14 July 1997

The Lawyer

  • A Proudler victory over deceit

    15-Jul-1997

    Geraldine Proudler

  • ABA set to debate euthanasia proposal

    15-Jul-1997

    The powerful American Bar Association (ABA) will be asked to support the legalisation of euthanasia at its annual conference in San Francisco later this month.The proposal has been put forward by the Beverley Hills Bar Association (BHBA), which wants the 370,000-strong ABA to support legislation allowing what it describes as "physician-assisted suicide" for terminally-ill patients.Director and past president of the BHBA Bert Tigerman said what the association ...

  • Chinese firms show huge improvement

    15-Jul-1997

    The quality of Chinese law firms has undergone a huge improvement over the past few years, according to leading international Chinese lawyer Fei Ning, a partner at Beijing firm Haiwen & Partners.Ning, who is currently in the UK on a six-month secondment with Dibb Lupton Alsop, said the improvement was a result of Chinese firms being freed from government control.Ning's firm was one of the first in China given a licence to practise as a private firm. He said ...

  • Commercial judge joins Law Lords

    15-Jul-1997

    Lord Justice Saville, former head of the Commercial Court and a former chair of the Department of Trade and Industry's advisory committee on arbitration, has been appointed a Lord of Appeal in Ordinary.He replaces another commercial lawyer, Lord Mustill, who retired in April.Saville is regarded by commercial practitioners as a gifted lawyer who is not afraid to speak his mind. In 1993 he caused a stir by attacking the "grave injustice" caused by a lack of ...

  • Council audits in-house cover

    15-Jul-1997

    Chris Fogarty reportsWestminster City Council has undertaken an audit of outside organisations that councillors and senior staff members belong to in a bid to ensure they are legally protected from liability claims.The council has issued a questionnaire to about 120 councillors and senior staff to uncover their involvement in companies, trusts and other outside organisations.Westminster's pioneering move follows last year's Burgoine ...

  • CPS goes online

    15-Jul-1997

    The Crown Prosecution Service launched a web site last Friday at its Ludgate Hill headquarters. The site explains what the CPS is, what it does and the procedures available to help victims of crime. Video clips taken from the CPS video, The Crown Prosecution Service - an introduction, can be downloaded from the site and there is a news service, which will be updated once a fortnight.

  • CWS fiasco partner quits Travers Smith

    15-Jul-1997

    Travers Smith Braithwaite has accepted the resignation of Nigel Campion-Smith, the partner who was involved in the Co-operative Wholesale Society takeover debacle.Campion-Smith represented the City entrepreneur, Andrew Regan, in his abortive attempt to take over the CWS. In the process, Regan acquired confidential documents that subsequntly appeared to have been wrongfully obtained from ...

  • Deal marks rise in buyouts trend

    15-Jul-1997

    City lawyers are hoping that last week's £1.3bn Generale de Sante/General Healthcare management buyout will mark the beginning of a stream of large deals packaged in London for Continental targets.The deal, finalised last week, saw French utility conglomerate Generale d'Eaux sell its French and British healthcare subsidiaries, Generale de Sante and General Healthcare, to management. The deal was driven by London venture capital house CinVen."There's ...

  • Developing opportunities

    15-Jul-1997

    Mary Macpherson looks at the possibilities of redevelopment and infilling at existing developed sites in green belt areas. Mary Macpherson is a barrister at 2 Mitre Court Buildings.As local authorities plan land-use in edge-of-city locations for the years after the millennium, an important priority is to preserve the green areas that ring the conurbations, while still making provision for housing land.And since the insertion into the Town and Country Planning ...

  • Dibbs targets Edge & Ellison

    15-Jul-1997

    DIBB Lupton Alsop managing partner Nigel Knowles is publicly courting Edge & Ellison amid intense speculation about the future of the Birmingham firm.Knowles, whose firm has just poached the head of Edge & Ellison's tax department, Gregory Morris, told The Lawyer last week that the practice "would make a grave mistake" if it merged with another firm before considering a Dibbs offer.However, it is understood that Edge & Ellison managing partner Digby Jones ...

