26 April 1999

The Lawyer

  • ... but axes 13 from Moscow practice

    26-Apr-1999

    Freshfields has announced 13 redundancies at its Moscow office - and refuses to give assurances that more will not follow.A spokeswoman from the firm confirms that three Russian lawyers and 10 support staff have recently been cut from the office due to the country's economic difficulties."If you look at investment banks, accountants and other law firms there, they have already made some cuts and scaled back their operations," she says."We have ...

  • Addleshaws scores RDA double with NW win

    26-Apr-1999

    Addleshaw Booth & Co has won a place on a second regional development agency panel.The firm will be offering legal advice to the new North West RDA, which covers the area from Cheshire to Cumbria. Earlier this year Addleshaws was appointed to the RDA for Yorkshire and Humberside.Eversheds has also been appointed to the North West RDA panel. Stephen Sorrell, head of property at ...

  • Apil launches personal injury law college

    26-Apr-1999

    A new college of personal injury law is to be set up with the aim of improving the quality of public service and on-going training among personal injury lawyers.The college, to be launched on 5 May, is the latest move by a sector group to introduce quality controls in preparation for the Access to Justice Act and is the biggest project ever undertaken by the Association of Personal Injury Lawyers (Apil).Apil chairman Ian Walker says college membership will act ...

  • Ashursts adds Andersens partner to Frankfurt office

    26-Apr-1999

    Ashurst Morris Crisp has taken on Andersen Legal's senior tax partner in a move to bolster its Frankfurt office.Dr Klaus E Herkenroth, who was with Andersens in Frankfurt for only eight months, joined Ashursts on 15 April.Herkenroth's arrival coincides with the appointment of Dr Wulf Merkel, a senior lawyer specialising in mergers and acquisitions, who joins the firm after ...

  • Beachcrofts offers performance-fees

    26-Apr-1999

    Beachcroft Wansbroughs is launching what it claims to be a ground-breaking offer to clients to tie fees to performance in fast-track dispute resolution.The firm, which launches this week following the merger of Beachcroft Stanleys and Wansbroughs Willey Hargrave, says it will be the first firm to link fees to speed of settlement of insurance litigation in response to the Woolf reforms. Clients will agree fees at the outset, allowing them to decide whether to fight or settle. ...

  • British Airways

    26-Apr-1999

    Last year British Airways (BA) appeared to be on its way to becoming a truly global company.

  • Brobecks appoints new London head

    26-Apr-1999

    US firm Brobeck Hale & Dorr International has appointed a new managing partner at its London office.Thomas Kellerman joins the technology law firm from the Palo Alto, California, office of Brobeck Phleger & Harrison, one of its parent firms in the US, where he was also managing partner.Kellerman, a US-qualified lawyer, has worked with technology companies in California's Silicon Valley.He takes over from David Ayres."When Tom arrived ...

  • Cadwaladers UK office keeps its head down

    26-Apr-1999

    US FIRMS looking to move into London have to make choices about how to manage the launch. One ploy for establishing a profile is to install a larger-than-life rainmaker as managing partner to attract clients and recruits. This was the tactic used by Weil Gotshal & Manges with Maurice Allen, and McDermott ...

  • Cambridge is not an ivory tower

    26-Apr-1999

    YOUR opinion on Cambridge dons is ill-informed (The Lawyer 7 and 13 April). I am one of many qualified solicitors and barristers in the faculty who maintain very close connections with practice. We are regularly asked to give seminars to City firms on recent developments and to discuss practical problems. My own current research is in security in global financial markets, hardly an "academic" subject for City firms. You will have to look outside Cambridge for your ivory ...

  • Case of the Week

    26-Apr-1999

    In an unprecedented move, the fate of former Labour MP Fiona Jones (left) - whose conviction for submitting misleading expenses claims has been quashed by the High Court - is to be decided in court, not Parliament. Speaker Betty Boothroyd is instructing the Attorney-General to apply to the High Court for a ruling. Jones lost her seat because of her conviction but was subsequently acquitted.

  • Charting the new legal landscape

    26-Apr-1999

    THE age of the global law firm is dawning. Just as US firms moved into Europe, so the major players in the UK realise that they must start an invasion of the US if they want a slice of the global market place. The rewards could be phenomenal, but there are risks.It is uncharted territory and many predict that the next few years will fundamentally change the world's corporate legal landscape after a frenzy of transatlantic mergers. Others question whether a truly global ...

