29 April 1996

The Lawyer

  • 'Black market milk' battle could lead to Euro hearing

    3-May-1996

    THE MINISTRY of Agriculture, Foods and Fisheries is taking five Staffordshire farmers to court over 'black market milk' dealings.The case went before Stafford Crown Court on 26 February for pre-trial direction.The defendants are accused of breaching Commission Regulation (EC) 536-93 which prohibits milk producers selling to unauthorised purchasers.One defendant is a purchaser while the other four are milk farmers. North Staffordshire law ...

  • 'My job is to pick up the pieces'

    30-Apr-1996

    Alasdair Simpson, Manches & Co senior partner, knows how tough it can be at the top. As one of the City's leading golden handshake lawyers, he has to deal with the executives of top UK companies who find themselves on the receiving end of a P45.Packages that looked fantastic over lunch suddenly fall victim to a clause in the small print and discretionary bonuses are often the first casualty when things go wrong. And it seems the captains of industry often have no one ...

  • 'Wonderful role model' Laura Cox takes up head of chambers

    30-Apr-1996

    Tuesday evening last week saw the official reception of Laura Cox QC as head of Cloisters chambers.Cox is the first woman to head a set of chambers covering both civil and criminal work and one of only a handful of women to head sets of chambers in the country.Others include Anne Rafferty QC, head of specialist criminal set 4 Brick Court, joint head of chambers at 4-5 Gray's Inn Square Elizabeth A

  • A challenge to Mears

    3-May-1996

    Martin Mears' remarks in his article in last week's The Lawyer, to the effect that one of the working parties set up under his initiative is "achieving nothing at all", cannot go unchallenged. This appears to be a reference to the working party on entry to the profession which the president invited me to join.Having voted for Mr Mears in last year's Law Society election I do not think that I can be described as one of the "declared ...

  • A chance to shop at the information supermarket

    30-Apr-1996

    A business information service has been launched on the Internet last week by on-line data provider Maid.Claimed to be "invaluable" to commercial law firms, the Profound service offers detailed and up-to-date on-line information on all aspects of international business.It gives users access to more than 4,000 international trade and press titles, information on four and a half million companies and analyst reports from over 50 brokerage ...

  • Aclec puts no win, no fee under microscope

    3-May-1996

    RESEARCHERS are poised to embark on a major survey to assess the impact of the new now win, no fee regulations.Burning issues including the proportion of damages swallowed up by fees are to be tackled in the survey commissioned by the Lord Chancellor's Advisory Committee on Legal Education and Conduct (Aclec).The committee has hired the Policy Studies Institute to conduct the survey and hopes it will be finished by the end of the summer.A pilot ...

  • Aclec training proposals attract mixed response

    30-Apr-1996

    Radical proposals for a new legal education system, announced last week by advisers to the Lord Chancellor's Department, have met with mixed reactions from lawyers and academics.The introduction of a common element of training for solicitors and barristers which would increase the number of training stages for lawyers was generally welcomed. But an extension to the length of the CPE would stifle equal opportunities, said commentators, by discouraging students with limited ...

  • Advice for her

    3-May-1996

    The fashion department at Elle magazine come up with some suggestions for those wishing to dress with style.There is no single set look this season, and overall the look is quite flexible. Trouser suits are in, with a slim jacket and kick-flare trousers. Skirts are either really short or really long - again, this is quite flexible.Colour-wise, quite strong citrus colours are 'in' (essentially looking forward to summer), such as orange, lime and white.

  • ADVICE FOR Him

    3-May-1996

    The fashion department at FHM (For Him Magazine) has a number of guidelines for looking your best.Suits: for spring/summer '96, sharp tailoring will be one of the most important looks from designers such as Paul Smith. Single-breasted suits with peak lapels are hot, in vivid colours and checks. Double-breasted jackets are definitely a fashion no-no. Try wearing a single-breasted jacket with slim leg flat-fronted trousers.Also look for labels such as Gucci ...

  • All in good time

    30-Apr-1996

    Scottish part-time employees potentially have greater rights than their English counterparts as a result of the differences in approach to the time-bar adopted by the Scottish Employment Appeal Tribunal (EAT).Prior to the landmark House of Lords decision in R v Secretary of State for Employment, ex parte EOC (1994), employees who worked for fewer than 16 hours a week had to be employed for five years before they won the right to lodge a claim for unfair dismissal with the ...

  • Apil makes first European foray

    3-May-1996

    THERE is no room for Euro-sceptics in personal injury law.

  • Apil slams 'unreal' Woolf paper

    3-May-1996

    A LORD Woolf issues paper on fixed costs has been condemned by the Association of Personal Injury Lawyers as "plumbing the depths of unreality".Apil president Michael Napier has launched a scathing attack on the paper by Oxford academic Dr Adrian Zuckerman and put out by Lord Woolf for consultation in January.The paper blames the current cost of litigation on hourly rates and retrospective taxation and proposes the fixing of costs at the start of litigation.

  • Audit Office uncovers high fraud count for legal aid

    3-May-1996

    EVIDENCE of "substantial" numbers of fraudulent legal aid applications has been highlighted by government auditors.But the National Audit Office has described the Legal Aid Board's systems for checking means tests as "robust" in a report on civil aid means testing which was released last Friday.The report, issued just two days after the announcement of the Lord Chancellor's measures to clamp down on the abuse of aid by the apparently wealthy, calls ...

  • Banks size up mutuals bids

    30-Apr-1996

    City law firms report a significant increase in the number of approaches from banks interested in launching takeover bids for building societies or mutual insurance companies.Firms are playing a major role in advising banking predators on possible regulatory or competition issues which could become more knotty under a Labour government."Consolidation within the financial services sector is nothing new, but there have been noticeably more expressions of interest ...

  • Berwin Leighton waves NY farewell

    3-May-1996

    BERWIN Leighton's 13-year experiment in running a US office has ended with the news that one of its American lawyers is being investigated over allegedly misappropriated office funds.The firm, which opened in New York in the boom years for UK investment and was staffed by US lawyers practising American law, announced the closure last week.Berwin Leighton managing partner Bernard Bartlett said the decision to close the office was taken about a year ago and ...

  • Board to investigate robber's aid application

    3-May-1996

    THE SOLICITOR who applied for legal aid so an armed robber could sue the Metropolitan Police Force for £250,000 damages could be reported to the Solicitors Complaints Bureau.The board suspended its grant of legal aid to Steve Charalambous, secured by his solicitor Naheed Faizafzal, of Joseph Hill & Co in north London, so it could investigate “certain matters” which were brought to light in last week’s newspaper reports.Charalambous, who was shot by police ...

  • Brick Court senior clerk leaves in 'amicable' split

    30-Apr-1996

    Senior clerk Douglas Neave has resigned from Brick Court Chambers, the chambers of Attorney General Sir Nicholas Lyell, in what head of chambers Christopher Clarke QC described as an "amicable parting of the ways".Clarke added that the tenants were sorry to see Neave go after more than five years as senior clerk.Neave was with the leading commercial set as senior clerk for over five years and is understood to have left over the weekend of ...

