Cravath Scales Up With Aggressive London Move

Cravath Scales Up With Aggressive London Move

Cravath, Swaine & Moore have opened their London office with a move that sees Shearman & Sterling lose two key finance partners in another reversal for one firm and a step forward for the other.

New York-headquartered Cravaths, the #1 law firm on the LawFuel List of the World’s Most Prestigious Law Firms, is planning to introduce English law services by hiring a team from Shearman & Sterling in London.

Cravath is also ‘home’ to the so-called ‘Cravath Scale’, the basis upon which pay levels are set for associates in Biglaw practices.

Cravath has had a presence in London since 1973, providing US law counsel and currently has three partners qualified in US law listed on its London office website.

A recent interview with Cravath’s London managing partner Philip Boeckman noted that the firm was commited to “a longstanding commitment to helping clients in the UK, elsewhere in Europe and further afield.

“Cross-border work has always been a hallmark of Cravath’s practice and we’ve increasingly seen clients appreciating and benefiting from our ability to support them from not only New York,” he said.

However, the recent recruitment of finance partners Philip Stopford and Korey Fevzi from Shearman in London suggests that Cravath will now offer English law advice to broaden its practice in the wake of Brexit and further entrench itself in the City.

The departures of Stopford and Fevzi are the latest in a series of setbacks for Shearman, also headquartered in New York, which has experienced several partner departures from its offices in Europe and the Middle East in recent weeks.

Among the departures are Philip Cheveley, EMEA corporate head, moved to Sidley Austin in London, Helena Potts, a restructuring partner, joined Paul Hastings in London, and a Middle Eastern team transferred to Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher.

Reports indicate that Shearman is currently in talks of merging with Hogan Lovells, a transatlantic law firm, in a deal that would result in a firm with revenue exceeding $3bn projecting the firm back into the biggest law firms in the world.

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