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Linklaters and Allen & Gledhill are to officially end their alliance as the Singapore firm continues its tie-up talks with magic circle rival Allen & Overy (A&O).

The firms have reached a decision to formally terminate the joint venture, which has been in place since 2000, over the last few days, with one Linklaters partner suggesting the venture will be wound down before the end of the financial year in April.

First Counsel, the London and Sydney based legal recruitment company, is to demerge its Law Firm Management division into an entirely separate legal entity trading under the new name of Totum. The Private Practice and In-House divisions will remain under the First Counsel brand. First Counsel will continue to be headed by Chris Cayley and William Cock with no change in their complement of staff.

The demerger will be formalised at the end of March 2012.

As they looked out of the window at the pouring rain People and Development Manager Helen Dilks pleadingly asked Accounts Assistant Jess King what it would take for this game to be called off.  “Not just a spit of rain” came Jess’s reply causing Marketing Exec Kim Pasteau and Helen to sink back disappointed in to their chairs.  As if the Gods of netball heard their shameful wish and wanted to punish them, the bright warming sun came out from nowhere, defying the Met Office report and lit up the sky.  The game, it seemed, was on… 

Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer’s partnership council has given the go-ahead to plans to reopen in Singapore.

The magic circle law firm is now set to relaunch the office in the third quarter of this year, only five years after shutting its former arm in the region.

Freshfields has not yet applied for a licence in Singapore, but has confirmed that it intends to practise UK and US law initially, rather than pursuing any kind of domestic law venture with a local firm, despite moves to open up the market to foreign advisers.

Travers Smith is reviewing its US relationships in the wake of a number of its referral firms bulking up their UK law offerings in the City.

The top 50 UK law firm has traditionally worked with US institutions such as Ropes & Gray, Goodwin Procter and Proskauer Rose – all of which have expanded in London in recent years.

Herbert Smith is set to overhaul its rigid lockstep structure, as merger talks with Australia’s Freehills bring forward a consultation on whether the firm should introduce a more flexible system.

The firm is expected to begin reviewing its lockstep in the coming weeks, with changes to be considered in light of its potential merger with Freehills, which operates a modified lockstep heavily linked to individual performance.

Squire Sanders has become the latest firm to announce plans to open an office in Korea, reports The Asian Lawyer.

Corporate partner Joon Yong Kim, the head of the firm's Korea practice, will relocate from Tokyo to lead the new office in Seoul. He will be joined by partner Edward Kim, who is also transferring from Squire Sanders' Tokyo base.

Joon Yong Kim's work in Seoul will focus mainly on M&A and joint ventures, though he has also advised Korean companies on US intellectual property matters, including litigation.


Overbury is hosting its annual drinks reception at MIPIM tonight, Wednesday 7 March.  It’s held at Morrisons, the Irish pub in Cannes.

It’s an opportunity to meet the Overbury team and network with the rest of the construction industry in a relaxed environment in sunny Cannes – it’s a hard life!

No RSVP required. All you need is your business card to join us. So if you’re in Cannes please come along and enjoy a drink with us.


Barristers and solicitors are at loggerheads over whether plea-only advocates (POAs) need to undergo judicial evaluation as part of the Quality Assurance Scheme for Advocates (QASA) for criminal law specialists.

If a resolution cannot be found – and we understand that the Solicitors Regulation Authority has rejected the idea of a two-year transition period – then the whole scheme could fall apart.

Ashfords and Rochman Landau have gone ahead with a mooted tie-up, with the deal going live on 1 March.

The deal, which will see the combined firm operate under the Ashfords brand, has created a firm with almost 500 members of staff and turnover of around £30m. News of the firms’ merger discussions was first reported in February (7 February 2012).

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