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Ashurst sees drop in cash reserves pre merger

Ashurst saw a £13.9m drop in net funds and cash at bank in the financial year before its £550m merger with legacy Blake Dawson. Net funds at the firm went from £20.9m in 2011/12 to £6.9m in 2012/13 according to accounts filed with Companies House yesterday. The firm put it down to a £14m cash…

DLA Piper set to move into Canada with team from failed Heenan Blaikie

DLA Piper is to make its first steps into the Canadian legal market with the rescue of up to 70 lawyers from collapsed Canadian firm Heenan Blaikie. The firms have been in discussions for a number of weeks, with partners at Heenan Blaikie aware of the move when they voted to wind down the 40-year…

Stephenson Harwood kicks off Africa secondment programme

Stephenson Harwood is adding to its Africa expertise by starting a programme of sending associates on secondment to independent firms on the continent. Litigation associate Charlotte Welsh became the first Stephenson Harwood lawyer to go on secondment to Africa, spending six weeks at Kenyan firm JMiles & Co. Whilst in Nairobi Welsh worked on matters…

Ashurst advises Crossrail on £1bn Bombardier contract

Ashurst picked up the mandate to advise Crossrail on its decision to award a £1bn contract to Bombardier UK. The transport provider – Britain’s only train builder – will provide 65 trains for the Crossrail service, which is due to open in 2018. Bombardier, meanwhile, is believed to have referred the deal to its in-house…

DLA shake-up: Knowles to become chair, Angel to step down next year

DLA Piper is set for a leadership shake-up as co-CEO Nigel Knowles is to replace Tony Angel as global co-chairman and London IP partner Simon Levine is appointed as the firm’s next joint CEO. Joining Knowles on the US side as global co-chair is Roger Meltzer, who is currently Americas co-chair and leader of the…

Hogan Lovells launches low-cost support base in South Africa

Hogan Lovells is set to transfer a large proportion of its support network to a new low-cost office in South Africa headed by COO Nick Cray. The firm expects the Johannesburg base to house 20 employees when it opens in the second quarter of 2014, the majority of which will be new staff members. A…

Legal fees soar to £38.9m after busy half-year for public M&A

The UK public M&A market picked up in the second half of 2013, with lawyers pocketing a total of £38.9m in fees – 44 per cent more than they received in the first half of the year. During the first six months of the year lawyers acting on M&A deals received a total of £29m…

White & Case debarred over conflicts in $2bn oligarch battle

White & Case has been disqualified from acting on one of its flagship cases, the $2bn oligarch litigation between Ukrainian industrialist Victor Pinchuk and his rivals Gennady Bogoliubov and Igor Kolomoisky, after a conflict of interest. Mr Justice Field handed down his judgment granting a permanent injunction debarring White & Case from acting for Pinchuk…

Mourant Ozannes snares Farrers' Edmondson for private client team

Offshore firm Mourant Ozannes has hired Farrer & Co’s former senior partner Jim Edmondson as head of its international trusts and private client practice. Edmondson will join Mourant Ozannes as a consultant in London on 1 May. He will take over as head of the trusts and private client team on 1 September when incumbent…

Schoenherr turns Brussels rep office into fully-fledged operation

Austrian firm Schoenherr is moving to staff its Brussels office full-time, after 20 years with a representative presence in Belgium. Vienna-based partner Volker Weiss is relocating to Brussels to head up the operation and will lead a team of EU and competition specialists from across Schoenherr’s network of Central and Eastern European (CEE) offices. The…