History of LAWorld

LAWorld was established in 1997 when several prominent European lawyers, all members of the International Bar Association, met in London at the invitation of an English law firm, Kenneth Elliott & Rowe. These firms formed LAWorld, a legal network of mid sized European law firms who were able to communicate quickly and effectively using the latest internet technology. Email was a critical route to connect these lawyers to quality cost efficient legal advice for their international clients throughout Europe.

LAWorld Ltd is a company registered in the UK.

In 1999 the network was expanded to welcome member firms from The Americas and Asia/Pacific regions and has continued to grow every year since.

To facilitate overall administration and to develop marketing initiatives for the network, the network has an Executive Office based in Europe.

Members meet in person at least once a year at the annual conference and AGM and also at Regional meetings and through the International Bar Association Conferences.

The future

The principal aim for LAWorld is to focus on strategic member expansion in new jurisdictions, develop effective marketing programmes for its members and continue its commitment to delivering quality legal services anywhere in the world.


LAWorld News

Olshan achieves unprecedented victory in proxy fight

Starboard Value LP, a well-regarded activist hedge fund based in New York and represented by New York law firm Olshan Frome Wolosky LLP,  has won full control of the board of directors of Darden Restaurant Inc., owner of popular restaurant chains such as the Olive Garden, after a failed attempt to reach a settlement. 

When Starboard bought into Darden, it began a standard activist campaign, both privately and publicly calling for changes to business strategy and corporate governance in order to enhance shareholder value. Darden ignored the concerns voiced by a majority of its shareholders and nevertheless went ahead with a sale of its Red Lobster restaurant chain. This blatant disregard for its shareholders paved the way for Starboard to capitalize on this shareholder discontent and propose a new, full slate of director nominees, comprised of savvy restaurant industry veterans, such as the founder of TGI Friday’s Inc. and the former CEO of Burger King. 

During the proxy contest, Starboard’s proposed slate of directors earned even greater credibility when the top proxy advisers Institutional Shareholders Services Inc. and Glass Lewis & Co. LLC resoundingly endorsed not just all of the nominees, but also Starboard’s overhaul plan for transforming the company. Darden vehemently fought back, making a number of last-minute changes that failed to curry favor with shareholders, while Starboard, having secured the support of institutional investors, appealed to Darden’s large retail shareholder base. Finally, at Darden’s Annual Meeting, shareholders voted to replace its entire board with the slate of 12 directors nominated by Starboard. 

The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times DealBook, CNBC, Bloomberg and Reuters all published stories about what Law360 described as a “landmark victory in one of the most contentious proxy fights of the year.” 

Olshan Frome Wolosky LLP partner Steve Wolosky, named by Reuters as a “go-to” lawyer for activist investors, with partner Andrew Freedman and associate Meagan Reda, represented Starboard in this historic win and continue to counsel Starboard in other activist campaigns to increase shareholder value at other companies. 

To learn more about the campaign, please contact LAWorld member and Olshan partner Andrew Lustigman at alustigman@olshanlaw.com, who will be able to put you in touch with the team. 

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Upcoming Events

Europe/Middle East Regional Meeting (Milan) from 5pm on Friday the 18th of September, 2015 to 5pm on Saturday the 19th of September, 2015

2015 LAWorld Annual Conference & AGM (Washington DC, USA) from 5pm on Tuesday the 28th of April, 2015 to 2pm on Friday the 1st of May, 2015

Europe/Middle East Regional Meeting (Istanbul, Turkey) from 5pm on Thursday the 5th of February, 2015 to 4pm on Sunday the 8th of February, 2015

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