28 July 2003

The Lawyer

  • A&O and Linklaters go head to head to lead on BAT deal

    28-Jul-2003

    Allen & Overy (A&O) and Linklaters are awaiting a decision by the Italian competition authority that will determine which firm will grab the lion's share of the work advising British American Tobacco (BAT) on its takeover of Italy's Ente Tabbacchi Italiano (ETI).

  • A&O is king of the hill for plateau partners...

    28-Jul-2003

    Allen & Overy (A&O) plateau partners are the richest in the City, with profits of £1.05m - overtaking Slaughter and May for the first time.A&O's figures are skewed by its exceptionally long 15-year lockstep, but the firm still posted a slight decline in its average profits per equity partner this year of £675,000 - down from £685,000.Lovells and

  • Addleshaws' Enact division undergoes MBO

    28-Jul-2003

    Addleshaw Goddard has spun off its bulk housing arm Enact through a management buyout. As reported by The Lawyer (16 June), the firm planned to spin off Enact because it did not fit its strategic direction. Addleshaws is taking a small, undisclosed equity stake in the business and will retain a place on the board.

  • as Linklaters' pay hike pulls in New York team

    28-Jul-2003

    Linklaters has circumvented the problem of attracting New York partners to a lockstep firm after reporting an upswing in plateau partner profits to £910,000.The increase at the top of equity, from £850,000 in the last financial year, arrives as Linklaters has taken on three litigation partners and an associate from Shearman & Sterling's New York office.The most senior member ...

  • Ashursts 'enshrines' lockstep

    28-Jul-2003

    Ashurst Morris Crisp has vowed to stick to lockstep in the wake of the collapse of talks with Fried Frank Harris Shriver & Jacobson as it posts solid year-end figures.Revenues rose 6.5 per cent from last year's £185m to £197m, with average profits per equity partner down slightly to £590,000 from £600,000 - a drop of 2 per cent. Plateau partners will see their earnings drop ...

  • Barlows lands Trelleborg on £495m buyout

    28-Jul-2003

    Barlow Lyde & Gilbert has scored its largest corporate deal this year, acting for long-term client Swedish industrial company Trelleborg on its £495m acquisition of the Polymer Sealing Solutions business from Smiths Group.Trelleborg bought the business after winning an auction, which saw Montagu Private Equity, US conglomerate Eaton and Swedish rival SKF in the running.Barlows corporate partner Keith Snedden co-headed the deal for Trelleborg, which he has acted ...

  • Bird & Bird profits drop 12 per cent

    28-Jul-2003

    Bird & Bird's profits have sunk to their lowest point since 1998, as the firm continues to sacrifice profits to fund international expansion.Preliminary figures released to The Lawyer reveal that profits per equity partner are down to £317,000, a dip of 12 per cent from last year's £360,000.Bird & Bird chief executive David Kerr said: "The partnership believes passionately in the internationalisation of the firm and that in the long run we ...

  • Bully boys

    28-Jul-2003

    They might not look it here, but these boys are dangerous. Weil Gotshal & Manges emerged victorious from the fifth annual The Lawyer.com's Legalfives football competition. The US firm's football representatives were less than popular winners, however. Albeit a talented team, their bruising style was greeted with a chorus of boos as they bullied their way to victory - their captain was sent off in both the semifinal and the final. Unfortunately, the one-man advantage was not enough ...

  • CC withholds profits to avert cash crisis

    28-Jul-2003

    July partner distributions shelved as profits drop; firm to borrow another £50m

  • Cerha Hempel tops M&A ranks

    28-Jul-2003

    Deals activity has reached a virtual standstill in the Netherlands, according to the latest Dutch M&A figures from Thomson Financial.The slowdown has enabled a little-known Austrian firm to oust Allen & Overy (A&O) from the top of the deal tables. Cerha Hempel Spiegelfeld has scaled the lofty heights largely as a result of advising Dutch beer giant Heineken - also an A&O client - on its bid for Austria's leading beer maker Brau-Beteiligungs (BBAG) for $2.1bn (£1.3bn), ...

