2 November 1998

The Lawyer

  • 'Pay to play' vote

    8-Nov-1998

    The ABA's ruling House of Delegates has deferred a proposal to ban lawyers who make campaign donations to officials from doing government work. The proposal had been drawn up by a task force on the practice, known as "pay to play", whereby lawyers allegedly make donations in order to get work.

  • A court that knows no boundaries?

    8-Nov-1998

    The international criminal court treaty is a big achievement but can it deliver what it promises? Jonathan Stanley is a London-based writer on law.British lawyers have played a skilled part in preparing and negotiating the hard-won treaty to establish a permanent international criminal court (ICC).The treaty, which is the culmination of years of preparatory work, was agreed at a United Nations (UN) meeting of 160 countries in Rome last month. the British diplomatic ...

  • A historic art with a bright future

    8-Nov-1998

    The Lord Chancellor Lord Irvine argues that today, a new type of advocacy is needed for a reformed justice system.More than 40 years ago, Norman Birkett argued that advocacy was the art of persuasion and presentation - an observation, he noted, that the Roman rhetorician Quintilian had originally made some 1800 years before.In the language of the 1990s, advocacy is, at base, the art of communication. And what could be more important in today's world?

  • ABA task force to probe threat posed by MDPs

    8-Nov-1998

    THE AMERICAN Bar Association (ABA) has set up a top-level inquiry into the threat posed to the legal profession by multidisciplinary partnerships (MDPs).The inquiry was announced by the ABA's new president, Philip Anderson, at its annual conference in Toronto last week.Tax expert Sherman Simmons, of US firm Steel Hector & Davis, will head a ten-person commission which will report to the ABA at next year's conference in Atlanta.The task force's ...

  • Anger as Court of Appeal public office is replaced by post boxes

    8-Nov-1998

    THE public office at the Court of Appeal which receives appeal applications from solicitors and litigants in person was closed without warning last week due to staff shortages.The closure of The Civil Appeals General Office has prompted claims from angry solicitors that it will lead to delays in the Court of Appeal.The office has been replaced by two post boxes: one for appeals applications and respondents' applications by lawyers and the other for members ...

  • Artists Corner

    8-Nov-1998

    Manches & Co has taken delivery of an unusual piece of office furniture - a wooden sculpture of a coat on a peg. The sculpture, by Italian Neil Benson, was a gift from the firm's auditors, Lewis Golden & Co. Manches senior partner Alasdair Simpson is pictured (left) receiving the sculpture from Neil Benson, of Lewis Golden (right).

  • Bar memo admits 'ludicrous' fees

    8-Nov-1998

    THE BAR Council has secretly admitted that some barristers are claiming "ludicrously high" legal aid fees after the government handed it a hit-list of 20 barristers whose fees have been heavily reduced on taxation.A confidential memo, obtained by The Lawyer, reports "anecdotal accounts of barristers claiming fees where they do not appear entitled to do so or of silks discovering that their juniors are claiming ludicrously high amounts".It adds: "One barrister ...

  • Best of the silks

    8-Nov-1998

    Business is booming at the intellectual property Bar and big names, as well as newer silks, are in great demand - though generally concentrated within three sets. These are Three New Square, headed by David Young QC, the "charming and delightful" Michael Fysh QC's chambers at 8 New Square and 11 South Square where Christopher Floyd QC is the head of chambers.On the whole, the service from the IP bar is described as being of the highest ...

  • Brand names bite back

    8-Nov-1998

    The Silhouette case has provided limited protection for trade mark owners. But caution must still be exercised to control the grey market within Europe, warns Brian March. Brian March is senior partner at Wildbore & Gibbons and president of the Institute of Trade Mark Attorneys.We have all witnessed the extraordinary growth in the power of the brand name over the last decade. Some brands have become highly fashionable and sought after, with purchasers prepared ...

  • Brief

    8-Nov-1998

    David Green, the criminal barrister at 18 Red Lion Court responsible for the garden in its front courtyard, has scooped the annual Miller Award for the best new floral feature in the City.The trophy, awarded by the City of London corporation and the Worshipful Company of Gardeners, will be presented by the Mayor of London at the Mansion House in September.Green volunteered to transform the courtyard when the set moved from 5 King's Bench Walk to 18 Red Lion ...

