27 November 1995

The Lawyer

  • A pre-trial checklist is too late for ADR, says Simon Davis. Simon Davis is a partner in the litigation department at Clifford Chance.

    28-Nov-1995

    The use of ADR in this country over the past few years has met with some success. The High Court now requires solicitors to certify in a pre-trial checklist that the possibility of ADR has been considered with their clients.But is this too late to begin looking at ADR?At this point, substantial legal costs will have been incurred and management energies have been spent; large amounts of court time and personnel have been employed and the trial is just round ...

  • Academic to oversee Bar training dept

    28-Nov-1995

    THE BAR Council has appointed the head of Manchester Metropolitan University's School of Law to oversee its new education and training department.Nigel Bastin takes on the newly-created role on 1 January and will prepare the Bar for its position as regulator of the Bar Vocational Course.Under the recently approved validation scheme the Bar takes over from the Council of Legal Education as regulator next academic year.A Bar spokesman said Bastin ...

  • All done in the name of fun

    28-Nov-1995

    In the inflationary world of corporate hospitality, many people will be surprised to find out what good value Wimbledon offers. Two dozen front-row seats, formal corporate sponsorship credits for a top game, buffet and a chance to meet the players at the bar after the match, can all be had for around £1,000 - at Wimbledon Football Club, that is.Corporate entertaining at the other Wimbledon does, admittedly, come a little more expensive: £1,665 is the cost per ...

  • Bar defeat poses regulation threat

    28-Nov-1995

    FUTURE statutory regulation of the Bar is looming after the Bar Council's surprise defeat by members over its proposed complaints scheme.Concern was expressed from all quarters, including the Legal Services Ombudsman, consumer bodies and the Labour Party, over the vote at the open meeting last week. The meeting was held because of opposition to the proposals.Ombudsman Michael Barnes said: "It is very disappointing indeed. In the era of the Citizens' ...

  • Barrister fights Cook Report Allegations

    28-Nov-1995

    A Birmingham barrister is fighting allegations that his advice to a client contravened the Bar's Code of Conduct, after he was featured in a Cook Report investigation.Last Tuesday's edition of the television programme showed Balbir Singh, of Rowchester Chambers, telling a client to 'bump off" a troublesome relative, establish alibis and dispose of evidence in order to avoid getting caught.The barrister is now being advised by top libel firm Peter ...

  • Barrister in-fighting tackled

    28-Nov-1995

    THE BAR is drafting new guidelines in response to the increasing number of attacks by barristers on colleagues' behaviour in high-profile criminal trials.The guidance, backed by the Lord Chief Justice and the Law Society, will clarify how newly-instructed counsel should proceed in appeal cases where the lay client makes allegations against former counsel.However, it avoids altering barristers' duty under the Bar's code of conduct, stated as the ...

  • Birmingham firm puts pro bono service on Internet

    28-Nov-1995

    A BIRMINGHAM law firm has announced what it claims to be the first ever UK on-line pro bono service.The service by Tyndallwoods is aimed at community and environmental pressure groups who can receive advice over the Internet from its newly created Community Law Department.The service is designed to cover planning, environmental and housing law and all aspects of the law of urban regeneration.The initiative is being spearheaded by Phil Shiner, a specialist ...

  • Burying the hatchet

    28-Nov-1995

    West country farmer Trevor Sedgbeer has waged a long-running battle with South Hams District Council against an order that he demolish a house he built without planning consent at the village of Stoke Gabriel. He has been to both the High Court and Court of Appeal in his battle. However, rather than obey a High Court order to pull down the property he buried it under tons of earth. The authority is returning to court seeking a breach of the demolition order.

  • Challenge to extension of deaf allowance

    28-Nov-1995

    Government moves are under way in a bid to snatch back a legal victory won by 20-year-old Rebecca Fairey, of Newark, Nottinghamshire, who has beaten deafness to become a nursery nurse.Earlier this year she won a landmark ruling at the Court of Appeal which promised to benefit other deaf people.The ruling entitled her to receive payment for the services of an interpreter, both to assist with activities vital to her living and for social activities.

