18 August 1997

The Lawyer

  • And the rising stars. Unsurprisingly, the most highly-rated juniors are concentrated in IP chambers

    19-Aug-1997

    According to one leading IP practitioner what he looks for is juniors who are "cleverer than us". Juniors getting the most mentions are concentrated in the IP chambers. One junior in particular is Andrew Waugh at Three New Square, described as "a bit of a star - he is excellent, very hard-working and very capable".He is the favourite of many of the firms and solicitors involved in this area of work, who considered him their "first choice. He is in great demand and will probably ...

  • Ashursts rises up M&A table

    19-Aug-1997

    Ashurst Morris Crisp has knocked Slaughter and May from the number two position for value of UK public takeovers it has advised on so far this year.Ashursts has risen dramatically up Acquisitions Monthly's M&A league table in the past two and a half years: moving from 13th place at the end of 1995 ...

  • Bar Council unveils fees plan

    19-Aug-1997

    THE BAR Council has drawn up its blueprint for a scheme to regulate civil court fees in a bid to head off the Lord Chancellor's Department's (LCD) controversial fixed fees proposals.A Bar Council working party, headed by Roderick Wood QC, has just submitted the blueprint to the LCD in the hope that the department will accept the scheme in place of the Government's original standard fees proposals which caused a storm of protest at the Bar when they were unveiled ...

  • Barristers warned to monitor judges' sentencing accuracy

    19-Aug-1997

    Barristers have been warned that they must correct judges if they impose an illegal sentence, following concern from senior figures in the judiciary that many costly appeals are avoidable.Registrar of Criminal Appeals, Michael McKenzie, has asked the Bar Council to remind its members that it is the duty of both prosecution and defence counsel in every case to be aware of the sentencing powers of the judge.McKenzie added that barristers must direct the judge's ...

  • Bina Cunningham on trade mark and domain name disputes. Bina Cunningham is a partner at Willoughby & Partners.

    19-Aug-1997

    A UK-based IT company, Prince plc, has successfully obtained a High Court declaration that trade mark infringement proceedings which had been threatened by Prince Sports Groups were unjustified. It has also obtained an injunction against the continuation of such threats.The decision is an eye-opener for trade mark owners, and for anyone interested in Network Solutions Inc's (the body that registers domain names) domain name dispute resolution policy.

  • Capital Corporation successfully fought off casino takeover

    19-Aug-1997

    While British lawyers spent this month's American Bar Association (ABA) conference forging contacts and drumming up business, their American colleagues spent much of their time debating euthanasia. And when they weren't discussing physician-assisted suicide, they were grappling with a host of other social issues.It all left the Brits a tad bemused. As one senior barrister mumbled: "I have lots of opinions on things but I don't go on telling everyone about ...

  • City unbiased says Lewis

    19-Aug-1997

    Norton Rose senior partner David Lewis has launched a public defence of City firms against the "anti-City hysterical outbursts" from "self-interest groups" complaining about sexual and racial discrimination.In a letter to The Lawyer Lewis claims that a Law Society-commissioned study, which two weeks ago found nearly one in 10 females and just over one in 10 ethnic minority trainees faced ...

  • Contempt over release of info

    19-Aug-1997

    The House of Lords is considering whether to give leave for appeal in Propend Finance Property and ors v Sing and anor. Propend, an Australian company, has so far failed in its moves to bring contempt proceedings over the release of confidential information, which it claims was obtained from documents originally seized under search warrants later held by the High Court to be unlawful. The search warrants were originally obtained in respect of an investigation into alleged ...

  • Contributing to community care cost

    19-Aug-1997

    A fight has erupted over whether local authorities can force people to contribute to their home care costs, reports Roger PearsonLocal authorities throughout the country are awaiting judgment in a case that could have widespread implications for the financing of community care services.The pending High Court decision by Mr Justice Popplewell follows the challenge by multiple sclerosis sufferer, Jenny Hambridge, over the powers of her local authority ...

  • Deloittes in Paris merger

    19-Aug-1997

    Deloitte & Touche Juridique et Fiscal, the Paris legal arm of the Big Six accountancy firm, is to merge with French law firm Thomas & Associes in a move that will create the fourth largest law firm in France.The new firm, which will begin operating on 1 September, will bring together 200 lawyers, including 30 partners, and will join KPMG's French associate Fidal, Gide Loyrette Nouel and Arthur Andersen's firm Archibald Andersen in the top four in France.

  • Do Law Society elections have a future?

