22 May 2000

The Lawyer

  • ...as DLA's rises by 11 per cent

    22-May-2000

    DLA has announced an 11 per cent rise in both turnover and profit for the last financial year.Gross fee income went up to £139.84m from £126.1m the year before, while profits per partner went up from £275,000 to £305,000.Managing partner Nigel Knowles says that the results show an "excellent financial performance".However, the growth figures are lower than some other national firms, with

  • A VIEW FROM CAIRO

    22-May-2000

    Mother of the World, as old as the Pyramids, Cairo is a thriving metropolis of 16 million people advancing resolutely into the modern commercial era. However, as the Egyptian economy was brought under centralised control in the 1950s and 1960s, the activities of the private sector were restricted and foreign investment declined. This situation began to change with President Sadat's Open Door policy in the mid-1970s, although moves towards a more market-based economy only gained ...

  • A Wellcome change

    22-May-2000

    As the largest charity in the world, the Wellcome Trust needs a firm that can handle its vast size without overlooking the specialised nature of charity law. Chris Brock talks to head of legal John Stewart to discover which firms meet the requirementAnnual expenditure: £600mAnnual external legal spend: approximately £900,000Group legal counsel: John StewartLegal team: two solicitors, Amanda Johnes and Tara Camm ...

  • A&O in alliance talks with Singapore firm

    22-May-2000

    ALLen & Overy has confirmed speculation that it is discussing a joint venture with leading Singapore banking firm Shook Lin & Bok.Both are reaching the final stages of negotiations to put forward a bid for one of only five licences available from the country's government. If granted, the licence would permit the two firms to work together in future.The licences, which will allow a foreign and local firm to adopt a shared brand and work in partnership on ...

  • A&O steals BT contract for e-commerce float

    22-May-2000

    British Telecommunications (BT) is instructing Allen & Overy for the first time to work on its radical corporate restructuring.BT has long-standing relationships with Freshfields and Linklaters, but it selected A&O in a beauty parade for work on the flotation of its international directories and e-commerce ...

  • Akin Gump merges to boost healthcare dept

    22-May-2000

    Washington DC firm Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld is merging with an 11-partner healthcare firm, making its health industry practice one of the largest in the US.The link-up with Green Stewart Farber & Anderson boosts Akin Gump's national practice to more than 40 lawyers.The firm already represents a broad range of healthcare bodies including hospitals, health systems, integrated delivery systems, physician groups and managed care organisations.

  • Amazon hires Morgan Lewis tax manager

    22-May-2000

    Morgan Lewis & Bockius is losing yet another tax specialist - this time to internet giant Amazon - as the USfirm restructures its international department.Robert Comfort, tax manager at Morgan Lewis' Philadelphia office, is joining the internet company to head its tax capability.Comfort is the fourth high-profile tax lawyer to have left the firm since the end of last year.In January this year, Morgan Lewis lost the chairman of its international ...

  • Andersen Legal's French arm snaps up Gide partner

    22-May-2000

    Andersen Legal's French legal arm SG Archibald has taken on top French banking and finance partner Jean Thibaud from Gide Loyrette Nouel.Former Gide Loyrette senior partner Thibaud had been with the firm for 19 years, five of which were spent in New York.His specialist areas include corporate finance, acquisition-related financing work and regulatory matters as well as project finance in Europe, Asia and Africa.At Paris-based SG Archibald he ...

  • Are you ready to break free from Sif?

    22-May-2000

    As the abolition of Sif gets closer Trevor Moss asks whether the qualifying insurers provide a viable alternative.With more of a whimper than a fanfare, the list of qualifying insurers was listed on the Law Society website last week. From 1 September, the Solicitor's Indemnity Fund (Sif) will cease to exist and solicitors' professional risk will be transferred to the insurance market.Last year, the profession contributed in ...

  • Berrymans Dubai head quits post for Sun Microsystems

    22-May-2000

    The head of Berrymans Lace Mawer’s Dubai office is joining Sun Microsystems as its first in-house lawyer at its Middle East office.Jason Blick, who announced his departure earlier this month, will be responsible for the Middle East and Africa and is the first internal lawyer to be based in Dubai.Prior to his appointment, the area was overseen from the IT giant’s Geneva ...

  • Biddle loses partner to US firm

    22-May-2000

    West Coast US firm Paul Hastings Janofsky & Walker is taking a partner from City firm Biddle, boosting its London office to 12 lawyers.Dual qualified banking and insolvency lawyer Karol Denniston led Biddle's US desk.She joins the US firm as of counsel, the equivalent of a salaried partner, and will focus on high yield debt, debt trading and international reorganisations.She says she is making the move to the US to do more focused work.

