19 September 1994

The Lawyer

  • 500 join in Docklands nuisance claim

    20-Sep-1994

    APPROXIMATELY 500 claimants have joined a multi-party action claiming against the London Docklands Development Corporation (LDDC) for dust nuisance.The plaintiffs are claiming for problems arising from the development of the Limehouse link road.Leigh Day & Co partner Sally Moore is also representing 680 residents in a multi-million pound compensation action against Canary Wharf Ltd for television interference caused by the redevelopment.In his judgment ...

  • ABA spurned in favour of provinces

    20-Sep-1994

    A LEADING set of chambers has given up trying to get work from attendance and advertising at the American Bar Association (ABA) conference.David Steel's chambers at 4 Essex Court, which gets 5 per cent of its work from the US, says it will spend money on promoting itself in the English provinces instead.Head of administration Gordon Armstrong says: "We spent a lot on the ABA, but we have never got one piece of work as a result of going ...

  • Bar urged to act on drink

    20-Sep-1994

    AN ALCOHOLIC barrister is calling on the Bar Council to take action to deal with the increasing number of professionals addicted to drink.Her call is backed by a man who was forced to leave the profession through drink, and a barrister's clerk. All three wish to remain anonymous.She says: "The Bar is very ignorant of this whole area and the problems which can be caused by alcohol. A lot of us would like to see the profession recognise what is going ...

  • Bar wants to play on level fields

    20-Sep-1994

    There are two thrusts to the bundle of recommendations from Lord Alexander's committee on standards at the Bar. The first is the proposed complaints and compensation system to meet the needs of the public and follow the promptings of the legal ombudsman and the Royal Commission. More public tribunals will be welcome.That the Bar has been able to get by without such mechanisms is partly a reflection that barristers' services are bought on a client's behalf ...

  • CASE STUDY: DIBBS

    20-Sep-1994

    Dibb Lupton Broomhead is not a firm which does things by halves. Less concerned with making friends than with making profits, the firm's approach to a new market might be expected to be loud and proud.That's certainly what happened in Manchester. Top firms in the city bristle at the mention of Dibbs, and mutter darkly of noisy lawyers. But in Birmingham the commonly-held perception of the firm's rivals is that after the fanfare of arrival there has been little ...

  • Demands on laundering

    20-Sep-1994

    Denton Hall is calling for the Government to be "more proactive and imaginative" in its initiatives to prevent money laundering.Partner Robert Finney claims implementation of EC money laundering legislation imposes an unfair burden on the City and financial businesses.At a seminar last week, he said that money laundering provisions extend the duty to report suspicions of wrongdoing without extending protection for breach of client confidentiality. Also, an institution ...

  • Dibbs debt merger costs support jobs

    20-Sep-1994

    DIBB Lupton Broomhead is merging its Bromley and Bradford debt collection offices to improve efficiency.The move will involve the closure of the Bromley office at the end of September.A few Bromley support staff will be offered jobs in Bradford and London, but the rest face redundancy. No solicitors will lose their jobs.Debt collection partner Tim Pope says the move is the result of "an extensive internal review". He adds: "It will cut costs. The ...

  • DOs and DON'Ts

    20-Sep-1994

    The Lawyer is pleased to announce the 1995 Legal National Five-a-Side football tournament in conjunction with Arsenal Football Club.This is the third year of this highly popular event and last season it attracted entries from over 150 teams keen to play in a good cause. The competition is open to all members of the legal profession and those associated with it. So law firms, barristers' chambers, in-house legal departments, courthouse staff and specialists serving the ...

  • Drink problem rises

    20-Sep-1994

    SOLICITORS have emerged from the recession suffering from acute alcohol dependency and cocaine addiction, and face being struck off for corruption.These were the conclusions of participants at the Lawyers' Support Group September meeting in London.Consultant psychologist Dr David Craggs, who deals with lawyers suffering from drug or alcohol dependency (or both), told the group: "We expected to see an epidemic of cocaine addiction among lawyers in this country ...

