Associate pay: Freshfields joins salary race as global firms jostle for talent in US

Associate pay: Freshfields joins salary race as global firms jostle for talent in US

More details are emerging on associate pay at Magic Circle firms as Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer has joined the list of firms to announce increased salaries for US associates, as competition to recruit top lawyers intensifies.

The move by Freshfields will see the firm match the rates set by Milbank Tweed Hadley & McCloy, which set the standard for raising the starting salary for new lawyers two weeks ago, with Freshfield’s US associates now starting on $190,000 and rising to $330,000 in their eighth year.

Taylor Wessing’s UK PEP shoots up 20% as global revenue exceeds the £300m mark

Taylor Wessing’s UK PEP shoots up 20% as global revenue exceeds the £300m mark

In another early sign of a good 2017/18 for UK firms, Taylor Wessing has followed up on a disappointing performance last year with a solid 12% revenue growth to £144.6m for its UK business.

In what UK managing partner Tim Eyles (pictured) described as the firm’s ‘best year yet’, UK profits per equity partner (PEP) rebounded to grow 20% and hit £579,000 after last year’s 6% drop to £481,000.

Revolving Doors: City laterals flat as DLA and Shoosmiths hire in the regions while CMS and CC go global

Revolving Doors: City laterals flat as DLA and Shoosmiths hire in the regions while CMS and CC go global

Regional and international hires dominated lateral recruitment in the last week as City hiring stalled, with DLA Piper bringing on a corporate partner in Manchester and national firm Shoosmiths adding to its Birmingham bench.

Meanwhile, CMS Cameron McKenna Nabarro Olswang and Clifford Chance (CC)  both made international hires.

Thrusting DWF primed for largest law firm listing yet but eyebrows raised at touted price

Thrusting DWF primed for largest law firm listing yet but eyebrows raised at touted price

Thrusting national operator DWF is gearing up to be the largest UK firm float yet with a London Stock Exchange listing later this year. The top 25 UK law firm initially went into standard non-denial mode today (15 June) over reports it is aiming to float later this year with a supposed price tag of £1bn.

The presence of City PR shop Finsbury, which was today distributing ‘background briefing points’, signalled that DWF was being positioned for an offering. Within an hour the firm anyway changed its public position to issue a statement (see below).

CMS cites ‘19%’ UK profitability hike as turnover tops £500m in first post-merger results

CMS cites ‘19%’ UK profitability hike as turnover tops £500m in first post-merger results

CMS Cameron McKenna Nabarro Olswang has released a selection of financial highlights for the year following its three-way merger but disappointingly kept some key metrics under wrap.

The firm revealed today (14 June) that the 25 offices in its UK LLP turned over £518m in the year to April 2018, £29m up on the consolidated results of the three legacy firms Cameron McKenna, Nabarro and Olswang, which merged in May last year.

Employment partners rue ‘conservative’ Supreme Court judgment in highly-anticipated gig economy case

Employment partners rue ‘conservative’ Supreme Court judgment in highly-anticipated gig economy case

A Supreme Court decision which was expected to have significant ramifications for the ‘gig economy’ has disappointed employment partners who hoped the ruling would move questions around workers’ rights further forward.

The Supreme Court today (13 June) unanimously ruled in favour of heating engineer Gary Smith in his claim against Pimlico Plumbers, establishing that he was a ‘worker’ and not self-employed. This meant he was entitled to certain employment rights such as holiday pay, although not wider rights given to full-time staff.

Another record year for Fieldfisher as ‘more international’ firm breaks £200m barrier

Another record year for Fieldfisher as ‘more international’ firm breaks £200m barrier

Fieldfisher’s leader believes the firm has a ‘very happy partnership’ after cementing its position as the mid-market pace setter with a 24% increase in revenue this year.

The firm turned over £207m globally, largely as a result of organic growth in a 2017/18 financial year less defined by international expansion than previous periods. Profits per equity partner (PEP) also grew by a healthy 17% to £750,000.

Deal watch: Westfield GC exits for something ‘very different’ as takeover completes while DLA lands Poundworld administration role

Deal watch: Westfield GC exits for something ‘very different’ as takeover completes while DLA lands Poundworld administration role

Retail’s high street struggles are keeping advisers in the sector busy, as multiple firms took roles on the £18.5bn takeover of Westfield Corporation and DLA Piper took the lead on the administration of discount retailer Poundworld.

A host of firms across the globe advised as French property company, Unibail-Rodamco, completed its acquisition of shopping centre operator Westfield last week, in a deal first announced late last year. The combined $72bn entity owns and operates 102 shopping centres in 13 countries, the majority of which are in Europe and the US.

Linklaters legal AI partner ropes in market-leading £13m investment

Linklaters legal AI partner ropes in market-leading £13m investment

An artificial intelligence (AI) company boasting Linklaters as one of its key clients is targeting the world’s biggest firms after securing £13m in one of the legal tech sector’s biggest investments.

Heavyweight investors Goldman Sachs and Temasek, Singapore’s sovereign wealth fund, co-led on the investment in Eigen Technologies, announced Monday (11 June). The round outstrips the $10m raised late last year by fellow AI player, legal tech darling and Slaughter and May investment, Luminance. It also builds on seed funding it received from CVC Capital Partners managing partner Jonathan Feuer.

Comment: 16 easy steps to making you a great managing partner

Comment: 16 easy steps to making you a great managing partner

Recently a surprisingly popular column in Legal Business took a jaded view of the state of leadership in major law firms. The nub of our argument was that the law firm c-suite had descended into technocratic managerialism over genuine leadership, leaving once bold institutions to put off crucial decisions.

That piece drew on years of hanging around with managing and senior partners, which at times means feeling more like a leadership therapist/their mother than a reporter. But in the spirit of lighting a candle rather than cursing the darkness, here are my tips to successful law firm leadership. And ignore the flip tone because I mean it all.