Aussie firm reveals big UK plans, Asian-Pacific lawyers ‘more innovative’

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Slater & Gordon announces its largest office
Australian law firm Slater & Gordon has announced that it will open its new UK offices in Manchester next year. The firm has almost 90 offices, mostly in Australia but this new location will become the firm’s largest at more than 100,000 sq. ft. and will be home to at least 700 staff. The firm is  keen to engage with the community and the ground floor of the seven-storey building will be a ‘community space’, to enable people to drop in to have a coffee with a lawyer or access information in an informal environment. Slater & Gordon is currently advertising for a new COO for the UK. Read the full story.
 
US court rules against bankrupt law rirm trustees
A federal court judge has ruled against claims from the trustees of a failed law firm that they should receive profits from ongoing cases started at the defunct firm. The case was brought by administrators for the bankrupt firm Hellman Ehrman LLP who were seeking profits from four firms who had hired partners of the failed firm. San Francisco District Judge Charles Breyer ruled that the new firms ‘came to the rescue’ of clients in taking on their cases and that by doing so they should be able to keep the profits. A bankruptcy court had previously said that the trustees should be entitled to reclaim the profits from the new firm. A similar case is currently awaiting review by New York State’s highest court following differing views by two lower courts. Read the full story.
 
Asian-Pacific lawyers ‘more innovative’
A survey by FT.com has found that lawyers in the Asian-Pacific region are more innovative than those in the US and Europe. The report shows that although the region has lawyers in jurisdictions at different stages of development, the culture of law in countries including Australia, Singapore and China is forward-thinking and globally aware; focusing on keeping hold of international deals. The study had also revealed the extent of change (towards much sharper business law) and growth (South Korea has seen 20 new international firms in the last 2 years) in the Asian-Pacific area, while the US and Europe has seen increasing mergers and closures. Read the full story.
 
Court judgement sees travel claims take off
A UK Court of Appeal judgement, that airlines cannot use technical faults to avoid paying compensation to travellers, has prompted a jet stream of enquiries to law firms. The airline in the case, Jet2, has said it will seek clarity from the UK Supreme Court. If the appeal ruling is upheld, airlines will not be able to use ‘technical fault’ as a catch-all excuse for delays or cancellations. EU rules mean that airlines do not have to pay compensation for ‘exceptional circumstances’ and have taken this to include aircraft faults, but the appeal court judge said that this does should not include ‘wear and tear’ . Read the full story.
 
Jim Bopp Jr launches challenge to US law
High-profile attorney, ‘superlawyer’ Jim Bopp Jr. of Bopp Law is mounting a legal challenge to a controversial financial law. The Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act is meant to tackle tax evasion, but opponents say that it will adversely affect millions of ex-pats and US companies with global operations. Mr Bopp has launched his action claiming that the law is unconstitutional on three counts. He has a history of successfully challenging flawed financial laws. Read the full story.

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