28 November 1994

The Lawyer

  • A day in the life of...

    29-Nov-1994

    A typical day in the marketing department of a law firm can resemble a game of hunt the marketing director. These elusive characters often need to spend so much time communicating their message to partners that the time they actually spend in their office is minimal.I spoke to Richard Holt, ex marketing partner with Nabarro Nathanson, about what he looks for in a key marketeer. The ...

  • ADDLESHAW SONS & LATHAM

    29-Nov-1994

    Addleshaws has two main marketing objectives.The first priority is to increase the amount of work it derives from utilities and companies listed on the stock exchange.Second, it aims to get more work from small to medium-sized businesses.It has set about doing this by emphasising the 'quality' of its lawyers and the services which they provide."The key plank of our marketing policy is the client care policy and developing ...

  • AMA report blasts 'inefficient' CCT

    29-Nov-1994

    COMPULSORY competitive tendering causes cuts in wages and conditions of pay and introduces a system of bureaucratic rules which divert attention away from improving services, a new report claims.The report, written by the Association of Metropolitan Authorities assistant secretary, Lesley Courcouf, says it is becoming increasingly clear that CCT "does not and will not deliver efficient, value for money services".The AMA has ...

  • Back to desk for gaffe MP

    29-Nov-1994

    TO RESIGN over one embarrassment may be regarded as a misfortune. To resign twice looks like carelessness.So Wilde might have counselled Patrick Nicholls, solicitor MP for Teignbridge and until last week a Conservative party vice-chairman, whose maladroit observations of the French and Germans meant, he would again be 'spending more time with his family.'Or, spending more time at Dunn & Baker, the Exeter firm that took Nicholls back like a prodigal ...

  • Barings rent deal boosts City hopes

    29-Nov-1994

    Property development in the City could get a kick-start following one of the biggest deals since before the recession, say lawyers and corporate estate agents.Freshfields and Slaughter and May have just completed a top-price (u35 per sq ft) single letting on Scottish Widows' landmark 235,600 sq ft office development at 60 London Wall, EC2 to bankers Barings Brothers ...

  • Barnsley deputy takes charge at Kirklees

    29-Nov-1994

    Nicole Maley reportsBARNSLEY Council's deputy borough secretary, John Emms, has resigned to take up a promotion as solicitor to the council at Kirklees.Emms, who has worked with the council since 1975, takes over from Michael Vause on 28 November.In a return to full-time legal duties he will control a solicitor's department staffed by almost 40 fee-earners.The position is a departure from the previous administrative role ...

  • BARRISTER Alison Green has been appointed chair of the British Insurance Law Association (BILA)

    29-Nov-1994

    BARRISTER Alison Green has been appointed chair of the British Insurance Law Association (BILA).Green, who practices from Queen Elizabeth Building, has been heavily involved in insurance and reinsurance disputes over the last 15 years and is joint editorial adviser on Merkin and McGee's Insurance Contract Law.She has served on the BILA committee for several years and has lectured extensively on insurance and European Union law in universities and ...

  • Bill on cards for fast-track libel claims

    29-Nov-1994

    The Lord Chancellor is expected to announce plans this week to introduce a bill to establish a fast-track system of handling minor libel claims outside of court. The bill will be designed to settle claims quickly and cheaply by enabling judges to fix damages in small cases.

  • Brinks Matt stash fight

    29-Nov-1994

    April 1995 will see the start of a legal battle over the proceeds of the Brinks Matt bullion robbery. A multi-handed claim, anticipated to last at least 12 weeks, which was brought by Brinks Matt's underwriters is scheduled to begin with the aim of recovering as much of the u26 million stolen as possible. With interest, the total claim is now thought to have reached u70 million.

  • Budget will scupper partners' tax schemes

    29-Nov-1994

    BUDGET tax avoidance measures to be announced this week will heavily penalise partnerships if they attempt to manipulate their accounts during the 1996-97 assessment changeover.Berwin Leighton tax partner Ron Downhill says the big warning to all partnerships will be: if in doubt, don't do it."There will be a penalty which will be more substantial than mere interest," he warns.Ancilliary provisions will be announced this week on the coming changes ...

