23 October 1995

The Lawyer

  • 'Benefit tourist' case leaves legal loophole

    24-Oct-1995

    Cyril Dixon reportsCITY solicitors at Westminster have been warned that their victory in the so-called "benefit tourists" case has failed to resolve a crucial area of law on councils' obligation to house immigrants.Barrister Clive Jones' advice came after the High Court ruling in which the council was judged to have acted lawfully when it refused accommodation to two unemployed and homeless HIV sufferers from EU countries.Westminster ...

  • A true spirit of co-operation

    24-Oct-1995

    In your last edition, reference is made to a caucus of council members in opposition to the president and my name is given as one such member.No one contacted me in regard to the article. Although David Thomas sets the situation straight to some extent, by innuendo the wholly wrong impression is given.Some time ago I was a bench member of the strategy committee and in due course was joined by two fellow council members who shared my views about reform.

  • A very cosmopolitan practice

    24-Oct-1995

    The number of trainee solicitors who come from foreign backgrounds is increasing. That is the message delivered by Richard King, head of legal education and training at City-based firm Herbert Smith.At Herbert Smith and other leading City firms with an international bias around 5 to 10 per cent of trainees come from foreign backgrounds. Often they already have qualifications in law or a degree before they come to the UK.According to King, applicants ...

  • Beggars not welcome in church

    24-Oct-1995

    WRITSWestminster firm Winckworth & Pemberton has struck a serious blow for the church authorities which are plagued by beggars.The problem is one facing many churches, which find their Christian charity stretched to its limit. However, the outcome of High Court moves by two Essex churches leaves no doubt that the law will back churches if they decide to get tough.On 12 October this year the Parochial Church Council of the United Benefice ...

  • Bonfire of the handbags for City firm

    24-Oct-1995

    IT LOOKS more like an exhibition of fashion accessories than a show of intellectual property strength.City firm Edward Lewis organised the burning of thousands of pirated Dollargrand bags after they were delivered up to avoid a copyright action reaching court.Alexander Carter-Silk, an intellectual property partner, supervised their destruction at a north London incinerator. He advised Dollargrand when it complained that the British Shoe Corporation was copying ...

  • Bringing order to the scramble for places

    24-Oct-1995

    As the brainchild of Michael Spencer QC and Christopher Purchas QC, Compas was the long-awaited pupillage clearing house scheme, devised to prevent the huge duplication of work chambers and students face during pupillage selection.The 11 chambers eventually involved in the scheme were also saved the arduous task of sifting through a large number of applications from unsuitable candidates. The scheme provided a computer printout of the brief details of each candidate ...

  • Bringing order to the scramble for places: How to secure pupillage

    24-Oct-1995

    Students who want to find out about chambers and their occupants face an uphill task.There are few points of research with only occasional articles in the legal press discussing various chambers and their occupants.Waterlow's Directory of Solicitors and Barristers offers basic details about barristers, namely which chambers they are in. Havers' Companion to the Bar has more substantive information about each barrister including when they were called, ...

  • Controlling the flow of information

    24-Oct-1995

    Courts today are in the early stages of a technological advancement, a change as revolutionary as the introduction of the stenograph in the 1930s. And as technology has matured, a growing number of courts have seen the benefits of computerising tasks previously undertaken by court personnel and trial attorneys.By the turn of the century many courtrooms will integrate networked computer systems to allow instantaneous transcripts, rapid database searches, ...

  • Couples ditch Mackay's mediation idea

    24-Oct-1995

    NEARLY half the people currently seeking divorce would feel uncomfortable going through mediation and almost nine out of every 10 want to be represented by a solicitor, a comprehensive survey revealed this week.The Solicitors' Family Law Association research is believed to be the first to test clients' response to the Government's White Paper proposals.Family law practitioners say the poll of more than 1,100 divorce clients supports their objections ...

  • Croydon planners set precedent

    24-Oct-1995

    LAWYERS who successfully challenged Croydon Council planners claim their case has set a precedent on the treatment of archeological remains threatened by construction work.They say the planning appeal judgment relating to a site in the centre of the south London borough clarifies Government policy.Croydon clashed with developers AXA Equity & Law over its proposals for an office development on land which contained the remnants of an Anglo-Saxon burial site.

