1 April 1996

The Lawyer

  • A high-tech honeymoon

    6-Apr-1996

    Like other law firms, Clifford Chance routinely uses technology in the conduct of its litigation case work. As partners equip staff with high-tech tools and back up, the use of IT has now become more normal than novel.The advantages are clear and are client-driven. For example, one client in the Maxwell civil actions wanted to see the legal team's comments on computer ...

  • All Greek to a defendant abroad

    6-Apr-1996

    The case of Philip Portington has not loomed large in law reports. But it is one which highlights the difference in the quality of justice for Britons at home and abroad. And whatever critics may say about our courts, UK justice comes out on top.Portington was arrested in Salonika, Greece, in 1985 for the murder of an Englishman. He had little in the way of funds to engage a lawyer and spent three years in jail pending trial in 1988.The evidence at his trial ...

  • Apil business code receives welcome from members

    6-Apr-1996

    Personal injury lawyers have responded positively to plans for a code of conduct for their group.According to the president of the Association of Personal Injury Lawyers (Apil), Caroline Harmer, the association has had entirely positive feedback from its members on the issue.Apil has been seriously considering a code for the past six months. The executive committee is currently drafting the code and hopes it will be ready to put out to consultation before the ...

  • Bingham held up as peace-maker

    6-Apr-1996

    John MalpasPUBLIC clashes between the Government and the judiciary may die down with the appointment of Sir Thomas Bingham as the new Lord Chief Justice.That was the prediction of Robert Stevens, Master of Pembroke College, Oxford, during a lecture organised by Hardwicke Building at the Old Hall in Lincoln's Inn.He was delivering the sixth of a series of lectures which the chambers started running in 1992.Although the ...

  • Breaking the sound barrier

    6-Apr-1996

    Voice technology systems - those which allow users to create text documents, enter numbers into spreadsheets and even conduct sessions on the Internet using the voice - are likely to greatly improve the productivity of lawyers. A year ago, I tested voice recognition products for The Lawyer, and concluded that "the rapid developments of these products in the last few months should make us all want to wait to see what the next releases will have to offer".

  • Brief

    6-Apr-1996

    LED BY trainee solicitor Deepak Malhotra, Denton Hall's chess team has won the hotly-contested annual Central London Legal Chess Cup, snatching victory from Simmons & Simmons in the final. The game is taken very seriously by the 18 or so City firms that compete. Slaughter and May's team is led by a Grand Master, William Watson, who is ranked among the top 40 in the world. "We knocked ...

  • Caching in on copyright

    6-Apr-1996

    The multimedia, colourful part of the Internet, the World Wide Web, is slowing down. Traffic is doubling every nine months and jams are common.The reason for these blockages is simple: 90 per cent of people using the Web are trying to look at the same 50 sites out of a total of around 16 million. As a result large Internet providers, some British universities and numerous companies have adopted a solution called caching. The flaw in their answer is that ...

  • City solicitors and barristers run for it

    6-Apr-1996

    Bar Council chair and David Penry-Davey QC is pictured here at the healthier end of the three and a half mile City of London Road Race.The keen athlete was one of dozens of lawyers to take part in the race, which was organised by Wilde Sapte.His efforts were in aid of the Bar Council's pro bono unit and the Barristers Benevolent Association.More than 2,000 City professionals took part in the race, held last month in aid of the Imperial Cancer ...

  • Costs force wave of moves in City

    6-Apr-1996

    TWO CITY firms have announced impending office moves to cut back on their overheads.Nicholson Graham & Jones and Sinclair Roche & Temperley have both cited overheads as reasons for their moves.However, a third firm gearing up for a move, the Sheffield branch of Bristol-based Wansbroughs Willey Hargrave, cited the near doubling of its staff as the reason behind its change of address.Later this month Nicholsons will move from three buildings in the ...

