26 January 1998

The Lawyer

  • A hasty approach

    27-Jan-1998

    The consequences of getting the introduction of conditional fees wrong are dire, so why is Lord Irvine rushing to introduce them? ask Richard Fox and Richard Evans. Richard Fox is honorary secretary of the London Solicitors Litigation Association (LSLA) and a partner at Kingsley Napley; Richard Evans is president of the LSLA and a partner at Beachcroft Stanleys.Extending the scope of ...

  • A matter of David or Goliath

    27-Jan-1998

    In Sweden, the debate surrounding whether size matters has never been more important, writes Patrick Stewart. Patrick Stewart is a freelance journalist.Swedish law firms are in the midst of a personality crisis, according to Peter Ferguson, a lawyer with the Stockholm firm Hokerberg & Soderqvist. On the one hand, the question of the size of the firm has been put squarely back on the agenda at partnership meetings since the mergers last year of Advokatfirman Lindahl and Advokatfirman ...

  • A profession shamed

    27-Jan-1998

    The debate over the fees charged by Mishcon De Reya has undoubtedly not helped the image of the profession, at a time when Lord Irvine is looking for every excuse to highlight fat cat lawyers.However, I simply cannot understand why the profession did not see the opportunity to volunteer its pro bono services at an earlier stage.Apart from the fact that the profession would not have had to withstand such a blaze of bad publicity, it would have been ...

  • A welcome delay

    27-Jan-1998

    The news that the Lord Chancellor's Department (LCD), is having second thoughts about aspects of the Civil and Legal Aid reforms will be welcomed by all concerned. From the beginning, it was agreed by the key players (except the LCD) that the April deadline was unrealistic.All those engaged in dialogue with the LCD felt that there was simply not enough research available to back up such momentous changes.It is all very well blaming the legal profession ...

  • Army raises defences over alleged racism

    27-Jan-1998

    A case of major significance over alleged bullying and racial harassment in the armed forces is set to return to the High Court on 30 January.The Ministry of Defence (MoD) was engaged in a two-day legal offensive last week before Deputy Judge Griffith Williams QC in a bid to block moves by an ex-marine who is suing the MoD for damages of up to £750,000.Former marine Mark Parchment claims that racist bullying forced him to flee the forces. The case ...

  • Ashursts brings EU judgment to UK

    27-Jan-1998

    Ashurst Morris Crisp has won the first English test of whether consent judgments in European courts can be enforced over here.Ashursts' client, luxury car leasing company Landhurst, won its case in the Belgian courts against a company which had leased three Ferraris and two Aston Martins from it without paying for them. The company, Marcq, was ordered to pay Landhurst £475,000.

  • Bank awaits Lords' decision

    27-Jan-1998

    Generale Bank Nederland NV formerly Credit Lyonnais Nederland NV has sought leave to appeal to the House of Lords against refusal of its claim against Export Credits Guarantee Department. Generale Bank's claim arises out of five banker's guarantees issued by Export Credits. Generale Bank claims that Export Credits is vicariously liable for the acts of a former employee who authorised the underwriting of the guarantees. Its claim failed in the High Court in September 1995 ...

  • Bird & Bird's Net innovation puts record company on track

    27-Jan-1998

    Elizabeth Davidson reportsBIRD & Bird partner Mark Haftke has broken new legal ground by drawing up the contracts for a new service on the Web site of George Michael's record company, Aegean Records.The service allows consumers to buy compact discs by digitally downloading tracks on to either a hard drive or a CD-Rom and paying for it by credit card.Haftke said the work was precedent-setting because he was unaware of any similar project. ...

  • Bucharest growth

    27-Jan-1998

    Sinclair Roche & Temperley has expanded its Bucharest office with the acquisition of David Stabb, who joins the firm from the Budapest office of Cameron McKenna. The firm was one of the first foreign practices to set up an office in the Rumanian capital, establishing in 1991. It now has two English-qualified lawyers stationed in the city. Meanwhile, the firm has shut its offices in Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City. The news of the closures follows its recent link-up with Singapore firm Colin ...

