21 November 1994

The Lawyer

  • 'Separate identity'

    22-Nov-1994

    I read with great interest the report in which Christopher Heaps (of Jaques & Lewis) claimed that the press conference at London's Waldorf Hotel was held there because of the Solicitors Complaints Bureau's separate identity from The Law Society.Is it now planned that the adjudication and appeals committee of which he is chairman will no longer hold any of its meetings at The Law Society's building in Chancery Lane ?Arnold RosenArnold ...

  • A change in situation

    22-Nov-1994

    I am writing to express my concerns about my inclusion in the article 'Eversheds suffers marketing departures' on the front page of The Lawyer 15 November and the inaccuracy of the reporting.The only reason for my leaving Evershed Wells & Hind was a change in my family circumstances precipitating a move to Bristol.At no time was I "dissatisfied with management interference ...

  • Addison to continue fight

    22-Nov-1994

    SUSPENDED CPS barrister Neil Addison has vowed to fight on for employed lawyers' advocacy rights after he suffered a narrow defeat at the Bar Council AGM.Addison, who says he is heartened by the slim 69-77 margin against his motion, is considering collecting the 100 signatures necessary to force a postal vote on the subject.Addison's proposal called on the Bar to:allow the public direct access to barristers;allow barristers to ...

  • Apil warning on 'fast food' justice

    22-Nov-1994

    Lawyers must fight to ensure that justice for personal injury (PI) victims is not "McDonaldised" in the wake of sea-changes predicted for legal services.Michael Napier, president of the Association of Personal Injury Lawyers, told delegates at the London conference: "PI is not a fast-food item. It's not so simple. The issues are not always that easy."Napier said he had borrowed the analogy from an American lawyer who claimed the court system had become so ...

  • Bar hauls up Inns over equal opportunities code

    22-Nov-1994

    THE INNS of Court have failed to show a 100 per cent commitment to equal opportunities, according to senior Bar Council members.The council is set to pull the Inns into line with its own code of equal opportunity practice following a vote at the Bar's AGM.Gray's Inn, Lincoln's Inn and Middle Temple rejected the code proposed by the Inner Temple, adopting instead their own brief statement of policy.Bruce Coles QC told members how the ...

  • Barrister slams 'mean' tariffs

    22-Nov-1994

    BARRISTER Robert Latham has called on the Home Secretary to drop his plans for a criminal injuries tariff system and restore the old system of compensation.Speaking at last week's annual Victim Support meeting, Latham, head of chambers at 1 Pump Court, said that the new system was "mean" and "unfair", and had been "introduced by stealth".The Appeal Court recently ruled that Howard, who spoke at the meeting, had broken the law by implementing the tariff system ...

  • Captain makes record discrimination claim

    22-Nov-1994

    A former Army captain who was forced to leave the armed forces after becoming pregnant is claiming a record u500,000 sex discrimination payout from the Ministry of Defence. The claim, made by former Royal Army Education Corps captain Abigail Kirkby-Harris, includes compensation for lost earnings, allowances and pension entitlements. It is the largest claim of almost 3,000 cases which have been settled by the MoD. About 1,500 claims are still outstanding.

  • Coal Authority looks outside for legal advice

    22-Nov-1994

    The newly-established Coal Authority, which this month took over as the industry's regulatory body, has recruited Ian Cartwright as its in-house lawyer.Cartwright, who has switched from the Potato Marketing Board, is the authority's solicitor and secretary with responsibility for farming out legal work to private practice.He confirms he is in discussion with English and Scottish firms, but says it is too early to say how the work will be divided. "I'll ...

  • Conferences for criminal practitioners

    22-Nov-1994

    The Law Society is staging a series of conferences to update criminal practitioners on developments in their field. The seminars are aimed at maximising the profitability of criminal work for solicitors while meeting clients' needs. Issues under discussion include the right to silence, legal aid franchising, extended rights of audience, standard fees and information technology.

