12 May 1997

The Lawyer

  • "Solicitors have absolutely nothing to worry about...."

    13-May-1997

    The Bar is pleased to note that prime minister Tony Blair, new Lord Chancellor Lord Irvine of Lairg, LCD parliamentary secretary Geoffrey Hoon and the bulk of the Labour legal team are barristers.But solicitors are less enamoured. Lord Irvine is described as conservative with a small 'c' and is expected to keep a tight control over the contentious issue of rights of audience. Barristers think he will do little to upset the Bar's 600 years of cherished traditions. ...

  • $10K carrot dangled by Chadbourne

    13-May-1997

    Chadbourne & Parke, the US firm that last year hit the headlines in London with its record-breaking offer of £700,000 for a partner, is offering its associates in New York $10,000 to introduce new associates to the firm.New York partner Jerome Katz said the firm had been unable to fulfil its demand for associates through advertising and headhunters.He said that ...

  • A&O replies to Co-op's query on Galileo's bid

    13-May-1997

    Allen & Overy senior partner Bill Tudor John has written to the Co-op in reply to queries over the firm's role in the Regan takeover bid.Hambros, Regan's financial advisers, and Travers Smith Braithwaite, Regan's lawyers, have both publicly apologised to the Co-operative Wholesale ...

  • ADR option for web wrangles

    13-May-1997

    Liz Davidson reportsCOMPANIES haggling over their Internet domain names - their registered web site addresses - can now use a new dispute resolution process, allowing them to avoid court but still defend their cyber-territory.Nominet UK, the national registry for top-level domain names ending .uk, will have authority to remove names from circulation and move disputes forward to an independent advisory group, set up by Nominet.The ...

  • Alcoholic lawyers book a passage to dry dock

    13-May-1997

    Barry Pritchard became a solicitor in 1960 but he cannot remember exactly when it was he became an alcoholic.Pritchard can, however, clearly recall when he stopped drinking and started his recovery - 4 July 1984. US Independence Day.For the past 13 years Pritchard has been dealing with his own problem and helping hundreds of other solicitors to confront theirs.Now the 61-year-old, who left his Bournemouth practice in 1995 and retired to north Wales, ...

  • Apil president calls for proper consultation on Woolf reforms

    13-May-1997

    THE president of the Association of Personal Injury Lawyers (Apil), Caroline Harmer, warned of the need for proper consultation and piloting of the Woolf reforms in her speech at the organisation's spring conference last week.More than 300 personal injury lawyers attended the event in London's Olympia Conference Centre, at which Harmer said the length of time taken to sort out Order 17 - the automatic strike-out rule for county court claims - bodes ill for the ...

  • BT technofest fast forwards into the wired legal future

    13-May-1997

    The BT Laboratories at Martlesham Heath in Suffolk are recognised as one of Europe's leading telecommunications research and develop- ment centres, costing around 2 per cent of BT's annual turnover to run.Every three years its doors are opened to allow BT customers to see what is coming next down the line. This year's exhibition was called "Innovation 97 - Relating the Future to Business".Despite the emphasis on innovation the exhibition ...

  • Camelot rounds on bookmakers' gamble

    13-May-1997

    The National Lottery company is taking out a private prosecution to stake its claim to the gambling high ground, says Roger Pearson. Camelot has announced it will mount a private prosecution against bookmakers Coral, Ladbrokes and William Hill, over a lottery-style competition called 49's which they are running through betting shops.The move follows Camelot's failure in its application for judicial review of the Director of Public Prosecution's ...

  • Careers boost for law grads

    13-May-1997

    The Law Society and the Bar Council officially joined forces this week to launch the Careers Advice Network aimed at advising law graduates and co-ordinating information between law schools and graduate careers advisers.Simon Baker, chairman of the Law Society's training committee, said: "We are offering a small dedicated central careers information staff, redesigned publications, improved handling of enquiries, the development of a Law Society Internet site, networking ...

  • Chambers leaves Temple for Fleet street

    13-May-1997

    Common law set 5 King's Bench Walk is to move out of the Temple, ending a 51-year association with the historic Inns of Court.Practice manager Penny Cook said the move a quarter of a mile north to 18 Red Lion Court, a 17th-century building on Fleet Street, had been forced on the 14-silk set because it had overflowed into an annexe at Mitre Court, making life difficult for clerks.She added: "We don't want to leave; we love our building here. The reason ...

