12 June 1995

The Lawyer

  • 'Degraded' SCB attacks society

    13-Jun-1995

    THE SOLICITORS Complaints Bureau has accused the Law Society of eroding its independence and undermining its staff.At the Law Society Council meeting last week the bureau's policy advisory committee chair Tony Heywood defended the beleaguered bureau whose reform has become a key election battleground."We resent the fact that the bureau has been used as a political football over the past few months and feel insulted, humiliated and degraded on behalf of the ...

  • A Barbican retrospective

    13-Jun-1995

    Linda Tsang reportsWhen we started supplying computer systems for law firms in 1978, they were still surrounded by an aura of mystery cultivated by those who used them. Partners in firms knew little about their computer system other than it existed. General opinion was that it was a costly but necessary evil.So when the first Barbican exhibition was held in 1984, it attracted computer experts, legal accountants or those who drew the short straw ...

  • Aclec hits audience stalemate

    13-Jun-1995

    THE LORD Chancellor's advisers are in apparent deadlock over extended rights of audience for in-house and CPS solicitors.After months of deliberation, a majority of the Lord Chancellor's Advisory Committee on Legal Education has rejected the in-house case for extended advocacy rights.But Law Society president Charles Elly told the society's council last week he had learnt a significant minority on the committee disagreed."They would ...

  • All done for the common good

    13-Jun-1995

    To blame the Law Society for not pre-empting the Government's changes to legal aid and for not guiding the profession through the technological revolution which ultimately will reshape legal services is a waste of time and resources. It would be far better if the candidates in the presidential elections concentrated on bringing the various branches of the legal profession together to focus on our service to the public and thereby improve the bottom line.The creation ...

  • Australian legal system gets $160m overhaul

    13-Jun-1995

    AUSTRALIAN Prime Minister Paul Keating has announced a four-year A$160 million strategy to reform the country's legal system to "bring justice to the people, not people to lawyers".The scheme aims to provide families with the means to resolve disputes outside formal legal processes and A$54m will be allocated to expanding family services, including increased marriage and relationship courses and the expansion of the Family Court's counselling and mediation services.

  • Barrister claims race bias at Bar after tribunal

    13-Jun-1995

    A BLACK barrister has accused the Bar Council of racial discrimination over its decision to take disciplinary action against him.Jonathan Deve's case was brought before an industrial tribunal in central London last week but was adjourned until August.Deve was brought before a Bar disciplinary hearing for allegedly misleading the court during a case in which he was involved. He was found guilty and suspended for six months.He did not appeal against ...

  • Beauty parades not so popular, claims report

    13-Jun-1995

    BEAUTY parades may be on the way out, with in-house lawyers using their own networks of contacts to chooseexternal lawyers, according to a survey of in-house lawyers.Uxbridge-based legal consultants Coleman Newman Consulting says a survey of 16 legal directors has left the debate on the merits of beauty parades wide open.Although a majority of in-house heads in the survey agreed tendering was the best way to control costs, one third of those questioned ...

  • Birts condemns Mackay's block contract proposals

    13-Jun-1995

    John Malpas reportsCASH-LIMITED block legal aid contracts giving solicitors a free hand to save money by ignoring barristers must be resisted, according to the Bar Council's legal aid expert.Peter Birts, chair of the council's legal aid and fees committee, has come out firmly against the central tenets of the Lord Chancellor's Green Paper.Under the proposals it will be up to solicitors operating within fixed budgets to ...

  • Buy one, get one free

    13-Jun-1995

    Linda Tsang reports'Havers' Companion to the Bar', Lawtel and Microsoft have joined forces for a special offer which entitles purchasers of Havers to a free 30-day trial of Lawtel, the database for all aspects of legal work. If a Lawtel subscription is taken up, the package includes Microsoft Word 6.0.Firm opts for SolCaseBasingstoke firm Clarke & Son has switched to a Windows system for its 10-user practice. The firm ...

  • Competition expert signs up to rivals

    13-Jun-1995

    COMPETITION law specialist Geraldine Tickle has left Birmingham firm Wragge & Co to join local rivals Martineau Johnson.Tickle has been charged with developing her new firm's commercial agreements and competition law service alongside its expanding intellectual property department.She was made a partner at Wragge & Co four years ago where she led the firm's competition ...

