24 July 2000

The Lawyer

  • A View from Paris

    24-Jul-2000

    While the resolution adopted by the American Bar Association (ABA) this month against multi-disciplinary practices (MDPs) has recently hit the headlines, the French wrangle has been rumbling on for years. The current situation in France is very much a product of the legal profession's history.

  • Adam Cleal

    24-Jul-2000

    Allen & Overy's enthusiastic head of property Adam Cleal has big plans for his department. Fiona Callister reports on the man who did not enjoy law until he started practising it

  • Bar fears flood of claims after loss of immunity

    24-Jul-2000

    Despite the Bar Council's best efforts, barristers' immunity from being sued for negligence in court has been abolished.

  • Buchanans takes Virginia high-tech trail

    24-Jul-2000

    Pittsburgh firm Buchanan Ingersoll is opening an office in northern Virginia to focus on the region's high-tech client base.

  • Camerons five defect to Cadwalader

    24-Jul-2000

    CMS Cameron McKenna partner Paul Biggs will take a team of four with him when he moves to US firm Cadwalader Wickersham & Taft in August.

  • Case of the week

    24-Jul-2000

    The Japanese finance house Nomura International has been taken to an employment tribunal by Isabelle Terrillon, one of its female City traders, who claims that she had been subjected to a barrage of sexual harassment, discrimination and ultimately unfair dismissal. The tribunal heard how Japanese bosses told Terrillon to wear 'short, tight skirts' while UK colleagues told her to 'strip down and give a massage' in front of clients. Terrillon described ...

  • Cash is kin

    24-Jul-2000

    The threatened takeovers of Blue Circle and Wickes were uncannily similar; two hostile cash bids, both repelled by share buy-backs. So in advising Wickes, how much did Linklaters borrow from Slaughter and May's defence of Blue Circle? Catrin Griffiths and Claire Smith report.It is ...

  • CLA Europe member set for merger

    24-Jul-2000

    Commercial Law Affiliates (CLA) Europe member Wenger & Vieli is merging with fellow Swiss practice Belser Altorfer & Partner.From 1 September the newly-created firm will be called Wenger Vieli Belser. It will concentrate on corporate and commercial work, although it will also develop an e-commerce and IT practice.The move comes as European member firms of the US-based CLA referral network form a 15-strong alliance, CLA Europe.The alliance will create ...

  • Clearing the way will win the best lawyers

    24-Jul-2000

    Commercial firms compete for people as well as work.There is plenty of work out there and it will continue to follow good people - good people, good work, good profits is the virtuous circle.But what effect will the increasing availability of statistics and information about profit sharing structures have on the marketplace? The new transparency affects the thinking of existing partners contemplating internal change, and of lawyers thinking of ...

  • Clifford Chance

    24-Jul-2000

    Clifford Chance acted for Electronic Data Systems (EDS) on a $2.1bn (£1.4bn) contract to provide global IT and business solutions to Rolls-Royce. An eight-strong Clifford Chance team advised EDS, including banking and finance partner Gavin Teague. Masons advised Rolls-Royce.

  • Culture Jam: The Uncooling of America by Kalle Lasn, published by Eagle Brook ISBN0688156568

    24-Jul-2000

    When anti-capitalist demonstrators blocked the streets of London on 1 May this year, their targets were the very visible symbols of capitalism, notably McDonald's.But last year's far more violent demonstrations had spread across the City and had taken in a number of the big law firms. They may well have just been caught in the crossfire of frustration and aggression targeted at the banks but they may also have been targets themselves.These ...

  • Denton Wilde adds bonus and hikes assistant rates

    24-Jul-2000

    Denton Wilde Sapte has introduced a bonus scheme based on chargeable hours at the same time as putting up assistant rates to magic circle levels.

  • Denton Wilde Sapte

    24-Jul-2000

    Denton Wilde Sapte is acting for Jellyworks on the acquisition by London-based investment banking group Shore Capital Group of its entire issued and to be issued capital. Jellyworks was established last year to acquire holdings in technology companies, providing equity and mezzanine capital in early-stage financing. The Denton Wilde team was led by corporate partner Philip Goodwin. Berwin Leighton advised Shore Capital.

  • Diplomatic immunity

    24-Jul-2000

    While the Bar Council is no doubt smarting at barristers losing their immunity from being sued for negligence, it is refreshing to hear such a positive reaction from the vast majority of the civil bar at least.But the criminal bar's concern at the potential for vengeful claims against barristers who fail to secure not-guilty verdicts is well-founded, and the cost of insuring against a negligence action for wrongful conviction will be high.For the ...

  • Doctor spin

    24-Jul-2000

    There is a lot of speculation in the marketing community that the giant merger between Glaxo Wellcome and SmithKline Beecham is likely to lead to the new super-pharma company offloading its consumer products, such as nutritional healthcare drinks. The speculation follows the announcement that Smith & Nephew Healthcare has decided to sell its consumer brands so it can concentrate on being a "high-tech medical company".Some think the big pharma companies are ...

