17 April 1995

The Lawyer

  • A short time in.....

    18-Apr-1995

    The Law Society has probably had its worst week ever. Its council's presidential candidate John Young was hounded by the press from his candidacy over what he accepts as "minor but regrettable" sexual incidents.He insists his decision was because of the three- cornered election with the danger of a Mears/Sayers ticket getting in. Otherwise, he says he would have tried to ride the storm. Whether he would have been able to is debatable.Assuming ...

  • Advocates event keeps Scots at top

    18-Apr-1995

    BAR leaders of over 20 countries will visit Scotland next month for the Faculty of Advocates fifth biennial weekend.The weekend, to be held from 18 to 20 May, will include a lecture by Lord Ross, the Lord Justice Clerk, and visits to the courts and advocates library.Alongside lawyers from New Zealand, Canada and 18 European countries, the president of the Law Society of Scotland and Lord Provost of Edinburgh are expected to attend.Dean of faculty ...

  • Appeal on access to Lords

    18-Apr-1995

    * The House of Lords has agreed to hear an appeal which will examine rules relating to defence access to privileged documentation. In the case of R v Derby Magistrates Court ex parte Brookes, it will rule on what the Divisional Court has certified as the following point of law: "Whether a witness summons may properly be issued under section 97 of the Magistrates' Court Act 1980 to compel production by a prosecution witness in committal proceedings of proofs of evidence ...

  • Bar group backs Brooke on fast track civil reform

    18-Apr-1995

    John Malpas reportsThe LAW Commission has welcomed a Bar Council commitment to lobby the Government to speed up the progress of non-contentious criminal law reform through Parliament.The Bar Parliamentary Group is pressing the Government to allow Law Commission reports on criminal law a 'fast track' passage through Parliament, much to the delight of the commission's chair Mr Justice Brooke.Speaking at the group's AGM last ...

  • Barrister to challenge bankruptcy

    18-Apr-1995

    A BARRISTER of 22 years standing made bankrupt at the High Court says the order will be annulled.Nigel Askham, a tenant at South Western Chambers in Taunton, was declared bankrupt by Mr Registrar Pimm on 4 April. He says the order was a mistake and he has received confirmation it will be annulled.The official receivers, the Government's Insolvency Service, has taken over legal control of all Askham's assets. The petition against ...

  • Barristers who made the grade

    18-Apr-1995

    War on crime was the message. But the White Paper on crime and punishment of Secretary of State for Scotland Michael Forsyth had more than one battle in mind last month. Tucked in between the hard-line penal reforms was the blueprint for a radical overhaul of the criminal legal aid process in Scotland.Proposals for block criminal legal aid fees, compulsory franchising and pilot public defender schemes came as a shock to the Scottish legal profession. While franchising and ...

  • BNF takes on Greenpeace

    18-Apr-1995

    * British Nuclear Fuels and Greenpeace are heading for a high-profile High Court showdown. The environment group is accused of damaging one of BNF's irradiated fuel flasks at a motorway service station. BNF says that in the incident at Southwaite Service Station on the M6 in Cumbria its vehicle was interfered with and the irradiated fuel flask on it was damaged. It is to seek damages from Greenpeace and an injunction banning further interference with any of its vehicles or fuel ...

  • British Gas shake-up sparks legal bonanza

    18-Apr-1995

    A MAJOR review of external legal services is under way at British Gas which will result in millions of pounds worth of legal work up for tender this summer.Some of the City's top firms which already act for British Gas on a project-by-project basis are likely to be invited to participate, as well as multi office national firms offering a wide geographical spread.These are understood to include Herbert Smith,

  • City firm clarifies sick pay scheme

    18-Apr-1995

    NABARRO Nathanson has sent a memo to staff to clarify details of its new discretionary sick pay scheme to be introduced on 1 May.The memo follows, and makes reference to, a story in The Lawyer last week revealing staff concerns that salaries of some secretaries suffering from upper limb disorder would be terminated.Discretionary sick pay is salary paid on top of statutory sick pay (SSP). Currently all incapacitated staff with more than one year's service ...