  • City duo boosts Osborne Clarke's property team

    26-Apr-1999

    Osborne Clarke has poached two commercial property specialists from City firms Cameron McKenna and Nicholson Graham & Jones.Camerons has lost partner Charles Gait from its commercial property department to Osborne Clarke, while property finance specialist Nadine Strahl has joined the firm from Nicholson Graham & Jones.An Osborne Clarke source told The Lawyer that the firm ...

  • Clearys has bottle for battle of drinks giants

    26-Apr-1999

    Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton is acting for Coca-Cola in its long running battle to take over Orangina.Although the battle involves a French beverage owned by wine and spirit group Pernod Ricard, the direction is coming from the US. Cleary Gottlieb is a long-time adviser to the drinks giant.Coca-Cola's continued fight to be allowed to take over the French company ...

  • Clifford Chance in merger vote

    26-Apr-1999

    Clifford Chance and US firm Rogers & Wells will vote on the firms' proposed merger in June.A source has told The Lawyer that the firms' executive bodies plan to discuss the issue in May, ready for a partnership vote the following month.The talks are said to have made excellent progress since last month, when they appeared to have stalled over reconciling the two ...

  • Commercial bar in crisis as work dries up

    26-Apr-1999

    The commercial bar is facing a crisis as many silks find themselves virtually redundant.One chambers director says that he has spoken to half a dozen leaders in recent weeks who all have little or nothing to do.He cites the example of one well-known silk who last year earned £600,000 but was recently forced to tell his clerks: "I'm going home, ring me when you need me."Eventually, a four-day trial was secured. However, the clerk tendered ...

  • Davis Blank merges with Rupert Wood

    26-Apr-1999

    North-west law firm Davis Blank Furniss is to take over an Ashton-under-Lyme practice.The firm, which has offices in Manchester and Derbyshire, is to merge with Rupert Wood & Son, taking its number of partners to 14.Senior partner at Davis Blank, Peter Heginbotham, says that the Rupert Wood office lay in-between his firm's two offices and there was a lot of synergy between the two practices."We have our main office in Manchester, which has a ...

  • Digest

    26-Apr-1999

    Thomas Stephen Burridge v Blighline (1999) QBD (Wright J) 26 March 1999Plaintiff: Male, married, 38 years old at date of accident; 44 years old at date of trial.Incident: On 30 July 1994, the plaintiff, along with two colleagues, was moving a large display freezer at a supermarket. The freezer, weighing about one tonne, slipped from their grasp, falling on the plaintiff and crushing the lower part of his body.

  • Digest

    26-Apr-1999

    The Law Society is launching a scathing attack on the Government's Access to Justice bill through a national advertising campaign.The £600,000 campaign, which will run from 26-29 May in a number of national and regional newspapers, argues that the bill will undermine "the ability of the poorest and most vulnerable to have access to justice".Four adverts will be published depicting a victim of domestic violence, a victim of racial violence, a child ...

  • Digests

    26-Apr-1999

    It's been a good week for...Jilted lovers. Romance and the law do not go hand in hand, particularly after surveyor William Parker's (above) action against his former lover Helen Holdsworth (above right) for recovery of the £18,000 worth of gifts he gave her during their affair, which settled out of court last week for £10,000. Parker, who was represented by Cardiff sole practitioner Anthony Jeremy, could have paved the ...

  • Digests

    26-Apr-1999

    Stansted Airport is seeking High Court permission, under the Civil Aviation Act 1982, to sell two Lockheed L011-385-1 aircraft which were formerly UK registered but are now without nationality registration. The airport's action is against Investors Asset Holding Corp of Massachusetts, USA, represented by Theodore Goddard. It is also suing Elmo Ventures of the British Virgin Islands, represented by

  • Financing

    26-Apr-1999

    City-based Rosenblatt has successfully acted for the Revelan Group on the refinancing, with Halifax, of 27 industrial estate investments worth more than £20m. The commercial property department at Rosenblatts, led by Peter Kay, worked on the deal. The industrial estate developments are located throughout the UK.

  • Freshfields boosts Paris office with London heavyweight.

