23 February 1998

The Lawyer

  • Agreeing on tenancy rights

    24-Feb-1998

    Regarding Oldham Metropolitan Borough Council's new Tenancy Agreement, I read with some surprise the comments of Mr Johnson (The Lawyer 10 February), arguing it could impinge on civil liberties.Mr Johnson was given the opportunity to comment on the Tenancy Agreement during our extensive consultation process. He failed to do so.As the article makes clear, there was an lengthy lead-in time during which not only the views of our tenants were ...

  • All-change as sets opt for fast-track growth

    24-Feb-1998

    The "football transfer culture' at the Bar may be seen as an "undesirable trend', but it is nonetheless an irreversible one, writes Shaun PyeWhen 13 Old Square recruited six juniors from rival sets last autumn, clerks were quick to shrug it off. "It's like a stone hitting a pool," said one. "There'll be a few ripples, but then things will settle down." Unfortunately for him, it has started raining stones.Upstairs at 13 Old Square, Charles ...

  • Allen & Overy opts to "job-share' top IT role

    24-Feb-1998

    CITY firm Allen & Overy has "job-shared" its head of IT role as part of a radical shake-up of the way the firm organises its information technology needs.Whereas most firms appoint one head of IT to oversee the technical strategy of the firm, Allen & Overy has split the responsibility into four departments under the responsibility of two senior IT managers.The ...

  • Andersens tells staff Wilde Sapte talks "interesting'

    24-Feb-1998

    Arthur Andersen has circulated an e-mail to curious staff following a story in The Lawyer last week about Wilde Sapte's plans to merge with it saying that talks have been "interesting" but a merger is still a long way off.It is understood that Andersens has agreed the merger in principal provided that seven or eight key Wilde Sapte partners do not depart.Meanwhile corporate partner, Stephen Wozencroft, has become the eighth partner to resign from Wilde ...

  • Bar Council warns of exodus over tax reforms

    24-Feb-1998

    Government plans to change the way barristers pay tax will force many to quit the Bar and should be abandoned, according to the Bar Council's response to the proposals.Dawn Primarolo, Financial Secretary to the Treasury, announced on 22 December last year that all professionals would pay tax on an earnings rather than a cash-received basis. For barristers, this means paying tax on money they might not see for years.The response, ...

  • Bird Semple names media and IT unit

    24-Feb-1998

    Scottish firm Bird Semple is continuing its restructuring following the ousting of its chief executive by rebadging its media and technology group with the name Bird Semple TechMedia.TechMedia is planning an aggressive drive into the Aberdeen legal market and has also approached London IP/IT specialist firm Bird & Bird to discuss mutual referral arrangements and a possible joint marketing ...

  • Buggins is not dead

    24-Feb-1998

    May I express my profound surprise at the comments made to The Lawyer by "one leading council member" (The Lawyer 10 February).I am at a loss to understand whether that "leading council member" sees Kamlesh Bahl as "not sufficiently representative of the profession" because she is a woman or because she is employed. Perhaps this "leading council member" would have the courage of his/her convictions to identify him/herself and clear ...

  • CC goes pan-Euro with Shandwick

    24-Feb-1998

    Clifford Chance has appointed Shandwick Public Relations to up its profile in Europe, as rumours persist that the firm is planning a big project in the region.The firm, which had previously used Lowe Bell, hired Shandwick after holding a beauty parade of three PR firms, which included Lowe Bell. The appointment will be for a six-month trial period.Clifford Chance denied ...

  • CC poaches for Paris

    24-Feb-1998

    Clifford Chance has snatched a high-ranking French civil servant to join its Paris office. Jacques Pelletier has left the French tax office where he was Inspecteur General des Finances to become a senior adviser. He will advise the firm on relations with the administration and large companies. Pelletier is a graduate of France's elite Ecole Nationale d'Administration and has held senior ...

