14 September 1998

The Lawyer

  • A Legal Aid Board that's too eager to please

    15-Sep-1998

    Elizabeth Davidson argues that the England and Wales LAB would do well to follow the example of its outspoken Scots counterpart.IT WAS so obvious it hardly needed saying. But the Scottish Legal Aid Board (Slab) certainly did raise a few eyebrows when it proclaimed a few weeks ago that withdrawing legal aid from personal injury cases “would not appear to be necessary”.In coming up with the pronouncement the SLAB was following a well-trodden path. The law societies ...

  • Adoption highlights parental rights

    15-Sep-1998

    Roger Pearson reports on how a father's battle for custody of his son swayed the long-standing opinion of a family lawyer.Few lawyers have made as swift a U-turn in respect of long-held opinion than that of family solicitor Pat Monro.The senior partner of specialist London-based firm Wilford Monro admits that for some 20 years she has believed that unmarried fathers should not automatically obtain parental responsibility.But the recent failed ...

  • Alsters takes over Cooksey Spencer

    15-Sep-1998

    Leamington Spa firm Alsters has taken over Coventry firm Cooksey Spencer as it bids to become a major player in the Midlands.Cooksey Spencer's two partners, Peter Law and Rachel Eaton, will become consultants at Alsters and the remaining 17 staff will also transfer to the firm.Following the takeover Alsters will have eight partners and 57 other staff.It was the first firm in the country to be awarded a mental health legal aid franchise and also ...

  • Are the provinces on a par?

    15-Sep-1998

    Andrew Newbury discusses why solicitors are often dissatisfied with regional barristers' performance. Andrew Newbury is a partner at Pannone & Partners' family law division in Manchester.It is a common scenario for many solicitors. Time and expense has been invested in preparing for a hearing. You arrive at court with your client, reassuring them of the quality of counsel you have instructed to deal with the hearing. You give them your best assurance that counsel ...

  • book of the week

    15-Sep-1998

    The Legal 500.Solicitors and barristers will be indulging in a frantic scramble to see if they have been included in the latest edition of The Legal 500. Exercising commendable restraint, its authors appear to have kept its size down to manageable levels this year.

  • BP-Amoco merger fuels UK firms' ascent

    15-Sep-1998

    Linklaters and Freshfields have almost certainly scooped the top two spots in the M&A league tables for 1998 by advising on opposite sides of the £67.5bn BP-Amoco merger - the world's biggest ever industrial merger.BP is a long-standing client of Linklaters, but for Freshfields, US client Amoco is a new instruction.However, the structure of the deal - with BP making ...

  • Briefs

    15-Sep-1998

    The Lawyer kicks off its annual review of the family Bar by revealing the dream teams chosen by solicitorsPaul Coleridge QC with Tim AmosPaul Coleridge QC - Queen Elizabeth Building (Ian Karsten QC)Called to the Bar: 1968Appointed QC: 1993 (made Recorder in 1995)Professional achievements/associations: Member of the Family Law Bar Association (secretary 1992-94)Practice areas: Predominantly matrimonial finance involving ...

  • Bromley court faces strike threat

    15-Sep-1998

    Staff at Bromley County Court are being balloted this week on whether to hold what would be the first ever strike at a county court.The 27 members of the Public and Commercial Services Union (PCS) are being balloted over whether to stage a five-day strike because of staff shortages and low morale.Jean-Paul Aubin-Parvu, staff representative for the union, said it had "nothing to do with money"."We can simply no longer provide the right service with ...

  • Byrom Street builds new premises

    15-Sep-1998

    Byrom Street Chambers, the Manchester set made up entirely of QCs, has signed a deal to move into brand new purpose-built premises by the middle of next year.The chambers, which was founded in the mid-1950s and is made up of 12 QCs, will be moving across the road from its current site in Byrom Street to a new four storey building being built on the site of Manchester's old county court buildings.The set's new premises will be next ...

