24 January 2000

The Lawyer

  • £1m tree damage move

    24-Jan-2000

    The Law Lords are to hear an appeal in a test case which left Westminster City Council facing the prospect of a £1m bill for tree root damage. It was alleged in the case of Delaware Mansions & anor v Lord Mayor and Citizens of City of Westminster that the damage could have been avoided had the council cut down the tree and repaired minor cracks at a cost of £14,000 when residents originally complained. Instead the council let the 80-year-old tree stay. In the end its ...

  • ...as Edge Ellison gains two partners

    24-Jan-2000

    Edge Ellison is snapping up two partners from Edward Lewis.The firm is hiring employment partner Brendan Murphy from Edward Lewis and is also set to take on the dissolving firm's sports unit head, Michael Breen.Breen, a partner in the corporate commercial and sports law department, is in talks with the firm and is understood to be close to signing a deal.The addition of Breen would be a major boost to Edge Ellison's sports law practice, ...

  • ...as M&A expert quits for Baker & McKenzie

    24-Jan-2000

    Rowe & Maw has lost its second partner this week, this time to Baker & McKenzie.Bernd Ratzke, a corporate partner specialising in M&A and cross-border transactions at Rowe & Maw, is leaving the firm after 11 years.Ratzke says: "Rowe & Maw has done extraordinarily well in the last few years, especially in corporate, and we have been able to pull in some very good clients.

  • 36 Bedford Row and 2 Temple Gardens lose leading clerks

    24-Jan-2000

    Leading sets 36 Bedford Row and 2 Temple Gardens have parted company with leading members of their clerking teams.The three departing clerks are victims of the wave of rationalisation and restructuring of clerking and administrative functions that is sweeping through the bar.Deputy senior clerk at 2 Temple Gardens, Tom Grove, who has been with the set for nine years, is no longer working there.Chambers director at 2 Temple Gardens, Elizabeth Rantzen ...

  • A&O and Clifford Chance enter the digital age with online deal rooms

    24-Jan-2000

    Ryan Dunleavy reports on the law firms that are setting up websites to provide online documents for clients.Allen & Overy and Clifford Chance have launched internet "deal rooms" designed to speed up cases.And now the rest of the magic circle looks set to follow suit.A&O's ...

  • Allen & Overy appoints M&A and PFI partners

    24-Jan-2000

    Allen & Overy is poaching a corporate partner from Ashurst Morris Crisp and a lawyer from the Government's Treasury project taskforce.Jeremy Parr should be joining A&O from Ashursts in May, but the date has not been finalised. David Lee has joined A&O's public/private partnerships and private ...

  • Allen & Overy on hiring spree

    24-Jan-2000

    Jeremy Parr is understood to be joining A&O from Ashursts in May. David Lee has joined A&O's public/private partnerships and private finance initiative department as a partner.

  • An Englishman in Paris

    24-Jan-2000

    Abigail Hansen talks to UK lawyer Daniel Walker about his experience practising law on the other side of the Channel.With his dry humour and boyish energy, Daniel Walker is anything but pompous, which makes him something of an iconoclast at the Paris bar.This 35 year-old UK lawyer originally came to Paris in 1990, after two years at Penningtons in London, to spend a year "messing ...

  • Arthur's Holy Grail

    24-Jan-2000

    Dominic Egan asks if the appointment of ex-Clifford Chance managing partner Tony Williams marks the end of Arthur Andersen's legal troubles and talks to the man with the task of turning the firm around.The white flag has been waved. The Lawyer's revelation earlier this month that former Clifford Chance managing partner Tony Williams will be joining Garretts in March signals ...

  • Ashursts lawyer heads in house

    28-Jan-2000

    Bath, a lawyer in the law firm's energy and projects group, joins Marubeni Europower in London where she will be responsible for power projects in the UK, Europe, Russia, the Middle East and Africa. The author of a text book on Indian power projects, Bath will also be involved in projects that Marubeni is developing in India

  • Axa suspends Berrymans and Kennedys for breaking protocol

    24-Jan-2000

    Berrymans Lace Mawer and Kennedys have been suspended from handling litigation claims for Axa Insurance after failing an audit.In a letter dated 10 January, Axa's external legal advisers are informed that, as part of Axa's current legal review, Berrymans' London office and Kennedys' ...

