6 March 2000

The Lawyer

  • ...as it acts for England cricket team

    6-Mar-2000

    SJ Berwin & Co has advised on a revolutionary move aimed at improving the English cricket team.

  • A&O securitisation creates a blueprint

    6-Mar-2000

    Allen & Overy has structured the first securitisation of a shopping centre in Europe and predicts more will follow.

  • Abbey National nets barrister as it reviews outside advisers

    6-Mar-2000

    Banking giant Abbey National has poached a barrister from rival Alliance & Leicester.

  • Airfield sale in High Court

    6-Mar-2000

    A battle over the £8m sell-off by the MoD of a famous airfield is to go to the High Court. Mr Justice Jackson has given leave for campaigners to seek judicial review of the plans to sell the 536-acre Kemble airfield near Cirencester to developers MEPC. The judge ruled that a consortium made up of tenants and former owners of the one-time Second World War RAF base, which was also once the base for the RAF's red arrows team, have an arguable case. At the application for leave, Robin Purchas ...

  • Allen & Overy's Italian desk advises on £2.4bn takeover

    6-Mar-2000

    Allen & Overy's new London-based Italian desk has acted on what it claims is one of the most significant deals ever in Italy.

  • An opinion from the regional bar

    6-Mar-2000

    The Bar in Leeds and Newcastle has expanded and changed considerably in the last decade. In recent years, the establishment of a Mercantile Court in the two cities has reflected the fact that there is more commercial work being dealt with locally and more often than not by local counsel.

  • Appeal Court hunts out real victim

    6-Mar-2000

    The Appeal Court found a hunter was acting in self defence when he retaliated against a saboteur, writes Roger Pearson.

  • Bread and butter of the law

    6-Mar-2000

    David Wigan reports on a company that prefers building strong relationships with firms to holding beauty parades.

  • Cameron McKenna in management change to boost European growth

    9-Mar-2000

    The firm has elected senior corporate partner Dick Tyler to replace Robert Derry-Evans as managing partner. Derry-Evans takes up the new post of chief executive. A spokesman for Camerons says the firm decided to "beef up" its management to pursue its European and global expansion strategy more aggressively

  • Cameron McKenna's Head of Africa jumps ship to US firm

    10-Mar-2000

    Biggs is the third Camerons projects partner to leave for a US firm in just over six months. In August Martin Stewart-Smith and Paul Stock decided to jump ship for the London office of Orrick Herrington & Sutcliffe.

  • Camerons sets up Hong Kong immigration dept

    6-Mar-2000

    CMS Cameron McKenna is launching an immigration practice in Hong Kong in response to a large increase in the number of professional immigrants to the UK.

  • Case of the week

    6-Mar-2000

    Well, he finally stopped being 'minded' and made a decision. Jack Straw at last got rid of an 84-year-old with 'extensive brain damage' who had been haunting him for 16 months. Deciding that an 'attempted trial of an accused in the condition diagnosed in Senator Pinochet could not be a fair trial in any country', the Home Secretary gave the go-ahead for the former dictator to slip out of his Wentworth estate and head for his plane which was on standby at RAF Brize Norton but moved to ...

  • CC and Herbert Smith in tea deal

    6-Mar-2000

    Clifford Chance and Herbert Smith have brought together tea giants Tata and Tetley following months of negotiations.

  • CC insolvency group gains a global head

    6-Mar-2000

    Clifford Chance has appointed Mark Hyde as global head of its insolvency group - the latest global head to be announced by the newly merged firm.

  • Charles Russell gets telecoms specialist

    6-Mar-2000

    Charles Russell has appointed one of the leading lights in telecommunications to boost its telecoms team.

  • Church law may contravene convention

    6-Mar-2000

    Roger Pearson reports on a High Court case which has a church claiming that landowners should pay one of its repair bills.

  • Denton Wilde's French target split over tie-up

    6-Mar-2000

    Denton Wilde Sapte's plan to create a European super-firm is in doubt because its French target has entered arbitration talks to resolve an internal dispute over the proposed merger.

  • Devonshires restructures management

    6-Mar-2000

    Niche property firm Devonshires Solicitors is shaking up its management structure.

  • Digests

    6-Mar-2000

    Denton Wilde Sapte has scooped its third major insolvency case this year. The firm has been appointed by accountants Kroll Buchler Phillips to work on the collapse of AIM-listed company SignCorp, which has got bank debts of between £8-10m. The amount owed to trade creditors has yet to be established.

