19 October 1998

The Lawyer

  • A flawed system that just gets worse

    20-Oct-1998

    Who loves the Law Society? asks Brian Marson. First it exposes panel solicitors to negligence claims, now a rule change may bring back separate representationAbout six years ago, panel solicitors found themselves receiving more and more additional mortgage instructions from lenders. They had become the target of professional negligence claims, a fact accepted in the discussion paper recently before the Law Society Council that supported a proposal to introduce ...

  • Amstrad legal ace goes to Hammonds

    20-Oct-1998

    Amstrad's head of legal, Richard Hastings, is to join Hammond Suddards' London office at the end of October and is taking a $200m lawsuit with him.Hastings is organising Amstrad's on-going legal action against US computer components company Western Digital Corporation and is likely to be kept busy until the middle of next year.Amstrad is suing Western Digital over the quality of the hard disk drives it supplied to the company during its failed ...

  • Andrew Clay on whether Millennium Bug legislation is enough.

    20-Oct-1998

    Andrew Clay is an intellectual property partner at Hammond Suddards.Two Bills are before Parliament which could have a significant impact on how businesses deal with the Millennium Bug.The Government can be applauded for what it has done to increase awareness of the problems that may be caused by the inability of computers to identify dates after the end of 1999. But it is surprising that few have heard of two Bills dealing with the issue.

  • Application - is it all in the mind?

    20-Oct-1998

    Peter Weiss asks whether a new psychometric test for job applicants offers a fairer way of assessing candidates. Peter Weiss is a trainee solicitor at Nabarro Nathanson.IN An age that holds up psychology as the darling of social sciences, the use of psychometric testing is probably inevitable. Perhaps as predictable is the controversy that surrounds it.While some firms believe ...

  • Bakers furious at 'outrageous' claim on Almaty walkout

    20-Oct-1998

    The founding partner of Baker & McKenzie's Kazakhstan office has left to set up a new practice amid a bitter war of words with his old firm.Michael Wilson is taking seven other fee earners with him to his new corporate finance and projects firm Michael Wilson & Partners.He told The Lawyer that he had taken the core of the practice with him - but Baker & McKenzie's ...

  • Blue chip giant threatens City trio with headquarters move

    20-Oct-1998

    Freshfields, Allen & Overy and Eversheds will lose a FTSE 100 client if the board of Anglo-US automotive and aerospace company LucasVarity gets the go-ahead from shareholders to move the company's headquarters to the US.LucasVarity is keen to relist in New York to tap into what it sees as a greater ...

  • Bright lights beckon the best

    20-Oct-1998

    Start spreading the news, you can be leaving today for a stint in an overseas office. Alison Beardsley knows how to be part of it. Alison Beardsley is graduate recruitment partner and training principal at Allen & Overy.Many trainees join a big firm harbouring ambitions to spend six months of their training contract in one of its international offices. For most, the main ...

  • Call for 'task force' to aid stressed out solicitors

    20-Oct-1998

    A solicitor, who admitted to a disciplinary tribunal last week that he failed to pay bills because he was "overwhelmed by his workload", has called for a "task force" to help stressed out solicitors.Anthony Thipthorpe, who was based in Southend-on-Sea, admitted that in 1996 he failed to pay #6,500 counsel's fees and ignored subsequent letters sent by the Office for Supervision of Solicitors (OSS) because he was "unable to cope".He said that although he worked ...

  • Cash crisis and poor prospects for young Bar

    20-Oct-1998

    Shaun Pye looks at the Bar Council report on overburdened student finance, and finds a profession unwilling to put its hands in its pockets to help.Let us start with the blindingly obvious. It costs a massive amount of money to train as a barrister.In a worst-case scenario, a non-law degree student will leave university heavily in debt, pay about #3,000 for the common professional examination (CPE), another #7,000 for the Bar vocational ...

  • City Lawyer launches

    20-Oct-1998

    The Lawyer is in the middle of a major editorial expansion. In response to the demands of our readers, we are boosting our coverage of key sectors of the legal profession. The first major revamp will be in our City and commercial law coverage. This week we launch City Lawyer (see pages 12-13). The section has a new editor and a team of journalists who will break the big news stories and offer up-to-the-minute analysis of important events. As the weeks unfold, you will see ...