  • Calculating the cost of personal injury

    15-Sep-1998

    Rakesh Kapila explains how personal injury claims will be affected by a recent decision made by the House of Lords. Rakesh Kapila is a partner at chartered accountants, Sim Kapila.Future losses calculated from the result of personal injury cases look set to increase significantly as a result of last month's House of Lords decision in Wells v Wells, Page v Sheerness Steel and Thomas v Brighton Health Authority.Future loss calculations will increase through ...

  • Cape Town takeover

    15-Sep-1998

    South African firm Hofmeyr Herbstein Gihwala & Cluver has added 20-lawyer Cape Town-based Walkers to its growing national network. Hofmeyr will pick up Walkers' clients like Old Mutual, one of the country's largest insurance companies, which is in the process of demutualising.

  • Capital rules pose threat to lawyers

    15-Sep-1998

    Many law firms will be driven out of the investment business by draconian new capital reserve requirements, solicitors are warning.Investment companies governed by existing financial regulators such as Imro have to keep at least a quarter of their annual turnover liquid to protect clients should they go bust.The Financial Services Authority (FSA), which is taking over regulation of all financial services firms, is considering imposing the requirements across ...

  • CBA proposes elite core of fraud counsel

    15-Sep-1998

    Only barristers with special certificates guaranteeing their experience should be allowed to appear in serious fraud trials, the Criminal Bar Association (CBA) has proposed.The CBA makes its controversial suggestion in response to last February's Home Office consultation paper on the abolition of juries in serious fraud trials.The CBA paper, drawn up by a working party headed by the group's chairman, David Calvert-Smith QC, strongly defends the jury ...

  • Chadbournes foreign ventures hit by closures and defections

    15-Sep-1998

    US firm Chadbourne & Parke has closed its Singapore office and reorganised its Hong Kong practice in the wake of the Asian financial crisis.At the same time, it has sent New York capital markets partner William Greason and project finance counsel Lynne Gedanken to London to relaunch the office there which has been hit by a flood of defections of UK lawyers.It is thought ...

  • Courts count the cost of care

    15-Sep-1998

    The Children Act 1989 puts the emphasis on keeping families together, but often at great cost, says Gabrielle Jan Posner. Gabrielle Jan Posner is a barrister at 2 Gray's Inn Square Chambers.Next month, the Children Act 1989 will have been in force for seven years. I have no doubt that the passing of the Act marked a sea change in the approach taken by those who work in the public law arena (as it did for those involved in private law cases).I have practised ...

  • Dispute over right of way

    15-Sep-1998

    Lady Violet Aitken, Timothy Aitken and the trustees of the Beaverbrook Foundation have launched a right of way action in the High Court against Rosebay Investment (Private), of London WC2. The foundation plans to use Cherkley Court, Leatherhead, for educational and public purposes, but claims the right of way to the premises has been blocked by fallen trees and other obstructions. In addition to claiming right of way to the premises, they are seeking an ...

  • EU law plays happy families

    15-Sep-1998

    Heather Swindells QC and Martine Kushner discuss the incorporation of the European Convention on Human Rights into UK domestic law, and outline its effects on family law. Heather Swindells QC and Martine Kushner are barristers at 36 Bedford Row.On 26 October 1997 the Government published its White Paper and Bill on the incorporation of the European Convention on Human Rights into domestic law.The principal feature of the Bill is that convention rights will be ...

  • Firm bucks Asia trend

    15-Sep-1998

    Cleveland-based US firm Squire Sanders & Dempsey has bucked recent trends and opened offices in Hong Kong and Taipei. The 400-lawyer firm has recruited former Baker & McKenzie partner Nicholas Chen to head up Taipei. Partner James Tsang, from Seattle-based Perkins Coie, and former general counsel of General ...

