10 February 1997

The Lawyer

  • A step forward in agency law

    12-Feb-1997

    Stephen Sidkin and Julie Madelin examine the difficulties in the Commercial Agents Regulations. Stephen Sidkin is a commercial law partner and Julie Madelin a commercial litigation solicitor at Fox Williams.In 1996 it was clear from a spate of decisions that the English and Scottish courts had difficulty coming to terms with the amended Commercial Agents (Council Directive) Regulations ...

  • A&O partner defects to US firm to set up property unit

    12-Feb-1997

    Allen & Overy property partner Rupert Jones is joining Chicago firm Sonnenschein's London office to help it develop an English law property department.Jones, who has just advised Morgan Stanley on a £550m securitisation of Canary Wharf, said: "I want to run my own practice in a way that I can't do in a substantial firm like Allen & Overy."Bill Tudor John ...

  • A&O partner to Oz

    12-Feb-1997

    Allen & Overy has lost one of its project finance partners, Andrew Trahair, to Australian firm Clayton Utz. Trahair has left London to join Clayton Utz in its Sydney office. Trahair became a partner at Allen & Overy in 1994 and worked primarily in international project finance deals in power, infrastructure and telecoms. Clayton Utz chairman Brian Wilson said that Trahair "would greatly enhance ...

  • Acpo sets up unit to define Internet law

    12-Feb-1997

    A SERIES of confidential meetings is being held between the Internet industry, the police and governmental bodies in a bid to clarify the law on computer crime.The Association of Chief Police Officers (Acpo) held the first meeting on 7 November at the Department of Trade and Industry's Victoria Street offices, with the next meeting scheduled for February.Acpo, the only organisation which discusses police matters nationally, has set up ...

  • All is fair in love and defamation...

    12-Feb-1997

    In an extraordinary twist to the usual defamation litigation, Anthony Julius, the lawyer best known for the legal work he performed for Princess Diana, is seeking to marry the daughter of a client whom he met while researching a case.Dina Rabinovitch, a London freelance journalist and mother of three, and her husband, a derivatives trader at French bank Paribas in London, instructed Julius, the head of litigation at

  • Appeal Court judgments should be on the Internet, says report

    12-Feb-1997

    Elizabeth Davidson reportsA MAJOR review of the Court of Appeal's civil division has called for all of its judgments to be made available on the World Wide Web.The report, written by a panel of six authors and chaired by former Price Waterhouse senior partner Sir Jeffery Bowman, was commissioned before the election by the then Lord Chancellor Lord Mackay to examine ways of reducing delay.It envisages a court in which technologically-friendly ...

  • Bristows loses construction department to Nicholsons

    12-Feb-1997

    City firm Bristows Cooke & Carpmael has lost its entire construction department to Nicholson Graham & Jones.Bristows has acknowledged that the defection, described by all sides as amicable, has effectively brought to an end to its construction practice.It will focus its resources on developing its reputation as an intellectual property litigation specialist.Three partners ...

  • Case summaries

    12-Feb-1997

    Cases now fixed and pending in the Queens Bench Division include: Staniland v Mansfield (1 December 1997); Katz v Virgin Radio (1 December 1997); Williamson v Metropolitan Police (not before 1 December 1997); Hurley v MGN (2 December 1997); Crosdale v Metropolitan Police (8 December 1997).

  • Conrad McDonnell on the taxation of payments in lieu of notice. Conrad McDonnell is a barrister at Gray's Inn Chambers.

    12-Feb-1997

    Until recently, the tax treatment of payments in lieu of notice (Pilons) made to employees upon dismissal from employment has been relatively certain.Where there is no provision in the contract of employment for Pilons to be made, they are not emoluments from the employment taxable under s.19 of the Income and Corporation Taxes Act 1988 (ICTA). They have, instead, the character of compensation payments, as in Henley v Murray and fall within the "golden ...

  • Cybercafe opens at Charles Russell offices

    12-Feb-1997

    CITY firm Charles Russell has opened an Internet cafe within its New Fetter Lane premises.Lawyers and visitors can now access cyberspace at the firm's fourth floor cafe where two Internet links and PCs were installed last week.Marketing director Simon Slater, responsible for setting up the cybercafe, said that the move means lawyers can "surf, research ...