  • Brief

    30-Apr-1996

    In an attempt to sort out a spot of confusion, Michael Skrein, head of litigation at Richards Butler, took daughter Philippa to work last week. "My children were concerned to hear I was acting for Sylvester Stallone," said Skrein. "They didn't think I had the body for it." The move was part of the national 'Take your daughter to work' initiative which aims to bring more women to male-dominated jobs. "The office was a lot bigger than I expected and very busy," said 15-year-old ...

  • Call for compensation rethink

    30-Apr-1996

    UK lawyers have called for a more public and accountable system for working out compensation for miscarriages of justice in the wake of the furore over the Birmingham Six compensation award.Criminal and judicial review lawyers have poured scorn on the discretionary £316,000 offered to Birmingham Six member Paddy Hill last year but say his chances of getting the decision reversed are low.Hill said last week he would be taking the matter to his solicitor ...

  • Car crash robs US firm of managing partner

    30-Apr-1996

    Prominent US lawyer Stephen Meyers, of New York firm Jacoby & Meyers, has died at the wheel in a car accident in Connecticut.Jacoby & Meyers was the first US law firm to advertise its services, despite concerns expressed by traditional law firms and American Bar associations.The firm targets middle-income earners who traditionally have little access to legal services, focusing on personal injury cases.Meyers founded the firm in 1972 with lawyer Len ...

  • CBA seminar focuses on 'privacy and the Press'

    3-May-1996

    MEDIA intrusion into privacy came under scrutiny at a Chancery Bar Association seminar which tackled confidentiality and the Press.Peter Preston, editor-in-chief of The Guardian and The Observer newspapers, was a special guest at the debate on 'Confidentiality, privacy and the Press', which was held at Lincoln's Inn's Old Hall last Tuesday.The debate was introduced by Alastair Wilson QC, of 19 Old Buildings, and Kevin Garnett QC, of 5 New ...

  • Chancery Lane acts to woo back members

    30-Apr-1996

    The Council of the Law Society has passed a comprehensive series of measures in a bid to ensure the society is more responsive to members.The measures, which come at a time of acknowledged grassroots unrest, are part of a bid to make the society more accountable. In the words of council member David Thomas, the society must "build bridges" with solicitors throughout the UK.At a meeting last Thursday the council passed what will be seen by some as controversial ...

  • Chris Caisley asks, what future for referees after Smoldon?

    30-Apr-1996

    Chris Caisley is head of commercial litigation and sports law at Walker Morris.The decision of Justice Curtis on 19 April 1996 in Smoldon v Nolan and Whitworth could have important consequences for amateur and professional contact sports even though the judge said his ruling would not extend to senior or professional matches.Ben Smoldon, who was 17 when he broke his neck ...

  • City firm calls for openness on fees

    3-May-1996

    CITY firm Davies Arnold Cooper has criticised what it calls the Law Society's approach of emphasising what is good for lawyers instead of concentrating on what clients want.In a speech called 'Legal fees - getting more for your money' last week, senior partner David McIntosh launched the firm's latest cost control protocol.The protocol publicly provides information on fees, budgets and expenses.McIntosh explained: "We first launched ...

  • City practices merge and share overheads

    3-May-1996

    CITY firms Hobson Audley and Hopkins & Wood are expected to announce they will be merging to create a 14-partner practice called Hobson Audley Hopkins & Wood.The firms, founded in the early eighties, have been in talks since last July to form a more broadly based firm working in corporate law, litigation and commercial property with specialist areas such as intellectual property, IT, multimedia and electronic commerce.Four salaried partners - Simon Rendell, Andrew ...

  • City stays on bid alert despite power setback

    30-Apr-1996

    The Government's decision to block two massive takeover bids in the electricity industry has caught City law firms by surprise.Teams of lawyers from a clutch of big firms had been advising companies involved in the latest wave of consolidation sweeping the sector.Tim Clarke has led for Linklaters & Paines, which is instructed by National Power.Freshfields is ...

  • Classic styles or casual dress

    3-May-1996

    The concept of 'Dress down Fridays' was imported into the UK by US corporations. The policy allowed employees to dress in more casual clothing, such as open-necked shirts and casual trousers, in the run-up to the weekend.City law firm DJ Freeman has issued guidelines on dress which include a ruling that male employees should not wear "ear-rings, nose rings and similar" and hair should be short.It continues: "All male fee earners should wear a suit - ...

  • Compare like with like

    30-Apr-1996

    While practitioners are happy to read of Henry Hodge's appointment as deputy chairman (not chair, which is an item of furniture) of the Legal Aid Board, their pleasure is derived from the hope that he will put forward, in unequivocal terms, the desirability of their being paid properly and promptly for the work they do.Mr Hodge's expressed reservations concerning the Law Society's alleged recent failure to impress the "important opinion ...

  • Compton Carr closes shop

    30-Apr-1996

    West End eight-partner entertainment firm Compton Carr has broken up with half its partners going to Holborn practice Teacher Stern Selby and the others to Charles Russell.Teachers gains three entertainment partners from Compton Carr on 1 May. However, the head of entertainment Brian Carr will join Charles Russell this week. The parting is described as “amicable”.Catherine ...

  • Constants takes on Paris-based lawyer

    3-May-1996

    London law firm Constant & Constant has appointed Paris-based sole practitioner Ferdinand Vroom as a partner in its Paris office.Vroom has merged his practice with Constant & Constant to specialise in international shipping, transport and finance law.He qualified as an English solicitor in 1977, was admitted as an avocat in 1993 and ran his own firm, Cabinet Vroom, after spells as an assistant at Li

  • Council fights resident's Irish care plea

    3-May-1996

    Moves are pending in the High Court which could in some cases land local authorities with obligations to fund care outside the UK.Mr Justice Tuckey has paved the way for a case in which a 63-year-old stroke victim, originally from Tipperary in the Irish Republic, believes the London Borough of Camden should pay for her care in a nursing home in Ireland rather than in the council's own area.The council argues that its obligations do not extend to ...

  • Courts crack down on pollution

    30-Apr-1996

    The effects of a recent High Court ruling that a Cornish council must take a tougher stance against South West Water over coastal pollution are already being felt.But solicitor Charlie Hopkins, of London-based environmental champions Leigh Day & Co, believes the full impact of the decision has yet to be appreciated.He said the judgment spotlights on-going breaches of anti-pollution law and a misconception by local authorities about the enforcement of ...

  • Decherts loses EU telecomms team

    30-Apr-1996

    The Brussels office of US firm Dechert Price & Rhoads has been dealt a blow by the loss of its EU telecommunications team, including leading telecommunications lawyer Bernard Amory.Amory, a Belgian lawyer, has joined the Brussels office of US-firm Jones Day Reavis & Pogue.He was joined by Decherts' ...

  • Developing a new perspective

    30-Apr-1996

    Lovell White Durrant solicitor Alexander Janes is sold on the value of secondments after spending six months with the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development.Janes was working in the EBRD's legal department, the Office of the General Council, which includes 36 foreign lawyers and three from the UK.The EBRD is a public organisation, established by international treaty, which has shareholders including 53 governments, the EU and the European Investment ...

