Morning Briefing: Top firms named in Financial Times report

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Top firms named in Financial Times report
The latest Financial Times Innovative Lawyers report has ranked the top firms in North America and Canada and the overall winner is Kirkland & Ellis. Among the other top 10 firms are Skadden, Latham & Watkins and Orrick. The report is compiled following a process whereby law firms submit what they believe to be their most innovative work which is then assessed by RSG Consulting to produce the rankings. Although Kirkland was the overall winner and came top for ‘legal expertise’, it was beaten by Seyfarth Shaw and Weil, Gotshal & Manges in the ‘business of law’ section, and scored zero for ‘social responsibility’ in which Skadden ranked highest. King & Wood Mallesons was one of the top firms in the FT’s Asia-Pacific report when it was published in June.
Linklaters restructures with eye on energy and pharma 
Linklaters has restructured some of its teams to make a more coherent offer as it looks to become a bigger name in the US and to target the energy and pharmaceutical sectors. Some of the TMT and tax team will move to the corporate group as the commercial practice is rebranded as dispute resolution.
Lawyer says Australian tax laws are an invasion of privacy
From July 2015 the income and tax information of Australia’s wealthiest individuals will be published online as 1600 business owners are forced to publicly reveal details of their business income and tax paid. Critics say that it is unfair to target Australian-headquartered firms when global giants such as Google and Apple will not be required to be as transparent. Speaking to The Australian lawyer Mark Leibler of Arnold Block Leibler said that many of his clients are European immigrants who have built up their fortunes in Australia but who don’t avoid tax or “live it up big”. He said the tax laws should not include private companies and that publishing details of their wealth is an invasion of their privacy and could put them at risk of kidnap.
Apple lawsuit on shaky ground
The lawsuit against Apple, which could cost the firm up to US$1billion is looking a little unstable following the first days of the trial. The class action which alleges that Apple introduced anticompetitive updates to iPod software between 2006 and 2009 is potentially now lacking an eligible plaintiff. It emerged on Friday that one of the named plaintiffs had not bought an iPod during the specified timescale and another hadn’t bought one at all; it was bought by her ex-husband’s law firm. Apple has asked for the case to be dismissed.