24 June 1996

The Lawyer

  • Abortion row to High Court

    25-Jun-1996

    A High Court judge will decide whether a woman whose baby suffers from spina bifida is entitled to damages because failure by doctors to diagnose the condition of her unborn child deprived her of the chance to have an abortion. Christine O'Sullivan and Gary McGeown of Wembley are claiming against Northwick Park and St Marks NHS Trust, of Northwick Park Hospital.

  • Ahead in the regions

    25-Jun-1996

    According to a number of practitioners, the regional PI and medical negligence Bar is "as good as anyone can find and solicitors sometimes come from London for high quality counsel". The advantage for instructing solicitors is that the local Bar is "just around the corner".Lawyers are looking for counsel who specialise rather than dabble in a particular area. Again, the list of barristers is not exhaustive but is based on the subjective recommendations of leading practitioners.

  • Appeal decision imminent

    25-Jun-1996

    Judgment is now pending in a case in which former football star John Robertson and his ex-wife have appealed against a High Court ruling that hospital staff were not to blame for their daughter's massive brain damage. Family Division president Sir Stephen Brown and Lords Justices Roch and Brook have said they hope to give their ruling within a month. Robertson and his ex-wife blame the plight of their 12-year-old daughter on alleged negligence by Nottingham Health Authority.

  • Barbara Hewson looks at an ECJ ruling on state liability.

    25-Jun-1996

    Barbara Hewson is a barrister at 12 Gray's Inn Square.On 23 May, in Hedley Lomas (Ireland) v MAFF [C-5/94], the European Court of Justice (ECJ) delivered another landmark ruling on the liability of member states over infringement of their community obligations.This was another article 177 reference from a British court, seeking clarification of the conditions under which the UK might ban meat exports to Spain, notwithstanding article ...

  • Brief

    25-Jun-1996

    CONTRARY to first impressions, Burges Salmon partner Bob Smyth is not a shipping lawyer. But the head of the firm's environmental unit was out to make a point when he set off to work in a rowing boat. To mark 'Bristol Walk to Work Day' recently, he and 44 other members of the firm resolved to leave their cars at home and travel to work using alternative, more environmentally friendly ...

  • Cap on negligent valuations may cut lender litigation

    25-Jun-1996

    Litigation experts are predicting fewer claims by lenders who seek damages for negligent property valuations made during the economic boom of the late Eighties after a House of Lords ruling last week.Lawyers had been expecting a deluge of claims following a Court of Appeal case earlier this year. The court had ruled that lenders could claim for losses suffered as a result of the property slump, providing they could prove they had originally lent on the basis of negligent ...

  • City duo scores with football TV rights deal

    25-Jun-1996

    The Euro 96 football extravaganza reaches its climax this weekend but it is the Premier League's £670 million television rights deal with BSkyB which is exercising the minds of City law firms Denton Hall and Herbert Smith.Dentons is advising the Premier League, while the satellite television group is represented by Herbert Smith and in-house lawyers.Outline agreement has already been reached but final documents will not be ready for signing until later ...

  • City firm sidelines property to sharpen act

    25-Jun-1996

    City firm Watson, Farley & Williams is scaling back its ambitions in property as part of an internal re-organisation designed to sharpen the focus of its core activities.It is establishing four groups comprising banking and finance, shipping, litigation and corporate.There will still be a property department dealing with financing. "But," said senior partner Alsatair Farley, "we will not be trying to do everything else such as planning applications and residential."

  • City solicitors open up in Piraeus and Milan

    25-Jun-1996

    Two international law firms have announced plans to open new offices in Europe.Stephenson Harwood intends to open an office in Piraeus, Greece, and Freshfields one in Milan, Italy.Stephensons' office, when it opens in October, will be headed by newly-appointed Greek-speaking shipping partner Nigel Bowen-Morris.Bowen-Morris comes from the Piraeus office ...

  • Conveyancing conflict part II

    25-Jun-1996

    I could not let Gerald Funnell's letter (The Lawyer 4 June) over conflict in conveyancing go unanswered.In reply I would point out:Unless and until the Law Society's own rules completely restrict solicitors' ability to act for more than one party in all circumstances, then attempts by the Law Society at persuading the Lord Chancellor to restrict the rules of licensed conveyancing will be fruitless.Solicitors do not always identify ...

