21 September 1998

The Lawyer

  • 'Chinese walls' ruling could help MDPs

    22-Sep-1998

    A High Court ruling that "Chinese walls" are not enough to protect client confidentiality could "assist" the move towards multidisciplinary partnerships (MDPs) between law firms and accountants, according to the Law Society.Mr Justice Pumfrey made the ruling last week while granting Prince Jefri Bolkiah of Brunei an injunction stopping his former accountants KPMG from investigating the Brunei Investment Agency, which the Prince had previously headed.The Prince's ...

  • Acca to take MDP stance at Versailles conference

    22-Sep-1998

    The European chapter of the American Corporate Counsel Association (Acca) - the world's largest association of in-house legal counsel with 11,000 members - is to debate whether to take a stand against multidisciplinary partnerships (MDPs).Acca will tackle the thorny issue at its fifth annual European conference, which is being held on 5-6 October in Versailles, France.Heavyweight speakers lined up to take part in the debate include Carl Belding, vice-president ...

  • Artist's corner

    22-Sep-1998

    To celebrate the international nature of the London art scene, the Collyer-Bristow gallery is showing works from foreign contemporary painters who live and work in London. The exhibition entitled "Faded Figures" opens on 7 October and runs until 28 November.

  • Ashurst Morris Crisp elects Green to steady the ship

    22-Sep-1998

    Geoffrey Green, a leading advocate of Ashurst Morris Crisp's failed attempt to merge with Clifford Chance, has been elected senior partner.Green, previously head of corporate, was seen as the obvious candidate to replace Andrew Soundy and beat off the challenge of a number of other candidates thought ...

  • Asylum seeker gains Lords appeal plea

    22-Sep-1998

    Roger Pearson reports on a Libyan man's ongoing battle to seek asylum and rights to social security benefits in the UK.The rights of asylum seekers to social security are to come under House of Lords scrutiny in a pending appeal involving a Libyan man.Fathi Saleh Salem arrived at Heathrow on 17 April 1997 and then claimed asylum.On the basis of the account he gave authorities on his arrival he was granted temporary admission and immediately claimed ...

  • Bar faces compulsory subscriptions

    22-Sep-1998

    Barristers who refuse to pay fees to the Bar Council will be stopped from practising under radical steps unveiled last week as part of the Bar's response to government plans to extend rights of audience.The Bar Council is urging the Government to include legislation in the proposed Modernisation of Justice Bill to allow it to raise funds in the same way as the Law Society by requiring barristers to buy annual practising certificates.Currently, barristers ...

  • Bosnia peacekeepers attacked for obstructing Hague Tribunal

    22-Sep-1998

    Leading UN war crimes prosecutor, Justice Louise Arbour, used her opening IBA address in Vancouver to attack states and international organisations involved in Bosnian peacekeeping over their reluctance to supply evidence to the Hague tribunal.She said states that had been observing or peacekeeping in Bosnia had been "reluctant" to give evidence needed to support the prosecutor's work.She said while states claimed to be "committed" to the "ideal of international ...

  • Can Brazil provide the 'real' deal?

    22-Sep-1998

    Brazil's upturn has intrigued investors, but enthusiasts should still exercise caution, warns Guilherme Brafman.Emerging markets have been a hot topic in the profession for some time. Brazil, with its massive 45 per cent contribution to the Latin American Gross Domestic Product (GDP), is a particular case in point.Brazil's corporate sector has been keen to access the world's capital markets, while the federal and state privatisation programme has ...

  • Chancery Lame can no longer limp on

    22-Sep-1998

    In the wake of the Law Society's bungled handling of the SIF crisis, John Malpas finds temperatures in the profession running sky-high"I'm not interested in the Law Society, it is a complete waste of time and I'd like to see it go completely."This was Nick Squire's exasperated reaction when he was asked by The Lawyer last week how the Law Society can improve."Every now and again you get some piece of rubbish that comes through ...

  • Clifford Chance aids panic prevention CD

    22-Sep-1998

    CLIFFORD Chance has played a key role in producing a CD-Rom which aims to help companies cope with disasters such as the loss of a major customer, kidnapping or workplace violence.The firm's head of public policy Richard Thomas joined with experts from the fields of communications, law, finance, insurance, security and risk management to create the CD-Rom-based crisis management package, produced by the communications company Hill & Knowlton.

