28 October 1996

The Lawyer

  • 'Primitive' accusation aimed at Crime Bill

    29-Oct-1996

    The Justices' Clerks' Society has hit out at Government proposals to introduce minimum and mandatory sentences, saying they may lead to a regression to a more primitive system of law.The society said it had "grave misgivings over the use of minimum sentences, both in principle and in practice".The Penal Affairs Consortium agreed, and said that the proposals were "the worst assault on the principles of justice this century".Chairman Paul ...

  • A plausible Case?

    29-Oct-1996

    City firms will no doubt adopt a cynical stance over US practice White & Case's bold move in the salary stakes. They will accuse it of having to resort to money to boost recruitment. And they will throw in a few questions about the staying power of US firms and how successful they can really be in the London marketplace.Yet the recruitment climate is rapidly changing for US firms ...

  • Accreditation wins family lawyers' votes

    29-Oct-1996

    Family lawyers are in favour of accreditation, according to the first count of questionnaires on the issue returned to the Law Society.A rough count of the 1,000 responses to the Family Law Committee's consultation paper on accreditation shows that about two thirds of lawyers would support it in some form.The result is only a rough guide, however. The questionnaire, sent out to 20,000 family lawyers earlier this year, has not been fully analysed and there ...

  • Appeal Court cuts injuries damages

    29-Oct-1996

    A Court of Appeal decision to slash damages for severely injured accident victims has been described as a "return to the Dark Ages" by the Association of Personal Injury Lawyers.In a hearing last week, the Court of Appeal substantially reduced damages awarded to personal injury victims in three separate cases.The victims' damages had been awarded in line with recommendations made by the Law Commission and the government auditor, Sir Michael Ogden, which ...

  • Bar's rights and wrongs of audience

    29-Oct-1996

    Currently, the rights of audience of corporate barristers limit them to appearances before county courts, magistrates' courts and industrial tribunals.This is simply an anachronism. Our private practice colleagues, together with litigants in person, enjoy rights up to and including the House of Lords. In contrast, US advocates employed by US corporations have identical rights of audience to their independently practising colleagues to appear ...

  • Barristers head for City firms' more commercial environment

    29-Oct-1996

    Two more young barristers have left chambers for a City firm - and they have claimed that many of their generation are set to follow.Rachel Newman, a former pupil at 3 Paper Buildings, and Kevin Pettican, formerly a pupil at 2 Temple Gardens, have joined the litigation department of Warner Cranston.Newman conceded that it was difficult to be admitted to chambers as a tenant but added that a major reason for her switch was that a solicitors firm offered a more ...

  • Bogan sets up his own firm in Richmond

    29-Oct-1996

    Anthony Bogan, chair of the Solicitors Association and maverick Law Society Council member who campaigned to split the Law Society, has set up a practice in his constituency base of Surrey.Bogan left Saunders Palmer Ure in Hounslow, Middlesex last week to set up with partner Alex Alagappa, chair of the British Legal Association. The new firm, Bogan Gilson, is based in Richmond.Bogan, who lives in Richmond, previously worked in Saunders' Richmond office, ...

  • Chambers among first to set up Web site

    29-Oct-1996

    The chambers 11 Stone Buildings has created its own site on the Internet.It includes information about the chambers and pupillages it offers, law reports of cases tenants have been involved in, and information on legal topics such as The Ten Commandments of Civil Litigation. The site will be updated regularly.Law firms have caught on quickly to the marketing potential of Web sites but 11 Stone Buildings is one of only a handful of chambers with a page ...

  • Chambers clerks. Clerks no more on barrowed time

    29-Oct-1996

    The image of clerks as wheeler-dealers is hardly up-to-date according to a recent survey, reports Ravinder Singh ChahalNot many people would accuse barristers of being stupid - they might not be street-wise, but they are not dumb.However, the legal press has recently suggested that one particular group has been taking advantage of our finest legal brains for a long time. It seems that while the briefs take the exams and do the work, their unqualified clerks take ...

