PwC appoints Carol Stubbings to lead Global Tax and Legal Services

PwC has appointed Carol Stubbings to be its Global Tax and Legal Services Leader from 1 July 2020. Carol has been a member of PwC’s Global Tax and Legal Leadership group for the past four years, most recently leading PwC’s People and Organisation practice.

Carol joined PwC UK in November 2003 and has been a partner for the last 15 years. Carol has lived and worked in Zambia, South Africa and the United States and her roles at PwC have included Global Mobility Leader for PwC UK and Client Experience Leader for PwC’s Global Tax practice. Carol has also over the last 12 months led PwC’s New World. New Skills. programme, which is focused on upskilling both PwC’s own people and developing and sharing technologies to support clients and communities.

“I am delighted to welcome Carol to PwC’s global leadership team to head up our Tax and Legal Services practice. Her experience leading multinational teams and working with clients to solve their most pressing strategic challenges will prove invaluable as we work through the ups and downs of work and life in a post COVID-19 world”, said Bob Moritz, Global Chairman of the PwC Network.

“It’s an honour to be asked to lead our 55,000 strong Tax and Legal Services practice across the world. As we navigate some very difficult times, our focus will be on helping our stakeholders to build and grow the businesses and organisations of tomorrow”, said Carol Stubbings, PwC’s Global Tax and Legal Services Leader.

Carol replaces Colm Kelly who will take on a new role as PwC’s Global Purpose and Corporate Responsibility Leader.

“I would like to thank Colm for his outstanding leadership of our Tax and Legal Services team over the last four years and I look forward to continuing our work together on Purpose”, added Bob Moritz.

Clifford Chance adds Sharis Pozen to Wider Leadership Group

Leading international law firm Clifford Chance has today announced that Sharis Pozen has joined the firm’s global leadership team.

Pozen is is the co-head of the firm’s global Antitrust group. She has extensive experience in both government and private practice. Over the course of her career, Pozen has held senior positions at General Electric, the US Department of Justice and the US Federal Trade Commission. She joined the firm as partner in May 2019.

Pozen now sits on Clifford Chance’s Wider Leadership Group (WLG) which includes the heads of the firm’s global practice areas, as well as the members of the firm’s Executive Leadership Group (ELG), Clifford Chance’s top strategic decision-making body.

Matthew Layton, Clifford Chance Managing Partner offers, “Given Sharis’ exceptional legal skills and broad leadership experience, we’re excited to bring her perspectives to our leadership group as we execute our strategy and plan for the future. With her addition, we continue to see the diversity of this group grow. Such variety of voices and perspectives only strengthens our firm, and this is equally true at leadership level. I very much look forward to collaborating with Sharis over the coming years.”

The WLG undertakes two formal reviews of the firm’s strategy each year. Pozen will join these meetings, as well as other relevant ELG sessions, including those hosted by the Americas. She will serve a term of two years.

Pozen has also been appointed to Clifford Chance’s Americas Management Committee, which is responsible for strategic and business planning, operational performance and financial management of the firm in the Americas region.

Hogan Lovells to refresh practice structures and leadership

Hogan Lovells is making a series of changes to its practice group structure and the leadership of its International Management Committee (IMC). The IMC is the body that is responsible for setting and implementing the strategic direction and business operations of the firm and is made up of the heads of Hogan Lovells’ practice groups and administrative regions plus clients and markets.

These changes take effect from 1 July 2020 under the leadership of the new incoming CEO Miguel Zaldivar and Deputy CEO Michael Davison.

According to Miguel Zaldivar: “We are uniquely placed as a fully-integrated global firm. We have a high-quality business, great clients, genuine international reach, and extremely talented people. The combination of our industry sector knowledge and our market-leading position at the meeting point between business and government is admired by clients and competitors alike. These are the strengths on which we are building our firm.”

“I set out my priorities in December as being: client service; investment in our key markets; incentivising even more collaboration across the partnership; managing our profitability; and supporting citizenship, diversity & inclusion, and sustainability. The changes to our structures help achieve those priorities by bringing increased speed and efficiency to our management decision-making, continuing the work which Steve Immelt started in 2014 in moving from co-leaders to single leaders.”

