14 November 1994

The Lawyer

  • Bar aims to expand arbitration role

    15-Nov-1994

    Nick Hilborne reports;As the Woolf review considers ways of unblocking the civil litigation log jam, the advantages of arbitration are being more widely discussed.The Bar Council has launched Western Circuit Arbitration, a project aimed at propelling arbitration into the mainstream of civil litigation.The new scheme's administrator, Robert Hill, says: "Until now arbitration has been confined mainly to low value or extremely ...

  • Barristers put Telegos on trial

    15-Nov-1994

    Barristers are being offered the chance to try out a new telephone dictation system at a subsidised rate.The system was developed by Telegos, based in Barnard Castle, County Durham.It allows barristers to dictate information down the telephone.This information is then recorded at a central office and the completed opinion or conference note is either sent in written form to the barrister, returned on disk or transferred via e-mail.

  • Burstows pioneers QLG employment legal service

    15-Nov-1994

    SUSSEX law firm Burstows is introducing an employment law service, believed to be the first of its kind in the country.Instead of preparing employment contracts on an individual basis, a tailor-made standard contract is supplied complete with a manual and a telephone advice line.The scheme has been devised by nationwide legal grouping the Quality Law Group (QLG).The manual contains separate chapters on topics such as health and safety, and restrictive ...

  • CICs scheme ruling

    15-Nov-1994

    The Home Secretary has been given leave to appeal to the House of Lords in the wake of a Court of Appeal ruling in favour of a trade union challenge to a High Court rejection of its bid to block the Government's new Criminal Injury Compensation tariff scheme. Judgment had been reserved in the appeal in which unions representing fire fighters, doctors and nurses, security guards, prison officers and other workers who face the possibility of being on the receiving ...

  • Cleaning up after the great pensions scam

    15-Nov-1994

    Jonathan Seres examines the legal recourse for losers in the pensions debacle

  • Corporate

    15-Nov-1994

    A new company Genesis Restaurants, advised by Addleshaws Sons & Latham, has been launched to open a franchise chain of 25 Burger King restaurants in the midlands and north-west. Burger King was advised by its in-house legal department. u3.5m of equity funding came from Murray Johnstone Private Equity, advised by Halliwell Landau; a term loan facility of u6m came from the Royal Bank of Scotland and NM Rothschild & Sons, both advised by Dibb Lupton Broomhead.

  • Corporate

    15-Nov-1994

    Faxcast Broadcast Corporation was advised by Herbert Smith in its merger offer for u93.4m for Media Technology Corporation, advised by Slaughter and May.

  • Corporate

    15-Nov-1994

    Libra Chemicals Holdings was advised by Addleshaws Sons & Latham in the merger of Libra Chemicals, advised by Grundy Kershaw, and Revchem, its shareholders being advised by Slater Heelis. Investment funds were provided by 3i Group, advised by Dibb Lupton Broomhead , and Greater Manchester County Superannuation Fund, and working capital by Barclays Bank, advised by Davies Arnold Cooper.

  • Corporate

    15-Nov-1994

    Hanson Transport was advised by Eversheds Hepworth & Chadwick in connection with an agreement for transportation of non-petro-chemical products with ICI, advised by its in-house legal team.

  • Corporate

    15-Nov-1994

    Molyneux Estates, advised by Mischon de Reya, has acquired for u14.45m Epworth House Investments and two investment properties in central London from related parties, all advised by Julian Holy. Molyneux Estates was also advised by Julian Holy on its recent upgrade to the Stock Exchange's Official List.

  • COURT-APPOINTED EXPERTS

    15-Nov-1994

    With the judicial approval given to dispute resolvers at the end of last year, the English legal system is moving with uncharacteristic urgency away from the partisan, adversarial approach to litigation which has hitherto governed our processes.In the 19th century, as commerce progressed, three problems encouraged the judiciary to appoint their own experts to assist in deciding cases before the courts. First there was the rise in numbers of people willing to give false testimony ...