  • Chris Fogarty reports

    29-Oct-1996

    Barnards Inn director of chambers Andrea Kennedy has left the set after three years to investigate the possibility of setting up an independent practice management consultancy for chambers.Kennedy joined Barnards Inn, which covers a wide range of work, including banking, consumer law and civil rights, shortly after it was formed in 1993."I was bought in to raise the profile of the set because it was a brand new chambers with a new name," ...

  • Companies angered by 'poker playing' DAC

    29-Oct-1996

    Two European companies that took legal action over a dispute with Davies Arnold Cooper over fees, are said to be shocked and angered by the firm's behaviour after securing a reported £40,000 refund.Davies Arnold Cooper represented the two companies in a successful arbitration case on a fixed-fee agreement. The bill for the work was subsequently disputed by Rudolf Romer, a management consultant acting for the companies.Romer claimed the firm had overcharged ...

  • Companies told to bare all before SEOs

    29-Oct-1996

    In the wake of Barings, Vanessa Knapp looks at proposals for the responsibilities of company senior executive officersThe Securities and Futures Authority (SFA) is proposing to change its rules and guidance on the responsibilities of senior management and senior executive officers (SEOs). This follows criticism of the SFA for failing to take action against Peter Baring and Andrew Tuckey, former chair and deputy chair of Barings.There are three main elements to ...

  • Court's interactive video to put visitors in picture

    29-Oct-1996

    Bedlington Magistrates Court is to launch an interactive video service designed to help users be more at ease in the courtroom.In what is thought to be a first in the UK, the court will provide visitors with an interactive video designed to tell them about how the court works.The new point-of-information system, launched this week, is aimed primarily at defendants but can be used by any visitor to the court. It is designed to inform court users ...

  • Dibbs picks up embassy deal as PFI goes abroad

    29-Oct-1996

    Legal work on major private finance initiative-funded building and maintenance projects to run over 25 years are up for grabs from the Foreign & Commonwealth Office.New embassies are planned in Sophia, Lagos and Colombo, and contracts for the legal work are expected to be announced in the next few weeks.The contract to advise on the building, design, operation, servicing and financing of the new Berlin embassy has already been awarded to Dibb Lupton Alsop.

  • Disputes Panel in five-figure sponsorship talks

    29-Oct-1996

    The City Disputes Panel is negotiating with the States of Jersey for a five-figure sponsorship deal amid reports from City firms that the financial services mediation and arbitration service is being less well used than expected.The non-profit-making organisation receives no Government support, and its main source of funding is fees. Arbitrators are likely to charge between £1,250 and £2,000 a day.The director of the States of Jersey financial services ...

  • Financings

    29-Oct-1996

    Eversheds acted for Manchester-based shopfitters Campbell & Armstrong in the financial restructuring of the group, which included a debt/equity swap of around £4 million and the raising of £3.25 million fresh equity. Gouldens advised Campbell & Armstrong's financial adviser, Henry Ansbacher.

  • Firms vie for insurance crown

    29-Oct-1996

    Hammond Suddards and Hill Dickinson Davis Campbell are engaged in a Manchester sparring match as both firms seek to increase their presence in the city.Hill Dickinson partner Paul Large has been poached by Hammonds to head its revamped and expanded insurance practice.Large was due to leave Hill Dickinson's Liverpool office next April but left on 10 October to join Hammonds ...

  • Flotations

    29-Oct-1996

    Frere Cholmeley Bischoff advised Eurasia Mining on its placing and admission to AIM.

  • Flotations

    29-Oct-1996

    Ashurst Morris Crisp acted for United News & Media in its acquisition of 51 per cent of Blenheim Group's ordinary shares. Slaughter and May advised Blenheim Group.

  • Flotations

    29-Oct-1996

    Franks

  • Flotations

    29-Oct-1996

    City firm Stones Porter acted for PolyDoc in its admission to the Alternative Investment Market. The placing raised approximately £2 million.