  • Education 'in danger' from litigious trend

    20-Sep-1994

    A LEADING academic lawyer has warned that the nation's education process could suffer if the growing trend toward classroom litigation is not halted.The University of Buckingham's vice dean of law, Jonathan Robinson, says caseload in the area has increased since the late 1980s when the introduction of new statutes and regulations created "a legalistic and administrative ethos".Robinson, a consultant to Aylesbury firm Horwood & James and editor of the ...

  • Firm takes Howard to court

    20-Sep-1994

    RUSSELL Jones & Walker is acting for the Police Federation against the Home Secretary over proposed new conditions of service.The federation has applied for leave for a judicial review over what it considers to be neglect of the Home Secretary's statutory duty to rubber stamp decisions made by the police negotiating board.The concern is over the way officers of the rank of inspector, whose employment conditions were the subject of recent board negotiations, ...

  • First National Bank takes action against Loxleys

    20-Sep-1994

    TWO solicitors from London firm Loxleys and a bankrupt former client are being sued by the First National Commercial Bank over alleged u1.4 million losses from a property loan.The writ alleges that Loxleys partner Roger Dines and consultant Frank Brandt gave false replies to questions relating to the application for the loan.The bank claims it ran up total losses of u1,459,283 as a result of the lawyers' replies.

  • Flotations

    20-Sep-1994

    South Country Homes was advised by Berwin Leighton on its recent London Stock Exchange flotation.

  • Flotations

    20-Sep-1994

    VideoLogic Group was advised by Allen & Overy on its flotation following the demerger of the businesses from Avesco

  • Flotations

    20-Sep-1994

    VCI was advised by Norton Rose in its flotation by way of a placing and intermediaries offer which capitalised the company at u58.3m.

  • Freeman declares himself insolvent

    20-Sep-1994

    SOLICITOR Michael Freeman, acting for Names in the Lloyd's litigation, has declared himself insolvent and applied for an Individual Voluntary Arrangement after running up debts of u1.5 million.Creditors to Freeman, a partner with Epstein Grower & Michael Freeman, approved an arrangement on 12 September.Among the 21 creditors are seven banks, five credit card facilities, the Inland Revenue, and three former partners from his previous firm Michael Freeman ...

  • Goodwin flies CL for UBS

    20-Sep-1994

    Top Credit Lyonnais lawyer Jennifer Goodwin has defected to City bank competitor UBS, where she starts work this week.Goodwin was legal department head at Credit Lyonnais, where she oversaw both transactional and general head office legal matters.Goodwin is reporting in her new role as director to Gerald Thorburn, the UBS legal and transactional group head."It's exactly the same line of work I was doing at Credit Lyonnais," says Goodwin.

  • In brief

    20-Sep-1994

    London firm Sharpe Pritchard is holding a conference on Tupe and the Acquired Rights Directive on 30 September. The conference, to be held at the New Connaught Rooms, will address a range of issues including in what circumstances Tupe now applies and pensions. Stuart Isaacs QC, Mr Justice Mummery, president of the Employment Appeal Tribunal, and several Sharpe Prichard solicitors will speak.Hereford and Worcester County Council has issued a writ ...

  • Jaques & Lewis sued over land deals

    20-Sep-1994

    CITY firm Jaques & Lewis is being sued by a Swedish bank over alleged land deal losses of u14.75 million.Bank Svenska Handelsbanken lent the sum to the Chainrock Corporation, based in the Netherlands Antilles, secured against land.The bank, in a writ issued by Clifford Chance, says the firm failed to validate a mortgage against creditors and liquidators of Chainrock by entering ...

  • Law Soc backs research into NI right to silence

    20-Sep-1994

    THE LAW Society is backing research into the effects of the abolition of the right to silence in Northern Ireland.The research is spearheaded by the Law Society of Northern Ireland which has been concerned about the abolition of the right to silence in the province in 1988.The Law Society of Scotland will also support the research and the NI Bar may also be involved.Suzanne Bryson, deputy secretary of the NI law society, says little research work ...

  • LawNet sets up specialist insolvency unit

    20-Sep-1994

    LAWNET has set up an insolvency unit to provide specialist expertise for clients.The unit comprises 19 lawyers, in 17 different locations, who will be pooling their knowledge.Christopher Whitamore, the group's director of marketing, says: "There has been informal co-operation for some time but this gives members a more concrete base from which to work."He says that when a high volume of work is demanded over a short period of time, or when liquidated ...

