13 October 2003

The Lawyer

  • A big offering

    13-Oct-2003

    Despite the insurance market's instabilities, reinsurance company Benfield is expanding rapidly, helped by its recent IPO and the purchase of EW Blanch. Steve Hoare reports

  • Ailing WorldCom loses its counsel to Viatel

    13-Oct-2003

    WorldCom's Stuart Blythe has quit the troubled communications company to become group legal counsel at Viatel.

  • Akin Gump aids battle to make Iraq pay Saddam-era debts

    14-Oct-2003

    Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld has been appointed by South Korean giant Hyundai Engineering & Construction to fight its case for Iraq to pay for $1.1bn (£6.6m) of construction work undertaken during the Ba’ath regime.

  • Amarchand signs up to Lex Mundi

    15-Oct-2003

    Leading Indian firm Amarchand Mangaldas & Suresh A Shroff & Co has been admitted to the Lex Mundi network.Amarchand Mangaldas will be the exclusive Lex Mundi law firm for India.The firm, which has offices in New Delhi, Mumbai, Bangalore, Calcutta and Ahmedabad, has corporate, commercial, project finance and energy law capability.Lex Mundi has 161 member firms around the world and represents approximately 15,000 lawyers. The association enables members firms to share knowhow.

  • Bar Council seeks support of the profession on keeping silk

    17-Oct-2003

    The Bar Council is consulting all 14,000 barristers practising in England and Wales on how it should lobby Parliament on retaining the silk status.

  • Barristers forced out of publicly funded work

    13-Oct-2003

    Barristers are being forced out of publicly funded work because of a decline in their pay, Matthias Kelly QC (left), the chairman of the Bar Council told the Bar Conference on Saturday (11 October). He also emphasised the public interest in retaining the silk system and attacked multidisciplinary partnerships as a threat to the independence of the bar. He called for the judicial appointments commission to be free of "political placemen".

  • Barristers warn of ‘political placemen’ on new judicial watchdog

    14-Oct-2003

    Barristers warned against the prospect of “political placemen” on the creation of a new judicial watchdog at the Bar Council Annual Conference this weekend.

  • BLP, Eversheds in Hammerson coup

    13-Oct-2003

    Herbert Smith and Nabarro Nathanson have lost out to Berwin Leighton Paisner (BLP) and Eversheds after a review by Hammerson covering all ongoing work on its regional shopping centres.

  • Brought to book

    13-Oct-2003

    Thanks to Maria Maloney, an editor at the esteemed Institute of Legal Cashiers & Administrators (ILCA), for her successful response to last week's quiz question: 'What book should Altheimer & Gray partners have read to help them avoid collapse?'

  • Cadwalader pursues Noboa sisters for £6m in legal fees

    13-Oct-2003

    Cadwalader Wicker-sham & Taft is seeking recovery of up to £6m in legal costs on behalf of itself and two other firms from the claimants in the Noboa litigation, which collapsed earlier this year.

  • Capital gains

    13-Oct-2003

    The bargains to be found in the London property market are enticing US firms. By Steve Johns

  • Careless whispers

    13-Oct-2003

    The recent rape accusations that have rocked the football world are further confounding the issue of freedom of speech versus the right to privacy. Jon Robins reports on keeping the men with no names anonymous

  • Carlton legal chief Abdoo to take the helm at merged ITV

    13-Oct-2003

    Slaughter and May in pole position as Carlton's Abdoo gets lined up for top job

  • CC Pünder corporate partner quits for Simmons

    13-Oct-2003

    Simmons & Simmons has ramped up its German corporate practice by hiring a partner from Clifford Chance Pünder.

  • Chagos Islanders vow to fight on

    14-Oct-2003

    Thousands of destitute Indian Ocean islanders claiming compensation for being evicted from their homes by the UK Government more than 30 years ago lost their claims for compensation in the High Court last week following a three-year legal battle.

  • Changing rooms

    13-Oct-2003

    Andrew Talbot says US firms in London are discovering the advantages of a well-designed office

  • Childs' power grows with Clifford Chance COO promotion

    13-Oct-2003

    Clifford Chance is radically shaking-up its senior management team after naming global corporate head David Childs as chief operating officer (COO).

  • Clarification

    13-Oct-2003

    In the 29 September issue of The Lawyer, it was suggested that BT had snubbed its panel of preferred suppliers on a current outsourcing project. In fact, this instruction was two years ago, before the formation of its panel. The company has not outsourced its salesforce and continues to instruct its panel on new work. We are happy to set the record straight.

