NEWS IN BRIEF

Ashurst Morris Crisp has chosen a new managing partner. Justin Spendlove beat colleague Jeremy Hill to win the election after Ian Nisse stepped down from the position in July. Spendlove, a partner in the banking practice, becomes only the second managing partner in the history of the firm.

Garretts has appointed former Nabarro Nathanson partner Jonathan Mendelow as a corporate partner in London. Jonathan is the third partner to be recruited into the firm in recent weeks, following capital markets expert and former Norton Rose partner Gilles Thieffry and e-business specialist Laurence Kaye, who has become head of e-commerce and technology.

CMS Cameron McKenna has conducted a survey among the board members of FTSE 350 companies which has found that 24 per cent of respondents have little or no idea how the Human Rights Act will affect their business. However, 69 per cent believe that it will lead to increased amounts of litigation.

The Law Society is to send a report to the New York State Court of Appeal alleging that it is discriminating against English and Welsh lawyers who do not have a law degree. Holders of the Common Professional Examination have to spend a year at an approved US law school before being allowed to sit the New York Bar Exam. The society is currently canvassing for opinions from people affected by the ruling.

Amhurst Brown Colombotti has appointed former Theodore Goddard partner Peter Laskey as a partner in the litigation department. Laskey has previously acted in a wide range of commercial litigation and arbitration cases and specialises in commodities and international disputes.

Field Fisher Waterhouse has lost a partner from its technology practice. Barry Fishley has joined Weil Gotshal & Manges to head the IT areas of its corporate practice. Fishley became a partner at Field Fisher Waterhouse less than a year ago after moving from an in-house post at Thorn EMI.

Hammond Suddards Edge is battling with cyber squatters over the internet domain name www.hammondsuddards.net. The company which owns the licence to the name has offered to sell it for £2,000, but Hammonds is refusing to pay. Instead, it is choosing to follow a legal route to settlement.

The Royal Bank of Scotland has restructured its legal department after the NatWest takeover. The combined legal capacity of the two companies was 160 staff, of which 27 have been made redundant. The panel of firms, including Allen & Overy, Linklaters & Alliance, Clifford Chance and Slaughter and May, will remain, although they will come under close scrutiny from Miller McLean, the new head of legal at the bank.

The Law Commission has proposed major changes to partnership law. The proposals would allow the creation of different identities for firms and their partnerships. Other suggestions include allowing firms to own property and enter into contracts.

Paul Weiss Rifkind Wharton & Garrison in New York is taking on an international corporate finance counsel from Shearman & Sterling. Andrew Foley, who was in the Toronto office of Shearmans, specialises in capital markets transactions, including SEC registered offerings and private equity and debt financings by Canadian, UK and other international companies.

Linklaters & Alliance’s Madrid office has taken civil law professor José María Miquel who is joining as of counsel. Miquel was previously dean of Madrid University’s law faculty and is also a member of the Drafting Committee of the Civil Law Annual Review. He will provide technical back up for complex transactions dealt with by the office.

In an article entitled “Piraeus Bar Association forces UK firms into joining the fold” The Lawyer erroneously stated that Joan Radley is a spokeswoman for Watson Farley & Williams. She is, in fact, the spokeswoman for Clyde & Co, which is in ongoing discussions with the Piraeus Bar. Watson Farley & Williams has applied for re-registration. We regret any inconvenience caused by our mistake.