1 July 1996

The Lawyer

  • 'Bored' Benson quits for multidisciplinary vision

    5-Jul-1996

    LITIGATION partner Stuart Benson has announced he is leaving City firm Dibb Lupton Broomhead but is adamant he will not join another law firm.Benson, who was responsible for the firm's business development and marketing, said he was frustrated at the inability of law firms to develop multidisciplinary partnerships."I'm bored with being a lawyer," said Benson, who has not decided what his next move will be. "I want to do more than that."He ...

  • 623-year-old law forces solicitor to move offices

    5-Jul-1996

    A MEDIEVAL law, dating back to 1373, has forced a London solicitor who wants to become a notary public to move his business offices out of central London.Mark Smith of Prince Evans solicitors has had to move his office to Ealing in West London because of a law governed by the medieval guild of scrivener notaries which states that notaries public cannot practise within three miles of the City of London.The Worshipful Company of Scriveners say that they have solely ...

  • Advocates of a better Bar

    5-Jul-1996

    If you thought the only students who left college and went on to become barristers are those with a rich father and who live a stone's throw away from Lincoln's Inn, you're in for a surprise.Major changes are taking place in the way education and training for practice at the Bar of England and Wales are organised and delivered and the emphasis is on ensuring fairness and promoting equality of opportunity.From the beginning of this year, ...

  • Are you work experienced?

    5-Jul-1996

    If you are considering a career in the legal profession, you are probably debating whether to become a solicitor or barrister and what sort of law you want to practise.In a profession that is increasingly competitive, both to enter and to succeed in, it is important to narrow down your choice to certain aspects of the law and to consider what type of firm or chambers would suit you best.There are two major topics to think about when planning your ...

  • At the career crossroads

    5-Jul-1996

    Students looking to enter the legal profession have traditionally had to decide early on in their studies whether they wish to become solicitors or barristers.Many factors will influence them. The understandably appealing prospect of regular pay and a well-defined career path will steer many to become solicitors. Others prefer the autonomy of the Bar. Few, however, will ever experience practise on both sides of the profession.As a result, comparisons ...

  • Attention to reform, not stats

    5-Jul-1996

    JUDGES tend to be either inordinately proud of the role of judicial review in reining in the executive, or acutely conscious of the confines of the remedy.My experience is that it depends on whether you catch them in administrative law conferences or court. More cynical observers might add that it also turns on the type of case under review. Lord Woolf is widely respected as a law lord of great learning and no little humanity. It was therefore disappointing to hear ...

  • Brussels exodus at Clifford Chance

    5-Jul-1996

    FIVE lawyers have left Clifford Chance's Brussels office in the past four months, four from the EC department.Clifford Chance partner responsible for the Brussels office's EC competition practice, Alex Nourry, denied rumours of poor morale and said the firm had recruit ed six lawyers over the past six months."The people who left have left for different and unconnected ...

  • Champion of the public's environmental rights

    5-Jul-1996

    Martin Polden, chair of the Environmental Law Foundation, is a poacher turned game keeper.For many years his legal career involved representing developers who, in his own words, "were wreaking disaster on town centres"."And then I saw the error of my ways," he said. "I gave it all up and started to try and do something positive for the community."In 1992 he became chair of the Environmental Law Foundation. Then in 1994, he retired from his own practice, ...

  • City firms tune in to media merger boom

    5-Jul-1996

    Firms are gearing up for a spate of merger activity in the broadcasting sector to follow the passage of the Broadcasting Bill this summer.Stephen Cooke, partner at Slaughter and May, said: "The new rules will pave the way for further consolidation and we expect media groups to take advantage of the changes."Slaughters is legal adviser to Channel 3 television companies ...

  • Dewey Ballantine goes solo in London

    5-Jul-1996

    US firm Dewey Ballantine is ending its alliance with City firm Theodore Goddard to establish its own independent London office.Managing partner of Dewey Ballantine in London, Brian Morris, said equal numbers of UK and US lawyers would be recruited for the new office."We're hoping to expand to 10 to 20 lawyers within six months to a year," he said.He said the practice would focus on capital markets, mergers and acquisitions and project finance.