  • Clifford Chance global anti-trust head takes Washington team to Weil Gotshal

    17-Oct-2003

    Clifford Chance’s global head of anti-trust Steve Newborn has defected to the Washington office of Weil Gotshal & Manages taking a team of three partners with him. Newborn, one of Clifford Chance’s last remaining US super-pointers, moves to Weil Gotshal with James Egan, John Scribner and Laura Wilkinson.

  • Clifford Chance is charged with sealing Brobeck's fate

    13-Oct-2003

    $100m lawsuit claims Snow and the magic circle firm were responsible for Brobeck's collapse

  • Clifford Chance settles with expelled partner

    14-Oct-2003

    Clifford Chance has finally settled its acrimonious feud with former Bangkok managing partner Wirot Poonsuwan.

  • Cure for all

    13-Oct-2003

    The life sciences and biotechnology markets continue to expand, creating significant regulatory hurdles in their wake. Lincoln Tsang reports

  • Divorce lawyers to turn informers

    14-Oct-2003

    Divorce lawyers were alarmed at a High Court ruling last week by the country’s most senior family judge, fearing that it will seriously undermine client-lawyer confidentiality by requiring lawyers to report suspected tax irregularities.

  • Doughty St barrister becomes Bar Council chair

    13-Oct-2003

    Stephen Irwin QC of Doughty Street Chambers has been elected, unopposed, to be the next Bar Council chairman. Irwin, the current vice-chairman, will replace incumbent chairman Matthias Kelly QC. Professional negligence and personal injury specialist Guy Mansfield QC will take on the vice-chairman role, while Crown Prosecution Service barrister Clifford Allison is the council's new treasurer. They will take up their posts on 1 January 2004. First revealed on www.thelawyer.com 8 October

  • Editorial: Peace at last, costs war is over

    14-Oct-2003

    It would appear that, after three long years of pitched battle since the advent of conditional fees between claimant lawyers and the defendant insurance industry, the costs war in the courts is finally over. Certainly, this was the view of the Civil Justice Council (CJC) last week, which brokered a deal between the two sides, which sees a standard success fee for all those motor cases that are settled pre or post-issue at court. The CJC reckons the deal will affect half a million cases ...

  • Eversheds boosts Paris with Herbert Smith hire

    13-Oct-2003

    Eversheds is continuing its heavy investment programme in Paris with the hire of a corporate partner from Herbert Smith. Sylvie Dariosecq will share responsibility for the development of Eversheds' Paris corporate department with fellow recent hire Pascal de Moidrey. Other recent hires include partner Kristine Karsten from former Andersen Legal firm Archibald, along with three associates from her real ...

  • Firm profile: Graham Stowe Bateson

    13-Oct-2003

    The 1 October merger of Harrogate-based two-partner probate firm Hirst & Capes with 13-partner Graham Stowe Bateson saw the marriage of a heavyweight practice with a famous name. The merged firm will offer a bigger platform for Hirst & Capes, which has practised in Harrogate since 1817.

  • French boutique Brandford-Griffith raids Jones Day for tax chief

    14-Oct-2003

    French M&A boutique Brandford-Griffith Baverez Pasturel has poached Jones Day’s European head of tax Pierre Ullmann.

  • Freshfields gets in on Midlands sale

    13-Oct-2003

    Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer is involved in the increasingly complex battle for control of Midlands Electricity after Dundas & Wilson client Scottish & Southern Energy (SSE) backed out of a billion-pound takeover.

  • Going down in the world

    13-Oct-2003

    Is Clifford Chance's new building about to disappear?

  • Grapevine

    15-Oct-2003

    So the Catherine Zeta-Jones and Michael Douglas/OK! Magazine v Hello! damages judgment is out. But if you're scratching your heads thinking, "Why haven't I seen this yet?", this is because, for some reason, Mr Justice Lindsay still hasn't handed it down and isn't likely to for another two or three weeks.

  • Hanging on the telephone

    13-Oct-2003

    Tulkinghorn has never had much patience with babbling fools, but one City managing partner has even less time for them. If he gets a call from one of his partners and they start moaning at him, he carefully places the receiver in a plastic bag, puts it in a drawer, closes the drawer and then heads down the hall to get a coffee. And it's not at all unusual for the person in question to be still ranting and have noticed nothing at all when he gets back.

