29 July 1996

The Lawyer

  • 190 take AIM in a year

    30-Jul-1996

    ABOUT 190 companies have been listed on the alternative investment market (AIM) since its inception 13 months ago.AIM is a successor to the unlisted securities market (USM) and is designed to give smaller companies greater access to capital to help build their businesses.Corporate finance partner Paul Cooper at Bristol firm Bevan Ashford said AIM has been a tremendous success."It has seen its market capitalisation grow from £52 million to £3.4 ...

  • Adviser warns of 'time-bomb'

    30-Jul-1996

    Alison Laferla reportsONE of the UK's leading IT legal advisers has warned firms their computer systems may fail if they do not adapt their software to handle dates with the year 2000 in them.Robert Bond, head of the IT and media law department at city firm Hobson Audley Hopkins & Wood, has called on law firms not to ignore the problem, which will affect businesses across the board.A recent survey of top corporate IT users by Computer ...

  • Aids centre appoints legal expert and wants two more

    30-Jul-1996

    A legal centre dedicated to people with HIV and Aids has appointed a new head of legal services and is seeking to recruit two other lawyers.Immunity, set up in 1988 to promote the legal rights of HIV and Aids sufferers and to provide them with free legal services, will be headed from September by Isabel Manley, the current head of Bradford Law Centre and vice-chair of the Law Centres Federation.Manley, who took a break from her 10 years at Bradford to work in ...

  • Avocats conference

    30-Jul-1996

    The Union Internationale des Avocats holds its 40th congress in Madrid on 4-8 September. Last year's annual congress was held in London and attracted over 1,000 delegates from around the world. The main three main themes will be: protection and use of intellectual property; justice and the media; and rights for the defence, confidentiality and professional secrecy.

  • Balfour installs high-tech phone messaging system

    30-Jul-1996

    SCOTS firm Balfour & Manson has invested over £70,000 in state-of-the-art telecommunications equipment.It will be one of the first law firms to operate a Visual Mailbox, which allows employees to access their voice and fax messages from their PCs, meaning they can prioritise which messages to respond to first. Clients will be able to leave voice and fax messages at any time for users to pick up anywhere.The firm will also install HotDesk, ...

  • Bar Council unable to disbar solicitors

    30-Jul-1996

    John Malpas reportsA MOVE to force barristers to disbar if they become solicitors has finally been ruled out by the Bar Council.At its meeting earlier this month, the Bar Council conceded that there was nothing it could do to stop barristers from holding on to their qualification on becoming solicitors.The Bar Council took legal advice on the issue after barrister Sally Hughes began practising as a solicitor last year and refused to voluntarily ...

  • Bar pro bono unit wants direct access for public

    30-Jul-1996

    The public will be able to use barristers without referral from a solicitor if the Bar's new pro bono unit persuades the Bar Council to relax its referral rules.The unit, launched a month ago to tackle unchecked instances of injustice referred by solicitors, has been inundated with calls from the public.Under the Bar Council's direct access rules, barristers can only take on cases via a solicitor and a limited number of professional bodies. Plans are ...

  • Bar takes foreigners in profile-raising bid

    30-Jul-1996

    THE English Bar is to appoint up to six foreign lawyers every year as "honorary members of the Bar" in a bid to boost its profile and clients abroad.The Bar Council's international relations committee proposed the idea to the Bar Council on 13 July and it was unanimously approved.The selection from the ranks of "distinguished foreign lawyers" to recognise "particular acts of friendship to the English Bar", will be made by chair of the Bar David Penry-Davey ...

  • Berwins grabs a third as its advocacy group grows

    30-Jul-1996

    ASPIRING barrister Khaled Nasir has been plucked from the Bar by law firm S J Berwin & Co.Nasir, 27, is the third barrister to have been recruited by the firm's growing advocacy practice. He had been squatting at 2-3 Gray's Inn Square, the chambers headed by Anthony Scrivener QC.Richard Slowe, head of the law firm's advocacy practice, said he planned a gradual expansion of the department."The difference ...

