17 May 1999

The Lawyer

  • ...as 80 per cent of students are jobless

    17-May-1999

    Just one in five trainee barristers find a pupillage through the Bar's clearing house, according to new figures leaked to The Lawyer.Bar Council research figures show that of 1,981 applicants to the Pupillage Application Clearing House (Pach) in the period 1998-1999, only 442 secured a pupillage.The statistics were produced six months ago but, according to the Employed and Non-Practising Barristers' Association (ENPBA), they were suppressed by the Bar ...

  • ...as govt freezes LAB rates again

    17-May-1999

    Lawyers have reacted with outrage at the Government's decision to freeze legal aid rates for yet another year.The Lord Chancellor announced on Friday that he would not increase legal aid rates for the 1999/2000 round, the fifth time the rates have been frozen in seven years.The Law Society says solicitors' costs have risen 17 per cent in the last five years and legal aid specialists say holding the rates will drive smaller firms out of legal aid as ...

  • ...as it makes first alliance for its European campaign

    17-May-1999

    Dibb Lupton Alsop has revealed that it has signed up the first members of its European alliance.It hopes to create a pan-European merged firm within the next five years but is starting by signing exclusive associations with firms in key markets.Managing partner Nigel Knowles says that deals have been signed with a Brussels and Barcelona firm, but that the names of the firms could not be released until the deals had been cleared by the relevant bar associations.

  • Airlines collide with govt over payments

    17-May-1999

    A major dispute between the International Air Transport Association (IATA) and the Transport Secretary over the rules for compensation payments for air disaster victims has clarified an important point of international law, according to lawyers involved in the case.The row stems from the Government's Air Carrier Liability Order 1998, which came into force last October. It was designed to ensure implementation of new European rules contained in Council Regulation ...

  • Ashursts hit by Dragon Oil move

    17-May-1999

    CITY firm Ashurst Morris Crisp is likely to lose out on almost a quarter of a million pounds-worth of work when one of its major clients, Dragon Oil, moves to Dubai.Dragon Oil's in-house counsel Edward Simpson is also a casualty of the move. He is being made redundant at the end of June.The Anglo-Irish company was taken over by Emirate National Oil company at the end of last ...

  • Bar to allow employed pupils...

    17-May-1999

    The Bar Council is planning to change its regulations to allow pupillages in employed practice, The Lawyer can reveal.The proposals represent a radical change to the way barristers undergo their training, allowing them to go direct into industry without spending time in chambers.Currently, the number of trainee barrister far outweighs the number of places available in private chambers.Sir John Collyear, who heads the committee investigating bar training, ...

  • Bevan Ashford to pay damages

    17-May-1999

    Bevan Ashford has been ordered to pay compensation to a trainee solicitor sacked for being drunk in public.Patricia Durham Hall claimed wrongful dismissal and sex discrimination after a colleague reported her as being "very drunk" and unsteady on her feet in Exeter city centre last December. As a result, she was sacked for gross misconduct.An industrial tribunal awarded her u900 in compensation for the month's salary she was entitled to under her contract. ...

  • Boon for Clearys in biggest ever deal by HSBC

    17-May-1999

    Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton is the main legal victor in HSBC's billion-pound purchase of the Safra empire.Clearys' New York and London offices are HSBC's main lawyers in the $10.3bn buyout of US banks Republic New York Corporation and its sister company Safra Republic Holdings.The deal is HSBC's largest ever and will prove a bonanza for lawyers ...

  • Breaching the car deal

    17-May-1999

    Nissan Motors (GB) is being sued for damages for alleged fraud, deceit, breach of contract and misrepresentation over a dealer agreement. Action has been launched against Nissan by Howard Quirk of Billericay in Essex, in respect of agreements made between October 1991 and March 1992 for financial and other commercial support to be provided to Quirk. He claims in a writ issued at the High Court by solicitors Paul Robinson & Co based in Westcliff on Sea, that because ...

