City’s mid-weight elite set blistering pace as Travers and Macfarlanes surge in 2017/18

City’s mid-weight elite set blistering pace as Travers and Macfarlanes surge in 2017/18

Marco Cillario assesses the results amid another strong year for the City’s mid-tier

The latest financial results by UK law firms show leading mid-market players once again harnessing robust commercial activity to post a series of startling results well ahead of larger rivals. Continue reading “City’s mid-weight elite set blistering pace as Travers and Macfarlanes surge in 2017/18”

Going places: focus on Michelin

Going places: focus on Michelin

Leading a global legal team is a complex role and many general counsel (GCs) could be forgiven for spending all their energy just trying to get the job done. Not so at Michelin. Despite overseeing a legal community of 200 members, comprising lawyers, patent engineers, paralegals and admin staff, spread across 20 countries, group GC Benoit Balmary wanted the team to develop a defined strategy of its own alongside supporting Michelin’s goals.

‘We have the global management team, the management team of the legal function worldwide, which I chair. This is composed of all of the general counsel of the regional teams, and the heads of the biggest domain teams (IP and corporate), and the head of ethics. This team meets every semester and together we set the strategy of the legal department for the coming years,’ notes Balmary. The mission of the legal department, as defined by our management team, is ‘to protect the group against legal risks and to facilitate its business objectives in an efficient, innovative and sustainable way’. Continue reading “Going places: focus on Michelin”

Focus: Wild West or new frontier? Securities counsel divided as the cryptocurrency ‘float’ rears its blockchained head

Focus: Wild West or new frontier? Securities counsel divided as the cryptocurrency ‘float’ rears its blockchained head

Marco Cillario sizes up the pros and cons for legal advisers of the current ICO boom

‘We are in an odd position: we feel we need to be closely involved in this, but there is a reputational risk because there is a lot of fraud.’ Understandably, the partner expressing this view does not want himself or his firm identified. But such words still sum up many securities lawyers’ feelings on the hottest topic in their field for years. Continue reading “Focus: Wild West or new frontier? Securities counsel divided as the cryptocurrency ‘float’ rears its blockchained head”

‘Investments have come home’: City branches stand out in big year for US players

‘Investments have come home’: City branches stand out in big year for US players

Marco Cillario finds City offices outpacing worldwide growth at many Global London firms

2017 was a boom year for many of the London outposts of US law firms, with several convincingly outpacing their firm’s global performance financially and two passing the $300m mark. And it was not just a frenetic private equity market that boosted the London coffers: many UK teams also picked up headline mandates in areas including disputes and financial restructuring.

White & Case remains the highest-grossing US firm in London thanks to a 13% hike to its top line to $328m in 2017 – a faster growth than its 10% global revenue rise to $1.8bn. Continue reading “‘Investments have come home’: City branches stand out in big year for US players”

Real estate, real estate, real estate: Bryan Cave? Questions surround BLP’s transatlantic union

Real estate, real estate, real estate: Bryan Cave? Questions surround BLP’s transatlantic union

Hamish McNicol and Thomas Alan canvass the market on the latest UK/US tie-up

‘Next year all our troubles will be out of sight,’ sang Judy Garland in the 1944 film Meet Me In St Louis. You wonder whether the leadership of Berwin Leighton Paisner (BLP) was singing those words from ‘Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas’ in December before the firm’s quest for a US merger ended with St Louis-bred Bryan Cave. Because apart from a press release lauding the aspirations of the transatlantic tie-up, first floated publicly last October, there has not been much singing since. Continue reading “Real estate, real estate, real estate: Bryan Cave? Questions surround BLP’s transatlantic union”

‘It’s a promotion problem’: what the gender pay gap figures tell us so far

‘It’s a promotion problem’: what the gender pay gap figures tell us so far

Marco Cillario rounds up the latest stats as the April deadline looms

And so it begins. The first gender pay gap reporting season has kicked off and for many Legal Business 100 law firms (and indeed all British companies with 250+ people) there is an early April deadline to disclose how much they are paying their UK-based female employees compared to men. Continue reading “‘It’s a promotion problem’: what the gender pay gap figures tell us so far”

Collective shame as City law falls firmly under #MeToo spotlight

Collective shame as City law falls firmly under #MeToo spotlight

Thomas Alan finds profession facing tough questions over record on sexual harassment

From the Presidents Club charity dinner to the news in March that the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) will challenge the misuse of non-disclosure agreements (NDAs), the legal profession has been jolted by allegations of misconduct and sexual harassment since the start of the year. Continue reading “Collective shame as City law falls firmly under #MeToo spotlight”

Can Freshfields limit the damage as Kirkland tempts PE heavyweight with $10m transfer?

Can Freshfields limit the damage as Kirkland tempts PE heavyweight with $10m transfer?

Nathalie Tidman assesses the fallout as M&A veteran quits an unsettled City giant

Even for a market grown blithe to big-name M&A partners quitting for the dollar, Kirkland & Ellis’s recruitment of Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer’s David Higgins just before Christmas sent a jolt. Continue reading “Can Freshfields limit the damage as Kirkland tempts PE heavyweight with $10m transfer?”

‘Incredibly strong’ – debt counsel gear up for another boom year in leveraged finance

‘Incredibly strong’ – debt counsel gear up for another boom year in leveraged finance

Nathalie Tidman finds lawyers bemused by crazy pricing and a wall of debt

‘Short of Trump nuking North Korea, I can’t see any immediate problems on the horizon,’ reflects Latham & Watkins partner Christopher Kandel. It is safe to say finance advisers believe the recent bonanza of European leveraged finance activity will continue through 2018 on the back of another record year for the European market. Continue reading “‘Incredibly strong’ – debt counsel gear up for another boom year in leveraged finance”