    19-Aug-1997

    Every year solicitors vote for a Law Society president, yet the position carries little power. Andrew Lockley examines the alternatives to this expensive constitutional peculiarityWhile national politicians held their first election for five years, the Law Society has had its third in three years. Why is the presidency of the Law Society worth fighting for? It brings its holder great prestige but no real power. The Queen reigns, but she does not rule; similarly, ...

  • Financing

    19-Aug-1997

    Sinclair Roche & Temperley's Singapore office advised Den Norske Bank

  • Financing

    19-Aug-1997

    Clifford Chance advised Citibank

  • Flotations

    19-Aug-1997

    Simmons & Simmons is advising AIM company Network Technology on its £56m placing and open offer on the London Stock Exchange. Denton Hall advised underwriter Singer & Friedlander. Donne Mileham & Haddock also advised the company.

  • Flotations

    19-Aug-1997

    Watson Farley & Williams' London and New York offices advised Debonair Holdings

  • Flotations

    19-Aug-1997

    Paisner & Co acted for Medisys on its reverse takeover of Needle Incinerator and its £30m admission to AIM. Simmons & Simmons acted for Needle Incinerator's selling shareholders.

  • Freshfields poaches Cleary

    19-Aug-1997

    Freshfields' Hong Kong office has poached project finance partner Peter Cleary from US firm Chadbourne & Parke's Hong Kong office.Cleary, a senior US lawyer with 15 years' project finance experience in Asia, will join Freshfields in September. Marketing director Dominic Leahy said the appointment underlined Freshfields' commitment to expanding its international ...

  • Fury as SIF fees hike hits home

    19-Aug-1997

    Firms of all sizes have reacted with anger and confusion to letters from the crisis-hit Solicitors Indemnity Fund (SIF) notifying them of massive hikes in their fund contributions.One leading figure, Dibb Lupton Alsop managing partner Nigel Knowles, said the City would be certain to back a campaign for SIF's monopoly to be abolished following the recent revelation of a £450m shortfall in the fund."I am absolutely certain that the firm which actually ...

  • Hungarian law to force foreign firms to form local alliances

    19-Aug-1997

    Foreign law firms in Hungary could soon be forced to change their names and form associations with local firms, under laws being considered by the Hungarian parliament.The draft Act on Lawyers, which could become law by the end of the year, states that any foreign lawyer working in Hungary would have to formally link up with a domestic firm or lawyer. The name of any foreign office would have to contain the name of the associated local firm or lawyer. Only Hungarian-qualified ...

  • In brief: Berwins consultant to head property firm

    19-Aug-1997

    Berwin Leighton consultant Victor Benjamin, has been appointed non-executive director at property consultants Richard Ellis. Benjamin is also chairman of Beazer Group and Tesco Pension Trustees and deputy chairman of Lex Service.

  • In brief: Conditional fee agreements figure doubles

    19-Aug-1997

    A record number of conditional fee agreements are being struck - two years after they were legalised. Law Society figures show 1,500 conditional fee agreements are being approved each month by Accident Line Protect, the society's "no win no fee" insurers, compared to 750 a month two years ago. David Hartley, the society's head of remuneration, said conditional fees should be extended to all civil cases. Michael Napier, author of Conditional Fees - A Survival Guide, added: ...

  • In brief: Foy & Co partner heads Doncaster Law Soc

    19-Aug-1997

    Foy & Co commercial partner Glyn Jones has been elected president of the Doncaster and District Law Society. A solicitor for nearly 20 years, Jones has been at the society for 12 years. Northamptonshire Law Society also has a new president - commercial property lawyer Peter Cooch. A partner at the Northampton branch of Hewitson Becke & Shaw, Cooch has been a member of the Northamptonshire Society for 30 years.

  • In brief: Howes Percival expands into Leicester

    19-Aug-1997

    Northampton firm Howes Percival has opened a three-partner office in Leicester. The 26-partner firm, which already has offices in Norwich and Milton Keynes, is looking to build on an existing client base in Leicester. Jit Singh, who will join Charles Bennion and Ashwin Mody as a resident partner in the central city office, said there would also be three assistant solicitors and two trainees.

  • In brief: LJ Otton awarded honorary doctor of law

    19-Aug-1997

    Lord Justice Otton has been awarded an honorary degree by Nottingham Trent University. The degree, an honorary doctor of law, was in recognition of his support for the university's law school. He received his reward from Sir David White, chairman of the university's board of governors, who said the judge had been "a stalwart supporter of Nottingham Law School".

  • In brief: Stedman to head TG's corporate group

    19-Aug-1997

    Theodore Goddard's corporate partner Graham Stedman has been made head of the firm's corporate group, replacing Peter Kavanagh who was elected managing partner in May.

