17 October 1994

The Lawyer

  • And this year's winners are...

    18-Oct-1994

    STUDENTS from law schools around the country have been named in the winners' list of this year's Leonard Sainer Education Foundation Awards.The awards, presented by City firm Titmuss Sainer Dechert and National Westminster Bank, are named in honour of the firm's late founder.They provide an interest-free loan of up to u5,000 to assist with course fees for either the ...

  • As insolvencies diminish, accountants are trying to find outlets for forensic services. David Kidd sees competition ahead

    18-Oct-1994

    David Kidd

  • Australian accountants' legal foray

    18-Oct-1994

    Mary Heaney

  • Bar Council faces access issue again

    18-Oct-1994

    THE Bar Council could face a demand from barristers for direct access by the public, partnership between the two arms of the profession and higher court advocacy rights for the employed Bar, if resolutions are passed at its annual general meeting next month.The Bar Council has already rejected wider direct access.The partnership question is being considered by James Munby QC's policy unit. Employed Bar groups are waiting for a final decision from the Lord ...

  • Barrister gets chair in criminal justice

    18-Oct-1994

    Barrister Roy Light has been appointed Professor of Criminal Justice at the University of the West of England, Bristol. Light, who practises on the South Western Circuit, is based at the city's St John's Chambers. He is an acknowledged authority on several aspects of the criminal justice system including alcohol-related crime, car crime and the prison system. The appointment comes as Judge Stephen Tumim is made an Honorary Doctor of Laws by the university this week.

  • Booth Bennet opens up in Uxbridge

    18-Oct-1994

    SOUTH east firm Iliffes Booth Bennett has set up a commercial unit in new offices at Uxbridge.Six commercial lawyers have been drafted in to form a specialist business team at the new premises. The firm now has seven offices in the region.The team, led by Susan Mawson, will deal with all aspects of commercial property work, commercial services and litigation.Managing partner Steven Booth says: "We were organised on departmental lines but for the commercial ...

  • Can we have our money back?

    18-Oct-1994

    Roger Pearson

  • CASE STUDY

    18-Oct-1994

    Mr Z, the principal of Z & Co, a small firm in the north, is planning to stop using his big six accountancy firm - because of its charges and, he says, its lack of understanding of the legal market.Z's firm had used a medium-sized firm of accountants for some years, but decided to switch after it was late sending accounts to the Law Society.On a relative's recommendations, he went to a big six firm, which charged over u2,000 for its first year's ...

  • Change of identity

    18-Oct-1994

    The Sole Practitioners' Accounting system from Wheatsheaf professional systems has had a change of identity. The system will now be called Kestrel Accounts and the company has been renamed Kestrel Software.

  • City pair join Hammond Suddards

    18-Oct-1994

    Senior Lovell White Durrant commercial property partner Gary Watson and Charterhouse Bank property lawyer Robin Cole are leaving to join Hammond Suddards. Watson says: "Hammond Suddards has offered me a very interesting challenge. As far as the work goes, there won't be a great deal of difference." Lovells joint managing partner, Michael Maunsell, says: "It is a very competitive market due to the impact on London of firms like Hammond Suddards. We have good people and this firm ...

  • Claire Ferguson considers insurers' liability for wasted costs

    18-Oct-1994

    Claire FergusonThere was a question in a recent professional negligence case of whether the defen-dant's professional indemnity insurers might be liable for costs incurred by the plaintiffs, which were argued to have been wasted by the insurers' unreasonable act.If successful (the point has yet to be determined by the court) the insurers' exposure could sound a cautionary tale for other insurers.Section four of the ...

  • Clifford Chance funds Oxford Euro chair

    18-Oct-1994

    Clifford Chance is funding a new Oxford University professorship of European Law. The professor will direct the university's new Centre for the Advanced Study of European Comparative Law. The post is being advertised across Europe. Vice-chancellor Dr Peter North QC says: "The professorship will provide a focus for legal analysis, study and research at the highest level in this international ...

  • Cloud hangs over Feltrim case

    18-Oct-1994

    As the court case for Feltrim Names begins this week, it is still uncertain whether the plaintiffs will benefit from the judgment in the u504 million Gooda Walker victory.Both Feltrim and Gooda Walker are LMX - London market excess of loss - spiral cases, involving the reinsurance of losses within the Lloyd's of London market.While group actions in each class of case will be similar, it appears that they will be judged largely on the facts of each action. ...

