12 December 2005

The Lawyer

  • A&O Paris leveraged finance head joins Weil

    12-Dec-2005

    Allen & Overy (A&O) is losing its Paris leveraged finance head Jonathan Nabarro to Weil Gotshal & Manges. Nabarro, who joined A&O in May 2004 from Ashurst,

  • A&O to stake all on career path revamp

    12-Dec-2005

    A&O aims to stem attrition with 'of counsel' roles as alternative to partnership

  • A&O, CC, DWS win roles on record Islamic bond

    12-Dec-2005

    Allen & Overy (A&O), Clifford Chance and Denton Wilde Sapte (DWS) have landed instructions to advise on the issue of the largest-ever Islamic bond.

  • Acquisition finance update

    12-Dec-2005

    A slew of major acquisition finance deals closed in November.

  • Arthur Cox chair swap marks end of an era

    12-Dec-2005

    Corporate partner Eugene McCague has been voted in as the new chair of Dublin giant Arthur Cox after current chair and head of corporate James O'Dwyer announced his intention to step down from both roles in April next year.

  • Artistically challenged

    12-Dec-2005

    It seems that Duane Morris's London office might have to consider giving staff art appreciation classes as a Christmas bonus.

  • Baker Botts seeks China licence

    12-Dec-2005

    Baker Botts has joined the race to enter the growing Chinese mainland legal market, lodging a local licence application last week.

  • Bingham McCutchen lines up DC merger with Swidler

    12-Dec-2005

    Bingham McCutchen is to complete its sixth merger in nine years, taking over Washington DC-based firm Swidler Berlin.

  • Blake triumphs in SJ Berwin senior partner race

    13-Dec-2005

    SJ Berwin has confirmed the appointment of head of private equity Jonathan Blake as the firm’s new senior partner.

  • Bredin Prat to take over Slaughters Paris

    14-Dec-2005

    Slaughter and May is ceding its Paris office to best friend Bredin Prat in a significant coup for the elite French independent.

  • Burges Salmon assists FirstGroup with rail triumph

    15-Dec-2005

    Burges Salmon has advised FirstGroup on its double franchise triumph earlier this week which made it Britain’s largest rail company.

  • Careers: In brief

    12-Dec-2005

    Herbert Smith is to sponsor the National Portrait Gallery as it celebrates its 150th anniversary in 2006. It will be one of the UK's largest law firm sponsorships of the arts. A gala dinner in February will launch the year-long anniversary programme.

  • Careers: People

    12-Dec-2005

    Reed Smith has hired banking partner Leon Stephenson to join its UK banking and finance practice. He was formerly a senior associate at Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton.

  • CC chiefs win backing for lockstep revolution

    16-Dec-2005

    The Clifford Chance partnership has voted for the changes to its compensation structure which will see a fragmentation of its worldwide lockstep for the first time.

  • Central and Eastern Europe

    12-Dec-2005

    The Central and Eastern European (CEE) markets are opening up dramatically. As a result, a wider range of financial product is being offered in the region, while the consumer and property markets are also developing.

  • Character assassination

    12-Dec-2005

    It's traditional every year for Bevan Brittan trainees to put on a performance at the Christmas party. This year, hilariously, they've plumped for 'Little Bevan Brittan'.

  • City firms well placed to cash in on launch of real estate investment trusts

    12-Dec-2005

    Property lawyers have hailed the long-awaited confirmation of the introduction of real estate investment trusts (Reits), but have warned that crucial questions remained unanswered.

  • City report

    12-Dec-2005

    Most corporate lawyers continued to have their hands full in November as both the M&A and equity markets remained buoyant. According to Thomson Financial, 260 deals (involving any UK element) totalling $34.6bn (£19.97bn) were announced last month. In contrast, October saw 249 deals valued at $84bn (£48.48bn) being announced.

  • Competition body allots record fines

    12-Dec-2005

    French competition lawyers are reeling after their clients were hit twice last week by the competition watchdog for record amounts.