  • Compensation for sex assault

    13-May-1997

    Judgment is now pending in the Court of Appeal in an action in which a woman who alleges that she was subjected to a sexual assault involving buggery and rape is challenging the refusal of the Criminal Injury Compensation board to pay compensation to her. It has been argued on her behalf that the board was wrong in deciding that she had left it too late to mount her claim.

  • Court says no to Aids deportation

    13-May-1997

    The European Court of Human Rights has unanimously ruled that the UK government will be in violation of the European Convention of Human Rights if it carries out its planned deportation of a man dying from Aids.The court ruled that the government would have been in violation of Article 3 of the Convention if it executed a removal order on the man, known in the case as 'D', to his home, the island of St Kitts in the Caribbean.The court found that "the ...

  • Euro disabled solicitors group established

    13-May-1997

    Disabled UK lawyers are to set up a pan-European pressure group following foreign support for the Law Society's Group for Solicitors with Disabilities (GSD).GSD member David Ruebain, a solicitor at David Levene & Co, said the new group would be called the European Group for Solicitors with Disabilities (EGSD). He added that it was conceived at the GSD's first national conference held earlier this year when several foreign solicitors with disabilities pushed the ...

  • Face up to the facts

    13-May-1997

    It is a pity Miss Bawdon in her letter (The Lawyer, 6 May) does not take the trouble to check her facts before rushing into print.Miss Bawdon should not believe all she reads because journalists, whether freelance or otherwise, tend to look for salacious gossip and where it does not exist seem happy to invent it, if need be.If Miss Bawdon took account of the seating in our council chamber she would appreciate that I could not have seen Miss ...

  • Flotation

    13-May-1997

    Travers Smith Braithwaite advised Dragons Health Clubs on its £1.7m AIM flotation by placing. Berwin Leighton acted for nominated adviser Smith & Williamson and nominated broker Neilson Cobbold.

  • French and UK experts collaborate on standards

    13-May-1997

    Expert witnesses in the UK have agreed to work with their French counterparts to create a single set of professional standards throughout Europe.The UK Academy of Experts has signed a declaration of intent with the National Federation of Companies of Judicial Experts of France.The declaration, signed at the end of last month, invites European organisations to work together to achieve a single set of standards, system of reference and set methods of operation. ...

  • Garrets debuts in Top 100

    13-May-1997

    Arthur Andersen-associated firm Garretts has made its debut in The Lawyer Top 100 at number 72, which confirms the impact of 'virtual multidisciplinary practices'.Irwin Mitchell has posted the highest increase in turnover, 36 per cent, which its managing partner Howard Culley attributes largely to following a strategic business plan plus "consolidation of our new offices in ...

  • In brief: A&0 adds 19 to its partnership tally

    13-May-1997

    Allen & Overy has appointed 19 new partners: 11 in London, three in Hong Kong, four (including two who have joined from Nabarro Nathanson) in Warsaw and one in Singapore. These appointments take the total number of partners at the firm to 168.

  • In brief: Ashursts goes the managing partner route

    13-May-1997

    Ashurst Morris Crisp partners have elected Ian Nisse, its current head of international development, to the newly-created role of managing partner. Andrew Soundy will continue as senior partner while Nisse will be responsible for managing the national and international business. Soundy said the enlargement of the firm had led to the decision to share executive responsibilities.

  • In brief: Dibbs hits the £100m mark on fee income

    13-May-1997

    Dibb Lupton Alsop's fee income last year topped £100m for the first time ever, the firm says. Nigel Knowles, managing partner said breaking the £100m figure had been his first target following the merger of Dibb Lupton Broomhead and Alsop Wilkinson last September. The firm has appointed 11 new partners - four in Manchester, four in London, two in Leeds and one in Sheffield, bringing the total to 220.

  • In brief: Dismore takes seat in the Commons

    13-May-1997

    Personal injury and trade union lawyer Andrew Dismore, partner at Russell Jones & Walker and head of the Labour group on Westminster City Council, has been elected Labour MP for Hendon with a 6,000 majority - a swing from the Tories of 16.2 per cent.

