Broadway Grosses: Hello, Dolly! Star Bette Midler Packs Houses in Farewell Week

first_imgBette Midler wrapped up her Tony-winning, record-breaking run in the hit revival of Hello, Dolly! this weekend and audiences didn’t miss the chance to catch her celebrated performance once more. The star who made a decades-in-the-making Broadway-musical return packed the Shubert Theatre as crowds caught her dynamite performance one last time. During Midler’s final week, Hello, Dolly! filled the Shubert to 101.65% capacity, bringing in a box office gross of $2,436,207.84. The Divine Miss M may have exited the building, but theater fans had better make plans to return to Hello, Dolly! as the show’s new headliner, Tony-winning icon Bernadette Peters, will walk down the staircase at the Harmonia Gardens restaurant beginning on January 20.Here’s a look at who was on top—and who was not—for the week ending January 14:FRONTRUNNERS (By Gross)1. Hamilton ($3,105,160.00)2. Hello, Dolly! ($2,436,207.84)*3. Springsteen on Broadway ($2,411,150.00)4. The Lion King ($1,941,493.00)5. Dear Evan Hansen ($1,741,089.66)UNDERDOGS (By Gross)5. Latin History for Morons ($525,021.50)*4. The Parisian Woman ($462,636.50)3. The Play That Goes Wrong ($418,670.00)2. John Lithgow: Stories by Heart ($307,280.40)1. The Children ($282,652.10)FRONTRUNNERS (By Capacity)1. Meteor Shower (102.03%)2. Come From Away  (101.97%)3. Hamilton (101.81%)4. The Book of Mormon (101.81%)5. Hello, Dolly! (101.65%)*UNDERDOGS (By Capacity)5. Latin History for Morons (81.66%)*4. The Play That Goes Wrong (79.55%)3. Kinky Boots (79.23%)2. The Phantom of the Opera (76.85%)1. School of Rock (73.61%)*Number based on seven performancesSource: The Broadway League View Comments Hello, Dolly! Related Shows Show Closed This production ended its run on Aug. 25, 2018last_img read more