  • British Telecommunications

    22-May-2000

    Being at the helm of one of the largest in-house teams in the country is sometimes "pretty hair-raising", according to British Telecommunications' head of legal Alan Whitfield.

  • Case of the week

    22-May-2000

    David Calvert-Smith. The Director of Public Prosecutions has been told to think again about his decision not to bring manslaughter charges in the case of a death in custody. The Lord Chief Justice, Lord Bingham (right) has ordered the DPP to reconsider bringing prosecutions against officers at Blankenhurst prison where Alton Manning was a prisoner on remand. The inquest into Manning's death reached a verdict of unlawful killing.

  • Cripps hires Wates company secretary

    22-May-2000

    Leading south-east firm Cripps Harries Hall has taken on the company secretary of Wates Group, one of the biggest privately owned property groups in the country.William Mackie, who has been the lead legal counsel at the group since 1994, is joining the firm as a partner.Mackie has been at Wates for 14 years, during which time he has been involved in residential and commercial ...

  • Davis Wright forges first global e-commerce group

    22-May-2000

    Ten top international firms are launching the first global law firm alliance that focuses exclusively on e-commerce law and the internet.Led by 375-lawyer US firm Davis Wright Tremaine, the Global Alliance for eCommerce Law includes Australia's top-five firm Clayton Utz and leading Hong Kong practice Johnson Stokes & Master.The group has members in North and South America, Asia, the South Pacific, and the Middle East.It is in the process of talking ...

  • Denton Wilde Sapte scores government PPP hat trick

    22-May-2000

    Denton Wilde Sapte, Freshfields and Simmons & Simmons have beaten off four firms to win places on the Treasury Solicitor's first Private Public Partnership (PPP) panel.The firms will handle all PPP government work and will deal predominantly with the Home Office.The firms won places after undergoing a lengthy tendering process beginning in February, when seven firms were invited to bid for the places.The panel is only the third such arrangement ...

  • Digests

    22-May-2000

    SJ Berwin has appointed seven new partners. In London they are: Alex Leitch (litigation); Lewis Myers (property); Andrew Harris, Graham Nicholson and Mark Sanders (private equity group). In Madrid they are: Jullo Veloso Caro (corporate banking); and Javier Vicente Climent-Pallarés Morera (corporate tax). It has also recruited former Wilde Sapte IT director Simon Kosminsky.Hollis ...

  • Diligent marriages cause less heartache

    22-May-2000

    The problems being faced by CMS Cameron McKenna as it pushes for full integration are symptomatic of many firms that want to merge with their European alliances.The problem, it would seem, is due diligence, or rather the lack of it. With the first European alliances there was no need to conduct a concentrated bout of due diligence because the alliances were intended merely to be ...

  • Dutch firm joins DLA alliance

    22-May-2000

    DLA has confirmed that Dutch firm Schut & Grosheide has agreed to join its European Alliance DLA & Partners in the next few weeks - and says that another four firms will join within six months.The two firms are already working on joint ventures together after five months of talks.Talks between the two firms were first revealed by The Lawyer in April (The Lawyer, 10 April).DLA managing partner Nigel Knowles says that he can confidently predict that ...

  • Edge Ellison head of energy joins Salans

    22-May-2000

    Edge Ellison's head of energy is joining Salans Hertzfeld & Heilbronn to take advantage of its global coverage.Rory Tait is joining Salans as a senior solicitor.Tait says that he wants to become part of a more global set-up. "The area in which I work has been becoming global for some time, so my clients were starting to need advice overseas."At Edge Ellison, it was very much a domestic operation so I was looking to move into a more international ...

  • Faith, hope and clarity

    22-May-2000

    Recent changes to legislation may not appear to affect charities, but read the small print. Simon Wethered reports.In addition to the much trumpeted and well-publicised Government initiatives to boost charitable gifts under the title of "Getting Britain Giving", the recent changes to legislation will have a real impact on charities in trading, employment, contract law and data protection - but to find out what they are you'll have to read the small print.

  • Garrigues & Andersen top in Spain

    22-May-2000

    Garrigues & Andersen, the Spanish legal arm of Andersen Legal, is the number one firm in Spain, according to a survey in Spanish business newspaper Expancion.It has brought in the highest revenues and number of partners for the second year running.Ranked alongside Garrigues in the top five are: Cuatrecasas, Uria & Menendez, Landwell and Ernst & Young Abogados.Since merging with Andersen tax and legal in 1997, the firm has gone from strength to strength ...