  • Financings

    5-Jul-1996

    Ashurst Morris Crisp acted for Invesco English and International Trust in connection with a conditional placing and open offer of shares to raise £27.3 million.

  • Financings

    5-Jul-1996

    Pinsent Curtis has been involved as advisers in the latest round of rail sell-offs. The firm advised Midland Bank which provided bond facilities in connection with franchises won by National Express to operate the Gatwick Express and Midlands Main Line services. Pinsents also acted for Singer & Friedlander merchant bank as sponsors and underwriters of two recent placings and open offers to fund multi-million pound acquisitions in the South East and Midlands. Singers sponsored an offer ...

  • Financings

    5-Jul-1996

    Herbert Smith acted for Securicor in connection with proposals designed to unify the group with its subsidiary

  • Financings

    5-Jul-1996

    Allen & Overy acted for The Thomson Corporation on its purchase of shares of companies in Finland

  • Fladgate Fielder checks in Regal deal

    5-Jul-1996

    Fladgate Fielder has completed its biggest City deal by advising Regal Hotels on acquiring 60 hotels from Forte for £122 million.The transaction, completed last week, is the high point of an impressive foray into corporate finance which Fladgates launched three years ago.The firm has boosted corporate work fee income from £950,000 to nearly £2.3 million, a figure ...

  • Giles Orton looks at the latest in Lloyds' pensions equality war.

    5-Jul-1996

    Giles Orton is a partner at Eversheds.THE HIGH Court has dealt a blow to Lloyds Bank's attempts to equalise pension benefits between the sexes by 'levelling down' women's benefits. The result is likely to mean that men's benefits will be levelled up, at a cost of around £100 million.This ruling follows the 1990 European Court ruling in the Barber ...

  • Harangued by the public and pot shots by the press - its a lawyer's life

    5-Jul-1996

    Despite all the profession's attempts to counter it, the public image of lawyers is slipping. As the joke goes, how can you tell the difference between a dead snake and a dead lawyer lying in the road? There are skidmarks in front of the snake.But it is probably no surprise that two thirds of lawyers think the public has a negative image of the profession, as revealed in The Lawyer survey. And, according to the Law Society, this belief is justified.Gerald ...

  • Herbert Smith forges links with Indonesia

    5-Jul-1996

    CITY FIRM Herbert Smith has established a presence in Jakarta through an arrangement with local firm Prof Dr Mariam Darus, Badrulzaram & Partners.Herbert Smith corporate lawyer Stefan Ricketts has left the firm's London office to work as a full-time consultant with the firm.He will provide support in Jakarta to local financial institutions, corporate clients and international investors.Liz McDougall, head of business development at Herbert Smith, ...

  • In brief: Attorney General hears profession's views

    5-Jul-1996

    Lawyers in Leeds had a chance to question the Attorney General at the end of last month. Sir Nicholas Lyell took time out from campaigning in the local elections to discuss current legal issues with local lawyers. Among the concerns raised were the timescale for implementing Lord Woolf's fast track proposals and why the Government was not actively promoting court-annexed alternative dispute resolution. The meeting took place at the Leeds office of Wansbroughs Willey Hargrave. Managing ...

  • In brief: Blake moves in as property partner

    5-Jul-1996

    Retail property lawyer Monica Blake has joined DJ Freeman as a partner in the property services department.

  • In brief: Brussels placement up for grabs

    5-Jul-1996

    Trainee solicitors are invited to spend five months in Brussels with the Law Society of England and Wales and the Law Society of Scotland. The trainee will gain insight into the workings of European institutions and the best way to lobby them, as well as learning how European laws are made and the way they affect solicitors and their clients. The placement starts in October, but applications must be received by 24 May. Phone Barbara McKelvey at the Law Society on 0171 320 5797 for an ...

  • In brief: Evans steps up to Takeover Panel

    5-Jul-1996

    Carlton Evans, a solicitor in the corporate division of Linklaters & Paines, has been appointed to a two-year secondment on the Takeover Panel from the 7 May. He will replace Judith Shepherd, who completes her secondment on 31 May.