  • Cobbetts in EU law link-up

    20-Oct-1998

    Manchester-based Cobbetts has signed up the services of Brussels EU law boutique Renouf & Co to provide the firm with its European law advice. Headed by Michael Renouf, the boutique is the former Brussels office of the now defunct Legal Resources Group.

  • Conveyancing: room for two

    20-Oct-1998

    Write to: The Editor, The Lawyer, 50 Poland Street, London W1V 4AX, fax 0171 578 7249, e-mail lawyer.edit@chiron.co.uk, DX44700 Soho SquareI refer to the letter published in last week's edition of The Lawyer, "High street not running scared", from Mr Elias of Downs Solicitors .For many years there has been a considerable degree of dissatisfaction amongst the home-buying public about the service available ...

  • Dealmaker

    20-Oct-1998

    Clifford Chance securitisation partner Andrew Forryan is leading a 25-lawyer team on the $2bn Eurobond offering by Formula One - one of the largest securitisations this year. The team is advising investment bank Morgan Stanley Dean Witter, the sole lead manager for the issue.The deal straddles eight jurisdictions, involving Clifford Chance lawyers in London, Amsterdam, Brussels, Frankfurt, ...

  • Dibbs' IT head defects to London office of US rival

    20-Oct-1998

    DIBB Lupton Alsop's head of IT and telecoms Dave Barrett has quit to join the London office of US firm Arnold & Porter.The loss of Barrett is the second major blow to Dibbs' IT practice in the last two months. Highly-rated partner Alistair Maughan left in August to set up a London office for another US firm, Shaw Pittman Plotts & Trowbridge.Barrett - who joined Dibbs with Maughan from Theodore Goddard in 1993 - was involved in opening the firm's ...

  • Easy trainee pickings for the mid-sized firms

    20-Oct-1998

    A survey of LawGroup UK members - the national network of over 80 medium-sized firms - undertaken for The Lawyer highlights how they can now "pick-and choose" the exact type of trainee they want, simply because of the volume of applications they are receiving. Over a quarter of the firms which replied to the survey said they no longer felt they needed to "attract" trainees. Some had received over 500 applications.When distinguishing between applications ...

  • Edges and DJs profit from demise of Stones Porter

    20-Oct-1998

    London commercial practice Stones Porter has been swallowed up by Edge & Ellison, making it the fifth small to medium-sized commercial firm to disappear in as many months.Under the deal with Edges, six of Stones Porter's nine partners, including senior partner Hugh Edmunds, will bring their property and banking practice to the firm's London office, along with 16 of its 17 fee earners.However, the property finance team - salaried partners Terry Green, ...

  • Energy

    20-Oct-1998

    Robert Tudway of Nabarro Nathanson advised Bridgewater Paper Company on the signing of a 15-year contract with National Power Cogen for the supply of electricity and steam at the company's Ellesmere Port paper mill. National Power Cogen was advised by its in-house team.

  • Environment law in public hands

    20-Oct-1998

    A United Nations convention finally empowers the public to have a say on environmental issues - but will it have any real effect? Alan Osborn reports.After two years of negotiation involving 37 European countries, a convention to give more power to the public arm over government and industrial decisions affecting the environment was finalised this year. A commendable move perhaps, but one that has already drawn fire from lawyers in the UK who believe it falls short of its ...

  • Everything you ever wanted to know about law but were too drunk to ask

    20-Oct-1998

    You have read enough legal books to sink the Bismark - but what about real life? Matheu Swallow gives an insight into life in a variety of legal practice areas.CrimeWith confidence, criminal law can be as challenging and stimulating in practice as it is academically.Edward Caute, solicitor at west London firm Darlington & Parkinson, says a trainee will be expected to attend ID parades and represent clients at police station interviews. ...