  • City stunned over Simmons

    18-Apr-1995

    City firm Biddle & Co, advised by design consultancy The Partners, has shortened its name to Biddle, introduced a new blue and red look to all its stationery and promotional literature, as well refurbishing its reception and meeting rooms.

  • CLA promotes first 'peer review' plan

    18-Apr-1995

    MINNEAPOLIS-based Commercial Law Affiliates, the world's largest law firm network, claims to be the first lawyers' association to develop a "peer review programme" as an alternative to using costly management consultants.Under the procedure, an organisation or individual is reviewed, examined or graded by members of their profession. The purpose is to provide a management tool to enhance the quality and productivity of individual law firms.The programme ...

  • College of Law installs virtual office

    18-Apr-1995

    VIRTUAL legality has reached the York branch of the College of Law in the shape of two purpose-built computer laboratories.The 'virtual legal office' is a pilot scheme designed and implemented by Chris Smith, a senior lecturer at the college, which provides students with a vast range of information including access to Link, Lexis and the Busy Solicitors' Digest.The office also calculates complex formulae such as those used in the ...

  • Comms event

    18-Apr-1995

    * 'Exploiting the new electronics communications' is a one-day The Lawyer conference looking at how law firms communicate with clients, the uses of the Internet and case studies. Jeffrey Green Russell and Clifford Chance will discuss their experiences on the Internet. The conference will be held in London on 26 June.Details on 0171 434 3711.

  • Conditional fees set to go ahead despite judge's fears

    18-Apr-1995

    CONDITIONAL fees look set to be laid before Parliament soon after Easter despite a string of complaints about the draft rules by key advisers to the Lord Chancellor.Lord Mackay is taking another look at his controversial "no win no fee" proposals after the Lord Chancellor's Advisory Committee on Legal Education and Conduct (Aclec) expressed its "continuing concerns" in a recent letter to him.But a spokeswoman for his department says it is hoped conditional ...

  • Corporate

    18-Apr-1995

    CCI Holdings was advised by Battens of Yeovil as advisers to the issue of shares to be dealt on the rule 4.2 market.

  • Corporate

    18-Apr-1995

    Sita (GB), advised by Taylor Joynson Garrett, has completed a joint venture company with North London Waste Authority, advised by Rowe & Maw, to run the Edmonton incineration plant.

  • Deacon declared personally bankrupt

    18-Apr-1995

    MERSEYSIDE solicitor David Deacon, a founder of the collapsed Liverpool firm Deacon Goldrein Green (DGG), has been declared personally bankrupt.Petitioning creditors, Chester-based NWS Trust, last week successfully applied for the bankruptcy order at Liverpool County Court.Deacon, who left the 18 office firm two years before it became the biggest ever law firm receivership last October with estimated debts of u5 million, was not present at the hearing.

  • Energy expert switches to Nabarros

    18-Apr-1995

    NABARRO Nathanson has snapped up Waltons & Morse electricity law specialist and former managing partner Robert Tudway for its growing energy practice.Tudway, who was with Waltons & Morse for 21 years, joined the Nabarro's energy team last week as a partner, based in its company department and reporting directly to company head Peter Gorty.He is understood to have taken clients ...

  • Financings

    18-Apr-1995

    * Hungarian mineral water company KekkAt svOnyviz Rt and its shareholders were advised by Gouldens in connection with the placing and introduction of its shares on to the Hungarian over-the-counter-market. Smith New Court

  • Financings

    18-Apr-1995

    Shorco Group was advised by Lupton Fawcett in a 1-for-3 rights issue to raise u1.4m

  • Flamenco fandango

    18-Apr-1995

    * THIS year's Gray's Inn Ball has a Spanish theme and is called Flamenco.The ball, staged in the grounds of Gray's Inn, will be on 29 July and will feature a marquee, a live band, a disco, a casino and a fair. Tickets for two costing u115 will be available from the Gray's Inn Treasury Office from 31 April.

