23 June 1997

The Lawyer

  • Ad campaign woos clients with a laugh

    24-Jun-1997

    Wragge & Co has launched an advertising campaign in a bid to tempt clients away from City litigators.The series of four adverts, extolling the virtues of the 17-partner, 110-lawyer strong litigation department, will appear in the business press over a four-month period. Developed by Vivarini Advertising, the adverts use cartoons making fun of lawyers while hammering home the message that litigation ...

  • Asim's chair spells out goals

    24-Jun-1997

    The new chairman of the Association of Solicitor Investment Managers (Asim), Iain Nicholson, has promised to fight to keep investment advice within legal practice.Nicholson, senior partner of Newcastle solicitors Nicholson & Co, replaced retiring chairman Anthony Wands of Thesis at Asim's annual general meeting in Bournemouth on 14 June. He is the first chairman to be a qualified lawyer as well as an investment manager since Asim was founded four years ago.

  • Bar Council democracy campaigners will persist

    24-Jun-1997

    Senior barristers campaigning for the Bar Council's leaders to be elected democratically are to renew their efforts after losing an AGM motion on the issue by just one vote.At the AGM on 14 June, Robin de Wilde QC's motion to open up the election of office holders to all barristers and not just the Bar Council, was defeated by 51 votes to 50.De Wilde said the Bar Council meeting on 26 July would now be asked by a member of the council, yet to be named, ...

  • Bar Council directory heads for Internet

    24-Jun-1997

    The Bar Council has launched the official Bar Directory on the Internet.The web site is a joint venture with FT Law and Tax, the publisher of the Bar Directory, and it is accessed through the company's home page at http://www.ftlawandtax.com.Bar Council chair Robert Owen QC said the Internet directory represented "another step forward in improving the accessibility of the Bar"."Now potential Bar clients from all over ...

  • Bar subscriptions

    24-Jun-1997

    The Government may intervene to ensure barristers pay their subscriptions to the Bar Council, treasurer Michael Blair QC has warned. "It's possible that we may need the Government to legislate to put our finances on the same sound footing as other similar organisations," Blair told the Bar Council Annual General meeting on 14 June. Last year subscriptions raised £2,338,643. The number of subscriptions was down this year but Blair has not given ...

  • Brief

    24-Jun-1997

    The leaked document on the conduct of the presidential elections is a testimony to all that is wrong with the Law Society. Not only are the presidential candidates prepared to fight a dirty war, they are also prepared to ride roughshod over the Law Society Council and use their influence to stifle debate on important issues, their eyes firmly fixed on the election.The High Street Starter Kit debacle is one issue which typifies this. Instead of debating the issue on its merits, ...

  • Call to make property more liquid

    24-Jun-1997

    Nabarro Nathanson's tax and property finance partner, Peter Kempster, has called on the property and investment industries to come together to push for a single investment vehicle to increase the liquidity of property.Speaking at a conference on real estate finance organised by the firm this month, Kempster berated property professionals and financiers for not working together to solve ...

  • Children's rights panel seeks lawyers' backing

    24-Jun-1997

    LAWYERS, social workers and journalists should work together to protect children, according to a forum on child protection and media coverage of child abuse cases, chaired by the family specialist Elizabeth Lawson QC.The panel, which includes representatives from the charity Action on Child Exploitation and the media ethics group PressWise, has called for a Royal Commission ofInquiry into the rules surrounding media coverage of children's issues.

  • Chinese and WTO debate the rights of foreign firms

    24-Jun-1997

    AN EASING of the restrictions imposed on foreign lawyers by China may be on the horizon as the protracted negotiations over its application to join the World Trade Organisation (WTO) draw to a close.China and the WTO are understood by The Lawyer to be near to agreement on China's application to join the body.One sticking point during the protracted talks, which are currently taking place in Geneva, has been the rights China is prepared to extend to international ...

