22 April 1996

The Lawyer

  • Actions turn up heat on Barings

    23-Apr-1996

    Bondholders advised by SJ Berwin are stepping up their campaign for compensation following the collapse of Barings merchant bank more than a year ago.Investors who are members of Barings Perpetual Noteholders Action Group (BPNAG) are seeking leave to start legal proceedings against two Barings companies in the hands of administrators, Ernst & Young.The action marks the beginning ...

  • An oasis of junior talent

    23-Apr-1996

    One of the problems noted by commercial litigators is the shortage of juniors at the commercial Bar. As one partner says: "It is worrying that we find a junior and use them regularly and then they take silk."This is true of a number of juniors who have been recommended by litigation solicitors. Among them is Michael Silverleaf QC of 11 South Square, who took silk this year and is rated as "responding reliably when advice is required. Clear and pragmatic."David ...

  • Angry CPS lawyers threaten strike

    23-Apr-1996

    A ONE-day strike and a ban on overtime are being considered by CPS lawyers as a way of demonstrating their "loss of confidence" in the management of the service.The move follows the publication in last week's issue of the The Lawyer of details of a CPS management paper detailing a series of radical options for the service, including the dismissal of all CPS lawyers and their re-employment on fixed-term contracts.The legal section of the Association of First ...

  • Bar equality code gets its first official airing

    23-Apr-1996

    The new Bar equality code was due to be officially launched at a conference for women law-yers held over the weekend.The code, which is endorsed by the Lord Chancellor, Lord Mackay, will be included in the Bar's Code of Conduct and will provide a standard against which allegations of discrimination can be judged.It covers discrimination on grounds of sex, race, disability, sexual orientation, religion and political belief and was expected to form a centrepiece ...

  • Blurring traditional divisions

    23-Apr-1996

    With the division between pure banking work and commercial work becoming more blurred, barristers are gaining experience of a mixture of company, commercial, chancery and corporate litigation.And the boom in cases involving Lloyd's has taken up a great deal of the commercial Bar's resources as well as those of many of the courts. In addition several notable fraud and pensions cases such as Maxwell and BCCI have kept commercial litigators busy.Leaders ...

  • Brief

    23-Apr-1996

    Rachel Browse, a trainee solicitor with Barnett Alexander Chart, has stormed her way through a Gladiators competition, beating her opponent by 22 points to three. Browse competed live in front of 8,000 people at Wembley arena on 14 April. "It was a great experience. I kicked arse," she said. "It's easy to sit on the sofa and think how easy it is. But it was really tough." She runs six miles every morning before going to work and goes to the gym in the evenings. About 65 colleagues ...

  • Brief

    23-Apr-1996

    Richard Moon has united two passions at the offices of Blythe Liggins. The regional firm's office in Rugby Road, Leamington Spa, now houses the headquarters of the Rugby Union Players' Association (RUPA). Moon, head of employment law at Blythe Liggins and former rugby international, set up RUPA in February. He said: "Without Blythe Liggins' support RUPA would not be up and running." Moon, a former England and Barbarians scrum-half, said playing rugby and working as a ...

  • Bullish Dentons looks to up City stake with recruit drive

    23-Apr-1996

    Denton Hall, the UK's 13th largest law firm, has launched a major recruitment drive to boost its City practice at 5 Chancery Lane.The firm is seeking to increase staff at all levels to reflect its expanded role in the Square Mile.Denton Hall is currently acting for business services group Rentokil which has launched a £2.1 billion bid for rival BET.Last year, the firm represented The Southern Company, the US group which swallowed SWEB, ...

  • Camden reformer takes top position

    23-Apr-1996

    A solicitor at the London Borough of Camden has been appointed as the council's new deputy chief executive.Amanda Kelly, 39, has been Camden's borough solicitor since 1993 and before that was head of legal services at the London Borough of Brent.She will continue her work in the council's legal services department in addition to her new management role.Kelly was appointed to Camden to reorganise the department after a damming ...

