19 February 1996

The Lawyer

  • 'No cover-up' on IT, vows Mears

    20-Feb-1996

    AN INVESTIGATION has been launched into the Law Society's troubled computer system and president Martin Mears has promised "there will be no cover up".A working party of society council members, which includes Mears, will investigate the system's burgeoning cost and the chronic delays in practising certificates being issued.It will also ask why staff appeared to keep council members in the dark about the system's problems."I was elected ...

  • A question of space and time

    20-Feb-1996

    WRITSA recent ruling in the Appeal Court has added a new twist to the law over rateable occupation, particularly in respect of warehouses.It is a recognised principle that premises possession does not necessarily constitute occupation for business rates. But warehouses can remain empty while occupiers are sought and are treated as occupied for business rate purposes even when empty.Now, Abbey Self Storage, of Newcastle-Upon-Tyne, ...

  • Bacfi to fight plans on deferred call to Bar

    20-Feb-1996

    EMPLOYED commercial barristers are gearing up for a campaign against the Bar Council's plans to defer call to the Bar for six months after training.The Bar Association for Commerce and Industry (Bacfi) has highlighted the threat to the employed Bar posed by the deferral plan which was approved in principle by the Bar Council last year.The group has just elected a new chair, Peter Styles, who has singled out the plan as a key campaign issue for the year.

  • Bar in Euro investigation

    20-Feb-1996

    THE EUROPEAN Commission is investigating charges of restrictive practices at the Bar.The commission confirmed on Friday that Karel Van Miert, the commissioner for competition, had written to the Bar Council asking for details of its code of conduct.But it would not give any details of the allegations levelled against the Bar nor would it indicate how seriously the complaint was being treated."There has been a complaint about restrictive practices ...

  • Bogan loses constituency base after firm splits

    20-Feb-1996

    A KEY supporter of Law Society president Martin Mears is no longer practising in the Law Society constituency which elected him to the council thanks to his firm's demerger.Anthony Bogan, who ousted the leading Chancery Lane establishment figure Paul Marsh from the council during last year's elections, has confirmed the demerger of the Richmond arm of Saunders Palmer Ure.The demerger means Bogan is now based in Middlesex, outside the constituency which ...

  • Brief

    20-Feb-1996

    BIRMINGHAM firm Martineau Johnson has launched an Automotive Group in celebration of the centenary of the UK car industry.The group, which brings together lawyers from different disciplines with expertise in the motor sector, will provide a specialist service for the industry.Members will deal with issues including trade marks, design rights, dealer franchising and the conflict between property rights and free trade.Geraldine Tickle, who heads the ...

  • Butterworths brings full law reports back to NI

    20-Feb-1996

    NORTHERN Ireland practitioners will be able to access full law reports later this year for the first time in five years.The Incorporated Council of Law Reporting (ICLRNI) ceased to produce twice-yearly annotated and edited judgments as full reports in 1991.At the end of 1993, it stopped producing its 10-per-year "blue books" - bulletins of verbatim judgments with catchwords - despite subscribers having paid for the full year.The non-profit making, ...

  • Canada firm pulls in former premier

    20-Feb-1996

    CANADIAN law firm Goodman Phillips & Vineberg gained the services of a former premier of Ontario, the country's largest province, last week.Bob Rae retired as leader of the New Democratic Party a day before joining as partner in Goodman Phillips' Toronto office. He was Ontario premier for nearly five years, stepping down in June last year, when his government was defeated.The authority of Canadian provincial governments extends over all sectors, from ...

  • CentreBar announces new agenda

    20-Feb-1996

    John Malpas reportsTHE BAR association fighting for a share of international copyright, communications, entertainment, technology and trade- mark work, has announced its aims for the first time.A soon-to-be published mission statement from the two-year-old CentreBar association reads: "A perfectly competitive market in legal, as in other, services requires that consumers of those services be perfectly informed. It requires also ...

