Global law firm backs Australian marriage equality

by Steve Randall23 Aug 2017
Global law firm backs Australian marriage equality
As Australia prepares to vote on same-sex marriage a major global law firm has given its support to equality.

Baker McKenzie is a signatory to the Australian Marriage Equality open letter sent to Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull advocating against the plebiscite on anti-discrimination and human rights grounds.

The firm’s Australia managing partner Anthony Foley said that diversity is the cornerstone of the firm's culture and he believes that marriage equality isn't only “good for business but the right thing to do.”

He added that during the next few weeks of intensive public debates “It is crucial that everyone in our firm feels supported and valued, and that all discussions and behaviours in this debate are respectful calm and constructive.”

Corrs attracts high-profile team from Henry Davis York
A team of five partners with market leading reputations has joined Corrs Chambers Westgarth in Sydney.

Patrick O'Grady, Cameron Cheetham, Craig Ensor, Ben Emblin and Michael Catchpoole join the Restructuring & Insolvency practice from Henry Davis York.

The new partners have experience acting for leading insolvency practitioners, government, litigation funders, commercial banks, and non-bank alternative capital providers.

Largest damages to date awarded in talc-cancer lawsuits
Beauty products manufacturer Johnson and Johnson has lost a lawsuit alleging that it did not warn consumers about the cancer risks of talc based products.

The Los Angeles Superior Court jury found in favour of California resident Eva Echeverria and the firm was ordered to pay $417 million; including $70 million in compensation and $347 million in punitive damages.

The case in which the 63-year-old Echeverria claimed she developed terminal ovarian cancer after decades of using the firm's products is the first to go to trial in California.

Her lawyers argued that the firm had encouraged women to use its products even though they knew of studies warning of the use of talc for feminine hygiene.

Lawyers for J&J said that studies and federal agencies had not concluded that talc products are carcinogenic. The firm intends to appeal the verdict.

The size of the damages is significant given the previous rulings against J&J for similar lawsuits in the US, with $110 million the largest award.

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