  • Cherchez les femmes

    23-Apr-1996

    According to Bar Council records, women now make up nearly 23 per cent of barristers in private practice. However, the proportion of women practising in commercial fields is lower. The Commercial Bar Association has 756 members, of whom 105 are women, while the Chancery Bar Association currently has 714 members, of whom 117 are women.Some women barristers believe they are victims of discrimination in the distribution of work, judging by a 1992 ...

  • Clifford Chance ends Saudi links

    23-Apr-1996

    Clifford Chance has ended its formal association with Saudi Arabian firm Salah Al-Hejailan with the departure of its resident partner Anthony Abrahams.Abrahams has left Clifford Chance to join the Singapore office of Australian corporate law group Allens Arthur Robinson.He had been with the firm for 23 years, spending over 20 years at the Paris office.Abrahams, ...

  • Courtroom creepies

    23-Apr-1996

    Members of staff at Huddersfield Magistrates Court admit to being somewhat shocked by the events which followed the reported sighting by a defendant of a rather large spider in one of their courtrooms.Baffled by the appearance of such an impressive creepy crawly, staff investigated and discovered that there was an outside chance it may have been a tarantula. It turns out that last autumn a witness reported the theft of a pet tarantula he had taken to the court in a ...

  • Cutting edge of commercial

    23-Apr-1996

    Commercial awareness and versatility are just two of the prerequisites for a commercial barrister.The leading practitioners in this area have singled out the 'premier league' of silks, senior juniors and juniors to watch out for in the future. This list is not exhaustive but is based on the subjective recommendations of leading litigation partners.The barristers classed as the commercial star players, are, in no particular order, the "very intelligent" ...

  • Dempsey lawyer stands up for dog's life

    23-Apr-1996

    THE KENT solicitor who saved pit bull terrier Dempsey from death row has reacted angrily to an MP's jibe that solicitors were cashing in due to the Act's complexity.The accusation was levelled at Trevor Cooper last week as he gave evidence to the enquiry of the Home Affairs select committee into the Dangerous Dogs Act 1991.He ignored the jibe during the hearing but stressed afterwards that half his work acting for allegedly dangerous dogs was done for ...

  • Doubts over BSE payouts

    23-Apr-1996

    Agricultural litigation lawyers say farmers and slaughterhouses are satisfied with the Government's BSE compensation package but that less obvious victims of the crisis have been ignored.The package, announced last week, promises around £500 compensation for every animal over 30 months old which is slaughtered, with supplements available for specialist herds and cash help for slaughterhouses.Nigel Davis, a member of agricultural law group Agrilaw, ...

  • Eversheds benefits from latest departure at Pinsent Curtis

    23-Apr-1996

    Eversheds has snapped up the latest partner to leave Pinsent Curtis, which has suffered a continuing fallout of partners since the merger which created the firm.It has lost eight partners since August, following the May merger of Birmingham-based Pinsent & Co and Simpson Curtis of Leeds.The latest partner to leave is former head of litigation at the Leeds office Gary O'Brien, ...

  • Flotations

    23-Apr-1996

    Berwin Leighton advised joint sponsors UBS and Granville in connection with the flotation of FI Group. The UK-based supplier of computer services specialises in the management of application software for major companies. The Berwins team was led by corporate finance partner John Bennett

  • Flotations

    23-Apr-1996

    Simmons & Simmons is acting for Railtrack in the company's forthcoming flotation. Linklaters & Paines is representing the Department of Transport.

  • Flotations

    23-Apr-1996

    Freshfields has been appointed to advise the Northern Rock Building Society which is to become a bank and is seeking a stock market float in spring 1997.

  • Go-ahead given for injuries appeal

    23-Apr-1996

    The mother of a murder victim has been granted leave for judicial review over her exclusion from the criminal injuries compensation scheme.Mary Ennis was entitled to £10,000 compensation under the controversial tariff-based compensation scheme introduced by Michael Howard in April 1994. But she lost this right when the scheme was thrown out by the House of Lords in April 1995.The old scheme was re-introduced to give time for Howard to get parliamentary ...

