8 December 2003

The Lawyer

  • 2 Mitre Court loses star duo to Landmark

    8-Dec-2003

    Highly-rated planning silk Neil King QC has quit 2 Mitre Court Buildings, taking along rising star Rupert Warren to rival set Landmark Chambers.

  • Addleshaws, Bevan Ashford join forces

    8-Dec-2003

    Addleshaw Goddard and Bevan Ashford have entered a unique joint venture to work on major projects instructions using a common fee scale, and are exploring the possibility of setting up a limited-liability partnership (LLP) as a client point of contact.

  • Ashurst bins Morris Crisp to appeal to foreign clients

    8-Dec-2003

    Ashurst Morris Crisp is to rebrand as simply ‘Ashurst’ after concluding that international clients cannot pronounce the firm’s name properly.

  • B&M’s international nous lands Platinum instruction

    8-Dec-2003

    Baker & McKenzie’s burgeoning London-based private equity practice advised US private equity house Platinum Equity on its £102.4m acquisition of Hays Logistics.

  • Blunkett v. the bench: judicial independence to be ‘guaranteed’

    9-Dec-2003

    At the beginning of the year, the already strained relations between judiciary and the bench reached a new nadir following a ruling by Mr Justice Collins, president of the Immigration Appeal Tribunal, which threatened to spectacularly derail the Government’s asylum policy.

  • CC, Travers go nuclear with Areva-Urenco JV

    8-Dec-2003

    Clifford Chance and Travers Smith Braithwaite have key roles advising the French nuclear group Areva and nuclear fuel consortium Urenco on a politically-charged $3.6bn (£2.08bn) joint venture that is expected to result in a new dawn of uranium enrichment for France.

  • Clarification

    8-Dec-2003

    In last week’s issue it was reported that Berwin Leighton Paisner, Davies Arnold Cooper and Constant & Constant had failed in a bid to recover combined fees of £7m from a litigation funding specialist. We have been asked to clarify the position. The clients of all three firms had always agreed to meet the costs of the litigation if they were not met through other channels. As a result they ...

  • Commission argues for cross-border mergers

    8-Dec-2003

    The European Commission is trying to clear legal logjams preventing companies with share capital from different EU member states from merging. Such transactions are illegal in Austria, Denmark, Finland, Germany, Greece, Ireland, the Netherlands and Sweden. However, under a new proposed company merger directive, they would be allowed across the EU and would involve companies following the merger rules that would apply if they were merging with a company from their own country. First ...

  • Corporate deals round-up

    8-Dec-2003

    Clifford Chance (Mark Carroll) assisted investment products provider Man Group on acquiring a 25 per cent stake in BlueCrest Capital Management. The £105m deal consists of £33m in cash funded from existing resources and approximately five million new ordinary shares. Simmons & Simmons (Colin Leaver) advised BlueCrest.

  • Cova leaves Fiat as new CEO brings in favourite

    8-Dec-2003

    Fiat’s general counsel Bruno Cova is leaving the Italian icon and will be replaced by Luciano Soldi of Pirelli.

  • Customs stripped of prosecution powers

    8-Dec-2003

    Customs & Excise has lost its prosecuting powers following several high profile blunders that have cost the taxpayer millions of pounds.

  • Defendant insurers’ legal challenge fails to torpedo collective CFAs

    9-Dec-2003

    Appeal judges recently rebuffed a challenge to the collective ‘no win, no fee’ arrangements run by trade unions and membership organisations.

  • Deloitte turns its back on Euro legal network

    8-Dec-2003

    Accountants’ law firms to form independent alliance as MDPs suffer another blow

  • Dentons loses MasterCard job after two key defections

    8-Dec-2003

    Denton Wilde Sapte’s depleted competition department has lost one of its most important clients: the group of major high street banks being investigated by the Office of Fair Trading (OFT) over MasterCard fees.

  • DLA advances on Europe with Netherlands merger

    8-Dec-2003

    DLA is continuing to spread through Europe after voting through a merger with its Netherlands firm SchutGrosheide last Thursday (4 December).

  • ECJ rules on sound trademarks

    9-Dec-2003

    The sound of music - or at least Beethoven’s Fur Elise - could be registered as a trademark following a groundbreaking decision of the European Court of Justice (ECJ).

  • English Bar to help rebuild Iraqi legal system

    10-Dec-2003

    The English Bar has taken on a key role in rebuilding Iraq’s shattered legal system.

  • Eversheds axes London private client business

    12-Dec-2003

    Eversheds has decided to cease its private client function in London and has reached an agreement to transfer the practice to Dawsons.