  • Axa suspends Berrymans and Kennedys for protocol breach

    24-Jan-2000

    Berrymans' London office and Kennedys' Brentwood branch were suspended after an audit found that the two firms failed to comply with certain protocols set out by Axa for panel firms that handle high volume insurance litigation claims.

  • B&M offers free advice to developing countries

    24-Jan-2000

    Baker & McKenzie is offering free legal advice as part of its pro bono initiative to help developing countries.The project, aimed at countries including Rwanda and Zambia, is being run in conjunction with the firm's World Trade Organisation (WTO) Group.According to the WTO there are 48 least developed countries (LDC) of which only 19 are members of the organisation.

  • Bar Magic Circle poised to expand

    24-Jan-2000

    All four magic circle chambers have now either acquired new premises that could accommodate expansion or are in the market to do so.

  • Battens claims first with private banking group

    24-Jan-2000

    South west law firm Battens is launching its own private banking group in a move which it claims is a first for the legal profession.The six office, 22-partner firm will be able to offer its private clients specialist deposit and mortgage schemes, investment and fund management and personal tax advice as well as its normal services.The law firms' partners are the majority shareholders in the bank, which remains a separate entity from the law firm and is ...

  • Beachcrofts adds property trio in Bristol

    24-Jan-2000

    Beachcroft Wansbroughs is doubling the number of property partners in its Bristol office by acquiring a local niche practice.The three partners from Crawford Owen will be absorbed by Beachcrofts when the firm takes it over in April. A spokesman for Beachcrofts says the move will make his firm a "new regional market leader in the South West".Martin Davies Jones, Gillie Slater and David Esam will join partners Michael Bothamley - the office's head of property ...

  • Blake Dawson poaches two from rival

    24-Jan-2000

    Leading Australian practice Blake Dawson Waldron has poached two senior partners from rival Deacons Graham & James.Michael Wynter and Roderick Mackinnon are joining the firm, with senior associate Cameron Marks.International trade and resources partner Wynter has been with Deacons Graham for nearly 30 years, as head of the commercial contracts division.His clients include a wide range of lucrative Australian mining corporations, alth-ough it is not ...

  • Bradford & Bingley reveals new panel

    24-Jan-2000

    Hammond Suddards, Addleshaw Booth & Co and Kennedys are the victors in Bradford & Bingley's bulk work panel cull.The cull, by the UK's second-largest building society, which is also in the process of converting to a bank, was far more extreme than was expected.Last February, Bradford & Bingley announced plans to cut the number of its outside legal advisers on its bulk ...

  • Cameron McKenna partner tried to suppress sexual harassment claims

    24-Jan-2000

    Sean Farrell meets one of the women at the centre of Camerons harassment case, who speaks out for the first time.One of the women at the centre of sexual harassment allegations levelled at Cameron McKenna has broken her silence in an exclusive interview with The Lawyer.Veronica Pescud, who was a secretary in the firm's troubled CIS group, makes allegations not only about the extraordinary behaviour of Ilia Iaroslavski, head of Camerons' Tashkent office, ...

  • Carman's set dissolves By Matheu Swallow

    24-Jan-2000

    The 28-tenant New Court Chambers will close its doors for the last time on 20 April.

  • Cartwrights opens Cardiff office

    28-Jan-2000

    The new office will be fully staffed and concentrate predominantly commercial and IT law, claims resolution, commercial property and planning and employment law.

  • Case of the Week

    24-Jan-2000

    Nicholas Van Hoogstraten, who famously referred to ramblers who wanted to cross his land as 'riff raff', 'the great unwashed' and the 'scum of the earth', was found to have illegally blocked a 100-year-old footpath with a barbed wire fence, a locked gate, refrigeration units and a barn. Undeterred by The Ramblers' Association's court victory, Van Hoogstraten is planning to build the largest domestic building constructed ...