  • Conditional fee insurance is not a rip off

    24-Feb-1998

    Far from being a genuine attempt to promote access to justice, Anthony Barton believes that lawyers' support for legal aid constitutes little more than a thinly-veiled vested interestNot long ago the Bar Council reportedly warned that the introduction of conditional fees to replace the civil legal aid would lead to the public being "ripped off" by lawyers because of a conflict of interest in relation to the success fee.If lawyers have so ...

  • Correction

    24-Feb-1998

    In last week's litigator's view, we incorrectly stated that Judge Alton held Birmingham District Council liable following a swimming pool accident. In fact, the council involved was Wyre Forest District Council. Sarah Paneth has asked us to put the record straight and we are happy to do so. We apologise to Sarah Paneth and Birmingham District Council for our mistake.

  • Debevoise opens in Moscow

    24-Feb-1998

    US firm Debevoise & Plimpton has set up an office in Moscow, its second outpost in eastern Europe after Budapest.The office will be headed by Roswell Perkins, who will transfer from the New York office along with associate Kenneth Schneider.Another US lawyer Jonathan Hines will split his time between Moscow and New York. Two Russian qualified lawyers Dmitri Nikiforov ...

  • Denyer for Frankfurt

    24-Feb-1998

    Stephen Denyer has been appointed regional managing partner responsible for Allen & Overy's offices in Frankfurt, Prague, Budapest and Warsaw. He had previously been head of the firm's central European practice based out of the firm's Warsaw office. He will be transferring full-time to Frankfurt at the start of May.

  • Dissent under the golden arches

    24-Feb-1998

    Potential litigation against McDonalds as to whether the temperature of its coffee is responsible for serious burns could backfire on the profession, writes Chris FogartyIt is a case that will bring a smile to the face of even the most hardened tabloid headline writer. Three English law firms have been granted limited legal aid with a view to suing McDonalds on behalf of customers who claim they were severely burnt by the fast food chain's coffee.The action ...

  • Financing

    24-Feb-1998

    Stephenson Harwood acted for The Vardinoyannis Group in connection with a US$150m syndicated loan by the Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi to the Group's Luxembourg subsidiary, Centenia Finance SA. Allen & Overy acted for the Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi.

  • Firm snaps up brewery specialist

    24-Feb-1998

    Davies Wallis Foyster Manchester brewery specialist partner Mark Dennis has taken his team of four to Halliwell Landau along with his three major clients.Dennis joins Halliwell Landau's commercial litigation department with assistants John Lord and Nicola Field, and legal executive Beverly Loftus.The team will continue acting for its clients, Scottish and Newcastle, Whitbread and Reebok UK.He said the clients were happy with the move.

  • Forsyte Saunders Kerman in bid to merge with Lawrence Graham

    24-Feb-1998

    Lawrence Graham and Forsyte Saunders Kerman are understood to be in merger talks that would create a top 25 law firm in the UK.Any deal is likely to be a Lawrence Graham takeover.Forsyte Saunders, whose partner numbers have dropped from around 30 to 20 in the three years since it was created by merger, is believed to have been searching for a merger partner for some time.

  • German strategy changes

    24-Feb-1998

    While some foreign firms have failed in Germany, a change in tactics has seen others succeed, writes Patrick Stewart. Patrick Stewart is a freelance journalist.That Germany is an attractive destination for aspiring international law firms is undeniable. At least three UK-based firms Lovell White Durrant, Eversheds and Dibb Lupton Alsop are looking to set up there, and with good reason.

  • Govt gives green light to 23 PFI projects

    24-Feb-1998

    Eversheds and Clifford Chance are among the winners of the Government's decision to give the go-ahead to 23 new local authority PFI projects.Eversheds is involved in over half of the projects while Clifford Chance is advising Focsa Services on its bid for the largest deal Hereford and Worcester ...