  • Fixed fees for Scots legal aid lawyers

    20-Oct-1998

    Fixed fees for criminal legal aid work will be introduced in Scotland in the new year under proposals unveiled by the Scottish Office last week.In summary cases, solicitors will receive a single fixed payment - provisionally set at #475 - to cover trial preparation, #100 for each of the first two days of a trial and #200 for each subsequent day.Home Affairs Minister Henry McLeish said fees paid to solicitors in Scotland for summary cases had risen by 65 per cent ...

  • Former Alsops lawyer struck off following #250,000 theft

    20-Oct-1998

    A FORMER Alsop Wilkinson consultant who stole #250,000 of client cash while at the firm and then fled the country has been struck off.A Solicitors' Disciplinary Tribunal heard on 8 October how in 1992 Tony Neary resigned from the firm, which has since become part of Dibb Lupton Alsop, after complaints from a former client.Chris Bonney-James, acting for the Law Society, said the firm called in police after discovering #250,000 had been misappropriated from ...

  • From lab coat to law firm

    20-Oct-1998

    Converted Mancunian Caroline Stockwell believes students should keep their career and job options open. Caroline Stockwell is a trainee solicitor at Addleshaw Booth & Co.Working as a chemist in a laboratory is, admittedly, an unusual first step into the legal profession.After leaving university with a degree in chemistry, I opted for a career at a multi-national pharmaceutical firm in Hertfordshire. Nine years later and a couple of hundred miles further ...

  • German move for Pictons

    20-Oct-1998

    West End firm Picton Howell has recruited German and English qualified Greg Davidian from the legal department of Scottish Amicable to head its German desk.

  • Golden age of lawyers must not be tarnished by profit principle

    20-Oct-1998

    ABA president Philip Anderson says the profession must jealously guard its independence in the face of an onslaught from big business. Philip Anderson is president of the American Bar Association.Siegfried Sassoon wrote a paean to English country life in the late nineteenth century and published it as The Old Century (Faber & Faber, London [1938]). Shortly after the period covered in its pages, the world changed forever in the wake of one of the cruellest wars in history.

  • Government industrial illness shake-up to cure PI headaches

    20-Oct-1998

    THE GOVERNMENT is to announce plans that will make it easier for solicitors to identify insurers of companies whose former workers have developed industrial illnesses.The Lawyer understands that the Department of the Environment, Transport and the Regions will announce the initiative later this month - but is still deciding which of two options to pursue.Searching for the insurers of companies which may have closed down decades ago is currently a major headache ...

  • Herbert Smith follows A&O into Bangkok as crisis fades

    20-Oct-1998

    Herbert Smith has become the second City firm in a week - along with Allen & Overy - to announce plans for a Bangkok office.Herbert Smith's London-based spokeswoman said the firm hoped to have the office up and running in November. But she would not say how many lawyers would be sent to Thailand. Meanwhile, Allen & Overy is acquiring 18-lawyer Thai and English law practice MPS ...

  • Hirst beats De Wilde in Bar Council vice-chair election

    20-Oct-1998

    Jonathan Hirst QC has been elected vice-chairman of the Bar Council, beating veteran campaigner for greater democracy at the Bar Robin De Wilde QC.Although the Bar Council has not released the voting figures, sources say Hirst won the poll "comfortably".It was initially thought two other candidates would stand - Julian Malins QC and Stephen Hockman QC - but in the end, the powerful establishment vote unified behind one candidate against maverick outsider De Wilde.

  • How to write the perfect CV

    20-Oct-1998

    Rebecca Towers says academic underachievement is not necessarily a bar to a legal career, but poor spelling could be.Winning a training contract is always going to be difficult with places so sought after.Last year, Lovell White Durrant received more than 2,000 applications for just 70 trainee positions. The story is much same for the Bar. Statistics gathered from the first year of the Pupillage Application Clearing House (Pach), the centralised pupillage application ...

  • In brief: Access to justice marred by lack of guidance

    20-Oct-1998

    New laws designed to give British citizens better access to justice risk failure as they offer inadequate guidance to public authorities on how to comply with the law, according to a report published by the Institute for Public Policy Research last week. The report's authors recommend the creation of a "human rights commission" to provide advice to organisations and individuals about the proposed Human Rights Bill.

