Legal Business

Dechert returns to Kirkland for second finance hire in six months

Dechert returns to Kirkland for second finance hire in six months

Dechert is to appoint Kirkland & Ellis banking and finance partner Rob Bradshaw, returning to the Chicago-bred firm’s London office for recruitment for the second time in the last six months.

Part of its City push, Dechert also hired Kirkland partner John Markland last November. Markland had been with Kirkland for 12 years and founded the firm’s European debt finance team, advising clients such as Palamon Capital Partners, Mid Europa and Bain Capital.

Bradshaw was made partner at Kirkland in 2015, and was previously an associate at Allen & Overy. His practice focuses on cross-border financing transactions, including leveraged and acquisition financing, refinancing and restructurings. He advises both borrowers and creditors.

Bradshaw’s key mandates at Kirkland included representing Bain Capital in connection with the financing of the acquisition by Autodis of Doyen Auto, and TPG Growth on the acquisition of Frank Recruitment Group in April 2016.

Dechert has been significantly improving its finance practice in the City in recent months, with the hire of DLA Piper partners Philip Butler and David Miles. Miles was DLA’s head of debt finance in London while Butler was head of finance and projects, and global co-chair in the firm’s financial services sector.

Alongside Markland, Dechert also hired White & Case’s private equity partner Ross Allardice last November.

As well as losing high-yield heavyweight Ward McKimm to Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer in 2015, Kirkland also lost a seven-partner team to Sidley Austin in Munich last month, after having already lost a six-partner deal team from its London office to Sidley one year before.

Conversely, Kirkland took star finance partner Michael Steele in 2015 and real estate finance partner Jonathan Birks in late 2016, both from Freshfields.

Earlier this month, Kirkland also hired Munich-based corporate partner Volkmar Bruckner from Weil, Gotshal & Manges, to replenish the German practice.

Dechert and Kirkland declined to comment.

georgiana.tudor@legalease.co.uk

 

Legal Business

High Court rules Dechert bill discrepancy ‘impossible to ignore’

High Court rules Dechert bill discrepancy ‘impossible to ignore’

The High Court has ruled that Eurasian Natural Resources Corporation (ENRC) will now have its multimillion-pound bills from Dechert assessed after the mining company had claimed it had been overcharged.

Master Rowley, who handed down the judgment from the senior courts costs office at the end of January, described discrepancies between Dechert’s estimates and the costs actually billed, noting that some of those estimates were ‘considerably awry on every occasion’.

The ruling means that the a timetable for assessment of the bills will need to be put in place and ENRC will continue its claim for recovery of costs against Dechert in the High Court. A spokesperson for Dechert said: ‘We look forward now to proceeding with the costs assessment process’.

A spokesperson for ENRC said: ‘We have always been concerned about the level of charging by Dechert, but felt unable to challenge these while our internal investigation was underway. We are pleased that the High Court has agreed that assessment proceedings can now be brought in relation to £11.6m of the fees charged to us by Dechert.’

ENRC initially hired Dechert to undertake a self-reporting process of the company’s finances relating to a criminal investigation by the Serious Fraud Office that began in 2011, which alleged ENRC may have been committing fraud in some its overseas operations. For this service, Dechert billed ENRC over £16.3m (excluding VAT), with £11.7m invoiced between 23 July 2012 and 11 April 2013.

Overseen by Graham Huntley, Signature Litigation led for ENRC, instructing Outer Temple Chambers’ Saaman Pourghadiri and 4 New Square’s Ben Williams QC. Representing Dechert, Clyde & Co instructed Temple Garden Chambers’ Simon Browne QC alongside the Clyde’s commercial costs lawyer Mersedeh Safa.

Dechert had previously attempted to have the hearing on costs held in public, arguing that it needed to cite legally privileged material to clear its name, but the Court of Appeal ruled that one of the firm’s former clients had not waived its privilege rights.

In the recent judgment, Master Rowley criticised Dechert’s attempts to bring ENRC’s confidential information into the public domain, citing that ‘third parties were clearly interested in that information’.

tom.baker@legalease.co.uk

Legal Business

US financials: London growth sees modest rise in Dechert’s global revenue and PEP

US financials: London growth sees modest rise in Dechert’s global revenue and PEP

Dechert‘s financials for 2016 show revenue has risen 3% to $911.5m, while profit per equity partner (PEP) increased by 2% to $2.6m, mostly off the back of solid growth in London of 19% in billed and received work.

