18 September 2000

The Lawyer

  • A VIEW FROM NORTHERN IRELAND

    18-Sep-2000

    September marks the end of another Northern Ireland summer. A hot one in meteorological terms. But in political terms it has not been as hot as previous summers, or so the general consensus would seem to be. Certainly, the traditional political warm front associated with the marching season of mid-July did not dominate the whole summer as it has in previous years.

  • A&O lands biggest insolvency this year

    18-Sep-2000

    Allen & Overy has won one of the biggest insolvencies this year, with Barclays instructing it on the receivership of Independent Energy.

  • Adams leaves Citigroup to head ABN Amro legal

    18-Sep-2000

    Citigroup is losing its highly-rated head of legal to ABN Amro Bank NV.

  • Akin Gump merges with land use firm

    18-Sep-2000

    Washington DC firm Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld is merging with a niche land use and planning practice in a move that will increase its projects team to more than 60 lawyers.

  • Ashurst Morris Crisp names new head

    18-Sep-2000

    Nigel Ward will take over the vacant position at the helm of the banking group. Senior partner Geoffrey Green says "Justin takes over as managing partner at an exciting time for the firm. He follows Ian Nisse who was our first managing partner and I am confident that he will be equally successful in the job. Ian has done an outstanding job for us over his three-year term and we look forward to the benefits of his talents and experience in our property department."

  • Ashursts loses two property lawyers

    18-Sep-2000

    Ashurst Morris Crisp is losing two more lawyers from its property department.

  • BIRMINGHAM

    18-Sep-2000

    Established: 1993Presiding judge: Her Honour Judge Caroline AltonThe judge who had been sitting at Birmingham's Mercantile Court since its inception in 1993, Malcolm Lee, died last year. During his time, the court had a fantastic reputation, was regularly used by local solicitors and was generally well thought of. Judge Lee's successor, Caroline Alton, has a hard act to follow.The court still has a reputation ...

  • Bristol

    18-Sep-2000

    Established: January 1994Presiding judge: His Honour Judge Raymond Jack QCBristol's Mercantile Court has perhaps the best reputation of all. It's success is largely due to the ability of Judge Jack, whose judgments are repeatedly upheld on appeal. He has a reputation for being a down-to-earth, interventionist and reliable judge. His impartiality and lack of deference to members of the bar makes him particularly popular with solicitors.

  • CARDIFF

    18-Sep-2000

    Established: 1999Presiding judge: His Honour Judge Nicholas Chambers QCPhillip Howell-Richardson, senior partner in Morgan Cole’s commercial dispute resolution department in Cardiff, is a keen exponent of the new court, not least because he has been involved from the start.Explaining some of its history, he relates that when the now Lord Justice Thomas was leader ...

  • Case of the week

    18-Sep-2000

    A primary school head has won the right to return to work part-time following maternity leave.The case could open the floodgates to similar claims from women who held positions of authority before leaving for maternity leave.A tribunal found that school governors at Langtree Primary School in Torrington Devon breached sex discrimination laws by refusing headteacher Rebekah Marshall's request for a job share.The governors turned down her request ...

  • City firms to help war torn countries

    20-Sep-2000

    Chair of the business law section J William Rowley QC made the announcement at the opening ceremony, saying that the contribution is inline with the interests of the group. He says: "Investment will not come without protection."

  • City pro bono panel saves lives in death row victory

    18-Sep-2000

    A PRO bono panel of City firms has collaborated with Jamaican lawyers to win a landmark death row case that will benefit hundreds of prisoners due to be hanged in the Caribbean.

  • De Besche splits from Denton Wilde network

    18-Sep-2000

    Norwegian firm de Besche & Co is pulling out of Denton Wilde Sapte's international network, Denton International, following its merger with local Oslo firm Arntzen Underland & Co.

  • Dewey Ballantine launches Silicon Valley M&A office

    18-Sep-2000

    Dewey Ballantine is opening an office in Silicon Valley, becoming the latest New York firm to take on the burgeoning technology market.

  • DLA applies to practise in Shanghai

    18-Sep-2000

    DLA is applying for a licence to open an office in Shanghai, following its merger with Hong Kong firm Lui & Carey Dibbs at the end of last year.

  • DLA forms Singapore alliance

    22-Sep-2000

    J Koh & Co, which has 21 lawyers, specialises in cross-boarder transactions, project financing, M & A, private equity, structured dept and securities.

  • DLA wins extension in negligence case

    18-Sep-2000

    DLA has been granted a second 28-day extension to put up a defence against allegations that it admitted negligence in a property deal but then omitted to pay damages.

  • Eversheds shuts Middlesbrough office

    18-Sep-2000

    National firm Eversheds is shutting its Middlesbrough operation, leaving it with just one office in the North East.

  • Explosion forces B&M relocation

    18-Sep-2000

    Baker & McKenzie Consultants, the Indonesian arm of the US firm, has been forced to open a temporary operations centre following the explosion of a bomb at the Jakarta Stock Exchange.

  • IBA takes new merger initiative

    18-Sep-2000

    The International Bar Association has started an initiative to draw up an agreement to cover all cross-border mergers.

