21 February 2000

The Lawyer

  • Answer clients' digital needs

    21-Feb-2000

    Four of the IT challenges law firms are likely to face in the near future are addressed by Derek Southall. Derek Southall is head of strategic development at Wragge & Co.Technical advances are driving the legal profession from thinking about "staying competitive" towards a concern to "achieve competitive advantage". Advances in IT are taking place at such a fast ...

  • Australian bank cuts legal panel

    21-Feb-2000

    Westpac Banking is slashing its legal panel to two firms, cutting leading practice Clayton Utz out of the fray.Mallesons Stephen Jaques and Allens Arthur Robinson have been retained on the panel, while the Australia-based bank will use top 10 firms and previous advisers Corrs Chambers Westgarth and Minter Ellison as principal corporate advisers and for general advice.Niche practices Henry Davies York and Gaden Lawyers will also continue to act for the bank and ...

  • Bank slammed over 'sloppy' mortgage

    21-Feb-2000

    The Appeal Court has sent out a warning to lenders as it slams a bank for using confusing contracts, writes Roger Pearson.An Appeal Court ruling in which a bank was slammed for "disgracefully sloppy" mortgage documentation is being viewed as a clear warning to lending institutions to clean up their acts.London solicitor Katy Sillett of Johnson Sillett Bloom, who represented the borrowers and successfully challenged possession by ...

  • Berwin Leighton appoints strategy head

    22-Feb-2000

    Howard Rosenberg, who is a qualified architect by background, will work closely with Berwin Leighton managing partner Neville Eisenberg in implementing and developing the firm's strategy and in analysing different strategic options for the firm.

  • Bid to stub out early ad ban

    21-Feb-2000

    The Law Lords are to have the final say on the Government's bid to introduce a ban on tobacco advertising earlier than necessary. The Government is fighting to bring in early implementation of the European Tobacco Advertising directive in respect of tobacco advertising and sponsorship. But leave has been given by Lords Browne-Wilkinson, Hope and Hutton for the tobacco companies to mount a last-ditch attempt to have such a ban declared unlawful. Imperial, Gallagher, ...

  • Bird & Bird's merger with Orricks shelved

    21-Feb-2000

    Merger talks between Bird & Bird and US firm Orrick Herrington & Sutcliffe have been abandoned after partnership objections on both sides.Partners at top IP/IT firm Bird & Bird were split on whether the merger would benefit the firm - with the IP experts understood to be against it.

  • Boom on the horizon

    21-Feb-2000

    Fred Bartlit is founding partner of US firm Bartlit Beck Herman Palenchar & Scott.THE BOOMING US economy is being driven largely by dramatic improvements of more than 5 per cent in productivity. The reason for these gains is technology.And the efficiency and productivity gains that computer technology has brought to the general economy are being dwarfed by the productivity gains that computers are now bringing to the law business.US law ...

  • Capital Radio

    21-Feb-2000

    In a line-up of UK broadcasters, Capital Radio seems to be dwarfed by its competitors, which include the BBC and Scottish Media Group-owned Virgin Radio.

  • Case of the week

    21-Feb-2000

    Although three High Court judges rejected a challenge against the Lord Chancellor's shake-up of the legal aid system, they warned that the legal aid contracting system could face future defeat in the courts if not reformed. In a challenge to the legal aid contracting scheme - brought by solicitors Mackintosh Duncan and backed by the Law Society - the court refused to quash the scheme introduced in January, but said there were 'significant weaknesses' in it. ...

  • CC raids Euro firms for M&A partners

    21-Feb-2000

    Clifford Chance has signalled its intention to build its European corporate practice by hiring four M&A partners to join its Amsterdam and Paris offices.The firm has lured Tom de Waard and Hector de Beaufort from top Benelux firm Stibbe Simont Monahan Duhot to join its Amsterdam office.And Marcus Billam and Frederic Peltier join the Paris office from leading French M&A firm ...

  • College LPC 'weak' says leaked report

    21-Feb-2000

    The College of Law is suffering from poor staff morale and deficiencies in both buildings and facilities.An internal investigation leaked to The Lawyer reveals the college's London branch recognises that its reputation as a provider of the Legal Practice Course (LPC) is "weak".The Store Street Plan report, which was published last year, says: "The London branch's reputation as a provider of the LPC is currently weak among students and key firms. Turnover ...

