28 September 1998

The Lawyer

  • A future for conveyancing

    2-Oct-1998

    The feature on conveyancing (The Lawyer, 3 February) highlights the dilemmas facing conveyancing solicitors.While firms enter the property selling arena - to combat the encroachment of estate agents into conveyancing - their traditional role in the process is also threatened by the proposals of US-style title insurers.In my opinion, Brian Marson's view that there is no future for domestic conveyancing as a business activity for the high street ...

  • A goal in the Net

    2-Oct-1998

    New broadcasting media is leading to a wealth of opportunity, writes Mark Drimie. Mark Drimie is a solicitor at Denton Hall Media & Technology Group.The next 12 months will be an important turning point for digital media in the UK. The appearance of digital TV and the potential for new pay-per-view and on-demand services will transform the media landscape.Online media and the Internet are leading the way. With thousands of "surfers" accessing the ...

  • A legal system fit for the 21st century

    29-Sep-1998

    Susan Ward says it is time to throw out outdated restrictive practices in the legal profession in order to improve the supply of affordable legal services. Susan Ward is general counsel to the banking body APACS and chair of the Bar Association for Commerce, Finance and Industry. With each fresh revelation about the enormous earnings of some lawyers, the man in the street looks on with dismay. It must seem to him that the legal profession inhabits another world - not only because of ...

  • A new leaf from the Tobacco Case

    3-Oct-1998

    John Pickering believes that the outcome of the "Tobacco Case' has proved to be a victory for both lawyers and the media. John Pickering is head of Irwin Mitchell's PI department.The "Tobacco Case", as it has become known, has attracted a great deal of media attention, and none more so than on 12 February 1998 when it entered the Court of Appeal.The plaintiffs in the action sought to bring a claim for damages against the three named tobacco companies ...

  • A problem which is bugging firms' PCs

    2-Oct-1998

    Firms millennium-proofing their computer systems are also keeping their clients informed, says Philip Hoult. Philip Hoult is a freelance journalist.As firms race to millennium-proof their computer systems, some are taking time out to tell their clients just what is going on.Andrew Seddon, partner in the IT Department at Masons, says that after starting an internal review of the problem in July 1997, the firm decided to install a new practice ...

  • A&O lawyers fall to Russian sickle

    29-Sep-1998

    Allen & Overy's Moscow office has made a fifth of its 32 lawyers redundant - the first employees at UK firms to fall victim to the Russian crisis.A&O's Moscow managing partner Chris Roberts said the six lawyers - one expat and five Russians - worked primarily in the capital markets department and had been asked to leave because of the "complete fall-off of new issues work".

  • Advocacy course

    3-Oct-1998

    A Practical Advocacy course for young advocates and solicitors will be held on 8 April at the Institute of Advanced Legal Studies. Organised by Fleet Street agency Legal Practice clerks, the day offers intensive training on subjects from mortgage possession hearings to immigration tribunals. Call 0171 404 7579 for details.

  • Age of know-how

    2-Oct-1998

    In an increasingly competitive and demanding business environment, law firms have come to recognise the economic value of managing the internal knowledge, experience and expertise daily generated and acquired in the course of client work.This "know-how" can become the source of decisive competitive advantages for a firm. Know-how provides the firm with the ability to differentiate its services from competitors, to enhance the quality and range of its client services and ...

  • Alliance of Euro Lawyers chief goes to consultancy post at Hildebrandt

    2-Oct-1998

    MARC BARTEL, the secretary general of the Alliance of European Lawyers, has left to join Hildebrandt, the international legal management consultancy firm.Bartel's departure comes at a crucial time for the alliance, whose negotiations with Linklaters over a potential link-up are due to conclude before the end of the month.He was brought in by the Alliance three years ago ...

  • Allied Lawyers Response Team launches campaign to expose 'scandal of Y2K bugs

    2-Oct-1998

    A personal injury lawyers' network is mounting a campaign to tackle what it describes as the "scandal of the Year 2000 computer bug".The Allied Lawyers Response Team (Alert) launched its Y2K-LAW campaign last week.The 21-firm network has adapted its technique of grouping together and sharing the cost of legal claims in personal injury cases for use in potential claims against computer manufacturers and suppliers.In addition to providing a legal ...

  • Andersens breaks with HK firm as it forges Singapore alliance

    29-Sep-1998

    Arthur Andersen Legal has dumped its Hong Kong firm Ede Charlton only two years after setting up the practice - at the same time as acquiring a 67-lawyer Singapore firm.Ex-Simmons & Simmons corporate partner Julia Charlton is understood to have reached an agreement with Andersens to allow her to keep practising under the Ede Charlton name from 30 October, when the contract with Andersens ends.John Burrows, managing partner, Greater China at Andersens, said: "It ...

  • Andersens' HK action sounds alarm bells

    29-Sep-1998

    Arthur Andersen's Hong Kong office Ede Charlton has become the latest casualty of its founder. The practice has been ousted from the accountancy firm's legal network. The lawyers in the Hong Kong office are at a loss to identify the full reasons for the break-up, although Andersens has said it happened because the two differed over strategies. The differences between legal and accounting practices are becoming starker as time goes on. Andersens' ...

  • Are you sitting comfortably?

    29-Sep-1998

    Linda Tsang looks at a selection of the UK's legal offices to see how ergonomic thinking has influenced the workplace. No one is immune from backache or neckache, whether they be high-flying barristers, senior partners in multinational legal practices, outdoor clerks or secretaries and support staff. But despite the number of hours spent staring at a screen or on the telephone, most people do not consider what impact their working practices can have on them.

  • Asim offers funds growth in its defence

    2-Oct-1998

    Funds under the control of solicitor investment managers increased to £2bn last year, according to figures released by the Association of Solicitor Investment Managers (Asim) last week.The figure for funds managed by Asim members, who now number more than 90, represents an increase of more than £400m since 1996.The association is hoping the sheer scale of the funds managed by Asim members will add weight to its representations to the Government on ...

  • Backing "dead certs' as reforms raise the stakes. Elizabeth Davidson examines the reforms and how one firm believes it will fare under them

    3-Oct-1998

    IF THE experience of high street firm Howe & Co is anything to go by, Lord Irvine's mission to shake up the legal profession is having its desired effect.The firm says that, under the reform plans unveiled by the Lord Chancellor last week, it will lose its medical negligence work, be forced to change the type of personal injury case it undertakes and turn many former clients away.The Ealing Broadway firm sees itself as a typical high ...

  • Bakers settles $6m sex case

    29-Sep-1998

    Baker & McKenzie has settled its US sexual harassment suit brought by former secretary Rena Weeks by paying out over $6m.Weeks, who worked in the firm's San Diego office, claimed she was harassed by partner Martin Greenstein and filed a suit in 1992.A jury originally awarded Weeks almost $7m but this was halved by a state appeals court. The Supreme Court of California ...

  • Battens revamps management in bid to rival London firms

    3-Oct-1998

    South West firm Battens has shaken up its management structure in a bid to challenge its larger provincial and London rivals.The 26-partner firm has replaced its more traditional committee structure, overseen by a managing partner, with an executive board comprising a chairman and five directors, two of whom are non-lawyers.Ray Edwards, chairman of the new board, said that the changes were intended to give the firm a more corporate outlook and to allow partners ...

  • BCCI lawyers bring expensive war of attrition to cutprice end

    29-Sep-1998

    The former auditors of collapsed bank BCCI have settled a six-year-long $11bn liquidators' claim against them by paying just $195m.Lawyers close to the deal estimate that at least a quarter of the $195m ($50m) will have to pay the fees of the liquidators and their lawyers Lovell White Durrant. Legal fees over the six years - shared between Lovells and counsel - are likely to top $100m. Liquidators fees will account for at least another $240m.But liquidators ...

  • Big insurers lukewarm about 'after the event'

    2-Oct-1998

    Despite Lord Irvine's drive to launch conditional fee insurance, the major insurers have yet to be convinced, argues Robert LindsayAFTER his department's meeting with insurers last Friday, Lord Irvine's public message will be predictable. He will boast that more insurers are ready to launch conditional fee insurance to fit in with his plans. Exit to fanfare.Representatives of the big insurers, who have until now only dabbled in bolt-on legal expenses ...

  • Birmingham Partner faces fraud charges

    3-Oct-1998

    West Midlands fraud squad has charged the senior partner of Birmingham firm James Beauchamp with stealing more than £73,000 from clients.The firm closed in June last year having hit the headlines a month earlier when it sent a £12,000 bill to the mother of one of its solicitors who had killed himself, charging for handling matters relating to his death. The Edgbaston firm's client list, with about 600 active cases was taken over by nearby firm Challinors ...

  • Birmingham sets to merge

    3-Oct-1998

    Two leading commercial sets in Birmingham 7 Fountain Court and Priory Chambers are to merge in a move which will create the largest set in the country with 77 tenants.The Lawyer understands 7 Fountain Court, with 46 tenants, voted in favour at an emergency chambers meeting last Monday, after Priory Chambers' 31 tenants had voted the previous Saturday.Details of the merger, such as who will become head of chambers and senior clerk, are now being thrashed ...

  • Book of the week

    29-Sep-1998

    The Which? Guide to EmploymentBy Ian HunterThis rights guide for employees and employers explains the delights of "frolics of one's own", protecting copyright and how to bring a case to industrial tribunal. The author, Ian Hunter, is a partner specialising in employment law at City law firm Bird & Bird, but has made a second career out ...

  • Bowley fights to scrap gay "gross indecency' offence

    3-Oct-1998

    A gay lawyers' think tank has sent a paper to government ministers proposing that sex in public becomes a public order offence and that the offence of gross indecency is abolished.The working party, chaired by Martin Bowley QC, was set up after a Lesbian and Gay Lawyers Association conference last year and has taken input from non-lawyer gay pressure groups including Stonewall, the Gay Police Initiative and the Bar Lesbian and Gay Group.Last October, it ...

  • Brief

    3-Oct-1998

    MEDICAL negligence solicitors have emerged as the first lawyer victims of Lord Irvine's legal aid reforms.All but the 90 firms which have solicitors on specialist medical negligence panels will be prohibited from undertaking legal aided medical negligence cases under Lord Irvine's reform blueprint.The plan, to be implemented this summer, is likely to lead to a rush of applications to join the two specialist medical negligence panels.However, ...