  • Brief

    30-Jul-1996

    Dressage rider Carl Hester has set a first by being sponsored by a group of barristers.A syndicate of 15 barristers from commercial set Brick Court Chambers - including head of chambers Christopher Clarke QC - has agreed to sponsor the top British dressage rider in what is believed to be the first Bar sponsorship of this kind.Two of Hester's best horses have been renamed Legal Democrat and Legal Jaguar as part of the deal.The syndicate said it ...

  • Call for solicitor pupillage scheme

    30-Jul-1996

    A LEADING City solicitor-advocate has called for the setting up of pupillage-style, in-house advocacy training schemes to make it easier for solicitors to win rights of audience.Richard Slowe, head of SJ Berwin's advocacy practice, is drawing up plans to apply for the rules governing the awarding of higher court advocacy rights for solicitors to be changed.Slowe, who is vice-chair ...

  • City investors question value of converted Ecu

    30-Jul-1996

    A ROW has erupted over the legal status of the Ecu ahead of the introduction of a single European currency in 1999.The dispute hinges on the value of Ecu-denominated financial products, such as bonds, when converted to the Euro, which is due to replace national currencies.Big City institutions have asked the European Commission to clarify the legal position of the Ecu, the value of which is based on a basket of European currencies.The basket has changed ...

  • Clerks hold seminars with taxing masters in latest attempt to prevent fee disputes

    30-Jul-1996

    John Malpas reportsBARRISTERS' clerks are to invite taxing masters to a series of training seminars in a bid to reduce the number of disputes over the level of fees charged by barristers.The move marks the latest in a series of attempts by the Institute of Barristers' Clerks to get its views across to taxing masters and taxing judges.It is hoped the sessions will give clerks a better idea of the kind of information taxing masters are looking ...

  • Clerks' annual dinner

    30-Jul-1996

    John Malpas reportsThe Attorney General, Sir Nicholas Lyell QC, was among guests at the Institute of Barristers' Clerks annual dinner earlier this month. The evening at the Institute of Directors, described as a "resounding success" by the institute, was attended by a host of senior barristers, including solicitor general Sir Derek Spencer QC and Bar Council chair David Penry-Davey QC, as well as many members of the institute.

  • Complaints balancing act

    30-Jul-1996

    You are right to say (The Lawyer 23 July) that the Office for the Supervision of Solicitors has a steep task ahead in turning round the public's perception of bias towards solicitors. You could equally well have referred to the difficulty of reversing the profession's perception of bias in favour of clients.Of course solicitors can handle complaints against their profession in a fair and unbiased way. That is what happened in the Mike Howells case, using investigation ...

  • Crestfallen at investor news

    30-Jul-1996

    I am concerned that your article "Teething troubles expected as City switches to Crest dealing" (The Lawyer 16 July) stated that Crest will deprive investors of voting rights or force them into nominees. This is simply not true.First, it is crucial to appreciate that the system is a voluntary one and that the large majority of private investors will remain in certificated form, quite unaffected by the changes in the settlement system.Second, ...

  • Data registrar calls for privacy review

    30-Jul-1996

    Alison Laferlia reportsTHE Data Protection Registrar has called for a thorough review of the UK Data Protection Act in the light of a recent EU data protection directive.The call came in the registrar's annual report, which also touched on the impact of new technologies on privacy.Presenting the report to Parliament, the registrar, Elizabeth France, called for a thorough review of UK data protection legislation, "not ...

  • Death to the standard fees plan

    30-Jul-1996

    "Let's kill all the lawyers." The Lord Chancellor may not have said this as such but the proposed model for Civil Standard Fees for Advocates, which landed on our desks last week, has a murderous quality.If the proposals are implemented without major alteration, I have no doubt that many barristers will be tempted to decline legal aid work.The idea of having a flat rate per item of work or day in court - regardless of the seniority ...

