Partners in the office more, juniors less
Law firm partners are spending more time in the office while junior lawyers are spending less. A report by specialist recruitment firm Laurence Simons says that partners average 55.8 hours per week, up from 50.2 hours in 2013; juniors spend 46.8 hours in the office, down from 47.4 hours in 2013. The firm says that partners are working more hours as pressure increases from new entrants to the profession, such as the ‘accountancy’ firms EY and PwC. Meanwhile it says that fewer hours are needed by junior lawyers as the threat of redundancy has eased. The data was reported by the Law Society Gazette.
Heavyweight hire for Baker & McKenzie
Baker & McKenzie in Toronto has hired a former Canadian Attorney General as a partner. Peter MacKay, who has also held ministerial positions in justice, defence and foreign affairs, will join in 1st February to advise on government and regulatory matters. He will also support Canadian firms doing business globally and international clients operating in Canada. Prior to his governmental career he was a Crown prosecutor; he is a QC and member of the Privy Council.
Former judges appointed as Australian public interest advocates
Former Queensland court of appeal judge John Muir and former South Australian supreme court judge Kevin Duggan have been appointed as public interest advocates to represent journalists when government agencies want their phone and internet records. The Guardian reports that the pair were appointed by Malcolm Turnbull in October 2015 according to documents recently released. The advocacy positions were created as part of the new data retention laws introduced last year.
New alliance for NRF in Indonesia
Norton Rose Fulbright has changed its alliance partners in Indonesia. The firm will now work with TNB & Partners, ending a 5-year alliance with Susandarini & Partners. TNB was formed by three former Norton Rose Fulbright partners, Tasdikiah Siregar, Nadia Soraya and Benny Bernarto.
Philip Morris trial in US courts
Tobacco firm Philip Morris USA is facing a trial in the US federal court in Boston this week as smokers allege the company knew it had manufactured a defective product. The class action focuses on the Marlboro brand and claims that the tobacco firm could have made a safer product with fewer carcinogens.
The trial will be between experts on both sides with the jury being asked to decide if the cigarettes are more dangerous than they could be. The plaintiffs have a former Philip Morris employee who is expected to be called to testify that the company had safer variants of Marlboro available.
The plaintiffs want the company to pay for detailed cancer screening. Last month Philip Morris Australia lost a case against Australia in which is attempted to overturn plain-packaging legislation.