22 January 1996

The Lawyer

  • Asylum seekers costs row

    23-Jan-1996

    A challenge is now pending in the High Court to moves by Parliament to withdraw financial benefits from asylum seekers. Two London authorities, Westminster City Council and Hammersmith and Fulham Borough Council, have won the right to seek judicial review of the moves. They are challenging them on the basis that withdrawal of funding from central government will land local authorities with the cost of housing and supporting asylum seekers and their dependants while they resort ...

  • AWB chair joins Bar human rights group

    23-Jan-1996

    Association of Women Barristers (AWB) chair Barbara Hewson is joining the Bar human rights committee, after four years on the sex discrimination committee.As a member of the council of Justice and Amnesty International, she is already involved in human rights issues.Other AWB members have also taken new positions on Bar committees this year. Laura Cox QC, of Cloisters, becomes chair of the sex discrimination committee. Susan Ward takes up the role of committee ...

  • Bar appoints former head of law school to new education post

    23-Jan-1996

    A NEW post of head of education and training has been created at the Bar Council as it undergoes a major expansion of its bureaucracy in response to several recent reforms.Nigel Bastin, former head of Manchester Metropolitan University's law school, has taken up the newly-created post at the Bar Council.The appointment follows the Bar's decision to end the Bar School's training monopoly by 1997, which means it must take over responsibility for ...

  • Bar faces calls for second ballot

    23-Jan-1996

    THE BAR Council's narrow ballot victory in favour of its complaints scheme could be short-lived, as its opponents consider an extraordinary general meeting (EGM) to force another ballot.The move is being discussed because the ballot included around 4,000 employed barristers, who opponents say would not be seriously affected by the changes.If the move fails, then application for judicial review appeared to be a final option, said leading opponent Ronald Thwaites ...

  • Barrister calls for offshore regulation

    23-Jan-1996

    Money laundering and financial misdemeanor is thriving because of a failure to properly regulate the offshore tax advice sector, according to a leading London consultant.Barry Spencer, barrister and co-founder of the international SCF Group, is calling for a regulatory framework along the lines of the Law Society and Bar Council codes of conduct."The Government has acted over the regulation of the personal finance industry in the UK but it needs to set up similar ...

  • Barristers you can bank on

    23-Jan-1996

    Banking litigation continues to be a fertile area for barristers specialising in financial institutions.But, according to one banking practitioner, recent high profile cases involving Banque Bruxelles Lambert, Credit Suisse and Bishopsgate Investment Trust have been taking some of the senior banking barristers out of circulation for extended periods.Another partner said that the central core of major players in this area has stayed more or less ...

  • Canadian firm powers to success in Hungary

    23-Jan-1996

    CANADIAN firm Stikeman Elliott has successfully completed a US$1.3 billion Hungarian electricity privatisation operation.The practice, which opened an office in Budapest in 1993, believes the privatisation is one of the largest yet to take place in Central and Eastern Europe.Under the privatisation scheme, the Hungarian Privatisation and State Holding Company sold off a majority of its shareholdings in the country's electricity companies.The ...

  • City firms square up for Chilean copper case

    23-Jan-1996

    Herbert Smith is acting for the Chilean state copper company Codelco in its $170 million litigation against a London trading company alleging conspiracy to defraud.The action by Codelco, the world's biggest copper producer, is against a London Metal Exchange trading company, Sogemin. Codelco is seeking damages relating to losses suffered in the copper futures market in 1993.Herbert Smith partner Tim Parkes said Simmons & Simmons had filed acknowledgement ...

  • Civil liberty groups call for open justice

    23-Jan-1996

    CIVIL liberty and media groups are calling on the Lord Chancellor and Home Office to help "throw back the creeping blanket of secrecy" in the UK by making a series of commitments to open justice.These would include open access to court decisions and documentation, together with full-scale reform of the laws of contempt and defamation.In addition, they include a call to reverse the trend of extending civil criminal laws which outlaw possession of information.

