13 December 1999

The Lawyer

  • ...as second partner joins Brown & Wood

    13-Dec-1999

    Brown & Wood has snapped up its second Simmons & Simmons partner in as many months.Equity partner Colin Mercer will join the firm as a capital markets partner after six-months' gardening leave.Assistant solicitor Lucy Clark is also leaving Simmons for Brown & Wood with Mercer, although she is not subject to gardening leave.Both follow John Russell, co-founder of Simmons' securities practice, who joined the US firm last month (The Lawyer, ...

  • 3 Verulam Buildings selects new senior practice manager

    13-Dec-1999

    Commercial chambers 3 Verulam Buildings has appointed Nicholas Hill as its new joint senior practice manager.Hill will join in the new year from 11 King's Bench Walk, where he is first junior clerk. He will replace senior clerk Paul Cooklin who is leaving 3 Verulam Buildings for rival commercial set 3-4 South Square in January.Christopher Symons QC, joint head of chambers, says: "We didn't have to replace Cooklin because we had a good team but we said ...

  • A more stressful time for employers

    13-Dec-1999

    The number of trade union personal injury cases against employers for stress-related illnesses rose 70 per cent last year to 783, according to a report by the Trades Union Congress.The statistic raises questions on why more claims are being made. Are employees more litigious? Is the workplace more stressful? How does new legislation affect the number of claims? And what are lawyers' predictions about the amount of stress-related cases in the future?Elizabeth ...

  • A&O wins chemical client from Slaughter and May

    13-Dec-1999

    Allen & Overy has won work from a key Slaughter and May client.Previously, Slaughters was sole principal legal adviser to UK-based chemical company Laporte, one of the largest international life science specialist chemical manufacturers in Europe.But Laporte chose A&O as second principal ...

  • Battle Fowler raids conservation body

    15-Dec-1999

    Valerie Campbell has joined as special counsel in the Midtown-based firm's land use, environmental and governmental affairs group.Campbell will focus on land use, environmental and historical preservation aspects of large commercial real estate transactions. She practised at Brown & Wood before becoming deputy counsel at New York City's parks and recreation department.

  • Beachcroft Wansbroughs agrees partner share scheme with US firm

    13-Dec-1999

    Beachcroft Wansbroughs is sharing its departing projects team with Buchanan Ingersoll, reports Sean FarrellBeachcroft Wansbroughs and US firm Buchanan Ingersoll have agreed to share Beachcrofts' projects team when it moves to Buchanans in the new year.As revealed in The Lawyer (11 October), Beachcrofts' highly-rated head of projects Barry Francis, who specialises in private finance initiative (PFI) healthcare work, is taking five partners and seven ...

  • Bevan Ashford beats City to English Heritage IP contract

    13-Dec-1999

    Leading south-west firm Bevan Ashford has been selected as sole adviser to English Heritage on intellectual property issues, winning the work against competition from City firms.A spokeswoman for English Heritage's legal department refuses to name the other firms involved in the tendering process, but says that a number of leading regional and City firms and a top 10 City firm were involved.The organisation has

  • Boodles wins Morgan Lewis tax specialist

    13-Dec-1999

    Boodle Hatfield has taken on Morgan Lewis & Bockius private client partner David Way.Way, an international tax specialist, is the second partner to leave the US firm's London office in three months. Head of commercial property Stephen Turner left for Baker & McKenzie in September.Way says: "I have enjoyed my two years at Morgan Lewis & Bockius. It is time to move ...

  • Campaign brief

    13-Dec-1999

    Matheu Swallow meets John Cooper, the human rights lawyer who worked on the Louise Woodward campaign and is now advising a campaign group which claims a British nanny serving 25 years in the US fir shaking a 13-month-old-boy in her care to death is innocent

  • Case of the week

    13-Dec-1999

    The trial of the suspects in the bombing of Pan Am flight 103 finally appeared in a Scottish Court this week, or more correctly in a former basketball court in a gym at a former US air base in The Netherlands which has been declared Scottish soil for the duration of the trial. The two Libyans accused of murdering 270 people when the plane exploded over Lockerbie in 1988 were attending a pre-trial hearing. The courtroom for the full trial is still under construction. Everyone attending ...

