Kennedys gains foothold in Bermuda with third Sedgwick raid

Kennedys has gained its first Bermudan presence after announcing a deal with Sedgwick Chudleigh, with five lawyers set to join the firm.

Sedgwick Chudleigh had previously been associated with US firm Sedgwick. Kennedys has taken teams from the US firm in New York and Chicago over the last two months making this the firm’s third raid on Sedgwick since early September.

The Bermuda site will operate from the same profit pool and this now makes Kennedys the first onshore firm to have an office in the country operating as Kennedys Chudleigh.

The deal sees three new partners join in Mark Chudleigh, Alex Potts and Nick Miles. Dispute resolution partner Chudleigh will continue to lead the office with commercial litigation partner Potts and insurance & corporate partner Nick Miles providing support.

The office will also house two associates with further growth planned for the office “in due course”.

Kennedys senior partner Nick Thomas said: “The Bermuda team is one of the premier litigation and insurance law firms locally and, therefore, a natural fit with Kennedys’ global network. This arrangement provides us with the opportunity to service clients in Bermuda, the United States and the UK, as well as our numerous other locations globally. It significantly augments our global insurance practice and puts us in a class of one amongst insurance law firms.

“Our New York, Chicago and London lawyers have worked with Mark and his team and, together, we all represent some of the world’s largest insurers.”

A spokesperson for the firm said that America has been an active part of the firm’s strategy for “at the least the last five years”. Although, it has become increasingly more important over the last two.

Earlier this year it merged with 100-strong US insurance firm Carroll McNulty & Kull while expanding into four Latin American countries in the space of two months in 2016. The firm opened its doors in Brazil and Peru with Chile and Colombia following in quick succession.

Chudleigh said: “Kennedys, quite rightly, has a reputation as one of the leading international litigation and insurance firms, a status that is underscored by the merger earlier this year with US firm, Carroll McNulty & Kull, as well as recent office openings in Latin America and Paris, among other locations.

“We handle a significant amount of off-shore work so Kennedys global reach and similar client base is terrific for us.”

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HSF launches first office in Italy with Simmons hire

Herbert Smith Freehills (HSF) has expanded in Europe, opening its first office in Italy with a hire from Simmons & Simmons.

The new Milan office, which has been described by the firm as an “IP boutique”, will launch through Laura Orlando, Simmons’ former leading IP partner in the Italian city.

Orlando focuses on patent and regulatory law in the life sciences sector. A source said it was likely Orlando would be bringing a team of two or three associates with her from Simmons, however the departure of only one associate has been confirmed.

Her hire adds to the 30 laterals HSF has made over the past five years opening four offices across Europe.

In an interview with The Lawyer, HSF head of disputes Mark Shillito said the firm had worked closely alongside Orlando for a couple of years, often referring work to her while it didn’t have a presence in Milan.

“A principal role for HSF has been to co-ordinate other law firms where we don’t have offices. It feels like Laura is part of the firm already. We’re confident she’s market leading as we are, and that she fits in well with us.”

The firm said it already has IP clients that would be serviced well in Milan, including pharmaceutical company Gilead, which the firm has advised on its HIV portfolio. Other clients include Roche, Biogen, Takeda and Sanofi. It is understood Orlando has been able to take a number of her clients from Simmons to HSF.

Orlando is the latest IP lawyer to have left Simmons for a rival firm. In August last year, the firm lost its head of IP in London Marc Döring to Allen & Overy following the hire of fellow IP partner Marjan Noor two months earlier.

In September, Simmons’ partners Mark Heaney and David Stone became the third and fourth partners to join A&O as it launched a mission spearheaded by practice head Nicola Dagg to build up its IP capabilities. Dagg was appointed by the firm as global head of IP as it embarked on a significant restructuring and strategy revamp.

A spokesperson for Simmons & Simmons said: “We can confirm that Laura is leaving the firm by the end of the year and wish her all the best for the future.

“In the meantime work will continue through our international IP Group; we will be looking to replace, further information will be provided when we have news to share.”

Shillito said that the hiring of Orlando and the launch in Milan was a stepping stone to further expansion in Europe, citing an IP-led firm in Germany as his next target.

“We’ve been busy in Italy and see Orlando as a good practitioner. Germany is an important jurisdiction because of the volume of patent litigation. The most important countries in this area are the UK, Germany, Italy, France. We already have an office in Paris and will continue to actively look for opportunities in rest of Europe, and in particular Germany.”

Herbert Smith Freehills CEO Mark Rigotti added: “Europe is a key market for pharmaceutical companies, second only to the US and so is naturally a key market for the firm, especially in light of our strategy to grow our EMEA platform. Our new Milan office will further enhance and strengthen our global IP team for our clients, both domestic and from across our wider global network.”

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Wiggin makes IP play through London boutique takeover

Media and tech boutique Wiggin has merged with London boutique Redd, bringing its intellectual property offering up to 20 lawyers.

Redd, which was launched in 2004 by partners Sara Ashby, Simon Chalkley and Charters Macdonald-Brown, advises on the protection, enforcement and exploitation of intellectual property assets, including, breakthrough technologies, global brands, iconic designs and famous creative works.