  • Constituency speculation for council member

    23-Jan-1996

    ONE of president Martin Mears' key lieutenants on the Law Society Council appears to be losing his practising base in the constituency which elected him due to demerger claims surrounding his firm.Saunders Palmer Ure, the Richmond-based firm managed by Anthony Bogan, appeared to be breaking up last week.But it was difficult to get a clear picture of the firm's status due to conflicting claims from its offices in Richmond, Hounslow and Ealing. Speaking ...

  • Currys video blamed for fire

    23-Jan-1996

    High Street electrical giants, Currys Group faces a High Court confrontation with Brian Phillips, of Petworth, Sussex, who blames a video recorder he bought from its Chichester store in 1992 for a fire which badly damaged his home and its contents.

  • DEC support service aims to cut costs for small firms

    23-Jan-1996

    Helen Sage reportsA survey commissioned by computer giant Digital Equipment has discovered that the average PC user encounters around 17 computer problems each month.Assuming each problem takes one hour to solve, the average user in the legal profession is spending two-and-a-half days per month fixing computer problems, the equivalent to approximately £1.5 billion in wasted money for the small business sector each year.In response ...

  • Euthanasia/remedies. The licence to clamp comes up for renewal

    23-Jan-1996

    The 'Denver Boot', or car clamp as it is known in more polite circles, is the curse of motorists. Originating in the US, car clampers have been active in the UK for more than 10 years, unabashed, unregulated and unchallenged. But all this changed in the Court of Appeal on 30 November 1995.It started when David Arthur parked his Rover on private land in Truro, on 6 May 1992. He left his car at 1.45pm and when he returned at 2.30pm he found it had been clamped by ...

  • Euthanasia/remedies. When killing is an act of mercy

    23-Jan-1996

    Over the past year many questions have been raised about the difficulties of legislating for cases involving children or adults with serious illnesses or in a persistent vegetative state (PVS).Perhaps the most extreme case to hit the headlines recently was that of Jim and Bronwen Stewart who wanted to let their two-year-old son Ian die by lethal injection. The case was featured on BBC's Inside Story, 11 January 1996.Ian was born with only one artery leading ...

  • Ex-Durnford Ford adviser in Law Soc proceedings

    23-Jan-1996

    THE LAW Society is taking proceedings against the former financial controller of defunct law firm Durnford Ford.Chartered accountant Douglas Stephenson was employed by senior partner Graham Ford while Ford was stealing millions of pounds from relatives of dead clients, using fictitious bill and unauthorised interim payments.The proceedings, brought under the Solicitors Act 1974, seek to ensure Stephenson is not employed or remunerated by solicitors without the ...

  • Financings

    23-Jan-1996

    Norton Rose co-ordinated international legal advice on the establishment of the Old Mutual South Africa Equity Trust. The country's oldest and biggest insurer

  • Financings

    23-Jan-1996

    Frere Cholmeley Bischoff is advising British & American Film Holdings on proposals for conversion to investment trust status and a reorganisation of its share capital. Mishcon de Reya is advising on reorganisation of British & American's film interests.

  • Fiona McWilliams praises a recent insolvency judgment.

    23-Jan-1996

    Fiona McWilliams is a senior litigation assistant at Ashurst Morris Crisp.In a recent case, Mr Justice Walker fired a timely shot across the bows of insolvency practitioners, reminding them the 1986 Insolvency Act gives them special powers and, in so far as these are unique to and arise from their appointment, are incapable of transfer to third parties.His decision, ...

  • Firm makes apology after advert in Gazette

    23-Jan-1996

    A WEST End firm has publicly apologised to a north London neighbour after it put out a call for former clients of the firm to get in touch with its own staff.Harris, Rosenblatt & Kramer has acknowledged that the call for ex-Nicholas & Co clients to contact it may have created the unintended impression that adverse allegations were being made against the firm.The apology appeared ...

  • Flotations

    23-Jan-1996

    Lawrence Graham advised Australian company Cash Converters International in its listing on the London Stock Exchange, believed to be the first Australian company to do so. The placing capitalised the business at £23.9 million. Perth lawyers Corrs Chambers Westgarth also advised. Herbert Smith acted for sponsors Henderson Crosthwaite Corporate Finance.

