The A-list

07-Dec-07
The A-list
On Monday you can find out if they have bagged a place in The Lawyer’s Hall of Fame.


On Tuesday we reported that SJ Berwin senior partner Jonathan Blake, Linklaters senior partner David Cheyne and Berwin Leighton Paisner managing partner Neville Eisenberg had made this year’s edition of the Who’s Who. On Monday you can find out if they have bagged a place in The Lawyer’s Hall of Fame.

The Lawyer is 20 years old this year and as part of the celebrations it is publishing the first part of its Hall of Fame – a list of pioneers, innovators, and campaigners; the lawyers who have actually changed the way the law is practised.

On Monday, the first half of the list is revealed – those with surnames beginning A to K. Would that be Angel to Knowles?

Your nominations have flooded in for a diverse bunch indeed, even Ally McBeal (bizarrely) and Atticus Finch from To Kill a Mockingbird have their fans. But did they make it? Find out on Monday.

06-Dec-07
Playing the numbers game

Nine people made up the post-BCCI trial working party that took 370 days to come up with a report that spanned 83 pages. See story

The group and its report aim to curb excesses such as the 80-day opening speech with which Gordon Pollock QC launched the 23-month BCCI trial.

Mr Justice Tomlinson brought the curtain down on the trial with an 87-page judgment, which falls just five pages short of the 83-page report that was just presented to the Commercial Judges and Commercial Court Users’ Committee.

The report proposed that opening arguments should not exceed 50 pages (how many barristers will now start using A3?) and two days. That still seems like a jolly long time. Imagine listening to a barrister drone on through a flight to Australia – and back.

But the worst news for long-winded barristers everywhere is that even the most tricky cases will be set down for only 13 weeks. A new era of brevity is truly upon us.

05-Dec-07
Money making moustaches

There was something hairy going on south of the river last night.

A gaggle of magic circle lawyers were amongst the hirsute throngs gathered at the gala party for Movember, the international charity that encourages men to grow moustaches throughout November to raise money for prostate cancer research.

Allen & Overy trainee Tobi Rufus swaggered home with the “Best Mo in Character” award for his ’70s pimp-daddy ensemble.

Meanwhile, Linklaters made by far and away the biggest contribution of any law firm: indeed its whopping £70,000 effort secured it the title of biggest fundraiser.

At least 60 Linklaters staff made the effort to “grow a mo”.

Head of private equity Charlie Jacobs led the Linklaters charge – in more ways than one: his uncannily accurate Magnum P.I. get-up was accessorised with a red Ferrari 360 Spider. Jacobs reports that he might be keeping the moustache a bit longer, if not the car.

And there we were thinking that a Ferrari was compulsory issue for Linklaters partners. Did Tony Angel not get the memo?

04-Dec-07
What do David Cheyne and Kate Moss have in common?

Unlikely as it seems, City heavyweight David Cheyne and Soho lightweight Kate Moss share something in common. Well, two things if you include an almost inhuman ability to make piles of cash.

They are both new entries in the 2008 edition of Who’s Who, the weighty tome that graces many a socialite’s perfumed writing desk. (See story).

Cheyne, as well as SJ Berwin’s Jonathan Blake and Berwin Leighton Paisner’s Neville Eisenberg, have all made the Who’s Who. Which is all very commendable but the most interesting things in the Who’s Who lie in the details. For example, did you know that Blake’s middle name is Elazar?

All have been selected by the editors of the list for “reaching the pinnacle of excellence in their field”. Just like other new entries such as Nicholas Lyndhurst, best known for being a bit of a plonker, and Top Gear’s Richard Hammond, best known for crashing a car, and Kate Moss, best known for…

03-Dec-07
Study notes: The Northern Rock saga

We admit that following the Northern Rock saga can be pretty complicated.

We admit that following the Northern Rock saga can be pretty complicated. You can read all about who’s who and how they got there in today’s issue of The Lawyer (see story). But in the spirit of public service, we present a cut-out-and-keep simplification of the cast of characters…

A is for Allen & Overy (A&O), which settled for just the two roles (it could have been three).

B is for the Bank of England (BoE), which turned to Clifford Chance – after being advised by Freshfields.

C is for Conflict of Interest. Narrowly avoided by A&O and Freshfields.

D is for Dickinson Dees, which had to lay off 17 staff because of problems at the Rock, its biggest client.

E is for Tim Emmerson of Sullivan & Cromwell, advising bidding group Olivant.

F is for Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer, advising the Rock (and previously the BoE)

G is for Giles Boothman of Ashurst, advising US private equity house and bidder Cerberus

H is for Hedge Funds like SRM and RAB Capital, which are starting to sabre-rattle as the Rock’s largest shareholders.

I is for Ian Binnie of Nabarro, who landed a key role advising hedge fund RAB Capital.

J is for “approved bidder” JC Flowers, which turned to Herbert Smith.

K is for Mervyn King, chairman of Clifford Chance client, the BoE

L is for Laurie Adams, previously head of legal at ABN Amro, brought onto Northern Rock’s board last week.

M is for Mortgages – those that formed the core of the Rock’s business and those of the sub-prime variety that were at the heart of its troubles.

N is for Northern Rock, silly.

O is for investment group Olivant, which wants to bring its own management into the Rock in return for a minority stake.

P is for Jeremy Parr of Linklaters, relationship partner for Lloyds TSB, which walked away from bidding for the Rock

Q is for the Queues of customers outside the Rock, causing the first run on a British bank in over a century.

R is for Barry Russell at Bingham McCutchen, advising the Rock’s creditors

S is for Slaughter and May, advisers to…

T is for The Treasury

U is for UBS, where Olivant’s Luqman Arnold and his financial adviser Ken Costa; and SRM’s and RAB Capital’s founders all worked.

V is for the Virgin-led consortium, the Rock’s preferred bidder.

W is for Will Lawes of Freshfields, lead partner to the Rock

X is for Xtremely large debt, which may or may not get repaid.

Y is for a Yuletide bidding war, if chancellor Alistair Darling has his way.

Z is for Northern Rock’s zero-hour. Watch this space.