24 June 2002

The Lawyer

  • A&O brings Germans into management team

    24-Jun-2002

    Fischer-Zernin and Overlack unanimously voted in as Welling is recalled to London

  • Air fair

    24-Jun-2002

    The Court of First Instance has overturned the European Commission's rebuttal of the Airtours-First Choice merger. Simon Taylor reports on the implications of the decision

  • Banking Act under siege on Isle of Man

    24-Jun-2002

    Lawyers are currently awaiting a decision by the Isle of Man's Manx Appeal Court in the case of Re Atrium Trading. If the appeal is upheld, the decision could have serious ramifications for the jurisdiction's current banking legislation.Atrium was wound up by order of the Manx High Court on 22 November 1999. It was then investigated by the Financial Supervision Commission (FSC) of the Isle of Man government.The former Atrium directors were questioned under the ...

  • Bar talk

    24-Jun-2002

    It is rare that the Bar Council makes a courageous decision, but it appears to have done so in its recent assault on the cab rank principle.Courageous because the move was part of the Bar's ongoing campaign against the Government's slashing of fees for publicly funded work; and also courageous in the definition of the word employed by Humphrey Appleby, the senior civil servant in the Yes, ...

  • Bar up in arms after Stoy Hayward survey blunder

    24-Jun-2002

    A massive foul up by business advisers BDO Stoy Hayward has meant almost one-third of chambers have received confidential financial and internal information about each other.Stoy Hayward sent out copies of chambers' submissions for last year's annual review of the bar. However, due to a computer error the forms included highly-confidential submissions made by several chambers.A total of 135 sets received mixed data relating to their own previous year's submissions, ...

  • Beachcrofts launches financial consultancy

    24-Jun-2002

    National firm Beachcroft Wansbroughs has diversified into financial consultancy. Its new business, Beachcroft Wansbroughs Consulting, will be launched at the beginning of July.The new company will be led by former Financial Services Authority (FSA) personnel Richard Hobbs and Oliver Lodge and is primed to provide regulatory advice to a host of financial services companies, including insurance companies, investment managers, banks, brokers and building societies.Beachcrofts ...

  • Better letters

    24-Jun-2002

    Beachcroft Wansbroughs' senior partner has been overtaken in the honours pecking order. The Right Honourable Lord Hunt of Wirral MBE, aka Lord of the Scousers, has been usurped by partner Lesley Webber. Webber was a beneficiary of the recent round of Jubilee honours, being made an OBE for services to the property industry.Hunt's MBE, the honour of choice for the country's dinner and lollypop ladies, has been overshadowed by Webber's new honour. As any self-respecting ...

  • Birchams spreads its wings with takeover instructions

    24-Jun-2002

    Bircham Dyson Bell's corporate department is extremely pleased with itself. Its had an active few months, not only for its AIM clients, but also in the lucrative field of takeovers, advising for the first time on a hostile takeover transaction.Not bad for a Westminster law firm whose original reputation lay in the world of charity, private client work and Parliamentary and public ...

  • Bird & Bird set to open in Germany

    24-Jun-2002

    Partners to vote on appointment of former Wessing chairman

  • Buchanan partner snapped up by Weil Gotshal

    24-Jun-2002

    Weil Gotshal & Manges has recruited one of the dwindling band of Buchanan Ingersoll partners. Rupert Jones, Buchanan's former head of real estate, has joined Weil Gotshal as senior European counsel. He will head up the firm's real estate team. Jones is the latest Buchanan partner to leave the firm following its decision to refocus the London office on corporate and insurance work. Kathryn HobbsFirst revealed on www.thelawyer.com/lawyernews on 21 June

  • Capital gains

    24-Jun-2002

    With a slew of acquisitions and stakes in other stations, Natalie Schwarz joined Capital Radio at a challenging time. Emma Vere-Jones tunes in

  • Client demand prompts San Fran launch for Holme Roberts & Owen

    24-Jun-2002

    US firm Holme Roberts & Owen is to open an office in San Francisco.The 200-lawyer firm, which has offices in London, Denver, Colorado Springs, Salt Lake City and Boulder, has plans to increase the San Francisco starting team of six lawyers to at least 30 during the next three years. The office will be headed by partner Robert Stolebarger.A spokesperson for the firm said: "San Francisco was chosen because some of the firm's largest clients are now headquartered in ...