  • Gulf War action group's second offensive defeated

    23-Apr-1996

    Firms spearheading a campaign on behalf of soldiers said to be suffering Gulf War Syndrome have again lost their bid to play a lead role in action planned against the Ministry of Defence.Donn & Co, Leigh Day & Co, and Roythorne & Co formed the Gulf War Action Group in 1992 after Gulf War veterans complained of illness.The firms, which have nearly 1,000 sufferers on their books, first lost their application to lead the multi-party action after the Legal Aid Board ...

  • High expectations in a competitive climate

    23-Apr-1996

    Litigation partners instructing counsel at the commercial Bar are looking for a barrister who is just that - commercial.Generally, the emphasis is on the delivery of a professional service to clients which includes the quality of the counsel.As one leading litigation partner comments: "The whole psychology of litigation and legal practice has changed dramatically in the last five years. Clients are now sophisticated consumers of legal services who expect ...

  • Hodge issues dire warning on state of Law Society

    23-Apr-1996

    THE LAW Society has lost the confidence of the country's opinion formers and decision makers, according to the Legal Aid Board's new deputy chair Henry Hodge.The appointment of the former Law Society deputy vice-president and prominent legal aid practitioner to the newly created post was announced by Lord Mackay last week.The move has been welcomed by legal aid lawyers who remain deeply concerned about the Government's proposed legal aid reforms.

  • hunters foxed by Legal aid decisions

    23-Apr-1996

    As concern mounts over the escalating cost of legal aid, hunt saboteurs have been accused of draining the Legal Aid Fund of hundreds of thousands of pounds a year to support them in hopeless cases.The row centres on three pending personal injury claims mounted by hunt saboteurs against hunt followers. In each case the saboteurs are backed by legal aid.Solicitors representing the British Field Sports Society say the fund is pouring substantial amounts into ...

  • Hurrah for Hodge

    23-Apr-1996

    The Lord Chancellor must be praised for the appointment of Henry Hodge to the newly created post of deputy chair of the Legal Aid Board.The appointment is a brave and good one and is a major concession to legal aid lawyers who are extremely worried about the Government's proposed legal aid reforms.

  • In brief: City firms plan 'strategic' merger

    23-Apr-1996

    City firms Charles Russell and Compton Carr are to merge on 1 May, in a move described as "strategically driven". The Compton Carr specialisations of media and entertainment, medical negligence and commercial property law will combine with the practice groups at Charles Russell. Leading entertainment lawyer Brian Carr, who joins the firm as a partner, will take a leading role in developing the ...

  • In brief: Council member demands end of SIF

    23-Apr-1996

    A motion by veteran council member John Franks calling on the Law Society to explore the possibility of abolishing the Solicitors Indemnity Fund is to be put before this Thursday's Law Society Council meeting. In a letter circulated to council members before the meeting, Franks argues that the Law Society should abolish the fund and require firms to seek insurance on the open market. "If conveyancing as now operated is uninsurable in the commercial market, the Law Society cannot ...

  • In brief: Dentons talks tackle UK insurance

    23-Apr-1996

    City firm Denton Hall is holding a seminar on 25 April to look at the UK insurance market's approach to claims compared with that of other European Union members. Speaking at the seminar will be Gerald Kamphuisen, an insurance partner with Dutch firm Houthoff and a member of the the Denton International Group of law firms, and Robert Thomson, a partner at Denton Hall.

  • In brief: Lyons Davidson lawyers make the grade

    23-Apr-1996

    Bristol firm Lyons Davidson has appointed four new associates. Mark Savill, John Gore, Andrew Breckenridge, and Amanda Hibbard come from various departments within the practice and were "chosen for their outstanding commitment and achievement". Savill completed his articles with the firm in 1992 and now specialises in licensing and commercial litigation. Gore, a chartered insurance practitioner, specialises in defendant insurance litigation, and Breckenridge in contract disputes, insolvency ...

  • In brief: Niche Midlands practices join forces

    23-Apr-1996

    Nottingham firm Ashton Bond Gigg has merged with Alan Oliver & Co, based in nearby West Bridgford. The merged seven-partner practice, which specialises in commercial law, is known as Ashton Bond Gigg. Alan Oliver, from Alan Oliver & Co, joins the firm as a partner and will work in the litigation department. The West Bridgford office has closed.

