2 February 1998

The Lawyer

  • "Super ombudsman' may weaken complaints system

    6-Feb-1998

    The plan to create a new financial services "super-ombudsman" could lead to the sort of formal court procedures and lawyer involvement in complaints that the ombudsmen were set up to avoid, investment ombudsman Peter Dean has warned.The Financial Services Authority set up a steering group in April to bring all financial services ombudsmen into one office at the FSA.But all eight ombudsmen have complained that the European Convention on Human Rights will force ...

  • 'Smart card' system appeal

    3-Feb-1998

    Leave has been granted for an appeal in the case of a water payment system which was under High Court challenge in December last year. On 20 February Mr Justice Harrison ruled that a 'smart card' system, whereby users can have their water supply cut off automatically, was illegal. If his decision is upheld 21,000 smart card units could have to be removed from homes in the UK. An appeal is expected as soon as possible.

  • 100% SIF hike for conveyancers

    3-Feb-1998

    Conveyancing solicitors face a 100 per cent hike in contributions to the Solicitors Indemnity Fund (SIF) this September, under plans to make the fund operate more commercially.A consultation paper drafted by the Law Society's standards and guidance committee last week says practices specialising in high-risk work, such as conveyancing and financial services, should pay a substantially higher proportion of gross fees than practices doing low-risk work, such as crime.

  • A&O fails to get injunction after faxed evidence blunder

    6-Feb-1998

    Allen & Overy has failed in its attempt to prevent documents it released by mistake being used by its opponents in long-running litigation.Mr Justice Lindsay last month refused to grant Allen & Overy an injunction on the use of four attendance notes which the firm had sent by mistake to seven defendants of a claim by its client News International.News International is suing ...

  • Alison Bunting on disability discrimination tribunal rulings. Alison Bunting is an assistant solicitor at Barlows.

    6-Feb-1998

    Reported tribunal decisions on disability discrimination cases remain fairly scarce and anyone attempting to advise on this area of law faces difficulties since precedents do not yet exist.However, a recent case in which Barlows acted for the respondent gives some indication of the approach being taken by tribunals.The applicant was a warehouse worker with a history of depression who had also sustained a back injury in a road accident. The respondent made ...

  • Allen & Overy's NYC office to grow

    3-Feb-1998

    ALLEN & Overy is expanding its New York office as part of a drive to increase its global presence of US-qualified lawyers.The firm doubled its New York office space currently home to three partners, one senior counsel and 16 lawyers a week ago, by taking up extra office space at its premises, and is now actively recruiting staff, including newly qualifieds from US universities.Managing partner John Rink said the firm's presence would grow 'significantly' ...

  • Anger as ACE scraps Infinity for solicitors

    3-Feb-1998

    CITY firm Hardwick & Company has received an undisclosed payment from ACE after the computer company scrapped the solicitor version of its practice management system, Infinity, just months after selling it to the practice.Hardwicks has been paid what it describes as 'adequate costs' after threatening legal action against ACE, whose announcement in December that it was pulling the plug on Infinity shocked the 25 firms that use the system.

  • Arbitration's new era

    6-Feb-1998

    Elizabeth Birch says a new dispute resolution group aims to capitalise on a change of culture at the commercial Bar. Elizabeth Birch is a barrister at 20 Essex Street.Commodities and shipping are two commercial arenas that have developed their own unique arbitration areas.But outside these specific areas, parties have seldom had the chance to adopt arbitration as a method of dispute resolution because of the absence of a scheme to provide expert arbitrators ...

  • Are snowballing mergers necessary?

    3-Feb-1998

    For the third week running, The Lawyer's front page reveals major City merger talks. Even Clifford Chance and Ashursts have been talking.Are all these mergers really necessary? Until only a decade or so ago, you could look around the City and find most of the same firms advising the same ...

  • Asda slices through Parma case

    3-Feb-1998

    Roger Pearson examines the positive affect that successful litigation can have on a supermarket chain's reputationA recent High Court battle over the rights of supermarket chain Asda to sell ham that was produced in Italy but packaged and sliced in the UK as Parma ham, has served as a practical example of how successful litigation can bring dual advantages to the client.The case involved complex EC laws which the Italians claimed meant that, legally, ...

  • Ashursts/CC talks break down

    3-Feb-1998

    Merger talks between Clifford Chance and Ashurst Morris Crisp are believed to have been called off.It is thought Clifford Chance made the first approach in a bid to boost its corporate finance practice. It is believed the firm was due to vote on the proposed marriage two weeks ago. But a merger is now ...

  • Athlete goes to the Lords

    6-Feb-1998

    Athlete Diane Modhal has won another round in her fight with the British Athletic Federation over a drug slur. In 1994, a urine sample she had provided tested positive for prohibited drugs. Since then Modhal has been challenging the effectiveness of the sampling procedure used by the Portuguese laboratory which carried out the test and has launched legal action against the federation. In June 1996 the federation failed to have that action struck out, but when it appealed last ...

  • Award redefines parental worth

    6-Feb-1998

    Roger Pearson looks at an important ruling which has set new levels of compensations in certain personal injury claims.A High Court ruling has brought about an extensive upgrading of compensation awarded to children who lose their parents.It is a decision which has already won widespread praise and it is one which will result in the level of claims being hastily rethought in a number of ongoing cases.Personal injury specialist Paul Tapner, a ...

  • Axxia targets small-firm market with new product

    6-Feb-1998

    LEGAL IT market leader Axxia Systems is to target small law firms with the launch of a new practice management system, in a move likely to upset small system suppliers.Axxia is due to launch its new Microsoft Windows-based system, EIION, at the Solicitors and Legal Office Exhibition at the Barbican this week (see bottom right).It is aimed at the thousand firms with between five and 30 fee earners in the UK and is bound to worry many of the smaller ...

  • Bahl faces surprise challenge

    6-Feb-1998

    Equal Opportunities Commission chair Kamlesh Bahl faces a surprise fight for the Law Society deputy vice-presidency with a Martin Mears ally.David Keating - who last year made an unsuccessful bid for the vice-presidency asMartin Mears' running mate - threw his hat into the ring last week, claiming Bahl would be unable to adequately represent private practitioners.Bahl announced her candidacy way back in October and her high profile was expected ...

  • Bishops builds up Lithuanian business

    6-Feb-1998

    Glasgow firm Bishop and Robertson Chalmers is advising the Lithuanian government on reforming its advertising law - drawing on its team of 16 legal experts brought together from all over the European Union (EU).The project is part of Bishops' long-term work advising the government on an overhaul of its basic commercial laws.The practice was allocated the work by the EU in April 1997 under the PHARE programme, which funds law reform and infrastructure modernisation ...

