International firm to close Aussie office
The Sydney office of US-based firm Skadden Arps Slate Meagher & Flom is to close in the first half of this year. The office, which opened in 1989, serves the firm’s Australian and New Zealand clients. Skadden will continue to have offices in Beijing, Hong Kong, Singapore and Tokyo. It is not known what will happen to the staff based in the Sydney office although Legal Business reports that Adrian Deitz, co-head of the corporate finance group, will remain in the city as part of the Singapore and Hong Kong team.
Meanwhile, the AFR reports that two senior partners in Clifford Chance’s Sydney office are leaving. Managing partner Mark Pistilli and partner Danny Simmons were part of the original boutique firm team that led to Clifford Chance Australia’s formation in 2011. The third member of that team, Diana Chang, will remain and lead the firm.
Law firm calls for HR to be part of corporate strategy
A report by international law firm Eversheds along with business intelligence firm Winmark concludes that HR should be a bigger part of corporate strategy. The HR2020 study found that HR is often seen as part of day-to-day operations rather than strategic at board level. Evershed’s HR practice says that with regulatory changes for the HR function having wider impact on businesses in terms of diversity, work-life balance and technology it is time for it to take a leading role in more areas.
‘Big Four’ services firm attracts senior law firm hires
The legal services arm of PricewaterhouseCooper (PwC) has announced a number of senior hires from law firms. David Farmer joins PwC Legal’s pensions practice from DLA Piper where he was a partner for 3 years; and Thomas Colmer joins from Osbourne Clarke, he has 16 years’ experience. The duo follow the recent hires from King & Wood Mallesons SJ Berwin, DLA Piper, Baker & McKenzie and Stephenson Harwood.