  • Copper market faces claim deluge by investors

    25-Jun-1996

    City lawyers are predicting an explosion of US-style litigation following turmoil in the UK copper market where Japan's Sumitomo Corporation lost £1 billion.Sumitomo said the massive losses were chalked up following unauthorised dealings by rogue trader Yasuo Hamanaka.Sources told The Lawyer that several big US investors are considering whether to take legal action under the terms of the 1986 Financial Services Act.Investors have lost large ...

  • Councils gang up to thwart racists

    25-Jun-1996

    Helen Sage reportsA scheme to help councils take swift and effective legal action against racist attacks and harassment has been launched by the Association of London Government.The Racial Harassment Information Exchange Network aims to allay the concerns of ethnic minority communities in London that local authorities are not doing enough to tackle racial violence in the capital.The move follows the collapse of a private prosecution against three ...

  • Course aims to train UK lawyers to crack China

    25-Jun-1996

    LAW firms sending staff to China are being offered courses on undertaking business in the country by the University of Glamorgan Law School, which has just signed a partnership deal with China's top law school.Under the agreement signed on 7 June, Glamorgan will become the first European partner of the100-year-old University of Peking.The two schools agreed:to create a European Law Study Centre at Peking University;from ...

  • Data protection reviewed

    25-Jun-1996

    Helen Sage reportsThe Data Protection Registrar plans to revise and streamline the registration process laid out in the Data Protection Act.Rosemary Jay, legal adviser to the registrar, said the system was set up in 1986 when fewer people used computers and the registry had no experience of data protection registration.The aim of the review, she said, is to make registration more accessible. The new system will not ask for the ...

  • Debt work on the cheap

    25-Jun-1996

    Debt collection has become a money-spinner for law firms but many have seen it simply as a way to make a fast buck. One seasoned observer says: "A lot of firms with no experience have seen it as a way to get turnover up. A lot of small firms who did not know what they were doing entered the market."And with rumours of firms setting up sales teams to sell debt collection services to clients, many believe the pressure on price has become unsustainable. Hugh Robertson, of debt ...

  • Defence lawyer takes a bow on the box

    25-Jun-1996

    A BBC producer who shadowed a hard-working criminal solicitor for a documentary has admitted the experience was a real "eye opener".London solicitor June Venters, of Venters & Co, will feature next month in a documentary series highlighting the work of women professionals who work in the criminal justice system.Producer Tracy Cook said her time filming Venters had shattered her illusion that the work of the solicitor largely involved pushing paper."She ...

  • Euro Bars stand firm on MDPs

    25-Jun-1996

    THE DUTCH Bar is to receive the backing of Europe’s combined Bar associations in its battle with Price Waterhouse over the issue of multidisciplinary partnerships.Price Waterhouse has made a complaint to the European Commission that Dutch Bar rules which prohibit it from employing lawyers breach European competition law.The commission’s decision on the case will determine the spread of multidisciplinary practices (MDPs) throughout Europe.Now the Council ...

  • Extra stipendiaries pledged to cut delays

    25-Jun-1996

    The Lord Chancellor is to increase the number of stipendiary magistrates in a bid to reduce delays in the courts.Lord Mackay has introduced a statutory instrument to increase the maximum number of stipendiary magistrates who can sit outside inner London and the City from 40 to 50.Introducing a debate in the Commons last week, Gary Streeter MP, parliamentary secretary at the Lord Chancellor's Department, said the move would help cut unacceptable delays in ...

  • Fast-track negligence pilot takes off

    25-Jun-1996

    A pioneering fast-track scheme aimed at making medical negligence cases fairer and quicker has been launched in Birmingham.Two leading Birmingham medical negligence firms are behind the scheme which was inspired by Lord Woolf's civil justice inquiry.Partner Stuart Knowles and litigation manager Fiona Hawker, from the Lewington partnership, and Richard Follis, a partner at Challinors, devised the project.They were helped by district judges Peter ...

  • Financings

    25-Jun-1996

    Bircham & Co acted for the IES Group on a placing and its admission to AIM. The placing valued IES at over £43 million.

