10 March 2003

The Lawyer

  • 'Easier' EU patent fails to please

    10-Mar-2003

    A POLITICAL compromise has been struck that should clear the way for a new European Union (EU) Community Patent which would be simpler and easier to acquire than via existing national and European systems.However, supporters of a simple EU patent are likely to be disappointed by the deal, as it includes complicated translation rules. The European Commission, for instance, had originally proposed that Community Patents should be written in one language. However, the EU Council ...

  • A&O builds private equity coverage with Soros deal

    10-Mar-2003

    Allen & Overy's (A&O) private equity team has scooped instructions to advise Soros Private Equity Partners on its €235m (£161m) acquisition of German-based Polymer Latex from Degussa AG and Bayer AG. The mandate is a victory for A&O, which is trying to win more private equity work both at home and in Germany.Shearman & Sterling and Macfarlanes are also ...

  • American Express hires GE Insurance legal chief

    10-Mar-2003

    American Express Services Europe has appointed Mark Chambers, group head of legal at GE Insurance Holdings, as its new general counsel. Chambers will lead a team of 18 lawyers for Europe, the Middle East and Africa. Husnara Begum

  • Anyone for golf?

    10-Mar-2003

    Tulkinghorn is extremely careful with his possessions and would advise all of his esteemed colleagues to act likewise. The reason? While recently wandering through one of London's more colourful districts late one dark and rainy night, Tulkinghorn spied a young lady of the night sheltered underneath a Tarlo Lyons golf umbrella. Despite the slump in the IT sector, it appears that other areas are not so limp.

  • Arsenal

    10-Mar-2003

    Imagine the scene. Veteran Arsenal supporter and Taylor Joynson Garret partner Keith Barnett found himself sitting in the same restaurant as Arsenal winger Robert Pires during MIPIM last week. Barnett couldn't resist calling up his son, another avid Gunner fan, to tell him. Joel, age 11, promptly asked his dad to pass the phone over to Pires, who was only too happy to talk tactics with the young lad and sign an autograph.

  • Ashursts lines up elite for super-partner status

    10-Mar-2003

    Ashurst Morris Crisp is in the throes of deciding which partners will be elevated to 'super point' status, as it attempts to align its remuneration system with Fried Frank Harris Shriver & Jacobson.Sources indicate that the firm's governance committee is assessing who will be awarded extra points after deciding to move away from pure lockstep if partners vote through a merger.

  • Bevan Ashford scoops record £700m Scottish healthcare PPP

    10-Mar-2003

    Bevan Ashford has been appointed joint legal adviser to the largest NHS PFI/PPP scheme in Scotland.

  • Blackadders victim of 'ruthless' email hoax

    10-Mar-2003

    Dundee-based Blackadders has called in Tayside Police to investigate a hoax email circulated by someone posing to be Gregor Murray, the firm's head of insolvency.

  • Blake Lapthorn targets Thames Valley with Linnells merger

    12-Mar-2003

    South of England firm Blake Lapthorn has announced that it is merging with Oxford-based Linnells to create a 79-partner firm. The merger will take effect from 1 May 2003 and the merged firm will be known as Blake Lapthorn Linnell. Blake lapthorn, which has offices in Fareham, Portsmouth, Southampton and London, gains 22 partners in Oxford through the merger. Linnells is known for its ...

  • Bonelli challenges magic circle hold over structured finance

    10-Mar-2003

    The Italians are giving global firms a run for their money with their new practice. By Julia Cahill

  • Brotherly love

    10-Mar-2003

    Isn't the whole point of spending millions of pounds on technology that it makes life easier? That's obviously what Clifford Chance thought when it installed a shedload of software which is supposed to keep up-to-date contact information on all the firm's partners. Imagine a particular partner's surprise, then, when he was desperately trying to get hold of one of his colleagues ...

  • Building Bridges?

