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US firms charging different rates for same work, no joy for Norton Rose newbies, and cash for inn

US firms charging different rates for same work, no joy for Norton Rose newbies, and cash for inn

UK firm Denton Wilde Sapte has announced a planned merger with US firm Sonnenschein Nath & Rosenthal in an alliance that will create a £500 million ($875 million) firm with 1,400…

UK firm Denton Wilde Sapte has announced a planned merger with US firm Sonnenschein Nath & Rosenthal in an alliance that will create a £500 million ($875 million) firm with 1,400 lawyers, reports The Lawyer. Partners at both firms have been asked to vote on the proposed merger on 9 June, and if successful, the firms will unite in September under the banner of SNR Denton.

Norton Rose UK has apparently decided not to unfreeze pay for its newly-qualified lawyers, while going ahead with discretionary pay reviews for more experienced lawyers, reports legalweek.com. Pay for first-year associates will remain at £59,000 ($103,000) while trainees will earn £37,000. In 2008, Norton Rose began a merit-based salary system for lawyers, thus making newly qualified lawyer and trainee rates the firm's only set salaries.

Employees at UK firm Eversheds are being given the opportunity to win a £20,000 ($35,000) cash prize for coming up with a novel business idea, reports The Lawyer. The firm has created an innovation forum, which asks all employees, from support staff to senior partners, to submit business ideas to a judging panel. Each month, a winning proposal will win a cash prize of £500, and at the year's end the person who has the best overall idea will be gifted with £20,000.

A survey and billings analysis conducted by CT TyMetrix and The Corporate Executive Board has revealed that many US firms are charging clients different hourly rates for comparable work, reports legalweek.com. During the survey, billing from over 4,000 law firms, 50,000 individuals and 18.9 million invoice items from 2007 to 2009 were examined. Over three-quarters of the 3,448 partners, associates, and paralegals surveyed billed different hourly rates to different clients for similar work.

UK firm Fladgate has announced it is advising the Cardiff Marine Group in its £60 million ($105 million) Bayscape marina development, where the tallest building in Wales will be constructed, reports The Lawyer. A multi-department team advised CMG on its corporate restructuring and refinancing, and represented the company in its 25-year management agreement with Wyndham Hotels, which is set to occupy the development's 32 storey building.

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