13 July 1998

The Lawyer

  • A phoney war or a bitter fight to the death?

    14-Jul-1998

    Solicitors are celebrating the promised relaxation of rights of audience restrictions. Shaun Pye assesses the threat posed to the BarThe Lord Chancellor, Lord Irvine's consultation paper on rights of audience contains little comfort for the Bar. In one telling passage, the government claims that its reforms will not hurt the Bar before adding, just in case: "It is not the role of the government to safeguard the supply of work to barristers."Under his proposals, ...

  • A&O loses insurance associate to Akin Gump

    14-Jul-1998

    Allen & Overy has lost insurance associate Patrick Devine to the London office of US firm Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld where he will become a partner.

  • Addison calls for Ministry of Criminal Justice

    14-Jul-1998

    Former Senior Crown Prosecutor Neil Addison has called for the Crown Prosecution Service to be removed from the civil service and the Director of Public Prosecutions to be given quasi-judicial status. In last week's Fabian Society report, Addison also calls for the creation of a Ministry of Criminal Justice.

  • Barings settlement remains unsettled

    14-Jul-1998

    The grand Barings settlement plan, agreed this spring after two years of conciliation by the City Disputes Panel, was delayed last week when a group of investors said they had not made up their minds.Three groups of bondholders were to vote on the deal under which they would receive a proportion of their original investment. Two of the groups, the 1994 noteholders and the Perpetual noteholders agreed, but there were not enough 1986 noteholders ready to vote to achieve the ...

  • Beachcrofts' e-news

    14-Jul-1998

    Beachcroft Stanleys has launched a free electronic news service for insurance claims professionals. Insurance Litigation Alerts provides weekly updates via e-mail or e-fax on legal developments in the area. To register, e-mail Joanne Dee at the firm's insurance litigation group at jmd@beachcroft.co. uk or fax her on 0171 894 6180. Partner Brendan McCarthy said: "The enthusiastic response we have received shows this could develop into more than just an add-on to our monthly ...

  • Berry leaves Titmuss Sainer for Clyde & Co

    14-Jul-1998

    Property development partner Paul Berry is leaving Titmuss Sainer Dechert after 26 years to join Clyde & Co's Guildford-based business law group.

  • Bevan Ashford launches London office

    14-Jul-1998

    Bevan Ashford officially launched its London office last week with a ribbon cutting ceremony at its new offices at 1 Chancery Lane. Pictured l-r: Robert John, director of IPC Advisors (UK), and Bevan Ashford partners Gareth Dodds, Pamela Ferriera, Peter Scott and managing partner of the new office David Widdowson.

  • Bird & Bird IT partner flies nest for Osbornes

    14-Jul-1998

    Osborne Clarke has boosted its growing London IT practice with the poaching of a partner from IT specialist Bird & Bird.Rory Graham joined Osbornes on 1 July. He will continue his work as a specialist commercial legal adviser to suppliers and users of services in IT and telecommunications, digital ...

  • Book of the week

    14-Jul-1998

    Invisible Women by Angela Devlin.Gives a disturbing account of life in women's prisons based on interviews with the prisoners themselves.Published by Waterside Press, Winchester.

  • Both parties benefit

    14-Jul-1998

    The flexibility of contract work is beneficial to both the firm and the individual, says Richard Tyler. Firms are able to keep their fixed overheads under control while the solicitor has the freedom to pursue other business interests.Permanent employment does not suit everyone. Indeed, as a lifestyle choice, working for three days out of five or three months out of four is becoming a favourable option. The first step is to become a contract solicitor - or a locum in the ...

  • Brief

    14-Jul-1998

    THE Lord Chancellor, Lord Irvine, speaking at the joint Legal Action Group (LAG) and Justice conference, "Legal Aid: Making It Work" on 3 July, gave his strongest indication yet that he intends to introduce a new rule making success fees and legal expenses premiums recoverable under conditional fee agreements.If the plan goes ahead it will be included in a modernisation of justice Bill which Lord Irvine wants to be included in this autumn's Queen's Speech, although ...