  • Dallas Brett partner joins BrookStreet

    12-Feb-1997

    One of the partners from Oxford firm Dallas Brett, which announced its dissolution last month, is joining Witney firm BrookStreet Des Roches this week.Property, planning and environment partner Richard Smith will join the firm with his assistant and his clients.He follows two other former Dallas Brett partners to the firm.In May, property partners Charlie Seaward and Hugh Blaza jumped ship, after Dallas Brett made a strategic decision to concentrate ...

  • Defending the utterly defensible

    12-Feb-1997

    The Supreme Court will establish when and how employers can use race-based policies this term. Satvinder Juss reports. Dr Satvinder Juss is a Harkness Fellow working in Washington DC and a Human Rights Fellow at Harvard Law School."Affirmative action" remains a much neglected social policy in Britain. It grants judges in the US the power to remedy unlawful discrimination and requires a federal government contractor to benefit under-represented minority or women workers.

  • Dentons look east

    12-Feb-1997

    Denton Hall has been awarded two major contracts in Central and Eastern Europe. It has been selected to advise the Tallin Stock Exchange and the Estonian Ministry of Finance on reforming Estonia's securities law in a project sponsored by the British government's Know-How Fund. It has also been chosen to assist in the reform of Romania's securities and investment fund laws and in developing the Romanian National Securities Commission. The Romanian project is sponsored ...

  • DTI in dock over detention in New York

    12-Feb-1997

    A man is suing the DTI for damages, claiming that its attempts to extradite him from the US were unlawful, reports Roger Pearson.The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) is to be put in the dock in the New Year accused of acting unlawfully in its attempt to extradite a man from the US - and it could be in for some embarrassment over the way it has formed its defence.Financier Roger Levitt, who is working in New York as a boxing promoter, ...

  • Establishment rights

    12-Feb-1997

    The Law Society wants to hear from solicitors who have faced restrictions on providing their services outside the European Union. The move to collate information on rights of establishment follows the recent launch by the European Commission of an initiative to draw up a database of the barriers facing professionals who want to provide legal services outside the union. It will provide the information on a Web site.

  • Fifteen defect from Lagerlof to set up new practice

    12-Feb-1997

    A group of 15 lawyers, including five partners, are defecting from leading Swedish firm Lagerlof & Leman to form a new commercial practice in Stockholm.Partners Peder Hammarskiold, Bengt Karde, Thomas Lindqvist, Jacob Melander and Per Sundin are leaving to set up Hammarskiold & Co which starts operations on 1 January next year.Melander, the spokesman for the departing lawyers, cited Lagerlof's membership of the Alliance of European Lawyers as the main reason ...

  • Financing

    12-Feb-1997

    Pinsent Curtis advised HSBC on a £135m private equity investment in AM Paper Group's planned paper mill in Skelmersdale. Chaffe Street acted for AM Paper and Slaughter and May advised JP Morgan on providing senior debt.

  • Financing

    12-Feb-1997

    Stephenson Harwood acted for the Royal Bank of Scotland in its joint venture with Virgin Direct

  • Flotations

    12-Feb-1997

    Henmans advised computer component repairer CRC Group on its £3m placing and flotation on AIM. Edge & Ellison acted for the nominated adviser Smith & Williamson and the nominated broker Neilson Cobbold.

  • Flotations

    12-Feb-1997

    Linklaters advised the Italian Treasury on the $13bn sale of its 44.7 per cent stake in Telecom Italia by way of a private offering and a global public offering including an SEC-registered public offering in the United States. US firm Davis Polk & Wardwell advised Telecom Italia.

  • Flotations

    12-Feb-1997

    Harbottle & Lewis advised European airline operator Virgin Express on its $96m listing on Nasdaq and the Brussels Stock Exchange. Davis Polk & Wardwell advised Virgin on US securities issues.

  • Fraudulent Fin free to appeal

    12-Feb-1997

    The Law Lords have given the go-ahead for a man wanted for credit card fraud in Helsinki to appeal against the High Court's refusal of his application for habeas corpus. Sami Saad Alla Badbah Kiriakos was convicted in Helsinki in 1990. However, pending appeal he was released from custody and left Finland. His conviction was subsequently confirmed and the Finnish government now want him extradited from the UK. In November 1996, Lord Justice Rose and Mr Justice Morris Kay ...

