Morning Briefing: Facebook sues global law firm

Social networking giant Facebook sues law firm over fraudulent ownership case… Slater & Gordon predicts increased revenue… Simmons & Simmons expands Saudi alliance… Orrick becomes first international firm in Ivory Coast… Online reviews mean more business for lawyers…

DLA Piper sued by Facebook
DLA Piper is among a group of law firms that have been hit with a law suit from Facebook, claiming that they represented a claimant who was fraudulently trying to gain 50 per cent of the company. Internet entrepreneur Paul Ceglia attempted to get a slice of the multi-billion dollar social networking company four years ago but a court ultimately dismissed the case as fraudulent. Facebook claims in its action filed in the US Supreme Court that the law firms representing Ceglia should or did know that his claims were fraudulent. DLA Piper and the others named in the papers deny the claims and will defend them rigorously.
Slater & Gordon predicts increased revenue
Australian headquartered firm Slater & Gordon is expecting to post revenues of $500 million for 2014/15. The firm is pushing ahead with further international expansion, especially in the UK where revenues of $70m are expected in the current year. Further acquisitions are highly likely. 
Orrick becomes first international firm in Ivory Coast
Orrick has become the first international firm to open an office in Africa’s Ivory Coast. The current Ebola outbreak aside, West Africa is of growing interest to businesses and Orrick aims to represent clients who are investing in the region. The new affiliated office is operating as Orrick RCI.
Simmons & Simmons expands Saudi alliance
Simmons & Simmons has expanded its alliance with Hammad & Al-Mehdar in Saudi Arabia with the opening of a new office in Riyadh. As the Kingdom’s capital and main financial and administrative centre it is a key location for the firms who have worked in alliance since 2011.
Online reviews mean more business for lawyers
The growth of websites enabling consumers to add their reviews of products and services is providing additional work for law firms. Companies are increasingly pursuing those who post defamatory comments about them online, which have been shown to have strong influence over other consumers. Critics of those who tackle reviewers claim that it could amount to restricting free speech as companies will typically be in a financial position to threaten legal action while the reviewers may not have the means to defend their case.

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