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Bloomsburry Family law

HR & Development

Thought leader

I have to confess to a mix of feelings at this time of the year – seasonal melancholy overwritten by a renewed sense of anticipation. The cause of this condition is not the changing colours of the foliage but rather the arrival of the annual intake of new trainees into my firm. I recognise that both emotions may be attributable to my age.

A question of value: An in-house perspective

A law firm can sell itself on a range of capabilities: expertise, geographical location, size and technology to name but a few. All might come to nothing, however, if the legal team pitching the prospective client does not know how those resources might meet the particular needs of the client company.

To be better strangers

Management themes such as client, knowledge and risk management, marketing and effective HR, are integrated through cultural ideals of teamwork, collegiality, communication and consensus. All are part of a management lingo that has penetrated the workings of the modern law firm, marking the move of many from a traditional partnership to corporate ideals. However, is this really the best way forward for a professional practice? Christopher Honeyman Brown, chief executive of ASB Law, asks whether law firms know just what they are risking when they embrace the concepts of the business world.

Deals of the month

The London media and entertainment group at Salans has advised on a joint venture between DNA Films and Fox Searchlight Pictures, a division of Twentieth Century Fox.According to Screen International, a trade paper for international firm business, the deal will: “Create the most potent UK-based studio backed enterprise in London after Working Title Films” (5 September 2003). The deal marks a bid to turn DNA, a lottery funded franchise, into a long-term business: the joint venture marrying a well financed production company with a global distribution network. London partners Jonathan Berger and Graham Stedman led the Salans team in advising DNA Films, with the assistance of Ian Shane, Jane Bullen, Sarah Collis, Peter Hughes and Miriam Lampert. National firm Pinsents has advised Birmingham and The Black Country Strategic Health Authority in the first franchise of an NHS Trust to be awarded to the private sector. Good Hope Hospital NHS Trust signed a franchise with Secta Group (a subsidiary of Tribal Group) for the provision of senior healthcare management services to Good Hope Hospital in Sutton Coldfield, Warwickshire. Pinsents advised Birmingham and The Black Country Strategic Health Authority (in relation to the Good Hope Franchise). Good Hope Hospital NHS Trust was advised by Mills & Reeve. City firm Linklaters acted for Credit Suisse First Boston and Deutsche Bank AG London when International Power Jersey issued $250m guaranteed bonds. International Power guarantees the bonds, which are due in 2023. Clifford Chance represented the guarantor and Jersey-based Mourant du Feu & Jeune acted for the issuer. NautaDutilh’s Amsterdam office is acting as Dutch counsel for Air France in the latter’s share exchange offer for KLM common shares. Air France’s lead counsel and adviser on French and US law is Linklaters. KLM is being advised by Allen & Overy. The transaction will lead to the creation of Europe’s leading airline group, to be called Air France-KLM, capitalising on two well-known names in the airline business, major hubs and complimentary networks. Air France and KLM expect to finalise the transaction within the next few weeks. The NautaDutilh team is made up of corporate partners Erik Hammerstein and Lieke van der Velden, along with Wijnand Bossenbroek (civil law notary) and a number of senior associates. Nicholson Graham & Jones advised NPI Limited, the specialist pensions provider, on the sale of a freehold property portfolio for £40.5m to Grainger Trust plc. Partners Stuart Borrie (corporate) and Steven Cox (property) led the Nicholson Graham & Jones team. Dickinson Dees (Nigel Bellis, Bethan Owen and Fred Wilson) acted for Grainger Trust plc.

Personal profile: Mark Jones, Addleshaw Goddard

In a profession that is still new to the world of management, Addleshaw Goddard’s managing partner Mark Jones has been a singular example of managerial drive in the firm’s past decade of growth. It has been an exciting if demanding period in which he has had to make many difficult decisions, including rationalisation. So what is the story behind this old-timer of the legal management world? Caroline Poynton finds out.

The life and times of a northern soul

In a world where London firms still predominate and where regional firms are beginning to look like they’re offshoots of a London business, Cobbetts is making its mark as a truly national firm with a northern heart. Caroline Poynton talks to managing partner, Michael Shaw, about his leadership of the firm, his role in its ongoing expansion and his dreams for the years to come.

New image for Gardner Leader

A new chapter has begun for Newbury firm, Gardner Leader with the partners unveiling a new company image at the same time as opening the doors to additional offices in Wharf Street, next to its Market Street headquarters.

Lawyers Direct offers flexible working

Charles Stringer, former head of sales at the BBC, and James Knight, ex-Trowers and Hamlins, have launched Lawyers Direct as an alternative to the traditional law firm.