7 May 2001

The Lawyer

  • A VIEW from Hong Kong

    7-May-2001

    At the January opening of the 2000 legal year, the chief justice announced the establishment of a working party under the chairmanship of Mr Justice Patrick Chan. The party's brief is to review the civil rules and procedures of the High Court and to recommend changes "with a view to ensuring and improving access to justice at reasonable cost and speed". In the 15 months since this announcement, there has been much speculation as to whether Hong Kong will implement reform of civil ...

  • A year ago this week

    7-May-2001

    Davies Arnold Cooper media unit jumps ship for ReynoldsThree members of Davies Arnold Cooper's (DAC) media and defamation team left to join rival Reynolds Porter Chamberlain. This was a blow for DAC, as these were the latest in a line of resignations, which included the departure of Malcolm Henke, head of the common law department, motor unit head Simon Curtis and senior ...

  • Adding insult to injury

    7-May-2001

    Following the plummeting share price of Claims Direct in the financial pages has become something of a spectator sport among personal injury (PI) lawyers over the last few months.It has been a source of considerable satisfaction for the sceptics, who are barely able to hold back a righteous smile at their old adversary's problems, but a distressing experience for those 300-odd law firms that are signed up to the ailing claims management giant.But love it ...

  • Addleshaws lures top-flight tax consultant from Pinsents

    7-May-2001

    Addleshaw Booth & Co has appointed a high-profile tax consultant in its Leeds office as a precursor to setting up a private client practice in London.

  • Alba keeps quiet about Bar Council accreditation plans

    7-May-2001

    The Administrative Law Bar Association (Alba), the only specialist bar association to be directly affected by controversial Bar Council proposals to accredit public law barristers, has declined to respond to a consultation.

  • ALL-STAR CAST: top players in French firms

    7-May-2001

    Thierry VassogneAge: 49Firm: Linklaters & AllianceFocus: M&A and stock exchangeNumber of partners: 25Deals: Advised Tetra Laval on its euro1.7bn (£1.05bn) tender offer for Sidel (March 2001).Advised France Telecom on its euro10bn (£6bn) purchase of 54.3 per cent of Equant (November 2000).Advised Peugeot and ...

  • Appeal Court rules HRA incompatibility

    7-May-2001

    In a groundbreaking case, the Court of Appeal has made its first ever ruling that an existing statute is incompatible with the Human Rights Act (HRA).

  • Arnold & Porter bags FTC chairman

    7-May-2001

    The chairman of the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) is joining Washington DC firm Arnold & Porter after six years in the position.

  • B&M may lose role as partner quits for client

    7-May-2001

    Baker & McKenzie's role as adviser to network services group Pangea is under threat as one of its lawyers leaves to launch the client's own legal function.

  • Bar Council under fire over ageism proposals

    7-May-2001

    Proposals by two Bar Council committees to ban discrimination against pupil and tenant applicants on grounds of age have been slammed as "unworkable" by the Commercial Bar Association (Combar).

  • Buchanans targets insurance with Denton Wilde partner hire

    7-May-2001

    Pittsburgh firm Buchanan Ingersoll is taking on a partner from Denton Wilde Sapte to spearhead a move into insurance work.

  • Building up a profile

    7-May-2001

    In these days of PR, marketing and brand awareness, your name is key. It's all very well working at the law firm with the strongest brand, but in the long term it's still all about personal relationships. You need to build up your own personal brand.Hammonds Suddards Edge's latest recruit has done just that and his career is flying as a result. The new boy has just been appointed as a construction industry special adviser to the firm.He fits the ...

  • Burges Salmon gains ex-Eversheds partner

    7-May-2001

    Burges Salmon is strengthening its property and finance litigation practice by hiring the former senior partner of Eversheds' Bristol office.

  • Cobbetts rewards staff with share of £15.7m fee income

    7-May-2001

    Manchester firm Cobbetts has overshot its budget target for the last financial year - and has celebrated by handing out bonus payments to its staff.

  • Constitutional Court puts off new employment ruling

    7-May-2001

    The German Constitutional Court has suspended a decision by the German Supreme Court, which ruled that when lawyers switch firms, the new firm must drop instructions in which the lawyer's previous firm has represented the other side.

