Guest comment: The post-pandemic recruitment race

Guest comment: The post-pandemic recruitment race

Nathan Peart, managing director at Major, Lindsey & Africa, says firms must become flexible or lose their best associates.

Without much choice, the legal industry got flexible last year. Even firms that snubbed working from home pre-pandemic had to get on board. Through the lens of recruitment, this has laid bare the realities of law firm life – without the fancy offices, wining and dining and team camaraderie, associates have reflected on the core of their job and what they get in return for mounting workloads and blurring lines between work and home. Many are questioning whether their firm is all it is cracked up to be.

‘My race in big law has been run’: White & Case private equity veteran Bagshaw to depart this summer

‘My race in big law has been run’: White & Case private equity veteran Bagshaw to depart this summer

White & Case’s high-profile private equity head Ian Bagshaw is set to leave the firm in June to pursue other opportunities outside of law.

The White & Case partnership was informed of Bagshaw’s departure in an internal announcement this morning (16 April). In a LinkedIn post published today, Bagshaw said: ‘After seven years at each of Eversheds, Clifford Chance, Linklaters and White & Case, I have decided that my race in big law has now been run.

Dealwatch: Advisers secure Darktrace float and $12bn Aramco sale as Globalworth proves hot property

Dealwatch: Advisers secure Darktrace float and $12bn Aramco sale as Globalworth proves hot property

Another blistering week of deal announcements has seen corporate advisers tasked with a diverse selection of mandates, from the much-anticipated £3bn initial public offering of Darktrace to a $12bn disposal by Aramco and an unusual joint offer for Globalworth Real Estate Investments valued at €1.6bn.

The proposed listing on the London Stock Exchange of British cybersecurity start-up Darktrace has elicited much market speculation, coming as it does after the IPO of food delivery company Deliveroo, which many have termed disastrous.

Revolving doors: Two in, one out for White & Case amid busy week for lateral hires

Revolving doors: Two in, one out for White & Case amid busy week for lateral hires

In a dense round of disputes-heavy lateral partner recruitment, firms and chambers have made key additions to their rosters of senior advisers this past week.

Firstly, White & Case’s highly-rated commercial litigation partner Hannah Field-Lowes has joined Goodwin in London after a three-year stint. Field-Lowes has over 15 years’ experience in complex cross-border and domestic cases, particularly in disputes arising from the private equity market.  

Kirkland closes in on $5bn revenue as it remains world’s highest-grossing firm

Kirkland closes in on $5bn revenue as it remains world’s highest-grossing firm

Kirkland & Ellis has added $680m to its top line to trounce Latham & Watkins yet again as the world’s highest-grossing law firm, as global turnover surged 16% to $4.83bn.

The Chicago-bred giant had a significant uptick in private equity work to thank for its stellar 2020 results, which saw revenue surge from $4.15bn in 2019.

Dealwatch: Cazoo and Arrival fuel SPAC bonanza as Slaughters leads on Covid vaccine deal

Dealwatch: Cazoo and Arrival fuel SPAC bonanza as Slaughters leads on Covid vaccine deal

The special purpose acquisition company (SPAC) frenzy and coronavirus have continued to drive the market in recent days, with transatlantic corporate teams steering the multibillion-dollar Cazoo and Arrival deals, while an agreement for the acquisition of Covid-19 vaccines has proved a shot in the arm for Slaughter and May and Covington.

The Cazoo de-SPAC heralded key mandates for Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer, Kirkland & Ellis, Slaughters and Cravath, Swaine & Moore. The deal will see the UK online car retailer and AJAX I, a publicly-traded SPAC, merge to form a company with an enterprise value of $7bn. The combined company will retain the Cazoo brand and will be listed on the New York Stock Exchange.

Revolving doors: Simmons makes double Dutch hire as Bakers expands finance practice

Revolving doors: Simmons makes double Dutch hire as Bakers expands finance practice

In the latest round of lateral partner hires, Simmons & Simmons has significantly strengthened its presence in the Netherlands through a pair of lateral partner appointments.

David Shearer, formerly a partner at Dentons, and ex-AKD partner Robert Jean Kloprogge will join Simmons’ Amsterdam office. Both Shearer and Kloprogge are corporate and M&A lawyers. Head of Simmons’ Dutch operations, René van Eldonk, said the appointments were ‘a hugely significant step in the achievement of our ambitious growth plan in the region. This spate of recent hires demonstrates our ongoing commitment to growing our offering to clients across Europe.’

Skadden goes organic with three City promotions as investment intensifies in London

Skadden goes organic with three City promotions as investment intensifies in London

Skadden has made up its largest haul of new partners in London since 2008, a further showing of support for the City office after an uncharacteristically expansive stint in the lateral recruitment market of late.

The move sees the famously conservative Wall Street giant promote three new partners as part of a 17-strong global round, matching a commitment to organic growth in London last seen 13 years ago.

Vodafone puts emphasis on ESG in new eight-firm adviser panel

Vodafone puts emphasis on ESG in new eight-firm adviser panel

Vodafone has completed the latest refresh of its legal advice panel, selecting eight firms based on a commitment to shared diversity and ESG best practice.

Latham & Watkins, Deloitte and TLT are the new additions from the last review in 2018, alongside Hogan Lovells, Linklaters, Osborne Clarke, Slaughter and May and Wiggin, which have retained their spots. This is a slight increase from the seven firms selected in 2018’s overhaul . The panel will provide broad legal cover on commercial, real estate, employment, regulatory and litigation, as well as support for legal transformation.

Dealwatch: Transatlantic teams energise £8bn National Grid acquisition as Freshfields and Latham dine in on Deliveroo IPO

Dealwatch: Transatlantic teams energise £8bn National Grid acquisition as Freshfields and Latham dine in on Deliveroo IPO

As the City marks the one-year anniversary of the first coronavirus lockdown, elite playmakers continue to do deals from their living rooms, with a sizeable National Grid acquisition and Deliveroo’s multibillion-pound initial public offering making headlines in recent days.

Last week (18 March) FTSE 100 utility National Grid emerged as the winner of a competitive auction to acquire Western Power Distribution (WPD), the UK’s largest electricity distribution business, from PPL Corporation for an equity value of £7.8bn.