28 June 1999

The Lawyer

  • ...as BP-Amoco loses solicitor after merger

    28-Jun-1999

    A leading in-house energy lawyer has quit BP-Amoco following the multinational merger.Anna Soroko, who is taking up a new senior post at Eastern Electricity, predicts more lawyers will follow suit.She was asked to relocate from her London office to Aberdeen following last year's u67.5bn merger of BP and Amoco - the world's biggest. Instead, she found herself another job.The energy market is extremely volatile at the moment. The BP-Amoco ...

  • Addleshaws raids Garretts

    28-Jun-1999

    Addleshaw Booth & Co is continuing its raid on Garretts, the associate law firm of Arthur Andersen, by taking two partners, including the head of property in its Leeds office Dean Copley.It is understood that both Copley and property partner Paula Dillon are resigning today (Monday). Dillon will join Addleshaws in October after returning from maternity leave but it is not yet known when Copley will leave Garretts.The resignations come just a month after the firm's ...

  • All systems go when firms merge?

    28-Jun-1999

    Preparing for merger can be one huge headache. Pay structures, partnership deeds and client lists are all areas that have to be addressed if firms are to be compatible and the marriage is to work. But one of the biggest headaches of all is how to merge the IT capacity of two or more firms.Law firms are relying more and more on bespoke legal practice management systems and, as such, achieving compatibility is something firms cannot afford to put off as they prepare to get ...

  • Alliances dead...long live alliances

    28-Jun-1999

    It was with some interest and significant amusement that I read the recent article on the end of alliances (The Lawyer, 14 June).The end of these organisations was predicted in 1986, 1987, 1988, 1989, 1991, 1992, 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996, 1997, 1998, and now in 1999 by the competition and consultants.In 1989, when Lex Mundi was formed, there were a mere 10 organisations which could be labelled ...

  • And tomorrow the world...

    28-Jun-1999

    With official opposition to the formation of MDPs dissolving in the UK and the US, PricewaterhouseCoopers' global head of corporate development Paul Downing sets out the accountancy giant's plan to dominate the world, says Sean Farrell.

  • Army under fire for unlawful detention

    28-Jun-1999

    A recent £2,000 High Court damages award to a former gunner with the Royal Horse Artillery from the Ministry of Defence has prompted a scathing attack on the army's conduct of its criminal jurisdiction and on our judiciary by one of the leading lawyers in the field.Solicitor advocate John Mackenzie of Sheratte Caleb & Co, who represented David Cox in Cox v The Ministry of Defence, says: "The case shows that there is no real rule of law for ...

  • AWB puts gender on the agenda

    28-Jun-1999

    The incoming chair of the Association of Women Barristers (AWB) is launching a campaign to vet all new legislation for its impact on women.Helene Pines Richman, a tenant at 9 Stone Buildings, was inaugurated as the AWB's chairwoman last week. The first American to chair the association, she now wants to set up a "Gender Health-Check" programme.Richman says: "Legislative tracking is essential. You must catch problems before the legislation is in place to ...

  • Berwin Leighton turns to EU law to fight quarantine system

    28-Jun-1999

    City firm Berwin Leighton is using EU law in an attempt to overthrow the UK's 100-year-old animal quarantine system.It is representing the Quarantine Abolition Fighting Fund in a case that hinges on whether the UK Government's failure to implement a vaccination-based passport system for pets is illegal. The parties are still awaiting judgment.Berwin Leighton's team consists of senior assistant Jonathan Aubrey, commercial and public law specialist ...

  • Birmingham set in recruitment drive

    28-Jun-1999

    Birmingham set 8 Fountain Court Chambers is on a major recruitment drive after losing barristers to rival chambers.It is believed to be in negotiations with Claremont Chambers in Wolverhampton. Its tenants are understood to have made a group application to join 8 Fountain Court.So far, only four offers are thought to have been made, while only Ruth Tonge and Naomi Hobbs have been confirmed as new tenants.The set is also being joined by Rupert Driscoll, ...

  • Bright lights, big City

    28-Jun-1999

    Last week The Lawyer revealed that South East firm Thomas Eggar Church Adams was considering axing its training scheme. The firm had been investing thousands of pounds in training its future lawyers only to have them lured away by the bright lights and the big pay packets of the City.Training is an expensive business. Brighton firm Donne Mileham & Haddock estimates costs of around £80,000 ...

