Kennedys looks to ensure next stage of growth with first managing partner

Kennedys looks to ensure next stage of growth with first managing partner

Kennedys has appointed its first global managing partner following a sustained period of growth which has seen turnover increase 70% in the last five years on the back of expansion into 37 international offices.

Suzanne Liversidge (pictured), who joined the insurance and shipping specialist as the head of its Sheffield office in 2010, was today (20 August) appointed the firm’s first managing partner. She will work alongside the firm’s senior partner of more than 20 years, Nick Thomas, who was re-elected to a fifth term in 2017.

In-house: Trustpilot bags former Skyscanner legal chief as Gowling scores sole Commonwealth Games mandate

In-house: Trustpilot bags former Skyscanner legal chief as Gowling scores sole Commonwealth Games mandate

Adding to recent high-profile in-house appointments, former Skyscanner legal chief Carolyn Jameson (pictured) has been appointed chief legal and policy officer at consumer review website Trustpilot, while Gowling WLG has become sole legal adviser to the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games.

GC Powerlist-regular Jameson, who earlier in the year announced her departure from high-profile travel metasearch engine Skyscanner after six years, will oversee global legal and public affairs at Trustpilot from the UK and Denmark.

Revolving doors: Expansive Goodwin makes another City tech play as Dechert and Quinn hire further afield

Revolving doors: Expansive Goodwin makes another City tech play as Dechert and Quinn hire further afield

Following a string of hires to expand its London office this year, Goodwin Procter has again added to its City technology and life sciences practice with the hire of partner Ali Ramadan from Orrick Herrington & Sutcliffe.

Ramadan has experience in venture capital, cross-border M&A and private equity transactions for technology businesses. He acts for start-ups, high-growth companies and investors operating in the technology, fintech, proptech and digital media industries.

Burford names new CFO and governance shake-up amid activist investor row

Burford names new CFO and governance shake-up amid activist investor row

Litigation funder Burford Capital has appointed a new CFO and begun a search for two new independent directors to its board as its protracted and increasingly public row with US investor Muddy Waters rages on.

Burford confirmed today (15 August) that Jim Kilman will become the company’s new CFO, replacing Elizabeth O’Connell, who is married to its chief executive Christopher Bogart. The personal relationship between the two was a key point Muddy Waters raised earlier this month in a stinging critique of the funder’s governance and accounting standards.

In-house: Skyscanner lands former Deliveroo legal chief as GC and company secretary

In-house: Skyscanner lands former Deliveroo legal chief as GC and company secretary

Recently departed Deliveroo legal chief Rob Miller has been named Skyscanner’s general counsel (GC) and company secretary following Carolyn Jameson’s departure from the high-profile travel metasearch company earlier this year.

Miller (pictured) will oversee Skyscanner’s global legal, regulatory and public affairs function, leading a team of 12 lawyers, and comes as the Scotland-based company embarks on a strategic shift. GC Powerlist-regular Jameson was at the company for six years and was involved in the company’s £1.4bn acquisition by Chinese online travel giant ctrip.com in 2016.

In-house: Aviva reveals new adviser panel after first review since 2013

In-house: Aviva reveals new adviser panel after first review since 2013

Ten firms have secured spots on FTSE 100 insurer Aviva’s refreshed legal panel, with RPC, Eversheds Sutherland and Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner winning new appointments.

The two-lot panel covering the group and investor businesses came into effect on 1 July after the previous panel, last reviewed in 2013, ran its course. It will run on an initial three-year term.

Brexit and oil price stymie Burness Paull as profit drops 8%

Brexit and oil price stymie Burness Paull as profit drops 8%

Burness Paull has felt the effect of economic and political uncertainty more than most this year, reporting muted growth and an 8% drop in profit as two of its biggest markets struggled.

Revenue at the Scottish independent was up a sluggish 2% to £58.5m for the 2018/19 financial year, while profit fell to £22m from £23.8m. Two of the firm’s biggest markets – oil and gas and commercial property – had a slow first six months, heavily weighing on the result.

Scottish judge fast-tracks legal challenge to stop a forced no-deal Brexit

Scottish judge fast-tracks legal challenge to stop a forced no-deal Brexit

A judge at the Court of Session in Edinburgh has fast-tracked a legal challenge to prevent Prime Minister Boris Johnson from proroguing Parliament to force through a no-deal Brexit, following a petition from over 70 MPs and peers.

As a result, Lord Doherty ruled that an urgent hearing of the case should be conducted on 6 September, after the matter was heard in a Scottish court as equivalents in England do not sit over the summer.

Disputes heavyweights weigh in as Burford Capital alleges ‘illegal manipulation’ of shares after Muddy Waters attack

Disputes heavyweights weigh in as Burford Capital alleges ‘illegal manipulation’ of shares after Muddy Waters attack

Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer, Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan and Morrison & Foester have all been enlisted by litigation funder Burford Capital to pursue claims of illegal market manipulation by short-seller Muddy Waters.

Burford today (12 August) said in a statement that a preliminary finding of its analysis of trading shares last week displayed ‘evidence consistent with illegal market manipulation.’ The statement came after more than £1bn was wiped off the company’s value last week after San Francisco-based Muddy Waters published a report suggesting Burford was ‘a perfect storm for an accounting fiasco.’

Profit soars 76% as Irwin Mitchell hits ninth consecutive year of revenue growth

Profit soars 76% as Irwin Mitchell hits ninth consecutive year of revenue growth

Irwin Mitchell has hiked profit 76% to £21.3m in a ninth consecutive year of growth that has also seen 9% added to its top line.

The pace-setting results compare with last year’s slight fall in profit to £12.1m and modest 3% increase in turnover to £241.8m, meaning the firm has added £21.4m to its top line to hit £263.2m in 2018/19.