3 May 2004

The Lawyer

  • A&O joins ProHelp London to aid Vauxhall City Farm

    3-May-2004

    ProHelp London, a national network of professional firms offering free support to the voluntary sector, has enlisted the support of Allen & Overy (A&O) to urgently improve the office space of a project-led farm in Vauxhall.

  • Addleshaws hit with five departures

    3-May-2004

    Addleshaw Goddard has been hit by a string of partner departures from legacy firm Theodore Goddard.

  • Andrew Milne: an apology

    5-May-2004

    On 5 May, The Lawyer.com apologised in court to solicitor Andrew Milne in respect of an article which appeared on its website entitled “Law Firm denies Vaz Payout”. The statement was made in proceedings for libel issued by Mr Milne.We apologised for reporting allegations against him concerning the evidence he gave to the Commissioner for Parliamentary Standards and the House of Commons Committee on Standards and Privileges during their investigation of Keith Vaz MP. We accepted ...

  • Ashurst opens lockstep trapdoor for poor performers as profits nosedive

    3-May-2004

    Ashurst partners are braced for a dramatic profits plunge of around 15 per cent, with the firm’s new managing partner Simon Bromwich having already taken steps to tighten financial management by moving underperforming partners down the lockstep.

  • Aventis’s ‘poison pill’ raises market concerns

    3-May-2004

    Sanofi’s e50bn (£33.64bn) takeover of Aventis has provoked debate among the companies’ legal advisers about the importance of France’s first ‘poison pill’.

  • BakerPlatt hires ex-US Senate counsel

    3-May-2004

    The US Senate’s former special counsel on foreign relations Jack Blum has joined Jersey-based outfit BakerPlatt, the international alliance partner of UK set Seven Bedford Row. At the Senate, Blum played a key role in the US government’s investigations into BCCI and drug trafficking by General Manuel Noriega, Panama’s former military leader. BakerPlatt specialises in fraud prevention for offshore companies and financial services authorities in the Far East, the Caribbean, the Isle of ...

  • Bank of England appeals to Lords

    3-May-2004

    The House of Lords last week agreed to hear the Bank of England’s appeal in the BCCI Inquiry, which could have vital ramifications for legal privilege.

  • Bar rates dispute halts Iraqi hearing

    3-May-2004

    A trial of 26 Iraqis has been severely disrupted after several senior barristers refused to accept instructions, marking a further escalation of the bar’s pay dispute.

  • Barclays hires for African law team

    3-May-2004

    Barclays has taken on three new lawyers in South Africa and Botswana as a result of a reorganisation of the bank’s legal system in the region, which takes effect on 1 May.

  • Blake Cassels opens its doors in Chicago

    3-May-2004

    Blake Cassels & Graydon has become the first Canadian firm to set up shop in Chicago. The office will initially be staffed by partner Geoff Belsher and one associate, although there are hopes that it will house five lawyers within five years. According to reports, the firm applied for a foreign legal consultant’s licence to the Illinois Supreme Court and intends to advise only Canadian clients on Canadian law. The office marks a period of US expansion for the firm after it established ...

  • BLP scoops Ascent’s bid for MoD contract

    3-May-2004

    By Berwin Leighton Paisner (BLP) has been announced as the surprise winner of a pitch to advise the Ascent consortium, which is bidding for the Ministry of Defence’s (MoD) UK Military Flying Training System (MFTS) public-private partnership contract....

  • Bond Pearce to move to prime Bristol location

    3-May-2004

    Bond Pearce has signed a deal to take 50,000sq ft of space in a new Bristol development as it continues its attack on the South West market. The deal will see the firm move its entire Bristol office into a 100,000sq ft building at Temple Quay in Bristol’s commercial district. With its property advisers King Sturge, Bond Pearce has negotiated a 17 and a half-year lease at an initial rent of £23.50 per ...

  • Bradford’s Gordons takes over Leeds firm Nelsons

    3-May-2004

    Gordons, the tiny Bradford firm that recently fought for Wm Morrison Supermarkets on its £2.9bn takeover of Safeway, has completed its own major acquisition by taking on Leeds practice Nelson & Co.

