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BTI Consulting Group Recognises Eversheds for Superior Client Service

Eversheds Sutherland is pleased to announce that it has been named to the elite 2021 BTI Client Service 30, a list of law firms recognised for delivering superior client service. The rankings are based on unprompted client feedback from general counsel at some of the world’s largest organisations.

The BTI Client Service 30 is a subset of the organisation’s larger client survey, The BTI Client Service A-Team 2021: The Survey of Law Firm Client Service Performance, which evaluates individual law firm performance through thousands of client interviews conducted over the span of 20 years.

This year’s analysis is a result of 350 independent, candid, one-on-one interviews with corporate counsel; firms cannot lobby or self-nominate to be added to the list. Of the 282 law firms recognised in The BTI Client Service A-Team 2021, Eversheds Sutherland ranked among the top 30.

Additionally, Eversheds Sutherland was recognised as a “Leader” in unprompted communication, anticipating client needs, commitment to help, client focus, understanding business, value for the dollar and quality products. The firm also achieved recognition in all three of BTI’s newest categories in the 2021 report: mobilising resources, fielding the absolute best team and quickly assessing the client’s situation.

“We greatly appreciate the confidence of our clients and peers, and are very grateful that they continuously entrust us with some of their most important matters and objectives,” said Eversheds Sutherland Co-CEO Mark D. Wasserman. “We take great pride in meeting the highest standards of service, and it is extremely rewarding to be singled out for this honour.”

About BTI Consulting Group

The Boston-based consulting group is the leading provider of strategic market research to law firms and professional services firms. BTI conducts the only continuous benchmarking market study in the legal services industry based on independent interviews with general counsel and key decision makers who hire law firms.

About Eversheds Sutherland

As a global top 10 law practice, Eversheds Sutherland provides legal services to a global client base ranging from small and mid-sized businesses to the largest multinationals, acting for 70 of the Fortune 100, 61 of the FTSE 100 and 128 of the Fortune 200.

With more than 3,000 lawyers, Eversheds Sutherland operates in 69 offices in 32 jurisdictions across Africa, Asia, Europe, the Middle East and the United States. In addition, a network of more than 200 related law firms, including formalised alliances in Latin America, Asia Pacific and Africa, provide support around the globe.

Eversheds Sutherland provides the full range of legal services, including corporate and M&A; dispute resolution and litigation; energy and infrastructure; finance; human capital and labour law; intellectual property; real estate and construction; and tax.

Eversheds Sutherland comprises two separate legal entities: Eversheds Sutherland (International) LLP (headquartered in the UK) and Eversheds Sutherland (US) LLP (headquartered in the US), and their respective controlled, managed, affiliated and member firms.

International Women’s Day 2021

International Women’s Day gives us an opportunity to celebrate the achievements of women, and in particular those working at our firm. The theme for 2021 is ‘Choose to Challenge,’ a reminder that we all can and should choose to call out gender bias and inequality to create an inclusive world.

Women are not a homogenous group; they are diverse by nature of their backgrounds, their life experiences, their abilities, perspectives and opinions, and International Women’s Day is about celebrating inclusion of women in its truest sense.

We have much to celebrate in our global firm – we have remarkable women doing notable work throughout the world. In January 2021, we became the first ‘Am Law 200’ firm to name a woman of color, Shauna Clark, as both our Global and US Chair. Recently, Shauna spoke with women leaders of the firm to get their views on the challenges that women face today, including discrimination and micro-aggression in the workplace and the perceptions of female leadership during a pandemic.

“Discrimination is much less overt now, it’s subconscious in many ways and I think that makes it more challenging to overcome,” said Alison Deitz, Managing Partner, Australia. “We, as female leaders, need to be very aware of that and ensure we can overcome it, whether by unconscious bias training or actively putting in place metrics for gender pay equity, to ensure that we’re not discriminating in any shape or form.”

“We’re getting to the point now where gender discrimination is more systemic, so it’s around the actual structures themselves and who is at the table making the decisions and the transparency around that, which is different to what was more bold and in your face in the past,” echoed Angela Tancock, Chief Strategy Officer, Canada.

The reality, then, is that women still are fighting not just for a place at the table – but to be listened to when they get a seat there.