  • Have I got a review for you

    13-Oct-2003

    News reaches Tulkinghorn that the chaps at Schillings, those libel lawyers extraordinaire, pulled out all the stops to ensure a suitably high ranking in the legal directories this year.

  • How now

    13-Oct-2003

    When it comes to US firms making the most of their 'brand' in the UK market, it's not what you do, it's the way that you do it, says Ian Stevens

  • Industrial disease expert quits Thring Townsend for CLM

    15-Oct-2003

    Brigitte Chandler, a leading industrial disease lawyer, has moved her practice from Thring Townsend to another south of England firm, Charles Lucas & Marshall (CLM).

  • Iraqi delegation set for HIV claim

    13-Oct-2003

    An Iraqi judge and a senior legal official at the country's Ministry of Health are preparing civil and criminal actions on behalf of 180 Iraqis who were allegedly infected with HIV by blood plasma produced by a European company.

  • Judge blocks EU legislation

    13-Oct-2003

    A British judge has delivered a landmark ruling forcing the Government to suspend a piece of European law for the first time.

  • KLegal and McGrigors partners split over relationship with KPMG

    13-Oct-2003

    A rift has emerged between legacy KLegal partners and the McGrigor Donald partnership as they gear up to decide on their future relationship with KPMG.

  • Kmart Chapter 11 sees Skadden post $58m bill

    13-Oct-2003

    Lion's share of $138m Kmart payout goes way of Skadden; US Bankruptcy Court to consider fee levels

  • Land of the free

    13-Oct-2003

    US lawyers want to transfer their pro bono activities to their London offices, but as Anna Bidwell reports, the challenge is in finding the right work

  • Leader

    13-Oct-2003

    Freshfields may be desperate to avoid the bruising senior partner election that Clifford Chance went through, but it's only deferring the pain. Despite all this talk of consensus and soundings, there's a lot of politics in the Freshfields election.

  • Linklaters switches managing partners in Asia

    13-Oct-2003

    Linklaters’ Asia practice is about to usher in a new era after replacing its regional managing partner. Simon Davies will take over the role from Andrew Roberts, who is set to return to the firm’s London office after four years in the role. Davies, a corporate finance partner, has spent time practising at both the firm’s Hong Kong and Tokyo offices over a period of eight years.

  • Little wonder

    13-Oct-2003

    Joe Flom, the sole surviving name partner at Skadden, has more experience than... well, anyone really.

  • London shipping cases slide

    13-Oct-2003

    Shipping litigation and arbitration in the UK continues to slide, the latest figures reveal, as foreign litigants increasingly turn their backs on London's courts.

  • Lovells lands SocGen work

    13-Oct-2003

    Lovells has scooped its first acquisition finance mandate for Société Générale (SocGen) since the bank put together its global panel earlier this year.

  • Macedonia launches court review

    13-Oct-2003

    A court-monitoring network has been set up in Macedonia by the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) to promote judicial reform.

  • Magistrates’ recruitment drive aims to kill stereotype

    14-Oct-2003

    You do not have to be “white, middle class, middle-age and professional” to be a magistrate, claimed Government ministers last week, as they launched a new £4m recruitment drive to double the number of justices of the peace appointed every year.

  • Mayer Brown gives boost to Europe plans

    13-Oct-2003

    Mayer Brown Rowe & Maw has created a task force to renew its push into Europe. Representatives from the UK, France and Germany have been appointed to the steering group, which will meet bi-monthly. The group is already working on detailed business...

  • McGrigors backs Imperial in smoking-related claim

    13-Oct-2003

    A potentially precedent-setting case of David-and-Goliath proportions has roared into action with Imperial Tobacco Group at the centre of the UK's first smoking-related court trial.

  • Merrill Lynch singles out six City firms for elite legal panel

    13-Oct-2003

    Leading US investment bank Merrill Lynch has overhauled its relationship with external legal advisers, establishing a formalised set of panels for the first time.

  • MoFo: glad to be gay-friendly

    13-Oct-2003

    San Francisco’s Morrison & Foerster (MoFo) has become the first law firm to be named on a list of the most gay-friendly places to work in the US.

  • New Labour’s 'child-catcher' law unveiled

    14-Oct-2003

    The antisocial behaviour bill at the heart of the Government’s strategy on low-level crime, which is to be unveiled today (14 October), will amount to “nothing more than a nationwide curfew on young people under 16 years”, claims a leading barrister at Matrix Chambers.