  • Directory on Web

    30-Jul-1996

    The US Martindale-Hubbell Law Firm Directory has gone on the Internet with a World Wide Web site. The directory is already on CD-Rom and on-line via Lexis-Nexis. The site has links to individual US law firms' sites, where regularly updated biographies of attorneys are held. Its address is http://www.martindale.com

  • Docs Open firm is taken over

    30-Jul-1996

    Quintec International, a distributor of document management and integration systems, is to be taken over by the US company PC Docs Group International.Quintec is already the exclusive UK distributor for Docs Open, a document management system created by PC Docs, a subsidiary of PC Docs Group.The news was welcomed by observers. Simon Kosminsky, information technology director at Wilde Sapte and a founder member of the PC Docs user group, ...

  • Dutch Bar lets market forces decide payment

    30-Jul-1996

    FACED with a government report condemning the Dutch Bar's system of fixed fees, Dutch lawyers will let the market decide their payment from next year.Until now, every year the Bar Association has issued its lawyers with a guideline formula for calculating fees. Based on a basic tariff of 280 Guilders (£104) per hour, lawyers can charge a maximum of twice that amount and a minimum of half of it, depending on experience and the urgency of the case.But ...

  • Family law proves a big draw

    30-Jul-1996

    John Malpas reportsSOLICITORS have flocked to a series of free seminars on the family law reforms which were staged up and down the country by 36 Bedford Row.In all, 375 solicitors attended the seminars which were held in Northampton, Leicester, Lincoln, Coventry, Grimsby, Luton and London.The set, led by James Hunt QC, claims the initiative represents one of the largest briefing exercises ever undertaken by ...

  • Family law/judiciary. Breaking up gets even harder to do

    30-Jul-1996

    The Family Law Act had a fraught passage through Parliament but is now law. It is intended to support marriage and ensure that parties take all possible steps to prevent divorce.If that is not possible then the aim is to conclude the arrangements with minimum distress to the parties and the children and to promote a good continuing relationship. But the incoming provisions make the path to divorce more difficult than under the existing law.Not less than three ...

  • Family law/judiciary. The Lord or the Master?

    30-Jul-1996

    Commentary on the Woolf report has concentrated on changes in procedure, but Lord Woolf also looked at the structure of the civil courts and asked who is in charge of the civil courts system. The same question could be asked about the criminal courts. With Lord Woolf now appointed as Master of the Rolls and Lord Bingham as Lord Chief Justice, the time seems ripe to clarify their respective responsibilities.The Master of the Rolls is president of the Court of Appeal (Civil ...

  • Financings

    30-Jul-1996

    Maxwell Batley acted for biopharmaceutical company Therapeutic Antibodies which issued £22 million of shares on the Stock Exchange

  • Financings

    30-Jul-1996

    Nabarro Nathanson advised Anglo-French IT group Sema on a £100 million rights issue.

  • Firms retain trainees as market picks up

    30-Jul-1996

    A Healthy number of trainees qualifying in September will be kept on by the top UK firms.Of the 14 London and regional firms contacted by The Lawyer, an average of only three trainees per firm were yet to be offered places.The firms reported increasing workloads as well as better trainee selection procedures.But Eversheds appeared to be bucking the trend. Among the ...

  • Flotations

    30-Jul-1996

    Berwin Leighton acted for Societe Generale Strauss Turnbull Securities

  • Hammonds coup secures City expert

    30-Jul-1996

    Hammond Suddards is plugging the gap left by February's defection of Andrew Knight to Manches & Co by recruiting City high-flyer Gwen Griffiths, who joins from Stephenson Harwood.Griffiths will take on Knight's former role as head of banking and will work closely with other City lawyers recruited recently by Hammonds. They include derivatives specialist Iona Levine, who ...

