25 October 1999

The Lawyer

  • A&O and CC advise on Nestle Findus sell-off

    25-Oct-1999

    Allen & Overy is working alongside Linklaters & Alliance's Swedish partner Lagerlof & Leman on Nestle's disposal of its Findus business.Clifford Chance is acting for EQT Scandinavia BV, which bought the ...

  • ABA plans changes to confidentiality rule

    25-Oct-1999

    US lawyers may soon be free to blow the whistle on clients planning to use them to commit crime under proposals being mooted by the American Bar Association (ABA).ABA rules forbid lawyers from disclosing information without consent, except to prevent imminent death or substantial bodily harm. The new rule would allow disclosure if lawyers believe they are being used in crimes which could result in substantial financial loss to others.The chair of the New York ...

  • Andersens lawyer opts for Addleshaw Booth

    25-Oct-1999

    The fourth partner to quit Andersen Legal's Sydney practice in as many weeks is returning to the UK to join Addleshaw Booth & Co's fledgling London office.UK M&A lawyer Tim Bee, who has been with Andersens for two years, will join the 88-partner firm in November.Earlier this month it emerged that three partners - including founding lawyer Phil Kapp - had left Andersens amid speculation of dissatisfaction with the accountant's Australian legal arm ...

  • Bid to delay tobacco ads ban

    25-Oct-1999

    Judgment is pending in the latest High Court moves by tobacco giants Imperial, Gallagher, Rothmans UK and British American Tobacco to block implementation of the European Tobacco Advertising Directive in the UK. The companies say the Government should wait for the European Court to rule on the matter before introducing the ban. Jonathan Sumption QC for the companies told Mr Justice Michael Turner that the UK was under no obligation to bring the ban in until July 2001. He said ...

  • Camerons unveils SA alliance

    25-Oct-1999

    Cameron McKenna will announce this week that it has formed the first-ever legal alliance of a major UK law firm in South Africa, giving the City firm a foothold in the continent.The firm intends to build a sub-Saharan network, which will eventually include firms in Mozambique and Namibia.The exclusive relationship has been formed with Canca Inc in Cape Town and Jowell Glyn & Marais in Johannesburg.It is expected that the alliance will eventually lead ...

  • Can banks play by their own rules?

    25-Oct-1999

    The new boss of the Banking Code Standards Board wants banks which fail to obey their own code of conduct to be named, shamed and fined. The forum asks if the next step is statutory control.Banks and building societies are facing huge fines and public shaming under proposals being drawn up by the chief executive of the Banking Code Standards Board.The industry's voluntary 11-point code of practice says banks must keep customers abreast of changes in banking ...

  • Case of the week

    25-Oct-1999

    The Court of Appeal is currently hearing a landmark case likely to lead to new guidelines on judges and conflict of interest. This means that the trend for judges to step down from cases - sparked by Lord Hoffmann's (pictured) failure to disclose links with Amnesty International during General Pinochet's appeal - may be nearing its end. David Lloyd-Jones QC of Brick Court Chambers opened the case last week, arguing that judges should not automatically disqualify themselves ...

  • CC partner returns to London to strengthen Scandinavian contacts

    25-Oct-1999

    Clifford Chance is looking to strengthen its Nordic links in preparation for its merger with US firm Rogers & Wells by bringing a Hong Kong-based partner with strong Scandinavian contacts back to London.Shipping partner Mark Morrison has been moved from Hong Kong back to London to do shipping, trade and offshore oil and gas work.Since moving to Hong Kong in 1995, Morrison ...

  • CCR&W in West Coast office plan

    25-Oct-1999

    Clifford Chance Rogers & Wells (CCR&W), the US branch of the new global law firm, is planning to open in Silicon Valley - its first US office outside New York.Larry Cranch, managing partner of Rogers & Wells, says that the firm intends to have a presence on the West Coast, most likely to be in Silicon Valley. He says: "Given the importance of the area in terms of high-tech companies ...

