Slater and Gordon lawyer reacts to Manus Island settlement… Baker McKenzie appoints new global banking head… Hogan Lovells expands in US through merger…
The $70 million conditional settlement reached this week for detainees of Manus Island has highlighted the importance of access to justice.
In a statement following what is said to be the largest human rights class action settlement in Australian history, the principal lawyer of Slater and Gordon, which led the action, said the people detained there would no longer suffer in silence.
“Most were fleeing religious persecution and violence and came to Australia seeking protection, only to be denied their basic human rights,” Andrew Baker said.
“The security issues at the Centre are well documented and culminated in the tragic, foreseeable and foreseen February 2014 attack on the Centre, where one detainee was killed and dozens of others were injured,” he added.
The defendants to the proceeding were the Commonwealth of Australia and its contracted service providers G4S and Broadspectrum (formerly known as Transfield). Security provider Wilson Security was separately joined to the proceedings by G4S and Broadspectrum.
Mr Baker explained that this was the largest class action the law firm had ever run with more than 50 court appearances, more than 200 witness statements and over 200,000 documents analyzed.
“This was a long battle for social justice, but we hope that [the] result, and the three years of work preceding it, helps to ensure the voices of the Manus Island detainees have finally been heard,” Baker concluded.
Baker McKenzie appoints new global banking head
Paris-based lawyer Michael Foundethakis will become global head of banking & finance at Baker McKenzie from the start of July, succeeding Bernard Sharp.
The practice has more than 900 lawyers worldwide and Foundethakis has been with the firm since 1999, making partner in 2003. As well as Paris, he has also worked in the firm’s London and German offices.
Alongside his new role, he will continue as global head of trade & export finance.
Hogan Lovells expands in US through merger
Global law firm Hogan Lovells is adding to its presence in the US by merging with Boston firm Collaro.
Collaro is a litigation/investigations firm focused on life sciences and healthcare but also financial services and technology. All of its lawyers will join Hogan Lovells when the merger completes, which is expected to be in September 2017.