  • Former City lawyer to be struck off over excessive expenses claims

    18-Apr-1995

    FORMER Barlow Lyde & Gilbert salaried partner Justin Codrai has been ordered to be struck off following allegations that, among other things, he charged clients for first class air fares and in fact travelled business class.In written findings just published by the Solicitors Disciplinary Tribunal following a hearing in December last year the tribunal brands the activities of Codrai, a solicitor since 1984, as "deliberately and persistently dishonest". Codrai has lodged ...

  • Fulfilling a professional duty

    18-Apr-1995

    The SOlicitors Family Law Association (SFLA) has reported a marked increase in the number of couples filing for divorce on the grounds of adultery or unreasonable behaviour a trend it is blaming on uncertainty surrounding the introduction of the Family Law Act.The SFLA says government dithering over when to introduce part two of the Family Law Act 1996 which contains controversial "no fault" divorce provisions is behind the rise reported by its membership. Under ...

  • Garrett's IP founder pulls up stumps and moves on to establish own firm

    18-Apr-1995

    THE FOUNDER of Garrett & Co's Reading intellectual property department has handed in his notice to set up his own firm.Marcus O'Leary's resignation comes just over a year after his move to the Garrett & Co office from its Reading neighbours Pitmans.Both Garrett & Co and O'Leary stress his departure is entirely amicable, and say there are plans for him to continue as a consultant.He hopes to be able to leave the firm at the end ...

  • Hong Kong considers QC status for solicitors

    18-Apr-1995

    SOLICITORS who acquire full rights of audience in Hong Kong should be eligible for appointment as Queen's Counsel, a new consultation paper says.The green paper, released by the Hong Kong Attorney General earlier this month, suggests solicitors in the colony may be entitled to gain rights of audience in all courts under statutory provisions similar to those in England and Scotland.And it says those who do should be allowed to apply for appointment as Queen's ...

  • In brief: Berwins partner goes to Quintain board

    18-Apr-1995

    SJ Berwin & Co partner Nicholas Shattock has been appointed as an executive director with Quintain Estates & Development. The appointment takes effect from 1 June. Shattock, a leading commercial property investment and development lawyer, has been a partner with the firm for the past five years. Quintain's joint chief executive Christopher Wallis says Shattock's "wealth of experience and undoubted ...

  • In brief: Lawyers hit the airwaves for Law Week

    18-Apr-1995

    Preparations for the Law Society's National Law Week (starting 22 May) are building up, with increasing numbers of local societies adding their names to the list of participants. Events include a stand by Manchester Law Society with a rota of solicitors giving free advice, a special legal advice centre for the Afro-Caribbean community run by the Suffolk and North Essex society and a limerick competition on local radio by Devon and Exeter, with listeners providing the rest of "There ...

  • In brief: Midlands focus correction

    18-Apr-1995

    We wish to point out that the town and county planning group based at 5 Fountain Court, Birmingham, is headed by QCs Harry Wolton and Martin Kingston, and not QCs Jeremy Cahill and Roger Giles as stated in our Midland focus feature 'Set to take on London' published in The Lawyer 4 April.

  • In brief: Morgans dinner sings opera's praises

    18-Apr-1995

    Cardiff firm Morgan Bruce is sponsoring a dinner to raise funds for the 50th anniversary celebrations of the Welsh National Opera. The dinner, to be held at London's Inter-Continental Hotel on 19 April, will feature a performance from soloist Rebecca Evans and WNO musical director Carlo Rizzi. The dinner is the first in a series of events designed to raise funds for the WNO and increase awareness of the campaign to build the Cardiff Bay Opera House.

  • In brief: PI practice win ends eight-year battle

    18-Apr-1995

    Sheffield personal injury practice Irwin Mitchell has won a £925,000 damages pay-out for a man paralysed after a routine ear operation. Clive Hepworth was admitted to Huddersfield's Nuffield Hospital in 1979, but lost feeling in his legs after an operation to clear a recurring infection in his left ear. An initial case in 1992 established that a liability case could be heard outside the ...