  • CPS strike averted but still last resort

    6-Apr-1996

    CPS LAWYERS have opted to hold back on their threat of strike action, at least for the time being.The CPS section of the Association of First Division Civil Servants (FDA) has decided to keep its threat of a one-day strike in reserve, despite Attorney General Sir NicholasLyell's refusal to meet with them to discuss their worries.At a recent meeting, the section's executive committee decided to press ahead with a MORI poll of its members ...

  • Crime surge warning for Chinese abroad

    6-Apr-1996

    Chinese communities across the world could face a rise in crime as a result of the exodus from Hong Kong in the run-up to 1997, a leading Hong Kong Queen's Counsel has predicted.Peter Nguyen QC said that Chinese communities are growing as a result of the movement out of Hong Kong."This creates law enforcement problems in those countries and new opportunities for crime. In view of the difficulties of policing ethnic minorities, there are easy pickings for ...

  • Don't forget the public's civil rights

    6-Apr-1996

    The recent International Bar Association conference on cross-border crime and criminal organisations painted a grim picture of the dangers organised crime poses to societies across the globe.From the triads of South East Asia to the Mafia and newly established organised crime groups in Eastern Europe, from the escalation of financial crimes such as credit card fraud and bank note fraud to the drugs barons across the world, the problem is testing governments worldwide.

  • Europe ill prepared for fraud

    6-Apr-1996

    Europe is "ill-prepared" to deal with the huge expansion of international fraud which accompanied the abolition of exchange controls, the director of the Serious Fraud Office (SFO) George Staples told delegates at the IBA conference.However, the subsequent signing of bilateral agreements and mutual assistance treaties has boosted efforts to investigate and prosecute cross-border cases, he said.In Europe, the Convention on Mutual Legal Assistance on Criminal Matters ...

  • Family law firm cuts divorce bills by offering in-house counselling service

    6-Apr-1996

    A NICHE family law firm which hired a counsellor to help divorcing couples says the move is reducing clients' fees.Midlands firm Benussi & Co claims the time couples spend discussing the emotional problems of divorce with solicitors greatly increases their final bill.The firm is one of the few UK firms to offer a divorce package which includes independent and confidential counselling.Diane Benussi, who founded the firm, said it was more economical ...

  • Fernando is favourite in IBA election

    6-Apr-1996

    Sri Lankan lawyer Desmond Fernando and German lawyer Klaus Bohlhoff are front runners in the race to lead the International Bar Association next year.Voting, which took place in Madrid on 1 June, is expected to see Fernando replace Scottish lawyer Professor J Ross Harper as president, while Bohlhoff, currently treasurer, is likely to become vice-president.There are some doubts as to the position of Bermuda lawyer Diana Kempe QC who is current secretary general ...

  • Financings

    6-Apr-1996

    Ashurst Morris Crisp acted for Chelsfield in relation to its three for ten rights issue announced on 21 May to raise £102 million. Freshfields acted for Hambros

  • Financings

    6-Apr-1996

    James Chapman advised Aston Villa

  • Financings

    6-Apr-1996

    SJ Berwin acted for MSB International in connection with its placing and admission to the London Stock Exchange to raise £50 million. Osborne Clarke acted for Beeson Gregory

  • Financings

    6-Apr-1996

    Wragge & Co advised Recognition Systems on the company's stockmarket flotation announced on 21 May. On flotation

  • Firm injects lease of life into Barts

    6-Apr-1996

    CLIFFORD Chance is helping St Bartholomew's hospital take on a new lease of life.The firm has drawn up a governing instrument so that a charitable foundation can run Barts independent of the NHS, which plans to close it in 2002.The firm's link with Barts is well established. It was involved in the Save Barts Patients' Campaign which began four years ago and acted for Islington and Hackney councils in a judicial review of the Government's decision ...

  • Firm lens a hand at Cannes film festival

    6-Apr-1996

    Renting an office at the Cannes film festival has paid off for Theodore Goddard.For the fifth year running, a team of five lawyers from the City firm's media and entertainment group, headed by consultant Keith Cousins, were at the festival. During their stay they drew up financing deals for five new films (three European and two American) and distribution deals for others.Partner Mark Westaway acted as production solicitor for Mike Leigh's Secrets and ...