  • Courtroom computers cut costs

    22-Nov-1994

    Simon RogersA LONDON firm has used computer technology in the courtroom to reduce costs by over u40,000.The firm acting in Bankers Trust & Others v Arthur Andersen and G Capital v Bankers Trust & Others - consolidated cases relating to management buy-outs - used UK imaging and transcription technology to store thousands of documents on computer disk. The computer reads the documents through a computer scanner.Gouldens, which acts for Watermeadow ...

  • Curtains for Harrisons

    22-Nov-1994

    Byron and Byron, manufacturer of curtain poles, has obtained an interlocutory injunction preventing Harrison Drape infringing copyright in design of one of its curtain poles. The injunction prevented Harrison Drape exhibiting its version of the pole at the Home Interiors Show at London's Earls Court. Simon Clark of Davenport Lyons says a full hearing is anticipated over the copyright ...

  • DAC produces 'charter' for victims of City fraud

    22-Nov-1994

    Stronger powers for judges to compensate victims in serious fraud cases are among recommendations made by City firm Davies Arnold Cooper in a report to the Lord Chancellor, Lord Mackay.DAC’s report on regulating City deceit is aimed at forcing the Lord Chancellor to change the legal procedures for bringing fraudsters to justice.Effectively a ’victims’ charter’, it recommends civil court trials in which the balance of probabilities decides a case, rather than ...

  • Divorce kiosk goes on display

    22-Nov-1994

    THE VERY latest in "self-service" justice was paraded before lawyers at the Legal Action Group conference.An electronic kiosk which fills in divorce forms, explains to tenants how to deal with an eviction notice and generally leads litigants through the legal system was put through its paces by delegates.The American invention is currently deployed in courts in LA, Long Beach and Ventura as a way of cutting delays and making justice more user-friendly.

  • DoT expects road conveyancing to generate stiff competition

    22-Nov-1994

    THE DEPARTMENT of Transport says it is expecting "a significant amount of interest" from law firms by this week's deadline for conveyancing work tenders.The DoT invited bids for the conveyancing work for England's trunk road network last month.It follows a pilot project by the DoT's north-west office to market-test the effectiveness of contracting out its conveyancing work.The test, expected to end next June, pitted Manchester firm ...

  • EC RENTAL DIRECTIVES

    22-Nov-1994

    For people in the film and television industry a sense of concern is growing over the potential impact of the EC Directives on Copyright Term and Rental Rights.Both directives are set to change the complexion of the industry in substantial ways, with the Copyright Term Directive not only extending the period of protection for defined works from 50 to 70 years, but also using as its framework the continental Droit D'auteur system.In opposition to the common ...

  • Egyptair fails to strike case

    22-Nov-1994

    A High Court jury will be asked to decide next January whether Egyptair was guilty of breach of contract, malicious conduct and/or wrongful imprisonment, as a result of an incident which took place in March 1992. Two attempts by Egyptair to have the proceedings, in which Akintola Johnson seeks aggravated and exemplary damages, struck out have failed. Solicitors in the case are David Gouldman & Co of London W1.

  • Employment not union

    22-Nov-1994

    Further to your article entitled "Employment partner joins 15 Old Square" in The Lawyer 8 November 1994 I feel that your description of my Chambers as "a leading union applicant set" is slightly misleading.While we are proud of our union and applicant work, I think it would be more accurate to describe us as a leading employment law set.John TaylorSenior Clerk to Chambers15 Old SquareLincoln's ...

  • EU considers limits on fund investment

    22-Nov-1994

    The European Union is considering a draft communication on the movement of funds and investment services. This would declare illegal certain national restrictions limiting pension fund investment overwhelmingly to local bonds and managers.

  • Fladgates adds to property department

    22-Nov-1994

    London commercial firm Fladgate Fielder has appointed Juliusz Wodzianski, formerly senior assistant at McKenna & Co, as partner in its expanding property department. The news follows a string of high-profile appointments to Fladgate Fielder's commercial department over the past 12 months, including former Simon Olswang ...