    26-Apr-1999

    Freshfields is to boost its corporate practice in Paris by flying in a heavyweight from its London office.Gavin Darlington, the former head of the corporate department, is to move to Paris on 1 May.A spokeswoman for the firm says Darlington's move is designed to underline the importance of continental Europe in developing the firm's mergers and acquisitions work.She says: "His move is in part symbolic. Somebody so senior wanting to move ...

  • Govt defends legal aid plan

    26-Apr-1999

    The Government is depending on discretion to cover the sort of personal injury cases highlighted last week by The Lawyer's legal aid campaign.In an exclusive interview with The Lawyer in response to our article last week, Minister of State in the LCD Geoff Hoon claims that the as yet unspecified criteria of the Legal Services Commission could cover such cases, but they will not be included in the legislation. Critics, however, assert that this discretion and the capping ...

  • Govt to replace clause one

    26-Apr-1999

    The Government is planning to replace clause one of the Access to Justice Bill with a "vague" new objectives clause which does not guarantee equal access to justice, The Lawyer can reveal.The Government plans to scrap the clause as the Bill goes through its Committee stage in the Commons and insert a new one, which outlines general objectives for the Community Legal Service (CLS).However, the Legal Action Group (LAG) says that the new clause is too vague and ...

  • Halliwells ex-partner takes clients with him

    26-Apr-1999

    Halliwell Landau's former head of licensing has resurfaced at Weightmans claiming he has taken scores of clients with him.Anthony Horne, who joined Weightmans' Manchester office as head of licensing on 19 April, says: "I brought all my clients from Halliwell Landau."He adds: "I sent out 115 letters of authority and I have received over 90 back."However, ...

  • Hammond Suddards makes up seven new partners

    26-Apr-1999

    Hammond Suddards has appointed seven new partners from within the firm, four fewer than last year.Covering a broad range of disciplines, the appointments take effect from 1 May and bring the total number of partners to 103.The new partners are: Christopher Brigstocke, who specialises in property; Jeremy Dickerson, intellectual property; Steven Glover, corporate finance; Simon Price and Jan Levinson, commercial dispute resolution; Sean McCay, construction; and ...

  • In brief: Allen & Overy

    26-Apr-1999

    Allen & Overy and Norton Rose have been awarded a Queen's Award for Export Achievement for exporting legal services globally. Allen & Overy senior partner John Rink says: "This is an endorsement of the huge success we have enjoyed in developing our international practice. In the past 10 years we have grown ...

  • In brief: Bird & Bird

    26-Apr-1999

    Bird & Bird gunned for computer games giant Sega Europe in its record sponsorship deal with Arsenal Football Club. The three-year deal, worth £12m, is the biggest ever sponsorship of an English football club. Felicity Reeve, a partner in Bird & Bird's sports group, acted for Sega, while Michael Waugh of Lawrence Jones acted for Arsenal.

  • In brief: Bird & Bird

    26-Apr-1999

    Bird & Bird has announced the internal appointment of five new partners. Graham Defries and Nick Perry become partners in the firm's communications group, Brett Israel in the banking group, and Jane Multimear and Katharine Stephens in the intellectual property group.

  • In brief: Forsters

    26-Apr-1999

    Forsters. Last week it was stated that Forsters was formerly known as Frere Chomeley Bischoff (FCB). We would like to clarify that although the 11 partners who formed Forsters last August were formerly at FCB, the main firm actually merged with Eversheds.

  • In brief: The Law Society

    26-Apr-1999

    The Law Society council has voted to appoint a director general to head the society. The new figurehead will be the public face of the society and will take a role in policy formation. The council deferred a decision on whether the new role should be filled by a solicitor.

  • In brief: The Lawyer and LAWTEL

    26-Apr-1999

    The Lawyer and LAWTEL are launching an online service, Civil Procedure Interactive, which provides latest versions of the rules, schedules, pre-action protocols and practice directions, with commentary by Simmons & Simmons. The latest cases and articles on the application of the rules will be available online the day after judgment or publication. Civil Procedure Interactive is available free of charge to LAWTEL subscribers from 26 April 1999.

  • In brief: The Solicitors Indemnity Fund

    26-Apr-1999

    The Solicitors Indemnity Fund is to launch a pre-action protocol for negligence claims against solicitors. It aims to standardise steps taken throughout the claims process and covers notice of claim, disclosure, formal letter of claim, timetable for investigations and, if appropriate, settlement offers. The protocol will be sent to firms early next month.

