Debt levels at the top UK firms by revenue have increased to £185m compared to £138m last year.
Data taken from top UK firms’ annual LLP filings at Companies House reveals that Simmons & Simmons, Addleshaw Goddard, Bird & Bird and Herbert Smith are the most indebted of the leading firms.
Herbert Smith saw its debt level rise by £17m to just over £41m worth of net debt in 2010/11. It increased its overdraft facility by £11m to £18.6m with part of the new loan going to fund the fit out of the firm’s new Belfast office. The firm saw its turnover rise by 3% last year to £465.1m.
Continue reading “LLP filings show increase in net debt at leading UK firms”
DLA Piper has revealed plans to open a second London office this year, concentrating on the burgeoning technology startup community.
Simon Levine, the firm’s IP and technology global co-chair, said plans were to open ‘before the summer’, with the office likely to be located in the Tech City area of East London, near the Old Street roundabout.
Continue reading “DLA Piper plans ‘relationship building’ technology push in London”
Margaret Cole, managing director and board member of the Financial Services Authority (FSA), tendered her resignation from the top post in February, with fresh speculation that she could return to private practice. Cole has already been linked to a Magic Circle firm and a US firm.
Continue reading “FSA to lose top level enforcer and board member”
Neil Kinsella, Russell Jones & Walker (RJW)’s chief executive, is non-committal on the possibility of a UK listing for his firm, should its recently announced acquisition by listed Australian firm Slater & Gordon (S&G) complete.
S&G, the world’s first listed law firm, is set to buy UK personal injury firm RJW for £53.8m later this year. The publicly listed Melbourne-based practice will become the first Australian firm to take over a UK firm.
Continue reading “UK listing for Russell Jones & Walker not immediate priority”
Pinsent Masons and McGrigors confirmed in early February that partners had voted in favour of the two firms merging. The new firm will operate from 1 May as one unified partnership under the Pinsent Masons brand.
Management says that the combination will likely see the creation of a near £300m, 1,500 lawyer business spanning 15 offices, seven of which are outside of the UK.
Continue reading “Pinsents and McGrigors tie-up gets rubber-stamped”
Shearman & Sterling’s loss is Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom’s gain after Stephan Hutter, Germany’s pre-eminent capital markets specialist, swapped one US firm for another in February.
Hutter joined Skadden’s Frankfurt office along with fellow partner Katja Kaulamo, gifting the firm the German capital markets capability it has sought for so long.
Continue reading “Shearman’s rainmaker leaves for Skadden”
Firms operating in the Leeds market have been in a state of flux recently, with the region’s mid-tier firms taking advantage of the shrinking headcount at the larger players.
Despite troubling economic conditions in the Leeds market, Gateley was not deterred, and opened its Leeds office in January, marking the firm’s eighth office in the UK.
The move saw Gateley hire restructuring partner William Ballmann and finance litigator Rob Payne from Cobbetts to launch the office. Ballmann is set to run Gateley’s Leeds outpost. Continue reading “Leeds market set to change markedly as top tier loses talent”
Travers Smith has always been one to plough its own furrow and last month the firm confirmed it was reviewing its roster of US best friend firms.
The corporate powerhouse is reviewing its line-up in the wake of a raft of US firms strengthening their own London offerings.
Continue reading “Travers Smith launches review of US best friends network”
Taylor Wessing is more likely to merge with a local practice in Hong Kong than to set up in the region organically, the firm indicated last month, as it continues to expand its Asian footprint after taking over Singapore alliance firm RHT Law in March.
Tim Eyles, the firm’s London-based managing partner, told LB that the firm would not go into Hong Kong on its own; rather, it would look for a local practice to tie-up with.
Continue reading “Taylor Wessing eyes Hong Kong deal after Singapore launch”
Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton has hired former Stephenson Harwood chief executive and litigation heavyweight Sunil Gadhia in its London office, marking a growing trend of US firms bulking up City disputes practices.
Gadhia is set to join Cleary’s London outpost this year after 15 years as a partner at Stephenson Harwood, of which he spent six as chief executive.
Continue reading “Cleary hires former Stephenson Harwood chief executive”