  • Freehills brings partner to London

    22-Nov-1994

    LEADING Australian firm Freehill Hollingdale & Page has appointed Martin Hudson, chair of its Melbourne board of partners, as senior partner in London.Hudson has been brought in to replace Bruce Cutler, one of Freehill's two founding London partners, who has returned to Australia to take over from Graham Kelly as managing partner of the Sydney office.A commercial law specialist, Hudson joined the 160-partner firm in 1969 and was made a partner in 1972. He ...

  • Freshfields to do free work for fresh fields

    22-Nov-1994

    FRESHFIELDS has been picked to act as legal consultant to environmental travel group Green Globe.The City firm will provide information on the changing legislative scene to members of Green Globe - the environmental awareness wing of the World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC).Head of Freshfields environmental group Paul Bowden sees the selection as "a tremendous marketing opportunity"."We are happy to provide the service on a pro bono basis because ...

  • Garretts swoops on Manchester

    22-Nov-1994

    GARRETT & Co has set out to poach the best of the north west to fill its new office in Manchester.The fast-growing Arthur Andersen off-shoot last week announced the opening of its second office within six months. The firm is looking to lure senior lawyers and their teams from existing Manchester practices.Davies Arnold Cooper's John Jackson, who heads the corporate and banking team at the firm's regional office, says he doubts whether Garrett's ...

  • Going strictly on the record

    22-Nov-1994

    Roger Pearson

  • Govt keeps rein on VSEL bid

    22-Nov-1994

    City legal giants Simmons & Simmons, Freshfields, and Linklaters & Paines are advising on the major bidding process for shipbuilders VSEL.The deal is a large one, but lawyers say it is also unusual because the UK Government retains the right to consider competition issues that would otherwise be handed over to the EC.Simmons & Simmons corporate partner Peter Kennerley, acting ...

  • Hammonds recruits 'unique' partner

    22-Nov-1994

    International intellectual property specialist Marija Danilunas has left niche firm Bird & Bird to join national practice Hammond Suddards. Dual-qualified Canadian barrister and UK solicitor Danilunas will soon be supervising a US patent case in Chicago. Head of department, partner Laurence Cohen, says Danilunas' ability to relate her US experience to the English law was " almost unique". Her ...

  • Hard-up juniors to pay same rates as employed colleagues

    22-Nov-1994

    Bibi BerkiBARRISTERS are to see a 12 per cent across-the-board increase in subscriptions to the Bar Council from next January.But the Bar has pledged to remember the "poorest in our profession" by looking again at rates for hard-up junior members.Subscriptions were last increased in 1992, when they rose by 15 per cent.The increase, announced at the Bar's AGM, comes in response to a "substantial deficit" ...

  • In-house conference hits Paris

    22-Nov-1994

    THE 10,000-member American Corporate Counsel Association is holding its first conference aimed at in-house lawyers working in Europe.The association, which opened its first European office in Brussels in April, will stage the conference in Paris this week.Seminar topics will include the organisation and development of in-house legal departments, the changing legal environment for mergers and acquisitions in central and eastern Europe and corporate attorney-client ...

  • Jeffrey Green Russell acts on Broome debt

    22-Nov-1994

    Jeffrey Green Russell is acting for a group of seven trade creditors at the creditors' meeting this week relating to leisure industry chief John Broome.The situation revolves around an interim order issued on 19 October 1994 to block several bankruptcy claims against Broome. This has now been extended to 10 January 1995.The ex-parte application was heard at the High Court on 24 October. Jeffrey Green Russell is complaining that the firm was only informed ...

  • Kent practice ushers in u92,000 Arista system

    22-Nov-1994

    KENT practice Kingsford, Flower & Pain is planning to implement a u92,000 system from Digital subsidiary Kienzle Systems.Kienzle's Arista package will replace a set up from Ushers, used at the practice since 1985. The firm was one of the first in England to buy a package from Edinburgh-based Ushers and helped develop its conveyancing module.Kingsfords, established in Kent in 1886, will start working with the new Arista system in ...

