26 June 1995

The Lawyer

  • A&O loses Jamieson

    2-Jul-1995

    Mark Jamieson has joined Moores Rowland Consulting as a senior manager responsible for professional firms.He has moved from Allen & Overy where he had been manager, practice management systems since 1992. At the City firm he was responsible for the selection and implementation of the Elite practice management system, which has been in operation there since 1993.He expects ...

  • ACE serves sets

    2-Jul-1995

    Supplier ACE has clinched a number of chambers orders from sets in London. Enterprise Chambers at 9 Old Square in Lincoln's Inn, has installed an Infinity system there and at its Leeds premises. In the Temple, the chambers of Lord Irvine of Lairg QC at 11 King's Bench Walk took an eight-screen system replacing an NCR installation. Another Infinity order came from the chambers of Robert Nelson QC at 1 Paper Buildings.

  • Are you being served?

    2-Jul-1995

    Professional firms providing legal, trust and company services in leading offshore centres cannot ignore the potential of the Internet.Until recently, it might have been argued that the jury was still out on the extent of the Internet's role as a business communications tool. For some, it was destined to remain the preserve of academics and computer whizzkids obsessed with the world of cyberspace, while others argued that a communications network had arrived which could ...

  • Are your hands dirty?

    2-Jul-1995

    Reputable firms may be breaking the law on money laundering reports Mike YuilleHas the Law Society got it wrong when it comes to what part of a solicitor's business is caught by the money laundering regulations? If it has, then many solicitors are already committing a criminal offence by not fully complying.Some lawyers think so. Nabarro Nathanson corporate partner John Heller ...

  • Audience fight looms for Law Soc

    27-Jun-1995

    THE LAW Society has threatened to take legal action against the Lord Chancellor if he denies rights of audience to employed solicitors.The threat follows the submission of conflicting advice to Lord Mackay by his advisory committee on legal education and conduct (Aclec). A minority of Aclec members approves extended rights of audience and accuses the majority of going against Parliament's will.Law Society president Charles Elly says the committee's ...

  • Australian detention law triggers outrage

    27-Jun-1995

    A TOP Australian prosecutor has slammed a decision by the New South Wales government to introduce legislation aimed at detaining a man beyond the expiration of his prison sentence.The law, brought in late last year through the Community Protection Act, was inspired by the case of Gregory Kable, a prisoner convicted of the manslaughter of his wife.Nicholas Cowdery QC, New South Wales Director of Public Prosecutions, says the decision to pass the legislation was ...

  • Australian judge trains Scots 'devils'

    2-Jul-1995

    AUSTRALIAN judge Mr Justice Hampel QC headed a training event for would-be members of the Scottish Bar at Edinburgh's Faculty of Advocates.Hampel, a judge in the Victoria Supreme Court, instructed the faculty's pupil advocates - known as "devils" - in skills including examination in chief, cross examination and speeches to judge and jury.Training sessions were also held by Hampel's wife, Victoria State Bar lawyer Felicity Hampel, and Julian Burnside ...

  • Berrymans warns builders of potential contract chaos

    27-Jun-1995

    THE CONSTRUCTION industry has been warned that new plain English standard-form building contracts are likely to spark increased litigation, rather than ease disputes.A construction industry conference held by City firm Berrymans was told the New Engineering Contract (NEC), issued by the Institution of Civil Engineers, would ignite a series of legal disputes to establish new case law.The new contract is a by-product of the 1994 Latham Report which outlined a 13-point ...

  • Bid for global domination

    2-Jul-1995

    Nicole Maley examines the work of the Alliance of European Lawyers and its fresh approach to cross-border businessRoyex House has long proven to be an influential address in the world of international law.The high-rise eyrie, looking out over the City of London, was once the headquarters of Clifford Chance, the UK's top international firm.But for the past ...

  • Boodles votes for cutbacks

    2-Jul-1995

    THREE partners are among the casualties of a job cutting programme announced by City firm Boodle Hatfield.The step was taken after a vote among its equity partners - one of whom is a victim of the job losses.But managing Partner Edward Sutherland insists the departure of the three partners, along with six other fee earners, is amicable."It is a very sad time, but we feel it was the right decision," he says.The job losses follow a review ...

  • Boundary crossing

    27-Jun-1995

    It has long been traditional for Scots business people, whether lawyers or otherwise, to travel further afield in search of new markets.Earlier this month, Glasgow-based firm Bishop and Robertson Chalmers opened an office in Vilnius, Lithuania. And it is the international market which is the main growth area for Aberdeen-based firm Ledingham Chalmers.Head of commercial ...

  • Bridging the cultural gaps

    2-Jul-1995

    Mary Heaney talks to the growing number of foreign firms which have set up offices in London and are doing the businessDespite the departure of Japanese firm Hamada & Matsumoto from London last year, foreign law firms with offices in the city claim to have had a busy year.Says Timothy Brookes of Australian firm Corrs Chambers Westgarth, which has a two-lawyer office in London:"Things have picked up dramatically since the compulsory exit of sterling ...

  • Burmah team's future 'in limbo'

    27-Jun-1995

    IN-HOUSE lawyers at a petrol company face an uncertain future after the business changed hands in an £83 million deal.About 10 lawyers from the UK petrol retail and wholesale subsidiary of Burmah Castrol are said to feel "twitchy" and "in limbo".Burmah Petroleum Fuels is being sold by its parent to Frost Group, the UK's biggest petrol retailer.The deal, to be completed on 14 July, includes petrol stations, supply contracts and legal and ...

  • Candidates outraged by block vote memo

    27-Jun-1995

    A PARTNER at City firm Field Fisher Waterhouse has been accused of organising a block vote for deputy vice-president Henry Hodge which his rivals say may jeopardise the election.Rival presidential challengers Eileen Pembridge and Martin Mears expressed outrage at a leaked memo sent out by partner Caryn Mackenzie which inaccurately states Mears is a sole practitioner and describes ...

  • Canterbury invests in DataFlow system

    27-Jun-1995

    The legal department at Canterbury City Council is to install an innovative new DataFlow case management system.Staff at the council's legal department, which includes three solicitors, four legal executives, two paralegals and an administrator, will use the system to administer car parking prosecutions, rent and debt arrears.Canterbury chief solicitor Philip Wilson-Sharp says: "We wanted a system which would help us to manage the department to Law Society ...

  • Cautious Law Soc agrees to talks on Green Paper block contracts

    27-Jun-1995

    DELEGATES at the Law Society's Legal Aid conference have rejected wholesale opposition to Lord Mackay's reform plans and voted instead tonegotiate over block contracts.A resolution passed by the conference said the meeting "wholly distrusts the basis on which the Green Paper is written" but was prepared to negotiate "over time and with proper research".An earlier resolution acknowledging that block contracts "may be the way forward" was ...

  • CFA's progress

    27-Jun-1995

    v September 1991: Joint Liaison Group agrees to an early establishment of the Court of Final Appeal;v December 1991: The Hong Kong legislative council (Legco) rejects the "four-to-one" compromise on judges;v May 1994: Draft bill given to China;v November 1994: Consultation among legal profession;v December 1994: Extraordinary general meeting held by Law Society;v March 1994: Experts' meetings resumed;v 3 May ...

