Freshfields boosts Singapore practice, NBA battles legal woes

Freshfields is transferring a global practice head in order to boost its Singapore practice, the NBA is preparing for a tumultuous legal battle over racist comments and a 200 year-old UK firm has announced its impending merger

[Hong Kong] Freshfields grows Singapore practice with transfer of global head

Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer is relocating its global head of arbitration, Lucy Reed, from Hong Kong to Singapore in an effort to grow its disputes offering in the city-state.

Reed moved to Hong Kong from New York two years ago to help invigorate the firm's Asia-wide litigation practice, alongside global investigations co-head Geoff Nicholas, who transferred from London for a temporary period.

Her move to Singapore comes as the magic circle firm looks to expand its South East Asia base, which re-opened in September 2012 more than five years after closing.
[USA] NBA investigation could lead to more legal woes 

The media furore surrounding L.A. Clippers owner Donald Sterling's alleged racist comments has been swift and heavy, but the legal fallout is just taking shape.

A US gossip website posted audio online late last week purportedly capturing Sterling telling a girlfriend that he didn't want her posting pictures of herself with African-Americans on social media or bringing black people to Clippers games.

The NBA's constitution and bylaws lay out a speedy resolution for termination of ownership, but that does not take into account the possibility that Sterling drags the league into a long court battle over NBA commissioner Adam Silver's decision to attempt to force him to sell the Los Angeles Clippers.

At least one person who has battled Sterling in court, lawyer Carl E. Douglas, thinks that's exactly what will happen and the NBA is preparing accordingly.

"Donald Sterling is a surly, defiant, tyrannical rich guy who is a bully and used to having his way," Douglas said.
[USA] Kirkland Advises Bristol-Myers Squibb on iPierian Buy

Kirkland & Ellis is the latest US firm to reap the benefits of the recent boom in health care–related M&A. The firm is advising Bristol-Myers Squibb on its agreement to buy biotechnology company iPierian for up to US$725 million.

The deal comes on the heels of a string of major transactions in the health care and pharmaceutical industries, led by Valeant Pharmaceuticals' US$45.7 billion hostile bid for Botox maker Allergan and Pfizer's announcement that it is seeking a US$98.7 billion purchase of U.K. rival AstraZeneca. Swiss pharmaceutical giant Novartis also announced a series of restructuring deals with GlaxoSmithKline and Eli Lilly last week while Forest Laboratories said Monday it will pay up to $1.46 billion to buy Furiex Pharmaceuticals.
[UK] 200 year-old Liverpool law practice set to enter into £100m merger

A law firm with roots in Liverpool dating back more than 200 years is about to enter into a merger that will create a national practice with a £100m (roughly NZ$196m) turnover.

On May 1, Berrymans Lace Mawer and Scottish firm HBM Sayers, will combine to create BLM, forming the UK and Ireland’s leading risk and insurance law business.

BLM will have 170 partners and 630 lawyers and technical experts and a total of 1,550 employees.

The Liverpool operation dates back to the late 1700s when Joshua Lace, the son of prominent city slave trader, Ambrose Lace, opened his own law practice.
*Bonus story: [UK] Law firm spills the beans on George Clooney engagement

London law firm Doughty Street Chambers have confirmed the worst-kept secret in Hollywood this week by sending congratulations to one of its lawyers and actor George Clooney on their engagement.

Media speculation that Clooney had gone back on his vow never to remarry grew at the weekend after his girlfriend, human rights lawyer Amal Alamuddin, was spotted wearing a large ring on her wedding finger at a Los Angeles restaurant.

The couple have said nothing and Clooney's representative declined to comment on the actor's personal life, but on Monday Alamuddin's law firm released a statement.

"The barristers and staff of Doughty Street Chambers offer their best wishes and congratulations to Ms Amal Alamuddin, a member of Chambers, and Mr George Clooney on their engagement to be married," the firm said.

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