21 July 2003

The Lawyer

  • 35 Essex Street captures eleven lawyers from rivals

    21-Jul-2003

    Two former heads of chambers, including Robert Rhodes QC of 4 King's Bench Walk (4KBW) and a mix of nine other lawyers and barristers, have joined Christopher Wilson-Smith QC's 35 Essex Street.Rhodes's distinguished career includes major espionage cases. He recently represented a defendant at The Hague War Crimes Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia and acted in the Wickes case.Rhodes was at the centre of allegations by the Bar Council that he had not taken reasonable steps ...

  • Accident plan

    21-Jul-2003

    The Government is hoping to dig itself out of a hole with its new £30K NHS redress scheme. But will victims of negligence get short changed?

  • Arthur Cox takes over Gerrard Scallan

    21-Jul-2003

    Major Irish firm Arthur Cox is set to absorb the rump of Dublin corporate firm Gerrard Scallan & O’Brien, as reported on www.thelawyer. com/lawyernews (15 July).Three Gerrard Scallan partners - John Glacan, Bryan Strahan and Hugh O’Donnell - will join Arthur Cox, which is one of Ireland’s top-rated corporate firms.Arthur Cox managing partner James O’Dwyer said: “There’ll be a transition periodand [Gerrard Scallan] will phase out. We’re taking key staff and portfolio ...

  • Ashursts takes French league tables by storm

    21-Jul-2003

    Revenue hike of 47 per cent hoists Ashursts into top 20; domestic firms fall behind with slow growth

  • BBC Worldwide shakes up legal dept after shock exit

    21-Jul-2003

    BBC Worldwide has overhauled its legal department and company secretary functions following the departure of corporate legal affairs director and company secretary Jonathan Holder in May.The new post of group company lawyer will be taken by James Stevenson, who joins from Eckoh Techno-logies (formerly 365 Corpora-tion). He will also fill the company secretary position. Martyn Freeman has been promoted to take the new role of group head of legal affairs.Stevenson, formerly ...

  • Burn it up

    21-Jul-2003

    The High Court's ignorance of popular culture was highlighted again by Confetti Records v Warner Music. Stephen Gare and David Harmsworth warn of the potential pitfalls in record deals

  • Camerons takes an axe to Washington DC arm

    21-Jul-2003

    CMS Cameron McKenna is drastically scaling down its Washington DC office in a bid to streamline its international practice.Two partners, Greg Williams and Joel Zipp, will be leaving the firm, while 16 of the office's 23 staff will also be affected.US partner Bridget Shahan will remain as the only partner in the office, which will effectively be run from London by projects partner Fiona ...

  • Charles Russell boosts core TMT, private client and charities areas

    21-Jul-2003

    Charles Russell has gone on a hiring spree in its core areas of media and technology, private client and charities, taking on three partners and a consultant.The firm has hired Pinsents Birmingham head of personal tax and trusts Stephen Pallister, Gordon Dadds media litigator Patrick Gearon and former DJ Freeman IT partner David Schollenberger as partners.It ...

  • Chelsfield management brings in A&O for MBO

    21-Jul-2003

    Allen & Overy has been brought in alongside regular adviser SJ Berwin to advise the management team of Chelsfield on a possible management buyout (MBO) that could be worth up to £2bn.The property company has traditionally used Ashurst Morris Crisp and SJ Berwin as its regular advisers. A&O has not previously ...

  • Clarification

    21-Jul-2003

    In an article in the 7 July edition, we reported that Middleton Potts had fought off a £30m claim against it. Middleton Potts has asked us to point out that the settlement included a dismissal of the claim against the firm with no payment made to the claimants.

  • Cobbetts, Lee Crowder aim for May merger

    21-Jul-2003

    Manchester and Leeds firm Cobbetts and Birm- ingham's Lee Crowder have set themselves an October deadline for concluding their merger talks.The two firms, which have known each other for many years, decided to investigate a possible tie-up in March this year. If the green light is given in October, the firms will aim to complete the merger by May 2004."We're now at the due diligence stage, and the next milestone is to come to a binding agreement, which we want by the end ...

  • Community action and pro bono Steptoe & Johnson helps out in a case of mistaken identity

    21-Jul-2003

    There is an Asian old age pensioner in Bethnal Green who speaks limited English and is being plagued by demands from credit agencies for money he claims never to have spent.He wears traditional Islamic dress, but the credit agencies are threatening to send the bailiffs round for money owed on purchases from clothes shops such as Austin Reed, which he says he has never visited. This man may have had his identity stolen.This is the case being put forward by lawyers from the ...

