Hello and welcome to the Fides Weekly Update. Take a look at this week’s key trends, moves and developments in the UK legal sector.
Tweet us @Fides_Search to let us know your thoughts.
1). Eversheds Sutherland becomes first UK law firm to set BAME ethnicity targets
Eversheds Sutherland has introduced targets to improve black, Asian and minority ethnic (BAME) representation in its UK workforce.
By 2025, the firm wants BAME lawyers to make up 10% its UK partnership, doubling the amount of BAME partners currently at 5%.
Across its entire UK workforce, the firm is aiming for 14% BAME representation by 2022, up from 12% currently.
Eversheds has also committed to the voluntary reporting of its ethnicity pay gap data alongside the annual publication of its gender pay gap report, as done by a handful of UK firms this year.
Research by Legal Business in June showed that across the partnerships of the UK’s top 12 firms, just under 7% identified as BAME, reflecting the industry’s attrition problem on BAME talent as firms struggle to reconcile diverse trainee intakes.
This also reflects in lawyer renumeration, with an independent analysis by Fides on finding a median ethnicity pay gap of 16.7%. This jumped to 23.7% when partner pay figures were included.
Being the first in the UK legal sector to set targets for BAME representation represents a strong commitment from Eversheds Sutherland to increase diversity at senior levels. Earlier this year, Baker McKenzie announced its intention to increase the proportion of BAME employees in its London office to 14%. However, the firm did not set a date to reach this target, nor considered BAME representation amongst its partnership.
2). Movers & Shakers
Reputation protection specialist Sam Ahuja, previously a legal director at Schillings, and corporate lawyer Tim Miller, who was a managing associate at Linklaters join the Fintech firm
Ince has hired the former head of Hill Dickinson’s global shipping practice Julian Clark as its new senior partner
Allen & Overy has restated its U.S. ambitions with a boost to its litigation capabilities in New York with the hire of senior managing director Julian Moore from investigative and advisory service firm K2 Intelligence
Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe has further bolstered its London ranks with the hire of a Ropes & Gray finance counsel Rick Hanson. He joins alongside Cooley corporate partner Ed Lukins who announced he was joining the firm earlier this week
Herbert Smith Freehills Banking partner Ian Yeo makes the move to Squire Patton Boggs
RBS’ former litigation head Laura Durrant, who joined White & Case last year, leaves the firm to establish own boutique
Matthew O’Callaghan returns to the Magic Circle firm after 14 years with the Wall Street bank. He will co-head Freshfields Asia financial services practice with Hong Kong partner Royce Miller
Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer has made another addition to its Paris office, with the hire of Linklaters partner Marc Perrone
Allen & Overy has boosted its London financial services regulatory practice with a hire from Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton’s base in the city
Paris-based project finance partner Boris Martor to launch Bird & Bird’s base in the city with his team of one counsel and two associates
CMS Rui Pena & Arnaut, the Portuguese branch of CMS, has bolstered its African efforts with the arrival of a senior partner Galhardo Simões from local firm Miranda e Associado
Senior counsel Betty Cerini from U.S. outfit Hunton Andrews Kurth joins as a partner and co-chair of infrastructure in the Americas
Former Simmons & Simmons partner Vivien Yang joins the U.K. firm, which is in growth mode in Asia
Mergers & Alliances
Office Openings & Closings
Alston & Bird becomes one of the last major US firms to launch a London office, with the hire of former K&L Gates London finance head Andrew Petersen and a team of six other lawyers. The office will be focused on the firm’s established finance and payments practices.
Dentons has hired Soo-Youn Kim as a partner to head its Europe South Korea desk, in order to cater to Korean clients that have become increasingly active in Europe
Inclusion and Diversity
Innovation and Technology