  • Call for multi-party action funding

    29-Nov-1994

    MULTI-PARTY actions need an entirely new court procedure and method of financing, possibly from a special central government fund, according to radical proposals from the Scottish Law Commission.The commission, in a report requested by Scotland's Lord Advocate, says the current systems are inadequate for dealing with such cases.Commission lawyer Roger Bland says: "It is important for reformers such as us to realise that there is no magic solution to funding.

  • Consortium challenges livestock ban

    29-Nov-1994

    Roger Pearson looks aheadA High Court test case is now pending over the rights of port and airport owning local authority to interfere in livestock exports from the UK to Europe.The case centres on a challenge by a consortium of farmers and animal dealers, CC Freight, and an air transport company, Phoenix Aviation, to moves by Coventry City Council to suspend livestock flights from the city airport to Europe.Pending the full hearing ...

  • Consultants predict surge in firms' business confidence in year ahead

    29-Nov-1994

    BUSINESS confidence am-ong law firms is picking up and is expected to grow even more next year, according to a nationwide survey of legal practices by business consultants Grant Thornton.The results of the survey of 180 law firms indicate that 1994 was a better year for business than 1993, and over half of the respondents expect 1995 to improve again. The firms covered by the survey ...

  • Copyright agency targets practices

    29-Nov-1994

    The Copyright Licensing Agency (CLA) is targeting 500 leading law firms with details of its business licensing service to encourage them to comply with the requirements of the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988. Roger Bull, business licensing officer at the CLA, says: "The legal profession cannot plead ignorance of the law as businesses of other kinds sometimes do. After years of 'free' copying, it's time for businesses of all kinds to acknowledge their responsibility ...

  • Corporate

    29-Nov-1994

    William Sindall, advised by Taylor Vinters, was the subject of a u13.55m reverse takeover by Morgan Lovell, advised by Charles Russell. The deal involved raising u2.64m by means of a placing and open offer underwritten by Singer & Friedlander, advised by Alsop Wilkinson.

  • Corporate

    29-Nov-1994

    In our issue of 15 November, we should have said that Molyneux Estates was advised by Mischon de Reya on its upgrade to the Stock Exchange's Official List.

  • Couderts recruits top European academic

    29-Nov-1994

    INTERNATIONAL firm Coudert Brothers has taken on top European law expert David O'Keeffe as counsel.O'Keeffe is professor of European law at the University of London and director of University College London's Centre for the Law of the European Union. He will work mainly in the London, Brussels and Paris offices.He is an expert in financial services legislation, trade law, insurance and pensions regulation, and competition law. O'Keeffe worked ...

  • DAC

    29-Nov-1994

    Like most law firms Davies Arnold Coo-per already had a brochure detailing its wide variety of services.But the firm was frustrated by the fact that the brochure was not easily distinguishable from those of its competitors. In August 1990, DAC approached Design House to produce a new brochure which reflected DAC's open corporate style.The result was a large format annual magazine, entitled DAC Reports. The magazine uses bright images, a wide variety of styles ...

  • DAC issues warning to insurance industry

    29-Nov-1994

    DAVIES Arnold Cooper is warning the insurance industry to come up with an action plan for reforming accident compensation law or face exclusion from the personal injury law reform process. The Insurance Institute of London's recent 'Liability and insurance and accident report' recommended a no-fault compensation scheme, but DAC partner and insurance specialist Alan Fisher says the firm has formulated a workable alternative "that can be supported by insurers". DAC's ...

  • Discussions in secret

    29-Nov-1994

    At its last session the Council of the Law Society met in camera to determine its views on the future of conveyancing.Since the public and legal press were excluded the only information we have was contained in a news-managed report in last week's Law Society Gazette which stated that the council "had confounded expectations by holding fast to its support for separate representation of borrowers".This calls for two comments. First to express distaste ...