  • Franchise lawyers take on dodgy dealers

    6-Apr-1996

    A GROUP of 11 law firms have teamed up to protect business clients from being preyed upon by businesses offering questionable franchise deals.The Franchise Information Exchange has been set up by Hampshire solicitors Sherwin Oliver to ensure clients are warned away from dishonest franchise offers which could cost them thousands of pounds.The network of firms across the country will exchange information about franchisers and pool their legal knowledge in case ...

  • Gray's Inn set looks to future with Verulam Buildings move

    6-Apr-1996

    COMMERCIAL set 3 Gray's Inn Place has moved to a new home at 3 Verulam Buildings.The set, which has changed its name to match its address, says its new home in the freshly restored Gray's Inn building is larger and better equipped that its old premises.The Verulam Buildings chambers now boasts a fibre optic-linked computer system which will allow access to email, Lexis, Link and Lix systems. It is also hoped the extra space will allow for expansion.

  • Gulf between little and large

    6-Apr-1996

    This is the seventh year that the management consultancy division of Robson Rhodes has run a legal IT survey. Overall 312 firms, employing over 19,000 lawyers and nearly 20,000 support staff responded to the mailshot.The survey included 58 questions and this summary concentrates on some of the most important results, including an increasing technological gap between large and small firms.Fee earner usage of ITOver the last few years the ...

  • Gummer gets all clear

    6-Apr-1996

    Secretary of State for the Environment Secretary John Gummer has warded off moves to put his decision over changes to local authority re-structuring in Berkshire under the House of Lords spotlight. Berkshire County Council has been refused leave to challenge an Appeal Court ruling under which it will cease to exist for all but ceremonial purposes in July 1997, with its powers and functions being transferred to district unitary authorities.

  • Hardwicke ups stumps

    6-Apr-1996

    Hardwicke Building, London's largest set, is moving. In August the set will transfer from its current home in New Square to nearby Hale Court. The building is currently being refurbished by Lincoln's Inn in a £2.7 million upgrade. The chambers, which has 65 tenants and 21 back-up staff, will enjoy premises three times the size of its New Square accommodation, allowing room for expansion. Chief executive Tony Wells said: "It is a very exciting ...

  • Helicopter crash question

    6-Apr-1996

    The Warsaw Convention provisions limiting liability for air crashes is to be probed by the Law Lords in a case from Scotland involving a police officer killed when a helicopter crashed. The case will centre on the question of whether for the purposes of the convention the dead policeman was a passenger or was being transported pursuant to a "contract of carriage". Solicitors for the appellants is Leigh Day & Co and

  • In brief: 'Tremendous response' to committee call

    6-Apr-1996

    The Law Society's criminal law committee has had a "tremendously good response" to calls for solicitors to serve on the committee, which advises the Law Society on criminal law issues. It has received 60 applications for four vacancies, all from "terribly able" solicitors. It is now drawing up a shortlist of candidates to interview and hopes to fill the seats by the beginning of the next council year, in the autumn. Committee chair Robert Roscoe said: "It's terrific that there ...

  • In brief: Berwin Leighton appoints eight partners

    6-Apr-1996

    City law firm Berwin Leighton has appointed eight partners from within the firm. Managing partner Bernard Bartlett said the promotions reflected the good health of the firm: "In a competitive environment we have come through the last few years as a stronger practice and are experiencing an expansion of work in all areas." The new partners are: Velia Leone (EC law), Chris Mackie, Antony Grossman and Frances McLeman (all corporate finance), David Dennison (pensions and employee benefits), ...

  • In brief: Big wigs debate judicial reform at Oxford

    6-Apr-1996

    A host of legal celebrities will speak at the Oxford Union debate on Thursday, sponsored by Davies Arnold Cooper. Solicitors, barristers and judges will debate the motion 'This House would radically reform the judiciary'. Proposing the motion are Lord Williams of Mostyn and David McIntosh, senior partner of Davies Arnold Cooper. Attorney General Sir Nicholas Lyell QC, Lord Slynn of Hadley and George Carman QC will oppose the motion.