  • Corporate deals round-up

    21-Jul-2003

    Eversheds (Martin Letza, Rachel Eccleston, David Tilly) advised Iron Mountain Europe on its acquisition of the records and information management services business of Hays for £200m. Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer acted for Hays.

  • Covington chooses new London chief

    21-Jul-2003

    Covington & Burling's London office is set to usher in its next phase of development after appointing a new managing partner.John Rupp, a London partner specialising in litigation, arbitration and regulatory work as well as corporate matters, will take over as managing partner of the office on 1 August.He will replace telecoms and media partner Kurt Wimmer, who has held the post for the past three years and is due to return to the firm's Washington office.During ...

  • David Mills courts new storm with Iranian job

    21-Jul-2003

    David Mills, the husband of Tessa Jowell MP, has left his firm Gordon Dadds to become UK managing director and in-house lawyer for the private Iranian company that placed him at the heart of a political storm earlier this year.Mills was recently revealed to have asked Baroness Symonds to help him secure a £125m aircraft deal for Iranian private trading company ILTC in 2001.He has now left Gordon Dadds, where he was an equity partner, to work full ...

  • Dentons aids Babcock on limited partner PFI

    21-Jul-2003

    Denton Wilde Sapte has advised Babcock & Brown on a rare PFI scheme with a limited partnership structure.Launched by the Calderdale Metropolitan Borough Council, the £70m deal is the second schools PFI that Dentons and Babcock have closed in the space of a month; it follows hard on the heels of the smaller Derbyshire schools PFI, which Dentons and Babcock worked on together last month.Dentons' head of project finance Howard Barrie led a team that advised on an innovative ...

  • Digby-Bell voted off Law Society Council

    21-Jul-2003

    'Maverick' ousted from City seat as Linklaters partner Alexandra Marks takes over

  • DLA looks north for new management material

    21-Jul-2003

    The Leeds insolvency head at DLA Mark Jackson has fought off competition from London banking partner David Hughes to take a place on the management board.The place became available after corporate partner Alastair da Costa gave up his position to take over as head of corporate. (It is not possible for group heads or office managing partners to also have a place on the management board.)"Their platforms were similar," said a DLA source. "They'd give the independent views ...

  • European Commission holds on to regulatory star ranking

    21-Jul-2003

    The European Commission has matched last year's ranking among the world's regulators despite major defeats before the Court of First Instance (CFI), according to a survey by competition policy and regulation journal 'Global Competition Review'.The survey found that 99 per cent of the commission's merger work was sound and that the commission had "responded to constructive advice". The rankings of all the other major regulators - the US, Germany, the UK, France and Italy - ...

  • Eversheds ousts Olswang in Hewlett-Packard review

    21-Jul-2003

    Olswang has lost out to Eversheds in Hewlett-Packard's final post-merger review of its law firms.Hewlett-Packard completed the UK and Ireland part of its merger with Compaq in February 2003 and has been streamlining its legal advisers since then.The final stage covers employment and has resulted in the appoi

  • Ex-Altheimer chief returns to broker European sell-off

    21-Jul-2003

    Louis Goldman, the former head of the international practice group at Altheimer & Gray, who resigned from the firm in May this year, has resurfaced and is helping broker a takeover deal involving the firm's Central and Eastern European offices.Salans is currently in pole position to take over the Czech, Polish, Romanian, Slovakian and Ukranian practices, which are all managed by Altheimer's European head Robert Bata.Sources say that ...

  • Fail mail

    21-Jul-2003

    The Law Society has taken a shock piece of decisive action with a vehement and determined stance with regards to its - wait for it - post. Earlier this month it tried to hold elections for seats on its ruling council, but failed to get the ballot papers to members on time. Chief executive Janet Paraskeva wrote a strongly-worded letter to members, blaming the delay on the pesky Electoral Reform Service (ERS) and its DX service."When it became apparent… that these delays were ...

  • FIRM PROFILE: Steeles

    21-Jul-2003

    No one could accuse Steeles of a lack of ambition: the Norwich-based firm was one of the first law firms to have a PC network connecting its offices in the 1980s; it was the first law firm to take over the running of an entire legal department for a local authority, when it took over legal services for Broadland District Council nine years ago; and it was also the first winner of The Lawyer Law Firm of the Year Award in 1992.Now, with the June recruitment of Peter Scott, the former ...