ArcLight to buy TransCanada’s hydro portfolio for over $1 billion

first_imgby Timothy McQuiston Vermont Business Magazine ArcLight Capital Partners, based in Boston, announced Tuesday that its affiliate, Great River Hydro, has signed a definitive agreement to acquire TransCanada’s New England hydroelectric power portfolio for $1.065 billion. These dams include those on the Connecticut and Deerfield rivers in Vermont. All workers are expected to be retained. The state of Vermont formed a committee and briefly considered purchasing the dams itself after TransCanada announced in March of this year that it would sell the hydro plants to help it buy a Texas gas pipeline company. The state also considered buying the facilities in 2005, when USGen ultimately sold them to Calgary-based TransCanada for $505 million.With 13 facilities on the Connecticut and Deerfield rivers in Vermont, New Hampshire and Massachusetts, TransCanada’s 584 MW renewable power portfolio is the largest conventional hydro system in New England. Vermont Yankee, by comparison, had a running output of 605 MW before it closed in December 2014. The TransCanada portfolio includes the 192 MW Moore facility, the largest conventional hydro station in New England, and 12 other facilities totaling 392 MW. The transaction is expected to close in mid-2017, subject to customary regulatory and other approvals.TransCanada map and table of hydro assets.According to the Valley News(link is external), The Wilder dam paid $750,000 in annual tax revenue to Hartford in 2016, or about 6 percent of the town’s total tax revenue and Lebanon, NH, got $563,000 in tax revenue for the city during the year’s first half period, according to online tax records.In a long-running dispute between TransCanada and the town of Rockingham, the Vermont Supreme Court ruled in September that the Bellows Falls facility should be assessed at $127.4 million, not the $84 million TransCanada wanted.On a per megawatt basis, the ultimate sale of all the hyrdro stations was just over what TransCanada wanted in Bellows Falls ($1.8 million per MW versus $1.7 million) and 44 percent lower than what the Supreme Court ruled ($2.6 million per MW).Great River Hydro said in a statement that it anticipates a smooth transition of ownership. The company has committed to retain all existing operational personnel, plans to assume the recently negotiated union contract, and will continue the FERC relicensing process currently underway at the Bellows Falls, Wilder and Vernon facilities.ArcLight Capital is one of the most experienced owners and operators of renewable power assets in the United States. Founded in 2001, the firm has invested more than $3.1 billion of capital in renewable power assets, representing approximately 5,000 MW of generation. The firm has successfully led some of the most notable renewable projects in the United States, including developing and operating one of the largest wind farms in the world. The firm is committed to maintaining strong partnerships with employees, host communities, states and other local stakeholders.ArcLight also has over a decade of experience owning and operating hydroelectric power generation facilities in New England. Since 2006, ArcLight has acquired and operated 10 hydro facilities along the Penobscot, Union and Androscoggin rivers in Maine.Bellows Falls Island Hydro 1. VBM photoGreat River Hydro will be led by Scott Hall, a long-term portfolio executive of ArcLight with over 27 years of experience managing hydroelectric generating facilities and companies in the Northeast. Mr. Hall has been directly responsible for all facets of hydroelectric company operations, including employee management, environmental compliance, facility maintenance and operations, and business development activities. Hall has also been an active leader in a variety of stakeholder processes that addressed numerous socio-economic issues related to river flows, energy development and natural resource management.“We have been incredibly impressed by the quality of both the hydroelectric facilities and the operations team,” said Hall. “I am very excited to work with the team to continue the level of excellence they have already achieved in providing reliable, renewable power in Vermont, New Hampshire and Massachusetts.”“We are thrilled to expand our renewable footprint by acquiring these premier hydroelectric assets from TransCanada,” said Dan Revers, Managing Partner and co-Founder of ArcLight. “New England is a key geography for ArcLight, and we look forward to working with local communities and other constituencies across the region.”TransCanada HydroConnecticut River: Vermont and New Hampshire – 49-MW Bellows Falls, 144-MW Comerford, 11-MW McIndoes, 192-MW Moore, 37-MW Vernon and 41-MW WilderDeerfield River Vermont — 41-MW Harriman and 5-MW SearsburgMassachusetts – 7-MW Deerfield No. 2, 7-MW Deerfield No. 3, 6-MW Deerfield No. 4, 14-MW Deerfield No. 5 and 6-MW ShermanThere are approximately 85 hydroelectric generation facilities operating in Vermont and on waters bordering other states. More than a third of those are owned by Green Mountain Power.TransCanadaTransCanada announced Tuesday that it sold not only its New England hydro business, but also its wind business in order to buy Columbia Pipeline Partners LP for approximately US$915 million. It expects to realize approximately US$3.7 billion from the monetization of its US Northeast Power business. The amount is expected to be realized through the sale of Ravenswood, Ironwood, Ocean State Power and Kibby Wind to Helix Generation, LLC, an affiliate of LS Power Equity Advisors for US$2.2 billion and TC Hydro to Great River Hydro, LLC, an affiliate of ArcLight Capital Partners, LLC for US$1.065 billion, with the remainder attributed to TransCanada’s power marketing business which is expected to be realized going forward.TransCanada said in announcing a series of moves Tuesday, that proceeds from these sales and future realization of value of the marketing business will be used to repay a portion of the US$6.9 billion senior unsecured asset bridge term loan credit facilities (Columbia bridge loan facilities) which were used to partially finance the Columbia Pipeline Group, Inc acquisition completed July 1, for an aggregate purchase price of approximately US$13 billion, including the assumption of approximately US$2.8 billion of debt.”The sale of our merchant US Northeast Power business to fund a portion of our acquisition of Columbia will further enhance the stability and predictability of our earnings and cash flow streams and support a strong and growing dividend,” said Russ Girling, TransCanada’s president and chief executive officer.On its Website, TransCanada says it pays property taxes in a total of 53 communities in Vermont, New Hampshire and Massachusetts.The wind and gas assets TransCanada sold to Helix Generation, LLC, for $2.2 billion in cash were:Ravenswood (Queens, New York) – 2,480 megawatts, multiple-unit generating natural gas facility using dual fuel-capable steam turbine, combined-cycle and combustion turbineIronwood (Lebanon, Pennsylvania) – 778 megawatts, natural gas combined-cycle facilityOcean State Power (Burrillville, Rhode Island) – 560 megawatts, natural gas combined-cycle facilityKibby Wind (Franklin County, Maine) – 132 megawatts, wind farmAbout ArcLight Capital Partners ArcLight is one of the leading private equity firms focused on energy infrastructure investments. Founded in 2001, it has helped pioneer an asset-based private equity approach to investing in the dynamic energy sector. It has invested approximately $17 billion in 101 transactions since inception. Based in Boston, its 29-person investment team employs a hands-on value creation strategy that utilizes our in-house technical, operational and commercial specialists as well as our 400-person asset management affiliate. More information about ArcLight, and a complete list of ArcLight’s portfolio companies, can be found at is external).Source: BOSTON, MA (November 1, 2016) – ArcLight Capital Partners. TransCanadalast_img read more