  • In brief: Oxford firm takes on clutch of partners

    23-Apr-1996

    Oxford-based firm Cole & Cole has appointed three new partners, making a total of 31 partners in the practice. Hugh Jones is a specialist in corporate finance, acquisitions and takeovers, based in the Oxford office. Jenni Howard, a specialist in family law based in the Witney office, has also been admitted to the partnership and Helen Goss joins the Reading office from Penningtons' Newbury office. ...

  • In brief: Students for the high jump

    23-Apr-1996

    College of Law students are appealing for law firms to sponsor a charity bungee jump from London's Chelsea Bridge Tower. Twenty-two students will perform the jump on 27 April to raise money for the Dunblane Disaster Relief Fund, Cancer Research, the Osteoporosis Foundation, the Mental Health Foundation and the Dystrophic Epidermolysis Bullosa Research Association. Cheques should be made payable to London College of Law Alternative Sports Club and sent to Steven Zielinski, Little ...

  • Inns staff roll up their sleeves

    23-Apr-1996

    The staff and students of the Inns of Court School of Law will roll up their sleeves and give blood this week to help the plight of a five-year-old girl with acute leukaemia.The young girl, Charlotte Shroder, requires a bone marrow transplant, but has a rare type of marrow that has not found a match with registers in the UK or overseas.Her case came to the attention of the Bar Council's senior education officer, Keith Northrop, whose six-year-old daughter ...

  • Irish students mount exam challenge

    23-Apr-1996

    Students in the Republic of Ireland who want to become solicitors are rebelling against a new Law Society rule which will require them to take an entrance exam before being admitted to its courses.The case could prove a forerunner to a similar controversy in the UK, if president of the Law Society Martin Mears presses ahead with a pledge to impose an additional layer of tests for students trying to get on LPC courses.Law graduates from the universities of Galway, ...

  • Law college goes on the attack

    23-Apr-1996

    Professor Nigel Savage's appointment to the new £100,000 a year chief executive post at the College of Law will mark a u-turn in the college's position from defensive to offensive, according to the outspoken academic.Savage leaves Nottingham Law School, where he has been head since 1989, to take up the post created on the retirement of Richard Holbrook, chair of the college's management board.His appointment comes a year after he launched ...

  • Law Society paper tackles accreditation of family law

    23-Apr-1996

    Family lawyers will be asked if they want an accreditation scheme if a draft consultation paper on the issue is approved by the Law Society this week.The paper, which invites comment from the profession's 20,000 family lawyers, outlines the cases for and against accreditation and suggests ways of implementing it.Unless it is revised or rejected by the Law Society Council at its meeting on Thursday, the paper will argue in favour of accreditation.

  • Linklaters pulls into pole position for M&A league

    23-Apr-1996

    Linklaters & Paines clinched more City deals in the first three months of 1996 than any other law firm, according to figures published by Corporate Money, the weekly newsletter for mergers and acquisitions.Linklaters accounted for deals worth over £5 billion compared to around £4 billion notched up by its nearest rival,

  • Litigation Disciplinary Tribunals 23/04/96

    23-Apr-1996

    Roger Rees Keedy, 49, admitted 1979, practised as Roger Keedy & Co, Simmondley, Glossop, struck off and ordered to pay £5,071 costs. Allegations substantiated he wrongly drew and used client money, failed to maintain properly written accounts, wrongly retained money due to the Legal Aid Board, improperly retained money in breach of accounts rules. Keedy before tribunal in 1990 when he was fined £500 for, among other ...

  • Litigation Litigator's View 23/04/96

    23-Apr-1996

    A recent decision in the Court of Appeal provides helpful guidance to police officers faced with disruptive trespassers where a breach of the peace has not yet occurred but is anticipated.In Nigel Watts v Commissioner of Police for the City of London (unreported), the plaintiff, well known following the celebrated libel action brought against him and Count Nikolai Tolstoy by Lord Aldington, sued the police for wrongful arrest and false imprisonment following ...

