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New data reveals HR leaders’ Coronavirus preparedness

Survey reveals less than 10% of businesses had a workplace / HR policy in place covering a disease pandemic. Approximately 80% now have a policy, or plan to introduce one in response to the Coronavirus outbreak.

Leading law firm Lewis Silkin today announces the launch of a new benchmarking survey, mapping the preparedness and response strategies of UK HR decision-makers to the Coronavirus / COVID-19 outbreak.

For its first survey of the series Lewis Silkin surveyed an initial group of 65 senior HR leaders and in-house counsel in organisations employing more than 200,000 employees between them and the findings are being presented now to help guide employers as they seek to effectively manage their workplace response to coronavirus.

This comes as the World Health Organisation has confirmed the status of the virus has been elevated to a Pandemic.

HR Policy

58.8% of respondents confirmed that they had implemented a workplace policy addressing pandemic disease in response to Coronavirus. 10% still plan to implement a policy while almost 11% still had no plans to implement a policy at the time of response. Less than 10% had a policy in place prior to the Coronavirus outbreak.

Business Travel

Employers are being cautious with regard to travel. Almost a quarter (24.2%) of respondents have restricted both international and UK domestic travel beyond FCO guidance and a further quarter (25.8%) have restricted international travel specifically beyond FCO guidance.

Remote Working & Self-Isolation

The vast majority (87.9%) of businesses are managing NHS-recommended self-isolation by requesting employees work from home. However, businesses are taking a nuanced approach with a combination of responses being used, including sick leave and sick pay (45.5%) and full pay without work or sick leave (16.7%). 51% of respondents are directing some employees to self-isolate as a precaution beyond government advice while a similar number are allowing employees to choose to self-isolate.

57.7% of polices reported by survey respondents cover employees should their care arrangements break down (such as school closures or family illness).

James Davies, employment partner at Lewis Silkin, commented: “These are unprecedented times and employers are having quickly adapt, evolve or scale up their workplace policies in response to Coronavirus. This is a fast-moving situation and businesses will need to collaborate and learn from each other in order to know how best to move forward, with the wellbeing of staff and business continuity very much front of mind. This is why we have launched this survey, to benchmark and monitor the best practice of some of the UK’s leading HR professionals, and we will continue to gather and disseminate helpful information and guidance to our clients and the wider business community wherever we can.”

Information and data privacy law heavyweight joins Pinsent Masons

Multinational law firm Pinsent Masons has hired partner Jonathan Kirsop as a key addition to its leading data privacy and information law offering.

Jonathan advises a wide range of clients on data privacy with particular focus on the financial services sector. His range of expertise spans contractual and regulatory advice, data subject access requests, international data transfers as well as providing broader technology, data and commercial expertise.

He joins the firm from Stephenson Harwood where he established and led the information law practice within their commercial, outsourcing and technology team.

Jonathan will assist in the further development of Pinsent Masons’ information and data privacy law capabilities in London, particularly to the firm’s financial services clients, as well as working with partners within the rest of the UK, across Europe and Asia Pacific offices.

Simon Colvin, Head of the Technology, Media and Telecommunications practice at Pinsent Masons said “Data and privacy is at the heart of the business for most of our clients. As the regulatory landscape continues to evolve, Jonathan brings valuable expertise to support clients, particularly in the heavily regulated financial services sector, as their needs for support and advice on all things information and data privacy law grow and become more complex.”

Laura Cameron, Head of Risk Advisory Services at Pinsent Masons said “The demand for data and privacy advice has increased exponentially and it has become a boardroom issue for businesses. Jonathan is a key addition to the firm at this time, as the continued development of technology and indeed the strategic use of, and protection of, data is a business critical issue for all organisations.”

Linklaters triumphs at the City of London’s Clean City Awards

Linklaters has been awarded the Chairman’s Cup – the highest accolade – in the Large Site category, at the City of London Corporation’s Clean City Awards.

Now in its 25th year, the Clean City Awards Scheme promotes and rewards best practice in waste management by City of London businesses, recognising efforts and commitment to adopting sustainable waste management practices. This year, there were 107 entries from businesses across the City.

