14 July 2003

The Lawyer

  • Lovells and Camerons: two ways to prosper in Germany

    14-Jul-2003

    Aled Griffiths reports on two very different firms that are making the Anglo-German relationship work

  • Lovells covers A&O on British Biotech takeover

    14-Jul-2003

    Conflict cover needed as A&O advises both sides on friendly merger

  • 2 Temple Gardens silk quits for Four New Square post

    14-Jul-2003

    Leading professional negligence silk Graham Eklund QC and a senior junior barrister have left Dermod O'Brien QC's 2 Temple Gardens to join Justin Fenwick QC's Four New Square.Eklund has moved with David Turner, a specialist in product liability and professional negligence.A second senior junior has joined Four New Square from 20 Essex Street. Arbitrator William Godwin focuses on commodities, banking, insurance and construction.Eklund is currently involved in ...

  • A real trier

    14-Jul-2003

    It is good to see that Taylor Wessing is taking financial management seriously.Although the Anglo-German firm's profits are tumbling, it's taking a firm line with partners who are less than effective at getting bills paid. During the last financial year, the firm's average debtor days plummeted from 73 to 64. Of course, it helps when your credit controller is a six-foot-four rugby-playing ...

  • A&O pays year-end bonus to all staff

    14-Jul-2003

    Allen & Overy (A&O) is awarding its entire staff a 10.5 per cent bonus after the firm hit its financial targets.The firm announced the news internally last week (8 July). The bonus amounts to slightly more than five weeks pay for those who have served a full financial year, and those who have worked at the firm for part of the year will receive a pro rata payment.An A&O spokesperson said: "The firm had a strong finish to the financial year, which helped push ...

  • Arro Gant & Co

    14-Jul-2003

    God bless those lawyers who think they're qualified to do everybody else's job as well as their own. Sometimes there's nothing more amusing than talking to pompous partners who think that it's their place to tell journalists how to do their jobs.Take Jörg Soehring, the charmless managing partner of Latham & Watkins in Germany. A reporter from The Lawyer took the trouble to explain deadlines to a truculent Mr Soehring, who barked: "I know exactly how you journalists work, ...

  • Bean counters

    14-Jul-2003

    While we're on the subject of struggling US law firms, here's a hint on how to economise: don't spend £7,000 on a coffee machine. Unfortunately, we've been told that Buchanan Ingersoll did. You may recall that Buchanan was the firm that recently scaled back its London operation to a lawyerless office.Although we're not blaming the current state of affairs on the multi-grand grinder, it does seem a bit over the top. In the firm's defence, a source tells us that the ...

  • Better celebrities

    14-Jul-2003

    There was disappointment for some at Sandown on Saturday during the annual Addleshaw Goddard stakes as the popular favourite, Cover Up, came in second, beaten by Persian Punch.But not to worry. The misery of the Addleshaws attendees was lessened by their proximity to the famous names sharing the firm's box. High on the list was Michael Jackson's legendary long-time collaborator and penner ...

  • BLP wins Schroders and BA after Merrill instruction

    14-Jul-2003

    Berwin Leighton Paisner (BLP) has won Schroders and British Airways (BA) Pensions Trustees as new clients on the back of property funds work the firm has handled for Merrill Lynch.BLP partner Antony Grossman led a team advising Merrill Lynch on the sale of Ashtenne Holdings' properties. Merrill Lynch invested £35m in a fund run by Ashtenne. The investment bank then referred Schroders ...

  • California counts legal cost of energy crisis

    14-Jul-2003

    The latest settlement in litigation over California's energy crisis includes tens of millions of dollars in attorneys' fees. California Attorney General Bill Lockyer's office announced that Houston-based El Paso Corp agreed to a settlement worth $1.6bn (£98m) in payouts. It includes up to $60m (£36.7m) for attorneys' fees and expenses for 11 plaintiffs' firms. The firms that will collect a share of the fees include Lieff Cabraser Heimann & Bernstein, Kiesel Boucher & ...

  • Car lark

    14-Jul-2003

    Hell hath no fury like fee-earners and support staff scorned. Tulkinghorn was interested in an email sent round SJ Berwin's London partnership about its latest cost-saving measure: axing free parking for partners. It suggested that partners themselves should pay the £2,500 annual fee.The suggestion was met with a sour response from one partner. "What about the spaces used by fee-earners and ...

