Switzerland – Between a rock and a hard place

Switzerland – Between a rock and a hard place

As the eurozone economy slows down after six years of uninterrupted growth, Switzerland is an anxious spectator. Amid increased concerns among the EU27 over the potential impact of a disorderly Brexit and the halt to quantitative easing from the European Central Bank’s asset-purchasing programme, Europe’s big three are bracing themselves while Switzerland sits in the middle, watching intently.

To the west, France endures its gilets jaunes; to the south, Italy faces a looming debt crisis with its banks. In the north, Germany has just avoided a technical recession and, like many of the other 18 eurozone countries, forecasters suggest that it will be fortunate to see 1% GDP growth this year. ‘What I see in Italy and France is scary, in particular the rise of populism,’ says Manuel Bianchi della Porta, managing partner of BianchiSchwald in Geneva. ‘A lot is going on in the eurozone: most Swiss trade depends upon Germany, France and Italy. But it seems that we are living on a small island unaffected by all the turmoil that is happening around us. It is like the political stability of our country is protecting us and the business community we are serving.’ Continue reading “Switzerland – Between a rock and a hard place”

Sponsored briefing: The end of Libor in Switzerland

Sponsored briefing: The end of Libor in Switzerland

The UK Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) announced on 27 July 2017 it would no longer require that banks that are members of the Libor panel be obliged to communicate a daily rate after 2021.

2021 is perhaps not tomorrow, but it is definitely very soon after tomorrow. Financial institutions should now review their Libor-based contracts and products to quantify their exposure to the discontinuation of such a rate. While the effort is obviously larger for financial institutions, other enterprises, and even retail investors and borrowers, should assess their risk and determine what measures to take. We provide below an overview of the contracts that may be affected and possible remedies. Continue reading “Sponsored briefing: The end of Libor in Switzerland”

Third German office and trio of Dublin hires the latest moves in Pinsents’ international odyssey

Third German office and trio of Dublin hires the latest moves in Pinsents’ international odyssey

Pinsent Masons has kicked off 2019 in expansionist mode, opening a new office in Frankfurt, right after finishing 2018 with three partner hires for its Irish base.

Three years after opening in Düsseldorf, Pinsents announced at the beginning of January it had hired six partners from a range of independent and international firms to spearhead the new German branch. Continue reading “Third German office and trio of Dublin hires the latest moves in Pinsents’ international odyssey”

Cooley leverages Brexit uncertainty to launch in Brussels

Cooley leverages Brexit uncertainty to launch in Brussels

Four years after launching in London, West Coast US firm Cooley is to launch its second European base in Brussels.

The firm announced today (4 February) it has hired experienced competition partner Alexander Israel from leading German independent Noerr to lead the opening of its fourteenth branch worldwide. ‘Expanding Cooley’s presence in the European Union has long been a key component of our growth strategy,’ said chief executive Joe Conroy, adding that opening in the Belgian capital would strengthen the firm’s ability to support clients ‘particularly with the uncertainty of the Brexit environment’. Continue reading “Cooley leverages Brexit uncertainty to launch in Brussels”

Globetrotters in Europe: Dentons and White & Case expand operations as Weil scales back in CEE again

Globetrotters in Europe: Dentons and White & Case expand operations as Weil scales back in CEE again

Global players scaled up their investment in continental Europe this autumn, with Dentons launching its fourth German base and White & Case growing its French team. Meanwhile, Weil, Gotshal & Manges has shut its doors in Prague, its second office closure in central and eastern Europe (CEE) in 2018.

Dentons’ fast-growing German branch hired Taylor Wessing’s former head of competition, EU and trade, Andreas Haak, and employment partner Sascha Grosjean to lead the opening of the new outpost in Düsseldorf in January 2019. Germany managing partner Andreas Ziegenhagen told Legal Business the firm aims to have around 30 lawyers in the city in Germany’s industrial heartland, bringing the total headcount in the country to over 200. Continue reading “Globetrotters in Europe: Dentons and White & Case expand operations as Weil scales back in CEE again”

Another CEE closure for Weil Gotshal as Prague team launches independent firm

Another CEE closure for Weil Gotshal as Prague team launches independent firm

Weil, Gotshal & Manges is continuing to scale back its once-potent central and eastern Europe (CEE) operations with its entire Czech Republic-based team set to spin off at the end of the year.

The New York firm confirmed today (27 November) that veteran Prague managing partner Karel Muzikář will quit after more than 25 years to set up an independent shop from 31 December alongside fellow partners Karel Drevinek, Petr Severa and Karolina Horakova. Continue reading “Another CEE closure for Weil Gotshal as Prague team launches independent firm”

Ashurst sets sights on funds and Brexit fallout work with new Luxembourg arm

Ashurst sets sights on funds and Brexit fallout work with new Luxembourg arm

Ashurst is targeting a significant uptick in its European funds offering, having received licence approval for a new Luxembourg office from the country’s Bar association.

Corporate partner Isabelle Lentz – currently head of its Luxembourg desk in London – will take the helm at the new outpost, which is set to open in October. Continue reading “Ashurst sets sights on funds and Brexit fallout work with new Luxembourg arm”

Ashurst targets funds and Brexit business with Luxembourg launch

Ashurst targets funds and Brexit business with Luxembourg launch

Ashurst is a step closer to building out its European funds offering having today (22 June) received licence approval for a new Luxembourg office from the country’s Bar association.

Corporate partner Isabelle Lentz – currently head of the firm’s Luxembourg desk in London -will take the helm at the new outpost, which is set to open in October. Continue reading “Ashurst targets funds and Brexit business with Luxembourg launch”

Europe’s elite continues robust performance as multi-site firms prosper

Europe’s elite continues robust performance as multi-site firms prosper

The mood among most managing partners at independent law firms from Lisbon to Moscow is certainly upbeat. And for good reason. Our third Euro Elite survey shows overall revenues of continental Europe’s 25 top independents had a strong year, reaching €4.04bn.

The number is only marginally up on last year’s €4.03bn, but with smaller outfits from Russia and the Baltics joining the elite club it still speaks of a robust performance among continental European players. The total number of lawyers in the group is marginally down to 10,753 from 10,867, while partner numbers have risen to 2,355 from 2,338. Continue reading “Europe’s elite continues robust performance as multi-site firms prosper”

DLA joins Brexit march to Dublin after finding the right kind of leader

DLA joins Brexit march to Dublin after finding the right kind of leader

William Fry’s David Carthy will join the firm to head new office

The decision of DLA Piper to join a handful of other City and international firms that have opened a Dublin office in the last year was partly to do with the UK’s move to leave the EU, and partly not. Continue reading “DLA joins Brexit march to Dublin after finding the right kind of leader”