Morning Briefing: Sydney lawyer to stand trial over abuse allegations

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Sydney lawyer to stand trial over abuse allegations
The Sydney Morning Herald reports that immigration lawyer David Bitel has been committed to stand trial over alleged rape and indecent assault of six men who he was representing in asylum cases. The committal hearing has been running over a six-month period and Bitel was committed to the District Court on 18 charges on Monday. The alleged assaults took place between 1995 and 2008. The lawyer denies the charges and his barrister Murugan Thangaraj, SC says that the men have colluded against their former lawyer. A trial date is expected to be set at the District Court on May 1.
International firm expands with Chilean agreement
Kennedys has announced a formal association in Chile with insurance law boutique Sateler Depolo Diemoz Abogados. The two firms have worked together for many years but the agreement strengthens Kennedys’ presence in the Latin America market where it already has some similar associations.
Long-time Freshfields names battle for senior partner role
Two established partners at Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer are tipped to be the favourites in a battle for the senior partner role as Will Lawes prepares to end his tenure. Former disputes head Chris Pugh and Edward Braham who previously led the corporate team and are expected to face at least two other nominees; however the duo are seen as the frontrunners. Both ended their practice management roles at the end of last year and are said to have very different styles to each other. The vote will be concluded by the end of the September.
International firms reveal high retention rates
International law firms in London have announced high retention rates for their March qualifiers. Linklaters and Clifford Chance have both retained 91 per cent; Freshfields 85 per cent; Norton Rose Fulbright 81 per cent; while White and Case have retained 100 per cent.
Amazon lawsuit takes on fake reviewers
Online retail giant has filed a lawsuit taking on those who post fake reviews of products. A number of websites are alleged to offer businesses a service whereby high-rating reviews of their products are posted on Amazon in a bid to increase sales. Amazon’s lawsuit states that this practice is deceptive, infringes trademarks and breaches competition laws.