22 February 1999

The Lawyer

  • ...and another is struck off for wife's extreme typing fees

    22-Feb-1999

  • ...as pressure groups slam youth justice in N Ireland

    22-Feb-1999

    LEADING children's rights organisations are calling for a review of the youth justice system in Northern Ireland.Voluntary organisations met with the Criminal Justice Review Body last week to discuss changes to the law they would like to see brought in.Paddy Kelly, director of the Belfast-based Children's Law Centre told The Lawyer: "Under the emergency legislation, a child aged as young as 10 can be held for seven days with limited recourse to a lawyer.

  • 1999: the fifth annual Lawyer awards

    22-Feb-1999

    THE LEGAL equivalent of the Oscars, The Lawyer Awards continue to be the benchmark awards for the legal profession.Now in their fifth year, they are unique in being the only awards to highlight and recognise initiative and achievement across the whole legal profession, and in all areas of practice.Last year, 1,200 legal luminaries gathered at the impressive Grosvenor House Hotel for the awards. This year, more than 1,500 are ...

  • A PRIVATE law college has been given the go-ahead to double the intake for its legal practice course (LPC), prompting fears that it will increase competition for trainee jobs

    22-Feb-1999

    A PRIVATE law college has been given the go-ahead to double the intake for its legal practice course (LPC), prompting fears that it will increase competition for trainee jobs.London college BPP Law School will offer 288 places in September after permission was given by the Law Society.The Trainee Solicitors Group is worried that newly qualified lawyers, who spend nearly £7,000 for an LPC, will face intense competition for training contracts.Chairman ...

  • Accountant invasion looms over Irish firms

    22-Feb-1999

    The accountants are coming. That is the alarm cry echoing through certain sections of the profession in the Irish Republic right now, at a time when law firms, like the economy, are experiencing an unprecedented boom.The alarm was sparked off by plans to establish an Irish practice that will be closely associated with the accountancy giant PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC). It is the first such development in the republic, where multidisciplinary practices are prohibited, and ...

  • Accreditation rules to undergo review

    22-Feb-1999

    The government is planning to change the system of accreditation and introduce a more centralised guardian ad litem system in child care proceedings.The recommendations - expected by April - are being prepared for review by ministers.To represent children, solicitors currently need to be members of the Children Panel of the Law Society, which involves being interviewed and assessed. They must have qualified at least three years ago and have attended a one-day ...

  • All's fair in love and law

    22-Feb-1999

    YOUR report, "Law Society staff face huge pay cuts in new regime" (The Lawyer, 8 February), failed to mention the fact that roughly the same number of staff have received salary increases as have had their pay frozen. There is no plan to reduce staff numbers as a result of the new pay system.Our objective is to have a pay system that pays good salaries for good performance, which are in line with what other good employers would pay for similar ...

  • Andrew Cook on the demise of working rights for women.

    22-Feb-1999

    Andrew Cook is a solicitor at Russell Jones & Walker.A Controversial eight-year fight to extend rights to UK workers could collapse following a recent decision by the European Court of Justice (ECJ) in the case R v the Secretary of State for Employment, ex parte Seymour-Smith.Seymour-Smith and her co-complainant, Ms Perez, were both sacked from their jobs with different employers in May 1991, having completed 15 month's service. At that ...

  • Attacks on court staff probed

    22-Feb-1999

    THE ASSOCIATION of Magisterial Officers (AMO) is investigating the level of claims of violent attacks against magistrates' court staff.AMO will survey its 6,050 members in April on the frequency, nature and treatment of attacks against staff, after its annual general meeting and conference, Fighting For Fairness.AMO general secretary, Rosie Eagleson says court staff are spat at, threatened with needles and subjected to verbal abuse, and that anec-dotal reports ...

  • Australia blocks Year 2000 litigation

    22-Feb-1999

    AUSTRALIA has legislated to protect businesses from year 2000 compliance litigation.It is following the lead set by the US and increases the pressure on the UK government to follow suit.The Australian Bill offers limited protection against civil liability through the use of a specified Year 2000 disclosure statement.UK lawyers specialising in information technology and Year 2000 work are accusing the Government of neglecting this area of law.

