27 May 1996

The Lawyer

  • 'Anti-Mears' vote triumphs in by-election

    28-May-1996

    A STAUNCH critic of Martin Mears has trounced an "anti-establishment" opponent in a Law Society Council by-election.Supporters of the campaign to oust Mears at this summer's election will take heart from Andrew Holroyd's victory in the Merseyside constituency by-election.But Mears stressed that the election was a purely local affair and pointed out that he had not endorsed Callaghan. And one Law Society insider said the result was expected because Holroyd ...

  • A new force in finance

    28-May-1996

    Nearly a decade after the International Financial Services Centre (IFSC) in Dublin was launched, competition between the select few legal players in the sector is greater than ever.Set up in 1987, the IFSC sought to establish an Irish presence in the global offshore finance industry. It was designed to attract treasury, fund management and insurance work and offered a range of incentives - 10 per cent corporation tax rate, lower personnel costs, an adequate skills pool and ...

  • Ace targets solicitors

    28-May-1996

    Applied Computer Expertise (Ace) is hoping for a breakthrough into solicitors' practices with an adapted version of its Infinity practice management system.The firm has created a new position of sales and marketing manager to target the developing market. The post will be filled by Stephen Murphy, formerly a sales executive at legal software supplier DPS. He will head a sales team promoting a version of Ace Infinity adapted specifically for solicitors.

  • Bar puts cash into complaints plan

    2-Jun-1996

    The Bar Council is investing thousands of pounds in extra resources for dealing with expected hefty increases in complaints against barristers.The increase stems in part from a new complaints system, overwhelmingly endorsed in a council meeting last week, which will introduce a compensation scheme for the new charge of 'inadequate professional services'.The system, which is likely to cost the Bar £100,000 to £150,000 to implement, is expected ...

  • Best of the next generation

    28-May-1996

    If criminal silks have to be hungry and ready for a battle, the juniors know they also have to stand out from the pack. One leading practitioner says they should inspire the client, as well as being good value and capable.At David Cocks QC's set at 5 King's Bench Walk, up and coming juniors include David Etherington and Richard Kovalevsky, and Kim Jenkins at 1 Gray's Inn Square, who is a "very safe pair of hands".At 2 King's Bench Walk, Michael ...

  • Bingham makes the grade

    28-May-1996

    The new Lord Chief Justice, Sir Thomas Bingham, is tipped to be as outspoken a defender of judicial independence as his predecessor.Bingham, former Master of the Rolls, is to become Lord Chief Justice next month. Lord Woolf, currently a Lord of Appeal in Ordinary, will take over as Master of the Rolls.Bingham, 62, succeeds Lord Taylor who steps down on 4 June. He leaves at a time when relations between the judiciary and Government are fraught.Lord ...

  • Boom for Irish law firms

    28-May-1996

    Ireland's position as the fastest growing economy in the European Union has paid dividends for lawyers across the country who are reporting one of their busiest years ever."Ireland is doing well at the minute," says James O'Dwyer, senior partner at Arthur Cox. "It is a feature of the low interest rates and low inflation which are leading to a lot of activity in the commercial world and property sector."William Earley, of McCann FitzGerald, agrees. "The ...

  • Brief

    28-May-1996

    There are few structural changes among local firms in the Northern Irish marketplace this year, where the top performers show little sign of expansion. The major change comes from outside the province with the arrival of London firm Kennedys and Dublin firm Arthur Cox.There are constant rumours that other UK firms are looking at the area but so far none have announced plans. "Half the commercial ...

  • Case of moral bankruptcy?

    2-Jun-1996

    I note your recent leader (The Lawyer 23 January) on euthanasia and the advocacy by the legal profession of immoral legislation in this country.Many pundits are now decrying the moral disintegration of our society and blaming politicians and lack of money.It is nothing to do with money, but organisations such as the Law Commission can be held very much to blame. The Law Commission is behind the present Divorce Bill and other reductions in moral and legal ...

  • Celtic Tiger's roaring success

    28-May-1996

    Any scholar of economics confronted with the economic indicators for Ireland can only come to one conclusion: the Irish economy is booming. Business confidence is strong and Irish firms are improving their competitiveness in international markets.Modesty constrained us from publicising this success story (perhaps we didn't believe it ourselves) but when Morgan Stanley labelled Ireland the "Celtic Tiger" the story of our high economic growth rates was out.More ...

  • City bigwigs find £700,000 salary too difficult to resist

    28-May-1996

    Several partners from big City law firms have applied to an advertisement for a £700,000 a year job which caused a storm of publicity last week.The salary, the highest ever advertised for a partner, was placed by New York firm Chadbourne & Parke in its search for three project finance partners for its London office.Recruitment consultant Joe Macrae of Zarak Macrae ...

  • City firm discovers joys of hi-tech faxes

    2-Jun-1996

    City firm Norton Rose has installed a computerised fax management system which automates the operation of the firm's central fax room.The system, Faxswitch, is built around a PC fax server capable of handling any amount of incoming and outbound fax traffic.Faxswitch replaces Norton Rose's previous manual system of faxing using stand-alone fax machines. It allows lawyers ...

  • City voices unease as PFI comes in for flak

    28-May-1996

    The government's much vaunted Private Finance Initiative is under fire again. The latest furore follows revelations that the new National Insurance computer system has run into difficulties.Andersen Consulting is to pay the Government millions of pounds in compensation because it is unable to meet deadline commitments it made when it won the development contract under PFI tendering.The incident has provided critics of PFI with a stick to beat the Government ...

  • College of Law picks female directors

    2-Jun-1996

    The College of Law has appointed two women directors of college branches - the first in its 33 year history.Last week's appointments follow recent figures which show that a third of practising solicitors are women.Latest government statistics, from 1994, show that well over half of law graduates are women. (These figures do not take combined degrees into account.)Full-time female students on the College of Law LPC course comfortably outnumber ...

  • Complacency Bureau

    28-May-1996

    I have just been handed a copy of the report from the Solicitors Complaints Bureau for 1995 containing a foreword from acting director Martin O'Reilly.One is taken aback with the complacency and arrogance of the comments it contains.The SCB's claims to have improved are marginal and there are still an alarming number of complaints against solicitors arriving at the SCB.The Law Society's plan to tinker with the SCB and create the Office ...

  • Council deaf to busker's plea

    28-May-1996

    By any standards, the issue of a warrant entitling Westminster City Council to seize equipment used by a busker is unusual. But the warrant issued by Bow Street Magistrates Court gave the council the right to enter London's Leicester Square and seize the equipment of busker Bruno McDonald. And as solicitor Richard Barca, representing McDonald, pointed out, it seems strange that the authority which owns Leicester Square should need a court warrant to go there.

  • Court clears judge of race bias

    2-Jun-1996

    A JUDGE who used the term "nigger in the wood pile" in a case in which a black man was seeking damages for alleged malicious prosecution was cleared by the Appeal Court of race prejudice allegations.Judge Bernstein used the expression while summing up to a Liverpool county court in an action where the man, Valentine Reid, sought damages from Merseyside Police. Although she said it proverbially and was not referring to the plaintiff, she apologised immediately, saying: "I ...

  • Court unions accuse LCD of confidential tendering projects

    2-Jun-1996

    COURT staff unions are stepping up resistance to the Private Finance Initiative (PFI) after learning that the Lord Chancellor's Department (LCD) is to tender work out to the private sector on 11 capital expenditure projects valued at a total of £172 million.The unions claim six of the projects, with a total value of £83 million, are classified as "confidential", and thereby confirm fears over accountability and commercial secrecy.While Court ...

