Llinks ends 3-year HK association with Vivien Teu & Co

Shanghai law firm Llinks Law Offices has ended its three-year-long association with boutique Hong Kong law firm Vivien Teu & Co, and entered into a new tie-up with Dennis Fong & Co.

Following a string of departures, Vivien Teu, which had 14 lawyers in April, now has just two: Founding partner Vivien Teu and senior associate Christina Suen.  Llinks and Vivien Teu established their association in April 2015, shortly after the Hong Kong firm was launched.

Llinks said that back then the two firms had the same vision of offering specialist and one-stop China and Hong Kong legal services with a focus on funds, asset management, IPOs and M&A.  “However, we decided to terminate the association as we found we no longer shared the same vision,” said David Yu, managing partner of Llinks.

Dennis Fong, the new alliance firm, was formed after a five-lawyer team led by Fong left Viven Teu & Co. Fong specializes in IPOs, M&A and general corporate finance and commercial matters, which is in line with Llinks’ main areas of practice in Hong Kong.  The firm now has nine lawyers, including two partners.

Managing partner David Yu said Dennis Fong was on the lookout for partner and associate-level hires in four practice areas: Corporate/M&A, capital markets, asset management and dispute resolution.

Ashurst celebrates the ‘First 100 Years of Women in Law’

International law firm Ashurst marks the centenary of women in law, in support of the First 100 Years initiative, with a photomosaic portrait of Ada Evans, the first Australian woman to graduate with a Bachelor of Laws.

The First 100 Years is an inspirational history project, supported by the Law Society of NSW and Women Lawyers Association of NSW, charting the journey of women in law since enactment of enabling legislation throughout Australia in the early 1900s.

This year marks the 100th anniversary of the Women’s Legal Status Act 1918 (NSW) which allowed women to practise as lawyers and to stand for parliament for the first time in NSW. Laws were changing throughout Australia from the early 1900s onwards. Victoria was the first state to allow women to practice law in 1903, with other states following soon after.

Commenting on the project and the launch of the photomosaic, Ashurst partner Sarah Dulhunty said:

“We are delighted to have partnered with the First 100 Years project team on this initiative to recognise and celebrate the contribution women have made to the legal profession. The photomosaic initiative has been a great way to mark this significant centenary and reflects our continued support for progressing gender equality within the profession. Thank you to all our staff, clients and affiliates who participated in this fantastic initiative.”

White Case advises JBIC on loan for acquisition of Shire plc

Global law firm White & Case LLP has advised the Japan Bank for International Cooperation (JBIC) in relation to its loan agreement with Takeda Pharmaceutical Company Limited (Takeda), amounting up to US$3.7 billion (JBIC’s portion), to finance part of the funds required for acquiring Shire plc (Shire) in Ireland.

The total amount required for acquisition is approximately £46 billion. The loan is co-financed by private financial institutions, bringing the total co-financing amount to US$15.7 billion equivalent. The loan supports the overseas business deployment of Takeda by providing necessary long-term foreign currency funds for M&A by the Japanese company, assisting its overseas expansion of existing business, as well as new business deployment, and contributing to maintaining and strengthening the international competitiveness of Japanese industries.

Through the acquisition of Shire, Takeda aims to strengthen two focus areas – gastroenterology and neuroscience – as well as establishing a leading position in pharmaceuticals for rare diseases and plasma-derived therapies, which can accelerate transformation to a global R&D-driven pharmaceutical company headquartered in Japan. In addition, Shire has a large sales proportion in the US market, which is the largest market in the world and projected to continue to grow at a high rate. The acquisition will therefore drive further growth overseas and is expected to make Takeda one of the top ten pharmaceutical companies in the world based on sales.

The White & Case team which advised on the transaction was led by partners Toshio Dokei and Simon Collins (both Tokyo), and included partners Philip Broke and Jacqueline Evans (both London), supported by associates Keisuke Nishimura (Tokyo) and Christopher Beardmore (London).

London City

White & Case’s London rampage continues with finance hire

White & Case has continued its hiring spree in the City, this time calling in Taylor Wessing’s financial services regulatory head Jonathan Rogers. This is the first US firm Rogers has worked at, having spent 10 years at Taylor Wessing, and seven years as an associate at Hogan Lovells before that.