  • In brief: Dundas & Wilson woos rivals' lawyers

    13-May-1997

    Scottish firm Dundas & Wilson has poached two more lawyers from rival Scottish firms including Graham Sibbald, head of the corporate department at Bird Semple. Sibbald follows close on the heels of venture capital partners Robert Pirrie and Douglas Crawford from Maclay Murray & Spens, which has also ...

  • In brief: Medical negligence cases may rise

    13-May-1997

    Plymouth-based Wolferstans is warning that there could be a rash of Hepatitus C medical negligence cases which could lead to a nationwide multi-party action, due to patients being given unscreened blood seven to eight years ago. It has been instructed by patients in the Plymouth area who have just received notification that they were infected through contaminated blood transfusions between 1989 and 1991 when a test for Hepatitus C was available but not used. The firm says it knows of ...

  • In brief: New chief for Justices' Clerks' Society

    13-May-1997

    David Chandler has been elected president of the Justices' Clerks' Society. A solicitor and president of the society at Bradford Magistrates' Court, he follows in the footsteps of his father, who was president of the society in 1973.

  • In brief: New offices on the cards for Nabarros

    13-May-1997

    Nabarro Nathanson has announced that it will move into smaller London offices when the lease on its 140,000 square feet at Stratton Street expires in June 1999. The firm has started a search for 110,000 square feet in an area of central London extending from the City to its present location in W1. The firm is currently paying only around £25 per square foot but a Nabarro's spokesman said analysis ...

  • In brief: Pannones recruits five to boost its ranks

    13-May-1997

    Manchester firm Pannone & Partners has announced the appointment of five new partners in three departments - personal injury, family law and employment. In addition, two salaried corporate partners have become equity partners.

  • In brief: Tim Robinson: Correction

    13-May-1997

    In a story in The Lawyer, 6 May about south-west firm Robinsons we inadvertently used a picture of Tim Robinson, a partner at Nicholson Graham & Jones. We would like to point out that he is in no way connected with the Tim Robinson quoted in the story and apologise for the error and any embarrassment it caused.

  • Industrial tribunals. Employment law isn't working

    13-May-1997

    The exclusion of industrial tribunals from Lord Woolf’s reforms will restrict access to justice, believes Margaret McCabe. Industrial tribunals are not included in the wide-ranging reforms of civil justice proposed by Lord Woolf. At the Women Lawyers conference last month Lord Woolf frankly admitted that industrial tribunals were never part of his brief.This exclusion raises some important questions. As the vast majority of claims for sex and race discrimination are made ...

  • Initiatives for a female future

    13-May-1997

    Increasing the number of women reaching and staying at partner level is on the agenda. Although the new Parliament has an unprecedented number of female members, including several from the legal profession, the recent announcement of this year's crop of partners shows that the legal profession still seems to be lagging behind in the equality stakes.A female partner of a Big Five firm recently told a conference for women lawyers that, with the most recent ...

  • International court a step closer after Tadic verdict

    13-May-1997

    The Solicitors Human Rights Group has renewed its call for the establishment of an International Criminal Court, following last week's trial of Dusan Tadic, the Bosnian Serb reserve policeman accused of war crimes, by the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia.The tribunal found Tadic guilty on 11 lesser counts of persecutions and beatings but not guilty on nine counts of murder. A further 11 charges under the heading "Grave breaches of the 1949 Geneva ...

  • Is Lambeth the future of local authority PFI?

    13-May-1997

    The Labour government has new plans for PFI. Andrew Walsh argues that the recent contracting out of Lambeth Council's services could point the way forwardA prime candidate for new Private Finance Initiative activity must be the local government sector, heavily regulated under successive Conservative governments and suffering a backlog of investment in infrastructure and services.The recent externalisation of Lambeth Contract Services, the direct service organisation ...

  • Labour landslide clears legion of lawyer MPs from Commons

    13-May-1997

    Almost two-thirds of lawyer MPs lost their seats in the General Election, leaving the Commons stripped of some of its most politically experienced legal brains.Some 44 of the 72 lawyer MPs standing as candidates failed to get re-elected and only 24 lawyer PPCs replaced them.Among the high-profile figures whose political careers stalled at the hustings were David Hunt, a former cabinet minister, Jonathan Evans, former parliamentary secretary at the Lord Chancellor's ...

