18 December 1995

The Lawyer

  • ...but it also costs

    19-Dec-1995

    The financial difficulties facing small law firms in the UK was revealed in the end of year profitability study by consultants Grant Thornton. The survey backs up the findings of The Lawyer/Coopers & Lybrand study earlier this year which sounded alarm bells for smaller practices.With partners earning around £23,000 in one in four small firms, there is little room for ...

  • An Act of confusion

    19-Dec-1995

    The growing number of childless couples entering into surrogacy arrangements has added a new dimension to family law litigation.This area of family law was the focus of a recent judgment given in chambers in the High Court's Family Division by Mr Justice Johnson.The decision was made public because of the nature of the issues it raised.The judge paved the way for a childless couple to call the surrogate daughter carried for them by an un-married ...

  • Asim meeting sets out agenda

    19-Dec-1995

    Ruthven Gemmell, head of investment at Edinburgh firm Murray Beith Murray, is to be the Scottish director of the Association of Solicitors Investment Managers (Asim). He was voted in at the association's recent annual general meeting, as were five new member firms.At the meeting, chair David Lough reported that Asim was concentrating its efforts on services to members and had responded to consultation papers about the custody of documents and on ...

  • Australian practice seeks associate to boost London work

    19-Dec-1995

    AUSTRALIAN law firm Minter Ellison has cast a net over the London market in an effort to recruit a senior associate to its UK practice.The firm, which has operated a London office for more than 20 years, is replacing Stephen Britt who leaves at the end of the year to become an in-house lawyer with Royal Insurance in the UK.Resident partner Michael Whalley, who has worked for the firm in London for 16 years, said there was also a proposal to bring an additional ...

  • Bid farewell to Temple

    19-Dec-1995

    BEFORE moving to Holborn Chambers a year ago, 3 Kings Bench Walk was experiencing the normal remuneration and payment delays expected in a criminal/common law set predominantly reliant on legally aided work.In addition, the Inn's rents were being raised to market levels, and remained there while market levels dropped.Increasing uncertainties at the Bar meant a greater turnover of tenants.As a result we decided we needed new premises ...

  • Biker to help taxi firm out of jam

    19-Dec-1995

    THE MINI cab firm convicted for displaying the word "taxi" on its "taxi-bikes" has found a motor cycle-mad lawyer to represent it in the appeal case.London's largest mini-cab and courier operators Addison Lee has appointed Stephen Cantle, senior partner at London firm Kennedys, to conduct its appeal against a magistrates court conviction and £500 fine.The firm was prosecuted ...

  • Caution urged over financial moves

    19-Dec-1995

    John Malpas reportsCHAMBERS are being warned to ignore approaches by financial advisers in search of joint ventures which would break professional rules.The warning appears in December's issue of Bar News, the Bar Council's newssheet.It says a number of chambers have been approached by advisers suggesting they can team up to arrange structured life annuities as part of structured settlements.The Bar Council's professional ...

  • CBA tackles problems of prison access for barristers

    19-Dec-1995

    CRIMINAL barristers are being urged to give details about their experiences getting into high security prisons as part of a campaign to make access to prisoners easier.The Criminal Bar Association is spearheading the initiative following a Prison Service crackdown on security after the breakout of six IRA prisoners from Whitemoor prison.The association says its members are having problems securing dates, times and sufficiently long interviews with their clients ...

  • Child abuse battle clears first hurdle

    19-Dec-1995

    A CHESHIRE solicitor who is campaigning for a public inquiry into numerous instances of sexual abuse at children's homes in his area is preparing to take legal action against Health Secretary Stephen Dorrell.Peter Garsden, who has written twice to Dorrell demanding an inquiry, has won legal aid to investigate the possibility of seeking a judicial review.So far three former care workers have been jailed for committing sexual offences at three homes in the ...