The firm’s practice groups will shift from five to three. The Corporate and Finance practice groups will be combined to create a new Corporate and Finance practice made up of around 400 partners. Hogan Lovells will also more closely align its Global Regulatory and IPMT practice groups and put them together under one umbrella, Global Regulatory and IPMT, comprising around 230 partners.

Commenting on these changes Miguel Zaldivar said: “There is already a significant amount of overlap between Corporate and Finance, particularly in the capital markets space as well as in areas such as joint ventures, M&A, and commercial work. Bringing them together creates a powerful force for our clients. With Global Regulatory and IPMT there are already synergies between them in areas such as privacy and cyber-security; pharmaceutical and technology patent litigation; and antitrust investigations. Both are also top-rated practices groups in their own right in the market and we will protect those positions in terms of how we go to market.”

The firm’s regions will also shift from five to three. The firm’s current Americas and D.C. regions will be combined into a single region. The firm is also creating a single Europe, Middle East, and Africa (EMEA) region which combines its existing UK and Africa region with Continental Europe and its offices in the Middle East. The current Asia Pacific and Middle East region will focus on the emergent markets of Southeast Asia as well as the established economies of Australia, Greater China, and Japan.

Zaldivar commented: “Having a ‘One Americas’ region will enable us to more easily take a holistic and integrated approach to sharing clients, work, investments, and resources.

We have already adopted the same approach very successfully with our offices in Germany and Greater China. Having a single EMEA region is an approach taken by many of our clients and competitors, and reflective of the economic and social ties in that part of the world as well as time zone and geographical proximity.”

He continued: “I have tried to ensure continuity of leadership while prioritising bringing on a new and diverse generation of leaders.”

Zaldivar said: “The UK and Washington, D.C. offices will continue to have participation in IMC discussions where relevant and, with Stefan Schuppert also attending IMC meetings by invitation, we are now adding Germany, given the importance of that market to the firm.”

“Susan Bright, Eve Howard, and Cole Finegan will be stepping down from the IMC after many years of hard work and significant contributions to the firm. We all owe them a huge debt of gratitude in managing very important regions through some of our strongest and most successful years as well some uniquely challenging times.”

Susan will take on a new responsibility as Global Managing Partner for Diversity and Inclusion and Responsible Business. In addition she will continue to act as the OMP for the UK until the end of the year. This is in order to ensure a smooth transition to accommodate Penny Angell’s current intense workload advising lenders on financing’s impacted by COVID-19. Eve Howard will serve as Global Head of our combined Capital Markets practice. Cole Finegan will continue serving as office managing partner of the Denver office and support the expansion efforts of the Government Relations and Public Affairs practice in the Americas.

Women in Healthcare Leadership Collaborative gains momentum

Sheppard, Mullin, Richter & Hampton LLP recently announced the formation of the Women in Healthcare Leadership Collaborative (WHLC), an exclusive leadership initiative for women in-house attorneys, compliance officers, business leaders and other professionals in the healthcare industry who have the talent and drive to advance their careers in a dynamic and heavily regulated industry. WHLC provides its members with legal and industry insights on critical issues in healthcare today, as well as professional skills training and development, networking and mentoring opportunities.

The WHLC kicked off its programming series with a well-attended roundtable discussion on September 17 on “Social Determinants of Health: Developing & Leveraging Partnerships with Community-based Organisations,” featuring presenter Dr. Amanda Parsons, Deputy Chief Medical Officer at MetroPlus Health Plan and Dawn Johnson, Principal at COPE Health Solutions.

“There wasn’t an empty seat in the room; proof that members are hungry for this type of engaging, substantive and highly relevant content and for the opportunity to connect with other women leaders in the healthcare industry,” said Amanda Zablocki, senior associate and co-leader of Sheppard Mullin’s WHLC program.

Danielle Vrabie, senior associate and co-leader of Sheppard Mullin’s WHLC program, added: “We saw members already forming new connections and discussing future collaborations. We are excited to build on this momentum and create additional programming on topics our members are eager to digest.”