  • In brief: Headhunters scent out award

    5-Jul-1996

    Legal recruitment firm Wellman Smith has been awarded an Investor in People award. The company, which has offices in Nottingham, London, Birmingham, Leeds and Manchester, specialises in headhunting for law firms.

  • In brief: Kidd Rapinet merger goes ahead

    5-Jul-1996

    Regional firm Kidd Rapinet has merged with Francis & How of Wendover, Buckinghamshire, with effect from the end of April. Jane Aldridge and Bill Squire, former partners of Francis & How, have joined Kidd Rapinet - Aldridge as a partner and Squire as a consultant. The Wendover office will continue to practise from the existing offices under the name, Francis & How, part of Kidd Rapinet.

  • In brief: Legal phone service extends to referrals

    5-Jul-1996

    The Legal Protection Group, an insurance and legal services group linked to the Sun Alliance, has extended its existing telephone legal advice service, LawCall, to include a referral system. LawCall professional services is a joint venture between LawCall, LawNet, a national quality-assured solicitor network, and the chartered accountancy group UK 200. It provides subscribers with a referral service to lawyers and accountants throughout the country.

  • In brief: Talks focus on new legal aid rules

    5-Jul-1996

    District judge Dick Greenslade, assessor to the Woolf committee, and Professor John Baldwin, director of the Institute of Judicial Administration and Professor of judicial administration at Birmingham University, were the lead speakers at an 'Access to Justice' conference held at the end of last month. The event, organised by the National Council for Access to Law, considered the impact of new legal aid rules.

  • In brief: Tax supremo, Riches, moves to Withers

    5-Jul-1996

    John Riches, a partner in Pinsent Curtis, is leaving the firm to join Withers. He joins the City firm early next month as a partner in the private client department. Riches specialises in tax and trust issues, wealth preservation and succession planning. Murray Hallam, head of Withers' private client practice, said: "John's arrival is a welcome move and demonstrates the continuing importance of London as a centre for private client work."

  • In brief: Young Bland hits Eversheds top spot

    5-Jul-1996

    National firm Eversheds has appointed its youngest ever senior partner. Adrian Bland, 40, currently deputy managing partner and head of commercial property, was unanimously elected as senior partner of the Birmingham office. He will take on the new role on the retirement of David Haggett on 1 May 1997. "I see us developing very much along current lines as a totally business-oriented firm." Bland said. ...

  • Internet indecency

    5-Jul-1996

    Computer consultant Simon Jackson, of Andover, has been bailed until 9 May when he will appear before magistrates facing charges of distributing indecent photographs of children on the computer Internet. The case is expected to go for a Crown Court hearing.

  • Irish act on complaints

    5-Jul-1996

    THE PUBLIC made 1,350 complaints to the Irish Law Society against solicitors in the Republic of Ireland last year.About half of them concerned delays, failure to communicate with clients or hand over files. One fifth alleged inadequate professional services, while 16 per cent claimed that excessive fees were charged.Most of the complaints were dealt with by the Society's secretariat, with 15 cases of alleged misconduct involving 10 solicitors referred to ...

  • It's the new thing

    5-Jul-1996

    They researched, they wrote, they slept in sleeping bags - Guy Fitzmaurice on the men behind the latest in textbooksCatching up on those exam papers that you didn't pass first time around can be a problem but that's where part-time study comes in, explains Mick KavanaghIt sounds like the plot for an Eighties mini series: two law students meet by chance during a college fire drill, get chatting, discover they've both been thinking over ideas for ...

  • Law and Politics. Closed Whitehall cynicism must shift

    5-Jul-1996

    THE LORD Chancellor's Department, which dominates the careers of so many, is facing a wind of change - or at least a strong breeze.The LCD is no longer simply a body administering the judicial system with responsibility for judicial appointments. It is now an increasingly politicised ministry dealing with fundamental and high profile changes to the law. But it has been slow to react to its new incarnation.Both officials and their political masters are still ...