  • Catherine Newman QC writes on a breach of fiduciary duty

    13-Dec-1999

    In the case of Satnam Investments Limited v Dunlop Heywood & ors, the House of Lords has refused Satnam's petition to appeal a Court of Appeal decision.Satnam's surveyors, Dunlop Heywood, sent a letter to Satnam's business rivals, informing them that administrative receivers had been appointed by Satnam's bankers. Rival developers Morbaine Ltd knew Satnam had interests in land in an area of Greater Manchester, known as Tiviot ...

  • Chadbourne & Parke partners fight $2 million damages award

    14-Dec-1999

    In a case which one of the appellate panel members described as "vital to the profession", Charles Gibb and Robert Sheehan were seeking to show they did not act improperly when they moved their trusts and estates practice from Breed Abbott & Morgan to Chadbourne & Parke in 1991.An earlier court case found that Gibbs had erred when he persuaded Sheehan to join Chadbourne and that ...

  • Christopher Style

    13-Dec-1999

    If talking was an Olympic sport, you could not help but think that Christopher Style, Linklaters' new head of litigation, would be clutching a handful of gold medals by now.He sits me down in a meeting room on the first floor, whips out his three-point plan for improving the department and then talks about it solidly for the next 40 minutes or so. "I'm ...

  • Clarke Willmott poaches partner

    13-Dec-1999

    Leading south-west firm Clarke Willmott & Clarke has poached a property partner from rival firm Battens.Nick Francombe will join the Taunton office of the Bristol-based 43-partner firm, sparking a decision by Battens to close its office in the Somerset capital.Fellow Battens partners Nigel Gosden and Russell Pearce have also decided to leave the office, moving to south-west ...

  • Clayton Utz on expansion drive

    17-Dec-1999

    The expansion drive in the firm's Government Services Group is part of it's strategy to bring in more outsourced government legal work.The firm has already brought in former immigration secretary Chris Conybeare and former government lawyers Paul Armarego, Wal Jurkiewicz and John Carroll.Further appointments are understood to be announced soon.National chairman Brian Wilson says the Government Services Group was originally established to ...

  • Clifford Chance agrees Luxembourg merger

    15-Dec-1999

    Partners at both firms voted overwhelmingly for the union which has won approval from the Luxembourg Bar Association and will take place from 1 January 2000.The marriage to Faltz & Kremer, the country's sixth largest firm with 20 lawyers, gives Clifford Chance a foothold in Luxembourg's lucrative banking market.The new firm will be officially called Faltz & Kremer ...

  • Commercial calibre

    13-Dec-1999

    One Essex CourtHead of chambers: Lord Grabiner QC. Senior clerks: Robert Ralphs, Paul Shrubsall. Tenants: 60 (22 QCs). Principal practice areas: Commerce and finance, including arbitration, commercial, company and insolvency, European Union law, IP and revenue law. Leading cases in last year: Equitable Life Assurance Society v AD Hymam - Lord Grabiner QC, Andre Lenon; Director General of Fair Trading (DGFT) v Premier League/BskyB/BBC - Christopher Carr QC; Sphere Drake Alexander ...

  • Criminal courts face radical overhaul

    15-Dec-1999

    Every aspect, from wigs to Latin names and from magistrates' roles to judges' working practices is to be examined and revamped in a bid to speed up justice in the criminal courts.Barristers who take too long cross-examining witnesses will be curbed, and Lord Irvine said he wants to move away from the "no blame culture" which exists between the CPS, police and defence lawyers.The sweeping review comes hot on the heels of a damning report from the National ...

  • Decision causes airline turbulence

    13-Dec-1999

    After a recent High Court decision airlines face paying back millions to travel agents. Roger Pearson reports on the case. Airlines are bracing themselves for a complex payback to travel agents following a recent High Court decision.The three airlines involved in the test case of the Association of British Travel Agents (Abta) & ors v British Airways & ors are British Airways, Virgin Atlantic Airways and Deutsche Lufthansa AG.But travel industry insiders ...