  • Clifford Chance appoints forensic accountant

    26-Jan-2000

    Stephen Lewis, who has spent much of his time work in a consultancy role on a Clifford Chance project since he left Price Waterhouse in 1998, is a chartered accountant specialising in damages assessment and financial investigations.

  • Colin Armstrong

    24-Jan-2000

    Abigail Townsend meets Colin Armstrong, a lawyer who turned down partnership for life in-house.

  • Collyer-Bristow latest to benefit from Edward Lewis break-up

    24-Jan-2000

    Stephen Rosen is both Rayners' managing partner and its head of litigation. He was a leading figure at the 10-partner City firm, which specialises in commercial litigation, commercial property and corporate work, and joins Collyer-Bristow as the head of its banking department today (Monday).

  • Collyer-Bristow takes Edward Lewis lawyers

    24-Jan-2000

    Collyer-Bristow has gained five partners by taking the managing partner of City firm Rayner de Wolfe and four lawyers from the dissolution of Edward Lewis.Stephen Rosen is both Rayners' managing partner and its head of litigation. He was a leading figure at the 10-partner City firm, which specialises in commercial litigation, commercial property and corporate work, and joins Collyer-Bristow as the head of its banking department today (Monday).The lawyers ...

  • Corporate manslaughter laws to be reviewed

    27-Jan-2000

    The hearing, earmarked for early February, is expected to decide what level of proof is required to successfully charge a negligent company with manslaughter.

  • Cravaths offers 'no deal, no fee'

    24-Jan-2000

    Cravath Swaine & Moore has entered into a multimillion dollar gamble over its involvement in the AOL/Time Warner merger.The US firm and its client, Time Warner, have agreed a contingency fee arrangement where, should the deal be successful, Cravaths will collect $35m (£29.9m).But should the deal collapse soon the firm stands to pick up minimal or no fees.Cravaths declines to comment but a source close to the firm confirms the arrangement is ...

  • Creating the right perception

    24-Jan-2000

    So the clients are coming out of their closets and saying what we've all suspected they thought for a long time. "We want service and value for money, not global reach."When giants of the stature and international standing of Unilever go on the record with comments such as "I am not interested in a second rate, second division tie-up around the world," those managing partners who spend their days pouring over the atlas should take ...

  • Crunch time for Aitken

    24-Jan-2000

    May looks set to be a key month in the battle by former MP Jonathan Aitken to ward off moves by creditors who have launched bankruptcy proceedings. On 18 May a year will have elapsed since the appointment of bankruptcy trustees and, short of a deal being struck, it will be open to the trustees to take possession of Aitken's property.

  • Cuts in justice system are criminal

    24-Jan-2000

    It is politically safe to hammer the lawyer but the Government should not be sold on the myth that criminal law is there for the benefit of the villain, says John Cooper. John Cooper is a barrister at 3 Gray's Inn Square and a TV scriptwriter.Apparently no one is queueing for the Faith Zone at the Millennium Dome. A new idea should take its place - I hear on the grapevine that the Government is considering the Crime Zone.The Government would hope to ...

  • DAC loses banking team to Osborne Clarke

    27-Jan-2000

    Department chief Chris Sykes joins as a partner and will head up the banking group at his new firm.

  • Dibbs forced to put Scots tie-up on hold

    24-Jan-2000

    Dibb Lupton Alsop's planned merger with Scottish firm Bird Semple has been put on hold.The firms have been forced to delay the tie-up because Bird Semple's senior private client equity partners are digging in their heels, claim sources.It is understood that Dibbs has asked Bird Semple to split up its private client department as a condition of the merger.A band of four senior private client equity partners, led by Lawrence Marshall, is believed ...

  • Dibbs loses transport partner

    24-Jan-2000

    Barnett Alexander Chart has poached a transport partner from City firm Dibb Lupton Alsop.Ashok Ghosh joined the firm's rail and transport group and will specialise in PFI and capital work. He took one unnamed major client with him in the move.He says: "One very big client did move with me, but I think that was partly because of the relationship I had with them and partly because of the firm I've come to."Peter Moody, managing partner at ...

