29 June 1998

The Lawyer

  • "Wait and see' approach to fixed costs welcomed

    30-Jun-1998

    THE Legal Action Group (LAG) and the Law Society has welcomed government proposals to delay the introduction of fixed costs - a key element of Lord Woolf's reforms - until after the reforms "bed down".The Lord Chancellor's Department (LCD) last week released a consultation paper, Justice at the Right Price, on civil court costs and lawyer's fees under the new fast-tracking regime, due to be introduced in April.Under Lord Woolf's proposals, ...

  • A misplaced judgement

    30-Jun-1998

    RE: Judge Attacks Barristers Without Law Degrees (The Lawyer, 9 June 1998).Mr Justice Lightman's attack on barristers without law degrees (and by implication, solicitors) is as surprising as it is ill-considered.I can only guess at the reaction to his comments within the Patent Bar, whose members appear in front of him on an almost daily basis, and for whom a first degree in a science is considered a near necessity.Does he ...

  • A&O scoops award

    30-Jun-1998

    Allen & Overy has been voted the world's best project finance law firm by the readers of Project Finance magazine. Deals that clinched the accolade for the firm include advising on the largest and longest domestic syndicated loan in Hungary to equip the Matra power plant.

  • Addleshaws wins Games work

    30-Jun-1998

    ADDLESHAW Booth & Co has beaten off its Manchester rivals to be appointed legal adviser to the organising committee of the Commonwealth Games to be held in the city in 2002.The Addleshaws team, led by IP head Robert Stoker, will advise on broadcasting rights, sponsorship and merchandising contracts, and infringement issues.The firm won the work after a competitive tendering exercise, which is believed to have been confined to firms in the Manchester area.

  • ADJ head calls for cameras in courtroom

    4-Jul-1998

    Elizabeth Davidson reportsTHE new president of the Association of District Judges (ADJ), Michael Hawthorne, has recommended the use of video cameras in court.According to Hawthorne "a small unobtrusive camera at the back of the court" is the "next logical extension" for the recording of proceedings in court, most of which are currently tape recorded.Hawthorne said the increasing use of closed circuit television in ...

  • Adjusting to legal life in old London town

    30-Jun-1998

    Four foreign lawyers on the pains and pleasures of working in London: a legal environment unique to the rest of the worldLivia Ogilo is a senior assistant at Studio Legale SuttiIf you are a lawyer specialising in international trade law, practising in London is exciting!I am an Italian qualified lawyer. After working with Studio Legale Sutti in Milan for several years, I was offered the opportunity last summer to assume responsibility for running ...

  • Advocates of change

    4-Jul-1998

    Solicitor advocate Mark Humphries says barristers have had their day in court and change is on the way. Mark Humphries is a solicitor advocate at Linklaters and vice-chairman of the Solicitors' Association of Higher Court Advocates.The most senior law officer in the Government is a former top silk at the commercial Bar. The junior minister in his department is also a former barrister. ...

  • African gold mine' solicitor struck off

    4-Jul-1998

    A LONDON solicitor struck off for offering to shred documents in return for shares worth millions of Canadian dollars has claimed that he was set up by a "wicked individual" in "surreal" and "corrupt" circumstances.At the Solicitors Disciplinary Tribunal on 26 March, Martin Boston, formerly of West End practice Martin Boston & Co, denied dishonesty despite having served a two-year prison sentence after being convicted, in 1994 ,with his brother, Warren Boston, of conspiring ...

  • And on they Roweth

    30-Jun-1998

    Your reader Robert J Roweth is concerned about the fact that he will have to compete for a training contract with people who did not show proper commitment to the law by studying it as a first degree (Letters, June 9). As far as I know, people deciding on their first degree subject are at an age when the law itself, with good reason, does not yet trust them to make important choices such as voting in an election or getting married.So why rate this decision ...

  • Andersens chose Wilde Sapte over rival Simmons' bid

    4-Jul-1998

    Simmons & Simmons' failure to link with Arthur Andersen was the result of losing a beauty contest with Wilde Sapte, it has emerged.It had been thought that Simmons had decided not to be taken over by Arthur Andersen. However, The Lawyer has learnt that Andersens had been conducting talks in parallel with both Wilde Sapte and Simmons since last summer, and chose Wilde Sapte after getting both to make presentations to its management board last year.A source ...

