In-house leaders sign letter urging law firms to ramp up diversity efforts

In-house leaders sign letter urging law firms to ramp up diversity efforts

A group of 65 general counsel (GCs) spanning major companies from the UK and Europe has collectively signed a letter urging law firms to improve their diversity efforts.

Among those to have lent their support to the statement are Shell GC Donny Ching, Vodafone group GC Rosemary Martin (pictured), Unilever’s chief legal officer Ritva Sotamaa, Anglo American group GC Richard Price and BHP Billiton group GC Caroline Cox.

Kirkland breaks $5m PEP and outguns Latham again to stay world’s highest-grossing firm

Kirkland breaks $5m PEP and outguns Latham again to stay world’s highest-grossing firm

Kirkland & Ellis has hiked revenues by more than $500m to remain the world’s highest-earning law firm, as global turnover surged to $3.76bn.

The Chicago-bred giant today (21 March) revealed results for the 2018 financial year, confirmed a 19% hike in revenues against $3.165bn the previous year. Profit per equity partner (PEP) topped $5m for the first time, up 7% to $5,037,000 on the $4.7m for 2017. Revenue per lawyer was up nearly 3% to $1.63m.

Slaughter and May chooses Hong Kong once more for rare partner hire

Slaughter and May chooses Hong Kong once more for rare partner hire

Traditionally phobic to partner hires, Slaughter and May has recruited in Hong Kong again almost a year after its previous move in the jurisdiction, this time recruiting Jing Chen as partner from the Listing Division of Hong Kong Exchanges and Clearing Limited (HKEX).

Chen re-joins the firm having been a trainee solicitor at Slaughters in 2006, before spending eight years as an associate advising on M&A and capital markets following qualification.

US firms deployed on $43bn Worldpay takeover as Freshfields scores lead on major bank merger

US firms deployed on $43bn Worldpay takeover as Freshfields scores lead on major bank merger

Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom is advising payment processor Worldpay on a proposed $43bn takeover offer by financial technology company FIS, while Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer has been drafted in to act for Deutsche Bank on merger talks with rival Commerzbank.

The deal, announced yesterday (18 March), will see Worldpay shareholders receive $11 in cash for each of their shares. The merger gives Worldpay an enterprise value of around $43bn, including its debt, which Florida-based FIS expects to refinance.

Kerr to hit 26 years at 2Birds’ helm as Addleshaws re-appoints Penney as senior partner

Kerr to hit 26 years at 2Birds’ helm as Addleshaws re-appoints Penney as senior partner

Bird & Bird’s long-standing chief executive David Kerr (pictured) is set to lead the firm until 2022 after standing unopposed in the firm’s latest election.

Addleshaw Goddard will also stick to its leadership after Charles Penney saw off a challenge by the firm’s employment group head Michael Leftley to secure a second term as senior partner.

Dechert rebuilds City leadership with dealmaker Field as Black takes helm

Dechert rebuilds City leadership with dealmaker Field as Black takes helm

Dechert has taken strides to fortify its depleted London management team, adding private equity partner Chris Field and naming Gus Black as its chair.

Funds specialist Black (pictured) is global co-chair of Dechert’s financial services group and has been a member of the London management committee since its inception in 2016. Corporate partner Field was hired into Dechert’s London office after 11 years at Kirkland & Ellis in October 2017 along with tax partner Jane Scobie. They followed a path trodden by finance partner John Markland who left Kirkland for Dechert the previous year.

DWF becomes UK’s largest listed law firm as it completes £95m IPO

DWF becomes UK’s largest listed law firm as it completes £95m IPO

After announcing its record £95m IPO on Monday (11 March), DWF has today (15 March) issued 300,000,000 shares and been admitted to the main board of the London Stock Exchange.

With a £366m valuation and offer size of £95m, DWF has officially become the UK’s largest listed law firm. £19m of the proceeds will be used to repay a portion of members’ capital contribution to DWF, with £10m earmarked for IT investment and the remainder reserved for general corporate purposes.

US firms strike in the City again as Latham hits Links and Paul Hastings taps Hogan Lovells

US firms strike in the City again as Latham hits Links and Paul Hastings taps Hogan Lovells

Latham & Watkins has once again hit the Magic Circle to expand beyond its traditional transactional heartlands in the City, recruiting Linklaters insurance partner Victoria Sander.

Paul Hastings has also made the latest in a series of London hires, with former Hogan Lovells M&A infrastructure and energy partner Steven Bryan starting at the US firm this week.

Ince & Co administrator reveals partners had ‘no appetite’ to rescue failing firm with £8.5m cash injection

Ince & Co administrator reveals partners had ‘no appetite’ to rescue failing firm with £8.5m cash injection

Ince & Co partners ruled out a £8.5m capital injection that may have saved the firm from financial failure, according to a report from administrators Quantuma.

At a meeting in October 2018, Ince partners were informed that if a sale to a third party could not be hastily arranged, partners would have to agree to a three-year lock in and contribute at least £8.5m to rescue the firm.

Mayer Brown’s global revenue nears $1.4bn as PEP spikes 8.2% amid expansive year

Mayer Brown’s global revenue nears $1.4bn as PEP spikes 8.2% amid expansive year

Chicago-bred Mayer Brown saw its global revenue rise 5.8% to $1.38bn as profit per equity partner (PEP) hiked 8.2% to hit $1.7m in 2018.

The growth rate is up from last year, when the firm increased its top line 4.2% to $1.31bn globally. However PEP growth slowed slightly, having grown 8.8% in 2017. Revenue per lawyer saw a 5.9% uptick to $885,000, an improvement on last year’s 5.3% figure.