Akin Gump defies annus horribilis with 19% City revenue hike amid restructuring boom

Akin Gump defies annus horribilis with 19% City revenue hike amid restructuring boom

It is often said that the legal industry excels in extreme market conditions and Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld’s 2020 financial results bear testament to that, with the firm’s London office proving again bullish on the back of a stellar run of restructuring matters. City revenue grew a pacy 19% to $149.2m from $125.1m last …

Comment: Depressing end to Weinstein gagging order narrative means closure for none

Comment: Depressing end to Weinstein gagging order narrative means closure for none

The whimpering conclusion to the three-year saga that dragged City law into the middle of #MeToo could hardly have been more frustrating for everyone concerned. The Solicitors Disciplinary Tribunal (SDT) said on Thursday (14 January) it had decided to stay proceedings against Allen & Overy employment veteran Mark Mansell (aka Solicitor Z) relating to a non-disclosure agreement drawn up for disgraced Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein in 1998. The grounds – Mansell’s …

New management roles unveiled at Macfarlanes as former leader Martin retires from partnership

New management roles unveiled at Macfarlanes as former leader Martin retires from partnership

Change is afoot at City leader Macfarlanes as Luke Powell has been lined up to succeed Julian Howard as managing partner, while the firm has appointed its first chief operating officer. At the same time, it was announced the much-admired former senior partner Charles Martin will retire from the partnership in April. Sebastian Prichard Jones, Macfarlanes’ senior …

Dealwatch: Sign of the times for advisers on Priory Group and vegan foods deals

Dealwatch: Sign of the times for advisers on Priory Group and vegan foods deals

Innovative, Covid-driven transactions have continued to emerge in recent months, with the first working week of 2021 proving no exception. As many embark on ‘Veganuary’ after the meaty excesses of the holiday season, a timely deal has been the acquisition by LIVEKINDLY Collective, a collection of plant-based food companies, of No Meat, Iceland Foods’ vegan …

Revolving doors: ‘Talismanic’ Dolman heads to Latham amid surge in City hires over holidays

Revolving doors: ‘Talismanic’ Dolman heads to Latham amid surge in City hires over holidays

The City hiring push scarcely abated during the holiday season, with a host of laterals announced just before and just after the break. The most significant was the announced departure of Travers Smith veteran and private equity star Paul Dolman for Latham & Watkins.  The move marks the loss of one of Travers’ most high-profile …

The Global 100 Overview: Unstoppable forces

The Global 100 Overview: Unstoppable forces

In Legal Business’ last Global 100 issue, we reported on a ‘relatively benign’ 2018/19 for the world’s top 100 law firms compared to the tumultuous three years that preceded it. The headwinds caused by increased protectionism in the US and ongoing acrimony between the UK and Europe had subsided somewhat after firms recovered from the …

The Global 100: Analysis – What’s the deal with DLA?

The Global 100: Analysis – What’s the deal with DLA?

‘The whole place didn’t collapse, did it?’ So quips Simon Levine, almost six years since he took on the leviathan challenge of succeeding Sir Nigel Knowles as global co-chief executive and managing partner of DLA Piper. Nevertheless Levine, characteristically self-deprecating and garrulous, especially in light of the firm not being razed to the ground, has …

Global 100 European M&A focus: Riding a black swan

Global 100 European M&A focus: Riding a black swan

‘What has happened to us?’ An M&A veteran shakes his head incredulously, having uttered the now ubiquitous phrase: ‘stay safe’ to conclude a Zoom call with Legal Business. This time last year, rainmakers could hardly have imagined being forced into a neverending merry-go-round of video conferencing, let alone ending each conversation with something reminiscent of …

Failings in Beckwith prosecution undermine #MeToo fight and muzzle regulator

Failings in Beckwith prosecution undermine #MeToo fight and muzzle regulator

The High Court ruling in November that overturned the Solicitors Disciplinary Tribunal (SDT)’s finding against ex-Freshfields partner Ryan Beckwith has sent shockwaves reverberating around the profession. In the unlikely event that the substance of the ruling has escaped anyone, the Queen’s Bench Division’s judgment reversed the SDT’s October 2019 findings that Beckwith’s drunken sexual activity with …