Taylor Wessing loses former insurance head to Edwards Wildman in second US raid

Taylor Wessing loses former insurance head to Edwards Wildman in second US raid

In the second US foray into Taylor Wessing’s partner pool this month, the top 20 firm has lost its former head of international insurance & reinsurance James Crabtree, who joins Amlaw 100 firm Edwards Wildman’s London office as a partner.

The insurance disputes lawyer joins Wildman’s 15-strong insurance team in the City. Prior to joining Taylor Wessing almost eight years ago, Crabtree served as head of insurance and reinsurance disputes at Pinsent Masons, and was also previously a partner at Stephenson Harwood. Continue reading “Taylor Wessing loses former insurance head to Edwards Wildman in second US raid”

Texas launch – Arnold & Porter opens Houston presence with four-partner Hogan Lovells litigation team

Texas launch – Arnold & Porter opens Houston presence with four-partner Hogan Lovells litigation team

Washington-headquartered Global 100 law firm Arnold & Porter has become the latest to launch in Houston with the hire of a four-strong litigation team from Hogan Lovells.

Thad Dameris, the former managing partner of Hogan Lovells’ Houston office, has left the transatlantic firm alongside litigation partners Trevor Jefferies, Christopher Odell and David Weiner, leaving a remaining partnership of six. Continue reading “Texas launch – Arnold & Porter opens Houston presence with four-partner Hogan Lovells litigation team”

Shearman settles controlling stake in Co-operative Bank for US hedge funds

Behind the scenes of the first-ever creditor bail-in of a bank in the UK.

Last month The Co-operative Group’s £1.5bn recapitalisation plan for its beleaguered banking arm unravelled as subordinated bondholder activists advised by Shearman & Sterling negotiated hard and settled on a controlling stake of 70% of the shares of the bank.

Under the agreement, bondholders including US hedge funds led by Aurelius Capital Management and Silver Point Capital – dubbed the LT2 Group as they hold subordinated bonds – will receive 70% of the shares in The Co-operative Bank plus £100m in newly-issued securities. They will also inject £125m of fresh capital into the bank while parent company The Co-operative Group will retain a 30% stake. Continue reading “Shearman settles controlling stake in Co-operative Bank for US hedge funds”

Guest post: The United States of Innovation – viewed from Wall Street, it could be a whole lot better

Guest post: The United States of Innovation – viewed from Wall Street, it could be a whole lot better

The other night I was fortunate enough to be invited to attend the FT’s Innovative Lawyers 2013 US awards ceremony. (The report was published here the next day in the paper, and you can download a PDF.)

Since this is now an annual event – this year marks the fourth time they’ve done it in the US – it’s an occasion to step back and see how the conversation has evolved. Here’s the telling final paragraph of last year’s introductory piece, following a lengthy series of anecdotes from managing partners about ‘buggy whips’, ‘new market dynamics’, ‘requiring behaviour to change’, ‘the wow factor’, and ‘adapting to the moving cheese’:

All the chairmen of the top firms talk about change and the need to ‘not fight the last war’. And yet at the same time they cannot, they say, see their firms being all that different in five years’ time.

Continue reading “Guest post: The United States of Innovation – viewed from Wall Street, it could be a whole lot better”

Consolidation update – Dentons and McKenna chiefs back tie-up with November partner vote to follow

Consolidation update – Dentons and McKenna chiefs back tie-up with November partner vote to follow

Dentons looks set to secure another substantive merger after management of the firm and US suitor McKenna Long & Aldridge this week approved proposals for its mooted union, clearing the way for partners to vote on the tie-up in November.

With both having confirmed the merger discussions in late September, the impending union looks set to create a firm with more than 3,100 lawyers around the world and push revenues through £1bn.