  • Financings

    25-Jun-1996

    Herbert Smith acted for Sketchley in relation to its rights issue to raise about £21.6 million.

  • Firms pick up the pieces

    25-Jun-1996

    Lawyers in Manchester returned to work amidst scenes of devastation last week, determined to keep business going as usual. Chambers on King Street and several firms sustained damage during the IRA bomb attack on 15 June.The Pall Mall office of Addleshaw Sons & Latham was closest to the blast and was so badly damaged the firm will probably have to find new offices. Space was made for staff at the firm's other city centre office, Dennis House.A spokeswoman ...

  • Garretts to set up litigation department

    25-Jun-1996

    Garrett & Co, the law firm allied to accountancy giant Arthur Andersen, hopes to establish a litigation department in London as part of an ambitious expansion programme to boost fee income.Julia Chain, managing partner at Garretts, said setting up a litigation unit would complement the firm's company and commercial division in the capital where new business has grown rapidly.She said Garretts plans "aggressive growth" in London and at its provincial offices ...

  • In brief: Bird Semple sees benefits of Taiwan tubes

    25-Jun-1996

    Scottish law firm Bird Semple has scooped the prestige appointment of legal adviser to Taiwan group Chunghwa Picture Tubes, which is building a £250 million factory in Lanarkshire employing 3,000 workers. Semple is advising on a range of issues, including the purchase or leasing of equipment and machinery. Chunghwa manufactures computer display monitors. Bird Semple partner Bill Ferrie said: "This is a very significant piece of work for the practice and a very important inward ...

  • In brief: City supremo signs up with Field Fisher

    25-Jun-1996

    Leading City figure Ian Hay Davison has joined Field Fisher Waterhouse this week as a non-executive member of the strategy board. Hailed as the man who built up leading accountancy firm Arthur Andersen, Davison is a former deputy chair and chief executive of Lloyd's of London and former chair of the Hong Kong Securities Review Committee. He also sits on the board of numerous companies, ...

  • In brief: Dundas & Wilson tucks into receiver work

    25-Jun-1996

    Dundas & Wilson has been appointed to act on behalf of the joint receivers of the three companies in the Capital Foods Group. Capital Foods operates more than 60 shops in Scotland, employing over 500 staff. The case will be handled by Dundas' new partners Graeme Henry and Michael Hughes, who are involved in developing the insolvency and restructuring services.

  • In brief: Get rid of your aggression with road race

    25-Jun-1996

    Firms are being encouraged to enter teams for this year's Great Legal Challenge, sponsored by The Lawyer, which takes place on 10 July. The 3.5 mile road race, part of the annual 'Chase Corporate Challenge', will be held in London's Battersea Park at 6.45 pm. Last year's race was won be Norton Rose. A trophy will be awarded to the law firm with the shortest time achieved by ...

  • In brief: Law Society attorney guidelines

    25-Jun-1996

    The Law Society has just published guidelines to help solicitors advise clients who want to draw up an "enduring power of attorney", whereby clients appoint someone to manage their property and financial affairs should they become mentally incapable. The guidelines were prepared by the Law Society's mental health and disability sub-committee in response to frequent queries the society's professional ethics division and its practice advice service were getting from practitioners. ...

  • In brief: Leeds firm takes on Eversheds team

    25-Jun-1996

    Insolvency lawyer David Hinchliffe joined Leeds commercial firm Walker Morris as a partner this month. Hinchliffe, formerly a senior solicitor at Eversheds in Leeds, is joined by his assistant John Roche and secretary Sharon Dawson. Philip Mudd, head of banking and insolvency at Walker Morris, said: "Our banking and ...

  • In brief: Richards Butler partners step up

    25-Jun-1996

    City firm Richards Butler has made two of its partners group managers. Lista Cannon, who specialises in financial and banking work and is admitted to the New York Bar, is taken on as group manager of the commercial litigation group, while Christopher Jackson (pictured), becomes group manager of the corporate and commercial group. Both are responsible for day-to-day management and positioning for future growth. Jackson said: "I will be looking to increase our cross-border and international ...

