1 March 1999

The Lawyer

  • : While Carter-Ruck revamps its image

    5-Mar-1999

    Peter Carter-Ruck and Partners has treated itself to a new look with a redesigned logo and letterhead.The firm is using the design launch to raise its profile in areas of law other than defamation, for which it is best known.Partner Alasdair Pepper says: "It is part of an ongoing process of looking at the firm and where it is going after the retirement of Peter Carter-Ruck."Until last year we were doing virtually nothing in terms of our own marketing. ...

  • A&O internal promotions fall as firms go on partner spree

    5-Mar-1999

    Allen & Overy's summer promotions to partnership has dropped by 10 this year to 17 new internal partners.But the firm says the fall in internal candidate promotions is offset by the increase in lateral hires - it says 35 partners have been appointed internationally and in the UK since August 1998. This figure includes partners recruited from Paris firm Gide Loyrette Nouel last ...

  • ADR groups slam mediation-arbitration first

    5-Mar-1999

    The UK's first joint arbitration and mediation company has been launched amid protests from rivals that the market faces saturation.The Centre for Business Arbitration, based in Lincoln's Inn and using the services of 51 barristers, opened its doors last week for arbitration and mediation across a range of professions.Company director Reziya Harrison, a barrister at 11 Old Square, says the company hopes to take advantage of "the demand for arbitration ...

  • ATL in disarray after defections

    5-Mar-1999

    Arnheim Tite & Lewis, the associate law firm of PricewaterhouseCoopers, is in turmoil, say sources, after the departure of six partners to set up KLegal, the UK legal arm of rival accountants KPMG.KPMG's decision to poach the lawyers from its accountancy rival has surprised the legal world. Pundits were expecting KPMG to merge with a UK firm rather than launch a firm from scratch.Sources say the departures will cause difficulties for Arnheim Tite & Lewis' ...

  • Authority finds it's not so good to talk

    5-Mar-1999

    THE POWER of anti-pollution authorities to wage war on polluters has taken a knock as a result of a High Court ruling in the case of R v Falmouth and Truro Port Health Authority ex parte South West Water.Lawyers who acted in the case say Mr Justice Harrison's ruling will curb authorities' powers to police pollution.But Peter Scott, of Barnstaple-based firm Toller Beattie, which acted for Truro Port Health Authority, believes the ruling ...

  • Barrister guilty of stalking ex-girlfriend escapes jail

    5-Mar-1999

    Former Hardwicke Building barrister Julian Webster has been given a two-year conditional discharge after he resumed stalking his ex-lover and former colleague.Webster began harassing Bosmath Sheffi after she ended their three-year relationship last year and had a restraining order taken out against him this January.Following his conviction under anti-stalking laws he resigned from the chambers, his 14-year career ruined, but the stalking began again and he was ...

  • Beachcroft Wansbroughs makes its mark with new logo

    5-Mar-1999

    Beachcroft Wansbroughs has finally come into being backed by a purple and orange logo, described by its creators as "progressive but not faddish".The design company behind the logo, Hero Creative, says: "The purple 'W' in the design conveys strength, reliability and professionalism. This contrasts with the flash of vivid orange which represents the creative and responsive side to the firm's work with its brush stroke style and colour."It took 10 ...

  • Big incentives to get into work

    5-Mar-1999

    Employment law may not have the kudos of other fast-developing areas of the law but as it becomes more specialised and its rapid growth is acknowledged in other parts of the profession, the role of the employment lawyer has become more important than ever.It is not surprising that practitioners say they have never been busier. The surge in the employment law sector during the past few years is about to hit a new peak as the Government's reforming agenda is translated ...

  • Bigger than the Beatles

    5-Mar-1999

    Fiona Callister meets Rex Makin, the anti-authoritarian lawyer who has become an institution in his right.

