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Editor's picks


Integreon appoints Gogel as Chair of the Board

The global outsourcing company has made a raft of changes following a recent injection of private equity from NewQuest Capital Partners which acquired Integreon at the end of last year.


Companies face a sustainability nightmare down the track

Companies are having to take a renewed interest in sustainability as the pace of regulation increases and social trends change.


Last week to enter the Luxury Law Awards

Do you know of a general counsel in the luxury law sector who deserves to be acknowledged for their contribution to the company's success or are you part of a legal department which has excelled? If so, why not enter for the Luxury Law Awards.


India court latest to give rivers human status

Only a week after the Whanganui River in New Zealand became the first in the world to be granted the same legal rights as a person, a court in northern Indian has given the Ganges and Yamuna rivers the status of 'living human entities'.


Around the house

A weekly round-up of moves from around the globe.


Uber promises corporate culture shakeup as executives walk

There's no longer any room for 'brilliant jerks' at Uber, according to director Arianna Huffington.


Burford Capital sees income soar 60 per cent

Litigation finance firm Burford Capital has experienced a 50 per cent uptick in turnover to $163.4 million with profit after tax up 75 per cent to $115 million due to increased demand for litigation finance.

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Tuesday, 08 May 2012

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    July likely for law firm openings in South Korea

    Leading western law firms waiting for licences to practise in Seoul could get the green light to open offices in July this year, according to a statement from South Korea's justice ministry.

    The Bloomberg news agency reports that London magic circle firm Clifford Chance, Boston-based Ropes & Gray and California firm Sheppard Mullin Richter & Hampton all received notice of the preliminary approval. South Korea's Ministry of Justice said in a statement yesterday that it may grant final approval to applications to operate in the country as foreign legal consultants by the end of this month.

    Clifford Chance announced its intention to enter the Korean market before the EU-South Korea free-trade agreement took effect last July, with several US firms also signalling interest when a similar agreement was struck between Seoul and Washington in November.

    New York-based law firm Cleary Gottlieb and Chicago's McDermott Will & Emery have since also announced plans to launch outposts in the jurisdiction.

    Bloomberg coverage >>


    Morgan Lewis, DLA Piper and Akin Gump latest to boost partnerships

    Philadelphia-based law firm Morgan Lewis has boosted its ranks with 10 partners, Anglo-US practice DLA Piper has strengthened its Italian team with five partners, and Akin Gump has brought in three energy specialists in the latest round of partnership prizes handed out by global law firms.

    Morgan Lewis' partners will beef up the firm's business and finance practice in London, Moscow and Kazakhstan. The London office gains financial heavyweights Bruce Johnson, Amanda Jennings and mergers and acquisitions expert Amy Comer. A six-partner team in Moscow will be led by dealmaker Brian Zimbler, while in Almaty, transactions specialist Aset Shyngyssov gets his keys to the partnership lavatories.

    DLA has poached five partners as well as 15 legal professionals from Studio Legale Grimaldi e Associati. Francesco Novelli will lead a team including Giovanni Ragnoni Bosco Lucarelli and Francesco Satta, joining as partners in Rome, and Ugo Calò and Federico Zucconi Galli Fonseca in Milan. The team of 15 other legal professionals will also be based in the Milan and Rome offices.

    The team has cross-disciplinary expertise and a specific focus on the energy, infrastructure and project finance sectors.

    Washington-based Akin Gump has boosted its global transactions department with three partners moving over from limping law firm Dewey LeBoeuf. John LaMaster and Marc Hammerson join the firm in London, while Steven Otillar joins the Houston office. All three partners focus on cross-border energy transactions.


    Lawyers point British BP investors to Texas law

    A specialist New York law firm is urging British pension schemes with investments in BP during the Deepwater Horizon disaster to take advantage of Texas law and file claims for compensation.

    According to London newspaper The Guardian, Pomerantz Haudek Grossman & Gross - a corporate, securities and class action litigation practice- is sending lawyers to London to explain to investors that they should file claims in Texas to recover 'billions of dollars' in compensation.

    Pomerantz partner Marc Goss said: 'Since BP's [alleged] misconduct and defrauding of investors occurred principally in Texas, non-US residents can seek recovery under Texas statutory and common law.'

    Despite a recent US Supreme Court decision blocking investors from seeking compensation in federal courts (Morrison v National Australia bank), Pomerantz is advising pension schemes that bought BP ordinary shares on the London Stock Exchange between 16 January 2007 and 28 May 2010 to contact the firm's lawyers.

    The Guardian coverage >>


    Four-fold cash boost for litigation funder

    Litigation funding organisation Vannin Capital is to increase its immediately available facility to the market from £25 million to £100m, making it arguably the largest private funder of litigation in the UK.

    Isle of Man-based Vannin, which has made great strides in the litigation market since bursting onto the scene in June last year - backed by top private equity firm Bramden Investments - was initially allocated four years of funding at £25m annually.

    But according to the group, owing bumper business has encouraged the funder to increase that figure to £100m, with that amount set for further review within 12 months.

    The increase is also partly attributed to US expansion plans, with a number a high-profile cases already in the works.

    Vannin consultant Nick Rowles-Davies commented: 'Our initial remit and capacity targets have expanded many fold since inception, with our original UK focus now being completely global.'


    Washington offloads $5.8bn of AIG stock

    The US Treasury Department will sell $5.8 billion worth of shares in insurance company American International Group, in a deal that sees New York-based law firm Cleary Gottlieb advise the sale underwriters.

    It is Washington's third offering of AIG shares since last May, according to the San Francisco Chronicle, with the bailed-out insurer is buying approximately $2bn of the total shares involved in the transaction.

    Some 188.5 million shares are involved in the sale, which reduces the American government's stake in the company from 70 to 61 per cent.
    AIG chief executive Robert Benmosche has sold assets to raise the funds to buy back shares from the US, with dividends from insurance subsidiaries, proceeds from divesting a plane-leasing unit, a stake in Hong Kong-based AIA Group and other holdings allowing AIG to generate as much as $30 billion that could be returned to shareholders by the end of 2015.

    'The company has been able to monetise sales of non-core assets and we expect this to continue for the longer term,' JPMorgan Chase & Co analysts led by Arun Kumar said in a note to clients last week before the sale was announced.

    Cleary Gottlieb partners Craig Brod and Jeffrey Karpf led the firm's deal team.

    San Francisco Chronicle coverage >>


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AI interest high with $12M Casetext investment

Casetext has closed its series B funding round at $12 million demonstrating the continued fascination with artificial intelligence applications in the legal sector.