  • Contacts

    7-May-2001

    The Lawyer Deals is the most comprehensive and up-to-date deals reporting in the market. As well as weekly listings, it includes a rotating focus on different sectors.14 May: Technology, media, telecommunications21 May: Real estate28 May: Corporate4 June: FinanceIf you have deals you would like to be considered for inclusion, please fax them to: The Lawyer Deals, 020 7970 4640.Alternatively, ...

  • Customer relationship management

    7-May-2001

    Customer Relationship Management (CRM) is now being allocated significant budgets by companies which understand the importance of retaining customers to improve their bottom line. Poor customer service leads to lost customers, opportunities missed through poor targeting and higher acquisition costs, but companies are still failing to make proper use of customer data and are flouting regulations at the same time.According to new research carried out on behalf of Mondex International ...

  • Dentons secures its place on National Mutual advisory list

    7-May-2001

    The Milton Keynes office of Denton Wilde Sapte has won the firm an appointment to a new "soft" property panel for the National Mutual Life Assurance Society.

  • Equitable boss shown to be New Labour donor

    7-May-2001

    Newly-available information from the Electoral Commission reveals that political donations for this quarter include a contribution by Equitable Life's new chairman Vanni Treves.

  • Ethical insurance?

    7-May-2001

    "Let's be very careful not to tar Accident Line Protect (Alp) and other professional providers of legal services with the claims manager's brush," says James Innes, chairman of Abbey Legal Protection, the insurance agent behind the scheme.In actual fact, the current furore over claims management companies has given Alp, the Law Society-endorsed conditional fee insurance product, which relaunched last October, a rather useful marketing tag - the "ethical option".

  • Fancy a banana?

    7-May-2001

    Has anyone heard the one about the Pollock banana? Tulkinghorn understands that the ubiquitous Gordon Pollock QC, head of Essex Court Chambers, has been using a monkey theme in court. Tulkinghorn has it on good authority that during a summing-up in court Pollock persistently referred to his opposition counsel, Steven Gee QC (once of Essex Court then of One Essex Court and now at 4 Field Court) as a 'monkey'. Gee took understandable umbrage, objected, and the judge gave Pollock ...

  • Follow that car

    7-May-2001

    The wait is nearly over for sufferers from asbestos-related illnesses and they should start receiving compensation this month [May]. But the tragedy serves to illustrate the point that there is a need for a formal employers' insurers' liability bureau - along the lines of the Motor Insurers' Bureau (MIB) - to act as an insurer of last resort. This is the long-held view of the Association of Personal Injury Lawyers (Apil).According to Apil president Frances ...

  • French law firms: a guide

    7-May-2001

    Gide Loyrette Nouel: Traditional full-service firm with 350 lawyers in Paris. It is the only French practice with an international presence, but it has lost 17 partners in the past three years, bringing its worldwide partnership down to 73.Jeantet & Associés: Traditional firm with a generalist focus but has lost five partners in the past 12 months.Darrois Villey Maillot Brochier: Niche firm in securities and M&A. Sophisticated deals ...

  • Freshfields fees set to soar

    7-May-2001

    Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer could push Linklaters & Alliance into third place for turnover this year for the first time ever.

  • Freshfields restructures Italian office

    7-May-2001

    Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer is reorganising the management of its Italian practice.

  • Graf von Westphalen Frankfurt partner quits for Willkie Farr

    7-May-2001

    Graf von Westphalen Fritze & Modest's Frankfurt office is losing one of its top IT partners to US firm Willkie Farr & Gallagher.

  • Herbert Smith tackles Carnival deal

    7-May-2001

    Herbert Smith has acted for Carnival Corporation on its first bond issue in the Euromarkets.

  • Hill Dickinson

    7-May-2001

    Hill Dickinson's on-off merger with fellow North West insurance specialist Weightmans has given the firm more exposure than it is used to over the past year. The proposed merger between two keen rivals in such a volatile sector certainly raised eyebrows. Now it is definitely off and, according to managing partner David Wareing, "there's no chance of us going back to them". With insurance litigation ...

  • Holland & Knight gets closer to target size with NY merger

    7-May-2001

    Florida firm Holland & Knight, one of the 10 largest US firms, is merging with New York practice Gilbert Segall and Young.

