5 February 2001

The Lawyer

  • A VIEW FROM AUSTRIA

    5-Feb-2001

    Following the Austrian government's plan to privatise a number of state-owned companies such as Austria Tabak (the former Austrian tobacco monopoly), Telekom Austria and Flughafen Wien (Vienna airport), the tension among the big law firms trying to win these assignments is growing. But discussions arise about firms being barred from participating in the various beauty contests because they are somehow related to the potential bidders or to ÖIAG, the Austrian state holding ...

  • a year ago this week

    5-Feb-2001

    Mills & Reeve poaches top partner for London launchMills & Reeve, East Anglia's biggest firm, lured Cameron McKenna insurance partner Geoff Barnett to open its London office. Barnett had previously spent 14 years as a partner at Cameron McKenna.There are currently three partners based at the London office - insurance partners Barnett and Peter Driscoll as ...

  • A&O takes BP director to head IT

    5-Feb-2001

    Allen & Overy (A&O) is taking on the global IT services director from BP for a newly created post of director of IT and chief information officer.Dave Burwell's appointment is the result of the firm's reorganisation of its four non-legal heads of department. The firm currently has directorships for finance, human resources, marketing and business services, which covers IT, ...

  • A&O takes on securities expert in HK

    5-Feb-2001

    Allen & Overy (A&O) is continuing to cash in on the Asian securities market by recruiting a specialist partner to its Hong Kong office.

  • Address me carefully

    5-Feb-2001

    No, Tulkinghorn just will not do it. There will be no poking fun at the regions. Such behaviour is absolutely no longer acceptable.Oh, go on then. Last week's most widely read press release on The Lawyer news desk was certainly that from Leeds-based solicitors Brooke North. The firm is e-nabling itself by launching what it believes to be the "first website in the country to provide free interactive advice on claims between landlords and tenants, ...

  • Andersen Legal European network in hiring spree

    5-Feb-2001

    Andersen Legal associated firms in Italy, Poland and Belgium have boosted their international network with a string of lateral hires.

  • B&M finalises Interbrew purchase

    5-Feb-2001

    Baker & McKenzie is completing an audacious Eastern European purchase for Interbrew, which is fighting the UK Government's decision to force a sale of Bass.

  • BA legal head conflicted out on Go airline auction

    5-Feb-2001

    British Airways' (BA) legal director has been conflicted out of acting on the auctioning off of the company's subsidiary Go.

  • Baker & McKenzie Japan ally expands with Tokyo merger

    5-Feb-2001

    Baker & McKenzie's alliance partner in Tokyo is to merge with one of Japan's oldest firms.

  • Baker Botts opens in Riyadh with two Arent Fox partners

    5-Feb-2001

    Arent Fox closes Saudi Arabia office; Baker Botts swoops for partners

  • BAR TALK

    5-Feb-2001

    Don't read this column if your clients are prepared to pay what you think is fair on an hourly basis. You will be wasting your time. However, if you are a member of the large number of litigators struggling to respond to market pressures, then read on.Competition in the market for bulk casework has become increasingly competitive, with pressure on both defendant and claimant lawyer costs. There has also been economic pressure for earlier settlement. Some ...

  • Beachcrofts loses partner to Cobbetts

    5-Feb-2001

    Manchester firm Cobbetts has boosted its property practice with the appointment of a partner from Beachcroft Wansbroughs.Anne Quirk joins Cobbetts after spending nine years as a partner at Beachcroft Wansbroughs' Manchester office.Quirk is a commercial property specialist with particular experience in landlord and tenant and portfolio work. She says she is looking forward to being more involved in development work through her move. "It's a pleasure ...

  • BP pension fund

    5-Feb-2001

    Linklaters advises on most of BP Pension Fund's real estate investment work as part of its overall relationship with the oil giant. In 1967, Linklaters advised on the pension fund's acquisition of the 10-acre Berkeley Square estate, when it cost a mere £12m. In the 1990s, it advised the fund on the sale of a smaller chunk of Berkeley Square properties to Middle Eastern investors, and on other individual ...