  • DJ Freeman wins community accolade

    29-Nov-1994

    City firm DJ Freeman has won an award for its part in a business in the community initiative. The London partnership category for the Lord Mayor's 1994 Dragon Awards went to The Brix at St Matthews - a community facility in Brixton. DJ Freeman is one of 10 London practices providing pro bono legal services as part of its membership of the Business in the Community professional firms group.

  • Don't sell yourself short

    29-Nov-1994

    The legal profession has come rather late to the marketing party, but it's catching up quickly, as Robert Grey discoversLawyers have only recently embraced marketing. The profession has lagged behind others - in part because of historical restrictions on advertising - at a time when the need to promote and position your firm in the marketplace has become increasingly important.Building business solely through recommendations is a thing of the past. ...

  • Erskine's welcomes in Oxford Fellow

    29-Nov-1994

    OXFORD professor Dan Prentice has joined leading company law set Erskine Chambers.Professor Prentice, a Fellow of Pembroke College, is the first academic to join the chambers. He will keep his position at the college while accepting instructions through chambers in company law matters.Prentice will also continue in his role as editor of Butterworths Company Law Cases, and joint editor of Buckley on the Companies Acts. This move will widen his expertise ...

  • ESPC slams fair trade referral

    29-Nov-1994

    ESPC is a company run by solicitors which displays details about houses for sale. The DGFT is concerned about the centre's policy of preventing members from submitting property details if an estate agent is also advertising the property.Sir Bryan says this discourages home-owners from placing properties with both an estate agent and a solicitor.He adds that it is particularly worrying because the ESPC is estimated to have more than 80 per cent of the domestic ...

  • Ethics questions loom for lawyers

    29-Nov-1994

    Should lawyers learn ethics? is the question asked this week at a workshop by the University of Central Lancashire, Preston. Organised by the university's Centre for Professional Ethics and The Association of Legal and Social Philosophy, it will consider ethics in legal education and the profession. Jane Pritchard, solicitor and researcher at the centre, says the event was prompted by rising complaints against the legal profession and will produce recommendations for the Lord Chancellor

  • Expert show attracts the legal world

    29-Nov-1994

    THE FIRST exhibition of expert witnesses has been hailed as a success by its organisers.'The Expert witness event' was held last week at the City's Barbican centre. It attracted over 1,800 visitors in two days. Of these "a high proportion" were from the legal world, says organisers Truemist.Keith Searby, of Truemist, says: "We are very satisfied with the attendance, which was very good for a first time show." Over half the available space for next ...

  • Figures show ethnic minorities lose out

    29-Nov-1994

    Law Society figures show that ethnic minority law students have a much lower chance of getting articles than white students. Barrister Sailesh Mehta, chair of the Society of Asian Lawyers, says: "Something like 12 to 15 per cent of law students come from an ethnic background and only 7 per cent are successful in getting articles in contrast to 47 per cent of whites." The SAL held a student law fair for ethnic students, where, Mehta says, he was "repeatedly asked the same question by ...

  • Fisher finds new waters at Gordons

    29-Nov-1994

    'MAGIC Circle' firm Gordon Dadds has signed up matrimonial lawyer Jeremy Fisher as a partner.Fisher moved to the 13-partner firm last month from Bedford Row practice Harris Rosenblatt & Kramer and before that he was a partner at Penningtons."Gordon Dadds is the pre-eminent divorce ...

  • Flotation

    29-Nov-1994

    Games Workshop Group was advised by Booth & Co on its flotation, with backers Bank of Boston, NatWest Ventures, Charterhouse Development Capital and ECI advised by Gouldens. Financial adviser Samuel Montagu was advised by McKenna & Co.

  • Gale woos provinces with new Maidstone premises

    29-Nov-1994

    THE CHAMBERS of Michael Gale QC, at 6 Pump Court, has set up premises in Maidstone in a bid to win more provincial business.The chambers has strong links with Kent and Gale is chair of the Kent Bar. "We will put the new premises to exactly the same uses as the chambers in London," says fellow QC, Stephen Hockman."We will build on our existing strengths in the area, and make ourselves more accessible to potential clients."

