Pinsent Masons realigns its professional services offerings

Multinational law firm Pinsent Masons has brought together a range of skill set offerings to launch a professional services practice group as it further embeds its strategy to become a purpose-led professional services business with law at the core.

Pinsent Masons Vario, will become a practice group and sit alongside the firm’s traditional legal practice service lines, and will combine the firm’s flexible resourcing division, diversity and inclusion (D&I) consultancy Brook Graham, technology and consulting group, legal project management and managed legal services capabilities in response to client demand for commercial expertise alongside legal capabilities.

Over the past three financial years, Pinsent Masons Vario has achieved average year-on-year growth in excess of 30% and has opened in four new jurisdictions. In addition to this, it has grown its global client base to 250 clients in the past year.

Managing Director of Pinsent Masons Vario, Matthew Kay, said: “For some time now there has been a move away from the idea that the provision of legal services is mainly about black letter law. More and more, we and our competitors are called on to play a central role in responding to broader business issues through the provision of technology, or the delivery of managed legal services. While flexible services have been a game changer in recent years – enabling businesses to dial resource up and down in line with day-to-day needs – this offering alone will not be the only solution required by clients as they grapple with increasingly complex business demands.

“By combining the very best of our expertise across legal tech, D&I, project management, resourcing and managed legal services into one function and by establishing it as a practice group we can tailor our response more effectively to the specific needs of each client.

Senior Partner for Pinsent Masons, Richard Foley, commented: “These disciplines are a core component of our ever widening range of skill sets. Clients may require corporate or planning lawyers as well as forensic accountants, data scientists and D&I consultants. These are all just skill sets and yet historically many have looked and treated the former very differently to the latter. By bringing these professional disciplines into one group and aligning them internally alongside our global practice groups we hope to drive a material change and thus to be able to easily flex and adapt how we provide support on a case-by-case basis.

“Legal services have been transformed in recent years by increasing client demand for a flexible and solutions-based approach to legal and commercial challenges. Now more than ever, clients are looking for professional services advisers to collaborate with who are able to deploy an array of professionals, including lawyers, who can help them deliver their strategic aims.

Duane Morris Welcomes Corporate Partner Anastasia N. Kaup

Anastasia N. Kaup has joined Duane Morris LLP as a partner in the firm’s Corporate Practice Group in its Chicago office. Prior to joining Duane Morris, Kaup practiced at Mayer Brown LLP.

“Anastasia is a hard-working, highly skilled lawyer with a strong commitment to her clients and her fellow attorneys,” said Matthew A. Taylor, CEO and Chairman of Duane Morris. “She is a great fit with our collegial and collaborative culture and the level of client service we strive to achieve at the firm.”

“The addition of Anastasia to our strong and growing Corporate Practice Group will deepen our bench in our very busy national commercial finance practice,” said Brian P. Kerwin, chair of the firm’s Corporate Practice Group. “Her skills and sophisticated transactional experience will be very beneficial to our private equity practice as well.”

“We’re excited to welcome Anastasia to the Chicago office and the firm,” said John Robert Weiss, managing partner of the Duane Morris Chicago office. “She has an impressive skill set, a team-oriented approach and she’s an excellent personality fit with our office, which has been recognised as one of the best places to work in Chicago.”

Kaup has represented financial institutions, funds and other corporate clients in financing transactions across the private equity, real estate, hedge fund, private credit and distressed lending spaces. Kaup structures, negotiates and documents complex financing transactions domestically and internationally at all levels of the organisational structure, with specific focuses on fund finance, sponsor finance and financing in distressed situations. Her fund finance experience covers a wide spectrum of transactions to meet the financing needs of various types of funds at every phase of their existence. She also assists with the analysis and negotiation of investor documents with institutional, governmental, high-net-worth and sovereign wealth investors. Kaup has represented private equity sponsors and their portfolio companies in nearly every industry, as well as lenders to such entities, in a wide array of financing transactions. Kaup also has significant experience counselling clients in distressed situations, in bankruptcy as well as out-of-court restructurings, and has represented clients in some of the most complex restructuring cases in the last decade. She has negotiated and documented countless transactions involving multiple creditors and has substantial knowledge of intercreditor and subordination arrangements and agreements. Kaup’s experience with transactions during downturns as well as growth cycles distinctively positions her to assist clients with a broad range of financing-related needs at any time.

Kaup is a graduate of the University of Michigan Law School (J.D., cum laude, 2010) and the University of Utah (honours B.S., cum laude, 2008).