  • Brief

    6-Feb-1998

    JUST IN case some members of the legal community were not aware of this week's Solicitors and Legal Office Exhibition, the organisers dispatched a town crier to Chancery Lane last week to spread the news.The exhibition, which is being held at the Barbican Exhibition Centre in London, boasts 110 exhibitors showing off the best and the newest in legal technology.There will also be a series of workshops guaranteed to inform even the most technophobic ...

  • Building on a good idea

    3-Feb-1998

    Stephen Cirell and John Bennett say Private Finance Initiative projects have never been easier for local authorities. Stephen Cirell is a partner and John Bennett is a consultant with Eversheds Public Sector.The Private Finance Initiative (PFI) in the local authority sector has been reinvigorated by the election of the Labour Government.While PFI was introduced by the former Conservative ...

  • Business link-up

    6-Feb-1998

    Edge & Ellison is setting up a year-long Junior Achievement Global Business Studies programme between Solihull School in the West Midlands and two schools - Canton High and Glastonbury High - in Greater Hartford, Connecticut, US. Corporate finance partner David Hull said: "By launching our own global business programme, we will be looking after the future business leaders of the region."

  • Cambridge puts dispute resolution on fast track

    3-Feb-1998

    Cambridgeshire lawyers have launched a fast-track dispute resolution scheme, thought to be only the second such scheme in the country.The Cambridgeshire Arbitration and Mediation Scheme is aimed at disputes in which conventional litigation is uneconomic.It is designed for claims of between £5,000 and £25,000.The scheme provides disputing parties with case managers who then select arbitrators or mediators from a panel.Mike Williams, ...

  • CC team defends French World Cup committee's ticket policy

    6-Feb-1998

    Clifford Chance will this Friday find out whether its client, the Paris-based World Cup organising committee, is to be taken to the European Court of Justice for its ticket distribution policy.A team of 10 lawyers from the firm, led by Paris partner Yves Wehrli, has been advising the committee ever since it was set up four years ago, when France learnt that it would be hosting the tournament.

  • CC thinks global with pro bono co-ordinator

    6-Feb-1998

    CLIFFORD Chance boosted its £1m-a-year pro bono activities last week with the appointment of one of its finance lawyers, Felicity Kirk, to the new post of community legal affairs executive.Kirk's appointment is thought to be the first time that a firm has appointed someone to co-ordinate its pro bono activities on a worldwide basis, although Clifford Chance is the third in ...

  • Chadbourne loses project finance team to Akin Gump

    3-Feb-1998

    New York firm Chadbourne Park's aspirations to set up a major project finance division in its London office have taken a hammering with the defection of two UK-based project finance lawyers to competitor Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld.Having been held to their contractual notice period, project finance associates Andrew Thomas and Elish Flax are to join Akin Gump next month.The firm has also hired well-regarded

  • Chadbournes loses project finance team to Akin Gump

    3-Feb-1998

    Neil Stocks, the high profile chief counsel at SBC Warburg, will play second fiddle to Mark Harding, the chief counsel at Union Bank of Switzerland (UBS), following the merger of the two banks.Harding has been made European general counsel of the investment division of the two merging Swiss banks and his first appointment has been to make Stocks his deputy.Harding will also be in charge of legal and compliance in the Middle East and Africa in the merged bank, ...

  • Chinese govt rules out hiring by foreign firms

    6-Feb-1998

    THE CHINESE government has dashed hopes that it is preparing to allow international firms to exploit the potentially huge Chinese market by hiring local lawyers.China is under pressure from the US and EU to lift its ban on the employment of locally qualified lawyers by international firms before it can join the World Trade Organisation. And there had been hopes that it was preparing to give ground.But a senior official in the Chinese WTO delegation told The Lawyer ...

  • Chinese govt rules out hiring by foreign firms

    6-Feb-1998

    A CLIENT with his trousers around his ankles is the provocative image being peddled by an after-the-event insurance company to promote its product on the back of the Government's plans for legal aid.Greystoke Legal Services has teamed up with 160 law firms on its panel to run the 12-week newspaper campaign to promote its insurance product LawAssist. The campaign features images designed to bring home the message that without after the event insurance, clients will be ...

  • Civil Justice Council line-up is revealed

    3-Feb-1998

    A MIXED bag of critics and supporters of government policy has been appointed to the new legal watchdog, the Civil Justice Council, due to have its inaugural meeting on 20 March.The 22-strong body will meet four times a year to co-ordinate and oversee changes to the civil justice system.It will be headed by the Master of the Rolls, Lord Woolf, who first proposed the setting up of such a body in June 1995 in his interim report on speeding up justice.

  • Continental merger creates first "truly European firm'

    6-Feb-1998

    Leading continental firm Stibbe Simont Monahan Duhot is to merge with 140-lawyer German practice Gleiss Lutz Hootz Hirsch to form what it claims is the first "truly European firm".However, the merged firm will still have no UK law capacity and it said a tie-up with an Anglo-Saxon firm will be the next priority.The new firm, to be called Stibbe Gleiss Simont Duhot, will have about 600 lawyers by the time it merges on 1 January 1999. It brings together Stibbes' ...

  • CPS ditches spin doctors after media pressure

    6-Feb-1998

    THE CROWN Prosecution Service (CPS) has backed away from using private consultants to help it respond to Sir Iain Glidewell's inquiry into the service.The CPS's decision to seek outside help in the run-up to the publication of the Glidewell report, expected to be published this week, caused a media storm when it was revealed by The Lawyer in March.The service had planned to use Crown Business Communications to produce a video on the report, which could ...

  • Criminal lawyers mount bid to force Law Soc contract boycott

    3-Feb-1998

    CRIMINAL lawyers have launched a campaign to force the Law Society to prohibit solicitors from entering into exclusive block contracts with the Legal Aid Board (LAB).The Criminal Law Solicitors Association (CLSA) is to petition its 840 members this month to back a motion calling on the Law Society to vote block contracting inconsistent with Rule 1 of the Solicitors Practice Rules, which compels solicitors to act in their clients' best interests.Under Law ...

  • Cultural keys to China

    6-Feb-1998

    The Chinese legal system is often based not on what you know but who you know. Jason Daniel writes from Shanghai. Jason Daniel is a solicitor training in Simmons & Simmons' Shanghai office.My first mistake in coming to China was expecting it to be like Japan. I am familiar with Japan, a country which has derived many aspects of its culture from China and therefore, in theory, could be quite similar.But anyone who comes to China with preconceptions based ...

  • David Price on challenging a deponent's affidavit

    3-Feb-1998

    David Price is a solicitor-advocate at David Price & Co and author of Defamation: Law, Procedure & Practice.In a recent interim judgment in the well-known feud between retired police officer John Gorman and British Airways, it was emphasised that cross-examination, and not mere suspicion, is normally the best way of deciding whether or not a deponent is telling the truth in an affidavit.Gorman is suing for personal injury, claiming he swallowed a piece ...