  • Carey Olsen plans move to Europe, Middle East

    14-Jul-2003

    Channel Islands firm Carey Olsen is due to launch offices in Monaco and Zurich and is awaiting regulatory approval in Dubai.The new offices will provide fiduciary and administrative services for clients setting up trusts and other funds.Offshore law firms tend only to provide such services in the same jurisdiction as their main offices, but last year Jersey firm Bailhache Labesse also expanded through a tie-up with Ernst & Young in Mauritius.Carey Olsen, which ...

  • CC gets tough on Hong Kong pay

    14-Jul-2003

    Clifford Chance is slashing its newly-qualifieds' salaries in Hong Kong and freezing other lawyer salaries in the office.The Lawyer has learned that the magic circle firm is cutting pay for newly-qualified assistants from the standard rate of just under HK$67,000 (£5,250) per month to HK$58,000 (£4,550) per month. It is understood that all the other major players in the Hong Kong ...

  • CC London partners in lockstep victory over NY

    14-Jul-2003

    Clifford Chance's management is set to publish this week its long-awaited partner compensation review, which will reaffirm its commitment to lockstep - despite pressure from some US partners to retain or expand a superpoints system.The review's conclusions signal a victory for London partners, who have traditionally taken a strong pro-lockstep line, although they are subject to a partnership ...

  • City partner in £1.2m action

    14-Jul-2003

    A senior litigation partner at Shook Hardy & Bacon in London is being sued for a sum that could exceed £1.2m by an investor at his former law firm.Clive Zietman is in a contractual dispute over money he allegedly owes businessman John Williamson, who invested £200,000 in Zietman's now defunct firm, niche litigation outfit Llewellyn Zietman.Zietman, along with partner Gordon Llewellyn, set up the firm in 1994 and borrowed £200,000 from Williamson, ...

  • Community action and pro bonoNaomi RovnickCommunity action and pro bono: White & Case joins in battle to save Battersea Children's Zoo

    14-Jul-2003

    Saving reptiles may not be as high profile as getting prisoners off death row, but White & Case's new pro bono project, to keep Battersea Park Children's Zoo open, means more than keeping a few lizards alive.The firm has teamed up with accountancy firm KPMG to stop Wandsworth Council selling the zoo and effectively privatising part of one of London's most stunning public green spaces.Wandsworth Council looks increasingly likely to flog the space to a developer who wants ...

  • Correction

    14-Jul-2003

    Our piece 'Lee Suet Fern sues Tan over $35K released to Shearman' on page 5 of the 24 February issue contained certain inaccuracies. In particular, it implied that the Wong Partnership (and in particular Mr Wong Meng Meng) and its lawyers Tan Rajah & Cheah had an "axe to grind" over the outcome of an arbitration between themselves and Lee, and therefore acted improperly in their subsequent dealings with her. We accept that this is untrue. We also acknowledge that Tan released more ...

  • Credit control

    14-Jul-2003

    Bankruptcy lawyers - and their fees - may not be popular, but Kirkland & Ellis's James Sprayregen says they're worth it.

  • Davenports lures Field Fisher licensing ace

    14-Jul-2003

    West End media and entertainment firm Davenport Lyons has hired Field Fisher Waterhouse partner and head of licensing Peter Glazebrook. The appointment boosts Davenports' liquor and entertainment licensing practice. Glazebrook's clients include Whitbread, Forbuoys, London Clubs, Unwins and Selfridges.

  • Day of the dad

    14-Jul-2003

    Fathers 4 Justice has stormed its way into the media spotlight with 'direct action' in a bid to stamp out what it considers gender bias in the Family Court. Jon Robins gauges the reaction of the profession

  • Deals round-up

    14-Jul-2003

    Bingham McCutchen (James Roome, Brian Keeler) advised Huntsman Advance Material in its acquisition of Luxembourg chemical company Vantico's debt notes for e360m (£250m) in cash and swapped notes for 100 per cent of Vantico's shares. Skadden Arps Slate Meagher & Flom also acted for Huntsman. Allen & Overy represented Vantico.

  • Dechert vows to appeal against Wella ruling

    14-Jul-2003

    Gleiss Lutz has won a landmark court case for its client Procter & Gamble (P&G) which confirms the court's approach to the new German Takeover Act.The win allows P&G to keep new acquisition Wella for the price it originally offered shareholders.However, key institutional shareholder Elliot Associates, represented by Dechert, has vowed to appeal the decision before the Federal Constitution ...