  • Competition winner

    24-Jun-1997

    Tuckers Solicitors' paralegal Ruth Barber has won this year's Young Barrister Case Writing Competition. Organised by the Citizenship Foundation and Bar Council, the competition is for barristers under 30 years old. Entrants are required to write a simple criminal case for use in the BarNational Mock Trial Competition, which is open to 15 to 18-year-olds. Called to the Bar in 1996, Barber's case was about a dyslexic pupil who was accused of damaging ...

  • Cooking up City practices

    24-Jun-1997

    There are now nearly 60 US law firms operating in central London, employing among them a total of 439 fee-earners. If you put them all under one roof, they would form the 15th largest firm in the country - larger than Addleshaw Booth & Co and closing in on Nabarro Nathanson.No one can argue that this does not show a serious commitment, but can US firms do more in London than function as branch ...

  • Diplomats throw their weight behind an international court

    24-Jun-1997

    The former secretary-general of the United Nations, Boutros Boutros Ghali, joined other leading international figures last week at the launch of a campaign to press for the creation of an International Criminal Court by 1998.The two-day meeting in Paris marked the official launch of the 1997-98 No Peace Without Justice (NPWJ) campaign.The campaign was set up despite formal commitments by the UN to set up the Statute of the Court by 1998, because of worries that ...

  • Disabled Crime Victims. Acting on injustice

    24-Jun-1997

    Whether our legal system fails learning-disabled victims of crime is something which most lawyers have probably never even considered. After all, very few cases involving victims with learning difficulties ever get to court.But why these victims are so often exiled from the legal system is a question now being addressed in a play produced by the Strathcona theatre company.Strathcona, which is made up of eight learning-disabled professional actors and two directors, ...

  • EOC prepares for in-depth equality legislation revamp

    24-Jun-1997

    The Equal Opportunities Commission (EOC) is set to carry out a major review of the 20-year-old Sex Discrimination and Equal Pay Acts.It wants the Government to replace the two acts with a single statute, which it hopes will clarify equality laws.The chief legal adviser at the EOC, Alan Lakin, said that the that commission was confident that its recommendations would be heeded.The previous Government rejected similar EOC proposals in 1988 and 1990, ...

  • European firms use London as a base to service clients from

    24-Jun-1997

    Unlike a number of the US firms in London that have been on a spending spree and recruited major players from City practices, the European firms which are attracted to London as a base to service their clients from, have been making inroads on a much smaller scale.The type of work offered by overseas firms with a presence here ranges from the expected commercial, corporate and financial services to the more surprising private client work.One firm that started ...

  • Fee earning no longer seen as primary driving force behind US lawyers' pay

    24-Jun-1997

    A survey of US firms has shown for the first time that hours billed is no longer the key factor in determining what they pay their lawyers.The survey of 195 US firms, which was conducted by the publishing arm of legal consultants Altman Weil Pensa, reveals that they now believe that the ability of their fee earners to generate new business is more important than the individual fees they clock up.And although fees billed came second in a list compiled by the consultants ...

  • Feelings on Edge

    24-Jun-1997

    In his article in The Lawyer on 10 June, John Edge again pulls out of the hat his argument about the Law Society doing something to ensure that mortgage lenders pay for the service they receive from the legal profession. If Edge was a mortgage lender in business for profit, I wonder what his reaction would be if the profession tried to lay down such rules.I certainly know what I would do - appoint one or two firms because, as a lender, I would know that ...

  • Financing

    24-Jun-1997

    Collyer Bristow acted for health club company The Racquets and Healthtrack Group on its £51m seven-year debt financing deal. Stephenson Harwood advised Robert Fleming, the arranger of the loan.

  • Firms remain sceptical about green form pilot

    24-Jun-1997

    The majority of legal aid practices responding to the Law Society's survey on the Legal Aid Board's (LAB) green form pilot still have doubts about taking part.Of the 30 questionnaires returned last week from the 145 law firms that the LAB had chosen to participate, approximately six decided that they would definitely not go ahead with the pilot, one or two said that they certainly would participate, but most of the firms surveyed remained undecided.Law ...