  • Book of the week

    22-Feb-1999

    No Smoke Without Fire By Jill Morrell.The ideal present for any relative/friend/client incarcerated in some hell-hole jail and left to rot. This is the book every prison library has been crying out for. Miscarriages of justice are so commonplace that someone has written an ABC guide to coping from the time of arrest to mounting a campaign and post-release care. While lacking depth at 51 pages, it is presented in easy stages by Jill Morrell, former girlfriend of ...

  • Cameron McKenna to open Romanian office

    22-Feb-1999

    CAMERON McKenna is expanding in central and eastern Europe with local mergers and a new Romanian office.Polish merger plans are due to be unveiled in March, The Lawyer can reveal."From the end of the month, we will have 90 lawyers based in Warsaw, between 20 and 25 in Budapest and 10 to 15 in Prague," says the firm's senior partner Bill Shelford.He adds: "[These offices are] very, very busy. All three are performing to budget, or above budget."

  • Capitalising on shoddy legal service in Europe

    22-Feb-1999

    SUCH IS the renewed expansion of British firms into Europe, the impression is that all you need to do to succeed is see a partner and a few assistants off with a phrasebook at the airport and sit back and wait for the euros to roll in.In the past few weeks, The Lawyer has revealed that SJ Berwin is looking for a second merger partner in Paris to complement its relationship with German firm ...

  • Care hearings failing children, report claims

    22-Feb-1999

    CHILDREN involved in care proceedings are being denied proper access to lawyers and information about the legal process, according to a damning report conducted by Professor Judith Masson.Masson, from the University of Warwick, says: "The key point is that solicitors tend to act, despite what they say, as if the guardian ad litem [usually a qualified social worker] is the client - and not the child."Children's concerns are often overlooked, legal procedures ...

  • Case of the week

    22-Feb-1999

    A group of women who had borderline smear test abnormalities - but were not called for follow-up tests by Kent and Canterbury Hospital - won compensation from the hospital. All needed hysterectomies after developing cancer. The case is one of a number of investigations into cervical screening error scares.

  • CC rumoured in Skadden Arps merger

    22-Feb-1999

    CLIFFORD Chance's US ambitions may be bigger than previously thought amid rumours that it is to merge with New York's biggest firm, Skadden Arps Slate Meagher & Flom.Sources suggest reports of ongoing merger talks with medium-sized firm Rogers & Wells are being used as a smoke-screen for a much bigger move.Skadden Arps, which has more than 1,000 ...

  • Commons call for partners to disclose their annual earnings

    22-Feb-1999

    Partners in law firms will be required to disclose their earnings and provide personal financial guarantees to creditors, a powerful Commons committee is proposing.The Trade and Industry Committee's report on the Limited Liability Partnership Bill recommends that measures to protect creditors of Limited Liability Partnerships (LLPs) should be stronger than those for a partnership or limited company.LLPs protect partners' personal assets from legal actions ...

  • Concerned clients

    22-Feb-1999

    BIRMINGHAM firms get a B+ for effort, but a warning that they could do better, in the first of The Lawyer's exclusive surveys of client response to regional law firms.The fact that 25 per cent of the Midlands businesses questioned went out of the region for all their legal services shows that local law firms have plenty of ground to make up.Leading research company CSS, together with The Lawyer, will be monitoring client satisfaction ...

  • Court clerk union threat to sue Govt

    22-Feb-1999

    THE TRADE union for court clerks is threatening to sue the Government for sexual discrimination.The threat of legal action follows the introduction on 1 January of new rules requiring court clerks to get a qualification as either a barrister or a solicitor.The Association of Magisterial Officers (AMO) - the trade union which represents staff in magistrates' courts - says it will be harder for women with childcare responsibilities to comply with the new regulations.

  • Criminal Evidence Bill is breach of natural justice, says pressure group

    22-Feb-1999

    Opponents of a new Bill allowing courts to stop a defendant cross-examining a witness - regardless of the crime - and to force defence lawyers on defendants say that it breaches natural justice and civil liberties.Widespread publicity surrounded section 33 of the Youth Justice and Criminal Evidence Bill, which allows courts to prevent defendants cross-examining alleged rape victims.It was criticised by the Lord Chief Justice, Lord Bingham, as the Bill went through ...