  • Councils in court over asthma cases

    28-Nov-1995

    TWO LONDON boroughs face judicial review next month over claims that they have failed to take action to reduce the incidence of asthma.Personal injury firm Leigh Day & Co is taking Bromley Council to court on 6 December after it refused to allow a four-year-old asthmatic resident to switch from a school situated by local roads to one of the borough's two other schools on leafy backstreets.The parents of Amelia Sassoon, who had been assigned a place at Burnt ...

  • Dewey Ballantine poaches rival head for Prague office

    28-Nov-1995

    THEODORE Goddard US associate Dewey Ballantine has poached the head of a rival firm's practice and signed him as partner in charge of its Prague office.Skadden Arps Slate Meagher & Flom's Marc Packer, who worked as European counsel in Prague for three years, moves over on 1 December.He becomes managing partner of the four-year-old joint venture ...

  • Election triggers West Country row

    28-Nov-1995

    A WRANGLE over constituency representation has cast a shadow over the first Law Society council elections since the elevation of Martin Mears to the presidency.Polling for former Law Society president Tony Holland's West Country and Gwent seat is taking place amid claims the election may leave Cornwall and Plymouth Law Societies unrepresented on the council.Two of the four candidates do not come from the region and one, Sole Practitioners Group chair David ...

  • EOC calls for clarity

    28-Nov-1995

    The Equal Opportunities Commission has called for urgent clarification of the relationship between EU law and domestic law in relation to discrimination cases. Speaking at a recent employment law conference organised by Birmingham firm Pinsent Curtis, EOC legal adviser Alan Lakin said it was vital to clarify issues of retrospection and time limits for cases. He said recent decisions on discrimination claims had left uncertainties over how far back the decisions reached and how long ...

  • Equality via the profession's wallet

    28-Nov-1995

    Last week the Law Society received the second in a series of research reports by the Policy Studies Institute on patterns of entry into the legal profession. The research follows 4,000 law students from starting university to the end of their first year in practice.The survey has reached the point where students are applying for training contracts. The main finding is of bias - indeed discrimination - against ethnic minority students. The report tells us that when academic ...

  • Firm gets IT manager

    28-Nov-1995

    Linda Tsang reportsManchester firm Cobbett Leak Almond has appointed Neil Davies as IT manager for its city centre offices. Davies will oversee all aspects of IT development for the firm's 180 staff. The firm's managing partner Stephen White commented: "This appointment will enable the firm to take advantage of current and predicted technical advances in the legal profession."

  • Firm shows off Windows form software

    28-Nov-1995

    Firm shows off Windows form softwareStationery group Oyez recently launched its new legal forms software at the Software for Solicitors exhibition.The Windows software for legal forms was previously marketed by Kedge. Oyez adapted the software for its own use.City firm Denton Hall currently uses Laserform, which is the market leader in electronic legal forms.The firm's head of PC support Deb Byron said its current suppliers are ...

  • Forget Wimbledon and Henley.

    28-Nov-1995

    Mick Kavanagh finds the driving seat of a Chieftain tank is popular with clients. Sue Churchill is a freelance journalist and a partner in business consultants Churchill Associates, Devon.If wining and dining doesn't appeal to clients, Sue Churchill thinks hosting a topical seminar could bring in new business.As customer loyalty slips away, solicitors are competing for clients by drawing on a range of marketing tools, from media relations, through direct mail to carefully ...

  • Get ready for lift-off

    28-Nov-1995

    Technology is not only revolutionising business it is also leading to new types of crime.Stephen Dooley, computer lawyer at Oxford firm Morrell Peel & Gamelen cites the example of an American man who was charged with grievous bodily harm for leaving harmful messages on somebody else's answer machine.Dooley is one of the few UK lawyers to specialise in the legal aspects of the Internet. His job, which has only been relevant since the emergence of ...

