14 June 1999

The Lawyer

  • ... while R&W's Paris office plots breakaway

    14-Jun-1999

    Rogers & Wells' highly profitable Paris office is offering itself as a unit to rival firms because of unhappiness over the planned merger with Clifford Chance."The real powerhouses at the office are not happy with the merger," a source close to the merger says.This is because the merger with Clifford Chance will see Rogers & Wells move away from its highly merit-based ...

  • ...keeping human rights in

    14-Jun-1999

    Charities must now prepare now for the incorporation of the Human Rights Convention into domestic law in October 2000. The convention is going to impact on all areas of charity law, from the criteria required to gain charitable status, to the way charities operate.Under Section 6 of the Homan Rights Act, it will be unlawful for a public authority such as the Charity Commission to act contrary to the convention.Like other public bodies, the commission is already ...

  • A suitable case for treatment

    14-Jun-1999

    I have been a great admirer of Robert Sayer since his stand against Steve Hamnett many years ago.It was therefore with dismay that I read your news item (The Lawyer, 7 June) and find it impossible to disagree with a word of your editorial.The trouble with Mr Keating is that, as with all the best people, he is unaware of his sterling qualities - and in spite of his bow tie, he is essentially a modest man. Time therefore for your outstanding ...

  • A&O defeats Scientologists

    14-Jun-1999

    Lawyers at Allen & Overy say they are delighted but puzzled at the decision by the Church of Scientology to admit that it had defamed a former member.The church agreed in the High Court to pay u55,000 in damages and costs, after a three-year legal battle.It admitted that a leaflet it distributed about ex-church member Bonnie Woods in 1993, which published her picture with ...

  • Advocate put on trial by peers

    14-Jun-1999

    A leading Scottish defence advocate is himself set to face trial - by his own peers.Donald Findlay QC's career could be in jeopardy if he is found guilty.Findlay allegedly made anti-Catholic sectarian comments following Rangers' victory over Celtic in the recent Scottish Cup Final.He then resigned as vice-chairman of Rangers, after being caught singing sectarian songs.The dean of the Faculty of Advocates, Nigel Emslie QC, has ...

  • Allen & Overy spearheads move into Slovak Republic

    14-Jun-1999

    Allen & Overy is set to become the first UK firm to open an office in the Slovak Republic.Igor Palka, a corporate finance partner at Cernejova & Hrbek in Bratislava, and who has worked with Allen & Overy for many years, will join the firm next month to head its new office in Bratislava.Graham Donnell, head partner at Allen & Overy's Prague office, will oversee the running ...

  • Bamieh plans second race case against CPS

    14-Jun-1999

    The CPS prosecutor who won a racial discrimination case against her bosses at an employment tribunal now plans to sue them again.Maria Bamieh, who turned down a massive u110,000 settlement offer and continued her case, claims a second promotion bid has been blocked since she began her original action.A Bedford employment tribunal last week upheld her racial discrimination claim.The Lawyer (12 April) reported that while Bamieh pursued her complaint ...

  • Cameron McKenna in race row

    14-Jun-1999

    Cameron McKenna is being taken to an industrial tribunal on grounds of race discrimination by a former lawyer in its CIS group.Natasha Lobova, a Russian-qualified lawyer based in London, left the firm last July.Her claim is at least the second claim to be brought against Cameron McKenna by a member of the CIS group in the last 18 months.Last year a secretary in the group, Veronica Pescud, claimed disability discrimination and sex discrimination against ...

  • Case of the week

    14-Jun-1999

    The sword of truth finally fell on Jonathan Aitken this week when the old-Etonian left for an 18-month holiday at the public's expense. Clutching his shield of English fair play the former minister was led down after being sentenced for perjury and perverting the course of justice after his libel case against The Guardian and Granada TV collapsed. A friend was reported as saying that his Eton school chums had always thought he'd end up in prison or the cabinet, but few ...