  • Hammonds hires French lawyer as first play in move to link with a French firm

    30-Jul-1996

  • Harbour board blamed for export losses

    30-Jul-1996

    Litigation is invariably self perpetuating. Such is the case with last year's flurry of court action over the legality of livestock export bans imposed following mass animal-rights demonstrations at UK ports and airports.Ultimately one of the outcomes of the action was that a ban imposed by Dover Harbour Board, the body controlling the country's main port for livestock exports, was declared unlawful by the courts.Now the scene is being set ...

  • In brief: Berwins consultant given Fellowship

    30-Jul-1996

    SJ Berwin & Co consultant Lord Clinton-Davis of Hackney has been elected a Fellow of King's College London for his commitment to public service over the last four decades. Lord Clinton-Davis formed law firms Clintons and Clinton Davis & Co in the 1950s. He specialised in human rights and civil liberties. In 1989, he joined SJ Berwin & Co as a consultant on European and environment law and affairs. ...

  • In brief: Five Scottish advocates become QCs

    30-Jul-1996

    The Rt Hon Lord James Douglas-Hamilton MP was one of five Scottish advocates appointed QC last week. Conservative MP for Edinburgh West, Douglas-Hamilton, is a minister of state at the Scottish Office. He was recently appointed Privy Councillor and is an advocate, although he has not practised for a number of years. Respected criminal specialists Alan Turnbull and John Morris, and planning expert Gordon Steele, also took silk. And Fiona Reith, who has a wide practice including personal ...

  • In brief: Injury and land reforms come into force

    30-Jul-1996

    Law reforms affecting ownership of land and injury compensation will come into force by the end of the year, after receiving royal assent last week. The land law will simplify the way interests in a jointly-owned family home are held by abolishing the dual system of "trusts for sale" and "strict settlements". The damages law reform ensures people who have suffered injuries get proper compensation when they bring claims against those responsible. The Government also published a draft ...

  • In brief: Law Society calls for negotiated liability

    30-Jul-1996

    People entering into joint enterprises should have the right to choose how they share responsibility if something goes wrong, according to a Law Society report sent to the Department of Trade and Industry. The Law Society is not in favour of the overall abolition of the legal principle that those who cause civil wrongs should be jointly liable for the losses they have caused.

  • In brief: Leicester merger to form Hill Flynn Law

    30-Jul-1996

    Leicester firms Hill Flynn and Law & Co are merging to become Hill Flynn Law. The partners of the new firm, Robert Flynn and Niall Greene, set up Hill Flynn in 1989 after splitting from Geoffrey Hill & Co of Hinkley. At 33 and 29 years of age, they claim they were the youngest solicitors running a practice in the county. Law & Co was established in 1962 by mutual friends Derek Law and John Callaghan, who will retire when the firms merge.

  • In brief: Lovells advises first US company on AIM

    30-Jul-1996

    Lovell White Durrant acted for the first US company to seek a listing on the Alternative Investment Market for smaller companies in London. Lovells represented Electronic Retailing Systems International and worked closely with the company's US counsel, Krugman, Chapnick & Grimshaw. The UK firm's team was led by John Davidson, who was assisted by David Levin and Debby Randall. Electronic Retailing came to AIM with a market value of £30 million and is already listed on ...

  • In brief: Wragges hosts PFI-infrastructure lunch

    30-Jul-1996

    Birmingham firm Wragge & Co's project finance and transport project lawyers hosted a lunch last week for the Government Office to examine the Private Finance Initiative's effect on infrastructure projects. A group of transport experts voiced concerns about the administrative processes involved in developing transport infrastructure projects for the benefit of the community. Michael Whitehouse, ...

  • Inspectors see Sefton troubles

    30-Jul-1996

    GOVERNMENT inspectors visiting Sefton magistrates courts witnessed defendants drinking alcohol, a scuffle to which police were called and heard a litany of complaints from staff about having to deal with people on drugs.The Magistrates Courts Service inspectors have called for a security review at the two courts in Sefton, at Bootle and Southport.Their report states: "Inspectors were also told of other difficulties staff had experienced with those using drugs ...