  • Dentons casts a net for Spanish work

    24-Oct-1995

    CITY firm Denton Hall has signed up Boodle Hatfield's Anglo-Spanish law team in a drive to win work in Spanish-speaking countries.Antonio Irastorza and his team will target both domestic and foreign clients within the corporate department.Irastorza, who headed the Boodle's team, becomes a Denton Hall partner and brings his former colleagues Javier Lasa and Jose Manuel Larrain with him.Boodles says the move follows a strategy re-think earlier ...

  • End of term reports:The provincial practice

    24-Oct-1995

    If carefully presented, a firm's financial reports can become a powerful means of encouraging partners to take action.The accounting function encompasses a wide role. At one end of the spectrum, it is a simple 'bean counting' operation within the various regulatory requirements of the Inland Revenue and the Solicitors Accounts Rules.The most common demands on the accounting function arise from solicitors' needs for information. This ranges ...

  • Environment expert for A&O specialists

    24-Oct-1995

    ALLEN & Overy has appointed a scientist-turned-lawyer to boost one of its fastest growing areas of practice.Trevor Adams joined the firm's environmental group from Ashurst Morris Crisp last week. He will work under department head Owen Lomas as an associate and will be involved in major privatisations.Adams took a PhD in environmental chemistry and worked at Belfast University ...

  • European network looks for expansion

    24-Oct-1995

    FIVE lawyers from Brighton firm Donne Mileham & Haddock have been in Luxembourg discussing expansion plans for the Law Europe group.Chair Quintin Barry led a delegation of five lawyers from the firm to the Law Europe convention over the weekend.The Brighton firm provides the English link in the network of firms designed to offer clients pan-European representation at competitive rates.The network, set up at the beginning of the decade, has deliberately ...

  • Financing

    24-Oct-1995

    Denton Hall acted for Nations Bank which arranged a £25 million revolving credit and term loan facility for Bell Cablemedia (South Hertfordshire)

  • Financing

    24-Oct-1995

    Ashurst Morris Crisp advised Hill Samuel Bank

  • Firms hold urban double bill

    24-Oct-1995

    TWO top law firms have played key roles in generating discussion between the public and private sectors on initiatives which would rejuvenate blighted and derelict land.The City's Denton Hall and national practice Eversheds were behind conferences which examined urban renewal schemes and initiatives for developing contaminated land.Both the events this month brought together ...

  • Flotations

    24-Oct-1995

    Eversheds in Norwich acted for Nursing Home Properties on its admission to the Alternative Investment Market.

  • Get ready for work

    24-Oct-1995

    "From chalk and talk to hands-on action" is how one trainee describes the transition from the academic degree stage to the vocational LPC.Now in its second year, the LPC is still having its initial problems ironed out - some of the course materials had gaps and these have been filled, but new holes are still being discovered.However, many of the students who have completed it (and heard horror stories about the Law Society finals) think it is much more useful ...

  • Govt tackles CCT moans

    24-Oct-1995

    THE GOVERNMENT claims to have addressed complaints that many Tory councils have failed to embrace the spirit of competitive tendering.Environment minister Sir Paul Beresford made the claim as his department published new draft guidance on private sector initiatives.He warned that authorities had to take clear responsibility to ensure that their tendering process did not infringe competition law.The announcement came after the Public Contractors' ...

  • Human Rights Work

    24-Oct-1995

    If you want to rescue someone from political persecution, free a prisoner who has been wrongly accused or lobby governments to enact changes in public policy, then a career in human rights law is the obvious choice.But be warned, human rights law is not a particularly accessible area and potential candidates have to create the opportunity for themselves. Most of the full-time legal work is found in government agencies or human rights organisations where the financial rewards ...

  • In brief: BT's Greenberg steps up to director

    24-Oct-1995

    BT has announced the appointment of its general counsel Jack Greenberg as the director, legal affairs, of BT Global Communications. He remains general counsel and secretary for Concert, BT and MCI's joint venture global networking company. In his new role he reports to Colin Green, secretary and chief legal adviser. Greenberg, who has been with BT since 1991, was formerly vice president, law and business development, for Syncordia, BT's outsourcing venture.

