22 March 1999

The Lawyer

  • ... and breaks into Canadian market

    22-Mar-1999

    Cameron McKenna is continuing its global expansion by opening an office in Canada - only the fourth foreign firm to do so.The decision to move into the North American market comes on the back of Camerons successful pitch to advise on the reorganisation of one of the world's largest energy corporations, Ontario Hydro. The firm is expected to make a formal announcement at the end of the week. Camerons is to recruit several lawyers to staff the Toronto-based office.

  • 22/03/1999

    22-Mar-1999

    The High Court is due to hear the arguments surrounding the collapse of an aggregate loading plant into the River Thames in 1996. RMC Aggregates of Greater London has issued a writ against Rhodes Industries, based in Chesterfield, Derbyshire, seeking damages or an indemnity following the collapse of the plant. The writ says RMC paid u429,630 for the design, manufacture and installation of an unloading conveyor, receiving hopper, winch tower and winch ...

  • 22/03/1999

    22-Mar-1999

    Cases from Lawtel's PI Quantum Database. Contact Nick Conway on 0171 970 4803.Whitley (by her father & next friend Denys Whitley) v West Kent Health Authority (1999) QBD (Butterfield J) 1 March 1999Plaintiff: Female, new-born at date of accident; 10 years old at date of trial.Incident: The plaintiff was a second twin born on 13 April 1988 at Maidstone Hospital, Kent. Her sister was delivered without injury, but the ...

  • A world of difference

    22-Mar-1999

    General counsel for Sheraton Hotels in Europe, the Middle East and Africa, Robert Scott, has achieved what many of us only dream of - pursuing, on the one hand, his ambition to get a top job in the profession and on the other, his desire to improve the world.The Brussels-based lawyer came up with a scheme that has raised over $3m to immunise hundreds of thousands of African babies. And it started with an idea Scott says was "so simple it almost scared me".Scott ...

  • Aid firms get another six months

    22-Mar-1999

    LEGAL AID practitioners have welcomed the Lord Chancellor's decision to extend the notice required to vary or terminate legal aid contracts from six to 12 months.But during the Access to Justice Bill's third reading in the Lords, Lord Irvine resisted calls to change government block-tendering plans and allow the public to use any solicitor meeting Legal Service Commission competency requirements.Faced with an amendment from Lord Phillips of Sudbury, ...

  • Are regional firms set to profit from City losses?

    22-Mar-1999

    The news that private health company Bupa is to sideline City firms in favour of regional firms and barristers, as revealed by The Lawyer last week, caused a flurry of excitement in the regions.In the words of one regional marketing manager who rang The Lawyer: "I've got 50 partners up my butt trying to find out what's going on."Bupa head of legal Paul Newton says the move was prompted by "ridiculous" City rates and a management drive to cut down on ...

  • BAe shoots itself in the foot

    22-Mar-1999

    Your story (BAe threatens unethical firms, The Lawyer 8 March) indicates an interesting side to the development of the ethical behaviour of companies and law firms.It is welcome to see BAe considering the ethical behaviour of suppliers. It is also interesting that BAe doesn't feature as an investment stock for any of the ethical investment funds in EIRIS's guide to money and ethics.Perhaps this has something to do with the business at BAe involving ...

  • Bakers IT partner to run client's in-house team

    22-Mar-1999

    A Baker & McKenzie partner is leaving to join a long-standing IT client of the firm, just six months after being appointed partner.Graham Allan, an IT specialist, will become European managing attorney of Cisco Systems. "I have always harboured ambitions to work in industry and the opportunity with Cisco gives me a chance to fulfil those ambitions with one of the top IT companies ...

  • Bakers opens for business in Baku

    22-Mar-1999

    BAKER & McKenzie has opened for business in the Azerbaijan capital, Baku, nearly a year after it decided to move into the country.The international firm has beaten Scottish practice Ledingham Chalmers in the race to become the first firm to win a licence.Baker & McKenzie's ...