  • Group welcomes Quebec connection

    28-Nov-1995

    QUEBEC firm Joli-Coeur Lacasse Lemieux Simard St-Pierre has become the thirteenth practice admitted to international network the Pannone Law Group.The firm, which has offices in French-speaking Trois-Rivieres and Sainte-Foy, joins practices in sites including the UK, Paris, Barcelona, Milan and Stockholm.The group, established in 1989 by Manchester practice Pannone & Partners, was the first European economic interest grouping to be registered for lawyers.

  • Hayes to leave Law Soc in spring

    28-Nov-1995

    Law Society secretary general John Hayes is to resign in the spring.Hayes' departure to head a new Occupational Pensions Authority will bring to a close an unprecedented period of infighting between the society's two leading figures.The president, Martin Mears, a staunch opponent of Hayes, said the next secretary general should be the president's "second in command" rather than the society's leading figure.He siad Hayes was "an ...

  • Hodge may lose seat in shake-up

    28-Nov-1995

    Failed presidential canditate Henry Hodge could see his council seat disappear if proposals by vice-president Robert Sayer to abolish unelected seats are approved.Hodge, an outspoken critic of president Martin Mayers, would be the highest profile victim of the plan to replace the 14 unelected specialist seats on the council with seats directly elected by special interest groups.Sayer unveiled the plan in the Law Society's hournal, The Gazette, last week, ...

  • Host with the most

    28-Nov-1995

    Sipping champagne with your clients may be enjoyable, but does it also make commercial sense? Research suggests that it is five to ten times more difficult to win business from new clients than it is to get additional work from existing clients. Why should this be the case?The answer is simple. Your existing clients are people not organisations. And it is those individual people, not their organisations, who buy your professional services. If the playing fields are level ...

  • In brief: BG lawyer switches to Ashursts

    28-Nov-1995

    British Gas Global lawyer Ian McNeill has joined the energy and major projects group of 66-partner London firm Ashurst Morris Crisp. McNeill started in the department, headed by Ian Johnson, on 6 November. He will work with clients across the globe.

  • In brief: Fight is on for magazine accolade

    28-Nov-1995

    Four women lawyers are battling it out for the title of Cosmopolitan magazine's most outstanding woman of the year. High profile Leigh Day & Co partner Geraldine McCool is leading the lawyer line-up for the prize to be awarded at a breakfast atClaridges in London on 7 December. She is joined by Dinah Rose, a sex discrimination barrister from 2 Hare Court, Debra Emery, a family solicitor at Brutton & Co in Portsmouth, and Sarah Phillimore, a criminal barrister at 1 Sergeants' ...

  • In brief: Government stands firm on holiday rights

    28-Nov-1995

    The Government is resisting new European law giving employees rights to holidays, said unions last week. John Monks, Trade Union Congress (TUC) general secretary, attacked the Government's "Victorian workhouse mentality" for being the only EU country resisting provision of a legal right to paid holiday leave. A directive providing workers with immediate rights to a minimum of three weeks' annual leave is due to come into force on 23 November 1996, but the UK Government is ...

  • In brief: Linklaters leads field for infrastructure

    28-Nov-1995

    Linklaters & Paines has come top in the annual league table of infrastructure projects run by Privatisation International magazine. Linklaters, a clear leader among the top firms, advised on $120 billion of projects during 1994-95. Of the firm's 119 global projects that year, 50 are power projects, 29 in transport, 47 in Western Europe and 58 in Asia. Alan Black, Linklaters' projects group ...