  • CPS lawyers move in with police

    2-Jun-1996

    CROWN Prosecution Service lawyers are setting out on a pilot scheme at six police stations to provide on-the-spot legal advice to police officers.The scheme, announced by the CPS last December, is designed to improve liaison between the two agencies and to ensure more appropriate charging of suspects.Law Society criminal law committee secretary Roger Ede warned at the time of CPS lawyers losing objectivity, but welcomed moves by police to seek legal advice on ...

  • Credit where credit's due

    28-May-1996

    Lengthy legislation protecting the consumer has just come into force in Ireland after being on the statute books since last July.Enforcement of the Consumer Credit Act 1995 was delayed to give businesses affected an opportunity to adjust operations to come into line with the provisions.The Act has caused some controversy in Ireland, with some saying it has gone too far in favour of the consumer. It bears some similarities to the UK Consumer Credit Act 1974, but ...

  • Criminal masterminds unveiled

    28-May-1996

    Criminal cases are the ones that hit the headlines, from the Rose-mary West trial to James Bulger and the more technical fraud cases such as Barlow Clowes and Maxwell.And it is the criminal lawyers who get the glory and the brickbats. With such pressures, leading criminal practitioners are looking for silks who are "hungry and ready for a good fight as well as being rattling good advocates".This list is not exhaustive, but is based on the subjective recommendations ...

  • Deadline looms for Bar scheme

    2-Jun-1996

    CHAMBERS are being urged to join the Bar Council's new pupillage clearing house scheme as the deadline for applications looms.The Bar Council promises that its new Pupillage Applications Clearing House Scheme (PACH) will offer a "fair and orderly" system for selecting pupils to serve their 12-month pupillage.The deadline for applications is 16 February, and Bar Council chair David Penry-Davey QC is urging chambers to commit themselves to the scheme.

  • Deferred call plan is 'discriminatory'

    28-May-1996

    Bar Council plans to defer call to the Bar are under grave threat following legal advice that it would probably be unlawful.A legal opinion delivered to the Bar Council by Michael Beloff QC said the current proposals to defer call until completion of six months pupillage were likely to cause indirect discrimination without objective justification.The opinion is also understood to have stated that the proposals might be contrary to UK competition policy as implemented ...

  • Dentons trainee to fly the UK flag in Tokyo

    28-May-1996

    A DENTON Hall trainee solicitor has left London for Tokyo as the only UK lawyer to take part in an executive training programme run by the European Commission.Mark Stableford will spend 18 months in Japan, 12 of which will be taken up by extensive language and culture training.The remaining six months will be spent on work placement with a Japanese client company.Stableford is one of only a handful of UK lawyers ever to have taken part in the ongoing ...

  • Dentons trainee to fly the UK flag in Tokyo

    28-May-1996

    TWO UK judges led a delegation of barristers to Vienna for talks on the future of Europe.Mr Justice Laws and the Right Honourable Lord Justice Schiemann played a major part in Bar European Group's conference, which is being heralded as a major success by the group.The annual conference, on the 17 and 18 May, followed earlier events in Prague and Seville.It provided members of the English Bar with the opportunity to swap ideas with delegates from ...

  • Dibbs claims regulatory first

    28-May-1996

    Dibb Lupton Broomhead has claimed a national first with the formation of a new commercial regulatory group to deal with all its regulatory work.According to the firm, the six-partner group will break the mould by handling contentious and non-contentious work.Partner Neil Gerrard, who heads the group, said very few firms were strong in both areas.The vast majority of regulatory specialists focused on the non-contentious side and farmed out their contentious ...

  • Dozen new partners at Wilde Sapte

    28-May-1996

    Commercial property and project finance partner Stan Gniadkowski is leaving DJ Freeman to join City rivals Wilde Sapte.Gniadkowski is one of 12 new partners in what the firm says is its largest ever batch of appointments. All the other partners have been promoted internally, an unusual move for a firm of Wilde Sapte's size.Gniadkowski, who was with DJ Freeman for more than eight years and specialises in PFI work, is due to start his new job on 1 July. He ...

  • Employment brings work

    28-May-1996

    Employment law is now recognised as one of the fastest developing specialist areas of law. Much of the impetus for change and the growth of legislation has undoubtedly emanated from Europe, and the substance of the legislation in the UK has many similarities.The recognition of employment law as a specialist area has been marked in the UK by an increasing number of firms with distinct employment departments and the establishment of an Employment Lawyers' Association.

  • End to the days of double-think

    2-Jun-1996

    Nicholas Dobson reportsThe sleeping spell over local authority trading once cast by the Audit Commission has now been dispelled by an unlikely prince. The Department of the Environment (DoE), which oversees local authorities, has given a cautious green light in the debate over municipal trading and the Local Authorities (Goods and Services) Act 1970.On 7 December last year the DoE wrote to local authority associations to pass on its views "following ...

  • Equitrac spreads its net wider

    28-May-1996

    Alison Laferia reportsEquitrac has announced two additions to its existing network system designed to monitor use of office equipment.Equitrac Professional Internet Client (Epic) is a Web browser designed to control Internet access and track on-line research and email use. It is targeted at a market using the Internet for business communication.The browser allows firms to bill clients for time spent on the Internet. It can be used to monitor staff ...

  • Exam sitters get the jitters

    28-May-1996

    The key question in this year's entrance exam for would-be solicitors will not be answered by the candidates, but by judges.The Irish Law Society's recently amended regulations for the exam are being challenged in the Dublin High Court by more than 800 law students and graduates. And with a date for the action still not fixed, and the exam due in September, the society's education officer Thomas Kennedy admits that "there is some uncertainty ...

  • Financing

    2-Jun-1996

    Travers Smith Braithwaite acted for UBS and James Capel & Co

  • Financings

    28-May-1996

    Ashurst Morris Crisp advised Tramtrack Croydon in relation to the £200 million Croydon Tramlink project. The PFI project involves Tramtrack Croydon being granted a concession to finance

  • Financings

    28-May-1996

    Pinsent Curtis advised the Co-operative bank in Leeds on the acquisition and working capital facilities in relation to the management buy-out of two businesses of British Thornton Holdings.

  • Financings

    28-May-1996

    Eversheds advised Stanley Leisure which recently renegotiated a £45 million five-year credit facility arranged by Hambros Bank.

  • Financings

    28-May-1996

    Ashurst Morris Crisp acted for Minorco in drawing up prospecting agreements with the Ministry of Oil and Mineral Resources of the Republic of Yemen.

  • Firm and MP unite behind PFI push

    2-Jun-1996

    Private Finance Initiative (PFI), the Government's scheme for injecting private capital into public projects, is going to get a double dose of positive PR from City lawyers SJ Berwin and Tory MP Michael Jack, financial secretary to the Treasury, in two unrelated tours of the country.The slow take up of PFIs among businesses over the first three years has led Jack, who aims to spend around ...

  • Firm drives road battle to appeal

    2-Jun-1996

    Leigh Day & Co is not a firm looking for the quiet life. And if a case is out of the ordinary, the London-based practice is almost guaranteed to consider taking it on.However, one of the drawbacks of handling such cases is that the success rate can be lower than that of other firms which prefer to concentrate on more straightforward matters.Martyn Day, joint founding partner with Sarah Leigh of the nearly 30-strong firm, recalls that he only ...

  • Firm stays away from court for RSI deal

    2-Jun-1996

    LEADING trade union firm Russell Jones &Walker says it has secured the first ever compensation agreement for repetitive strain injury (RSI) sufferers without resorting to court action.The agreement negotiated with the Inland Revenue encourages a system of dispute resolutions without the need for expensive court action.Sixteen of the most commonly identified conditions suffered by keyboard and VDU workers and associated with the general term RSI are covered by ...

  • Firm unveils child unit

    2-Jun-1996

    LONDON firm Fisher Mere-dith is to set up its own international child abduction and adoption unit.The four-lawyer unit will be led by partner and child specialist Nina Hansen and will be geared to do both legal aid and private work.Fisher Meredith, one of London's largest legal aid law firms, is well known for its family work. Senior partner Eileen Pembridge said lawyers in the family department had always carried international abduction and adoption work.

