Deal View: A&O’s corporate practice has matured nicely but will O’Melveny fallout take its toll?

Deal View: A&O’s corporate practice has matured nicely but will O’Melveny fallout take its toll?

Habitually viewed as the poor relation to its unparalleled banking and finance practice, Allen & Overy (A&O)’s corporate team has stepped up in recent years, the culmination of a decades-spanning campaign to forge a top-tier name in M&A.

Richard Browne, co-head of corporate, stresses the level of growth the 161-partner practice has seen, having increased its fee income by 50% in the last decade. ‘In the dark ages when I started, A&O’s corporate practice was not the best. It was a banking and finance firm. That is no longer the case at all. Corporate has become the same size as the banking business. It is incredibly profitable, with top-tier work and clients.’ Continue reading “Deal View: A&O’s corporate practice has matured nicely but will O’Melveny fallout take its toll?”

Israel: Anti-fragile

Israel: Anti-fragile

Thriving in the face of adversity as politics and security play an integral part in everyday life is a default position for Israel. The data backs this up: recent OECD reports describe Israel as stable with strong economic growth: annual GDP has consistently risen by three to four percent over recent years to reach nearly $400bn in 2019. This, despite a protracted leadership battle taking place with two general elections in six months bringing the nation no closer to a conclusive result.

Michael Barnea, managing partner of Barnea, Jaffa, Lande & Co, develops the point: ‘The environment is surprisingly robust considering the political instability that we’ve experienced for a considerable time. Investment, both from overseas into Israel and in the local market, is extremely strong and gives every appearance of being confident in the future.’ Continue reading “Israel: Anti-fragile”

Big deal: Weil makes symbolic London play with hire of Linklaters M&A star Avery-Gee

Big deal: Weil makes symbolic London play with hire of Linklaters M&A star Avery-Gee

In a rare marquee hire for Weil, Gotshal & Manges, Linklaters M&A star David Avery-Gee (pictured) is joining the US firm’s City office.

The hire is a standout move for Weil, which has failed to gain meaningful traction on lofty ambitions to bolster its corporate practice in London to support the office’s managing partner, Mike Francies, who has been acting for some time as the firm’s chief M&A practitioner. Continue reading “Big deal: Weil makes symbolic London play with hire of Linklaters M&A star Avery-Gee”

Deal watch: LSE acquisition and aviation industry spell busy summer for the Magic Circle

Deal watch: LSE acquisition and aviation industry spell busy summer for the Magic Circle

The deal teams of elite City firms have seen a busy end of July amid several multibillion-pound deals, as the London Stock Exchange (LSE) launched a $27bn bid to acquire Refinitiv and Advent International announced the £4bn acquisition of UK aerospace supplier Cobham. Meanwhile, another private equity house investing in the UK aviation industry, CVC Capital Partners, acquired BBA Aviation’s aircraft parts unit Ontic for $1.37bn. Continue reading “Deal watch: LSE acquisition and aviation industry spell busy summer for the Magic Circle”

‘Time for a change’ as multiple corporate legal chiefs leave posts for pastures new

‘Time for a change’ as multiple corporate legal chiefs leave posts for pastures new

Anna Cole-Bailey rounds up the latest senior corporate in-house moves

A string of general counsel (GCs) have made career changes of late, including high-profile names such as the long-serving Bank of America Merrill Lynch (BAML) European legal chief Sajid Hussein and Rio Tinto GC Philip Richards. Continue reading “‘Time for a change’ as multiple corporate legal chiefs leave posts for pastures new”

Top Trumps, City-style – Who holds the cards in private equity?

Top Trumps, City-style – Who holds the cards in private equity?

If there’s one City practice that has barely paused for breath in recent years, it is private equity (PE). Global buyout values reached a record high in 2018 and, while Mergermarket data suggests the first half of 2019 slipped back somewhat, activity levels remain strong, with take-privates driving much marquee M&A activity.

This has only served to underline the drawing power of the sector’s top dealmakers and recent years have seen a flurry of lateral moves. Kirkland & Ellis, Simpson Thacher & Bartlett and Latham & Watkins are among the most potent threats to the Magic Circle, but others, such as Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom and Willkie Farr & Gallagher have also made investments to build out their City operations. Continue reading “Top Trumps, City-style – Who holds the cards in private equity?”

In-house round-up: New GCs for Royal Mail, Sky and Deliveroo

In-house round-up: New GCs for Royal Mail, Sky and Deliveroo

Royal Mail has filled the void left following former general counsel (GC) Maaike de Bie’s departure to easyJet, hiring in-house veteran Mark Amsden as its group GC and chief risk and governance officer.

Amsden was group GC and company secretary for Morrisons between 2013 and 2017, before a brief stint last year as interim company secretary at Yorkshire Water. Prior to going in-house, Amsden spent 14 years as a partner at Addleshaw Goddard, after starting out at Manchester firm Slater Heelis. Royal Mail has historically counted Addleshaws among its preferred external counsel. Continue reading “In-house round-up: New GCs for Royal Mail, Sky and Deliveroo”

Corporations with benefits – Assessing the rise of US public benefit companies

Corporations with benefits – Assessing the rise of US public benefit companies

When looking for good in the world, corporate governance law is not the most obvious place to train your eye. However, there is a sizeable band of corporations – thousands, in fact – who have opted to start just there, using corporate governance as a springboard to the greater good.

Shareholder primacy, often cast as the villain in corporate scandals or blinkered business decisions, operates on the theory that the job of directors and management is to maximise returns to investors. In turn, corporate law is traditionally viewed as a contract between corporations and investors that the company will, in the balance of law, deliver the highest return. Continue reading “Corporations with benefits – Assessing the rise of US public benefit companies”

Deal watch: Linklaters lands roles on Debenhams administration and Carlyle oil deal

Deal watch: Linklaters lands roles on Debenhams administration and Carlyle oil deal

Linklaters has secured a role in the pre-pack administration of Debenhams, in which the struggling department store has been taken over by its lenders.

Meanwhile, Hogan Lovells and Shoosmiths have acted on M Restaurants’ merger with Gaucho, which was brought out of administration in a rescue deal last September, as multiple firms landed roles in The Carlyle Group’s agreement to buy a minority stake in a Madrid-based oil and gas company in a multibillion-dollar deal. Continue reading “Deal watch: Linklaters lands roles on Debenhams administration and Carlyle oil deal”

Deal View: Goodwin’s City practice goes beyond the clichés with 58% revenue growth

Deal View: Goodwin’s City practice goes beyond the clichés with 58% revenue growth

The cliché says that you have to start somewhere and so Goodwin Procter’s London branch did in 2011 with a solitary partner at a desk with a phone. While it arrived late to the City – fellow Boston outfit Ropes & Gray beat it by a couple of years and has enjoyed a very strong run since – now it is Goodwin’s turn.

City revenue grew 58% in 2018, more than three times the pace of the firm globally, hitting $66.8m in the same year it launched a European life sciences practice and amid a punchy 16% hike in global turnover to $1.2bn. Profit per equity partner saw a 14% spike to $2.46m and revenue per lawyer grew 10% to $1.25m, showing the firm has performed to every metric of success both in the City and in its other offices in Boston, New York and San Francisco. Continue reading “Deal View: Goodwin’s City practice goes beyond the clichés with 58% revenue growth”