1 September 2003

The Lawyer

  • 5 Paper Buildings lures two barristers from rival sets

    2-Sep-2003

    The property practice of Richard King’s chambers 5 Paper Buildings has gained two barristers from rival chambers.Josephine Henderson, a social housing specialist, joins King’s set from Arden Chambers, while Jeremy Garrood, who practises in general property, will and trust and landlord and tenant, joins from New Court Chambers.The set recently hired Julia Graham as its business development manager. She previously worked in the marketing departments of Lovells and DJ Freeman.

  • Ashursts swoops for CC US securities team

    1-Sep-2003

    City firm defiant after failed transatlantic merger as it bids for US capability in Europe

  • Baker & McKenzie transport expert defects to Stanbrook & Hooper

    1-Sep-2003

    Stanbrook & Hooper has poached Baker & McKenzie senior associate Walter Verstrepen to head up its EU transport department. Verstrepen, who worked at Baker & McKenzie’s Antwerp office specialises in shipping and transport law and international trade. “This move provides me with the opportunity to work in a broader international environment and within a firm that has a rapidly growing ...

  • Bird & Bird builds nest in Germany as Osborne Clarke flees the scene

    1-Sep-2003

    Osborne Clarke gives up on Frankfurt as Taylor Wessing steps in; Bird & Bird shrugs off drop in profits with further investment

  • Blake Dawson boosts tax and physical sciences

    1-Sep-2003

    Australian firm Blake Dawson Waldron has hired tax expert Geoff Mann for its Melbourne tax practice. Formerly Freehills' head of tax, he will maintain his focus on indirect tax matters. The firm is also boosting its physical sciences group with the hires of patent attorney Dale Watson from Freehills and trainee patent attorney Allen Chan from New Zealand firm Pipers Patent and Trademark Attorneys.

  • Cadwalader grows London with Mallesons Sydney hire

    1-Sep-2003

    Cadwalader Wickersham & Taft is continuing to expand in London, taking its latest partner lateral from the Sydney office of Mallesons Stephen Jaques. Richard Marshall has been a partner at Mallesons since 1984, advising on large projects, with a particular emphasis on the coal industry and natural resources. He also has extensive experience in general corporate advice, M&A, financings, restructurings and equity issues. Marshall recently advised Glencore International with respect ...

  • CC shakes up funds group as head switches to client

    2-Sep-2003

    Clifford Chance has lost the co-head of its private funds group Stephen Ross to the asset management arm of client Man Group, a global provider of alternative investment products.

  • Collyer lures Morgan Cole insolvency head

    1-Sep-2003

    Morgan Cole's head of insolvency Steven Heffer has quit to join Collyer-Bristow, leaving the Anglo-Welsh firm with just seven partners in its London office. Heffer has advised clients such as boxing promoter Frank Warren on libel cases and is advising the League Against Cruel Sports in the run-up to the anti-fox hunting bill. His insolvency experience includes advising parties on the BCCI and ITV Digital ...

  • Corporate deals round-up

    1-Sep-2003

    Eversheds (Daniel Hall, Chris Tinsley) advised Caudwell Holdings, owner of mobile phone retailer Phones 4U, on the £405m cash sale of its subsidiary Singlepoint (4U) to Vodafone. Vodafone advised by Linklaters (Iain Fenn).

  • Dentons opens its second Dubai office in Internet City

    1-Sep-2003

    Denton Wilde Sapte is opening a second Dubai office and will become the first law firm to take space in the Dubai Internet City (DIC) in the process.The office will be overseen by corporate and commercial partner Jayshree Gupta, who has been based in the firm's existing Dubai office for the past eight years. Kate O'Leary is relocating from the London technology, media and telecoms department along with two other London fee-earners who have been seconded to the office. Corporate ...

  • Discrimination starts early in law as male trainees receive £1,300 head start

    2-Sep-2003

    Average salaries for male trainees in the legal profession are exceeding the £20,000 mark, with female trainees trailing by £1,319, according to the latest Law Society Annual Statistical Report, which was published last week.

  • Dishing the dirt

    1-Sep-2003

    Thanks to Watson Burton partner Nich-olas Craig, Tulkinghorn knows ne-ver to use the Law Society's showering facilities.In a letter of complaint to the Law Society president, Craignoted that the state of the showers was an absolute disgrace. The letter, dated 11 August, read: "Upon entering the shower area, the door was propped open by a fire extinguisher, in flagrant breach of the health ...