  • Internet will register

    30-Jul-1996

    Alison Laferla reportsAn international register of wills has been launched on the Internet. The register records the existence and location of a will and makes this information available to the executor and next of kin on production of a death certificate. The will's contents are not recorded. Details of a will can be entered on the database free of charge by email, post or fax. A search fee is payable by the estate after the registree's death. The site can ...

  • Is the report a Woolf in sheep's clothing?

    30-Jul-1996

    Clients want faster access to justice. So do all right-minded members of the legal profession. To that end, Lord Woolf's final report after his two-year inquiry can only be good news. His aim is to reduce "inequalities, cost, delay and the complexity of civil litigation".He is also hoping to introduce greater certainty on timescales and costs.Woolf's solution is to hand over management of the litigation process to the judges. ...

  • Kings Bench Walk opens up Chelmsford chambers

    30-Jul-1996

    John Malpas reportsThe set of David Cocks QC, 5 King’s Bench Walk, has made its first excursion out of London with the opening of an annex in Chelmsford.The annex will be used as a primary base for around ten criminal practitioners, including three Silks, whose practice is predominantly based in East Anglia.Tenant Anthony Arlidge QC said the annex was the chambers’ response to increasing competition in the area, sparked off by the opening of a number ...

  • LAB announces regional legal aid committees

    30-Jul-1996

    The Legal Aid Board has unveiled plans for creating a network of regional legal services committees throughout England and Wales.The early establishment of regional committees was envisaged by the recent White Paper on legal aid and follows a successful pilot of the North Western Legal Services Committee.The board is currently finalising details of committee structure, members and geographical areas. These are expected to be closely modelled on the piloted NWLSC, ...

  • Legal aid reform overshadows first multi-party action victory

    30-Jul-1996

    Lawyers who successfully represented human growth hormone victims have paid tribute to the Legal Aid Board for funding the action - but they say the Government's reform plans could jeopardise future multi-party actions.The case, conducted by David Body, of Irwin Mitchell, and Peter Llewelyn, of the Smith Llewelyn Partnership in Swansea, was the first multi-party action to come to trial which had been funded under a contracting system introduced by the board in 1992.

  • Legal Centre for Children gets Lottery cash

    30-Jul-1996

    Children will have better access to legal services following a successful bid for National Lottery funds by the Legal Centre for Children.Over the next three years, £98,000 will be donated to the Legal Centre for Children, the only provider of free legal advice on children's rights in England and Wales.The money will be used to recruit two extra staff and extend the centre's advice service into the evenings so that children can phone it for help ...

  • Litigation Disciplinary Tribunals 30/07/96

    30-Jul-1996

    John Peter Mansfield, litigation clerk with Charles Smith & Co, Hitchin, Hertfordshire, banned from working for any further solicitors without written consent of the Law Society. Allegations substantiated he was given a suspended nine-month prison sentence and ordered to pay £330 costs after conviction at Luton Crown Court in July 1995 of procuring execution of a valuable security by deception and two offences of making false instruments. Tribunal told offences ...

  • Litigation Personal Injury 30/07/96

    30-Jul-1996

    Shipton v Hammersmith and Queen Charlotte's Special Health Authority - QBD 8 July 1996Claimant: Sian ShiptonIncident: Medical negligenceInjuries: Plaintiff began to haemorrhage after the delivery of her daughter, Deryn, now five, at West London's Queen Charlotte's Hospital in April 1991; as result of negligent treatment plaintiff suffered oxygen starvation; has been left suffering from tetraplegia; liability admitted

  • Litigation Recent Decisions 30/07/96

    30-Jul-1996

    Damages awarded on appeal for repetitive strain injuryPickford v Imperial Chemical Industries.CA (Stuart-Smith LJ, Waite LJ and Swinton-Thomas LJ) 18/7/96.Summary: Successful appeal by a secretary/typist against dismissal of her claim for repetitive strain injury from long hours of typing.Appeal against dismissal of plaintiff's claim for repetitive strain injury, which the plaintiff said she had contracted in the course ...