  • Eversheds lures Linklaters IT high-flyer

    8-Dec-2003

    Linklaters has lost a senior real estate lawyer with a specialism in IT to Eversheds. Nick Bartlett, a former managing associate at Linklaters, played a key role in the development of Pisces, the property sector’s standard method of data transfer. He joins Eversheds as a partner in the London office. First revealed ...

  • Eversheds sends UK partner to cement Qatar alliance

    8-Dec-2003

    Eversheds is relocating partner Chris Jobson to Al-Jufairi, the firm’s associated law firm in Qatar.

  • Eversheds targets property finance with Dechert partner

    8-Dec-2003

    Eversheds has hired Dechert partner Mark Packer for its London office as part of a concerted push on real estate finance work.

  • Ex-Freshfields star boosts Nabarros’ real estate team

    8-Dec-2003

    The high-profile former global head of real estate at Fresh-fields Bruckhaus Der-inger James George has resurfaced as part of a double lateral hire by Nabarro Nathanson.He joins Nabarros’ partnership as the firm also takes on Berwin Leighton Paisner ...

  • Firm profile: Underwood & Co

    8-Dec-2003

    “Our clients like to have significant partner involvement,” says Peter Hughes, managing partner of West End firm Underwood & Co. “We find that as a relatively small firm, clients want to know who they’re dealing with. But at the same time, we aim to make sure that clients are introduced to assistants and get to know them – too high a partner profile can be demotivating ...

  • Firms rush for City space as bargain rates come to an end

    8-Dec-2003

    Emma Vere-Jones gives the lowdown on London’s hot property market as firms look for the best deal

  • Five-partner team snubs DLA Dutch merger

    8-Dec-2003

    Five partners of Dutch firm SchutGrosheide are launching their own practice, after disagreeing with the firm’s decision to merge with DLA.

  • Getting a toe-in

    8-Dec-2003

    Apparently, female lawyers across London have been flooding Jimmy Choo with applications to become the luxury shoemaker’s first ever in-house counsel. A number of The Lawyer’s own journalists have also considered blagging an application. Surely years of hands-on commercial experience with shoes would be more useful than any legal qualification? Said journalists would like to ask, somewhat prematurely, if the successful applicant would please, please, please let them come and interview ...

  • Gide adds six to partnership

    11-Dec-2003

    French firm Gide Loyrette Nouel will make up six partners in January 2004.

  • Govt plans for fixed fees for accidents at work 'dangerously premature' say PI lawyers

    9-Dec-2003

    Personal injury (PI) lawyers called on ministers to think twice before introducing fixed fees for workplace accident claims, following the publication of a second report by the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) into employers’ liability this year.

  • Govt’s corporate killing get-out clause falls foul of HRA

    9-Dec-2003

    Leading public law specialists have attacked ministerial plans to grant blanket immunity to Government departments from new corporate killing legislation due to be published this month, arguing that it is in breach of the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR).

  • Grapevine

    10-Dec-2003

    Santa still exists – at least if you’re an associate in New York. It’s Christmas bonus season in the States, and as we revealed on www.thelawyer.com/lawyernews yesterday (9 December), Cravath Swaine & Moore – like Skadden – is pegging its associate bonuses to last year’s levels.

  • Hammonds makes rare Wragges capture

    12-Dec-2003

    Hammonds has scooped an unprecedented lateral hire in Birmingham, taking litigation partner Ann Benzimra to boost its own Midlands practice.

  • Hogan launches in Munich at client’s request

    8-Dec-2003

    US firm Hogan & Hartson will open its second German office in Munich at the request of a key media client, believed to be Universal.

  • ITV ditches company secretary

    8-Dec-2003

    Just two months after appointing him, ITV has dumped Carlton’s company secretary and general counsel David Abdoo from the company secretary role at the newly merged company.

  • JSM in HK employment skirmish

    8-Dec-2003

    A former teaching consultant at the University of Hong Kong has stepped up his campaign against his former employer and law firm Johnson Stokes & Master (JSM).

  • Judge orders Foyle to testify in US tobacco case

    11-Dec-2003

    Lovells litigation partner Andrew Foyle will be required to give evidence in relation to his client British American Tobacco (BAT) in the $289bn (£165.68bn) case, United States of America v Philip Morris & Others.

  • Law Soc says ‘no’ to paying Council members

    8-Dec-2003

    Law Society members have voted comprehensively against paying Law Society Council members. The resolution, forwarded at the society’s annual general meeting on 17 July, proposed that council members be paid £3,000 per annum, with subsidiary board chairs receiving an extra £6,000 and the treasurer £7,000. Backbench council members would receive an extra £3,000. The move would have cost the society £219,000. But as reported last month in the society’s notices, of nearly 20,000 Law Society ...