  • Dentons switch on

    3-Feb-1998

    Denton International partners Denton Hall and Spanish firm Bufete Lupicinio Rodriquez (BLR) have won a bid to advise Red Electrica de Espana SA on setting up the Spanish electricity market. BLR will advise on corporate and commercial aspects and Denton Hall will help on regulatory issues.

  • Dibbs' Smith lands new role with building soc

    6-Feb-1998

    Dibb Lupton Alsop partner Robin Smith, who stood down as senior partner earlier this year, has become a non-executive director at the Leeds & Holbeck building society.He returned to his native Leeds from London after resigning as senior partner.Smith, 55, has been with the firm that is now Dibb Lupton Alsop for 34 years since 1964 and has seen it grow from a total staff of 20 to 1,800. He was managing partner for nine years and senior partner for four.

  • Doubt over Frisco-NYC merger

    3-Feb-1998

    A proposed merger between San Francisco firm Orrick Herrington & Sutcliffe and Donovan Leisure Newton & Irvine in New York is in doubt after objections from a mutual client.The merger was supposed to be tied up two weeks ago. But a source said: 'A major client of both firms has objected to the merger because it wants to stop instructing Donovan Leisure and it has ...

  • Drugs "sting' cops sue over lack of backup

    6-Feb-1998

    Two former policemen are suing the West Midlands force in a case which also raises the spectre of racism, reports Roger Pearson.A major civil action against the police is set to go to the High Court.Two former Metropolitan police officers, who were shot when on undercover duty, are suing the West Midlands force for negligence. The two men, known as Martin and Philip, allege that they did not receive the backup to which they were entitled.

  • Ensuring justice for all children

    6-Feb-1998

    For a child, giving courtroom evidence is a harrowing ordeal. One charity is working to alleviate the suffering, writes Linda Tsang. Linda Tsang is a freelance journalist.Justice through the eye of a child can often be frightening and bewildering."I'm frightened." "I want my mum." "He keeps asking me questions." "I don't understand." "I don't want to tell him rude things." "Am I going to be sent to prison?" These are just some of the examples of ...

  • Equal opportunities

    6-Feb-1998

    Cherie Booth QC will chair an Equal Opportunities colloquium at the British Council in Paris on 4 June. Jane Whittaker, chairman of the Law Society's equal opportunities committee; Bar Council chairman Heather Hallett QC; and Kirsten Kaiser, trainee solicitor from Norwich firm Rogers and Norton and national trainee representative on the Association of Women Solicitors, will join lawyers from more than seven countries to discuss the role and treatment of women in the legal profession ...

  • Etiquette for automation

    3-Feb-1998

    When is a solicitor's letter not a solicitor's letter?I have just received a fax from a firm of solicitors which bore the message that it had been created by an automated system and 'may therefore be unsigned'. This was followed by the caveat that no engagements were entered into by the firm unless the fax bore a partner's manuscript signature.In these days of increasing use of automatic fax software it appears easy for solicitors to ...

  • Eversheds and Freres plot merger

    3-Feb-1998

    Eversheds London and Frere Cholmeley Bischoff are in merger talks that could save Frere Cholmeley from debt and allow Eversheds to both double its size in the capital and gain a Paris office.Questioned by The Lawyer, the two firms issued a joint statement confirming that they 'are holding discussions to explore a possible merger. No decision has been made. No timetable has been set.'

  • Eversheds Leeds loses lawyer to Pinsents

    3-Feb-1998

    Eversheds' Leeds office has lost senior commercial litigation solicitor Stuart Chapman to Pinsent Curtis in Leeds.Chapman, who will become a partner at his new firm, would not comment on the reasons for his departure. However, Eversheds' Leeds office has lost several partners and solicitors from its litigation department over the past 18 months and some sources point to the management ...

  • Ex-Ashursts associate steps up to Trowers partnership

    6-Feb-1998

    Ashurst Morris Crisp associate Shona Price - who resigned from the firm amid claims that its property department was not making up enough female partners - is joining Trowers & Hamlins' high-profile public sector department as a partner this week.The Lawyer reported in March that Price and two ...

  • Experience in intestate cases

    3-Feb-1998

    I am a producer with a London based company called TVF, and I am conducting background research on bona vacantia in the Duchy of Lancaster.I would like to hear from solicitors who have experience of intestate cases in the Duchy area during the past five or six years. I am especially interested in cases in which the relationship between the deceased and the claimant is disputed.All correspondence will, of course, be confidential.Jane ...

  • Fabian Soc calls for end to OSS

    6-Feb-1998

    Influential Blairite think tank the Fabian Society will this Wednesday publish a strongly-worded report calling for the end of self-regulation by solicitors and barristers.The report, coming amidst growing moves to scrap the Law Society's control of complaints handling, is a devastating attack on self regulation by both professions and is sure to increase the pressure on the Office for the Supervision of Solicitors (OSS).Written by a solicitor from trade ...

  • Fear and loathing at Fladgates

    6-Feb-1998

    Profits are up and the firm will soon be moving to a plush new Mayfair office, but discontent has been running high.If you think you have heard this story before - you have. Fladgate Fielder's recent history can be described as "Mishcon de Reya: the sequel".The firms are of a similar ...

  • Financing

    3-Feb-1998

    Trowers & Hamlins acted for Quadrant Housing Finance, London & Quadrant Housing Trust and London & Quadrant Bexley Housing Association on a £130m Eurobond issue. Clifford Chance acted for the lead manager, Banque Paribas, and

  • Firm spends £200k on system overhaul

    6-Feb-1998

    NEWBURY firm Gardner Leader has invested almost £200,000 in a new computer and telephone system for all its 52 staff across its three offices.The major overhaul includes new purchases of a case management system from Leeds company Solicitec and an accounts and time-costing system from Bath company Solicitors Own Software.The eight-partner general practice firm has installed 38 personal computers which give fee earners and secretaries immediate online ...

  • Flotation

    6-Feb-1998

    Ashurst Morris Crisp advised the Taylor & Francis Leasing Group on its £130m flotation on the London Stock Exchange. Norton Rose acted for sponsor Hoare Govett Corporate Finance.

  • Forging a common bond

    6-Feb-1998

    China is enlisting the help of English lawyers in its race to create a modern legal system and profession, says Adrian Hughes. Adrian Hughes is a barrister at 4 Pump Court and co-chairman of the Bar/Law Society joint working party on China.English and Chinese lawyers and legislators have been building up a relationship over the past 10 years. The results of this relationship can be seen in a number of areas.For example, English case law is being used by lawyers ...

