Legal Business

Revolving Doors: City laterals pick up pace as Baker McKenzie and DWF make moves while Reed Smith expands in the US

Revolving Doors: City laterals pick up pace as Baker McKenzie and DWF make moves while Reed Smith expands in the US

City recruitment kept pace last week as a trio of firms made City hires, led by Baker McKenzie’s corporate hire from Clifford Chance, while Reed Smith made big plays in the US.

Baker McKenzie added to its London bench with the hire of Kathy Honeywood to its energy, mining and industrials practice. Honeywood joins from Magic Circle firm Clifford Chance, bringing experience in M&A transactions, corporate finance and joint ventures.

Baker McKenzie London managing partner Alex Chadwick (pictured) commented: ‘With almost 20 years of M&A experience and strong client relationships, Kathy is well placed to enhance our Corporate EMI practice and to capitalise on the huge opportunities in the energy industry. This plays straight into our strategy of bolstering and growing our key transactional practices in London.’

Meanwhile, London independent Wedlake Bell bolstered its corporate and capital markets practice with two senior hires from Watson Farley & Williams in Nigel Taylor and Martin Thomas. Taylor specialises in private equity transactions, M&A and corporate structuring while Thomas works on IPOs and secondary offerings of equity and debt on the London capital markets.

Martin Arnold, managing partner of Wedlake Bell, said: ‘They will add real value and depth to our thriving corporate and capital markets practice. These appointments reflect the firm’s commitment to growth and the further strengthening of our specialist offering in key sectors to meet client demand.’

DWF also made hires in the City, bolstering its real estate arm with the hire of Andrew Edwards from American firm Greenberg Traurig. Edwards will work with DWF’s regional clients and particularly private equity houses, fund managers, property companies and high net worth individuals.

Elsewhere in the UK, Womble Bond Dickinson (WBD) recruited competition partner Andrij Jurkiw from Mishcon de Reya, where he had been since 2013 and served as head of competition. Jurkiw will join WBD in Bristol, and focuses on UK & EU competition law, with particular experience in food, building materials, pharma and real estate.

Meanwhile in the US, Reed Smith made a spate of hires which brought five new partners to its Washington, Austin and New York offices, all from Norton Rose Fulbright.

In Washington, the firm landed Frederick Robinson and Lesley Reynolds in its litigation practice. Further south in Texas, the firm recruited Ben Koplin and Jeff Layne. Layne has experience in government and internal investigations and related litigation, representing health care and life sciences companies. Koplin, meanwhile, focuses on health care compliance and the regulation of health care providers. The pair’s arrival sees Reed Smith add a new office in Austin.

Rounding off the hires, Reed Smith brought in Cori Goldberg in New York. Goldberg has experience handling Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and regulatory compliance issues, as well as government and internal investigations.

Commenting on all the hires, co-chair of the firm’s life sciences group Scot Hasselman said: ‘This is a fantastic group of lawyers. It will bring together two historical health care and life sciences practices with the accompanying relationships and experience.’

thomas.alan@legalease.co.uk

Legal Business

Quest for efficiency: Reed Smith set to open new low-cost centre in Leeds

Quest for efficiency: Reed Smith set to open new low-cost centre in Leeds

Reed Smith is set to establish a low cost legal service centre outside of London in Leeds, it has emerged.

The centre, to be named RS Global Solutions, will see Reed Smith open its second UK office to offer additional support to its London hub. Plans for the new centre are being discussed internally today (10 April) with details yet to emerge on how many roles will be affected by the move, or who will lead the management team in the new northern office.

The news follows developments in November of last year, when the firm considered adopting an alternative business structure as way of working more closely with third-party non-legal outfits.

Such centres typically have greater impact on non-legal support staff, with the strategy driven by the continuing desire by Global 100 firms to seek greater efficiency. A host of other major players have undertaken similar projects recently , with Allen & Overy, Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer, Baker McKenzie, Norton Rose Fulbright and Ashurst all shifting back-office roles out of London to lower cost hubs in the UK and abroad.