  • Flotations

    29-Oct-1996

    Warner Cranston and Rotenstreich Gitzelter acted as

  • Gardening leave: not the bed of roses it seems

    29-Oct-1996

    When Candida Beevers was forced to take three months' paid leave before leaving Hammond Suddards to join Ashurst Morris Crisp her colleagues thought she was mad to complain.But Beevers, who was only two years qualified at the time, said she found it very difficult to adjust. "If I'd wanted to take a sabbatical I would have planned it. It was a shock to my system suddenly having nothing ...

  • Getting court out of divorces

    29-Oct-1996

    Bob Geldof and Paula Yates could have done with it, Mick Jagger and Jerry Hall could well be needing it soon - but the odds are none of them have ever considered it.Few divorcing couples consider mediation as an alternative to litigation, though changes in family and matrimonial law are seeking to alter that. The provisions of the Family Law Act 1996 come on stream by the end of the century, by which time the court system will be playing a more active role in encouraging ...

  • Girling counters Mears' attack

    29-Oct-1996

    Law Society president Tony Girling has responded to a vitriolic attack by his predecessor over staff management at the Law Society by claiming "you can't possibly let sentiment get in the way of good management".Girling was replying to a backbiting letter from former president Martin Mears, sent to council members and seen by The Lawyer, in which he accused Girling of driving Jane Hern out of the Law Society.Hern's job - director of management planning ...

  • Headhunting continues at Pinsents as Levin joins

    29-Oct-1996

    Pinsent Curtis has commenced a headhunting drive for its London office with the recruitment of Lovell White Durrant's assistant solicitor David Levin as a corporate partner.The announcement of the move comes just two weeks after the firm revealed that it had poached Linklaters & Paines litigation partner, Graeme Brister, to replace Paul Downing as head of its London office.

  • IBA shown up by 'arty' early opening

    29-Oct-1996

    The IBA Conference opening, with guest Roman Herzog, has become the talking point of the eventMore than 4,000 lawyers watched an unusual mixture of shadow dancing, music and lighting effects that formed the grand opening ceremony for the 26th biennial International Bar Association Conference in Berlin.The display, performed before and after a series of speeches by German president Roman Herzog, IBA president Ross Harper, the mayor of Berlin, and several other ...

  • IBA women call for Net advantage

    29-Oct-1996

    THE IBA's new women lawyers group should have its own web site so women lawyers from all over the world can communicate with each other, according to its founder.Over 200 women lawyers gathered for lunch at the IBA conference in Berlin for the launch of the group, set up by Dianna Kempe, who has just been elected to serve a second term as IBA secretary general.Kempe, the IBA's first female office holder, told the assembled women that she had been delighted ...

  • IBA wrangle hits Kempe

    29-Oct-1996

    THE FIRST woman office holder at the International Bar Association won a surprise election challenge for secretary general only to become embroiled in an embarrassing political row.During the IBA conference in Berlin last week, a forum for managing partners organised by Dianna Kempe QC, who had just seen off an electoral challenge by Nutifafa Kuenyehia, was undermined by an existing committee.More than 50 managing partners attended the forum to witness the internal ...

  • In brief: Bingham speaks at third CEDR conference

    29-Oct-1996

    Lord Chief Justice Bingham and NatWest chair Lord Alexander of Weedon were among speakers at the third conference of the Centre for Dispute Resolution/CBI this Monday. "With the backdrop of the recent Woolf Report, alternative dispute resolution is here to stay," said CEDR chief executive Professor Karl Mackie.

  • In brief: Consultation on shareholder remedies

    29-Oct-1996

    The Law Commission has published a consultation paper on shareholder remedies. The paper makes provisional proposals for changes in the law and procedure. The commission recommends that the circumstances in which a shareholder can sue on behalf of a company be set out in rules of court; that a new more streamlined statutory remedy be created to deal with the most common allegations of unfairly prejudicial conduct; and that changes are made in the management of disputes which go to court ...