  • Couderts to build IP team in New York

    21-Feb-2000

    Coudert Brothers' New York office has raided rival firm Bryan Cave for a team of IP lawyers.The seven lawyers are led by partners Philippe Bennet and Robert Hanlon and include of counsel Walter Scott and associates Lara Holzman, David O'Neill, Anders Enemark and Donna Sobel.The arrivals give Couderts' New York office expertise in patents and trademarks.Hanlon says: "We thought that Couderts offered us an excellent opportunity to take ...

  • Deloitte tipped for merger down under

    21-Feb-2000

    Big five accountant Deloitte & Touche is putting the final touches to a merger with an Australian firm, says a source close the deal.The accountant has offices in Sydney and Melbourne, but unlike most of its rivals, it does not have an Australian legal arm.One accountancy insider says: "I had heard that Australia was coming on board at the end of January. It has missed that, but something is definitely happening."Arthur Andersen, KPMG and Ernst & ...

  • Departing Landwell pair aim to take 20 lawyers

    21-Feb-2000

    Christopher Tite and Mark Lewis are planning to take a team of 20 lawyers with them when they leave PricewaterhouseCoopers' associate firm Landwell to launch Ernst & Young's correspondent firm.The exodus would mean about 20 per cent of Landwell's lawyers leaving the firm.In July, Tite told The Lawyer that the firm would have 250 fee earners within two years. "People want to join us because we offer an exciting exciting career working with world ...

  • Dibbs develops one-stop shop to advise e-commerce clients

    21-Feb-2000

    Dibb Lupton Alsop is launching a one-stop shop for e-commerce clients to help them develop their businesses online.The service - dubbed dla.net - is being backed by lawyers from across the firm, including teams from IT and telecommunications, corporate tax and venture capital.In addition to helping entrepreneurs advance their dot com ideas, it will help new dot coms to raise finance and guide them through the process of setting up on the internet.Dibbs ...

  • Dibbs loses partner to Fulham FC

    21-Feb-2000

    Dibb Lupton Alsop has lost an insolvency partner in a transfer deal to Fulham FC.Michael Fiddy, who is based at its London office, is to become managing director of the first division club after five years at the national firm.Fiddy was delighted with the move: "This is a fantastic opportunity and the most exciting job that I could envisage. This is every boy's dream."Fiddy admits that he is a fan of the club, owned by Mohammed Al Fayed. But ...

  • Dibbs lures insolvency partner away from City

    21-Feb-2000

    Dibb Lupton Alsop has poached a leading insolvency partner from Herbert Smith.Richard Obank's move to the Leeds office leaves the City firm with only one partner, Stephen Gale, in its insolvency group.Herbert Smith is instructed by all of the big five accountants, but Obank says he will not take clients with him. However, he adds that Dibbs also has good relationships with the top tier.The move is a particular coup for Dibbs which has been hit ...

  • Digests

    21-Feb-2000

    Nomura's managing director and chief general counsel Stephen Ball has quit the Japanese banking giant. Ball, who left after deciding not to renew his three year contract, is currently on gardening leave. Sources say he has not yet made any plans regarding his future employment.White & Case has elected head of banking Duane Wall to replace James Horlock as managing partner. ...

  • Divisions avoid clash of interests

    21-Feb-2000

    Amalgamating the Chancery and Queen's Bench Divisions would render the administration of chancery business unworkable, argues Hohn Mowbray.In Last week's The Lawyer, Michael Briggs QC argued that the Chancery and Queen's Bench Divisions should be amalgamated, but there is absolutely no need for this.The substitution of an equity or chancery "list" or "lists" in a single division, like the commercial ...

  • Edge Ellison makes global market move

    21-Feb-2000

    Edge Ellison has made its first formalised foray into the global market by signing up to the International Lawyers Network.Along with niche London practice Memery Crystal, the Birmingham stalwart is the only other UK operation in the 70 firm-strong network.The firm began talks with the organisation early this year and signed up at the beginning of February.The ...

  • Era of openess threatens our traditional loyalties

    21-Feb-2000

    The traditionally insular and protectionist German business culture is changing. Partly driven from within, but also triggered by outside forces, Germany is being dragged into the multinational business world.At the start of the year, one of the country's leading firms entered into a high-profile menage a trois creating a truly global business. The Clifford Chance/Rogers ...