    10-Mar-2003

    The Pre-Action Protocol for Construction Disputes aims to make claims more manageable and encourage early settlements, but is it achieving the opposite? Rachel Mockler reports

  • CC braces itself for £26m profit slump

    10-Mar-2003

    Canary Wharf makes huge dent in 2004 forecast as firm hunts for subtenants

  • Co-op to defy judge with Fujitsu appeal

    10-Mar-2003

    The Co-operative Group has been given permission to appeal its case against Fujitsu Services, despite Mr Justice Richard Seymour's contemptuous dismissal of the original claim.

  • Corporates reel as US jury awards reach record high

    10-Mar-2003

    Critics call for a punitive award ceiling as tobacco litigation sees damages top $30bn. Husnara Begum reports

  • Councils drive down legal costs with FirstLaw partnership

    12-Mar-2003

    Fees paid to barristers instructed by the 10 Greater Manchester councils and two Lancashire unitary councils are due to be reduced by a quarter, creating a saving of around £250,000.Costs are being driven down through an initiative to standardise fees across the consortium of councils, with a third party brought in to manage the system.The new system of billing will be managed by FirstLAW, the legal tendering and audit service. FirstLAW will issue to barristers a standard ...

  • Davis Polk swoops on A&O star

    14-Mar-2003

    Allen & Overy (A&O) partner Nick Segal is leaving the firm to join Davis Polk & Wardwell in New York. Segal will be Davis Polk's first UK qualified partner. A statement from A&O said he would leave the firm in June and that an agreement had been reached regarding restrictive covenants."Since joining 14 years ago Nick has made a very significant contribution to both the success of the restructuring group and of the firm. The firm thanks Nick and wishes ...

  • DJ Freeman loses AXA work to SJ Berwin

    10-Mar-2003

    DJ Freeman has lost its share of property investment work for insurance giant Axa Sun Life's main fund to SJ Berwin, following a review.

  • DJ Freeman splits as property and media stars decamp to Olswang

    12-Mar-2003

    In a shock move, DJ Freeman is effectively splitting in two: a large proportion of the media and property groups is joining Olswang, while the insurance department will set up independently.

  • Dragonair drops Clyde to cut costs in court

    10-Mar-2003

    Clyde & Co has been ditched by Hong Kong Dragon Airlines (Dragonair) in favour of Lau Chan & Ko

  • ELF appoints new chairman to board of trustees

    10-Mar-2003

    The Environmental Law Foundation (ELF) has appointed Pamela Castle as chairman of its board of trustees. Castle, former head of environmental law at CMS Cameron McKenna, replaces Stephen Hockman QC, leader of the south eastern circuit, who will remain on the board of trustees. Castle left Camerons in April 2001. First revealed on www.thelawyer.com/lawyernews on 5 March

  • EU mulls safeguards for defendants

    10-Mar-2003

    Lawyers are being asked to comment on whether the European Union (EU) should agree a set of common safeguards for the treatment of defendants or suspects facing court proceedings in any member state.

  • Finance deals round-up

    10-Mar-2003

    Allen & Overy (Anne-Claude Lutz) advised UniCredit Banca Mobiliare (UBM) on ATAC's issue of €110m (£75.5m) floating rate notes, due 2008. ATAC is responsible for the planning, management and control of public transport in Rome. Clifford Chance advised ATAC.Linklaters (Jeremy Gewirtz) ...

  • Foot Anstey recruits for South West market push

    10-Mar-2003

    South West firm Foot Anstey Sargent is planning to recruit at least six lawyers to support its continued expansion in the South West

  • Founder opts for Jones Day on PizzaExpress bid

    10-Mar-2003

    If PizzaExpress founder Luke Johnson and colleague Ian Eldridge are successful in their recommended bid for PizzaExpress, Jones Day Gouldens will be in with a great chance of gatecrashing the company's two-firm panel of Pinsent Curtis Biddle and McClure Naismith.

  • Freshfields fortifies IP team with lateral hire

    10-Mar-2003

    Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer has completed a rare UK lateral hire with the recruitment of Justin Watts from IP specialist Bristows.

  • Freshfields' Emmerson in shock move to Milbank

    10-Mar-2003

    In a move that will stun London's magic circle, leading corporate partner Tim Emmerson is leaving Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer for US firm Milbank Tweed Hadley & McCloy.

