In mid-October, when Legal Business decided it would dedicate this column to analysing the Belgian legal market, there was still the outside chance that it would appear in our first post-Brexit issue. By the time the piece was written a few days later, the UK Government had conceded defeat on its pledge to take the country out of the EU by the end of the month, triggering yet another delay to the process.
Not that the Brussels legal elite was surprised. Located in offices a few metres from the rooms where the Brexit negotiations have dragged on for almost three years, local counsel have had more than enough time to prepare for possible outcomes – deal? No deal? No Brexit? ‘After the referendum people were concerned about what would happen, but things have smoothed down,’ notes Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer local head Vincent Macq. ‘I don’t think there is any firm that sees it as a concern now.’ Continue reading “Letter from… Brussels: Brexit convulsions prove no problem for Brussels hands as the age of tough antitrust enforcement proves a boon”
Weil, Gotshal & Manges is winding down its once-potent Central and Eastern Europe (CEE) operations, with its 80-strong Polish team setting up an independent firm.
Warsaw co-managing partners Pawel Rymarz and Pawel Zdort will launch Rymarz Zdort in January next year, bringing to an end Weil’s presence in the country after 29 years. Continue reading “Weil completes withdrawal from CEE as Warsaw office breaks away”
DWF Europe chair Ulrich Jüngst aims to triple German lawyer headcount and launch in Frankfurt after opening the firm’s second international office since listing on the London Stock Exchange. DWF announced its fourth German base in Düsseldorf in October after taking over six-lawyer corporate boutique Marccus Partners.
While Marccus is not listed in any of the recognised legal directories for Germany, Jüngst described it as ‘a good fit with what we have’. ‘We want to cover the western regions in Germany and it’s much better to do that with integrated offices in Cologne and Düsseldorf,’ he told Legal Business. Continue reading “DWF brings post-float sales pitch to Germany as it seals Düsseldorf deal”
Since it exited from an emergency bailout from the European Commission, the European Central Bank and the International Monetary Fund, and began its rapid recovery, Ireland has enjoyed star-performer status in Europe. Ireland’s GDP grew by 6.7% in 2018, making it the region’s fastest-growing economy for the fifth consecutive year. Simultaneously, according to the EY Attractiveness Survey Europe, foreign direct investment (FDI) in Ireland has been reborn, leaping a remarkable 52% compared to 2017 while the EU suffered an overall decline.
Of the 265 new investment projects announced in Ireland last year, 134 featured first-time investors – the highest total in a single year, according to IDA Ireland. ‘The challenge now,’ says the IDA, ‘is to make sure the FDI portfolio grows further’. This is some challenge given the headwinds of Brexit and a broader economic slowdown. Although such external factors may ultimately derail their ambitions, Irish law firms have been making good while they can. Continue reading “Ireland: Follow the money”
Shepherd and Wedderburn has become the latest firm to set up shop in the Republic of Ireland in response to Brexit.
The new office, announced today (22 July), has been launched in a bid to protect European client business and will be led by Paul Carlyle (pictured), the Scottish-headquartered firm’s head of media and technology, alongside media and technology partner Joanna Boag-Thomson and Gordon Downie, head of regulation and markets. Continue reading “A long-time coming: Shepherd and Wedderburn lands in Dublin amid Brexit uncertainty”
Europe’s independent law firms fared much better in 2018 than most of the EU economies in which their clients operate. Set against the background of a US-China trade war, sluggish output and the prospect of an imminent Brexit, GDP growth in the eurozone limped to a disappointing 1.1% last year. Overall deal volume and value also pointed downwards, particularly in the second half of the year according to Mergermarket, but thanks to increased regulation and compliance, investigations and dispute resolution, there was plenty for lawyers to do.
This has led to multiple firms in our fourth annual Euro Elite report – which identifies 100 leading firms in around 40 European jurisdictions using a methodology that blends size, reach and quality across key product lines – reporting annual revenue growth of between 5% and 10%. In meeting the sustained challenge of international players, Euro Elite firms are more than holding their own. Continue reading “The Euro Elite Overview: Life in the bubble”
Any conversation with a French lawyer these days turns at some point to the volatility of the market and the unpredictability of the future. But there is more substance to these words this time around than a reflection of the industry’s traditional caution.
In just over two years, France has gone from an election that might have ended up with a populist anti-EU leader to the enthusiasm for the victory of business-friendly, pro-European Emmanuel Macron… and then to the rude awakening of social unrest and economic slowdown. Continue reading “The Euro Elite: France – La vie en rose”
Greenberg Traurig’s executive chair Richard Rosenbaum has pointed to his firm’s track record for independent thinking as it enters Italy through a merger in Milan.
In July, the northern Italian city will become the location of the Miami-bred firm’s 40th office, after Greenberg absorbs its local ally of 14 years, Santa Maria Studio Legale. Two Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer veterans will also join the firm’s first Italian base: local real estate head Marzio Longo and finance partner Corrado Angelelli, giving it a starting team of around 50 lawyers. Continue reading “‘Independent thinker’ Greenberg Traurig picks Milan as latest step of unusual European footprint”
Despite having launched five international offices in Asia and the Middle East since 2012, top-20 UK law firm Addleshaw Goddard had no presence in continental Europe until last month. That was when it announced the hire of five partners from Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner (BCLP) to spearhead a launch in Hamburg.
The hires include the two founders of legacy Bryan Cave’s German offices in 2007, Eckart Budelmann and Michael Leue. Partners Martin Lüderitz, Maximilian Karacz and Hubertus Schröder joined the duo in the move from BCLP, alongside five other lawyers. Continue reading “Addleshaws enters continental Europe through BCLP Hamburg hires”