  • Dentons launches new housing group

    14-Jul-2003

    Move comes as Government commits to spending £5bn on affordable housing

  • Disney legal department undergoes restructure

    14-Jul-2003

    The new general counsel of the Walt Disney Company has announced a shake-up of his legal department, which has led to the appointment of four deputies.As reported on www.the lawyer.com/lawyernews (9 July), the deputies will oversee corporate, litigation and employment, media networks and intellectual property (IP)."This new structure will enhance the ability of the department to focus on key strategic initiatives," said general counsel Alan Braverman, who joined Disney ...

  • DWF partner joins Addleshaws team

    14-Jul-2003

    Addleshaw Goddard is trying to carve out a niche in the regional asset finance market with the hire of Davies Wallis Foyster (DWF) partner Andrew Maskill to launch a new group.Maskill, one of the few dedicated asset finance lawyers in the North West, acts for more than 30 leasing houses, many of them attached to international banks such as ING.DWF has long been part of a small group ...

  • Energy and utilities sector tops general counsel survey

    14-Jul-2003

    Senior in-house banking lawyers have been overtaken for the first time by their counterparts in the energy and utilities sector as the holders of the most lucrative in-house jobs.A Europe-wide in-house counsel survey produced by recruitment firm Laurence Simons revealed that, in the UK, senior counsel (with between seven and 10 years' post-qualification experience) in the energy and utilities sector brought in an average salary of e142,000 (£98,700) a year, compared with ...

  • Eversheds suffers triple partner loss

    14-Jul-2003

    Eversheds has lost highly-rated insolvency partner Jeffrey Drew to Pinsents and a residential property partner to Gateley Wareing.Drew, who is on gardening leave until September, is expected to join Pinsents' Birmingham office. Eversheds wanted Drew to spend more time in London, building its City insolvency practice, but he was keen to return to the Birmingham market.Residential property ...

  • Ex-Osborne Clarke colleagues reunited

    14-Jul-2003

    Osborne Clarke's former head of Nordic Per Troen has been rejoined by partner Paul Corren to launch corporate finance boutique Corren Troen. Corren left Osborne Clarke for Holman Fenwick & Willan, but spent just seven months there before joining the new boutique. Troen set up as a sole practitioner after leaving Osborne Clarke, where he was a partner and head of the firm's Nordic practice.

  • FIRM PROFILE: Harvey ingram owstonGareth Chadwick

    14-Jul-2003

    SUMMER is a quieter time for most law firms as markets slow down over the holiday period. Not so for Harvey Ingram Owston.The Leicester-based firm has just announced it is to open an office in Birmingham in July, its first move outside Leicester. The launch is on the back of the firm's recruitment this month of the 16-strong motor claims practice from Wragge & Co, led by associate Paul Davies. ...

  • Fujitsu places its IT advisers under review

    14-Jul-2003

    IT services company Fujitsu Services is conducting a review of its IT law firms.A number of firms have been asked to pitch alongside incumbent IT advisers Baker & McKenzie, Barlow Lyde & Gilbert and Masons."There are a relatively small number of firms in this sector," Fujitsu group counsel Richard Allnutt told The Lawyer. "We need a clear idea of who has the expertise in which areas."The Lawyer understands that Allnutt is studying firms' outsourcing expertise, ...

  • Gill pledges allegiance to Tenon

    14-Jul-2003

    Founder of legacy Statham Gill Davies firm vows loyalty to Tenon as Livingstone quits the group

  • Global firms seize top spots from the locals in Singapore

    14-Jul-2003

    One massive deal saw three global firms oust local rivals from the top of the Singapore M&A tables for deals announced in the first half of the year.Malaysia International Shipping Corporation's (MISC) $1.1bn (£672.8m) takeover of American Eagle Tankers put Norton Rose, which led the deal for MISC, in joint first place with Dewey Ballantine and Paul Weiss Rifkind Wharton & Garrison. ...

  • Ground control

    14-Jul-2003

    In what has been a one-sided property market, the landlords have had their time. Simon Brooke looks at how law firms can take an innovative approach to property management

  • Hammonds set to cash in on 0870 client phone calls

    14-Jul-2003

    Hammonds is making extra money from its clients by setting up national-rate 0870 numbers for its switchboard and staff direct lines.The firm has recently changed its switchboard and all direct-dial numbers to 0870 numbers, and is being paid commission for receiving calls on these numbers from its service provider Kingston Communications.This means that a Leeds client telephoning the Leeds office will be charged for calls at a national instead of a local rate.The firm ...