  • Divide the contributions not the assets

    15-Jul-1997

    Lady Conran's "outstanding contribution to the home" was formally recognised by the courts in a judgment which will influence future ancillary relief cases, says Erica Shelton. Erica Shelton is a partner at Rooks Rider and solicitor to Lady Conran.The Conran divorce case has provided long overdue judicial recognition of the value of a woman's contribution to the home.The case was always going to hit the news because of the parties involved, ...

  • Don't quote me on that

    15-Jul-1997

    Write to: The Editor, The Lawyer, 50 Poland Street, London W1V 4AX, Fax 0171-734 0534 On the City page of The Lawyer, 17 June 1997, I am quoted as saying that I did not think the National Grid pensions case would help the National Bus Company pensions surplus case, in which we are acting for the trustee company in suing the Department of Transport for the recovery of £101m plus interest.A couple of days later I obtained ...

  • Dublin gets first foreign firm

    15-Jul-1997

    MASONS has become the first foreign law firm to open an office in Dublin, while another English practice - Hill Dickinson Davis Campbell - is planning a link up with an Irish firm.The Masons Dublin office is staffed by Irish-born and trained partner Dudley Solan and an assistant, Eamonn Conlon, both longstanding Masons fee earners.The pair work out of the rented offices of ...

  • Dundas & Wilson spin-off follows the Pilgrim trail

    15-Jul-1997

    A Complete change of IT systems, beginning with new practice management packages, is to take place at Dundas & Wilson, where the private client department has demerged from the firm and is due to set up in business next month.Dundas & Wilson's private client department, which will shortly open for business in the same Edinburgh premises under the new name ...

  • E&Y in one-stop shop threat

    15-Jul-1997

    Accountancy firm Ernst & Young is gearing up for the launch of a full-scale multidisciplinary legal practice in Canada pending a law society review of MDPs.Earlier this year three-partner Toronto law firm Donahue & Associates became linked to the firm in what is regarded as the first step towards Ernst &Young's stated aim of providing a "one-stop shop".Now the firm is expressing confidence that the review into MDPs being conducted by the Law Society of Upper ...

  • Eversheds switches focus to dispute management

    15-Jul-1997

    National firm Eversheds has launched a dispute management service in a bid to convert its lawyers from court-based litigators to flexible dispute managers.Under the plans, all lawyers working for the firm will receive training in how to apply the new approach to their work.The move follows SJ Berwin ...

  • Fair grounds for competition law

    15-Jul-1997

    Kristien Geeurickx expands on the Government's proposals for a prohibition-based system of UK competition law. Kristien Geeurickx is a lawyer in the community and competition law group at Herbert Smith.Reform of UK competition law has been on the cards for many years. After a number of false starts - reform had been expected to be included in the Queen's speech on a number of occasions - the Government is making it a priority and has declared that it will bring ...

  • Flag fliers in a difficult market

    15-Jul-1997

    Although some practitioners choose to turn to London for counsel, many leading firms regularly make use of regional expertiseThe situation of property litigation at the regional bar does not sound too healthy, with firm after firm saying they always use London barristers. Many reasons were given for this. Some practitioners felt that they would use counsel only in complex cases and when they wanted someone with clout.Others felt they "wanted to give the client ...

  • Govt gives PFI schemes green light

    15-Jul-1997

    The future of Private Finance Initiative (PFI) schemes in the health sector is now on firm ground as minister of health Alan Milburn has given the go-ahead to 12 projects, worth a total of £1.3bn, to upgrade facilities in the National Health Service.Fourteen schemes in total have now been approved, two of which are already in progress. They were whittled down from a total of 120 being considered at the time of the General Election, 43 of which were entered for review ...

  • Hill Taylor insolvency team decamps to NGJ

    15-Jul-1997

    City firm Nicholson Graham & Jones has poached four insolvency lawyers from Hill Taylor Dickinson.Paul Oughton, head of one of Hill Taylor's two insolvency groups, is moving with his entire team - associate Tony Griffiths and assistants Lucy Edwards and Sally Rich - to NGJ's insolvency group this month.The insolvency specialists were looking to leave Hill Taylor Dickinson, which is also City-based, and were put in touch with NGJ by recruitment consultancy ...

