Legal Business

Sponsored briefing: Insight – The arbitration market

Sponsored briefing: Insight – The arbitration market

Partners in King & Spalding’s London disputes team discuss their thoughts on some of the current trends and issues within the litigation and international arbitration markets

The disputes market

How has the disputes market changed in the last 20 years?

Legal Business

King & Spalding posts stronger year globally with UK revenue up 12%

King & Spalding posts stronger year globally with UK revenue up 12%

US outfit King & Spalding notched a 12% growth in its UK business for 2018, with London revenue rising to $48.3m, up from $43.1m last year.

Meanwhile, firmwide revenues rose 9% to $1.26bn from $1.14bn in 2017, while firmwide profit per equity partner rose 9% to $2.85m. The results in London in particular mark a stronger performance for the firm, after only managing to inch revenue forward 1% last year from $42.6m to $43.1m.

Commenting on the results, King & Spalding’s London managing partner Tom Sprange QC said: ‘The firm identified London, alongside New York, as a key office for expansion so our figures, with increases in both revenue and headcount, show we are developing some genuine traction. The numbers are encouraging, of course, but expansion is an ongoing, evolving process – especially in a competitive legal market such as London. We are continuing this momentum into 2019 and beyond with further investments and quality additions across our transactional, disputes and investigations practices. It is a long-term strategy.’

The results mean between 2013 and 2018 the firm has recorded a 106% increase in London revenue. In 2018 the firm made three lateral partner hires in London with former Hogan Lovells partner Derek Meilman and ex-White & Case partner David Cox the standout transfers. London lawyer headcount for the firm currently stands at 54, while City revenues make up approximately 4% of the firm’s global turnover. It is not simply in size where the firm is gaining traction – in 2018 the firm acted on LCCG’s £1.8bn deal with Equitable Life, fielding a London-based team on the mandate.

‘We added high-quality partners across our international network in 2018, including in the UK, Europe, the Middle East and Asia,’ said King & Spalding chairman Robert Hays. ‘We have good momentum but take nothing for granted.’

These results extend the narrative of US firms performing well in the City further, with White & Case scoring a 7% revenue increase to $350m in London while Milbank Tweed Hadley & McCloy recorded a pacey 25% uptick in City turnover.


Legal Business

Freshfields and King & Spalding secure mandates as Equitable Life completes its turnaround with £1.8bn sale

Freshfields and King & Spalding secure mandates as Equitable Life completes its turnaround with £1.8bn sale

Equitable Life put pensions at risk when it nearly collapsed in 2000. But 18 years on it has completed its turnaround with Life Company Consolidation Group (LCCG) agreeing to acquire the UK’s oldest life assurer for £1.8bn.

Equitable Life turned to Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer, which fielded a team led by corporate insurance partner George Swan and included restructuring and insolvency specialists Neil Golding and Craig Montgomery.

Legal Business

Revolving Doors: Akin Gump and King & Spalding boost London benches while international lateral hiring continues apace

Revolving Doors: Akin Gump and King & Spalding boost London benches while international lateral hiring continues apace

In a week dominated by European and international partner hires, US firms Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld and King & Spalding were among four firms to add to their London benches with strategic additions in project finance and white-collar crime respectively.

After the coup of hiring former Financial Reporting Council (FRC) heavyweight Gareth Rees QC last September, King & Spalding has underscored its ambitions of being a serious corporate crime firm in London with the appointment of Aaron Stephens from Berwin Leighton Paisner (BLP).

Stephens had a 10-year stint as BLP’s head of corporate crime and investigations, representing various clients who were under investigation by regulatory bodies including the Serious Fraud Office (SFO) and Financial Conduct Authority (FCA).

Rees QC told Legal Business that the firm aims to recruit a five-strong team by the summer with the addition of an of counsel and a more junior associate. He commented: ‘We want to become recognised as an eminent white-collar team in London. Aaron’s hire is an incredibly strong contribution to that aim.’

‘He has a great reputation in the market. I asked my mates when the hire became a possibility, and it seems Aaron is very well-liked and well-respected, which is a good combination.’

Meanwhile,  Akin Gump has snapped up Julian Nichol from Bracewell in London as a partner in its global project finance practice. Nichol will focus on transactional energy and natural resources matters, having previously headed the EMEA power group and co-headed the firm-wide oil and gas practice at Bracewell. He advises investors from across EMEA looking to invest in the US and around the world, as well as international investors looking to invest in EMEA.