  • Bull wins fight for Scottish contract

    14-Jul-1998

    SCOTLAND'S public prosecuting authority - the Crown Office and Procurator Fiscal Service - has awarded a £1m contract to international IT group Bull Information Systems to overhaul its hardware.Bull fought off competition from computer giant IBM, the existing Crown Office supplier, to secure the contract to provide replacement Unix systems.The five-year deal will also provide Scotland's prosecuting offices with hardware maintenance and ...

  • Caribbeans reject Privy Council jurisdiction

    14-Jul-1998

    Barbados, Guyana, Jamaica and Trinidad are setting up their own Caribbean Court of Justice to replace the Privy Council, in a move which human rights lawyers say is designed to bolster capital punishment on the islands. The Privy Council is currently the last court of appeal for death row cases.The Lawyer reported in April that the attorney general of Trinidad & Tobago was considering the change. A decision was made at the recent 16-member Caribbean Community summit in Guyana.

  • CC has designs on its offices

    14-Jul-1998

    CLIFFORD Chance has used three-dimensional "space management" software to plot its office layout. The package is also being used to help the firm pilot a project to set up ten-lawyer "team rooms" at its City premises.The practice is the first UK firm to use Visual Technology's FM Focus software to work out the best way of using office space.The £50,000 software package shows the layout of the office and what facilities and ...

  • Chadbournes partners quit

    14-Jul-1998

    New York's Chadbourne & Parke has lost two more senior lawyers from its project finance team after clashes over international expansion.Nancy Persechino, former managing partner of the firm's London office, and New York-based special counsel Robert Bohme have joined the Washington DC office of Texan firm Baker & Botts. They follow the departure of ex-project head Rigdon ...

  • Chain to break links with Garretts and AA for new job

    14-Jul-1998

    Julia Chain, Garretts managing partner and an Andersen Worldwide partner, is to leave the firm this year as soon as she has a concrete job offer.Chain said she would not be continuing in private practice and had decided to "make a change of direction that allows me to develop further my managerial experience".She denied that the attempted merger with Wilde Sapte, which failed last month, had anything to do with her decision."I'd practically made ...

  • Closing the "public interest' loophole

    14-Jul-1998

    Local authorities are finding it more difficult to avoid responsibility for the actions of their employees, writes Roger Pearson. In the past there has been a string of cases in which local authorities have side-stepped a variety of claims on the basis that it would not be in the public interest for them to be held accountable for what had happened.But now the veil of the public policy defence has been at least pierced, if not lifted. A recent Appeal ...

  • Coastal authority's property cliffhanger

    14-Jul-1998

    Roger Pearson reports on the imminent Appeal Court hearing into responsibility for property damage caused by cliff erosionA disaster in which a four-star Scarborough hotel built in 1888 crumbled into the sea after the cliffs in front of it collapsed is to be debated in the Court of Appeal.The liability of coastal authorities to protect properties on cliff tops from damage resulting from erosion will be probed and will go to a full appeal hearing.Scarborough ...

  • Conference for clerks

    14-Jul-1998

    This Saturday (18 July), fresh from its well-attended annual dinner, the Institute of Barristers' Clerks holds its first ever annual conference at the College of Law in Store Street. The centrepiece will be a debate on the impact of conditional fees on the Bar. The event will be relayed to six regional centres using video conferencing facilities."I cannot accept that an experienced commercial solicitor and partner in a distinguished firm of solicitors was unaware of ...

  • Contracting the agent

    14-Jul-1998

    The number of agency networks has burgeoned recently as demand for contract solicitors has risen. As Rebecca Towers says, firms are increasingly realising how freelancers can improve the bottom line. Rebecca Towers is a freelance journalist.From higher court advocacy to mortgage repossessions, some lawyers now find that agency work can offer the breadth of practice, flexibility and financial remuneration they have sought in an increasingly uncertain workplace.The ...