  • Communicating for survival. Rebecca Towers finds that lawyers are adapting rapidly to new technology

    22-Sep-1998

    New technology is providing real cost benefits to the profession as better communications improve both productivity and the quality of work in firms.E-mail has revolutionised the way lawyers keep in touch with one another - domestically and internationally. This has changed not only the structure of the legal office, but the culture too. Lawyers can now communicate informally and more efficiently with both clients and legal ancillaries.IT director at

  • Convenient conferencing

    22-Sep-1998

    Michael Kaye takes a look at the implications for the profession of improvements in video conferencing technology. Michael Kaye is senior partner at Kaye Tesler & Co and director of VCL.Developments over the past few months are such that the use of video conferencing is likely to increase in the coming year with a major effect on the way in which solicitors and barristers conduct business.Three major problems have plagued video conferencing from its outset:

  • Dublin man fights extradition

    22-Sep-1998

    The House of Lords has granted leave for Dublin man John Joseph Gilligan to challenge High Court refusal of his appeal against an extradition order. Magistrates had ordered that he should be handed over to the Dublin authorities in connection with the murder of journalist Veronica Guerin.Gilligan was arrested at Heathrow on drugs charges and, on 29 August last year, the Special Court in Dublin granted arrest warrants against him on charges of Guerin's murder, ...

  • Enterprise Chambers hires Herbert Smith administrator

    22-Sep-1998

    Leading chancery set Enterprise Chambers has ended its year-long search for a chambers director with the appointment of Elspeth Mills Rendall.The set began looking for a director last year after talking to management consultants BDO Stoy Hayward. The job was offered to one candidate from the commercial world in February but she turned it down in what was thought to be a dispute over salary, estimated at just over £60,000.Mills Rendall, headhunted from Herbert ...

  • Few firms will realise global aspirations, say consultants

    22-Sep-1998

    Only between 10 and 20 law firms will make it as true global capital market law firms in the next millennium, according to two leading UK and US legal consultants. But they say many more practices will evolve at different levels of the international marketplace.Ward Bower of US legal consultant Altman Weil told the IBA globalisation session that joint research by his firm and the UK's Hodgart Temporal had shown the imminent emergence of the following seven separate ...

  • Financings

    22-Sep-1998

    Steven Sugar of Forsters, the firm formed by Frere Cholmeley Bischoff partners after that firm's August takeover by Eversheds, advised Warner Village Cinemas on its raising of a $300m multicurrency facility from a syndicate of banks led by Chase Manhattan and ANZ Investment Bank. Stephen Kensell of

  • Flotation

    22-Sep-1998

    William Charnley of Simmons & Simmons is advising Irish building society First Active on its IR£510m Dublin and London flotations. Arthur Cox is advising First Active in Ireland and A&L Goodbody is advising sponsors ABN AMRO in the UK and Davy Stockbrokers in Ireland.

  • Flotation

    22-Sep-1998

    Bruce Johnston and Giles Frost of Wilde Sapte advised De Nationale Investeringsbank NV and Bayerische Hypo-und Vereinsbank on the £60m financing of an electricity generator plant.

  • German to head IBA

    22-Sep-1998

    Klaus Bohlhof, a partner at German firm Hengeler Muller Weitzel Wirtz, was last week confirmed as new IBA president, replacing Desmond Fernando. Bohlhof said he aimed to use his two years in office to build on existing IBA resolutions looking to outlaw discrimination, regulate multi- disciplinary practices and advance human rights. Meanwhile, Bermudan lawyer Dianna Kempe QC has been confirmed as vice-president, virtually ensuring she will be the IBA's first woman president in two ...

  • Gillian Benning bemoans the naming of disqualified directors. Gillian Benning is managing partner at Jay Benning & Peltz in London.

    22-Sep-1998

    On 4 June, The Express published - under a front-page article, and 12-page pull-out headlined "The Banned" - the names and addresses of former directors subject to a disqualification order.The publication was apparently supported by a new DTI initiative to crack down on rogues who cheat customers and suppliers. The Express said the DTI wanted the public to help check that no disqualified director breached its ban.The publication of the list ...