  • Charities require masters of all trades

    14-Jun-1999

    The charity sector has not escaped the growing need to become commercially aware. Reduced public sector funding has pushed charities into coming up with increasingly ingenious ways to raise cash. This, coupled with stricter regulations governing charitable bodies and the pressures of being in the media spotlight has meant that many long-established charities have been forced to overhaul the way in which they govern themselves to respond to the increasingly competitive marketplace.

  • City firms targeted by J18 protesters

    14-Jun-1999

    City lawyers are being warned by their firms of security fears in the wake of a mass demonstration planned in the Square Mile on Friday (18 June).Memos have been sent to lawyers calling for extra vigilance.In one anonymous memo leaked to The Lawyer, a City firm warns staff can expect: "Roadways and footpaths to be blocked, charging of City premises, including attempts to gain entry and climbing and damage to premises, i.e. gluing up locks."Firms expect ...

  • Claims

    14-Jun-1999

    A Marlow man who claims he was injured by the police in an incident on a garage forecourt is suing for damages. Ian Williams claims he suffered personal injuries on 26 April 1996 at the Esso garage forecourt on the A404 Haslemere crossroads in High Wycombe, Bucks. He claims his injuries were caused by police negligence and breach of statutory duty and has issued compensation proceedings against the chief constable of Thames Valley Police and the Thames Valley Police Authority. ...

  • College is profiting from student debt, says TSG

    14-Jun-1999

    The College of Law has shown a record surplus in the past financial year, drawing protest from the Trainee Solicitors Group that students are being laden with unnecessary debt.In figures just released to the Charity Commission, The College of Law, which is a registered charity, shows a gross income of u29.3m and a gross expenditure of u24.9m in the year ending August 1998. That equates to a profit of u4.4m, up u500,000 on the year ending August 1997.Trainee Solicitors ...

  • Dolmans prepares for Welsh Assembly with senior management shake-up

    14-Jun-1999

    CARDIFF firm Dolmans is ringing in changes at the top.The head of defendant litigation Jeffrey MacWilkinson is now set to take on the senior partner role.Roger Morgan is moving up to become head of the property department.MacWilkinson, who joined the firm in 1972, takes over the reins from Ralph Lewis.Lewis retired in April this year, after 30 years at the 11-partner firm. He spent 12 months as the senior partner.MacWilkinson ...

  • EC to set up agencies to handle exchange of legal documents

    14-Jun-1999

    A EUROPEAN Union-wide system for the exchange of legal documents from one state to another has been proposed by the European Commission to underpin the legal foundations of the European Union single market.If the move is agreed by the EU Council of Ministers, "transmitting and receiving agencies" will be set up in each member state.The agencies would handle documents related to judicial proceedings and non-judicial documents, such as notarial deeds or claim forms.

  • Europhobia out of all proportion

    14-Jun-1999

    In the week when British lawyers, along with the rest of the public, went to the polls to elect their European representatives using a new system of proportional representation designed in part to foster an interest in and commitment to the idea of a European Union, two successful British businesses were being attacked by their European counterparts seemingly for being too good.An Italian MP criticised

  • EU-wide family law gets cautious welcome

    14-Jun-1999

    THE EUROPEAN Commission's proposed legislation establishing standardised matrimonial law across the European Union could impose rigid and binding decisions in family law cases, says a senior UK family practitioner.Jane Keir of Kingsley Napley warns that the commission's proposals may put some UK procedures under pressure. "The way in which courts come to decisions about children ...

  • Eversheds elects its first female managing partner

    14-Jun-1999

    EVERSHEDS' head of property in Birmingham has been elected the firm's first female managing partner, taking over from Ian Jollie next year.Meg Heppel, who has been at the firm for 20 years - her entire working life - and a partner for 10 years, will take over for 12 months at the Birmingham office from May 2000.She joins an elite group of women who hold the most senior management position in a top 20 firm, along with Denton Hall's Virginia Glastonbury, ...

