The Bar – Happy when it rains

The Bar – Happy when it rains

Like the rest of Britain, barristers at the commercial Bar are impatiently waiting for some clarity over Brexit: it is a paramount concern because they want London to retain its position as the premier location for international business disputes. But more than three years on from the referendum result, the much-debated uncertainty has not yet had a significant impact on the volume or value of their work.

‘The commercial Bar is thriving at the moment and I expect it to continue to thrive,’ says Sonia Tolaney QC, chair of The Commercial Bar Association. ‘Dealing with the still-unknown consequences of Brexit presents a challenge. But although there has been a period of real uncertainty, the truth is that the health of the commercial Bar is very strong.’ Continue reading “The Bar – Happy when it rains”

New players and funding prompt evolution of disputes but City leaders adapt well

New players and funding prompt evolution of disputes but City leaders adapt well

‘We’ve disrupted the market – everybody knows about us now,’ says Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan London co-managing partner Ted Greeno of the US firm’s inexorable rise in the City.

The ex-Herbert Smith Freehills (HSF) partner, himself one of a string of high-profile recruits Quinn Emanuel made since its London launch in 2008, has a point. The disputes-only powerhouse now counts some 85 full-time partners and associates in London – a larger team than Slaughter and May’s litigation offering and not far off the size of Clifford Chance (CC)’s muscular City practice (see below). Continue reading “New players and funding prompt evolution of disputes but City leaders adapt well”

A&O’s Mansell to appear before SDT in December as #MeToo fallout promises busy winter

A&O’s Mansell to appear before SDT in December as #MeToo fallout promises busy winter

Allen & Overy (A&O) employment partner Mark Mansell is to face his first Solicitor Disciplinary Tribunal (SDT) hearing on Wednesday 5 December following an investigation into his role drafting a controversial non-disclosure agreement (NDA) for disgraced film producer Harvey Weinstein.

A spokesperson for the SDT confirmed to Legal Business yesterday (9 September) the new date for Mansell’s hearing, which had originally been scheduled for 3 June. Continue reading “A&O’s Mansell to appear before SDT in December as #MeToo fallout promises busy winter”

Burford names new CFO and governance shake-up amid activist investor row

Burford names new CFO and governance shake-up amid activist investor row

Litigation funder Burford Capital has appointed a new CFO and begun a search for two new independent directors to its board as its protracted and increasingly public row with US investor Muddy Waters rages on.

Burford confirmed today (15 August) that Jim Kilman will become the company’s new CFO, replacing Elizabeth O’Connell, who is married to its chief executive Christopher Bogart. The personal relationship between the two was a key point Muddy Waters raised earlier this month in a stinging critique of the funder’s governance and accounting standards. Continue reading “Burford names new CFO and governance shake-up amid activist investor row”

Kingsley Napley, Clydes and Howard Kennedy instructed as Bakers and former London head Senior face SDT prosecution

Kingsley Napley, Clydes and Howard Kennedy instructed as Bakers and former London head Senior face SDT prosecution

Baker McKenzie and its former London head Gary Senior have instructed partners at law firms Kingsley Napley and RadcliffesLeBrasseur as they face prosecution by the Solicitors Disciplinary Tribunal (SDT), with the first hearing scheduled for Monday 12 August.

Partners at Clyde & Co and Howard Kennedy have also been instructed after the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) announced this week (30 July) it had referred Bakers and Senior for prosecution to the SDT after Senior ‘sought to initiate intimate activity’ with a junior member of staff in 2012. Continue reading “Kingsley Napley, Clydes and Howard Kennedy instructed as Bakers and former London head Senior face SDT prosecution”

The clean-up crew – The rise of the in-house litigator

The clean-up crew – The rise of the in-house litigator

It is a complex world. Globalisation, increasingly interconnected economies, decades of tougher regulation and, yes, frenetic levels of law making across the world mean that getting business right is harder than ever and not all the proliferating risks can be managed.

All perfect conditions for litigators, which is why much of the post-banking crisis boom in legal services has been driven by demand for contentious law, rather than the transactional work that used to underwrite the high-end legal market. Continue reading “The clean-up crew – The rise of the in-house litigator”

HFW ramps up litigation prospects with £25m funding deal and analytics partnership

HFW ramps up litigation prospects with £25m funding deal and analytics partnership

HFW has scored a litigation ‘win-win’ after adding both a £25m litigation funding deal and a litigation analytics partnership to its practice.

The firm announced today it was partnering with both litigation start-up Solomonic, which launched commercially at the start of the year and uses court data for predictions and case research, and with litigation funder Augusta Ventures. Continue reading “HFW ramps up litigation prospects with £25m funding deal and analytics partnership”

Prohibitively expensive: Pinsent lands £25m litigation funding deal

Prohibitively expensive: Pinsent lands £25m litigation funding deal

Pinsent Masons has secured a £25m preferred-supplier deal with litigation funder August Ventures to offer ‘non-recourse’ funding at better terms than would normally be available.

Clients will have access to a dedicated facility at preferred rates and a fast-tracked due diligence process, while Augusta will also refer some clients to Pinsents. Continue reading “Prohibitively expensive: Pinsent lands £25m litigation funding deal”

Government ushers in emergency pay boost for judges amid mounting staff shortages

Government ushers in emergency pay boost for judges amid mounting staff shortages

The Ministry of Justice (MoJ) has ushered in an emergency boost to senior judges’ remuneration as an unprecedented recruitment crisis continues to grip the Bench. The move, announced on Wednesday (5 June), is in response to a review by the Senior Salaries Review Body (SSRB) and will see High Court judges handed a 25% annual bonus and circuit and upper tribunal judges a 15% raise.

As part of a two-year temporary ‘bonus’, High Court judges will receive £47,225 on top of their £188,901 yearly pay in addition to a 2% pay rise. Circuit and upper tribunal judges will be paid £21,043 in addition to a £140,289 salary. Continue reading “Government ushers in emergency pay boost for judges amid mounting staff shortages”

Gender diversity debate: Quantum of equality

Gender diversity debate: Quantum of equality

Alex Novarese, Legal Business: Tracey, shall we talk about the background of the All Rise project?

Tracey Dovaston, Barclays: We realised we had an opportunity as part of Barclays’ panel process to make some of our expectations on diversity measurable. We set out the expectations of our panel firms, which include that diverse teams work on Barclays matters. We encourage panel firms to recommend diverse teams at the tender stage and that those teams then work on the matter. We want to be introduced to people other than those we have been working with for many years. Continue reading “Gender diversity debate: Quantum of equality”