  • Chancery champions

    20-Feb-1996

    Unlike the banking and finance practice where silks appear loath to go to the bench, chancery barristers seem more inclined to accept appointment as judges.One recent example is Robert Walker QC formerly at 5 Stone Buildings whose appointment reduces the pool of chancery specialists. Despite this, several excellent barristers remain.The sets most frequently mentioned tend to be concentrated in Lincoln's Inn. They include Wilberforce Chambers under Edward ...

  • Charities expert migrates to new set

    20-Feb-1996

    John Malpas reportsCHANCERY set 3 New Square has taken on charities expert Hubert Picarda QC following his decision to leave his own newly-merged set.Picarda's move ends a flurry of activity in the Chancery Bar prompted by the merger of 10 Old Square with 8 Stone Buildings at the beginning of the year.The president of the Charity Law Association, a long-standing 10 Old Square tenant, chose to seek a new home rather than remain with ...

  • Child care. Clearing the child care minefield

    20-Feb-1996

    The lack of any uniform code to offer guidance in child care cases is an ongoing problem. Issues of disclosure and confidentiality are central to the roles of the panel solicitor and guardian ad litem, but without a uniform code they are forced to navigate through sections, rules, case law and guidance. In addition, practitioners need to refer to local Area Child Protection Committee guidelines.The duties of confidentiality borne by the panel solicitor and guardian ad litem ...

  • City firm challenges Canada hearing for negligence claim

    20-Feb-1996

    Lawyers defending Clifford Chance against the £610 million action by four Canadian banks in the wake of the Canary Wharf collapse will argue in an Ontario hearing that the action should be fought in the UK.The firm, which denies any liability, has not ruled out a counter claim against Canadian Davies Ward & Beck, the commercial practice understood to have originally instructed ...

  • Complaints system works

    20-Feb-1996

    You correctly report that the proposal to introduce a jurisdiction of inadequate professional services into the Bar complaints system has cost implications. But it has been an important and successfully achieved objective for the Bar Council that the new system should not have an unexpected impact on the level of Bar subscriptions.While the level of complaints on the grounds of professional misconduct has been increasing, we believe that the publicity about the complaints ...

  • Conference freebies

    20-Feb-1996

    Helen Sage reportsFree computer software will be up for grabs at this year's Information Systems for Lawyers conference on 27 and 28 February at the London Marriott. Novell Computer Systems will be giving away two sets of Novell Groupware Solution (licensed for 5 users) worth £3,000 each. The solution consists of email, data gathering, and document management.

  • Director leaves after strategy dispute

    20-Feb-1996

    John Malpas reportsTHE UK'S largest set has parted company with the marketing director it appointed just six months ago to raise its profile.Five Fountain Court in Birmingham says it is not planning to replace Olivier Morel, who joined the set to give "structure and depth" to its marketing policy. Morel is the second senior manager to have left the chambers within a year.In July last year, former practice director David Symonds ...

  • Document Storage package wins US market acclaim

    20-Feb-1996

    Helen Sage reportsYMIJS computer systems, maker of R/KYV document management system widely used by lawyers, is to move into the US market.It has appointed David Douglas as head of its US operation in San Francisco.The R/KYV product is a PC text and image retrieval system which operates in the Windows environment.Douglas has previously worked on several major document management contracts incorporating R/KYV, including one ...

  • Eagle Star in double action

    20-Feb-1996

    The Law Lords have granted leave for an appeal in Mannai Investment Company v Eagle Star Life Assurance Co. The case centres on a lease by Mannai of a second floor office and basement car park in London's Jermyn Street for 10 years. However, in 1994, Mannai gave notice purporting to determine the lease on 12 January 1995. Under the lease, the only available date for premature determination was 13 June 1995, three years after the lease began. Since then the fight ...