  • Family set to open in West Country

    24-Feb-2000

    The set, headed up by Eleanor Platt QC and Alison Ball QC, has recruited two new tenants who will be permanently based in Exeter, and hopes to bring a junior tenant on board soon. Kay Firth Butterfield is joining the annexe in Exeter from 1 Gray's Inn Square in London, the chambers of The Baroness Scotland of Asthal QC, and Gillian Downham is moving there from Exeter-based Rougemont Chambers

  • Financing

    21-Feb-2000

    Garretts advised London-listed electronic data provider Dicom Group on its share placing on the Neuer Markt segment of the Frankfurt stock exchange for £86m. Partner David Bolton led a team of two on the deal. The bank was advised by Baker & McKenzie.

  • Financing

    21-Feb-2000

    A four-strong Berwin Leighton team represented Gresham Trust which led a £50m funding package for Staffordshire child care company Busy Bees Group to provide care facilities to the health sector. The transaction was led by corporate partners Ryan Robson and Paul Canning at Gresham

  • First in-house lawyer joins ERC Frankona

    21-Feb-2000

    Reassurance specialist ERC Frankona has appointed its first in-house lawyer to oversee its newly consolidated company.John Titchener, a qualified barrister, joins the company from insurance broker Willis International where he worked for more than 10 years.Titchener says he was app-ointed because ERC Frankona is made up of a number of different companies which have now consolidated under one structure."The company has now reached critical mass," he ...

  • Five UK firms win places on German giant's panel

    21-Feb-2000

    German banking giant Commerzbank AG has appointed its first panel of law firms to handle its growing number of UK legal issues.Linklaters, Allen & Overy, Clifford Chance, Cameron McKenna and Theodore Goddard have ...

  • Francies wins place on Weil Gotshal committee

    21-Feb-2000

    Weil Gotshal & Manges has elected Mike Francies to its management committee, after the shock departure of Maurice Allen.The appointment to the 13-member committee will cement Francies' position as head of the firm's London office, a role he previously shared with office founder Allen who quit the firm on 28 January (The Lawyer, 31 January).The management ...

  • Freehill Hollingdale to vote on structure

    21-Feb-2000

    Freehill Hollingdale & Page is poised to vote on adopting a national partnership structure.The firm is one of Australia's largest with 218 partners and three partnerships in Sydney, Melbourne and Perth.But partners are currently in talks to decide whether to abandon the federated structure in favour of an integrated partnership.National chairman Peter Mansell says: "The issue of what type of partnership structure will best suit Freehill Hollingdale ...

  • Freshfields advises Courtaulds Textiles

    21-Feb-2000

    Freshfields has been chosen to advise UK giant Courtaulds Textiles on a £104m hostile bid by a US company.US firm Weil Gotshal & Manges' London office is acting for Sara Lee, the foods and consumer products group that is bidding for the UK company.Sara Lee is known for brands such as Douwe Egberts, Kiwi, Radox, Playtex, Pretty Polly and Wonderbra.

  • Glossary

    21-Feb-2000

    ADSL - Asymmetric Digital Subscriber Line Provides fast internet access. It is a standard which provides high bandwidth for data and voice connection.CMS, Solicitec, Hotdocs and Rapidocs Examples of finance systems, case management systems and document assembly products.CRM - Customer Relationship Management The use of software systems to preserve and search customer ...

  • Gomes Acebo in Brazilian link-up

    24-Feb-2000

    The firm has also signed an agreement with Lisbon based firm Vieira de Almeida which has joined it in the alliance with Pinheiro Neto.

  • Guilty of a Cardinal sin?

    21-Feb-2000

    I am not one known to put pen to paper and sound off on a letters page. I am no "Concerned of Croydon". But I cannot stand by and watch the global behemoth of multinational business-law kill off another legal institution.We have few enough symbols of our profession's status, history and value to allow another one to pass without a voice raised in protest.With the law being dominated by young turks working night andday on multi-billion ...

  • Insurance company warns its panel over BarDirect schemes

    21-Feb-2000

    Insurance company Broker Direct has issued a warning to its panel of law firms not to prevent chambers initiating BarDirect schemes.Insurance director Neil Harris says that the warning came as a result of hearing evidence of some London solicitors threatening to cut off instructions to chambers which accept direct instructions from insurers."I have spoken to chambers which have said they would be delighted to receive a contract for services from an insurance ...

