3 April 2000
Hardly a week goes by in New York city without another mid-size firm merger rumour. Roughly 80 per cent of the city's 35 mid-size firms have been engaged in active merger discussions in the past 18 months. Firms in the 50 to 150 lawyer range are disappearing from the local landscape as more and more merge, dissolve or lose groups of lawyers to more powerful rivals. They can no longer rely on being full-service practices because they face intense competition in an increasingly international marke
Australian lawyers are attempting to prevent UK firms from securing licences to practise local law in Singapore.
Lawyers often talk about the success of the magic circle firms, but while they are pulling away from the rest of the market, another tier of firms is digging-in to sustain its position in the industry.
Bristol-based firm Bevan Ashford is facing a charge of constructive dismissal from a former marketing executive.
Westminster practice Bircham & Co has landed six partners and seven assistants from Bower Cotton, leaving the City outfit with just two partners.
Cadwalader Wickersham & Taft's London office has poached Michelle Duncan as its first litigation partner from rival New York firm Weil Gotshal & Manges.
One of the tobacco industry's favourite defences in its continuing court battles fell through this week when a trial in California ended with Philip Morris and RJ Reynolds being ordered to pay $10m (£6.3m) each to Leslie Whiteley, a mother of four who is expected to die from lung cancer within a year. Crucially, Whiteley took up smoking after 1969, the year that US Congress obliged tobacco companies to put health warnings on their packets. Until this verdict, the companies had used ...
City firms Sinclair Roche & Temperley and CMS Cameron McKenna have completed the first stage of one of the world's biggest water projects - advising the Municipality of Bucharest on a billion-dollar investment.
Associated British Foods (ABF) has lost its second company secretary in just six months.
John Powell QC writes from Hong Kong on the ever-changing coastline of the international professional negligence scene.
Shaw Pittman, the US firm, has appointed Karen Knab to the newly-created post of executive director. Her arrival coincides with a period of expansion for the Washington DC-based firm, which has added 100 lawyers in the past year to take it to a total of 370. She arrives from the same position at Sutherland Asbill & Brennan.
Norton Rose advised Royal Bank Leasing on its funding for the £80m Eden project to build a global garden in Cornwall. Royal Bank Leasing is committed to providing £45m of lease funding for the millennium project while NatWest will provide a loan of £12m. David Coulter, banking partner at Norton Rose, led a team of five on the deal. Os
Freshfields in Paris has picked up one of Europe's leading securities lawyers in a raid on international firm Stibbe Simont Monahan Duhot & Giroux.
I was somewhat surprised to see that I had "resigned" as head of chambers (The Lawyer, 20 March). I don't think I have resigned from anything in my life.
Goldsmith Building is putting its future in the hands of a solicitor after appointing a Barlow Lyde & Gilbert partner as chambers director.
Hammond Suddards is engaging the services of accountant Grant Thornton to advise on selling off its bulk litigation department.
Herbert Smith has joined the race to merge with German legal giant Bruckhaus Westrick Heller Lober, going head-to-head with Freshfields.
Atlanta's Holland & Knight has acquired niche communications firm Koteen & Naftalin to boost its Washington DC telecoms practice.
It is time for the annual round of partner promotions, when ambitious assistants await their fate. Sean Farrell goes behind the scenes at some of the City's top firms and finds out what's required to be among the chosen few.
The middle classes. New rules from the Magistrates' Association, with the support of the Lord Chancellor, mean that high-earners could be fined up to seven times more than those on low incomes for the same offence. A spokesperson said: "The guidelines are intended to achieve equality in punishment. It is clearly unfair to fine someone £100 if they are on income support and £100 for the same offence to someone else on £20,000 a year."
Opponents of Section 28. Those seeking to scrap the controversial clause received a boost from solicitors Belmont Hodgson, which claims that Section 28 will fall foul of the Human Rights Act due to come into force in the autumn.
Paris-based Jeantet & Associes is at the point of abandoning merger talks with UK and US firms, and developing its own informal international network.
Accountancy giant KPMG is merging with New Zealand law firm Kensington Swan as it begins integrating its fragmented global network.
The race to become the chambers director of the newly merged chambers of 4-5 Gray's Inn Square and Monckton Chambers will be decided today (Monday) and revealed on The Lawyer's website www.thelawyer.co.uk.
The Lawyer is banking on the kids to come up with a killer dotcom concept. They are obviously so much better at spending money than he is at earning it that he figures they will know by instinct how to suck the disposable income of the UK's 5 to 15-year-olds out of their piggy banks and into his ISA portfolio.
Top East Anglian firm Mills & Reeve has lost one of its private client partners to Ipswich firm Birketts.
Jonathan Hirst QC, chairman of the Bar Council of England and Wales, said in a letter (The Lawyer, 20 March,) that "the profession has always taken the wellbeing of its pupils seriously".
The news that Hammond Suddards is to spend £1m through Team Saatchi to develop its image will no doubt be viewed as yet another giant evolutionary leap for lawyerkind. After all, spending a million notes on a marketing campaign is not something you see every day in this business.
Peter Carter-Ruck and Partners, the leading defamation practice, has lost media partner Chris Hutchings to Charles Russell.