  • East European first

    20-Feb-1996

    Baker & Mckenzie advised on the first ever takeover of a listed company in Central and Eastern Europe last week. The firm advised US Pharmaceuticals giant, Bristol-Myers Squibb on the US$110 million takeover of Pharmavit, a pharmaceutical company listed on the Budapest Stock Exchange. The offer involved an innovative simultaneous domestic offer to Hungarian shareholders and an international offer to institutional investors holding Global Depositaryp Shares. Tim Gee, partner heading ...

  • End compensation ceiling, says report

    20-Feb-1996

    THE LIMIT on unfair dismissal compensation should be scrapped, according to a report by the Employment Lawyers Association (ELA).The Government is carrying out its annual review of the limit of unfair dismissal compensatory awards (currently £11,300) and the limit of a week's pay for calculating redundancy payments (currently £210).The ELA claims that limits have slipped way behind earnings since they were introduced in 1971.ELA treasurer ...

  • Eversheds negotiates next merger

    20-Feb-1996

    Leading UK law firm Eversheds is in merger talks with City practice Waltons & Morse a year after its last merger.Peter Scott, managing partner at Eversheds, and John Rothwell senior partner at Waltons & Morse confirm they are in the process of discussing the benefits of bringing together their resources and the international and regional strengths.A merger would add 20 partners ...

  • Family quarrels turn political

    20-Feb-1996

    The reputation of the Lord Chancellor, and the livelihoods of up to 20,000 solicitors, hang in the balance this month as the controversial Family Law Bill faces its first real parliamentary test.The Bill, some 81 pages long with 60 clauses, is seen by some worried family law practitioners as the beginning of a shift from legal representation to mediation in divorce proceedings. Others believe it is ringing the death knell for the institution of marriage ...

  • Financings

    20-Feb-1996

    Ashurst Morris Crisp acted as supervisory counsel for Union Bank of Switzerland as senior debt arranger and underwriter in a Dutch-based leveraged buy-out in the electrical goods industry. The debt totalled 125 million guilders. UBS was advised by Leoff Claeys Verbeke on all Dutch matters.

  • Firms tip balance in Bill rethink

    20-Feb-1996

    FOUR CITY firms have been instrumental in forcing the Government to reconsider its provision for dealing with social landlords in the current Housing Bill.Warner Cranston, Clifford Chance, Berwin Leighton and Allen & Overy wrote to the Government and the Opposition outlining concerns about the ...

  • Flotations

    20-Feb-1996

    Stringer Saul acted for Mountcashel in raising $4.08 million by way of a placing and open offer and the admission of its ordinary shares to AIM

  • Goodman Phillips gets Morocco deal

    20-Feb-1996

    CANADIAN top 10 law firm Goodman Phillips & Vineberg has been instructed by the Washington-based World Bank Group to draft a first set of regulations set to attract private funding to the Moroccan residential housing market.The regulations will allow residential housing mortgage lenders to secure part of their loan portfolios, giving a new financing tool to attract private sector investment in what is regarded as a critical development area in Morocco.The project ...

  • Happy birthday

    20-Feb-1996

    John Malpas reportsA chambers widely regarded as the leading tax set in the country has just celebrated its 30th anniversary. Gray's Inn Chambers held a reception at the British Museum earlier this month to mark what has been a highly successful first 30 years for the set. Gray's Inn Chambers boasts four silks out of just nine tenants and is headed by the man who founded it, Milton Grundy.

  • In brief: Conference to debate women's rights

    20-Feb-1996

    Womens' rights around the world will be the subject of a British Council/Warwick University conference on 26-28 February in Stratford-upon-Avon. A follow up to the Bejing Declaration on Women's Rights, the conference will take further the debate that the law and legal strategies can play a part in promoting womens' rights and inclusion within society. Speakers will include lawyers, journalists, economists and political scientists.

  • In brief: Hammond Suddards

    20-Feb-1996

    Richard Burns is the head of corporate finance at Hammond Suddards, not Christoper Arnheim as reported on 6 February issue.