  • DLA augments business support capability

    1-Sep-2003

    DLA has hired Halliwell Landau partner John Vickery for its business support and restructuring group following the departure of recovery and insolvency partner Richard Drinkwater to Keoghs. Others to quit the department in the last 18 months include national insolvency head Peter Cranston and partner Paul de la Pena to Eversheds, ...

  • EAT snuffs out retained firefighters claim

    1-Sep-2003

    Beachcroft Wansbroughs and Littleton Chambers silk John Bowers QC have successfully defended a claim brought by 25,000 so-called 'retained' firefighters, who were seeking membership of the full-time firemen's pension scheme. The Employment Appeals Tribunal rejected the retained firefighters' claim, as they have different contracts to full-time firefighters and do different work. The tribunal also laid down guidelines on how the part-time workers' regulation should be interpreted. First ...

  • Eversheds duo become partners at Plexus Law

    1-Sep-2003

    Specialist professional indemnity (PI) and large loss practice Plexus Law has hired two Eversheds lawyers as partners.John Eastlake and Claire Swift have both left Eversheds’ PI practice to join Plexus, which was formed two years ago.Neither were partners at Eversheds.

  • Eversheds shakes up equity partnership entrance criteria

    1-Sep-2003

    Eversheds is extending the hoops its lawyers have to jump through before they can join the equity partnership. Fixed-share partners must now go through an assessment centre before they can be promoted to the equity.The scheme was run for the first time last month, when fixed-share partners who are hoping to enter the equity next May attended a development centre for three days. Candidates who were ...

  • Finers, Bond Pearce lose Virgin legal panel places

    1-Sep-2003

    Bond Pearce and Finers Stephens Innocent have been ditched by Virgin Group following the annual review of its legal panel.Virgin's general counsel Helena Samaha, who led the review, told The Lawyer that the move to cut the group's legal panel follows a decision to focus on its core businesses, including transport, mobile telephones, entertainment and financial services. "We're retaining the firms ...

  • Firm profile: Stringer Saul

    1-Sep-2003

    Stringer Saul's 13-partner practice, based in Hanover Square in London's West End, was established in 1977 and has spent the past 26 years building a reputation as a biotech, pharmaceutical and publishing firm.Bio-pharma still accounts for 35 per cent of turnover, with publishing bringing in another 25 per cent. In March 2003 corporate partner Nigel Gordon advised ...

  • Firms rebuff captive insurance funds

    1-Sep-2003

    Contrary to predictions last autumn, law firm uptake of captive insurance funds has been minimal, despite huge rises in professional indemnity (PI) insurance in 2001 and 2002.A study by Aon Professional Risks, which holds 25 per cent of the market for law firm PI insurance, found that while larger firms have investigated shifting to captives, there has been no significant uptake.Last year, in the wake of the 11 September insurance crisis, premiums for compulsory ...

  • For argument's sake

    1-Sep-2003

    Should the courts be forcing unwilling parties into mediation by penalising their costs? Steve Morris reports

  • Given time

    1-Sep-2003

    While Aegis Group is busy with acquisitions, its legal team relies on local knowledge and personal relationships with its advisers. Husnara Begum reports

  • Grapevine

    3-Sep-2003

    The Lawyer 100 is out this week. Modestly, we're certain it's the biggest and best in-depth coverage of legal market financials there's ever been. The 140-page financial must-read has all the scope needed to cover this year's top 100 firms, the US players, the chasing pack and the key sectors that are driving the market (corporate, property, litigation and finance).

  • Heller Ehrman wins VLG merger race

    3-Sep-2003

    West Coast firm Heller Ehrman White & McAuliffe has emerged the victor in the three-way race to merge with Venture Law Group (VLG). Orrick Herrington & Sutcliffe and Morrison & Foerster (MoFo) were both courting directors at VLG, but Heller Ehrman has walked away with a merger deal ...

  • Herbert Smith: power shifts to M&A partners

    1-Sep-2003

    Litigation department holds its own but corporate group romps away on revenues

  • Hewitsons to get tough on partner performance

    1-Sep-2003

    Hewitsons has revamped its lockstep to incorporate performance criteria and is now in the process of reviewing its management structure.The Cambridge-based firm has introduced a sliding scale to its lockstep, which means that partners can move up or down depending on that year's performance.The firm's 32 equity partners have a fairly flat equity structure, which starts at 90 points and goes ...

  • Housing lawyers back calls to get tough on landlords

    2-Sep-2003

    Housing lawyers were backing plans for a national deposit scheme to be incorporated into the Housing Bill last week, as a Shelter and Citizens Advice report revealed that more than £20m of deposits were wrongfully held on to each year.

