Haynes and Boone, LLP London Office Partner Andreas Silcher was profiled by RedLaw as part of its “Spotlight Interview” series.
Below is an excerpt:
This month's Spotlight interview features Partner and maritime lawyer, Andreas Silcher, from Haynes and Boone. We talk to Andreas about how his practice responded in relation to the pandemic, what he'd most like to change within law and the firm's work to develop women in the industry. Andreas also tells us about his most respected lawyer, his grandfather, and the fascinating work he carried out as associate defence counsel at the IG Farben war crime trial.
Andreas, you have been with Haynes and Boone for over 4 years and have over 15 years’ experience as a maritime lawyer. How was your practice affected by the changes over the last year and how did it respond?
From a legal point of view the pandemic threw up some interesting new questions, often around issues of force majeure and the industries in which I work quickly adapted with specific “COVID clauses” now being an integral part of many commercial agreements.
On a practical level, my practice always involved a lot of overseas travel. This obviously came to a grinding halt in March 2020. In hindsight, the transition to doing everything online was remarkably smooth: from shipbuilding contract negotiations with Asian yards to arbitration hearings in London everything moved to Zoom or Teams and this worked really well until it didn’t. By that I mean that you cannot build the same rapport over a video link as you can when you are sitting across a table, and I think people came to realise that eventually. For me, business travel and in-person meetings are now starting to pick up again, but I think it will be a while before things are back to pre-pandemic levels.
The firm has over 18 offices worldwide across the US, Mexico and Shanghai, with the London office being established as a result of the merger with CDG in August 2016. How has the London office developed over this time and what are the areas of focus for 2022 and beyond?
At the time of the merger, our practice consisted of shipping and offshore energy. These industries are still at the heart of the Haynes Boone London office, but we have added a range of new practice areas including energy projects, international arbitration, fund finance and corporate.
The guiding principles for our continuing growth are set out in our 2025 Plan, which contains our strategy to grow substantially in size, revenue, profitability and brand recognition, all while fiercely protecting and promoting our unique culture of teamwork, superior client-first service and accountability to each other. We expect the London office to grow significantly over the next few years. However, we want to grow carefully and strategically and are not after growth for growth’s sake: we are looking for lawyers who are complementary to our existing practice areas either in London or in our other offices. What we try to avoid are people working in a silo within Haynes Boone, even if it is an economically successful silo.
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