Legal Business

Partner promotions: Gowling and Farrer appoint five each in strong rounds for women

Partner promotions: Gowling and Farrer appoint five each in strong rounds for women

LB100 firms Gowling WLG and Farrer & Co have carried out their latest promotion rounds, with 80% of both Farrer and Gowlings’ promotions being women.

Effective from 1 May 2017, senior associates Marie Bates, Laura Conduit, Charlotte Fraser, Elizabeth Jones and Oliver Piper will become partners at Farrers.

Each new partner has a different expertise, with Bates specialising in M&A, joint ventures and reorganisations. Conduit is a London residential property expert and Fraser is focused on disputes. Jones has a background in advising on charity governance while Piper is a private wealth lawyer.

With this latest round, Farrer boosts the total percentage of women partners to 37%, with 73 partners in total. Promotions are slightly down on last year when six senior associates were made up. However, the percentage of female appointments has grown from last year’s figure of 50%.

The number of promotions at Gowlings has significantly increased from last year, jumping from two to five. In last year’s round, the firm appointed two directors to its partnership, namely Chris Towle and Michael Twining.

This year’s process sees Sarah Galvin, Elizabeth Gane, Samantha Holland, Felicity Lindsay and Mark Stephenson elevated to partnership, with four of the five new partners women. Galvin and Lindsay are appointed from the firm’s 300-strong real estate practice while Holland and Stephenson come from the dispute resolution group. Gane will become a partner in the firm’s pensions team, bringing with her an extensive background advising trustees and employers on pensions issues. All the new partners will also assume their roles on 1 May 2017.

Gowling chief executive David Fennell (pictured) said: ‘Our new partners advise clients in some of our most successful practices and sectors. They have all demonstrated energy, innovation and commitment in helping these clients achieve their business objectives over a number of years.’

tom.baker@legalease.co.uk

Partner promotions in full:

Farrer & Co:

Marie Bates – corporate

Laura Conduit – real estate

Charlotte Fraser – dispute resolution

Elizabeth Jones – charity law

Oliver Piper – private wealth

Gowling WLG:

Sarah Galvin – real estate

Felicity Lindsay – real estate

Samantha Holland – dispute resolution

Mark Stephenson – dispute resolution

Elizabeth Gane – pensions


 

Legal Business

Gowlings relocates partner to Stuttgart to launch second Germany office

Gowlings relocates partner to Stuttgart to launch second Germany office

In its first European office opening since its 2016 merger, Gowling WLG has launched a second German outpost in Stuttgart.

The firm said it will relocate corporate partner Andreas Woelfle, along with counsel Petra Beyer to the new office, adding it that it plans to add a principal associate in the next few months.

While Gowlings’ existing office in Munich focuses on IP and IT, the new office will focus on corporate law including capital markets.

Woelfe said: ‘Stuttgart and the Baden-Wurttemberg region are home to some of our most outstanding clients in our key sectors such as automotive, technology and advanced manufacturing.’

The firm has recently added to its Paris tax team with the appointment of partner Julien Monsenego from Olswang, as well as Céline Bey, who was of counsel at Herbert Smith Freehills but joined as partner.

Other recent international expansion for the firm includes its Singapore tie-up with JurisAsia, an IP and corporate law specialist. JurisAsia is led by Sheena Jacob, a former head of IP at Bird & Bird.

In the City, Gowling lost its legacy Lawrence Graham private client team earlier this month to Mayfair firm Forsters. The four partner team including private client head Anthony Thompson, as well as Catharine Bell, Nicholas Jacob and Daniel Ugur.

Legacy firm Lawrence Graham was well known for its private client expertise, with the contentious trusts and probate team, led by Bell, ranked in tier two of The Legal 500. Andrew Witts, now chairman of the combined firm, is also recommended ‘for his experience of running large, complex multijurisdictional fraud and trust disputes in offshore jurisdictions.’ Clients of the team include New World Trust Company and Jersey Trust Company.

In a statement, chief executive David Fennell said: ‘The move by our London private client practice to Forsters is the right one for both the team and Gowling WLG. We had been in discussions with the team for some time, but have agreed that there is no longer a strong strategic fit with the firm’s ambitions.

victoria.young@legalease.co.uk

Read more: ‘The road to Ottawa – why WLG believes Gowlings can put it on the global map’

 

Legal Business

‘The right move’: Four-partner private client team leaves Gowling WLG for Forsters

‘The right move’: Four-partner private client team leaves Gowling WLG for Forsters

Gowling WLG has lost its legacy Lawrence Graham private client team, including four partners, to Mayfair firm Forsters.

Private client head Anthony Thompson is to depart, along with partners Catharine Bell, Nicholas Jacob and Daniel Ugur. The partners will be joined by 10 lawyers and five staff members.