  • HK man heads west

    24-Feb-1998

    Mitch Gitin, the head of Baker & McKenzie's US securities practice in Hong Kong, has been transferred to the firm's London office to boost its central and east European securities practice. The firm now has a team of five US securities lawyers based in London. Gitin joined the firm in 1992 from US firm

  • In brief: Body of Essex firm partner found

    24-Feb-1998

    The body of Richard Gilbert, a partner in Essex firm Fisher Long Forbes McLean, was found last week. Gilbert was believed to be under a police investigation over the disappearance of client money.

  • In brief: Freemasons must declare membership

    24-Feb-1998

    The Home Secretary, Jack Straw, announced last week that judges and magistrates will be expected to declare their membership of the Freemasons. Initially the proposed register will be voluntary for existing judges, but if judges refuse to co-operate then the Government will consider a change in the law to make registration compulsory.see Opinion, page 12

  • In brief: Frere Cholmeley Bischoff recruits Andrews

    24-Feb-1998

    Frere Cholmeley Bischoff has hired Charles Russell pensions partner Susan Andrews. Andrews, who joins as a partner, will take up the post of head of pensions, which has been vacant for a year.

  • In brief: Hoon names May as earliest reform date

    24-Feb-1998

    Late May is the earliest possible date for the introduction of the Government's planned legal aid reforms, Geoff Hoon, the Parliamentary Secretary at the Lord Chancellor's Department, told the House of Commons last week. A consultation paper this week will propose: extending conditional fees to all disputes; the withdrawal of legal aid from most personal injury disputes; a stricter merits test for legal aid; and a public interest fund for test cases.

  • In brief: Insurance firm takes the Edge

    24-Feb-1998

    Liverpool and Birmingham insurance litigation firm Weightmans has appointed Michael Edge as its new senior partner. Edge will take over from Tony Summers on 1 May 1998.

  • In brief: Irvine examining daily fee plan for litigants

    24-Feb-1998

    The Lord Chancellor, Lord Irvine has revisited the idea of charging litigants a daily fee during court cases in order to discourage them from stringing out cases. The proposal, first raised by Lord Irvine's predecessor, Lord Mackay, is contained in a "discussion paper" on court fees issued by the Lord Chancellor's Department last Friday.

  • In brief: Law Soc presses for Govt to scrap tax plans

    24-Feb-1998

    The Law Society is urging the Government to abandon its plans to switch from a cash to an earnings basis for calculating tax paid by solicitors. Failing that, it wants a 12-month delay in implementation to give firms time to replace accounting systems and evaluate work in progress. If the change goes ahead as planned there will be "a devastating affect across the profession, particularly on many smaller high street firms."see Chambers, page 8

  • In brief: Liberty law director defects to Justice

    24-Feb-1998

    Liberty's director of law and policy, Jonathan Cooper, has left the human rights group to join Justice where he will head a new human rights project.

  • In brief: New marketing manager at Shakespeares

    24-Feb-1998

    Birmingham practice Shakespeares has appointed Angela Baker as its new marketing manager. Baker joins from Central England Training and Enterprise Council where she was marketing communications manager for two years.

  • In brief: No need for juries in complex fraud trials

    24-Feb-1998

    Home Office minister Alun Michael last week proposed to dispense with juries in complex fraud trials, in a consultation which invited views on whether an alternative method of trial would result in a better quality of justice. Other options included a proposal to create tribunals with a judge supported by specially-qualified lay members.

  • In brief: West End firm continues growth spurt

    24-Feb-1998

    Finers the West End practice which recently swallowed up its neighbour Bennett Taylor Tyrell has recruited two new partners. James Harvey (pictured right) joins the firm from DJ Freeman's construction group, where he was a "senior solicitor" and commercial property solicitor Nichola Armstrong (pictured left) joins from Cameron McKenna.

