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
Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
ebooksAn unforgettable anthology of contemporary reportage
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

Recruitment Genius: Digital Optimisation Executive - Marketing

£30000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: The UK's fastest growing, multi...

Recruitment Genius: Financial Reporting Manager

£70000 - £90000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Financial Reporting Manager i...

Recruitment Genius: Payments Operations Assistant

£23000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: They win lots of awards for the...

Recruitment Genius: Telephone Debt Negotiator

£13500 - £20000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This nationwide enforcement com...

Day In a Page

Sepp Blatter resignation: The beginning of Fifa's long road to reform?

Does Blatter's departure mean Fifa will automatically clean up its act?

Don't bet on it, says Tom Peck
Charles Kennedy: The baby of the House who grew into a Lib Dem giant

The baby of the House who grew into a Lib Dem giant

Charles Kennedy was consistently a man of the centre-left, dedicated to social justice, but was also a champion of liberty and an opponent of the nanny-state, says Baroness Williams
Syria civil war: The harrowing testament of a five-year-old victim of this endless conflict

The harrowing testament of a five-year-old victim of Syria's endless civil war

Sahar Qanbar lost her mother and brother as civilians and government soldiers fought side by side after being surrounded by brutal Islamist fighters. Robert Fisk visited her
The future of songwriting: How streaming is changing everything we know about making music

The future of songwriting

How streaming is changing everything we know about making music
William Shemin and Henry Johnson: Jewish and black soldiers receive World War I Medal of Honor amid claims of discrimination

Recognition at long last

Jewish and black soldiers who fought in WWI finally receive medals after claims of discrimination
Beating obesity: The new pacemaker which helps over-eaters

Beating obesity

The new pacemaker which helps over-eaters
9 best women's festival waterproofs

Ready for rain: 9 best women's festival waterproofs

These are the macs to keep your denim dry and your hair frizz-free(ish)
Cycling World Hour Record: Nervous Sir Bradley Wiggins ready for pain as he prepares to go distance

Wiggins worried

Nervous Sir Bradley ready for pain as he prepares to attempt cycling's World Hour Record
Liverpool close in on Milner signing

Liverpool close in on Milner signing

Reds baulk at Christian Benteke £32.5m release clause
On your feet! Spending at least two hours a day standing reduces the risk of heart attacks, cancer and diabetes, according to new research

On your feet!

Spending half the day standing 'reduces risk of heart attacks and cancer'
With scores of surgeries closing, what hope is there for the David Cameron's promise of 5,000 more GPs and a 24/7 NHS?

The big NHS question

Why are there so few new GPs when so many want to study medicine?
Big knickers are back: Thongs ain't what they used to be

Thongs ain't what they used to be

Big knickers are back
Thurston Moore interview

Thurston Moore interview

On living in London, Sonic Youth and musical memoirs
In full bloom

In full bloom

Floral print womenswear
From leading man to Elephant Man, Bradley Cooper is terrific

From leading man to Elephant Man

Bradley Cooper is terrific