Elsewhere in London, Eversheds Sutherland lost real estate partner Anthony Van Hoffen to fellow City firm Lewis Silkin, while Carl Rohsler, Squire Patton Boggs’ head of IP litigation and gambling regulatory practices, left for Memery Crystal.

The week saw a flurry of activity in Europe, with Linklaters, Herbert Smith Freehills, Dentons and Orrick all adding laterals across the continent.

Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer’s Frankfurt-based employment partner Timon Grau left to join fellow Magic Circle firm Linklaters in its employment practice out of Düsseldorf and Frankfurt.

Matthew Devey, who will be head of Linklaters’ employment practice group from 1 May onwards, said of Grau: ‘His expertise in fields that are of crucial importance to our German clients in particular – such as dealing with trade unions and works councils, matters concerning corporate bodies, compliance and crisis management as well as restructurings – will brilliantly add to our strengths in the field of providing strategic advice to international clients and dealing with cross-border matters.’

Meanwhile Herbert Smith Freehills boosted its Paris real estate practice, hiring Anne Petitjean as a partner from White & Case, where she had been a counsel for 11 years, advising on French and foreign investment funds, as well as institutional investors and developers on acquisitions of real property portfolios investments and project management.

Orrick’s hiring of Geneva and London-based arbitration partner James Hargrove was another loss to Eversheds Sutherland last week. Hargrove has advised on numerous arbitrations and litigation matters involving tech and telecoms, commodities and trade, energy, construction and financial sectors in London, Europe, the Middle East, Africa, and other jurisdictions.  He also has a particular track record in Russia and CIS-related disputes.

Australian hires have focused on disputes, with Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan and Ashurst both making lateral hires in the space within a week.

Quinn Emanuel hired Michael Lundberg, former partner in charge and head of disputes at King & Wood Mallesons’ Perth office and head to its own team in Perth.

Meanwhile Ashurst bolstered its Canberra disputes bench with dispute resolution partner Melanie McKean from Norton Rose Fulbright. With 18 years under her belt, she has advised corporate and private clients, as well as acting on major investigations for the Australian government.

TMT partner Angela Summersby also joined Ashurst in Canberra from HWL Ebsworth to advise on Australian Government contracting, intellectual property, privacy and business process outsourcing.

Meanwhile Clyde & Co has made a key hire for its Middle Eastern strategy, appointing Marla Valdez as managing partner of its associated office with Fatma Al Mamari Advocacy and Legal Consultancy Firm in Oman. Formerly a partner at Dentons in Oman, Valdez will be joined by legal director Stephen McKenna, who is relocating from Clyde & Co’s Abu Dhabi office.

Legal Business

King & Spalding partner Wray discloses $9.2m earnings before confirmation as FBI head

King & Spalding partner Wray discloses $9.2m earnings before confirmation as FBI head

King & Spalding litigation partner Christopher Wray, nominated as FBI director, earned $9.2m for his partnership share over the last eighteen months, according to documents.

Washington DC-based Wray, who joined the US firm in 2005 after serving as assistant Attorney General in charge of the US Department of Justice’s criminal division, detailed his salary and client connections before his confirmation hearing. On 13 July, he will replace former FBI director James Comey, whom Trump fired.

Following his exit from King & Spalding, Wray will receive his final partnership share distribution, a payment returning capital he paid into the firm. He will also receive a further lump sum distributing his cash pension plan balance with the firm, the documents stated.

In a separate document, Wray said he anticipated receiving an estimated $880,000 partnership distribution from King & Spalding on July 17, reflecting his share for June. If he continues as a partner for the rest of July, it is expected he will receive an estimated $815,000 before his exit.

The document also details he expects the return of his paid-in capital at King & Spalding to be $1.27m if he leaves the firm at the end of July.

Wray disclosed a list of clients from which he has received more than $5,000 including Credit Suisse, Johnson & Johnson, Wells Fargo, Chevron Corp. and two online sports betting groups, FanDuel and DraftKings. Four clients were kept confidential. Wray disclosed that three were subject to non-public investigations and one was subject to DC Bar Rule 1.6 regarding confidentiality of information.

Wray’s confirmation hearing before the Senate panel comes more than two months after Trump fired Comey. Trump announced his intention to nominate Wray in early June, with the nomination sent forward three weeks later at the end of last month.