  • Brief encounter: bates wells & braithwaite

    5-Feb-2001

    Bates Wells & Braithwaite is a firm with just 100 staff. It has a host of familiar names among its clients, and most of them are charities. Its profits, though respectable, are nowhere near the same as could be gleaned from commercial clients of the same pedigree.With up to half of its income coming from charities, the firm is in no position to turn its ...

  • CASE ANALYSIS: STRIKING OUT OF CLAIMS/RECOVERY OF DAMAGES

    5-Feb-2001

    In November 1998, the Court of Appeal in Johnson v Gore Wood & Co struck out as an abuse of process, under the rule in Henderson v Henderson, an action that had begun more than five years earlier and was eight weeks from trial. The court held that Johnson should have brought his action at the same time as Johnson's company brought its claim against the same defendant (The Lawyer, 18 January 1999).The House of Lords has now unanimously reversed this ...

  • CASE BOOK judgments

    5-Feb-2001

    R v Sec of State for Trade and Industry on the application of (1) One 2 One Personal Communications Ltd, (2) One 2 One Personal Communications and (3) BT3G Limited (January 2001) HCJudge: Silber JRichard Fowler QC of Monckton Chambers, Jonathan Crow of 4 Stone Buildings and Clive Lewis of 11 King's Bench Walk instructed by the treasury solicitor for the respondent. David Vaughan QC and Mark Brealey, both of Brick Court Chambers, instructed ...

  • CASE STUDY: SNAPTRACK

    5-Feb-2001

    SnapTrack was set up in 1995, producing wireless device location technology. President Steve Poizner approached Craig Johnson early on to represent him, and after telling Johnson his plans and meeting a couple of times, the pair decided to work together. Poizner says he paid Venture Law Group nothing in the first year but instead gave it stock options to "incentivise" it. Johnson became one of the first investors in the company and then introduced Poizner to other potential partners ...

  • CIT group

    5-Feb-2001

    The acquisition of East India Dock is the fourth in a string of Docklands transactions for Capital & Income Trust (CIT), which started with the acquisition of South Quay II from the receivers of Baxendale in 1999. Last year, CIT bought Wyndham House in South Quay Plaza and 3 Harbour Exchange. Macfarlanes property partner Chris Field has led teams for all four transactions.

  • Cleaning up the act

    5-Feb-2001

    The passage through Parliament of the Financial Services and Markets Act 2000 has attracted much attention since Gordon Brown announced in 1997 the Government's intention to crack down on financial crime. With some 1,500 amendments to the bill, the new framework for regulating the UK's financial industry has been subject to much scrutiny. The result is a firmly established Financial Services Authority (FSA), acting as the country's single major financial ...

  • Client file Isn't it a shoe shop?

    5-Feb-2001

    Tulkinghorn is obliged to issue the most heartfelt apologies to Neil Murray, head of banking at Travers Smith Braithwaite, for underestimating the musical pedigree of his band, The Hamptons. Last week, Tulkinghorn took a wholly unnecessary swipe at Murray (he was the one with the Simon Le Bon flick) for shamelessly using Tulkinghorn's search for the leading corporate song ...

  • Commercial breakthrough

    5-Feb-2001

    The CommerciaL Court is regarded by most commercial lawyers throughout the world as the pre-eminent forum for commercial litigation. That is quite simply because it has the most efficient procedure, capable of producing the speediest judgments, as well as the most skilful, and above all the most experienced judges. It is for these reasons that international trading contracts so frequently include English jurisdiction clauses, and that most of the parties to the work handled by the court ...

  • Confusion as LPC ratings are published before completion

    5-Feb-2001

    The Law Society has caused confusion by publishing new ratings of the LPC providers half way through the assessment period.

  • Corporate

    5-Feb-2001

    So it's goodbye Patrick Drayton, current director general at the Takeover Panel, and hello Philip Remnant, senior banker at Credit Suisse First Boston, who will begin a two-year secondment in April.