  • Hammonds defections profit Browne Jacobson

    14-Mar-2003

    Hammonds’ Birmingham office has lost two more corporate partners, less than two months after Katie Silvester and Paul Cliff left the firm to join rival Gateley Wareing.Partners Roger Birchall and Joanne Bligh will be joining the Birmingham office of Midlands-based Browne Jacobson to spearhead the launch of a new corporate practice in the city. It is not yet clear who will head up the ...

  • Hammonds insurance team walks out after morale dips

    10-Mar-2003

    Hammonds' commercial insurance team has suffered a period of marginalisation and the de-equitisation of half of its partners prior to its planned walkout.

  • Independent broadcast

    10-Mar-2003

    Chris Groves from Turner Broadcasting System aims for him and his team to go it alone whenever possible, so his legal advisers should watch out. Steve Hoare reports

  • Key to the City

    10-Mar-2003

    Addleshaw Booth & Co has pinned its hopes for private equity in London on Simon Pilling - regardless of Theodore Goddard. By Catrin Griffiths

  • KLegal hikes deferral pay to appease trainees

    10-Mar-2003

    KLegal has agreed to pay £6,000 to trainees who have been forced to defer their start dates until 2004. The firm faced outrage from KLegal and McGrigor Donald's 2003 trainees who were randomly selected for compulsory deferrals. The firm originally offered just £2,500 - £7,500 less than the amount paid to its trainees who deferred voluntarily last July. Husnara Begum

  • KSB Law wins Seddons employment head

    10-Mar-2003

    KSB Law has recruited Allison Grant, head of employment at West End firm Seddons, to its partnership. Grant, who joined KSB Law on 3 March, has become head of the firm's specialist employment department. Her practice covers both contentious and non-contentious work. Husnara Begum

  • Law firms face losing clients in public-to-private bonanza

    10-Mar-2003

    Law firms are facing the bittersweet prospect of gaining work but losing clients if the projected surge in private equity-funded UK public-to-private deals come to fruition.

  • Leader

    10-Mar-2003

    It's a world of passion and pain out there. The restructuring world, that is. And the most passion has been generated from two sides which fight against each other on virtually every major case. The battle lines are these: Ernst & Young and Slaughter and May on one side, and KPMG and Cadwalader Wickersham & Taft on the other.It's impossible to grasp the current state ...

  • LeBoeuf hires Dentons' India chief to boost UK corporate

    10-Mar-2003

    LeBoeuf Lamb Green & MacRae is attempting to build up its small London corporate practice by taking on the head of Denton Wilde Sapte's India group.

  • Linklaters boosts trademark filings as UK figures fall

    10-Mar-2003

    Despite slashing numbers in its IP practice in 2002, Linklaters' UK trademark filing has increased by almost 55 per cent.

  • Linklaters chooses new capital markets head

    10-Mar-2003

    Linklaters has named its managing partner of Central and Eastern Europe as the new global head of capital markets. Eastwell replaces Michael Canby, who is returning to full-time fee earning in the derivatives and structured finance area. He will assume responsibility for global capital markets on 1 May, after which time Linklaters expects to name his successor. First revealed on www.thelawyer.com/ lawyernews ...

  • Lording it

    10-Mar-2003

    Which private equity partner at a top 10 City practice tried to make his former assistants address him as 'tiger'? They never did.Court Sittings on Monday 10th February, 2003The Lord Chancellor wishes it to be known that he will not consider it an inappropriate use of court time for judges of the High Court, Crown Courts and county courts to direct that the business of the day be halted for a period, (not exceeding two minutes) during which all present ...

  • Loyens & Loeff launches new practice in Luxembourg with A&O hires

    12-Mar-2003

    Benelux corporate and tax firm Loyens & Loeff has taken two assistants from Allen & Overy to launch a new practice in Luxembourg with former Arendt & Medernach partner Jean-Pierre Winandy.The firm’s Belgian legal arm, Loyens Advocaten-Avocats, has formed a partnership with Winandy. The new Luxembourg practice will operate under the name of Loyens Winandy. In addition to hiring the two associates from Allen & Overy, Loyens & Loeff expects to add a further ...