  • Citigroup hires ex-JP Morgan legal chief

    28-Jul-2003

    JP Morgan's former head of legal has rejoined the financial services sector, taking on Citigroup's newly-created role as general counsel of its international group.Rachel Robbins, who spent 20 years at JP Morgan where she was general counsel, left the bank after its takeover by Chase Manhattan in 2000. After spending nearly three years at legal consultancy group Blaqwell, Robbins will join Citigroup today (28 July) as general counsel of its international group, based in New York.

  • City law firms shun Lord Falconer's IPO proposals

    28-Jul-2003

    Government plans fall on stony ground as partners claim to value culture over access to new capital

  • Community action and pro bonoBrendan MalkinDechert joins the battle to head off human trafficking

    28-Jul-2003

    Dechert is gearing up to provide assistance in all its offices to human trafficking victims and organisations that help combat it. The programme was launched in 2002 in the US.Trafficking involves forcing individuals, mainly women, into labour and prostitution outside their native countries.In the US Dechert is providing direct representation of victims and helping to provide so-called 'T-visas', ...

  • Cowboy courts

    28-Jul-2003

    The Attorney General has been proving ineffectual in securing fair trials for UK citizens facing US military justice, argues Louise Christian

  • Crash course

    28-Jul-2003

    he US class actions aimed at Merrill Lynch following the bursting of the dotcom bubble have been given short shrift by the court. Jon Robins asks: is this decision the template?

  • DLA and BLP win the double as aAIM cuts its teeth on XL deal

    28-Jul-2003

    DLA and Berwin Leighton Paisner (BLP) have landed new clients after both firms acted on the inaugural acquisition by Active Asset Investment Management (aAIM), the recently formed property investment company backed by Sir Alex Ferguson.DLA advised aAIM, which purchased Marks & Spencer's (M&S) flagship City development 70 Gracechurch St from insurance group XL Capital for around ...

  • Duane Morris gives partnership triple boost

    28-Jul-2003

    Philadelphia firm Duane Morris has added three partners to its London office. Corporate partner Ray Smyth (left) and company/commercial specialist Mark Hartley have joined from Fleet Street niche practice Gold Mann & Co, while Milan Patel, a commercial property associate in the firm's London office, has been elected to the partnership.

  • Employment claims plummet

    28-Jul-2003

    The number of employment tribunal applications has dropped for the second year in succession.Applications for 2002-03 dropped by 12 per cent, or 13,000, to 99,000 from the previous year. This follows a fall from 127,000 to 112,000 in 2001-02.The latest set of figures included in the Employment Tribunal Service Annual Report relate to the number of types of claim. So one applicant claiming unfair dismissal and sex discrimination is recorded as two applications.There ...

  • Field Fisher creates litigation safety net

    28-Jul-2003

    The carnage of the recent Co-op v ICL case has inspired Field Fisher Waterhouse to launch a new IT practice area - the project support group - aimed at avoiding litigation.Litigation partner Richard Stephens will lead a group of more than 30 lawyers, which aims to combine the skills of litigators and non-contentious lawyers."Lawyers are set in this mindset of sitting around ...

  • Finance deals round-up

    28-Jul-2003

    Slaughter and May (Stephen Powell, Dermot Rice, Graham Airs) advised Equity Release Funding (No 3) on its issue of £462m of mortgage-backed notes securitising a portfolio of equity release mortgages originated by Norwich Union Equity Release. Slaughters also advised Norwich Union. The deal was arranged by Citigroup, represented by

  • FIRM PROFILE: Bates Wells & Braithwaite

    28-Jul-2003

    They say the secret of career fulfilment is to enjoy and really believe in what you do. If that is the case, it may explain why John Trotter is such a happy man.Trotter is the senior partner of Bates Wells & Braithwaite's London office. He helped set up the City office of the Suffolk-based firm with Andrew Philips, now Lord Philips of Sudbury, in 1970.It may now be best known for its charity practice, but that wasnot always the way. Trotter says that the growth ...

  • Flexible mend

    28-Jul-2003

    Market leaders Visa and MasterCard have been kicked into touch in the US for their anticompetitive behaviour. Could the same thing happen in the UK? asks Lloyd Constantine

  • Freshfields overhauls global practice heads

    28-Jul-2003

    Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer's corporate group is set to widen its focus away from its traditional Anglo-German model as former Paris corporate head Gavin Darlington takes up one of the global leadership roles.In a rejig of the department, Frankfurt partner AndreasFabritius also replaces Düsseldorf partner Axel Epe as the German head of the global corporate group. ...