  • Human rights and how to uphold them here

    15-Jul-1997

    Lord Irvine seems unlikely to support a UK commission on human rights, but Alison Laferla finds the idea still has powerful supportersWhen the Lord Chancellor, Lord Irvine, publicly confirmed the Government's commitment to human rights recently, he was cagey on the issue of a human rights commission.A commission, he said, might be one way of promoting human rights, but "we have to weigh up the potential benefits and decide whether these justify the creation ...

  • IBA moves to draw up common MDP policy

    15-Jul-1997

    A WORKING group of International Bar Association (IBA) members has been assigned the daunting responsibility of drawing up a position on multidisciplinary partnerships (MDPs) which the IBA can agree on.The group, to be headed by US legal consultant Ward Bower, has been told to work quickly to draw up its "position paper" so it can be presented to the IBA's New Delhi conference in November.The initiative is the IBA's response to the setting up of a World ...

  • In brief: Bingham backs use of community service

    15-Jul-1997

    The Lord Chief Justice, Lord Bingham, has called for greater use of community service when sentencing offenders. Delivering the annual Police Foundation lecture last week, Bingham attacked political and media rhetoric in favour of severe prison sentences. "In the public mind, I think that custody is generally seen as the only truly retributive or punitive sentence," he said. "This is very unfortunate because of the inherent drawbacks of imprisonment, because the efficacy of imprisonment ...

  • In brief: Construction head switches firms

    15-Jul-1997

    Bell & Scott's head of construction switched firms this month to concentrate on private finance initiatives (PFIs). Ross Campbell left the Edinburgh firm to single-handedly run the construction department at neighbouring Tods Murray. Campbell said: "I wanted to specialise in PFI as it is an active and rapidly growing field of law. This is an expansionist, go-ahead firm, which allows me to do so."

  • In brief: Dibbs' Liverpool office set to expand

    15-Jul-1997

    Dibb Lupton Alsop's Liverpool office is branching out into corporate recovery and mainstream defendant insurance work, as part of an office expansion programme. Insurance specialist Robert Muttock, corporate recovery lawyer Richard Drinkwater and professional indemnity specialist Andrew MacLeod have moved to Liverpool from the firm's Manchester office. Dibbs has also recruited intellectual property specialist Julian Cole from Tarlo Lyons to join the north-west communications ...

  • In brief: LAB signs up 42 advice agencies

    15-Jul-1997

    Forty-two non-solicitor advice agencies have signed contracts with the Legal Aid Board for phase two of the advice and assistance block contract pilot in the not-for-profit sector. The organisations are all affiliated to the Advice Services Alliance and include citizens' Advice Bureaux and specialist agencies for housing and welfare benefits. The LAB expects another 200 agencies to enter the contracting process over the next year. The controversial advice and assistance pilot for ...

  • In brief: Linklaters celebrates road race victory

    15-Jul-1997

    Linklaters & Paines won this year's Great Legal challenge, a 3.5-mile road race hosted by Chase Manhattan Bank and sponsored by The Lawyer. Linklaters was one of 46 firms to take part in the race in Battersea Park last week. The team, Richard Buckingham, Paul Prendergast, James Nairne, Tony Sparkes and Roland Sinker, had an overall time of under two hours.

  • In brief: New partner for Wragge & Co

    15-Jul-1997

    Construction company Taylor Woodrow's legal director Peter Davies has joined Wragge & Co as a partner. As company secretary at Taylor Woodrow he was seconded to head the legal team of Trans Manche Link, the Anglo-French consortium that built the Channel Tunnel.

  • In brief: NI QCs drop oath of allegiance to Queen

    15-Jul-1997

    Queen's Counsel in Northern Ireland will no longer have to swear an oath of allegiance to the Queen, but instead will swear to "serve all whom I may lawfully be called upon to serve in the office of one of Her Majesty's Counsel". QCs in England and Wales normally swear allegiance but are not required to do so.