  • Directors' pay

    30-Apr-1996

    Manches & Co has advised three top directors on their termination packages from Forte in the wake of the company's recent acquisition by Granada. Manches was involved in the negotiation of termination packages for Keith Hamill, finance director, David Stevens, company secretary and director of legal services, and Richard Power, director of public affairs.

  • Divorce defeat is lawyers' victory

    3-May-1996

    FAMILY lawyers have welcomed last week's Government defeat in the Lords over pension splitting in divorce settlements.The measure, withdrawn from committee stage and deferred to a consultation paper, would offer both parties a guaranteed income on their retirement to the end of their lives.Ministers opposed pension splitting, claiming it could cost the taxpayer £1.3 billion but after being defeated they promised to take another look at the opposition ...

  • Doubts on mortgage revival

    30-Apr-1996

    Figures claiming to show a resurgence in mortgage lending have been met with caution by conveyancing lawyers.The figures, released by the Building Society's Association last week, reveal an upturn in the total value of mortgage loans advanced by building soc- ieties in March this year. Gross advances were £3,242 million, compared to £2,531 million in February, with net advances to borrowers reaching their highest level since June 1995.Gerald ...

  • Dressing at Hamilton's

    3-May-1996

    Sarah Reade is an assistant solicitor in theintellectual property department at Theodore Goddard. She took some time out to try on a selection of the latest shirt designs at Madeleine Hamilton's."I don't normally wear shirts, although I have always liked them, " she says. "Usually I wear bodies because they need minimum maintenance, especially no ironing. I normally buy suits from Karen Millen, and the bodies can be bought from everywhere."Some of Madeleine's ...

  • Dresssing to suit the City

    3-May-1996

    Ex-lawyer Madeleine Hamilton is probably better-placed than most to know about legal dress-sense. Having practised as a corporate lawyer with a City law firm, she left four years ago to set up her own business designing and manufacturing shirts for professional women.Hamilton has since expanded, opening a shop in Chancery Lane (next to the well-known direct and overlapping competition such as Thomas Pinks and Ede and Ravenscroft), and a studio in Islington. In addition, ...

  • Embryo deal proves fertile for Morgans

    30-Apr-1996

    South Wales and London firm Morgan Bruce has won the contract to provide legal services to the Human Fertilisation Embryology Authority.The firm, awarded the contract from a short-list of seven firms, will provide advice on issues relating to HFEA legislation and policy.The regulatory body, formed in 1990, controls the activity of clinics carrying out fertility treatments, including in vitro fertilisation and donor insemination, and regulates storage of gametes ...

  • Engineering expert goes to Scottish Power

    30-Apr-1996

    Scottish Power has appointed James Stanley to the new post of legal director with responsibility for the provision of legal, commercial and associated services within the electricity generating group.Stanley, 41, was previously a director of John Brown, the UK's largest engineering and construction group, whose power systems division is an important employer in Clydebank.A law graduate of Nottingham University, Stanley spent six years in private practice ...

  • Essex Court pioneers solicitor-led brochure

    30-Apr-1996

    Anthony Grabiner QC's specialist commercial chambers at 1 Essex Court has produced a new-style chambers brochure in an effort to meet the growing request from instructing solicitors for detailed information.The brochure, which provides information on all 48 tenants, including scope of practice and experience, runs to over 60 pages. It was produced in-house on the set's desktop publishing system and, said Grabiner, is intended "to ensure ...

  • Eversheds Birmingham turns its back on matrimonial work

    30-Apr-1996

    The Birmingham office of Eversheds has closed down its matrimonial department. Two practitioners will go to Coldfield firm Benussi & Co while other members will work in other departments at the firm.Adrian Bland, deputy managing partner, said the move forms part of a three-year management plan: "We are pushing very hard on a number of business initiatives and are very much focusing on commercial ...

  • Expansion is on the cards

    30-Apr-1996

    Political factors are likely to have a major impact on the practice of employment law, according to The Lawyer survey.When asked what issues will most affect this area of practice, 95 per cent cited a change of government.Other issues are already making an impact on employment law, including European legislation and case law, and domestic legislation covering the transfer of undertakings and the possibility of the adoption of the social chapter.Lawyers ...

  • Expert sceptical of CSA success claims

    30-Apr-1996

    A leading family lawyer has sharply criticised claims by the Child Support Agency that it has significantly improved performance in the past year.Susan Deas, chair of the Child Support Act committee of the Solicitors Family Law Association, said figures in the interim end-of-year report should be taken "with a large pinch of salt".The CSA claimed a 10-fold improvement in the amount of money collected in the agency's first year - more than £300 million ...

  • Farrer & Co explains how to fire employees

    3-May-1996

    FARRER & Co has produced a guide to the prickly issue of disciplining and firing employees following a sharp rise in the number of unfair dismissal claims reaching the courts.Disciplining and Dismissing Employees - A Guide for Managers is aimed at line managers and advises how to deal with employees without giving cause for a unfair dismissal claim.The 16-page booklet offers a basic guide to the law on unfair dismissal, disciplinary procedures and interviews, ...

  • Financial advice at your fingertips

    30-Apr-1996

    Fidelity Brokerage's Investment Adviser Group has unveiled an investment management service.Visionplus is the only package dedicated to the financial adviser in the UK. It offers comprehensive client account information, email to Fidelity and on-screen trading at the touch of a button.The system links the user directly to Fidelity Brokerage's in-house dealing system and trades are executed by Fidelity dealers. It is being extended to provide a ...

  • Financing

    3-May-1996

    Allen & Overy advised on both sides of the £400 million facility for Racal Electronics. The firm advised the borrower and acted for NatWest and BZW as arrangers.

  • Financing

    3-May-1996

    Manches & Co acted for Saur (UK) in securing a £50 million loan from a syndicate of banks led by National Westminster Bank. Clifford Chance represented the National Westminister syndicate.

  • Financing

    3-May-1996

    Clifford Chance advised The Burton Group in its £180 million multicurrency revolving credit facility. Allen & Overy represented Lloyds Bank Capital Markets Group.

  • Financings

    30-Apr-1996

    Morgan Bruce

  • Financings

    30-Apr-1996

    Ashurst Morris Crisp acted for Herring Baker Harris Group in relation to its reverse takeover of Lambert Smith Hampton and the placing of over 3 million new shares at 95p each.

  • Financings

    30-Apr-1996

    Allen & Overy acted for merchant bank Morgan Grenfell which provided leveraged senior debt facilities to NI Intressenter in its acquisition of Swedish industrial grinding company Naxos International. Allen & Overy also acted for Farnell Electronics which recently acquired Premier Industrial Corporation of the US.

  • Financings

    30-Apr-1996

    Pinsent Curtis acted for Bradford Property Trust in relation to its $20 million private US placement of shares arranged by NatWest Markets. The investors were advised by Hebb & Gitlin. Chapman & Cutler was the trust's US counsel.

  • Financings

    30-Apr-1996

    Hammond Suddards advised sports goods manufacturer Umbro UK in connection with its recent kit and products sponsorship agreements with Manchester United football club. The "substantial" sponsorship will run until 2002. Manchester United was advised by James Chapman & Co.