  • Brodies looks to LLP status to manage risk

    3-May-2004

    Scottish firm Brodies is set to become the largest independent Scottish legal firm to convert to a limited-liability partnership. The move, which has been touted as a risk management strategy by managing partner Bill Drummond, will take effect on 1 May. The firm will also undergo a reshuffle, with the addition of two new partners and a new chairman. Technology specialist Alistair Orr, formerly of

  • Cap in hand

    3-May-2004

    Freshfields and Fox Williams are fighting to limit directors’ liability. Jon Robins dissects the biggest issue in corporate governance today

  • CC to shake up West Coast office

    3-May-2004

    Clifford Chance’s management is set to implement a fundamental review of its West Coast practice as the firm embarks on a full-scale push to drive up US revenue.

  • Celador wins Warner Music legal director

    3-May-2004

    Celador International, the company behind TV quiz show Who Wants to be a Millionaire?, has recruited Warner Music International’s director of business and legal affairs.

  • Clifford Chance loses yet another US lawyer

    5-May-2004

    Kirkpatrick & Lockhart is latest recipient of Clifford Chance’s US lawyer exodus, after hiring a securities enforcement and financial services partner.

  • Danone gains Axa's general counsel

    4-May-2004

    French financial services giant AXA has lost its general counsel of 13 years to food company Groupe Danone.

  • David Thurston: J Sainsbury

    3-May-2004

    Sainsbury’s legal team has been instrumental in its fight to turn the supermarket around. Husnara Begum reports

  • Davis Polk wins mandate for billion dollar RBS deal

    5-May-2004

    Linklaters’ UK client Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) has turned to Davis Polk & Wardwell for its surprise £5.8bn acquisition of US retail bank Charter One.

  • Deloitte France ends accounting-law link

    3-May-2004

    Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu in France has finalised the split between its audit practice and its tax and legal division Deloitte & Touche Juridique et Fiscal.

  • Employment alliance recruits Czech member

    4-May-2004

    World-wide employment alliance ius laboris has signed up Czech firm Prochazka Randl Kubr just in time for last week’s enlargement of the European Union (EU).

  • Eversheds and Wragges wrap up takeover of Mentmore

    3-May-2004

    Eversheds and Wragge & Co have concluded the long-running takeover saga involving self-storage group Mentmore, which was finally sold last week to the Bridgepoint Capital-owned Safestore.

  • Finance deals round-up

    3-May-2004

    Eversheds (Anthony McGurk, Martin Halford) advised Astron on its acquisition of Edotech from its management and Barclays Private Equity for £130m. Clifford Chance advised Astron’s lending bank, the Royal Bank of Scotland. Edotech advised by Ashurst.

  • Firm profile: Thomas Cooper & Stibbard

    3-May-2004

    Thomas Cooper & Stibbard, which specialises in shipping, insurance, aviation and banking, defies the generally-held belief that overseas offices are an expensive luxury that small firms can ill afford.

  • Firms predict EU accession boom

    3-May-2004

    UK and US firms are battling for supremacy in Europe’s most promising markets after Saturday’s (1 May) expansion of the EU.

  • France Telecom rues general counsel loss

    3-May-2004

    France Telecom’s respected general counsel Jean-Pierre Mattout has quit the company and has yet to be replaced.

  • Grapevine

    5-May-2004

    Just when you thought it was safe, along comes yet another Clifford Chance US story.

  • Hearsay

    3-May-2004

    Which US partner shares the same cocaine dealer as a famous guitar-playing old rocker?

  • Heller Ehrman boosts Asia with management shake-up

    4-May-2004

    Heller Ehrman White & McAuliffe has implemented a top-level reorganisation of its Asian practice, naming a new leader for the region.

  • ING Barings’ investment banking counsel is let go

    3-May-2004

    The UK head of legal of ING Barings’ investment banking business Piers Roberts has been made redundant.

  • Inside out

    3-May-2004

    Simon Gleeson reports on the effect that Basel II will have on bank credit management and insider dealing

  • Italy to slash three regulatory bodies

    3-May-2004

    A new Italian authorities law looks set to abolish three regulatory bodies as the country attempts to bring in legislation to prevent a future Parmalat scandal.

  • Kemp Little bags Norton Rose employment ace

    3-May-2004

    Kemp Little has taken on former Norton Rose partner Tim Russell as part of the niche firm’s bid to expand its employment practice. Russell was previously head of Norton Rose’s employment group, but resigned last summer to move into consultancy work, as well as continuing as a part-time Employment Tribunals chair. ...