  • Firms press on despite Gulf War research

    2-Jun-1996

    TWO firms representing deformed children of Gulf War veterans say they will not wait for official research into possible links between Gulf War Syndrome and birth defects to fight for compensation.The Ministry of Defence announced last week that it would carry out the three-year study, which is a partial victory for the 500 veterans who are claiming compensation for illnesses, dubbed Gulf War Syndrome.The parents of up to 80 children are thought to be seriously ...

  • First step on the trainee ladder

    2-Jun-1996

    Competition for the elusive training contract has never been tougher. The extent to which the student and would-be solicitor must strive to stand out above the deluge of other candidates for any law-related job is a testament to the professions enduring attractions.While this may have been facilitated by the Law Society's progressive initiatives, there is still some reluctance within the profession to follow suit.The advent of the Law Society' ...

  • Fishery business claim

    28-May-1996

    The owners of a salmon fishery on the River Severn claim their business has been hit by pollution from a paper mill upstream. Nigel and Anita Mott, and Dawn and Sheila Merrett, all of Lydney, Gloucestershire, are suing JR Crompton, of Bury, Lancashire, the owner of the mill.

  • Fitzsimons to head up Garretts push in Cambridge

    28-May-1996

    Garrett & Co has revealed plans to open a Cambridge office in the New Year following its recruitment of a corporate lawyer who was based there.Gerry Fitzsimons has joined Garrett & Co from Taylor Vinters, where he was a partner, with a brief to exploit the East Anglian market.And although he will be initially based at the company's Reading office he may soon be setting up a new office in Cambridge.Garrett & Co managing partner Julia Chain said ...

  • Flotation

    2-Jun-1996

    Stringer Saul acted for Reunion Mining on its introduction to the Official List of the London Stock Exchange. Ashurst Morris Crisp acted for sponsor Societe Generale Strauss Turnbull Securities.

  • Flotations

    28-May-1996

    The Brough Skerrett Law Partnership advised the Aim Trust in relation to its listing on the Stock Exchange raising £43.7 million by way of a placing. Clifford Chance advised the sponsor

  • Flotations

    28-May-1996

    SJ Berwin advised Waterfall Holdings on its admission to AIM and related placing to raise £4.1 million.

  • Flotations

    28-May-1996

    Halliwell Landau acted for ink manufacturer Reflec in its application to float on AIM.

  • Flotations

    28-May-1996

    McKenna & Co acted for Vanguard Medica Group on its recent flotation on the London Stock Exchange.

  • Flotations

    28-May-1996

    Pinsent Curtis advised lingerie group La Senza on its flotation on the Alternative Investment Market.

  • Forthcoming events

    28-May-1996

    Alison Laferla reports4-6 June Solicitors' and Legal Office Exhibition at the Barbican Exhibition Centre, London. Call 0181 742 3399 for details.5 June Norwel, the computer systems suppliers, is hosting an open day with talks, drinks and various events in Chiswell Street, close to the Solicitors and Legal Office Exhibition. Speakers include Charles Attlee, finance partner at Druces & Attlee, and Philip Hall, ...

  • Gailey moves to push new intranet service for Ymijs

    28-May-1996

    Alison Laferia reportsJohn Gailey, former manager of imaging systems at Usher Systems, has joined Ymijs, a supplier of electronic document management systems.Gailey joins Ymijs as northern area manager. He will help launch Ymijs' intranet service on 1 June.Ymijs managing director Bill Cannings said intranet services are particularly suited to the legal profession because lawyers tend to use a range of different computer systems. ...

  • Government slates family lawyers

    28-May-1996

    THE GOVERNMENT has accused family lawyers of putting their own interests before those of families, following their withdrawal of support for the Family Law Bill.A bitter row has broken out between the Lord Chancellor's Department and the Law Society over its decision to stop backing the Bill.In a public statement Jonathan Evans, Lord Mackay's parliamentary secretary, claimed the society's opposition to the Bill was based upon "a defence of its ...

  • Grounds for appeal in Westminster case

    28-May-1996

    It is unlikely that any of the council members or officers surcharged at the conclusion of the Westminster 'homes for votes' inquiry will accept the penalty without challenge. And Dame Shirley Porter and her colleagues have a right of appeal against the decision of district auditor John Magill.But in hearing appeals from a local government auditor, the court will not depart from a finding of fact based on witness evidence without good reason. And although ...

  • Hayes leaps to defence of society staff

    2-Jun-1996

    LAW Society secretary general John Hayes has moved to stamp out public criticism of his senior staff by society president Martin Mears.Last week's The Lawyer reported Mears' pledge to hold an inquiry into the circulation by his staff of a "deeply damaging" internal memo about him.In a statement Hayes praised his staff, stressed his own control over staff matters and said no disciplinary issue had arisen. "I express my admiration and support for the ...

  • Herbert Smith joins Barings writ-slinging

    2-Jun-1996

    Herbert Smith has entered the litigation fray over collapsed bank Barings.The firm’s litigation partner David Gold has issued writs involving more than £30 million on behalf of building society Abbey National against Barings administrator Ernst & Young and Dutch bank Internationale Nederlanden Groep (ING) in relation to a former joint venture.Lovell White Durrant litigation partner Myfanwy Badge is handling the action for ING, which refused to comment.

  • Hextalls considers appealing against Silverstone damages

    28-May-1996

    City firm Hextall, Erskine & Co is considering whether to appeal against an order that it pay £3.5 million in damages for negligent advice it gave to Silverstone Circuits, the company which owns the famous Silverstone motor racing track.The case revolved around the purchase by Silverstone of a half share in car retail business TWR in 1992 for £5.3 million.Anthony Barling, a former solicitor at Hextall, failed to warn the Silverstone board that the ...

  • High profile decisions, big awards and a lot of media interest in the details made sexual harassment one of the personnel issues of 1995

    2-Jun-1996

    High profile decisions, big awards and a lot of media interest in the details made sexual harassment one of the personnel issues of 1995.Employers have sought to use the get-out clause - "such steps as were reasonably practicable" had been taken to prevent harassment occurring - by updating staff handbooks with a sexual harassment policy and providing proper avenues for complaint. Would-be workplace harassers know they could be disciplined and dismissed.

  • In brief: Aclec advises against ICL's rights bid

    2-Jun-1996

    The Lord Chancellor's Advisory Committee on Legal Education and Conduct (Aclec) has advised the Institute of Commercial Litigators (ICL) that its application to have rights of litigation and audience does not meet the requirements of the Courts and Legal Services Act 1990. Aclec says granting these rights to the institute would "extend choice only at the serious risk of substantially lowering standards of service to the public". A statement from Aclec said the ICL was "not a body ...

  • In brief: Ernst & Young appoints VAT barrister

    2-Jun-1996

    Leading tax adviser Ernst & Young has recruited a barrister to its VAT litigation group. Mitchell Moss, who started at the firm last week, has spent two years working in the Customs and Excise advisory division where he was involved in policy issues and with the application of VAT in complex areas of the law.

  • In brief: Eversheds takes on admin director

    2-Jun-1996

    Eversheds has appointed a new director of administration from property adviser Debenham Tewson & Chinnocks. Peter Gore was managing director of Debenhams for eight years and will be director for the Eversheds national team. Peter Cole, Evershed's national managing partner, said: "Peter will be playing a valuable role in our development as a national law firm."