  • Norton Rose raids Dechert for corporate insurance ace

    15-Oct-2003

    Dechert has lost highly rated corporate insurance partner David Whear to Norton Rose. Senior associate Ashley Prebble will also move across to Norton Rose, leaving Dechert’s London office depleted in this area.

  • Norton Rose shores up NIB Capital Bank relationship

    13-Oct-2003

    Norton Rose has underlined its position in the mid-level acquisition finance market by snaring its second deal for NIB Capital Bank in the space of a year.

  • OFT stands firm on anticompetitive silk system

    17-Oct-2003

    The Office of Fair Trading has reaffirmed its position condemning the QC system as distorting competition and not being in the best interests of consumers.

  • Opinion

    13-Oct-2003

    The 1 October High Court decisions relating to the frozen embryos of two women, Natallie Evans and Lorraine Hadley gave effect to the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Act 1990. It also upheld a key principle. Namely that, if circumstances change, both men and women have the right to vary or withdraw their consent to the use of the embryos. The case has also given a vital reassurance to clinics that, in adhering to the rules as set out in the act, they are acting within the terms of their ...

  • Orrick signs ex-White House special counsel

    13-Oct-2003

    A former adviser to Bill Clinton, who was once dubbed as having "the worst job in Washington", is joining Orrick Herrington & Sutcliffe as a litigation partner.

  • Outer Temple Chambers raids Devereux, 2KBW

    13-Oct-2003

    Outer Temple Chambers, formerly 35 Essex Street, has hired three tenants from Devereux Chambers and one from 2 King's Bench Walk (2KBW). Pensions and employment specialists Keith Bryant, Lydia Seymour and Natasha Joffe join from Devereux, with James Counsell, a professional negligence and personal injury barrister from Michael Vere-Hodge QC's 2KBW.

  • Panel reviews reflect new role of in-house counsel

    13-Oct-2003

    Many banks have revamped their rosters of advisers - but not for cost reasons. By Husnara Begum

  • Penningtons bolts on niche tourism firm

    13-Oct-2003

    Penningtons has acquired niche travel and tourism practice Andrea & Co, led by senior partner Costas Andrea.

  • PI lawyers and insurers thrash out 12.5 per cent success fee

    13-Oct-2003

    Is the 'costs war' set to become a cold war, or is compromise the name of the game? asks Jon Robins

  • Picture this...

    13-Oct-2003

    Staff at Addleshaw Goddard were terribly unimpressed recently by their firm's pathetic attempt to promote its new brand.

  • Pillsbury Winthrop courts Simmons in UK merger bid

    13-Oct-2003

    Transatlantic talks with West Coast firm herald huge shake-up of international strategy for City leader

  • Pro bono & community action - Birmingham firms volunteer for employment advice line

    13-Oct-2003

    Getting employment law advice in Birmingham may soon be as easy as ordering a pizza, under a practical new advice scheme.

  • Professional indemnity cover soars

    13-Oct-2003

    Law firms' insurance premiums have risen by at least 9 per cent, figures released by the Law Society indicate.

  • Reynolds Porter enters fray for Tory leader on ‘Betsygate’

    15-Oct-2003

    Tory party leader Iain Duncan Smith has drafted in Reynolds Porter Chamberlain partner David Hooper, the lawyer who acted for John Major in relation to the Edwina Currie affair, to advise on ‘Betsygate’.Duncan Smith has already made clear that he would take legal action against the BBC, which first broke the story surrounding his wife Betsy’s employment as a secretary in his office, ...

  • Richards Butler HK in FMCC retail bond issue

    13-Oct-2003

    Richards Butler has helped new client Ford Motor Credit Company (FMCC) to complete the first ever foreign corporate retail bond issue in Hong Kong.

  • Richards Butler rolls out redundancy plans

    13-Oct-2003

    Richards Butler has started a redundancy programme with all the cuts to be made from its non-contentious practice, underlining its commitment to litigation.

  • Russell Jones settles employment dispute with GMB

    15-Oct-2003

    Russell Jones & Walker yesterday settled its employment dispute with the UK’s second largest union, the GMB.

  • Scottish office, anyone?