  • In brief: Trump retires after 33 years in charge

    18-Apr-1995

    Bill Trump (centre), the senior partner of Bristol-based Trump & Partners, has retired 33 years after taking charge of the firm at the age of 22. His place is being taken by David Simpson (left), who has been with the firm for more than 25 years. At a special reception held for Trump, the retiring senior partner said he was left in charge of the family firm on the death of his father and before he had qualified as a solicitor. But the situation was saved when another local solicitor ...

  • In brief: YSG lecture discusses career options

    18-Apr-1995

    Legal outplacement agency PCM will present a lecture on career options at the Law Society on 25 April. The lecture, organised by the London Young Solicitors' Group, will include a speech from PCM's Charles Glass on alternative careers for lawyers dealing with unforeseen career changes and the use of psychometric testing for the assessment of lawyers' potential.

  • In-house team swaps quango for City

    18-Apr-1995

    THE AUDIT Commission's in-house legal team has left the government quango to join City firm Rowe & Maw.But the commission's former director of legal services Tony Child, who joins as a partner, will continue in his role advising auditors dealing with councils and health authorities up and down the country.He and his deputy, Judy Libovitch, have joined as part of the firm's litigation group headed by Andrew Carruthers.The move follows ...

  • IP set poised to expand with move

    18-Apr-1995

    John Malpas reportsINTELLECTUAL property set 6 Pump Court is gearing up to double in size with its move to a new home this week.The set, headed by David Young QC, has been based at Pump Court ever since its foundation in World War Two.On Wednesday this week it is due to open up at its new home at Three New Square in Lincoln's Inn in freshly renovated offices.The set is relatively small, with just 10 tenants, but ...

  • Jane Wessel on the problem with transatlantic experts

    18-Apr-1995

    Jane WesselWhere a situation exists involving complex and technical litigation in the UK and US, a real danger arises if the same expert is used in both cases.A case concerning patent disputes is currently pending in the US Federal Court and the English High Court which concern similar subject matter. Jones Day is representing the plaintiff in the US. The UK case is being ...

  • JOINT training VENTURES

    18-Apr-1995

    A commitment to 'Investors in People' merely to achieve the kitemark is foolish - firms should be realistic about the time it will take to be true 'investors in people'. Working closely with Birmingham Tec, some of the major firms in Birmingham are collectively developing projects to help move towards achieving that national standard.Why collaborate with your closest competitors? Simply, many of the issues we face are the same and working together ...

  • Lancaster takes over helm at Halliwells

    18-Apr-1995

    ROGER Lancaster has succeeded Clive Garston as senior partner of Manchester firm Halliwell Landau, one of the leading corporate law practices in the North West.The move follows a 12-year reign with Garston at the helm of the firm during which Halliwell Landau has grown from "a small firm in Manchester to one of the major players among commercial firms in the North West," he says.Garston will continue in full-time practice with the firm, after maintaining an active ...

  • Litigation Disciplinary Tribunals 18/04/95

    18-Apr-1995

    * JOHN BERNARD HURST, 50, admitted 1976, practised as John B Hurst, Hove, Sussex, struck off and ordered to pay u779 costs. Tribunal told he had been given a suspended 12-month jail sentence at Norwich Crown Court on October 29, 1992, after conviction on two counts of aiding and abetting the fraudulent disposal of a property by a bankrupt and one of aiding and abetting a bankrupt to obtain credit. Offences said to have involved a loan of u24,000 ...

  • Litigation Recent Decisions 18/04/95

    18-Apr-1995

    Frustration of contract for pop concert performanceGanerco SA v ICM/Fair Warning (Agency) and Missouri Storm (1995) (QBD (Garland J) 31/3/95).Plaintiffs were Spanish pop concert promoters, the second defendants were the corporate persona of the pop group 'Guns 'n' Roses'. The first defendants were theatrical tour organisers which undertook the organisation of a European tour for the second defendants in 1992. The plaintiffs contracted ...

