Slater & Gordon suspends share trading
Aussie law firm Slater & Gordon has temporarily suspended trade in its shares on the ASX while it finalises some items in its accounts. The Guardian reports that the firm needs to complete the testing and assessment of goodwill in its UK business following its acquisition of some of professional services arm of Quindell last year. The voluntary halt of trading comes as shares hit $0.83, down from $8 last year. It expects trading to resume by next Monday.
Latham & Watkins adds five partners in Hong Kong
Following its announcement this week that it intends to open its sixth Asia-Pac office in Seoul as part of an Asian-push, international firm Latham & Watkins has hired three prominent lawyers for its Hong Kong office with an additional two joining from London and Chicago.
The firm’s hires are: M&A/corporate partner Simon Cooke, who joins from Clifford Chance; finance partner Gary Hamp, from Hogan Lovells; and private equity partner Amy Beckingham, from Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer. The relocating partners are: high-yield finance partner James Burnett, who joins from London and has been with the firm for a decade; and restructuring partner Josef Athanas, from Chicago.
Korea’s largest law firm losing market share
South Korea’s largest law firm has lost some of its dominance of the market according to a report by PulseNews.co.kr. Kim & Chang still leads the big six but it is the only one to have lost market share over each of the past three years. The firm’s share fell to below 50 per cent for the first time while the others - Bae, Kim & Lee, Lee & Ko, Yulchon, Shin & Kim and Yoon & Yang – have all seen gains and losses. The biggest gains in 2015 were for Bae, Kim & Lee which has the second largest market share, but at 13.6 per cent is a long way off Kim & Chang’s 49.9 per cent.
Young lawyers should not be exploited says Law Society
Those interested in a career in the legal profession should not be “taken advantage of” and should be compensated for work experience lasting more than a month. That’s part of a new guidance document issued by the Law Society of England & Wales which calls for a fair approach to engaging future lawyers. Its report notes that in the past decade there has been a 45 per cent surge in law graduates in the UK but while there were 16,000 graduates in 2014, there were only 5,000 training contracts available. That creates great demand for work experience but this should only be unpaid for a maximum of 4 weeks. The guidelines were drawn up following a survey by the Junior Lawyers Division of the Law Society which found that while 80 per cent of young lawyers had undertaken work experience almost half did not feel it had enhanced their career prospects.