Legacy firm Lawrence Graham was well known for its private client expertise, with the contentious trusts and probate team, led by Bell, ranked in tier two of The Legal 500. Andrew Witts, now chairman of the combined firm, is also recommended ‘for his experience of running large, complex multijurisdictional fraud and trust disputes in offshore jurisdictions.’ Clients of the team include New World Trust Company and Jersey Trust Company.

In a statement, chief executive David Fennell said: ‘The move by our London private client practice to Forsters is the right one for both the team and Gowling WLG. We had been in discussions with the team for some time, but have agreed that there is no longer a strong strategic fit with the firm’s ambitions.

‘We are focused on our priority practice areas and sectors across our international platform, building on the momentum from the Gowling WLG combination earlier this year. This move will enable Private Client to build its platform within a business which specialises in the private client market and we wish them well.’

Following the move, the Forsters private client team will compromise 48 lawyers and Forsters’ wider private wealth offering, including family and contentious trust and probate, will contribute more than one third of the firm’s revenue. The move will also broaden Forsters’ geographic reach in the Middle East and Asia.

Commenting on the acquisition, Patrick Harney, partner and head of the private client team at Forsters said the team acquisition is highly significant for the firm, increasing the scope and reach of its private wealth services and adding to the expertise for UK domiciled and internationally based clients.

Paul Roberts, managing partner at Forsters added: ‘The Gowling WLG team will be an excellent addition to our private wealth offering and to the wider firm. Our strategy of focusing on what we are good at – real estate and private client – has been successful and we have no intention of changing it. This acquisition will be another significant step in Forsters becoming recognised as a market leader in our chosen areas of excellence.’

The move will benefit the private client team from Gowlings personally, as it is joining a firm that has considerable financial muscle and has been one of the strongest performers in the LB100 in recent years. Fee income grew by 11% in 2015/16 to £46.2m, constituting its sixth consecutive year of double-digit growth since 2011, while PEP stands at £550,000 compared to £382,000 at Gowlings.

kathryn.mccann@legalease.co.uk

Legal Business

Revolving doors: Gowlings appoints new GC as 3VB, Quinn, K&L and DLA boost practices

Revolving doors: Gowlings appoints new GC as 3VB, Quinn, K&L and DLA boost practices

Gowling WLG has a brand new general counsel while 3 Verulam Buildings (3VB), Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan, K&L Gates and DLA Piper have all boosted their numbers with new additions this week.

Mary Mackintosh has been appointed as Gowling WLG’s new general counsel for the UK, replacing Eddie Breen who announced his retirement at the end of 2015. Mackintosh joins from Travis Perkins where she served as head of corporate legal services and data protection officer.

3VB has brought in commercial barrister Jane Davies Evans to its chambers this week. Specialising in energy disputes and construction, Davies joins from Crown Office Chambers where she has been since she returned to the Bar in 2014 after leaving Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer where she was counsel. She has an extensive international practice with a particular focus on the Middle East, Africa, Latin America, the Russian Federation and the Asia Pacific region.

Following a number of recent hires across its international offices, Quinn Emanuel has hired Ropes & Gray partner Brian Biddinger. The experienced trial lawyer who specialises in patent litigation matters in district court, the International Trade Commission and the Patent Trial and Appeal Board, will join the firm’s New York office.

K&L Gates has boosted its Chicago office with the appointment of partner Joseph Condo to its energy, infrastructure projects and transactions practice. Condo makes the move from renewable energy company Invenergy where he was senior vice president and general counsel. He will bring his experience in complex foreign and domestic commercial transactions, including debt and equity financing, M&A transactions, joint ventures and complex commercial litigation management.

In Australasia, DLA Piper has brought in restructuring partner Macaire Bromley to its Sydney office from Australian law firm DibbsBarker. Bromley was previously a senior associate in Allen & Overy’s London practice as well as Ashurst. She was involved in several high-profile insolvencies in the financial sector in Australia including Lehman Brothers Australia, Allco Finance Group and Enron Finance Australia. She also advised HM Treasury on the bail-in of the Bank of Cyprus and acted on the Co-operative Bank’s recapitalisation plan and liability management exercise.

madeleine.farman@legalease.co.uk

Legal Business

Back on track: Gowling WLG restarts delayed salary review

Back on track: Gowling WLG restarts delayed salary review

Gowling WLG informed staff yesterday (20 September) it will restart the delayed salary review that was put in place as a result of Britain’s vote to leave the EU. Speaking to Legal Business, Gowling WLG’s chief executive David Fennel confirmed that conversations regarding salary with staff will occur over the next couple of weeks.