  • CRE scraps plans for race bias probe

    13-Jun-1995

    THE COMMISSION for Racial Equality has dropped plans for a formal investigation into allegations of racial discrimination at the Inns of Court School of Law (ICSL), instead entering into a written agreement on race relations with the Council of Legal Education.But the CRE claims it has not backed down from probing race issues at the ICSL, a study of which began following revelations about the disparity in pass rates between black and white students on the 1992 Bar Vocational ...

  • Date set for Lyell judicial review over Taylor case

    13-Jun-1995

    SIR NICHOLAS Lyell is to become the first attorney general to face a judicial review of one of his decisions in a landmark case to be heard in the High Court next month.Lyell is to be challenged over his failure to prosecute newspapers for contempt of court for their coverage of a murder trial. The case has just been listed for 27 and 28 July after an expedited hearing was granted.Michelle and Lisa Taylor, two sisters who were convicted, then freed on appeal ...

  • Deacon's wife sues ex-partners of firm

    13-Jun-1995

    EX-PARTNERS of Deacon Goldrein Green (DGG), the collapsed Liverpool legal aid firm now in liquidation, are being sued for negligence by the wife of former partner David Deacon.The action is likely to become a claim on the Solicitors Indemnity Fund (SIF).The writ, issued in Liverpool's District Registry, names nine individual partners, including Deacon himself, who is currently fighting a bankruptcy order successfully brought in April by a creditor, the bank ...

  • Defining the scope of duties

    13-Jun-1995

    An early Appeal Court date and a House of Lords sequel look likely in a bid to achieve a definitive ruling on the interpretation and application of Common Market personal import provisions.The case focus is a recent High Court judgment regarding the Customs and Excise stance over interpretation of personal import concessions which allow Common Market citizens to buy goods in one country at one duty charge then return to their home country without having to pay any excess.

  • Eire's Attorney General's office faces second political furore over delays

    13-Jun-1995

    THE ATTORNEY General's office in Eire is at the centre of a new political crisis that is almost a carbon copy of the one which brought down the government headed by Prime Minister Albert Reynolds just seven months ago.The only casualty so far has been the senior legal assistant in charge of the Attorney General's office, Matthew Russell, who has been forced to take early retirement. But Opposition parties are calling for the resignation of new Prime Minister, John ...

  • Election round up. The countdown to election showdown

    13-Jun-1995

    April 1993: A secret Chancery Lane investigation is launched after Eileen Pembridge complains to the then-president Mark Sheldon about recently elected deputy vice-president John Young. Two years later she publicly speaks of "numerous allegations" of sexual harassment against him. Young is privately warned over the incidents regarded as "disturbing" by Sheldon.March 1995: Martin Mears, elected to the Law Society Council in 1994 on an anti-establishment ticket, breaks with ...

  • Election round-up. On the Law Society campaign trail

    13-Jun-1995

    HENRY HODGE: "Has the experience and the ability to effectively lead the profession, promoting service to the clients and decent remuneration for solicitors."- Promote a guideline fee structure for conveyancing and proceed with work on defined retainers.- Cut the practice certificate by 10 per cent, promote no-claims bonuses for indemnity funds and penalty deductibles for those with bad claims records.- Turn the Solicitors Complaints Bureau into an ...

  • Election round-up. Use your vote or risk losing out...

    13-Jun-1995

    PRESIDENT Charles Elly writes: "I still think that the profession is best served by a continuity of the presidency. I would prefer to see an election for deputy vice-president which ensures time to prepare for the job. But we have an election this year and I hope we shall all use our vote.The profession faces in the attack on legal aid, the most serious threat to the network of legal services in 40 years. This is going to need a cool head and a united profession if we are ...

  • Election round-up. Vox Pop

    13-Jun-1995

    Richard Smerdon, senior partner at Bristol firm Osborne Clarke: “I’m going to vote for Eileen Pembridge. She’s an outsider who’s got the courage to stir things up at the Law Society which has become an expensive dinosaur hanging around our necks.”

  • Ex-ICI lawyer boosts Pinsents big business

    13-Jun-1995

    PINSENT CURTIS has hired former ICI lawyer Richard Thomas as a consultant to improve its business with large companies.Thomas was senior solicitor with ICI when he retired earlier this year at the age of 62.He had worked for the chemical giant for 30 years, handling mergers, acquisitions, joint ventures, disposals, demergers and business restructuring.Now the Birmingham-based firm hopes to draw on Thomas' experience working for ICI to boost its ...