Taylor Joynson Garrett advised Tornado Group on a £15m placing on AIM. Corporate partner Tim Oldridge led a team of five on the deal. Pinsent Curtis acted for Tornado's nominated adviser Bell Lawrie Wise Speke.
Simmons & Simmons advised United Arab Emirates Offsets Group (UOG) on a strategic partnership with oil companies Enron and Elf for the implementation of UOG's Dolfin Initiative. Simmons head of corporate and energy Jerry Walter led a team of nine on the deal. Enron was advised by Vinson & Elkins. Elf was advised in-house and by Dickson Minto and Willkie Farr & Gallagher.
Lawrence Graham represented Legal & General Assurance Society in its £22.5m purchase of Cardiff's Port Road Retail Park from Standard Life Investments. Property partner Richard Miles and planning solicitor John Palmer advised on the deal. Addleshaw Booth & Co acted for Standard Life.
SJ Berwin represented Delancey Estates in its £3.5m per annum letting of its office development on Manchester Square, London W1, to ICI. The 20-year lease will be reviewed every five years. SJ Berwin property partner Martin Wright led the team on the deal. Field Fisher Waterhouse acted for ICI.
Nabarro Nathanson acted for Capital & Counties on its acquisition of a £42m property portfolio. Capital & Counties acts as property fund manager for authorised property unit trust Portfolio Property Fund. Deborah Lloyd, property partner at Nabarro Nathanson, led a team of two on the deal.
PwC Veltins Rechtsanwaltsgesellschaft - PricewaterhouseCoopers' German law firm - has hired three heads of departments and their staff from rival Heuking Kuhn Luer Heussen Wojtek.
"He used to get drunk at parties and they decided this was the sort of person they should have."- Management consultant Alan Hodgart on how one firm decided on its new partners.
Leading civil set 1 Crown Office Row is taking on three tenants courtesy of the regional bar's first two dissolutions.
I am writing in respect of the coverage in relation to the recent Board elections at Davies Arnold Cooper (The Lawyer, 27 March).
While professional negligence claims can be a nightmare for accountants, brokers and solicitors, the legal roller coaster ride that ensues can offer rich pickings for chambers with nerves of steel. Fennella Quinn reports.
Phil Collins v his former backing singers. Fresh from his Oscars triumph Collins has launched a case against Louis Satterfield and Rahmlee Davis, former members of Earth, Wind and Fire, to recoup royalties. Collins claims that the two should only have been paid royalties for the five tracks on a live album that the pair played on and not every track. However Satterfield and Davis claim that they were an integral part of the entire album. Collins has agreed not to ask for the royalties ...
Due to the current poor stock performance of most listed property companies lawyers practising in this sector are constantly being kept on their toes. David Wigan explains why.
Clifford Chance advised Greenwich NatWest on a 22-year £70.9m refinancing of leasing arrangements entered into by John Laing to fund construction of the Ashford International Passenger Terminal. Clifford Chance banking partner Peter Kilner led a team of 13 on the deal. DJ Freeman acted for the issuer and John Laing. Denton Wilde Sapte represented the lessor.
Simmons & Simmons has snatched a chunk of work from Shearman & Sterling after becoming primary legal adviser to newly demerged company ED&F Man Group.
Squire Sanders & Dempsey is lining up with Ireland's Brian O'Donnell & Partners in what is believed to be the first ever alliance between a US and Irish firm.
Nomura's former chief general counsel Stephen Ball is resurfacing at US firm Gibson Dunn & Crutcher to head its UK practice.
McGrigor Donald managing partner Steven Scates is not fond of the 'Scottish firm' label attached to his practice. Fiona Callister meets the man who has global expansion planned for the UK-wide firm.
Twenty years ago the mention of a media lawyer conjured up images of shiny suits and one-sided contracts. Now, expertise in intellectual property (IP) law is a fundamental component of the staple of the 21st century lawyer's diet: the corporate-media deal.
Theodore Goddard has won property finance work for the new Abbey National bank, after an existing client was appointed to head the operation.
Titmuss Sainer Dechert is acting for French sports-retailing giant Decathlon on its entry into the UK market.
Olswang corporate lawyer Nigel Roddis is leaving the firm to indulge his enthusiasm for horse racing as head of legal at the Tote.
Two leading barristers are quitting the newly merged set of One Paper Buildings and 2 Crown Office Row to join rival 4 Paper Buildings.
Dorsey & Whitney has raided the Salt Lake City office of LeBoeuf Lamb Greene & MacRae for its capital markets practice.
The High Court postmortem of the collapse of the UK's oldest bank, Barings, will be a public spectacle with high stakes and complex issues, but will there be implications for legal firms or is it just a case of the vultures picking the bare bones of a bank that fell from grace? Abigail Townsend reports.
As prosecutors look forward to more pay, John Cooper says they already have too much power. John Cooper is a barrister at 3 Gray's Inn Square.
The profession is modernising fast. Often reluctantly, sometimes resignedly, management, conditions, practices and reward structures are being dragged into the 21st Century. But there are still pockets of esoteric legal rituals and practices that stubbornly refuse to change. Even in the ultra-modern, high-tech business world of the City law firm some things are still done the way they have always been done, such as the selection and appointment of partners. As we report this week, the ...