Edwards Gibson Director quoted in Legal Business article on Cravath’s English law practice launch

May 2023

Scott Gibson, Director at Edwards Gibson, was quoted in Legal Business’ article, titled ‘PE lessons: Shearman’s losses and Cravath’s gains show the value of City buyout teams – and the dangers of misfiring’ by Alexander Ryan on 28th April 2023.

The article explores the significance of New York firm Cravath, Swaine & Moore’s recent launch of an English law practice in London with the hire of a two-partner leverage finance team from fellow New Yorker Shearman & Sterling.

Gibson downplayed the significance of Cravath’s launch stating: “‘Cravath is an uber-conservative New York firm with only one other US office… It has fewer than 100 partners all in. It is unlikely that it will expand its English law capability much beyond its core lender-focused finance offering anytime soon. Very simply, it is harder to make money in London than in New York. And Cravath will not want to dilute profits by taking too many risks – especially in an uncertain market.”.

The article also delved into Shearman’s lack of investment in private equity being a key reason for its relative decline in financial firepower, causing it to fall behind peer competitors and thus, making it vulnerable to lateral departures with deeper pockets. Gibson remarked: ‘‘Unlike many of its peers… Shearman did not invest in transactional private equity, and so missed out on the highly profitable private equity boom.”.

The article concludes with the overarching theme of what the two law firms will be doing next, and what impact it will have in London.

Click here to read the full Legal Business article (subscription required).

To read our full bi-monthly report, including further insights into the market, a breakdown of each of the London partner hires made between March and April 2023, and the overall statistics compared to previous years of partner hiring, click here.