30 January 2006

The Lawyer

  • A slice of the action

    1-Feb-2006

    The IPO of Gondola Holdings last November marked the return of restaurant chain PizzaExpress to the London Stock Exchange.In November 2005, Gondola Holdings, the holding company of the PizzaExpress, ASK and Zizzi restaurant chains, floated on the London Stock Exchange (LSE) with a market capitalisation of approximately £480m. The flotation marked a return to the LSE for PizzaExpress, which only three years previously had been taken private by private equity houses TDR Capital and Capricorn ...

  • Deals comment

    30-Jan-2006

    Anxious times at Shearman & Sterling's New York corporate department. The firm hit the headlines at the start of the year when it won a rare instruction from BASF. The chemical giant put in a hostile bid for US rival Engelhard, offering a $4.9bn (£2.75bn) all-cash offer.

  • 199 Strand chief to follow colleague to Wilberforce

    30-Jan-2006

    The head of chambers from dissolved set 199 Strand David Phillips QC has joined Wilberforce Chambers.

  • A&O moves data centre outside capital

    30-Jan-2006

    Allen & Overy (A&O) has spent £5.5m outsourcing its IT infrastructure to ensure the safety of its technology systems.

  • A&O to stem attrition with associate promotion reform

    1-Feb-2006

    Allen & Overy (A&O) has rolled out its long-awaited proposals to reform London associate career progression following a year when its attrition rate topped 25 per cent.Managing partner David Morley and HR head Genevieve Tennant made their final presentations in December last year. As first revealed on www.thelawyer.com (21 December), ...

  • A&O, McCann FitzGerald secure historic Irish CMBS

    30-Jan-2006

    Allen & Overy (A&O) and Dublin-based firm McCann FitzGerald are advising Eurohypo on Ireland's first commercial mortgage-backed security (CMBS) for a property company.

  • Addleshaw Goddard hires Norton Rose chief

    30-Jan-2006

    Addleshaw Goddard has bolstered its corporate department with the hire of Norton Rose senior associate Ivor Edwards, who joins as a partner. Edwards comes with an insurance and financial services background, an area an Addleshaws spokesman said the corporate department had targeted to bulk up. Edwards starts ...

  • Addleshaws launches Hong Kong exchange programme

    1-Feb-2006

    Addleshaw Goddard has forged an international trainee exchange programme on the back of its best friend relationship with Hong Kong firm Johnson Stokes & Master.The six-month exchange programme, which is nearing the completion of its first term, will be reviewed with the two trainees involved to gauge its success, although the firms have already agreed another exchange in September 2006.The ...

  • Administrators shop for work in retail after tough

    1-Feb-2006

    Several retail insolvencies hit the headlines over the Christmas and New Year period, with many finding trading conditions just too tough and bringing in the administrators.On the high street, clothing retailer Kookai was the latest casualty, with holding company Adjustbetter bringing in administrator Deloitte, which is being advised by Ashurst head of insolvency Nick Angel.When a company files ...

  • Alito confirmed as US Supreme Court justice

    31-Jan-2006

    Samuel Alito has been approved as the United States’ 110th Supreme Court justice, securing victory in the most partisan vote in the nation’s modern history.

  • Amazon bags Wanadoo legal head for top UK adviser role

    30-Jan-2006

    LEADING internet retailer Amazon.co.uk has appointed highly rated general counsel David Melville to the role of UK legal director, filling the void created by the restructure of its European legal operations in early 2005.

  • Arcelor drafts in Skadden in takeover defence

    30-Jan-2006

    Skadden Arps Slate Meagher & Flom has scooped a lucrative mandate to defend Arcelor, the world’s second-largest steel maker, against a hostile takeover by Mittal Steel.

  • Arthur Cox takes on Dublin legend

    30-Jan-2006

    Arthur Cox has hired one of the highest-profile corporate lawyers in Dublin as a partner in its corporate group.

  • Ashurst eyes role on Debenhams float

    30-Jan-2006

    Ashurst is in line to secure a major advisory role on the flotation of Debenhams which is set to go ahead as early as April and could value the department store chain at £3bn.

  • Axa embarks on search for its first global panel

    30-Jan-2006

    Insurance giant Axa launched a search for firms for its first-ever formal global panel, becoming one of a small number of French companies to follow Anglo-Saxon methods of instructing lawyers.

  • Bakers in new banking push with Linklaters hire

    1-Feb-2006

    Baker & McKenzie (B&M) has hired finance lawyer Nick Tostivin from Linklaters into its partnership as the firm looks to rapidly expand its London banking and finance practice.