  • Gateleys buys new offices outright

    28-Jul-2003

    Midlands firm Gateley Wareing has purchased the new Birmingham premises that it is due to move into in September 2003.Rather than renting the Edmund Street building, Gateleys' 22 equity partners have decided to buy the freehold outright from Barwood, the developer.Gateleys senior partner Michael Ward told The Lawyer that this was a cheaper option, because the interest repayments on the money that was borrowed to make the purchase are lower than the rent. Ward said that, ...

  • Goldsmith blasted over UK detainees

    28-Jul-2003

    The lawyer acting for the families of three of the UK Guantanamo Bay detainees has demanded the resignation of the Attorney General Lord Peter Goldsmith, unless he is successful in securing the men's repatriation to the UK.Louise Christian, a partner at civil liberties firm Christian Khan Solicitors, said the UK Government had "done a U-turn" in relation to the men's fundamental human rights.Writing in The Lawyer this week, Christian said the concessions announced recently ...

  • Gur & Inal corporate trio set up new firm

    28-Jul-2003

    Turkish maritime firm Gur & Inal has split in two after three lawyers left to set up their own specialist corporate and shipping firm in Istanbul.The breakaway group, whose new firm will be called Inal Law Office, were motivated by a desire to reduce overheads and to provide a more corporate-focused service.Gur & Inal was formed in 1994 by Seyma Inal, the most senior lawyer at Inal Law Office, and respected lawyer Tevfik Gur, chairman of the legal affairs committee ...

  • Holding council

    28-Jul-2003

    Peterborough City Council's decison to slash its panel to only one firm is keeping the legal team busy - as is its crackdown on yob culture.

  • Ireland gets rap for non-compliance

    28-Jul-2003

    THE IRISH government's alleged failure to implement a directive giving lawyers the right to easily register and work in Ireland has led the European Commission (EC) to threaten potentially enormous daily recurring fines.Brussels has sent Dublin a final warning letter that tells it to comply with a European Court of Justice ruling from last December, that it should transpose Directive 98/5/EC on the establishment of lawyers onto its statute book.The EU legislation, which ...

  • Jenkens & Gilchrist refuses to reveal client details to IRS

    28-Jul-2003

    Dallas-based Jenkens & Gilchrist is refusing to bow to an unprecedented de-mand from the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) to reveal the names of clients allegedly based in illegal tax havens.The IRS has served a summons on Jenkens & Gilchrist asking its Chicago office to reveal the names of more than 600 clients that the IRS believes are illegally avoiding taxes by using vehicles organised or sold by the firm.Jenkens chairman and chief executive officer William Durbin ...

  • Jonathan Goldberg QC gets civil with Ely Place

    28-Jul-2003

    Ely Place Chambers has attracted a second head of chambers to its ranks in just four months in the form of highly-rated 3 Temple Gard-ens supremo Jonathan Gold-berg QC. Goldberg follows former Hardwicke Building head Nicholas Stewart QC to Ronald Thwaites QC's small but growing set."I consider him to be one of the most formidable advocates of his generation, and in my view there are not many of them," said Thwaites.Goldberg boasts a leading criminal practice, but now hopes ...

  • Kendall Freeman wins Victoria Seguros work

    28-Jul-2003

    A recommendation from the magic circle has awarded Kendall Freeman a new client in the guise of Germany's Ergo Group subsidiary Victoria Seguros.

  • Kilpatrick takes Altheimer's London contingent

    28-Jul-2003

    Kilpatrick Stockton's 120 equity partners have voted unanimously to take in 14 partners and 25 lawyers from the London office of disintegrating Chicago firm Altheimer & Gray. They will join Kilpatrick's nine-strong London practice by 1 August.

  • Landwell in large-scale hunt for copyright crooks

    28-Jul-2003

    Landwell in Spain has launched its largest attack yet on file-sharers, targeting 4,000 people who are alleged to have swapped copyrighted material over the internet.The Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) led the way, with legal actions against peer-to-peer networks such as Napster and Kazaa. It has recently diverted from that tactic by sending subpoenas to internet service providers asking them to reveal file-sharers' names, who it will begin legal proceedings ...

