In-house: Rio Tinto GC to retire as Transferwise and ASOS legal heads depart

In-house: Rio Tinto GC to retire as Transferwise and ASOS legal heads depart

Multiple general counsel (GCs) have stepped down from their posts this week, including the legal heads of FTSE 100 mining company Rio Tinto, fintech company Transferwise and online retailer ASOS.

Rio Tinto said on Monday (1 July) Philip Richards will retire as group GC of the global mining giant at the end of December after two years in the role. He will be replaced by Barbara Levi, who is group legal head of M&A and strategic transactions at Swiss pharmaceutical company Novartis, from 1 January 2020. Continue reading “In-house: Rio Tinto GC to retire as Transferwise and ASOS legal heads depart”

Time for a change: well-regarded BAML European legal chief departs for EY

Time for a change: well-regarded BAML European legal chief departs for EY

The long-serving EMEA general counsel (GC) at the Bank of America Merrill Lynch (BAML) has stepped down after 14 years to join Big Four accounting firm EY.

Sajid Hussein, a GC Powerlist regular, will join EY as a partner and GC for Europe, the Middle East, India, Africa (EMEIA) from 1 July. Continue reading “Time for a change: well-regarded BAML European legal chief departs for EY”

Ticking boxes – Is City law going beyond the platitudes on ethnic diversity?

Ticking boxes – Is City law going beyond the platitudes on ethnic diversity?

‘People are so scared to talk about race in the UK,’ Linklaters senior partner Charlie Jacobs says. ‘They think it’s a landmine they’re going to walk straight into, so they’d rather avoid it entirely.’

A landmine – easy to lay but hard to get rid of – which has seen Big Law for years avoid a substantive discussion around ethnic diversity. Gender is already an uncomfortable topic for the industry, yet not so uncomfortable that it has obscured increasingly intense scrutiny of the profession’s poor record promoting female partners. In contrast, ethnic diversity at the upper reaches of commercial law is rarely addressed head-on, being submerged in the wider ‘D&I’ discussion. Continue reading “Ticking boxes – Is City law going beyond the platitudes on ethnic diversity?”

In-house: Facebook appoints US State Department adviser as new GC

In-house: Facebook appoints US State Department adviser as new GC

Social media giant Facebook has recruited Jennifer Newstead (pictured), a legal adviser to the US State Department, as its new general counsel (GC) after incumbent GC Colin Stretch announced his intention to leave last July.

Newstead was appointed a legal adviser to the State Department by President Donald Trump, with her new role likely to be just as challenging as Facebook faces increasing criticism for how it handles its data across its vast social network. Continue reading “In-house: Facebook appoints US State Department adviser as new GC”

In-house round-up: New GCs for Royal Mail, Sky and Deliveroo

In-house round-up: New GCs for Royal Mail, Sky and Deliveroo

Royal Mail, Sky and Deliveroo have all made senior legal hires in a busy period for in-house recruitment.

Royal Mail has filled the void left following former general counsel (GC) Maaike de Bie’s departure to easyJet, hiring in-house veteran Mark Amsden as its group GC and chief risk and governance officer. Continue reading “In-house round-up: New GCs for Royal Mail, Sky and Deliveroo”

The head, the tail, the whole damn thing: UK firms suffer again as Global London sharks circle

The head, the tail, the whole damn thing: UK firms suffer again as Global London sharks circle

With recent financial results displaying the added bite of US firms in the City, it appears their approach to the lateral recruitment market will continue to be just as aggressive. Paul Hastings continued to signal its M&A ambitions with the hire of Steven Bryan from Hogan Lovells, while Latham & Watkins proved again it is one of the biggest predators of the City elite after hiring Linklaters insurance partner Victoria Sander.

For Paul Hastings, the hire of Bryan is of little surprise. The firm has made no secret of its ambition to strengthen in public M&A and private equity, as seen last spring with the hires of Roger Barron from Linklaters and private equity star Anu Balasubramanian from DLA Piper. The addition of Bryan, meanwhile, sees another highly-rated M&A practitioner leave for a US firm – an area widely considered the last bastion of the institutional City firms. Continue reading “The head, the tail, the whole damn thing: UK firms suffer again as Global London sharks circle”

Comment: Beyond barbarian – Another stride as Kirkland signs private equity’s most wanted

Comment: Beyond barbarian – Another stride as Kirkland signs private equity’s most wanted

If the news in late 2017 that Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer private equity veteran David Higgins was joining Kirkland & Ellis was an insult to his Magic Circle firm, the announcement barely into 2019 that Kirkland was following up with his colleague Adrian Maguire looks like grievous injury.

The record-breaking transfer of Higgins was a symbolic reverse and a significant demonstration of Kirkland’s determination to push into mainstream sponsor work in Europe. Yet it was not entirely unexpected – there had been indications that Higgins was becoming disenchanted due to issues with Freshfields’ finance practice and a lack of a more meaningful leadership role. Where he went was more surprising than the matter of his departure. Continue reading “Comment: Beyond barbarian – Another stride as Kirkland signs private equity’s most wanted”

Dentons risks Venezuelan instability to secure Norton Rose Caracas business

Dentons risks Venezuelan instability to secure Norton Rose Caracas business

Dentons has acquired Norton Rose Fulbright (NRF)’s 26-lawyer Caracas office, coinciding with Venezuela’s acute economic and political crisis.

As part of the acquisition, Dentons hired eight partners with a sector focus on energy and natural resources, as well as employment. Currently led by labour partner Juan Carlos Pró-Rísquez, who became NRF managing partner in the country last year, the office is set to become Despacho de Abogados miembros de Dentons, after a transition period that sees it associated with Dentons’ Colombian business in Bogotá. Continue reading “Dentons risks Venezuelan instability to secure Norton Rose Caracas business”

Beyond barbarian: Kirkland signs PE’s most wanted

Beyond barbarian: Kirkland signs PE’s most wanted

If the news in late 2017 that Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer private equity veteran David Higgins was joining Kirkland & Ellis was an insult to his Magic Circle firm, the announcement barely into 2019 that Kirkland was following up with his colleague Adrian Maguire looks like grievous injury.

The record-breaking transfer of Higgins was a symbolic reverse and a significant demonstration of Kirkland’s determination to push into mainstream sponsor work in Europe. Yet it was not entirely unexpected – there had been indications that Higgins was becoming disenchanted due to issues with Freshfields’ finance practice and a lack of a more meaningful leadership role. Where he went was more surprising than the matter of his departure. Continue reading “Beyond barbarian: Kirkland signs PE’s most wanted”

Cooley leverages Brexit uncertainty to launch in Brussels

Cooley leverages Brexit uncertainty to launch in Brussels

Four years after launching in London, West Coast US firm Cooley is to launch its second European base in Brussels.

The firm announced today (4 February) it has hired experienced competition partner Alexander Israel from leading German independent Noerr to lead the opening of its fourteenth branch worldwide. ‘Expanding Cooley’s presence in the European Union has long been a key component of our growth strategy,’ said chief executive Joe Conroy, adding that opening in the Belgian capital would strengthen the firm’s ability to support clients ‘particularly with the uncertainty of the Brexit environment’. Continue reading “Cooley leverages Brexit uncertainty to launch in Brussels”