  • Labour policies in practice. After the landslide

    13-May-1997

    Peter Kavanagh looks at what Labour means for business in the cold light of day. Peter Kavanagh is managing partner at Theodore Goddard. As the news broke of the overwhelming Labour victory on Friday morning the reaction of the City was in stark contrast to the welcome it would have given Old Labour: the FTSE rose sharply and there were only a few quietly muttered warnings of "what are we letting ourselves in for?" variety.However, the business welcome for Labour is not ...

  • Law Society's latest pay proposals may end dispute

    13-May-1997

    Accountants and monitoring unit staff at the Law Society are considering an offer from the society designed to put an end to their pay dispute.The proposed deal follows a one-day strike - the first in the society's history - by accountants and monitoring staff last month and a series of negotiations between a MSF union official and society management.The staff were aggrieved that their counterparts in the private sector were earning about £6,000 more ...

  • Lawyers rally to death row man's cause

    13-May-1997

    The legal profession is stepping in where the Government has refused to tread by raising thousands of pounds to fund a court appeal for a British citizen on Miami's death row.The former Conservative government had refused to contribute around £75,000 to the appeal of businessman Krishna Maharaj, but solicitors and barristers have independently offered to help fund an appeal set for June.Maharaj's legal team, led by Geoffrey Robertson QC and Philip ...

  • Legal Aid Board attacked over "cuts through the back door"

    13-May-1997

    A furious criminal law solicitor is threatening to take the Legal Aid Board (LAB) to court over "cuts" in duty solicitor phone calls.Rodney Warren, senior partner of Eastbourne firm Rodney Warren & Co, has accused the Brighton LAB office of introducing "budgetary cuts through the back door".He said the office is classing all solicitor phone calls to a police station, other than those involving clients, as routine calls, meaning the law firm receives £3.50 ...

  • Libel ruling challenged

    13-May-1997

    The Law Lords are considering moves by journalists Allan Piper and Clive Wolman, along with Associated Newspapers, to challenge an Appeal Court ruling striking out paragraphs of their defence to a libel claim in respect of a Mail on Sunday article. The question raised is one of great importance in journalistic circles, namely what can be interpreted as being justified when applied to the reporting of pending legal proceedings. Leave to appeal to the Law Lords was refused ...

  • Litigation Disciplinary Tribunals 13/05/97

    13-May-1997

    John Anthony Snailham Griffiths, 54, admitted 1970, practising as Griffiths Jones, Carnforth, Lancashire, struck off and ordered to pay £1,020 costs. Allegations substantiated he wrongly drew and misappropriated client money and used it for his own purposes, failed to exercise proper supervision over staff and deliberately misled investigation accountant. Tribunal also ordered that Andrew James Cross, Griffiths' bookkeeper and ...

  • Litigation Personal Injury 13/05/97

    13-May-1997

    Kuszek v Clarke - QBD 29 April 1997Claimant: Ruth Kuszek, 45Incident: Road traffic accidentInjuries: Claimant, a competitive horsewoman and livery stable owner, suffered disabling whiplash injuries in a road crash which caused her grave problems with running her livery stables. Her sporting activities were also interfered withAward: £55,000 (agreed damages)Judge: Judge GeddesPlaintiff's ...

  • Litigation Recent Decisions 13/05/97

    13-May-1997

    Liability of building society for rent unpaid by ex-subsidiaryGyoury v Northern Rock Building Society (1997)Ch.D (Carnwath J) 18/4/9Appearances: Robin Hollington instructed by Berrymans for the plaintiff. Richard Sheldon QC instructed by Dickinson Dees, Newcastle upon Tyne, for the defendant.Summary: Statutory liability of a building society for a subsidiary's ...

  • Litigation Writs 13/05/97

    13-May-1997

    A man from Harefield, who claims a company pulled out of a deal to lend him £765,000 after he had exchanged contracts to buy property, is suing for compensation. Richard Bowden and Oakland Homes, both of Harefield, are suing Close Brothers, London. The writ claims damages for alleged breach of contract over Close Brothers' failure to provide finance to complete the purchase of property at Harefield.Writ issued by Worsdell & Vintner, ...