The firm’s four partners, three consultant lawyers, three associates and two trademark and designs advisers will join Wiggin as part of this deal.

This would bring Wiggin’s partner numbers up to 33, while lawyer numbers will surpass the 60 mark.

Wiggin CEO John Banister said: “Wiggin devised an assertive growth strategy a few years ago that was focussed on our key markets – delivering innovative IP solutions is a critical component of this.

“Redd’s specialist approach, excellent lawyers and entrepreneurialism represents a real synergy with Wiggin and will enable us to provide a full IP offering to our clients. Redd is an immensely capable boutique and has an enviable reputation in IP law.  We are delighted to be working together.”

Wiggin, which this year ranked at number 109 in the UK 200 2017, saw a revenue rise of 21.5 per cent in the 2016/17 financial year. Last year’s revenue per lawyer stood at £373,000, 11.1 per cent higher than £336,000 in 2015/16 and continuing an upward trend on this metric in the past five years. Wiggin reported £8.7m of net profit, representing a margin of 40.3 per cent and 36.1 per cent up on £6.4m the previous year.

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Shoosmiths advises on Photonic Solutions sale and employee buy-out

Shoosmiths has advised on the sale and employee buy-out of Photonic Solutions, a supplier of world-leading laser and photonic equipment.

The acquisition of the Edinburgh-based business involved eight of the company’s senior employees and was made with support by leading equity investor Panoramic Growth Equity.

Photonic Solutions was supported by Shoosmiths corporate partners Alison Gilson and Stuart Murray, as well as associate Jen Paton. Partner Kate Featherstone advised on tax, while senior associate John Dunlop advised on real estate, with partner Karen Harvie and senior associate Kenny Scott advising on employment.

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Angus Moon QC and Claire Watson appear in GMC v Stone

Angus and Claire both appeared in the case of GMC v Stone involving issues of principle relating to appeals by the General Medical Council against decisions of the Medical Practitioners Tribunal Service.

The submissions drafted by Angus and Claire were described by the judge, Mr Justice Jay, as “well-structured, powerfully delivered and astute.”

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Ogier advises Kennedy-Wilson on Europe Real Estate offer

Ogier has advised NYSE-listed Kennedy-Wilson Holdings, Inc. on its recommended offer for Kennedy Wilson Europe Real Estate plc.  The original and revised offers were announced on 24 April 2017 and 13 June 2017 respectively.

Kennedy-Wilson is a global real estate investment company with $18bn assets under its management.

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Event: Demystifying goods and services tax in India and learning more about VAT in Italy

Gianni Origoni Grippo Cappelli & Partners, in collaboration with the Italian Embassy in India and law firm Due Associates, is holding an event regarding the GST in India, comparing the financial administrations of Italy and India and analysing the impact on Italian companies.

When: October 27, 2017; 3pm-7pm

Where: New Delhi
India International Centre – Multipurpose Hall
40 Max Mueller Marg

Click to register

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Ogier’s advises Equitix on acquisition of rail link and M25

Ogier has acted as Guernsey legal adviser to Equitix on the establishment of several co-investment structures which, alongside Equitix Fund IV and other consortium members, acquired stakes in the HS1 high speed rail line and, separately, the M25 orbital motorway network.

The HS1 concession runs to 2040 and has an enterprise value of over £3bn.  HS1 includes the iconic London St Pancras train station and consists of a 109 km high speed rail line connecting London to a high speed commuter service throughout Kent and to European cities via the Channel Tunnel.

Bryon Rees (Partner) led the Ogier team with the assistance of Michelle Watson-Bunn (Senior Associate) and Caleb Holder (Associate), working with lead onshore counsel Ashurst LLP.

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Walker Morris advises cyber security firm Smoothwall over MBO

Specialist lawyers at Walker Morris have advised the principal shareholders of cyber security and web filtering firm, Smoothwall, on its management buyout (MBO) backed by private equity investor, Tenzing.

Founded in 2001 and with its head office based in Leeds, Smoothwall focuses on real-time, content aware web filtering technologies combined with next generation firewall.

The company works closely with schools, local government, healthcare and private sector organisations to protect their networks against cyber security threats.

With an established UK presence and a growing footprint in the US market, the MBO was conducted after Smoothwall demonstrated consistent sales driven by increasing cyber security demands and the use of mobile devices in organisations.

The MBO will see changes to Smoothwall’s management structure, with former COO, Michael Marks, moving into the position of CEO and founders of Tenzing joining the board. The incumbent senior management team will remain in place and will work alongside new chairperson, Lisa Stone, and non-executive director, Richard Hurd-Wood.

The Walker Morris team was led by corporate partner, Debbie Jackson, who was supported by Laura Cavell, Dylan Eastwood, Richie Lamb and Adrian Moss from corporate, Nicola Parkinson from tax and Lorna Hopps from employment.

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‘Italy is back’ seminar at embassy

October 30

Seminar at the Italian Embassy in the UK:

ITALY IS BACK: A COMPETITIVE EDGE FOR BUSINESS AND LIFESTYLE

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