  • Guns at ready for parking

    29-Nov-1994

    Croydon Council is seeking a High Court order banning one of its residents from parking a massive, self-propelled gun on a road in the borough. The council claims that such parking is illegal under the provisions of the 1980 Highways Act.

  • Heron debt scheme pulls in the lawyers

    29-Nov-1994

    Institutional shareholders in international property business Heron Group vote this week on whether to accept a major debt and equity purchasing plan on which Travers Smith Braithwaite and Allen & Overy has advised.The deal involves an offer by HNV Acquisition (HNVA) to acquire Heron International ...

  • How to make friends and influence people

    29-Nov-1994

    Here are a few tips for lawyers to use in their dealings with the media, tips which have had some measure of success.Always act for controversial clients, preferably ones who have already alienated at least four firms and who come with a ready-made media following.Wear a succession of garish ties to denote that you are singularly unstuffy.Have a meaningless but memorable phrase to hand on every conceivable legal topic. Ensure that your home and mobile ...

  • Ilex courses

    29-Nov-1994

    The Institute of Legal Executives is holding a series of courses for lawyers in local government. ILEX Tutorial Services and Resource is holding one-day seminars throughout November and December on subjects ranging from building contract law to drafting business leases.

  • Irish Bar to rule on judge ban

    29-Nov-1994

    THE IRISH Bar Council is to hold an extraordinary general meeting next month to consider the case of the judge whose appointment plunged the country into political crisis.Former Attorney General Harry Whelehan resigned as president of the Irish High Court less than a week after his appointment.He was accused of misleading the Government by prime minister Albert Reynolds, who also resigned.At the centre of the crisis was a seven-month delay in the ...

  • Irish code aims to cut complaints

    29-Nov-1994

    A NEW statutory code of conduct for solicitors is being considered by the Republic of Ireland's Incorporated Law Society after a "disturbing" level of complaints by the public.The society, which regulates the conduct of Ireland's 4,000 solicitors, says it is "acutely aware of the need for resolute action to reduce the volume of complaints".In the past year there have been 1,200 complaints arising from 6,000 letters to the society. The figures are revealed ...

  • Jackson switches to SFO

    29-Nov-1994

    BARRISTER Andrew Jackson has left 10 King's Bench Walk to join the Serious Fraud Office (SFO).As a senior government lawyer, he will act as a case controller or investigative law-yer, or a combination of both.Jackson says of his move: "I had an exclusively criminal practice both prosecuting and defending. Latterly, I dealt with the more serious type of case - murder, large frauds, drugs, armed robbery. I joined the SFO ...

  • Kennet post filled

    29-Nov-1994

    Kennet District Council has appointed former private sector solicitor Maria Memoli as assistant solicitor to the council. Memoli has replaced Kevin Winter, who left the authority to join Hereford City Council as head of legal services.

  • Kingston University gives doctorate to Elly

    29-Nov-1994

    Law Society President Charles Elly has been awarded an Honorary Doctorate of Law by Kingston University. Elly, who has served as a member of the society's council since 1981, received the doctorate last week. He has provided advice to the university over a number of years and has been closely associated with the development of professional legal skills.

  • Linklaters to build up US team

    29-Nov-1994

    CITY-BASED international practice, Linklaters & Paines, is recruiting a team of US lawyers to handle its securities work in the US.Edward Fleischman, former commissioner with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), starts in the firm's New York office on 1 December. Linklaters head of international finance Terence Kyle says his appointment is the first of several planned by the ...

  • Litigation Disciplinary Tribunals 29/11/94

    29-Nov-1994

    NIGEL MARK HUNTINGTON, 28, admitted 1992, practised as assistant solicitor with Bell Lamb Joynson, Liverpool, struck off and ordered to pay u750 costs. Allegations substantiated he wrongly drew client money and used it for his own purposes, and misused office funds for own purposes. Tribunal told Huntington had written to Solicitors' Complaints Bureau admitting the allegations and misappropriation of client money. He was said to have bought a property ...