Continue reading “Consolidation update – Dentons and McKenna chiefs back tie-up with November partner vote to follow”

Comment: ‘2006 and all that – an oh-so-familiar mess at Linklaters

Comment: ‘2006 and all that – an oh-so-familiar mess at Linklaters

The most hackneyed cliché of the pundit is history repeating itself, a claim that rarely holds up upon closer examination. But with the recent departure of Linklaters’ private equity co-heads Ian Bagshaw and Richard Youle for White & Case, well, sometimes you just can’t escape the past.

Personality clashes, a mid-market practice not gelling with Linklaters’ M&A business, finance supposedly not supporting sponsor clients, prolonged rumours over exit talks, and, finally, a dramatic exit to a big spending US rival; yes, it’s 2006 all over again when Graham White and Raymond McKeeve quit for Kirkland & Ellis.

Continue reading “Comment: ‘2006 and all that – an oh-so-familiar mess at Linklaters”

Regulatory squeeze – JP Morgan sees rare loss after setting aside $9.2bn in legal fees

Regulatory squeeze – JP Morgan sees rare loss after setting aside $9.2bn in legal fees

As if any reminder was needed of the impact that increased regulation and the continuing fallout from the financial crisis is having on the banking community JP Morgan on Friday (11 October) reported a $380m third quarter loss after setting aside $9.2bn to cover its legal fees.

The results are the first quarterly loss for the bank in eight years, with chairman and CEO Jamie Dimon claiming that its ‘strong underlying performance’ this term was ‘marred by large legal expense.’

JP Morgan last reported a quarterly loss in 2004, also as a result of legal expenses, in that case related to WorldCom and Enron. Continue reading “Regulatory squeeze – JP Morgan sees rare loss after setting aside $9.2bn in legal fees”

Latham, Matheson, Davis Polk and Arthur Cox close $8.5bn Actavis Warner Chilcott acquisition after competition fears

Latham, Matheson, Davis Polk and Arthur Cox close $8.5bn Actavis Warner Chilcott acquisition after competition fears

Despite fears that the US federal regulator would block pharma giant Actavis Inc’s $8.5bn acquisition of Dublin-based Warner Chilcott the deal, which saw Latham & Watkins and Matheson advise Actavis opposite Davis Polk & Wardwell and Arthur Cox, has closed this month.

The Federal Trade Commission at the end of September settled charges that the deal would be anticompetitive, after Actavis agreed to sell its rights and assets related to three oral contraceptives and an osteoporosis treatment. Continue reading “Latham, Matheson, Davis Polk and Arthur Cox close $8.5bn Actavis Warner Chilcott acquisition after competition fears”

IBA 2013: ‘We need to be the tip of the spear’ – the global anti-corruption push is gathering pace

IBA 2013: ‘We need to be the tip of the spear’ – the global anti-corruption push is gathering pace

With a packed programme at the International Bar Association’s (IBA) annual conference in Boston, working out which of the many (and sometimes dry) debates to attend is a challenge, but one of the stand-outs from the first day was the discussion on anti-corruption.

That this session was packed is unsurprising; one of the major forces currently shaping the legal profession at a global level has been the sustained crackdown on corruption in many forms, be it graft, tax avoidance or cartels. Continue reading “IBA 2013: ‘We need to be the tip of the spear’ – the global anti-corruption push is gathering pace”

US/UK hires: Mayer Brown boosts London securitisation team as Herbert Smith hires New York financial services litigator

US/UK hires: Mayer Brown boosts London securitisation team as Herbert Smith hires New York financial services litigator

Mayer Brown is boosting its English law securitisation capability with the hire of former Mayer Brown lawyer Richard Todd, who re-joins the firm from Berwin Leighton Paisner (BLP) alongside Allen & Overy banking associate David O’Connor.

Todd will work on domestic and international structured financings alongside former colleague and head of the banking and finance division Dominic Griffiths, as well as senior securitisation partner Kevin Hawken. Continue reading “US/UK hires: Mayer Brown boosts London securitisation team as Herbert Smith hires New York financial services litigator”