  • Brighton firm appoints planner

    2-Oct-1998

    BRIGHTON firm Griffith Smith has beefed up its team of planning experts by hiring Jill Whittaker from Brighton and Hove Unitary Authority.She joins forces with planning expert Bob Hinton, an old adversary. Together, they aim to provide planning services to clients dealing with local authorities - from private citizens to major developers.Until now, Whittaker has spent her whole career in public practice. She was employed by Brighton Council for ...

  • British Gas sued for poisoning

    29-Sep-1998

    British Gas is being sued by a couple from West Sussex who blame it, along with a building company, for carbon monoxide poisoning they claim to have suffered. John and Elizabeth Witham claim the poisoning was caused by the incorrect installation and servicing of a gas fire at their Angmering flat. Their claim for damages for in excess of £50,000 is being handled by Thomas Eggar ...

  • Brussels partner

    3-Oct-1998

    Catriona Hatton has been appointed as a partner at Rowe & Maw's Brussels office, bringing the number of partners up to three. Hatton joined Rowe & Maw from a Brussels firm in 1995 and has been based in Brussels for the last 10 years.

  • Buggins is dead

    2-Oct-1998

    With reference to the article "Buggins strikes again in Law Society election controversy", (The Lawyer, 3 February), the society has decided not to consider any changes to its bylaws which would prevent contested elections.The council of the Law Society will, in March, debate proposals for an informal procedure for candidates seeking election only to the office of deputy vice-president.Under the proposal, candidates, ...

  • Campbells signs Resolution to revamp its IT system

    29-Sep-1998

    LONDON firm Campbell Hooper has signed a £250,000 contract with practice management supplier Resolution Systems for a total overhaul of its cabling system and software.Resolution is updating the IT infrastructure at Campbells by installing a cabling system designed to cope with voice and data requirements.The £250,000 contract includes the cost for the installation of Resolution's FirmWare practice management system, which requires ...

  • Capitalising on capitalism

    3-Oct-1998

    Despite harsh laws and a lack of local talent, Eastern block countries can be a fruitful area for expansion, writes Chris Fogarty.When the Berlin wall, dividing communist East and free market West, came down in 1989, lawyers were among the first to climb through the rubble and into the former Soviet satellites.The last nine years have brought mixed fortunes for firms who risked capitalising on emerging capitalism. Poland and the Czech Republic have provided fertile ...

  • CC caught up in Montanaro row

    3-Oct-1998

    Clifford Chance has been drawn into a row between Montanaro Holdings and three of its company's ex-directors.Montanaro is claiming that the law firm's company secretarial arm, Clifford Chance Secretaries Ltd, is responsible for an invalid board meeting.The allegations come as three of the company's directors James Baker, James Cotton and David Shapiro who ...

  • CC grows in Germany

    29-Sep-1998

    Clifford Chance has expanded its insurance practice in Germany by recruiting Dr Herbert Palmberger from CHUBB insurance company of Europe. Palmberger will work for Clifford Chance's Dusseldorf office.

  • CC targets Latin American work

    29-Sep-1998

    Clifford Chance has followed Linklaters and Richards Butler by opening an office in SAo Paulo - despite concerns that Brazil will be the next casualty of the world financial crisis.New York managing partner Stephen Hood and three or four assistants will staff the office as employees of a limited company ...

  • Clifford Chance partner slams FSA plans

    29-Sep-1998

    Government plans to give the Financial Services Authority (FSA) power to impose civil fines for "market abuse" are "too extreme" and risk driving investment business out of the City, according to Clifford Chance.Tim Plews, a partner in the firm's regulation and financial institutions group, which acts for companies being investigated by financial regulators, has written a 13-page ...

  • Controversial PFI liability plans backed by accountants

    3-Oct-1998

    Private Finance Initiative (PFI) lawyers have reacted angrily to the news that chartered accountants are backing proposals to put liability for PFI projects on the public sector.The Institute of Chartered Accountants (ICA) is backing a proposal made by the Accounting Standards Board (ASB) last December to change the accounting rules, but it wants the ASB to soften its stance.Many lawyers believe that if the Treasury adopted the ASB's plans it would scupper ...

  • Co-operation at the coalface

    2-Oct-1998

    The sheer size of the British Coal multi-party action has led to firms working for a common goal, writes Chris Fogarty.After several years of case preparation and a hearing in the High Court that lasted 102 days, more than 100,000 former British Coal miners can breathe a little easier.In what is the longest-running industrial disease dispute in British legal history and one of the largest personal injury cases ever, Mr Justice Turner ruled last month that six ...

  • Criminal injury compensation

    2-Oct-1998

    A woman who was refused Criminal Injury Compensation over injuries she claimed she received during a robbery at her home, is taking her case to the House of Lords. Miriam Avraam's claim was dismissed by the CICB on the basis it was not satisfied she had suffered the assault. That dismissal was upheld by the High Court in December 1995 and the Court of Appeal last May.

  • Criminal lawyers slam Govt proposal to speed up justice

    29-Sep-1998

    Criminal lawyers have condemned a Home Office plan to speed up justice as ill-conceived and likely to lead to legal miscarriages.In a briefing last week, Home Office officials announced that from 1 October in six pilot areas, clients who plead guilty will be expected to use the solicitor on duty, not one of their own choice. The pilot areas are: Blackburn and Burnley; Bromley, Croydon and Sutton; Northamptonshire; North Staffordshire; north Wales; and Tyneside.

  • Debating the immunity of counsel

    29-Sep-1998

    Two recent High Court hearings show that advocates can no longer be certain of immunity from lawsuits, writes Roger Pearson. The accountability of counsel has been under the gaze of the courts recently. With a steady rise in the number of solicitor advocates, it is a situation which is likely to be significant to both sides of the profession. Inevitably the question will be raised of whether the immunity from lawsuits enjoyed by counsel will extend to solicitor advocates.

  • Decision fans hot coals of debate

    2-Oct-1998

    Meanwhile the British Coal decision has prompted further passionate debate over Lord Irvine's review of conditional fees.Just three hours after the British Coal decision was handed down, the Law Society was publicly claiming the case would never have happened without legal aid.Not surprisingly, the lawyers involved agree that under the Lord Chancellor Lord Irvine's planned extension of conditional fees the case would have been unlikely to have got off ...

  • Defence solicitors' fees at risk

    2-Oct-1998

    Roger Pearson looks at a recent decision which could leave defence solicitors' fees subject to proprietary claims by the plaintiffsThe decision of Michael Burton QC sitting as a deputy judge in the case of the United Mizrahi Bank (UMB) v Doherty & ors in the High Court on 28 November last year could have the effect of rendering fees paid to defence solicitors vulnerable to attack if their clients are unsuccessful.The case in question involved an action in ...

  • Dentons goes African

    29-Sep-1998

    Denton Hall has launched a London-based sub-Saharan Africa group, which will be headed by litigation partner John Mills. Mills will be supported by banking and trade finance partner Geoffrey Wynne and corporate partner Philip Goodwin.

  • Dentons in link-up to advise council

    29-Sep-1998

    City firm Denton Hall has teamed up with a local firm of solicitors to win an appointment to the panel of the London Borough of Barking and Dagenham.In the first deal of its kind for Denton Hall, Kenneth Elliott & Rowe, an 11-partner practice in Romford, will focus on commercial conveyancing work, calling in Denton Hall for specialist back-up for complex projects such as private finance initiatives (PFIs).The double-act is only one of about a dozen legal specialists ...

  • Dibbs targets Paris and Germany

    2-Oct-1998

    DIBB LUPTON Alsop plans to set up offices in France and Germany by the end of the year.A source said the firm was close to signing with lawyers in Paris and that an office could be open by the summer. An office is expected to be in place in Germany by December.David Barrett, a London-based partner at the firm, refused to confirm the openings. He simply commented: "We see ourselves expanding in Europe if the appropriate circumstances arise."The disclosure ...

  • Dicksons head of tax defects

    3-Oct-1998

    Niche Scottish corporate firm Dickson Minto WS has lost its well-regarded English-qualified head of tax, Janet Jones, to Addleshaw Booth & Co.Unusually for a lawyer of her status, Jones was not a partner at Dickson Minto and will continue as an assistant solicitor when she joins Addleshaws' team of six corporate tax specialists in its Leeds office.Although Dickson Minto ...

  • Doughty Street gears up for Irvine reforms

    2-Oct-1998

    DOUGHTY Street chambers is gearing up to hire a "considerable" number of new back-room staff as part of a major restructuring drive, in preparation for the Government's controversial legal aid reforms.The leading human rights chambers has just sent out a team of barristers to consult with solicitors at around 30 firms with whom the chambers work, to discuss ways of coping with the plan to replace legal aid with conditional fees.A range of issues was discussed, ...

  • Eco-battle set for High Court

    29-Sep-1998

    The High Court looks set to be the latest venue for the much-hyped eco-battle currently taking place at Epsom in Surrey. After a preliminary vacation hearing before Mr Justice Astill, the case gained wide media coverage because of "General Survival" - the 11-year-old, near illiterate boy photographed in combat gear, said to be heading the fight against road-builders. The case is scheduled to return to court in October.

  • E-commerce raises issues

    2-Oct-1998

    The growing popularity of e-commerce will lead to knock-on work for the legal profession, according to Paula StauntonIn a rapidly developing field, IT lawyers not only have to deal with the cases and clients in hand, they must also keep an eye on the issues of the future.In 1998, a number of issues will emerge in the IT industry that will also have a direct impact on the law and none more so than the issue of data protection.The ...

  • Employee rights should be high on firms' agendas

    3-Oct-1998

    Elaine Aarons says signing on to the Social Chapter is likely to have a significant impact on all law firms. Elaine Aarons is an employment law partner at Eversheds and chair of the Employers Forum on EU Social Policy.Britain's opt-out from the Social Chapter ended at the meeting of the EU Council of Ministers last December.All measures except those concerning European Works ...

  • End of an era for legal aid

    3-Oct-1998

    "WE do not want to create a litigious society but one in which people respect one another's rights," Lord Irvine's legal aid consultation paper, Access to Justice with Conditional Fees, pronounces.It proposes the immediate extension of conditional fee funding to all cases except in criminal and family law and suggests that defendants who lose their cases should pay the other side's insurance premium and their lawyer's success fee.The extension ...

  • Eversheds 'evolution' spawns new chairman

    2-Oct-1998

    Eversheds has made its non-executive chairman, Keith James, a full-time executive chairman after 11 months without a full-time boss,James, in turn, has appointed a management team of three others to handle internal administration, client development and international strategy respectively.Eversheds announced in April last year, when managing partner Peter Cole moved to head Eversheds ...