  • In brief: Catherine Foster

    24-Oct-1995

    Barrister Catherine Foster is not a member of Ropewalk Chambers in Nottingham as reported in The Lawyer 10 October but is based at Plowden Buildings, the chambers of Bruce McIntyre and William Lowe, in the Temple.

  • In brief: Conferences aim to cut delays in justice

    24-Oct-1995

    Five national conferences will examine ways of cutting delays in the criminal justice system. They will be organised as part of an action plan published by the Criminal Justice Consultative Council last week. The proposals for the coming year aim to improve communication, co-operation and co-ordination among agencies working in the system.

  • In brief: Ethnic group to discuss recruitment

    24-Oct-1995

    Training and recruitment are among the main topics to be discussed at the national conference of the African, Caribbean and Asian Lawyers' group this week. The event at the Law Society headquarters on Saturday will be introduced by ACA chair Audrey Dorival. Speakers include Keith Vaz MP, Jerry Garvey of the Law Society, and a South African lawyer.

  • In brief: Honorary degree for Lord Hoffmann

    24-Oct-1995

    An honorary degree of laws has been awarded to Lord Hoffmann of Chedworth, a Lord of Appeal in Ordinary. He received the award from the University of the West of England in recognition of his contribution to the development of professional legal vocational education. Leonard Hoffmann studied in South Africa, where he was brought up, before going to Oxford. Outside his judicial role, he has several interests and posts, including the directorship of the English National Opera and he is ...

  • In brief: Jaffa takes marketing post at surveyors

    24-Oct-1995

    Former Nicholson Graham & Jones marketing head Paul Jaffa has been appointed as marketing director at leading chartered surveyors Weatherall Green & Smith. Jaffa, who is also chair of the Professional Services Marketing Group, was with the firm for six years and is due to join the surveyors in December. He announced his departure from the firm shortly before it amalgamated with West End practice Brecher & Co earlier this month. Jaffa says his post at Weatherall Green & Smith is the ...

  • In brief: RSI victims win compensation

    24-Oct-1995

    New TUC figures show that RSI sufferers are winning more than £3 million in legal compensation a year from employers. Research shows that just over 2,300 RSI sufferers received compensation last year and the average level of the award was more than £1,400. TUC general secretary John Monks said the figures proved RSI did exist and that sufferers deserved compensation for it. He also said that unions would continue their fight for justice for victims of the condition.

  • In brief: Watford firm rehouses property team

    24-Oct-1995

    Watford firm Matthew Arnold & Baldwin has opened new offices to house its seven lawyer-strong property department. The firm claims to have one of the largest property departments in the area and outside Central London. The practice covers all aspects of property law relating to commercial property, planning and residential conveyancing. The new offices, which will be run by nine support ...

  • JP quits in protest over liability

    24-Oct-1995

    A JP has resigned in protest amid rows about magistrates liability to pay damages and costs to defendants on appeal.The resignation of Lincolnshire-based JP Joanne Atkinson rocked the Magistrates' Association annual general meeting.The resignation follows an award by Mr Justice Sedley against Lincoln magistrates - not including Atkinson - several weeks ago and similar awards earlier this year.Atkinson told the AGM that she had written to the ...

  • Keeping one step ahead in the financial game

    24-Oct-1995

    The Chancellor of the Exchequer announced the launch of the City Promotion Panel in late July, with a remit "to promote Britain's financial services industry".The Treasury made it clear that Britain meant UK-based businesses; and the panel includes senior executives from Citibank, Morgan Stanley, Nomura and Paribas, chairmen of NatWest and Schroders and other leading City players.Perhaps the primary function which the panel can serve is to promote a closer ...

  • Law Soc sets tight reform deadline

    24-Oct-1995

    A REFORM blueprint to overhaul the Law Society's constitution is to be drawn up within four months.The society set itself a tough reform timetable at its meeting last Thursday when it told its strategy committee, headed by president Martin Mears, to draw up proposals by January.The move follows a reform resolution, passed in September, tabled by council member David Thomas who has been invited on to a steering group to co-ordinate the review. A third key ...

