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”

In-house: Skyscanner GC takes flight as Balfour Beatty and National Grid make senior hires

In-house: Skyscanner GC takes flight as Balfour Beatty and National Grid make senior hires

The chief legal officer of high-profile travel metasearch engine Skyscanner, Carolyn Jameson, is stepping down after nearly six years in the top job, while UK infrastructure group Balfour Beatty has turned to Tesco for a new general counsel (GC) ahead of the upcoming retirement of incumbent David Mercer.

National Grid, meanwhile, has hired former Gowling WLG head of energy Derek Goodban as UK GC, replacing Rachael Davidson. Continue reading “In-house: Skyscanner GC takes flight as Balfour Beatty and National Grid make senior hires”

In-house: prominent Centrica GC Dawson to retire as ZPG legal head departs

In-house: prominent Centrica GC Dawson to retire as ZPG legal head departs

The long-serving general counsel (GC) of international energy player Centrica, Grant Dawson, is set to retire after more than 20 years, while the rising star GC of property company ZPG, Ned Staple, has also left.

Dawson, one of the most prominent names in the in-house community, said this week (17 December) he will retire from Centrica on 31 March 2019. He will be replaced by deputy GC, Justine Campbell, who will sit on the company’s executive committee and board. Continue reading “In-house: prominent Centrica GC Dawson to retire as ZPG legal head departs”

The Legal 500 view: We’ll be championing women but we need your help

The Legal 500 view: We’ll be championing women but we need your help

Rankings, by definition, are never going to please everyone (nor should they). But, as the new UK editor of The Legal 500, there’s one issue in particular that I see as an area to progress: diversity.

Women make up more than half of those entering the profession, in general far less than 30% of firms’ partnerships and – for some core areas – they struggle to get recognition in the industry from peers and, yes, the legal publishing sector in general. Continue reading “The Legal 500 view: We’ll be championing women but we need your help”

EasyJet GC completes ITV round-trip for head of legal job

EasyJet GC completes ITV round-trip for head of legal job

ITV has appointed easyJet group general counsel (GC) Kyla Mullins as its new head of legal, filling a role vacated by the experienced Andrew Garard in July.

Mullins returns to ITV having previously been its group legal director between 2000 and 2007. She also had spells as GC at EMI Music and energy company Mitie before joining budget airliner easyJet in 2015. Continue reading “EasyJet GC completes ITV round-trip for head of legal job”

Review of Baker McKenzie #MeToo incident finds ‘shortcomings’ but details scant as sacked Quinn partner finds new firm

Review of Baker McKenzie #MeToo incident finds ‘shortcomings’ but details scant as sacked Quinn partner finds new firm

An under-wraps independent review of Baker McKenzie’s approach to a sexual misconduct incident six years ago has concluded there were ‘a number of shortcomings’ but details are scarce. Meanwhile Mark Hastings, the disputes partner sacked by Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan earlier this year following ‘inappropriate behaviour’, has emerged at Mayfair boutique Grosvenor Law.

Bakers appointed Simmons & Simmons in February  to review the way the firm had handled accusations that one of its London partners sexually assaulted an associate in 2012 . Continue reading “Review of Baker McKenzie #MeToo incident finds ‘shortcomings’ but details scant as sacked Quinn partner finds new firm”

International round-up: HFW opens in Abu Dhabi as Morgan Lewis hires new Tokyo head

International round-up: HFW opens in Abu Dhabi as Morgan Lewis hires new Tokyo head

HFW has added a fifth office in the Middle East, launching in Abu Dhabi after a double-partner hire from US firm Reed Smith.

Finance and corporate partners Vince Gordon and Tania de Swart have made the switch, with Gordon previously acting as Reed Smith’s managing partner for the Middle East. Continue reading “International round-up: HFW opens in Abu Dhabi as Morgan Lewis hires new Tokyo head”