  • In brief: Hong Kong's JSM makes Ip senior partner

    29-Oct-1996

    Hong Kong's largest local law firm, Johnson Stokes & Master (JSM), has appointed long-serving Simon Ip OBE as senior partner. JSM is associated with Norton Rose. Ip will take over from Peter Edwards, who remains with the firm as a consultant. Ip was previously head of the firm's litigation department and specialises in civil and commercial litigation.

  • In brief: IBA survey shows MDPs spread worldwide

    29-Oct-1996

    An international survey has revealed the widespread existence of multi-disciplinary practices across the globe. The survey of 120 member countries of the International Bar Association was unveiled at its conference in Berlin last week. In the survey, 72 per cent of the countries reported MDPs in their jurisdictions, even though such arrangements were permitted in only a third of them. According to the preliminary results of the survey, which was conducted by the IBA's new MDP committee, ...

  • In brief: Mark Stephens

    29-Oct-1996

    Last week's The Lawyer carried a photograph captioned Mark Stephens. Unfortunately the wrong photograph was used. The picture which appeared was in fact David Schollenberger, an assistant solicitor with S J Berwin & Co. Schollenberger has just been appointed by the firm to spearhead its IT practice.

  • In brief: McKennas advises on Polish banks merger

    29-Oct-1996

    McKenna & Co has advised on the merger of four Polish state banks. The merger of one of the principle banks in Poland, PEKAO, with capital of £380 million, and three others will create the largest bank in Poland. The merger was carried out as part of a parliamentary act because the banks are all state owned.

  • In brief: Moodliar hired by Hertz as legal director

    29-Oct-1996

    Nuns Moodliar has joined Hertz as director of legal affairs for Europe, Middle East and Africa. Nuns was previously responsible for legal services at British Telecom's personal and national business divisions and worldwide broadcasting services.

  • In brief: Pepin pops in to pep up Channel 4 team

    29-Oct-1996

    Neil Pepin, programme lawyer for L!ve TV, will join Channel 4 in the New Year as deputy head of legal services. He will work under Jan Tomalin, with responsibility for checking programme content and ensuring the channel's compliance with its regulators.

  • In brief: Poverty action group considers legal move

    29-Oct-1996

    The Child Poverty Action Group (CPAG) is considering a legal challenge to Department of Social Security regulations on the claims appeals process that came into force last week. The move follows an attack on the regulations by the claims appeals body, the Independent Tribunals Service (ITS). CPAG's legal officer David Thomas said the regulations removed an effective right of appeal against benefit decisions.

  • In brief: Wright quits Dibbs for Linklaters & Paines

    29-Oct-1996

    Former Dibb Lupton Alsop partner Richard Wright has left the firm to join Linklaters & Paines. Wright, who joined Linklaters on 23 October, will continue to concentrate on contentious insolvency and fraud and will take the title 'of counsel', a US term that recognises seniority. He will not be a partner.

  • In line with Luxembourg?

    29-Oct-1996

    Employment lawyers may be forgiven for listening to Euro-sceptics with a wry smile. For us, the supremacy of European law is already a fact of life.While there have been important recent developments in domestic legislation, and some in the common law, perhaps the most significant changes have been brought about by European law. Article 119 of the Treaty of Rome and directives 76/207 and 77/187 are needed for an appearance before the Industrial Tribunal in Reading as well ...

  • IT front-runners in the Olympic city

    29-Oct-1996

    THE LEGAL Tech conference is regarded as the definitive show for legal technology in the US. But I was deeply disappointed to find only a handful of products on show in the Olympic city of Atlanta last month that were truly deserving of a gold medal.There were even a number of products still running under Dos. Any self-respecting developer should have offered a Windows option long ago.But there were some winners, including a product called Depo/Sync. This ...

