In an unusual City move from a US firm to the Magic Circle, Latham & Watkins co-head of investment funds Tom Alabaster is to join Linklaters three years after joining Latham from Carlyle.
The hire comes a few months after Linklaters launched a refreshed strategy to focus on financial sponsors and fund formation and Alabaster, who starts next month, is a significant coup for a firm less known for fund formation work compared to rivals Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer and Clifford Chance.
Following the recent decision to relocate Ince & Co senior partner Jan Heuvels to Hong Kong, the firm has appointed HR director Andrew Jameson in the new role as head of the London office.
Heuvels, one of Ince’s batch of ‘superstar’ insurance partners who became senior partner in 2014, will depart for the firm’s Hong Kong office next month.
Three UK partners at Eversheds Sutherland, including the Manchester senior partner, will vie for the role of chair after Leeds litigator Paul Smith’s four-year term comes to an end later this year.
The partners who plan to stand for election are joint head of energy and infrastructure Robert Pitcher, joint UK financial services head Pamela Thompson and Manchester senior partner Michael Clavell-Bate.
It is understood that the election is due to kick off within the next week although there are no official candidates at this stage.
Nineteen months to the day since its last attempt to forge a transatlantic union with Greenberg Traurig was abandoned, Berwin Leighton Paisner (BLP) has today (16 October) confirmed that it is in merger talks with Global 100 firm Bryan Cave.
Subject to a partnership vote later this year, the tie-up would create a firm comprising 1,500 lawyers spread across 32 offices in 12 countries, including St Louis-headquartered Bryan Cave’s 19 US outposts and with a combined revenue of around $975m.
In a brisk week for lateral hires, Global 100 firms have looked in-house to boost their senior ranks while private practice partners have gone the other way.
Hogan Lovells has boosted its London construction and engineering disputes practice, bringing in Angus Rankin as a partner from Mitsubishi Hitachi Power Systems Europe (MHPSE).
White & Case has promoted 31 lawyers to partner, two thirds of them in London and the US, as the firm continues its investment in the City and New York.
Evenly spread between US and EMEA, the promotions – effective on 1 January 2018 – represent a 29% drop on last year’s round, when the firm made up 40 .
Linklaters is following up on its recent investment in Germany by strengthening its finance practice with a lateral from Magic Circle rival Allen & Overy (A&O).
Neil George Weiand will join Linklaters’ Frankfurt arm, leaving A&O after 19 years, including 17 of them as a partner. Weiand, who has previously served as German senior partner for A&O, has worked on a series of major deals, including last year acting for Bayer on its $62bn bid to acquire agricultural group Monsanto. Weiand, whose practice covers restructuring, leveraged finance and general loans, worked at Deutsche Bank for seven years before joining A&O.
If the accountants’ forays into the legal market have yet to challenge law firms in key markets, a concern in the profession is that the Big Four would make a major play with alternative service models. As such there will be some nervous glances cast as PwC this week confirmed that the accountancy giant is to launch a contract lawyering service, entering a fast-growing market so far dominated by firms like Axiom and Lawyers On Demand.
The service, called Flexible Legal Resources, will initially focus on the financial services sector but PwC’s pool of contract lawyers will eventually cover clients from all sectors providing support work for corporate, commercial and data protection.
Throwing a lifeline to the increasingly eroded principle of legal professional privilege (LPP), Eurasian Natural Resources Corporation (ENRC) has this week been granted the right to appeal against a controversial order to disclose documents in a Serious Fraud Office (SFO) investigation. Hogan Lovells is the latest in a series of firms to be instructed by ENRC over the SFO investigation.
In May, the High Court had ruled that documents prepared by the mining giant ENRC relating to an SFO probe into alleged fraud, bribery and corruption were not covered by LPP and therefore had to be disclosed.
Two Global 100 firms have made opposing international moves this week, with Linklaters signing a partnership with a local firm in Saudi Arabia while Hogan Lovells announced the closure of its Mongolia base.
Linklaters announced today (11 October) it has entered a formal agreement with 20-lawyer Zamakhchary & Co (Z & Co), meaning two lawyers from the Magic Circle firm will be based in the kingdom.