11 January 1999

The Lawyer

  • 'I feel totally and utterly stitched up'

    11-Jan-1999

    Michael Martin speaks for the first time about his acrimonious split from Cloisters. Matheu Swallow reports.Senior clerk Michael Martin is an embittered man who claims his ejection, after 26 years, from Cloisters chambers has left him humiliated and close to a nervous breakdown."I feel totally and utterly stitched up. They've wiped 26 years off my life. I felt proud and loyal to be senior clerk at Cloisters," says Martin.It is a saga of the old-style ...

  • Ashursts helps steer Formula One part sale

    11-Jan-1999

    Ashurst Morris Crisp and Marriott Harrison have thrashed out the sale of 50 per cent of Bernie Ecclestone's motor racing empire, Formula One Holdings, in just over a week.Morgan Grenfell Private Equity, a specialist arm of Deutsche Bank, will buy a 50 per cent stake in SLEC Holding, the parent company of Formula One Holdings - the company that controls the sport.It is understood ...

  • B&M works on Croatian privatisation

    11-Jan-1999

    Baker & McKenzie's London and Frankfurt offices are advising the Croatian government on the privatisation of its telecoms network.The firm was selected after a beauty parade in which it is believed to have beaten Clifford Chance,

  • Bar Council scorns LawSoc's call for a unified profession

    11-Jan-1999

    THE Bar Council is dismissing Law Society president Robert Sayer's calls for a unified legal profession as "Mickey Mouse policies dreamt up in Disneyland".Sayer is calling for a unified profession within five years "with one code of conduct, one set of rules, one regulator".But his speech, given at the Solicitors' Law Festival in Disneyland, Paris, may divide the profession further.Sayer also attacks the selection procedure for QCs and judges. ...

  • Building the Republic in the public-private interest

    11-Jan-1999

    The Irish government has announced plans to use public-private partnerships to fund a £13bn bonanza in infrastucture spending. Ryan Dunleavy reports on benefits for lawyers within the Republic and the UK.Two phrases are echoing around the corridors of Irish law firms - privatisation and public-private partnership (PPP).Work on them is set to take off in the Republic, which has seen PPP only in a limited capacity before and handled few privatisations.

  • Case of the week

    11-Jan-1999

    Two gay Essex men became legal parents of surrogate twins when a Los Angeles court granted them both the right to be named as parents of Saffron and Aspen Drewitt-Barlow, who are due to be born to American Rosalind Bellamy in December. The parents Barrie Drewitt and Tony Barlow, whose application to adopt was rejected by Essex social services four years ago, are celebrating a legal victory which is binding in the UK.

  • Client demand forces firms to put files online

    11-Jan-1999

    More than 90 per cent of law firms plan to offer clients online access to their own confidential files and billing accounts by the end of 2000, according to a new survey.The survey claims clients are demanding the access and that lawyers see it as an advancement in efficiency.But more than half of the practices questioned admitted to not having a formal security policy.Nine out of 10 firms are planning to open up files to clients via external computer ...

  • Clifford Chance appoints special advisor

    12-Jan-1999

    Mayhew - whose City links include Chair of the Policy And Resources Committee of the Corporation of London - will advise on relations between the public and private sector.A former Chairman of the Corporation of London's Education Committee, Mayhew will also advise the firm on recruitment, education and training initiatives - including its relationship with UK universities - and work with its Pro Bono committee.An associate solicitor with Wilde Sapte since ...

  • Clifford Chance offers one-stop EC dispute shop

    11-Jan-1999

    Clifford Chance is offering clients a one-stop shop for competition disputes with the European Commission.The move is the brainchild of Chris Bright, the partner poached by Clifford Chance from rivals Linklaters.The multidisciplinary teams are made up of lawyers, economists and public affairs ...

  • Clyde & Co builds on Dubai presence

    11-Jan-1999

    CLYDE & Co is sending two high-profile partners to its Dubai office to boost the firm's Middle East presence.Alec Emmerson, the firm's former head of credit and political risk group insurance, is replacing David Reynolds as senior litigation manager in Dubai.Anthony Garrod, who helped found Clyde & Co's business law group, is moving to Dubai to strengthen the ...

