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.

Legal Business

King & Spalding’s London revenues up 16% as legal headcount lifted by 40%

King & Spalding’s London revenues up 16% as legal headcount lifted by 40%

Revenue at the London branch of US firm King & Spalding (K&S) surged 16% to £27.2m in 2014 as the firm rapidly expanded its legal team.

The rise in revenue in London, up to £27.23m from £23.43m in 2013, helped the firm increase profits across its UK and France partnerships by 10% according to recent filings at Companies House. Profit increased to £13.06m in the 12 months to 31 December 2014 from £11.8m in 2013.

London outpaced its Paris counterpart as the firm’s French office experienced a 6% drop in revenue to £10.15m in 2014.

Revenue growth in the City was spurred by a sharp increase in the number of lawyers. Lawyer headcount across Paris and London rose by 40% from 35 in 2013 to 49 in 2014. A big contributor to this was the arrival of several high profile partners, which included Linklaters capital markets partner Tom O’Neill. The number of partners across the two offices from 23 to 29, while the total number of staff employed by K&S rose by 34% to 87.

K&S has continued its rapid expansion into 2015 with the addition of Berwin Leighton Paisner’s head of advocacy Stuart Isaacs QC in January, Fried Frank Harris Shriver & Jacobson’s London head of disputes Nick Cherryman in April and Allen & Overy’s former European head of US law, Thomas Jones earlier this month.

The firm’s managing partner Garry Pegg said ‘The firm is committed to its growth strategy in London and last year’s performance shows that we are progressing, which is encouraging in one of the most competitive legal markets in the world.’

Legal Business

King & Spalding steps up aggressive City push with A&O partner hire

King & Spalding steps up aggressive City push with A&O partner hire

King & Spalding has recruited Allen & Overy’s former European head of US law, Thomas Jones, as its raid on Global 100 firms in London this year continues.

The US firm, which in the last year has hired capital markets partner Tom O’Neill from Linklaters as well as the head of BLP’s advocacy group, Stuart Isaacs QC, has added Jones as a partner to its City office. His arrival brings the firm’s City partner count up to 22, after making seven senior hires in 12 months.

A&O confirmed the departure of derivatives and structured finance partner Jones today (9 October) after 20 years at the Magic Circle firm, having joined as an associate from Cravath, Swaine & Moore’s London office in 1995.

Jones made partner at A&O in 2000, and subsequently spent five years in Hong Kong during the mid-2000s as US financing infiltrated the Asia markets. He returned to London in 2008 and served a stint as European head of the firm’s US law practice.

Jones’ hire continues a recent lateral hiring spree by King & Spalding’s City office, with Latham & Watkins’ former European vice chair of tax, Daniel Friel, and disputes partner Nick Cherryman from Fried Frank Harris Shriver & Jacobson, also joining the firm this year.

International expansion has not been restricted to London, with the firm taking a four-partner team from Ashurst in June to launch its second Asia office in Tokyo, led by the Ashurst Tokyo managing partner, John McClenahan.

Legal Business

King & Spalding lands $12bn arbitration case against Russia for Pugachev

King & Spalding lands $12bn arbitration case against Russia for Pugachev

King & Spalding’s London office has been instructed on a $12bn arbitration brought against the Russian government by Sergei Pugachev, a tycoon once dubbed ‘Putin’s banker.’

The founder of Mezhprombank, Pugachev is taking Russia to arbitration after his business empire was carved up after falling out of favour with the country’s president Vladimir Putin. He alleges that government investigations against the bank were constructed because of ‘political motivations’.

Pugachev, who struck up a close friendship with Putin during his early years as president, was accused of embezzlement and fraud by Russian authorities and later fled to London. An English court has since ordered Pugachev to give up his Russian and French passports and remain in the UK while the Russian government’s Deposit Insurance Agency case against him continues. Pugachev, who lives in Battersea with his socialite partner Alexandra Tolstoy, a descendent of the novelist Leo Tolstoy, has had his assets frozen.

Arbitration partner Nick Cherryman, who joined King & Spalding’s London office from Fried, Frank, Harris, Shriver & Jacobson in April, is leading Pugachev’s $12bn claim. Fried Frank were acting for Pugachev in litigation brought in the English courts by the Deposit Insurance Agency but stopped after Pugachev could no longer pay for the work.

