THE HOT 100

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THE HOT 100
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www.thelawyer.com
THE HOT 100
2008
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Associates
Management
Lisa Baird, Pinsent Masons
David Anderson, St Johns Buildings
Baird made a name for herself as part of a team advising the Government of
the South African province of Gauteng on the Gautrain Rapid Rail Link, one
of the world’s largest rail infrastructure projects. Once it was announced
that South Africa had won its bid to host the 2010 World Cup, pressures on an
already politically sensitive project intensified and the deal had to close
within seven months. Baird, a dual-qualified South African national, was
seconded to the Government’s project office for a period of three years to draft
English law documents and consult with financiers and technical advisers. In
addition, she displayed diplomatic skills, ensuring that black economic
empowerment obligations were fulfilled.
Anderson is a manager with heavyweight experience behind him. He spent the
two years before joining St Johns Buildings as the executive assistant to the
chairman of the bar, and in the three years before that worked in the
remuneration department, primarily on the Carter Review and the Legal
Services Act. This experience puts him centre stage in driving St Johns’
ambition to be the number one barristers’ chambers in the North of England.
In his year at the set he has already overseen rapid expansion of St Johns,
taking on the majority of Peel Court Chambers’ barristers after the Manchester
set’s dissolution.
Wim Dejonghe, Allen & Overy
Maddy Cook, Weil Gotshal & Manges
One of the brightest up-and-coming associates in the City, Cook has acted for
a huge variety of corporate clients, from Apax and Lion Capital to General
Electric, and at the tail end of the year was drafted into Weil Gotshal &
Manges’ firmwide advice on Lehman Brothers. Not content with that, Cook
spends a considerable time on pro bono work for a range of organisations,
evincing boundless energy and commitment.
Lewis Cohen,
Field Fisher Waterhouse
By choosing former Belgian managing partner and co-head of corporate
Dejonghe to lead them, Allen & Overy (A&O) partners gave a clear, outwardlooking signal. Not only is Dejonghe the first non-London-based managing
partner in the magic circle, he also has an impeccable leadership record with
a great personal touch. A&O’s Belgian corporate practice and office have
always been the firm’s showpieces, and Dejonghe has since applied himself
with equal energy to the global managing partner role, relocating to London
and having visited the firm’s offices across the globe.
Malcolm Dickinson, Michelmores
When Field Fisher Waterhouse (FFW) hired Cohen from McGrigors in
2007, the firm got the man and also a rather high-profile IP client in the form
of Barclays Premier League football club Tottenham Hotspur. Shortly after
joining, Cohen scored a mandate for FFW advising on the club’s crackdown
on counterfeit goods being sold over the internet. So far the firm has managed
to put a stop to more than 1,000 auctions on eBay. Not a bad start at a new
firm.
Devon-headquartered Michelmores has chosen Dickinson as the man to put
the firm on the national stage. At the 2007-08 year-end the firm achieved a 25
per cent jump in turnover to £16.9m. Dickinson is Michelmores’ first
managing partner and is aiming to take the firm to the £50m turnover mark
within five years. Peers say Dickinson is “not just a lawyer”, in that he has a
strong entrepreneurial spirit lurking beneath his quietly spoken manner.
Charlie Geffen, Ashurst
Katherine Gibson, Nortel
The Law Society’s junior lawyers division (JLD) was launched to give junior
lawyers a voice, and as president of the group Nortel in-house counsel Kat
Gibson has taken on a major task. From a standing start just a year ago, the
JLD has set up a number of taskforces, both nationally and regionally, and
launched campaigns on associate attrition, minimum trainee salaries, student
debt and Law Society reform.
Ashurst private equity rainmaker Geffen will have a lot on his plate in
succeeding current senior partner Geoffrey Green, who is off to Hong Kong
to kick-start the firm’s expansion plans in Asia. But by many accounts Geffen
will be the right man to step into Green’s shoes, with five years of management
board experience and huge clout with Ashurst’s clients. Indeed, the firm will
do well to keep its senior partner close to its private equity clients so as to pick
up on future work in the upturn. The only real shame will be losing Geffen’s
formidable fee-earning skills.
Felicity Mowat, Kennedys
Kennedys associate Mowat has been at the heart of Buncefield for the past two
and a half years, pursuing several hundreds of millions of pounds worth of
subrogated recoveries on behalf of a number of insurers. Mowat took a lead
part in managing the litigation. In October she reached an all-time career high
when the defendants caved in just three days into the three-month trial.
Mowat continues to manage the recovery of damages in respect of more
than 100 individual Buncefield claims.
Kamal Shah,
Stephenson Harwood
Al Giles, Axiom Legal
Axiom Legal’s founders came up with an astonishing idea – to create a law firm
with no partners, no billing targets and no lockstep. Thanks to the
determination of former Linklaters associate Giles, who heads Axiom’s
London office, the business got off to a strong start when it made the transition
from the US to the UK in 2007. Axiom has already made its mark this side of
the Atlantic, placing top-quality legal talent with the likes of Amazon and
Christie’s and winning plaudits from its clients and its lawyers alike.
