Freshfields to review retail giant's profits; Chinese firm could be seeking international partner

Freshfields brought in to investigate Tesco profits irregularity… one of China’s biggest law firms could be seeking international partner… more join Akin Gump from Binghams… and Indian lawyers reap the rewards of regulatory change…

Freshfields brought in to investigate profits irregularity at Tesco
The world’s second largest retailer has appointed Freshfields along with accouncy firm Deloitte to investigate a major error in its accounting. Tesco has announced that its first-half profits for this year were overstated by £250 million (AU$ 461.2 million) and a number of the firm’s executives have been suspended while the investigation is carried out. The retailer’s share price has been heavily damaged by the revelation as its profits were lower than predicted even without losing the extra £250m. Freshfields has been one of Tesco’s preferred counsels for a number of years.
Chinese firm could partner with international partner
One of China’s biggest law firms has signalled a change in thinking on the subject of international partnerships. Commerce & Finance has avoided seeking a formal partner and worked with a range of international firms instead but it now says that it would be open to forming a partnership with a foreign firm as some of its competitors have done.
Akin Gump takes another four from Bingham
Following its hiring of 22 partners from the London, Frankfurt and Hong Kong offices of Bingham McCutchen’s, Akin Gump has hired a further four from the London office. The latest move means that there are only two remaining Bingham’s partners in London and they are understood to have plans to move to other firms. Meanwhile, talks continue between Binghams and Morgan, Lewis & Bockius over a possible merger; reports suggest the deal has been provisionally agreed.
Indian firms spend more on law
As international law firms hold out hope of a regulatory change that would allow them to open in India, a report highlights why it’s so desirable. While Indian companies average expenditure for 2013/14 increased by 12.4 per cent, according to an analysis of Indian stock exchange figures, spending on legal services rose by 22.15 per cent. White collar crime and a rapid rise in regulatory changes are among the drivers of the increases. 

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