  • Government must untangle CFA and human rights web

    22-Sep-1998

    MP Edward Garnier QC says the Government has its work cut out if it is to clear up the often confused and uninspiring legislationGeoff Hoon, the Minister of State at the Lord Chancellor's Department (LCD), has probably had enough of the parliamentary questions I have asked him about legal expenses insurance. If conditional fee arrangements (CFAs) are realistically to replace legal aid they will have to be underpinned by legal expenses insurance.The LCD's ...

  • Guru hired to rescue Law Soc

    22-Sep-1998

    Sir Dennis Stevenson, the leading Blairite troubleshooter, has told the Law Society to shed its burgeoning bureaucracy and appoint a dynamic chairman if it wants to win back the respect of the profession.At a secret Law Society council meeting earlier this month, Stevenson - chairman of Pearson and close friend of Tony Blair - said the Law Society would continue to underachieve unless it started to run itself like a successful company or law firm.He said the ...

  • How to counter MDPs

    22-Sep-1998

    At a session, "Dealing with MDPs", Robert Vineberg of Canadian law firm Goodman Phillips & Vineberg and Gordon Jones, a Canadian sole practitioner with a global tax practice, urged firms to "go on the offensive" when an accountancy firm moved into their local legal market. The two said firms should poach the MDPs' unhappy lawyers and actively court their accountancy rivals.

  • IBA tones down draconian MDP regulation list

    22-Sep-1998

    The IBA has bowed to the inevitable and agreed a list of suggested rules to regulate MDPs.The IBA's original proposals on MDPs, drafted this summer and sent to the World Trade Organisation, contained draconian rules which would have imposed more restrictions on MDPs than currently exist in many jurisdictions.But the IBA ruling council last week agreed to delete the harshest proposals and turn the others into suggestions. US legal consultant Ward Bower will ...

  • In brief: College of Law hires de Friend from Kent Uni

    22-Sep-1998

    Richard de Friend (right), previously pro-vice chancellor of the University of Kent, has become director of the College of Law's London branch at Store Street. Professor Paulene Collins has joined the college as professor and head of staff development and training. Collins was previously chief training officer at the Law Society. John Stanford joins as deputy director at Store Street from the Inns of Court School of Law and Peter Lyons has joined the college's Institute of ...

  • In brief: Dibbs designs SOAP case management system

    22-Sep-1998

    City firm Dibb Lupton Alsop has developed a case management system designed to make the costs and intricacies of litigation obvious to the client. It is called the SOAP system, which stands for Style of Approach Initiative.

  • In brief: Law Soc hits the road over Woolf reforms

    22-Sep-1998

    The Law Society is launching a series of regional roadshows in association with Nottingham Law School to inform practitioners about Lord Woolf's civil justice reforms. The roadshows start in Bristol on 24 September and also visit London, Birmingham, Leeds and Manchester.

  • In brief: Leading trio look outside law for new directors

    22-Sep-1998

    Three leading firms have made new management appointments. William Barnes, former head of professional practices at accountants Deloitte & Touche, will join London firm Masons as operations and business development director while Jock Birney, former corporate finance managing director at investment bank SBC Warburg, joins national firm Hammond Suddards as a non-executive director. Meanwhile, John Ellson, former group financial controller at Daniel Thwaites, becomes financial director ...

  • In brief: NaCAL and Bristol Law Soc's DIY law scheme

    22-Sep-1998

    A do-it-yourself law scheme offering members of the public low-cost jargon-free workshops on how to bring and present cases in the small claims and county courts has been launched by the National Council for Access to Law (NaCAL) in association with the Bristol Law Society. NaCAL hopes the scheme will eventually develop nationwide.

  • In brief: New scheme subjects shoplifters to civil action

    22-Sep-1998

    A scheme to subject shoplifters to civil as well as criminal action is due to be piloted by 15 retailers in the West Midlands, including Boots, Tesco and Sainsbury's, from 5 October. The retailers aim to recover sums of between £80 and £150.

