Mining, metals sector set for M&A boom
The year ahead is predicted to see a surge in M&A activity in the mining and metals sector according to business services firm EY. Its outlook for the industry highlights five years of decline in both volume and values of deals but says that increasing levels of financial distress will mean more divestments, spin-offs, joint ventures and possibly hostile takeover bids.
In 2015 there were just 358 deals completed in the mining and metals sector, the lowest level since 2000. Excluding the US$8.7b BHP Billiton demerger of South32, overall deal value globally dropped to US$40.0b, with a strong bias to domestic deals and assets in developed markets.
For 2016, EY expects more deals to involve private capital; spin-offs to be high on the strategic agenda; deals being driven by the need to de-risk and preserve capital; and hostile bids for low-cost assets in stable jurisdictions.
Ashurst global chief may be non-lawyer
The global managing partner for Ashursts may be a non-lawyer according to media reports. James Collis stands down from the role in May following a four-year tenure and the firm has tasked a recruitment firm to find non-lawyer candidates according to legalbusiness.co.uk. There are a number of options for consideration though and it is understood that the external non-lawyer candidates would be CEO or COO at law or professional services firms.
Law firm partners taking out more than just the profits
The Law Society of England & Wales has revealed the results of its latest Financial Benchmarking Survey which shows a median rise in income of 5.4 per cent in 2015. Despite challenging conditions it was the 6th
consecutive year of increases with fee with net profit per equity partner rising to £146,600. The report highlights an “area of concern” in a rise in the number of firms where partners took out more than was made in profits; a quarter of firms reported that compared to a fifth in the previous year.
Jon Cartwright of Hazelwoods who conducted the survey on behalf of the Law Society concluded that mainstream legal practices in England & Wales are in “good shape” but said there was concern over those involved in the criminal and personal injury sectors.
Lawyers weigh action against Apple for ‘Error 53’
If you have an Apple iPhone 6 and have had it repaired by a non-Apple repairer it could be permanently disabled following the latest software upgrade. Thousands of users worldwide have ended up with a brick displaying ‘error 53’. Now law firms are considering whether Apple has acted illegally under consumer protection, competition or even criminal damage laws. One law firm in Seattle PCVA is weighing a possible class action under US consumer laws, the Guardian reports, while a UK barrister says Apple may have breached the Criminal Damage Act 1971 which makes it illegal to willfully damage property belonging to another.