23 November 1998

The Lawyer

  • A new era for expert witnesses

    24-Nov-1998

    Expert witnesses will be vital in a new technological environment, but if they are badly briefed, it could backfire on both solicitor and client, reports Linda Tsang.Where technology leads, it is the lawyers, litigators, and eventually, expert witnesses who follow.Business is already gearing up for the anticipated fallout from the millennium bug. As Andrew Horrocks, a partner at Barlow Lyde & Gilbert warns, there are a number of areas where cases arising from ...

  • ADR's latest threat to City litigators

    24-Nov-1998

    A new mediation initiative is likely to impact on a huge chunk of City firms' litigation work, says Rob Mendick. City pages edited by Richard Tyler.The City has traditionally regarded alternative dispute resolution (ADR) in the same light as pro bono work - worthy, but peripheral. But it can no longer afford to be complacent. Mediation is rapidly replacing litigation as a cheaper means of settling disputes, and the pace of change shows no signs of slowing down.

  • Apil rejects LAB's legal aid concessions

    24-Nov-1998

    The Association of Personal Injury Lawyers (Apil) has rejected the Legal Aid Board's (LAB) latest concessions on legal aid for medical negligence cases.Apil president Ian Walker, who has accused the LAB of removing legal aid "by the back door", said he estimated that under the concessions about half of all medical negligence cases would still miss out on legal aid funding, compared to almost 80 per cent under the previous figure.The LAB revealed last week ...

  • Black lawyers condemn proposed jury cuts

    24-Nov-1998

    The Bar Council and the Society of Black Lawyers (SBL) have condemned Home Office plans to cut the right to choose trial by jury as discriminating against black defendants.In a joint statement issued last week, the two organisations warned that restricting the right to trial by jury would have a serious impact on black people who, they say, do not have confidence in magistrates to give them a fair trial and opt for trial by jury significantly more often than ...

  • Book of the week

    24-Nov-1998

    Legal Aid Contracting: Lessons from North AmericaBy Roger SmithThis weeks tome comes from the Legal Aid Group's publishing stable.Topics include the organisation of legal aid in Canada and the position of legal services in the US.

  • Cadwaladers tops UK growth

    24-Nov-1998

    New York's Cadwalader Wickersham & Taft grew faster last year than any other US firm with a presence in London, a recent survey has found.The National Law Journal's 1998 survey of the 250 largest US firms revealed that the recently-merged New York and San Francisco firm Thelen Reid & Priest had grown the fastest of all US firms, at a rate of 105.4 per cent.But 350-lawyer Cadwaladers had grown organically by 31 per cent - the third largest such growth ...

  • Cameron McKenna opens in SF

    24-Nov-1998

    Cameron McKenna has become the first UK firm to set up a permanent office on the west coast of the US.The six-lawyer office in San Francisco will complement the firm's existing 15-lawyer Washington DC office, which was set up in April 1996 and strengthened in September by the acquisition of eight-lawyer niche regulatory firm Morley Caskin.Camerons set up a project office in San Francisco in January 1997 after Fiona Woolf, head of the firm's energy and ...

  • Cameron McKenna wins consultancy award

    24-Nov-1998

    Cameron McKenna last week became the first law firm to be named "Consultancy of the Year" by the British Consultants Bureau at its annual awards ceremony.Camerons won the accolade for the work of its energy and projects practice in restructuring the Californian electricity market.Camerons team of partners led by Fiona Woolf, head of Camerons energy and projects practice, was brought in by the US Federal Energy Regulatory Commission in January 1997, after two ...

  • Carlsberg issues oil leak writ

    24-Nov-1998

    The case of a driver who drove away forgetting to take the fuel pump nozzle out of his vehicle after filling it up - setting off a trail of disaster costing more than u1.8m - is heading for the High Court. After the incident, the driver's employer, Carlsberg, brought in a firm called Gilbarco to repair the damage. However, in a writ now issued against Gilbarco, Carlsberg accuses the firm of negligence, claiming that when the pump was reconnected, ...

