International law giant sued by food firm
Baker & McKenzie is being sued in the High Court in London by a German food flavourings firm that hired the firm to advise it on a tax saving deal in Mexico. Symrise and its Mexican subsidiary ended up with an £11.2 million tax liability from Mexican tax officials after the intercompany loan agreement attracted their attention. Symrise claims that Baker & McKenzie gave them poor advice and are suing the law firm for the tax paid and £500,000 in expenses. Baker & McKenzie denies that it is liable and claim that Symrise’s dealings with Mexican tax officials led to the payment. It says it has the full backing of its insurers in the matter.
Eversheds expands consulting business
Eversheds has added a financial regulatory compliance team to its consulting arm Eversheds Consulting. The team includes senior hires from KPMG and EY along with a group from Resources Global Professionals. The development will allow financial services clients to access legal and consulting services under one roof with the ability to provide legal professional privilege where that is appropriate.
Canadian lawyers win protection for legal privilege
A new ruling from the Canadian Supreme Court has protected legal privilege between lawyers and those in the financial sector. A law requiring anyone involved in financial entities to report irregularities and surrender client data was disputed by the legal profession and the court ruled unanimously in lawyers’ favour. The court decided that the move would be unconstitutional.
Former HSBC chairman pulls out of Global Law summit
A law summit backed by the UK government as part of the 800th
anniversary of the Magna Carta is taking place in London next week. However, one of its intended speakers, former HSBC chairman Stephen Green has pulled out due to the recent allegations of the bank’s involvement in tax avoidance. The summit has already been controversial with some lawyers accusing the event of distorting the legacy of the Magna Carta with legal aid budgets having been cut.