  • In brief: Survey reveals poor working conditions

    19-Aug-1997

    Law firm partners say they are under-resourced and over-burdened with meetings, according to a new survey of 2,000 business professionals conducted by Athenaeum Hotel & Apartments. It also found that lawyers often enjoy the best working conditions: while 25 per cent of the partners said their workplace was under-resourced, that figure jumped to 75 per cent for accountants.

  • In brief: Titmuss partner joins Holborn practice

    19-Aug-1997

    Titmuss Sainer Dechert litigation partner John Hume is leaving the firm after 33 years, including 24 years as a partner, to become the sixth partner at litigation practice The Ralph Garry Partnership. The High Holborn-based practice has been renamed Ralph Hume Garry. Hume, a solicitor advocate, said his main clients would be coming with him, and commented: "One eventually gets tired and needs a change. ...

  • intellectual property bar association

    19-Aug-1997

    The Intellectual Property Bar Association (Patent Bar Association until 1995) was founded in the early 1970s to provide a voice for barristers specialising in intellectual property work.Originally, patents work predominated, which has now expanded to cover copyright, trademarks, genetic engineering and computers.The 70-plus members of the association (20 of whom are silks) are based predominantly in London, with a few in Manchester. Membership ...

  • IT working party redefines 'writing'

    19-Aug-1997

    The legal definition of "writing" and "signatures" should be broadened to include their electronic forms to cater for the increasing use of new technology, according to the Society for Computers & Law (SCL).The recommendations appear in an SCL report, issued last week and submitted to the Department of Trade and Industry, which is based on research undertaken by a working party comprising lawyers, academics, and industry and commerce representatives.The report ...

  • Kenya embraces Law Society mission

    19-Aug-1997

    The Law Society is hailing a recent human rights mission to Kenya as a major success, after the Kenyan Gov ernment accepted its recommendation for a workshop to discuss the much-maligned Kenyan justice system.A delegation from the Law Society's international human rights working party made the recommendation after visiting the country earlier this year.The Law Society of Kenya requested the visit in an effort to highlight what it called the Kenyan Government's ...

  • Landlords fight back over ties

    19-Aug-1997

    Roger Pearson looks at the continuing row over whether brewery tie agreements comply with EC block exemption provisionsA Court of Appeal ruling, in which a publican has failed to set aside an injunction banning him from breaking a tie with a drink supply company, Greenalls Management, has signposted a legal fight with wide implications for brewers and landlords of tied houses.If Brendan Canavan, landlord of the Golden Lion in Eccles, ...

  • Landmark planning win for Lawrences

    19-Aug-1997

    Lawrence Graham is celebrating a "landmark" planning ruling after convincing an inquiry that a proposed development 600 metres from a town centre was "edge of centre" rather than "out of centre".Planning partner Trevor Blaney used a shopping survey to persuade the planning inquiry that the two retail stores planned by his clients BT and Globus Office World were within easy walking distance ...

  • Law Soc damns bugging code

    19-Aug-1997

    A new Code of Practice hailed by the Government as safeguarding lawyers' conversations with their clients from unwarranted police surveillance has been condemned by the Law Society.The code was unveiled by the Government last week in response to fears that the last administration's Police Bill, passed in March, did not protect lawyer-client confidentiality.It has been released to 200 organisations for consultation, and states that chief constables should ...

  • Lawyers damn Hampel report with faint praise

    19-Aug-1997

    Robert Lindsay discovers that Hampel raises more questions than he answers. Details of deals should be sent to the City editor, Robert Lindsay. Please include all other law firms acting on deals and the value, where possible. In November last year Sir Ronnie Hampel, the chairman of ICI and the Corporate Governance Committee, got involved in a revealing argument with Linklaters & Paines lawyer ...

  • Limiting your liability

    19-Aug-1997

    Issues: Incorporation

  • Linklaters opens Essex communications centre

    19-Aug-1997

    LINKLATERS & Paines has opened its long-planned new "disaster-proof" Essex communications centre.The £3m new site at Colchester Business Park, which opened this month, will safeguard the firm's data in case disaster strikes its London offices, and also provide a 24-hour support service to the firm's offices around the world.Simon Thompson, Linklaters' head ...

  • Litigation Disciplinary Tribunals 19/8/97

    19-Aug-1997

  • Litigation Personal Injury 19/8/97

    19-Aug-1997

    Decisions are taken from Lawtel's legal database. LTL: Lawtel report; TLR: Times Law Reports; ILR: Independent Law Report Lawson v Tower Hamlets Health Authority - QBD 21 July 1997Claimant: Jamie Lawson, eight years.Incident: Medical negligenceInjuries: Claimant born with severe athetoid cerebral palsy following hypoxia in final stages of delivery at the London Hospital in August 1989. Claimant's mother's uterus ruptured ...