  • Helen Hancock

    22-May-2000

    When banking partner Helen Hancock decided to leave Simmons & Simmons to be closer to her family, the firm offered her an alternative working arrangement. Tamzin Hindmarch meets a woman worth keeping.

  • It's been a bad week for...

    22-May-2000

    Belgian journalist Georges Ruggiu, who admitted that he had no defence against charges that his broadcasts helped incite the murder of 800,000 Tutsis and moderate Hutus in Rwanda in 1994. Ruggiu, on trial before a United Nations court, now faces a 20-year jail sentence.Law professor and detective fiction fan Jacques Viguier. Despite his profession and hobby, Viguier failed in his attempt of the perfect murder. Viguier claimed that he ...

  • It's been a good week for...

    22-May-2000

    Prisoners in the US, who can now turn to the guards trying to strap them into a "stun belt" or restraint chair and tell them that they are almost certainly violating the International Treaty Against Torture. A United Nations monitoring body has urged US officials to abolish these devices which are commonly used to transport prisoners. AmnestyInternational has asserted that in one case, a judge ordered that a prisoner was given an electric shock while appearing in ...

  • KLegal raids Cap Gemini and IBM in communications drive

    22-May-2000

    KPMG's associated law firm KLegal is recruiting three top in-house lawyers to boost its IT and telecoms group.The new team members, who are coming from IBM, Cap Gemini and Telecom New Zealand, will bring the number in the group to seven. It is led by high profile telecoms partner Chris Hoyle, who joined the firm from Rakisons earlier this year (The Lawyer, 7 February).The most senior member of the new team is Gilbert McClung, who is joining KLegal from IBM ...

  • Legal Widow

    22-May-2000

    Minutes of a meeting between Tom Henderson and Jack Pratchard at the Firm.

  • More one-stop problems

    22-May-2000

    It was pleasing to read "welcome to the two-stop shop" (1 May). It may interest your readers to know the issue of conflict goes further.It is not just whether a practice may conflict itself out of further work by taking litigation instructions, or whether a partner's appointment as an arbitrator creates more problems, but how firms will manage cross jurisdictional and multidisciplinary issues.The multidisciplinary partnership already ...

  • Nabarros named on DfEE consultant list

    22-May-2000

    Leading public sector firm Nabarro Nathanson has been named in the Department of Education and Employment's (DfEE's) list of providers and consultants.The firm is among those chosen by School Standards Minister Estelle Morris to deal with issues arising from an increasing number of local authority interventions in-volving failing and under-achieving schools.The School ...

  • Property

    22-May-2000

    SJ Berwin acted for the British Land Company on its £27.5m purchase of freehold properties from Standard Life Investments. Both Broadgate House and Eldon House have leases up to 2011 and total 72,000sq ft of space. Property partners Stephen Willson and Lewis Myers acted with a team of three on the deal while Herbert Smith advised Standard Life.

  • Quote of the week

    22-May-2000

    "We have people overseas and they probably met someone who recommended it over a gin and tonic."- Hyder's Geoff Williams on picking a good firm.

  • Rogers & Wells London loses partner to Lathams

    22-May-2000

    The London office of Rogers & Wells is losing a second partner to Latham & Watkins only five months after completing its merger with Clifford Chance.The five-partner office witnessed the departure of corporate partner Michael Immordino to Lathams in October last year. His colleague Olof Clausson ...

  • Rozenberg

    22-May-2000

    Perhaps I was a little harsh on the Lockerbie prosecutor Colin Boyd QC two weeks ago when I referred to him as "the hapless Lord Advocate". But the adjective is proving remarkably apt. Boyd had made it clear he was not ready to go ahead with the trial of the two Libyans accused of blowing up Pan Am 103. But his last-minute request for an eight-week delay was turned down by the presiding judge after he said he certainly had enough witnesses to start the case.He ...

  • Salary hikes may win battle but lose the war

    22-May-2000

    The current rush of salary reviews at top UK and US law firms has received a lot of attention.Given the scale of the increases this is not surprising, but it panders to the assumption that you only need to get the money high enough to solve the problem of recruiting and retaining the best staff.In fact, money is only part of the issue.There has been explosive growth in professional services. Internet start-ups, IT and management consultants, investment ...

