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Patton Boggs vows to defend 'below the belt' claims from US giant Chevron

Washington lobbying firm Patton Boggs is facing a legal battle against oil giant Chevron following a US court ruling that the New York court had jurisdiction to hear fraud claims being pursued against the firm. On Monday US District Judge lewis Kaplan has said he had “difficulties” with Patton Boggs’ argument that the New York…

Eversheds' German ally launches in Berlin as full merger mooted

Eversheds’ German arm Heisse Kursawe Eversheds has launched a Berlin office, ahead of a possible full merger between the firms. The new office will be headed by employment partner Stefan Kursawe and will cover all areas of commercial law, particularly public law, procurement and real estate. It will be staffed by around 10 lawyers, a…

African in-house market set for rapid expansion, predict GCs

In-house counsel in African companies are quickly gaining prominence and control over their businesses’ legal function, The Lawyer research has shown. General counsel at major African organisations believe that like their counterparts in the UK and US, they are increasingly able to control their legal spend and bring work in-house. ”Across the board, in-house teams…

DLA and Freshfields among firms advising on £600m Mersey Gateway Project

DLA Piper, Ashurst, Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer and Allen & Overy are among the firms to have advised on the construction of a new six-lane toll bridge over the Mersey. The project, which will connect the towns of Runcorn and Widnes, is believed to be worth in the region of £600m. Having kicked off almost a…

Eversheds beefs up Africa presence with Morocco bases

Eversheds is formalising a three-year cooperation agreement to launch two offices in Morocco. The firm is opening in Casablanca and Tangier through a tie-up with associated firm CWA, run by former Eversheds associate Mohamed Oulkhouir. The offices will be known as Eversheds CWA Morocco and will be led by Oulkhouir as managing partner. The firm…

Linklaters PE associates offered £40K golden handshake by White & Case

White & Case offered Linklaters private equity (PE) associates up to £40,000 in ’golden hellos’ to join star PE partners Richard Youle and Ian Bagshaw when they quit the magic circle firm. The US firm attempted to lure away up to 10 associates with hefty sign-up fees in a bid to build up its London…

Clifford Chance names banking partner Abraham as new Middle East head

Clifford Chance has named banking and finance partner Robin Abraham as new Middle East managing partner to replace current head Graham Lovett. Abraham will start his four-year term on 1 May after a regional partner vote. He will take over from Lovett, who continues as regional head of litigation and dispute resolution. Abraham won a…

Global business firms lead the international pack in African relationships

The largest global business firms, such as Baker & McKenzie, Dentons, DLA Piper, Herbert Smith Freehills (HSF) and Norton Rose Fulbright, have the deepest relationships with African independents, research by The Lawyer has indicated. Leading independent firms interviewed for The Lawyer Africa Elite 2014, published on Monday (31 March) named those international firms adopting a…

Irwin Mitchell taps trio of banks for £90m funding facility

Irwin Mitchell has secured a £60m rolling banking facility along with an additional £30m buffer in a joint deal with HSBC, Lloyds and Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS). The finance package replaces the firm’s existing overdraft and is committed for a four-year period initially. According to the firm’s latest LLP filing, its overdraft facility increased…

Elite 'red circle' firms Zhong Lun and Jun He plot merger as consolidation grips China legal market

China’s top-tier firms Jun He and Zhong Lun are in discussions about a possible merger, in a move that would create the largest firm by revenue in China. Insiders said the firms had recently signed a confidentiality agreement about the merger, with talks reaching the due diligence stage. Senior partners at both firms have been…