18 May 1998

The Lawyer

  • "We don't know which way to jump'

    19-May-1998

    Most people only attend Law Society meetings if they are made to. Yet 150 filled the Lyttleton Theatre on a balmy night in Birmingham last Wednesday for the first "roadshow" debate on the future of the Solicitors Indemnity Fund, writes Shaun Pye.Some went to bury it, a handful rallied round to rescue it, but the majority were simply trying to understand how SIF, with its £432m shortfall, could be in such a crisis.Law Society council member John

  • "Carders' triumph over council

    19-May-1998

    Roger Pearson looks at how Westminster council turned to the Environmental Protection Act in its attempt to stop "carders'.Westminster City Council is trying to get rid of prostitutes' cards that are "fly-pitched" in telephone kiosks. Unfortunately for the council it is coming up against more legal obstacles than it expected in its fight to crack down on the problem. Solicitor, Brian McDonnell, of specialist criminal practice ...

  • ... while Notts Law School studies the ethical implications

    19-May-1998

    NOTTINGHAM Law School is studying how the funding of civil litigation through insurance products and conditional fee arrangements is affecting legal ethics.The study, to be published next month, will ask if the current ethical code underpinning the legal system will protect clients whose cases are being funded by the growing number of insurance-based products.It will also look at the impact of the Government's plans to withdraw legal aid cover from personal ...

  • :B&M partners face $3.5m damages bill

    19-May-1998

    Baker & Mckenzie partners worldwide face paying $3.5m bill for damages for sexual harassment of a secretary by one of its Californian partners.Legal secretary Rena Weeks brought the suit in 1992 claiming she had been groped and verbally harassed by her boss, Martin Greenstein - a former trademark partner at the firm's Palo Alto office.This month a California appellate court has upheld a $3.5m punitive damages award. The court held the firm liable for Greenstein's ...

  • A choice of career or lifestyle?

    19-May-1998

    Ravinder Chahal sets out to discover whether today's young lawyers are more concerned with lifestyle than income. Ravinder Chahal is a freelance journalist.If the 1980s were characterised by sharp suits and savage ambition, then the 1990s have been all about self reflection and quality of life. Indeed there has been a gradual recognition of the fact that most young trainees would rather downshift their career aspirations than become married to their jobs.

  • A time to reflect and reassess

    19-May-1998

    Julie Walker discusses some of the key management issues in the annual The Lawyer/Coopers & Lybrand law firm survey. Julie Walker is a senior manager in Coopers & Lybrand's Professional Partnerships Group.It's that time of year. The questionnaires for the 1998 The Lawyer/Coopers & Lybrand Financial Management in Law Firms survey should now have arrived at your firm.It has been a busy year on many fronts. New proposals on legal aid, taxation, Solicitors' ...

  • An audience with a solicitor

    19-May-1998

    Philip Parish believes the hurdles that solicitor-advocates face in getting full higher court rights of audience will ultimately disappear, paving the way for better career opportunities. Philip Parish is a solicitor-advocate at Linklaters.The options open to an aspiring advocate have always been numerous, ranging from criminal or civil, specialist or general practice, in London or the regions. ...

  • Are sex changes an "overriding need'?

    19-May-1998

    Three transsexuals are seeking judicial review of a health authority's refusal to fund their sex change operations, reports Roger Pearson.The High Court is to investigate whether three transsexuals are entitled to have their sex-change operations funded by a local health authority.North West Lancashire Health Authority refused to fund the operations, but now Mr Justice Keene has given the three leave to seek judicial review of the health authority's ...

  • Ashursts axes £1m IT system

    19-May-1998

    ASHURST Morris Crisp has wasted an estimated £1m by scrapping a practice management system which it purchased less than two years ago.The firm decided last month to abandon its project to install Keystone Systems' practice management system - originally due to be up and running a year ago.Two weeks ago Ashursts signed a deal with US suppliers CMS Data to implement its CMS ...