  • Chip theft warning

    19-Dec-1995

    Barristers' chambers have been advised to increase security measures to protect their PCs and to back up all their data. The warning came from John Horne, secretary of Bar services and information technology at the Bar Council, in response to the recent spate of thefts of computer chips from offices. Horne pointed to various thefts reported in the computer trade press of thieves gaining entry to office premises and removing chips from the computers.

  • CHRISTMAS QUIZ. Improve your brain power...

    19-Dec-1995

    MUSICA. Which member of U2 was so afraid of horses that a double had to be used in the filming of the video of New Year's Day?1. Bono 2. Dave Robbins3. The Edge 4. Adam Clayton 5. Larry MullinsB. Which composer wrote a symphony number 0 and one numbered 00?1. Mahler 2. Beethoven3. Haydn 4. Bruckner5. BrahmsC. Which ...

  • Circulars fly in Bar complaints row

    19-Dec-1995

    THE BAR Council is waging a battle for the hearts and minds of the Bar over the council's proposed complaints scheme.Council chair Peter Goldsmith QC is leading a war of circulars, warning barristers of the need to adopt the scheme, already watered down by a Criminal Bar Association amendment which restricts compensation payments to provable financial loss."It is now a modest scheme - some would say very modest indeed - but contains strong safeguards to ...

  • City firm entices Mishcons defectors

    19-Dec-1995

    THEODORE Goddard is picking up four partners from Mishcon de Reya to strengthen its entertainment and corporate departments.Three of these partners - Paul Armstrong, Graham Stedman and Paul Salmon - were known to be leaving after a disagreement with the partnership.Armstrong, an entertainments partner specialising in film and TV work and chair of the International Bar Association's ...

  • City partner swaps practice for Bar

    19-Dec-1995

    A FORMER City partner has crossed over to the Bar in search of more advocacy work and greater variety.Sue Burns, formerly of Lovell White Durrant, was invited to join 3 Serjeants' Inn chambers after successfully completing a three-month refresher pupillage.She originally qualified as a barrister before establishing herself as a construction litigation specialist at Lovells where she worked for 12 years, eight of which were as a partner.

  • Commission report clears up consent

    19-Dec-1995

    ADULTS should "generally" be entitled to make their own choices on issues of consent and those who suffer no permanent injury and willingly agree to certain acts should not be subject to criminal proceedings, according to the Law Commission.The commission, which last week released a consultation paper on the effect of consent in the criminal law, has reviewed the law in the context of issues such as surgery, dangerous sports, infliction of pain for sexual purposes, ritual ...

  • Compas scheme goes it alone

    19-Dec-1995

    John Malpas reportsA GROUP of chambers which successfully set up its own pupillage clearing house system has decided not to join the Bar Council's new scheme.The majority of the common law sets in the Compas scheme will not commit themselves to the Bar Council's new Pupillage Applications Clearing House System (Pach) until they have seen how it performs.Pach, launched next year, promises to be one of Bar Council chair Peter Goldsmith's ...

  • Council blows fees issue wide open

    19-Dec-1995

    A CLASSIC Law Society compromise has thrown open the entire conveyancing debate once again - and could even lead to the establishment of compulsory quality standards for conveyancers.The society's council heaved a collective sigh of relief after its meeting last Thursday.A damaging split on the method of solving the conveyancing fees crisis was averted when society president Martin Mears climbed down over a motion he had earlier described as one of the most ...

  • Court backs CCBE stand on home title

    19-Dec-1995

    THE EUROPEAN Court of Justice has handed down a judgment supporting the Council of Bars and Law Societies of the European Union in its majority opinion on establishment.The judgment, which interpreted the 1977 Directive on Lawyers' Services and Article 52 of the Treaty of Rome, came after the Italian Bar attempted to prevent German lawyer Reinhard Gebhard from opening up a full-time office in the country.Italian authorities asked the ECJ to interpret the ...