  • Breaching warranties

    17-May-1999

    Leave has been given by the House of Lords for an appeal in the case of Senate Electrical Wholesalers v STC Submarine Systems & anor. The case centres on a decision by Mr Justice May in December 1996 in which he awarded Senate just over u7.5m for a claim involving breach of warranties on the sale of a business. That decision was set aside by the Court of Appeal in June last year. Now, in the pending appeal, the Law Lords will be asked to decide on issues including the method ...

  • Browne-Wilkinson slams City lawyers

    17-May-1999

    Lord Browne-Wilkinson, the country's senior Law Lord, is blaming City solicitors doing pro bono work for clogging up the highest court in the land.In his first interview since becoming senior Law Lord, Browne-Wilkinson complains to The Lawyer that one-quarter of the Law Lords' workload is taken up by hearing appeals on Caribbean criminal cases.The Law Lords hear Caribbean appeals - most of them against the death sentence - when sitting on the Privy ...

  • Case of the week

    17-May-1999

    The fight against Serbia has moved to the courts. The International Court of Justice heard Yugoslavia's protests that Nato's bombing of Kosovo was an illegal act of aggression and genocide. While a final ruling could take five years to appear, Yugoslavia is seeking an interim ruling to stop the bombing. Pictured above: The Spanish, UK and and US legal advisers

  • Charles Russell hires new managing partner

    17-May-1999

    City firm Charles Russell has has taken the unusual step of appointing a private client practitioner as its new managing partner.Current managing partner Patrick Russell, who is the fourth generation of Russells to work for the 200-year-old firm, steps down in September.Russell is a sports lawyer. His successor, Grant Howe, is head of the family law department and is currently ...

  • City firms face fresh demands from new marketing breed

    17-May-1999

    Law firms are turning to a new breed of marketer to help position their businesses in the new competitive culture but the professional marketer-law firm relationship is not without its problems.Legal marketing is very attractive in cash terms, attracting candidates with a wealth of marketing experience. But law firms are still tending to shy away from candidates who lack experience of working in a partnership, multi-boss atmosphere.The salaries may be high, but ...

  • Conditional fees are wide-ranging

    17-May-1999

    I would like to take issue with the comments expressed by Edward Garnier (The Lawyer, 19 April).Mr Garnier's knowledge of the conditional fee insurance market seems to be restricted to one company. Had he asked us, or one of our many competitors, he would have discovered that a wide range of policies is available to help people to pursue cases under CFAs. There is no shortage of insurers, we know of at least seven.Mr Garnier derides the ...

  • Dibb Lupton Alsop reveals approach by Ernst & Young

    17-May-1999

    Dibb Lupton Alsop (DLA) senior partner Roger Lane-Smith has revealed that his firm was approached by Ernst & Young and three other top five accountancy firms with the intention of merging.However, DLA spurned the accountancy firm's advances, prompting it to continue its search for a legal partner.Ernst & Young has made no secret of its desire to form a relationship with another law firm, with a view to a fully-fledged merger once multidisciplinary partnerships ...

  • Dibbs appoints managing partner for Leeds office...

    17-May-1999

    Dibb Lupton Alsop has appointed a new managing partner for its Leeds office as it announced record profits.Neil McLean is currently head of the property and construction group at the Leeds office and is replacing John Winkworth-Smith, who retired at the end of April after 37 years with the firm to start a new career as a novelist.McLean, who joined Dibbs in 1993 from Walker Morris, ...

  • Dibbs forms IT litigation group

    17-May-1999

    Dibb Lupton Alsop has formed a communications and technology litigation group - which it claims is the largest of its kind.It will handle all aspects of dispute resolution and litigation in the IT and communications sectors.Comprised of eight partners and 16 lawyers, it will be spread throughout the firm's national offices.Although the group has operated informally for the past three years, Dibbs says that it has formalised the group because ...

  • Don't waste marketers

    17-May-1999

    Top law firms are employing a new breed of marketer on high salaries, but some are refusing to give them strong enough positions in the firm.If firms want to get the most out of their marketers they need to give them the power to make key strategic decisions at every level of the firm. Rather than employing the marketer simply to attract new business, they should be employed in every element of the firm's internal and external communications - from setting ...

