Legal Business

Sponsored briefing: Post-Brexit prospects: London as a dispute resolution centre

Neill Shrimpton and Jessica Lee discuss the impact of Brexit on London as a dispute resolution centre

Over a year on since the UK formally withdrew from the EU on 31 January 2020, speculation continues as to the prospects of London remaining a key dispute resolution centre post-Brexit. The adverse impact of Brexit is already being felt in the UK financial markets after January 2021 saw the Amsterdam Stock Exchange displace the London Stock Exchange in terms of trading volume per day. However, it remains to be seen whether the uncertainty persisting post-Brexit with respect to issues such as the enforceability of English judgments in the EU will outweigh the favour historically given by contracting parties in choosing to apply English law to their contracts and to litigating their disputes in the English courts.

Legal Business

Sponsored briefing: Surveillance capitalism

Jane Colston discusses how the legal world is wrestling with technology regulation

As technology becomes increasingly sophisticated, making every aspect of our lives more streamlined and efficient, the legal world is wrestling with how best to regulate that technology in a way that does not stifle innovation but allows humans to understand and keep control of technology, and make sure it is applied in a way that takes into account human morals and ethics.

Legal Business

Sponsored briefing: Tech-driven review vs the fear of missing out

Jane Colston discusses the use of AI in the courts under the new disclosure pilot scheme’s push for cheaper tech-assisted review

Lord Burnett of Maldon has set up a new advisory board made up of senior judges and artificial intelligence (AI) experts to consider and advise on the issues arising from the use of AI in the courts. In setting up the group, Lord Burnett seeks to ensure that judges are at the forefront of governing how increasingly capable AI technology may be used in and by the courts of England and Wales.

Legal Business

UK Outlook sponsored briefing: ‘Hodl’, ‘Hit the moon’, ‘Lambo’, ‘Miners’

Brown Rudnick’s Jane Colston considers asset tracing and enforcement across the blockchain

As comedian John Oliver recently said: ‘Cryptocurrencies and blockchain [are] everything you don’t understand about money combined with everything you don’t understand about computers.’

Legal Business

Cadwalader takes multiple hits in London as Milbank and Brown Rudnick swoop in

It has been an expansive start of the year in terms of partner hires for a group of finance-focused US shops with tight London operations.

First Cadwalader, Wickersham & Taft’s City restructuring practice was decimated by the departure of four partners to Milbank, Tweed, Hadley & McCloy, led by global financial restructuring co-chair Yushan Ng, with Jacqueline Ingram, Karen McMaster and Sinjini Saha following him. McMaster and Ingram had already followed Ng in changing firms in 2013 from Linklaters, where they were associates. Saha was made partner when she joined Cadwalader from Simpson Thacher & Bartlett in 2015.

Legal Business

Revolving doors: Brown Rudnick hires in UK, Hogan Lovells bolsters Madrid, Ashurst adds to Paris, HSF boosts Moscow

In a series of banking, finance and tax appointments across the globe, international firms are hiring to boost their financial capacities.

In London, Brown Rudnick has appointed partner Benjamin Klinger from Sidley Austin to expand its bankruptcy and corporate restructuring team. 

Klinger’s practice focuses on cross-border and domestic reorganisation, recovery and turnaround matters representing debtors, creditors and practitioners.

Brown Rudnick’s European bankruptcy and corporate restructuring head Louise Verrill said that Klinger’s hire ‘will add significant depth and breadth to our team, and enhance our ability to provide clients with creative ideas and analysis, and advice that is truly multi-jurisdictional’.

Hogan Lovells has hired DLA Piper’s Alfredo Barona as a banking partner to its Madrid finance practice. He has been a partner at DLA since 2012.

Barona’s practice focuses on advising lenders and borrowers on a wide variety of deals. He is already connected with a number of Hogan Lovells’ existing banking clients. Barona knows the firm well, ‘having been on the opposite side of the table’ to the firm in previous deals.

Hogan Lovells recently secured a 15 partner tie-up in Boston with life sciences and litigation firm Collora.

In Paris, Ashurst has appointed Emmanuelle Pontnau-Faure as a partner in its French tax group. She joined from PwC where she was a director since 2016, having practised as a lawyer at White & Case for 14 years.

Pontnau-Faure advises on a broad range of issues relating to corporate, finance, real estate, litigation and restructuring tax. In February, a five partner Ashurst tax team exited in Paris to Freshfields.

Ashurst’s Paris managing partner, Philippe None, said that Pontnau-Faure will work very closely with the Paris, EMEA and US tax teams.