  • Litigation Personal Injury 23/04/96

    23-Apr-1996

    Ward v Dalziel - QBD 28 March 1996Claimant: David Ward, 45Incident: Road traffic accident; claimant driving van which was hit from behind by another vehicleInjuries: Whiplash injury; claimant left with back injury forcing him to give up work for Essex police force where he was a detective constable; he has since built up a successful business as a toastmasterAward: £40,000 (agreed damages)Judge: Roger Titheridge ...

  • Litigation Recent Decisions 23/04/96

    23-Apr-1996

    Failure to account for tax alleged to have been deductedR v Inland Revenue Commissioners, ex parte McVeigh (1996).QBD (May J).Summary: Lawful direction to a company director requiring him to pay tax on a bonus which his company had purported to pay less tax but which tax had never been accounted for to the Inland Revenue before the company became insolvent.Director's application for judicial review of revenue's direction ...

  • Litigation Writs 23/04/96

    23-Apr-1996

    A mother of nine whose tenth child was born without clinical signs of life but was resuscitated to survive for a year is suing a health authority for damages. Margaret Cummings, 46, of South Croydon, has issued a High Court writ claiming damages from Croydon Health Authority. It says she was admitted to the Mayday Hospital in Croydon on 25 September 1988 with premature rupture of the membranes in the 26th week of pregnancy, and after moving to the Whittington Hospital, .

  • Lord Taylor backs funds for Witness Service

    23-Apr-1996

    Lord Chief Justice Taylor has called for funding to extend a witness support scheme to magistrates courts.The Witness Service is available in every Crown Court in England and Wales from this month. The national scheme, run by Victim Support, provides information and support to witnesses, victims and their families attending court.Speaking at Newcastle Crown Court, Lord Taylor said the Witness Service did a great deal to reduce the burden placed on witnesses. ...

  • MAFF issues 57 writs

    23-Apr-1996

    The Ministry of Agriculture Fisheries and Food is taking a group of abattoir and slaughterhouse owners to the High Court. Fifty-seven writs have been issued in which the MAFF claims money it says is due under the Meat (Hygiene Inspection and Examination for Residues) (Charges) Regulations 1995 (SI 1995/311) and the Fresh Meat (Hygiene and inspection) Regulations 1995 (SI 1995/539), for the cost of official veterinary surgeons and authorised meat inspectors at the slaughter- houses ...

  • News crew gets green light to film in court

    23-Apr-1996

    A television news team has been given access to film in a Scottish court for the first time.The Lord Justice Clerk, Lord Ross, recently allowed a television crew to film the sentencing of two armed robbers who had pleaded guilty.Filming in Scottish courts has been possible since 1992, when Lord Hope issued guidelines giving limited court access to television crews for educational or documentary purposes. Prior to this, cameras were not allowed within the precincts ...

  • No cause for CPS concern

    23-Apr-1996

    Your article ('Revealed: future for CPS Lawyers' 16 April) is wholly misleading.It seems the document passed to you by "a current CPS employee" is a discussion document produced in CPS London for its managers. It is a list of possible actions produced by a group of CPS London staff.It has long been my policy to involve as many members of the office as possible in the management of their area.When we knew we were to face a cut in ...

  • On the road to Samarkand

    23-Apr-1996

    Law students in Central Asia relying on 1960s Soviet Union text books for their understanding of British law have had their resources and knowledge updated by the Law Society's latest book bus venture.The book donation was part of a week-long course on English law held by a group of 20 UK law students, trainee lawyers and solicitors as part of the Law Society's Book Bus and Bar Leadership Training project.About 100 law students and young lawyers from ...

  • PIA comes under fire over review advice

    23-Apr-1996

    Lawyers and the Personal Investments Authority, the financial watchdog, have clashed over the mis-selling of personal pensions in the 1980s.Disagreement has surfaced because life companies have been told by the PIA that investors pursuing litigation against them need not be included in an industry-wide compensation review.The review was ordered last year by the chief City watchdog, the Securities and Investments Board.Philip Ryley, of Ringrose Wharton, ...