  • Govt slammed for 'petty' LC cuts

    30-Apr-1996

    A bid by the Law Commission to employ more lawyers has been rejected by the Lord Chancellor's Department due to cuts in public expenditure.Pressure on public finances also means that the commission is being forced to cut its budget by 5 per cent this year, to near 1994 levels.Secretary Michael Sayers is hopeful that the budget reduction will not affect the commission's ability to publish reports and consultative papers which often form the backbone ...

  • Howard's Bulger bid

    30-Apr-1996

    After a hearing the week before last Mr Justice Pill is expected to give his decision this week in a High Court challenge to the right of Home Secretary Michael Howard to increase the minimum sentence tariffs in respect of the killers of Jamie Bulger.

  • Identifying objectives

    30-Apr-1996

    I was somewhat vexed by Brian Ellingsworth's letter in 12 March issue of The Lawyer which inferred that, in private practice, solicitors merely tell their clients they cannot do something, instead of identifying their objectives and finding a way they can be achieved.When approached by a client, there are always three questions I ask: what does my client want?; can I achieve it?; can he/she afford it?However, having ascertained what ...

  • ILA grants up for grabs

    30-Apr-1996

    The Insolvency Law-yers Association is calling for applications for research projects in insolvency law and practice.The association is offering grants to fund one or two projects, costing up to £10,000.Shashi Rajani, chair of the technical committee, said the association will only consider a focused project likely to make a long-term contribution to insolvency law."The overriding condition is that the project has to be of day-to-day use to ...

  • In brief: Course for redundant professionals

    3-May-1996

    City University is holding a course for professionals who were made redundant during the recession. 'Fresh options: a self-assessment programme for professionals', running for four days between 15 March and 15 April, is designed for "highly qualified and experienced people" who want to move back into the workforce. The university says all the participants will be professionals, including bankers, surveyors, architects and lawyers. Participants must have been made redundant ...

  • In brief: Demand for specialists increases pressure

    30-Apr-1996

    In-house lawyers are finding it difficult to meet the increasing demands for specialist knowledge, according to a recent survey carried out by Eversheds. The survey revealed that in-house lawyers are facing increasing pressure, with 18 per cent feeling a greater range of expertise is required of them. However, 73 per cent of companies questioned had not increased the size of their departments in the ...

  • In brief: Dibbs unveils new local government unit

    3-May-1996

    Dibb Lupton Broomhead has set up a new local government unit under the leadership of commercial group partner Tony Randle. The unit already advises local authority clients including Shropshire, Herefordshire and Worcestershire and West Sussex county councils, Solihull Metropolitan Borough Council and the London Borough of Croydon. It has launched a regular newsletter called Futures which provides news and advice on local government issues.

  • In brief: East Anglian firm picks up contracts

    3-May-1996

    An Ipswich law firm has won two five-year contracts to carry out conveyancing and commercial contract work for Westminster Council. Gotelee & Goldsmith, already acting for six local authorities, beat tenders from firms around the country. The successful team was led by partners Brian Morron, Mary Dolley, Howard Nichols and consultant Charles Twiss. The firm already holds the contract for the council's commercial contract formation work, but is taking on the conveyancing work contract ...

  • In brief: Former West lawyer appeals suspension

    3-May-1996

    Cheltenham sole practitioner Howard Ogden, Frederick West's former lawyer, is appealing against his one-year suspension from practice following a disciplinary hearing into his conduct. At the solicitors' disciplinary tribunal last week, he admitted acting in a way likely to bring his profession into disrepute and allowing a conflict of interest to arise. An allegation of purporting to enter into an agreement with West to acquire an interest in publication rights prior to the ...

  • In brief: IBA head adds voice to sex discrimination

    30-Apr-1996

    The president of the International Bar Association will add his voice to the debate on gender discrimination later this week. Professor J Ross Harper will be addressing the sixth annual meeting and conference of the Inter-Pacific Association in Manila on 3 May. He commented: "The legal profession as a whole needs to be aware that, at least in some quarters, gender prejudice continues to exist. It is only once the problem is recognised and highlighted that we can start down the road ...

  • In brief: Indemnity fund appoints woman head

    30-Apr-1996

    The board of Solicitors Indemnity Fund has appointed Elizabeth Mullins as new chief executive with effect from 1 September. Mullins joined the SIF in 1992 as head of claims handling.She has been involved with the compulsory scheme of indemnity for solicitors for the past 11 years. She commented: "I am absolutely delighted. I see our role as helping the profession to contain the cost of claims and spreading the burden as far as possible." Mullins will succeed John Speedman ...

  • In brief: Legal consultant returns to Australia

    30-Apr-1996

    Stephen Macliver has left Grant Thornton's legal consulting division, The David Andrews Partnership, to return to his native Australia. The move, which results from family commitments, comes after a nine-year association with the organisation, founded by David Andrews in 1987 but more recently a part of Grant Thornton following a merger in 1995. Andrews said he had always been aware that Macliver ...

  • In brief: Lovells litigator becomes senior partner

    30-Apr-1996

    Andrew Walker, 51, takes the helm as senior partner of international firm Lovell White Durrant this week. The first litigator to be made senior partner of the firm, Walker is expected to be "a strong champion of the firm's international practice, including its cross-border work". Currently a senior partner in the practice's commercial litigation practice, Walker will also be the only litigator among the senior partners of the major city firms. He assumes his new position on ...

  • In brief: New president for Bradford law society

    30-Apr-1996

    Chris Atkinson, property partner with Yorkshire firm Gordons Wright & Wright, has been elected as the new president of the Bradford law society. Atkinson assumed the role at the end of last week. He plans to address professional concerns about the fragmentation of legal aid firms and the cost of residential conveyancing in high street practices. His deputy for the year is Bernadette Livesey, a solicitor at Bradford Metropolitan District Council.

  • In brief: Report issues intellectual property warning

    3-May-1996

    Only about two in five UK biotechnology companies would be able to prove successfully in a US courtroom that they had invented their technology at the time they claim, according to a report by Nabarro Nathanson. The report, conducted jointly with the Confederation of British Industry and launched last week, examined how UK biotechnology companies registered, exploited and protected their intellectual property ...

  • In brief: Report seeks extension of legal aid cover

    3-May-1996

    A report issued last week from the Policy Studies Institute urges the Lord Chancellor to extend legal aid funding to "new ways" of giving legal advice. Alternative Methods of Delivering Legal Services suggests supplying advice to community groups among other ideas. The report is based on an evaluation of 11 projects nationwide in law centres and advice agencies. Only one method of delivery, producing self-help information such as a resource pack or leaflets, failed.

  • In brief: Rights of establishment in EU move closer

    30-Apr-1996

    European lawyers are one step closer to achieving a right of permanent establishment under home title in other EU countries. The draft EU Rights of Establishment Directive was passed by the European Parliament's legal affairs committee in Brussels last week. However, it still has to be approved by the Council of Ministers and pass another European Parliament vote, which could take another 18 months.

  • In brief: SFLA roadshow debunks marital myth

    3-May-1996

    The myth of the common law wife is being dispelled by the Solicitors Family Law Association in this year's roadshow, 'There is no such thing as a common law wife'. The roadshow will travel the country during the next two months discussing cohabitation settlements and concentrating on property, children and domestic violence. Grant Howell, chair of the SFLA training committee, said: "As the title suggests this is an area of law where the client tends to be unsure or in ...

