Global firms strengthen white-collar practices

Global firms strengthen white-collar practices

A number of global firms boosted their white-collar defence practices last month with a spate of hires from US and UK government agencies. The hires come as regulators on both sides of the pond continue to tighten their grip on domestic and international businesses.

Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer hired Matthew Friedrich, former acting head of the criminal division at the US Department of Justice (DoJ), to bolster its white-collar practice based in Washington DC.

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Freshfields Pick ‘outstanding’ energy hire

Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer has demonstrated that US firms in the City are not the only ones to be making high-profile partner hires, announcing the recruitment of respected Shearman & Sterling partner and head of global project development and finance Tim Pick in April.

The arrival of Pick, described as ‘outstanding in all respects’ in the latest edition of The Legal 500, is a significant appointment for Freshfields. He will join as a finance partner in London and will focus on advising clients in the energy and natural resources sector in Europe, the Middle East and Africa.

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Insurance giants move into legal services market

Three insurance companies announced significant moves into the legal services market in April after sealing alternative business structure (ABS) joint ventures with law firms.

The Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) granted Admiral, Ageas and RAC ABS licences to extend their services beyond insurance to provide legal services for customers making no-fault personal injury claims.

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Nabarro’s talent programme reaps eight partner promotions

Nabarro has promoted eight lawyers to its partnership, with the majority of appointments in the firm’s City office.

The promotions, effective from 1 May, are split across the construction, real estate, tax, corporate and disputes practices.

Five London lawyers were promoted in this latest round, namely construction lawyer Alistair McGrigor, real estate specialist Chris Oakley, tax lawyer Kirsten Prichard Jones, disputes associate Andrew Taplin and real estate disputes lawyer Nick Wood.

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Clyde & Co to open Madrid office with DAC Beachcroft insurance team

Clyde & Co to open Madrid office with DAC Beachcroft insurance team

Clyde & Co is to open a Madrid office following the appointment of a four-partner insurance team from DAC Beachcroft’s local office.

The team of nine lawyers, including insurance partners Ignacio Figuerol, Ricardo Garrido, Pablo Guillen and Miguel Relano, have resigned to establish the office for Clyde & Co, extending the firm’s international footprint to 29 locations across Europe, America and Asia.

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More partner exits from Dundas & Wilson

Beleaguered Dundas & Wilson is shortly to lose London private equity partners Simon Sale and Nadim Meer to Mishcon de Reya, while City corporate partner Julian Mathews joined Wedlake Bell in March.

The departures are the latest in a series of partner exits from the Scottish leader in recent months.

Mathews specialises in M&A, private equity and corporate real estate. He has a particular focus on the hotel, restaurant and leisure sectors.

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Partnership structure overhaul for CMS Cameron McKenna

CMS Cameron McKenna has reformed its partnership remuneration model from 1 May, enabling salaried partners to become equity partners more quickly but increasing management scrutiny of performance.

After 18 months of deliberation, the firm voted in favour of discontinuing its salaried partner level, achieving the 80% majority needed to push the reforms through.

The change will see 65 salaried partners become part of a 75-strong fixed-share rank.

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RBS investors secure litigation funding for action against bank

Third-party funder Argentum has agreed to bankroll a multimillion-pound claim against The Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) in London’s High Court.

The floodgates have opened for cases against RBS following its £20bn government bailout in 2008, as investors seek to recoup their losses following its nationalisation.

The group of 21 claimants includes a number of UK and international financial institutions and pension funds suing the bank over a rights issue in April 2008, in which RBS sold its shares at £2 per share. The claimants allege that the prospectus on which the rights issue was based was ‘defective’ and contained material misstatements and omissions. Continue reading “RBS investors secure litigation funding for action against bank”

Taylor Wessing snares Harbottles IP head Owen

Taylor Wessing (TW) bolstered its strong IP credentials last month, recruiting the head of Harbottle & Lewis’ IP group Mark Owen into its City TMT team.

The arrival of Owen will add further strength to TW’s leading soft IP practice. The former Clifford Chance lawyer has advised significant media and entertainment clients on copyright, designs, trade mark, database rights and data privacy issues for the last 25 years.

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CMS and Osborne Clarke scale back Integreon deals

CMS Cameron McKenna (CMS) and Osborne Clarke (OC) have scaled back their legal process outsourcing (LPO) agreements with Integreon within days of each other. CMS is seeking an alternative provider while OC is looking to bring resources back in house.

The ten-year deal between CMS and Integreon, struck in May 2010, was the largest of its kind, worth £600m. CMS had hoped it would establish a revolutionary alternative model for legal support services by outsourcing its entire support staff function in areas including finance, human resources, and IT. The deal resulted in an estimated 9% of its support staff being made redundant, while a further 21% were relocated to either Bristol or India.

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