  • Cameron McKenna loses Moscow lawyer to US firm as it unveils details of Euro alliance

    5-Mar-1999

    Cameron McKenna's Moscow office has lost litigation lawyer Sergey Wolfson to US firm Chadbourne & Parke.Wolfson's departure follows five months on from a purge at the Moscow office.Three Russian lawyers were made redundant in November and December. They included Tatiana Vinogradova, the lawyer who headed the office from when it opened in 1993 until 1995.

  • Camerons insolvency trio quits

    5-Mar-1999

    CAMERON McKenna has lost one partner and two associates from its insolvency department to Bristol-based Bond Pearce.Former Cameron McKenna partner Trevor Fox starts at Bond Pearce on Tuesday. He brings with him two associate insolvency lawyers, Matthew Hartley and Sheila Norman. Fox says: "Bond Pearce has a very strong reputation in the South and the West for insurance. I wanted to be able ...

  • Cartoon makers go in hard over soft toys claim

    5-Mar-1999

    Roger Pearson reports that the makers of the hit series South Park hope to have the last laugh in a complaint over dolls.The cast of the hit cartoon South Park is to go on trial at the High Court later this month. But the characters in the dock will be soft toys.The companies behind the cartoon argue that the dolls are sufficiently similar to the show's characters to warrant an order banning their sale.At a preliminary hearing before ...

  • Case of the week

    5-Mar-1999

    Phantom of the Opera star Mike Sterling lost a court battle over child maintenance payments to his wife. Sterling - who earns u104,000 a year, has had two Caribbean holidays this year, recently bought a u19,000 Shogun and moved into a u200,000 apartment - had argued he could not afford more than the u1,000 a month maintenance for his four children and wife which he pays at the moment.

  • City refutes slump in UK M&As work

    5-Mar-1999

    City lawyers are disputing figures that show a record boom in European merger and acquisition work and a downturn in UK deals.Figures from Thomson Financial Securities Data show a 15 per cent drop in UK M&A activity and a record u215bn of M&As in Europe in the first quarter of the year.But City lawyers report a surge in activity in the UK and Europe. Peter Charlton, partner at Clifford ...

  • Clinton's fate in hands of Arkansas Bar

    5-Mar-1999

    Bill Clinton could be struck off from the Arkansas bar after being cited for contempt.District Judge Susan Webber Wright has referred her contempt order to the state Bar - the only one to which Clinton is admitted - for possible action.Her findings were limited to Clinton's sworn statements on whether he and Monica Lewinsky had ever been alone together and whether he had ever engaged in sexual relations with Lewinsky.The Arkansas Supreme Court ...

  • Counsel to the Cardinal

    1-Mar-1999

    Robert Mendick meets the ex-Herbert Smith lawyer who is quietly transforming the Lord Chancellor's image.

  • Drummer's stud wrangle

    5-Mar-1999

    Multi-millionaire and Rolling Stone's drummer Charlie Watts is heading to the High Court in a battle with two employees of his u3m Devon stud farm. Watts is suing Paul and Joan Atkinson, who have been employed to work at his 100-acre Halsdon Farm estate at Winkleigh, Devon, for the past eight years. In his writ he accuses the Atkinsons of buying animal feed and equipment for the business and then selling it for their own profit. Watts runs the business, which ...

  • Employing more pro bono

    5-Mar-1999

    A recent employment case highlights some of the legal and humane reasons why pro bono work is needed.After her claim for breach of contract was dismissed at an employment tribunal, a woman appealed to the Employment Appeal Tribunal (EAT). The claimant had initially represented herself, but at appeal the case was initially handled under the Employment Law Advisers Appeal Scheme (ELAAS) - one of a number of pro bono initiatives set up in recent years.One of the ...

  • Financings

    5-Mar-1999

    Weil Gotshal & Manges advised Capital Z Financial Services Fund II on a proposed US$35m investment in mutual marine insurer British Marine. Corporate partner Doug Warner led Weil Gotshal's team.

  • Financings

    5-Mar-1999

    White & Case advised the Hungarian government on a $US500m global bond issue - the first by a central European country and the largest dollar-denominated issue by the Hungarian government. Partners Maureen Brundage (New York) and Michal Dlouhy (Prague) led the transaction.

