News in Brief

Lee Crowder has appointed corporate recovery and insolvency partner Zafar Rafiq from Gateley Wareing’s Leicester office. Bringing to the firm a wide spectrum of experience in liquidations, bankruptcies and receiverships administrations and well-regarded in the Midlands and the North, Rafiq has previously worked for DLA in Sheffield and Leeds.

L2Bgroup is believed to have become the first ‘virtual’ law group. The network of three firms, Hames & Meyrier, Blake Lapthorn and Meyrier Fayout Lacoste, will offer clients in the aviation industry legal advice. The specialist legal advisers will operate on a global basis and plans to expand its base of hand-picked aviation lawyers.

Gateley Wareing has appointed Graham Smith as its new director of human resources. Smith, who has worked in the past for Edge Ellison, will develop planning and appraisal systems so that the firm can focus more closely on its hiring of new trainees and other staff.

Weil Gotshal & Manges has recruited John Markland to its project finance group. Markland comes from Clifford Chance where he advised on a range of issues in a variety of locations, including Hungary and Saudi Arabia.

Andersen Legal partner Stephan Netzle has been appointed to the arbitration court for the Sydney Olympic Games. Netzle, from Switzerland, has defended athletes against “doping” accusations in the past and has been involved with several cases involving Nandrolone, a substance banned by athletics councils across the globe.

Theodore Goddard is going online with the launch of TG On-line, an electronic training package for in-house lawyers. Designed to run alongside the firm’s Media & Communication Bulletin, TG On-line will ask questions on the issues covered. Depending on the number of correct answers, CPD hours will then be awarded to subscribers.

Linklaters & Alliance acted for ABN Amro Bank on a euro217.5m credit facility for Van Seumeren Holland BV to allow the purchase of Mammoet Group. The deal spanned nine jurisdictions due to the worldwide assets of each of the companies involved. Global banking partner Philip Bridge acted on the deal with an eight-strong team from Linklaters’ alliance firms, including De Brauw Blackstone Westbroek and Oppenhoff & Rädler.

Allen & Overy has clinched the contract to advise on the financial issues surrounding the acquisition of German cable network Kabel Hessen GmbH from Kabel Deutschland GmbH. Teams from the firm’s London and Frankfurt offices are advising Merrill Lynch on the creation of a credit facility worth euro850. Partner Trevor Borthwick led the UK team, with partners Neil Weland and Johannes Bruski from Frankfurt.

Dundas & Wilson is launching an interactive online deal room that will be accessible worldwide. The service, which will be called Delight, will allow lawyers to post documents relating to mergers and acquisitions transactions and other deals onto a website which will then be accessible to clients and other professional advisers. Each transaction will have its own website but specialist areas within the site can only be accessed by specified users.

Burroughs Day is launching a professional negligence service which will allow people to pursue claims against solicitors and lawyers. The Bristol-based firm has introduced the scheme after the legal profession’s immunity from civil actions was removed by the House of Lords. Cases will be taken on a no win, no fee basis.

Lewis Silkin has appointed Ruth Doyle as its head of marketing. Doyle joins from accountants Blick Rothenberg and will be responsible for corporate identity management and marketing communications.