  • Burges Salmon delays appointment of chief

    28-Jun-1999

    Burges Salmon has been forced to postpone the appointment of its new managing partner Paul Haggett because he is snowed under with case work.Instead, the firm has had to make its senior partner David Marsh acting managing partner.Haggett was elected managing partner in February but has yet to take up the post.His predecessor Guy Stobart stepped down to concentrate ...

  • Camerons poaches second HK partner from Denton Hall

    28-Jun-1999

    Cameron McKenna is dealing another blow to Denton Hall's Hong Kong office by taking another partner.Last week, The Lawyer revealed that Cameron McKenna has taken the head of Denton Hall's Hong office, Christopher Clarke, to lead its Asian operation.He will be followed by Janine Canham, who joined Denton Hall's corporate and commercial department in Hong Kong five years ago, becoming a partner last year.Cameron McKenna's managing ...

  • Case of the week

    28-Jun-1999

    The pitfalls of email have been highlighted this week as British Gas - now known as BG - agreed to pay out more than u200,000 in one of the first email libel cases to be settled in the UK. The settlement follows an internal memo sent to 10,000 staff telling them to have "no dealings" with a competitor, Exoteric Gas Solutions (EGS), set up by Andrew Duffield, a former head of engineering. Experts claim that the case reinforces the legal status of email.

  • City firms fight to save troubled football clubs

    28-Jun-1999

    Wilde Sapte, Dibb Lupton Alsop and Lawrence Graham are battling against the clock to try and save three football clubs from going to the wall.Crystal Palace, Luton and Portsmouth have all gone into receivership and any rescue package has to be completed within the next few weeks to beat the 31 July deadline set by the Football League.Wilde Sapte has been appointed by administrators ...

  • Cobbetts links with ex-council solicitor to win Walsall deal

    28-Jun-1999

    Cobbetts has worked with a former local government solicitor to win a property deal for Walsall Metropolitan Borough Council, beating off competition from Eversheds and Wragge & Co.The Manchester firm joined up with sole practitioner and former local government chief officer Robin Mosley in order to pitch for ...

  • Court ordeal is as bad as abuse

    28-Jun-1999

    Sir Stephen Brown says fundamental changes need to be made to the criminal justice system if sexually abused children are to get a fair hearing in court.According to Home Office figures, there are currently more than 6,500 children who have been placed on child protection registers because they are at serious risk of sexual abuse by adults.These are only the children we know about. There are many more still suffering, often at the hands ...

  • DAC embarks on second big shake-up

    28-Jun-1999

    Davies Arnold Cooper is restructuring its London offices as the firm looks to open further premises in the South and South West.It is scouting the market for new premises to bring DAC's London staff from its three offices at Bouverie Street, Fleet House and Bradwell Place under one roof.Nick Sinfield, managing director at DAC, says the firm is looking at three possible offices. "There is not a huge number of sites on the market but we are looking at three, ...

  • DAC loses IP team to Henry Hepworth

    28-Jun-1999

    Davies Arnold Cooper is losing its entire London-based intellectual property team to niche firm Henry Hepworth.Catrin Turner, head of IP, is leaving after eight years at DAC along with a five-strong team to practise contentious and non-contentious IP/IT in media, insurance and retail at Henry Hepworth.Turner, who will become the third equity partner at the firm, says her move is based on a personal decision to join a smaller practice. She adds that she and her ...

  • Dibbs launches new rapid response unit

    28-Jun-1999

    Dibb Lupton Alsop claims to have launched the UK's first "rapid response team" to advise on emergencies - but rivals claim that they have provided the service for years and that it is a marketing gimmick by Dibbs.A round-the-clock service manned by a 30-strong Dibbs team plans to cash in on providing immediate advice on crises such as environmental catastrophes and dawn raids by regulatory authorities.Neil Gerrard, head of Dibbs' regulatory group, says: ...

