Tech M&A activity set for 18-year high says Baker McKenzie

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Tech M&A activity set for 18-year high says Baker McKenzie
Mergers and acquisitions in the technology sector should rise to U$415 billion in 2018, the highest level since 2000, Baker McKenzie says.

The law firm’s report in association with Oxford Economics highlights transformations in the sector including disruptive cloud, mobile, social and big data analytics technologies.

Last year saw a rise in tech deals to $371 billion, but the forecast is for this year’s activity to be flat and perhaps down to around $338 billion, before next year’s predicted increase.

"We are clearly still in volatile times but deal-making is there to be done,” said Baker McKenzie’s global chair Paul Rawlinson. “Strong corporate balance sheets, cheap finance and moderate growth across markets and key sectors all point to an improving M&A run-rate later in 2017, after a cautious first quarter, and a significant uptick in 2018.”

However, he added that the forecasts hinged on a “benign” Trump on trade and a “soft-ish” Bexit deal; both of which are looking questionable currently.

International firm elects new chairman
Partners at Watson Farley & Williams have elected a new chairman to succeed Frank Dunne after 13 years.

London partner Nigel Thomas will take up the role after 30 years with the firm. Thomas is one of the world’s leading maritime lawyers, in common with Dunne who heads the firm’s US maritime practice in New York.

Managing Partners Chris Lowe and Lothar Wegener added: “Frank has been an inspirational Chairman and we would like to thank him for his commitment and hard work. We welcome Nigel to his new role. He will be a fantastic Chairman and ambassador for WFW”.

UK Supreme Court eyes diversity with recruitment drive
The UK Supreme Court is looking to replace some of its retiring justices with a newly-launched recruitment drive.

The court says that it is keen to hear from a wide range of applicants “particularly those who will increase the diversity of the court.” Applicants must however have held high office for at least two years, to have satisfied the judicial appointment eligibility condition on a 15-year basis or to have been a qualifying practitioner for at least 15 years. 

Along with two new justices, the court also requires a new president to replace Lord Neuberger, who was recently presiding over the UK government’s bid to use executive power to proceed with the Brexit process.