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RBS introduces grading systemThe Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) has launched an innovative grading system to govern the use of firms in its new 24-firm panel for high value corporate and banking work. The exclusive panel will cover a comprehensive spread of banking and capital markets work. The gradings, which will influence the type and complexity of the work panel firms receive, were assigned after consultation with the banks’ business divisions and law firms. (10 January, 2002.)Granada restructuring prompts a panel reviewGranada Media has announced a wholesale review of its external advisers following a major corporate restructuring. The review could affect a raft of advisers including principal corporate adviser Lovells, Olswang, Goodman Derrick, DLA and Wiggin & Co. (10 January, 2002.)China upholds local law ban on foreign firmsChina has enshrined a ban on international firms practising mainland law under its controversial plans for World Trade Organisation liberalisation – but held open the option that domestic Hong Kong firms will be awarded full rights. (10 January, 2002.)Clifford Chance is sued in race rowA former Clifford Chance trainee is suing the firm for race discrimination after it did not take him on as a newly qualified lawyer. Kahsif Ahmed filed the claim at the London central employment tribunal on 13 July. (13 December, 2001.)Dentons braced for Equitable fightEquitable Life policy holders look set to push for legal action against the life assurer’s advisers – including Denton Wilde Sapte. Equitable’s legal advisers in the dispute over policy values Dentons; its accountants Ernst & Young and former directors face the threat of legal proceedings following an investigation by Herbert Smith. (13 December, 2001.)Slaughters steals Glaxo crown from LinklatersSlaughter and May seized its most significant instructions last year from under the nose of arch rival Linklaters after emerging as principal corporate adviser in the long-running panel review of GlaxoSmithKline. (6 December, 2001.)Budget gains hide oncoming storm Top City firms hit by the slowdown in corporate activity are forecasting faltering profits and missed budgets despite the majority hitting their half-year budgets. Legal Week research shows that despite meeting their half-yearly budgets top firms are bracing themselves for a profit squeeze. (6 December, 2001.)Freshfields tops M&A league tableFreshfields Bruckhaus Deringer has edged ahead of its City rivals in the end of year European M&A league tables after a slowdown in activity that saw deal values and volumes fall dramatically. Freshfields just beat Linklaters by value according to research released by mergermarket. (10 January, 2001.)

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