  • LAB cost cutters keep eye on pennies

    22-Nov-1994

    TREASURY penny-pinchers looking to keep costs under control will be awarding gold stars to the Legal Aid Board.Nothing gets passed the ruthlessly efficient quango which has wrapped the knuckles of leading legal aid firm TV Edwards for over-billing ...by 3p.The London firm has an annual turnover of about u2 million in legal aid alone, but that did not stop LAB officials from writing to the firm demanding an explanation for the apparent over-charging.

  • Law soc wants dismissal payout raised

    22-Nov-1994

    The maximum award for compensation for unfair dismissal should stand at more than u31,000 rather than the current u11,000 ceiling, the Law Society's employment law committee says. The committee, chaired by Simmons & Simmons partner Janet Gaymer, says now the limit has been lifted on sex and race discrimination awards, it is "highly anomalous" that unfair dismissal levels remain unchanged. The committee has criticised the Government decision not to increase award levels for industrial ...

  • Law Society launches insurance to underpin conditional fees

    22-Nov-1994

    LAWYERS are being warned of "expensive imitations" as the Law Society launches a package of products to underpin the radical no-win, no-fee system.The society's conditional fees insurance scheme, described as "the key to a major new legal services package", is one of several initiatives to help get the new system off the ground.But Gerald Newman, the society's head of practice support, when launching Accident Line Protect - the Conditional Fees Insurance ...

  • Lawyers' training needs to improve, says survey

    22-Nov-1994

    EIGHT per cent of law firms have no interest in legal training and rely on "reading and experience" to keep staff up to date, a survey claims.The survey, carried out by Legal Network Television (LNTV), shows the highest number of firms - 31 per cent of the 100 practices surveyed - are "keen but disorganised" and take training further than the Law Society's Continuous Professional Development (CPD) scheme.Those firms are largely located outside major legal ...

  • LCD pay talks to focus on lesson of firm's collapse

    22-Nov-1994

    LEGAL aid lawyers who are fighting this week for a better pay deal will point to the collapse of Deacon Goldrein Green to bolster their case.The 18-office Liverpool practice was seen as one of Lord Mackay's flagship firms but fell victim to the biggest ever law firm receivership.Law Society negotiators who are due to meet officials from the Lord Chancellor's Department are certain to draw attention to the firm's plight which follows this year's ...

  • Lebanese join arbitration treaty

    22-Nov-1994

    The Lebanese parliament has implemented recommendations put forward by the British Middle East Law Council concerning international arbitral awards.The society made its recommendations at its September conference in Beirut.Its secretary general, London solicitor Ibrahim Kanaan, says that prior to the conference Lebanon had not been a member of the New York 1958 Convention regulating international arbitration."One of our recommendations was to bring ...

  • Letter 'seized wrongfully'

    22-Nov-1994

    The governor of Winchester Prison is being sued for damages by a prisoner, Kevin Willis, who claims the governor had wrongfully seized one of his letters. The letter was addressed to his solicitor, Paul Gumm & Co of Bournemouth.

  • Linklaters appoints SEC man as consultant

    22-Nov-1994

    Linklaters & Paines has appointed a former commissioner with the Securities and Exchange Commission to act as full-time consultant, to be based at the firm's New York office. Edward Fleischman will be adding a US securities law dimension to the firm's international practice. The move is as a result of demand from clients for services in this area. Fleischman was a partner of Rosenman & Colin, ...

  • Litigation Disciplinary Tribunals 22/11/94

    22-Nov-1994

    IDA MARY WAKELAM, 42, admitted 1977, practised in partnership as Rudlings & Wakelam, Bury St Edmunds, fined u5,000 and ordered to pay u1,527 costs. Allegations substantiated she wilfully destroyed a mortgage deed and failed to disclose promptly its prior existence to party entitled to benefit of said mortgage. The incident arose following the death of a man who had loaned u20,000 to the woman he lived with for the purpose of them buying a joint ...