  • Corporate

    5-Feb-2001

    Liberty Group acquires entire issued share capital of Liberty International Jersey from Liberty International Financial Services, a subsidiary of Liberty International, for £33.5m. Liberty Group advised by Herbert Smith (Patrick Mitchell). Liberty International Financial Services represented by Linklaters & Alliance.

  • Corporate

    5-Feb-2001

    Bridgepoint Capital completes £111m management buyout of Alliance Medical. Newco represented on senior debt by Ashurst Morris Crisp (Stephen Short). Newco advised on the acquisition and on equity by Travers Smith Braithwaite (Charles Barter). Senior lender Dresdner Kleinwort Wasserstein advised by Lovells (Matthew Cottis). ...

  • Cravath Swaine & Moore sends in big gun to head London office

    5-Feb-2001

    New York firm Cravath Swaine & Moore is sending one of its most senior partners to London and considering an expansion into London M&A work.Rainmaker William Rogers will replace David Brown, the current head of the office, in the next few months, with a third partner to be drafted in within the next six months.So far the office has handled only US securities work, but New York tax partner Lewis Steinberg says the practice could soon move into M&A."Our ...

  • Dancing on the ceiling

    5-Feb-2001

    moving in-house has always been a popular goal for lawyers, often from day one of their training contract. A two-year stint in private practice to earn your spurs and then off to that sexy in-house post to deal with real people and real problems.That is the theory, but for the very ambitious there is a problem: in the past, it was tacitly acknowledged that career progression for in-house lawyers stopped with the posts of head of legal or general counsel; at ...

  • Ernst & Young makes ties for global edge

    5-Feb-2001

    The German arm of Ernst & Young is entering into a cooperative deal with two niche insolvency practices, giving them the capacity to take on complex international cases and compete with global firms.

  • Eversheds closes Bristol office in Cardiff relocation

    5-Feb-2001

    Eversheds is shutting down its Bristol office, its second closure in less than five months.

  • Former South Western Electricity lawyer joins Mitsubishi Motors

    5-Feb-2001

    Mitsubishi Motors UK has appointed South Western Electricity's former company secretary and solicitor as its new company secretary, with an additional remit covering legal and insurance matters.

  • Gleiss Lutz partners move to Munich for office launch

    5-Feb-2001

    Gleiss Lutz Hootz Hirsch, the German law firm affiliated with Herbert Smith, is opening an office in Munich.

  • Global Allieds

    5-Feb-2001

    With the market leaders involved in a brand battle, the wine and spirits sector is anything but dull. Mary Murphy meets Allied Domecq's Russel Kelley and finds out that global consolidation is the only way forward.

  • Hammonds accused of bad practice

    5-Feb-2001

    Hammond Suddards Edge has come under fire for an alleged failure to make proper disclosures to an employment tribunal brought by ABN Amro's head of legal.Tom Conlon, former head of legal at ABN Amro, is suing the company for unfair dismissal under the Public Interest Disclosure Act.Conlon was sacked last February. The action centres on a report alleging insider dealing, which Conlon says was ignored by ABN Amro chairman Jan Kalff. ABN Amro rejects the allegations.

  • It's virtually gorgonzola

    5-Feb-2001

    The internet. It's revolutionary, isn't it? Now that might not sound like a groundbreaking statement, but until today, Tulkinghorn has never been entirely sure of the revolutionary concepts enshrined in the world weird web.But thanks to Allen & Overy's Newchange (its answer to the online deal room craze that has swept the City) the answer is now clear. ...

  • Job don

    5-Feb-2001

    "Five full-time solicitors and all Oxbridge graduates," says Jonathan Anelay, proudly describing his in-house team. Anelay is Oxford University's director of legal services. Articled at Ashurst Morris Crisp, Anelay later built up a practice at Morrell Peel & Gamlen, where he was senior partner, working for university clients in technology transfer matters. In 1997, ...