  • Ex NHS trust chief to head Wilberforce

    3-Oct-1998

    Shaun Pye reportsWilberforce chambers has appointed the former chief executive of an NHS trust to be its first chambers director.Suzanne Cosgrave, who starts on 1 April, will be responsible for the overall management of chambers including the clerks.Senior clerk Roy Beazley retires from the chancery set, which has 29 tenants, at the end of March, and his replacement, Declan Redmond, will report to Cosgrave.

  • Female partner in running for election to top Linklaters post

    29-Sep-1998

    Linklaters could soon be the first big five City firm to have a female managing partner.Litigation partner Diana Good and tax head Tony Angel have emerged as the front-runners for the post of managing partner, which is to be decided by a vote next week.Terence Kyle stepped down as managing partner of the firm at the beginning of August in preparation for taking up his appointment ...

  • Finding children via the media

    3-Oct-1998

    Roger Pearson looks at the basic procedures to follow when applying for reporting restrictions to be lifted in child abduction cases.At least three cases reached the High Court Family Division last month in which reporting restrictions were lifted in respect of abducted children allowing media coverage.Mr Justice Stuart-White, Mr Justice Sumner and Judge Calman lifted reporting restrictions in all cases. Different lawyers were involved, all with different ...

  • Firms mount bid to block restrictive Hungarian law

    2-Oct-1998

    FOREIGN lawyers in Bud-apest have launched a last-ditch effort to persuade the Hungarian government to rethink a proposed new law restricting their ability to practise in the country.The proposed law is currently before a parliamentary committee, which is expected to decide the final shape of the bill. As it stands, the ruling would require a foreign law firm to form an association with a local firm, share premises with it and reflect the local association in its operating ...

  • Flotation

    2-Oct-1998

    Lawrence Graham acted for Sinclair Montrose Healthcare in its admission to the Official List of the London Stock Exchange with a market capitalisation of £41.5m. Just prior to admission

  • Flotation

    2-Oct-1998

    Details of deals should be sent to the City editor

  • Freshfields doubles size of Big Apple base

    3-Oct-1998

    Freshfields is aiming to more than double the size of its New York office by recruiting three US partners and around 10 US associates, primarily in the field of project finance.Last week, The Lawyer revealed how Allen & Overy has doubled its office space in New York to do exactly the same thing expanding into US project finance and capital markets advice.Freshfields managing ...

  • Freshfields nets Tokyo firm

    3-Oct-1998

    Freshfields has acquired a small Japanese law firm in a bid to become the first UK firm to practice Japanese law in its Tokyo office. The firm has hired Naoki Kimani, a senior bengoshi (Japanese lawyer) and his team of two paralegals and two assistants.Kinami, who has practiced international law for 20 years, has worked for a number of major Japanese commercial banks, insurance companies, and US/UK investment banks.Freshfields joins other firms in Tokyo which ...

  • FTSE shake-up gives Nabarros second 100 client

    29-Sep-1998

    Nabarro Nathanson has won itself a second FTSE 100 client, without having to lift a finger.Telecoms company Sema, an existing Nabarros client, joined the top-100 following the FTSE Actuaries Indices Committee's quarterly shake-up of the index this month.Nabarro's only other FTSE 100 client is property company Land Securities.The committee relegated five companies ...

  • Govt's employment U-turn

    29-Sep-1998

    Employment lawyers have welcomed a government U-turn on abolishing the ceiling for unfair dismissal compensation.The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) White Paper issued in May proposed abolishing the £12,000 ceiling on compensation claims for unfair dismissal, which would have brought unfair dismissal into line with both sexual and racial discrimination claims.But DTI Secretary of State Peter Mandelson bowed to pressure from campaigning employers' ...

  • Gray's Inn Chambers takes on new senior clerk and new name

    2-Oct-1998

    MILTON Grundy's Gray's Inn Chambers has appointed a senior clerk and adopted a new name.Senior clerk Chris Broom, formerly Anthony Scrivener QC's first junior clerk at 2-3 Gray's Inn Square, joined the chambers last month, shortly after its name changed to Gray's Inn Tax Chambers.Broom was selected from more than 100 applicants to take over from John Regan. Regan retired last month after 24 years at the chambers.

  • Hammond Suddards hires leading employment lawyer

    3-Oct-1998

    Hammond Suddards has hired top employment lawyer Chris Southam from Bristol firm Veale Wasbrough.Southam was head of Veale Wasbrough's employment unit, and was regarded as the leading employment practitioner in the South West.He said that joining Hammond Suddards "was such a good opportunity an opportunity that I could not let go". He described Hammond Suddards as a "first-rate" firm with a very good client base.Adding that he was very sad to ...

  • Herbert Smith scoops Slaughters

    29-Sep-1998

    Slaughter and May, the traditional leader on major stock exchange flotations, has acted on none so far this year, while Herbert Smith has scooped a higher number and total value than any other firm.KPMG figures showing the total number of flotations in the past four years still put Slaughters at number two by deal number, alongside

  • Hurt Girling complains of "pejorative' remarks

    3-Oct-1998

    Tony Girling has accused fellow members of the Law Society's ruling council of subjecting him to a series of "pejorative" jibes after they voted down his plan to resurrect a version of the "Buggin's turn" system for electing the profession's leaders of the society.Girling, the former president of the Law Society, had proposed that the council organise an informal ballot before the presidential elections in order to choose candidates for the deputy vice-presidency.

  • In brief: Abbey Legal opens legal call centre

    3-Oct-1998

    Abbey Legal Protection has officially opened a call centre in Croydon which will supply free advice to Abbeys' legal expenses insurance clients 24 hours a day, seven days a week. The service offers a range of legal advice from tax queries through to questions regarding employment law and is expected to handle at least 130,000 calls per year.

  • In brief: Addison secures harassment conviction

    3-Oct-1998

    Former Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) prosecutor Neil Addison has secured the first convictions of campaigners or demonstrators under the Harassment Act since it came into force last year. Two animal rights protestors have been banned from going within half a mile of a Nothumberland mink farm. Addison, an expert on the Act, had prosecuted the case in Bedlington Magistrates Court on behalf of the CPS.

  • In brief: Bill set to end partnership profits secrecy

    29-Sep-1998

    KPMG has predicted that the Department of Trade and Industry's draft Bill on limited liability partnerships (LLPs) published last week "may signal the end to secrecy for partnership profits". KPMG partner Sue Chisman said demand for LLPs would build up "among clients, recruits and suppliers". Once the momentum started, she said there would be considerable pressure on firms to register as LLPs and thus commit to the publication of audited results.

  • In brief: Cardiff firm hires family law lecturer

    3-Oct-1998

    Hugh James has hired Andrew Jerram, lecturer on family law at the Centre for Professional Studies at the University of Cardiff, to head the firm's family department. Hugh James' family department is one of the largest in the UK.

  • In brief: CRE head of litigation switches to Dibbs

    2-Oct-1998

    Makbool Javaid has left the Commission for Racial Equality, where he was head of litigation services, to join Dibb Lupton Alsop's human resources group in London. Javaid helped build the CRE's in-house team and was involved in a string of high-profile racial discrimination cases, including Manchester University law lecturer Dr Asif Qureshi's record £43,560 damages award, which he received in December.

  • In brief: Cripps Harries joins investment association

    29-Sep-1998

    Kent firm Cripps Harries Hall is the first law firm to become a member of the Association of Private Client Investment Managers and Stockbrokers (APCIMS). The association lobbies regulatory bodies and the Government on behalf of the investment industry and its clients.

  • In brief: Eversheds plans to make up 16 partners

    3-Oct-1998

    National firm Eversheds is to make up 16 partners in the Spring. Five of the partners will be based in Leeds, with other appointments in the firm's offices in Manchester, Nottingham, Cardiff, London, Birmingham and Ipswich. Alan Whiteley, a corporate finance lawyer at Eversheds in Cardiff, is leaving to join Gambit Corporate Finance but the firm's London pension practice has snapped up senior ...

  • In brief: Founder of the Legal Action Group dies

    29-Sep-1998

    Founder of the Legal Action Group (LAG) and political activist Richard White committed suicide last month. He qualified as a solicitor with City firm Freshfields and was a member of LAG's original management committee in 1972. In 1974 he was recruited to advise the then Lord Chancellor to produce a major report on legal services. He was 58.

  • In brief: Head-hunter posts 39 per cent hike in profit

    29-Sep-1998

    Alternative Investment Market-listed legal head-hunter Longbridge International has reported a 56 per cent increase in turnover to £2.77m and posted a 39 per cent increase in net profit before tax of £314,498 for the first half of 1998 compared with the same period in 1997.

  • In brief: Honeyman Brown joins accountancy firm

    2-Oct-1998

    Former Dibb Lupton Alsop strategist, Christopher Honeyman Brown, has joined accountancy firm Horwath Clark Whitehill. Honeyman Brown, a chartered accountant, joins Horwath as a partner in the seven-partner professional practices group. Honeyman Brown and Horwath had been in negotiations for some time following an approach by the accountancy firm.

  • In brief: HW Group recruits ZMB legal specialist

    29-Sep-1998

    Recruitment company HW Group has appointed Lisa Owens as the head of its specialist in-house legal recruitment consultancy, HW In-House Legal. Owen was formerly at ZMB and will take over the directorship from Geraldine Hetherington, who will now head HW Daniels Bates Legal.

  • In brief: Law Society evacuated during fire scare

    2-Oct-1998

    The Law Society's offices in Chancery Lane had to be evacuated and all staff sent home following a fire alert last Thursday afternoon. Although initially it was thought that there was a fire in the basement, the alert was eventually put down to smoke from outside the building finding its way into the air-conditioning system. This went on to trigger the Law Society's ultra-sensitive fire detectors.

  • In brief: LeBoeufs trio qualify as English solicitors

    29-Sep-1998

    US firm LeBoeuf Lamb Greene & Macrae's first three trainees have qualified as English solicitors in its London office. The firm was one of the first Anglo-US firms in London to recruit trainees. The newly qualified solicitors are Donna White, Nina Howell and Mike Taylor. There are a further three trainees due to qualify in 1999 and four in 2000.

  • In brief: Magistrates issue standards for disabled

    2-Oct-1998

    The Magistrates Courts Committee is implementing new performance standards for disabled users of magistrates' courts from 1 February. The standards include designating a member of court staff as a disabled persons officer "With responsibility for drawing up and implementing the MCC's disability policy, staff training to deal with the different needs of the disabled and an accessible register of facilities for the disabled at court receptions."