  • BT joint venture driven by team of 15

    8-Nov-1998

    British Telecom has used an even bigger team of in-house lawyers on its AT&T joint venture than it used on its aborted £12bn-megamerger with MCI.American Jack Greenberg, director of legal services for BT's global communications arm, headed a team of 15 in-house lawyers worldwide, which pulled together the complicated agreement that will create a company with a £6bn turnover in its first year.A team of seven worked on the aborted MCI merger last ...

  • Burges Salmon site

    8-Nov-1998

    Bristol firm Burges Salmon has set up a web site which the practice claims has "a touch of humour to set it apart from its rivals". The site, which can be found at http://www.burgessalmon.co.uk, includes cartoon characters that lead visitors to a range of information about the firm and key areas of law.

  • CC in Madrid adds two local lawyers to its ranks

    8-Nov-1998

    Clifford Chance's Madrid office has enticed a partner away from Arthur Andersen's Spanish firm, Garrigues Andersen.Corporate finance partner Pablo Bieger is one of two local Spanish lawyers who will be joining Clifford Chance's Madrid office in September. The identity of the second recruit, however, is under wraps.The hirings will consolidate Clifford Chance's ...

  • Consumers' watchdog calls for controls on insurers

    8-Nov-1998

    WATCHDOG body the Consumers' Association (CA) has called for greater regulation of the legal expenses insurance market in a report which reveals widespread public ignorance of the industry.Of 2,000 people surveyed by the CA in its report, which was published last week, two thirds were unaware of the concept of legal expenses insurance and only 17 per cent had cover.The report focuses on before-the-event insurers who are most common in the car insurance industry. ...

  • Cultural and legal diversity is worth more than the tourist trap

    8-Nov-1998

    Martin Bowley QC says that conventions offer an ideal opportunity to gain a fresh perspective of the issues that concern the profession Flying transatlantic last week on my way back from my eighth ABA annual meeting in Toronto, I pondered Chris Fogarty's question in The Lawyer: "What's in it for legal convention freaks like you?"It certainly is not to find work. As a criminal circuiteer, I cannot recall a single brief coming my way ...

  • Dibbs in £150m Lloyd's victory

    8-Nov-1998

    Dibb Lupton Alsop is ready to recover £150m from 500 refusenik Lloyd's Names following a Court of Appeal victory last month.The 500 Names had applied for leave to appeal an earlier High Court ruling that they owed Lloyd's £150m.But the Appeal Court refused leave to appeal at the end of last month and Dibbs says its debt recovery team can now enforce the earlier judgment for recovery of over £150m.The Lloyd's members ...

  • Ex-M5 member Mills & Reeve broadens horizons with new Birmingham office

    8-Nov-1998

    Mills & Reeve is to break out of the east of England for the first time by opening an office in Birmingham in September.The move is the second time a firm from the now defunct Norton Rose M5 Group has announced it is to open in the same city as a fellow member - in Birmingham's case,

  • Family Court plans

    8-Nov-1998

    The Government last week issued a consultation paper on the future of the Family Court Welfare Service. The proposals include the establishment of an integrated service to handle the work currently carried out by the Probation Service, the Guardian Ad Litem and Reporting Officer Service, and the Official Solicitor's Office.

  • Financings

    8-Nov-1998

    John Russell of Simmons & Simmons is advising BAT Industries on its $3bn euro medium term note programme. Boyan Wells of Allen & Overy advised investment bank Dresdner Kleinwort Benson.

  • Financings

    8-Nov-1998

    Brigid Rentoul of Linklaters advised Orange on its $996m US registered offering of high-yield debt. Allen & Overy advised the underwriters. Shearman & Sterling was Orange's US legal advisers and

  • Financings

    8-Nov-1998

    Jeffrey Barratt of Norton Rose advised a syndicate of banks including Barclays Capital and Nations Bank on the provision of a £225m credit facility for Monument Oil & Gas

  • Five hired for Scots public defender pilot scheme

    8-Nov-1998

    FIVE Scottish solicitors have been appointed to staff a public defender pilot scheme in Edinburgh.The solicitors will provide legal advice, assistance and representation for a random selection of defendants in summary criminal cases for a five-year period.Three of the defenders - Elaine Crawford, Kenneth Cloggie and Matthew Nicholson - come from More & Co. The two other defenders are Glenn Fraser, of Nigel Beaumont & Co, and Jill Malloy, of Drummond Miller, both ...

