19 June 2000

The Lawyer

  • ... while it escapes a court action

    19-Jun-2000

    DAC is breathing a collective sigh of relief after narrowly avoiding being dragged through the courts by one of its former lawyers.Former joint head of DAC's EL/PL (employer liability/public liability) department Noel Tarleton attempted to take his former firm to a tribunal for constructive dismissal after leaving the practice earlier this year.Both parties reached a settlement on 12 June, Tarleton being represented by Joël Donovan at Cloisters, while ...

  • A recipe for success in the race for a UK base

    19-Jun-2000

    The ambitions of US firms are well publicised, as indeed are their sometimes spectacular failures and setbacks.Many continue to ponder the question of what it takes for a US practice to become a meaningful player at the top of the UK market and whether US firms will successfully capture market share from the magic circle and other top UKfirms.My view is that there are a number of key prerequisites for success in the London market for any US firm.In ...

  • A View from Brussels

    19-Jun-2000

    Traditionally, law firms in Brussels concentrate on EU competition law work. Much of this work has been the filing of merger notifications as support to major corporate departments in countries such as the UK, the USA, Germany etc. There have also been a number of successful EU boutique firms which have carved out niche practices in Brussels, in areas such as anti-dumping law.Over the past few years the environment has started to change. Despite the large number of mergers ...

  • Akin Gump loses senior partner

    21-Jun-2000

    Top corporate transactional partner Keith Hughes specialises in US securities law, private equity and M&A transactions. He set up Akin Gump's London office in 1997 and has been a senior partner in the office ever since. Moving with him is a four year qualified associate, Maherin Gangat, who has worked with him on a number of acquisitions for European clients. The moves boost the Paul Hastings London office to 14 lawyers, half of whom are UK qualified

  • Allens Arthur Robinson is close to last top 10 merger

    19-Jun-2000

    Leading Australian practice the Allens Arthur Robinson Group is considering merging.The 186-partner group consists of Allen Allen & Hemsley, Arthur Robinson & Hedderwicks and Finlaysons.Sources within the firm say that a full merger between Sydney-based Allen Allen & Hemsley and Melbourne-based Arthur Robinson & Hedderwicks is a possibility.The latest firm to merge its national offices was Freehill Hollingdale & Page (The Lawyer, 21 February). The ...

  • Analysis

    19-Jun-2000

    When Cadwalader Wickersham &Taft lost Paul Griffin to Herbert Smith, it not only put a question mark over the future of the firm's projects group but also the direction of the London operation. Catrin Griffiths asks where the firm goes from hereRemember Chadbourne & Parke? It offered lots of money, hired some people, they left. The London office has now sunk from view. Remember ...

  • Ashursts moves Frankfurt head as part of rapid expansion plan

    19-Jun-2000

    Ashurst Morris Crisp is swapping the head of its Frankfurt office as it plans to double its lawyer count over the next three years.Graham Ward, who has been managing partner of the Frankfurt office for three years, is returning to London to be replaced by the current head of reconstruction and insolvency and corporate partner Nick Angel, who will relocate next month.Since the office's ...

  • Asian firms advance into China

    19-Jun-2000

    Leading Singapore firms Colin Ng & Partners and Drew and Napier have won licences to practise in China.The firms are the first in Singapore to gain permission on the back of China's preparations to join the World Trade Organisation.Colin Ng & Partners is the associated firm of UK shipping specialist Sinclair Roche & Temperley.It already has an office in Shanghai but applied for another licence following China's decision to let non-domestic ...

  • Barlow Lyde set to open first practice in China

    19-Jun-2000

    Barlow Lyde & Gilbert is launching its first Chinese office, in Shanghai, as the Chinese government considers widening the insurance market for foreign companies.The firm is planning to enter the region in July with a staff of five, including consultant Heida Donegan and associate Hermes Pazzaglini, who are relocating from the Hong Kong office.Barlow Lyde was awarded its licence to open the representative office in China at the same time as

  • Bruckhaus ties Freshfields knot

    19-Jun-2000

    Bruckhaus Westrick Stegemann has voted to merge with Freshfields as it was revealed that the City giant agreed to change its lockstep structure.News of the positive second vote came through as The Lawyer went to press and Freshfields will vote tomorrow (20 June).Sources close to Bruckhaus confirmed that the profit-share issue was key in the delicate negotiations.Freshfields has a 10-year lockstep and a spread of two to one, so partners of 10 years' ...