  • Court listings come on-line nationwide

    19-Dec-1995

    Helen Sage reportsAn on-line court listings service first launched in the Crown Courts in October will soon be available for the Daily Cause List.The service, provided by Legal Information eXchange, was installed in the Western Circuit on 4 December, completing the nationwide service.The listings, which have been part of a two-year pilot scheme run by LIX, provide electronically transmitted lists from all 78 Crown Courts.

  • Defamation reform urged

    19-Dec-1995

    RADICAL reform of the UK's "outdated" libel laws is needed, despite the Lord Chancellor's existing proposals for change, says the Newspaper Society.The society, which represents the regional press, says the Government still needs to address fundamental issues including burden of proof, the role of the jury, and the award and calculation of damages, which some press lawyers say should be set by judges.Responding to Lord Mac-kay's draft defamation ...

  • Discrimination/cable tv. The rocky road to cable TV

    19-Dec-1995

    Untold annoyance has been caused by cable TV companies virtually digging up back gardens regardless of the feelings of house owners or of the traffic congestion which can be caused while work is carried out. Can they do this?Cable TV companies are granted licences to install telecomms apparatus over and under land by the Secretary of State for Trade & Industry under section 7 of the Telecommunications Act 1984.To determine whether a company can install its apparatus ...

  • Discrimination/cable tv. What's in a name? More than you think

    19-Dec-1995

    Martin Luther King Jr, the US civil rights activist, said that "passive resistance is far more bewildering than outright rejection". In the UK, which has not experienced a racial upheaval, what is an ethnic law student who has encountered both passive resistance and outright rejection to do?Each year thousands of students apply for trainee contracts and a small number manage to attain them. An even smaller number of those are from ethnic minorities. Many ethnic minority ...

  • Firm fills Frankfurt post

    19-Dec-1995

    LINKLATERS & Paines junior corporate finance partner Casper Lawson has been chosen to replace Tony Hickinbotham as joint head of the firm's practice in Frankfurt.Lawson, currently working in London, is expected to head out to Germany in January to work in the firm's new joint venture practice with Hamburg and Berlin lawyers Schon Nolte Finkelnberg & Clemm (SNFC).The venture, Linklaters

  • Firm takes first steps down investment road

    19-Dec-1995

    Maidstone firm Whitehead Monckton has set up an investment management department.The 14-partner firm has hired an ex-stockbroker as director of investment services and an operations manager to man the department.It has also become a member of the Association of Solicitor Investment Managers (Asim).Richard Lewis joins the firm from Edinburgh Fund Managers where he was previously director of a subsidiary company, Private Fund Managers.

  • First in copyright queue

    19-Dec-1995

    It has recently come to my notice that you reported that "Eversheds has become the first major law firm to gain a "Copyright Licensing Agency licence" .I would like to point out that this firm took out a business licence with CLA effective from 1st March 1995. Whether that makes us the "first major law firm to gain a CLA licence" I do not know, but I hope that ...

  • For financial gain

    19-Dec-1995

    This year has seen the end of the independence of three of the great names in UK merchant banking (Kleinwort Benson, SG Warburg and Baring Brothers); rapidly followed by the City's leading broker Smith New Court. The new owners from the US, Holland, Switzerland and Germany were already established City players, albeit primarily in different markets.Buried deep in the cultural and business changes facing these organisations, and in many other houses addressing global ...

  • Former nurses find new role in caring legal profession

    19-Dec-1995

    A NEW association is setting out to promote the specialist skills of nurses who have entered the legal profession.Nurses in the Law Association met for the first time last week under the chairmanship of founder Rosamund Rhodes-Kemp.Rhodes-Kemp, a former nurse who left Middlesex Hospital five years ago and is now a partner in Russell Jones & Walker's medical negligence department, said a number of nurses were making career moves into the law and the association ...

  • Give cash to proposal

    19-Dec-1995

    It is good to see that the Judicial Studies Board is planning improvements to judicial training following Lord Woolf's proposals for judicial case management.With judges taking a centre stage role in these proposals, it is essential that they are up to the task in hand. With little training currently available, this area needs to be addressed.However, one cannot help but be sceptical that they will get funding for the level of training necessary. ...

