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News in brief: Firm buy-out; Golden handshakes threat; Minter Ellison

News in brief: Firm buy-out; Golden handshakes threat; Minter Ellison

Firm on trolley dash for small practices; Golden handshake laws on horizon; Minters on alert for swine flu

Firm on trolley dash for small practices 

East coast commercial law firm Macpherson + Kelley has scooped former Mallesons Stephen Jaques and Minter Ellison heavyweight Phil Clark to help it buy out law firms across the country. The firm is holding talks with firms with between 2 to 12 partners, 20 to 60 staff and an annual turnover of between $2.5 to $12 million, ALB reports. “They need to focus on servicing mid-market businesses, have at least some of those clients, and a keen interest in servicing them,” M+K managing director Damian Paul said. The firm is looking for practice areas including employment, IP, construction, property, M&A, litigation and tax.

Golden handshake laws on horizon

The Federal Government is planning tough fines for people and companies who break proposed new golden handshake laws. Individuals face $20,000 fines and companies up to $99,000 in the government effort to curb excessive payments. The Government is introducing a bill into Parliament that would reduce the threshold at which shareholder approval is needed for a golden handshake bonus. 

Minters on alert for swine flu

Minter Ellison has sent a swine flu tips newsletter to clients in which it advises employers what to do to prepare for the possibility of a pandemic. In the newsletter, the firm advises employers should implement personal hygiene policies such as washing hands frequently and disposing of tissue immediately after use, not sharing cups and glasses or anything “that could be contaminated with respiratory secretions”, as well as ensuring employees stay away from work when they are unwell. The firm adds a humorous note to the alert: “It seems rotten luck that the health of employees and business continuity could be so seriously affected at such a difficult economic time.”

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