kolacki joined Latham as an associate from Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer in 2005 and was promoted to partner four years later. He acts for lenders, private equity sponsors and borrowers in mainly cross-border transactions with a European and US focus.

BT’s legal team made the right call

Welcome to the BT issue. Well, ok, this week’s mag is not entirely devoted to the UK’s biggest telecoms giant, but it’s not far off. And to be fair, when it comes to BT, there’s quite a lot going on.

1 February 2016

In-house interview: Michael Marecki, Aston Martin

When Aston Martin changed hands from Ford to an investment consortium in 2007, the top-end car manufacturer had to rebuild an in-house legal team from scratch. The efficient allocation of legal resources is critical to the 102-year-old carmaker as it enters a new era in its history and prepares to innovate and boost profitability.

Moves: 1 February 2016

Bracewell & Giuliani name partner Rudolph Giuliani is to join Greenberg Traurig as global chair of its cyber- security and crisis management practice. He will also be senior adviser to executive chairman Richard Rosenbaum, and be joined at the firm by Bracewell partner Marc Mukasey. Giuliani founded the firm’s New York office in 2005 and was New York City mayor from 1994 to 2001.

Hot 100 alumni: Mark Harper, Hughes Fowler Carruthers

Former Withers partner Mark Harper made his mark in the family arena back in 2007, acting on the largest-ever settlement in the family courts as well as the divorce of Formula One tycoon Bernie Ecclestone. But since then, it’s all been Russian and relocation cases. The Ecclestone case was in fact just as dramatic behind […]

Don’t expect quick results from ASEAN

The Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) is one of the most important global developments for law firms. The ten-state single market has a combined GDP of $2.6trn (£1.8trn) and a population of over 622 million. It could be the world’s fourth largest economy by 2050. To find out which firms are doing well in […]

25 January 2016

Moves: 25 January 2016

Move of the week King & Spalding has hired Jones Day partner Jules Quinn to lead its employment team in London. Quinn was formerly head of the labour and employment group, having joined the firm in 2012. She will be joined by her colleague Kim Roberts, who has been appointed as counsel. UK London K&L Gates […]

The Hot 100 2016: Competition

Isabel Taylor, Slaughter and May It is not often that lawyers get to be the first to test a new regime, but that is what Slaughter and May competition partner Isabel Taylor got to do last year. Taylor led the Slaughters team acting for Northern Powergrid on an appeal against the Gas and Electricity Markets […]

The Hot 100 2016: Management

David Bickerton, Clifford Chance Clifford Chance London managing partner ­David Bickerton did more in 2015 than some magic circle bosses do in a four-year term. Introducing agile working at Clifford Chance was always going to be a tough call, but Bickerton’s ‘slowly, slowly’ and top-down approach – encouraging partners to lead by example – means […]

The Hot 100 2016: Finance

Ranajoy Basu, Reed Smith Reed Smith finance partner Ranajoy Basu saw three years’ hard work pay off in 2015, having set up the firm’s social impact finance group when he became a partner in May 2012. Last year Ranajoy worked pro bono to advise Instiglio – a non-profit focused on international development – on the […]

The Hot 100 2016: In-house

Rushad Abadan, Standard Life Former RBS deputy general counsel Rushad Abadan joins Standard Life as its group general counsel in early 2016, having spent just under a decade at the bank. That decade was characterised by a total overhaul of corporate culture; the subsequent part-­nationalisation of the bank and the current selling off of shares. […]

The Hot 100 2016: Commercial

Alex Chapman, Sheridans Sheridans head of gaming law Alex Chapman leads a team that works on almost every major video game deal going. At one stage this year his team were advisers to the developers of six of the UK’s 10 top-selling video games. One major deal was 2014’s $2.5bn (£1.75bn) sale of Mojang’s Minecraft […]

The Hot 100 2016: Corporate

Aedamar Comiskey, Linklaters In the past few years corporate partner moves have hit the headlines. But Linklaters lifer Aedamar Comiskey has stayed put throughout, winning lead roles on multiple billion-pound M&A deals last year. Soon after closing Amec’s merger with Foster Wheeler at the end of 2014 Comiskey was advising another longstanding client Amlin on […]

The Hot 100 2016: Insurance

James Wickes, RPC RPC insurance partner James Wickes acts for the insurers of the biggest banks and asset managers in the market and as a result he has worked on some of the biggest Directors and Officers liability insurance claims of the year. One such claim saw Wickes put his organisational and communication skills to […]

The Hot 100 2016: Life sciences

Nicola Maguire, Cooley Maguire moved from Reed Smith to Cooley alongside fellow life sciences partner John Wilkinson last year to launch the firm’s life sciences practice in the UK. Within two days she was front and centre pitching to win a new client – biotech company Immunocore – which was looking for funding to list […]