  • Christopher Clarke QC, chair of COMBAR

    27-Jun-1995

    The philosophical foundation of Lord Woolf's report is clear: a civil justice system should produce just results by fair procedures at reasonable cost and speed. The plight into which our system has fallen is identified with equal clarity: fashioned for the last century it has been rendered nearly unworkable by pleadings which obscure rather than expound, discovery which swaps without revealing, and a pace dictated by the parties alone.The remedy for these ills is to ...

  • City pulls into pole position on IT super highway, says report

    27-Jun-1995

    The City of London is emerging as the world's leading user of information technology and is preparing to model itself as a commercial information super highway, according to the report 'Focus on IT in the City'.The report was launched this week by the Worshipful Company of Information Technologists (WCIT), a group of 50 leading specialists from across the commercial sector.Master of WCIT Sir Brian Jenkins dismissed the idea that the growth of City ...

  • Competition forces firms to slash fees

    27-Jun-1995

    MAJOR law firms have slashed fees by as much as 20 per cent as competition with local and American rivals intensifies, according to a survey.A study released on Friday shows senior lawyers in private practice are, on average, 13.6 per cent cheaper than five years ago.The study was compiled by public relations consultant Media Brief. It surveyed 200 heads of corporate legal departments in England and Wales, asking for estimates of the average hourly cost of their ...

  • Council ignored QC's advice

    2-Jul-1995

    A LEADING QC's advice to Westminster City Council was partly ignored and misrepresented when it was put before the authority's housing committee, according to a leaked report which reveals details of a u30 million free maintenance scandal.Residents who bought council houses were not charged for major works between 1987 and 1991, internal auditors have revealed.And a variety of schemes were put in place by the authority in order to reduce service charges ...

  • Cow attack partner sues successfully

    2-Jul-1995

    WRAGGE & Co insurance litigation partner David Birch has won a pay-out of almost u45,000 after he was attacked and trampled by a herd of cows.Birch last month won the pay-out from the insurance company NFU Mutual after the incident on a gated road in Northamptonshire in 1991.The company, which defended the action by saying the accident was not foreseeable, paid compensation for general damages and medical costs.Birch, who was left bruised and bleeding, ...

  • Day hopeful for PoW pay-out

    2-Jul-1995

    FORMER prisoners of war held by the Japanese during World War II may receive compensation by the end of the year if legal action started last month is successful.UK solicitor Martyn Day, who is working on the case with a team of Japanese lawyers, says pay-outs may be secured for almost 25,000 Allied PoWs through an out-of-court settlement.Day, joint senior partner of London practice Leigh, Day & Co, returned from Japan last week after commencing proceedings in ...

  • Decidedly feeble

    27-Jun-1995

    Four years after the Law Society applies for rights of audience for employed solicitors, the Lord Chancellor's Advisory Committee on Legal Education and Conduct reaches a decision. The eagerly awaited answer - it can't decide.The Lord Chancellor now has two dissenting views from his so-called advisory committee on what exactly they are meant to be advising on. Little wonder the Law Society president Charles Elly describes the committee's treatment of ...

  • Disputes clog council routine

    27-Jun-1995

    WESTMINSTER City Council's high-profile housing and planning disputes are threatening to undermine the autho rity's routine legal work, a report warns.Senior lawyers have had their time taken up with "propriety" issues, such as the legal arguments surrounding the controversial designated sales policy on council property.The City's legal department has been at the forefront of the council's argument with district auditor ...

  • EC moves nearer host state solution

    27-Jun-1995

    EUROPE will move closer to resolving the argument over cross-border establishment this week after a working document commissioned by the parliament called plans for compulsory integration into question.The document, prepared by French MEP Nicole Fontaine, flies in the face of European Commission thinking, which proposes compulsorily integrating lawyers into host state professions after five years.Fontaine, who discusses her views with the Legal Affairs committee ...

  • Employed barristers set for top posts

    2-Jul-1995

    EMPLOYED barristers have won the right to stand for election to the Bar Council posts of vice-chairman and chairman after a widely-supported vote for constitutional change.The change could also lead to the Bar having its first employed chairman in around two years from now, in the form of Michael Blair, head of policy and legal affairs at the Securities and Investments Board. He is the first employed barrister to be Bar Council treasurer and is tipped as a future Bar leader.

  • Employment group opens up to NI and Scots lawyers

    27-Jun-1995

    THE Employment Lawyers Association (ELA) has extended its boundaries to include membership from people working in Scotland and Northern Ireland.Established two years ago ELA already includes more than 550 members in England and Wales and founding chair Janet Gaymer says it is hoped the rule change will bring inadditional membership applications.Gaymer, who handed over leadership of the association to

  • Ensure you insure if going offshore

    2-Jul-1995

    Guy Fitzmaurice examines how firms get the best deal on travel insurance for staffGiven that staff are one of a law firm's most valuable assets, arranging proper insurance cover for when they go abroad is an important exercise.Firms normally get their general insurance broker to arrange cover, or they may talk directly to an insurance company. This will usually be block cover negotiated on an annual basis, covering medical expenses, baggage, airport delays ...

  • Every contribution counts

    27-Jun-1995

    Chart-topping Sade is heading for a potential £1 million High Court copyright battle with her one-time drummer Paul Cook.Cook, 34, is taking the singer and members of her group to court claiming he had a hand in writing some of Sade's hits and is therefore entitled to royalties.Sade is being sued in her full name, Helen Folasade Adu, along with Stuart Matthewman, Paul Denman, Andrew Hale and Sony Music Entertainment (UK).

  • Family law CD-ROM

    27-Jun-1995

    Helen Sage reportsFamily law practitioners will have access to a new CD-ROM of family law reports from October. The reports, part of the Justis electronic library of legal information, will enable practitioners to retrieve information quickly on a range of family law issues, from child abuse to financial settlements on divorce. The Justis software developed by Jordans and Context is compatible with its Weekly Law Reports CD-ROM to allow cross-reference between ...

  • Fimbra accused of bad faith

    2-Jul-1995

    The financial services group, PVY are scheduled to keep a High Court date in March with investor protection agency, Fimbra. The case involves an estimated u6 million claim in which they accuse Fimbra of acting in bad faith by allegedly abandoning an agreement to provide professional indemnity insurance for Fimbra members.

  • Financing

    27-Jun-1995

    Dickinson Dees advised Cowie Group in its raising of £33.1 million by its recent 1 for 8 rights issue

  • Financing

    27-Jun-1995

    Gouldens advised Collins Stewart & Co

  • Financings

    2-Jul-1995

    Kimberley Hotels was advised by Eversheds Hepworth & Chadwick in relation to an enterprise investment scheme.

  • Financings

    2-Jul-1995

    Britannia Building Society was advised by Slaughter and May in the syndicated u425m dual currency revolving credit agreement

  • Firm offers guide to IT contract pitfalls

    27-Jun-1995

    Manchester firm Lopian Wagner has issued a seven-point set of guidelines to assist in reducing the number of disputes in involving office technology contracts.Associate Joanne Grace warns that although in a report last year the Office of Fair trading called for office equipment leasing companies to clean up their contracts and the Finance and Leasing Association is also calling for more lucid terms and conditions, many agreements still contain unseen pitfalls for the unwary.

  • First for Martineau

    2-Jul-1995

    Birmingham firm Martineau Johnson has become the first firm outside London to install the R/KYV computerised document management system.This will put the firm in a strong position to compete with the biggest firms for litigation work, says Andrew Spooner, head of litigation. But the 24-partner firm will also use it in its intellectual property and employment law practices."We are now dealing with many major litigation cases where we have to handle ...