  • Coudert Brothers moves to Cannon Street

    14-Jul-1998

    Coudert Brothers is moving from 22 Old Bailey, EC4 to four floors of a newly redeveloped block at 60 Cannon Street, EC4.

  • DAC is hit by defections from banking department

    14-Jul-1998

    A consultant and four of the six assistants in Davies Arnold Cooper's banking department are leaving the firm.Two of the assistants, James Dakin and Kim McMurray, who joined DAC in 1996 have gone to Nabarro Nathanson.Assistant Lynette Denzey is going in-house to client Close Brothers and legal executive Feride Mehmet is going to a leisure company in France. Consultant Paul ...

  • Database via the Net

    14-Jul-1998

    Home secretary Jack Straw and the president of the Immigration Appeals Tribunal, Judge David Pearl, have launched an Internet-based database, The Electronic Immigration Network (EIN). The directory, which is run by an independent board, headed by Immigration Advisory Service director Keith Best, includes all immigration tribunal decisions from September 1997 and a further 300 significant earlier cases. The full text of the cases is included plus case summaries ...

  • Denton Hall victors in Irish beauty contest

    14-Jul-1998

    Denton Hall has beaten four City firms to advise the Irish government on privatising its telecommunications.The government tendered for the work after deciding to bring forward the date for telecommunications liberalisation to 1 December 1998.Dentons now has five months to help get licensing and authorisation structures in place.It is setting up a project office in Dublin for the contract period. Nick Higham, head of the firm's telecoms practice ...

  • Dublin-Chicago link gives rise to US first

    14-Jul-1998

    Dublin law firm McKeever Rowan has affiliated its 11-lawyer practice with 200-lawyer Chicago-based law firm Schiff Hardi & Waite giving the firm the honour of becoming the first US law firm to have an office in Ireland.

  • Ex-councillor tackles council

    14-Jul-1998

    Moves by a former councillor - who was removed from office following allegations relating to unfair property dealings but was later cleared of the allegations - to sue the council over the impact the matter had on his reputation are being considered by the Law Lords. They have adjourned an application by Terence Gregory for leave to appeal the earlier striking out of his claim to give the council an opportunity to object to his moves. Gregory was elected in 1983 but in 1988 was removed ...

  • Field to visit Sierra Leone as IBA rep

    14-Jul-1998

    London barrister Rory Field has joined the United Nations monitoring team that is travelling to Sierra Leone to witness the trials of 58 people charged with offences allegedly committed during the 10 month coup by the junta that ended in February. Field will act as the International Bar Association representative.

  • Financing

    14-Jul-1998

    John Jackson of Dibb Lupton Alsop advised the management of Symbian, a new £100m joint venture set up by computer firm Psion and mobile communications companies Ericsson and Nokia. Slaughter and May advised Symbian and Ericsson.

  • Firm finds Guildford connection

    14-Jul-1998

    Charles Russell is to more than triple the size of its Guildford office by merging with seven partner corporate and property outfit Baldocks.In a deal which both sides are describing as a merger, Charles Russell's Guildford office and Baldocks will come together on 1 September, as Charles Russell Baldocks - although Baldocks may later be dropped from the name.The merged ...

  • Firm goes it alone with property centre

    14-Jul-1998

    Wakefield's The Beaumont Partnership has shunned national property schemes by investing £300,000 in its own property centre.The centre offers an all-in-one home buying service under the banner Beaumont Residential. It employs three estate agents and one financial adviser while the conveyancing is handled by members of the six-partner firm.While over 700 firms have signed up to Solicitors Property Centres (SPCs) and 100 are committed to the Edinburgh ...

  • Firm's new fellowship

    14-Jul-1998

    Sheffield firm Irwin Mitchell is sponsoring a new research fellowship at the University of Sheffield. The holder of the post - The Irwin Mitchell Research Fellow - will combine research into legal services policy at the university with a training job at the firm.