  • Charles Russell takes Campbell Hooper team

    25-Oct-1999

    Charles Russell is expanding its family law department by taking a team from Campbell Hooper just three months after plundering Rooks Riders' divorce team.Westminster-based Campbell Hooper is losing its head of family law - and the only partner in that practice area - Sarah Anticoni. She will join Charles Russell as a partner. She brings with her assistant solicitor Sarah Whitten.

  • Clifford Chance merger wins Spanish bank client

    25-Oct-1999

    Clifford Chance has won the work on a £25bn Spanish bank merger, which it regards as a breakthrough deal resulting from its merger with Rogers & Wells.Merrill Lynch has appointed both Clifford Chance's Madrid office and Rogers & Wells to advise on the merger of Banco Bilbao Vizcaya (BBV) with Argentaria, Spain's second and third largest banks respectively.Clifford ...

  • Couderts poaches top PwC partner

    25-Oct-1999

    Coudert Brothers' London office has lured PricewaterhouseCoopers' (PwC) top European competition partner to launch its London competition practice.Alastair Gorrie is director of PwC's European law department and head of its European commercial and competition law network. He joins Couderts from his base at Bogaert & Vandemeulebroeke, the big five accountants' Brussels law firm.Gorrie says: "It is a great opportunity at Couderts. I will be ...

  • Court redefines who earns the fees

    25-Oct-1999

    The High Court ruled that a firm was justified in charging for a private eye as if he were a fee earner, writes Roger Pearson.A recent High Court decision has given law firms increased flexibility when it comes to charging for subcontracted work.Mrs Justice Hallett, in the case of Smith & Graham (solicitors) v The Lord Chancellor's Department, ruled that in the right circumstances, firms that take on outside help are entitled to charge ...

  • De Heng launches first Chinese office in Europe

    25-Oct-1999

    Chinese law firm De Heng is opening an office in Holland this week - making it the first-ever Chinese firm to set up in Europe.The firm aims to offer multinational companies a seamless service in dealings between the East and West.Beijing-based De Heng plans further westward expansion in the near future, including an office in London by the end of 2000.Its clients are mainly Chinese companies hoping to gain listings on European stock exchanges. But ...

  • Dentons parachutes staff into Hong Kong

    25-Oct-1999

    Denton Hall is making further moves to shore up its depleted Hong Kong office by relocating lawyers from its Singapore and London offices.Nicholas Grandage, a junior equity partner in project finance at Denton Hall's Singapore office, and Emma Quilliam, an associate also in project finance in London, have both moved to the Hong Kong branch.Just three weeks ago the firm recruited Bina Cunningham, an IP/IT specialist, and assistant Amanda Telfer from Willoughby ...

  • Dibbs merges with Hong Kong firm to boost China presence

    25-Oct-1999

    Dibb Lupton Alsop is continuing to build up its international empire by merging with a Hong Kong firm.It is merging with Lui & Carey Dibbs next week.Dibbs' regional managing partner Stewart Crowther says the firm is looking for further merger targets in Hong Kong - and using it as a springboard to China.News of the merger comes only weeks after the firm announced the formation of its European alliance D&P - which comprises a Brussels, Barcelona ...

  • Digests

    25-Oct-1999

    Herbert Smith has elected Richard Bond as its next senior partner. Bond, head of corporate, will start his five-year term on 1 April 2000, succeeding Edward Walker-Arnott , who is standing down after seven years as senior partner. Bond was elected in an uncontested vote last Thursday.Dibb Lupton Alsop's director of marketing Gillian Khan is leaving to take up a similar post at Berwin Leighton. Legal management consultant Peter Coleman from Independent Corporate ...

  • Ex-council clerk to face court

    25-Oct-1999

    A Nottinghamshire parish council is taking a former clerk to the High Court in a bid to recover more than £82,000 it alleges he stole. Farnsfield Parish Council accuses Christopher Wilkinson of receiving £82,437.25 and is seeking repayment of the money, with interest, and an account of all sums received. Wilkinson is said to have worked as the council's clerk, responsible for the administration of finances. He is accused of misapplying money ...

