10 July 2006
You pay peanuts you get monkeys, so they say. But if you pay $250m (£135.9m) you get Miami firm Stearns Weaver Miller Weissler Alhadeff & Sitterson. For a little more than $53m (£28.8m) you get Pertnoy Solowsky and Allen. The two firms represented 11,000 petrol stations in a class action suit against ExxonMobil. They claimed Exxon failed to pay discounts on petrol to offset increased credit card costs.
Trowers & Hamlins has hired Kim Hilton as a senior associate in the firm's international telecoms group based in Bahrain. She joins from Gilbert & Tobin in Australia.
Employment set 11 King's Bench Walk (11 KBW) has grown turnover by 21 per cent, signalling an expansion push and a search for new offices.
20 Essex Street barristers Tim Otty and Sudhanshu Swaroop helped secure victory against the US government in a key challenge to detentions at Guantanamo Bay.
2-3 Gray's Inn Square has hired a tenant from Hardwicke Building in an effort to build its housing and property team. Jon Holbrook joins the chambers to practise social housing law, having developed his expertise at Garden Court Chambers before moving to Hardwicke in April 2004. Last year Holbrook was one of the founding members of the Social Housing Law Association, designed as a forum where housing professionals and their lawyers can exchange and discuss ideas and information.
Top IP set 8 New Square has dropped just £290,000 from its turnover this year, despite the loss of David Kitchin QC's £2m case load following his promotion to the bench last year.
Allen & Overy (A&O) has landed the plum role advising the banks and the monoline insurer on Arsenal Football Club's landmark securitisation of ticket sales from its new 60,000-seater Emirates Stadium.
Allen & Overy (A&O) and Shearman & Sterling advised on Qatar Electricity & Water Company's $485.5m (£263.1m) limited recourse project financing for the construction of the Ras Abu Fontas B2 water and power project in Qatar. The project comprises the construction and development of a new power generation ...
Don't just hope for the best when it comes to the new age regulation and retirement ages. It pays to have a plan, says Roger Byard
Toronto-based firm Amsterdam & Peroff is to set up in London, with high-profile human rights lawyer Bob Amsterdam basing himself in the UK.
Starbucks' head of legal for Emea Axel Viaene is a man on a caffeine high - and the extra boost will come in handy when it comes to handling the coffee empire's ambitious expansion plans. David Middleton reports
Bird & Bird has attracted a senior French government lawyer to join its Paris-based competition practice.
Birmingham set Three Fountain Court has collapsed, leaving nearly 50 barristers without chambers.
Bracewell & Giuliani has added four lawyers to its New York office including partners from McDermott Will & Emery and Bingham McCutchen following its recent raid on Linklaters.
Edinburgh commercial firm Brodies is to merge with fellow Scottish firm Bishops next month, creating a Caledonian big-hitter that will boast 47 partners and more than 200 fee-earners. The move gives Brodies a foothold in Glasgow, as seven-partner, full-service firm Bishops has offices in both cities. This is the second merger for Brodies in the past 12 months after it swallowed local four-partner commercial ...
Bryan Cave and Squire Sanders & Dempsey are expected to seal their merger in the next month after partners at both firms received merger packs with details of the new management team last week.
The controversial IPO of Russian state oil giant Rosneft faces its toughest legal challenge on Monday when an interim injunction application brought by Yukos will be heard.
Cadwalader Wickersham & Taft has lost another lawyer from its New York capital markets practice following the departure of a two partner team to Orrick Herrington & Sutcliffe last month.
Lord Carter of Coles has predicted massive consolidation for law firms and “the end of the £1m-a-year criminal defence barrister” in his report on legal aid procurement, unveiled this morning (13 July).
The Competition Commission is planning to expand its wide-ranging investigation of the grocery market to examine contracts that Berwin Leighton Paisner (BLP) drafted for its largest client Tesco.
Local authorities are warning of chaos and confusion unless the Government gives them at least three times longer to implement new gambling laws.
Local authorities across the country are teaming up to challenge the Government's population estimates in a row that could land the Government in court.
Davenport Lyons and Latham & Watkins have been assisting pro bono on a non-profit scheme to restore the iconic Camden Roundhouse arts venue.
Dechert rejigs UK pay to keep up in salary war" /Dechert has overhauled its UK salary structure in a bid to compete with its US rivals, at the same time as a raft of US firms bump up their salaries further.