  • Compromising situations

    12-Dec-2005

    Compromise agreements are no longer a foolproof way to secure happy staff departures. By Paul Callegari

  • Czech list

    12-Dec-2005

    The Czech Republic is busy bringing its laws into line with those of its new EU partners, but many of its existing rules are, if anything, more stringent than expected. By Hilary McDowell

  • De Brauw commits to lockstep

    12-Dec-2005

    The managing partner of Dutch heavyweight De Brauw Blackstone Westbroek, Jaap de Keijzer, has said his firm has no plans to restructure its lockstep despite the decision of fierce rival Nauta Dutilh to introduce a bonus element into its remuneration system.

  • Deals Comment

    12-Dec-2005

    The Serious Fraud Office (SFO) is understood to be considering prosecuting six pharmaceutical companies for alleged price-fixing, with several UK competition lawyers preparing for the worst. It is understood the drugs companies could face unprecedented

  • Deals round-up

    12-Dec-2005

    Berwin Leighton Paisner (BLP) has advised new client JO Hambro Investment Management (Johim) on the launch of two new investment funds.

  • DLA Piper annexes Squire Sanders Madrid

    13-Dec-2005

    DLA Piper Rudnick Gray Cary has captured Squire Sanders & Dempsey’s Madrid office to make it one of the biggest international firms in Spain.

  • Dorsey wins landmark M&S tax case

    13-Dec-2005

    Dorsey & Whitney has won a major European Court of Justice (ECJ) case for Marks & Spencer (M&S) finding that UK tax legislation does not comply with European law.

  • Dundas appoints managing partner pair

    12-Dec-2005

    Dundas & Wilson has appointed new managing partners Donald Shaw and Alan Campbell, to take effect from 1 May 2006. Shaw, who currently heads the firm's real estate practice, and Campbell, responsible for the projects team, both sit on the Dundas management board. Dundas chief executive Neil Cochran said the joint appointments reflected the firm's dual approach to management. First revealed on ...

  • Eversheds tops charts as energy powers AIM market

    12-Dec-2005

    A boom in mining, oil and gas has fuelled a major push by law firms to secure AIM clients, with mid-sized UK firms the first to get their piece of the action.

  • Firm profile: Brachers Solicitors

    12-Dec-2005

    Brachers Solicitors" /Managing partner: John Sheath Turnover: £12m Total number of partners: 21 Total number of staff: 152 Main practice areas: Corporate and commercial, debt collection, litigation, property and private client Key ...

  • Fishburns bulks up in London with Weightmans raid

    12-Dec-2005

    Niche insurance firm Fishburns has raided Weightmans’ London office for a professional indemnity team led by partner John Bennett.

  • Freeman appointed chair of Competition Commission

    13-Dec-2005

    Former Simmons & Simmons competition star Peter Freeman has been appointed as the new chairman of the Competition Commission.

  • French muster

    12-Dec-2005

    Société Générale's Frédéric de Brouwer is leading a revolution in Paris by bringing the Anglo-Saxon concept of a formal legal panel to France. Joanne Harris finds out how he's doing it

  • GE knocked back again on merger with Honeywell

    14-Dec-2005

    GE has lost round two in its protracted battle to merge with Honeywell after the European Court of Justice (ECJ) upheld a controversial decision to block the takeover.

  • GE relationship partner calls on Jack Welch in W&S pay row

    12-Dec-2005

    A senior partner of US firm Winston & Strawn is expected to call both the firm's managing partner and Jack Welch, the former chairman of General Electric (GE), to testify in a multimillion-dollar lawsuit against the firm.

  • Gide goes international on partner promotions

    12-Dec-2005

    Gide Loyrette Nouel has unveiled eight new partners in its most international round of promotions yet. The French independent is making up four partners in its Paris headquarters. David Boitout and Han Qimeng, the local partners in charge in Shanghai, both become members of Gide's international partnership. Moscow local managing partner David Lasfargue is also promoted, as is Olivier Prost in Brussels.

  • Government scraps Judicial Pensions Bill

    15-Dec-2005

    The government today dropped its controversial Judicial Pensions Bill in favour of fresh proposals which will maintain the value of judges’ pensions.

  • Grapevine

    12-Dec-2005

    Another week and another firm opening in Munich. Last week it was the turn of Latham & Watkins, which joins Kirkland & Ellis, Skadden Arps Slate Meagher & Flom, Weil Gotshal & Manges and White & Case, among others.

