10 November 2003
The Enterprise Act could have introduced a Chapter 11-style process for restructuring in the UK. John Houghton reports on missed opportunities and avoided pitfalls
Allen & Overy is set to become the first magic circle firm to convert to a UK limited-liability partnership (LLP). The Lawyer understands that, subject to a partnership vote, conversion could take place by the end of this financial year, although it is possible that not all of the firm will initially transfer to LLP status. Only a minority of The Lawyer 100 firms have yet converted to LLPs, although a number have signalled an interest.
Addleshaw Goddard has lost its second intellectual property (IP) partner in three months.Simon Clark is joining Berwin Leighton Paisner (BLP) with a group of three associates to create a new IP group for the firm.
The tax arm of accounting giant PricewaterhouseCoopers has suffered a blow with the exit of Brussels partner Philippe Lion to Baker & McKenzie.
German firm Beiten Burkhardt Goerdeler has scooped a licence from the Chinese Ministry of Justice to open a second office on the mainland.
Bird & Bird has shored up its employment team by poaching Boodle Hatfield's head of employment Warren Wayne.
Brabners Chaffe Street managing partner Michael Brabner has been appointed as the new chairman of Eurolegal, the European network of independent law firms. Eurolegal comprises 21 member firms in 16 countries. Brabners was a founding member of Eurolegal when the network was set up in 1990.
After electing a new chairman, US firm Bryan Cave has set its sights on securing a UK merger partner.Bryan Cave, a national firm, is seeking a full-service City practice with European offices.
Peter Carter-Ruck and Partners, a firm best known for suing newspapers, has won an intriguing case for a former town mayor who was libelled by a millionaire who attached banners to his private jet saying she was a thief.
Hammonds partner Michael Cassidy has been appointed chairman of Eagle Strategic Land, a new property company that is expected to list on the Stock Exchange before Christmas.
Clifford Chance partners could be facing a leaner Christmas as the firm debates whether to pay or delay on two chunks of profits before the year-end.
The independent Commission for Judicial Appointments (CJA) has recommended that the new body for appointing judges should have a majority membership of non-lawyers, including a lay chair. In its response to the Consultation on Constitutional Reform, the CJA recommends a majority lay membership to bring strong managerial and HR expertise to the proposed Judicial Appointments Commission. In its second annual report, published last month, the CJA welcomed the proposed creation of an independent ...
Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton is set to shake up the German legal market by opening its second regional office in Cologne.
Clifford Chance is sending out a clear signal of its commitment to Italy post-Grimaldi by hiring the partner in charge of Carnelutti's Padua office and four other lawyers.
Freshfields partners in outdrinking legal journalists shock: Tulkinghorn and his colleagues had to admit defeat last week when they were rendered insensible by the ministrations of three prominent Freshfields partners in a low-lit Soho bar.
Company directors are increasingly culpable for scandals such as Enron. David Leibowitz reports on the extent to which directors' and officers' insurance cover can protect them
Norton Rose scoops Credit Lyonnais HK work thanks to Suez Asia Holdings
It may be trying to bow out quietly, but collapsed Chicago firm Altheimer & Gray has been hit with one last indignity - bankruptcy.
Dechert has stolen a march on its City competitors to become the first firm in London to appoint a partner dedicated full-time to pro bono work.
Dorsey & Whitney has been fined $400,000 by a Washington State judge, the Seatlle Post-Intelligencer reports.
Scottish giant Dundas & Wilson has lured its second MacRoberts partner in a month, hiring corporate partner David Davidson to launch a City private equity practice.
Ernst & Young
Criminal and defamation law may not be obvious bedfellows, but niche firm CCL Solicitors is doing very well out of its strengths in these apparently diverse areas.
A man who knowingly infected two women with the HIV virus was last week convicted of causing “biological” grievous bodily harm and was the first person in 137 years to have been convicted of deliberately transmitting a disease.
Fladgate Fielder corporate partner Nicolas Greenstone has left the West End firm. Greenstone is the long-term adviser to Orb, which is currently under investigation by the Serious Fraud Office (SFO).