The drive to manage efficiency at the firm and prevent greater costs comes as Reed Smith finally returned to growth after two consecutive years of decline, with the firm’s London outpost displaying a robust performance growing revenues 14% to £147m.

Reed Smith was contacted for comment.

thomas.alan@legalease.co.uk

Legal Business

Freshfields trounces rivals as Global 100 firms release gender pay stats

Freshfields trounces rivals as Global 100 firms release gender pay stats

Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer has become the penultimate Magic Circle firm to publish statistics on the disparity between male and female employee earnings, performing well ahead of its peers to date.

The firm today (22 March) revealed it pays male staff on average 13.9% more than female fee-earners, a gap which closes to 13.3% when the median figure is taken into account.

While more women than men received a bonus – 64.5% of women compared with 58.9% of men, by value men received 41% on average over the past 12 months, with the median figure standing at 33.3%.

‘There is still a significant amount of work to be done in relation to gender balance’, the firm said in a statement.

But Freshfields has done significantly better than the Magic Circle rivals that have filed their figures so far ahead of the statutory 4 April deadline.

Linklaters did not fare so well, revealing that it paid its male staff members nearly 60% more in bonuses than women. The firm’s female employees were paid on average 23.2% less than male colleagues. The gap widened to 39.1% when the median figure was considered.

Allen & Overy did better, revealing that the firm’s female employees were paid on average 19.8% less per hour than their male counterparts, a gap which widened to 27.4% when the median figure was calculated. Male A&O staff were paid on average more than 42% in bonuses than women for the 12 months to 5 April 2017, with the median bonus figure standing at 23%.

Meanwhile Slaughter and May paid male employees almost 55% more in bonuses compared to women. Men also earned 14% more than women on average, with the gap widening to 38.5% when the figures were considered on a median basis.

Freshfields’ figures for trainee pay show that males receive 6% more than females, with the median figure at 7.39%. For business services roles, men have a 6.23% advantage in pay while women overtake by a 7.77% margin when calculated on a median basis.

Taking into account the upper quartile of fee-earners at Freshfields, men earn 10.4% than female counterparts, while the gap shrinks to 3.6% for the upper-mid quartile. Men in the lower-mid quartile have a 2.7% pay advantage while women have a slight 1.7% advantage in the lower quartile pay band.

It will be interesting to see how Clifford Chance – the remaining Magic Circle firm to file its gender pay statistics before the deadline – compares.

Meanwhile, White & Case has revealed one of the largest gaps in bonus payments to men and women so far – 71%, however the mean figure narrows the gap to 45%. This comes despite a similar number of women and men receiving bonuses at the firm, with 44% of female employees receiving a bonus compared to 46% of men.

The median overall pay gap between men and women stands at 31%, before dropping to 24% when the mean figure is considered. As with many other law firms, White & Case maintains the discrepancy can be explained by the distribution of men and women across different roles at the firm.

Elsewhere, Reed Smith has put additional pressure on rivals by including partners in its pay gap report. The data signals progress at the highest level of the firm, with the mean pay gap between partners standing at 0.83%, with the median figure rising to 8%.

However, the bonus gap between male and female partners stands at 21.5% with the median figure rising to 31% and the overall gender imbalance at Reed Smith shows there is still work to be done, with 77% of partners at the firm being men.

The general statutory data reveals a mean pay gap of 14.8% between men and women across all staff, which rises to 37.1% on a median basis, while the mean bonus gap stands at 27.1%, but drops to 13.2% on a median basis. This gap exists despite 76.9% of female employees receiving bonuses compared to 71.9% of men.

The move from Reed Smith to publish partner data is a rare step and not required under The Equality Act 2010 (Gender Pay Gap Information) Regulations 2017. It follows the move, revealed earlier this week, by the Big Four accountancy firms to reveal their pay gaps for equity partners.

