2018 Annual Review | White & Case LLP International Law Firm, Global Law Practice

ANNUAL REVIEW
2018

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From our Chairman

Economic and geopolitical dynamics diverged remarkably in 2018. The global economy continued to grow, while political uncertainty mounted as a wave of populism challenged established conventions.

Against this backdrop, we continued to help our clients around the world identify and resolve complex legal and business challenges. This includes representing Brazilian telecommunications company Oi S.A. in the completion of its US$20 billion debt restructuring and acting for global cybersecurity provider Avast in the largest-ever software IPO on the London Stock Exchange.

In 2018 we opened new offices in Chicago, Houston and Tashkent. We added 84 new partners worldwide, in line with our 2020 strategy. And with revenue up nearly 14 percent, we had our highest revenue year on record.

For the fifth consecutive year, The American Lawyer named us the most diverse law firm in the United States. While we celebrate this achievement, we can and must do better. We are committed to making our workplace and our partnership more diverse and inclusive.

The dedication of our people to using their legal skills to make the world a better place resulted in nearly 120,000 hours of pro bono work last year, a record for the Firm. Among the range of pro bono matters we tackled, one highlight was our work to help create a lifesaving program to screen children affected by the Flint, Michigan water crisis.

Our 2018 Annual Review reflects a successful year, putting us in a strong position from which to grow and evolve as we help our clients navigate—and thrive in—an uncertain world.


Hugh Verrier

Voices

Insights from guest speakers at Firm events

Madeleine Albright

The declining global political system can be restored

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Gillian Tett

Have we reached peak populism?

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Robert Alan Feldman

Breaching barriers to technology diffusion begets income gains

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The international trading system faces a turning point

US actions trigger trade barriers and disputes, raising doubts about the longstanding multilateral system

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Cryptocurrency rules take shape in the US and UK

Don’t expect a radical departure from existing securities regulations

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Regulators worldwide apply ever-more scrutiny to foreign direct investment

The United States, United Kingdom, China and elsewhere are clamping down on foreign investments, and in a widening array of industries

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Views

Our thoughts on business dynamics

A banner year for US M&A

Last year’s sun shone bright on US mergers & acquisitions activity—but there are clouds on the horizon

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Private equity must prioritize cybersecurity

Strong cybersecurity governance is increasingly critical at all points in the investment chain

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Where banks grow cautious, other investors pick up the leveraged loans baton

As banks remain gun-shy on leveraged debt, direct lending funds fill the finance gap

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For a head start on an IPO, issue a high yield bond

Companies that have issued a high yield bond have already completed much of the work required for an IPO—but to date, few have taken advantage of the flying start

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Blockchain promises to boost sustainability in mining & metals

Increasing transparency demands from regulators and consumers are steering mining & metals companies to blockchain for an answer

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Signs still point to a brighter future in oil & gas M&A

Despite a year-end dip, the pieces are in place for oil & gas M&A to enjoy a busy 2019

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Tech leaders are optimistic about the future of cross-border M&A

Strategic drivers continue to fuel cross-border deals despite economic and geopolitical uncertainties

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Foreign venture capital investment into China soars

Overseas VC funds have poured into Chinese startups—at points, overtaking their US counterparts

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Companies must close gaps in anti-bribery and corruption compliance

Work remains for companies committed to compliance in an energized enforcement climate

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International arbitration tops methods of cross-border dispute resolution

With a view toward the future, the survey highlights the prominence and evolution of international arbitration

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Impact

Highlights of our work in 2018

M&A

We advised on 282 announced M&A deals of more than US$380 billion in aggregate value

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Banking and capital markets

In a changing financial landscape, we helped clients raise capital and complete complex financing transactions

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Disputes

No matter the dispute, we helped clients navigate complex legal issues worldwide

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Project development and finance and asset finance

We represented clients globally on groundbreaking project and asset financing matters

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Global Citizenship

Our lawyers performed pro bono work around the world to ensure that the most vulnerable had legal representation

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Growth

An evolving firm

   

 

 

Keeping the focus on innovation

A culture of innovation helps lawyers put legal technology into context

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2018 new offices

We expanded our global presence with new US offices in Chicago and Houston and a new office in Tashkent in Uzbekistan

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2018 awards and rankings

White & Case was the only law firm to be ranked among the top seven most innovative law firms in all three of the Financial Times’ 2018 reports

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2018 new partners

In 2018, 54 new partners joined White & Case and 31 Firm lawyers were promoted, resulting in a total of 85 new partners

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Growth

Diversity and inclusion

Our diverse workplace

In 2018, we focused on strengthening our Firm culture, aiming to make our diverse workplace more inclusive

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Partnering with Barclays to explore how “covering” hinders true inclusion

We co-sponsored a seminar exploring how social pressure to conform can undermine inclusion initiatives

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Global Women’s Initiative yields results

Recent successes affirm our multipronged approach to increasing the number of women leaders

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Growth

For our clients

   

Building a platform to help businesses navigate human rights issues

A new interest group focuses on a rapidly evolving area of law

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How would widespread adoption of blockchain affect your business?

With partners from Saïd Business School, we conducted blockchain scenario analyses with senior executives

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