  • Criticism falls on deaf ears

    22-Feb-1999

    Ninety-five per cent of soldiers in one Irish army barracks are claiming compensation for deafness - and Defence Minister Michael Smith maintains that the country's legal profession and the judiciary are mainly to blame.Smith argues that the flood of claims, which now stands at 11,500 - more than the total strength of the Irish army - has been provoked by the "aggressive advertising" of some solicitors and over-generous awards by some judges. He warns that if this continues, ...

  • Damages from Massive Attack

    22-Feb-1999

    Massive Attack is being sued for damages of up to u100,000 for allegedly copying one of Manfred Mann's songs on their album Mezzanine. Manfred Mann's company, Petbrook and Creature Music, is heading for a High Court confrontation with Massive Attack members Robert Del Naja, Grant Marshall and Andrew Vowles, and Virgin Records. It claims Massive Attack's song Black Milk is very similar to a song called Tribute, written by Manfred Mann in 1971 ...

  • Deutsche Bank lawyer quits top job

    22-Feb-1999

    PETER BROOKS, whose ruthless reputation earned him the sobriquet Prince of Darkness, has left his £1m job as general counsel at Deutsche Bank.Brooks, who was previously head of corporate finance at Clifford Chance, had been considering leaving the bank for some time.It is understood his role as general counsel changed considerably following the restructuring of the ...

  • Environmental Agency in court

    22-Feb-1999

    The Environment Agency faces a major challenge in the High Court in March over its powers to police a revolutionary waste oil process. It is being taken to the High Court by Petrus Oils, which is challenging moves to revoke a licence granted for a plant at Stoke on Trent which converts waste oil into useable products. The plant is the only one of its kind, though others are being constructed in Salt Lake City and Dubai. Petrus has already been cleared of 11 criminal charges ...

  • Firm insider blamed for Shoosmiths speculation

    22-Feb-1999

    Northampton-based law firm Shoosmiths & Harrison is merging the operations of its Rugby and Nottingham office, while strenuously denying that two of its satellite offices are to close.But in an extraordinary twist, Shoosmiths managing partner Graham New has admitted that one of his own staff is spreading disinformation about the firm.He claims that market speculation on whether ...

  • Firms fly the flag

    22-Feb-1999

    IN A week that a senior German government minister claimed Britain was obsessed with World War II, UK firms could be forgiven for a little Union Jack sabre rattling.A recent wave of expansion by City firms into Europe was followed up by a government report showing that exports of UK legal services rose by 17 per cent to u893m in 1997.Foreign expansion is a testament to the tenacity of UK firms which have long been hampered on the Continent by bureaucratic ...

  • Firms gain as regional press M&As continue

    22-Feb-1999

    A RASH of mergers and acquisitions in the regional press has signalled a boom in work for regulatory and competition lawyers.Brussels-based Herbert Smith partner Craig Pouncey is advising Newsquest in its takeover talks with Portsmouth and Sunderland Newspapers (PSN). The proposed takeover has been referred to the Monopoly & Mergers Commission (MMC), which is expected to issue a public statement on the issue around mid-May."Because of the very specific competition ...

  • Freshfields hit by £1m claim for negligence

    22-Feb-1999

    FRESHFIELDS is being sued for more than £1m for alleged negligence.Frizzell Financial Services has issued a writ against the firm claiming breach of contract and negligence. It is the second writ to be issued against Freshfields in less than a fortnight. Reuters is also suing the firm - for alleged breach of duty, as reported last week in The Lawyer.Frizzell claims it entered an agreement for the underlease and refurbishment of leased property 14-22 Elder ...

  • Freshfields reveals plans to go Dutch

    22-Feb-1999

    FRESHFIELDS is understood to be in takeover talks with a Dutch law firm about opening an office in Amsterdam, The Lawyer can reveal.Freshfields managing partner Ian Terry confirms the firm is planning a move."We are, and have been, looking at the Dutch legal market for a long time, but we have yet to make an announcement," he says.Experts say an international law firm planning to enter the legal market in The Netherlands would have to hire local lawyers ...

  • Geoffrey Green

    22-Feb-1999

    Geoffrey Green has been handed the tough task of turning around the fortunes of Ashurst Morris Crisp. Shaun Pye assesses his chances.