  • Innogy, Thames Water legal teams to unite

    1-Sep-2003

    Innogy and Thames Water, the UK subsidiaries of German utilities conglomerate RWE, are to merge their in-house legal departments next month.As part of the move, a new head of an integrated legal department will be appointed. Currently, Peter Taylor is the head of legal at Thames Water, while Caroline Fairbrother and Gary Chapman head up Innogy's ...

  • James Chapman launches fraud unit with Hill Dickinson hire

    3-Sep-2003

    Manchester-based James Chapman & Co has appointed Hill Dickinson partner Alison Hart to launch a dedicated fraud unit.Hart, who has been a partner at Hill Dickinson since 1992, specialises in insurance fraud and policy disputes.One of the most high-profile cases she has dealt with was the £4.5m fraudulent claim made by Lord Brocket, who alleged the theft of four classic cars. He was ...

  • Leader

    1-Sep-2003

    What have Herbert Smith, Landwell, Keoghs and DLA got in common? An elite bunch of equity partners, for a start. Each enjoys a giant leverage ratio that puts US firms in the shade.

  • Lester Aldridge boosts real estate team

    4-Sep-2003

    South East firm Lester Aldridge has boosted its real estate department with the hire of Denton Wilde Sapte’s retail sector head Joanne McGuinness.McGuinness, who specialises in property development, acts predominantly for developers and operators in the leisure and retail sectors.“This is an important strategic development for us,” said property development team leader Andrew Hignett. ...

  • Linklaters targets French PPPs with Landwell capture

    1-Sep-2003

    Linklaters plans to capitalise on the public-private partnership (PPP) programme launched this year by the French government by hiring Landwell’s former head of public law.

  • Longer arm of the Law

    1-Sep-2003

    The prospect of outsourcing standard legal work to South Africa or India is getting closer as fixed fees force law firms to cut costs. Jon Robins reports

  • Lovells' love-in

    1-Sep-2003

    Perhaps, if we're feeling charitable, we could put the above down to a simple misunderstanding... a breakdown in communication... even (surely not!) a lack of precision and clarity on behalf of The Lawyer. But that can surely be the only explanation for this The Lawyer 100-related beauty, which comes courtesy of a well-known Lovells partner.Asked by one of the The Lawyer's bubblier female scribes where he stood on female partner penetration at law firms, he quipped: "As long as ...

  • Mace & Jones merger collapses

    1-Sep-2003

    A press release celebrating a 'merger' still remains on the Mace & Jones website, but the announcement was premature and a union with Elliotts was not to be.In a bizarre U-turn, Elliotts will join northern firm Ricksons Solicitors rather than Mace & Jones. Mace & Jones' senior partner Graeme Jump confirmed that the deal had come "unstuck" at a late stage.At the beginning of August, Ricksons' managing partner Anthony Hughes was approached by accountancy firm Howarth ...

  • Male trainees still on top in wage stakes

    1-Sep-2003

    Female trainee solicitors are still likely to be paid less than their male peers, according to a new Law Society report. The latest Law Society Annual Statistical Report shows that, on average, male trainees earn around £1,300 more a year than female trainees. The report also found that the number of training contracts awarded in England and Wales has increased by 4.3 per cent to 5,385.

  • McDermotts cracks Italy with Carnelutti takeover

    5-Sep-2003

    McDermott Will & Emery has made a shock entry into the Italian market by merging with Carnelutti.McDermotts has taken over the full-service firm, gaining 20 partners and more than 50 other fee earners in Milan and Rome.

  • Money in the pot

    1-Sep-2003

    Mayer Brown Rowe & Maw lawyers are not widely known as a bunch of stoners. Still, corporate partner Peter Dickinson appears to be doing his best to ramp up the firm's ganja credentials.Dickinson has just advised GW Pharmaceuticals on a £25m marketing deal with Bayer (advised by legendary caners Bristows) ...

  • Money launderers turn their attentions to conveyancing

    2-Sep-2003

    Conveyancing solicitors were accused of “turning a blind eye to”, and even colluding with, organised crime gangs last week, as organised money launderers targeted property sales as the preferred way to clean dirty money.

  • National Grid global counsel quits after a year in the job

    1-Sep-2003

    In a shock departure, National Grid Transco (NGT) global general counsel Fiona Smith has resigned from the power giant and will leave at the end of this month.Smith took on the role of global general counsel last September following National Grid's merger with Lattice in April. She had previously been National Grid's general counsel since 1996.After handling the merger for National Grid, she then oversaw a major panel review after the integration of the two companies.