  • Calling all City solicitors

    19-Jun-2000

    When Ashley Simpkins (Enough Is Enough, 12 June) reads my election statement he will note the reference to the "last chance saloon" for the Law Society.If I really am the "powerful figure" Simpkins describes, I hope that both he and the electorate will vote to give me the chance to show how the "last chance" can be turned into the "best chance" of a reformed Law Society and a reunited profession.Can I also ask ...

  • Case of the week

    19-Jun-2000

    Relatives of some of the 96 Liverpool fans killed at Hillsborough had to sit through videotapes of the crush at the Sheffield Wednesday ground in 1989. The families were attending the opening of the trial of former chief superintendent David Duckenfield and former superintendent Bernard Murray. The pair deny the manslaughter of two representative victims, John Anderson and James Aspinall. Alun Jones QC for the prosecution said: 'It was not the case of the two officers being ...

  • CC Rogers &Wells to fight for Mastercard in anti-trust case

    19-Jun-2000

    CC Rogers & Wells is acting on its first major showcase trial since merging with Clifford Chance.The firm is representing long-term client Mastercard as it begins its battle with the US Department of Justice (DOJ).Along with Visa, Mastercard stands accused of violating anti-trust laws by limiting competition through tie-ups with the banking industry.It is understood ...

  • DAC loses the Norwich Union to Barlow Lyde

    19-Jun-2000

    DAVIES Arnold Cooper is suffering from a double blow after losing yet another client to Barlow Lyde & Gilbert.Norwich Union has already transferred over 150 cases, worth a minimum of £100,000 each, to Barlow Lyde which has steadily been taking on lawyers from DAC's common law department since April.It is believed that the work has followed former head of common law at DAC Malcolm Hencke and a team of seven lawyers to Barlow Lyde.Commenting ...

  • David Mildon reports on the implications of the settlement in National Power v United Gas. David Mildon QC is a barrister at Essex Court Chambers.

    19-Jun-2000

    Where gas is sold and delivered in a bottle few would dispute that the buyer could no longer reject the gas after he has burnt it. So if it transpired during combustion that the gas was off-specification the buyer would be limited to claim in damages.Is the position any different if the gas is delivered into a pipeline system where it becomes commingled with other gas and is eventually burnt at some indeterminate time and place?The Court of Appeal was due to ...

  • Denton International adds Hungarian office to group

    19-Jun-2000

    Denton Wilde Sapte's global alliance Denton International has added a Hungarian presence to the group.Budapest firm Sándor Bihary Szegedi &Szent-Ivány joins Denton International on 3 July.The eight-partner firm has a referral agreement with Denton International's Austrian firm Lambert Grohmann Stolitzka Röhsner.Discussions with the firm started 12 months ago after the Austrian practice recommended approaching the Budapest ...

  • Dickinson Dees steals head of private equity from Eversheds

    19-Jun-2000

    Eversheds' Newcastle head of private equity is jumping ship to join north-east rival Dickinson Dees.Equity partner Helen Tavorges is expected to join Dickinson Dees in August. She was at Wilkinson Maughan - which merged with Eversheds in 1997 - for 16 years.The appointment is part of ...

  • Digests

    19-Jun-2000

    Grimaldi e Clifford Chance is to more than double its office space in Milan providing room for an extra 75 lawyers. According to partner Nick Wrigley, the firm will take over a building adjoining the existing one in Via Clerici in an area of the city traditionally known for its high concentration of law firms. It will provide staff with an extra 18,000sq metres of work space.

  • Duane Morris entersUK with City merger

    19-Jun-2000

    Medium-sized US firm Duane Morris & Heckscher is opening an office in London by merging with three-partner City firm Geisler & Laws.The move marks the first step outside the US for the expansionist Philadelphia practice, which now has offices in every financial centre in the US except Los Angeles and Atlanta.The 400-lawyer firm is taking over Geislers, a six-lawyer niche practice which specialises in IT and motor industry work.Geislers split away ...

  • Four New Square pays out to race victim

    19-Jun-2000

    A London chambers has paid over £40,000 to a receptionist who was the victim of racial harassment.Senior clerk Lizzie Wiseman of Lincoln's Inn chambers Four New Square confirmed that receptionist Diana Higgins was paid compensation for a racial harassment incident that took place on Friday 26 May.The unnamed perpetrator of the abuse remains at the chambers but is facing "appropriate disciplinary measures".The chambers refuses to divulge ...

  • Garretts wins work from major Freshfields client

    19-Jun-2000

    Andersen Legal's member firm Garretts has beaten Freshfields by winning work advising the magic circle firm's long-term client, Scottish Widows.Garretts has set up and is advising on a £200m property fund. This marks a change for the life assurance mutual as it has used Freshfields for nearly all of its property work in the past.A source close to Scottish Widows says: "This is specifically in connection with a new fund which has been set up. For ...