  • Digest

    28-Jun-1999

    Darcey Bussell, the UK's leading ballerina, poses with Dundas & Wilson managing partner Chris Campbell (right) and Arthur Andersen senior partner in Scotland Fred Hallsworth (left).The two firms sponsored 'An Evening with Darcey Bussell' which was held at The Edinburgh Festival Theatre earlier this month - their first joint sponsorship venture to promote arts in Scotland. ...

  • Edward Smethurst

    28-Jun-1999

    Fiona Callister talks to Edward Smethurst, the 30-year-old lawyer and millionaire property developer whose latest challenge is the chairmanship of the the Law Society’s commerce & industry group.

  • Eversheds lawyer goes in-house at DHL couriers

    28-Jun-1999

    International courier company DHL is boosting its in-house legal team by appointing Eversheds associate Ian Carey.Carey will join DHL's head office in Brussels as aviation counsel tomorrow.His appointment will bring the in-house legal count to eight.Previously at Eversheds, Carey worked in the banking department, specialising in aviation.He will replace ...

  • Eviction is no piece of cake for Railtrack

    28-Jun-1999

    Railtrack's attempt to eject a tenant from its premises at Liverpool Street station has run in to the buffers, says Roger Pearson.Railtrack is on track for a High Court confrontation with a fast food bakery it has tried to evict from Liverpool Street station in London.The case centres on a unit at the station which Railtrack attempted to take back from the bakery, called A Piece of Cake (Liverpool Street), but which it has now ...

  • Financings

    28-Jun-1999

    Clifford Chance advised Paragon Finance on a u185m deal involving the public issue of mortgage-backed floating-rate notes. The deal involved both a "true sale" and a "secured loan structure". The securitised loan was made to a Luxembourg special purchase vehicle. Partners Andrew Forryan (pictured

  • Financings

    28-Jun-1999

    Morgan Cole acted for Rutherford Appleton Research Laboratory (RAL) on its investment in The Interactive Media Corporation (IMC)

  • Fiona Walkinshaw on the wording of exclusion clauses.

    28-Jun-1999

    Fiona Walkinshaw is a partner and head of the commercial litigation group at Garretts in London.Eighteen months after the Court of Appeal's decision in British Sugar v NEI Power Projects, clauses still emerge which purport to limit or exclude a supplier's liability for "consequential loss" but fall short of achieving such protection.The problems stem from the court's view in that case on the meaning of consequential loss.

  • Flotations & Financing

    28-Jun-1999

    Clifford Chance advised Paragon Finance on a £185m deal involving the public issue of mortgage-backed floating-rate notes. The deal involved both a "true sale" and a "secured loan structure". The securitised loan was made to a Luxembourg special purchase vehicle. Partners Andrew Forryan (securitisation) and Michael Ehrlich (tax) led the teams from Clifford Chance. Simmons ...

  • Flotations & Financing

    28-Jun-1999

    Morgan Cole acted for Rutherford Appleton Research Laboratory (RAL) on its investment in The Interactive Media Corporation (IMC), a recently formed company which will market IRIS (In Room Interactive System), a combination of TV, PC, VCR, radio and games console rolled into one. The company is 50 per cent financed by Midland Bank. Trinity College, Dublin was also an investor. ...

  • In brief: 1 Crown Office Row

    28-Jun-1999

    1 Crown Office Row, the chambers of Mark Strachan QC, is moving to refurbished premises at 3 Hare Court. The move, which will take place at the end of the year, will enable all tenants at the general commercial and common law set to be housed on one site.

  • In brief: Barbara Dohmann QC

    28-Jun-1999

    Barbara Dohmann QC of Blackstone Chambers has been elected chairman of the Commercial Bar Association (Combar). Dohmann, who sits as a Deputy High Court Judge, is the first female chair of the association. She replaces One Essex Court tenant Ian Glick QC. Michael Brindle QC of Fountain Court Chambers becomes treasurer.

  • In brief: Berwin Leighton

    28-Jun-1999

    Berwin Leighton has appointed its first non-lawyer as head of department. Ian Beith replaces partner Bernard Bartlett as head of finance. Bartlett will now concentrate on fee-earning work. Beith was formerly the managing director of structured finance at Charterhouse Bank.