  • Litigation Writs 30/07/96

    30-Jul-1996

    Barbara Richards, 23, a supermarket sales assistant who injured her back when she fell while working at the Poundstretcher store in Tonbridge is suing the company. The accident happened in March 1993 as she walked on a concrete access ramp at the back of the store. She claims that as a result of the injury she is unable to take long walks, cannot drive more than ten miles without discomfort, cannot play badminton, and has difficulties with household chores.

  • Lords look at enforcement

    30-Jul-1996

    The question of what defences are open to those facing criminal charges of failure to obey enforcement notices is to come under the eye of the Law Lords. They have granted leave for an appeal in the case of R v Wicks. On 27 September 1993 at Canterbury Crown Court, Wicks was bound over for 12 months for failing to act on an enforcement notice relating to 'backland development' at Margate, Kent. On 11 April last year his conviction was upheld by the Court of Appeal. ...

  • Mackay backs down on pay-per-day fees

    30-Jul-1996

    THE LORD Chancellor, Lord Mackay, has shelved his controversial plans to introduce £800 to £2,000-per-day civil court fees following pressure from lawyers, judges and civil rights groups.And a public accounts committee report, released last Friday, warned that a drop in the total number of proceedings in the last few years was partly due to the deterrent effect of higher fees.Vicki Chapman, of the Legal Action Group, said the report should "sound ...

  • Manches seeks another merger to keep growing after swallowing Rubinsteins

    30-Jul-1996

    Manches & Co is looking to merge with another practice to mark the next phase of its expansion following its take-over in 1994 of London-based Rubinstein Callingham Polden & Gale.Corporate partner Melvin Pedro said: "A merger would make sense for us because there are definite advantages in having the kind of economies of scale which come with being part of a larger firm."Simon Walker, also a corporate lawyer with Manches, said the firm was "bursting at the seams". ...

  • Mission impossible

    30-Jul-1996

    Instructing an agent was, and in many cases still is, a matter of thumbing through a directory and phoning a firm to see if it has anyone available, then sending off a bundle of documents - probably a day before the hearing - and hoping all goes well. If it does not, the usual move is to blame the agent.And since those undertaking agency work frequently do so as a filler to occupy staff who are not busy, and as a useful training ground for new advocates, it matters less ...

  • Murder of human rights lawyer leads to calls for inquiry

    30-Jul-1996

    Tony Girling, the Law Society's new president, and Ross Harper, the president of the International Bar Association, have written to the Indian prime minister calling for an inquiry into the death of Indian lawyer Jalil Andrabi.The move, which came at the prompting of Indian lawyers, came after the body of Andrabi, who was challenging human-rights violations in the states of Jammu and Kashmir through the Indian High Court, was found bound in the Jhelum River, Srinigar, ...

  • Nabarros marketing director resigns

    30-Jul-1996

    Nabarro Nathanson has taken advantage of the departure of its marketing director, Kevin Wheeler, to announce a "reappraisal" of its marketing strategy.After two years developing the marketing strategy at Nabarros, Wheeler is leaving to embark on a project at venture capital firm Sinven.Since his appointment at Nabarros, Wheeler has led a number of high-profile marketing ventures. ...

  • Oxleys partner to boost litigation dept

    30-Jul-1996

    Rotherham firm Oxley & Coward has recruited Tim Toomey to head the litigation department as part of its drive to become one of the area's major law firms.Toomey, who joins from Sheffield firm Taylor & Emmett, previously spent six years at Eversheds. As a partner he intends a considerable expansion of his department.He said: "I will start from scratch by bringing in fresh ...