  • Eversheds' WWII drama

    17-May-1999

    Eversheds has brought the 50-year mystery of a Dutch masterpiece looted from Germany at the end of the Second World War to an end.The case - which set precedents on the statute of limitations for the recovery of stolen art - finished with the payout of u1m costs to the German government and the city of Gotha.Eversheds, acting for the German government, secured full recovery of ...

  • Expansion

    17-May-1999

    The corporate finance department at Burgess Salmon in Bristol advised Oxford-based e-commerce specialist Just Results on its expansion plans, which will see the company valued at around u6m. Burgess Salmon's corporate finance partner Roger Hawes led the team.

  • Expert experts head to head

    17-May-1999

    Accountants feel unfairly slighted when their services as expert witnesses are rejected summarily by lawyers, simply because their firm acts as the client's auditor. The implied perception of bias is, they believe, insulting and unjustified. Are they right?Objectivity and independence are the qualities of an expert, rigorously emphasised by the new Civil Procedure Rules which have been in force since 26 April. (It was, in fact, ever thus.) The expert's duty to ...

  • Fear over international crime plans

    17-May-1999

    The Government's plan to give domestic courts greater powers to deal with international fraud has received a mixed response from City crime lawyers.The new powers in Part 1 of the Criminal Justice Act 1993 - effective from 1 June - allow some offences to be tried in England and Wales if any act, omission or any other element of a crime takes effect here.Under current law, courts have jurisdiction only when the offence, or the last act necessary for its completion, ...

  • Fear over international crime plans

    17-May-1999

    The Government's plan to give domestic courts greater powers to deal with international fraud has received a mixed response from City crime lawyers.The new powers in Part 1 of the Criminal Justice Act 1993 - effective from 1 June - allow some offences to be tried in England and Wales if any act, omission or any other element of a crime takes effect here.Under current law, courts have jurisdiction only when the offence, or the last act necessary for its completion, ...

  • Fifth Ashursts partner defects

    17-May-1999

    Ashurst Morris Crisp has suffered the loss of a fifth high level banking partner, who has announced he is quitting to join US firm Shearman & Sterling.Adrian Knight, head of the investment banking group at Ashursts, is joining Shearmans' London office as its first English law M&A partner.

  • Financings

    17-May-1999

    Morgan Cole advised PixelFusion Group in raising u10m for completion of the development of the company's first semiconductor chip. u7.5m was raised by a subscription offer of 1.25 million ordinary shares of 5p each

  • Financings

    17-May-1999

    Lesley Gregory and Alex Young of Memery Crystal advised Seymour Pierce (the nominated adviser) and Ellis & Partners (the nominated broker) on the placing of 17

  • Financings

    17-May-1999

    Manches acted for Saur UK in its u125m loan facility

  • Hill Dickinson boosts marine

    17-May-1999

    Hill Dickinson is doubling its London marine department with the appointment of two yachting partners from Berrymans Lace Mawer.The appointment of Ken Thwaites and Tony Allen, who are joined by assistant solicitor Samantha Levin, will leave Berrymans' marine and transit division with only ...

  • Ian Dawson on controlling shareholders' employment rights

    17-May-1999

    Ian Dawson is a partner in the employment department at Shulmans.A recent Court of Appeal decision brings good news for employees who are also controlling shareholders and who are seeking to recover money when the company becomes insolvent.The Court of Appeal held in Secretary of State for Trade and Industry v Bottrill that there is no law that a controlling shareholder cannot also be an employee of the company for the purposes of the Employment Rights Act 1996.

  • In brief: Circuit judge David Pearl

    17-May-1999

    Circuit judge David Pearl, 54, has been appointed as the new director of studies at the Judicial Studies Board, which trains judges, and will replace His Honour Judge Paul Collins on 2 August.

  • In brief: Clifford Chance

    17-May-1999

    Clifford Chance partner George Staple QC, who is also chairman of the fraud advisory panel at the Institute of Chartered Accountants, has warned that fraud may already be costing the country a staggering £5bn a year and is expected to escalate because of the internet and single European market.