  • First woman head for top 10 firm

    2-Jul-1995

    LOVELL White Durrant's Lesley MacDonagh is set to become the first woman managing partner of a top 10 firm.MacDonagh, a senior partner in Lovell's property practice, will serve with Michael Maunsell who has been re-elected for a further two years."Now that more than 50 per cent of the entrants to the profession are women, we will increasingly see women in key positions, but I am delighted to have been elected at this time," she says."We ...

  • Flotations

    27-Jun-1995

    Dibb Lupton Broomhead acted for telecommunications equipment manufacturer Rainford Group in its recent flotation by way of a £64 million placing by SG Warburg Securities

  • Foreign affairs

    2-Jul-1995

    Foreign lawyers in the UK will find their feet and some useful contacts with the aid of networks. Nicole Maley reportsNetworks are the current buzz word. From the formal business generating UK groupings to the looser pan-global associations, lawyers like to "network".But when you are a foreign lawyer working in a new country the lines of communication can often appear to collapse.However, the wide range of bilateral associations now in existence in ...

  • Foreign banks sue two City practices

    27-Jun-1995

    FOUR Canadian banks are suing Clifford Chance for damages for breach of contract, breach of fiduciary duty and negligence.The Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce, the National Bank of Canada, the Bank of Nova Scotia, and the Royal Bank of Canada have all issued High Court writs through Freshfields against the firm. The claims centre on opinions given by the firm in letters in 1989.

  • Franchisees get arranged marriages

    27-Jun-1995

    A SWAP shop for firms to exchange franchise know-how is planned by the Legal Aid Practitioners Group which says the writing may be on the wall for firms without franchises.If it takes off, the group's Franchise Information Exchange will marry up franchised firms with firms in need of advice on how to win them.And in recognition of the fact franchised firms might "jealously guard" their tailor-made systems and procedures, the exchange invites them to sell ...

  • Gloucester firm sets up alternative dispute shop

    2-Jul-1995

    GLOUCESTER firm Davies and Partners opens the area's first commercial dispute resolution centre this month.The centre will be staffed by an in-house team of two case administrators, four mediators and two arbitrators.And the practice believes the one-stop shop service it intends to provide for clients will be unique.Partner Nigel Tillot, charged with setting up the centre, says clients have expressed great interest in the service which is due ...

  • HAMMOND Suddards debt collection manager Richard Helliwell has left the Leeds firm because he claims he was in disagreement with partners over the restructuring of his department

    2-Jul-1995

    HAMMOND Suddards debt collection manager Richard Helliwell has left the Leeds firm because he claims he was in disagreement with partners over the restructuring of his department.Helliwell, who has joined Halifax firm Wilkinson Woodward & Ludlam, says the move was prompted by the appointment of partner Simon Stell as day to day manager of his large debt collection department."I didn't think the department was going in the right direction. They wanted to ...

  • Having a bash

    2-Jul-1995

    Legal system bashing is as much in season as ever. The recent BBC Law in Action national opinion survey found the justice industry with little public standing. As Bar Council Chairman Peter Goldsmith QC put it last week, in the demonology lawyers are ranked low in public esteem along with politicians and journalists.Perhaps we have to accept this is the general public's perception. So when lawyers start bashing other lawyers in the way David McIntosh of City firm ...

  • Hazel Wright on the extension of quia timet injunctions

    2-Jul-1995

    The present policy of the Crown Prosecution Service not to prosecute for common assault, only supports the theory widely reported in the media, that a large proportion of the population lives in almost daily fear of violence.As the criminal courts will not help, increasingly I have found the civil courts a more effective forum. The quia timet injunction, which restrains violence or the threat of violence against those in a group, of which only one ...

  • Hobsons takes on hi-tech whiz-kid

    27-Jun-1995

    CITY FIRM Hobson Audley has appointed a hi-tech legal expert in an attempt to capitalise on the booming trade in information technology law.Robert Bond has joined the firm as a partner in the practice's intellectual property and information technology department.Bond, a specialist in multimedia, leisure software and electronic commercial law, was previously a partner with Goodger Auden in the East Midlands.Hobson Audley managing partner Gerald ...

  • Holding on to the key to justice

    27-Jun-1995

    Rory Khilkoff-Boulding laments the Law Society's tight grip on insurance productsAS a solicitor also qualified to practice as an attorney and counsellor at law in New York and California, I have always been bemused by theintellectual difficulties that many practitioners have in this country as regards conditional or contingent fees.In the US, the contingency fee system is generally highly regarded by both profession and public alike ...

  • How to meet a moving target

    2-Jul-1995

    Jane Ahrends on the steps some law firms are taking to make arranging travel both easier and cheaperLaw firms are paying increasing attention to their travel arrangements. In the process they are scrutinising their own internal organisation as well as the agents they use.While some opt to have secretaries place bookings among a handful of favoured agencies, others have cut agency providers down to one or two and devolved responsibility for all bookings to one ...

  • Immigration law conflicts with Europe

    2-Jul-1995

    Roger Pearson reports on a nanny fighting for the right of entry into the UKIMMIGRATION law will come under the spotlight in a High Court case in which it is alleged application of UK immigration policies conflict with rights under European law.The case involves an Italian Contessa whose Brazilian-born maid and nanny is seeking judicial review of a decision to ban her from the UK on immigration law grounds. She was refused entry earlier in January.The ...

  • In brief: Academy of Experts appoints Hague judge

    27-Jun-1995

    The vice-president of the International Court of Justice in The Hague, Judge Stephen Schwebel, has been named as one of two new vice-presidents of the Academy of Experts. Judge Schwebel becomes the first American vice-president of the academy.

  • In brief: Aclec lays down education guidelines

    27-Jun-1995

    A consultation paper on education and training for lawyers by the Lord Chancellor's advisers Aclec recommends "the maximum amount of common education for the different branches of the legal profession". The paper, published on Friday, lays down the committee's blueprint for vocational training and continual professional development. Other recommendations include more rigorous education in "common professional values" and funding to ensure the profession is open to people from ...

  • In brief: Advisers to apply for SIB guidance review

    2-Jul-1995

    The IFA Association, professional indemnity insurers LIBM and their solicitors DJ Freeman have won leave to apply for judicial review of guidance from the Securities and Investments Board (SIB). The guidance ordered independent financial advisers to review cases in order to encourage possible claims against them of mis-selling of pensions. It is estimated that the pensions industry faces a u2 billion bill in costs and compensation.

  • In brief: Appellants face 18-month waiting list

    27-Jun-1995

    Parties involved in appeal cases are facing delays of up to 18 months before their cases can be heard, the Court Services Agency admitted last week. The admission came after solicitor Andrew Page was told by the Civil Appeals Office that an appeal on a breach of contract case could not be heard until January 1997. An agency spokesman said the delay was caused by a shortage of judges and other types of case being given higher priority.

  • In brief: Belling judicial review case dropped

    2-Jul-1995

    An attempt to judicially review the Law Society over two rejections of a compensation claim by members of the pension scheme of crashed company Belling was dropped by trustee Law Debenture Trust after leave to appeal had been granted. The Law Society has agreed to reconsider the claim on 8 March. Sole practitioner Charles Deacon of CJ Deacon & Co is awaiting trial on charges brought by the Serious Fraud Office in connection with the Belling case.