  • Freshfields pulls ahead in public advice league

    23-Jan-1996

    City law firms enjoyed a bumper year in mergers and acquisitions business in 1995, earning around £200 million in fees out of a total City take of around £950 million.In many cases City firms doubled the number of deal instructions compared with 1994 and there looks to be no end in sight to the high level of activity, according to a report in Acquisitions Monthly magazine.Freshfields took first place in the journal's league table of lawyers acting ...

  • Future faces of finance

    23-Jan-1996

    The consensus of solicitors canvassed is that London is the place to find a banking specialist.The area is seen as reasonably buoyant, although one senior litigation partner at a top 10 City firm commented "it seems that the juniors are just not coming through"."We are tending to do more and more advocacy in-house, as well as giving advice on technical matters and drafting pleadings," he added.But, with banking being such an indefinite area of practice ...

  • Government plans get-tough stance on early release of prisoners in Scotland

    23-Jan-1996

    A GET-TOUGH sentencing regime to restrict early release of prisoners is proposed for Scotland.Reminiscent of Home Secretary Michael Howard's controversial pronouncements on sentencing last October, the Scottish regime was also first aired at the Conservative Party annual conference.Scottish Secretary of State Michael Forsyth, in a consultation paper called Making the Punishment Fit the Crime, proposes an end to automatic release for prisoners at either half ...

  • High-risk firms should bear insurance burden, says SIF

    23-Jan-1996

    ALMOST 2,000 law firms with poor indemnity insurance records face significant increases in their indemnity fund insurance premiums ranging from 5 to 200 per cent, under proposals to shift the insurance burden on to higher-risk firms.Forty of the highest-risk firms will face the maximum 200 per cent loading under the proposals from the Solicitors Indemnity Fund (SIF) and Law Society standards and guidance committee.But around 2,250 firms with a claims-free record ...

  • IBA chair rules out vision of united Euro legal profession

    23-Jan-1996

    EUROPE will never see a united legal profession and will retain local Bar associations, says the president of the International Bar Association.Professor Ross Harper, addressing the Barcelona Bar Association last week about the future of a "Bar for Europe", acknowledged the chance of common commercial law but stressed the importance of keeping domestic and private law within the jurisdiction of each country.He said: "I say with confidence that if a particular ...

  • In brief: City firm mourns death of trainee

    23-Jan-1996

    Members of City law firm Cameron Markby Hewitt have written expressing their sympathies to the parents of murdered trainee solicitor Johanne Masheder. Masheder, who was killed by a Buddhist monk while backpacking in Thailand, was due to start at the firm last month. A spokesman said that Cameron Markby Hewitt had been in touch with her parents, who were devastated. He said staff at the firm were very upset by the tragedy and counsellors had been called in to give help to some of her ...

  • In brief: College of Law chair announces retirement

    23-Jan-1996

    The College of Law is losing its chair of the board of management, Richard Holbrook. Holbrook, 61, is retiring after seven years as executive head of the college. In that time he has increased college income from £8m to £25m a year at a time when competition from other legal education providers increased and links with the Law Society were loosened.

  • In brief: Double achievement for Marsons

    23-Jan-1996

    KENT firm Marsons is celebrating its achievement of an Investor in People award and a Legal Aid Board franchise. According to senior partner Brian Marson, the firm is the first in the South East to hold an ISO9001 quality standard, an Investor in People award and a legal aid franchise at the same time.

  • In brief: Group aims to cut waste in justice system

    23-Jan-1996

    The Trials Issues Group has been formed to cut waste in the Criminal Justice System. The inter-agency group, launched by the Lord Chancellor's Department last week, will oversee a number of initiatives to improve the quality of service to victims, witnesses and other court users. Projects include new-style case files, increased technology and joint performance management. It follows an efficiency scrutiny commissioned by the Prime Minister.

  • In brief: Labour questions PFI policy

    23-Jan-1996

    Labour will attack controversial government plans for outsourcing court computer systems and other functions in a parliamentary select committee inquiry into the Private Finance Initiative (PFI) this week. Labour legal spokesman Paul Boateng, briefing committee colleagues, called for a halt to the "dogma-driven" policy and for a full parliamentary debate on the matter after consultation with the judiciary, unions and consumer bodies. "The public interest in this is clear. Private commercial ...