  • Bevans takes Veale Wasbrough team

    22-Mar-1999

    Veale Wasbrough has suffered a major blow to its employment department with the loss of its head and three assistants to rival South West firm Bevan Ashford.Sarah Lamont, head of the practice for just 15 months, says her departure is not a result of previous employment partners leaving."My decision to go was based on wishing to be part of a strong employment team and to continue private client work," she says.A few months earlier Veale Wasbrough lost ...

  • Brave lawyers standing up for the rule of law

    22-Mar-1999

    A year ago Northern Ireland lawyer Rosemary Nelson told The Lawyer: "I'm a firm believer in the rule of law. I find it wholly unacceptable that if you're doing your job and doing it properly you are subject to intimidation and threat."Last week, as Nelson drove to pick up her daughter from school, a bomb exploded in her car blowing off her legs. Two hours later she died.Nelson was an unpopular lawyer. She was unpopular because she ...

  • Cadwaladers' huge wage hike sparks US pay war

    22-Mar-1999

    NEW YORK lawyers' salaries are set to spiral following huge wage hikes by middle-tier firm Cadwalader Wickersham & Taft. Its London-based associates have also been handed a bonus, with the promise of a big rise in July.First-year staff at Cadwaladers, which, with 400 lawyers, is ranked 22nd among Manhattan-based firms, now enjoy a basic salary of $102,000 (£64,000), plus a guaranteed bonus of $5,000. The rise has leap-frogged Cadwaladers - not known as a big payer ...

  • Camerons adds French capacity to European expansion plans

    22-Mar-1999

    Cameron McKenna has added French and other foreign clients to its international network and a string of eastern European offices by poaching a top French team from major Paris firm Jeantet et Associes.Francis Louvard's practice will form the French wing of Camerons' new European alliance, revealed last week in The Lawyer. He is bringing senior lawyers Diane Senechal and Liubomir Rogleff from Jeantet and all three will operate out of London.Sources say ...

  • Camerons' eastern promise set to go West

    22-Mar-1999

    Cameron McKenna is set to follow the likes of Clifford Chance and Linklaters & Alliance into the risky game of global expansion (The Lawyer, 15 March).This week, the firm will officially announce plans to expand its business into North America. In April it will make a second announcement which will ...

  • Case of the Week

    22-Mar-1999

    A convicted murderer is complaining that he has not received enough porridge. Cambridgeshire's Whitemoor Prison inmate Fathi Toumia is suing the Prison Officers' Association for "false imprisonment" for locking him in his prison cell all morning and making him miss breakfast. The Court of Appeal is allowing Toumia to pursue the action despite a judge dismissing the case as "frivolous" two years ago.

  • Claimant to report SIF lawyers to OSS

    22-Mar-1999

    An aggrieved SIF claimant is taking the unprecedented step of reporting some of the mutual fund's top solicitors - including its managing director - to the OSS over the way his claim was handled.Michael Jones, who makes sound recordings used by film and television companies, had six claims against a solicitor, arising from a dispute over the soundtrack for the TV series Murder She Wrote, which was dismissed by SIF.Jones says his complaints against the solicitor ...

  • Cobbetts snatches Dibbs' DTI contract

    22-Mar-1999

    THE Department of Trade & Industry has dropped Dibb Lupton Alsop and awarded a lucrative insolvency contract to Dickinson Dees and Cobbetts.Dibbs lost the £1m contract - under which the firm represented the DTI when it disqualified company directors - after it was put out to tender at the beginning of the year.Michael Shaw, manag ing partner at Cobbetts, comments: "This ...

  • Collision case runs aground

    22-Mar-1999

    The Law Lords are considering whether to grant leave to appeal a stay of action over a collision between two vessels in the Straits of Singapore. The owners of the Herceg Novi have sued the owners or demise charterers of the Ming Galaxy over the collision, but in May 1997 their action was stayed by the Admiralty Court pending determination of a claim in the case which has been mounted in Singapore.That stay was upheld by the Court of Appeal last year, but now the ...