  • In brief: Legal bookshop goes online

    17-May-1999

    LAWYERS determined to keep up with the latest on cremation law and dog legislation - and the Woolf reforms - can now order books at the click of a button from a new online law bookshop.Hammicks Legal Bookshops has just launched a website as firms prepare to chuck out hundreds of books made obselete by the Woolf reforms.Alden Bowers, who co-ordinates the website and runs Hammicks' Bristol store, says the new service should make it easier for firms to update ...

  • In brief: Minister of State

    17-May-1999

    Minister of State at the Lord Chancellor's Department, Geoff Hoon says the Government will look into how it can prevent silks getting inflated fees purely because they are QCs. He wants to look into whether it could be dealt with via Rules of Court instead of through legislation. As predicted in The Lawyer (19 April), the Government introduced a clause into the committee stage of the Access to Justice Bill requiring would-be QCs to pay the estimated £120,000 cost of their ...

  • In brief: Morton Fraser

    17-May-1999

    Morton Fraser Partnership partner Donald Reid has joined environmental law consultants EnAct International. EnAct managing director Cormac Cullinan says Reid's move from the Edinburgh firm is the latest in a series of departures - including Stephen Tromans from Simmons & Simmons and Andrew Bryce from Cameron McKenna.

  • In brief: Solicitor Michael Seward

    17-May-1999

    Solicitor Michael Seward, 42, has been ordered to be struck off after being found guilty of dishonestly using £330,000 of clients' money, including £12,200 from the British Heart Foundation, for his own use. Seward, from Warrington, used to be a sole practitioner before working for Widdows Mason in West Houghton, Bolton.

  • In brief: Stones Cann & Hallett

    17-May-1999

    Stones Cann & Hallett has merged with Burd Pearse in a bid to become a larger presence in the South West. It follows Stones' merger with Cann & Hallett by exactly a year. The practice now totals 18 partners and more than 100 staff in four offices. The firm will be known as Stones. Hugh Winterbotham, senior partner at Stones, says: "This is part of our aim to take top quality legal advice to clients throughout the West Country. We feel that established clients of both practices ...

  • In brief: The barristers' monopoly

    17-May-1999

    The barristers' monopoly at the High Court has been cut further after the Lord Chancellor agreed that patent agents can conduct their own cases in court instead of employing lawyers. The Institute of Legal Executives was given the same power last year.

  • In brief: The Law Society president

    17-May-1999

    The Law Society president Michael Mathews is due to receive an honorary degree from City University on Wednesday (19 May) at the Guildhall in London.

  • In brief: Wilde Sapte

    17-May-1999

    Wilde Sapte is raising money for the Imperial Cancer Research Fund on Thursday by organising a sponsored race across the City of London. More than 5,000 professionals from over 400 City businesses, including law firms and barristers chambers, banks and accountancy firms, are expected to take part. Last year 3,000 competitors raised £25,000 for cancer research.

  • Insolvency set for boost as bankruptcies grow

    17-May-1999

    Insolvency lawyers can expect their workload to surge over the coming year as bankruptcies and winding-up petitions continue to grow.According to the Lord Chancellor's Department, figures for the first quarter of 1999 show a 5 per cent increase in winding-up petitions compared to the same quarter last year.The statistics also reveal that petitions from debtors have increased by 21 per cent compared to 1998, while petitions from creditors were up 14 per ...

  • Irvine's union-bashing rhetoric won't work

    17-May-1999

    Lord Irvine's claim that the Law Society should not be allowed to use its members' fees to fund its "trade union" activities - which follows closely on the heels of the society's ad campaign against Lord Irvine's cuts to legal aid is symptomatic of a wider attack on the legal profession.Lord Irvine chose his words carefully. By characterising the society as a "trade union", he positions lawyers as just another interest group. ...

  • Irwin Mitchell warns funding code may breach human rights convention ...