  • In brief: Mundays makes up partnership duo

    29-Sep-1998

    Surrey firm Mundays has appointed Sue Poulton and Stephen Morris as partners. Poulton has been with the firm since 1986 and specialises in domestic conveyancing. Morris joined in 1993 from Alsop Wilkinson and specialises in dispute resolution in both commercial and domestic property.

  • In brief: Norton Rose hires Paisner & Co partner

    3-Oct-1998

    Norton Rose has boosted its employee benefits practice with the recruitment of leading partner in the field David Cohen from Paisner & Co. Cohen's presence at Paisners for the past 12 years has kept the firm among the top employee benefits practices in London. He was the sole partner there specialising in the field. At Norton Rose he will head a new employee benefits practice alongside two tax ...

  • In brief: Pannones spawns deputy district judge

    29-Sep-1998

    Manchester firm Pannone & Partners commercial litigation partner Graeme Smith has become one of the youngest deputy district judges appointed this year, at the age of 35.

  • In brief: Partnership group to be launched this week

    3-Oct-1998

    Over 60 lawyers and accountants have joined the Association of Partnership Practitioners since its formation three weeks ago. It is being officially launched this week (Tuesday 10 March) by chairman Ronnie Fox, of Fox Williams, at the Chapter Hall in London.

  • In brief: Phone-in reveals Millennium Bug concerns

    29-Sep-1998

    A Millennium Bug phone-in, sponsored by The Lawyer, has revealed the legal concerns of businesses across the UK. The virtual conference phone-in showed companies worry about the meaning of "compliant" when signing contracts, fear lending institutions will withdraw loan facilities to companies unable to prove compliancy and wish to legally compel their suppliers to ensure the hardware and software supplied is bug-free.

  • In brief: Pinsents boosts staff with three hirings

    2-Oct-1998

    Wansbroughs Willey Hargrave - the Bristol-based firm in tripartite merger talks with Vaudreys and Beachcroft Stanleys - has lost its head of corporate affairs, Nick Cockcroft, to Pinsent Curtis. Cockcroft will head Pinsents' private equity team in Birmingham. Pinsents has also hired David Williams of Harvey Ingram Owston, who becomes a partner in its Leeds private equity team, and Donald Stewart from Lewis ...

  • In brief: Rakisons moves into old Linklaters office

    2-Oct-1998

    Niche commercial firm Rakisons has moved from Chancery Lane to take over Linklaters & Paines' former premises at Clements House in the City. Senior partner Tony Wollenberg said the move meant that the firm was set for a planned further "50 per cent quality growth over the next three years. It is a small price to pay for the enormous potential it offers."

  • In brief: Rolling stock privatisation makes cash roll in

    3-Oct-1998

    Freshfields and Clifford Chance both reaped fees of over £1.4m each from the privatisation of the rolling stock leasing companies according to a National Audit Office report issued last week. Freshfields advised the Department of Transport and Clifford Chance advised British Rail. The report also revealed that Freshfields did not secure the Department of Transport's prior approval for ...

  • In brief: Simmons' marketing chief makes break

    2-Oct-1998

    Simmons & Simmons' highly-regarded marketing chief, Anne-Marie Stebbings - who The Lawyer revealed in July last year would be seeking a position elsewhere after starting a relationship with the firm's chief executive, Alun Morris - has joined Big Six accountancy firm Price Waterhouse. She took up her position as European director of sales and business development for tax and legal services on 26 January.

  • In brief: Stephensons secretary scoops prize

    2-Oct-1998

    Stephenson Harwood secretary, Bettina Gould, came top out of more than 200 nominations for London Legal Secretary of the Year 1997-98 at last week's awards ceremony hosted by secretarial and support staff recruitment consultancy London Legal Appointments. The Lawyer is among the award's sponsors.

  • In brief: Sycamore in Law Soc Hong Kong visit

    3-Oct-1998

    Phillip Sycamore, the president of the Law Society, is to fly in to Hong Kong at the beginning of April in a bid to resolve a dispute over the requalification requirements placed on English-qualified lawyers looking to practice there. English lawyers have lost their automatic exemption from having to sit the Overseas Lawyers' Qualifications Examination (OQLE) in Hong Kong but can be exempted. The society wants the exemption to be used more often.

  • In brief: Trowers & Hamlins names senior partner

    2-Oct-1998

    Trowers & Hamlins has elected John Clark, head of the firm's public sector department, as senior partner. Clark replaces Donald Jones, who held the post for eight years.

  • In brief: University to invest £6m in law college

    3-Oct-1998

    The University of the West of England has announced that it is to invest £6m in the conversion of Bristol's former Merchant Venturer's College to provide study and residential accommodation for students studying on its legal practice course.

  • In brief: Wilde Sapte to partner Germany's DIH

    2-Oct-1998

    Wilde Sapte has teamed up with Deutscher Industrie-und Handelstag (the association of German Chambers of Industry and Commerce - the German equivalent of the CBI) to produce a guide to help businesses prepare for the European single currency.

  • In brief: Woolf approves relaxation of firms' names

    3-Oct-1998

    Lord Woolf, the Master of the Rolls, has approved the relaxation in regulations governing law firms' names. The change will come into effect in a year's time and will permit the use of non-conventional names including references to locations or fields of practice.

  • In brief: Yates to be referee

    3-Oct-1998

    Nigel Yates, managing partner at Manchester firm Horwich Farrelly, has been chosen to referee at the 10-a-side rugby tournament in Hong Kong which immediately precedes the world famous Sevens tournament.

  • Indemnity revolt hits Law Society

    2-Oct-1998

    MEMBERS of the Law Society's ruling council have snubbed the society's leaders by telling them to redraft a consultation paper on the crisis at the Solicitors Indemnity Fund.During a secret meeting last week, council members lined up to attack the paper, claiming it needed to be fleshed out with more detail before members of the profession could make a reasoned judgement on the best way forward.The policy committee - the Law Society's cabinet - ...

  • Irvine makes Garnier an assistant recorder

    3-Oct-1998

    Lord Chancellor, Lord Irvine has made Edward Garnier QC an assistant recorder, despite the fact that Garnier has been one of the most vocal opponents of his legal aid reforms.Garnier is the Conservative Party's legal affairs spokesman and has won acclaim from lawyers and consumer groups for his scathing and forensic Commons attacks on Irvine's reforms.Garnier follows in the footsteps of Nicholas Lyell QC, Michael Howard QC and Ivan Lawrence QC, Tory ...

  • Irvine's reforms need financial clout

    2-Oct-1998

    The Insurance Working Party, set up by the Lord Chancellors Department and the Association of British Insurers, met last Friday to discuss the logistics of putting the Lord Chancellor's legal aid reforms together.Insurers were asked to make formal submissions on the reforms. Meanwhile, the financial implications for law firms, which may well face a struggle when financing conditional fee cases, were also being considered by a number of the banks.

  • Irvine's role stands against democracy

    3-Oct-1998

    Suzon Forscey-Moore says the Lord Chancellor's role is outdated and unsuitable. Instead, she advocates a system where "people test laws' and "judge the judges'. Suzon Forscey-Moore is an organiser for The Campaign for A Fair Hearing.Our most powerful politician is not elected and is paid £50,000 more per annum than the Prime Minister.He lives in a palace and ranks fourth in the Privy Council (after Prince Philip, ...

  • It has been a bad week for...

    29-Sep-1998

    Britain's busiest divorce solicitor Marilyn Stowe, (see Tulkinghorn, page 12) Justin Ede and Julia Charlton of Hong Kong practice Ede Charlton, whose close two-year affiliation with big five accountants Arthur Andersen has been ended suddenly by the ruthless giant. (see full story on page 3)Women in Property will visit Bluewater - the site for Europe's biggest shopping and leisure complex. The group's South ...

  • It has been a good week for...

    29-Sep-1998

    The legal profession in its international capacity. Overseas earning jumped by a whopping 20 per cent in the past year to reach £644m according to the Office for National Statistics.Dibb Lupton Alsop, which has clinched a £74m deal to buy Blackpool Tower, six piers, a conference centre, and several hotels, on behalf of Leisure Parcs.Peterborough - the city is to be blessed with a sculpture trail along ...

  • Judges to recruit Susskind

    2-Oct-1998

    Information technology consultant and author Richard Susskind is on the verge of gaining a formal government post to advise the judiciary on the use of IT in courts.

  • LAB challenged over mediation

    29-Sep-1998

    National firm Irwin Mitchell is challenging the Legal Aid Board's (LAB) policy of refusing to fund mediation, after £1,500 costs for a successful mediation were disallowed. The challenge was heard on Sunday by a three-member Costs Appeals Committee - the LAB's highest appeal body.It is being supported by both the Law Society and the Alternative Dispute Resolution ...

  • LAB: police station advisers are still not up to scratch

    29-Sep-1998

    Research by the Legal Aid Board (LAB) and the Law Society has found that although there have been "measurable and significant improvements in the quality of police station legal advice", many advisers still do not measure up to the LAB's standards. The LAB's accreditation scheme was introduced in 1995 after concerns were expressed about the quality of advice given by solicitors' representatives. During the first year, only a quarter successfully ...

  • Largest single credit

    3-Oct-1998

    Stephenson Harwood and its Croatian associates Zuric i Partneri represented Croatia Airlines on the largest single credit to a corporate borrower since Croatia declared its independence in 1991. The US$313m financing will pay for six new passenger aircraft from Airbus Industrie and development of Zagreb Airport. Wilde Sapte acted for the syndicate of banks led by Bayerische Landesbank Girozentrale.

  • Latin co-ordination

    2-Oct-1998

    Baker & McKenzie is co-ordinating its Latin American practice in Europe by setting up two centres for clients interested in doing business in the South American region. One centre, to be based in London, will be headed by partner Beatriz Pessao de Araujo. The second is to be operated jointly out of the firm's Barcelona and Madrid offices, which are run by partners Rafael Jimenez Gusi and ...

  • Law Soc comes under fire for tightening up conveyancing conflicts of interest rules

    29-Sep-1998

    The Law Society has introduced a new rule on conflicts of interest during conveyancing transactions - ignoring calls by the Council of Mortgage Lenders (CML) that this would push up house prices.The Law Society Council voted last week to introduce a rule clarifying the responsibilities of solicitors who jointly represent both the home buyer and the mortgage lender in a house purchase.The move follows claims by conveyancing solicitors that they were being asked ...

