25 November 1996

The Lawyer

  • Accountants

    26-Nov-1996

    A sentence in the story "Accountants on the brink of taking law into their hands" of 1 November mistakenly referred to Price Waterhouse taking over Spicer & Pegler it should have referred to Touche Ross merging with Spicer & Pegler.

  • Accountants to circulate Law Soc investigations

    26-Nov-1996

    Law firms can learn from the mistakes of other solicitors under a scheme being set up by a chartered accountants firm to distribute the results of Law Society investigations into law firms.Geo Little Sebire & Co's legal services division is planning to send participating lawyers anonymous extracts from Law Society Monitoring Unit reviews of other solicitors' client accounts.GLS already provides its existing clients with "an anonymous summary of significant ...

  • Accounting board delays share scheme alterations

    26-Nov-1996

    The Accounting Standards Board has deferred making a decision on changing accounting standards for employee share schemes following a plea from share scheme solicitors and other groups.As reported in The Lawyer last week, representatives of around 70 solicitors belonging to the Share Scheme Lawyers Group wrote to the ASB's Urgent Issues Task Force asking it to scrap proposals for companies to charge the cost of share schemes to their profit and loss accounts, saying ...

  • Age of reasons for immigrants

    26-Nov-1996

    Home Secretary Michael Howard has suffered his fair share of defeats at the hands of the courts recently, as his decisions in a range of areas have been overturned by judges.Few of those defeats, however, have been more widely publicised than the recent case in which the Home Office was told to reconsider its refusal of British naturalisation for Harrods boss Mohamed Fayed and his brother Ali.Fayed has made no secret of his belief that the Government ...

  • Airbus Indian crash appeal

    26-Nov-1996

    The Law Lords have given until this Thursday for French aircraft manufacturer, Airbus Industrie to lodge objections to an appeal application relating to an action in which it is being sued over the Indian Airlines Airbus crash at Bangalore in 1990. Jaisukh Arun Bhai Patel and five others are applying for leave to appeal against an injunction, granted by the Appeal Court on 31 July this year on appeal from the Commercial Court, confining their claims against Airbus Industrie ...

  • Americans meet

    26-Nov-1996

    The American Bar Association will hold its 58th mid-year meeting in San Antonio, Texas, from 29 January to 4 February 1997. The Board of Governors will meet to consider its recommendations on policy matters to be debated by the ABA's House of Delegates. Its nominations for several key ABA positions, including the president elect, will be announced to the House.

  • Appeals of drug trafficking

    26-Nov-1996

    The House of Lords is considering whether to entertain an appeal by Customs and Excise against an Appeal Court decision on 19 February allowing an appeal by Michael Emmett, who is serving 12.5 years for drug trafficking offences, in respect of a confiscation order against him. The Law Lords have allowed Emmett until Thursday to lodge objections.

  • Bar working party opts for greater democracy

    26-Nov-1996

    THE BAR Council looks set to give up its constitutional independence from the profession following a democracy working party's conclusion that it should obey the results of national ballots of barristers.The working party, chaired by treasurer Michael Blair, also concluded that Bar Council proposals to significantly change its constitution or code of conduct must be approved at an AGM.But it has decided against following the Law Society's example of ...

  • Bids fly in for share of money to promote Euro law harmony

    26-Nov-1996

    Applications for a share of the £7m donated by the European Union to help lawyers learn more about international law have begun to flood in.More than 80 applications have already been received by the Commission for the Grotius programme, named after the man who invented international law, since it was approved by ministers last month.Cash will be given to individual projects which are designed to either help lawyers learn about the laws and legal language ...

  • Brick Court's happy birthday

    26-Nov-1996

    ONE hundred and fifty people gathered at the Waldorf Hotel in London last week to celebrate Brick Court Chambers' 75th anniversaryThe chambers, which specialises in commercial law including shipping, insurance and banking, was founded by former Labour attorney-general and pre-eminent commercial lawyer William Jowitt.He was soon joined by a young barrister, Patrick - now Lord - Devlin. The set began to grow rapidly soon after World War ...

  • Citizen v executive: the case continues

    26-Nov-1996

    Judicial review may be its own worst enemy. The exponential growth of administrative law challenges since the inception of the 'new' procedure in 1981 has led to concern on two fronts.First, the clash between citizens and the executive has resulted in some notable defeats for the Government in general and Michael Howard in particular. This, in turn, has led to a perception, which is possibly deliberately fuelled, of a constitutional impasse between the judges and ...