  • Digest

    13-Dec-1999

    Diageo has filled the position of senior general counsel, which has been vacant for six months, with a US lawyer from Glaxo Wellcome. Tim Proctor will join the company in January from the pharmaceuticals giant where he is director of worldwide human resources.DJ Freeman has taken on four Sonnenschein Nath & Rosenthal partners from the firm's London office, which closed earlier this month. Antoinette Jucker, corporate partner at the US firm, joins DJ Freeman's ...

  • Dirty tricks at the bar damages everyone

    13-Dec-1999

    The legal profession is facing one of the most hostile governments in its history. One that is not above using a fat-cat caricature of lawyers as political capital to push through ill thought-out changes to the detriment of the criminal and civil justice systems, the profession and the public.Against this backdrop, one of the leading professional bodies is engaging in a squalid and short-sighted piece of spin-doctoring.Rather than uniting with solicitor ...

  • EC diplomat to advise US firm Hogans

    13-Dec-1999

    US firm Hogan & Hartson has hired the head of the European Commission's Washington delegation as a senior adviser.Hugo Paemen will support the firm's six European offices, including its London operation.He will split his time between Hogans' Washington DC base and the firm's Brussels office. He will advise US and European companies on dealing with the EU and trade and investment matters.Clayton Yeutter, of counsel at Hogan & Hartson ...

  • Edge Ellison hires IT guru

    15-Dec-1999

    IT and telecoms specialist, Oscar Rowlands - who headed up Sabre's legal department for Europe, Middle East and Africa - joins Edge as a partner.He will join the law firm's nine-lawyer Technology Law Group whose clients include Dolphin Telecommunications, Mindshare Digital and Blue Wave Systems.Rowlands, who holds degrees in both law and computer science, is returning to private practice after years in-house. He was the Group Technology Legal Adviser ...

  • Evaluating the cost of litigation

    13-Dec-1999

    If there is one thing that is guaranteed to attract the attention of in-house counsel it is the possibility of retaining external lawyers at zero cost.So it was no coincidence that, in the wake of legal and regulatory changes relating to the use of contingency fee and conditional fee agreements (CFAs), my presentation at this year's Legal Monte Carlo focused on the range of options available to clients who find themselves in disputes but are reluctant to commit ...

  • Financings

    13-Dec-1999

    Linklaters advised Adecco on the offering of euro360m (£225m) 1.5 per cent convertible notes and 600

  • Financings

    13-Dec-1999

    Shearman & Sterling represented Morgan Stanley and CIBC World Markets as arrangers on the financing of Apax's acquisition of Paper Technology from Invensys. The team was led by corporate partner Anthony Ward. Baker & McKenzie

  • Flotation

    13-Dec-1999

    Olswang acted for Greg Middleton & Co, the sponsor and broker on the flotation of LA Fitness on the London Stock Exchange. The Olswang team was led by corporate partner Simon Morgan, assisted by tax partner Mark Joscelyne and property partner Doreen Harris. Berwin Leighton acted for LA Fitness and certain selling shareholders with corporate finance partner John Bennett leading the team. Simon ...

  • Garban's head of legal quits for internet post at Telstar

    13-Dec-1999

    Garban Intercapital's high profile head of legal is leaving to help set up Telstar's new internet venture.Gillian Switalski, worldwide legal director, director of compliance, and company secretary at Garban Intercapital, has already started work at Telstar but will continue as a consultant at her former company for the next 12 months.A spokesman at Garban says: "She will be a consultant but not in the formal sense. I think the principle is that she ...

  • Garretts loses banking head to Halliwell Landau

    13-Dec-1999

    Garretts' partner exodus is continuing unabated as its head of banking and founding partner of the Manchester office is leaving to join Halliwell Landau.Highly-rated northern head of banking Susan Molloy is leaving for Halliwells in the new year. At the same time, Shabnam Qasim, a share scheme partner at Garretts' Manchester office, is quitting for PricewaterhouseCoopers' Birmingham practice.The departures are the latest in a long line of resignations ...

  • Herbert Smith advises BSkyB on German move

    13-Dec-1999

    Herbert Smith is advising BSkyB on its first foray into the German market.The broadcasting giant is forming a European alliance with German TV group Kirch. BSkyB will take a 24.9 per cent share in the company for Dm2.9bn (£950m).BSkyB will issue 78 million new shares to Kirch, giving it a 4.3 per cent stake in the global broadcaster.Herbert Smith is BSkyB's usual corporate adviser. The six-strong team is led by EU partner Dorothy Livingston ...

