News in brief

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

KPMG's German firm to merge with Beiten
KPMG's German law firm Treuhand & Goerdeler and German law firm Beiten Burkhardt Mittl & Wegener have agreed to merge. The move follows the news that Treuhand's executive board had given the green light at a meeting last Thursday. Beitens' equity partnership voted in favour of the merger on 22 September. The new firm, which will be named KPMG Treuhand Beiten Burkhardt, will be open for business from 1 January 2002. Vanessa Pawsey
Taylor Joynson property chief quits for Forsters
Taylor Joynson Garrett's head of residential property Beverley Lewis has left for specialist West End property firm Forsters. Lewis, who acts for a number of large residential property funds, worked in Taylor Joynson's private client department. According to Taylor Joynson private client lawyer Philippa Blake-Roberts, it is thought that she will be replaced with a lateral hire at the beginning of next year. Naomi Rovnick
Pinsent Curtis Biddle appoints media in-houser

Pinsent Curtis Biddle has recruited Middle East Broadcasting's in-house lawyer as a partner to bolster its City technology, media and telecoms practice. John Whitehead is the first partner to come into the firm's London media practice since Pinsent Curtis merged with London niche firm Biddle. He will concentrate on film and television law. Naomi Rovnick
Bindman to challenge Government over guns
Bindman & Partners has been instructed by charity War on Want to commence legal proceedings against the Government over its 1999 decision to sell gun spares to Morocco. Stephen Grosz is acting for the charity in seeking a judicial review on the basis that the Government has wrongly applied its own rules on arms. The guns were sold for use in the occupied territory of Western Sahara. Kathryn Hobbs
Securitisation duo deserts Orrick in London
Orrick Herrington & Sutcliffe in London is losing its two securitisation partners. Conor Downey (right) and Jeanne Bartlett are leaving the firm after only 16 months. Bartlett formerly worked at the Bank of America and Downey was at Allen & Overy before he joined the firm. It is not known where they will move to.
Weightmans hires health service specialist
Weightmans has recruited health service litigation lawyer Tony Yeaman as a partner. The move takes Yeaman from Beachcroft Wansbrough's London office, where he has been based for six years. Prior to Beachcrofts, Yeaman spent six years in-house as the regional legal adviser for Wessex Regional Health Authority.
Lawrence Graham's Fielding declared bankrupt
Former Lawrence Graham partner Michael Fielding has been declared bankrupt. He is understood to owe in the region of £12m to the Royal Bank of Scotland. Lawrence Graham is still conducting an internal investigation and Fielding is thought to be in the US.
LSCP says employed barristers should litigate
The Legal Services Consultative Panel (LSCP) has advised the Lord Chancellor, Lord Irvine that employed barristers should be able to conduct litigation. Irvine sought the LSCP's advice after the Bar Council applied to him to amend paragraph 504 of its code of conduct to extend litigation rights to suitably-trained and experienced employed barristers.
In The Lawyer 100 for 2001, Bircham Dyson Bell's average profits per partner was wrongly stated as £110,000. The correct figure is £165,000. Not all partners are equity partners, which explains the discrepancy. Turnover at £15.2m was correctly stated.