  • City firm sinks £1m in system

    26-Nov-1996

    Alison Laferla reportsCity firm DJ Freeman is investing £1m in a practice management system from Keystone Solutions, a software company based in New Zealand.The firm is following in the footsteps of Ashurst Morris Crisp, which last July became the first UK firm to invest in Keystone.DJ Freeman, which won the 1996 Lawyer/HIFAL award for best use of ...

  • Clamour for civil justice council grows as Lord Mackay throws out amendment

    26-Nov-1996

    Pressure on Lord Mackay to introduce a civil justice council is growing following his rejection of a Law Society sponsored amendment to the Civil Procedure Bill, the first step in implementing Lord Woolf's reforms.The Shadow Lord Chancellor, Lord Irving of Lairg, and the Law Society are publicly adding their voice to Lord Woolf and other practitioners' and consumer groups in the demand for a council comprising top judges and litigation lawyers to oversee Lord Woolf's ...

  • Clerks are the key, reveals report

    26-Nov-1996

    Chris FogartySenior clerks and greater specialisation have been pinpointed as the keys to the future success of a chambers in a survey of solicitors' attitudes towards barristers.Twenty-nine solicitors, from a range of firms, were asked about the services provided by barristers in research commissioned by Newcourt Chambers and conducted by Randolph Williams Research.The report makes it clear that clerks are a significant factor in solicitors' ...

  • Cocks faces disciplinary

    26-Nov-1996

    DAVID Cocks QC is to face a disciplinary hearing over his involvement in the Roger Levitt fraud trial.Complaints against Cocks, who heads 5 King's Bench Walk chambers, were lodged with the Bar Council last year by Levitt's solicitor John Perry, a partner at Goldkorn Davies Mathias, and Conservative MP John Marshall.They relate to allegations that Cocks, prosecution counsel for the SFO in the Levitt case, misled Parliament over plea bargaining.

  • Conference speakers take a big bite out Apil

    26-Nov-1996

    As the opening of a conference, Association of Personal Injury Lawyers president Caroline Harmer's production was something of a surprise.It featured a journalist, a client and a consumer representative getting up and, in effect, telling a stony-faced gathering of 350 Apil members what an ethically dubious bunch they were."Of all areas of law, personal injury is perhaps most ripe for criticism," said National Consumer Council policy officer Marlene Winfield. ...

  • Copier winner

    26-Nov-1996

    Fawzie Zuberi, a trainee solicitor at the Blackwell Partnership in Harrow, is the winner of The Lawyer competition for a Canon personal copier. Zuberi wins a portable FCT30 copier worth £595.

  • CPS disbands its elite casework team

    26-Nov-1996

    THE CPS is to disband the elite team of special casework lawyers who are responsible for handling the service's most sensitive cases, an internal report seen by The Lawyer has revealed.Although the report recognises that the 45 special casework lawyers in the service are highly specialised and skilful "at use and control of counsel", it concludes that it is inefficient for teams of specialists to hive off cases from regular prosecutors in CPS branches.It ...

  • Danish invaders put new man in London

    26-Nov-1996

    Danish firm Kromann & Munter is expanding its London operation to target new Danish companies setting up in the UK.The firm is sending one its senior partners from Copenhagen to head up the London office, which has previously been run by a more junior lawyer, Claus Hansen.From January, Peter Friis will take over the daily running of the London office and Hansen will return to Copenhagen to head a team of lawyers to support the London office. The team will handle ...

  • David Owens on judicial reviews in Health Service litigation

    26-Nov-1996

    The past year has seen significant growth in a new area of litigation for Health Service bodies. In addition to the burdens of allegations of clinical negligence and the consequential litigation, there are a number of new types of challenge being brought by way of judicial review.One aspect of this has been the rising tide of challenges to purchasing decisions and policies. While the courts have generally been unwilling to second-guess the Health Authorities over the ...

  • Euro debt debate

    26-Nov-1996

    European lawyers descended on the UK at the beginning of this month to speak on recovering debts in the EU at an open panel seminar at the UK's Credit and Recovery Expo 1996. The conference, held in Birmingham, covered debt collection in European business. The organiser, Steve Martin, said: "Lawyers views are more valid than ever now, with the lowering of barriers between countries. It is vital that the European lawyers' UK counterparts take on board their ideas and make good ...