  • Fourth CFA insurance policy unveiled

    6-Feb-1998

    A NEW after-the-event legal insurance policy for conditional fee arrangements (CFAs) is due to be launched this week by two ex-employees of troubled legal insurer Brian Raincock.Last week The Lawyer revealed that Raincock's company Litigation Protection had lost its contract with its sole underwriter, Isle of Man Assurance, eight of his legal insurance companies' staff had departed, and there had been a management buyout of his conveyancing indemnity company Legal ...

  • Freres' corporate media partners to join Olswang

    6-Feb-1998

    Frere Cholmeley Bischoff corporate media partners Simon Morgan and Stephen Hermer have agreed to join Olswang on 1 August, when Freres splits between Eversheds and new firm Forsters.The move is likely to produce a fight between ...

  • Freshfields wins share of BCCI work

    3-Feb-1998

    Liquidators from Deloitte & Touche have handed Freshfields a large chunk of BCCI litigation work which was formerly being done by Dibb Lupton Alsop.Neither Freshfields nor Deloittes receiver Chris Morrison would comment on the reasons for the switch of lawyers.A spokesman for Morris stressed that Dibbs was 'continuing to do quite a bit of work on the liquidation'.The liquidator has been using Dibbs to sue Stoy Hayward for an alleged negligent ...

  • Govt must centre on the needy

    6-Feb-1998

    Law centres must play a central role in government reforms, argues Patrick Lefevre. Patrick Lefevre is a co-ordinator at Brent Community Law Centre in North London.As I listen to lawyers arguing in defence of the current legal aid scheme, I can find almost nothing good to say about the current civil scheme. The reality is that the public spend on legal services for the poor and powerless remains pathetic.I would accept conscious rationing of legal services within ...

  • Govt must centre on the needy

    6-Feb-1998

    Law centres must play a central role in government reforms, argues Patrick Lefevre. Patrick Lefevre is a co-ordinator at Brent Community Law Centre in North London.As I listen to lawyers arguing in defence of the current legal aid scheme, I can find almost nothing good to say about the current civil scheme. The reality is that the public spend on legal services for the poor and powerless remains pathetic.I would accept conscious rationing of legal services within ...

  • Govt to shake up Family Court welfare Service

    3-Feb-1998

    The Government has announced a major shake-up of the family court welfare service, a move widely welcomed by family lawyers concerned at the low profile the service has enjoyed under the supervision of the Probation Service.Geoff Hoon, Parliamentary Secretary at the Lord Chancellor's Department, set out the government's plans for the service in his keynote speech to the Solicitors Family Law Association (SFLA) annual conference held in Blackpool at the end of February.

  • Govt to shake up Family Court welfare Service

    3-Feb-1998

    THE OTHER day, Mack Dinshaw, who specialises in advising small-to-medium-sized firms on merging, received a typical phone call from a three-partner practice in search of a marriage.The firm was reasonably profitable. There was only one snag. During the last recession it had built up an overdraft of between £300,000 and £400,000. 'They were expecting another practice to take on their liabilities,' says Dinshaw incredulously.His consultancy, ...

  • High Holborn provides a new home for Lovells

    3-Feb-1998

    Lovell White Durrant's long search for new premises appears to be finally at an end and the firm is not going to be moving very far.The Lawyer understands that Lovells is close to an agreement with the Prudential to take a lease at the Atlantic House building on High Holborn in London.However, no agreement has yet been reached.Lovells is planning to take 200,000 sq ft of Atlantic House at a price thought likely to be somewhere between £30 ...

  • Hitting back at Byass

    3-Feb-1998

    Write to: The Editor, The Lawyer, 50 Poland Street, London W1V 4AX, fax 0171 734 0534, e-mail lawyer.edit@chiron.co.uk, DX44700 Soho Square.How I would dearly love to be in the shoes of Chris Jowett right now. There I am, the chief solicitor to the biggest player in the domestic property market with all the power to change the way conveyancing is done and I am told by Mr Kenneth Byass that 'I have to recognise that the Law Society's ...

  • Howard Kennedy to win £25,000 as Stock Exchange sponsor

    3-Feb-1998

    West End firm Howard Kennedy will gain an extra £25,000 in fees after becoming the first London firm to take the potentially risky role of sponsor as well as legal adviser on the launch of a venture capital trust (VCT).The new VCT, called Elderstreet Downing VCT, is listed on the London Stock Exchange. It has raised £15m for investment in small, unquoted companies, of which, on top of its legal fees, Howard Kennedy will take the maximum £25,000 sponsor's ...

  • Hungary tightens its grip on foreign firms

    3-Feb-1998

    The European Commission will meet the Hungarian government this week to discuss the new law proscribing the activities of foreign lawyers.The bill, passed by the Hungarian parliament last Tuesday, requires foreign firms to form an association with a local firm and share its premises. Foreign lawyers will not be allowed to practise Hungarian law.Objections from US firms and Allen ...

  • IBA hammers out rights of establishment resolution

    3-Feb-1998

    AFTER months of wrangling, an International Bar Association (IBA) working party on rights of establishment has finally come up with a resolution which it claims will allow lawyers to practise their home law anywhere in the world.The resolution will be put to the IBA's ruling council in June, along with a separate resolution on multi-disciplinary partnerships (MDPs). This was first unveiled at last November's IBA conference and says MDPs can be allowed but only ...

  • IBA sends observer

    3-Feb-1998

    The Human Rights Institute of the International Bar Association (IBA) is sending senior Scottish judge Lord McCluskey to Sri Lanka next week to observe the trial of the human rights campaigner Dr Jayalath Jayawardena, accused of being absent from his role as government medical officer without permission. He has been charged with criminal misappropriation and cheating. The IBA believes Jayawardena should be facing civil rather than criminal proceedings.

  • In brief: 23 Essex Street has first chambers gym

    3-Feb-1998

    The first ever workplace gym in a chambers was opened by Heather Hallett QC, chairman of the Bar Council, at the chambers of Michael Lawson QC, 23 Essex Street, on 27 February.

  • In brief: Cardiff Law Society elects new president

    6-Feb-1998

    Morgan Bruce partner Hugh Price has been elected president of the Cardiff and District Law Society, the largest law society in Wales. Price replaces outgoing president Russel Jenkins of Hugh James.

  • In brief: Collyer-Bristow spawns family law practice

    6-Feb-1998

    Niche family law practice Levison Meltzer Pigott is to be launched this week in London, following the breakaway from Collyer-Bristow of three name partners, Jeremy Levison, Claire Meltzer and Simon Pigott. The 10-strong firm will concentrate on divorce, separation and disputes involving children.