  • Herbert Smith loses top partner to M&R

    13-Dec-1999

    Cambridge-based Mills & Reeve, East Anglia's biggest law firm, has taken on Herbert Smith's most highly-rated planning partner David Brock.Brock will move from Herbert Smith in London next month. Brock says that M&R's Cambridge office is closer to his home. "I'd like to exploit the market for planning lawyers in that area," he says."Cambridge has been ...

  • In-house counsel quits

    15-Dec-1999

    Securities and mutual fund specialist Hoene has joined Wall Street firm Carter Ledyard & Milburn as counsel in its New York financial institutions practice group.The former deputy director of the division of investment management at the Securities and Exchange Commission, she has worked for major financial institutions such as AIG and Mitchell Hutchins Asset Management, a subsidiary of PaineWebber.The firm says Hoene will focus on mutual funds and the representation ...

  • International Brief

    13-Dec-1999

    The Frankfurt stockmarket had never seen anything like it. Germany's best known soft porn pin-ups promoting the initial public offering of the country's biggest sex store chain Beate Uhse.In Germany's exploding capital markets, the leading firms have all been scrabbling for their fair share of the work. The banking clients are carved up by the top six banking firms, but the issuers themselves - especially in the Mittelstand - tend to pay little attention to ...

  • Irwin Mitchell hives off housing group

    13-Dec-1999

    National firm Irwin Mitchell has off-loaded its housing management team in Birmingham to local firm Lee Crowder.Partners Andy Ballard and Simon Denslow will transfer along with one solicitor, five paralegals and six support staff. Irwin Mitchell describes the moves as part of its long-term plan to concentrate on corporate work.Joe Simpson, managing partner of the firm's ...

  • It's been a bad week for...

    13-Dec-1999

    The Crown Prosecution Service (CPS). The Commission for Racial Equality (CRE) has lost patience with the CPS, saying its officials will go into CPS offices next month to carry out a formal investigation following a succession of complaints by CPS staff.M&A lawyers. The new European Union Takeover Directive, which replaces the City's informal code for mergers and acquisitions with statutory rules, allows companies on the end of hostile takeover ...

  • It's been a good week for...

    13-Dec-1999

    Conspiracy theorists, after a jury ruled that the murder of Martin Luther King (above) was not the work of a lone assassin. The finding came at the end of a trial brought by the King family who filed a wrongful death lawsuit against Loyd Jowers. Jowers claims that he handled money paid to a man other than James Earl Ray to kill King. The jury found that there had been a conspiracy involving Jowers.More mature lawyers. Michael Addezio struck a blow for older ...

  • Jeffrey Green hit by partner exodus

    13-Dec-1999

    West End commercial firm Jeffrey Green Russell has lost a seventh partner in six months prompting speculation that partners are unhappy with its management style.A source close to the 23-partner firm says the flood of departures in the last six months is the result of unhappiness with management."People are not happy with the way the firm is being run and the way it's operating in quite a number of areas. It's a problem of organisation - or rather the ...

  • Jones Day loses key Paris partner

    13-Dec-1999

    US firm Jones Day Reavis & Pogue has lost a key partner in its Paris office to US rivals Willkie Farr & Gallagher.Laurent Faugerolas, who is a mergers and acquisitions specialist, was the first French partner in the office when Jones Day poached him from Gide Loyrette Nouel in 1995.He is bringing his team of four with him to Willkie Farr.Faugerolas has recently worked ...

  • Last derivatives partner abandons B & M

    14-Dec-1999

    Highly rated derivatives and structured finance partner Schuyler Henderson is leaving Baker & McKenzie after 10 years to join Norton Rose early in the new year.Just under a month ago David Green, a banking and finance partner at Baker & McKenzie also left the firm to join Goldman Sachs International ...

  • Legal aid contracting to face judicial review

    14-Dec-1999

    The two-partner firm, which specialises in mental health and community care law, claims Lord Irvine's plan to allow only law firms with contracts to practice legal aid work is illegal.Yesterday, in a case backed by the Law Society, Mr Justice Latham gave the green light for the issue to be judicially reviewed.The contracting restrictions - set to come into force next month - contravenes the Legal Aid Act 1988 which permits clients to use the solicitor of ...