  • Flotation

    14-Jul-1998

    Alan Farkas of Pinsent Curtis advised oil industry services company Abbot Group on the £15.5m acquisition of BW Group, advised by Aberdeen firm Paull & Williamsons.

  • Freshfields ousts Nabarros from HSBC head office deal

    14-Jul-1998

    HSBC replaced Nabarro Nathanson with Freshfields last week as its adviser on the UK's largest single office letting - its lease from Canary Wharf of a £500m, 41-storey Docklands headquarters.Nabarros, one of the property panel firms for HSBC and its subsidiary Midland Bank, had been advising the bank on its new headquarters when Canary Wharf "was just a glimmer in our eye, last year," ...

  • Freshfields recruits US securities partner

    14-Jul-1998

    Freshfields has recruited a fourth US securities partner to its London-based team headed by Tom Joyce. She is Sarah Murphy, currently London-based European counsel at leading Wall Street firm Cravath Swaine & Moore where she has been for 14 years.

  • Garnier probes Govt on Litigation Protection

    14-Jul-1998

    TORY legal affairs spokesman Edward Garnier QC has asked the Government whether it has assessed the "viability and integrity" of high-profile legal expenses insurer Litigation Protection.In a series of written questions answered by Geoff Hoon last week, Garnier probed the Government's relationship with the company, which has recently lost two underwriters, and asked Hoon "what assessment he has made of [its] viability and integrity".The Parliamentary Secretary ...

  • Good management equals survival

    14-Jul-1998

    The Law Society's new law management section aims to offer firms access to the know-how to help them boost their performance, says Gerald Newman. Gerald Newman is the Law Society's deputy director of communications.Law practice management can be a lonely business. Most solicitors benefit from a constant exchange of information, both with colleagues and with opponents. Practice managers rarely have such opportunities. They often encounter resistance or ...

  • Hickman clashes with prison officers

    14-Jul-1998

    Hickman & Rose, which is investigating allegations of brutality at Wormwood Scrubs, has accused officers at the jail of pressing prisoner clients to dump the firm.The accusation follows senior partner Jane Hickman's arrest on suspicion of supplying drugs while visiting a client at Wandsworth prison earlier this month. It is contained in an open letter by the firm to the Home Secretary, Jack Straw.In it, partner Daniel Machover speculates that some officers ...

  • Hoon challenges "whingeing' lawyers to meet his timetable

    14-Jul-1998

    Geoff Hoon told lawyers to "stop whingeing" after they cornered him at a conference on conditional fees to warn him that the Woolf Reforms could lead to chaos.Delegates at the London seminar on conditional fees, organised by Neil Stewart Associates, warned the Parliamentary Secretary at the Lord Chancellor's Department (LCD), that slow administration, "maverick judges" and lack of funds within county courts, where about 90 per cent of cases will be fast-tracked, could ...

  • Integrating the court and benefit system

    14-Jul-1998

    Susan Deas believes that if a fraction of the money that is directed at the CSA was spent on court services, the country would have a "Rolls Royce system'A radical overhaul of the existing child support system was announced by the Secretary of State for Social Security Harriet Harman last week.The Government is planning to scrap the existing formula and opt for an assessment based on a percentage of the father's net income. Not so much a formula as ...

  • Is it not time for the liquidator's gravy train to come to a halt?

    14-Jul-1998

    Lawyers and liquidators have been riding the insolvency gravy train for too long. The public is starting to notice.A Hong Kong judge's remark this month on the Peregrine insolvency - that the lawyers' relationship with the liquidator seemed "too cosy" - was telling.When a liquidator gets appointed by a court, he is effectively given a blank cheque. His only brief is to recover as much money from the assets as possible. He decides what work is necessary ...

  • Isabel Davies on the cross-border implications of IP actions. Isabel Davies is a chairman of Eversheds' intellectual property group.