  • Law Soc secretly halves maternity practising fee

    29-Sep-1998

    The Law Society has halved the practising certificate fee for women on maternity leave - without telling its women members.Judith Willis, chair of the Association of Women Solicitors (AWS), said she welcomed the reform, which was approved by the council this July, but added: "I am disappointed that the Law Society has not seen fit to give [the move] the appropriate publicity - I would like to know why."Willis, who is on the board of the Equal Opportunities Commission, ...

  • Law Society proposal set to open way for Bahl challenger

    2-Oct-1998

    A CHALLENGE to Kamlesh Bahl's bid to become the first woman leader of the Law Society came a step closer last week with the preliminary approval of a plan for the council to nominate its own candidate.The proposal, hatched by a constitutional working party headed by the previous president Tony Girling, was given the thumbs up by the society's policy committee. It will go before the full council in March.If the council endorses the plan, it will hold ...

  • Law Society votes to give itself a face-lift

    29-Sep-1998

    The Law Society agreed to implement a radical face-lift last week in line with proposals made by business troubleshooter and tony Blair confidante Sir Dennis Stevenson.The Law Society council has agreed to:elect the deputy vice-president only;dissolve many of the 140 committees and appoint specific task forces for individual projects;restrict the number of meetings of the 75-member council and allow ...

  • Law's higher calling

    29-Sep-1998

    Before he could become a fully-fledged solicitor advocate, Andrew Myers went through exams, endless hours in court and, finally, a nine-month wait. But, he says, it was worth it. Under the current rules, any solicitor who has been qualified for at least three years can apply for higher rights of audience. There are three main hurdles that a solicitor has to overcome at present:satisfying the Law Society that one has sufficient advocacy experience;taking ...

  • Lawyers at play

    29-Sep-1998

    Pinsent Curtis banking lawyer Patrick Twist recently completed a Triathlon. Swapping pinstripes for a wet suit, the head of project finance joined two banking clients, Andrew Cunnell and John Handley, on a mile-long swim followed by a 40km cycle and a 10km run. Pictured top to bottom: Cunnell, Handley, Twist.16 firms took part in a six-hour knock-out pool contest, which saw Pannone & Partners lose the final to Halliwell Landau. "We were surprised by a larger ...

  • Lawyers score top marks for security

    3-Oct-1998

    LAWYERS have beaten accountants, advertisers and public relations companies hands down in a survey on Internet security and "firewalling".The survey quizzed Internet users on whether they used "firewalls", a security mechanism which blocks computer hackers from accessing files via the Internet.Without a firewall, computer hackers can tap into confidential files or manipulate data, and this risk is widened if an information ...

  • Leeds mooting team

    3-Oct-1998

    The University of Leeds mooting team will be flying the flag in the final of the Philip C Jessup International Law Moot Court Competition in April. The team defeated the London School of Economics in the UK final to qualify for the international round to be held in Washington DC. Representatives from 85 countries will be taking part.

  • Legal panels face rationalisation following insurers' merger

    3-Oct-1998

    Insurance law firms will be awaiting the outcome of the latest major shake-up in the insurance industry the £15bn Commercial Union and General Accident merger with great trepidation.Firms known to act for Commercial Union on the insurance side include Berrymans Lace Mawer, Hugh James and ...

  • Lenders are free to instruct

    3-Oct-1998

    Brian Marson (The Lawyer, 3 February) suggests that the Law Society seeks to control the instructions which lenders give to their solicitors, Not so. Lenders are as free as any client to intrust solicitors on the terms they wish. But that freedom can exist only when there is no risk of conflict with another client. When the solicitor is also representing the borrower, the society has a duty to ensure that lender's instructions do not lead to conflict.Mr ...

  • Lester Aldridge gives Lawsoft its seal of approval

    29-Sep-1998

    BOURNEMOUTH firm Lester Aldridge is due to go live next month with a £500,000 overhaul of its IT system that will allow it to bring its separate accounts, marketing and practice management systems together on one system.The 28-partner firm is the latest to install Pilgrim's Lawsoft practice management system. It follows London firms Cumberland Ellis Peirs and

  • Lewis Silkin drops Farnham office

    29-Sep-1998

    Westminster firm Lewis Silkin is disposing of its Farnham conveyancing office at the end of this week as part of a major change in direction for the firm. The move will mean laying off five paralegals, with three legal executives joining the London office. The only assistant solicitor in the Farnham office has already left to join a Woking firm. Farnham partner Patrick Rees ...

  • Linklaters ties up Thai shop in Bangkok

    2-Oct-1998

    LINKLATERS has finally set up shop in Bangkok, ending doubts over the move given Thailand's economic crisis.The partnership cleared the opening at the end of December. A team of six UK and Thai lawyers has been put together for the start-up.Chris King, identified by The Lawyer in September as the key lawyer being courted by Linklaters, heads the office, joining from local ...

  • Liquidators appeal to law lords

    3-Oct-1998

    The law lords are deciding whether to hear an appeal by the liquidators of Park Air Services against a decision by the Court of Appeal on 22 July 1997 in a battle over money said to be due to Park Air under the lease of office buildings in Gray's Inn Road, London. The liquidators sought to disclaim the lease under the provisions of the Insolvency Act 1986 and succeeded in the High Court in February 1996. But the Appeal Court overruled that decision.

  • Litigation Disciplinary Tribunals 10/2/98

    2-Oct-1998

    Simon James Rose, solicitors clerk, at material time employed by the Smith Partnership of Burton on Trent, banned from further employment by a solicitor without permission from the Law Society and ordered to pay £382 costs. Allegation substantiated that he acted in a way that involved conduct of such a nature that it would be undesirable for him to be employed by a solicitor in connection with his practice, namely that through counsel he had misled the court ...

  • Litigation Disciplinary Tribunals 10/3/98

    3-Oct-1998

    Graham Edward Westbury North, 45, admitted 1977, Michael Anthony Weston, 49, admitted 1972, and Emily Claire Assunta Rebecca Macaskie, 37, admitted 1988, practising at material time as Burton Yeates Westburys, London, WC2. North and Weston struck off and Macaskie suspended from practice for 12 months. £10,156 costs ordered to be paid (of which North to pay 70 per cent). The Law Society disposed of the practice to other ...

  • Litigation Personal Injury 10/2/98

    2-Oct-1998

    Salahi v Coulson - QBD 15 December 1997Claimant: Sevtap Salahi, 51 yearsIncident: Road traffic accidentInjuries: Mechanic Mesut Salahi killed after being hit by vehicle on the A13. Salahi had been towing a vehicle on the road when its tyre burst. He was knocked down after getting out of his vehicle following the incident. Claim mounted by his widow on behalf of herself and their children, a son aged 12 and daughters aged 18 and 23. Liability ...

  • Litigation Personal Injury 10/3/98

    3-Oct-1998

    Rowlingson v Bennett QBD 17 October, 1997Claimant: Robert Rowlingson, 43Incident: Road traffic accidentInjuries: Claimant, a police sergeant with the Essex force had been manning a speed trap when he was hit by a car. It is estimated he was thrown some 35 ft. Insurers for the defendant accepted he had been 87.5 per cent to blame. As result of injuries which included fractures of left leg and dislocation of shoulder claimant had to ...

  • Litigation Recent Decisions

    2-Oct-1998

    Decisions are taken from Lawtel's Case Law database. LTL: Lawtel report; TLR: Times Law Reports; ILR: Independent Law Report.Asylum appeal made before Immigration Act was in forceR v (1) The Secretary of State for the Home Department (2) A special adjudic ator, ex parte Nargis Chowdry (1998)Court: CA (Lord Woolf MR, Potter LJ, May LJ) 2/2/9Appeal of the first respondent from the order of Mr Justice Carnwath of 16 December 1997 ...

  • Litigation Recent Decisions 10/3/98

    3-Oct-1998

    No win, no fee agreements not unlawfulThai Trading v (1) Margery Taylor (2) Wilfrid David Taylor (1998)Court: CA (Kennedy LJ, Millett LJ, Hutchison LJ) 27/2/9Summary: There is nothing unlawful in a solicitor acting for a party to litigation agreeing to forgo all or part of his fee if he loses provided that he does not seek to recover more than his ordinary profit costs and disbursements if he wins.

  • Litigation Writs 10/2/98

    2-Oct-1998

    The families of two men who died after a walkway collapsed at the Port of Ramsgate three and a half years ago have launched a compensation claim in the High Court. Denise Keersmaekers' husband, Juliaan, died from his injuries when the walkway collapsed on 14 September 1994 at the port. Keersmaekers and her children Elke, 21, Bart, 19 and Ruben, 18, all of Belgium, are suing Port Ramsgate. In a separate action, Ines Cecere, the representative

  • Local Govt Association calls for halt to court cuts

    29-Sep-1998

    More than 200 district council representatives this month called for an immediate halt to magistrates' court closures and for a national review of the effects closures will have on local communities.The annual meeting of the Local Government Association's (LGA) Rural Commission in Harrogate pointed to a survey carried out by The Lawyer last year (5 August 1997), which showed that almost a third of magistrates' courts had closed since 1987 as a result of cutbacks ...

  • Lovells poaches Cheffings to boost property litigation

    29-Sep-1998

    Lovell White Durrant has launched a fresh attempt to kick-start its property litigation business by head-hunting a leader in the field - Nicholas Cheffings from rival Nabarro Nathanson.Cheffings will join Lovells in January as head of property litigation, leapfrogging the firm's only other property litigation partner, Anne Waltham.Cheffings will replace the highly rated David ...

  • Low-key Bar Council conference aims to avoid the headlines

    29-Sep-1998

    This year the Bar Council has decided to play safe and concentrate on the Human Rights Bill, reports Shaun Pye. The Bar Council was cock-a-hoop last year when newly elected Home Secretary Jack Straw agreed to address its annual conference. The Bar Council's enthusiasm no doubt waned as Straw methodically laid into the profession, blasting some of its members as "fat cats" and promising to cut their earnings from legal aid.Straw has not been invited ...

  • Mallard's exit to Dibbs signals end of Hill Taylor HK shipping office

    29-Sep-1998

    Hill Taylor Dickinson is to close its three-lawyer Hong Kong shipping office following the departure of partner Nick Mallard to Dibb Lupton Alsop's practice in the city. Mallard left the firm on the heels of partner Nigel Binnersley, who joined a US firm in the summer. It is believed that Mallard and his Hill Taylor partners subsequently disagreed over plans for the office's future.A source at Hill Taylor said both parties were "trying to ...