  • Fayeds challenge refusal of citizenship

    13-Jun-1995

    The Egyptian-born owners of Harrods, Mohammed Al Fayed and brother Ali, are set to take on the Government in the High Court. They have been given the go-ahead to challenge the Home Office refusal to grant them British citizenship.Their moves to seek judicial review of the refusal are expected to be vigorously opposed by the Home Office; their successful application before Mr Justice Popplewell to bring the case to the High Court was opposed by Home Secretary Michael ...

  • Financings

    13-Jun-1995

    Top names advised on the Heron Corporation's completion of a £60 million syndicated loan facility

  • Financings

    13-Jun-1995

    Top names advised on the Heron Corporation's completion of a £60 million syndicated loan facility

  • Financings

    13-Jun-1995

    Manches & Co acted for borrower Saur Water Services in securing a £92 million loan from a banking syndicate led by Barclays. Clifford Chance represented the Barclays syndicate.

  • Firm links up to Land Registry for fast-track property service

    13-Jun-1995

    Linda Tsang reportsSussex firm Wynne Baxter Godfree has just gone on-line with a dedicated high-speed link into HM Land Registry's national computer at Plymouth.The link, via BT's ISDN service, will reduce the time taken for searches and other registry inquiries, and also speed up the firm's conveyancing and property services.It is envisaged that the facilities available under the direct-access service will eventually ...

  • Firm shake-up axes top jobs in Bristol

    13-Jun-1995

    FIVE senior lawyers are among 27 people due to lose their jobs following a streamlining exercise at a Bristol law firm.Three partners, two fee-earners and 22 support staff were made redundant following a management shake-up at JW Ward & Son.Some of the other partners have taken up new roles as consultants and a small office in the city is being wound down with staff moving to headquarters.David Sheridan, newly-appointed managing partner, says the ...

  • Firm to fill Ukraine post

    13-Jun-1995

    US international firm Baker & McKenzie has cast its net for a corporate or finance lawyer to join as a partner in the Ukraine.The firm, recruiting for its Kiev office, acts for Ukrainian enterprises and more than 350 multi-national corporations. Work includes financing transactions, joint venture agreements, establishment of foreign subsidiaries and tax advice.The successful ...

  • Firms should fund students, says group

    13-Jun-1995

    TRAINING commercial lawyers need not be a priority for a Labour government and the party should ensure that any increase in funding for law students does not end up "in the coffers of big City law firms", according to the Young Labour Lawyers (YLL) group.In the YLL's recent response to Labour's 'Access to justice' consultation paper, the group says firms and chambers practising in commercial law are "perfectly capable" of providing private funding for ...

  • Flight crew on board at Lovells

    13-Jun-1995

    LOVELL White Durrant is making its first major move into the aviation finance market by acquiring a specialist partner-led team from Sinclair Roche & Temperley.Sinclair Roche partner Robin Hallam, head of the firm's aviation team, and solicitors Guy Liddle and Keith Wilson will move to Lovells shortly.Lovells aims to build on the team's specialist skills in bank lending, leasing and supplier finance, to compete with strong firms in the sector, such ...

  • Greenwich backs private prosecution

    13-Jun-1995

    THE EVIDENCE against four teenagers accused in a private prosecution of murdering black teenager Stephen Lawrence is to be tested at an old-style committal hearing.Magistrates at Woolwich, south-east London, will begin hearing the case on 23 August. Proceedings are expected to last between five and seven days.News of the hearing came as the local council, Greenwich, offered to help the Lawrence family pay legal bills if the case failed. Borough solicitor David ...

  • In brief: Brussels conference for solicitors group

    13-Jun-1995

    The Solicitors' European Group is holding its annual conference in Brussels this week. The conference, being held at the Palais des Congres on Friday and Saturday, will include seminars onenvironmental law, developments in Central and Eastern Europe, the application of EC law in national courts, and mergers, joint ventures and collaboration. Further information on 0171 320 5791.

  • In brief: East Anglian firm splits for dual identity

    13-Jun-1995

    The demerger of East Anglian practice Birkett Westhorp & Long has resulted in two firms bearing the name Birkett. One offshoot, Birkett Long, will operate from offices in Colchester and Halstead. The other, Birkett's, will work from a base in Ipswich.