  • In brief: Theodore Goddard

    26-Apr-1999

    Theodore Goddard has acted on behalf of Polygram/Universal on selling its stake in The Really Useful Company to Andrew Lloyd Webber. Webber, who originally sold off a 30 per cent share in his company to Polygram in 1991, was represented by both Clintons and The Simkins Partnership in buying the $75m (£47m) stake back. Senior partner at Theodore Goddard Paddy Grafton-Green led the team, assisted by corporate media solicitor Tom Grayson.

  • In brief: Wilde Sapte

    26-Apr-1999

    Wilde Sapte has won a High Court victory for bond broker Tradition in its "bitterly fought" action against Cantor Fitzgerald, advised by Norton Rose. John Hull, an intellectual property partner at Wilde Sapte, along with senior litigator Michael Clinch and assistant solicitor James Sayers, advised Tradition on its litigation, which involved a complex computer software package.

  • Ireland's Eliot Ness

    26-Apr-1999

    He has been dubbed Ireland's Eliot Ness, after the legendary and incorruptible US gangbuster. And the work of Barry Galvin, the 53-year-old solicitor who heads Ireland's fight against millionaire drug dealers and the bosses of organised crime, is no less dangerous.Because of the constant threats to his life, he has a round-the-clock police guard and is authorised to carry a gun. Special security systems have been installed at his home to protect ...

  • Iron Trades reveals its mystery panel advisers

    26-Apr-1999

    Berrymans Lace Mawer and Jacksons are the two firms appointed by Iron Trades to help narrow down its insurance panel.Last week The Lawyer revealed that the insurance giant had already cut down its 40-strong panel by half and was taking advice from two "mystery" firms.David Evans, senior partner at Berrymans' Liverpool office, has since confirmed that both firms ...

  • Jersey is already cleaning up

    26-Apr-1999

    The thrust of your article "Jersey aims to keep it clean" (The Lawyer 29 March) was that Jersey risked sending out messages that were compromising its integrity.This theme appeared to be based on two propositions - that we were delaying action in response to allegations that the Russian Central Bank had improperly used a Jersey company to manage its funds, and that we had asserted we were unable to act or investigate the matter unless instructed by the Russian ...

  • Job rights boost for disabled people

    26-Apr-1999

    The employment protection rights of the disabled have been strengthened by a new Court of Appeal ruling.The decision in Clark v TDG Ltd (t/a Novacold) will require employers to take a closer look at their strategies if they want to dismiss a disabled member of their workforce, according to personal injury and employment law specialist Michael Harne.Harne, senior partner and head of the employment unit at Hull-based firm Stamp Jackson & Proctor, ...

  • Judges get tough on unprepared lawyers

    26-Apr-1999

    Senior members of the judiciary are warning they will not be lenient with lawyers who are unprepared for the Woolf reforms.This contradicts statements made by the Lord Chancellor, Lord Irvine, that if lawyers do not "get it absolutely right straight off the courts are not going to descend upon them".At the same time the legal profession is voicing fears that the reforms are still riddled with "fundamental problems".The Senior Master of the Queen's ...

  • Keep takeovers out of the courts

    26-Apr-1999

    The European Union is stepping up its efforts to push through a draft directive aimed at harmonising European takeover regulations. But City opposition is focused on the directive's inherent threat to self-regulation by the Takeover Panel, placing its regime on a statutory footing.City lawyers' main argument is: "If it ain't broke, don't fix it".The problem is summed up by Tim Emmerson, the Freshfields partner advising the Takeover Panel, ...

  • Law Soc says no to newly-qualifieds

    26-Apr-1999

    Newly-qualified solicitors have again been denied a seat on the Law Society council after council members ignored the recommendation of its own committee.The Council Membership Committee's call for one of the two local government seats to be scrapped in favour of a newly qualified lawyer was narrowly defeated by two votes.After the chairman of the Local Government Group Philip Thomson pleaded that local government and employed lawyers are already under-represented, ...

  • Law Society council votes to pay its members

    26-Apr-1999

    Law Society council members have voted to pay themselves for time spent in meetings, ignoring warnings that the move will deepen the council’s unpopularity within the profession.At a full council meeting, vice-president Robert Sayer pleaded with members to reject the idea, claiming the timing for such a move was wrong.He said: “I have every sympathy with the idea of council members being compensated for loss of time, but this would be a bad time to do this.”

