Law firms scramble to reposition Moscow practice as EU sanctions hit home Russia’s volatile political environment began to have an impact on international and domestic law firms in Moscow at the beginning of this year, but as 2015 nears, and with multiple rounds of international sanctions imposed on the country, the situation has dramatically deteriorated.
US and EU sanctions on Russia have taken their toll on many located in Moscow, including Allen & Overy (A&O), which offered redundancy packages at associate level in October; Linklaters, which seconded 19 associates into other regions; White & Case, which reduced its Moscow-based headcount across both partner and associate levels; and Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton, whose office associate headcount dropped.
Continue reading “A&O and Linklaters scale back in Russia as foreign firms feel the brunt of sanctions”
Tom Moore assesses the impact of the new London arbitration rulebook
The battle lines between arbitration lawyers and litigators have long been drawn along arguments of efficiency and cost. The urban myth, somewhat manufactured by arbitration practitioners themselves, that arbitration is more expedient and less costly than its cousin in the courts has long been dismissed, while increasingly the London Court of International Arbitration (LCIA) is not only competing with courts for big-ticket cases, but other institutions around the world.
Continue reading “Guerrillas in our midst: LCIA takes action on award delays and obstructionist tactics”
Jaishree Kalia reports on the Los Angeles firm’s recent London hiring spree
Although relatively late to the game, Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher is the latest US firm with aggressive expansion plans in London, with its recently announced hire of former Ashurst senior partner Charlie Geffen attracting much attention last month.
Continue reading “Focus: Charlie and the deal factory: can Geffen help Gibson Dunn reach new heights in the City?”
Tom Moore looks at Freshfields’ recent expansion in Manhattan
Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer has made growing its US practice its number one priority and the firm has even stepped on a few Wall Street toes in 2014 with its aggressive hiring strategy. In the space of a month, six new partners have been drafted in, including Shearman & Sterling M&A veteran Peter Lyons and former Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen & Katz dealmaker Mitchell Presser to boost an underweight transactional group. Despite success in US disputes and investigations work, Freshfields has lacked a real M&A engine in New York but has pinned its hopes on the duo putting a change to that.
Continue reading “When will the US become a land of opportunity for Freshfields?”
There was a rushed engagement before the union and there is unlikely to be a long honeymoon for the 26 Bingham McCutchen partners, including ten financial restructuring partners, switching to Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld later this month. Such is the size of the investment the Dallas-bred giant has made, with the total number of lawyers set to transfer across London, Hong Kong and Frankfurt expected to reach around 60, the team led by financial restructuring guru James Roome will have to hit the ground running when they transfer in late October. This is, after all, a team with around $50m in annual revenue, by some yardsticks the largest team hire ever executed in the Square Mile.
The move, which Legal Business first revealed online in early September, shifts virtually all of Bingham’s London arm, minus two partners whose futures are undecided.
Continue reading “The $50m question – will Akin Gump’s record-breaking City acquisition pay off?”
Michael West finds mixed feelings on independence from Scotland’s bloodied legal profession
It’s long been a hoary cliché to say that uncertainty is good news for the legal profession but it is hard to escape the conclusion that the uncertain prospect of a momentous vote on Scottish independence this month would be very good news for local lawyers… in the short term.
Continue reading “Short-term boom but long-term questions loom for lawyers if Scotland votes to go it alone”
Tom Moore assesses the recent upheaval at Weil and talks to City head Francies about its ambitions
Life has never been dull at the City arm of Weil, Gotshal & Manges, but even those familiar with the firm’s eventful run since its launch in the mid-1990s turned their heads at the departure this summer of Stephen Lucas for Kirkland & Ellis. The former Linklaters partner, whose exit came shortly before his three-year guaranteed pay package expired, had been regarded as highly successful at building a deal finance team at Weil.
Continue reading “After a patchy 2013 and a high-profile finance departure, can Weil sustain its City momentum?”
Michael West assesses the prospects for the agency after settlement of the Tchenguiz claims
He was always going to have a painfully full in-tray on taking over as head of the troubled Serious Fraud Office (SFO) a little over two years ago, but even against that context, the previous 12 months must have looked something like an annus horribilis to David Green QC. Lows during this period saw the Public Accounts Committee issue trenchant criticism of the body, important investigation documents misplaced and the chaotic collapse of the trial against Victor Dahdaleh.
Continue reading “A chance to turn the corner for the SFO but a high-stakes test on ‘blockbuster’ cases could define its fate”