  • Committee guilty of racism

    18-Oct-1994

    A BLACK probation officer was subjected to racial discrimination by his employer, the Merseyside Probation Committee, which denied him access to a practice teacher's course, the Liverpool industrial tribunal has ruled.In its decision handed down on 7 October the tribunal, which sat for 24 days, accepted the argument of Hamilton De Gale who claimed he was suitably qualified to become a practice teacher, which would have represented an important ...

  • Corporate

    18-Oct-1994

    Unicorn Inns was advised by Hopkins & Woods in its recent reorganisation of share capital, including the removal of arrears of dividend on preference shares and a bonus issue of ordinary shares to preference shareholders.

  • Countrywide conveyancing

    18-Oct-1994

    The first part of Conquest stands for conveyancing," says Richard Berenson, chair of the legal network. "It doesn't mean we want to rule the world."Maybe not, but since its inception in 1991 and launch in 1992, the network has grown quickly from a few dozen firms to 250, with 350 offices covering England and Wales.The impetus behind Conquest's growth has been the move towards the creation of panels of firms by lenders to handle conveyancing work.

  • Drop in attendance for Law Society conference

    18-Oct-1994

    THE TURN-OUT for the Law Society conference was down on last year, despite attempts to attract extra delegates by holding the event in the capital.But organisers claim a success because of the record number of paying delegates.About 350 people paid to attend this year, compared with 290 for last year's three-day event in Brighton.But society vice-President John Young says the total number attending, which dropped from 940 to 863, was a disappointment. ...

  • Eversheds Jaques talks 'going well'

    18-Oct-1994

    Talks between national law firm Eversheds and City-based Jaques & Lewis are said to be going well.If a merger went ahead, Jaques & Lewis would become the Eversheds London office, with Eversheds staff leaving the Gunpowder Square office and moving into Victoria Street. The move would create the country's largest law firm with over 900 fee earners.Both firms are tight-lipped ...

  • Financial figures 'misleading'

    18-Oct-1994

    The PROPORTION of discrete financial services business provided by solicitors remains dwarfed by that of other main providers, say the latest industry figures.Solicitors provided only four per cent of services nationally, compared with 11 per cent from accountants and a massive 31 per cent from independent financial advisers (IFAs), says industry body IFA Promotion.But the figures are branded "misleading" by Richard Pearce, chief executive of the Law Society's ...

  • Firms join forces to teach new skills course

    18-Oct-1994

    FIVE London law firms have formed a consortium with Churchill College, Cambridge, in a joint venture designed to provide teaching for the new Professional Skills Course.The consortium, which includes Penningtons, Clyde & Co, Davies Arnold Cooper, Frere Cholmely Bischoff and Sinclair Roche & Temperley, ...

  • First chambers for Wiltshire

    18-Oct-1994

    THE first barristers' chambers in Wiltshire opened for business last week. Temple Chambers in Swindon is a "joint venture" between Guildhall chambers of Bristol and Pump Court chambers of London and Winchester.The new chambers can draw on the expertise of 74 barristers, including eight QCs, in a wide range of expertise which only excludes admiralty work.Head of Pump Court Chambers, Guy Boney QC, says: "We will be doing mainly crime and personal injury work ...

  • Green form fraud row looms

    18-Oct-1994

    THE LEGAL Aid Board (LAB) has been accused of "taking a sledge-hammer to crack a nut" in its bid to clamp down on green form fraud.Thousands of honest solicitors must pay an "onerous" price for isolated cases of dishonesty, Law Society officials are claiming.The LAB is set to place a heavy administrative burden on non-franchised firms in an attempt to reduce the risk of green form abuses.Law Society officials say the proposals are of "dubious legality" ...

  • Hants firm centralises commercial team

    18-Oct-1994

    Hampshire firm White & Bowker is centralising its commercial team as part of a three-point strategy. It is setting up White & Bowker Commercial, a team occupying the Southampton office, a business development team (BDT) and revamping its logo. Marketing director, Martin Davies, says: "We are regrouping our commercial team into one building. This will enable us to expand our business work." He adds: "The BDT is a response to the many redundancies we have seen down here in recent times."

  • Howard toughens line on Justice Bill

    18-Oct-1994

    HOME secretary Michael Howard slammed the "woolly-headed brigade" trying to block the controversial Criminal Justice and Public Order Bill before unveiling his latest plans for the justice system.An identity card system, the world's first DNA database of criminals, and new court powers to confiscate the proceeds of crime are among his latest law and order proposals.Tougher penalties for racial harassment are also on his menu of measures for yet another crackdown ...