  • Financings

    5-Mar-1999

    Pinsent Curtis has advised US-listed engineering company Doncasters on a u185m refinancing deal. Doncasters acquired Triplex Lloyd for u194m and has refinanced the debt package for the acquisition. The team was led by corporate partner David Hughes and banking partner Stephen Miles.

  • Firm calls for solicitors to join forces on abuse class action

    5-Mar-1999

    A firm co-ordinating a child abuse damages claim against residential homes in the North West is calling on solicitors representing other victims to join its group action.Cheshire-based Abney Garsden McDonald partner Peter Garsden is co-ordinating the group action against five homes which involves 90 firms representing 200 victims.After a "series of misunderstandings by the court" since December, Garsden says a practice direction from the Lord Chief Justice is ...

  • Flotations

    5-Mar-1999

    White & Case advised Israeli technology company Supercom in its US$32m initial public offering on Easdaq, the pan-European market affiliated with Nasdaq. The White & Case team, which included London partners Ian Clark and David Eisenberg and Brussels partner Werner Vanderhaeghe advised on the US, English and Belgian law aspects of the deal. KBC Securities, the lead manager for ...

  • Fraud proposals get mixed reception

    5-Mar-1999

    Top City crime lawyers have attacked a Law Commission proposal to remove the need to prove dishonesty in deception cases.As predicted in The Lawyer (5 April), the commission's consultation paper proposes sweeping changes to the fraud laws in the light of new technologyAlthough most proposals are welcomed - particularly those suggesting a tightening of the law on credit card fraud - opinion is split over the commission's failure to recommend a general ...

  • Garretts reeling after flurry of top brass resignations

    5-Mar-1999

    GarretTS is reeling after losing its senior partner, two department heads and a partner - three of whom are joining Addleshaw Booth & Co.Sean Lippell, Leeds senior partner and former Northern managing partner at the Arthur Andersen associate firm, quit last week to become senior corporate finance partner at Addleshaws.Garretts' head of corporate, Andrew Kay, moves to Addleshaws with Lippell as does partner Simon Pilling, also from corporate."I ...

  • Give experts time to do their jobs

    5-Mar-1999

    The firm I work for has recently had its first joint instruction purporting to arise from the Woolf reforms.The point I would like to bring is that when appointing joint experts it is vital to maintain communication. In this case, at the same time as appointing us the case was being settled. Our work was put on hold when we questioned this. The problem is that it took several phone calls to get that far, and we have still not been officially told that the case ...

  • In brief: A parliamentary committee

    5-Mar-1999

    A parliamentary committee has scrapped the anti-discrimination clause introduced into the Access to Justice Bill. And, as predicted by The Lawyer last week, the committee has inserted a new clause - variously described by critics as "vague" and "half hearted" - outlining general objectives for the Community Legal Service, further down the Bill.

  • In brief: Berrymans Lace Mawer

    5-Mar-1999

    Berrymans Lace Mawer and Dibb Lupton Alsop have been appointed to the legal panel for the newly formed North West Development Agency. They join Addleshaw Booth & Co and Eversheds on the panel that will advise on investment and regeneration projects covering the region, which stretches from Cumbria to Cheshire. ...

  • In brief: Channel 4

    5-Mar-1999

    Channel 4's head of rights, Andrew Yeates, is leaving to become director of legal affairs at the record industry's trade association, the British Phonographic Industry (BPI). Yeates, who has been in his current post for five years, joins the BPI in July.

  • In brief: Deans Court Chambers

    5-Mar-1999

    Deans Court Chambers in Manchester has moved to new premises. The set is now at a newly restored building at 24 St John Street. It was previously based in Cumberland House, Crown Square.

  • In brief: Herbert Smith

    5-Mar-1999

    Herbert Smith's Brussels office celebrated its tenth anniversary in the city last week with an evening of music and song. The event, held at the Theatre du Residence Palace, was presented by Sir John Mortimer QC and attended by partners and clients of the firm.