Newcastle-based firm Dickinson Dees has made up five lawyers to the partnership, its highest number of promotions in four years.
DLA Piper Germany" /The expansion of DLA Piper Rudnick Gray Cary in Germany has mirrored the pace of the firm's expansion as a whole. Since it was set up in 2004, DLA Piper's German operation has grown from three to around 80 lawyers.
DLA Piper Rudnick Gray Cary, Maclay Murray & Spens and Weil Gotshal & Manges have all secured instructions on the administration of fashion chain Morgan.
The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) has paid Public Concern at Work (PCAW) £130,000 for wasting the whistleblowing charity’s time.
Denton Wilde Sapte (DWS) has launched an association with French independent Poulain & Associés to strengthen its French insolvency expertise.
In an unprecedented move the Court of First Instance has overturned the European Commission’s decision to clear the merger between Bertelsmann Music Group (BMG) and Sony Music.
Eversheds has hired Collyer Bristow education partner Geoffrey Mead to join its HR education team.
Motability Operations, which leases cars to disabled drivers, has dumped regular adviser Field Fisher Waterhouse (FFW) as the first stage of a full-scale panel review.
Last Wednesday (5 July), Grant Thornton partner Sacha Romanovitch warned UK lawyers that they needed to "wake up" to the potentially seismic changes heralded by the Legal Services Bill.
With the World Cup ending in spectacular fashion yesterday, it's only fitting that we mention the first ad hoc arbitration panel set up by Fifa with the Court of Arbitration for Sport to settle any emergency disputes that might have arisen from the now-concluded tournament.
A host of firms in Paris have fought off an illegal filesharing case brought by the producers of the hit French film Les Choristes.
Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer has scooped the lead role on Siemens' purchase of Bayer's diagnostics division for €4.2bn (£2.91bn).
Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer’s Munich office has suffered another departure with the loss of tax partner Stephan Salzmann to boutique firm Mohren & Partner.
France has always been a major player in the Far East, with former colonies in South East Asia and considerable economic activity in the region. However, law firms have been, for the most part, slow to cash in.
Baker & McKenzie and DLA ally Philips Fox have scooped places on the global legal panel of Australian banking giant ANZ along with Australia’s big six.
There appeared to be some confusion over at Kirkland & Ellis recently, at least in its spin department.
Herbert Smith and SJ Berwin were rejoicing last week after acting on the £175m sale of the former Middlesex Hospital site. The three-acre site is one of the largest West End blocks ever sold and marks a landmark deal for both firms. For SJ Berwin there is likely to be more to come from the transaction, with client Candy & Candy, the outlandish interior design company, appointed as development manager ...
Monckton Chambers brought a touch of the Caribbean to Gray's Inn last week with its annual summer party, now firmly ensconced as one of the garden parties to be seen at.
Howard Kennedy and Brick Court Chambers’ silk Andrew Lydiard have won the negligence case brought against them by a Portuguese businessman.
Media specialists Davenport Lyons and Swan Turton are facing off in the High Court this week as hypnotist Paul McKenna sues the Daily Mirror for libel.
It was the biggest event for the legal profession, bar none. On Tuesday 27 June, in-house teams and lawyers from across the globe featured heavily at the annual The Lawyer Awards.
Norton Rose, DWS and A&O are leading the way, says Lorraine Cushnie
The new Italian government has thrown open its legal market to full competition after scrapping minimum fees for lawyers.
Beijing-based Jun He Law Offices has become the third mainland China-headquartered law firm to open in Hong Kong, after China's Ministry of Justice lifted a longstanding ban on mainland firms operating offshore earlier this year. The firm has opened through a merger with Hong Kong firm XJ Wang & Co and will operate in Hong Kong under the Jun He name. The firm will now house more than 200 lawyers across seven offices, including New York. It has 48 partners.
The Law Society was in the Court of Appeal last week for a hearing into its case against a solicitor whose practice had been closed down after an 'intervention'. Last summer the Law Society was unsuccessful in defending itself against Anal Sheikh's appeal into the intervention, and Mr Justice Park ruled that it should be overturned. The case was the first time a High Court judge had overturned an intervention and it landed the Law Society with costs of £135,000. But the society was ...
The City's planning lawyers have viewed the latest attempts to simplify the UK's complex planning system with optimism, but warn that there will be no overnight fixes.