  • Andersens faces £110m damages bill following De Lorean action

    4-Jul-1998

    Arthur Andersen is trying to overturn a US court ruling over the De Lorean bankruptcy that has landed it with a damages bill of about $110m.Andersens was last month ordered by a New York court to pay $46m damages to creditors, for breach of contract and negligent audit of the De Lorean Motor Company, which collapsed in 1981 owing millions.This could amount to $110m, when interest at 9 per cent back-dated to 1979 is added on.Last November, Andersens, ...

  • Anti-legal aid lawyer faces court

    4-Jul-1998

    A PROMINENT young Jersey lawyer is to be brought before the island's Royal Court, after refusing to do his quota of legal aid work.The court will decide whether advocate Philip Sinel has breached his oath by boycotting the island's legal aid scheme, which he has branded as inefficient, selective and unfair.In Jersey all advocates are expected to undertake legal aid work on a pro bono basis for the first 15 years of their career. The work is handed out ...

  • Ashursts forges Italian alliance

    30-Jun-1998

    Ashurst Morris Crisp has moved into Italy by forming an alliance designed to lead to merger in two years with the former Milan practice of US firm Graham & James.Negri-Clementi, a seven-partner Milan-based firm, with satellite offices in Rome and Verona, demerged from Graham & James at the beginning of this year so that it could form the alliance with Ashursts.One partner, Gabriele ...

  • Baker & Mckenzie and LSO in harmony

    4-Jul-1998

    Baker & McKenzie is to give free legal advice to the London Symphony Orchestra (LSO), in return for being named as the orchestra's lawyer in its conference programmes.The firm will provide English law advice on media, copyright, recording contracts and intellectual property issues for free, up to "a ballpark figure" based on the orchestra's average legal spend, said spokeswoman ...

  • Balancing extradition duties

    30-Jun-1998

    Roger Pearson looks at the difficulties in extradition cases involving signatiories of the European Covention of Human RightsWarding off extradition proceedings is never an easy legal task. But when the request has come from a fellow European Convention of Human Rights signatory, added complications arise, particularly when the subject of the attempted extradition is accused of the biggest fraud their country has ever known.But such problems are not ...

  • Bar hires actuaries to test reforms

    4-Jul-1998

    The Bar Council has commissioned actuarial firm Watson Wyatt to investigate the cost to consumers of conditional fees, after accusing the Government of underestimating the value of success fees likely to be charged by lawyers.Dan Brennan QC, vice-chairman of the Bar Council, said he had commissioned the firm after informal talks with actuaries indicated that the Government was being too optimistic about the ability of lawyers to keep success fees down in conditional fee ...

  • BBC apologises for "Rough Hustice" slur

    4-Jul-1998

    Shaun Pye reportsLeading criminal silk Jeremy Roberts QC has accepted a public apology from the BBC for "unjustified slurs" that he had threatened opposing counsel in order to stifle criticism of his former head of chambers.The apology was made in the High Court last week by the BBC's counsel Caroline Addy.The BBC has made an undisclosed donation to charity in settlement of Roberts' libel action.The court heard how ...

  • Bomb test

    30-Jun-1998

    In "Firms face fall out after Indian bomb test", (The Lawyer, 9 June) US firm Milbank Tweed Hadley & McCloy was reported to have said that sanctions could cost India around $350bn. In fact Milbank calculated that sanctions could cost the country up to two per cent of its $350bn Gross Domestic Product.

  • Booth forces Bar Council to back down over suspensions

    30-Jun-1998

    LEGAL advice from Cherie Booth QC has forced the Bar Council into an embarrassing climbdown over its plans to suspend barristers who have requalified as solicitors.About 400 dual-qualified barristers were suspended on 1 May and told they must refer to themselves as "suspended from practice as a barrister as a result of becoming qualified to practise as a solicitor".But the Bar Council has revoked the suspensions after Booth advised two of the barristers affected ...

  • BVC exchange to US

    30-Jun-1998

    The Inns of Court School of Law and the University of Toledo College of Law in the US are to offer an exchange programme for aspiring lawyers - the first to be offered by a bar vocational course provider.

  • Cab rank rule to go

    4-Jul-1998

    Barristers will have to give up the cab rank rule in order to adapt to the forthcoming legal aid reforms, Geoff Hoon, the parliamentary secretary at the Lord Chancellor's Department, warned last week. Speaking at a briefing session for journalists, Hoon said the cab rank rule had served the barristers' profession in the past, but a new set of ethical principals would have to be adopted. "We are seeing a significant change in legal culture," ...