  • Euro-firm sprouts branch in Brussels

    26-Nov-1996

    THE new European tripartite firm, Liedekerke Simeon Wessing, has opened an office in Brussels.The office is an extension of the alliance forged in September between French firm Simeon & Associes, Belgian firm Liedekerke Wolters Waelbroeck & Kirkpatrick and the German firm Wessing Berenberg-Gossler Zimmermann Lange.The agreement allows each firm to offer its clients direct access to legal advice on the domestic laws of the other member firms and gives it access ...

  • Ex-Rakisons IT and motor team come in from the cold

    26-Nov-1996

    Three-partner niche practice Geisler Laws Manning has emerged from legal purdah for the first time since the partners broke away from Rakisons six months ago.The London firm, with has three assistants, is calling itself an "IT and motor industry specialist" and has announced its involvement in a capital restructuring of its client Hughenden Motors. Booth & Co advised venture capital firm 3i, which redeemed Hughenden's shares.Partners Alexander Geisler, Susan ...

  • Fraud. Advance fee fraudster's paradise

    26-Nov-1996

    Despite continued publicity, the pervasive problem of advance fee fraud is still a very real one for the legal profession in England and Wales.Advance fee fraud can be as simple and blatant as the common "Nigerian letter scams which are well known to the Serious Fraud Office. The fraudsters ask for the victim to supply bank account details, allegedly to allow money to be laundered and returned to Nigeria and with the promise of a sizeable fee.Once the bank details ...

  • Games of monopoly

    26-Nov-1996

    I was interested to read your news item 'Call for free-market indemnity'. I agree completely with Clive Boxer and, of course we know that last year's Law Society President has also called for a review of the SIF monopoly.When I joined with others earlier this year to found the Solicitors' Association we had, as one of our stated objectives, the abolition of the SIF monopoly. It seemed to us at the time wrong in principle to allow an insurance ...

  • In brief: Baileys seeks property firm merger

    26-Nov-1996

    London firm Baileys Shaw & Gillett is looking to merge with a similar-sized firm to boost its reputation in its key practice areas. The firm, which has 22 partners and is strong in commercial property litigation, has had preliminary talks with a number of firms including 36-partner Wedlake Bell, a London-based practice which has a large property department. Baileys senior partner Peter Foster said: ...

  • In brief: Doolan appointed head of lenders' body

    26-Nov-1996

    Kevin Doolan (right), Eversheds' Banking and Finance partner, has been appointed chair of the Institute of Credit Management's Secured Lending Group. The Group holds quarterly meetings in London and is attended by representatives from both residential and commercial lenders. Doolan heads more than 200 staff in Bristol and Leeds for Eversheds' Banking Department.

  • In brief: Forensic expert joins Manchester firm

    26-Nov-1996

    Manchester firm Pannone & Partners has recruited a former detective chief inspector to its forensic and corporate defence department. Gordon Evans, 53, will be actively involved in white-collar fraud defence work. The firm said that Evans' experience would strengthen its forensic arm, which specialises in the protection of clients' interests in crime, tax and regulatory investigations.

  • In brief: Herbert Smith gains PRC partner

    26-Nov-1996

    Herbert Smith has hired as a partner the first Hong Kong solicitor who is also a People's Republic of China citizen. The appointment of Jeremy Xiao will be made once registration formalities are concluded at the Law Society of England and Wales, and in Hong Kong.

  • In brief: Linklaters boosts international finance

    26-Nov-1996

    Linklaters & Paines is boosting its international finance practice with the appointment of two new partners in the US and Singapore. Allen & Overy partner Fiona Rice will join the firm's Singapore office as a partner next month. Cecil Quillen, who joined the firm last year from

  • In brief: Nacro outlines crime prevention strategy

    26-Nov-1996

    The National Association for the Care and Resettlement of Offenders has published an alternative white paper on crime. Prevention, Restoration and Reintegration argues that crime prevention should become a priority and custody seen as a last resort. It proposes an expansion of crime prevention initiatives, reintegration schemes and restoration projects which enable offenders to make amends to their victims and the community. Acting director general Helen Edwards said: "The millions ...