  • Law firm and accountants play duet for music service

    5-Jul-1996

    West End law firm Schilling & Lom has teamed up with accountants Baker Tilly and pop artist agency Dirk Sommer to offer musicians a one-stop shop for services, from tax and legal to marketing and promotion.They have formed a joint venture company called New Deal Management (NDM) which aims to spot and market new talent. The first client was recently signed up London club circuit band Sparrowman.Baker Tilly's Stephen McMellon said: "This is a concept which ...

  • Law Society slams Woolf's 'cost fixing regime' plan

    5-Jul-1996

    PROPOSALS from Lord Woolf for reforming civil justice could lead to further public disillusion in the legal system, as well as encourage shoddier work from law yers, the Law Society warned this week.The society broadly supports Lord Woolf's objective to make the civil law more accessible to litigants and less expensive. But it is concerned about suggestions designed to quantify costs ahead of cases.Secretary of the society's civil litigation committee, ...

  • Lawyers bid sad farewell as Taylor bows out

    5-Jul-1996

    The legal profession has been rocked by the announcement that Lord Taylor has cancer and is retiring as Lord Chief Justice after four years in office.Criminal Bar Association chair Anne Rafferty QC said Taylor's announcement had come as an "enormous shock" to the profession."I thought he combined the ability to command respect and the ability to be liked in a very nice mix," she said."That applies to members of the Bar and also to appellants."

  • Litigation Disciplinary Tribunals 07/05/96

    5-Jul-1996

    Paul Graeme Emmott, 38, admitted 1989, practising at material time as Emmott Harrison, Wakefield, suspended for six months and ordered to pay £2,065 costs. Allegations substantiated he failed to keep properly written accounts, failed to comply with decision of Conduct Committee, failed to deliver accountants reports.Tribunal accepted he had not been guilty of dishonesty but said it appeared he had been tempted to "dip into clients' ...

  • Litigation Personal Injury 07/05/96

    5-Jul-1996

    Manning v Brent & Harrow Health Authority - QBD 29 April 1996Claimant: Ronan Manning, 5Incident : Medical negligenceInjuries: Oxygen starvation at birth resulting in cerebral palsy, spastic quadriplegia, epilepsy and need to be fed through a tube into stomachAward: £800,000 (agreed damages)Judge: Mr Justice MantellPlaintiff's solicitors: Nelson Cuff (Harrow)Thomson ...

  • Litigation Recent Decisions 07/05/96

    5-Jul-1996

    Building society in dispute over landBristol & West building society v May, May & Merrimans (a firm) and between Bristol & West building society and 13 other parties (1996).Ch.D (Chadwick J).Summary: 13 actions in Bristol brought by a building society against 13 local firms of solicitors for breach of contract/professional negligence where the solicitors acted for them in mortgage transactions between 1988 and 1991 and the mortgagors defaulted.

  • Litigation Writs 07/05/96

    5-Jul-1996

    The owners of Sturminster Newton Livestock Market in Dorset have launched High Court action in a bid to ban two men, Benjamin Jones, of Sturminster Newton, and Paul Lewis, of Manhill, Dorset, from claiming they own part of the market land. An order is also sought banning Jones and Lewis from trespassing on the land and claiming they own it.Writ issued by SJ Berwin ...

  • Lords hear Howard's murder charge bid

    5-Jul-1996

    Double killer John Pierson, who was jailed for life for shooting his sleeping mother and father at their remote farm at Oswestry, North Wales, in September 1984, has been given the go-ahead to take a test case challenge over minimum sentences to the House of Lords.Pierson is serving two mandatory life sentences imposed on him at Chester Crown Court in July 1985, and in 1993 the Home Secretary Michael Howard increased the minimum sentence he should ...

  • McKennas ups its stakes in Warsaw

    5-Jul-1996

    The Warsaw office of City firm McKenna & Co has moved to larger offices following rapid expansion.US lawyer Andrew Kozlowski, resident partner in Warsaw, said the firm had grown to 15 lawyers since opening with two lawyers in May 1994."We're projecting to grow to 18 to 20 lawyers by the end of the year," said Kozlowski."We're expanding because of the amount of new work in various specialised areas that we have experience in," he said.