  • In brief: Scottish practice advises Lithuanian govt

    15-Jul-1997

    Scottish firm Bishop and Robertson Chalmers has been appointed by the European Commission and the Lithuanian government to help modernise the country's basic commercial law. Nine other EU firms will be involved in the project, which will last 18 months.

  • Increase in black lawyers leads to new directory

    15-Jul-1997

    A case expected to set a precedent on access to pension fund surpluses has taken an unusual turn with a promise by the judge to reconsider his decision.In the High Court in June Mr Justice Robert Walker ruled that National Power and National Grid could withhold payments due to their funds while they were in surplus.He said it was unimportant to the case that the money was only available to be withheld because it had been paid in instalments rather than in a lump ...

  • Increase in black lawyers leads to new directory

    15-Jul-1997

    Big increases in the numbers of practising black lawyers has led the Society of Black Lawyers (SBL) to update its directory of black practitioners.The directory lists black solicitors, barristers and other legal service providers. It gives people from ethnic minorities direct access to firms with experience in racial issues.More than 600 people in need of legal help contact the SBL each year to ask for the names of ethnic minority lawyers. In 1994 the directory ...

  • Internet investigated

    15-Jul-1997

    Olswang trainee solicitor and computer specialist Clive Gringras has written what is claimed to be the first in-depth legal text book on the application of UK law to the Internet. The Laws of the Internet is published by Butterworths and includes a glossary of Net jargon. It follows a rash of Internet related cases in UK courts and considers what rules can be developed by analogy from existing law to regulate ...

  • Leaders of the property pack

    15-Jul-1997

    Solicitors say they are using the top property silks in this field more for their advocacy skills than for their expert adviceAt the top end of property litigation, solicitors are spoilt for choice, with no shortage of well-regarded silks. The message from leading lawyers in the field is that firms usually have favourite chambers and individuals and tend to stick with them.One leading property litigation lawyer adds: "We are using barristers as advocates, not ...

  • Litigation Disciplinary Tribunals 15/07/97

    15-Jul-1997

    Anthony Stephen Baker, 42, admitted 1980, practising at material times as Anthony Baker, Birmingham, suspended indefinitely and ordered to pay £789 costs. Allegations substantiated that he failed to deliver accountant's reports. The tribunal was told that Baker failed to provide report for whole period of his sole practice between July 1992 and June 1993.Christopher John Phillips, solicitor's clerk, banned from ...

  • Litigation Personal Injury 15/7/97

    15-Jul-1997

    Siddle v Redfern - CA 2 July 1997Incident: Road traffic accidentAppeal issue: Damages - strike outAppeal contentions: Defend-ant's appeal from an order of Judge Taylor, Durham County Court, 20 September 1996, dismissing the appellant's application to strike out the plaintiff's claim for damages for personal injury in a road traffic accident. The appellant contends that the judge was wrong in deciding that he had discretion ...

  • Litigation Recent Decisions 15/7/97

    15-Jul-1997

    Decisions are taken from Lawtel's legal database. LTL: Lawtel report; TLR: Times Law Reports; ILR: Independent Law ReportDismissal for breach of contract appealedKevin Williams v Asda Stores (1997)Court: EAT (Lindsay J, A Maddocks and A E Manners) 28/4/9Appearances: Adrian Dent, instructed by Catteralls, Wakefield, for the appellant. Jonathan Parkin, instructed by

  • Litigation Writs 15/7/97

    15-Jul-1997

    Plans for Oxford United's new stadium may be dashed in the High Court. In a writ issued by Thames Water, it has applied inter alia for injunctions against Oxford City Council and Oxford United Football Club, restraining them from erecting a stadium and ancillary facilities. Thames Water is seeking a declaration that under an agreement and a deed of exchange, made on 31 March 1993, the city council is not entitled to use the land in the agreement except for highway ...

  • Lords debate court fees hike

    15-Jul-1997

    The Government is expected to come under pressure to reconsider the recent hike in civil court fees this week, during a House of Lords debate on the issue.As The Lawyer went to press, the Lord Chancellor, Lord Irvine, was due to reply to the Lords about the increases during the full debate to be held on Monday evening.The issue was raised by the former Law Lord, Lord Ackner, who is asking the Government what action it is taking to protect the constitutional right ...