Freshfields has announced the election of its new co-senior partner, German managing partner Konstantin Mettenheimer (left). He replaces the current senior partner Christian Wilde and joins Anthony Salz, who has been re-elected to the post. The duo's first task has been to appoint Hugh Crisp as chief executive, taking the reins from Alan Peck. The new appointments will come into effect on 1 May 2004. First reported on www.thelawyer.com 7 November
For some years lawyers at larger firms have been wondering whether German firms can keep on growing with impunity. While there are firms with more than 2,000 lawyers in the UK, and even a relatively small jurisdiction like the Netherlands can support a number of firms with more than 300 lawyers, there was a general feeling in Germany that the rapid growth of the late 1990s was not supportable.
Gide Loyrette Nouel's recently acquired London partners have teamed up with their new French colleagues to work on their first M&A deal as a merged firm.
Six months of navel gazing have produced the following startling conclusion at Taylor Wessing: change nothing. Well, as they might say, if it ain't broke, etc.
Clyde & Co has lost professional indemnity and product liability partner Angela Horne to north-west firm Hill Dickinson.
THE INTERNATIONAL Chamber of Commerce (ICC) wants the European Commission to call for changes to the US's 1789 Alien Tort Statute, which allows non-US companies to be sued in US courts for alleged human rights, labour and environmental offences committed in third countries.
Moving jobs can be so traumatic. It's impossible to tell how a law firm will react on finding out that a lawyer is going to a rival. For instance, one particular lawyer at a magic circle firm caught the sharp end of his practice leader's tongue when he told him he was leaving for a competitor.
Exactly why Southwark Crown Court has telephones and staff manning them remains shrouded in a mysterious fog, through which Tulkinghorn cannot penetrate. The sterling efforts by one deadline-facing reporter from The Lawyer last week to get hold of an order by Judge Peter Fingret, which reversed his earlier ban on press coverage of a Serious Fraud Office (SFO) prosecution, received the following treatment from the court (edited for brevity because boy, did it go on):
KLegal signed its merger agreement with Scottish giant McGrigor Donald in November 2001 – a deal first revealed by The Lawyer (12 November 2001).
KPMG is still trying to recover the millions it pumped into Dutch law start-up Steins Bisschop Meijburg & Co between 1999 and 2002. The 21-partner firm was declared bankrupt in April 2002 after KPMG pulled the plug on loans...
KLegal and McGrigor Donald merged in March 2002. Since then seven KLegal heavy-hitters have resigned.
KLM general counsel Leslie Mooyaart has been made redundant following a reorganisation of the Dutch airline's head office function.
A lack of court resources was hindering access to justice, according to a survey of solicitors published last week. Nearly four out of 10 solicitors responding to a Law Society survey said that inefficient administration in court offices made an appreciable impact on their clients' cases.
Police are one step further to bringing disgraced former Lawrence Graham partner Michael Fielding back to the UK. The Lawyer understands that the Metropolitan Police, which has been investigating the matter, has now handed over documents to the Crown Prosecution Service, meaning that Fielding's extradition is imminent. No charge, however, has been made. In 2001, after running up millions of pounds ...
And a big tick for Herbert Smith and Freshfields. According to sources close to the hilarious RBS pitch process (was there ever so much comedy in a simple tender exercise?), both City firms have made it on to the bank's panel - and against the odds. The pair are keeping quiet, but they ought to be delighted. Freshfields because it lost the RBS corporate advisory spot this year, and Herbert Smith because it lost the ING pitch last month. Given that alliance partner Stibbe has its office ...
Linklaters has moved to shore up its German competition and EU law practice following the departure of group head Dirk Schroeder for Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton (first reported in The Lawyer, Monday 3 November).
Linklaters tax partner Conor Hurley is set to quit for top Irish firm Arthur Cox. Hurley will head up Arthur Cox’s tax department, which the firm is looking to build up.