“This collaborative is unlike any other within the healthcare industry,” said Eric Klein, leader of the firm’s Healthcare team. “As a leading healthcare law firm, Sheppard Mullin is well positioned to connect like-minded women leaders in healthcare and offer targeted programming on critical issues that matter to them. We are very proud of bringing this vision to life and how quickly it has attracted national interest.”

The WHLC will host its next program in New York on January 23, 2020 and it will be streamed live in the firm’s San Francisco office. It will feature a lively roundtable discussion with Sheppard Mullin healthcare attorneys Christine Clements, Bevin Newman, Allison Fulton and Kathleen Stratton on “A View from the Capitol: 2020 Healthcare Policy, Legal and Regulatory Predictions.”

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Law firm boss looks back over 30 years in business

Lorne Crerar has learned a lot in the 30 years since he founded Harper Macleod, but one lesson in particular has stayed with him throughout: “As lawyers, we’re not entitled to work”.

While that might not sound unreasonable in the legal world of today, Mr Crerar said that when he started out in the profession there was a structure to every career path that made a sense of entitlement almost inevitable.

“At that time most law firms were very ordered – you served your time and when you got to be a senior partner you earned more than everybody else,” he recalled.

It didn’t take the young Mr Crerar long to realise “that that wasn’t for me” and that he “wanted to do things differently”. So, in 1988, he and fellow Ross Harper Murphy partner Rod McKenzie launched a business called Harpers that went on to take over niche corporate practice Macleods to become Harper Macleod.

That business is celebrating its 30th anniversary this year, with Mr Crerar believing its ability – and willingness – to stay on top of changes in the market has been the secret of its success.

“You have to work out what the legal demand is going to be, and we’ve been really good at that,” he said. “We’ve spent time trying to work out where the future demand is because we work in a well-serviced sector.

“You also have to understand where the dynamics of change are going to be and mould the firm around it. The unexpected, for us, has been an opportunity.”

The financial crash of a decade ago was one such example, with many firms reacting to the resultant drop-off in legal activity by cutting their own teams and waiting for their key markets to come back.

“We decided that we didn’t think the wheel was going to turn back to where it was and retrained 20 per cent of our lawyers. That said a lot about our culture,” Mr Crerar said.

The culture of the firm, Mr Crerar believes, has always been to operate as “a business that delivers legal services”. While that was a novel approach in the late 1980s, Mr Crerar said it has become far more common in recent years as firms look at ways of modernising the partnership model.

“A big change in recent years is that more and more law firms have become businesses that deliver legal services,” he said.

“Over the last 15 years you’ve seen very large numbers of Scottish firms disappear, either because they have been unable to cope with that business environment or they have been taken over by other businesses.”

Mr Crerar said that such a “seismic shift” has been of benefit to Harper Macleod, which recorded its best-ever profit figure in the 2017/18 year, when it broke the £10 million barrier for the first time in its history.

This is in part due to the firm taking advantage of other business’s inability to weather the downturn, with Harper Macleod bolstering its practice with the addition of five partners, an associate, two solicitors and two assistants from McClure Naismith when that firm collapsed in 2015.

It has also embarked on its own series of take overs, bolstering its private client practice with the acquisition of Bird Semple in 2014 and entering the Shetland market after taking over Dowle Smith & Rutherford the following year.

Such moves have helped the firm double its turnover in the last decade, from £13.8m in 2007/08 to £26.5m in 2017/18, with Mr Crerar noting that further acquisitions are on the firm’s radar.

“We don’t have Aberdeen or Dundee, which are particularly well-served jurisdictions so we would have to think very carefully about what our proposition might be,” he said.

“Nothing is imminent but we are in a place where we have embedded all our acquisitions and are looking for what the next opportunity will be.”

Having visited all Harper Macleod’s offices as part of the firm’s 30th anniversary celebrations, Mr Crerar, who at age 64 is remaining tight-lipped about his own retirement plans, said he has high hopes for the firm’s future success.

“The firm’s never been stronger, fitter or leaner,” he said. “We live in an uncertain world but if there’s more change Harper Macleod will continue to prosper and grow.”