Tag: clifford chance

Management merry-go-round as CC, Mayer Brown and Watson Farley name new leaders

Capping off a week of significant change in big law’s C-suites, Clifford Chance has appointed financial markets partner Charles Adams as its next managing partner.

Adams will succeed incumbent Matthew Layton on 1 May 2022, when he will commence a four-year term. For his part, Layton was re-appointed for a second term in 2017, after improving operational rigour, bolstering partner performance and ushering in shake-ups to CC’s historically restrictive lockstep model . During Layton’s second term, CC boosted revenues by 35% and profit per equity partner by 65%.

Adams has been CC’s regional managing partner in continental Europe since 2018, and in that time has also sat on the firm’s executive leadership group. Prior to this role, he served as office managing partner for CC’s Italian offices between 2007 and 2014. In winning the support of the CC partnership, Adams fought off challenges from London structured finance partner Jessica Littlewood and Singapore-based project finance partner Nick Wong.

Adams said: ‘At Clifford Chance we have all the ingredients to continue to shape the legal industry: an outstanding global platform, deep and broad market-leading expertise and a strong, dynamic and ambitious culture. The past few years have shown what we can achieve, and I see many opportunities to work with partners and all my colleagues across Clifford Chance to build on that success. At the heart of all we do will be ensuring that we are the absolute first choice for our clients and for the best talent in the market.’

Elsewhere, Mayer Brown on Tuesday (14 December) announced that banking and finance partner Dominic Griffiths will succeed Sally Davies as London managing partner. Davies, who has held the position since 2017, will be stepping down at the end of the year to focus on her responsibilities as part of the firm’s eight-lawyer global management committee.

Joining Mayer Brown in 2005, Griffiths (pictured) served as co-leader of the firm’s global banking and finance practice since 2014. He also has valuable experience with fostering junior talent, thanks to his well-established position as Mayer Brown’s graduate recruitment partner.

A 2019 Legal Business Life during law feature on Griffiths saw him discuss, among many other things, his annoyance at ‘boring lawyers’, his love of Winston Churchill, and his general bon viveur approach to life.

Jon Van Gorp, global chair of Mayer Brown, described Griffith’s elevation as ‘great news for the London office.’ He added: ‘He is a talented leader, whose unique skills combine great knowledge of the firm, our clients and the London market. I am confident that he will build on Sally’s work to ensure that we continue to thrive.’

Speaking to Legal Business, Griffiths said: ‘I’m incredibly honoured to be chosen. I have been at the firm for a long period of time, and I am keen to transfer my previous focus on the finance practice into the future growth of the wider firm.

‘This will include outward-facing engagement with City institutions and consolidating our incredible network of banking institutions, funds and corporates. But it will also mean promoting the brand of the firm, which I consider to be one of a small handful of elite transatlantic practices with a broader network in Asia and South America. I would define our future approach to promoting our strong internal talent and attracting high quality lateral hires as “measured but serious growth”‘.

It is also an end of an era at Watson Farley & Williams, with longtime leadership duo Chris Lowe and Lothar Wegener stepping down as co-managing partners. The firm has opted to shuffle its management structure by appointing George Paleokrassas and Lindsey Keeble as its new senior partner and managing partner respectively for a five-year term starting in February 2022.

The outgoing Lowe and Wegener took on their roles in 2014, and can be credited with largely improving the firm’s form by focusing on its rigid sector specialisms , despite less favourable financial results of late. This summer, the firm recorded a 1% dip in revenue to just over £180m.

New senior partner Paleokrassas has substantial experience at the firm, having led WFW’s Athens office since 2005, building it up to become the largest international law firm in Greece. He is also a well-regarded shipping finance specialist with experience both in Greece and internationally.

Keeble previously headed up the firm’s London assets and structured finance group covering aviation, maritime and rail – a team which has now grown to 27 partners. She has also led the firm’s maritime sector since 2013 and is a highly-respected operator in that industry.

Keeble commented: ‘George and I both recognise the immense responsibility of our new positions and of ensuring the continued strength and longevity of the business, where our people have the chance to develop, express their views and ideas and have the opportunity to grow and ultimately see their careers fulfilled within the firm.’

On the lateral hire front, Linklaters has recaptured a pair of partners to boost its corporate and financial regulation practices. In Hong Kong, M&A and private equity specialist Betty Yap re-joins the firm from Paul Weiss, where she was China managing partner. She has extensive experience in cross-border M&A, strategic investments, joint ventures, special situations transactions and foreign direct investments involving China.

