UK

UK updates from The Lawyer, covering London and regional law firms and the Bar.

News

blockchain

Clifford Chance partner takes top legal job at blockchain developer

Clifford Chance corporate finance partner Alex Erasmus is to join a blockchain software company later this year as its new chief legal officer. London-based Erasmus will join the executive committee of Block.one in Hong Kong. Block.one is the software publisher behind open-source blockchain protocol EOSIO, which was launched in June 2018 and provides secure and […]

sfo

SFO withdraws arrest warrant against MoFo client in ENRC case

The Serious Fraud Office (SFO) has withdrawn the arrest warrant it had issued against the chief executive of the Eurasian Resources Group, in the latest development to the agency’s long-running investigation into its subsidiary company ENRC. Last month, the SFO announced that ERG’s CEO Benedikt Sobotka was wanted for alleged refusal to comply to an […]

City

Latham targets A&O for second infrastructure hire this week

Another magic circle partner is to join Latham & Watkins in London, as it sets its sights on winning work in the infrastructure M&A market. Allen & Overy partner Conrad Andersen, who was promoted in 2008, is to join Clifford Chance partner Brendan Moylan at the US firm. The latter’s move was revealed yesterday. While […]

Fieldfisher Belfast

Fieldfisher joins the throng in Belfast with new operations launch

Fieldfisher is to open a legal support centre in Belfast, years after firms such as Herbert Smith Freehills, Baker McKenzie and Allen & Overy made similar moves in the Northern Irish capital. Fieldfisher says it expects to house 125 personnel in Belfast within the next three years, with 14 people having already been recruited. The office […]

Allen & Overy

A&O reveals trainee retention score and boosts salaries

Allen & Overy (A&O) has announced its autumn 2018 trainee retention figures, with 80 per cent of its 46 qualifiers staying on. With a total intake of 46, 44 trainees applied to qualify, 40 of whom were offered newly qualified positions. Overall, 37 trainees accepted the offers. “This is a good result and one which […]

Exit sign

Latham hires Clifford Chance PE partner in infrastructure push

Clifford Chance’s infrastructure M&A head Brendan Moylan is leaving the firm for Latham & Watkins in a move that reunites him with his former magic circle colleagues. Latham aggressively hired from Clifford Chance’s private equity practice in 2013/14 when it took on David Walker, Kem Ihenacho and Tom Evans. The US firm was said to have been […]

Rachel Roberts

Burges Salmon picks new tech providers after two-year innovation project

Burges Salmon is making technology a priority with a new raft of appointments and investments aimed at revolutionising legal service delivery. The firm’s Business Solutions team is set to welcome former senior associate Emma Sorrell as legal innovation specialist and former integration specialist Ian Huddart as technology innovation specialist. It has also subscribed to powerhouse […]

rpc office

RPC hit with professional negligence claim over client costs

Lawyers from RPC have had their actions described as falling “someway short of what competent solicitors would have done” as a district court judge in Leeds declined the firm’s application to throw out a professional negligence claim against it. RPC had been advising the founder of tech company Stayput Solutions Deborah Forster during her protracted legal […]

Homebase hands first-time mandate to Kirkland on restructuring bid

Kirkland & Ellis has won a first-time mandate from struggling DIY chain Homebase, which earlier today confirmed it was planning a company voluntary arrangement (CVA). Homebase is the latest retailer to announce such a move and follows in the wake of similar CVAs entered into by New Look, Prezzo and Mothercare. A CVA can be used by […]

Royal Mail

Ashurst client Royal Mail hit with £50m fine for competition breaches

Royal Mail, advised by a team from Ashurst, has been unable to fend off a £50m fine from Ofcom, after an investigation into the business’s practices in 2014 found the delivery giant had “abused its dominant position in bulk mail delivery”. Three-partner firm Towerhouse advised Whistl, then known as TNT, which was trying to break into […]

cars

Slaughters and Weil lead on £1.2bn bid for Sheilas’ Wheels owner

Weil Gotshal & Manges and Slaughter and May have advised on the £1.2bn buyout of esure to Bain Capital in one of the largest insurance deals of the year so far. Slaughters led for esure, the owner of insurance brand Sheilas’ Wheels and former owner of price comparison website Gocompare.com. The deal team was led by corporate […]

