The Lawyer Africa Elite 2014 features an in-depth look at 46 leading independent firms’ strategies in 15 key sub-Saharan jurisdictions, as well as the views of in-house counsel from some of Africa’s largest companies... Read more
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 provisional liquidation of shipping insurance provider Ocean Marine Mutual is threatening to cut short a mountain of lucrative legal work for UK law firms. Ocean Marine Mutual has been engaged in a series of long running disputes with a number of parties including its Australian reinsurer, FAI, represented by Clyde & Co, one of eight law firms which is acting in connection with the insurer. But the Turks and Caicos Islands-based independent protection and indemnity club, which provides third party insurance to ship owners, slipped into provisional liquidation on 4 March under an application made by creditor Midland Bank, believed to be owed in the region of US$50-100m. Ernst & Young is the appointed provisional liquidator and is being advised by Herbert Smith. Ray Bell, partner at Clyde & Co, who was appointed in 1997 to advise on a reinsurance dispute with Ocean Marine Mutual, says: "It is up to Ernst & Young to form its own merits on pursuing the matters in court." But Bell says: "It could mean the end of legal proceedings." Also unsure of the next move is Tony Rooth, partner in the litigation department at Watson Farley & Williams, which has been representing the Turkish Ship Owners Committee since the beginning of the year. "At the moment I just don't know. The case depends on the actions of other people," says Rooth. Chris Hill, joint provisional liquidator at Ernst & Young, was unable to confirm how many creditors were owed money, or how much was in question. He says: "Allen & Overy will be considering the various legal matters. We will be giving our view as liquidators on the merits on various actions." Ince & Co is believed to be acting on behalf of members of the Ocean Marine Mutual, while it is understood Barlow Lyde & Gilbert is representing Ocean Marine Mutual in its claims against FAI. Bob McCunn, partner in the commodities department at Shaw & Croft, acting on behalf of lawyers, surveyors and correspondents owed money by the shipping insurer, says: "The first job is to find out what is going on with the liquidation."