  • Laura Devine Solicitors bags BP and JCB

    28-Jul-2003

    Laura Devine Solicitors, the firm launched last month by Eversheds' former head of immigration, has signed up BP and JCB as new clients. Laura Devine set up the firm, based in Old Jewry, with eight other lawyers from her joint venture with Eversheds. She has not worked with BP or JCB in the past. Devine has dropped her charge-out rate from £350 to £280 since parting company with Eversheds. Julia Cahill

  • LEADER

    28-Jul-2003

    It's only taken 31 years, but Linklaters is finally building the New York office it has always wanted. Well, perhaps 'always wanted' is a tad optimistic.Recruiting three litigation partners and an associate (who will become a partner on joining Linklaters) from top-notch New York firm Shearman & Sterling is no doubt a coup for the magic circle firm. However, Linklaters had hoped to merge with ...

  • Littlewoods head of legal switches to Dixons Group

    28-Jul-2003

    Dixons Group, the electrical goods retailer, has hired the group legal director and company secretary of Littlewoods as its first ever head of legal.Neil Ogilvie becomes the first head of legal to be appointed by the FTSE 100 company, which also owns Currys, The Link, PC World and a number of retail businesses in Europe.It is unclear how Ogilvie's appointment will affect Dixons' relationship with its external lawyers. The retailerdoes not have a formal panel ...

  • Lord Bissell wins last of the Arter lawyers

    28-Jul-2003

    The last vestiges of collapsed Cleveland firm Arter & Hadden have found new homes at the Los Angeles office of Lord Bissell & Brook.The team of seven lawyers, including two partners, has made the leap to Lord Bissell as two new firms have formed out of the remnants of the 160-year old Arter & Hadden, which finally closed its doors on 15 July.Around 70 Cleveland-based lawyers reformed straight after the shutdown as part of new firm Tucker Ellis & West, with ...

  • Mad Mancs

    28-Jul-2003

    The legal profession is not normally a laugh-a-minute, so Tulkinghorn would like to extend his gratitude to Manchester firm Pannone & Partners, which has done a great deal to cheer him up with its - frankly - bonkers new website.If your day is getting dull, go to the partner biographies on the site. After each standard CV entry there is a link to 'the human face of Pannone & Partners', which is where things get a bit surreal.In this section managing partner Joy Kingsley ...

  • Martineaus' profits continue to slide

    28-Jul-2003

    Martineau Johnson's profits have plummeted for a second consecutive year even though turnover rose to an all-time high. The Birmingham firm posted a 3 per cent hike in turnover to £18.5m, but average profits per equity partner dropped 21 per cent, from £170,000 to £135,000. This figure is well below two years ago, when equity partners earned £190,000.

  • Masons picks new senior partner after role review

    28-Jul-2003

    Masons has elected construction partner Martin Harman as senior partner after seven months of the role being vacant.John Bishop stepped down from the role last November, after 12 years as senior partner, and it was decided that a review of the senior partner role was necessary.Harman was the sole candidate for the job following a firmwide search, with consultations being conducted byIT partner Iain Monaghan.The consultations involved partners being asked ...

  • McGuireWoods hires Milbank partner to push NY expansion

    28-Jul-2003

    Milbank Tweed Hadley & McCloy has lost a restructuring partner to McGuireWoods' burgeoning New York office, little more than a year after he joined the firm from Gibson Dunn & Crutcher.James Ricciardi, known for his recent involvement in acting for Enron Corp's creditors' committee while at Milbank, originally joined the firm in April last year. However, this June he made the leap to Virginia's McGuireWoods.Before Milbank, Ricciardi had spent 12 years at Gibson Dunn, ...

  • Mishcon de Reya fends off £6m claim

    28-Jul-2003

    Mishcon de Reya has defeated a £6m negligence claim from businessman Robin Pesskin that has been dogging it for more than two years.Pesskin was the man who originally conceived the idea of developing shopping malls in NHS hospitals.He sued Mishcons for negligence over a contract it drafted for him when he attracted private equity investment into his company.The ...

