12 September 1994

The Lawyer

  • Agents take rights to heart

    13-Sep-1994

    Although the commercial agents regulations have only been in force since earlier this year, agents are already enforcing their new rights.A survey by City-based Fox Williams of 300 businesses using 3,400 agents found 11 per cent of those using agents faced a demand for commission before the principal has been paid by the customer.Around 9 per cent of companies faced claims ...

  • An independent stance

    13-Sep-1994

    When I started out as an independent computer consultant in 1980, I advised all sorts of firms including retailers, manufacturers, charities, solicitors and accountants. In the early days of small computers, software was in its infancy and integrated packages were rare. Switching from one sort of business to another was not a difficult task.As the market for small computers developed, however, software became more specialised and the companies ...

  • Bonds deal proves that small really is beautiful

    13-Sep-1994

    A SMALL two-partner West End firm has shown that it has the mettle to take on the best of the City when it comes to big property deals.The company, Bonds, recently found itself working on a joint-venture project for an un-named German client to acquire for u35 million St Catherine's House, a London property on the corner of Kingsway and the Aldwych. The other partner was Chelsfield, a Plc advised by Ashurst

  • British Coal

    13-Sep-1994

    When Nabarro Nathanson swallowed up British Coal Corporation's (BCC) legal team in 1990 and established a foothold in the north, the critics were quick to carp.Publicly they said it was ambitious, but in private many thought it mad. Competitors predicted that the mix of cultures, in-house and private practice, would prove problematic and that the commercial risk was too great.

  • Can lawyers be 'experts'?

    13-Sep-1994

    There is no reason why lawyers should not make good consultants. Indeed, consultancy work's transactional nature makes it more akin to law practice than to accountancy.But a consultant needs to have two primary attributes - expertise and skills. For most lawyers their expertise lies in the law, not personnel or practice management or IT.It is frightening to consider the number of lawyers who have experience of only one law firm, or who have spent perhaps ...

  • City firms lose ground to West End

    13-Sep-1994

    TOP City law firms deny they are being squeezed out of important business by their medium-sized rivals despite new statistics out this week.The figures show that the number of assistants at the top 10 City firms has dropped below 1992 levels, and that assistants' salary rates have fallen for the first time in living memory.The '1994-95 Chambers and Partners Directory', out this week, also reveals that West End trainee and assistant salaries are ...

  • Ex-BP Walder picks up his wings at BA

    13-Sep-1994

    FORMER British Petroleum legal chief Ken Walder has taken charge of British Airways' in-house department.Walder, a barrister, has been appointed legal director in place of Mervyn Walker who is now the director of purchasing and supply.Walder also takes over as secretary from Gail Redwood who, at her own request, is resuming her role as deputy secretary.Called to the Bar in 1966, Walder joined British Petroleum's exploration department the ...

  • Financings

    13-Sep-1994

    Northern Leisure was advised by Herbert Smith on its u4.5m debenture stock issue.

  • Financings

    13-Sep-1994

    South African group Liberty Life used Linklaters & Paines as its English advisers on the first ever global offering of convertible bonds by a South African company. The offering amounted to $300m.

  • Finucane action could reveal military intelligence details

    13-Sep-1994

    THE WIDOW of murdered Belfast solicitor Patrick Finucane is proceeding with a legal action which could reveal further details of British military intelligence involvement in Northern Ireland.The case will be closely watched by the NI Law Society, human rights groups and Belfast solicitors concerned by the killing.The action is at the exchange of pleadings stage. No date is fixed for Belfast High Court.It is understood to be a claim for damages against ...

  • Flotations

    13-Sep-1994

    Commercial property holding group CLS Holdings was advised by Gouldens in its u48m flotation by way of a placing and intermediaries offer sponsored jointly by UBS and Apax Partners & Co Corporate Finance

  • Flotations

    13-Sep-1994

    JBA Holdings was advised by Dibb Lupton Broomhead on its recent flotation capitalising the computer software company at u53m; the sponsor

  • Flotations

    13-Sep-1994

    Mosaic Investments was advised by Travers Smith Braithwaite regarding the u12m flotation of its subsidiary Copyright Promotions Group

  • Gunning lost the battle, won the war

    13-Sep-1994

    Roger Pearson

  • IT in brief

    13-Sep-1994

    A new guide to legal technology has been published by Chiswick-based Marketeer, organiser of the Barbican technology exhibition. 'The Legal Technology Directory 1994' is a comprehensive guide to suppliers, networks and hardware, and is available priced at u10 plus Vat.Adobe, producer of the well-known Illustrator software, has now completed its takeover of the Aldus corporation, following approval by shareholders. The $450 million ...

  • IT in firms

    13-Sep-1994

    Bolton firm Keogh Ritson has placed a repeat order with Sanderson GA for extra modules as part of the Qnix set up. The modules ordered include: client accounts, time recording, pay roll, and purchase and nominal ledger.Manchester firm Joan Ferguson & Co is the latest to buy a system from Quill Computer Systems. The practice has opted for hardware and software, including a case management system for matrimonial work, in which the legal firm specialises. ...