    17-May-1999

    Irwin Mitchell, the UK's largest legal aid practice, has written to minister of state Geoff Hoon, warning that the draft funding code may breach the human rights convention and create an unworkable new bureaucracy.Partner Andrew Lockley says: "Government cuts on legal aid will be even worse than has hitherto been realised and are just the tip of the iceberg."The Lord Chancellor has claimed support for his reforms in the past by quoting leading civil firms ...

  • It's been a bad week for...

    17-May-1999

    Homeless. Australian Kevin Cook, who lives on a beach and stole a pink towel from someone's back yard to use as a blanket. Owing to mandatory sentencing laws, Cook received a 12-month jail sentence.The accident-prone NHS, whose u2.8bn bill for clinical negligence claims is peanuts compared to what could be claimed, according to Action for Victims of Medical Accidents chief executive Arnold Simanowitz. According to a US study, there ...

  • It's been a good week for...

    17-May-1999

    Pornography. Porn King Larry Flynt (above) is coming to a court near you. The US supremo of free speech, is being tried along with his brother on obscenity charges which could mean spending 24 years in prison. However, the real-life star of Hollywood film The People v Larry Flynt contends that attitudes have changed and that what he does no longer breaks the law. Flynt wants to use the case to challenge a 1973 Supreme Court decision that obscenity is defined by local community ...

  • John Startin

    17-May-1999

    Ryan Dunleavy finds that Hextall Erskine's John Startin laughs in the face of law firm panel cuts - he has a cunning plan up his sleeve.

  • Legal Widow

    17-May-1999

    Disaster was averted at the nursery last week after a gang of three-year-olds threatened to jump ship to the posh pre-prep school on the hill. It's called L'Ecole des Petits Lapins and offers "meaningful play" in English, French and Hungarian mime techniques, but the key factor for the potential defector tots was the size of the sand pit and the two climbing stations, both with slides, to choose from.

  • Litigation Personal Injury 17/5/99

    17-May-1999

    William Alec Davies v Paul A Clarkson (1999) QBD (McKinnon J) 28 April 1999Plaintiff: Male, married with children, 28 years old at date of accident; 35 years old at date of judgment.Incident: The plaintiff was standing by a parked car when he was hit by the defendant's car. Liability admitted.Injuries: The plaintiff sustained a serious brain injury, a compound displacement of his left knee, a ruptured ligament in his right ...

  • Litigation Writs 17/5/99

    17-May-1999

    Sony Music, A & M Records, BMG Music, Capitol Records, Warner Communications, MCA, Polygram and Warner Bros Records are seeking a High Court injunction to stop two men and four firms from disposing of assets worth up to u1m. The record companies have issued a writ seeking orders restraining Global Arts Productions, Danny Jordan, Saturn Records, Stack-O-Hits, Jack Millman, and Just Great Music from disposing or dealing with their ...

  • Marriotts prepares for trade mark wars

    17-May-1999

    The force is with a team of lawyers from London firm Marriott Harrison.The firm is preparing for a surge of copyright and trade mark infringements following the launch of Star Wars: Episode 1 - The Phantom Menace.A Marriott Harrison team of two partners and two assistant solicitors did all the legal work on the UK production work for the film, which stars Ewan McGregor as Obi-Wan Kenobi and opens in the summer.Marriott Harrison will also pursue any ...

  • Mediation does work together

    17-May-1999

    I read Tim Watkin's article "ADR Groups slam mediation-arbitration first" (The Lawyer, 3 May) with great interest and some surprise.I suppose we should be flattered at Mr Beckett's mediation group's haste to try to "slam" our new one-stop arbitration and mediation company. However, his criticism is wide of the mark. He has not checked his facts. We are not guilty of the offending practice he stigmatises. Our parties are normally ...

  • Nabarros poaches from Clarks

    17-May-1999

    Nabarro Nathanson has poached partner Barry Maytum from top Reading firm Clarks as part of its drive to expand its Reading base.Maytum says his move from the 15-partner Thames Valley firm was driven by the desire to attract larger corporate clients, particularly in the IT sector.Rosemary Martin-Jones, who heads the Reading office, says the firm grew by a quarter in the last year ...