  • French full partner

    12-Feb-1997

    Pascal Roux, a corporate finance and banking partner based at Richards Butler's Paris office, has become the first registered foreign lawyer to become a full partner at the City firm. Roux has been a local partner at the Paris office since 1995, having joined the firm a year previously. The firm has also promoted two French- and English-qualified lawyers, Lars Lewis and Clara Zerbib, to partnership at the Paris office. Richards Butler now has five partners, three full partners ...

  • Gone with the wind

    12-Feb-1997

    Josh Butler explains the difficulties involved finding lost heirs in modern America. Josh Butler is president of the International Probate Research Association.Fifteen years ago, a man in Texas wrote to me, telling me that my great grandfather had invested in an oil well in 1917.I was a missing heir to a modest amount of money. Beyond the money, there seemed a need and an opportunity to trace people across the vast reaches of space and time and to provide the ...

  • Govt forced into retreat on CPS

    12-Feb-1997

    The Government has been forced into an embarrassing U-turn in its shake-up of the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) by freezing the appointments of 42 new Chief Crown Prosecutors.In a written answer to a parliamentary question, published last week, Attorney General John Morris QC concedes that the Government's plans to reorganise the service into 42 - as opposed to 13 - areas, which were announced two weeks after the General Election, cannot now go ahead until after Sir ...

  • Govt legal appointment prompts calls for greater accountability

    12-Feb-1997

    THE APPOINTMENT of a member of the Lord Chancellor's old chambers as the First Junior Treasury Counsel has fuelled demands for the Government to make legal appointments more open and accountable.Philip Sales - an up-and-coming commercial barrister - takes over from Stephen Richards in the prestigious post of First Junior Treasury Counsel, Common Law, this week.The appointment raised eyebrows within the profession because Sales was not regarded as a frontrunner ...

  • Govt paper to cut youth crime is 'scurrilous' and 'inappropriate'

    12-Feb-1997

    PROMINENT youth justice practitioners have slated a Home Office White paper aiming to tackle youth crime as "scurrilous", "inappropriate" and unlikely to work.The Home Office last week published its White Paper, "No More Excuses", which intends to halve the time it takes for young offenders to move from arrest to sentencing.But the report has angered practitioners who claim it unfairly singles out lawyers for criticism. It:accuses lawyers ...

  • Govt stakeholder pensions attacked

    12-Feb-1997

    Simmons & Simmons and Hammond Suddards have added their voices to the chorus of criticism of the Government's proposals for "stakeholder pensions".Social security minister John Denham last month issued a consultative document setting out its aim to create "stakeholder pensions" to provide pensions for people without good occupational pension schemes.In a paper responding to the scheme, Simmons' pension department states: "The consultative document does ...

  • Hague harangues PM over legal aid for personal injury

    12-Feb-1997

    THE TORY leader, William Hague, maintained the pressure on the Government to back down over its legal aid reform plans last week when he harangued the Prime Minister, Tony Blair, for withdrawing legal aid from personal injury claims.Hague spoke out against the Lord Chancellor, Lord Irvine 's reform plans during Prime Minister's Questions in the House of Commons.During an exchange on disability living allowance, Hague called on Blair to "look again... ...

  • Historic West Country practices to merge

    12-Feb-1997

    Two West Country practices which both date back to the mid-eighteenth century are to merge.Battens, which is the larger of the two firms, will join forces with Poole & Co on 1 January. The new 26-partner-strong operation will be called Battens.The merged practice will work out of two offices in Yeovil and Crewkerne under the existing managing partner, Graham Hughes. Poole & Co's senior partner, Patrick Haran, will become a member of the partnership board.

  • Holman Fenwick bolsters French shipping practice

    12-Feb-1997

    Shipping firm Holman Fenwick & Willan has opened its third office in France in the port of Nantes.The office will be headed by French avocat, Helene Cadiet, who joins from local firm Menard Quimbert & Associes.London partner Michael Donithorn said that the initiative had been driven by the firm's Paris office which was keen to exploit the growing regionalisation of the French shipping market."The feeling of the French operation was that quite ...