The case has been filed the Permanent Court of Arbitration in The Hague, the Netherlands, where Shearman & Sterling won Yukos shareholders a $50bn arbitration award in July 2014 after the Russian government systematically destroyed the energy company after its chief Mikhail Khodorkovsky became a political rival. Cherryman is being supported by Tom Sprange QC, who is also based in London. It is likely that the case will be filed for arbitration through Russia’s bilateral investment treaty with France, given Pugachev has a French passport.

Legal Business

King & Spalding secures four-partner Ashurst team for Tokyo launch

King & Spalding secures four-partner Ashurst team for Tokyo launch

Withers makes further Asia push with Japanese opening

King & Spalding chose Tokyo last month as its second base in Asia, hiring a team of Ashurst partners led by Tokyo managing partner John McClenahan to spearhead its launch, while private client specialist Withers also made moves in the region by establishing a Japanese tax practice.

Legal Business

Ashurst blow as King & Spalding secures four-partner team for Tokyo launch

Ashurst blow as King & Spalding secures four-partner team for Tokyo launch

King & Spalding has chosen Tokyo as its second base in Asia, hiring a team of Ashurst partners led by Tokyo managing partner John McClenahan to spearhead its launch.

The US firm has hired Ashurst partners John McClenahan, Mark Davies and Chris Bailey in Tokyo, and Rupert Lewi from Perth, to form the core team and launch the firm’s Tokyo office.

Project finance specialist McClenahan will continue his management position into King & Spalding, serving as managing partner of the firm’s 18th office, and has 20 years’ of experience in the Japanese market. Energy partner Lewi, meanwhile, returns to the Japanese capital five years after co-founding what was then Blake Dawson’s Tokyo office. The Australian firm then merged with Ashurst in 2012. He previously spent 12 years in Tokyo as a foreign lawyer and has a book of utility company contacts in the country.

Project finance and M&A specialist Davies and arbitration partner Bailey have a decade of experience each in Japan. Bailey arrives with experience of major African and Middle Eastern corruption investigations before regulators including the US Department of Justice and the UK’s Serious Fraud Office.

Well-known in the Tokyo market, the group represent major Japanese and Korean energy firms and advise on related work with export credit agencies, trading houses and financial institutions. With King & Spalding eager to spread its energy advisory network, the four-partner team have experience financing and acquiring companies and settling disputes arising out of major energy projects.

‘We are excited to build a new office around a top-tier team with deep roots in the Japanese legal marketplace and expertise in energy, projects, finance, construction and international arbitration,’ said King & Spalding chairman Robert Hays. ‘Given our momentum globally, strategic focus on energy, the growth of energy and related activity in Asia-Pacific, and the opportunity to launch with an internationally recognized group, Tokyo presents a real opportunity for us.’

McClenahan added: ‘The King & Spalding name is a calling card in the energy and international arbitration space in Asia,” said. “As a platform for growth, we see this as a great opportunity for each of us and we are excited about collaborating with our new colleagues across the firm.’

King & Spalding has rapidly grown its Singapore offering since opening in 2010, expanding to 10 partners focused on power, oil and gas and international arbitration. Richard Nelson, the former head of the Southeast Asia energy practice at Herbert Smith Freehills and Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom projects partner Simon Cowled have both arrived in the past year.

Ashurst announced yesterday that Robert Burrows will take over as managing partner in Tokyo as it also changed leadership in Hong Kong.

Legal Business

Listing in London – King & Spalding carries US biotech to AIM listing

Listing in London – King & Spalding carries US biotech to AIM listing

King & Spalding’s recent recruits in the City have helped handle Californian biotech company Verseon £300m stock market listing in London while Covington & Burling advised from San Francisco.

London corporate partners William Charnley and Tom O’Neill handled the listing on the Alternative Investment Market for the Californian company with support from partners in the US while Covington & Burling advised from San Francisco. K&L Gates’ London corporate chief Paul Tetlow advised Cenkos Securities, the nominated adviser and broker to Verseon. The move marked a turnaround from the stream of European drugs companies listing in the US to raise money for expansion.

US securities specialist O’Neill joined King & Spalding in November from Linklaters last year as part of the firm’s recent expansion in the City, which has continued into 2015 with the hire of Latham & Watkins’ former European vice chair of tax Daniel Friel in March and Fried Frank Harris Shriver & Jacobson’s London disputes head Nick Cherryman last month.