  • Digests

    24-Jan-2000

    Dibb Lupton Alsop's former partner Paul Thomas, who is facing charges of aiding and abetting corruption in relation to a £1.2bn break-up bid for the Co-operative Wholesale Society (CWS), appeared in Bow Street Magistrates Court on Friday. He was bailed until 11 February when the case should transfer to Southwark Crown Court. The SFO alleges that CWS executives Allen Green and David Chambers received £1m as an inducement or "reward" for favouring food manufacturer Hobson ...

  • DPP steps into double jeopardy debate

    28-Jan-2000

    David Calvert-Smith says that in cases such as murder, rape or serious assault a suspect should be retried if there is compelling new evidence, such as DNA profiling, or a confession.

  • Drugs giants merger fees may hit £30m

    24-Jan-2000

    Slaughter and May and Linklaters & Alliance could earn an estimated £30m in fees from the merger of drugs giants SmithKline Beecham and Glaxo Wellcome.The £114bn merger is one of the world's largest. SmithKline Beecham and Glaxo Wellcome are long-term clients of Linklaters and Slaughters ...

  • Falcon Chambers hires first director

    24-Jan-2000

    Premier commercial property set Falcon Chambers has taken the senior clerk from Goldsmith Building to be its first director.Edith Robertson will develop a marketing and business strategy for London-based Falcon and has compared her role to a chief executive of a corporation.She says: "There's a lot of things I'll be looking at here, such as preparing a business plan, a mission statement and sorting out the set's long-term objectives."The ...

  • Financings

    24-Jan-2000

    Norton Rose advised HSBC Investment Bank on a one for four rights issue by Minerva to raise £71m. The funds will allow Minerva to finance the proposed £101.4m purchase of The Criterion in London. The rights issue was fully underwritten by HSBC

  • Financings

    24-Jan-2000

    Linklaters & Alliance acted as UK and Dutch adviser to Dresdner Bank AG on a loan facility to Energis UK. The firm also represented Kleinwort Benson Securities in a US capacity on the equity placing of £312m-worth of Energis' ordinary new shares to fund the purchase of Dutch-based company Enertel. Tom Wells

  • Flotations

    24-Jan-2000

    CMS Cameron McKenna represented Antisoma on its listing on the London Stock Exchange (LSE). The EASDAQ-quoted company is also listed on techMARK, the LSE market for IT companies. Nomura International sponsored the official listing. Michael Draper, corporate partner at Camerons, advised on the listing with support from corporate assistant Ed West.

  • Freeths hires barrister for medico team

    24-Jan-2000

    Freeth Cartwright Hunt Dicken has taken on a City barrister as partners try to set up a one-stop-shop for medical negligence clients.John Gordon left the chambers of Kieran Coonan QC at 6 Pump Court to advise the Midlands firm.His appointment represents the 45-partner firm's bid to beef-up its medico-legal department. He has 10 years experience in the field and plans to qualify as a solicitor.He says: "I feel that the skills I have used at the ...

  • Gibson Dunn lures top partner from Nabarros

    24-Jan-2000

    THE London office of top West Coast firm Gibson Dunn & Crutcher is to offer an English law capability for the first time by appointing a Nabarro Nathanson property partner.Alan Samson is qualified in both UK and US law and specialises in property finance. He is expected to join Gibson Dunn in ...

  • Herbert Smith takes over Denton Hall Tokyo office

    26-Jan-2000

    The firm, which has not got a presence in the area, has poached managing partner David Lewis as well as a team of 10 assistants and support staff.

  • Indian firm rallies after London loss

    24-Jan-2000

    Indian law firm Singhania & Co has sent four lawyers to its London office to replace the ones who broke away to set up a rival practice (The Lawyer, 17 January).Partners Gagan Anand and Rina Barua, along with assistants Rajiv Duli and Karam Chand, left India to join the practice's UK office.Plans for Indian partner Madhurendra Nath Jha to join the office as managing partner are also underway.These moves follow the departure of four lawyers, who ...

  • Indian lawyers storm Law Commission over foreign threat

    25-Jan-2000

    More than 100 lawyers interupted a seminar on the controversial topic and reportedly abused Law Commission chairman, Mr Justice BP Jeewan Reddy.