Linklaters received particular commendation for its “Ditch the Dispo” campaign, now in its fourth year, which has prevented one million sets of plastic cutlery from entering circulation since 2017, in addition to, 140,000 coffee cups and lids per annum since 2018.

Suzanne Roberts, Global Environment Practitioner at Linklaters, comments: “Linklaters is immensely proud of being recognised by the City of London Corporation as one of the trailblazers in implementing bold and successful waste minimisation initiatives.

We have continually challenged stakeholders to support new initiatives, the circular economy and minimise our environmental impacts. As a result, we have many well-established initiatives embedded in our work culture and continue to identify opportunities to reduce waste creation further.”

About Linklaters

Our clients want a law firm they can trust, one that stands out for a commitment to investing in them and empowering our teams. We want to stand out for our distinctive Linklaters mind-set so our clients want to work with us above all others.

Delivering excellent client service and using our global capabilities to help them pursue the right opportunities means they benefit from long and lasting relationships.

To put clients at the heart of all we do, we recruit and develop exceptional people empowering them to do and think differently. We serve our clients as a team, with a common focus on innovation, efficiency and agility.

Norton Rose advises consortium of banks on $500m bond issuance

Global law firm Norton Rose Fulbright has advised Australia and New Zealand Banking Group Limited, Citigroup Global Markets Limited, Emirates NBD Bank PJSC, Industrial and Commercial Bank of China Limited, Dubai (DIFC) Branch, J.P. Morgan Securities plc and Société Générale as joint lead managers on a US$500 million bond issuance by Emirates NBD Bank PJSC.

The notes are due February 2025 and were issued off Emirates NBD Bank PJSC’s $12,500,000,000 Euro Medium Term Note Programme, which was updated in July 2019 and on which Norton Rose Fulbright also advised.

The Dubai-based Norton Rose Fulbright team was led by head of debt capital markets for the Middle East, Gregory Man, with assistance from senior associate, Ganna Vlasenko.

Gregory Man commented: “We are proud to have been involved in this transaction. This deal builds on Norton Rose Fulbright’s track record of advising on notable bond transactions in the region and once again provided us with the opportunity to represent many of our leading financial institutions clients.”

About Norton Rose Fulbright

We provide the world’s preeminent corporations and financial institutions with a full business law service. We have more than 3,700 lawyers and other legal staff based in Europe, the United States, Canada, Latin America, Asia, Australia, the Middle East and Africa.

Recognised for our industry focus, we are strong across all the key industry sectors: financial institutions; energy; infrastructure, mining and commodities; transport; technology and innovation; and life sciences and healthcare. Through our global risk advisory group, we leverage our industry experience with our knowledge of legal, regulatory, compliance and governance issues to provide our clients with practical solutions to the legal and regulatory risks facing their businesses.

Wherever we are, we operate in accordance with our global business principles of quality, unity and integrity. We aim to provide the highest possible standard of legal service in each of our offices and to maintain that level of quality at every point of contact.

Norton Rose Fulbright Verein, a Swiss verein, helps coordinate the activities of Norton Rose Fulbright members but does not itself provide legal services to clients. Norton Rose Fulbright has offices in more than 50 cities worldwide, including London, Houston, New York, Toronto, Mexico City, Hong Kong, Sydney and Johannesburg.

Global brochure

RPC appoints Director of Information Technology

City-headquartered law firm RPC is pleased to announce the appointment of Ben Denison as Director of Information Technology, starting work at the law firm on 6 January 2020.

Ben will replace interim Director of Information Technology Craig Hawthorne, who will transition to RPC Consulting, RPC’s leading insurance consulting arm, at the end of the financial year.

He will report to the Chief Operating Officer and play an important role in shaping and delivering the firm’s own global technology strategy.

Ben joins RPC from the Serious Fraud Office (SFO) after five years, where he drove the law enforcement agency’s overhaul of its IT systems, policies, infrastructure and digital transformation into becoming a market leader for the use of technology in the legal sphere.