  • Pending cases

    30-Jul-1996

    Cases pending in the Queens Bench Division jury list include: Kundi v Chief Constable of Police for Kent (not before 29 September 1996); Aitken v Preston (not before 1 October 1996); Mattistone & anr v Time Out Magazine (not before 9 September 1996); Penny v Drake (not before 1 September 1996); Western Provident Association v Norwich Union Healthcare & anr (not before 4 November 1996).

  • Penny Christie sees problems with exchange of statements.

    30-Jul-1996

    Penny Christie is a litigation partner at Bird & Bird.One of the stated objectives of the rule on exchange of witness statements (RSC Order 38 Rule 2A) is "the avoidance of a trial", and as a procedural device to speed up compromise settlements, it works well. Whether it helps with the fair and open presentation of evidence during the course of a trial is another matter.

  • Perkins Coie loses two project finance partners

    30-Jul-1996

    The London office of US firm Perkins Coie has received a double blow with the loss of two of its four partners.Banking, capital markets and international project finance specialist Peter O'Driscoll has defected to Coudert Brothers' London office, following project finance specialist Kent Rowey who left for Freshfields a week earlier, as reported in The Lawyer.Perkins Coie managing partner Andrew Bore said the losses, particularly the departure of O'Driscoll, ...

  • Property

    30-Jul-1996

    Manches & Co acted for mid-Southern Water, Eastbourne Water and West Kent Water on securing a £12.5 million leasing facility with various water treatment plants and equipment.

  • Property

    30-Jul-1996

    London firm Memery Crystal acted for SEP Industrial Holdings in the sale and lease-back of a property to British Gas Corporation Pension Scheme worth £4.85 million.

  • Property

    30-Jul-1996

    Lovell White Durrant is advising Trafalgar House which is selling its last investment on The Heights, Brooklands, Surrey to tenant Sony, represented by Baker McKenzie, for £45 million.

  • Property

    30-Jul-1996

    Eversheds acted for the Government on the letting of the vaults at Somerset House to the charity that will own the Gilbert collection of art which is to be retained with support from the National Heritage Memorial Fund.

  • Property

    30-Jul-1996

    South Yorkshire firm Keeble Hawson Rodgers & Howe acted for Hepworth Properties, a subsidiary of Hepworth plc, in the sale of a substantial land holding in Godstone, Surrey, to Linden Homes. Pitmans in Reading acted for Linden Homes.

  • SCB handling of Howells is questioned

    30-Jul-1996

    THE WOMAN whose complaint led to a severe rebuke for ex-Law Society treasurer Mike Howells says she has asked the Legal Services Ombudsman to review the way the case was handled by the Solicitors Complaints Bureau (SCB).Howells resigned two weeks ago after SCB papers relating to the case were leaked to The Lawyer.Prior to the leak, Howells had appeared keen to remain in his position despite a severe rebuke by the SCB for professional misconduct and an order to ...

  • Security guide

    30-Jul-1996

    A guide on IT security has been produced by legal IT consultants Irwin Associates. How to Survive a Computer Disaster explains how companies can prepare an IT security plan as well as how to reduce the impact of a security breach. The guide costs £37. For further details contact Graham Irwin on 01234 376319.

  • Solicitor tells press Anton Piller details

    30-Jul-1996

    A BLACKBURN solicitor who obtained an Anton Piller order in a bid to recover debts from a client, and then leaked information from seized documents to the press, has been described as "stupid" and "naive" by the barrister representing her.Sole practitioner Bushra Anwar admitted contempt of court at Preston High Court over her decision to "talk to the press" about information she had gleaned from documents.The court heard how Anwar had obtained an Anton Piller ...

  • Survival of the specialist

    30-Jul-1996

    Despite recent proposals for economising in the legal system, agency work continues to flourish. A slow economy and an increasingly litigious society have resulted in a steady flow of agency commissions.The prospects, for those firms that have invested in providing this service, look good.As firms have recognised the potential of agency business, many have established specialist departments to tap the market. As a result, it has become increasingly competitive ...