  • Chambers' branding is good on paper

    27-Jan-1998

    It is not only law firms which are brushing up their image chambers have been updating their look, too, reports Linda Tsang. Linda Tsang is a freelance journalist.If solicitors are sometimes regarded as being stuffy, then barristers,with their wigs and gowns, are often seen as positively olde worlde. Yet a number of chambers have been dragging themselves into the twentieth century in time for the millennium.In the process of updating ...

  • Confidence in Connell

    27-Jan-1998

    Write to: The Editor, The Lawyer, 50 Poland Street, London W1V 4AX, fax 0171 734 0534, e-mail lawyer.edit@chiron.co.uk, DX44700 Soho Square.I write in connection with the article 'Conjurors question Magic Circle advisers' which appeared in the The Lawyer, 13 January.I wish it to be known that at a meeting of members of The Magic Circle held on Monday 12 January to discuss various matters concerning the conversion of ...

  • Consult for success

    27-Jan-1998

    Neil Mirchandani says before extending conditional fee agreements to complex commercial actions serious consideration needs to be given to the likely impact. Martin Soames is a litigation partner at Biddle. Neil Mirchandani is a partner at Lovell White Durrant. Alison Lindley is a lawyer with the Consumers' Association.In the debate on extending the use of conditional fee agreements (CFAs) to almost all civil proceedings, less attention has been paid to their potential ...

  • Consulting on the future: proposals from the lord Chancellor's department

    27-Jan-1998

    A flurry of consultation papers has appeared from the Lord Chancellor's department (LCD) over the past two months. There have been papers on multi-party actions, clinical negligence and, most recently, proposed new procedures for specialist jurisdictions. This latest paper deals with High Court procedure and, in particular, whether the existing divisions should be altered.Surprisingly, in view of the radical nature of Lord Woolf's earlier papers, this one proposes ...

  • Couderts takes over Pepper Hamilton's CIS operations

    27-Jan-1998

    Philadelphia-based Pepper Hamilton & Scheetz has shut down its operations in the CIS and sold off its practice in the region to Coudert Brothers, ending six months of negotiations between the two firms.Pepper Hamilton operated three offices in the CIS in Moscow, Almaty and St Petersburg. The offices in Moscow and St Petersburg, where Couderts is already established, have been closed, while Couderts has taken over the Almaty office.James Murray, Pepper Hamilton's ...

  • Court qualifies solicitor's privilege

    27-Jan-1998

    Roger Pearson looks at how a woman's libel action is challenging a solicitor's right to protection over correspondence.A recent Court of Appeal action will remind those in the legal profession of the risks of defamation proceedings being taken against them for claims made in their correspondence.The action centres on a couple who had requested that Surrey County Council place their adopted child with foster parents. Following the child's placement, ...

  • Elborne Mitchell loses four partners after disagreements

    27-Jan-1998

    Niche insurance practice Elborne Mitchell has been hit by a wave of departures, losing four of its 14 partners.Hammond Suddards, Eversheds and Holman Fenwick & Willan have all hired partners from the firm, which has conceded that the moves were prompted by differences over strategy.Hammonds' recruit is Ed Stanley, a leading reinsurance practitioner, who joins the firm's ...

  • End the gravy train'

    27-Jan-1998

    Brian Raincock says the insurance industry has the opportunity to improve access to justice.Access to justice is vital to a truly democratic society. How disappointing it is then that the Lord Chancellor has met with such resistance to measures which will, without an increase in public expenditure, make access to justice for the vast majority of the population a reality.Conditional fee agreements (CFAs), of which insurance is an essential ingredient, were introduced ...

  • Ex-Mishcons IP specialist moves to Richards Butler

    27-Jan-1998

    MEDIA litigator Paula Feldman, who left Mishcon De Reya last summer after instituting a grievance procedure, has joined Richards Butler.Feldman will be working with Michael Skrein, the head of the firm's media litigation group, and will pursue her specialism of IP issues relating to media companies, as well as broad-based media work.She is one of six partners to have left Mishcons in the past 12 months but neither she nor her old firm would comment on the ...