Over $299K in grants to benefit specialty crop producers

first_imgAgency dollars assist Vermont fruit, vegetable, and value-added producers and increase consumer access to locally produced food​Vermont Specialty Crop Block Grant Program Recipient, Dr. Victor Izzo, leads Leek Moth management workshop at the UVM Horticulture Research and Education Center in 2018Vermont Business Magazine The Vermont Agency of Agriculture, Food & Markets (VAAFM) announces grants totaling $299,350 for seven projects to benefit Vermont fruit, vegetable, and value-added producers and increase consumer access to locally produced food. These grants, funded through the USDA Agricultural Marketing Service’s Specialty Crop Block Grant Program (SCBGP), were awarded to six agricultural organizations to undertake a range of research, development, education, business planning, and marketing projects. The grants will leverage an additional $190,026 in matching funds.“These important investments will grow the Vermont economy” said Agriculture Secretary Anson Tebbetts. “This year’s Specialty Crop Block Grant funding will promote local food markets, increase marketing opportunities for Vermont specialty crops within and beyond Vermont, support the emerging Vermont saffron industry, and invest in research to improve fruit and vegetable production methods and control pests.”Since the program’s establishment in 2006, the Vermont SCBGP has invested over $3.2 million in projects to benefit Vermont specialty crop producers. The program supports projects led by producers, researchers, and agricultural service providers, including a recently completed project, Increasing the Competitiveness of Vermont Wine through Vermont Restaurant and Agritourism Opportunities, directed by the Vermont Fresh Network and the Vermont Grape and Wine Council.Increasing the Competitiveness of Vermont Wine through Vermont Restaurant and Agritourism Opportunities focused on improving how winemakers and restaurants present Vermont wine to consumers and elevating the overall consumer attitude towards Vermont wine through a broader messaging campaign. As a result of this project, over 100 bar and restaurant staff who attended workshops increased their ability to communicate effectively about Vermont wine, twenty restaurants and distributors expanded their Vermont wine menu offerings, and fourteen wineries were incorporated into culinary trails on Vermont’s food and farm tourism website, is external).VAAFM awards SCBGP funds through a competitive review process guided by industry, nonprofit and government stakeholders. A stakeholder advisory committee identified the development of innovative horticultural production practices and efficiencies, pest and disease management, food safety, value chain enhancement, technical assistance, market access, and producer collaboration as funding priorities for 2020. After receiving detailed recommendations from a proposal review committee, VAAFM selected the following projects out of nineteen applications representing total funding requests of over $721,900:·         Atlantic Corporation to deliver critical market assessment and business planning tools to benefit the Vermont maple syrup industry ($27,140)·         Elmore Roots Nursery LLC to conduct research and outreach to help specialty crop growers, nurseries, and landscapers increase transplanting success and reduce costs using an innovative gravel bed rooting system ($29,017)·         Northeast Organic Farming Association of Vermont to implement a marketing campaign that illustrates the connection between organic practices and climate change mitigation and resilience ($46,118)·         University of Vermont Extension Vegetable & Berry Team to conduct research and outreach to help vegetable growers manage chickweed (Stellaria media) using soil steaming ($49,641)·         University of Vermont Department of Plant and Soil Science to field test a dairy manure compost solution to control fungal soilborne pathogens and assess adoptability by vegetable growers ($33,193)·         University of Vermont Entomology Research Laboratory to strengthen and expand the emerging Vermont saffron industry through outreach, education, grower cost/revenue assessments, and consumer demand research ($40,000)·         Vermont Agency of Agriculture, Food & Markets to implement a community-oriented approach to food access and market development that will increase consumption of local specialty crops ($74,241)The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Agricultural Marketing Service awards Specialty Crop Block Grants to the 50 States, the District of Columbia, and U.S. Territories. In Vermont, VAAFM administers these funds to enhance the competitiveness of Vermont and regionally-grown specialty crops, defined as “fruits, vegetables, tree nuts, dried fruits, horticulture, and nursery crops (including floriculture).”To view the USDA press release announcing SCBGP awards nationally, visit is external) (case-sensitive URL).To learn more about the Vermont SCBGP, visit is external).Source: October 9, 2020 | Montpelier, VT – The Vermont Agency of Agriculture, Food & Markets (VAAFM)last_img read more