  • Greeks bearing ships sunk by paper-chasing trainee

    22-Feb-1999

    Nick Newling works for the Government Legal Service, but we are not allowed to tell you which department. This is not a matter of state security, it is simply that his boss does not want his position to become known and, like any 26 year-old new recruit, Newling does not want to upset them.On first acquaintance, Newling displays a youthful informality that is typical of a newly qualified solicitor. "I could have booked a conference room for the interview," he says, "but ...

  • Hardwicke set finally lands director

    22-Feb-1999

    TWO OF the biggest sets of chambers in the country, Hardwicke Building and St Philip's Chambers, have landed a new chambers director and chief executive respectively.Leading London set Hardwicke, with 73 tenants, has struggled to find a replacement for Tony Wells - now chambers director at 4-5 Gray's Inn Square - since his departure last June.The Lawyer can reveal that Hilary Mundella has agreed to take up the post. It is understood it had already been ...

  • Herbert Smith wins High Court battle against Inland Revenue

    22-Feb-1999

    Herbert Smith senior partner Edward Walker-Arnott has won a major test case victory in a battle with the Inland Revenue.Walker-Arnott represented himself and the firm's other partners as taxpayers in a two-and-a-half day hearing at the High Court.The case concerned how tax relief on £5m losses, from leases which the firm was left with after moving offices, should be deducted in its accounts.Herbert Smith made provision for expected future ...

  • In brief: Further to an article

    22-Feb-1999

    Further to an article in last week's The Lawyer, we would like to clarify that Welsh Health Legal Services is not being dissolved. It is transferring to new management under the Conwy and Denbighshire NHS Trust. Its previous management, the Welsh Health Common Services Authority, will be dissolved on 31 March as part of preparations for the new Welsh Assembly. We would like to apologise for any inconvenience and distress caused by this article.

  • In brief: Geoffrey Topham

    22-Feb-1999

    Geoffrey Topham and Nigel Inglis-Jones QC performed £250,000-worth of work for free when they acted for National Grid pensioners. The figure is likely to grow due to a further hearing in the Court of Appeal. National Power and National Grid are expected to be granted leave to appeal to the House of Lords.

  • In brief: Herbert Smith

    22-Feb-1999

    Herbert Smith litigation partner John Reynolds, is understood to be joining US firm McDermott Will & Emery at its new London office.

  • In brief: Linklaters litigation

    22-Feb-1999

    Linklaters litigation partners Diana Good and Andrew Henshaw have been cleared of misleading the court. The High Court dismissed allegations in proceedings brought by Sphere Drake Insurance against the Orion Insurance Company. Sphere Drake, represented by Clifford Chance, applied to set aside a judgment in a previous ...

  • In brief: Local councils' innovative

    22-Feb-1999

    Local councils' innovative techniques in targeting people who put up cards for prostitutes in phone boxes has prompted the Government to consider introducing an anti-card law. Brighton & Hove Council last week became only the second local body to place an injunction on a persistent offender.

  • In brief: Mark Stephens

    22-Feb-1999

    Mark Stephens, libel lawyer at Stephens Innocent, has called on newspapers to stump up the cash to allow the five men accused of murdering Stephen Lawrence to defend themselves in a potential libel action. He suggested the unprecedented move after the suspects' mothers lashed out over the publicity surrounding the five.

  • In brief: The Association

    22-Feb-1999

    The Association of Magisterial Offices has warned it will fight the Government's plans to replace the 22 London magistrates' court committees with a single body if it threatens the jobs of its members.

  • In brief: The Lawyer

    22-Feb-1999

    The Lawyer awards will this year have the highest profile sponsor in their five-year history. NatWest is to be the main sponsor of the event to take place at Grosvenor House on 22 June. More than 1,500 people are expected to attend. In addition to the panel of judges announced in The Lawyer three weeks ago are two new ones: the Right Honourable Lady Elizabeth Butler-Sloss and Queen's Bench Division judge the Right Honourable Sir Alan Moses. For full details on the judging panel ...

  • In brief: The UK legal sector

    22-Feb-1999

    The UK legal sector is storming ahead in the race to dominate the world market. Exports of legal services shot up 17 per cent in 1997 to be worth £893m, according to figures just released by the Office for National Statistics. The UK imported legal services worth £177m in the same period.