  • Flotation

    8-Nov-1998

    Gillian Hall of Newcastle firm Watson Burton advised display marketing company Premier Direct Group on its £6.5m flotation on the Alternative Investment Market. Watson Farley & Williams advised nominated adviser Charles Stanley.

  • Freemasons protest

    8-Nov-1998

    Lord Farnham, Pro Grand Master of the United Grand Lodge of England, has written an open letter to Jack Straw, the Home Secretary, objecting to a proposal that freemasons involved in any aspect of criminal law register their membership. He describes the plan as "without justification" but adds that if parliament passes such a law, freemasons will abide by the decision.

  • How IT sped up the court process

    8-Nov-1998

    The use of technology played a large part in the conviction of three bogus bankers, writes Kelvin McGregor-AlcornA MAJOR fraud trial at Bristol Crown Court ended late last month with the conviction of three con men from the continent who defrauded investors of £6m.Peter Tuegel, Sebastiano Saia and Gerhard Martens had set up a bogus bank in Torquay and lured investors with claims that the bank had vast assets, when in fact they amounted ...

  • Human rights awards

    8-Nov-1998

    Croatian lawyer Vesna Alaburic and former senator George Mitchell were the recipients of this year's annual International Human Rights awards from the ABA Sector of Litigation. Alaburic was honoured for her work, often on a pro bono basis, defending journalists accused of publishing critical articles about the government. Senator Mitchell was recognised for his work on the Northern Ireland settlement.

  • In brief: Cadwaladers scoops Weil Gotshal duo

    8-Nov-1998

    Dennis Block - Weil Gotshal & Manges' mergers and acquisitions rainmaker, who resigned over the cost of the firm's London office - and the firm's international financial restructuring partner, Bruce Zirinsky, are joining the New York office of US rival Cadwalader Wickersham & Taft.

  • In brief: Clyde & Co takes on Simmons partner

    8-Nov-1998

    Michael Prosser has joined Clyde & Co from Simmons & Simmons as a partner in the corporate department. Prosser set up Simmons & Simmons' New York office and practised there for more than ten years. David Page, head of Clyde & Co's corporate division, said: "Michael's US experience will be an invaluable asset in the continued development of our inward investment group."

  • In brief: Eversheds posts 14 per cent fee income rise

    8-Nov-1998

    Eversheds fee income for 1997/98 increased by nearly 14 per cent from £125m to £145m, according to figures the firm released last week. Its Birmingham office's turnover of £24m accounted for a fifth of that figure. The figures come before the merger with half of Frere Cholmeley Bischoff, which happened on 1 August.

  • In brief: Five-month European postings up for grabs

    8-Nov-1998

    The Solicitors European Group and the Trainee Solicitors Group have announced their 1999 European Commission (EC) placement scheme. The groups are looking for two solicitors under the age of 30 and fluent in another European language to spend a five-month "stage" at the EC in March or October next year. Interested solicitors should contact Tom Usher on 0171 533 2222.

  • In brief: Image and focus change on Paisners' agenda

    8-Nov-1998

    City firm Paisner & Co has appointed communications consultancy Fishburn Hedges to help build the firm's profile and reposition it in the marketplace. Announcing the appointment, senior partner Harold Paisner said: "We want potential clients and recruits to have a better understanding of the core of our business, which is corporate, property and litigation work and the distinct culture of this firm."

  • In brief: Lester Aldridge hires PI specialist

    8-Nov-1998

    Bournemouth firm Lester Aldridge has appointed Trevor Watkins as a partner in its litigation department. Watkins has joined the firm from the London office of Hammond Suddards and is a professional indemnity specialist.

  • In brief: Moorhead tops Young Solicitors' Group poll

    8-Nov-1998

    The Young Solicitors' Group has elected Richard Moorhead (pictured right) and Sara Chandler as its chair and vice-chair, respectively. Moorhead is to be a research fellow at the Institute of Advanced Legal Studies from September. Chandler is a solicitor at legal aid firm Hanne & Co.