  • Barristers accused of arrogance and self-importance

    19-May-1998

    MEMBERS of the public have showered the Bar Council's new complaints body with complaints accusing their barristers of "arrogance", "self-importance" and "rudeness".Complaints against barristers have rocketed by nearly 30 per cent since the Bar Council introduced a controversial complaints procedure last April.The rise - from 431 complaints in 1996 to 551 last year - will confirm the fears of many barristers who argued that by offering up to £2,000 ...

  • Barry Samuels on service of a writ at the eleventh hour. Barry Samuels is a solicitor at Russell Jones & Walker.

    19-May-1998

    A client of mine, prior to instructing me, issued a protective writ on the last day before expiry of the limitation period, but left it until eight days before the writ was due to expire to attempt to serve it. He sent it by registered post to the registered office of a company of which the defendant used to be a director. Unbeknown to my client, the company had moved and the defendant had resigned as a director. The writ was rerouted to the ...

  • Brief

    19-May-1998

    LINKLATERS' art collection has been "highly commended" in a corporate art competition.The collection, which is made up of 700 works of mainly contemporary British art, was short-listed for the competition, run by the company International Art Consultants Limited.Commissions include the sculpture "Silent Shadow", by Ann Christopher RA and Martha Waijop's "Metamorphosis" (above).The competition winner was Deutsche Bank.

  • Bristol lecturers resign and threaten legal action claim

    19-May-1998

    NINE out of Bristol University's 10 Legal Practice Course (LPC) lecturers have defected to the University of the West of England (UWE) and threatened their old employers with an unfair dismissal claim.The dramatic move follows months of uncertainty about the future of Bristol University's 100-place LPC course after the university's senate voted to close it in January.Earlier this month the university signed a deal with Leicester-based De Montfort ...

  • Conference dates

    19-May-1998

    The International Bar Association has four conferences planned. The first, in Washington on 20 May, looks at the challenges facing practitioners in international franchising, organised jointly with the International Franchise Association. The second, "Crime Across the World: Is the Rule of Law Being Corrupted?", will take place between 22-25 May in Vienna. The third is for litigators and will look at application of the Brussels and Lugano Conventions. It will be held in Lisbon from ...

  • Demand rises for "know-how' staff

    19-May-1998

    THE recent explosion of mergers and the tendency towards specialisation will lead to a sharp rise in the number of law firms employing "know-how" managers to share out information, recruitment consultants have predicted.Know-how managers act as a bridge between the legal and the IT departments of the firm. The majority of the top 20 firms already employ such managers, either on a full-time or part-time basis, although it is a role which only originated ...

  • Do you count?

    19-May-1998

    Is your identity at risk when you work for an accountancy-backed law firm? Elizabeth Goodrich claims that the opposite is true. Elizabeth Goodrich is a solicitor at Arnheim & Co.What is it like working for the correspondent law firm of Price Waterhouse? I have been at Arnheim & Co for seven months now - long enough for all the warts to start showing and to know who to avoid around lunch time, but I can honestly say that things are looking good.I moved to ...

  • Dottoressa in Milano

    19-May-1998

    Helen Cannings says that the informal, laid-back air of Italian lawyers belies a practicality which is more typical of the German work ethic. Helen Cannings is as a dottoressa (or paralegal) in Milan.Working in an Italian law firm is an experience to be savoured. Although only a few hours away, working in Italy takes a bit of getting used to. Beneath the Gucci loafers, sports jackets and a year round tan, Italian lawyers are, in fact, even more conservative than lawyers ...

  • Firms forge Latino-Iberian one-stop shop

    19-May-1998

    Leading Spanish firm Cuatrecasas and its Portuguese ally Goncalves Pereira Vinhas Castelo Branco e Associados have extended their exclusive working agreement to both a Buenos Aires and a Sao Paulo-based firm.The two firms are leading 60-lawyer Brazilian banking and finance practice Machado Meyer Sendacz e Opice Advogados and 50-lawyer Argentinian business law practice Perez Alati Grondona Benites Arntsen & Martinez de Hoz.Goncalves' managing partner Manuel ...