  • Flotations

    24-Jun-1997

    Edward Lewis acted for loyalty card and swipe card machine manufacturer HTEC Group on its £10m flotation by placing on the London Stock Exchange. Garretts advised Greig Middleton

  • Flotations

    24-Jun-1997

    Linklaters & Paines advised Halifax Building Society on its £18bn conversion and flotation. Halifax was also advised in-house. Allen & Overy advised it on treasury and capital markets.

  • Grandparent power holds court

    24-Jun-1997

    A recent Court of Appeal decision has given hope to many grandparents fighting for closer contact with their grand children following the break-up of the children's parents.Solicitor Colin Dearmar and counsel Jane Hoyal, both family law specialists involved in the case of Re S & C (minors), view the decision as one which maybe of benefit to thousands of grandparents who are striving to maintain contact with their grandchildren.In the past, ...

  • Heated debate on management issue

    24-Jun-1997

    Chris Fogarty reportsTHE BAR has been attacked by a leading City lawyer for remaining inefficient and arrogant despite the current debate over the need for chambers to be run more effectively.Addressing 140 clerks, practice managers and barristers at The Lawyer's second annual seminar on leadership and management issues for chambers, Herbert Smith litigation partner David Gold warned chambers that a superficial reorganisation may not achieve anything ...

  • How much for the asbestos?

    24-Jun-1997

    Judgment is pending in a property case in which the Arab Bank seeks £12.5m from John D Wood Commercial (in liquidation). The case concerns money loaned on the basis of a property valuation by Woods. The bank claims that Woods failed to carry out a proper inspection of the service tunnels on the property and failed to seek specialist advice concerning asbestos present on site.

  • In brief: Clifford Chance partner to head US firm

    24-Jun-1997

    New York firm Calwalader Wickersham & Taft has poached partner Andrew Wilkinson from Clifford Chance to head up its new London practice. Wilkinson, who is the head of the Noncontentious Insolvency Group and Insurance Restructuring Practice at Clifford Chance, joins three other City partners in the new practice which opens for business on 1 September.

  • In brief: Dundas & Wilson confirms hive-off

    24-Jun-1997

    Edinburgh firm Dundas & Wilson, which is still in talks with Arthur Andersen to join its law firm network, has confirmed that its seven-partner private client department is being hived off. The new firm will practise as Turcan Connell with effect from 18 August, and will occupy a part of Saltire Court where ...

  • In brief: Glasgow firm Bishops wins trusteeship

    24-Jun-1997

    The pensions team at Glasgow firm Bishop & Robertson Chalmers has been appointed independent trustee for the occupational pension scheme of 6,000 workers and former employees at the recently privatised Rosyth Royal Dockyard. The scheme, with more than £300m in assets, is one of the biggest still administered in Scotland. Bishop's pensions unit set up a separate limited company Mitre Pensions, to do the job.

  • In brief: Institute of Patent Agents strikes Gold

    24-Jun-1997

    Stephenson Harwood partner Tibor Gold has been elected vice president of the Chartered Institute of Patent Agents. Gold, who heads Stephenson Harwood's intellectual property group, said he believes he is the first practising solicitor to reach such a high position at the Institute. Gold claims to be one of a very small number of individuals in the UK who is qualified as both a solicitor ...

  • In brief: Maclays sets up London litigation team

    24-Jun-1997

    Leading Glasgow firm Maclay Murray Spens is to set up a litigation team at its London office. It has recruited a partner from a city firm, who is yet to be named. "We have experienced a considerable growth in client requirement for English litigation services and it now makes sense to have a team in London," said Michael Walker, Maclays' senior partner. The firm has also recruited Robin Garrett, a property partner from 12-partner Edinburgh firm Steedman Ramage, who will join the ...

  • In brief: Pinsents parades three new partners

    24-Jun-1997

    Pinsent Curtis has added three new partners - Joanna Higgins (right), Karen Eckstein and Tim Richards - to its national litigation practice. Higgins arrives from Ashurst Morris Crisp as a commercial litigator and dispute resolution specialist. Eckstein has left Nottingham firm Browne Jacobson to work in Pinsent's ...

