27 March 2000

The Lawyer

  • ... as it seals deal to open Scottish office

    27-Mar-2000

    Dibb Lupton Alsop has announced its first Scottish office after sealing a deal to acquire Glasgow-based Bird Semple.The Lawyer reported in November last year that the two firms were in talks, but the fine tuning of the merger took several months.The last hurdle was how to break off Bird Semple's private client practice, which was agreed on Friday last week. On 2 May, Bird Semple will become part of Dibbs.Nigel Knowles, managing partner of Dibbs, ...

  • A conversation between Tom Henderson and Rodney Bickerthwaite

    27-Mar-2000

    Henderson: ... I'll have another vodka martini, and garcon, don't bruise the vodka this time. You know Rodney, I'm feeling frisky. How about we hit the dance floor, see if we can get lucky with some petite crumpet.Bickerthwaite: I thought this was supposed to be a seminar on "Property Deeds: The Next Ten Years". Everyone's just been partying. Even the seminar chairman doesn't seem to care - what firm is Mr Eddie Izzard ...

  • A timeline for undergraduates studying law at university

    27-Mar-2000

    First yearAutumnJoin your student Law Society, talk to lawstudents in the years above and attend any law firm or chambers presentations you canSpringResearch and apply for as many different kinds of vacation placements/mini-pupillages as possible for the following summerSummerDon't fail your examsSecond yearAutumnAttend ...

  • A View from Germany

    27-Mar-2000

    Ambition and aggression are not qualities normally associated with German lawyers, at least not until recently. The regions were full of lawyers happy to go home at 5.15pm (probably a couple of hours after their secretaries). And while this was a sign of just how protected the German market was, the manner in which this attitude has prevailed demonstrates something else.Expats living in Germany drone on about how important the Mittelstand is, without expecting that anybody ...

  • All is fair in mediation

    27-Mar-2000

    Marion Simmons QC sets out many reasons why mediation will not work (The Lawyer, 13 March). Many a litigation specialist with particular skills in negotiating has said the same before. We did too - until, some years ago, we tried mediation.The simple fact is that it works and we have completed scores of mediations to prove it. Our settlement rate is about 98 per cent.Could they have been settled without mediation? Some could, some not.

  • Australian lawyer wins damages

    27-Mar-2000

    One of Australia's leading intellectual property lawyers has won record damages in a defamation case against a French law firm which accused him of seducing one of its associates.Stephen Stern, who moved from top Australian firm Freehill Hollingdale & Page to rival Corrs Chambers Westgarth in the middle of the case (The Lawyer, 6 December 1999), has been awarded $780,000 (£298,000).He brought the action against two partners at French firm Coutrelis ...

  • Billy Hinshelwood

    27-Mar-2000

    Ryan Dunleavy meets the charming Billy Hinshelwood who, at just 43, is retiring as head of film production law at Marriott Harrison with dreams of his two sons becoming rock stars, novelists or brain surgeons

  • Cadwalader lawyers dress up

    27-Mar-2000

    US firm Cadwalader Wickersham & Taft's London office is seeking advice from fashion gurus as it introduces an all-year dress-down policy.It is following the example of its New York base, which claims to be the first Wall Street firm to allow its lawyers to dress "smart but casual" every day of the week.A spokeswoman for the London office says: "A lot of banks and management consultants do it, and the clients we are dealing with have more of a casual approach.

  • Candian ADR group opens up in London

    27-Mar-2000

    A Canada-based alternative dispute resolution group, ADR Chambers, is setting up in London, and putting some of the country's best-known former judges back in work.ADR Chambers will be the first mediation outfit to offer a private final appeal procedure when it opens for business later this month.Its core panel of mediators is comprised largely of retired Law Lords and High Court judges.Former Law Lord Lord Bridge says: "Myself and many of the ...

  • Cardinal Chambers boosts criminal team with six barrister appointments

    27-Mar-2000

    Cardinal Chambers, the set established after the acrimonious split from Cloisters of former senior clerk Michael Martin, has attracted six new tenants.The chambers has grown from four barristers at its inception nine months ago, to 23.Martin, the set's founder, says: "We could have been at 43. We have had to reject so many applications."The manner of Martin's split from Cloisters gained him a great deal of support from many of his former ...