  • In brief: Training committee issues salary warning

    30-Apr-1996

    Simon Baker, the Law Society training committee chair, has warned law students not to expect the current minimum salary scheme for trainee solicitors to continue beyond August 1997.Although he confirmed the current levels would remain unchanged for 1996-7 (£12,125 for inner London and £10,850 for other areas), he said any expectation that the scheme would continue following the consultation exercise being undertaken by the committee would "not be realistic".

  • Investment plan rides to litigants' aid

    30-Apr-1996

    City investors are to be offered the prospect of generous returns if they put money into a litigation fund designed to help the less well-off pursue claims through the courts.The fund is the brainchild of Brian Raincock, of Litigation Protection. The company offers insurance to litigants to protect against the risk of losing an action and having to pay costs.Now Raincock wants to attract litigants who baulk at the size of insurance premiums, which can be up to ...

  • Law Lords GBH second look

    30-Apr-1996

    The Law Lords have agreed to take a further look at the case of Winston Brown, convicted in 1993 of wounding with intent to do grievous bodily harm. Brown says the credibility of defence witnesses at his trial was damaged in cross-examination by production of police evidence not previously disclosed. The House of Lords will be asked to decide whether this constituted a material irregularity.

  • Law practices reap benefit of property market boom

    30-Apr-1996

    Many medium-sized London law firms are expanding so quickly that they are scouring the City for new office space.According to Jonathan Solomon, commercial property partner at Norton Rose, medium-sized practices are looking to move into new and bigger offices to cope with burgeoning workloads."In recent weeks, I have had enquiries from four firms looking for development space ...

  • Law Soc and Labour clash over delays

    30-Apr-1996

    The Law Society went into battle against the Labour Party last week over proposals from Shadow Home Secretary Jack Straw which aim to penalise lawyers for time-wasting before cases come to trial.Straw called for lawyers to be disallowed costs if cases take too long to prepare. He was launching a campaign to cut the amount of time defendants have to spend on remand.But the Law Society dismissed Straw's ideas as wrongly targeting lawyers when clients and other ...

  • Lawyers shy of IT

    30-Apr-1996

    Lawyers are lagging behind other professionals in using IT, according to a recent survey carried out by Toshiba. The results revealed that lawyers prefer to work from the office and are hesitant about using mobile communication. Only 15 per cent use a notebook computer for remote access to work. And 26 per cent prefer a traditional telephone over a mobile to make a call to the office.

  • Lawyers toast legal 'oscars'

    30-Apr-1996

    The second year of The Lawyer/Hifal awards saw an impressive turnout of bow-tied, animated lawyers, all hoping to attract a round of applause at the Dorchester Hotel last Friday night.The gala event was co-hosted by actress Honor Blackman and barrister Graham Davies who presented London and Manchester firm Leigh Day & Co with the Law Firm of the Year award.The award was made in recognition of the firm's successful establishment of a niche personal injury, ...

  • Leaked MoD advice urges compromise over gays ban

    3-May-1996

    A LEAKED internal Ministry of Defence legal report regarding its ban on homosexuals in the services has revealed the ministry will ultimately have to remove the ban even if it wins action in the UK courts.The Government would stand a better chance of winning, the document advises, by "moving towards a compromise solution, eg: no open homosexuality".The MoD's legal adviser, who was not identified, warns that if the policy decision, due on 16 March, is made ...

  • Legal aid firm counts on accounting solution

    30-Apr-1996

    High Street firm Fisher Meredith is counting on a new computing package to transform the financial minefield of legal aid billing.The leading legal aid firm has teamed up with Dart Legal Systems to extend a practice management solution, Productivity Practice-wide for Lawyers (PPL), which is designed to "cope with the vagaries of the Legal Aid Board's accounting procedures".It includes a full legal aid billing facility that simplifies ...

  • Life beyond the Internet

    3-May-1996

    The Internet is all set to become the message pushing, contact warming, all-around marketing good guy. And lawyers will soon have their Web sites, home pages and interactive interfaces buzzing and whirring, and their bespoke message will be super RAM raided down the corporate throat.Gone is the need for client warming and cuddling (my personal favourite) - just whack your message down the information superhighway and your client care and marketing effort ...

  • Litigation Disciplinary Tribunals 05/03/96

    3-May-1996

    Anthony Noel Hackett-Jones, 52, admitted 1969, practised as Hacketts or Hackett-Jones & Foley, Ipswich, refused restoration to roll and ordered to pay £850 costs. Applicant removed own name from the roll in November 1993 and in 1995 was sentenced to three years prison after conviction at Southwark Crown Court of conspiracy to defraud. Conviction arose out of attempted insurance fraud involving pretence that a person had been lost at sea while sailing off ...

  • Litigation Litigator's view 05/03/96

    3-May-1996

    In a recent decision, Justice Jacob sent a message to trade mark proprietors: do not try to monopolise ordinary words of the English language.British Sugar v James Robertson & Sons was the second action to come to trial under the Trade Marks Act 1994. This action was over the trade mark 'Treat' registered by British Sugar for dessert sauces and syrups. The syrups come in squeezable bottles for pouring over desserts which bear the Silver Spoon mark.

  • Litigation Personal Injury 05/03/96

    3-May-1996

    Smith v Storey - QBD 5FebruaryClaimant: Sandra Smith, 30, on behalf of estate of deceased common law husband Gordon Smith, 2Incident: Motorcyclist in head-on collision with vanInjuries: Fatal injuries - dead man left 30-year-old wife and son aged 14 monthsAward: £70,000 (agreed damages); wife to receive £56,000 with a further £14,000 set aside for sonJudge: Mr Justice Rix

  • Litigation Personal Injury 30/04/96

    30-Apr-1996

    Coram v Cornwall and Isles of Scilly Health Authority - QBD 16 April 1996Claimant: Darren Coram, 9Incident: Medical negligenceInjuries: Oxygen starvation at birth; cerebral palsy; asymmetrical spastic quadriplegia; blind; severely mentally retardedAward: £1 million (agreed damages)Judge: Mr Justice TuckerPlaintiff's solicitors: The Betesh Partnership(Manchester)Wilkinson ...

  • Litigation Recent Decisions 05/03/96

    3-May-1996

    Soldier's claim for battle injury caused by negligenceRichard Mulcahy v Ministry of Defence (1996).CA (Neill LJ, McCowan LJ and Sir Iain Glidewell) 21/2/96.Summary: Crown forces are not liable for injury or damages sustained by any negligent action during battle conditions.Appeal by the defendant against dismissal of its application to strike out the plaintiff's action on the basis that the claim as formulated disclosed ...

  • Litigation Recent Decisions 30/04/96

    30-Apr-1996

    Applications and renewed applications for asylumR v Secretary of State for Home Department, ex parte Ravichandran; R v Secretary of State for Home Department, ex parte Sandralignam (1996).QBD (Dyson J).Summary: What elements are necessary to constitute a fresh claim for political asylum?Applications for judicial review of the refusal of the Secretary of State Michael Howard to grant political asylum to two refugees from Sri Lanka. ...