  • Contract killers

    24-Jun-2002

    The European Commission wants to harmonise contract law across all boundaries. But will this hinder the export of legal services? Jon Robins discovers that many UK lawyers are less than happy with the proposal

  • Corporate Summary

    24-Jun-2002

    CMS Cameron McKenna (Anthony Loring, Louise Wallace) advised Bridgepoint Capital on the proposed sale of its interest in Golden Wonder Group. Most of the Golden Wonder brands will be purchased by Longulf, advised by Denton Wilde Sapte. The Wotsits brand will be sold to Frito-Lay, part of PepsiCo International and the owners of the Walkers brand. Frito-Lay advised by Baker & McKenzie and Joanne Averiss, ...

  • Cripps Harries Hall in IP drive with new hire

    24-Jun-2002

    Cripps Harries Hall has appointed its first ever intellectual property (IP) partner to head the IP unit within the corporate department.Peter Jennings is a former partner and head of IP at niche City firm Pettman Smith. Prior to his time at Pettmans, Jennings was a partner at Theodore Goddard and Baker & McKenzie.Corporate partner Peter Ashford said: "It's a very strategic ...

  • Deal of the week - PRI Group DJ Freeman cleans up on largest ever AIM flotation

    24-Jun-2002

    DJ Freeman has scooped the legal role on what will be the largest ever flotation on AIM. The firm has advised a new entrant to the professional indemnity (PI) insurance market, PRI Group, on its three-step plan to flotation. PRI aims to raise £130m through its float and is expected to have a market capitalisation of around £140m.Head of corporate Richard Spiller led a team that took in every department at DJ Freeman. The 13-lawyer team comprised corporate, tax, employment ...

  • Death of Lovells HK lawyer sparks row

    24-Jun-2002

    A London coroner's court will hear an inquest this week into the death of Hong Kong-based Lovells solicitor Harinder Veriah. Veriah has posthumously become a focal point for anti-racism campaigners after her death in a Hong Kong hospital as a result of what her husband believes was racially-motivated sub-standard care.Veriah died in the Ruttonjee Hospital on 2 January 2000, when she was taken there after suffering an epileptic fit. Her husband, writer and journalist Martin ...

  • Deloittes to merge with Andersen Legal Italy

    24-Jun-2002

    The Italian practice of the now defunct Andersen Legal is finalising plans to merge with Deloitte & Touche.The plan breaks with Deloittes' policy not to have its own legal capability. In the UK, Andersen Legal was left out in the cold when the accounting and consultancy arms of Andersen UK secured their life-saving deals with Deloittes. In Australia, Deloittes' chief executive stated publicly that he would prefer to ditch Andersen's legal arm before deciding ...

  • EC wants company law to go electronic

    24-Jun-2002

    A REFORM of European company law legislation has been formally proposed by the European Commission (EC) to ease the filing of company documents and registrations via electronic communications.The aim of the tabled changes to the EU's First Company Law Directive, according to an EC statement, is to make company information more easily and rapidly available to the public, while at the same time simplifying disclosure formalities.These amendments are based on recommendations ...

  • ECB backs harmonisation of EU securitisation law

    24-Jun-2002

    ECB general counsel pledges support to harmonisation of EU member states in bid to catch-up US

  • ECJ rulings give mixed message on golden shares

    24-Jun-2002

    Three judgments by the European Court of Justice (ECJ) on 4 June ruled both for and against the use of golden shares by EU member states.In separate judgments, the ECJ struck down rules that let the French and Portuguese governments hold golden shares in former state-owned enterprises, but backed rules that allow the Belgium government's golden shares in two major gas companies.Belgium argued that it needed to keep its golden shares in the companies to maintain minimum ...