  • In brief: Student barristers open legal advice clinic

    22-Sep-1998

    Student barristers at the College of Law are to open a legal advice clinic on Chancery Lane, advising members of the public on a pro bono basis. It will be opened by the Bar's pro bono unit chairman Peter Goldsmith and has also been welcomed by Solicitors' Pro Bono Group director Peta Sweet.

  • In brief: UK patents court moves outside London

    22-Sep-1998

    The UK Patents Court is to travel outside London for the first time in its history when it hears a trial in Birmingham on 22 September.

  • In brief: Wright quits LCD to debate on political reform

    22-Sep-1998

    Tony Wright, parliamentary secretary to Lord Irvine, the Lord Chancellor, resigned last Thursday after 17 months in the job. He said: "The Lord Chancellor has been aware for some time that I want to have more freedom to enter into debate, particularly on issues of political reform." An LCD spokesman said: "The Lord Chancellor has the highest regard for him and wishes him well."

  • Internet is key in the battle for legal access

    22-Sep-1998

    A new government paper on civil justice reforms challenges philosophy as well as IT methodology, writes Elizabeth Davidson.GEOFF Hoon is the first to admit that the Government's new 15-year strategy for civil justice is based on ignorance.Not that it is the Government's fault. Predicting the capabilities of tomorrow's inventions is difficult without a crystal ball, and Geoff Hoon, the minister of state at the Lord Chancellor's ...

  • It has been a bad week for:

    22-Sep-1998

    Barrister Christopher Cousins, whose plea to an Essex magistrates court not to ban Eastenders "bad boy" Ross Kemp from driving for speeding fell on deaf ears. According to The Sun, Cousins told the court Kemp feared he could be attacked by hysterical fans if he used public transport.Boodle Hatfield, which was at the centre of a storm of bad publicity after it emerged that it had accumulated a £400,000 bill while acting for ...

  • It has been a good week for

    22-Sep-1998

    Cheltenham firm Bretherton Price Elgoods' John Beevor, who has been appointed as Honorary Consul to Estonia. The post, which was granted by the Estonian government because of the firm's close links with the country, will mean Beevor has the authority to issue visas and other official paperwork to Estonian residents and visitors in the UK.

  • LAG warning on back door legal aid cuts

    22-Sep-1998

    The Legal Action Group (LAG) has warned the Government not to use its rights of audience proposals to cut legal aid via the back door.The group has joined the Law Society in welcoming the proposals in its response to the Government's consultation paper. But Vicki Chapman, head of policy, said the Government should ensure legal aid is available for specialist rather than generalist advocates when they were needed.The Law Society threw its weight behind the ...

  • Law Society hoping for 'triumph not debacle' over indemnity fund

    22-Sep-1998

    While it may be very exciting to portray the debate about the future of SIF as a battle between the Law Society and City firms - Law Soc surrenders over SIF (14 September) - the truth is far less entertaining.The Law Society is open-minded about the future of professional indemnity pending the outcome of the consultation exercise. This will remain the case until the society's council has examined responses to the consultation and, in the light of these responses, ...

  • Law Society in the dock

    22-Sep-1998

    For the profession to have responded imaginatively to the challenge posed by Diana's death, it would have needed some leadership. But the Law Society is currently in no state to step into this particular breach. Its total failure to make any attempt to co-ordinate the profession's pro bono activities is legendary.This week The Lawyer launches a new campaign: "Law Society in the dock." It is true that Chancery Lane's new leaders have embarked ...

  • Lawyers at play

    22-Sep-1998

    Woolwich Property Services in-houser John Cugley (pictured left with England rugby union manager Roger Uttley) spent nine days rowing from The Thames' highest navigable river to Greenwich in order to raise money for the children's charity Sparks. So far his 150-mile marathon has raised £6,000.

  • LCD pledges further study on CFAs

    22-Sep-1998

    The Lord Chancellor's Department (LCD) has delighted legal campaigners by pledging to conduct further research into how conditional fee agreements are working before legal aid is withdrawn.An LCD spokesman last week acknowledged that the Government had "some obligation" to research conditional fees and gave "a definite commitment to some monitoring via a research programme" before legal aid is withdrawn.The pledge comes after delegates at a conference on ...

