Spring seems to have brought out the globetrotting spirit among American law firms, with Cravath, Swaine & Moore, Kirkland & Ellis, Winston & Strawn and Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan all announcing plans for ambitious office launches in recent weeks.
The headline investment was Cravath’s commitment to a new office in Washington DC. The move, announced on 6 June, will be seen as something of a coup for the traditionally conservative Wall Street giant, the new outpost becoming just the third in Cravath’s international portfolio. The New York headquarters was established in 1819 and the London office opened in 1973. The Manhattan stalwart also once had a presence in Paris and Hong Kong, although those closed in 1983 and 2003 respectively. Continue reading “The American dream: US firms in expansion mode amid wave of international office openings”
How does Investec assess foreign currency income and assets when examining affordability?
This is a question we get asked frequently, because not all lenders have the ability to look at complex income streams such as foreign currency or lumpy profit distributions. We understand that if you’re a partner at a law firm, your income structure will vary and may comprise elements including monthly draw, profit distributions and a bonus element, some or all of which may be in a foreign currency. You may also have income generating assets such as overseas property. Continue reading “Sponsored briefing: Taking a holistic view of a US law partner’s income to secure property”
If law firms are to survive and thrive, they must dramatically modernise the way they work and serve their clients; they must become more adaptable, flexible and collaborative if they are to prosper. While clients have accelerated and evolved in their respective sectors, the legal industry itself has failed – at best to keep pace – at worst to change in any meaningful way. Either way, law firms remain significantly and meaningfully behind the curve.
Covid-19 may be the disruptor the legal industry has long needed, sparking change and generating the long-awaited revolution. If so, how will these changes manifest? And how do we create the blueprint for the modern law firm? Continue reading “‘Let’s tear up the rule book’ – Boies chief sets out her stall for a radical rethink of the elite law firm model”
A group of elite firms using their vast resources to further reinforce in the City; a larger group suffering attrition or stasis as their presence wanes – 2019 proved to be another year of diverging fortunes for international firms in London. When you add to the mix that the leading brands have seen UK revenue outstrip global growth once more, at first glance it all seems a continuation of last year’s narrative.
However, the story is not as straightforward. True, overall lawyer count among the Global London 50 reached 7,434 – a steady 4% increase on last year. But compared to 2018’s 7% growth (or 15% if you include Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner (BCLP)’s debut), the advance of foreign advisers in the City has slowed as their outposts mature. Continue reading “Global London Overview – Vantage points”
Early March 2018 looked like the best of times to be a lawyer at Latham & Watkins. At the end of February the Los Angeles-bred giant had become the first law firm to report revenues above $3bn. This distinction crowned two decades in which it had been the most upwardly mobile firm in BigLaw, smoothly transitioning from West Coast challenger to global trailblazer, upsetting established hierarchies in New York and London along the way.
But by the end of the month, its 700 partners spread across 30 offices throughout the world were to get an email summoning them to a conference call. Latham’s two vice-chairs Richard Trobman and Ora Fisher informed the global partnership that the firm’s executive committee had accepted the resignation of global chair and managing partner, William Voge. Only three years into his role, Voge was leaving with immediate effect following a series of ‘voluntary disclosures’ relating to personal conduct. Continue reading “Heavy hangs the crown – Can Latham remain the global firm to beat?”
‘Not everybody gets corrupted. You have to have a little faith in people.’ The parting shot from Woody Allen’s iconic 1979 film Manhattan resonates among the Wall Street elite lamenting the increasing lure of megabucks within even the most clubby of partnerships.
In a legal community renowned for its glacial pace of change, New York has recently seen its share of upheaval, triggered by headline-grabbing paychecks testing faith in patrician partnership models. Continue reading “Letter from Manhattan – The $6.4m question”
Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan has temporarily closed its New York office after a partner tested positive for COVID-19, the disease caused by coronavirus.
The partner has been absent from the office since early March due to the virus, with the firm instructing staff to work remotely from March 9 to March 13 as a result. It is now tracking down individuals who have been in contact with the partner in previous days. Continue reading “Quinn closes NY office after partner tests positive for coronavirus”
With recent financial results displaying the added bite of US firms in the City, it appears their approach to the lateral recruitment market will continue to be just as aggressive. Paul Hastings continued to signal its M&A ambitions with the hire of Steven Bryan from Hogan Lovells, while Latham & Watkins proved again it is one of the biggest predators of the City elite after hiring Linklaters insurance partner Victoria Sander.
For Paul Hastings, the hire of Bryan is of little surprise. The firm has made no secret of its ambition to strengthen in public M&A and private equity, as seen last spring with the hires of Roger Barron from Linklaters and private equity star Anu Balasubramanian from DLA Piper. The addition of Bryan, meanwhile, sees another highly-rated M&A practitioner leave for a US firm – an area widely considered the last bastion of the institutional City firms. Continue reading “The head, the tail, the whole damn thing: UK firms suffer again as Global London sharks circle”
Marco Cillario assesses Taylor Wessing’s alliance with Silicon Valley royalty Wilson Sonsini as RPC forges US insurance partnership
While the issue of securing a meaningful US footprint for many UK-bred firms endures, Taylor Wessing UK managing partner Shane Gleghorn claims his firm has found the way to gain transatlantic coverage without a complicated merger. Continue reading “‘A third way’: Taylor Wessing enters alliance with West Coast leader Wilson Sonsini”
Summer 2015. Four US lawyers meet at Nobu restaurant in London. Sidley Austin management committee chair Larry Barden and Europe head George Petrow have invited two City-based lifers from long-time Chicago rival Kirkland & Ellis: private equity (PE) partners Erik Dahl and Christian Iwasko. On the table is a plan to shake up Sidley’s loss-making London operation by building a PE practice from scratch. Dahl and Iwasko are sceptical, but their patience with Kirkland has been worn thin by its latest round of top-dollar hires.
A few weeks later, Dahl and Iwasko sneak out of a Kirkland partner conference in Chicago to meet Barden and Petrow again. Doubt is giving way to enthusiasm: Sidley is prepared to invest an eye-catching sum and give the duo free reign. Six months later, the deal is signed. Dahl, Iwasko and four other London partners join Sidley in February 2016. Continue reading “Global London: The Big Long – Inside Sidley’s daring attempt to relaunch as a private equity leader”