  • Eversheds wins in ambulance chase

    14-Jun-1999

    Newcastle firm Crutes has lost its long-standing client, the North East Ambulance Service, to Eversheds after more than 20 years.Eversheds' Newcastle office was the winner of the five-year contract, which is due to start on 1 July, after beating off competitive tenders from Ward Hadaway,

  • Ex-spy sues for rights of free expression

    14-Jun-1999

    The Law Lords are to hear an appeal brought by one of the UK's most infamous spies, George Blake.Blake is fighting to have a court order lifted that freezes the profits of his recent autobiography.After considering the matter in private, Lords Nicholls, Hutton and Hobhouse have now granted leave for appeal against the order, which was imposed by the Court of Appeal in December 1997.Blake, a member of the Secret Intelligence ...

  • Five top firms advise on voluntary-aided school

    14-Jun-1999

    It took five law firms to organise the first voluntary-aided school to be built under the Private Finance Initiative (PFI) because of the highly complex nature of the project.Lawyers from Pinsent Curtis, Theodore Goddard, Eversheds, Dibb Lupton Alsop and Cameron McKenna advised the five parties involved on how to untangle and tie together issues in negotiations to construct the school in ...

  • Freshfields hits back at Italian price war claim

    14-Jun-1999

    Freshfields has hit back at allegations made in the Italian parliament that it has been undercutting rivals in a bid to win market share.Insiders in the Italian market have accused Freshfields of pricing legal advice at an anti-competitive level. And sources have also fingered Allen & Overy for following a similar pricing strategy.A spokeswoman for Freshfields admits the ...

  • Gearing up for mobile phone deluge

    14-Jun-1999

    Chris Hodges, partner, Cameron McKennaMartin Bruffell, partner, Berrymans Lace MawerAntony Colman, partner, Pritchard EnglefieldConcerns are now rife over whether mobile phones can be the cause of serious health problems.Last month, medical studies in Sweden and the US revealed that mobile phones have the potential ...

  • Giving fuel to the Lord Chancellor

    14-Jun-1999

    I applaud your editorial comment (The Lawyer, 7 June). I cannot comment upon Mr Keating's qualifications to lead the Law Society, which I have long regarded as being incapable of meeting the needs of the profession. However, I had not realised what an embarrassment to the profession the society had become, when it produces a candidate such as Robert Sayer, who astonishingly believes he should be elected without contest.If Mr Keating has expressed ...

  • GUS snubs Paisner & Co in Knickerbox Kit battle

    14-Jun-1999

    One of Paisner & Co's biggest clients, Great Universal Stores (GUS), has instructed Dibb Lupton Alsop to represent it in its battle against Knickerbox.Paisner & Co has advised the Manchester-based company since 1932. A spokeswoman at Paisner & Co, who says that GUS is one of its main clients, says: "We do a lot of work for GUS including their litigation and intellectual property work."A GUS spokeswoman says the company opted for Dibbs to represent it in ...

  • Help for victims

    14-Jun-1999

    Can any practitioners experienced in criminal compensation law offer assistance in the preparation of a handbook for survivors of violent crime? I am specifically seeking advice about the the data required by the Criminal Injuries Compensations Authority, the role of the solicitor, how to prepare a Schedule of Loss and some other aspects of the compensation process.I am concerned that without some input from the legal profession, the finished result will lack ...

  • Hills Dickinson loses position on Iron Trades legal panel

    14-Jun-1999

    Major insurance specialist Hill Dickinson has lost its place on Iron Trades' provisional panel.Liverpool-based Hill Dickinson is among 10 law firms that have been dropped from the main panel, which has been cut from 22 firms to 12.The loss of business will be a major blow to Hill Dickinson, which is renowned for its insurance work. However, Iron Trades will still use ...