  • In brief: Norton Rose

    5-Mar-1999

    Norton Rose is to spend £2.3m on global hardware and maintenance to be supplied by Unisys. The overhaul of its information technology systems will begin in May and should be completed by the end of September. It is replacing all computers with Dell machines and upgrading its systems, including information management. John Copley, head of IT at Norton Rose, says the firm was looking for a "global ...

  • In brief: Overbury Steward & Eaton

    5-Mar-1999

    Overbury Steward & Eaton has merged with fellow Norwich firm Woolsey & Woolsey. The new practice, which will be known as Overburys, has 11 partners. The London arm, which recently joined with Tussauds, is now called Overbury Tussauds.

  • In brief: Patrick Elias QC

    5-Mar-1999

    Patrick Elias QC has been approved as a Justice of the High Court, assigned to the Queen's Bench Division. Elias is at 11 King's Bench Walk, Lord Irvine's old chambers. Despite recent charges of favouritism against Irvine, barristers agree Elias fully deserves the job. Employment Lawyers' Association chairman Paul Goulding says: "It's an inspired appointment. He's certainly the leading silk in employment law."

  • In brief: Walker Morris

    5-Mar-1999

    Walker Morris has poached Eversheds partner David Kilduff to head its public sector and PFI department. Kilduff has been at Eversheds for four years where he led a team of 20 lawyers, most recently in a £500m limited recourse project funded integrated waste management deal for Hereford and Worcester councils ...

  • It's been a bad week for...

    5-Mar-1999

    Hereditary peers, who have been been categorically told by the Lord Chancellor that they have no chance of using the courts to challenge their removal from the Lords, which Conservative peers were considering after being told that a clause in the Bill was flawed. However, Lord Irvine is confident the Bill is watertight.Jokester judge Graham Boal QC (above), whose attempt to regale his audience with racist and homophobic jokes raised a poor ...

  • It's been a good week for...

    5-Mar-1999

    Lawyers involved in the BSE public inquiry which is expected to cost u25m and has been delayed for a year.General Pinochet, who may be entitled to u1m in legal aid. Apparently the General has only a modest pension and relies on hand-outs from his supporters.Cloning. A heated medico-legal debate is likely to follow a UK doctor's application for a licence from the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority to artificially create ...

  • KPMG launches law firm ahead of MDP approval

    5-Mar-1999

    KPMG is launching its long-awaited UK law firm, KLegal, as a virtual multidisciplinary partnership (MDP).The firm will be based at KPMG's Salisbury Square headquarters, but will have a separate entrance to comply with current Law Society regulations, says KPMG's UK head of tax and legal Ian Barlow.KLegal will be integrated into the wider firm in anticipation of the Law Society's expected approval of MDPs. "We're going to set the firm up so ...

  • KPMG move heralds summer offensive

    5-Mar-1999

    The legal market has moved up a gear in the past two weeks.The long-running phoney merger war is about to end after Cameron McKenna confirmed The Lawyer's story that it was forming a European alliance across Europe in the same week that top management consultancy KPMG ended months of speculation by poaching Arnheim Tite & Lewis partners to set up its new legal brand, KLegal (see story page 3).The defection of partners from PricewaterhouseCoopers subsidiary ...

  • LAB boss backs Bar over contract pay

    5-Mar-1999

    Legal Aid boss Steve Orchard has reassured barristers they are likely to be paid direct under the Government's block contracting proposals.In what the Legal Aid Board (LAB) called "a speculative speech", Orchard told last week's Legal Aid Contracting conference that he saw "no difficulty" in continuing present pay methods under the Access to Justice Bill."I don't think [the Lord Chancellor, Lord Irvine] will countenance an arrangement where the ...