  • Career choice is a luxury

    30-Jun-1998

    How dare Robert Roweth question the motivation and commitment of those who did not study law as a first degree.As someone from a working class background, I had no one to guide me in making right choices about a career. Lawyers were regarded by my family and friends as alien. Certainly I had no idea of the nature of lawyers' work and it never occurred to me that it was a career that I might follow.Does Mr Roweth realise how sexist he is being? At school ...

  • CC drafts new rules for LIFFE

    30-Jun-1998

    CLIFFORD CHANCE finance partner Tim Plews is drawing up the new rules for controversial screen-based trading at LIFFE, the London International Financial Futures & Options Exchange.The move from open outcry to electronic trading, is likely to see dozens of City traders losing their jobs. But the move has been forced by competition from Frankfurt's electronic Deustche TerminBorse exchange.Plews has also drafted the memorandum and articles of association for ...

  • Chadbournes loses last English partner

    4-Jul-1998

    New York firm Chadbourne Park has lost Ian Johnson, its last English-qualified partner, to US rival Orrick Herrington & Sutcliffe's new London office.The move could prove the final body blow to Chadbournes' aspirations to set up a major project finance division in London.Johnson is managing partner of Chadbournes' Singapore office but had been ...

  • Challenge to tree preservation

    30-Jun-1998

    The owner of Bicknor Wood, which covers 8.5 acres near Maidstone, is challenging a High Court decision upholding revocation of consent to fell trees, which had been made the subject of an earlier tree preservation order. The consent was revoked on the basis that because of the felling that had already taken place, the area in question was becoming out of character with the rest of the area.

  • Claim limit slated

    30-Jun-1998

    THE Law Commission is set to abandon controversial plans to introduce a 30-year “long-stop limitation period” in personal injury cases after the proposal caused uproar among PI lawyers.The Law Commission’s head of common law, Professor Andrew Burrows, told The Lawyer last week it was “unlikely” the commission would go ahead with the plan, which was attacked by delegates at the PEOPIL conference.Currently the limitation period for personal injury cases is three ...

  • Combar votes to examine public direct action plan

    30-Jun-1998

    THE Commercial Bar Association (Combar) has voted to consider allowing the public direct access to barristers in all non-contentious, as well as some contentious work.But at its AGM on 15 July, the association voted overwhelmingly to ditch an even more radical proposal to allow barristers to ape solicitors by conducting litigation.The proposals were the brainchild of commercial silk David Blunt, of 4 Pump Court, and were designed to help barristers meet the threat ...

  • Constant expansion

    30-Jun-1998

    The Paris office of shipping firm Constant & Constant has two avocats, Marianne Piris, of Credit Lyonnais subsidiary UBAF bank and Jacques Le Valliant. London shipping and commercial specialist Edward Olive has also joined the office.

  • Construction reforms greeted with scepticism

    30-Jun-1998

    THE construction industry - famed for its long and complicated disputes - has taken a dim view of the new legislation which has been designed to improve the situation, according to a survey carried out by Cameron Mckenna.Just 16 per cent of the industry was pleased with the new Construction Act.And the survey also found that many in the construction industry believe that the new legislation will increase rather than decrease the number of disputes.The ...

  • Contributory negligence appeal

    4-Jul-1998

    The House of Lords is deciding whether to hear an appeal which will focus on the question of contributory negligence in cases of the negligent valuation of property. Mortgage lender Platform Home Loans, which claims it relied on property valuations when arranging sale of property on which mortgage was later defaulted, is challenging an award of damages against it. It sued the valuer in the High Court and won £585,723. However, this sum was cut on appeal to ...

  • Court makes intentions clear

    30-Jun-1998

    Irvine pledges to go all the way with audience rights

  • CPE students have excelled

    30-Jun-1998

    Yet again we have an attack on the success of the CPE which you highlighted in your editorial.Its graduates have excelled in all areas of the law; it has shown time and again that those who enter via this route perform better in legal examinations, are preferred (in spite of the extra cost of their training) by many top City firms and chambers, and have reached the pinnacle of the legal world in both the Bar and solicitor branches of the profession.Mr ...

  • Danish link leads to new Eversheds office

    4-Jul-1998

    Eversheds has linked up with Copenhagen firm Sandal Lunoe & Co to open its third international office.As of 1 May, Sandal Lunoe, itself a recent arrival on the Danish legal scene, will use the Eversheds name, although it will operate separately from the UK partnership.Victor Semmens, the partner in charge of international development at Eversheds, said that Sandal Lunoe would ...