  • Litigation Writs 18/04/95

    18-Apr-1995

    Porsche Cars (GB) is suing Graham Brooks, of Poole, Dorset, who it claims crashed and damaged a Porsche he had taken for a test drive. The claim is for more than u4,000 for the cost of repairs. According to the writ the damage happened to a Porsche 928 during a test drive on 5 May last year. It says it was a term of the agreement that Brooks could test drive the vehicle that he would enter into a form of disclaimer and indemnity, and that Porsche would be entitled ...

  • Maxwell trial date set

    18-Apr-1995

    May 31 has been set as the date for the trial of Kevin and Ian Maxwell, Larry Trachtenberg and others on multi-million pound fraud charges.

  • Merger links systems

    18-Apr-1995

    * Following Morgan Bruce's merger with Binks Stern, the combined firm is upgrading its IT and has opted for an Amicus practice management system from Admiral Legal Systems. The initial user base will increase from 245 users to over 300 by the end of 1995, spread across the firm's offices in Cardiff, London and Swansea.

  • Neurology case sparks call for reform of expert witness system

    18-Apr-1995

    THE SUCCESSFUL appeal of a man who studied neurology in prison to prove he was innocent of a child's murder highlighted the urgent need for changes in the system of expert witnesses, according to leading defence QC Michael Mansfield.Kevin Callan was freed by the Court of Appeal earlier this month after it accepted that expert evidence given at his 1992 trial for killing his girlfriend's four-year-old daughter, who had cerebral palsy, was flawed.Mansfield, ...

  • No Law Soc-TSG deals

    18-Apr-1995

    I am writing with reference to John Malpas' article 'Trainees must make salary choice' (The Lawyer 4 April).I was recently asked by the Law Society for my comments on the issue of minimum salaries for trainee solicitors and the proposals for its abolition.As a law graduate who has been unsuccessfully seeking a training contract for several years, I would welcome any proposal which would increase the number of vacancies.I would ...

  • Partner fails in damages claim

    18-Apr-1995

    A FORMER partner in City firm Malkin Janners, which is in the final stages of winding up, has failed in a High Court damages claim against fellow partners.The case spotlighted questions of travel expenses being used by partners for personal rather than business travel.Mr Justice Carnwath dismissed the action brought by Robert Hurst and ruled that Hurst was liable to his former partners for continuing liabilities resulting from the partnership.The ...

  • Profession figures in Gay Times celebration

    18-Apr-1995

    OVER a dozen lawyers will feature in a Top 200 survey of prominent lesbians and gay men commissioned by Gay Times to celebrate its 200th issue in May.Compiler of the law section, Angus Hamilton, himself a gay solicitor, says the task was "nigh on impossible".His final choice is: Angela Mason, director of Stonewall, Simmy Viinikka of the Terence Higgins Trust, and Simon Woods, Gill Butler and Maitland Kalton who all have their own practices.He says ...

  • Property

    18-Apr-1995

    Sun Alliance Trust Company, as trustees for Laser V Hamilton Trust, sponsored by Johnson Fry Securities, was advised by Macfarlanes and in Scotland by Semple Fraser, on the u12.3m purchase of a 70,000 sq ft office scheme in Hamilton.

  • Real courtroom dramas

    18-Apr-1995

    A THREE year £3 million advertising campaign to improve the image of solicitors is being considered by the Law Society. Chancery Lane officials have met with PR guru Sir Tim Bell to seek his advice on the way forward. The Lawyer asked a selection of advertising, public relations and media friendly lawyers what they thought.Will Audrey, a copywriter at Bartle Bogle Hegarty, whose clients include National Westminster Bank, Coca Cola and Levi Strauss, ...

  • SFLA awaits white paper

    18-Apr-1995

    FAMILY law specialists are expecting the Lord Chancellor to support calls for no-fault divorce in his white paper due later this month.The paper is believed to approve submissions by the Solicitors Family Law Association and others recommending irretrievable breakdown is cited as the only cause of divorce.Former SFLA chair Richard Sax, on the Law Society's family law committee, says the paper could also support a one-year waiting period for divorce.