  • New competition rules clear the way

    17-May-1999

    Michael Grenfell, partner, Norton RoseSimon Holmes, partner, SJ Berwin & CoJohn Boyce, partner, Slaughter and MayIn an attempt to clear a severe backlog of competition ...

  • Norton Rose backs Cambridge dons

    17-May-1999

    City firm Norton Rose has announced it will sponsor degree courses at Cambridge University - just weeks after a law don expressed fears of too much commercial influence in academia.Norton Rose will donate u25,000 per year towards paying for five new lecturers covering European, company, commercial, comparative and labour law for degree courses.University vice-chancellor Professor ...

  • Olswang acts in millennium row

    17-May-1999

    Olswang lawyers are in a race against time to prove the word "millennium" cannot be trade marked.Olswang has served proceedings on behalf of De Beers diamond company against Dunhill over the use of the word millennium. The case could herald a spate of actions between companies vying to protect marketing opportunities presented by the celebrations.Dunhill has registered the word ...

  • Olswang woos partner from rival

    17-May-1999

    Olswang has poached a top property partner from the much larger City practice Berwin Leighton.Philip Olmer specialises in a diverse range of property and investment work for blue chip clients in the UK and abroad. He joined Berwin Leighton in 1987 and was a partner with the firm from 1991.Lawyers are commenting that it is hugely impressive that a firm the size of Olswang can attract ...

  • Overlord

    17-May-1999

    In his first exclusive since being appointed senior Law Lord, Lord Nicholas Browne-Wilkinson talks to Robert Mendick

  • Partners on the move...

    17-May-1999

    Music lawyer Petra Williams joined Bird & Bird's media and entertainment group last week. She was formerly a partner with Sheridans.Media litigator Paul Fox, formerly of David Price & Co, joined the partners at Henry Hepworth on 4 May. Fox is an expert in defamation and will join the firm's media specialists.City firm

  • Paul Gilbert blasts Law Soc democracy

    17-May-1999

    Head of legal at Cheltenham & Gloucester building society, Paul Gilbert, has blasted the Law Society council for scrapping an in-house solicitor council seat - without even allowing the ditched member to speak.The council's decision to replace local government member, Pauline McBride with a newly-qualified solicitor - a dramatic U-turn on its previous resolution just a month ago - was made after members, aware that lunchtime was upon them, agreed to vote on the issue ...

  • Planning

    17-May-1999

    David Brock, planning and environmental partner at Herbert Smith, led the team which advised BG Storage in the planning inquiry into its proposals to store gas in salt cavities to be created in the ground below Aldbrough in Yorkshire. The project, estimated to be worth u80-u100m, will assist in the liberalisation of the gas market, as well as ensuring that adequate gas supplies are provided in severe winter conditions. A similar scheme by InterGen on a neighbouring site was recently ...

  • Playwright stalks Theodores

    17-May-1999

    Playwright Terence Frisby steps up his "campaign of torment" against Theodore Goddard this morning, when leaflets offering secretly delivered, discounted copies of his book Outrageous Fortune will be handed out to staff as they arrive at work.Frisby, the author of hit play There's a Girl in my Soup, published the book last year, which tells of how it took 15 years to settle his divorce after Theodore Goddard made what he describes as "a monumental cock-up". It has been ...

  • Protective writs struck out of court

    17-May-1999

    Nearly 400 firms of solicitors had claims against them struck out by the Court of Appeal. Roger Pearson reports..Judgment is now pending in a House of Lords case in which claims against 382 firms of solicitors have been struck out for being an abuse of the process of the court.The case raises points of major general importance on the issue of so-called "protective writs" made in order to protect a claimant from possible future claims against ...

  • Quote of the week

    17-May-1999

    "There's a saying: It's better to be on the inside pissing out than on the outside pissing in. As far as I'm concerned, the council is just plain incontinent."- Paul Gilbert, chairman of the Law Society's Commerce and Industry Group and head of legal services at Cheltenham & Gloucester on the Law Society council's decision to scrap one of its two local government seats in favour of a newly qualified solicitor.