And in London, Carl Fernandes has returned to Linklaters from Latham & Watkins, bringing with him a practice focused on advising a range of financial services clients on complex regulatory issues. Linklaters’ Asia managing partner William Liu said: ‘The hire of these prominent industry veterans reflects our commitment to further enhancing our truly “world class” client offering. The wealth of experience they will bring to our well-established private equity/M&A and financial regulation practices, will enable us to provide unrivalled expertise to our clients to support them in maximising the opportunities in this diverse market.’

Fieldfisher has launched a new commercial crime practice via the hires of barristers Quinton Newcomb and Shiv Haria-Shah from boutique set Fulcrum Chambers. Newcomb is a highly experienced commercial crime, investigations and compliance specialist, who can boast representing Rolls-Royce, Alstom, Rio Tinto and ENRC in high-profile Serious Fraud Office investigations.

Haria-Shah additionally brings expertise in conducting internal investigations, and advising and training corporate clients on good governance and compliance procedures, helping them to guard against regulatory risk.

Outlining their ambitions, Newcomb said: ‘Fieldfisher is committed to building a market-leading practice, handling the most significant commercial crime, investigations and compliance work globally, with a dedicated and highly specialised team. I look forward to working with both my new and longstanding teammates to realise this goal.’

Finally, Milbank has strengthened its London antitrust capabilities with the hire of Andrea Hamilton, who joins from the Brussels office of McDermott Will & Emery. She brings nearly two decades of global experience in antitrust aspects of mergers and acquisitions, joint ventures, litigation, compliance and counseling, as well as foreign direct investment.

Alexander Rinne, head of Milbank’s European antitrust practice, stated: ‘As the UK continues to extend the scope and rigour of its foreign investment control regime, Andrea’s expertise will be essential for clients to effectively navigate this regulatory hurdle.’

tom.baker@legalease.co.uk

This article first appeared on Legal Business.

CC Live: Together We Are One Firm & a chance to win a free 1-1 coaching session with a Clifford Chance recruiter

Date:  Thursday 28th October

Time:  4-6pm UK/5-7pm CEST/11-1pm EDT

Registration link: https://opportunities.cliffordchance.com/jobs/together-we-are-one-firm-28th-october-2021-4586

Clifford Chance would like to send you a personalised invitation to an incredible event we have on Thursday 28th October which will showcase how a law firm works collaboratively on commercial and pro bono matters. This is an unmissable event for anyone who wants to understand what working at a truly global law firm can look like and is interested in finding out more about the opportunities available

We are teaming up with several of our offices across the UK, Europe and the US to bring to you this free, virtual, event showcasing the collaborative nature of our Firm. You’ll have the opportunity to hear from lawyers across multiple jurisdictions, talking about their involvement in one of our biggest cross-jurisdictional deals to date. There will also be chance to hear about the scale and breadth of our pro bono work headed up by Tom Dunn, with lawyers from across Europe who will provide a good insight into the range of work we’re currently involved in that focuses on issues such as LGBT+ rights, war crimes, human rights and children’s rights.

Following the panel discussion, you can join a networking booth with the speakers and ask them any questions about their presentations and you’ll also have the chance to network with the HR teams and some representatives from your region. There will be representatives from our offices in Paris, Frankfurt, Madrid, Dusseldorf and Luxembourg to name a few!

If you register and attend the session you could be in for a chance to win a 30 minute one-on-one coaching session with a senior member of the recruitment team from your region.

Dealwatch: Latham and Linklaters bet on £2.2bn William Hill disposal as £1.2bn easyJet rights issue flies

While it could hardly be said to have slowed down over summer, the deal market has nevertheless ramped up since the beginning of September with easyJet’s £1.2bn rights issue and Caesars’ £2.2bn disposal of William Hill’s international business among the more high-profile recent transactions.

Latham & Watkins and Linklaters won lead roles as 888 Holdings agreed to acquire the international business – the non-US assets – of William Hill at an enterprise value of £2.2bn.

The deal was the result of a hotly-contested auction process run by Deutsche Bank and followed on from the closing in April this year of Caesars Entertainment’s £2.9bn takeover of William Hill with a view to building out its US business, a buyout originally announced in October 2020.

Ed Barnett, the Latham relationship partner for 888 who led on the deal, told Legal Business: ‘This was a very competitive process. Caesars had made it clear to the market that it was going to sell the non-US assets of William Hill, so it was expected to be competitive. Deutsche Bank ran a very successful auction. We understand bidders were mostly comprised of private equity houses but also some private equity and strategic combinations. It’s obviously a very well-known, longstanding brand and so it is a real asset in the space and once the deal closes it’s expected to put 888 in a strong position as a significantly bulked-up business.’