  • In brief: ELF awarded charitable status

    27-Jun-1995

    The Environmental Law Foundation (ELF) has been granted charitable status by the Charities Commission. The foundation had been seeking charitable status since its 1992 launch and says it will greatly enhance its fund-raising ability. ELF chair, Ross & Craig consultant Martin Polden, says: "This is extremely important to ELF as part of its fundraising strategy and potential. It also demonstrates our value to community action groups." ELF, a national network of lawyers, environmentalists ...

  • In brief: Hamilton's harassment is 'breach of code'

    2-Jul-1995

    hThe Bar Council describes Nigel Hamilton QC's sexual harassment of a client and a solicitor's clerk as a serious breach of its code. But the barrister and part-time judge's three month suspension from practising at the Bar has been described as too short by the Association of Women Barristers. In what is believed to be the first case of its kind, Hamilton, of St John Chambers, Bristol, was found guilty of sexual harassment at an Inns of Court disciplinary tribunal. Hamilton, ...

  • In brief: Judges to swear in for Rwanda tribunal

    27-Jun-1995

    Six judges selected to sit on the International Tribunal for Rwanda will be sworn in this week in The Hague. The tribunal has been created by the United Nations Security Council and will sit in the city of Arusha at the foot of Mt Kilimanjaro in Tanzania. In April the tribunal revealed it had identified 400 suspects for prosecution over acts of genocide in Rwanda and that it would issue its first indictments this year.

  • In brief: Lords set to rule on Howard's injury tariff

    2-Jul-1995

    The House of Lords is about to rule on whether Home Secretary Michael Howard had acted unlawfully in bringing in the new flat-rate tariffs in place of the current Criminal Injury Compensation Scheme. Howard has advised cabinet colleagues that he will have to bring in emergency legislation if the appeal fails. The Court of Appeal judgement was a victory for trades unions represented by Robin Thompson & Partners.

  • In brief: Patent Office to speed up procedures

    27-Jun-1995

    A new fast-track patent service will be launched by the United Kingdom Patent Office next week, slashing months off the time spent on existing procedures. The new service will combine the search and examination processes instead of performing them separately. The Patent Office says this will make it possible in certain cases to obtain a patent within one year of filing.

  • In brief: Personal touch for personnel recruitment

    2-Jul-1995

    A new legal recruitment consultancy has been set up by Hugh Kelly, former head of personnel at City firm Ashurst Morris Crisp. Kelly has co-founded Kellyfield Consulting with Mark Field, a former Freshfields corporate lawyer who has been working in recruitment with Quarry Dougall. Kelly says: "As a client in legal recruitment over the last six years, I have become increasingly convinced that there is a ...

  • In brief: Pitmans swells its ranks by three

    2-Jul-1995

    Thames Valley firm Pitmans has taken on three lawyers. Jane Young has joined the litigation department from Edwin Coe, in London, and Caroline Martin has joined the company commercial department from Newbury's Charles Lucas & Marshall. Robert Fuzzey has been taken on in the litigation department as a paralegal prior to obtaining a training contract. Managing partner Christopher Avery says: "We will ...

  • In brief: Pittaway appointed chair of SSPF

    27-Jun-1995

    Ian Pittaway, head of pensions at City firm Nicholson Graham & Jones, has been appointed chair of SSPF Personal Pensions, which runs an occupational pension scheme for the legal profession. Pittaway, a former chair of the Association of Pension Lawyers, succeeds Charles Woodhouse of Farrer & Co.

  • In brief: PowerGen directors sue The Guardian

    27-Jun-1995

    Six PowerGen directors are suing Guardian Newspapers Ltd along with two of its reporters on The Observer. The writ claiming damages for libel was issued by London firm Farrer & Co following an article in The Observer on 11 June on share options. Directors Edmund Wallis, David Dance, Roger Jump, Michael Reidy, Jon Rennocks and Alfred Roberts are represented by City firm Andrew Page, which is associated ...

  • In brief: QCs subject to standard criminal fees

    2-Jul-1995

    Standard fees in criminal cases are set to be extended to QCs. The fixed-fee system will also be broadened to include Crown Court cases lasting up to 10 days. The Lord Chancellor is currently in tough negotiations with the Law Society and the Bar Council and new regulations are expected to be announced in the spring. Figures released last week in Parliament reveal that an estimated 50 barristers received more than u100,000 in fees (excluding VAT and travelling) for criminal legal aid ...

  • In brief: Report demands end to unfair sentencing

    27-Jun-1995

    A report has called for the introduction of a sentencing council as a way of cutting out inconsistent and excessive jail terms. The document published by the Penal Affairs Consortium this week backs the group's ongoing campaign for such a council. It says most people in jail have received sentences for non-violent offences and there is a wide range of sentences given for similar offences.

  • In brief: SBA dinner celebrates mayoral post

    2-Jul-1995

    The Solicitors Benevolent Association will hold a champagne reception and dinner to celebrate the appointment of Christopher Walford, of Allen & Overy, as Lord Mayor. Walford is the first solicitor to hold the post in more than 40 years. The Primrose Party will be held at the Egyptian Room, Mansion House, on Tuesday 7 March. Tickets for the party cost u100 and are available from Wilde Sapte's ...

  • In brief: Solicitor takes McKennas to tribunal

    2-Jul-1995

    Former McKenna & Co solicitor Eileen Herlihy is due to claim unfair dismissal and sexual discrimination at an industrial tribunal hearing scheduled for this week. The case is listed to be heard at the Whittington House tribunal court in London. McKenna & Co says it is vigorously contesting the case and is ready to go to trial.

  • In brief: Top telecomms lawyer for Simmons

    27-Jun-1995

    City-based Simmons & Simmons has appointed telecomms expert Tim Schwarz to join its nine-strong telecomms team. Schwarz, formerly of Clifford Chance, will take up his appointment as partner in early 1996, after spending nine months in the legal department of the World Bank in Washington where he will work on various telecomms projects. Qualified in 1989, he has carved a name for himself in telecomms ...

  • Irish Attorney takes cut

    2-Jul-1995

    THE NEW Irish Attorney General, Dermot Gleeson, has suffered a substantial drop in salary by taking the job.As the government's legal adviser, he will now earn IRu76,000 a year, less than a quarter of his estimated annual income as one of the sharpest minds of the Irish Bar.Gleeson, from Cork, has been involved in many of Ireland's biggest cases. A workaholic, he is widely admired by his colleagues. He was called to the Bar at 22 and to the Inner Bar ...

  • Jersey's Bailhache takes AIM

    2-Jul-1995

    Jersey firm Bailhache Labesse has chosen the AIM practice management system.The fact that Bailhache would not be the only AIM Professional user in Jersey played a big part in the firm choosing the supplier.Practice director Edmund Bendelow says it is very important that AIM is used in other island firms so the firm will not be on its own when looking for support. Experience in the past with suppliers not being accessible has caused difficulties, he says.

  • Judge pre-empts Taylor and cuts 'waffle' in record trial

    2-Jul-1995

    A HIGH Court Judge took the first tentative steps to "cut the waffle" in the justice system, when he laid down time limits for the cross-examination of witnesses.Mr Justice Sedley, who pre-empted the recent practice direction of Lord Chief Justice Lord Taylor, set down rules to speed up proceedings in a protracted personal injury trial.The case ended last week when a record u1.1 million, plus interest and costs, was awarded to a victim of post-traumatic stress ...