  • Financing

    27-Jan-1998

    Simmons & Simmons acted for Lattelekom, the Latvian state telecommunications company, on its US$60m syndicated multi-currency revolving credit agreement. The syndicate, led by Sumitomo Bank, was advised by Linklaters.

  • Finers works on strategy and image

    27-Jan-1998

    West End firm Finers has elected a new managing partner and hired a new marketing director to up its PR profile.The 30-partner West End practice, which was formed nine years ago from the merger of Gershon Young Finer & Green with Stein Swede Jay & Bibring, expanded from 16 to 29 partners in its first four years to 1992. But following the recession partners left and the firm has only recently recovered its 1992 level.Commercial partner David Swede, elected managing ...

  • Firms act on milk substitutes abuses

    27-Jan-1998

    FIRMS from seven countries including the UK have formed a research group in a bid to tackle abuses of the international code which regulates the marketing of breast milk substitutes in developing countries.Liverpool firm Ross & Co is the UK representative in the group which also contains firms from the US, India, Bangladesh, the Philippines, Sweden and Norway.The group's aim is to push for better enforcement of the 1981 World Health Organisation International ...

  • Firms woo experts to boost IT strategies

    27-Jan-1998

    NORTON Rose head of IT Brian Powell is to leave the firm to join Barlow Lyde & Gilbert.The move is the latest in a rash of IT appointments among the larger commercial firms and coincides with Cameron McKenna's appointment of a new director of IT, Phillip Rooke, currently IT director at Hay Management Consultants.Powell will take up the post of IT director at Barlow Lyde on 9 February and

  • Flotation

    27-Jan-1998

    Charles Russell acted as UK legal adviser and Mayer Brown & Platt as US legal adviser for Select Appointments (Holdings) on the US and International Public Offerings of $200m of American Depository Shares on Nasdaq by Select and selling shareholders.

  • Former Glaisyers lawyer boosts Pannones' corporate department

    27-Jan-1998

    Glaisyers former head of company and commercial Mark Hodge has joined Pannone & Partners in Manchester as an equity partner in its corporate department.He will spearhead the corporate finance unit in the seven-partner department as well as co-ordinating its marketing.Hodge set up Glaisyers' company and commercial department three years ago. He will bring a portfolio of clients with him to Pannones, including two management buy outs, and two refinancings, ...

  • Guernsey backed on French lawyer's ban

    27-Jan-1998

    The UK Government has defended a decision by the Guernsey authorities not to allow a French lawyer to appear in the island's Magistrates' Court.The decision follows a request by the European Commission to comment on the case after it had received complaints from the lawyer, Paris-based Monique Fauchon, and the Paris Bar.Fauchon had been prevented from representing her client, Granville-based fisherman Jean-Pierre Leverier, when he was fined £10,000 ...

  • Gwent courts fall foul of inspectors

    27-Jan-1998

    GWENT magistrates courts have been criticised by inspectors for providing a 'generally poor quality of service' to the public.But the Magistrates Court Committee (MCC) for Gwent has expressed disappointment at the negative tone of the report issued last week by HM Magistrates Courts Service Inspectorate.Government inspectors visited Gwent MCC's courthouses for 11 days last July. In their report they criticise planning, saying that some areas of ...

  • Hamiltons mergers

    27-Jan-1998

    Stockholm-based Hamilton & Co has extended its geographical reach in Sweden following its recent merger with Siwe & Rosenberg Advokatbyra in Helsingborg and Advokatfirman Edstrom in VAxjo. The mergers underline a trend for firms in Sweden to maintain a presence in a number of key commercial centres. Hamilton & Co now has 32 lawyers.See feature, page 14.

  • ICI helps Freshfields beat Linklaters to top

    27-Jan-1998

    Freshfields has ousted Linklaters from the top of the Corporate Money deal table for 1997.The table counts private deals as well as public mergers and acquisitions above the value of £1m involving UK companies.As such it covers more deals than the Acquisitions Monthly table published in The Lawyer two weeks ago.Freshfields' placing partly reflects its role ...

