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The Independent Online
OJ book deal

Marcia Clark, the prosecutor who failed to convict the former football and movie star OJ Simpson of double murder earlier this year, has signed a $4.2m (pounds 2.7m) book contract - the third-largest in US publishing history.

The deal with the deputy district attorney is just the latest evidence that the American public's fascination with the trial shows little sign of abating. Besides the Clark deal - beaten only by those awarded to Generals Colin Powell and H Norman Schwarzkopf - the William Morris Agency has secured a $1.5m advance for Clark's co-counsel, Christopher Darden, the deputy district attorney.

There are already 36 books on the case and at least 14 to follow, according to the Los Angeles Times. One of Simpson's defence team, the Harvard law professor Alan Dershowitz, is reported to have signed a $350,000 deal, while its leader, Johnnie Cochran, and another member, Robert Shapiro, are understood to be close to securing their own deals.

Industry insiders, however, are said by the newspaper to be dismissing the chances of a follow-up to Simpson's own volume, I Want to Tell You, for which Little Brown paid a reported $1m. "Nobody in this town will risk the outrage that would crash down upon the head and shoulders of any publisher who pays OJ Simpson one more nickel," an unnamed editor is quoted as saying.

Baker tops survey

The international law firm Baker & McKenzie has for the second year running topped Privatisation International's fifth annual survey of infrastructure advisers by number of transactions. Linklaters, second in this area, was top by volume of deals.

CEDR birthday

The Centre for Dispute Resolution celebrates its fifth anniversary tomorrow with the launch of an initiative designed to develop further alternative dispute resolution in the years leading up to the turn of the century. The CEDR has handled 900 referrals since it was set up as a flagship for the promotion of mediation in Europe in 1990.