  • Getting a piece of the American pie

    19-Jun-2000

    When the Americans began encroaching on territory traditionally marked out by City firms, the reaction was apoplectic. But some small specialist players have now seen the potential for lucrative relationships with their US counterparts.When US firms first opened in London, it struck fear in the hearts of lawyers in the City who were terrified of losing rafts of clients and work. The potential threat to the pre-eminence of the UK's leading corporate lawyers ...

  • Gianni Origoni secures Pavia lawyers for Padua

    19-Jun-2000

    Gianni Origoni & Partners is to open an office in Padua staffed by former employees of Pavia e Ansaldo.The four lawyers,who plan to take some of their clients with them from their old office in the city, will specialise mainly in M&A and finance.Among the team is Luigi Pavanello, who returns to Gianni Origoni after a two-year stint with Pavia e Ansaldo.Milan-based partner Alberto Maggi says that the decision to establish a presence in Padua is based ...

  • In-house prove their mettle

    19-Jun-2000

    I was somewhat amused by a large display advertisement from Freshfields last week in The Lawyer.It had the heading, in large type, "Ahead of the game", and was illustrated by a galloping cheetah.No self-respecting cheetah wants to be ahead of the game - just behind it, and eventually on top of it.But if it is persistently ahead of the game, it will end up very hungry indeed!Brigid Campbell

  • It seems the risk of CFAs is too great

    19-Jun-2000

    CFAs have been around for two years, but many firms seem reluctant to offer them. Alasdair Pepper reports.The majority of people cannot afford to hire lawyers to represent them in litigation of any substance on a normal fee-paying basis.Historically, the options have been legal aid (when available), cover from insurance (if they happen to have a relevant policy), support from a professional body, trade union or employer, ...

  • It's been a bad week for

    19-Jun-2000

    Eusoff Chin, a top Malaysian judge who has been accused of "improper" socialising. Photos of Chin with his arms around a prominent male lawyer and adviser to one of Malaysia's biggest business tycoons while on holiday inNew Zealand in 1994 were posted on the internet. A government minister said:"Certainly such socialising, shall I say, is not in keeping with the proper behaviour of a judicial personality."Jurors in the ...

  • It's been a good week for

    19-Jun-2000

    Death row prisoners in the US. Presidential candidate Al Gore has opened a debate around the death penalty after a study from Columbia University showed that two out of three sentences in capital-case appeals are set aside. In a statement that death row prisoners would probably agree with, Gore said:"If there is a study that shows a large number of mistakes, that has to make you uncomfortable."Secret Pokemon fans. Lawyers who have to tear ...

  • Lathams drops UK merger plans for poaching spree

    19-Jun-2000

    Latham & Watkins has abandoned its UK merger strategy in favour of cherrypicking top European lawyers.The change of plans follows its failed bid to merge with Ashurst Morris Crisp.Two of the Los Angeles firm's top partners, Bill Voge and Bob Dell, have been in London for a two-day meeting ...

  • Lawyer launches new section

    19-Jun-2000

    This week The Lawyer launches a new section covering the fastest-changing areas in the profession.The Lawyer 2 will run every week. It includes a Special Report and a new rotating series, "the manager".On a weekly cycle, the manager series will cover initiatives in new media in e-manager; the latest trends and ideas in marketing in marketing manager; the changing world of corporate counsel in in-house manager and the fast-changing world of recruitment and career ...

  • Lovells hires Rütgers CEO in Düsseldorf

    19-Jun-2000

    Lovells is recruiting its second German partner in less than a month as the former chief executive of long-standing client Rütgers joins its Düsseldorf office.Eberhard von Perfall is joining the firm as a partner but will also hold a consultancy role at Lovells, specialising in corporate and tax law.Roland Bomhard, managing partner at Lovells' Düsseldorf office, says: "When the time came for him to step down as CEO we approached him to explain ...

  • Masons builds name with industry star

    19-Jun-2000

    Construction specialist Masons is responding to client needs by recruiting a senior industry figure into the firm.Ian Deslandes, the first ever chief executive of leading industry body the Construction Confederation, is joining as a consultant.He will provide information on developments within the construction sector and will also work on Masons' industry focused training scheme.Masons senior partner John Bishop says: "A recent client survey ...

  • Napier pledges Law Society City forum

    19-Jun-2000

    A separate City forum is to be established within the Law Society if presidential candidate Michael Napier is elected.He and vice-president candidate David McIntosh are in talks with City firms to see how they can best resolve the dissatisfaction felt by those who believe their interests are neglected compared to those of "high street" firms.Last month, a number of legal heavyweights were said to be considering a plan to split the organisation to give independence ...

