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 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.
Revenue and profit at Gowling WLG’s UK LLP have fallen despite the overall firm, including its Canadian arm, increasing revenue by nearly 17% last year.
Gowling’s UK LLP accounts for the year to 30 April 2018 say revenue fell 5% to £179.9m. Profit, meanwhile, fell to £51.9m from £60m, a 14% drop.
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.
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.
Heathrow Airport has completed an overhaul of its legal panel, with Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer and Allen & Overy among those re-appointed to a reduced roster.
Heathrow has slimmed down its legal panel from nine to seven firms and restructured it from 11 sub-panels to a main general approved list. Pinsent Masons, Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner and Eversheds Sutherland were also awarded spots, alongside City outfit Towerhouse and Thames Valley firm Owen White.
On occasion, we are asked to give our house view at partner conferences and the like. Undertaking one such gig last month for a top-50 UK law firm while the government unhelpfully melted down in the background, I put down some notes on the outline questions the law firm asked me to address before the conference. Obviously, I was not reading my notes in front of the audience in a two-way Q&A and did not stick to the script, but with a little scrubbing up and the identifying information removed, the notes seemed a decent compilation on the kind of topics that Team LB is frequently asked to opine on.
US-based New Law darling Elevate has continued its acquisitive form with the purchase of UK-based flexible lawyer firm Halebury, creating a combined business of over 1,000 members of staff and $70m in annual revenue.
The acquisition will see Halebury become part of Elevate, although as an ABS the firm will still operate under its own name in the UK. However, profit pools will be integrated as Halebury is fully acquired by Elevate, while John Croft, president of Elevate, and founder and executive chairman Liam Brown will both sit upon Halebury’s board. Denise Nurse and Janvi Patel, co-founders of Halebury, will take up roles on Elevate’s managing committee.
Baker McKenzie has kicked off 2019 with another step towards its long-stated aim of beefing up its London transactional capabilities, hiring capital markets partners Rob Mathews and David Becker from White & Case.
Veteran Mathews played a key role in White & Case’s high-yield practice and led on a number of large mandates including the $10bn refinancing of Wind Tre in 2017.
Dechert has ramped up investment in its European funds business with a pair of hires, including Marianna Tothova in London from Ashurst.
The hire of Tothova, which comes amid a pacey recruitment drive for the US firm in London in recent months, coincides with that of Carol Widger from Maples and Calder as the managing partner of its Dublin office.