7 July 2003

The Lawyer

  • A&O ramps up China push with Shearman hire

    7-Jul-2003

    Allen and Overy (A&O) has taken on one of Shearman & Sterling's Beijing partners to bolster the magic circle firm's attack on China. Xiaowei Ye, a US-qualified corporate partner, will initially be based in A&O's Beijing office, but will relocate to Shanghai in November as part of the firm's expansion there. Ye has advised on a number of prominent Securities and Exchange Commission transactions for companies including China Aluminium, PetroChina and China Mobile. She also ...

  • A&O steals a march on Freshfields with Iberia

    7-Jul-2003

    Allen & Overy (A&O) is carving out a brand new book of business for Iberia, despite the Spanish airline's traditional relationship with Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer for financing advice.A&O asset finance partner Mario Jacovides has already closed two Japanese operating lease (JOL) deals for Iberia and is now working on a complex JOL with tranched debt. Madrid ...

  • and teams up with Graf and Kemmler in Brussels

    7-Jul-2003

    Wragge & Co and German alliance firm Graf von Westphalen launched a joint Brussels office last month. The two firms now share a building with EU law boutique Kemmler Rapp Bohlke, with which Graf already has a cooperation agreement and Wragges will also work.According to Wragges senior partner Quentin Poole, the joint office will enable the Wragges-Graf alliance to handle merger clearances on major ...

  • Arter & Hadden collapses after funds run dry

    7-Jul-2003

    Cleveland firm Arter & Hadden has become the latest US law firm to dissolve. According to a leaked memo written on 27 June, the firm had been negotiating with its lenders and landlords to find additional funding. The memo said: "Unfortunately, we must now report that efforts to obtain the additional financing and required concessions from Arter & Hadden's landlords to continue the law firm have been unsuccessful."

  • Associated Press hires its first general counsel

    7-Jul-2003

    Associated Press has appointed its first general counsel, Dewey Ballantine partner and head of technology John Keitt.Keitt joins the press agency as senior vice-president and general counsel, with responsibilities for global business development.The new legal team will be reinforced with the appointment of David Tomlin, assistant to the Associated Press president, as assistant general counsel.Keitt has advised Assoc-iated Press for more than 20 years, acting on all ...

  • CC and Cleary pull off LCH-Clearnet merger

    7-Jul-2003

    Clifford Chance and Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton have emerged from more than two years of complex and politically sensitive negotiations resulting in the groundbreaking e1.2bn (£831.4m) merger of the London Clearing House (LCH) and Clearnet.A team of Clifford Chance lawyers, led by corporate ...

  • Community action and pro bono: Lovells pro bono team helps homeless find employment

    7-Jul-2003

    Escaping the nightmare of homelessness without a job is almost impossible. Lovells, however, has been helping the homeless make the most of the employment opportunities that do exist.The firm's pro bono officer Yasmin Waljee says: "Homeless people face almost insurmountable barriers to employment from their lack of education, absence of competitive work skills and, in many cases, a lack of self-esteem."The firm's HR team runs a 'New Start' programme, which includes a two-day ...

  • Debenhams sale sees CC, Ashursts conflicted

    7-Jul-2003

    Conflicts at Clifford Chance and Ashurst Morris Crisp look likely to hand another law firm a sought-after public M&A instruction from private equity houses CVC Capital Partners and Texas Pacific Group.Clifford Chance is acting for Permira, the first bidder to show an interest in ailing department store Debenhams, ...

  • Eversheds hands Monaco over to Lawrence Graham

    7-Jul-2003

    Eversheds' Monaco practice has found a buyer, with Lawrence Graham stepping in to take on the private client practice.Last week, Monaco's regulatory authorities gave permission for the Eversheds office to be handed over to Lawrence Graham.Eversheds' London managing partner Michael Brown said ...

  • Ex-McGrigor Donald senior partner joins DLA

    7-Jul-2003

    DLA has continued to expand its Scottish practice with the appointment of former McGrigor Donald senior partner Fred Shedden as a consultant. Shedden, who had spent his entire career at McGrigors before leaving in 2000 to pursue other interests, will work with Scottish office managing partners Nick Seddon and Michael Collins on strategic and business development issues. The firm is especially keen to further build its Scottish corporate finance and banking practice, as well as boosting ...

  • Fenwick & West pegs salaries to market rate

    7-Jul-2003

    Silicon Valley firm Fenwick & West has frozen salaries for most of its 250 members of staff in an effort to bring them in line with market rates.Not all staff will be adversely affected, as some will receive adjustments to bring their salaries up to market rates. Current salary increases based on merit will not take place.The move is the outcome of the firm's review of the April 2003 Watson Wyatt survey on law firm earnings by region. It included ...