  • Ball ploy

    1-Feb-2006

    Being stuck in an office over the summer break, good for your future career as it may be, is not the most appealing way to spend the warm months. At least Nabarro Nathanson has been rewarded for its efforts to make it that little bit easier to handle.The firm won the Freebie of the Year Award, presented by the Oxford University Law Society, for the bright-orange beach balls handed out at law fairs ...

  • BCCI costs hearing: Stadlen attacks 'disgraceful' Deloittes, Lovells

    31-Jan-2006

    Fountain Court Chambers’ Nicholas Stadlen QC, appearing for the Bank of England, has slammed Lovells for failing to turn up for the BCCI costs hearing which began on Monday (30 January).

  • Beachcrofts and University of West of England collaborate on property diploma

    1-Feb-2006

    National firm Beachcroft Wansbroughs and the University of the West of England (UWE) have teamed up to launch a postgraduate diploma in commercial property.The firm created the diploma to guarantee standards of excellence. Property head Michael Bothamley said that, in 18 months, nearly half of Beachcrofts' property lawyers will have completed the diploma.The diploma is aimed at assistants of up to four years' post-qualification experience and consists of six two-day courses ...

  • Bevan Brittan bulks up training scheme

    1-Feb-2006

    Bristol-based Bevan Brittan has overhauled its training programme for trainees, assistants and associates following the appointment of a new training and development manager.The new programme, named 'Development Tracks', gives lawyers a defined 'route map' of their career development for every 12-month period of their training and has already been commended by the Law Society.Training and ...

  • Bevan Brittan rolls out new-look training programme to partnership

    30-Jan-2006

    Bevan Brittan has overhauled its training programme for trainees, assistants and associates following the appointment of a new training and development manager. The South West firm is now rolling the system out to partners.

  • Bingham bolsters NY with three-partner MoFo raid

    2-Feb-2006

    Bingham McCutchen has scooped a three-partner team from Morrison Foerster (MoFo) for its New York office.

  • Bond Pearce set for associate psychometric assessments

    1-Feb-2006

    Bond Pearce is considering rolling out the assessment programme it introduced two years ago for partners, which includes psychometric testing, to all associates.The firm has already extended the programme to assistants who are up for promotion to associate level. However, at Bond Pearce's first-ever associate conference, held last March, partners and associates discussed whether the two-day assessment ...

  • BPP creates 'Access to Practice' scheme

    1-Feb-2006

    BPP Law School has launched an 'Access to Practice' scheme to help students without contacts in the legal profession to secure training contracts.The scheme, which was launched formally last month, will be run through BPP's careers service in Leeds, London and Manchester. Students have to apply to participate in the scheme, but those who do not have training contracts will be prioritised.As part of the scheme students will be paired with practising lawyers at all levels who ...

  • BPP set to offer BVC in Leeds

    1-Feb-2006

    BPP Law School is set to become the only national provider of the BVC after announcing plans to offer the course in Leeds.The Bar Council validated BPP to run the BVC out of its one-year-old Leeds branch from September 2006. BPP will offer 48 full-time and 48 part-time BVC courses in Leeds. Manchester Metropolitan University is the only other provider of the BVC in the North.BPP chief executive Peter Crisp told Lawyer 2B that the launch of the brand new course is in response ...

  • Business punch

    1-Feb-2006

    Staff at top 10 City firm Lovells and independent business-led charity Business in the Community proved they're a fighting force by taking part in a charity boxing match to raise money for London-based community organisation YourStory.Thanks to Fitzroy Amateur Boxing Club, the teams are now very accomplished with a skipping rope and, if you look around Lovells' Atlantic House headquarters, you'll probably see some of the team members taking every opportunity to shadow box in front ...

  • CC, Simmons, Freshfields fight for Barclays OFT job

    30-Jan-2006

    Clifford Chance, Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer and Simmons & Simmons are set to battle it out to advise Barclays Bank on the Office of Fair Trading (OFT) investigation into bank services to small businesses.

  • Champagne Charlies

    30-Jan-2006

    Last Tuesday (24 January) saw the cream of the legal market descend on the Renaissance Chancery Court Hotel in Holborn for The Lawyer's annual Hot 100 party. Lawyers of every flavour rubbed shoulders and swapped war stories as the champagne oiled the tongues. All in all, a great night for legal hacks.

  • Childs to be new CC managing partner

    3-Feb-2006

    Clifford Chance chief operating officer David Childs is set to be crowned as managing partner of the world’s biggest law firm.