  • New Media

    19-Jun-2000

    Olswang represented Channel 4 on its joint venture with Emap to develop digital products and services for the UK youth market. The venture will be owned in equal shares by both companies. Olswang entertainment partner John Enser led a team of two on the deal while Slaughter and May advised Emap.

  • New Media

    19-Jun-2000

    Mishcon de Reya represented e-commerce and internet ventures group Bright Station on the acquisition of most of the assets of boo.com. Bright Station is buying up the e-commerce technology assets and associated intellectual property rights of the company which is currently in provisional liquidation. Mishcons corporate and commercial partner Larry Nathan led a team of five on the deal. Freshfields ...

  • New Media

    19-Jun-2000

    Davenport Lyons represented New Media Industries on the reverse takeover of Nautilus Group, valued at £33m. Rebecca Ferguson, corporate partner at Davenports led a team of two on the deal while Edwin Coe advised Nautilus.

  • New media guru predicts trouble for non-believers

    19-Jun-2000

    Richard Susskind is the nearest the profession has to a new media guru. Claire Smith meets the man who says no lawyer should believe that they are immune to developments around themRichard Susskind is at the heart of some of the most crucial discussions going on at the likes of Allen & Overy Clifford ...

  • New media guru predicts trouble for non-believers

    19-Jun-2000

    Richard Susskind is the nearest the profession has to a new media guru. Claire Smith meets the man who says no lawyer should believe that they are immune to developments around themRichard Susskind is at the heart of some of the most crucial discussions going on at the likes of Allen & Overy Clifford ...

  • New York armof Graham & James splits

    19-Jun-2000

    San Francisco firm Graham & James is turning its back on its New York office in order to merge with Squire Sanders & Dempsey.The New York practice, which includes the firm's highly rated intellectual property practice, is understood to be talking to a number of other firms about its future.Top IP partner Al Jacobs, who brings in as much as $15m (£9.4m) a year in ...

  • New York's Wachtell Lipton opens new Palo Alto office

    19-Jun-2000

    New York's most profitable firm Wachtell Lipton Rosen & Katz is poised to open an office in California.The set-up in Palo Alto will service Silicon Valley clients of the 150-lawyer firm, which has a 1:1 leverage of partners to associates.In 1998-99, profits per partner reached nearly £2m, with lawyers focusing on corporate M&A transactions and securities law.A partner at the firm says no lease has yet been signed in Palo Alto but admits ...

  • One Essex Court suffers defection number five

    19-Jun-2000

    Premier commercial set One Essex Court has lost another senior practitioner - its fifth departure in as many months.Michael Rollason, a senior junior specialising in commercial insolvency and company litigation, has quit to join rival "magic circle" set Brick Court Chambers.Rollason is rated as one of the top commercial senior juniors currently at the bar. He acted in the recent litigation between Prince Jefri and the State of Brunei.Rollason's ...

  • Placements

    19-Jun-2000

    Landwell represented the investment manager Morley Fund Management on the proposed issue and listing of around £200m worth of equity and debt securities of the Global High Yield Bond Trust. Landwell financial services partner Martin Cornish and associate Richard Thompson acted on the deal while Clifford Chance advised the Global High Yield Bond Trust.

  • Placements

    19-Jun-2000

    Norton Rose advised HSBC Investment Bank in its role as sponsor to Brewin Dolphin Holdings on its placing of new ordinary shares which will raise £12m. The funds will be used to finance part of the proposed acquisition by subsidiary Brewin Dolphin Securities of Hill Osborne & Co. Norton Rose corporate finance partner Barbara Stephenson acted on the deal.

  • Property

    19-Jun-2000

    Berwin Leighton advised Prudential Assurance Co on the £10m purchase of the Eurospace Furniture factory premises near Leeds from Lincoln Properties. Berwin Leighton's three-partner team was led by property associate Deirdre Smith. Thomas Eggar Church Adams acted for Lincoln Properties.

  • Property

    19-Jun-2000

    Paisner & Co represented a Prada Group German subsidiary Jil Sander on the establishment of its London store and additional offices. The firm also advised Prada on the lease of premises which will become its UK headquarters. David Levy, a property partner at Paisners, headed both deals.

  • Quote of the week

    19-Jun-2000

    "We were on really crap salaries and then the Clifford Chance pay hikes happened."- A less than happy Cadwalader Wickersham &Taft assistant solicitor on the finer points of the US firm's remuneration package for its London lawyers.

