What have we learned from COVID-19?
Epidemiologist Syra Madad says it’s critical to engage with local communities
In 2021, the COVID-19 pandemic continued to affect nearly every aspect of our lives. Against this backdrop, our global teams worked on groundbreaking transactions, resolved high-stakes disputes and, through our global citizenship initiatives, responded to societal challenges around the world.
The role of business in society evolved as environmental, social and governance (ESG) issues entered the mainstream, concentrating on challenges including the energy transition and achieving greater diversity and inclusion. Like our clients, we looked for ways to create long term value and growth—a shared goal that created opportunities for collaboration.
It was in this context that we launched a new five-year strategy, focused on creating a distinctive experience for our clients.
Our emphasis on complex, cross-border matters helped us grow in all of the regions where we work and achieve outstanding results for our clients. As we look to the next five years, we are committed to building the capabilities our clients need, supported by a strong, resilient culture.
Epidemiologist Syra Madad says it’s critical to engage with local communities
Think tank CEO Chris Pinney is encouraged by moves to focus on impact, not just policies and procedures
Bill Emmott, who co-leads a nonprofit that studies the far-reaching effects of COVID-19, discusses the importance of business scenario planning
Countries and companies are increasingly committing to net-zero goals that would require them to significantly reduce carbon emissions on relatively short timelines
Most of 2021 was characterized by free-flowing capital, as government aid in response to COVID-19 propped up economies
Globalization may be evolving, as nations and regions reassert their regulatory powers on a wide range of issues
Matters in eight practice areas that highlight our global impact for clients
2,464 Total lawyers
An outstanding roster of talented lawyers strengthened our Firm in 2021
White & Case earned many of the legal industry’s top accolades for outstanding performance in 2021
White & Case is committed to fair and ethical operations that respect human rights and recognize the importance of our natural environment.
As a signatory to the UN Global Compact we affirm our commitment to doing business responsibly by supporting the Compact’s ten principles on human rights, labor, the environment and anti-corruption. The steps we are taking to continue to embed these principles into our Firm are outlined in our most recent Communication on Progress.
Our latest Environmental Sustainability Report includes information on our environmental policies, footprint, key actions and goals.
10 global affinity networks
Our ten global affinity networks foster a sense of community among the Firm’s Black, Asian, Latinx/Hispanic, Middle Eastern, minority ethnic and LGBT+ lawyers, business services professionals and their allies. Each network sets its own agenda, initiatives and goals, which are specific to the issues it feels are most important. Affinity networks also create and enhance awareness of these groups within the Firm and its larger culture, drive community and connection across our global offices, and support their members with career and professional development opportunities.
26 local women’s networks
Our 26 local women’s networks are active in 40 offices across the Americas, EMEA and Asia-Pacific. These networks foster professional development and mentoring activities, and support business-related client partnerships. They also provide a forum for our lawyers and business services professionals to share perspectives and create programs to support and retain our talent while fostering and promoting gender equity.
For more than a decade, leading publications and alliance organizations have recognized White & Case’s commitment to diversity and inclusion.
#1 Most Diverse Law Firm in Am Law 50 (eighth consecutive year)
The American Lawyer
Diversity Scorecard 2021
100% rating on commitment to lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender workplace equality (13th consecutive year)
Identifying the Firm as one of the best places to work for LGBT+ individuals
Human Rights Campaign’s Corporate Equality Index
Minority Women Lawyers – International Firm of the Year
Work-life balance – International Firm of the Year
Euromoney Legal Media Group
Women in Business Law Awards (Europe 2021)
2021 Mansfield Rule Certification Plus (third consecutive year)
Top 75 employer in the UK
Social Mobility Foundation
2020 Employer Index Report
We continued to advance toward our diversity and inclusion goals, narrowing the gap between thought and action with new trainings
Like our clients, we are seeking ways to sustainably create long-term value and growth, a shared goal that presents opportunities to collaborate
We set out to ensure we provide our clients with an experience that emphasizes the attributes they seek in a trusted advisor
Final victory for Richard Usher in forex collusion case
In June 2021, White & Case won a second complete victory for Usher when the US Treasury Department’s Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC) dropped its allegation of collusion of forex currency spreads, removing another key cartel allegation. In July, the OCC took the unusual step of dropping all of its charges before summary judgment, ending the US government’s eight-year pursuit of Usher in the DOJ’s top criminal antitrust case of all time, measured by the US$10 billion in fines levied against banks.
Synthos acquisition of Trinseo’s synthetic rubber business
We advised Synthos on antitrust aspects of its US$449.4 million acquisition of Trinseo’s synthetic rubber business. The transaction includes the acquisition of Trinseo’s Germany-based manufacturing and research and development facilities, and will enable Synthos to broaden its product portfolio and extend its geographic footprint, including in Asia-Pacific. The transaction triggered merger control thresholds in eight EU Member States, Serbia and Turkey, and was cleared in all instances.
US$2.7 billion sale of Smiths Medical business
We provided antitrust and FDI advice on a US$2.3 billion disposal by Smiths Group plc of its Smiths Medical business to Trulli Bidco Ltd. Subsequently, we advised Smiths on the sale of Smiths Medical to a strategic bidder, ICU Medical, following ICU’s offer to purchase Smiths Medical on superior terms (US$2.7 billion) than those offered by Trulli Bidco. The switch to a sale to a strategic bidder increased execution risks, given the overlaps in the ICU and Smiths product portfolios, especially in the US, but the deal was approved in all jurisdictions.
DIC US$1.15 billion acquisition of BASF pigments business
We advised Japanese fine chemicals company DIC Corp. and its US subsidiary Sun Chemical on merger control aspects of its US$1.15 billion acquisition of BASF’s global pigments business, a transaction involving merger control filings in 11 countries. We secured unconditional approvals in nine jurisdictions, including Brazil, China and Ukraine; in Europe and Japan, the deal was cleared with remedies.
Victory for ECOBAT in Italian Competition Authority proceedings
We successfully represented ECOBAT Technologies in a cartel proceeding brought by the Italian Competition Authority (ICA) for an alleged anticompetitive agreement, a cartel, relating to the purchase of scrap batteries. Following dawn raids and a long and articulated defense, the proceeding has concluded with no finding of any violation of the antitrust rules by ECOBAT or the issuing of any fines. Despite allegations of cartel conduct, the ICA agreed to consider and subsequently accepted commitments under article 14-ter of Law no. 287/90, aimed at removing the ICA’s competition concerns. This is a unique outcome given that under the law, commitments cannot be considered by the ICA in cases of alleged serious violations.