Catherine Zeta-Jones famously laughed off the 1m GBP OK! Magazine paid for photos of her wedding to Michael Douglas as "not that much to us", so one can only imagine how insignificant was the paltry 14,600 GBP damages they are to receive for the damage caused by the publication of unauthorised paparazzi pictures of their wedding, as announced on Friday (7 November). To break the figure down, Hollywood's golden couple were awarded only 3,750 GBP each for the distress they suffered, plus ...
The Malaysian and South Korean governments have told the UK that they want to open up their legal markets to international law firms.
Two years ago this month, The Lawyer revealed that KLegal and McGrigor Donald were in secret negotiations to merge.
PwC chairman moves to quell Landwell crisis as KLegal international network faces extinction
Software companies look set to be hit by new copyright rules that came into force this month, as ministers ducked resolving what has become known as the ‘Microsoft Word problem’.
The new media and communications industry regulator Ofcom has appointed its top three lawyers.
There has been recent international discussion over the fate of Iraq's shrouded international debt. The Jubilee Iraq network, among others, has called for the cancellation of loans used to bolster Saddam's and his cronies' reign of terror and for the establishment of an international debt tribunal to determine which loans were hostile to the interests of the Iraqi people. The basis of the argument is not just moral and political: it is grounded on a century-old international legal doctrine ...
New York’s Pennie & Edmonds has returned to its original suitor Jones Day in its third attempt to secure a merger.
As part of the run-up to Christmas, Tulkinghorn is looking for the best 'deal toy' of 2003. (For those of you not in the know, a deal toy is a present received by the lawyer at the end of a transaction.)
A budding photographer and a family business about to employ its first staff are among the many clients at Hackney Legal Connections, the latest pro bono initiative from Linklaters.
Appeal judges recently ruled that probate solicitors could bill according to the value of the estate they are administering, as opposed to their hourly rate. The case, Jemma Trust co v. Liptrott & Others, concerned Bolton law firm Kippax Beaumont Lewis, which was involved in the administration of a £10m estate. The firm had charged £650,000 for its work, based on a combination of hourly rate and a ...
Richards Butler has won Microsoft as a corporate client after being appointed ahead of regular UK corporate adviser Linklaters to advise on the technology giant's latest UK disposal.
The Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) has at long last concluded its highly unpopular online tender process for its new group legal panel.
Simmons & Simmons has been handed the mandate by stockbroker Collins Stewart to recreate the innovative structure it built for the acquisition of Northumbrian Water on the proposed deal to buy Center Parcs UK.
You've got to feel sorry for Benelux firm Stibbe. It's bad enough being dissed by longstanding client ING, which only put Stibbe on its domestic panel rather than its global one, but worse still is that those poor Stibbe partners will have no chance of putting the snub behind them, as their Amsterdam office is bang next door to the ING building.
A Stephenson Harwood team acting for Westminster Council has emerged victorious in its battle to uncover millions of pounds of assets 'belonging' to Dame Shirley Porter, the council's former leader, who was fined £37m last year for gerrymandering in the 1980s. Porter fled to Israel after being found guilty of gerrymandering in the 'homes for votes' scandal. She claimed to be worth just ...
AIM is making a comeback, and Addleshaws, BLP, Hammonds and Memery Crystal are flying high. Helen Power and Joanne O'Connor report
Desmond Browne QC has plenty to say about Fleet Street's proposal to split the libel bar into claimant and defendant specialists.
There has been a minor revolution in the corporate restructuring market in the past few years. Lyndon Norley reports on the changes
OPPORTUNITIES for lawyers to handle varied and potentially lucrative liability claims against international organisations could arise from debates being held at the UN.
Weil Gotshal & Manges’ London office is losing one of its three securitisation partners.Christian Smith is moving to Spain, but will not be joining another law firm on his arrival. He is moving for lifestyle reasons. Smith’s departure will leave the London securitisation group with head Jacky Kelly and partner Steven Ong, who was made up to equity this year.
Willkie Farr & Gallagher is spearheading a move into the compliance field after scooping two partners from Foley & Lardner.
Allen & Overy's (A&O) Amsterdam office has scooped its first instruction from Stibbe client Wolters Kluwer.
The Premier League's director of legal and business Simon Johnson always needs to put in a good performance. Steve Hoare reports