  • In brief: Cameron McKenna to emulate alliance

    20-Oct-1998

    Cameron McKenna is in negotiations with its four associate European law firms with a view to creating a Linklaters & Alliance-style firm. The four firms are Benelux firm DSH Derks Star Busmann Hanotiau, Swedish firm Tisell & Co, Danish firm Schluter & Hald and German firm Sigle Loose Schmidt-Diemitz. Managing partner Robert Derry-Evans told The Lawyer in July that he planned to tighten the firms' ...

  • In brief: Fast track pre-trial costs regime faces delay

    20-Oct-1998

    The Lord Chancellor, Lord Irvine confirmed last week that plans to introduce a pre-trial costs regime in fast-track cases - covering actions worth up to #15,000 - will be postponed pending further investigation into the causes of high-cost litigation. But he did confirm that fixed costs for fast track trials would begin in April 1999.

  • In brief: Law Soc disappointment at Govt asylum paper

    20-Oct-1998

    The Law Society last week expressed disappointment at the Government's White Paper on immigration and asylum. In its official response, the society said the plans to restrict legal aid for asylum seekers and streamline the appeal system would do little to improve either the fairness or speed of the system.

  • In brief: Nottingham firm forms French association

    20-Oct-1998

    Nottingham-based Browne Jacobson has formed an association with French firm DS Paris. Browne Jacobson's London office will play host to several DS Paris lawyers who will set up DS London. In return, the French firm will open its network of associated offices - in China, Vietnam, Taiwan, Hong Kong and a soon-to-be-opened Brussels base - to Browne Jacobson. Pictured l-r: Browne Jacobson partner ...

  • In brief: Rowe & Maw recruits Garretts EC law head

    20-Oct-1998

    Rowe & Maw has hired Garretts head of EC law, Philip Ruttley, as a partner. A specialist in the dispute resolution system of the World Trade Organisation, Ruttley was previously UN legal adviser on development aid and an EC adviser at HM Treasury Solicitor's Department.

  • In brief: Smith quits Manches as Birchams recruits

    20-Oct-1998

    Manches & Co has lost Simon Smith, the head of its company and commercial department, to Westminster firm Bircham & Co. Smith was previously senior partner at Asshetons prior to its merger with Manches & Co in 1993. Matrimonial partner John Darnton has also joined Birchams from Margaret Bennett Solicitors.

  • In brief: Trade union legislation not feared by bosses

    20-Oct-1998

    British bosses do not regard the Government's proposed legislation on trade union recognition as a threat, an Osborne Clarke-commissioned MORI survey has found. Seventy per cent of 140 directors and senior managers in facilities management, financial services and transport businesses rated highly their unions' ability to see management's point of view.

  • In-house vs the Inns of Court

    20-Oct-1998

    Susan Ward says a vast array of in-house work is available to young barristers who thrive on the cut and thrust of business. Susan Ward chairs the Bar Association for Commerce, Finance and Industry (Bacfi) with over 1,200 members. Student membership is available.Practice as an in-house barrister puts you right at the heart of the action, whether it be in a corporate environment, in government or other equally challenging surroundings.Today, opportunities ...

  • Irish firm uses computer threat to win government fee war

    20-Oct-1998

    Irish firm O'Donovan & Co has taught a stern lesson to government departments that do not pay bills on time by sending the sheriff round to seize equipment for outstanding fees.Eire's social welfare minister Dermot Ahern was forced to seek an injunction in the Dublin High Court to prevent the sheriff removing his office computer and furniture to meet the outstanding debt.The minister won his injunction - but O'Donovan & Co had its outstanding bill ...

  • Law's creaking conveyor belt

    20-Oct-1998

    Are law schools churning out incomplete legal drones who are not fully prepared for the real legal world? Matheu Swallow gauges the opinions of firms, students and the law schools.The second year of the reformed Legal Practice Course (LPC) has just got under way, but questions remain as to whether it will produce the fully rounded students that law firms really want.Complaints about the old LPC course persist and new problems are compounding the situation.

