£14bn Mastercard group action claim to proceed following historic Supreme Court ruling

£14bn Mastercard group action claim to proceed following historic Supreme Court ruling

The Supreme Court has today (11 December) dismissed Mastercard’s efforts to thwart former financial ombudsman Walter Merricks’ £14bn group action claim against it in what is a landmark decision for the future of collective actions against companies in the UK courts.

The decision from the Supreme Court upholds a previous ruling from the Court of Appeal and sets aside the original judgment of the Competition Appeal Tribunal (CAT) which would have stymied the group action claim. 

Revolving doors: rush of international hires between Global 100 players dominates laterals market

Revolving doors: rush of international hires between Global 100 players dominates laterals market

In a week of significant lateral movement between large Global 100 firms, White & Case has expanded its global M&A practice with the addition of Linklaters partner Marc Petitier in Paris.

Petitier is a renowned corporate lawyer with 20 years’ experience at Linklaters who has led on many of the most significant corporate transactions originating from France, advising clients on public and private M&A deals, sales and joint ventures, and corporate governance. He has experience across a number of different sectors, including technology, financial institutions, energy and infrastructure, and on Africa-related deals.

‘Things are looking pretty good’: DWF continues recovery with strong half-year results after tumultuous 2019/20

‘Things are looking pretty good’: DWF continues recovery with strong half-year results after tumultuous 2019/20

DWF has continued its recovery in 2020/21, according to the firm’s half-year results, following a torrid year that saw debts rise and underlying profit plunge. 

The results announced today (10 December) reveal net revenue standing at £167.6m for the H1 period ending 31 October, an impressive increase of 15% on the £145.2m the firm posted for the same period last year. The firm’s organic revenue growth, meanwhile, stood at 3% while gross profit recorded a double-digit hike, rising almost 14% to £83.1m.  

Dealwatch: Advisers wrapped up in flurry of deals in final push before Christmas

Dealwatch: Advisers wrapped up in flurry of deals in final push before Christmas

In the conspicuous absence of the traditional round of festive parties, advisers have instead busied themselves with getting a host of deals across the line ahead of the Christmas break.

As the pandemic continues to rage on, Coronavirus-driven transactions show no sign of abating, with a €1.8bn financing package for tourism company TUI and the $1bn merger of hospitality companies Ennismore and Accor characterising the current deal market. 

Guest comment: A call to arms for the Bionic Lawyer

Guest comment: A call to arms for the Bionic Lawyer

I am you.  I am your colleagues.  I am what your customers have always dreamed of.  I am The Bionic Lawyer…

And so began an open letter to the legal industry from the Bionic Lawyer Project. That letter, published on 24 September, marked the end of the beginning of our project, as a year of energised collaboration paved the way for releasing 16 ‘levers’. Those 16 levers set, we believe, the design principles for the future legal industry.

Revolving doors: week of international hires in Asia and Europe as A&O tempts litigator back home from Shearman

Revolving doors: week of international hires in Asia and Europe as A&O tempts litigator back home from Shearman

In another busy week of lateral recruitment, Allen & Overy has considerably bolstered its disputes offering in London, luring back former associate Susanna Charlwood from Shearman & Sterling, where she had been a partner for five years. 

Karen Seward, Allen & Overy’s global head of litigation, commented: ‘We are thrilled to welcome Susanna back to A&O. Her broad experience across commercial and corporate disputes makes her a valuable addition to the litigation practice and bolsters our bench strength at a time when our corporate clients are operating in a trading environment fraught with uncertainty.

‘Drive long-lasting change’: Professionals urged to take part in survey on law and mental health

‘Drive long-lasting change’: Professionals urged to take part in survey on law and mental health

Professionals across the UK legal industry are being encouraged to participate in new research to assess the impact of workplace culture and practices on employees’ wellbeing, as issues around mental health continue to rise up the Big Law agenda. 

The study is being spearheaded by legal mental health charity LawCare, which is currently running an anonymous online questionnaire across the UK, Ireland, Channel Islands, and Isle of Man until 31 December. The results – which will be announced next year – will form the basis of an academic paper and be used to help LawCare improve the levels of support available to employees in the legal industry employees. 

Ready for the new normal: International Arbitration Centre unveils new Covid-compliant disputes facility in London

Ready for the new normal: International Arbitration Centre unveils new Covid-compliant disputes facility in London

The International Arbitration Centre (IAC), the purpose-built premier hearing venue situated near to the Royal Courts of Justice on Fleet Street, has opened a new Covid-compliant ‘super suite’ to cater for a projected increase in disputes heard at the centre as hearings roll over from 2020 into 2021 and beyond.

With the launch of a new super suite, the 25,000-sq ft IAC has added its most technically advanced facility yet, accommodating up to 100 people in total – if socially distanced – with up to 50 socially distanced attendees in its main hearing room.

BT to invest £2.7m into 30-strong legal support hub in Northern Ireland

BT to invest £2.7m into 30-strong legal support hub in Northern Ireland

Telecoms giant BT announced today (1 December) it is poised to commit £2.7m in investment to create a new legal support hub in Belfast which will house 30 commercial lawyer positions over the next four years.

The standalone centre will be the first of its kind for BT in Northern Ireland, with its lawyers being used to provide legal support to colleagues across the wider BT Group. Seven of the 30 commercial lawyer positions are already in place. 

Comment: Failings in Beckwith prosecution undermine #MeToo fight and muzzle regulator

Comment: Failings in Beckwith prosecution undermine #MeToo fight and muzzle regulator

The ink is barely dry on Friday’s High Court ruling that overturned the Solicitors Disciplinary Tribunal’s finding against ex-Freshfields partner Ryan Beckwith and the shockwaves are starting to be felt around the legal industry.

In the unlikely event that the substance of the ruling has escaped anyone, the Queen’s Bench Division’s judgment reversed the SDT’s October 2019 findings that Beckwith’s drunken sexual activity with an intoxicated associate breached Principles 2 and 6 of the Solicitors Regulation Authority’s code of conduct, reversed his £35,000 fine and quashed the £200,000 costs order.