Gophers women’s basketball fall out in Big Ten quarterfinal

first_imgGophers women’s basketball fall out in Big Ten quarterfinalMinnesota defeated Penn State first, but lost to Maryland 92-80 on Saturday.Chris Dang, Daily File PhotoFreshman Guard Gadiva Hubbard drives the ball up the court on Saturday Feb. 11, 2017 at Williams Arena. Dominic DavisMarch 6, 2017Jump to CommentsShare on FacebookShare on TwitterShare via EmailPrintMaryland dashed Minnesota’s hopes of continuing on in the Big Ten Women’s Basketball Tournament and beat the Gophers 92-80 on Friday.Gadiva Hubbard put in a 28-point performance for a career high. She led Minnesota’s bench to 41 points.Hubbard continues to prove she can score with the best. She matched the points Maryland’s Shatori Walker-Kimbrough scored.“My teammates and my coaches were telling me to shoot,” Hubbard told reporters. “I know the last game I had an off-shooting game, so I tried to keep shooting and attacking.”The freshman guard has played well in big games before starting her career at Minnesota.Head coach Marlene Stollings is pleased with how Hubbard stepped up in an important game at the college level.“She’s used to big moments, but I’m really proud of how she handled this because it’s even a much bigger moment on this stage,” Stollings told reporters.Minnesota (15-16, 5-11 Big Ten) advanced to the quarterfinals by beating Penn State 70-64 on Thursday, resulting in a rematch against Maryland. The No. 4 Terrapins handled the Gophers 93-60 in the last game of the regular season, in which Minnesota struggled to score. This game played out much different.“I thought we just came out with a lot more heart and intensity,” Carlie Wagner told reporters. “We kept playing with them and kept coming at them and stayed aggressive.” Wagner was the third-highest scorer in the game with 21 points.Consistent scoring helped Minnesota keep up with Maryland in this meeting, but the Terrapins’ high-powered offense was still too much for the Gophers. Maryland shot over 50 percent from the field, and leading their efficient scoring was Walker-Kimbrough. The Maryland guard shot 11-15, including six threes.“They have a number of people who can score from anywhere on the floor,” Stollings said. “You take away something, there’s another person there.”Minnesota was fighting an uphill battle for much of the game after Maryland (29-2, 15-1 Big Ten) scored 27 points in the first quarter.The Gophers outscored the Terrapins in the fourth quarter, but the gap was too large to make a comeback.Ball movement by Maryland increased the threat its offense posed. Wagner thought their ball movement gave the Gophers extra trouble.Minnesota and Maryland were close in multiple categories. Maryland’s 3-point shooting gave them an edge, which was created from its ball movement.Stollings said they wanted to play deeper into March, but there are positive takeaways from this tournament and the season.She said the freshmen on this team are going to do big things in their time with Minnesota.“They’ll remember this, and it’ll sting a little bit,” Stollings said. “They have aspirations to really put our program back on the map on a national level.”last_img read more