  • Lawyer accused of negligence

    20-Oct-1998

    Samuel Collins, who lost #5.5m investing in the El Bosque hotel, golf course and residential development in eastern Spain between 1986 and 1989, is to challenge a High Court decision that he can recover only a fraction of his money. Collins cites negligence and fraud on the part of his solicitor, John Stephen Brebner. In July Mr Justice Hedley backed the allegations, but awarded Collins only #23,447 plus interest.

  • Legal aid Bar losing ground

    20-Oct-1998

    The financial gulf between legal aid and commercial barristers dramatically widened in 1997-98, according to a survey of London chambers released last week by accountants BDO Stoy Hayward.Despite overall growth of 7 per cent across the Bar as a whole, the survey shows total receipts for crime and family practitioners fell by around 5 per cent while commercial and chancery work was up 10 per cent.Peter Bennett, practice manager at 55-tenant 36 Bedford Row, said: ...

  • Legal aid lesson must be learned from Mansell case

    20-Oct-1998

    In 1993, Penny Mansell, a desperate young Milford Haven mother on income support, approached Nicola Castle, a partner at Altrincham's Alexander Harris, for legal help.Mansell was looking for financial compensation to help her look after her young son - struck down with cerebral palsy after being starved of oxygen at birth.With Castle's assistance, Mansell brought a case for medical negligence against the Dyfed-Powys Health ...

  • Lex Mundi targets London

    20-Oct-1998

    International law firm network Lex Mundi has reversed its long-standing policy of not having an English member firm by announcing its intention to bring a London-based practice into the organisation by next spring.The network, made up of 143 independent firms around the world, voted in early October to change its policy and approach leading London firms on the prospect of being the sole English representative.Stephen McGarry, president and founder of Houston-based ...

  • Living in the real world

    20-Oct-1998

    Earlier this month about 100 in-house lawyers gathered in Versailles to discuss MDPs at the fifth annual conference of the European chapter of the influential American Corporate Counsel Association.They gave MDPs a cautious welcome. A more hostile response would have been understandable, given that many in-house lawyers originally practised at City-type firms, where opposition to MDPs is traditionally strong.Many in-house lawyers would be forgiven for suspecting ...

  • Looted art immune to limitation period

    20-Oct-1998

    A ruling on the limitation period governing lost items has implications for the art and antiques world, writes Roger PearsonA High Court ruling leaves little doubt that those who put items of art up for sale and fail to research their background do so at their peril.The case, held during the summer vacation, centred on a tiny Dutch masterpiece with an estimated value of #700,000.The Holy Family with Saints John and ...

  • Lord Irvine wrong to extend audience rights, say judges

    20-Oct-1998

    A senior judge has publicly attacked the Lord Chancellor, Lord Irvine's plans to extend rights of audience to Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) employees, while over 100 judges have privately voiced their strong disapproval of his reforms.Addressing the Criminal Bar Association last week, Lord Steyn, a Law Lord, said: "It would be a mistake to grant such rights to state employees."Prosecutions in the crown court by members of an independent Bar place a brake ...

  • Lords accuse clerks of deliberately inflating fees

    20-Oct-1998

    Barristers' clerks have been accused of "deliberately pitching fees at a very high level" by a House of Lords report into counsels' fees released last week.The report follows the unprecedented hearing last June into the fees claimed by four top QCs - Michael Mansfield, Peter Feinberg, Richard Henriques and Christopher Sallon.Although the report said these QCs had done nothing "discreditable or improper", it made it clear that the level of fees paid ...

  • Miss Manners comes to town

    20-Oct-1998

    Mary Crane

  • New editor for The Lawyer

    20-Oct-1998

    The Lawyer has hired former deputy editor of Marketing Week Sean Brierley as its new editor.Brierley has been a journalist for 10 years and is a former university lecturer in mass communications and journalism.He has written a best-selling book on the advertising industry and has a masters degree in public policy and administration.He replaces Mary Heaney who has left to pursue other interests."The Lawyer broke the mould in legal journalism ...