    14-Jul-1998

    On 26 June, Mr Justice Pumfrey gave judgment in a patent action (Boston Scientific & anor v Julio C Palmaz & anor) in which Boston sought revocation and a declaration of non-infringement of two patents relating to stents - tiny tubular scaffolding used with balloon angioplasty in treating patients who have diseased arteries or veins.A second related action about the balloons used in angioplasty is ongoing. Judge Pumfrey found that both patents were invalid and that ...

  • Judge questions Gouldens' evidence in fee claim case

    14-Jul-1998

    A High Court judge has thrown out the evidence given by Gouldens' head of company commercial Max Thorneycroft in support of the firm's bid to force a company director to pay up to £200,000 in fees.In a judgment which effectively scotches Gouldens' attempts to force entrepreneur Robin Herd to pay up the money, Judge John Toulmin openly questioned the truth of Thorneycroft's evidence."I cannot accept that an experienced commercial solicitor ...

  • Law Soc committee slams Govt consultation on FSA

    14-Jul-1998

    THE LAW SOCIETY'S company law committee has attacked the Government for the "piecemeal" way it has handled the consultation exercise on the rules for the new super-watchdog, the Financial Services Authority (FSA).The committee criticises the different approaches to consultation between the Treasury and the FSA, which "make it difficult to comment on consultation papers on a properly informed basis".The report also complains of only having "tantalising glimpses" ...

  • Law Soc council meeting

    14-Jul-1998

    The Law Society council meets on Thursday, followed by the society's annual general meeting. Among the issues to be discussed at the meeting are a proposed new introduction and referral code and the issue of whether solicitors should be allowed to continue to act for both borrower and lender in conveyancing transactions. The Law Society wants to outlaw the practice, except when it has approved the lenders' standard instructions.

  • Law Soc drops secrecy plan

    14-Jul-1998

    In a major U-turn, plans by the Law Society to restrict members access to information have been scrapped.Three weeks ago The Lawyer reported that next week's council meeting would consider banning members from seeing confidential papers from any committee bar those they sit on, except on a "need to know" basis. But the plan has been dropped - although it may be re-examined in the new council year.Sources say some council members wanted to introduce the new ...

  • Law Soc launches legal aid leaflet campaign

    14-Jul-1998

    THE Law Society has issued leaflets to legal aid firms urging their clients to join the campaign to prevent the Government from dismantling the legal aid system."Access denied" - produced and distributed at a cost of £13,000 - describes how conditional fee arrangements (CFAs) work and explains the pitfalls of entering into a CFA.The leaflet urges the client to join the campaign to save legal aid by writing to their member of parliament or attending their ...

  • Law Soc to stop ambulance chasers

    14-Jul-1998

    THE LAW Society's ruling council is to meet in secret this week to debate a controversial plan to banish ambulance chasing from the profession.Under proposals to tighten up the society's introduction and referral code, solicitors will be banned from making payments to third parties in return for clients.The Law Society committee, which has drawn up the plans, admits that many solicitors would be likely to lose business as a result of the changes.

  • lawyers at play

    14-Jul-1998

    Recently sculpture fan Kirk Murdoch took time off from managing his firm, McGrigor Donald, to visit Glasgow School of Art's Degree Show. His firm sponsors the private viewing of the show whose highlights include a sculpture of headless chickens by Kirsty Rae Glen, which Murdoch himself particularly warmed to.

  • Linklaters votes on Euro-alliance

    14-Jul-1998

    LINKLATERS is poised this week to take the lead in the race with Clifford Chance and Freshfields to dominate Europe by forming the world's largest federation of lawyers - "Linklaters & Alliance", made up of around 1,800 lawyers.This Thursday, all 221 partners at the firm will vote on a management ...

  • Mammoth exercise that required a Godden touch

    14-Jul-1998

    Corporate lawyer Richard Godden led the Linklaters team which advised Coopers & Lybrand in its merger with Price Waterhouse.Godden claimed that, because Coopers' structure was more akin to a federation than Price Waterhouse's tight-knit make-up, bringing Coopers into the network was a "logistical exercise of mammoth proportions". He added that an innovative approach had been required ...