  • It's been a bad week for...

    24-Jan-2000

    President Jacques Chirac, whose plans for reform of the French judicial system have been been sabotaged by a coalition that includes members of his own RPR party. The reforms are aimed at reducing the role of government in judicial appointments.A college in Wrexham which has received a letter from a US university suggesting it could be passing itself off as a branch of the Ivy League giant of the same name. Emlyn Jones, principal of Yale College, ...

  • It's been a good week for...

    24-Jan-2000

    Puff Daddy, the US rap star, who has recruited Johnnie Cochran to his defence team. Cochran, who famously proved the innocence of OJ Simpson, will be hoping to work the same magic on behalf of Daddy, who faces 15 years in jail for illegal possession of a weapon. Daddy and his girlfriend, Jennifer Lopez, were arrested after allegedly fleeing the scene of a shooting and running 11 red lights.The children of unmarried fathers or ...

  • Just Williams

    24-Jan-2000

    In his first interview since taking the job with Arthur Andersen, Tony Williams tells The Lawyer that clients are thinking seriously about MDPs.What will your title be?I have two, actually. One is managing partner, which is a worldwide role, with responsibility for developing Andersen Legal in the key business centres, and the second one is senior partner of Andersen Legal UK.What attracted you to the ...

  • Landwell recruits global head and seven new partners

    28-Jan-2000

    Alan Morris, an accountant, served as Simmons' financial director and then spent three years as managing director until he was replaced by a managing partner - David Dickinson - in April last year.

  • Law Soc asks City lawyers for input on conflict regulations

    24-Jan-2000

    City lawyers have for the first time been asked by the Law Society to suggest their own set of rules - before the rest of the profession is consulted.The City of London Law Society is producing draft conflict of interest rules as part of a nationwide review of regulations.Their suggestions will then be put to the rest of the Law Society membership for consideration.Tony Sacker, chairman of the City of London Law Society, says: "They are hoping that, ...

  • Legal Aid cuts hit Scottish firm

    25-Jan-2000

    Ross Harper's managing partner Cameron Fyfe has also been toppled from the top job. It is understoood he will concentrate on fee-earning.

  • Legal Executives get a shot in the arm

    24-Jan-2000

    Executives' status has been given extra weight but the concept of manifest disadvantage is questioned, says Roger Pearson.Legal executives have had their status strengthened by an Appeal Court ruling.The ruling in Barclays Bank v Coleman, leaves no doubt that if a legal executive has been given the backing of his principals his advice should be regarded as given on behalf of his firm.And Lords Justices Nourse, Pill and Mummery ...

  • Legal Widow

    24-Jan-2000

    The Lawyer has decided that he can't quite bear to win the "Who's got the tattiest car in the firm's carpark?" competition by driving to work in my car, forever changed since Deminimus got hold of a paintbrush and a tin of white gloss foolishly left open in the garage.

  • Litigation Personal Injury 24/1/00

    24-Jan-2000

    John Langan (suing on his own behalf and as personal representative of the estate of Maureen Deidre Langan deceased) v Ministry of Defence QBD (Buckley J) 29 November 1999Claimant: Widower of the deceased who died on 26 February 1988 aged 35.Incident: Maureen Langan attended a military hospital in West Germany in July 1987 for the birth of her son by Caesarean section. She suffered a vaginal infection and experienced abdominal pain. A genital tract infection ...

  • Litigation Writs 24/1/99

    24-Jan-2000

    Solicitors Nicholas Bennett and David Saunders, formerly practising as Nicholas Bennett and Co, are suing Michael and Diane Ivey, of Duras, France, for £32,488.33 and interest in respect of the sale of a property. The claim says the solicitors were instructed to complete the sale of property belonging to the Iveys and to discharge the mortgage to Lloyds Bank, but that the solicitors were obliged to pay the balance of £32,488.33 to ...