  • Labour MP slams hush- up on Scott inquiry bills

    27-Jun-1995

    JOHN Major has refused to identify the law firms which have shared more than £250,000 of advice work for ministers and civil servants in connection with the arms to Iraq Scott inquiry.He said in answer to a Parliamentary question that the names of the lawyers and their clients were "confidential".City firm Allen & Overy is said to have been hired by William Waldegrave ...

  • Law Society raises European profile

    2-Jul-1995

    THE LAW Society is increasing its profile in Europe, with contact between the profession, politicians and officials growing during the past six months.A half-yearly report released by the Brussels office of the Law Societies of England, Wales and Scotland shows the office now has more input in European issues, and members of the profession are increasingly being called on to provide views on a range of EU policy and legislative developments.In the six months ...

  • Lawyer champions blood sports lobby

    27-Jun-1995

    A SENIOR lawyer is spearheading a new campaign to promote the interests of hunting, shooting and fishing organisations.American-born Eric Bettelheim has set up the Country Sports Business Group to co-ordinate fund-raising, lobbying and legal battles on their behalf.Bettelheim, a partner in London firm Rogers & Wells, says the pressure group aims to defend field sports enthusiasts from animal rights activists.One of his key objectives will be to press ...

  • LCD man 'imprisoned' by prostitute

    27-Jun-1995

    A CIVIL servant from the Lord Chancellor's Department was bound, gagged, blindfolded, and kept prisoner by a prostitute while she ransacked his home, it was alleged at the Old Bailey.Richard Dalley, from the information systems section of the court services division, was robbed of over £2,500 plus valuables, according to prosecution claims.Katrina Moseley, 28, of Tettenhall, Wolverhampton, denies robbery and false imprisonment. She claims the items ...

  • Levy leaves SJ Berwin for Olswang

    2-Jul-1995

    S J BERWIN & Co partner Graeme Levy has deserted its high-profile corporate finance department to join Olswang.Levy handed in his notice last week, but is still with his old firm while his leaving terms are finalised.Olswang partner Caroline Kean says the London firm is very excited about the move."He will be joining our corporate group as soon as he is free to do so.

  • Limited aid for smokers

    2-Jul-1995

    LIMITED legal aid certificates have been granted to 200 smokers who are taking part in a multi-party action against tobacco manufacturers.The Legal Aid Board last week announced it would reverse an earlier decision to deny the smokers legal aid after an independent area committee of solicitors and barristers received new information and submissions from lawyers acting for the smokers.The decision marks the first time legal aid has been granted to support a significant ...

  • Litigants win in reforms

    27-Jun-1995

    THE legal profession has welcomed Lord Woolf's plans to introduce a revolutionary three-track system for dealing with civil disputes saying it could, for the first time, swing the pendulum in favour of litigants.But the Association of Personal Injury Lawyers (Apil) says the changes suggested in the report must not be allowed to "significantly shift the advantage to insurers".Apil Vice-president Caroline Harmer says: "We welcome simplification of procedures ...

  • Litigation Disciplinary Tribunals 07/02/95

    2-Jul-1995

    CHRISTOPHER JOHN HOBSON, solicitors clerk for Austerfields, Bridlington, North Humberside, banned from working for any further solicitors without written consent from Law Society and ordered to pay u570 costs. Allegations substantiated he misappropriated and/or misapplied funds held or received by firm for and on behalf of clients. Tribunal told investigations completed by 8 September last year indicated Hobson had misappropriated u48,196. Further files still ...

  • Litigation Disciplinary Tribunals 27/06/95

    27-Jun-1995

    DAVID CHARLES WOODMAN, 49, admitted 1977, practised as Woodman Matthews & Co, Forest Gate, London E7, struck off and ordered to pay £642 costs. Allegations substantiated that Woodman, now living in Tenerife, Canary Islands, wrongly drew and used client money and abandoned his practice. Tribunal told bankruptcy order was made against Woodman in November 1991 and that he abandoned his practice the same month. Grants from the Law Society ...

  • Litigation Recent Decisions 07/02/95

    2-Jul-1995

    Home Office: illegal immigrants applied for habeas corpusImmigration Act - no power to detain asylum seekersR v Secretary of State for the Home Department and Anor, ex parte Khan; Same v Same, ex parte Virk; Same v Same ex parte Singh; Same v Same, ex parte Taggar (1995) (QBD 16/01/95) (Dyson J)Summary:No power under the Immigration Act 1971 to detain political asylum seekers.Applications for habeas corpus by illegal immigrants ...

  • Litigation Recent Decisions 27/06/95

    27-Jun-1995

    Settlement of a libel actionJohn K Reames v The Guardian (1995). (QBD (Sir Michael Davies) 10/5/95).Summary: Statement to be read in court in connection with a sum paid into court by the defendant and accepted in settlement of the plaintiff's libel action.In an article published by The Guardian of 30/7/94 the defendants alleged that football team Kidderminster Harrier's inability to gain promotion to the Football League was because they ...

  • Litigation Writs 07/02/95

    2-Jul-1995

    A woman who became pregnant after her partner had a vasectomy operation is suing for damages. Moira Carson, of Purley, Surrey, and Robert Stevens, have issued a writ against Richard Harris-Jones, of Cassidy Road Medical Centre, Cassidy Road, London SW6. They say that in November 1989 Harris-Jones performed a vasectomy on Mr Stevens, but Ms Carson later became pregnant by Mr Stevens. The writ accuses Harris-Jones of negligence in the operation ...

  • Litigation Writs 27/06/95

    27-Jun-1995

    A Perthshire couple whose son died from Creutzfeldt-Jacob Disease has joined the increasing number of litigants to issue writs against the UK Medical Research Council and the Secretary of State for Health. Alexander and Isabella Copland, of Dunblane, are suing in respect of their son Brian, who died from the disease on 16 May 1992 aged 31. It is claimed he contracted it as a result of receiving human growth hormone injections.Writ issued by Irwin Mitchell, ...

  • Liverpool hauled over coals for benefit delays

    2-Jul-1995

    LIVERPOOL City Council has been ordered to pay compensation after delays by its legal department in deciding whether a local resident qualified for housing benefit.It took three months for the lawyers to give the go-ahead for cash to be paid.The file was sent on 9 March 1993 to the legal department which gave provisional approval on 1 April.But it took until 10 June before a final written instruction was sent to the housing section authorising payment ...

  • Lord Fraser in talks

    27-Jun-1995

    Lord Fraser of Carmyllie QC, Minister of State at the Scottish Office with special responsibility for European affairs, last week represented the UK at a meeting of the Council of Justice and Home Affairs Ministers held in Luxembourg. Lord Fraser spoke on judicial co-operation issues, including a draft convention on extradition which seeks to reduce some of the legal obstacles in the EU.Society's Europe visitThirty solicitors from eastern England will pay ...

  • Lord Woolf's 'Access to justice': the profession replies

    27-Jun-1995

    The Commercial Court welcomes Lord Woolf's report on access to civil justice and its emphasis upon the advantages of case management.In terms of the report, the vast majority of cases tried in the Commercial Court come within the category of "heavier cases on the multi-track".They have for some years been the subject of case management procedures much of the kind that has been recommended by Lord Woolf for introduction across the board of civil litigation.

