Top 10 stories: 7-13 November 2014

In a week when it seemed everyone was doing a panel review, our most popular story proved to be the news that Santander general counsel Karen Fortunato had quit the bank just as it finalised its new panel.

The story topped a varied top 10 list. In second place the analysis of the impact of their recent mergers on Ashurst and SJ Berwin’s corporate teams was a big hit with readers, as was another analysis piece looking at Cooley’s protracted attempts to launch in London.

With management changes all the rage, the news that London corporate partner James Palmer had won the race to be Herbert Smith Freehills’ new senior partner also proved popular.

A judgment in the ‘price promise’ fight between supermarket giants Sainsbury’s and Tesco was handed down last week and it was bad news for Bond Dickinson client Sainsbury’s, which lost its claim. That story made many of the mainstream news headlines, as did Sheffield United FC’s (SUFC) decision to allow former player and convicted rapist Chedwyn Evans to return to training. Kennedys’ decision to keep sponsoring a stand at SUFC’s ground – as Evans is not yet re-signed to the club – drew in the readers and the comments.

Another landmark story last week was the £700m sale of the Gherkin, on which Baker & McKenzie, CMS and Taylor Wessing all scooped roles.

Meanwhile Morgan Lewis’s merger talks with Bingham McCutchen drag on, and last week we reported that the former is talking to a number of key Bingham partners to ensure they are part of any tie-up.

The top 10 last week was rounded off with the news, broken by The Lawyer, that Dentons partner Paul Bugingo – a key architect of the firm’s Africa network – had quit the firm. We later reported that Bugingo is joining Simmons & Simmons in a boost to that firm’s Africa ambitions.

Finally, the October story that Mishcon de Reya was implementing three-day weeks and flexible holidays is still a hit, re-entering the top 10 six weeks after it was first published. 

1. Santander general counsel Fortunato quits as bank finalises its new 30-strong legal panel

2. Ashurst and SJ Berwin: who struck the better corporate deal?

3. HSF elects former corporate head Palmer as senior partner

4. Playing it Cooley: The Californian firm eyes a London launch in 2015

5. Bond Dickinson client Sainsbury’s loses High Court fight over Tesco prices

6. Kennedys stands by Sheffield United sponsorship as Ched Evans returns to ground

7. Morgan Lewis in talks with key Bingham partners ahead of merger deadline

8. “Work three-day weeks and take unlimited holidays”: Kevin Gold’s revolution at Mishcon de Reya

9. Baker & McKenzie, CMS and Taylor Wessing line up for Gherkin sale

10. Dentons’ Africa mastermind Bugingo quits firm