  • Mears shrugs off challenge to presidency

    5-Jul-1996

    Legal circles are buzzing with rumours of a number of contenders stepping forward to challenge Martin Mears for presidency of the Law Society.The latest names in circulation are Phillip Sycamore, of Londales and current chair of the Law Society's civil litigation committee, and Kamlesh Bahl, chair of the Equal Opportunities Commission. Other names include Association of Personal Injury Lawyers president Michael Napier, of Irwin Mitchell, and deputy vice-president Tony ...

  • Meet your flexible friend

    5-Jul-1996

    What can you do if you aren't getting promoted at work because you didn't pass all your Law Society exams in the past?This is exactly the situation faced by 38-year-old John Wilkinson, who works for west Yorkshire firm Foy & Co handling family law work and personal litigation.He earns good fees for the practice, but he is still without full solicitor status as he missed out on passing all of his exams for the old Law Society Part II exams.

  • Mission Impossible

    5-Jul-1996

    To many law students, getting a traineeship feels like taking the lead in Mission Impossible. Competition is so intense that it is tempting to apply for everything available. But the secret behind a successful application lies in targeting your efforts to suit your needs and recognising that different people are suited to different things.Most law students want to work for one of the large City firms. Not surprisingly, they are attracted by the good salaries, ...

  • MP calls for back to basic law reforms

    5-Jul-1996

    A campaign calling for major revision to the delivery of legal services held its first public meeting at the House of Commons last week.The Campaign for a National Legal Service, brainchild of Austin Mitchell MP, long-time voice of the legal services consumer, is calling for a statutory right to legal services to remedy what it sees as a "massive unmet need" resulting from the failure of the legal aid system."The campaign takes us back to core values," said Mitchell. ...

  • New Alsops chief in operational review

    5-Jul-1996

    Alsop Wilkinson's head of business development, Stewart McRorie, quit the firm shortly after the appointment of new chief executive Christopher Honeyman Brown.Honeyman Brown, who is undertaking a far reaching review of Alsops' operations, denied there was any connection with his arrival from accountancy firm Binder Hamlyn where he was a partner."It is purely a coincidence. I think Stewart felt this was as good a time as any to make the break," Honeyman ...

  • No contract? No problem

    5-Jul-1996

    Can't secure a training contract? Then work in a Citizens' Advice Bureau is worth considering. Not only will you clock up useful and relevant experience, but it can count towards qualification.Under a scheme recently agreed, the Law Society will now consider reducing the two-year training contract period for students with certain types of work experience, including some work in a CAB. And for people who have completed the academic stage but not the Legal Practice ...

  • Not a pretty picture

    5-Jul-1996

    THE FINDINGS of The Lawyer's survey on the state of the profession makes bleak reading, especially at a time when business is on the up for most law firms.The picture of a disillusioned profession, nearly half of whom regret choosing the law as a profession, is not a pretty one.The high degree of stress felt by lawyers, with nine out of 10 complaining of it, is a real cause for concern. Partners in particular complained of being ...

  • Oxleys focuses on health care

    5-Jul-1996

    ROTHERHAM firm Oxley & Coward is seeking to re-establish its reputation in the health work field by developing a new commercial focus.The 11-partner firm has now formally launched its health group. This comes 16 months after selling its specialist health office in Sheffield to the national firm Wansbroughs Willey Hargrave.The sale included five partners, 19 solicitors and a team of 27 support staff.Oxley & Coward's new health group will focus ...

  • Police unit sounds cash fraud alert

    5-Jul-1996

    Lawyers have been put on an international money laundering alert by a new police fraud unit, established by the City of London police.The Financial Investigation Unit (FIU) warned the profession that they may unwittingly be representing clients with connections to organised crime.Detective Chief Inspector Tony Thomas, head of the FIU, said: "Where transactions are unusual or give rise to suspicion, lawyers should conduct due diligence above and beyond what would ...

  • Property

    5-Jul-1996

    Nabarro Nathanson acted for Land Securities on its letting of 20,000 square feet of retail space to fashion retailer TK Maxx on the lower ground floor of the 285,000 square foot of Princess Quay shopping centre in Hull.