While PEP increased slightly from $2.5m in 2015 to $2.6m last year, revenue per lawyer (RPL) fell by 1% to $995,000. Net income fell by 2.2% to $400.5m from $409.8m.

Dechert chief executive Henry Nassau said practice areas like corporate and securities, financial services and internal investigations/white collar crime as the biggest drivers of growth. White collar crime in particular grew by 60% from 2015.

The number of equity partners in the firm contracted by 4% from 163 in 2015 to 157 last year, but was balanced by 20 lateral hires overall in 2016. Meanwhile the non-equity ranks grew by 10% to 135, from 122 in 2015.

Nassau (pictured) added that currency fluctuations had a negative impact on revenue to the tune of $8m. He said: ‘We are a global firm with currency fluctuations equally impacting revenue and expenses – so the impact is on our margins and is not as significant as might first appear.’

He added: ‘We’ve increased our compensation, and as we are focused on having a meaningful, strong presence in global capital markets, our infrastructure costs reflect our expansion in London, New York and Washington.’

Overall, the firm lost nine partners in lateral moves, and hired 20. Out of the 20, only one partner was of ethnic minority.

In November last year, Dechert strengthened its private equity and finance practices in London hiring White & Case’s Ross Allardice and Kirkland & Ellis partner John Markland to boost its presence in the City.

georgiana.tudor@legalease.co.uk

Legal Business

Dechert’s new PE duo lead for Mid Europa on €533m Romanian supermarket deal

Dechert’s new PE duo lead for Mid Europa on €533m Romanian supermarket deal

Dechert has picked up work from key White & Case client Mid Europa Partners, as new partners Ross Allardice and John Markland took roles on the private equity house’s €533m acquisition of supermarket Profi Rom Food.

Allardice (pictured) and Markland, who joined earlier this month from White & Case and Kirkland & Ellis respectively, have advised on the largest ever PE deal in Romania, in a first time instruction for Dechert. The duo have both advised Mid Europa in the past. 

Allen & Overy’s (A&O) Romanian office led for the seller, Polish Enterprise Fund VI. RTPR Allen & Overy managing partner Costa Tărăcilă advised on the deal, while A&O co-head of private equity Stephen Lloyd also acted for the fund.

Allardice advised on M&A aspects, while Markland, who left Kirkland after 12 years, advised on private equity finance. Debt partner Giles Belsey also acted on the deal.

Allardice, whose client base also includes HgCapital, Better Capital and Nordic Capital, said: ‘It has been an exciting opportunity to be part of this highly innovative deal and to demonstrate the firm’s private equity credentials on a competitive auction process and our ability to successfully advise clients on complex cross-border transactions.’

Markland has advised clients including Palamon Capital, Bain Capital, and had founded Kirkland’s European debt finance team.

Dechert’s London office has looked to expand recently to boost its global private equity and finance offering. The firm most recently had revenues of around £44m for 2015 in the City.

matthew.field@legalease.co.uk

For more on the City’s leading private equity teams see: ‘ABC – the brutally simple world of a private equity lawyer’

Legal Business

‘A transition year’: Dechert chief executive confident despite 10% drop in City turnover

‘A transition year’: Dechert chief executive confident despite 10% drop in City turnover

The highest take-home pay at Dechert‘s City office rose by nearly 9% last year to £2.9m, while income at the firm’s City office slid by 10%.

London income at Dechert dropped by 10% from £49m in 2014 to £44.1m for the year ended 31 December 2015, according to filings at Companies House. The fall in revenue aligns with a decrease in partners by 9%, as partner numbers dropped from 43 to 39 partners in 2015, according to the Global 100.

Overall, the fees generated within Dechert’s UK LLP, which includes some income from overseas offices, dropped nearly 9% to £61.2m. Profit available for distribution also dropped to £24.5m from £28.4m.

Dechert’s newly-appointed chief executive officer Henry Nassau (pictured) said while performance was down, since the reporting period the financial fortunes of the firm had changed. He added: ‘There has been an active and dramatic turnaround and I’m feeling quite good about London this year.’

‘It’s all down to time and transition, a number of lawyers have departed, litigation hasn’t picked up and we view 2015 as a transition year. We are now focusing on the new managers in the office and turning it around, combine that with strong recent laterals we think 2016 will be a very good year.’