He managed IT services for over 650 users, including lawyers, investigators, accountants and corporate services teams, and rebuilt the law enforcement agency’s in-house technology team and capabilities to meet the demands of an ever-changing legal environment driven by technological advancements.

Commenting on Ben’s arrival, RPC’s Chief Operating Officer Alistair Johnson said: “We are delighted to welcome Ben at RPC. His experience and track record in dealing with high level and complex technological issues – in particular but not limited to high level challenges of data management and data security – for the SFO will be a great asset to the firm.

A good example of that is – complementing the work driven by Sam Tate, who we hired just over twelve months ago given our view that white collar crime and anti-bribery investigations are increasing under the new SFO’s leadership – delivering clients legal advice on the basis of a sound understanding of the challenges they are likely to face.”

RPC has a strong commitment to innovation and his appointment ensures that RPC continues its path in unleashing the advantages of technological transformation in our industry. I also want to thank Craig for his outstanding work while stepping in as an interim Director of IT and I couldn’t be more delighted that he has agreed to continue his work and transition into an integral role in RPC’s leading consulting arm.”

Adding to this, the Head of RPC’s TMT Group Jeremy Drew said: “I am very excited Ben has decided to join RPC. His hands on experience and knowledge in the technology space will be an immediate advantage in developing innovative solutions for ourselves and our clients – which is where we really want to grow in the next few years.”

Ben Denison said: “I was immediately impressed by RPC’s strong commitment and appetite for innovation, in particular its recognition of the potential that technology has to enhance its internal capabilities, and importantly in how it can be used to transform the delivery of services to clients. I was also particularly drawn to the firm’s genuine commitment to collegiality, collaboration and the highest level of client service; I can’t wait to get started.”

Baker McKenzie announces record global revenues of $2.92B

Baker McKenzie has announced record revenues for the fiscal year ended 30 June 2019 (FY19) of $2.92 billion. In terms of constant currency, Baker McKenzie’s revenues were up 4.4% compared to the previous year. In US dollar terms, the Firm’s reporting currency, this translates into growth of 1.2%, after the effect of adverse currency exchange.

Baker McKenzie remains the most geographically diverse global law firm and all of our regions recorded growth as follows: EMEA +5.2%, AP +2.1%, LA +9.0% and NA +4.0%

All of our key financial metrics improved over last year: revenue growth, net income, profit margin, Profits per Partner (PPP), Revenue per Partner and Profits per Lawyer. We are especially pleased to accomplish this amid a market with flat demand. PPP was up by 3% to $1.48 million in US dollars. Overall net income or profit rose by 2% to $1 billion. Over the last decade the Firm has grown by 40% in terms of revenue and 50% in terms of PPP, outperforming most of our competitors.

Among our standout markets, all with significant double-digit growth, include Bogota, Buenos Aires, London, Prague, Turkey and Warsaw.

Baker McKenzie Acting Chair Jaime Trujillo says, “Recording 4.4 percent growth in a market as challenging as this while maintaining our commitment to all of our offices and our full service offering is a good result. The investments the Firm continues to make in legal services, the centres of excellence we have opened in lower-cost locations, and more effective partnering with clients, supported by long-term investments in industry, practice and client programs have enabled us to show profitable growth.

“This is despite the distinct geopolitical head winds throughout the second half of the year, which prompted our clients to cancel or postpone projects. We are also one of the most geographically diverse professional services firms in the world, both one of our key strengths, and at times a challenge in markets impacted when the US dollar is so strong, as it was this past year.”

Our Future

Jaime concludes, “There have been moments in the past year when the Firm was tested as much as it has been in our 70-year history, but I am extremely proud of how we have come together and dealt with the issues that we have faced. Neither has it been an easy 12 months for the profession as a whole, with softening client demand as a result of geo-political uncertainty, an increasingly competitive market with new entrants and a declining overall market. It takes a Firm like ours with an enormous amount of resilience, experience and strong leadership from all our partners to be confident to face the challenges ahead.”