Legal Business

‘Remarkable deal’ for tech: King & Spalding, SullCrom line up Delivery Hero’s €1bn IPO

‘Remarkable deal’ for tech: King & Spalding, SullCrom line up Delivery Hero’s €1bn IPO

King & Spalding and Sullivan & Cromwell are leading one online food-delivery service Delivery Hero’s planned initial public offering (IPO) €1bn target, with Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer advising the underwriters. 

The IPO would value Delivery Hero at €4.4bn. The Berlin-headquartered company said it will sell up to 39m shares with pricing set at €22 to €25.50.

Freshfields’ team, acting for the underwriters on the deal, is led by financial institutions global co-head Christoph Gleske.

King & Spalding is advising Delivery Hero on the US law side while Sullivan & Cromwell is acting on German delivery service laws. King & Spalding is advising Delivery Hero on the US law side while Sullivan & Cromwell is acting on German delivery service laws. King & Spalding’s team includes London based-capital markets partner Markus Bauman (pictured) and tax partner John Taylor. 

Sullivan & Cromwell’s Frankfurt based partners Carsten Berrar and Krystian Czerniecki are advising.

The company’s online and mobile platforms reach customers across 40 countries in Europe, the Middle East & North Africa, Latin America and the Asia-Pacific region. Its brands include, Foodora and Foodpanda. The company was set up in 2011.

Bauman told Legal Business: ‘It is a remarkable deal for the tech ecosystem in Europe generally, Berlin specifically. There are any number of push and pull factors that may see these companies go to market or stay private a little bit longer’, he said

‘The wealth of private money that is available to them is one thing that keeps them off the market but many of these companies will find their way over the next few years’ Bauman added.

King & Spalding has been advising Delivery Hero since 2015, when Berlin-based e-commerce group invested $586m in Delivery Hero.

Legal Business

A tale of two firms: K&S London turnover drops by 8%, while Covington ups City revenue by 9%

A tale of two firms: K&S London turnover drops by 8%, while Covington ups City revenue by 9%

King & Spalding‘s London revenue dipped by 8%, while Covington & Burling‘s City turnover went the other way, improving by 9% for the calendar year 2016.

King & Spalding’s City income is down to $42.6m from $46.5m in 2015, despite the firm’s global turnover increasing by nearly 4% to $1.1bn.

The lawyer headcount of the firm in London also dropped from 53 to 47, as the US firm’s London revenue per lawyer (RPL) increased by 3% from $877,358 the year before to $906,382 in 2016.

The firm’s London head Garry Pegg said: ‘While we saw a modest reduction in headcount last year and therefore an expected decrease in revenue, we continue to prioritise efficiency and productivity.’

Key mandates for King & Spalding in 2016 include representing Aldersgate Investments on the £2.4bn Global Switch deal in December last year, as well as GlaxoSmithKline on its strategic collaboration with Germany-based Miltenyi Biotec in March 2016.

Last year King & Spalding also hired Jones Day’s head of employment Jules Quinn, and relocated disputes partner John Savage QC to London from Singapore. Savage was made a Queen’s Counsel last month.

Meanwhile, Covington’s London revenue, which accounts for 8% of the firm’s global turnover, increased by 9% from $63.6m to $69.5m. Lawyer headcount at Covington also decreased marginally in the US firm’s London office from 85 to 83, including one less partner.

Globally, Covington’s RPL hit $1m for the first time last year, while revenue was up by 13%, around $96m, to $838.5m.

Covington recently hired five partners from King & Wood Mallesons’s collapsed EUME arm including KWM’s high-billing head of litigation Craig Pollack.

Pollack was one of the biggest billers at KWM’s City office and advises investment banks, hedge funds, public companies and high net worth individuals.

Major mandates include advising a major Russian telecoms provider in post-LCIA arbitration enforcement proceedings across various jurisdictions, and defending a star hedge fund manager in a Financial Conduct Authority investigation into regulatory breaches.

Other former King & Wood Mallesons partners to move to Covington include Alex Leitch, Greg Lascelles, and Elaine Whiteford.

Legal Business

King & Spalding takes key role on $12bn Saudi public-private partnership

King & Spalding takes key role on $12bn Saudi public-private partnership

King & Spalding (K&S) has won a lead role on a $12bn public-private partnership as Saudi Arabia moves to privatise the construction and management of school buildings.

The deal will see HSBC act as financial adviser for the state-owned firm Tatweer Building Co, which is associated with the Saudi Ministry of Education, in its efforts to privatise the management and construction of school buildings.