  • Club managers' liability in lap of judges

    24-Nov-1998

    Do offers of sex from lap dancers constitute a failure by night club managers to maintain good order? asks Roger Pearson.Lord Bingham, the Lord Chief Justice, agreed to differ with Mr Justice Collins over what the actions of lap dancers at three London clubs amount to in the eyes of the law. As a result, this is now to be reconsidered by more judges.Magistrates at Horseferry Road Magistrates' Court in London refused to hold that in allowing ...

  • Crisis hits north-east set

    24-Nov-1998

    Middlesbrough set Cleveland Chambers is in danger of extinction after all of its tenants walked out, leaving set head, Barry Stewart, stranded.The walkout follows two redundancies at the chambers last week. Seven tenants have established a breakaway set, Grange Road Chambers, with the others making as yet unknown alternative arrangements.A similar incident occ-urred at the set last year, when 12 former members made a hurried departure ...

  • Crisis, what crisis?

    24-Nov-1998

    Despite the desperate situation of their fellow countrymen and a huge reduction in client work, not all Russian lawyers are on the breadline, reports Alice Lagnado.THE World's media has made much of the financial storm which has engulfed Russia since August's disastrous rouble devaluation.State and private employees have gone unpaid for months and Muscovites have seen the return of that most unwelcome of local traditions - the food queue.But ...

  • Employment blow for Veale Wasbrough

    24-Nov-1998

    Bristol's Veale Wasbrough has been hit by the defection of its head of employment and a team of lawyers to rival Bevan Ashford.Highly-rated partner Sarah Lamont is taking an associate, Anne Palmer, and two assistants, Tim Woodward and Bruce Rossington, to Bevan Ashford.Lamont will be reunited with two former Veale Wasbrough colleagues, corporate partners Nigel Campbell and Stuart Whitfield, who joined Bevan Ashford in August.Her move comes just ...

  • Euro bank cuts its legal panel from 100 to eight

    24-Nov-1998

    The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) has slashed the number of firms it instructs for its specialised country legal advice from over 100 to just eight.Clifford Chance, Allen & Overy and Coudert Brothers are among the 52 firms from the UK and abroad that are understood to ...

  • Fast-track justice hits a brick wall

    24-Nov-1998

    The national pilot for fast-track justice has so far done nothing to ease the minds of lawyers, who see the scheme as a disaster in the making. Katherine Burke reports.Six weeks into the national pilot, fast-track justice seems to be proving its detractors right.As both the police and the CPS rush to prepare cases overnight with no extra resources, defence lawyers flit from court to court to attend hastily listed cases - many of which are adjourned due to incomplete ...

  • Financings

    24-Nov-1998

    Peter Shepherd of Taylor Joynson Garrett advised Mees Pierson on its provision of u28m of funding to Marylebone Warwick Balfour

  • Financings

    24-Nov-1998

    Alan Magnus and Paul Clark of DJ Freeman advised the THI Leisure Partnership

  • Going local on cross-border disputes

    24-Nov-1998

    Adam Stronach says local expertise is key to plotting a successful course through the minefield of international litigation. Adam Stronach is senior manager of the expert witness team at Deloitte & Touche.Picture the scene - you get instructions in a large multi-jurisdictional piece of litigation and are faced with the task of sifting through the huge pile of papers discovered by a zealous associate in downtown Moscow.Probably the last thing on your mind is the ...

  • Govt moves to strengthen offshore rules

    24-Nov-1998

    A Home Office report on the Channel Islands and the Isle of Man has recommended that local legislatures make disclosure of financial information by companies obligatory.The Edwards Review of Financial Regulation in the Crown Dependencies, released last week, stated that "there is a case for further legislation to prevent potential abuses by settlers and trustees and to ensure proper accountability".But the report also said that the islands' reputation for ...

  • Groups call for 'cowboy' curbs

    24-Nov-1998

    The Legal Action Group (LAG) and Law Centres Federation (LCF) have called on the Lord Chancellor, Lord Irvine, to extend regulation to cover "cowboy" employment law advisers, who take on contingency fee tribunal cases without being legally qualified.Both organisations want regulations to be included in the legislation which will be announced in this week's Queen's Speech.Lawyers expect the speech to include legislation on conditional fee agreements. ...