  • In brief: Pensions group appoints new chair

    28-Nov-1995

    The Association of Pension Lawyers has appointed a Freshfields partner as its new chair for a two-year term. Ken Dierden has been a member of the main committee of APL for six years and was previously chair of its legislative and parliamentary sub committee. He was elected to his new post at the association AGM earlier this month and takes over from Stuart James, a Rowe & Maw partner. Vivian Cockerell, Derek Sloan and Andrew White, partners at

  • In brief: Sporting network gathers momentum

    28-Nov-1995

    Over 70 lawyers and law firms from around the country have responded to a Grimsby lawyer's plan to set up a Sports Lawyers Network. Now William King (pictured), of Beetenson & Gibbon, is holding the network's first meeting. The 16 December event, hosted by Grimsby Town Football Club, will be followed by the chance to see a Grimsby match. "Quite a few people have said they want us to arrange something and get things going," said King. He can be contacted on 01472 241728.

  • Indian opportunities

    28-Nov-1995

    More than 110 lawyers from 20 countries across the globe met in Bombay last week to discuss business opportunities in India and Asia. The con- ference, held by the International Bar Association, was organised in conjunction with local lawyers and supported by the Indian and Bombay Bars. Topics included foreign invest- ment, business laws, infrastructure development, securities markets and electric power development and reform in Asia.

  • Invitation to treat

    28-Nov-1995

    Among the mass of paperwork which lands on my desk every morning, there is usually several invitations to attend a lunch, dinner or seminar with drinks. The subtext of all these invitations is a desire to secure work from Wetherspoons.One of the main business functions of the company involves the conversion of unlicensed premises into pubs. Consequently, Wetherspoons lawyers are responsible for obtaining planning permission and licences for these premises.As ...

  • IT is regions' secret weapon

    28-Nov-1995

    Linda Tsang reportsSOPHISTICATED IT systems are forming part of an arsenal of weapons enabling regional practices to compete with their City counterparts.Birmingham firm Martineau Johnson recently demonstrated the benefits of its newly-installed document management system at a presentation attended by the firm's clients and intermediaries.These included representatives from Coopers & Lybrand, KPMG and the University of Birmingham.

  • IT specialist strengthens firm's links in Sweden

    28-Nov-1995

    THE SWEDISH Chamber of Commerce's first law firm member Reynolds Porter Chamberlain has strengthened its Scandinavian connections by appointing computer law specialist Jan Anderberg.Anderberg, who resigned as legal counsel to Swedish company Asea Brown Boveri AB, started work as a consultant in Reynolds Porter's corporate department earlier this month.

  • Judge gives traders a chance

    28-Nov-1995

    Mr Justice Chadwick has given eight Newcastle street traders a 7 December deadline to challenge orders made by him on application from the City Council, that they move off the streets. The judge imposed bans but ruled that the orders should not become effective until 9 December in order to give the traders an opportunity to challenge them.

  • Lawyers reach free trade solution

    28-Nov-1995

    EUROPE'S lawyers have finally broken the deadlock over rights of establishment, producing an eleventh-hour agreement which could see member state practitioners moving freely among union countries.But the plan, which last week went to the European Parliament's legal affairs committee, is yet to receive a rubber stamp with MEPs holding off on their final report on the subject.In a meeting in Brussels last Wednesday, MEPs heard from the president of the ...

  • Legal unity talks

    28-Nov-1995

    The British Council and the British Italian Law Association will hold a conference on the internationalisation of European Union law in Bologna this week. The conference, to be held from 30 November to 2 December, will examine the legal harmonisation process and discover whether a "two speed" Europe is in the best interests of the UK and Italian legal professions. Further information can be obtained from Domenic Peni on 0171 972 9720 or Ronald Farrants on 0171 222 8000.

  • Legislation has 'whittled away' rights of workers

    28-Nov-1995

    UK LABOUR laws encourage bad employment practices and provide employers with a "licence to exploit" workers, the Trades Union Congress claims.Speaking at last week's Employment Lawyers Association annual lecture, TUC general secretary John Monks told more than 200 practitioners that major pieces of employment legislation introduced in recent years had "whittled away" workers' rights and restricted the work that trade unions could do on behalf of their members.