  • Magistrates and clerks could be forced to pick up appeals costs bill

    2-Jul-1995

    MAGISTRATES and their clerks could face potential financial ruin amid fears that cash-strapped court committees will be unable to bail them out if they are billed for appeal costs.Thousands of poll-tax cases, winging their way through the courts, have re-ignited the issue of liability.And the Lord Chancellor's Department (LCD) has refused to give an assurance that the LCD will meet the bill if magistrates and clerks are landed with it.Chair of ...

  • Magistrates courts will lose out in cuts

    2-Jul-1995

    CLOSURES of magistrates courts, staff redundancies, increased delays and reduced levels of service will result from the Government's u7.6 million cut of court financing, warns the Central Council of Magistrates' Courts Committees (CCMCC).Greater uncertainty over strategic budgeting for MCCs will be an inevitable consequence, and will backfire on the Government's original aim of actually improving budgeting certainty through the cash-limiting system of financing ...

  • McKennas advises Indian State Governments on utilities restructure

    2-Jul-1995

    INTERNATIONAL law firm McKenna & Co has been instructed by three of India's State Governments to provide utilities advice on the restructuring of State Electricity Boards in Orissa, Haryana and Uttar Pradesh.The firm, well-established in the country as an expert in the power sector, is advising the boards on seven projects, as well as providing legal services to India's Ministry of Finance.In Orissa McKennas has worked on the design of the new regulatory ...

  • Men behaving badly

    27-Jun-1995

    Presidential candidate Eileen Pembridge complains she is being marginalised because of her sex. It would be easy to dismiss her claim. After all, as the legal establishment will say, it is easy to latch on to the "sex discrimination" label when the chips are down.But as election day approaches, there is every sign that the establishment is closing ranks around its official candidate, Henry Hodge, and doing so in a way which isolates Pembridge.

  • Much-needed shot in the arm

    27-Jun-1995

    THE TRADITIONAL East-West divide that exists in Scotland has taken on a new perspective with the election of Irvine Development Corporation legal adviser Alan Boyd to the position of president of the Law Society of Scotland.Retaining his position at the West Coast-based development corporation, Boyd will be commuting more frequently from Irvine to Edinburgh in his new role than he did during his spell as vice-president.And although he may be considered an outsider ...

  • Nabarros finalises Brussels presence

    27-Jun-1995

    NABARRO Nathanson has formally established its Brussels presence, signing New Zealand lawyer Rachel Bickler to operate from theBelgian capital.UK-trained Bickler, brought on board as a senior assistant from the Paris office of international economic body OECD (former Organisation for European Economic Development), is sharing an office with Nabarros' US associates Weil, Gotshal & Manges.Working as part of the London-based EU and competition unit, ...

  • National Five-a-Side Football Competition

    2-Jul-1995

    The Lawyer is pleased to announce the 1995 Legal National Five-a-Side football tournament in conjunction with Arsenal Football Club.This is the third year of this highly popular event and last season it attracted entries from over 150 teams keen to play in a good cause. The competition is open to all members of the legal profession and those associated with it. So law firms, barristers' chambers, in-house legal departments, courthouse staff and specialists serving the ...

  • NCC backs Mackay reforms as better deal

    27-Jun-1995

    CLIENTS are likely to get a better deal under Lord Mackay's reforms, according to the National Consumer Council.The consumer group's director Ruth Evans made the claim in response to accusations at the Wembley Legal Aid conference that the NCC was sitting on the fence over the Green Paper reforms.She accused lawyers of pretending "everything was rosy in the garden" adding: "If the system is put into place appropriately we are going to get a better deal ...

  • Networks join forces to offer conveyancing 'kitemark'

    27-Jun-1995

    TWO NATIONAL legal networks joined forces last week to launch a new set of "premium level" practice standards for conveyancing firms.The guidelines for bigger and better-organised practices were published jointly by Conquest, the nationalsolicitors' grouping, and Network 2000, the association of firms which service lenders.The announcement comes as the Law Society finds itself under fire from representatives of small conveyancers for plans to ...

  • Noisy neighbours

    2-Jul-1995

    Nosey neighbours on a train or plane will be totally disconcerted when faced with this new privacy filter for notebook computers. According to manufacturers 3M all they will be able to see is a blank, dark screen, enabling confidential data on the screen to be viewed only by the person directly in front of the screen. The PF50 filter fits most laptops and attaches to the screen by hook and loop fasteners.

  • Northern firm to shut down Bradford base

    2-Jul-1995

    LEADING Northern commercial firm Walker Morris is closing its Bradford office to work from a single base in Leeds.The firm, which originally opened for business in Bradford, will shut its doors in the city at the end of this week.Managing partner Peter Smart says the 26-partner firm wants to increase its regional, national and international presence and double in size within ...

  • Norton Rose boosts IT in jobs drive

    27-Jun-1995

    Norton Rose is expanding its IT department with a 'New directions for IT professionals' programme. Positions created include a systems planning and development manager, a systems programmer and a quality assurance officer.Brian Powell, Norton Rose head of IT, aims to promote a more professional approach to IT in the legal profession.He says: "Law firms have always ...

  • One stop solution

    2-Jul-1995

    Fennell Betson reportsLaw firms could handle all their computing under one operating system on a single server - that was the claim made at a demonstration to 100 law firms at a recent London seminar.Unusually, the seminar involved three suppliers: Microsoft, Pilgrim Systems and Sequent Computers, combining to show that the operating software, hardware and application software was available to provide such a solution.Microsoft ...

  • Open verdict on car crash barrister

    27-Jun-1995

    THE CAUSE of a high-speed road crash which killed a Chester barrister remains unknown after East Clwyd coroner David Jones recorded an open verdict last week.Trevor Halbert, 42, died after his BMW crashed into a tree on a straight section of the A541 near Mold, North Wales, on 30 April.The car had been travelling at 65mph. It left no skid marks and was found to have suffered no vehicle defects.The inquest, held in nearby Flint, was told Halbert had ...

  • Palmer Wheeldon signs up for employee hotline

    2-Jul-1995

    A LAW firm has teamed up with its local chamber of commerce to encourage companies to sign up to a free legal advice hotline for employees.Small to medium size companies are being targeted in the scheme, believed to be unique, run jointly by solicitors Palmer Wheeldon and the Cambridge and District Chamber of Commerce.Under the deal, the Cambridge Chamber is encouraging its members to join the LawNet Helpline, the 24-hour legal advice hotline set up by the solicitors' ...

  • Partner attacks surveyors report

    2-Jul-1995

    A REPORT claiming house-buyers get a raw deal from surveyors has come under fire from a leading professional indemnity lawyer.A study by the National Consumer Council (NCC) concludes that the Court of Appeal has sided with surveyors in determining damages for negligence claims.The NCC says householders should be awarded the full cost of repairs where a surveyor has made mistakes.But it says that the courts have been less generous, choosing instead ...

  • Pavements aren't made of gold

    27-Jun-1995

    Local authorities throughout the country had been awaiting the outcome of a judicial review which ended in the Queen's Bench Division recently.The battle was between a group of street traders who squared up to Liverpool City Council over proposals to reform the city's street trading scene. It ended in victory for the traders. Keith Robinson, of Liverpool firm Jackson & Canter, masterminded the victory which is estimated to have run up costs of around ...