  • First steps on the ladder

    19-May-1998

    Katherine Minford offers a few tips on how to get onto the first rung of the ladder by winning that all-important training contract. Katherine Minford is a recruitment consultant at Cavendish Boyle Confidential Legal Appointments in Leeds.Graduates face intense competition in securing a training contract with a law firm. Each academic year there are at least three times as many graduates seeking training contracts as there are positions available. So how do you make yourself ...

  • Full of eastern promise

    19-May-1998

    Paul Rainford finds that young solicitors are being increasingly drawn to eastern Europe to give their career a boost. Paul Rainford is a freelance journalist.For budding lawyers who face the prospect of working out of a windswept office in Slough, there is always the lure of working in some remote city somewhere in the crumbling remains of eastern Europe.However, many new lawyers are drawn to eastern Europe. And it is small wonder because, like most largely ...

  • Govt slammed over fees freeze

    19-May-1998

    THE Law Society has accused the Government of "risking quality" by imposing a fees freeze on legal aid practitioners.The Lord Chancellor's Dep-artment (LCD) announced last week that legal aid fees would remain at last year's levels.It is the fourth time legal aid fees have been frozen during the last six years, although the Law Society claims there has been an 18.4 per cent increase in overheads during that time.Fees were also frozen in ...

  • Help at hand for trainee troubles

    19-May-1998

    Nick Armstrong warns that the bottom line for trainees having problems with their placement is to find another firmThe Trainee Solicitors Helpline takes calls on anything from problems finding a training contract to bullying and harassment at work. It is organised by the Trainee Solicitors' Group (TSG), for its 25,000 LPC, CPE and trainee solicitor members nationwide.A recent review of the helpline found that while most trainees have a successful ...

  • Hiccup over Wilde Sapte/AA

    19-May-1998

    In a move which is likely to affect Wilde Sapte's deal to link with Arthur Andersen, two leading asset finance partners - David Smith and Mario Jacovides - have resigned to join Allen & Overy.The two were significant billers and their departures - at a time when Andersens is doing financial due diligence on Wilde Sapte - means that any umbrella sum the firm will be paid by Andersens ...

  • Hoddle sues Geller for libel

    19-May-1998

    England boss, Glen Hoddle is heading for a High Court confrontation with international psychic Uri Geller. He is seeking damages for slander, libel and malicious falsehood over a comment Geller made in a News of the World story headed "Hands of Hodd". Hoddle, who is represented by Pictons of St Albans, is also suing News Group Newspapers for damages for libel and/or malicious falsehood in respect of the "Hands of Hodd" article and a second piece ...

  • How to get ahead at the Bar

    19-May-1998

    What does it take to make a glittering career at the Bar? A brilliant intellect? A wonderful courtroom presence and speaking voice? No, baby barristers, it is none of these. For those of you about to set sail in the choppy waters of the Bar, there follows the real insider's guide to making it big in a robe.Getting through pupillagePupillage is a bit like puberty. It is a difficult, painful time during which pupils' voices ...

  • In brief: Baker & McKenzie expands in Taiwan

    19-May-1998

    Baker & McKenzie is opening a second office in Taiwan boosting its operation there to 45 lawyers. The new office will be in Hsin Chu, 90 miles south of Taipei where the firm set up in 1977, and will service the expanding computer industries in Hsin Chu's Industrial Park - Taiwan's version of Silicone Valley.

  • In brief: Defections continue at Edge & Ellison

    19-May-1998

    Edge & Ellison is losing three more lawyers from its insurance department to Weightmans in Birmingham. They are associates Ben Judge and Helen Tinkler and assistant Caroline Wearn. If held to their full notice, they will join Weightmans in July. They follow head of insurance Robin Humphreys and insurance litigation partner Steven Garrett who both resigned to go to Weightmans last month, but whose departure ...

