Cadwalader focuses on Europe with London restructuring hires

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.

A&O falls behind on associate pay table as it announces a freeze

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.

Travers Smith in surprise discrimination defeat

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.

Disruptive Models: ABS tally for 2013 reaches 2012 level as Shakespeares becomes latest to convert

Disruptive Models: ABS tally for 2013 reaches 2012 level as Shakespeares becomes latest to convert

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.

Corporate stirrings: Cinven gifts Freshfields with IPO while HSF defends Severn Trent

Corporate stirrings: Cinven gifts Freshfields with IPO while HSF defends Severn Trent

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.

Asia round-up: Bingham makes funds push in Tokyo while Eversheds launches in Beijing

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.

Edwards Wildman joins the ranks of international firms in Istanbul

Edwards Wildman joins the ranks of international firms in Istanbul

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.

Bar round-up: Bar Council appoints chief executive while 39 Essex Street to suspend pupillages

Bar round-up: Bar Council appoints chief executive while 39 Essex Street to suspend pupillages

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.

A gloomy week for legal job prospects as OC follows BLP to announce likely job cuts

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.