  • Europe: what happened when

    24-Jun-2002

    Europe has been a hotbed of activity in the last six months. Nicola Smith gives the lowdown

  • European Trends

    24-Jun-2002

    Times of economic depression test the market and precipitate emerging trends. With this in mind, now is a good time to take a look at the European market. While the deal flow may not be as robust as it was this time last year, the consolidation process among law firms is still underway and there continues to be plenty of activity in recruitment.

  • Eversheds gains place on regeneration panel

    24-Jun-2002

    Eversheds has won a place on the legal panel of regeneration agency Yorkshire Forward to provide both property and corporate advice. The formal panel was set up to increase competition as the preferred adviser had always been Hammonds, which keeps a place. Head of property development Stephen Sorrell (left) and property partner Lee Ranson will head up the team. Leeds head of corporate Stephen Hopkins ...

  • Ex-Brobeck partner to join Torys New York office

    24-Jun-2002

    Torys has hired Luci Staller Altman from the New York office of Brobeck Phleger & Harrison. Altman was a partner in Brobeck's business and technology practice. She joins the New York office of US-Canadian firm Torys. Her practice focuses on securities transactions and general corporate advice to technology, telecoms and life sciences companies. Kathryn Hobbs

  • Field Fisher scores Durlacher as client after advising on VI float

    24-Jun-2002

    Field Fisher Waterhouse has picked up its first instruction from new client Durlacher. The firm acted for Durlacher on VI Group's £2.65m fundraising on AIM.Last week, traditionally technology-focused broker Durlacher revealed that it was shifting its emphasis to corporate finance. At the height of the technology boom, Durlacher mainly instructed Manches and

  • Finance

    24-Jun-2002

    Securitisation lawyers have got an axe to grind. This year their annual conference, which in previous years has been held at the deluxe Hotel Arts in Barcelona, was moved to a "crap venue", as one lawyer puts it. According to reports coming from the disgruntled delegates, many of them stuck in Barcelona because of the Spanish air traffic control strikes, the event failed to live up to its reputation.Even the all-night party at the Baja Beach Bar, which is usually top on the agenda, ...

  • Finance Summary

    24-Jun-2002

    Linklaters (Beryl Sze) advised Credit Suisse First Boston as lead manager and sole bookrunner on the HK$1.2bn (£103.6bn) convertible bond issue by Hang Lung Properties. The issuer, International Treasury, was advised by Harney Westwood & Riegels.Clifford Chance advised the joint ...

  • FIRM PROFILE: Poppleston Allen

    24-Jun-2002

    Licensing firm Poppleston Allen is preparing for new legislation

  • Football's got CC in motion

    24-Jun-2002

    Tulkinghorn expects that a few events and marketing people will be breathing a sigh of relief when the World Cup is finally over. Keeping staff and clients happy can be a logistical nightmare - which is why Tulkinghorn prefers to just pack everyone off to the pub.Clifford Chance invited 150 clients in for the England v Argentina game. Working according to the golden rule that not everyone ...

  • Freehills and Alban Tay end alliance

    24-Jun-2002

    The joint venture between Australian firm Freehills and Singapore firm Alban Tay Mahtani & de Silva has been terminated by mutual consent.Alban Tay partner Alban Kang said: "Each firm had its own reasons for wanting to end the joint venture. Our reasons for wanting to join with a large international firm have not changed. If the right party comes along, we'll consider it."Freehills was one of the first law firms and the only Australian firm to form a joint venture. ...

  • Freshfields bags former CC chief for Chinese practice

    24-Jun-2002

    Clifford Chance Pünder's former co-head of its global China practice, Sabine Stricker-Kellerer, has resurfaced at Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer's Munich office as senior China counsel.Stricker-Kellerer left Clifford Chance in February 2002, following a disagreement over ...

  • Game for a laugh

    24-Jun-2002

    Sticking with the football theme, Tulkinghorn is as delighted with England's victory over Argentina as anyone, but feels that the gloating has to stop. Tulkinghorn was particularly disgusted with those barrister clerks - you know who you are - who found hours of entertainment harassing the Argentinian embassy. In fact, one particularly mischievous clerk circulated the embassy's number to all of his colleagues with this recommendation: "The number for the Argentinian embassy ...

