Global London: Non-US firms in London – On standby

Global London: Non-US firms in London – On standby

The issue on every European partner’s lips in our Global London report in 2016 was the outcome and fallout of the UK’s Brexit referendum on 23 June that year. Even then, just a few months before the vote, there was a palpable hope that Britain would not do the unthinkable. Those hopes were soon dashed. With the transition period ending on 31 December 2020, the UK has officially left the EU. What does this mean for the London strategies of European firms that have maintained small but effective London offices? Is it time to pack their bags?

Despite the uncertainties non-US firms based in the City have faced in the past five years, there is notable confidence over the importance of the location and the sustainability of a London practice beyond 2021. Continue reading “Global London: Non-US firms in London – On standby”

Sponsored briefing: Life sciences market in France: Early access of medicines reform for 2021

Sponsored briefing: Life sciences market in France: Early access of medicines reform for 2021

LexCase’s Diane Bandon-Tourret and Esther Vogel on the newly restructured early access mechanism for medicine products in France

The French Social Security Financing Law (LFSS) for 2021 restructured the entire early access mechanism for medicine products. Continue reading “Sponsored briefing: Life sciences market in France: Early access of medicines reform for 2021”

Global 100 European M&A focus: Riding a black swan

Global 100 European M&A focus: Riding a black swan

‘What has happened to us?’ An M&A veteran shakes his head incredulously, having uttered the now ubiquitous phrase: ‘stay safe’ to conclude a Zoom call with Legal Business.

This time last year, rainmakers could hardly have imagined being forced into a neverending merry-go-round of video conferencing, let alone ending each conversation with something reminiscent of a BBC Crimewatch catchphrase. Continue reading “Global 100 European M&A focus: Riding a black swan”

Ireland: No luck required

Ireland: No luck required

Legal Business’ last deep delve into the Irish legal market revealed a country on the rebound. Since the country’s exit from a bailout package cobbled together by the European Commission, the European Central Bank and the International Monetary Fund, the island of Ireland had proven itself robust.

By 2019 that recovery looked even more assured: GDP grew a strong 5.5%, making it six consecutive years as Europe’s fastest-growing economy. For comparison, Hungary was closest last year to matching its pace with a growth of 4.9%. Sure, the persistent gnaw of uncertainty could be felt as Brexit loomed ever larger, but the feeling was after years of forewarning, Irish business was as prepared as it could be in the face of a tumultuous but manageable 2020. Continue reading “Ireland: No luck required”

Sponsors, pharma and tech fire up deal activity despite a subdued year for marquee M&A in Europe

Sponsors, pharma and tech fire up deal activity despite a subdued year for marquee M&A in Europe

A dearth of megadeals in 2019 did little to dampen the spirits of dealmakers with buyout teams capitalising on the ongoing private equity boom while wider pharma and tech deals drove bid activity.

On the face of it, headline figures from Mergermarket speak of a subdued year, with global M&A activity declining 6.9% from 2018 to $3.33trn. The picture in Europe was considerably more gloomy, with the continent seeing a 21.9% dive in total deal value to $770.5bn. Continue reading “Sponsors, pharma and tech fire up deal activity despite a subdued year for marquee M&A in Europe”

Letter from… Warsaw: Weil’s withdrawal from CEE marks a new phase, not the end, of international firms’ regional domination

Letter from… Warsaw: Weil’s withdrawal from CEE marks a new phase, not the end, of international firms’ regional domination

Neglected by foreign advisers for years, the Central and Eastern European (CEE) legal markets enjoyed a few moments of popularity in the press as the decade turned. Most notably, the once-formidable force in the region’s transactional space, Weil, Gotshal & Manges closed its three local branches in Budapest (January 2018), Prague (November 2018) and Warsaw (November 2019).

As the only major Wall Street firm with sizeable CEE coverage (excepting obviously White & Case’s very different model), there were specific reasons behind Weil’s withdrawal. These included a strategic move to focus on the key money centres (the firm also left the Middle East in 2017), a huge amount of local government-related work exposing it to the political turmoil and a large domestic client base not inclined to pay the fee levels demanded by the US elite. Continue reading “Letter from… Warsaw: Weil’s withdrawal from CEE marks a new phase, not the end, of international firms’ regional domination”

The Italian report – Midway upon the journey of our life

The Italian report – Midway upon the journey of our life

Visiting Milan at the end of 2019, it was striking that a map of law firms’ office addresses drawn up just the year before was no longer reliable: too many had moved, taken up larger premises… or no longer existed.

Finding our way to meetings with 20 partners at domestic and international firms, an unusual buzzword was emerging: consolidation. ‘There are too many Italian firms and there is not space for everyone, so they need to consolidate,’ argues one Milan-based partner of a foreign firm. Continue reading “The Italian report – Midway upon the journey of our life”

‘We’re taking proximate steps’: DAC doubles up in Madrid with 20-lawyer hire

‘We’re taking proximate steps’: DAC doubles up in Madrid with 20-lawyer hire

DAC Beachcroft is looking for further opportunities in Europe and South America after doubling the size of its Madrid office by combining with a three-partner insurance boutique.

The firm today (21 January) took on 20-lawyer outfit Asjusa, which focuses on professional liability and insurance in the healthcare sector, led by partners Eduardo Asensi Pallarés and Iñigo Cid-Luna Clares. The third partner joining is Julio Albi. Continue reading “‘We’re taking proximate steps’: DAC doubles up in Madrid with 20-lawyer hire”

Late to the party: Reed Smith hires partners from five firms for Brussels launch

Late to the party: Reed Smith hires partners from five firms for Brussels launch

Reed Smith has opened its fifth European office in Brussels, following the hire of five partners to the firm’s corporate group.

The partners all come from different firms, and will be joined by two associates and one counsel. The partners focus on competition/antitrust, with Brussels long being a hub for international firms’ competition work. Continue reading “Late to the party: Reed Smith hires partners from five firms for Brussels launch”