  • Litigation Disciplinary Tribunals 28/11/95

    28-Nov-1995

    Mark Harwood Williams, 49, admitted 1977, practised as RH Speechley Owen & Co, London NW10, Walford & Co, London NW2, Carruthers & Co, London, Southampton and Cambridge, struck off and ordered to pay £4,235 costs. Allegations substantiated he failed to reply adequately to correspondence from Solicitors Complaints Bureau and from clients; gave false and misleading information to bureau; unreasonably delayed accounting to a ...

  • Litigation Personal Injury 28/11/95

    28-Nov-1995

    Gibbons v Redmond - QBD 8 November 1995Claimant: John Gibbons, 49Accident: Builder injured at workInjuries: Multiple injuries, most serious in region of right ankle; considerable pain and discomfort along with swelling since accident; serious fracture across tibia and compression of lower tibial articular surface so that ankle joint is disrupted; fractures likely to heal soundly but continued disability anticipated; claimant is likely to ...

  • Litigation Recent Decisions 28/11/95

    28-Nov-1995

    No trade mark infringement by book title of same nameBravado Merchandising Services v Mainstream Publishing (Edinburgh).Outer House of the Court of Session (Lord McCluskey) 11/10/95.Summary: No infringement of the trade mark 'Wet Wet Wet' by use of those words in the title of a book about the pop group of that name.Petition by trade mark owners claiming infringement of its trade mark 'Wet Wet Wet', registered for ...

  • Litigation Writs 28/11/95

    28-Nov-1995

    A visitor to a London public house who broke his ankle when he fell through an open cellar door on his way out is suing for damages. Paul Simpson, 38, of London N1, has issued a writ claiming damages against licensees Richard Pitt-Kennedy of the Salmon and Compasses pub, in Penton Street, London N1, and Brian Chalmers, of London SE16.Writ issued by Selwyn Tash & Co, London N3. S173The Metropolitan Police Commissioner ...

  • Lovells masterminds £3.4bn Granada bid

    28-Nov-1995

    Lovell White Durrant is advising Granada, the television and leisure company, in its £3.4 billion unsolicited bid for Forte, the UK's fourth largest hotel group. Corporate finance partner Dan Mace is leading a six-partner and 10-assistant solicitor team drawn from across the firm. Mace advised Granada last year on its successful acquisition of television company LWT. Linklaters & Paines, ...

  • Marketing means business

    28-Nov-1995

    The first consideration when setting up a financial services department is set-up costs. The Law Society recommends that a financial services executive should be employed on a basic salary but with a bonus system based on performance. Our experience has shown that the guaranteed basic is vital and will help to secure a quality person.As a guide, the basic salary of the executive should be in the region of £20,000 to £30,000, with salaries ...

  • Mears starts political era

    28-Nov-1995

    Martin Mears has heralded a new era of party politics on the Law Society Council with the unveiling of his own party.The president has set up a President's Reform Group which will meet before council meetings and vote en bloc.He said nine council members had agreed to join the group including David Keating, chair of the International committee."A president who wants to be active and to achieve things needs a group of committed supporters on whom ...

  • Mortgage system

    28-Nov-1995

    Linda Tsang reportsEversheds' Cardiff office has implemented a mortgage enforcement system in its banking and finance department. The SolCase Windows case management system was installed by Solicitec in just 17 days to coincide with the acquisition of a major new client. John Simmons, manager of the mortgage enforcement department at the Cardiff office, said: "We required ...

  • No such thing as a sure-fire win

    28-Nov-1995

    The legal department at Derbyshire County Council was caught out by the national media furore which declared the centuries-old tradition of displaying goods outside a greengrocers illegal.The department thought its magistrates court action against Ilkeston greengrocer Brian Godfrey, after he ignored a request to stop displaying his stock on the pavement, was a routine matter.Most local authority lawyers would have taken a similar view. The rights of ...