  • Eversheds liability claims group wins Iceland work

    24-Jul-2000

    Eversheds has landed leading retailer Iceland as a client for its fledgling liability claims group.

  • Gray's Inn Tax hires Inland Revenue lawyer

    24-Jul-2000

    Gray's Inn Tax Chambers has recruited the former solicitor to the board of the Inland Revenue as a door tenant.Brian Cleave QC worked for the Inland Revenue for 32 years and was a solicitor to the board for nine years until his retirement in November 1999.Cleave's move to the bar is unusual, because despite being made a QC (honoris causa) in 1999, he still has to complete a four-month pupillage.Head of chambers Milton Grundy says: "We are ...

  • Herbert Smith plans merger with Germany's Gleiss Lutz

    24-Jul-2000

    Herbert Smith is in merger talks with Gleiss Lutz Hootz Hirsch Rechtsanwälte, hoping to scoop the last magic circle merger partner in Germany.

  • It's been a bad week for

    24-Jul-2000

    Families of those who lost their lives on the Argentinian cruiser General Belgrano when it was torpedoed by a British submarine during the Falklands war. The European Court of Human Rights rejected their attempts to bring a lawsuit against the Government as they had not first pursued all possible legal remedies in the UK.Hindu priest Abhay Chatterjee, who was jailed for marrying a four-year-old girl to a dog in Khordah Mohanpur village in India. The ceremony ...

  • It's been a good week for

    24-Jul-2000

    Journalists, after Mr Justice Jacobs' High Court ruling that Punch magazine (above) did not have to reveal its sources to The Mirror newspaper. The Mirror took Punch to court in order to obtain leaked documents which revealed the paper's attitudes towards women and its financial performance. Punch was awarded £9,000 in costs.Birdman Richard Geiger. The 58-year-old came second in 1998's birdman of Eastbourne contest, beaten by ...

  • Landwell's Swiss arm hires chiefs

    24-Jul-2000

    Landwell, the global legal arm of PricewaterhouseCoopers, is bolstering its Swiss practice through a series of lateral hires.Associated firm Suter & Partners, which already has a presence in Zurich, Geneva and St Gall, is also opening an office in Lausanne.Michel Renaud and Christophe Wilhelm will head the Lausanne operation as managing partner and senior partner respectively.Banking expert Wilhelm joins from the now defunct Piaget Renaud Didsheim ...

  • Lathams drafts in US heavyweights

    24-Jul-2000

    Latham & Watkins is moving two top partners over from the US as the start of an aggressive expansion of the London office.

  • Law Society licence threatened by OFT

    24-Jul-2000

    The law Society has been warned by the Office of Fair Trading (OFT) that if it fails to improve the way it deals with the increasing number of consumer complaints, it could lose its group licence.

  • Leading sets wed in bid to join commercial bar elite

    24-Jul-2000

    Two leading chancery/commercial sets have become the latest to opt for merger in a bid to join the commercial bar's elite.

  • Legal Widow

    24-Jul-2000

    The Lawyer rang me up from work at 10pm the other evening. "How do you get the children off to bed when they don't want to go?" he asked.

  • Litigator's View

    24-Jul-2000

    Sean Wilken on the attempt to control the exchange of electronic information with the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Bill. Sean Wilken is a barrister at 39 Essex Street.Electronic information exchange creates a tension between the need for regulation and the individual's need for privacy. The products of this are sophisticated monitoring systems - the Echelons, the Carnivores and the Clippers - and the sophisticated means of avoiding those monitoring ...

  • Mallesons top tax man quits law

    24-Jul-2000

    One of Australia's leading tax practitioners is quitting Mallesons Stephen Jaques after 22 years because he hates tax.

  • News in Brief

    24-Jul-2000

    Norton Rose and Denton Wilde Sapte acted on opposite sides of the Equitable Life test case that last week heralded the end of the insurance provider's independent mutual status. Norton Rose acted for the policyholders with Jonathan Sumption QC as counsel. Denton Wilde, acting for Equitable Life, brought in Lord Grabiner QC, later replaced by Elizabeth Gloster QC. The House of Lords ruling, which prevents ...

  • Northern Foods

    24-Jul-2000

    Northern Foods is just beginning to see the light at the end of the tunnel. After experiencing a spectacular downturn in share value at the end of last year - its stocks are now worth half the price of its 1998 peak - the company has restructured and the City predicts that it will deliver profits of £106m by March next year.

  • Norton Rose in merger talks with German giant Gaedertz

    24-Jul-2000

    City firm Norton Rose is understood to be in merger talks with German firm Gaedertz.

  • Perrin's View

    24-Jul-2000

    I'm writing this on the beach. These days it's the thing to do en vacances. And it isn't just me who thinks that. There are quite a few of us gadget freaks here, frolicking in the sun and the surf with our splash-proof MP3s, our Palm Pilots, our WAP-enabled mobiles.It's the leisurely lifestyle, though, that is the natural state of humankind. According to anthropologists, we're not sufficiently evolved to cope with the ...

