Fire strikes 195-year-old home of Law Society in London…

Former Obama administration lawyer joins Cooley… Global litigation funder issues profit warning despite strong growth…

Fire strikes 195-year-old home of Law Society in London…

Fire strikes 195-year-old home of Law Society in London

One of the most historic buildings in the global legal profession suffered fire damage at the weekend and is currently closed.

The Law Society of England & Wales’ home for the past 195 years – 113 Chancery Lane in London – was attended by 150 firefighters as guests at an event were evacuated.

The building has housed the society since 1825, chosen for its proximity to Temple Bar, home to the city’s barristers. At the time it was in an area frequented by prostitutes and villains, until Robert Peel’s Metropolitan Police was established 4 years later.

Saturday’s fire also saw local homes evacuated but no-one was hurt and Law Society CEO Paul Tennant said what happened is not yet clear.

"It is too early to comment on the cause of the fire or the extent of the damage but clearly we are extremely upset that this has happened to this wonderful and historic building,” he said.

Former Obama administration lawyer joins Cooley

Acclaimed litigation lawyer Kathleen Hartnett has joined global firm Cooley in San Francisco as a partner.

During the Obama administration she was deputy assistant attorney general in the US Department of Justice’s Civil Division, overseeing the Federal Programs Branch, which represents the federal government in high-profile civil litigation.

“Cooley’s success as a global litigation force attracted me, as did its renowned culture of collaboration and commitment to diversity and inclusion,” said Hartnett. “I look forward to working closely with my new colleagues to protect our clients’ innovation and success.”

She joins from Boies Schiller Flexner in San Francisco.

Global litigation funder issues profit warning despite strong growth

Burford Capital says that its 2019 income and profits are likely to be lower than the previous year due to potentially lower returns from some investments.

The global litigation funder says that its financial statements are not yet completed and the outcome of the fair valuation process is hard to forecast but it is expecting the reduction.

However, the company’s update on 2019 trading performance also contained some news of positive growth for the firm including U$1.6 billion in new commitments, a 24% increase over 2018 and a new record. Cash proceeds were up 23% to $997 million.

“Burford had an exceptional year of growth in 2019, including a 30% increase in core litigation finance commitments, positioning the business favourably for the years ahead, while our returns remained robust and even inched higher than before,” Christopher Bogart, Burford’s CEO, commented. “We are delighted that 2020 is off to a brisk start, and we were also pleased to see the capital structure benefits of our new strategic capital arrangements.”

The full update is available at

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