  • Ireland's tribunal millionaire

    22-Feb-1999

    If prominent Irish lawyer Eoin McGonigal kept a career scrapbook, it is unlikely that it would include the headline that made him a household name - and which prompted some cynics to refer to the Dublin Four Courts as the Four Goldmines."Beef Tribunal's First Millionaire," trumpeted the headline back in 1994, spelling out in two-inch-high capitals the fee bonanza which McGonigal had collected. The image that it conjured up in the public mind has haunted him - and the ...

  • Israeli affiliate commercial firm launches in London

    22-Feb-1999

    A London solicitor has launched a firm that has what is believed to be the first formal ties with an Israeli practice.CY Jacob & Co, which is associated with the Israeli practice Yossitoff Cohen & Co, is offering specialist advice in many areas of commercial law.A number of City firms have already targeted Israel because of its potential as an emerging market. Mark Jacob, head of the firm's London office, believes he has stolen a march on rivals by being ...

  • It's been a bad week for...

    22-Feb-1999

    Solicitor Katherine Scaife, who lost her claim of unfair dismissal against Redcar firm Richard Knaggs. Scaife, 41, received her marching orders from the Cleveland firm after having a baby with client Wayne Dixon, procuring an injunction freezing the assets of his wife, and filing an action for the couple's divorce on the grounds of irretrievable breakdown. The Law Society said of the case: "She has not broken any of our rules." What does she have ...

  • It's been a good week for...

    22-Feb-1999

    Oral sex. The Lawyer is unaware whether this judgement arrives too late for Bill Clinton, but a state appeals court in New Orleans has struck down a law which has made oral and anal sex between consenting Louisiana adults a felony for the past 194 years, on the grounds it encroached on citizens' privacy rights.Paloma Picasso, who gets to keep her father's priceless artworks after the collapse of the biggest divorce claim ever brought ...

  • Jailed solicitor disqualified

    22-Feb-1999

    A solicitor has been struck off after duping clients into believing she had won their cases.Erica Wilding lost cases and then forged court orders, plucking massive sums from one unwitting client to pay another.In total, she transferred £347,000 to cover the lies she had told clients.One unsuccessful litigant was told he had won his case and was owed £53,000. The money was paid from other clients' accounts, the Solicitors' Disciplinary ...

  • Judge's attack on Leigh Day sparks angry outburst from firm

    22-Feb-1999

    SOLICITOR Martin Day has hit back at a High Court judge’s stinging ruling during high-profile tobacco litigation by accusing him of “living in an ivory tower”.Mr Justice Wright ruled that most of Leigh Day s clients who took action against tobacco giants Gallaher and Imperial fell outside the statute of limitations. He went on to criticise their statements of claim as a product of their lawyers’ “ingenuity”, suggesting one of the clients may have grounds for complaint against ...

  • Law Soc official likens Home Office to Hitler

    22-Feb-1999

    A senior Law Society official has compared government plans to withdraw support from asylum seekers who seek a judicial review with the policies of Adolf Hitler.A draft Home Office manual released last week says that state support, including food and housing, will no longer be provided to asylum seekers who pursue a judicial review over their treatment by the immigration authorities."Appellants should look to their own community or the voluntary sector for any ...

  • Lawyers national pride day cancelled due to total lack of interest

    22-Feb-1999

    THE LAW Society's National Law Day, heralded as an opportunity to raise the profession's profile and highlight the role of solicitors in the community, has been cancelled.A Law Society spokeswoman says there is too much going on in the profession at the moment to give the event the profile it deserves. However, sources say local law societies were not interested in the concept.Law Society vice-president Robert Sayer was not even aware the event existed. ...

  • Legal Widow

    22-Feb-1999

    Puzzling letter from the nursery this morning. Apparently the other children are having trouble with Deminimus' name, and could they call him something easier, like David? Or Derek?

  • Leisure industry boom lines lawyers' pockets

    22-Feb-1999

    THE INCREASING pace at which the leisure and hotel industry is consolidating is generating potential fees of more than u1m for top firms, says one lawyer in the City.Eric Gummers, specialist partner for the leisure industry at City firm Amhurst Brown Colombotti, believes it is one of the fastest growing sectors worldwide."It may not be much longer before we see companies such as Seattle Coffee opening health clubs," he says."The leisure industry typically ...