  • Lovells loses partner due to merger

    24-Jan-2000

    Lovells has lost its first Boesebeck Droste partner since the two firms merged at the beginning of the year, to German rival Haarmann Hemmelrath.Frankfurt-based corporate partner Rainer Bommert has left because he views the merger as a takeover rather than a partnership, according to a source.Bommert warned other partners he would leave during early consultation over the merger.Boesebeck Droste's deputy managing partner Oliver Felsenstein says: ...

  • Lovells loses partner to German rival

    24-Jan-2000

    Bommert warned other partners he would leave during early consultation over the merger.

  • Magic circle sets prepare to expand

    24-Jan-2000

    The bar's magic circle is poised for massive expansion as movement and merger-mania intensifies within chambers.After One Essex Court's senior clerk Paul Shrubsall told The Lawyer last week (17 January) that he believed the first 100-strong set was just around the corner, all four magic circle sets are preparing themselves for rapid expansion.All four magic circle chambers have now either acquired new premises that could accommodate expansion or are ...

  • Manches boosts media practice

    26-Jan-2000

    A former partner at niche Australian media firm, Tress Cocks and Maddox, Harper more recently was a founding partner of specialist Australian corporate and commercial firm, Harper Watson.

  • Martineau Johnson wins BMW contract

    24-Jan-2000

    Martineau Johnson has won the right to protect BMW's brand image in the UK.William Barker, intellectual property partner at the Birmingham-based firm, says that the contract came after an internal reshuffle at the German company, and was awarded because of Martineau Johnson's success in defending the Rover name.Rover, which has been bought out by BMW, has used the firm since the mid 1990s and Barker says that they have enjoyed a good relationship.

  • Mishcon wins back Head of Meryet

    28-Jan-2000

    The head of Michcon's art law group, Karen Sanig led a team in a two-year battle to secure the return of the "Head of Meryet

  • Mississippi men face stiff penalties

    28-Jan-2000

    The ultra-conservative Southern state is considering a public-sex-and-nudity law with a clause that will make it illegal for men with erections to appear in public - even if they are fully clothed

  • Monckton opens merger talks with 4-5 Gray's Inn

    24-Jan-2000

    Monckton Chambers and 4-5 Gray's Inn Square have entered merger talks.The news comes a week after it was revealed that seven tenants are leaving 4-5 Gray's Inn, including Cherie Booth QC and David Bean QC, for the new 22-tenant human rights set Matrix Chambers, which is also taking Jessica Simor and Rhodri Thompson from Monckton Chambers.Chambers director at 4-5 Gray's Inn Tony Wells says: "There were informal soundings taking place before Cherie ...

  • Montblanc case not unique

    24-Jan-2000

    In your article "Trademark regulations strengthened" (The Lawyer, 10 January) Dawn Osborne is quoted as suggesting that new law was being made in the Montblanc case ("In other major passing off cases the products have all been on the market...But in this one we got an interim injunction before it ever got on to the market.")This is not so. In the leading case of Jif lemon on trade dress passing off (Reckitt & Colman v Borden) which ended in the House ...

  • Morgan Cole PI ace defects to rival firm

    24-Jan-2000

    Senior Morgan Cole partner Philip Anderson has left the firm's Cardiff office to join a smaller set-up in the city.Anderson will continue to specialise in personal injury work at Palser Grossman where he becomes the firm's 20th partner.Anderson was with Morgan Cole for 17 years but was not part of the sweeping management review announced last year which saw more than ...

  • Morgan Cole snares major client on web

    24-Jan-2000

    Morgan Cole has won a major new international client - thanks to its website.Geoff Hewitt, Morgan Cole's head of upstream commercial oil and gas, has won work as lead counsel to Lagos' attorney general and commissioner for justice on a major electricity power generation project in the Nigerian city.The initial approach to Morgan Cole came as a result of London-based ...

  • Newcastle 12 to form 'superset'

    24-Jan-2000

    Mass defections from a Newcastle set of barristers are forcing the closure of Westgate Chambers to create the biggest set in the North Eastern circuit.Twelve barristers are due to leave Westgate Chambers on 4 February to join Broad Chare Chambers. The latter will then have 46 barristers including three silks.Broad Chare's head of chambers, Eric Elliott, says the recruitments have enabled him to set up specialised departments in criminal, family, civil and ...