  • High Court nips prison action in bud

    24-Nov-1998

    Roger Pearson reports on Home Office moves which put a stop to prison officers holding mass meetings over pay offers.Once again the High Court has shown its ability to move at breakneck speed and, if necessary, to cut across the boundaries of the court divisions.On 6 November, the Prison Officers Association (POA) rejected a 2.7 per cent pay offer. The association planned a series of mass meetings of its 28,000 members at some 135 prisons ...

  • High noon for 'hired guns'

    24-Nov-1998

    Mark Solon and Catherine Bond say the good times are over for expert witnesses, as the Lord Chancellor's Department plans to restrict their use and cut back on their fees. Mark Solon and Catherine Bond are directors of witness training company Bond Solon Training.As litigation has boomed over the past 10 years, more experts have entered the legal marketplace. Lord Woolf, the Master of the Rolls, in his Access to Justice report even wrote of an "expert witness industry". ...

  • How to brief an expert witness expertly

    24-Nov-1998

    Steve Caine is a senior associate with Buchler Philips Lindquist Avey, forensic and investigative accountants.The independence of the expert is the key to success in the courtroom, and good solicitors know it is their responsibility as much as the expert's to maintain the expert's proper role. Steve Caine outlines how best to brief an expert witness.Good solicitors know the advantage of getting the expert on board early. Solicitors should take care ...

  • How to make meetings meaningful

    24-Nov-1998

    Keith Carter argues that expert witness meetings are often futile and says a definite change of emphasis is needed. Keith Carter is the principal at Keith Carter & Associates, employment consultants.Meetings between experts as a means of isolating areas of disagreement are undoubtedly helpful.Such meetings can speed up the resolution of an action and help to minimise costs by pinpointing some of the differences relatively early in a case, and certainly before ...

  • In brief: Clifford Chance's Haan takes reins at TSG

    24-Nov-1998

    Clifford Chance's Susannah Haan takes over as president of the Trainee Solicitors' Group this week. She was elected to the position uncontested and takes over from Nick Armstrong.

  • In brief: DJ Freeman boosts property group with King

    24-Nov-1998

    DJ Freeman has hired Vivien King from SJ Berwin in a bid to improve its property services. King is the property department's fifth new partner in the past two months.

  • In brief: Ex-Andersens Hong Kong man joins Nabarros

    24-Nov-1998

    Nabarro Nathanson has hired Justin Ede, former name partner in Andersen Legal's Hong Kong office, Ede Charlton & Co. Ede joins Nabarros as a partner in its construction group.

  • In brief: Ex-Vallance Lickfold partners fined £5,000

    24-Nov-1998

    Three partners at London firm Vallance Lickfold have been found guilty of using client money and failing to pay counsel fees by a Solicitors' Disciplinary Tribunal in London. Andrew Cameron, now a solicitor at London's Swepstone Walsh, and Alan Herd and Neil MacDonald were fined u5,000 and ordered to pay costs of u9,609.

  • In brief: Future Bar head slams immunity challenge

    24-Nov-1998

    Dan Brennan QC, future chairman of the Bar Council, has criticised the challenge to "in court" immunity for advocates, asking where such measures would stop.

  • In brief: Herbert Smith man wins insolvency post

    24-Nov-1998

    Stephen Gale, Herbert Smith's head of corporate recovery, has been elected deputy vice-president of the the Society of Practitioners of Insolvency (SPI). Only the second lawyer to have held the post, he will become president of the SPI in April 2000.

  • In brief: LAG says 'pay as you go' will hit the poor

    24-Nov-1998

    The Legal Action Group (LAG) has claimed that the Lord Chancellor, Lord Irvine's plans to hike up court fees by introducing a "pay as you go" system will stop low-income households from "pursuing legitimate claims".

  • In brief: Macfarlanes takes pensions head from Biddle

    24-Nov-1998

    Macfarlanes has recruited Biddle's highly-rated head of pensions Hugh Arthur. Chris Mullen has replaced Arthur as head of pensions at Biddle.

  • In brief: Society of Black Lawyers to take on Channel 4

    24-Nov-1998

    The Society of Black Lawyers is planning to take Channel 4 to the Independent Television Commission over the broadcasting on Thursday of a Dispatches documentary on gang rape. The documentary alleged 80 per cent of teenage gang rapists and 65 per cent of their victims were black.