  • IBM plans seminars

    18-Oct-1994

    IBM is holding seminars around the country to introduce lawyers to its personal dictation voice recognition software. Events are planned in London (21 October; 23 and 29 November; 13 December); Manchester (24 October); Bristol (15 November) and Edinburgh (25 November). For a full list of locations and further details contact Elaine Richards on 071 202 5606.

  • Jersey firm's order

    18-Oct-1994

    Jersey practice Ogier & Le Cornu is installing a system from AIM Evolution. The firm is effectively updating its existing AIM Charter II accounting and time recording package. It is also buying new PCs and expects to go live in early 1995.

  • L&G action group swaps Hammonds for Nabarros

    18-Oct-1994

    Nabarro Nathanson is replacing Hammond Suddards in acting for the action group challenging Legal & General over allegedly excessive pensions surrender penalties.The switch is due to the fact that one of Hammond Suddards' northern offices is acting for L&G, says Hammond pensions partner Robin Ellison. "It is an exciting case, so we are obviously disappointed."Nabarro Nathanson ...

  • LAPG sets up franchise user forum

    18-Oct-1994

    A national franchise-user forum is being set up under the umbrella of the Legal Aid Practitioners Group (LAPG), despite fears of diverging interests.A steering group was appointed last week to create a franchise sub-committee comprising representatives from each legal aid area.LAPG chair Lyn Devonald says an overwhelming majority of members who had been offered a franchise wanted the organisation to act in a user group role."They are aware of the ...

  • Law Society publishes authorities' guide to CCT

    18-Oct-1994

    THE LAW Society has published a new handbook to help local authorities in the preparation of contracts for compulsory competitive tendering.The guide, prepared by the society's practice development committee, outlines the issues which need to be considered during the tendering process.It claims there are "considerable" benefits in selecting the right provider of professional services, and says the importance placed on selection procedures ...

  • Lawyer slams EU over employment 'lunacy'

    18-Oct-1994

    ANOTHER case of "EU-inspired lunacy", due to be introduced through legislation this week, means women will not be able to return to work for at least a fortnight after giving birth, McKenna & Co partner Simon Jeffreys says.Jeffreys, who heads the firm's employment law department, says a requirement in the Pregnant Workers Directive which had been overlooked by the Government until last month means a new ban, set to be introduced from 19 October, will force UK companies ...

  • Leeds firm makes new department heads

    18-Oct-1994

    Leeds firm Shulmans has promoted three new department heads. Andrew Bradley becomes head of the company and commercial department, Jonathan Cairns head of litigation and disputes and Simon Jackson head of property and development. All three have been made partners in the firm within the past five years. The moves signify the end of a programme of management structure changes.

  • Lester to deliver discrimination speech

    18-Oct-1994

    Lord Lester QC will provide the keynote address at Discrimination in Law 1995, a one-day employment law conference to be held in London next month. The conference, chaired by Michael Rubenstein, editor of Industrial Relations Law Reports and co-editor of Equal Opportunities Review, will also include speeches by Laura Cox QC and Norton Rose employment partner Melanie Tether. Organised by Industrial ...

  • Linklaters three-in-one office move

    18-Oct-1994

    LINKLATERS & Paines has announced plans to move three London offices to a new location by 1997.The firm has agreed to a conditional pre-let of Milton House and Shire House, adjoining buildings on Silk Street in the City.Head of marketing Conor Boden says: "We have been looking to bring our three London offices together under one roof since the mid-1980s. It's just been a question of finding the right building at the right price."Partners and ...

  • Litigation Disciplinary Tribunals 18/10/94

    18-Oct-1994

    JEREMY CLIVE GRATTON, 46. admitted 1972, practised as JC Gratton, Moreton-in-Marsh, Gloucestershire, suspended for six months from July 5 and ordered to pay u1,008 costs. Allegations substantiated he practised without current practising certificate and failed to deliver accountants reports. His practice was closed down following Law Society resolution to intervene in December last year. Tribunal told Law Society Compensation Fund had paid out u88.12 and ...

  • Litigation Recent Decisions 18/10/94

    18-Oct-1994

    DTI: No duty to provide guidelines Article 130r EEC Treaty - white paper 1990 'This common inheritance'R v Secretary of State for Trade and Industry, ex parte Duddridge and Ors (1994) (DC 03.10.94.) (Farquharson LJ, Smith J)Summary: No duty on the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry to provide guidelines on the intensity of electromagnetic fields in the electricity supply system unless significant risk of damage or injury ...