  • It's painful to be beautiful

    7-May-2001

    Sticking with the marketing theme, appearance is obviously of vital importance to one's personal branding.Take Shearman & Sterling's former head of European acquisition finance Stephen Mostyn-Williams, who is known for being something of a snappy dresser.A recent experience of our friend Mr Mostyn-Williams offers a salutary lesson to readers that there is ...

  • Kennedys sets up in Newmarket

    7-May-2001

    Insurance firm Kennedys is opening an office in Newmarket to cater to its expanding clinical negligence practice.

  • Leader

    7-May-2001

    It was only a matter of time before Theodore Goddard entered into merger talks. The more cynical among us saw last year's extraordinary rise in profits as pre-merger beautification. According to The Lawyer 100 Survey, turnover last year leapt 48 per cent to £39m, with average profits per partner rising from £270,000 to £400,000. Much of this was due to a jealously-held equity, a huge overspill of work from Diageo from the previous year and savage cost-cutting.

  • Legal widow

    7-May-2001

    Wednesday morning was spent down at the doctors, for our youngest child had thoughtfully inserted a paper clip up her nose. When asked why she had done it, she answered: "To see how far it would go." A reply which, I fear, dooms us to a lifetime of waiting for the police to knock at the door.

  • Lovells mounts mass Euro recruitment drive

    7-May-2001

    Lovells has initiated a full-scale European recruitment drive as it takes on three new partners to strengthen its corporate and finance departments in Paris.

  • Making or breaking a merger

    7-May-2001

    dsdgdsfgdsfgMakeGood employee communicationsCompensation programmesA clear business strategyBreakProblems with human resources integrationCompensation issuesCultural issuesSource: Hewitt Associates

  • Matrix adds senior academics to ranks

    7-May-2001

    Matrix Chambers has hired 11 King's Bench Walk's academic practitioner Gillian Morris, as well as four senior academics, all of whom are due to join the set as pupils over the next 18 months.

  • Merger management Dealing with staff nerves

    7-May-2001

    The time before and after a merger is one of immense uncertainty for employees. Not only are they feeling insecure about the future of their jobs but often their entire remuneration package comes under scrutiny. The best way to deal with this uncertainty is to provide them with regular information. Even if you have got nothing to say, tell them what you are working on and when you expect to be able to make an announcement. Employees should also be told about the implications of the ...

  • Moira Fraser

    7-May-2001

    As a town and country planning law practitioner of 20-odd years, I've begun to realise that much of my legal experience is "town" and not "country"-based. This has been highlighted by viewing a nightly news diet of burning pyres in Cumbria and mouldering carcasses in Devon. Things that go on in the country rarely seemed to affect the national urban consciousness, but now the general election has been postponed because of Foot-and-Mouth disease and farmers are collapsing under the ...

  • Monkey business

    7-May-2001

    Tulkinghorn was delighted to receive further correspondence from Cumberland Ellis Peirs partner Tom Barth. Readers will remember his tales of lawyers turning up drunk for interviews and of the client who croaked it while on the phone before Barth could tell him his fees.Tulkinghorn reported this believing that nothing could happen between then (16 April) and his retirement this month. But Tulkinghorn was wrong. Barth's latest bizarre experience is receiving an invitation ...

  • Nedcor / fleming offshore banking

    7-May-2001

    Nedcor is a historic client for the banking group at Theodore Goddard, where partner Dave Wilson manages the relationship. But this is one of few corporate deals for the client in the UK, and one of the first for corporate partner Martin Chester.

  • News in brief

    7-May-2001

    Allen & Overy's managing partner of litigation Andrew Clark will stand down in the autumn in order to focus on finding the firm a new home when its lease of One New Change expires in September 2006. Litigator and senior partner John Rink will help coordinate the project with Clark, who will be replaced by litigation partner Peter Watson. Rodney Barker, who retired as business services director ...

  • News in brief

    7-May-2001

    Chadbourne & Parke's New York office is relocating a corporate finance partner to London. Claude Serfilippi specialises in capital markets transactions including high-yield debt offerings. In New York, his practice has focused on advising domestic and foreign corporations and financial institutions in corporate and securities matters. His move is part of Chadbourne's continuing expansion of ...

  • News in brief

    7-May-2001

    Altheimer & Gray is due to open a UK tax practice after hiring Vishvas Kanji, who has been a partner at Fox Williams since 1996. Its managing partner Robert Bata says that the firm also plans to start IP and corporate recovery practices. Altheimer has a 40-strong London practice which started in June 1999.