  • Irish courts face 'bedlam' after divorce reform

    25-Jun-1996

    The Irish court system looks set to be swamped by tens of thousands of couples seeking divorce when it is legalised this autumn.Divorce has been banned in the Republic for the past 70 years but at least 40,000 couples in the country have won judicial separations and no one knows how many of these will now seek a divorce.Irish Bar Council chair James Nugent predicts that 10,000 divorce applications are likely as soon as the legislation is passed.There ...

  • IT in business talk

    25-Jun-1996

    Helen Sage reportsA one-day conference in London to assess the business benefits of electronic communication for lawyers will be held on 27 June. 'Developing legal practice using electronic communications' lists IT consultants Delia Venables and Neil Cameron, and Law Society IT adviser Christina Archbold as speakers. The talk is accredited by the Law Society's continual professional development scheme and costs £170 plus VAT. Contact Jane Johnson ...

  • Knocking on debt's door

    25-Jun-1996

    Not long ago, the decision over whether to use the High Court or county court for debt recovery was easy. With limited exceptions, claims over £600 were made in the High Court - it was quicker, had better control of paperwork and had a sheriff who was more successful in enforcement than his county court counterpart, the bailiff. However, things changed with the advent of the Courts and Legal Services Act 1990 and its related legislation.The increase in the county courts' ...

  • Law Soc treasurer in SCB rebuke

    25-Jun-1996

    Three Law Society ex-presidents are to decide whether the society's treasurer Mike Howells should resign after revelations that he has been "severely rebuked" by the Solicitors Complaints Bureau.The SCB found he had failed to furnish a client with adequate professional services and ordered him to pay £1,000 compensation.The issue is threatening to overshadow the Law Society election fight between current incumbent Martin Mears, Tony Girling and Anthony ...

  • Law Soc's Thomas passes reform torch to members

    25-Jun-1996

    A MORE responsive and efficient Law Society is the legacy the new Banking Ombudsman David Thomas hopes he will leave behind when he departs Chancery Lane to take up his new post.Thomas, a senior member of the Law Society Council and chair of Liverpool firm Lees Lloyd, takes over from Laurence Shurman as Banking Ombudsman at the beginning of next year.In what has been a turbulent year for the Law Society, Thomas maintains he has succeeded in promoting a series ...

  • Leaders of the premier division

    25-Jun-1996

    Leading solicitors are looking for barristers who can get to grips with medical terminology and have a good bedside manner. The following are considered to have those qualities. This list is not exhaustive and is based on the subjective recommendations of leading PI and medical negligence practitioners.One of the silks mentioned most frequently is the "terrific" Daniel Brennan QC who is also chair of the Personal Injury Bar Association and is based at 39 Essex Street.

  • Litigation Disciplinary Tribunals 25/06/96

    25-Jun-1996

    Paul William Donovan, 61, admitted 1978, practising at material times as Davies Donovan & Co, Twickenham, struck off and ordered to pay £5,280 costs. Allegations substantiated he used client funds for his own purposes and those of other clients, misappropriated client funds, failed to keep proper accounts. Tribunal told that claims totalling £57,600 so far paid out by Law Society Compensation Fund. Donovan previously before tribunal ...

  • Litigation Personal Injury 25/06/96

    25-Jun-1996

    Walker v Ministry of Defence - QBD 10 June 1996Claimant: Kirsty Walker, Incident: Medical negligenceInjuries: Oxygen starvation at birth at military hospital; quadriplegic, effectively blind, severely mentally handicapped, little speech, able to do nothing for herselfAward: £1.05 million (agreed damages)Judge: Judge Hordern QC (sitting as judge of the High Court)Plaintiff's solicitors:

  • Litigation Recent Decisions 25/06/96

    25-Jun-1996

    Termination of the contract of a futures market traderDegeld Options v Sulim Malook (1996).QBD (Popplewell J) 13/6/96.Summary: Claims by a company trading on London International Financial Futures and Options Exchange (Liffe) against one of its traders and counterclaim by the trader for commission alleged to be due on the termination of his employment.Claim by a company trading on Liffe against a trader employed by it on the floor of the ...