  • Litigation Recent Decisions 29/11/94

    29-Nov-1994

    Defence to polluting controlled watersNational Rivers Authority v Yorkshire Water Services (1994) (HL 17/11/94) (Lord MacKay LC: Lord Keith, Lord Jauncey, Lord Lloyd, Lord Nolan)Summary: Statutory defence to involuntary pollution of controlled waters where unknown third party had introduced pollutant to defendant's sewage system.Appeal by Yorkshire Water Services against upholding of conviction by justices for causing poisonous ...

  • Litigation Writs 29/11/94

    29-Nov-1994

    Bristol wine producer Hiram Walker (1992) has launched a claim over a disaster which resulted in contamination of thousands of bottles of wine. It claims the wine was contaminated with resin beads from a water softener in the company's premises at Whitchurch Lane, Bristol. In its writ it claims wine worth u463,000 was contaminated, and that although it was able to save some by decanting it, it was still left with losses of u296,000. The company is suing ...

  • Making the most of interactive training

    29-Nov-1994

    Legal training has not been subject to the same onslaught from information technology as other aspects of the business.While computer graphics are occasionally brought in to jazz up presentations, the tired trinity of presenter, flip chart and slide projector persists.Now we have an alternative for legal training in the development of interactive compact disc (CD-i) technology, the prospect of 'presenterless' presentations looms.

  • Memery plans BCCI battle

    29-Nov-1994

    London firm Memery Crystal, the solicitors to creditors of the collapsed Bank of Credit and Commerce International (BCCI), is formulating a battle-plan for possible litigation against the BCCI majority shareholders in Abu Dhabi.This long-term strategy is being devised despite the revised agreement with Abu Dhabi that would provide an improved offer to creditors of US$1.8 billion.

  • Mine of information

    29-Nov-1994

    The client database is a treasure trove of information which can be an invaluable marketing tool, writes Delia VenablesThe phrase 'client database' is used loosely and can mean anything from a basic extension of the accounting system to a highly complex marketing capability.There are two types of client database.

  • Nabarros sponsors urban conference

    29-Nov-1994

    Nabarro Nathanson is one of the principal sponsors of the Urban Policy final conference to be held in Swansea on 10 December. The conference, staged by the Labour Party's Urban Policy Inquiry City 2020, will include speeches from Nabarros' partner Carl Hopkins and Labour's deputy leader John Prescott.

  • Neighbourhood watch

    29-Nov-1994

    The High Court has been called in to decide a dispute between neighbours. London firm Cumberland Ellis Peirs, acting on behalf of a property company, has launched an action against a tenant who has glued the front door locks of neighbouring flats and cut wires to the entry phone after accusing his female neighbours of running a brothel and making too much noise. An injunction is sought banning Roman Kochalski from breaching the terms of his tenancy and restraining him from ...

  • NI society wants local solutions

    29-Nov-1994

    LAW Society of Northern Ireland president Andrew Carnson told MPs at the House of ommons last week: "There must be Northern Ireland solutions for Northern Ireland problems."The society was holding an open day, sponsored by solicitor-MPs, Peter Temple-Morris, Jonathan Evans, Elfyn LLwyd and John Fraser, to highlight its concerns over the need for sensitivity and flexibility in dealing with and legislating for Northern Ireland in the post-troubles period."The society ...

  • Nigerian law expert links up with Pepys

    29-Nov-1994

    NIGERIAN lawyer, Chima Umezuruike, has joined Pepys Chambers to advise on English and Nigerian law.He retains his position in chambers in Lagos, and is one of the few London lawyers qualified to practise in these two jurisdictions.He returned to England in 1990 to practise first as a solicitor and then as a barrister. "I came back to England because I wanted exposure to English law, which is more organised and developed. The main difference ...

  • No conflict over fees

    29-Nov-1994

    I was not seriously misquoted, but it could be taken from your article (The Lawyer 15 November) that Michael Cohen and I are in conflict on this matter. This is not so. The Academy of Experts has a firm rule that contingent or conditional fees for experts are out of order and this is the view of almost all lawyers. In my article in The Expert in spring 1993 I was referring to future possibilities.The Academy, in general, and the journal, The Expert, ...