  • Deadlines clarified by court

    4-Jul-1998

    The last minute acceptance of a payment into court has led to a ruling which spells out deadline requirements, reports Roger PearsonThe Recent settlement of an action in which investors alleged an accountancy firm had led them into a disastrous investment foray, in which they became Names at Lloyd's, has clarified rules on deadlines for accepting payments into court.Andy Fletcher, keyboard player with pop group Depeche Mode, and ...

  • Dibbs runs up £750,000 bill in Imro investigation

    30-Jun-1998

    Dibb Lupton Alsop's share of the costs run up by Imro, in its investigation of five Morgan Grenfell directors involved in the Peter Young affair came to £750,000.The length and cost of the investigation has been criticised by some in the City, one solicitor called the costs "astronomical".Four of the directors - Glyn Owen, Paul Ebling, Graham Kane and Michael Wheatley - were suspended from working in the City earlier this month under a settlement with ...

  • DJ Freeman searches for that vision thing

    30-Jun-1998

    In 1995, DJ Freeman felt it had aachieved the goal of market focus, but the firm was still in need of one thing:a vision.The BUZZ words for the medium-sized firm today is "market focus". DJ Freeman was one of the first firms to latch on to the concept when it was still reeling from the effects of the recession back in 1991. But it wasn't enough.The firm needed vision as well, Jonathan Lewis told delegates at "The Focused Firm" conference earlier this month, ...

  • Emerson's "charade' fails to embarrass Norton Rose

    4-Jul-1998

    Norton Rose is standing firm as adviser to US electronics group Emerson Electric, which faced accusations of tearing City corporate governance codes "to shreds" during an aborted takeover attempt.Last month Emerson attempted to buy the 48.9 per cent of computer component maker Astec (BSR) it did not already own, at a price set during a two-year low in its shares. It threatened to block ...

  • Fair comment

    30-Jun-1998

    Write to: The Editor, The Lawyer, 50 Poland Street, London W1V 4AX, fax 0171 970 4395, e-mail lawyer.edit@chiron.co.uk, DX44700 Soho SquareYour light-hearted article in Tulkinghorn (The Lawyer, 16 June 1998) "Light father/ light son" was, underneath the irresistible tease, also light on factual accuracy.Serle Court Chambers has prided itself for years on its selection procedures, which benefit from skilled ...

  • Fear of competition bars rights of audience

    4-Jul-1998

    Susan Ward says the Bar's requirements for the lifting of rights of audience restrictions on employed barristers means these rights are being given with one hand and taken with the other. Susan Ward is chairman of Bacfi and general counsel to the banking body, APACS.Of course I am pleased to see a very small lifting of the restrictions placed on employed barristers exercising rights of audience.However, it seems to me that the Bar Council has decided ...

  • Ferry insurance qualification

    30-Jun-1998

    The rights of insurers to side-step claims tot-alling US$1.8m, in respect of operational damage after a main bearing failed on a car ferry, will be scrutinised in the High Court. In a case which will centre on the definition of an "accident" under marine insurance policy terms, the Black Sea and Baltic General Insurance Co is being sued by the Oviedo Shipping Company of Limassol, Cyprus. Of key importance will be whether failure of an engine bearing, ...

  • Financing

    30-Jun-1998

    Linklaters is advising project company Mozal SARL and sponsor/shareholder Billiton on the US$1.3bn Mozal aluminium smelter project in Mozambique. Clifford Chance advised co-sponsor Mitsubishi and Allen & Overy is acting for ...

  • Financing

    30-Jun-1998

    Sidley & Austin advised lead manager JP Morgan and trustee Morgan Guaranty Trust Company of New York on the £300m securitisation of a portfolio of mixed consumer loans by Paragon

  • Freshfields and Deringer to link with Austrian firm

    30-Jun-1998

    Freshfields and its new Frankfurt partner Deringer Tessin are close to announcing an alliance with 9-partner Austrian firm Wolf Theiss.It is understood that Deringer had been talking to Wolf Theiss for some time before it entered its alliance with Freshfields, designed to become a full merger in two years. Talks with Wolf were put on hold while the Freshfields deal was put together, but have now been restarted again.Deringer partner Heinz Johann Kummer stressed ...

