Grapevine

David Gold, Herbert Smith’s senior partner, could be forced to step down or even leave the country come 2012 if the organisers of the London Olympics have their way.


Gold to be fingered by London 2012?

David Gold, Herbert Smith’s senior partner, could be forced to step down or even leave the country come 2012 if the organisers of the London Olympics have their way.

Strict new rules that are being considered to stop companies from cashing in on the Games could also mean the metallic-sounding Gold finds himself with a copyright infringement.

The Institute of Practitioners in Advertising is warning that the rules go too far and is worried that businesses will not be able to ply their trades. It warns that suntan lotion manufacturers will not be able to say “Get bronze in London in 2012”, for example.

But what about Gold, or the equally precious metally-challenged Clyde & Co partner Jonathan Silver? And Taylor Wessing‘s Malcolm Spencer Humbert Ring better watch out, as he could find himself a five-times offender.

If Gold et al do find themselves in trouble, no doubt London 2012’s ‘major partners’ – Ashurst, Clifford Chance and Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer – will be available to lend a helping hand.

The Watson Burton guide to unrestricting covenantsAs Lester Aldridge pursues legal action against its former head of banking and finance Kevin Heath to enforce restrictive covenants in its partnership agreement, Newcastle firm Watson Burton appears to have resorted to even more extraordinary lengths in order to avoid restrictive covenants on a lateral hire.

It has emerged that new Watson Burton equity partner Philip Jordan, who left rival Newcastle firm Ward Hadaway earlier this year, has returned to the city after a surprisingly short three-month stint at Blackburn firm Taylors. A stint that was strangely omitted from Watson Burton’s press release, which trumpeted its successful acquisition of a Ward Hadaway partner.

Watson Burton is adamant that Jordan’s time at Taylors was not a staged manoeuvre and that it did not have any form of agreement with him before he left Ward Hadaway. However, the bitter rivalry between the two firms is no secret, nor are Ward Hadaway’s restrictive covenants, which are designed to prevent partners moving across to a rival local firm.

Kirkpatrick and Kilpatrick: verging on merging

A thing of beauty emerged last week. During conversations with various partners – who shall remain unnamed – for The Lawyer UK 100 Annual Report, the story of a merger that never was cropped up.

Apparently, four years ago, long before Nicholson Graham & Jones was even on the radar, Kirkpatrick & Lockhart was deep in merger talks with another firm altogether. It was a US firm, and joy of joys, it was Kilpatrick Stockton.

We can’t help wondering, what if? All the confusion that surrounds those all too similar-sounding names, and which still plagues legal journalists, lawyers and most probably clients, could have been laid to rest once and for all.

Sadly, it was not to be, although one should never say never…