  • Norton Rose acts in £1bn Citigroup call

    24-Jan-2000

    Norton Rose is teaming up with US firm Skadden Arps Slate Meagher & Flom to complete Citigroup's billion pound takeover of Schroders' investment arm.The UK firm won a place advising on the £1.35bn acquisition through a recommendation from US counsel Skadden Arps.

  • O'Melveny London chief goes Dutch

    24-Jan-2000

    Christopher Hall, head of the London office of US firm O'Melveny & Myers, has left to become executive vice-president and general counsel of Dutch telecoms company KPNQwest.O'Melveny learned of Hall's decision early this month and Hall took up his new post on 17 January.He will be responsible for KPNQwest's legal, financial and regulatory affairs and will be part of the company's management team.Hall took over as partner-in-charge ...

  • Overhaul planned to avoid Pach collapse

    24-Jan-2000

    The Bar Council's pupillage application scheme, which was facing ruin after leading commercial chambers threatened to pull out, has been granted a reprieve.A row erupted last year between Blackstone Chambers and 4-5 Gray's Inn Square over the Pupillage Application Clearing House scheme (Pach).The argument was fuelled when several leading commercial sets voiced concerns that the scheme's current format did not allow chambers to compete with law ...

  • Perrin's View

    24-Jan-2000

    Friday, midday. I'm entertaining clients at The Ivy. I'm wearing a dark blue cashmere gilet, silk blend chinos by Ralph Lauren, taupe pashmina socks, a hand-stitched alligator belt... but not really. This is London. It's Wednesday, I'm sitting at my desk and what I'm really wearing, in common with every other lawyer this side of the Atlantic, is a suit.For how much longer, though, I'm not sure. Something ...

  • Pinsent Curtis' London chief quits

    27-Jan-2000

    Brister, who joined Pinsents from Linklaters in October 1996, plans to focus on other interests including his holiday home rental company, Rural Retreats.

  • Quote of the week

    24-Jan-2000

    "It's a bit like being transferred to Manchester United."- Peter Vaines on his move to German tax specialist firm Haarmann Hemmelrath.

  • Richard Millett on issues in the Bermuda Fire & Marine case. Richard Millett is a barrister at Essex Court Chambers and represented the corporate defendants.

    24-Jan-2000

    The Bermuda Fire & Marine Insurance Company used to be the island's oldest insurance company.In 1993, it went into provisional liquidation with what was alleged by its liquidators, Ernst & Young, to be a deficiency of $450m.Almost all of its liabilities were contingent liabilities arising from its participation, between 1968 and 1983, on the HS Weavers and CR Drivers underwriting stamps.Its exposure as a stamp company ...

  • Rowe & Maw environment head to join Boodle Hatfield

    24-Jan-2000

    Rowe & Maw is losing its highly rated head of environmental law to Boodle Hatfield after 12 years at the firm.Hugh Devas is planning to join Boodle Hatfield on 1 May as a partner specialising in property and environmental law. But he will remain a consultant at his former firm for the next two years.Devas says: "The two firms do not compete and I am not perceived to be taking clients with me so I can still be useful to Rowe & Maw."Tim Manning, head ...

  • Scuffle of the week

    24-Jan-2000

    Cherie v Tony. Relations over the breakfast table at Number 10 may be a little strained in the coming months as Cherie Booth's new human rights set could be acting for Old Labour union chiefs who are challenging New Labour's measures on parental leave. Cherie believes the measures introduced by Tony's ministers are in breach of European Union rules. The TUC has said it will be mounting a legal challenge claiming that three million parents are being unfairly excluded form ...

  • Should police chiefs be liable for sexism?

    24-Jan-2000

    The Lords will rule on whether a commissioner should carry the can for the actions of high-ranking officers. By Roger Pearson.Allegations of sex discrimination in the Metropolitan Police are to come under legal scrutiny in the House of Lords.The probe is scheduled in a battle by former policewoman Eileen Waters to prove that the capital's police discriminated against her. The case is one which raises important questions for all police chiefs.Waters ...