  • IPO 2000 SURVEY

    18-Sep-2000

    Abigail Townsend and Chris Brock analyse Linklaters' IPO successNETWORKINGNortel's legal head tells Client File about its European expansionlawyer 2Anthony Bonsor reports on the latest legislation affecting banking lawFenella Quinn reports on the popularity of the Mercantile Courts

  • Its' been a big week for...

    18-Sep-2000

    The London Stock Exchange (LSE), which shelved plans to merge with the Deutsche Bourse to concentrate on heading off the hostile takeover bid for the LSE from Swedish technology company OM Group. Chief executive of the LSE Gavin Casey, chairman Don Cruickshank and three non-executive directors including Michael Marks, the chairman of Merrill Lynch who is widely seen as the architect of the planned merger known as iX, are all up for re-election to the board. One of ...

  • Keeping the banks in line

    18-Sep-2000

    The recent cyberspace raid on internet bank Egg - the latest in a series of security scares designed to affect the internet banking industry - highlights the need to create a legislative framework with the aim of instilling potential customers with the confidence to take up online banking. The EU has responded to this challenge with a series of directives, one of which, the Electronic Signatures Directive, has recently been implemented in the UK by the Electronic Communications ..

  • KEY TRENDS EMERGING

    18-Sep-2000

    There is no doubt that a high proportion of firms, particularly those with 30-plus partners, are embracing the challenges of operating in a competitive and increasingly disparate marketplace. In particular, this is evidenced by firms taking steps to become much more "corporate" in their management style and structure in order to maintain or increase profitability. This shift in approach to the management of law firms is reflected in a clear appreciation that firms are more than just ...

  • Lagerlöf partners quit pre Linklaters merger

    18-Sep-2000

    Swedish firm Lagerlöf & Leman has lost half of its Gothenburg partners following a dispute about the proposed merger with Linklaters & Alliance.

  • LEEDS & NEWCASTLE

    18-Sep-2000

    Established: 1997Presiding judge: His Honour Judge Christopher McGonigalThere seems to be some conflict of opinion when it comes to the popularity of the Leeds Mercantile Court. Paul Worth, solicitor in the commercial litigation department of Addleshaw Booth & Co in Leeds, says that all the big six firms in Leeds use it regularly.Worth says that Addleshaw Booth & Co will come to the Leeds and Newcastle Mercantile Court for injunctive relief ...

  • MANCHESTER & LIVERPOOL

    18-Sep-2000

    Established: 1992Presiding judges: Judge Michael Kershaw QC (left) and Judge Brendan Hegarty QCThe oldest of the UK's Mercantile Courts, Manchester's backlog and popularity problems have been solved in part by the arrival several years ago of Judge Hegarty, formerly a commercial silk practising at 8 King Street chambers. Both judges have a reputation for sitting very late at night, to the extent where it is unusual to find a London silk ...

  • McDermotts boosts tax with top team from Thelen Reid

    18-Sep-2000

    Chicago firm McDermott Will & Emery's NY office is luring a highly rated team of tax lawyers away from Thelen Reid & Priest in New York.

  • Mercantile Courts

    18-Sep-2000

    The good judges, low waiting times and hands-on approach of the Mercantile Courts have kept many commercial cases in the regions. But are the courts now becoming victims of their own success?Mercantile Courts have been credited with halting, or at least slowing, the inexorable flow of commercial litigation away from the regions to London. But the pressure is increasing simply to keep pace with the demand caused by their own popularity.Some regional ...

  • Milbank Tweed primed to close Moscow office

    18-Sep-2000

    Milbank Tweed Hadley & McCloy may be on the verge of closing its Moscow office, becoming the third foreign firm to pull out of the region in the past year.

  • MoFo hires China practice head for Hong Kong office

    18-Sep-2000

    Morrison & Foerster (MoFo) has gained a new China practice head from Deacons Graham & James.

  • Money Matters

    18-Sep-2000

    Some of the findings from the PricewaterhouseCoopers Financial Management in Law Firms 2000 Survey have raised a few eyebrows. Mark Waddilove, David Snell, Alistair Rose and Denise Catterall lay bare the survey and its implications for the futureThe results to come from the Financial Management in Law Firms 2000 Survey, conducted by PricewaterhouseCoopers (PWC) in association with The Lawyer, combined with historical trends, would appear to provide ...

  • New global director for Andersen Legal

    18-Sep-2000

    Andersen Legal has appointed the chairman of its associated law firm in Scotland, Dundas & Wilson, to be its worldwide practice director.

  • NEWS IN BRIEF

    18-Sep-2000

    Denton Wilde Sapte has won a competitive tender to advise the Guernsey government on its redrafting of intellectual property (IP) laws. The firm beat one unspecified US firm with a UK office to the work. It will be the first time it has represented Guernsey. IP partner Clive Thorne led the bid. The redrafting of the laws is part of an on-going programme by the Channel Islands to update its legislation. Although Thorne will not be drawn on fee income, he says: "It is going to be a fairly ...