  • In brief: David Speker

    28-Jun-1999

    David Speker has replaced John Clitheroe as senior partner at Kingsley Napley. Speker has been with the firm for 22 years and also heads its litigation practice. Although he was promoted at the end of March, his role was not officially announced until this month. Clitheroe takes up a role in the firm's criminal litigation department as a consultant.

  • In brief: Herbert Smith

    28-Jun-1999

    Law firms have some of the worst credit ratings in the country. A survey of 1.3 million sole traders and partnerships by ICC Information lists 28,000 legal and accountancy firms in the worst 10 per cent. The legal profession as a whole ranks 540 out of the 911 sectors surveyed.

  • In brief: Silverbeck Rymer

    28-Jun-1999

    Silverbeck Rymer has agreed to end a £1.5m negligence claim with a £200,000 payout. The decision last week came nearly a fortnight into the High Court damages hearing brought by 28 members of a self-build scheme. The Liverpool firm will also pay costs.There was no admission of liability.

  • In brief: Stephenson Harwood

    28-Jun-1999

    Stephenson Harwood is boosting its shipping practice with a trio of appointments. Wilde Sapte partner Duncan McDonald is joining Stephenson Harwood on 1 July with assistant solicitor Alexandra Nikolakoglou. Assistant solicitor Anthony Concagh is joining the department from Barlow Lyde & Gilbert. Mark Russell, Stephenson Harwood head of shipping, says the shipping department's turnover has ...

  • In brief: The Legal Aid Board's

    28-Jun-1999

    The Legal Aid Board's annual report shows gross payments rose during 1998/9 to £1.73bn from £1.67bn in the previous 12 months. Chief executive Steve Orchard says the figure will continue to rise because of "all the work in the system". Invitations to bid for contracts go out this week and have to be returned by 13 August.

  • In brief: White & Case

    28-Jun-1999

    White & Case has advised on the US$1.1bn acquisition of Bank Pekao by a consortium of foreign investors. Witold Danilowicz, head of White & Case's Warsaw office, says it is the largest foreign investment in Poland.

  • Irvine apologises after Royal Courts refuse Sikh entry

    28-Jun-1999

    The security men at the Royal Courts of Justice are at the centre of a row after banning a solicitor wearing a six-inch dagger.Anup Singh Choudry, senior partner at London firm Singh & Choudry, was wearing his kirpan, a ceremonial sword carried by baptised Sikhs, when he attempted to enter the courts.But guards banned him when they discovered the dagger.Now Choudry has received an apology from the Lord Chancellor.In a letter sent out earlier ...

  • It's been a bad week for...

    28-Jun-1999

    The ideas people at Milbank. Tony Blair may face legal action over his latest ideas on voluntary work. Pilotlight, a charity, is claiming that the PM stole its ideas for a Yellow Pages-style book of voluntary groups and schemes to encourage a more caring society. A Downing Street spokesperson said: "The PM has been big on the idea of voluntary work for some time."England's green and pleasant land. The House of Lords, famed for its ...

  • It's been a good week for...

    28-Jun-1999

    Jeff and Jennifer Bramley, who have won the right to keep their two foster daughters. The Bramleys hit the headlines last September when they disappeared with the children after Cambridgeshire Social Services told the couple they would not be allowed to adopt the pair. In a ruling this week, Mrs Justice Hogg said they could keep the girls until at least spring 2001.Jack Straw, who cleverly remembered that part of the Prevention of Terrorism Act ...

  • Jacksons opens Leeds office in insurance shift

    28-Jun-1999

    North-East firm Jacksons is to open an office in Leeds to cash in on the city's booming insurance market.It will open in the new year and will be staffed by a single partner. The firm is still deciding who that will be.Jacksons' move reflects a shift in insurance work from the Manchester legal market eastwards to Leeds.Industry insiders say Leeds has become the new centre for insurance work in the North.Richard Clarke, head of ...

  • Legal institute rejects funding warning

    28-Jun-1999

    The Institute of Advanced Legal Studies is pushing ahead with expansion plans despite warnings from a review committee that it risks "gradual decline" unless it can source substantial new funding.The London-based institute - partly funded by City law firms - has been told to find new sources of income.The committee's report says rapid growth has left it battling under "severe constraints, financial and otherwise".Director Barry Rider welcomes ...