  • Litigation Recent Decisions 19/8/97

    19-Aug-1997

    Secretary of State's decision to grant a CPO upheld(1) Chesterfield Properties plc (2) Kwik Save Group v (1) Secretary of State for the Environment (2) Secretary of State for Transport (3) Stockton-on-Tees Borough Council (1997)Court: QBD (Laws J) 24/7/9Appearances: Timothy Straker QC for the first appellant. Anthony Dinkin QC for the second appellant. David Holgate QC for the first and second respondents.Summary: Whether, under s.226(1)(a) ...

  • Litigation Writs 19/8/97

    19-Aug-1997

    The mother of a murdered child is suing two health authorities over her daughter's death. Beverley Palmer of Hartlepool is seeking damages from Teesside Health Authority and Hartlepool and East Durham NHS Trust for damages. Three-year-old Rosie was abducted, sexually abused, and murdered by Tony Armstrong on 30 June 1994. He then severely mutilated her body, which was not found until 3 July, after Mrs Palmer had been questioned as a suspect by police for 12 ...

  • MMC rejects top-end Mayfair casinos takeover bid

    19-Aug-1997

    Stephenson Harwood has pronounced last week's Monopolies and Mergers Commission (MMC) rejection of a proposed takeover of its client, casino operator Capital Corporation, as entirely predictable.The ruling followed Trade and Industry Secretary Margaret Beckett's controversial decision to refer the £190m takeover bid by London Clubs International to the MMC.

  • New scheme set up to rival Solicitors Property Centres

    19-Aug-1997

    One of the pioneers of the solicitors property shop concept is to establish a rival to the planned Solicitors Property Centres (SPC) chain.Solicitor Michael Garson, who in February this year organised one of the first conferences calling for solicitors to band together and sell property, has now set up the Independent Property Solicitors Organisation (IPSO).IPSO will help solicitors who want to sell property, but do not want to join SPC's controversial nationwide ...

  • North East practice ploughs £600k into IT

    19-Aug-1997

    Elizabeth Davidson reportsEVERY fee-earner at North East firm Jacksons is to have personal access to e-mail from September as part of an IT overhaul which has cost £600,000 to date.The 20-partner commercial law firm is due to move from its Middlesbrough base to larger, more modern offices shortly before Christmas, and is undergoing an IT transformation in the process.Jacksons' IT overhaul began a year ago when the firm appointed ...

  • Oil company threatens to sue Gouldens

    19-Aug-1997

    Irish oil company Bula Resources has announced that it has threatened court action against City firm Gouldens over a failed venture with Russian company Aki-Otyr.Gouldens advised on the Aki-Otyr transaction in 1994 and early 1995.The move comes after Bula was forced to write off large sums due to legal problems over title to its 51 per cent interest in the Russian company.Following a review of the deal by

  • Princes of the patents Bar

    19-Aug-1997

    Traditionally, male barristers have carried out patents work, which explains the predominance of male silks in this areaThe massive increase in the use of computers and information technology in all areas of work (and even in chambers) has meant that barristers have to ensure that they are up-to-date with all the latest developments in intellectual property law, both technical and legal.Intellectual property practice arose from the need to protect ...

  • Property

    19-Aug-1997

    Nabarro Nathanson acted for Midland Bank on the £20m sale and leaseback of 99 branches of the bank across the country

  • Property

    19-Aug-1997

    Payne Hicks Beach advised Siebe on its £8m sale of a 300,000 sq ft office and industrial development to Anglo Lamron Developments, advised by Pitmans. Allen & Overy advised Schroder Exempt Property Unit Trust which funded Anglo's purchase.

  • Recruitment firms look to South Africa

    19-Aug-1997

    UK RECRUITER Laurence Simons has formed an alliance with South African legal recruitment company Legal Personnel Services in a bid to help meet a growing UK demand for top notch lawyers.Daniel Lewis, an international consultant at Laurence Simons International, said that the move was prompted by the fact that the Australian market, where the firm has links with two recruitment firms, is in danger of being "milked dry" of lawyers by UK firms.Lewis said Australian ...

  • SFLA comes to aid of summer divorce victims

    19-Aug-1997

    THE Solicitors Family Law Association (SFLA) has launched a leaflet campaign to promote its members to a wider public audience before the annual surge of summer divorces.The SFLA has launched a national helpline giving the name of the nearest SFLA solicitor, and is distributing a brochure that gives "10 good reasons for choosing an SFLA solicitor".The brochure will be distributed in libraries, advice centres and Citizens' Advice Bureaux across the country.