  • Linklaters signs deal with German firm

    24-Oct-1995

    LINKLATERS & Paines has unveiled a joint venture with a German firm in a fresh attempt to crack the tough market for legal work in Frankfurt.The international practice is joining forces with Schon Nolte Finkelnberg & Clemm (SNFC) in January, to form a new outfit in the city, Linklaters & Schon SNFC.Last week's news came two months after Linklaters said it was looking for ...

  • Litigation Disciplinary Tribunals 24/10/95

    24-Oct-1995

    Simon Edmund John Kaberry, 47, admitted 1974, practised as Simon Kaberry & Co, Leeds, struck off and ordered to pay £11,221 costs. Allegations substantiated he wrongly drew client money, paid his own money into client account, practised without current practising certificate, failed to promptly redeem mortgages, deceived clients as to his failure over mortgage redemption. Kaberry's activities said to have resulted in payments ...

  • Litigation Personal Injury 24/10/95

    24-Oct-1995

    Decisions are taken from Lawtel's legal database. TLR: Times Law Reports; ILR: Independent Law Reports; LTL: Lawtel; WLR: Weekly Law Reports.Wallace v Sheppard - QBD 6 October 199Claimant: Donald WallaceAccident: Front seat passenger injured in car crashInjuries: Severe head injuries with increasing tendency towards epilepsy, continuing intellectual and memory deficit and impairment of personality. Plaintiff has been left unable to return ...

  • Litigation Recent Decisions 24/10/95

    24-Oct-1995

    Intentional homelessnessR v Barking and Dagenham London Borough Council Ex-parte Okuneye (1995)QBD (Sir Louis Blom-Cooper QC) 10/2/95.Summary: Application for judicial review of council decision that Nigerian woman was intentionally homeless within s.60 Housing Act 1985 by leaving her home in Nigeria to live with her betrothed in London.

  • Litigation Writs 24/10/95

    24-Oct-1995

    Criminal law firm Reynolds Dawson is suing Mount Charlotte Investments for damages for building work noise and dust nuisance. Its writ claims that Mount Charlotte started substantial refurbishment works on the upper floors of 34 John Adam Street, Charing Cross, London. Reynolds Dawson has offices on the ground floor and claims it has wrongfully had to suffer excessive noise and vibration emanating into its offices.Writ issued by Bazley White & Co, London W1

  • Lords' fee hike takes appeal cost to £4,500

    24-Oct-1995

    A MASSIVE eight-fold increase in House of Lords court fees, including a brand new £500 fee just for petitioning for leave to appeal, come into effect next Wednesday.The new fee structure will take the average cost of fees in an appeal case to £4,500. The scale of this rise overshadows the 9 per cent average rise in court fees for family proceedings and in the civil courts, due for 30 October.Critics of the fee hikes have won some concessions, but ...

  • Mackay enlists LAB's help with reforms

    24-Oct-1995

    LORD Mackay has asked the Legal Aid Board to provide a detailed blueprint of how his reform proposals can be delivered in practice.The board's response to the Green Paper may not be published until next month despite the original 31 August deadline for responses.But chief executive Steve Orchard has revealed that the board was given extra time by the Lord Chancellor to flesh out its response."We were ready to submit our response in August, but ...

  • Mears attacks Hayes in leaked letter

    24-Oct-1995

    LAW Society president Martin Mears has accused John Hayes of deliberately excluding him from a key decision in a leaked letter revealing the true extent of his hostility towards the secretary general.In the memo to Law Society council members, Mears accuses Hayes of acting outside "the spirit" of his authority in negotiating departing Solicitors' Complaints Bureau head Veronica Lowe's £80,000 severance package."A very important principal was involved," ...

  • Mears undertakes to clarify official and personal views

    24-Oct-1995

    MARTIN Mears has promised to stress the personal nature of his opinions when they are not in line with Law Society policy after his solicitors' conference speech attacking what he called the "discrimination industry".The pledge was in a response to a question tabled at Thursday's council meeting by Michael Napier, president of the Association of Personal Injuries Lawyer, calling on the president to make it clear when he was speaking for himself.It co-incides ...