  • In brief: Wolferstans and McKenzies unveil link-up

    8-Nov-1998

    West Country firm Wolferstans has merged with Exeter firm McKenzies, a niche motorcycling practice. Wolferstans now has 60 lawyers, more than 35 of whom are involved in personal injury accident work.

  • Insolvency fees report falls short of radical solutions

    8-Nov-1998

    Mr Justice Ferris's long-awaited report on insolvency fees has stopped short of imposing radical changes on the insolvency profession.Judge Ferris was tasked with setting up a working party to look at the issue after mounting public and judicial concern at the level of fees charged in insolvencies - sometimes taking up nearly all the money recovered for creditors.Judge Ferris has decided not to force liquidators and their lawyers to fix their fees in advance ...

  • Insurer sheds staff in relocation

    8-Nov-1998

    After-the-event legal expenses insurer Litigation Protection (LPL) has laid off two staff at its London office, which is only being retained as a venue for business meetings.The company, headed by Brian Raincock, has moved all operations to its Arundel office. Two of the four staff were given seven days' notice to quit and a third is already serving out his notice. The fourth, part-time consultant Peter Blackmore, will continue to work for LPL.Raincock said: ...

  • It has been a bad week for:

    8-Nov-1998

    The Legal Action Group, which has so far failed to find a replacement for its director, Roger Smith, who has left the group to join the Law Society as head of education and training. Finding someone with Smith's ability to manage the group, as well as being a high profile figurehead, is proving a difficult task.The Law Lords, whose faces were splashed all over, of all places The Sun. No, they haven't been caught ...

  • It has been a good week for:

    8-Nov-1998

    Liberty director John Wadham, who received the legal brief of the week when he was called in to advise former MI5 official David Shayler.Furniture designers Luke Hughes & Company, whose "unique" Trojan all-timber folding tables are being snapped up by law firms left, right and centreS according to a press release issued by Luke Hughes & Company. Beachcroft Stanleys, Simmons & Simmons, Richards Butler,

  • Italian job is a fine outfit

    8-Nov-1998

    With reference to "Ashursts forges Italian alliance" (The Lawyer, 30 June), the article painted a very negative picture of Graham & James LLP's activities in Europe.In addition to offices and affiliates in the US, Asia, Australia and the Middle East, Graham & James has an office in Milan, another in London and an affiliation in Dusseldorf.The Milan office's client list is diverse, as since 1965, we have ...

  • Japan Bar backs govt arbitration initiative

    8-Nov-1998

    THE JAPANESE Bar is set to swing behind a government initiative to establish an international commercial arbitration centre in Japan.Akira Kawamura, of leading Tokyo firm Anderson Mori, told delegates at the ABA conference that the Japanese legal profession was making a concerted effort to put arbitration on the map in Japan.He said that the government had recently published a report calling for a new international centre and that "a joint study commission" set ...

  • Jonathan Armstrong on the One in a Million appeal verdict. Jonathan Armstrong is a partner at Keeble Hawson Moorhouse.

    8-Nov-1998

    The One in a Million case decided by the Court of Appeal recently will be of interest to anyone involved in the Internet industry, or those who have a Web site themselves.In Marks & Spencer and ors v One in a Million and ors the plaintiffs were a number of large companies including Marks & Spencer, Ladbrokes, J Sainsbury, Virgin and BT.The plaintiffs aimed to clamp down on the sale of Internet domain names and sought injunctions against the ...

  • Judgement Day for civil justice reforms is nigh

    8-Nov-1998

    The launch of Lord Woolf's reforms is imminent, but Elizabeth Davidson finds that preparations are still very much in the preliminary stages.IF you believe the civil justice doom merchants, Armageddon will strike on 1 April 1999 - the date when the long-awaited Woolf reforms are due to be unleashed on the world.The spirit of the reforms has always been welcomed by the legal profession. But many lawyers believe the Government is rushing ahead with ...

  • Judges attack 'breathtaking' plans for abolition of Aclec

    8-Nov-1998

    THREE of the country's leading judges have attacked the government's "breathtaking" plans to abolish the Lord Chancellor's Advisory Committee on Legal Education and Conduct (Aclec) and sweep away the restrictions governing solicitors' rights of audience in the higher courts.Court of Appeal judges Lord Justice Stuart-Smith, Lady Justice Butler-Sloss, and Sir Stephen Brown, the president of the Family Division, all took pot-shots at the government during ...