  • Company law in need of renovation

    22-Mar-1999

    Robin Potts QC, barrister, Erskine ChambersPeter Charlton, partner, Clifford ChancePeter Graham, head of company department, Paisner & CoCompany law is out of date, over-complicated and bears little relation to modern commercial reality. So says the Government's company law review steering group.The review committee, ...

  • Conveyancer accuses regulatory body

    22-Mar-1999

    Roger Pearson reports on a conveyancer with grievances against his regulating body, the Council for Licensed Conveyancers.The Council for Licensed Conveyancers (CLC) is on course for a High Court confrontation with conveyancer Bryan Thompson, of Rowlands Castle, Hampshire.Thompson, who is represented by London firm Marks Miller & Co, is claiming damages in respect of income he says he lost, and in respect of damage to ...

  • Corporate counsel told to get tough on firm over-charging

    22-Mar-1999

    IN-HOUSE lawyers must get tough with private practice over the way they prepare their bills, delegates atthe Company Lawyers Conference in Madrid were warned.The vice-president and general counsel of GE Medical Services - a subsidiary of General Electric - told the conference his company was no longer prepared to accept large legal bills without detailed explanations."If someone sends me a bill where not every item is itemised, then we don't ...

  • CPS to fall prey to millennium bug

    22-Mar-1999

    The Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) is one of the worst government departments in the fight against Year 2000 problems.The latest review by the Cabinet Office, detailing how well government departments are doing in tackling the millennium bug, shows Court Services in England and Wales and the Lord Chancellor's Department in the bottom quarter of the 82 listed.The CPS is one of just 12 government departments that does not already have a business contingency ...

  • EC resignations to stall legislative programme

    22-Mar-1999

    THE RESIGNATION last week of the European Commission's 20-member executive poses legal problems for the European Parliament and could delay key areas of EC work, lawyers have warned.A new legal structure for EC regional aid, due to be unveiled this year, is expected to be held back. Worryingly, for the corporate sector, merger rulings by the competition directorate could also be affected."All sorts of immediate legal problems may arise," says barrister Conor ...

  • edge ellison poaches third partner from rival Manches

    22-Mar-1999

    EDGE ELLISON has poach ed Manches & Co banking and insolvency partner, Lorinda Peasland.Peasland is the third Manches banking and insolvency partner to join edges in the past year.Her appointment follows edges' capture of head of banking Andrew Knight and head of insolvency Andrew Visintin in April.Peasland becomes a partner at edges' finance law and banking team in London, where she will specialise in insolvency litigation.Keith ...

  • Edward Sparrow on judges' discretion in limitation issues

    22-Mar-1999

    With Mark Elvy, Edward Sparrow led the Ashurst Morris Crisp team acting for Imperial Tobacco.Mr Justice Michael Wright recently refused to allow eight lead plaintiffs in the group action brought by a number of smokers and former smokers against Imperial Tobacco and Gallaher to proceed with their claims against tobacco companies.The litigation was conducted as a group action ...

  • Eversheds wins bid for two-year govt deal

    22-Mar-1999

    Eversheds has been appointed sole provider of legal services to the Forestry Commission in England and Wales.The law firm won the contract after a bidding process that leaves it as sole adviser on all property and commercial work as well as other specialist areas.A Forestry Commission spokeswoman told The Lawyer that the Government's property lawyers previously handled the ...

  • Freshfields acts for Pru in u1.9bn bid for M&G

    22-Mar-1999

    Freshfields has again reinforced its new-found dominance in top-end mergers and acquisitions by acting for Prudential in its u1.9bn bid for independent City fund manager M&G.This is the Pru's second assault on fund managers: two years ago Lovell White Durrant advised in its swoop on Scottish Amicable - which was at that time advised by Freshfields.Commenting on the M&G bid, a source at Lovells - the main lawyers for the Prudential - says: "It's about ...

