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04/10/06

Sidley Austin's global expansion

Sidley Austin has initiated an expansion policy for its insurance practice, commencing with a series of lateral hires in the firm's London office. Nigel Montgomery, currently of DLA Piper Rudnick UK, will be joining Sidley as a partner in May 2006.

Sidley Austin comprises more than 1,600 lawyers in 14 cities, including Beijing, Brussels, Geneva, Hong Kong, London, Shanghai, Singapore and Tokyo. Last year, the firm appointed a team of EU Competition lawyers to its trade and regulatory practices in Brussels, Geneva and DC. On March 1st of this year, the international firm also entered the German legal market with a new office in Frankfurt, which will concentrate on capital markets and structured products.

Columbia Law School wins Shearman & Sterling Jessup World Cup
New York's Columbia Law School defeated Venezuela's Universidad Catolica Andres Bello to win the 2006 Shearman & Sterling Jessup World Cup. It has been 16 years since a school from the United States has won this prestigious moot court competition.

The Team will receive two awards: a trophy and the Shearman & Sterling World Championship Jessup Cup to hold in trust for one year at its school. Vincent Levy of Columbia won the "Best Oralist" in the championship match.

The 2006 Shearman & Sterling International Rounds were conducted from March 27th to April 1st. More than 100 teams from 80 countries participated in the rounds, the largest Jessup competition to date. These teams came to the International Rounds after winning national and regional competitions that involved nearly 600 law schools around the world.

Regional law firms growing beyond borders
The globalization of the marketplace has led regional law firms to expand beyond state and national lines. Increasing demand from clients is pushing firms to move into new territories. For small- and mid-size firms with a regional base, the easiest path to a new market is through acquisition.

Just like the banking industry in the past 25 years, regional law firms are consolidating at an increasing rate. According to Expansion Management magazine, Nashville, Phoenix, Atlanta, Texas, San Antonio and Charlotte are ranked among the six fastest growing U.S. cities and are prime targets for regional firms looking for growth.

Lawyer Joke of the day
A small town prosecuting attorney called his first witness to the stand in a trial - a grandmotherly, elderly woman. He approached her and asked, "Mrs. Jones, do you know me?"

She responded, "Why, yes, I do know you, Mr. Williams. I've known you since you were a young boy. Frankly, you've been a big disappointment to me. You lie, you cheat on your wife, you manipulate people and talk about them behind their backs. You think you're a rising big shot when you haven't the brains to realize you will never amount to anything more than a two-bit paper pusher. Yes, I know you."

The lawyer was stunned. Not knowing what else to do he pointed across the room and asked, "Mrs. Williams, do you know the defense attorney?"

She again replied, "Why, yes I do. I've known Mr. Bradley since he was a youngster, too. I used to baby-sit him for his parents. He, too, has been a real disappointment to me. He's lazy, bigoted, he has a drinking problem. The man can't build a normal relationship with anyone and his law practice is one of the shoddiest in the entire state. Yes, I know him."

At this point, the judge rapped the courtroom to silence and called both counselors to the bench. In a very quiet voice, he said with menace, "If either of you asks her if she knows me, you'll be jailed for contempt!"


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