  • Litigation Writs 18/10/94

    18-Oct-1994

    Student nurse, Sally Boug-hey of Wareham, Dorset, who was forced to give up her nursing career after receiving back injuries when a patient she was lifting fell on top of her, has launched a u50,000 High Court compensation claim against Bristol and District Health Authority and United Bristol Healthcare NHS Trust.The writ accuses the Health Authority and Trust of negligence for failing to give her adequate training in transferring patients, ...

  • Make a Will Week kicks off in regions

    18-Oct-1994

    LOCAL law societies come into their own this week as they take up the challenge of persuading people to make a will.Chancery Lane has largely handed on the initiative for Make a Will Week to local societies, which have a better knowledge of where resources should be targeted.In Manchester, solicitors will be manning an exhibition stand in the main shopping centre, while in Liverpool they will be taking part in an off-air radio phone-in to answer people's ...

  • Making the most of UK connections

    18-Oct-1994

    Roger Pearson looks aheadThe High Court scene is set for two legal battles which could have far-reaching implications for workers in undeveloped countries who suffer illness or injury working in their homelands for companies with UK power bases.Leigh Day & Co's Richard Meeran is spear-heading claims over the death and illness of workers at a South African mercury processing plant and a Namibian Uranium mine.But he is spearheading them not in ...

  • MEPs up pressure for establishment

    18-Oct-1994

    THE EUROPEAN Commission has promised to draw up a draft rights of establishment directive by the end of November.The news has been welcomed, but there are suspicions that the promise will not be kept because it was made under intense pressure from the European Parliament.MEPs had written repeatedly to the commission to ask it to legislate on rights of establishment, which would allow solicitors from one country to set up in all of the other member countries. ...

  • Merger rings in creation of new Southampton firm

    18-Oct-1994

    A NEW firm of solicitors has been formed in Southampton under the name Bell Pope.The move is a merger of Bell Pope & Bridgwater and Parker Bullen. It has nine partners offering services in intellectual property, company and commercial, conveyancing, landlord and tenant, family and matrimonial and computer law.The senior partner will be Robert Long, formerly of Bell Pope Bridgwater, while the managing partner, Stephen Alexandre, comes from Parker Bullen.

  • Monks' debut defends union role

    18-Oct-1994

    LAWYERS do well out of trade unions and will carry on raking in business for years to come, according to the secretary general of the TUC.But John Monks, the first TUC leader ever to speak at a Conservative Party Conference, hoped this would not always be the case."Lawyers should only be necessary when something has gone wrong. Good industrial relations are based on trust not litigation."The TUC wants a modern economy made up of profitable modern ...

  • PI firms 'run riot' on claims costs

    18-Oct-1994

    PERSONAL injury lawyers acting for plaintiffs are benefiting from the "rising tide of personal injury claims", by earning up to three quarters of the legal costs paid out yearly by the insurance industry, says a defendants' lawyer.Martin Bruffell, personal injury partner at London firm Berrymans, speaking to delegates at the Chartered Insurance Institute conference, said: "Insurers and defendants have put their solicitors under the cosh for many years to keep their ...

  • Pinsents partner finds common purpose

    18-Oct-1994

    Pinsent & Co senior partner Julian Tonks has been appointed chair of educational organisation Birmingham Common Purpose. Common Purpose, which runs study programmes in 26 cities throughout the UK in areas such as crime and justice and economy and employment, is aimed at "high-fliers" from the public, private and voluntary sectors. Participants attend a series of workshops designed to help them identify the key issues facing their city or region.

  • Portsmouth's lawyer heads north

    18-Oct-1994

    Nicole Maley reportsPORTSMOUTH City Council's principal solicitor Michael Lancaster has left the public sector to join Leeds firm Eversheds Hepworth & Chadwick.Lancaster, who started with Portsmouth in 1989 after completing his articles at Leeds practice Hammond Suddards, joined the firm's public sector unit last month.He will provide specialist ...

  • Premier council

    18-Oct-1994

    Harrogate Borough Council has installed QNIX Premier from software company Sanderson GA. The system comprises debt recovery modules, time recording, practice accounts and case management modules.

  • Property

    18-Oct-1994

    Fenchurch Investments, advised by Halliwell Landau, has acquired a Gloucester development site and has entered into development agreements for two retail stores with German supermarket chain, Lidl UK Properties, advised by Baileys Shaw & Gillett.

  • Property

    18-Oct-1994

    The joint venture of Development Securities and Bryant Properties, BDS Properties, was advised by Evershed Wells & Hind has pre-let its first development at the Birmingham International Park to Rover Group, advised by Wragge & Co, and completed the forward sale with British Rail Pension Funds, advised by Berwin Leighton.