  • Kirkland reboots finance with Weil Gotshal hire

    4-May-2004

    Kirkland & Ellis’ London office has replenished its banking capability by taking an of counsel from Weil Gotshal & Manges.

  • Latham raids White & Case for capital markets push

    7-May-2004

    Latham & Watkins’ London office is strengthening its private placement capability by taking on a partner from White & Case.

  • Latham real estate partner jumps ship to Sidley

    3-May-2004

    Latham & Watkins has been hit by a rare partner departure. Sidley Austin Brown & Wood has hired New York-based real estate finance lawyer Brian Krisberg. It is understood that management and executive committee member George Petrow, a securities and corporate finance partner with a specialism in the securitisation ...

  • Law firms look to Wood Wharf as tenders abound

    3-May-2004

    With the end of the battle for Canary Wharf now in sight, law firms are switching their attention to its next door neighbour, Wood Wharf.

  • Lovells chooses alliance strategy to crack SE Asia

    3-May-2004

    Lovells is planning a series of strategic alliances in South East Asia, which it believes will open up the local market without the financial risk of opening offices in jurisdictions such as Thailand.

  • Maurice Watkins in £2.5m MUFC bonanza

    3-May-2004

    James Chapman & Co senior partner and lawyer to Manchester United has netted himself a tidy £2.5m after offloading a million of his shares in the club. Maurice Watkins (right), long-time lawyer to the Premier League football club, where he is also non-executive director, was the largest individual shareholder in the company. Watkins sold a chunk of his shares last week, leaving him with five million shares, or a 1.91 per cent stake, in the company. First revealed on www.thelawyer.com ...

  • More like disorientated

    3-May-2004

    The Quote of the week goes to Canadian firm Blake Cassels & Graydon, which has just opened its second US office in Chicago. According to partner Christopher Picone, what makes Blakes Cassels so special is that “we’re extremely solution-orientated rather than problem-orientated”. This is either scarily profound or utterly stupid. After some consideration, Tulkinghorn is leaning towards the latter conclusion.

  • Olswang scoops first instruction from Viatel

    3-May-2004

    Olswang has done its first deal for Viatel. The firm has just completed a $52m (£29.2m) financing for Viatel in a deal which has been heralded as evidence of the final return of investor confidence to the telecoms sector.

  • Opinion

    3-May-2004

    On 1 May 2004, 10 new member states joined the EU. As such, the date will be remembered as a further red letter day in the EU’s evolution, following the creation of the EU itself in 1995 and the full launch of the euro in 2002.

  • Orrick targets Washington with Swidler Berlin talks

    4-May-2004

    Orrick Herrington & Sutcliffe is aiming to bump up its Washington practice by courting a potential combination with DC’s Swidler Berlin Shereff & Friedman.

  • Pillsbury suffers second round of lawyer defections

    5-May-2004

    Pillsbury Winthrop has been hit by its second bout of lawyer loses in over a week, this time in Washington as a life sciences team joins Mayer Brown Rowe & Maw.

  • Pinsents Manchester partner quits

    3-May-2004

    Pinsents Manchester has lost its joint head of banking Andrew Gosnay to Newcastle-based Watson Burton.

  • Property sax

    3-May-2004

    Not a day goes by when some corporate partner doesn’t make a snide comment about how dull their property partners are. But when it comes to music and partying, property lawyers are leading the way.

  • Register online

    3-May-2004

    The Law Commission has proposed a new online registration system that will mean dramatic change for those engaged in secured finance. Indraj Mangat reports

  • Rival bidders for Wembley opt for A&O and Linklaters

    3-May-2004

    The hotly-contested battle to take over greyhound racing and gaming group Wembley has gifted Allen & Overy (A&O) and Linklaters new clients.

  • Scabs’ cab tab

    3-May-2004

    The corporate downturn certainly restricted the largesse of City lawyers when entertaining clients. But, with optimism returning, many have been spotted dusting down the corporate cards ready for action. Time, then, for a cautionary tale before you all get too carried away.

  • Schillings win Lords victory for Naomi Campbell

    6-May-2004

    Schillings is set to reap in excess of £1m in fees after the House of Lords’ delivered its landmark judgement in favour of Naomi Campbell against the Daily Mirror.