  • Isle of Man venture

    24-Feb-1998

    Hammond Suddards has set up a joint film unit with Isle of Man firm Mann & Partners. The Isle has emerged as a major production centre for the UK film industry and the thrust of the new unit is to bring together Hammond Suddards' film financing skills and Mann & Partners' local expertise. The unit will be headed by Hammond Suddards partners Brian Eagles and Chris Parkinson.

  • Julius resigns from equity at Mishcons

    24-Feb-1998

    Anthony Julius will resign from the equity of Mishcon de Reya in April to become a part-time consultant at the firm.Julius, the firm's head of litigation and controversial de facto managing partner since 1992, will relinquish all management responsibilities, according to an internal memo circulated last week, and will work a minimum of three days a week at the firm for the next ...

  • Justice without the veil of secrecy

    24-Feb-1998

    Last week's decision by Home Secretary Jack Straw that those entering the criminal justice system would have to disclose their membership of the freemasons in the future has caused the usual furore.It was hardly surprising that such a decision provoked outrage from many quarters of the legal profession.Judges in particular are incensed by the prospect of registering their membership of the freemasons and as a result are loudly complaining about loss of privacy.

  • Lawyers "silent' over money laundering

    24-Feb-1998

    Not enough lawyers are reporting suspicions of money laundering by clients, according to the Financial Action Task Force on Money Laundering (FATF).The OECD-backed agency, in its first report since it was set up last year, called for lawyers to be better trained to recognise suspicious transactions.The UK imposes obligations on lawyers to report suspicious activities but, the report says, "to date they have made very few declarations of suspicion".Patrick ...

  • Lawyers expected to "vary' Diana's will

    24-Feb-1998

    Princess Diana's will is to be made public this week and her lawyers are expected to apply to vary it to make it easier for the princes to inherit her estate.It is understood her current will, drafted before her divorce from the Prince of Wales, only allows the princes to inherit the estate when they reach 25 years.Lawrence Graham partner Martyn Gowar, who is acting ...

  • LCD unveils major upgrade of Web site

    24-Feb-1998

    The Lord Chancellor's Department (LCD) has completed a major upgrade of its Internet Web site, following a significant upsurge in interest in its home pages.The LCD's previous temporary site went from recording just 300 visits, or "hits", a week, to well over 5,500 a week in the space of a year. The record for the site, almost 7,000 hits, followed the publication of Lord Irvine's speech in Cardiff last year.The upgrade is part of a programme for ...

  • Legal world is not immune to ageism

    24-Feb-1998

    Lawyers are just as likely to fall victim to age discrimination in the workplace as other professions, writes Makbool Javaid. Makbool Javaid is head of the discrimination law team at Dibb Lupton Alsop.Following Age Concern's recent "Age Discrimination" campaign, the battle for ageism to be made unlawful has come to the fore again.A London industrial tribunal decided that the provisions of the Employment Rights Act 1996, which deny over-65s the right to claim ...

  • Linklaters only UK firm on Chinese licence list

    24-Feb-1998

    Linklaters is understood to be the only UK firm out of 20 foreign law firms which have just been granted licences to open new offices in China.The Lawyer revealed last week that Linklaters had been granted a licence for its unofficial Shanghai office. It has now become clear that it is the only UK firm to be given a licence.At the time of going to press, a full list of the other ...

  • Linklaters-Schon Nolte split looms

    24-Feb-1998

    Linklaters is close to splitting from its Frankfurt joint venture partner Schon Nolte Finkelnburg & Clemm in a move that would clear the way for a tie-up with leading German firm Oppenhoff & RAdler.Although Oppenhoff partners voted two weeks ago on co-operation with Linklaters, the firm is remaining tight-lipped about the result.A source suggested that co-operation had been approved ...

  • Litigation Disciplinary Tribunals 24/2/98

    24-Feb-1998

    Charles Anthony Darnell, 43, admitted 1978, employed at material time by David Matthews & Co, Liverpool, struck off and ordered to pay costs of £850. He had been convicted of two offences of conspiracy to supply a controlled drug and sentenced to a term of imprisonment. On 29 April 1997 he had appeared before Chester Crown Court and pleaded guilty to conspiracy to supply a Class A controlled drug MDMA and to supply a Class B drug amphetamine and on 1 May ...

