Bird & Bird signs up with Turkish firm; Eversheds' yearly revenue up

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Bird & Bird formalises link with Turkish firm... Eversheds increases revenue in year end report... Minter Ellison partner calls for uniformity in Australian construction law... and the legal battles over the Uber app continue...

Two Birds & Turkey
Bird & Bird today announced that it has entered into a cooperation agreement with Turkish law firm BTS & Partners. The move follows significant client demand for legal services in the region, particularly in the technology and media sectors, where BTS & Partners is an acknowledged market leader, and fits with Bird & Bird’s global position in these fields. The two firms have worked together on many occasions for several years and this more formal agreement recognises the joint visions and cultures of the businesses. Turkey has an increasing number of firms in the technology sector with many growing globally.
 
Eversheds sees revenue growth
Eversheds has confirmed its end of year financial results which show a two per cent growth in revenue for 2013/14. Substantial investments were made by the firm during the course of the year, with more than £30m (8% of revenue) committed to investments in key areas – including expanding its international operations in Asia, Middle East and Africa and in IT infrastructure projects to support service delivery across its global operations. Chief executive Bryan Hughes says that the firm grew revenue despite a broadly flat market and now expects to build on the results with a recent upturn in transactions. Profit per equity partner was up by 14 per cent.
 
A&O add to the International Court of Arbitration
Allen & Overy has added a second member of its team to the ICC International Court of Arbitration. Amsterdam-based partner Marieke van Hooijdonk joins the Netherlands branch of the court; Michael Young who is based at the firm’s Paris office is a member of the Court’s UK arm. The ICC International Court of Arbitration is composed of Members from almost 90 countries, who are appointed by the ICC World Council. The Court is charged with ensuring the application of the ICC’s Rules of Arbitration and with overseeing the ICC arbitration process.
 
Minter Ellison partner calls for uniformity in construction law
The current lack of national uniformity in the so-called ‘Security of Payment’ system that adjudicates construction sector disputes results in a range of unnecessary costs that outweigh any commensurate benefits, according to Phillip Greenham, Chairman of the Society of Construction Law Australia (SoCLA) and a partner in the Construction Division at Minter Ellison. “Since 1999, all States in Australia have passed legislation providing for adjudication of disputes in the construction industry – yet each State has a different system.” Mr Greenham says that large construction companies are able to play the system to virtually guarantee the outcome they want, whereas smaller businesses lack the financial clout to do that, leading to an unfair system. He said the proposed changes to the system are designed to use modern, fast-track procedures to create a fair and affordable system accessible to all in the construction industry.
 
Uber to face further legal action in London
Around the world, taxi drivers, local authorities and the legal profession have been engaged in discussion, protests and court action regarding the rights of Uber and other smartphone apps connecting passengers to drivers. In London, drivers of the iconic black cabs had hoped that regulator Transport for London would find that the apps were ‘taximeters’ and therefore only permitted to be used by the black cabs. TFL believe that is not the case, as the technology is not connected to the vehicle and uses GPS tracking to calculate distance; this is not a taximeter as defined in law. TLF’s bid to have the UK High Court rule on this has hit a hurdle. The association representing the cab drivers has now filed an action under a process which allows individuals and groups to start a private prosecution in the criminal court. As the criminal court takes precedence over the civil court, there will be a significant delay in the taximeter ruling until the criminal court action has run its course.  
 

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