  • Linklaters plays down exit of top competition partner

    22-Feb-1999

    Linklaters & Alliance has strongly denied suggestions that last week's partner defection to Clifford Chance is the first sign of discontent at the alliance network.Chris Bright, formerly a competition and regulatory partner in Linklaters' Brussels office, has accepted an offer from Clifford ...

  • Linklaters' strong-arm

    22-Feb-1999

    John-Paul Flintoff discovers that, to get his own way, Linklaters & Alliance chief executive Terence Kyle pulls no punches.

  • Litigation Personal Injury 22/2/99

    22-Feb-1999

    Maxwell v Bray (1999) QBD (HH Judge MacDuff QC) 8 February 1999Plaintiff: Male, married, 34 years old at date of accident; 40 years old at date of trial.Incident: The plaintiff received damages for fractures, a contusion and a soft-tissue injury sustained in a road traffic accident. He was severely handicapped and had difficulty taking part in activities he enjoyed before the accident, and eventually lost his job due to the time taken off ...

  • Litigation Writs 22/2/99

    22-Feb-1999

    A man who was badly hurt in an accident at the base at RAF Coningsby in June 1995 has launched High Court action against the Ministry of Defence. The writ claims that injuries received by Mark Anderson in an accident - the nature of which is not specified - were the result of negligence and breach of statutory duty on the part of the MoD.Writ issued by Thim bleby Fisher, Spilsby, LincolnshireProperty consultancy Chesterton is being sued ...

  • Little access to little justice

    22-Feb-1999

    Dan Brennan asks why the Access to Justice Bill does not have a set of clear objectives that outline what its intentions are.THE GOVERNMENT is keen to emphasise that the Access to Justice Bill will provide greater access to justice for citizens and that it is not a Bill "for lawyers".Why, then, does the Bill not have clear objectives to set out its intention? At the report stage, Lord Lloyd of Berwick moved an amendment with ...

  • London lights undermine Birmingham's law firms

    22-Feb-1999

    THE GOOD people of Birmingham know they do not have to go far to find a top quality curry, but new research released exclusively to The Lawyer shows they do not have the same faith in their local law firms.Over a quarter of the 100 large Midland companies interviewed do not use local firms because they think the firms do not have the necessary specialist skills. This, in spite of a marketing effort by Birmingham firms that outweighs the national average.The data ...

  • Malaysian bar move to block foreigners

    22-Feb-1999

    THE MALAYSIAN Bar Council is protesting strongly against a decision to allow foreign lawyers to practise there.At present, foreign lawyers can only act as consultants in designated areas and offer their services in offshore matters.New rights for foreign lawyers to follow enactments made 20 years ago under the Legal Profession Act 1976 only came into force on 1 February.Bar Council president Cyrus Das is concerned home-grown lawyers will lose their ...

  • Mansfield accuses Irvine of 'paying lip service' to reform

    22-Feb-1999

    MICHAEL Mansfield QC, the high profile criminal barrister acting for the family of murdered black teenager Stephen Lawrence, has launched a scathing attack on the legal profession. He also claims the Lord Chancellor is not up to the job of reforming it.Mansfield made his comments at a discussion held after the performance of a new play The Colour of Justice - a reconstruction of the inquiry into the murder.He said: "I think that structurally the profession has ...

  • Masons partners quit for US firm

    22-Feb-1999

    CITY FIRM Masons is restructuring its project and asset finance department following the defection of two leading partners to US firm Mayer Brown & Platt.Nigel Weiss and Steven Janes, who leave at the end of March, are the latest in a lengthening line of British lawyers who have been lured to the US by the promise of higher wages and bigger transactions. Their departure is seen as a significant ...

  • Medecins Sans Frontier appoints Dibbs' lawyer

    22-Feb-1999

    World humanitarian aid organisation Medecins sans Frontiers (MSF) has appointed a Dibb Lupton Alsop associate as its counsel for Europe.Mike Pullen, who is based at Dibbs' office in Brussels, will exclusively handle the charity's dealings with the European Union. He will deal particularly with cross-border regulations.The charity sends out doctors, medical supplies and food to third world countries.Pullen was approached by the charity to ...

  • Next week's news

    22-Feb-1999

    A verdict from the Law Lords on whether General Augusto Pinochet has diplomatic imm-unity is expected. An earlier decision was scuttled when it was revealed that Lord Hoffman had links with Amnesty International.

