Morning Briefing: Law firm confirms ASIC investigation

After an initial denial, an international law firm has confirmed it is the subject of an investigation… Linklaters appoints global head of competition… Chinese law firm opens in Greece… Orrick hires energy team from Hogan Lovells… International law firm expands Middle East presence…

Slater & Gordon confirms ASIC investigation
Last week there was a denial but on Monday the Financial Times, Reuters and the Sydney Morning Herald all reported Slater & Gordon’s confirmation that it is the subject of an investigation by the Australian Securities and Investments Commission. The probe surrounds accounting errors in the Australian-based law firm’s UK operation. The FT reports that the publicly-listed firm lost a quarter of its market value on Monday as the investigation was confirmed. In a statement the law firm noted: “The company was notified by Pitcher Partners [Slater’s auditors] that ASIC intends to raise some queries directly with the company.” It told the ASX that net operating cash flows were not affected. Slaters has instructed Ernst & Young to carry out a thorough audit.
Linklaters appoints global head of competition
Jonas Koponen has been appointed global head of the competition/antitrust practice at Linklater. Based in Brussels Koponen is an international competition partner and a member of the International Bar Association’s task forces regarding antitrust in China and India. He begins his four-year term on July 1st and succeeds Michael Cutting who will now return to full-time client practice.
Chinese law firm opens in Greece
At last some news of Greece that isn’t about debt talks; Chinese law firm Yingke has opened its new office in the pressured country. The strategic partnership with local firm Machas & Partners. The office, which brings Yingke’s international total to 27, is not likely to be the firm’s last in southern Europe as it has already hinted at further expansion in the region.
Orrick hires energy team from Hogan Lovells
International law firm Orrick has announced that the leading energy and projects team of Matthew Williams, John Deacon and Edward Humphries will join the firm as partners in the London office. Williams will serve as co-head of Orrick’s European energy practice with Carlo Montella from the firm’s Milan office. The team joins Orrick from Hogan Lovells, where Williams was global co-head of the Energy & Natural Resources Group and Deacon was global co-head of the Renewable Energy Group.
International law firm expands Middle East presence
The US-headquartered law firm Shearman & Sterling has expanded its Middle East footprint with three new offices. The Riyadh, Jeddah and Al-Khobar offices result from an affiliation with Saudi firm Abdulaziz Alassaf & Partners and collectively has 16 lawyers across 10 practice areas. Shearman also has a 20-lawyer office in Abu Dhabi.

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