In-house: Skyscanner GC takes flight as Balfour Beatty and National Grid make senior hires

In-house: Skyscanner GC takes flight as Balfour Beatty and National Grid make senior hires

The chief legal officer of high-profile travel metasearch engine Skyscanner, Carolyn Jameson, is stepping down after nearly six years in the top job, while UK infrastructure group Balfour Beatty has turned to Tesco for a new general counsel (GC) ahead of the upcoming retirement of incumbent David Mercer.

National Grid, meanwhile, has hired former Gowling WLG head of energy Derek Goodban as UK GC, replacing Rachael Davidson.

CMS adds to Northern line up with Liverpool launch

CMS adds to Northern line up with Liverpool launch

CMS Cameron McKenna Nabarro Olswang has extended its chain of northern offices with a Liverpool office opening following a hire from DWF, its first launch since its tripartite merger with Nabarro and Olswang in 2017.

The new office – located in Exchange Flags amidst Liverpool’s commercial district – will complement legacy Nabarro’s Manchester and Sheffield offices. DWF real estate partner Abigail Dry has been hired for the Liverpool launch, but the firm would not comment as to how many employees will be driving the opening. Liverpool is the firm’s tenth UK office.

Fieldfisher swims against the current with launch of stand-alone alternative investments law firm

Fieldfisher swims against the current with launch of stand-alone alternative investments law firm

Never a firm to rest on its laurels, fast-paced Fieldfisher has taken the unusual step of launching a separate law firm focused on hedge funds, derivatives and alternative investments.

The new entity – called Cummings Fisher – sees Fieldfisher hire three partners from other law firms to run it. Financial services partner Claire Cummings, who founded alternative investments boutique Cummings Law in 2003, has been appointed managing partner. She will be joined by James Tinworth, formerly head of Stephenson Harwood’s hedge funds practice, who will lead the funds practice. Ron Feldman, previously a partner at asset management consultancy MJ Hudson, will spearhead the derivatives practice.

Knights talks up selective acquisition policy amid strong first-half financials

Knights talks up selective acquisition policy amid strong first-half financials

The chief executive of Knights says its listing last June  has instilled market confidence in its ability to deliver an ambitious acquisition pipeline. This comes as the law company announced a third law firm acquisition today (15 January) and reported a 37% increase in revenue to £23.9m for the six months to 31 October.

Knights, the largest law firm initial public offering (IPO) to date after raising £50m last year, has acquired Leicester-based employment specialist Cummins Solicitors, which has five fee-earners and £784,000 in revenue, in a £1.5m deal. It takes Knights’ total fee-earner numbers to 485 across eight offices.

HFW continues Middle East growth drive with Saudi Arabia association

HFW continues Middle East growth drive with Saudi Arabia association

HFW has continued its Middle East expansion after striking an alliance with Saudi Arabian firm Mohammed Al Khiliwi.

Named partner and leader of the Riyadh outfit, Al Khiliwi, will join HFW’s partnership as part of the agreement, subject to authorisation by the Solicitors Regulation Authority. HFW insurance partner John Barlow, who splits his time between Riyadh and Dubai, is set to relocate full-time to the new office

Accountants keep coming as Deloitte hires A&O banking partner as UK legal head

Accountants keep coming as Deloitte hires A&O banking partner as UK legal head

Deloitte has made a clear statement of intent in legal services by announcing today (14 January) that it has lured Allen & Overy (A&O) banking partner Michael Castle across to lead its UK legal arm, as the Big Four outfit looks for greater traction in the legal sector.

Based in Deloitte’s London office, Castle will now lead a technology-orientated legal offering for Deloitte, having spent more than two decades at A&O. Becoming an partner in 2007, Castle was not a standout name in a finance department replete with leading individuals but did gain profile in recent years after unsuccessfully running for the managing partner role at A&O, before eventually being beaten by current leader Andrew Ballheimer.

White & Case duo among four solicitors made up in reduced 2018 silk round

White & Case duo among four solicitors made up in reduced 2018 silk round

White & Case arbitration partners Dipen Sabharwal (pictured) and Aloke Ray make up half of the solicitor-advocates taking silk in this year’s Queen’s Counsel (QC) appointments, with 108 making the cut overall.

Completing the all-male group of solicitor-advocates taking silk were Allen & Overy partner Mark Levy and Stephen Fietta, founder of disputes boutique Fietta.

‘A global solution’: Pinsents hires six partners for Frankfurt launch as DLA expands in Dublin

‘A global solution’: Pinsents hires six partners for Frankfurt launch as DLA expands in Dublin

Pinsent Masons has hired six partners from a range of firms for a new Frankfurt office, the firm’s third opening in Germany since 2012.

Frankfurt follows moves into Munich and Düsseldorf for Pinsents in 2012 and 2016 respectively. The new office will focus on the technology, energy and real estate sectors initially with an eye to developing in financial services.

Buyout star Adrian Maguire to join Kirkland in body blow to Freshfields

Buyout star Adrian Maguire to join Kirkland in body blow to Freshfields

One of the most touted private equity names in the City, Adrian Maguire, has quit Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer to join Kirkland & Ellis just over a year after his former colleague David Higgins made the same move.

Freshfields-bred and regarded as a loyalist to the firm, Maguire is leaving the Magic Circle outfit after more than two decades in what will be seen as a notable setback for its attempts to limit the damage of Higgins’ $10m move in December 2017.