  • Law firms moving in on investment business

    13-Sep-1994

    MORE and more law firms are providing financial and investment services, according to a survey by The Lawyer.The findings coincide with the launch of a new Lawyer section on financial services (see pages 18 to 23).The survey among the country's biggest 1,300 firms, found that around 40 per cent of the respondents are handling financial services. Of those undertaking financial services, nearly 60 per cent are handling discrete investment business.

  • Lawyers set up group to boost Notts

    13-Sep-1994

    LAWYERS are behind a new campaign to draw business into Nottingham.The city's professionals are launching Nottingham First next week to establish the area as a major centre for business services.Eight of the city's law firms have joined the new group, which also includes accountants, surveyors, bankers and insurers.The independent chair of Nottingham First is Alan Wheelhouse, partner with Freeth Cartwright Hunt Dickins, while Victor Semmens, ...

  • Litigation Disciplinary Tribunals 13/09/94

    13-Sep-1994

    CLIVE MILLER HINDLE, 46, admitted 1973, practising at material time in partnership as Hindle Campbell, North Shields, cleared of allegations of unbefitting conduct. Allegations were that: he acted in a manner which compromised or impaired or was likely to compromise or impair his acting in clients' best interests and/or good repute of the respondent or profession; that he acted contrary to principles of Law Society 1990 guide to professional conduct of ...

  • Litigation Recent Decisions 13/09/94

    13-Sep-1994

    Contracts uberrimae fidei - standard of proof of fraudSun Alliance: proving duty of utmost good faithDiggens & Anor v Sun Alliance and London Insurance Plc (1994) (CA 29.7.94.) (Nourse LJ, Evans LJ, Sir Roger Parker LJ)Summary: Right of insurer to recover all monies paid to insured if claim is proved to be fraudulent. Standard of proof and particularity of pleading required to establish fraud. Duty of utmost good faith in contracts uberrimae fidei is mutual.

  • Litigation Writs 13/09/94

    13-Sep-1994

    Michael Slater, a prisoner at Longlarton jail, is suing the Metropolitan Police Commissioner for the return of more than u37,000 in banknotes. Slater claims he was owner of a wooden box containing u36,860 in cash at a house in Stoke Newington, London, u700 cash at a London EC1 address and an A-reg Mazda car, which were seized by police on 6 August 1993 during an investigation into a conspiracy to supply prohibited drugs.Slater was prosecuted ...

  • Long-term relationships out of fashion

    13-Sep-1994

    THE longstanding relationship between lawyer and private client is in many cases a myth, a survey shows.Research reveals that only 50 per cent of people return to the solicitor they used last.The findings are in a report by marketing firm Synergy which examines how solicitors can win and keep clients.Synergy interviewed a representative sample of 80 clients in order to map out their experience of solicitors.Interviews revealed an overall ...

  • Martin Hill denies insurers are avoiding settlement of claims

    13-Sep-1994

    Martin HillThe insurance industry will never be popular, but I want to defend it against the charges that it is looking for ways to avoid claims.The problem arises from the extreme financial pressures insurers are under. The over-capacity of the late 1980s and subsequent recession, with its recession-led claims, have resulted in the stringent examination of underwritten risks.Insurers and their customers need to take a more radical ...

  • Members not lured by free legal advice

    13-Sep-1994

    PEOPLE are not flocking to sign up with trade unions which offer free legal advice and financial services.This is the conclusion of an official survey by Labour Research, released in time to surprise lawyers at last week's TUC conference.Union members were asked why they had joined their union. Only 12 per cent of white collar and nine per cent of blue collar trade unionists said they had been lured by free services.More than 70 per cent said ...

  • No longer a state of emergency?

    13-Sep-1994

    A study of the use and effect of emergency provisions in Ulster will make fascinating reading for lawyers and civil libertarians.The most interesting are the Diplock courts and suspended right to silence.The late Lord Diplock's commission led to the non-jury Diplock court in the Northern Ireland (Emergency Provisions) Act 1973, in response to concern for the safety of witnesses and juries.This gave judges the job of trying and convicting scheduled ...

  • Palmer takes a turn at Hutchison

    13-Sep-1994

    SOLICITOR Howard Palmer is switching in-house for a nine-month spell at Hutchison Telecommunications. He is being seconded from the company commercial department of Bristol firm Bevan Ashford.Paul Cooper, head of the department, says: "We felt that it would be a good opportunity for Howard to get an insight into, and experience of, the practicalities of an in-house legal department and at the same time enable him to develop an expertise in legal aspects of telecommunications."

  • Partner leaves Hull firm to go it alone

    13-Sep-1994

    SOLICITOR David Macnamara has broken away from established Hull practice Stamp Jackson & Procter to set up as a sole practitioner.Macnamara has bought out the office in Withernsea where he has been partner in charge for the last 10 years.Both sides describe the buyout as "very amicable" and Macnamara intends to retain links with his former partners for specialist services such as compensation and business law.He says he took the decision to go it ...