  • Kennedys opens Cambridge office on back of NHS work

    5-Feb-2001

    City firm Kennedys is extending into the regions and opening an office in the Cambridge area.The move follows the firm's appointment to the NationalHealth Service Litigation Authority (NHSLA) legal panel in London and East Anglia. The office will be headed by Mills & Reeve partners John ...

  • Keoghs hires its first chief executive

    5-Feb-2001

    Keoghs is repositioning itself along a corporate model as it appoints its first chief executive.

  • KLegal joins KPMG for IP do-it-all dept LCD pressure group proposal set to create higher workloads

    5-Feb-2001

    KLegal is teaming up with accountancy parent KPMG to launch a multidisciplinary intellectual property (IP) group.Together they will pitch for work under the banner of KPMG Intellectual Property Services (KIPS).The team has been set up to help clients get maximum value from their IP portfolios by giving advice on creation, acquisition, exploitation and protection of the IP right.KLegal IP partner James Hodgson says: "Managing an IP portfolio requires ...

  • Law firms triumph in Great Place to Work survey

    5-Feb-2001

    Three law firms are included in the first ever DTI-sponsored survey of the best places to work in the UK.Wragge & Co achieved an impressive fourteenth place on the list. Senior partner John Crabtree puts Wragges' success down to the openness of the firm. "There is a real sense of proprietorship with everyone. We want to get everyone to feel that they own a chunk of the firm and get involved ...

  • LCD pressure group proposal set to create higher workloads

    5-Feb-2001

    Litigators could see a dramatic increase in workload if the Lord Chancellor's latest proposal is adopted.A consultation paper on whether to allow consumer, environmental, trade and other pressure groups to bring private actions on behalf of their interest groups for the first time was issued last week.Litigation may change, as the interpretation of locus standi would be much more widely construed. Pressure groups would not have to prove that they had suffered ...

  • LSE loses second head of legal in four months

    5-Feb-2001

    The head of legal at the London Stock Exchange (LSE) has quit his post after being in the job for less than four months.

  • McDermotts joins battle for Gaedertz

    5-Feb-2001

    McDermotts takes on Mayer Brown; Gaedertz Berlin approaches KPMG; Lathams sends four to Germany

  • MICHAEL LESTER - BAE SYSTEMS

    5-Feb-2001

    Michael Lester is the group legal director of BAE Systems, and sits on the board of directors. He has held these roles since November 1999. The BAE board comprises 14 directors, seven executive and seven non-executive. Lester has functional responsibilities for legal matters and, as a director, is involved in other general company matters.He was appointed vice-chairman of GEC in 1994, after joining the organisation in 1980 as director of legal affairs. ...

  • Ministry of defence

    5-Feb-2001

    This is the first UK military aircraft securitisation and is believed to be the first time the UK Government has turned directly to the asset-backed capital markets to raise the purchase price for capital assets.

  • Olliers sets up fifth Northern office in Leeds

    5-Feb-2001

    Manchester-based Olliers is opening an office in Leeds, making it the firm's fifth office in the North.The firm is taking on Steve Nikolich, a 10 year-qualified crime specialist from Manchester firm Jones Maidment Wilson, bringing Olliers' partner count up to eight.Olliers, which specialises in large-scale blue and white collar crime cases, officially opens the branch today (5 February). It will add to its Manchester office, ...

  • Opinion

    5-Feb-2001

    It had to happen, but it still came as a terrible shock. Never before has the Court of Appeal substituted its own view for that of a libel jury. However, on 18 January the Court of Appeal decided that the £85,000 damages awarded to former footballer Bruce Grobbelaar against The Sun should be set aside on the grounds that the jurors' decision was perverse.The Sun's editor David Yelland hailed the ruling as a "momentous vindication of The ...

  • Pinsent Curtis Biddle pair quit after merger

    5-Feb-2001

    Two partners have quit Pinsent Curtis Biddle. They will be the first to leave the newly-created firm.