  • If it ain't broke, then don't fix it

    14-Jun-1999

    And now for a more reasoned critique of the latest presidential election than was evinced in the last issue (The Lawyer, 7 June).Last December, Sir Dennis Stevenson addressed the Law Society Council. Sir Dennis is a respected adviser to major companies and we had brought him in to examine the society. He confirmed many of the things I already knew - that the organisation of the society made it almost impossible for it to make sensible decisions quickly enough to ...

  • In brief: Burton Copeland

    14-Jun-1999

    Burton Copeland has asked The Lawyer to point out that it was not among several London firms holding talks with the Legal Aid Board over demands to reveal profit and loss details.

  • In brief: Edge Ellison

    14-Jun-1999

    Edge Ellison has been appointed to the East Midlands Regional Development Agency (RDA) legal panel following a competitive tender. The other five firms appointed to the panel are understood to be Eversheds, Shoosmiths & Harrison, Browne ...

  • In brief: Jawahar Malhotra

    14-Jun-1999

    Jawahar Malhotra, a legal executive, was jailed for two months for indecently assaulting three female junior colleagues at a London firm. Malhotra, 58, of Wimbledon, denied the charges that were based on incidents that occurred from April 1997 until September 1998. But one of the judges at London's Southwark Crown Court said that the married defendant was a "menace" and a "creep" and that prison would teach him a "lesson".

  • In brief: Keeble Hawson Moorhouse

    14-Jun-1999

    Keeble Hawson Moorhouse has poached clinical negligence assistant Caroline Moore from rival Yorkshire firm Wake Smith. Moore says: "I am looking forward to challenges from 1 August when legal aid will only be available to clients of firms with clinical negligence teams."

  • In brief: Legal Risks Management

    14-Jun-1999

    Legal Risks Management is merging with Castle Legal Risks, creating the largest provider of before-the-event legal expenses insurance to the building industry. Marketing manager Ian MacLeod says the business is "expanding by the day", taking on new staff and moving into new areas, including the burgeoning after-the-event market.

  • In brief: Paul Shrubsall

    14-Jun-1999

    Paul Shrubsall, senior clerk at premier commercial set One Essex Court, has been awarded an MBE in the New Year's Honours list. The award goes to Shrubsall for his "services to the barristers' clerks profession". Shrubsall, who has been at One Essex Court for almost 10 years, is a former chair of the Institute of Barristers Clerks.

  • In brief: Paul Shrubsall

    14-Jun-1999

    Paul Shrubsall, senior clerk at premier commercial set One Essex Court, has been awarded an MBE in the New Year's Honours list. The award goes to Shrubsall for his "services to the barristers' clerks profession". Shrubsall, who has been at One Essex Court for almost 10 years, is a former chair of the Institute of Barristers Clerks.

  • In brief: The American Bar Association's

    14-Jun-1999

    The American Bar Association's (ABA) commission on multidisciplinary partnerships (MDPs) has voted to recommend MDPs, as predicted in The Lawyer last week. If the proposal is accepted by the ABA at a vote in August, it could overhaul the US legal industry allowing accountancy firms and other professions to expand into legal services.

  • In brief: The Employed and Non-Practising Bar Association (ENPBA)

    14-Jun-1999

    The Employed and Non-Practising Bar Association (ENPBA) has issued a cautious welcome to news that it is to get "fair representation" on the Bar Council. "The devil is in the detail," says Dr Peter Gray, ENPBA's general secretary. ENPBA's resolution was accepted at the Bar Council's annual general meeting held on 5 June, when the introduction of a compulsory levy to fund training and education was also announced.

  • In brief: The Lord Chancellor's Department

    14-Jun-1999

    The Lord Chancellor's Department has appointed Adam Courtenay Chippindall, District Judge Joan Mary Ruth Dowell, Richard Alan Flowerdew, Richard Anthony Lissack, Robert Martin James Meeke, Daniel John Pearce-Higgins, Jeremy Hugh Stuart-Smith and District Judge John Turner as recorders on the Western Circuit.