Over 70,000 vaccinated against Ebola as outbreak marches on

first_imgMore than 70,000 people in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) have now been vaccinated with VSV-EBOV, Merck’s unlicensed Ebola vaccine, according to today’s update from DRC health officials.The vaccine recipients span 28 health zones in four provinces of the DRC, mostly in North Kivu and Ituri provinces, where ring vaccination campaigns began last August. As of today, 70,611 people have been vaccinated, including 20,321 in Beni, 16,657 in Katwa, 7,939 in Butembo, 6,008 in Mabalako, 2,656 in Kalunguta, and 2,110 in Komanda.Though experts have called the campaign a success, the outbreak shows no signs of slowing. Today, the DRC confirmed 7 new cases, bringing the total number to 759, including 468 deaths.Nearly 200 cases under investigationOf the seven new cases, six are in Katwa and one is in Butembo. Katwa is the latest hot spot for Ebola activity, where several cases have been confirmed each day in the past week.As has been the trend for the past several months, dozens of people—today the number stands at 178—are still under investigation for possible Ebola infections.There were three new deaths reported by the DRC, including one community death in Katwa and two deaths in Beni and Katwa that took place in an Ebola treatment center (ETC). Deaths in the community—versus in an ETC or hospital—raise the risk of transmission because of added exposure.The DRC also said a new eight-bed ETC in Kayina opened yesterday. This is the tenth ECT built  during this outbreak, and Kayina joins Beni, Bunia, Butembo, Goma, Katwa, Komanda, Mandima, Mangina, and Tchomia in having its own ETC.Cross-border concernsKatwa was also at the center of a possible international Ebola incident, when a man and a woman—contacts of confirmed Ebola cases in Katwa—crossed into Uganda through the Kasindi point of entry.The two people were under daily follow-up in the DRC but managed evade surveillance and cross into Uganda because they did not have any symptoms, the World Health Organization (WHO) said in an update today.”Uganda’s surveillance system immediately swung into action using health workers, security personnel, immigration officers and Village Health Teams (VHTs) among others to look for the duo,” the WHO said. “But on 30th January 2019, the two were located in one of the suburbs of Kampala. They were in good health with no signs and symptom for EVD [Ebola virus disease] and they have completed the 21-days mandatory follow-up for all EVD contacts.”The WHO said the event is a wakeup call that Ebola was just “a few hours away” from Kampala or other major cities near the DRC.See also:Jan 31 DRC updateJan 31 WHO storylast_img read more

People moves: Irwin Mitchell, Nexus Planning, EC Harris etc

first_imgTo access this article REGISTER NOWWould you like print copies, app and digital replica access too? SUBSCRIBE for as little as £5 per week. Would you like to read more?Register for free to finish this article.Sign up now for the following benefits:Four FREE articles of your choice per monthBreaking news, comment and analysis from industry experts as it happensChoose from our portfolio of email newsletterslast_img