  • In brief: DJ Freeman appoints five new partners

    19-May-1998

    DJ Freeman has appointed five new partners, four of whom were trainees together. They are Liz Goss (commercial property), James Pilgrim-Morris (insurance and reinsurance dispute resolution), Mark Everiss and Graham Chase (tax) and Ann Robson (litigation).

  • In brief: Fermor sets record at Cripps Harries Hall

    19-May-1998

    Andrew Fermor, aged 48, has become the youngest ever senior partner of Kent and East Sussex firm Cripps Harries Hall. The five-year appointment coincides with the re-appointment of Jonathan Denny as managing partner, a post he has held since 1990.

  • In brief: John Morris retires as Hunt moves on

    19-May-1998

    John Morris, a consultant at Sinclair Roche & Temperley where he was senior partner between 1975 and 1995, has announced his retirement. Jonathan Hunt, a part-time consultant in the shipping litigation department, is also leaving to join Richards Butler.

  • In brief: Lawyers called in for documentary inquiry

    19-May-1998

    Freshfields and barrister Michael Beloff QC, joint head of 4-5 Gray's Inn Square, have been called in as independent advisers to assist in Carlton's internal investigation into The Guardian's allegations about the accuracy of its documentary The Connection.

  • In brief: Lawyers race to victory in City of London

    19-May-1998

    Two lawyers won the eighth annual City of London road race last Thursday. Giles Clifford from Freshfields won the men's race and Kate Jenrick of Arden Chambers was the first woman to finish. Over 3,000 people took part including Heather Hallett QC, chairman of the Bar Council. The event, organised by Wilde Sapte, raised money for a number of charities including more than £35,000 for the Imperial Cancer Research Fund.

  • In brief: SJ Berwin seeks German alliance

    19-May-1998

    SJ Berwin was believed to be tying up an alliance this weekend with a medium-sized German firm. Partners discussed the deal at their retreat the previous weekend (9-10 May). SJ Berwin, which already has an EU law Brussels office, once had an alliance with Paris-based Salans Hertzfeld & Heilbronn. It has been a member of the international Interlaw network for the past 12 years.

  • In brief: TSG considers limited company status

    19-May-1998

    The Trainee Solicitors' Group (TSG) National Committee is recommending turning the TSG into a limited company. At present liability is conferred on individual committee members. The TSG is the first Law Society group to consider incorporation and the final decision will be made by an Extraordinary General Meeting of the full membership on 27 June.

  • In brief: TV show aims to give prisoners new hope

    19-May-1998

    Channel 4 is to broadcast a new live series where viewers are invited to phone in and help prisoners prove their innocence. Clear My Name will run for six weeks starting on 31 May and will be presented by David Jessel.

  • Jakarta crisis halts arbitration plans

    19-May-1998

    Plans to open an international arbitration centre in Indonesia have suffered a set-back as Jakarta-based western lawyers continue to pull out of the crisis-racked country.Nick Stone, an insurance and arbitration specialist and a recent recruit to Herbert Smith's Singapore office as senior consultant, had hoped to set up an arbitration centre based on the Hong Kong arm of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators.Stone said that 10 Jakarta-based fellows or associates ...

  • Juggling with home and career

    19-May-1998

    Yet again the legal press is full of stories about partners, teams and senior assistants moving firms. Gone are the days when lawyers joined one firm and had a "job for life".In order to retain key players, the quality of life of those individuals is an increasingly important issue for firms to address.In recent years City practices have had to contend with both accountants and US law firms poaching their key players. In order to compete with ...