  • In brief: New senior partner for Manchester firm

    23-Jan-1996

    Manchester law firm Kuit Steinart Levy & Co has appointed former president of the Manchester Law Society Nathan Marks as senior partner. His previous role of managing partner has been taken by company and commercial lawyer Bryan Bodek. Marks has been managing partner for 10 years, in which time the firm has increased from a six-partner to an 11-partner firm.

  • In brief: Vice Chancellor's role is extended

    23-Jan-1996

    The Vice-Chancellor Sir Richard Scott has been appointed head of civil justice by the Lord Chancellor. The decision to extend Sir Richard's responsibilities to cover civil justice is in line with one of the recommendations of Lord Woolf's interim report on reform in this area. Lord Mackay said: "As a senior serving judge, the Vice-Chancellor will be able to provide the leadership and authority required to carry forward the reforms which are required to improve the civil justice ...

  • In brief: West lawyer makes appeal application

    23-Jan-1996

    Rosemary West, convicted last November on 10 counts of murder, has lodged grounds for her appeal. Master Michael McKenzie QC has referred the application to the Court of Appeal and, because of the high-profile nature of the case, he has decided that a full Court of Appeal should consider the application rather than the usual single High Court judge. The appeal was made by her lawyer, Gloucestershire-based Leo Goatley, and a hearing for the application is due to be heard in March.

  • Independent mediators

    23-Jan-1996

    We Would like to correct an error in the article about the Alternative Dispute Resolution Centre which appeared in The Lawyer 9 January ('Firm brings ADR centre to Midlands').Solicitors at Rees Edwards Maddox will only act as neutral mediators in disputes which do not involve the firm's own clients.Members of the firm will represent the firm's clients as advocates in the mediation process, but will use a neutral mediator from another ...

  • Indian link for Charles Russell

    23-Jan-1996

    CITY firm Charles Russell has established an association with an Indian legal practice.The association with Bombay-based Desai, Berjis & Chinoy comes shortly after the Indian government's restriction on the UK firms setting up in India.Simon Slater, director of marketing at Charles Russell, said: "We have a policy of not setting up our own offices abroad but instead ...

  • Law centre scoops share of Lottery

    23-Jan-1996

    The National Lottery fund has handed out £300,000 to a Cumbrian law centre, enabling it to set up a mobile advice service.The successful application from Carlisle Community Law Centre, Cumbria's only law centre, will provide £300,000 to be spread over three years. The money will be used to purchase a vehicle, appoint new staff and relocate to larger premises.Development worker Tony Brown said: "The geographical nature of our area and poor public ...

  • Law Soc campaign aims to counter anti-lawyer stories

    23-Jan-1996

    A CAMPAIGN has been launched by the Law Society to win back the hearts and minds of the public by promoting the value of solicitors and attacking the Government's legal aid and divorce reform plans."A local service as vital as your GP" is the sub-heading of one of two leaflets tackling legal aid and divorce reform which have been devised by the society's new campaigns and development unit.Gerald Newman, deputy director of corporate and regional affairs, ...

  • Left out in the cold

    23-Jan-1996

    Imagine spending five years researching one of the most complex and sensitive issues in current legal history. Imagine consulting widely and taking on board the varying views of individuals and groups of all persuasions. Imagine working with a team of highly-experienced government lawyers to make sure the report you bring out at the end of this process, as is your remit, is thorough and ready for enactment. Now, imagine the report being scrapped for no clear reason.

  • Linklaters gets Woolwich deal

    23-Jan-1996

    Linklaters & Paines is advising the Woolwich Building Society on its plans for conversion to plc status and London Stock Exchange listing.Woolwich is the UK's third-biggest building society with assets of about £28 billion, 12 operating subsidiaries, over three million investors and more than 550,000 borrowers.Heading Linklaters' team are partners Jeremy Skinner ...

  • Litigation Disciplinary Tribunals 23/01/96

    23-Jan-1996

    David Henry Winston, admitted 1978, practised as Winston & Co, Notting Hill Gate, London W11, struck off. Allegations substantiated he practised in breach of condition imposed on practising certificate, practised without current certificate, was guilty of delay in conduct of business, deliberately or recklessly was party to production of false document claimed to be order of the court, deliberately or recklessly misled client, failed ...

