International Legal News Roundup: Patton Boggs merger on hold

by NZ Lawyer23 May 2014
Patton Boggs merger on hold

The merger that would have seen one of the world’s largest law firms being created has been suspended. The plan to join Patton Boggs with Squire Sanders has been stalled after legal papers were filed on Wednesday night by plaintiffs in the case that Patton Boggs had been involved in with oil giants Chevron. The filing claims that Patton Boggs acted unethically by pulling out of the case and agreeing a settlement of $15 million.
UK union sets up its own law firm

Two of the UK’s largest unions have joined forces to create their own law firm which they promise will rival high street firms. Although many unions offer legal advice and even representation to members, it is usually through third parties and this move is believed to be the first of its kind. The GMB and CWU unions have a combined membership of almost one million and they will use the new law firm as a marketing tool for recruiting and retaining members.
Partner forced to retire by Canadian court

A legal action brought by a partner of a Vancouver law firm who claimed the firm’s mandatory retirement age amounted to discrimination, has lost his appeal in the Supreme Court. Although John McCormick’s case saw him win in the Human Rights Tribunal, the Supreme Court has ruled that as an equity partner, he does not have the same rights as an employee and therefore the Tribunal did not have jurisdiction in the case.
Financial crisis meant hefty legal bill for German bank

Germany’s Deutsche Bank spent around 350 million euros in 2013 fighting legal claims as a result of the financial crisis. The bank has around 6000 cases still outstanding, with 1000 of these said to be major. The bank now faces corporate governance questions as the legal bill for 2014 is set to be another large one.
Is Stairway to Heaven all bull?

You don’t have to be a music expert to be aware of the eight minutes of wonder that is Stairway To Heaven. You may not be able to name any other song by British rockers Led Zeppelin but it’s hard to deny the song’s place at the top of the ‘Greatest Rock Songs’ polls. Figures from 2008 show that, some 37 years after its release, the song had brought in revenue of over half a billion US dollars. The issue is that, a few years before, Led Zepp played a gig with a band called Spirit, whose instrumental track Taurus, written by guitarist Randy California, could have a pretty familiar opening riff. Almost fifty years on and the trust that administers the late California’s estate are seeking credit and presumably royalties. You be the judge – are these songs the same? (One of the contentious parts of the track is at around 1.40s+. Stairway to Heaven