  • Court errors cost £84m

    12-Jan-1999

    This was the public spending watchdog's first review of the £9 billion criminal court system which examined how the Crown Prosecution Service, Home Office and Lord Chancellor's Department interact.The NAO found nearly 750,000 magistrates' courts cases each year have to be adjourned because of errors by participants.This can delay cases by more than two weeks per case which costs around £40 million .Crown court cases that ...

  • Davenports takes trio in image shift

    11-Jan-1999

    Davenport Lyons, the leading media and entertainment practice, has poached three lawyers as it attempts to throw off its image as a niche firm.All three will join the firm as partners. Intellectual property and technology specialist David Marchese joins from Richards Butler, corporate and M&A lawyer Rebecca Ferguson moves from Herbert Smith and Jonathan Aubrey, a property litigator, ...

  • Davis Weber and Hogans in merger talks

    11-Jan-1999

    US firm Hogan & Hartson is in merger talks with New York litigation practice Davis Weber & Edwards.The deal would boost Washington DC-based Hogans' Manhattan presence from nine lawyers to more than 50.Hogan & Hartson, which has an office in London, has opened six new offices in the last five years. Bob Glen Odle, Hogans' managing partner, says only that the firm is "in discussions with a New York firm". Davis Weber refuses to comment.Davis ...

  • Deloittes partner moves to Linklaters

    11-Jan-1999

    Linklaters has appointed a new finance director from the ranks of Deloitte & Touche.Nick Heywood-Waddington was a partner at the accountancy firm for 12 years but has now joined Linklaters to see the firm's financial arrangements through the merger procedures with the Alliance partners.After a total of 22 years with Deloitte & Touche, Heywood-Waddington thought the opportunity ...

  • Digests

    11-Jan-1999

    Freshfields is in merger talks with German firm Gleiss Lutz Hootz Hirsch, as first revealed on The Lawyer website - www.the-lawyer.co.uk - last Wednesday. It follows a decision to merge with Deringer Tessin Herrmann & Sedemund (The Lawyer, 6 September).Denton Wilde Sapte's future chairman James Dallas has been appointed as non-executive director of Amec.Allen ...

  • Directories under fire for wasting firms' millions

    11-Jan-1999

    Law firms are squandering millions of pounds on supporting legal directories, according to a new survey of in-house lawyers.The shock study will provide ammunition to the growing band of law firms fed up with the huge cost of marketing themselves in directories.Some City firms are known to be planning a boycott of the directories. One marketing director from a magic circle firm says: "We have had several discussions with other firms over the past year about pulling ...

  • Drinks giant legal chief to step down

    11-Jan-1999

    Allied Domecq's company secretary David Mitchell is planning to step down after 38 years as its legal department undergoes a strategic review.Allied's legal advisers include Linklaters & Alliance, which advised the company on the sale of its retail arm, Ashurst Morris Crisp, Bevan Ashford and Edge ...

  • Energising the legal market

    11-Jan-1999

    Ryan Dunleavy reports on the implications of the European Union's decision to liberalise the Irish electricity market.Lawyers are gearing up for an increase in Irish energy work after the partial liberalisation of the electricity market in the Republic of Ireland from February 2000.The European Union is forcing the Irish government to sell off 28 per cent of the nationalised market because its monopoly contravenes EU competition laws. Further energy legislation ...

  • Ex-policeman sues Russell Jones Walker

    11-Jan-1999

    London firm Russell Jones & Walker is being sued by a former Metropolitan Police constable who claims the firm failed to properly represent him in court.The claim has been issued against the firm alleging it failed to interview key witnesses and did not get enough evidence to properly defend the policeman.The former officer Robin Kelly was sacked by the Met for dishonesty, following his 1993 conviction over allegations he falsely claimed housing allowance from ...