  • Mixed results in court campaigns

    24-Oct-1995

    COURTS campaigners received good and bad news this week. Lawyers in Rugby managed to save their threatened local County Court, but colleagues in York suffered rescheduled criminal hearings because of the lack of Crown Court judges.Rugby lawyers are celebrating after winning a reprieve over Court Service Agency (CSA) plans to shut the County Court and transfer its business to the Coventry trial centre, more than 15 miles away.The victory came after an 18-month ...

  • Moving the goalposts

    24-Oct-1995

    Managing the annual financial accounts is a redundant exercise. Financial accounts are a snapshot of past performance and you can't manage business on this basis. Managing information is the key to success.Financial goals are necessary over a relevant future period, say three years, and partners' support in achieving those goals.Budgets are short term, covering key revenues and expenses. Good cash flow projections will demonstrate commercial ...

  • Moving the goalposts:The City Firm

    24-Oct-1995

    Over the past five years there has been a noticeable shift in emphasis within the finance departments of law firms. During the 1980s firms were profitable, instructions were plentiful and the average firm operated with sizeable levels of work-in-progress (WIP) - a protective layer of "fat" which could be utilised in a poor year. Consequently, attention in finance departments focused on the cashiers.Significant changes in the Solicitors Accounts Rules, high interest rates, ...

  • Nick Rose thinks the Trade Marks Act 1994 is unclear. BYLN:

    24-Oct-1995

    Nick Rose is a partner in the IP/IT department at Field Fisher Waterhouse.The recent decision in the Wagamama v City Centre Restaurants case (unreported) has highlighted the difficulties IP litigators face in predicting how the courts will interpret parts of the Trade Marks Act 1994 which came into force on 1 October 1994.Section 10(2) of the 1994 Act provides that ...

  • No conflict over fees

    24-Oct-1995

    Write to: The Editor, The Lawyer, 50 Poland Street, London W1V 4AX, Fax 0171-734 0534The enormous increase in the cost of civil litigation means that most individual clients - and many private companies - are unable to afford to start legal proceedings or are unwilling to risk the financial cost of losing, particularly in the High Court.The Woolf proposals may bring down the cost of litigation in the future.In the meantime ...

  • Nuclear Testing. Return to confront an explosive issue

    24-Oct-1995

    When President Chirac of France announced on 13 June 1995 that he would authorise a final series of eight nuclear weapon tests in the South Pacific starting in September 1995 he can hardly have imagined the various international legal initiatives that would be set in motion by his actions.South Pacific residents in French territories petitioned the European Commission on Human Rights and the UN Human Rights Committee, claiming that the tests would violate fundamental human ...

  • Nuclear Testing. TIMETABLE OF EVENTS

    24-Oct-1995

    20 December 1974; ICJ gives judgment in the nuclear tests cases (Australia v France, New Zealand v France).December 1991; President Mitterand announces moratorium on further French nuclear tests, to take effect in May 1992.9 May 1995; Adoption of indefinite extension to Non Proliferation Treaty: France agrees to exercise "utmost restraint" in conduct of nuclear tests.13 June 1995; President Chirac announces end to nuclear tests moratorium, final series ...

  • Open system, open doors

    24-Oct-1995

    The Bar Council is currently in the process of implementing a wide-ranging agenda for self-reform designed to create a progressive and dynamically-structured profession fit for the 21st century.That process has included proposals for a new complaints system to tackle poor professional standards and moves to broaden access to the Bar Vocational Course through a scheme to allow other institutions across the country to teach it.But it is vital for the profession, ...

  • Owen wins Bar Council election

    24-Oct-1995

    ROBERT Owen QC has been elected to the vice-chairmanship of the Bar Council, beating Hilary Heilbron QC and Rodney Klevan QC to the post.Owen, the current professional standards chair, will take over from David Penry-Davy QC in January when Penry-Davy assumes the chairmanship.Heilbron, who was unavailable for comment, has now been rejected by the Bar Council on two separate occasions.She stood unsuccessfully against Peter Goldsmith QC in 1993, but ...

  • Partner gets share of Audit top job

    24-Oct-1995

    A PARTNER at Eversheds has been appointed as the Audit Commission's first head of legal services since the position was split down the middle.Rod Ainsworth, head of the national law firm's public sector planning and environmental team, takes up the post next month.Audit chiefs have been looking to appoint someone since they divided the role of adviser to the ...