  • Foul play

    21-Jul-2003

    Do the astronomical wages of footballers justify their lack of control over their choice of employer? Sean Dempsey examines the current legal situation facing the next David Beckham

  • Freshfields Germany challenges London

    21-Jul-2003

    Frankfurt and Düsseldorf jubilant as year-end figures outshine UK colleagues

  • FTC Comp Bureau boss decamps

    21-Jul-2003

    The director of the Federal Trade Commission's (FTC) Bureau of Competition Joseph Simons has quit to return to private practice.As reported on www. thelawyer.com/lawyernews (14 July), Simons, formerly a partner at Clifford Chance's Washington DC office, is to be replaced by deputy director Susan Creighton. Simons is due to leave the FTC on 1 August, although his destination is still unknown.

  • Fulbright shores up international department

    21-Jul-2003

    Fulbright & Jaworski has finally appointed replacements to chair its international department, nearly six months after the former incumbent stepped down.Mark Baker, co-chair of the international arbitration group, and Jeffrey Blount, partner in charge of Ful-bright's Hong Kong office, will co-chair the international group.They replace Steven Pfeiffer, who was elected as chairman of the executive committee in January. Prior to this appointment, Pfeiffer was ...

  • Hailsham Chambers loses two barristers

    21-Jul-2003

    Dr Michael Powers QC, a clinical negligence specialist, is leaving Hailsham Chambers to join Clerksroom in Taunton as the head of its clinical negligence team. Powers, who is also a qualified doctor, will be the first silk to join the case management centre on a full-time basis. Hailsham has also lost professional negligence specialist Mark Simpson, to Fountain Court Chambers. Simpson, who was called to the bar in 1992, has appeared in Hall v Simons and Dubai Aluminium. He is currently ...

  • Herbert Smith lands Dentons' Hong Kong IP head

    21-Jul-2003

    Denton Wilde Sapte's head of intellectual property (IP) and technology, media and telecoms in Asia Bina Cunningham has quit to become a senior consultant at Herbert Smith's Hong Kong office. Her departure from Dentons' Hong Kong office leaves the firm with no IP partners in Asia. However, the head of Dentons' Hong Kong office Martin Downey said there were no plans to replace Cunningham.

  • HMV legal chief made redundant

    21-Jul-2003

    The HMV Group has taken the dramatic step of making company secretary and general counsel Graham Howell redundant following a restructuring of the company’s legal function.A company spokesperson said that a review carried out a year after its flotation revealed considerable overlap between the legal and HR function at HMV. Following the review Howell’s position became a redundant one.HMV is not looking for a direct replacement for Howell and is instead looking for someone ...

  • Howard Kennedy to merge with Amhurst Brown

    21-Jul-2003

    Howard Kennedy is to merge with 10-partner St James's practice Amhurst Brown Colombotti. The deal, which goes live on 1 September, will give Howard Kennedy access to Amhurst Brown's network of associated offices in six cities, including Islamabad, Madrid and Moscow. The combined firm will have a turnover of around £23m and 56 partners. The merger will particularly boost Howard Kennedy's property and private client practices.

  • Image scrimmage

    21-Jul-2003

    Real Madrid's capture of David Beckham highlights a thorny issue that the English judiciary has had to thrash out - 'image rights'.

  • Land Securities eyes up elite City law firms

    21-Jul-2003

    Nabarro Nathanson is continuing to lose its vice-like grip on key client Land Securities as the property giant has been instructing firms outside its panel.Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer, Herbert Smith and Slaughter ...

  • Law Centres Federation protects its good name

    21-Jul-2003

    The Law Centres Federation has registered the name Law Centre® as a trademark to stop rogue businesses setting themselves up as 'law centres'. England and Wales' 54 real law centres provide free legal advice to people without access to justice. The federation was concerned about non-solicitor agencies calling themselves law centres and providing legal services.

  • Lawyer advised on flotation

    21-Jul-2003

    If you're packing for your summer hols at the moment, spare a thought for poor old Charles Martin of Macfarlanes. While it's considered okay these days for your kids to beat you at Nintendo, that simply doesn't apply when it comes to watersports. The thinking chez Martin, though, is that Daddy is letting the family down with his rubbish sailing.Martin, a relative novice to the yachtie world, ...