  • Freshfields first to raid US firm in its own backyard

    15-Sep-1998

    In the first major poaching raid on a US firm on its home soil, Freshfields has recruited four US-qualified partners from Milbank Tweed Hadley & McCloy to boost its New York and Washington DC offices."This is the birth of Freshfields America," said managing partner Ian Terry speaking from Washington DC.Terry has spent the past 10 months searching for US high-flyers in projects and capital markets. The firm has until now not had US-qualified lawyers in New York ...

  • Gdansk shipyard deal

    15-Sep-1998

    Andrzej Wiercinski, partner at Warsaw firm Wardynski and Partners, handled the sale of Poland's famous Gdansk shipyard, birthplace of Solidarity, to the Gdynia shipyard for 115m zlotys ($32m).

  • In brief: Edges doubles tax team with three new faces

    15-Sep-1998

    Edge & Ellison has doubled the size of its tax team in London and Birmingham. Nicholas Ashton joins the Birmingham office as a partner from Coutts & Co private bank in the Bahamas, Simon Court is joining as an associate in London and Julia Cox as an assistant in Birmingham - both join from Macfarlanes.

  • In brief: Ex-MI5 man is given leave to seek review

    15-Sep-1998

    David Shayler, the ex-MI5 officer jailed in Paris awaiting extradition to the UK, has been granted leave to seek judicial review in the High Court of the decision of Bow Street Magistrates Court to refuse him legal aid. His lawyer, Liberty director John Wadham, said the magistrates "should do the decent thing".

  • In brief: Grabiner latest to leave Dibbs after 10 years

    15-Sep-1998

    Dibb Lupton Alsop has lost highly-rated property partner Martin Grabiner to rival Nabarro Nathanson. Grabiner is joining Nabarros' Sheffield office on 1 October. His departure is the latest in a series of partner defections from Dibbs this year. He described his departure as "amicable".

  • In brief: High satisfaction for Scots Dial-a-Law service

    15-Sep-1998

    The Law Society of Scotland's Dial-a-Law service has registered more than 5,500 calls since it launched six months ago. A survey of customers by the Society found 92 per cent were satisfied with the service.

  • In brief: Manches launches e-mail bulletin service

    15-Sep-1998

    Manches Media, the specialist media department of Manches & Co, has launched a dedicated e-mail bulletin, providing its clients with views on and legal analysis of news affecting e-commerce, the Internet and sponsorship.

  • In brief: New managing partner for Blake Lapthorn

    15-Sep-1998

    Forty-three-partner South East firm Blake Lapthorn has appointed its head of commercial Caroline Williams as managing partner. Williams, who is chairman of the board of governors of Portsmouth University, takes some of the responsibilities from senior partner David Russell, who had combined managing and senior partner roles.

  • In brief: Senior clerk to chair marketing seminar

    15-Sep-1998

    The Lawyer is holding an evening seminar. "Marketing Your Chambers" takes place on 19 November at the Inner Temple, London. The seminar will be chaired by Paul Shrubsall, senior clerk at 1 Essex Court. Contact Steve Warshall on 0171 970 4713.

  • In brief: Woolf video in pipeline for part-time judges

    15-Sep-1998

    The College of Law's Legal Network Television has been contracted to produce 2000 training video tapes illustrating the new civil proceedings rules in Lord Woolf's Access to Justice report for about 1,500 part-time civil judges.

  • In brief: Young Solicitors Group demands court rights

    15-Sep-1998

    The Young Solicitors Group has called for automatic accreditation for higher court rights for all solicitors when they qualify. Chairman Richard Moorhead has written to the Law Society proposing it drop its "costly and complex" plan for elective courses.

  • It has been a bad week for...

    15-Sep-1998

    Kentucky lawyer Victoria Murden, whose attempt to row across the Atlantic solo ended when her 23ft boat capsized 1,000 miles off Land's End.The Law Society press office, whose press release giving details of a Web site on the Millennium Bug suffered from some gremlins of its own and gave the wrong Web site address.Criminal advocates, whose questioning of alleged rape victims prevents them from giving a full and ...

  • It has been a good week for...