  • Pensions Act may trigger off 'CSA-type disaster'

    24-Oct-1995

    The pensions world may see a repeat of the Child Support Act scenario when certain sections of the Pensions Act 1995 has had time to bed down, a leading pensions lawyers has warned.Speaking at this year's SIFA conference for solicitor independent financial advisers, Robert Ellison of Hammond Suddards said problems could arise where for example a spouse has given up pensions rights for ownership of the houses and then finds him or herself in financial difficulties.

  • PI groups arrive at compromise on fees

    24-Oct-1995

    Graham Maurice Durnford Ford, a former senior partner of Hastings firm Durnford Ford, has been convicted at Maidstone Crown Court after pleading guilty to 10 counts of theft of clients' money. Ford accepted liability for stealing no less than £5 million. The Solicitors Compensation Fund has paid out around £7 million in connection with his exploits since 1992. The case was brought by the Serious Fraud Office and Sussex police. Sentencing is postponed until completion ...

  • PI groups arrive at compromise on fees

    24-Oct-1995

    THE DEADLOCK between the Bar and the Law Society over conditional fee terms of engagement for counsel has been broken following an initiative by two personal injury lawyers groups.The impasse between the two sides of the profession, first revealed by The Lawyer in July, had cast a shadow over the launch of no win no fee rules and led to the publication of two conflicting model terms by the Bar and Law Society.But now the Association of Personal Injury Lawyers ...

  • President furious over Gazette story

    24-Oct-1995

    THE LAW Society's journal The Gazette appears in grave danger of being drawn into the political battle currently raging within the Law Society.Martin Mears is understood to be fuming over a scathing attack by Paisner & Co partner Stephen Levinson against his views on discrimination in last week's editorial/comment page of The Gazette.The president is understood to have found Levinson's remark that discrimination lawyers were entitled at the next ...

  • Property

    24-Oct-1995

    City firm Rosenblatt advised in property deals for McLeod Russel Holdings and UNO Upholstery Superstores. The firm acted in McLeod Russel's £3.13 million sale of its remaining residential portfolio to Bradford Property Trust, advised by Hammond Suddards. The firm's two deals for UNO include a 40,000 sq ft unit in Salford and a 55,000 sq ft unit in London.

  • Property

    24-Oct-1995

    Field Fisher Waterhouse acted for the Beefeater Restaurant Division of Whitbread in the acquisition of the new headquarters based in Dunstable. Rowe & Maw acted for the landlord, Hercules Estates.

  • Property

    24-Oct-1995

    Clifford Chance acted for Bristol developer John Baylis in a joint venture with the Prudential Assurance Co on a £200 million regional shopping centre development at Cribbs Causeway, near Bristol. The scheme totalled more than £700,000 sq ft for around 140 shops. Berwin Leighton acted for Prudential.

  • Protected tenancy row goes to Lords

    24-Oct-1995

    A drawn out legal battle over the tenancy status of market operators at Wallasey Market Hall has now turned into a major test case.The row between operators Graysim Holdings, one of the country's longest established private market operating companies, and property owners P&O Property Holdings has reached the House of Lords where judgment is now pending following a recent hearing.P&O is challenging an Appeal Court ruling early last year in which ...

  • Reform yes, but whose reform?

    24-Oct-1995

    Last summer the Law Society Council fielded its second most attractive presidential candidate to attempt to keep things nice and clubbish. What is described as a "caucus" to support Mr Hodge is in reality an unelected opposition to the elected president.The Lawyer last week reports Mr Hodge as asserting that the president is unrepresentative of the profession. This is absurd. To deny the legitimacy of the position of an elected president is to reveal contempt for ...

  • Report highlights pitfalls of sell-offs

    24-Oct-1995

    THE LEGAL pitfalls faced by local authorities when they sell off property assets are outlined in a new report published by City firm Nabarro Nathanson.Nabarros planning partner David Hawkins drew up the document with Stephen Clark, a partner in the local authority consultancy of surveyors Hillier Parker.The report advises councils on how to make the most on property sales under ...