  • DJ Freeman loses construction partner

    6-Mar-2000

    DJ Freeman has lost a leading construction litigation partner.

  • Doing business in the region

    6-Mar-2000

    Garretts was established in 1993 as the legal arm of Arthur Andersen. It has offices in Leeds, Manchester, Reading, Cambridge, Birmingham and London.

  • Don't follow the rest all the way to Europe

    6-Mar-2000

    It is such a great spectator sport to see those lemmings going over the white cliffs of Dover - the evangelical enthusiasm of UK law firms for European mergers, takeovers and greenfield sites.

  • Don't let city lights cast shadow over client care

    6-Mar-2000

    On many occasions The Lawyer has commented on the culture of expansion that seems to be gripping the profession. We have cautioned against mindless mergers and the globalisation gold rush, fearing that firms would lose their focus and their steady growth, which have contributed to making them leading UK businesses.

  • Eleven King's Bench Walk takes on QC

    6-Mar-2000

    ELEVEN King's Bench Walk is taking on Simon Mehigan QC in an attempt to boost the chambers' confidence and commercial fraud practice.

  • Ernst & Young boosts Paris office

    8-Mar-2000

    Eric Teynier, two senior assistants and a paralegal will join Ernst & Young to set up a litigation and arbitration department. The practice will be cross-border and will work with the accountant's London law firm when it is established later this year.

  • Field Fisher forms e-business link-up

    6-Mar-2000

    Field Fisher Waterhouse is launching a European e-commerce association aimed at establishing itself as a lead player for advice in the new economy.

  • Finance partner to join Chadbournes

    6-Mar-2000

    Chadbourne & Parke's London office has hired Mayer Brown & Platt finance partner Denis Petkovic.

  • Finers Stephens recruits leading property lawyer

    6-Mar-2000

    A leading in-house property lawyer has been recruited to boost Finers Stephens Innocent's international practice.

  • Five leading Canadian firms merge

    6-Mar-2000

    Five of Canada's leading law firms have merged to create a 590-lawyer firm - making it the second largest practice in the country.

  • Halliwells partner goes to Linnells

    6-Mar-2000

    Halliwell Landau is losing one of its property partners after refusing to promote him to equity level.

  • Hardwicke boosts criminal dept with Serious Fraud Office recruit

    6-Mar-2000

    Hardwicke Building has boosted its criminal group by recruiting the assistant director of the Serious Fraud Office.

  • High fees for juniors fail value test

    6-Mar-2000

    It is time for firms that charge clients a premium rate for work done by inexperienced junior lawyers to reduce the charges or increase the value on offer, says Paul Newton. Paul Newton is head of legal at Bupa.

  • It's been a bad week for...

    6-Mar-2000

    DTI plans for new mobile phone services after BT announced that it was considering legal action to delay the Government's plans to action new licences. The telecoms giant is upset that two of its rivals - Vodafone AirTouch and Orange - have qualified to bid for the licences even though Orange is now owned by Vodafone after the company's takeover of Orange's owner Mannesmann.

  • It's been a good week for...

    6-Mar-2000

    Lawyers looking for stakes in dot coms. The Law Society has said that it does not want to introduce rules to stop firms and individual lawyers taking stakes in start-ups as fees despite potential problems over the duty of firms to give impartial advice. The comments came after news that Rosenblatt assistant Peter Crowther is set to make a fortune when TakeU2 floats in April. Crowther, the co-founder of ...

  • Kingsford Stacey beat City firms in Hertfordshire County Council deal

    8-Mar-2000

    City firm Kingsford Stacey Blackwell has won one of its biggest ever property contracts - a disposal for Hertfordshire County Council of properties worth £27 million. The firm won the work against competition from larger firms, two of whom were City based and one which was national. The council refuses to name the competition. Kingsfords, which has 24 partners, has an office in the county as well as its City ...

  • Klein-Goddard's office in Singapore collapses

    6-Mar-2000

    French firm Klein-Goddard's Singapore office has collapsed following the departure of its corporate practice to Watson Farley & Williams.

  • Leeds united against City rivals

    6-Mar-2000

    As the hierarchy of the legal profession undergoes radical change, Abigail Townsend asks whether Leeds can remain home to regional firms with truly national ambitions.

  • Legal Widow

    6-Mar-2000

    It was a successful outing to the park. Very successful. Apart from Deminimus commandeering the roundabout and not allowing any Stupid Girls on and Liability having to be picked weeping off the slide, where she'd got stuck halfway down, a queue of children shouting at her from the top while she jiggled her bottom about for five minutes, baffled at her inability to descend. "Feet up," I kept shouting. "Feet up!" but to no avail. I have a horrible feeling that driving lessons, when they ...

