Hello and welcome to the Fides Weekly Update. Take a look at this week’s key trends, moves and developments in legal and compliance.
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1). Cubism Law becomes first New Law venture to enter Administration
Following mass lawyer departures to rivals Keystone Law and Gunnercooke, new law outfit Cubism Law entered administration on Wednesday, with insolvency specialist Quantuma LLP and Pinsent Masons handling the wind-down.
This follows news that emerged last month that a 16-lawyer team departed to join Gunnercooke, with an additional six consultants moving to Keystone Law. Since then, other Cubism lawyers have departed to boutiques around London, including charity specialist Bates Wells Braithwaite, commercial outfit Laytons, white-collar boutique Eldwick Law in Mayfair and Marylebone-based Kyriakides & Braier.
The new law market in which Cubism was based has expanded in recent years and comprises non-traditional law firms looking to offer more affordable legal services using innovative internal structures and enhanced technology.
Established in 2007 by ex-Fieldfisher disputes partner Andrew Pena, the firm was set up to recruit senior lawyers with established clients and provide the branding and office infrastructure they needed.
The consultancy basis upon which Cubism operated saw lawyers have oversight of their own practices, and the implementation of a fee-sharing model which allowed consultants to retain a proportion of the income they made.
However, the firm faced a tough few years financially, with records showing debts at the firm increased from £1.6m to £2.3m for the 2018 financial year. The average monthly number of people employed by the company also increased from 29 to 38.
This shows that despite the innovation and efficiency displayed by these firms to support clients, they are still prone to falling short in the highly competitive UK legal market.
2). Movers & Shakers
Former King & Wood Mallesons global managing partner Stuart Fuller will soon lead the KPMG’s worldwide legal offering, which includes 2,300 legal professionals across 76 jurisdictions
Andrew Lilley, who was the City firm’s managing partner for five years until 2015, will be the head of the employment law practice at the Big Four operation
Antoine Sarailler advises French and international financial institutions on the structuring, setting-up and marketing of institutional and retail investment funds, as well as on a wide range of regulatory matters
Andrea Novarese, the European head of Latham’s automotive industry group, and M&A partner Maria Cristina Storchi are set to join White & Case’s Milan office
Jean-Paule Castagno joins from Clifford Chance, where she was of counsel
Anne Vrignaud, who advises on acquisition finance, real estate finance and debt restructuring work, is the fifth partner to join King & Spalding’s Paris office since mid-2018
Pinsent Masons’ Singapore office joint head Jon Howes and senior associate Sean Hardy join Clyde & Co as partners
Inclusion and Diversity
Technology and Innovation