  • Report takes issue with dirty courts

    24-Oct-1995

    MANY magistrates courts have poor facilities including "dismal and dirty surroundings" and inadequate financial management, according to a report.And while all Magistrates' Courts Committees (MCCs), the bodies which run the courts, have begun to form strategic plans, performance monitoring is poor. The result is that MCCs and justices' clerks "often do not know how well they are performing in a wide range of areas including fine collection and case completion".

  • Risk-free recruitment

    24-Oct-1995

    When the president of the Law Society rails against a Conservative government times must be hard. The generation of income, it seems, is squeezed on all sides.In the present climate it is essential to use resources efficiently and one resource vital to any organisation is its staff.The greater the importance of the resource, the greater is the potential risk to the organisation. Selection procedures still depend upon academic qualifications, ...

  • Russell Jones snaps up headline cases

    24-Oct-1995

    RUSSELL Jones & Walker hit the news this week with two high-profile and unusual cases that could make legal history.Senior partner John Webber is acting for sacked Prison Service director Derek Lewis in his action for wrongful dismissal against Home Secretary Michael Howard.Although acting for Lewis, the firm is instructed by the Association of First Division Civil Servants (FDA), Lewis' union and a long-standing client of the firm.Lewis' ...

  • Shaking hands across the Atlantic

    24-Oct-1995

    The international scene has livened up considerably this month with talk of a fresh wave of transatlantic mergers and high profile links.Rumours that Freshfields and US firm Davis Polk Wardell are getting together have been circulating for a long time, although both firms have strongly denied the rumours. Slaughter and May has also figured in the equation.

  • Society finds 'nothing wrong' with names-for-cash scheme

    24-Oct-1995

    NO ACTION is to be taken over the names-for-cash marketing controversy which prompted widespread ambulance chasing claims in the summer.But the Law Society has decided to tighten up conveyancing advertising rules to clamp down on unrealistically low quotes. The move comes amid calls for urgent action to put a stop to fee undercutting from vice-president Robert Sayer.He told the Law Society council meeting last Thursday that up to 25 per cent of small firms faced ...

  • Solicitors,barristers...attorneys?

    24-Oct-1995

    US-STYLE "attorneys" will be introduced to the UK legal system if a proposal by the College of Law is taken up.The title would be given to those who do not qualify as barristers or solicitors but who continue careers as legal advisers or paralegals.Education planners at the Guildford college have included the new qualification in their submission to the Aclec review of legal training.The scheme would cover all students on a one-year, three-term vocational ...

  • Surviving on borrowed time

    24-Oct-1995

    Whether embarking on an LLB or LPC, starting your articles, buying into a partnership or running your own practice, it is essential for fledgling and established lawyers and solicitors to be able to rely on sensible and constructive financial support throughout their careers.With the erosion of the student grant, it has become essential that students commencing their LLB have, from the outset of their course, considered how they will survive financially.Most ...

  • The digital school

    24-Oct-1995

    It's October again and the beginning of another academic year. This year has seen the explosion of the Internet and the emergence of a new breed of technophile student.With over 30 colleges now offering either LPC and CPE courses, law departments are being forced to make IT a priority in the fight to attract potential students.George Middlemist, law librarian at the Oxford Institute of Legal Practice which was founded last year to teach the LPC ...

  • The Lawyer Inquiry: Richard Smith

    24-Oct-1995

    Richard Smith has headed the property department of Nicholson Graham & Jones for six years and remains head of property at the enlarged firm following its recent amalgamation with Brecher & Co. Born in 1952 in Surrey, he now lives in Teddington, Middlesex. What was your first job?Washing my father's car for sixpence.What was your first ever salary as a lawyer?£1,100 per annum plus luncheon ...

  • The Prejudice Barrier

    24-Oct-1995

    Overcoming academic hurdles is an everyday occurrence in a student's life, but overcoming prejudice can be more difficult. Those entering the legal profession often come up against discrimination because of their educational background, age or ethnic minority.Although some in-roads have been made with, for example the referral scheme launched on the initiative of the Society of Asian Lawyers and the African Caribbean and Asia Lawyers Group, aimed at ensuring ethnic ...

