A dramatic break with lockstep for Freshfields but will it be enough to galvanise the City giant?

A dramatic break with lockstep for Freshfields but will it be enough to galvanise the City giant?

Nathalie Tidman assesses the Magic Circle firm’s high-stakes partnership shake-up

‘Freshfields has overhauled its partnership for two reasons – to mollify restive partners in leveraged finance and private equity – and to make it moderately easier to recruit in the US,’ notes one former partner. ‘It’s insufficient for both of these purposes.’ Continue reading “A dramatic break with lockstep for Freshfields but will it be enough to galvanise the City giant?”

Mid-pack pacesetters go early with half-year financials as performance matches expectations

Mid-pack pacesetters go early with half-year financials as performance matches expectations

Two of this year’s best-performing mid-pack firms in the Legal Business 100 (LB100), Watson Farley & Williams (WFW) and Fieldfisher, have continued their run of impressive form with their half-year 2017/18 results.

After quietly establishing itself as one of the strongest firms in the last financial year, WFW recorded a 13% jump in its 2017/18 half-year revenues. Turnover for the first six months of the financial year to 31 October grew to £76.1m, up from £67.6m the previous year. WFW co-managing partner Chris Lowe argued that the strong result was ‘clear evidence of the success of our industry sector-focused model despite a challenging macro-economic environment’. Continue reading “Mid-pack pacesetters go early with half-year financials as performance matches expectations”

DLA Piper chief Picón joins Latham in shock move as Ropes names first female chair

DLA Piper chief Picón joins Latham in shock move as Ropes names first female chair

In a move that set tongues wagging on both sides of the pond, DLA Piper senior partner and global co-chair Juan Picón is to depart for Latham & Watkins, while Ropes & Gray has selected its first-ever female chair to replace the long-serving Bradford Malt.

Picón’s move to the highest-grossing firm in the world from the one that used to hold that position was fuelled by his desire to spend more time in his native Spain. As such, Picón will take over the role of Latham’s managing partner in the country following the retirement of predecessor José Luis Blanco. He joins at the end of the year from DLA’s Madrid office, bringing corporate partners Ignacio Gómez-Sancha and José Antonio Sánchez-Dafos with him. Continue reading “DLA Piper chief Picón joins Latham in shock move as Ropes names first female chair”

Moves of the month

Moves of the month
  • As the advance of US players in London continues, Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton hired disputes partner James Norris-Jones (pictured) from Herbert Smith Freehills (HSF) to its office in the capital. Norris-Jones, who was made a partner at HSF in 2012, has a broad practice that encompasses High Court litigation as well as arbitration. His arrival will boost Cleary’s already well-established London disputes team, comprising partners Sunil Gadhia, Jonathan Kelly, Christopher Moore, David Sabel and Romano Subiotto QC.
  • Continue reading “Moves of the month”

Essex Court forced to clarify position after local Bar outcry over its Singapore play

Essex Court forced to clarify position after local Bar outcry over its Singapore play

Allied branch will act independently to chambers

Essex Court Chambers strengthened its Singapore ties in November by bringing in four advocates to become overseas members, but was later asked by Singapore’s Ministry of Law to explain itself after initial media reports implied the set had formally opened a Singapore law branch. Continue reading “Essex Court forced to clarify position after local Bar outcry over its Singapore play”

Locke Lord fined, Clydes ex-partner suspended, while Appleby hit by data breach

Locke Lord fined, Clydes ex-partner suspended, while Appleby hit by data breach

In a tough period for international firms at the hands of legal regulators, US firm Locke Lord received the largest-ever fine handed down by the Solicitors Disciplinary Tribunal (SDT) in November.

The £500,000 penalty handed to Locke Lord came after one of its former UK lawyers engaged in ‘dubious financial arrangements’ with a client’s bank account. The lawyer in question, Jonathan Denton, left the firm in October 2015. Continue reading “Locke Lord fined, Clydes ex-partner suspended, while Appleby hit by data breach”

Clifford Chance partner Panayides to face SDT over Excalibur involvement

Clifford Chance partner Panayides to face SDT over Excalibur involvement

In another twist in the Excalibur professional negligence saga and a clear sign of the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) clamping down on lawyers at the City’s top firms, a case management hearing over Clifford Chance (CC) disputes partner Alex Panayides (pictured) took place at the Solicitors Disciplinary Tribunal at the end of November following an investigation by the SRA.

The prosecution relates to Panayides’ involvement in the notorious Excalibur litigation, in which CC represented Excalibur Ventures in an unsuccessful $1.6bn Kurdistan oil deal damages claim against Gulf Keystone Petroleum and Texas Keystone in 2013. Continue reading “Clifford Chance partner Panayides to face SDT over Excalibur involvement”

Keystone becomes second UK law firm to float in 2017 while Gordon Dadds goes shopping

Keystone becomes second UK law firm to float in 2017 while Gordon Dadds goes shopping

Recently listed Gordon Dadds acquires tax advisory business CW Energy

November saw New Law player Keystone Law become the third UK law firm to float on the London Stock Exchange (LSE), following the trail blazed by Gateley two years ago and Gordon Dadds earlier this year. The mid-market challenger firm, which was granted an alternative business structure (ABS) licence in 2013, saw shares priced at 160p and raised £15m from its initial public offering (IPO). It will be known as Keystone Law Group plc. Continue reading “Keystone becomes second UK law firm to float in 2017 while Gordon Dadds goes shopping”

‘It’s no different to being a deal lawyer’ – Jacobs reflects on a year at Linklaters’ helm

‘It’s no different to being a deal lawyer’ – Jacobs reflects on a year at Linklaters’ helm

Last October, Linklaters’ Charlie Jacobs took over as senior partner amid high hopes that the rainmaker would bring flair and dynamism to leadership at a City giant that looked in danger of losing its way. One year on, Legal Business sat down with Jacobs to discuss progress made.

On taking the senior partner role:

‘When I stood for senior partner, I had a lot of questions: “Why are you doing this? Why don’t you wait a few years?” I wanted to set the tone. There is a lot going on in our industry and we could do with someone dynamic and at a young age. Continue reading “‘It’s no different to being a deal lawyer’ – Jacobs reflects on a year at Linklaters’ helm”