  • New HSE guidance opens up ‘a minefield of uncertainty’

    2-Sep-2003

    New Health and Safety Executive (HSE) guidance limiting the circumstances in which directors and managers should be prosecuted would create “a minefield of uncertainty”, claimed a public law specialist.

  • Nike names vice president and general counsel

    1-Sep-2003

    Nike has named Jim Carter as its new vice president and general counsel. Carter has been with the sports giant as general counsel for the US and the Americas since 1998, when he joined from Portland law firm Schulte Anderson Downes & Carter. He replaces Lindsay Stewart, who has moved into a wider business role as vice president chief of staff.

  • Norton Rose rescue fund kicks in as profits crash through the 'Floor'

    1-Sep-2003

    Norton Rose's system of guaranteeing partners at the bottom of equity a minimum profit share, known internally as 'the Floor', has been used by the firm for the first time in approximately 10 years.The system, which sees the top equity partners effectively subsidise the bottom tier, is a reflection of the firm's falling profits, which dipped below £400,000 this year.The Floor ...

  • Opinion

    1-Sep-2003

    Accounting treatment may seem a dry issue, but it can impact on law firm performance by at least 20 per cent. In a lockstep firm, it may produce anomalies between different generations of partners. But how comparable are the figures between firms and in respect of different years for the same firm?What follows is the top 10 issues that can have a major impact on law firm reported ...

  • Orrick faces dogfight for VLG takeover

    1-Sep-2003

    Orrick Herrington & Sutcliffe is facing increasingly strong competition in its race to merge with Venture Law Group (VLG) after two West Coast firms emerged as serious contenders.Morrison & Foerster (MoFo) and Heller Ehrman White & McAuliffe are both understood to be gaining momentum ...

  • Paul Hastings makes double swoop in China

    2-Sep-2003

    Paul Hastings Janofsky & Walker has become the latest firm to open a second office in China after nabbing Jones Day’s partner-in-charge in Shanghai and hiring a real estate funds specialist from Morgan Stanley.

  • Property: is it too hot for the private equity players?

    1-Sep-2003

    In light of Canary Wharf, Dearbail Jordan reflects on the lack of interest from private equity houses

  • Q & Duuh

    1-Sep-2003

    From the myriad of amusing moments enjoyed by The Law-yer's scribes over the course of researching this year's The Lawyer 100 (published today) come these two gems. (Out of the kindness of Tulkinghorn's big heart, both firms shall remain nameless.)First, hats off to the incredibly efficient south coast firm that somehow managed to post a bills recovery rate of 115 per cent. See, you City types? That's what you call striking the right work-life balance.We also liked the non-commital ...

  • Radcliffes turns clock back to shift financial year-end

    1-Sep-2003

    Embattled Westminster firm RadcliffesLeBrasseur is considering the unusual move of retrospectively changing its year-end for tax purposes as it continues to seek a chief executive replacement.Partners and ex-partners are still unsure what profits will be owing to them for the 2002-03 financial year, while the firm discusses the matter with its accountants."At this stage we're not ...

  • Radcliffes turns clock back to shift financial year-end

    1-Sep-2003

    Embattled Westminster firm RadcliffesLeBrasseur is considering the unusual move of retrospectively changing its year-end for tax purposes as it continues to seek a chief executive replacement.Partners and ex-partners are still unsure what profits will be owing to them for the 2002-03 financial year, while the firm discusses the matter with its accountants."At this stage we're not ...

  • Separated at birth

    1-Sep-2003

    Known as one of the hardest-working men in the business, Robert Rhodes QC is apparently moonlighting. Where he finds the time we don't know, but unless we're mistaken he also manages to cram in the odd - very odd - trip to the country in the guise of Herr Lipp, German tour guide to dozens of prepubescent boys visiting that little idyll Royston Vasey. Oddly, if it is the same man - and we stress we're not sure - he affects a convincing German accent, presumably to throw any unsatisfied ...

  • Stop press: Eversheds cuts newbies' salaries

    1-Sep-2003

    Eversheds has become the latest in a growing line of firms to cut salaries for newly qualified lawyers.Following its latest salary review, rates for newly-qualifieds in London will fall from £48,000 to £46,000. One source described the reduction as "a market correction".The move comes in the wake of recent pay reductions at Hammonds, Masons,

  • Tarlo Lyons makes senior employment hire

    1-Sep-2003

    Tarlo Lyons has gained an employment partner from Pritchard Englefield. Howard Hymanson brings particular expertise advising on City bonus claims, the termination of employment of senior executives as well as whistleblowing and discrimination cases.

