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This year, The Lawyer’s annual ranking of the largest UK law firms by turnover is available as an interactive, digital benchmarking tool. For the first time this will allow you to manipulate each data set against the metrics of your choice.
The European Commission released yet another draft directive for a EU Takeover Code at the beginning of the month, but UK lawyers who remember the farcical demise of the last code are cynical about the chances of this code's success
In a statement announcing the proposals, Internal Market Commissioner Frits Bolkenstein said: "I'm firmly convinced that this proposal has every chance of being swiftly adopted. It is a balanced and reasonable text that steers clear of the pitfalls of extreme positions that could have consigned us to Dante's Inferno with no exit." However, Slaughter and May's head of corporate Nigel Boardman said: "We've spent 15 years waiting for a common takeover code and we haven't got one yet. It would be nice to have a common code, but I'm not holding my breath by any means." The new code retains provisions on takeover defences that persuaded German members of the European parliament to filibuster the last directive. Hengeler Mueller M&A partner Oleg de Lousanoff favours a harmonised directive along German principles. He said: "I don't believe the position in the recently enacted German Code is an impediment to the success of takeovers. What counts is the attractiveness of the bid." But according to Board-man, the abolition of poison pill defences is a key issue. He said: "It would be very disappointing if the takeover code we got was not as good as the UK's existing code, which works well here and has been successfully exported."