    13-Oct-2003

    Tulkinghorn has often wondered whether law firms really get the most out of their international alliances and even whether they know the best way to maximise the potential of such loose affiliations of firms scattered across the globe. Then Tulkinghorn discovered the Lewis Silkin approach, which is so eminently sensible that he feels obliged to share it with you, all in the hope that you can learn from ...

  • Separated at birth

    13-Oct-2003

    Chris Evans' best mate and football nut Danny Baker has broadened his horizons. Always one to spot a trend, the popular culture guru has now jumped on the technology bandwagon that looks set to start rolling again. Later this month DJ Baker will advise Wolfson Microtechnologies on its London IPO. For professional purposes, Baker has plumped for the name 'Richard Eaton'. He's even gone to the trouble of building a back story, claiming in press releases to work for something called 'Hale ...

  • Shaw Pittman closes its doors on London corporate practice

    13-Oct-2003

    The London office of US firm Shaw Pittman has closed down its corporate practice following the departure of corporate partners Charles Severs and Robert Bishop for DLA last month.

  • Simcocks first Manx firm to enter London

    13-Oct-2003

    Simcocks has become the first Isle of Man (IoM) law firm to launch a London office.

  • Simmons appoints Freshfields M&A ace in HK

    13-Oct-2003

    Simmons & Simmons has raided the Hong Kong office of Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer for M&A lawyer Wui Seung Chong. Seung has become a consultant in Simmons' Hong Kong office. He has particular experience in the financial sector, including a spell in the equity capital markets group at ABN Amro Rothschild. Seung was based in Beijing for several years and is experienced in direct investment ...

  • Slaughters client acquires Scottish & Newcastle

    13-Oct-2003

    Slaughter and May is celebrating its client Spirit's successful £2.51bn acquisition of Scottish & Newcastle's pub estate. Slaughters partner Kathryn Davis led the team advising the Spirit consortium, with corporate partner Hywel Davies and debt finance partner Mark Hutchinson assisting. The firm won the instruction following its work on Spirit's demerger from Punch Taverns, which in ...

  • Studio Legale Sutti to head up global network

    13-Oct-2003

    Italian firm Studio Legale Sutti has become coordinating member of international referral and information network Global Alliance for eCommerce Law. The firm takes over from founding firm Davis Wright Tremaine.

  • Telecom Italia restructure drives Italy to third spot in M&A ranking

    13-Oct-2003

    Global players still lag behind Gianni Origoni; Bonelli Erede and Chiomenti hold the lead in Italian M&A league tables

  • That Friday feeling

    13-Oct-2003

    Tulkinghorn has always been more than happy to sympathise over the long hours today's lawyers are forced to work, but he was rather perplexed when one of his scribes was unable to find a single Eversheds partner to talk to about the firm's international strategy midway through a Friday afternoon.

  • The answer to the changing world of media law: go niche

    13-Oct-2003

    Has the creation of M-Law signalled a sea change in the provision of legal services? asks Matt Byrne

  • The Swindon swizz

    13-Oct-2003

    Today's the day (Monday 13 October) when the Land Registration Act 2002 comes into force. Hoorah, we hear you cry. Surely there can only be unanimous enthusiasm for the introduction of legislation that aims to "simplify, improve and modernise land registration law".

  • TMT deals round-up

    13-Oct-2003

    Lovells acted for the Guardian Media Group on its acquisition of the management shareholding in Trader Media Group. As the publisher of Auto Trader magazine, Trader Media Group was formed in a joint venture between Guardian Media and private equity house BC Partners in 2000. The deal values Trader Media Group at £1.14bn. Dickson Minto represented BC Partners and Allen & Overy advised the bank.

  • Top Finnish firms' profits flux

    13-Oct-2003

    The latest figures from Finland's leading law firms reveal contrasting fortunes for two of the country's big three firms.

  • Trowers strengthens property team with hire

    13-Oct-2003

    Trowers & Hamlins has ramped up its commercial property team with the hire of Sue Hearn from the London office of Eversheds.

  • US govt uses Latham man in CSFB case

    13-Oct-2003

    Latham & Watkins co-chair of global securities David Brodsky has become the US government's star witness in the obstruction of justice trial against former Credit Suisse First Boston (CSFB) banker Frank Quattrone.

  • Zimbabwe lawyer ‘beaten’ by police

    17-Oct-2003

    Beatrice Mtetwa, the Zimbabwe lawyer currently acting to prevent the closure of the country’s last independent newspaper, has been brutally attacked by police just days before her court hearing.