Letter from… Amsterdam: Dutch lawyers find a deft balance amid testing times in cross-border trade

Letter from… Amsterdam: Dutch lawyers find a deft balance amid testing times in cross-border trade

The secret to making your country attractive to foreign investors at a time when populism is reshaping global politics and protectionism is on the march? A stable and business-friendly government, an open society, a well-trained and internationally-minded workforce, and reliable infrastructure are not bad places to start.

And, luckily for Amsterdam’s legal elite, the Netherlands has them all. ‘In these uncertain times, the country has been able to show some stability and that’s appealing,’ says Allen & Overy (A&O)’s local senior partner Brechje van der Velden. ‘Its attractiveness was and still is its reliability – multinationals having security for the future,’ notes Baker McKenzie’s Kim Tan. ‘We know what’s going to happen. The government is co-operative and transparent.’ Continue reading “Letter from… Amsterdam: Dutch lawyers find a deft balance amid testing times in cross-border trade”

Challenging Brexit headwinds force City middleweights to look to Europe for growth

Challenging Brexit headwinds force City middleweights to look to Europe for growth

Thomas Alan assesses the early financial results in a tougher year for the UK’s chasing pack

The latest financial results from the UK’s mid-table firms show a more challenging economic environment is producing a lag on growth in the domestic market, as firms look to Europe to continue Brexit-proofing their growth. Continue reading “Challenging Brexit headwinds force City middleweights to look to Europe for growth”

The Last Word: Elite forces

The Last Word: Elite forces

As part of our annual Euro Elite report, management at independent firms in Europe give their views on today’s market challenges

International focus

‘In 2017 we had a record performance. 2018 was a year of big investment to consolidate our development in Africa and the Middle East but we did it halfway through the year. We are going to continue and consolidate our strategy. A lot of attention and energy will be on the international development. Our strategy is still to become a leader in the Mediterranean area, Africa and the Middle East. For now we are optimistic but from the second half of 2018 we have seen a decrease of investment in M&A.’ Continue reading “The Last Word: Elite forces”

Letter from Iberia – Despite turbulent politics, Madrid lawyers sustain bullish mood

Letter from Iberia – Despite turbulent politics, Madrid lawyers sustain bullish mood

In spring 2018, Legal Business found the Madrid legal elite still recovering from a jolt that unsettled the local establishment. As one of the best-regarded deal makers in Spain, Juan Picón had at the end of 2017 given up his role as DLA Piper senior partner to join Latham & Watkins as Madrid head and Latin America co-chair.

Off the back of three consecutive years of GDP growth above 3% and mounting interest from international investors, Spain had been moving back onto the radar of leading international firms – the list of those stepping up investment in the country going well beyond the US giant to range as wide as Allen & Overy (A&O) to Fieldfisher. Some believed signs of renewed investment would shake up the staid local talent market and bring fresh challenges to the elite independents – Uría Menéndez, Garrigues and Cuatrecasas. Continue reading “Letter from Iberia – Despite turbulent politics, Madrid lawyers sustain bullish mood”

DWF makes first post-IPO splash with £3m Warsaw office acquisition

DWF makes first post-IPO splash with £3m Warsaw office acquisition

DWF is expanding into Poland with the £3m acquisition of K&L Gates’ 11-partner Warsaw office, its first investment since going public in March.

The move, expected to complete later this month, will see 45 lawyers and 31 support staff join DWF alongside the 11 partners in the firm’s first Poland office and seventh in continental Europe. K&L Gates Warsaw managing partner Michal Pawlowski will lead the office, which is expected to generate about £7m in revenue for the year to 30 April 2020. Continue reading “DWF makes first post-IPO splash with £3m Warsaw office acquisition”

M&A focus: A sign of things to come? Europe’s deal market ends 2018 with a whimper after a forceful start

M&A focus: A sign of things to come? Europe’s deal market ends 2018 with a whimper after a forceful start

The ghost of political turmoil did little to hinder deal-doing in Europe in the first half of 2018 but its presence appears to have made itself increasingly felt as the year wore on. With plcs wary of major investments ahead of the threat of mounting Brexit-related convulsions, not to mention a mainland European economy that lost some pace through 2018, it was an uneven run for corporate takeovers.

Globally, the latest figures from Mergermarket show the volume of deals completed in 2018 fell for the first time since 2010 to 19,232, after a decade of steadily rising. However, if overall activity was subdued, there was more cause for cheer with marquee deals; average deal value rose to $384.8m, the second-highest value on record, falling just short of the $400.3m notched up in 2015. Continue reading “M&A focus: A sign of things to come? Europe’s deal market ends 2018 with a whimper after a forceful start”

Mega-deals and convergence stoke M&A but subdued volumes and volatile conditions linger

Mega-deals and convergence stoke M&A but subdued volumes and volatile conditions linger

This time last year, a collective sigh of relief from City dealmakers was reverberating around the Square Mile as the M&A market regained momentum despite a backdrop of economic and political uncertainty. Since then, deal counsel have barely paused for breath, with many juggling multiple deals well into the parts of August in which even the most committed deal junkie would expect to be pretending not to check work emails on a sun lounger.

Such boom-time dynamics are borne out by the latest Mergermarket figures for H1 2018, which saw announced global M&A deals hit $1.94trn, its highest value since the financial crisis. Continue reading “Mega-deals and convergence stoke M&A but subdued volumes and volatile conditions linger”

Aviation focus: Winds of change

Aviation focus: Winds of change

Uncertainty seems to be the only thing lawyers working in Europe’s aviation sector can count on these days.

The recent collapse of two established major European airlines demonstrated the volatility facing many sections of the industry, with UK-headquartered Monarch Airlines and Air Berlin becoming the latest casualties of turbulence. Continue reading “Aviation focus: Winds of change”