19 May 2003

The Lawyer

  • ... While UK firms post bleak NY figures

    19-May-2003

    UK firms in New York have had disappointing years.

  • A shaggy sheep story

    19-May-2003

    Further revelations from last week's Variety Club legal bash: Nabarros' Nick Collins thought he was doing his bit for charity when he convinced Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall to donate a ready-frozen River Cottage Hogget as a prize in the auction. That's right - a whole sheep.Mind you, after a few drinks Collins went that bit further for charity and bought the whole thing back for £600 (which Tulkinghorn understands was somewhat cheaper than the naughty ...

  • A&O comes aboard as KLM ditches De Brauw

    19-May-2003

    Dutch national airline KLM has chosen Allen & Overy (A&O) as its new lead adviser following a review that was prompted by its dramatic fallout with De Brauw Blackstone Westbroek.

  • A&O under fire over Safeway bid conflict

    19-May-2003

    ABN Amro forced to drop magic circle firm after protest from Wm Morrison

  • Aid and trade

    19-May-2003

    The reconstruction of post-war Iraq calls for a delicate balance between the obligations of the occupying forces and the sanctions imposed by the UN. Anita Esslinger reports

  • Alder Hey judge caps claimants costs

    20-May-2003

    A judge has ruled that the claimants’ costs in the massive Alder Hey organ retention group litigation ought to be capped after finding that they are "excessive and exaggerated".Mr Justice Gage found that the claimant solicitors, Alexander Harris, substantially over estimated the number of hours of work required on so-called general issues relating to the action. There are 2,100 potential claimants, while 369 have registered.He found that solicitors vastly overestimated ...

  • Altheimer’s international chairman quits after internal shake-up

    21-May-2003

    Altheimer & Gray has been hit by the shock resignation of the chairman of its international practice. Louis Goldman, the partner primarily responsible for the firm’s expansion in Europe, has resigned as the Chicago firm continues its internal restructure. It is understood that it had already been decided that responsibility for the firm’s international expansion would become part of managing partner Jeffrey Smith’s remit, although it is not clear whether ...

  • Amelans' injurylawyers4u attracts high-profile panel

    19-May-2003

    Heavyweight personal injury (PI) firms, including Leigh Day & Co and Pannone & Partners, have signed up as shareholders of Manchester firm Amelans' TV-advertised claims company injurylawyers4u.

  • Berwin Leighton hikes profitability

    19-May-2003

    Berwin Leighton Paisner has started to turn its profitability around, posting a 17 per cent hike and lifting average profits per equity partner to £303,000.

  • Brick Court wins barrister from 2 Temple Gardens

    19-May-2003

    Brick Court Chambers has recruited Tim Lord from 2 Temple Gardens. Lord has focused on personal injury and insurance work in the past, but has been signed to assist Brick Court with its banking and financial services work. He spent 10 years at 2 Temple Gardens after qualifying at Slaughter and May.

  • Camerons cuts more London staff

    19-May-2003

    CMS Cameron McKenna has announced that it will cut 16 staff from its London office. Five lawyers will go, together with nine support staff. The cuts follow the loss of 11 London support staff in January and the closure of the firm's Beijing office, which resulted in 40 redundancies. Camerons also streamlined its Hong Kong office, transforming it into a niche insurance practice.

  • Can Ashursts and Fried Frank still be friends?

    19-May-2003

    Julia Cahill examines the finance axis which propelled the merger talks between the two firms

  • Canary Wharf sticks by CC as Telegraph challenges contract

    19-May-2003

    Canary Wharf group legal counsel Michael Ashley Brown is standing by Clifford Chance over the drafting of the Telegraph Group lease that is the subject of a High Court claim.

  • CC profits plummet as rival firms hold steady

    19-May-2003

    Allen & Overy (A&O) and Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer have emerged as the two most consistent performers in the magic circle, and Linklaters the most erratic, as profit levels look set to fall back to 1999-2000 levels.

  • CDP offers ADR for HR disputes

    19-May-2003

    The City Disputes Panel (CDP) has launched an employment support service offering clients alternative dispute resolution (ADR) options specifically for HR disputes.

  • City slickers

    19-May-2003

    You have to admire DLA's enthusiasm. Not content with telling the City how great it is, the firm has spent thousands on an advert in The Times telling the whole world. Entitled 'In praise of the magic circle', DLA says nice things about the "five or six" law firms that occupy the higher echelons of the City but says they are, in fact, quite expensive. But not DLA. It does lots of work at reasonable prices. The firm even quotes The Lawyer when we said that it's approach ...