In Moscow, HSF hired finance and banking partner Dmitry Gubarev from Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe, where he was head of the Russian banking and finance practice.

Gubarev specialises in syndicated loans, real estate and infrastructure financings, pre-export financings and structured products. He is also experienced in securitisation transactions and debt restructuring in the Russian market.

His key credentials include acting for Sberbank of Russia and Bank VTB, including recently acting for Sberbank of Russia on RUB31.5 billion sale of distressed debt of a major Russian metals and mining conglomerate to Gazprombank.

HSF’s Moscow managing partner Alexei Roudiak, said the hire ‘builds on our success in the Russian market and the notable expertise Dmitry brings will significantly strengthen and expand the banking and finance capability and brand in Moscow and internationally’.

Legal Business

Brown Rudnick hires King & Wood European employment head amid high profile departures


US firm Brown Rudnick has hired King & Wood Mallesons’ (KWM) former head of employment Nicola Kerr as the Hong Kong legal firm clears its decks after a partnership review in Europe and the Middle East.

Head of KWM’s European employment team for more than 15 years, Kerr advises hedge funds, private equity houses and broker-dealers on employment law issues. She is the ninth partner exit this year following a string of high profile departures and a partnership review which is expected to see 10% of the firm’s European and Middle Eastern partnership managed out by March next year.

Kerr leaves KWM after 23 years at the firm, having joined as an associate in 1992 and making partner four years later. Other veteran lawyers to leave KWM in recent months include intellectual property partner Ray Black, who left after 24 years to join Mishcon de Reya in July, and tax partner Giles Bavister, who departed after 15 years at the firm to join K&L Gates.

The appointment is Brown Rudnick’s seventh lateral hire in London in the past two years. The firm’s chairman Joe Ryan said: ‘Nicola has an exceptional track record and will add a valuable dimension to our corporate and funds practices in both contentious and non-contentious employment law.’

Kerr added: ‘Brown Rudnick’s record for handling tough cases, advising on complex, cross-border deals, and its ‘global boutique’ approach to business were real selling points. I look forward to building on the strong growth the firm has seen over the last couple of years.’

Read more about KWM in this month’s feature: Sum of its parts: can King & Wood Mallesons match the hype? 

Legal Business

Brown Rudnick hires Clydes’ corporate head as it targets Francophone work


Clyde & Co head of corporate Philip Rogers is leaving the firm after eleven years to head up Brown Rudnick’s emerging markets corporate practice in London after the US firm also made two laterals in its Paris office last week.

Rogers joined Clydes in 2004 having been a founding partner of KLegal from 1998 after working as a solicitor at Linklaters for nine years. He brings with him experience of advising on cross-border M&A, IPOs and joint ventures working with corporate and government clients in the natural resources, commodities and transport sectors. Geographically he has focused on emerging markets including Francophone Africa, Russia and Mongolia.

The move comes as the US firm also boosted its cross-border offering last week, hiring restructuring partners Didier Bruère-Dawson and David Malamed from De Gaulle Fleurance & Associés and August & Debouzy respectively in its Paris office.

Brown Rudnick chairman and chief executive, Joe Ryan, said: ‘Philip will further strengthen our ability to offer clients exceptional cross-border capability in both transactions and disputes. His experience working across European, Middle Eastern and African jurisdictions fits well with the strategic focus of our existing international disputes team, offering strong synergies with our Paris and London teams, which continue to be core areas of growth for us.’

Roger’s exit comes after Steven Lim, founder and managing director of Clyde & Co’s joint venture partner Clasis, quit to join Nabarro to head its Singapore office.

Legal Business

Brown Rudnick hires Speechly’s European IP head into equivalent City role


Brown Rudnick has hired technology and intellectual property (IP) head Alex Carter-Silk from Speechly Bircham to lead its European IP practice in London.

The hire comes as the US firm aims to build its City technology and life sciences capabilities. Carter-Silk will work closely with Thomas Meyers, head of the firm’s global IP practice, and joins counsel Steven James in London to grow the European practice.

Carter-Silk headed Speechly’s innovation and IP department from 2006, becoming European IP only this month. He has experience of advising on licensing, sponsorship and franchising of IP rights, as well as the protection of copyright design rights and trademarks. He has also advised on advertising and marketing regulation and reputation management, including privacy and defamation. His clients include AIG, Beazley, Richemont, Gina Shoes, Elle Macpherson, WPL (Word Programming Limited) and CFC Underwriting Limited.