  • In brief: Jackson ascends to Cornish ICA chair

    28-May-1996

    Foot & Bowden chief executive Ruth Jackson (pictured) has been elected chair of the Plymouth and Cornwall branch of the Institute of Chartered Accountants. Jackson qualified as a chartered accountant in 1984, joining the Plymouth firm as a management consultant in 1988. Her recent appointment as the firm's chief executive is, she says, "a forward thinking policy" which has enabled her to contribute to the growth of the firm. She welcomes her appointment as an opportunity to build ...

  • In brief: Justice 2000 campaign meeting

    2-Jun-1996

    The Haldane Society of Socialist Lawyers is holding a public meeting to discuss the development of public law as part of its Justice 2000 campaign. The meeting, 'How should the Left use public law?', being held at the London School of Economics on 28 February, includes speakers Lee Bridges of the University of Warwick, and Clive Grace and Richard de Friend of the University of Kent.

  • In brief: Labour lawyers get together

    28-May-1996

    Labour lawyers are holding two meetings this Wednesday (29 May). At the Marquis of Granby pub in Romney Street at 7pm members of the Young Labour Lawyers group will be meeting Paul Boateng MP about Labour's proposed Bill of Rights. On the same evening the East Midlands Branch of Labour Lawyers will be meeting a member of Lord Woolf's inquiry team, barrister Henry Witcomb. The meeting is at the Holy Cross Church Community Centre, Wellington Street, Leicester at 6pm.

  • In brief: Law Society builds bridges over Atlantic

    28-May-1996

    The Law Society is organising a programme of events at the American Bar Association's Annual Meeting, taking place at Walt Disney World, Orlando in the first week of August. The programme is an attempt to facilitate contact between solicitors and American attorneys and raise the profile of solicitors in England and Wales. Events will include a showcase session 'Critical Business Law Issues in the New Europe - A Practitioners Guide' to be co-chaired by the Law Society ...

  • In brief: Legal aid stays with magistrates

    2-Jun-1996

    Magistrates courts will continue to grant criminal legal aid, at least for the time being, the Lord Chancellor has revealed in a written answer to a parliamentary question by Viscount Montgomery of Alamein. The question asked if he had reconsidered taking powers for granting legal aid out of the hands of the magistrates courts. Referring to criticism of the courts' procedures by the Comptroller and Auditor General, Lord Mackay said systems had improved. He said any change could ...

  • In brief: Lord Chief Justice given honorary degree

    28-May-1996

    Lord Chief Justice Taylor has received an honorary doctorate in civil law from City University Business School. The degree was presented to the retiring Lord Chief Justice by Professor Martin Dockray at a ceremony held at Guildhall last Friday.

  • In brief: Lord Mackay opens Preston courts

    2-Jun-1996

    Lord Chancellor Lord Mackay last week officially opened the new Preston combined court complex. The £25 million building houses 10 court rooms, including eight crown courts, one county court and one dual-purpose court. A network of corridors, staircases and lifts provides separate routes to ensure judges, defendants, jury members and the public do not meet before trials commence.

  • In brief: Lord Woolf publishes civil justice papers

    2-Jun-1996

    Lord Woolf, currently reviewing access to civil justice, has published six issues papers inviting views from civil courts users. They cover: the fast track procedure proposals, multi-party actions, medical negligence cases, housing cases, expert evidence and costs. In his interim report, Lord Woolf proposed a fast track for cases up to £10,000 with limited procedures and fixed costs. A working group is helping him to develop the idea. Copies of the papers are available from Ian ...

  • In brief: MP proposes national legal service

    2-Jun-1996

    Austin Mitchell MP, chair of the National Legal Services Group, has called for the creation of a national legal service provided by salaried staff. He outlines his proposals in the February issue of Legal Action, the Legal Action Group's journal. He says such a service, made up of a network of law centres and a public defender service, would "spread the provision of legal services in the most efficient way, rather than on any basis of restrictive practice or status".

  • In brief: NHS complaints procedure questioned

    28-May-1996

    New Health Service complaints procedures have been attacked by medical negligence lawyers who claim the system will cause "needless litigation". The Law Society has teamed up with specialist lawyers to urge the NHS to drop its stipulation that patients considering legal action must automatically be excluded from its new complaints procedure, which was unveiled in April. The society also wants the system to extended to cover claims of below £10,000. Its suggestions are contained ...

  • In brief: US practice managers plan London meeting

    28-May-1996

    The Association of Legal Administrators, the US practice managers' group, will hold a conference in London next month focusing on the business of managing a law firm in a global economy. 'New trends in practice management' will bring together specialists from the UK and the US to address topics including current trends in law firm management, new technology for law firms, profit management and the managing partner's changing role. The event is on 7 June at the London ...

  • In brief: Wragge & Co sorts out Honda contracts

    2-Jun-1996

    Honda Dealer Association has appointed Wragge & Co to advise on the new standard form contract for its 200 motor dealers. The new agreement is needed to comply with recent changes in EU legislation on the motor industry. Guy Lougher, a competition law specialist, said: "This most recent appointment by Honda Dealers is a further indication of the continuing movement of the law in its direct effects on a ...

  • In brief: Wrights goes on-line with housing debate

    28-May-1996

    Leamington Spa Housing Association firm Wright Hassall & Co opted for a high-tech approach to stimulating debate on the Housing Bill by taking five pages of space on the Internet. The firm's housing specialist responsible for the initiative, Jonathan Cox, commented: "We believe it is essential to influence and explain the Bill to as wide an audience as possible. Using the Internet means that ...

  • In defence of deception

    2-Jun-1996

    There is no question that criminal activity is increasing on a global scale. And it is equally clear that law enforcement agencies are incapable of stemming the tide or coping with existing levels of crime.The manpower in the private security sector outnumbers government agencies by at least two to one and without its help the consequences of crime for society are grave indeed. And if you tie the hands of private investigators who benefits? Certainly not the public.

  • In terms of growth, if not number of fee earners, Dublin firms Dillon Eustace and Matheson Ormsby Prentice head the Republic of Ireland Top 25 table

    28-May-1996

    In terms of growth, if not number of fee earners, Dublin firms Dillon Eustace and Matheson Ormsby Prentice head the Republic of Ireland Top 25 table.Dillon Eustace has added 12 fee earners, including two partners and four assistants. And MOP, which is headed by Heinz supremo Tony O'Reilly, has gone up 11 fee earners, including three partners and eight assistants. Mason Hayes Curran is third in terms of growth with eight fee earners, while O'Donnell Sweeney has ...

  • Investors put swindle claim to High Court

    2-Jun-1996

    Judgment is expected later this year in a mammoth High Court action which began on the first day of the current law term and which trains the legal spotlight on the world of international accountancy.In the case currently before Mr Justice Dyson, the international accountancy organisation Clark Kenneth Leventhall faces a multi-million pound claim over money said to have been taken by a former executive director, Nicholas Young.Young, son of the ...

  • Irish solution brings stability

    28-May-1996

    Next year, the Institute of Professional Legal Studies celebrates its 20th birthday. It will also celebrate a control system envied by its neighbours, which has brought many advantages for those studying there.Students entering the institute have a more settled career ahead of them those anywhere else in the UK. Work is integrated into their training more successfully than elsewhere, and government funding is justified by the fact that there is no oversupply of students.

  • James Hickey's Cannes diary

    28-May-1996

    Sunday opened with a morning screening of Some Mother's Son co-written by Jim Sheridan and directed by Terry George and ended with a beach party after the screening of the The Van directed by Stephen Frears and written by Roddy Doyle.This year London firms are hunting in packs; I spotted three lawyers of Richards Butler, four of Marriott Harrison, four of Olswang and two of

  • Jersey leads the way on liability law

    28-May-1996

    LIMITED liability legislation has been lodged with Jersey's legislative assembly amid predictions that a law change would entice several City firms to the island.Under the proposed law, a Jersey registered partnership will continue to remain totally liable for all its debts.But, in stark contrast to the current position in Jersey and the UK, individual partners who have not been responsible for a particular "negligent act" will have their personal assets ...

