Aussie partner beats rivals to HSF management seat; Allen & Overy to boost Belfast hub

Sydney-based partner secures HSF management seat… Allen & Overy set to add 100 roles to its hub in Northern Ireland… Law firm announces in-house chambers… Lawyer launches space detective agency…

Aussie partner beats rivals to HSF management seat
Management elections at Herbert Smith Freehills have resulted in one of legacy Herbert Smith’s most prominent and longest-serving lawyers losing out to a legacy Freehills partner. James Palmer, who has been with the UK part of the merged firm for 28 years and is regarded as its top M&A partner, missed out on a seat as Sydney-based Mark Crean won the majority partner vote. Crean is already on the partnership council as deputy senior partner.
 
Allen & Overy set to add 100 staff to Belfast hub
Northern Ireland will be increasingly important to the global operations of Allen & Overy in the coming years. The firm has announced plans to add 100 roles in the Belfast office over the next five years. The roles will include more fee earners, more staff for A&O’s contract lawyer arm Peerpoint and additional members of its Legal Services Centre. The Belfast hub opened three years ago and has seen large increases in revenue in the last year. Baker & McKenzie and Herbert Smith Freehills also have services and support facilities in the country.
 
Law firm launches in-house chambers
Cartwright King has launched what it believes is the UK’s first barristers chambers within a law firm. Although the team, which includes a clerk, head of chambers and around 20 barristers, will be employees of the firm rather than independent barristers, they will not work exclusively for Cartwright King. The firm says that this new model will allow barristers to be involved in cases at an earlier stage than usual and will ultimately benefit clients. While it may be the first law firm to add chambers, there are already chambers which operate an alternative business structure to offer additional services.
 
Lawyer launches space detective agency
Eminent research lawyer Ray Purdy has teamed up with a satellite imaging specialist to launch the world’s first space detective agency. Far from being a fictional organisation from a sci-fi comic, Air & Space Evidence has been created with the aim of utilising satellite technology to help settle legal issues from neighbour boundary disputes to insurance fraud. The team say the key to providing evidence in this way that will stand up in court is integrity of archiving and logging systems. Along with satellite images the pair is planning to use drones for some of the evidence gathering work. Joanne Wheeler, space partner with Bird & Bird says in New Scientist magazine that there is a need for space detectives to enable lawyers to get exactly the right images. 

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