  • In brief: Access all arias as lawyer saves festival

    27-Jan-1998

    Brian Smith, head of the environmental and planning team at Browne Jacobson, represented Leonard Ingrams in his successful fight to protect the international open-air Garsington Opera festival. The event is held by Ingrams in the grounds of Garsington Manor. Local residents claimed to have been disturbed by the noise and had tried to prevent the festival from taking place again. The prosecution ...

  • In brief: Arthur Andersen appoints Euro supremo

    27-Jan-1998

    Arthur Andersen has appointed a new European legal head as part of a shake-up of the management of its legal network. Nick Prentice, the former head of the firm's UK tax and legal practice, has had his brief expanded to cover the whole of Europe, the Middle East, India and Africa. He will take over the direct management of the firm's activities in these regions from Alberto Terol, Arthur Andersen's worldwide tax and legal managing partner.

  • In brief: Bar prepares for rights-of-audience battle

    27-Jan-1998

    The Bar Council is bracing itself for a further assault on the practice base of its members following the Government's announcement last week that it plans to give CPS lawyers full rights of audience. The Bar Council chairman, Heather Hallett QC, who specialises in prosecution work, is to spearhead the Bar Council's response to the plans. v See editorial, page 13.

  • In brief: Caroline Lewis

    27-Jan-1998

    In last week's banking and finance Bar feature the Caroline Lewis pictured was not the leading junior barrister from 3 Verulam Buildings referred to in the feature.

  • In brief: Law Society comes to rescue of ailing firms

    27-Jan-1998

    A package of measures to help ailing firms is being put together by the Law Society. Details of the scheme are still being thrashed out but Geoffrey Sandercock, chair of the Law Society's practice development committee, told last week's meeting of the society's council that firms would be able to receive advice on everything, from how much to spend on IT to partner to staff ratios. Sandercock said the society was examining the possibility of accrediting commercial advisers.

  • In brief: Law Society lifts LPC places restriction

    27-Jan-1998

    The moratorium on additional Legal Practice Course (LPC) places was lifted last week by the Law Society's Training Committee. This comes after a review which found that the number of students enrolling on and passing LPC courses had decreased and that trainee solicitors were finding it less difficult to find jobs.

  • In brief: Miners group wins lung disease case

    27-Jan-1998

    Hugh James, of Cardiff, and Sheffield-based Irwin Mitchell are celebrating last Friday's test case victory of a group of miners who blamed British Coal for their lung diseases. Mr Justice Turner described the cases as 'the tip of the iceberg' and thousands more miners are now expected to bring claims.

  • In brief: Titmuss Sainer accused in Robinson case

    27-Jan-1998

    Titmuss Sainer Dechert was accused of lying by David Maclean, the former Conservative Home Office minister, last week in the House of Commons. The attack came over the firm's role in advising Geoffrey Robinson, the Treasury minister who is under pressure over his tax affairs. Titmuss Sainer has strongly denied the charge.

  • In brief: Web site leads the fight against Revenue

    27-Jan-1998

    Barrister Alistair Kelman of Lancaster Buildings has set up a Web site at www.lbnipc.com/tax to help co-ordinate the Bar's campaign against the Inland Revenue's plans to change the taxation status of professional partnerships.

  • Insurers back CFAs

    27-Jan-1998

    Chris Ward thinks that the key to the success of conditional fee agreements lies in insurers establishing a good relationship with the solicitors they work with. Chris Ward is managing director of Abbey Legal Protection.When Accident Line Protect, the Law Society's conditional fees insurance scheme, was launched the question asked was: 'How can an insurer price an insurance product when there is already a claim?'The overriding feeling was that ...