  • Fifth partner abandons Pinsents

    25-Oct-1999

    Midlands firm Gateley Wareing has poached Pinsent Curtis partner David Williams to lead its corporate team in Leicester.Williams, formerly a private equity partner at Pinsents' Leeds office, is the fifth partner to leave the national firm in four months.Williams will be joined by two associates from Gateleys' Birmingham office in the firm's revamped corporate department in Leicester.The new team is charged with drumming up business ...

  • Financing

    25-Oct-1999

    Allen & Overy advised a group of financial institutions which provided investment into the $262m (£164m) construction of the vessel The World of ResidenSea. The firm represented Westdeutsche Landesbank Girozentrale and The Centre Group, a subsidiary of The Zurich Financial Services Group. on the project. Clifford ...

  • First PFI coalfield contracts awarded

    25-Oct-1999

    Hammond Suddards and Eversheds are advising on the first public-private initiative on the building and management of business parks on former coalfields.The aim is to develop up to 20 sites over three years and make them attractive to small businesses. Construction is set to begin in 2000.Hammonds is acting for the public funding body English Partnerships, and Eversheds is representing ...

  • Flotations

    25-Oct-1999

    Ashurst Morris Crisp represented KPMG Corporate Finance and SG Securities (London)

  • Flotations

    25-Oct-1999

    Travers Smith Braithwaite represented a management team on the £55m management buyout (MBO) of ColourCare International. Debt for the MBO was provided by the Bank of Scotland which was advised by Lovell White Durrant. Gresham Trust

  • Flotations

    25-Oct-1999

    SJ Berwin acted for The Future Network on its secondary share offering of 18 million ordinary shares by its institutional investors. The offering was underwritten by Morgan Stanley. Steven Davis

  • Former Wilde Sapte partner joins Lovells as associate

    25-Oct-1999

    Lovell White Durrant has snapped up Wilde Sapte partner Matthew French, who announced his decision to quit on the eve of the firm's merger with Denton Hall.It is not thought French's decision to go is related to the creation of Denton Wilde Sapte, although several other Wilde Sapte partners are going in a post-merger rush.French, who became a junior equity partner two years ago, is quitting the insolvency team after 10 years at Wilde Sapte.

  • Freemans to house firm on one site

    25-Oct-1999

    DJ Freeman is planing to pack up its three City buildings and open in one office as part of an expansion drive.Jonathan Lewis, chief executive, says: "Our business is growing and it is far easier to run a firm from one building."The firm has its two buildings on Fetter Lane up for sale, and the lease on its building on Great New Street expires next September.DJ Freeman has identified two buildings which would meet its requirements, but does not wish ...

  • Going global in Germany

    25-Oct-1999

    Most players in the German legal market have known that internationalisation has been on its way for two or three years. It has simply been a question of when it would arrive. Last year, most leading practices were being wooed by just about every major UK firm, and 1999 was decision time.In a couple of years, there will be hardly a firm in the top 25 national ranking (see table, page 29) which is not part of an international firm or exclusive alliance.There is ...

  • Granada Group nets Nicholson Graham for bid

    25-Oct-1999

    Nicholson Graham & Jones is acting for Granada Group on its £20m bid for fish and chip shop chain Harry Ramsden's.The FTSE-100 leisure and media giant has made a full cash offer at nearly 190 pence per share for the UK's oldest fish and chip chain, giving it a value of £20m.Harry Ramsden's is being represented by 21-partner City practice Hamlins.The firm confirms it is acting for the company but declines to comment while ...

  • Herbert Smith looks to Brittan for global clout

    25-Oct-1999

    Sean Farrell talks to Herbert Smith's new consultant, Sir Leon Brittan.

  • It's been a bad week for...

    25-Oct-1999

    007 Granny Melita Norwood, the 87-year-old former Russian agent who spied for the USSR for 40 years and handed over top secret details of the UK's first atomic bomb. Despite earlier reports that she would get away with it, Jack Straw told the Commons last week "that in the light of Mrs Norwood's recent statements, the papers in this case are currently being studied again by the prosecuting authorities".Rumpole of the Old Bailey ...

  • It's been a good week for...

