Morning Briefing: British multinational seeks US merger partner

UK-headquartered giant seeks US merger partner… Olswang revenues recover… Billed hours no longer a performance metric… Fried Frank faces multi-million dollar fine… Binghams staff reportedly leave amid redundancy report…

Eversheds seeks US merger partner
The partners of Eversheds have voted overwhelmingly to pursue a merger partner in the US. The firm has been expanding its international footprint over the last decade and now operates in 31 countries. Its Africa Law Institute has continued to grow and now has 37 members since launching a year ago. A tie-up in the US is the next big step but will not necessarily involve a large name as the firm is keen to ensure a cultural fit as a priority.

Olswang revenues recover
Olswang has revealed that revenues for the first half of the 2014/15 financial year have grown 11 per cent. When the whole year results for 2013/14 were posted in July the firm had seen revenue rise 7 per cent but profit was down, although not as much as the previous year. Acting CEO Michael Burdon has called the latest results “encouraging.”

Billed hours no longer a performance metric
A US firm that specialises in employment law has announced that it will no longer be counting billed hours as a performance metric for associates. Jackson Lewis PC will scrap the long-time measure from January 2015 as chair Vincent Cino says the person who bills the most hours may not be the best or most efficient associate. The firm will assess performance based on metrics such as quality of work, efficiency, teamwork and commitment to pro-bono.

Fried Frank faces fine
Fried Frank Harris Shriver and Jacobson could be facing a fine of AU$14 million or more after a former client alleged negligence over a loan contract. The allegation of multiple breaches of duty concerns the advice given over the enforcement of a French commercial loan. The client is claiming financial loss as a result. The claimants will be represented by Travers Smith while Clyde & Co will represent the law firm.

Binghams staff reportedly leave amid redundancy report
It’s reported that staff of Bingham McCutchen’s global services centre have been handed redundancy notices. It’s understood that some employees will leave for the final time this week although there is expectation that some others may be taken on by Morgan Lewis. The two firms had been in merger talks but the future of Bingham’s is now unclear following Morgan Lewis’ hire of 227 of its partners.

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