  • Law Society dismissal case settles out of court

    5-Mar-1999

    An unfair dismissal claim brought against the Law Society by its former head of IT Ashley Sollitt has been settled out of court.The claim was settled after Sollitt agreed to accept the original severance package of u91,000 which he was first offered by the Law Society on his departure in May 1998.Sollitt - who was responsible for the Regis computer project which ended in fiasco in 1997 - claimed the Law Society dismissed him last May instead of giving him early ...

  • Lawyer fights to reveal MoD case handling

    5-Mar-1999

    A London solicitor says the Ministry of Defence must be more open in its handling of cases after the prosecution of a soldier accused of spying was aborted last week.Steve Barker, of Barker Gillette, thinks the 1997 arrest of his client, Major Milos Stankovic of the Parachute Regiment, under the Official Secrets Act was made on the orders of a foreign intelligence agency, probably the CIA.Barker says he is "80 per cent certain" the arrest was unlawful. "The Ministry ...

  • Legal aid is not the only way

    5-Mar-1999

    It is hugely misleading to claim the CBE cases (The Lawyer, 19 April) would not have succeeded if it were not for legal aid when five of the eight lead cases were funded by the union Nacods. Anyone who thinks Nacods would not have proceeded with the case is almost certainly wrong.The truth is that every major advance in work place health and safety litigation has been funded by or had substantial funding from the trade union movement, which runs 150,000 cases ...

  • Legal Widow

    5-Mar-1999

    Things are not looking promising on the job front. My CV, telling the story of a young woman with so much to offer (those excellent exam results, the tough but rewarding first job, the early promotion), shows the career taking a nose-dive from the first time Subjudice laid into me from the inside with her little fist. Since her arrival (fists still flailing) I fear I have little else to add to it.

  • Linklaters deals forge links in SA

    5-Mar-1999

    Linklaters is stepping up its South African venture with a series of deals alongside Johannesburg firm Webber Wentzel Bowens.Insiders speculate the three high-profile deals signify a proposed merger with South African firm Edward Nathan & Friedland is "dead".One deal is the privatisation of South African Airways, for which Linklaters has been appointed lead attorney.

  • Linklaters muscles in on Denton Hall's Sainsbury's work

    5-Mar-1999

    Denton Hall's exclusive agreement with Sainsbury's has come to an end after the retail giant appointed Linklaters & Alliance to its panel.According to David Thurston, head of legal at Sainsbury's, Denton Hall will continue to be the company's main legal adviser but Linklaters has been appointed to take a slice of corporate work.Thurston says: "Denton Hall ...

  • Litigation Personal Injury 3/5/99

    5-Mar-1999

    Gillian Shaw v K Taneja (1999) QBD (Robert Owen QC) 20 April 1999Plaintiff: Female, married, 40 years old at date of accident; 44 years old at date of trial.Incident: The plaintiff sustained injury on 17 June 1995 when the car she was driving was struck from behind by the defendant's vehicle.Injuries: The plaintiff sustained a chronic whiplash injury to her cervical spine and was required to wear a neck brace to ease the pain. The plaintiff ...

  • Litigation Writs 3/5/99

    5-Mar-1999

    An East Sussex man is taking the Home Office to the High Court, accusing it of failing to honour promises to pay compensation to gun owners who surrendered guns as a result of laws introduced after the Dunblane massacre. Roger Baker, of Hurstwood, has issued a writ seeking up to u100,000. He accuses theHome Office of failing to decide on and pay compensation under the provisions of the Firearms (Amendment) Act 1997.Writ issued by Dzimitrowicz ...

  • Lovell White Durrant wins govt PFI contract

    5-Mar-1999

    Lovell White Durrant has won a contract from the Inland Revenue and Customs & Excise to advise on a forthcoming public-private partnership.The firm beat off competition from 30 other firms, of which five were invited to tender and three short-listed for interview. Bids were subjected to an economic appraisal to ensure the firm selected could provide better value for money than the in-house advice of the two agencies.The joint venture between the Revenue and ...