  • Lower insolvency fees not the answer

    22-Sep-1998

    Chris Mallon says the Ferris report is surprisingly good news for practitioners. Chris Mallon is head of insolvency at Biddle.July 1997 was not a particularly good month for insolvency practitioners.In a Luxembourg judgment, the liquidators of the Bank of Credit and Commerce International (BCCI) had their fees for the gestion controllee reduced substantially. Later that month Mr Justice Ferris strongly criticised fees charged by insolvency practitioners and their ...

  • Management system gains further favour

    22-Sep-1998

    AUSTRALIAN firm Mallesons Stephen Jaques has become the fourth law firm to go live with Keystone's practice management system.Graham Fros, Keystone's chief executive, said it had taken nine months to install the system - half as much time as was originally anticipated.DJ Freeman was the first UK firm to install the New Zealand company's system, which is designed for large firms.Two New Zealand firms have also installed ...

  • Next week's news

    22-Sep-1998

    On Wednesday, the Law Society's council meets in private to discuss the new presidential team's plans for reform. On Thursday it will discuss the SIF crisis. Will there be further dithering over a problem which emerged two years ago?

  • Nigerian issues plea

    22-Sep-1998

    Nigerian human rights lawyer Chief Gani Fawehinmi made a passionate plea for the world not to "drop its guard" over his country at the IBA opening ceremony. He was addressing almost 3000 lawyers as he received the Bernard Simons Memorial Award for advancing human rights. He has filed over 200 cases in Nigeria challenging his government, been imprisoned 27 times, had his home and chambers searched and his guards killed. Bernard Simons was a London solicitor renowned for human rights work.

  • PIA chief seeks to avoid open hearings

    22-Sep-1998

    The personal Investment Authority ombudsman, Tony Holland, has called for the creation of an "ombudsman review" section within the planned unified "ombudsman's office" to get around human rights requirements for formal, open hearings.Holland, speaking at the IBA conference, said an internal review section would prevent an expensive and lengthy formal court system taking over from the speedy, informal decision process of the ombudsmen.The offices of the several ...

  • PR: the key for firms in a right royal mess

    22-Sep-1998

    As the media open season on royal lawyers continues, Linda Tsang explains how to face the music and get the papers playing your tune.In the last year, lawyers have opened their daily papers on the way to work with an air of trepidation.From the red-top tabloids to The Times, lawyers have been categorised either as fat cats or as systematically ripping off the legal aid system or the Royal Family.They have yet to be blamed for the assassination ...

  • Property

    22-Sep-1998

    David Wright of Nabarro Nathanson advised Swedish property company LE Lundbergforetagen on its £22m sale of Crown House, 51 Aldwych, London to a private German investor, advised by Geoffrey Bailey of Linklaters.

  • Property

    22-Sep-1998

    Ronald Hooberman and Philip Freedman of Mishcon de Reya advised Frogmore Estates on its £9m sale of a 30-acre site in Chelmsford to German supermarket chain Aldi, advised by Jane Cooper of Edge & Ellison.

  • Quote of the week

    22-Sep-1998

    "We do not have hereditary poets, hereditary rocket scientists or hereditary football managers, so why hundreds of hereditary legislators? In a modern democracy, Parliament must be representative of the people."- The Lord Chancellor, Lord Irvine, admitting, as one Kiwi paper puts it, to the "British carthorse lumbering along behind New Zealand" as the Government considers changes that were made by Kiwis 200 years ago.

  • Red Sky delight for Freshfields

    22-Sep-1998

    Caroline Goodall of Herbert Smith led a team advising longstanding client BSkyB.Amid frenzied press speculation over the future of Britain's biggest football club, Manchester United, Tim Emmerson (pictured right) is leading a Freshfields team advising the club's board on BSkyB's £623m takeover bid.The Manchester United board appointed Emmerson on the recommendation of its financial advisers, investment bank HSBC. The club's usual legal ...

  • Rejected trainee claims racism

    22-Sep-1998

    An ex-Liverpool law student of Chinese origin has accused a prominent firm in the city of racial discrimination after it turned down his application for a training contract.Perry Lee will claim at Liverpool Industrial Tribunal this week that 14-partner Morecroft Urquhart refused him a trainee contract on racial grounds, after he had spent a summer working successfully there on a paid placement.Lee, 45, undertook the placement in 1997 while studying law on a part-time ...

