KWM announces new Hong Kong chiefs
King & Wood Mallesons has announced two new co-chief executives for its Hong Kong office. Zhang Yi and Hayden Flinn will take on their new roles from January 1, 2015 replacing Stuart Fuller. Fuller has been heading up the Hong Kong office since 2012 alongside his role as global managing partner; however he now wants to focus his time on the global business. He will continue to be based in the Hong Kong office. With the new appointments the existing Hong Kong management team will also step down, but the duo will continue to be supported by Fuller, the three practice leaders and Hong Kong COO Yvonne Murayama.
Simmons & Simmons recognised as LGBT ‘star performer’
Simmons & Simmons has been awarded Star Performer status by Stonewall as it launched its new programme to bring together top-performing organisations who have consistently demonstrated exemplary practice to support lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) staff, leading the development of best practice in Britain and around the world. The promotion to this new level as a Star Performer recognises the contribution and work of the firm as the highest ranked law firm on the Stonewall Workplace Equality Index for the past six years (and the only law firm to reach the Top 10 in the past three years).
Indian firms spread ‘happiness’ with billing revolution
Indian law firms are increasingly moving away from traditional hourly billing for transactional work in favour of fixed prices but there are pros and cons to the change. Among the models being operated is a fixed price supplemented by a variable fee that would reflect additional scope in the deal. Bombay firm Nishith Desai Associates call this ‘happiness’ billing; if the client isn’t happy with the work, they don’t have to pay the extra charge. While some clients welcome fixed prices some are sceptical about the use of surcharges, for example when deals take longer than expected. With fixed pricing typically including a deadline for a deal to be completed some corporate counsel dislike the idea of paying a law firm an often large additional fee for what amounts to waiting.
Formula 1 is not breaching contract with vacant grid spots
Legal experts have been giving their views on claims that Formula 1 races must have at least sixteen cars on the starting grid to be legal. With the potential for a decreasing number of teams in the sport, there is a possibility that this could become an issue but Charles Braithwaite of UK law firm Collyer Bristow has told Forbes.com that the F1 promoter’s contract states that it will use “reasonable endeavours” to procure 16 cars for the races and that in English law there is no legal definition for the term. Therefore, he concludes, as long as F1 chief Bernie Ecclestone and his team have tried to get 16 cars in the Grand Prix then they have satisfied their legal obligation.