  • Lovells boosts property dept with new partners

    5-Mar-1999

    Lovell White Durrant is continuing to bolster its commercial property department with a second injection of partner appointments.Andrew Sanders, a partner in the property services department at DJ Freeman, and Dion Panambalana, property partner at Nabarro Nathanson, are joining after two other partners were recruited to the department earlier this year.Nicholas Cheffings joined ...

  • Metzger rejoins Couderts in NY

    5-Mar-1999

    Coudert Brothers' former London managing partner has rejoined the firm after four "roller coaster" years at the Asian Development Bank (ADB).Barry Metzger now works at Couderts' New York office in the international finance department after taking a leave of absence in 1994 to become general counsel at the ADB in Manila.Metzger says: "For the first two years it was a truly fascinating job."But he adds: "It was like a roller coaster and I ...

  • Morgan Cole boosts practice with Fishburn Boxer link-up

    5-Mar-1999

    M4 corridor firm Morgan Cole is consolidating its top 25 position by bolstering its London practice with a further merger.In June, City insurance litigation firm Fishburn Boxer will merge with Morgan Cole, whose practice stretches from London through the Thames Valley to Wales.The 12-partner Fishburn Boxer part of the practice will then be christened Fishburn Morgan Cole. The ...

  • MP's Bill proposals put QCs in firing line

    5-Mar-1999

    In his continuing crusade against silks, Labour MP Andrew Dismore has tabled a series of amendments to the Access to Justice Bill to abolish or overhaul the QC system.Dismore, a solicitor and MP for Hendon, proposes amendments that will lead to the wholesale scrapping of QCs and the abolition of traditional court dress.Dismore says: "This is a golden opportunity to have some real modernisation of some of the archaic and old restrictive practices that bedevil ...

  • Partner walkout puts Rowe & Maw department under threat

    5-Mar-1999

    Westminster law firm Bircham & Co has poached two partners from Rowe & Maw's private client department.The departures of James Denker and Penny Chapman leaves Rowe & Maw's department with only one partner, who is carrying out a review to determine whether the section should continue. A decision is expected within a few weeks.Denker, who joins Birchams' private client department, had been with Rowe & Maw for 25 years, while Chapman leaves after ...

  • Partners on the move...

    5-Mar-1999

    Jeremy de Souza, who has been the lead tax specialist at London law firm Farrer & Co for 25 years, is moving to White & Bowker, based in Winchester, at the beginning of May. A specialist in property taxation, de Souza is the general editor of Land Taxation.Gouldens has announced the appointment of three partners - James Brokenshire, Mark Emerson and Anthony Manning. Having ...

  • Property

    5-Mar-1999

    Garretts head of property Keith Barnett acted for Warner Estate in its recent acquisition of a u30m retail development site in Watford which was produced through a three-way deal between Tesco, which owns the adjacent site, Warner and Watford Borough Council. Tesco was represented by Berwin Leighton and Watford Council's legal department acted for the council.

  • Property

    5-Mar-1999

    Cameron McKenna has acted on the property aspects of the acquisition of English & Overseas Properties by Quintain Estates and Developments for a reported sum of u33m in shares and cash. Property partners Jon Vivian (pictured) and Mark Heighton acted for English & Overseas, while Nigel Heilpern and Keith Hutchison of Nabarro Nathanson acted for Quintain.

  • Quote of the week

    5-Mar-1999

    "It is a stereotyped accusation that has become so hackneyed that people do not pay it any attention."Bar chairman Dan Brennan QC retorts to Lord Irvine's comments that lawyers want to save legal aid to line their own pockets. The Bar was accusing Lord Irvine of turning his back on the old, the young and the disabled by refusing to include a clause in the Access to Justice Bill that access to justice must be provided to people without means, to the ...

  • Retreat from Moscow

    5-Mar-1999

    Moscow's expatriate lawyer community has been a hotbed of rumour for months. Lawyers swapped stories, and calls to practices in the city threw up half a dozen tales of sackings, closures and firms in their death throes.Yet until recently little tangible evidence had emerged to indicate how the major firms were dealing with the financial chaos in Russia. Things had officially been quiet on the Moscow front.But last week, in the first reported major bloodletting ...