  • Keeping faith in the system

    2-Jun-1996

    Last December, the legal establishment in Hong Kong was shaken by accusations from the colony's Bar Association that the standard of prosecution had deteriorated over the past year. The deterioration was blamed on the Attorney General, Jeremy Matthews, putting cost-cutting before the administration of justice.The association was referring to what it considers to be the restrictive use of briefing-out cases by the Prosecutions Division of the Attorney General's ...

  • Labour councillor drops eight-year libel

    2-Jun-1996

    A LABOUR councillor who issued over 20 libel writs with Derbyshire County Council has finally dropped an eight-year libel action against a Conservative MP.Prolific litigator David Bookbinder has dropped an appeal against a High Court judgment that he had not been libelled by Amber Valley Conservative MP Philip Oppenheim during the 1987 general election campaign.Oppenheim and others criticised Bookbinder for sanitising the libraries in the local authority with ...

  • Landfill site operators warned over tax

    28-May-1996

    The UK'S landfill site operators are set to lose money unless they change the terms and conditions of their contracts with waste producers to take into account the introduction of the new landfill tax.The warning comes from tax lawyer Richard Woolich at Nabarro Nathanson. Speaking at a recent national tax conference, he said: "Site operators should make it clear in contracts entered into ...

  • Law reform/cpd. Firm bookings avoid disappointment

    28-May-1996

    Henry Sherman's thesis, as a construction litigator, is that a prime cause of litigation delays is the approach of some members of the senior Bar (The Lawyer 21 May 1996).He says that even in the most complex cases pleadings are still usually drafted by a junior. And he adds that access to leading counsel (particularly the best) at a decisive stage in the preparation sometimes borders on the impossible."Silks will have to roll up their sleeves and get involved ...

  • Law reform/cpd. Self-education makes CPD practice perfect

    28-May-1996

    The President of the Law Society, Martin Mears, has complained that prov-iders of Continuing Professional Development (CPD) enjoy a gravy train rather than provide good quality education. He is also said to favour the abolition of the CPD requirements altogether.Getting back to fundamentals, what is CPD trying to achieve? It is not designed to impose an inflexible and costly burden on practitioners for no point at all. It obliges them to do what self-respecting practising ...

  • Law Soc fears 'horrific' expenses may limit range of candidates in elections

    2-Jun-1996

    CANDIDATES in the presidential elections spent as much as £30,000 on their campaigns to win office, it has been revealed.The Law Society will now examine the possibility of controlling electioneering expenditure as it gears up for a second year of contested elections.A debate on election procedures at the recent council meeting heard claims that the "horrific" expenses incurred by candidates may severely limit the range of people standing.Treasurer ...

  • Law Society exodus grows

    28-May-1996

    YET another senior Law Society official is leaving

  • Law Society under attack by conveyancing chartists

    28-May-1996

    The Law Society will be forced to face down a motion designed to abolish its powers to represent the profession at its annual general meeting in July.Newly formed rival the Solicitors' Association is drawing up proposals designed to split the society's representative and regulatory functions.If the motion is passed, the society will have the power to set regulations but will no longer represent the professional interests of solicitors. This would fall ...

  • LawAssist reaches 500

    28-May-1996

    FIVE HUNDRED law firms have now signed up to a new "after-the-event" legal costs scheme. Among firms which have now joined LawAssist, which is run by Greystoke Legal Services, are Herbert Smith and Pannone & Partners.LawAssist, launched at the beginning of the year, is the only scheme which offers individuals cover after an actionable event has taken place.Applications are made through solicitors and acceptance is discretionary, although the company says around ...

  • Lawyers go in search of e-vacancies

    28-May-1996

    Alison Laferia reportsLawyers will soon be able to look for jobs via email.LawNews is a free email service that offers subscribers details of legal vacancies and a little news. The service goes live on 1 June.For more information, contact Karen Brockman on 01603 870201 or email her at karen@badgerap.demon.co.uk.Meanwhile, Scottish firm MacRoberts ...

  • Leading legal aid lawyer appointed as Circuit Judge

    28-May-1996

    PROMINENT London legal aid solicitor Robert Winstanley has been appointed a Circuit Judge.Winstanley, who founded north London legal aid firm Winstanley Burgess with longtime friend and colleague David Burgess, has already started his new job on the South East Circuit.His appointment as a full-time judge has forced him to resign from both his firm and the Law Society Council, where he led the courts and legal services committee.Winstanley's departure ...

  • Lebanese private deals are a first for Linklaters

    2-Jun-1996

    CITY firm Linklaters has notched up a double success in the Lebanon by securing the first private sector deals to be issued internationally.The first deal involves the issue of US$50 million serial bonds due 2003 by Societe des Ciments Libanais SAL. Linklaters' role involved helping to structure the transaction, and working with the Lebanese legal counsel, the issue's auditors ...

  • Litigation Disciplinary Tribunals 06/02/96

    2-Jun-1996

    William Noel Arthur Horner, 54, admitted 1969, practised as Noel Horner, Truro, Cornwall, struck off. Allegations substantiated he failed to account for funds handled by him in capacity as solicitor, failed to comply with deposit interest certificate, failed to deliver agent papers and documents to Law Society in connection with his practice, failed to co-operate with Law Society, failed to comply with professional undertaking and failed ...

  • Litigation Disciplinary Tribunals 28/05/96

    28-May-1996

    John Edward Adams, 63, admitted 1956, practised at material time in Bow, London, E3, suspended for 12 months and ordered to pay £1,273 costs. Allegations substantiated he drew client money and used it for his own benefit, failed or alternatively delayed effecting reconciliations of his client bank account. Tribunal told there were no allegations of dishonesty. Adams before tribunal in 1993 when he was fined £2,500 for delay relating ...

  • Litigation Personal Injury 06/02/96

    2-Jun-1996

    Cornell v Green - QBD 19 JanuaryClaimant: Charles Cornell, 30Accident: Road traffic accident; car passenger sued driverInjury: Avulsion fracture of spinous process of C7; badly displaced supracondylar fracture of left humerus; grazes over lumbar spine and left thigh; lacerations of scalp; large occipital subgaleal haematoma; serious diffuse head injury; complete loss of sense of smell; gross impairment of sense of taste; personality change; increased ...

  • Litigation Personal Injury 28/05/96

    28-May-1996

    Brewer v London Electricity plc - QBD 9 May 199Claimant: Peter Brewer, 49Incident: Electrical burns from explosion at sub-stationInjuries: Claimant, an engineer with London Electricity was redirecting 11,000 volt power cable at electricity sub-station; explosion occurred sending flames 30 feet; claimant's clothes and hands on fire but he attempted to drag colleague from sub-station; colleague died before arrival of emergency services; claimant ...

  • Litigation Recent Decisions 06/02/96

    2-Jun-1996

    Trade mark infringement and comparative advertising Barclays Bank v RBS Advanta (sued A RBS Advanta) (1996).Ch.D (Laddie J).Summary: Inclusion of a competitor's registered trade mark in comparative advertising material no longer constitutes infringement of the mark in view of the Trade Marks Act 1994.Plaintiff bank's claim for interlocutory relief as to alleged infringement of its registered trade marks Barclaycard and Barclay/Barclays ...

  • Litigation Recent Decisions 28/05/96

    28-May-1996

    Appeal against office premises rating. British Telecommunications v Ian Michael Broadway (Valuation Officer) (1996).Lands Tribunal (J C Hill TD FRICS) 18/3/96.Summary: Appeal by British Telecommunications against a decision of the Hampshire North Valuation Tribunal determining the rateable value of its office premises at Guidon House, Fleet at £826,500.The premises was built in 1990 and comprises a 4-storey building of steel-frame ...

