Freshfields fuels New York M&A growth with four more Cleary lawyers

Freshfields fuels New York M&A growth with four more Cleary lawyers

Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer has added four more lawyers to its ten-partner Wall Street M&A team, with three counsel and one associate joining the City firm from Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton.

The move announced today (5 December) comes just over a month after the firm hired Cleary M&A veteran Ethan Klingsberg and partners Meredith Kotler, Pamela Marcogliese and Paul Tiger, in what it hopes will amount to a breakthrough for its US business after years of struggle.

‘Dynamic and excellent’: A&O chooses Johannesburg for second cost-saving hub as Steptoe launches in Hong Kong with CC pair

‘Dynamic and excellent’: A&O chooses Johannesburg for second cost-saving hub as Steptoe launches in Hong Kong with CC pair

Allen & Overy has built on the success of its Belfast cost-saving centre with the launch of another in Johannesburg as Steptoe and Johnson has forayed into Hong Kong with the hire of a Clifford Chance (CC) team.

Set to open its doors in the first half of 2020, A&O’s Johannesburg Legal Services Centre (LSC) is hoped to emulate the success of the firm’s Belfast offering, geared towards cost-effective resourcing of transactions by legal professionals, associate solicitors and science analysts.

Bakers former City head Senior admits to sexually harassing associate but denies abuse of position

Bakers former City head Senior admits to sexually harassing associate but denies abuse of position

Baker McKenzie’s former London managing partner Gary Senior has admitted his behaviour after a firm event in 2012 amounted to sexual harassment towards a junior associate but said he did not believe at the time that his advances were unwanted.

In the third of 15 days of hearings at the Solicitors Disciplinary Tribunal (SDT), Senior admitted today (4 December) that he tried to kiss a female associate half his age and agreed this behaviour was ‘totally inappropriate and unacceptable for a managing partner’, but denied it was an abuse of his position.

BARBRI acquires SQE provider Kaplan Altior in preparation for education market overhaul

BARBRI acquires SQE provider Kaplan Altior in preparation for education market overhaul

Legal education provider BARBRI International has accelerated its plans to move into the Solicitors Qualifying Examination (SQE) prep market by acquiring UK-based training and assessment provider Kaplan Altior.

The acquisition was completed 30 November, and the new business BARBRI Altior will offer training courses including the Professional Skills Course (PSC) for trainee solicitors and preparation for the controversial SQE, which is set to be launched in 2021. The buyout will see all Kaplan Altior employees join the new company, which will operate from the same centres throughout the UK.

The City and St Louis share the spoils of 17-strong BCLP global promotion round

The City and St Louis share the spoils of 17-strong BCLP global promotion round

Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner (BCLP) has promoted five partners in London, the same number as in St Louis, in its second promotion round since becoming a merged entity last year.

The firm promoted 17 globally, six fewer than last year, although London saw an increased investment on the three promoted in 2018.

Bakers accused of ‘failure’ over handling of allegations of sexual misconduct against former London head

Bakers accused of ‘failure’ over handling of allegations of sexual misconduct against former London head

Baker McKenzie was accused of ‘collective failure’ for the way it handled allegations of sexual misconduct against its former London head Gary Senior yesterday (2 December), beginning a 15-day Solicitors Disciplinary Tribunal (SDT) hearing.

Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) lead counsel Andrew Tabachnik QC of 39 Essex Chambers said the firm allowed Senior to seek to influence the conduct and outcome of an investigation into a complaint made against him by a junior associate.

Six City firms appoint BPP to deliver ‘super-exam’ prep courses amid education shake-up

Six City firms appoint BPP to deliver ‘super-exam’ prep courses amid education shake-up

BPP has been chosen by a consortium of six leading firms to provide Solicitors Qualifying Examination (SQE) preparation, as the City gears up for an incoming education overhaul.

The consortium is comprised of Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer, Herbert Smith Freehills (HSF), Hogan Lovells, Linklaters, Norton Rose Fulbright and Slaughter and May. BPP will now design an education and skills programme to train future trainees at the firms.

Ballheimer announces surprise retirement as A&O leadership race heats up

Ballheimer announces surprise retirement as A&O leadership race heats up

As the Allen & Overy (A&O) leadership elections heat up, managing partner Andrew Ballheimer has announced his retirement from the firm at the end of his current term on 30 April 2020.

The surprise move comes in the month the City giant is to announce the list of contenders for senior partner and managing partner and follows an eventful couple of years dominated by the marathon merger bid with O’Melveny & Myers, which was abandoned in the autumn.

Revolving doors: Latham revisits CC for finance hire as DLA recruits BCLP duo in London

Revolving doors: Latham revisits CC for finance hire as DLA recruits BCLP duo in London

Defying the pre-Christmas lull in City laterals, Latham & Watkins last week returned to Clifford Chance to bolster its finance bench as DLA Piper expanded its infrastructure disputes team with a double hire.

Latham hired CC infrastructure and real estate veteran Stephen Curtis to its London finance team. Curtis, who had been at the Magic Circle firm since 1991 and a partner since 2000, advises on structured finance transactions in the regulated utility, infrastructure and real estate sectors, as well as corporate securitisations.

Weil completes withdrawal from CEE as Warsaw office breaks away

Weil completes withdrawal from CEE as Warsaw office breaks away

Weil, Gotshal & Manges is winding down its once-potent Central and Eastern Europe (CEE) operations, with its 80-strong Polish team setting up an independent firm.

Warsaw co-managing partners Pawel Rymarz and Pawel Zdort will launch Rymarz Zdort in January next year, bringing to an end Weil’s presence in the country after 29 years.