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04/05/07

U.K. law firm partners find U.S. firms in London more attractive


The U.S. law firms in their London offices are on a hiring spree. According to a survey conducted by Legal Business, 71 partners left the U.K. law firms to join the U.S. firms in London in the last year.

The findings are part of an annual report on 50 U.S. law firms in London.

The major reason for this trend is better profitability of the U.S. firms. "In 2006, each equity partner in the U.S. law firm in London, on an average, received $1,322,739 in comparison with $1,083,967 for U.K. firms," informed Stephen Doggett. Doggett was instrumental in conducting the survey at Legal Business.

Another attractive feature of the U.S. law firms, according to the survey, is the billings per partner. The top American law firm partner bills $1.97 million a year, while the maximum that a British law firm partner can make annually is $1.58 million.

The U.K. lawyers are also attracted to the U.S. firms because of their robust financial strength. Despite the strength of the sterling against the dollar, U.S. law firms in London have been able to raise their total revenue by 17 per cent to $2.76 billion in 2006 in comparison with the last year. In comparison, the growth in the biggest 50 U.K. firms have been only 13 percent.

The survey also revealed the source of the U.S. firms' profitability. Despite rumors about the firms' branching into insurance and disputes, the U.S. firms have held on to more expensive areas of corporate and mergers and acquisitions.

Hunton & Williams play home to Jenkens' attorneys
Jenkens & Gilchrist, one of the largest law firms in Dallas, closed its doors and quietly slipped into history. The law firm earlier owned responsibility of promoting illegal tax shelters for its clients. Its lawyers move on.

Richmond-based international law firm Hunton & Williams, LLP, absorbed the 93 dislodged attorneys from Jenkens. This mass addition made Hunton's attorney count rise to 1,000 lawyers in 19 offices. With the new expansion, the firm will also broaden its practice areas to include financial institutions, financial services, real estate, litigation, bankruptcy, corporate, tax, and estate planning.

In Dallas alone, the headcount rose to 157 from 70, with majority of the Jenkens lawyers joining here. Jenkens' Patrick E. Mitchell, a new partner in the firm, will serve as managing partner in the Dallas office. He will be assisted by Hunton & Williams' partner Curtis G. Carlson as administrative partner. The duo will also look after the administration of the Houston office.
Hunton will also open its new office in Austin with the five Jenkens attorneys. Chet A. Fenimore will serve the Austin office as managing partner, while Jeanne P. Breckinridge will serve as the office administrative partner.

Wally Martinez, managing partner of Hunton, said that it was a year's luring that culminated in the mass addition of the Jenkens' attorneys. He was confident that the "controversy over the tax shelters did not dissuade Hunton from going after Jenkens' lawyers." These "high-quality lawyers align with Hunton's current national practices. These additions will allow Hunton to provide major capabilities in the energy lending arena," he stated.

BIZARRE NEWS

Study reveals health benefits for girl-watchers
Here is a study that most guys (maybe all) will find irresistible. According to Dr. Karen Weatherby in the New England Journal of Medicine, staring at women's breasts for ten minutes is "as healthy as half an hour in the gym." A five-year study of 200 men revealed that the "chest-watchers" experienced lower blood pressure, less heart disease, slower pulse rates, and fewer instances of coronary artery disease compared to the refrained lot. "Sexual excitement gets the heart pumping and improves blood circulation," explains Dr. Weatherby. Dr. Weatherby also revealed that if the activity is carried on a regular basis, an average man lives four to five years longer. This astounding conclusion was drawn by gerontologist Dr. Weatherby and her fellow researchers at three hospitals in Frankfurt. The study leaves one question: Do similar health benefits exist for women too?

Hunton & Williams LLP

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