Top 10 stories: 30 January-5 February 2015

Managing partner elections in major firms always attract interest, and Berwin Leighton Paisner’s (BLP) selection of employment head Lisa Mayhew to succeed Neville Eisenberg last week was no exception. Mayhew was elected to the firm’s top job just five years after joining the firm from Jones Day.

There was a theme of brands and branding running through last week. Our cover story focused on the way firms are positioning themselves to recruit the best talent of ‘generation Y’, while Acritas’s annual brand index of US firms put Skadden Arps Slate Meagher & Flom in top spot.

LLP accounts continue to flood in as firms aim for the filing deadline at Companies House. Last week’s filings included Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer, whose accounts showed that the firm’s pension scheme continues to cost a significant amount.

Back on the management theme, our leadership interview with Jeremy Hoyland of Simmons & Simmons was popular last week. Hoyland spoke about the firm’s expansion into countries like Luxembourg and touched on the way the UK economy – and, by extension, law firms – are “defying gravity” in a still-volatile market.

Many firms are continuing to recruit laterally. Last week’s hires included an energy team from Bond Dickinson for Pinsent Masons and three Locke Lord partners for Fladgate. A high-profile German duo from Clifford Chance including private equity head Oliver Felsenstein left for Latham & Watkins, and BLP’s advocacy head Stuart Isaacs QC moved to King & Spalding.

The top 10 stories were rounded off with another showing in the list for the 45 in-house counsel who featured in our Hot 100 2015.

The top 10 stories in full:

1. BLP elects employment head Lisa Mayhew as managing partner

2. Recruiting Generation Y

3. Skadden retains top spot for branding attraction in crowded US market

4. Freshfields to pay £1bn to retired partners over next 50 years

5. Simmons’ managing partner Jeremy Hoyland on Bristol, Luxembourg and defying gravity

6. Pinsent Masons picks up energy team from Bond Dickinson

7. Fladgate hires three Locke Lord partners in largest-ever lateral move

8. Latham continues Clifford Chance raid with hire of private equity chief Felsenstein

9. The Hot 100 2015: In-house

10. BLP advocacy head Stuart Isaacs QC joins King & Spalding