  • Hammonds to overhaul management and lockstep after review

    13-Dec-2005

    Hammonds is set to axe the role of senior partner and turn to merit-based remuneration in the wake of its exhaustive strategic review.

  • Herbert Smith wins Norton Rose finance partner

    12-Dec-2005

    Herbert Smith has raided Norton Rose for a new partner for its growing finance practice. Energy finance specialist Andrew Newbery resigned from Norton Rose last week, becoming the third finance partner to be hired by Herbert Smith in two weeks. His appointment follows last week's raid on Denton Wilde Sapte's acquisition finance team for Chris Fanner and Ian Yeo. First revealed on www

  • Heuking raid threatens Haarman Cologne closure

    15-Dec-2005

    The Cologne office of German firm Haarmann Hemmelrath is in danger of closing after five partners decided to leave for Heuking Kühn Lüer Wojtek.

  • High-rise boom raises the roof for property specialists

    12-Dec-2005

    David Middleton reports on how planning teams have been central to law firms' real estate ambitions

  • Holman Fenwick launches Australia office with shipping hires

    15-Dec-2005

    Holman Fenwick & Willan is opening an office in Melbourne, Australia with raids on the transport groups of Middletons and Blake Dawson Waldron.

  • Independent commissioner praises Law Soc's complaints-handling

    12-Dec-2005

    The Law Society's independent commissioner last week concluded three years of work examining complaints-handling by praising the society's progress, but recommended more work in the future.

  • International eye: Asia

    12-Dec-2005

    Donna Sawyer on the month in Asia

  • International report: Nomos

    12-Dec-2005

    The partners at French independent firm Nomos are a farsighted bunch. In the late 1990s they were part of Thomas & Associés, a firm which had merged with accountants Deloitte & Touche. But a group of lawyers saw that the love affair between accountants and law firms would not last, and in 1998 six partners split away to form Nomos.

  • Johnson Stokes client cleared of forgery after eight-year battle

    12-Dec-2005

    Johnson Stokes & Master has successfully defended Hong Kong's richest woman, who was last week cleared of forging her late husband's will to inherit his fortune, following an epic eight-year legal battle.

  • Kirkland launch sees staff learning German

    12-Dec-2005

    Kirkland & Ellis has offered all staff in its London office German lessons following the launch of its German office this year.

  • Lawyers warn FAs of investment U-turn

    12-Dec-2005

    Lawyers have warned of a potential pensions mis-selling scandal within the financial services sector following the Government's U-turn last week preventing residential property from attracting the tax perks of pensions.

  • Let them eat cake

    12-Dec-2005

    The recent launch of media and entertainment boutique Swan Turton was notable for several reasons, not least because of senior partner Julian Turton's welcome speech during which he admitted that his partners could be found in the local coffee shop, Coffee Cake & Kink, recharging their batteries of an afternoon.

  • Linklaters global asset finance chief steps down

    12-Dec-2005

    The head of Linklaters' global asset finance practice Ron Gibbs is leaving the firm to move into the boardroom.

  • Linklaters IT client turns to Slaughters after conflict

    12-Dec-2005

    A Linklaters conflict has gifted Slaughter and May with an instruction to advise a buyout team led by Sir Peter Ogden on its potential take private of FTSE250 company Computacenter.

  • Liverpool firm EAD sticks with family in life and death battle

    12-Dec-2005

    Liverpool-based law firm Edwards Abrams Doherty (EAD) acted pro bono for the parents of Eileen Doran, a sufferer of an incurable brain disease who passed away last month, in their widely publicised High Court battle to preserve their daughter's life.

  • Lovells focuses on winning new clients and service delivery

    12-Dec-2005

    Lovells is set to establish a working group to examine how the firm can improve the delivery of service to its existing clients and ways to win new work.

  • Manches merges with City boutique

    12-Dec-2005

    Manches has acquired the bulk of seven-partner City firm Marshall Ross & Prevezer, which has dissolved its partnership.

  • Mayer Brown set for Tonucci link-up

    12-Dec-2005

    Mayer Brown Rowe & Maw (MBR&M) is in advanced talks with Italian firm Studio Legale Tonucci about a strategic alliance.