  • Government figures show snapshot of crime in UK

    19-Dec-1995

    ONLY 3 per cent of criminal offences committed lead to an offender being convicted or cautioned, says a report on the criminal justice system in England and Wales.However, variations occur between offences. The report says 14 per cent of woundings result in a caution or conviction compared to 1.6 per cent of vandalism cases.Once the cases have been taken to court the average time taken from the offence to completion of the case is about 128 days.Of ...

  • Haringey in libel row

    19-Dec-1995

    The London Borough of Haringey is being taken to the High Court by a former member of staff. Samuel Morgan, who was a senior concierge with the housing service, claims he was libelled by being branded racist in a letter written by borough human resources manager Roger Melling.

  • High Court CAB wins cash boost

    19-Dec-1995

    LITIGANTS in person will receive greater help in the High Court after the Lord Chancellor handed over £130,000 to boost services offered by the Citizens Advice Bureau.The grant, offered to the Royal Courts of Justice over two years, comes after a working party chaired by Lord Justice Otton identified the CAB as in need of additional cash.It comes as one of a raft of proposals being developed by Lord Mackay for improved targeting of legal aid resources.

  • IBA art seminar

    19-Dec-1995

    Allen & Overy partner Richard Turnor and Farrer & Co's Judith Hill are among the speakers at an International Bar Association seminar on the legal issues involved in operating international museums and galleries on 15 to 16 February. For further information telephone 0171 629 1206.

  • In brief: Brian Eagles

    19-Dec-1995

    In last week's "Forthcoming Case" on the Hollies, we incorrectly said Brian Eagles was a solicitor at Nabarro Nathanson. He is a solicitor at Hammond Suddards.

  • In brief: City senior partner heads to Dublin firm

    19-Dec-1995

    Andrew Beer, a senior property partner with City firm Wilde Sapte, is set to leave the firm this month after more than 27 years. Beer will join as a partner with Dublin practice Ivor Fitzpatrick & Co on 1 January. He will advise exclusively in Irish law and help develop the firm's growing banking and commercial practice as well as advising on banking and insolvency matters and complex property transactions.

  • In brief: Law Society votes to go on the record

    19-Dec-1995

    The way members of the Law Society Council vote in important debates will now be recorded. Law Society president Martin Mears was behind the move, which was approved at the council meeting on Thursday. The initiative is part of a drive by the presidency to democratise the council. It was also widely viewed as a tactical device to put pressure on council members to support the president in the conveyancing fees debate. In the event a unanimous decision was reached, so votes did not need ...

  • In brief: Lowe gets Society's seal of approval

    19-Dec-1995

    Veronica Lowe's record as head of the beleaguered Solicitors Complaints Bureau was applauded by the Law Society Council on Thursday. Lowe stood down from her post as head of the bureau at the end of October and will leave the Law Society at the end of the year. Paul Pharaoh, chair of the adjudication and appeals committee, said she had displayed considerable tenacity to ensure proposals were carried through "even when her critics had much louder voices than her allies and even ...

  • In brief: Media barrister takes up professor's post

    19-Dec-1995

    A barrister from 5 New Square chambers has been awarded a professorship at the European Media Business School. Tony Martino, an entertainment and intellectual property specialist, is teaching entertainment law and practice in Rome and London on a new Masters course which combines the media and the law. The course which trains its students to become either film and television producers or legal and business practitioners is run in Rome and London as part of an EU media initiative.

  • In brief: New senior partner for maritime firm

    19-Dec-1995

    Litigation department head Harvey Williams last week took over as senior partner of international maritime firm Sinclair Roche & Temperley, filling the shoes of John Morris who stepped down after 20 years in the position. Williams, a qualified master mariner, became a partner with the firm in 1971 and specialised in charter party, contract and insurance work.