  • Chinese medicine

    30-Jan-2006

    What do recent revisions to Chinese Company Law mean for foreign investors? Dale Fischer and Derek Roth-Biester report

  • City teams queue up for M25 work

    1-Feb-2006

    With an eight-year construction window following an 18-month tender process, the £1.5bn widening of 63 miles of the M25 has secured lucrative roles for a number of City projects practices.The UK's largest PPP for roads has seen Allen & Overy (A&O), Ashurst,

  • Civil strife

    1-Feb-2006

    Since new laws recognising same-sex relationships were passed last year, family law specialists have been preparing for what happens when civil partnerships go wrong. Pop star Sir Elton John and his partner David Furnish were among the first of hundreds of gay couples to form civil partnerships in December 2005, when laws recognising same-sex relationships were introduced in the UK.

  • Clarke Willmott loses conveyancing arm to rival

    1-Feb-2006

    Clarke Willmott’s new homes bulk conveyancing team is moving to South West rival Foot Anstey following an agreement between the two firms.

  • Clayton Utz elevates contract law on rail deal

    30-Jan-2006

    Clayton Utz has set new standards in Australian contract law in negotiations for the Australian Rail Track Corporation's (ARTC) A$1.4bn (£590m) upgrade of the country's Melbourne to Brisbane rail network.

  • Clydes bags second partner in one month

    30-Jan-2006

    Clyde & Co has made its second partner hire of the year, appointing former Hill Taylor Dickinson partner Graeme Baird.

  • College of Law scraps LPC lectures for online tutorials

    1-Feb-2006

    The College of Law is replacing all LPC lectures with online tutorials, slashing the amount of time students spend face-to-face with lecturers.Lectures in a number of pervasive subjects, including accounts, insolvency, tax and the LPC skills of advocacy, interviewing and writing, have already been replaced with ’i-tutorials’.The college plans to roll out e-learning for all other subjects, both elective and compulsory, during the next two years.The college’s director of vocational programmes ...

  • College of Law wins Law Society's highest accolade

    1-Feb-2006

    The Law Society has awarded the College of Law's Store Street branch and BPP Law School's Manchester arm the first top grades under its new law school ratings system.It is understood that, on a recent visit to Store Street and Manchester, the Law Society panel awarded every aspect of the LPC provisions the highest possible grade of 'commendable'.This is the first time the College of Law has been awarded top grades by the Law Society. The Store Street arm previously had a 'very ...

  • Cripps appoints new senior partner

    30-Jan-2006

    Kent firm Cripps Harries Hall has elected Michael Stevens as new senior partner.

  • Dates on a plate

    30-Jan-2006

    Thirteen days, 13 dates, 13 different girls. Bircham Dyson Bell communications adviser David Flynn certainly doesn't think 13 is an unlucky number, but he's hoping the 14th is really going to be where he hits the jackpot: 14 February to be precise - Valentine's Day.

  • Deals roundup

    30-Jan-2006

    SJ Berwin, led by Steven Davis and Mark Sanders, advised the three owners of Capitol Films - Sharon Harel, Jane Barclay and Hannah Leader - on the sale of the company to Los Angeles-based entrepreneurs David Bergstein and Ronald Tutor.

  • Dechert targets top laterals for new Islamic finance practice

    30-Jan-2006

    Dechert's London office has sent out the headhunters after management gave the green light to a massive investment following the launch of its new global Islamic finance practice.

  • Deloitte and Lovells duck costs showdown on BCCI

    30-Jan-2006

    The claimants will sensationally shun the BCCI costs hearing today (30 January) after deciding there is nothing left to argue about.

  • Direct action

    30-Jan-2006

    China has introduced a strict legal framework for direct selling to protect consumers and prevent pyramid selling. David Boitout and Beatrice de Meaux-Becdelievre report

  • DLA Piper equals Philly rivals with salary hike

    30-Jan-2006

    DLA Piper Rudnick Gray Cary has raised it associate salaries in Philadelphia to some of the highest in the city.

  • DLA Piper IT ace snares $335m Indian outsource

    30-Jan-2006

    DLA Piper Rudnick Gray Cary IT partner Kit Burden has opened his account at his new firm with India's largest IT outsourcing deal to date.

  • DWF elects first managing partner

    31-Jan-2006

    North West firm DWF has carried out full-scale changes to its management system, electing its first managing partner and appointing a new strategic board.