  • Litigation Personal Injury 24/2/98

    24-Feb-1998

    Decisions are taken from Lawtel's Case Law database. LTL: Lawtel report; TLR: Times Law Reports; ILR: Independent Law ReportBarnes v Ministry of Defence QBD 8 December 1997Claimant: Simon Barnes, 34 yearsIncident: Accident while serving member of armed forcesInjuries: Claimant, a former Territorial Army paratrooper left wheelchair-bound after an assault course accident 13 years ago. On the day of the accident he had taken ...

  • Litigation Recent Decisions 24/2/98

    24-Feb-1998

    Where liability is admitted but quantum is in disputePeter Limb (Appellant) v (1) Union Jack Removals (in liquidation) (2) Jack Robert Honess (Respondents): McGivern v Brown: Partington v Turners Bakery: Pyne Edwards v Moore Large & Co: Smith v Brothers of Charity Services: Tomkins v Griffiths (1998)Court: CA (Brooke LJ, Mummery LJ and Sir John Balcombe) 10/2/98Summary: CCR order 9 r10 does not apply where the defendant does not admit both liability ...

  • Litigation Writs 24/2/98

    24-Feb-1998

    Andrew Bettiss of Winterton, Scunthorpe, is suing West Sussex Health Authority, Crawley Horsham NHS Trust, and Royal Surrey County and St Luke's Hospitals NHS Trust for damages for personal injuries and financial loss. Bettiss claims in his writ that medical staff failed to diagnose and appropriately treat his medical condition, and carried out unnecessary investigatory surgical and other procedures. Writ issued by Hett Stubbs & Kemp, Scunthorpe.

  • London firm "guts' its IT infrastructure

    24-Feb-1998

    LONDON practice Matthew Arnold & Baldwin has "gutted" and revamped its IT infrastructure at a cost of £350,000.The 15-partner commercial law and private client firm is replacing its AIM Charter II practice management system with a Videss Legal Office practice management system, and its outdated computer processing package with Microsoft Office Suite.

  • Making friends and influencing trends

    24-Feb-1998

    German practices have traditionally been alliance-shy but recent movements show that trends may be changing says Patrick StewartIt looks as though 1998 is shaping up to be the year of the euro-merger in Germany. Bruckhaus Westrick Stegemann was the first off the mark when it tied the knot with Austrian firm Heller Lober Bahn & Partners, the first major cross-border merger involving a German firm.But this was soon overshadowed by Deringer Tessin Herrmann & Sedemund ...

  • Marija Danilunas on the Microsoft anti-trust case.

    24-Feb-1998

    Marija Danilunas is an intellectual property partner at Hammond Suddards.LAST MONTH Microsoft settled part of the civil anti-trust proceedings brought against it by the US Department of Justice, thereby avoiding a finding of contempt of court and a $1m-a-day fine.Industry may view the practice of a licensor requiring licensees to buy all its products as a condition of getting a licence to patented products as sound business practice. But, this process ...

  • Merger failure reignites accountants' legal plans

    24-Feb-1998

    The sudden break-off of Ernst & Young's merger talks with KPMG took their competition lawyers by surprise, but it will make it easier for both firms to pursue a UK legal capacity, according to the men charged with the task.Andrew Daws, recruited by Ernst & Young last year from Denton Hall to lead its move into legal practice, conceded that Ernst & Young's merger talks, announced days after his appointment, made talks with lawyers or firms "exploratory rather than ...