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Up to 40 staff may be leaving Reed Smith in HK

Denise Jong, the APAC managing partner of Reed Smith Richards Butler, has confirmed that up to 40 people could be leaving the firm soon, including partners, fee-earners and secretaries.

While the exact number is still up in the air, Jong confirmed to Leaders in Law that the firm is aware of the intentions of David Morrison and five other partners from the firm’s Hong Kong-based disputes team to join MinterEllison in January next year.

The other partners are believed to be William Barber, Alex Kaung, Eddy So, Nathan Dentice, and Desmond Yu. MinterEllison could not be reached for comment. In a media release supplied to ALB, Jong said that conflicts in any law firm “as large and complex as Reed Smith” are a fact of life.

“It is inevitable that, over time, certain representations taken by the firm pose issues for litigators whose clients might need to be adverse to an industry focus of the firm,” she said.

“Our Hong Kong office has a strong and diverse litigation group, as well as a leading corporate group in Hong Kong and Asia. Notwithstanding the departures, we will continue to have 20 partners and, in total, about 100 fee earners in our Hong Kong office, one of four offices in Asia.”

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DLA Piper’s 2018 Global Technology Summit

On Day 1 of DLA Piper’s 2018 Global Technology Summit, Louis Lehot, co-managing partner of DLA Piper’s Silicon Valley office and co-chair of the firm’s Emerging Growth and Venture Capital practice, gave a shout-out to the “super heroes of tech” while leading a discussion on the “Rule of 40,” what to anticipate in an exit and the role of talent in an acquisition, among other hot topics. #DLAPiperTech18

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Lawyer Affinity Groups at Latham & Watkins

Our lawyers are more than just lawyers. They’re also parents, runners, musicians, bakers, high-altitude climbers, and so much more, and we’re proud to support their multifaceted identities through our firmwide affinity groups.

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Clifford Chance Graduates: Are You Ready?

As a leading law firm, we recruit the best talent from around the world. It is essential to our commercial strategy that we foster an inclusive culture so that we can provide our clients with the best advice.

Our clients are made up of a diverse range of businesses. To find ever better solutions to our clients’ most important challenges, we must build the best team, made up of people from a wide range of backgrounds, which is nurtured and developed in an inclusive and collegiate environment.

We are committed to increasing diversity within the firm and report yearly on the inclusion and diversity commitments we have made. These include our target of improving the gender balance in our partnership, so that women make up at least 30%, and our undertaking to improve ethnic diversity within the firm.

We are focused on promoting social mobility, particularly through our London recruitment process, and are involved in a number of initiatives, which aim to attract and support employees from less advantaged backgrounds.

Inclusion and diversity is not just a commercial imperative for the firm. It is also important to our people, many of whom are involved in internal diversity networks, such as Arcus, our global LGBT+ network.

The work we have been doing at both a global and a local level was recognised when we were ranked in 2017 among the top 5 UK best employers for LGBT+ colleagues in the 2017 Stonewall Workplace Equality Index. We were also recognised in the Asian Legal Business Diversity List 2016. Our managing partner, Matthew Layton, features on the 2016 OUTstanding Leading Ally Executives List, presented by the Financial Times. The list recognises leading individuals in business who have made a significant contribution to LGBT+ inclusion.

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Mayer Brown’s global promotions hit seven-year high

Mayer Brown is to make up 34 lawyers to partner next year, its highest global round since 2012 when 39 promotions took effect.

Four City partners have been made up; employment lawyer Giles Bywater, banking and finance lawyer Merryn Craske and litigators James Morris and James Whitaker. Morris trained at Nabarro and Craske at Baker McKenzie, with the other two being Mayer Brown lifers.

Elsewhere, the firm promoted five lawyers in Hong Kong – the most since 2011 – and six in Washington, DC, a 12-year high.

Last year Mayer Brown also made up four partners in the City, halting a five-year run when no more than two UK lawyers were promoted at once.