  • Separated at birth

    3-May-2004

    Unconfirmed reports have come to Tulkinghorn that an errant judge has been found living in a cave on the plains of New Zealand. The judge, not to be confused with the Kiwis’ big new celebrity, Shrek the woolly Merino sheep, escaped from the UK court six years ago to eke out a hermit’s life on New Zealand’s South Island. The judge has foiled repeated attempts by local farmers to capture him, but was finally spotted and caught by some hikers. Originally, the owner of the hill station ...

  • Setting standards

    3-May-2004

    There is much to consider before the implementation of the International Financial Reporting Standards in 2005. Kathryn Cearns and Ewen Fergusson report

  • Sidley Austin clients round on tax shelter ruling

    6-May-2004

    More than 40 former Sidley Austin Brown & Wood clients are to appeal a ruling by a US federal judge last week, ordering the US firm to turn over clients’ names to the Inland Revenue Service (IRS) in relation to a tax shelter investigation.

  • SJ Berwin lures A&O tax specialist

    3-May-2004

    SJ Berwin has poached Allen & Overy’s (A&O) current head of tax know-how and training Pat Dugdale, who will join the City firm as a partner in its tax group.

  • SJ Berwin sustains more losses to Olswang

    5-May-2004

    Olswang has taken another SJ Berwin lawyer, this time recruiting a film finance expert.

  • Spanish accountancy firms hit by underwhelming year

    5-May-2004

    Spain’s past and present accountancy-tied law firms have struggled to shrug off the tough economy during 2003, with all recording scant increases in overall gross for the year.

  • Talking shop

    3-May-2004

    Denise Jagger is taking what she learnt as Asda’s general counsel to Eversheds – and some big changes are afoot. Emma Vere-Jones reports

  • The College of Law

    3-May-2004

    The College of Law is on a bit of a roll. Having already bagged three-quarters of the magic circle for its new bespoke City LPC course, it now has its sights trained on the US firms.

  • The OFT is reeling, but it’s not out for the count

    3-May-2004

    A slew of appeals lost, but with the football shirts case there’s everything to play for. By Helen Power

  • The roses are blooming in Moscow

    3-May-2004

    Linklaters is looking very much like the cat that got the cream after winning its first ever instruction for Gazprom, the world’s largest gas producer, on its northeastern gas pipeline project. Led by Moscow partner Dominic Sanders, the firm triumphed in a competitive tender against the top UK firms in Moscow: Allen & Overy,

  • The scales of justice

    3-May-2004

    UK lawyers might bang on about how hard it is to work with Italians and how much trouble it is to manage them, but Tulkinghorn thinks they’re great.

  • Travers scores first deal for Cazenove

    5-May-2004

    Travers Smith Braithwaite has scooped its first instruction from blue-blood investment bank Cazenove, a longstanding client of Slaughter and May.

  • Underpaid and understaffed: the state of UK legal aid

    4-May-2004

    A report into the state of legal aid reveals a system in crisis, bogged down by delays and inadequate advice, according to documents leaked to The Lawyer.

  • US firms turn to College of Law for bespoke training

    3-May-2004

    A group of US law firms in London are in talks with the College of Law about setting up bespoke training programmes for their future trainees.

  • Weil Gotshal uses Paris move to tempt GE

    3-May-2004

    Weil Gotshal & Manges is set to make a play for US conglomerate GE’s European business as it relocates one of its most senior trade and regulatory partners to Paris.

  • Wilberforce lures CC partner to the bar

    3-May-2004

    Wilberforce Chambers has scooped its second magic circle intellectual property (IP) partner in just over a year, this time from Clifford Chance.

  • Wilson Sonsini to rake in $20m from Google shares

    3-May-2004

    Wilson Sonsini took an equity investment in the world’s leading search engine when it advised Google prior to its launch in 1999. This will now net Wilson Sonsini the biggest windfall a law firm has had from such an investment, often made in lieu of fees.

  • Witches’ notion

    3-May-2004

    Along comes Reed Smith and its ‘Women’s Network’.

  • World Trade Center leaseholder fails in bid to increase insurance pay-out

    5-May-2004

    The titanic battle between two of the New York bar’s trial heavyweights is nearing its end after a US federal jury rejected World Trade Center leaseholder Larry Silverstein’s bid to effectively double his insurance payments from Swiss Re.