26 February 2001

The Lawyer

  • A man of Substance

    26-Feb-2001

    A plethora of high-value, non-core selloffs means an impending review of chemical company Laporte's legal panel. Dearbail Jordan talks to Nicholas Smith, head of legal at the downsized in-house department, to see which way the wind is blowing

  • A new realm

    26-Feb-2001

    The change in market attitudes towards new economy companies has caused, or at least accelerated, a number of high-profile casualties. The old attitude allowed many companies to get off the ground even though they did not satisfy the traditional tests of long-term viability. But the combination of this and the now cautious market are a recipe for further trouble.A number of companies are sitting on cash reserves, but their burn rate can be immense. Many will require further ...

  • A VIEW from Egypt

    26-Feb-2001

    Egypt is a country that has attracted considerable interest from UK businesses in recent years. Despite this, it remains a bit of a mystery to many people in terms of knowing its legal market. Egypt has had an enormous cultural influence within the Arab world, and expatriate Egyptian lawyers have been responsible for much of the legislation put in place in the Arabian Gulf countries such as Kuwait, Bahrain, the United Arab Emirates and Oman. Broadly speaking, Egypt has a civil law system ...

  • A year ago this week

    26-Feb-2001

    Barclays plans to cut law panelBarclays Bank planned to cut the number of firms it used in a review which included its core panel of firms, known as the Matrix. The 11-firm Matrix was believed to include Allen & Overy, Clifford Chance,

  • A&O scoops Cravath star to boost NY

    26-Feb-2001

    Allen & Overy (A&O) is dramatically increasing its New York presence, spearheading its expansion with a new senior partner from Cravath Swaine & Moore.Leading M&A and derivatives lawyer Daniel Cunningham is joining the firm to help bring to fruition plans to increase the office's size by 300 per cent. He is believed to be the first partner ever to leave Wall Street giant Cravath ...

  • ABN Amro shake-up sees panel come under review

    26-Feb-2001

    ABN Amro is shaking up its legal panel as part of a huge global rationalisation and reorganisation drive.The in-house legal department wants to reduce legal fees throughout its operations and has already begun conducting informal interviews with each of its firms.The move coincides with the arrival of Laurie Adams, the highly-respected former general counsel at Citigroup, who joined the bank in September last year as head of legal for its wholesale banking unit.

  • anglo american and de beers

    26-Feb-2001

    A raft of top class law firms are acting on this ongoing deal, which has rewritten the book on complex transactions. Linklaters has had a head start as its counts Anglo American, a UK listed mining company, and De Beers among its longterm clients. It also has a longstanding relationship with Maitland & Co, adviser to Anglo American. Anglo American and Central Holdings, a holding company for the Oppenheimer ...

  • Ashursts beats rivals to win work for Bayerische Hypo-und Vereinsbank

    26-Feb-2001

    Ashurst Morris Crisp has won out against two City rivals to pick up work for the first time from Bayerische Hypo-und Vereinsbank's acquisition finance unit.The firm acted for the German bank's London office on refinancing the debt within Merlin Entertainments Group.While Ashursts has worked with Bayerische Hypo-und Vereinsbank before, both in its domestic and international ...

  • Ashursts property team bags British Waterways PPP work

    26-Feb-2001

    Ashurst Morris Crisp's real estate team has been appointed to advise British Waterways on its major property public-private partnership scheme following a beauty parade in December.British Waterways, the public corporation responsible for the UK's 2,000-mile waterway network, has invited interested parties to join a joint venture project aimed at establishing the organisation as a ...

  • BOOK REVIEW

    26-Feb-2001

    Brand Spirit: How Cause Related Marketing Builds Brands by Hamish Pringle and Marjorie Thompson, published by John Wiley & Sons (ISBN 0471499447)Companies are finding that cause related marketing has become a way out of increasingly stale marketing initiatives. It has also become something the agencies are grabbing onto as a differentiator - none more so than Saatchi & Saatchi which in 1997 launched the first specialist cause related marketing (CRM) unit ...