    25-Oct-1999

    Cohabiting couples. Lord Irvine is ushering in divorce reforms which will give cohabiting relationships the same weight as marriage when it comes to dividing up a departing couple's property.

  • Lambeth fights rent defaulter repairs case

    25-Oct-1999

    Roger Pearson reports on a council's efforts to overthrow a county court ruling that found in favour of a tolerated trespasser.The London Borough of Lambeth is again at the centre of a battle over council property after the scandal involving its failure to evict a squatter form a £200,000 council house earlier this year.The council was successfully sued for damages by a tenant against whom it obtained a possession order for failure to pay rent, ...

  • Legal Widow

    25-Oct-1999

    The Lawyer has just come back from a gruelling training weekend where they broke the management team down into snivelling wrecks and built them back up into confident legal achievers who know where they fit in the hierarchy of the organisation.

  • Linklaters picked for rail franchise renegotiations

    25-Oct-1999

    Linklaters & Alliance is working on a "substantial" contract to renegotiate the passenger rail franchises after being appointed external legal adviser to the Shadow Strategic Rail Authority (SSRA).The firm beat Clifford Chance, Eversheds

  • Litigation Personal Injury 25/10/99

    25-Oct-1999

    Cases from LAWTEL's PI Quantum Database. Contact Deborah Talbot on 0171 970 4823.Louise Brant v Royal Leicestershire Rutland & Wycliffe Society for the Blind (1999) Lincoln County Court (Mr Recorder Butler) 14 October 1999Claimant: Female, married, 22 years old at date of accident; 27 years old at date of trial.Incident: The claimant was employed by the defendant as a care assistant at a nursing home. In the course of that employment ...

  • Litigation Writs 25/10/99

    25-Oct-1999

    Businessman Nicholas Van Hoogstraten has issued a claim at London's High Court against Lonmin (formerly Lonrho) in which he is suing for damages in a dispute over a share deal. The claim says that Hoogstraten agreed to purchase the company Willoughby's Consolidated from Lonmin in September 1998, but later discovered that the company had debts he had not been told about. Now Hoogstraten, of Hamilton Palace, East Sussex, is suing Lonmin for damages, ...

  • Merged set poaches 15 tenants

    25-Oct-1999

    Newly merged chambers 11 Bolt Court and 7 Stone Buildings are poised to expand further by poaching almost an entire set.It is thought that 15 tenants and the senior clerk of provincial set Northampton Chambers are in negotiations with the London set, which will leave Northampton Chambers with only 4 tenants.The move would give the new chambers, still without a name, nearly 60 tenants and a presence in Northampton to challenge rival London set 36 Bedford Row.

  • Morgan Cole chooses new chairman

    25-Oct-1999

    Morgan Cole partners have chosen John Cole as the firm's new chairman.The appointment is part of a management shake-up and follows the firm's decision to cull partners in order to guarantee more profits for its remaining lawyers.Cole is understood to have beaten competition from the incumbent co-chairmen, Guy Clarke and John Moisson.Moisson and Clarke are ...

  • MP calls for probe into 'racist' CPS

    25-Oct-1999

    An MP is demanding an inquiry over alleged comments the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) made to a senior crown prosecutor, after she won a race discrimination case against the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS).Maria Bamieh is awaiting the outcome of a second claim following continued frustration of her promotion efforts (The Lawyer, 14 June).Her Labour MP for Hendon Andrew Dismore claims the DPP told her "if you now obtain a promotion, you would be seen as ...

  • Nabarros clinches two DAC partners

    25-Oct-1999

    Davies Arnold Cooper (DAC) is losing its head of commercial property to Nabarro Nathanson just three weeks after its head of corporate was poached by another rival.Nick Collins, a salaried partner who has been at the firm for 10 years, will be joined at Nabarros by Belinda Solomon, who was made up to a salaried partner in in DAC's corporate department in June.The departures ...

  • No dispute over ADR success

    25-Oct-1999

    Last week Baker & McKenzie announced it had made more than £6bn out of arbitration work. Elizabeth Davidson discovers that the firm is not the only one in the money as making up before reaching court becomes more popular.Last week The Lawyer reported that international firm Baker & McKenzie is valuing its total global arbitration cases at more that £6bn.This ...

