US firm Cadwalader, Wickersham & Taft is focusing its restructuring practice on Europe with the hire of partners Holly Neavill and Louisa Watt, who have joined the firm’s London office.
Neavill was previously a partner at Latham & Watkins London office, although she began her career in the US. She has worked on some high profile restructurings and distressed M&A deals, including advising the committee of bondholders in the restructuring of the publicly-listed Italian directories business SEAT Pagine Gialle last year.
Allen & Overy (A&O) has become the latest of the Magic Circle to reveal that it is holding its associate salaries at last year’s levels, meaning its associates will rank as the lowest paid of its rivals so far.
The firm will continue paying newly-qualified (NQ) lawyers £61,500; £1,500 less than Slaughter and May, £2,500 less than Linklaters and £3,500 less than Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer.
Top 50 City firm Travers Smith has suffered the rare public humiliation of losing a high profile discrimination case after a tribunal found the firm denied a former trainee a place in the firm because she had fallen pregnant.
The Central London Employment Tribunal found that Travers ‘contrived to prevent Katie Tantum from being offered a post as a newly qualified solicitor because of her pregnancy’, according to a statement by Tantum’s solicitors, Leigh Day & Co.
The number of firms granted alternative business structure (ABS) status in 2013 has now hit the same level as for the whole of 2012, as Shakespeares last week became the latest mid-tier outfit to announce it has been granted a licence.
Shakespeares was the 72nd firm to obtain a licence in 2013, the same number as obtained a licence in total in 2012 after the Solicitors Regulation Authority began accepting applications on 3 January.
A handful of major corporate mandates were unveiled this week as private equity house Cinven kicked off its £1.4bn proposed initial public offering (IPO) of annuity provider Partnership Assurance Group and Severn Trent rejected a preliminary takeover offer by an international consortium.
Amidst signs of renewed confidence in the IPO market, Cinven has instructed Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer – led by corporate partners Mark Austin and Adrian Maguire – to advise on the float of Partnership Assurance, which Cinven acquired for €200m in 2008.
The lateral hire market has been particularly active in Asia this week, with some of the most established international players in the region losing experienced partners.
The most notable move came in Japan, where US firm Bingham McCutchen has added seven White & Case lawyers to its investment funds team in Tokyo.
The appetite of Texan firms for the UK energy market shows no sign of abating with news that Houston-based Andrews Kurth is to follow neighbours Bracewell & Giuliani and Locke Lord into the City.
The Andrews Kurth launch is spearheaded by UK energy specialist Peter Roberts, who is leaving Ashurst two years after becoming partner.
The increased importance of Turkey as strategic hub for international firms has been underlined with news that US firm Edwards Wildman Palmer is to open an office in Istanbul in association with local M&A and private equity boutique Ismen Law Firm.
The date of the opening will depend on regulatory approval by the Istanbul Bar Association but it will become the 600-lawyer firm’s the first office in the Central & Eastern Europe, Middle East and Northern Africa (CEEMENA) region.
It’s been a busy week at Bar but not necessarily for the right reasons. While the Bar Council has appointed its first chief executive in two years, 39 Essex Street has announced it is to take a year out from recruiting pupils for following its merger with 4-5 Gray’s Inn last year. Meanwhile, controversial comments from Hardwicke Chambers’ Barbara Hewson have forced it to distance itself publicly from its own member.
Osborne Clarke (OC) is to make up to 13 fee-earners redundant as it begins a two-week consultation, the top 50 UK law firm announced today (15 May).
Managing partner Simon Beswick said that the 400-lawyer firm would be informing associates affected by the consultation today in response to what he said was ‘over-capacity’ in the business.