Skadden Arps Slate Meagher & Flom, New York's largest law firm, is taking on top antitrust partners in Europe for its Brussels office. James Venit is moving from rival US firm Wilmer Cutler & Pickering, where he was Brussels senior partner. Venit acted for AOL on its $140bn (£92.8bn) merger with Time Warner. At Skaddens he will work alongside head of the EC competition practice Barry Hawk and fellow partner Henry Huser.
DLA is promoting head of the Manchester litigation team David Gray to national group head of litigation. He replaces Neil Micklethwaite who has moved to be head of the solutions division. He is the second Manchester partner to join the firm's national management team, with Mike Tinker being head of insurance.
The Legal Services Commission has created its Serious Fraud Panel – a list of 69 firms who can work on legally aided criminal cases. The panel has 33 London firms on it and includes Titmuss Sainer Dechert, DLA, Irwin Mitchell, Pannone & Partners, Russell Jones & Walker, Kingsley Napley and Walker Morris.
Moon Beever, the London office of ShawnCoulson, is taking on insolvency accountant Steve Hill from PricewaterhouseCoopers. He has been a partner with PwC for 22 years, and joins as a consultant. He will advise insolvency practitioners from the firm, working with senior insolvency partner Frances Coulson.
Bevan Ashford, the Bristol-based firm, is taking on a partner to boost its London office. Neil Grant is moving from London firm Capsticks and will head a new health and social care group. In May the firm hired healthcare partner Christian Dingwall from Le Brasseur J Tickle, boosting the office to four partners.
Kennedys is making up two partners and taking on another lawyer to boost its partnership to 50. The two made up to partner level are professional indemnity lawyer Matt Andrews and personal injury lawyer Cathryn James. Richard West, a general liability lawyer, joins from Gepp & Sons.
Herbert Smith advised the Government Communi-cations Headquarters (GCHQ) on a £400m private finance initiative building contract for a new head office in Cheltenham. It is the biggest PFI project in the funding scheme's history. Partner James Fox and consultant Tom Phillips led the team.
Eversheds private equity partner and IT lawyer Mark Spinner has become the commercial director of internet company Wesupply. He will still consult Eversheds on e-commerce and e-financing ventures. Manchester-based partner Mark Halpin takes over Spinner's old role and George Green has become Birmingham's head of private equity.
Norton Rose has been chosen to work with HM Land Registry to pilot Land Registry Direct. It delivers online title registers, title plans, and documents referred to on the registers. Norton Rose tried out the system, which it says sets the standard for the delivery of electronic government services to both citizens and professionals.
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