  • Law Soc asylum plans spark 'closed shop' fear

    8-Nov-1998

    Aclec has warned that the Law Society's proposed immigration accreditation scheme, due to be launched in August 1999, could result in a "closed shop".An Aclec report on improving the quality of immigration advice and representation, published last week, claims the drive to clamp down on unscrupulous advisers may restrict the supply of good immigration advice.Although the report praises the society's plans to introduce an accreditation scheme for immigration ...

  • Lawyers are 'greedy'

    8-Nov-1998

    Public opinion of lawyers in the US is at an all-time low. New figures published at the conference revealed that 70 per cent of the public viewed lawyers as greedy compared with 52 per cent last year.

  • Lawyers at play

    8-Nov-1998

    Next month a team of intrepid trekkers from Wragge & Co head for Nepal for a ten-day trek in the foothills of the Himalayas.They hope to raise a total of £60,000 for Sense, the National Deafblind and Rubella Association.

  • Lead us not into recession

    8-Nov-1998

    "Boom or bust" is the order of today. Whether it be property prices, money markets or global warming, we are fed on a journalistic diet of hyperbole. One lesson that we have learned from the 1980s is that investments can go down as well as up.So let us not talk ourselves into another recession. Those involved in the conveyancing industry know how important a stable housing market is to the national economy. Interest rates, even at their increased ...

  • Lords consider adoption order

    8-Nov-1998

    A bid by a couple to adopt their granddaughter so that she can stay in the UK following expiry of her six-month visa is now being considered by the House of Lords. Mr Justice Sumner originally made the adoption order in November last year but it was overturned this March by the Court of Appeal, headed by president of the Family Division, Sir Stephen Brown.

  • Magistrates' clerks must qualify as lawyers

    8-Nov-1998

    THE LORD Chancellor's Department (LCD) has ruled that magistrates' court clerks must be legally qualified.The decision, which affects a third of the country's 1,800 clerks and has infuriated the Association of Magisterial Officers (AMO), was announced by Geoff Hoon, the minister of state at the LCD, last week.He said his decision had followed a consultation exercise on the issue, in which the majority of respondents had said that "those advising ...

  • Manches recruits from rivals after losing department heads

    8-Nov-1998

    MANCHES & Co has bounced back from the loss of its heads of insolvency and banking by hiring three partners from rival firms to bolster its property, insurance and construction teams.Commercial property specialist Peter Sugden has joined from the disintegrating West End firm Forsyte Saunders Kerman, Martin Benson arrives from niche insurance firm Fishburn Boxer, and Robert Oakes has arrived from Barlow Lyde & Gilbert, where he was head of construction.Oakes' ...

  • Matchmaker on a mission

    8-Nov-1998

    Andrew Daws

  • Minorities shut out of US firms

    8-Nov-1998

    Mary Heaney reports from the American Bar Association's annual conference in TorontoTHE PROPORTION of ethnic minority partners in the top 250 US firms has remained virtually frozen at a meagre 3 per cent for the past eight years, according to a major ABA survey.The survey, which was unveiled last week in Toronto by the ABA commission on opportunities for minorities in the profession, shows that the percentage of non-white partners in the top firms has risen ...

  • More partners quit Silverbeck Rymer

    8-Nov-1998

    Two partners and two associates have quit Liverpool firm Silverbeck Rymer - which has now lost six partners, including four heads of department and four associates, in the past two months.Plaintiff litigation partner Keith Teare and associate Mark Bratherton - said to be the highest fee earner at the firm - have joined JST Mackintosh, set up in July by former Silverbeck Rymer partners Clive Mackintosh, John Shield and Howard Jones.Partner Tom Myles and associate ...

  • New insurance unit

    8-Nov-1998

    Browne Jacobson has launched a specialist unit believed to be the first law team to deal with the growing area of critical illness insurance. Changes in DSS benefits have led to this type of insurance becoming more popular.

  • Next week's news

    8-Nov-1998

    There is officially no news next week as The Lawyer is taking its annual week-long summer holiday.