  • SFO pays out £3,000

    19-Aug-1997

    The Serious Fraud Office (SFO) is understood to have paid over £3,000 to its former librarian in settlement of a claim of unfair dismissal.Librarian Kathy Crilley had worked three days a week for the past two and a half years at the SFO's library on a casual basis. When the position was made permanent, it is understood that the SFO advertised the job internally. Crilley, as a casual worker, was not entitled to apply for it.The SFO agreed to settle ...

  • South African giant breaks coastal links

    19-Aug-1997

    Johannesburg firm Webber Wentzel Bowens - South Africa's largest practice - has ended its association with Durban firm Shepstone & Wylie and Cape Town-based Findlay & Tait.Webbers has also said that it plans to open its own offices in Cape Town next March.The firm's general manager Murray Thompson said that the split was "amicable" and would not affect Maitland & Co, the London firm run jointly by Webbers and Shepstones.Thompson said that ...

  • The Lawyer Inquiry: Suzanne Fine

    19-Aug-1997

    Suzanne Fine was born in London, where she currently lives. She is a practising barrister and head of the Bar Vocational Course at the College of Law in London.What was your first job?Prosecuting for the British Transport Police in 1976.What was your first ever salary as a lawyer?£20 for that first brief, which I received about a year later!What would you have done if you hadn’t become a lawyer?

  • Time for the US to open its doors

    19-Aug-1997

    This month, New York lawyers will have the opportunity to comment on the issue of admitting foreign lawyers to their state. A consultation document on admissions to the New York Bar is in circulation, and responses are due shortly.The Law Society of England and Wales is of the opinion that it has scored a coup by being asked to contribute to the debate. It seems unlikely, however, that there will be any major move on the thorny subject of admitting foreign ...

  • TJG in strategy revamp

    19-Aug-1997

    Taylor Joynson Garrett will concentrate on intellectual property, telecoms and corporate work after a review of its strategy undertaken by Alan Hodgart of management consultants Hodgart Temporal.At the same time, the firm has hired Eversheds' national marketing director Fi Inchbald as business development director with a seat on the board.Managing partner Richard Marsh said: ...

  • Trainees - a City view

    19-Aug-1997

    Write to: The Editor, The Lawyer, 50 Poland Street, London W1V 4AX, Fax 0171 734 0534 The Policy Institute's 4th Year study has produced the usual anti-City outbursts. Self-interest groups maintain that it proves widespread discrimination against women and ethnic minorities in the allocation of training places; even that this discrimination exists "regardless of academic performance". It is further alleged that trainee solicitors ...

  • US lawyers turned on to Internet

    19-Aug-1997

    Elizabeth Davidson reportsThe ABA uncovers cautious optimism about the potential of the NetTOP US lawyers have "embraced" technology and IT systems, according to new research.A survey carried out this year by the American Bar Association (ABA) on the state of technology among the 500 largest private law firms in the US showed a "cautious optimism" about the potential of the Internet and "commonplace" usage of it ...

  • Washington firm poaches partners for new LA office

    19-Aug-1997

    US firm Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld has raided the Los Angeles offices of two national US firms in order to open up its own office in the city.The new Akin Gump office is the Washington firm's second new venture this year following its opening of an office in London in May.It has poached three partners from Kaye Scholer's Los Angeles office - Gary Apfel, Hushmand Sohaili and Channing Johnson - and one from the Rogers & Wells Los Angeles branch - ...

  • Weil Gotshal spreads its wings

    19-Aug-1997

    US firm Weil Gotshal & Manges is moving into three floors of the prestigious new Helicon building in the City to make room for the 120 UK lawyers it expects to have poached before 2000.Former Clifford Chance partner Maurice Allen, who opened the firm's first City office in January ...

  • Who's suing who?

    19-Aug-1997

    A number of IP cases heard this year have already highlighted practices which could affect the way practitioners operate in the future, says Jim Kinnier-Wilson. Jim Kinnier-Wilson is an intellectual property partner at Nabarro Nathanson.So far, 1997 has seen a series of decisions in the Chancery Division concentrating on practical issues faced by IP practitioners - including who to join as ...

  • Wickes reclaims bonuses

    19-Aug-1997

    DIY retailer Wickes is suing two of its former employees for the return of bonus payments totalling £136,000. The claim by Wickes Building Supplies is against former director Leslie Rosenthal, who headed their buying department, and senior manager Christopher Miles, and is for repayment of their bonuses following accounting irregularities. Rosenthal is facing a claim for repayment of an £85,000 bonus, and Miles is being sued for repayment of ...