The deal market continues to be a product of the coronavirus environment, with the rescue buyout of Gourmet Burger Kitchen dominating headlines as the pandemic devastates the UK’s high street.
Elsewhere, I Squared Capital’s $2bn acquisition of GTT Communications’ infrastructure business is the latest to illustrate the attractiveness of telecoms assets at a time when connectivity is more essential than ever.
Allen & Overy has become the first of its peer group to reveal its pay gap statistics and, while gender disparities are still concerning, the firm has made a positive statement of intent by disclosing its disability pay gap for the first time.
On gender pay disparity, A&O’s figures are a mixed bag, with the firm moving in the wrong direction on partner pay. Women – which make up just 20% of the partnership – are paid on average 18% less than male counterparts, compared with a 16% disparity last year.
It has been a quieter week in the City recruitment market, with Clyde & Co the only firm to make a notable move while Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati and Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher made significant hires on the Continent.
Clyde & Co’s London hire saw disputes and compliance lawyer Rachel Cropper-Mawer join the firm’s regulatory and investigations group. Cropper-Mawer joins from DAC Beachcroft, having previously worked in-house at insurance broker Willis Towers Watson and oil and gas company BP where she had significant responsibilities for compliance issues.
Baker McKenzie and Hill Dickinson were the primary movers in the City recruitment market over the last week as a number of firms looked to bolster their European benches, with Paris and Ireland proving particularly active.
Bakers strengthened its City data protection and cyber practice with the hire of Paul Glass from Taylor Wessing, where he was a partner in the firm’s commercial technology and data group. Glass spearheaded Taylor Wessing’s cybersecurity practice and has advised on issues such as data breaches for 12 years. His practice also includes advising on contentious data protection and litigation, technology and IT disputes, and new and emerging technologies.
Osborne Clarke has named its successor to Simon Beswick as CEO, with infrastructure finance head and OC veteran Omar Al-Nuaimi (pictured) taking over in July 2021.
The move will see Al-Nuaimi succeed Beswick, OC’s inaugural CEO, at the end of his term after eight years in the role. The appointment was announced to partners on Thursday (8 October) by Núria Martín, chair of the international council and managing partner of Osborne Clarke’s Spanish offices.
With mental health and wellbeing now front and centre among law firm leaders more than ever, Cooley’s London office has become the latest to sign up to the Mindful Business Charter.
Launched in 2018, the charter was devised by banking giant Barclays alongside Pinsent Masons and Addleshaw Goddard in a bid to combat workplace practices that contribute to stress and poor mental health among lawyers. It encourages people to think about being clear in emails on when they need a response if sent outside business hours and not expecting people on annual leave to be on call.
White & Case has refocused on the City in its latest partnership promotion round, after largely overlooking London last year in an uncharacteristic move for the firm.
The firm announced today (9 October) that as of January 2021 nine lawyers in the City will be minted as part of a wider 40-strong promotion round. The London figure is a marked increase on last year, when just three lawyers received the nod in the City with other jurisdictions prioritised.
Today marks Alex Novarese’s last day at Legal Business before leaving the company for new challenges elsewhere.
Alex has been an outstanding editor of the magazine for more than seven years. Under his leadership, Legal Business has gone from strength to strength, ushering in a brand new digital platform, a complete overhaul of content and analysis, and offering sometimes outspoken comment, often provocative opinions, but always thought leadership in the true sense of the phrase. We know that Legal Business is the magazine which makes law firm partners sit up and take notice, and we know that Alex is a huge part of the reason why.
As Legal Business‘ portfolio of events, conferences and summits expanded exponentially over the past five years, Alex’s presence, commitment and insight on stage and behind the scenes has been fundamental to their success. When those events return following the pandemic we hope we can build on the exceptional legacy he leaves behind.
Alex will be greatly missed both by Legal Business staff and readership, and takes with him our heartfelt thanks for his enormous contribution both to Legal Business and to the wider company. We wish him all the very best in his future endeavours.
For more, see ‘Comment: Last orders – The final reflections of a veteran legal pundit’
I’ve always suspected that, like politics, careers in journalism largely end in failure. Here is how mine ends. After 20 years covering the legal industry, it’s time to do something else. Given that length of time, I hope my four regular readers will forgive the introspection of my final Legal Business column.
I was an accidental legal journalist, just a business reporter who ended up covering law while looking for the next sector to cover in my restless twenties. Business journalists should want to cover a sector that is large, competitive, has smart people and that Britain excels at. Law certainly ticked all those boxes, not that you’d know it from the lack of attention it gets outside its own media.
The past week has seen a focus on team hires and moves, with Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner and DAC Beachcroft both taking on groups of lawyers from competitor firms.
Named as the highly commended firm in our Law Firm of the Year category at the Legal Business Awards this week, DAC Beachcroft has hired a five-partner insurance team in Belfast from LB100 top-50 firm BLM.