  • New Ilex president

    14-Jul-1998

    The Institute of Legal Executives (Ilex) has chosen its youngest ever president. Paul Reed, 36, is a conveyancing specialist who works for London firm Evill & Coleman.

  • New shores for Essex Court shipping barrister

    14-Jul-1998

    David Steel QC's 4 Essex Court chambers has lost shipping and marine insurance barrister Kate Burgin to Dibb Lupton Alsop.

  • News for Reuters man

    14-Jul-1998

    Reuters general counsel and company secretary Simon Yencken has moved into an executive role at the multinational media group, becoming executive director and chief operating officer of a Reuters Silicon Valley software subsidiary TIBCO Finance Technology. The subsidiary, based in Palo Alto, California, provides software to finance companies. He is being replaced later this month by deputy general counsel Stephen Mitchell.

  • No more "fortress Bar'?

    14-Jul-1998

    Jon McLeod offers the Bar advice on its public relations. Jon McLeod is director of PR consultancy Shandwick, one of the company's bidding for the Bar Council's contract.The transformation of the Government from the maker of reassuring noises over the Bar's future into an administration which is intent on gnawing at the roots of the independent Bar is remarkable.And, listening to the Government and those around it, there would also seem to be an ...

  • Number of writs issued in 1997 falls

    14-Jul-1998

    The number of writs and summonses issued in the High Court Queen's Bench Division fell by 15 per cent in 1997, according to the Judicial Statistics Annual Report released by the Lord Chancellor's Department last week. The average waiting time from issue of writ to start of trial fell by one week to 178 week.

  • NYC firm Curtis close to merger with mid-size London suitor>

    14-Jul-1998

    New York firm Curtis Mallet-Prevost Colt & Mosle is two months away from a merger with what is believed to be a 30 to 50-lawyer City practice.The firm last week added a six-lawyer Milan practice - Studio Legale Gilioli - to its network of international offices and managing partner George Kahale said he was close to bringing an English firm on board as well."We are in focused negotiations with one particular law firm," he said, "and if all goes well I expect a ...

  • Open justice? Not in the county court

    14-Jul-1998

    Restrictions on access to county court documents strike at fundamental tenets of English law, says Rupert Grey. Rupert Grey is joint senior partner of Crockers Oswald Hickson.Open justice is one of the fundamental principles of the English legal system. It should operate to ensure that the media can freely report court procedures and related information without impediment. Justice should be done, and the public should see that it is being done.Last week a county ...

  • Pensions position

    14-Jul-1998

    Lovell White Durrant pensions partner Jane Samsworth has won a place on the Council of the Society of Pensions Consultants, the governing body of the Society of Pension Consultants.

  • Pinsents hires Edwards

    14-Jul-1998

    Pinsent Curtis' London office has bagged Lewis Silkin corporate partner Gareth Edwards whose clients include Pizza Express. Edwards said the burgeoning company needed "an advisers team capable of handling its increasingly complex City and general corporate finance needs".

  • Political ineptness reigns at Lord Chancellor's Department

    14-Jul-1998

    The Government's flagship policy on conditional fees runs the risk of damaging the justice system, says MP Edward Garnier QC.When I was appointed opposition spokesman on legal affairs by William Hague in June 1997, I thought it was going to be difficult to do much to chip the new government's shining paint work.Little did I realise how much work the Lord Chancellor, Lord Irvine, was going to do for me.His ill-judged remarks last summer about ...

  • President of the court of last resort

    14-Jul-1998

    Veronica Cowan tests Legal Services Ombudsman Ann Abraham's faith in the self-regulatory complaints system. Veronica Cowan is a freelance journalist.For clients unhappy with the performance of their lawyer, Ann Abraham is the court of last resort. As legal Services ombudsman she sits somewhat uncomfortably between a profession frustrated by complaints, and clients and consumer groups wanting less self-regulation.Abraham is the former chief executive of the ...