  • Investing in a London future

    27-Jan-1998

    Although there are only a handful of Swedish firms operating UK offices, those with a presence are doing brisk businessBusiness between Sweden and the UK has not developed to the extent that Swedish firms feel it imperative to have an office in London.In fact, a number which took the initiative in the 1980s and opened up offices in this country have since closed up shop. These include Stockholm firms Cederquist and Carler.The reasons for the departures ...

  • Knowles to power-share at Dibbs

    27-Jan-1998

    NIGEL Knowles, the colourful managing partner at Dibb Lupton Alsop, has had some of his responsibilities passed on to a new 'operations partner' as part of a management shake-up at the firm.The reorganisation which will also see the departure from the firm of Alsop Wilkinson's former operational chief Christopher Honeyman-Brown is being viewed by insiders as an attempt to adopt a more consensual style of management.The changes will also see the ...

  • LAB up against time over contracting scheme

    27-Jan-1998

    Elizabeth Davidson questions whether an effective set of reforms can be developed by the LAB within the Lord Chancellor's tight deadline.ONLY legal aid practitioners who have spent the past five years with their heads buried firmly in the sand will be surprised by the imminent arrival of exclusive legal aid contracts.When the Lord Chancellor, Lord Irvine, announced 10 days ago that he wanted green form work to be delivered under exclusive contracts within ...

  • Labour lawyers in bid to bridge communication gap with Irvine

    27-Jan-1998

    Backbench Labour lawyer MPs are to meet the Lord Chancellor, Lord Irvine early next month to quiz him on his planned legal aid reforms.The meeting, the first to be held by a new backbench group of Labour lawyer MPs headed by barrister Gareth Thomas, will provide Lord Irvine with a crucial opportunity to garner parliamentary support for his widely criticised reform plans.The committee has been created by the Parliamentary Labour Party's Home Affairs Committee, ...

  • Law Society votes on MDP models

    27-Jan-1998

    The Law Society council has voted in a secret meeting to ask the profession to choose a range of models for the way multidisciplinary partnerships (MDPs) should be regulated.The society has so far officially had an 'open mind' on the issue of allowing lawyers to share profits with other professionals. A working group, chaired by Sam Wilson, has been looking at the issue for the past year.The council voted to allow the policy committee to draw up a consultation ...

  • LawAssisting law

    27-Jan-1998

    Vanessa Shenton believes that the best way forward is for the litigating firm to cover both sides' costs.Should a solicitor charge a success fee in CFAs? The justification appears to be that the solicitor is entitled to cover the costs of those cases which do not succeed. After all, the legal practice is taking the commercial risk of losing a number of cases.Another justification may be to compensate for the lack of cash flow during the running of a litigious ...

  • LawGroup launches mediation register

    27-Jan-1998

    A register of lawyers trained in mediation was launched last week at the Law Society by LawGroup, the national network of more than 70 legal practices.LawGroup is one of the main providers of training courses in mediation for lawyers it has already trained more than 250 lawyers.The group's director of mediation studies, Lisa Parkinson, said the number of family cases requiring mediation would rise with the adoption of section 29 of the Family Law Act 1996, ...

  • Lawyers to take on underwriters' role in title insurance scheme

    27-Jan-1998

    SOLICITORS are to be enlisted as the underwriters for their clients as part of a new title insurance scheme due to be piloted in the north of England next month.The scheme has been devised by Stewart Title Insurance, which says that a medium-sized lender and a chain of estate agents are ready to test it in an area north of Bradford.The scheme requires the seller's solicitor to prepare a handbook, called the Homeowner's Factfile, containing detailed ...

  • LeBoeuf in Texas

    27-Jan-1998

    US firm LeBoeuf Lamb Greene & MacRae has established an office in Houston, Texas, the firm's fifteenth office in the United States. The three start-up partners Benjamin Clark, Douglas Eyberg and Michael Grove have joined from local firm Hutcheson & Grundy which is in the process of winding up its practice. Elsewhere in the US, Skadden Arps Slate Meagher & Flom has set ...