  • In brief: Elizabeth Andrew

    6-Apr-1996

    Elizabeth Andrew, the local government specialist who wrote the article 'Grounds for appeal in Westminster case' in last week's issue of The Lawyer, is a tenant of Devereux Chambers, and not Verulam Buildings.

  • In brief: Money-making conference in London

    6-Apr-1996

    The Lawyer is organising a one-day conference on 'Improving profitability' at the London Marriott Hotel on 9 July. Aimed at partners, finance directors, department heads and managers with responsibilities for increasing revenues, it will be chaired by Jonathan Lewis, chief executive of DJ Freeman, and includes speakers from Coopers & Lybrand Consulting, Edge Group, Hammond Suddards, Royal Bank of Scotland, Masons, McKenna & Co, Elliott Slone and Corporate Value Associates. ...

  • In brief: Tax-saver Jenkins moves to Addleshaws

    6-Apr-1996

    Corporate and property tax solicitor Ed Jenkins has joined Manchester-based commercial law firm Addleshaw Sons & Latham as a partner. His particular expertise is in mergers and acquisitions and in devising tax-saving strategies for people selling their businesses. Jenkins is also widely experienced in venture capital, having acted for managers and venture capitalists.

  • In brief: TV documentary needs false confessions

    6-Apr-1996

    Television researchers investigating cases where defendants make false confessions are calling on lawyers to help them make a documentary. The television company, Antelope Productions, wants to make a documentary highlighting cases when defendants deliberately confess to crimes they did not commit. Associate producer Piu Das Gupta said people made false confessions for many reasons which included a desire to protect a loved one or to achieve notoriety. The company, which has produced ...

  • In brief: Vaudreys gets Refuge's litigation work

    6-Apr-1996

    Manchester firm Vaudreys has been appointed to handle commercial litigation work for Refuge Assurance. The Wilmslow-based company began outsourcing legal work earlier this year when it offered Vaudreys its commercial property work. Now Vaudreys is recruiting two extra staff to cover the extra commercial litigation it has taken on. Refuge will retain its in-house legal team as an advisory body.

  • Indian judges swot up on women's issues

    6-Apr-1996

    Ten senior Indian judges have begun a month-long course on women's issues and the law at Warwick University's Law School.The programme was devised after the Chief Justice of India pointed out a gap in awareness of women's issues in the Indian legal training system.The 10 judges will visit Crown and County courts, rape suites, employment tribunals and the Equal Opportunities Commission. They will also meet police officers who work with cases of ...

  • Isle of Man front runner in race for LLPs

    6-Apr-1996

    THE ISLE OF MAN has taken pole position in a race among offshore havens to enact limited liability partnership laws to entice City law firms to register with them.The island has introduced an amendment to a Bill currently going through its parliament in an effort to be the first island to introduce such a law.Jersey's draft legislation on the issue is expected to be enacted by the end of the year. It aims to protect the pockets of individual partners from ...

  • IT: an automatic choice?

    6-Apr-1996

    Love IT or loathe it, there are few lawyers left who have not used IT - even if only a word processor.And, if Lord Woolf has his way, many more will be using computers in the near future. The final version of his report, Access to Justice, is scheduled for publication next month. If its recommendations on IT follow those in the interim report published last year, it is likely that Woolf will call for pilot studies into the use of video conferencing, ...

  • Joint liability report puts plaintiffs first

    6-Apr-1996

    The Law Commission's report on the feasibility of reform of the law on joint and several liability is the result of repeated calls for reform. Auditors in particular claim to be paying substantial damages for losses for which they do not view themselves wholly responsible.The underlying principle of joint and several liability, which the report upholds, is that an innocent plaintiff should bear no risk of not being reimbursed because of the non-payment of damages. Instead, ...