  • Norton Rose seeks inheritance reform

    28-Nov-1995

    CITY FIRM Norton Rose is campaigning for a client who is in dispute with the Inland Revenue over an arrangement to reduce inheritance tax.The firm made the arrangement in 1989 for the freehold of Lady Ingram's property to be transferred to her children before she died, but for her to remain in the house as a tenant.In May the High Court backed the arrangement. But the Inland ...

  • OJ lawyer attacked on jury comments

    28-Nov-1995

    JOHNNIE Cochran, the high-profile defence lawyer of OJ Simpson, has been criticised over remarks he made about the UK jury system.Cochran, who visited the UK last week for the 'Race for Justice' campaign organised by the Society of Black Lawyers, accused police of failing the black community and the UK legal system of ignoring the needs of ethnic minorities.He said: "How can you call yourselves civilised when your judicial system only works for the ...

  • Pay for your round

    28-Nov-1995

    A battle between drinks wholesaler Euro Beers and Minerals and Customs and Excise is on its way to the High Court. Euro Beers, of Gillingham, Kent, is fighting for the return of 1,456 cases of whisky, 1,456 cases of vodka, and 2,189 cases of brandy which it claims customs men have unlawfully detained.

  • Payment denied to bereaved families

    28-Nov-1995

    A POLICEMAN denied bereavement compensation for his son's murder after the collapse of the criminal injuries compensation scheme has appealed for legal help.John Davis had the prospect of £10,000 compensation snatched away when the House of Lords threw out Home Secretary Michael Howard's controversial tariff-based scheme in April.Although his application had already been lodged when the scheme crashed, the Norfolk chief inspector was told it must ...

  • Planning overhaul is long overdue

    28-Nov-1995

    Planning inquiries have long been a source of frustration for all those involved in the process. The absence of sanctions for failure to comply with the pre-inquiry timetable and disclosure requirements has meant statements of case, required soon after an appeal has been lodged, are often ill-prepared and late. This means the other side's case is often not known until proofs of evidence are exchanged three weeks before the inquiry.The call for a review by ...

  • Planning rules lack 'teeth', says report

    28-Nov-1995

    PLANNING lawyers have called for an overhaul of large and medium-sized planning inquiries in an effort to speed up the process.In a report to the Department of Environment, the planning and environmental law sub-committee of the City of London Law Society said the current procedures lacked "teeth" to deal with those who disregarded the rules.The report argued that while the inquiry procedures set out a pre-inquiry timetable and requirements for disclosure, the ...

  • Playing the game

    28-Nov-1995

    Anyone in business knows that there certainly is such a thing as a free lunch. But the marketing boss at one major City law firm says that free lunches, champagne balloon rides, boozy dinners or days at the races are not to everyone's tastes.While many clients are keen to meet and mingle, others are more sceptical or downright resentful of an invitation which turns into an obligation.According to one law firm marketing executive, one client said: "If I'm ...

  • Policing the Internet

    28-Nov-1995

    There has been no shortage of speculation regarding the social and economic implications of the explosive growth of on-line services and the Internet. Much of the comment is ill-informed, analytically weak, or both.Confusion is perhaps inevitable given that most people watching or reading media reports on the subject will never have used any type of on-line service.At times it seems that some of the reporters have not had much direct exposure to cyberspace ...

  • Prepare for a European currency

    28-Nov-1995

    European monetary union is closer than most lawyers think and if they don't consider its implications soon they may miss the boat, warns Geoffrey YeowartEU: single currency intended to boost harmony in union recent reports in the press may have lulled many lawyers into believing they can ignore the issue of a European single currency.National currencies are not expected to be replaced by a single currency until 2002 and it is not clear whether the UK will ...

  • Property

    28-Nov-1995

    Ashurst Morris Crisp acted for Canary Wharf, together with the company's in-house counsel, in the leasing of three floors of One Canada Square to the Trade Indemnity Group.