  • In brief: CPS solicitors gain rights of audience

    3-Feb-1998

    The first batch of Crown Prosecution Service solicitors to apply for rights of audience in the Crown Courts have all passed their final exams nine months after employed solicitors were granted limited higher court rights of audience. But although the 34 successful applicants are now free to appear in crown courts, none of them have yet exercised those rights. A spokeswoman said they were all involved in existing casework and would appear in court as and when it was convenient. Last ...

  • In brief: DAC appoints its new marketing director

    6-Feb-1998

    Davies Arnold Cooper has appointed Paul Jaffa, chair of professional marketing association the Professional Services Marketing Group, as its marketing director. Jaffa was previously marketing director at chartered surveyor Weatherall Green & Smith.

  • In brief: Dibbs scoops Hammonds' banking head

    6-Feb-1998

    Hammond Suddards' head of banking in Manchester, Sarah Day, has moved to rival national firm Dibb Lupton Alsop. Day has joined Dibbs' Leeds office.

  • In brief: DPP stands up for the jury system

    3-Feb-1998

    DAME Barbara Mills QC, the Director of Public Prosecutions, defended the jury system during a speech to students at BPP Law School last week. The former head of the Serious Fraud Office said there had been very few occasions when she had not been able to understand why a jury had come to a decision and she described juries as a safety valve linking the criminal justice system to the outside world. The Home Office is currently consulting on whether to abolish juries in fraud cases.

  • In brief: Drugs merger collapse 'a bit of a shock'

    3-Feb-1998

    Jeremy Marriage, the Linklaters lawyer advising SmithKline Beecham, said the collapse of his client's merger talks with Glaxo Wellcome last week came 'as a bit of a shock'. SmithKline is understood to have broken off the talks because it could not get some of the people it wanted in management. Speculation mounted last week that Glaxo would mount a hostile bid for its rival. Slaughters ...

  • In brief: Govt welcomes EU family convention

    6-Feb-1998

    The Government welcomed last week's signing of the Convention on Jurisdiction and Recognition and Enforcement in certain Family Matters by members of the European Union (EU). The convention will ensure that orders in member states in divorce cases will generally be recognised throughout the EU with the minimum of procedural requirements.

  • In brief: Hayden Phillips to succeed Thomas Legg

    3-Feb-1998

    Sir Hayden Phillips will succeed Sir Thomas Legg QC as Permanent Secretary at the Lord Chancellor's Department and as Clerk to the Crown in Chancery on 10 April. Phillips, the first non-lawyer to head the department, is currently Permanent Secretary at the Department for Culture, Media and Sport. Legg retires after 35 years at the LCD, which is to take on 40 extra staff at a cost of £2.5m to boost its policy team.

  • In brief: Kent lawyers highlight legal aid concerns

    6-Feb-1998

    Kent Law Society solicitors are to lobby their MPs at Westminster on Wednesday, attacking the government over its plans to remove legal aid from personal injury cases before the conditional fee system has been properly tested.

  • In brief: Lord Justice Potter takes Aclec chair

    6-Feb-1998

    Lord Justice Potter has been appointed chair of the Lord Chancellor's Advisory Committee on Legal Education and Conduct (Aclec). He replaces Lord Saville of Newdigate who resigned on his appointment in April as chairman of the Bloody Sunday inquiry tribunal at Londonderry's Guildhall.

  • In brief: Non-solicitor chairman for Hay & Kilner

    6-Feb-1998

    Newcastle firm Hay & Kilner has appointed Joe Logan as its first non-solicitor chairman. Logan was previously president and chief executive of Thomson Newspapers in the US.

  • In brief: Planning lawyers welcome mediation study

    6-Feb-1998

    Leading planning lawyers have welcomed a government plan to set up a study looking at how mediation can resolve planning disputes. The 12-month study - which will cover up to 60 cases - has been launched as part of a government drive to modernise the UK's planning system. Nick Engert, planning partner at West Country firm Clarke Willmott & Clarke, said: "This is a very good idea in principle. ...

  • In brief: Quality assurance rating for legal dept

    6-Feb-1998

    City of Westminster Council's legal department has become the first local authority legal service in England to be awarded the Lloyd's Register quality assurance ISO 9002 accreditation.

  • In brief: Richard Susskind profile: Tony Williams

    3-Feb-1998

    A profile of Richard Susskind in The Lawyer, 10 February, attributed comments made about Susskind by Clifford Chance managing partner Tony Williams to Tony Willis, a former managing partner at the firm and now a litigation partner.

  • In brief: Rowe & Maw recruits for Lloyd's group

    3-Feb-1998

    Rowe & Maw has beefed up its Lloyd's insurance group by taking barrister Martin Smith from Edwin Glasgow QC's 39 Essex Street. Smith said that he was attracted by the greater involvement in the preparation of cases and enhanced client contact in a law firm.

  • In brief: Simmons to relocate

    3-Feb-1998

    Simmons & Simmons is to relocate in the year 2000 to new offices in City Point, the proposed redevelopment of Britannic Tower in Moorgate. Newcastle firm Dickinson Dees is also on the move, switching this March to St Ann's Wharf in the city's Quayside development.

  • In brief: Slaughter and May move gets go-ahead

    6-Feb-1998

    Slaughter and May has confirmed plans, reported in The Lawyer in April, to relocate in early 2002 to a new purpose-built 260,000 sq ft development at the corner of 25-32 Chiswell Street and Bunhill Row, London EC1. The building, being developed by Helical Bar, will be large enough to house the whole London office, currently located in four separate properties in the City.

  • In brief: Sycamore calls for Turkish shooting inquiry

    6-Feb-1998

    The president of the Law Society, Phillip Sycamore, has written to the Turkish prime minister, Mesut Yilmaz, to express the Law Society's concern and dismay at the shooting of Akin Birdal, the president of the Human Rights Association of Turkey. Sycamore called for a full and impartial investigation into the attack on Birdal.

  • In brief: Tim Birt decides to stay at Osborne Clarke

    3-Feb-1998

    With only a few weeks of his notice to go, leading advertising partner Tim Birt has decided not to leave Osborne Clarke for Olswang after all. A jubilant Leslie Perrin, managing partner of Osbornes, explained: 'He has always said that there were only two firms he ever wanted to work at, Osborne Clarke and Olswang. ...

  • In brief: Working party to study appointment policy

    3-Feb-1998

    Following an internal review of the appointment of counsel to act for the government in civil cases details of which were revealed in The Lawyer last week the Attorney General, John Morris QC, has set up a working party to look into the matter, chaired by the Solicitor General, Lord Falconer QC.