  • In brief: Stalker of Scots lawyer sent to secure hospital

    24-Nov-1998

    A stalker obsessed by Scottish lawyer Elspeth Black has been ordered by the Edinburgh High Court to be detained without limit of time in a secure psychiatric hospital.

  • In brief: Top speakers to address race hate conference

    24-Nov-1998

    US Deputy Attorney General Eric Holder will headline the 25th anniversary conference of the Society of Black Lawyers next month. Other speakers at the event, the first Anglo-US conference to address race hate crimes, include Helena Kennedy QC and Johnnie Cochran. The event, which is supported by The Lawyer, will be opened by Neville Lawrence, father of murdered black teenager Stephen Lawrence, and will include a gala dinner at the London Hilton Hotel. To book tickets, or for further ...

  • In brief: Young Solicitors' Group to host stress seminar

    24-Nov-1998

    The Young Solicitors' Group has invited 300 senior partners to its Spotlight on Stress and your Bottom Line seminar on Tuesday 15 December at the Law Society, Chancery Lane. Law Society deputy vice-president Kamlesh Bahl will chair the seminar.

  • It has been a bad week for:

    24-Nov-1998

    The hosiery industry. The Lord Chancellor, after speaking out at select committee meeting on the delicate issue of his breaches, has won approval from the House of Lords to dress down. Only time will tell if the "more modest attire" to which he aspires will take the form of slacks, or a comfortable pair of tracksuit pants. Either way, the future looks bleak for men in tights.Staffordshire lawyer Charles Walker, who was suspended ...

  • It has been a good week for:

    24-Nov-1998

    Diane Cram, who this week became the UK's first blind magistrate. Cram, a mother of three who lost her sight as a teenager in a medical accident, was appointed along with three partially-sighted magistrates. The move follows the Lord Chancellor, Lord Irvine's resolve to allow visually impaired candidates into the magistracy.Transexual Susan Marshall, a bursar at Oxford University, who this week reached an "amicable" ...

  • Judge attacks 'unnecessary' over-use of expert witnesses

    24-Nov-1998

    A top judge has lashed out at the increasing practice of pushing the cost of court action by calling experts in to give unnecessary evidence.The attack came from Mr Justice Dyson, head of the High Court's Technology and Construction Court, which deals with contract disputes - primarily from the building and construction industry.At the end of a judgment in a dispute over a building which collapsed because of alleged design defects, the judge rounded on the ...

  • Law Soc guide to advise ethnic minority firms on franchising

    24-Nov-1998

    The Legal Aid Board (LAB) is to assist the Law Society in a last-ditch attempt to help ethnic minority solicitors beat the legal aid reform timetable.Law Society council member for ethnic minority solicitors, Maria Fernandes, formed an informal group of small firms, along with the Law Society and the LAB to address the issue after a Law Society crisis meeting this month, where only one out of 220 black and Asian solicitors raised his hand when asked who was franchised.

  • Law Soc hits out at IT grumblers

    24-Nov-1998

    Write to: The Editor, The Lawyer, 50 Poland Street, London W1V 4AX, fax 0171 578 7249, e-mail lawyer.edit@chiron.co.uk, DX44700 Soho Square.Regarding your piece - Software suppliers in fury over Law Society IT guide (The Lawyer, 17 November) - the Law Society is entirely unconcerned that legal software suppliers not featured in the guide are upset.If a software company did not meet the criteria set for this guide ...

  • Law Soc in IT row

    24-Nov-1998

    A BITTER spat has sparked off between the Law Society and the legal software suppliers which were left out of the society's technology guide for small law firms.Last week The Lawyer reported how computer industry body the Legal Software Suppliers Association (LSSA) had attacked the Law Society for "doing a disservice to the legal profession", by issuing a guide which featured five selected software companies.Companies left out of the guide ...

  • Lawyer group set to tackle Y2K bug

    24-Nov-1998

    LAWYERS from around the UK have launched an organisation to tackle the legal challenges which surround the millennium bug, known as Y2K.Five UK firms - London's Withers, Edinburgh's Bird Semple, Merseyside's Ross & Co, Bournemouth's Lester Aldridge and Newcastle's Robert Muckle ...

