Weekly Legal News 29 October - 2 November
Gordon Dadds makes a big purchase, Latham & Watkins promotes a record 9 London partners, and judges get a pay rise this week
Gordon Dadds buys out Ince & Co
There’s no doubt the headline grabber this week was the acquisition of international law firm Ince & Co by listed law firm Gordon Dadds. The deal, which includes a £34 million purchase and the settlement of just over £9 million in capital and current account balances due to Ince & Co partners, will make the new firm, Ince Gordon Dadds, the largest listed law firm in the UK and propel it into the top 40 law firms by revenue.
Gordon Dadds had opened its first international office in June, launching in Hong Kong, but its acquisition of Ince & Co is a game changer, adding significantly to its network which will now include 9 offices. It ends what had been a tumultuous year for Ince & Co, with partner exits in Hamburg, a high-profile resignation in Hong Kong and a widely reported fall in yearly revenues leading the firm to start merger talks with high-flying Gordon Dadds a month ago.
Gordon Dadds managing partner and chief executive Adrian Biles will head the new firm, supported by Ince’s chairman, Peter Rogan.
Latham & Watkins makes up 9 partners in London, the most of any of its offices
Latham & Watkins made public the results of its latest round of partner promotions, effective from January 2019, and its London office had the biggest share of newly minted partners. Indeed, the City office saw 9 associates make partner out of a total of 31 partner promotions globally, a share of 29% of all promotions. Of these 9 London promotions, 6 were in the corporate practice and 3 in the finance one. To put this figure in context, Latham has promoted as many partners in its 2018 round as it has in the four preceding rounds combined.
Judges get pay rise but government slashes Ministry of Justice budget
The Lord Chancellor David Gauke announced a 2% pay rise in annual salary for judges, effective immediately and backdated to April of this year. While this is the biggest rise in pay for judges in a decade, it falls far short of the 32% bump recommended in the Senior Salaries Review Body’s independent report.
A day after the Lord Chancellor’s pay rise announcement a Treasury report, released as part of the latest government budget, shows that the Ministry of Justice’s overall annual budget will fall from £6.3 billion in 2018/2019 to £6 billion in 2019/2010. This led shadow justice secretary Richard Burgon to warn that austerity was continuing in justice despite any claims to the contrary.
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