Simmons & Simmons has appointed seven new partners, three to its international offices. In London the promotions are Mark Norris in banking, David Roylance in capital markets, Adrian Kent in commercial and Monica Ma in employee benefits. Internationally the appointments are Sean Bulmer in capital markets in Hong Kong, Andrea Gianelli in banking and capital markets in Milan, and Conor Maguire in EC/competition law in Brussels.

Bond Pearce is taking on a former Denton Hall partner as a consultant to its planning and environmental law practice. John Houghton is joining the firm's Southampton office from regional rival Clarke Willmott & Clarke, before which he spent 20 years at Denton Hall.

DLA has appointed Kathy Toon as a new partner to strengthen its property team in Birmingham.Toon joins DLA from Edge Ellison where she was an associate. In her new post, she will be expected to boost the firm's expertise in the retail sector, focusing on acquisition work and development agreements for DLA's expanding retail client base.

Baker & McKenzie is seconding three of its lawyers to the Takeover Panel and the Court of Appeal. Helen Bradley is a five-year qualified corporate associate and will join the Takeover Panel as assistant secretary for 18 months. Sarah Lancaster and Rachel Chapman, both second-year trainees, join the Court of Appeal as judicial assistants.

The Solicitors' Pro Bono Group is to launch a referral scheme aimed at business lawyers at a cost of £100,000. A pilot scheme is expected to be established by the end of this year. If successful, the nationwide initiative – based on the Lawyers Alliance New York pro bono referral service – will target in-house and private practice to unite groups in need of free advice.

Daltons Solicitors, formerly Michael Daltons Solicitors, has acquired two new practices in the south of England. Dalton, who set up his business 14 years ago and merged it with Elkingtons Solicitors in Petersfield in 1998, has now taken over West Sussex firm Howard Perkins & Co in Storrington and Stathams in Southampton.

British Telecommunications (BT) is holding a beauty parade to select a firm to act as legal adviser for flotation of its international directory and internet division Yell.

Brabner Holden Banks Wilson's head of corporate John Schorah has left to join PC games company and client Rage Software in Liverpool. He becomes managing director on 1 May after being approached by the business, whose relationship with his old firm, he says, will not be affected.

The Lord Chancellor, Lord Irvine has appointed the Rt Hon Lord Phillips of Worth Matravers as head of civil justice on taking up his appointment as Master of the Rolls, and the Rt Hon Lord Justice May as deputy head of civil justice. Both will take up their positions on 1 October this year. As from 6 June, the Rt Hon Lord Justice Nourse is to be vice-president of the Court of Appeal (Civil Division), a new appointment made under Section 3(3) of the Supreme Court Act 1981.

Hilton Group Further to the Client File on Hilton Group (10 April) we would like to point out that the head of legal for Ladbrokes International Betting and Gaming is Hilary Stewart-Jones.