  • Housing lawyers prepare to battle small claims reforms

    12-Feb-1997

    A SECOND front will be opened up against the Government's legal reform blueprint when it publishes its consultation paper on raising the small claims threshold from £3,000 to £5,000 this week.The Legal Action Group (LAG) has joined housing lawyers in warning that tenants being victimised and exploited by their landlords will lose out under the plan, which was announced by the Lord Chancellor, Lord Irvine in October.The consultation paper will ...

  • How to decide if it is a fair deal

    12-Feb-1997

    A recent High Court ruling should make those who work in the media more aware of "fair dealing" provisions, says Roger PearsonA recent High Court case, in which Mr Justice Lloyd ruled that copyright of market-sensitive data was infringed, is likely to create waves of unrest in media circles.London-based specialists PCR Ltd, which produces detailed and highly-sensitive reports on cocoa crops for customers dealing in cocoa beans, ...

  • In brief: Berwins elected adviser to Legal & General

    12-Feb-1997

    City firm Berwin Leighton has been chosen, in an extensive selection process involving 12 firms, to join Lawrence Graham as the sole provider of property legal services to Legal & General Assurance Society.

  • In brief: Blackburn to head Law Advisory Committee

    12-Feb-1997

    Former Law Society councillor Bill Blackburn OBE , who has helped build up Franco-British legal relations, is to be the new chairman of the British Council's Law Advisory Committee. He takes over from Lord Justice Phillips. Blackburn, who began his career at the Paris office of Theodore Goddard in 1957, is now a consultant with a French firm and honorary president of the Franco-British Lawyers Society.

  • In brief: Buy 'The Sharp End' for children's charity

    12-Feb-1997

    Fran Orford, the creator of The Lawyer's popular cartoon The Sharp End, is putting the original drawings up for sale with the proceeds going to a children's charity. For more details telephone: 01422 845359.

  • In brief: Flemings creates post for Geoffrey Howe

    12-Feb-1997

    Geoffrey Howe, who steps down after 10 years as managing partner of Clifford Chance next year will become general counsel and a director of merchant bank Robert Fleming. Flemings said the post of general counsel has been created for him.

  • In brief: Judge dismisses discrimination claims

    12-Feb-1997

    The Court of Appeal last week upheld a county court ruling that barrister Joy Okoye's racial discrimination claims against tenants and a clerk in her former set, Staple Inn Chambers, should be struck out. In his judgment, Lord Justice Gibson delivered a stern rebuke to Okoye for jeopardising her colleagues' careers by levelling unfounded allegations against them. (See analysis page 2)

  • In brief: Kemp & Co recruits from McGrigor Donald

    12-Feb-1997

    Richard Kemp (pictured right) launched his law firm Kemp & Co this week and has already recruited two-year qualified McGrigor Donald intellectual property assistant Kenneth Mullen from Glasgow. Kemp, until last week the head of IP/IT at Garretts, has opened the doors of his new office above Saddlers Hall near St Pauls in the City.

  • In brief: Labour lawyers to hold legal aid debate

    12-Feb-1997

    The Society of Labour Lawyers holds its annual conference this Saturday. It will debate the Government's legal aid reform plans. For more details ring Penny Weinreb on 01306 886968.

  • In brief: Langleys nets Ashurst employment lawyer

    12-Feb-1997

    The specialist London-based employment firm, Langley & Co, has recruited Nick Ralph from Ashurst Morris Crisp. The firm says Ralph is joining as a senior associate with a view to moving up into partnership next year. Langleys now has eight fee earners, who all concentrate on employment law.

  • In brief: McGrigor Donald partner joins Hammonds

    12-Feb-1997

    Former McGrigor Donald partner David Baylis is now a partner in the corporate finance unit at Hammond Suddards. Baylis, who was at Allen & Overy for 10 years before joining McGrigor Donald, is being appointed as part of the firm's programme of growth in the corporate finance field.

  • In brief: Pratap Amin

    12-Feb-1997

    In The Lawyer (28 October 1997), a news item "Wilde Sapte suffers triple loss" stated that Pratap Amin is "going back to India next March" when he retires from the partnership. Pratap Amin has asked us to make it clear that he does not intend to move to India and will remain in England as a company/commercial lawyer.

