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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…

Minter Ellison appoints former PwC Australian senior partner as new chief

Australian firm Minter Ellison has appointed former PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) Australian senior partner and chief executive Tony Harrington to succeed outgoing chief executive John Weber. Harrington’s appointment comes four months after the formal announcement of Weber’s decision to step down from the top management role in November 2013 (28 November 2013). He has been at the…

Zhong Lun targets Chinese top three with 22-partner Kaiwen acquisition

Chinese firm Zhong Lun has bolstered its domestic practice through the acquisition of legacy Beijing firm Kaiwen, two years after the firm agreed a merger with Beijing-based capital markets boutique Grandway. The large-scale bolt-on was approved by Zhong Lun’s partnership during its annual partnership conference earlier this month and will add a team of 22…

European M&A dominated by US firms in Q1 2014 as market bounces back

The European M&A market has ballooned by more than a third in the first quarter of 2014 compared to the same period last year, with US firms dominating the rankings. According to Thomson Reuters’ preliminary rankings for Q1 2014, the European market increased in value by more than 37 per cent on the first quarter…