  • Labour's position on fast track cheers Apil

    29-Oct-1996

    Personal injury lawyers have welcomed firm signals from the Labour Party that it will exclude personal injury litigation from Lord Woolf's proposed fast-track system.Addressing the Society of Labour lawyers in Leicester last week, Labour's legal affairs spokesman Paul Boateng said he had serious doubts that personal injury cases and the fixed costs proposed under the fast track were compatible.His comments follow the publication of university research ...

  • Law centres' roadshow takes legal aid warning to grass roots

    29-Oct-1996

    A NATIONWIDE speaking tour is being staged by the Law Centres Federation in a unique bid to highlight the organisation's fears about the consequences of the Government's planned legal aid reforms.In what is a first for the federation, it hopes to hold meetings at most of the country's 55 law centres over the following months.Speakers at each meeting will address a different topic and how it relates to the law, but a common theme will be the Government's ...

  • Law Soc agrees to print supplement

    29-Oct-1996

    Alison Laferla reportsIT suppliers are claiming a victory after the Law Society gave in to pressure to publish a supplement to its IT directory that lists suppliers excluded from the original.The directory, Information Technology, published in August, claimed to provide guidance on how to choose an IT system and to contain information on the main IT suppliers to lawyers in England and Wales.But the directory, sold to members for ...

  • Law Soc thumbs up for tax law rewrite

    29-Oct-1996

    The Law Society has admitted it is impressed with examples of more user-friendly tax legislation but says it still has reservations about the proposed £25m legislative rewrite.The Inland Revenue has released examples of the new-look legislation and is seeking feedback from organisations such as the Law Society."We will be commenting on them but we were quite impressed," said the society's revenue law committee secretary Jill Hallpike. "It did show ...

  • Legal humour and the leading lawyer

    29-Oct-1996

    Being Princess Diana's divorce lawyer you would think Anthony Julius would be laughing all the way to the bank. Instead he is wondering why the joke is on him and his profession."Why are lawyers the butt of so many jokes?" the Mishcon de Reya partner asked a lunchtime audience at University College London on 22 October.Perhaps because only a lawyer would spend 45 minutes ...

  • Linklaters 'delighted' by Simmons outcome

    29-Oct-1996

    An "eleventh hour" out-of-court settlement has ended Banque Bruxelles Lambert's £50 million negligence claim against Simmons & Simmons.The long-running case had been scheduled to go to trial at the beginning of last week, and although its terms are confidential, Linklaters & Paines, which acted for the bank, has expressed delight at the outcome."We are very pleased ...

  • Litigation Personal Injury 29/10/96

    29-Oct-1996

    Combined judgments: Hirst, Auld, Thorpe LJJ - Court of Appeal - 23 October 19Wells v WellsClaimant: Thelma Wells, 58Incident: Road traffic accidentAward: £1.619m by Judge Wilcox, QBD, 13 June 199Counsel for appellant: John Leighton-Williams QC, Richard MethuenSolicitors for appellant: Linda Y Oliver, WorthingCounsel for respondent: Christopher Purchas QC, George Gadney

  • Litigation Recent Decisions 29/10/96

    29-Oct-1996

    Foreseeability in tort claimsSummary: Whether foreseeability is an essential element in proving liability in tort.Question: Insured is a property owner. He has DIY skills but has no specific professional skills in the building trade. He installed a soak-away near the top of an embankment. Owing to the unstable nature of the embankment there was a landslip. This has resulted in damage to a neighbouring property. A claim is being prepared for the removal of support ...

  • Litigation Writs 29/10/96

    29-Oct-1996

    The owners of a unique £185,000 Lamborghini, which was damaged after being stolen and involved in a police chase, are suing the Hotel for Fine Automobiles for compensation. The Lamborghini Countach Celebration 25th anniversary car had been left unattended, with the keys in the ignition, at a courtyard belonging to the hotel, where it was stored, according to the writ. However, the writ says the car was stolen and not found until the next ...

