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ChiefOfficers.Net

This is a Lotus. They call it the Elite. And it will be unveiled at the Paris Motor Show next week, just one of a range of models, modifications and tech that Lotus has lined up for its biggest ever international show.

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At first sight, it's a weird idea - but on closer inspection, it's a model that other small-scale manufacturers might usefully follow in export markets: Bentley (and Crewe-build Rolls-Royce) owners in the USA are being treated to a touring parts and accessories display.

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Porsche USA is looking for the oldest car in the country.

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Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati have appointed CHEN Wei Heng as partner in its Shanghai corporate and securities practice and co-head of the China practice.

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GM's UK arm, Vauxhall, is taking out full page advertisements in all major UK newspapers promoting a "lifetime warranty." But the headline is not the full story.

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It's almost six months since prosecutors in Gibraltar arrested Benjamin and Solomon Marrache of law firm Marrache and Co, alleging false accounting. That's a nice term for lying - and doing it in writing. But it's a little more complicated than that.

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The Law Society of England and Wales has issued an e-mail circular to solicitors referring to acceptable documents for client identification in relation to money laundering. Is it sufficient?

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International law firm Dechert LLP have announced that Thomas P. Vartanian, David L. Ansell, and Robert H. Ledig have joined the firm as partners in the Washington, D.C. office. All three were previously partners at Fried, Frank, Harris, Shriver & Jacobson LLP, where Vartanian served as chairman of the Financial Institutions Transaction Group.

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VW says - again - that it's courtship with Proton is off.

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The value of client data is demonstrated by the case of a San Jose law firm. A clerk stole data and used it to forge credit applications. And it was not the only professional business targeted.

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The USA lumps all kinds of insolvency proceedings under the single heading of "bankruptcy" and so its headline figures are misleading. But behind the headline figure - that there was a near-30% increase in 2009 as against 2008 - there are some trends that indicate a deep malaise in the US economy - and signs that there's still a long way to go before bad debt has returned to actuarially acceptable levels.

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It was a car that generated lust or nausea: born as the road-going equivalent of a military vehicle, Hummer wanted to be the Jeep of the 21st Century. It was a car that, had the idea arisen today, would never have been born. And with its Tonka-toy styling, its ridiculous demand for real-estate in the middle of a busy road and a fuel consumption that only oil-rich show-offs could realistically afford, there is little doubt that it was doomed.

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There used to be a game to make up versions of names for airlines and car manufacturers. For Lotus, it was said that the name was an acronym for "Lots of trouble, usually serious". Not any more - and the little factory in Norfolk remains a hotbed of innovation. Amongst its projects is serious work on hybrids.

Stuff a Prius - how about a hybrid Evora?

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Is it big brother or logical safety? Toyota is to fit a "brake over-ride" system to all new models starting with the 2011 model year. What will it do?

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It's been a game of brinkmanship with one of the world's best brands almost disappearing. But at last an deal has been done that allows the Swedish government to guarantee a loan that will support the purchase of SAAB from GM by Spyker of the Netherlands.

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