  • Making the grade

    15-Jul-1997

    Juniors have to be outstanding to make their mark in this area. We take a look at some of those tipped for the top. Many of the leading firms say they do not use juniors a great deal, because they only instruct counsel in landlord and tenant work if the case is particularly complex.One firm feels that, although there are some very good juniors coming along, there are not enough senior juniors around in property litigation. Another practitioner says that because ...

  • Mears confident as campaigning ends

    15-Jul-1997

    A confident Martin Mears stepped back into a high-profile role last week at the end of what must surely be the most acrimonious and controversial Law Society elections ever.Mears took to the Chancery Lane stage alongside the outgoing president, Tony Girling, to launch a client care booklet for solicitors, produced by the Office for the Supervision of Solicitors and edited by Mears.Phillip Sycamore, his rival candidate for the presidency, was also at the launch.

  • Men are more equal

    15-Jul-1997

    It comes as no surprise that women solicitors are paid less than their male counterparts. The article in The Lawyer, 8 July, merely confirmed statistics from the Young Women Lawyers group published earlier this year and concerns raised at the Woman Lawyer Conference, as well as anecdotal evidence at the Bar that women barristers tend to be diverted into the less lucrative areas of practice and those funded by legal aid.The fact that current Law Society president ...

  • NI solicitors win legal aid pay rise

    15-Jul-1997

    Solicitors in Northern Ireland are celebrating an increase in taxation rates for legal aid cases, following a long and hard-fought battle to bring their rates of pay more into line with those in England.The High Court last month increased the hourly rate for legal aid taxation to £61.50 - a rise of 35 per cent. But solicitors in Northern Ireland are still the worst paid in the UK.The decision will be interpreted by Northern Ireland solicitors as a blow ...

  • Open and shut case

    15-Jul-1997

    The specific performance of a keep open covenant is no longer a remedy for a landlord whose tenant ceases trading, so Wayne Clark looks at other options. Wayne Clark is a barrister at Falcon Chambers.What can a landlord do if his tenant, who has covenanted to keep a premises open for business, decides to shut up shop?A landlord would obviously want to avoid the adverse financial consequences of a vacant site; but cannot, as a result of the recent House of Lords ...

  • Patients seek to halt searches

    15-Jul-1997

    The right of authorities at Broadmoor Hospital to introduce random searches of patients is scheduled to be tested at the High Court this week. A group of patients is seeking judicial review of the decision to introduce searches, reported to be for the purpose of flushing out hidden drugs, weapons and pornography. A temporary injunction has already been granted by Mr Justice Maurice Kay preventing implementation of the new searches, pending a full investigation. The week ...

  • Pensions case reconsidered

    15-Jul-1997

    Leslie Lintott (above) has been appointed managing partner at Penningtons, becoming one of only three women to head a City firm.Penningtons went through a difficult period in 1995 and 1996, when staff numbers fell from 359 to 279."We needed to position ourselves sensibly in the market," Lintott said. "Some people fitted into the Penningtons future and others did not."

  • Press wins contempt case

    15-Jul-1997

    We reported in The Lawyer, 1 July 1997, on a case pending in the High Court in which the Daily Mail and the Manchester Evening News were taken to court by the Attorney General accused of contempt for using photographs of a woman, prior to her trial, in the act of the theft she was accused of. Lord Justice Simon Brown and Mr Justice Owen cleared the papers of contempt.

  • Project bond

    15-Jul-1997

    Linklaters & Paines advised underwriters Barclays de Zoete Wedd and Merrill Lynch on a $195m bond due 2022 and a $150m bond due 2002. The bonds were issued on behalf of Sutton Bridge Power, to finance construction of a power station, the first use of a project bond in the UK power sector. Allen & Overy ...

  • Property

    15-Jul-1997

    Halliwell Landau acted on behalf of Eddie Stobart, a distribution and haulage company, on the £25m sale and lease back of a 450,000 sq ft freehold site to be developed as a high-bay warehouse complex.