  • Lawyers despair as RBS demands uniform billing

    21-Jul-2003

    Helen Power explains why RBS's decision to harmonise rates across the board is bad news for lawyers

  • LEADER

    21-Jul-2003

    Something has happened to the partnership structures at Lovells and Clifford Chance while no one was looking: salaried partner creep.German mergers were a factor, and it has happened over two years rather than overnight, but the salaried partner concept has become ensconced and is on the increase all over the City.Prior to their Anglo-German mergers, the firms made up partners ...

  • Legal Eagle

    21-Jul-2003

    Tulkinghorn would like to congratulate Eddie 'the Eagle' Edwards for achieving a 2:2 in law. The UK's most loved Olympic ski jumper has just graduated with a law degree from De Montfort University in Leicester and, like all his fellow graduates who are aspiring to become the new Tulkinghorn, is now weighing up his options.The Eagle said: "The main reason I did the degree is because it opens up so many avenues to me. I'm interested in a career in the legal profession."Dear ...

  • Legal Widow

    21-Jul-2003

    After months of trying to find out from the Lawyer where the rest of his holiday had got to (I kept receiving replies like: "They're being very tough on time off at the moment," and "I can't just take off at a moment's notice, you know.") I actually rang the personnel department and found out that he had two clear weeks he could take any time this summer. I saved my fury, and booked us straight into a family hotel in Cornwall, subverting the normal process by which the Lawyer prevaricates ...

  • Minters in BA, Qantas DVT appeal

    21-Jul-2003

    Minter Ellison clients Qantas and British Airways (BA) will seek to overturn an Australian Supreme Court decision on deep vein thrombosis (DVT) on 28 July.They are confident of success following a 1 July UK Court of Appeal ruling in their favour. Barlow Lyde & Gilbert partner Nick Hughes advised the airlines in that case.Peter Bartlett, the Min-ters partner leading the Qantas defence team, argued that the Australian judge was wrong in finding that a "failure to warn" ...

  • New in-houser sparks adviser rejig at Waters

    21-Jul-2003

    Bingham McCutchen retains US corporate role; Lawrence Graham picked for UK

  • OPINION

    21-Jul-2003

    Party election broadcasts (PEBs) are carried by all the major broadcasters in the run-up to UK elections. They are the only opportunity for political parties to broadcast a TV item that they themselves produce and control. As such, although many viewers may simply regard them as a chance to make a cup of tea, considerable stock is placed on them by the parties.A long-running campaign by the ProLife Alliance to include footage of abortions and aborted foetuses in its party election ...

  • Peterborough to pick sole legal adviser

    21-Jul-2003

    Peterborough City Council is set to name just one firm to cover all its legal needs.Solicitor to the council Mark Hynes has run a beauty parade of four firms to decide who will pocket the lion's share of his annual £1.8m budget.Hynes declined to name the four firms, but The Lawyer understands that they are Nabarro Nathanson, E

  • Prize idiots

    21-Jul-2003

    Ahh - aren't the guys at Altheimer & Gray's London office lovely? We hear that the generous souls offered a two-week internship to a lucky student at The American School in London. This fantastic gift, we're told, was a prize in a charity auction that the school held in spring.What a crying shame, then, that some poor unfortunate student will not be able to claim this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. Well, not since Altheimer is collapsing under millions and millions of dollars ...

  • RBS in panic letter to law firms as e-tender looms

    21-Jul-2003

    The Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) has moved to placate its law firm banking clients as they await the results of the grossly unpopular online tender for its new group legal panel.In an unprecedented move, the bank has taken the step of writing to a number of law firms in a bid to appease them.The corporate banking arm counts many RBS adviser firms as banking clients.Firms have been complaining about RBS's squeeze on fees and the arduous bidding process run by procurement ...

  • Reynolds Porter in regional move

    21-Jul-2003

    High-end insurance firm Reynolds Porter Chamberlain has acquired South West practice SJ Cornish Solicitors in anticipation of setting up a low-value bulk claims practice.Midmarket insurance firms such as Beachcroft Wansbroughs have long used less expensive regional offices to process thousands of insurance claims at a low margin, but this has never been a market for Reynolds ...

  • Running off at the mouth

    21-Jul-2003

    It's a brave lawyer who mentions their profession in public, as several Nicholson Graham & Jonesers discovered last weekend. A team of runners from the firm, which was sponsoring and acting as legal adviser to the British 10K Road Race, hit the streets of London the weekend before last to raise money for the Teenage Cancer Trust and the Lord Mayor's Appeal for Save the Children. But rather than receiving thanks for their help, the team - the members of which were conspicuous in ...