  • Cobbetts signs up Stanbrook Hooper for EU advice

    22-May-2003

    Manchester and Leeds-based Cobbetts has formed an alliance with Belgian trade law boutique Stanbrook & Hooper to provide its clients with EU law advice. The firms were introduced through their common membership of the State Capital Global Law Firm Group.

  • Colin Ng reels back corporate team

    20-May-2003

    Colin Ng & Partners has wooed back a team of three corporate lawyers that left the firm a year ago to join local rival Khattar Wong & Partners.The team is led by partner Tan Min-Li, who returns to co-head the firm’s corporate finance practice.Managing partner Colin Ng described the returns as significant, adding: "They will further strengthen our corporate and regional profiles."The return of the team takes the firm’s total number of lawyers in its ...

  • Command control

    19-May-2003

    The shift of public services to the private sector has increased the need for regulatory bodies, but as their power grows, Neil Gerrard asks: who's regulating the regulators?

  • Conway-Hughes quits Bevan Ashford

    23-May-2003

    Bevan Ashford’s non-lawyer chief executive Ann Conway-Hughes has resigned after just 18 months in the role. She will be replaced by partner and board member Stuart Whitfield.Conway-Hughes joined from engineering conglomerate GKN in late 2001 to lead an ambitious overhaul of the Bristol, Birmingham and London profit centre.However, there has been no movement in that time on the relationship with the separate West Country arm of the firm. A recently-concluded review has ...

  • Cummings makes first US push into Ghana

    19-May-2003

    Michigan-based firm Cummings McClorey Davis & Echo has become the first US firm to open an office in Ghana.

  • DLA sees 15 per cent income surge

    22-May-2003

    Audited profit figures released by DLA show a15 per cent hike in the firm’s turnover to £234m for the last financial year, with 21.1 per cent of the firm’s fee income being distributed as equity partner profits. However, profits per partner (PPP) remained relatively static at £460,000, an increase of just 2 per cent from last year. DLA has seen exponential increases in PPP over the last few years, but saw growth slow down in the face of tough economic conditions ...

  • DLA storms ahead in Asia with J Koh takeover

    22-May-2003

    DLA is continuing its drive into Asia after striking a deal to take over Singapore firm J Koh & Co.The corporate and commercial practice, which has been part of the DLA Group, an exclusive association of law firms, since 2000, will see its seven Singapore-based lawyers transfer to DLA’s local office. In Thailand the Bangkok office of J Koh & Co, which contains five lawyers, will be subsumed into DLA and will be headed up by partner Chulapong Yukate. Commenting ...

  • Eversheds defies slowdown with steady growth

    23-May-2003

    Eversheds has continued its steady growth in turnover, increasing gross fee income by 13 per cent to £285m in the last 12 months."The firm’s had a good year, particularly when viewed in the context of current economic conditions," said managing partner David Gray. "We’ve had significant growth in all practice groups, including corporate, with particularly strong performances in HR, ...

  • Ex-Stephensons partner joins Carbon Trust

    19-May-2003

    Former Stephenson Harwood partner Tony Stockwell has resurfaced in an in-house role at Carbon Trust, the Government-backed and business-led company that is helping business and the public sector to cut carbon emissions. Stockwell retired from Stephenson Harwood in January this year, after spending 25 years as a partner there. He joins Carbon Trust as legal adviser and company secretary.

  • Fainting by numbers

    19-May-2003

    This week's happiest in-house legal team has to be BSkyB. Well, it will be just so long as the team of legal secretaries there starts spreading the wealth.A syndicate of BSkyB legal secretaries was last week laughing all the way to the bank after winning just over half a million pounds on the Lotto. The lucky syndicate of 10 had all six numbers drawn on Saturday 10 May. Surprisingly, this was only the syndicate's sixth attempt at the draw. Less surprisingly, the ...

  • Farrers picked to support Olympic bid team

    19-May-2003

    Farrer & Co is anticipating an influx of work after the Government announced last week that it would back London's bid to host the 2012 Olympic Games.

  • Field Fisher realigns property

    20-May-2003

    Field Fisher Waterhouse has shaken up its property practice following a strategic review. The firm has now merged its two former property groups into one.Newly-appointed head of property Moira Gilmour said the divisions, which saw the practice divided into a hotels and leisure group and an industrial group, were largely historic. The new structure creates a single group with strong ...