K&S is providing legal advice to Tatweer with a team led by partner Leroy Levy. The firm had previously advised the national shipping company of Saudi Arabia, Bahri, on its framework agreement with the Arab Petroleum Investments Corporation to establish an investment fund to acquire large crude carriers.

Other projects the firm has contributed to in the Middle East include advising Arabian Company for Water and Power Development on the Islamic financing for a new $2bn industrial gases project in Saudi Arabia.

K&S has a significant background in large-scale social infrastructure projects in Saudi Arabia, but the deal will mark the first of its kind for the Arabic state.

Levy (pictured) said: ‘The education programme is one of many key infrastructure schemes that form part of Vision 2030 as Saudi Arabia looks to diversify its economy beyond oil.

He added: ‘The next plan is a US$50 billion-plus water privatisation programme, with others in the pipeline. Law firms are anticipating that Vision 2030 will have huge legal input, covering everything from construction to project finance to PPP agreements.’

Fahad al-Hammad, the chief executive of Tatweer Building Co said: ‘We aim to boost private sector participation in providing educational buildings, which is a model implemented worldwide.

‘This will minimise government burdens, as the private sector will take over building, maintenance and operation.’

Read more in: ‘Price of debt – austerity and the plight of a project finance partner’

Legal Business

Freshfields, HSF and Skadden heavyweights among 113 new QCs in latest record round

Freshfields, HSF and Skadden heavyweights among 113 new QCs in latest record round

Senior disputes partners from Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer, Herbert Smith Freehills (HSF), King & Spalding and Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom have taken silk in the latest round of QC appointments, where 113 were selected out of a round of 254 candidates.

In the City, HSF’s Adam Johnson (pictured) has made silk. Johnson has been at the firm for 30 years, specialising in commercial litigation and arbitration, in particular cross-border litigation and cases involving the conflict of laws.

King & Spalding arbitrator John Savage has also taken silk, and is the third in the firm’s London office since 2015 when Tom Sprange was made a QC.

At Skadden, global co-head of litigation and arbitration David Kavanagh, who lead the US firm to win Legal Business Disputes Team Of The Year in 2012, has also made silk.

Based in Paris, Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer’s Ben Juratowitch has also been made a silk. Juratowitch   is head of the Magic Circle firm’s public international law practice.

This year’s appointments mark an increase in solicitor appointments to the bench. The number has doubled since last year’s figures, with six taking silk this year in comparison to last year’s three. Bird & Bird sports lawyer Jonathan Taylor will also be made a QC, alongside Allen & Overy’s Michael Young.

In this year’s appointments, the gender ratio is heavily slanted in favour of men, with 73% of all the new appointees being male. However, women tended to be successful on average, with 55% of female applicants succeeding in comparison to only 41% of males.

Despite the gender disparity, there was a slight incline in the total number of female QCs from the previous year. A growth of 2% was seen in the increase from 25 in 2015/16 to 31 in 16/17.

Ethnic minorities made up 14% of total appointments, a pronounced improvement on 2015/16’s figure of 8%. This hike in percentage was accompanied by a wider growth in the number of ethnic minority applications, a jump from 32 to 37.

The full list of appointments: (in alphabetical order)