  • Litigation Writs 06/02/96

    2-Jun-1996

    Wolverhampton Metropolitan Borough Council and Severn Trent Water are heading for a £850,000-plus High Court confrontation over the cost of road repairs. The council, responsible for making good roads after work is carried out by Severn Trent and which reclaims the cost of repairs, accuses the water authority of failing to pay for work it has carried out. Its writ alleges Severn Trent was sent invoices totalling £844,620 for the cost of reinstatement ...

  • Litigation Writs 06/02/96

    2-Jun-1996

    Carribean carry-onA major action by 115 people against First Choice Holidays and First Choice Flights is heading for the High Court. The plaintiffs seek damages for holidays on the Caribbean island of San Andres and accuse the companies of failing to meet their obligations under the Package Travel, Package Holidays and Package Tour Regulations 1992. They will argue they were induced to enter the holiday contracts as a result of misrepresentations.

  • Litigation Writs 28/05/96

    28-May-1996

    Manchester woman Julia Barber has launched a £50,000-plus damages claim against Port Ramsgate over the death of Stephen Jones at Ramsgate in September 1994. Barber is administrator of Jones' estate and accuses the defendants of negligence and breach of statutory duty.Writ issued by Pannone & Partners, Manchester.The representative of a man who died after stepping in front of a lorry is being sued for damage to another lorry. The ...

  • London law centre stands firm against closure threat

    2-Jun-1996

    A LONDON council's problems with a local law centre - once described as a "non-hierarchical, classic 1970s collective" - have taken a new turn with the council bent on evicting the staff from its property.Tottenham Neighbourhood Law Centre is refusing to close down despite Haringay Council ceasing to renew its £200,000 a year funding after a 31 December deadline.It is campaigning against the councillors as "perpetrators of oppression and injustice ...

  • Luck of the Irish still holding

    28-May-1996

    Though there is an underlying note of caution about the long-term outlook among firms in Northern Ireland, lawyers in the province say they are engaged on the large amount of work generated before the ceasefire breakdown.However, others believe the ceasefire has not de facto broken in the province. They attributed this to the low police and military presence after the IRA resumed its campaign."The whole political thing is up in the air, but there is still a good ...

  • Magic of a spell abroad

    28-May-1996

    There have been a number of recent pointers to the strength of the legal market in Ireland.In January 1996, Arthur Cox became the first firm from outside Northern Ireland to establish a practice in Belfast. Its decision was apparently made some time before the ceasefire.And, at the end of 1995, another of Dublin's leading firms, A&L Goodbody, established an association with Belfast's Elliott Duffy Garrett to form A&L Goodbody - Northern Ireland Association. ...

  • Mary Heaney looks at the technology boom south of the border

    28-May-1996

    In the past decade, the electronics sector has seen a dramatic expansion with the Republic of Ireland now taking 23 per cent of all new greenfield electronics investment in Europe. Four of the top 10 PC hardware companies now operate in Ireland and the recent announcement by US computer company Gateway 2000 that it is to invest a further £25 million in its Dublin plant has generated a bullish attitude in the Irish technology sector."There is a continual influx ...

  • Mears takes up rights of audience gauntlet

    2-Jun-1996

    A CAMPAIGN to ease the path to extended rights of audience for City firms has emerged as one of Law Society president Martin Mears' new big ideas.The president has agreed to take up City lawyers' complaints that the qualification requirements for obtaining higher court rights of audience established by the Lord Chancellor's Advisory Committee on Legal Education and Conduct (Aclec) are too rigid.Firms are particularly angry at the amount of advocacy ...

  • Merge pulls Caesars into IT age

    28-May-1996

    Alison Laferia reprotsScottish firm Caesar & Howie says it has "revolutionised working practices" through a substantial investment in IT systems.The company has worked with Merge Management, which was set up by solicitors, over two years to design conveyancing, executory and estate agency management systems. It won a TSB Business of Law award for its IT systems in March.Managing partner David Borrowman said that computerisation ...

  • Merger poses no threat

    2-Jun-1996

    Your article on our merger ('Merger Strengthens Chancery Set' 23 January 1996) was well researched and I am grateful to you for the lineage you have afforded these chambers.The amalgamation of these two sets of Chancery chambers, together with the wholesale improvement in its administrative and communication systems, will provide us with the facilities to serve our clients in a more efficient manner.What I find puzzling is the odd comment ...

  • More cloak, less dagger

    2-Jun-1996

    The divorce scam used to be epitomised by a man in a grubby mac, a hired hotel room and a fake love affair. At the centre of this seedy melange was a solicitor.The trick, at the centre of the film Under Suspicion, which starred Liam Neeson, was worked to circumvent the strict divorce laws which were in place in the fifties.The client would meet a hired woman in a hired hotel room. The private eye would take snaps of the bogus lovers together and then present ...

  • Nabarros launches tough ad campaign

    28-May-1996

    Nabarro Nathanson has launched a £50,000 advertising campaign to promote its new National Centre for Law in Industry in Sheffield.The campaign, which targets the legal and business sections of the national, regional and trade press, features an image of molten metal being poured into a mould of the Nabarro Nathanson name and logo.The firm says it has deliberately set out to ...

  • New senior partner at Fishburn Boxer

    28-May-1996

    PROFESSIONALS are increasingly being made scapegoats when things go wrong, according to Andrew Davis, new senior partner at insurance law firm Fishburn Boxer.Davis, whose appointment will take effect from the beginning of next month, sees his role as "consolidating and building upon the existing success of the firm". He replaces existing senior partner Richard Ellis who retires after four years in the position.Davis' experience in the professional indemnity ...

  • Newts and small firms helped in Hanson deal

    2-Jun-1996

    BUSINESS conglomerate Hanson is favouring smaller and local law firms in its high-profile £500 million new town project, which is expected to generate millions of pounds in fees for professional advisers.And Norton Rose, advising on environmental issues surrounding the now equally high-profile colony of great crested newts resident on Hanson's development site, is the only big ...

  • No business like it

    28-May-1996

    In line with its greatest single export - live cattle - Ireland's creative talent was traditionally exported on the hoof. This was particularly so with great literary figures such as Joyce and Beckett.The first legal attempt to reverse this flow was by Charles Haughey when as Minister for Finance in 1969, he introduced a regime free from income free tax for creative artists. This continues to operate and applies to literary and dramatic works (including screenplays) ...

  • Nortons close Net on Euro consortium

    28-May-1996

    Norton Rose has completed one of its most complex media deals to date by advising on the merger of seven European Internet service providers.The companies are forming a new group called EUNet International, which intends to seek a public listing on the Nasdaq Exchange in New York."This was a most complicated transaction given that the companies were spread around Europe, each ...

  • Pannone attacks Mears as leadership squabbles drag on

    28-May-1996

    Society president Martin Mears will cause "very great harm" to the profession, ex-president Rodger Pannone has claimed.Pannone launched a sustained attack on Mears at a press conference last week, clearly timed to inflict maximum damage to the president.Announcing his own retirement from Law Society politics, Pannone said he had not enjoyed his last year as a council member and claimed the Law Society's activities were viewed by outsiders as "a humourless ...

  • Partners among victims as Penningtons wields axe

    28-May-1996

    Penningtons is axeing more than 20 jobs including some partners as part of a sweeping cost cutting exercise designed to boost profits and put the firm on a sounder financial footing.But senior partner David Stedman has dismissed suggestions that the firm could seek to sell out to another practice."We have been independent for the last 200 years and have every intention of remaining ...

  • Partnership. Its competitin time for partners

    28-May-1996

    The market in which firms operate has gone through major changes over the last few years, reflecting change in the UK economy as a whole.But the implications of these changes have not been grasped by many lawyers yet, particularly with respect to the ending of inflation as a significant influence on the legal firm.In the 1980s inflation was accompanied by economic growth and the development of new market opportunities. Many of these related to asset financing ...