  • Profits shrink as growth continues

    14-Jul-1998

    The Lawyer/Pricewaterhouse Coopers1998 survey reveals some worrying trends, say Alistair Rose and Denise Catterall. Alistair Rose and Denise Catterall lead the Pricewaterhouse Coopers professional partnerships' group and specialise in providing accounting, tax and business consultancy services to law firms.Over recent years, the annual survey has traced the industry's progress towards improved financial management. This year, as a result of buoyant economic conditions, ...

  • Property

    14-Jul-1998

    Chris Dunn and Louise Barron of Manchester law firm Slater Heelis advised a management team on its buy out/buy in of family-owned automotive-to-aerospace component manufacturing company Lancaster Glass Fibre.

  • Property

    14-Jul-1998

    Jon Lloyd and Jillian Chung of Lawrence Graham advised North West Estates on its proposed £9m development of the listed Felaw Maltings Building in Ipswich. Barry Moody of Lovell White Durrant advised Jones Lang Wootton Fund Management. Eversheds advised English Partnerships. James Hall of Ipswich firm

  • Punder pioneers management trio

    14-Jul-1998

    Frankfurt-based Punder Volhard Weber & Axster is to be the first German firm to introduce a full-time executive management.Punder, with the largest Frankfurt office of the German firms, says it has experienced "size-related management problems".As a result, the firm is abolishing its existing unwieldy partners' council, comprising three managing partners, the head of each department, one partner from each foreign office and a senior partner.It ...

  • Questions to ask when seeking to forge an alliance

    14-Jul-1998

    Does the alliance satisfy the strategic goals (assuming we have any) of our firm?Would our clients be interested eventually in using the expertise of our alliance partners? (Remember that alliance partners will make their own decisions).Are we willing to invest in developing and using a meaningful common brand name?Are we willing to delegate some responsibilities, including quality control and house style to a central ...

  • Right environment for pro bono work

    14-Jul-1998

    It is refreshing to see a headline and news item respecting the good communal works of the profession as distinct from the propagandist stories emanating from the office of the Lord Chancellor (The Lawyer, 2 June).Many firms both great and small had been developing a pro bono side to their work for some time and Clifford Chance is to be congratulated on its current move. Likewise ...

  • Rowe & Maw hiring

    14-Jul-1998

    Rowe & Maw has hired solicitor-advocate and construction litigation specialist David Gwillim from construction firm Winward Fearon & Co. Gwillim, who had been with Winward Fearon for ten years, said he was attracted by the "greater breadth" of Rowe & Maw's work.

  • Setting the record straight on arrest

    14-Jul-1998

    I would like the opportunity to set my arrest for "possession with intent to supply drugs", as reported in The Lawyer, 7 July, in context.I had, as an act of kindness, taken to Wandsworth prison a bag of clothing from my client's mother. I told the prison staff what it was and invited them to search it. A prison officer then showed me a small, unwrapped lump of what may well be cannabis. I understand that the value of the substance ...

  • Shoosmiths pays £60,000 after admitting negligence

    14-Jul-1998

    SHOOSMITHS & Harrison has agreed to pay a former client £60,000 in a last minute settlement of her negligence claim against the firm.Shoosmiths admitted last August that it had mishandled Yvonne Lewis's claim over the death of her husband in April 1993 following a collision with a drunk driver. But the settlement was only agreed on 22 June, just as the High Court hearing into ...

  • SIF debate throws no light

    14-Jul-1998

    Brian Marson is not impressed by the Law Society's attempt at a debate on the indemnity shortfall and neither is he happy with SIF's explanations. Brian Marson is managing partner of Marsons.It is still unclear exactly how large the shortfall is on our self-insured fund. If we accept the figure of £433m, which is the one most commonly quoted, it means that at the present time every solicitor in practice in England and Wales can look forward to a bill of about ...