  • Gaunt quits for in-house shipping job

    22-Mar-1999

    SINCLAIR ROCHE & Temperley's shipping finance expert, Ian Gaunt, is moving to an in-house position.The senior partner is to join the world's largest cruise-line, Carnival Corporation, as senior vice-president, international, in May.Gaunt says: "I have worked closely with the Carnival group for nearly 20 years and I am eagerly anticipating a new challenge.Managing partner Jeff Morgan says Gaunt's "expertise will be of great value to ...

  • Gouldens wins landmark IP case

    22-Mar-1999

    Gouldens has won an intellectual property case against Microsoft that IP experts say will swing the balance in favour of defendants.The High Court ruling has challenged the assumption that judges will slap wide-ranging injunctions on companies that infringe another's patent or copyright.The ruling comes days after one against French manufacturer Coflexip SA, in which Mr Justice Laddie ruled a plaintiff does not have the right to expect an injunction if the ...

  • Govt told to force QCs to do more pro bono

    22-Mar-1999

    SILKS should do one day a month pro bono work in return for being made QCs, says the Labour MP masterminding a campaign against the present system.Solicitor and MP Andrew Dismore says barristers who receive an average £250,000 as juniors and then enjoy a leap in earnings on being made QCs should pay back some of the money by being ordered to do free work."They should do one day a month pro bono, as a minimum. We should make it a condition of awarding somebody ...

  • How not to deal with kids who kill

    22-Mar-1999

    Paul Cavadino says the James Bulger murder trial revealed the way our legal system treats children who kill is out of sync with the rest of Europe. Paul Cavadino is director of policy at the National Association for Care and Resettlement of Offenders.The decision by the European Commission of Human Rights to refer the case of the two boys who killed James Bulger to the European Court should mean a shake-up in the way we deal with children who kill.Many ...

  • Ignoring world wide webs

    22-Mar-1999

    City firms appear to be hell-bent on conquering the world. But as Linklaters & Alliance, Cameron McKenna and others march towards global domination, many in-house counsel say that world-wide presence is not a deciding factor when instructing firms for overseas work.David Jackson, company secretary and general counsel at PowerGen, says it "makes no difference" whether a law firm has a large ...

  • In brief: Bryan Cave

    22-Mar-1999

    Bryan Cave, the US law firm, is opening an office in Shanghai after being granted a licence to practise in China. Harold Blatt, a partner at the firm's London office, says he expects the office to open "within the next 30 to 60 days". The office will do a variety of corporate work.

  • In brief: Cable & Wireless

    22-Mar-1999

    Cable & Wireless' has reorganised, leaving one of the UK's best known in-house lawyers without a job. Elizabeth Wall had been group director oflegal and regulatory affairs at C&W since 1990. A spokesman at C&W says that to date she does not have a replacement position. Her deputy Dan Fitz has already been appointed to the new position of corporate general counsel. Neither he nor Wall were available for comment.

  • In brief: Nabarro Nathanson

    22-Mar-1999

    Nabarro Nathanson has appointed Nicole Paradise as its new managing partner. Paradise is only the second female managing partner among the top 20 law firms. Nabarros' management structure consists of a three-partner executive from which Paradise was chosen to lead the firm.

  • In brief: Peter Duffy QC

    22-Mar-1999

    Peter Duffy QC, the leading human rights silk from Essex Court Chambers, has died just days after being appointed an assistant recorder. He was 44 years old. A former international chairman of Amnesty International (1989-91), he was called to the Bar in 1978 and took silk in 1997. He was involved in several high profile cases, including Diane Blood's fight to bear her dead husband's child. He was also to act for the Law Society in its case against solicitor Michael Dalton ...

