Legal Business

DLA and Simmons promote fewer partners as firms continue to favour Europe

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DLA Piper and Simmons & Simmons are among the latest UK firms to announce a reduced number of partnership promotions, appointing 34 and seven lawyers respectively, down from 58 and 10 in 2012.

DLA’s appointments came largely across its US offices, where 19 lawyers were made up to the partnership, with a further seven in continental Europe, four in the UK and four in Australia.

Simmons & Simmons, meanwhile, continued the recent trend among the UKs international firms to favour European promotions, with four in London, compared with one each in the financial hubs of Paris, Milan and Brussels and none in the Middle East or Asia.

Simmons & Simmons senior partner Colin Passmore said: ‘The firm’s business plan envisages significant growth for the firm over the next few years and the promotion of our homegrown talent is integral to this.’

Elsewhere, international firm Kennedys made up five associates in the UK (one each in London, Sheffield and Chelmsford and two in Belfast) and one in Hong Kong. The firm’s six promotions represent a 50% increase on last year and half of this year’s promotions round were women.

Kennedys senior partner Nick Thomas added: ‘I’m proud that we continue to have one of the highest proportions of female partners amongst the top 30 law firms.’

Similarly, DAC Beachcroft has made up five new partners, the same number as last year, taking its total partner numbers to 247. The firm’s London, Birmingham and Manchester offices will take up one partner each while the remainder will be based in Madrid, which saw a number of departures to rival Clyde & Co last month.

Two of the firm’s promotions were within its claims solutions arm – representing around one third of the firm’s staff and approximately £64m in revenue.

The European promotions and nurturing of homegrown talent come as international firms are increasingly focusing their expansion efforts further afield, particularly in Asia.

Other firms to have liberally promoted in London include Berwin Leighton Paisner (BLP), which made up a total of nine lawyers – seven in the firm’s London headquarters and one each Frankfurt and Moscow.

Magic Circle firms Clifford Chance and Linklaters also promoted heavily across Europe this year, as did Pinsent Masons.

Jaishree.kalia@legalease.co.uk

Legal Business

Banks could face backlash on legal panel reviews

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With the latest round of bank panel reviews in full swing, early indications show signs of a backlash from law firms as banks place increasing demands on panel candidates at the same time as driving down costs.

In October, The Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) announced the results of its long-running panel review. By reducing its number of sub-panels from 13 to five, it has significantly lowered the number of law firms on the panel from around 100 previously to between 55 and 60 now. Meanwhile, former panel firms Slaughter and May, Olswang and Mayer Brown didn’t pitch to join the panel this time around.

Legal Business

A matter of time – Simmons & Simmons

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After a failed merger, a drop in both revenue and a profits, and a slew of partner departures, Simmons’ new managing partner Jeremy Hoyland certainly has his work cut out. Can his plans for change deliver?

Jeremy Hoyland’s timing has always been a little off. He qualified just before the 1990s’ recession, tried to launch a finance practice in Asia just as the Asian financial crisis hit in the late 1990s and has now taken over Simmons & Simmons at a time when the firm’s financials continue to struggle and it is being over-shadowed by several of its closest rivals.

Legal Business

A Matter of Time – Simmons & Simmons

legal-business-default

After a failed merger, a drop in both revenue and a profits, and a slew of partner departures, Simmons’ new managing partner Jeremy Hoyland certainly has his work cut out. Can his plans for change deliver?

Jeremy Hoyland’s timing has always been a little off. He qualified just before the 1990s’ recession, tried to launch a finance practice in Asia just as the Asian financial crisis hit in the late 1990s and has now taken over Simmons & Simmons at a time when the firm’s financials continue to struggle and it is being over-shadowed by several of its closest rivals. Failed merger talks with Mayer Brown have also hardly helped the firm’s market profile.

Legal Business

Stepping up

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With the departure of high-profile practice head Jonathan Kelly, the Simmons financial services litigation team has lost a leader in investment banking disputes work. New chief Robert Turner will have a fight on his hands if the firm is to remain a Magic Circle rival

To say that Robert Turner has big boots to fill is to underestimate the size of the task ahead of him. Turner took over as head of financial services litigation at Simmons & Simmons on 1 April, with a background of acting in disputes on behalf of hedge fund managers. But for all his strengths, he enjoys nothing like the profile and reputation of his predecessor Jonathan Kelly – nor indeed his predecessor’s predecessor, now firmwide managing partner Mark Dawkins.