  • Page three model claims agent cover-up

    8-Nov-1998

    A model claims her agent took over half her earnings and failed to give her a true account of her work. Roger Pearson reports.One of the tabloid press's favourite topless models is heading for a High Court confrontation with her agent.Jordan, whose real name is Katie Price, is suing her agent, Helen Smith, who trades as Smithy's Model Agency, for damages in a dispute over fees.The 20-year-old page three girl claims ...

  • Preserving access to justice. Shaun Pye reports on the Bar Council's efforts to safeguard the legal aid system

    8-Nov-1998

    Over Christmas 1984, Sally Murphy gave birth to a daughter, Danielle. There were complications with the delivery and Danielle was severely brain-damaged.Murphy sued Wirral Health Authority and, while two expert witnesses said medical staff had been negligent, two said they had not. In 1995, Murphy won her case.Last month, Murphy and Danielle were guests of Dan Brennan QC, vice-chairman of the Bar Council, at the unveiling ...

  • Property

    8-Nov-1998

    Lesley-Anne Avis of DJ Freeman acted for Argent Development on its £28.5m sale of Number Three Brindleyplace, Birmingham, to Hermes, advised by Herbert Smith.

  • Property agents gain greater powers

    8-Nov-1998

    Local authority-appointed property agents have been given more power to prevent antisocial behaviour, says Roger Pearson.Mr Justice Jacob has given important guidelines on the powers of property agents appointed by local authorities to obtain arrest orders.The case centred on an injunction application by English Churches Housing Group, which took over the London Borough of Bromley's housing stock under the provisions of the Housing Act 1985.

  • Quotes of the week

    8-Nov-1998

    "We encourage all members of staff to read The Lawyer as it provides an excellent source of information about the key issues facing the industry."- Charles Rymer, of Silverbeck Rymer.See Tulkinghorn, page 10

  • Sand the juniors

    8-Nov-1998

    Running through the list of barristers who practise in intellectual property, virtually all the juniors at the leading sets of Three and 8 New Square and 11 South Square win praise. But as with silks there are still not enough new names coming up through the ranks to meet the demand in this ever-growing practice area.The problem is exasperated by the elevation of some of the top-rate senior juniors to QC, while those of middling seniority have not yet "acquired the greatness ...

  • SIF hits London solicitor with 1,000 per cent hike in fees

    8-Nov-1998

    A sole practitioner's bill for his Solicitors Indemnity Fund (SIF) cover has rocketed by an astonishing 1,000 per cent.The London-based lawyer, who has asked not to be named, received his bill for this year's SIF contributions early last week along with the heads of all 950 firms in the country.Last year he had to pay £2,500 to SIF for his professional indemnity cover. This year the figure, which for the first time takes into account the risks ...

  • Soundy to step down as Ashursts' senior partner

    8-Nov-1998

    ASHURST Morris Crisp's respected senior partner Andrew Soundy is to retire after seven years in the job.The two frontrunners to replace Soundy are understood to be corporate partners Geoffrey Green and Roger Finbow, although both have denied throwing their hats into the ring.Green - head of company commercial - is seen as the more likely candidate. It is thought he was in favour of the failed merger talks with

  • Stopping the rot at Linklaters' alliance

    8-Nov-1998

    International alliances are a logical step for practices focused on expansion - but without careful planning they can soon turn sour, warns Colin Carmichael. Colin Carmichael is a partner with The Organisation Consulting Partnership and was a consultancy partner with a Big Five accountancy firm.Linklaters & Alliance is further evidence that we are in the age of the international law ...

  • Striking a deal with energy firms

    8-Nov-1998

    Nabarro Nathanson electricity specialist Robert Tudway (pictured right) led a team of lawyers which successfully won a premium price for renewable energy from nine major electricity suppliers.Tudway and his team had helped set up a consortium of 116 small-scale renewable energy generating companies - the Renewable Generators' Consortium (RGC).The various companies produce energy ...

  • Tacograph law under scrutiny

    8-Nov-1998

    The Law Lords are to consider an application for leave to challenge a ruling centring on whether it is necessary for highway maintenance vehicles to have tacographs. Anthony Cheetham was prosecuted by Sleaford magistrates for driving a truck without a tacograph. The decision was set aside on appeal but was then sent back to the magistrates with a direction to convict.