  • In brief: Rodger Pannone

    22-Mar-1999

    Rodger Pannone, senior partner at Pannone & Partners and a former president of the Law Society, has been appointed chairman of the College of Law. He replaces Sir Derek Bradbeer. College chief executive Professor Nigel Savage paid tribute to Bradbeer, who held the post for nine years and saw the college transformed from "part of the Law Society to an independent organisation... with a u30m turnover".

  • In brief: Royal & SunAlliance

    22-Mar-1999

    Royal & SunAlliance has become the first major company to offer after-the-event insurance in commercial and contract disputes, easing the pressure on the Lord Chancellor's legal aid reforms. The product is targeted not at personal injury cases, but at the commercial sector. Insurers have been reluctant to cover commercial, contract and intellectual property cases because of the high risks involved. Lord Irvine welcomed the new product in the House of Lords last Tuesday, saying ...

  • In brief: The Lord Chancellor's Department

    22-Mar-1999

    The Lord Chancellor's Department has announced a new set of fees for civil cases - to be introduced on 26 April and will coincide with the introduction of the Woolf Reforms. The new county court and High Court fees will be in line with the new civil procedure rules. The LCD says the fees will better reflect the cost of the service in civil, family and probate proceedings. Fee revenue is expected to rise 2.4 per cent in 1999/2000 - from £316.9m to £324.6m - to help meet ...

  • Indemnity issue is about choice

    22-Mar-1999

    Elizabeth Mullins entirely misses the point in her letter (The Lawyer 15 March) in which she demands an explanation of a "vested interest".In common law it is generally unnecessary to establish the presence of actual bias - it is enough to establish that a reasonable person, acquainted with the circumstances, would have reasonable grounds for suspecting bias.On that test, there is absolutely no doubt that the four council members who ...

  • Insolvency star quits Dibbs for Stephensons

    22-Mar-1999

    Leading insolvency partner Paul Gordon-Saker is leaving Dibb Lupton Alsop to join rival City firm Stephenson Harwood.Gordon-Saker was with Dibbs for 36 years. He was head of Dibbs' insolvency practice in London until last year and will head Stephenson Harwood's insolvency team in June. Dibbs' insolvency unit has lost a number of partners to rivals including John Alderton ...

  • Insurer axes in-house in favour of external firms

    22-Mar-1999

    Legal fee insurer Eastgate Assistance is closing down its in-house legal department and plans instead to hand out litigation work to its panel.Alex Wise, spokesman for the group, says: "We have made a commercial decision to outsource the work undertaken by this team to our solicitors' panel.""This is not a wholesale redundancy," he continues. "We are looking to absorb most of the department by redeploying the great majority in growth areas."Solicitors ...

  • It's been a bad week for...

    22-Mar-1999

    "Goners" - City types suffering from a Millennium-fuelled desire to "Get Out Now". Former Charles Russell solicitor Julia Bueno has a cautionary tale for those who want to give up their jobs and travel. Bueno went to India to improve her health and learn about reflexology. Following a nasty bout of projectile vomiting in Varanasi, Bueno endured a rickshaw crash, witnessed ...

  • It's been a good week for...

    22-Mar-1999

    Johnnie Cochran, ex-lawyer to OJ Simpson. Cochran has teamed up with rap star Puff Daddy (above) to launch a restaurant chain. It is a shrewd move on Cochran's part - Puff is already beating Madonna and Michael Jackson in the empire-building stakes, with a company worth around u200m.The Lawyer, which has been hailed by Private Eye as the newspaper which "delivers good news about lawyers". So next time the Law Society, the Solicitors ...

  • Julian Bevan QC to become head of Hollis Whiteman set

    22-Mar-1999

    Top criminal set Hollis Whiteman Chambers is appointing one of its highest profile barristers as its new head of chambers.Julian Bevan QC will take over next month from David Jeffreys QC, who has been at the helm since 1992.Bevan is a prolific barrister. A former senior Treasury counsel at the Old Bailey, he is listed in The International Who's Who of Business Crime Lawyers.He has acted for the prosecution in the Guildford Four police officers ...

