Morning Briefing: Global law firm promotes partner to regional head

Major law firm promotes Hong Kong partner to regional head… Freshfields to make global management changes… Insurance firm’s law business makes six-figure profit… Apple could face lawsuit over oppressive and burdensome terms …

Baker & McKenzie promotes Hong Kong partner to regional head
Milton Cheng has been promoted to the position of managing partner for Baker & McKenzie’s offices in Hong Kong, China, Korea and Vietnam; replacing Paul Tan. Cheng has been head of a number of the firm’s teams and has been with the firm since training in the London office in the early 90s. He was made a partner 10 years ago. Meanwhile, in Singapore, the firm has expanded its dispute resolution practice group with the appointment of Nandakumar (“Kumar”) Ponniya as principal.
Freshfields to make global management changes
Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer is to make some changes to its global management team. Rick van Aerssen becomes the new head of corporate on 1st November, replacing Edward Braham; David Scott will lead the disputes resolution team from 1st January, replacing Chris Pugh; and Caroline Stroud takes over as head of employment, pensions and benefits from Nick Squire from 1st November. All of the appointments will be for four years.
Insurance firm’s law business makes six-figure profit
UK insurance firm Admiral has revealed a successful start for its claims-handling law business. Admiral set up a legal arm to handle claims after new rules banned insurers from receiving referral fees from third-party law firms. Its accounts show that in its first year of trading Admiral Law, a joint venture with Lyons Davidson, made almost £3 million (AU$5.5 million) in profit. The insurance firms’ customer details are not sold to Admiral Law.
Apple could face lawsuit over oppressive and burdensome terms 
A US firm filed for bankruptcy last week and claims that its business relationship with Apple could result in lawsuits. GT Advanced Technologies has a contract with the iPhone giant to make sapphire toughened screens for its phones, but says the terms and obligations imposed by the contract have been costing them US$1 million a day while the phones are not using the glass after all. GT are seeking to be released from the contract, which includes a confidentiality clause meaning that even the bankruptcy is being handled in secrecy.

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