  • Licence problems plague pub company

    13-Dec-1999

    Roger Pearson reports on the latest round in the battle of Midland's pub group RBNB over its refused licence applications. Midlands pub company RBNB is waiting to hear whether its High Court challenge has been successful.The company argued before the High Court that the judge's decision at Warrington Crown Court was unlawful when it refused consent for transfer of a pub licence.The case centres on a magistrate's refusal to give consent for transfer ...

  • Litigation Personal Injury 13/12/99

    13-Dec-1999

    James Peter Woods (by his mother & next friend Denise Woods) v Bromley Hospitals NHS Trust (1999) QBD (Buckley J) 21 October 1999Claimant: Male, newborn at date of accident; 4 years old at date of settlement.Incident: The claimant's mother attended the defendant's hospital for the birth of her son. During labour it was found that the claimant's shoulder was stuck in the birth canal. The claimant was born by ventouse extraction.Injuries: ...

  • Litigation Personal Injury 13/12/99

    13-Dec-1999

    Ethel Ramsay v David Rivers (1999) QBD (HH Judge Raymond Dean QC) 18 October 1999Claimant: Female, married, 44 years old at date of accident; 58 years old at date of trial.Incident: The claimant was a passenger in a car which collided with a tree.Injuries: The claimant sustained severe brain damage resulting in her speech, concentration and memory being badly impaired. She was left with almost total paralysis on her left side. She ...

  • Litigation Personal Injury 13/12/99

    13-Dec-1999

    Pyper v Hall: Pyper v MM Bell & Sons Ltd (1999) QBD (HH Judge Simpson) 15 November 1999Claimant: Female, 43 years old at date of 1995 accident; 47 years old at date of settlement.Incident: The claimant was first injured in 1986 when her vehicle was hit from behind by another car. She was still recovering when in 1995 her vehicle was hit from behind by a van. A third rear-end shunt accident occurred in 1997. She had previously brought an action against the ...

  • Litigation Recent Decisions 13/12/99

    13-Dec-1999

    Cases from LAWTEL'S PI Quantum Database. Contact Deborah Talbot on 0171 970 4823Lords to hear custody fightA mother has been given leave to take her custody fight to the House of Lords. The woman gave birth to her daughter in 1992 in the Republic of Ireland and separated from the father in 1995. In 1996 a custody order was issued in the mother's favour. After the mother moved to England with her daughter in 1998, the father applied ...

  • Litigation Recent Decisions 13/12/99

    13-Dec-1999

    Cases from LAWTEL'S PI Quantum Database. Contact Deborah Talbot on 0171 970 4823Noise in the undergroundThe rights of councils in London to police noise from the underground rail network are on trial in the High Court. In 1996 the London Borough of Camden issued an abatement notice under the provisions of the Environmental Protection Act 1990 after receiving noise complaints from the owner of a flat adjacent to Russell Square Station. The resident ...

  • Litigation Writs 13/12/99

    13-Dec-1999

    Sunderland Health Authority has launched High Court action against Peter and Christina Snowdon of Sunderland, Tyne and Wear, and Demnox Ltd of Sunderland. The Health Authority is seeking damages for alleged breach of contract and statutory duties. In its claim it accuses the Snowdons and Demnox of submitting claims for dispensing appliances from a residential address when in fact no dispensing took place from that address. The claim says that as a result the Health Authority ...

  • Macfarlanes proposed head of litigation leaves the City

    13-Dec-1999

    MacFarlanes' head of litigation is stepping down after 10 years, and at the same time his intended replacement has announced his resignation.Tony Thompson, a highly rated partner in both litigation and employment law, will relinquish the running of the department to litigation partner Willie Manners.Manners will take over from 1 January 2000.Litigation partner Andy Millmore was also approached for the post.However Millmore, who has ...

  • Manchester set gets Best Value first

    13-Dec-1999

    A Manchester barristers' chambers is believed to be the first set to enter partnership with a local authority under the Best Value legislation.Chorley Borough Council in Lancashire has entered into a partnership with 40 King Street in Manchester and its spin-off 5 Park Place in Leeds.The chambers will advise on planning, housing, human rights and employment work under the arrangement.The link will give the council access to additional specialist ...