  • Marian Joseph on English go-ahead for German assigned claim. Marian Joseph is a partner with Pritchard Englefield, which acted for Land Hessen.

    29-Sep-1998

    The recent High Court judgment in Land Hessen v Gray & Gerrish could have far-reaching consequences for insurers and for those involved in personal injury cases with a foreign element.On the trial of a preliminary issue, Mr Justice Sachs decided that the plaintiff, a German state could, in principle, recover from a tortfeasor certain payments made to employees injured or killed in road traffic accidents in England.The two accident victims ...

  • MDP illegality probe by Canadian lawyers

    3-Oct-1998

    A working committee of top Canadian lawyers is examining whether the current ban on multidisciplinary partnerships (MDPs) in Canada is illegal.It is also drawing up a model of how MDPs should be regulated if the ban is lifted.The committee, formed by last month's mid-winter conference of the Federation of Law Societies of Canada, will report its findings in August.The committee comprises of a representative from each of Canada's 13 law societies, ...

  • Medical negligence

    3-Oct-1998

    In his viewpoint in The Lawyer, 24 February, Anthony Barton misses a fundamental reason for the lower success rate in legally aided medical negligence claims than in personal injury actions that being the particular complexity of these matters. They should only be handled by specialist lawyers but often are not.There exists a Law Society sponsored panel which requires applicants to demonstrate a very considerable expertise in the medical negligence field and yet ...

  • Meet the thorn in Blair's red rose

    29-Sep-1998

    Profile: Robert Marshall-andrews QC. IT is difficult to describe MP Robert Marshall-Andrews QC except, perhaps, as a brilliant maverick. Elizabeth Davidson talks to Robert Marshall-Andrews, the silk-turned-backbench MP renowned for challenging New Labour's legal policies and style of government.He is the man about whom the Lord Chancellor's number two, Geoff Hoon, joked within six months of his election, after a Commons clash: "He's finished off ...

  • Merger creates south-west giant

    2-Oct-1998

    Bond Pearce will become the largest firm in the South West when it takes over the Southampton firm Hepherd Winstanley & Pugh on 1 May.The 40 partner firm is currently the fourth largest in the region by fee earner size but, with 210 fee earners in all, it will leapfrog Bevan Ashford, Burges Salmon and ...

  • Milbanks in Tokyo

    3-Oct-1998

    Milbank Tweed Hadley & McCloy has transferred Jonathan Maizel, a partner in its New York office, to Tokyo where he will join resident partner Young Joon Kim. In September, Milbank will be celebrating as it will be its 20th anniversary as the first US law firm to set up an office in Japan.

  • Moscow high-flyer heads aviation team

    3-Oct-1998

    Watson, Farley & Williams has appointed Andrew Muriel, resident partner of its Moscow office, to head the firm's international aviation team.Muriel, who replaces London-based David Osborne as head of the unit, is the firm's first foreign-based lawyer to lead Watson Farley's 12-strong aviation team, which is spread across its six offices in London, Piraeus, Paris, New York, Moscow and Copenhagen.Unlike Osborne, who has a broad asset-finance practice, ...

  • Moscow movers and shakers

    3-Oct-1998

    In the former Soviet Union, consolidation and strengthening is making some firms more equal than others, writes Chris FogartyMoscow-based international lawyers say a two-tier structure is emerging between the larger, more prominent firms and smaller, struggling practices.Sixty eight firms have offices in the city. According to observers, a core of four British and three US firms are breaking from the pack.Size really matters in a country as large ...

  • MPs slam CPS over £11m waste

    2-Oct-1998

    THE CROWN Prosecution Service (CPS) has abandoned its flagship computer system after spending £10.6m of taxpayers' money on it - to the fury of MPs on the powerful Public Accounts Committee (PAC).The embarrassing admission that the Scope case management system has been axed was made by the Director of Public Prosecutions, Dame Barbara Mills QC, to the committee last Monday. It came on the eve of the PAC's launch of an investigation into what it calls the ...

  • Much ado in the office

    3-Oct-1998

    Office romances can upset more than the status quo if they turn sour, says Sue Nickson. Sue Nickson is joint head of employment at Hammond Suddards.Who's doing what to whom, when and why has always been a hot topic of conversation in the queue at the office photocopier or printer. However, a development in the US may now require you to have a lawyer present at such discussions.The fear that relationships between colleagues will work against office harmony ...

  • Mystery bank pioneers a shortfall payment scheme

    3-Oct-1998

    A leading bank has hatched a loan scheme which it claims will make it easier for firms to pay off the Solicitors Indemnity Fund's massive £432m shortfall.The bank whose identity is being kept a close secret approached the Solicitors' Indemnity Fund (SIF) with its alternative scheme for repaying the fund's shortfall just before last Thursday's Law Society meeting, when council members were given sketchy details of its offer.Under the ...

  • New head at BINDLA

    3-Oct-1998

    Masons partner Arun Singh has been appointed chairman of the newly-formed British Indian Lawyers Association (BINDLA). Singh said: "BINDLA is the first stage to developing mutually beneficial ties between the legal profession in Great Britain and that of India." Additional appointments to BINDLA include Sujata Sharma of Kvaerner as vice-chairman and Abdul Hafezi of Vizards as secretary. Lawyers wishing to become members of BINDLA should contact Mark Beattie of Davies Arnold Cooper on ...

  • New link for Gides

    29-Sep-1998

    Leading Paris firm Gide Loyrette Nouel has joined the Lex Mundi global legal association, signalling that its often tense 10-year exclusive relationship with UK firm Allen & Overy and Benelux firm Loeff Claeys Verbeke is coming to an end.

  • New recruits double pay at Cadwaladers

    2-Oct-1998

    Six more City lawyers are likely to have doubled their pay by accepting offers to join the London office of US firm Cadwalader Wickersham & Taft.Simmons & Simmons' insolvency partner James Roome is going, together with insolvency assistant Yvette Croucher. Croucher is understood to have been tempted by Cadwaladers' London salary for three-year qualifieds of up to £75,000.Cadwaladers has also taken

  • Norton Rose M5 alliance agrees to disband in August

    3-Oct-1998

    The Norton Rose M5 alliance of six law firms is to split up this August to allow each member firm to concentrate on individual expansion.The move will clear the way for Norton Rose to pursue its target of a US capacity either by merger or acquisition, while the provincial members of the alliance will concentrate on achieving a place among the top dozen domestic law firms a rung below the ...

  • NY firm looks for substantial City merger

    29-Sep-1998

    New York firm Curtis Mallet-Prevost Colt & Mosle is holding a beauty parade of three City firms, each with over 200 lawyers, from which it hopes to choose a merger partner.Managing partner George Kahale III told The Lawyer that the deal had a 40 per cent chance of success and said if he does pull it off, it will explode the myth that a transatlantic merger between US and City firms would never happen.Earlier this month, Paris and London-based Salans Hertzfeld ...

  • NYC and West Coast practice in talks to create national firm

    3-Oct-1998

    San Francisco-based firm Thelen Marrin Johnson Bridges and Reid & Priest in New York are poised to merge.The merger would create a top 50 national firm with around 350 partners 190 from Thelen Marrin and 160 from Reid & Priest.As well as a strong presence in New York and San Francisco the firm would also boast at least 50 lawyers in both Los Angeles and Washington and a sizeable office in San Jose servicing Silicon Valley.The firms have been in talks ...

  • Oldham Council gains fresh powers to evict bad tenants

    2-Oct-1998

    A NEW tenancy agreement for all of Oldham City Council's 20,600 tenants comes into force this week.The agreement, which is designed to give the council greater powers to evict tenants and promote neighbourly behaviour, took housing solicitor Naseem Malik 16 months to prepare.The 29-page document delineates unacceptable conduct and outlines what punishment will be meted out to tenants who breach its conditions.In addition to the ...

  • Olswang's IT director departs

    3-Oct-1998

    Elizabeth Davidson reportsOlswang IT director Stephen Dreyer has left the firm with no job to go to after more than two years at the firm.Dreyer left the firm last month after a restructuring of the firm's IT department. The terms of his departure are the subject of a confidentiality agreement.However, The Lawyer understands a mutual agreement was reached that ...

  • Oman move for Neale

    29-Sep-1998

    Alastair Neale has joined Richards Butler's associated office in Muscat, Oman, after spending 12 years as counsel to the Arab Banking Corporation in Bahrain.

  • Ombudsman raps OSS over delays

    2-Oct-1998

    The Legal Services Ombudsman, Ann Abraham, has called for the Office for the Supervision of Solicitors (OSS) to pay a disgruntled complainant £100 to compensate for the way it handled his complaint against a firm.Although Abraham supported the OSS's decision not to pursue chartered accountant Robert Breckman's complaints against City aviation litigation specialists Beaumont & Son, she chastised it for delays in dealing with his concerns. Not only was correspondence ...

  • One Essex Court sets trend with City hirings

    2-Oct-1998

    LEADING tax chambers One Essex Court is celebrating the arrival of two top City tax solicitors. One of its most senior members has predicted that it marks the beginning of a major trend.Last week, former Linklaters tax partner Malcolm Gammie was elected a tenant after completing a six-month pupillage.Gammie, whose move to the Bar was reported in The Lawyer last April, ...

  • Partner leads backlash against Govt appointment procedures

    2-Oct-1998

    Jane Coker - the immigration solicitor who is suing Lord Irvine for not advertising the adviser post he gave to his City lawyer friend Garry Hart - is not the only woman lawyer who has been considering legal action against the Government.The Lawyer understands one woman barrister had been planning to make a similar sex discrimination application against the Attorney General John Morris QC, who hired Philip Sales, a barrister at Irvine's old chambers, 11 King's ...

  • Partnership practitioners band together

    2-Oct-1998

    A NEW multi-disciplinary association of advisers on partnership law and practice is to be launched in March to press for reform of partnership law.The launch comes at a time when the Law Commission is at the early stages of a review of the law, which many experts consider out of date.The Association of Partnership Practitioners has drawn its members from a wide range of lawyers, accountants and management consultants. All of those involved are united by a common ...

  • Pecuniary element of malicious falsehood

    2-Oct-1998

  • Please don't mention the dreaded 'g' word

    29-Sep-1998

    Comment and analysis. The world's domestic law firms are only now waking up to the threat of globalisation, but they may be too late, says Robert Lindsay. Howard Trust, general counsel at Barclays, quietly sipped his coffee amidst a heaving sea of dark suits. "There's something of the feeling of headless chickens here," he remarked.Trust, and the international lawyers clucking around him, had just witnessed the first part of an afternoon seminar on "international ...