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Mayer Brown partner promotions 2019: in full

Europe

  • Giles Bywater, employment, London
  • Merryn Craske, banking & finance, London
  • James Morris, dispute resolution, London
  • James Whitaker, dispute resolution, London
  • Maud Bischoff, real estate, Paris
  • Régine Goury, employment, Paris

USA

  • Marina Aronchik, corporate, Chicago
  • Christopher Chubb, banking & finance, Chicago
  • Aaron Gavant, restructuring, Chicago
  • Jennifer Kratochvil, banking & finance, Chicago
  • Marjorie Margolies, tax controversy, Chicago
  • Richard Nowak, dispute resolution, Chicago
  • Claire Gibson Ragen, corporate, Chicago
  • Stephanie Vasconcellos, employment, Chicago
  • Michael Word, intellectual property, Chicago
  • Joaquin M. C de Baca, restructuring, New York
  • Colin Carley, corporate, New York
  • Geoffrey Collins, tax controversy, New York
  • Michael Rayfield, dispute resolution, New York
  • Michael Weiss, real estate, New York
  • Peter Wolf, corporate, Northern California
  • James “Tripp” Fussell III, intellectual property, Washington DC
  • Daniel Jones, dispute resolution, Washington DC
  • Justin Ilhwan Park, dispute resolution, Washington DC
  • Oral Pottinger, dispute resolution, Washington DC
  • Tori Shinohara, financial services regulatory & enforcement, Washington DC
  • Jad Taha, corporate, Washington DC

Asia

  • Pheona S.Y. Chow, real estate, Hong Kong
  • Cindy W.S. Kao, corporate, Hong Kong
  • Alvin L.Y. Yeung, real estate, Hong Kong
  • Vivien S.K. Yip, dispute resolution, Hong Kong
  • Dion K.Y. Yu, banking & finance, Hong Kong

South America

  • Thais Bandeira de Mello Rodrigues, tax, Rio de Janeiro
  • Débora H. Yanasse, corporate, Rio de Janeiro

Fellow US firm Pillsbury also announced its promotions this morning, with one London lawyer made up: data protection, IP and international trade specialist Steven Farmer. He joins 12 other colleagues, all US-based, who have joined Pillsbury’s partner ranks

Pillsbury partner promotions 2019: in full

  • Steven Farmer, global sourcing & technology transactions, London
  • Brian Nash, intellectual property, Austin
  • Gurpreet Bal, corporate, Silicon Valley
  • William Fork, Energy, Washington, DC
  • Alexander Ginsberg, government contracts & disputes, Northern Virginia
  • Matthew Jeweler, dispute resolution, Washington, DC
  • Breann Robowski, tax, Silicon Valley
  • Aryeh Kaplan, dispute resolution, Miami
  • Jessica Lutrin, executive compensation & benefits, New York
  • Melissa Jones-Prus, finance, New York
  • Ngai Zhang, intellectual property, Northern Virginia
  • Meighan O’Reardon, global sourcing & technology transactions, Washington DC
  • Craig Saperstein, public policy, Washington DC

Brexit legal challenge: UK government appeals

The UK Supreme Court is considering whether to hear an appeal filed by the government over a Brexit legal challenge to be heard in Europe.

On November 27 an emergency hearing of the European Court of Justice (ECJ) in Luxembourg will examine whether a majority vote against Brexit in the House of Commons will be able to arrest the UK’s minimal progress out of the EU. The Brexit legal challenge, submitted by a group of pro-Remain MPs and campaigners, was referred to the ECJ by the Edinburgh Court of Session, Scotland’s supreme civil court.

A cross-party group of Scottish MPs, MSPs and MEPs teamed with Good Law Project director Jolyon Maugham QC to bring the Brexit legal challenge, arguing that MPs should be able to vote to revoke Article 50 without the permission of the government or other Member States. They said Brexit was “not inevitable” and that allowing parliament to vote to stay in the EU could be essential to avoid a “no deal disaster”.

The Court of Session initially turned down the group’s bid to refer their Brexit legal challenge to the ECJ, but after the group successfully appealed the court’s decision the case was passed to the ECJ with a request for an expedited procedure due to the time sensitivity of the issue.

The UK government has asked the Supreme Court for permission to appeal against the Court of Session’s decision to refer the Brexit legal challenge to the ECJ, citing the terms of Article 50 of the Treaty on European Union. Lawyers for the Department for Exiting the European Union (Dexeu) say the issue of reversing Article 50, thereby stopping Brexit, is hypothetical as the government has declared it has no intention of doing so; and that remaining in the EU would undermine the sovereignty of parliament.

The Supreme Court has not set a date to hear the appeal. A statement from the court said: “The court is aware of the urgency of this matter.”