  • Partnership. Its competition time for partners

    28-May-1996

    As recruitment and selection processes for trainees become ever more sophisticated, it is worth considering some of the changes which have been implemented for selecting partners from the large number of assistants who work in big firms.Where the opportunity once existed for a solicitor with five or six years of post-qualification experience to reach partnership, the rapid expansion of the larger firms during the 1980s means that today, although many aspire, few are chosen.

  • Partnership. Ready with money for a master plan

    28-May-1996

    In career terms, appointment as a partner represents both an end and a beginning. It ends the period of ambition to achieve the goal of partnership as it begins a new era when motivation is based on a new set of personal and professional goals.Instead of satisfying internal judges, in the form of partners, the new partner must satisfy external judges, the firm's clients themselves. The transition necessitates changed relationships inside and outside the firm.

  • Power giant faces £im pollution action

    28-May-1996

    Next month sees the first round of a three-tier High Court test case against electricity company Powergen which could cost the company over £1 million in damages.Kent farmer Dennis Clifton claims fall out from the burning of orimulsion fuel at Richborough Power Station, near Ramsgate, from 1991 until 1995, wrecked crops of brussels sprouts, spring greens and iceberg lettuces. The power station has since been closed.In a joint action ...

  • Pressing case for reform

    28-May-1996

    Aspects of the criminal justice system, such as the use of public interest immunity certificates and the latitude of judges in sentencing repeat offenders, have been much in the news of late.Lord Justice Woolf's spotlight on the civil justice system has led to calls for a similar examination of the criminal justice system.Many criminal practitioners believe that recent reforms have been reform for reform's sake and an example of politicians' attempts ...

  • Price Waterhouse in legal coup

    2-Jun-1996

    BIG SIX accountancy firm Price Waterhouse is set to take on City lawyers by establishing a legal practice this spring.The move could be the tip of the iceberg, with two other top accountancy firms rumoured to be going down the same path.The Price Waterhouse decision, described as a "terrifying prospect" by one City firm, is scheduled to occur on 1 April.Chris Arheim, head of Hammond Suddard's corporate finance department, will run the firm, which ...

  • Professional indemnity insurance. All for one and one for all

    2-Jun-1996

    The recent £110 million award against accountancy firm Binder Hamlyn has predictably led to calls for changes to limit the personal liability of partners as individuals.Limited liability partnerships have been suggested as one solution (The Lawyer, 19 December 1995) and even contractual limitations on liability are being discussed.However, the danger is that these concerns will deflect partners' attentions from the main issue - the liability of the ...

  • Property

    2-Jun-1996

    Alsop Wilkinson acted for engineering services company Norwest Holst Group in its taking of a 10-year lease of 35,000 sq ft at Orbit House, North London, and its subletting of 22,000 sq ft to the UK subsidiary of Delta Airlines for a similar term and rent. Finers represented superior landlord, Dancastle Properties.

  • Province of opportunities

    28-May-1996

    There was a sharp intake of breath amongst Northern Irish firms when they heard that London-based Kennedys and Dublin-based Arthur Cox were to open offices in the province last year. As one local lawyer said: "After all the years of people not so much as wanting to stay overnight, it is annoying that they are ready to cash in at the first sign of peace."President of the Northern Irish Law ...

  • Psst, want to know a secret?

    2-Jun-1996

    PERHAPS not even the Truth Phone would have helped the Serious Fraud Office in its attempts to prosecute (alleged) fraudsters. A combined telephone, "Covert Electronic Lie Detector", and micro-cassette recorder, the Truth Phone is described as "the world's first telephone that can discern between truth and deception", and is "perfect for all your important conversations".By analysing voice stress levels with a digital read-out, the machine can differentiate low-stress, ...

  • Public distrust of 'outdated and unprofessional' barristers

    28-May-1996

    ''All of the market survey done by the Bar Council - and in particular the Behaviour and Attitudes report - established that the public in general is hostile to what they perceive as an outdated, unprofessional and greedy profession."So reads the so-called Blue Book of proposals for reform of the barristers' profession in Ireland. A copy of the report was not leaked to The Lawyer by a disgruntled junior counsel. It was made available freely by James Nugent, ...

  • Ramsey takes helm at Merton

    28-May-1996

    Helen SageFormer Lewisham Council lawyer Jane Ramsey has been appointed head of legal services at the London Borough of Merton.Ramsey has been a lawyer at Lewisham Council for six years since she started there in a junior legal post. Before her move she had risen to principal legal officer.While at Lewisham she set up the education legal service following the abolition of the Inner London Education Authority, and specialised in commercial and ...

  • Reputation is everything

    28-May-1996

    Coverage in The Lawyer (21 May) of the Law Society initiatives requires clarification to avoid confusion. You say: "Solicitors must be wondering what has happened to cost cutting at Chancery Lane."There are a number of issues, of which cost is just one. Of course the society requires an all-embracing strategy to address its communication needs. It is this that has driven us to consult experts. No one organisation has been hired to do anything yet. J Walter ...

  • Ruth Harvey looks at transsexual discrimination.

    28-May-1996

    Ruth Harvey is an employment specialist at Barnett Alexander Chart, solicitors.As someone from Cornwall I find it hard to envisage the county initiating European social change. However that is exactly what the Truro Industrial Tribunal has done in the course of Re P versus S & Cornwall County Council.The facts about P are simple: P changed sex from male to female and, when dismissed from a job with the local authority, claimed protection by the ...

  • Scots applaud on-line advice

    2-Jun-1996

    Helen Sage reportsFree legal advice offered on the Internet by a Scottish firm has taken just one week to enter the top 10 most popular services contacted through the Edinburgh-based Internet cafe Cyberia.Adams Criminal Defence, also based in Edinburgh, has become the first European solicitor to offer free legal advice on the Net. Launched on 25 January, the service provides 53 pages on the web site answering questions about issues such as assault, ...

  • Scots ombudsman to get new powers

    2-Jun-1996

    SCOTTISH solicitors and advocates face compensation claims of up to £1,000 under a proposed extension to Scottish Legal Service Ombudsman powers.Announced by the Scottish Office last week, the move will bring the Scottish ombudsman's powers more into line with those of his English counterpart, Michael Barnes.The proposed changes allow the Scottish ombudsman to recommend compensation in cases where the Law Society of Scotland and Faculty of Advocates ...

  • Scots ombudsman to get new powers

    2-Jun-1996

    THE SELECT band of female heads of chambers has been joined by Laura Cox QC, newly elected to lead Cloisters Chambers.Cox is the first woman to be elected as head of the leading civil rights set, which boasts 12 QCs among its 40 tenants. The employment, discrimination and professional negligence law specialist is chair of the Bar Council's sex discrimination committee and was recently appointed a recorder.Her election is highly fitting as she played a major ...

  • Sex is no bar to top jobs

    28-May-1996

    The statistics suggest a depressing picture of sexual inequality. Of the 158 senior counsel practising at the Irish Bar, only eight are women, a mere 5 per cent.But such figures hide a transformation in what has been a male-dominated profession. Almost 30 per cent of the 1,000 practising barristers in the Republic are now women, and the numbers entering the profession recently have been equally divided between the sexes.Women have been winning promotion too. ...

  • Signs of the times

    28-May-1996

    Major changes have been introduced to the law of trade marks in Ireland as a result of the Trade Marks Act 1996. The Act contains many identical provisions to the UK Trade Marks Act 1994, unsurprising because like the UK Act, it was designed to comply with European statute. But it also introduces new special provisions.Substantive ChangesRegistrabilityThe type of trade mark which can be registered is broadened to include any sign which can be represented ...