  • OFT poised to fine UK firms ignorant of EU competition rules

    20-Oct-1998

    British business has little or no understanding of the radical changes that will affect it if the UK adopts EU-inspired competition laws, says a Cameron McKenna survey of top companies.The survey of 100 leading companies found 57 per cent had taken no action to prepare for impending changes to the competition regime. The legislation will come before the House of Lords for final consideration this Tuesday and if enacted will bring UK competition law in line with EC law.

  • Parker is City's first female senior partner

    20-Oct-1998

    CITY firm Withers has elected the head of its family law department, Diana Parker, as its new senior partner.Parker, 40, is believed to be the youngest senior partner of any firm in the Top 100.She is also thought to be the first female senior partner of a City firm, although there are already some female managing partners - including Lesley MacDonagh at Lovell White Durrant and ...

  • PI groups slam forced mediation

    20-Oct-1998

    PERSONAL injury lawyers have urged the Lord Chancellor, Lord Irvine to hold off from making mediation compulsory for PI cases.At a joint conference of the Association of Personal Injury Lawyers (Apil) and the Forum of Insurance Lawyers (Foil) last week, delegates lined up to warn the Government not to give in to the temptation to force PI litigants to consider mediation before going to court.Although the Government has not yet announced such plans, mediation ...

  • Placing

    20-Oct-1998

    David Collins of Paisner & Co (pictured right) advised healthcare product supplier Medisys on its #15m placing and open offer of convertible bonds on the Luxembourg Stock Exchange.

  • Prescott faces probe into housing ruling

    20-Oct-1998

    Roger Pearson reports on an appeal which could find the Deputy Prime Minister guilty of not following his own guidelines.The Deputy Prime Minister, John Prescott, recently cleared in the High Court of failing to comply with his own guidelines relating to levels of housing in the countryside, is now to face a Court of Appeal probe into the legality of his actions.Although the July hearing centred on West Sussex, the case has broader implications ...

  • Property

    20-Oct-1998

    Gary Watson and Francesca Fox of Hammond Suddards advised Bastionen Properties on its #14.81m purchase of a 250-year leasehold interest in Colchester Business Park from Guardian Assurance, advised by Tony Patterson and Graham Lloyd Brunt of Forsters.

  • Property

    20-Oct-1998

    Piers Coleman of Nicholson Graham & Jones advised Heron International on its #205m acquisition of eight central London properties from DEGI, advised by Deborah Parry of Nabarro Nathanson. Rod Brown of Allen & Overy advised underwriter HypoVereinsbank.

  • Put our morale before profits

    20-Oct-1998

    Regular readers of The Lawyer cannot have failed to notice the increasing number of articles detailing the high turnover and poor morale among assistant solicitors within private practice. It is clear to me and, I believe, many others that the primary cause is the excessively long hours that some are expected to work on a regular basis.I was also interested in an article in a recent edition of The Lawyer (6 October), stating that most law firms will have asked ...

  • Saving arbitration from litigation's costly fate

    20-Oct-1998

    Richard Freeman says a new fixed-cost arbitration scheme will benefit lawyers. Richard Freeman is a forensic accountant and an arbitrator.The Chartered Institute of Arbitrators has launched an initiative known as the London Scheme Arbitration.The London Scheme allows arbitrators to tell parties in advance the maximum amount of costs which they will be able to recover. This is used as the cornerstone to demand that the arbitrator restricts costs to a proportion ...

  • Shopping centre sues bank

    20-Oct-1998

    The owner of a shopping centre at Bedford Square, central London, is taking NatWest Bank to the High Court. Martin Slowe Estates claims it has had no banking facilities at the centre since NatWest closed its branch in February 1997. Now it is taking the bank to court and seeking damages, claiming that, as a result, custom has diminished and businesses have been affected. The centre's owner accuses the bank of breach of contract.

  • Simmons dismisses hacker threat to launch intranet first

    20-Oct-1998

    Simmons & Simmons is set to become the first firm in the UK to link all of its IT systems and confidential information to an intranet.Simmons has emulated the BBC and NatWest Global Markets by buying the US Web-based IT system Open Text Livelink for a "significant six-figure" investment.By next summer, every document kept by the firm, including confidential client files, will be held on a series of Simmons databases linked to an intranet - effectively a private ...