Nathalie.tidman@legalease.co.uk

Thomas.alan@legalease.co.uk

Legal Business

Weil Gotshal and Debevoise see double-digit PEP hikes as Reed Smith’s top line makes a comeback

Weil Gotshal and Debevoise see double-digit PEP hikes as Reed Smith’s top line makes a comeback

Weil, Gotshal & Manges has scored an 18% global rise in profits per equity partner (PEP) as London turnover soared 33%, while Debevoise & Plimpton recorded a 17% PEP increase against a 12% revenue uptick.

Fellow US firm Reed Smith has finally returned to growth after two consecutive years of decline, increasing its top line 4% to $1.12bn in 2017. The firm’s London outpost had a particularly strong comeback, growing revenues 14% in sterling terms to £147m.

Weil’s firm-wide revenues rose 10% to $1.39bn, while PEP grew 18% to $3.64m and revenue per lawyer grew 6% to $1.24m, despite an increase in lawyer headcount and the number of equity partners.

The firm’s City arm office generated $165.4m (£128m) in revenue last year – a near 33% increase – based on the average sterling exchange rate for 2017.

A buoyant market for US restructuring work with an international element has bolstered London revenues while the firm’s leveraged finance, structured finance and private equity practices continue to grow.

Key matters for the year include advising Westinghouse Electric Company, a subsidiary of Toshiba Corp, on its $9.8bn Chapter 11 proceedings, together with the firm’s US and European offices and advising offshore drilling provider Paragon Offshore on its parallel Chapter 11 and English administration proceedings.

Other major deals for Weil include advising Oaktree Capital on the global sale of Fitness First, as well as OMERS Infrastructure on the increase of its interest in Thames Water, AMP Capital on the acquisition of the Regard Group and mandates for Antin Infrastructure.

Other key developments in London include the hire of corporate partner James MacArthur from Herbert Smith Freehills in May 2016, the addition of real estate and infrastructure finance partner Paul Hibbert from Baker McKenzie in April 2017 and real estate investment partner Anthea Bamford from Berwin Leighton Paisner in November 2017.

Meanwhile, Debevoise’s firm-wide revenue for the year was $822m, up from $735m in 2016, a 12% increase. London saw revenue rise 5% to $112.7m from $107m the previous year. PEP rose 17% to $2.8m from $2.4m.

Key litigation matters in London include advising Rolls-Royce on its Deferred Prosecution Agreement with the UK’s Serious Fraud Office.

Significantly, Reed Smith’s PEP grew 6% to $1.177m amid an expansive year marked by 55 lateral hires worldwide, the addition of a 50-strong European team from the collapse of KWM Europe and a new office in Miami.

Revenue per lawyer grew 3% to $722,000 as the firm increased its lawyer headcount overall by 1% to 1,550 including 680 partners.

‘Our sector focus has started to deliver,’ said Alexander ‘Sandy’ Thomas, re-elected managing partner for a second term last summer . ‘We had a really balanced contribution across our transactional, regulatory and contentious practices and a balanced contribution geographically.’

Thomas added that life sciences and healthcare had a particularly strong year alongside energy and natural resources. The five sectors in which the firm is committed to being ‘industry leader’ also include financial industries, entertainment and media, and shipping and transportation.

The firm handled the US and EU competition clearance for Hong Kong shipping firm OOCL in its $6.3bn acquisition by China’s COSCO Shipping, which Thomas described as a ‘great example of sector expertise’, and advised Citibank on the financing of a public infrastructure project in Colombia.

Thomas pointed to London as ‘a great expression of the strategy of the firm’. ‘We have clients here organised around our five industry sectors and we are working very closely across our practices to grow our client relationships.’

marco.cillario@legalease.co.uk

nathalie.tidman@legalease.co.uk

Legal Business

Reed Smith taps Macfarlanes for fund finance head in rare departure from City blueblood

Reed Smith taps Macfarlanes for fund finance head in rare departure from City blueblood

Macfarlanes has seen a rare partner exit as investment fund finance group leader Bronwen Jones quit the City stalwart after 14 years for Reed Smith.