  • It's been a bad week for...

    14-Jun-1999

    The Mob, who have seen their favourite lawyer, Oscar Goodman, go into politics. The man who defended such Mafia figures as Meyer Lansky and Tony "The Ant" Spilotro, won a landslide victory in the race for mayor of Las Vegas. Goodman, who played himself in Martin Scorsese's film Casino, has pledged to clean up Vegas... by fighting pollution in the city centre.Former circuit court judge Richard Gee, who claims his ...

  • It's been a good week for...

    14-Jun-1999

    The Princess Di law industry, which is set to launch a whole new raft of cases against companies looking to market a range of "novelty" gifts. Lawyers from the Diana, Princess of Wales Memorial Fund have written to dozens of companies to try to stop them manufacturing souvenirs including flick knives, cigarettes and a driving licence carrying the date of her death.Good citizens in Liverpool, who this week saw three teenagers face ...

  • Jacko's grief costs insurers a mint

    14-Jun-1999

    Superstar Michael Jackson's heartbreak at the death of Diana, Princess of Wales, looks set to cost Lloyd's underwriters $1m. And in the process, the finest minds in the UK insurance market have been focused on an important point of insurance law.Lords Justices Clarke, Nourse and Aldous have ruled in the case of Quinta Communications SA v Malcolm Warrington and Odyssey Re (London) that the underwriters cannot ward off liability in respect of ...

  • Keeping the conflicts out

    14-Jun-1999

    Running a charity, like any other activity, is subject to changes in fashion, and its own species of political correctness. In recent years two competing fashions have come into conflict. It will be interesting to see how the trendiest charities resolve it.The enactment of the new charities legislation in the early 1990s heralded a stricter approach by the Charity Commission and greater consciousness on the part of charity trustees of the constraints which their trusteeship ...

  • Kingsley Napley goes corporate

    14-Jun-1999

    Kingsley Napley is claiming its arrival as a "big player" on the commercial law scene after completing its first large-scale corporate deal since it merged with Walsh Lawson in March.It acted for the two principal shareholders of Pearl & Dean when its capital was acquired by Scottish Media Group last week in a deal worth u22.2m."This shows that we are up and running as a ...

  • Lawyers say mediation is 'weak'

    14-Jun-1999

    Midlands-based and northern firms are reluctant to point their clients towards mediation, claims a joint report by the Centre for Dispute Resolution (CEDR) and Dibb Lupton Alsop.CEDR's survey of 1,500 top companies in the Midlands and the North suggests lawyers still see mediation as the "weak" option.The survey has found that 61 per cent of respondents had not received advice from their lawyers on the possibility of using mediation.However, ...

  • Legal Widow

    14-Jun-1999

    The Lawyer is considering his (office) position now the firm's fabled move to a new building looks perilously like it is ushering everyone into the 20th century, just in time to leave it.

  • Lester Aldridge to take on City

    14-Jun-1999

    BOURNEMOUTH firm Lester Aldridge has boosted its family law capacity with the appointment of the head of family from a Surrey firm.The recruitment of Jane Porter from Harte Brown is part of Lester Aldridge's ambitious plans to rival top London family firms by offering City-type expertise at regional prices.The practice has set a three-year target to rank with firms ...

  • Litigator's View

    14-Jun-1999

    An appeal heading for the Lords involves a battle over the tax status of money paid in order to release land from restrictive covenants so that it can be sold. Leave has been given for Pounds Shipowners and Shipbreakers to challenge the Inland Revenue's stance over the sale of land at Portsmouth. The land was sold for u399,750 but Pounds first had to pay u90,000 to obtain its release from restrictive covenants. After the sale, Pounds claimed the u90,000 was ...