  • Martineau Johnson/ Mills & Reeve merger off

    13-Dec-1999

    After months of intensive talks, the 53-partner firm Mills & Reeve - which has offices in Cambridge, Birmingham, Cardiff and Norwich - and 34-partner Birmingham based Martineau Johnson decided there was "insufficient synergy" between the two to make a merger possible.Martineau's managing partner, David Gwyther says: "There is a good deal of mutual respect between the two firms ...

  • Masons boosts data protection

    13-Dec-1999

    Masons has bolstered its data protection team by poaching the Data Protection Registrar's chief legal adviser.The move is Rosemary Jay's first foray into private practice. She joined the registrar 12 years ago from Stockport Council.She says: "I have been doing the same thing for a number of years and it got a bit stale. I got itchy feet and wanted room to grow."Jay joins Masons' Manchester office as a senior consultant. Head of the ...

  • McGrigor Donald elects new chief

    13-Dec-1999

    Scottish firm McGrigor Donald has elected a new senior partner who will be based in London in a bid to increase the firm's UK profile.In an unopposed election, McGrigors' partners voted for London-based corporate partner Robert Glennie. In his new role Glennie will chair McGrigors' board, which is responsible for policy and strategy.Kirk Murdoch, McGrigors' UK managing partner, says the appointment sends out a strong message to the UK market ...

  • Melbourne firm appoints chief executive

    17-Dec-1999

    John Chisholm takes up the newly created role at Middletons after spending 21 years at Maddocks - a firm his grandfather helped found in 1939.Chisholm's father, Don, is still with the medium-sized Australian firm after 45 years of service Chisholm is charged with introducing a new management strategy that will blend the cultures of three law firms into one: Middletons has merged with Melbourne firms Molomby & Molomby and Coltmans Price Brent to create a 100-lawyer practice ...

  • Nabarros revamps property practice

    13-Dec-1999

    Nabarro Nathanson is appointing an international business development partner for the property industry for the first time.Geoffrey Lander will take on the newly-created strategic role when he steps down from his current position as head of commercial property next May. He will remain a senior partner at the firm.The firm currently has no formal exclusive relationships with overseas ...

  • New media partners for Akin Gump

    14-Dec-1999

    Steve Fayne and John Burke boast an impressive client list including the Bank of America and Chase Manhattan Bank. In recent years the pair have branched out and now advise producers, distributors and studios on financing.The move comes just days after Akin Gump announced the labour lawyer, Howard Fabrick - poached from Proskauer Rose earlier this year - is to head up the entertainment industry practice group. The firm is expected to announce a new partner to head up its ...

  • One Hare Court and Serle Court merge

    13-Dec-1999

    Commercial chambers One Hare Court and chancery commercial Serle Court Chambers are set to merge in February.Lord Neill of Bladen QC, head of One Hare Court, will lead the 44-tenant, eight-silk set which will take the name of the larger set, Serle Court.Charles Sparrow QC, 74, head of Serle Court, is retiring at the end of the year. Helena Miles, chief executive of Serle Court, says: "We were in the process of deciding who would be the new head of chambers so ...

  • Partnerships offer no benefits

    13-Dec-1999

    The issue of whether partnerships should be permitted at the independent bar has been considered again and again in the last 30 years, by both outside bodies and Bar Council committees. On each occasion, the clear recommendation has been that the rule against partnerships should not be abrogated.The justification for the rule, which Andrew Arden misstates, lies in the public interest in maximising choice and access to the bar. If partnerships are permitted, the ability of ...

  • Perrin's View

    13-Dec-1999

    At the top of Fleet Street the other day, I caught sight of this funny little cove dressed in striped trousers with a waistcoat, watch chain and all the trimmings, surrounded by a group of Japanese tourists. My very aged and wise senior partner, who was at my side, told me that this person was, in fact, a barrister.Apparently you don't have to wear fancy dress to be a barrister, at least not outside court, but lots of the ...