  • Ready to judge the Woolf reforms

    17-May-1999

    Despite the fears of the legal profession, Judge Paul Collins is sure the judiciary is adequately prepared to take on the new system. Judge Paul Collins is director of studies at the Judicial Studies Board.It can be sniffed on the breeze - a whiff of unease emanating from lawyers all over the country - what will the judges be doing when they get their hands on litigation in the post 26 April era?The short answer, of course, is dealing ...

  • Romania promises rich pickings for City firms

    17-May-1999

    The Romanian legal market is set to boom within the next 18 months and City firms may be looking to take advantage according to Nicholas Hammond, former head of Taylor Joynson Garrett's Bucharest office, who has moved to a US firm Arent Fox based the in city.Bucharest, he says, is a burgeoning market for lawyers, with plenty of work available in restructuring in the utilities market and a lot of energy projects.Hammond says rumours that Freshfields,

  • Royal Bank of Scotland Group

    17-May-1999

    It is a strange but exhilarating time to be working at the Royal Bank of Scotland due to various merger rumours involving Barclays Bank.

  • Scuffle of the week

    17-May-1999

    Following a public row about the Law Society's u600,000 advertising campaign against Lord Irvine's legal aid reforms, the Lord Chancellor has announced he is not playing anymore. Lord Irvine is considering banning the society from using its u32m income from solicitors' practising certificates for "trade union" activities. That would effectively mean goodbye to such stunning and memorable Law Society campaigns as... er, well, and... um, ...

  • Securitisation

    17-May-1999

    The international securities group at Norton Rose advised Stena Line in its recent reorganisation of its asset-backed commercial paper securitisation programme. This programme will expand the existing Sterling-based programme to encompass passenger and freight receivables in euro, sterling, Swedish krona, Danish krone and Norwegian krone. Lead securitisation partner at Norton Rose Jonathan ...

  • Senior executive at Thompsons leaves to set up own practice

    17-May-1999

    Nigel Tomkins, a well-known personal injury lawyer and senior executive at Thompsons, has quit the firm after 25 years to set up his own consultancy.Tomkins - who was responsible for training and education throughout Thompsons - was a member of Lord Woolf's civil justice working party. He was also heavily involved in preparing the personal injury pre-action protocols and has sat on two of the Lord Chancellor's civil justice working parties.He says that ...

  • Shakespeares chief bows out

    17-May-1999

    The senior partner of Birmingham law firm Shakespeares is stepping down after six years at the helm.Charles Flint will be replaced by Tony Jones, head of the firm's business services commercial unit and a commercial and employment lawyer with over 30 years legal experience - most of which were spent at Shakespeares.Flint, who has been with the firm for more than 25 years, will carry on working in the company and commercial department, but wants to pursue ...

  • Sinclair Roche & Temperley in commercial property expansion>

    17-May-1999

    Sinclair Roche & Temperley is building its commercial property practice by taking on a property finance specialist.The City-based firm is traditionally known for shipping but is now seeking to boost its credibility in commercial property.David Harris, a specialist in banking and secured lending, has left City firm Campbell Hooper to become a property and finance consultant at Sinclair Roche. He is the third and most senior commercial property appointment to the ...

  • Singapore opens doors to foreign firm joint ventures

    17-May-1999

    The legal market in the Far East is set to boom following a new proposal by Singapore's Attorney General to allow foreign law firms to enter into joint ventures with local lawyers.His report, due out in the next few weeks, is expected to allow the joint ventures to practise all areas of law.Singapore started on the path to liberalising the legal profession in September 1997, when a committee, chaired by the Attorney General, was appointed by the government ...

  • Square Mile

    17-May-1999

    Read the facts in the next few lines, think about them, then read them again. They go to the core of our values as a profession.In the 16 months to the end of December 1998, the OSS received 41,380 complaints against solicitors, an average of 2,586 a month. This represents a 39 per cent monthly increase in the number of complaints since its previous annual report.The OSS is being overwhelmed by the volume of complaints. It currently ...