  • Litigator's View

    14-Jun-1999

    Avon and Somerset Police are heading for a showdown at the High Court with a man who is accusing them of wrongfully taking away the tools of his trade. Leslie Aaronson, also known as Lester Aaronson, according to claim documents issued at the High Court in London, is seeking damages from the police, who he alleges have wrongfully converted the tools of his trade. Alternatively, he is seeking damages for alleged breaches by the police of their duty of care as ...

  • Liverpool chambers in merger talks

    14-Jun-1999

    Liverpool sets 14 Castle Street and 25-27 Castle Street are understood to be in talks to create yet another regional super-set.Many regional sets are desperate to find merger partners, believing survival lies in a set that can offer a one-stop-shop service.Senior clerk at 25-27 Castle Street Joanne Stapley denies that her set is discussing a merger. "There have been rumours over the past few weeks associating us with several sets but to the best of my knowledge, ...

  • Matthew Harris on parallel importation after the Davidoff case

    14-Jun-1999

    Matthew Harris is a senior solicitor in Herbert Smith's intellectual property and technology group.A recent decision by the English High Court is good news for parallel importers of goods from outside the European Economic Area (EEA) and has added to the significant controversy attached to grey-market dealing.In Zino Davidoff SA v A&G Imports, Mr Justice Laddie held that the doctrine of "implied consent" will in many cases mean that trade ...

  • Morgan Cole takes on Saga lawyer to boost energy unit

    14-Jun-1999

    Morgan Cole is taking on a leading in-house energy lawyer to boost its practice.Geoff Hewitt joined Morgan Cole last week in a whirlwind move, say sources in the energy department.Hewitt was formerly director and legal manager at Saga Petroleum UK. His expertise lies in "upstream" energy law - the production end of the market - and licensing oil, gas, construction and infrastructure.

  • Morgan Lewis set to pay UK lawyers at US rates

    14-Jun-1999

    US firm Morgan Lewis & Bockius will pay its UK-based lawyers - both partners and associates - at US rates."The firm is moving in the direction of trying to balance rates between the US and here," says managing partner of the London office Tom Benz.The Philadelphia-based firm is the latest to bring its pay structure into line with US salaries.In previous years, US firms have paid their British lawyers at premium London rates but the increasing trend ...

  • Nabarros lobbies for property law

    14-Jun-1999

    NABARRO Nathanson is lobbying the Government to change the law to boost investment in the ailing residential property market.Nabarros is due to meet with Treasury and Inland Revenue officials on Wednesday (16 June), to discuss its proposals, based on booming US real estate models.Nigel Heilpern, Nabarros property finance partner, told its annual property finance conference last week he is cautiously optimistic the proposals will get the green light.

  • No mud slung from this end

    14-Jun-1999

    Your headline last week "Law Society rivals sling mud..." (The Lawyer, 7 June) is grossly in error on one very important point.Bob Sayer sadly did sling mud, but I did not, and have no intention of doing so. That is a critical difference between us.At least those who do not know him are now aware of his behaviour, and will better understand why I, and many others, consider him unsuitable to be president.

  • Partners on the move...

    14-Jun-1999

    Peter Greswold, formerly of Blake Lapthorn in Portsmouth, has been appointed as a partner with Yorkshire-based Wrigleys solicitors. Greswold, who qualified in 1985, will work alongside founding partner Matthew Wrigley, advising on trusts, estates and heritage property.Cambridge firm Few & Kester has announced the appointment of Duncan Ward as a partner in the commercial property ...

  • Peter Schwartz

    14-Jun-1999

    Sean Farrell talks to Peter Schwartz, a man who is determined to take a sense of humour with him to Baker & McKenzie - as well as all his clients

  • Property

    14-Jun-1999

    Hammond Suddards acted for The Bradford Property Trust (BPT) on the acquisition of 432 residential properties from the Pemberstone group. BPT is the UK's largest quoted residential landlord. Philip Harling led the Hammond Suddards team providing property advice to BPT in relation to the u20.4m deal. Pemberstone was advised by its in-house legal team led by Andrew Bruckland and Mark Reynolds.