  • Financings

    11-Jan-1999

    Wragge & Co represented a management buyout (MBO) team on its £122.5m purchase of Bowater Windows from Rexam. The transaction was backed by Legal & General's private equity arm

  • Financings

    11-Jan-1999

    Taylor Joynson Garrett acted for Thyron in securing a £6m investment from Warburg Pincus and a number of undisclosed investors. The capital will allow the IT company to expand globally with a view to flotation. Gordon Jackson

  • Financings

    11-Jan-1999

    Pinsent Curtis acted for underwriters and joint stockbrokers Sunderlands on a one for four rights issue by Quality Software Products Holdings to raise approximately £17.3m. The funds raised will help reduce the group's existing borrowings and expand its customer base. Jeremy Phillips

  • Finers in talks with Stephens Innocent

    11-Jan-1999

    Finers is understood to be merging with media specialist Stephens Innocent as yet another partner quits the troubled firm.The merger talks are at an advanced stage, The Lawyer can reveal, after weeks of speculation over the firm, which is fronted by high-profile media lawyer Mark Stephens.Finers' intervention will come as a surprise to City law firm Rakisons. Sources say Rakisons is unaware of the move by Finers, which ironically specialises in brokering ...

  • Flexing a little muscle in Brussels

    11-Jan-1999

    Following Herbert Smith's appointment of former European Commission vice-president Sir Leon Brittan as a consultant, Sean Farrell investigates the work of lawyers in Brussels and how much of their role involves lobbying for their clients.Last week Herbert Smith announced that former vice-president of the European Commission Sir Leon Brittan is joining the firm as a consultant in the new year."Consultant" can mean many things, and although Herbert Smith insists ...

  • French seek barricades to halt Anglo-Saxon invasion

    11-Jan-1999

    The French bar is looking to give membership to in-house lawyers in an effort to make a united stand against the Anglo-Saxon law firms and accountancy-linked legal practices that are flooding into Paris.The proposals come in response to the Rapport Nallet, a government report on multidisciplinary practices published in July.In addition to recommending that MDPs should be accepted by the bar association, which has already been vetoed, the report also suggested ...

  • GM crops collapse before the law

    11-Jan-1999

    The Government's support for research into GM technology comes at a cost to the legal process. Peter Roderick explains why. Peter Roderick is the legal officer at Friends of the Earth.I will look back on 1999 as the year in which the British public said "no" to genetically-modified (GM) crops and foods. Consumers won't buy them, supermarkets won't sell them, and many farmers choose not to grow them. Biotech companies face financial crisis, ...

  • Greenpeace in undersea fight

    11-Jan-1999

    Greenpeace is urging Mr Justice Maurice Kay to rule in a High Court judicial review that the Department of Trade and Industry is under a legal duty to protect coral beds, whales, dolphins and other marine life from the effects of oil and gas exploration. Greenpeace claims the Government has failed to apply the EC Habitats Directive to oil and gas exploration in what Greenpeace's counsel Nigel Plemming QC described in court as the "Atlantic frontier". Greenpeace ...

  • Herbert Smith and Simmons join deals elite

    11-Jan-1999

    Herbert Smith and Simmons & Simmons have joined the top 10 firms working on M&A deals in the UK, pushing out Australian firms Clayton Utz and Minter Ellison, according to figures published by Thomson Financial Securities Data.For the third quarter (Q3) ending 30 September 1999, Herbert Smith ranks ninth - with nearly £8bn worth of deals completed so far this year - up by more than £2.5bn from the first half of the year ended 30 June 1999, when the firm made 14th ...

  • Ireland hopping in the North and South

    11-Jan-1999

    Ireland boasts Europe's fastest-growing economy and Northern and Southern firms are cashing in. Ryan Dunleavy visits an island which could make British firms green with envy.Northern and Southern Ireland's economy grew by 8 per cent last year - making it the fastest-growing in Europe - and law firms are adjusting their strategies to stay on top of the vast amount of legal work.One lawyer says that if Ireland does not slow down, in five years it will ...