  • In brief: Prosecution witness handling to improve

    24-Jun-1997

    The Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) is to ensure that prosecution witnesses in Crown Court cases receive better treatment by giving the Witness Service a list of people they expect to attend court. Under the new scheme, the CPS will pass on to the Witness Service, which is run by Victim Support, The List of Witnesses to Attend Court, which contains the names and addresses of prosecution witnesses likely to give evidence in court. This will allow the Witness Service to contact witnesses ...

  • In brief: Sam Wilson

    24-Jun-1997

    An article in the The Lawyer, 10 June reported Martin Mears' call for the chair of the Solicitors Indemnity Fund (SIF) to resign over a £454.5m shortfall in the fund. The article incorrectly identified Sam Wilson as chair of the SIF. He is in fact chair of the Law Society's standards and guidance committee and there was no call by Mears for him to resign.

  • International Bar Association. Peace-keeping force

    24-Jun-1997

    With 180 member organisations representing 2.5 million lawyers, 18,000 of whom are individual members, there is no doubt that the International Bar Association (IBA) is big.Its biennial conferences, often held in such glamorous locations as Cannes and New Orleans, attract suitably large numbers, with thousands turning out for successive dinners, workshops and seminars.Such powerful audiences bring in big-name speakers. When ...

  • Irish court orders Law Society to give secretary her job back

    24-Jun-1997

    The Law Society of Ireland has been told by Eire's Labour Court - the Irish equivalent of the UK's Advisory Conciliatory and Arbitration Service - to reinstate a secretary whose sacking sparked off a three-week strike and picketing of the Law Society's Dublin headquarters.The strike among the society's 40 administrative and clerical workers had been prompted by the Law Society's decision to sack a secretary who had refused to work outside normal ...

  • IT spending doubles in three years among small law firms

    24-Jun-1997

    Solicitors in small firms are now spending twice as much on IT as they were three years ago, according to a leading legal IT firm.Avenue Legal Systems said an analysis of its sales figures has revealed that firms with between two and five partners are now prepared to spend £60,000 on overhauling their IT systems, compared to the £30,000 they were willing to part with three years ago.The figure breaks down to between £3,000 ...

  • Litigation Disciplinary Tribunals 24/06/97

    24-Jun-1997

    Robert Jarrett Whitehead, admitted 1966, Paul Jeffrey Buckingham, admitted 1971, Barry Norman Whitehead, admitted 1970, Peter David Wiseman, admitted 1970, Jan Anthony Jellema, admitted 1975, practising at material times in partnership as Rutherfords fined respectively £5,000, £1,000, £1,000, £1,000 and £1,000, and each ordered to pay £1,750 costs. ...

  • Litigation Personal Injury 24/06/97

    24-Jun-1997

    Debenham v South West Surrey Health Authority - QBD 13 May 1997Claimant: Simon Debenham, 12 yearsIncident: Medical negligenceInjuries: Plaintiff suffered hypoxia during birth at Royal Surrey Hospital in January 1985 resulting in spastic quadriplegia, cerebral palsy and grave developmental problems. His condition was such that he did not breathe spontaneously for 30 minutes after birth and suffered a series of heart attacks. Health authority ...

  • Litigation Recent Decisions 24/06/97

    24-Jun-1997

    Michael Howard's decision in Bulger case held unlawfulRv Secretary of State for the Home Department, ex parte Venables, R v Same, ex parte Thompson (1997)Court: HL (Lords Goff, Browne-Wilkinson, Lloyd, Steyn, Hope) 12 June 199Summary: The Home Secretary's increase of the minimum period of detention for the child murderers of James Bulger from 10 to 15 years held to be unlawful.