  • Positive attitude

    5-Feb-2001

    Despite the pay cut, Kenneth Gray is looking forward to leaving Norton Rose and escaping from the City to work with people living with HIV

  • PwC forensic expert joins Pinsents

    5-Feb-2001

    Pinsent Curtis' Birmingham office has recruited its first ever forensic accountant.PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) senior manager Kevin Hills has been with the big five firm since 1991 and has spent the last six years specialising in forensic work, but has decided to quit PwC in favour of Pinsents. Besides citing personal reasons for his move, he adds: "It's the way the profession is going. We tend to be appointed by lawyers - they are our biggest market ...

  • PwC triumphs against Paris bar in landmark MDP ruling

    5-Feb-2001

    Paris Court of Appeal against Paris bar's ban on MDPs; accounts free to expand

  • railtrack

    5-Feb-2001

    There has been a spate of similar 3G deals recently, which firms with an either/or selection of specialties have been able to cash in on. They revolve around servicing the 3G broadband wireless networks and finding ways to set up masts and deal with the planning minefield. Here, EuroMast will use Railtrack's property portfolio and Marconi's property rights to construct 5,000 shared masts. Railtrack will also take a stake in Marconi's optical network subsidiary Ipsaris.

  • Real Estate and Projects

    5-Feb-2001

    BP Pension Fund to sell Mayfair Berkeley Square estate for a likely price of more than £300m. BP Pension Fund advised by Linklaters (Alexandra Marks).

  • Real Estate and Projects

    5-Feb-2001

    Leading Rule, the UK vehicle for an overseas private developer, wins planning permission for its first venture into the UK property market, an office development on Surrey green belt land. Leading Rule advised by Lovells (Michael Gallimore). Planning authorities advised by Peter Bryant of Woking Borough Council and Stephen Gardiner of Surrey County Council.

  • Real Estate and Projects

    5-Feb-2001

    The Crown Estate buys Fleet Place House, London EC4, for £60m from Heron London Developments. The Crown Estate advised by Denton Wilde Sapte (Martin Quicke and Richard Perkins). Heron advised by Nabarro Nathanson (Graham Lust and Paul Jayson).

  • Real Estate and Projects

    5-Feb-2001

    East India Dock office complex sold for more than £125m to CIT Group. Vendors NCC Real Estate and SPP advised by Berwin Leighton (John Kelsey). CIT advised by Macfarlanes (Chris Field, Mark Baldwin). Debt providers Morgan Stanley Real Estate Fund advised by Denton Wilde Sapte (Mark Menhennet).

  • Real Estate and Projects

    5-Feb-2001

    Consortium including Newham Council funds urban renewal charity Passmore to spearhead £92.5m single regeneration budget programme for Forest Gate and Plaistow. Newham Council and subsequently Passmore Urban Renewal advised by Lewis Silkin (Lynne Murray). Housing associations advised by Devonshires (Andrew Cowan).

  • Spitalfields Development brings in Nabarros and CC to review Norton Rose planning work

    5-Feb-2001

    Clifford Chance and Nabarro Nathanson have been called in to give a second opinion on Norton Rose's planning work on Spitalfields Market.Norton Rose failed to push a reserve application through for the commercial ...

  • Technology, Media and Telecommunications

    5-Feb-2001

    Joint venture between AdVal Group and Pearson-owned FT Knowledge. FT Knowledge advised by Morgan Lewis & Bockius (Zoë Ashcroft). AdVal Group advised by Memery Crystal (Greg Scott).

  • Technology, Media and Telecommunications

    5-Feb-2001

    SpiritSoft raises £8m in venture capital investment by Reuters Greenhouse Fund and Catalyst Fund Management and Research. SpiritSoft advised by Salans Hertzfeld & Heilbronn (Philip Enoch). Reuters Greenhouse Fund advised by Rowe & Maw. Catalyst Fund Management and Research advised by Ashurst Morris Crisp.

  • Technology, Media and Telecommunications

    5-Feb-2001

    Railtrack Telecom Services and Marconi in joint venture to create EuroMast. Railtrack Telecom Services advised by Simmons & Simmons (Jerry Walter). Marconi advised by Allen & Overy.