  • Cripps ties up network

    15-Nov-1994

    South east firm Cripps Harries Hall has finalised its u500,000 network.The firm has bought around 170 terminals and PCs for use across its four offices in West Kent and East Sussex.DEC supplied the hardware is from DEC while software has been tailored by Edinburgh-based accounts and practice management supplier HG Usher. Cripps was closely involved with the development ...

  • Crisis over recruitment

    15-Nov-1994

    The profession is facing a serious issue which the members of the Council of the Law Society continue to ignore.Thousands of students who have passed solicitors’ finals or the LPC have been unable to secure articles.The society’s own research shows that it is extremely difficult to find articles. White people have only a 47 per cent chance of securing articles, while black students had only a 7 per cent chance of finding articles.Many people have ...

  • Deacons carve-up 'hit by delays'

    15-Nov-1994

    LAWYERS involved in the take-over of collapsed firm Deacon Goldrein Green have hit out at "abysmal" delays in the transfer of files.Merseyside practice J Keith Park & Co was given the go- ahead last week to take over Deacon's head office and five branch offices.Client files from the remaining 12 offices will be carved up between seven other local firms.The Law Society's adjudication and appeals committee agreed to divide the work between ...

  • DERIVATIVE CASES

    15-Nov-1994

    IN the US the recent filing of cases by Gibson Greeting Cards and Procter & Gamble against Bankers Trust, for damages suffered from derivative products, implies that derivative instrument cases require expert testimony.However, my experience of derivative instrument litigation is that technical issues that arise in these cases are not impenetrable. As in other kinds of civil cases, it is fundamental considerations that need attention.The most important things ...

  • Equal opportunities in interviewing techniques

    15-Nov-1994

    Nick Hilborne reportsBARRISTERS responsible for selecting pupils are to receive special training in interview techniques to help fulfil the Bar Council's commitment to equal opportunities.The Bar is responding to calls for training in "objective selection techniques" after publication of its equality code for chambers two years ago.It has hired training consultancy CEPEC to provide training seminars on the legal definitions of discrimination, ...

  • Estonian lawyers visit Scotland

    15-Nov-1994

    FIVE senior Estonian lawyers, including the president of the country's bar association, Aare Tark, have arrived in Scotland for placements with law firms,The visit, organised by the Law Society of Scotland, is funded by the Foreign and Commonwealth Office's Know-How Fund.Scottish law firms McGrigor Donald, McClure Naismith Anderson & Gardiner, Dorman Jeffrey, ...

  • Eversheds suffers marketing departures

    15-Nov-1994

    NATIONAL firm Eversheds has lost five of its senior marketing people in the past 18 months amid claims that some partners have vetoed promotional plans and presented marketing ideas as their own.But the firm's national managing partner, Peter Cole, denies the allegations, saying changes in the marketing department have come as a result of the firm's national revamp."Eversheds ...

  • Experts' gravy train to hit the buffers

    15-Nov-1994

    The expert witness gravy train may be diverted into a siding, if the signals from three top judges are anything to go by. The spotlight has been turned by judges Bingham, Taylor and Woolf on the practice of the automatic loading up of litigation by anxious lawyers with experts and counter experts, whether cases need them or not.The concept of the court-appointed expert seems to be fast gaining ground. But a contributor on page 25, who points to the extent ...

  • FIRE INVESTIGATION

    15-Nov-1994

    The fire investigator's lot is not a happy one.

  • Firms vie for roads scheme work

    15-Nov-1994

    A HANDFUL of heavyweight law firms are gearing themselves up for the next phase of the battle for the Government's prized privately financed road schemes.Baker & McKenzie, McKen-na & Co, Linklaters & Paines, Freshfields and Scottish firm McGrigor Donald are all acting for consortia which have ...

  • Flotations

    15-Nov-1994

    Artesian Estates was advised by Gouldens on its u9m flotation onto the London Stock Exchange.