  • Leeds chambers fight against 'ghetto-isation'

    20-Sep-1994

    Andrew BurnyeatLEEDS chambers are being ghetto-ised as criminal lawyers as leading solicitors push them out of the city's commercial scene.But the barristers are fighting back and taking commercial work from London chambers in their battle to survive.Roy Kemp, clerk at Park Court Chambers, says: "The larger firms of solicitors are cornering the best commercial work bit by bit."We find we are having to concentrate ...

  • Legal proposals 'fail' disabled

    20-Sep-1994

    LEGAL groups say they are disappointed by proposals put forward in the Government's consultation paper on discrimination against the disabled.The paper calls for opinions on a range of issues including employment and access to goods and services.Several professional bodies, including Law Society committees, are preparing responses to the paper which claims "sweeping legislation" would fail to give disabled people "comprehensive civil rights"."Even ...

  • Lib Dems bid for free speech reform

    20-Sep-1994

    THE LIBERAL Democrats have called for a new "offer of amends" defence to be introduced by Parliament as part of a package of proposed free speech reforms.The defence, allowing the media to admit liability and offer an apology and limited compensation at an early stage during a libel action, means fewer cases would go to court.If a claimant refused the offer, the defendant would then have a defence during proceedings.The proposal is included in the ...

  • Lib Dems bid for free speech reform

    20-Sep-1994

    THE LIBERAL Democrats have called for a new "offer of amends" defence to be introduced by Parliament as part of a package of proposed free speech reforms.The defence, allowing the media to admit liability and offer an apology and limited compensation at an early stage during a libel action, means fewer cases would go to court.If a claimant refused the offer, the defendant would then have a defence during proceedings.The proposal is included in the ...

  • New body lobbies for co-op laws

    20-Sep-1994

    LAWYERS have formed a new association to lobby the Government on updating the laws affecting co-operatives.The launch of the Co-operative Law Association, in Manchester, was inspired by the UK Co-operative Council, concerned that outdated law was holding the sector back.Law firms Croftons and Slater Heelis of Manchester and Malcolm Lynch of Leeds join London barristers Charles Sparrow of 13 Old Square and Richard Sykes QC of Erskine Chambers in the new group, ...

  • Property

    20-Sep-1994

    Morrison Supermarkets, advised by Gordons Wright & Wright, has bought the old ground from Huddersfield Rugby Union Football Club, advised by Sugden & Co, and adjoining land from Kirklees Council, advised by its in-house legal department. The supermarket group was also advised by the firm in the acquisition of land at Bulwell in Nottingham from Chartwell Land Development, advised by Cliffo

  • Property

    20-Sep-1994

    The Mercia Square shopping centre at Foregate St in Chester has been acquired for u9m by United Friendly, advised by Tucker Turner Kingsley Wood, from Standard Chartered Bank, advised by Stephenson Harwood.

  • Proudler to Olswangs

    20-Sep-1994

    TOP defamation lawyer Geraldine Proudler has resigned from Lovell White Durrant to join Simon Olswang & Co.She remains at Lovells while discussions continue about her notice period.A spokeswoman for Olswangs says: "This will enhance the expansion of our media litigation practice." Olswangs recruited David Zeffman and his team from Frere Cholmeley Bischoff earlier this year. They ...

  • QUOTE...UNQUOTE

    20-Sep-1994

    Do Birmingham lawyers believe that there is a place in the city for an Arthur Andersen-style multi-disciplinary practice?"The plan seems to be for a Garrett & Co office to open in every city where there's an Arthur Andersen office. Obviously, that's going to have an impact - it's further competition."Julian Tonks, senior partner, Pinsents & Co."Arthur Andersens in Birmingham does not have a legal practice and does not compete with us. ...

  • Recruitment

    20-Sep-1994

    The Midlands has faired comparatively well during the recession with most of the larger commercial firms continuing to recruit throughout the last three to four years.This buoyancy has been due mainly to the shake-out in the London market. With many high calibre solicitors entering the recruitment arena, Midlands firms have been able to strengthen their profiles in key areas and are now attracting work nationwide - including the City.Recently there has been ...