  • Property

    28-Nov-1995

    Coudert Brothers advised Samsung on its £8 million acquisition of a nine-acre site in Hounslow, which will be used as European headquarters and an international training centre for the company. Bristows Cooke & Carpmael acted for the vendor TRICO, the windscreen wiper manufacturer.

  • Public prefers ADR, poll reveals

    28-Nov-1995

    THE LEGAL profession has been urged to take note of a "resounding rejection" of court trials in an opinion poll on civil justice.The National Consumer Council has highlighted the "marked lack of enthusiasm for a full trial" displayed by the respondents to a civil justice survey it commissioned jointly with the BBC's Law in Action programme.The initial findings of the random survey of 8,358 people were broadcast by the BBC in the spring.An in-depth ...

  • Reform is not cheap

    28-Nov-1995

    The article by Charles Elly in your issue of 14 November ('Is it time to split up the society?') makes fascinating reading. Earlier this year, I sent a paper to the legal press, pointing out that the legal profession was fragmenting. I am pleased to observe that Mr Elly supports that view.I suggested that if we were not careful we would finish up with the solicitors' profession fragmented, as it was at the beginning of the last century.

  • Russian juries here to stay, say experts

    28-Nov-1995

    RUSSIAN law experts have rejected press reports which claim a scheme testing jury trials in the country is to be abandoned.The reports, which emerged from Moscow last week, said President Boris Yeltsin's two-year-old experiment reintroducing juries in a handful of the country's 89 regions had been largely unsuccessful and plans to expand the project were "grinding to a halt".But Alexander Malik, Moscow-based vice-president of the Guild of Russian Lawyers, ...

  • Seminars at a glance

    28-Nov-1995

    BeforeIdentify the target market from prospects and clients;Match your seminar topic to the client's needs;Invest in a good guest speaker;Run it as a joint venture with other professionals;Double-check the venue and timing;Use a range of promotional tools;Try and persuade a local newspaper to sponsor the event;Monitor response and build a list of attendees;On ...

  • Shipping expert gets captain's job

    28-Nov-1995

    DAVID Slade, head of shipping at City firm Stephenson Harwood, will take over as senior partner when Anthony Isaacs retires in May next year.Slade has been with the shipping department since its creation 10 years ago, helping to establish it as one of the major international shipping law practices.He was responsible for strengthening the department last June with the ...

  • Simon Stokes reviews the major case law involving all things IT

    28-Nov-1995

    Simon Stokes is a solicitor in the media & technology group at Manches & Co.To the non-specialist the subject of computer law may appear unrewarding: a world of source codes, functionality, fourth generation languages and other impenetrable jargon.In fact it is a field where various legal disciplines merge: data protection, intellectual property law, competition law, criminal law (computer misuse) and contract law.It is also ...

  • Society set to end scale fees fight

    28-Nov-1995

    THE PRESIDENCY and the Law Society Council appear set to bury their differences to push forward measures to end the slump in conveyancing fees.Consultation on plans to withdraw indemnity fund insurance from firms which undercut minimum set conveyancing fees, promoted by Law Society vice-president Robert Sayer, looks set to go to the profession in December.And determination to put the proposals before the Master of the Rolls as soon as possible is forming, although ...

  • Sound and vision

    28-Nov-1995

    With the Internet gaining new users at the rate of thousands per day, there is an increasing hunger for information about it.Many people newly hooked up to the Internet use it for entertainment rather than business. But business and academic users are becoming more sophisticated in their needs. This has resulted in a move towards more variety in the material which can be delivered via the Internet, including sophisticated graphics, speech, music and video.

  • Strathclyde LLM goes into orbit

    28-Nov-1995

    Linda Tsang reportsStrathclyde University Law School has launched its LLM in Legal Informatics course into cyberspace.It is believed to be the first course to do this.The university's postgraduate course in information technology law has switched its method of instruction to electronic distance learning.A database of over 25Mb of electronic teaching materials is now available to students on-line.A wide variety of full ...