  • Finance deals round-up

    19-May-2003

    Latham & Watkins (Tracy Edmonson) acted for Owens-Brockway Glass Container in the sale of $450m (£278.6m) of its 7.75 per cent senior secured notes, due 2011, and $450m of its 8.25 per cent senior notes, due 2013, in a private offering. The initial purchasers were Deutsche Bank Securities, Bank of America and Citigroup, represented by

  • Freedom drain

    19-May-2003

    You'd think the HRA was there to promote freedom of expression and you'd be right - so long as you're a politician and not an artist or in business, that is. Sam Grodzinski reports

  • Freshfields poised for Barclays coup

    19-May-2003

    Barclays Bank has made a provisional decision to add Freshfields Bruckhaus Derin-ger to its core banking panel after a four-month review. All the firm's current firms have avoided the chop.

  • Gide Loyrette Nouel launches in Morocco with Naciri tie-up

    19-May-2003

    French firm Gide Loyrette Nouel is opening an office in Morocco in July and also plans to open in Algeria.

  • Gold turns tables at Herbies as litigation and corporate team up

    19-May-2003

    Herbert Smith's litigation group has overhauled its strategy in a bid to align itself more closely with the firm's growing corporate and banking departments.

  • Inadequate facilities are driving Commercial Court cases to France

    19-May-2003

    A senior High Court judge has said that parties are increasingly likely to take their disputes to French courts rather than the Commercial Court because of its poor facilities.

  • Indian Bar Council set to extend size rules

    19-May-2003

    The Indian Bar Council and government are considering proposals to enable domestic law firms to increase the size of their partnerships from 20 to 50.

  • Jacksons’ core areas to go it alone

    23-May-2003

    North East firm Jacksons has split its core areas of business into two new firms. The firm’s insurance practice will be spun-off into a separate practice comprising managing partner Richard Clarke and six other partners.The firm’s commercial and private client practice will have 10 partners, including senior partner Kevin Fletcher.Clarke said: "The benefit to the firm and our clients will be a more focused, efficient and dynamic environment in which ...

  • Johnson Stokes slashes staff and salaries

    19-May-2003

    Hong Kong's largest law firm Johnson Stokes & Master has announced measures to cull its headcount and employees' salaries with effect from 1 June. Exact figures were unavailable when The Lawyer went to press. The firm said in a statement that all groups have carefully reviewed Johnson Stokes's strategy and, where appropriate, practice groups have consolidated and restructured to allow a headcount reduction. Johnson Stokes is also reducing salaries to bring them in line with current market ...

  • Jones Day Gouldens cuts 10 per cent of London fee-earners

    23-May-2003

    Jones Day Gouldens is slashing ten per cent of its fee-earning staff in London as it becomes the latest City firm to institute a redundancy programme.The move, which was announced internally today (23 May) will initially affect up to 25 associates and paralegals, but may be followed by a proportionate reduction in secretarial staff. Partners will not be affected. Jones Day Gouldens London ...

  • Jones Day takes on Dentons' Asia senior partner

    19-May-2003

    Jones Day Reavis & Pogue is continuing to expand its Asian practice by hiring Denton Wilde Sapte's Asia senior partner Steven Goodman.

  • Kirkland lures second Fried Frank corporate partner

    21-May-2003

    Fried Frank Harris Shriver & Jacobson has lost its second corporate partner to Kirkland & Ellis just weeks after the New York firm’s talks with Ashurst Morris Crisp fell through.Thomas Christopher is joining Kirkland one month after Stephen Fraidin, one of Fried Frank’s most senior partners, left for the same destination in a move that shocked the New York legal market.

  • KSB Law fee income rises by 21 per cent

    19-May-2003

    KSB Law has seen a 21 per cent rise in fee income, taking the firm's gross billings to £12m. Average profits per partner remain static at £100,000, with bottom of equity at £85,000 and top of equity at £140,000.

  • Lawrence Graham construction head quits for Kennedys

    20-May-2003

    Lawrence Graham head of construction Alan Hart has moved to Kennedys. Hart said he left Lawrence Graham to look for new challenges. "I joined Lawrence Graham to set up a new construction department, which I did with some success. Having achieved this, I needed a fresh challenge," he said. Kennedys ...

  • Lawyers play Devil's advocate

    19-May-2003

    Tulkinghorn has become something of a telly addict in recent weeks. Thanks to Mrs Tulkinghorn's obsession with the jungle antics in I'm Not a Celebrity, Get Me a Career, the Tulkinghorn television has been firmly switched to the 'on' position.And it shows no signs of being switched off now that a merry band of lawyers from Theodore Goddard (now Addleshaw Goddard) ...