  • IT clients provide a risk e-business

    11-Jan-1999

    Everyone knows of someone who has a third cousin of their sister's brother-in-law who three months ago was a spotty-faced teenager only interested in Lara Croft but who is now worth £5m through involvement in an on-line gizmo brokerage or some such e-commerce project.In scenes reminiscent of the California gold rush, wagon trains of lawyers are gathering en masse, hastily putting up their tents and immediately offering a glossy and tempting range of ...

  • It's been a bad week for...

    11-Jan-1999

    Mysteries. Lord Lucan - whose disappearance following the gruesome murder of his children's nanny ranks as one of the great murder mysteries of all time -has been officially pronounced dead by High Court, finally closing the case.US district judge Gigi Sullivan of Pittsburgh, who is appearing in court charged with snorting cocaine and shooting up in her chambers before cases, and dismissing charges against her dealers in exchange for drugs. ...

  • It's been a good week for...

    11-Jan-1999

    Dental hygiene. Lawyers have relentlessly pursued tobacco manufacturers for causing lung cancer to smokers, with little success. Now a new action is being launched along the same lines - by toothache sufferers against sweetie manufacturers. Eileen Catterson - a former Miss Scotland and girlfriend of former Wet Wet Wet singer Marti Pellow (above) - is suing Scotland's pride and joy, Irn Bru, alleging she required specialist work on her teeth after eating three Irn ...

  • Jones Day merges with Madrid firm

    11-Jan-1999

    Jones Day Reavis & Pogue is moving into the expanding Madrid market by merging with niche Spanish firm Tena Munoz y Asociados.The firms will merge next year, a move which will upset local firms in the Spanish capital. Jones Day is the first US firm to fully merge with a Spanish practice.The Lawyer revealed in May that Jones Day was looking to move into the Madrid and Milan markets.

  • Law firms offering legal aid halved

    12-Jan-1999

    Only 5000 law firms won contracts to offer legally aided initial advice and legal assistance in civil cases under the new scheme launched by the Lord Chancellor's Department yesterday.Under the old system, more than 11,000 firms were entitled to offer such advice.The Law Society has reacted with fury to the cuts, claiming that the Government is rushing into the new system without giving enough time to deal with any problems.Society President, ...

  • Law Society too quick to call time at the bar

    11-Jan-1999

    Michael Martin was one of the wealthiest men at the bar and he wasn't even a barrister. As senior clerk at Cloisters chambers, he earned a small fortune because his remuneration was a percentage of fees earned by tenants at the public law set.Martin was the last of a dying breed. Few clerks continue to earn their crust in such a rudimentary manner and barristers at Cloisters decided Martin was making too much money. Martin, the set decided, would have ...

  • Litigation Personal Injury 1/11/99

    11-Jan-1999

    Cases from LAWTEL'S PI Quantum Database. Contact Deborah Talbot on 0171 970 4823.Robert Langford v (1) Gary Hebran (2) Nynex Cable Communications Ltd (1999) QBD (Kleven J) 15 October 1999Claimant: Male, 27 years old at date of accident; 32 years old at date of trial.Incident: The claimant was injured in 1994 when his car collided with a van being driven by the first defendant (an employee of the second defendant). Liability admitted.

  • Litigation Writs 1/11/99

    11-Jan-1999

    High Court action has been launched in a bid to wind up the estate of surveyor and valuer Leonard Courtney, who left £400,000 when he died intestate in October 1998. Prior to his death, Courtney had been subject to three professional negligence claims for which he was uninsured. With the exception of payments of £10,000 each to four of the beneficiaries, the estate has been frozen for fear that there could be further claims. The limitation period ...

  • Litigator's View

    11-Jan-1999

    Giles Ward on the effect of the new Criminal Procedure Rules. Giles Ward is a partner at Nelson & Co in Leeds.The recent case of Crowther v Ramsey shows courts are affording little leniency to solicitors, expecting their clients to pursue professional negligence claims against them.The case concerned an appeal by the claimant's solicitors to set aside judgment in a small claims hearing.The defendant and claimant were involved in a road accident ...