  • Morton in landslide win for top job at Freshfields

    15-Dec-2005

    Guy Morton has been elected senior partner at Freshfields after knocking out his two London opponents in the first round.

  • New year's peeve

    12-Dec-2005

    Now is the time that a lawyer's thoughts turn to Christmas shopping, the holidays and blessed time away from the office with loved ones. So spare a thought for the unlucky ones who are certain to find themselves stuck on the wrong end of an international conference call on Christmas Eve, waiting for the deal to close. It happens every year - and this time it could be you.

  • O'Brien withdraws as Freshfields election kicks off

    13-Dec-2005

    The Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer senior partner election kicked off yesterday with partners set to choose German senior partner Konstantin Mettenheimer with either Guy Morton, Graham Nicholson or Philip Richards.

  • OFT prompts Northern Ireland law ad relaxation

    12-Dec-2005

    The Law Society of Northern Ireland has changed its regulations after an Office of Fair Trading (OFT) investigation.

  • OFT slammed for delay of grocery investigation

    12-Dec-2005

    The Office of Fair Trading (OFT) has come under heavy criticism following its announcement that it would take at least another six months to review its decision regarding the dominance of supermarket chains in the grocery sector.

  • Olswang eyes the Continent and Asia in international expansion U-turn

    12-Dec-2005

    Olswang is ramping up its international expansion strategy with plans to secure outposts in France, Germany and the Far East.

  • Olswang goes global

    12-Dec-2005

    The transformation of Olswang from TMT boutique to global powerhouse may not be complete, but it's well underway.

  • Opinion

    12-Dec-2005

    The legal services white paper should prompt chambers to develop into modern businesses

  • Osborne Clarke senior partner steps down

    12-Dec-2005

    Osborne Clarke senior partner steps down" /Osborne Clarke senior partner Leslie Perrin (left) has announced his retirement from the partnership after 16 years with the firm. Perrin, who spent nine years as managing partner, has played a key role in the growth of the Bristol-based firm. He said he was ...

  • Park Court senior clerk defects to Byrom Street

    12-Dec-2005

    Leeds set Park Court Chambers is losing senior clerk Terry Creathorn to Manchester-based Byrom Street Chambers in the wake of the retirement of Byrom Street senior clerk Peter Collison. Collison is stepping down after 30 years at the leading counsel-focused set, which has 11 QCs and two senior junior members. Meanwhile, in Plymouth, King's Bench Chambers is bidding farewell to senior clerk Fred Rayner, who is also retiring. Rayner saw the set through its split from London parent 2 King's ...

  • Partner of the month

    12-Dec-2005

    Gideon MooreFirm: LinklatersPartner since: 1999Educated: University of LondonKey Clients: Credit Suisse First Boston, Deutsche Bank, JPMorgan, Merrill Lynch

  • Pre-budget updateTax burden eased for small firms

    12-Dec-2005

    Chancellor Brown relaxes rules on FRS5; 'most businesses' can spread tax charges over three years

  • Quotes of the week

    12-Dec-2005

    'I expect their outcome to be for now and I think they'll do the same as us ultimately and close Rotterdam.'

  • Regional: South East

    12-Dec-2005

    Lorraine Cushnie on the month in the South East: ASB Law, DMH Stallard, Thomas Eggar and Blake Lapthorn report positive first-half figures South East firms dominate The Rising 50 EMW Law scoops partner trio from Fennemores Linnells legacy partner wins Blake Lapthorn senior partner elections Monthly column Coming up: In-house: 9 Jan Management: 16 Jan The bar: 23 Jan Regional: 30 Jan

  • Regulatory roundup

    12-Dec-2005

    After a string of delays, the Office of Fair Trading (OFT) has delivered its decision on HMV Group's pending acquisition of Ottakar's. Clifford Chance had a small win after the OFT referred the merger of bookstore chains Waterstone's and Ottakar's to the Competition Commission last week. HMV Group, which owns rival bookstore chain Waterstone's, made a formal £96.4m takeover bid for Ottakar's in September.