  • Litigation Writs 05/03/96

    3-May-1996

    High Court action has been launched against a rattle manufacturer by Mother and Baby magazine after a number of babies were injured by rattles distributed with the magazine. The writ says many of the rattles distributed broke, cutting babies and toddlers on their mouths and faces, while other babies coughed and choked on broken parts of the rattles. Now Mother and Baby publisher Emap Elan, which could face personal injury claims from the families of the injured children, ...

  • Litigation Writs 30/04/96

    30-Apr-1996

    Dr Haten Yassine, who was sacked from his job at Brunel University, Uxbridge, has launched an action in the High Court over his dismissal. Yassine has issued a writ against the university seeking damages and demanding a declaration that his purported dismissal on 21 July 1994 was ultra vires and void.Writ was issued by Irwin Mitchell, London NW3. Y1A brother and sister are suing their late father's live-in companion for damages ...

  • Lloyd & Associates attracts a clutch of new partners

    3-May-1996

    A NEW London law firm has grown from two partners to six in its first 10 months of operation.Lloyd & Associates also expects a turnover of more than £1 million within its first 18 months.The South Kensington practice was established in May last year by John Lloyd and Meena Heath, both of Lloyd Mills, and now has a team of 10 specialist lawyers.Lloyd ran his own general practice in Covent Garden for 14 years before merging to form Lloyd Mills ...

  • Lock up your data

    30-Apr-1996

    A data protection system for Windows applications has been launched by Visionsoft. Winlock allows users to attach passwords to any application they want to protect. The program can restrict access to Windows applications and icons, including File Manager, and also to DOS applications. The program is aimed at medium-sized firms with between 10 and 500 PCs. The current system cannot be used on Windows '95, but Visionsoft hopes this will be remedied by July. Winlock ...

  • Look to the future

    30-Apr-1996

    The speech given by outgoing Law Society secretary general John Hayes on the future of the legal profession neatly encapsulated the problems facing the profession.Addressing the European Policy Forum last Thursday, Hayes discussed the lack of confidence in the profession's future direction, the search for scapegoats when things go wrong and, most importantly, lawyers' resistance to addressing issues such as client care.In the next ...

  • Look to the future or fail, urges Hayes

    30-Apr-1996

    Outgoing Law Society secretary general John Hayes has warned that the current turmoil in the profession "is not revolution but the possible emergence of a flat earth law society".In a lecture organised by the European Policy Forum last Thursday, Hayes admonished hostility to beneficial developments in the profession with a veiled attack on president Martin Mears as the "political voice" of those most hostile to such development.Hayes criticised the use of scapegoats ...

  • Manchester firm's phantom bookkeeper gives up the ghost

    3-May-1996

    A white, genderless ghost was keeping a close eye on the bookkeeping practices of Manchester-based firm Otten Penna & Co, before being asked to leave by the local priest.Partners Guy Otten and Jai Penna called on Reverend Greg Foster for help when they discovered their bookkeeper had been troubled for six months by a phantom figure, strange noises, rattling blinds and the mysterious movement of files."It was a figure in white that looked over her shoulder," said ...

  • McKenna sees Chunnel link deal to end of line

    3-May-1996

    CITY practice McKenna & Co acted for the Department of Transport on the £2.7 billion Channel Tunnel Rail Link(CTRL) contract, awarded last week to London & Continental Railways.The firm was engaged by the department in December 1993 after beating off three other contenders.It worked alongside consultants Hill Samuel Bank and G Maunsell & Partners in developing the competition for the building project and the train services.This is ...

  • McKennas sets up US base to target North America power restructuring

    30-Apr-1996

    City firm McKenna & Co is opening an office in Washington DC to take advantage of the restructuring activity affecting the electricity industry in Canada and the US.Managing partner Robert Derry-Evans said the firm had recruited two senior American lawyers from US firm LeBoeuf Lamb Greene & MacRae. they join the new office as partners.Reinier Lock is experienced in electricity regulation, restructuring and project development while Amy Koch specialises in hydro-electric ...

  • Mears comes under fire over quota for trainees

    3-May-1996

    A MEMBER of one of Martin Mears' presidential working parties has accused the group of trying to impose a quota on new trainees "via the back door".Damaging divisions within the working party on entry to the profession are exposed in a letter published in this week's The Lawyer by Peter Crawford, of London firm Stitt & Co.The letter is a response to an article in last week's issue in which Mears said one working party had "been so successful in ...

  • Mears takes flak for Law Soc 'farce'

    3-May-1996

    MARTIN Mears has been blamed by the Legal Action Group for transforming events at Chancery Lane into a "farcical soap opera".The Law Society president is lambasted in the leading article of the March issue of Legal Action, the pressure group's magazine, which calls for Mears and his deputy Robert Sayer to be overthrown."The joke played by the Law Society membership on its leadership has gone sour," says the article, which argues that the society is in danger ...

  • Merchant banks entice City high fliers into their fold

    30-Apr-1996

    Two top flight City lawyers are leaving their law firms to join merchant banks.Tim Freshman, corporate partner at Slaughter and May, is moving to Jardine Flemming in Hong Kong.Mark Harding is leaving Clifford Chance to join UBS, the Swiss banking giant which took over UK broker Phillips ...

  • Move to the provinces pays dividends for ex-Temple set

    3-May-1996

    A HOME counties chambers which has just opened a new set in St Albans says it has not looked back since leaving the Temple 11 years ago.When Tindal Chambers moved out of King's Bench Walk to set up shop in Chelmsford it had eight tenants.Now the general common law set boasts 35 barristers and has an annual fee income of £1.5 million.Tindal Chambers has an annexe in London and is basing nine barristers at its latest set in Hertfordshire.

  • MP plots demise of Irish solicitor touts

    3-May-1996

    THE IRISH Law Society has been told that unless it takes speedy action to control solicitors who tout for business, parliament will be forced to do the job through statutory regulations.The warning has been given by an Irish government backbencher, deputy Eric Byrne, of Dublin, who claimed a small number of solicitors were "latching on to a good thing with no win, no fee advertising. When they win, there is a very substantial fee."He told parliament in Dublin ...

  • Next step in chalet row

    3-May-1996

    A statutory tenancy battle involving a chalet site in south Wales is going to the House of Lords. Leave has been granted for lease-holders of chalets on the site to challenge a Court of Appeal ruling on 28 July last year, which set aside Swansea County Court's refusal to grant a possession order to site owners Elitestone. The Appeal Court ordered that the chalet occupants should give possession to Elitestone. The company wants to develop the site and in July 1990 offered the ...

  • Niche work if you can get it

    30-Apr-1996

    Employment law has long been seen as a Cinderella specialisation. With a few exceptions, the best-regarded employment departments have bypassed the top City firms and are to be found in medium-sized practices.Fraser Younson, senior employment partner at Baker & McKenzie and chair of the Employment Lawyers Association, says: "As much as 10 per cent of our work in London is employment ...

  • Norse power win

    3-May-1996

    City firm McKenna & Co is to handle the international legal work for the Norwegian electric grid company Statnett SF. The McKenna & Co team includes Fiona Woolf and Robert Lane, both partners in the utilities and major projects group, and specialists from the banking and competition law departments. The firm won a bid to take on all the company's international projects. A statement says McKennas is "possibly the only law firm worldwide to have studied, completed and implemented ...