  • Lords to debate school dyslexia diagnosis

    11-Jan-1999

    The Law Lords are set to decide if a school's failure to diagnose and treat dyslexia is a personal injury, writes Roger Pearson.The legal status of dyslexia is to be argued before the Law Lords.Lords Steyn, Clyde and Millett have given leave for an appeal which will focus on whether the failure to diagnose dyslexia can provide grounds for a personal injury claim under the Supreme Court Act 1981.The case centres on a schoolgirl's ...

  • Loyens & Volkmaars unveils details of tie-up with Loeffs

    11-Jan-1999

    Dutch firm Loyens & Volkmaars has revealed details of its merger with the Rotterdam office of Loeff Claeys Verbeke - the firm which was split apart by the decision of some of its partners to merge with Allen & Overy.Bert Westendorp, managing partner of tax specialist Loyens & Volkmaars, is set to become the managing partner of the combined firm.The new outfit will be called ...

  • NatWest subsidiary loses head of legal

    11-Jan-1999

    Natwest's subsidiary Global Financial Markets is losing its head of legal to Freshfields.Christopher Georgiou, head of the legal department at Global Financial Markets, is joining Freshfields as a senior associate in the firm's structured finance department.Simon Hall, head of the financial department at Freshfields, says: "We are pleased to have attracted someone so well known in the market in the face of such stiff competition."According ...

  • New department heads for Lawrence Tucketts

    12-Jan-1999

    Jonathan Hoey, who has been made up to partner, replaces Judith Brown as head of the 12-strong recoveries team. Brown has moved over to head up the dispute resolution group.Associate, David Bird has been made head of the tax and estate planning team, replacing Dr Anne Burrows who retires next Spring.Head of the property dispute resolution team, Julia Lucas has also been promoted to partner.

  • No more Mr Nasty Guy?

    11-Jan-1999

    Anne Mizzi reports on Herbert Smith's efforts to reposition itself as a corporate rather than litigation-centred firm.Herbert Smith - which elected head of corporate Richard Bond to senior partner last week - is, according to observers, the next likely candidate for a major transatlantic merger.The firm is known internationally for its litigation, but, they say, has been quietly hiving-off divisions and repositioning itself as a corporate practice in a bid ...

  • Perrin's View

    11-Jan-1999

    Leslie Perrin is managing partner of Osborne Clarke. He can be contacted at leslie.perrin@osborneclarke.comThe One Stop Shop - doncha just love it! There must be some recurring viral dysfunction which causes this crapulous idea to be periodically revived just when civilisation thought it had, like smallpox, been eradicated. If anyone can think of a more discredited marketing ...

  • Playing by a new set of work rules

    11-Jan-1999

    Lawyers are anticipating an avalanche of employment cases as the Government introduces a number of amendments to the laws governing unfair dismissal.The new rules, introduced under the Employment Relations Act 1999, are designed to improve the employee's lot by forcing employers to clean up their disciplinary procedures and create a better working environment.The new limit of unfair dismissal awards has increased from £12,000 to £50,000. The ...

  • Property

    11-Jan-1999

    Herbert Smith represented BAA Lynton on the 25-year lease of property at Gatwick Airport to British Airways' franchise carrier GB Airways. The original terminal building will be used as GB Airways' headquarters. The company will move into the building in May 2000. Shelagh McKibbin (pictured), a property partner at Herbert Smith, acted on the transaction with property assistant Matthew White. Burstows advised BA.

  • Property

    11-Jan-1999

    Jersey-based Mourant du Feu & Jeune acted on a proposal to launch a commercial property fund in the Channel Islands. The Royal Bank of Scotland International is proposing to launch the fund in association with international property consultants Weatherall Green and Smith. The fund, which will be known as The Foundation Fund, will be used to invest in commercial property located in Jersey and Guernsey. Jacqueline Richomme, an international finance partner at Mourant du ...

  • Quote of the week

    11-Jan-1999

    "This is a Mickey Mouse policy dreamt up in Disneyland."- The Bar Council's response to Law Society president Robert Sayer's proposal to abolish the distinction between solicitors and barristers, made during the Law Society Solicitors' Law Festival in Eurodisney, Paris.