  • Flotations

    15-Nov-1994

    Select Appointments (Holdings) was advised by Charles Russell in a u44m placing and open offer on the Unlisted Securities market

  • Govt to appeal CICS ruling

    15-Nov-1994

    THE Government is to petition the House of Lords against the Court of Appeal's decision that the Home Secretary acted unlawfully by introducing a tariff-based compensation scheme for criminal injuries.But Ian Walker, partner at criminal injuries compensation firm Russell Jones & Walker, says: " Michael Howard should scrap his appeal to the House of Lords."If he is concerned about increased amounts of compensation paid out by the Criminal Injuries Compensation ...

  • Harris for President

    15-Nov-1994

    Newbury District Council's director of legal and administrative services, Mike Harris, has been elected as the new president of the Association of District Secretaries.In his election speech to the association's annual conference last month Harris said he hoped to continue the progress made by his predecessors who had raised the profile of district secretaries.During his year in office, Harris will also work on finalising plans for the ...

  • Heliport site floats interesting points

    15-Nov-1994

    Roger Pearson looks aheadJudgment is imminent in one of the most curious planning battles ever to reach the High Court.Deputy Judge Sir Haydn Tudor Evans is being asked to rule on the planning situation over proposals to site a floating heliport on the Thames.A decision is sought on whether, if such a heliport is a floating and mobile structure, it will need the normal planning consents that would be required for a heliport on dry land. ...

  • In the market for more action

    15-Nov-1994

    Roger Pearson

  • Kaye quits before firms merge

    15-Nov-1994

    MULTI-MEDIA specialist Laurence Kaye has jumped ship weeks before the merger of commercial firms Forsyte Kerman and Saunders Sobell Leigh & Dobin. He has joined The Simkins Partnership.Kaye, a founding partner of Saunders Sobell's commercial department in 1980, will play a key role in shaping the future of The Simkins Partnership's expanding multi-media section.He specialises in electronic publishing, multi-media and intellectual property law, and has ...

  • Kirkland sets up London base

    15-Nov-1994

    LEADING US firm Kirkland & Ellis has opened its first office outside America in London.The Bishopsgate office, which opened on 1 November, is staffed by resident partners Sam Haubold and Stuart Mills, who have transferred from Chicago.Haubold says no plans have been made to transfer additional US staff to London or to recruit within the UK, although lawyers will fly in ...

  • Kirklees solicitor fills Lewisham top job

    15-Nov-1994

    LEWISHAM Borough Council has appointed former Kirklees solicitor Judith Barnes as head of legal services.Barnes has been brought to London from her position as assistant head to fill the post which was empty for more than two years.Hired to lead the Direct Service Organisation (DSO) in future bidding against the private sector, Barnes controls a staff of 32 fee-earners and 13 support workers.In preparation for compulsory competitive tendering ...

  • Lawyer conference

    15-Nov-1994

    The Lawyer is holding an IT for lawyers conference next year. At the London Marriott hotel on 14 and 15 February, it will include speakers from Allen & Overy, Watson Farley & Williams, Jaques & Lewis and Dibb Lupton Broomhead. Those interested should contact Clair Auger on 0171 434 ...

  • Lawyers jailed for passport scam

    15-Nov-1994

    TWO lawyers have been jailed for running a sophisticated passport racket giving Hong Kong Chinese a new life in the West.Barrister Paul Samrai and solicitor James Walker charged u40,000 a time for forging documents that "proved" their customers were entitled to British citizenship.At Southwark Crown Court, Judge Gerald Butler QC jailed each of the men for three years.The judge said the two had "agreed to participate in a thoroughly reprehensible deception ...

  • Lawyers' boost overseas income

    15-Nov-1994

    LAW firms contributed u500 million to the u1.34 billion net earned overseas by UK consultancy firms in 1993, say Central Statistical Office(CSO) figures.The profession is the largest single earner among the consultants last year. Management and economic consultants earned u218 million and consulting engineers u117 million. Advertisers pulled in u156 million, while accountancy services contributed u39 million.The legal profession's earnings grew by 6 per ...

  • Lexmark launch

    15-Nov-1994

    Lexmark International has launched a new family of external network adaptors. The MarkNet XLe series lets users connect printers and plotters directly to single and multi-protocol local area networks.