  • Research results give Mortons inspiration

    5-Jul-1996

    SCOTTISH commercial firms need to be much more up-front about fees, according to independent research on client needs commissioned by Edinburgh firm Morton Fraser Milligan WS.The research was based on in-depth interviews with 10 prestigious commercial clients. It revealed that corporate clients want pricing based on the value of the job, not the time taken to complete it.They want fixed fees for transactions of a commodity nature, such as debt recovery, and want ...

  • Reunited Thompson brothers form UK personal injury giant

    5-Jul-1996

    AFTER nearly 22 years apart, Robin Thompson & Partners and Brian Thompson & Partners reunited last week to create the largest personal injury firm in the UK.The two firms were separated for "administrative reasons" when their founders, the Thompson brothers, retired in 1974. Robin Thompson's son, David Thompson, will chair the new partnership with Frank Foy and Geoff Shears as joint managing partners.The new amalgamation boasts a 76 partner-strong firm covering ...

  • Sex, fees and videotape

    5-Jul-1996

    Amy Jenkins has a lot to answer for. As the author of BBC2's This Life programme, she is responsible for the new image of young lawyers as therapy-dependent dope-smokers.Yet it is hard to think of anyone better qualified to write about life as a legal trainee. Jenkins, 29, read law at University College London and went on to a traineeship with City firm Theodore Goddard. But, one year into her training, she decided to give up the legal life.Like her dreamy ...

  • Shaping up for tomorrow

    5-Jul-1996

    Nothing is as certain as change and the challenge for the legal profession is how we are to prepare ourselves for the uncertainties of the future.We live in a world in which solicitors are no longer guaranteed a job for life - and in which they no longer qualify once and for all time.Solicitors and students alike need to remember that our future success depends upon increasing accessibility to law and justice and upon the benefits we bring to our clients.

  • Snapshot of a profession in turmoil

    5-Jul-1996

    A survey undertaken by The Lawyer has revealed a disenchanted and demoralised mood among solicitors at the outset of their career, with a high proportion having regrets about their choice of career and a large percentage having seriously considered a career change.The survey, carried out in February by a self-completion questionnaire sent to readers of The Lawyer, was devised with the help of the young solicitors' sub-committee of the City of London Solicitors' ...

  • Snapshot of a profession in turmoil

    5-Jul-1996

    Unrelenting bad press and increased competition have pushed marketing and management issues to the forefront of the 1990s agenda in law firms throughout the country."Legal services are an intangible service and in a commercial world they need to be presented alongside a clear marketing package," said David Temporal, of management consultancy firm Hodgart Temporal. "Solicitors are being trained to use marketing skills as an integral part of their service. Developing their ...

  • Strike over court computers settles

    5-Jul-1996

    The five-month industrial dispute by Court Service Union members has been settled after agreement between Courts Services Agency chief executive Michael Huebner and unions.The dispute arose over plans by the Lord Chancellor's Department to "privatise" court computer systems under the controversial Private Finance Initiative (PFI). Union members were worried such a move would undermine the impartiality of the courts and threaten confidentiality of court records.

  • Survey reveals a demoralised profession

    5-Jul-1996

    Lawyers are disillusioned with their jobs, highly stressed and nearly half wish they had never entered the law. These are the stark findings of a major survey carried out across the profession by The Lawyer.Four out of five respondents said they were looking for other jobs. And four out of 10 respondents, which included a mixture of partners, associates and assistants in law firms as well as in-house and public sector lawyers, said they regretted law as a profession.

  • Teething troubles

    5-Jul-1996

    Pressure from some larger City firms has brought forward the review of the Legal Practice Course. The results of the review, which has just started, will be implemented in the LPC starting in September 1997.The LPC was introduced in September 1993. It represents change (and was deliberately designed to do so) and some of these changes have not always proved welcome.Some of the pressures giving rise to the demands for an early review are the predictable result ...