  • Litigation Writs 25/06/96

    25-Jun-1996

    Boatyard workshop owner Kenneth Latham, who was injured tackling a blaze in 1994, has launched a High Court action against one of his workers, Kevin Dixon, who was repairing his car in the workshop. The writ says while using an oxy-acetylene torch, Dixon set fire to the car and the fire spread through the boatyard to the neighbouring boatyard, causing over £435,000 damage.Writ issued by Steele & Raymond, Bournemouth.

  • Local govt body sits on the fence

    25-Jun-1996

    Helen Sage reportsThe Local government lawyers' group will not be endorsing any single candidate in the coming presidential elections but has urged the Law Society to salvage its public reputation after the elections.Peter Urwin, chair of the society's local government group, said its executive had deliberated over which candidate to back but decided its members should be given a free vote.Urwin said: "I think a challenge ...

  • Long live the revolution

    25-Jun-1996

    With reference to Tony Girling & Co's manifesto, why is it a matter for regret that we should have a contested election for our top officers?It is a matter for self-congratulation that, for the second year running, the democratic process is seen to affect this election. Would that every council seat was similarly contested. Members pay heavily for the privilege and they should be encouraged to exercise their rights as frequently as possible.

  • Lovells backs friendly society in ground-breaking Frizell takeover

    25-Jun-1996

    Lovell White Durrant advised the UK's largest friendly society, Liverpool Victoria, on its recent acquisition from Marsh & McLennan of financial services company Frizell Group for about £190 million.Frizell is the UK's largest provider of financial services products to members of public sector bodies. Freshfields advised on the sale of Frizell on behalf of its parent company.The Lovells team was led by John Young, head of the firm's corporate ...

  • Make a good recovery

    25-Jun-1996

    Debt recovery is currently undergoing a major image change and the perceived competition between external agencies has helped to improve the service clients receive.Solicitors have historically been viewed as the professional arm of debt recovery who act with absolute integrity and concentrate purely on those matters which require legal activity. Debt collection companies have tended towards other methods of collection, appealing to a different sector of the market.

  • Nabarros' Sheffield office proves a winner

    25-Jun-1996

    Corporate finance teams at Nabarro Nathanson's Sheffield office have clinched three deals since the office was opened by Environment Secretary John Gummer a month ago.Sheffield is the headquarters of the firm's north of England operations which had previously been centred in Doncaster and Hull.The office, which boasts 220 fee earners and support staff, is recruiting senior ...

  • New head of Bar European

    25-Jun-1996

    Nicholas Paines, of Monckton Chambers, was elected as the new chair of the Bar European Group at the group's AGM on 12 June.Peter Duffy of Essex Court Chambers was elected vice-chair.Paines first task will be to organise the group's annual garden party held jointly with the Solicitors' European group on 4 July.The venue is yet to be announced.

  • NI practice takes action to boost hourly rates

    25-Jun-1996

    Belfast firm O’Reilly Stewart is this week campaigning to improve the hourly rate paid to Northern Ireland solicitors.Peter Smith QC will represent the firm in front of the Taxing Master, Christopher Napier, in a hearing of objections being held on Monday and Tuesday.The claim refers to fees for a senior partner from O’Reilly Stewart. The Crown will also be represented, by Ronnie Weatherup QC as amicus curiae.The Taxing Master sets the hourly rate ...

  • No apology ever offered

    25-Jun-1996

    Your 11 June report of the conclusion of the libel action brought by Liz Davies against the Financial Times incorrectly stated the paper had offered a public apology.The paper made a small payment into court without admission of liability. It did not participate in the subsequent statement in open court nor did it offer the plaintiff an apology.Paul DaviesOswald Hickson Collier.

  • Piba

    25-Jun-1996

    The Personal Injury Bar Association (Piba) was set up in March 1995 to represent barristers in England and Wales who specialise in this area of practice.According to the secretary of the group, Matthias Kelly, one of the reasons why it was set up was because the interests of PI barristers were not being covered by any other Bar association.Piba is now the third largest Bar association and currently has about 750 members, with Kelly predicting that ...

  • Practice's Abu Dhabi staff make the grade

    25-Jun-1996

    City-based law firm Richards Butler has made two of its Abu Dhabi office partners.They are Mohammed Syed and Rhys Lewis.Syed is an advocate to the High Court of Pakistan and a member of both the Punjab Bar Council and the International Bar Association.Lewis qualified in the UK in 1987 and has worked in Richards Butler's Abu Dhabi office for 18 months in commercial law and joint ventures, agency and distribution agreements and corporate re-organisations.