New York City

Mishcon’s New York revenue recovers for first time since 2014/15

Mishcon de Reya more than doubled the top line of its New York office over 2017/18, bucking a three-year trend of declining revenues in the firm’s sole office outside of London. Revenues dropped 64 per cent between 2014/15 and 2016/17 from a high of £6.7m to £2.4m. However, the firm’s fortunes reversed in the US in the […]

Analysis

Latest UK Briefings

Hackitt review: Response suggests further extension of the regime

By Adrian Mansbridge As outlined in our previous articles covering what lies ahead for high rise regulation and the proposed ban on flammable cladding the legislative programme to implement the recommendations of the Hackitt review and to address broader concerns is already underway. However, as anticipated, political concerns have already led to these proposals being “beefed up”…

Commercial Court discharges $3bn freezing order in relation to Angolan sovereign wealth fund

On 16 August 2018, Mr Justice Popplewell discharged a $3 billion proprietary and freezing injunction (“WFO”) against the Defendants, Mr José Dos Santos, Mr Jean-Claude Bastos de Morais (“Mr Bastos”), and the Quantum Global group of companies. This is a very important judgment on the requirements for freezing orders, especially the duty of full and […]

Cayman Islands: A contractual term solid as a Rock

In a review of a recent judgment of the United Kingdom Supreme Court, which overturned longstanding precedent on No Oral Modification clauses, partner Ben Hobden and associate Spencer Vickers of Conyers Dill & Pearman in the Cayman Islands and the decision will provide welcome certainty on contracts…

Retail Risk Report 2018: Digital disruption and regulatory changes

By Kerry Gwyther 2018 has been a particularly challenging year for retailers so far, combining tough trading conditions with digital disruption and major legal and regulatory changes. Our Retail Risk Report, now in its fourth year, is a single point of reference to help retailers understand the legal and regulatory changes taking place in 2018 […]

When can a force majeure clause in contracts be relied on?

By Tom George, Daniel Wood and Cathy Moore In times of economic and/or political uncertainty, parties to construction contracts may consider whether they have a right to rely on force majeure provisions as a justification for temporarily or permanently failing to perform substantive obligations. We review the recent decision in Seadrill Ghana Operations Ltd v Tullow Ghana […]

Blockchain roundtable: addressing the regulatory challenges of disruptive innovation

The Blockchain Research Institute (BRI) recently gathered nearly 70 global leaders in finance, law, government, academia and innovation for a special roundtable discussion that explored the challenges surrounding blockchain regulation. Usman Sheikh, Gowling WLG partner and National Head of the firm’s Blockchain & Smart Contract Group, co-led the forum with blockchain pioneer and co-founder of BRI Don Tapscott, […]

Sentencing Council publishes gross negligence manslaughter definitive sentencing guideline

The penalties imposed on individuals for fatal accidents in the workplace are set to increase after the Sentencing Council for England and Wales published its definitive sentencing guideline for gross negligence manslaughter. Walker Morris health and safety experts, Stuart Ponting and Robert Starr, consider the new guideline and the implications for employers and directors…

Energy Update – August 2018

This energy update includes the following white papers: CMA publishes final report on Heat Networks calling for new regulation The first National Infrastructure Assessment is published recommending growth in Green Energy NAO report on package recycling Update on Electric Vehicles Amendment Regulations 2018 – in force 24 July 2018 The Mayor of London’s Energy Efficiency […]

Will the revised NPPF lead to more affordable housing?

By Katherine Evans On 24 July 2018, the long-awaited revised NPPF was released. The omission of social rented homes from definition of affordable housing in Annex 2 of the draft revised NPPF has been addressed. Starter Homes are now included in the definition but secondary legislation is still required to set out financial eligibility for […]

Longer term tenancies? Potential implications for lenders

Walker Morris’ Housing and Banking Litigation experts Karl Anders, Justin Coley and Sandip Singh explain the UK government’s consultation on introducing longer-term tenancies in the private rented sector, with a particular focus on potential impacts for lenders…

Assessing creditworthiness in consumer credit: FCA publishes final rules and guidance

The results of a large-scale survey by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) in 2017 indicated, among other things, that: 75% of UK adults had one or more consumer credit products or loans in the previous 12 months; 4.1 million people were “in difficulty” because they had already failed to pay domestic bills or meet credit […]

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