LB100 shrugs off Brexit fears as fees hit £24bn but leaders wary of chaotic winter ahead

LB100 shrugs off Brexit fears as fees hit £24bn but leaders wary of chaotic winter ahead

Framed by mounting unease in the face of bitter Brexit negotiations, an uncertain business outlook and an inconclusive 2017 general election, the Legal Business 100 (LB100) has defied expectations to post one of its strongest performances of the last decade.

Despite a wider environment harking back to the turmoil and divisions of 1970s Britain, the LB100 shows the UK’s leading law firms driving group turnover up 10% to £24.2bn. The group generated total profits of £7.6bn, for comparison roughly ten times that of FTSE 100 retailer Sainsbury’s, or twice that of banking giant Barclays. Continue reading “LB100 shrugs off Brexit fears as fees hit £24bn but leaders wary of chaotic winter ahead”

Mega-deals and convergence stoke M&A but subdued volumes and volatile conditions linger

Mega-deals and convergence stoke M&A but subdued volumes and volatile conditions linger

This time last year, a collective sigh of relief from City dealmakers was reverberating around the Square Mile as the M&A market regained momentum despite a backdrop of economic and political uncertainty. Since then, deal counsel have barely paused for breath, with many juggling multiple deals well into the parts of August in which even the most committed deal junkie would expect to be pretending not to check work emails on a sun lounger.

Such boom-time dynamics are borne out by the latest Mergermarket figures for H1 2018, which saw announced global M&A deals hit $1.94trn, its highest value since the financial crisis. Continue reading “Mega-deals and convergence stoke M&A but subdued volumes and volatile conditions linger”

Summer news in context

Summer news in context

New Law buyout sees EY acquire Riverview Law

A sign of things to come?

After Lawyers On Demand (LOD) earlier this year secured private equity backers, fellow New Law pioneer Riverview Law in August announced a sale to Big Four group EY. The deal, which saw original backer DLA Piper offload its remaining 14% stake, has been cited as evidence of the Big Four’s renewed push into legal services. EY’s global head of alliances for tax, Chris Price, has become the chief executive of the rebranded EY Riverview Law. Continue reading “Summer news in context”

Life during law: Simon Konsta

Life during law: Simon Konsta

My father is Greek, my mother was English. There’s been no law in the family, much more of a trading background on my father’s side. But there is a wonderful circularity between his old Greek shipping mates that would be in my environment as a child, and the fact that Clyde & Co is the world’s number one marine firm.

I had an open mind going into articles. I was lucky to have a seat in Paris, which is disputes and arbitration. A combination of that plus the domestic disputes work I did, I just preferred it to corporate or real estate. Continue reading “Life during law: Simon Konsta”

Who Represents Who: The data behind the story

Who Represents Who: The data behind the story

LB100: The rise of Freeths

Freeths has seen revenue almost double over the past five years (see Legal Business 100 table), and are often mentioned to our researchers by partners and general counsel alike as a firm that has significantly impressed. We take a look at the firm’s The Legal 500 rankings and some of the FTSE clients that it represents. Continue reading “Who Represents Who: The data behind the story”

The City’s big four report steady growth in a boom deal year as CC leads Magic Circle

The City’s big four report steady growth in a boom deal year as CC leads Magic Circle

After last year’s double-digit revenue growth for three of the big four Magic Circle firms, 2017/18 financials for the same group have failed to make as much of a splash this time around.

But while failing to match last year’s 11% uptick in revenue and profit per equity partner, Clifford Chance (CC) nevertheless leads the pack this year, in more ways than one. Continue reading “The City’s big four report steady growth in a boom deal year as CC leads Magic Circle”

Debevoise next up as Tchenguiz drops Stephenson Harwood after €2bn claim fails

Debevoise next up as Tchenguiz drops Stephenson Harwood after €2bn claim fails

Property tycoon Robert Tchenguiz has replaced longstanding legal adviser Stephenson Harwood with Debevoise & Plimpton after his €2bn claim against an Abu Dhabi investment company was thrown out.

A Debevoise team, led by disputes partner Kevin Lloyd, took over future Tchenguiz mandates, including a key Commercial Court case later this year. Tchenguiz had only drafted in Stephenson Harwood in 2014 to replace Shearman & Sterling in his later-settled case against the Serious Fraud Office (SFO). Continue reading “Debevoise next up as Tchenguiz drops Stephenson Harwood after €2bn claim fails”

Shearman wins McKimm from Freshfields as Penn returns to A&O from Cleary

Shearman wins McKimm from Freshfields as Penn returns to A&O from Cleary

Two standout moves in June and July saw the Magic Circle and the Wall Street elite each lose and gain one in partner reversions in London.

Ward McKimm, one of thestra most upwardly mobile partners the City has seen, made good on a long-rumoured defection to Shearman & Sterling’s capital markets practice, having previously worked there for some 14 years, becoming partner in 2005 and co-head of its corporate group in 2010. Continue reading “Shearman wins McKimm from Freshfields as Penn returns to A&O from Cleary”