Whatever happened to PRIME? – Drift sets in for once lauded diversity project

Whatever happened to PRIME? – Drift sets in for once lauded diversity project

Thomas Alan assesses the initially lauded, now forgotten social inclusion initiative

‘Forgive my ignorance, can you tell me what you mean by PRIME? What is it exactly?’ asks one partner at a top-25 UK law firm, a partner charged with responsibility for overseeing apprenticeships at a firm with membership to that same cross-industry group. Continue reading “Whatever happened to PRIME? – Drift sets in for once lauded diversity project”

Pharma just the tonic for US firms leading on Boston Scientific’s £3bn bid for BTG

Pharma just the tonic for US firms leading on Boston Scientific’s £3bn bid for BTG

An array of City and US firms have landed roles advising on Boston Scientific’s buyout of British healthcare firm BTG in the latest bumper deal in the pharmaceutical sector. Allen & Overy (A&O), Shearman & Sterling, Travers Smith, White & Case, and Arnold & Porter Kaye Scholer were all called upon to advise on the deal, continuing a spate of takeovers in the UK healthcare market.

Shearman acted as lead counsel for longstanding client Boston Scientific, with a team headed by New York corporate partner Clare O’Brien alongside London-based veteran Europe and Middle East M&A head Laurence Levy. City firm Travers worked alongside Shearman, with partner Mahesh Varia advising on share option schemes, while Arnold & Porter Washington DC antitrust partner Michael Bernstein was also drafted in by Boston Scientific. Continue reading “Pharma just the tonic for US firms leading on Boston Scientific’s £3bn bid for BTG”

Dealwatch: Pre-Christmas run of real estate and power deals for US and City players

Dealwatch: Pre-Christmas run of real estate and power deals for US and City players
  • Herbert Smith Freehills (HSF) is advising entertainment and communications company ARRIS on its proposed $7.4bn acquisition by CommScope Holding Company. The HSF team is led by corporate partners Gavin Davies, Alex Kay and Caroline Rae. Pinsent Masons is acting for CommScope on the acquisition with corporate partners Rob Hutchings and Roberta Markovina leading. Alston & Bird also advised CommScope while fellow US outfit Troutman Sanders acted alongside HSF for ARRIS.

Continue reading “Dealwatch: Pre-Christmas run of real estate and power deals for US and City players”

Globetrotters in Europe: Dentons and White & Case expand operations as Weil scales back in CEE again

Globetrotters in Europe: Dentons and White & Case expand operations as Weil scales back in CEE again

Global players scaled up their investment in continental Europe this autumn, with Dentons launching its fourth German base and White & Case growing its French team. Meanwhile, Weil, Gotshal & Manges has shut its doors in Prague, its second office closure in central and eastern Europe (CEE) in 2018.

Dentons’ fast-growing German branch hired Taylor Wessing’s former head of competition, EU and trade, Andreas Haak, and employment partner Sascha Grosjean to lead the opening of the new outpost in Düsseldorf in January 2019. Germany managing partner Andreas Ziegenhagen told Legal Business the firm aims to have around 30 lawyers in the city in Germany’s industrial heartland, bringing the total headcount in the country to over 200. Continue reading “Globetrotters in Europe: Dentons and White & Case expand operations as Weil scales back in CEE again”

Bumpy road for US firms in Asia as Reed Smith, Cleary and Shearman lose out to local players

Bumpy road for US firms in Asia as Reed Smith, Cleary and Shearman lose out to local players

China and Hong Kong are becoming increasingly challenging places for the global elite as the competition for talent from local shops intensifies. Among the most recent victims were Reed Smith, Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton and Shearman & Sterling, which lost out to Australian firm MinterEllison, King & Wood Mallesons (KWM) and Fangda Partners respectively.

A six-partner disputes team of David Morrison, William Barber, Nathan Dentice, Alex Kaung, Eddy So and Desmond Yu quit Reed Smith’s Hong Kong base over what Asia-Pacific managing partner Denise Jong described as client conflict issues. They will join MinterEllison at the beginning of next year. Continue reading “Bumpy road for US firms in Asia as Reed Smith, Cleary and Shearman lose out to local players”

Still more promise than delivery but Paul Hastings shows signs of progress

Still more promise than delivery but Paul Hastings shows signs of progress

Thomas Alan assesses the fortunes of the US giant after a (relatively) expansive 2018

Paul Hastings’ recent London history could be seen as a story of tempered ambitions. In the mid-2000s, the firm talked about hitting 200 lawyers in the City, while in 2012 the hope was to be at around 140 lawyers by 2016. With lawyer headcount only reaching 100 this year, it is clear that those lofty ambitions are hard to realise. However, between 2012 and 2017, the firm’s City headcount increased by 78%. If you aim high, falling short does not mean disaster. Continue reading “Still more promise than delivery but Paul Hastings shows signs of progress”

Letter from… Singapore: A warm welcome and slick offering keep Singapore ahead in the race to be Asia global hub

Letter from… Singapore: A warm welcome and slick offering keep Singapore ahead in the race to be Asia global hub

The view from Fort Canning Hill is telling. You stand next to an early 20th century lighthouse, a testament to Singapore’s early success as a maritime trade hub. It shut in 1958, as the skyscrapers vaulting up rendered it hardly visible from the sea – a port at the crossroads of India and China was becoming a major financial centre.

Today instead of the sea, the view is of dozens of buildings hosting international banks, insurers, manufacturers, tech companies… and of course, lawyers. A city-state of just five and a half million is home to almost 1,000 national and 150 international law firms, making it one of Asia’s two dominant global hubs alongside old rival Hong Kong. Continue reading “Letter from… Singapore: A warm welcome and slick offering keep Singapore ahead in the race to be Asia global hub”

Deal View: Warlords in Paris – Kirkland’s long march to the French capital

Deal View: Warlords in Paris – Kirkland’s long march to the French capital

For a 109-year-old giant that fielded just 12 offices at the beginning of 2017, Kirkland & Ellis has had an expansive 18 months. Of course, there is never a better time to invest than the year in which your firm became the highest-grossing legal outfit in the world as Kirkland did in 2018 after posting $3.165bn. But it is still notable that of the five branches launched since Jeffrey Hammes took over as chair in 2010, three were announced since May 2017.

While earlier Boston and Dallas launches reflect a well-established ambition in its home market, news of Kirkland’s plans for a new arm in Paris signal a more symbolic extension of empire. Only Kirkland’s third branch in Europe, it comes more than two decades after London and almost 14 years after its Munich debut. Continue reading “Deal View: Warlords in Paris – Kirkland’s long march to the French capital”

Legal tech focus: Slaughters’ tech ally Luminance makes impact but battle for City elite wages

Legal tech focus: Slaughters’ tech ally Luminance makes impact but battle for City elite wages

Luminance has shot to prominence unlike any other UK legal tech start-up. But Hamish McNicol finds there is still plenty to do to break into the top of the profession

‘We’re changing things to the extent Excel changed the way accounting is done,’ Luminance chief executive Emily Foges proclaims. ‘You can’t imagine doing anything financial without it.’ Continue reading “Legal tech focus: Slaughters’ tech ally Luminance makes impact but battle for City elite wages”