  • Lobbying produces draft laws

    29-Oct-1996

    City lawyers have claimed success in lobbying the European Commission over continuity of contracts when EMU arrives.The Commission last week published several draft laws on European Monetary Union, including an article which specified that contracts written in ECUs should continue after the change to the EMU in 1999.Geoffrey Yeowart, Lovell White Durrant banking partner, and Haydn Pulesten Jones, head of banking at

  • Looking for local expertise?

    29-Oct-1996

    Barristers specialising in employment law in the regions face tough competition from the top provincial solicitors, who do the majority of their own advocacy.Several barristers were recommended for their advocacy and advice skills, particularly in Manchester, Birmingham, Nottingham, Newcastle-upon-Tyne and Bristol, although the list below is not exhaustive.However, the overwhelming view among solicitors heading employment units is that they will do their own ...

  • MoD faces crashing case

    29-Oct-1996

    Two widows whose husbands died in a September 1994 helicopter crash at Koblenz in Germany are heading for a High Court confrontation with the Ministry of Defence. Anja Bielert-Beck and Gillian Beresford, whose husbands Corporal Andrew Beck and Sergeant Leslie Beresford died when the Lynx helicopter crashed, are claiming the crash was the result of negligence and breach of duty on the part of the MoD.

  • Most industrious silks

    29-Oct-1996

    Barristers specialising in employment law need to be aware not just of the legal issues but also the "politics with a small p" of the situation, according to the solicitors that instruct them.As one solicitor points out, academic brilliance is not the first consideration, despite the complexity of much of the law: "I first look for someone who understands the rough and tumble of an industrial case, who is sensitive to the client's ...

  • Nicholas Cheffings on where landlords may buy insurance.

    29-Oct-1996

    Nicholas Cheffings is a property litigation partner at Nabarro Nathanson.In the case of Havenbridge v Boston Dyers the Court of Appeal held that a landlord satisfies his insuring liability if he has struck a proper deal in the market. The court held that, in the absence of clear words in a lease, it was not necessary for the landlord to take the lowest quote on offer.In ...

  • No joke going beyond the pale

    29-Oct-1996

    In September, the Employment Appeals Tribunal ruling that a hotel's management was liable for racist comments made by comedian Bernard Manning about two Afro-Caribbean waitresses made national paper headlines. But in the sensationalised publicity surrounding the case it was easy to lose sight of the fact that the ruling had great legal significance.It was a landmark ruling in respect of the general accountability of those, such as hotel managements, for ...

  • Planning chambers seeks practice manager

    29-Oct-1996

    THE SPECIALIST local government and planning set, 2 Mitre Court Buildings, is the latest chambers to opt for a practice manager.The chambers, headed by Michael FitzGerald QC, is advertising for someone to spearhead its strategic planning, marketing, information technology and quality assurance.But senior clerk Robert Woods admitted that the prospective employee's new role had yet to be fully defined.He said the practice manager's key role ...

  • Poachers swoop on Milbanks' London office

    29-Oct-1996

    Allen & Overy and US firm Shearman & Sterling have raided Milbank, Tweed, Hadley & McCloy's staff, leaving the American practice's London office almost entirely depleted of partners.Milbank has lost nine of its lawyers, including five partners, to the two firms in the past month.

  • Pre-school qulifications no indicators of ability at law

    29-Oct-1996

    TWO major research studies have all but demolished the conventional belief that academic qualifications should govern the admission requirements for law students.The studies, revealed at the IBA conference in Berlin last week and conducted in Australia and Canada, found that law school admission tests results correlate to a law student's eventual academic success in only 3 per cent of cases.The dramatic results also reveal that law students' ...