  • Case of the week

    27-Mar-2000

    The estate of Francis Bacon is suing his former gallery, claiming that it exploited him. Malborough Fine Art is accused of having undervalued Bacon's work and then benefiting from their sale. The estate claims that 33 works painted between 1972 and 1981 do not feature in any accounts supplied by the gallery which, it is alleged, exercised 'undue influence' over the artist. The estate claims Bacon was financially naive when he signed an agreement giving ...

  • CC and Camerons in £335.5m retail deal

    27-Mar-2000

    Clifford Chance and CMS Cameron McKenna blazed new trails in financing with the £335.5m securitisation of part of J Sainbury's property portfolio.The securitisation is a twist on traditional sale and leaseback deals carried out by the likes of House of Fraser or Tesco. Sainsbury's keeps control ...

  • CCR&W boosts litigation team with four partners

    27-Mar-2000

    Clifford Chance Rogers & Wells has recruited four new litigation partners in New York as it loses its highly-regarded litigator Mark Pomerantz.The new partners are Joseph Cyr, Peter Chaffetz, Steven Schwartz and David Lindsey.Cyr is a big case litigator who represents corporate and financial institutions. He joins from the New York office of Philadelphia's Morgan Lewis ...

  • Choosing to be trained in-house

    27-Mar-2000

    We hear a lot at the minute about the advantages for qualified solicitors of working in-house and in industry. Yet despite this clamour, rarely do you hear about the option of being a trainee solicitor in-house. This option offers all the attractions of any in-house legal position and from a trainee solicitor's perspective, the chance to gain experiences and options you will not find anywhere else.There are very few corporations with in-house legal departments ...

  • Clarke Willmott signs England rugby star

    27-Mar-2000

    Clarke Willmott & Clarke, the Bristol firm, has signed-up rugby player Kyran Bracken as a consultant in an attempt to bolster its sports law practice.The England and Saracens player, who trained as a lawyer, has been given the brief of finding more clients for the firm from the sporting, and particularly rugby, fields.David Powell, a sports lawyer with Clarke Willmott & ...

  • Clifford Chance appoints new global tax head

    1-Apr-2000

    The global law firm, which became the largest in the world when it merged with Rogers & Wells and Punder Volhard Weber & Axster on January 1, has tasked de Vos with presiding over the tax groups in central Europe, the US and Asia.

  • Cobbetts joins State Law Group

    27-Mar-2000

    Cobbetts is joining the US-based State Capital Law Firm Group, becoming the fifth member in the UK.Stephen White, senior partner at Cobbetts, says he is delighted at the prospect of establishing relationships with law firms worldwide, adding it is important for clients to obtain global advice.The State Capital Law Firm Group was formed by 17 former US State Governors who returned to private practice after their time in office. Its member firms have a reputation ...

  • Commercial awareness

    27-Mar-2000

    What is commercial awareness?Commercial awareness is a phrase you hear a lot if you are planning to be a lawyer.Everyone wants to have it, but not many people really know what it is or how to get it.Students will be relieved to know that being commercially aware does not mean having an in-depth understanding of the public sector borrowing requirement or compel you to have formulated a business plan to launch your own internet company.

  • Denton Wilde Sapte fills media post

    27-Mar-2000

    Denton Wilde Sapte's head of corporate is moving post and taking the helm of the firm's media and technology department.Tony Grant is replacing Alan Williams, who has stood down as the leader of the firm's prestigious media group. Partner Steven Goodman takes over as head of the 37-partner corporate department.Grant says that he plans to boost the firm's media and technology department by combining corporate skills with the traditional practice.

  • Dibbs in secret talks to sell Leeds patent office

    27-Mar-2000

    The future of Dibb Lupton Alsop's Leeds-based patent division is in doubt as the firm approaches local agencies about buying the department.It is understood that Dibbs is asking patent agents to sign confidentiality agreements which include a non-solicitation clause as it seeks a buyer for the 22-strong patent agent office.Sources say the firm intends to sell the division as a whole and will include its employees as part of the package, hence the need for ...

  • Digests

    27-Mar-2000

    Linklaters has made up 28 new partners, including 12 in overseas offices. The corporate department gained 10 new partners and the firm says it will grow because of expansion in European M&A work.Stephenson Harwood has lost reinsurance partner James Crabtree who is leaving next month for ...