  • Gardening leave ends for Norton Rose partners

    24-Jun-2002

    Norton Rose has finally let go of its three departing acquisition finance partners who start at Allen & Overy today (24 June). Tim Polglase, Clive Wells and Robin Harvey left Norton Rose last Friday and will join fellow partner Andrew Bamber, who started at A&O on 10 June following more than two months of gardening leave. They are understood to be taking at least eight associates with them. ...

  • Garretts partner joins Richards Butler

    24-Jun-2002

    Richards Butler has hired Garretts partner David Bolton as a consultant in its corporate finance group. Bolton spent six years at Garretts, having joined the firm from Herbert Smith where he was a partner for 23 years. His practice focuses on corporate and corporate finance transactions for a number of fully and AIM-listed companies. Kathryn Hobbs

  • Garretts partners could get all their capital back

    24-Jun-2002

    Partners at defunct firm Garretts are likely to get back most of their capital, according to the most recent estimates.The firm, which dissolved on 10 June, turned over £37m in 2000/01. Figures for this financial year are not yet finalised, but it is understood that Garretts - which began its financial year in September - would have billed in the region of £28m in nine months.Former Andersen Legal senior partner Tony Williams told The Lawyer: "Because of the arrangements ...

  • Gleiss acts for Karlsberg in huge selloff to Heineken and Paulaner

    24-Jun-2002

    Gleiss Lutz, Herbert Smith's German best friend, has advised Karlsberg on the sale of 45 per cent of its alcoholic beverages division to Heineken and Paulaner. Allen & Overy's (A&O) Frankfurt office acted for the purchasers.The two companies reportedly paid around e100m (£63.9m) for the stake in Karlsberg. Heineken and Paulaner bought the stake through the German joint venture company BrauHolding International, which they set up in late 2000. A&O advised ...

  • Hardwicke Bldg suffers slew of departures as practice splits up

    24-Jun-2002

    Lack of cap system on chambers contributions blamed for defections as Romie Tager QC launches commercial set

  • Hong Kong Appeal Court backs govt against Swire

    24-Jun-2002

    Property company Swire Pacific has lost its battle to gain leave to appeal an arbitration decision made in January. The Court of Appeal upheld the arbitrator's conclusion that the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (SAR) government had the right to demand a land premium from Swire for extending its commercial development beyond 1.6 million feet. 20 Essex Street head Iain Milligan QC, instructed by Linklaters,

  • I'm still standing

    24-Jun-2002

    In his first interview since Andersen collapsed, Tony Williams reveals to Catrin Griffiths the nightmare of the past few months - and how not everyone played fair

  • Larger premises for Keating Chambers

    24-Jun-2002

    Keating Chambers is moving all its 38 barristers under one roof, providing room for significant future expansion. The set's 38 members are currently spread across three premises at 10, 13 and 18 Essex Street. They move today into new premises at 15 Essex Street, which has room for 50 tenants. Chambers head Richard Fernyhough said: 'The new premises will give us the space to improve the service we provide to clients and we are continuing our programme of looking for first-class ...

  • Law Soc in Govt row over asylum seekers

    24-Jun-2002

    The Law Society is embroiled in a high level policy row over the Government's refusal to provide legal advice to asylum seekers at the controversial accommodation centres it plans to build.The accommodation centre proposals are part of Home Secretary David Blunkett's Nationality, Immigration and Asylum Bill, which was published at Easter.The bill, which has its second reading this week, does not include facilities for legal advice in the proposed centres.The ...

  • LeBoeuf snaps up Weil Gotshal man

    24-Jun-2002

    LeBoeuf Lamb Greene & MacRae is taking on projects finance partner Bruce Johnston from Weil Gotshal & Manges following the latter's decision to close its London project finance practice.Johnston, who was head of international project finance at Weil Gotshal, will head up the project finance team at LeBoeuf. He will take between three and five associates with him.Johnston has a broad range of experience in a number of sectors including infrastructure, electricity, ...

