People & Business: Law firm mops up after a `rainmaker' departs

ASHURST Morris Crisp, the City law firm, has moved swiftly to fill the hole created when Stephen Mostyn-Williams defected to a rival firm as head of banking a month ago. The firm has promoted Gonzalo Fernandez as a partner in the banking department.

Mr Mostyn-Williams, a flamobyant, designer- clad father of six, took three Ashurst partners with him to US firm Shearman & Sterling. This caused a great gnashing of teeth at Ashurst's, since Mr Mostyn-Williams was the main link man with Goldman Sachs and Bankers Trust, two of Ashurst's choicest clients. Indeed, he was often referred to as a "rainmaker". To add insult to injury, the two lucrative accounts have followed Mr Mostyn-Williams to the American firm.

Ashurst's has traditionally been strong in the equity markets and wanted to extend this strength into the debt markets - something Mr Mostyn-Williams did brilliantly - but tensions then developed with Ashurst's existing equity team, apparently.

BOB DIAMOND, boss of Barclays Capital, Barclays Bank's investment banking arm, has been bombarding his workforce in Canary Wharf and his colleagues in the Barclays empire with e-mails over the last few weeks. This wouldn't be so noteworthy if it wasn't for the fact that Mr Diamond is, theoretically at least, on holiday. He should be sunning himself on Nantucket Island, a fashionable investment banking vacation retreat just off Cape Cod on the US East Coast. But, as his minions back in Blighty are painfully aware, he seems to be perpetually bent over a laptop.

FURTHER evidence of American e-mail mania is provided by Paul Krugman, the famous US economist from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). We e-mailed him this week asking if he would like to do an article for us. Mr Krugman replied by e-mail that he was keen on the idea, but that since he was on holiday on "the Great Barrier Reef" he wouldn't be able to do it for two or three weeks. Do these people ever rest?

BY SOME bizarre mischance a highly private and confidential letter from a publishing company to Marjorie Scardino, chief executive of Pearson Group, has found its way onto my desk. The letter is from Chris Morrison, managing director of Evandale Publishing, of High Holborn, London, and is dated 18 August.

In the letter Mr Morrison attacks the Financial Times group, a Pearson subsidiary, for planning to launch a newsletter titled "European Retail Analyst" in competition with Evandale's own nine-year-old publication "European Retail".

Mr Morrison writes: "This move follows the launch about two years ago of the FT's `Virtual Finance' newsletter, nine months after Evandale Publishing started producing its own publication, interesting [sic] also called `Virtual Finance International'.

"Those of a suspicious mind might discern a copycat mentality within your group, and if this exists I suggest that you step on it immediately since it brings very little credit on your organisation."

Pearson says it hasn't yet received Mr Morrison's letter, and could I fax a copy of it to them? The things we diarists have to do.

ROWAN LEVY of Benfleet, Essex, has written suggesting a novel cure for the Millenium Bug: "One of the solutions may be to perpetuate the century - just as computer code ... does so. Instead of risking havoc in a technologically reliant society we could protect ourselves until certain of a safe passage by re-living 1900, 1901...". So instead of having to reprogramme all those computers, we just chug along and pretend it's the beginning of the 20th century all over again. Just how Mr Levy aims to make money out of this proposal I'm not sure, although he does mention copyrighting the logo "01.01.Pc" and putting it on t-shirts and the like. This is all very well, but what happens when we get to 1914, for instance? Do we march off to the trenches again?

AND FINALLY, please welcome the new chief executive of DGAA Homelife (the charity formerly known as the Distressed Gentlefolk's Aid Association) - the aptly named Jonathan Welfare.