  • In brief: Pastures new for McCann Fitzgerald

    26-Nov-1996

    Irish firm McCann Fitzgerald has opened a new office in the City, 10 years after becoming the first Irish law firm to open an office in London. The office, in Lombard Street, has two full-time resident partners, John Cronin and Barbara Judge. "Our success is principally due to the success of Irish corporates and banks in doing business in the UK," said Cronin.

  • In brief: Slaughter and May

    26-Nov-1996

    In a recent issue, we said that Slaughter and May closed down in Tokyo due to problems with the local Bar. The firm has asked us to point out that this is not true and they in fact closed down for strategic reasons.

  • In brief: Wynne leaves Watson Farley & Williams

    26-Nov-1996

    Watson Farley & Williams has lost Geoffrey Wynne, a senior banking partner. It is understood Wynne has left to join a bank. Michael Reid, chief executive of Watsons' London office, said: "We hope to maintain close relations with him and he left on amicable terms." He could not confirm whether the firm would be taking on a replacement for Wynne. Watsons is also to lose finance partner ...

  • Insolvency practitioners back voluntary debt arrangements>

    26-Nov-1996

    Insolvency practitioners are calling on the Government to introduce a moratorium on unsecured creditor action against insolvent companies, following a survey which showed that voluntary arrangements were more successful than ever last year at rescuing businesses.Allen & Overy partner Gordon Stewart is chair of the Society of Practitioners of Insolvency, which conducted the survey. He ...

  • Irwin Mitchell targets Birmingham market following merger with five-partner Rigbeys

    26-Nov-1996

    Irwin Mitchell is to catapult itself into the top 10 of Birmingham firms thanks to a merger with five-partner Birmingham practice Rigbeys, which will take effect next week.Irwin Mitchell's managing partner, Howard Culley, said his firm had approached Rigbeys because of its corporate experience and because its expertise in insolvency, housing association and retail work fitted neatly ...

  • Judges furious as police quit courts

    26-Nov-1996

    Circuit judges have called on chief constables throughout the country to reconsider their policy of withdrawing police from Crown Court complexes.The Council of Her Majesty's Circuit Judges is worried after a series of incidents involving intimidation of jurors, courtroom violence and, in one instance, drug dealing in the middle of a case."What use is there having a tough prison sentence if a person is acquitted because witnesses or jurors are terrified?" ...

  • Know-How it's done

    26-Nov-1996

    Know-How and Information Provision in Legal Firms is reported to be the first study on the development of know-how systems in UK legal firms and its impact on the operation of in-house information services.Know-how, which is defined as a record of the combination of personal knowledge and related work experience of individuals, is increasingly being added into databases, so that firms have access to skill records for their employees.The report, ...

  • Known conman gets certificate

    26-Nov-1996

    The Law Society issued a practising certificate to a young lawyer just days after three prominent firms informed it he was a devious conman who had lied about his legal qualifications, it has been claimed.Jeffrey Doss-Lindsey was admitted as a solicitor on 3 April 1995 after he had duped Slaughter and May, White ...

  • Lawyers using information technology are giving away secrets, says offices report

    26-Nov-1996

    Lawyers are in danger of letting secrets slip when using communal office equipment, according to a recent survey.The survey of 100 lawyers, carried out by office equipment suppliers Gestetner, revealed that lawyers used fax machines enthusiastically but not always to best effect.One lawyer faxed a confidential document to a newspaper, but another went one better and sent details of his plans to set up a rival practice to an existing colleague's home fax.

  • Legal Aid Board 'delighted' by not-for-profit contracts interes

    26-Nov-1996

    The Legal Aid Board is "delighted" and "reassured" by the response to its appeal for applications for block contracts in the not-for-profit sector.Almost 300 organisations have submitted statements of intent to apply for contracts in the second-phase pilot scheme. The contracts will be to provide advice and assistance in social welfare law in the not-for-profit sector in 1997. A further 42 organisations are under contract from the first phase.Chief executive ...

  • Linklaters ties up Kent shopping centre deal

    26-Nov-1996

    Lawyers from Linklaters & Paines are breathing a sigh of relief at the end of complex negotiations to finance what will be one of Europe's largest shopping centres, Bluewater, in Kent.A team of five partners and five assistants, including property partner Martin Elliott and property tax partner Simon Clark, worked for a year with the developer Lend Lease, to negotiate the arrangements ...

