Morning Briefing: Chinese boutique launches international network

A Chinese law firm has teamed up with more than twenty firms around the world to form a new network… Value, expertise keys to a good law firm says Ford GC… Lawyer stabbed to death, widow taken into custody…

Chinese boutique launches international network
The Chinese boutique law firm Ke Jie has teamed up with more than twenty like-minded firms around the world to form a new network. Cathay Associates is a full service legal platform which aims to offer “more flexibility than the multinational global networks.” Each of the members is an independent entity and the network is expected to be represented in every continent by the end of 2016. Currently it will operate in Bangkok, Barcelona. Beijing, Belgrade, Bratislava, Bucharest, Budapest, Kuala Lumpur, Madrid, Paris, Prague, Sofia, Tirana, Warsaw, Vienna, Valetta and Zagreb.
Value, expertise keys to a good law firm says Ford GC
The general counsel of Ford says that he looks for value for money and expertise when appointing law firms to the motor giant’s legal panel. David Leitch told that ultimately his team looks at particular problems that the firm is facing and appoints the right legal teams for the job. In practice that will mean if Ford has a problem that occurs in multiple jurisdictions it is likely to choose a global firm or at least one that has expertise in multiple jurisdictions; however a regionalised issue is likely to mean that a local firm would have the expertise that the company needs.
Leitch says that he doesn’t like to label firms in terms such as ‘global’ or ‘boutique’, he is all about the right solution to the problem. He says that building a long term relationship is important for Ford. Asked about the subject of billable hours, Leitch said that the company has used solutions that use alternative billing but was cautious about some of those models. He suggested that the risk of alternatives is that it can prove less obvious what the charges are for whereas with billable hours: “you can see pretty clearly what you’re paying for a person, as opposed to some big blob of charges.”
Lawyer stabbed to death, widow taken into custody
A British criminal defence lawyer was stabbed to death at his Lancashire home just days after returning from honeymoon in Las Vegas. David Mark Edwards, who was 51, had run his own firm before it was taken over and he was made redundant earlier this year. His widow, Sharon, is believed to be in custody according to The Daily Telegraph. Police said that they believe the incident is domestic related. Neighbours told the paper that the couple had been heard arguing a lot, although they were only married in June and had renewed their vows in a Vegas chapel. 

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