  • Firm Profile: Fishburns

    7-Jul-2003

    Fishburns has been through more changes in four years than most law firms go through in a lifetime. It was founded as Fishburn Boxer in 1971 as a professional indemnity specialist. In 1999 it merged with Cardiff-based firm Morgan Cole, becoming Fishburn Morgan Cole.The partnership was restructured, with Fishburn ...

  • Firms picked to run Budget Group service

    7-Jul-2003

    The Budget Group has set up a new uninsured loss recovery administration service to be run by Corries Solicitors, Donns Solicitors and Hunt & Coombs. The three firms will provide legal advice to all Budget's personal injury clients.

  • Fuel for thought

    7-Jul-2003

    ith major restructuring taking place and a continued ebb in production in the North Sea oil and gas industry, Bruce McLeod looks at the commercial context of a changing market

  • German lawyers walk out from EY, PwC firms

    7-Jul-2003

    The Sarbanes-Oxley Act has had dramatic effects at two accountancy-tied law firms in Germany, both of which experienced significant fallout last week.The German arm of the Ernst & Young (EY) network has suffered a series of walkouts just as the firm has voted to join the EY Law Alliance.The 11-partner Bochum office of EY-tied firm Luther Menold will split from the firm over strategic differences, with further whole-office defections possible, according to sources. EY-tied ...

  • Harbottles man sued over £1m overdraft

    7-Jul-2003

    C Hoare & Co, one of the City's oldest private banks, is pursuing Harbottle & Lewis head of broadcasting Medwyn Jones for £2.1m to pay off an overdraft taken out by Walker Martineau, the firm he left in 1992.Jones was one of 19 partners at Walker Martineau, which merged with Pennin-gtons in 2000, who underwrote a £1m overdraft facility taken out a month before he resigned in April 1992.Many of the ex-partners have settled up with C Hoare & ...

  • Having a ball

    7-Jul-2003

    Thanks to those graceful literati at Loaded magazine, the Inns of Court Ball has long been associated with ribaldry and excessive drunkenness. However, that image was truly dispelled by the attendees at this year's ball. Not only did they raise a truly impressive £20,000 for homeless charity Centrepoint, but, despite the yards of fine wines, gins and champagnes available, they retained a decorum that the military-minded ancestors of the Duke of Wellington would have admired. One ...

  • House rules

    7-Jul-2003

    Three recent Scottish deals have highlighted the issues that make large-scale voluntary transfers particularly complex.

  • Hunton scoops Holland & Knight practice

    7-Jul-2003

    The Miami office of US firm Hunton & Williams has hired Holland & Knight's entire Miami bankruptcy and creditors' rights practice group. Partners Craig Rasile, Jeffrey Bast and Andrew Zaron join former Holland & Knight executive partner Marty Steinberg. Hunton & Williams' Miami office opened in 1999 and now has 45 lawyers.

  • Kingsley Napley wins top Bindmans partner

    7-Jul-2003

    Kingsley Napley has recruited Bindman & Partners' head of clinical negligence and personal injury (PI) Terrence Donovan (left). He will maintain his clinical negligence practice and develop the firm's personal injury specialisation. The Kingsley Napley clinical negligence and PI department now has four partners and six solicitors.

  • KLegal founder walks out

    7-Jul-2003

    James Hodgson, a founding partner of KLegal, has resigned over growing discontent with the firm's post-Enron strategy and the management takeover by McGrigor Donald.Hodgson's resignation depletes further the contingent of remaining legacy partners since last year's tie-up with McGrigors. Out of 21 KLegal partners at the time of the deal, nine have now left, many of them singled out in a partner cull that left McGrigors unscathed. Hodg-son, who has not been pushed, is ...

  • LEADER

    7-Jul-2003

    To say it hasn't been a great week for the accountancy-tied firms would be an understatement.The German legal arms of both PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) and Ernst & Young (EY) are collapsing before their very eyes, while in the UK, KLegal's James Hodgson has finally called it a day at the firm he founded four years ago. Word is that many more, if not all, of KLegal's legacy partners have their CVs with recruiters.In Hodgson, KLegal has certainly lost an effective marketer ...

  • Legal Widow

    7-Jul-2003

    Deminimus hasn't quite recovered from missing out on a commendation at his school's recent prizegiving. "But last year I got the science prize," he sobbed, unable to get past the unfairness of a system that gives you a reward one year but not the next, even though you're the same person.Of course, you have two strategies when your children fail to pass exams or win prizes: there's the "what a bunch of swindlers" approach (which is the one their fathers favour), or my own long-drawn-out ...

