‘Making Freshfields an American brand’ – Inside the Silicon Valley launch handing the City giant a rare opportunity

‘Making Freshfields an American brand’ – Inside the Silicon Valley launch handing the City giant a rare opportunity

Roughly 30 seconds into conversation with Boris Feldman it becomes apparent why the charismatic litigator is regarded as a local legend in California’s legal community. Spitting out colourful quotes with the confidence that comes from having acted for pretty much every Bay Area brand name going, the bow-tied Feldman has nonetheless chosen an odd time in his lengthy career to change firm, let alone quit a local bellwether like Wilson Sonsini for the uncertain embrace of London’s oldest elite law firm.

But then Feldman’s move alongside four other senior lawyers to set up a Silicon Valley arm for Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer speaks to two key issues of huge strategic importance for the storied London firm. The first point is that for the first time in its 43-year history in the US, Freshfields is attracting the kind of star power widely accepted as a prerequisite of success stateside. The second point is directly related: the acquisition of said talent has dramatically changed perceptions of the London firm in the US in just eight months after years of mixed opportunities and bad PR. Continue reading “‘Making Freshfields an American brand’ – Inside the Silicon Valley launch handing the City giant a rare opportunity”

Signs of intent – Freshfields shrugs off US caution to secure high-stakes West Coast launch

Signs of intent – Freshfields shrugs off US caution to secure high-stakes West Coast launch

Observers of Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer have grown used to the City giant undercutting bold claims for its US strategy with half-hearted execution but the London leader has belied that image to announce an audacious launch in the key West Coast legal market.

The announcement today (1 July), sees the Magic Circle firm recruit five senior lawyers from major US firms to launch a practice in Silicon Valley, under the leadership of Davis Polk & Wardwell securities partner Sarah Solum. Continue reading “Signs of intent – Freshfields shrugs off US caution to secure high-stakes West Coast launch”

Comment: Letter from New York – Assessing the world’s top law hub now and after the crisis

Comment: Letter from New York – Assessing the world’s top law hub now and after the crisis

Regular readers are familiar with our custom of penning ‘Letters from…’ when we’ve spent time in a major city and want to offer some observations and commentary on that legal market. We’re not travelling. That can mean only one thing: Time for us to compose a ‘Letter from New York.’

Let’s start with some data, shall we? Continue reading “Comment: Letter from New York – Assessing the world’s top law hub now and after the crisis”

Ashurst enters US West Coast with four-lawyer Santa Monica projects play

Ashurst enters US West Coast with four-lawyer Santa Monica projects play

Ashurst has launched a four-lawyer transport and infrastructure-focused base in Santa Monica, its second US office after New York.

The firm announced today (25 February) that projects partner Anna Hermelin has relocated from the firm’s Tokyo office to become managing partner of the new West Coast operations in the Los Angeles County. Continue reading “Ashurst enters US West Coast with four-lawyer Santa Monica projects play”

Mishcon turns off the lights in New York as partners defect to KWM

Mishcon turns off the lights in New York as partners defect to KWM

Mishcon de Reya has called it quits in Manhattan after ten years as the firm’s three remaining partners jumped ship for the New York office of King & Wood Mallesons.

Dispute resolution partners Mark Raskin, Robert Whiteman and Vincent Filardo have joined the global disputes practice at KWM along with six senior counsel and one paralegal. Continue reading “Mishcon turns off the lights in New York as partners defect to KWM”

Eversheds launches in Chicago and dreams of California in first post-merger US moves

Eversheds launches in Chicago and dreams of California in first post-merger US moves

Eversheds Sutherland has chosen one of the most competitive legal markets for its first US office launch since its transatlantic union went live just over two years ago.

The firm in June opened its seventh US base in Chicago, home to strong Global 100 players Sidley Austin and Mayer Brown, and the world’s highest-grossing firm, Kirkland & Ellis. The focus will initially be on real estate, M&A and litigation, targeting the diversified industrials, technology, media and telecoms, financial institutions and energy sectors. Continue reading “Eversheds launches in Chicago and dreams of California in first post-merger US moves”

Pre-float DWF aims to sustain momentum with exclusive US alliance with 56-partner LA firm

Pre-float DWF aims to sustain momentum with exclusive US alliance with 56-partner LA firm

DWF’s recent eye for international expansion has been extended to the US through an exclusive association with Los Angeles-based Wood, Smith, Henning & Berman (WSHB).

WSHB is much smaller than DWF, with revenue of just $81m and 56 partners across 22 offices in the US, but DWF managing partner and chief executive Andrew Leaitherland says the firms have a number of mutual clients, particularly international insurance businesses. Continue reading “Pre-float DWF aims to sustain momentum with exclusive US alliance with 56-partner LA firm”

Who Represents Who: The data behind the story – AT&T and Time Warner

Who Represents Who: The data behind the story – AT&T and Time Warner

To the public dismay of AT&T’s chief executive Randall Stephenson and general counsel David McAtee, the US Department of Justice (DoJ) has filed a lawsuit to block the company’s $85bn takeover of Time Warner, in a decision described by McAtee as an ‘inexplicable departure from decades of antitrust precedent’. The DoJ insists that the deal would be likely to harm competition. A court battle looms.

The Legal 500’s Who Represents Who data shows both companies have engaged a broad range of law firms on a host of instructions in recent years, though the would-be-combined media giants have little in common in terms of who they turn to for advice, with only Arent Fox issued instructions for both in 2015 and 2016 in the same sector (TMT). Continue reading “Who Represents Who: The data behind the story – AT&T and Time Warner”

The rise of the accountants continues as PwC launches in DC

The rise of the accountants continues as PwC launches in DC

PwC will continue to spearhead the push by the Big Four accountancy firms into the global legal services market with the launch of a law firm in Washington DC.

ILC Legal will open in the US capital later this month to service US multinationals in their business dealings overseas. Continue reading “The rise of the accountants continues as PwC launches in DC”

Kennedys sustains remarkable growth with NY team as insurance players keep up global push

Kennedys sustains remarkable growth with NY team as insurance players keep up global push

The internationalisation of insurance law continues apace. Just four months after securing a merger with US practice Carroll McNulty & Kull (CMK), Kennedys has taken a New York team from Sedgwick including the firm’s former managing partner, John Blanchett. Partners Christopher Novak and Matthew Ferguson will also join Kennedys alongside three associates.

Blanchett, who headed up Sedgwick’s financial institutions (FI) practice, focuses on commercial crime, fidelity, professional liability, directors’ and officers’ liability and media liability as well as other types of insurance. Novak specialises in insurance coverage disputes and Ferguson’s practice covers both domestic and international coverage matters. Continue reading “Kennedys sustains remarkable growth with NY team as insurance players keep up global push”