  • Police lawyers pool ideas

    13-Sep-1994

    IN-HOUSE lawyers working for police authorities are setting up an association to pool ideas and discuss common problems.An ad hoc group has been in existence for several years but now a draft constitution is being drawn up with a view to setting up a formal association.Chris Porteous, solicitor to the Commissioner of the Metropolitan Police, says an increasing number of police authorities are taking on their own lawyers for non-CPS related work.This ...

  • RECENT FIGURES

    13-Sep-1994

    The surge of interest in unit trusts over the last two and a half years has mostly been in trusts investing in the UK.Association of Unit Trusts and Investment Funds' figures show that the most popular area in that period has been UK equity income sector funds with total sales between January 1992 and July 1994 of u3.4 billion. This was followed by the UK growth funds with u2.5 billion invested and UK general funds with u2.4 billion.Retail sales for July ...

  • Report set to herald raft of swingeing changes for Bar

    13-Sep-1994

    SWEEPING rule changes allowing barristers to reject low-paying legal aid work and requirements to compensate clients are likely to be announced this week in the Bar's standards review body report.The package of recommendations, ranging from training and discipline through to terms of business and an overhaul of the cab rank rule, is expected to be the most radical step for the Bar since the Courts and Legal Services Act.The review body, headed by former ...

  • Rival franchise groups floated

    13-Sep-1994

    THE LAW Society is setting up a system for on-going consultation with franchise-holders as practitioners debate whether or not to set up a break-away association.Birmingham solicitor Graham McGrath is floating the idea of an independent organisation to represent the interests of franchised firms."Clearly the interests of those who are not franchised may be very different from those who are franchised," says McGrath, whose firm McGrath & Co has been awarded contracts ...

  • Simmons comes under fire for role in Railtrack dispute

    13-Sep-1994

    CITY firm Simmons & Simmons was attacked at the TUC conference in Blackpool for apparently advising rail chiefs to sack striking signal workers without notice and to face the legal consequences.But the firm declines to be drawn into a public row with unions over the affair.National Union of Journalists general secretary John Foster told delegates: "This is the same firm who advised the Daily Telegraph to do the same thing. Now they are advising a state-owned ...

  • Smile, you're on video camera

    13-Sep-1994

    Lawyers have been getting on their bikes, switching to the bus and even taking to the water to beat the rail strike.Meanwhile, lawyers in the Yorkshire and London offices of Dibb Lupton Broomhead have been taking things easy.The firm has recently unveiled a video conference facility which allows partners and clients to link up - despite being 200 miles apart.Dibbs will not only cut down the money it spent on rail travel, but will also slash the time ...

  • Sting steers Coutts into court over u5m

    13-Sep-1994

    Roger Pearson looks aheadPop giant Sting is suing the Queen's bankers, Coutts & Co for nearly u5 million.The action, scheduled to come on in the Commercial Court later this year, has been launched by the star's company, Steerpike (Overseas) Ltd. The company says it had a current account at the bank's Kensington branch until February 1990 when it moved it to the Sloane Square branch and that the account was governed by a mandate ...

  • Susan O'Brien is losing patience with incompetent lawyers

    13-Sep-1994

    Susan O'BrienOne of the trickiest opponents to deal with is the incompetent solicitor. You rightly expect your opponent to try to make life difficult for you as a means of advancing his client's case.It is your job to recognise the strategy and deal with it. This is quite different from a failure to get a grip on the issues, to review the case at appropriate moments, or even to step back from the mundane processing of the litigation which ...

  • The art of PC buying is all in the translation

    13-Sep-1994

    Bill Onwusah

  • The Lawyer Inquiry: FIONA BOYLE

    13-Sep-1994

    The European chapter of the American Corporate Counsel Association (Acca) - the world's largest association of in-house legal counsel with 11,000 members - is to debate whether to take a stand against multidisciplinary partnerships (MDPs).Acca will tackle the thorny issue at its fifth annual European conference, which is being held on 5-6 October in Versailles, France.Heavyweight speakers lined up to take part in the debate include Carl Belding, ...

  • TKB hit with BCCI suit

    13-Sep-1994

    Turner Kenneth Brown is being sued by three former non-executive directors of crashed Bank of Credit and Commerce International (BCCI).An originating summons was issued earlier this month for the return of documents, tape recordings and other materials relating to the period between 22 August 1991 and 26 April 1994 when the firm acted for the plaintiffs.The three - Yves Lamarche, Dr Alfred Hartmann and Johan Diderik Van Oenen - were former clients of TKB.

  • UK software makes debut at OJ trial

    13-Sep-1994

    DEFENCE lawyers acting for American actor/footballer OJ Simpson are to use British legal software in the highly publicised murder trial starting at the end of the month.LiveNote, a computer-aided transcription system produced by Smith Bernal, was selected by the trial consultant to OJ Simpson's lawyers, Robert Shapiro and F Lee Bailey.The UK product, which was also appointed to the Scott inquiry, is being used in several UK trials.Howard Harris, ...