  • In brief: Stephensons recruits Canadian IT expert

    12-Feb-1997

    Stephenson Harwood has recruited a Canadian lawyer to its IT law practice. John Enstone has worked for the telecommunications and IT organisations Bell Canada/Bell Sygma and Northern Telecom as well as in private practice. He is both an English and Canadian qualified lawyer.

  • In defence of the wig

    12-Feb-1997

    Clive Coleman is a barrister and principal lecturer at the Inns of Court School of Law. He is also author of BBC Radio 4's legal sitcom Chambers. Clive Coleman tells the Bar to keep its hair on - it's a matter of public concernThe signs are ominous. First an MP rises in the Commons to question the wearing of wigs in court, then the Lord Chancellor himself incites a debate on the wearing of the legal profession's sacred hairpiece.The wig is ...

  • Indemnity is illusory

    12-Feb-1997

    Write to: The Editor, The Lawyer, 50 Poland Street, London W1V 4AX, fax 0171 734 0534, e-mail lawyer.edit@chiron.co.uk, DX44700 Soho SquareI was interested to see your recent article in which a City lawyer was suggesting that firms with claims should be thrown out of SIF. I can assure you that there are many unfortunate partners in small firms who have been severely hit by the new claims loading formula who would love to be allowed to insure ...

  • Insurers meet ABI for talks before Irvine conference

    12-Feb-1997

    The UK's three rival "after-the-event" legal insurers met for the first time last week in an attempt to thrash out a common position on conditional fees before discussions with the Lord Chancellor on 2 December.The private meeting on Friday was convened by the Association of British Insurers (ABI). It is understood that a number of contentious issues were resolved at the discussions, including the attitude of the ABI to "after the event" insurance.The ABI ...

  • Kidd Rapinet on the merger trail again

    12-Feb-1997

    SIX-partner London commercial practice Steggles Palmer is joining the much larger London and Home Counties firm Kidd Rapinet.Although the move is being described as a merger, it is effectively a takeover by Kidd Rapinet, which has 35 partners operating out of nine offices.The link-up with Steggles came about via an agency. Kidd Rapinet managing partner, Paul Taylor, said his firm was "always in the market for mergers".Kidd Rapinet has a recent history ...

  • LA firm in London seeks UK-qualifieds

    12-Feb-1997

    Los Angeles firm Paul Hastings Janofsky & Walker is looking to take on its first UK-qualified partners as part of a major expansion of its fledgling London office.Keith Ott, resident partner at the office, said that the firm wanted to bring on partners in telecoms, capital markets and transaction finance and was planning to increase the overall contingent of UK-qualified lawyers to between 10 and 12 over the coming months.Ott said the firm was still in the recruiting ...

  • LAB gets divorce sum wrong

    12-Feb-1997

    The Legal Aid Board (LAB) has admitted to getting its sums wrong in the amount of costs it is seeking to recover from a divorcee six years after the costs were taxed.Pauline Fawzi divorced her husband Mohamed Faisal Fawzi in 1987 but racked up legal aid costs of over £12,000 in dozens of court hearings over custody of the children, ownership of the house and maintenance payments.When she won the house Mrs Fawzi, a nurse, could not afford to pay back the ...

  • Legal trio help get schools' PFI projects off the ground

    12-Feb-1997

    Eversheds, Nabarro Nathanson and Cameron McKenna have helped start the schools' Private Finance Initiative (PFI) ball rolling by negotiating the UK's first contract for a private company to design, build finance and operate a school.Construction and maintenance company Jarvis, advised by Nabarros, ...

  • Litigation Disciplinary Tribunals 02/12/97

    12-Feb-1997

    Shushil Ramanbhaj Patel, admitted 1977, practising at material time as a solicitor on own account as SR Patel & Co, in High Holborn, until November 1987, initially struck off and ordered to pay costs of £2,214. When it became known that he had already been struck off, the tribunal substituted order that he be prohibited from reinstatement without its consent. The order for costs remained unchanged. Allegations substantiated that: he failed to ...

  • Litigation Personal Injury 02/12/97

    12-Feb-1997

    Lawrence v Osborne - QBD 21 October, 1997Claimant: Peter Lawrence, 39 yearsIncident: Road traffic accidentInjuries: Claimant, once a successful accountant, suffered severe head injuries in road crash in which he was knocked off his motorcycle in 1991. As result of accident he underwent personality change, became bad tempered, suffered severe memory impairment and is now living in sheltered accommodation and incapable ...