  • Lawyers at play

    24-Nov-1998

    Surveyors, property developers and agents recently competed in the annual Eversheds monopoly challenge to raise money for St Basil's Centre for homeless people. Each team donated u100 with another u100m being raised in a court settlement over a dispute about construction of a hotel in Bond Street and Park Lane. Participants that were sent to jail also had to pay to be released. However judges got ...

  • Legal advice on Net could send SIF claims spiralling

    24-Nov-1998

    THE Law Society is to host a seminar for solicitors hoping to sell legal services on the Internet, amid fears that claims on the Solicitors' Indemnity Fund (SIF) could escalate as a result of incorrect advice displayed on the Web.The Law Society will hold the seminar - The Commoditisation and On-line Provision of Legal Services: Threats and Opportunities - on 1 December at its Chancery Lane headquarters. The meeting will examine the problems and opportunities brought ...

  • Livelihoods on the line as CPS wields axe

    24-Nov-1998

    Last week The Lawyer exclusively revealed the sets which had been axed from the Crown Prosecution Service's (CPS's) preferred list.The debate that raged when the system was introduced three years ago has been re-ignited by the CPS's equally controversial decision to drastically cull the number of preferred sets, from 38 to 27.Barristers, some of whom are 100 per cent reliant on CPS work, are angry. Hardly surprising when you consider ...

  • Manches hires Booker eight months after he quits CC

    24-Nov-1998

    Leading insolvency lawyer Ashley Booker is to join Manches & Co this week, after his sudden departure from Clifford Chance eight months ago.Booker, who will head the firm's insolvency group, still refuses to explain why he left Clifford Chance, except to say it was "for personal reasons".Clifford Chance began inquiries in March into claims by two employees of sexual ...

  • Next week's news

    24-Nov-1998

    The Queens Speech. Queen Elizabeth, whose family have had a few legal problems of their own in the past few years, will outline the Governments plans for the legal profession. Lawyers can expect a annus horribilis.

  • One Essex Court makes fifth new signing in four months

    24-Nov-1998

    Top commercial set One Essex Court has hired banking specialist David Wolfson from 3 Verulam Buildings.In yet another example of the increasingly popular "big is beautiful" policy at the Bar, Wolfson becomes the fifth new signing at One Essex Court in only four months.He brings the number of tenants at One Essex Court to 59, with further expansion planned. One Essex Court offers a full range of services to the financial sector, with one ...

  • OSS plan to fine firms is 'pathetic'

    24-Nov-1998

    Your story about OSS fines for law firms (The Lawyer, 17 November) carries Law Society vice-president Robert Sayer's statement describing the OSS deposit plan as "unbelievable", while an unnamed Law Society spokesman thought, au contraire, that it was or should be a good idea.What is truly unbelievable is that such conflicting views should come out of the mouth of the same horse.On merit, of course, the idea is pathetic. ...

  • Paul Nicholls:The man to gift-wrap Dibbs

    24-Nov-1998

    Dibb Lupton Alsop is hoping that Paul Nicholls will do for its London office what he did for its Manchester outfit. But, writes Tim Watkin, Nicholls must first persuade an already disgruntled staff that his appointment is a good idea.Paul Nicholls leans forward, folds his arms, and moves to the left as the photographer dictates. He is happy to co-operate. He is happy to do this interview. But he is not happy about the shirt he is wearing."I ...

  • Police attack dishonest high street lawyers

    24-Nov-1998

    NCIS detective Simon Goddard also took a swipe at those high street solicitors who fail to report their suspicions about clients.He was angered by the latest NCIS figures which show the number of cases of suspicious financial transactions reported by solicitors to police has dropped from 300 in 1996 to 236 last year. There have been 210 disclosures so far this year."Why has it dropped when all the information NCIS is getting is that they are heavily involved?" ...

  • Police probe City firms' links to organised crime

    24-Nov-1998

    Six big City law firms are under police investigation for deliberately laundering money for organised crime, a leading detective has exclusively revealed to The Lawyer.The firms are actively working as fronts for Colombian drugs cartels and organised crime syndicates in Eastern Europe, Italy and the US, as well as British gang, it was claimed.The profits from drug trafficking, gun running and contract killings are being laundered by London lawyers, who set up ...

