The head, the tail, the whole damn thing: UK firms suffer again as Global London sharks circle

The head, the tail, the whole damn thing: UK firms suffer again as Global London sharks circle

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”

‘A third way’: Taylor Wessing enters alliance with West Coast leader Wilson Sonsini

‘A third way’: Taylor Wessing enters alliance with West Coast leader Wilson Sonsini

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”

Global London: The Big Long – Inside Sidley’s daring attempt to relaunch as a private equity leader

Global London: The Big Long – Inside Sidley’s daring attempt to relaunch as a private equity leader

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”

Global London overview – Sharks in the fish pond

Global London overview – Sharks in the fish pond

In last year’s Global London overview, attention focused on three non-UK firms with more than 400 lawyers in the City. Now, the 500-lawyer barrier has been broken by Baker McKenzie and two rivals are not far behind. Many US firms are achieving London headcount and revenue growth that is leaving worldwide performance for 2018 – which in itself has been strong overall – trailing in its wake.

Global London firms now have more than 7,000 lawyers in the City, 61% more than in 2008, the year Lehman collapsed. But the Global London top 50 in 2019 is again polarised by either dramatic expansion or significant decline – few firms have remained static. Continue reading “Global London overview – Sharks in the fish pond”

Marching on – A Global London debate exploring the progress and prospects for US leaders

Marching on – A Global London debate exploring the progress and prospects for US leaders

Marco Cillario, Legal Business: Are US firms in London about to reach a maturity that means we will see less growth and movement of partners?

James Roome, Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld: If you look at the underlying business that came here from the States – for instance, growth of the high-yield bond market, which went from nil to $50bn in the late nineties – a lot of American firms had very strong business from the US, which gave lots of knock-on opportunities. Do I think the growth of the American finance and corporate base into Europe and the UK will continue? Yes. Most of the bigger US firms will benefit from that. Continue reading “Marching on – A Global London debate exploring the progress and prospects for US leaders”

Chicago firepower for RPC as insurance team secures formal US tie-up

Chicago firepower for RPC as insurance team secures formal US tie-up

RPC has announced its insurance practice will form an official alliance with Chicago-based law firm Hinshaw & Culbertson.

The partnership will see both firms deepen their existing relationship in the insurance sector, with talks regarding a formal alliance developing throughout January. The firms will now work together on pitching and client marketing as well as collaborating on professional indemnity mandates. Continue reading “Chicago firepower for RPC as insurance team secures formal US tie-up”

‘Investments have come home’: City branches stand out in big year for US players

‘Investments have come home’: City branches stand out in big year for US players

Marco Cillario finds City offices outpacing worldwide growth at many Global London firms

2017 was a boom year for many of the London outposts of US law firms, with several convincingly outpacing their firm’s global performance financially and two passing the $300m mark. And it was not just a frenetic private equity market that boosted the London coffers: many UK teams also picked up headline mandates in areas including disputes and financial restructuring.

White & Case remains the highest-grossing US firm in London thanks to a 13% hike to its top line to $328m in 2017 – a faster growth than its 10% global revenue rise to $1.8bn. Continue reading “‘Investments have come home’: City branches stand out in big year for US players”