  • LAB squares up to fury of jilted parents

    6-Apr-1996

    Cyril DixonA NEWLY-published league table of the country's top legal advisers to charities has highlighted the increasing importance of voluntary sector business to law firms.Firms with experienced specialists in the charity area are taking advantage of a burgeoning market, according to the analysis from this year's 'Henderson Top 2000 Charities Directory'.The table, which covers the 10 firms with the most charity clients, ...

  • LAB squares up to fury of jilted parents

    6-Apr-1996

    Legal aid provisions are scheduled to come back before the High Court in the near future. The court will be asked to overturn a decision which refused legal aid for a civil action against an alleged paedophile ring accused of sexually abusing six children.The parents of the four girls and two boys, all from Durham, decided to take civil action in a bid to properly air the matter in court after the Crown Prosecution Service decided there was insufficient evidence ...

  • Lambeth to axe 20 lawyers in privatisation initiative

    6-Apr-1996

    Twenty solicitors and 30 legal executives will lose their jobs at Lambeth Council if proposals to outsource all legal work are approved next month.The council has decided it should voluntarily hand over its legal work to the private sector just six months after its own legal team won a contract under compulsory competitive tendering.The move is one of the most radical outsourcing projects to be undertaken by an in-house legal team.In 1994 Conservative-controlled ...

  • Law Society fails to stop Bar Council's fee system

    6-Apr-1996

    A new system of graduated fees for Crown Court advocacy work looks likely to be introduced this summer, despite opposition from the Law Society.The scheme, which will introduce common fees for barristers and solicitor advocates for legal aid cases in the Crown Courts, was initiated by the Bar Council.The Bar argues the system is in the spirit of the Courts and Legal Services Act because it introduces a level playing field for advocates and gives clients a clearer ...

  • Litigation Disciplinary Tribunals 04/0696

    6-Apr-1996

    Irving Brown, 65, admitted 1978, practising at material times as Irving Brown & Daughter, London E6, fined £10,000. Allegations substantiated he established and operated solicitors practice principally managed by unqualified clerk in improper circumstances having regard to the extent of his knowledge of the clerk and supervision provided; he was in possession of information that the clerk was dishonest having been convicted of serious offences and ...

  • Litigation Personal Injury 04/06/96

    6-Apr-1996

    Ingleby v Islington Health Authority - QBD 13 May 1996Claimant: Christopher Ingleby, Incident: Medical negligenceInjuries: Oxygen starvation at birth resulting in cerebral palsy; claimant cannot speak or carry out everyday tasks unaided; will need specialist supervision for the rest of his life; despite disabilities described as a "delightful child" who shows great promise and potentialAward: £2.2 million (agreed damages)

  • Litigation Recent Decisions 04/06/96

    6-Apr-1996

    Wages and remuneration of restaurant staffNerva & ors v RL&G (1996).CA (Staughton LJ, Aldous LJ and Douglas Brown J).Summary: Whether tips paid by restaurant customers by cheque or credit card form part of the remuneration of the staff paid by the restaurant.Employees' appeal against decision summarised below that gratuities paid by restaurant customers into a tronc for the benefit of the staff formed part of the staff's ...

  • Litigation Writs 04/06/96

    6-Apr-1996

    The Public Health Laboratory Service Board, of London NW9, is being sued by Patricia Lowans, of Topsham, Exeter. Lowans claims she suffered personal injuries and loss as a result of the board's alleged negligence and breach of statutory duty in 1993 during her work at a laboratory in Church Lane, Heavitree, Exeter.Writ issued by Hallam-Peel & Co, London SE1.Insurance Services is suing a burglar alarm installation ...

  • Management talks

    6-Apr-1996

    Leadership and management strategies for chambers are to be discussed at an evening seminar this week organised by The Lawyer. Bar Council chair David Penry-Davey is to host the seminar at the Inner Temple on Thursday evening. Speakers are James Hunt QC, head of chambers at 1 King's Bench Walk, Doughty Street practice manager Christine Kings, and Alan Hodgart of management consultants Hodgart Temporal. There will also be an open debate among the 100 barristers, ...