  • Future mapped out

    30-Jun-1998

    Digital mapping suppliers Prodat Systems has updated its Promap digital mapping system, which allows lawyers to view ordinance survey maps on-screen. The CD-based service allows users to obtain in-depth maps of anywhere in the UK in seconds by typing in a postcode or grid reference and is used by 500 law firms and property businesses. Prodat has upgraded its system to make it more user-friendly and it now includes information taken from Thomsons telephone directory.

  • German firm opts for Euro-mergers

    30-Jun-1998

    The partners of top 10 German firm Beiten Burkhardt Mittl & Wegener have voted in favour of a strategy to merge with law firms in France, Italy, Austria, the Netherlands and Spain before linking with a leading US or UK law firm.The firm already has a shortlist of potential mates and intends to narrow these down to one in each country by the end of the year.The firm's ...

  • Govt faces pressure to close legal aid divorce "loophole'

    4-Jul-1998

    The government has come under pressure to tighten up legal aid in divorce cases following The Lawyer's revelation last week that the woman intending to marry Anthony Julius is getting legal aid for her divorce.Julius took about £250,000 a year as a partner at Mishcon de Reya, while the husband of his future wife, Dina Rabinovitch, is a wealthy City banker.Last ...

  • Govt opens litigation doorway

    4-Jul-1998

    The opening up of the Australian government's litigation work could provide a wealth of opportunity, writes Patrick StewartAt the start of July, the Australian government opens up most of its litigation work to tender, presenting a unique opening for Australia's law firms to tap into a major new source of revenue.At stake is a market thought to be worth between A$30m and A$60m per year, with some lawyers talking of figures of A$100m. ...

  • Handle with care: court cameras

    30-Jun-1998

    While many see US court coverage as reason enough to ban cameras in court, Arun Daniel-Selvaratnam says the opposite is true. Arun Daniel-Selvaratnam is a non-practicing barrister.Louise Woodward has returned to our national lexicon with the Supreme Court of Massachusetts upholding the decision of Judge Hiller B Zoebel. We all have an opinion as to whether or not she was responsible for the tragic death of young Matthew Eappen. The reason why people have formulated these ...

  • Herbert Smith abandons FirmControl

    30-Jun-1998

    HERBERT Smith is replacing the Resolution Systems practice management system it bought in 1994 with a rival package produced by US company CMS Data.The firm began installing CMS Data's Open system at the start of the year and has set an October deadline for its full installation.Herbert Smith was the first City firm to buy Resolution Systems' FirmControl product, which ...

  • Hungary for change

    30-Jun-1998

    The Law Society's Brussels office has begun lobbying the EC to increase pressure on Hungary to review the restrictions on how EU lawyers can practice in the country. Three English firms - Clifford Chance, Cameron McKenna and Allen & Overy - have Budapest offices.

  • In brief: Aberdeen Uni comes top of the league

    30-Jun-1998

    The University of Aberdeen won the 1998 Observer/English-Speaking Union/Lovell White Durrant mooting competition on 19 June, beating a team from University College, London in the final held at Gray's Inn.

  • In brief: Aids/HIV sufferers discriminated against

    30-Jun-1998

    Four out of five people with Aids or HIV believe that they are discriminated against, but only 4 per cent have approached a lawyer for help, according to research by conducted by Professor Avrom Sherr of the Institute of Advanced Legal Studies. Professor Sherr expects this to change as medical advances mean that Aids/HIV sufferers live longer and consequently need justice to get on with their lives.

  • In brief: Bank of Scotland opts for Denton Hall

    4-Jul-1998

    The Bank of Scotland has appointed City firm Denton Hall over Baker & McKenzie and Lovell White Durrant as its preferred IT lawyers in what is thought to be the first appointment of its kind. IT partner John Worthy said the firm would advise the bank on its innovative Mondex smart card system.

  • In brief: Bar Council launches guide to European law

    30-Jun-1998

    The Bar Council launched its new guide to European law The Practitioners Handbook of EC Law last week at a reception in at the Old Hall in Lincoln's Inn. The handbook is to be provided free to every practising barrister.

  • In brief: Bevan Ashford sets up PFI club

    30-Jun-1998

    Bristol solicitors Bevan Ashford has launched a Public Finance Initiative Club to promote networking between developers, contractors, consultants, investors and funders, with the first luncheon scheduled for 6 July.