  • In brief: Industrial action hampers CFO payouts

    20-Feb-1996

    Court Funds Office payments under court orders to litigants are suffering regular delays as a result of one-week-a-month strikes by Court Service staff. Backlogs of payments ranging from suitors' cash to monies for the mentally incapable build up during each five-day walkout, then recede until the next month's action. Julia Lomas, chief executive of the Court Funds Office, said: "So far, we can clear the backlog between the actions." But she added that a predicted sudden increase ...

  • In brief: London firm to handle Warner theme park

    20-Feb-1996

    London firm Olswang is acting for US film production and distribution company Warner Bros in the controversial £225 million joint investment with UK media group MAI to build a film and television studio, and theme park, in Green Belt land in West London. Senior partner Simon Olswang and corporate group partner Adrian Bott are handling the work for Warner Bros. Lovell White Durrant's Michael ...

  • In brief: Maritime expert joins Watson's NY office

    20-Feb-1996

    Watson, Farley & Williams has appointed Richard Jarashow as a partner in its New York office. He will work in the practice's maritime and commercial litigation group, headed by Al Yudes. Jarashow joins the 1990-established, 10-partner New York practice from New York maritime firm Haight Gardner Poor and Havens. Watson, Farley & Williams' senior partner, Alastair Farley, said: "We will particularly value Richard's contribution on US and international regulatory requirements ...

  • In brief: New director of OFT's legal division

    20-Feb-1996

    Pat Edwards has succeeded Anthony Inglese as the Office of Fair Trading's Director of Legal Division. Edwards, who took over the post at the beginning of the month, was formerly a deputy parliamentary commissioner for administration and member of the Government Legal Service, having qualified as a barrister. Speaking about her new role, she said: "I am looking forward to being part of an office whose impact and influence is far greater than its comparatively small size might suggest ...

  • In brief: Semple named new business leader

    20-Feb-1996

    David Semple, senior partner of business law firm Semple Fraser WS, is the new president of the Glasgow Chamber of Commerce. He launched his one-year term of office with a pledge to improve transport, tourism, trade and training and to encourage debate on devolution. "The business community should welcome any decentralisation of decision making to Scotland, but nothing should be done which tilts ...

  • In brief: Thwaites drops action against Bar

    20-Feb-1996

    Ronald Thwaites QC has dropped plans to take further constitutional or legal action against the Bar Council over its plans to introduce a revamped complaints scheme involving fines for a new complaint of inadequate professional services. Thwaites, who led a successful campaign against the scheme in an open meeting last year, said his decision was partly influenced by the apparently limited number of barristers who had any interest in the issue. "I believe I was justified in mounting ...

  • Indemnity fund under fire as lawyers opt for open market

    20-Feb-1996

    LAW firms should be allowed to arrange their own indemnity insurance cover in the open market rather than be forced to use the Solicitor's Indemnity Fund (SIF), leading City insurance lawyers said last week.City firms and other lower-risk practices could save money on premiums by reducing the number of insurance layers involved, they said.This would also avoid potentially complicated monitoring of large claims.Their views came as responses to ...

  • Inn with the in-crowd

    20-Feb-1996

    What do Gazza and Terry Venables, Asil Nadir and the Maxwell brothers, George Michael and Pavarotti have in common? They have all litigated in the Chancery Division.This is the introduction to the booklet produced by the Chancery Bar Association (CBA) in conjunction with the Northern Chancery Bar Association and the Bristol and Cardiff Bar Association. The booklet outlines the work of the Chancery Bar, and, a top question for barristers, whether they will get into court ...

  • Irish Bar stands up for victims in criminal trials

    20-Feb-1996

    OFFICIALS at the Bar Council of Ireland have joined forces with Victim Support to introduce proposals ensuring that victims of crime are treated more sensitively during criminal trials.Representatives of the Bar Council and Irish branch of the victim's lobby group are due to meet on Tuesday this week to discuss plans for what the Bar Council has termed a "court users' forum".The proposals being put forward are likely to include allocation of special ...

