20 November 2006
Are things not quite so rosy in the Clifford Chance garden? The news that there are three candidates thinking of standing against the incumbent for the position of London head of corporate is highly significant given the magic circle firm's current mania for ...
The shortage of legal talent is quickly turning into a global crisis. Who would have thought such a thing just a few years ago? Along with all the wing-spreading going on in the Middle East, firms are on the hunt for lawyers to fill their new digs and are being forced to cast their fishing nets ever wider.
Watson Burton has hired Zoe Thomas as a senior solicitor in its employment team. Thomas joins the firm's Leeds office from Addleshaw Goddard.
Watson Burton will no doubt have spent much of last Friday's (17 November) partnership conference discussing the firm's plans to expand its equity partnership.
The Court of Appeal is set to hear one of the UK’s largest divorce cases, Charman v Charman, after John Charman was granted leave to appeal.
A notable absentee from proceedings was Corus general counsel Richard Shoylekov, who had been detained in London due to the small matter of a takeover bid. Shoylekov was admirably represented by his deputy Eleanor Evans, but in future companies might like to consider timing their merger activity so as not to get in the way of the most useful conference of the year.
Another of Tulkinghorn's spies found herself sitting next to Halliwells partner Stephen Hills at Friday's gala dinner. When the soup was served (which was pumpkin) Hills got very excited and told said spy that last year his daughter had grown a pumpkin from a single seed.
Tulkinghorn found himself trying to keep track of how many times speakers managed to work in the words 'Monte Carlo' or 'Monaco' into their seminars. He lost count, but picked out some interesting examples. Phillips' Mike Morris, speaking on project management, couldn't resist referring to the "Monte Carlo method" of simulating algorithms, which had Tulkinghorn scratching his head.
Incidentally, one of Tulkinghorn's spies noticed that QinetiQ's Lynton Boardman particularly reminded him of Rory Bremner. The spy, who will remain nameless, says he was particularly reminded of this during Boardman's talk. Why? Was he doing impressions?
While most delegates chose to stick with traditional black tie garb for the gala dinner that concluded events, respect must go to Chubb general counsel Ranald Munro. Ever the dapper dresser, Munro turned up clad from top to toe in red clan tartan trousers and waistcoat. One way of standing out from the crowd.
A whole argument of Simmons' litigation partners gathered down the road from Monte Carlo at the weekend, spending a few days in Cannes to discuss the contentious issue of dispute resolution. Among the workshops was a treasure hunt in nearby Antibes, which saw the intrepid partners embark on a search for clues amid the backstreets of the old town. However, Tulkinghorn's mole reports that apparently the clues had nothing to do with the law, and also that there was no prize for the ...
One person who was certain not to get lost in the cavernous conference rooms of the Fairmont was Brick Court Chambers' Ian Moyler. Moyler was proudly sporting a Breitling watch complete with emergency beacon. In case of disaster, pressing the right button activates a distress frequency. All very 007.
SJ Berwin has beefed up its core EU and competition practice to offer Dutch expertise through the hire of Bird & Bird's head of competition in Brussels.
All bets are off as to who landed the instruction from 888 and Ladbrokes. Frontrunners Slaughter and May and Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer both lucked out in the latest move in the gaming industry, seeing Ladbrokes and 888 hold preliminary merger talks. 888 operates 888.com, Casino-on-Net.com ...
It has emerged that Allen & Overy advised British Sky Broadcasting (BSkyB) on its audacious acquisition of £940m worth of shares in ITV.
Nasdaq has enlisted Allen & Overy and Cahill Gordon & Reindel is advising the banks on Nasdaq’s unwelcome bid for the London Stock Exchange (LSE).
Apple Computer has raided its arch rival IBM to take the company's senior vice-president and general counsel Donald Rosenberg.
Japenese firm Atsumi & Partners has poached Clifford Chance counsel Daniel Hounslow to boost its international M&A and private equity offerings in Tokyo.
Linklaters has beaten Clifford Chance to instructions from a consortium of investment banks that are attempting to launch a rival trading platform to the London Stock Exchange (LSE).
Bird & Bird has raided Barlow Lyde & Gilbert for a three partner IT outsourcing team which includes department head Simon Shooter.
Berwin Leighton Paisner (BLP) is to move in with Slaughter and May and its best friends in Brussels.
Berwin Leighton Paisner (BLP) has finalised its alternative to partnership, creating an 'associate director' position and appointing nine senior associates to the role.
Kent firm Brachers is on the hunt for a merger partner after a partnership vote sealed its strategy for the future.
French independent Brandford-Griffith & Associés has picked a new tax head from Orrick Rambaud Martel. Roland Poirier joins the firm on the back of Brandford-Griffith partner Pierre Ullman's departure for Willkie Farr & Gallagher. Poirier focuses on tax structures for both domestic and overseas companies, as well as carrying out tax litigation. He brings with him an assistant. The hire means Brandford-Griffith's partnership remains static at 11 partners.