  • Litigation Disciplinary Tribunals 15/11/94

    15-Nov-1994

    JONATHAN FRANCIS McDEVITT, 38, admitted 1982, practised at material times in partnership with White McDevitt, London WC1, fined u2,000 and ordered to pay u2,475 costs. Allegations substantiated he was guilty of unreasonable delay in conduct of professional business, failed to reply to correspondence from client, failed to perform professional undertakings within reasonable time, giving false and misleading information to a client. Complaints ...

  • Litigation Recent Decisions 15/11/94

    15-Nov-1994

    Alsop Wilkinson: application by trustees dismissed Trustees and directions to defend a trust actionAlsop Wilkinson (a firm) v Anthony Neary, Elizabeth Mary Le Poidevin, Geoffrey William Fisher and Abacus Trustees (Jersey) (1994) (Ch.D 25/10/94) (Lightman J)Summary: Application by trustees for directions as to defending action should be by a separate application with the beneficiaries as parties.Application by defendant trustees ...

  • Litigation Writs 15/11/94

    15-Nov-1994

    Tooting-based St George's Healthcare NHS Trust is being sued by hospital consultant Michael Whitelaw, for more than u87,000 which he claims it owes him in unpaid salary. Whitelaw worked at St George's as a consultant in geriatric medicine and senior lecturer from November 1985. He claims that in June 1992 after a period of ill health he was persuaded by his employers to apply for early retirement, but in September 1992 sought to withdraw his application. But ...

  • LNTV drops direct broadcast

    15-Nov-1994

    LEGAL Network Television (LNTV) has dropped its direct home broadcasts in favour of supplying educational video tapes direct to law firms.The network previously broadcast legal programmes through BBC selectors twice a week at 3.15am.Viewers of the station, which was launched in February 1993, received the programmes through a decoder. But LNTV's sales and marketing manager, Andrew Griffin, says a "significant number" of viewers failed to watch the broadcasts ...

  • Lovells partner helps death row prisoners

    15-Nov-1994

    A Privy Council hearing opened last week into the case of a Jamaican death row prisoner, represented on a pro bono basis by City firm Lovell White Durrant.Lovells partner Graham Huntley is acting for Albert Huntley, who has been on death row in Jamaica for over 11 years charged with murder after the shooting of a schoolteacher.Huntley says: "This is a very important test case. The lives of about 100 men on death row may depend on it."He says the classification ...

  • New firm software

    15-Nov-1994

    Micro Computer Services has released software for law firms as part of its document processing range. Portsmouth firm Coffin Mew & Clover has customised much of the DPS matrimonial software to produce a different version, being sold by MCS. The software is also compatible with Allvoice voice recognition software.

  • Nortons team sails to Nabarros

    15-Nov-1994

    A TEAM of Norton Rose assistants is defecting to Nabarro Nathanson amid reports of "widespread disaffection" within Norton's marine litigation section.Two of the lawyers, Russell Gardner and Dominic Lang, are senior assistants. They are to be joined at Nabarros by Michele White and a fourth solicitor, ...

  • Notts practice makes French connection

    15-Nov-1994

    NOTTINGHAM-based firm Browne Jacobson has opened a joint London office with French practice Azema Sells.The office, based in Aldwych House, includes a partner from each firm - Browne Jacobson's Gareth Edwards and Azema Sells' Peter Sells - and additional fee earners and support staff.The two firms will work on joint projects from the Aldwych office, but Browne ...

  • Objectors may force action on roads report

    15-Nov-1994

    ROADS protesters are considering whether to mount a judicial review following the Government's failure to publish a controversial report on its roads building policy.In a letter to Stephen Grosz of Bindman & Partners, which represents national anti-roads group Alarm UK, Transport Secretary Brian Mawhinney denies he is under an obligation to publish the report."The minister claims that the report is not covered by the environmental information regulations ...