  • It ain't what you do, it's the way that you do IT

    21-Feb-2000

    Information technology is now vital to all businesses and law firms have to make sure that they have the right IT strategy. Charles Christian reports on how the IT department is infiltrating the boardroom.This year The Lawyer's Information Systems conference is celebrating its twelfth anniversary. And as new technologies and information systems play an ever-greater part in shaping our working lives, it has never been more relevant as a forum for exchanging ...

  • It's been a bad week for...

    21-Feb-2000

    Wig makers, after Lord Chief Justice Lord Bingham said the trial process should not expose defendants under the age of 18 to "avoidable intimidation, humiliation or distress". So wigs and robes will be banned as will any "recognisable police presence". The direction came in the wake of a European Court of Human Rights ruling that James Bulger's killers experienced "intimidation" during their trial.Jack "will-no-one-rid-me-of-this

  • It's been a good week for...

    21-Feb-2000

    Lord Irvine. The Lord Chancellor will now have home-grown art expertise next time he redoes his apartment after his wife was appointed as a trustee of the Wallace art collection. Lady Irvine, who has an MA in the history of art and a "broad-based background in the visual arts", was given her new role by Irvine's old pupil Tony Blair.The Lockerbie suspects. The resignation of Lord Hardie (above) from the team preparing the prosecution ...

  • James Chapman & Co advises Man U on £30m sponsorship

    21-Feb-2000

    James Chapman & Co is advising Manchester United on a £30m sponsorship deal, which it claims is the largest ever for any sports club.The world's biggest telecommunications company Vodafone has signed a four-year deal worth £7.5m a year.Its sponsorship will include mobile phone and internet access to the team's supporters and the right to use the Old Trafford club's brand.Manchester United's previous sponsor, electrical ...

  • Law Lords to hear SA challenge

    21-Feb-2000

    The compensation hopes of thousands of South Africans suffering from asbestos-related diseases now rest with the House of Lords. The Law Lords have agreed to hear a final challenge to earlier court orders that the compensation claims should be heard in South Africa rather than the UK High Court. Lawyers representing the South Africans argued that if the claims against Cape plc are heard in South Africa they are almost certainly doomed to failure. They believe the only hope of success ...

  • Law school to teach pro-bono

    24-Feb-2000

    The goal is to provide all students with the opportunity to engage in pro bono work and get a credit for it.

  • Lawrence Tucketts set for merger with Trumps

    21-Feb-2000

    Bristol-based law firms Lawrence Tucketts and Trumps are merging to form the third largest firm in the region - rivalling Osborne Clarke and Burges Salmon.Under the structure of the new 30-partner firm, the managing partner of Trumps, Robert Bourns, and the senior partner at Lawrence Tucketts, Tim ...

  • Legal Widow

    21-Feb-2000

    The children have been decanted into three different households where they will be fed and bedded down in far more style, I am sure, than they ever get at home.

  • Linklaters acts on Lastminute listing

    21-Feb-2000

    Linklaters & Alliance has pulled off a coup by providing both UK and US advice on the listing of its first-time client Lastminute.com.The firm clinched the deal to advise the internet firm - which specialises in last minute discounted bookings for everything from theatre tickets to international flights - on its initial public offering (IPO) on both the London Stock Exchange and Nasdaq for ...

  • Litigation Personal Injury 21/2/2000

    21-Feb-2000

    Anita Sherwood v Buckingham Health Authority QBD (Curtis J) 18 October 1999Claimant: Female, newborn at date of accident; 12 years old at date of trial.Incident: The claimant was born at the defendant's hospital in December 1986 after a delivery that was negligently prolonged by up to two hours. Scans had been taken by hospital staff which displayed abnormal readings and indicated fetal distress, but no responsive action was taken. Liability admitted.

  • Litigation Writs 21/2/2000

    21-Feb-2000

    A van driver from Bedford is heading for a High Court showdown with Cambridge University over an accident in 1996 in which he was badly injured. Vincent Pierri of Elston, Bedford, suffered neck and back injuries, cuts, pain and shock and was left suffering from anxiety, stress and depression. His claim alleges that the accident, which took place on 28 November 1996, was caused when his Transit van was in a collision with a Ford Escort van being driven ...