  • Norton Rose elects senior partner for next century

    30-Apr-1996

    Norton Rose corporate finance partner David Lewis has been elected as the senior partner to lead the firm into the new millennium.Lewis, currently involved in advising SBC Warburg, the merchant bank representing US utility Southern Company, will take on his new role on the retirement of senior partner, Tony Kay, on 30 April 1997."I am delighted with the appointment," said Lewis.

  • Open doors to housing action

    3-May-1996

    WRITSHeadline writers in the national tabloid press had a field day after the recent Court of Appeal ruling that two homeless HIV victims, one Italian the other Spanish, are entitled to council housing in the UK.However, Saimo Chahal, a partner at London firm Bindman & Partners who represented one of the men, believes the reaction of the right wing media trivialised an important legal ruling.She said the case clarified questions ...

  • Over 200 law firms sign up with legal costs plan

    3-May-1996

    AROUND 250 firms have registered to join a scheme which offers after-the-event funding to litigants without the means to pursue claims.LawAssist, the litigation costs plan offered by Greystoke Legal Services, aims to help individuals who do not qualify for free legal aid and who do not have the savings to risk taking court action to pursue a claim (The Lawyer 9 January).The scheme offers funding of up to £18,000 for cases likely to be successful and with ...

  • PACH clearing system gets thumbs up

    30-Apr-1996

    The Bar's clearing system for trainee barristers has received the seal of approval from chambers and law colleges throughout the country.Details of the workings of the scheme - the Pupillage Applications Clearing House (PACH) - were discussed at a meeting organised by the Bar Council on 23 April. The meeting, attended by representatives of the 248 sets which have signed up for the scheme and representatives from teaching institutions, revealed a "very keen" response ...

  • Pending QBD jury hearings

    3-May-1996

    Jury cases listed for hearing in the Queen's Bench Division include: Spencer v Express Newspapers (18 March); Botham v Niazi (13 May); Lamb v Niazi (13 May); Hossain v Lloyds Bank (not before 4 March); Reid v Campbell and anor (not before 4 March); Cofie-Agyeman and anor v Commissioner of Police for the Metropolis (not before 11 March); Flavin v Gould (not before 18 March); Powers v Newsgroup Newspapers (not before 18 March).

  • Penningtons plans HQ move to cut costs

    30-Apr-1996

    City and Home counties firm Penningtons is taking the knife to costs by quitting its headquarters building in London and giving staff a formal warning about the possibility of redundancies.Penningtons has recently been hit by a string of high level resignations with eight partners giving notice before Easter this year (The Lawyer 9 April).According to an internal memo circulated ...

  • Piba proposals win Bar's approval

    3-May-1996

    John Malpas reportsA RIFT between the Bar Council and the personal injury barristers' group over model conditional fee terms of engagement appears to have been healed.The Bar Council has given its qualified approval to model terms of engagement which were unilaterally adopted by the Personal Injury Bar Association (Piba) last year.The Bar's legal services committee has indicated that it is happy with the document in the light of advice issued ...

  • Power to the people's profession

    30-Apr-1996

    That well-known journalist Chapman Pincher, in a letter to The Sunday Times, recently said that going to law in the UK is "like going to war, the only certainty being the cost".He continued: "The adversarial British High Courts are not based on the principle of justice but are a fancy dress charade in which two opposing teams of lawyers use words to convince a jury and judge, all of whom, being human, are fallible, of the ...

  • Publicity head for chambers

    3-May-1996

    GEORGE Carmen QC's New Court Chambers has appointed Louise Seaton (pictured right) to handle its marketing.Seaton is the first marketing appointment at the chambers and will promote individual barristers as well as the set as a whole.The former Butterworths product marketing manager has been put in charge of advertising and the distribution of marketing material. She will also organise a programme of seminars and lectures for the chambers."Louise's ...

  • Quest for a level playing field

    3-May-1996

    In 1991 the Lord Chancellor's Department proposed to extend the standard fee regime, which covers the majority of trials lasting up to three days, to cover all trials up to and including five days in length.If accepted this would have covered an even wider spread of cases in which no allowance would be made in the fee to reflect either the seriousness of the charge(s) or the complexity of the issues.For that reason the legal aid and fees committee ...

  • Rabbatts to front local authority

    3-May-1996

    THIS YEAR'S weekend school of the Law Society's Local Government Group will cover areas ranging from environment to education.The event, to be held at the University of Wales in Swansea from 28 to 31 March, will also deal with IT planning for local authority legal departments, plain English, and powers of local government.As well as the plenary sessions, there will be a parallel workshop on developments in civil and criminal litigation procedure for ...

  • Responsibility with integrity

    30-Apr-1996

    In response to your article, 'Angry CPS lawyers threaten strike' (23 April) I wish to clarify the position of the FDA CPS Section, which represents the majority of lawyers within the CPS, and to correct a number of factual inaccuracies.The original motion considered by the CPS Section Council had been circulated prior to publication of your previous article relating to a CPS management paper (16 April) and was not a response to that article.

  • Richards Butler appoints first female head to Brussels office

    30-Apr-1996

    Richards Butler has appointed Katharine Baragona as the head partner of the firm's all-female Brussels office.Baragona's appointment marks the first time a woman has been appointed to head one of the firm's overseas offices.She qualified as an attorney in California before joining Richards Butler in 1990 and training as an English solicitor.Baragona is a specialist consultant to the EC and has advised the governments of Lithuania, Uzbekistan, ...

  • Sandy hopes for reprieve in New York

    30-Apr-1996

    Simmons & Simmons lawyer David Sandy is hoping a New York judge will strike out charges he faces in relation to Bank of Credit and Commerce International which collapsed in 1991.Sandy is accused by the New York District Attorney of three charges relating to alleged suppression of the diary of former BCCI chief executive Zafar Iqbal regarding the failure of the bank. He is represented in the US by John Wing, of

  • Scots take flak over hostile complaints culture

    30-Apr-1996

    Scottish Legal Services Ombudsman Garry Watson has expressed concern at solicitors' hostility or overly casual attitude when told the Law Society of Scotland is investigating a complaint against them.In his annual report to Scotland's Secretary of State, Watson says most solicitors were anxious to resolve problems as quickly as possible, but some became aggressive and saw it as an affront to their professional reputation. He adds that these solicitors resent that ...

  • Set blazes trail with member salary

    30-Apr-1996

    Peta Sweet reportsIn a move understood to be a first at the Bar, James Hunt QC's chambers at One King's Bench Walk has introduced a regular "salary" scheme for members of chambers.The scheme, devised in conjunction with the set's bankers, Coutts & Co, currently has 15 members signed up.It allows for fixed monthly drawings based on each member's estimated earnings over the tax year, taking into ...

  • Simmons partner advises on Romania green policy rethink

    3-May-1996

    THE ROMANIAN government has appointed Stephen Tromans of Simmons & Simmons as its consultant adviser as part of a comprehensive review and overhaul of environmental legislation.Tromans, a partner and head of the environmental law department, forms part of a team co-ordinated by Harvard University's Institute for International Development.The institute is funded by the US government to assist Romania in development.Troman's task is to advise ...