  • Property

    13-Dec-1999

    North West law firm Ward Hadaway acted for Grantchester on the £20m sale of Sunderland Retail Park to Scottish Amicable Insurance Fund. Head of commercial property Richard Freeman-Wallace led the team. CMS Cameron McKenna advised Scottish Amicable led by partner Pranai Karia.

  • Property

    13-Dec-1999

    Herbert Smith acted for Greycoat on a £350m secured term loan facility and the sale of two London properties, one in Victoria for £100m to PA Consulting Group and the other in Bishopsgate for £28.78m to Hill Samuel Property Unit Trust. The financing team was led by banking partner David Wyles, while the disposal teams were led by property partner Chris Tavener. Allen & Overy, ...

  • Property

    13-Dec-1999

    Norton Rose acted for Helical Bar on the £30m forward funding with Henderson Investors of a new 60,000sq ft office building acquired from the receivers of the Robert Maxwell Estate. Commercial property partner Jonathan Solomon acted for Helical. Henderson Investors was represented by commercial property partner Neil Abbott of

  • Property

    13-Dec-1999

    Clifford Chance advised Burford Holdings on the £68.1m purchase of Fareham Shopping Centre from Lend Lease and Hanover Property Unit Trust. Partner Cliff McAuley (pictured) led the team, assisted by Robert Kingsmill and Richard Hopkinson-Woolley. Rowe & Maw partners Jeremy Clay and Lesley-Anne Avis advised Lend Lease and Hanover Trust.

  • Quotes of the week

    13-Dec-1999

    "If a witness wears a Shirley Bassey wig and make-up, how am I to determine that witness is credible?"- William Taylor QC, lawyer for the two Lockerbie suspects when the prosecution asked if key witnesses such as CIA agents could give their testimony in disguise. The judge, Lord Sutherland, rejected the request."All I know about Pandas is that they are very hard to mate."- John Pike,

  • Rakisons senior partner stung for libel damages

    15-Dec-1999

    The libel action was brought by David Pooley against Wollenberg and City Index Ltd over allegations made by Wollenberg in 1993 when he and Pooley both worked at the index futures dealing company.Wollenberg - City Index's Chairman at the time - told Mishcon de Reya lawyer, Simon Gallant that Pooley - City Index's former administration director - had accepted a bribe in exchange ...

  • Rolling with the punches

    13-Dec-1999

    In the past few years the bar has faced growing criticism, a drastic drop in workload and the increasing threat of solicitor-advocates. Matheu Swallow reports on how the commercial bar is fighting backThe commercial bar is attempting to fight back against the tide of criticism and apocryphal tales of woe that it and the bar as a whole has faced in the last year.The bar is finally coming to terms with the need for aggressive marketing and is prepared ...

  • Rude awakenings for barristers

    13-Dec-1999

    It seems that the 20th century has finally crept up on barristers, just as solicitors are planning their strategies for the next millennium.Heavy fire from two major quarters - the Lord Chancellor's Department and the encroachment of solicitors upon their workloads - has made the bar wake up and realise that it must relate to the modern world and compete for clients.That is why I read with a welcoming mind your article (The Lawyer, 6 December) ...

  • Scuffle of the week

    13-Dec-1999

    George Carman QC (left) v Neil Hamilton (right). The former Tory minister was well and truly tied in knots by the celebrated libel lawyer representing Mohamed Al Fayed. During Carman's cross examination, Hamilton was forced to admit that he was never likely to have been a front-bench spokesman, effectively dropping one of his claims for damages against the owner of Harrods. Carman said: "Are you seriously saying to the jury, 'Award me damages for the loss ...

  • Shop tactics reap rewards

    13-Dec-1999

    Property expert David Cobb reports on a booming year for the law firms who advise on shopping centre schemesThe year 1999 has, without doubt, been the year of the shopping centre. The last year of the millennium has seen deal after deal as developers, property companies and lawyers cash in on the UK's shopping trend.March saw the opening of the mother of all shopping centres, Bluewater in Dartford, Kent. This behemoth, at 1.625 million sq ft, ...

  • Simmons changes partnership deeds

    13-Dec-1999

    Simmons & Simmons has changed its partnership agreement to include gardening leave for the first time after losing nine partners this year.Four of the high-level departures took place in the last three months.A source close to the City firm says: "Simmons has just put in place a new partnership agreement which requires six-months' notice of retirement."It also enables the senior partner, at his discretion, if a partner is going to a competing ...