  • Magic circle firms top charts among leading corporates

    21-Feb-2000

    Magic circle firms are pulling away from the rest of the pack when it comes to corporate finance work, according to a survey.Slaughter and May, Linklaters, Freshfields, Clifford Chance and

  • Marina Palomba on The Sun's defence to breach of copyright. Marina Palomba is a partner at DJ Freeman.

    21-Feb-2000

    The Court of Appeal, on 10 February, held that there is no statutory defence of public interest to a breach of copyright.Hyde Park Residence, a company controlled by Mohamed Al Fayed, brought an action against The Sun newspaper and others for, among other things, breach of copyright in relation to photographs of Diana, Princess of Wales and Dodi Fayed visiting Villa Windsor on the evening of their tragic accident.The photographs ...

  • Michelin man joins Archibald Andersen

    21-Feb-2000

    Blake Redding, former general counsel of Michelin, has joined Archibald Andersen as a partner in its international corporate department.Redding says the motivation for leaving French tyre manufacturer Michelin after five years was to return to private practice and an admiration for Archibald Andersen's commitment to multi-disciplinary practice.Archibald Andersen is the French member firm of legal services network Andersen Legal.Redding says: ...

  • MoD agency puts faith in three firms

    21-Feb-2000

    Eversheds, Bond Pearce, Michelmores and Richard Paddock & Partners have secured places on the Defence Estates Agency's first ever panel.The firms beat off competition from 16 other firms who tendered for the work.

  • Nicholsons poaches IT partner

    22-Feb-2000

    He has been a partner in Rowe & Maw since 1973 and is regarded within the industry as a leading lawyer for Information Technology.

  • Nurse Nancy sparks judicial porn review

    21-Feb-2000

    The British Board of Film Classification is challenging the release of seven hard-core porn movies. Roger Pearson reports.A test case aimed at curbing the risk of children being exposed to hard-core porn is heading for the High Court.Leave has been given by Mr Justice Forbes for an urgent challenge to be brought in the High Court by the British Board of Film Classification over seven explicit videos which are heading for distribution in the UK.

  • OFGEM APPOINTS FIRST HEAD OF LEGAL

    25-Feb-2000

    Leading competition and energy law partner Charles Bankes will join the Office of Gas and Electricity Markets (OFGEM) for two years on secondment to establish the role.

  • One King's Bench swoops as sets sink

    21-Feb-2000

    One King's Bench Walk has profited from the demise of two sets by taking on five of their former tenants.Three barristers have just joined from the now defunct Queen Elizabeth Building: its former head Lindsay Burn, and two senior criminal practitioners, Jonathan Lowen and James Pavry.The set is also taking on Charles Howard QC, a highly-rated matrimonial finance barrister, from George Carman QC's dissolving New Court Chambers.Howard, who ...

  • Perrin's View

    21-Feb-2000

    Leslie Perrin is managing partner of Osborne Clarke. He can be contacted at leslie.perrin@osborneclarke.comI am as baffled as a trainee in a magic circle firm who has been given a weekend off. The cause of my confusion is pro bono work. While I admire the dedication of lawyers who work pro bono, I am transfixed by the "official" definition of pro bono work given by the ...

  • Powell Goldstein opens WTO office in Geneva

    21-Feb-2000

    US firm Powell Goldstein Frazer & Murphy has opened an office in Geneva, home of the World Trade Organization.The Atlanta-based firm claims to have the world's largest WTO practice. It also says it is the first US firm to open in Geneva to do only WTO work.The office, which opened last Monday, will be headed by Scott Anderson, who joins Powell Goldstein as a partner from the office of the US trade representative, where he was legal adviser to the US's ...

  • Property

    21-Feb-2000

    Forsters commercial property partners Smita Edwards and Martin Halling led a 10-strong team representing Northern Retail Properties on the acquisition of 28 retail units from Sears for more than £21m. Titmuss Sainer Dechert acted for Sears.

  • Property

    21-Feb-2000

    Rowe & Maw acted for BG Staff Pension Scheme on three property acquisitions, all led by property partner James Black. The first project was the site acquisition and forward funding of an office development in Watford, on which Theodore Goddard acted for developer Gryphon Developments. In the second, the pension scheme bought a warehousing estate in Camberley from BG Property Holdings, which was advised by Berwin Leighton. The third was a purchase and forward funding ...

