12 September 2011

Wilson Sonsini spearheads US charge to increase muscle in Brussels

US firms are beefing up their presence in Brussels in a bid to provide antitrust expertise for clients on both sides of the Atlantic. Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati heads the list of firms strongly rumoured to be examining a Brussels office. It would be the West Coast firm’s first office outside the US and […]


Trowers down to one associate in Saudi office

Just days after Trowers & Hamlins announced Abdullah Mutawi as its new strategic head for the United Arab Emirates (UAE), the firm has admitted it is down to one secondee associate in its ­ailing Saudi Arabia office. Amid industry speculation about the health of its entire Middle East ­practice, head of international ­Martin Amison has […]

Kim Carr

FBC Manby Bowdler

It is three years since West Midlands firms FBC Solicitors and Manby Steward Bowdler joined forces and a post-merger restructuring is finally starting to pay off. After seeing its total headcount decrease from around 300 at the time of the merger to 226 in 2010-11, with the conveyancing department in ­particular being scaled back, in […]

Axa tie-ups spark Asia-Pacific panel rejig

Axa has kicked off a review of its Asia-Pacific legal panel following April’s $13bn (£8.14bn) tie-up deal between Axa Asia Pacific, Australian wealth manager AMP and French insurer Axa SA. The insurance giant is understood to be combining the advisers of Axa and AMP in the region with a view to reducing the total number […]

Mishcon bags FFW, Travers duo

Mishcon de Reya has boosted its partnership with the addition of Field Fisher Waterhouse (FFW) IP ­partner Lewis Cohen and ­Travers Smith banking ­partner Michael Bardell. Cohen is the go-to IP partner for Tottenham ­Hotspur FC, having advised the club on its crackdown on counterfeit goods being sold over the internet (The Lawyer, 3 March 2008). It is understood that Mishcon will […]

SJ Berwin scores Dubai partner with Clydes swoop

SJ Berwin has raided Clyde & Co’s Middle East practice to hire partner Hamish Walton in Dubai. SJ Berwin opened in Dubai in 2009 and has ­stated openly its intention to grow in the region. The hire of capital markets partner Walton will bring its partner count to four in the office. “This hire is […]

Combined Welsh councils unveil new-look panels

Beachcroft, Bevan Brittan, Cobbetts and Weightmans were the key winners on two major ­public sector legal panels in Wales. The new North Wales ­Collaborative Framework, formed by a consortium of six local authorities, has appointed specialist panels of external legal advisers for a two-year term, with an option for a two-year ­extension. The consortium comprises the councils of Anglesey, Gwynedd, Conwy, Denbighshire, Flintshire and […]

Birmingham Council lands NHS panel spot

Birmingham City ­Council’s legal department has become the latest public sector team to boost its income with external work after landing places on at least three panels of a new NHS legal framework. In a first round of results from HealthTrust Europe’s review of the London ­Procurement Programme, which provides legal services to around 60 NHS trusts in London, […]

Sprecher close to Martineau merger

Martineau and Sprecher Grier Halberstam are edging closer to a merger deal as partners prepare to cast their votes this month. The potential tie-up between Birmingham-based Martineau and City firm Sprecher stands to ­create a combined entity with a £31m turnover, propelling it into the top 80 UK firms ranked by revenue. Sprecher managing ­partner Emma Shipp […]

Chris Saul

Slaughters puts emphasis on China after chief’s exit

Slaughter and May has rejigged its Greater China practice as veteran finance partner George Goulding retires. Goulding is being replaced as resident Beijing partner by corporate ­partner Lisa Chung, a ­Mandarin-speaker who spent four years as a local partner in Hong Kong before joining the London equity in 2010. Chung recently advised the Hong Kong Monetary Authority on the HK$100bn (£8.03bn) […]

Primed for life

There aren’t many feelgood stories in the law, but the Prime initiative is definitely one of them. David Morley’s brainchild of a collaborative approach towards social mobility (The Lawyer, 4 April) has been taken up by a total of 23 firms with huge enthusiasm. It’s not hard to see why. Social mobility – or class, […]

Bakers seals Chinese buy of Brazilian metals outfit

Baker & McKenzie has advised a consortium of five Chinese companies on its acquisition of a $1.95bn (£1.2bn) stake in leading Brazilian metals company Companhia Brasileira de Metalurgia e Mineracao (CBMM). A multi-disciplinary, bilingual Baker & McKenzie team led by Beijing-based M&A partner Bee Chun Boo acted as international ­counsel for the ­consortium, which included […]

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