  • Property

    24-Nov-1998

    Stan Gniadkowski of Wilde Sapte advised Brockford Developments on its u30m acquisition of Cleveland House in St James' Square, London SW1 from Prudential, advised by Patricia McGlynn of Lovell White Durrant.

  • Quote of the week

    24-Nov-1998

    "They put you in a van and keep you there for hours, until they fill it like a slave ship. We were stuck in there for two hours, handcuffed... it's like a police state."A Manhattan lawyer on his experiences after being arrested for smoking a joint on the streets of Hell's Kitchen.

  • Rowe & Maw recruits Garretts' banking head

    24-Nov-1998

    Rowe & Maw has boosted its financial services team by hiring Garretts' head of banking.Peter Richards-Carpenter is the second Garretts partner - after EC and trade law specialist Philip Ruttley - to join the firm in the past month.Rowe & Maw's hiring spree - the firm is also taking on corporate partner Nicola Squire from Hong Kong firm Deacons Graham & James - comes two months after a team of partners, led by Paul Maher, had planned to join

  • Ruby Sandhu on grey market law development in the EU. Ruby Sandhu is a former law lecturer

    24-Nov-1998

    The recent decision of the European Court of Justice (ECJ) in the Silhouette case - Silhouette International Schmied v Hartlauer Handelsgesellschaft - interpreted the Trade Mark Directive 89/104 as not permitting national law to provide for the principle of "international exhaustion".This issue may be developed further in Sebago Inc and SA Ancienne Maison Dubois et Fils v SA G-B Unic.Sebago is currently at the ECJ for a preliminary ruling under an Article ...

  • SIF to impose millennium bug penalty

    24-Nov-1998

    In an unprecedented move, the Solicitors Indemnity Fund (SIF) is launching a profession-wide hunt to find out which firms have failed to take precautions against the millennium bug.In June this year, the Master of the Rolls, Lord Woolf, told SIF that, unlike most other insurers, it would have to cover any claims against firms arising from the millennium bug itself.But SIF, whose continuing existence is in doubt following Law Society moves to allow a system of ...

  • Spanking scandal hits North East

    24-Nov-1998

    A Cleveland barrister is being investigated by local police for spanking colleagues.It is believed that four pupils have made formal complaints for indecent assault, claiming that the barrister slapped their backsides whenever they were said to have made a mistake.Those involved are understandably reluctant to discuss the matter and no formal charge has yet been brought.No interviews of potential suspects are believed to have yet taken place.

  • Step in right direction for FSA

    24-Nov-1998

    Philip Hoult says the FSA's creation of an independent tribunal and practitioners' forum shows it is capable of taking criticism on board.The City may finally be getting the regulatory regime it deserves for financial services.The Treasury's approach to the launch of the new super-watchdog, the Financial Services Authority (FSA), can most charitably be described as stumbling.At various stages, market practitioners and their advisers ...

  • Tesco sued over hospital plans

    24-Nov-1998

    The Health Secretary, Frank Dobson, is suing retail giant Tesco over its plans to develop a hospital site as a superstore. The firm is said to have agreed to buy the former South London Hospital for Women at Clapham Common, with the price depending on the type of planning permission achieved. Although planning consent for a food store has been turned down, the Health Secretary is seeking damages and an order to make Tesco abide by the approval procedure.

  • The Lawyer Inquiry: William Yoder

    24-Nov-1998

    William Yoder was born in Kansas in 1970. He works as an associate at Blackwell Sanders Peper Martin.What was your first job?Selling watermelons.What was your first ever salary as a lawyer?$54,000 (u32,300).What would you have done if you hadn't been a lawyer?Become an actor.What was your most satisfying professional moment?Winning ...

  • Time to rethink the role of expert witnesses

    24-Nov-1998

    Mr Justice Dyson's attack on the inappropriate use of an expert witness is just the latest example of growing disquiet surrounding the expert's role in litigation.Many expert witnesses seem totally unprepared for the new environment, heralded by the Woolf reforms, that will rely more on written reports than courtroom performance.Mr Justice Dyson was downright grumpy at having to plough through elaborate reports of up to 44 pages and was right ...