  • Litigation Recent Decisions 02/12/97

    12-Feb-1997

    Decisions are taken from Lawtel's legal database. LTL: Lawtel report; TLR: Times Law Reports; ILR: Independent Law ReportHostile costs order in county court personal injury litigationBurrows v Vauxhall Motors; Mongiardi v IBC Vehicles (1997)Court: CA (Lord Woolf MR, Phillips LJ and Chadwick LJ) Summary: In what circumstances and at what stage should the County Court make a hostile order for costs in personal injuries litigation against a ...

  • Litigation Writs 02/12/97

    12-Feb-1997

    Stephen Foster Jewellery, Hatton Garden, is suing Brian Jackson and other members of syndicate 582 at Lloyd's for £137,430 following the robbery, on 16 June, of more than £100,000-worth of jewellery. The writ says the company had taken out insurance covering its stock to a limit of £400,000 and loss of profits up to £500,000, and that the underwriters, relying on the insurance policy wording, gave 10 ...

  • Loeff Claeys merger falls through

    12-Feb-1997

    Plans by two leading Dutch firms, Loeff Claeys Verbeke and Buruma Maris, to join forces to create the largest law firm in the Netherlands have fallen through.The merger, which would have created a firm with almost 400 lawyers, was announced in July and was scheduled to take effect in a month's time.Dolf Stuyling de Lange, secretary to the general board at Loeff, said: "We had concluded preparing everything for implementing the plans. But there were still ...

  • Lord Chancellor reduces Aclec's power

    12-Feb-1997

    The Lord Chancellor, Lord Irvine has clipped the wings of the Lord Chancellor's Advisory Committee on Legal Education and Conduct by ruling that changes to the Law Society and Bar Council's professional rules only need its approval if the changes "are concerned with rights of audience or rights to conduct litigation".

  • Lovell White Durrant advises Barclays on its sale of BZW

    12-Feb-1997

    Barclays used its principal lawyers Lovell White Durrant to advise it on the controversial sale for only £100m of part of its troubled merchant bank arm BZW to Credit Suisse First Boston (CSFB).Barclays group general counsel Howard Trust assisted by two other in-house lawyers, Rachel Harris and Mark Edwards, led and co-ordinated Barclays' legal team, while partners David Harris and Hugh Nineham led for Lovells.

  • Macfarlanes Top 100 info

    12-Feb-1997

    I refer to the Top 100 table which appeared in the student supplement of The Lawyer (28 October).I am writing to point out that the information that we provided for the table made it clear that Macfarlanes provides course fees and maintenance for both the CPE and LPC.The maintenance is currently £3,500 per annum. The table showed our position in relation to fees and ...

  • Market your firm for the future

    12-Feb-1997

    Graham Irwin says that having a good marketing database is essential to nurturing relationships with existing clients and identifying potential markets. Graham Irwin is the principal of specialist legal management consultancy Irwin Associates.Many solicitors are still coming to terms with the idea of marketing their services and confusion still reigns over the difference between marketing and selling.Selling is the final stage in getting a piece of work, ...

  • No joy for Okoye at end of cautionary tale

    12-Feb-1997

    John Malpas reports on the Court of Appeal's decision to strike out a black barrister's discrimination claims against her former chambersIT WAS almost as if Lord Justice Gibson was waiting for an opportunity to put Joy Okoye in her place.He pounced when she stood up in an attempt to intervene personally during her race discrimination appeal hearing last week at the Court of Appeal."Will you sit down," he bellowed, bristling with anger.

  • OSS seeks to boost efficiency with gift voucher scheme

    12-Feb-1997

    Staff at the Office for the Supervision of Solicitors (OSS) are being offered gift vouchers to close the file on as many complaints as possible in time for Christmas.The unusual incentive scheme is designed to help the OSS clear up a massive backlog of cases - and comes as the OSS prepares to publish its annual report on 11 December, when director Peter Ross will announce a new policy intended to help speed up complaints handling.But the OSS as a whole is facing ...

