News in brief

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

Pencharz takes Radcliffes team to Birchams
Bircham Dyson Bell has hired private client partner Bill Pencharz (left) and his team from Radcliffes. A specialist in tax planning, wills, probate and trust management, Pencharz joined Birchams at the beginning of the month. Birchams has a large private client practice, comprising 10 partners and 29 fee earners. It is understood that the young team was an attractive feature of the move. Kathryn Hobbs
DRC invites tenders for legal panel
The Disability Rights Commission (DRC) is to set up a new panel of preferred solicitors and barristers. An invitation to tender is expected to be issued in the next month with a decision reached by the end of the year. Until now, the DRC has relied on an informal panel of law firms. Nick O'Brien, director of legal services at the DRC, said that the number of places available on the panel was unlimited and that it will be flexible so that firms can be added very easily. Russell Jones & Walker is one of the firms that has been on the informal panel and has handled a lot of work for the DRC over the last year. Eleanor Levenson
Tarlo Lyons boosts Euro referral network
Tarlo Lyons has strengthened its European referral network of IT specialists with the addition of a Dutch firm. Highly-rated technology specialist Kennedy Van der Laan is the latest firm to join the euroITcounsel group set up in 1999. The firm counts Microsoft, Euronext and troubled airline KLM among its clients. The 16-member organisation is coordinated by Tarlo Lyons, with partner John Mawhood taking the role of chief financial officer. Julia Cahill
Hammonds names Burns as senior partner
Hammond Suddards Edge has appointed its London office head, Richard Burns, as its new senior partner. Burns will succeed current senior partner John Heller next May while Heller will concentrate on the firm's international strategy. Burns was favourite for the role with competition coming from technology partner Stephen Tupper. Kathryn Hobbs
Bryan Cave in Hong Kong merger
Bryan Cave LLP has merged its Hong Kong office with local ally Jewkes Chan & Partners. The combined firm will be called Bryan Cave in association with Jewkes Chan & Partners and will have offices in four Chinese cities – Hong Kong, Shanghai, Beijing and an associated office in Tianjin – from which to exploit opportunities arising from China's accession to the World Trade Organisation. Kathryn Hobbs
Baker & McKenzie gains new COO
Baker & McKenzie has hired its first chief operating officer (COO) and appointed a new finance director from Lovells. Also, Russell Lewin has been reappointed managing partner of the London office. New COO Annemarie Elmer previously worked as the firm's European IT and will be responsible for coordination between professional support and legal departments. New finance director John Raimbach spent seven years as Lovells' financial controller. Brendan Malkin
Simmons & Simmons captures Weinheimer
Simmons & Simmons' German unit has captured Stefan Weinheimer, the managing partner of Beiten Burkhardt Mittl & Wenger's Dusseldorf office. Corporate lawyer Weinheimer will move to Simmons' Brussels office together with Beiten litigator and senior associate Hans-Hermann Aldenhoff. The move comes ahead of Beiten's merger with KPMG's German legal arm, which is scheduled for 1 January 2002. Vanessa Pawsey
Following the article “Landwell lures B&M US partner to London”, Baker & McKenzie issued the following statement: “Jonathan Wilson in fact left Baker & McKenzie on 31 October 2000 and therefore cannot have been 'lured' away from Baker & McKenzie as suggested in your article.”