  • Brobeck NY office makes double hire from LeBoeuf

    26-Feb-2001

    Silicon Valley firm Brobeck Phleger & Harrison is hiring two of the top technology partners from New York firm LeBoeuf Lamb Greene & MacRae.LeBoeuf's head of venture capital and private equity Edward Reilly and his partner Charles Vandenburgh are joining Brobeck's New York office.The move comes as rival Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati launches in New York with two partners from Silicon Valley firm Gunderson Dettmer Stough Villeneuve Franklin & Hachigan.

  • Can you keep a secret?

    26-Feb-2001

    Some news of jolly japes among senior clerks has come to Tulkinghorn's attention. It all revolves around a fiendish plot to test the discretion of senior clerk Julian Hawes at Brick Court.Just before Christmas, Hawes was told a tragic story by an unscrupulous clerk who asked him not to tell a soul.The story was that the Queen Mother (Gawd bless 'er) had swallowed her last G&T and moved on to the great race course in the sky. But the Royal Family ...

  • Corporate

    26-Feb-2001

    Pinewood Studios acquires Shepperton Studios for £40m from Candover, Tony and Ridley Scott, and the management. Special effects company The Mill, in which Shepperton held a stake, underwent a £28m management buyout (MBO) backed by 3i. Pinewood Studios represented by Travers Smith Braithwaite (Chris Hale). Shepperton Studios' management team represented by Marriott ...

  • Covingtons star moves to Fried Frank

    26-Feb-2001

    Covington & Burling is losing a key antitrust partner to Fried Frank Harris Shriver & Jacobson's Washington DC office.Prior to joining Covingtons Deborah Garza served in the US Department of Justice during the Reagan and Bush administrations, firstly as Chief of Staff and Counsellor and then as Special Assistant to the Assistant Attorney General for Antitrust.

  • David and Goliath pairings act in Nomura's takeover of Bass

    26-Feb-2001

    Hull-based Gosschalks acted alongside Clifford Chance on Nomura's audacious £625m acquisition of a cluster of Bass pubs.Nomura's principal finance group has purchased 988 Bass pubs after a hard-fought battle with Legal & General Ventures, making it the UK's largest landlord. The number of properties involved is dwarfed by Nomura's portfolio, now standing at ...

  • David Wilson Homes threatens to cut panel as part of efficiency drive

    26-Feb-2001

    Leicester-based David Wilson Homes, the homebuilding unit of Wilson Bowden, is considering plans to cut the number of firms it instructs following a benchmarking exercise.David Wilson Homes outsources around 70 per cent of site acquisition work and all plot sales. Most of that work has historically gone to 16 firms across the housebuilder's 13 regional divisions, ranging from large regional firms to sole practitioners. Additional firms do some plot conveyancing ...

  • Davies Arnold rues two more losses as Reynolds swoops for insurance lawyers

    26-Feb-2001

    DaviEs Arnold Cooper is losing a second batch of lawyers to Reynolds Porter Chamberlain, this time from its insurance/reinsurance department.Partner Edward Smerdon and his senior assistant Simon Goldring are joining Reynolds this week, after practising at Davies Arnold for five and seven years respectively.In May last year, Davies Arnold lost its entire media ...

  • DEAL OF THE WEEK - petroplus

    26-Feb-2001

    This is the first high-yield debt issue this year for the London offices of Weil Gotshal & Manges and Latham & Watkins after the market dipped at the end of 2000. The deal, which was completed in just over a week, is a rerun of Petroplus' first high-yield debt offering in October last year, ...

  • Digest

    26-Feb-2001

    Challinors Lyon Clark, a West Midlands firm, has won the task of running a legal helpline for the 16,000-member Federation of Master Builders. The firm will be advising on matters relating to construction, litigation, clinical negligence, matrimonial and criminal law. Scottish firm MacRoberts will run a parallel service in Scotland.