  • LAB Gulf contract 'fatally flawed'

    20-Feb-1996

    THE LEGAL Aid Board's first attempt to award the contract to lead the Gulf War Syndrome multi-party action against the Government was "fatally flawed", according to a High Court judge.Mr Justice Ognall ordered the board to re-tender the contract after hearing that five pages of the tender document provided by the unsuccessful Gulf War Solicitors Action Group (GWSAG) went missing before the bid was considered.The judge also rejected claims that the Territorial ...

  • Laserforms for Windows scoops excellence award

    20-Feb-1996

    Helen Sage reportsLaserforms for Windows, the software for filling out forms on computer screen, has won the Outstanding Technology Award from the Society for Computers and Law.The prestigious award was presented to Laserforms' managing director Barry Hawley-Green by Lord Woolf on 5 February. The ceremony took place at the Law Society.John Irving, director of the Professional Practices Unit at BDO Stoy Hayward, who chaired ...

  • Lawyers pull off media merger

    20-Feb-1996

    The cross-media merger of United News & Media and MAI was made possible by a legal 'warehousing' or 'deadlock' structure of the shareholding by scores of lawyers at Allen & Overy, Ashurst Morris Crisp and Norton Rose.

  • Leaving Bleak House behind

    20-Feb-1996

    Since only death and taxes are certain in life, one would think chancery practice would be a particularly lucrative area of practice for barristers and solicitors.Surprisingly, most solicitors in the area say it is a "steady" source of work rather than a buoyant one. The substantive (and cosmetic) changes in the 1980s introduced by Inheritance Tax, gave people a chance to divest wealth as part of an overall scheme of financial planning and much of that tax and trust-related ...

  • Litigation Personal Injury 20/02/96

    20-Feb-1996

    Bayes v Kirby - QBD 30 January 1996Claimant: Kathleen Bayes, 43, suing on behalf of herself and her 12-year-old son after death of her husband, Frederick Bayes, 41Incident: Bayes, a self-employed insulation engineer died of complications three weeks after contracting chicken-pox; claimed his GP failed to diagnose condition and refer him to hospital for treatment by a consultant; such reference was said to be essential in view ...

  • Litigation Recent Decisions 20/02/96

    20-Feb-1996

    Conditions for terminating a secure tenancyGreenwich London Borough Council v Regan (1996).CA (Millett LJ and Ward LJ) 31/1/96.Summary: The suspension of a possession order pending payment of rent arrears does not create a new tenancy but the existing tenancy continues under s.85(2) Housing Act 1985 until the warrant for possession is executed.Tenant's appeal against the dismissal of his application for a stay of a possession order ...

  • Litigation Writs 20/02/96

    20-Feb-1996

    An accident victim whose short-term memory has been reduced to less than one minute as a result of head injuries he suffered is suing the Post Office. Richard Frost, 23, suffered the injuries after he was hit by a concrete bus stop which had been hit by a Post Office van. He lost his job as a result of the accident and still suffers serious headaches and memory impairment, said to be post- concussion syndrome.Writ issued by Jenkin Evans, Reading.

  • Merger of US firms paves way for 'largest' health law practice

    20-Feb-1996

    TOP 30 US law firm Foley & Lardner and Californian practice Weissburg & Aronson have merged to create one of the largest firms in the US.Foley & Lardner, one of the oldest firms in the US, was ranked 27th by International Financial Law Review magazine in its 1995 listing of the top 30 firms in the US.With Weissburg & Aronson's recognised strength in health care, the merger is claimed by the newly formed firm to create the nation's largest health care ...