“As a woman I get penalised for my tenacity and for being direct,” explained Natasha Moore, Head of Learning and Development, Europe, Middle East and Asia. “Women are often invited to the party, but we’re not invited to dance.”

One issue that remains is that women who are assertive are sometimes painted in a negative light, which can make them reluctant to display their full confidence or potential.

“In the context of the work place, many women wait until they are 100 percent ready to take up a challenge, whereas our male counterparts would not do that, and what I say to women is – you go the extra mile, not because you are a woman but because you will find very few people in that space, and that is your place to make your mark in, in whatever way you choose to,” said Marelise van der Westhuizen, CEO, South Africa.

“Women who are seen as go-getters can be judged more harshly and we don’t just see that in professional organisations, but in the wider world too,” added Farmida Bi, EMEA Chair. “Women politicians, for example, are held to a different standard. However, the thing I’ve found most interesting about the current pandemic is the discussion around whether female leaders in countries like New Zealand or South Korea have proved to be more successful because they are leading in a different, better way.”

“When I started, I didn’t have the courage to be my authentic self and I became very adept at shifting my personality to make those around me more comfortable, and it was just another weight that I carried, in addition to being black and a woman and young in a male-dominated environment,” Shauna said.

Combatting the issue requires raising issues of disrespect, implicit bias and micro-aggression when we see it, in order to seek to correct and improve it, Shauna said.

“The conversation needs to be about resilience and being human and correcting mistakes,” Shauna said.

“There are both the implicit bias issues that people have – I have them, we all have them – sometimes there are also biases that we hold ourselves to,” added Gina Shishima, Chief Strategy and Operations Partner, United States. “I also think it’s not the best thing to focus on; if I have to say it again, I’ll say it again. I think trying to be cognisant of it is key, but I try to focus on being effective.”

Read more about our diversity and inclusion efforts, including how we strive to achieve gender balance.

Eversheds Successfully Defends Representative in SEC Appeal

Eversheds Sutherland is pleased to announce that the firm successfully defended registered representative David Tysk in an appeal to the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) of a disciplinary proceeding brought by Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA).

In 2013, the firm was hired to defend Mr. Tysk against FINRA’s charges that he acted unethically and violated arbitration procedures. Before this successful appeal, FINRA had ordered him to pay a $50,000 fine and suspended him from the securities industry for one-year, essentially ending his career in the securities industry.

After several years of appeals, including two appeals to the SEC, the SEC found in favour of Mr. Tysk, overturning FINRA’s findings.

Eversheds Sutherland Partner Brian Rubin led the team with support from Litigation Partner Lee Peifer.

Mr. Rubin said, “This is the first time in at least five years that the SEC has completely ruled against FINRA in an appeal of a disciplinary hearing. This case is a great example of how and when to push back against regulators.”

The SEC’s decision can be found here.

About Eversheds Sutherland’s Securities and Enforcement Litigation team

Eversheds Sutherland defends broker-dealers, investment advisers, public companies, accounting firms and individuals in securities exams, investigations, enforcement actions, arbitrations and related securities litigation, including class actions. With a comprehensive understanding of the financial regulatory landscape and an appreciation of our clients’ business needs, we know what it takes to make cases go away—whether that means shutting cases down early, negotiating reasonable settlements or litigating.

About Eversheds Sutherland

As a global top 10 law practice, Eversheds Sutherland provides legal services to a global client base ranging from small and mid-sized businesses to the largest multinationals, acting for 70 of the Fortune 100, 61 of the FTSE 100 and 128 of the Fortune 200.

With more than 3,000 lawyers, Eversheds Sutherland operates in 68 offices in 32 jurisdictions across Africa, Asia, Europe, the Middle East and the United States. In addition, a network of more than 200 related law firms, including formalised alliances in Latin America, Asia Pacific and Africa, provide support around the globe.

Eversheds Sutherland provides the full range of legal services, including corporate and M&A; dispute resolution and litigation; energy and infrastructure; finance; human capital and labor law; intellectual property; real estate and construction; and tax.

Eversheds Sutherland is a global legal practice and comprises two separate legal entities: Eversheds Sutherland (International) LLP (headquartered in the UK) and Eversheds Sutherland (US) LLP (headquartered in the US), and their respective controlled, managed, affiliated and member firms. The use of the name Eversheds Sutherland is for description purposes only and does not imply that the member firms or their controlled, managed or affiliated entities are in a partnership or are part of a global LLP. For more information, visit eversheds-sutherland.com.