  • News in brief

    7-May-2001

    Lovells and CMS Cameron McKenna are advising the preferred bidders selected by the Government last week to help run London Underground in a public-private partnership (PPP). Consortia advised by Slaughter and May, Linklaters & Alliance, ...

  • News in brief

    7-May-2001

    In last week's article about the Thyssen litigation, we neglected to include Thomas Leech in the list of counsel. Leech, of 9 Old Square, has been the junior on the trial since the beginning and is instructed by Norton Rose.

  • News in brief

    7-May-2001

    Slaughter and May and Ashurst Morris Crisp have been appointed by Rotch Property Group as its "Level 1" advisers after completing the first phase of its panel review. The firms will advise on securitisation, capital markets, telecoms and IT work, while corporate and property "Level 2" work was awarded to

  • News in brief

    7-May-2001

    Ashurst Morris Crisp launched its Munich office last Tuesday (1 May) and hired litigation partner Karl Wach from Linklaters Oppenhoff & Rädler. Richard Engl will lead Munich's tax practice and brings with him three assistants from his tax consultancy firm RLE GmbH, which is folding. The office will focus on corporate tax ...

  • News in brief

    7-May-2001

    Dorsey & Whitney has appointed Nadeem Khan (right) to set up a property department in its London office. Khan joins from Bird & Bird, where he was involved in development, outsourcing, PFI and high-profile sale and purchase transactions. Dorsey & Whitney is one of the few US firms to have set up a property department in London, and its focus is corporate, commercial and corporate finance and intellectual ...

  • News in brief

    7-May-2001

    Bird & Bird has announced the appointment of six new partners. Lorna Brazell, David Wilson, Nicola Maguire, Andrew Stobbart, Ruth Boardman and Isabel Evans were made up on 1 May. It now has 80 partners, a 30 per cent increase on last year. Boardman is an IT lawyer, Brazell and Wilson are both IP lawyers, Maguire is in corporate, Stobbert is a real estate specialist and Evans is in banking.

  • News in brief

    7-May-2001

    Shearman & Sterling's Hong Kong office is losing M&A and corporate finance partner Clark Randt, who has been appointed US ambassador to China. Randt specialises in direct foreign investment, capital markets and financing transactions in the Asia Pacific. He leads the firm's practice in China and has been involved in transactions there since 1974. He was the First Secretary and Commercial ...

  • NGJ rolls out PFI group with Row & Maw hire

    7-May-2001

    Nicholson Graham & Jones is expanding its presence in targeting the growing PFI and public-private partnership (PPP) market with the hire of a projects partner from Rowe & Maw.

  • NHSLA lawyers attacked over spiralling costs

    7-May-2001

    Defendant lawyers have hit back following claims that they are the only ones benefiting from current clinical negligence claims.

  • Non fee-earner wins SJ Berwin partnership

    7-May-2001

    SJ Berwin has taken the unusual step of appointing a non fee-earning partner.

  • North East circuit faces Bar Council expulsion

    7-May-2001

    Circuit heads for showdowns it votes on employed barristers ban; others may follow "one bar"snub

  • Our money or your life

    7-May-2001

    The BSE inquiry had more than its fair of share of desperately sad moments in its 700 hours of hearings. But perhaps none quite so tragic as the testimony of the father of Clare Tomkins, who was then dying from the human form of mad cow disease (CJD), in describing the 18 months of hell that his daughter had endured.Roger Tomkins spoke of his happy and recently engaged daughter being swiftly reduced to an emaciated wreck, howling "like a sick, injured animal". "Why did it ...

  • Pannone establishes injuries unit

    7-May-2001

    Manchester-based Pannone & Partners has set up a catastrophic injuries unit in response to an increasing need for an "all-round service" from clients.

  • Partners desert Swedish Johnssons after strategy row

    7-May-2001

    One of Sweden's leading corporate boutiques is splitting in two following a disagreement among the partners about future strategy.

  • Passion plates

    7-May-2001

    Another rather more flashy form of branding is the personalised number plate and the bar is being plagued by a rogue trader trying to offload his stylised plate, which reads "LAWYA", for a whopping £20,000.So far he has had little success. Frankly, Tulkinghorn is not surprised - even if the bar was awash with overpaid lads with nothing better to do with their money (which of course it isn't) the inaccurate spelling would surely put them off.As it stands, ...