  • Law Society releases guideline fees to aid uncertain solicitors

    19-May-1998

    A PLAN to introduce guideline fees for solicitors doing non-contentious work has been drawn up by Robert Sayer, the deputy vice-president of the Law Society.Under the plans, details of which were circulated to members of the Law Society's council last week, local law societies would publish a guide for clients as to how long a "reasonably competent solicitor" should take to perform basic non-contentious work. The timescale will be based on surveys undertaken by the ...

  • Leap year 2000 could stop firms mid-flight

    19-May-1998

    LAW firms intent on guarding themselves against the millenium "bug" and ensuring they are euro-compliant now have to address a third, less well-known problem, according to independent legal IT consultant Neil Cameron.Cameron believes many software designers will not have taken into account thefact that the year 2000 will be a leap year. This is because traditionally the first year of each century does not count as a leap year. However, if the year ...

  • Leeds Uni sets up cyberlaw unit

    19-May-1998

    LEEDS University Law Faculty has set up the UK's first cyberlaw research unit to examine the unregulated areas of the Internet.The unit consists of five members of staff and several PhD students, headed by lecturer David Wall who launched the university's first cyberlaw course last year.Unit staff are currently working on two legal texts on the Internet. They are also hosting a conference on cyberlaw and cybercrime next March on behalf of the British ...

  • Linklaters poaches asset finance team in New York

    19-May-1998

    Linklaters has pulled off a multi-million dollar coup by recruiting a highly successful three-partner US asset finance team from White & Case's New York office.The new partners - Marianne Rosenberg, J Truman Bidwell, former co-heads of White & Case's New York-based equipment and facility finance ...

  • Litigation Disciplinary Tribunals 19/5/98

    19-May-1998

    Malcolm Francis Turnbull, 52, admitted 1973, practising until April 1991 in partnership of Turnbull Williams, each partner then pursuing his own career elsewhere, struck off. Turnbull adjudged bankrupt on 12 October, 1993 after which Law Society granted him a conditional practising certificate. He had ceased to practise as a solicitor in July 1996. Allegations substantiated that he failed to act in best interests of lender clients by not providing material ...

  • Litigation Personal Injury 19/5/98

    19-May-1998

    Dye v Riverside Health Authority - QBD 12 January 1998Claimant: Laura Dye, 12 yearsIncident: Medical negligenceInjuries: Claimant suffered brain damage as a result of medical staff failing to identify and treat meningitis shortly after birth. She is now confined to a wheelchair and has great difficulty in communicating. She functions at the level of a baby of just a few months old.Award: £1m - £100,000 to be paid ...

  • Litigation Recent Decisions 19/5/98

    19-May-1998

    Injunction against television programme refused(1) Service Corporation International (2) Associated Funeral Directors v (1) Channel 4 Television Corporation (2) Hardcash Productions (1998)Ch.D (Lightman J) 12/5/98Charles Gray and Mark Warby instructed by Dibb Lupton, Birmingham for the plaintiffs. James Price and Jacob Dean instructed by DJ Freeman for the defendants.The plaintiffs, owners of a large chain of funeral homes, ...

  • Litigation Writs 19/5/98

    19-May-1998

    Tim Keightley, a Kent-based professional golfer, has issued a High Court writ in London seeking damages from the Professional Golfer's Association (PGA) for, among other things, breach of contract and negligence from Brian White, chairman of the PGA, Peter Hanna and Gerry Egan, all of the PGA's national headquarters in Sutton Coldfield. The writ says White, Hanna and Egan were members of a disciplinary committee which heard complaints ...

  • Make the profession an attractive option

    19-May-1998

    The Lawyer's finding that 39 per cent of trainee solicitors want to leave the profession is an alarming statistic. Years of debt and pressure have taken their toll on these individuals and there is little support for their position in many firms. Having fought against the odds for a place (Birmingham law firm Wragge & Co recently got around 1,000 applications for 18 training contracts), ...

