Morning Briefing: Lawyers launch petition against arrest of human rights colleagues

by Steve Randall22 Jul 2015
Hong Kong lawyers launch petition against arrest of human rights colleagues
Lawyers in Hong Kong have launched an online petition calling for China to uphold the constitutional rights and give fair judicial process to more than 100 lawyers and activists believed to be held by the state. The petition says that the lawyers “are deeply concerned with the massive nation-wide arrest, detention and disappearance of human rights lawyers in Mainland China”.

Along with individuals it’s reported that a number of law firms in China have been forcibly entered and computers and files removed. The petition says: “We understand allegations of unlawful conduct may be made against some of the above lawyers.  The factual and legal validity of such charges will, if they are disputed, have to be tried in a fair and open judicial process. Only when lawyers’ professional duty and rights are respected can the rule of law as understood in the civilized world take root in Mainland China.”
International law firm opens global service centre
Baker & McKenzie has opened its new global service centre. The firm announced that it was opening a new facility to provide back office services 24 hours a day in August last year and the Northern Ireland facility adds to its Manilla service centre which opened in 2000. The state of the art offices in Belfast house around 100 people, around half of them are legal professionals. Business services roles include finance, e-billing, marketing, communications, business development, talent management, IT, procurement, publishing and business acceptance. The firm has plans to create at least a further 150 jobs in Belfast within the next two years.
New corporate managing partner for BLP
Berwin Leighton Paisner has appointed Jonathan Morris as its corporate departmental managing partner. Morris has spent a quarter of a century at the firm including 11 years at legacy firm Paisner & Co. before the merger in 2001 which created BLP. His new role means he will now join the board and oversee 102 lawyers including 39 partners in BLP’s international offices which include Hong Kong and Singapore.
Portuguese firm plans international expansion
Portuguese-based law firm PLMJ has appointed Luís Pais Antunes as its managing partner for a three year term with a focus on international expansion. The firm already has 10 international offices including East Timor, a partnership agreement with Dacheng in mainland China and one with DSL Lawyers in Macao.