  • Litigation Recent Decisions 22/11/94

    22-Nov-1994

    Subject to contract and claim for restitutionDocklands: dispute over development expenditureRegalian Properties Plc & Ors v London Dockland Development Corporation (1994) (Ch.D 02/11/94) (Rattee J)Summary: Claim for restitution by development of expenditure on 'subject to contract' negotiations.Claim by R, a property development company, for the recovery of expenditure incurred as a result of 'subject to contract' ...

  • Litigation Writs 22/11/94

    22-Nov-1994

    Former Nottingham Labour MP, Jack Dunnett is being sued by the wife of a former Tory MP following a failed property deal. Dunnett, a former solicitor, faces a claim for more than u1 million by Lady Lizzie-Anne Hastings. She says she lost the money after giving financial guarantees for a complex scheme involving Dunnett. In her writ, Lady Hastings, wife of Sir Stephen Hastings, former Tory MP for Mid Bedfordshire, says she guaranteed payment of u1.3 ...

  • Lloyd's vows to carry on pursuing Names

    22-Nov-1994

    LLOYD'S is to continue pursuing its member Names to cover its losses, despite this month's Court of Appeal ruling in the cases of Names Clementson and Mason.Names pressure group the Writs Response Group (WRG) saw a significant victory in the court decision that it could use the defence that Lloyd's central fund was in breach of Article 85 of the Treaty of Rome.But now Lloyd's has confirmed that it can and will continue to draw on the members' ...

  • Minister attacks rights directive over job losses

    22-Nov-1994

    THE ACQUIRED Rights Directive is an example of European law which has "harmed competitiveness and destroyed jobs", the Government said.Employment minister Phillip Oppenheim, who recently released a consultation document on the European Commission's proposals to amend the directive, says it has caused "great uncertainty" for employers and staff.However, he said that although the proposals aim to address a number of issues raised with the commission by the ...

  • Minters recruitment drive offers Australian posts

    22-Nov-1994

    AUSTRALIAN firm Minter Ellison Morris Fletcher has launched a UK recruitment programme to move lawyers to its Australian offices.The firm, which acts for the country's two major trading banks and one of its telecommunications carriers, will interview next month for solicitors to take up posts in its banking, property and corporate finance departments.Resident London partner Michael Whalley says Minters is looking for people with three or four years post-qualification ...

  • Musicians and Computers

    22-Nov-1994

    Musicians have for many years realised the creative potential of computers and used them to produce their compositions. Anyone who has ever manipulated the sound envelope of a self-created sound on their home computer will realise what can be achieved in the hands of a professional musician.Musicians can now buy software packages that allow them to create files which contain a number of special real-time software controls and parameters which they can set and manipulate ...

  • Nabarros to open City shipping office

    22-Nov-1994

    Nabarro Nathanson is to open an office in the City to house its new shipping team. The firm's shipping litigation unit, set up following the recruitment of four lawyers from Norton Rose, will be based initially in Nabarros' West End offices, but a City presence will be established in the New Year - probably ...

  • Nicholas Freeman says the Lords should clarify RTA issues

    22-Nov-1994

    The recent Divisional Court decision in Charles and Others May 1994 (unreported) has resurrected the ghost of the statutory option conundrum, which Parliament and the courts had thought was laid to rest.After years of ingenious defences to drink driving charges, the Transport Act 1981 aimed to make it more difficult to get off by way of silly technical defences.However, in order to temper the effect of this legislation, the Road Traffic Act ...

  • Oftel appoints DTI's Ingham

    22-Nov-1994

    OFTEL has appointed Department of Trade and Industry lawyer David Ingham as its new legal director.Ingham has recently been involved in the legal work for the privatisation of the coal industry and has helped with the new licensing regime.He replaces Alan Woods, who has returned to the DTI, and acting director Alastair Pitblado who reverts to his former position as deputy legal director.Ingham says he is looking forward to being involved in regulating ...

  • Page swaps Withers for Penningtons

    22-Nov-1994

    CITY firm Withers has lost its French-based partner Henry Page to the Paris office of Penningtons.Page, who started work with the commercial practice last month after six years with Withers, has brought assistant Christian Couvrat with him to the three-member office.A resident in Paris for more ...