  • NE Circuit head tackles pre-trial role

    6-Apr-1996

    Judges on the North Eastern Circuit may become more active at the pre-trial stage, following the appointment of Mr Justice Hooper as the new presiding judge.Hooper is one of four presiding judges appointed by Lord Chief Justice Lord Taylor last month.He said the appointment came as a bolt out of the blue, which he greeted with "a mixture of excitement and trepidation" - trepidation at the amount of work involved and excitement at returning ...

  • New CBA secretary prepares to do battle

    6-Apr-1996

    Richard Carey-Hughes has been elected as the new secretary of the Criminal Bar Association (CBA), replacing Stephen Kay.Carey-Hughes, who practices at 4 Brick Court, headed by Anne Rafferty QC, is a CBA committee member and edited the association's news-letter from 1992 to 1995."This is an interesting time with changes in the law, particularly legal aid, coming in and I will enjoy the chance to be in the thick of things," Carey-Hughes said.Other ...

  • New force in Sheffield

    6-Apr-1996

    LONG-established South Yorkshire firms Keeble Hawson and Rodgers & Howe are to merge this month, creating what they say will be the third largest law firm in Sheffield.The new firm will be called Keeble Hawson.Senior partner Tony Gregory said the merger would broaden the range of expertise the firms could provide. He said Keeble Hawson had large civil litigation, commercial property and corporate departments, while Rodgers & Howe had a substantial private client ...

  • Nortons ups Paris stakes

    6-Apr-1996

    London and international law firm Norton Rose is moving its Paris office to larger premises following an increase in staff from eight to 18 lawyers in the past three years.Francis Chronnel, head of the Paris office, said it was established in 1990, with one partner and one assistant, to draw up financing deals for French banks lending money to the aviation industry, particularly Airbus. ...

  • Pensions Ombudsman wields greater power for the people

    6-Apr-1996

    The second Pensions Ombudsman, Dr Julian Farrand QC, will soon have the similar powers to a High Court judge. His jurisdiction will be extended by the Pensions Act 1995 to include complaints by trustees against employers and vice versa, and to complaints between two groups of trustees.The ombudsman will, like a judge, be able to compel the production of documents and make witnesses give evidence. There is no monetary limit on the awards he can make, and they are binding ...

  • Questions of conflict

    6-Apr-1996

    Conveyancers are constantly being told that they must adopt a commercial attitude to their work and must no longer look upon conveyancing as their bread and butter.Most solicitors are happy to do this but Practice Rule 6 inhibits solicitors from being properly commercial.The word "conflict" rears its ugly head and solicitors who would like to be effective and commercial are being prevented from doing so. We are told that the practice rule gives us the ...

  • Race for presidency hots up

    6-Apr-1996

    A THIRD runner looks set to enter the contest for the Law Society presidency in a surprise move which could split the anti-establishment vote.As The Lawyer went to press, the Solicitors Association was poised to announce its own candidate for the elections with the group's chair,Anthony Bogan, as the most likely candidate.If the association does throw its hat into the ring, it could seriously damage Law Society president Martin Mears' chances ...

  • Red-faced solicitors apologise for Bingham snub

    6-Apr-1996

    A NATIONAL solicitors' group has expressed deep embarrassment at the public claims of one of its committee members that Sir Thomas Bingham lacks the experience to be the new Lord Chief Justice.Last week, Derek French claimed to be speaking for the Criminal Law Solicitors Association when he told the Law Society's Gazette that the group's committee was concerned about the new Lord Chief Justice's lack of criminal experience.But CLSA vice-president ...

  • Rights threatened, says crime ace

    6-Apr-1996

    Civil rights are being sacrificed for crime control, a leading UK white collar crime lawyer has claimed.Peters & Peters senior partner Monty Raphael, chairing an IBA session on commercial fraud, said there was "more and more emphasis on repression," in efforts to control crime.Acknowledging that "a price must be paid to confront lawlessness," he asked "how will we judge ...