  • Legal Widow

    24-Jun-2002

    "It's outrageous to accuse lawyers of wanting to eke things out," said the Lawyer, carefully arranging the peas on his plate into a neat figure of eight.The children, who wanted their pudding, started a slow handclap."What?" demanded the Lawyer. "What have I done?"Because, in spite of all the profession's protests against the Audit Commission's findings, prevarication seems to be a habit with them. I think it starts early. By the second year of the law degree, nearly ...

  • Mayer Brown drafts Dickinson onto board

    24-Jun-2002

    Corporate dept maintains political dominance in London with board representation

  • McDermott wins former Jones Day Brussels head

    24-Jun-2002

    McDermott Will & Emery has hired Jones Day Reavis & Pogue's former Brussels head to its Washington DC office.Antitrust partner Joseph Winterscheid spent 24 years at Jones Day, where he was responsible for setting up the firm's Brussels office in 1989.McDermott has made no secret of its aim to broaden its EU competition practice and with this hire gains European experience ...

  • New York firms cash in on insolvency tide

    24-Jun-2002

    Big ticket insolvency and restructuring work is keeping the fees rolling in to New York's top law firms. Skadden Arps Slate Meagher & Flom has asked a Chicago bankruptcy court to authorise payment of its $10.6m (£7.1m) bill to Kmart Corporation.While Skadden's bill is high, it is small change compared with Weil Gotshal & Manges' mounting charges ...

  • Norton Rose picks two for management team

    24-Jun-2002

    Norton Rose is close to finalising its management team as it appoints Tim Marsden as global head of corporate finance and Jeff Barratt as global head of banking.Marsden is head of the firm's collective investments group and specialises in financial services operations and collective investment schemes, while Barratt is global head of Norton Rose's projects group.It has also been ...

  • Obituary

    24-Jun-2002

    Louise Godfrey QC, 1950-2002

  • Offshore firm moves to pensions

    24-Jun-2002

    Guernsey firm Carey Langlois has launched a pensions practice in its London office by hiring Hammonds partner Christian Wharton.The firm plans a spate of lateral hires to its London office, particularly in the pensions and investment field, because of growth in these areas offshore.Wharton will join former Linklaters partner David Greenhalgh, who heads the firm's London office.

  • Opinion

    24-Jun-2002

    As Benjamin Franklin famously said: "Nothing is certain in this world except for death and taxes." Following the recent House of Lords ruling in R v Special Commissioner, ex parte Morgan Grenfell & Co, one might now be tempted to include legal professional privilege.The House of Lords' decision was concerned with the scope of a tax inspector's statutory powers to demand the production of documents relevant to a taxpayer's tax liability. These powers are ...

  • Partner goes from Pepper to Piper and back again

    24-Jun-2002

    Piper Rudnick partner Christopher Wasson has returned to Pepper Hamilton after just four months. The product liability litigator left Pepper Hamilton to become a partner at Piper Rudnick earlier in the year.It is not the first time that Wasson has bounced between the firms. From 1994 to 1998 he worked at Piper Rudnick before swapping to Pepper Hamilton. He said: "Moving between law firms is not something I take lightly, but the decision to return to Pepper was the right thing ...

  • Pillsbury duo join Latham

    24-Jun-2002

    Latham & Watkins has hired two litigation partners from Pillsbury Winthrop. Stephen Stublarec and Christopher Byers have joined Latham's San Francisco office to boost the firm's litigation capability in the Bay Area.Both Stublarec and Byers specialise in complex commercial litigation. Stublarec concentrates on matters ranging from product liability to securities fraud. Byers has a strong focus on unfair competition cases and advising the defendant side in consumer ...

  • Private life

    24-Jun-2002

    Mark Evans used to be general counsel at Enron, but is now living the quiet life at Hammonds. Kathryn Hobbs talks to a survivor

  • Profits hold for Bircham Dyson

    24-Jun-2002

    Bircham Dyson Bell has increased its turnover for the past financial year by 14 per cent, up to £17.5m. However, average profits per partner remained static at £165,000, with top of equity £180,000 and bottom £90,000. This is, in part, due to last year's office move and an increase in rent, said executive committee chairman Nicholas Brown. The number of partners has ...