  • Legal Widow

    28-Jun-1999

    Subjudice has taken the Royal Wedding to heart and has spent the past week terrorising her brother and sister into acting as her attendants while she wafts down the hallway with a sheet trailing behind her. Deminimus and Liability, meanwhile, are getting fed up having to stick ostrich feathers behind their ears and bow or curtsy every time they see Subbie coming, so they've taken to hiding in the cupboard under the stairs and plotting for the new republic.

  • Linklaters doubles Tokyo partners in Japan boom

    28-Jun-1999

    Linklaters is doubling the size of its Tokyo operation, reflecting the resurgence in the Japanese economy.The firm is moving two partners to Tokyo and has poached a Japanese lawyer and one-time diplomat from rival Slaughter and May.Linklaters' Hong Kong partner Simon Davies will be ...

  • Litigation Personal Injury 28/6/99

    28-Jun-1999

    Andrew Roland Hill v Alan George Clark (1999) QBD (David Mackie QC) 10 June 199Claimant: Male, single, 31 years old at date of accident; 37 years old at date of trial.Incident: The claimant was severely injured when the car he was driving was involved in a head-on collision with the defendant's vehicle in 1993.Injuries: The claimant sustained a severe head injury in the accident and suffered brain damage as a result. He was left suffering from ...

  • Litigation Writs 28/6/99

    28-Jun-1999

    Elizabeth Mason of Blackpool, whose husband Peter was cleared of drug trafficking offences, has launched a High Court action against the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) for damages in respect of assets seized from her home. In her claim, Mason is also suing a receiver for damages for losses she blames on his allegedly negligent management of Masons Restaurant, Blackpool. The claim says Peter Mason was unsuccessfully prosecuted for drug trafficking offences. But it ...

  • London lawyers can't take the heat in Bermuda

    28-Jun-1999

    London lawyers posted to Bermuda to fight one of the highest profile court cases of the decade have admitted that they are fed up with life on the paradise island.Norton Rose and Clifford Chance lawyers flew to Bermuda for the Thyssen trust case at the beginning of the year, expecting an imminent trial.

  • Lord Mishcon moves to block Lord Irvine in Bill

    28-Jun-1999

    Labour peer, Lord Mishcon QC plans to introduce an amendment to the Access to Justice Bill designed to vanquish the "Sword of Damocles" held by the Lord Chancellor, Lord Irvine over the Law Society's trade union role.As the Access to Justice Bill went through its report stage in the Commons, an amendment was introduced giving Lord Irvine the power to restrict the Law Society's functions to a regulatory role.But Lord Mishcon plans to defy the Lord Chancellor ...

  • Lords uphold decision in Thai Trading

    28-Jun-1999

    The House of Lords has ended the confusion over the legality of contingency fee agreements by refusing leave to appeal in a landmark Court of Appeal judgment.The decision marks a victory for Caversham-based Taylors in Thai Trading, which has been debated in Parliament. Its effects can be seen in the Access to Justice Bill which substantially codifies the decision.The case involved solicitor Wilfrid Taylor, acting for his wife, who would only be paid if she won. ...

  • MTV Networks Europe

    28-Jun-1999

    On 1 July, MTV Networks Europe will launch three digital channels in the UK and Ireland, in addition to the 10 channels it already owns.

  • Nabarros appoints top energy lawyer

    28-Jun-1999

    The European head of legal at Marathon Oil & Gas, John Southworth, is leaving his position to head the upstream oil and gas practice at Nabarro Nathanson.Nabarros sees the recruitment of Southworth - an energy specialist - as a "springboard" to expand its energy practice.Marathon has decided not to fill the position of European head of legal. Instead, it will promote Sandra Majerfleisch ...

  • Noise appeal goes to Lords

    28-Jun-1999

    Judgment is now pending in the House of Lords in a case which will decide whether landlords are under a legal duty to protect their tenants from noise emanating from neighbouring properties. In Baxter v London Borough of Camden the Appeal Court held last November that a landlord who let a flat with poor sound insulation could not be held liable in tort to his tenant if the noise complained of resulted from ordinary use of residential premises. In dismissing an appeal by the tenant against ...