  • Nortons goes back to base

    29-Nov-1994

    CITY firm Norton Rose is this week moving back to Bishopsgate - just 18 months after its offices were bombed.New technology and air-conditioning on all floors are among the improvements which have been made as part of a u20 million revamp.Managing partner Roger Birkby says a major firm rarely gets the chance to redesign its entire office."Even though in our case ...

  • Not so starry-eyed over firms' figures

    29-Nov-1994

    Looking at the Law Society's feast of figures in the annual statistical report is an exercise akin to star gazing. We are seeing things as they were some time ago - some considerable time ago when considering the fee earnings of firms.Totted up from indemnity fund returns, the latest 1992-3 figures relate to firms' financial years ending any time in the 18 months up to the end of September 1993. Crazy, it may be, but it's the best we're ...

  • Opportunity knocks

    29-Nov-1994

    You could be forgiven for thinking that the outlook for most law firms was bleak. However, research by Lambda Consultancy, involving 112 law firms and 320 clients, suggests there is plenty of opportunity for the enterprising law firm.Almost 90 per cent of solicitors' clients interviewed said their solicitors did not market their firms' services sufficiently. Conversely, 85 per cent of all law firms spoken to claimed their marketing activities were significant. ...

  • Part of a grand design

    29-Nov-1994

    Visual aids are a vital ally in promoting professional services, says Chris SessionsThe marketing of any service within the legal profession can appear daunting, even to those companies which have employed specialists before.To alleviate this the aim of any good design company is to work in partnership with its clients to create a service which integrates effectively with that company's infrastructure. Only by understanding a client thoroughly can the most ...

  • Perils and pitfalls

    29-Nov-1994

    It may be hurting, but is it working? Here are 10 common cries for help which indicate vulnerable areas in a firm's marketing.

  • Peter Dickerson asks whether expert evidence is understood

    29-Nov-1994

    Those of us who have acted for defendants in recent serious fraud trials may be thankful for the jury system. However, continued reliance on 12 men and women taken from the Clapham omnibus to redeem outmoded and inefficient legal processes is only a long-stop solution, albeit one that should not be removed unless a more satisfactory system is in place.The real problem is that serious fraud is frequently concerned with complex technical issues not understood by ...

  • Philip Hamer & Co

    29-Nov-1994

    Philip Hamer is one of the fastest growing legal firms in the Yorkshire and Humberside region with offices in Hull, Doncaster, Sheffield and Leeds. It has used regional TV advertising to market its personal injury services.Three years ago, the firm ran what senior partner Philip Hamer calls an "ambulance-chasing advert".But, on the basis of recent American Bar Association research, which showed lawyers did better if their advertising was "less hucksterish and ...

  • Phoney lawyers hit charities in 'colossal' legacy scam

    29-Nov-1994

    ADVISERS to charities are being warned to be wary of letters from phoney lawyers offering fictitious legacies.The fraud, much of it emanating from West Africa, is a type of advanced fee fraud. The letters, purporting to be from lawyers, claim the charity has been left a legacy, and the charity is then asked to forward its bank details and ultimately pay fees for the release of a legacy which does not exist.The Metropolitan Police company fraud squad has warned ...

  • Portillo at AMA

    29-Nov-1994

    Barrister David Pannick QC and employment secretary Michael Portillo will be among the speakers at the Association of Metropolitan Authorities' second conference on the implications of Europe on UK employment law. The conference, 'Brussels Sprouting - Part 2', will be held on 16 January next year. Leader of the socialist group in the European Parliament, Pauline Green, will also speak.

  • Property

    29-Nov-1994

    Banco Exterior de Espana, advised by Eversheds in London, has sold the 125-year leasehold on its City headquarters at 9 King St for u2.7m to Abchurch Properties, advised by Davies Arnold Cooper.

