Allen & Overy is advising Credit Suisse First Boston (Europe), the financial adviser to Hellenic Bottling and Coca-Cola Beverages, and Warburg Dillon Read, also financial adviser to Coca-Cola, on the companies proposed u4.1bn merger. Linklaters is advising Coca-Cola. Beachcroft Wansbroughs is representing Hellenic.

Linklaters has lost a Moscow lawyer to the Russian Ministry of Press Information and Mass Media. Pavel Stepanov, aged 26, will become the head of legal at the newly-established ministry, which is set to play a central role in the regulation of the next Russian parliamentary elections.

Baker & McKenzie advised cable company NTL on its u81m bid for Workplace Technologies in its first UK public takeover. Corporate partner James Richards led the Baker & McKenzie team. Travers Smith Braithwaite, NTL's usual law firm, acted for the target. Corporate partner Oliver Barnes led the Travers Smith Braithwaite team that advised Workplace. Travers Smith Braithwaite advised on NTL's recent u8.2bn takeover of Cable & Wireless.

Clifford Chance acted for Banque Nationale de Paris (BNP) when the French bank launched the first “synthetic CLO transaction” in the European Union using credit default swap technology as part of a deal worth euro1.6bn. Clifford Chance partners Richard Parolai and Jonathan Lewis in Paris and London partner Claude Brown were in the team working on the transaction.

Martineau Johnson finance partner Roger Blears has been appointed to the board of Foresight Technology Venture Capital Trust. His appointment comes as the fund – which is a client of the Birmingham firm – is almost fully invested and directors are seeking shareholder consent for a new public offer to raise up to u20m – almost twice the original fund.

The Crown Prosecution Service is spending u12m revamping its IT systems. The government grant will provide staff with email and word processors and allow access to reference materials and electronic communication with others in the criminal justice system.

The Centre for Dispute Resolution (CEDR) is to launch training courses and rules for expert determination, a type of alternative dispute resolution where a third party specialist is instructed to decide a case. The courses begin in October 1999 and will deal with specific commercial sectors, including company take-overs.

Hugh James Ford Simey, the 57-partner Welsh insurance and litigation firm, is poaching non-practising barrister Paul Newman from rival Cardiff firm Edwards Geldard. Newman will join the firm as a senior associate in the construction law department.

European Commission tax chief Frits Bolkestein has said he will propose legislation on internet taxation by the end of the year to compensate for the loss of VAT revenue because of internet commerce. He is likely to avoid new internet taxes and tax electronic transactions at the place of consumption instead. The proposals have been welcomed by Berwin Leighton's tax department.