  • Litigation Writs 24/06/97

    24-Jun-1997

    Three Swindon land owners who claim a local firm of solicitors was negligent in its handling of a property transaction have now launched a potentially massive High Court damages claim. Jeremy and Peter Francis and Caroline Findley, all of Manor Farm, Haydon Wick, Swindon, have issued a writ seeking damages from solicitors Townsends, of Swindon. The writ claims that, in 1955, their parents Godfrey and Pamela Francis bought Manor Farm, a prime site ...

  • London: the place to be

    24-Jun-1997

    In times past, the popular image of the London resident partner of an Australian law firm was an Anglophile with a love of cricket, Ascot and decisions of the Privy Council (perhaps in that order).The position was generally only taken by the most senior partners, and the office itself was perceived as essentially a postbox. The limitations of technology meant the assistance it could provide was limited.This changed in the 1980s with the arrival of all conquering ...

  • McLibel trial firm makes £3m

    24-Jun-1997

    Barlow Lyde & Gilbert is believed to have billed around £3m to McDonalds for its work in the marathon libel trial which closed last week with a qualified victory and a huge PR loss for the hamburger chain.Commercial litigation partner Patti Brinley-Codd, assisted by Robert Hill, led the Barlows team and was present at the trial for 309 of the total 313 days.McDonalds' costs have been estimated at £10m with between £5m and £7m in external ...

  • Mears vs Sycamore

    24-Jun-1997

    In an election race where both candidates are desperate not to be labelled part of the Law Society establishment, it is perhaps Martin Mears who can best lay claim to the rebel tag.He ended a long-standing tradition and forced a contested election for the presidency in 1995, which he went on to win.He then dragged the society out of Chancery Lane and on to the pages of the national press with a series of clashes with women solicitors and staff.But ...

  • Mencap calls for duty solicitors' vigilance

    24-Jun-1997

    Duty solicitors at police stations must play a more active role in identifying people in custody who may have learning difficulties, according to the mental health charity Mencap.Under the terms of the Police and Criminal Evidence Act 1984, people with learning difficulties must be accompanied by an appropriate adult to ensure that they are treated fairly and know what is happening when being interviewed by the police.But figures due to be released at a conference ...

  • Merger with Grippo cements Simmons' Italian connection

    24-Jun-1997

    Simmons & Simmons has merged with its long-standing Italian partner, Milan-based firm Grippo e Associati, taking on three new partners as part of the deal.The two firms have operated under the joint banner of Grippo Associati e Simmons & Simmons since a formal association deal was signed in May 1993, and the merger is described as a "cementing" of a long-standing relationship."This will be a fully integrated merger. We will operate in Milan and Rome under the ...

  • Move to Hardwicke's

    24-Jun-1997

    Former doctor and Social Security Appeal Tribunal chairman Dr Richard Ough has joined Hardwicke Building from 4 Paper Buildings, the chambers of Harvey McGregor QC. Ough, who was a qualified doctor for 10 years before being called to the Bar in 1985, will join Hardwicke's PI/medical negligence group, which is headed by another recent arrival, former 1 Temple Gardens barrister George Pulman QC.

  • No law in cyberspace

    24-Jun-1997

    Of the many new considerations that the widespread use of the Internet raises, one of the most significant is the issue of jurisdiction.Copyright protection is territorial in nature, but the Internet has no regard for national boundaries. Many questions need to be answered before the global protection of works can be assured on the Internet. For example, when a user uploads an unauthorised piece of work, it will be transmitted worldwide through a number ...

  • Nuclear waste storage project for Simmons

    24-Jun-1997

    Simmons & Simmons has teamed up with a scientific consultancy to win a two-year Department of the Environment research contract to work out ways to dispose of high-level radioactive waste.Stephen Tromans, head of Simmons' environmental law department, who will work on the project with assistant James FitzGerald and nuclear energy consultancy QuantiSci, said Simmons' role would be to work out the legal framework for the disposal of the highly dangerous waste, which ...

  • OSS revamp ousts policy head

    24-Jun-1997

    The head of policy at the Office of the Supervision of Solicitors (OSS) has been made redundant in a reshuffle designed to give more hands-on policy control to its director Peter Ross.Suzanne Phillips is still within the contractual month-long consultation period with the Law Society, but Christina Heidensohn, the other policy unit member and research liaison manager, has been offered an alternative position.At the same time, Redditch-based controller of administration ...