  • Salans forges transatlantic merger

    22-Sep-1998

    European 58-partner firm Salans Hertzfeld & Heilbronn is to merge with New York's 28-partner Christy & Viener.The merger will take place on 1 January 1999 creating a practice with 86 partners and 350 fee-earners.It is the third merger in 12 months for Salans Hertzfeld - this month it took over 13-lawyer Paris-based IT boutique FG Associes and last October merged with 50-lawyer Holborn firm Harris

  • Scottish practices set for £1bn PFI jackpot

    22-Sep-1998

    A PFI boom in Scotland is providing a fees bonanza for firms north of the border, while PFI-style financing may also be about to take off in the Irish Republic.In Scotland, research by Edinburgh law firm Henderson Boyd Jackson has shown that over the next three years more than £1bn-worth of PFI projects are set to come on stream.Meanwhile, the Irish government has announced the setting up of a taskforce to investigate using private finance to fund infrastructure ...

  • SFLA in accreditation battle with Law Soc

    22-Sep-1998

    The Solicitors Family Law Association (SFLA) is to launch a "specialist" accreditation scheme for family lawyers - in direct competition with the Law Society's scheme.The SFLA told its members this month that the scheme would finally go ahead early next year, after four years of planning.The launch is likely to coincide with the launch of the Law Society family law accreditation scheme, which SFLA chair Rosemary Carter criticised as "not sufficiently specialist".

  • SFO chief launches attack on fraud lawyers' delay tactics

    22-Sep-1998

    Rosalind Wright, the director of the Serious Fraud Office (SFO), has attacked defence lawyers by suggesting that they make fraud trials last as long as possible in the hope of obtaining an acquittal from a confused jury.Speaking at the 16th International Symposium on Economic Crime in Cambridge last week, Wright said: "In many cases one is driven to the conclusion that it is in the defence's interests to prolong the trial process for as long as possibleS ...

  • Simpson Thacher looks to Europe

    22-Sep-1998

    Robert Lindsay reports from the International Bar Association's annual conference in Vancouver.Leading New York firm Simpson Thacher & Bartlett has started hiring Europeans and English-qualified lawyers to give it the option of moving into European law.In a break with its tradition as a Wall Street practice which sends lawyers abroad on temporary assignments, ...

  • Solo lawyers not to blame

    22-Sep-1998

    My attention has been drawn to a piece in The Lawyer (8 September) which refers to an article under my name in the magazine Solo - published by the Sole Practitioners Group for its members.The Lawyer piece implied that I was suggesting that sole practitioners are most guilty of negligence and incompetent conveyancing.However, I would like to make clear that nowhere in the original article do I suggest that is my view. Indeed, it is most certainly not.

  • Stage hypnosis raises legal spectres

    22-Sep-1998

    Hertfordshire solicitor Martin Smith believes stage hypnosis can have serious effects on its subjects. Roger Pearson reports.The recent high-profile damages action brought against television hypnotist Paul McKenna will make the public re-assess whether they should allow themselves to be exposed to stage hypnosis.If that is the case, then Hertfordshire-based Martin Smith of Martin Smith & Co, who acted for the plaintiff in the case, believes that ...

  • Support staff face new era

    22-Sep-1998

    Voice recognition software is no substitute for the 'art' of a good PA

  • Surfers' paradise

    22-Sep-1998

    Will lawyers embrace the online future and become flexible hot-deskers and happy home-workers or will they resist and risk being left in the wake of their most wired rivals? Rebecca Towers investigates.Okay. So you have work due today and you are just too busy to think about tomorrow. But what about your competitors? Do they share your inability to find the time to look ahead? Are they also mired in the present? Increasingly, the answer to these questions is no. In fact, ...

  • Swapping the City for Whitehall

    22-Sep-1998

    Last month David McCahon told The Lawyer why he quit Westminster for Cameron McKenna. This month, Clare Sylvester explains why she left Clifford Chance for the 'raw law' of the Government Legal ServiceWhy on earth should anyone leave the comparative luxury of the City for the "Corridors of Power"? A little over a year ago with friends thinking I must be mad, and that I would ...