  • Real Estate and Projects Summary

    24-Jun-2002

    Nabarro Nathanson (Paul McDermott, Helen Randall) advised West Berkshire District Council on a £100m public-private strategic partnership, involving the outsourcing of support services to Amey BPO. Addleshaw Booth & Co advised Amey BPO.Beachcroft Wansbroughs (Alan Wood, Chris Ward) advised Norwich City Council on the £85m Norwich Connect PFI deal to update, refresh ...

  • Secured future

    24-Jun-2002

    Thanks largely to the implementation of Law 130 the Italian securitisation market is now second only to the UK 's. Siân Withey explains why.

  • Seroxat users call on Hugh James

    24-Jun-2002

    Cardiff firm Hugh James has been instructed to act for the Seroxat Users Group on its lobbying of the Department of Health. The group wants an investigation into the increasing number of reported illnesses connected with the antidepressant drug Seroxat, produced by pharmaceutical giant GlaxoSmithKline.Partner Mark Harvey is leading the now 400-strong group. He won the instruction through a referral ...

  • Shoosmiths employment chief joins Thomson Snell

    24-Jun-2002

    Tunbridge Wells-based solicitors Thomson Snell & Passmore has poached Shoosmiths partner Nick Hobden to head its employment unit.Hobden, who was head-hunted by Thomson Snell, joined Shoosmiths in 1994 as part of niche Reading firm Berrys. He was made a partner at Shoosmiths in 1995, and was latterly head of employment in the Reading office.The employment team is made up of one partner ...

  • The Leader Column

    24-Jun-2002

    Earth to Quentin Poole: who are you trying to kid? Wragge & Co's spin on its big-name hire of Herbert Smith's Gerald Bland is that this is a pure property play. Really? For Wragges to get a practice going in London which ignores its mainstream business of corporate finance is like Allen & Overy launching an employment ...

  • Tite & Lewis given a lift by Crane

    24-Jun-2002

    Tite & Lewis has advised new client Crane Telecommunications Group on the sale of the company's wholly-owned subsidiary Telecommunications Management to Telecom Plus.The deal also represented an important win for Berwin Leighton Paisner (BLP) which acted on behalf of Telecom Plus. BLP gained the business after pitching against the company's primary adviser,

  • Top sets defy downturn with massive turnover rise

    24-Jun-2002

    The majority of leading chambers have reported significant increases in this year's turnover. Fountain Court is leading the pack with a mammoth 32 per cent rise in fees to £25m.Brick Court has displaced One Essex Court as the set with the highest turnover. It is the first chambers to break the golden £30m mark, after an increase of 24 per cent. The set attributes this to a bumper year for all tenants and a slightly higher than usual recouping of aged debt.Fountain ...

  • White & Case considers Canary Wharf for new home

    24-Jun-2002

    The London office of White & Case could be moving lock, stock and barrel to Canary Wharf. The US firm is understood to be considering a move away from its Moorgate base to an office in either Canary Wharf or the City.A source at the firm said: "The position is still being negotiated. We're looking at a building in each place. We've just started discussions."For a finance-focused firm such as White & Case, a location near banking and financial institutions ...

  • Wilmer Cutler wins Stibbe competition trio in Brussels

    24-Jun-2002

    US firm Wilmer Cutler & Pickering has raided the Brussels office of Herbert Smith's best friend Stibbe, taking three partners from the Benelux firm's competition team. The raid gives new impetus to Wilmer's competition and trade team, which was hit by the loss of four partners to Latham & Watkins this February.The three partners - Marco Bronckers, Yves van Gerven and Frederic Louis - are still negotiating with Stibbe over when they can join the US firm. ...

  • Wragges takes on City with Herbert Smith raid

    24-Jun-2002

    Strategy shift as Birmingham firm hires property star; other practice areas to follow