  • SFO drops laundering charges

    21-Jul-2003

    The Serious Fraud Office (SFO) has withdrawn charges against a client of Robert Rhodes QC who was accused of conspiring to launder millions of pounds. The unique case may result in an action against the Government.Elzbieta Koberstein was extradited from Germany last September having already spent six months in custody. She was subsequently forced to turn down two bail offers of £100,000 and £10,000 as she could not afford them, before being granted bail without financial ...

  • Short and sweet

    21-Jul-2003

    Tulkinghorn caused a stir in the insolvency world last month with his revelations about a certain high-profile practitioner who once got up on stage at a sex bar in Malaga to be fellated by a dwarf.Now he hears that the management at this man's firm was so alarmed that this titbit had entered the public domain that they have decided to take abortive action. The firm has ruled that our insolvency star must be chaperoned by another partner at every networking event.

  • Simmons drops client as Takeover Panel investigates Madame Ojjeh

    21-Jul-2003

    Simmons & Simmons has moved to distance itself from an embarrassing involvement with high-profile multimillionairess Madame Nahed Ojjeh, who was slammed by the Takeover Panel for her part in the hostile battle for Cordiant.Paris-based Ojjeh, the wife of deceased billionaire arms dealer Akram Ojjeh, breached the Takeover Code for failing to disclose her dealings in Cordiant shares. While indirectly advised by Simmons she failed to make the proper disclosures over a series of share ...

  • Skadden Arps Slate Meagher & Flom scores big after signing Abramovich

    21-Jul-2003

    The London office of Skadden Arps Slate Meagher & Flom has inadvertently developed a booming football practice following its client Russian multimillionaire Roman Abramovich's purchase of Chelsea Football Club.Abramovich, who last week paid £17m for Blackburn Roversleftwinger Damien Duff and £6m for West Ham defender Glen Johnson, has made Skadden's ...

  • Sonnenschein cashes in as Altheimer lawyers jump ship

    21-Jul-2003

    The migration of lawyers from disintegrating Chicago firm Altheimer & Gray has begun in earnest, with four US practices snapping up a range of refugees.Chicago's Sonnenschein Nath & Rosenthal has bagged four partners, including Jeremy Margolis, head of Altheimer's litigation department and a member of the firm's executive committee.Litigator Robert Andalman and two real estate partners Barry Nekritz and Marjorie Zessar have also made the move to Sonnenschein.

  • Takeover Panel slams move to dilute shareholder power

    21-Jul-2003

    The Takeover Panel's 2002-03 annual report comes out strongly against any Europe-wide takeover directive that dilutes the power of UK shareholders.The panel criticised plans by other member states to dilute or even delete Article 9 of the proposed takeover directive, which restricts the power of company boards to fend off a takeover.The report states: "The panel would struggle to see the benefits of a directive that removed or weakened Article 9, and hence allowed target ...

  • Test case scenario created for US IPO conflicts

    21-Jul-2003

    A tentative outline for trying test cases in the litigation over the manipulation of initial public offerings (IPOs) during the internet boom has been agreed. Judge Shira Scheindlin of the Southern District of New York told lawyers for 55 securities firms and investors to have 10-20 "focus cases" selected by 5 January 2004. Investors filed suits claiming injury from Wall Street conflicts of interest and the so-called laddering of IPOs.

  • The healthy choice

    21-Jul-2003

    After resigning from his post as junior health minister over the Iraq war, Lord Hunt is joining Beachcrofts in its push for NHS dominance

  • The Home boys

    21-Jul-2003

    Home Office lawyers are critical to the Government's new initiative on unfounded asylum applications, says the Home Office Immigration Team

  • Time crisis

    21-Jul-2003

    The Government has proposed time limits on legal aid immigration work, heralding it as an attempt to improve quality. But Alison Stanley says it's all about the money

  • Tour de force

    21-Jul-2003

    First Choice Holidays legal director Andrew John has had to fight to keep the company healthy since 11 September. It's all an adventure, he tells Husnara Begum

  • TXU Europe lawyer quits for Cunningham John

    21-Jul-2003

    TXU Europe's former assistant general counsel Anna Soroko (left) has joined East Anglia's Cunningham John as a partner. She brings extensive experience advising on complex agreements, joint ventures, acquisitions and disposals in the oil, energy and power sectors. Prior to TXU, she was European head for Frianh and Ramanhi of Abu Dhabi, an assistant at Vinson & Elkins in Houston and senior in-house lawyer for Amoco (UK).