Morning Briefing: Aussie law firm to close as team joins international group

by Steve Randall18 Dec 2015
Aussie law firm to close as team joins international group
Australian law firm Lee & Lyons is to cease trading in February with its founders and a team of lawyers joining international firm Clyde & Co. The Aussie firm was founded by David Lee and Lucinda Lyons in 2002; both will join Clyde’s Sydney office as partners along with David Amentas, Michelle Dunne and Christopher Smith. The five partners will be supported by more than 25 lawyers together with Clyde’s existing team. Both firms have respected insurance clients and David Lee commented that clients say they need a law firm with national and international reach. Clyde will also welcome Melbourne-based Marcus O’Brien, currently a partner at Norton Rose Fulbright early in 2016.
Slaters shares slump as UK business drags
Slater & Gordon profits have been hit by slower resolutions in a number of cases handled by its UK personal injury business. The Law Society Gazette says that the firm told the Australian stock exchange that it is considering writing down the book value of the UK business due to changes in the limit of PI claims that will be handled through the small claims courts process which was announced by the UK government last month. Slater’s shares closed down 17 per cent on Thursday.  
Asia overtakes Europe in global M&A
The latest global M&A report from Allen & Overy shows a 22 per cent increase in deal values to U$4 trillion in 2015 compared to 2014. However, deal volume continues to decline, down 13 per cent this year. Approximately one third of all deals this year were cross-border, which is consistent with levels seen in 2014.
The most active sectors by deal value were TMT and Life Sciences, which accounted for 25.7 per cent and 21 per cent of deal values, respectively.
For the first time this year, Asia has overtaken Western Europe as the second most active M&A market to the US. High levels of activity have been driven by Chinese companies making outbound acquisitions.
Global litigation head appointed at Squire Patton Boggs
John Burlingame has been announced as co-chair of the global litigation department at Squire Patton Boggs. He will serve alongside Mitchell Berger and succeed John Gall who steps down in March. The firm’s global litigation team comprises more than 325 lawyers across its international offices.