International firm launches investment-focused spin-off
Fieldfisher has launched a separate law firm focused on hedge funds, derivatives and the alternative investment management sectors.
Cummings Fisher is London-based and led by managing partner Claire Cummings, along with partner Ron Feldman leading the derivatives practice and partner James Tinworth leading the funds practice.
"This is an exciting, innovative move as we continue to evolve to meet the fast-changing needs of legal service users,” Cummings said. We are now able to extend our expertise to provide a global reach for clients and build on our sector-leading advice to firms involved in emerging financing trends, such as crowdfunding, cryptocurrencies, payment platforms, tokenisations and digital currencies.”
Cummings set up the legacy boutique firm Cummings Law in 2003 with a focus on the alternative investment fund sector and startups.
As well as having its own global reach through associations, the new firm will also utilize the network of international offices of Fieldfisher, which will also provide support across a wider range of practice areas.
"The Cummings Fisher proposition fills a big gap in the market between traditional law firms and the sole practitioners serving clients in the alternative investments sector,” Guy Usher, Head of Financial Markets & Products at Fieldfisher.
KPMG expands legal services to Hong Kong, Shanghai next
‘Big Four’ firm KPMG has expanded its legal services operation into Hong Kong.
Based in the same building as the firm’s existing Hong Kong services, affiliate firm SF Lawyers has a team of 20 lawyers led by Shirley Fu and will be a member of the KPMG Global Legal Services Network.
The South China Post reports that KPMG will also launch legal services through an affiliate in Shanghai later this year.
Law firms still burdened by paper-based billing
Some old habits are hard to break and it seems that traditional methods of billing is one that many law firms are struggling with.
A survey by US firm Orion Law Management Systems has found that more than 71% of law firm accounts departments are still circulating paper printouts and collecting handwritten annotations to capture lawyers input before finalizing invoices.
Eight out of 10 respondents said that the annotations from lawyers are often illegible while 46% said they often go missing, leading to long delays in the invoicing process.
“Since the efficiency of law firm billing is quite literally linked to a firms cash flow, having an onerous, primarily manual prebilling process full of delays is costing these firms both time and money. This problem adds up each billing cycle, month-after-month, and can cause significant financial damage over time,” said Paul Yelton, President of Orion Law Management.