  • Pannones adds to family with Wacks Caller partner

    28-Jun-1999

    Leading Manchester firm Pannone & Partners has bolstered its family department by luring top family practitioner Liz Cowell from Wacks Caller, also in the city.Pannones now boasts three of Manchester's top family lawyers and ranks as one of the largest family units in the country dealing exclusively in private family law.Department head Catherine Jones claims that Cowell's arrival is just the beginning of substantial growth for the department. As well ...

  • Partners on the move...

    28-Jun-1999

    Bristol firm Cartwrights has promoted Glynis John to partner within the firm's employment unit. John joined the firm last year after working for a short time with Eversheds in Cardiff. She previously gained experience working in the City. Cartwrights' employment unit now includes three partners, with a total of 11 personnel.Hewitson Becke & Shaw has promoted three lawyers ...

  • PI firms face u10,000 hike in SIF contributions

    28-Jun-1999

    Personal injury lawyers face paying 60 per cent more on their Solicitors Indemnity Fund (SIF) contributions from September.The rise - estimated at u10,000 per PI firm per year - follows a change in the way their risk assessments are calculated by SIF.The previous risk calculations were based on historical information, explains a SIF spokeswoman.However, it has now switched to a new system of calculation based on the future projection of claims made ...

  • Primary purpose attracts no tax

    28-Jun-1999

    As Legal Charity Commissioner from 1989 to 1997, I read the article in The Lawyer (14 June) "Charities require masters of all trades", with interest. However, there is one passage (highlighted in the middle of the text) which is not completely accurate and is therefore misleading. It is not true to say that "If more than 10 per cent of a charity's revenue is raised through trade, the Inland Revenue can tax all of its revenue."There ...

  • Property

    28-Jun-1999

    SJ Berwin advised Chelsfield on its recent purchase of the City Gate office complex at Southwark Bridge, London, from Brixton Estate. Complex tenants include Unisys and the Insurance Ombudsman Bureau. The SJ Berwin team was led by John Eldridge, assisted by Tessa Rudnick and Julie Hasselberg. Jackie Newstead of Lovell White Durrant acted for Brixton Estate.

  • Property

    28-Jun-1999

    Richard Pearlman & Co advised Citymain Investments, a company partly owned by Prestbury Group, in its acquisition of 188-213 Old Street, London, EC1. Richard Pearlman and Adam Draper advised on the deal, which is worth u23.2m, while Nabarro Nathanson acted for the vendor, Courtana Investments. Berwin Leighton acted for the purchaser's funding source, KBC Bank NV.

  • Property

    28-Jun-1999

    Richard Pearlman & Co advised Citymain Investments, a company partly owned by Prestbury Group, in its acquisition of 188-213 Old Street, London, EC1. Richard Pearlman and Adam Draper advised on the deal, which is worth u23.2m, while Nabarro Nathanson acted for the vendor, Courtana Investments. Berwin Leighton acted for the purchaser's funding source, KBC Bank NV.

  • Property

    28-Jun-1999

    SJ Berwin advised Chelsfield on its recent purchase of the City Gate office complex at Southwark Bridge, London, from Brixton Estate. Complex tenants include Unisys and the Insurance Ombudsman Bureau. The SJ Berwin team was led by John Eldridge, assisted by Tessa Rudnick and Julie Hasselberg. Jackie Newstead of Lovell White Durrant acted for Brixton Estate.

  • Quarantine laws challenged

    28-Jun-1999

    The legality of the UK's animal quarantine laws are being probed by the High Court. Judgment has been reserved in a case in which the laws have been challenged as breaching EU provisions aimed at allowing people from EU states to travel freely with their belongings. Mr Justice Owen is being asked to rule that the refusal to allow a Swedish businessman to bring his cat into the UK is unlawful. Nick Brown, Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Food (MAFF), has already ...

  • Quote of the week

    28-Jun-1999

    "I recommend the excellent publication The Lawyer to all honourable members, even if they are not lawyers, because it has highlighted the problems with the bill sensibly and clearly."- Nick Hawkins, Tory MP for Surrey Heath, applauding our campaign on access to legal aid in the House of Commons.