  • eBay hunts for UK legal head after loss to Skype

    31-Jan-2006

    Online auction giant eBay’s UK director of legal affairs Robert Miller has resigned to take over the role of global general counsel of internet phone company Skype Worldwide.

  • Educational supplement?

    30-Jan-2006

    The Government's recent education white paper proposes a major overhaul of LEAs. Caraline Johnson assesses its chances

  • Enron chiefs' fraud case to kick off

    31-Jan-2006

    The criminal trial of former Enron chairman Kenneth Lay and chief executive officer Jeffrey Skilling will start today (31 January) in Houston, Texas, after the jury selection process was completed in just one day.

  • Eversheds in massive management shake-up

    1-Feb-2006

    Eversheds is overhauling its entire senior management in a dramatic bid to increase its international reach.

  • Exchange Chambers takes on family tenants

    30-Jan-2006

    North West set Exchange Chambers is continuing its Manchester hiring spree with the arrival of two new family tenants from Kingsgate Chambers. Helen Matuk has experience in all aspects of family law, while Jayne Acton specialises in proceedings involving children. The hires follow the recent arrival of three civil and two criminal members and bring ...

  • Female management team at Pillsbury draws to a close

    30-Jan-2006

    West Coast giant Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman is set for a full-scale overhaul of its management following the decision of charismatic chair Mary Cranston to step down when her term ends in December.

  • FFW boosts technology with MoFo raid

    31-Jan-2006

    Field Fisher Waterhouse (FFW) has raided Morrison & Foerster’s (MoFo) London office for two new partners to support its rapidly expanding technology practice.

  • Firm profile: Ashton Morton Slack

    30-Jan-2006

    Managing partners: Robert Bryars and Martin SissonsTurnover: £7m Total number of partners: 18 Total number of fee-earners: 77 Main practice areas: Commercial property, company and commercial, crime, personal injury and medical negligence, private ...

  • Fish & Richardson $30m malpractice award upheld

    31-Jan-2006

    Silicon Valley-based IP firm Fish & Richardson has had a $30m (£17m) award against the firm reinstated after failing in its attempt to have a legal malpractice case against it reheard.The original case, heard in 2003, concerned a complaint by chemica...

  • Freshfields scoops HMV over Simmons on Permira bid

    1-Feb-2006

    Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer has scooped the lead instruction over Simmons & Simmons to advise HMV on a potential bid for the struggling entertainment retailer by Permira.

  • Freshfields sets out stall for US merger

    30-Jan-2006

    Magic circle firm would love to meet similar US practice with view to merger within the next couple of years. Must be prepared to do deal with hundreds of Germans. Good sense of humour and sensitivity when dealing with lockstep issues preferred.

  • Garrigues launches Portuguese tax practice

    1-Feb-2006

    Spanish leader Garrigues has launched a tax practice in Portugal after hiring the entire tax team from independent firm Castro Silva & Associates.

  • Gianni rocked by four-partner walk-out

    1-Feb-2006

    Italian independent Gianni Origoni Grippo & Partners has suffered the mass resignation of four partners and a team of assoociates.

  • Grapevine

    30-Jan-2006

    Jones Day and DWS: not an affair to rememberTransatlantic mergers may be back in vogue if Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer's new ambitions are anything to go by, but one deal that isn't going anywhere is Jones Day and Denton Wilde Sapte (DWS). In fact, it wasn't even a deal worthy ...

  • Hengeler swoops on Freshfields for rare lateral

    30-Jan-2006

    Slaughter and May’s German best friend Hengeler Mueller has raided Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer for a corporate partner.

  • Hölters & Elsing

    30-Jan-2006

    For German law firm Hölters & Elsing, maintaining its independence is at the heart of its strategy.

  • Ince partners facing fraud action in Blue Strim case

    30-Jan-2006

    Ince & Co's battle with former client Blue Strim Maritime has taken a dramatic turn following the indictment of seven partners for fraud by the Greek authorities.

  • International eye: Asia

    30-Jan-2006

    Donna Sawyer on the month in Asia: Global players follow US firms as push into China gathers pace Freshfields win seals its status as top foreign firm in China Cleary scoops £1.7bn advisory role on South Korean IPO Foreign firms in Japan gear up for work as new cartel laws are unveiled

  • James Blendis: T-Mobile

    30-Jan-2006

    T-Mobile’s legal director and company secretary James Blendis has remodelled the company’s legal department to make it leaner and meaner. By Donna Sawyer

  • Japan sets date for first corporate law overhaul in a century

    30-Jan-2006

    Foreign law firms in Japan are gearing up for an M&A explosion this year, with Japanese commercial and corporate laws set to be completely overhauled for the first time in 100 years.

