🌟 Why lateral moves matter


In today’s email:

  • Why oil prices are up

  • A lawyer-turned-actor

  • Protecting Kidfluencers

  • A legal tech jobs marketplace

  • Meta gets in trouble in Norway

  • The UK’s economy does a mini hop

  • Why lateral moves can be important

  • Russian companies are heading to Hong Kong

… and more!

If you take just one thing from this email…

Legal news cover senior lawyers’ moves between firms. I never used to take much notice of them. But they can sometimes be important to understand where a firm is heading. Significant moves, especially of senior lawyers or entire teams, can indicate strategic shifts and changes in a firm's expertise.


Laws are introduced over time to reflect changes in society.

Changes like the rise of child social media influencers, or Kidfluencers (forgive me: it’s just what they’re called).

Some of these kids are filming and sharing their own TikTok coordinated dance routines and stuff like that.

Some of the kids appear in family vlogs that their parents film and upload online.

When the content blows up, there’s a chance to make some big money from advertising or sponsorships (there’s an 11-year-old boy called Ryan Kaji whose YouTube channel has given him a $100m net worth — that’s more than just pocket money!).

So, the US state of Illinois has created a new set of laws to protect the financial interest of social media stars who are under 16 years old.

Their parent or guardian must set aside the child’s portion of the earnings in a bank account for when they turn 18 — otherwise, the child can sue them.

The laws are meant to reduce exploitation in the world of Kidfluencing — stopping parents from using their child for financial gain without the child getting anything in return.

But I’m kind-of torn on what to think about this…

It’s good, I guess, as the kid is now more protected?

But is it weird to be normalising filming your child and putting it on the internet?

Apparently similar laws already exist in other US states for kids that appear in movies or on TV; so, I guess it’s really nothing new.

As you can see… I’m conflicted.

So I thought I’d get your thoughts on this! 👇️

🤔 What do you think of the law ensuring that Kidfluencers get their fair share of any money made?

Once you've picked an answer, give a reason!

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- Idin

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🌟 Why lateral moves matter

What’s going on here?

Imagine if you leaving your job was front-page news.

For some lawyers that’s the reality (well, it’ll be front-page of the legal news at least).

Neel Sachdev, a well-known lawyer in London, and three other partners in his team left Kirkland & Ellis to join the firm Paul, Weiss.

And that's big transfer news in the legal world.

Who is Neel Sachdev?

Neel Sachdev is a leading figure in finance law. In short, he’s been a go-to person for over 20 years at Kirkland when it comes to complex financing deals. He’s also known to be a ‘rainmaker’ (meaning he brings in a lot of business) — he has high-profile private equity clients like Apollo and Bain Capital.

Oh, he was also named London’s sexiest lawyer in 2015.

Why does his move matter?

Imagine a famous football player who’s a massive fan favourite suddenly moves to a rival team. Shocking, right?

It’s similar when a big-name lawyer like Neel Sachdev switches firms. But the player is the lawyer and the fans are their clients.

Sachdev’s move to Paul, Weiss could result in his clients all moving to the new firm too.

For Kirkland, as well as the potential loss of clients, it’s the loss of a partner who’s given a lot of credit for the growth of Kirkland’s London office (which now has a super strong reputation in the City).

This is the revenue growth for Kirkland globally. Although I couldn’t find a chart for the London office’s revenue growth, I’d guess it’d have a similar shape!

What is a lateral move?

A lateral move (or lateral hire) is when a professional moves from one company (or law firm, in this case) to another at the same or a similar level.

Why do top lawyers move laterally?

Top lawyers might want to change firms for many reasons. These could be:

  • 🤑 money,

  • 👑 influence,

  • 🚪 opportunities, or

  • 🤬 disagreements with current colleagues.

In Sachdev’s case, it’s reported that he wanted to move to “seek new challenges”.

But some insiders have said that he wasn’t happy with the direction that Kirkland’s London office was going. Also, he was not on the firm's decision-making committee at Kirkland. Perhaps Paul, Weiss have offered him a seat at that table.

What happens to law firms when a key partner leaves?

When someone like Sachdev leaves a firm, it's not just a farewell party and a “see you later”.

His departure has the potential to shake things up.

💰 Financial: First off, there’s the obvious financial pinch. Sachdev’s long-standing clients might decide to move with him to Paul, Weiss. So, were Sachdev’s clients into him or into Kirkland? We’ll see what happens here.

🗺️ Strategy: Sachdev left along with a team of three other very senior debt finance partners (Kanesh Balasubramaniam, Matthew Merkle and Deirdre Jones). So that team at Kirkland will have taken a big hit. Events like this can result in a firm feeling a void and rethinking its strategy and core practice areas.

👤 Reputation: There's going to be a ripple effect inside the firm. Teams might feel the shift in dynamics. And let’s not forget about the outside world. How the industry sees the firm can change. If a top lawyer leaves, it might make others think, “What's going wrong there?”

Why should you care?

Headlines on legal news sites include stories of lawyers moving between firms (the news site The Lawyer has a whole section dedicated to lawyers moving).

At first, these stories might not mean all that much to you.

But sometimes — like Neel Sachdev’s departure from Kirkland — they mark an important moment in a firm’s history, for better or worse.

Lateral moves can reshape a firm's strengths and influence its reputation with clients and other lawyers.

So, if you’re trying to understand where a law firm is headed, keep an eye on who’s going in or out.

Unlike in football, the lawyer transfer window is open all year round.


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  • 🇭🇰 🇷🇺 Hong Kong's courts are seeing a new influx of clientele: Russian firms. Because of Western sanctions, these companies are ditching traditional venues like London and heading to HK for their legal disputes. The reason? Hong Kong’s got a reputable British common law-based system and, being part of China, doesn't care too much about the Western sanctions against Russia.

  • 🩺 The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) has given a provisional nod to UnitedHealth Group's $1.58bn acquisition of healthcare tech firm EMIS. Both companies play vital roles in supporting the NHS with healthcare tech and software. After a deep probe since March, the CMA's final decision awaits public feedback and is due by October. UnitedHealth is being guided by Slaughter and May while Travers Smith is advising EMIS.

  • 🇳🇴 Norway's data watchdog, Datatilsynet, is slapping Meta (Facebook’s parent company) with a daily fine of around £77,000 over privacy issues. Datatilsynet warned Meta about these issues in July to cut it out with the whole "collect user info for targeted ads" thing. This decision might even stretch across Europe if the European Data Protection Board (the body that ensures consistent application of data protection rules throughout the European Union) agrees.

  • 📈 The UK's economy did a little unexpected hop last quarter, growing by 0.2% instead of the forecasted 0.1% - its best performance in over a year. Consumers were out and about, spending on things like food and transport — even the manufacturing and construction sectors pitched in. But, it's not all rosy. This growth could nudge the Bank of England to consider more rate hikes, which might impact average households by increasing things like mortgage costs.

  • 🛢️ Global oil cravings reached an all-time high, with worldwide consumption hitting 103m barrels a day in June. The reason? Summer flights, power needs, and China's non-stop hustle. But there's a twist - while everyone's thirsting for oil, suppliers like OPEC+ are playing hard to get, causing prices to jump.


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