News in brief

A round up of stories from the UK and around the world

Lawrence Graham elects new managing partner
Lawrence Graham has elected Penny Francis (left) as managing partner. She takes over from Bill Richards, who will switch to a senior partner role. The reshuffle follows the decision of senior partner Martyn Gowar to return to full-time practice. The reorganisation will take effect next May. Kathryn Hobbs
Camerons takes on consultant in Beijing
CMS Cameron McKenna has hired Masons lawyer Molly Riley as a consultant in its Beijing office. Riley, who headed Masons’ practice in Guangzhou, is an international corporate specialist. She is fluent in Mandarin and Chinese and has spent 10 years working in Hong Kong and China.
Kvaerner in-housers escape Oslo move
The in-house legal department of troubled Norwegian company Kvaerner has escaped a relocation to Norway. Much of the group’s management will be relocated to the Oslo head office following extensive restructuring and retrenchment. However, most of the UK lawyers, who work principally on engineering and construction business, will remain at the London office. Helen Power
Partner quits Berrymans to chair FSMT
Berrymans Lace Mawer partner Colin Bishopp has left the firm, having been appointed to three new roles. He has become the chairman of the Financial Services and Markets Tribunal (FSMT), chairman of the VAT and Duties Tribunal and special commissioner of income tax. The FSMT has been created to hear appeals against decisions made by the Financial Services Authority. Kathryn Hobbs
Rowe & Maw promotes four to partnership
Rowe & Maw has promoted Sally Davies, Fiona Holland, Michael Hutchinson and Anita Jones to the firm’s partnership, as of 1 November. This round of promotions takes the number of partners to 79. Davies, a qualified solicitor advocate, focuses on construction and engineering litigation, Jones is a commercial property specialist, Hutchinson concentrates on environmental law matters and Holland is a corporate lawyer.
JP Morgan hires legal head from Deutsche Bank
JP Morgan Chase has hired the former legal head of derivatives at Deutsche Bank. Michael Hamill has joined the financial institution to advise on derivatives matters across all asset classes. He will report to David Lewis, head of foreign exchange and derivatives legal for Europe, the Middle East and Africa.
Clifford Chance appoints energy in-houser
Clifford Chance Pünder is taking on RWE Energie’s in-house legal head as a partner in its Düsseldorf office. Peter Rosin will help to expand and develop the energy practice.
Beachcrofts launches low-cost insurance group
Beachcroft Wansbroughs is to launch an insurance division designed to deal more efficiently with low-cost, high-volume defendant insurance work. The new division, named Mutual Law, will deal with contentious and non-contentious claims worth less than £15,000. The service will include 130 staff and will be run out of Bristol, Birmingham and Manchester.
Solicitor/accountant joint venture is record first
Toller Hales & Collcutt has set up what is believed to be the first joint venture financial services company between solicitors and accountants. Solace Associates has been formed by the Northamptonshire law firm and chartered accountancy practices Meadows & Co, Cushing Fairbairn & Wardle and Bewers Turner & Co.