  • Russian judges routinely subjected to terror threats

    6-Apr-1996

    Russian judges are having "tremendous problems" gaining recognition as independent and respected members of the community, and are routinely subjected to threats and terrorism, according to a US judge.Judge Suzanne Conlon, who recently returned from an American Bar Association workshop on organised crime for judges in Siberia, said the rule of law must be established if democratic institutions and free markets are to survive in Eastern Europe.She said that her ...

  • Sara Fowler sees a solution to the old chestnut of PI multipliers. Sara Fowler is a senior manager at Ernst & Young.

    6-Apr-1996

    The debate over multipliers in personal injury cases focuses on the investment by a plaintiff of his damages award, in particular the merits of different investments such as equities and index linked government stocks (ILGS).The assumption implicit in the traditional approach to multipliers is that the real rate of return is 4-5 per cent. This was challenged with the publication of the Ogden tables in 1994, which advised that, with ILGS, it was possible ...

  • Scots fight off MMC income probe

    6-Apr-1996

    A BID by the Monopolies and Mergers Commission to prize fee income information out of Scottish law firms has been thwarted by the Law Society of Scotland after a battle in the high court.The society moved against the MMC after it discovered that the commission was about to send out questionnaires to Scottish firms seeking details of their gross fee income.The MMC, which has powers to demand information relevant to its enquiries, wanted the information as part ...

  • Scots greet incoming president

    6-Apr-1996

    Leading personal injury lawyer Grant McCulloch has taken up office as the new president of the Scottish Law Society ready to fight battles on several fronts.McCulloch, a solicitor advocate, has been an Edinburgh partner with Drummond Miller WS for the past 17 years. As a specialist in medical negligence he was involved in the 1994 case which led to the highest ever damages award for personal injures in Scotland.A member of the Law Society Council since 1987, ...

  • Shake-up at Irish courts

    6-Apr-1996

    Proposals for a radical shake-up of the Irish courts system have been accepted by Eire's Justice Minister Nora Owen. The proposals are aimed at improving efficiency and reducing trial waiting lists that can stretch up to five years.The plan has been produced by a working party which has been sitting for several months and is headed by Irish Supreme Court judge Justice Susan Denham. Its main recommendation is the establishment of an independent state agency, the Courts ...

  • Solicitors make a great advertisement for the profession

    6-Apr-1996

    A THREE year £3 million advertising campaign to improve the image of solicitors is being considered by the Law Society. Chancery Lane officials have met with PR guru Sir Tim Bell to seek his advice on the way forward. The Lawyer asked a selection of advertising, public relations and media friendly lawyers what they thought.Will Audrey, a copywriter at Bartle Bogle Hegarty, whose clients include National Westminster Bank, Coca Cola and Levi Strauss, said selling solicitors ...

  • The best hints going...virtually

    6-Apr-1996

    Once you have an Internet connection for a short time, you cannot fail to notice how slow the process of retrieving information from around the world is.After about 2pm on a working day, the US (it seems at times almost in its entirety) will log on to the system, introducing a new form of stress - Internet Rage - as the hour glass wait symbol spends more time on your screen than the pointer.However, there are a number of useful routines and ...

  • The Lawyer Inquiry: Ross MacKay

    6-Apr-1996

    Ross MacKay is the head of the private client department at Henderson Boyd Jackson, WS, based in Edinburgh. Raised in the Scottish Highlands, he has lived in Edinburgh since 1980 What was your first job?Bus conductor on the Mull of Kintyre.What was your first ever salary as a lawyer?Around £2,000 a year as an indentured apprentice.What would you have done if you ...

  • War of judicial independence

    6-Apr-1996

    Most people in the legal profession recognise that the UK is facing its gravest constitutional crisis to date - the lack of an independent judiciary. However, very few mention it. I will not be so polite.The Lord Chancellor, Lord Mackay, is a government minister and his interests as a member of the Cabinet endanger and compromise his duties as the head of the judiciary. That Mackay must negotiate with the Treasury is one thing; for him to be obliged to defend ...