  • DJ Freeman partner in flight to McGrigors

    27-Mar-2000

    McGrigor Donald is welcoming onboard a key partner from DJ Freeman to head its City construction department.The Lawyer reported earlier this month (6 March) that Anthony Edwards was leaving DJ Freeman, but he had not decided which firm to join.Edwards will be the first construction partner to be based at the London office when he joins next month.Brandon Nolan, McGrigor Donald's national head of construction, says: "We've got him. This is ...

  • Donne Mileham & Haddock win Council litigation work

    31-Mar-2000

    The firm triumphed from a shortlist of six to gain the council's non-routine civil and criminal litigation work. A total of 14 firms expressed interest in the work. Donnes will take over from Bromley's Judge & Priestley in July but will begin doing work for Wandsworth before then. Wandsworth borough solicitor Martin Walker says some of the big regional firms showed an interest in tendering and the shortlist included both national and City firms

  • Empty nests

    27-Mar-2000

    The number of trainees choosing not to stay on at the firm they qualified with has hit unprecedented levels.Firms which are investing time and money in seeing students through to qualification are watching them walk out the door after two years, and the question for any firm must be "what has gone wrong, and how can we right it?"The only answer is for a firm to go out of its way to keep trainees happy so that they will stay and the firm will ...

  • Finers Stephens Innocent in further expansion

    1-Apr-2000

    Michael Lewis will head up Finers Stephens Innocent's private client department, while Michael Kutner joins the property department, Alan Kaufman the family division, Peter Carter the corporate department and Howard Zetter the commercial litigation department.The five will join as partners on 31 January, along with six other fee earners. Finers' managing partner, Richard Gerstein says: "This represents the first stage in a planned expansion programme. There are ...

  • Freshfields' Amsterdam HQ poaches top Dutch partner

    27-Mar-2000

    One of the top competition lawyers in The Netherlands is joining Freshfields' Amsterdam office to set up a new practice.Winfred Knibbeler, a partner with top Dutch firm Nauta Dutilh, is a leading light in Dutch and European Union (EU) competition law - with clients including banking giant ABN Amro and Ajax Football Club.He will be the first partner in Freshfields' Dutch office to specialise in the practice area, and will develop it to support the office's ...

  • Game set and mismatch

    27-Mar-2000

    As an increasing number of sets decide that if they do not unite, divided they will disappear into mediocrity or worse, the bar is fast resembling a Moonies mass marriage ceremony. But with the cult of personality so strong at the bar, what drives different types of sets to merge? Are the most successful unions arranged between relatively unfamiliar partners like Reverend Moon's proteges, or is it the real love matches that will win the day?The latest ...

  • Hammond Suddards poaches Eversheds property partner

    27-Mar-2000

    Hammond Suddards is taking a partner from Eversheds as part of a bid to strengthen its commercial property practice.Nic Crocker joins the firm's Leeds office at the end of this month after 16 years at Eversheds.Crocker says: "We all come to a stage in our careers where we start to think, are we making the most of our careers?"I felt I was not playing to my strengths ...

  • Interview Technique

    27-Mar-2000

    It is the most important half-hour of your life. Now is not the time to discover how good you are at winging it. So what can you do to prepare for the dreaded job interview?There are some twisted people in this world who claim to enjoy interviews. But you are probably not one of them. For most of us, interviews are a necessary evil and a source of stress, worry and unhappiness.There are no 'right' answers in an interview (although there are ...

  • It's been a bad week for...

    27-Mar-2000

    The Lord Chancellor, Lord Irvine, once again under attack but this time by a government-funded research paper which calls for the post of Lord Chancellor to be abolished. The Economic and Social Research Council argues that Irvine's "high political profile" has exacerbated the inherent tensions between his multiple roles. The report questions the "dubious" rationale for protecting the Lord Chancellor, a member of the House of Lords, from ...

  • It's been a good week for...

    27-Mar-2000

    Diane Maddox and Clair Ward-Jackson, who became the UK's first legally married "lesbians" after transsexual Maddox produced a birth certificate proving she had been born male. Although same-sex marriages are not legal, this union is allowed because a person's gender is determined by their birth certificate.The "Pinochet defence" one. In Austria, the trial of former Nazi doctor Heinrich Gross was stopped pending further ...