  • Legal aid by legislation not LCD discretion

    26-Apr-1999

    Last week, we devoted a large part of The Lawyer to a direct plea to the Government to reconsider its proposals that we, and now it seems many Labour backbenchers believe will prevent many gaining access to justice - ironically, the name of the very Act that is supposed to improve the public's chances of having their cases heard.We must have touched a nerve in Government because Geoff Hoon, minister of state in the LCD, asked to clarify a few ...

  • Magistrates courts break health and safety laws

    26-Apr-1999

    Nearly two thirds of magistrates courts are breaking health and safety laws, a new survey reveals.The survey by the Association of Magisterial Officers (AMO) of almost 300 courts in England and Wales reveals that 64 per cent of courts have not carried out any risk assessment, which they have been legally required to do since 1992.The survey also reveals that 70 per cent of courts have no written procedure for dealing with violence, 66 per cent have no procedure ...

  • Making good news out of bad

    26-Apr-1999

    The entire tax department of a large City firm has walked out to join a rival. The head of department took the team largely because he hated the senior partner and is not afraid of telling people so. Journalists are on to the story and will soon be calling. Advise the firm's managing partner on how to handle the situation.The key to achieving the best possible outcome lies in minimising the damage and putting forward positive news/angles. The first thing ...

  • Manches takes a chance on Keystone

    26-Apr-1999

    Manches & Co is installing the controversial Keystone practice management system, making it the fourth UK firm to do so.Derek Brooke, IT director at Manches, says the firm decided to install Keystone after carrying out a detailed analysis of a number of similar systems, including one provided by a rival company to Keystone, CMS Data.However, Brooke admitted that the firm had chosen ...

  • MCC blames delays on efficient police

    26-Apr-1999

    Over-efficient policing is causing massive delays in Birmingham's magistrates' courts, says the local Magistrate's Court Committee (MCC) in response to a damning government report.HM Magistrates' Courts Service Inspectorate review of the city's magistrates' courts calls for action to combat the "unacceptable delays" in the progress of cases - particularly at Victoria Law Courts, Europe's largest and busiest magistrates' court.

  • McGrigor Donald now Scotland's biggest firm

    26-Apr-1999

    Recent partner appointments will make McGrigor Donald the largest law firm in Scotland.Eleven recent appointments bring the partner count to 58, ahead of arch-rivals Dundas & Wilson CS and Maclay Murray & Spens.McGrigors has poached partner Wayne Lawrence from medium-sized ...

  • Middle Eastern dispute pits Freshfields against Eversheds

    26-Apr-1999

    Freshfields is representing Bahrain and Eversheds is acting for Qatar in a dispute over the boundaries between the two Middle Eastern countries.However, the case, which is due to be heard before the World Court in the next few weeks, has been delayed by allegations of forgery of documents.Freshfields senior associate Robert Volterra, who recently transferred from the firm's ...

  • Mills & Reeve poaches rival

    26-Apr-1999

    Taylor Vinters' senior partner is joining rival Cambridge firm Mills & Reeve.Herbert Robinson leaves Taylor Vinters after nearly 30 years with the firm and one of its predecessors, Taylors of Newmarket. He will join Mills & Reeve as a partner in the commercial property group.He follows his wife, Isabel Napper, who left Taylor Vinters for Mills & Reeve when the couple ...

  • New law protects transsexuals in the workplace

    26-Apr-1999

    Workplace discrimination against transsexuals has been outlawed in the UK for the first time, as the Government moves to catch up with European law.The Sex Discrimination (Gender Reassignment) Regulations, which have gone through Parliament this month and come into force in May, aim to prevent discrimination against those who have had sex change operations in all areas of employment and training.Employment specialist Jane Mann of

  • Nigel West

    26-Apr-1999

    Nigel West has been cast into the limelight as Theodore Goddard's head of banking - and he's not a lawyer. Dearbiall Jordan finds out how he thinks he'll fit in

  • Partners on the move...

    26-Apr-1999

    DJ Freeman has brought the total number of new partners appointed in the firm within the past six months to eight. Three newpartners, take up their posts on 1 May. They are Jonathan Barnes (commercial property), Tim O'Hara (non-contentious construction) and Marina Palomba (contentious commercial litigation and jurisdictional disputes).George Bull, a specialist in social housing taxation has joined leading accountants Baker Tilly to enable the firm to raise ...