The listing gives Verseon a market capitalisation of £303m with it planning to use £61m to advance its current drug programmes, expand its drug pipeline into additional disease indications and develop its drug discovery platform.

The deal follows the work done by Markus Bauman, a US securities specialist who also arrived last November from Latham & Watkins, on mobile food ordering company Delivery Hero’s $589m purchase of Turkish peer Yemeksepeti which completed on Friday (8 May 2015). Bauman worked alongside Elisabeth Baltay who was brought in from Bingham McCutchen in October 2014.

Legal Business

Global London: King & Spalding hires Latham’s Daniel Friel as it builds City office

Global London: King & Spalding hires Latham’s Daniel Friel as it builds City office

King & Spalding has hired Latham & Watkins’ former European vice chair of tax Daniel Friel, the latest in a number of strategic hires over the last 12 months as it looks to grow its London offering.

Friel has been a partner at Latham since 2006, after joining from Lovells where he had been head of the firm’s international tax practice. It took him just two years to gain a management position at Latham and was appointed European vice chair of tax and benefits in 2008.

With over 20 years of experience advising on tax planning matters on M&A and financing work, Friel becomes King & Spalding’s third tax partner in London. He is most well-known for his work advising private equity clients and sovereign wealth funds, and counts Bain Capital, Carlyle, Qatar Investment Authority and Deutsche Bank as clients, as well as having worked for brewer SAB Miller, ITV and brothers Sir David and Frederick Barclay. He also has experience in handling tax disputes and tax investigations by HMRC.

Commenting on Friel’s arrival, Abraham Shashy, leader of King & Spalding’s tax practice group said: ‘His tax expertise and extensive experience in building European tax practices at his previous firms make him a natural fit to help expand our European tax practices in London, Frankfurt and Paris.’

Friel becomes the 21st partner in King & Spalding’s London office, which pulled in £26.4m in revenue during 2014. His arrival follows that of fellow Latham partner Markus Bauman, a capital markets specialist who is New York-qualified, in November last year.

King & Spalding have secured a number of high profile hires in the past 12 months, including the founder of Berwin Leighton Paisner’s advocacy unit Stuart Isaacs QC in January this year and Linklaters partner Thomas O’Neill in November last year. The firm also launched a restructuring practice at the end of last year with the hire of Elisabeth Baltay from Bingham McCutchen’s collapsed London office.

Friel started his career as a chartered accountant with Coopers & Lybrand, which later went on to become PwC.

Legal Business

US financials 2014: King & Spalding breaks the $1m revenue per lawyer figure alongside 8% revenue boost

US financials 2014: King & Spalding breaks the $1m revenue per lawyer figure alongside 8% revenue boost

King & Spalding is the latest US firm to post its financials for 2014, and has unveiled a respectable 8% increase in revenue to $934m from $861.4m, while it has notably surpassed the $1m revenue per lawyer threshold with a 7% rise to $1.055m for the first time in the firm’s history.

Revenue growth over the last five years represented an overall increase of $250m or 38%. Meanwhile, profit per equity partner enjoyed a 10% increase to $2.36m from $2.14m the year before, while over the last 5 years the firm saw PEP increase 60%, while growing the partnership 15% (scale and profitability).

Net income grew 14% in 2014 and has nearly doubled over five years from $218m in 2009 to $400m in 2014. Other notable stats includes the firm’s profit margin improving by 12% over five years from 30% to 42%.

Major instructions for the firm last year included securing an arbitration award of $506m plus interest against the Republic of Kazakhstan on behalf of Moldovan investors Anatolie and Gabriel Stati and their companies, Ascom SA and Terra Raf Trans Traiding, constituting the largest award under the Energy Charter Treaty and the third-largest treaty arbitration award in history.

It further advised Kuveyt Turk Katilim Bankasi, a leading Turkish participation bank, on the issuance of $500m senior unsecured certificates due 2019, and represented the Greek government on landmark agreements for the award of the first new oil and gas exploration leases in the country for nearly 20 years, with an estimated investment value of €700m.

US firms’ financials are continuing their positive trend, with recent releases showing revenue spikes and profit boosts including for Davis Polk & Wardwell and Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison which both broke the billion-dollar mark in gross revenues last year.

For more analysis of the surging US market see: The blessed – unheralded, Wall Street’s elite comes roaring back