Sponsored briefing: The end of Libor in Switzerland

Sponsored briefing: The end of Libor in Switzerland

The UK Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) announced on 27 July 2017 it would no longer require that banks that are members of the Libor panel be obliged to communicate a daily rate after 2021.

2021 is perhaps not tomorrow, but it is definitely very soon after tomorrow. Financial institutions should now review their Libor-based contracts and products to quantify their exposure to the discontinuation of such a rate. While the effort is obviously larger for financial institutions, other enterprises, and even retail investors and borrowers, should assess their risk and determine what measures to take. We provide below an overview of the contracts that may be affected and possible remedies. Continue reading “Sponsored briefing: The end of Libor in Switzerland”

Special territory: Fintech in Hong Kong

Special territory: Fintech in Hong Kong

‘You have to, to serve these markets, re-imagine how money can be managed and moved, because there’s going to be more change in the next five years in financial services than happened in the past 30.’

Dan Schulman, chief executive, PayPal


Global investment in fintech companies hit an all-time high of US$27.4bn in 2017, an increase of 18% year on year, with the market showing no sign of slowing. Led by China, the fintech revolution has spread across the rest of Asia, while simultaneously gaining traction in the UK, US and Europe. Continue reading “Special territory: Fintech in Hong Kong”

Comment: A decade since Lehman the profession still mired in the New Normal

Comment: A decade since Lehman the profession still mired in the New Normal

Within days of this issue hitting desks, it will be ten years since Lehman Brothers’ collapse marked what swiftly became the great financial crisis. That event was only the clearest symptom of a disease that had been infecting the banking system for more than a year before Lehman filed for bankruptcy on 15 September 2008.

Yet the process unquestionably signalled changes that have reverberated through economies, politics, business and, yes, the legal profession ever since. By the summer of 2009 the UK profession had for the first time engaged in industrial-scale job cuts, axing more than 5,000 roles at top 100 UK firms alone. Through the lens of the LB100, the profession starkly divides into performance patterns pre and post-Lehman. During the long boom, London’s elite was utterly untouchable. Within the Circle they could falter and scrap for fleeting inter-club advantage. But as far as the rest of the industry was concerned, they were in a world of their own. The initial advances of major US law firms had by the mid-2000s been comprehensively repelled – what chance did mid-tier rivals have? Continue reading “Comment: A decade since Lehman the profession still mired in the New Normal”

A decade since Lehman the profession still mired in the New Normal

A decade since Lehman the profession still mired in the New Normal

Within days of this issue hitting desks, it will be ten years since Lehman Brothers’ collapse marked what swiftly became the great financial crisis. That event was only the clearest symptom of a disease that had been infecting the banking system for more than a year before Lehman filed for bankruptcy on 15 September 2008.

Yet the process unquestionably signalled changes that have reverberated through economies, politics, business and, yes, the legal profession ever since. By the summer of 2009 the UK profession had for the first time engaged in industrial-scale job cuts, axing more than 5,000 roles at top 100 UK firms alone. Through the lens of the LB100, the profession starkly divides into performance patterns pre and post-Lehman. During the long boom, London’s elite was utterly untouchable. Within the Circle they could falter and scrap for fleeting inter-club advantage. But as far as the rest of the industry was concerned, they were in a world of their own. The initial advances of major US law firms had by the mid-2000s been comprehensively repelled – what chance did mid-tier rivals have? Continue reading “A decade since Lehman the profession still mired in the New Normal”

High (street) stakes as Gaucho collapses into administration and House of Fraser saga takes yet another twist

High (street) stakes as Gaucho collapses into administration and House of Fraser saga takes yet another twist

‘There’s going to be a lot of distress on the high street,’ Weil, Gotshal & Manges partner Adam Plainer told Legal Business last autumn in an extended assessment of the City restructuring outlook. Given that insolvency lawyers have been confidently – and wrongly – predicting a flood of work since the banking crisis, such claims generally attract some scepticism. Yet the forces battering the high street did indeed in 2018 send a string of familiar names to the corporate vultures.

This summer’s collapse of Gaucho Group, the owner of premium Argentinian steak purveyors Gaucho and Cau, became only the latest casualty, amid a malaise that has seen dining and retail stalwarts struggle with shifting consumer behaviour and rising overheads. Continue reading “High (street) stakes as Gaucho collapses into administration and House of Fraser saga takes yet another twist”

Green investment – The colour of money

Green investment – The colour of money

Pressure for business to ‘go green’ has been building steadily for 20 years. What started as a minority concern has steadily moved up the corporate agenda, as governments impose incentives and penalties to support green policies, while an increasingly informed consumer base votes with their wallets.

Yet one sector slow to rise to the challenge has been finance and financial services, for which the ordinary barriers to green thinking are more pronounced. Continue reading “Green investment – The colour of money”

‘Benelux connection’: Fieldfisher expands European reach with Luxembourg office

‘Benelux connection’: Fieldfisher expands European reach with Luxembourg office

Newly-crowned Law Firm of the Year at the Legal Business Awards 2018, Fieldfisher has continued its campaign of geographical expansion with a new office in Luxembourg.

The outpost of the London-headquartered firm opened this week. Initially focused on finance and funds work, the office is being managed by country managing partner Ingrid Dubourdieu, who has joined from local firm D.Law where she was a partner. Continue reading “‘Benelux connection’: Fieldfisher expands European reach with Luxembourg office”

Comment: Law firms will never just hand status to City women – they’ll have to take it

Comment: Law firms will never just hand status to City women – they’ll have to take it

In a blow for traditionalists, our latest cover feature eschews profiling a group of hard-working, smart, highly-confident men who are talented lawyers to instead profile a group of hard-working, smart, variably-confident women who are talented lawyers. Radical stuff.

But then the career cycle for too many ambitious female deal lawyers remains nasty, brutish and short. While women increasingly advance into senior roles in advisory practice areas and even more so among the ranks of senior general counsel, in the upper reaches of transactional law, it is still a boys’ club and anyone claiming differently does not know many corporate lawyers. Continue reading “Comment: Law firms will never just hand status to City women – they’ll have to take it”

Alphas – the hunt for female deal stars (and why it’s hard to be a City woman)

Alphas – the hunt for female deal stars (and why it’s hard to be a City woman)

‘You will have to go out and find the women – they won’t come to you,’ warns Travers Smith partner Lucie Cawood when Legal Business began researching this cover feature. That proved an astute prediction.

Searching for senior female talent in the City, amid weeks spent amassing nearly 60 interviews with partners, law firm leaders, corporate heads and recruiters, it becomes clear that it takes more work to get women deal lawyers talking than their male equivalents. A lot more. Continue reading “Alphas – the hunt for female deal stars (and why it’s hard to be a City woman)”