Food Fair Celebrates Farmers

first_imgOne of the biggest family and farm-friendly events to hit the Twin Forks, will happen on June 8 and 9, and while it’s anybody’s guess how big a crowd will find its way to the first annual “North Meets South Farms, Food, and Drink Festival” at the Long Island Sports Park in Calverton, one just needs to look at the numbers to see why this isn’t the festival to miss.A hundred local vendors — including an agricultural market — will be found throughout 80 sprawling acres, with more than 30 options for food, six musical acts, five inflatable rides and games, four eating competitions, three boozy outlets, two corn hole tournaments, a pig-weighing contest, exotic petting zoo, birds of prey show, hay rides, face painting, candle making, and no ticket charge for children under 12.“It was really important to us to make sure this event was accessible to families,” said North Meets South co-creator, Monique Cutone, a professional face and body artist who joined forces with fellow mom and up-and-coming oyster grower, Vanessa Rebentisch, to make their dream of an affordable festival a reality. “I’ve been to festivals that have charged $20 per kid, and it gets tough to spend any money on the fun stuff inside when you get tapped out at the door. We wanted to make sure this festival wasn’t like that.”Adults will still need to pay $20 for their pre-sale ticket — or $25 at the door — but parents will only have to pay for whatever games their munchkins want to play.In addition to free entertainment by Brady Rymer, Jen Kane, Paris Ray, Southbound, Who Are Those Guys, and The Butterfly Cody Experience, everyone who comes through the gate will also get one free guess at how much the Goodale Farms pig-on-hand weighs, which will garner the winner a cool $100 cash prize. Two-hundred bucks will go to the winners of the two eating contests, which will take place on both days.One contest will reward the person who can shuck and eat 30 Yennicott oysters the fastest, and the other prize will go to the person to most quickly finish an allotted plate of glazed donuts from the North Fork Doughnut Company. The winner of the corn hole contest will get a custom corn hole board set by Wild Child Design in Speonk, and festival sponsor Chief Equipment, a John Deere sales/service outlet in Calverton, will also be giving away a brand-new rideable mower to one lucky event patron, according to Rebentisch, who said families are welcome to bring folding chairs and blankets to enjoy the music.“We’ll have seating areas available in the food section of the festival, but there’s a nice, big lawn in front of the main stage that would be perfect for people to sit on blankets,” she said. “Long Island Sports Park is a really gorgeous place: think rolling hills, lakes, and trees.”Rebentisch, 33, is the co-owner of Bantam Creek Oyster Company. She started the North Fork Event Company with Cutone, 34, of Stay Salted after Cutone’s chance meeting with the owner of the Long Island Sports Park last summer led to a rare opportunity for someone local to lease the expansive property, which had previously been dominated by corporations.The two met through their 10-year-old children and classmates in Southold, Ethan and Molly, but it is organizing this festival that has kept them in constant communication since last fall’s lease signing. “We’ve worked on this thing every day from morning to night, and it has been an incredible challenge to get a first annual event off the ground with a lot of nay-sayers, but we’ve only let that feed our hunger and our drive,” said Rebentisch.“I think the message here is if you really want something, you can do it. It’s just a lot of work, never giving up and never taking no for an answer,” she added. The Independent is a media sponsor for the event. Tickets are available at, under “North Meets South.”[email protected] Sharelast_img read more

Four companies in US LNG deal

first_imgSubscribe Get instant access to must-read content today!To access hundreds of features, subscribe today! At a time when the world is forced to go digital more than ever before just to stay connected, discover the in-depth content our subscribers receive every month by subscribing to gasworld.Don’t just stay connected, stay at the forefront – join gasworld and become a subscriber to access all of our must-read content online from just $270.last_img