  • The Lawyer Inquiry: Michael Breen was born in Belfast in 1962. He is a partner and head of the sports law unit at Edward Lewis.

    17-May-1999

    What subject(s) did you fail at school?Art - I didn't fail it as such. I think my art teacher's words were that I "didn't have the karma for art".What was your first job?Lifeguard - not quite as glamorous as it sounds as it was in west Wales.What was your first-ever salary as a lawyer?u7,000 per annum for starting out in articles - and that was after I persuaded the senior ...

  • The newest profession

    17-May-1999

    Expert witnesses and the lawyers who employ them face radical changes to the way they conduct civil litigation post Woolf. Whether there will be more experts or less, whether they will cost more or less, whether they will be easier to work with or more difficult, whether they will speed up the litigation process or create more delay- all are moot points. What is clear, however, is that the recent trend towards creating a recognised profession of expert witnesses is set to accelerate.

  • Theodores' employment head made chief

    17-May-1999

    Theodore Goddard's head of employment is taking over as managing partner just two weeks after Peter Kavanagh relinquished the role.Kavanagh, corporate partner at Theodore Goddard stepped down half way through his term at the beginning of the month due to difficulties juggling fee earning with a management role. (The Lawyer 3 May).But while Cooke will continue to be involved in the employment group, he will concentrate on full-time management responsibilities.

  • This week

    17-May-1999

    The four gay members of the armed forces who were dismissed because of their sexuality are due to have their case heard by the European Court of Human Rights on Tuesday. The three men and one woman claim the UK is breaching their human rights by keeping the ban on homosexuals in the forces.

  • Top job for Johnson Matthey counsel

    17-May-1999

    Simon Farrant is taking on the mantle of company secretary in addition to his role as senior legal adviser at precious metals and drugs company Johnson Matthey.Farrant replaces Gordon Thorburn who is to retire because of ill health. He will officially take over at the company's annual general meeting in July.Farrant remains head of Johnson Matthey's three-strong legal team.The company expects Farrant to be admitted to the New York State ...

  • Townsends loses partner to Bevans

    17-May-1999

    Bevan Ashford has poached a construction law partner from south-west rivals Townsends.John Birch will head Bevan Ashford's construction litigation unit from the Exeter office, but will commute between the firm's other bases.Birch used to be chief quantity surveyor for an Italian construction company in Kuwait, building military bases designed to keep Iraq out.But after seeing interesting disputes disappear into the hands of lawyers, Birch ...

  • Trowers & Hamlins opens in Africa with Cairo office

    17-May-1999

    City firm Trowers & Hamlins has opened an office in Cairo, making it only the second UK firm to set up shop in Egypt.Inside sources say the office will be part of the firm's "completely integrated" Middle Eastern practice, which includes 25 lawyers in the firm's four Gulf offices.Cairo will be Trowers' first African base. Early indications are that the ...

  • UK firms ride out Asian recession

    17-May-1999

    If recent press reports are to be believed, the economic disaster that hit Asia in 1997 has been replaced by fresh confidence and the market is set to take off once more.Journalists may be predicting a new Asian boom, but lawyers on the ground - many of whom have seen their firms ride out the recession - are more reticent about the prospects."Vietnam business is dead. Indonesia business continues to be dead," says George Crozer, chairman of

  • UK litigators target cheap Denmark

    17-May-1999

    Denmark is fast becoming a top venue for litigation because it is cheaper than the UK.Litigants are now sidelining UK courts, preferring Denmark for strategic and cost reasons, say experts, forcing UK law firms to play away from their home turf.Danish-qualified lawyer Steen Rosenfalck of Osborne Clarke says this is a particular problem for firms without transnational expertise.

  • Wragges boosts private equity team with 3i in-house lawyer

    17-May-1999

    Wragge & Co is recruiting an in-house lawyer from venture capitalist 3i in a bid to push it into the top five of certain niche legal areas.Peter McLintock is due to join Wragges' private equity team in August. Managing partner Quentin Poole says: "Peter is a visible force within the private equity world, and has been so for a number of years. He is a natural choice."Poole adds ...