  • DOCTOR SPIN

    26-Feb-2001

    Those not preoccupied with opening their pictures of Anna Kournikova or reading one of 11bn text messages on Valentine's Day may have noticed a new poster campaign breaking.Carrying the simple slogan "I [upside down red heart] page3.com", the message was clear. Draw it, you'll see. There was no need to add The Sun, let alone News Corporation. Clearly, both felt the need to spend money on pushing the website, but the brand spoke ...

  • Employment exchange

    26-Feb-2001

    Simmons head of employment Janet Gaymer is tipped to be the firm's next senior partner. But does she have enough energy to take on the role?

  • Eversheds beats Hammonds to Magic Moments contract

    26-Feb-2001

    Hammond Suddards Edge has lost out to Eversheds' Nottingham office on acting for Magic Moments Internet on its acquisition of German-based One 2 One Advertising and Telecommunications.The AIM-listed internet company, soon to change its name to Host Europe, is a long-term client of Hammonds' Manchester office. However, Eversheds won the work after undergoing a week-long ...

  • EXECUTIVE SUMMARY

    26-Feb-2001

    The review group has made 16 specific recommendations across five broad areas which are, in summary, as follows:Development of the rescue culture and collective insolvency proceduresFloating charge holders should lose the power to veto administration orders.The insolvency profession should consider changing its practice so as to retain existing management (in appropriate circumstances) in administrations more often and so reduce costs.A ...

  • Going for broke

    26-Feb-2001

    While the UK economy is still buoyant, at least for the time being, the same has not been true in other corners of the globe. Depressed markets close to home and further afield have created work for insolvency practitioners on a range of mammoth and intricate deals over the last year. As an easy guide to what has happened in involvency work, The Lawyer has compiled a list of the top 10 insolvency and corporate recovery deals of 2000. The list is obviously subjective, ...

  • Going for broke

    26-Feb-2001

    If you are ever stuck for conversation sitting opposite a City lawyer, try this to get things going: gingerly mention the words McDermott Will & Emery and London office in the same sentence, then sit back and wait for the reaction. It always works, and usually elicits a flood of opinions, some more considered than others. If you are speaking to someone from a UK firm, they will typically ...

  • Horsey Bomer merges with Halsey Lightly

    26-Feb-2001

    Newbury commercial property firm Horsey Bomer has completed a merger with London and Oxford practice Halsey Lightly, creating a 14-partner firm.The new firm is called Horsey Lightly and ironically, given the name, merger talks were sparked through a chance encounter at Newbury racecourse. Name partner John Horsey met Trevor Milne-Day, head of Halsey Lightly's Oxford office, in the members enclosure and merger talks began at the beginning of ...

  • Laporte panel uncertain after Degussa takeover

    26-Feb-2001

    Chemical company Laporte is cutting its in-house legal department as its future relationship with its panel firms hangs in the balance following its takeover by Degussa-Hüls.Dan Toner, one of two UK lawyers, is leaving the in-house team in March as the company reaches the final stages of the takeover by the German company, leaving just Nicholas Smith, director of legal affairs and company secretary, at Laporte.The company's other lawyer, based in the ...

  • LeBoeuf scoops Georgian telecoms privatisation work

    26-Feb-2001

    Leboeuf Lamb Greene & MacRae has won a series of roles in the wave of privatisation sweeping the former Soviet Union.The firm is advising Commerzbank, which is leading the consortium acting for the Georgian government on the privatisation of Telecom Georgia (TG) and Georgian Local Lines Company (GLLC). The consortium includes the Bank of Georgia and ARC Associates.Brian Zimbler, a partner who splits his time between London and Moscow, says that it is the first ...

  • LEGAL WIDOW

    26-Feb-2001

    With the election seemingly coming up, invites for the fundraisers have been coming in. Nothing, alas, for the infamous Lord Irving bash, but so non-committal has the Lawyer been about his true political leanings that we have cards on the mantelpiece for three separate party functions.