  • Net profiting

    28-Jul-2003

    Netball is back big time. Forget footy - the all-time favourite girls' school sport was given a boost last week by Blake Lapthorn Linnell, which won what it called "an important regional tournament".Blake Lapthorn's team, sporting the suitably retro tag Blake's Seven, emerged victorious from its battles against several other local firms. The team was a bit low on lawyers, though, with Sarah ...

  • Norton Rose's partner profits down ten per cent

    28-Jul-2003

    Norton Rose's profits per equity partner fell by around 10 per cent in the last financial year from £460,000 to £414,000. Turnover was up slightly by 5 per cent, taking total revenue through the £200m barrier to £207m.

  • Older and wiser?

    28-Jul-2003

    Does the Government's fight against age discrimination spell the end for lockstep? Jon Robins reports on how the prospect of seventy-year-old partners could spark a change in law firms' partnership structures

  • OPINION

    28-Jul-2003

    The Chief Medical Officer's (CMO) long awaited report on compensation for clinical negligence claims was published on 30 June. It was the result of two years of deliberation by the CMO and a review committee representing all major stakeholders. It was commissioned as a result of figures published by the National Audit Office in May 2001 that seemed to show a dramatic increase in the costs of compensation for clinical errors. The figures were later challenged and were probably not truly ...

  • Orrick-Venture Law Group merger moves forward as Cooley Godward talks collapse

    28-Jul-2003

    Orrick Herrington & Sutcliffe is set to forge ahead on its merger with Venture Law Group following the collapse of talks with West Coast rival Cooley Godward.The decision to end talks was made after a meeting with Orrick's executive committee last Wednesday (23 July). The negotiations began at the beginning of the year.The emergence of a possible merger between Orrick and Cooley had called into question the future of a link-up with Venture Law Group.Orrick already ...

  • Pennie and Duane Morris open offices in San Diego

    28-Jul-2003

    Despite a string of law firm closures in the US, domestic firms are continuing to expand with both Pennie & Edmonds and Duane Morris opening up in San Diego.The expansion marks intellectual property boutique Pennie's fourth US office, adding to New York, Washington and Palo Alto. The new space, to be opened at the beginning of September, will be headed by Anthony Insogna, who will relocate from New York. The office will also contain four lawyers as well as partner Laurie Axford, ...

  • Plexus Law to set up rent-a-lawyer scheme for supermarkets

    28-Jul-2003

    Niche insurance firm Plexus Law is set to cash in on Lord Falconer's recent decision to let supermarkets provide legal advice to their customers by renting them its lawyers.The firm is in discussions with high street retailers such as Tesco to provide them with lawyers to advise their customers directly, following the new constitutional affairs minister Lord Falconer's decision to lift the ban on this practice on 24 July.Tesco already has a strong line of business selling ...

  • Provident Financial in law firm clearout

    28-Jul-2003

    Provident Financial, the door-to-door credit and insurance company, has ditched DLA, Hammonds, Masons and Pinsents following a review of its external lawyers.The move follows a decision by the FTSE 100 company to set up a formal legal panel. Eversheds, which previously had no relationship with Provident Financial, has won a place on the new panel, along with existing advisers

  • Queensland to follow New South Wales with acceptance of MDPs

    28-Jul-2003

    Queensland looks set to become the second Australian state, after New South Wales, to reform its legal practices legislation, opening the door to multidisciplinary partnerships (MDPs) and alternative funding arrangements.Attorney General Rod Welford announced last week that he hoped the changes would takeeffect by the beginning of next year.As well as introducing MDPs, the changes would allow firms to be funded by shareholders and governed by company law, rather than ...

  • Scotch - not to be missed

    28-Jul-2003

    Tulkinghorn and his hacks on The Lawyer do occasionally enjoy the odd drop of the uisge beatha, so imagine their excitement when they stumbled (literally) across the Scotch Malt Whisky Society. Proving their… er… 'thirst for knowledge', the craic team was were treated to an informative briefing, a comprehensive tasting session - and a tour of the private members' club. A thoroughly enjoyable time was had by all. But there's more.The society has kindly donated a free membership ...

  • See no evil

    28-Jul-2003

    Our friends at Graham Gill have just conducted a survey of 20 randomly-selected partners from the top 20 firms in The Lawyer 100. The survey asked the partners a fair question: had they seen their managing partner in the past week?Of the respondents, 76 per cent said they had, although at least one fifth of those surveyed were actually on their holidays. Indeed, holiday is the main theme for many firms. A staggering 40 per cent of the randomly-selected Ashursts partners were on ...