  • In brief: Partner exchanges Dibbs for Nabarros

    19-Dec-1995

    Dibb Lupton Broomhead partner Andrew Kerr is defecting to Nabarro Nathanson. Kerr is moving from Dibbs' Leeds office and will join Nabarros' company commercial team in Sheffield where he will specialise in public and private company acquisitions and disposals, management buy-out/buy-ins, venture capital work, joint ventures and acquisition finance. Kerr follows Dibbs partner Paul Houghton who ...

  • In brief: Talks tackle end-of-life electronics

    19-Dec-1995

    EU commissioner Ritt Bjerregaard will discuss the growing legal issues surrounding the management of end-of-life electronic products at a conference in London next year. The event, to be held at the US Embassy on 6 and 7 February, will include Lovell White Durrant among its sponsors. Speakers will consider the environmental, legal and economic problems associated with take-back of redundant electronic products.

  • In brief: Theodore Goddard wins training accolade

    19-Dec-1995

    The Department of Education and Employment has named City firm Theodore Goddard as London Regional Winner of its National Training Award. The firm, which brought in a professional trainer to help improve profitability within the practice, won the award for a programme created to help its solicitors develop commercial and marketing skills.

  • Instant program

    19-Dec-1995

    Helen Sage reportsInstant Library has launched Legal Update, a legal loose-leaf filing service to add to its portfolio of information management services. Chair Diana Edmonds said: "Legal Update is a natural addition to the many document management projects that we already undertake on behalf of lawyers and accountants."

  • IP information firm picks Verity upgrade

    19-Dec-1995

    Helen Sage reportsQuestel-Orbit, supplier of on-line intellectual property information, has chosen Verity's Topic search engine for its new Internet multimedia service 'Angie'.Questel-Orbit, a subsidiary of France Telecom, specialises in patent, trade mark, scientific chemical and business information and provides more than one billion documents on-line through 250 databases. Most of its 35,000-customer base are ...

  • Kazakhstan deal

    19-Dec-1995

    Baker & McKenzie partner Hugh Stewart led a team of lawyers acting for UK-based Ispat International in its recent acquisition of Kazakhstan's Karmet Steel Works. Stewart, a corporate partner at the firm's London office, was assisted by Phillip Rosenblatt, who worked from the firm's Almaty base. ...

  • LAB ignores 'pressure' of power giant to reinstate funds for leukaemia fight

    19-Dec-1995

    THE LEGAL Aid Board (LAB) has reinstated funds to lawyers acting for the family of a childhood leukaemia victim months after backing was withdrawn under alleged pressure from power suppliers.Leigh Day & Co is taking a case against Norweb claiming electromagnetic fields in Little Lever, Bolton, were associated with the 1992 death of 13-year-old Simon Studholme.The Studholme family moved to the area in 1989 and was living next door to an electricity sub-station. ...

  • LAPG calls for action on quality

    19-Dec-1995

    THE JOINT leaders of the Legal Aid Practitioners Group have called on the Law Society to seize back the quality initiative by introducing more specialist panels and pushing ahead with quality accreditation.In a message to their group, co-chairs Jon Lloyd and Bill Montague have accused the profession of being "too slow off the mark in the late 1980s to recognise the quality agenda that was developing".They say one certainty of legal aid reforms, whether they be ...

  • Litigation Disciplinary Tribunals 19/12/95

    19-Dec-1995

    Henry Aitchison, 48, admitted 1971, and Tracy Margaret Hall, 37, admitted 1982, husband and wife practised in partnership as Aitchisons, Newcastle, struck off and reprimanded respectively. Allegations substantiated against both that they drew money from client account in breach of accountancy rules. Allegations substantiated against Aitchison alone that he used client money for his own purposes. Tribunal told notified losses said to amount to ...

  • Litigation Personal Injury 19/12/95

    19-Dec-1995

    Doctor challenges contract. A doctor is heading for the High Court in a bid to block disciplinary moves against him by a Stoke-on-Trent NHS Trust over the issuing of cremation certificates. Dr Saltio Sangerlee, is seeking a declaration that under his 1982 employment contract the trust is not entitled to discipline him for the matters complained of.Goldie v Frenchay Health Authority - QBD 27 November 1995Claimant: Constantine Goldie, aged ...