The race to be head of the table
Reed Smith's head of European litigation Marcus Rutherford was lunching with one of Tulkinghorn's hacks the other day when the following emerged.
Former Law Lord Lord Steyn will be the new chairman of the Takeover Panel’s appeal board when the current incumbent Sir Andrew Leggatt steps down in October.
Lovells is ordering its partners to work longer hours in a bid to sustain profitability after average profit per equity partner (PEP) soared by 34 per cent during the last year.
Macfarlanes has consolidated its fledgling relationship with Oaktree Capital Management after landing its second instruction from the US private equity house.
London's magic circle has profited from a buoyant legal market in Spain, but is still a long way from challenging Madrid's local elite.
UK law firms have surpassed all records, with unprecedented growth in both turnover and profit, The Lawyer can reveal.
McGrigors has bagged property finance partner William Greig from Field Fisher Waterhouse to add to its banking and finance team in London. He will work on property investment and development deals. Greig also has experience in outsourcing and PFI projects. ...
McGrigors is making a rare hire from the bar as 18 Red Lion Court silk Jonathan Fisher joins the firm’s tax litigation and regulatory team.
Microsoft general counsel Brad Smith has stated his intention to appeal the European Commission’s €280m antitrust fine, and called for more clarity from the Commission.
Although 2005-06 was a bumper year for most of the top 50, there were some firms that did not enjoy outstanding financial success.
Monckton Chambers is strengthening its human rights expertise with the hire of academic Jeremy McBride. McBride, currently reader in international human rights law at the University of Birmingham and visiting professor at the Central European University in Budapest, is joining Monckton to develop his human rights practice. As well as his academic ...
Tesco head of corporate, commercial and litigation Deborah Prince has resigned to take up a post at the Consumers' Association as its head of legal. Prince had been with the retailer for six years and was looking for a new challenge.
The case of Beddow v Cayzer defined the extent of the partnership agreement. Colm Nugent reports
Network Rail general counsel and company secretary Hazel Walker finalised a major panel review last month, with Addleshaw Goddard, Bircham Dyson Bell, Lovells and Thomas Eggar securing spots. Conflicts in the highly active ...
Opinion: Alan Jenkins, chairman, Eversheds
Although France's biggest firms keep getting bigger, some smaller outfits do emerge from time to time. The latest to appear is three-partner boutique APA Partners.
Norton Rose is relocating a senior restructuring partner from Hong Kong to London in a bid to recapture leveraged loan business, as banks and insolvency practitioners ready themselves for a downturn in the economy.
Ntl had a major shake-up of its legal advisers following its merger with Telewest, with Fried Frank Harris Shriver & Jacobsen appointed as primary legal adviser. Travers Smith had been ntl's longstanding counsel and will remain as a secondary adviser, along with Ashurst,
New York-based Orrick Herrington & Sutcliffe has poached corporate partner Antonios Backos from New York rival Healy & Baillie. Before joining Healy, Backos worked for more than three years in the London office of Weil Gotshal & Manges. He will join Orrick's Manhattan office as a corporate ...
Outer Temple Chambers' Gerard McDermott QC is succeeding Lord Brennan QC of Matrix Chambers as leader of the European Circuit.
As the introduction of the Legal Services Bill looms on the horizon, partnership structures have begun to consume an ever-increasing amount of lawyers' and managers' time.
Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman is to close its Century City office, consolidating its Los Angeles operations into its downtown office.
Tulkinghorn sends out his thanks to Lovells partner Peter Taylor for spotting last week's deliberate mistake. A story about Clyde & Co's US expansion literally redrew the map of the world, with a little help from The Lawyer.
Sticking with the telecoms sector, telecoms companies Qualcomm and Nokia are at loggerheads again over patent issues, with the former lodging a complaint with the US International Trade Commission.
RBS Greenwich Capital, the institutional fixed income subsidiary of Royal Bank of Scotland, has strengthened its legal and compliance department in the US with the hire of a Linklaters lawyer.
SJ Berwin’s average profit per equity partner (PEP) figure has been bumped up to above the £700,000 mark following accounting revisions to take into account FRS5 and work in progress (WIP).