  • TBI airport buy-up

    30-Jul-1996

    Norton Rose advised property group TBI which recently paid £100 million for Belfast International Airport, one of the UK's largest regional terminals.The law firm's team was led by Keith Hyman and Barbara Stephenson. Banking partner Richard Calnan with assistant Matthew Paget negotiated the acquisition financing.Hyman said: "This deal involved complex issues ...

  • The Lawyer Inquiry: Anne Harvey

    30-Jul-1996

    Anne Harvey was born in Glasgow in 1959. She lives in Oxfordshire and is research manager for Holiday Which? magazine in London, where she has developed the coverage of legal issues. What was your first job?Filing clerk at the firm where I became a partner.What was your first ever salary as a lawyer?£3,250What would you have done if you hadn't become a lawyer?

  • Toulson made chair

    30-Jul-1996

    Alan Toulson, senior partner at Reynolds Porter Chamberlain, has been elected chairman of the Swedish Chamber of Commerce for the UK. His firm has been honorary solicitor to the chamber since 1923.

  • Tracking down a special agent

    30-Jul-1996

    At some point, all litigation lawyers have to rely on other firms to undertake hearings on an agency basis. But finding the right firm can be the difference between a good result and a disaster.Solicitors who offer a quality service are often frustrated to find their work impaired by the actions of a poor agent. Even where an agent gets the right result, clients can feel dissatisfied if the agent's fees are unacceptably high or if the agent fails to report ...

  • Trade-mark threats made by US company stopped by UK ruling

    30-Jul-1996

    Ex parte applications are seldom the stuff of legal commentary. But on 11 July an application in the High Court's Chancery Division before Mr Justice Jacob created what is believed to be a legal first.It is a first that members of the Nabarro Nathanson intellectual property department believe has considerable significance in the increasingly international arena of trade-marks, patents ...

  • Valuer's liability

    30-Jul-1996

    John Malpas reportsRonald Walker QC and Vincent Moran, of 12 Kings Bench Walk, held a briefing on valuer's liability last week. They were joined on the platform by Helen Dudley, of Cameron Markby Hewitt.

  • Video link 'is best way to talk'

    30-Jul-1996

    Alison Laferla reportsA survey has revealed that video conferencing is probably the ideal communication method for today's lawyers.The research, carried out by Truemist, organiser of the Solicitors' and Legal Office Exhibition, showed lawyers valued phone conversations and face-to-face contact above other methods.Of the 1,089 respondents, 55 per cent used the phone as the most frequent form of communication and 37 ...

  • Woodroffes hit by writ after its alleged negligence costs a sacked director £825,000

    30-Jul-1996

    A SACKED company director is suing London law firm Woodroffes for £825,000 over alleged negligence in its handling of his compensation claim.In a writ issued at the High Court, John Buchanan, of Farnham, Surrey, says he retained Woodroffes after he was sacked without notice as a director of conglomerate Sale Tilney in April 1993.Sale Tilney had gone into receivership two months earlier. Before that, the company had loaned Buchanan £20,500 to buy a ...

  • Woolf heralds new legal landscape

    30-Jul-1996

    The access to justice reforms will transform the landscape of civil justice, Lord Woolf has claimed, but he has ruled out extra funding, pilot schemes and the appointment of more judges to help implement the changes.The judge's ambitious reforms to cut the cost of litigation and speed up justice, unveiled on Friday, have been broadly welcomed by the City, professional litigants and the Law Society.But there was widespread concern from within the legal profession ...

  • Woolf report sets out future

    30-Jul-1996

    Small claims. Under Woolf's interim report, the financial limit for small claims was raised to £3,000, except for personal injury cases.Fast-track. Most cases from £3,000 to £10,000. Woolf says judges will allocate cases to the fast-track procedure under a fixed timetable of 20 to 30 weeks, with set steps to be taken by certain times and automatic sanctions for non-compliance. There will be limited discovery and no oral evidence from experts. ...