Guest post: Independence matters – banking and big law in the news

Lawyers and banks are in the news again. Lawrence Tomlinson, Entrepreneur in Residence at the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills, has reported various abuses by RBS in particular and has this to say about the way banks instruct lawyers:

‘Any law firm that does business with the banks will have a clause in their contract, preventing them from taking action against the banks.This means that for businesses the pool of solicitors available to give them advice and take their case is extremely limited. Continue reading “Guest post: Independence matters – banking and big law in the news”

Water regulator seeks to fill newly-created GC role as sector overhaul looms

Water regulator seeks to fill newly-created GC role as sector overhaul looms

Following proposals for the first major reform of the water and waste sectors since privatisation in the 90s, industry regulator Ofwat is now looking to fill a newly-created general counsel (GC) role as it seeks high level strategic advice and leadership on the opening of markets, reform of licences and the evolution of price controls.

The new GC – who will receive a salary of around £120,000 and will be based in Ofwat’s offices in London and Birmingham – will report directly to chief executive Cathryn Ross and will manage a team of 11 counsel. These include three legal directors, one of which is Huw Brooker, who joined Ofwat as deputy head of legal in 1999 and has led the legal team since 2006. Continue reading “Water regulator seeks to fill newly-created GC role as sector overhaul looms”

Barristers free to conduct litigation as Bar watchdog ushers in new ‘risk-based’ conduct regime

Barristers free to conduct litigation as Bar watchdog ushers in new ‘risk-based’ conduct regime

While the post-Legal Services Act (LSA) shake-up moves far more slowly for barristers than their solicitor cousins, the Bar continues to modernise at its own pace with new conduct rules unveiled this month heralding significant reforms.

The Bar Standards Board last week unveiled its new code of conduct for barristers allowing self-employed advocates to conduct litigation for the first time and to form associations with non-barristers – two significant steps towards liberalising lawyer regulation. Continue reading “Barristers free to conduct litigation as Bar watchdog ushers in new ‘risk-based’ conduct regime”

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”

Clyde & Co to open Madrid office with DAC Beachcroft insurance team

Clyde & Co to open Madrid office with DAC Beachcroft insurance team

Clyde & Co is to open a Madrid office following the appointment of a four-partner insurance team from DAC Beachcroft’s local office.

The team of nine lawyers, including insurance partners Ignacio Figuerol, Ricardo Garrido, Pablo Guillen and Miguel Relano, have resigned to establish the office for Clyde & Co, extending the firm’s international footprint to 29 locations across Europe, America and Asia.

Continue reading “Clyde & Co to open Madrid office with DAC Beachcroft insurance team”

Freshfields hires HSF financial services regulatory partner

Freshfields hires HSF financial services regulatory partner

Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer continues to boost its disputes practice in Hong Kong with Herbert Smith Freehills’ (HSF) financial services regulatory partner Tim Mak set to join the firm.

Mak will work alongside Asia head of financial services Royce Miller and contentious regulatory partner Georgia Dawson. Mak is tri-lingual and will specialise in both contentious and non-contentious regulatory matters but has particular experience in civil and criminal proceedings and investigations.

Continue reading “Freshfields hires HSF financial services regulatory partner”

Rising clout means a new kind of corporate politics for GCs

Rising clout means a new kind of corporate politics for GCs

Oxymoronic as it sounds, news that Barclays general counsel (GC) Mark Harding is to depart has been received as startling and yet not entirely a surprise. Barclays had been engulfed in a series of escalating controversies in recent years spanning mis-selling, tax advice, and – most damagingly – allegations of rigging institutional interest rates. While there has been no suggestion that Harding or Barclays’ legal team shoulders any blame, incoming chief executive Antony Jenkins has gone out of his way to signal a total break with the culture under predecessor Bob Diamond, who last year stood down as the Libor investigation generated a record fine against the bank.

Continue reading “Rising clout means a new kind of corporate politics for GCs”

Appellation contrôlée

Appellation contrôlée

The European Court of Justice’s recent ruling on a seven-year fight between Google and LVMH could have significant effects on the use of trade marks in internet advertising. Legal Business examines the fallout from this landmark case

LVMH owns over 60 luxury global brands, including TAG Heuer watches and Louis Vuitton. The latter label, known for its monogrammed luggage, has just topped Millward Brown Optimor’s 2010 BrandZ Top 100 ranking of the world’s most valuable luxury labels for the fifth straight year, and is worth $19.8bn. Naturally, LVMH doesn’t take kindly to knock-off handbags flogged on street corners. Continue reading “Appellation contrôlée”