  • Property

    15-Jul-1997

    Ashurst Morris Crisp has been appointed to advise the National Westminster Bank on the letting of the International Finance Centre, previously the Natwest Tower.

  • Property centres wait on vote

    15-Jul-1997

    Plans to launch a national network of solicitors' property centres are in the balance this week as the Law Society meets to decide how far to go in deregulating property selling.Nearly 50 firms have signed up to join Solicitors' Property Centres' proposed national network of property shops, but the scheme's backers will not cash their £750 cheques until the result of Thursday's council meeting is known.The council is expected to ...

  • PW to expand its Moscow practice

    15-Jul-1997

    The new Price Waterhouse legal office in Moscow is already in "very advanced" negotiations with three experienced partners currently working in Russia, according to Maryann Gashi-Butler, the partner setting up the practice.And Gashi-Butler, an experienced Russian lawyer who previously worked as director of legal services for Clifford Chance in Moscow and recently as managing partner ...

  • Review of asylum seekers' legal aid fuels cutback fear

    15-Jul-1997

    FEARS that cuts to the limited legal aid available to asylum seekers are on the cards have mounted after the Government's disclosure that it is conducting a review into the issue.Discussions between the Lord Chancellor's Department and the Home Office about arrangements for asylum seekers are now under way, although a spokeswoman from the LCD stressed that no decisions had been made.And the Legal Aid Board has confirmed it is currently reviewing how ...

  • Rights issues

    15-Jul-1997

    Norton Rose advised Benchmark Group

  • Rights issues

    15-Jul-1997

    Pinsent Curtis acted for underwriter Charterhouse Tilney Securities in a £15.4m rights issue for Cirqual

  • Scottish LAB backs calls for public defender scheme after spending rise

    15-Jul-1997

    SCOTLAND's Legal Aid Board has backed plans to introduce a public defender scheme in the wake of a sharp increase in annual expenditure.In its annual report, the SLAB said its spending had risen by 7.3 per cent to a record £143m, with criminal work (at a cost of £77.6m) responsible for most of the increase.The English Legal Aid Board's spending increased by 5.2 per cent this year, and the Scottish increase has prompted a heated debate on ...

  • SFLA seeks assurances on legal aid for children

    15-Jul-1997

    FAMILY lawyers are seeking assurances from the government that it is not planning to water down the legal aid entitlements of children in family cases.Rosemary Carter, vice-chair of the Solicitors Family Law Association (SFLA), met with Geoff Hoon, the parliamentary secretary at the Lord Chancellor's Department, last Friday, to discuss the issue.Her request for a meeting with the government had been prompted by comments made in the House of Lords before ...

  • SIF to look again at hike in contributions

    15-Jul-1997

    The Solicitors Indemnity Fund (SIF) is to re-examine whether a massive jump in solicitors' contributions is needed to meet a projected £450m claims shortfall.The Law Society and the SIF have agreed to look again at whether an expected fall in the value of conveyancing claims could enable the Law Society to spread out contribution levels over a number of years instead of imposing a large one-off increase.But proposals to increase contribution levels ...

  • Simon Moore highlights the inadequacies of electoral law.

    15-Jul-1997

    Simon Moore is a commercial litigation partner at Field Fisher Waterhouse.The recent case of Spencer v Huggett & anor (Times Law Reports, 12 June 1997) demonstrates electoral law is inadequate.Sir Derek Spencer, the bona fide Conservative Party candidate and sitting MP for Brighton Pavilion, tried to obtain an injunction preventing Richard Huggett ...

  • Solicitor advocate uses a barrister as his junior

    15-Jul-1997

    Alan Kurtz has become the first solicitor advocate to act as leading counsel in a criminal case with a barrister acting as his junior.Kurtz, who is a consultant to the Middlesex firm Turbervilles, stepped in as lead counsel in a fraud case being heard at Southwark Crown Court after leave for a silk to appear was refused.He then approached Peter Coombe, at 2 Harecourt Buildings, the chambers of Nigel Mylne QC. But Kurtz warned Coombe that he risked getting his ...