  • Property

    22-Nov-1994

    Century Life, advised by The Brough Skerrett Law Partnership, has bought its headquarters building at 5 Old Bailey, London EC4 for over u8m from Norwich Union, advised by its in-house legal team.

  • Property

    22-Nov-1994

    Schildvink, advised by Nabarro Nathanson, has bought 15 industrial units at Tannery Road Industrial Estate, Tonbridge, Kent from Sand Aire Investments, advised by Macfarlanes.

  • Regional firms head fast growers survey

    22-Nov-1994

    DIBB Lupton Broomhead, Hammond Suddards and Shoosmiths & Harrison top the list of the 20 fastest growing UK firms, according to a new report.'UK Solicitors 1994', published by management consultant Datamonitor, is based on information supplied by the 45 highest billing London firms and the 20 highest billing regional firms for 1992-94.Of the 20 fastest growing firms, ...

  • Rescue operations may backfire

    22-Nov-1994

    Roger Pearson

  • Research sets the standard

    22-Nov-1994

    NINE leading in-house lawyers have completed pioneering research looking at quality control for the employed sector.The work, led by the Law Society's commerce and industry group, is now set to be published in the form of a book or a series of articles.Charles Twiss, who heads the legal services department at British Gas, says that the project will help to keep in-house lawyers on their toes."We recognise that private practice lawyers have improved ...

  • SFA makes the Wright choice

    22-Nov-1994

    FORMER head of legal Giles Stimson has been replaced after a major shake-up at the Securities and Futures Authority.The legal section and the policy department merged this month, with former director of policy Ros Wright taking over as general counsel and policy director, as head of the combined unit.Stimson, formerly head of the legal section and company secretary, is no longer with the SFA, although he will continue to oversee its rule book on a consultancy ...

  • Silicone implants deadline looms

    22-Nov-1994

    LAWYERS have less than two weeks to register clients for the US silicone breast implant settlement, according to personal injury specialists.Lawyer Paul Balen told delegates at a conference of the Association of Personal Injury Lawyers that there had been "a fundamental misunderstanding" of the settlement and it was now down to lawyers to ensure patients did not miss the 1 December deadline.Surgeons had been told that it was not necessary to contact patients ...

  • Software saves eye test fees

    22-Nov-1994

    FIRMS struggling to comply with EU directives on health and safety - whereby they have to pay for their employees' eye tests - are being targeted by a new service.Supplier Screen Vision and City University have developed a software package which can perform an eye test at the user's premises.Carried out by a Screen Vision tester, it takes 10 minutes and can cost as little as u7.

  • Stein cleared of fraud

    22-Nov-1994

    WELL-KNOWN sports lawyer Mel Stein has been acquitted of mail fraud and money laundering charges by a New Orleans court.Stein, consultant at London firm Finers, avoided extradition when he flew out to the US to face the charges along with a US lawyer a month ago. The US lawyer was also acquitted.He had been implicated in the case of one of his former clients, Cuban businessman Carlos Miro, who was jailed after the collapse of the Anglo-American Insurance Company.

  • Taylor fronts TV law series

    22-Nov-1994

    BARRISTER John Taylor is to present a four-part BBC1 series on consumer law next March.The programme, called John Taylor's Casebook, will examine the law and the rights of the consumer, using case studies and illustrations."Legal aid is becoming more difficult to obtain and yet people are more aware of their rights, just as the queues for voluntary organisations such as the Citizens' Advice Bureaux are becoming longer," ...

  • The Awards

    22-Nov-1994

    WELSH solicitors will gain an insight into Europe next week when they visit Brussels to celebrate St David's Day.Thirty lawyers will meet officials from the European Parliament and Commission and will see at first hand how the system works.The event has been staged by the Law Society and the Law Society of Scotland which has a joint office in Brussels.Patrick Oliver, the society's Brussels representative, says it is the first time that a ...