  • Leader

    19-May-2003

    It costs at least £150,000 to create a single lawyer. And a whole lotta love, of course. In one fell swoop, then, when Denton Wilde Sapte took the decision to retain just 20 of its 48 trainees, the firm was throwing away about £4m worth of investment

  • Linklaters partner defects to Paul Hastings

    19-May-2003

    Paul Hastings Janofsky & Walker has ramped up its London real estate practice by poaching senior Linklaters partner Jeffrey Bailey. Bailey joins Nigel Heilpern, who was recruited from Nabarro Nathanson in 2001, and US partner Mark Eagan. Bailey will head Paul Hastings' European real estate practice.

  • Mayer Brown promotes seven to partnership

    19-May-2003

    Mayer Brown Rowe & Maw has made up seven partners in London, taking the partnership to 100. The new partners are Michael Brown in litigation and dispute resolution, Gary Cooper and Richard Smith in corporate, Christopher Fisher in employment, Nick Henchie in construction and engineering, Jonathan Moody in pensions and David Morrison in corporate/restructuring and insolvency. This is the second round of ...

  • Met Police panel chooses two sets

    19-May-2003

    John Bevan QC's 2 Harcourt Buildings and 7 Bedford Row have been appointed to the Metropolitan Police's panel for work stemming from the new Proceeds of Crime Act.

  • Michael Fielding's wife liable for £3m

    19-May-2003

    Bank wins first round against Lawrence Graham's disgraced former partner

  • Minters raids Phillips Fox in Adelaide

    19-May-2003

    Minter Ellison has rocked the Adelaide office of Phillips Fox by poaching almost 25 per cent of its lawyers.

  • MoFo on Bertelsmann's US private placement

    19-May-2003

    Morrison & Foerster (MoFo) has won a major instruction from German media giant Bertelsmann, advising on a high-profile $500m (£309.6m) US private placement.

  • No money - not a penny

    19-May-2003

    Remember 'Chance, Clifford Chance' - the magic circle firm's West Coast advertising slogan, designed as an 'amusing' take on James Bond? Well now it seems the firm has become increasingly jealous of its right to James Bond spoof material.The firm used to sponsor Rowan Atkinson's Aston Martin Zagato in charity races in which the actor took part, but has ...

  • On the ball

    19-May-2003

    HarperCollins's Simon Dowson-Collins loves sport so much he once went to a QPR game while he was still on a BBC shift. Alex Wade meets the fittest lawyer in publishing

  • Opinion

    19-May-2003

    In the 24 March issue of The Lawyer, there appeared a report on a very important piece of EU legislation about to be brought into force. That has now happened: the Insurers (Reorganisation and Winding Up) Directive was introduced in the UK on 20 April 2003, by means of the Insurers Reorganisation and Winding Up Regulations 2003

  • Property team delivers Royal Mail IT coup for Lovells

    19-May-2003

    Lovells' IT team has received a helping hand from the firm's property department to advise on one of the largest IT outsourcing deals of the year.

  • Property team quits Masons for Sprecher

    19-May-2003

    A leisure and property management team of one partner, three associates and a consultant has quit Masons for niche insolvency and property firm Sprecher Grier Halberstam.

  • Rink becomes Hildebrandt consultant

    19-May-2003

    John Rink, former managing partner of Allen & Overy (A&O), is to take an advisory role with legal management consultancy Hildebrandt. Rink, who had been managing partner of the magic circle firm since 1994, resigned in October 2002 and stepped down as a partner on 31 April this year. He will remain on the A&O management board for a further year as a consultant.

  • Robbin' the hood

    19-May-2003

    The Law Society may be backing the Lord Chancellor's proposals to get rid of barristers' archaic uniforms, but some solicitors aren't so sure.One young female litigation partner recently told Tulkinghorn that she is particularly fond of the diminutive black mourning hood junior barristers wear cast over the left shoulder of their gowns, as they have done since the death of Charles II in 1685. "Sometime juniors go off on completely the wrong tack in court. ...

  • Shearman lands Selfridges bid after Linklaters conflict

    19-May-2003

    Shearman & Sterling has scooped instructions from new Linklaters client Robert Tchenguiz, because the magic circle firm was conflicted out after advising on a competing bid for luxury department store chain Selfridges.