  • Living legend

    7-Jul-2003

    The Lawyer Awards' lifetime achiever Clive Stafford Smith may be returning to the UK, but as Naomi Rovnick reports, there's no reprieve for US injustice

  • Manches construction chief quits

    7-Jul-2003

    In yet another blow to Manches, the firm has lost head of construction and management board member James Foster to Lawrence Graham.Foster, understood to be a plateau equity partner, has been with the firm since 1985 but handed in his notice at the end of last year.The news comes after a string of departures from the firm's property department, which has seen seven partners leave in ...

  • McFaddens allies with Steel Hector

    7-Jul-2003

    Related London firms McFaddens Solicitors and McFadden Pilkington & Ward US Attorneys have launched a transatlantic alliance with top Miami firm Steel Hector & Davis.The alliance will be called SHD McFaddens and will draw on the resources of the London firms' 10 lawyers and the 220 lawyers at Steel Hector."It's an eight-year relationship, which everyone decided it would be sensible to formalise," said SHD McFaddens founding partner Greg Pilkington, who will remain ...

  • McFaddens allies with Steel Hector

    7-Jul-2003

    Related London firms McFaddens Solicitors and McFadden Pilkington & Ward US Attorneys have launched a transatlantic alliance with top Miami firm Steel Hector & Davis.The alliance will be called SHD McFaddens and will draw on the resources of the London firms' 10 lawyers and the 220 lawyers at Steel Hector."It's an eight-year relationship, which everyone decided it would be sensible to formalise," said SHD McFaddens founding partner Greg Pilkington, who will remain ...

  • Middleton Potts fights off £30m legal action

    7-Jul-2003

    A claim against law firm Middleton Potts that started off at almost £30m before being reduced to some £200,000 has finally settled.The £108,000 paid by Middleton Potts into court by way of security will be retu-rned to the firm with interest.The case against the firm and partner Richard Schmidt, brought by a subsidiary of Scottish engineering company Amec, advised by Addleshaw ...

  • Milbank ex-environmental chair quits for Orrick

    7-Jul-2003

    Robert Lawrence, the former chair of the environmental group at Milbank Tweed Hadley & McCloy, has joined Orrick Herrington & Sutcliffe as a partner in the energy and project finance group in Washington DC. Lawrence focuses on environmental issues in connection with transactions.

  • NHSLA shuts its doors until 2007

    7-Jul-2003

    Firms such as Trowers & Hamlins that were axed from the NHS Litigation Authority (NHSLA) panel in 2001 will now be locked out of applying for the work again until 2007.The NHSLA has said it will not conduct the planned review of its 15-law firm panel next January, so no other firms can tender until 2007.The authority cut its panel from 90 to 15 firms in January 2001. At the time it told successful firms the next review would be in three years.Trowers was one of ...

  • O'dear

    7-Jul-2003

    Everyone, including lawyers and legal journalists, has difficulty with foreign-sounding names from time to time. They don't always admit it, but they do. And God knows it's only getting worse as firms continue to open in ever-more exotic places (thanks a bunch Clyde & Co for your Iraq exploits).But it's refreshing to discover that the problem is also much the same for lawyers working closer to home. Recently, while working on a deal in the Emerald Isle, the exotic moniker ...

  • Opinion

    7-Jul-2003

    Has the Serious Fraud Office (SFO) been in touch with you recently? Hopefully not, but the use of stolen ID in serious frauds is on the rise, and if you've been the unfortunate victim of ID theft, the first hint you may get of it is a visit from the police.The problem is not new, but the scale of it is. Research suggests that identity fraud is the fastest-growing fraud in the UK and represents around 35 per cent of all fraud in terms of value. Many frauds operate internationally ...

  • Orad makes AIM with help from Berwin Leighton

    7-Jul-2003

    Berwin Leighton Paisner has advised new AIM client Orad Hi-Tec Systems, the first company to seek a listing on London's AIM following the demise of Germany's Neuer Markt.Orad, an Israeli television production technology company, is also the first company to announce its application to trade on AIM under new fast-track rules that were launched in May.The rules are intended to ...

  • PwC Norway firm sheds lawyers

    7-Jul-2003

    The Norwegian branch of PricewaterhouseCoopers' (PwC) legal arm is splitting from its managing partner and a team of around 30 business lawyers after deciding to focus on tax.Managing partner Peter Simonsen and seven other partners will take the team to Simonsen's former firm Simonsen Føyen. They leave PwC with 12 partners and a total of 65 lawyers."It was a global strategic decision not to have legaladvisers as a core business of PwC. Due to a business evaluation, ...

  • Real estate deals round-up

    7-Jul-2003

    Nabarro Nathanson (Kevin Stimpson) advised GE Real Estate in the formation of a joint venture partnership with Haslemere to own five of Haslemere's major UK shopping centres. As part of the £230m investment, £184m of senior debt financing has been secured from the Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS). Tods Murray advised ...