    15-Sep-1998

    The Lord Chancellor, Lord Irvine, who has conveniently found pressing legal reasons to go on a fact finding mission to, wait for it, New Zealand, Australia and Hong Kong.Wrinkly magistrates. Lord Irvine has welcomed the fact that 10 per cent of the magistrates appointed last year were over 55.The barrister members of the Chambers' Directory's £1m-a-year club. They are: Graham Aaronson, Michael ...

  • Julia Chain joins One 2 One

    15-Sep-1998

    Garretts' former managing partner Julia Chain will join telephone company One 2 One as general counsel this week, as Garretts plans to elect a new national spokesperson.In June, Chain announced she would be leaving to seek a new role outside private practice, but at the time she did not have a concrete job offer.The managing partners of Garretts' major offices met last week to discuss implementing a new management structure at the firm following Chain's ...

  • Junior "fave raves'

    15-Sep-1998

    A raft of juniors from a broad range of sets were recommended in this areaIn London, the focus is on the "top dog" chambers specialising in family - Queen Elizabeth Building, 1 Mitre Court and 29 Bedford Row - although the spread of sets containing recommended juniors is far broader than for the silks. There was, of course, the odd muttering about expense. However, as the clerks will tell you, "you need to spend the money to get the quality".Common consent has ...

  • Law firm management: how to solve a professional dilemma

    15-Sep-1998

    Bill Tudor John says lawyers are still best-equipped to run their own firms and candidates should not see the role as a poisoned chalice. Bill Tudor John is senior partner at Allen & Overy.I read recently that Linklaters, the London bit of Linklaters & Alliance, is having difficulty choosing a new managing ...

  • Law Soc surrenders over SIF

    15-Sep-1998

    The Law Society has caved in to overwhelming pressure from the City and signalled that law firms should be allowed to opt out of the Solicitors Indemnity Fund (SIF).The move, which SIF claims may threaten the fund's viability, represents a major victory for the November Group of commercial firms which has been campaigning for SIF's abolition since 1995. The decision has been forced on the society by the results of its consultation on SIF's future.

  • Law Society must make amends for SIF debacle

    15-Sep-1998

    FINALLY it seems that the Law Society has bowed to the inevitable by conceding that law firms should be allowed to purchase their indemnity insurance on the open market. Yes, on paper a compulsory mutual solicitors indemnity fund could be better for the profession as a whole. But what the society has only just realised is that a mutual fund will only work if firms want to join it.Sadly, the Law Society had one chance to make the Solicitors Indemnity Fund (SIF) ...

  • Lawrence Graham banks on investment head

    15-Sep-1998

    LAWRENCE Graham has boosted its investment management arm with the recruitment of City banker James Sageman as head of its £80m operation.Sageman, a former manager of Hambros Private Banking and the global private banking team at the Royal Bank of Canada (Europe), replaces tax partner Tim Thornton Jones, who will step down as head of the team.The firm's investment management practice controls over £80m of client funds, a figure Thornton Jones ...

  • lawyers at play

    15-Sep-1998

    Cardiff firm Edwards Geldard sponsored the finale of the National Youth Orchestra of Wales' summer concert tour at St David's Hall in Cardiff. "As a legal firm with a strong Welsh heritage, we are keen to be able to support projects originating within, and for, the benefit of the principality," said senior partner Rod Thurman (right). Also pictured are conductor Christopher Adey and saxophonist Lara James.

  • LCD blueprint heralds virtual future for law

    15-Sep-1998

    Virtual court hearings and legal information kiosks in shopping malls are among the advances envisaged by the Lord Chancellor's Department (LCD) in a consultation paper launched last week.The paper, which will form the basis of a 15-year strategy for IT and the courts, goes beyond Lord Woolf's Access to Justice proposals and embody many ideas from Professor Richard Susskind's seminal work, The Future of Law.Ideas include a network of legal specialists ...