  • Rentokil picks Freshfields for selloff

    12-Dec-2005

    Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer has bagged an instruction to advise Rentokil Initial on the sale of Style Conferences to the Alternative Hotel Group (AHG) for £325m.

  • Russian revolution

    12-Dec-2005

    As Russia opens up its markets and offers more diversification, the world is starting to realise the country’s potential. Michael Cuthbert reports

  • Separated at birth

    12-Dec-2005

    Calls for former Celtic boss Martin O'Neill to return to football as manager of Manchester United gathered pace last week after the Reds crashed out of the Champions League. The 2-1 loss to Benfica in Lisbon left Man Utd stranded at the bottom of Group D with just six points from six games and no way of making the lucrative last 16. 'Sadly' for Man Utd, O'Neill continued ...

  • SFO lawyers quit en masse citing red tape

    12-Dec-2005

    The Serious Fraud Office (SFO) has suffered a spate of resignations across its legal departments, losing four lawyers during the past three months alone.

  • Sidley leads Starwood on Le Meridien buyout

    12-Dec-2005

    Sidley Austin Brown & Wood has secured the lead advisory role on Starwood Hotels & Resorts' successful acquisition of the Le Meridien brand and management business.

  • Slaughters' talks with Bredin Prat casts doubt on homes of Paris equity partners

    12-Dec-2005

    The future of Slaughter and May's Paris equity partners is uncertain as it emerges that the firm is locked in negotiations with Bredin Prat that may result in the transfer of Slaughters' Paris business to its French ally.

  • Sounding out Scrooge

    12-Dec-2005

    It's time to play 'Guess the Partner'. In a recent letter to The Times's agony aunt Bel Mooney, the girlfriend of an unnamed "senior partner" of a City law firm was complaining about how tight-fisted he is.

  • TfL general counsel joins Severn Trent

    13-Dec-2005

    Transport for London’s (TfL) general counsel Fiona Smith has quit after just over two years in the role.

  • The work-life quiz

    12-Dec-2005

    Bruce Dear, head of the investor group, Eversheds

  • Thinner time

    12-Dec-2005

    On a recent jaunt Down Under, one of Tulkinghorn's scribes was looking forward to a promised lunch on Sydney Harbour courtesy of Australian firm Allens Arthur Robinson, but he quickly began to fear that wild goose would be the only item on the menu.

  • Three more senior Freshfields partners in firing line over Law Society conflicts probe

    14-Dec-2005

    The Law Society has widened its investigation into Freshfields partner Barry O’Brien’s role on the M&S bid to include three other senior figures at the magic circle firm, it has emerged.

  • Top international deals

    12-Dec-2005

    Simpson Thacher & Bartlett (Micheal Wolfson) and Danish firm Bech-Brunn (Soren Meisling, Philip Risbjorn) are advising the Apax-led consortium that won the TDC auction. Danish telecoms operator TDC accepted a €10.2bn (£6.9bn) bid on 29 November from Nordic Telephone Company (NTC), the bidding vehicle established by a consortium comprising Apax, Blackstone, Kohlberg Kravis & Roberts, Permira and Providence.

  • Two IP partners quit Field Fisher Waterhouse

    13-Dec-2005

    Field Fisher Waterhouse’s respected IT and IP team was reeling last week after two partners resigned in consecutive days.

  • US advisers win increased confidence from in-housers

    12-Dec-2005

    US law firms received a vote of confidence last week as chief legal officers reported increased satisfaction in their law firms for the first time in six years.

  • Watson Burton picks up Pinsent Masons chief

    12-Dec-2005

    North East firm Watson Burton has poached Pinsent Masons' head of employment in a boost to its labour law practice. John McMullen becomes Watson Burton's fourth employment partner and will be based in the firm's Leeds office. McMullen is a European employment law specialist and also has considerable expertise ...

  • Weil scouts boost ties while scoping out Indian market

    12-Dec-2005

    Weil Gotshal & Manges has joined the slew of firms investigating the Indian market, sending a team of lawyers to the region on a fact-finding trip.

  • White & Case leads Thai securitisation

    12-Dec-2005

    White & Case has advised the lead managers to the Royal Thai Government on its largest securitisation to date.