  • Reuters general counsel made redundant

    7-Jul-2003

    Reuters' redundancy programme has seen general counsel Stephen Mitchell lose his job just one month after his deputy Andrew Garard departed for the top job at Cable & Wireless.Former Rowe & Maw partner and Reuters company secretary Rosemary Martin will become general counsel and remain company secretary.In an internal email seen by The Lawyer, CEO Tom Glover said: "We're making 3,000 staff redundant… I don't feel it right for senior management to remain ...

  • Revealed: Altheimer's $30m debt mountain

    7-Jul-2003

    Former partners set to sue; Salans poised to snap up Eastern European offices

  • Secret service

    7-Jul-2003

    Someone suing your firm? Call for the cavalry. Naomi Rovnick on the four-partner team that gets lawyers out of trouble

  • Shaky ground

    7-Jul-2003

    The land reforms underway in Scotland read like the latest Indiana Jones movie for lawyers. Alison Newton points out the pitfalls and the route to a happy ending

  • Shaw Pittman lets twelve lawyers go

    7-Jul-2003

    Shaw Pittman is set to axe its emerging companies and healthcare practice in Los Angeles, cutting 12 lawyers from a total of 17.Partners Charles Fiedler, Eric Klein and Clara Martin will leave over the coming months, leaving just Michael Murphy, Bob DiGiovanni and three associates."They joined in July 2001 and the timing was poor with the dotcom crash and 11 September. Launching an emerging companies practice simply didn't happen for us," said a Shaw Pittman spokesperson.

  • Sidley gains UBS bengoshi for Tokyo drive

    7-Jul-2003

    UBS Japan's regional general counsel is joining Sidley Austin Brown & Wood's expansion drive in Tokyo.Kazunobi Nishi, a bengoshi, brings strong connections with the investment banks in Japan, having also held the role of senior legal counsel at Goldman Sachs in the region. He will focus on regulatory and transactional matters, including M&A and strategic alliances.Nishi said Sidley's ...

  • Skadden leads the pack for global M&A

    7-Jul-2003

    Skadden Arps Slate Meagher & Flom has bumped Linklaters off the top spot for announced European deals in the second quarter of 2003, according to Thomson Financial's worldwide M&A figures.The US firm leaped eight places from last year's ninth place on the back of 15 deals worth $52.08bn (£31.24bn).Skadden's role advising the controlling shareholders of the Russian integrated ...

  • Spirito de Cova

    7-Jul-2003

    Bruno Cova and his team at beleaguered Italian giant Fiat are some of the busiest people in the business, but as Steve Hoare reports, The Lawyer Award winners can handle it

  • The final dark days of the firm that wanted too much

    7-Jul-2003

    Dearbail Jordan on how Altheimer & Gray's erratic management has left some pressing questions

  • The mists are clearing

    7-Jul-2003

    Tulkinghorn, who is something of an old fashioned gentleman himself, was surprised to hear that Ashurst Morris Crisp partners have been having sessions with a palmist. All very new age for a traditional City firm. On further investigation, it turned out the person in the head scarf was actually a legal recruiter who does a bit of palm-reading on the side.Rumour has it that the palmist was overheard ...

  • Three down, but US firms defiant

    7-Jul-2003

    The AmLaw 100 figures show that US law firms are battling bravely to ride out the downturn despite three going under

  • Trademark lawyers: we're not dinosaurs

    7-Jul-2003

    Field Fisher Waterhouse head of trademarks and brand protection John Olsen has sparked a war with trademark agents after commenting in The Lawyer that "the profession of a trademark agent is a tradition whose time is past".Ian Buchan, the president of the Institute of Trade Mark Attorneys (ITMA), has reacted angrily to Olsen's comments and written an open letter to members, ...

  • While Rome burns

    7-Jul-2003

    Isn't it funny how the news that your law firm is collapsing can invoke differing reactions? Lawyers at the London office of a certain suffering US law firm, or as we at The Lawyer call them, 'they who shall not be named', had their own very individual ways of coping with the imminent closure of their firm.Apparently, one very senior US lawyer was seen sitting in his office chuffing a large cigar as Rome fell around him. Coolness under pressure personified.Meanwhile, another ...

  • Wragges establishes permanent London employment practice

    7-Jul-2003

    Wragge & Co has launched a permanent employment team in London following a six-month trial in the City and is aiming to carve out a top five position for the team by 2005.The firm plans to build the team in London to 12 lawyers, led by partners Patrick Brodie and Andrew Hodge. In the meantime, Brodie and Hodge will be supported by three other fee-earners and an HR consultant, ...

  • Year-end figures reveal real estate is holding its own

    7-Jul-2003

    Emma Vere-Jones reports on the property departments that are outperforming corporate