  • Tax plan gets thumbs down

    15-Jul-1997

    Details of deals should be sent to the City editor, Robert Lindsay. Please include all other law firms acting on deals and the value, where possible.Tax lawyers are expressing deep scepticism about Gordon Brown's announcement in the Budget that he has instructed the Inland Revenue to "consider a general anti-avoidance rule".The idea is that under such a rule transactions entered into for the primary purpose of avoiding tax would, by their very nature, be ...

  • Teleworking reigns at City firm

    15-Jul-1997

    Elizabeth Davidson reportsA LONDON commercial practice whose fee earners work from home has come first in a national British Telecom IT contest.Davis & Co is believed to be the only City firm to have designed its business around the use of IT and to have introduced teleworking for all its staff.It received the top award of £25,000 in the BT Work Smarter Awards for its use of teleworking, which allows staff to work when and where they ...

  • The heart of the matter

    15-Jul-1997

    Lawyers and doctors worldwide have been voicing their concern about the lack of legislation controlling cross-species transplants. Alison Laferla is a freelance journalist.Eminent lawyers and doctors from all over the world called for an end to cross-species transplants earlier this month at a conference in Vancouver on pig-to-human organ transplants.Xenotransplantation - the transfer of organs, tissues or cells from one species to another - could ensure there ...

  • The Lawyer Inquiry: Hilary Nicholls

    15-Jul-1997

    Hilary Nicholls was born in Plymouth on 13 April 1953. She now lives in Manchester and is partner-designate at Davies Wallis Foyster.What was your first job?Serving chips in a chip shop.What was your first ever salary as a lawyer?£2,000pa as a trainee.What would you have done if you hadn't become a lawyer?Recording engineer.Which law could you live ...

  • Tree damage falls to councils

    15-Jul-1997

    An Appeal Court decision has set a costly precedent for local authorities over damage caused by trees, says Roger Pearson The recent dry summers have played havoc with the foundations of properties throughout the UK and subsidence has become common.Home-owners have learned to their cost that trees, which they may have been told posed no risk of damaging their property, can nevertheless wreak havoc because their roots are struggling to draw water ...

  • Wall to wall rules

    15-Jul-1997

    Norman Joss looks at the provisions and regulations of the Party Walls Act 1996. Norman Joss is a barrister at One Essex Court.Since the 1930s, adjoining property owners in parts of London have basked in the sunshine of the London Building Acts. Save for minor exceptions, the rest of England and Wales has been consigned to the foggy conditions prevailing under the common law.All that has changed with the coming into force of the Party Walls etc Act 1996 on 1 ...

  • We, the people, need a commission

    15-Jul-1997

    The Government's pledge to incorporate the European Convention on Human Rights is a welcome and long-overdue development. But if the Government is really committed to creating a culture of human rights in the UK, it will have to go further than that.Incorporation will not of itself be enough to bring the convention to life for ordinary people. The public will need to be educated about their rights and will need somewhere to turn for advice on enforcing them.

  • Which hands feed us?

    15-Jul-1997

    One of your correspondents (The Lawyer, 24 June 1997) appears to believe that the consumer is always right and says that it is all very well "to suggest tackling the lenders, but is that not biting the hands that feed us?"I should have thought the point was that the lenders are the hands that are not feeding us.Insuring people against a liability for which, in practice, they do not pay, calls for men in white coats. Although ...

  • Woman tests mental health detention rights

    15-Jul-1997

    Roger Pearson reports on the case of a woman challenging the rights of doctors to treat those detained under the Mental Health ActThe Court of Appeal has paved the way for a major test case on the right of doctors to carry out treatment on patients detained under the Mental Health Act and on the right of local authorities to detain people under the Act for questionable reasons.The case centres on a caesarean section carried out on 29-year-old Miss S, while ...

  • Zeneca opens department in Hong Kong

    15-Jul-1997

    The UK pharmaceuticals giant Zeneca has dispatched one of its lawyers to Hong Kong to set up a legal department.Former Clifford Chance banking lawyer David Bligh-Smith was due to take up the post of regional legal adviser Asia Pacific this week.He said Hong Kong was a major growth area for Zeneca, especially for its agrochemicals division where he has been in-house counsel ...