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Clifford Chance secretary jailed; Norton Rose shake up; US firm's debt troubles

Clifford Chance secretary jailed; Norton Rose shake up; US firm's debt troubles

This week saw Clifford Chance secretary jailed for fraud, new appointments at the UK Solicitors Regulation Authority; debt troubles for one US firm, a Norton Rose shake up and K&L Gates…

This week saw Clifford Chance secretary jailed for fraud, new appointments at the UK Solicitors Regulation Authority; debt troubles for one US firm, a Norton Rose shake up and K&L Gates makes more European moves, in this wrap of the week's international legal news.

Clifford Chance secretary jailed

A former Clifford Chance secretary has been jailed for fraud after stealing more than £23,000 ($36,700) from the firm, reports The Lawyer. Jodie Groom pleaded guilty to 15 counts of fraud and was sentenced to 15 months in prison. Between January 2007 and July 2009, while a secretary for two of the firm's construction partners, Groom used corporate credit cards to buy clothes, holidays and foreign cash.

SRA beefs up

The UK Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) has appointed five external members to its education and training committee as the body prepares for the imminent and wide-ranging review of the legal sector, reports Legal Week. The new appointments include Slaughter and May HR head Louise Meikle, the General Pharmaceutical Council's head of education and quality assurance Damian Day, and Chitra Karve, director of performance and development at the Parole Board.

Howry in trouble

US firm Winston & Strawn has made individual offers to more than three-quarters of rival firm Howrey's partners, reports law.com. Howrey is struggling under massive debt and has question marks about its future. The partners who did not receive offers either have conflicts of interest or have signalled they're interested in pursuing other opportunities, according to a recruiter familiar with the offers.

Norton Rose ups China/Russia plan

Norton Rose has overhauled management of its Moscow office as the firm looks to exploit trade between Russia and China, reports The Lawyer. Property specialist Peter Burrows, who has been managing the firm's China practice since 2008, will take the reins from Valentina Gluhovskaya as head of the Moscow office. Burrows will remain head of the firm's China practice, dividing his time between the two offices.

US firm takes on Europe

US firm K&L Gates has opened a new office in Brussels as the firm continues to expand its presence in Europe, reports Legal Week. The firm recruited two partners from US rival McDermott Will & Emery to launch the new base. The firm has launched six European offices in rapid succession: London in 2005, Berlin in 2007, Paris in 2008, Frankfurt in 2009, and Moscow and Warsaw in 2010.

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