  • Tests to weed out trainee surplus

    28-Nov-1995

    AN APTITUDE test for would-be solicitors to be taken before training has emerged as the favoured presidential device for reducing the profession's trainee surplus.Law Society vice-president Robert Sayer appears to have plumped for non-academic personality tests as the best way to deal with what he and president Martin Mears identified during the presidential elections as one of the key problems of the profession.But Sayer, who heads a presidential working ...

  • The Lawyer Inquiry: Moni Mannings

    28-Nov-1995

    Born in London in 1963, Moni Mannings was called to the Bar in 1984 and requalified as a solicitor in 1988. She is a senior assistant in the banking and capital markets department at Simmons & Simmons. What was your first job?Manning the school secretary's phone during lunchtime, two days a week, aged 10.What was your first ever salary as a lawyer?£13,500 pa.What ...

  • Two heads are better than one

    28-Nov-1995

    It is sound sense to expand the financial services department as soon as that becomes a viable proposition.This is especially true since there are difficulties when only one executive is doing the specialised work. What happens when the executive is on holiday, ill or on maternity leave?This happened in our practice a while ago and we used the fallback of the permitted third party route, using the services of a respected local insurance brokers.

  • UN mounts second offensive on NI human rights record

    28-Nov-1995

    THE UK Government faces a renewed United Nations attack on its human rights record in Northern Ireland following new evidence from solicitors of threats and psychological and physical abuse against suspects in detention.Solicitors claim police abuse of suspects is continuing despite the year-old cease-fire.The UN Committee Against Torture (UNCAT) gave its views to UK representatives in Geneva last week.Its concerns include the failure to permit lawyers ...

  • Vietnam/Judicial Appts. Legislating for a market economy

    28-Nov-1995

    The Vietnamese economy seriously opened up to foreign investment in 1988 and has grown rapidly since then. From a centrally planned economy, it has developed into a market-oriented environment.Vietnam's foreign investment laws were based on those of the People's Republic of China and left plenty of scope for ministerial interpretation. The government listened to foreign investors who were seeking greater certainty and in recent years much legislation has been passed, ...

  • Vietnam/Judicial Appts. Suffering from 'institutional schizophrenia'

    28-Nov-1995

    Amid much activity, Lord Mackay is making a number of changes to diversify the judiciary. Judicial appointments are now advertised in the press and all candidates will be screened by a panel which will include lay interviewers."He wants to reach out to a wider category of person than had considered the judiciary in the past," said a spokesperson for the Lord Chancellor's Department (LCD).The most common complaint levelled against the LCD is that the judicial ...

  • West lawyer plans appeal

    28-Nov-1995

    The solicitor of convicted murderer Rosemary West says he is appealing against the conviction and has "sympathetic" support outside his defence team.Leo Goatley, the Gloucester sole practitioner who has represented West since 1992, is looking at an appeal on grounds relating to disclosure, the judge's summing up and "selective" evidence.He says the defence wants to know if there was any information relating to other missing women now indentified by the chief ...

  • Worst may be yet to come

    28-Nov-1995

    Had the Bar Council leadership had the common sense to trust its own members it might have been saved the humiliation of losing the vote at the General Meeting on Tuesday.Implementing a new complaints procedure was never going to be popular and once it became apparent there was a concerted campaign to destroy the proposals, a ballot of the entire Bar should have been held not a general meeting.Peter Goldsmith should know how easy it is to 'pack' ...

  • YSG probes advocacy 'problem'

    28-Nov-1995

    AN OPEN meeting is being held this week in a bid to encourage more solicitor advocates to apply for higher court rights of audience.The open meeting at the Law Society's council chamber on Friday is being organised by the Young Solicitors Group which says it is "very concerned" at the "extremely limited take-up" of advocacy rights.So far just 312 solicitors have gained advocacy rights in the higher courts despite the fact that many more lawyers are eligible ...