  • Singapore welcomes Lovells' pro bono group

    19-May-2003

    The Law Society of Singapore has approved a plan to create an organisation similar to the Solicitors Pro Bono Group in London.

  • SJ Berwin joins City redundancies trend

    19-May-2003

    SJ Berwin has become the latest in a string of City firms to make redundancies, cutting 16 staff across various departments.

  • SJ Berwin Paris woos CC LBO team

    19-May-2003

    SJ Berwin has scored a significant coup in Paris by wooing a four-lawyer leveraged buyout team from Clifford Chance, led by corporate partner Christophe Digoy.

  • Slaughters relocation boosts Paris finance

    19-May-2003

    Slaughter and May will boost its Paris finance team this summer by relocating Andrew Maclean, who is currently on secondment at best friend Hengeler Mueller, to the French capital.

  • Squire Sanders sets its sights on Middle East

    19-May-2003

    US firm Squire Sanders & Dempsey is launching a full-scale operation in the Middle East, following the successful establishment of an affiliation with Kuwaiti firm MM Al Ghazali & Partners.

  • Stamford opens in China with team from Colin Ng

    22-May-2003

    Stamford Law Corporation is launching in Beijing and Guangzhou, following a bulk hire of Chinese specialist lawyers from rival Singapore firm Colin Ng & Partners. Tan Chong Huat, who leads the team, will join Stamford as a director (the equivalent of a partner) and is bringing with him around six other lawyers. They will all join the firm’s Chinese practice.Premises for the new offices have already been found, with an opening date imminent. Initially they will be ...

  • Star struck

    19-May-2003

    My, my. Clifford Chance and its Singapore joint venture partner WongPartnership really have scored a coup by hiring Choo Wai Hong from Allen & Gledhill. According to Singapore's The Business Times the "comely" Wai Hong really is "multi-talented". Not only is she the "queen of unit trusts", but she is also quite a ballroom dancer and a fine cook to boot. How many Clifford Chance partners ...

  • Starr Legal

    19-May-2003

    The idea of working for themselves lured three young lawyers to set up on their own

  • The finished product

    19-May-2003

    When Laurie Adams joined ABN Amro, he set about restructuring legal and compliance to align it with the rest of the business. Now, it is a reliable safety net. Husnara Begum reports

  • The price of rights

    19-May-2003

    The issue of public inquiries - particularly their cost and whether they should be held in public or private - is becoming almost as controversial as the types of issue they must deal with. Richard Smith investigates

  • Trouble and strife for Tonks as wife's company sues Pinsents

    19-May-2003

    Bank Restaurant Group, the company that employs the wife of Pinsent Curtis Biddle's senior partner as a director, is suing her husband's firm for negligence.

  • Uría doubles up on ING-Sonae venture

    19-May-2003

    Spanish firm Uría & Menéndez, best friend to Slaughter and May, has taken the highly unusual move of acting for both buyer and seller in the e204m (£145.2m) sale of a 50 per cent stake in Portuguese shopping centre Vasco da Gama.

  • Weil Gotshal hikes European turnover by 40 per cent...

    19-May-2003

    Weil Gotshal & Manges' European operation has nearly doubled its turnover over the last financial year, outstripping the firm's revenue growth in the US.

  • Weil Gotshal's Paris launch loses partners to Watson Farley

    19-May-2003

    Watson Farley & Williams has bolstered its French practice with the appointment of two partners from the new Paris office of Weil Gotshal & Manges. Gilles Cervoni and Lucien Rapp will join Watson Farley's Paris office on 1 June.The departures come only five months after Weil Gotshal merged with Serra Leavy & Cazals, where Cervoni and Rapp were both partners. Their hire will bring the number of partners in Watson Farley’s Paris office to four.Cervoni ...

  • Who's to judge?

    19-May-2003

    David Blunkett's proposed guidelines for the higher sentencing of murderers has reignited the battle between judges and Parliament over who should hold sway over the courts. Jon Robins asks whether politics should ever enter the courtroom

  • Wilmer Cutler hires ex-government star

    19-May-2003

    Wilmer Cutler & Pick-ering has taken on former Deputy Attorney General Jamie Gorelick as a partner in its litigation practice.

  • Young Solicitors Group faces 25 per cent slash in Law Soc grant

    19-May-2003

    Fears for the future of the Young Solicitors Group (YSG) have been raised after it emerged that the Law Society is planning to slash its annual grant from £40,000 to around £30,000.