  • Regions will take lion's share of CCT

    20-Sep-1994

    Nicole MaleyMEDIUM-SIZED regional practices are expected to be the big winners in the CCT game, with low overheads and smaller staff numbers enabling them to undercut larger firms in the bidding price war.A straw poll of local authority figures shows they believe the type of work likely to be put on the market will include routine business such as debt collection and basic property transactions, rather than core advice and higher profile contentious ...

  • Retailers warned to stick to new Sunday trading laws

    20-Sep-1994

    PUBLIC and private sector lawyers are warning retailers to comply with the Government's new Sunday trading laws and avoid paying up to u50,000 in fines.The new laws, introduced on 28 August following a Parliamentary free vote last December, mean small shops are free to open all day, while bigger stores can choose a six-hour trading period between 10am and 6pm.The partial deregulation option - put forward by the Shopping Hours Reform Council ...

  • SBL slams race advice leaflet

    20-Sep-1994

    The Society of Black Lawyers (SBL) has blasted the Law Society's latest advice on avoiding racial discrimination as inadequate.It is calling on President Charles Elly to seek more punitive measures against discriminating firms.The SBL says the society's initiative involving a mailshot to all firms does not go far enough, and only points out what employers should already know is legally required of them.Makbool Javaid, SBL chair, says: "Sending ...

  • Smith Bernal courts legal IT market

    20-Sep-1994

    Simon Rogers

  • Solicitor fraud tops u20m

    20-Sep-1994

    THE VALUE of serious fraud cases involving solicitors has rocketed in the first six months of this year to at least u20 million, despite an apparent fall-off last year.The total value of solicitor-related serious fraud by the end of this year could match that of the highest-recorded fraud value in 1992, when it topped u40 million.The figures, compiled by accountants KPMG Peat Marwick, reflect the rise in compensation fund claims, which have shot up by 40 per ...

  • Stein in New Orleans trial

    20-Sep-1994

    HIGH-profile sports lawyer Mel Stein is heading for America next month where he will appear as a defendant in a major fraud trial.Stein, a former partner at London firm Finers, was implicated in the case of one of his former clients. Cuban businessman Carlos Miro was jailed for almost nine years after the collapse of the Anglo-American Insurance Company.Stein opted to attend the trial in New Orleans although a US application for extradition had not been made ...

  • Tax barrister jailed after record trial

    20-Sep-1994

    LINCOLN'S Inn barrister Bernard Cunningham was sentenced to 15 months in jail for his part in a tax fraud that resulted in the longest ever criminal trial of its type.Cunningham, of Michael Jump's chambers at 24 Old Buildings, was convicted on two counts of falsely misrepresenting or concealing the true nature of purchases and commissions paid by several companies to other businesses.Tax barrister Cunningham is the brother-in-law of high-profile barrister ...

  • The Lawyer Inquiry: Alastair Logan

    20-Sep-1994

    Alastair Logan, 51, is principal at The Logan Partnership and was one of the first lawyers to become involved in the 'Guildford Four' case. Born in Carshalton in Surrey, he lives in Guildford.What was your first job?Dishwasher in a seafood restaurant.What was your first ever salary as a lawyer?u6 per week.What would you have done if you hadn't become a lawyer?I would have accepted the ...

  • THE number of solicitors facing disciplinary tribunals has shot up by two thirds over the last five months

    20-Sep-1994

    THE number of solicitors facing disciplinary tribunals has shot up by two thirds over the last five months.A significant number of cases arose from "corner-cutting" in the recession. Some 111 cases were pending on 12 September 1994, according to sources at the Solicitors Complaints Bureau.A source says: "At this rate, we should have received 380-odd applications by April, compared to 228 by last April. While solicitors were not committing major frauds, some of ...

  • US firms fish for partners

    20-Sep-1994

    A US firm is headhunting three City partners to lead phase two of its expansion in the capital. The firm is building off-shore funds, corporate finance and capital markets divisions.An advert from an anonymous firm published last week was looking to poach entire teams from UK top 20 firms.City speculation suggests international practice Coudert Brothers is behind the advert.According to another advert on the same day, an unnamed US firm wants four ...