  • Kirkland & Ellis snaps up Hurlock

    27-Mar-2000

    Kirkland & Ellis' London office has lured Matthew Hurlock, the son of retiring White & Case chairman James Hurlock, to join the firm from Davis Polk & Wardwell.Hurlock joins Kirklands as a partner ...

  • Law firms may be needed to draft new laws

    1-Apr-2000

    The Government's lawyers are reportedly so snowed under with the weighty workload that Labour's legislative programme is facing delay. The utilities bill, for example, - which reforms utility regulations - was due to be published before Christmas, but is now, apparently, on hold.There are also growing fears that the financial services and markets bill is falling behind schedule.City lawyers have entered the legislation-drafting arena before: in 1995 ...

  • Law firms must embrace this new era of flexibility

    27-Mar-2000

    The central strategic issue and challenge for law firms has always been the recruitment, motivation and development of good lawyers.This challenge has become even greater in the present economic and professional environment for a number of reasons.The divisions that once existed between traditional professions, services and manufacturing have become blurred as the economy becomes more knowledge based.In addition, we have seen for many years increased ...

  • Libel basher

    27-Mar-2000

    David Hooper

  • Litigator's View

    27-Mar-2000

    The decision of the Court of Appeal in Regan v Taylor is an important one for solicitors who are these days frequently called on by clients to deal with the media.The case concerned a claim by Simon Regan, editor of the now defunct satirical magazine Scallywag against defamation solicitor Barton Taylor over comments he made to a Welsh newspaper in 1994 about Scallywag. Scallywag had published an article gravely defamatory of Taylor's client.The case ...

  • McGrigors seeks UK growth with merger

    27-Mar-2000

    Scotland's largest independent law firm, McGrigor Donald, is seeking a London merger partner in a bid to establish itself as a UK firm.London managing partner Steven Scates admits the57-strong partnership is reversing its expansion strategy after rejecting merger overtures from several firms last year."The trouble with organic growth is that, while you get the right people with the right skills, the rate of growth is very slow," Scates says.

  • Morgan Lewis & Bockius restructures partnership

    27-Mar-2000

    Piper Marbury Rudnick & Wolfe has expanded its New York office by taking 17 lawyers from defunct New York firm Gordon Altman Weitzen Shalov & Wein.The group includes eight partners - corporate partners Theodore Altman, Barry Shalov, Bonnie Podolsky Marjorie Sybul Adams and Jonathan Klein; and tax partners Bruce Wein, Ellis Reemer and Jordan Bleznick.New York managing partner Joseph Finnerty Jr says the office now has about 35 corporate and securities lawyers ...

  • Nabarros beats CC and Berwin Leighton for Norwich Union contract

    27-Mar-2000

    Nabarro Nathanson has beaten Clifford Chance and Berwin Leighton in a bid to advise Norwich Union on the management of a £70m Essex County Council property portfolio.It is the first time that the firm has been retained by the company.It is believed to be the first time Norwich Union has ...

  • Osborne Clarke woos construction partner

    27-Mar-2000

    Osborne Clarke is poaching a key partner from City-based firm Laytons as part of a drive to expand its construction department.Laytons' national head of construction John Redmond is moving to Osborne Clarke in May to take up the same title there. Osborne Clarke has no construction partners and only two full-time assistants in this area of law.The firm is also hiring ...

  • Paul Hastings in real estate merger talks

    27-Mar-2000

    Californian firm Paul Hastings Janofsky & Walker is in merger talks with the majority of the lawyers at New York practice Battle Fowler.If the talks are successful, approximately 110 lawyers from Battle Fowler will join Paul Hastings, leaving about 60.Seth Zachary, joint managing partner of Paul Hastings, says that his firm is planning to acquire the real estate, corporate and bankruptcy practices and a tax partner from Battle Fowler.He says that ...

  • Penningtons faces post- merger fight with partner

    27-Mar-2000

    Walker Martineau is being swallowed up by City firm Penningtons - and faces a legal dispute with a partner cast off from the merged firm.Clinical negligence partner Phyllis Bennett claims she was told on Friday (24 March) that the merger was going ahead and there would not be a place for her in the new firm.The rest of Walker Martineau's lawyers will be absorbed into Pennington's ...

