Law firms well-placed to face Brexit uncertainty

by Steve Randall08 Mar 2018

Law firms well-placed to face Brexit uncertainty

Law firms in the UK have increased their resilience to the uncertainty of Brexit with a 75% surge in their bank balances over the past 5 years.

A survey from chartered accountants Hazlewoods has found that the UK’s top 100 law firms added 12% to their combined bank balances, which reached $1.4 billion last year.

The firm says that the figures suggest that law firms have been careful to store capital following the recession and are now in a stronger position to deal with challenges from the EU withdrawal.

“Brexit poses one of the biggest challenges to the UK economy since the Second World War, so it is reassuring to see healthy reserves in the bank for law firms to weather any potential turbulence ahead,” commented associate partner Andy Harris.

The additional capital reserves also allow for investment in new technology, including artificial intelligence.

“Law firms are also well-prepared to take advantage of new opportunities. Those who are weighing up expansion plans or investments in technology will be in a better position to give them the go-ahead when the time is right. Innovations such as AI and big data analytics are rapidly becoming business-critical,” added Harris.

Ashurst boosts corporate team in Hong Kong

Ashurst has strengthened its corporate practice with the addition of Frank Bi as partner in Hong Kong.

He specialises in equity capital markets, M&A and Hong Kong listing compliance work, and joins from Slaughter & May where he practised for more than 10 years.

Bi says he was attracted to the move to Ashurst because of the firm’s strategic focus on China.

He is the fourth partner hire in Ashurst's Hong Kong office in the last three months.

Clifford Chance advises bookies on Aussie sale

A team from Clifford Chance in Sydney has advised William Hill on the sale of its Australian bookmaking business.

Partner Lance Sacks led the transaction, supported by counsel Amelia Horvath, associate Marcus Ap, and lawyer James Kwong. The sale to CrownBet was via a competitive sale auction process.

William Hill entered the Australian gaming industry in 2013 through the acquisition of Sportingbet, Centrebet, and