  • The university challenge

    24-Oct-1995

    Nottingham Trent can be justifiably proud of being the only institution in the country to have been graded 'excellent' by the Law Society for its Legal Practice Course.The fact that its law department only received a 'satisfactory' rating from the Higher Education Funding Council has led some to complain that the whole assessment process is arbitrary and wasteful of resources.However, the criticism, or at least its premise, is based on ...

  • Time is ripe for constructive debate

    24-Oct-1995

    I look forward to discussing the timetabled programme for the review of the Law Society's attitude and organisation, requested by the council in September;to hearing who has been elected to the working party which will review the society's activities, as approved by the council in September;most of all, to finding out if the president is prepared to build bridges with the council, which I believe is ready to build bridges with him.In the ...

  • Unions claim LCD has closures 'hit list'

    24-Oct-1995

    TRADES unions are accusing the Lord Chancellor's Department of secrecy over plans to close between 13-15 of its probate offices.The unions say the LCD will reveal its "hit list" as late as possible "to diffuse expected opposition from the public and MPs".Ear-marked for closure are the sub-probate registry offices which cover remote areas and are based in Bodmin, Carmarthen, Carlisle, Lancaster, Middlesborough and Norwich.The closure has also ...

  • US partners get all clear from police

    24-Oct-1995

    TWO London-based partners of a US firm arrested over an alleged $US50 million money laundering operation have been completely exonerated by the police and the CPS.The Faegre & Benson partners were also awarded around £20,000 in costs after a Mareva injunction freezing their assets was lifted.It had been alleged that they had laundered money on behalf of organised crime gangs in Russia.The lawyers were based at Faegre & Benson's Holborn ...

  • US practice sets up rival to London

    24-Oct-1995

    NEW York-based Weil, Gotshal & Manges plans to open a major London office offering a UK law service to compete with the top domestic firms.Weil Gotshal already has six partners lined up, including four lawyers from top London firms. With a recruitment drive for serious City players, it hopes to open a 15 to 20-lawyer City practice early next year.The London office will focus initially on banking and capital markets business, servicing not only Weil Gotshal international ...

  • Which? fights Shoosmiths with libel writ

    24-Oct-1995

    THE CONSUMERS' Association has issued a libel writ against a firm which accused it of botching up the damning Which? survey on the quality of legal advice.The writ against Shoosmiths & Harrison follows the Northampton firm's own writ against the association. The firm claimed the association wrongly said in its Which? survey that the firm had failed to warn a researcher of the cost ...

  • Winning the moot points

    24-Oct-1995

    Imogen Burton, student support officer at the College of Law, points out: "Advocacy and drafting are important skills and when employers may only have two minutes to look at a CV, winning a prize for them may make the difference."The European Intervarsity Debate provides students with the opportunity to present their arguments before a panel of judges, lawyers and legal journalists and was won last year by University College Dublin. Chris Perrin, ...

  • Winning the moot points:The Writs Stuff

    24-Oct-1995

    The Times essay contest

  • Wolf Report. Discovery and witnesses

    24-Oct-1995

    Lord Woolf is frank about the problems facing the civil justice system - they are problems which a competent solicitor may help his clients to avoid but which nevertheless entrap far too many users of the English courts.The proposals for multi-track cases (over £10,000) might seem to differ little from the way the Commercial Court runs its cases at present (apart from the time to trial). The report clearly draws upon the Commercial Court's experience. If Woolf's ...

  • Woolf report - revolution or evolution?

    24-Oct-1995

    There has been much comment on the content of Lord Justice Woolf's report Access to Justice. Both professional bodies and lawyers have welcomed proposals, principally aimed at the litigating public, which embrace the speed and fairness of dispute resolution and proportionate costs.But what will the Woolf report mean in practice? It is in the chambers and offices of the profession that Woolf's brave new world should see its dawn. But the profession also has the ...

  • Worry over media curbs on tribunals

    24-Oct-1995

    GOVERNMENT proposals to restrict media reporting of industrial tribunals will hamper proper coverage of such cases and would erode the "principle of open justice", say lawyers for the newspaper industry.Increased powers to limit the identification of parties would apply to defendant companies as much as plaintiffs.Lawyers say reduced reporting would discourage members of the public from believing they had reasonable case.This is contrary to the Government's ...