  • Jeantet snaps up remaining Coudert partner

    30-Jan-2006

    Independent French firm JeantetAssociés has picked up the remaining Coudert Brothers partner in Paris in a bid to broaden its international coverage.

  • Latham high-yield star in Silverpoint shift

    30-Jan-2006

    Latham & Watkins has lost one of the stars of its high-yield practice to hedge fund Silverpoint Capital as the European market fails to sustain the volume to allow Latham's UK team to replicate the success of its colleagues in the US.

  • Latham posts record results

    2-Feb-2006

    Latham & Watkins has posted a 14 per cent rise in average profit per equity partner (PEP) off the back of a 17 per cent rise in gross revenues for 2005.

  • Latham wins £653m Comstar IPO in second-largest Russian float to date

    30-Jan-2006

    Latham & Watkins has scooped an instruction for Comstar United Telesystems on its proposed $1.17bn (£653m) IPO, continuing its dominance of the Russian IPO market.

  • Law Society of Scotland to review legal training

    1-Feb-2006

    The Law Society of Scotland is launching an extensive review of legal training and is seeking views from every part of the profession, including students.The society is reviewing all stages of training, including the LLB and the Postgraduate Diploma in Legal Practice.A public consultation on the diploma is to start shortly, following recommendations to be made by a working group which concludes its work this month.The review of the LLB is at an earlier stage. Having asked ...

  • Lawyer: Chinese govt tried to kill me

    30-Jan-2006

    China's most prominent human rights (HR) lawyer is claiming that the Chinese authorities tried to kill him after they had closed his law firm. The matter raises questions about how liberal China's legal market really is.

  • Leader

    1-Feb-2006

    The College of Law’s radical plan to ditch lectures in favour of online tutorials might sound a bit crazy. But for those of you who have skipped the odd lecture, or indeed fallen asleep through one, the flexibility of studying at your own pace will no doubt seem like an attractive proposition.As Lawyer 2B exclusively reveals, the College of Law has already replaced lectures in a number of pervasive subjects with so-called ‘i-tutorials’ and is planning to roll out online e-learning for ...

  • LeBoeuf posts 23 per cent revenue rise

    30-Jan-2006

    LeBoeuf Lamb Green & MacRae posted a 23 per cent jump in gross revenue for 2005 with the firm’s turnover hitting $440m (£249m).

  • Legal education rocked by TFRG abolition bombshell

    1-Feb-2006

    The future of legal education in England and Wales has been thrown into doubt following the Law Society's decision to abolish the Training Framework Review Group (TFRG).As exclusively revealed in Lawyer 2B's sister title The Lawyer (23 January), the move comes as the Law Society's new regulation board takes over responsibility for education and training matters. Members of the TFRG and LPC providers claimed that the decision to dissolve the review group came as a complete surprise. ...

  • Legal services white paper earns cautious praise from top law bodies

    30-Jan-2006

    The major legal professional bodies last week gave a cautious welcome to the recent government white paper on the future of legal services, but warned that future legal regulation must be independent.

  • Lester Aldridge expands finance line-up

    30-Jan-2006

    South East firm Lester Aldridge has added two new members to its banking and finance team. Robert Rosenberg and Rosemary Collins join the firm's consumer credit practice. Rosenberg takes up a role as a consultant and specialises in financial services regulation. Since 2002, he has worked as a policy adviser to the Department of Trade and Industry. Collins joins from Lloyds TSB's asset finance division ...

  • Lichfield's warm welcome

    30-Jan-2006

    A little-known fact kindly provided by Lichfield firm Keelys Solicitors. "The last person to be burnt at the stake was in Lichfield. Edward Wightman from Burton upon Trent was burnt at the stake in the Market Place on 11 April 1612."Now that's one way to sell your firm.

  • Linklaters creates trust for murdered associate

    1-Feb-2006

    Magic circle firm Linklaters has set up a charitable trust in memory of its litigation associate Tom ap Rhys Pryce, who was murdered last month.In a statement, Linklaters said: "Tom's family and fiancée have decided that an appropriate memorial would be a charitable trust. Tom himself was a beneficiary of educational funding, for which he was always grateful. It is planned that any contributions ...

  • Links ramps up in Dubai with magic circle hires

    2-Feb-2006

    Linklaters has raided its magic circle rivals for two senior associates to boost its Middle East practice ahead of the firm’s official Dubai launch later this month.