  • Litigation Disciplinary Tribunals 26/11/96

    26-Nov-1996

    Jeffrey Doss-Lindsey, admitted 1995, struck off. Allegations substantiated he was liable to have his name struck off on account of his failure to comply with requirements in respect of service under articles and with the Training Regulations 1989 and that he had been guilty of conduct unbefitting a solicitor in that he failed to bring to the attention of the Law Society matters within his knowledge which question his fitness to be a solicitor. Tribunal was told that he obtained ...

  • Litigation Personal Injury 26/11/96

    26-Nov-1996

    Marsh v Rotherham Health Authority - QBD, 1 October 1996Claimant: Rachel Marsh (nine years)Incident: Medical negligenceInjuries: Acute oxygen starvation at birth leading to cerebral palsy and quadriplegia. The claimant is totally dependent on parents and carers. No admission of liability but defendants agreed to settle claim. Of the award, £850,000 will go into a structured investment fund, yielding an inflation-proof annual ...

  • Litigation Recent Decisions 26/11/96

    26-Nov-1996

    Undue influence to justify setting aside a legal chargeBarclays Bank v Jennifer Thomson (1996)Court: CA (Simon Brown LJ, Waite LJ and Morritt LJ) 7/11/96Summary: Where a signatory is given independent advice by the lender's solicitor at the lender's expense the lender is not fixed with notice of undue influence affecting the signature and the advice is to be regarded as "independent".

  • Litigation Writs 26/11/96

    26-Nov-1996

    The parents of a girl who was asked to leave her boarding school are suing the school for a term's fees. David and Georgina Dawkins, of Maidstone, Kent, have issued a writ claiming £3,650 from St Michael's School Limpsfield, of Limpsfield, Surrey, with interest of £51.20 and continuing interest of 80p a day. The writ claims the school agreed to accept their daughter Carley as a boarding pupil at a fee of £1,950 a term ...

  • Littleton puts name to Oxford law prize

    26-Nov-1996

    LITTLETON Chambers is to sponsor a new Oxford University prize for the best employment law student.The commercial set hit on the idea of organising the annual prize as a way of highlighting its own expertise in the employment law field.Each year a panel of judges will nominate the best employment law student for the Littleton Chambers Labour Law Prize. The winner will receive an as yet unspecified cash sum.The move is the latest of a series of initiatives ...

  • Lord Mackay meets EU chiefs to tackle human rights set-up

    26-Nov-1996

    The Lord Chancellor, Lord Mackay, is in Strasbourg this week to discuss how improvements can be made to the way the human rights convention machinery works.He will meet the president of the European Court of Human Rights, Rolv Ryssdal, and the secretary general of the Council of Europe, Daniel Tarschys.Discussions will centre on the procedure of the European Court of Human Rights following the proposed merger of the court and the European Commission of Human ...

  • Love it or loathe it, you can't ignore IT

    26-Nov-1996

    As we all know, the process of becoming a fully qualified lawyer is a long and arduous one. Regardless of future specialisms, a thorough grounding in all the main disciplines is considered essential. A newly-qualified solicitor, therefore, has every right to believe he or she has learned enough to go about the business of law.In the modern world, however, the majority are deficient in one increasingly important area; technology. We would argue ...

  • Magistrates are forced to admit Masons membership

    26-Nov-1996

    Magistrates will have to declare if they are Freemasons, under a policy introduced by the Magistrates' Association.In a council meeting last week, members of the association voted that would-be magistrates should have to declare membership of the Freemasons on their application forms. But they had no objection in principle to Freemason magistrates.Existing magistrates will also have to declare allegiance to the secret society.The meeting also ...

  • More clients predicted as loans replace up-front costs

    26-Nov-1996

    The Law Society is predicting an upsurge of clients willing to take up cases after the announcement of a major funding scheme to manage legal costs.Merchant bank Guinness Mahon and Co is to offer a Disbursement Funding Loan at an annual percentage rate of 14 per cent.The scheme was developed by Richard Pearce, head of the Law Society's professional services unit.He is confident it will encourage people who have been put off by up-front legal ...

  • Online law

    26-Nov-1996

    More than 20 companies will be exhibiting products specific to the legal profession at Online Information '96. The exhibition and conference will take place at Olympia, London from 3-5 December.Among those exhibiting will be publishers of UK and European legal information such as Sweet & Maxwell and Context.For free tickets call 01923 233442 and for further information call Jill Cousins on 01865 388000.

