Morning Briefing: Solicitor wins case to prove he wasn’t a partner

by NZ Lawyer04 Aug 2014

Lawyer wins employment case against law firm
A UK solicitor has won a High Court ruling that he was an employee of a law firm and not a partner. Clive Prior headed the property practice at Needleman Treon. Two financiers are claiming damages from former partners of the defunct firm over alleged breaches of contract and Mr Prior may have been subject to the claim, however the Court ruled that he was not a partner but an employee. Part of the evidence was a letter offering Mr Prior a job at the firm which included terms such as ‘your employment’ and requiring holidays to be agreed by ‘a partner’. As is so often the case, it’s all down to the wording!

Slater & Gordon acquires Fiocco
Slater & Gordon Lawyers has announced its acquisition of Perth-based law firm Fiocco’s Lawyers. Slaters has 1200 staff in 70 locations across Australia and has been actively boosting its Western Australia operations recently; last year it acquired Gibson & Gibson. Fiocco has been in WA for 25 years and the firm’s principal John Fiocco says: “We share the same important values as Slater & Gordon and look forward to coming on board with such an experienced and dedicated team.”

Two Birds duo take flight
Two partners from Bird & Bird are leaving the firm to form a new Hong Kong practice that will ultimately be part of Osborne Clarke. Communications, media and technology partner Marcus Vass and corporate partner John Koh will be joined by other associates. Hong Kong rules mean that the duo has to form a new firm which cannot be officially part of Osborne for three years however a formal alliance will exist from the start.

Simmons & Simmons form African alliance
Simmons & Simmons has entered into an alliance with Fasken Martineau to boost their respective African offerings. The collaboration will enhance the strength of the two firms’ international offerings, providing clients with access to leading Africa practices across multiple sectors including Energy & Infrastructure and Natural Resources. Both firms already have a strong presence in the region.

Law firm marketing for the YouTube generation
What does a modern law firm need to do to breakthrough in a crowded media-rich world? A video with a rock soundtrack that actually looks more like a music video perhaps? Pete Reid, born in Scotland and previously working in Australia has set up his own firm in Texas and is using a fresh and fun approach to his marketing. The video shows Mr Reid cutting hair, saving a drowning man, apprehending a thief and even performing the most Scottish of feats - tossing a caber. As modern marketing increasing focuses on creating a personal connection, this is a great example of adding personality to the serious business of law. Watch the video.