  • Nothing like a Dame

    25-Oct-1999

    Dame Elizabeth Butler-Sloss

  • On the right lines

    25-Oct-1999

    As the race to win the franchises to run London's underground system hots up, Anne Mizzi reports on the issues behind the Tube lines' partial privatisation.The train crash at Paddington in which 30 people died has turned the spotlight on the planned break-up of London Underground, and particularly the likely role of Railtrack.The Government's London Underground public-private partnership (PPP) intends to carve up the Tube system into public and ...

  • Osborne Clarke poaches HSBC deputy to build banking group

    25-Oct-1999

    Osborne Clarke is poaching HSBC's number two in-house counsel as part of a drive to set up a network of banking departments in its Bristol, London and Reading offices.Jeremy Cross is leaving HSBC Holdings' headquarters in Hong Kong to run Osborne Clarke's new banking department in its Bristol office, which he joins as a partner.Margaret Childs, currently Osborne ...

  • Pinsents launches HR consultancy

    25-Oct-1999

    Pinsent Curtis is following the latest industry trend by setting up a human resources (HR) consultancy.The department will run in conjunction with the firm's national employment group, which is headed by leading practitioner John McMullen.McMullen says the decision to offer clients a one-stop shop was based on the growing demands of employment law.He says: "The substantial growth in employment legislation places new and significant responsibilities ...

  • Pupil selection faces collapse following sets poaching row

    25-Oct-1999

    The system by which most chambers select their pupils is facing collapse following a row between the two premier public law sets.The Lawyer understands a letter written by Michael Beloff QC, head of chambers at 4-5 Gray's Inn Square, accuses Blackstone Chambers of poaching all the best bar students.The problem is the Pupillage Application Clearing House (PACH). This system, which processes student applications for bar pupillages, gives sets operating outside ...

  • Quote of the week

    25-Oct-1999

    "In retrospect it would have been better for the Attorney-General [Janet Reno] to appoint someone else."- Kenneth Starr's candid admission that his role as independent counsel in the Monica Lewinsky case was a mistake, during an interview with CNN. Starr is now returning to Chicago law firm Kirkland & Ellis, and will teach law at New York University.

  • Reaching the top of the German markets

    25-Oct-1999

    Aled Griffiths takes a look at the German telecommunications and equity capital markets and reveals the law firms that are cleaning up in these areas and who their clients are. Aled Griffiths is editor of JuVe magazine.The German telecoms market is at the cutting edge of the move towards industry-based legal advice.When liberalisation took hold in Germany, law firms were mainly involved in regulatory work, which explains the presence of well-known administrative ...

  • Royal & Sun Alliance in panel cull

    25-Oct-1999

    Royal & Sun Alliance (RSA) is planning to slash its panel for commercial litigation work from six firms to just two.It is understood that six firms including, Davies Arnold Cooper, Berrymans Lace Mawer, Beachcroft Wansbroughs, Dibb Lupton Alsop, Herbert Smith advise RSA on commercial company claims.But The Lawyer understands that RSA intends to streamline its panel ...

  • Rozenberg

    25-Oct-1999

    Legal journalism is not particularly well paid, but it does offer some consolations. The other day, for example, I interviewed the President of France. I don't imagine I would have spoken to Jacques Chirac very often if I'd continued working as a solicitor.We met in Finland, where he was attending a European Union summit. It was the first time that European leaders had discussed issues such as cross-border crime, extradition, and criminal ...

  • Scuffle of the week

    25-Oct-1999

    Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy v European judges. Justice Kennedy - a highly respected judge in the US - says Europeans are handing over too much power to judges in the European Union's Court of Justice in Luxembourg, and the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg (pictured). Justice Kennedy told an audience at Stanford University: "All the weight of developing this democratic concensus is being put on the courts, and this is dangerous for the courts. ...