  • Property

    21-Feb-2000

    CMS Cameron McKenna represented Prestbury Capital Ventures on the acquisition of a portfolio of commercial properties from a private client of coporate advisers Jones Lang Lasalle for £188m. Property partner Jon Vivian led the four-partner team, Olswang acted for the vendor on the corporate aspects,

  • Quote of the week

    21-Feb-2000

    "We were going to put him out of the window sitting on the ledge but we allowed him to take the elevator instead."- A Mannesman source commenting on how the £64bn offer from Chris Gent, chief executive at Vodafone, was received.

  • Rehabilitation is best form of compensation

    21-Feb-2000

    It is a regrettable fact of life that all of us can expect within our lifetime to be a victim, or acquainted with a victim, of personal injury.Society recognises this by increasing layers of insurance cover designed to protect (by way of risk management) and compensate (by way of voluntary or compulsory insurance cover) to an extent that was unheard of only 20 or 30 years ago.However, we now need to concentrate not so much on the "wants" ...

  • ROOKS RIDER TAKES HAMLINS PARTNER

    25-Feb-2000

    Tresman, who has come from West End firm Hamlins, has been given the job of boosting the firm's family law team after it lost partner Erica Shelton and three assistants to Charles Russell last September

  • Rowe & Maw gains ICI's deputy general counsel

    21-Feb-2000

    City firm Rowe & Maw is taking on ICI's deputy general counsel as a corporate partner.Bob Peters has been in-house at ICI for more than 20 years and has worked on all the pharmaceutical giant's major merger and acquisition work.Rowe & Maw is one of ICI's main corporate advisers, alongside Freshfields and Allen & Overy.But Peters says: "I am not ...

  • Scuffle of the week

    21-Feb-2000

    British American Tobacco v the Health Select Committee. BAT's chairman Martin Broughton accused MPs on the committee of running a 'kangaroo court' after they asked him and former Chancellor Kenneth Clarke, the company's deputy chairman, about allegations regarding smuggling cigarettes into Canada. At the committee, Broughton ripped up an internal memo referring to smuggling and said: 'The words select committee mean kangaroo court. I think this ...

  • Search for premises delays sets merger

    21-Feb-2000

    The merger between 4-5 Gray's Inn Square and Monckton Chambers has been held up because the sets cannot find suitable new premises.Tony Wells, chambers dir-ector at 4-5 Gray's Inn, says: "There is one fundamental issue to be dealt with - finding a location."However, discussions are ongoing. The issue is being addressed and will be overcome."The two sets have been expected to announce a full merger for the last two weeks - as revealed on ...

  • Second partner switches from Theodores to US firm in week

    21-Feb-2000

    US firm Jones Day Reavis & Pogue has lured Theodore Goddards' head of corporate finance John Clark to join its London office.Clark is the second department head to leave Theodores for a US firm in a week.Last week, The Lawyer revealed that head of tax Tim Sanders was joining McDermott ...

  • Shearmans raids A&O as part of London expansion drive

    21-Feb-2000

    US firm Shearman & Sterling has poached an Allen & Overy partner as part of a drive to expand its London office.Marke Raines is joining Shearmans to set up a UK securitisation practice. He is thought to be the first A&O partner to be lured to a top-level New York firm.Leading ...

  • Simmons acts first on new Hong Kong index

    21-Feb-2000

    The Hong Kong office of City firm Simmons & Simmons has acted on the first private company listing on a new market of the Hong Kong stock exchange.The firm advised investment bank ICEA Capital, which is the global co-ordinator, sponsor and lead managerfor the listing of Yuxing InfoTech Holdings, a high-tech company based in Beijing.The new index, the Growth Enterprise Market (GEM), is Hong Kong's equivalent of the Techmark index, which

  • Six firms cut from panel as Sif prepares for end

    21-Feb-2000

    The Solicitors Indemnity Fund (Sif) has cut its panel of law firms from 20 to 14 in preparation for its demise.Lovells, Pinsent Curtis and Morgan Cole are among the firms to survive the cull - at the expense of Blake Lapthorn, Ince ...