  • Silverbeck Rymer defection

    14-Jul-1998

    Liverpool firm Silverbeck Rymer has lost its entire company and commercial department just two years after plans to expand the practice.Three partners, all of whom joined the firm within the last 24 months - Clive Mackintosh, John Shield and Howard Jones - quit the firm last month to set up a new firm, JST Mackintosh.They take with them two assistants and 13 other staff to the new firm which officially opens in September.Jim Rymer, senior partner ...

  • Solicitor's family wins damages after meningitis death

    14-Jul-1998

    The family of a leading solicitor whose career was cut off in its prime when he was struck down with meningitis and died has accepted £650,000 in damages in the High Court.The damages for the family of Tiverton-based Malcolm Mead, a leading employment law expert who was chairman of the managing board of the Tiverton and Taunton offices of Bevan Ashford, are to be paid by the Royal Devon and Exeter Healthcare Trust.Mr Justice Tucker was told that Mead, who ...

  • Strategies for a euro future

    14-Jul-1998

  • Success in 97/98 should not lead to complacency

    14-Jul-1998

    Law firms are too caught up in boomtime mentality to look into the future, or so the latest survey on the state of the profession would seem to indicate.While profitability is up, firms are facing pressures from increasing staff costs and declining staff retention. Even more worrying, the level of commercial and skills training offered to staff has gone down although professional and technical training remains high.The seventh annual "Financial ...

  • The Lawyer Inquiry: Richard Miller

    14-Jul-1998

    Richard Miller was born in London in 1966. He is a partner at Hatten Wyatt & Co and chair of the Legal Aid Practitioners Group.What was your first job?Cashier at Tote Bookmakers.What was your first ever salary as a lawyer?£400 per month as a legal assistant.What would you have done if you hadn't been a lawyer?Become a record company executive.What was your ...

  • Travers Smith's Dunn to lead GE Capital deal frenzy>

    14-Jul-1998

    GE Capital Europe has hired Travers Smith Braithwaite banking partner Kevin Dunn to spearhead a new European asset-backed finance practice.Dunn has been appointed European legal director at the financial services institution, which is part of GE, the world's largest corporation.GE Capital already has a major presence in the US market for asset-backed corporate lending, ...

  • Two-nil to Dentons in "take or pay' litigation

    14-Jul-1998

    Denton Hall has chalked up a second gas "take-or-pay" supply case victory over Herbert Smith in just two months.Last week Mr Justice Colman found in favour of National Power, advised by Denton Hall litigation partner Cathy Wilcox, in its action to recover over £20m plus interest which it claimed was due for gas delivered to Herbert Smith's client, United Gas.Mr Justice Colman ruled that United had accepted the delivery of the gas - and therefore lost ...

  • Why alliances rarely work

    14-Jul-1998

    Bradford W Hildebrandt analyses the reasons why alliances are doomed. Bradford W Hildebrandt is the chairman of multidisciplinary management consulting firm Hildebrandt Inc.What follows may cast doubt on the concept of integrated law firm alliances that became very popular in the late 1980s.I am not talking about large organisations such as Lex Mundi, the Capital Cities Law Group, or the Common Law Affiliates.These organisations have allowed member ...

  • Wilde Sapte appoints CC aviation man

    14-Jul-1998

    Wilde Sapte has appointed aviation specialist Brett Hailey, formerly at Clifford Chance, as a partner in the asset finance practice. The moves follows the recent departure from Wilde Sapte of asset finance partners David Smith and Mario Jocovides to Allen & Overy.

  • Yahoo! post for Cliff

    14-Jul-1998

    Lindsay Cliff, a former Simkins Partnership solicitor, has returned from an in-house job in Australia to be European legal director for Internet company Yahoo! For the past four years she has been an in-house lawyer at Bertelsmann's Australian subsidiary BMG Australia.