Morning Briefing: Three nominated for managing partner role

International law firm trio in first managing partner contest in 15 years... Osborne Clarke appoints new managing partner... Qatari lawyers claim abuse of foreign firms’ licence to practice... and UK lawyers warned that they could be liable for identity theft...

Pinsent Masons trio in first managing partner contest in 15 years
Three partners have been nominated for the role of managing partner at Pinsent Masons. It’s the first contest for the role since David Ryan was elected in 1999. The trio hoping to replace him when he steps down in April 2015 are; Richard Masters who was managing partner at legacy McGrigors and is now head of client operations; Adrian Barlow who is head of property; and John Cleland who heads banking and finance. A formal election process with a partner vote is expected in late December.
Osborne Clarke appoints new managing partner
Ray Berg will start 2015 with a new role at Osborne Clarke having been elected as managing partner. He will replace Simon Beswick who has been in the role for almost 12 years and will continue as global CEO through until the middle of next year.
Qatari lawyers claim abuse of foreign firms’ licence to practice
The members of the Qatari Lawyers Association have voted to oppose a new law in the country which would include a renewal of the current licensing arrangement for foreign law firms. The unanimous vote was due to lawyers claiming that foreign firms are abusing the rules and harming local lawyers. Currently, firms including Allen & Overy and Clyde & Co are allowed to represent clients in the Qatari Financial Center and also undertake ‘exceptional’ legal work outside the QFC. Lawyers say that some firms (not necessarily the two mentioned here) are doing more than they are allowed to and they want them to be curbed.
UK lawyers warned that they could be liable for identity theft
The UK’s Solicitors Regulation Authority has warned law firms that they must ensure that they have robust and effective systems to prevent fraudsters using their identities or they could be liable. The level of fraud using identities of genuine law firms and lawyers is on the rise and the SRA dealt with 548 cases last year and is expecting this year’s total to be higher. Firms are being advised to bolster their checks which should include monitoring the internet for mentions of the firm and investigating any unusual enquiries about transactions.

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