  • Italian firms end feud to fight English 'offensive'

    3-Feb-1998

    Two rival Italian firms, both descended from revered jurist Francesco Carnelutti, have buried the hatchet and joined forces to fight against 'the offensive launched in Italy by English firms'.Carnelutti in Milan and Carnelutti in Rome separated in the late 1960s and relations deteriorated when each opened an office in the other city. For years there was a dispute over the use of the Carnelutti name.Now they have merged, creating Italy's second ...

  • Jersey advocate gets legal aid reprimand

    6-Feb-1998

    A PROMINENT young lawyer has been reprimanded by Jersey's Royal Court for refusing to accept legal aid work on three separate occasions.Advocate Philip Sinel had originally taken a stand against the island's legal aid system, denouncing it as inefficient, selective and unfair.But when brought before the Superior Number of the Royal Court - the island's highest court - Sinel said he had misunderstood the system and apologised to the court.

  • Law firms help rugby go professional

    6-Feb-1998

    RUGBY's new professional era is proving to be a boon to law firms

  • Law Soc attacks LAB plan to cut back med neg firms

    6-Feb-1998

    A LEGAL Aid Board (LAB) proposal to restrict the number of firms conducting medical negligence cases to only 90 has been slammed by the Law Society but welcomed by the group Action for Victims of Medical Accidents (AVMA).In its response to the government's consultation paper on withdrawing legal aid from personal injury cases, the LAB said it hoped that by January 1999 only firms with solicitors who are on either of the two medical negligence panels - the Law Society's ...

  • Law Society is fighting reforms

    3-Feb-1998

    Chris Philipsborn argues that the Law Society played a crucial role in getting Lord Irvine to make significant concessions to his reforms. Chris Philipsborn is head of the parliamentary unit at the Law Society.The Law Society had suspected for some time prior to the announcement of Lord Irvine's proposed reforms that radical change was on the way. But, when the Press Association report of the lobby briefing came through on a Friday last October, the sheer extent of ...

  • LawAssist lauches case funding scheme

    3-Feb-1998

    Litigation costs insurer Greystoke Legal Services has responded to the government's legal reform plans by producing an insurance-backed loan facility designed to fund cases from the outset.The company, which runs 'after the event' insurance policy LawAssist, has linked up with merchant banker Guinness Mahon to offer clients a loan facility to fund their LawAssist insurance premium, medical reports, expert witness fees and counsel fees.Brian Dunk, ...

  • Lawyers lobby US over international court fears

    6-Feb-1998

    A lawyers' human rights lobby has written to US President Bill Clinton warning him that the US government's proposed restrictions on an international criminal court (ICC) threaten to undermine its independence.The 15 leading US lawyers, members of the national council of the Washington-based Lawyers Committee for Human Rights, urge Clinton to "make certain that the United States leads the way in Rome for an independent ICC".The group includes a former ...

  • Lawyers top Irish list

    3-Feb-1998

    Seven of the 100 nominees for Irish Business '98 awards are lawyers. Among the nominations are: Richard Ferguson QC, solicitor Cliona O Tuama, and David Cooke, the London managing partner of Maclay Murray & Spens. Two Herbert Smith Partners have also made the list Margaret Mountford and Patrick Mitchell, as have Col

  • LCD slated for "farcical' IT competitive tendering process

    6-Feb-1998

    Elizabeth Davidson reportsONLY one bidder has been left in the Lord Chancellor's Department's (LCD's), "competitive" tendering process to supply a computer system for the Magistrates' Court Service.Two companies were due to put in their bids by 27 May for the project - a private finance initiative to provide a national system known as Libra which will link magistrates' courts with police, prisons, and the probation ...

  • Leasing

    6-Feb-1998

    Watson Farley & Williams represented P&O Nedloyd on its $176m leasing of 60,000 containers from Lloyds Leasing subsidiary Birchcrown Finance, represented by Norton Rose. Rowe & Maw and Slaughter and May advised ...

  • Leeds set brings in director to head clerks

    6-Feb-1998

    Leeds set 10 Park Square has shaken up its administration in response to proposed government reforms by appointing Vicky Thompson as its first chambers practice director.She will oversee all chambers administration, including the clerks' room. Craig Place has been promoted to senior clerk.Former senior clerk Stephen Collis, who left amicably earlier this year, starts this week as senior clerk at East Anglian Chambers in Norwich.The broad-based ...

  • Licence refusal challenge

    3-Feb-1998

    Sheffield Licensing Committee's refusal of a licence for sale and consumption of drink at a former Methodist chapel is to be challenged. Regent Inns has been given leave by Sir Charles McCullough to seek judicial review of the decision of Sheffield Crown Court to dismiss its appeal from the Licensing Committee decision. Regent Inns argues that there has been a failure to weigh the need for such premises and to consider the need for investment in the area. The application for leave ...

  • Linklaters drops out of private deals top 10

    3-Feb-1998

    Linklaters dropped out of the top 10 table for UK private takeovers last year, while the national firms, Pinsent Curtis and Dibb Lupton Alsop which have targeted such deals are still not there.Freshfields retained its crown at the top of the table last year, according to Acquisitions Monthly, and Lovell White Durrant came second. But both firms benefited hugely from their involvement in ...

  • Litigation Disciplinary Tribunals 2/6/98

    6-Feb-1998

    Peter George Wright, solicitor's clerk of Bell Close, Drayton Parslow, Buckinghamshire, employed at material time by Good Fennemore, Central Milton Keynes, banned from further employment by any solicitor without the written consent of the Law Society and ordered to pay costs of £845. Allegation substantiated that he had been convicted on 16 January 1997 at Milton Keynes Magistrates' Court of theft and was put on probation for one year and ...

  • Litigation Disciplinary Tribunals 3/3/98

    3-Feb-1998

    Neil Harget, 43, admitted 1992, practising at material time on own account as The Harget-Dash Partnership, Stratford, London E15, suspended for indefinite period and ordered to pay £864 costs. Allegations substantiated that he failed to keep properly written accounts or produce books of account for inspection, practised as a solicitor without a practising certificate and had abandoned his practice. He had been before the tribunal in March 1997 ...

  • Litigation Personal Injury 2/6/98

    6-Feb-1998

    Watson & anor v West Kent Health Authority - QBD 27 April 1998Claimant: Daniel Watson, 8 Incident: Medical negligenceInjuries: Claimant, who sued through his mother, suffered brain damage after oxygen starvation during birth at Pembury Hospital, Tunbridge Wells in November 1989. He suffers from spastic quadriplegia, can only stand when supported and can only utter a few recognisable words. Liability admitted Award: ...