  • Litigation Recent Decisions 19/12/95

    19-Dec-1995

    Extradition proof that foreign offence is not time-barredR v Bow Street Magistrates Court, ex parte Paloka: sub nom re Paloka (1995).DC (Simon Brown LJ and Scott Baker J) 6/11/9Summary: In extradition proceedings the onus was on the detainee to show the proceedings were out of time not the other way around.Application by detainee for writ of habeas corpus for release from an order committing him to custody to await extradition to Austria on charges ...

  • Litigation Writs 19/12/95

    19-Dec-1995

    A widow whose husband died in a building site accident is suing Axa Insurance Co, of Cardiff. Rose Smith, of Blackheath, London, is seeking damages in respect of the death of her husband Charles Smith who died on 31 January 1989 after falling 15 feet from scaffolding on 18 January. The accident happened while he was working on a site in London W1. The scaffolding had been erected by Advanced Plant, which Mrs Smith had sued successfully and been awarded £76,316

  • Living for the city

    19-Dec-1995

    Everyone else may be losing their heads but corporate finance lawyers are certainly keeping theirs.This year has been a difficult one for the merchant banking community. Barings teetered on the verge of collapse this spring and was rescued at the last minute in a hasty takeover by the Dutch bank ING. Other enduring names - Kleinwort Benson and SG Warburg - also found it too difficult to go it alone and were bought out.But the outlook for the legal corporate finance ...

  • Nabarros set to invade China

    19-Dec-1995

    LONDON firm Nabarro Nathanson has signed a deal with Hong Kong practice Livasiri & Co to take on work from the colony and the People's Republic of China (PRC).Formalised last week, the deal focuses on banking, corporate/commercial, construction and litigation work.Livasiri, which has eight partners and 40 additional fee earners, will recommend Nabarros for UK, European and ...

  • Newspapers welcome ruling on libel awards

    19-Dec-1995

    NEWSPAPER lawyers have welcomed the Court of Appeal's new guidelines curbing jury awards in libel cases.Three judges, the Master of the Rolls Sir Thomas Bingham and Lords Justice Hirst and Neill, last week ruled that judges and lawyers could suggest appropriate damages based on comparative levels of awards in personal injury cases.Santha Rasaiah, senior lawyer of regional newspaper body the Newspaper Society, said: "At last explicit and sensible guidance ...

  • No ignoring the problem

    19-Dec-1995

    Some in the profession may have their doubts about the Mears/Sayer/Edge approach to conveyancing. Brian Marson is one and in The Lawyer 19 December he made this clear.In the same article he said he was also totally in favour of good quality conveyancing being carried out for much greater reward than it is currently possible to attain.I tend to agree with Marson, although I believe the Law Society did not handle the problem as well as it should have. It is ...

  • NY firm picks its City team

    19-Dec-1995

    New York-based Weil, Gotshal & Manges' plan to open a major London office advances this week with the recruitment of two top capital markets lawyers - a Linklaters & Paines partner and a director of US finance house, Merrill Lynch.The lawyers will work with two New York partners to form the nucleus of Weil Gotshals' London capital markets team.Nia Morris joins from ...

  • NY firm shuts down

    19-Dec-1995

    New York has witnessed another dissolution with established general practice Townley & Updike announcing plans to close its doors at the end of the year. The 20-member partnership, due to vote on a draft plan for dissolution last week, had failed in its attempts to secure mergers with Coudert Brothers and Winthrop, Stimson, Putnam & Roberts. "Essentially the firm needed to grow substantially to meet the needs and demands of clients," said former chair of the management committee James ...

