News in brief

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

Goodman Ray partner wins Unicef award
The 2001 Unicef Child Rights Lawyer Award has been won by Peggy Ray, who is a senior partner in Hackney-based firm Goodman Ray. Ray won the award for her idea to set up a website for children in care. The site, which is a joint venture between the Solicitors Family Law Association and NCH Action for Children, explains in simple language how the law works and how it is intended to protect them. Vanessa Pawsey
Linklaters claims against Northern & Shell
Linklaters & Alliance has issued a claim against its former client Northern & Shell for more than £1m. The magic circle firm is pursuing alleged outstanding monies owed for legal work on behalf of the conglomerate. Linklaters acted for Northern & Shell on its £125m acquisition of Express Newspapers from United Business Media. Kathryn Hobbs
Freshfields gets record interim indemnity costs
Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer has received one of the largest interim indemnity costs orders ever made, which could amount to £9.7m. This comes after its client British American Offshore (BAO) won its case against BP Amoco after a six-month trial over a drilling contract dispute. Indemnity costs rather than standard costs are paid when a judge finds fault with a case. However, not all of BAO's costs of £16m are recoverable. Herbert Smith acted for BP Amoco. Brendan Malkin
McGrigors private client group breaks away
McGrigor Donald's private client team has merged with that of Scottish magic circle firm Maclay Murray & Spens. The move will involve partners Allan Nicolson and Eleanor Kerr and 15 staff. McGrigors wants to concentrate on its corporate and commercial practice and did not see private client work as an area for investment and expansion. Naomi Rovnick
BLP scores Crown Dilmun as client
Berwin Leighton Paisner has secured property developers Crown Dilmun as a new client following its appointment as adviser on the establishment of a joint venture with the Ascott Group. Ascott Dilmun, as the venture will be named, will acquire the companies from Crown Dilmun and the Ascott Group to become the largest serviced apartment portfolio in the UK valued at £150m. Vanessa Pawsey
Speechlys wins Linklaters construction lawyer
Speechly Bircham has taken on construction lawyer Andrew Steele from Linklaters & Alliance. He joins the firm's construction and engineering group as a partner. He will focus on the non-contentious side of the practice, including acquisitions, project finance and drafting and negotiating construction contracts across a range of industry sectors. He has also worked in Hong Kong, where he was seconded to a Japanese civil engineering contractor.
Buchanans launches luxury brands group
Buchanan Ingersoll is setting up a new practice group which will provide legal services to luxury brands. The international luxury brands practice group is a joint venture between its US and London offices and will offer advice on issues such as advertising, anti-counterfeiting, licensing, competition, franchising, intellectual property and tax.
Field Fisher instructed by teachers
Field Fisher Waterhouse has been appointed to advise new regulatory body the General Teaching Council. The body, established on 1 September, is a self-regulatory professional body for teachers with more than 500,000 registrants. Another Field Fisher professional regulatory group client is the General Medical Council.