  • Litigation Personal Injury 3/3/98

    3-Feb-1998

    McCormick v David Gold & Sons & anor QBD 23 October 1998Claimant: James McCormick, 5Incident: Road traffic accidentInjuries: Claimant knocked off cycle by slipstream of van owned by first defendant and driven by second. Claimant said injuries meant he had to give up his job as a boat builder, but during the trial, footage was shown of claimant labouringAward: £70,000 (agreed damages)Judge: Judge David Wilcox

  • Litigation Recent Decisions 2/6/98

    6-Feb-1998

    Covenant in right to buy conveyance reasonableSheffield City Council v Ronald and Margaret Mary Jackson & Ors (1998) CA (Nourse LJ, Peter Gibson LJ, Sir Patrick Russell) 21/5/98 Appeal of the plaintiff council against the order of Astill J on 24 July 1997 declaring that a covenant in a clause of a conveyance of freehold property to the defendants by the plaintiff pursuant to the "right to buy" provisions of the Housing Act 1985 ...

  • Litigation Recent Decisions 3/3/98

    3-Feb-1998

    Decisions are taken from Lawtel's Case Law database. LTL: Lawtel report; TLR: Times Law Reports; ILR: Independent Law Report.Enforceability of arbitration award in case of illegalitySoleimany v Soleimany (1998)Court: CA (Morritt LJ, Waller LJ, Sir Christopher Staughton) 19/2/9Summary: An arbitration award, which purported to enforce an illegal contract, was not enforceable in England and Wales.This case arose out ...

  • Litigation Writs 2/6/98

    6-Feb-1998

    Legal pressure is mounting on the Government in respect of the acquisition of land for the Channel Tunnel. In the wake of writs already issued, three new High Court writs have been issued against the Secretary of State for the Environment, Transport and the Regions. In one, the Channel Tunnel Group and France-Manche Societe Anonyme, both of Folkestone, Kent, are suing for compensation and damages for alleged breach of agreement in respect of occupation ...

  • Litigation Writs 3/3/98

    3-Feb-1998

    Janice Ward of Northolt, is suing Northwick Park and St Marks NHS Trust of Harrow. Her husband Mark Ward died on 22 September 1994. Her writ accuses the trust of negligence and breach of duty at Northwick Park Hospital. The claim is being brought under the Fatal Accidents Act 1976 and the Law Reform (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 1934.Writ issued by Redferns, Wembley Park.The Wisby Group of Croydon, is suing Donald Urquhart of 4 Smith ...

  • Lovells' and BCCI liquidators' fees to get independent scrutiny

    3-Feb-1998

    BCCI creditors are to appoint a watchdog to oversee the liquidators and their lawyer, Lovell White Durrant, after they ran up fees totalling $313m over the past seven years.A report to the Department of Trade and Industry last December revealed that legal fees up to January 1997 totalled $94.5m.This figure includes counsels' fees and some of the costs of other parties in two High Court hearings in 1996.But Lovells' fees are believed to account ...

  • Maclays launches IT due diligence venture

    6-Feb-1998

    Glasgow firm Maclay Murray & Spens has formed a joint marketing venture with a management consultancy to offer clients an IT due diligence package which the firm claims is unique to the British mergers market.Under the arrangement, Maclays will offer clients acquiring new companies the services of Edinburgh-based HD Management's IT due diligence unit, which will provide ...

  • Manches pays former client £1,000 to settle fees complaint

    3-Feb-1998

    Manches had paid £1,000 to a former client after he complained to the Office for the Supervision of Solicitors (OSS) that the firm summonsed him to court for not paying a non-existent bill and then haggled over his £132 claim for costs.The payment, made by Manches senior partner Alasdair Simpson, persuaded businessman Daniel Englender to withdraw his complaint to the OSS.The dispute between Englender, who had been advised by Manches head of corporate ...

  • Many trainees are happy

    6-Feb-1998

    I read the article on page two and the editorial on page18 of the student focus in The Lawyer, 19 May, with an open mind, but found your message misleading.While "bitterness, disillusionment and despair" is an understandable reaction to a salary of £3,500 in today's profession, the inclusion of the quote referring to the "considerably low wage" of £17,500 suggests that a proportion of the dissatisfied ...

  • Maximising law firm marketing

    6-Feb-1998

    Even smaller practices need to invest time and money in marketing themselves effectively. David Laud explains how. David Laud is head of the marketing function at Jacksons.There is nothing special about marketing a medium-sized firm in the regions.In my experience there is no basis for the idea that the size of the firm or its geographical location somehow defines the marketing plan. A properly structured and professionally delivered marketing strategy will work ...

  • Mussel catcher shows his strength in court

    3-Feb-1998

    A fisherman who claims his business was ruined by pollution is suing South West Water for damages, reports Roger PearsonMr justice Carnwath has given permission for a High Court test case against South West Water over alleged sewage pollution of the seas off north Devon.But in doing so, Judge Carnwath has blocked moves by a mussel fisherman to sue, in addition, the Environment Agency, the Environment Minister, John Prescott, ...

  • Plans for uniformity could lead to chaos

    6-Feb-1998

    Government reforms for solicitors who carry out investment business could bring confusion, undermine quality, and cost practices time and money, warns Andrew Murray. Andrew RET Murray is a solicitor at Lawrence Graham.Our legislative masters have decided to introduce uncertainty to lawyers carrying out investment business. The Government has plans for a Financial Services ...

  • Pop producer sues over noise

    6-Feb-1998

    Pop record producer Michael Stock - of Stock Aitken and Waterman - has launched a massive damages claim over his recording studio in London SE1. Stock claims he has been unable to use the studio since November 1996 because it is too noisy. He is taking Andrew Munro, trading as Munro Associates, of London SE1, to court seeking damages for alleged negligence and breach of contract. Stock claims he spent substantial sums on the original refurbishment and the fitting out ...

  • Preparing for commercial life

    6-Feb-1998

    In the wake of The Lawyer survey revealing widespread trainee disillusionment, Jacqueline Siers calls for more co-operation between academia and firms. Jacqueline Siers is chief executive of BPP Law School.Reading the articles about students seeking to leave the profession (The Lawyer, 19 May), I was struck not so much by what was said as by what was missing.One essential issue that does not seem to come out clearly - particularly in the commercial arena - is ...

  • Private finance, public info

    3-Feb-1998

    Richard Thomas discusses how a freedom of information Bill will impact on those involved in Private Finance Initiative projects. Richard Thomas is director of public policy at Clifford Chance.Freedom of information means most to campaigners, journalists and civil servants. But it is about to become meaningful for PFI contractors, both as an opportunity and as a threat.The ...

  • Property

    6-Feb-1998

    Norton Rose acted for SPP Investment Management on the sale of Fosse retail park for £145m. Gouldens advised the joint purchasers Pillar Property, Schroder Exempt Property Unit Trust and SITQ International.