  • Lord Justice Phillips to replace Lord Lloyd

    15-Sep-1998

    Lord Justice Phillips, the judge currently conducting the BSE inquiry, is to replace Lord Lloyd of Berwick in the House of Lords at the end of the year.Lord Lloyd's long-expected retirement from the Lords was announced by the Lord Chancellor's Department last week and his departure will follow hard on the heels of the exit from the Lords of Lord Goff of Chieveley and Lord Nolan.Their succession by Lord Justices Millett and Hobhouse prompted claims that ...

  • Masons poaches PFI partner

    15-Sep-1998

    Masons' aggressive hiring spree continued this week with the defection of Addleshaw Booth & Co's head of construction Huw Baker to the firm's Manchester office. Baker is the fifth new construction or PFI partner at Masons in the last five months.In April, the firm hired two PFI partners from Bevan Ashford - Iain Fairbairn and Cathryn Vickers - to set up an office in Bristol. The firm was then involved in a battle for the rest of Fairbairn and Vickers' ...

  • May the sole practitioner survive

    15-Sep-1998

    Monty Martin is convinced legal aid and conveyancing changes will decimate the high street, but he says there is a future for those lawyers willing to adapt.Lymbury’s out. My colleague and fellow sole practitioner John Lymbury is selling his well-known Nottingham PI practice as featured in The Lawyer recently. John and I have discussed the momentous decision several times.There are some pretty terrifying changes taking place which affect the way sole practitioners ...

  • Mishcons to tender for lucrative Diana fund work

    15-Sep-1998

    The long-awaited tender for the prestigious and lucrative legal work for the Diana, Princess of Wales Memorial Fund was announced last week - and Mishcon de Reya has already confirmed that it will be applying for the work.The fund, which has around £70m to spend, is inviting tenders for law firms to provide it with IP, commercial law and charity law advice.Mishcons ...

  • Northern souls lead the field

    15-Sep-1998

    Once again it is the North West leading the regions - this time in the family Bar. But few sets display the depth requiredThe regional family Bar comes with a raft of recommended individuals but the problem, as often seems to be the case, is that there are few sets with real strength and depth in this specialist area.Once again the exception is the North West, where head of chambers at 40 King Street in Manchester, Philip Raynor QC, is outstanding, being possibly ...

  • Only a matter of time until the "club of five' takes hold

    15-Sep-1998

    The table of profits published last month in The Lawyer underlined the massive and growing difference in size, income and profits between the top five UK firms and the rest.There has long been a Big Six group of accountancy firms that dominate the audit market. It has now become the Big Five. There is growing justification for using capital letters to describe the Big Five law firms that dominate the English legal advice market.Five accountancy firms, the authorities ...

  • Paris coup for Herbert Smith

    15-Sep-1998

    Herbert Smith has doubled the size of its Paris-based projects practice by recruiting the head of Price Waterhouse Juridique et Fiscal's energy and natural resources group and three assistants.Partner Stephane Brabant and assistants Betrand Montembault-Heveline, Jean-Pierre Bozec and Alexis Blois specialise in the energy, mining and utilities sectors.Bragant brings to Herbert Smith a first-hand knowledge of Francophone west Africa. Prior to moving to Paris ...

  • People are the problem with legal IT

    15-Sep-1998

    In the first of a series of articles, consultant John Irving says fee earners and IT professionals must work together. John Irving is an independent IT consultant. He can be contacted at john@jdirving. demon.co.ukNot too long ago, battles to move IT out of the back office and onto fee earners' desks were in full flow. Without doubt, the IT pioneers have won that war, although there are still some mopping-up campaigns going on here and there.

  • Post Office and BT disputes

    15-Sep-1998

    Post Office Counters and BT are heading for the High Court in separate property disputes. Post Office Counters is taking King's College London to court seeking a new tenancy of premises at Waterloo Bridge House, Waterloo Road. In the other claim, BT is suing Birmingham City Council over tenancy of the Telephone Cable Distribution room at Colmore Circus, Birmingham. Post Office Counters is represented by Kingsford Stacey. BT is represented by

  • Professor David Lowry

    15-Sep-1998

    David Lowry's lawyer Gudrun Parasie has asked us to point out that his case against the legality of the Portuguese criminal code will be heard in the European Court of Human Rights not the European Court of Justice as we reported last week.