  • Overhaul for Dorset firm

    24-Jun-1997

    Dorset-based practice Humphries Kirk recently overhauled its communications system after discovering a supplier based close to its main office.The five-office, nine-partner firm hired Wareham designer and installer Ensign Communications to replace its outdated hardware and software.It has increased the speed of the firm's hardware, added PCs with Windows 95 and email, and linked the offices using BT's Kilostream constant connection service.

  • Partner quits Mishcons after 11 years

    24-Jun-1997

    Mishcon de Reya litigation partner Paula Feldman has resigned from the firm after 11 years' service, before the conclusion of a grievance procedure she had initiated.Feldman is currently helping the Press Association with legal work while she looks for a new position.A Mishcons' spokeswoman said: "Feldman made the decision to leave before the investigation of a ...

  • Plan to speed up appeals

    24-Jun-1997

    The Civil Division of the Court of Appeal has created the new post of practice registrar who will meet practitioners and litigants with a view to solving their procedural problems in bringing an appeal.Deputy registrar Ian Joseph, who will perform the role along with the registrar, John Adams, said the position would be similar to that of the practice masters in the Queen's Bench Division . "Until now, we have dealt with problems through the post, but it helps to meet ...

  • Property

    24-Jun-1997

    Linklaters & Paines advised the BP Pension Fund - Ropemaker Properties - on the £100m sale of a dozen properties in Mayfair and Knightsbridge to overseas buyers. The largest, Berger House went for £40m. Eversheds and Pettman Smith advised the buyers and their bankers respectively.

  • Property

    24-Jun-1997

    Cameron McKenna advised Berkeley Homes on its purchase of the Harrods Depository at Barnes to redevelop it into luxury flats to be known as Harrods Village. Herbert Smith advised Harrods.

  • Property

    24-Jun-1997

    Ashurst Morris Crisp acted for the London Docklands Development Corporation on a master building agreement on the development of West India Quay, with a consortium represented by Bernard Stafford and Finers.

  • Property

    24-Jun-1997

    Stephenson Harwood acted for Christ's Hospital on its agreement for a £20m redevelopment of its 15-17 Long Acre Lane site by London and Paris Estates, advised by Eversheds.

  • Pumfrey faces £72,000 suit over alleged negligence

    24-Jun-1997

    Leading IT and intellectual property silk Nicholas Pumfrey QC is being sued by a former client for more than £72,000 for alleged negligence.A High Court writ has been issued by IT company Integrated Technologies of Ashford, which is based in Kent. The company accuses Pumfrey of involving it in "three wasted hearings" during March and April last year.Integrated Technologies is claiming the sum of £72,432 as costs incurred and is also seeking damages ...

  • Refusing to house the gay community

    24-Jun-1997

    The gay community is awaiting the outcome of a Court of Appeal action that will have wide implications concerning tenancy rights for gay men.A gay man, who lived with his partner for nearly 20 years in what two judges heard was a "loving and monogamous" relationship, is at the centre of the legal battle.Former Royal Navy serviceman Martin Fitzpatrick is fighting for the right to be recognised as legally entitled to take over the tenancy of ...

  • Regulator may remove right to self-regulation

    24-Jun-1997

    The New complaints systems being operated by the Law Society and the Bar Council must improve their service to the public or the profession will lose the right to regulate itself, Legal Services Ombudsman Michael Barnes has warned.Barnes has welcomed the replacement of the Solicitors Complaints Bureau with the Office of the Supervision of Solicitors (OSS) and a strengthened Bar Council Complaints system, but warned against complacency. "I think complaints handling by the ...

  • Reynolds invests £200k in IT

    24-Jun-1997

    PROFESSIONAL indemnity firm Reynolds Porter Chamberlain is spending £200,000 on hardware as part of a two-year project to update its IT system.The London firm has hired consultants Trescray Network Communications to install a system, which will link all the fee earners in its three London offices on one network.Reynolds claims the system can handle ...