  • Sinclair Roche stays put despite shooting

    3-May-1996

    THE shooting of Sinclair Roche & Temperley solicitor John Hyden in Russia last week will not lead to the firm diminishing its Moscow presence.Sinclair Roche spokesman Pat Adamson said the firm had not increased security since the shooting and intended to keep its Moscow office open.He said providing security to prevent Hyden's death would have been difficult because he was hit by a stray bullet in a Russian mafia shoot-out while in a St Petersburg cafe.

  • So much for the market

    3-May-1996

    I am somewhat dismayed and astonished by the complete insensitivity of the Law Society training committee chair Simon Baker, maintaining that "the serious over supply of applicants seems to be correcting itself without the need for direct intervention" (The Lawyer 27 February 'Report renews trainee furore').Surely, Mr Baker seems to forget there are over 12,000 graduates of the LPC/LSF who have been unable to obtain training contracts.

  • Southern comfort

    3-May-1996

    As the European commercial property market gets together for its seventh year at the MIPIM convention in Cannes, UK law firms will again be there in large numbers. And it is not just the prospect of a weekend escaping the British winter, to wine and dine on the French Riviera, which entices them back year after year. Regular participants say MIPIM is an excellent forum for networking and can bring in business.Michael Stancombe of Lovell White Durrant describes how his firm ...

  • Stallards is Barbados bound

    30-Apr-1996

    London firm Stallards claims to be the first English firm to establish a permanent representative office in the Caribbean.The new one-man office, situated in Barbados, will advise on English law affecting shipping matters in the Windward Islands, the Caribbean Basin, and Central and South America.English lawyer Rupert Steer left the London office of Stallards, where he was a partner, to work from Barbados as executive consultant."Attractive tax arrangements ...

  • Still with Merton

    30-Apr-1996

    I have seen a copy of your article (The Lawyer 26 March) indicating Merton is looking for a new solicitor to head its Legal Services Department.However, your article is incorrect in stating that Peter Large has left us, and it follows that he has "gone to do his own thing".Peter is still employed by the council and providing legal advice that we value, and he intends to continue in local government and in the law when he does leave us ...

  • The great entertainers

    3-May-1996

    With thousands of companies from all over the world taking exhibition stands or sending delegates to MIPIM, the pressure mounts each year to come up with ways of catching the attention of potential clients.Few can rival the City of London and the London Docklands Development Corporation, which teamed up a couple of years ago to borrow a passing British Navy frigate. For the duration of MIPIM, they ferried people they wanted to impress from the convention to the harbour to ...

  • The Lawyer Inquiry: Duncan Lamont

    30-Apr-1996

    Duncan Lamont was born in London on 10 June 1961. He is a media lawyer at City firm Biddle & Co. What was your first job?Sheepskin coat salesman, Oxford Street, London.What was your first ever salary as a lawyer?£30 per week, outdoor clerk East End Solicitors (1979).What would you have done if you hadn't become a lawyer?Relaxed.Which ...

  • The Lawyer Inquiry: John Gower-Jones

    3-May-1996

    John Gower-Jones is a partner in the property department of Davies Wallis Foyster's Manchester office. Born in Rochdale in 1946, he now lives in Mobberley, Cheshire. What was your first job?Deck chair attendant, Blackpool.What was your first ever salary as a lawyer?£400 a year as an articled clerk.What would you have done if you hadn't become a lawyer?

  • The world of wig fashion

    3-May-1996

    The last thing a junior barrister wants is a new wig. “The darker and older looking the better,” says Jonathan Hill, sales consultant in the legal department clothing at Thresher and Glenny.Unlike the rest of a barristers’ apparel, the state of the wig is not judged by how clean it looks but how aged it appears to be. The aim of most barristers is to achieve a wig with a worn and matured look to create the impression of experience when standing before a judge.“None ...

  • Three steps to the Chancery Division

    30-Apr-1996

    The dust may be settling on the legal battle by ex-Take That heart throb Robbie Williams whose anticipated four-week contract battle in the Chancery Division never got under way.But other groups are waiting in the wings to take the legal stage and one set of Seventies chart toppers is scheduled to do battle, again in the Chancery Division, before the year is out.Five members of the current Showaddywaddy line-up - David Bartram, Trevor Oakes, ...

  • Time for a solution

    3-May-1996

    The time has come for solicitors to lay their briefs on the table. Despite carping from the sidelines for the past six months about the current president of the Law Society Martin Mears, no contender has yet emerged as a potential challenger for the elections next summer.Where are all the council members who are concerned by how their ambassadors are representing the profession? Indeed, are there any council members who could actually get elected in the circumstances? ...

  • Treasury criticised for farming out drafting of Finance Bill

    3-May-1996

    THE Chancellor of the Exchequer's initiative to privatise the drafting of some of this year's Finance Bill has been described as a "reckless waste of public money" by a former government draftsman.Sir George Engle, a retired first parliamentary counsel, has spoken out against Kenneth Clarke's initiative to farm out some of the parliamentary counsel office's work to the private sector.The experiment saw lawyers from Freshfields,

  • UK puts its trust in OEICs

    3-May-1996

    The publication of the consultative paper on open-ended investment companies (OEICs) by the Securitys and Investments Board (SIB) in October last year, means that considerable progress has now been made towards finalising the regulatory framework for the introduction of OEICs into the UK savings market.Over the past few years, pressure has grown in the UK fund management and savings industry for the introduction to the UK of OEICs as a savings vehicle. It has long been recognised ...

  • US contests $35m claim

    30-Apr-1996

    The US government will next week attempt to throw out an application for $35 million compensation from Isle of Man tax solicitor Patrick Taylor.Taylor is claiming the money on the grounds that a CIA agent, the late John Savage, was involved in a complex investment scheme which led to his firm, Monarch Assurance, losing millions of pounds. Also behind the scheme was lawyer Charles Deacon, jailed for advance fee fraud.In a separate UK action, Taylor is claiming ...

  • Welcome spirit of glasnost

    3-May-1996

    Boom time has come to the Moscow property sector and Guy Fitzmaurice finds UK and US firms are well placed to cash inCentral and eastern Europe continue to offer opportunities for the more adventurous property market players and their advisers. Privatisation and restitution are keeping the region attractive, with properties that were restored to their original owners a few years ago coming onto the market and privatised businesses beginning to change hands, many involving ...

  • Well done winners

    30-Apr-1996

    Congratulations to the winners of this year's The Lawyer/Hifal Awards. Shoosmiths & Harrisons deserves particular mention for scooping two awards - client care and management, while Doughty Street Chambers was, for the second year, winner of the Chambers award. Leigh Day & Co has certainly made its mark in recent years and its win as Law Firm of the Year was deserved.The ...

  • Young Irish barristers take hats off to wigs

    3-May-1996

    A SUCCESSFUL campaign to preserve the wig-wearing tradition in the Irish courts was spearheaded by the younger members of the profession, according to the Irish Bar Council's director general.The attitude of the more junior barristers has provided a surprising twist in the long road to the liberalisation of court dress in the Republic of Ireland.On 15 December a new law was enacted allowing barristers to discard their wigs in court.The legislation ...