Comment: Value is critical but ESG intentions must check out in Morrisons take-private

Comment: Value is critical but ESG intentions must check out in Morrisons take-private

‘This level of scrutiny of governance is quite unusual. Historically in deals of this kind, no-one ever used to ask: “What’s going to happen to the workers?” It is becoming more and more of an issue as companies seek to avoid reputational damage.’

The words of Paul Watchman, ESG luminary, senior UN legal adviser and former Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer partner on the proposed £6.3bn takeover of UK supermarket giant Morrisons resonate as the deal looks set not only to become one of the biggest public to private transactions of the decade, but also to enshrine a playbook for ESG in years to come.

‘An element of the exceptional’: Simmons latest to post striking pandemic financials with double-digit revenue growth and soaring profits

‘An element of the exceptional’: Simmons latest to post striking pandemic financials with double-digit revenue growth and soaring profits

Simmons & Simmons managing partner Jeremy Hoyland said there was ‘an element of the exceptional’ in the firm’s financial results announced today (16 July), with revenue growing 12% to £437m and profits shooting up 35% to £171m.

There was also a steep increase in profit per equity partner, growing 30% to reach £980k. Overall, this year’s results far outstrip the unremarkable 4% revenue growth and 6% profit increase from last year , as Hoyland explained that the firm benefited from a significant boom in instructions due to the pandemic.

Revolving doors: White & Case lures A&O disputes veteran as McDermott expands energy group

Revolving doors: White & Case lures A&O disputes veteran as McDermott expands energy group

Veteran litigation partner Lawson Caisley has joined White & Case after nearly nine years at Allen & Overy. Caisley typically advises large corporations, financial institutions and funds on all aspects of commercial litigation and investigations, such as post-acquisition disputes as well as fraud and white-collar crime.

Markus Langen, head of disputes for White & Case in EMEA, described Caisley as a ‘highly ranked lawyer with a strong international practice’ with ‘a track record for advising a number of the world’s largest global companies on their most significant disputes’. He added: ‘The depth of his experience and expertise across sectors and industries will add further prestige and bench strength to our team in London and EMEA.’

Financials 2020/21: Profits soar 30% and revenues surpass £1bn at Herbert Smith Freehills

Financials 2020/21: Profits soar 30% and revenues surpass £1bn at Herbert Smith Freehills

Herbert Smith Freehills announced a striking 30% increase in profitability as part of its 2020/21 financials today (13 July), with strong international contributions underlining the firm’s robust overall pandemic performance.

The firm’s profit jumped to £366.9m from last year’s £283.2m. This represents an emphatic comeback after profits tumbled by 8% last year amid steep operating costs.

Financials 2020/21: European contributions crucial as Fieldfisher and Kennedys post resilient revenues

Financials 2020/21: European contributions crucial as Fieldfisher and Kennedys post resilient revenues

Thanks in part to their respective European networks, Fieldfisher and Kennedys have both posted robust 2020/21 revenues in the face of the pandemic.

There was an inevitable slowdown in growth at Fieldfisher, today unveiling a modest 6% uptick in revenues to reach £290m. It is the firm’s eighth consecutive year of growth, but it does not match double-digit increases seen in recent years. The firm chalked up the deceleration to ‘the impact of the pandemic.’

Revolving doors: K&L Gates opens in Luxembourg as firms go global for partner hires

Revolving doors: K&L Gates opens in Luxembourg as firms go global for partner hires

In the latest round of lateral partner appointments, K&L Gates established a new base in Luxembourg while firms went worldwide for their strategic hires.

K&L Gates combined with Luxembourg firm Volckrick & Associates, handing the firm its eighth European branch and bringing the network worldwide up to 46 offices.

Dealwatch: Global 100 firms bank on €1.8bn Visa deal as payments, gaming and ESG charge the market

Dealwatch: Global 100 firms bank on €1.8bn Visa deal as payments, gaming and ESG charge the market

As Euro 2020 fever well and truly takes hold, the London deal team of Skadden has scored four times in recent days, not least advising Visa on its €1.8bn acquisition of European open banking platform Tink opposite an international team from White & Case.

Tapping into the ongoing trend of transactions in the online payments sector, the high-profile deal sees the US financial services giant acquire Stockholm-headquartered Tink, a platform that enables banks, fintechs and start-ups to develop data-driven financial services.

Revolving doors: Ashurst and King & Spalding expand transactional teams

Revolving doors: Ashurst and King & Spalding expand transactional teams

There was a transactional theme to this week’s lateral partner recruitment, as Ashurst, King & Spalding, Pinsent Masons and Squire Patton Boggs (SPB) all made strategic hires, while Michelmores added a number of partners.

Seasoned private equity specialist François Hellot has joined Ashurst’s Paris office after a 12-year partnership stint at Dechert. Hellot is particularly noted for his work in the telecoms, health and biotechnology sectors, and has assisted clients on both French domestic and international matters.