  • Open doors for an open judiciary

    19-Dec-1995

    The Lord Chancellor has announced the introduction of new procedures to deal with the appointment of assistant recorders.Assistant recordership is one of the principal points of entry to the judiciary and is a testing ground for those who wish to progress to the Circuit Bench. The extension of the new procedures to this level of the judiciary is therefore an important step in the Lord Chancellor's plans to ensure the judicial appointments system is as open and fair ...

  • Pending QBD actions

    19-Dec-1995

    Pending jury actions in the High Court Queen's Bench Division include: Nixon v Channel 4 Television Corp & ors (not before 18 December 1995); Mackenzie v Business Magazine (UK) and ors (not before 11 January 1996).

  • Peter Rees examines the validity of faxed proxies.

    19-Dec-1995

    Peter Rees is a partner and licensed insolvency practitioner at Wansbroughs Willey Hargrave.In the High Court at the end of November, Mr Justice Laddie decided that faxed proxies were now valid in individual voluntary arrangement cases. This overruled an earlier decision in Exeter County Court.The facts of the case, to be reported as Re a Debtor (Nos. 2021 and 2022 in 1995) were relatively simple. The nominee of a proposed IVA called a meeting, ...

  • Property

    19-Dec-1995

    Mundays acted for the purchasers of Welmack Properties, the operators of the Market Cafe Covent Garden, London. Howard Kennedy advised the vendors.

  • Property

    19-Dec-1995

    Herbert Smith exchanged contracts on behalf of Hammerson for the freehold acquisition of the 190,000 sq ft Globe House, London WC2, from CIN Properties for £18.25 million cash consideration. Nabarro Nathanson acted for CIN.

  • QLG Burstows wins Law Soc approval

    19-Dec-1995

    The Law Society has officially authorised David Bridgeman, of QLG Burstows, as a 'Qualified Person' to advise on corporate pensions.The firm can now advise on all aspects of financial asset management and company benefit planning, including occupational pension schemes and private medical insurance.The three-person department has subcontracted its investment side to Lewes stockbrokers Burrough Johnstone and is developing its pensions ...

  • Quality counts...

    19-Dec-1995

    Quality accreditation generates a mixed response from the profession. Some lawyers are extremely enthusiastic about the concept, citing their latest system for quality. Others yawn, regarding it as a money-spinner for the consultants.However, as the Legal Aid Practitioners Group has rightly pointed out, a quality agenda has developed. It says the profession was "too slow off the mark" to recognise it in the late 1980s and that in the context ...

  • Recorder in harmony with music lover

    19-Dec-1995

    ANTI-DRUG campaigners have hit out at East Anglian recorder David Crome who last week freed a student convicted of drugs charges because the two shared a love of music.Oboe-playing university student Dominic Kelly, a 1992 BBC Young Musician of the Year semi-finalist, pleaded guilty in the Norwich Crown Court to supplying cannabis and possessing drugs with intent to supply.Crome, who handed down a one-year conditional discharge, admitted a jail sentence was the ...

  • Report raps in-house DoE benefit appeals

    19-Dec-1995

    THE HANDLING of appeals in housing benefit cases is unsatisfactory, according to the Council on Tribunals.In a report published last week, the statutory watchdog on tribunal performance and procedures considered the new system for fixing levels of housing benefit and criticised the lack of a proper appeal system in resolving disputes.Launching the report, council chair Lord Archer QC called for disputes to be decided by an independent appeal tribunal rather than ...

  • Responsibility for 'administering' justice

    19-Dec-1995

    The Lord Chancellors' Department and the Home Office are set for a confrontation with magistrates court administrators over proposals for changes in magistrates court enforcement procedures (The Lawyer 12 December).Mr Justice Popplewell has given leave for judicial review to be sought of plans for a shift of responsibility in respect of enforcement work.The proposals of the Lord Chancellor and the Home Secretary which are being challenged involve enforcement ...

  • Rock 'n' roll lawyers: niche work if you can get it

    19-Dec-1995

    NICHE law firms have the music industry carved up among themselves and have pole position in advising virtually all the top UK stars.It may only be rock 'n' roll, but with total revenues in excess of $40 billion worldwide and retail sales trebling in just a decade, pop music is proving one of the most durable industries to be in.According to the latest edition of Rock Accounts, a yearly compilation of data on what stars earn and own, the smallest firms ...