  • SJ Berwin to build finance division

    13-Dec-1999

    SJ Berwin is creating a 20-partner finance division to span its international offices as part of a plan to coordinate and publicise its activities in this area.Gillian Smith, head of banking in London, says: "We have always seen ourselves as a corporate firm, but we are seeking to emphasise our finance and debt side."Partners from different departments across the firm will form ...

  • South-east firms win council contract

    13-Dec-1999

    South-east law firms Thomas Eggar Church Adams and Cripps Harries Hall have beaten off rivals to advise Brighton & Hove Council on commercial property work.The council has a commercial property portfolio which brings in £8m per year in rent and has over 10,000 acres of farmland.

  • Talk of focus is just tunnel vision

    13-Dec-1999

    Focus. For those of us of a certain age this may well bring back memories of a certain Dutch rock band from the early 1970s. However, in more recent years it is a word applied to law firms in enough articles and consultants reports to make a significant dent in the Amazonian rainforests. To survive, let alone succeed, we read, a firm must have focus. Without it, the mantra goes, we risk ruin, particularly if the firm is medium-size and not one of the club seeking the holy grail of being ...

  • The Firm

    13-Dec-1999

    Overheard conversations at the Firm's Christmas party attended by, among others, senior partner Pratchard, managing partner Henderson, corporate partner Alison Brett, Big Tosh, Chalmers and God's own Yorkshireman Rodney Bickerthwaite.Brett: Oh Mr Pratchard. How imaginative coming as Widow Twanky. Everyone else's fancy dress is boring.Pratchard: Fancy dress? I thought the invite said casual. Still it's ...

  • The Lawyer Inquiry: Joanne Bligh

    13-Dec-1999

    Joanne Bligh was born in Lichfield, Staffordshire in 1970. She is an associate at Edge Ellison. What subjects did you fail at school?Cycling proficiency test.What was your first job?On the record counter at Woolworths on Saturdays.What was your first ever salary as a lawyer?£13,000 per annum.What would you have done if you hadn't been a lawyer?Interior designer.What was ...

  • This week

    13-Dec-1999

    Jack Straw looks set for more confrontation as rebellious backbenchers continue debating his not-quite Freedom of Information Bill.

  • UK bail laws breach human rights

    13-Dec-1999

    The Commission today released a report which recommends three key changes to our existing bail laws to ensure compliance with the ECHR.The three offending provisions of the Bail Act 1976 are those that:* forbid a court granting bail to those charged with murder, manslaughter or rape save in exceptional circumstances* remove the right to bail if defendants have been arrested because police believe they may break a bail condition* remove ...

  • Unisys

    13-Dec-1999

    Unisys describes itself as an electronic business solutions company and its European head of legal Victor Sonsino expects the law firms that he works with to tailor their product to his needs in the same way as his company makes bespoke solutions for individual clients.

  • Wilde Sapte's Hong Kong practice faces collapse

    13-Dec-1999

    Wilde Sapte's Hong Kong office is collapsing following the departure of two partners and the bulk of its fee-earners.US firm Brown & Wood has poached the head of Wilde Sapte's international banking and finance practice Balbir Bindra along with three associates and one consultant.Equity partner Bindra, who established the banking and finance group for the firm in Asia, will join Brown & Wood as a partner. He has been with Wilde Sapte since 1991, when ...

  • Will Dutch courage make sense for Eversheds?

    13-Dec-1999

    Eversheds' move into The Netherlands has been met with surprise by the legal profession. Dearbail Jordan asks why the firm has chosen to go Dutch when it has yet to make its mark in the more lucrative German marketEversheds is in a predatory mood.Its recently announced merger with Dutch-based Boekel De Neree (BDN) is just one step in a major strategy to become ...

  • Withers and Henmans bag RSPCA account

    13-Dec-1999

    Withers will be the lead advisors and will be responsible for the department's strategic legal work and training. This will include advising on preservation and enhancement of legacy income, contentious probate issues and the administration of estates.The appointment of the two firms comes after what Peter Jeffreys, charity law partner at Henmans describes as a "rigorous competitive tender ...