  • Ingram wins CC securitisation top job

    14-Jul-2003

    Clifford Chance London securitisation partners have voted for a change of group leadership following a contested election.Kevin Ingram fought off fellow partners Peter Taylor and Peter Voisey after the veteran former head John Woodhall stepped down.Ingram said: "John wanted to concentrate on international work… In London, we'll be [focusing on] maintaining our market-leading position."

  • Jacob sees red over Slaughters court bill

    14-Jul-2003

    Slaughter and May and maverick High Court judge Mr Justice Jacob have had a costs spat over a complex tax case.Judge Jacob turned down an interlocutory application brought by Slaughters for client Rory Carvill, and turning to costs on the half-day hearing asked: "Slaughter and May wants £43,000?"He continued: "Can I just ask, are your clients being charged £43,000 for a ...

  • Law firms back research into property investment industry

    14-Jul-2003

    The Investment Property Forum (IPF) and the Investment Property Forum Educational Trust have launched the first independent research programme for the UK property investment industry.The programme has been funded by 16 organisations, including Lovells, Nabarro Nathanson, and SJ Berwin.The three-year Joint Research ...

  • Law firms suffer high rate of redundancies

    14-Jul-2003

    Survey reveals heavy redundancies in past year but future recruitment optimistic

  • LEADER

    14-Jul-2003

    As most lawyers not living on Mars will know, the deadline for the 'qualifying round' of the Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) panel review was last Monday.The tender is run out of Brussels by a procurement company called FreeMarkets, and boy, can you tell: out of the bureaucratic capital of the world has come a process that would shame the European Commission.Apparently, it has led at least one City law firm to hire an administrator whose sole purpose is administrate the RBS ...

  • Linklaters former New York chief quits

    14-Jul-2003

    The former head of Linklaters' New York office is leaving the firm. Asset finance expert Marianne Rosenberg has been discussing her future with the firm's management for some weeks and is understood to be talking to a number of interested New York law firms.

  • National Grid Transco picks Hammonds for IP

    14-Jul-2003

    National Grid Transco (NGT) plans to review its main panel of advisers and has just appointed Hammonds for intellectual property (IP) and some property work following the post-merger restructuring of its legal function.Senior counsel for commercial Ian Leedham said that the company would, in the near future, review its 25-strong panel, with a view to getting better value for money.The energy delivery business has already decided to outsource its registration and management ...

  • OPINION

    14-Jul-2003

    Clive Garston, London senior partner, Halliwell Landau

  • Pay day

    14-Jul-2003

    Rebuilding contracts for Iraq are up for grabs, but construction companies should beware. Updated bribery and corruption laws are clamping down on irresponsible trade.

  • Peter Carter-Ruck mounts corporate defamation claim for Murray Financial

    14-Jul-2003

    Peter Carter-Ruck & Partners got in on the battle for AIM-listed Murray Financial Corporation (MFC) last month, when former chief executive Ken Murray instructed the firm to launch an unusual defamation claim against Resurge, the institutional shareholder that forced his resignation.Murray, a high-profile Scottish businessman, was forced to resign from the board of Murray Financial, a building society takeover vehicle, at an extraordinary general meeting convened by Halliwell ...

  • Planning delays

    14-Jul-2003

    The Planning and Compulsory Purchase Bill was first heralded as a radical reform to suit the future, but has since been put on the back-burner.

  • Property gloom

    14-Jul-2003

    With the dramatic upturn - then the subsequent downturn - in real estate, practitioners are learning to be a bit more fluid in their approach.

  • Putts mean prizes

    14-Jul-2003

    It was smiles all round a couple of weeks ago as White & Case held its annual golf day. Some naughty lawyer tried to insinuate that the first prize was a pair of mangy old golf shoes. Shame on you. White & Case is known for its generosity - remember its amazing orange-and-blue duffel bags? The prizes included (new) golf shoes, a super-dooper putter and a natty travel bag, which stores your clubs and your golf caddy.The Deutsche Bank team, including a Duke Street Capital ...

  • PwC Veltins pushes for German merger

    14-Jul-2003

    In the latest twist in the tale of the German accountancy-tied law firms, PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) is trying to merge PwC Veltins with its other lesser-known associated law firm Schindhelm.Last year the management of Schindhelm rebutted a merger plan from PwC as not in the firm's interest, but it is understood that key figures at PwC are still trying for the merger.Sources in Germany say PwC does not want to formulate a post-Sarbanes-Oxley policy to deal with two law ...