  • Pompey show red card to building firm

    29-Sep-1998

    Roger Pearson reports on the impending High Court grudge match between Portsmouth Football Club and their builders. Portsmouth Football Club are set to take centre field in a High Court legal match over the building of the club's new stands. The club are currently embroiled in a complex and multi-pronged legal battle involving, among other things, a claim by them for more than £400,000.They are taking builders Try Build of Cowley, Uxbridge, ...

  • Practices need IT

    2-Oct-1998

    Bibi Berki examines a new solution to help high street firms get to grips with IT. Bibi Berki is a freelance journalist.Whichever way you look at it, the Law Society's recent IT record is not one to be proud of. Its own much-heralded system Regis was labelled a "complete disaster" as much by those inside Chancery Lane as those looking on.The subject became a political hot potato because of the vast expenditure associated with it. There were ...

  • Privatisation

    3-Oct-1998

    Denton Hall is advising the government of the Bahamas on the $300m privatisation of BaTelCo, the national telecoms operator of the Bahamas.

  • Pro bono work can repair the profession's tarnished image

    29-Sep-1998

    Peta Sweet argues that the time has come for solicitors to confound their critics by proving their commitment to ethical obligations. So it has been yet another bad week for the profession's image. This time, following news of the £400,000 legal bill presented to John Major in his role as guardian to princes Harry and William, the media outcry was predictable.Rarely a week goes by without public criticism of lawyers. The term "fat cats" applied to lawyers even ...

  • Property

    2-Oct-1998

    Paisner & Co. acted for BL Universal on its £37.5m purchase of a leasehold interest in 133 Houndsditch, London, from Chesterfield Properties, represented by Nabarro Nathanson.

  • Property

    2-Oct-1998

    West End firm Glovers advised developer Highpine on the signing of a master building agreement for the development of a £200m exhibition centre on 85-acre Docklands site. Ashurst Morris Crisp acted for the London Docklands Development Corporation. Country Heights Holdings, the Malaysian property developer, was represented by its in-house legal team.

  • Property

    2-Oct-1998

    Berwin Leighton acted for Imry Holdings on its £121m disposal of the Halogic portfolio to PRICOA Property Investment Management, advised by Cameron McKenna.

  • Property

    3-Oct-1998

    Clifford Chance acted for MEPC on its £62.5m acquisition of IBM's 50 per cent share in New Square, Bedfont Lakes, an office complex near Heathrow Airport. IBM was advised by Ashurst Morris Crisp.

  • Property

    2-Oct-1998

    Frere Cholmeley Bischoff acted for Clerical Medical Investment Group on its £7.6m purchase of Horton Park industrial estate, Telford, from Horton Park Estates, advised by Wragge & Co.

  • Property

    3-Oct-1998

    Hammond Suddards acted for Bastionen Properties on its £5.1m acquisition of the Manor Bakeries Unit at Haynes Way, Rugby from Staffordshire County Council, advised by Young & Co.

  • Property

    3-Oct-1998

    Wilde Sapte advised TAG Group on taking a 99 year lease to operate Farnborough Aerodrome from the Ministry of Defence, represented by the Government's property lawyers.

  • PwC snaps up Italian firm and looks to merge German offices

    29-Sep-1998

    By Richard Tyler. Pricewaterhouse Coopers has swallowed up the 20-lawyer Rome and Milan-based practice, Studio Legale Associato, formerly associated with Frere Cholmeley Bischoff.The Big Five accountant will fold this firm, together with the four lawyers from Price Waterhouse's existing Italian practice, into Coopers & Lybrand's 36-lawyer firm, Pirola Pennuto Ze. The merger will create a top 10 Italian firm by size which will also contain over 200 tax ...

  • Quote of the week

    29-Sep-1998

    "Lawyers are eunuchs... We know how to do it, we see it done every day, yet we don't do it ourselves." - John Verrill, vice-president of the Insolvency Lawyers Association. The inappropriately named Verrill is rather piqued that accountants get the exciting bit of winding up companies, leaving emasculated insolvency lawyers to do the backroom work.

  • Raising the roof may bring the house down

    2-Oct-1998

    The Lord Chancellor's decision to increase the small claims limit from £3,000 to £5,000 may prevent access to housing law for those that need it most, argues Vicki Chapman. Vicki Chapman is head of policy at the Legal Action Group.Plans to raise the small claims limit from £3,000 to £5,000 may be good news for articulate consumers suing holiday companies and car dealers, but raising the limit across the board could ...

  • Red era reforming

    3-Oct-1998

    Neil McGregor on trying to keep up with Romania's law makers post Ceausescu. Neil McGregor is senior resident lawyer at Sinclair Roche Temperley in Bucharest.This my second year as senior resident lawyer at the Bucharest office of Sinclair Roche & Temperley. Sinclair Roche is one of only two City firms with permanent offices here. The others include two Canadian firms, four US firms and a French firm.Most of my work involves assisting foreign investors in ...

  • Reforms still require careful consideration

    3-Oct-1998

    The Lord Chancellor, Lord Irvine has listened to advice on his legal aid proposals and delayed the process significantly.The result is a consultation paper which is considerably fairer than the Lord Chancellor's original proposals. Nonetheless, there remains a number of considerable problems with the proposals.There is likely to be unmet legal need in the case of difficult personal injury cases.And as the Law Society has pointed out, ...

  • Reinventing the conference

    29-Sep-1998

    Rebecca Towers finds out what conference providers are offering, but more importantly asks lawyers what they really want. Charged with the task of making legal conferences more dynamic and more relevant to a wider and younger audience, conference organisers have had to re-evaluate the needs of the legal community and re-package their brand for the new millennium.First in line for a face-lift is the Solicitors' Annual Conference in 1999. The conference, which is the ...

  • Revenue and LCD use fraud trial as scanning test bed

    29-Sep-1998

    By Elizabeth Davidson. THE Inland Revenue and the Lord Chancellor's Department (LCD) are using a complex fraud case at Southwark Crown Court in London to pilot scanning technology.Prosecutors have been scanning paper copies of transcripts and witness statements onto laptop hard disks since the case began on 7 September. Pilot manager Jonathan Epelle, of the Revenue's prosecution department, estimated that lawyers in the case now had on one ...

  • Reynolds Porter partner defects to rival

    2-Oct-1998

    A corporate finance specialist, hired by Holborn firm Reynolds Porter Chamberlain to spearhead its venture cap- ital practice has defected to Stephenson Harwood's corporate finance group.Robert Haldane had been brought in from

  • San Fran firm recruits first UK-qualified partner

    2-Oct-1998

    SAN FRANCISCO-based firm Orrick Herrington & Sutcliffe has hired its first UK-qualified partner, marking the start of a drive into English law practice.Christopher Lewis has left Simmons & Simmons' Hong Kong office to join Orrick Herrington's one-year-old Tokyo office. He will support the firm's structured finance practice, the lynchpin of its international ...

  • Scottish whisky with a Welsh flavour

    3-Oct-1998

    Two Scotch whisky makers claim their goodwill will be damaged by the activities of four Welsh companies, reports Roger PearsonAn action which is expected to be heard in the Chancery Division in June involves a bid by two major Scotch whisky producers to put a stop to the activities of Welsh Whisky producers.Welsh Distillers, Dafydd Noel Gittins, MDT Wines and Spirits and MDT International are being sued by legendary Scottish whisky makers, ...

  • Serious fraud office libel case

    2-Oct-1998

    The House of Lords has granted Thomas Taylor and Monarch Assurance leave to appeal an Appeal Court decision which struck out their libel and slander claims against the director of the Serious Fraud Office. The appeal will centre on whether documents disclosed to the defence by the Crown in criminal proceedings are subject to an implied undertaking that they will not be used in any other proceedings except with the leave of the court. They will also consider whether statements or conduct ...

  • Set honours human rights star

    2-Oct-1998

    ASIA'S leading human rights lawyer has accepted an honorary door tenancy at 1 Pump Court.Asma Jahangir, a former Secretary General of the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan, joined the chambers at the beginning of January.In Pakistan, she has acted in cases involving arranged marriages, as well as other areas of women's rights. As a result, Jahangir has received a number of death threats. She maintains a high profile in order ...

  • Shearmans recruits from afar

    2-Oct-1998

    ALMOST half of this year's partnership appointments by US firm Shearman & Sterling were lawyers practising in the firm's offices outside the US.Last week, the firm announced 15 new partners, six of whom were based in European offices.In London, UK lawyer Rupert Walker, hired in 1996, was made a partner. Meanwhile, in Paris three new partners were named: Christopher ...

  • Shipping "notices of readiness'

    3-Oct-1998

    Shipping lawyers will be watching out for an Appeal Court judgment which focuses on the criteria necessary to render "notices of readiness" notices stating that a vessel has arrived at port and is ready to load or discharge valid. Galaxy Energy International, charterers of the vessel Petr Smidt is appealing against an arbitration award in favour the ship's owners, Novorossiysk Shipping. The arbitrator's award was upheld by Mr Justice Longmore in the ...

  • SIF fudge infuriates City firms

    29-Sep-1998

    The Law Society Council has voted to keep the Solicitors Indemnity Fund (SIF) - just as Cherie Booth QC is preparing to judicially review the fund in the High Court.The society's ruling council last week voted against a Martin Mears-backed proposal to allow approved commercial insurers to provide indemnity cover by 1 September 2000, and a leadership-backed proposal to get the policy committee to look at ways to allow indemnity cover "primarily" through approved insurers.

  • SIF must alter in order to work

    29-Sep-1998

    What is surprising about the complaints about SIF is that no one queries why a professional and constitutional service should run up hundreds of millions of pounds of claims in the first place.A few years ago the £5,000 excess was changed to disguise the rising millions; now the call is for private insurance. As solicitors in personal injury business frequently complain about the sums private insurers are prepared to spend to prevent claims, perhaps private ...

  • SJ Berwin scores Palace double

    29-Sep-1998

    SJ Berwin partner Nicola Kerr advised on the first ever transfer of Chinese football players to a UK side - Crystal Palace.She had to conduct intensive investigations to provide the UK labour authorities with the evidence to justify the proposed transfers of midfielder and captain of the Chinese national team Fan Zhiyi, and international defender Sun Jihai.She says: "Although ...