Catherine Joanne Addy

Tana Marie Therese Adkin

Colin Christopher Aylott

Kate Bex

Gerard James Boyle

Phillip James Bradley

Richard Brent

Samantha Broadfoot

David Michael Graham Brooke

Hannah Beatrice Brown

Louis Bartholomew Anthony Browne

Edward Norman Burgess

Gideon Saul Cammerman

Alexis Anne Campbell

Caroline Rosemary Carberry

Matthew James Chapman

Serena Huey-Ning Cheng

Timothy Elwyn Clark

Sarah Anne Clarke

Simon David Colton

Ben Michael Cooper

Thomas James Cosgrove

Mark James Cotter

James Henry Counsell

Edward Davies

Edward Mark de Breteuil Devereux

Simon Christopger Dyer

David Elias

Martin Alan Langham Evans

Abiodun John Femi-Ola

Sarah Louise Ford

Caoilfhionn Anna Gallagher

Jeremy John Gauntlett

Karim Raouf George Ghaly

Orlando John Gledhill

William George Henry Godwin

Caroline Tracy Goodwin

Nina Soraya Goolamali

William Martin Philip Goudie

Katherine (Kate) Elizabeth Grange

Dakis Steven Hagen

Jacob William Hallam

Ivan Charles Hare

Christopher Mark Heather

Michelle Louise Heeley

Joshua Peter Frederick Holmes

Penelope Anne Macgregor Howe

Jane Allison Hunter

Matthew Howard Olsen Hutchings

Ben William Jaffey

Adam Martin Johnson

Schona Kaur Jolly

Gillian Hunter Jones

Benjamin Juratowitch

Sheikh Mohammed Samiul Karim

David Edward Kavanagh

Dominic Matthew Kay

Simon Thomas Kealey

Henry George John King

Geoffrey Llewelyn Woodward Kingscote

Marie Louise Kinsler

Sara Lucy Jane Lawson

Richard Thomas Leiper

Christopher David Lewis

Louis Asa Luke Alexis Dylan Mably

Alison Catherine Macdonald

Maxwell James Mallin

Anna Louise McKenna

David Robert McLachlan

Michael Joseph McParland

Naeem Majid Mian

Dianne Middleton

Stephen Brian Midwinter

Jonathan Keith Moffett

Brenton John Molineux

Sam Momtaz

Thomas Christopher Montagu-Smith

Andrew James Morgan

Akash Verdant Nawbatt

Stefanno Nuvoloni

Robert Peter O’Donoghue

Aidan Mark Sebastian O’Neill

Colin Yee Cheng Ong

Gareth Thomas Patterson

Matthew James Phillips

Debra Ann Powell

Mary Prior

Sadeqa Shaheen

Matthew Robert Reed

David Benjamin Rees

Deok Joo Rhee

Oliver Tschanz Sanders

Robert John Savage

Fiona Kate Scolding

Paul Shadarevian

Peter Maurice Shaw

Matthew John Sherratt

Dapinderpaul Singh

John Stevenson Snowden

Brian Lloyd St. Louis

Jason Ashley Sugarman

Andrew Daniel Tabachnik

Jonathan Peter Taylor

Robert-Jan Temmick

Alexander Lambert Thorpe

Mark James John Twomey

Edmund Benedict Blyth Vickers

Anna Lilian Vigars

Andrew George Wheeler

Alisdair George James Williamson

Natasha Wong

Michael James Young

Adam David Russell Zellick

Legal Business

King & Spalding accounts for London and France show revenue up 11%, while profit dips 10%

King & Spalding accounts for London and France show revenue up 11%, while profit dips 10%

Revenue at the London and Paris outposts of US firm King & Spalding surged 11% in 2015 to £41.9m as the firm continues expanding, but profit dropped by 10%.

Turnover rose in London, up by 12% to £30.5m from £27.2m in 2014, according to recent filings at Companies House. In Paris revenue rose by 9% to nearly £11m from £10.1m in 2014.

Despite improved revenues operating profit across the two outposts decreased to £15.6m in the 12 months to 31 December 2015 from nearly £17m in 2014.

Operating expenses were also up by more than 25% to £25.8m from £20.3m in 2014, and the total number of staff increased by 2, which is nearly 3% up from last year’s increase of 34%.

Amounts owed to creditors within one year rose by a hefty 40% to £19.5m from £13.9m, although this included group undertakings rising by approximately £5m.

There was also a continued increase in partner headcount, rising by 30% from 23 in 2014 to 30 in 2015. Total profit share to key management personnel sat at £2.4m.

London managing partner Garry Pegg said in the City, the firm had seen growth across the board.

Pegg (pictured) said: ‘This has been encouraging because the pressure on oil & gas prices in recent years has shaken confidence. Indeed, energy-related work in Africa has remained active, especially for new innovations and technology, such as gas-to-power plants. Our corporate and disputes teams have also been busy working on both UK and international matters.’

Pegg added that the firm accounts as a single, international entity and not on the basis that each office is a separate profit centre.

He said: ‘So much of our work is cross-border and not all revenues funnel neatly through specific offices. In general though, the firm has been expanding as a whole and this often requires investment. We do this strategically but, of course, it involves costs.’

The firm hired Latham & Watkins’ former European vice chair of tax Daniel Friel in March 2015, as well as Stuart Isaacs QC formerly Berwin Leighton Paisner’s lead of the advocacy unit, Allen & Overy’s former European head of US law Thomas Jones and Fried, Frank, Harris, Shriver & Jacobson’s head of international disputes Nick Cherryman.