  • Litigation Personal Injury 23/01/96

    23-Jan-1996

    Williams v West Kent Health Authority - QBD 11 January 1996Claimant: Holly Williams, 14, suing through mother Gillian WilliamsAccident: Cerebral palsy resulting from oxygen starvation following caesarean section birth at Pembury Hospital, Tunbridge Wells, KentInjury: Plaintiff is wheelchair-bound, suffers spasticity of limbs, risk of epilepsy, speech is difficult, but is educationally very bright; she has a ...

  • Litigation Recent Decisions 23/01/96

    23-Jan-1996

    Directions where action transferred from High CourtTarry v Humberclyde Finance and KF Kirby (Harboro) (Third Party) and JI Case (Europe) (Fourth Party) (1996).CA (Sir Thomas Bingham MR, Waite LJ and Otton LJ) 12/1/96.Summary: Automatic directions in the county court do not apply to an action which was commenced in the High Court before 1/10/90 and then transferred to the county court.Appeal by the defendant and third and fourth parties ...

  • Litigation Writs 23/01/96

    23-Jan-1996

    A woman injured in a road accident has issued a writ claiming damages from Judge Peter Clark, of Devereux Court, London WC2, Denise Kingsmill, of 5 Chancery Lane, London WC2, and solicitors DJ Freeman & Co, of Fetter Lane, London EC4. Victoria Griffen alleges breach of contract, breach of duty, and negligence in the giving of advice, carrying out of instructions and handling of her personal injury claim by Kingsmill when she was ...

  • Lovells unites departments after changes in shipping

    23-Jan-1996

    City firm Lovell White Durrant has reversed its decision made in the 1980s to create separate shipping and commodity departments.Since this month the two departments have been operating under one roof as the commodities, trade finance and shipping department.Partner Philip Quenby said: "In the 1980s we were seduced by the lure of specialisation. Since then we have realised the shipping and commodity departments overlap too much to be separated and our original ...

  • Mackay steps in on living wills report

    23-Jan-1996

    THE LORD Chancellor has announced he will not implement a Law Commission report which took five years in the making.Although his department has not rejected the commission's report on mental incapacity out of hand, a parliamentary answer by Lord Mackay last week suggested it would prove more controversial than anticipated.The report, published as a draft Bill last March following four consultations, set out to reform the law relating to people with mental ...

  • Masons IT head chairs conference

    23-Jan-1996

    The Lawyer eighth annual information systems conference takes place on 27 and 28 February at the London Marriott Hotel.The conference is being chaired by Martin Telfer, director of IT at Masons, and is sponsored by Novell and Axxia Systems.Day one of the conference will focus on internal management issues, systems implementation and the relationships which have to exist between IT professionals, legal practitioners, suppliers and clients ...

  • Merger strengthens Chancery sets

    23-Jan-1996

    John Malpas reportsTWO Chancery sets have agreed to merge in a move which both sides claim will lead to a stronger, more competitive chambers.Ten Old Square and 8 Stone Buildings finalised their merger at the beginning of January, and the two sets aim to operate as a single unit from 1 February.A notable absentee at the new set, however, will be charities expert Hubert Picarda QC, who left 10 Old Square over Christmas.

  • New look for Temple buildings

    23-Jan-1996

    THE MIDDLE Temple has embarked on a £1.5 million scheme to make one of its oldest buildings structurally safe.The project to refurbish 1-4 Middle Temple Lane has forced several chambers to find temporary homes while the work takes place. The oldest parts of the Grade I listed building, which faces onto Fleet Street, date back to 1684.A team of specialists from the Museum of London has been hired by the Middle Temple to monitor the building work ...

  • Not ready for finance advice

    23-Jan-1996

    It seems a significant number of firms are taking to providing financial services advice and setting up departments manned by investment advisers. I read regularly of new firms moving into this area.While no-one can blame firms for looking at new business opportunities (indeed, they must be commended for their initiative), it is nonetheless a slight worry that a profession which is hardly known for its financial skills can put itself in a position where it is dispensing ...