  • Premier Oil battle stalls on AGM vote

    26-Apr-1999

    Clyde & Co's head of energy is locked in stalemate with Premier Oil after his proposals to oust its board failed to be included in the company's annual general meeting.Peter Felter, also head of the Premier Oil Shareholders Association which is attempting to take over the troubled energy group, wrote to a number of Premier's shareholders after the company refused to discuss ...

  • Property

    26-Apr-1999

    The property team at Edge Ellison in London advised Henderson Investors and Commercial Union on the recent £95m sale of the Kingfisher Shopping Centre, Redditch, to Thornfield Properties and Lehman Brothers, a US investment bank. Partner Jonathan Morshead led the team, which has also recently advised Commercial Union on the sale of a mixed portfolio, worth £15m, to Halladale Group.

  • Putting the PR into philanthropy

    26-Apr-1999

    Strange things have been happening in the legal profession over the last 18 months - law firms are beginning to take pro bono work more seriously. With an increasing number of charities making demands on diminishing public coffers, cause-related marketing is set to become the marketing medium that defines social attitudes over the next few years. So why have you never heard of it?Pro bono work has traditionally been very much the preserve of individual altruistic interest ...

  • Report calls for big hike in PI awards

    26-Apr-1999

    A new Law Commission report calling for the level of damages for non-pecuniary loss to be doubled in some serious personal injury cases has been hailed as "excellent news" by a leading City lawyer.The report claims that damages for matters such as pain and suffering and the loss of enjoyment of life are too low and recommends changes to the tariff system developed by judges.For injuries where the current damages for loss would be more than £3,000, the award ...

  • Revenue ruling set to alter share buybacks

    26-Apr-1999

    Share buyback structures may be affected by a surprise Inland Revenue ruling in Electra Investment Trust's successful defence against rival venture capital company 3i, say Linklaters lawyers.Electra's tender offer to shareholders meant shareholders sold shares to brokers Casenove rather than direct to Electra. This could have given a tax advantage to individual taxpayers in the ...

  • Rosemary Foggitt on UK firms' liability on foreign deals

    26-Apr-1999

    Rosemary Foggitt is a solicitor in the Birmingham office of Wansbroughs Willey Hargrave.A recent decision - WG Gregory v Shepherds - brings good news for UK property lawyers involved in transactions for Britons abroad.Judge Behrens QC ruled that foreign solicitors appointed to assist with litigation in their own country act as independent experts. The UK solicitor appointing them cannot, therefore, be held responsible for losses resulting from negligence ...

  • Scuffle of the week

    26-Apr-1999

    Some might call it passing the buck. The Office for the Supervision of Solicitors (OSS) is accusing the Law Society of not providing it with the resources to do its job, although it fell short of accusing the Law Society of causing a flood in Leamington Spa. Perhaps the situation could be resolved by rooting out the 20 per cent of solicitors who cause 80 per cent of the problems, according to the OSS annual report, which also showed complaints against solicitors reaching ...

  • Sets' fears grow over Bar kite mark plans

    26-Apr-1999

    Fears are growing that the cost to chambers of meeting the Bar's comprehensive kite-marking criteria will prohibit many sets from taking it up.In the future a kite mark may well be essential for a set of chambers to be eligible for legal aid work or to offer services under a conditional fee agreement.One chambers director says: "It's a sad tale, it's going to squeeze a lot of people out because they won't be able to afford it."However, ...

  • SIF contributions to stay high

    26-Apr-1999

    The Solicitor's Indemnity Fund (SIF) wants lawyers to pay £242m in contributions next year - just £2m less than last year - despite seeing a 15 per cent drop in notifications in 1997/98.SIF chairman, Peter Williamson, says that despite signs of a declining trend in claims in recent years, the unknown impacts of the Woolf reforms and the millennium bug, have made the monopoly wary of being overly optimistic when setting a contribution. The continuing decline ...

  • Slaughters embraces marketing

    26-Apr-1999

    Slaughter and May is understood to be close to setting up its own marketing department.It is believed that Adrian Pane, a specialist from the Cranfield School of Management, has recently visited the firm to discuss how it could approach the area.The business development manager at a large UK practice claims she was recently approached by a head-hunter seeking a head of ...