  • SJ Berwin decision expected

    28-May-1996

    Judgment is expected later this year in a High Court damages claim over alleged negligent advice by solicitors SJ Berwin to pension trustees the Law Debenture Trust. The claim was over a lease-back scheme for 13 freehold factories. Under the scheme Burlington International Group Pension Scheme sold factories to Burlington Pension Trust and then leased them back. Receivers were later called in and the ...

  • Slaughters denies bid work rumours

    2-Jun-1996

    Slaughter and May partner Nigel Boardman will not be gearing up for bid defence work on behalf of blue chip client Standard Chartered Bank.Despite recent newspaper stories about bids from other top banks and an item in The Sunday Telegraph last week, Standard Chartered insists there are currently no merger talks.Boardman, whose previous M&A work for target companies includes ...

  • Solicitors barred from top advocate jobs

    28-May-1996

    SCOTTISH solicitors whose firms undertake criminal defence work are being blocked from prosecuting in the High Court despite the end of a blanket ban on solicitor advocates and procurator fiscals.The lifting of the ban on solicitor and procurator fiscal appointments to Scotland's select band of 13 advocate deputes was announced by the Lord Advocate, Lord Mackay of Drumadoon QC, last week.But he stopped short of allowing solicitors from firms which undertake ...

  • Solicitors told to buck up their ideas on client care

    28-May-1996

    A damning report on firms' complaints procedures has prompted the Solicitors Complaints Bureau to urge them to stop ignoring clients.The statement comes in response to a Consumers' Association survey which revealed that 20 per cent of the firms which responded had no complaints procedure and 62 per cent did not tell their clients about the existence of the SCB."Solicitors must realise client care is not just a buzzword," said an SCB spokeswoman.

  • Stephensons clinches global trade mark deal

    28-May-1996

    Stephenson Harwood has fought off competition from other law firms and trademark agents to win its appointment as trade mark representative for an international conglomerate.The firm's London-based Intellectual Property Group, led by Mark Lewis, will advise Pacific Dunlop on its extensive portfolio of trade marks.It will also handle licensing and litigation matters ...

  • Stockbroking merger plans for wedding in March

    2-Jun-1996

    Linklaters & Paines and Slaughter and May advised on both sides of the latest City stockbroking merger which created a leading new investment management house with around £3 billion funds under management.The new firm, Quilter & Co, is expected to come into effect in March at the earliest, and ...

  • Surrey lawyers fight bailiff action

    2-Jun-1996

    BAILIFFS seized £118,000 in assets from Surrey County Council after its in-house lawyers missed a litigation time limit "through pressure of work" and as a result had a judgment entered by default against them.The judgment was on an alleged debt of £118,000 arising from a dilapidation claim by a commercial landlord from which the council had previously rented office space.Surrey councillors and staff were surprised when a Sheriff's officer arrived ...

  • The fantasy barrister league

    28-May-1996

    The same names may come up time and again in most people’s fantasy football teams, but the names which come up in the leading criminal practitioners’ pick of fantasy barristers range from the obvious to the unexpected.Criminal specialists were asked to imagine they were standing in the dock accused of murder. With money being no problem, the barristers they chose to defend them were literally a Who’s Who of criminal counsel. The fantasy barristers were, in no particular ...

  • The Lawyer Inquiry: Linda Tsang

    2-Jun-1996

    Linda Tsang was born in Dudley in 1961. She qualified as a solicitor in Scotland and then practised as a commercial lawyer in Hong Kong. She is features editor of The Lawyer. Anyone who studied law with her at Glasgow University from 1978 and is interested in attending a reunion of the class, to be held in April this year, should contact her asap. What was your first job?Catering in the ethnic minority sector (running a Chinese restaurant).

  • The Lawyer Inquiry: Meena Heath

    28-May-1996

    Meena Heath was born in Hampstead on 20 May 1964. She is a partner at Lloyds & Associates. What was your first job?Cleaning the third floor of Debenhams in Bromley at 6am every morning.What was your first ever salary as a lawyer?£8,000 pa.What would you have done if you hadn't become a lawyer?Become a film critic.Which law could you live ...

  • The reformed club

    28-May-1996

    If the feel-good factor is returning the profession, not everyone is experiencing it yet. The rising economic tide seems to have lifted some while others remain stranded.It is still difficult for new solicitors to find jobs due to the large numbers qualifying each year. And some general practices remain uneconomic even now. Over 80 per cent of Irish practices are either one or two-partner firms, engaged mainly in plaintiff personal injury litigation, residential property, ...

  • Time to drop emergency law

    28-May-1996

    Emergency legislation has existed in Northern Ireland since partition. A government-sponsored review is presently taking place. It is vital that the review should not be clouded by the assumption that the Emergency Provisions (NI) Act 1991 (EPA), or the Prevention of Terrorism Act 1989 (PTA), or indeed any emergency legislation, is necessary to deal with the conflicts in Northern Ireland.John Rowe QC, who produced one of his reports following the ceasefires in 1994, felt ...

  • Time to face up to the Big Six threat

    2-Jun-1996

    The renewed interest of the Big Six accountancy firms in entering the legal marketplace should come as no surprise to anyone.Arthur Andersen's foray into the field some years back through Garrett & Co heralded the first such move. Law firms at the time were slightly alarmed but sceptical that Garrett & Co would make a dent in their business.So far, there has been no notable evidence that law firms have suffered as a result of Garrett & Co.

  • Troubled Germany heads European buy-out league

    28-May-1996

    A SHARP fall in the total value of management buy-outs in Europe in 1995 has been recorded by a newly published survey.But Germany and the Netherlands stand out as buoyant countries for buy-outs in what is being described as a steady year by the publishers of the European Buyout Review 1996.The review, produced by specialist information publishers Initiative Europe and the University of Nottingham, says the estimated market value of buy-outs fell to £3.6 ...

  • UK should take the moral high ground

    28-May-1996

    Emergency legislation has been a feature of Northern Ireland's legal life since partition. If a crime is committed, those suspected of political motivation can be detained for up to seven days without charge, with no access to reading or writing materials for seven days, no access to lawyer or family for up to 48 hours, the non-application of PACE, no jury trial and a different standard for admissibility of alleged confession evidence.The Law ...

  • Variations ineffective

    28-May-1996

    Agreed employment variations are ineffective if they are caused by transfer of an undertaking, according to the Employment Appeal Tribunal.In Wilson and others v St Helens Borough Council, control of the Red Bank Controlled Community Home passed from Lancashire County Council to St Helens. The applicants, who had consequently been made redundant, applied for jobs with St Helens and were appointed under new contracts. They then brought proceedings against ...

  • What happened to the revolution?

    2-Jun-1996

    Lord Mackay's Courts and Legal Services Act threw down the gauntlet of higher court competition. Six years, 375 recruits later, John Malpas finds solicitor advocates still out on a limbIT is now seven years since Lord Mackay first parked his tanks on the judiciary's lawn and threatened a legal services revolution.A key aim of what became the Courts and Legal Services Act 1990 was the opening up of the higher courts to more competition, and therefore ...

  • Which? stands its ground on survey

    2-Jun-1996

    THE CONSUMERS' Association has enlisted the support of the Building Societies Ombudsman as part of a long-running dispute with the Law Society over the accuracy of one of its surveys.The association has published a letter from ombudsman Brian Murphy in a bid to back claims first made in October by Which? magazine that many solicitors were handing out shoddy advice.The Law Society had challenged Which? assertions that solicitors approached with a legal problem ...

  • Why break up the Law Society?

    28-May-1996

    I agree with Martin Mears. Splitting the Law Society into separate regulatory and representational bodies would bring no advantage. Change can be achieved within the existing structure.So why are some of his supporters trying to establish a new organisation - the Solicitors' Association - to take over the representational job of the society? Why did the idea originally win the backing of Mears' vice-president, Robert Sayer?The argument is that ...