Comment: Value is critical but ESG intentions must check out in Morrisons take-private

Comment: Value is critical but ESG intentions must check out in Morrisons take-private

‘This level of scrutiny of governance is quite unusual. Historically in deals of this kind, no-one ever used to ask: “What’s going to happen to the workers?” It is becoming more and more of an issue as companies seek to avoid reputational damage.’

The words of Paul Watchman, ESG luminary, senior UN legal adviser and former Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer partner on the proposed £6.3bn takeover of UK supermarket giant Morrisons resonate as the deal looks set not only to become one of the biggest public to private transactions of the decade, but also to enshrine a playbook for ESG in years to come. Continue reading “Comment: Value is critical but ESG intentions must check out in Morrisons take-private”

Guest comment: time for law firms to play catch-up on parental leave

Guest comment: time for law firms to play catch-up on parental leave

Nathan Peart, managing director at Major, Lindsey & Africa, says firms must move with the times when it comes to arrangements for prospective parents

Parental leave continues to be a conversation at the forefront of law firm policy development, but it still has a long way to go to reflect the modern norm. As firms examine the changes in the way we work and develop policy that reflects local customs but still aligns with a firm’s ethos, it is also important to remember the people at the centre of this policy – prospective parents. Continue reading “Guest comment: time for law firms to play catch-up on parental leave”

The Last Word: Law in a time of Covid

The Last Word: Law in a time of Covid

‘A year ago, the penny was beginning to drop about the significant challenges of the pandemic. The strength and diversity of our practices and people have helped us as we navigated through with our clients.’ Oliver Brettle, White & Case

To mark the launch of our 2021 Global London report, we asked senior figures at leading US firms for their thoughts

Continue reading “The Last Word: Law in a time of Covid”

Comment: Hired guns and troubleshooting – privilege confusion in UBS rape probe another jolt for City law

Comment: Hired guns and troubleshooting – privilege confusion in UBS rape probe another jolt for City law

Legal hacks frequently stand accused of making sensationalist statements once the dust has settled when it comes to lawyer conduct in emotive matters, especially where the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) is involved. In our defence, we largely base initial treatment of these cases on the views of numerous market contacts at the time.

The overturning of findings against former Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer partner Ryan Beckwith last year springs to mind. Early sentiment was of general horror about unhealthy drinking cultures and abuse of power. Later many City partners reviewed their opinion to align with the High Court’s assertion that ‘popular outcry is not proof that a particular set of events gives rise to any matter falling within a regulator’s remit’ – the age-old dismissal of the case that ‘this sort of thing happens all the time’. Continue reading “Comment: Hired guns and troubleshooting – privilege confusion in UBS rape probe another jolt for City law”

Guest comment: Collaboration in isolation

Guest comment: Collaboration in isolation

As client issues become increasingly complex, working collaboratively to provide solutions is critical. But Professor Laura Empson and David Morley ask: can leaders maintain a collaborative culture in the world of remote working?

Client issues tend to be sprawling and messy – all the more so as the world becomes more complex and uncertain. In finding solutions to complex problems, individual professionals need to bring together people with complimentary skills and perspectives to get the best results. Continue reading “Guest comment: Collaboration in isolation”

Comment: Hope floats for City listing overhaul but American audacity is vital

Comment: Hope floats for City listing overhaul but American audacity is vital

City business has had cause to take heart in recent days with a clear display of political will behind an overhaul of UK listing rules that could see London shake off its Brexit and pandemic woes and reassert itself as global financial hub.

Proposals set out in the UK Listing Review, led by Lord Hill, will particularly pique the interest of anyone tracking the special purpose acquisition company (SPAC) market. Indeed, the ubiquity of those deals has made them difficult to miss. There has been much talk of London jumping on the bandwagon in a fit of FOMO as other listing destinations, especially the US and Amsterdam, pile into that frothy market with gusto. However, to say that London has been lagging competitors in the US, Europe and Asia for too long is an understatement, and any shake-up to expedite parity with peers hasn’t come a moment too soon. Continue reading “Comment: Hope floats for City listing overhaul but American audacity is vital”

Guest comment: Balancing acts – partnership versus corporation

Guest comment: Balancing acts – partnership versus corporation

Professor Laura Empson and David Morley ask what makes partnerships so distinct from corporations in what they demand of the people who lead them

Immerse yourself in a strong and successful professional partnership, even for a short time, and it becomes clear that these are unique entities requiring a very distinct kind of leadership. Continue reading “Guest comment: Balancing acts – partnership versus corporation”