  • Trainee solicitors forced to break law by small firms

    24-Nov-1998

    Trainee solicitors are overworked, racially and sexually harassed and are even being asked to break the law by small law firms, according to a review by the Trainee Solicitors Group.

  • Treasury budget cuts behind law reforms, says Labour MPs

    24-Nov-1998

    A rebel Labour MP has heavily criticised the Government over its legal reforms, which he claims are being driven by Treasury budget cuts rather than any altruistic desire to increase access to justice.The comments, made by prominent MP Austin Mitchell on the eve of the Queen's Speech, will embarrass the Government, which has been at pains to point out that its reforms aim to cap rather than reduce the legal aid budget.Mitchell told The Lawyer: "We are committed ...

  • Tucker's luck stretches to pub sell-off

    24-Nov-1998

    Julian Tucker (pictured) of Allen & Overy led a team advising Japanese investment bank Nomura on the innovative u137m securitisation by brewer Marston, Thompson & Evershed.Under the deal, Marstons - brewer of Pedigree bitter - sold the majority of its tied pubs to a new company, the Premier Pub Company.Another new company, Premier Pub Finance, raised the funds for the purchase ...

  • UK firms in Singapore shift tactic to weather Asian crisis

    24-Nov-1998

    UK City firms in Singapore are adopting divergent strategies in response to the Asian downturn which continues to eat into profits.Linklaters is trying to sub-let half of its office space at 9 Raffles Place, after a reassessment of its boom-time expansion plans. Meanwhile City rivals Freshfields and Lovell White Durrant are expanding.Tony Grundy, managing partner of Linklaters' ...

  • US firm poaches Chadbournes' project head

    24-Nov-1998

    Los Angeles-based 650-lawyer O'Melveny & Myers has recruited Rigdon Boykin, the former head of project finance at US rival Chadbourne & Parke.Boykin is credited for building Chadbournes' respected international project finance practice, but he is believed to have fallen out of favour with the firm's management over the direction of its Hong Kong and London-based ...

  • Waking up to threat of OFT dawn raiders

    24-Nov-1998

    The Competition Act has given dramatic new powers to the Office of Fair Trading. But there are limits, says George Peretz. George Peretz is a barrister at Monckton Chambers, London.On 9 November, the Competition Act 1998 became law. One important change it makes is to give strong powers to the Office of Fair Trading (OFT) to investigate breaches of competition law.These powers resemble ones that the European Commission already has under EC law, but they are likely ...

  • Weil Gotshal to lure new partners' clients

    24-Nov-1998

    Aggressive US firm, Weil Gotshal & Manges plans to expand its client base following the recruitment of Paul Claydon and Mike Francies from Pinsent Curtis and Clifford Chance last week.London office boss Maurice Allen said that he hopes to increase the firms business as the firm embarks ...

  • When size really does not matter

    24-Nov-1998

    The best way to decide whether a defence case is worthy of a trial is not by the thickness of the affidavit but by the quality of the points made, says Louis Doyle. Louis Doyle is a barrister at 10 Park Square in Leeds.Russell Jones & Walker's Barry Samuels, in his viewpoint piece (The Lawyer 8 September), hit the nail right on the head when addressing the pitfalls in summary judgment applications.But there was one point he raised on which ...

  • White heat of technology will revolutionise legal system

    24-Nov-1998

    Cherie Booth QC says a decade spent using IT has taught her that computerisation is the key to bringing down the costs of justice.The Launch of the Government's consultation paper, Civil Justice - Resolving and Avoiding Disputes in the Information Age, in September this year prompted me to examine how much the use of IT has transformed my own practice.I was first introduced to IT in the spring of 1988, when two important events in my life ...

  • Who pays for propaganda?

    24-Nov-1998

    I have recently received SIF In Focus for November 1998. My partners and I are astonished to see this crude propaganda campaign.Please would you explain to me at, whose cost this material is prepared, printed and published. Is this a charge to the Solicitors Indemnity Fund (SIF)? If so, how can this cost be justified in light of SIF's massive shortfall/miscalculation and why is it permitted?At a time when SIF's credibility is non-existent ...