  • In brief: Kingsley Napley resolves laptop dispute

    13-Jun-1995

    City firm Kingsley Napley has settled a dispute with a former employee over a laptop computer which contained confidential information. The partnership withdrew a writ against Nicholas Greenfield seeking to retrieve the device and any sensitive commercial material. The firm said last week the two parties had agreed terms for a settlement.

  • In brief: Law Society South African Association

    13-Jun-1995

    Approximately 150 people including Master of the Rolls Sir Thomas Bingham attended last week's official launch of the British South African Law Association at the Law Society. The association, which held its first meeting in March, already has a substantial membership. Its first annual general meeting will be held on 3 July to elect officers and a committee.

  • In brief: New boss at society international practice

    13-Jun-1995

    The Law Society's deputy head of communications Jonathan Goldsmith has been appointed as the head of international practice, succeeding Hamish Adamson. Goldsmith will take on his new role on 1 October, a month before Adamson, who has held the title since 1987, retires. Goldsmith, who manages the society's five regional offices and its Brussels office, is also secretary of the equal opportunities committee.

  • In brief: NSPCC promotes justice for children

    13-Jun-1995

    Lord Williams of Mostyn hosted a National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children (NSPCC) reception for senior lawyers and judges last week. The reception aimed to raise awareness of the NSPCC's Justice for Children campaign and the charity's Child Witness Support programme, where staff prepare children for court and provide support during trials.

  • In brief: Second lease of life for college building

    13-Jun-1995

    Former College of Law students have bought their old educational headquarters as apartments following the refurbishment of the college's period-listed building in London's Lancaster Gate. More than 70 per cent of the property, being converted into 21 luxury apartments, has already been sold in the Far East - much of it to solicitors. The apartments will be completed later this year.

  • In brief: Surrey firm signs up to European network

    13-Jun-1995

    Guildford and Farnham firm Stevens & Bolton has joined Euro-Link for Lawyers, the largest worldwide network for medium-sized law firms. Established in 1989, Euro-Link has more than 80 members, including law firms and in-house lawyers from major companies throughout Europe. Stevens & Bolton partner Richard King says the wide range of specialist advice available through the service and the established ...

  • Joint venture CD-ROM for construction

    13-Jun-1995

    Linda Tsang reportsELECTRONIC publishers Context and Building Law Information Subscriber Service (BLISS) have joined forces to put comprehensive information for the construction industryon CD-ROM.BLISS is the construction law information service which developed as the library catalogue of construction consultants James R Knowles.The joint venture will provide digests of legal cases and judgments, commercial and market information, ...

  • Jonathan Leslie praises the trend towards judicial flexibility

    13-Jun-1995

    Lord Woolf's and Lord Taylor's recent recommendations show that there is a new spirit abroad in the judiciary.Hopefully this will lead to improved practices and to the more interventionist role of trial judges recommended by the Heilbron Committee. Certainly, the judiciary has been willing to improve its procedures to give more direction to litigation. A number of recent experiences have shown how judges are ready to work flexibly with practitioners to achieve ...

  • Larger firms set to get insurance cuts

    13-Jun-1995

    THE LAW Society has singled out medium to large-sized firms for significant cuts in their insurance despite claims of discrimination against small firms and sole practitioners.Under the measures approved at the Law Society Council meeting last week, firms earning more than £500,000 in gross fees will receive a professional insurance indemnity premium reduction of around eight per cent.But the council decided not to restrict the premium reduction to under ...

  • Law Lord warns experts fees may jeopardise independence

    13-Jun-1995

    EXPERT witnesses should not be paid on a contingency fee basis because their independence could be called into question if they have a direct financial interest in a case, say leading members of the judiciary.Law Lord, Lord Slynn, says solicitors should also be prevented from providing incentives of future work in order to obtain favourable opinions from experts.Guidance notes on contingency fees, issued last week by the Judicial Committee of the Academy of Experts, ...

  • Law Lord warns experts fees may jeopardise independence

    13-Jun-1995

    EXPERT witnesses should not be paid on a contingency fee basis because their independence could be called into question if they have a direct financial interest in a case, say leading members of the judiciary.Law Lord, Lord Slynn, says solicitors should also be prevented from providing incentives of future work in order to obtain favourable opinions from experts.Guidance notes on contingency fees, issued last week by the Judicial Committee of the Academy of Experts, ...