  • Square Mile

    26-Apr-1999

    It was suggested recently in this column (5 April) that national law firms are dogs that have had their day.The truth is that large national law firms have, in the past 10 years, increased their profile, profitability, size, quality client base and reputation in a way that challenges all but the very largest City firms. Only one or two regional firms which have not adopted a national strategy have been able to do this and even then they have been ...

  • Stephenson Harwood poaches top lawyers

    26-Apr-1999

    Stephenson Harwood has poached a top silk from a leading chambers and a shipping litigation partner from Wilde Sapte.Leading insolvency barrister John Higham QC, who focuses on banking and finance work, will be joining from the chambers of Michael Crystal QC at 3/4 South Square.Wilde Sapte shipping litigation partner Duncan Mc- Donald is leaving the firm he joined as ...

  • Support for legal aid campaign

    26-Apr-1999

    Well done on at last getting behind protection of the legal aid scheme so effectively in today's issue ("Legal aid under threat", The Lawyer 19 April).Lord Phillips of Sudbury, Bates Wells & Braithwaite

  • The Firm

    26-Apr-1999

    Pratchard here. Tremendous news for you to spread among friends, fellow lawyers and the press. Fees for 98/99 rocketed to £20m, profits per partner up to £160,000, investment up, new clients up. Everything is up! Well done. Spread this joyous news.Now for the real figures, which are slightly disappointing once again. Fees are up, but only £10m to £10,000,024.23. As always profits per partner are harder ...

  • The Lawyer Awards 1999

    26-Apr-1999

    Jemma Pearson34Law Firm of the YearLast year's winners...Overall winner: OlswangBest large firm: Cameron McKennaBest medium firm: OlswangBest small firm: Briffa & CoSponsored by NatWest, which is sponsoring the Lawyer Awards this year, this coveted award honours a firm that has excelled ...

  • The Lawyer Inquiry: Stephan Herridge

    26-Apr-1999

    What subject(s) did you fail at school?All the sciences.What was your first job?Washer up in the kitchens at Debenhams.What was your first ever salary as a lawyer?£9,500.What would you have done if you hadn't been a lawyer?Senior washer up at Debenhams.What was your most satisfying professional moment?Every time a client leaves my office feeling better than they ...

  • Union backs freelancers in bid for paid leave

    26-Apr-1999

    Roger PearsonThe European Court of Justice is to consider a trade union's legal challenge to government regulations which restrict the holiday entitlement of thousands of freelance workers who are employed on short-term contracts.The case, mounted by the Broadcasting Entertainment Cinematograph and Theatre Union (Bectu), has been referred to Europe by Mr Justice Sullivan.The judge said he was satisfied that Bectu's arguments - ...

  • Vote now for 1999 Legal personality

    26-Apr-1999

    The lines are open for the profession to vote for the Fifth Annual Lawyer Awards Legal Personality of the Year.Held on 22 June, in the Great Room, Grosvenor House, London, the evening will once again celebrate and recognise excellence within the legal profession.There are 20 other categories at this year's ceremony, including Chambers of the Year, In-house Legal Team of the Year, Public Sector Team of The Year and Law Firm of the Year.The evening ...

  • Watson Farley in Danish rejig

    26-Apr-1999

    Watson Farley & Williams' sole Scandinavia-based partner is moving to its London office.Christopher Lowe has left three fee earners and three support staff in Copenhagen. The move comes a year after the closure of the firm's Oslo office.Watson Farley advises the Danish ship credit fund, Danmarks Skibskreditfond, which provides financing for export credit. ...

  • Will clients go global?

    26-Apr-1999

    Rumours have been rife for some time that Clifford Chance was about to merge with a big US player. Now it appears that the rumours are true. Partners will be asked to vote in June on whether to accept the merger.Though not every partner will be overjoyed at potential changes to remuneration, there are obvious strategic benefits from running a truly global law firm that can compete ...

  • Working the Media Machine

    26-Apr-1999

    A journalist telephoning the marketing departments of certain larger law firms could be forgiven for thinking they had accidentally got through to the Kremlin in the 1970s. In some quarters, calls from the media are met with a mixture of fear and suspicion, followed by a fair dose of interrogation.While some lawyers have become so media-friendly that they have, effectively, become the media - such as Stephens Innocent's Mark Stephens, who now hosts his own radio show ...