  • Pumping up the volume

    24-Jul-2000

    The internet boom has thrust the music industry's lawyers into the technological age and high-tech cases are set to be the new headline-grabbers. Bal Khela reports on the new wave of cases and some classic disputes.The glamorous world of pop and the conservative bar make uneasy bedfellows. But in a massive industry - worth a purported $40bn (£26.7bn) through CD distribution alone - that is also highly litigious, many barristers are keen to find an entrance ...

  • Quote of the week

    24-Jul-2000

    "It's not rocket science - it's just a well executed defence."- Slaughter and May corporate partner William Underhill, who led Blue Circle's defence against a hostile all-cash bid, discusses the service provided for his client.

  • Reynolds Porter

    24-Jul-2000

    Reynolds Porter Chamberlain acted for OneEighty Software on the $1m (£668,000) funding being invested by NewMedia Spark. The internet investment company has taken a 20 per cent stake in OneEighty Software in return for its capital. Corporate partner Ron Norman acted on the deal with associate Marianthe Brotherton. Nabarro

  • Riches to Wragges

    24-Jul-2000

    Wragge & Co's demotion by Rover provides a sobering lesson for many firms. The car giant was so swept off its feet by Wragges' regional rival Eversheds, because of the work it did for Phoenix, that it has switched its affections.More than anything else the move indicates how important it is ...

  • Scuffle of the week....

    24-Jul-2000

    Cherie Booth QC v the legal profession. While speaking at the American Bar Association (ABA) conference in London, Booth levied heavy charges against the legal profession, saying it was 'discouraging' that only a limited number of women and ethnic minorities make it to the bench. She also warned that the increasing cost of law courses was turning away those who were not well-off, resulting in talent being wasted in the 'white, male' judiciary.

  • ShopSmart hires legal chief for panel review

    24-Jul-2000

    Retail website ShopSmart. com is recruiting its first head of legal and reviewing its international panel of law firms, while it pushes into Europe.

  • Suspended firms back on Axa panel

    24-Jul-2000

    Berrymans Lace Mawer and Kennedys are returning to Axa's panel after the insurer finally lifted a six-month suspension on the two firms.

  • The liability of the dotcom lifestyle

    24-Jul-2000

    Marion Simmons QC and Nicolas Shulman report on the abuse of dotcom company corporate funds. Marion Simmons is a QC at 3/4 South Square and Nicolas Shulman is CEO of Adrenaline Media.The crash in technology stocks has put much pressure on internet companies.The high-profile collapse of online designer-wear retailer Boo.com has focused media attention on the alleged extravagant "champagne lifestyle" of Boo's young managers, who ...

  • The new rules of the game

    24-Jul-2000

    The world of sport is flourishing, thanks to a huge input of TV money. But along with the cash come the legal wrangles, opening up a new field of opportunities for barristers wishing to break into the area. Bal Khela reports.Sport has become a thriving industry with a lot riding on it. Worldwide marketing and the advent of digital TV, the internet, globalisation and mega-sponsorship deals are making it every entrepreneur's dream. Sport, like music, attracts ...

  • TMP Worldwide buys UK legal recruitment agency QD Group

    24-Jul-2000

    Global legal recruiter TMP Worldwide is acquiring the UK's biggest legal recruiter QD Group.

  • UK pro bono meets US

    24-Jul-2000

    On Wednesday (19 July) the Law Society hosted the ABA's session promoting pro bono in a global environment. The session, supported by 22 London law firms, was an excellent opportunity to discuss the growth of pro bono in two jurisdictions.There is a view that UK firms are not as committed to pro bono as US firms. It was heartening to see how far UK firms have come in the past five years. While there are some problems, notably making space for pro bono ...

  • Welcome to the law firm Pleasuredome

    24-Jul-2000

    When the Paris office of US firm Gibson Dunn & Crutcher threw a party, it did it in style. Abigail Hansen discovers why managing partner Bernard Grinspan came up with such a bizarre idea.The classic building on rue du Faubourg St Honoré is lit by massive floodlights. Eerie mist trails from the lobby, a metal-caged lift descends, while a semi-naked ...

  • Winthrop Stimson joins with San Francisco firm

    24-Jul-2000

    One of Herbert Smith's favoured US firms, Winthrop Stimson Putnam & Roberts, is merging with a San Francisco practice to create a nationwide giant.

  • Wragges advises on City deal

    24-Jul-2000

    Birmingham firm Wragge & Co has staked its claim to the cream of City work by advising on one of the largest leveraged acquisitions ever completed in Europe.

  • Wragges stunned as Eversheds wins Rover

    24-Jul-2000

    Wragge & Co has lost its position as the Rover Group's main legal adviser to local rival Eversheds.