  • Salans scoops team of three from New York rival

    7-May-2001

    Franco-US firm Salans Hertzfeld & Heilbronn is expanding its New York intellectual property (IP) practice with a team from Pryor Cashman Sherman & Flynn.

  • Shoosmiths partner joins Reed Smith

    7-May-2001

    Newly-merged firm Reed Smith Warner Cranston is taking on another partner from Shoosmiths to boost its Coventry-based corporate practice.

  • Siemens

    7-May-2001

    This £1bn rolling stock contract is Siemens' biggest ever for the UK. Timing on the deal was particularly tight due to the imminent withdrawal of slam-door carriages. Only three weeks passed between the Strategic Rail Authority's (SRA) selection of incumbent Stagecoach Holdings as preferred bidder for the new South West trains franchise, and the announcement that Siemens had won the £1bn contract to supply rolling stock for the line. As well as the total service ...

  • Smiths group

    7-May-2001

    This was a complicated deal for Allen & Overy's (A&O) long-term client Smiths Group which follows its £4.5bn merger last year with TI Group. At the time of that deal Smiths did not want the Automotive Systems Division of TI Group to be part of the merger, and TI Group was already trying to sell it.

  • Surplus to requirements

    7-May-2001

    The question of who owns an occupational pension scheme's surplus has once again reared its ugly head in the form of the recent House of Lords ruling in the case involving the National Grid pension schemes.Two National Grid pensioners objected to the use of the pension scheme's surplus to fund redundancy packages subsequent to privatisation. They argued that it was the scheme members and not the employer who should benefit from any surplus. After a long and acrimonious ...

  • Tale from the right bank

    7-May-2001

    Storm clouds may be gathering over the Arc de Triomphe, but their origin is a matter of debate among law firms in Paris. UK and US law firms would have us believe that they are closing in on the Paris market, snatching work from under the noses of their French counterparts. Law firms in France, however, paint rather a different picture, blaming a trickier market on the US economic slowdown rather than on Anglo-Saxon law firms. The French capital is an attractive prospect ...

  • The Bright side of life

    7-May-2001

    Chris Bright feels that his work for Clifford Chance is done and so is moving on to Shearmans. For his next challenge he might even take on Brussels

  • The personnelity

    7-May-2001

    Mergers are an unavoidable part of modern corporate life. If you have not already been through the process, the chances of you managing to avoid it much longer are slim. But what exactly is the role of human resources (HR) in a merger? It is a simple question with a complex answer.While some HR managers offer one-to-one counselling for every clerk and post boy, others want to be in the boardroom calling the shots even before the ink is put to paper on any deal. PricewaterhouseCoopers' ...

  • The reluctant defector

    7-May-2001

    French lawyers are, on first impressions at least, gentlemen, and Gérard Mazet, who managed French firm Jeantet & Associés at the height of its success, is probably the smoothest of them all. His English accent could not be further from the comic pronunciation of the French policeman in television comedy series 'Allo 'Allo or indeed from the strong French lilt of his M&A rival Thierry Vassogne.No, Mazet is incredibly calm and incredibly clear - you get ...

  • The Sweetest Feeling

    7-May-2001

    Global trade issues, particularly involving food, are never really straightforward. Kelly Harrison talks to someone who is- head of legal at Tate & Lyle Robert Gibber takes a direct approach to a complex remit

  • Vectura

    7-May-2001

    KLegal corporate partner Patrick Martin boasts private equity fund Merlin as one of his biggest clients, and it has moved with him from Pinsent Curtis to Price Waterhouse's law firm Arnheim & Co, and from there to KLegal.

  • Weil Gotshal completes first ports securitisation

    7-May-2001

    The London office of Weil Gotshal & Manges has advised Nikko Principal Investments in connection with the first ever securitisation of European port revenues.

  • Wilson Sonsini hire boosts funds group

    7-May-2001

    Silicon Valley giant Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati is expanding its fund services group with a former general counsel from the Bank of America.

  • Wragge to keep bra sizes secret

    7-May-2001

    Wragge & Co is to advise the UK National Sizing Survey on how to comply with the Data Protection Act 1998 when collecting personal information.