  • Piper takes 17 lawyers from Gordon

    27-Mar-2000

    US firm Morgan Lewis & Bockius is changing its partnership structure so that senior solicitors can take a stake in the firm sooner.The Philadelphia-based firm, which has more than 300 partners worldwide, is introducing a two-tier partnership with salaried as well as equity partners.Tom Sharbaugh, the firm's international managing partner for operations, says the changes are being made so that lawyers can be offered partnership two years earlier than the ...

  • Placement

    27-Mar-2000

    Paisner & Co advised healthcare company Medisys on its placing and open offer of new ordinary shares to raise £45m for product development. Nomura International acted as Medisys' nominated adviser. David Collins, corporate finance partner at Paisners, led a team of two on the deal while Weil Gotshal & Manges represented Nomura.

  • Quote of the week

    27-Mar-2000

    "You don't get many blow jobs in pension law"- Libel lawyer David "SooperHooper" Hooper, referring to the Gillian Taylforth case.

  • Regus slashes property panel from fifty to two

    27-Mar-2000

    Regus, the worldwide operator of business centres, has slashed its panel of law firms for property work from 50 to just two.Andersen Legal and White & Case beat off so-called "global" firms to win the tender, valued at $2m (£1.26m) a year, approximately half of Regus' annual legal spend.Head of legal Tim Regan says outsourcing to only two firms should save the ...

  • Rogers & Wells Hong Kong head leaves for e-venture

    27-Mar-2000

    The former head of Rogers & Wells' Hong Kong office, Tom Britt, is quitting the firm to start his own internet venture.Britt's departure is a big loss for Rogers & Wells so soon after its merger with Clifford Chance earlier this year.Britt has developed a highly-successful corporate finance practice in Asia, representing dotcom companies in initial public offerings. ...

  • Rozenberg

    27-Mar-2000

    There are two types of libel action: the cases I've covered as a reporter and the ones I wish I'd covered. Libel trials are the ultimate entertainment, much more exciting than you'd imagine from the wooden reconstructions sometimes served up on television. But just as no theatre-goer would climb onto the stage and start addressing the audience, those who enjoy watching libel cases should resist any temptation to take part. Libel is a spectator sport, not ...

  • Salans swoops to recruit US telecoms man

    27-Mar-2000

    Salans Hertzfeld & Heilbronn's Warsaw office has recruited a telecoms partner from US firm Hogan & Hartson.Krzystof Stefanowicz specialises in telecoms and information technology law as well as general corporate work. He joins the international firm's high-tech practice in Poland.Stefanowicz says he joined the firm after seven years at Hogans because he was "looking for new prospects" to tap into the increasingly international Polish market.

  • Seagram

    27-Mar-2000

    Ian FitzSimons is the first legal eagle to reside in The Ark - the extraordinary building that houses Seagram's UK headquarters in Hammersmith, west London.

  • Sector Insight Insurance

    27-Mar-2000

    Practising law in the insurance sector is akin to working on a conveyer belt - settle one piece of work and another appears at the beginning of the line. In an industry which is widely recognised as being one of the heaviest users of legal services, specifically for low cost litigation claims work, it is a fair assumption to make.Keith Mahon, claims and services executive at Cornhill Insurance, says: "Because of the nature of the business we need lots of legal services. ...

  • Securitisations

    27-Mar-2000

    Sidley & Austin advised Avebury Properties

  • Securitisations

    27-Mar-2000

    Clifford Chance represented Merrill Lynch International on a £235m securitisation of the rental incomes of 116 BUPA-owned nursing homes. The securitisation was completed through Guernsey-incorporated company

  • Sinfield voted out by partners

    27-Mar-2000

    Davies Arnold Cooper's managing director has been voted out in favour of the firm's highly-rated head of construction and engineering.Daniel Gowan is taking over from Nick Sinfield, who held the post as managing director for one year, and DAC executive partner for two years.The title of the top role will switch from managing director to executive partner in a U-turn in DAC's management approach to a more collegiate style.The change ...

  • SJ Berwin boosts options in bid to beat brain drain

    27-Mar-2000

    SJ Berwin is shaking up assistants' career options in a radical move to combat a brain drain driven by the high-tech new economy.The Lawyer revealed (21 February) that the firm was to boost assistants' salaries by up to 25 per cent. In addition to the wage increase, the firm is introducing a career dev-elopment plan admitting for the first time that its young solicitors might prefer ...

