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The latest news on hires, promotions, mergers, and deals from leading law firms and chambers

3 December 2015

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Baker & McKenzie expands London corporate practice

Baker & McKenzie has further enhanced its corporate practice with the appointment of James Thompson and Joanna Hewitt as partners in London.

Thompson joins from Linklaters, where he was a managing associate, while Hewitt re-joins the firm from Olswang's, where she was a senior associate having started her career as a trainee and then an associate at Baker & McKenzie.

The new appointments follow a series of strategic hires in Baker & McKenzie's London office. These include Dyann Heward-Mills, who joined the data protection practice from GE Capital in October 2015; Jonathan Peddie, who joined from Barclays in July 2015; and Kate Alexander, who joins the corporate tax practice from EY.

Payne Hicks Beach bolsters partnership with internal promotion

Payne Hicks Beach has further strengthened its dispute resolution and contentious trusts offering with the promotion of Richard Manyon from associate to partner. Having trained with the firm, Manyon qualified in 2006. The appointment brings the firm's dispute resolution department up to six partners.

Multi-disciplinary firm appoints new partner in Leeds

Triton Global has appointed Chris Foulkes as partner. Foulkes brings 24 years' experience dealing with a broad spectrum of insurance litigation claims on behalf of insurers, loss adjusters, and self-insureds, and specialises in high-value personal injury, product liability, and regulatory matters.

The Leeds-based firm said he would be responsible for working with insurers, brokers, and major corporate clients to support major loss and complex teams.

Kennedys boosts travel practice with Manchester hire

Kennedys has boosted its travel practice with the appointment of Andrew Morton to its Manchester office. Previously head of travel law at Pannone and Minster Law, Morton will spearhead Kennedys' travel business in the north and joins as a senior associate.

The firm said Morton will work closely with Claire Mulligan and Justin Collins, and their 20-strong travel and tourism team based in London, who joined from Plexus in March to launch Kennedys' travel practice.

Kemp Little hires new partner from Pinsent Masons

Kemp Little has announced the appointment of Vicky Cooper as a new partner in its IP and technology disputes group. Cooper joins from Pinsent Masons and will work with the firm's commercial technology team to strengthen the firm's IT dispute resolution capability.

The firm has announced a number of strategic hires in recent months, including Marian Bloodworth and Susan Biddle, to increase the firm's ability to support its clients in areas where technology has a rapidly growing impact.

Hamlins adds new partner from BBC

Hamlins has added to its media and entertainment practice with the hiring of leading intellectual property, technology, and digital media partner Julian Ward, who joins the firm from BBC Worldwide, where he was in-house counsel and head of business and legal affairs for digital retail.

'Worst railway station in Britain' transformed with help from Burges Salmon

Rail sector experts from Burges Salmon have advised Groundwork Wakefield in connection with the completion of its lease of Wakefield Kirkgate railway station from Network Rail.

Groundwork Wakefield raised £4.6m in 2013 for the transformation of the station, which was named one of the 'worst in Britain' in 2009 by the then transport secretary Lord Adonis. However, the company has now restored the grade II-listed station building.

Burges Salmon's specialist team, led by partner Philip Beer with assistance from senior associate Michael Bray, advised on all legal aspects of the lease terms with Network Rail.

Archers Law completes multi-million pound deal over industrial estate

Archers Law has completed a £4.4m deal on behalf of a long-term client which sees the sale of a freehold site on Aycliffe Business Park incorporating 40 occupied units. The firm acted for Churchill Property Services Ltd in the sale. Aycliffe Industrial Park is home to around 250 businesses with a strong association with the manufacturing and engineering sector.

Firms awarded for commitment to pro bono

Outstanding achievement in legal pro bono has been celebrated at the LawWorks Annual Pro Bono awards and lecture held at Magic Circle outfit Linklaters. The winners of the awards were:

• Most effective pro bono partnership - Children's Pro Bono Legal Service, Allen & Overy, Coram Children's Legal Centre, and DLA Piper

• Best contribution by a small firm - Emma Williams Family Law

• Best contribution by a firm with an English regional head office - Muckle

• Best contribution by a firm with a London head office - Duncan Lewis

• Best contribution by an international firm - DLA Piper

• Best contribution by an in-house team - Hilton Worldwide

• Best contribution by an individual - Jennifer Deakin, DLA Piper

• Junior Lawyers Division pro bono award - Maeve Hanna, Allen & Overy

• The LawWorks Cymru award - LawWorks Cardiff Pro Bono Employment Clinic at the Speakeasy Advice Centre

Gateley announces new regional office in the heart of the Thames Valley

Gateley Plc has revealed its intention to open a new office in Reading. The office will be led by Christopher Avery, who joins the firm from Pitmans, where he has been the managing partner for 25 years. The opening of a Reading office will expand Gateley's national network of offices to seven in England, as well as an operation in Dubai. This will be the firm's first new office since establishing a presence in Leeds in 2012. Gateley's Leeds office started with just two partners, but has since grown to a nine-partner practice with more than 40 staff.

RightsInfo wins Plain English Communicator 2015 Award

RightsInfo has been awarded the Plain English communicator award 2015 in recognition of its work in making the European Convention on Human Rights accessible. Past winners include Mariella Frostrup, Gary Neville, and, in 2014, Boris Johnson.

'Earlier this year RightsInfo provided an easy to read and understand version of The European Convention on Human Rights. It goes without saying that, in the current global climate, such a document could prove to be incredibly important. RightsInfo, founded by Adam Wagner, deserve great credit for their work,' said Plain English.

Since 1979, the Plain English Campaign has campaigned against gobbledygook, jargon, and misleading public information. This year's 'foot in mouth' award was won by Republican presidential hopeful Donald Trump.

All-Party Parliamentary Group on ADR takes off

The Chartered Institute of Arbitrators (CIArb) has announced the launch of the All-Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) on alternative dispute resolution (ADR).

Chaired by Justice Select Committee member John Howell OBE MP, the group will discuss the latest developments in ADR and promote its wider use. The group said it will act as a leading voice for ADR in parliament, engaging with politicians, the civil service, and other stakeholders to promote the wider use of ADR and alternatives to court in the public interest.

Lawyers awarded honorary doctorates by ULaw

The University of Law has awarded honorary doctorates to Zimbabwean human rights lawyer Beatrice Mtetwa and High Court judge Dame Janet Smith for the outstanding contributions they have made in their field.

Mtetwa and Dame Smith join an impressive list of senior figures to be named honorary ULaw doctorates, including Shami Chakrabarti, founder of Liberty, and Lord Goldsmith, barrister and former attorney general.

Bond Dickinson partner appointed new CPA chair

Richard Guyatt, a partner at Bond Dickinson, has been appointed the new chair of the Compulsory Purchase Association, a post he will hold for a 12-month term. The association is a national organisation representing solicitors, barristers, surveyors, land referencers, planners, and forensic accountants specialising in land assembly and compulsory purchase orders, set up to promote best practice skills for all those who work in the sector.

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