  • Let the trainees' voice be heard

    27-Jan-1998

    Representation on the Law Society council would enable the TSG to build on the work it already does seeking solutions to the problem of debt among trainees, says Nick Armstrong. Dr Nick Armstrong is a trainee at Irwin Mitchell in Sheffield and chair of the TSG.Over Christmas, I read an article in the New Statesman on educational funding, written in the context of the university ...

  • Litigation Disciplinary Tribunals 27/1/98

    27-Jan-1998

    Stephen John Cansick, 49, admitted 1974, practising at material time on own account as Stephen Cansick, London N6, suspended indefinitely and ordered to pay £3,496 costs. Allegations substantiated that he failed to keep properly written accounts, drew money out of client account other than in accordance with the rules, used clients' funds for his own purpose, misappropriated clients' funds, failed to deliver accountant's ...

  • Litigation Personal Injury 27/1/98

    27-Jan-1998

    Wilder v Leeds Eastern Health Authority QBD 16 October 1998Claimant: David Wilder, 38Incident: Medical negligenceInjuries: Claimant, a singer songwriter, underwent plastic surgery at St James' University Hospital, Leeds, in August 1988 for levelling of contours on left side of face which had been left hollow from bout of cancer in his teens. Claimed that when treatment was complete he was left with lump on the side of ...

  • Litigation Recent Decisions 27/1/98

    27-Jan-1998

    Decisions are taken from Lawtel's Casae Law database. Instant access to case summaries since 1980 - Call Rebecca Liddle on 0171-9704000Councils have no duty to set out exceptional circumstancesR v Buckinghamshire County Council, ex parte Pawan Sharma: R v Wiltshire County Council, ex parte Lakhbir Kaur (1998)Court: QBD (Scott Baker J) 12/1/98Summary: Applicants had been refused discretionary grants for professional courses ...

  • Litigation Writs 27/1/98

    27-Jan-1998

    Nicholas Nixon, who claims he was wrongfully dismissed by Alfred McAlpine (International), is suing the company for damages for alleged breach of an employment contract in August 1995, wrongful dismissal and misrepresentation.Writ issued by Hodge Jones & Allen, London NW1.Legal practice Masons, of London EC1, is suing Iaf Properties ...

  • Lowndes loses right to appeal

    27-Jan-1998

    Lowndes Lambert Group and Lowndes Lambert Marine have lost their challenge to a decision by Mr Justice Toulson in the Commercial Court on 24 July last year that they were not entitled to retain the proceeds of an insurance claim collected by them from underwriters in respect of damage to a ship the Sun Tender.

  • Medical negligence practitioners move to Jones Maidment

    27-Jan-1998

    Manchester niche medical negligence practice, Hatton Scates & Horton is to join 13-partner practice Jones Maidment Wilson.Olivia Scates and Claire Horton, who co-founded the niche firm in 1993, are now partners in Jones Maidment. They take with them two assistants and a trainee.Medical negligence practitioners have complained that the wholesale introduction of conditional fees by the Lord Chancellor will put many of them out of work.However, Scates ...

  • Miami's Steel Hector forms tie in Brazil

    27-Jan-1998

    In its second major move in Latin America following the opening of a Caracas office 18 months ago, Steel Hector & Davis, one of the largest firms in Miami, has formed an association with a law firm in Brazil.Two lawyers, Eduardo Moreira Lima and Michael Royster, left local firm Garcia & Keener Advogados at the end of last year to set up the associated firm, Moreira Lima & Royster, which has offices in SAo Paulo and Rio de Janeiro.Steel Hector partner Joseph Pallot ...

  • New systems ring the changes

    27-Jan-1998

    Caroline Cantello reveals how Nabarro Nathanson revamped its IT setup. Caroline Cantello is a project manager at Nabarro Nathanson.Nabarro Nathanson was one of the first UK firms to use PC networks, but by 1996 there was acceptance of the need to upgrade the hardware and software the practice was using.It was clear from the start that the firm's ageing OS/2 operating system ...