  • Orange

    22-Feb-1999

    Britain's third largest mobile phone company has been a triumph for brand designers, and is one of the names that defines the corporate zeitgeist of the late 1990s.

  • OSS calls for greater investigation power

    22-Feb-1999

    THE OFFICE for the Supervision of Solicitors (OSS) has attacked the Home Office for failing to help it crack down on "dodgy solicitors" and is calling on the Government to increase its powers.The criticism comes after the OSS had to ask the Legal Aid Board (LAB) to investigate firms suspected of legal aid fraud - two of which it closed down last week. The OSS does not have the LAB's power to demand relevant files.Law Society president Michael Mathews and ...

  • Partners on the move...

    22-Feb-1999

    Dariusz Michalski has been made a partner at Chicago-based law firm Altheimer & Gray. He is based in the firm's Warsaw office and joins Altheimer's new European counsel Anna Milosz, the former Coopers & Lybrand director of legal, who left the firm after giving legal advice on its merger with Price Waterhouse in Poland last year.Nichola Peace has been appointed by Scottish commercial law firm

  • Police and Law Soc meet over money laundering

    22-Feb-1999

    THE NATIONAL Criminal Intelligence Service (NCIS) has raised the target for the number of lawyers it wants to see reporting clients they suspect of trying to hide the profits of organised crime.The NCIS has had a private meeting with the Law Society to elicit its help in getting more solicitors to come forward. An NCIS spokeswoman says: "We have figures that represent the number of solicitors that should call us each year."She refuses, however, to give details ...

  • Property

    22-Feb-1999

    A team at Rowe & Maw comprising Stephen Walsh, Nigel White, Iain Thomas and assistant, Sahba Akhavan, advised the Nationwide Building Society in advancing a property loan facility of £93.3m. The facility is available to limited liability partnership, the Apsley Property, formed by Frogmore Estates, advised by Titmuss Sainer Dechert and

  • Property

    22-Feb-1999

    Berwin Leighton property partner Peter Rudolf acted for Legal & General in the sale of the freehold interest at 59-67 Gresham Street to CGI, on account of the German open-ended fund, HausInvest, for £203m. Rudolf was assisted by head of tax, John Overs and construction partner, John Hughes D'Aeth. CGI was advised by a team at Norton Rose, led by Robin Mitchell, ...

  • Property

    22-Feb-1999

    Corporate partner, Christopher Johnson-Gilbert, led a team at Linklaters which advised Lend Lease Group on the establishment of £500m Lend Lease Retail Partnership. Property partners Martin Elliott and Elizabeth Bennett advised Lend Lease on the proposed transfer of the property interests to the Retail Partnership.

  • Property

    22-Feb-1999

    Property partner Stephen Willson of SJ Berwin & Co acted for the British Land Company on its purchase of the long leasehold interest in 155 Bishopsgate, London, for an estimated consideration of £203m from the Prudential Global Fund. Willson was assisted by Robert Wright and tax partner Heather Corben. The Prudential Global Fund was advised by James Knox, Sally Morris-Smith and Jonathan ...

  • Property:Couderts develops euro electronic exchange

    22-Feb-1999

    US firm Coudert Brothers' growing capital markets practice in London is working on a unique European project for trading euro-denominated government bonds.The firm is helping set up a City-based electronic exchange that it says will give international banks a faster, cheaper and more liquid alternative to "over the counter" trading.Couderts partner Dean Poster says: "This is intended to be the main hub for the most liquid euro-denominated government securities ...

  • Quote of the week

    22-Feb-1999

    "Anyone and any member of this house may find himself in a police station. He may kill someone with his car. He may be wrongly identified in a public lavatory..."- Lord Hutchinson of Lullington uses the famous public lavatory defence in speaking out against public defenders in the House of Lords.

  • Redundancy looms for law centre seven after budget cut

    22-Feb-1999

    BRENT Community Law Centre and the borough's two Citizens Advice Bureaux (CAB) are on the verge of closing, leaving seven lawyers facing redundancy.The centre claims the £300,000 cuts in advice service grants by Brent Council will leave the London borough with no independent advice service from April.It is vowing to fight the closure - if necessary, through legal action.The centre has seven lawyers out of a total staff of nine, all of whom ...

