Morning Briefing: New 1,000 lawyer firm created as another merger is announced

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New 1,000 lawyer firm created as another merger is announced
A new law firm will be created in the New Year as Locke Lord and Edwards Wildman Palmer merge to form a 1,000 layer firm with 23 offices. Partners from both firms agreed the merger, which will take effect on 10th January 2015, and the combined firm will have revenues of US $675 million making it a top 50 US firm. Both firms have operations in Hong Kong with Locke Lord operating in partnership with Cheung & Lee. It isn’t clear if there will be any direct changes for those offices as a result of the merger.
Eversheds strengthens Hong Kong team
Two new partners have joined Eversheds in Hong Kong. Stephen Hopkins, Head of Global Client Development and Adam Ferguson, Partner in the competition team will bring a wealth of experience to the office at a time when Hong Kong is becoming increasingly important to the international business community.
Reed Smith adds to its private equity real estate practice
Reed Smith has announced the appointment of partners Robert Porter formerly a lead partner in Allen & Overy’s direct and indirect real estate practices and Luke Mines from Linklaters’ corporate real estate group to its private equity real estate practice in London. It follows the hire of real estate finance partners Matthew Heaton and Francisca Sepúlveda in the summer.
Apple in court case which could cost it $1 billion
Allegations that Apple abused its monopoly position could cost the firm US$1 billion if it loses a court case which is scheduled to start today. The action is being taken by a group of individuals and businesses who say Apple restricted the playing of music bought on iTunes to its iPod device from 2006 to 2009, locking out competing devices. The action refers to a particular software update which Apple claims included genuine improvements to the product and should therefore not be found to be anticompetitive. Damages sought by the plaintiffs are $350 million but under antitrust legislation it would be tripled automatically if Apple loses. The deceased former Apple CEO Steve Jobs will play an important part in the proceedings having recorded a testimony 6 months before his death and emails between Jobs and other executives will also be used in evidence.