The first lateral hire from the firm since head of competition Marc Israel left for White & Case in November 2016 , Jones left last Friday (23 February) and is expected to start at Reed Smith’s London fund finance group in early April.

Her clients include Partners Group and Ares Capital, and she has also acted for retail banks such as RBS and Lloyds – mutual clients with Reed Smith’s London head of funds financing Leon Stephenson.

Jones joined Macfarlanes in January 2004 from Kirkland & Ellis, where she had relocated the year before after three years in New York. She was involved in setting up Macfarlanes’ debt finance practice, but the firm will not look to replace her.

Speaking to Legal Business, Reed Smith financial industry group vice-chair Nola Beirne described Jones’s hire as ‘taking the group to the next stage’. ‘Bronwen is a highly-respected name in the industry and has an established reputation. Her hire is part of our strategy of continuing to build out our funds practice.’

Commenting on the rationale behind Jones’ move, a partner at Reed Smith also stressed that the US-bred firm’s international reach would give Jones a better platform to service American funds.

While defections are rare for Macfarlanes, the firm has lost a few high-profile names to US firms over the years. Along with White & Case’s hire of Marc Israel, Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan recruited its financial service head David Berman in September 2016.

Macfarlanes is known for its resistance towards overseas expansion, a strategy which has so far paid off for a firm which has increased its top line 64% to £167.6m over the last five years and remains one of the most profitable in the UK. Its only base outside London, Brussels, launched at the beginning of 2017 to serve as a base for the competition team it hired from King & Wood Mallesons’ ailing European arm.

The firm recently announced that long-time senior partner Charles Martin will step down in April 2020, when private client partner Sebastian Prichard Jones will step in to the role.

As for Reed Smith, the hire of Jones follows the departure of a three-partner Paris tax team to DLA Piper just over a year after they joined the firm from KWM.

Marco.cillario@legalbusiness.co.uk

Legal Business

Women deal stars: perspectives – Tamara Box, Reed Smith

Women deal stars: perspectives – Tamara Box, Reed Smith

‘My career has been a tale of reinvention and creativity.

I have been very lucky in that I have worked on three continents. I started in New York as a corporate finance lawyer in the traditional sense, then transferred to Singapore where younger lawyers did a bit of everything: investment funds, LBOs, JV finance, capital markets.

I came to London to establish Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe’s London office in 1997 – when securitisation was taking off. Post-financial crisis I had to reinvent myself even further. I handled some of the restructuring work coming out of that. I joined Reed Smith in 2012 to start their structured finance practice.

Men and women alike think of leaders as having certain characteristics, which are often male. We think of leaders as charismatic, a bit arrogant and slightly dogmatic: these are all characteristics that are regarded as attractive in men but extremely unattractive in women.

For women it’s much less obvious that the most talented will always succeed. We promote men on potential, women on performance.

As long as managers are male, there is the tendency to bring people on that are alike to them. It is only natural. The opportunity for women to be put into management has been narrower: that’s just the society we have been educated in.

For me it was a combination of passion and incredibly hard work – I am a workaholic, but it comes from a passion so that’s where I was lucky. I had great mentorship and people who believed in me and pushed me when I was not able to push myself.

Some of the bias we talk about also works against men: they feel it is expected from them to be proper leaders. There are a lot of identity issues. Women have the leeway to say: “You know what? I am opting out!” and they can go and do something else.

So many fantastic female lawyers have left law and launched incredibly successful businesses, or left to go in-house where they have also been very successful. They moved in-house to have a little more of a balanced life and got promoted. So law firms now have women as clients and are asked to provide diverse teams – it is changing because of this.

We now have so many more female managing partners, an exciting change going on in the industry. Having a female manager is now a much more normal occurrence.’