  • Seyfarth Shaw favourite to win Altheimer's Frisco office

    28-Jul-2003

    Chicago's Seyfarth Shaw has emerged as the frontrunner to take on the highly sought-after San Francisco office of dissolving Altheimer & Gray.The office, which only opened last September, has been the subject of a bidding war between four or five firms in the region.Last week, Seyfarth Shaw, which has around 50 lawyers in San Francisco, recruited international tax partner Graham Taylor and two assistants from Altheimer. It is understood that the firm is now considering ...

  • Sidley bankruptcy ace takes up Dreier post

    28-Jul-2003

    Sidley Austin Brown & Wood has lost bankruptcy partner Norman Kinel to New York's Dreier. Kinel, who will become chairman of the bankruptcy practice, said: "Few boutique firms have the requisite level of bankruptcy and litigation expertise, which is essential in complex bankruptcy. It's my intention to position Dreier as a key player."

  • Talking heads

    28-Jul-2003

    Christopher Digby-Bell's outspoken nature has not made him many friends at the Law Society, but nothing will stop him talking.

  • Tax(idermy) perhaps?

    28-Jul-2003

    One of Tulkinghorn's scribes was trying to track down an elusive tax lawyer at PricewaterhouseCoopers-affiliated law firm Landwell recently.Having typed 'www.landwell. com' in to his computer, he was confronted with the intriguing question: "What's Booby Bird?"There appeared to be very few answers on the website, but the scribe's interest was piqued, while his interest in tax dwindled surprisingly quickly.He turned to Jeeves, who promptly answered that a Booby ...

  • Telly monster

    28-Jul-2003

    The Communications Act intends to open the market for non-EU investors, but just how welcome will they be?

  • US in-houser pay jumps 9 per cent

    28-Jul-2003

    The pay packets of corporate counsel in the US jumped by 9 per cent in 2002, according to the GC Compensation Survey.The survey, produced by Corporate Counsel magazine, also found that the average salary and bonus packages of general counsels exceeded the $1m (£620,000) mark for the second time in the survey's 10-year history. This contrasts with 2001, when salaries were frozen and bonuses were slashed by 12 per cent.Last year, the average salary rose by 6 per cent ...

  • Victorian government seeks to intervene in McCabe v BAT

    28-Jul-2003

    The Victorian Government in Australia is to seek leave to intervene in the High Court case of McCabe v British American Tobacco (BAT), after fresh allegations last week by a former in-house counsel.Secretary and legal counsel of WD&HO Wills (now part of BAT) Frederick Gulson has signed an affidavit alleging that his company sanitised reports in relation to document retention. As a result, Victorian Attorney General Rob Hulls said that, on the advice of the Solicitor General, ...

  • Victoria's secret Separated at birth

    28-Jul-2003

    Superheroes have never been more popular. Spidey swung his way to all-time box office records recently, while the X-Men, the Hulk and Ben Afleck's leather-clad Daredevil have all enjoyed recent outings. There is still only one Superman though - but it appears there are two Clark Kents. Moonlighting as a partner at niche construction firm Shadbolt & Co, Kent has refined his undercover technique by changing his name. He now goes by the name of Anthony Albertini, a man who claimed ...

  • White & Case hires signal real estate push

    28-Jul-2003

    White & Case is making its second bid for a London real estate practice after securing two property partners to set up the group.Lawrence Graham partner Lorraine Ufland and David Cox, a senior associate at Tite & Lewis, are due to join the US firm as partners to work across the practice groups.Until now White & Case's London office has outsourced its property work to Penningtons

  • Will Bingham's new focus spark conflicts?

    28-Jul-2003

    The London office is taking a gamble on acquisition finance with its lure of Coucher.

  • Wragges staves off bleak market with secondments

    28-Jul-2003

    Birmingham giant Wragge & Co has launched an internal secondment programme in response to the economic downturn.Wragges has moved 20 assistants, including up to eight from the corporate group, from less busy departments to ones where more resources are needed. A number of assistants, for example, have joined the litigation team.Additionally, a couple of assistants are ...