  • Mixed feelings over firm's Belfast move

    20-Feb-1996

    CITY insurance specialist Kennedys is moving into Northern Ireland, setting up a strong insurance presence in response to client needs.But the historic move has met with some reservations from established Belfast insurance practices, which say they are already advising non-local clients.The office, opening this week, will be run by four partners and one assistant - a large practice ...

  • More recruits for Weil Gotshal in London

    20-Feb-1996

    THE START-UP of a 20 to 25-lawyer Weil Gotshal & Manges London office seems on track to meet its March opening after the firm took another four lawyers from Clifford Chance, two from Allen & Overy and one from ...

  • MPs set to tackle LCD over administration of legal aid

    20-Feb-1996

    Members of Parliament are gearing up to give the Lord Chancellor's Department a roasting over the administration of legal aid.The powerful House of Commons public accounts committee is to hold hearings on the operation of the merits test in both the criminal and civil field.The hearing on criminal aid will be held against the background of comptroller and auditor general Sir Thomas Bourn's decision to qualify his audit on the account for a fifth year ...

  • New force in North West

    20-Feb-1996

    Merseyside firm Mace & Jones has merged with Manchester and Cheshire-based Grundy Kershaw.The new 19-partner firm is known as Mace & Jones Grundy Kershaw and will form one of the largest legal practices in the North West.It will continue to practise from its existing offices in Water Street, Liverpool and Sherborne Square, Huyton, as well as from offices in Manchester and Knutsford.Senior Partner at Maces, Barrie Marsh, who has been made senior partner ...

  • On the debt trail

    20-Feb-1996

    An improved version of the legal profession's most widely used debt recovery and arrears management system has been launched by AIM Law Data. Debtco Progression is a workflow-based product intended to be used for pre-litigation procedures. It can take control of the arrears management pro-cess from the moment a debt shows up on the ledger.

  • Outrage at magistrates' finance freeze

    20-Feb-1996

    A STORM is brewing over a government decision to freeze millions of pounds-worth of magistrates courts building work in order to "privatise" the schemes under its Private Finance Initiative (PFI).Officials from magistrates courts committees (MCCs) and local authorities are outraged by the move and are seeking urgent meetings with the Lord Chancellor's Department, now responsible for the magistrates service.A spokeswoman said the LCD was putting 49 magistrates ...

  • PARADOX OF THE CHANCERY

    20-Feb-1996

    Traditional work in chancery is gradually dying out. Private client work has been on the decline for some time and the traditions of Lincoln's Inn have been overtaken by commercial practice. The change is reflected both in the more modern approach adopted by sets within the Inn and in practitioners moving from the Inn to chambers.But if this is the case, why is the Chancery Division at least as busy now as it was 50 years ago? The answer is two-fold. Chancery work has ...

  • Paul Kitson looks forward to realistic damages for PI cases.

    20-Feb-1996

    Paul Kitson is a partner at Russell Jones & Walker.Last December, Kelvin Page was awarded £997,000 for a severe head injury. Page, a steelworker, was speared by a red hot steel bar, which penetrated his brain.He will never work again. He was 24 at the time of the accident and 28 at the date of trial. His normal retirement age would have been 62.The trial judge, Mr Justice Dyson, awarded loss of earnings on ...

  • Perils of complacency

    20-Feb-1996

    The move by Kennedys to set up an office in Belfast is a brave one, despite its unfortunate timing. The Northern Irish legal marketplace is small and difficult to penetrate. However, with increasing numbers of English companies going to the province, there is more business for one and all, although NI lawyers would be the first to admit that there had been less of a peace dividend ...

  • Pick of the bench

    20-Feb-1996

    Robert Walker QC's elevation to the bench was a loss, but an inevitable one, as he was well-respected and admired as a silk.Chancery practice, although drier, is one of the more cerebral, academic and fascinating areas of the law. It tends to attract a particular talent and demands a different approach.The barristers in this area are among the cleverest of those at the Bar and are very different from, say, family law barristers where sometimes a less intellectual ...