  • The Lawyer Inquiry: Roger Alexander

    22-Nov-1994

    Roger Alexander, aged 52, is managing partner at London firm Lewis Silkin. Born in Edinburgh, he currently lives in London.What was your first job?I was an articled clerk to accountants Blick Rothenberg. I lasted two weeks.What was your first ever salary as a lawyer?Approximately u4 per week as an articled clerk with Lewis Silkin.

  • Time to hand out overdue bouquets

    22-Nov-1994

    IT is a measure of how far the legal profession has travelled the road of commercial awareness that The Lawyer, in conjunction with others in the legal marketplace, can organise wide-ranging awards for excellence. Five years ago, such an event would have been unthinkable.Now, due to the rigours of the recession and an increasingly competitive business environment, commercial realities play a growing part in day-to-day practice.The Lawyer/HIFAL ...

  • Top in-house salaries rocket

    22-Nov-1994

    TOP in-house lawyers have seen pay-packets rocket by nearly 10 per cent this year, according to a salary survey to be published next week.But the average increase for legal advisers and assistants working in commerce and industry is a modest 3.8 per cent.Figures to be released soon by legal employment consultancy Chambers reveal that increases for senior advisers average 9.1 per cent, compared to 4.6 per cent for legal advisers and just 0.4 per cent for legal ...

  • TRADE MARKS ACT 1994

    22-Nov-1994

    English law up to now on the protection of trade marks stems from the Trade Mark Act of 1938. To some extent, and with increasing implications for retailers and other brand owners slugging it out in the supermarkets, the legislation was out of tune with present day commercial realities.The recent spate of squabbles over 'copy-cat' or 'look-alike' brands has served to highlight a simple commercial truth. The establishment and protection of intellectual ...

  • TSG's new head takes up group's job challenge

    22-Nov-1994

    THE TRAINEE Solicitors Group has elected Irwin Mitchell's Richard Moorhead as its new chair.Moorhead, who is in his third training seat with the Sheffield firm, takes over from University of Northumbria lecturer Fiona Boyle.Moorhead, 25, says he decided to run for the post because "it is very important to get involved in issues that concern the profession and concern trainees in particular".The national representative for Sheffield TSG, Moorhead ...

  • u1.8m mortgage fraud solicitor struck off

    22-Nov-1994

    FRAUDULENT solicitor David Duff, whose activities have cost the Law Society Compensation Fund approximately u1.88 million has been struck off.The Solicitors Disciplinary Tribunal held that Duff, who ran his own practice as Phelps & Lawrence in Swindon, and who was given a two-year sentence at Winchester Crown Court in July 1993 for four offences of obtaining property by deception and three of theft, was guilty of unbefitting conduct.In findings just published ...

  • Unison sues successfully for social worker

    22-Nov-1994

    Northumberland County Council has been successfully sued in the High Court by senior social worker John Walker. Unison solicitors, acting for Walker, claimed that an impossible workload, lack of staff and refusals to provide back-up by the council led to a stress-induced nervous breakdown. The High Court ruled the council was liable to damages for subjecting Walker to unreasonable stress. Damages have not yet been assessed.

  • Women to get new group

    22-Nov-1994

    YOUNG women lawyers across the profession have put forward a proposal to form an association promoting women at the start of their legal careers.But, although she welcomes moves to establish a combined group, Association of Women Solicitors chair Jane Whittaker says she is disappointed young women believe existing groups cater only for established lawyers.Plans for a new group are being floated by Rowley Ashworth solicitor Samantha James, and Suzanne McKie of ...

  • Woolf's court reforms criticised

    22-Nov-1994

    LORD Woolf's ideas for reform of the justice system came in for criticism at the Legal Action Group conference.Cyril Glasser, UCL visiting professor, questioned whether proposals on timetabling would have the desired effect.He also cast doubt on the effectiveness of one-off review bodies, calling instead for a system of on-going reform.But Glasser, managing partner at Sheridans in London, said: "Lord Woolf has clearly identified the main problems."