  • Security software launched

    24-Jun-1997

    A US company has launched a security product for documents and email correspondence that claims to act as a vaccination against computer viruses.Princeton firm Wormhole Technologies announced the release of SecurText this month. It is a portable Internet software product offering file and email encryption, anti-virus protection and full email usage in a single package. Its encryption strength is 256-bit.Wormhole president Erik Weingold claims recent studies ...

  • Shipping firm's smokers sunk at tribunal

    24-Jun-1997

    Shipping firm Waltons & Morse has been censured for going out of its way to favour smokers after a legal secretary successfully claimed constructive dismissal when she left because of the amount of smoke in her office.In an out-of-court settlement, the firm agreed to pay Jill Dorrington £3,000 after losing an appeal last month.When the original London tribunal upheld Dorrington's constructive dismissal complaint, tribunal chairman Neil Leonard said ...

  • Stand up and be counted

    24-Jun-1997

    The Law Society elections will give members the opportunity to decide on many matters of immediate and vital concern to lawyers.The profession needs to know where the candidates stand on:separation of functions;the future of the Solicitors Indemnity Fund and contributions to it;the Regis project;minimum salary for trainees;the future of the Law Society and the Office for the Supervision of Solicitors;

  • Staring down the barrel of a smoking gun

    24-Jun-1997

    Late last year, Leigh Day & Co announced its intention to represent a number of former smokers suffering from lung cancer in proceedings against the UK's two main tobacco companies, Imperial Tobacco and Gallahers. Proceedings have now commenced on behalf of 36 claimants, and it is understood that many more may become involved as the litigation progresses. A number of firms from around the country will assist Leigh Day in handling the proceedings.The launch of the case ...

  • Stigma ruling in favour of ex-BCCI employees

    24-Jun-1997

    Hundreds of former BCCI employees may, between them, receive a total of up to £100m in compensation for the stigma of the collapse of their employer following a landmark House of Lords judgement.Charles Gordon, a partner at Manches & Co, brought the case for two BCCI employees, Raihan Mahmud and Quasier Malik, who lost their jobs when BCCI collapsed in July 1991 amid allegations of massive fraud. The two have been out of work ever since. Gordon said: "As soon as potential ...

  • Sycamore in anti-Mears plot

    24-Jun-1997

    Law society presidential candidate Phillip Sycamore and his supporters have secretly plotted a negative campaign to discredit their rival Martin Mears while publicly calling for unity at Chancery Lane.A leaked document seen by The Lawyer details the decisions of a secret February meeting of Sycamore's "Council Members Support Group" in London. According to minutes produced by campaign manager Simon Baker, chair of the society's education and training committee, ...

  • Tax adviser rejoins Simmons

    24-Jun-1997

    Edward Troup has rejoined Simmons & Simmons as head of tax strategy after two years as special adviser to Kenneth Clarke at the Treasury.Troup, who was head of corporate tax at Simmons until 1995, advised Clarke on the 1995 and 1996 budgets, and also worked closely with the Inland Revenue and HM Customs & Excise.His successor as head of tax, Stephen Coleclough, left the firm to join Coopers & Lybrand earlier this year complaining of "ridiculous hours".

  • The Canadian club

    24-Jun-1997

    Canadian law firms form a quiet, but distinctive presence in London. Like their US counterparts, most of their work derives from financial services; unlike the more aggressive US firms, none of the Canadians have seriously attempted to "internationalise" and practise local law in a variety of markets. But this is not to say that they do not offer an international service."Canadian firms don't have the same reservoir of clients as US firms," comments David Glennie, managing ...

  • The Lawyer Inquiry: Sally Anne Griffiths

    24-Jun-1997

    Sally Anne Griffiths was born in Merseyside on 24 November, 1964. She qualified as a solicitor at Clifford Chance in 1991 and moved to Fox Williams, spending five years in the commercial litigation department. In 1996, she rejoined Clifford Chance as an

  • The SIF shortfall - Law Soc downfall?

