Four law firms announce mergers

by |
Four law firms announce mergers
Four UK law firms have announced mergers amid increasing competition in the legal profession.

Addleshaw Goddard and Scotland’s HBJ Gateley will merge to become the UK’s 15th largest law firm by 1st June 2017.

Addleshaws is the larger of the two, with three UK offices and five international locations including Hong Kong and Singapore. The combination will create an international law firm with 230 partners and more than 1,100 lawyers.

The firm says that the merger serves Addleshaw’s plans for expansion both in the UK and internationally.

Meanwhile DWF, which has 15 domestic offices and 3 international locations, is to combine with Northern Ireland’s C&H Jefferson, a 100-year old commercial firm which has a focus on the banking and finance sector.

Four of the Belfast-based firm’s partners will become partners within DWF when the merger goes live on 1st December 2016.
KWM set to lose another four partners
A team of four partners from King & Wood Mallesons in Europe is set to join Goodwin Proctor alongside former funds head Michael Halford.

Halford announced his departure last month following the attempted recapitalization of the struggling EUME arm of the verein and will now be joined by some of his team, The Lawyer reports.

Neither firm has commented on the report.
Entertainment lawyer moves to Latham & Watkins
Lex Kuo has joined the entertainment, sports and media practice of Latham & Watkins.

Kuo is qualified in California and New York and is a registered foreign lawyer in Hong Kong, which is where he is currently based before a planned move to Beijing in 2017.

He’s very familiar with Beijing having joined Latham from Covington & Burling’s office there and previously working in-house at The Walt Disney Company in the city, where he advised on legal matters related to Disney’s local content; and as host and producer of music radio programs and syndicated radio shows. 
California lawyers facing sex ban under bar rules
An overhaul of ethics rules by America’s largest state bar association has not gone down well with some lawyers.

The State Bar of California has proposed several changes, the first in 30 years, but it is the complete ban on lawyers having sex with clients that has upset some.

Currently, lawyers are banned from coercing clients into a sexual relationship but the further ban would bring California into line with many other US states with proponents saying the nature of a lawyer-client relationship makes any sexual encounter coercive.

However, the LA Times reports that opponents say the move is unnecessary and could violate constitutional privacy rights.