  • Law Society calls for body to oversee judicial selection

    13-Jun-1995

    THE LAW Society has called on MPs to set up a new independent body to oversee the future selection of judges.A new Judicial Appointments Commission was one of the key proposals in the society's submission on judge selection procedure to the Home Affairs Select Committee last week.The commission would produce more objective appointments and oversee a formalised procedure for dealing with complaints about judges.Other recommendations include more ...

  • LCD prepares way for flexible aid consultation

    13-Jun-1995

    THE LORD Chancellor's Department has promised to be flexible over the tight August deadline for responses to its Green Paper on legal aid reform.A spokeswoman for the department says anyone having difficulty meeting the deadline who approaches the department for more time to respond will be treated sympathetically."We'll do what we can, we are keen to hear what people have to say about the Green Paper," she says.The announcement will be ...

  • LETG gives survival tips

    13-Jun-1995

    'MANAGING to survive and succeed' is the theme for the Legal Education and Training Group's sixth annual conference to be held in London later this month.The conference, being held at the Langham Hilton on 23 June, will include keynote speeches from Price Waterhouse's Matthew de Lange and John Stevens from the Institute of Personnel and Development.The LETG, which counts among its members training and development staff from more than 140 law ...

  • LETG VIEWPOINT

    13-Jun-1995

    One theme of Martin Mears' Law Society presidential campaign has been the divide between Chancery Lane and the profession's interests and views. How far is this true of the society's role in the training of the profession?In this field the Law Society has an impossible job. It is at the same time regulator and policy-maker, and solicitors' 'union' and guide. The profession itself embraces an enormous range of practices, specialisms and interest ...

  • Litigation Discliplinary Tribunals 13/06/95

    13-Jun-1995

    JOHN HENRY JANES, 46, admitted 1977, practised as Howard Janes, Kingsbridge, Devon, struck off and ordered to pay £881 costs. Allegations substantiated he wrongly drew and used client money for own purposes, held himself out as practising solicitor in investment business when he had no authority to do so, failed to deliver accountants report on time, failed to keep properly written books. Tribunal was told that Janes' letterhead ...

  • Litigation Recent Decisions 13/06/95

    13-Jun-1995

    VAT input tax on goods for business and entertainmentThorn EMI v Customs and Excise Commissioners (1995). (CA (Stuart-Smith LJ, Hobhouse LJ and Millett LJ) 11/5/95).Summary: Supplies which are made for both business and business entertainment qualify for partial input tax credit.Commissioners of Customs and Excise Appeal from decision of Justice Turner (QBD (Turner J) 22/4/94; ILR 20/6/94) that the Value Added Tax (Special Provisions) Order 1981/1741 ...

  • Litigation Writs 13/06/95

    13-Jun-1995

    Former navy mechanic Ian Liddle who was severely injured in an accident last year is suing the Ministry of Defence. Liddle, of Portsmouth, lost one eye and suffered head injuries after being trapped and crushed by a lift while working on HMS Illustrious in January 1994. His writ says a lift above him was activated and came down on top of him. Forks on the bottom of the lift penetrated his face and trapped his head. He accuses the MoD of negligently failing to provide proper ...

  • One step ahead

    13-Jun-1995

    At first glance the success of English law firms in developing and sustaining markets for their services in international construction may appear as improbable as export successes like the M&S sandwich and Four Weddings and a Funeral.In reality our leading position in this market results from a number of factors.First, as a result of British involvement in ambitious global projects, such schemes are frequently let on conditions of contract produced by the International ...

  • On-line financial magazine promotes Jersey's business

    13-Jun-1995

    Linda Tsang reportsJERSEY'S finance industry has launched itself onto the Internet.In a move believed to be the first of its kind, over 250 pages of text about the Channel Island's offshore base has been produced in an electronic magazine format called 'Jersey Offshore'. The magazine can be accessed by Internet users.The on-line information includes a summary of legislation which is applicable to the finance industry on the ...

  • PCs all round for Scots firm

    13-Jun-1995

    Linda Tsang reportsLeading Edinburgh-based commercial firm Shepherd & Wedderburn is to install a state-of-the-art practice management system which will result in 250 users having a desktop PC.It is seen as a radical move for a Scottish firm.The firm has opted for the Precedent system, supplied by Miles 33, and its chief executive Hugh Donald ...