  • Property

    3-Feb-1998

    Nabarro Nathanson acted for a consortium of Middle Eastern investors on the £10.85m acquisition of Mint House, London E1. Staal & Co acted for the vendors.

  • Property

    3-Feb-1998

    Lawrence Graham acted for Legal & General in its £18m purchase of the Coxside Leisure Park development site in Plymouth. Hepherd Winstanley & Pugh acted for Plymouth Leisure Corporation and BG was advised by Eversheds.

  • RB installs messaging system

    3-Feb-1998

    Elizabeth Davidson reportsRichards Butler is to install a messaging system which will enable its staff to reply to e-mail via the telephone and to voice mail by e-mail, and to access both from either their phone or personal computer.The firm has just piloted the use of Lucent Technologies' Octel Unified Messenger product among 80 staff members, and is about to install the system for all 400 staff at its City headquarters.The aim is ...

  • SFLA spreads its word with mission plan

    3-Feb-1998

    ALL new members of the Solicitors Family Law Association (SFLA) will be required to attend courses on the 'psycho-dynamics' of marriage breakdowns under the terms of a five-year mission plan drawn up by the group.The 24-page Strategic Plan, which was adopted at the SFLA's annual conference, is designed to help the group boost its membership and raise its profile.As well as attending courses on marriage breakdowns, new members will also be required ...

  • Sidley & Austin relocates for London growth

    6-Feb-1998

    Sidley & Austin is moving to new offices at 1 Threadneedle Street this week, in the expectation of doubling its number of fee earners over the next five years.Since setting up the London operation in 1994, the office has grown to 45 fee earners including 10 partners - but the firm says further organic growth and lateral hires are expected.Last year Sidley & Austin poached several partners, including Mark Pinder from

  • Surely it is time for self-regulation to end?

    6-Feb-1998

    The Fabian Society - that respected think-tank thought to have Prime Minister Tony Blair's ear - wants the regulation of solicitors and barristers to be taken over by independent bodies.The Office for the Supervision of Solicitors (OSS) should be abolished. So long as client complaint handling is linked to the Law Society, the Fabian report says, consumers will feel they are not likely to get a fair deal.The report comes weeks after the OSS confessed ...

  • Task force on a mission to liberate PFI

    3-Feb-1998

    Jonathan Ball examines the role of the Treasury Project Task Force, and looks at the perception of its performance. Jonathan Ball is a freelance journalist.Despite the recent debacle over the lack of funding for the Channel Tunnel Rail Link, there is evidence that the Private Finance Initiative (PFI) or Public Private Partnership, to employ the New Labour terminology is beginning to bear fruit.This appears, in no small measure, to be due to the pioneering work ...

  • The Lawyer Inquiry: Hilary Meredith

    6-Feb-1998

    Hilary Meredith was born in Knutsford, Cheshire, in 1959. She is a partner and head of the catastrophic injury department at Donns in Manchester.What was your first job?Holiday rep in Ibiza.What was your first ever salary as a lawyer?£6,000 pa.What would you have done if you hadn't become a lawyer?Nothing, but I would have married someone rich!

  • The Lawyer Inquiry: Katie Paxton

    3-Feb-1998

    Katie Paxton was born in Southampton in 1966. She works as an in-house lawyer in the legal department of MDIS and is vice-chair of the Young Solicitors Group.What was your first job?Saturday Assistant in the academic section of a bookshop.What was your first ever salary as a lawyer?Unfortunately not enough to cover my training debt repayments.What would you have done if you hadn't become a lawyer?

  • Time for home rule in the North East?

    3-Feb-1998

    Urban regeneration and inward investment have allowed the North East to grow in strength, but only increased autonomy for the regions can allow further growth, says Graham Wright. Graham Wright is a senior partner at Dickinson Dees.Regional policy is as much of a hot topic in the North East as anywhere else in the country.There is keen public interest in the extent ...

  • Time to pay for crimes against humanity

    3-Feb-1998

    Martin Day says that it is about time that Japan was jolted out of its complacency about the torture of PoWs during WWII. Martin Day is a senior partner at Leigh Day & Co.'Tell us about the beatings and torture!' said Mr Nagano.Chairman of the Japanese Labour Camps Survivors Association, Arthur Titherington, tried to answer but the words would not come. He tried again but, with tears rolling down his cheeks, he knew he had lost control.The ...

  • Too many candidates

    6-Feb-1998

    On 19 may, The Lawyer highlighted a very real problem for would-be trainees and for those in law firms who recruit them. There are too many candidates for too few places. In a medium-sized Middlesex practice I regularly reject over 400 applications for two places.Firms in our situation have to apply some sort of criterion like the "2.1 and above" rule, which means that perfectly acceptable candidates don't stand a chance. I don't ...

  • Training for greater autonomy

    6-Feb-1998

    Professor Ray Wild advises on the options available to lawyers who are seeking to improve their managerial knowledge. Ray Wild is principal of Henley Management College.Lawyers have not been trained as managers, yet for many management has become a significant job requirement. This is why, despite the falling number of managers in traditional roles in business - particularly middle managers - there is an increasing need and demand for management education and development.

  • UK/Aussie forum

    6-Feb-1998

    The Anglo/Australasian Lawyers' Society will be launched in London on 3 June and in Sydney on 16 July. The aim of the organisation is to provide a forum for lawyers to exchange ideas and information between the jurisdictions. Founded by Ian Hunter QC and Garry Downes QC, both of Essex Court Chambers, the society is backed by legal recruitment consultancy Garfield Robbins International.

  • Whole set applies to join Plowden Buildings

    3-Feb-1998

    In an extraordinary move, all 27 tenants at 3 Paper Buildings, Samuel Parrish's chambers, have applied to join Plowden Buildings. A decision will be taken this Saturday.The expanded set will be one of the largest sets in Temple with between 55 and 60 barristers.Paul Hurst, senior clerk at Plowden Buildings, said: 'If a whole set applies to join it may look like a merger but it's not.'The new set will be called Plowden Buildings. ...

  • Will all really be fair in employment and law?

    6-Feb-1998

    Martin Warren looks at the implications of the new "Fairness at Work' White Paper. Martin Warren is an employment partner at Eversheds.Employment lawyers are having to come to terms with one of the most significant papers to emerge from the Labour government.The "Fairness at Work" White Paper has taken 12 months to propose the implementation of a 22-word sentence ...

  • Working to home rules

    6-Feb-1998

    Foreign law firms in China face a government bureaucracy notable for its bare-faced cheek, reports Richard Tyler.On the face of it British lawyers working in China are well prepared for a new life when their plane touches down in the world's most populous country.Most arrive at one of the 13 UK firms granted a licence by the Chinese ministry of justice having studied the country, its language and its culture for many years. So apart from the ...