Deal watch: Simpson Thacher conjures Blackstone and Alibaba mandates as Linklaters and CC lead on British Steel takeover

Deal watch: Simpson Thacher conjures Blackstone and Alibaba mandates as Linklaters and CC lead on British Steel takeover

Simpson Thacher & Bartlett has picked up two high-profile mandates advising Blackstone on the acquisition of MagicLab alongside the Hong Kong listing of Chinese ecommerce giant Alibaba.

Elsewhere, Linklaters and Clifford Chance (CC) led on Chinese steelmaker Jingye Steel and Iron’s acquisition of British Steel.

Gowling WLG appoints corporate partner UK chair as Witts steps down

Gowling WLG appoints corporate partner UK chair as Witts steps down

Gowling WLG has elected a corporate partner chair of its UK LLP, with incumbent Andrew Witts standing down after more than eight years and multiple mergers.

M&A and private equity partner Andy Stylianou (pictured) will become the firm’s chair from May 2020 on a four-year term, the firm said today (12 November). He was already chair of Gowling’s UK partnership’s representative council and a founding member of its diversity forum.

Comment: New Law needs a new dictionary to get that promised breakthrough

Comment: New Law needs a new dictionary to get that promised breakthrough

For more than a decade now technology and innovation jargon has been pushing its way inelegantly into the legal sphere. But with what result? Certainly, it has led to industrial levels of hype as cloying Silicon Valley-speak took hold in even the most inhospitable arenas. But more to the point for the development of the industry is the endemic confusion it has sown.

Without re-treading this month’s cover feature on the substance of law firms’ New Law divisions, it is clear that the industry struggles enormously to articulate these services, both at conventional law firms and pure-play providers.

Revolving doors: Simmons and CMS make City banking and pensions hires as Gibson Dunn bolsters its Paris bench

Revolving doors: Simmons and CMS make City banking and pensions hires as Gibson Dunn bolsters its Paris bench

In another muted patch for City laterals, Simmons & Simmons and CMS were the only firms to hire in London last week as Gibson Dunn & Crutcher recruited to its employment bench and HFW hired in Hong Kong.

Simmons has added to its international banking practice with the hire of Kirsty Barnes, Gowling WLG’s head of banking and finance in the UK.

Ashurst joins flexible lawyering bandwagon as DWF completes BT Law acquisition

Ashurst joins flexible lawyering bandwagon as DWF completes BT Law acquisition

Ashurst has teamed up with US-based law company Elevate and Cognia Law to offer clients flexible lawyering through the firm’s New Law umbrella Ashurst Advance.

The initiative launched today (8 November) and gives Ashurst access to Elevate and Cognia’s flexible lawyering pool, with the offering initially available in both the UK and Australia before being rolled out globally. The arrangement will also allow Ashurst’s clients to access particular expertise for secondees.

In-house: BAE air legal head quits for aerospace rival as Lloyds’ legal ops head joins Clifford Chance

In-house: BAE air legal head quits for aerospace rival as Lloyds’ legal ops head joins Clifford Chance

BAE System’s longstanding legal chief for air, Julie Smyth, has landed the general counsel (GC) role at GKN Aerospace, while Lloyds Banking Group’s well-regarded head of legal operations is heading to Clifford Chance.

Smyth (pictured) leaves BAE’s air business, where she managed a legal team of 60, after seven years as chief counsel to head up legal, risk, compliance and governance across GKN’s global aerospace business, based in London. Smyth joined BAE in 1998 – when it was British Aerospace – with the air business accounting for about half of the defence multinational’s £18bn turnover.

Goodwin makes good on Taylor Wessing hires with Cambridge office opening

Goodwin makes good on Taylor Wessing hires with Cambridge office opening

The expansive Goodwin has leveraged its recent four-strong band of life sciences and technology laterals from Taylor Wessing to open a new office in the UK’s innovation hub, Cambridge.

The move follows Goodwin’s hire of a Taylor Wessing team including Malcolm Bates, David Mardle, Tim Worden and Adrian Rainey as part of its strategy to build out its City technology and life sciences bench.

Linklaters ExComm bag £25m amid surge in revenue from US and AsiaPac, LLP accounts reveal

Linklaters ExComm bag £25m amid surge in revenue from US and AsiaPac, LLP accounts reveal

The 12 members of Linklaters’ executive committee and senior partner Charlie Jacobs saw a 17% pay increase to more than £25m last year, the firm’s LLP accounts show.

Published this week (4 November), the accounts also revealed double-digit revenue growth in the firm’s non-European offices in the year to April 2019. Asia Pacific turnover surged 15% to £226m, while its three American offices in Washington DC, New York and Sao Paulo billed £103m, 11% more than the previous year.

‘Not a chance’: Reed Smith rules out a listing as it lands ABS licence approval

‘Not a chance’: Reed Smith rules out a listing as it lands ABS licence approval

Reed Smith has made good on its plans to secure an alternative business structure (ABS) licence from the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA), but has ruled out the move will be part of a process to pursue an initial public offering (IPO).

The change in regulatory status also allows the firm to be owned or managed by those without legal qualifications, with Reed Smith eyeing a widened provision of service beyond conventional law. The change in structure will not change the firm’s limited liability partnership status, which includes a single partnership and profit pool in the UK, France, Greece, UAE and China.

Revolving Doors: Proskauer and TLT hire in the City as Clydes insurance head retires

Revolving Doors: Proskauer and TLT hire in the City as Clydes insurance head retires

Proskauer and TLT have added to their funds and banking practices in what was a quiet week generally for City lateral hires.

Proskauer has hired regulatory specialist Kirsten Lapham to its global private funds practice. She joins the firm’s London office as partner from Ropes & Gray where she was counsel in the asset management group.