  • Richard Penfold on trade-marking the names of the famous

    5-Mar-1999

    Richard Penford is a solicitor at Harbottle & Lewis.Now that the Court of Appeal has upheld the High Court's decision in re Elvis Presley trade marks it will be much more difficult to protect as a trade mark the name of a well-known person or character.The estate of Elvis Presley applied in 1989 to register 'Elvis', 'Elvis Presley' and the ...

  • Rio Tinto

    1-Mar-1999

    Gold, coal, aluminium, uranium - if it is in the ground, the chances are Rio Tinto, one of the world's leading mining and minerals companies, is digging it up.

  • Scuffle of the week

    5-Mar-1999

    Lord Irvine is discovering that attack is not always the best form of defence. Furious at the Law Society's high-profile national newspaper campaign against legal aid, Lord Irvine accused the society of "irresponsible scare mongering" and spreading lies. The result? An even higher-profile Law Society campaign with nearly every national newspaper running articles about the adverts, which claim that two thirds of labour's backbench MPs believe the legal aid ...

  • Shorter working hours a priority, says EOC chair

    5-Mar-1999

    A radical rethink of the "long-hours working culture" is needed to create family-friendly working practices, according to Equal Opportunities Commission chair Julie Mellor.In one of her first public speeches since she she became chair, Mellor told the Employment Lawyers Association's annual conference in Leeds last week that the Government's Fairness at Work legislation alone would not stop the trend towards working longer hours.She welcomed the new ...

  • Sinclair Roche & Temperley's senior partner hands over job

    5-Mar-1999

    Harvey Williams has stepped down from his role as senior partner of City shipping firm Sinclair Roche & Temperley to make way for new senior partner Struan Robertson.Robertson will become senior partner on 1 May. Williams will remain at the firm as a consultant.Robertson has been a partner at Sinclair Roche & Temperley for over 20 years, focusing on international trade and transportation finance.Robertson says it is a "time of change" for the firm.

  • Space - the final frontier of law firms

    5-Mar-1999

    Linklaters is one of a number of City law firms that are considering a feng shui-style makeover of its workspace.The firms have taken part in a study by workspace experts, who say the office environments of many firms are rooted in the past. "Their basic design conventions... have changed little since the 1970s," it says, claiming a revamp can boost profitability.The study, Legal ...

  • Square Mile

    5-Mar-1999

    Reports that Herbert Smith is considering focusing its lawyers on the needs of clients through the creation of industry sector teams is welcome news to those of us who have been working on that basis for some time.Two years ago Nabarro Nathanson reviewed the way it operated as a business and concluded that the day of the generalist firm other than for the 'magic circle' was dead and ...

  • Staking an insurance claim

    5-Mar-1999

    It's not an easy time for firms which depend on insurance work for a large part of their business.Changes in the market, mergers, takeovers and reforms of the legal system mean that many firms are losing clients.Three months after Eagle Star/Zurich closed its in-house legal department, the insurance giant is thought to be reviewing its legal panel. Chubb Insurance is also said to be joining the stampede of insurance firms looking at rationalising the number ...

  • Stephensons forges European alliance

    5-Mar-1999

    Stephenson Harwood is forging a pan-European base as it reveals plans to merge with associated firms in Italy and France before seeking a German merger partner.The firm, known for its shipping practice with offices in far-flung locations, is now focusing on the Continent, The Lawyer can reveal.Chief executive John Pike says Stephensons plans to wed associated firms De ...

  • Striking the right balance

    5-Mar-1999

    When the Labour government came to power, employment law reform was inevitable. But many are now asking whether the Government has gone far enough in improving employee rights.The agenda has moved on since Labour was last in power in 1979. When Tony Blair took over in 1997, many feared that New Labour - with its commitment to business-friendly policies on the one hand and its pledge to extend the rights of employees on the other - had wedged itself between a rock and a hard ...

