International law firm awarded Aussie IP honour
The intellectual property practice at Herbert Smith Freehills has been named Australian Contentious Firm of the Year at the Managing Intellectual Property awards. At a ceremony held in London the firm was awarded the prestigious honour in recognition of its work on a number of major IP disputes which have often led to complex litigation.
The cases include acting for Apple in its dispute with Samsung over tablet and smartphone technology, the largest piece of patent litigation in Australia; and successfully acting for Gilead in litigation relating to its blockbuster hepatitis C treatment.
Online courts pose risk to barristers
The proposal to introduce online courts for small claims in the UK has received a negative reaction from The Bar. The idea is that civil matters up to GBP25,000 (AU$47,600) could be dealt with online using ‘case officers’ rather than judges. The Bar says that this could lead to a two-tier system of justice and may lead to lawyers quitting the profession. It also highlights the issue of removing a valuable source of learning for junior barristers which could mean stifling the careers of potentially leading advocates of the future.
Expansion for Deloitte’s legal division
Big Four professional services firm Deloitte is expanding its legal services division with a new offering in Canada. The firm has acquired local firm Conduit Law to create Deloitte Conduit Law LLP offering outsourced lawyers to support in-house teams. Conduit says the deal will enable it to expand its services to clients while retaining its commitment to them. Deloitte commented that it has made the acquisition “mindful of the future direction” of the legal profession.
New insurance partner for NRF in Sydney
Jacques Jacobs has joined Norton Rose Fulbright as a partner in its Sydney office. Jacobs is an experienced insurance lawyer and his appointment adds to last year’s moves for partners Mark Attard (Melbourne) and Brett Solomon (Brisbane), and senior insurance litigator Jehan-Philippe Wood (Perth) from the firm’s London office.