  • Slaughters and Linklaters scoop mega-merger fees

    2-Oct-1998

    Linklaters corporate partner Stephen Boughton has scorned reports that the advisory fees for the world's largest ever deal - the £43bn SmithKline-Glaxo merger - could be as high as £400m. "I can't understand how they have got such a large figure," he said.His comments follow a claim by Philip Healey, the editor of Acquisitions Monthly, that the accountants, lawyers ...

  • Staple to head new Fraud Advisory Panel

    2-Oct-1998

    Clifford Chance partner and former head of the Serious Fraud Office George Staple QC is the chair of the new Fraud Advisory Panel, set up by the Institute of Chartered Accountants of England & Wales.Staple, head of Clifford Chance's financial services investigations and disputes department, said that the aim of the panel is to increase collective awareness of business fraud and ...

  • Stephen Allinson on director disqualification orders. Stephen Allinson is a partner at Clarke Willmott & Clarke.

    2-Oct-1998

    The seven-year director disqualification handed out to Terry Venables has provoked much media comment and is yet another example of the Department of Trade and Industry's (DTI) increased activity in this area.There has been a huge increase in the number of disqualified orders being sought. In 1995, there were over 700 - double the number sought in previous years. In 1996-97 there were over 1,000.Although the majority of disqualifications relate ...

  • Stockwell & Clapham Law Centre fights cuts

    2-Oct-1998

    STOCKWELL & Clapham Law Centre has been granted leave to challenge Lambeth Council’s decision to withdraw all its funding in October 1997 - a move hailed as a victory for the local community.Mr Justice Sullivan granted the centre leave to judicially review the council after questioning why the law centre and two others in the borough had been singled out for cuts.The law centre claims it was victimised by the council because of its role in advising many of ...

  • Striking the right balance

    29-Sep-1998

    The following observations are based on a single, one-hour visit to the offices of James Chapman & Co, King Street, Manchester. An overview assessment was conducted focusing on the ergonomic aspects of the offices. The observations made were as follows:The refurbishment of these offices has resulted in a bright, airy and stylish environment which feels comfortable yet business-like. Although the designer has clearly placed strong emphasis on aesthetics, ...

  • Super law that aims to make legislation work

    29-Sep-1998

    Many employers will have been alarmed by the news that an employment tribunal has awarded £3,500 to a 20-year-old who had been in her job for less than a hour.The tribunal ruled that the reason given for Lisa Tomlin's dismissal, her pregnancy, broke sex discrimination laws. Her employer argued that he had employed her as a replacement for a pregnant employee who could no longer do the heavy lifting the job required. He believed that Tomlin, who did ...

  • Telecoms booster

    2-Oct-1998

    The Brussels office of US firm Weil Gotshal & Manges is beefing up its telecoms practice. Telecoms regulatory lawyer Steven Brummel has joined the office as partner from US firm Mayer Brown & Platt. US media lawyer Jon Filipek joins from Winthrop Stimson Putnam & Roberts and UK lawyer David Naylor has ...

  • The Irvine Reforms

    3-Oct-1998

    "The changes are illogical because personal injury pays its way under legal aid and unfair because the poor could lose their chance to take claims to court'. Heather Hallett QC, chairman of the Bar Council."It is vital that the legal expenses industry doesn't simply capitalise on the short-term opportunities any insurance products that are launched must be secure and have long-term stability'. Chris Ward, managing director, Abbey Legal Protection.

  • The Lawyer Inquiry: Damon Swindell

    29-Sep-1998

    Damon Swindell was born in Nuneaton, Warwickshire in 1957 and is currently head of Law Group.What was your first job?Milkman.What was your first ever salary as a lawyer?£25,000 as a self-employed legal quality consultant.What would you have done if you hadn't been a lawyer?Become a professional rally driver.What was your most satisfying ...

  • The Lawyer Inquiry: Greg Leyshon

    2-Oct-1998

    Greg Leyshon was born in Pontypridd, Wales in 1968. He is a corporate finance associate at Osborne Clarke.What was your first job?Part-time frozen food assistant at Tescos.What was your first ever salary as a lawyer?£12,500.What would you have done if you hadn't become a lawyer?

  • The Lawyer Inquiry: Kevin Fletcher

    3-Oct-1998

    Kevin Fletcher was born in Hull in 1947. He lives in Stockton on Tees and is a senior partner at Jacksons Solicitors.What was your first job?Making soft centres in a chocolate factory.What was your first ever salary as a lawyer?£5 per week when I started articles in 1969.What would you have done if you hadn't become a lawyer?I wanted to be a pilot until it was discovered that I ...

  • The legal world's soothsayer

    2-Oct-1998

    Richard Susskind sees himself more as a legal traditionalist than an IT evangelist.Listening to Richard Susskind talk about the future of the British legal system, makes one wonder if the 19th century Luddities who roamed the countryside smashing spinning looms had a point.Indeed, his vision of the future could be enough to make any embattled solicitor put their foot through their PC monitor.In Susskind's future, conveyancing transactions, ...

  • The principles of insurance

    29-Sep-1998

    I am sure I am only one of the many people who will have written to you to express their admiration regarding Ms Mullins' intellectual grasp of what is probably the most complex principle of insurance (The Lawyer, 15 September).As Ms Mullins correctly points out, attractive risks obtain cover at preferential rates on the open market and less attractive risks obtain cover at less preferential rates. Ms Mullins did not need to state the obvious - namely, ...

  • Three more insurers to set up conditional fee policies

    2-Oct-1998

    In what Lord Irvine will take as a vote of confidence in his legal aid reforms, at least three leading legal expense insurers are to launch packages of conditional fee policies in the spring.But leading insurers last Friday presented Lord Chancellor's Department (LCD) officials with a list of problems to be surmounted before Lord Irvine's plan to extend conditional fees can be implemented.It is understood that a few of the insurers who already provide ...

  • Tim Stephenson on res ipsa loquitur and contributory negligence. Tim Stephenson is a freelance writer and solicitor.

    3-Oct-1998

    Where injurious circumstances are under the management of a defendant and are such as would not occur in the ordinary course of things, the law allows a plaintiff to invoke the maxim res ipsa loquitur and establish a prima facie case of negligence.This will enable them to succeed unless the defendant can rebut it with a plausible account. Thus, if a barrel falls out of an upstairs window, an injured person can say that the thing speaks for itself.

  • To advise or not to advise?

    29-Sep-1998

    The Prince Jefri ruling highlights MDP flaws, says Rita Lowe. Rita Lowe is an insolvency partner at Cameron McKenna. The difference between the way accountants and lawyers apply conflict of interest rules was brought into stark contrast this month in a judgment that could affect the development of multidisciplinary practices (MDPs).Two weeks ago, the High Court found that Chinese walls erected at KPMG had not been sufficiently strong to protect its former client Prince Jefri ...

  • Top commercial sets on the move

    3-Oct-1998

    TWO of London's leading commercial sets Brick Court chambers and 2 Hare Court are moving into purpose-built accommodation this August, to allow for future expansion.Brick Court chambers, with 53 tenants, is leaving Devereux Court and its Inner Temple annexes in 1 Brick Court and 11 Essex Street for a recently redeveloped building at 7-8 Little Essex Street. The rent is "slightly more" than the present arrangement.The 52 tenants ...

  • UK firms settle $13bn gas case

    2-Oct-1998

    Clifford Chance and Freshfields have been on the opposite sides of an arbitration that led to the settlement of the biggest damages claim ever heard under English law - for $13bn.The sum, being claimed by a Nigerian government-backed consortium from the Italian state electricity company, was so huge that it reportedly could have prevented Italy's early entry to the EMU.

  • Unravelling code of genetic patents

    29-Sep-1998

    In May, the European Parliament voted in favour of the Directive on the Legal Protection of Biotechnological Inventions - the so-called Biotech Directive.After years of vigorous debate, and the European Parliament's rejection of the previous draft in 1995, the Council of Ministers adopted the directive on 16 June. It came into force on 30 July and member states have until 30 July 2000 to implement its provisions.The directive is a sensible compromise between ...

  • US task force to consider lifting blanket MDP ban

    3-Oct-1998

    A NEW American Bar Association task force on multidisciplinary partnerships (MDPs) is to investigate whether the current blanket ban on MDPs in all but one US state could be lifted.But the head of the three person task force, which held its first meeting last week, has told The Lawyer that he is approaching the possibility that client confidentiality can be preserved, and conflicts of interest avoided under MDPs with a "healthy scepticism"."Something must be ...

  • Vacant DPP role attracts just five candidates

    29-Sep-1998

    Just five candidates are believed to have applied to take Dame Barbara Mills' place as Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP). Of the two interviewed earlier this month, both are believed to have been rejected.Applicants for the £100,000-a-year post are understood to have included Peter Ross, head of the Office for the Supervision of Solicitors and Gordon Etherington, Chief Prosecutor for London. Both declined to comment. Maverick former crown prosecutor ...

  • Westminster fails to get grant cut reversed

    2-Oct-1998

    WESTMINSTER City Council's bid to win a judicial review against the Government's decision to cut its grant by £10m next year has failed.The council, represented by Roger Henderson QC of 2 Harcart Buildings, went to the High Court in late January to argue that it had been unfairly treated by the Labour administration.It challenged changes to the way its Standard Spending Assessment was calculated for 1998-99. The Government reduced the ...

  • What's the cause of Law Soc's pregnant pause?

    29-Sep-1998

    The Law Society's silence on the recent reduction in Practising Certificate fees for those on maternity leave and on low incomes is most peculiar. Why is it not shouting from the roof-tops about this welcome change? On the maternity front, there are countless women who need to know. Indeed, in Northern Ireland there is an ongoing action with the NI Law Society about whether it is discriminatory to charge women on maternity leave the full fee. The ...

  • White & Case posts

    2-Oct-1998

    US firm White & Case has taken on three more lawyers at its Japanese operations. Masahiko Kawakami, a US qualified lawyer, has joined the firm's Tokyo office, while Japanese qualified Yoshiko Yasuda and Koichiro Ohashi have joined Kandabashi Law - White & Case's affiliate firm in Japan. Yasuda is shortly expected to gain admission to the New York Bar. White & Case now has 32 lawyers in ...

  • Wilde Sapte in Andersens vote

    3-Oct-1998

    Wilde Sapte partners are voting this week on whether they agree to the principle of tying themselves to accountancy firm Arthur Andersen.An outline proposal to merge with Garretts and hence tie into Arthur Andersen's network of law firms, known as "Project Flowers" was put to partners by the Wilde Sapte managing board at the beginning of last week. It is understood partners asked to postpone the vote for a week for time to consider.If the vote is in favour ...