  • Qualifying job standards

    29-Oct-1996

    I read with interest the article in The Lawyer (15 October) headlined "Brains top the list of trainee requirements". It saddens me that academic intelligence continues to rank as the most important requirement for selecting trainee solicitors when prospective candidates have so much more to offer.Having filled in numerous application forms this summer, I am in no doubt that the way academic intelligence is assessed is by looking at A-level or equivalent results. ...

  • Rape transcripts

    29-Oct-1996

    Canadian mother Donna French, whose daughter was abducted, raped and murdered, broke down as she told delegates how the judge in the case should not have had transcripts from a videotape of the rape and torture read out to the media during the trial. "It seems to offer no benefit other that to satisfy the passing interest of the media and the perverse curiosity of a handful of the public. We felt totally betrayed. We felt total disgust."

  • Rape trial woman heads for Europe in bid to change law

    29-Oct-1996

    The rape victim who was cross-examined for six days by her attacker is taking her case to the European Court of Human Rights in a bid to alter the law.Julia Mason, who renounced her anonymity to publicise her cross-examination ordeal, has lodged an application to the court.Under current law, defendants have the right to represent themselves in court and can cross-examine alleged victims. The only exception to this applies to defendants in child abuse cases who ...

  • Set goes after two quality standards

    29-Oct-1996

    Francis Taylor Building has brought in training consultants to help it comply with two quality standards - Investors in People and the Bar's own practice management standards.The general common law set, which has 34 tenants, believes it is the first set in the country to have opted to work towards joint compliance with both of the standards.It has hired Central Law Training, which helped the Bar Council draw up its practice management standards, ...

  • Settling for less?

    29-Oct-1996

    Conventional commercial litigation is long, slow, and laborious and unfortunately the growth of alternative dispute resolution (ADR) methods has been no quicker.Providers of ADR services are only gradually gaining ground and establishing mediation and arbitration services. According to Professor Karl Mackie, chief executive of the Centre for Dispute Resolution (CEDR): "It's not a sprint situation - developing systems like this takes time."CEDR, which leads ...

  • Solicitors' junior choice

    29-Oct-1996

    The "new school" of junior counsel prepared to work as a team with the solicitors instructing them receive high praise from law firms around the country.The partner of one top London firm explains: "What you really want is to have good working partnership where you are not afraid to pick up the telephone and toss ideas about. A lot of the junior Bar are very keen to work in that way and it makes such a difference."As with employment specialist silks, the most ...

  • Students expect rewarding but stressful career

    29-Oct-1996

    They do not want the money, they expect their work to be stressful and believe the public will respect them when they become lawyers.A survey of post-graduate law students by The Lawyer found that more than half believe the legal profession is highly regarded by the public.The survey of 100 students, all studying at the same law school, is timed to coincide with the The Graduate Law Fair at the Barbican on 6 and 7 November. The event, organised by The Lawyer, ...

  • Suing operation is ongoing

    29-Oct-1996

    The way has been paved for East Kent Health Authority to be sued by a 46-year-old former policeman who claims an operation to remove varicose veins was botched. William West of Dover is suing the authority over the effects of the operation carried out at Thanet General Hospital in December 1985. Initially the Health Authority had contested the claim on the basis West had left it too late to sue. However, the authority, which denies liability, dropped that argument halfway ...

  • Surveyed hackers snub law

    29-Oct-1996

    Computer hackers do not fear the law, are seldom caught and rarely prosecuted, according to a new survey released by IT supplier Computacenter.The survey of 126 hackers revealed that 79 per cent of hackers believe tougher legislation would not be a significant deterrent and 62 per cent said more prosecutions would not stop them trying to gain unauthorised access to IT systems.Martin Hellawell, head of marketing at Computacenter, said: "One ...

  • The Lawyer Inquiry: Evan Donaldson

    29-Oct-1996

    Evan Donaldson was born in Bridge of Allan in Central Scotland on 16 March 1962. He is the legal director/company secretary at construction company Miller Group. What was your first job?Legal trainee at Brownlie, Watson & Beckett in Glasgow.What was your first ever salary as a lawyer?£4,500 per annum, I think.What would you have done if you hadn't become a lawyer?