Schoenherr strengthens Warsaw real estate practice group

Schoenherr Warsaw further strengthens its real estate practice with the addition of three highly qualified specialists. They bring a wealth of knowledge and an excellent track record to Schoenherr’s dynamic Polish office. Prior to joining Schoenherr, the new team members worked in real estate and real estate finance with leading international firms in Poland.

  • Marta Bijak-Haiduk, joining as partner, has vast experience with various types of real estate transactions, including JVs, financing structures, asset and share deals. She has represented clients in negotiations of lease agreements concerning logistics, office and retail buildings as well as in build-to-own development agreements, and advised on the construction process. Marta takes over the helm of the firm’s real estate practice.
  • Dominika Sulak-Seyfried, senior attorney at law/advocate, focuses on advising domestic and international entities on real estate transactions, as well as construction and development projects, including various aspects of financing.
  • Patrycja Czarnecka, associate/advocate, works primarily on transactional real estate matters and her legal career has been focused on various real estate transaction related topics.

“Schoenherr has a strong real estate practice in the CEE/SEE,” said partner Sebastian Gutiu, who co-heads Schoenherr’s real estate practice. “As Poland continues to play a key role in the regional real estate market, we are confident that the consolidation of our specialised team in Warsaw will add value for our clients and our firm.”

“I am delighted to welcome Marta, Dominika and Patrycja to our Warsaw practice,” the office’s managing partner Paweł Halwa added. “I am convinced that they are a great fit for our team and that the strengthened real estate practice led by Marta will further boost our growth in Poland.”

“This is an amazing experience to be a member of Schoenherr and I am eager to continue to develop the real estate practice together with such an exceptional team,” said the new head of the Warsaw real estate team, Marta Bijak-Haiduk.

Schoenherr Poland

Schoenherr’s Warsaw office is a full-service practice that focuses on mergers & acquisitions, capital markets, banking & finance, real estate and energy. Our team of lawyers advises domestic and international clients on investing in Poland and on cross-border transactions. We have particular experience in mergers and acquisitions, joint ventures, private equity, privatisations, public takeovers, initial public offerings, real estate acquisition, sale and development, financing of M&A and real estate projects and renewable energy. Our client list includes national and international corporate groups from several industries, including banks, real estate developers, investment funds, private equity funds, manufacturers, distributors and industrial companies.

Eversheds Sutherland expands leading tech practice

Eversheds Sutherland announced today that Frankie Tam has joined the Hong Kong-based Asia technology team, led by Rhys McWhirter.

Frankie, who joins the practice as Of Counsel, will advise clients on technology issues, including large-scale technology outsourcing, fintech and data privacy issues. She also acts for clients on ‘regtech’, a relatively new field, based around technology solutions that support regulatory monitoring, reporting and compliances. These purpose built platforms feature complex screening and monitoring tools, many of which are based on blockchain technology, making the solutions affordable, efficient and scalable.

Frankie is well known in the Hong Kong market for her efforts to promote Hong Kong as a ‘centre of excellence’ for financial services technology. She is a member of the ‘Vetting Committee’ of the Hong Kong Innovation and Technology Commission General Support Programme. The committee advises the Hong Kong Government on funding submissions for projects that foster the local innovation and technology culture. She is also a co-founder and Vice President of the ‘Hong Kong Internet Finance Association’, and a member of the ‘Core Committee for Payments’ of the Fintech Association of Hong Kong.

Qualified in Hong Kong, New York and England and Wales, Frankie has worked in Hong Kong, London and Shanghai. She brings this international perspective to the Hong Kong practice at a time when the team is advising global and regional banks, financial service providers, airlines and travel organisations on their digitisation strategy. The COVID-19 pandemic has made this task both more complicated and more urgent. Since the pandemic began, shortly after Chinese New Year, organisations have been introducing digital solutions in tandem with new work practices. In some cases the ‘proof of concept’ stage was scaled up and became an ‘all enterprise proof-of-concept’. Testing that would ordinarily require months was conducted on the front lines as the end users deployed the new technology. This increased digitisation ensured that business critical objectives including customer service delivery, remote and flexible working, team management and brand recognition were maintained.

Rhys McWhirter commented: “We are very excited to have Frankie join our team. She is a highly qualified lawyer who combines strong technical skills with an understanding of how technology must be made to work for clients. Her involvement with organisations in the fintech and regtech space will give our clients insights into the legal, ethical and commercial implications of new tech, including smart contracts, AI, machine learning, automation and big data’.”