In July 2016 Dechert announced its London office will be led by a committee with corporate partner Camille Abousleiman serving as chair alongside partners Gus Black and Miriam Gonzalez alongside existing managing partner Jason Butwick.

According to the accounts, there was an increase in the number of lawyers working across the network to 226. The number of associates and counsel dipped further by just over 10%, from 76 lawyers in 2014 to 69 lawyers last year. Despite this, the amount of administration staff rose from 60 to 66 and staff costs remained fairly steady, increasing by just under 2%, amounting to £18.4m.

While, in 2015 Dechert’s London office saw several high-profile departures including exits to Jenner & Block and White & Case, last week it hired White & Case’s Ross Allardice and Kirkland & Ellis partner John Markland in private equity and finance to boost its presence in the City, while in August it bolstered its finance team with the hire of two DLA Piper partners Philip Butler and David Miles.

georgiana.tudor@legalease.co.uk

Legal Business

Double hire for Dechert as White & Case PE player Allardice exits with K&E finance partner

Double hire for Dechert as White & Case PE player Allardice exits with K&E finance partner

Dechert has strengthened its private equity and finance practices hiring White & Case‘s Ross Allardice and Kirkland & Ellis partner John Markland to boost its presence in the City.

Private equity partner Ross Allardice (pictured) joins from White & Case having moved from Kirkland in 2013. Recently, Allardice has advised HgCapital on its £200m acquisition of The Foundry from Carlyle. He also guided Mid Europa through its acquisition of Danube Foods Group BV and Clates Holding which had combined revenues of more than €400m in 2014. Other clients include Better Capital, Arle Capital, Nordic Capital and Rhone Capital.

Markland has been with Kirkland for 12 years after making the move from Weil, Gotshal & Manges and founded the firm’s European debt finance team. Markland has advised clients such as Palamon Capital Partners, Mid Europa Partners and Bain Capital.

Chair of Dechert’s London office management committee Camille Abousleiman said: ‘The London office is expanding and adding some very dynamic partners. With the addition of John and Ross as a team, we have significantly enhanced our private equity and global finance offerings both in London and on the continent.’

In August, the Philadelphia headquartered firm bolstered its finance team in the City with the hire of two DLA Piper partners, Philip Butler and David Miles. Miles was DLA’s head of debt finance in London while Butler was head of finance and projects, and global co-chair in the firm’s financial services sector. Going the other way, Dechert recently lost real estate partner Jeremy Trinder to Latham & Watkins in July this year.

Dechert posted global robust revenues growing 6% from $839.5m in 2014 to $890m in 2015 driven by strong growth in the firm’s litigation practice which was up 17%. The firm’s PEP also grew by 8.5% from $2.32m to $2.5m. The firm has 127 fee earners in the City, and its partnership ranks in London fell 9% to 39 partners in 2015.#

madeleine.farman@legalease.co.uk

For more on Private Equity in the City see: ‘ABC – the brutally simple world of a private equity lawyer’


 

Legal Business

Revolving doors: Dechert, Mishcon and Squires strengthen the ranks

Revolving doors: Dechert, Mishcon and Squires strengthen the ranks

Following the post-summer hiring spree, the latter half of September only brought single lateral hires in criminal, corporate, tax and intellectual property (IP).

Mishcon de Reya’s business crime group announced this week the appointment of the Grillo sisters’ defence lawyer Richard Cannon. With effect from 5 October, Cannon will be the seventh lawyer in the two-partner business crime group established in 2014.

Cannon joins Mishcon de Reya from boutique criminal law firm Janes Solicitors, where he was a partner for 16 years focusing on defence of serious and complex fraud.

Commenting on his appointment, group head Alison Levitt QC said that ‘Richard brings to the firm a wealth of experience and expertise in criminal defence litigation at the top level’.

On the corporate side, Squire Patton Boggs also continues the European expansion of its global practice by confirming Kashif Siddiqui as its new partner in the London office. Joining from Trowers & Hamlins, Siddiqui focuses on cross-border M&A, disposals, joint ventures and reorganisations. Commenting on Siddiqui’s appointment, EMEA chair of the global corporate practice Jane Haxby said the hire is in line with the firm’s international focus and expansion of their UK practice. Siddiqui’s appointment follows last month’s hire of Bart Vanderstraete as partner in the Brussels office. Earlier this month Squires announced it would hold elections by the end of the year as its long-standing leader, Europe and Middle East managing partner leader Peter Crossley, steps down.