  • Lawyers get the trots

    8-Dec-2003

    The HR feature in this week’s edition of The Lawyer brought lots of fascinating details into the public arena for the first time. Diversity programmes, 360? reviews, recruitment in far-flung places… it’s all there.

  • Le Meridien deal sees BLP, RBS cosy up

    8-Dec-2003

    Berwin Leighton Paisner (BLP) has strengthened its relationship with the Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) after quietly completing the biggest letting deal this year in UK real estate: the re-letting of seven hotels previously leased by troubled

  • Leader

    8-Dec-2003

    Oh what a tangled web we weave… at least until it’s ripped asunder by furious shareholders as newspaper baron Lord Black of Crossharbour has so publicly discovered.

  • Lord Falconer: legal aid budget should not subsidise Govt law reforms

    9-Dec-2003

    The cost of the Government law reforms should not come out of the legal aid bill, Lord Falconer told legal aid lawyers last week at the Legal Action Group’s annual conference.

  • Macfarlanes prevails in appeal against OFT

    8-Dec-2003

    Macfarlanes’ competition team won a historic victory against the Office of Fair Trading (OFT) last week when it got an OFT merger ruling overturned for the first time ever.

  • Master of the Rolls sticks up for accident victims

    8-Dec-2003

    The Master of the Rolls has attacked the UK’s record on looking after accident victims. Lord Phillips of Worth Matravers (left) asked the Government to back the rehabilitation of those affected in its plans to deal with the spiralling costs of employers’ liability insurance. He told delegates at the Forum of Insurance Lawyers annual conference ...

  • Mean testing Christmas

    8-Dec-2003

    The spirit of Scrooge is alive and well and resident at the Office of the Solicitor of the Inland Revenue. News reached Tulkinghorn last week that the office’s Christmas party had been cancelled due to senior penny-pinchers holding back on flashing the cash.

  • Mills & Reeve property dept boosts turnover

    8-Dec-2003

    Mills & Reeve’s turnover for the first six months of the financial year is up 11 per cent to £16.8m. The boost comes on the back of a series of large property deals, including the completion of a £120m PFI deal for the University of Hertfordshire. The firm has also benefited from a number of partner laterals from City firms.

  • mm02 legal head axed

    8-Dec-2003

    Mobile operator mmO2 has undertaken a wholesale review of its legal function, which has already resulted in the company’s head of legal, the highly respected Giuseppe Sanna, being made redundant.

  • Money talks

    8-Dec-2003

    The unpredictable nature of making movies means negotiating a film finance deal can be a minefield. Nigel Palmer offers some guidance

  • Nabarros scoops canal pub deal for British Waterways

    8-Dec-2003

    Nabarro Nathanson has fought off competition from other panel firms to advise on British Waterways’ new pub partnership venture.

  • New Bar Council chairman speaks out

    8-Dec-2003

    Incoming Bar Council chairman Stephen Irwin QC has called for an end to the “turf war” between clerks and practice managers in his first speech concerning his new role.

  • NY bonus battles: Cravath sticks to its guns

    9-Dec-2003

    Cravath Swaine & Moore is following Skadden Arps Slate Meagher & Flom's example by keeping New York associate bonuses at last year¹s rates.

  • Ogier and Boxalls merge to form offshore giant

    9-Dec-2003

    In the first transatlantic merger of offshore law firms, Channel Islands firm Ogier and Cayman Islands firm Boxalls are to link up as of 1 February 2004.

  • Ombudsman pulls up the Bar Council over complaint

    8-Dec-2003

    The Legal Services Ombudsman has slammed the Bar Council for its handling of a complaint against two barristers.

  • Open or shut?

    8-Dec-2003

    With the $3bn SCO-IBM litigation in full swing, is the free ticket that was open source finally coming to an end? Andrew Dunlop reports

  • Opinion

    8-Dec-2003

    How many times have you seen an accident or near-miss caused by a driver with a mobile phone clamped to their ear? Last Monday (1 December), under the Road Vehicles (Construction and Use) (Amendment) (No.4) Regulations 2003, it became a criminal offence to use a hand-held mobile phone or similar device while driving.

  • Paul Hastings clinches Paris merger

    9-Dec-2003

    Paul Hastings Janofsky & Walker is going ahead with its Paris merger with Moquet Borde & Associés after the firms’ partners voted in favour of a tie-up. It is understood that a firmwide vote at each firm took place within the past two weeks, clearing the way for a Paul Hastings and Moquet Borde merger on 1 February next year.The combination marks Paul Hastings’ second foray into Europe, after opening in London in June 1997. Paul Hastings and Moquet Borde were unavailable for comment.

  • Pennie & Edmonds to fire staff in Jones Day takeover

    11-Dec-2003

    Employees at New York’s Pennie & Edmonds face a difficult Christmas after management broke the news that job losses would follow the firm’s takeover by Jones Day.