Bristows is bracing itself for the departure of a five partner IP litigation team, who are leaving to set up their own boutique.
Bristows is relocating to new City offices where client Unilever is based.
Bakers, CC and Hunton are helping businesses deal with global warming. By David Middleton
Clifford Chance partner Simon Davis and Lovells partner Graham Huntley have been named as members of the new Commercial Court working group which will draw up proposals to improve the court’s procedures.
Linklaters freeze associate salaries" /Magic circle rivals Clifford Chance, Freshfields ...
Clifford Chance and Slaughter and May bagged the lead roles on Uniq's sale of French spreads business St Hubert for €370m (£250.11m) to Dairy Crest. Slaughters' French best friend Bredin Prat helped out in Paris for Uniq, with Clifford Chance putting together a cross-border corporate team led by partners ...
Logistics company Christian Salvesen has joined the growing trend of UK companies insourcing employment work by hiring a dedicated lawyer for the function.
A group of City law firms including Clifford Chance and Lovells have signed a letter to the Lord Chancellor, Lord Falconer, in support of solicitors carrying out legal aid work.
Some have called them arrogant, but the seven QCs who have launched Cloth Fair Chambers insist that their expertise and 'old school' structure will benefit all of the practitioners on any high-value case
Clyde & Co has continued its push into the Middle East with the hire of Taylor Wessing finance partner Ashley Painter.
The majority of large companies are unaware of anti-corruption laws and say they are losing business to competitors because of bribery, a global survey has revealed.
The legal team of steel giant Corus has carried out a wide-ranging business review designed to minimise risk and bring the company's lawyers closer to the business.
New York firm Cravath Swaine & Moore is the latest to join the swathe of legal advisers who have scored instructions on Nasdaq’s bid for the London Stock Exchange (LSE).
Davies Arnold Cooper (DAC) is set to up its profit margin to 25 per cent by the end of the year following a steady first six months. The firm is on budget to make £33m, a rise of 10 per cent from 2006, with a net profit of around £8m. Managing partner David Hertzell told The Lawyer that the firm was not disappointed with the results and that its real estate and insurance teams were performing solidly. DAC's Madrid office is also doing well, according to Hertzell.
Risk management is a job best left to the professionals - and every firm should have one, say Nicholas Gilbert and Giles Bentley
Daniel Bush, who heads the legal team at Interserve, thrives on pressure. Just as well - he's one of only three in-house lawyers dealing with a £1.5bn business. By Ben Moshinsky
Australian firm Phillips Fox officially comes under the DLA Piper banner today, rebranding the firm as DLA Phillips Fox.
DLA Piper has lost its London office's head of casualty to insurance boutique Davies Lavery as DLA Piper looks to reorganise its casualty team.
DLA Piper has made a rare hire out of SJ Berwin's real estate partnership, recruiting Tom O'Grady to establish a Middle East property practice.
Dorsey & Whitney has promoted four London-based lawyers to the partnership out of a total of 16 worldwide.
Philadelphia-headquartered firm Drinker Biddle & Reath and Chicago-based firm Gardner Carton & Douglas have become the latest in a long list of mid-market US firms to merge in recent months.
North West firm DWF has revealed plans for an ambitious growth strategy, with plans to double the firm's turnover by 2009 and to merge with a Leeds firm.
Denton Wilde Sapte (DWS) has lured back a GE Energy in-houser into private practice to add to its burgeoning Middle East presence.
Accountants and other professions will be given legal professional privilege if they work in partnership with lawyers under the terms of the Legal Services Bill, published today (24 November).
Taylor Wessing has bagged the lead role advising the administrators of Christmas hamper company Farepak on its insolvency proceedings.
Midlands firm Freeth Cartwright plans to triple its public sector turnover in two years. The public sector group, which has six partners and is headed by partner Philippa Dempster, aims to boost its turnover from its present £600,000 to almost £2m by the close of 2008. Partner Stephen Pearson said: "As is well known, local authorities are dependable, punctual payers. But there are also a lot more things that local authorities need to pay attention to, such as new bits of legislation ...
Class actions in France were given the go-ahead last week (8 November) in a bill introduced by French finance minister Thierry Breton.
Meanwhile, Freshfields is the longshot entry to advise ITV on the £9bn takeover discussions with NTL, as the independent broadcaster keeps quiet on its choice of counsel. Freshfields won ITV as a new client in 2005 after it acted on its delisting from the New York Stock Exchange. It then advised ITV on its acquisition of Friends Reunited. Both Freshfields and longstanding counsel Lovells advised ITV on aborted takeover talks from a consortium that included Goldman Sachs and Apax in ...
Here's a tip to any international law firm with ambitions in Asia: South Korea is about to open up its legal services market.
