Almost half of corporates planning to divest

A large proportion of corporates are planning to make divestments in the next two years, according to a new survey… Expansion for DLA Piper… WLG sets female partner targets… Man accused of helping lawyers against China is released…

Almost half of corporates planning to divest
A large proportion of corporates are planning to make divestments in the next two years according to a survey by EY. Its Global Corporate Divestment Study reveals that 49 per cent of respondents put divestment as the top priority in capital agenda strategy; in last year’s survey the figure was 20 per cent. In 2015 more than half (56 per cent) said they were not planning to make any divestments, this year that figure has dropped to just 5 per cent.
Companies that use the proceeds from divestments to fund acquisitions showed stronger valuations for the core business than those that used the sale to pay down debt, the report found. The single largest reason for a sale is opportunistic including unsolicited approaches. Activist investors are also a major factor in deciding to divest.
 
Expansion for DLA Piper
DLA Piper has announced that the number of firms in its group has risen to 15 with the addition of ADCA in Angola. The full service law firm has 16 partners and lawyers and is a market leading firm noted for its finance, corporate and real estate practices. ADCA has an existing partnership with ABBC in Portugal, which also has a long-standing relationship with DLA Piper.
 
WLG sets female partner targets
Wragge Lawrence Graham & Co has set targets to prompt gender diversity across its international offices. The firm wants women to make up 30 per cent of its global partnership by 2026 with a 21 per cent target to be reached in the next five years. The initial target is only just above its current level of one fifth. While there is some way to go for female partners at the firm, more than half of its directors and across its associate levels are women. WLG’s Canadian merger partner Gowlings has around a 25 per cent female partnership.
 
Man accused of helping lawyers against China is released
The Swedish man who was arrested earlier this month accused of helping unlicensed lawyers to take on the Chinese government has been released. Sky News reports that Peter Dahlin confessed on state-controlled CCTV that his Hong Kong based Urgent Action Working Group had helped certain people to violate the law. He also apologised to the Chinese government and people. It is unclear whether the confession was made under duress.

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