  • Slaughter and May is on the right track

    27-Mar-2000

    Slaughter and May seems to have changed dramatically in the five years since I left. Then, there was only one partner who wore a double-breasted, chalk-stripe suit. Perhaps fashion is going backwards there. If so, I suspect it is one of the few things that is.The numbers speak for themselves. You only make money by delivering what your customers want. Slaughters holds ...

  • Stuck in the middle

    27-Mar-2000

    Most trainees live in an almost permanent state of terror, but at this time of year life can be particularly harrowing. Many have just started their final seat and have less than six months until qualification. After years of training and study, trainees across the land will soon find out whether they have a job to qualify into and if so, what kind of job.I arrived at my firm, Lewis ...

  • Taking your first steps to the City

    27-Mar-2000

    The trainee solicitors of today are the future of any firm. This should be the starting point for the development of every trainee. At Clifford Chance approximately 95 per cent of trainees stay on as solicitors. With this starting point a firm will be acting contrary to the interests of the firm and its clients if the training were to be anything other than first class.We work hard ...

  • Technology, Media and Telecommunications

    27-Mar-2000

    Weil Gotshal & Manges represented Donaldson Lufkin & Jenrette International (DLJ) on a $2.8bn cash and stock takeover of European television and radio group SBS Broadcasting, by United Pan-Europe Communications (UPC). DLJ acted as financial adviser to SBS. Weil Gotshal & Manges corporate partner Doug Warner acted on the deal.

  • Technology, Media and Telecommunications

    27-Mar-2000

    Allen & Overy acted for News Network, the e-commerce division of News International, on the sale of its internet service provider bun.com to World Online for an undisclosed sum. A&O corporate partner Colleen Keck led a team of three on the sale. Linklaters & Alliance acted for World Online.

  • The Lawyer's guide to student survival

    27-Mar-2000

    While delivering the Chancery Bar Association's spring lecture a couple of years ago, Mr Justice Lightman compared a person who took the common professional exam (CPE) route to becoming a lawyer to 'a person who studied O level biology and had a good bedside manner' practising as a doctor.Unsurprisingly this comment caused a storm. Roger Smith, the head of legal education and training at the Law Society dismissed it at the time as 'poppycock', ...

  • What of our reputations?

    27-Mar-2000

    Recent events within the solicitors' profession, such as the disputes over Ms Kamlesh Bahl and the president's bid to change the Law Society's constitution without first having a full-scale review, have concerned us greatly.To the general public these developments portray solicitors as misleading, factious, irresponsible and unfit to regulate their own affairs.Difficult and intractable as the problems may appear, I hope ...

  • What your degree can do for you:

    27-Mar-2000

    Economics: excellent for complex tax law and capital markets.Engineering: project finance and construction lawyers will love you.Any science: intellectual property law, a hot area at the moment, would be good for you. For instance biochemistry backgrounds are highly-valued among firms with strong patent litigation practices. Similarly, the growth in e-commerce and telecommunications client bases means that an understanding of new or fast-changing ...

  • Will DAC recover?

    27-Mar-2000

    So Nick Sinfield's reign of terror has finally come to an end. Davies Arnold Cooper's managing director has turned his one-year tenure into a spectacle so bloody that it is hard to imagine how the firm has retained an ounce of credibility within the profession.Since February, 90 people were made redundant from the Manchester office. There followed a steady stream of high-level departures, including the loss of two heads of corporate within a nine-month ...

  • Winston & Strawn tipped to merge with Whitman Breed

    27-Mar-2000

    Chicago's Winston & Strawn and New York firm Whitman Breed Abbott & Morgan are in advanced merger talks, The Lawyer can reveal.The merger would create an 850-plus lawyer firm and increase Winston Strawn's New York presence from about 145 lawyers to over 250.The news will raise eyebrows in the US because the merger would give the new firm one of the three or four biggest branch offices in New York.It would also enhance the Chicago firm's ...

  • Woman Lawyer Forum drops Bahl as she quits Law Society

    27-Mar-2000

    Kamlesh Bahl has stood down as chair of a panel discussion at the Woman Lawyer Forum on 1 April.But a source who is speaking at the event tells The Lawyer that Bahl's invitation was withdrawn when she was suspended from the Law Society.Bahl, who last week resigned as vice-president of the Law Society, was due to have appeared alongside such luminaries as chairman of the Bar Council Jonathan Hirst QC, chairman of