  • Tenant sounds off at traffic

    5-Mar-1999

    A noise nuisance battle that will be significant to local authorities is to be decided by the High Court. Lord Justice Kennedy and Mr Justice Mitchell have reserved judgment in the case of London Borough of Haringey v Jowett. The council is challenging a noise abatement order granted by magistrates to the tenant of a council flat who complained of traffic noise from roads and a junction near his home. The council argues that it cannot be held liable for traffic noise and says the abatement ...

  • The end of contingency fees?

    5-Mar-1999

    Dan Brennan (left) welcomes proposals which may prevent lawyers from entering into contingency fee agreements in potentially contentious matters.The Lord Chancellor, Lord Irvine stated in the House of Lords in February: "I do not want to see contingency fees introduced in relation to cases before the courts... contingency fees are at common law unlawful and unenforceable."The Bar agrees. It would be lamentable if the ethos of contingency ...

  • The Lawyer Inquiry: Maurice Martin was born in LOndon in 1949. He is senior partner at Tario Lyons in London.

    5-Mar-1999

    What subject(s) did you fail at school?Chemistry and physics.What was your first job?Gardener.What was your first ever salary as a lawyer?u14 per week (great for killing off calls from insurance salesmen).What would you have done if you hadn't been a lawyer?Played football for Watford FC and England.What was your most satisfying professional ...

  • The top employment firms

    5-Mar-1999

    Simmons & SimmonsHas more blue chip clients than anyone else. One of its major strengths has to be Janet Gaymer - its major weakness that clients cannot always get her. The employment department has resisted the general exodus of partners from the firm and, despite the loss of a few juniors to Freshfields, a well chosen and hard-hitting team remains. The talented William Dawson (left) is being mark-eted as another front man.Fox WilliamsEvidence ...

  • Theodores chief steps down over high workload

    5-Mar-1999

    Theodore Goddard's managing partner Peter Kavanagh has relinquished his position half way through his term because of the overwhelming workload.Kavanagh, who officially took over the post in May 1997, will return to his fee-earning role in the firm's corporate group.Kavanagh says: "The basis on which I had agreed to take on the role was that I still took on a significant amount of client work. It became apparent pretty quickly that it was a position ...

  • This week

    5-Mar-1999

    Expect the Court of Appeal to deliver a verdict on the Westminster homes for votes scandal, involving Dame Shirley Porter. Porter, represented by Lord Lester, was challenging the December 1997 High Court ruling that she was guilty of willful misconduct. One interested observer will be Hendon MP Andrew Dismore, partner at personal injury firm Thompsons, who cut his political teeth during the scandal.

  • Transatlantic power M&As energise firms

    5-Mar-1999

    Freshfields and Hammond Suddards are powering up to advise on two transatlantic energy deals. Freshfields is advising PowerGen on the u1.3bn sale of two power stations and Hammond Suddards is handling a u3m US acquisition for East Yorkshire-based Europower.Freshfields finance partner Charles July is leading the team for the Powergen disposal, which will hand over two of the UK's largest coal-fired power plants to Mission Energy, an international arm of Californian ...

  • White Paper calls time on creditors

    5-Mar-1999

    Stephen Foster, partner, Cameron McKennaShashi Rajani, head of corporate rescue, Nicholson Graham & JonesNick Angel, head of reconstruction, Ashurst Morris CrispPeter Mandelson's influence can still be felt at the Department of Trade and Industry with the unveiling last week of his proposals on changes to insolvency law.In ...

  • Woolf rules make their mark as courts usher in civil reforms

    5-Mar-1999

    Landmark rulings in London and Bristol courts have marked the introduction of Lord Woolf's civil justice reforms.In the Chancery Division of the High Court Mr Justice Neuberger refused, under the new equal footing rules, an application which would have stopped one side instructing a QC, while in Bristol County Court a judge declared a case "disproportionate" and ordered it to go through mediation.Both rulings were made on Tuesday and are thought to be the ...