  • Mecklermedia case raises Net questions

    13-May-1997

    A RECENT groundbreaking High Court case suggests web sites may have to conform to laws from every country, no matter where they are hosted.And issues raised by the Mecklermedia v DC Congress case (see The Lawyer, 1April) will only be resolved when a treaty is signed by every country in the world, said Olswang solicitor Paul Stevens, who acted for US publisher ...

  • Media lawyer attacks Aclec proposals

    13-May-1997

    Proposals for a stricter rule on lawyers talking to the press will place excessive restrictions on solicitors, preventing them responding to police leaks, according to leading media lawyer Mark Stephens.The Lord Chancellor's Advisory Committee on Legal Education and Conduct (Aclec) has advised the Law Society to make explicit rules requiring solicitors, as soon as they are retained in a criminal case, not to do or say anything which might prejudice the outcome of a ...

  • Multi-party action panel on the cards

    13-May-1997

    The Legal Aid Board (LAB) looks set to appoint a panel of about a dozen law firms in England and Wales to do multi-party action work.Anne Grosskurth, LAB civil policy adviser, said she could not reveal the names of the firms but confirmed: "We have already done a lot of the groundwork and the scheme will almost definitely go ahead."She said firms on the panel would have the equivalent of a franchise to do multi-party legal aid work.The LAB submitted ...

  • Profit and loss

    13-May-1997

    I am responding to an article by Philip Kabraji and Andrew Cottle of Grant Thornton entitled 'Best Prepared will win a claim' (The Lawyer, 29 April).While it correctly refers to the importance of ensuring that claims are substantiated with documentation and that data collection is properly planned, it is over-simplistic in a number of respects.In particular, ...

  • Property

    13-May-1997

    Hammond Suddards advised Friends Provident Life Office on the purchase of 3 The Square, Stockley Park for £36m from Stockley Park Consortium, which was advised by Herbert Smith.

  • Property

    13-May-1997

    Ashurst Morris Crisp acted for Bankers Trust Company, senior debt and mezzanine debt provider, on a £100m leveraged acquisition by County Hotels of a portfolio of 25 UK hotels. The transaction was arranged by Hambro European Ventures in London which was represented by Travers Smith Braithwaite.

  • Regan faces SFO probe on earlier deal

    13-May-1997

    The Serious Fraud Office is investigating an earlier deal between Andrew Regan and the CWS on which Regan was advised by Alsop Wilkinson.Under the deal signed on 25 January 1995, Regan's company Hobson Group paid out more than £5m to extend a supply deal with the CWS.But the CWS received only £2.4m of this money, with the rest going to a third party, British Virgin Islands-based Trellis International, controlled by Ronald Zimet, who helped broker ...

  • Route to the top

    13-May-1997

    Is size everything or is success simply a matter of focus? Leo Schulz reports on the strategy of the leading firms. The leading firms in this year's Top 100 are much the same as those which appeared in our first survey 10 years ago. Clifford Chance, which had at that time only just merged, was and remains the largest firm. Linkla

  • Russian lawyers join Nortons as partners

    13-May-1997

    Two former participants in a scheme devised by Boris Yeltsin and former Chancellor of the Exchequer Norman Lamont giving young professionals from the former Soviet Union a chance to work in the UK, have become the first members of the Moscow City Bar to become partners with a UK law firm.The appointment of corporate lawyer Valentina Gluk-hovskaya and asset finance specialist Dmitry Gravin to Norton ...

  • Seconds out for domestic violence

    13-May-1997

    Roger Pearson reports on the importance of keeping within time limits when working on breaches of the Domestic Violence Act. A recent ruling by the Master of the Rolls, Lord Woolf, highlights the need for swift action when arrests are made for breaches of court orders under the Domestic Violence and Matrimonial Proceedings Act.Lawyers say the case emphasises how vital it is for police and lawyers to work hand-in-hand in such matters."There has ...

  • Securing the future

    13-May-1997

    A decade after the first Top 100 survey, the legal profession is in better shape than for years. Law firms are making more money than ever, turnover is up and firms are generally bullish about prospects. This applies to most firms but the Big Five in particular. This group is now in the 'super-league', far removed from the rest of the pack.However, within this general success story, there still remains a number of firms which do not yet ...

  • Simon Morrow on the case for neutral court-appointed experts.