  • In brief: Bond Pearce to open Bristol office

    4-Jul-1998

    South-West firm Bond Pearce is to open an office in Bristol in a bid to take on the city's established firms. The move follows its announcement of a merger with Southampton firm Hepherd Winstanley & Pugh on 1 May. David Gunn, chair of the firm's business development group, said that the office would be staffed from existing resources and that the move was led by client demand.

  • In brief: Bown leaves Bakers for Freshfields

    4-Jul-1998

    Freshfields has appointed Baker & McKenzie corporate partner Christopher Bown as a partner in the corporate department.

  • In brief: Clarke speaks at Berwins launch

    30-Jun-1998

    Kenneth Clarke MP, the former Chancellor of the Exchequer, addressed a gathering of senior business figures at the Law Society last week. The meeting was organised by Berwin Leighton to launch its new publication Euro-Ready? - a business guide to economic and monetary union, with a foreword written by Clarke.

  • In brief: Denton Hall appoints Kwok for HK office

    4-Jul-1998

    Denton Hall has appointed Raymond Kwok as managing partner of its Hong Kong office. Kwok is currently head of the property practice in the city. The move follows a restructuring by the firm of its Asian practice. Christopher Clarke stays as senior partner in Asia, with responsibility for the firm's offices in Hong Kong, Beijing, Singapore and Tokyo.

  • In brief: Eversheds

    30-Jun-1998

    The Eversheds scheme which won the Best Marketing Initiative in the 1998 The Lawyer/Hifal awards is the Employers Forum on European Union Social Policy (EFSP). The scheme was incorrectly named in the awards supplement which has been sent out with The Lawyer. The judges comments referred to another entry.

  • In brief: Eversheds appoints new training director

    30-Jun-1998

    Eversheds has appointed former Norton Rose M5 Group director of training and recruitment Alistair Roberts as its national training director.

  • In brief: Legal & Insurance scraps Lawplan scheme

    4-Jul-1998

    Tunbridge Wells company Legal & Insurance (LIS) has pulled the plug on its mutual scheme Lawplan. The scheme, set up in 1994, was a precursor of "after the event" insurance schemes. Director Neil Mulroy said that the company had written to solicitors telling them that the claims fund was exhausted. "We've been let down by solicitors who misjudged the merits of their cases," he said. The company had no idea how many cases were still outstanding but reckoned it may be in the region ...

  • In brief: Linklaters partner count reaches 212

    4-Jul-1998

    Linklaters has made up 25 new partners, bringing its total to 212. They include three new recruits who were partners in rival firms. Insolvency partner Tony Bugg was poached from Dibb Lupton Alsop last October, where he headed the insolvency practice; securities specialist Richard Hughes was recruited from Herbert Smith; and Piphob Veraphong, made a Bangkok local partner, will join from

  • In brief: Linnells picks up Dallas Best partners

    4-Jul-1998

    The remaining two partners at the office of dissolved Oxford practice Dallas Brett commercial litigator Andrew Shaw and aviation specialist Glenvil Smith have been picked up by Oxford firm Linnells, along with Dallas Brett assistant Danielle Battigelli. The seven-partner firm dissolved in November after three intellectual property partners left for Rouse & Co in London.

  • In brief: Lord Irvine to speak at LAG conference

    30-Jun-1998

    The Lord Chancellor, Lord Irvine is the keynote speaker at the Legal Action Group and Justice conference - "Legal Aid Making it Work". Lord Irvine will speak on the Government's thoughts on legal aid and publicly funded legal services, on Friday, 3 July at Westminster, London. Other speakers at the conference include Mary Marrone, executive director of an Ontario community legal clinic and Andrea Durbach, director of the New South Wales Public Interest Advocacy Centre.

  • In brief: New head for Islington's legal services

    30-Jun-1998

    Islington Council has appointed Jane Ramsey as head of its law and public services department. Ramsey was previously head of legal services and deputy returning officer at Merton Council.

  • In brief: Oasis signs Briggs

    4-Jul-1998

    Abu Dhabi leasing company Oasis International Leasing has appointed British Aerospace Asset Management senior legal adviser Paul Briggs as general counsel. Briggs has been a solicitor since 1989.

  • In brief: Scottish LAB approves code of practice

    4-Jul-1998

    The Scottish Legal Aid Board SLAB approved a code of practice on 1 April for solicitors carrying out criminal legal assistance, all of whom must show they comply with the code and join the SLAB's Criminal Legal Assistance Register from 1 October.

