Increased scrutiny of finances by insurers as 185 firms fail to get PII by first cut off

Increased scrutiny of finances by insurers as 185 firms fail to get PII by first cut off

Insurers are joining banks in upping their scrutiny of law firm finances in light of recent insolvencies as 185 law firms fail to obtain professional indemnity insurance (PII) by the 1 October deadline.

The Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) received applications for an extended indemnity period (EIP) from 185 law firms. Of those firms, ten have since secured cover, leaving 175 firms in need of PII before the end of the 90-day period afforded by the EIP. Continue reading “Increased scrutiny of finances by insurers as 185 firms fail to get PII by first cut off”

Deal watch: September sees significant rise in deal activity

Deal watch: September sees significant rise in deal activity

Lloyds privatisation

Slaughter and May and Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer led the line in September advising Lloyds Banking Group on the first stage of its privatisation after being taken over by the taxpayer during the financial crisis in 2008. Slaughters, led by capital markets partner Nilufer von Bismarck, is advising UK Financial Investments on HM Treasury’s disposal of a 6% stake in the banking group, worth £6bn. Freshfields, led by corporate partner Will Lawes, advised the joint bookrunners Bank of America Merrill Lynch, J.P. Morgan Cazenove and UBS on the sale.

Microsoft’s $7bn Nokia devices acquisition

One of the most talked-about deals of the month was Microsoft’s game-changing, $7bn acquisition of Nokia’s devices and services business along with a ten-year patent licensing agreement. Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom, led by corporate partner Ken King, is advising Nokia on the deal, which is expected to complete in the first quarter of 2014. Alan Klein of Simpson Thacher & Bartlett in New York is advising Microsoft.

Continue reading “Deal watch: September sees significant rise in deal activity”

Asia round-up: Bingham makes funds push in Tokyo while Eversheds launches in Beijing

The lateral hire market has been particularly active in Asia this week, with some of the most established international players in the region losing experienced partners.

The most notable move came in Japan, where US firm Bingham McCutchen has added seven White & Case lawyers to its investment funds team in Tokyo. Continue reading “Asia round-up: Bingham makes funds push in Tokyo while Eversheds launches in Beijing”

Semple Fraser Appoints administrators

Scotland’s Semple Fraser has gone into administration, with Tom MacLennan and Kenny Craig, partners with accountants RSM Tenon, appointed joint administrators.

The move comes less than a week after the firm announced its intention to appoint administrators on 6 March. Although a raft of firms have stepped in to take over parts of Semple Fraser’s business, 62 people at the firm, including lawyers and support staff, have been made redundant.

‘It is with great regret that after having considered every possible option to secure the future of the business it was clear that administration is the only option,’ said Simon Etchells, managing partner of the firm.

Continue reading “Semple Fraser Appoints administrators”

Italy 2.0

Italy 2.0

The Italian legal market has modernised over the past decade as local firms have reacted to greater client demands and the influx of foreign practices. Now there’s greater pressure on fees and billing arrangements

Over the past decade the Italian legal market has gradually been modernising, entering its own 2.0 era. Firms have taken a more business-focused approach to how they run their firms. Italian lawyers who traditionally prided themselves on their ability to advise on a wide range of areas have become more specialised. Continue reading “Italy 2.0”