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”
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”
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”
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”
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”
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”
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”
So far the wave of redundancies that have rippled through the UK legal profession has not been replicated across the Atlantic but that may be about to change with news on Monday (24 June) that Weil Gotshal & Manges is to cut around 170 staff.
The New York-based law firm announced the move internally in a package of cuts expected to impact on 60 associates, around 7% of its non-partner lawyer ranks, and 110 support staff, citing what it described as the ‘new normal’ of low growth.
In addition, Weil is to cut the compensation for some partners and the firm said it would be ‘de-emphasising’ its complex commercial litigation practice in Houston and Boston. Continue reading “Coming on like 2009 – Weil Gotshal becomes the first major NY firm to announce job cuts this year”
Linklaters has begun playing the game of Washington D.C. catch up with its Magic Circle rivals after yesterday announcing the hire of two highly respected Bingham McCutchen tax partners.
David Brockway and Jasper Howard have already joined the tax practice of the firm’s Washington office, which re-launched last year after closing in 2002, when it cited no economic justification for a presence in the US capital. Continue reading “Linklaters in double Washington hire after Pari leaves for KPMG”
Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer has recruited former acting head of the criminal division at the Department of Justice (DoJ) to bolster its US white-collar practice.
Matthew Friedrich joins from US litigation firm Boies, Schiller & Flexner, where he had a partner since 2009. Prior to this, he spent 13 years at the DoJ in various leadership roles including the assistant attorney general for the criminal department, where he managed a team of 740 individuals on fraud, intellectual property and cross-border transactions by the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS).
Continue reading “Trophy US hire for Freshfields as it lures former head of DoJ’s crime division”