  • Modernisation of Justice Bill may be delayed

    19-May-1998

    THE LORD Chancellor Lord Irvine's proposals to "modernise justice" by introducing block legal aid contracts, a public interest fund and tightening up the legal aid merits test, may have to be delayed for a year .The Lawyer understands that the Lord Chancellor's Department is battling to get its planned Modernisation of Justice Bill included in the Queen's Speech this autumn, but may have to step aside to make room for the legislation to pave the way for the ...

  • Multi-purpose law firms

    19-May-1998

    I was interested to read Clive Parritt's article (The Lawyer, 24 March 1998). In some cases I agree with his views. "Horses for courses" is often the best basis for choosing a lawyer - or an accountant. This does, however, presuppose that the client has started by consulting a general practitioner who then selects an expert. Taking the medical analogy further however, it is fair to say that there is increasing pressure for GPs ...

  • Napier to make big decision this week

    19-May-1998

    Michael Napier is due to announce this week whether he is to stand against Michael Mathews in this summer's Law Society presidential elections.Last week David McIntosh guaranteed a contested election by putting his name forward for vice-president against Robert Sayer, the current deputy vice-president.In a letter to council members Napier, senior partner at Irwin Mitchell, said he wanted to avoid the speculation running on for much longer.Responding ...

  • Norton Rose's US client vindicated

    19-May-1998

    Norton Rose's US client Emerson Electric has been vindicated by the High Court over its controversial attempt to buy the 49 per cent of UK computer company Astec that it did not already own.As The Lawyer reported on 7 April, the minority shareholders of Astec - Electra Fleming, Norwich Union and Equitable Life Assurance - instructed David Gold of Herbert Smith to take Emerson to the ...

  • O'Brien slates solicitors

    19-May-1998

    SOLICITORS came in for a blistering attack from immigration minister Mike O'Brien, when he appeared before the Home Affairs Select Committee last week.Describing the asylum system as a "shambles", O'Brien identified "unscrupulous" solicitors as a "key" problem and accused the profession of charging clients "as much as £500 for writing a letter to the Home Office" and of "deliberately delaying cases", thereby clogging up the system and causing difficulties ...

  • Osbornes forms seven-member Euro-alliance with German firm

    19-May-1998

    Bristol-based Osborne Clarke has added a 35-partner German firm and a Milan firm to its European alliance and re-named it Osborne Westphalen International.The German firm Graf von Westphalen Fritze and Modest, run by the Count of Westphalia Friedrich Graf von Westphalen, is a mid-sized corporate, IP, IT and media practice originally based in Cologne, but which expanded by merging with ...

  • Paralegals: opportunity or exploitation?

    19-May-1998

    Graeme Hydari examines the plight of the prospective trainee solicitor and says the exploitation of paralegals must be stopped before it shames the legal profession. Graeme Hydari is senior partner at Porters Solicitors. See Student Focus page 17-34.Perhaps this viewpoint should be really written by a Legal Practice Course graduate on seeing a training contract for the first time. No doubt if they did it would probably have the effect of putting a final stop to any possibility ...

  • Prepare for work in progress tax

    19-May-1998

    Firms must begin to plan ahead now if they want to avoid getting caught in the tax trap warns Anne Gregory-Jones. Anne Gregory-Jones is a tax partner at Kidsons Impey.The authorisation by the Treasury to the Inland Revenue for the withdrawal of the cash basis method of accounting favoured by many professional practices and barristers, looks set to be one of the most far-reaching changes to affect professional practices for years.One wonders how long it took for ...

  • Privatisation work continues to grow

    19-May-1998

    Freshfields has kept its place at the top of the global privatisation tables for the fourth year running, in a year in which nearly all law firms increased both the number and value of deals they worked on.1997 broke the records for the total number and value of deals transacted, according to the latest league tables from Privatisation International. The year before was itself a record breaker - a sign that national governments around the world are gaining an increasing ...