  • Morris in plan to scrap "soundings'

    24-Feb-1998

    THE ATTORNEY General, John Morris QC, who is facing a sex discrimination suit, privately admitted weeks ago that his department keeps no data on Treasury Counsel appointments to enable it to judge its commitment to equal opportunities.Last week he publicly denied allegations of sexual discrimination in his appointment of Philip Sales from Lord Irvine's former chambers.But a month ago, The Lawyer has learned, Morris responded to a Bar Council investigation ...

  • Mortgage products to roll up in court

    24-Feb-1998

    The West Bromwich Building Society stands accused of offering a mortgage scheme which targets the vulnerable, reports Roger Pearson The Investors Compensation Scheme (ICS) is taking the West Bromwich Building Society to the High Court this week, accusing it of marketing a mortgage scheme which targeted the "elderly and vulnerable".At a preliminary one-day hearing a fortnight ago, it was claimed that West Bromwich knew there was a possibility ...

  • New practice tunes up with Bassey

    24-Feb-1998

    The recent county court action in which Shirley Bassey was accused of slapping her personal assistant, calling her a Jewish bitch and dismissing her in a drunken rage would have been a good high-profile case for any practice to handle.For newly-formed practice, Stock Fraser Cukier, the case was important in establishing the firm as a force to be reckoned with. But, apart from the advantages of being involved in such a high-profile action, it draws ...

  • Outraged judges say tape recorders not an option

    24-Feb-1998

    The Lord Chancellor’s Department has outraged judges and barristers by proposing to replace court stenographers with tape recorders.A Court Service consultation paper issued last month proposed the introduction of tape recorders. It wants to abort an existing programme which has seen traditional shorthand typists replaced by a computer-assisted transcription system (CAT) in 177 of the country’s 526 courtrooms.It had thought the system would be more efficient ...

  • Property

    24-Feb-1998

    Morgan Bruce acted for Capital and Regional Properties on the sale of a £16.1m office and retail portfolio to Citicourt Securities, represented by Palmer Cowen.

  • Property

    24-Feb-1998

    Frere Cholmeley Bischoff acted for Warner Estate Holdings on its £4.475m purchase of a portfolio of retail town centre properties from Ropner, advised by Lawrence Graham.

  • SC selection dispute

    24-Feb-1998

    The New South Wales state government in Australia has accused the local Bar of breaching the state's trade practices law in its selection of Senior Counsel, the equivalent of QC in the UK. Senior Counsel are currently chosen annually behind closed doors by five prominent barristers, but the state's attorney general says that the selection process is not in the public interest and should be conducted by a properly constituted selection committee. The NSW Bar Association has ...

  • Scots Law Soc site

    24-Feb-1998

    The Law Society of Scotland has launched a Web site in a move to make the legal profession more accessible to the public. The site contains a database of all Scottish solicitors, firms and certain public sector organisations. There are also links to sites of University faculties and legal organisations. Current information and articles on the history of Scottish law can also be found on the site. Society president John Elliot said: "Everyone has an interest in the law in some ...

  • SIF contributions to rocket under shortfall pay-off plan

    24-Feb-1998

    Payments to the Solicitors' Indemnity Fund (SIF) will rise by a massive 30 per cent for the next seven years under a proposal to pay off its £450m shortfall.The Law Society's standards and guidance committee approved the hike earlier this month and the full council is due to vote on 5 March.The rise is in addition to a 50 per cent increase that the Law Society introduced last year.But deputy vice-president Robert Sayer wants a fresh ...

  • SIF makes massive saving after NHL ruling

    24-Feb-1998

    Millions of pounds have saved from the Solicitor's Indemnity Fund's reserves following a House of Lords ruling.Since National Home Loans (NHL) was refused leave to appeal its case against solicitors Giffen Couch & Archer in December, hundreds of similar claims have been settled in favour of the solicitors.NHL had argued that Giffens had a duty to advise it about existing mortgage arrears of borrowers who went on to default, despite the fact that this ...