  • Lester Aldridge launches in Southampton

    26-Feb-2001

    South coast firm Lester Aldridge has fulfilled its long-term expansion ambitions with the opening of a new office in Southampton.The Southampton office houses the firm's new marine division, called LA Marine, as well as corporate recovery and planning teams. It will eventually provide a full commercial law service.Sixteen fee-earners have relocated from the ...

  • Lovells in talks with Spanish firm

    26-Feb-2001

    Lovells is in merger talks with Spanish-based Castro Sueiro & Varela Abogados and discussions with the firm are reaching a critical stage.A source close to Lovells says the talks with the Spanish banking and derivatives practice are now at a "sensitive stage".It is understood that Lovells had met with another Spanish firm, Despacho Melchor de las Heras Albiñana & Suárez de Lezo, more than five months ago to discuss a merger.Then Melchor ...

  • Lubricating the joints

    26-Feb-2001

    Tulkinghorn is no stranger to exercise, in fact it was only seven years ago that he went on a long bracing walk. That stroll might have been brought about by the reluctance of any hackney cab to take Tulkinghorn back from the annual partners lunch, but nevertheless he feels able to empathise with the hearty types at Tods Murray who have signed up to do a 54-mile hike called the Caladonian ...

  • Maclay Murray merger boosts employment

    26-Feb-2001

    Maclay Murray & Spens is gearing up for an anticipated surge in employment work by merging with niche Edinburgh practice Mackay Simon.Maclay Murray has announced it is to merge with the seven-partner employment practice within three months.While the merged firm will be called Maclay Murray & Spens, Mackay Simon will lend its name to the employment practice, ...

  • magic moments internet

    26-Feb-2001

    Magic Moments Internet's name change to Host Europe reflects its expansion across Europe. Its latest acquisition involves German-based One 2 One Advertising & Telecommunications. It is the first time that Eversheds has acted for the AIM-listed internet company. The firm originally advised WebFusion which was bought by Magic Moments in May last year. On this latest transaction the firm put in place ...

  • MoFo lures Brobeck partner for City office

    26-Feb-2001

    The London office of Morrison & Foerster (MoFo) is nabbing a top partner from arch rival Brobeck Hale and Dorr.The San Francisco firm is hiring corporate finance partner Julia Bracewell from Brobeck, where she was the first UK lawyer. Both firms claim to be global technology law firms, although MoFo has been slower to build up its London operation. It currently has only two partners ...

  • More than your job's worth

    26-Feb-2001

    Now and again, Tulkinghorn has to sit through tedious whinging from some rookie assistant that he is working so hard that squatters have now claimed his Docklands "pad" and he hadn't realised that his girlfriend got married over six months ago. But Tulkinghorn can tell you a story that will touch your hardened hearts. Reading law firm Boyes Turner are well on the way to moving ...

  • Nabarros boosts employment with top Morgan Cole partner

    26-Feb-2001

    Nabarro Nathanson has bolstered its London employment practice with the hire of Morgan Cole's highly-rated head of employment.The firm has also appointed a new head of commercial litigation in Sheffield, taken from DLA.Sue Ashtiany will take on the new role of London employment head. ...

  • New insolvency

    26-Feb-2001

    Lawyers whose only acquaintance with insolvency is the monthly contemplation of their credit card bill, could be forgiven for thinking that the bull market of the past seven years has killed off the work of the insolvency lawyer altogether. Not a bit of it. There is, and has been, a great deal of activity, albeit that the nature of the activity has changed and the manic times of the late 1980s to mid 1990s are much rarer these days.Much of the work for insolvency barristers ...

  • pinewood and shepperton studios

    26-Feb-2001

    Pinewood Studios has proved to be not only a high-profile client for Travers Smith Braithwaite but a lucrative one too. The firm initially acted for a newco set up by a consortium led by Sir Michael Grade and backed by 3i, which launched a £62m MBO of Pinewood from Rank in February 2000. On this latest deal for Pinewood, Travers private equity partner Chris Hale led the deal, which consisted ...