  • Newcastle firms applaud Court of Appeal visit

    27-Jan-1998

    Lawyers in the North East have applauded the idea for this week's visit of the Lord Chief Justice and the Court of Appeal to Newcastle.And they say they would like to see a regional Court of Appeal made a permanent fixture.The Appeal Court's criminal division is sitting for the first time ever in Newcastle when Lord Bingham makes the second of his regional visits. He will be sitting with Mrs Justice Smith and Mr Justice Hooper on Friday.Before ...

  • NSW eases its MDP rules

    27-Jan-1998

    The Australian state of New South Wales is close to finalising rules easing the restrictions on multidisciplinary partnerships and the incorporation of practices.In particular, the NSW government's Legal Advisory Council has proposed allowing non-lawyers to take a larger stake in MDPs. At present, 51 per cent of net profits of an MDP must go to lawyers, a requirement which the council considered a barrier to the establishment of MDPs.Ron Heinrich, president ...

  • Portrait of a legal revolution

    27-Jan-1998

    As well as the usual pressures of work, litigation departments have to cope with a deluge of reforms, reports Bibi BerkiMention the name of Lord Woolf to a group of litigators and the responses you get will come thick and fast. 'It's a massive period of change'; 'Woolf will affect everyone'; 'It's a huge change of culture'; 'It's potentially life-threatening'; 'It dominates everything.'Lord Woolf's ...

  • Pro bono group to confront Hoon

    27-Jan-1998

    The Solicitors' Pro Bono Group (SPBG), will confront Geoff Hoon this week over Lord Irvine's proposed 75 per cent success barrier for lawyers seeking legal aid for their clients.Hoon, the Parliamentary Secretary at the Lord Chancellor's Department, who is responsible for overseeing Irvine's reforms on legal aid, will meet the SPBG's director, Peta Sweet, its chairman, Clifford ...

  • Property

    27-Jan-1998

    Hughes Watton acted for Superdrug on taking a lease of approximately 75,000 sq ft in Oxford Street at an annual rental of £2.5m from Littlewoods, advised by Davies Wallis Foyster. Hughes Watton also advised Superdrug on sub-underletting 50,000 sq ft to Books Etc, guaranteed by its parent company Borders. Both Books Etc and Borders were represented by Baker & McKenzie.

  • Property

    27-Jan-1998

    Nabarro Nathanson advised Hammerson on its £12m purchase of Gan House in the City of London from the vendor, advised by Herbert Smith.

  • Property

    27-Jan-1998

    Fladgate Fielder acted for Capital and Regional Properties on its £13.375m purchase of Beckton Retail Park from Worth (London), advised by Forsyte Kerman Saunders.

  • Scottish firm sets up legal lobbying unit

    27-Jan-1998

    Top-four Scottish firm Shepherd & Wedderburn has launched the first legal lobbying unit in Scotland with its three-lawyer division called Saltire Parliamentary Consultants.According to executive director David Nash and an associate with the firm, it will operate as a separate business division within the firm 'to provide a range of services which are similar to those provided ...

  • Sensuous scribe lets sleeping clerk lie

    27-Jan-1998

    READING Crown Court has followed the example of Mishcon De Reya in having its own poet in residence.But unlike Mishcons' poet, the scribe at Reading is most definitely unofficial.She is also anonymous and her verse is distinctly salacious.She struck her quill recently during a major fraud trial, taking advantage of the moment when 11 Stone Buildings senior clerk Christopher Berry who was attending court to watch his head of chambers in action ...

  • Set appoints chief executive

    27-Jan-1998

    Leading London family set One Garden Court has radically overhauled its management structure, bringing in a chief executive.Practice manager Howard Rayner has now been appointed senior clerk, replacing well-regarded Peter Hoskins, who left late last summer although the chambers won't say why.Former business consultant Nicholas Martin takes on the £60,000-a-year chief executive post and will take charge of the overall direction of the 40-tennant set.