  • Punder Group demise frees the way for A&O

    15-Sep-1998

    The pan-European Punder Group alliance has collapsed - clearing the way for its 22-lawyer French member firm, De Pardieu Brocas Maffei & Associes, to merge with Allen & Overy.The Punder Group lost its Belgian and Swiss member firms in July over disagreements about how far and fast they should integrate. Now the remaining German, Austrian and French firms are separating.In ...

  • PWC in bid to pull network's affiliated practices into line

    15-Sep-1998

    Gerard Nicolay, the head of Pricewaterhouse Coopers' international legal network, has formed a global executive body to try to integrate the dozens of local affiliated legal practices into one firm.The seven-member executive, chaired by Nicolay, comprises the heads of Coopers & Lybrand's and Price Waterhouse's French, Dutch and UK (Chris Arnheim and Chris Tite) firms.The two accountants' captive law firms will have to merge in each jurisdiction ...

  • Quote of the week

    15-Sep-1998

    "I don't see why I should answer questions from you... you've shown your lack of commitment to the courts by leaving."- David Marsh, group manager of the London Group of County Courts, to Jean-Paul Aubin-Parvu at a Bromley County Court users' meeting. Aubin-Parvu, the union representative at the court, is leaving after eight years of service to go to university and had come in on his day off to attend the meeting.

  • Race on for LAB franchises

    15-Sep-1998

    Firms without legal aid franchises which want to bid for a contract to continue handing out green form advice after the year 2000 have been given less than four months to apply.The deadline has been imposed by the Legal Aid Board (LAB) in the run up to the introduction of what will be the Government's first exclusive block contracting scheme, due to begin in January 2000. But the timetable has been condemned as far too tight by legal aid solicitors and the Law Society.

  • Reforming the law at a local level

    15-Sep-1998

    A new White Paper will provide a plethora of work for local government solicitors, say Stephen Cirell and John Bennett. Stephen Cirell is a partner and John Bennett is a consultant with Eversheds Public Sector.A new and eagerly-awaited White Paper, "Modern Local Government - In Touch With the People", is being pored over by local government solicitors as they return from their summer break.

  • Salans beats rivals to Paris IT boutique

    15-Sep-1998

    International firm Salans Hertzfeld & Heilbronn has beaten French and UK rivals in the race to sign up respected 13-lawyer Paris-based IT boutique, FG Associes.FG's three partners - Christiane Feral-Schuhl, Marc d'Haultfoeuille and Bruno Gregoire Sainte Marie - will head a new IT, Internet and multimedia practice at Salans and add to the firm's existing expertise in telecoms.FG Associes partner Christiane Feral-Schuhl said the 10-year-old firm ...

  • Sayer: "Hogwash claims unfair'

    15-Sep-1998

    Last week's "Quote of the Week" criticised a letter sent to most small firms urging them to charge realistic fees. "Patronising hogwash," was the response of the solicitor quoted. That stung. The critic had received a devastating SIF demand and was rightly outraged, but his reaction was unfair.For four years a handful of us have warned of the disaster building up as a result of low conveyancing fees and an avalanche of claims from lenders ...

  • Scots join alliance

    15-Sep-1998

    Ledingham Chalmers has become the Scots member of the 20-country Trans European Law Firms Alliance. Wedlake Bell is the English member.

  • Shaw electrifies power merger. James Davis of Freshfields led a team advising Southern Electric.