  • Public defenders of the realm

    23-Apr-1996

    It is not every day you see a professor of sociology try to persuade high street lawyers to man the barricades against officials of the Legal Aid Board, so I read the polemic by Christie Davies (The Lawyer 9 April) with real interest.I, too, am fascinated to see the lengths the Conservatives go to to alienate their natural supporters - "doctors, dentists, teachers and lawyers".A public defender-style service makes sense. If ...

  • Refocus or regret

    23-Apr-1996

    This year sees a substantial increase in the number of partners appointed by the top City firms and reflects a bullishness not felt for some years by the top tier of the profession.The upturn in business, seen as large numbers of companies restructure, is clearly good news for the major firms which are the main beneficiaries.But we must not forget the second-tier firms, many of whom are facing something of a crisis and few of whom have experienced ...

  • Shield is lowered on negligence

    23-Apr-1996

    An Appeal Court ruling has cast serious doubt over the extent to which police enjoy public interest immunity which shields them from civil damages claims for alleged negligence.Case law includes a host of decisions in which members of the police have side-stepped action against them on public interest immunity grounds. But now the Court of Appeal has held that, while police may enjoy such immunity in a wide variety of cases, it must not be viewed as 'blanket ...

  • Shoosmiths eyes financial services

    23-Apr-1996

    Shoosmiths & Harrison is calculating that loss of confidence in the financial services industry will boost its business.The regional firm has broken the legal mould and set up its own financial services arm. It can now advise private clients and companies on all major aspects of finance.Keith Halford has been recruited from

  • Supermarket tussle

    23-Apr-1996

    A legal battle over the closure of a Safeway store in Sheffield is to go before the House of Lords. Safeway owner Argyll took the prem-ises for a 35-year period in 1982 but in 1995 closed the store because it was no longer considered commercially viable. The Co-operative Insurance Society, which owns the premises, then took Argyll to the High Court, which ruled last August that Argyll was entitled to close the outlet. That decision was reversed by the Court of Appeal ...

  • Tax lawyer sues SFO and Law Society

    23-Apr-1996

    The Serious Fraud Office and the Law Society are being sued for linking an Isle of Man tax solicitor to jailed fraudster Charles Deacon, a lawyer who swindled clients out of £5 million.The case has all the trappings of a James Bond film with the writ highlighting a complex investment scheme involving gold deposited by the former president of the Philippines Ferdinand Marcos.The writ also makes reference to plans for the gold to be transported in US warships ...

  • The Lawyer Inquiry: David Truex

    23-Apr-1996

    David Truex swas born on 7 March 1949 in Washington DC. He now lives and works in London for his own firm, David Truex & Co. What was your first job?Newspaper delivery round in Lincroft, New Jersey, 1960.What was your first ever salary as a lawyer?AUS$23.50 per week as an articled clerk with Gerald E Delaney & Co, Melbourne.What would you have done if you hadn't become ...

  • The way forward for electronic documents

    23-Apr-1996

    Those who oppose certain technologies on the grounds that they are not proven seem intent on hijacking the whole subject of the admissibility of electronically stored images in court.The argument they put forward appears to be a rehash of the one espoused by microfilm vendors ever since the introduction of the first imaging systems five or six years ago. It runs like this: "The optical disk technology used to store images is not a proven technology. The manufacturers ...

  • Thumbs up to nuisance ruling

    23-Apr-1996

    Helen Sage reportsLocal government housing lawyers have welcomed the national publicity given to the eviction of nuisance neighbours from council accommodation in Manchester last week.Public sector housing solicitors hope the cases, in which Salford County Court ordered Manchester City Council to repossess the homes of a family and a teenage girl, will encourage more council tenants to give evidence in court about nuisance neighbours.Jo ...

  • Top UK firms in partnership boom

    23-Apr-1996

    The UK's leading law firms are appointing large numbers of new partners reflecting a surge in business not seen since the end of 1991 Gulf War.One of the main factors driving the increase in partner numbers is the explosion of takeover activity in the City bringing in tens of millions of pounds in advisory fees.Robert Martin, management consultancy partner at Coopers & Lybrand, said: "It looks as if the bottleneck of recent years has broken and that there ...



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