  • Rowe & Maw team wins China contract

    11-Jan-1999

    Rowe & Maw has won its first case for the firm's newly-established international regulation team.It is advising a consortium of more than 28 Chinese coke exporters, including Tianjin General Nice Coke & Chemicals company, one of the country's biggest coke exporters.The combined group accounts for about half of the 300,000 tonnes of coke exported to Europe from China every year.The European Union (EU) is arguing with the People's Republic ...

  • Scuffle of the week

    11-Jan-1999

    Senior Crown Prosecutor Maria Bamieh v the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS). Bamieh has won her second claim for racial discrimination against the CPS in 12 months - prompting increased calls by the Commission for Racial Equality (CRE) for a formal inquiry into the service. Bamieh's claim that she was discriminated against by her line manager regarding her lack of promotion has been upheld by an employment tribunal. The CPS is mounting its own investigation into institutional racism ...

  • Simmons boosts energy with Herbert Smith poach

    11-Jan-1999

    SIMMONS & Simmons is poaching an oil and gas senior assistant from leading energy firm Herbert Smith, but is losing an equity partner to Richards Butler.Susan Beck, who is a barrister and a solicitor and has worked in-house in the energy industry, joins Simmons' 11-partner energy group on 1 November.Beck is the former senior international legal adviser of US energy company Atlantic Richfield, where she worked on projects in the Far East, and the former senior ...

  • South African bank buys up leading local law firm

    11-Jan-1999

    Top South African law firm Edward Nathan & Friedland has turned its back on plans to merge with a UK law firm, and has instead sold its leading commercial practice to an investment bank.Edward Nathan is understood to have talked to Linklaters and Clifford Chance before opting for the £40m deal ...

  • Standard contract to become available for syndicated loans

    11-Jan-1999

    Magic circle law firms have drawn up the first-ever standard contract for syndicated loans to speed up negotiations in the billion-pound market.Clifford Chance, Slaughter and May, Allen & Overy, Freshfields ...

  • Stephen Gale

    11-Jan-1999

    Sean Farrell talks to Stephen Gale, the man who is due next April to be only the second lawyer to take the helm as president of the Society of Practitioners of Insolvency.

  • The Cardinal's sins

    11-Jan-1999

    In exclusive extracts from his unauthorised biography, Dominic Egan reveals to readers of The Lawyer some of the secrets from the Lord Chancellor's chequered legal career.In May 1997 Lord Irvine was virtually unknown outside the legal profession. One year later he was the most famous Lord Chancellor of the 20th century. The only problem was, he was known for all the wrong reasons.Far from achieving his long-held dream of going down in history as ...

  • The Firm

    11-Jan-1999

    Minutes of a marketing strategy meeting at The Firm attended by Jack Pratchard, Tom Henderson and Rodney Bickerthwaite, the new director of business coordination, strategy, development and coordinated strategic development.Pratchard: Marketing is very important. According to this survey firms spend £2,900 per fee earner on it. But I just can't keep up with the latest developments. A year ago the boffins proved lower case was best, ...

  • The Lawyer Inquiry: Kris Weber was born in 1967 in Slough. He is an assistant solicitor with Stephenson Harwood.

    11-Jan-1999

    What subjects did you fail at school?All but one of my mock O-Levels.What was your first job?Paperboy.What was your first ever salary as a lawyer?17,000 peanuts (sorry pounds) per annum during articles.What would you have done if you hadn't been a lawyer?Freelance photojournalist.What was your most satisfying professional moment?Being asked to contribute a chapter to ...

  • This week

    11-Jan-1999

    Sporty types are gathering at St David's Hotel, Cardiff for the Global Sports Law Conference on 1-3 November, organised by niche sports firm Townleys.

  • Thompsons does Woolf cull U-turn

    11-Jan-1999

    Leading personal injury firm Thompsons has promoted four partners to equity status, just eight months after culling 11 partners in preparation for the Woolf reforms.The firm asked for the resignation of a fifth of its partnership in March this year, saying an internal Woolf group had concluded the firm's employment structure was top-heavy.But the firm now says the additions to the partnership are due to new opportunities that have arisen from the same reforms.