  • Silence isn't golden

    18-Apr-1995

    The difficulties City firm Simmons & Simmons finds itself in, with unprecedented allegations being made against a partner, can only elicit sympathy at this stage. But whatever the outcome, the firm has already suffered damage to its reputation, however unfair. The loss of a major client will also hit its billings.The firm chose to stonewall the media with a 'no comment', presumably as a 'least said the better' containment exercise. ...

  • Simmons & Simmons partner mounts defence against felony indictment

    18-Apr-1995

    US defence lawyers acting for Simmons & Simmons partner David Sandy will fight attempts by the New York District Attorney (DANY) to prosecute him by arguing that the DANY is wrong on both jurisdictional and legal grounds.Steven Weiss, a partner in Sandy's defence team at New York firm Weil Gotshal & Manges, says: "We will certainly file substantial motions. In our view, ...

  • Solicitor advocates told no-go on wigs

    18-Apr-1995

    SOLICITOR advocates have been denied the right to wear wigs in the higher courts after the Lord Chancellor handed down his decision on the matter last week.Following recent consultation on the subject Lord Mackay sent a letter to Law Society president Charles Elly saying he intended to maintain the status quo that only allows barristers to wear full court dress.Solicitor advocates will appear in a black stuff gown with bands."As with the wider consultation ...

  • Sticky labels won't do it

    18-Apr-1995

    It seems a shame to shatter the illusions of Nicholas Brown ('Training and sticky labels' The Lawyer 4 April) just as he is entering the profession, but the use of a sticky label on an applicant's envelope is highly unlikely to sway a prospective employer one way or the other, What is inside the envelope is infinitely more important than what is on the outside.Who would benefit from this arrangement? The prospective trainee? Unlikely. The firm? Highly ...

  • Study will probe race issues in legal system

    18-Apr-1995

    THE TREATMENT of ethnic minority defendants by the criminal justice system is the subject of a new two-year study by Warwick University's School of Law.Funded by a u196,650 grant from the Economic and Social Research Council, the study will look at racial differences in the system and whether they are the result of discrimination or other factors.Researchers will follow ethnic minority defendants and a control group of white defendants from London and two ...

  • Supreme Court Group gets wired

    18-Apr-1995

    Caroline JowettAS part of a continuing programme to improve efficiency, the Supreme Court Group has introduced a series of IT support systems.The programme illustrates the commitment to IT of this court group, which comprises the Court of Appeal Civil Division, the Queen's Bench, Chancery and Family Divisions and the Probate Service throughout England and Wales.The projects are at different stages of development, some ...

  • The Lawyer Inquiry: Jeremy Dening

    18-Apr-1995

    Jeremy Dening is a property partner at London law firm Edward Lewis. Born in Margate in 1962, he now lives in Greenwich, London.What was your first job?Paper boy.What was your first ever salary as a lawyer?u3,200 pa.What would you have done if you hadn't become a lawyer?Been a stuntman for the Levis 501 advert.Which law could you live ...

  • Treading a thin political line

    18-Apr-1995

    Roger Pearson looks at the Lords' decision to overrule Michael Howard's CIC scheme; Roger PearsonApart from resulting in a crushing defeat in the courts for Home Secretary Michael Howard, the House of Lords ruling on 6 April, outlawing moves to introduce criminal injury compensation tariffs, is believed to have rated as a 'first' in trade union litigation.While unions have joined forces in the past to take court action, ...

  • Walker Morris tender

    18-Apr-1995

    * Walker Morris in Leeds has completed the first round of its invitation to tender. It has received responses from 12 suppliers, including existing supplier TimeSlice. The firm wants open design practice management and case management systems.

  • Ward of court action to be made public

    18-Apr-1995

    Roger Pearson

  • Young bows out over sex claims

    18-Apr-1995

    EILEEN Pembridge has accused the Law Society leadership of resisting her private calls for John Young to step down from office two years ago after "numerous" sexual harassment allegations were made against him.Pembridge, a presidential candidate, says those who knew about the allegations and yet continued to back Young's presidential candidacy are now in an untenable position.Young withdrew from the elections last week, following speculation that a senior ...