  • Solicitor fined £15,000 for misleading investors

    24-Feb-1998

    Former Blyth Dutton partner Peter Hooper was fined £15,000 this month (Friday 13th) for drafting a misleading "comfort letter" to investors in motor cycle company Norton Group.Hooper, who was charged under the Financial Services Act 1986, drafted the letter on the instruction of Norton's chief executive Philippe Le Roux, who was also fined £15,000 and disqualified from being a company director for five years at Southwark Crown Court.In the letter ...

  • Summers slams Bar Council disbar rules

    24-Feb-1998

    A former barrister is threatening judicial review of a proposed Bar Council rule that will effectively disbar barristers who re-qualify as solicitors.Under the proposals, due to go before the Bar Council in March, barristers who become solicitors will be suspended for as long as they hold a solicitor's practising certificate.But former barrister Gary Summers of Magrath & Co is threatening to judicially review the plan. He said: "The public will think that ...

  • Suppliers' birthdays

    24-Feb-1998

    Two legal software suppliers will celebrate their 20th birthdays at the Software for Solicitors exhibition on 4-5 March. Pilgrim Systems, which provides more than 200 law firms with LawSoft practice management systems, will cut a celebratory cake at the show. Pilgrim Systems also celebrate 20 years in the business. More than 300 people are expected to attend the show, which will feature 18 stands.

  • Tally of Dibbs-Edges defectors reaches 14

    24-Feb-1998

    The haemorrhaging of lawyers from Edge & Ellison to Birmingham rival Dibb Lupton Alsop continues with the departures of two senior property associates.Retail and leisure specialists Jane Rothwell and Anne Lamb were to be considered for partnership at Edges this May. They will instead join Dibbs as partners to help it build a retail property practice in Birmingham.In the last year, Edges has lost 14 lawyers to Dibbs.Rothwell, who is eight years qualified, ...

  • Tenancy rights for gay men

    24-Feb-1998

    The Law Lords are being asked to hear an appeal centring on the tenancy succession rights of homosexuals. Last July the Court of Appeal upheld a 1996 Central London County Court ruling that Martin Fitzpatrick, who had lived in stable relationship with named tenant of flat in London W6 for nearly 20 years, was not entitled to take over tenancy when his partner died. The Rent Act 1977 specifies that succession rights apply only to spouses or family members of the deceased. Fitzpatrick ..

  • The end of a nightmare

    24-Feb-1998

    After a campaign led by Tim and Angela Devlin and fuelled by public opinion, Sheila Bowler has been found not guilty of killing her husband's aunt, writes Claire VearesTim Devlin is more used to promoting the law than challenging it. A public relations consultant for the College of Law, he previously acted for the International Bar Association and the Inns of Court School of Law.But last week he was among those celebrating the release of Sheila Bowler, wrongly ...

  • The Lawyer Inquiry: Paula Feldman

    24-Feb-1998

    Paula Feldman was born in 1960 in London. She is a solicitor in the media litigation group at Richards Butler.What was your first job?Selling antiques in Portobello Market.What was your first ever salary as a lawyer?£80 per week plus luncheon vouchers worth 25p per day.What would you have done if you hadn't become a lawyer?A photographer for National Geographic.

  • Trowers first in Oman partnership

    24-Feb-1998

    Trowers & Hamlins is to create the first foreign partnership with an Omani lawyer in order to comply with the country's new rules on foreign law firms.Oman last year introduced new regulations which gave foreign law firms until the end of 1999 to form joint ventures with local lawyers or risk losing their offices.The firm is hoping to form a local partnership with ...

  • Woolf to enlist retired solicitors

    24-Feb-1998

    Lord Woolf is speaking to commercial judges to try and get retired City solicitors on to the bench.He told a seminar on his civil justice reforms at Richards Butler: "There are very able litigators who have to retire at an early age by judicial standards. They have spent their whole lives managing cases and provide a reservoir of talent to supplement and assist the judiciary."City solicitors have welcomed his comments. A survey of City litigators last year revealed ...