  • Martineau Johnson ramps up projects group

    10-Mar-2003

    DLA’s Birmingham office has lost two lawyers and a director from its infrastructure and project finance team to Martineau Johnson.

  • Multimillion pound Hale and Dorr sues secretary for £750

    10-Mar-2003

    Hale and Dorr, which reported turnover of $297m (£185.2m) in 2001, has launched an astonishing lawsuit against a former secretary, demanding the repayment of £750.

  • New firm rises from DJ Freeman ashes after identity crisis

    12-Mar-2003

    City firm DJ Freeman is no more. Following a strategic review, the firm has effectively split in two with the media and property team’s heading for Olswang, and the remaining partners to rebrand as Kendall Freeman.The new firm will consist of 20 partners and will predominantly focus on insurance and litigation. The corporate, public international law, construction and employment practices will ...

  • OFT probe could split Government

    10-Mar-2003

    The Government is facing the potential embarrassment of having one of its departments investigate another if allegations of unfair trading by the Environment Agency lead to an OFT investigation.

  • Ombudsman to tighten up complaint handling

    10-Mar-2003

    Zahida Manzoor, the new Legal Services Ombudsman, has pledged to take a robust stance to raise complaint handling standards after the office received 1,750 new cases in the past 12 months. Manzoor, who took office last week, said there was a lot to be done to improve procedures, especially in relation to the Office for the Supervision of Solicitors. First revealed on www.thelawyer.com/lawyernews on 5 March

  • Opinion

    10-Mar-2003

    Many firms have seen profits squeezed in the past few years. In some practices, partner profits have declined dramatically since the heady days at the turn of the millennium, when many law firms were experiencing record profits. But as 2003 began, management boards were confronting very different issues

  • Pinsents property chief quits for Ward Hadaway

    10-Mar-2003

    Pinsent Curtis Biddle has lost its national head of property Alan Herbert to North East firm Ward Hadaway. Herbert previously worked at Ashurst Morris Crisp and joined Pinsent Curtis in November 1993. He is due to start at Ward Hadaway at the beginning of April. Husnara Begum

  • Plane insane

    10-Mar-2003

    Tulkinghorn can reveal that (some) lawyers do care. Take, for example, Wragge & Co's US partner David Birch. In his capacity as a member of the British North American Chamber of Commerce, Birch lobbied to launch American Airlines' Birmingham to Chicago route. But unfortunately, earlier this year the route was abandoned as passenger numbers continued to dwindle following the 11 September terror ...

  • Private view

    10-Mar-2003

    The PFI sector has had a tough time, but is it all bad? Jon Robins meets the lawyers who still believe that the market has a lot to offer

  • R3 official says banks owe creditors £200m

    10-Mar-2003

    John Verrill (left), vice-president of insolvency professionals' association R3, slammed the UK's high street banks for failing to apply a Privy Council ruling that says they should pay out millions to key creditors of insolvent companies, including former employees. Verrill, speaking at the Future of Corporate Rescue Culture conference last week, estimates that around £200m is being wrongly withheld by the banks following the Privy Council's judgment in Brumark. ...

  • Racism claim against barristers dropped

    10-Mar-2003

    Allegations of inciting racial hatred, bigotry and making anti-Islamic statements against two senior family barristers lodged in a claim to a Tehran court have been withdrawn.

  • Radcliffes loses second partner in three months

    10-Mar-2003

    RadcliffesLeBrasseur has suffered the loss of top charities partner Jean Dollimore to Hempsons in the second high profile departure from the Westminster firm in the last three months.The departure of Dollimore, co-head of the firm’s charities group, follows that of Clara Trounson, the firm’s head of private client and tax, to

  • Sandelson begins new saga over Jahre's Cayman fortune

    10-Mar-2003

    Twenty-year battle over the Norwegian shipping tycoon's offshore account reaches final stages

  • Scottish Life and Amec sue Middleton Potts over property advice

    11-Mar-2003

    International trade specialists Middleton Potts and one of its partners are being sued over advice it provided to subsidiaries of Scottish Life and engineering company Amec during their purchase of land in Greater Manchester. They claim that Middleton Potts and lawyer Richard Schmidt, now a property partner at the firm, failed on five occasions to comply with their duty of skill and care to the claimants, Amec and Scottish Life subsidiary Davenport Green.The claimants bought ...

