The Covid-19 crisis is creating a lot of learning and insight across the legal sector and the wider communities in which we work and live. Much of this revolves around actions that organisations and their leaders are taking to navigate the crisis – including what leaders should do to manage uncertainty.
A key feature of law firms is that many people are leaders – not just those in formal senior leadership roles. A high degree of distributed management serves a range of teams. That is a real strength of our industry. Empowering those leaders to act in a way that helps their teams and drives the wider business forward is key. Continue reading “Leadership in a crisis (or how to build the ship while sailing it)”
Sometimes a shock looks certain to leave life forever changed only for things to carry on much as normal. Sometimes, the jolt marks a genuine crack in the foundations underpinning industries, business and society. We now know that for the profession and the City, the banking crisis proved very much in the latter camp. In law, the most visible result of this was the end of the startling 25-year success story of the Magic Circle, closing the period in which the group had blazed a trail across the global market and become utterly dominant in their core European and Asian heartlands.
After the banking crisis, growth slowed, ground was ceded to US rivals, and even some mid-tier rivals, and the group lost much of the strategic daring that defined their remarkable ascent. They remained successful institutions but the swagger was gone, the myth of invincibility lost. Continue reading “Comment: After their lost decade, the current crisis should see the Magic Circle back on world-beating form”
Casting my mind back to the ancient history of mid-March when I penned my first piece assessing the impact that the coronavirus crisis would have on the profession, I was forced to rely on guess work and recent history as a guide. London was in semi-lockdown, the official death toll from the virus hovered around 10,000 globally – taking a view on how it would play out was a matter of gut, contacts and an anorak’s grounding in the business model of law.
My core case was that the profession would be one of the least-impacted major industries but would take a major hit in what was clearly going to be a deep recession. The other contention was that the pandemic would put the lofty values and soft issues that law firms have become increasingly inclined to promote to a brutal test, a benchmark many would fail. Continue reading “Comment: Gauging the profession’s Covid-19 response – Turns out five years of spouting values wasn’t just puff”
Latham & Watkins’ executive committee has appointed Stephen Kensell as London managing partner, just four years after he joined from Allen & Overy (A&O).
The appointment, effective yesterday (5 March), sees the banking veteran take over from fellow finance partner Jay Sadanandan, who leaves the post after five years. Continue reading “‘Building on the momentum’: Latham appoints banking veteran Kensell as London head”
After a hard-fought election which saw four vie for leadership, the Allen & Overy (A&O) partnership has thrown its weight behind Gareth Price as its new managing partner.
The global head of both the projects and energy group, Price joins Wim Dejonghe, who was earlier this week re-elected to a second stint as senior partner, to complete the City giant’s leadership. Continue reading “Seward misses out as A&O names its Price for managing partner successor”
After what was viewed as a too-close-to-call contest, Allen & Overy (A&O) partners have elected Wim Dejonghe as senior partner for a second four-year term.
The move is a vote of confidence for Dejonghe (pictured), who had stood against another heavyweight candidate in the form of Philip Bowden, the City giant’s well-regarded banking co-head. The election also came in the wake of a contentious failed bid for a US merger. Continue reading “A&O re-elects Dejonghe for a second term after heavyweight challenge”
Penelope Warne (pictured) will remain at the helm of CMS Cameron McKenna Nabarro Olswang until May 2024 after the partnership confirmed her as senior partner for a second term.
A spokesperson for the firm said the vote by the partnership closed today (24 January) but declined to comment on whether the election was contested. Continue reading “Warne gets second term as CMS UK senior partner”
While missing out on the firm’s top management role, Hogan Lovells’ London office is all but certain to see one of its most prominent partners appointed as deputy leader for the second time in a row.
Two weeks after the board recommended him as the firm’s next chief executive, Asia Pacific head Miguel Zaldivar nominated today (12 December) litigation head Michael Davison (pictured) as his proposed deputy from July 2020. Both nominations are subject to a confirmatory vote by the partnership later this month. Continue reading “Some joy for UK partnership as Hogan Lovells board backs City-based litigation chief as deputy CEO”
As voters head to the polls on UK general election day, Allen & Overy (A&O) has confirmed the names of six partners who will vie for leadership in its own election in February.
Senior partner Wim Dejonghe (pictured) is standing for a second term and will be up against Philip Bowden, the City giant’s well-regarded banking co-head. Continue reading “Dejonghe to stand again as A&O senior partner as six leadership hopefuls revealed”
Herbert Smith Freehills (HSF) has appointed senior litigation hand and managing partner for Asia Justin D’Agostino (pictured) as its new chief executive officer (CEO), following Mark Rigotti’s decision to stand down from the role in spring of next year.
D’Agostino, 47, also spearheads the firm’s global disputes practice and US regions. Unlike the London-based Rigotti, D’Agostino will retain his home base in Asia during his tenure where he manages some of the firm’s largest clients. Continue reading “Charismatic and strategic: HSF names Asia managing partner and disputes leader D’Agostino as CEO”