  • Local Talent

    30-Jan-2006

    The Government has woken up to the benefits of social enterprises and opened the door for such organisations to play a bigger part in the UK's public services. Simon Randall reports

  • London and Europe safe, says Chadbourne's O’Neill

    1-Feb-2006

    Chadbourne & Parke has moved to allay fears its European and UK operations could fall under the axe following the firm’s dismal 2005 financial result.

  • Lost in translation

    30-Jan-2006

    The new procurement regulations are muddled, unclear and do little to promote an active and flexible market, writes David Gollancz

  • Lovells leads RIM to BlackBerry patent win

    2-Feb-2006

    Lovells has successfully defended BlackBerry-maker Research in Motion (RIM) and T-Mobile, winning the high-profile patent dispute against Inpro in the High Court today.

  • Lovells picks candidate for Cambridge lectureship

    1-Feb-2006

    Louise Merrett has been appointed Lovells' lecturer in law at Cambridge University.Merrett, who is currently a college teaching officer and a director of studies in law at Trinity College, Cambridge will start her new role in September. The City firm will fund the lectureship for five years.Lovells has also provided bursaries to 14 undergraduate law students. The students, who will each receive £1,000 a year for the three years are currently in the first year of study.

  • Lovells picks new competition head

    30-Jan-2006

    Lovells has appointed Susan Bright as its new global head of competition and EU law, with high hopes that the practice will bounce back after the shock departure of two senior partners last month.

  • Lovells star moves to DLA Piper China

    30-Jan-2006

    DLA Piper Rudnick Gray Cary has poached Lovells lawyer Rocky Lee to head its venture capital and private equity practice in Beijing. The California-qualified lawyer has worked on a number of high-profile China venture capital matters and specialises in corporate finance, foreign direct investment and M&A. Lee has also worked on a number of cross-border transaction restructuring matters. The appointment ...

  • Lovells underperformers under threat

    30-Jan-2006

    Lovells has concluded its protracted lockstep review and has given the firm's partnership council the power to move under-performing partners down its equity ladder. Under the new system, the partnership council will be able to downgrade partners or freeze them on certain points with the agreement of the partners concerned. The resolution giving the partnership council its new powers was voted in by partners last Tuesday (24 January) and followed a review lasting 14 months. The findings ...

  • Luxembourg leader launches in London

    3-Feb-2006

    Oostvogels Pfister Roemers has launched a London representative office, becoming the first Luxembourg-based law firm ever to open a UK operation.

  • Mayer Brown raids Pillsbury for US push

    30-Jan-2006

    Mayer Brown Rowe & Maw has raided Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman for six new partners for its financial services practice in the US.

  • MBR&M succession race looms as UK booms

    30-Jan-2006

    The London office of Mayer Brown Rowe & Maw (MBR&M) posted an increase in net profit of 39 per cent during 2005, placing London senior partner Paul Maher in a strong position for the impending succession battle for the role of firm chairman.

  • Milbank doubles up in China as US office folds

    30-Jan-2006

    Milbank Tweed Hadley & McCloy is shutting its Palo Alto operation as it prepares to launch a second office in China.

  • Morton: it's US merger or bust for Freshfields

    30-Jan-2006

    New senior partner kicks off merger hunt; will look outside New York; will tinker with lockstep

  • News review

    1-Feb-2006

    The Lawyer's editor Catrin Griffiths looks at the latest developments in the legal world

  • Nothing ventured...

    30-Jan-2006

    The apparent flood of opportunities belies the challenges involved in investing venture capital in Chinese business. But it is getting easier. Steven Robinson reports

  • Opinion

    30-Jan-2006

    The Olympics Bill is an attempt to ambush a fantastic event with draconian legislation

  • Opposing sides set for battle as Olympic Bill hits the Lords

    30-Jan-2006

    Draconian or essential? There's no sitting on the fence in the Olympic IP rights issue. By Matt Byrne

  • Orrick's profits boosted by Coudert raids

    31-Jan-2006

    Orrick Herrington & Sutcliffe has reported a 14 per cent increase in profits per partner (PPP) to reach £703,000 ($1.24m) in 2005.

  • People

    30-Jan-2006

    Rawlison Butler has appointed four new assistants: Sally Dickinson from Hewitsons, Richard James from Mundays, Simon Keeler from Girlings and Michael Denmead from Larcomes.

  • People’s Republic of China

    30-Jan-2006

    The People’s Republic of China is fast becoming the hottest new jurisdiction for international law firms as the Chinese government looks to open up the local financial and legal markets to foreigners.