Barnett was also bullish on the wider market outlook: ‘There’s certainly been a lot of activity in the gaming sector in the UK and US and you’re going to continue to see transactional activity, SPAC-related deals and tie-ups between US and European/UK businesses in the gaming space. As individual states in the US relax gaming-related regulations we anticipate more activity. It’s a very hot sector in which Latham has been, and will continue to be, very active.’

Latham corporate partner Sam Newhouse also advised on the deal, while Anna Ngo dealt with capital markets matters, Jay Sadanandan and James Burnett provided finance advice and Jonathan Parker gave antitrust advice. Employment and benefits matters were handled by partner Sarah Gadd, IP by Deborah Kirk, tax by Helen Lethaby and real estate matters by Quentin Gwyer.

The Latham team advised in conjunction with 888’s long-term counsel, Israeli firm Herzog Fox & Neeman, whose team was led by managing partner Gil White. The Linklaters team advising Caesars was led by London corporate partner Iain Fenn.

Meanwhile, the £1.2bn rights issue of easyJet also piqued market interest and provided instructions for teams from Herbert Smith Freehills, Allen & Overy and Clifford Chance.

The rights issue, the largest such transaction in the UK this year, will see funds raised to increase the resilience of easyJet’s balance sheet and to fund strategic investments as air travel recovers from the Covid-19 pandemic.

The Herbert Smith team advising easyJet was led by head of UK equity capital markets Mike Flockhart and global co-head of corporate Stephen Wilkinson. Head of US securities Tom O’Neill and counsel Dennis Hermreck provided US securities advice. The easyJet legal team was led by GC Maaike de Bie.

HSF’s Mike Flockhart noted of the transaction: ‘easyJet’s rights issue demonstrates that the markets will continue to endorse companies with solid fundamentals, effective leadership and strong brands, notwithstanding the impact of Covid.’

A&O is advising Greenhill and BNP Paribas as joint sponsors; BNP Paribas, Credit Suisse and Goldman Sachs as joint global co-ordinators; and Santander and Société Générale as joint bookrunners on the rights issue, with James Roe and Jeff Hendrickson leading the team.

The firm is also advising BNP Paribas, Credit Suisse, Goldman Sachs, Santander and Société Générale as lenders under easyJet’s new revolving credit facility, announced simultaneously with the rights issue, led by A&O’s head of aviation finance, Paul Nelson.

A&O has advised easyJet’s financiers on a number of matters since the start of the pandemic, including acting for the underwriters on the company’s £400m equity cashbox placing in June 2020, advising UK Export Finance (UKEF) and the lenders on $1.87bn combined UKEF and EDG commercial facility in January – the first-ever secured transaction under the UKEF Export Development Guarantee scheme, and advising the dealers and trustee on easyJet’s £1.2bn bond issue in February 2021.

CC acted for easyJet on matters relating to shareholder enfranchisement with a team led by partners Daud Kahn and Melissa Fogarty.

Elsewhere and continuing the transport theme, RAC and its shareholders – including funds managed or advised by CVC Capital Partners and GIC – sold a stake in the UK breakdown assistance provider to Silver Lake.

Together with GIC and CVC, Silver Lake will support RAC in its goal of further improving its digital capabilities and leveraging its data to provide more innovative products and services for RAC members and partners to accelerate growth.

Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer advised longstanding clients RAC and the selling shareholders with a team led by partners Alastair Brown and Charles Hayes.

Travers Smith acted for the management team of RAC with private equity and financial sponsors Partner Adam Orr leading and tax advice provided by partners Hannah Manning and Russell Warren.

Meanwhile Baker McKenzie advised Silver Lake on the acquisition of its stake, led by partner David Allen, with the team also including finance partner Matt Cox and antitrust partners Luis Gomez and Sam Mobley.

Finally, funds advised by Apax Partners and Warburg Pincus acquired T-Mobile Netherlands Holding from Deutsche Telekom and Tele2, giving the company an enterprise value of €5.1bn.

Freshfields and Simpson Thacher advised WP/AP Telecom Holdings IV, an entity jointly controlled by funds advised by Apax Partners and Warburg Pincus, on the acquisition. The Freshfields team was led by partners Markus Paul and Shawn der Kinderen, and James Howe led the London Simpson Thacher team, with Ian Barratt acting on the debt aspects of the acquisition.

nathalie.tidman@legalease.co.uk

This news story first appeared on Legal Business.