  • Practitioners back divorce mediation

    13-Jun-1995

    FAMILY lawyers across Europe have supported the Lord Chancellor's decision to include mediation in his reform of divorce law, recommending an international instrument in the field.Last week's third European conference on family law agreed with the decision to scrap the requirement for grounds for divorce, and endorsed Lord Mackay's proposals for family mediation.Speaking at the Council for Family Proceedings' conference in London, Lord Mackay ...

  • Property body in quality row

    13-Jun-1995

    PROPERTY solicitors have complained to the Law Society over its plans for a quality standard for conveyancing firms following a tense annual meeting.The Solicitors' Property Group (SPG) has written to the society condemning the idea and the rapid timetable for its introduction. The complaint follows a row over how the society sought consultation.Two weeks ago, SPG chair Gerald Funnell said the society treated them like "silly little children" by thrusting ...

  • Raymond Ball

    13-Jun-1995

    THE BRITISH Library's director of administration Raymond Ball has been appointed as chief executive of the Institute of Legal Executives. Ball combines the posts of secretary general and director of forward planning, vacated after the coming retirement of Leonard Evans and Cyril Broom. "My first task will be to learn a great deal more about the opportunities and challenges facing ILEX," says Ball. "I believe ILEX is a valued institution with a bright future."

  • Required reading for 'shysters'

    13-Jun-1995

    LAWYERS are "punks, weaklings, con artists and losers" and they are destroying the United States of America. At least that's what you're likely to believe if you're an avid reader of the attorney-bashing US journal AntiShyster.Amid advertisements for ammunition and cartoons of barristers beating Lady Justice with hammers, nestle articles aimed at exposing the US legal profession as "a criminal activity that depends on the public's confidence".

  • Scene set for international court

    13-Jun-1995

    THE ESTABLISHMENT of a new International Criminal Court could be approved by the end of the year if a resolution put to the International Bar Association council is accepted.In a proposal due to go before the council's 156 members last weekend, IBA president J Ross Harper says the court would have subject-matter jurisdiction over all crimes under international law, extending the powers currently held by the International Court of Justice which governs states but not ...

  • Scrivener sparks Hull council row

    13-Jun-1995

    ANTHONY Scrivener QC has sparked a heated argument between two local authorities by issuing controversial legal advice which threatens the jobs of 600 county council workers.The leading barrister told executives at Hull City Council that most of them were entitled to keep their jobs after it merges with the county, Humberside, next year.His opinion contradicts previously unchallenged advice that the jobs must be re-advertised to give county hall counterparts ...

  • SFO lawyer urges US-style plea bargains

    13-Jun-1995

    ONE of the leading lawyers at the Serious Fraud Office has called for an extension of plea bargaining as a means of curbing the soaring cost of prosecuting City fraudsters.Chris Dickson last week told a conference on white collar crime that the US plea-bargaining system might lead defendants to admit guilt earlier.Dickson, senior assistant director (legal) at the SFO, said the move was the only way to prevent the waste of time and money on trials for defendants ...

  • Softly, softly approach

    13-Jun-1995

    Sir Michael Latham, when delivering a paper to the Society of Construction Law, said that if only one recommendation of his report could be implemented, he would choose adjudication.Latham recommends that adjudication should become the normal method of dispute resolution. This would in itself be revolutionary for a construction industry used to spending £250 million or 6 per cent of its turnover per annum on resolving disputes by the more traditional methods of arbitration ...

  • Solicitor advocates shy from Bar

    13-Jun-1995

    SOLICITOR advocates say that Bar Council proposals to make it easier for solicitors to join the Bar are overdue but are unlikely to entice them to make the transition.While the Bar may enjoy the benefit of lower overheads, solicitor advocates reject Bar Council claims that they would gain any more "guaranteed independence". They blame the Bar's tighter work restrictions and the current clerking system as discouragements to jump the fence.Paul Hampton, chair ...

  • Stalwart director

    13-Jun-1995

    Former Standard Chartered Bank company secretary Gay Welch has been appointed as legal director of investment company Stalwart Group. She will be the first legal director at the firm, which specialises in providing home income plans for the elderly. Welch will also be company secretary for the group, which was admitted as a member of the Personal Investment Authority last year. A spokesman says the company relied entirely on external firms for its legal work before the appointment.