The Hot 100 2016: Litigation

Boris Bronfentrinker, Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan This time last year US litigation powerhouse Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan had no competition practice in the UK. Now it has a thriving and growing one, led by partner Boris Bronfentrinker. Bronfentrinker joined Quinn Emanuel from Hausfeld at the start of 2015 to build a UK and […]

The Hot 100 2016: Private client

Ros Bever, Irwin Mitchell 2015 was a standout year for Irwin Mitchell’s Manchester family law head Ros Bever. In June she led a team that took the divorce cases of Alison Sharland and Varsha Gohil to the Supreme Court, arguing against decisions of the lower courts which meant the two women had received lower settlements […]

The Hot 100 2016: The Bar

John Beggs QC, Serjeants’ Inn Chambers Over the past 25 years John Beggs QC has built up a leading practice acting on defendant police work. The Serjeants’ Inn Chambers tenant acts for individual policemen and women, chief constables and police authorities – as well as the Police and Crime Commissioner – on a wide range […]

The Hot 100 2016: Real estate

Jacqueline Backhaus, Trowers & Hamlins As Trowers & Hamlins’ head of planning, Jacqueline Backhaus has been at the forefront of the some of the largest UK housing projects in the past year. She supported Cherwell District Council on its acquisition and financing for the first large-scale, self-build housing project in the UK, setting a precedent […]

The Hot 100 2016: Energy

Rosalie Chadwick, Pinsent Masons Pinsent Masons corporate partner Rosalie Chadwick had a busy 2015 as lead lawyer on one of the most high-profile deals of the year: the £585m disposal of assets by French oil giant Total to North Sea Midstream Assets following the collapse in oil prices. The deal, which was a challenging first […]

The Hot 100 2016: Employment

Tom Bray, Eversheds Eversheds HR partner Tom Bray has been busy over the past four years leading the team responsible for providing specialist HR legal advice to Heathrow Airport. Bray’s work for Heathrow covers “every employment issue you may come across”. This includes work surrounding senior executive appointments, high-profile trade union issues and Employment Tribunal […]

CEE: growing globalisation

Heineken’s £87m purchase of a local brewer is just a flavour of the growing globalisation of the Central and Eastern Europe region – a challenge and a boost for local firms

Luxembourg: the push for fintech

Buoyed by its recent push towards fintech, Luxembourg  remains a major hub of the financial world. Many firms – including Dentons – are trying to get a foothold there

The Hot 100: Champions of champions

Look at the pictures. Our annual Hot 100 brings much joy to many: not only the lawyers, but also their mums and the PRs. And it’s a wonderfully uncynical exercise, in which we find 100 exceptional individuals who have not just excelled at their day job, but brought a little bit extra to the role. […]

18 January 2016

Revealed: the top 20 cases of 2016

2016 looks like being a good year for litigation boutiques after they picked up many major British industry mandates. Meanwhile, the High Court prepares for some of its highest-value cases in a decade

catrin griffiths

In litigation, there is no magic circle

Our annual Top 20 cases feature this week unveils the biggest forthcoming cases of the year, the ones every advocate at the commercial bar wants to be involved in. This year, big beasts like Herbert Smith Freehills and Linklaters are on the roster along with stalwarts such as Eversheds. But the firm making the most […]

11 January 2016

Litigation report: the Lawyer Market Research findings

FTSE and the firms The most prolific litigants in the FTSE 100 and the firms they choose to act for them What type of litigation are FTSE 100 companies bringing to UK courts? Which are the winning law firms by instructions and why? Alongside exclusive data from The Lawyer Market Intelligence tool, this report gathers […]

Moves: 11 January 2016

EY says Berwin Leighton Paisner (BLP) head of legal risk Matthew Whalley is joining its legal services arm to launch a legal risk practice. Whalley built BLP’s risk practice from the ground up and joins EY as a director. Former BLP head of finance Matthew Kellett moved to EY last year and now heads up its financial service practice.

Goodbye transformative merger, hello smart deal

It’s rather depressing how many partners want their management teams to obtain shrinkwrapped deals that will magically propel their firm to a new market position. The national practice wanting a London corporate jewel; the midsize firm hunting for the elusive fit that will keep everyone happy and entail the least amount of disruption. Partners averse […]

real estate

Star legal writers: real estate

From why landlords should think twice before banking on a windfall from maintenance contracts, to key issues for developers converting offices to residential use and saving the ‘great British pub’, TheLawyer.com’s briefings on real estate cover a breadth of issues. Read the top two stories here.

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