Stephen Kitts, Managing Partner, Asia added: “I join with Rhys in welcoming Frankie to the Hong Kong practice. Under Rhys’ leadership the team has become the ‘go to’ practice for advice on the latest developments in the tech sector, in particular their impact at both the strategic and commercial levels. For example, he is working with three of the eight new virtual banks in Hong Kong, to advise on all aspects of their technology strategy and implementation. A remarkable achievement. Frankie is joining a team that truly is at the ‘top of its game’.”

Michael Davison nominated as Hogan Lovells Deputy CEO

Hogan Lovells CEO-select Miguel Zaldivar has nominated, with the Board’s full support and unanimous approval, London-based litigation partner Michael Davison as the firm’s proposed Deputy CEO from 1 July 2020.

An international arbitration lawyer by background, Michael is qualified in England, France and the Republic of Ireland. He currently heads our Litigation, Arbitration, and Employment practice and is involved in the TMT and ENRG industry groups. His clients include AES, Koch and Transocean. Michael has been described by The Legal 500 as “undoubtedly one of the leading practitioners in Europe” and by Chambers as “absolutely brilliant.”

Michael has been a member of the International Management Committee since 2013 and, alongside his client and management commitments, he has been a major supporter of and contributor to the firm’s pro bono work and diversity and inclusion commitments. He has a strong interest in the use of technology including AI to support our clients and is leading a number of projects in this area.

According to Hogan Lovells’ Chair, Leopold von Gerlach: “The Board is unanimous in supporting Miguel’s choice and is very pleased that Michael has agreed to bring his leadership experience and capabilities to the role of Deputy CEO. He has a very strong track record as a long-serving practice group leader and is well positioned throughout the firm to take on the role.”

Commenting on the nomination, Michael Davison says: “Miguel has a very clear sense of where he wants to take the firm with a sharp focus on client service, investment in our key markets, incentivizing collaboration across the partnership, managing our profitability and supporting diversity & inclusion. He and I share this thinking and I am looking forward to working with him.”

The recommendation of Miguel Zaldivar to become the firm’s CEO is subject to a confirmation vote by partners, the results of which are expected to be announced later in December. His appointment would make him the only current Amlaw 50 law firm leader of Hispanic American origin. Michael Davison’s appointment as Deputy CEO is conditional on Miguel Zaldivar’s appointment being agreed by the partnership.

Norton Rose Fulbright launches global payments practice

Global law firm Norton Rose Fulbright has launched a global payments practice to assist businesses around the world in navigating this complex and rapidly developing area.

The multidisciplinary group advises clients in the payments industry in relation to a wide range of matters, including investment activity, new product development, regulatory compliance, privacy and data protection issues, disputes, and the outsourcing of payment technology. The team provides an integrated service across the firm’s practice areas, including corporate/M&A; financial services regulation; risk advisory; data protection, privacy and cybersecurity; intellectual property; antitrust and competition; outsourcing, and dispute resolution.

The team’s clients span the range of market participants, and include banks, non-bank financial institutions, payments providers, technology companies, start-ups, institutional investors, and governmental and regulatory bodies. The practice, which comprises of over 50 lawyers, consultants, risk advisory specialists and government relations professionals will be led by a team of partners from across the firm’s spread of offices.

Norton Rose Fulbright global head of financial services regulation Jonathan Herbst commented: “We have long advised clients in relation to the payments sector and with this new practice, we draw together our corporate, regulatory and disputes experience from across the globe to provide an enhanced service to this fast-growing industry.”

Norton Rose Fulbright FinTech partner Victoria Birch commented: “Payments technology underpins global digital commerce. Major institutions, companies and start-ups in both mature and emerging markets are investing heavily in this space. Our breadth of experience makes our global payments practice ideally placed to help clients navigate the opportunities and challenges presented by this growth.”

Recent matters the global payments practice have advised on include:

  • Advising the UK New Payment System Operator on its acquisition of the Bacs, Faster Payments and Cheque and Credit Clearing Company payment schemes
  • Advising eight leading international banks on their PSD 2 implementation projects
  • Advising Helios Investment Partners on its acquisition of a majority stake in Egypt’s TPAY Mobile
  • Advising AnaCap Financial Partners on the acquisition of Hamburg-based StarTec Payment & Service GmbH

If you would like to find out more information, please visit: https://www.nortonrosefulbright.com/