  • Proactively pro bono

    19-May-1998

    Peta Sweet explains how pro bono delivers more than just the feel-good factor, developing a sense of ethical integrity in students and trainees right from the word go. Peta Sweet is director of the Solicitors Pro Bono Group.The formation of the Solicitors Pro Bono Group (SPBG) in September of last year provides, for the first time in this country, a national focus and support structure for pro bono work undertaken by solicitors across England and Wales.One of ...

  • Property

    19-May-1998

    Coudert Brothers acted for City & St James Property on the £11m sale of the Marston Gate development site in Bedfordshire to Frogmore Developments, advised by Titmuss Sainer Dechert.

  • Protection has its price

    19-May-1998

    The new Data Protection Act will hit some companies hard, but not everyone will be protected, reports Kiran Sandford. Kiran Sandford is a partner in the IT/Telecoms group in City law firm, Taylor Joynson Garrett.Law firms are busy preparing for a last minute rush of enquiries from clients concerned about how the new Data Protection Act will affect their businesses.The new Act, which implements the EU Data Protection Directive, is due ...

  • Radio 4 keeps Berlins

    19-May-1998

    LAW in Action presenter Marcel Berlins has survived a revamp of the long-running radio show.The Lawyer reported last month that the BBC was considering axing Berlins as part of the controversial scheduling shake-up at Radio 4.But, after testing out other candidates, the BBC has decided to stick with Berlins, but it does want to make the programme more consumer oriented. "It will hopefully sound somewhat different. We would like to make it more consumer friendly," ...

  • Reforms: cashflow problems are still firms' biggest worry

    19-May-1998

    SMALL to medium-sized firms are bracing themselves for a cashflow shortage when legal aid is withdrawn from personal injury cases, but many believe they will increase their earnings in the long run.These are the key findings of a survey of law firms in the national network LawGroup UK, which was commissioned by The Lawyer.The survey, of 39 small to medium-sized firms, confirms elements of both the Law Society and the Government's research into the impact ...

  • Right to appeal over tenancy

    19-May-1998

    The Law Lords are to look into the circumstances giving rise to creation of secure or assured tenancies, in a challenge to possession moves by a London housing trust. Gary Bruton, who is the temporary occupier of a flat in Lambeth which is pending re-development, claims he is entitled to tenancy rights protecting him from eviction. So far Lambeth County Court and the Court of Appeal have rejected his claims, but he has now been given leave to take his case to the ...

  • Staple calls for single extradition scheme

    19-May-1998

    George Staple, the former director of the Serious Fraud Office and now a Clifford Chance partner, has called for a global extradition scheme to fight global crime.Current extradition procedures are still mainly dependent on bilateral arrangements deriving from nineteenth century treaties, he said at a London conference on global crime last week."So many legal systems have ...

  • Taking the alternative route

    19-May-1998

    Set for a Big City firm and big pay packet? Not neccessarily. Daniel Holden looks at the options for those not entering private practice. Daniel Holden is a freelance journalist.Private practice for solicitors and barristers is the most sought after career choice for students having completed a Bar Vocational Course (BVC) or Legal Practice Course (LPC). But an array of vastly different career choices are open to those with legal backgrounds who do not want to, or who ...

  • Taskforce finds euro fix for derivatives contracts

    19-May-1998

    After six months of meetings, in-house and private practice finance lawyers from around the world have hammered out a protocol that should prevent tens of thousands of derivatives and swaps contracts having to be individually renegotiated because of the euro.Allen & Overy partner Jeffrey Golden opened the protocol to the first signatories - Charles Ross-Stewart of Citibank, Cathryn ...

  • The class of "93 reports back

    19-May-1998

    Philip Hoult tracks down his fellow class mates from the College of Law and asks them about life five years onYou are about to leave law school, with your LPC and CPE in the bag and trying to prepare yourself for a life of sober clothes, all-night meetings and, worst of all, unfeasibly short holidays.You may be questioning whether you want to be a solicitor at all, let alone having a clue as what sort of work you want to do. You have probably not stopped to think ...