  • Overwhelming support for approved representatives in Hickmans and LAB battle>

    26-Nov-1996

    London firm Hickman & Rose says it has received "overwhelming support" for its fight against the suspension of approved representatives from the local duty solicitor scheme.In June this year the firm was granted leave to judicially review a decision taken by the Legal Aid Board and its committees to suspend the use of approved representatives on the City of London Duty Solicitor Scheme during rota periods. LAB is contesting the issue and has served affidavits.The ...

  • Project finance

    26-Nov-1996

    Allen & Overy acted for Lowdham Grange Prison Services

  • Project finance

    26-Nov-1996

    McKenna & Co acted for Fibrowatt Thetford on raising £69m of equity and debt financing for the construction of a chicken litter-fuelled power station near Thetford

  • Project finance

    26-Nov-1996

    Linklaters & Paines advised project sponsors and project company Uni-Mar Enerji Yatirimlari on the financing of a $700m 480megawatt gas-fired power station in western Turkey.

  • Property

    26-Nov-1996

    Nabarro Nathanson acted for the Chase Manhattan Bank in its purchase of the freehold interest in its former London headquarters building Woolgate House from Scottish Amicable and PPGM. The freehold was simultaneously sold on to MEPC for £75m. Scottish Amicable was advised by Cameron Markby Hewitt, PPGM by Simmons & Simmons and Link

  • Property

    26-Nov-1996

    Bird & Bird acted for Fairhold Homes in its acquisition of £10.7m worth of freehold interests in house managers flat rentals from McCarthy & Stone. Fairhold was funded by the GiroCredit Bank which was advised by Davis Arnold Cooper. Travers Smith Braithwaite advised McCarthy & Stone.

  • Prosoft Carpe Diem reaches version two

    26-Nov-1996

    Texas-based ProSoft Corporation has launched a new version of its time and expense tracking package, Carpe Diem.Carpe Diem allows users to record billable time through a series of timers which can be labelled, for example with a client's name. It can also create electronic timesheets and expense reports, which can be posted into most databases or billing systems.The latest version of the package, Carpe Diem 2.0, uses an open client/server ...

  • Public law is the new rock 'n' roll

    26-Nov-1996

    Whether it is freeing dogs held under the Dangerous Dogs Act or trying to get citizenship for the Fayeds, it seems that public law - and judicial review, in particular - is, in legal terms, the new rock and roll.As in other areas of law, there is a certain cross-over and blurring of the distinctions between public and other areas of law. And with the rise of privatisations, one area which is expanding is that of commercial judicial review. This includes cases such as BT’s ...

  • Public schooled junior high fliers

    26-Nov-1996

    As many leading solicitors say, when one barrister takes silk there is a scrabble to find the silks-to-be who are still juniors.They add, however, that with many of the specialist sets in the area of public law headed by public law heavyweights, there is generally sufficient strength and depth in those specialist chambers to be confident instructing others within them.But with the growth of the commercial judicial review - as one partner says: "There are regulators ...

  • Recruiters' alliance

    26-Nov-1996

    The legal recruitment consultancy, Richard Owen & Harper, has forged an alliance with the Hong Kong agency, Swift Legal. Links have existed between the agencies since former consultant at Richard Owens, Catherine Faircloth, left to become senior consultant at Swifts. The two agencies already share many of the same clients in London and Hong Kong. Martin Humberstone, director of Richard Owen & Harper, said: "We believe in working in a more coordinated way. Demand in Asia for UK-trained ...

  • Reform promised after Regis fiasco

    26-Nov-1996

    President of the Law Society, Tony Girling, has supported calls for radical reform of the society's financial and management structures following a damning report on its Regis computer project.An interim report by a Law Society inquiry into the project has found that inadequate financial controls and poor project management have dogged Regis ever since it was set up in 1991.The inquiry, instigated in February this year and carried out by a sub-committee ...

  • Ripping yarns from a socialist silk

    26-Nov-1996

    Legal thrillers being all the rage among the book-reading public you would think the life of John Platts-Mills QC would be ripe for plundering.You can almost hear the publishers pitching the book now: "This chap from the colonies comes to Britain to study amid dreaming spires of Oxford, becomes a barrister in an elite Establishment world, then, inexplicably, he becomes one of those socialist radical types. He is almost killed on the orders of a cabinet ...