  • Personal injury group blasts BBC

    27-Jun-1995

    THE NETWORK of lawyers set up last week to develop multi-party personal injury claims is to complain to the BBC about the documentary screened on the day of its launch.ALeRT - Allied Lawyers' Response Team - says it was misrepresented in the BBC2 Public Eye investigation 'If in doubt, sue'. Graham Ross, one of two Liverpool lawyers behind the group, says critics of the group's approach were given unfair prominence.Ross also says that the programme ...

  • PI lawyers reject 'second rate' tag

    2-Jul-1995

    LEGAL aid lawyers have hit back at the senior partner of a City firm who has blamed the soaring cost of justice on "noisy campaigning solicitors" pursuing speculative cases.David McIntosh, senior partner of Davies Arnold Cooper, told Lord Woolf's 'Access to justice' seminar that the public purse was leant upon too heavily and too often.McIntosh, pointing to the collapsed Benzodiazapene litigation, said the legal aid budget was out of control because ...

  • Planes, trains and automobiles

    2-Jul-1995

    Lynne Curry looks at how various regional firms tackle the problems of conducting their business across the countryRegional law firms, like their City counterparts, are looking for ways to top and tail their travel budgets. Flights are only used when absolutely necessary and many firms frown on first class train travel unless lawyers are actually working on the journey.Says Lace Mawer Manchester managing partner Stewart Harper: "Generally our people travel by ...

  • Players on the international scene

    2-Jul-1995

    One of the world's oldest lawyers has died aged 97, only two months after celebrating his 75th year in practice.Bernard Nath, a senior partner at Chicago firm Sonnenschein, was still clocking up a significant number of weekly billable hours right up until his death on 18 September.He joined the firm in 1921, 15 years after it opened and immediately after graduating from the University of Chicago.He was a prominent corporate and real estate specialist, ...

  • Political Will

    27-Jun-1995

    LAWYERS across the country have questioned the "political will" to support planned reforms for the civil justice system with many wondering whether the Government will provide the funds to back Lord Woolf's plans for a radical shakeup.But Woolf says that the proposals unveiled in his far-reaching report 'Access to justice', are not "politically-sensitive" and can be implemented at a "modest" cost.He says he has assessed both the credit and debit ...

  • PR agency holds on to Bar account

    27-Jun-1995

    THE BAR Council's PR agency Westminster Strategy has retained its prestigious contract to manage the profession's media and parliamentary relations.According to Bar Council chief executive Niall Morison, the lobbying agency beat off stiff competition to retain the contract it held for six years before the recently completed beauty parade."It's a prestigious job, it's a high-profile job, and there was a lot of interest. It was good to see the ...

  • Price out of market

    2-Jul-1995

    THE news that the European Court may be about to rule that VAT is irrecoverable on legal and other professional fees for some City transactions shows how blind the Government really is to national interest when there is revenue to be raised.Having negotiated the UK out of all the socially "cost-crippling" aspects at Maastricht in the name of national competitiveness, the Government has since 1989 pursued a ruling which will bring us out of line with our EU ...

  • Profession scoops birthday honours

    27-Jun-1995

    A ROLLCALL of lawyers features in this year's Queen's Birthday Honours list.They include the long-serving editor of The Law Reports, Carol Ellis QC, who was awarded a CBE after 43 years of law reporting, and theformer secretary of the Law Society's Civil Litigation Committee, Allen Davies, who was awarded an OBE.The solicitor to rock star Bob Geldof, John Kennedy, received an OBE for his pro bono work for the Band Aid music charity. ...

  • Property

    2-Jul-1995

    Pillar Property Investments, advised by Gouldens, has bought Churchgate House and Lee House in Manchester for u20m from Team Group, advised by Gorna & Co.

  • Property

    2-Jul-1995

    Duo Developments (Rochdale), advised by Addleshaws Sons & Latham, has bought a development site for an undisclosed sum from Rochdale Borough Council, advised by its in-house legal department. The company entered into an agreement for lease with Secretary of State for the Environment, advised by Alsop Wilkinson, to develop the site as a benefit office and Job Centre to be built by John Mowlem Construction. advised by its in-house team.

  • Property lawyers move on to fresh pastures

    2-Jul-1995

    FORMER Freshfields partner Ian Fisher has defected to West End firm Fladgate Fielder saying the move will allow him more scope to pursue his institutional property speciality.Fisher was a partner for 15 years in City-based Freshfields' commercial property department, but says he feels domestic institutional work was being marginalised there.In a second commercial property ...

  • Putting conditional fees in to a different pair of hands

    27-Jun-1995

    Lord Woolf's interim report arrives in the midst of the debate about implementation of conditional fees in limited areas of practice. A major thrust of his reforms is a shift in responsibility for proceedings from lawyers to judges. Will this set the scene for further relaxation of the rules restricting the ways in which we can charge for litigation?In transaction work, commercial clients are used to negotiating "no hay no pay" costs deals with lawyers. They are sophisticated ...

  • Revamp for business list

    2-Jul-1995

    LAWYERS using the Central London County Court Business List set up last June have won two improvements: the granting of Mareva injunctions, and the handling of cases worth up to u200,000.Until now, Marevas were only granted in the High Court, while the size of case was limited to u50,000.Both changes are welcomed by the London Solicitors Litigation Association (LSLA). Richard Fox, Kingsley ...

  • Rocky birth for Hong Kong Appeal Court

    27-Jun-1995

    LAWYERS in Hong Kong are deeply divided over the Court of Final Appeal (CFA), the final arbiter of law in the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region from 1997.The establishment of the court has caused a major ruckus between the Chinese and British governments as well as at the Law Society and the Bar. And the final agreement arrived at earlier this month, while widely applauded by the political community, has left many issues unresolved from the legal community's point ...

  • Savage considers share issue

    2-Jul-1995

    NOTTINGHAM Law School, the wholly-owned commercial subsidiary of Nottingham Trent University, is considering raising u1 million in a unique equity issue to help fund its growing range of specialist courses for lawyers.Law firms are likely to be the main private business sector to be targeted for the issue, which venture capital company 3i may handle.Nigel Savage, managing director of the u4 million turnover law school, claims firms are already showing interest.

  • SCL Liverpool branch

    2-Jul-1995

    The Society for Computers & Law has a new branch in Liverpool. This follows a successful society organised exhibition in the city last year. Cuff Roberts' David Rawlinson is chair of the branch.

  • Separate verdicts

    27-Jun-1995

    One popular misconception of the not proven verdict is that the defendant is slightly guilty which is often a difficult concept for the public to accept and understand . And it is also an unsatisfactory verdict for the accused. The principle the accused is innocent until proven guilty, it is argued in Scotland, does sit quite comfortably with the options given to a jury of 15 of finding the defendant guilty, not guilty, and not proven.The not proven verdict is unique to ...

  • Sex harassers unfairly treated too

    2-Jul-1995

    EMPLOYERS could face a rise in unfair dismissal claims from workplace sex pests if rules regarding the issue are not firmly established, employment lawyers warn.Lawyers claim harassers can also be unfairly treated and, to avoid paying out to them as well as their victims, "positive steps" need to be taken.Barnett Alexander Chart employment specialist Ruth Harvey points to the recent Employment Appeals Tribunal case of Dixon Stores v Dwan and O'Byrne, which ...