  • The German eagle lands at Gray's Inn

    5-Jul-1996

    A VISIT by German President Professor Dr Roman Herzog to Gray's Inn on 29 April was preceded by a flypast from an escaped eagle, symbol of the Federal Republic of Germany.The bird had apparently escaped from its handler during a pop video shoot in nearby King's Cross the day before and was successfully recaptured after flapping around the Inns of Court.Herzog visited Gray's Inn during a private trip to London during which he also held meetings ...

  • The Lawyer Inquiry: Murray Macara

    5-Jul-1996

    Murray Macara was born in Glasgow on 22 July 1949. He is a solicitor-advocate and partner at Beltrami & Co. What was your first job?A removal man's labourer for 2 weeks!What was your first ever salary as a lawyer?£900 pa.What would you have done if you hadn't become a lawyer?An airline pilot.Which law could you live without?Right ...

  • The taxing questions

    5-Jul-1996

    I READ your article ('Conquering the Dragon of Tax Law' 16 April) and believe a fundamental issue has been overlooked.The Inland Revenue has gone to considerable lengths to ensure the current year basis of assessment taxpayers will pay tax on the full amount of profits during their career irrespective of their accounting date.Whilst Guy Rigby's article is correct in showing that there may be a substantial tax bill in the final year for a taxpayer ...

  • The write stuff

    5-Jul-1996

    Not only can Citizen's Advice Bureaux work notch up experience, it can also count towards qualification, finds Moira HaynesYou're sitting at the table wondering how to fill in an application form for the trainee contract. Question one. How did you first hear about the firm? "An angel came to me in my sleep and told me I would work for Theodore Goddard and would perform great deeds for them. I also saw them listed in The Lawyer as being one of the Top 100 for number ...

  • They're down. Now they want out

    5-Jul-1996

    "When I joined the profession I had ideals - now I feel as though all I do is shuffle assets in one form or another from one place to another in the most appropriate and beneficial way for my clients. Some days I wonder what I am doing and I certainly wonder how I can carry on doing it for the next 30 years."Sentiments expressed by an assistant solicitor in a company commercial department are echoed by a surprising number of solicitors responding to The Lawyer survey.

  • Touching a raw nerve

    5-Jul-1996

    I SEEM to have touched a raw nerve with my previous letter, but I remain unrepentant.Every in-house lawyer who deals with solicitors in private practice on a regular basis will recognise a few of these familiar traits.The solicitor who, despite being given clear and copious instructions, does not follow them but subsequently writes a four page letter as to why he has not done so.The solicitor who regards precedents produced on word ...

  • Trainee opportunities

    5-Jul-1996

    The Government Legal Service (GLS) organises teams of lawyers for over 25 government departments. It takes on about 8 trainees a year for central government and recruits two years in advance. All trainee places are based in London, with the exception of occasional opportunities in Customs & Excise in Manchester and the Welsh Office in Cardiff.Sponsorship for the LPC and the CPE is sometimes available. The maximum amount of sponsorship available for the vocational year ...

  • UK business backs Slaughters

    5-Jul-1996

    Slaughter and May has held on to its position as the most popular legal adviser among UK companies, according to a league table produced by Crawford's, publisher of the annual Directory of City Connections.Changes in the way the table is compiled means Eversheds comes third in 1996, unlike the ...

  • Up in smoke

    5-Jul-1996

    A £2.9 million ship fire at Bristol in 1993, believed to have been started by a discarded cigarette, is now at the centre of a pending High Court battle. First Corporate Shipping, of St Pauls Churchyard, London EC4, which trades as Bristol Port Co, is being sued for damages and interest following the blaze in the hold of the MV Harefield at Royal Portbury Dock in Bristol on 18 April 1993. Ship owners Dupont Shipping Corporation, of Liberia, ...

  • VAT man faces £5 billion bill

    5-Jul-1996

    In terms of its size, the practice of Hugh Mainprice, based in Victoria, London, is very small - a three-strong team headed by barrister-turned solicitor Mainprice and his barrister daughter Clare.But size does not always equate with status and that of Mainprice and his team is second to none in the heady world of VAT law. When the firm's name appears on case papers, Customs & Excise has good reason to sit up and take serious note. Even more ...