  • Property

    25-Jun-1996

    Berwin Leighton acted for Prudential, which sold its freehold interests in a number of units at Brackmills Industrial Estate, Northampton, to Equitable Life Assurance Society for £18 million. Equitable was represented by Denton Hall.

  • Property

    25-Jun-1996

    Penningtons acted for Wyncote Developments in connection with the acquisition, pre-letting and forward sale of a major development in Crawley, West Sussex.

  • Property

    25-Jun-1996

    Freshfields acted for Scottish Provident which recently let Avon House in Waterside Park Bracknell to CW Lease UK, part of ING Group. CW was advised by Fox Williams.

  • Provinces show their promise

    25-Jun-1996

    Juniors outside London have also attracted the attention of instructing solicitors.In Manchester, at Rodney Klevan QC's set in 18 St John Street, Alastair Forrest is praised and David Heaton is described as being "very bright and good in conference with clients, as well as pinpointing and understanding the issues".Kevin Talbot, Mark Turner and Craig Sephton at Deans Court Chambers, headed by Keith Goddard QC, all receive an honourable mention. At the same ...

  • Recruit for Alsops ups MBO stake

    25-Jun-1996

    David Raff has jumped ship as head of corporate and commercial at West End firm Winward Fearon and joined the management buy-out team at Alsop Wilkinson under the command of Peter Wayte.Recruiting Raff is a major coup for Alsops, which has been looking to strengthen its MBO team whose triumphs include the buy-outs of Golden Wonder Crisps, Great Western Railways and Millets Leisure.Raff, who joins the London office, said: "The opportunity of joining one of the ...

  • Royal firm swots up on mediation

    25-Jun-1996

    FAMILY lawyers from the firm which acts for Princess Diana are preparing to take mediation training courses now the controversial Family Law Bill has finally been passed.Mishcon De Reya is one of several firms which approached the Solicitors Family Law Association to enquire about places on its new eight-day mediation course after the Bill passed through the Commons.Partner Maggie Rae said the firm had already held an in-house course for its lawyers. But she ...

  • Set blazes trail of fixed cost services

    25-Jun-1996

    A London chambers has drawn up a pioneering scheme to provide advocacy services to law firms under fixed contracts in a preparation for the threatened shake-up of the legal aid system.One King's Bench Walk fears chambers may be sidelined if government plans to farm out legal aid to law firms under contract go ahead.It believes firms working under the constraints of block contracts will not be prepared to use chambers unless they can provide their services ...

  • Shaping up for the future

    25-Jun-1996

    With many highly regarded juniors having taken silk in recent years, opinion among leading solicitors is divided over whether or not there is a shortage of outstanding juniors. However, the consensus is that, given time, the next wave of juniors will soon make its mark.Adrian Whitfield QC's set at 3 Serjeants' Inn has a number of juniors who have caught the attention of lawyers. These include Adrian Hopkins who is described as "almost perfect", James Watson "who ...

  • SJ Berwin man advises on SA trade

    25-Jun-1996

    Corporate finance partner Jonathan Metliss, of SJ Berwin & Co, has been appointed to the Department of Trade and Industry's Committee on South Africa Trade (Cosat).The committee advises Ian Lang, president of the Board of Trade, and Foreign Secretary Malcolm Rifkind on ways to boost trade links with South Africa.Metliss is the only Cosat appointee from the legal sector.

  • Teamwork scores a victory

    25-Jun-1996

    On Statistics alone, the action in which accountants Ernst & Young faced potentially devastating negligence allegations warrants a high place in the league of costly and complex trials.The action, brought by Nederlandse Reassurrantie Groep Holding (NRG) after its ill-fated £122 million acquisition of Victory Reinsurance in 1990, began in January last year and drew to an end in November. It has taken since then for Commercial Court judge Mr Justice Colman ...