  • Public Sector

    30-Jan-2006

    Public sector law is all too often overlooked, despite underpinning many firms’ success. Dozens of private practice firms have been riding the PFI wave on the back of their public sector contracts, while the in-house legal teams are becoming ever-more sophisticated.

  • QC goes on the fiddle

    30-Jan-2006

    Credit is due to 7 King's Bench Walk's Jonathan Gaisman QC, who chose to come to the Hot 100 party instead of hearing the legendary Russian cellist and conductor Mstislav Rostropovich conduct up-and-coming violinist Maxim Vengerov at the Barbican Centre.

  • Richards Butler, Kennedys lock horns on TAG

    1-Feb-2006

    Richards Butler and Kennedys have begun preliminary scuffles in the negligence case arising from the collapse of claims management company The Accident Group (TAG).Richard Spafford of Richards Butler is representing insurer Winterthur as it attempts to recoup £70m in damages from 700 law firms that worked with TAG before its collapse in 2003.The firms are also facing litigation to recover referral ...

  • RPC lures Ashurst partner to lead IP/IT

    31-Jan-2006

    Reynolds Porter Chamberlain (RPC) has poached Ashurst technology partner Jeremy Drew to spearhead its IT and IP practice.

  • Running from the law

    30-Jan-2006

    An exodus of female lawyers seems likely unless firms offer greater flexibility. By Sarah Simpson.

  • Separated at birth

    30-Jan-2006

    With his flowing white robes, wind-blown, snowy locks and enormous weapon, Sir Ian McKellen cut a dash as the personification of Tolkien's epic wizard hero Gandalf. But there is more to life than chasing rings, which is why McKellen has swapped his hood and cape for a sharp suit, briefcase and sheaf of legal files. In the guise of

  • Simmons strengthens HK with former Herbies banking head

    2-Feb-2006

    Simmons & Simmons has landed the former head of Herbert Smith’s Asia banking and finance practice for its Hong Kong office.

  • Simmons trainee bags MBE for Olympic win

    1-Feb-2006

    Simmons & Simmons trainee solicitor Ayesha Qureshi has received an MBE for her work to secure the London 2012 Olympic bid.The 27-year-old trainee was included in the New Year Honours List for her work as a community relations officer for the 2012 bid team. Simmons agreed to delay Quereshi's start date by a year so that she could see the bid through.Her role included coordinating community consultation exercises to ensure outline planning permission for the Olympic Park, organising ...

  • Speechly Bircham steals Maxwell Batley man

    30-Jan-2006

    Speechly Bircham has taken litigation partner Ian Timlin from dispute resolution specialist firm Maxwell Batley. Timlin joined the firm last week after 10 years as a partner at Maxwell Batley. He specialises in professional negligence claims and allegations of regulatory breaches. Speechly Bircham managing partner Michael Lingens said: "The firm is committed to achieving significant growth in ...

  • Spread a little

    1-Feb-2006

    Lawyer-client relationships can be messy affairs, sometimes ending in court action. But this need not be the case providing both parties learn how to talk to each other.The golden rule of client care in the legal profession, as elsewhere, is that the customer is always right. Consequently, it is rarely, if ever, appropriate to start correspondence with your client in the following way: "Dear Taffy bastard..." Such was the opening line of a letter by Faversham-based solicitor Edward ...

  • Squire Sanders, Haarmann, Bryan Cave set for merger

    30-Jan-2006

    Squire Sanders & Dempsey is on the verge of securing a tripartite merger with Bryan Cave and the London and Frankfurt offices of Haarmann Hemmelrath, which will transform the ambitious Ohio-headquartered firm into one of the top 10 US firms by revenue.

  • Stand-up guy

    30-Jan-2006

    Freshfields is hunting for an American suitor, and new co-senior partner Guy Morton has bet his reputation on achieving it. By Husnara Begum

  • Steptoe raids LeBoeuf for Brussels push

    1-Feb-2006

    Steptoe & Johnson has hired the former head of LeBoeuf, Lamb, Greene & MacRae’s EU insurance regulatory team for its Brussels office.

  • Suitors vie for position on LSE bid battle

    1-Feb-2006

    The battlelines have been drawn up in the fight for the London Stock Exchange (LSE), but there is no telling who the victor will be.Just 18 months ago, the LSE seemed likely to slip into the hands of a rival European exchange, but competition issues and Macquarie Bank's hostile bid have combined to throw a collective spanner in the works.The LSE, represented by Freshfields Bruckhaus ...