The salary review, which was backdated to July 2016 was applicable to all staff excluding fixed share and equity partners. However bonus payments, for 2015/16 for those eligible were paid as usual in the July payroll and summer promotions had gone ahead as planned.

In August, Fennel said: ‘Like a lot of firms our annual pay review is effective the 1 of July, and it still will be. But given the significance of Brexit and the uncertainty and pandemonium in stock markets and the fall of the value of the pound immediately after that result it was prudent to pause and take stock and see how the markets and the economy reacted to Brexit. So that’s what we’ve done.’

The news came amidst a subdued year for the recently-merged Gowling WLG, which posted essentially flat revenue and profits for its UK arm for financial year 2015/16.

Revenue was up 2% from £180.4m to £184.7m, while profits per equity partner (PEP) remained static at £383,000. Although the Canadian arm of the firm does not report financials, according to Gowling WLG, the total revenue for both LLPs was £410m.

Construction and engineering which recorded a 23% increase, and IP which posted a 17% increase, were the highest preforming practice areas for the firm, alongside pensions, corporate and real estate.

According to Gowling WLG, the overseas offices also performed well, with the Munich office increasing by 38% while Guangzhou in China delivered a 16% increase. Paris, the firm’s largest overseas office, saw an increase of 3%.

Last month it was reported that Addleshaw Goddard had also frozen its August salary review as a result of Brexit.

The move followed Berwin Leighton Paisner’s decision to freeze pay and bonuses until November. In June managing partner Lisa Mayhew told staff in an email the reason was ‘political and financial uncertainty in the UK following the recent vote to leave the EU.’

kathryn.mccann@legalease.co.uk

Legal Business

Financials 2015/16: A subdued year for Gowling WLG with turnover and PEP both flat

Financials 2015/16: A subdued year for Gowling WLG with turnover and PEP both flat

It has been a subdued year for the UK arm of recently-merged Gowling WLG, which has posted essentially flat revenue and profits for the financial year 2015/16.

Revenue is up 2% from £180.4m to £184.7m, while profits per equity partner (PEP) remains static at £383,000. Although the Canadian arm of the firm does not report financials, according to Gowling WLG, the total revenue for both LLPs was £410m.

Construction and engineering which recorded a 23% increase, and IP which posted a 17% increase, were the highest preforming practice areas for the firm, alongside pensions, corporate and real estate.

According to Gowling WLG, the overseas offices also performed well, with the Munich office increasing by 38% while Guangzhou in China delivered a 16% increase. Paris, the firm’s largest overseas office, saw an increase of 3%.

Speaking to Legal Business Gowling WLG’s chief executive David Fennell said that there have been opportunities across a broad range of practice areas as a result of the firm’s combination in February this year.

‘The new mandates and files we’ve opened have actually been across a broad range of practice areas from corporate to private capital to real estate, which we didn’t necessarily expect. IP remains one of those areas which we think is very well placed to benefit from the combination and has won its fair share of what we call ‘combination files’ – files that we wouldn’t have won but for the combination with Gowlings or we won because we’ve jointly pitched. But other areas – we have been surprised by the breadth of work that’s been generated actually.

Fennell (pictured) added: ‘The start of the 2015/16 year was reasonably slow. It was the run up and the period immediately after the general election were quieter, people put transactions on hold in that period. So our first half last year was slower than we hoped and the second half was much stronger and that carried into the first quarter. We are pleased with that.’

Last week Gowling WLG confirmed it would delay its 2016 review for all staff excluding fixed share and equity partners until the autumn as a direct result of the Brexit vote. However the firm added that bonus payments, for 2015/16 for those eligible were paid as usual in the July payroll and summer promotions had gone ahead as planned.

Fennell added: ‘Like a lot of firms our annual pay review is effective the 1 of July, and it still will be. But given the significance of Brexit and the uncertainty and pandemonium in stock markets and the fall of the value of the pound immediately after that result it was prudent to pause and take stock and see how the markets and the economy reacted to Brexit. So that’s what we’ve done.’

kathryn.mccann@legalease.co.uk

Legal Business

Brexit blues: Addleshaws and Gowling WLG freeze pay as a result of referendum vote

Brexit blues: Addleshaws and Gowling WLG freeze pay as a result of referendum vote

Both Addleshaw Goddard and Gowling WLG have frozen their August salary reviews until the autumn as a result of Britain’s vote to leave the EU.

As first revealed by RollOnFriday, Addleshaws will freeze salary reviews for staff but will also delay its annual review of fixed profit share for salaried partners, as well as postponing the next profit distribution for equity partners. However, staff bonuses for last year’s performance, which saw the firm hit the £200m revenue mark for the first time, as well as a 38% jump in profits per equity partner (PEP) from £491,000 to £679,000, will still be paid out in September.

