Getting proprietorial – the client view as the battle to secure IP rages on

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From smartphone patent wars to online piracy, companies have never been more focused on protecting their intellectual property. In this special report, Legal Business teamed up with Bristows to gauge client attitudes to IP

It’s been a truism of the business world that protecting your intellectual property (IP) is an important part of success since the first laws on copyright were inked in the early 18th century. IP has not suddenly emerged as a key to a company’s long-term prospects. But, undoubtedly, numerous forces have emerged in recent years that have driven companies to more carefully consider how they protect, enforce and monetise their IP. Whether talking about the world of ‘hard’ IP, ie patents, or the ‘soft’ areas – trade marks, copyright and designs – the IP landscape has never been so dynamic or high impact.

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Deutsche Bank profits dive amid €1.2bn legal provision as pressure builds on finance leaders

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If anyone still doubts the mounting legal burdens now falling on the world’s largest finance houses Deutsche Bank has this week dispelled such thoughts after announcing a fresh €1.2bn provision to cover its legal costs.

The German banking giant today (29 October) reported a 98% fall in quarterly profits after setting aside additional funds to cover its liabilities, reflecting the mounting regulatory burden facing the financial institution. The bank’s group income before taxes dropped for the third quarter to €18m, against last year’s figure of €747m for the same period in 2012.

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In-house: A&O, Ashurst and Eversheds on Morrisons first-ever legal panel

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One of the UK’s largest supermarket chains, Morrisons, has revealed its first-ever legal panel, with Allen & Overy (A&O), Ashurst, DAC Beachcroft and Eversheds are among the 15 firms selected, which was overseen by the company’s recently appointed general counsel Mark Amsden.

40 firms made the long list, which was whittled down to a shortlist of 22. Amsden divided the panel into six categories: employment, property, personal injury, licensing and regulatory as well as one panel covering ‘everything else’ – corporate, commercial, litigation, pensions and intellectual property. One more panel covers Scotland, with DWF and MacRoberts selected.

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Going buy-side: Reed Smith’s global managing partner takes over from Hoyt at PNC

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It is still reasonably uncommon to see private practice partners step straight into a general counsel (GC) role but Reed Smith’s global managing partner (MP) Greg Jordan is to join one of the firm’s clients, Pittsburgh’s largest bank, the PNC Financial Services Group, taking over from Bob Hoyt as he prepares to join Barclays. Alexander Thomas, Reed Smith’s global chair of litigation, will take over the global MP role from Jordan.

Jordan, who was only re-elected for another three year term last year, is set to become executive vice president GC and head of regulatory and government affairs. He will report directly to PNC’s CEO William Demchak. Continue reading “Going buy-side: Reed Smith’s global managing partner takes over from Hoyt at PNC”

Moving slowly forwards – Eversheds seals another Tyco-style deal

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While single service retainers appear unlikely to become a broad fixture of the legal market, Eversheds continues to push on with the model having sealed a multimillion-pound deal with valve manufacturer and Tyco spin-off Pentair Flow Control to take over all its routine legal work in the EMEA region.

In a two-year, fixed-fee contract, the UK top 10 law firm has secured the right to carry out all routine litigation, certain intellectual property (IP) and commercial work and some premium work including major litigation, M&A and antitrust work. Pentair merged with Tyco Flow Controls after the three-way split of Tyco in October last year. Continue reading “Moving slowly forwards – Eversheds seals another Tyco-style deal”

Two birds, one stone – A&O finance veterans joins Co-op team as GC as firm acts on rescue

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Securing a major deal and having one of your partners take a senior role with the same client is a nice trick to pull off but Allen & Overy (A&O) appears to have managed that this week after securing a lead role on the Co-op’s rescue plan and ‘donating’ a veteran partner to the lender’s management team.

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Comment: Things I would have said about the future of law if I hadn’t forgotten my notes

I was recently asked to speak on a panel debate for Georgetown Law at Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer’s City office to discuss the big issues facing the profession. As the panel’s host, Freshfields managing partner Ted Burke, sent the speakers some outline topics and questions beforehand, I sketched out some points to help order my thoughts.

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PROFILE: Terry Miller, LOCOG

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When the London Organising Committee of the Olympic and Paralympic Games (LOCOG)’s general counsel (GC) Terry Miller won Legal Business Lawyer of the Year 2013, it was little wonder that it was the most popular award of the night.

Met by rapturous applause from guests that included her boss – LOCOG chair Lord Coe – Miller was recognised for her outstanding work on London’s internationally lauded 2012 Olympics, leading a team of 36 lawyers in setting up the entire Olympic Games legal framework and acting as LOCOG’s ethical compliance officer.

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Insurance giants move into legal services market

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Three insurance companies announced significant moves into the legal services market in April after sealing alternative business structure (ABS) joint ventures with law firms.

The Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) granted Admiral, Ageas and RAC ABS licences to extend their services beyond insurance to provide legal services for customers making no-fault personal injury claims.

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Cleary and 2012 GC take top prizes in 2013 Legal Business Awards

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Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton, Linklaters and London 2012’s Terry Miller were among the key prize-winners at last night’s Legal Business Awards.

Cleary Gottlieb was named Law Firm of the Year from a shortlist including Baker & McKenzie, Bristows, Clifford Chance, Clyde & Co, RPC and Travers Smith. The Wall Street leader was singled out for a truly outstanding year, combining cutting-edge mandates such as Greece’s sovereign bond restructuring and advising Rosneft on its $55bn acquisition of TNK-BP, while posting the highest five-year growth rate of any elite global law firm.

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