Lawyer among MH17 victims; Redundancies planned at major firm

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Lawyer among MH17 victims
A lawyer from Dutch firm Nauta Dutilh was among those who died when Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 crashed last week. John Allen was travelling with his wife and their two children for a holiday in Indonesia. Mr Allen had been with the firm for 18 years and a partner since 2007. A tribute on the firm’s website says he was “a kind, down-to-earth and humorous man and many of us have also lost a friend. He will be dearly missed".
 
Hill Dickinson announces redundancies
Global law firm Hill Dickinson, which has offices in Hong Kong and Singapore, has informed 39 of its staff that their roles are at risk of redundancy. All of the positions at risk are in the counter fraud group and stem from a need to restructure the team. It’s hoped that most of the losses will come from voluntary redundancies.
 
Slater & Gordon commences class action for Newcrest shareholders’
Slater & Gordon has commenced a class action against Newcrest Mining Limited on behalf of current and former shareholders. The claim relates to Newcrest’s ASX release of 7 June, 2013, in which the company announced an FY14 gold production downgrade, significant asset write-downs, and confirmed that no final dividend would be declared. Following an ASIC investigation, Newcrest recently admitted that it breached its disclosure obligations in the period from 28 May, 2013, to 6 June, 2013. However, the class action alleges that Newcrest’s wrongdoing occurred at a much earlier point in time. Senior class action lawyer Ben Phi said: “Our clients allege that Newcrest had no reasonable grounds for the gold production guidance it released on 13 August 2012,” Phi said. “While our clients welcome Newcrest’s admissions, we allege that these contraventions form part of a wider course of misconduct.” 

Lawyer struck off by NZ tribunal
The New Zealand Lawyers and Conveyancers Disciplinary Tribunal has ordered that Christopher Giddens be struck from the Roll of Barristers and Solicitors. Giddens, who now lives in Australia, failed to attend a hearing of the disciplinary charge that he had admitted. The tribunal found that the deliberate or wilfully blind flouting of an undertaking and payment of funds held, for personal gain, to be a very serious from of misconduct. His misconduct arose from the breach of an undertaking given on his behalf that he would hold $50,000 in his trust account for a particular purpose. Giddens held the money from the proceeds of a property by an estate that he acted for and in respect of which he was one of the trustees. He undertook to apply the money to rectify an access problem over an adjacent property. Instead the $50,000 was disbursed to meet his fees in a clear breach of the undertaking. In addition to striking him off the roll, the tribunal ordered him to pay the Law Society costs of $9,685 and reimburse the costs of the hearing.
 
 

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