  • So who's afraid of partnership liability?

    19-Dec-1995

    The recent Binder Hamlyn decision has prompted partnerships to register in Jersey"DOOMSDAY ACTIONS", where firms face bankruptcy and disintegration from litigation, are now as much a threat to lawyers as they are to accountants.Actions have certainly grown in size and frequency against law firms in the fall-out from pre-recession takeovers, even though the real targets may often remain the auditors and financial advisers.In the light of the business ...

  • Software updates

    19-Dec-1995

    Helen Sage reportsLondon firm Bishop & Sewell is installing Quantum accounts and Microsoft Office in a new integrated 14-user Pentium-based system. Hastings practice, Butters David Grey, is upgrading to a multi-user accounts system and introducing new conveyancing software developed by Quill Computer Systems. Ralph C Yablon in Bradford is installing a case management system for debt collection.

  • Stepping out for big ticket deals

    19-Dec-1995

    In the South West, relationships between firms and merchant banks and other London institutions are becoming stronger rather than weaker.The strengthening of relationships has required much effort on the part of regional firms to overcome City prejudices, but work remains to be done. For example, although it is now common for big ticket capital venture work to be dealt with in the regions, there still seems to be a preference for City advice on 'pure' merchant ...

  • The Lawyer Inquiry: William Cock

    19-Dec-1995

    William Cock trained as a lawyer at Richards Butler before moving to work as a recruitment consultant at Quarry Dougall. Born in Liverpool in 1966, he now lives in London. What was your first job?Theatre porter at the Royal Marsden Hospital.What was your first ever salary as a lawyer?£11,000.What would you have done if you weren't a lawyer?Become ...

  • Tributes for US partner

    19-Dec-1995

    NEW York law firm Dewey Ballantine has paid tribute to its London founding partner Rupert Simpson, who died of leukaemia last month.Simpson, 43, started as an associate in the firm's corporate department in 1986 and was made up to partner three years later.In 1990 he relocated to London to build an office with Deweys' European associates Theodore Goddard. He worked in the UK for three years as managing partner of European operations.Deweys' ...

  • UK lawyers set up house with Germans

    19-Dec-1995

    A EUROPEAN "lawyers' house" is set to be created in Brussels if a deal to share offices is struck between the UK Law Societies and the German Federal Bar.The Brussels office of the Law Societies of England and Wales and Scotland could take up new premises next year, sharing for the first time with another country. The plan is expected to extend to other European legal bodies in the future."This is a big step towards creating a lawyers' house in Europe," ...

  • UN may force Govt to reveal its NI links

    19-Dec-1995

    DETAILS of alleged collusion between the security forces and Loyalist terrorists in Northern Ireland, claimed to be linked to the murder of solicitor Pat Finucane and others, could be demanded from the Government by the United Nations in the New Year.The Government is expected to face detailed questions about its intelligence operations, including its infiltration of Loyalist groups by MI5 and the degree of its alleged involvement in Finucane's death.British ...

  • Uniform software for police

    19-Dec-1995

    Helen Sage reportsThe police force has finally acquired a single software package to help its fight against crime.After its introduction to the Northumbrian force this month, Analyst's Notebooks software is being used to fight crime by every force in the UK.The software is used by investigators and analysts to produce a range of charts which can be updated to show criminal associations and sequences of events. Charts are used to clarify ...

  • Welsh Circuit leader

    19-Dec-1995

    Crown Court recorder John Griffith Williams QC has been elected to lead the Wales and Chester Circuit. Griffith Williams, a tenant at 33 Park Place, in Cardiff, and Goldsmith Building, in Temple, will take up the position from 1 January. He succeeds Gerard Elias QC, of Farrar's Building, in Temple, who has led the circuit since 1992.