BRIEFS | LEGAL NEWS

JONES DAY TO BRAZIL
Law firms’ race into the BRICs continues with the announcement that Jones Day is to open an office in Sao Paulo, its second in South America after Mexico City. The office will focus on supporting global clients with inbound investments into South America and provide legal counsel to Brazilian companies in their international operations. The focus of the work will be cross-border M&A, private equity, banking and finance and project finance/infrastructure transactions in energy and capital markets.

LINKLATERS IN BP WELLS DEAL
Linklaters’s relationship with BP has been under much scrutiny in recent times, with Freshfields and others taking over some of the oil company’s work. But Linklaters seems to be back in favour, and advised BP on the recent sale of its interests in four Gulf of Mexico oil fields to Japanese trading company Marubeni. The Linklaters team was led by US corporate partner Josh Berick in New York, assisted by US corporate associate Colin Greenspon, also in New York. The deal will be completed in early 2011, says BP.

CC ELECTION STILL ONGOING
Lawyers at Clifford Chance still don’t know who their next senior partner will be after no clear winner emerged from this week’s first round of voting. London partner Malcolm Sweeting, German M&A partner Daniela Weber-Rey and tax partner Jonathan Elman all failed to land 50 the per cent of the votes required to win the position outright. Another round is expected to take place in the next few days, but it is unclear yet whether all three current candidates will stay in the race.

MACFARLANES NUANCES ROLES
City law firm Macfarlanes is to introduce a new job-title of senior associate for solicitors who are six years or more qualified who have taken on some partnership responsibilities. Partners will recommend associates for the roles, which the firm insists are not a “holding pen” for future partners and that it will still be possible to go from being an associate to a partner. Many firms face an increasing problem with a bottleneck at the top of the firm, with too many associates fighting for too few partnership spots.