  • President was out of line

    20-Feb-1996

    I read with mounting concern the article by John Malpas in your edition of 30 January.I deplore the publicity that the president of the Law Society appears to have sought in criticising some members of his staff.I would have thought it was elementary common sense and the bounden duty of the president to deal with matters such as this away from the press.I believe that Martin Mears is way out of order in what he has done. It is, I fear, yet ...

  • Property

    20-Feb-1996

    Stones Porter advised Green Property in a joint venture with GE Capital, advised by Nabarro Nathanson, for the acquisition of a £32million portfolio of industrial properties from Standard Life, advised by Herbert Smith.

  • Property

    20-Feb-1996

    Charles Russell, acting jointly with Slaughter and May, advised Cannon Bridge Investments on the £64 million sale of Canon Bridge EC4 to Cannon Bridge Partnership - a joint venture between Pillar Property Investments and GE Pension Trust, advised by Gouldens.

  • Property

    20-Feb-1996

    DJ Freeman acted for property developer Argent Group in a £350 million project. The firm advised on corporate, property and banking aspects of a joint venture, Argent Development.

  • Property

    20-Feb-1996

    Manches & Co acted for JPI Investments in its exchange of contracts for a major lease reorganisation at Apex Tower, New Malden. BAeSEMA, a subsidiary of British Aerospace and SEMA Group, agreed to take an overriding lease on the 15-floor block.

  • Right to die action moots role of parents

    20-Feb-1996

    Euthanasia litigation is set to return to the courts.It is established that courts will grant declarations for health authorities to end life support for victims in a persistent vegetative state (PVS).Now leave has been given for judicial review to be sought over a decision not to treat or resuscitate a 23-year-old cerebral palsy sufferer if his condition deteriorates.The case is to be heard by a High Court Family Division judge and will almost certainly ...

  • School goes on-line with firm's help

    20-Feb-1996

    Helen Sage reportsMayfair firm Jeffrey Green Russell has helped the Ernest Bevin School in Tooting to set up its own Internet pages on the World Wide Web, making it the first state school in the UK to establish its own site.The initiative was prompted by the deputy head teacher's daughter, Jade, who secured a work experience placement at Jeffrey Green Russell.After using the firm's computing and communications technology, ...

  • Scott casts 'no doubt on my integrity' says Lyell

    20-Feb-1996

    Lawyers have featured prominently in Sir Richard Scott's report on arms to Iraq.The Government's top lawyer, Attorney General Sir Nicholas Lyell, faces daily calls for his resignation as a result of his role in the Matrix Churchill trial.Scott criticises Lyell for advising Ministers they had a duty to sign Public Interest Immunity Certificates to prevent disclosure of documents in the trial and for failing to act when informed by Michael Heseltine, ...

  • Scottish players

    20-Feb-1996

    Ask a Scottish lawyer about chancery, and they might think it is the noun equivalent for 'chancing' as in 'chancing your arm'.All disputes in Scotland which involve 'chancery' matters go to the Court of Session, with no distinction between what in England is the Chancery Division and the Queen's Bench Division. It is the large metropolitan firms in Edinburgh, Glasgow or Aberdeen which administer the large trusts.And Scottish ...

  • Shooting stars of the Bar

    20-Feb-1996

    Many law firms, irrespective of size, will use either the very senior or the very junior barristers for chancery work. The work in the middle range will be kept in-house.The qualities considered most important in chancery barristers are clarity, perception, an ability to pay attention to technical detail and being able to provide a practical answer to a particular problem. The caveat is that clients do not necessarily want an extremely complicated tax ...

  • Split pensions look likely

    20-Feb-1996

    FAMILY lawyers have welcomed signs that the Lord Chancellor will propose that pension funds should be split between separating couples.The current amendment being fronted by the National Association for Pension Funds is a revised version of a proposal put forward by the Law Society in conjunction with the Society for Family Lawyers Association. The initial proposal was made in debates leading up to the Pension Act 1995.Campaigners say pension funds should be ...