  • Radcliffes to gain lucrative Italian work with City senior lawyer hire

    26-Feb-2001

    London firm Radcliffes is poised to win work in Italy, potentially worth millions, after strengthening its cross-border capability by luring a dual-qualified senior lawyer to join the practice as a consultant.The Italian group comprises associate Nello Pasquini, a dual-qualified corporate lawyer, and founder and head Michael Nathanson. Nathanson anticipates that sole practitioner Arturio Barone's presence as a consultant will give Radcliffes an edge in Italy. He brings ...

  • REAL ESTATE

    26-Feb-2001

    Just how serious environment minister Nick Raynsford was when he threatened the prospect of legislation if the property industry failed to offer tenants more flexible terms may not become clear until after the next election. Of course, the wider debate has been rumbling on for a few years now, but Raynsford set the alarm bells ringing in January, principally over worries that tenants are not getting enough choice over the terms of their leases - upward-only rent reviews ...

  • Real Estate and Projects

    26-Feb-2001

    Development Securities agrees £37m forward funding with Morley Fund Management for the 132,000sq ft second phase of Cambourne Business Park, Cambridge. Development Securities advised by Linklaters & Alliance (Andy Bruce). Morley Fund advised by Penningtons (Peter Howard).John ...

  • Resolve to evolve

    26-Feb-2001

    People who call for revolution are often in the minority and are easily dismissed by the majority, who are comfortable with the status quo. But when the status quo is less profitable, less efficient and denies opportunity, those who call for revolution may not be in the minority for long.It is probable that during the next five to 10 years we will see a revolution in the way we market, sell and deliver legal services.There is a feeling that ...

  • Senior clerk leaves Falcon Chambers

    26-Feb-2001

    London property set Falcon Chambers has parted company with senior clerk Mark Clewley on.The set has chosen not to appoint first deputy Steven Francis, who is currently the acting senior clerk, as the successor, despite his long service under Clewley.Head of chambers Jonathan Gaunt QC says: "We're all sorry to see Mark go, chambers is very grateful for the contribution he's made to its development over the years."The reason behind Clewley's ...

  • Shearmans adds arbitration capability to Frankfurt office

    26-Feb-2001

    New York firm Shearman & Sterling is adding an arbitration group to its Frankfurt practice by raiding the German office of Jones Day Reavis & Pogue.The highly-rated head of Jones Day's European and Middle Eastern dispute resolution practice Richard Kreindler is moving with a team of five assistants ...

  • Sidleys and Brown & Wood set for merger

    26-Feb-2001

    Chicago-based Sidley & Austin and New York's Brown & Wood are planning a merger that will make them the third largest firm in the US.The combination of the firms' London operations will also create a formidable capital markets practice.With nearly 100 lawyers in the City, Sidley Austin Brown & Wood, as it will be known, will be one of the biggest London offices of ...

  • Simpson Thacher raids Cooley Godward

    26-Feb-2001

    New York firm Simpson Thacher & Bartlett has bulked up its presence on the West Coast at the expense of Silicon Valley giant Cooley Godward.The firm, which already has a nine-partner office in the Valley, is taking Cooley Godward's managing partner of compensation and benefits Stephen Fackler to take it to what it describes as "full service".Compensation ...

  • St Philip's Chambers builds on core strengths with triple gain

    26-Feb-2001

    Birmingham set St Philip's Chambers has hired three tenants from a rival chambers in a bid to strengthen its core practice areas.The three tenants leaving 6 Fountain Court Chambers will join today (26 February). Senior insolvency practitioner and recorder Avtar Khangure will join the existing insolvency team and will become the team's sole tenant of more than 10-years call; Professional negligence expert James Quirke joins the chancery and commercial team, ...

  • Staying alive

    26-Feb-2001

    Stephen Foster is a banking partner at CMS Cameron McKenna.The consultation period for the joint DTI/HM Treasury Review Group on Company Rescue and Business Reconstruction Mechanisms, which wishes to lend greater support to a culture of enterprise and thus improve the legal and commercial infrastructure in the UK, ended earlier this month. The Government is broadly content with the ...