  • Property

    14-Jun-1999

    Forsters advised the Clerical Medical Investment Group on the purchase of Times Square Shopping Centre in Sutton. Forsters partner Sophie Hamilton led the team in the u18m deal. Colin Jesson and David Hawkins from Cameron McKenna advised the sellers.

  • Quote of the week

    14-Jun-1999

    "I have to ask myself, having looked at the videos, if this is best you can do."- Judge Richard Benson addressing three porn dealers before giving them 18-month conditional discharges. Judge Benson claimed that he had been more upset watching a Channel 5 male striptease contest.

  • Race for a new CPS

    14-Jun-1999

    Maria Bamieh has won her case. There is institutional racism in the CPS, as a recent contributor to The Lawyer argued (24 May). Such a finding is welcome, not just to Ms Bamieh and our contributor but to the whole profession, which needs its structures to be scrupulously fair. It is not good enough for the CPS to say it takes the decision "very seriously" and is considering its response. It should be taken out of its hands and put into those of an independent ...

  • Regional firm wins energy deal

    14-Jun-1999

    Birmingham firm Martineau Johnson says the latest high-profile energy deal it has just clinched proves it can challenge City practices for top energy-sector work.Andrew Whitehead, head of utilities at Martineaus, says there is a movement of work from the City firms to firms which offer a more specialised service."Specialist energy expertise is not the domain of city firms," he says. "We are taking instructions from an increasing number of new entrants as well ...

  • Rogers & Wells adopts lockstep as CC goes for US-style deed ...

    14-Jun-1999

    Clifford Chance is understood to have drafted a new partnership deed along US lines while Rogers & Wells has agreed to adopt Clifford Chance's lockstep pay structure as part of the pre-merger agreement.It is believed that the previous Clifford Chance terms for partners were a sticking point of the lengthy negotiations between the two firms and that the London-based international ...

  • Russell Jones to set up tax unit in North

    14-Jun-1999

    Russell Jones & Walker is set to launch a new tax and investigations department in its Manchester office as part of its bid to become a national firm.The firm has poached tax specialist David Hanman from Dibb Lupton Alsop to head the department, and it is looking to recruit six lawyers from other firms to work under him.Chief executive Mark Feeney says: "We have a good reputation for personal injury and litigation across the country, and in London we are well ...

  • Scuffle of the week

    14-Jun-1999

    Families of the victims of the Bloody Sunday shootings are fighting what they claim is an "insidious and sustained" media campaign to give the soldiers who fired on protesters in Londonderry in 1972 anonymity during the Saville Inquiry, which begins in September. Michael Mansfield QC, representing three families, says that campaigns run by the Daily Mail and The Daily Telegraph could amount to a contempt of court. George Roberston, the Defence Secretary, ...

  • Shakespeares' former partner struck off by solicitors' tribunal

    14-Jun-1999

    A former Shakespeares partner who misused almost u350,000 of client funds has been struck off by the Solicitors Disciplinary Tribunal.In a case exclusively revealed by The Lawyer (1 February), John Vernon paid himself u189,000 out of clients funds during his years at the Birmingham firm, while u156,000 went to other clients.The shortfall might be even higher, Peter Cadman for the Law Society told the tribunal. The exact amount is still unknown and is likely to ...

  • Silverbecks sued for u1.5m

    14-Jun-1999

    Liverpool firm Silverbeck Rymer was in court last week facing a u1.5m claim for negligence from members of a self-build housing scheme.The 28 claimants - who are claiming an average of nearly u50,000 each - are claiming the niche civil law firm, which was legal adviser to the Hillfoot self-build scheme in the city, should have known that the scheme was not financially viable and owed them a duty of care.However, Silverbecks' managing partner Patricia Ewen ...