Top news of the week June 1-6, 2015

first_imgLNG World News Staff KBR awarded FLNG FEED job by Lloyds EnergyLNG engineer KBR said that it has been awarded a near-shore floating LNG Front End Engineering Design contract by Lloyds Energy.CEO: Chevron to become one of world’s leading LNG producersOil and gas Giant Chevron is expecting to become one of the world’s leading producers of liquefied natural gas in the next five years.LNG-Gorskaya orders Russia’s first LNG bunker vesselsLNG-Gorskaya of Russia informed that is has signed a contract with United Shipbuilding Corporation for the construction of the country’s first three LNG bunkering vessels.Sempra LNG, Woodside to assess Port Arthur LNG projectSempra LNG, a unit of Sempra Energy, said it has executed a non-binding memorandum of understanding with a Woodside Petroleum unit to commence discussions and assessments for the potential development of Sempra LNG’s proposed Port Arthur liquefaction project in Port Arthur, Texas.IOC, Mitsubishi Corp in LNG supply dealIndian Oil Corporation informed an interim sales purchase agreement was signed with Mitsubishi Corporation for supply of 0.7 MMTPA of LNG for 20 years from the Cameron LNG project in the USA.last_img read more

Government right to throw weight behind promoting commercial legal sector abroad

first_imgA fresh breeze is blowing through Whitehall. After years of benign neglect, the commercial legal sector has been recognised by the government as an engine for economic growth, deserving of support abroad. In its action plan published last week, Plan for Growth: Promoting the UK’s Legal Sector, the Ministry of Justice undertakes to promote UK legal services abroad by seeking to break down regulatory barriers in overseas markets and by facilitating promotional activities. Among other things, British embassies will have access to an online toolkit to assist them in explaining the value of UK legal services, and members of the profession will be included on ministerial and lord mayoral visits. The initiative has been warmly welcomed by TheCityUK, whose legal services and dispute resolution committee will be assisting the ministry in devising a core script for communications. Most importantly, it signals a recognition by the government that investment in the legal sector will yield rewards for the wider economy. Why has there been a change of heart now, and what more can the government do? Here are some interesting facts and figures. In 2009, legal services generated £23.1bn, or 1.8% of UK GDP. This included £3.2bn in exports – a staggering three times more than in 1999. A large slice of these exports is generated by dispute resolution in London. In the Commercial Court, over 80% of the cases do not involve any English parties. This success is mirrored in arbitration. According to a recent survey by Queen Mary University of London (sponsored by White & Case), 30% of respondent corporations preferred London as a seat for arbitration, with Geneva second on 9%. The integrity and expertise of English judges and the legal profession are vital components of this success. But the key ingredient is the widespread preference for English law to govern business relations conducted abroad, particularly in the emerging markets. So why is the MoJ stepping in now? Well, although there is a real opportunity for English law to take a dominant position in international business, there is competition. For example, a combination of French and German bar associations recently published a booklet arguing that civil law is to be preferred to common law for business transactions. This is supported by the French and German justice ministers and the Fondation pour le Droit Continental, an organisation set up to unite continental law legal professionals in the promotion of codified civil law around the world. Alongside this, despite the absence of any evidence that it is needed or desirable, a group of MEPs is pressing ahead with a long-running initiative to introduce a new ‘optional instrument’ of European contract law, under the guidance of an ‘expert group’. This group largely consists of academic lawyers, many of whom have been closely involved with the promotion of a European civil code for some time. Elsewhere, in the emerging markets, English jurisdiction is also under threat from a growing number of regional arbitration centres, such as Maxwell Chambers in Singapore. It is therefore an opportune time for the government to lend its support, and the Plan for Growth is a good start. It also coincides with the opening later this year of the Rolls Building, a new state-of-the-art home for business courts in London, and the biggest of its kind in the world. But it should not end here. For example, more can be done by the government to resist continental ambitions for a European contract law. Closer to home, any thoughts of imposing daily trial fees for commercial cases, or otherwise hiking court fees, should be dismissed. Even if only a handful of cases were lost to London as a result, the additional fees raised would be outweighed by the loss of revenues to the Exchequer. As a nation, we have a history of taking our world-leading industries and institutions for granted until it is too late. Investment by the government in the legal sector will be for the benefit of all, and will help build on the undoubted success of English law and lawyers around the globe. Ted Greeno is a senior litigation partner at Herbert Smithlast_img read more