  • Stop taking the...

    26-Feb-2001

    Tulkinghorn would like to offer his sincerest apologies to James Johnson, Clifford Chance's esteemed banking partner, for a heinous mistake in last week's The Lawyer.It was written that James, or Jimmy Riddle as he is now known, called our reporter while in a "comfort chamber" on the Eurostar. Johnson would like Tulkinghorn to point out that it ...

  • Technology, Media and Telecommunications

    26-Feb-2001

    AstraZeneca signs a £1.2bn outsourcing deal with IBM to manage the chemical company's global IT infrastructure covering 45 countries. AstraZeneca advised by Shaw Pittman (Andrew Moyle). IBM was advised in-house.Parent company of WebFusion Internet Solutions, Magic Moments Internet, acquires One 2 One Advertising & Telecommunications. The company is also placing £2.5m worth of new shares with strategic marketing alliance partner Atlantic ...

  • The Leader column

    26-Feb-2001

    That will put the cat among the pigeons, Alan Whitfield. Fancy suggesting that law firms try and make the client fit their services rather than the other way round.The move of BT's head of legal to Klegal will ruffle a few feathers among non-accountancy firms as he has passed by all the TMT specialist firms, which would have married Buzby to get Whitfield through the door, to gain both insider knowledge and BT as a client. It would, of course, ...

  • Three Gordon Dadds partners set up boutique

    26-Feb-2001

    Three lawyers have defected from high-profile Mayfair private client firm Gordon Dadds to set up their own family law practice.Former senior partner Douglas Alexiou, who represented Spice Girl Melanie Gulzar, now Brown, in her divorce battle last summer, is leaving to pursue a specialist practice with fellow partners Jeremy Fisher and Susan Phillips on 31 July this year.Gordon Dadds' new senior partner Roger Peters says: "They had a different approach and ...

  • Time limits for negligence claims ditched

    26-Feb-2001

    Insurance premiums for lawyers could increase dramatically following a Court of Appeal decision for no time limits for professional negligence claims.Until now all claims were barred 15 years after the events happened unless facts had been deliberately concealed by the lawyers involved.But Reynolds Porter Chamberlain partner Jonathan Davies says this case has ...

  • Top five billers

    26-Feb-2001

    William Charnley, head of corporatePreviously the head of corporate at Simmons & Simmons, Charnley was one of the original three partners who launched McDermotts' London office in November 1998. In 2000, Charnley was the sixth highest biller in the whole of McDermott Will & Emery and the top in London, billing clients a total of $7.5m (£5.2m).On a package ...

  • Top ten clients

    26-Feb-2001

    Arjo Wiggins AppletonRelationship partner: William Charnley. Charnley was approached by the international paper manufacturer last year to advise on a raft of M&A transactions. Now doing global corporate work and tax, intellectual property (IP) and competition work.Zeus TechnologyRelationship partner: Charnley. McDermott Will & Emery London's ...

  • Top ten deals

    26-Feb-2001

    Daewoo debt restructuringLead partner: Graham Rowbotham. Advising Korea Asset Management Corporation on its acquisition of $5bn (£3.47bn) of Daewoo Group debt. Nearly 300 creditors, mostly international banks, and one of the largest-ever debt restructurings.Scandecor trademarks litigationLead partners: Robert Rakison and Larry Cohen. A landmark case successfully advising the appellant Scandecor in the first House of Lords case to ...

  • Whitfield quits BT for KLegal telecoms team

    26-Feb-2001

    British Telecommunication's (BT) group general counsel Alan Whitfield is leaving to join KPMG law firm KLegal.Whitfield has been head of the legal department at BT since 1995, having joined the group 20 years ago. He will join KLegal in June as a partner in its telecoms group.The move is a blow to BT, which only last month lost Whitfield's sidekick Anne Fletcher to the BBC (The Lawyer, 29 January). She will become legal adviser in March.Whitfield's ...