Meanwhile, Dechert added Sabina Comis to its benches as tax partner in the firm’s Paris office. Joining from Mayer Brown, part of Comis’ role will be focusing on advising French and international companies on tax structuring and dispute resolution. Dechert international and domestic tax group chair Daniel Dunn said Comis has an ‘impressive track record’ whilst head of tax in France. Last month the firm announced a ramp-up of its London office with the hire of long-serving DLA Piper financial services global co-chair Philip Butler.

georgiana.tudor@legalease.co.uk

Legal Business

Bankrupted Russian oligarch wins injunction barring Dechert from acting in $180m dispute

Bankrupted Russian oligarch wins injunction barring Dechert from acting in $180m dispute

A High Court judge has ruled Dechert was wrong on the law relating to legal privilege, barring it from acting for its client in a $180m dispute.

Russian businessman Mikhail Shlosberg last month secured an injunction against Dechert acting for creditor Avonwick in the case, which has set a precedent on legal privilege.

Legal Business

Dechert hires insolvency partner Fleming from DLA Piper

Dechert hires insolvency partner Fleming from DLA Piper

US firm Dechert frequently turns to DLA Piper for its City hires and has done so again, recruiting insolvency partner Paul Fleming.

Fleming, who counts Big Four accountancy firms PwC, KPMG and Deloitte as key clients, departs DLA Piper after 20 years at the firm. Fleming follows a well-trodden path between DLA Piper and Dechert’s London offices, with Neil Gerrard arriving as deputy chair of global litigation in 2011 and Miriam Gonzalez joining as co-chair of international trade and government regulation a year later. Jonathan Pickworth is another to make the transition, arriving at Dechert’s Blackfriars office in 2011, but has since moved on to join White & Case.  

When financial crisis created a flood of restructuring and insolvency work in 2007, Fleming became a central City figure in handling the fall-out from the collapse of Lehman Brothers. During this period he acted for PwC on the administration process of Lehman, including £7bn worth of claims over estates, pensions liabilities and shareholders’ liability. 

Fleming, who made partner in 1999, is known for his work advising HSBC, Credit Suisse and the Irish National Asset Management Agency (NAMA). Earlier this year, he led on NAMA and Duff & Phelps restructuring and sale of five property companies with hotels and apartments across Kensington, Earls Courts and London Bridge to Starwood Capital Group for £206m.

Dechert’s London income dropped by 4% from £50.97m in 2013 to £48.98m for the year ended 31 December 2014, according to filings at Companies House. Fleming’s arrival follows a period of high profile exits from the US firm’s City office, with finance partner Corinna Mitchell joining Pemberton Asset Management as general counsel in June and London arbitration head Daniel Gal departing for Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom last November.

tom.moore@legalease.co.uk

Legal Business

Dechert results: revenue slides by £2m in London as highest earner takes home £2.7m

Dechert results: revenue slides by £2m in London as highest earner takes home £2.7m

The highest take-home pay at Dechert’s London office rose by 16% last year to £2.69m, despite income at the City office sliding by 4%.

London income at Dechert dropped by 4% from £50.97m in 2013 to £48.98m for the year ended 31 December 2014, according to filings at Companies House.

Overall, the fees generated within Dechert’s UK LLP, which includes some income from overseas offices, dropped 1% to £66.96m. Profit, however, rose by £1.4m to £29.1m in 2014. 

While partner numbers across the UK LLP stayed steady at 41, there was a fall in the number of lawyers working across the network. The number of associates and counsel dipped by 8%, from 83 lawyers in 2013 to 76 lawyers last year. Despite this, the amount of administration staff rose from 55 to 60 people.

The filing also detailed a new operating lease for its London office near Blackfriars, with the firm agreeing to pay its landlord at least £20.31m between now and 2023.

Dechert’s London office has seen a string of high profile exits during 2015, with litigation partner Jonathan Pickworth switching to White & Case and four litigation lawyers moving to Jenner & Block to launch the Chicago-based firm’s first overseas office in London.

In June partner Corrina Mitchell left and joined Pemberton Asset Management as general counsel, while in March Paris arbitration partner Pierre Mayer moved to set up his own boutique

tom.moore@legalease.co.uk