The biggest 50 firms in the UK have had an outstanding year, as our lead story demonstrates. For the fullest picture, you'll have to wait for the publication of the definitive guide to law firm finances when The Lawyer UK 100 Annual Report comes out in September, but our analysis of the top 50 firms' preliminary figures highlights the health of the commercial legal sector.
Mishcons recently emerged as proportionately one of the City's most ecologically sound firms, with news that around 10 per cent of its partners drive electric cars.
Has Gide Loyrette Nouel lost its grip on work for the French state as it continues its privatisation programme? The firm had advised on the IPOs of Gaz de France (GDF), EDF and the French motorways system, but failed to win the same role as the state carried out a partial privatisation of Aéroports de Paris (ADP).
Sharpe Pritchard and Pinsent Masons advised on Nottinghamshire County Council's £850m waste PFI project, won by Veolia Environmental Services. The project is the first waste PFI project to be closed under the Treasury's SoPC3 guidance. It includes the provision of services across a network of sites and will be delivered through a 26-year contract. Sharpe Pritchard represented Nottinghamshire County ...
Shearman & Sterling's London office has been hit by the departure of highly rated M&A partner Jonathan Coppin to join the UK arm of Hogan & Hartson. Coppin, who joined Shearman four years ago from Norton Rose following a protracted search for a senior M&A partner, will head Hogan's developing London M&A ...
Shearman & Sterling is gearing up to launch in Shanghai within the year, with plans to transfer a large section of its Hong Kong team across to the new office.
DLA Piper Rudnick Gray Cary. Doesn't exactly roll off the tongue, does it? Well, not to worry - from 1 September the name will be shortened to just DLA Piper. And about time too.
Former Kirkland & Ellis corporate partner Nigel Dunmore has resurfaced at Sidley Austin to strengthen its corporate practice after he quit Kirkland following its recent hiring spree.
SJ Berwin looks at China, Russia, India expansion" /SJ Berwin is examining expansion possibilities into China, India and Russia following the completion of an internal strategy review earlier this year.
Hogan & Hartson has taken a private equity partner from SJ Berwin’s Munich office to help grow the firm’s international private equity practice.
The last remaining Slaughter and May partners searching for homes following the merger between the UK firm's French practice and Bredin Prat in January have done so.
Standard Chartered has bulked up its IT law capability with the appointment of private practice lawyers in its Singapore and London offices in an effort to broaden its in-house team.
With the advent of LLPs, the Legal Services Bill and the additional option of an alternative business structure, the legal profession should be prepared for a dramatic period of change. By Colin Ives
Hammonds has ousted DLA Piper Rudnick Gray Cary from its role as supermarket giant Tesco’s main employment law adviser.
Peter Barton, a former partner at Travers Smith, who now holds several non-executive directorships including with Alliance & Leicester and the Guinness Trust Group, recently offered some sound advice to lawyers considering a career change. He was generally upbeat about their overall chances of success (The Lawyer, 1 May). While I agree that change comes easily for the lucky few, for most it is seriously ...
So, last month (27 June) saw the annual The Lawyer Awards. And true to form, the list of virtual prizes for memorable behaviour vied with that of the genuine awards themselves.
What was your first-ever job?Pianist in a piano bar called Gershwins.
One of our in-house award winners, T-Mobile, has had an internal reshuffle of its legal team, merging the legal and regulatory departments into a single group.
Dwindling profit has forced Cobbetts to make redundancies. But will it be enough to turn the firm's ailing fortunes around?
Trade union Prospect is threatening legal action if the government allows private owners to sell their stake in National Air Traffic Services (NATS).
Market rumours are that Veil Jourde will be the next French independent firm to bite the dust, following the disappearance of Moquet Borde to Paul Hastings Janofsky & Walker in 2004 and Rambaud Martel to Orrick Herrington & Sutcliffe in 2005.
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Wedlake Bell has seen its turnover rise by 16.6 per cent to just less than £20m as the firm launches an ambitious plan to bolster its corporate capability.
White & Case has poached M&A and corporate finance specialist Philip Broke from Ashurst as the US firm's new co-head of the London corporate practice.
Winston & Strawn is not a firm with a huge profile in Paris, but it has been quietly growing in the decade since its French office was established. Indeed, with another batch of lateral hires in June, the US firm now has 18 partners and an additional 25 associates, making it as big as some independent French firms.
Private client firm Withers has promoted six lawyers to its partnership taking its total to 95 partners.