    13-May-1997

    Simon Morrow is a solicitor in the litigation department at Vaudreys. JUSTICE Cresswell's judgment in Ikarian Reefer (1993) provided a useful set of guidelines on the duties and responsibilities of expert witnesses in civil litigation. These included:presenting independent evidence uninfluenced as to form and content by the exigencies of litigation;providing an objective, unbiased opinion in relation to matters within his expertise;

  • Stalker act is "privacy law", says barrister

    13-May-1997

    A law aimed at preventing stalkers tailing their victims is a privacy act in disguise which could used by celebrities, royalty and crooks, according to a Newcastle barrister and former Bar Council member.Neil Addison said the Protection From Harassment Act 1997, which is expected to come into force next month, will have a far wider impact than intended. The Act allows the civil courts to grant injunctions which if breached can be enforced by the police and the criminal courts.

  • Students benefit

    13-May-1997

    Last week's launch of the Careers Advice Network is a welcome initiative from those intending to pursue a career in the law.Students often find it difficult to co-ordinate information, particularly if they do not have relations or acquaintances in the profession. A service to provide as much information as possible will no doubt be invaluable to them.As Law Society president Tony Girling has pointed out, it is important to manage the expectations ...

  • The bottom line

    13-May-1997

    The Top 100 survey reveals that UK practices are wising up to mergers and the influx of overseas firms, says Linda Tsang. Almost half of the firms in this year's Top 100 survey disclosed either their gross fee income and/or the percentage rise in turnover. This may be an indication of how confident firms are about their recent success and the likelihood of it continuing.One particular success story is that of Garretts, the Arthur Andersen-associated firm. ...

  • The Lawyer Inquiry: Laurence Messer

    13-May-1997

    Laurence Messer was born in Bradford on 27 May 1949. He is a commercial property and planning lawyer and managing partner of Davies Arnold Cooper. What was your first job?Working in Leeds market selling carpets for my grandfather.What was your first ever salary as a lawyer?£1,100 as an articled clerk with Norton Rose ...

  • UK innovator sells bar code tool to US Attorney's Office

    13-May-1997

    BAR codes similar to the ones used in supermarkets could transform US courts, thanks to a new invention by a London computer company.A new system, invented by Valid Information Systems, will allow lawyers presenting cases to draw light pens over the bar code to flash up evidence such as fingerprints or X-rays of victims' injuries onto video screens around the courtroom.The system, called R/KYV (pronounced 'archive'), was ...

  • Unpack those bags

    13-May-1997

    In The Lawyer, 6 May it was reported that Wansbroughs Willey Hargrave was moving its London offices to larger premises at Eastcheap, EC3. In fact only its Lloyd's office has closed and moved to Eastcheap. The 88 staff in its Covent Garden office are staying put.Nicola WebbWansbroughs Willey Hargrave.

  • Uxbridge firm splits 14 years after merger

    13-May-1997

    Eleven-partner Uxbridge practice Turberville Woodbridge has split 14 years after it merged to create two new Uxbridge firms.Eight of its 11 partners have formed Turbervilles, with Sess Sigre as senior partner and Russell Hallam as managing partner. It is based in two of the old firm's three offices in Uxbridge and Hillingdon.The remaining three partners, Anthony Woodbridge, Geraldine Harwood and Nicholas Hampson, have set up The Woodbridge Partnership, in ...

  • Waiting for those five magic words...

    13-May-1997

    Now the election is over, we can all focus on what legislation we would like to see introduced in the next Parliament.This is the stage at which a new long-term policy can be put in place. The Law Commission is particularly keen that time should be allowed for law reform since most of its law reform recommendations involve new legislation. Law reform is a necessary part of good government in an advanced democracy such as our own. Laws continually need to be modernised ...

  • Why the silk system must scrap the secrecy

    13-May-1997

    The latest crop of silks leaves the selection system open to the usual charges of jobs for the boys. Martin Bowley QC (pictured) says it's high time that transparency got a look-in. Martin Bowley QC is a barrister at One KBW at 36 Bedford Row Chambers.The 1997 Silks list has already been the target of a range of criticism. Only 5 out of the 68 successful applicants were women. Only one was from the ethnic minorities (for the sixth successive year). Only 13 practised ...