  • The Lawyer Inquiry: Lilia Bylos

    19-May-1998

    Lilia Bylos was born in Johannesburg, South Africa. She is an assistant solicitor at Dewey Ballantine and specialises in project finance.What was your first job?Shoe assistant in a department store.What was your first ever salary as a lawyer?£18,000.What would you have done if you hadn’t become a lawyer?Photographer/artist.Which law could you live without?

  • The search for experts

    19-May-1998

    In your recent focus on expert witnesses (The Lawyer, 28 April 1998), you have aired the problem of the identification of suitable experts to act as expert witnesses. In order to improve the specificity of expert selection, a number of bodies, including the Law Society, have set up databases. The problem with these methods is that they rely almost entirely on the self-report of the expert as to their area of activity. Recently I have ...

  • Tough outlook for graduates

    19-May-1998

    There are still more graduates applying for training contracts and pupillages than are available, reports Grania Langdon-Down. Grania Langdon-Down is a freelance journalist.Thousands of graduates are still set on a career in the law despite horror stories of huge debts and fierce competition for training contracts and pupillages.The market for trainee solicitors has improved significantly, with a 17 per cent increase in registered training contracts ...

  • Trainees who bluffed their way in, want out

    19-May-1998

    Chris Fogarty analyses the results of a survey of trainees which unearths bitterness, disillusionment and despair.The future of the legal profession is feeling trapped, undervalued and frustrated.Of the 200 members of the Trainee Solicitor Group from throughout England and Wales surveyed by The Lawyer, 39 per cent said they wanted to get out of the profession.Asked whether they would embark on their new careers again if they were given the opportunity ...

  • US cuts study time

    19-May-1998

    The state of New York's Court of Appeal has approved new Bar admission rules which allow foreign lawyers to take the Bar examination after only one year studying American law, rather than three as before. The new rules also reduce the required number of hours of training. The changes take effect from 27 May.

  • US work ethic

    19-May-1998

    Elisha Flax says that being part of a US law firm which is based in London brings both rewards and risks. Elisha Flax is a solicitor at Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld.When I first thought about joining a US firm in London, the questions that crossed my mind were standard concerns: will they work me into the ground? are they here to stay? will I ever be able to go back to a UK firm? have I taken my last holiday? and so on.While it is true that a lawyer in a US ...

  • Westbrook replaces Wayte in shake-up at Dibbs' London office

    19-May-1998

    Three partners, two associates and three assistants have resigned from Dibb Lupton Alsop's London company commercial department and the existing head Peter Wayte has been replaced by Bruce Westbrook.Spokeswoman Gillian Khan said the firm was mounting a new "push" in the marketing and recruitment for the corporate department as a whole and Wayte, a former Alsop Wilkinson partner before its merger with Dibb Lupton Broomhead, was re-elected to the management board of the ...

  • Who calls the shots?

    19-May-1998

    Richard Gordon QC was leading counsel for the applicant in R v Louize Collins. Richard Gordon QC outlines the limits of autonomy under the Mental Health ActConsent is an important concept for lawyers. The idea that no one may touch our bodies without permission is central to our intuitive feelings regarding personal autonomy. It reflects, too, the deeper utilitarian principle that, although we may harm ourselves, nobody else has the right to do so, any more than we have ...

  • Wizards of Oz

    19-May-1998

    Leading Australian law firm Freehill Hollingdale & Page has been ranked top dog of legal advisers to Australian mergers and acquisitions in 1997 - just pipping rival Allens Arthur Robinson. The firm advised on the three largest completed deals of the year - the privatisation of Loy Yang A Power Station, the acquisition of Advance Bank by St George Bank and the acquisition of PowerNet Victoria by GPU Inc. The survey, conducted by Corporate Adviser Securities Data, ranked firms on deal ...