‘Evolution, not revolution’: New A&O management team sets sights on US, Europe and China growth

‘Evolution, not revolution’: New A&O management team sets sights on US, Europe and China growth

Continued and steady growth is the key focus for Allen & Overy‘s new management team, with senior partner Wim Dejonghe and managing partner Andrew Ballheimer setting their sights on growth in the US, China and Europe.

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HSF leaders plot China launch and US merger amid new strategy

HSF leaders plot China launch and US merger amid new strategy

‘Could we have a 1,000 lawyers in China? We could,’ Herbert Smith Freehills‘ (HSF) co-chief executive Mark Rigotti said. ‘But that would be accessing a different client base. A thousand lawyers would be overcooking it. I would like 100 lawyers as then you get cultural and client alignment between high quality local and cross border. Would 100 lawyers in China by 2025 be feasible? Yes.’

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Reform underway as Dentons shakes up profit-sharing arrangement in China

Reform underway as Dentons shakes up profit-sharing arrangement in China

Following its landmark combination with Dentons to create a 7,500-lawyer legal giant, legacy Dacheng is restructuring its practice to reduce the number of profit pools from 15 to five.

With Dentons striving to integrate what is now the world’s largest law firm by employee headcount, the China arm of the firm, headed by senior partner Jinquan Xiao, has carried out a reorganisation to create increased profit-sharing between the firm’s 44 Chinese offices.

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Red dragon, white cross – Can Chinese money kickstart Swiss markets

Red dragon, white cross – Can Chinese money kickstart Swiss markets

‘In our worldwide business, the volume of mergers is at a record high. However, in Switzerland we can talk about a stagnation of deals,’ says Guy Vermeil, managing partner of Lenz & Staehelin. His downbeat assessment of the domestic M&A market is supported by last year’s numbers. As the broader Swiss economy stalled with GDP growth of only 0.8%, KPMG’s annual transactional review labelled 2015 as ‘troubled for the M&A market in Switzerland’. Transaction volume declined 17% compared to 2014, from 420 to 350 deals, while the aggregate value of completed M&A with a Swiss component fell 55% to $84.9bn.

Benedict Christ, co-head of M&A at Vischer, identifies removal of the currency peg as a particular problem: ‘There was certainly no growth in M&A, that’s probably mostly due to the appreciation of the Swiss franc in early January [2015], which made it considerably more expensive for foreign investors. The hit we took from the appreciation was probably not as bad as it could have been, but this will certainly continue to have an effect on the markets.’

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Wall Street elite go head to head in largest ever Chinese acquisition

Wall Street elite go head to head in largest ever Chinese acquisition

Continued interest in European assets by Chinese investors peaked last month, as Simpson Thacher & Bartlett and Davis Polk & Wardwell landed key roles on China National Chemical Corporation (ChemChina)’s $43bn bid for Swiss seeds and pesticides group Syngenta – in what will be the largest-ever acquisition by a Chinese firm.

Simpson Thacher advised state-owned ChemChina on M&A, acquisition finance and regulation with a team led by partners Alan Klein, Shaolin Luo, Chris May and Sinead O’Shea, alongside Swiss corporate leader Homburger. Davis Polk and another top-tier Swiss player, Bär & Karrer, acted for Syngenta. Davis Polk’s team included partners Louis Goldberg and Oliver Smith, with John Reynolds providing regulatory advice; Ronan Harty and Jon Leibowitz advising on competition law; and Avishai Shachar advising on tax.

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No playbook for Dentons’ bold China tie-up

No playbook for Dentons’ bold China tie-up

Tony Lin sizes up the world’s most lawyered firm and asks what Dentons’ much-hyped tie-up with Dacheng can deliver

Size clearly matters to Joseph Andrew and Elliott Portnoy, the respective chairman and chief executive of Dentons, the international law firm that in January announced a surprise ‘combination’ with Dacheng Law Offices. After all, the tie-up with China’s largest law firm by headcount creates the world’s most lawyered firm.

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Hogan Lovells hires Bingham finance partner in New York and Mayer Brown trio in China

Hogan Lovells hires Bingham finance partner in New York and Mayer Brown trio in China

Having sought to upgrade its finance practice in New York since the 2010 union of Lovells and Hogan & Hartson, Hogan Lovells has made a senior hire to its Manhattan arm with the addition of Ronald Silverman from Bingham McCutchen.

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