  • Property

    29-Nov-1994

    Scottish Amicable, advised by Cameron Markby Hewitt, in association with London & Paris Estates, advised by Jaques & Lewis, has exchanged contracts with Prudential Assurance, advised by Berwin Leighton, to purchase Fox Court for around u7m, an office block on London's Gray's Inn Road and adjacent to the Prudential's Holborn head office.

  • Property

    29-Nov-1994

    Land Securities through its subsidiary Ravenseft Industrial Estates, advised by DJ Freeman, has won the formal tender for the 13.2 acre freehold site at Centurion Park, off junction 10 of the M42 Tamworth, from Parcelforce, advised by the property law division of the Post Office Solicitors' Office.

  • Rescue rules offer 'breathing space'

    29-Nov-1994

    A NEW statutory code of conduct for solicitors is being considered by the Republic of Ireland's Incorporated Law Society after a "disturbing" level of complaints by the public.The society, which regulates the conduct of Ireland's 4,000 solicitors, says it is "acutely aware of the need for resolute action to reduce the volume of complaints".In the past year there have been 1,200 complaints arising from 6,000 letters to the society. The figures are revealed ...

  • Send in the paralegals

    29-Nov-1994

    Simon Rogers reports on how an unrecognised workforce could be threatening trainee places in the big law firmsWhile aspiring trainee solicitors contemplate an uncertain destiny, there is one section of the legal population for whom the future seems increasingly bright - paralegals.There is an increasing recognition of the need for staff who are trained and accredited to perform basic tasks.Most UK perceptions of paralegals are based on the US ideal, ...

  • Shoosmiths shuts London office

    29-Nov-1994

    SHOOSMITHS & Harrison is to close its London office in February to concentrate solely on business in the provinces.The firm will retain its six regional offices, including the Northampton base, and staff in London are currently discussing future plans with management.Managing partner John Peet says the closure could see members of the London team - including three partners and five additional fee-earners - relocating to Northampton or the firm's other offices ...

  • Solicitors 'tops' for floats advice

    29-Nov-1994

    COMPANY clients seeking flotations say lawyers are ahead of accountants and merchant bankers in terms of service and value for money, according to survey findings from national firm Eversheds.Despite general concern over costs, the value for money of advisers was generally seen in a positive light.The survey reports that 81 per cent of lawyers are either "good" or "very good" ...

  • Specialist service

    29-Nov-1994

    Management adviser Grant Thornton has formed a specialist service for local government and health service legal departments which are currently facing competition from the private sector. The service has been established as part of the merger between Grant Thornton's Leeds, Manchester and London management consultancy divisions.

  • Sponsorship at a price?

    29-Nov-1994

    'Sponsored editorial' is blurring the boundaries between journalism and advertorial. Simon Rogers asks, does it matter?That article on international construction work by a well-known City practice, how is it paid for? Readers might guess that the law firm had provided it free of charge to the magazine at the editor's request from a recognised expert, or that the magazine had paid the writer.But would that reader realise the firm had paid the magazine ...

  • Stand out from the crowd

    29-Nov-1994

    Differentiating your 'product' in a homogeneous market is a tricky business. Consistent branding helps, says Chris PullenIn 1988, Rowe & Maw took the step of commissioning photo-collage artist, Noel Myles, to produce massive collages to illustrate the firm's new corporate brochure. Lloyd Northover Citigate was employed to produce the brochure itself and establish design guidelines for future publicity.Initially, the idea ...

  • Taylor Walton sets up Luton base

    29-Nov-1994

    Home Counties law firm Taylor Walton has set up a new business law unit in Luton. The unit, comprising two thirds of the firm, will handle all company, commercial property, employment and litigation law matters referred to the firm. The unit's managing partner, Clive Borthwick, says: "In these days of increasingly complicated transactions it will enable us to draw together multi-disciplinary ...

  • Techniques for success

    29-Nov-1994

    The legal profession must use marketing techniques to survive in an increasingly competitive market, says Laurie YoungMost people associate marketing with soap powder advertising or the sort of aggressive sales techniques common to business in the US. As a result, professionals dismiss a skill which is becoming increasingly important to their survival.However, marketing a professional service is totally different from marketing consumer goods. ...