  • Stuck in the Euro-rut

    20-Feb-1996

    The European Commission is currently investigating a complaint about restrictive practices at the Bar. This is no surprise: the commission has frequently turned its attention to the legal professions in recent years. When it looked at the rights of establishment issue, the matter was kept running five years longer than necessary. As a result, the agreement reached by the member states disintegrated and they have been arguing ever since. Accusing the Bar of restrictive practices ...

  • Subpoena turnsup heat on Lloyd's

    20-Feb-1996

    LLOYD'S litigation is building up a head of steam, with several imminent judgments expected as well as Lloyd's chair David Rowland making his first appearance as a witness in a major case affecting all Names.Rowland will take the stand in the High Court interlocutory hearing of Lloyd's v Clementson, which started on 12 February and is due to run for up to five weeks.He was subpoenaed last week by lawyers acting for John Clementson, the Name being ...

  • Testing times for the Revenue

    20-Feb-1996

    A test case to be heard in April in the Chancery Division will turn on whether the Inland Revenue has taken the correct view on Inheritance Tax (IHT) legislation cases where appointments are made within three months of the testator's death.Beneficiaries under wills can group together and rearrange the dispositions made in the will. So long as they do this within two years of the testator's death, the rearrangement is not taxable and, for IHT purposes, is treated ...

  • The Lawyer Inquiry: Jacqueline Bore

    20-Feb-1996

    Jacqueline Bore is a solicitor at City firm Theodore Goddard. She switched from the medical profession in 1990, after working as a GP in London. Born in Hull in 1958, she now lives in Blackheath, London. What was your first job?Au pair in Fontainbleau near Paris and Alpe d'Huez.What was your first ever salary as a lawyer?£17,500.What would you have done if you ...

  • Time to call the headline hunters

    20-Feb-1996

    Mention 'chancery' and most people think of Dickens' Bleak House, where the case of Jarndyce v Jarndyce "dragged its dreary length before the court, perennially hopeless".Ask a chancery lawyer what it is and they will say chancery practice is essentially about companies, trusts and tax. One leading practitioner considers it "the most academic of the three divisions of the High Court".For practical purposes, chancery tends to be split into traditional ...

  • US stays top of the table as M&As hit new high

    20-Feb-1996

    Cross-border merger and acquisitions deals in the European Union hit a record high last year, with a total of 1,901 deals worth £56 billion, according to new figures from Acquisitions Monthly magazine.The figures show a major increase on 1994, when 1,847 were completed at an overall value of £37.5 billion.The US remained top of the league for acquiring EU companies with 426 buys worth £17.6 billion - around three times the amount spent by France ...

  • Victims of Barings collapse ready themselves for battle

    20-Feb-1996

    SJ BERWIN is preparing to launch a legal action on behalf of investors in collapsed merchant bank Barings which could in part be defended by Barings administrators.Slaughter and May, the administrators' main lawyers, may be asked to defend the action. However, Ashurst Morris Crisp, brought in by ...

  • Web site for lawyers

    20-Feb-1996

    Helen Sage reportsScottish law firm Semple Fraser is the first law firm in Glasgow to launch a home page on the World Wide Web. Semple Fraser has designed its home page to be useful to business people. The site includes articles, recent commercial legal news and the firm's terms of appointment and communication details.

  • Young gun to take helm at Lambeth's legal dept

    20-Feb-1996

    A 'HIGH FLYER' in his thirties has landed the newly-created, £74,000 a year, borough solicitor's job at Lambeth Council.Gerard Curran, 36, will leave Waltham Forest District Council to join Lambeth's new team of executive directors.Curran's role will be to steer the council's legal affairs as well as inject strategic management skills into the drive for efficiency and improved services.Lambeth chief executive, Heather ...