UK updates from The Lawyer, covering London and regional law firms and the Bar.



Morgan Lewis makes major UK corporate push with triple hire from HSF

A trio of Herbert Smith Freehills (HSF) partners, including City private equity head Mark Geday, have left the firm to join Morgan Lewis & Bockius’ London office in a major corporate push for the US firm in the UK. Geday, a HSF lifer since 1996, is joined by corporate partners Nicholas Moore and Tomasz Wozniak […]


Macfarlanes vows to be “trusted adviser” to boards on digital disruption

Macfarlanes has set out plans to take its digital advisory practice to the next level, following the hire of Norton Rose Fulbright’s technology head Mike Rebeiro earlier this year. Rebeiro, who was at Norton Rose Fulbright for nearly 18 years, was brought in to lead Macfarlanes’ digital and innovation business in February, a comparatively new […]

money finance

White & Case’s City profits skyrocket by nearly 40 per cent

White & Case‘s net profit in London shot up nearly 40 per cent over 2017, according to the firm’s LLP accounts for the last financial year. The US firm revealed a strong year for the firm in London, as well as its Johannesburg office, which is also covered in the figures. Year-end figures for 2017 […]

Rachael Davidson

National Grid UK GC takes up new role at utility giant

National Grid’s UK general counsel Rachael Davidson has swapped her role for another within the company, taking on a new position in the group’s non-core business unit. Davidson has become general counsel for National Grid Ventures, which operates in competitive markets outside of National Grid’s core regulated activities in the UK and US. Her role […]


A&O strikes canny office deal in overheated Belfast market

Allen & Overy (A&O) has secured a money-saving rent deal for its Belfast outpost, following the sale of the office for over £15m earlier this week. From March 2021, A&O will pay £19.50 per sq ft for the Grade A office development in the ObelComplex along Belfast’s waterfront, spanning seven floors. The rate is 13 per […]


Clifford Chance partner takes top legal job at blockchain developer

Clifford Chance corporate finance partner Alex Erasmus is to join a blockchain software company later this year as its new chief legal officer. London-based Erasmus will join the executive committee of in Hong Kong. is the software publisher behind open-source blockchain protocol EOSIO, which was launched in June 2018 and provides secure and […]


SFO withdraws arrest warrant against MoFo client in ENRC case

The Serious Fraud Office (SFO) has withdrawn the arrest warrant it had issued against the chief executive of the Eurasian Resources Group, in the latest development to the agency’s long-running investigation into its subsidiary company ENRC. Last month, the SFO announced that ERG’s CEO Benedikt Sobotka was wanted for alleged refusal to comply to an […]


Latham targets A&O for second infrastructure hire this week

Another magic circle partner is to join Latham & Watkins in London, as it sets its sights on winning work in the infrastructure M&A market. Allen & Overy partner Conrad Andersen, who was promoted in 2008, is to join Clifford Chance partner Brendan Moylan at the US firm. The latter’s move was revealed yesterday. While […]

Fieldfisher Belfast

Fieldfisher joins the throng in Belfast with new operations launch

Fieldfisher is to open a legal support centre in Belfast, years after firms such as Herbert Smith Freehills, Baker McKenzie and Allen & Overy made similar moves in the Northern Irish capital. Fieldfisher says it expects to house 125 personnel in Belfast within the next three years, with 14 people having already been recruited. The office […]

Allen & Overy

A&O reveals trainee retention score and boosts salaries

Allen & Overy (A&O) has announced its autumn 2018 trainee retention figures, with 80 per cent of its 46 qualifiers staying on. With a total intake of 46, 44 trainees applied to qualify, 40 of whom were offered newly qualified positions. Overall, 37 trainees accepted the offers. “This is a good result and one which […]


Latest UK Briefings

Practical insight into Land Registration Act 2002 proposed amendments

By Erin Keating In April 2016, Walker Morris considered the Law Commission’s Consultation Paper which detailed proposed amendments to the Land Registration Act 2002 (the Act). Following an extensive review with industry professionals, a draft bill seeking to implement a wide range of amendments has now been placed before Parliament. Walker Morris’ Louise Power and Erin Keating […]

Construction: can a company in liquidation refer a dispute to adjudication?

The Technology and Construction Court (TCC) has delivered a significant judgment in Michael J Lonsdale (Electrical) Ltd v Bresco Electrical Services Ltd (in Liquidation) [2018] EWHC 2043 (TCC) where the company seeking to refer a dispute to adjudication was in liquidation. The substance of the dispute related to the contractor’s claim for payment allegedly due for […]

Hackitt review: Response suggests further extension of the regime

By Adrian Mansbridge As outlined in our previous articles covering what lies ahead for high rise regulation and the proposed ban on flammable cladding the legislative programme to implement the recommendations of the Hackitt review and to address broader concerns is already underway. However, as anticipated, political concerns have already led to these proposals being “beefed up”…

Commercial Court discharges $3bn freezing order in relation to Angolan sovereign wealth fund

On 16 August 2018, Mr Justice Popplewell discharged a $3 billion proprietary and freezing injunction (“WFO”) against the Defendants, Mr José Dos Santos, Mr Jean-Claude Bastos de Morais (“Mr Bastos”), and the Quantum Global group of companies. This is a very important judgment on the requirements for freezing orders, especially the duty of full and […]

Cayman Islands: A contractual term solid as a Rock

In a review of a recent judgment of the United Kingdom Supreme Court, which overturned longstanding precedent on No Oral Modification clauses, partner Ben Hobden and associate Spencer Vickers of Conyers Dill & Pearman in the Cayman Islands and the decision will provide welcome certainty on contracts…

Retail Risk Report 2018: Digital disruption and regulatory changes

By Kerry Gwyther 2018 has been a particularly challenging year for retailers so far, combining tough trading conditions with digital disruption and major legal and regulatory changes. Our Retail Risk Report, now in its fourth year, is a single point of reference to help retailers understand the legal and regulatory changes taking place in 2018 […]

When can a force majeure clause in contracts be relied on?

By Tom George, Daniel Wood and Cathy Moore In times of economic and/or political uncertainty, parties to construction contracts may consider whether they have a right to rely on force majeure provisions as a justification for temporarily or permanently failing to perform substantive obligations. We review the recent decision in Seadrill Ghana Operations Ltd v Tullow Ghana […]

Blockchain roundtable: addressing the regulatory challenges of disruptive innovation

The Blockchain Research Institute (BRI) recently gathered nearly 70 global leaders in finance, law, government, academia and innovation for a special roundtable discussion that explored the challenges surrounding blockchain regulation. Usman Sheikh, Gowling WLG partner and National Head of the firm’s Blockchain & Smart Contract Group, co-led the forum with blockchain pioneer and co-founder of BRI Don Tapscott, […]

Sentencing Council publishes gross negligence manslaughter definitive sentencing guideline

The penalties imposed on individuals for fatal accidents in the workplace are set to increase after the Sentencing Council for England and Wales published its definitive sentencing guideline for gross negligence manslaughter. Walker Morris health and safety experts, Stuart Ponting and Robert Starr, consider the new guideline and the implications for employers and directors…

Energy Update – August 2018

This energy update includes the following white papers: CMA publishes final report on Heat Networks calling for new regulation The first National Infrastructure Assessment is published recommending growth in Green Energy NAO report on package recycling Update on Electric Vehicles Amendment Regulations 2018 – in force 24 July 2018 The Mayor of London’s Energy Efficiency […]

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