  • Linklaters backs flexible working

    6-Mar-2000

    Write to: The Editor, The Lawyer, 50 Poland Street, London W1V 4AX, fax 0171 970 4640, e-mail lawyer.edit@chiron.co.uk, DX44700 Soho Square.

  • Litigation Personal Injury 6/3/00

    6-Mar-2000

    Roderic Keith McLeod (by his next friend the Official Solicitor) v Test Valley Borough Council (2000) QBD (Brian Smedley J) 11 January 2000

  • Litigation Writs 6/3/00

    6-Mar-2000

    A Chester-le-Street company has mounted a High Court claim for nearly £8.5m following a disastrous explosion on 28 January 1997. Union Camp Chemicals, which now trades as Arizona Chemicals, is suing CRL of Waterlooville, Hampshire, and Autoflame Engineering of Bellingham, London SE6, for damages of more than £7m and £1.47m interest. In its claim Union Camp accuses the companies of negligence and breach of contract in respect of the explosion. Union Camp makes products for use in adhesives ...

  • M&S Financial Services plans to take debt recovery in-house

    6-Mar-2000

    Marks & Spencer Financial Services is conducting a massive overhaul of its legal department in an attempt to retain more work in-house.

  • Masons forms alliance with Singapore practice

    6-Mar-2000

    Masons is boosting its Asian presence by aligning itself to a Singapore firm.

  • Michael Webster

    6-Mar-2000

    Sean Farrell meets Rowe & Maw's IT partner Michael Webster who attacked the firm's retirement policy when the 58-year-old was forced to seek new challenges at Nicholson Graham & Jones.

  • Mishcon De Reya takes on Eversheds lawyer

    9-Mar-2000

    Gordon Campbell is one of the leading planning lawyers in London and acts for clients including housing and retail developers.

  • New head at Lagerlaf & Leman

    6-Mar-2000

    Linklaters & Alliance's Swedish member Lagerlaf & Leman has appointed a new head.

  • Newcastle firms content to retain north-east focus

    6-Mar-2000

    Are north-eastern firms restricting their options by failing to look beyond their region? asks Abigail Townsend.

  • Norton Rose axed by Singapore firm

    6-Mar-2000

    Norton Rose's Singapore alliance partner Lee & Lee has severed its ties with the UK firm after 19 years.

  • Patrick Hann on responsibility for investors' financial losses. Patrick Hann is a partner and head of the commercial litigation group at Middleton Potts, which represented the defendant in Morgan Stan

    6-Mar-2000

    In the past, the courts have displayed little sympathy towards investors seeking to resist liability for losses sustained as a result of trading in commodities, futures or derivatives.

  • Perrin's View

    6-Mar-2000

    In its leader last week, The Lawyer bemoaned the rise of certain firms comprised solely of a youthful generation of monochrome drones at the expense of a more pluralist culture. It is right to be concerned. Not only is there something inherently offensive about the ascent of what might best be called a veal crate ethos, but there are clear signs that it heralds the emergence of something far more sinister - the genetically modified law firm.

  • Property

    6-Mar-2000

    Ashurst Morris Crisp represented a consortium consisting of The Berkeley Group, Mansford Holdings, Chelsfield and Compco Holdings on its £59m acquisition of Chelsea Harbour from P&O Property Holdings. Ashursts corporate partner Michael Johns and property partner Guy Wheatcroft headed the team on the deal. Freshfields advised P&O.

  • Property

    6-Mar-2000

    Linklaters & Alliance advised Development Securities on its £84m acquisition of a 13 acre Bishopsbridge site at Paddington. The acquisition from Gainhurst Properties is being funded by Norwich Union Life & Pensions and The Equitable Life Assurance Society. Linklaters partner Robert Finch led a team of seven on the deal. Gainhurst was advised by C

  • Quote of the week

    6-Mar-2000

    "Many witnesses couldn't have been more dissimilar. Some were tall, some short, some had beards and some were women."- A court observer's reaction to Judge Stephens' comment that all the black witnesses in a murder trial "looked rather similar" and that it was hard to find any "distinguishing features".

  • Regional firms ditched by Cornhill Insurance

    6-Mar-2000

    Cornhill Insurance is slashing its panel from over 70 firms to just 15 as Beachcroft Wansbrough becomes the company's first firm to offer national coverage.