  • Scots public defender to handle 15% of cases

    12-Feb-1997

    THE Scottish Legal Aid Board (SLAB) intends to handle 15 per cent of all summary criminal cases in the Edinburgh courts for its public defender pilot, which is due to begin next October.According to SLAB's proposals, published last month, the Public Defence Solicitors' Office (PDSO) will cover the full range of summary cases during its five-year stint.SLAB is considering potential office sites near the Royal Mile in the city centre.The proposal ...

  • Selling the skills of the star silks

    12-Feb-1997

    Chambers have reluctantly accepted the value of marketing, but how best to do it remains a mystery to most barristers.When it comes to marketing barristers' chambers what solicitor can resist a stack of glossy brochures, a couple of cold calls and the odd glass of warm Chardonnay?Surprisingly enough, quite a few. The Bar's advertising and marketing skills have traditionally been comparable to those of Her Majesty's Secret Service. ...

  • Success for Wychavon fuels fight over magistrates courts

    12-Feb-1997

    A COUNCIL's successful fight to prevent a magistrates' court from closing down has prompted six other local authorities to resist the axing of courts by cash-strapped Magistrates' Courts Committees (MCCs).Last month Wychavon District Council won its battle to persuade the Lord Chancellor, Lord Irvine to block the closure of Droitwich and Evesham courts.Since then Nigel Roberts, the former in-house lawyer for Wychavon District Council, who led the ...

  • Take a risk by being positive

    12-Feb-1997

    Risk management is a concept which does not sit easily with the legal profession. But lawyers are soon to have a rude awakening on this front when Lord Irvine's reforms begin to take shape.The idea is that, since they make money out of cases, they should be willing to fork out money to support their professional assessments of cases worth pursuing. If they make a mistake, too bad. They must bear the costs as other businesses have to. Logically, the ...

  • The great legal aid franchising fraud

    12-Feb-1997

    Christie Davies believes that the franchising of legal aid work as proposed by the Lord Chancellor will threaten civil liberties and lead to a decline in the quality of defence work.As we now know, it is the intention of the Lord Chancellor, his civil servants and the Legal Aid Board (LAB) to introduce a scheme whereby criminal legal aid work is given exclusively to franchised firms on the basis of block contracts.The aim of the scheme is to reduce ...

  • The Lawyer Inquiry: Gary Summers

    12-Feb-1997

    Gary Summers was born in Plymouth in 1958. He recently left 3 Gray's Inn Square to join Magrath & Co as head of its criminal department.What was your first job?Assistant storeboy at Travellers Fare Catering Stores in Plymouth Station.What was your first ever salary as a lawyer?£4,500.What would you have done if you hadn't become a lawyer?Hotel manager for BR Hotels (reality ...

  • The watchdog needs a firm hand

    12-Feb-1997

    Maeve Bromwich welcomes the Financial Services Authority, but says the risk of over-regulation by one unified body is very real. Maeve Bromwich is a partner-designate at Manches & Co.The long-awaited launch of the new super regulator took place last month when Gordon Brown announced that Newro would be called the Financial Services Authority (FSA) - not to be confused with the Financial Services Act (also FSA) or the Securities and Futures Authority (SFA).

  • Trustham cleared of drug money charges

    12-Feb-1997

    Jack Trustham, the former senior partner of West End firm Wigram & Co, who in August last year was arrested on the Isle of Man on drug money laundering charges and flown in handcuffs to London, was last week cleared of all charges at Southwark Crown Court.Customs officers had released Trustham on bail the day of his arrest without interviewing him. Judge Fingret said of customs officer David Piper, who had made the arrest: "in his enthusiasm to return his prisoner to London ...

  • Where there's a will

    12-Feb-1997

    Linda Tsang gives some advice on how to go about finding long-lost beneficiarieswhat do you do when you are instructed to act in an estate and have to trace the beneficiaries who were not in contact with or even known to the testator? How do you trace the long-lost heir?If you are in London, the Family Records Centre which was opened by the Lord Chancellor in July this year, is a useful one-stop shop. The centre is in north London, and houses a joint service ...

  • White & Case links up with Forrester Norall

    12-Feb-1997

    In its first merger outside the US, White & Case has joined forces with Brussels-based European law boutique Forrester Norall & Sutton.The five lawyers currently stationed at White & Case's office in the Belgian capital will move into Forrester Norall's premises when the merger takes effect on 1 January.The combined office, with 23 lawyers, gives the US firm one ...