Suggested Topics
FootballGerman sparks three goals in four minutes at favourite No 10 role
Rumer was diagnosed with bipolarity, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder and post-traumatic stress disorder: 'I was convinced it was a misdiagnosis'
peopleHer debut album caused her post-traumatic stress - how will she cope as she releases her third record?
A long jumper competes in the 80-to-84-year-old age division at the 2007 World Masters Championships
Radamel Falcao was forced to withdraw from the World Cup after undergoing surgery
premier leagueExclusive: Reds have agreement with Monaco
Arts and Entertainment
'New Tricks' star Dennis Waterman is departing from the show after he completes filming on two more episodes
tvHe is only remaining member of original cast
Lewis Hamilton will start the Singapore Grand Prix from pole, with Nico Rosberg second and Daniel Ricciardo third
F1... for floodlit Singapore Grand Prix
Life and Style
Walking tall: unlike some, Donatella Versace showed a strong and vibrant collection
fashionAlexander Fury on the staid Italian clothing industry
Arts and Entertainment
Gregory Porter learnt about his father’s voice at his funeral
Arts and Entertainment
tvHighs and lows of the cast's careers since 2004
Life and Style
Children at the Leytonstone branch of the Homeless Children's Aid and Adoption Society tuck into their harvest festival gifts, in October 1936
food + drinkThe harvest festival is back, but forget cans of tuna and packets of instant mash
New Articles
i100... she's just started school
ebooksAn unforgettable anthology of contemporary reportage
New Articles
Life and Style
Couples have been having sex less in 2014, according to a new survey
Arts and Entertainment
musicBiographer Hunter Davies has collected nearly a hundred original manuscripts
New Articles
i100... despite rising prices
Holly's review of Peterborough's Pizza Express quickly went viral on social media
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Money & Business

Senior BA - Motor and Home Insurance

£400 - £450 Per Day: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: **URGENT CONTRACT ROLE**...

Market Risk & Control Manager

Up to £100k or £450p/d: Saxton Leigh: My client is a leading commodities tradi...

SQL Developer - Watford/NW London - £320 - £330 p/d - 6 months

£320 - £330 per day: Ashdown Group: The Ashdown Group have been engaged by a l...

Head of Audit

To £75,000 + Pension + Benefits + Bonus: Saxton Leigh: My client is looking f...

Day In a Page

Scottish referendum: The Yes vote was the love that dared speak its name, but it was not to be

Despite the result, this is the end of the status quo

Boyd Tonkin on the fall-out from the Scottish referendum
Manolo Blahnik: The high priest of heels talks flats, Englishness, and why he loves Mary Beard

Manolo Blahnik: Flats, Englishness, and Mary Beard

The shoe designer who has been dubbed 'the patron saint of the stiletto'
The Beatles biographer reveals exclusive original manuscripts of some of the best pop songs ever written

Scrambled eggs and LSD

Behind The Beatles' lyrics - thanks to Hunter Davis's original manuscript copies
'Normcore' fashion: Blending in is the new standing out in latest catwalk non-trend

'Normcore': Blending in is the new standing out

Just when fashion was in grave danger of running out of trends, it only went and invented the non-trend. Rebecca Gonsalves investigates
Dance’s new leading ladies fight back: How female vocalists are now writing their own hits

New leading ladies of dance fight back

How female vocalists are now writing their own hits
Mystery of the Ground Zero wedding photo

A shot in the dark

Mystery of the wedding photo from Ground Zero
His life, the universe and everything

His life, the universe and everything

New biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
Save us from small screen superheroes

Save us from small screen superheroes

Shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
Reach for the skies

Reach for the skies

From pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
These are the 12 best hotel spas in the UK

12 best hotel spas in the UK

Some hotels go all out on facilities; others stand out for the sheer quality of treatments
These Iranian-controlled Shia militias used to specialise in killing American soldiers. Now they are fighting Isis, backed up by US airstrikes

Widespread fear of Isis is producing strange bedfellows

Iranian-controlled Shia militias that used to kill American soldiers are now fighting Isis, helped by US airstrikes
Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Shoppers don't come to Topshop for the unique
How to make a Lego masterpiece

How to make a Lego masterpiece

Toy breaks out of the nursery and heads for the gallery
Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Urbanites are cursed with an acronym pointing to Employed but No Disposable Income or Savings
Paisley’s decision to make peace with IRA enemies might remind the Arabs of Sadat

Ian Paisley’s decision to make peace with his IRA enemies

His Save Ulster from Sodomy campaign would surely have been supported by many a Sunni imam