  • The right choice

    29-Oct-1996

    Dianna Kempe QC has been reinstated as secretary general of the International Bar Association after something of a to-do when she was challenged for the position.The IBA Council's overwhelming vote in her favour coincides with a groundswell of support for the woman who, had she lost, would have been out of the running for president.While the current president is from a third-world country, the success of women in the IBA has been less in evidence.

  • Tigerish argument about safety in cages

    29-Oct-1996

    Mr Justice Turner is being asked to decide whether keepers at a Kent zoo park, where three have been killed by tigers, should be allowed to put their lives at risk by entering the tiger enclosures.The case, concerning Howletts Zoo near Canterbury, which is owned by John Aspinall, is well dressed in legal argument. A ban on keepers entering the enclosure was imposed by Canterbury City Council after the third keeper, 32-year-old Trevor Smith, ...

  • Titanic error to ignore split

    29-Oct-1996

    According to the press release issued by the Law Society, the votes cast in respect of the motion to split its representational role from its regulatory function were as follows:in favour: 8,881 (38.48 per cent),against: 14,199 (61.52 per cent).I cannot understand on what basis Mr Girling, the president, can say that this was only the disenchanted section of the profession that stirred itself to ...

  • UK lawyers to get US salaries

    29-Oct-1996

    US firm White & Case is to pay New York-level salaries of around £45,000 to its newly-qualified lawyers in London as part of a recruitment drive.The move, which has raised eyebrows among City managing partners, will see the salaries of newly-qualified lawyers rocket from a median of £27,000 to £45,000, with subsequent incremental rises of £5,000 a year.

  • Ultra vires is threat to PFI says seminar

    29-Oct-1996

    THE GOVERNMENT is shooting itself in the foot by refusing to do away with the doctrine of ultra vires, a seminar staged by specialist commercial chambers Verulam Chambers heard.Derek Wheatley QC, the former chief legal adviser to Lloyds Bank, told the seminar on current banking problems that the existence of the doctrine was threatening the private finance initiative.Wheatley, who is now a tenant at the set, said the doctrine had allowed local authorities to ...

  • UN guidelines

    29-Oct-1996

    The United Nations Centre for Human Rights is assembling a group of legal experts to produce standard guidelines for legal training in the world's new democracies. The UN Special Rapporteur on the Independence of Judges and Lawyers, Dato Param Cumaraswamy, told delegates to the IBA conference that the UN would produce a legal training manual for emerging democracies by next year "so that all the democracies will apply similar standards for the administration of justice and for ...

  • Us partner hits out at demands to connect up

    29-Oct-1996

    A LEADING US law firm has hit out at in-house counsel who are demanding law firms connect up to their computer systems.Sullivan & Cromwell partner Michael Lacadara told a seminar on in-house counsel that the firm was faced with many clients all computerising at the same time."We have had clients ring us to say, 'We are bringing in a new email system. ...

  • Watchdog debate

    29-Oct-1996

    Peter Ross, the new director of the new Law Society watchdog, the Office for the Supervision of Solicitors, told lawyers that an independent watchdog was undesirable. A body completely separate from the Law Society would have to report to government, he said. "If regulation rests in the hands of the Government, the policing of the profession likewise rests there. With the Government having such a huge responsibility for lawyers, would they feel free to take on high-profile cases fighting ...

  • Woolwich £125 administration panel fee condemned by property lawyers' groups

    29-Oct-1996

    PROPERTY lawyers have condemned the introduction of a £125 charge for those seeking to join the solicitors panel of Woolwich Building Society.The Law Society and the Solicitors Property Group both claim the fee is unfair.But Woolwich senior solicitor Michael Webber said no lawyer had yet complained about the charge and the building society was perfectly entitled to impose it.Under a series of changes, Woolwich will allow all solicitors, whether ...