  • Taylor Wessing enters trademark rankings

    1-Sep-2003

    Taylor Wessing has launched a UK trademark filing service and as a result has entered the community trademark rankings for the first time.It is the only firm to seriously buck a downward trend suffered by law firms.The firm also included filings from German merger partner Wessing.Field Fisher Waterhouse has been knocked from the top spot after briefly usurping agents Marks & Clerk.Field Fisher will struggle to claim back the top spot after Marks & ...

  • The silk road

    1-Sep-2003

    The debate over the validity of the silks system rages on, but who's asking the clients their opinion? By Andrew Clark

  • The stuff of life

    1-Sep-2003

    Is there a place for equity in divorce? Simon Edwards considers the facts

  • Things can only get bezzer

    1-Sep-2003

    Tulkinghorn can exclusively reveal the source of Osborne Clarke's tumbling profits (they're down 14.7 per cent to £233,000, fact fans). Departing partners? Nope. Spiralling costs? Nope. Recession? Uh uh. The reason is actually the First Friday Club. Huh?, Tulkinghorn hears you utter.The First Friday Club is the firm's desperate attempt to get its lawyers to speak to one another. Held ...

  • Tim Russell quits Norton Rose

    1-Sep-2003

    Tim Russell (left), head of the employment group at Norton Rose, is leaving the firm at the end of the year. Russell, who resigned in July after four years at the firm, plans to continue in the law both as a consultant and as a part-time employment tribunal chairman. His successor will be announced later this year.

  • UBS plug sees Dewey make first German lateral

    1-Sep-2003

    Dewey Ballantine is taking on its first German lateral following a recommendation from investment bank UBS. Philipp von Ilberg, a capital markets and corporate finance lawyer, is moving to the US firm from Clifford Chance Pünder, which he joined in 1997 before becoming a partner in 2001. Von Ilberg is the firm's first German hire since setting up a German capability 18 months ago, when Geza Toth-Feher ...

  • UK chambers turn to foreign jurisdictions for steady work

    1-Sep-2003

    The Caribbean gives sets a welcome boost as UK claims dwindle. Brendan Malkin and Joanne O'Connor report

  • US firms' leverage ratios only half those of UK rivals

    1-Sep-2003

    Top national firms have twice as many lawyers per equity partner as rival City practices, while US firms have among the lowest leverage ratios in London, The Lawyer can reveal.The leverage ratio - a calculation of how many lawyers a firm has to each equity partner - has long been regarded as one of the factors determining partner profitability.The findings, which are derived from figures published in this year's The Lawyer 100, underline the tight grip on the equity at firms ...

  • Whatever floats your boat

    1-Sep-2003

    It should hardly come as any surprise to learn that the sons of extremely wealthy Greek shipowners, whose sense of decency is learnt at England's most exclusive public schools, have a penchant for developing reputations as pranksters once they land up in a shipping firm.

  • Whirly birds

    1-Sep-2003

    Harbottle & Lewis's profits might be dropping like a stone (they're down to a Groucho membership-cancelling £228,000), but at least some of the firm's lawyers are reaching for the sky. Well, for an hour at any rate.Last month, two of the firm's intellectual property bods - senior associate Kate Hazlehurst and assistant Sarah Bolton - hitched a ride in Heart FM's chopper, the Flying Eye. The two were invited on the trip after a client meeting at Heart, which is a member ...

  • Who’d be an asylum lawyer?

    2-Sep-2003

    It is fair to say that you would not become an asylum lawyer out of a desire to be loved. In the tabloid press you are portrayed either as skulking around the docks in the dead of night touting for work or as one of the fat cat lawyers made rich by the taxpayers’ money. And so it will be heartening to see not just the usual suspects – ie the lawyers, refugee campaigners and civil libertarians – coming together in collective outrage at the Government’s shameful decision to cap legal aid ...

  • Willkie Farr powers up in Continental Europe with quadruple hiring spree

    1-Sep-2003

    Willkie Farr & Gallagher is accelerating its push into Continental Europe after scooping a quartet of partner hires in Paris, Milan and Brussels.HSD Ernst & Young's head of insolvency Jean-Dominique Daudier de Cassini is joining Willkie Farr's highly-rated Paris office with a team of three lawyers, slotting into the firm's core practices in M&A, private equity, business reorganisation and restructuring.Also in Paris, Alexandra Bigot, who was formerly a lawyer at Willkie ...

  • Youth on their side

    1-Sep-2003

    Hannah Wiskin and Adrian Barnham of the YSG are on a mission to re-educate law firms on the age-old problem of work-life balance. Jon Robins reports