A spokesperson said: ‘Like many other businesses in the UK, we have seen Brexit have an impact on activity levels in the short period since the referendum. As a consequence we have decided to defer decisions on staff salary reviews and partner remuneration – usually scheduled for August – until early autumn, when we will have clarity on anticipated improvements in activity.’

Similarly Gowling WLG has also confirmed it will delay its 2016 salary review until the autumn, but added that bonus payments, for 2015/16 for those eligible were paid as usual in the July payroll and summer promotions had gone ahead as planned.

The move follows Berwin Leighton Paisner’s decision to freeze pay and bonuses until November. In June managing partner Lisa Mayhew told staff in an email the reason was ‘political and financial uncertainty in the UK following the recent vote to leave the EU.’

Earlier today it was revealed Simmons & Simmons has made lawyer cutbacks in its London office, with the firms real estate practice the worst hit. A spokesperson for Simmons refused to say how many redundancies had taken place.

kathryn.mccann@legalease.co.uk

Legal Business

Pinsents, Gowling WLG and KWM appointed to reduced Royal London Asset Management panel

Pinsents, Gowling WLG and KWM appointed to reduced Royal London Asset Management panel

Pinsent Masons, Gowling WLG, King & Wood Mallesons and specialist commercial firm Cannings Connolly have been appointed to Royal London Asset Management’s (RLAM) reduced real estate panel following a review.

The panel, which has been trimmed from six firms, took effect on 1 June and will last at least three years. The process was overseen by Kevin Bould head of support services, in conjunction with RLAM’s in-house legal team.

In a statement, Bould said: ‘Royal London Asset Management completed a tender for its property legal services which sought to align its sector driven approach with specialist advisers. We have appointed King & Wood Mallesons LLP, Cannings Connolly, Gowling WLG and Pinsent Masons on retail, offices and industrial property work with effect from the 1 June 2016.’

Established in 1988, RLAM is a fund management company with assets under management of more than £87.9bn. It is wholly owned by Royal London, the UK’s largest mutual life and pensions company.

Ongoing panel reviews at the moment include the Crown Estate, which has launched a review of its external legal adviser panel following the departure of general counsel Vivienne King who has been replaced by former deputy Rob Booth.

The Crown Estate, which has £13bn of assets under management, operates a structured panel for significant legal work and aims to develop long term relationships with the firms it uses. On a rolling basis, panel mandates are retendered typically every five years.

kathryn.mccann@legalease.co.uk

Legal Business

Gowling WLG boosts banking and projects ranks with appointments from Dentons and HSF

Gowling WLG boosts banking and projects ranks with appointments from Dentons and HSF

Gowling WLG has made a double partner hire, appointing Dentons’ Matthew Harvey in banking and finance and former Herbert Smith Freehills (HSF) Abu Dhabi head Andrew Newbery in projects. The appointments are the first UK lateral hires the firm has made since its merger went live earlier this year.

Newbery (pictured), who joined HSF in 2006, advises on significant EMEA infrastructure, energy, mining and project finance transactions. In 2008 he became managing partner of HSF’s Abu Dhabi office but left in 2013 to establish his own consultancy in London.

At Gowling WLG Newbery will work on projects to target priority infrastructure and energy work in the UK, Africa and the Middle East.

Newbery said he was impressed by the firm’s regulatory, funds and construction expertise.

He added: ‘This is going to be a great platform and I believe that my recent client-side experiences will benefit the firm and its clients. Lessons learned on major UK procurements such as interconnectors and the super sewer will be pertinent elsewhere, including in the international arena where my earlier experience of procuring and financing large-scale infrastructure projects in the Middle East and Africa will also be relevant.’

The firm has also appointed Harvey from Dentons, where he had been a partner since 2000. Harvey has over 20 years’ experience acting for corporates, banks and finance companies on structured, asset and export finance transactions with a particular focus on equipment leasing and the financing of corporate aircraft and helicopters.

Kirsty Barnes, head of the firm’s banking and finance practice said: ‘Matthew’s appointment is part of our drive to increase revenue and market share in sectors including financial institutions and aviation. His experience in asset finance is truly global. This will be another significant boost to our practice following the addition of the team in Canada with the launch of Gowling WLG.’

The recently-merged Gowling WLG completed its first round of partner promotions this week, appointing Chris Towle and Michael Twining to its partnership and taking the total number of partners in the UK to 141.

kathryn.mccann@legalease.co.uk

For extensive coverage of the Wragge Lawrence Graham merger with Gowlings see the feature: ‘The road to Ottawa – why WLG believes Gowlings can put it on the global map.’