  • R&W to cut links with Paris office

    28-Jun-1999

    Rogers & Wells is severing its ties with its Paris office, which has been attempting to opt out of the firm's merger with Clifford Chance.The Lawyer understands that under internal arrangements Rogers & Wells is to sever its links with its Paris practice before the date of the merger on 1 January 2000.The Paris office, headed by Alexander Marquardt, has been offering ...

  • Recognising real class when you see it

    28-Jun-1999

    Of the numerous awards that were given out at last week's The Lawyer Awards two particularly stood out. The first was assistant solicitor of the year Owen Williams of Clarke Willmott & Clarke.The plaudits on the night should be put alongside the fact that Williams was chosen by some of the most respected names in the profession including

  • Royal Bank of Scotland goes local in US deal

    28-Jun-1999

    The Royal Bank of Scotland has opted for a local US firm to advise on its multi-million-pound acquisition of UST Corporation.The u874m purchase of the Boston-based bank, made through Citizens Financial, the Royal Bank of Scotland's New England arm, was handled by local firm Goodwin Procter & Hoar, while UK issues were handled in-house.The bank usually uses Freshfields in the UK, which also has offices in New York and Washington DC. But Millar McLean, company ...

  • Scuffle of the week

    28-Jun-1999

    The Lord Chief Justice and Mr Justice Potts have clashed over the case of the UK's only convicted Nazi war criminal. The two judges have given conflicting advice to Home Secretary Jack Straw about the future of Anthony Sawoniuk, who was given two life sentences in April after being convicted of murdering Jews in Nazi-occupied Belarus. Lord Chief Justice Bingham of Cornhill (left) has told Straw that he favours "some hope of eventual release" for Sawoniuk and that ...

  • Set swaps All Saints for Queen Chambers

    28-Jun-1999

    A chambers has undergone a radical rebranding and cost-cutting exercise, changing its name and shifting its criminal barristers out of offices and into the library.The 40-tenant Bristol set, which was formerly known as All Saints Chambers, has been relaunched as Queen Square Chambers.It is introducing the innovative measures to reduce its overheads drastically.The chambers, which was relaunched by Master of the Rolls Lord Woolf, has moved into new ...

  • SIF demise threatens payments hike

    28-Jun-1999

    Lawyers face a hike in their SIF contributions next year following the Law Society's decision last week to scrap the fund by September 2000.The extra payments will provide cover for the surge of claims expected in the run-up to SIF's demise and provide cover for Year 2000 claims.A Law Society spokeswoman says the exact figures have yet to be worked out, but should be ready for council consideration next month.The long and tortuous campaign ...

  • Simkins wins Dibbs' media ace

    28-Jun-1999

    The North's leading competition lawyer has become the latest partner to quit Dibb Lupton Alsop.Stephen Hornsby, an expert in sport, competition and media-related regulatory issues, joined the Simkins Partnership, a London media law firm, as a partner last week. He will be attached to the firm's media and corporate group.He is the only lawyer to have successfully pursued a judicial review case against the Office of Fair Trading, where he acted on behalf ...

  • Slaughters provides Punch in Allied fight

    28-Jun-1999

    Slaughter and May is entering a fight on behalf of Punch Taverns to outbid Whitbread on its proposed takeover of Allied Domecq Retailing UK.Clifford Chance is acting for Whitbread on its proposed purchase of Allied Domecq's retail arm, a deal it thought it had clinched on 25 May with a share ...

  • Square Mile

    28-Jun-1999

    What do you have when you've got a lawyer up to his neck in sand?One answer is not enough sand. Another is that you've got the situation existing at the moment - a lawyer deep in the sand of a rule book no longer suited to today's business climate.And at the heart of it lies the rule preventing lawyers sharing fees and profits with professionals from other disciplines.So the Law Society has explored how these rules might be changed ...

  • St Philip's rejigs hiring process

    28-Jun-1999

    St Philip's Chambers, the largest set in the country, is reforming its constitution to streamline the process by which new tenants are recruited.The reform, approved by the set's management board last week, will reduce the time it takes to appoint a member to chambers from three months to as little as one week.The move highlights the increased mobility of the Bar and the determination of leading sets to develop along corporate lines.Instead ...