    15-Sep-1998

    To help electricity company Scottish Hydro-Electric merge with Southern Electric, Herbert Smith wheeled out its latest weapon, gamekeeper turned poacher Michael Shaw (pictured right).Shaw, who co-led Herbert Smith's team with partner David Paterson, had only just returned to Herbert Smith in June after a two-year stint as joint secretary to the Takeover Panel and was able to bring his insights into how the takeover rules are applied to give the £2.7bn merger a ...

  • SIF: the fall of the mutual fund

    15-Sep-1998

    As the Law Society looks to the open market, Shaun Pye traces the history of the much-maligned system.September 1987:The Solicitors Indemnity Fund (SIF) is born.

  • Slater Heelis in three-way split

    15-Sep-1998

    Manchester firm Slater Heelis - which can trace its roots back over 225 years - is to break up.Highly rated senior partner Egan Brooks and six other partners are joining Addleshaw Booth & Co. A further nine partners, including the firm's head of corporate Christopher Dunn and head of litigation Kevin Jaquiss, are going to Cobbetts.The firm's three-partner Sale office - which does mainly private client and conveyancing work - is to set up on its own ...

  • Stephensons links with S African firm

    15-Sep-1998

    Stephenson Harwood has signed an association with respected South African banking firm Routledge-Modise, boosting the work of its London-based sub-Saharan group.The 23-lawyer Johannesburg-based firm had been a member of Commercial Lawyer Affiliates, an international network of medium-sized firms, but decided that it needed a closer relationship with a single firm.Routledge-Modise ...

  • The client's counsel

    15-Sep-1998

    The family Bar encompasses two related areas of practice, namely matrimonial finance and child care.The service offered is generally well-received by solicitors in London and, with an abundance of personalities, there are plenty of silks to choose from.The list of barristers is not exhaustive, but is based on the subjective recommendations of leading family and matrimonial solicitors. Client care is the watchword in this sensitive area of practice but, as always, ...

  • The jury's unlikely champion

    15-Sep-1998

    Author and former Sunday Telegraph editor, Trevor Grove, used the time he spent doing jury service putting the system itself on trial, writes Philip Hoult.Trevor Grove recounts one incident in the kidnapping trial on which he based his book, The Juryman’s Tale, which should be a salutary lesson for all criminal lawyers.He laughs as he mimics the way barrister Michael Gale QC, who represented the main defendant, said “Do you follow me?” when ...

  • The Lawyer Inquiry: Paul Walton

    15-Sep-1998

    Paul Walton was born in Crewe in 1945. He is a senior partner at Hill Dickinson solicitors.What was your first job?Assistant doll maker.What was your first ever salary as a lawyer?£1,750.What would you have done if you hadn't been a lawyer?Priest or antiques dealer.

  • Tim Palmer discusses a landmark compensation decision. Tim Palmer is a solicitor at Penningtons' personal injury unit.

    15-Sep-1998

    a recent Surrey-based client has won a compensation claim for personal injury as a result of a landmark High Court decision.Peter Melhuish of Chiddingfold was injured when he tripped over a low wall at Chiddingfold Ex-Servicemen's Club in March 1995.The accident happened as the 67-year-old was leaving the club by an unlit exit. Melhuish is now confined to a wheelchair with very limited movement of his arms, and is in need of constant care.

  • Time to bury SIF

    15-Sep-1998

    SIF director Elizabeth Mullins has pointed out the main costs benefit of mutuality: there is no need for SIF to make a profit (The Lawyer, 25 August). By the same reasoning, I should take my business away from the qualified surgeon and allow my wife to extract my appendix.Can we give a decent burial to this company which is hundreds of millions of pounds in the red? If, after years of pouring other people's money down the drain, the directors do ...

  • Wine selling ban makes for sour grapes

    15-Sep-1998

    Roger Pearson reports on how two Shropshire wine makers are battling against measures to stop them selling their productThe question of whether wine making is an industrial or agricultural activity is at the centre of a High Court battle, with major implications for the growing number of wine producers in the UK.The case will bring wine makers into conflict with the Secretary of State for Environment, Transport and the Regions, John Prescott, ...