Global legal panel of BNP Paribas to be reviewed

BNP Paribas is gearing up to review its global panel of legal advisers, six years after it last overhauled the line-up.

The French bank is understood to be in the early stages of kicking off the process and has started initial interviews with existing firms.

A full review is expected to start later this year. The French bank’s last review saw first-time appointments for Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer and Herbert Smith Freehills (HSF). Allen & Overy (A&O), Clifford Chance, Linklaters, Hogan Lovells, Norton Rose Fulbright, Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton, White & Case and Gide Loyrette Nouel were all reappointed to the roster, with other firms understood to have been appointed for specific advice.

That review was led by Georges Dirani, who joined BNP Paribas as global GC in October 2010 and remains in the same role today.

News of BNP Paribas’s planned review comes after Legal Week reported earlier this week that Lloyds Banking Group had finalised its customer pay panel, with firms including Clifford Chance and CMS among those making the cut.

The panel is known within the bank as its ‘pass-through’ panel. It covers legal advice to the bank’s clients on transactions, with fees passed directly onto the client, rather than paid by the bank itself.

BNP Paribas declined to comment.


Hogan Lovells appoints first German partner as chair

Hogan Lovells has appointed a new global chair of the firm to replace long-serving partner Nicholas Cheffings.

The firm has elected its first German partner in the role, with Hamburg IP litigator Leopold von Gerlach set to take the reins from May this year.

Von Gerlach fought off competition from three other Hogan Lovells partners. His term lasts for three years, with members able to serve as chair for two terms only.

The process sees Hogan Lovells’ board put forward a number of recommendations to partners following soundings from members. The partners then vote on that final recommendation.

As chair, von Gerlach will head Hogan Lovells’ 12-strong board, which advises the CEO and international management committee on strategy, management and operating decisions.

He has been a member of the board since May 2014, acting as the representative for continental Europe. He further worked on the firm’s partner advancement committee, with responsibility for the promotion of associates and counsel.

Von Gerlach replaces real estate specialist Cheffings, who first took up the role in 2012.

India Supreme Court rules against national anthem at cinema

The Supreme Court of India ruled [judgment, PDF] Tuesday that the national anthem does not have to be played prior to screening of films in theaters.

An order on November 30, 2016, had required the playing of the national anthem before films in theaters. The court looked to the Constitution [text, PDF] of India which provides that “It shall be the duty of every citizen of India—(a) to abide by the Constitution and respect its ideals and institutions, the National Flag and the National Anthem.” A challenge was brought arguing that mandating theaters to play the anthem and requiring patrons to stand was a violation against fundamental rights and that the theater was not an appropriate place to show this respect for the nation.

The court concluded that the playing of the national anthem in theaters should be optional but emphasized that all citizens were still obligated to respect the national anthem when it was played or sung with the exemptions for those with enumerated disabilities.


Clifford Chance hires litigation partner in New York office

Clifford Chance has hired a new litigation partner in its New York office, bringing its total number of partners to 59.


Insight into Mexican Employment Law – Meaningful Work

Meaningful Work.

“For, in the end, it is impossible to have a great life unless it’s a meaningful life. And it is very difficult to have a meaningful life without meaningful work.” 

In a world where political candidates build campaigns around the word “work”, where the existence of universities is vindicated by what kind of employment graduates may have access to and in a reality where people spend more time in the workplace than home, it is surprising that we don’t question the nature of work more often.

Why, we must ask ourselves, do we spend so much time working but long for vacations, holidays and ultimately retirement? Why is it that we silently go about our whole lives working without giving more thought to how and why we must work, and finally why do we not stop and contemplate if meaningful work, as a human right, involves that work is meaningful on its own and therefore adds value to mankind, or if in the other hand, it is the active involvement of humans what grants meaning to toil.

Work as a social, political and legal concept requires more thought and contemplation, not only because we must have a richer perspective in terms of our relationship with employment and satisfaction but because the coming generations are challenging and rethinking the nature of productivity, mobility and success in life.

As employers, we must more often focus in one of the biggest costs of producing goods and services (the pay roll) and must ask ourselves how and why, we must favor efficiency and flexibility as opposed to presencialism and outdated methods.  As labor and employment consultants we have frequently experienced positive results when giving employees more of a say so in how to perform their duties, in how employer may evolve and improve, and by making sure the personnel has actual opportunities to personally and professionally grow.

In the end, the contemplative action regarding the meaning of work and its repercussion in human behavior is not only overdue psychologically and philosophically, but is actually something that impacts our clients, companies, cities and countries.

We hope that more employers give thought to these concepts and ultimately to how and why employees can work better for an enhanced meaning of work and profit for both, employer and employee.



Clyde & Co has grown its Miami office with Insurance team

Clyde & Co has grown its Miami office with a 12-strong insurance team, led by partners from Hinshaw & Culbertson.

Insurance partners Sina Bahadoran and Eric Hiller are joining alongside a team of 10 lawyers and two other legal support staff.

Bahadoran has been at Hinshaw & Culbertson since 2003 and was a member of the executive committee.

This is the first major hire for the firm in Miami since its launch in 2016 through a merger with Thornton Davis Fein.

The new team represents insurance companies in high-profile insurance coverage litigation matters throughout the US.

They focus primarily on commercial general liability, errors and omissions (for lawyers, agents, and accountants), directors and officers, and employment practices liability policies.

Clifford Chance boost revenues in all major jurisdictions in 2016/17

lifford Chance’s (CC’s) top management team took home £16m during 2016-17 after a strong year for the firm which saw it boost revenues across all major jurisdictions.

The firm’s recently filed limited liability partnership (LLP) accounts show its executive leadership group received total remuneration of £16m, £1m up on the previous year’s figure of £15m.

However, the increase came on the back of the group growing from 12 to 13 members with the addition of London managing partner David Bickerton, meaning average pay for the group has fallen from £1.25m to £1.23m.

Bickerton has since passed on leadership of the London office to City finance head Michael Bates, who officially took up the regional managing partner role yesterday (1 January).

The LLP accounts also show staff costs increased by 14% during 2016-17 from £609m to £694m, primarily as a result of total salaries and remuneration rising 15.6% from £482m to £557m.

Average headcount fell by 2% to just over 6,065, with associates and other fee earners falling 53 to 2,262 and support staff headcount dropping 50 to 2,731, while the number of partners increased by one to 568.

Last July, the firm announced that profit per equity partner (PEP) had risen by 12% to £1.38m, with revenue rising 11% to £1.54bn.

Broken down by geography, the firm Asia-Pacific operations saw the sharpest turnover increase, rising 23% from £224m to £276m.

US revenues grew 15% to £202m, while Continental Europe revenues grew 12% from to £506m, but UK growth was harder to come by, with domestic revenues up 4% from £489m to £507m.

CC recently re-elected Matthew Layton as global managing partner after the firm’s partners voted to hand him a second four-year leadership term, which will begin on 1 May next year.