Herbert Smith Freehills’ heavyweight misses out on management post after elections

Herbert Smith Freehills’ (HSF) partnership vote for its global partnership council has revealed the firm’s post-merger dynamics, with prominent corporate partner James Palmer missing out on a seat, which instead was secured by Sydney-based M&A partner Mark Crean.

Three spots were available on the council, which is led by London-based senior partner Jonathan Scott. One place was designated for an EMEA (excluding UK) partner, which Madrid-based Nicolás Martín – head of private equity in Spain and co-head of corporate – took, while another was reserved for Asia, with Hong Kong litigator Gareth Thomas elected. That saw Palmer entering into the contest for the final position with a pool of candidates from the UK and Australia.

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Clifford Chance’s Australia office leads on Shell’s $5.7bn Woodside disposal

Clifford Chance’s Australia office leads on Shell’s $5.7bn Woodside disposal

Clifford Chance’s (CC’s) Sydney office has been given a vote of confidence in taking the lead on Royal Dutch Shell’s $5.7bn sale of a majority stake in Woodside Petroleum as the energy major moves to develop its own gas assets in Australia. Continue reading “Clifford Chance’s Australia office leads on Shell’s $5.7bn Woodside disposal”

Loss and gain: Ashurst loses City corporate partner as KWM finance partner joins in Sydney

Loss and gain: Ashurst loses City corporate partner as KWM finance partner joins in Sydney

Ashurst yesterday (12 May) saw both sides of the lateral hiring coin as it announced the hire in Sydney of King & Wood Mallesons finance partner Jennifer Schlosser but lost London corporate partner Fabio Pizzoccheri, who has left the firm to launch Grimaldi Studio Legale’s (GSL’s) new City office. Continue reading “Loss and gain: Ashurst loses City corporate partner as KWM finance partner joins in Sydney”

Revolving Doors: Key hires for Mayer Brown, Greenberg Traurig, Herbert Smith, K&L Gates and Pinsent Masons

Revolving Doors: Key hires for Mayer Brown, Greenberg Traurig, Herbert Smith, K&L Gates and Pinsent Masons

The lateral hiring spike of September is running into October, as Mayer Brown and US rival Greenberg Traurig Maher bulk up in London, Herbert Smith Freehills (HSF) and K&L Gates recruit into their Australian practices, and Pinsent Masons boosts its Middle Eastern energy projects team.

Mayer Brown has hired Patricia Jones, a real estate partner from SJ Berwin, to join its team in London, following the hire last week of corporate partner Greg Stonefield from White & Case. Jones has been at SJ Berwin for 10 years and most recently acted for British Land on the redevelopment of the Shoreditch Estate. Continue reading “Revolving Doors: Key hires for Mayer Brown, Greenberg Traurig, Herbert Smith, K&L Gates and Pinsent Masons”

The air of unreality – can the big deal deliver for Ashurst?

The air of unreality – can the big deal deliver for Ashurst?

‘Historically, what killed Ashurst’s mergers has been apathy. Latham, Fried Frank, Clifford Chance – people were apathetic.’ So recalls one former veteran of the City firm.

As Legal Business goes to press Ashurst is finally about to vote on a transformative merger with its Australian partner. But even two years since the firm agreed a formal alliance with big six Australian outfit Blake Dawson, the idea of Ashurst going through with the tie-up still seems odd, unreal even, though this timeframe was always set out and the Australian practice immediately took the name of its City suitor.
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Ashurst closes in on Australian tie-up and leadership election

Ashurst closes in on Australian tie-up and leadership election

As Ashurst dots the Is and crosses the Ts on its merger with Australian top-tier firm Blake Dawson, a number of partners report an internal mood of resignation, despite a two-year courtship that has avoided significant tension or fallout.

As Legal Business went to press, both firms were to vote on full financial integration following the 2011 deal that aligned the pair ahead of this year’s vote. The merger will create a top 50 global law firm with revenues of well over £500m. Continue reading “Ashurst closes in on Australian tie-up and leadership election”

Ashurst gears up for new chairman election as Oz merger vote is brought forward

Ashurst gears up for new chairman election as Oz merger vote is brought forward

As Ashurst nears a crucial vote on full integration with Australian partner Blake Dawson – now known as Ashurst Australia – the firm’s partners are also poised to elect the firm’s next chairman.

Partners were informed this morning (23 September) that Ashurst dispute resolution partner Ben Tidswell and Ashurst Australia competition and consumer protection partner Peter Armitage will be running for the role alongside current senior partner Charlie Geffen, whose role will be replaced by the new chairman position.

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Asia-Pac continues to challenge new entrants as DLA Piper freezes Australia salaries

The impact of the Australian downturn has once again been thrown into sharp relief after DLA Piper’s staff in the region were told not to expect pay rises and some partners to expect a drop in pay as the office failed to meet its targets.

As first revealed by RollOnFriday, an email from chief operating officer and stand in local managing partner Andrew Darwin told staff ‘for many…there will be no increase in base salary this year and for others there will only be a modest increase.’

Local partners, meanwhile, were told: ‘many partners will have no increases or, in some cases, a reduction in their remuneration.’ Further savings are also expected to be made on expenses. Continue reading “Asia-Pac continues to challenge new entrants as DLA Piper freezes Australia salaries”

UK listing for Russell Jones & Walker not immediate priority

Neil Kinsella, Russell Jones & Walker (RJW)’s chief executive, is non-committal on the possibility of a UK listing for his firm, should its recently announced acquisition by listed Australian firm Slater & Gordon (S&G) complete.

S&G, the world’s first listed law firm, is set to buy UK personal injury firm RJW for £53.8m later this year. The publicly listed Melbourne-based practice will become the first Australian firm to take over a UK firm.

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