  • One degree too far

    15-Nov-1994

    A libel action now in the pipeline promises to attract major attention when it reaches court. Three Degrees singer, Sheila Ferguson, 42, is suing royal biographer, Lady Colin Campbell and publishers Smith Gryphon, over allegations in the book linking her with Prince Charles.

  • Penningtons partner produces pubs video

    15-Nov-1994

    LAWYER and producer Lionel Fynn, senior licensing partner at Penningtons Bournemouth office, is directing and starring in a video on licensing laws.Fynn's video explains the impact of the Deregulation and Contracting Out Act on pubs and bars.The act will introduce a system of children's certificates early next year to regulate the services pubs provide for families ...

  • PLP guide to community care 'labyrinth'

    15-Nov-1994

    THE PUBLIC Law Project (PLP) has put together a briefing document to lead lawyers through the "legal labyrinth" of community care.The guide may mean that more unlawful local authority decisions are challenged.Experts in public law say the "loose legal framework" of community care will inevitably spawn potential challenges.The Community Care Act 1990 is not a comprehensive piece of legislation and can only be understood by reference to numerous statutes ...

  • Property

    15-Nov-1994

    Andover-based Hostmead Developments, advised by DJ Freeman, has concluded a pre-let agreement for a new distribution warehouse facility with Londis (Holdings), advised by Beveridge Ross & Prevezer. The investment, with a u7.5m value on completion, has been forward sold to Barclays Bank Staff Pension Fund, advised by Lovell White Durrant.

  • Property

    15-Nov-1994

    Sun Alliance & London, advised by DJ Freeman has bought Great West Plaza in Brentford for u25m from Chelsfield Property Investments, advised by Carter Lemon.

  • Scottish lawyers rail against Law Soc practice name rules

    15-Nov-1994

    LEADING Scottish firms have hit out at English red tape which prevents them from practising under their own names south of the border.While English firms can set up branch offices under their own names in Scotland, they claim the Law Society of England and Wales refuses to allow them to do the same.Partner Kenneth Chrystie at McClure Naismith Anderson & Gardiner wants an ...

  • Sefton faces GMB action

    15-Nov-1994

    The General Municipal Boilermakers (GMB) Union has started a second action in the High Court for a declaration that Sefton Metropolitan Borough Council will be breaching the acquired rights directive if it fails to secure comparable pension rights for staff in the transfer of employment. The new action is brought against the council and Brophy plc following the transfer of grounds maintenance staff in July.The union's legal advisers are seeking an early hearing and ...

  • Silk calls for undercover law change

    15-Nov-1994

    LEADING criminal silk Geo-ffrey Robertson has called for a new law to clear up confusion on whether undercover police operations are acceptable to the courts.Robertson says that a statutory defence along Australian lines would be far preferable to the present "piece-meal" approach where evidence is accepted or rejected according to developing case-law.But without such guidance, it is down to the courts "to put the brake on the burgeoning business of State entrapment", ...

  • Solicitor charged over pornography

    15-Nov-1994

    THE managing partner of Bournemouth firm Lester Aldridge has resigned after being charged with offences relating to child pornography.Robert Lowe appeared at Bournemouth Magistrates' Court last week charged with possessing indecent photographs of children and importing obscene and indecent material.The importation offence was allegedly committed at Heathrow and other ...

  • Solicitors Trust kicks off marketing drive

    15-Nov-1994

    CO-OPERATIVE marketing is about to hit the legal world

  • Sting case settles out of court

    15-Nov-1994

    An out-of-court settlement has ended one potential forth-coming action. Pop star Sting's company, Steerpike has reached an agreement with Coutts bank over a u5 million claim. As a result, the case has been removed from the Commercial Court list.

  • Strong in health field

    15-Nov-1994

    I was most disappointed to open the edition of The Lawyer for 8 November and to find on page 14 an article on National Health Service legal services, which included a table of solicitors' firms active in the field. We were not mentioned.Since the merger of Le Brasseurs with J Tickle & Co on 1 June, we are now one of the largest and most influential firms in this discipline. We have 34 fee earners working on NHS case work.Both the predecessor firms ...