  • Simmons acts on track sharing deal

    24-Jan-2000

    Simmons & Simmons and Newcastle firm Dickinson Dees have completed work on a ground-breaking £98m public private partnership deal to put into place a Sunderland metro extension.The deal was unique because it will allow the running of lightweight metro trains on the national rail network - the first example of track sharing in the UK.Simmons has had a team of eight working ...

  • Spanish ties

    24-Jan-2000

    Last year saw a great deal of movement in the Spanish legal market, with a flurry of mergers and alliances with both South American and Anglo-Saxon firms. Abigail Hansen reports.In summer 1998, Spanish firm Uria & Menendez made waves in Europe with its controversial decision to pull out from a planned merger with Linklaters. It was a declaration of independence which flew in the face of ...

  • Technology, Media and Telecommunications

    24-Jan-2000

    Olswang advised the majority shareholders of Microcosm Communications on its sale to Conexant Systems. The company was sold for $128m (£80m) with contingent future payments which could inflate the final sale price to $180m (£112m). Heather Wilby, corporate partner at Olswang, headed a four strong team on the deal. Os

  • The French connection

    24-Jan-2000

    On 1 October last year Paris information technology firm FG Associes moved its clientele and expertise across the Champs Elysees to join large international firm Salans Hertzfeld & Heilbronn HRK.With a reputation which was the envy of its competitors and boasted major international clients, the move was a surprise, even in an increasingly international and aggressively competitive environment where established French firms were routinely swallowed up in a feeding frenzy ...

  • Think tank calls for single investigatory unit

    28-Jan-2000

    It also proposes that the Serious Fraud Office (SFO) should, in some cases and after the trial, publish details of the investigation.

  • This week

    24-Jan-2000

    Lawyers who hold the purse-strings will be flocking to the first Lawyer In House Forum at The Barbican on 25 January.

  • Time has not changed for everyone involved

    24-Jan-2000

    The turn of the 21st Century happened to co-incide with my firm's 21st anniversary. Forgive me, therefore, if I indulge in a little introspection about the changes I have seen since 1979.I'm not talking about the technological changes, though I am typing this piece on my laptop and when I have finished it, I will transmit it, via my mobile telephone and the internet, to The Lawyer.This process would have seemed like science fiction in 1979. For one ...

  • UK trio set to help propel German tax firm into City

    24-Jan-2000

    Top German tax firm Haarmann Hemmelrath has named the three UK lawyers who are joining to help the firm open a London office.Corporate law specialist Philip Newhouse arrives after 15 years as a partner at Taylor Joynson Garrett, Jay Birch joins from the Manchester office of Hammond Suddards and legally-qualified chartered accountant Peter Vaines is leaving West End firm Brebner Allen Trapp.Completing the team will be two German partners, Claus Kohler and Norbert ...

  • Wacks Caller raids Davies Wallis Foyster for litigation dept head

    25-Jan-2000

    Kit Sorrell joins the 13-partner firm as head of the commercial litigation department after 17 years at the 42-partner Liverpool firm - one of the biggest in the North West.

  • When client service is reduced to a sideshow

    24-Jan-2000

    IN TONY Williams' first interview since The Lawyer revealed he is joining accountancy giant Arthur Andersen to run its troubled legal division, he says that he hopes that his appointment will help "draw a line" under the negative publicity surrounding the disastrous Wilde Sapte merger.It is perhaps a sign of the new legal times that a single appointment can go so far in helping to re-establish an organisation's credibility.But Williams' ...

  • Wilde Sapte and Dentons pick up Versailles insolvency case

    24-Jan-2000

    Wilde Sapte and Denton Hall have won their second major insolvency case as a combined outfit in as many weeks.The firms, which will merge on 1 February to form Denton Wilde Sapte, have been instructed by receiver PricewaterhouseCoopers to advise on the multimillion pound insolvency of Versailles amid allegations of fraud.The Serious Fraud Office (SFO) is investigating the trade finance house for possible "serious and complex fraud" after a DTI enquiry last year.

  • Xerox

    24-Jan-2000

    David Whibley, general counsel and director of legal services at Xerox, is keen to make one thing clear - his company does not sell photocopiers.