  • Scuffle of the week

    22-May-2000

    Tom Winsor v Railtrack. A fight over a £10m fine is due to arrive in court soon - although no one is quite sure when. Railtrack is taking the rail regulator Winsor to the HighCourt over his decision to fine the track and signalling giant and the UK's best-loved transport company for falling below its target for reducing train delays. Although Railtrack reduced the number of delays by 10 per cent last year, this is still below the target set by Winsor. Railtrack's ...

  • Searching for success at CMS

    22-May-2000

    CMS, the European alliance launched by Cameron McKenna that was heralded with such promise, has undergone a year of mixed blessings. Fiona Callister reports on where the firm goes from hereIt is a little over a year since Cameron McKenna launched its European alliance, CMS.With an April launch in Berlin, it looked very promising. Camerons opted for a structure similar to ...

  • Sector Insight

    22-May-2000

    Due to its specialised nature, the energy and utilities sector has traditionally kept its legal work in-house, but with the lure of hiked-up City salaries, all that is changing. Dearbail Jordan reports.The energy and utilities sector is just starting to emerge from one of its most intensive periods of consolidation and change.In 1998, energy companies were hit by a sudden drop in oil prices, forcing many of them to start restructuring programs.

  • Senior partner steps down as Richards Butler changes title

    22-May-2000

    Richards Butler's senior partner is stepping down after nearly a decade in the job, to become head of the firm's employment practice.Tim Archer, who has served three consecutive terms as senior partner, is filling the void left by highly-rated employment partner Georgina Keane, who left the firm in February to join Lawrence Graham.Archer will be replaced by shipping ...

  • Simmons off-loads charities practice

    22-May-2000

    Simmons & Simmons is abandoning its highly-regarded charities practice to south-east firm Stone King, saying that it is not profitable enough.Rated team leader Robert Meakin is relocating to the London office of 10-partner Stone King after he was asked by Simmons to find an alternative practice which was not a competitor.Meakin is joining Stone King as a partner. He is currently ...

  • Survival of the fittest

    22-May-2000

    As more charities appear on the market, providing similar services and targeting the same donators, some are feeling the pressure to merge. Emma D'Souza reports on how only the strong can surviveDarwin's theory of evolution may well apply to charities, which are ultimately competing against each other for funding. Obviously, with insufficient income, as with any other organisation, there is a limit to what a charity can achieve. For the fit to survive, ...

  • The ruling in the case of Dimond v Lovell could put pressure on providers of consumer credit, writes Hilary Heilbron

    22-May-2000

    Those who provide goods and services to consumers on credit will need to assess the implications of the recent House of Lords decision in the case of Dimond v Lovell.The case concerned the provision of credit hire. This is a multimillion pound business developed to enable a driver whose car is damaged through no fault of their own to hire a temporary car on credit. The cost is then recovered from the damages awarded against the third party.While many credit hire ...

  • Transco shakes up law panel for BGdemerger

    22-May-2000

    Transco is shaking up its panel of law firms as it prepares to break away from BG International in October.The company, which is the UK national pipeline provider network to BG, formerly known as British Gas, will be putting the firms which it shares with its parent company through a beauty parade.At present, Transco instructs Shearman & Sterling,

  • Weil Gotshal hires in-house SEC counsel

    22-May-2000

    Weil Gotshal & Manges' Washington office is bolstering its practice with the appointment of an in-house counsel from the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).Catherine Dixon, chief counsel of the division of corporate finance at the SEC, will join the US firm in June as a partner.She will be part of Weil Gotshal's SEC enforcement practice and will specialise ...

  • Weil Gotshal woos top duo for Germany

    22-May-2000

    Weil Gotshal & Manges has poached the head of the German Takeover commission together with a former Jones Day Reavis & Pogue partner to launch its Frankfurt office.The office will be the firm's first in Germany, although it already has three bases in eastern Europe.Banking regulatory ...

  • White & Case Tokyo link-up loses top partner to Citibank

    22-May-2000

    White & Case's associated Tokyo firm is losing its senior Japanese partner to banking giant Citibank.Hisao Hirose is senior Japanese partner at Kandabashi Law Offices, which became the associated firm of White & Case in 1995. But he is quitting the firm to become general counsel for Japan at Citibank.Hirose is one of the first senior Japanese lawyers to leave private ...

  • Wragges announces fee income boom...

    22-May-2000

    Wragge & Co has announced a 30 per cent increase in fee income over the last year.According to results an-nounced today, turnover as at the end of April is £54.5m compared to £42m last year.Wragges' fee income from outside the Midlands is up 65 per cent this year, confirming its position as a national law practice.International income now accounts for ...