  • Tabloid terror highlights the need for leadership

    22-Sep-1998

    The LEGAL profession's image suffered yet another body blow last week. The revelation that West End firm Boodle Hatfield presented former prime minister John Major with a hefty £400,000 bill for legal services in his capacity as guardian to Princes William and Harry was guaranteed to generate media hysteria.The damage to the profession as a whole caused by this and other stories about the level of fees being charged by lawyers in the wake of Princess Diana's ...

  • Taking innovation to the regions. Rebecca Towers takes a look at the range of companies attending this year's Northern Legal Office Exhibition

    22-Sep-1998

    Manchester's G-Mex centre is to play host to the Northern Legal Office Exhibition for the second year running from 21-22 October. The two-day legal showcase will be organised by Truemist Professional Exhibitions, which launched the first Solicitors' and Legal Office Exhibition in London 15 years ago.The exhibition promises a wide range of products - from furniture makers Perfect Partnership, to printing bureau providers Positive Printing Services, legal software ...

  • Tale of the anti-SIF mariner

    22-Sep-1998

    As an in-house solicitor, I am relatively divorced from unfolding events at SIF. However, my employer is a fully mutual marine liability insurer which has survived and prospered for well over a century.It makes no profit but is run in a financially prudent manner, which is the only reason it still exists (shipowners are under no compulsion to insure with this company!). I am therefore amazed at the tale of woe from SIF.The Lawyer timetable (15 ...

  • Telecoms ace defects from Couderts to Olswang

    22-Sep-1998

    The London office of US firm Coudert Brothers has been hit by the defection of telecoms star Colin Long to Olswang. Long will become joint head of Olswang's Telecommunications and IT Unit with current head partner Kim Nicholson.Coudert Brothers managing partner Philip Burroughs said: "We would obviously have preferred it if he hadn't left but it won't stop us trying to grow our ...

  • The Lawyer Inquiry: James Whiter

    22-Sep-1998

    James Whiter was born in Stoke on Trent in 1963. He is an associate at Linnells in Oxford.What was your first job?The Official Secrets Act prevents me from discussing it.What was your first ever salary as a lawyer?£9,000 per annum as a trainee.What would you have done if you hadn't been a lawyer?Journalism has always appealed.What was your ...

  • Thorn in the side of boys in blue

    22-Sep-1998

    Jane Hickman found herself in the same position as many of her clients when arrested for cannabis possession. But was she the victim of a vendetta? asks Shaun Pye.Jane Hickman makes an unconvincing drugs baron. She admits to once smoking a joint at university which, unlike Clinton, she did inhale but says it just sent to her sleep. She says the hardest drug she would imbibe these days is "a chilled chardonnay".It makes the events of last July almost comical. ...

  • Thornton-Jones still in charge

    22-Sep-1998

    In LAST week's issue (15 September 1998), City editor Robert Lindsay reports that Lawrence Graham has boosted its investment management arm with the recruitment of City banker James Sageman.We would like to clarify that as chairman of Lawrence Graham Investment Management Services, Tim Thornton-Jones will remain the partner in overall charge of investment management, ...

  • Who's watching the cowboys?

    22-Sep-1998

    I am writing to protest on Marlene Winfield's behalf at the grossly unsympathetic manner in which her excellent column in The Lawyer (8 September) had been edited.I appreciate that in any publication there are space constraints, (particularly in opinion columns) but why was your sub-editor allowed to cut the part of Ms Winfield's piece where she referred her builder to the Office for the Supervision of Cowboy Builders (OSCB) for failing to confirm their terms ...

  • Y2K could see mass escape

    22-Sep-1998

    I am on the panel of the first "virtual" millennium bug telephone conference for lawyers, taking place on 23 September. The event - sponsored by the DTI Action 2000 team, BT and The Lawyer - should prove valuable, particularly for those who see the hassle and expense of time away from the office as the main deterrent to conference attendance.The Lawyer (8 September) mentions the conference and, kindly, my book on the topic. In fact, ...