  • Shoosmiths red-faced over courtroom gaffe

    25-Oct-1999

    Shoosmiths is "embarrassed" that one of its litigators - along with two other advocates - failed to spot a relevant reported authority and bring it to a judge's attention.The slip caused outrage when the case came to the Court of Appeal, with Lord Justice Buxton slamming it as "extremely discourteous to the judge" and a "waste of time and money".Buxton said "very great concern ...

  • Sian Keall on employment claims after the recent changes. SiAn Keall is a solicitor at Travers Smith Braithwaite.

    25-Oct-1999

    This year has been one of reform for employment lawyers, with several long-anticipated changes to employment law coming into effect.The service requirement for bringing unfair dismissal claims to employment tribunal has been reduced to one year. With the maximum compensatory award for claims set to rise to £50,000, tribunal cases are likely to become a growing financial issue for employers. Add to this the growth in awards in discrimination claims and ...

  • Slaughter and May loses Bupa work to Walker Morris

    25-Oct-1999

    Private healthcare company Bupa is drastically cutting back the amount of work it gives to Slaughter and May in favour of cheaper regional law firm Walker Morris.A source tells The Lawyer that a "substantial proportion" of the work that goes to Slaughters is being transferred to the Leeds-based ...

  • Small town firms make it big

    25-Oct-1999

    Although the big names get the attention, the most important developments this year took place in the Mittelstand.German lawyers like to pride themselves on their work for world-famous domestic corporates. But in private, most of them will admit that no firm, not even those at the pinnacle of the market, can afford to ignore the group of mid-size traditional companies known as the Mittelstand.Set up after the war, this core of German industrial exporting power ...

  • St Philip's offers specialist tax advice

    25-Oct-1999

    Birmingham's St Philip's Chambers has become the first regional set in the country to develop genuine specialist tax capability.Highly-rated senior junior Robert Grierson is joining from Maples and Calder, a Cayman Island-based law firm, where he specialised in trust structures.Grierson formerly practised at leading specialist tax chambers 24 Old Buildings in Lincoln's Inn in London. His arrival at St Philip's is believed to make it the first ...

  • The Lawyer Inquiry: Sophie Nappert was born in Canada. She is a solicitor at the London office of Masons.

    25-Oct-1999

    What subjects did you fail at school?Geography.What was your first job?Lifeguard.What was your first ever salary as a lawyer?You mean some of us actually get paid for doing this?What would you have done if you hadn't been a lawyer?Travel writer.What was your most satisfying professional moment?Winning my first trial despite all my witnesses telling the exact opposite story ...

  • This week

    25-Oct-1999

    It's bonanza week for employment lawyers and their clients as Lord Irvine's reforms to employment tribunals kick in. As of 29 October, the cap on compensation for unfair dismissal cases rises from £12,000 to £50,000.

  • Watson Farley seeks staff for Singapore

    25-Oct-1999

    Watson Farley & Williams is undertaking a "significant expansion" of its Singapore office, only a year after buying the practice from shipping rivals Sinclair Roche & Temperley.The shipping specialist firm is looking to boost all practice areas, but will pay particular attention to its corporate group.Head of the Singapore operation Nigel Thomas tells The Lawyer: ...

  • WH Smith Group

    25-Oct-1999

    As WH Smith Group prepares to announce its report and accounts for the year ending 31 August 1999, the company can look back on the past two years with a sense of relief.

  • Wilson Sonsini partner quits for internet

    25-Oct-1999

    Silicon Valley's largest law firm, Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati, has lost its fourth partner in as many months.The latest to leave is technology partner Jeffrey Herbst, who is forging a new career with internet giant AltaVista as vice-president in charge of business development.The move is further evidence of the difficulty Silicon Valley firms are having in keeping lawyers. Partners are increasingly moving in-house to internet companies, lured by the ...

  • Wragge & Co gives lawyer key IT role

    25-Oct-1999

    Birmingham heavyweight Wragge & Co has taken the unusual step of appointing a lawyer to head up a strategic development unit to improve the firm's use of IT, a position normally reserved for IT experts.Led by lawyer Derek Southall, the five-person unit - made up of lawyers and IT staff - is backed by a multi-million pound investment.Southall says: "However good an IT team, you ...