  • Keogh Ritson wins defendant litigation team for CGU panel

    22-Mar-1999

    The senior partner of Coventry-based firm Newsome Vaughan is taking the firm's entire defendant litigation team with him to Keogh Ritson.The move means that five-partner Newsome Vaughan will no longer have a seat on insurance giant CGU's panel.Senior partner Peter Jones will join the new Coventry office of North West-based Keoghs in early April. He will be joined by legal ...

  • Law Lords back public gatherings

    22-Mar-1999

    The rights of those involved in public demonstrations have been clarified in a House of Lords ruling in which the Lord Chancellor, Lord Irvine, laid down important guidelines. It is only his second judgment in the Lords since taking office.The case of the Director of Public Prosecutions v Jones & anor is of major significance and the Lords have given the highest-level guidance so far on the interpretation of the "trespassory assembly" provisions of the ...

  • LawSoc tackles Govt on Immigration Bill

    22-Mar-1999

    The Law Society has challenged the Government to publish any evaluation it has carried out on whether the Immigration and Asylum Bill is consistent with human rights legislation.In a stinging report to the special standing committee hearing submissions on the Bill, the society says it believes it fails to meet basic human rights and equal opportunity standards and challenges the Government to say otherwise.The submission says that replacing cash benefits with ...

  • LCD to raid courts for criminal budget

    22-Mar-1999

    THE LORD Chancellor has warned he may poach the budgets of departments such as the court service to mop up any overspend in criminal legal aid.As the Access to Justice Bill progressed through its third reading in the House of Lords, Lord Irvine sought to calm the storm caused by his warning that the only money available for civil legal aid would be that which was left over after meeting criminal legal aid requirements.Lord Goodhart failed to push through an amendment ...

  • Legal Widow

    22-Mar-1999

    I went into the Marks & Spencer ladies business-wear section this week for the first time in nine years and was amazed to find it has expanded from the "Latvian air hostess" look in red or peacock blue with matching side-knotted scarf to an entire floor of foxy trouser-suits in mohair/chain-mail blends.

  • Lincoln's Inn tempts back top chambers with new premises

    22-Mar-1999

    Lincoln's Inn is attracting back leading chambers after completing a 10-year renovation and restructuring programme."We have a waiting list as long as your arm," says Morgan Lear, estates manager to Lincoln's Inn.Lear says that 10 years ago, many sets became dissatisfied with the high rents charged by the Inns, and sought commercial leases elsewhere.Commercial rents have since rocketed and some of those sets are now seeking to return to ...

  • Linklaters takes credit for Bluewater complex

    22-Mar-1999

    Linklaters has led a host of top City firms advising on the new Bluewater out-of-town shopping centre in Kent.Billed as Europe's largest shopping complex development, Bluewater has cost more than u350m to build. Cutting-edge property finance advice over the past year has cost a "considerable amount" in legal fees, say sources.Linklaters is advising Australian property developer ...

  • Local firm takes on rival giants

    22-Mar-1999

    A HIGH-STREET practice is fighting back against local big hitters Charles Russell Baldocks and Clyde & Co by adopting an aggressive expansion strategy.Five-partner Guildford practice Atkins Wilson & Bell will this week acquire Mills Henderson, as well as take on extra staff, to create its fourth office.

  • Lord Irvine's favourite set reveals CFA system flaws

    22-Mar-1999

    A SET held up by the Lord Chancellor as a pioneer of controversial Conditional Fee Agreements (CFAs) in personal injury actions is now saying the system is flawed.Number 1 Serjeant's Inn has taken on more than 100 cases on a conditional fee basis, which have highlighted two major potential conflicts of interest.One tenant has lost three CFA cases in the past six months and is now wary of taking on any more.Senior clerk Clark Chessis says: "The ...