  • Securitisation conscious

    14-Jul-2003

    Germany is making up for lost time in the securitisation market, benefiting from new ways to raise financing and make investments.

  • Separated at birth

    14-Jul-2003

    There are few people (if that's the right word) you'd want in a crisis more than Lieutenant Commander Data, the android logician from Star Trek: The Next Generation. Lucky Charles Russell then, because that's just who it appears to have at its helm. Masquerading as managing partner Grant Howell, the intergalactic stellar explorer and all-round clever clogs has had more than his fair share of hairy ...

  • Shadbolts hikes London presence

    14-Jul-2003

    Niche construction firm Shadbolt & Co has expanded its London presence with the transfer of the firm's head of construction dispute resolution from Reigate.Anthony Albertini moved at the beginning of July, taking the number of permanent partners in the City office to five, although there are other partners who split their time between London and the head office in Reigate."We're committed to maintaining a leading presence in the field of construction law and to providing ...

  • Sidley sidelined as sultan picks Mayer Brown for Dorchester deal

    14-Jul-2003

    Mayer Brown Rowe & Maw has scooped its first financing deal for the Sultan of Brunei, who historically has used Sidley Austin Brown & Wood.Mayer Brown finance partner Simon Pullen, who led the financing from the Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) on behalf of the Dorchester Group, was given the work partly ...

  • Speechlys' profits show dramatic downturn

    14-Jul-2003

    Speechly Bircham posted a drop in average profits per equity partner of 21 per cent this year, despite its efforts to restructure its partnership and build capacity in a number of specialist areas.The London mid-sizer reduced its full equity partnership by four, from 28 to 24, while the total partnership grew to 45.Key hires included the private equity specialists Matthew Sillett and ...

  • Taylor Wessing goes on German IP drive

    14-Jul-2003

    Taylor Wessing has been on an intellectual property hiring spree in Germany. Martin Köhler, a patent litigator, joins the firm's Düsseldorf office from Clifford Chance Pünder and Kai Westerwelle, and IT specialists joins the Frankfurt office from

  • The funny firm

    14-Jul-2003

    It's nice when law firms make an effort with their marketing. Take, for example, Tods Murray. The Scottish firm has thoughtfully put together a newsletter detailing all its latest developments. Unfortunately, some of the photos make it look as if it's been put together by a comedian.Tulkinghorn knows Tods Murray takes its social responsibility seriously, however. It has teamed up with the Royal ...

  • The Net set

    14-Jul-2003

    IT Net is relaxed about its legal work and is not afraid to prioritise. From the smallest to the largest law firms, it uses them all - but the cheaper the better. Steve Hoare reports

  • True to form

    14-Jul-2003

    Honesty is always the best policy when selling property. As the defendants in McKeekin v Long have found out, anything else could land you in big trouble.

  • Wedlake Bell fee income shoots up by £1m

    14-Jul-2003

    Wedlake Bell managing partner Julian Cuppage (right) has announced a £1m hike in fee income. Turnover has risen to £15.8m from £14.8m this time last year. Meanwhile, profits per full equity partner are up from £230,000 to £239,000, with a spread of £170,000 to £250,000.

  • Whitmans in frame for breach of duty

    14-Jul-2003

    Small City firm Whitman Breed Abbott & Morgan has been found liable after a partner was discovered to have breached his duty to a former client.At the time the firm was the London office of US firm Whitman Breed Abbot & Morgan. However, in 2000, the US operations were swallowed up by other US firms, with the London office left out in the cold.The spat occurred over the purchase of a property with a 30-year lease by client Merrill Powell from Grosvenor Estate ...

  • William Hill jettisons Wragges for Bristows

    14-Jul-2003

    William Hill has dumped Wragge & Co in favour of Bristows for the bookmaker's ongoing internet patent fight.William Hill lost its case against software company Menashe Business Mercantile in the High Court and Court of Appeal."It's no reflection on Wragges. We felt upset that we lost and we had to kick somebody," ...

  • Zaid Ibrahim founder joins partnership council

    14-Jul-2003

    Malaysia's largest firm, Zaid Ibrahim & Co, has appointed Mohd Zaid Ibrahim, the firm's founder, as the chairman of its partnership council. Meanwhile, Charon Wardini Mokhzani has been appointed as the firm's new managing partner. Mokhzani and Zaid Ibrahim's senior partner Chew Seng Kok will form the firm's executive leadership team and will work with the new executive committee.