  • Teams at the top

    8-Nov-1998

    Solicitors tell Matheu Swallow which dream teams they would want to take the case that their lives depended on.TEAM oneSimon Thorley QC (Three New Square)Called to the Bar: 197Appointed QC: 198Professional achievements/associations: co-editor of Terrell on Patents (13th and 14th editions); chairman the IP Bar Association (1995-); member of the Bar Council.Practice areas: has an extensive IP practice, particularly in the field of chemical ...

  • The jury's out

    8-Nov-1998

    A government paper does nothing to defend the liberty offered by the jury system, writes Bruce Houlder QC. Bruce Houlder QC is the vice chairman of the public affairs committee at the Bar Council.The Government consultation paper regarding mode of trial in either-way cases picks and chooses material gleaned from the Narey Report of February 1997 to make its case.If adopted, the proposals could see up to 22,000 defendants a year lose their right to a jury trial. ...

  • The Lawyer Inquiry: Ian Barker

    8-Nov-1998

    Ian Barker was born in Singapore in 1961 and is now a partner at Hempsons.What was your first job?Part time - as a bingo caller. Full time - on an oil rig building yard.What was your first ever salary as a lawyer?£7,000.What would you have done if you hadn't been a lawyer?Become a zoologist.What was your most satisfying professional moment?

  • Third World to seek private lawyers' expertise on WTO

    8-Nov-1998

    Private lawyers are set to play a much more important role in representing developing countries which are bringing cases before the World Trade Organisation (WTO), a leading Canadian trade lawyer has predicted.Simon Potter, of Canadian firm Ogilvy Renault, told a meeting on the WTO that an increasing tendency for smaller countries to bring cases before the trade body was opening up new opportunities for private practitioners."It is clear that the rules will have ...

  • Throwing money at assistant solicitors is not the answer

    8-Nov-1998

    A recent survey by The Lawyer and Michael Page Legal revealed the extraordinary statistic that assistant solicitors at most City firms are receiving, on average, wage rises of more than four times the rate of inflation.The figures are enough to make Gordon Brown puce with rage."But there is a boom on," managing partners explain, "and we need more bodies to do the work at a time when there is a desperate shortage of two- to five-year qualifieds."But ...

  • Time for honesty over the use of taxpayers' money

    8-Nov-1998

    For all the profession's carping about "fat cat" attacks, orchestrated by the Government and carried out by an ever-willing media, it is a simple fact that some lawyers earn a huge amount of taxpayers' money every year through legal aid work.And when a professional gets paid that much money, it surely does not need saying that their claims on the legal aid fund should be both honest and responsible.Or maybe it does need saying. ...

  • Treasury's financial services bill fails to clear up uncertainty

    8-Nov-1998

    The Treasury is squandering the opportunity to arm London with an effective financial services regulator by a "piecemeal" approach to consultation, leading financial services lawyers have warned.Lawyers were hoping the draft bill, published by the Treasury a fortnight ago, would end uncertainty over who and what activities would come under the Financial Services Authority's supervision, and how many teeth the regulator would be given.But, instead the 233-clause ...

  • UN Resources Centre

    8-Nov-1998

    The ABA has signed an agreement with the United Nations Development Programme to set up a Resources Centre for Technical Legal Assistance. International sector chair Bill Hannay said the deal meant that the ABA would provide countries that wanted to revamp their legal systems with resources, judges and lawyers.

  • US lawyers to help China organise independent Bar

    8-Nov-1998

    US lawyers are to assist China in developing measures to promote the rule of law.The American Bar Association last week announced a historic agreement with the All China Lawyers Association (ACLA) to work together on a number of projects.These include programmes to encourage the development of an organised independent Bar and training ACLA members in Bar organisation and management.The ABA will also assist in providing legal training and education ...

  • Wilde Sapte close to losing Paris office

    8-Nov-1998

    The two remaining partners at Wilde Sapte's Paris office are understood to have decided to quit the firm in a move that could spell the end of its foray into France.It is understood partners Robert Macklin and Olivier Tordjman have been in talks with several firms, and if they do leave their assistants are likely to go with them.The Lawyer revealed last week that senior finance associate Mattieu de Varax and two assistants are joining the Paris office of ...