  • Match made in heaven

    22-Mar-1999

    Maurice Watkins

  • Miners set to win £3bn in UK's biggest lawsuit

    22-Mar-1999

    A settlement of up to £3bn is expected this week in Britain's biggest-ever personal injury case, compensating thousands of miners who suffer from chest diseases after years in the pits.Lawyers from Hugh James, Irwin Mitchell and Thompsons for the miners, and

  • MPs call for judges to register interests

    22-Mar-1999

    MEMBERS of Parliament are signing up to an early day motion calling on judges to register their interests.This week they are calling for a shake-up in the judiciary and urging the Government to look at "further reforms" to modernise the system for selecting judges.The demand for reform comes as Law Lords are due to decide the fate of the for mer Chilean dictator General Augusto Pinochet.The Law Lords originally ruled that Pinochet should be extradited ...

  • New York giants clash in Paris banking melee

    22-Mar-1999

    SULLIVAN & Cromwell, Rogers & Wells and Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton, three of New York's top corporate law firms, are acting as global legal advisers in the three-way French banking battle between Banque Nationale de Paris (BNP), Societe Generale (SocGen) and Paribas.Most of Paris's leading merger and acquisition specialist boutique firms are involved (see table).

  • NSPCC lawyer attacks Evidence Bill

    22-Mar-1999

    The NSPCC's in-house lawyer has attacked a Government Bill for failing to protect child witnesses.Barbara Joel-Esam complains that the Youth and Criminal Evidence Bill - currently in its Lords report stage - takes away the automatic right of a child to give video evidence, leaving it instead to the court's discretion.According to the Bill's guidelines, the discretion can be exercised only if the court decides the quality of evidence will be improved, ...

  • On the bench

    22-Mar-1999

    Peter Leaver QC has joined Graham Kelly and Glenn Hoddle on the bench. John-Paul Flintoff discovers that the latest member of football's ruling elite to be sent off still feels mightily aggrieved - and perhaps for good reason

  • P&G shake-up threatens firms

    22-Mar-1999

    Multinational giant Procter & Gamble is transferring its legal function from a regional to a global structure - meaning a huge cut in work for its UK and European panel firms.The restructuring of its 210-strong in-house team reflects the re-organisation of the company along product rather than regional lines - a process that began last year.Under the new general structure, one "business unit" will be responsible for profits in each product area across the globe. ...

  • Partners on the move...

    22-Mar-1999

    Former head of legal at the British Railways Board Andrew Sim has joined insurance firm Kennedys. He will act as a health and safety litigation consultant for the company on a part-time basis.Peter Smith will join Manches & Co in April, becoming the firm's fifth construction partner. Smith is currently a partner in the construction department at

  • Pendulum swings for panel firms

    22-Mar-1999

    In-house legal departments are becoming increasingly demanding when it comes to external legal advice. They want top-quality commercial advice combined with added value - and they want it now.Paragon Finance litigation manager Rebecca Wileman echoes all her in-house contemporaries when she says: "I'm quite prepared to sift out the dead wood" on her panel of external legal advisers if the service she receives does not come up to scratch. So, if you do not want to be ...

  • Public house, private name

    22-Mar-1999

    The Samuel Smith Old Brewery, Tadcaster, is being taken to the High Court by a couple from Lincoln, who are seeking a court order to ban Smiths from using their business name, Wig and Mitre, for a business run by the brewery next door.Michael and Valerie Hope, who run the Wig and Mitre at 30 Steep Hill, Lincoln, are seeking injunctions restraining the use of the name on the brewery’s property next door at number 29. They claim the name is their registered trade mark and ...

  • Quote of the week

    22-Mar-1999

    "I've got 50 partners up my butt trying to find out what's going on."- One regional marketing manager who contacted The Lawyer about our story revealing that Bupa was considering sidelining City firms in favour of regional practices. Ironically, it's usually Bupa which is doing the looking to find out what's going on.Correction. In Case of the Week (The Lawyer, 1 March 199), we wrongly stated that the inventor ...