Brown Rudnick’s international litigation group head Neil Micklethwaite said: ‘Alex has a track record in building successful intellectual property and technology practices and is a litigation heavyweight, specialising in the resolution of complex, high-value, ‘bet-the-ranch’ disputes with particular expertise in the recovery of failing technology projects. His ideas, experience and drive will prove invaluable to his clients at Brown Rudnick.’

Carter-Silk added: ‘Brown Rudnick has been winning some of the toughest cases out there in recent years, building a global boutique with a reputation for top-quality senior advice. We have big ambitions for the European IP practice, with a number of strengths in complementary areas that we can use for leverage.’

Last year Brown Rudnick lost senior IP partner Georgie Collins – formerly head of IP at Lawrence Graham – to Irwin Mitchell.

Legal Business

Revolving doors: Senior hires for Withers, Baker & McKenzie, Brown Rudnick and TLT


The past week saw Withers hire Taylor Wessing’s head of contentious trusts and estates as the BBC’s head of litigation returned to private practice with a move to Baker & McKenzie, and Brown Rudnick and TLT made strategic hires in intellectual property (IP) and real estate respectively.

Steven Kempster will become the thirteenth partner in Withers’ contentious trust and succession group when he arrives in mid-July and brings the group up to seven partners in London. The group was founded 20 years ago by Dawn Goodman, who remains head of the department.

Kempster, who joined Taylor Wessing from Herbert Smith in 2008, brings with him a reputation for handling Russian disputes. He was, however, unsuccessful with a claim brought by his client, Russian oligarch Vladimir Slutsker, against his ex-wife Olga for a 50% share of the £40m London home they purchased using an offshore trust.

Kempster told Legal Business his practice is ‘burgeoning with Russian, Middle Eastern and Far Eastern disputes’ due to their growing number of UK investments and desire to have recourse to English courts.

Given the growing convergence of family law and contentious trusts work, Kempster says ‘the crossover at Withers, which has a high quality family law practice, is very complimentary to my own practice.’ He adds: ‘Taylor Wessing doesn’t have a family law department, which is a shame as it is a practice that crosses over quite well with contentious trusts work, particularly divorce cases.’

Goodman said in a statement: ‘Steven is well-known for his expertise and successes in contentious trust work, and has advised clients from around the world on complex matters for 15 years. His experience and leadership skills will be a real asset to the team.’

Elsewhere, Baker & McKenzie hired Nadia Banno from the BBC, where she was head of litigation. Banno will join Baker’s as of counsel and will particularly focus on the firm’s public law, and regulatory investigations.

Banno has worked at the BBC for the past nine years, of which she spent the last two heading the litigation team. Her experience includes advising in relation to the Jimmy Savile matter, the Pollard Review and the Dame Janet Smith Review, as well as the civil claims compensation scheme.

She also has experience of managing both domestic and international disputes, investigations and crisis management. She has advised on data protection and freedom of information, defamation, privacy, contempt and reporting restrictions.

Baker & McKenzie head of disputes John Leadley said: ‘We’ve worked closely with Nadia for a number of years and know first-hand what a talented and impressive lawyer she is. Having Nadia’s expertise and broad experience in the team will be a tremendous boost to our dispute resolution practice, particularly our public law, and regulatory investigations offering.’

Meanwhile, Brown Rudnick has recruited Speechly Bircham’s head of technology and intellectual property (IP) Alexander Carter-Silk, who has left the firm ahead of its merger vote to combine with Charles Russell. The vote is expected to take place in August this year.

Carter-Silk has 25 years’ experience of advising on contentious and non-contentious IP and technology matters. He headed Speechly’s trade mark designs and brand practice, and has experience of advising on advertising and marketing regulation and reputation management, including privacy and defamation.

Elsewhere TLT has hired Foot Anstey partner Daniel Halstead to boost its real estate offering in the UK. Halstead, who joined Foot Anstey from Osborne Clarke in 2011 to set up the firm’s Bristol office, will join TLT as its third property and development partner in Bristol.

Halstead specialises in real estate development and investment matters for institutions, property companies, developers, housing associations and corporate occupiers. He has particular experience in representing student accommodation projects, and some recent work includes advising on the £45m acquisition of a student village, the redevelopment of a Bristol city centre student scheme, and real estate finance matters for Santander.

Halstead told Legal Business: ‘There is increased investment into the property market as a whole. I aim to use my previous experience in the student accommodation field and work alongside the London and Manchester offices to service the firm’s existing property clients.’

TLT’s head of real estate Andrew Glynn added: ‘We continue to grow our team and expertise in response to client demand. Daniel brings a wealth of experience and expertise that will further boost the support we can offer our clients across the UK.’

Some of TLT’s real estate group clients include BBC, WH Smith and