  • SJ Berwin hires financial expert

    14-Jun-1999

    City firm SJ Berwin has appointed a financial services high flyer to advise its clients on new regulations.Glenda Davies was formerly director of regulatory policy at the non-governmental regulatory organisation the Securities and Futures Authority (SFA), and has helped to draft many pieces of financial legislation.SJ Berwin believes she is the first internal adviser of her kind. ...

  • Square Mile

    14-Jun-1999

    The Working Time Regulations have again thrown into focus the demands the legal profession imposes on its members. While firms may claim they have a culture that is demanding but informal, recognising that quality of life is an issue for partners and staff - the reality is often different.All firms are in the market to serve their clients to the best of their ability and to attract new clients. Increasingly, clients impose fresh demands on lawyers, who are ...

  • The Lawyer Inquiry: The Lawyer Inquiry

    14-Jun-1999

    Stephen Goodman was born in Liverpool in 1961. He is head of the commercial property department at Halliwell Landau.What subject(s) did you fail at school?FrenchWhat was your first job?Marking the boards at a bookies.What was your first ever salary as a lawyer?u2,400 per annum.What would you have done if you hadn't been a lawyer?A jockey!What annoys you most ...

  • This week

    14-Jun-1999

    The Chancery Bar Association lecture on Tuesday 15 June is on "Common sense and causing loss". It is being given by a man ideally qualified to comment, Lord Hoffmann, who neglected to disclose his links with Amnesty International, an oversight which could have meant the case for Pinochet's extradition was lost.

  • UK firms go for US-style bonuses to keep lawyers

    14-Jun-1999

    Lawyers may claim not to be in it for the money but no-one would suggest that salaries do not matter at all. The astronomical salaries and meritocratic pay systems on offer at US firms have been a persistent lure for high-flying associates and young Turks from UK firms. And with no sign of such temptations disappearing, UK firms are having to look at ways of matching that earning potential if they want to retain their staff.Many are seeing the "eat what you kill" bonus culture ...

  • Vizards warns insurance bar

    14-Jun-1999

    The insurance bar has been issued with a stern warning that it faces a bleak future unless it dramatically improves the service it offers to solicitors and insurer clients.Martin Staples, senior partner of Vizards Staples & Bannister, told The Lawyer's chambers management seminar last week that there will be less and less work going out to the Bar, as panels and costs continue to be cut.The junior bar, says Staples, will be hardest hit because insurance ...

  • Will merger mania spell the end for Euro-networks?

    14-Jun-1999

    If rumours are to be believed, the current favoured habitat of the great and the good from middle-tier firms is the departure lounge.Skulking around, waiting for the next shuttle to Euroland while avoiding alerting any rivals to their presence, they pursue the silent chase to snap up a fashionable continental firm - the must-have accessory for any ambitious law firm this season.Dibb Lupton Alsop, Pinsent Curtis,

  • Wragge & Co opens Brussels office

    14-Jun-1999

    Wragge & Co is opening an office in Brussels as part of a major expansion of its EU/competition practice. The office opens today (Monday).Head of the firm's EU/ competition team Guy Lougher will divide his time between Birmingham and Brussels, while EU specialist solicitor Jason Phelps will relocate to Brussels.The expansion is client-driven, says managing partner Quentin Poole, ...

  • Yorkshire Water

    14-Jun-1999

    The past fortnight has been a busy time for Yorkshire Water's legal department.

  • YSG accused of 'humbug and lies'

    14-Jun-1999

    A new Law Society election row has erupted - this time over the deputy vice-presidency. One candidate is branding chairman of the Young Solicitors Group (YSG) Richard Moorhead a "political charlatan" for backing his former boss Michael Napier.Candidate Trevor Murray launched a stinging attack on Moorhead after the YSG publicly endorsed his opponent.Murray says Moorhead should have revealed in the YSG's endorsement statement that he used to work for Napier ...