  • The Blitz spirit that overrides politics

    25-Jun-1996

    Pictures of bomb-damaged buildings and injured bystanders are again making the front pages. No-one can fail to be moved by the pain and suffering that has been caused as well as relieved that there were no fatalities, this time.The unfortunate fact is that disaster planning now has to be put back on many agendas, both professional and personal.When the City of London was devastated by the bomb in the Baltic Exchange in 1993, in common with other ...

  • The Lawyer Inquiry: Matthew Joynes

    25-Jun-1996

  • Third time lucky, Secretaries' groups pull off merger

    25-Jun-1996

    Helen Sage reportsThe Society of County Secretaries (SOCS) is to merge with the Association of Council Secretaries and Solicitors (ACSeS) to raise the profile of the profession.The 110 county secretaries will join ACSeS on 1 November this year, completing a merger which was abandoned in 1993 and 1994 because of uncertainty over the future organisation of local government.ACSeS, which provides independent representation for council solicitors ...

  • Tough stance on Net abuse

    25-Jun-1996

    Alison Laferla reportsCity firm Rowe & Maw has praised UK judges for acting quickly to halt the illegal use of the Internet after it successfully obtained an injunction to prevent breach of copyright.The firm, acting for a Toronto software house, obtained a High Court injunction prohibiting the unlawful distribution of software through an Internet bulletin board.Interactive Image Technologies found its electronics workbench program had been ...

  • Training to meet the challenge

    25-Jun-1996

    Paula Sparks is a barrister and senior legal worker with Avma.Talk to specialist medical negligence solicitors and most will tell you that one of the most frustrating problems they face is a shortage of competent junior counsel.In a recent survey of referral panel solicitors undertaken by charity group Action for Victims of Medical Accidents (Avma), 71 per cent of respondents said there was a definite shortage of specialist counsel in the sector and only ...

  • Tribunal throws out Witham Weld's appeal in unfair dismissal dispute

    25-Jun-1996

    CHURCH and charity law firm Witham Weld has lost its appeal against an unfair dismissal claim brought by one of its secretaries.June Hedley, who worked at the Pimlico-based practice for 12 years before she was made redundant, originally won her claim against the firm two years ago when it was ordered to pay her £14,262 compensation, capped to the statutory maximum of £11,000.But the firm appealed on six points of law and also argued it should not ...

  • UK victorious over free trade

    25-Jun-1996

    THE LAW Society has claimed victory after MEPs voted overwhelmingly to free restrictions on lawyers working abroad.The draft directive on rights of establishment passed its first reading at the European Parliament on Wednesday last week by 449 votes to 23.The directive still has to be approved by the Council of Ministers, but according to Patrick Oliver, of the Law Society's Brussels office, the overwhelming vote will make it difficult for ministers to change ...

  • Vote for me and the profession

    25-Jun-1996

    This week is a watershed for the Law Society. Solicitors have just received their ballot papers for the election of office holders. Last year a president was elected by just 18 per cent of the profession - it would be a tragedy if the decision was made again by so few people.It has not been a successful year. The Law Society has been divided as never before and a once respected institution has become discredited.Over the past 12 months it has become clear that ...

  • What price a shattered life?

    25-Jun-1996

    The Law Commission recently issued its consultation paper, Damages for Personal Injury: Non-Pecuniary Loss, which promises to be as important for the assessment of personal injury damages as the commission's report on structured settlements.That report recommends that the multipliers for future pecuniary loss, such as loss of earnings and the cost of care, should be calculated by reference to the return after tax on index-linked government stock.A Damages ...

  • Woman's nightmare trapped in man's body

    25-Jun-1996

    The legal rights of transsexuals will loom large in the courts after applications for judicial review were granted in two separate actions. In one, a 30-year-old man is seeking judicial review of Gloucestershire Health Authority's refusal to provide NHS funding for gender reassignment surgery; in the other, a 26-year-old man is challenging the right of the Ministry of Defence to sack members of the armed forces who have had sex change operations.Leave for ...

  • Wragges property lawyers head off

    25-Jun-1996

    SEVEN lawyers, four of whom are associates, have left the property department of Birmingham firm Wragge & Co in just three months.Frustration at the lack of partnership opportunities and improvements in the property law job market have been cited as reasons for the departures by lawyers leaving the firm.But senior partner John Crabtree said all vacancies had been filled and the firm ...