  • Simmons rocked by exodus

    20-Oct-1998

    Simmons & Simmons has been hit by the defection of two heads of departments and a senior banking partner to set up the London office of US firm McDermott Will & Emery.William Charnley, head of corporate finance, Peter Nias, head of tax, and senior banking partner Graham Rowbotham resigned last Wednesday.The trio will set up a full-service office focusing on English ...

  • Tales of a student's conversion

    20-Oct-1998

    Rugby-mad trainee Sam Rush, a new recruit at SJ Berwin & Co, tells what to expect from life in the City. Sam Rush is a trainee solicitor at London-based firm SJ Berwin & Co.A ride on the legal train is a lengthy affair even before the first stop of the the training contract. Having bought a ticket by completing a university degree, navigating the Common Professional ...

  • Tax changes: opportunity not burden

    20-Oct-1998

    Hew Tittensor says new taxation regulations can bring many benefits to small partnerships and sole practitioners.New tax regulations which will affect partnerships and sole practitioners may mean a substantial one-off tax bill.But these regulations also provide the opportunity to improve financial systems, particularly for smaller practices. As a result, practices can become more profitable and, by strengthening their balance sheet, can create the greater financial ...

  • The Lawyer Inquiry: Deryck Houghton

    20-Oct-1998

    Deryck Houghton was born in Liverpool in 1957. He is a partner in the IT practice of Rotherham firm Oxley & Coward.What was your first job?Shelf stacker/trolley collector at Asda.What was your first ever salary as a lawyer?#1,750.What would you have done if you hadn't been a lawyer?Palaeontologist.What was your most satisfying professional moment?

  • TSG demands explanation about 'crippling' LPC fees

    20-Oct-1998

    The Trainee Solicitors Group (TSG) has slammed providers of the Legal Practice Course (LPC) after a survey revealed it costs over twice as much as the previous Law Society Finals (LSF).Average LPC fees are now #5,600, compared to #2,790 for LSF when it last ran in 1992. The TSG also says LPC fees rise at twice the inflation rate.Nick Armstrong, TSG chairman, said: "These figures are extremely worrying. The fees translate into crippling debt for students and trainees. ...

  • UK firms top EU IP league

    20-Oct-1998

    Bird & Bird, Linklaters and Simmons & Simmons all made the top five in a league of the leading firms in cross-border European IP work by Managing Intellectual Property.

  • Unrealistic vendors cause fall in MBOs

    20-Oct-1998

    Management buy-out activity for the third quarter is down 16 per cent compared with last year and is expected to fall further in the fourth, as the difference between vendors' and investors' price expectations widen.The Centre for Management Buy-out Research has found that 255 transactions were completed between July and September with a gross value of #1.18bn, compared with 302 such deals for 1997.Christopher Hale, head of the private equity department ...

  • US duo in $19bn share deal

    20-Oct-1998

    The Japanese offices of two US firms are advising the Japanese telecoms operator NTT DoCoMo and the underwriters in the world's largest ever share issue - expected to raise $19bn. Sullivan & Cromwell's Robert De La Mater, in Hong Kong, and Izumi Akai and Mark Hunsaker, in Tokyo, are advising the issuer.

  • Writs fly in Raincock contract row

    20-Oct-1998

    High-profile legal expenses insurer Litigation Protection, headed by Brian Raincock, is being sued for breach of contract by a former underwriter for allegedly failing to pass on insurance premiums.Isle of Man-based Templeton Insurance, which withdrew as underwriter for Litigation Protection in July, claims Litigation Protection owes it nearly £15,000.According to the writ, issued at Birmingham District Registry, Litigation Protection agreed to hold the ...

  • Young, gifted and broke

    20-Oct-1998

    Money is the big problem for anyone entering legal training. Rebecca Towers looks at how students can avoid the debts. The TSG gekokube us avaukabe ib 0171 320 5794.As anyone who has made the trip knows, it is a long road to legal qualification. A law degree, pupillage or training contract demands hard graft and dedication - and money. And as the responsibility for degree funding falls ever more on the student, and awards for post-graduate study evaporate, the ...