  • Rowe & Maw banking on Branson after lottery win

    6-Mar-2000

    City firm Rowe & Maw stands to earn fees worth millions of pounds from the National Lottery if Richard Branson succeeds in his bid to run it.

  • Rowe & Maw launches web deal service

    6-Mar-2000

    The property department at City firm Rowe & Maw is launching an online information system to give clients daily updates on the progress of their deals.

  • Scottish Power

    6-Mar-2000

  • Scuffle of the week

    6-Mar-2000

    Living Marxism v ITN. Ian Williams an ITN journalist told the High Court that he bent over backwards to present an accurate picture of the Serb-run detention camp in Bosnia. Williams is suing the magazine for libel over claims that ITN fabricated an image of a muslim prisoner behind a barbed wire fence at a camp at Trnopolje in 1992. The article in Living Marxism in February 1997 said the camp was not a prison but a collection centre for refugees and that the barbed wire surrounded ...

  • Seven Stone Buildings hires tenant

    6-Mar-2000

    Seven Stone Buildings has recruited a new tenant from outside the set for the first time in nearly 10 years.

  • Share Placing

    6-Mar-2000

    Paisner & Co represented Granville Markets, sponsor and stockbroker to CFS Group, in connection with a placing and open offer of new ordinary shares to raise £10m. Paisners finance partner David Collins acted on the deal. Bird & Bird advised CFS Group.

  • Simmons and A&O wrap up Asian telecoms deal

    6-Mar-2000

    Allen & Overy and Simmons & Simmons have taken 48 hours to push through what they claim is the largest ever Asian takeover bid.

  • SJ Berwin hires partner in bid to build insolvency practice

    6-Mar-2000

    SJ Berwin is poaching a key Hammond Suddards partner as part of a plan to raise its insolvency law profile.

  • Ten firms get teeth into United Biscuits break-up

    6-Mar-2000

    Ten major law firms in London and Paris have been brought together on the £1.26bn offer for United Biscuits - believed to be the biggest public to private buyout ever.

  • The St Valentine's Day Massacre

    6-Mar-2000

    On 14 February, the bitter battle between the Bank of Scotland and the Royal Bank of Scotland to take over NatWest came to an end. Dearbail Jordan tells the story.

  • Trowers appoints new head in Oman

    6-Mar-2000

    City firm Trowers & Hamlins has appointed a new managing partner in its Oman office and is bringing one of the top lawyers in the country back to London.

  • Two more department heads defect from Lyons Davidson

    6-Mar-2000

    Bristol firm Lyons Davidson has lost two more heads of departments - bringing the number of partner defections to three in the last month.

  • UK firms advise on Cap Gemini merger

    6-Mar-2000

    Linklaters and Slaughter and May are handling the merger of French management consultants Cap Gemini with Ernst & Young's consultancy arm.

  • US firms expand in an effort to catch booming technology industry

    6-Mar-2000

    California firms O'Melveny & Myers and Morrison & Foerster are expanding to target the booming technology industry in the US.

  • Vinsons raids four firms to strengthen London practices

    6-Mar-2000

    Vinson & Elkins has raided US rivals and City firms to strengthen its London energy and project finance practices.

  • Vizards Staples takes rivals' pensions dept

    6-Mar-2000

    City firm Vizards Staples & Bannisters has taken the pensions practice from rival London firm Howard Kennedy.

  • Vote now for Legal Personality of the Year

    6-Mar-2000

    The search is on for The Lawyer Legal Personality of the Year.

  • Warner Cranston appoints partner

    6-Mar-2000

    City firm Warner Cranston is taking a leading immigration partner from Kingsley Napley - the third top-flight partner it has poached this year.

  • Weil Gotshal hires judge and academic for securities group

    6-Mar-2000

    Weil Gotshal & Manges has lured a top judge and law professor to boost its securities practice in the US.

  • Will case awaits judgment

    6-Mar-2000

    Judgment is now pending in a Court of Appeal case in which a farm manager is challenging the will of his former boss, while his former boss is still alive. Geoffrey Gillett, 59, claims that for three decades his wealthy landowner boss, Kenneth Holt, 85, promised him that all would be his when he died. But Holt later changed his will cutting out Gillett, who he had sacked. Gillett is appealing against a 1998 High Court decision which held that Holt was entitled to change his mind. Gillett's ...

  • Wragges moves into London

    6-Mar-2000

    Wragge & Co is to merge with City intellectual property practice Needham & Grant in a move that is likely to establish it as a leading player in the media industry.