  • Shifting the blame

    27-Jan-1998

    THE GOVERNMENT'S announcement last week that it plans to sweep away the restrictions preventing employed solicitors from exercising rights of audience in the higher court was a blatant and rather clumsy attempt to divert attention away from its legal aid troubles.It was blatant, because the Government didn't really have anything substantial to announce just the vague and populist promise to end the Bar's restrictive practices. And it was clumsy because ...

  • Straw attacks immigration firms

    27-Jan-1998

    THE Government is threatening to chip away another block of the Law Society's regulatory powers with its proposal to set up a statutory body to regulate immigration lawyers and advisers.The move, announced by the Home Secretary Jack Straw last week, follows the Treasury's decision to strip the society of its powers to regulate solicitor financial advisers.The proposals, together with a claim by Straw that dozens of unscrupulous law firms are preying ...

  • Summit rescheduled

    27-Jan-1998

    The organiser of a London summit on the regulation of the internet cancelled it at the last minute. Prince, which was due to stage its Internet Executive Summit from 19 to 21 January put the sudden cancellation down to the fact that a US green paper on reform of the domain name system a crucial area of discussion scheduled for the conference had not appeared in time. The London summit has now merged with the US summit, scheduled for the McLean Hilton, Washington DC, ...

  • Sweeping up in South East Asia

    27-Jan-1998

    The stock market crash in South East Asia is providing numerous opportunities for British lawyers in both insolvency and corporate recovery, says John Willcock. John Willcock is a freelance journalist.Many parts of South East Asia have experienced headlong growth over the last 20 years or so without an associated development of professional services. There is a severe shortage of insolvency specialists and, away from sophisticated commercial centres like Hong Kong and Singapore, ...

  • The Lawyer Inquiry: Ian Slater

    27-Jan-1998

    Ian Slater was born in Blackburn, Lancashire in 1967. He is a partner at Davies Wallis Foyster in Manchester.What was your first job?Petrol pump attendant.What was your first ever salary as a lawyer?£9,500.What would you have done if you hadn't become a lawyer?Played football.Which law could you live without?Offside.

  • Tracey McDermott on deficiencies in the security for costs regime. Tracey McDermott is a solicitor at Titmuss Sainer Dechert.

    27-Jan-1998

    Two recent decisions have highlighted the deficiencies in the current security for costs regime.In Abraham v Thompson the defendants believed the litigation was being funded by a third party and that, following the trial, they would be unable to recover their costs from the plaintiff or the third party.They sought disclosure of the funder's identity with a view to obtaining some comfort as to the ultimate payment of their costs.The ...

  • Welsh practice wins work on Taiwanese inward investment

    27-Jan-1998

    UK lawyers are continuing to win work advising Asian inward investors, despite the Asian financial crisis.Welsh firm Morgan Bruce has been appointed to advise Taiwanese computer peripherals manufacturer Acer on buying a factory site in Cardiff.Morgan Bruce's property partner Robert James, who is leading his firm's team, said the practice won the appointment after an informal presentation to Acer's Taiwanese representatives in London. A City firm ...

  • White & Case story

    27-Jan-1998

    The article 'White & Case to shut Tashkent arm' which appeared in The Lawyer, 20 January 1998 incorrectly stated that UK firm Cameron McKenna was the only foreign law firm in Tashkent following the decision of White & Case to shut its office in the city. In fact, US firms Le Boeuf Lamb Greene & MacRae and Mayer ...

  • Young, free and married

    27-Jan-1998

    I refer to the article about me and certain colleagues which appeared in The Lawyer, 20 January.It incorrectly stated that I was unmarried. I have in fact been happily married to Pam for almost 10 years and she will be joining me in the Cayman Islands.I am not objecting at all to your reference to my being 'young', although some of my colleagues have questioned the accuracy of this statement.Paul Scrivener,

  • Zambian protest

    27-Jan-1998

    The Law Society has complained to the Zambian President Frederick Chiluba about the treatment of lawyer Rodger Chambwe. Chambwe has been forced to live outside his country as a result of his political activities. He was allegedly subject to intimidation including an assassination attempt in August last year. The International Bar Association has also registered its concern about Chambwe's treatment with President Chiluba.