Turns out not all publicity is good as law firm admits it revealed JK Rowling’s secret crime novel side-line

Turns out not all publicity is good as law firm admits it revealed JK Rowling’s secret crime novel side-line

Media law firms have long received a profile far outranking their small size thanks to their close proximity to celebrity clients and headline-friendly stories. For once, that brand visibility has disastrously back-fired as it emerged this week that entertainment boutique Russells Solicitors was responsible for revealing the fact that its client JK Rowling had penned the crime novel The Cuckoo’s Calling under a pseudonym.

Commercial and corporate partner Chris Gossage disclosed the crime novelist’s true identity to his wife’s best friend Judith Callegari. It is understood that Callegari then disclosed the information to a Sunday Times journalist through Twitter earlier this month. Continue reading “Turns out not all publicity is good as law firm admits it revealed JK Rowling’s secret crime novel side-line”

Clyde & Co advises Olswang on claim arising from £460m Esporta sale

Clyde & Co advises Olswang on claim arising from £460m Esporta sale

Clyde & Co’s professional financial disputes team led by rated team head Sarah Clover is advising Olswang on a multi-million pound claim stemming from the £460m acquisition by a Halabi family trust of fitness club chain Esporta from private equity firm Duke Street Capital.

Olswang in 2006 fielded a cross-disciplinary team to advise the Ironzar III trust on the high-profile acquisition, led by corporate partners Graham Barber and David Roberts.

The fitness group fell into financial difficulty and was placed into financial administration in 2007, taken over by its lender Societe Generale in a debt-for-equity-swap in 2009 and in 2011 Virgin Active acquired its 55 sites for £77.6m. Continue reading “Clyde & Co advises Olswang on claim arising from £460m Esporta sale”

CC to boost London corporate and regulatory insurance capability with hire of NRF’s Ashley Prebble

Clifford Chance (CC) has hired Norton Rose Fulbright (NRF) corporate insurance partner Ashley Prebble as the Magic Circle firm aims to boost its Lloyds and London market and general insurance capability.

Prebble, who will work closely with the firm’s private equity and regulatory teams, specialises in corporate and regulatory insurance work including initial public offerings (IPOs), mergers and acquisitions, Part VII transfers, distribution agreements and regulatory matters. Continue reading “CC to boost London corporate and regulatory insurance capability with hire of NRF’s Ashley Prebble”

A&O picks up corporate partner as Shearman announces Düsseldorf and Munich closures

A&O picks up corporate partner as Shearman announces Düsseldorf and Munich closures

Allen & Overy has hired Shearman & Sterling’s corporate partner Hans Diekmann as a partner in its Düsseldorf office.

Diekmann, whose start date at A&O is yet to be confirmed, joined Shearman as a partner in 1999. Before that he worked in the legal department of Deutsche Bank’s headquarters in Frankfurt for over seven years. Diekmann will become the sixth partner in A&O’s Düsseldorf office, all of which have been hired in.

Continue reading “A&O picks up corporate partner as Shearman announces Düsseldorf and Munich closures”

Dentons strengthens private equity offering with SJ Berwin hire

Dentons strengthens private equity offering with SJ Berwin hire

Dentons has hired SJ Berwin corporate finance partner Nicholas Plant to lead its private equity group in the UK, Middle East and Africa.

Plant’s practice focuses on advising private equity houses on domestic and cross-border leveraged buy-outs. He also advises on general M&A and joint ventures. Most recently, he has been particularly involved in acting for US corporates, healthcare sector clients and on deal-by-deal financings.

Continue reading “Dentons strengthens private equity offering with SJ Berwin hire”

Switzerland – Being Prepared

Switzerland – Being Prepared

In most markets, it wouldn’t qualify as news but in the conservative Swiss legal community, the creation last April of Meyerlustenberger Lachenal via a merger between Zürich’s meyerlustenberger and Geneva’s Lachenal & Le Fort is still making waves. Currently listed as one of the largest law firms in Switzerland, it is present in Zug, Lausanne and Brussels, in addition to Zürich and Geneva.

The roots of Lachenal & Le Fort date back to 1882, while meyerlustenberger was established in 1975. According to Christophe Rapin – a Lausanne-based partner at the combined firm – an important driver behind the merger, which created a 30-partner practice, was to ensure national coverage of the Swiss market, particularly for the firm’s international clientele.

Continue reading “Switzerland – Being Prepared”

RPC expands corporate practice with partner hires

RPC has beefed up its corporate practice with the hire of three of Wragge & Co’s heavyweight partners as it targets more mid-sized deals for the largest FTSE 100 and 250 companies and multinational businesses.

The City Domestic firm hired Wragges’ former managing partner Richard Haywood and corporate head Maurice Dwyer. The duo joined fellow partner David Marshall at the beginning of the year.

Haywood was managing partner at Wragges from 2003 until 2006 and was also the firm’s corporate head. Most recently, he advised Premier Foods on the £182m sale of its canning division to Princes Foods. Continue reading “RPC expands corporate practice with partner hires”

Switzerland – Splendid isolation

Switzerland – Splendid isolation

As an exporting country, Switzerland is not immune to the general crisis and slow down of growth in the rest of Europe. Add to this a tough financing environment, and it is no surprise that the country’s transactional lawyers are reporting a dwindling deal flow.

A key issue for international M&A deals in Switzerland is the strong Swiss franc. In 2011, because prices kept increasing for dollar or euro-based buyers, some inbound acquisitions of Swiss businesses by foreign acquirers failed after following due diligence. However, it’s not just a robust currency that is affecting Switzerland’s M&A transactions. ‘Because the Swiss economy has resisted the global meltdown fairly well in comparative terms,’ says André Gruber, one of the Geneva-based founding partners at Swiss legal practice DGE, ‘Swiss assets are also comparatively expensive.’ Continue reading “Switzerland – Splendid isolation”

A hive of activity

A hive of activity

Israel has the highest number of lawyers per capita of any country in the world – one lawyer for every 166 people – and so far it has managed to keep them all busy. For a country with a population of 7.3 million, a legal profession boasting 44,000 participants is quite some feat (the UK has 150,000).

In the past decade many of the top Israeli firms have doubled in size and have regularly been outperforming the wider market. The economy has flourished, international business has taken off and law firms have reaped the rewards. Now they just have to keep up the momentum. Continue reading “A hive of activity”