  • Struck off solicitor set to fight tribunal

    13-Jun-1995

    A SOLICITOR who was jailed for defrauding the Legal Aid Board by making false claims for advice given to prostitutes was struck off the register last weekJohn Shepherd, who ran two firms in Liverpool before serving his three-year sentence, appeared before the Solicitors' Disciplinary Tribunal on 6 June.He claims the panel of two solicitors and one lay member refused to hear his evidence and now plans to challenge the tribunal's decision."I ...

  • Students claim high cost orders damage chances of appeal

    13-Jun-1995

    THE COUNCIL of Legal Education has come under fire from a group of former students who claim CLE solicitors have threatened them with high cost orders in an effort to avoid appeals against the council's assessment system.The CLE could face actions from up to 40 students who have notified the Visitors to the Inns of Court of their intention to petition for passes or resits on their Bar Vocational Course examinations.Barrister Richard Cole, who was expected ...

  • Subs issue top of list at Bar AGM

    13-Jun-1995

    The Bar Council's problems in finding a legal way to force barristers to pay their subscriptions was due to become an issue at the council's annual general meeting (AGM) over the weekend.Michael Blair, Bar Council treasurer, was due to include mention of the problem in his AGM address as The Lawyer went to press last week.Problems arose when the Bar Council's two-year bid to change a rule forcing barristers to pay was rejected by the Lord Chancellor ...

  • Suitable codes of conduct for English businesses abroad

    13-Jun-1995

    Since the 1900s international trade has increased by 70 per cent and even greater levels of growth are expected in the future. As international trade continues to grow, lawyers are likely to be asked more frequently how their clients should react to requests for payments to oil the wheels and secure the contract.But, this path can be fraught with risks, particularly to UK directors inherent in some foreign business payments.British companies submitting tenders ...

  • Swift injection of capital

    13-Jun-1995

    As a growing number of contractors join the rush of private sector businesses trying to get into private finance initiative schemes (PFI), lawyers from construction firms have found themselves thrust into the eye of the storm. This is a more commercial role for the construction lawyer as a natural consequence of the changing business focus of many contractors.Put simply, the purpose of the PFI is to encourage the private sector to bring its money and management expertise ...

  • The Lawyer Inquiry: David Knight

    13-Jun-1995

    David Knight is a barrister in Lovell White Durrant's property research department. He was born in County Down in 1960 and now lives in London. What was your first job?Organising a snooker competition which featured a very youthful Alex Higgins.What was your first ever salary as a lawyer?£0.00 as a pupil barrister.What would you have done if you hadn't become a lawyer?Made ...

  • Time for the Bar to find middle ground

    13-Jun-1995

    The Bar's proposals to smooth the path for solicitors who switch to the Bar are like King Canute's attempts to stem the tide. Faced with the growing competition of solicitor advocates, what does the Bar Council do? It proposes inviting them to join the Bar. The response - solicitor advocates in general have no interest and the ordinary barrister sees one more concession to the other side.Little wonder that barristers in general are getting increasingly fed ...

  • Top Scots firm opens in Lithuania

    13-Jun-1995

    GLASGOW practice Bishop and Robertson Chalmers has opened an office in the Lithuanian city of Vilnius.The firm, one of the largest in Scotland, is opening in the former communist state after 18 months of research in the region showed there was a market for providing advice to Western businesses and investors.The office, officially opening this week, will be staffed by two Western-trained Lithuanian lawyers Ramune Duleviciene and Dangute Ambrasiene, and will be ...

  • UK plays host to Middle East group

    13-Jun-1995

    ATTORNEYS from EcoPeace, a major new Middle Eastern environmental law organisation, will be the guests of UK environmental lawyers this week to raise awareness of pressing issues in their region.EcoPeace is a coalition of established environmental law groups in Israel, Palestine, Egypt and Jordan.All the eight main member bodies, two from each country, are non-governmental organisations which share common problems of environmental damage caused by rapid commercial ...

  • US lawyers set to get revision course

    13-Jun-1995

    THE COLLEGE of Law has announced plans for a second preparatory course for US lawyers hoping to qualify as solicitors in the UK.The four-day revision course, which provides extra tuition for people intending to sit the twice-yearly qualified lawyers transfer test (QLTT), will be held at Manhattan's Practising Law Institute from 26 to 29 October.The course includes key issue lectures and discussion of past papers.Students will also receive a distance ...