  • SJ Berwin sparks salary war

    21-Feb-2000

    SJ Berwin will spark a wages war among City firms by boosting its assistants' salaries by as much as 25 per cent.Sources say the firm is likely to raise its rates to around £45,000 for newly-qualified assistants.Senior partner David Harrell says the new rates have not yet been set, but that the move is being made to keep pace with significant salary increases driven ...

  • Slaughters makes play for best friend in Paris

    21-Feb-2000

    Slaughter and May is grooming leading Parisian practice Bredin Prat to become its first French best friend.Head of corporate Nigel Boardman says the firm has been talking to a variety of French operations, but adds that negotiations with other firms are now over."The relationship with Bredin Prat is much further ahead. We have met them and have talked about how we can ...

  • Solicitor is appointed to High Court

    21-Feb-2000

    A solicitor has been appointed to the High Court bench direct from private practice for the first time.Dr Lawrence Collins QC is heading the Chancery Division following his appointment by the Queen. He will take up his new role in October.The Lord Chancellor Lord Irvine welcomed the decision: "High Court judges are appointed strictly on merit and I am delighted that we have been able to make a little history with this appointment. Lawrence Collins is an outstanding ...

  • Sullivans suffers first partner exit

    21-Feb-2000

    US firm Sullivan & Cromwell has lost its first ever partner - to rivals Skadden Arps Slate Meagher & Flom.The Paris office of Skaddens is taking Pierre Servan-Schreiber, one of France's leading M&A lawyers, from Sullivans to become joint head of the practice.

  • Susan Ward

    21-Feb-2000

    Susan Ward is set to take the reins as general counsel at the London Clearing House. Fiona Callister enters her world of organised chaos.

  • Switalski leaves net music start-up after only a month

    21-Feb-2000

    Mystery surrounds Gillian Switalski's departure from her post as head of legal at internet music wholesaler Startle after just one month in the post.In December, Switalski left wholesale broker Garban Intercapital where she was worldwide legal director, director of compliance and company secretary, to join Startle.However, she has since left the company and it is unclear where she has gone.Tony Prior, chief operating officer at Startle, says: ...

  • Technology, Media and Telecommunications

    21-Feb-2000

    Edge Ellison advised Williams de Broe, brokers to Future Integrated Telephony, on the telecoms firm's placing and open offer to shareholders to raise £8.1m. Corporate partner Paul Cliff advised Williams de Broe, while Eversheds advised Future Integrated Telephony.

  • Technology, Media and Telecommunications

    21-Feb-2000

    Kingsley Napley acted for e-business and IT company IMRglobal on its acquisition of Intuitive Group for $18m (£11.25m). Commercial partner David Moss led the two-lawyer team acting for IMRglobal, while Tarlo Lyons partner Lawrence Phillips acted for the Intuitive Group and all but two of the shareholders, who were represented by

  • The business of IT

    21-Feb-2000

    In a year when the IT industry matured, and indeed dominated the headlines, it is not surprising that the role of the IT director and the skills needed for that position have come under scrutiny.Where once the role needed only a technician capable of comprehending obscure programming languages and responding to esoteric demands at a fixed pace, it now demands a business strategist capable of understanding what technology can achieve for the business and telling ...

  • The phoney war

    21-Feb-2000

    Vodafone's takeover of Mannesmann was not only one of the largest acquisitions ever, it was the first time a UK company mounted a successful hostile bid for a German company. Dearbail Jordan reports on the battle of the telecoms giants.

  • Top silk quits One Essex Court for his former love

    21-Feb-2000

    Leading One Essex Court silk Jeffrey Gruder QC has quit to return to his former chambers, rival magic circle set Essex Court.Gruder's defection, to the set, where he was a pupil and spent his first 15 years of practice, is believed to be the only senior lateral move between magic circle chambers since he left Essex Court seven years ago.Gruder, who started at Essex Court on Wednesday last week, has built up a leading commercial practice. His return will ...

  • Wiggin & Co builds up its media team

    21-Feb-2000

    Wiggin & Co has poached a partner from Schilling & Lom in an attempt to bolster its media department.Simon Baggs joined the Cheltenham-based firm last week, bringing with him a portfolio of "heavy-hitting corporates" in music and media.Initially, Baggs will work as an associate alongside media partner Caroline Kean, but he is expected to join the firm's tightknit equity structure ...