  • Survey reveals US firms pay double UK salaries

    28-Jun-1999

    A survey of legal salaries published today reveals that US firms in London are paying almost double what their City counterparts can offer.The average wage for a seven-year qualified assistant in a US firm based in London is u100,000, compared with between u52,500 and u60,000 on offer at City firms.The survey shows a sliding scale depending on experience. But the amount offered by US firms remains roughly twice that of UK firms.The report, compiled ...

  • The Lawyer Inquiry: Nicholas Hine

    28-Jun-1999

    Nicholas Hine was born in Harrogate, Yorkshire in 1962. He is an employment/litigation solicitor with Thomas Eggar Church Adams in London. To take part in the Inquiry, call Jemma Pearson on 0171 970 4614.What subject(s) did you fail at school?Mathematics.What was your first job?Barman.What was ...

  • The lawyer's lawyer of 1999

    28-Jun-1999

    I've been asked to say a few words and the few words that I wanted to say were 'thank you and good-bye' but unfortunately I don't think that would be appropriate.There are conflicting emotions passing through my body at this particular moment in time... embarrassment and feeling flattered beyond belief. I didn't think I would ever - having been brought up in the East End of London - be receiving an award in the company of such illustrious guests. ...

  • Two take Brodie's role at 24 Old Buildings

    28-Jun-1999

    Alan Steinfeld QC and Martin Mann QC are the new heads of chambers at commercial chancery set 24 Old Buildings following the sudden death of their predecessor.Tim Brodie QC died suddenly last month of a heart attack after a game of polo. Brodie, an old Etonian, was 70.Mann says: "Alan and I are saddened about his death. He was highly respected and a great figurehead for the chambers. It is a terrible loss."Tim died after playing polo. He was very ...

  • US insurer picks top UK firms for med-neg panel

    28-Jun-1999

    US insurance giant St Paul International has become the first major private provider of medicolegal insurance in the UK, cherry picking a handful of the top clinical negligence firms for its panel.Beachcroft Wansbroughs in Sheffield, Crutes in Newcastle, Hill Dickinson in Liverpool and Winckworth ...

  • Watchdog urges Law Soc to clear complaints

    28-Jun-1999

    The Law Society has a "major credibility problem" and is unlikely to deliver on its promise to clean up its complaints handling record, claims the Legal Services Ombudsman, Ann Abraham.She expressed her doubts at last week's council meeting, despite members agreeing to give the Office for the Supervision of Solicitors (OSS) a massive u5.9m cash injection over the next two years to reduce the huge complaints backlog.The money will fund 23 new permanent and ...

  • Wilde Sapte's exit rules attract French scrutiny

    28-Jun-1999

    Wilde Sapte is bracing itself for a possible partner exodus if a judgment on its controversial policy preventing more than two senior equity partners leaving each year is ruled unlawful.The ruling by a French judge is due this week.Tom McDonald, a partner in Wilde Sapte's Paris office, entered arbitration with the French bar in January to challenge the firm's policy.McDonald says: "I can't talk about the case, but I am expecting the ...

  • Will high-risk investors take tax bait?

    28-Jun-1999

    Huw Witty, partner, Nabarro NathansonLouise Higginbottom, partner, Norton RoseRobert Fenner, managing partner, FennersThe Government's shake-up of the 1998 Finance Bill is expected to provide better tax breaks for venture capitalist trusts (VCT).

  • Young lawyer rejected 600 times wins top legal award

    28-Jun-1999

    The man who was last week named assistant solicitor of the year received almost 600 job rejection letters, including one from a magic circle firm telling him: "You must be joking", before finally landing a training contract.Owen Williams was judged the UK's best assistant in The Lawyer's Fifth Annual Awards by a panel of eminent judges including senior partners from City firms, High Court judges and leading QCs.However, Williams suffered hundreds of ...

  • Zurich Commercial slashes legal panel from 100 to 1

    28-Jun-1999

    Zurich Commercial has finally revealed its streamlined panel after cutting its legal advisers from 100 to just 16 firms.The 16 that have been retained by Zurich Commercial, which is a combination of merged insurers Eagle Star and Zurich, will be split into three groups.Those firms on the Zurich Commercial panel only are Davies Arnold Cooper, Beachcroft Wansbroughs, Hammond Suddards, Jacksons, James Chapman & Co, AE Wyeth & Co and Dibb Lupton Alsop.On ...