  • Resistance forces change of tactics

    19-Jun-2000

    "Ashursts was plan A. This is our plan B," so says Bill Voge, Latham & Watkins' executive committee member.It's not taken the US giant long to bounce back from the collapse of talks with Ashurst Morris Crisp, but far from plan B being second best, it could mark ...

  • Rozenberg

    19-Jun-2000

    Perhaps the most attractive feature of the European Court of Human Rights is that - unlike the Ritz Hotel of legal legend - it really is open to all. As we saw last week, even a former king can demand his human rights. Ex-King Constantine was in Strasbourg to complain that the Greek government had confiscated his estates without compensation. Greece says that if you lose your throne you lose your home - the court will now have to decide whether a royal palace comes with the job.

  • Scuffle of the week

    19-Jun-2000

    The Franklin Mint v the Diana Princess of Wales Memorial Fund. US fans of Diana can continue to collect the People's Princess Doll, her ensembles and even a wardrobe/carry case. The maker of the doll has won its legal battle with the memorial fund, which sought to stop the company producing Diana memorabilia. Lawyers argued that the late Princess had 'abandoned' claims of an infringement on use of her likeness when she did not challenge companies in the years ...

  • Shearman & Sterling top partners go west

    19-Jun-2000

    Top US firm Shearman & Sterling is expanding its offices in Silicon Valley - sending over three top New York partners.The joint head of the firm's international M&A practice Peter Lyons is moving to the West Coast, as are capital markets partners Danielle Carbone and Marc Rossell.At least one other partner together with a team of senior associates will join them ...

  • Slaughter and May's private equity U-turn fires warning shot to rivals

    19-Jun-2000

    Catrin Griffiths warns private equity experts in the City not to underestimate Slaughters' foray into their sector.Slaughter and May has staked out a claim in the private equity market by taking advantage of a Clifford Chance conflict.Slaughters, which has traditionally ...

  • Studio Legale to open in Genoa after local merger

    19-Jun-2000

    Studio Legale Sutti is to open an office in Genoa, having merged with local firm Studio Pennisi.The firm's inherited team of three partners and six associates specialise in maritime law and its office will add to the Studio Legale's existing network of offices in Rome, Milan, London and Tokyo.Managing partner Stefano Sutti says he expects to gain business from being able to offer its clients an international rather than local service."The ...

  • The eagles have landed

    19-Jun-2000

    Matheu Swallow looks back at the mixed fortunes of six US firms which now have a transatlantic presenceGibson Dunn & CrutcherLondon partner in charge: Anthony BonnanoNumber of partners (UK): 8Total fee earners (UK): 14Other European offices: ParisMain practice areas: corporate finance, M&A, real estate, tax projectsGibson Dunn & Crutcher has had a London presence for over 20 years, ...

  • The Firm

    19-Jun-2000

    A meeting between Jack Pratchard, Tom Henderson and a new client.Henderson: You know what our problem is Jack?Pratchard: Ermm, we're comically incompetent and corrupt to such an extent that it's unrealistic that we're still in business - yet still manage to earn millions in a never fully explained fashion.Henderson: No, young Pinochet. It's our client base. It's all riffraff, no class.

  • Top Berrymans partner joins Badhams ahead of merger

    19-Jun-2000

    Berrymans Lace Mawer's senior insurance partner is resurfacing at Badhams Thompson, as the two firms continue with merger talks.As exclusively revealed by The Lawyer (5 June), Tim Oliver, a senior insurance partner, is joining Badhams Thompson as an equity partner, having decided not to return to Berrymans after a month-long secondment.It is understood that the ...

  • UK counsel 'touts' face prosecution

    19-Jun-2000

    Some of London's leading chambers face being blacklisted by Hong Kong's Bar Council after "illegally" touting for business there.Mr Justice Patrick Chan Siu-oi, Hong Kong's chief judge, is understood to be considering a crackdown on foreign barristers who use glossy brochures and cocktail parties to tout for business.Specific complaints have been made against three sets. These are understood to be Bruce Mauleverer QC's 4 Pump Court, Michael ...

  • Weil Gotshal loses last asset finance lawyers

    19-Jun-2000

    Weil Gotshal & Manges is losing the rest of its asset finance practice to White & Case while it battles to keep the group's key client, GE Capital.Top asset finance partner Mark Western joined White & Case with Maurice Allen at the beginning of May, and was followed by senior associate ...

  • WPP

    19-Jun-2000

    For WPP, the world's third largest advertising company, the coming months are critical. After weeks of intense speculation, the conglomerate has finally announced a £3.1bn takeover of US rival Young & Rubicam, during which time WPP's share price plummeted a worrying 27 per cent.