a year ago this week

Bank set for first ever panel review

The Lawyer revealed that one of the biggest banks in the UK was launching its first ever domestic panel review.

The National Australia Bank (NAB) had used UK firms including Addleshaw Booth & Co, Shepherd & Wedderburn, Dundas & Wilson and Tods Murray.

The review began a couple of months later and is ongoing, with the results expected in the next few months. A decision on the bank's main provider of employment advice has already been made – with McGrigor Donald winning the appointment. The firm already had a longstanding relationship with NAB through Clydesdale Bank.

Irish practice McCann Fitzgerald has been appointed to cover employment work in Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland.

Jane Shirran, who was previously general counsel for Great Britain at Yorkshire Bank, is now NAB's regional general counsel for Europe.

Garretts hit by departure of top corporate partner

One of Garretts' top corporate and banking partners Brian Rutherford resigned from the firm to join the London office of Chicago's Altheimer & Gray.

Rutherford is an acquisition finance specialist, and had set up the London office of Scottish firm Dundas & Wilson in 1994. He moved to Garretts four years later when his firm merged with Arthur Andersen.

His hire marked the start of a great year's expansion for Altheimer. It has grown to 37 lawyers since opening in the summer of 1999, and has picked up teams from niche firms Barnett Alexander Chart and Orchard. In the past few months the firm has recruited employment partner Jessica Learmond-Criqui from Fladgate Fielder, and litigation partners Neil Fleeson and Mark Kraljevic from Clyde & Co and Holman Fenwick & Willan respectively.

At Garretts, Rutherford's departure coincided with the arrivals of former Clifford Chance managing partner Tony Williams and senior banking partner Douglas Colliver from Dewey Ballantine. Rutherford had already decided to move when their moves were announced.

Since then, the Leeds office has been transferred wholesale to DLA and the firm has hired Norton Rose's head of international securities Gilles Thieffry in London.