London firm Grundberg Mocatta Rakison has merged with niche US firm White and Jones to launch a Russia and Eurasia practice.
US firm Bingham McCutchen is to increase its Asia practice by opening a three-lawyer Hong Kong office.
Herbert Smith has advised West Ham United in its £105m takeover by an Iceland-based consortium led by Eggert Magnusson, president of the Icelandic Football Association (FA).
Alliance firms Herbert Smith, Gleiss Lutz and Stibbe have landed key roles advising on the latest mammoth M&A deal - Swiss company Givaudan’s £1.2bn acquisition of chemical group ICI’s flavours and fragrance business.
Torquay-based firm Boyce Hatton and Herbert Smith have advised on the UK's first 'clean coal' power generation project - a £1bn, 800MW plant on Teesside.
Allen & Overy (A&O), Herbert Smith with alliance firm Stibbe and Simmons & Simmons have all landed roles on the innovative listing of a closed-end company on Euronext, which hopes to raise EURO1.5bn (£1.01bn) to make it the largest ...
Charles Russell has poached an employment team from Hewitsons and launched an office in Cambridge just a year after opening in Oxford.
It is accepted within private practice that recruiting female graduates into law firms is not an issue - Addleshaw Goddard's trainee intake is roughly 55 per cent female and was more than 50 per cent when I joined Theodore Goddard 18 years ago, and I am sure ...
The long-awaited arrival in Madrid of a new wave of US firms is becoming a reality.
Professionals will be hoping that the Compensation Act 2006 will put paid to them being pursued by spurious claims, report Nik Carle and Peter Causton
The University of Hertfordshire law school has received the Law Society's 'commendable practice' grade, its highest rating, for five out of six assessment areas. The society's assessment, completed this month, gave the school the rating for the core areas of: assessment; students and support; learning resources; leadership andmanagement; and quality assurance and enhancement. The Law Society gave its middle grade, 'confidence in practice', for Hertfordshire's teaching, learning and ...
The Law Society is still failing to meet its complaints handling targets, the latest report from the Legal Services Complaints Commissioner reveals today (22 November).
The Law Society has won a Court of Appeal victory vindicating its decision to intervene into the practice of a sole practitioner.
The Lawyer's sixth annual legal summit for the in-house legal profession took place in Monte Carlo on 9-11 November, with the 200-odd delegates agreeing that it was the best yet.
Lester Aldridge issued redundancy notices to around 15 lawyers and support staff last week.
Transport for London (TfL) general counsel Howard Carter has proposed ambitious new plans to create a Greater London Authority (GLA) legal 'supergroup'.
Lovells has concluded the next stage of its strategic review and released a statement to help reposition itself as a serious contender to magic circle firms.
There are strategic reviews, and there are strategic reviews. First, there's SJ Berwin, which is currently riding high. It carried out its practice-level reviews a couple of years back, most notably in the real estate department, and it's bounced back to an average profit per equity ...
Lovells has realigned its association in Hungary, maintaining it alliance with two individuals after they moved firms.
A slew of partner redundancies helped Lovells recover from a poor 2004-05. Since then the firm's growth has stagnated, prompting a need for a full strategic review from the firm's senior management
Another day, another mega-deal. Last week (see story) a private equity consortium gobbled up the US's largest radio station owner Clear Channel for $26.7bn (£14.03bn).
Macfarlanes and Wall Street firm Cravath Swaine & Moore have secured key roles on a £4.3bn counter-bid for Corus, in an intensifying battle for the Anglo-Dutch steelmaker.
Monte Carlo played host to The Lawyer's In-House Legal Summit last weekend - and what an event it was. A keynote speech from Citigroup's top economist Dr Richard Reid got the ball rolling followed by a whopping 17 sessions designed specifically to stimulate lofty yet practical informed debate on the issues of the day.
Cayman Islands-headquartered firm Maples and Calder has bolstered its British Virgin Islands (BVI) office with the hire of Arabella di Iorio as local head of litigation. Di Iorio, a specialist in corporate, professional negligence and trusts work, joins from the Bermuda office of offshore rival Appleby Hunter Bailhache, where she was counsel in the commercial litigation team. The hire comes two years after ...
Friends of the Earth and Matrix Chambers have won the right to have the government’s policy on the import of genetically modified (GM) rice scrutinised by the High Court.
As the largest Australian firm in terms of lawyers and global offices, Minter Ellison has invested heavily in building itself up into a companion, rather than competitor, to the US and UK practices in Asia and Europe.
Mishcon de Reya has swooped on London rival Speechly Bircham for one of its corporate partners, Joel Adler.
Fresh evidence that Berwin Leighton Paisner (BLP) is remoulding itself in to a mini-me version of Slaughter and May.
The managing partner of Turin-based Bin Avvocati Associati will set up his own corporate boutique, taking three Bin Avvocati partners with him.