  • Sullivan completes rejig of general practice unit

    30-Jan-2006

    Sullivan & Cromwell has overhauled the management of its general practice group, the firm's largest department, which includes its core areas of corporate finance, M&A, real estate and financial institutions.

  • Taking your first steps to the bar

    1-Feb-2006

    Getting pupillage is tough, the work is hard and it doesn't guarantee tenancy, but it does offer the opportunity to learn an immense amount about the work of a barrister.

  • The law behind....holidays

    1-Feb-2006

    The arrival of the internet has created a new style of holiday-making whereby people buy flights and accommodation from separate suppliers rather than in a single package from a tour operator. But without the same protection as that afforded to package holidays, how is the law changing to keep up?The past 10 years or so have seen a dramatic change in both the type of holidays generally sold in the UK and the manner in which they are provided and sold. Ten years ago, the most common ...

  • The lawyer with that bit extra

    1-Feb-2006

    Scantily-clad girls, fast cars and... er... lawyers - a seamless mix, at least in the eyes of one West Coaster.Joe Calabrese, chair of O'Melveny & Myers' entertainment and media practice in Los Angeles, regularly appears in feature films and pop videos. Well, at least his Aston Martin DB5 does. His wheels are so tasty, and Joe is so plugged in to the music and movie business, that they've featured in a raft of videos, including R&B star Usher's Burning. As the man himself might ...

  • The North West

    30-Jan-2006

    Joanne Harris on the month in the North West: The NWDA's new panel gives a welcome local boostLeeds winds down as Liverpool and Manchester muscle inIrwin Mitchell lands in Manchester with PI focusMonthly column Coming up: In-house: 6 Feb Management: 13 FebThe bar: 20 FebRegional: 27 Feb

  • The work-life quiz

    30-Jan-2006

    Paul Groobey, head of London office, Hammonds

  • The writing's on the wall

    30-Jan-2006

    Here's a small recommendation to partners in talks to move firms. If you're in talks with a firm and happen to pick up one of their snazzy branded pens, it's a good idea not to take out that pen when you're in a meeting with another firm. It may be a slight giveaway that you're not wholly committed to negotiations.

  • Through the right channels

    1-Feb-2006

    Law students are a crazy lot. Not content with picking an intensive sort of course and career, a whole bunch of Oxbridge lawyers are preparing to smear themselves in Vaseline and brave the rough, crowded waters of the English Channel this summer.Every two years the Oxford and Cambridge swimming clubs race the Channel in relay form, and the event has a good legal pedigree. Previous swimmers have gone on to become assistants in firms including

  • 'Tiger' earns his stripes

    30-Jan-2006

    Last week's story about new Allen & Overy hire Derek 'Tiger' Baird prompted the private equity star's former partners at Dickson Minto to leap to his defence: "Derek Baird was christened the Tiger whilst a trainee solicitor at this firm. The nickname arose because of his hunger for work (and some may argue his ...

  • UK's associate bonus rates put US firms at loggerheads

    30-Jan-2006

    "All New York firms pay essentially the same - it's just a matter of who goes first," says Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton's managing partner in London Glen Scarcliffe on the subject of associate bonuses.

  • UK's associate bonus rates put US firms at loggerheads

    1-Feb-2006

    Cleary's bonus boast sounds hollow as it plays catch-up to Shearman, which comes top with 25 per cent hikes

  • Walker Morris versus Defra in pie fight

    30-Jan-2006

    Walker Morris is taking a fight over the branding of pork pies to the Court of Appeal on behalf of Northern Foods.

  • Weil Gotshal bags Lovells' Compagnoni in private equity coup

    2-Feb-2006

    Weil Gotshal & Manges has launched a fresh attack on the private equity market with the trophy hire of Lovells partner Marco Compagnoni.The New York-based firm voted Compagnoni into the partnership yesterday after a recruitment process that began onl...

  • Willkie Farr raids Shearman for five-partner funds team

    2-Feb-2006

    Willkie Farr & Gallagher has raided US rival Shearman & Sterling to hire a five-partner investment management team, the largest group it has ever brought onboard.

  • Winston suffers second CC assault

    3-Feb-2006

    Winston & Strawn has suffered a second loss from its projects practice in as many months after Clifford Chance poached a second partner for its Washington DC office.

  • Women's club creates legal kitty to aid access to justice

    30-Jan-2006

    A new online women's group is establishing a 'housekeeping kitty' to provide access to justice for women who cannot afford lawyers. The recently launched Womens Club International plans to offer interest-free loans and discretionary grants as a core service for members if they need to go to the law but cannot afford it.