News in brief

2 Gray’s Inn Square Chambers head has moved to personal injury and employment set 9 Gough Square. Giles Eyre aims to concentrate on his personal practice and takes Mark Whalan and Susan Baldock with him. Keith Knight has taken over as head of 2 Gray’s Inn. The chambers has also hired John Parker, James Holmes-Milner, Delyth Evans and Philip McCormack from Michael Fitzgerald QC’s 2 Mitre Court Buildings. They have a range of family, civil and employment expertise. 2 Gray’s Inn chambers director Martin Poulter is joining 29 Bedford Row replacing its senior clerk Robert Segal, who is leaving to set up his own business as a football agent. Perry Allen, head of clerking at 7 Bedford Row, joins 2 Gray’s Inn as its senior clerk and practice manager from 16 July.

Halliwell Landau has lost its former head of property to Hammond Suddards Edge. Stephen Goodman stepped down as head of property at Halliwell Landau earlier this year but remained as a partner. Halliwells managing partner Paul Thomas said that Goodman left because he had a different vision for the firm. Goodman will join the Manchester office of Hammonds.

Nabarro Nathanson’s asset group head Huw Witty (right) has left the firm to head Richards Butler’s tax department. Witty, who has been at Nabarros since 1991, will join Richards Butler in October. He will take a couple of longstanding tax clients with him.

CMS has announced the next step in the unity of the CMS firms. The announcement came at the CMS partners’ annual meeting in Brussels. As part of the integration there will be the implementation of common IT systems across the CMS group and the appointment of client relationship partners who will manage major cross-border clients. There will also be an enhanced secondment programme designed to forge closer ties among the law firms. Closer integration between the CMS firms is planned and a group will be created with the specific role of making recommendations on the nature and timing of any such move.

Osborne Clarke is to further its attempts to expand into the Californian venture capital and technology scene by sending its head of private equity to Silicon Valley. Simon Beswick will spend 12 months in the US targeting project managing European M&A deals for US companies. Beswick will become head of corporate in Silicon Valley while remaining head of private equity.

Skadden Arps Slate Meagher & Flom has agreed to set up an exclusive alliance with Italian firm Chiomenti Studio Legale. The alliance will focus on strategic practice areas including M&A, corporate finance, project finance and structured finance. In recent years Chiomenti has conducted merger talks with US firm Shearman & Sterling and Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer.

Denton Wilde Sapte has released its first full year figures since its merger. The unaudited financial results show that gross fees have reached £162.4m with average profits per partner hitting £331,000. These figures are despite the merger costs of the last year and investment in overseas offices and exceed the aggressive budget which was set for the year. Predictions prior to the merger estimated that the firm would make only £142m and that profits per partner would be well under £300,000. The firm is budgeting for gross fees of £184m next year, and profits per partner of £370,000.

The BBC has reached a settlement with Elite Model Agency in respect of Elite’s libel action. The action arose as a result of the television programme MacIntyre Undercover: Fashion, in which the BBC conducted an undercover investigation of the fashion industry. As part of the settlement the BBC has acknowledged that Elite seeks to protect its young models. Elite has recognised that some inappropriate sexual remarks were made by some of its executives. The BBC has also confirmed that it will not rebroadcast the programme. However, it has released a statement that asserts it did not pay anything to Elite by way of costs in the settlement or by way of damages.

Clyde & Co shipping partner John Fisher has died at the age of 50, having been a partner at the firm for nine years and a member of the firm for 15. He worked in the marine cargo practice in the firm’s City office and acted for the London insurance market and insurance companies, as well as for the Lloyd’s Claim Office.