  • Scottish survey praises Scots but work still leaks to London

    26-Nov-1996

    Scottish law firms are offering a high quality service in general corporate and commercial work, but are losing business to London in international and intellectual property law, according to a recent survey of legal clients.A survey of 401 industrial and commercial clients, commissioned by the Law Society of Scotland and Scottish Financial Enterprise, has revealed a high level of client satisfaction, with highest regard given to quality of service and the calibre of personnel.

  • Specialise at your peril

    26-Nov-1996

    I have been following the 'to specialise or not to specialise' debate with interest. In my opinion, a solicitor (unlike a barrister) should first of all be a man of affairs.Prior to coming into private practice I was a senior examiner with the Inland Revenue for 10 years and have been a magistrate for 21 years. I have naturally specialised in both tax and crime and am a member of STEP and a duty solicitor.In the interests of my clients, I ...

  • Telephone answers

    26-Nov-1996

    Arena Publishing is offering a free guide to buying telephone systems to potential purchasers. The guide includes an introduction to different telephone systems, a how-to-buy checklist, a glossary and a list of supplier details.A preview of the guide can be found on the Internet at http://www.arena-pub.co.uk/arena/. For a free copy call 01732 458202.

  • The cost of living in your father's house

    26-Nov-1996

    Mr Justice Collins has given the green light for a challenge which could have implications in respect of local authority obligations to pay the rent of those living in accommodation owned by relatives.The case centres on 24-year-old Gloucester woman Victoria Dadds, whose counsel is James Bowen of 6 King's Bench Walk chambers.Her application for housing benefit was turned down when she sought assistance on the rent for a flat she lives in at her parents' ...

  • The Lawyer Inquiry: Paul Downing

    26-Nov-1996

    Paul Downing was born in Aylesbury on 19 March 1947. He now lives in Wimbledon and is a partner at Arnheim & Co. What was your first job?Dishwasher operator at Kodak.What was your first ever salary as a lawyer?£10 per week as an articled clerk.What would you have done if you hadn't become a lawyer?Become a ski instructor.Which law could you live without?Sod's law.

  • The systems crash at the Law Society

    26-Nov-1996

    THE ONLY creditable thing the Law Society has done since the whole sorry saga surrounding the installation of its Regis computer system began is to finally come clean about what a disaster Regis has been.The story of Regis sums up the history of the Law Society these last five years. It goes something like this. At some point someone somewhere dreamed up the idea of installing a new computer system - presumably because many other large-ish institutions were doing likewise. ...

  • Two law firms show interest in E&Y oil alliance

    26-Nov-1996

    At least two law firms have expressed interest in joining with Big Six accountants Ernst & Young in a cross-disciplinary alliance to provide a one-stop advice service to the oil and gas industry.Ernst & Young last week teamed up with UK oil and gas field exploration consultants Hannon Westwood Associates and international geoscience consultancy IKODA. The three firms aim to provide a complete service for oil and gas companies looking to invest or sell interests in the North ...

  • Underwriting fees are slashed after introduction of tendering

    26-Nov-1996

    City lawyers are trumpeting innovative share issues which allowed their clients to slash underwriting fees and which are likely to set the pattern for the future.Lovells corporate partners Nigel Read and Marco Compagnoni led a team of six which advised hotels group Stakis on its £327m acquisition of Metropole Hotels and its £222m rights issue to fund the deal.Following pressure from the Office of Fair Trading, merchant banks, insurance companies and ...

  • Wording row at conference stalls Apil's conduct code

    26-Nov-1996

    The Association of Personal Injury Lawyers insists its code of conduct has been approved in principle despite a row over its wording.Apil leaders had expected delegates at the group's annual conference on 15 November to approve its compulsory code of conduct in full.But some of the group's 3,000 members were worried that one clause in the code could end legitimate referral deals between lawyers. At a closed meeting, delegates asked for clause 10 of ...

  • Young barristers decline to go for posts as judicial assistants

    26-Nov-1996

    Letters encouraging young barristers to apply for 12 new judicial assistant posts have been circulated to all chambers by the Bar Council, due to a shortage of applications.Nominations for 12 young barristers and solicitors to assist Court of Appeal Judges in clearing the backlog of cases have to be submitted to the Lord Chancellor's Department by 2 December.By the end of last week the Bar Council had received only half a dozen applications. The Law Society ...