    24-Jun-1997

    The Law Society has been lurching from crisis to crisis in recent times. The Regis project, communication problems with the profession, the High Street Starter Kit, and squabbling at Chancery Lane have done nothing to instill confidence in the average solicitor that the profession is in safe hands.However, the mother of all crises has to be the Solicitors Indemnity Fund (SIF) debacle. That solicitors can collectively end up being responsible for a £500m ...

  • Tim Lawrence on the position of the BPAS in abortion cases.

    24-Jun-1997

    Tim Lawrence is a solicitor at Irwin Mitchell.In the Kelly case heard recently by the Scottish Court of Session, other parties were affected by the injunction (interdict) restraining Mrs Kelly from having a termination of her pregnancy. While the interdict was in place, Mrs Kelly attended a clinic operated by the British Pregnancy Advisory Service (BPAS), which sought advice on whether it could effect a termination.Mrs Kelly had obtained the consent ...

  • Time for a clear out

    24-Jun-1997

    I fully endorse sole practitioners group chair Tim Readman's comment in The Lawyer, 17 June that shoddy solicitors should be found and rooted out of the profession.After all, why should those solicitors who do their job properly have to pay for the sometimes deliberate sub-standard work of others when it comes around to what now seems to be the annual premium hike.And why should we put up with all being tarred with the same brush when those cases ...

  • Time for Glasnost at the Bar

    24-Jun-1997

    The Bar Council has had its critics over the years, but no right-minded barrister has ever dared to compare it with the Kremlin under Soviet rule. Until now, that is.Veteran democracy campaigner Robin de Wilde QC made such a comparison at the Bar Council's AGM on 14 June. He was speaking during a heated debate on democracy at the Bar, which saw a motion to open up elections for the chair of the Bar Council defeated by just one vote.He followed this accusation ...

  • Time for performance-related payback

    24-Jun-1997

    Seven years ago I was elected to the Law Society's Council. I joined, because like so many of my fellow practitioners, I had become disillusioned with the Law Society and wanted to do something about it. At the time, I was a high-street practitioner and I still am.Why am I now seeking election to the office of deputy vice-president?Martin Mears and David Keating, my election associates, are men whom I respect for their different ...

  • University creates MBA for lawyers

    24-Jun-1997

    MANCHESTER University and Manchester Business School have launched the Master of Business Administration (MBA) for Lawyers course.The part-time course, which was launched on Monday this week, builds upon the business school's existing MBA programme, but will run specialist workshops and courses specifically tailored towards the legal profession.Although a two-year part-time MBA in Legal Practice already exists at Nottingham Law School, where the first intake ...

  • Vat men challenge zero rating

    24-Jun-1997

    The House of Lords are considering whether to give leave for appeal in a Vat case. The case centres on the zero-rating and non-exemption of drugs, medical appliances and assistance to the handicapped. The HM Customs & Excise stance was successfully challenged by a group headed by the British United Provident Association. Now HM Customs & Excise is seeking to take its challenge, that such supplies should be zero-rated, to the Lords. The Law Lords have put their decision ...

  • Widow sues Shoosmiths over drink driving action

    24-Jun-1997

    A widowed mother is suing road traffic accident experts Shoosmith & Harrison for nearly £250,000, alleging that the firm failed to serve a summons on the drink driver who killed her husband.Shoosmiths had been acting for 32-year-old widow and mother-of-one Yvonne Lewis in her action for damages against James Burke, an uninsured driver convicted of causing the death of her postman husband ...

  • Work begins on UK and Japanese legal alliance

    24-Jun-1997

    A steering committee has been established to set up a bilateral British-Japanese law association.Denton Hall partner Richard Playle, who is on the committee, said that the association aimed to encourage greater understanding between the two legal professions.He said it was hoped that the group would encourage training and education initiatives as well promoting a general cultural awareness between the two countries.Playle said he wanted two or three ...