UK unions set up law firm and one band's Stairway To... the courtroom?

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UK unions form their own law firm... Patton Boggs merger on hold... Canadian court dismisses age discrimination claim by partner forced to retire... and why one famous guitar riff is causing a major rift...

UK Union Sets Up Its Own Law Firm
Two of the UK’s largest unions have joined forces to create their own law firm which they promise will rival high street firms. Although many unions offer legal advice and even representation to members, that is usually through third parties and this move is believed to be the first of its kind. The GMB and CWU unions have a combined membership of almost 1 million and they will use the new law firm as a marketing tool for recruiting and retaining members. Read the full story.

Patton Boggs Merger On Hold
The merger that would have seen one of the world’s largest law firms being created has been suspended. The plan to join Patton Boggs with Squire Sanders has been stalled after legal papers were filed on Wednesday night by plaintiffs in the case that Patton Boggs had been involved in with oil giants Chevron. The filing claims that Patton Boggs acted unethically by pulling out of the case and agreeing a settlement of $15 million. Read the full story.
 
Partner Forced to Retire By Canadian Court
A legal action brought by a partner of a Vancouver law firm who claimed the firm’s mandatory retirement age amounted to discrimination, has lost his appeal in the Supreme Court. Although John McCormick’s case saw him win in the Human Rights Tribunal, the Supreme Court has ruled that as an equity partner, he does not have the same rights as an employee and therefore the tribunal did not have jurisdiction in the case. Read the full story.
 
Financial Crisis Meant Hefty Legal Bill for German Bank
Germany’s Deutsche Bank spent around 350 million euros in 2013 fighting legal claims as a result of the financial crisis. The bank has around 6,000 cases still outstanding, with 1,000 of these said to be major. The bank now faces corporate governance questions as the legal bill for 2014 is set to be another large one. Read the full story.
 
Is Stairway to Heaven All Bull?
You don’t have to be a music expert to be aware of the eight minutes of wonder that is Stairway To Heaven. You may not be able to name any other song by British rockers Led Zeppelin but it’s hard to deny the song’s place at the top of the ‘Greatest Rock Songs’ polls. Figures from 2008 show that, some 37 years after its release, the song had brought in revenue of over half a billion US dollars. The issue is, that a few years before, Led Zepp played a gig with a band called Spirit, whose instrumental track Taurus, written by guitarist Randy California, could have a pretty familiar opening riff. Almost fifty years on and the trust that administers the late California’s estate are seeking credit and presumably royalties. You be the judge – are these songs the same? Taurus – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jJUdnTKlP1E (One of the contentious parts of the track is at around 1.40s+. Stairway to Heaven https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BcL---4xQYA
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Want New Business From Online? Work on Your Social Skills
Blogger Kevin O’Keefe is suggesting that, as people are increasingly by passing website homepages, social media is something that law firms need to be more active on. Big traffic news sites like the New York Times are losing millions of page views as people increasing jump straight to stories that they’ve seen on social networks, so maybe there’s business to be found online not from clever SEO tactics, but just from putting the legal eagles out there on Facebook and Twitter?  Read the full story.
 

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