Tamara Box is managing partner for Europe and Middle East Reed Smith and highlighted in ‘Alphas’ Legal Business’ current cover feature on the City’s outstanding women lawyers (£)

Interview by Marco Cillario.

marco.cillario@legalease.co.uk

Legal Business

‘Careful and diligent’: Reed Smith re-appoints global managing partner Thomas in uncontested election

‘Careful and diligent’: Reed Smith re-appoints global managing partner Thomas in uncontested election

Reed Smith has re-elected its global managing partner Alexander ‘Sandy’ Thomas for another three-year term following an uncontested election.

The partnership vote drew to a close on 9 June and the firm confirmed his election this month, as he formally started his four-year tenure. Thomas has been managing partner of the firm for four years.

Washington DC-based Thomas joined Reed Smith in 1999 and was previously global chair of Reed Smith’s litigation group for two years, leading 850 lawyers across 25 offices. He took over as head of the US firm in late 2013, initially for one year, after longstanding Greg Jordan quit halfway through his term to become general counsel of PNC Financial Services.

Thomas is Reed Smith’s 11th managing partner in the firm’s 140-year history. The firm now has over 1,700 lawyers and 27 offices worldwide. During Thomas’ last term, Reed Smith opened offices in Frankfurt in 2015, Singapore in 2016 and Miami this year.

In Europe, the firm also took on more than 50 lawyers from King & Wood Mallesons (KWM) to its London, Frankfurt, Munich and Paris offices this year, adding 10% to its European headcount.

Thomas told Legal Business that last year the firm developed ‘very carefully and diligently’ a four-year plan ‘specific to client and profit growth’.

He said the plan continued to focus on the firm’s key industry groups – financial industry, life sciences and healthcare, media and entertainment, energy and natural resources and shipping – and a particular set of clients from the five sectors: ‘we have a rigorous targeting exercise designed to draw us closer to them, and our profit growth objectives’.

‘We also continue to focus on increasing New York arbitration work in Latin America, Asia -particularly Singapore – and increasing transactional work in the US,’ Thomas added.

In Europe, the firm moved to a new location in Paris’ Trocadero area in June this year to accommodate the increase in headcount with additions from Winston and Strawn and KWM, and according to Thomas will be looking to strengthen in Germany.

Reed Smith’s latest financial results this February revealed a revenue fall for the second consecutive year in 2016 by 4% to $1.08bn from $1.12bn. At the time the firm said this was the result of managing down headcount by 81 lawyers over the year. Last year’s PEP was marginally up by $5m to $1.11m, as revenue per lawyer (RPL) rose by nearly 1% from $694,000 to $700,000.

Georgiana.tudor@legalease.co.uk

Legal Business

Revolving doors: Reed Smith, Haynes and Boone hire in London, K&L Gates in Washington

Revolving doors: Reed Smith, Haynes and Boone hire in London, K&L Gates in Washington

Law firms have continued to grow their London ranks, with Reed Smith and Haynes and Boone LLP hiring in the City, while K&L Gates boosted its Washington office.

Reed Smith appointed Petar Orlic as a partner in its real estate group in London. He joined from US firm Faegre Baker Daniels where he was head of real estate.

Orlic’s practice focuses on commercial real estate acquisitions and developments, real estate finance, and real estate management in the UK and across Europe.

Reed Smith’s chair of the global real estate group, Joe Sarcinella, said that Orlic fits ‘perfectly with the strategy’ of its real estate group’ to work cohesively with lawyers across its global network and broaden the scope of its practice’.

Radcliffe was a director in EY’s fraud investigation & dispute services practice in London. His practice focuses on advising clients in complex, cross-border litigation and arbitration, often involving CIS and Russian clients.

Haynes and Boone launched a corporate practice in London with a double partner hire, having formed its City base through a merger with London-headquartered Curtis Davis Garrard in June 2016.