Deloitte announces senior partner appointments

Deloitte has announced the appointment of two senior partners, Hannah Routh and Charlotte Warburton, to strengthen the firm’s global climate change and transport services. Hannah Routh brings 25 years’ experience in the climate change and sustainability sector. Previously a partner with Deloitte China, Hannah was responsible for the Climate Change and Sustainability Advisory practice for Deloitte Asia Pacific. In her new role with Deloitte UK she will be responsible for building the existing team to deliver climate change, decarbonisation and net zero projects for private and public sector clients.

Hannah said: “We see the 2020s as the climate change decade and in response we are expanding the services we provide to organisations in order to support them on their net zero journey. We are committed to doing high quality and rigorous work that makes a positive impact. After 13 years living and working in China, I’m pleased to have come back to the UK at such a pivotal time. As the UK government prepares to host COP26 in November 2021, now is the time for organisations to look urgently at how climate change commitments can be met and the transformation that needs to take place.”

Charlotte Warburton joins Deloitte’s public sector practice as the consulting transport leader, following five years at PA Consulting Group advising global transport, travel and logistics companies, as well as leading their Rail group. She has previously worked on a number of large scale innovation programmes, both in the UK and in the Middle East. A transport and technology specialist, Charlotte will be responsible for growing the firm’s transport consulting practice across the UK and Europe, with a special emphasis on the building the firm’s offering in the North of England. Through national transformation Charlotte will focus on helping companies to achieve their net zero climate targets.

Charlotte commented: “I am looking forward to helping organisations use technology to make better business decisions and to achieve their net zero goals through digital solutions. Being from the North myself, a key objective will be to transform transport infrastructure in the regions as we continue to support the UK’s levelling up agenda.”

New partner hire for Dubai corporate team

Global law firm Norton Rose Fulbright has strengthened its corporate offering in the Middle East with the hire of new partner Kayaan Unwalla.

Kayaan joins from DWF, where he was partner and head of corporate (Middle East). He advises clients on matters including cross-border transactional M&A, joint ventures, government contracts, commercial agreements and regulatory advice within the technology, defence, security, and industrial sectors.

Kayaan will join existing corporate partner Adjou Ait Ben Idir, who heads up Norton Rose Fulbright’s corporate/ M&A practice in Dubai, and is recognised for her experience in advising on complex local and international mergers and acquisitions, privatisations, private placement and joint ventures in various sectors including energy, financial institutions (in particular insurance) and real estate. She also heads up the firm’s Cyber Response Team in the Middle East and has a wealth of experience in cybersecurity related crisis management and corporate governance matters.

Deirdre Walker, head of Middle East at Norton Rose Fulbright, comments: “We welcome Kayaan to the team. Recent changes to legislation and regulation across the UAE – including the overhaul of the foreign direct investment regime in the country – make going into business in the UAE much easier for international investors who were previously excluded from the region. This shift is likely to increase confidence in the business environment and we may consequently see an uptick in corporate and M&A activity in the region. As such, Kayaan, Adjou and their teams of associates are well-placed to advise clients that are looking to capitalise on new opportunities that have arisen.”

Norton Rose Fulbright EMEA Chair, Farmida Bi, is awarded CBE

Norton Rose Fulbright’s Chair of Europe, Middle East and Asia, Farmida Bi, has been made a Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE) in the Queen’s Birthday Honours 2020 for services to the legal profession and to charity. Farmida is also Chair of the Trustees of The Patchwork Foundation.

The CBE is awarded to individuals for having a prominent role at national level, or a leading role at regional level. CBEs are also awarded for distinguished and innovative contribution to any area.

Peter Scott, Managing Partner, Europe, Middle East and Asia, said: “The firm is delighted for Farmida. She is a lawyer who specialises in innovative and market leading transactions, particularly in Islamic finance, and is a passionate advocate for social justice, who has worked tirelessly to champion social equality both within the firm and in our wider communities. It is great to see that Farmida’s work in the legal profession and her efforts to support the positive integration of disadvantaged and minority communities have been recognised.”