  • Norton Rose takes on Barnett Alexander employment head

    21-Sep-2000

    Norton Rose's employment practice has grown under the leadership of Tim Russell having recently announced a £1.5m increase in annual turnover but lacked another partner to sustain the expansion in PFI and multi-jurisdictional work.

  • One Essex Court loses Aaronson and Conlon

    18-Sep-2000

    Magic circle set One Essex Court has suffered another major blow with the loss of leading tax silk Graham Aaronson QC and VAT expert Michael Conlon.

  • Online battle pitches A&O in head-to-head with Linklaters

    18-Sep-2000

    Allen & Overy (A&O) and Linklaters & Alliance are going head-to-head in the battle to win clients through online case management.

  • Paisners hires three to recoup partner numbers

    18-Sep-2000

    PAISNER & CO is boosting its partner count in charities, IT and construction with three lateral hires from City firms as it bounces back from the loss of three partners to Addleshaw Booth & Co and one to Garretts.

  • Perrin's View

    18-Sep-2000

    As a flood of September qualifiers enter the profession, one question that should be nagging away in the head of every law firm leader is, of course, "How much will we be paying our newly qualifieds next year?"There was massive excitement this spring at the increase in newly-qualified salaries at magic circle firms, from £34,000 to £42,000. How much fluttering would we hear in the dovecotes next time if the magic circle decide ...

  • PFI health sector sparks controversy

    18-Sep-2000

    Will PFI lead to healthcare privatisation by the back door? Robert Parr reports on the implications for lawyers

  • Piraeus Bar Association forces UK firms into joining the fold

    18-Sep-2000

    Three more UK law firms are applying for registration with the Piraeus Bar Association, following the threat of legal action from the Greek authorities over their "illegal" practices.

  • Revealed: the IPO UK market winners

    18-Sep-2000

    City firms have been cashing in on a bumper period of UK IPOs, with Linklaters & Alliance outstripping its magic circle rivals to work on flotations worth £17.2bn.

  • Sales of the Century

    18-Sep-2000

    In the first ever comprehensive of UK IPOs, Abigail Townsend and Chris Brock chart a dramatic and volatile eighteen months and look at which law firms are emerging as the market leaders"The South Seas Bubble of the 1700s is the nearest thing you can get to this." This is Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer's corporate finance partner Tim Emmerson's ...

  • Scuffle of the week

    18-Sep-2000

    City law firm Charles Russell faces questioning from the Financial Services Authority after one of its lawyers told the High Court that its client Scoot.com was in advanced takeover talks only hours before a Stock Exchange statement denying reports of a takeover bid.Following a report in The Sunday Telegraph that Scoot.com was in takeover talks with French telecoms group Vivendi, ...

  • Simmons was always on track

    18-Sep-2000

    YOUR reference to Railtrack becoming a client of Simmons & Simmons (The Lawyer, 11 September) does not represent fairly the process by which Simmons & Simmons was engaged as our principal lawyers. This is not the first time the position has been misrepresented in the legal press.Simmons & Simmons was one of six firms invited in 1993 to submit a written tender. The team submitted an excellent document, and were shortlisted (together with teams from two other well-known ...

  • Slovakians rethink law in EU move

    18-Sep-2000

    The Slovak government is set to clarify whether foreign lawyers are practising illegally as the country gears up to become a member of the European Union (EU).

  • Teething problems loom as SIF expires

    18-Sep-2000

    The sky did not fall in on 1 September because the Solicitors' Indemnity Fund (SIF) had passed away - but although it is too soon to write the biography, it is not too soon to write an obituary. SIF owed its birth in the mid-1970s to two decisions taken by the Law Society, the first of which was that all solicitors should be insured compulsorily, and the second that compulsory insurance should be provided by a single body. Some of us argued at the time that the two ...

  • THE IPO SPECIALISTS: AN ANALYSIS

    18-Sep-2000

    Allen & Overy Had a good year, which culminated in the formation of a dedicated equity capital markets group earlier this month, headed by Richard Cranfield (The Lawyer, 11 September). It spent much of the year getting out and about in an attempt to forge relationships with the investment banks - and it seems to be paying off. It advised longstanding client Morgan Stanley on Canary Wharf, but two ...

  • THE THREE MOST SIGNIFICANT IPOs JAN 1999-JUNE 2000

    18-Sep-2000

    FREESERVEIn August 1998, retail giant Dixons launched Freeserve, one of the first free internet service providers (ISPs).Less than a year later, in April 1999, Dixons decided to float Freeserve, and Linklaters & Alliance was selected to advise the issuer. At this point there had been concerns that the strong start to the year for technology stocks would not continue, but the ...

  • THE WINNER: LINKLATERS

    18-Sep-2000

    Whichever way you look at it, either by volume or value, Linklaters & Alliance has capitalised on the IPO boom like no other. It was extraordinarily agile in tapping its existing client base - both corporate and financial - and, according to The Lawyer IPO 2000 Survey, comes out on top for both banks and issuers. Acting on Freeserve gave it a headstart in the new economy arena, which became even more ...

  • Two partners join Arnold & Porter IP team

    18-Sep-2000

    Washington DC firm Arnold & Porter is taking on two new partners to boost its anti-trust and intellectual property (IP) teams.