  • Rugby damages award set to spark legal goldrush

    22-Feb-1999

    A RUGBY league player's landmark legal victory against a rival team after his jaw was broken will open the floodgates to similar claims, say sports law solicitors.Dean Thomas, who played for Ryedale York, was awarded £7,000 in his action against Bramley in the first case of a professional rugby league player winning damages for an injury.Bramley was found vicariously liable for the injury."Lawyers will see a lot more of these kinds of cases," ...

  • Scuffle of the week

    22-Feb-1999

    There are no lawyers quite as vicious as libel lawyers. Olswang is peeved about rivals Burton Copeland's spin on a story about disgraced former Tory minister Johnathan Aitken. He tried to pay for his daughter's legal fees in a related legal issue arising from his failed libel case against The Guardian. Burton Copeland claims The Guardian tried to stop this and only caved in at the "eleventh ...

  • Songwriter sues over copyright of Cher hit

    22-Feb-1999

    Roger Pearson reports.The author of Cher's number one hit, Believe, claims his copyright has been infringed.SONGWRITER Mark Scott is seeking an injunction to stop three music companies, and his former partner Brian Higgins, from selling copies of Cher's number one hit Believe - which Scott claims he co-wrote.He is also seeking an inquiry into damages - or an account of profits and payment of sums found due.

  • Square Mile

    22-Feb-1999

    Want more profit? For many, cost-cutting is the favourite route. Is it easy? Yes. Sustainable? No, apart from an initial one-off benefit. Leverage is the fastest route. Firms that pride themselves on a partner-led work culture will become poor firms (relatively speaking). But leverage is expensive to maintain and if under-used is also the quickest road to ruin.The difference lies in having a successful "quality" strategy. No, that's the wrong ...

  • The Lawyer Inquiry: Rod Evans

    22-Feb-1999

    What was your first job?Sweeping the floor of an electric blanket factory.What was your first salary as a lawyer?u1,600 a year.What would you have done if you had not become a lawyer?Raced MGs - and played keyboards for the progressive rock band Genesis.What was your most satisfying professional moment?Having a winning case cited in the White Book.

  • Time to update to a new bar code?

    22-Feb-1999

    AS AN employed practising barrister, I have been following the debate about rights of audience for employed lawyers with interest.As a busy in-house lawyer, I have neither the time nor the inclination to pop on a wig and dash off to the High Court or the Court of Appeal, but find it more convenient to pay for external expertise. As with other in-house lawyers, there are areas in which I have specialist knowledge and experience, and areas where I ...

  • UK call for Middle East legal reform

    22-Feb-1999

    THE LAW Society and Bar Council have produced a report calling for changes in the Palestinian judiciary after uncovering a "catalogue of abuses" in the region.The report, which was produced after an English delegation visited the region, highlights chronic underfunding in the court service and systematic human rights violations by both the Israeli government and the Palestinian National Authority.The report calls for Israel to comply with its international human ...

  • US partners stage Moscow retreat

    22-Feb-1999

    SENIOR US partners are pulling out of Russia amid strenuous denials of plans to close Moscow offices.Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld Moscow managing partner Michael Waller is the third senior US lawyer to have relocated to London from the Russian capital in the past two months.Kevin Dent, now managing partner at the London office of Texan firm Baker & Botts, relocated earlier this year. Natural resources expert Douglas Glass of Texan firm Vinson & Elkins has also ...

  • Verdict causes stir for broadcasters

    22-Feb-1999

    A COURT of Appeal decision on 17 December has caused a major stir among broadcasting companies, and is still being analysed by lawyers.Denton Hall's Simon Levine and Neville Cordell say it has stretched the scope of the 1998 Copyright Designs and Patents Act "fair dealing" defence too far.The decision relates to the Pro Sieben Media AG v Carlton and 20/20 case, which centres on material broadcast about Mandy Allwood, the UK woman ...

  • Will Europe steal a march on the City?

    22-Feb-1999

    Judith Mayhew, chairman, Wilde SapteAlan Peck, chief executive, FreshfieldsDorothy Livingston, partner, Herbert SmithMight the City be about to lose its position as the world's leading financial centre to Paris or Frankfurt?According to the report Le Prix de l'Euro, published last week by an independent financial think-tank, factors ranging from the growth in electronic trading through ...