  • Soldiers challenge MoD

    2-Jul-1995

    A test case is in the High Court pipeline which could have far ranging implications for members of the armed forces who suffer psychological problems after active duty. Five soldiers are set to do battle with the Ministry of Defence in a unique claim for compensation for severe post traumatic stress disorder they say they suffered as a result of fighting in the Falklands War. The men were involved in rescuing badly burned comrades in horrific circumstances from the ship the 'Sir ...

  • Solicitor advocates

    27-Jun-1995

    There are now 77 solicitor advocates practising in Scotland.Although those with dual rights of audience in the High Court of Justiciary and the Court of Session, House of Lords and Judicial Committee of the Privy Council number only two, the number of applications for civil rights of audience has now reached 27, compared to 48 solicitor advocates granted criminal rights.There were a large number of applications for criminal rights of audience at the outset. But, ...

  • Somerset fights retrospective dismissal claim

    2-Jul-1995

    Tim Miller reportsLawyers from Somerset Council will this month defend an unfair dismissal claim at the Employment Appeals Tribunal (EAT) which is seen as a test-case for local authorities.Mary Biggs, who was sacked from her part-time job as a teacher 17 years ago, is seeking to challenge the UK's three-month time limit on claims.If the appeal is successful, it is expected to open the door to a flood of retrospective claims, ...

  • Stewart Harper applauds courts for striking out hopeless cases

    27-Jun-1995

    Chris Jackson in The Lawyer, 6 June 1995 suggested a reverse Order 14 procedure be introduced to give defendants the chance to dispose of groundless claims at an early stage. However, such a procedure is already in place.Over the last six years I've been involved in the well-publicised litigation arising out of the prescription of benzodiazepine drugs. The litigation against each of the drug manufacturers comprised thousands of individual claims.

  • THE FINANCIAL threat to magistrates is illustrated by the case of a railway clerk who was forced to tap into his life savings to pay a costs order

    2-Jul-1995

    THE FINANCIAL threat to magistrates is illustrated by the case of a railway clerk who was forced to tap into his life savings to pay a costs order.The late Lord Lindgren, who sat on the Welwyn bench, faced a bill of u599 after a defendant successfully appealed to the Divisional Court.The LCD refused to cover the cost and Lindgren was forced to pay his own way.It is understood that the magistrate, who had no means of his own, met the bill by dipping ...

  • The Lawyer Inquiry: Catherine Berney

    2-Jul-1995

    BT: charges for use of lines No declaratory relief when no cause of action Summary: Court will not grant declaratory relief where there is no dispute or cause of action between the parties.Defendants' appeal against refusal by the Commercial Court to strike out the plaintiffs' claim for declarations as to licensing charges for use of British Telecom lines and facilities to be made to the plaintiffs which are to be settled by the means prescribed in ...

  • The Lawyer Inquiry: Christina Heidensohn

    27-Jun-1995

    Christina Heidensohn is a lawyer by training and is the research and liaison manager at the Solicitors Complaints Bureau. Born in 1966 in London she now lives in Leamington Spa, where the bureau is based.What was your first job?Saturday assistant for Haringey Libraries, London.What was your first ever salary as a lawyer?£14,000.What would you have done if you hadn't become a lawyer?Perform ...

  • The young man of the hour

    2-Jul-1995

    Roger Pearson talks to the lawyer who has been on the front line of the battle to free Private Lee CleggThere seems little doubt that sooner rather than later Private Lee Clegg, the paratrooper said to have fired the bullet which killed a girl passenger in a joy rider's car at a Belfast road block will be freed from the life sentence he is serving for murder. Although the Law Lords have just refused to reduce the charge against Clegg to one of manslaughter his ...

  • Trainees demand better feedback

    2-Jul-1995

    Tim Miller reportsTRAINEE solicitors in local authorities are demanding more feedback from their bosses, a survey reveals.Less than half meet their supervisors on a monthly or more frequent basis to review their progress.And two-thirds of trainees would welcome more communication with their superiors.The research, carried out on behalf of the local government training unit, is based on the 50 responses to questionnaires ...

  • TSG survey shows debt and security worries

    2-Jul-1995

    A NEW survey carried out by the Trainee Solicitors' Group shows job security, student debt and quality of training are the three issues most prominent in the minds of young lawyers.Findings of the study, to be released at the TSG annual conference next month, show law students are averaging debts of up to u10,000 and most are finding it difficult to pay them back within the average five-year repayment period.TSG chair, Richard Moorhead, ...

  • Tutors lack experience, study finds

    2-Jul-1995

    ONLY half of the law tutors currently teaching in the UK have two or more years' practical experience in the legal profession, and a vast number of those in the old universities also lack a teaching qualification, a study reveals.Produced by Anglia Polytechnic University, the report, 'Today's law teachers: lawyers or academics?' says only 14 per cent of law teachers in traditional universities have a teaching qualification, compared with 68 per cent in ...

  • Two-way exchange

    27-Jun-1995

    Taking the fight down to the English, is how one Scottish solicitor describes the growth and development of work for some commercial firms in Scotland.More specifically the growth has been reflected in Glasgow-based firm McGrigor Donald's emergence as Scotland's largest firm, overtaking Edinburgh-based firm Dundas & Wilson.McGrigors managing partner Niall Scott ...

  • UK firms 'least competitive'

    2-Jul-1995

    UK LAWYERS' fees are set to be the highest - and therefore least competitive - in Europe after confirmation in Luxembourg of the UK government's policy of taxing lawyers' fees.The European legal decision means that non-recoverable VAT on the bills of lawyers, accountants, and corporate finance advisers are likely to be a permanent burden for British plcs struggling to compete with their European Union counterparts, warns City firm Simmons & Simmons.

  • US firms' referrals drying up

    2-Jul-1995

    Referral work has dried up for US firms which are associated with UK firms or which have expressed intentions to do English work, according to the survey carried out by The Lawyer.Graham & James, which is linked with UK firm Taylor Joynson Garrett, estimates that two per cent of its work is referrals from other law firms; Chicago firm Mayer Brown & Platt gets five per cent of its work through ...

  • US partner boosts Linklaters

    2-Jul-1995

    LONDON-BASED international practice Linklaters & Paines has appointed its first solely US-qualified partner.Stephen Thierbach, formerly a senior associate with New York practice Sullivan & Cromwell, starts work in Linklaters' London office this week.The firm follows other UK-based ...

  • Who has the disease?

    2-Jul-1995

    As usual, Scotland has been used as an experimental station for Government schemes.Thus solicitor advocates are further advanced north of the border. So advanced that they now have their own nickname - "adsols".Some adsols have not yet completed the necessary training. Those that have are known as "complete adsols" - especially at the Bar.

  • Whole package

    27-Jun-1995

    THE REFORMS proposed in the 'Access to justice' report should be implemented as a package and not "cherry-picked", Lord Woolf says.Woolf, who says that "the time is right" for making changes to the civil justice system, says the wide-ranging reforms included in the 266-page interim report must be introduced as a whole and not asindividual improvements.He says he has tried to avoid recommending changes "unless they are really necessary".

  • Woolf Reforms

    27-Jun-1995

    It may come as a surprise that a civil litigator in a major City firm should be so interested in the Woolf reforms. With the exception of pro bono work, our clients are not likely to be in the proposed small claims or fast track categories. But my clients too are regularly incensed at the cost, complexity, uncertainty and delays of the present civil justice system.Lord Woolf's diagnosis of the present system's ills was not terribly difficult. The ...