News in brief

A round up of stories from the UK and around the world

Linklaters & Alliance has elected Anthony Cann as its next senior partner. Cann beat Terence Kyle to the job and will succeed Charles Allen-Jones, who retires in September. Cann led Linklaters' corporate department from 1995 to 2000 and has been co-head of the M&A and corporate practice group since it was formed in 1998. His most recent deals include Scottish & Newcastle's acquisition of Kronenbourg, BG Group's demerger to form Lattice Group and the merger between Bryant and Taylor Woodrow. Cann joined Linklaters in 1970 and became a partner in 1978.
KLegal, the law firm tied to KPMG, is taking on employment lawyer Guy Abbiss from the London office of US firm Jones Day Reavis & Pogue. Abbiss joins as a director, the equivalent of a salaried partner, and brings the department to eight lawyers. The department is headed by Stephen Levinson (right), formerly head of employment at Paisner & Co.
The BBC has just appointed a new general counsel who will join in August. Nicholas Eldred is presently the director of legal and business affairs and company secretary at BT Cellnet. Eldred said he was excited to be joining the BBC at a time of “considerable change and unprecedented developments within the broadcasting and communications sector”.
Gibson Dunn & Crutcher has hired a senior lawyer from the London office of rival US firm Paul Hastings Janofsky & Walker. Wayne McArdle is qualified in the UK and Ontario, Canada, and becomes Gibson Dunn's 10th London partner. He specialises in M&A and deBT and equity financings.
Denton Wilde Sapte has recruited Daniel Marti, the former head of Andersen Legal in Moscow. Swiss-qualified Marti set up the Moscow office of Andersen Legal in 1992 and guided its growth to 25 lawyers.
Mayer Brown & Platt has lost a partner from its New York office to Shearman & Sterling. Michael Zinder has joined Shearmans as a bank finance partner. He was co-administrator of Mayer Brown's US banking and finance practice.
Morgan Cole litigation partner Michael Gardner has left the firm's London office to join Judge Sykes Frixou, a small WC2 firm with some niche specialities. Gardner said he wanted to work for a smaller central London firm.
The Government's legislative programme outlined in the Queen's Speech has received a mixed reaction from the legal world. Rob Murray, director of competition law at KLegal, said: “The proposals set out on competition law would give the UK the harshest competition regime this side of the Atlantic. While the proposals stop short of the US system of 'treble damages', the prospect of individual criminal liability following consultation may lead to a rush of whistle-blowing to avoid fines and imprisonment prior to the new legislation coming into force.” The Queen's Speech also outlined the Government's commitment to the human rights agenda, a reform of the insolvency laws and a more entrepreneur-friendly capital gains tax regime.
Sidley Austin Brown & Wood Washington DC litigation partner George Jones has been chosen as president elect of the DC bar. He beat Richard Rowe, a partner from New York firm Proskauer Rose, to the post with a majority of 75 per cent. The DC bar is one of the US's largest bar associations, with 70,000 members. Jones has played a strong role in the bar, particularly in strengthening the Bar Pro Bono Program.
Coutts Group has lost its assistant counsel to securities settlement system CrestCo. Niul Dillon Hatcher will be general counsel at CrestCo, replacing Mark Kirby, who becomes CrestCo's head of international policy.
Stephen Allcock QC has joined PricewaterhouseCoopers as in-house counsel for the private client and tax department. Allcock retired from the bar two years ago, when he left Pump Court Tax Chambers after 20 years.