  • Olswang recruits systems specialist

    23-Jan-1996

    Helen Sage reportsStephen Dreyer, a professional systems support manager, has joined media and communications law firm Olswang as director of its IT services.Dreyer's career has spanned 13 years in senior systems management at organisations such as Andersen Consulting and Compass Software.John Akerman, managing partner of Olswang, said: "As ...

  • Property

    23-Jan-1996

    Titmuss Sainer Dechert acted for IMRO on the taking of around 34,700 sq ft of office space at Portsoken St, EC1. Lovell White Durrant acted for landlord State Street Bank.

  • Property

    23-Jan-1996

    Taylor Joynson Garrett and SJ Berwin acted for Leisure Developer THI and British Land respectively in a development and funding deal for a major site at Kirkstall Road, Leeds.

  • Property

    23-Jan-1996

    Field Fisher Waterhouse advised Whitbread over two leases granted by the Shirayama Shokusan Co for parts of County Hall.

  • Rights of establishment challenged

    23-Jan-1996

    The European Commission is under pressure to do a U-turn on rights of establishment after a report by MEP Nicole Fontaine.The leaked draft report called for the removal of the controversial five-year limitation period giving lawyers a permanent right of establishment under home title.The limitation period is supported by the French delegation of the Council of Bars and Law Societies of the EU (CCBE) and the commission. The draft provides for easier integration ...

  • SCB set to retain its independence

    23-Jan-1996

    THE SOLICITORS Complaints Bureau will not lose its independence under a forthcoming complaints handling shake-up, according to a key Chancery Lane figure.Paul Pharaoh, chair of the Law Society's adjudication and appeals committee, has told The Lawyer it would be "safe to say" that under a relaunch of the SCB later this year its arms-length status from the society would not be eroded.He was responding to a devastating society survey of the public's experiences ...

  • Shakespeares lawyer heads for Lithuania

    23-Jan-1996

    Shakespeares partner Nigel Davis (pictured above left with fellow partner Mike Hibbs) said farewell to Birmingham last week, before heading to Lithuania where he will help firms to develop western management techniques.Davis, head of the firm's agricultural department, travelled to Vilnius as a representative of the British Executive Service Overseas.He will be advising firms on areas such as training, marketing and IT.The Secretary of State ...

  • Speedman bows out as director

    23-Jan-1996

    SOLICITORS Indemnity Fund managing director John Speedman will retire this year after completing the fund's most radical revamp to date.Senior colleagues see Speedman, a qualified accountant, as the driving force behind the fund's successful management and major cost reduction, making it one of the cheapest funds to run despite rocketing claims in recent years.This cost reduction, from 6 per cent in 1992 to 2.25 per cent last year, led to the SIF being ...

  • Stephen Ralph and Peter Garry

    23-Jan-1996

    Our article, 'Boodles pair go it alone' (12 September 1995), could have suggested that Stephen Ralph and Peter Garry had left Boodle Hatfield in haste without proper notice, thus inferring that their departure had been in breach of contract and unprofessional. We now accept that we were in ignorance of the facts and accept that both Mr Ralph and Mr Garry have at all times behaved in an honourable and professional manner and that any contrary suggestion is wrong. The only writ ...

  • Streamlined service for Chancery list

    23-Jan-1996

    THE CENTRAL London County Court is to launch a new Chancery list this spring to provide a streamlined service for cases remitted to it by the High Court.Litigators and clients in the South East are expected to benefit from the move, which aims to handle specialist commercial cases faster and, by implication, more economically.Herbert Smith will be the first firm to have a case in the new list. Property litigation partner Lucy Hutchinson, whose landlord and tenant ...

  • Suspension for local authority legal head

    23-Jan-1996

    THE HEAD of a Cumbrian council's legal department has been suspended.Allerdale Borough Council legal services manager David Collinson was temporarily relieved of his post in early November. Later that month an internal inquiry cleared him of allegations of harassing a junior member of staff.But the suspension remained in force to allow the council to investigate what it described in a statement to The West Cumberland Times as "other matters".The ...