Despite its name, Old Square Chambers is doing everything it can to be more modern and new.
O’Melveny & Myers has lost private equity star Andrew Carpenter, who is to join Addleshaw Goddard.
Orrick Herrington & Sutcliffe has poached a structured finance partner from Paul Hastings Janofsky & Walker to boost its Asian offering.
Los Angeles-based firm Paul Hastings Janofsky & Walker is to open its much-touted Chicago office next week following the hire of two partners from US rival Jones Day.
Clifford Chance is gearing up for an unusual contested election as the post of London corporate head comes up for grabs.
Pinsent Masons has launched a series of internal 'values' for all employees to follow after completing a firmwide consultation lasting more than a year.
Proskauer Rose is the latest US firm to announce its partner promotions, making up 14 to the partnership and three special counsel. The promotions take the partner count to 244. The 14 new partners can enjoy an average profit per partner figure of $1.2m (£640,000). The litigation and dispute resolution and corporate teams benefited the most from the promotions, with three new partners apiece, with the special counsel also having litigation expertise. The real estate, tax, employment ...
Laurence Rabinowitz QC should by rights be public enemy number one. After the House of Lords ruled that Deutsche Morgan Grenfell (DMG) could claim back 30 years of interest on tax, the Government - and the taxpayer - face a bill of billions of pounds.
Reynolds Porter Chamberlain is on course to make £55m at the year-end after bringing in £25.2m during the first six months of the current financial year. The half-year turnover is static from last year. Chief executive Adrian Martin said the firm was happy with ...
Shearman & Sterling’s new Paris office head Emmanuel Gaillard has pledged to dramatically increase the firm’s French corporate offering.
LLP status and professional indemnity insurance may not be enough when disaster strikes, cautions Steve Holland
The last seven days has seen unprecedented M&A activity on both sides of the Atlantic, gifting work to a slew of the world’s top firms.
Simmons & Simmons is to become carbon neutral, after an environmental audit revealed that the firm had to spend £114,000 in green projects to offset its carbon footprint.
Simmons & Simmons is being very naughty. We're all for going green, but the City firm has been spinning a little too much in its latest release. It's claiming to be the first international law firm to go carbon-neutral.
Simpson Thacher & Bartlett and Sidley Austin landed roles on the latest private-equity backed megadeal set to break a slew of records.
SJ Berwin has overhauled its pay structure, handing its associates bonuses of up to 75 per cent of base salary.The increase means that a two-year PQE associate earning £66,000 could be eligible for a bonus of up to £49,500, boosting their total earni...
SJ Berwin kicks off hunt for US best friends" /SJ Berwin is to enter into formal best friend referral relationships in the US, China and India following a radical review of the silver circle firm's international strategy.
SJ Berwin associates are going to have a nice weekend.
Slaughter and May is conducting a review of its professional support lawyers' (PSLs) remuneration structure after it hiked trainee and associate salaries and introduced a 15 per cent bonus for fee-earners.
South Korea is to publish a draft Foreign Legal Consultant’s Bill this week, which will allow foreign law firms to open in the country for the first time by mid-2008.
There is little that can strike the same level of fear in the hearts of lawyers as the threat of a lawsuit against either themselves or their law firm.
The news of DLA Piper's recent management changes is sure to have been met with comments along the lines of: 'Another law firm changes its management structure? Big deal.'
What was your first-ever job?Auction house porter.
Thring Townsend, which acquired the Bristol office of Laytons in December 2005, is targeting a London launch.
Chargeable hours at the top 25 law firms have dropped, despite a continued rise in turnover and profits, a new survey has found.
Litigation elite meet at RCJ for 'supercase' think-tank
US-based general counsels have seen their base salaries rise by an average of 8 per cent during 2006, according to the latest survey of corporate legal counsel salaries.
Vinson & Elkins has raided Wilkie Farr & Gallagher for a 14-lawyer international trade law team, including five partners, for its Washington DC office.
Ward Hadaway eases North East passage to China" /Newcastle-based law firm Ward Hadaway, Deloitte and management consultants RTC North have joined forces to launch a service enabling North East companies to break into China.
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London firm Campbell Hooper received "the crumbs off Weil Gotshal [& Manges'] table", according to Campbell Hooper chairman Martin Wright, by advising new client HG Capital on an asset disposal of a manufacturing company in which it had a controlling interest.
Weil Gotshal & Manges is realigning its London private equity practice around a core group of premium clients in the ongoing battle to become the number-one private equity firm in the City.
The City has seen one of its largest property transactions to date, the Peabody Fund's sale of Cutlers Gardens Estate for more than £400m. Wragge & Co teamed up with Nabarro Nathanson to advise the Peabody Fund, which is a joint venture between O'Connor Capital Partners and JPMorgan. Wragges real estate partner Sally ...