  • The Lawyer Inquiry: Bryan Gibson

    29-Nov-1994

    Stephenson Harwood acted for Middle East-backed joint venture company Helios Properties in its purchase of two development sites from transport and distribution group NFC.

  • The stress on compensation

    29-Nov-1994

    Roger Pearson reports on the High Court decision to award compensation for stress at workTeamwork was a key factor in helping achieve the recent landmark compensation decision by the High Court.In the case, the court ruled that a social worker who claimed he was left "shell shocked" by stress was entitled to compensation from his former employers.The case is one which, as long as it is not successfully challenged, promises ...

  • TSG stages conference in Warsaw

    29-Nov-1994

    MORE than 150 Polish law students have attended the first ever Project Europe conference held outside the UK.The conference, organised by the Trainee Solicitors Group (TSG) with the Polish branch of the European Law Students Association (ELSA), was staged at Warsaw University this month.Planned by TSG international relations officer Dr David Taylor and retired judge George Dobry QC, the conference covered human rights, environmental law, and the Maastricht Treaty.

  • UK notaries help to tie the Anglo-French knot

    29-Nov-1994

    UK NOTARIES Martin Scannall and Robert Urquhart have been admitted as Avocats O la Cour de Paris.The two, both partners in the French law department of London firm De Pinna, Scorers & John Venn, were told of their admission earlier this month.They have an extensive history of Anglo-French legal work and became eligible to apply for admission under new rules recently established in France."France has just passed a new law dealing with the regulation ...

  • Unwritten messages

    29-Nov-1994

    A picture's worth a thousand words, believes Hugh Oxbarrow

  • VSO needs recruits for Caribbean posts

    29-Nov-1994

    VOLUNTARY Service Overseas has launched a drive to find lawyers willing to work in the Pacific and the Caribbean.There are vacancies in the Solomon Islands for a solicitor in the Public Solicitor's Office to handle land and logging cases, a customary land registrar, and a legal adviser for the provincial government. A vacancy in Dominica requires a legal draftsperson for the Ministry of Legal Affairs.Paul Barber, who was in private practice in Hampshire ...

  • Westminster solicitor rejects cover-up claims

    29-Nov-1994

    FRESHFIELDS partner Robert Lewis, who has been accused of helping Tory councillors to cover-up an alleged gerrymandering scam, has fiercely rejected the auditor's "monstrous and dreadful conclusion".He told the Westminster Council homes-for-votes hearing that the provisional findings of auditor John Magill had "cast a shadow" over his professional life.Lewis, the council's deputy chief solicitor between 1986 and 1988, told the hearing: "It is inconceivable ...

  • Widening fees gulf divides firms

    29-Nov-1994

    THE RICH are getting richer and the poor are getting poorer among law firms, latest figures reveal.But Law Society analysts rule out pessimistic predictions which claim that large numbers of firms will soon go under.Instead, forecasts suggest that the profession will continue to grow, although profits will be cut back and some firms will only just "hang-on".The society's 1994 annual statistical report reveals a huge gulf between the top earning ...

  • Withers in PDGB Paris link

    29-Nov-1994

    LONDON FIRM Withers is linking its Paris office with 20-strong French practice PDGB.The two firms will move to new premises in mid-December. London-based business development partner, Andrew Gerry, says the move will strengthen Withers' French practice, which centres around its commercial and maritime work.He says there are no plans for a merger between the firms. Resident ...

  • World Wide Web nets legal journal

    29-Nov-1994

    Simon RogersLegal academics worldwide could have free access to a new UK legal journal through their PCs if funding is forthcoming.The service, which will be provided by lawyers at Newcastle University, will run over the World Wide Web - a sub-set of the Internet.Newcastle Law School Lecturer Bruce Grant, who has set up the journal with colleague Mike Allen, says it will provide more up-to-date information than traditional legal ...