  • Testing time for the profession

    23-Jan-1996

    Are trainee solicitors and newly qualifieds any less literate or numerate than their counterparts who qualified 10, 20 or even 30 years ago? This is one of the questions the Law Society working party on entry to the profession is debating as part of its investigation into reducing the number of entrants to the profession.I think all would agree that members of the legal profession should be literate, numerate and be able to express themselves both verbally and in writing, ...

  • The case for client censorship

    23-Jan-1996

    The legal profession has received a sharp warning from the Court of Appeal on the dangers of giving lay clients free rein to put forward unsubstantiated allegations in court. The warning came in the case of Thatcher v Douglas & anor and is one that Donald Ramsbottom, a partner in Hayling Island firm Michael Daltons, says counsel and solicitors should heed.The warning was issued during judgment on what seemed a routine row over rights to use a concrete slipway in ...

  • The Lawyer Inquiry: THE LAWYER INQUIRY:Denise Dowen

    23-Jan-1996

    Denise Dowen was born in Walsall in 1965. She now lives in Newcastle where she is employed as an environmental lawyer with Dickinson Dees. What was your first job?My older brother's paper round in return for ice creams.What was your first ever salary as a lawyer?I did it for love.What would you have ...

  • Trader's fury at drug and gang war claims

    23-Jan-1996

    One of the most unusual libel actions for some time is heading for the High Court with lawyers for the plaintiffs saying it could be heard later this year.The action, launched by market and retail company Solitaire (Liverpool), of London W2, against Delyn Borough Council, based in Flint, Clwyd, is over an anonymous letter left in a public file of planning documents. The company claims the letter indicates it was involved in drug dealing and ...

  • UAE picks scot for top appointment

    23-Jan-1996

    THE UNION Des Avocats Europeens has appointed Iain Taylor, partner with Scottish law firm Bishop and Robertson Chalmers, as its new secretary general.The appointment of a Scottish lawyer reflects the efforts of the union to expand its membership in the UK and Scandinavia.Taylor said: "Although we are firmly established in most EU countries we have a bit to go in Finland, Sweden, the Netherlands and Denmark, and of course the UK, all of which are relatively new ...

  • UK advocacy training wins plaudits from SA barristers

    23-Jan-1996

    John Malpas reportsTHE QUALITY of advocacy training at the Bar has been praised by a team of South African barristers preparing to set up a similar scheme in their own country.The arrival of the delegation of 13 barristers in London as part of a govern- ment-sponsored aid programme was reported in last week's issue of The Lawyer.The barristers spent a weekend with members of the Inns of Court Advocacy Training Committee to learn the art of advocacy ...

  • VWF claims 'need fast resolution"

    23-Jan-1996

    THE STEERING group handling a multi-party action against British Coal over the industrial disease Vibration White Finger has called for a speedy resolution of compensation claims.Last week The Vibration White Finger Litigation Solicitors' Group celebrated a High Court ruling which could lead to more than 100,000 compensation claims from sufferers of the disease, which causes numbness of the fingers and loss of grip.The nine lead cases have now been listed ...

  • Web site for technology magazine

    23-Jan-1996

    Helen Sage reportsThe first edition of an electronic journal on law and information technology will go on-line on 31 January.As well as containing articles about law, technology and legal information The Journal on Information Law and Technology will include a special feature on data protection.It will be published as a joint project by the University of Warwick's CTI Law Technology Centre and the Centre for Law, Computers and Technology ...

  • Who wants to be a fall-guy?

    23-Jan-1996

    I have read with interest the problems which the Bar is having over its proposed complaints system.It seems to me there is something curiously amiss with complaints procedures across the profession. Members of the Bar are rightly having their fair share of reservations about the schemes proposed by the Bar Council and fear that they will become the victims of vexatious complainants.I believe it is a fair point. Many complainants are vexatious. They expect miracles ...

  • Writ issued to judge, firm and high profile lawyer

    23-Jan-1996

    A JUDGE is being sued in the High Court over legal advice which he gave while he was practising as a barrister.Judge Peter Clark, who sits on the Employment Appeals Tribunal, is one of three defendants named in a writ which was issued at the High Court by City firm Waterson Hicks.High-profile employment lawyer Denise Kingsmill and City firm DJ Freeman are also named as defendants.The plaintiff, Victoria Griffin, of East Sussex, is claiming damages ...