  • TJG banking head moves in reshuffle

    11-Jan-1999

    Taylor Joynson Garrett is reshuffling its banking department after the firm's head of banking stepped down.Rodney Dukes is replacing Robert Gayford today (Monday). Gayford was elected to head up the banking department in 1995 and again in 1997. He has decided to return to full-time client work within the six-partner department.Regarding his decision to step down he says: "It is not unusual, two years work is the normal period [to head up] the department."

  • Top duo leaves 2 Gray's Inn Square

    11-Jan-1999

    Common law set 2 Gray's Inn Square has lost practice manager Paul Simpson and senior clerk Bill Harris.The departure of Simpson and Harris is understood to be the result of the Crown Prosecution Service's (CPS) decision to cull its panel of prosecuting chambers. Several other sets have also lost a number of tenants or clerks.Simpson left chambers last week, while Harris will work until just before Christmas.Head of chambers Giles Eyre refuses ...

  • Travers Smith Braithwaite elects company head as senior partner

    11-Jan-1999

    TRAVERS Smith Braithwaite partners have elected head of company Christopher Bell as the new senior partner to replace Alan Keat.Bell - who specialises in corporate transactions and is a member of the company law sub-committee of the City of London Solicitors Society - takes up the post on 1 January.The firm's managing partner says Bell's appointment will help to raise the firm's profile in the City.Keat is retiring after 30 years, but ...

  • Trowers' Middle East partner returns to City

    11-Jan-1999

    Trowers & Hamlins' United Arab Emirates (UAE) resident partner Nick Hills has quit the firm's Dubai office to return to London.Hills founded the firm's Oman office in 1980, which he managed until 1985. He then became Trowers' managing partner until 1990.Hills says: "I have returned to the UK after eight years in the UAE to assume a senior and proactive ...

  • US firm takes on R&W's Paris office

    11-Jan-1999

    Rogers & Wells' Paris office merges today (Monday) with New York firm Kramer Levin Naftalis & Frankel because it does not want to be "an appendage" to Clifford Chance's merged monolith.Paris managing partner Alexander Marquardt's 21-strong team becomes Kramer Levin's first office outside Manhattan.Marquardt, in his first interview since rumours spread ...

  • Wilde Sapte caught out over pre-merger Deloittes sublet

    11-Jan-1999

    Wilde Sapte is bound by an agreement to lease one of its floors to accountancy giant Deloitte & Touche, despite needing the space following its merger with Denton Hall.The sublet contract was signed in September, two months after Wilde Sapte consented to lease accountants the eighth floor of its state-of-the-art offices at 1 Fleet Place, London.The agreement runs from the start of October.Steve Blakeley, Wilde Sapte managing partner, says: "We didn't ...

  • Working holidays are a grey area

    11-Jan-1999

    I am a senior consultant with Learned Friends, an Australian-owned legal recruitment agency. We naturally attract a lot of qualified Australian, New Zealand and South African lawyers who come to the UK on a variety of visas, including the two-year working holiday visa. It was with considerable interest therefore that I read Ms Onslow-Cole's article in The Lawyer (18 October) warning of the dangers of employing solicitors who were on two-year working holiday visas.

  • Young offender calls time

    11-Jan-1999

    Leave has been given for an appeal to the House of Lords which will throw new light on the way courts should view time spent by young offenders remanded in local authority care in the course of criminal proceedings. A minor, currently at a young offenders' institution, is challenging the approach of Balham Youth Court to time he spent in care. He claims that this time should be deducted from any sentence imposed on him.

  • Zoo learns VAT lesson at High Court

    11-Jan-1999

    Roger Pearson reports on Chester Zoo's bid for VAT exemption on admission fees as it claims to offer an educational service.The right of Customs and Excise to charge VAT on admission to places such as zoos, art galleries and museums was scrutinised by the High Court last month.A challenge from Chester Zoo that it should be exempt from the tariff because it provides an educational service has failed.A second challenge by London Zoo, ...