Danny Gowan, Davies Arnold Cooper
As a litigation senior associate, Shah managed to get himself involved in not
one, but two complex African disputes this year. In the first High Court case,
Shah successfully represented East African companies Primefuels Kenya
and Mirambo Holdings in a shareholder agreement dispute over the
privatisation of the Kenyan and Ugandan railways. As a result of Shah’s hard
work, the firm will also take a $200m (£134.45m) case to the Court of Appeal
for the state’s oil company the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation
against oil contractor Ipco Nigeria.
Richard Thexton,
Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer
Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer associate Richard Thexton has been in a
privileged position for the past year. As chief operating officer for the corporate
department, he has probably gained more management experience than any
other associate in his peer group. Not only has he tried to tackle old managerial
bugbears such as work allocation, he also conceived a secondment
process template for the corporate department that has been
enthusiastically rolled out to the rest of the firm. It is said that management
does not come naturally to lawyers. Well, here is one who has clearly blossomed
in the function.
The past 12 months have shown Gowan is a man who can when it comes to
management. Under his watchful eye, Davies Arnold Cooper (DAC) posted one
of the biggest revenue increases in the firm’s recent history. The firm posted
a turnover of £37.3m for 2007-08 – a 16.6 per cent increase on the previous
year’s £32m. Gowan also oversaw DAC’s successful merger with KSB Law in
2008 and has vowed to acquire another firm of similar size in the near future.
David Harris, Lovells
Harris had a tough first term at the helm of Lovells, but his positive influence
on the firm is really starting to show. After a number of years of flat financial
performance, the firm showed a marked improvement at the halfway point of
2008-09. While proof of the improvement will be seen in the full-year figures,
Harris has clearly got the support of the firm behind him after seeing off a
challenge from Continental Europe head Harald Seisler to secure a second
term as firmwide managing partner.
Robert Lewis, Lovells
It has been an amazing year for Lovells Beijing head Lewis. After spending
2007 as the driving force behind the firm’s Sino-Global Legal Alliance with
nine domestic Chinese firms, in 2008 Lewis saw the concept consolidate into
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Management
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a working network between Lovells and an extended list of 10
Chinese firms. Having won the respect of the Chinese legal
community during his 15 years in the country, Lewis has proved
himself to be a serious asset in Lovells’ drive to be the
international law firm of choice.
Murray Magowan, Sintons
Sintons practice director Magowan was recruited by the
Newcastle firm seven years ago to turn it from a legal practice
into a legal business. By all accounts he has succeeded, having
pushed Sintons firmly into Newcastle’s chasing pack. The firm
has increased its turnover considerably, invested heavily in IT
systems and has now settled into its new offices, The Cube,
located in Newcastle’s new Science City development – an
astute move, as Sintons aims to ramp up the size of its
commercial practice.
Jason Mogg, Kinstellar
Things looked grim for Mogg, the former Linklaters Central and
Eastern Europe (CEE) head, when the firm decided to axe its
offices in the region in May. But Mogg saw an opportunity and
decided to take on the offices himself and start a breakaway firm.
Months of frantic negotiations and planning ensued, with Mogg
wangling deals with his former colleagues at Linklaters to bring
in IT, office space and training for young lawyers. The result is
Kinstellar, a CEE law firm built on an Anglo-Saxon model.
Duncan Weston, CMS Cameron McKenna
Weston was elected as managing partner of CMS Cameron
McKenna on a platform of change, and he has not disappointed.
It has been a tumultuous year for the firm. First came news of its
plans to merge the Moscow office with European allies CMS
Hasche Sigle and CMS Bureau Francis Lefebvre, taking
corporate within the CMS network to a new level. Then Weston
unveiled his plans to revamp Camerons’ management structure
by setting up a single 15-member board to govern the firm.
Finally, it was decided to relaunch the legacy insurance group as
a dispute resolution practice. Expect 2009 to be another busy
year for Weston – might a merger be his next move?
Litigators
Dorothy Cory-Wright, Sidley Austin
Both a barrister and a solicitor-advocate, Cory-Wright is wellregarded for insurance and reinsurance disputes, having built up
her reputation at what was Kendall Freeman. Her move to the
London office of US firm Sidley Austin was originally conceived
as a launch of the firm’s UK contentious insurance practice, but
her litigation track record will make her a key figure at the firm
in the coming year.
Dominic Crossley, Steeles Law
l-r: Charlie Geffen,
Ashurst,
Danny Gowan,
Davies Arnold Cooper,
Duncan Weston,
CMS Cameron McKenna,
David Anderson,
St Johns Buildings,
David Harris, Lovells,
Al Giles, Axiom Legal
Few people had heard of London and Norfolk-based firm Steeles
until 2008. Then came the News of the World report on Formula
1 chief Max Mosley. Mosley and Crossley pursued News
International through the courts, securing a key privacy win at
first instance. Crossley was later retained by Mosley to take the
case to European Court of Human Rights. He is not, perhaps,
Daily Mail editor Paul Dacre’s favourite lawyer.
Jonathan Crow QC, 4 Stone Buildings
Crow is one of the most highly regarded silks who acts for the
Government. His fans say he is an excellent strategist and a
stylish advocate. In the past 12 months he has turned around the
Chagos Islands case for the Foreign Office. The Government had
backtracked on its decision to return 2,000 Chagossian people
it had evicted in the 1970s back to the island. The Chagossians
had originally won their right to return, but thanks to Crow’s
advocacy the House of Lords overturned the decision in favour
of the Government.
29 The Lawyer Hot 100 2008

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