Tom Ferns and Nick Foss-Pedersen joined Haynes and Boone from Rosenblatt Solicitors. Ferns was Rosenblatt’s head of corporate. The two focus on M&A, including public and private acquisitions, IPOs and equity fundraisings, among other matters.

Haynes and Boone’s managing partner Tim Powers said the double hire was ‘a promise kept in terms with our firm’s commitment to build significant corporate strength in the UK legal market to support their global needs’.

In Washington, energy partner Elias Hinckley joined K&L Gates from Sullivan & Worcester, where he led the energy group. He specialises in complex and innovative energy financing and transaction structures, including tax equity financing and project finance, with a focus on clean energy.

Legal Business

Q&A: Reed Smith’s new global arbitration head on the transition from a Miami litigation boutique to an international firm

Q&A: Reed Smith’s new global arbitration head on the transition from a Miami litigation boutique to an international firm

Reed Smith‘s new head of international arbitration following the firm’s recent Miami merger with Astigarraga Davis, José Astigarraga (pictured), discusses his plans at Reed Smith and the future of international arbitration with Georgiana Tudor.

Why Reed Smith, and how did you find the transition from your own boutique to a large international firm?

Before the boutique, I was with a bigger law firm, Steel Hector, so I’m no stranger to a large practice. But it really is a different world – I knew the personal story of each of our people and now I’m walking around wondering which floor I’m supposed to find my new colleagues on.

The resources here at Reed Smith are outstanding, they really are eye-opening. The other reason for joining Reed Smith was the ability to reach across markets. There is a limit to what you can do as a boutique, and we saw opportunities at Reed Smith to serve clients with our joint skill-set which we really could not otherwise pursue.

How many other firms did you speak to before deciding on Reed Smith?

We had discussions with multiple firms, and we had an abundance of opportunities. The main reaction I have encountered from clients, peers and friends when we decided to merge with Reed Smith was ‘holy cow, we did not see this coming’. Our boutique’s philosophy was ‘the power of focus’ – and that did reflect in what we did.

Tell me about your plans for international arbitration at Reed Smith, as global chair. Is growth on the horizon?

As I looked at Reed Smith, I saw it as a truly exciting opportunity to help the firm enhance its brand in international arbitration. In great measure, that excellent arbitration capability is within the firm’s five industry groups. What Reed Smith is looking for and we are in the process of doing, is aligning all that and putting it together in a way that permits us to have an expanded offering and consistency across geographies both within and without the five sectors. 

Is much of the US practice transferrable to London/Europe, and how do you plan to work with those outside of the US?

One of the great things about international arbitration is not being limited by a certain geography – we practice all over the world. Having said that, the ‘localisation of international arbitration’ and the segmentation of the market have started. In Latin America, there is phenomenal arbitration on the ground and you need the local knowledge and expertise to serve the client well, alongside the international knowledge.

Are you worried about Trump’s approach to arbitration, and how do you see his policy playing out in the market?

There are two worlds, one is international commercial arbitration another is investor state arbitration. The big debate in Europe and the world, related to public investor-state arbitration disputes, is that people ask ‘why should these private citizens be deciding things that could have millions of dollars of impact on the public purse if the investor wins?’ While the Trump administation has expressed views regarding trade agreements, I have not seen a clear explanation of its views on investor-state arbitration. Trump’s policy has not yet reached the granular level in terms of how arbitration will work. It is too early to tell what will be the fate of arbitration as we know it as a method of solving disputes between the investor and the state.

georgiana.tudor@legalease.co.uk

Read miore: ‘Outside the Box: Can Reed Smith’s new Euro heads take the firm’s London practice to the next level?’


Legal Business

News in brief – May 2017

News in brief – May 2017

PINSENTS LAUNCHES IN MADRID

Pinsent Masons has launched in Madrid, the firm’s third international office in less than a year. The new office comprises six partners, four from local Madrid firm Ramón y Cajal Abogados. The firm has also hired from contractor OHL and promoted a Pinsents associate to partner.