Morning Briefing: Hogan Lovells appoints its first Vietnam partner

Ex-A&O senior associate appointed as Hogan Lovells’ first Vietnam partner… Squire Patton Boggs hires Nabarro team… Real estate agent gives insight into the changing face of law firms… Rights groups protest at abuse of lawyers in Egypt… And singer Kesha sues her producer alleging abuse; he counter-sues…

Hogan Lovells hires its first Vietnam partner
The Ho Chi Minh City office of Hogan Lovells now has a partner with the hire of Jeff Olson. Olson was previously a senior associate at Allen & Overy in Vietnam. Firms are increasing their strength across what will become of ASEAN trading bloc next year.
Squire Patton Boggs hires Nabarro team
Squire Patton Boggs has appointed infrastructure projects expert Robin Baillie as partner in its global Projects Group and its Real Estate Practice. Baillie, who was previously partner at Nabarro, joins Squire’s London office, together with members of his former team, associates Stefanie Atchinson and Anna Le Jehan.
Insight into the changing face of law firms – from a real estate agent
Colin Scarlett is not a lawyer; he’s a real estate agent. However, his recent tour of law firms across the world has given him an insight into how things are changing on the shop floor. As a senior vice-president at commercial real estate firm Colliers International, Scarlett was keen to find out how the legal profession’s innovative thinkers were making use of office space. One of the common themes he found was the lack of separate offices even for senior partners. Hotdesks and open-plan designs are encouraging collaboration and increased productivity. Speaking to the Vancouver Sun Scarlett said that these modern environments meant that first-year associates and senior partners were working side by side and both were benefitting; the juniors drawing on years of experience from partners and senior members getting a fresh viewpoint. New layouts do not always mean less space as many of the largest firms also provide relaxation areas and cafes for staff and clients.
Rights groups protest at the treatment of lawyers in Egypt
In a joint statement released yesterday (Wednesday), 13 civil rights groups in Egypt condemned the treatment of lawyers in the country. Lawyers that are suffering the most abuse are those defending activists and others charged with political offences. The statement notes “a highly alarming pattern of escalating abuses against lawyers” and calls for action to be taken to protect lawyers and the right of defendants to be represented without hindrance.
Singer issues lawsuit against producer; who counter-sues
American singer Kesha has filed a lawsuit against her producer and is asking a court to rule that she can break her contract. The singer alleges that Dr Luke has abused her sexually, physically and mentally since she was 18 years old and that the abuse led to an eating disorder for which she was admitted to rehab. Her lawyer is Mark Geragos who has previously represented Michael Jackson. Producer Dr Luke’s lawyer Christine Lepera of Mitchell Silberberg & Knupp says that Kesha’s lawsuit is not based on the truth but purely an attempt to break the contract between the singer and her client’s record label, and is "nothing more than a continuation of her bad and offensive acts."

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