  • Revenue hunts corporate fraud

    18-Oct-1994

    The Inland Revenue is diverting more resources to investigating corporate tax fraud, which could spell increasing danger for lawyers and other professional advisers who are inadvertently involved, say tax specialists.Such work is already big business. According to the latest annual report, the revenue's special compliance office (SCO), which investigates suspected serious fraud and tax evasion and avoidance, won u348.3 million in settled cases in 1993/94.The ...

  • Russells appoints marketing expert

    18-Oct-1994

    London law firm Charles Russell has appointed Simon Slater, former head of marketing and corporate communications at DTZ Debenham Thorpe, to the new position of marketing director. He will focus on market development, communications and raising the firm's profile within its core market sectors.

  • SCB pay-outs go through the roof

    18-Oct-1994

    LATEST figures from the Law Society reveal that pay-outs from the Solicitors' Complaints Bureau reached an historic high in 1993 - but dishonesty and shoddy work will ensure the record is broken again in 1994.Solicitors spent u23 million last year bailing out their professional colleagues - up by more than 50 per cent on 1992. But the figure this year is expected to hit u30 million.Chris Heaps, chair of the Law Society's adjudication and appeals committee, ...

  • Searle quits Denton Hall to set up niche planning firm

    18-Oct-1994

    FORMER Denton Hall managing partner Geoffrey Searle has left the firm to set up his own niche planning practice in London.Searle leaves Denton Hall after 20 years, where he led the planning team from 1973 until 1988. He was then managing partner until 1992.Searle says the new firm is the first of its kind in the capital. "There is room for the set-piece performance of the expensive, larger firms as well as the subtle, personal approach of an experienced individual ...

  • SURVEY RESULTS AT A GLANCE

    18-Oct-1994

    The survey looked at the different areas of work which are carried out by accountancy firms, and which generated a number of responses.

  • TCS tries its hand at a PMS

    18-Oct-1994

    Simon rogers reportsLegal systems supplier Total Computer Systems (TCS) has developed a new package for law firm practice management.The Windows-based package is unusual because TCS is best known for its work with local government legal departments on its Psion-based time recording system.It also relies heavily on the Lotus Notes database.The system, OpenFile, is designed to run across a network and to cover legal procedures ...

  • The Lawyer Inquiry: Jon Vivian

    18-Oct-1994

    Jon Vivian is a property law partner at City firm McKenna & Co. Aged 40 he was born, and still lives, in Sussex.What was your first job?Labouring long and hard in a saw mill.What was your first ever salary as a lawyer?Negligible. Some things never change.What would you have done if you weren't a lawyer?Possibly a fund manager/ professional golfer both at the same time.Which law could you ...

  • Thompson partnerships set to reunite

    18-Oct-1994

    ROBIN Thompson & Partners and Brian Thompson & Partners, the leading trades union and personal injury firms, are expected to announce the result of merger talks this week.A partnership meeting at Robin Thompsons at the weekend is expected to confirm the timescale for the move. Both firms hope the merger will be soon.Geoff Shears, Brian Thompson's co-ordinating partner, says: "An amalgamation of the firms lets us make the best possible use of our strengths ...

  • TU cases could hit privatisation

    18-Oct-1994

    GOVERNMENT policies on privatising parts of the public sector will be severely damaged if two current legal actions from major trades unions are successful, say employment lawyers.The actions, both over the question of whether privatised workers’ pension rights can be transferred, could also leave Tupe, the UK legislation meant to enact the European Acquired Rights Directive, in tattersBut they could also have a huge impact on the buying and selling of businesses ...

  • UK partner in democracy role

    18-Oct-1994

    LONDON solicitor Gerald Shamash has been involved in "brainstorming" sessions aimed at establishing an international body to act as a "consultant broker" to emerging democracies.Shamash, an electoral law expert and partner at Steel & Shamash, is a member of one of the specialist "issue groups" which met in Sweden last month to formulate guidelines for the organisation of the International Electoral Institute Commission.The groups have provided suggestions for ...

  • Word perfect speech

    18-Oct-1994

    Canadian speech recognition company Kolvox Communications has signed a "letter of intent" with WordPerfect to develop speech recognition applications. They will run on key WordPerfect software products and are for both businesses and home computers.

  • York firm broadens its horizons

    18-Oct-1994

    North Yorkshire firm Harrowell Shaftoe has announced plans to expand to a new site outside York. The move is designed to develop the firm's commercial law service and provide clients with easier access and parking. The firm already has two offices in the city. Senior partner, John Yeomans, says: "This development is a major investment in the future of the firm, which is to develop regionally while remaining based on our long-standing York presence."