  • Pinsents’ Scandinavian alliance forges new ties

    8-Dec-2003

    Pinsents’ Scandinavian alliance partner Magnusson Wahlin Qvist Stanbrook (MAQS) has struck a cooperation deal with top 10 Finnish firm Krogerus & Co.

  • Pray day

    8-Dec-2003

    In this age of globalisation, lawyers are getting work in increasingly mysterious ways, though few are more mysterious than an English corporate lawyer getting a referral from a Brazilian priest.

  • Presage in a bottle

    8-Dec-2003

    Sarah Ahmed, a former partner at niche litigation practice Anthony Gold, has found a particularly tasty use for all her hard-won forensic skills.

  • Richards Butler helps budding film producers find their feet

    8-Dec-2003

    Aspiring film-makers and producers are finding their path to cinematic success a little easier, thanks to the work of Richards Butler’s media lawyers.

  • Separated at birth

    8-Dec-2003

    Have we got news for you! Pinsents is currently all aflush, with mergers and new alliance members sprouting up all over the place. But it’s closer to home that the national firm can really claim to have an ace up its sleeve. Corporate legend Andrew Hornigold, the man who goes by the affectionate moniker Goldie Hawn, can be revealed as none other than bumbling Tory toff ...

  • SFX gets the boot from Golden Balls

    8-Dec-2003

    Leading music and entertainment boutique Lee & Thompson advised David Beckham on the settlement of his dispute with sports agency SFX. The deal, a worldwide exclusive from The Lawyer (revealed on www.thelawyer.com on 5 December) will see the Real Madrid player end months of speculation by splitting with his longstanding agency and his manager Tony Stephens.

  • Skadden Arps defends DaimlerChrysler in $1bn suit

    8-Dec-2003

    Skadden Arps Slate Meagher & Flom is battling on behalf of DaimlerChrysler against a lawsuit brought by a billionaire investor.

  • Slaughters lifestyle promoter quits to find work-life balance

    8-Dec-2003

    Slaughter and May’s high-profile competition partner Laura Carstensen, one of the key figures on the firm’s work-life balance committee, is quitting the firm, the City and the law.

  • Standard Chartered UK panel firms are named

    8-Dec-2003

    Standard Chartered Bank has at last finalised its local UK panel, with Addleshaw Goddard, Burges Salmon, Denton Wilde Sapte and Reed Smith Warner Cranston emerging as the victors.

  • The Clear way

    8-Dec-2003

    Global advertising and entertainment company Clear Channel is making serious inroads into… well, just about everything. Steve Hoare reports on a legal team with its fingers in a lot of different pies

  • The human element

    8-Dec-2003

    The more progressive law firms are finally realising the value of having a proficient HR capability. Matt Byrne and Joanne O’Connor list the 10 best regarded professionals

  • Two more partners join long list of Morgan Cole defectors

    8-Dec-2003

    Two more partners are quitting Morgan Cole, taking the number of partner-level departures from the troubled firm to a staggering 60 in just five years.

  • Utility works

    8-Dec-2003

    The delivery of IT as a utility is just around the corner, but the new trend highlights the need for good legal advice, warns Peter Brudenall

  • Vultures circle Dentons’ star competition clients

    8-Dec-2003

    MasterCard dumps Dentons; firm must fight to keep Premier League. Helen Power reports

  • Watson Burton raids local rival for private client chief

    10-Dec-2003

    Newcastle firm Watson Burton has bolstered its private client department with the appointment the head of private client at local rival Hay & Kilner.

  • White & Case laterals drop Herbert Smith for battle with Deacons

    8-Dec-2003

    Herbert Smith has been ditched by the partners at the centre of Deacons’ successful Hong Kong court action against White & Case.

  • White & Case wins right to fight case in Russia

    8-Dec-2003

    White & Case has won a crucial court battle enabling its client, Russian oil giant TNK, to defend itself against claims on native soil. Lawyers had to convince a British Virgin Islands court that Russia is not “institutionally corrupt” and is an appropriate jurisdiction to hear the dispute. The claimants, minority shareholders in TNK subsidiaries Astian Group and Indian Ocean Petroleum Services, ...

  • Windy ditty

    8-Dec-2003

    Tulkinghorn would like to thank Eversheds for allowing him to sneak into the firm’s Midlands annual general meeting (AGM) a couple of weeks ago. The trouble is, when he arrived he wasn’t quite expecting to find himself thrust into a full-scale rendition of the musical Chicago.

  • Winston & Strawn boosts corporate with ex-CC partner

    11-Dec-2003

    Winston & Strawn is bulking up in corporate with the recruitment of a former Clifford Chance partner.