  • The £64,000 question

    5-Feb-2001

    Congratulations to the College of Law's press machine, which just keeps on rolling. This week's subject is David Stainer, a 22-year-old studying at the college's Guildford branch. His claim to fame? He won £64,000 on ITV's Who Wants to be a Millionaire?

  • The Electronic Communications Act

    5-Feb-2001

    On 25 May last year, Section 8 of the Electronic Communications Act 2000 came into force. The act clarifies the legal status of electronic signatures and confirms that electronic documents and signatures are just as legally acceptable as their paper equivalents. However, the act did not impose a blanket rule that electronic documents and signatures are always acceptable. The Government wanted to take this one step at a time, by making orders to cover specific areas where ...

  • The Firm

    5-Feb-2001

    It's the plotline that's got the whole country gripped.The 54-year-old businessman Thomas Henderson was getting into his car outside the offices of City law firm The Firm, when the assailant pulled up alongside and fired three shots into his chest. A hospital spokesman said that Mr Henderson's condition was critical and that "somehow the attacker had injected him with a massive quantity of cocaine as well".East London Echo, ...

  • the Leader column

    5-Feb-2001

    The best way of goading a Clifford Chance corporate partner - and indeed, an Allen & Overy (A&O) corporate partner if it comes to that - is this: adopt an ever-so-slightly sorrowful expression, and whisper sympathetically: "Of course, you're really a finance firm, aren't you?"

  • TOM GLOCER - REUTERS INFORMATION

    5-Feb-2001

    Tom Glocer will take up his appointment as group chief executive officer (CEO) of Reuters in July 2001. He is currently CEO of Reuters Information, a business division of the group, a role he has held since June 2000.Glocer joined Reuters' legal department in September 1993 from US firm Davis Polk & Wardwell, where he was an M&A lawyer. He became general ...

  • UNDERSTANDING THE IN-HOUSE LAWYER

    5-Feb-2001

    When a client appoints an in-house legal counsel, how should the firm respond? Is it a threat or an opportunity? A law firm should not fear such an appointment as it rarely leads to less work and usually leads to more, as someone is appointed who recognises the need for legal advice and assistance. After all, most companies with large in-house law departments still make considerable use of external law firms.It is important for the firm to understand that ...

  • Valley of the Kings

    5-Feb-2001

    How his classmates must be reeling. When Larry Sonsini shunned their moves to New York and went straight from law school to a four-lawyer firm in a suburb of San Francisco, they all thought he was crazy. Now he is the unrivalled leading lawyer in Silicon Valley, at the helm of Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati - the law firm dominating US public offerings work. Sonsini keeps me waiting 45 minutes before inviting me into his sparse office and apologising profusely. Just like everyone ...

  • Wessing closes Leipzig office to go international

    5-Feb-2001

    German law firm Wessing & Berenberg-Gossler is closing its Leipzig office in order to consolidate its image as an international player.

  • When The Lawyer calls

    5-Feb-2001

    Picture this. A lawyer, in a toilet, mobile phone in one hand, the old chap in the other, while on the phone to a nice legal journalist. Surely this would never happen.Well Tulkinghorn can vouch that it certainly did. And while the lawyer in question thought it was perfectly okay to conduct a conversation while relieving himself - it wasn't.Now Tulkinghorn is sure that everyone is dying to know who this weak-bladdered individual is. Tulkinghorn ...

  • Wilson Sonsini plans assault on UK market

    5-Feb-2001

    Silicon Valley giant Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati is planning to enter the UK market by opening offices in London and Cambridge.

  • Wragge & Co targets pensions litigation after MG Rover boon

    5-Feb-2001

    Wragge & Co is set to dedicate a team to pensions litigation after the firm announces that it has secured work setting up a new pensions scheme for MG Rover.Insurance partner Peter Shave has moved to the pensions department to focus on pension litigation. Given the growing volume of pensions litigation work, Shave intends to increase the involvement in ombudsmen cases by members of the ...