  • Separated at birth A best-friends alliance?

    10-Mar-2003

    Long-time Allen & Overy client Philip Green has been stirring up Anglo-Irish relations in the run-up to every Guinness drinkers' favourite holiday, St Patrick's Day.The Guardian reported last week that Mr Green said of its financial editor Paul Murphy: "He can't read English. Mind you, he is a fººking Irishman." Later he reportedly corrected himself, adding: "Some of my best friends are Irish…"Hasn't Mr Green overlooked ...

  • Simmons beats Freshfields, DLA and Wragges to MOD PPP

    10-Mar-2003

    Simmons & Simmons has added to its portfolio of deals for the UK Ministry of Defence (MOD) after winning a pitch against DLA, Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer and Wragge & Co. Simmons has won the mandate to advise on a multi-billion pound public private partnership project to replace current flying ...

  • Skadden scoops role on BCP's E1bn rights issue

    10-Mar-2003

    Skadden Arps has bagged the legal advice on a relatively rare E1bn (£686.7m) rights issue. The firm is acting for Banco Comercial Português (BCP), Portugal's largest listed bank, on a European a secondary share offering.

  • Stephenson Harwood partner defects to Trowers

    10-Mar-2003

    Stephenson Harwood finance partner Neill Gibson has joined the property group of Trowers & Hamlins. The former Clifford Chance lawyer, who joined Stephenson Harwood's partnership in 1999, specialises in housing finance and PFI work. Brendan Malkin

  • Sticks and stones

    10-Mar-2003

    Manchester United fans will be sorry to hear that the team's manager Sir Alex Ferguson has left to be president of the Immigration Appeal Tribunal. Just like at Old Trafford, where Sir Alex actively encouraged immigration, the Govan old boy has been assiduously supporting the rights of asylum seekers, a policy that has landed him in hot water with Tony Blair. Tulkinghorn fears he may be stripped of his title and forced to return to Manchester red-faced and wig in hand.

  • Taylors wins landmark fees uplift in Lords ruling

    11-Mar-2003

    In a bizarre costs action before the Lords, a conditional fee arrangement (CFA) that was initially deemed invalid has enabled a law firm to get a landmark 100 per cent uplift on its fees.The Clerk of Parliaments – the Lords’ equivalent of a costs judge – ruled in February 2002 that a textile company, Designers Guild Limited, which had won a copyright infringement case in the Lords in 2000, could not recoup costs because its CFA was invalid. This was because the ...

  • Technology Law Alliance

    10-Mar-2003

    With some big clients under its belt, TLA has found its niche

  • The story so far

    10-Mar-2003

    Last week The Lawyer reported on Russell Jones & Walker's shock decision to acquire Claims Direct, the claims management company dubbed 'Shames Direct' by the press following complaints from customers over the size of payouts. Russell Jones, the second-largest personal injury firm in the country, has bought Claims Direct's brand name, call centre technology, website and telephone numbers. The new business will operate under the name New Claims Direct.

  • The view from here

    10-Mar-2003

    The path to Bristol is a path well trodden for London lawyers. It attracts more legal refugees from the City than other regional legal centres such as Birmingham, Leeds or Manchester, despite its smaller size.

  • White & Case swoops for sixth Brobeck partner

    12-Mar-2003

    White & Case has scored a sixth lawyer from collapsed firm Brobeck Phelger & Harrison, this time to bulk up its New York corporate practice.Mark Lewis Mandel is the only M&A partner White & Case has taken on from Brobeck after targeting finance and restructuring specialists from the now defunct West Coast firm. Last month White & Case added partners Kevin Fisher, William Harvey, Douglas Young and David Dedyo to its San Francisco office while Maria Plum ...

  • Wragges pledges to be top UK property firm by 2006

    10-Mar-2003

    Wragge & Co has made an astounding pledge to become the number one full service law firm to the UK's real estate industry by 2006