  • Reuters

    22-Mar-1999

    In 1851, German-born immigrant Paul Julius Reuter opened an office in the City of London to transmit stock prices between London and Paris via the new Calais-Dover cable.

  • Rosemary Nelson (1958-99)

    22-Mar-1999

    "I BELIEVE that my role as a lawyer in defending the rights of my clients is vital. The test of a new society in Northern Ireland will be the extent to which it can recognise and respect that role, and enable me to discharge it without improper interference. I look forward to that day."Rosemary Nelson, said these words in Washington DC, in September 1998, during her testimony before a Congressional hearing on human rights in Northern Ireland. They carried an air of conviction, ...

  • Rowe & Maw lands local govt expert

    22-Mar-1999

    TOP LOCAL government specialist Anna Forge is understood to be leaving Berwin Leighton for Rowe & Maw.The move will bring two of the best-known local government lawyers, Forge and Tony Child, together.Rowe & Maw's six-lawyer department has a strong reputation in local government law and Child's name is synonymous with local government auditors. Local government insiders say Rowe & Maw needs Forge to attract PFI work in an expanding market.

  • Scuffle of the week

    22-Mar-1999

    A bizarre row, described by one bystander as "dynamite", has broken out among the Scottish judiciary. Scotland's most senior wig, Lord McCluskey, has criticised the Crown's handling of a murder case in Glasgow High Court. Lord Hardie, the Lord Advocate and head of prosecutions in Scotland, has broken with tradition and countered that Lord McCluskey spoke "in ignorance of the background to this case". While Lord McCluskey is ...

  • Sean Pierce

    22-Mar-1999

    So why did Sean Pierce buck the trend and quit the London office of US firm Weil Gotshal & Manges for Freshfields? Sean Farrell finds out

  • SJ Berwin's trade mark team joins Field Fisher

    22-Mar-1999

    SJ BERWIN'S trade mark and designs group is moving to Field Fisher Waterhouse.The entire 15-strong team, including partner John Olsen and five lawyers, will go at the end of the month.Olsen says he is moving to Field Fisher because intellectual property is a core practice there, unlike at SJ ...

  • Slaughters to pay £200k damages for negligence

    22-Mar-1999

    SLAUGHTER and May has been ordered to pay more than £200,000 in damages after the High Court found it acted negligently in a property deal.The City firm, which is considering an appeal, must pay £204,541 plus interest to Summit Financial Group (formerly Aurit Services) to indemnify the company for possible further losses.The case centred on an agreement to calculate the commission payable by ATC Property to Aurit for introducing two properties.

  • Square Mile

    22-Mar-1999

    So City law firms need to be more "media savvy" (David McIntosh, Square Mile, 18 March). Well, who could disagree? But how many know what media savvy really means?All too often, media savvy is regarded as just issuing a stream of 250-word press releases and chatting to a journo when it suits the partners. All very worthy, but in the face of recent hostile media coverage, these tactics would appear to be a tad inadequate.If ...

  • The Lawyer Inquiry: Jamie Martin was born in Romford in 1954. He is managing partner of Ward Hadaway, Newcastle Upon Tyne.

    22-Mar-1999

    What subject(s) did you fail at school?Latin.What was your first job?Driving a frozen food delivery van.What was your first ever salary as a lawyer?u118 per month as a trainee at Kingsford Dorman.What would you have done if you hadn't been a lawyer?If the Royal Air Force wouldn't have me, I would have liked to do something in the music industry.

  • UK firms' Brussels offices under threat

    22-Mar-1999

    A PROPOSED change in European Union legislation could spell hard times for the Brussels offices of law firms, it was claimed at the conference.Emil Paulis, head of the European Commission's DG IVA unit, which deals with competition issues, says the forthcoming White Paper on competition law could divert many block exemption cases to the national authorities of member states.Some Brussels offices could find their caseloads going back to London.The ...