  • Students lobby for return of magazine

    15-Nov-1994

    THE LAW Society's weekly publication, The Gazette, could resume distribution among student members if representations put to the society this month succeed.Students have not received the magazine for the past three years after budget cuts at Chancery Lane.But a submission by the Trainee Solicitors' Group (TSG) will go before the society's strategy committee on 23 November, outlining the importance of the journal to students.Former TSG ...

  • Taylor switches to rival Dickinsons

    15-Nov-1994

    LEADING North East planning lawyer Paul Taylor has left Newcastle practice Eversheds Ingledew Wright to sign as an equity partner with rival firm Dickinson Dees.Taylor, recognised as one of the region's top planning lawyers, worked with Eversheds for 12 years before joining Dickinsons this month.

  • Telecomms expert quits Canada for Couderts

    15-Nov-1994

    TOP Canadian telecommunications lawyer Michael Ryan has joined the London office of international law firm Coudert Brothers.Ryan, who worked as vice-president of law and general counsel at Toronto's Unitel Communications, started work in the firm's global telecommunications practice last month.He will specialise in advising on telecommunications regulation, competition, privatisation and liberalisation issues, and communications-related corporate transactions.

  • The Lawyer Inquiry: Sarah Pickering

    15-Nov-1994

    Two widows whose husbands died in a September 1994 helicopter crash at Koblenz in Germany are heading for a High Court confrontation with the Ministry of Defence. Anja Bielert-Beck and Gillian Beresford, whose husbands Corporal Andrew Beck and Sergeant Leslie Beresford died when the Lynx helicopter crashed, are claiming the crash was the result of negligence and breach of duty on the part of the MoD.

  • Total Computer deal

    15-Nov-1994

    Epping-based legal supplier Total Computer Systems has signed a contract with computer manufacturer Psion to implement Lotus Notes at its UK offices.

  • Trevor Asserson advises caution when choosing experts

    15-Nov-1994

    Trevor AssersonChoosing and instructing an expert is practically and legally complex and can be critical to a case's outcome. It is still not treated as a discrete subject in the new legal practice course, but its importance is beginning to be recognised.Experts have an apparent dual loyalty. Their role is "to advance the case of the party calling them" and at the same time "to assist the court" (Polivitte v Commercial Union 1987). ...

  • US firm to face UK tribunal

    15-Nov-1994

    NEW York firm Curtis Mallet-Prevost Colt & Mosle is facing an industrial tribunal this week over allegations that it unfairly dismissed its London office manager.Former employee Joan Asghari, who was employed by the firm on a full-time basis from 1989, has made an application to the tribunal claiming unfair dismissal and sex discrimination.Asghari, who also worked as the firm's accounts supervisor, was made redundant from her u21,500 per year position in ...

  • US group set to snatch fingerprint system

    15-Nov-1994

    Simon Rogers reportsThe u45 million tender decision on new national police fingerprint system Nafis is set to stir up controversy.Indications from the Home Office are that the group which currently runs the system, led by IBM, has not won the tender. This will affect the consortium of 37 police forces which has contracted to run IBM software until 2001.Home Office officials are understood to have narrowed the shortlist of 10 down to one ...

  • Wandsworth makes second tender stab

    15-Nov-1994

    Nicole Maley reportsWANDSWORTH Borough Council has called for expressions of interest on its controversial litigation tender.The five-year contract, the subject of a critical report prepared by the council's in-house legal team earlier this year, includes routine and non-routine litigation work in departments throughout the authority.The council is expected to issue invitations to tender by 31 January 1995, with a closing date ...

  • Who's who in the review

    15-Nov-1994

    Lord Mackay, the Lord Chancellor, has appointed Lord Woolf to conduct a radical review of the rules and procedures which govern the civil courts.It aims to make access to law cheaper and the system and terminology simpler.Lord Woolf, Lord of Appeal in Ordinary, will be assisted by a commission of six:Master Robert Turner, Master of the Supreme Court, Queen's Bench Division.District Judge Dick Greenslade, editor of County Court Practice ...