  • In brief: Seven-partner Keely Beedham founded

    4-Jul-1998

    Last month's merger between Solihull-based corporate and commercial firm Beedham Rowe and Lichfield solicitors Keely Smith Primer Parkes has resulted in a seven-partner firm under the name of Keely Beedham.

  • In brief: Three judges chosen to head circuits

    30-Jun-1998

    The Lord Chief Justice, Lord Bingham of Cornhill, has appointed Mr Justice Moses to be presiding judge of the South Eastern Circuit, Mr Justice Astill as presiding judge of the Midland and Oxford Circuit and Mr Justice Bennett as presiding judge of the North Eastern Circuit.

  • In brief: TJG faces £300,000 claim from ex-client

    4-Jul-1998

    Taylor Joynson Garrett (TJG), is being sued for up to £300,000 by a former client music publisher MCI. In a High Court writ, the company claims TJG signed a settlement agreement on its behalf without consulting it which contained terms of which it was unaware. The company had been the third defendant in a copyright action and claims the settlement means it will have to pay the other parties' costs, which could be as much as £300,000. A TJG spokesman said: "We shall ...

  • In brief: Wilde Sapte finance partner to join LeBoeuf

    30-Jun-1998

    Wilde Sapte finance partner Bob Dibble is understood to be joining the London office of LeBoeuf Lamb Greene & MacRae. It is believed he was earlier talking to White & Case. LeBoeufs has also hired Cameron McKenna's head of tax Anthony Concanon, who retired from Camerons at 55 and, at his request, will be "of counsel" at his new firm rather than a partner. LeBoeuf's London office now has ...

  • Insurers v intermediaries

    4-Jul-1998

    In Elizabeth Davidson's report (The Lawyer, 24 March), three after-the-event companies Litigation Protection, Abbey Legal Protection and Greystoke are referred to as insurers.In fact, none of these companies are authorised by HM Treasury to transact legal expenses insurance business and, as a result, these companies are in reality intermediaries, whose function is to arrange insurance with authorised insurers.It is absolutely ...

  • Introduction fee ruled illegal in asylum case

    4-Jul-1998

    A Somali community leader who accused a firm of reneging on a deal to pay him money for introducing asylum seekers has lost a court battle against it because even if the deal had been struck it would have been illegal.In a ruling that upholds Law Society rules preventing multi-disciplinary partnerships, Mr Justice Lightman dismissed Ali Mohamed's case against Tooting firm Alaga & Co last month.Mohamed alleged he had entered into an agreement with the firm ...

  • Irish lawyers get tough on money laundering

    4-Jul-1998

    Ireland's law against money laundering is to be extended to solicitors, who will now be legally obliged to report suspicious financial transactions to the Garda.The three-year-old legislation, which was introduced as part of a crackdown on criminal gangs in the aftermath of the murder of journalist Veronica Guerin, already imposes a reporting requirement on financial institutions.Now justice minister John O'Donoghue is to extend the requirement to solicitors, ...

  • Irvine is personality of the year

    30-Jun-1998

    Lord Irvine's plans to smash the Bar's near monopoly of higher court advocacy have been greeted with jubilation by solicitors.In last week's consultation paper on rights of audience, the Lord Chancellor called for full rights of audience for all solicitors from their first day on the Roll, providing they met certain training requirements to be drawn up by the Law Society.And in a move that will increase his personal power, he plans to scrap the ...

  • Irwins snaps up Brabys to boost London operation

    4-Jul-1998

    TOP 20 firm Irwin Mitchell has swallowed up niche London debt collection firm Braby & Waller.Brabys, which has 31 fee earners but only two partners, is a leading provider of debt recovery services for the building industry and professionals such as solicitors.Irwin Mitchell managing partner Howard Culley said that the move was evidence of the firm's "pragmatic approach ...

  • Is this the end - or will the Bar bounce back?

    30-Jun-1998

    We have been expecting an announcement from the Lord Chancellor on rights of audience for many months. But the scale of last week's consultation paper still took many lawyers by surprise. All solicitors will have full rights of audience on the first day of their admission onto the Roll. To exercise these rights solicitors will have to meet training requirements laid down by the Law Society. It is understood the Lord Chancellor wants these requirements built into the current Legal ...

  • IT advances put system security on the cards

    4-Jul-1998

    Bill Cannings says that system protection is becoming more simple and secure with the introduction of innovative smart card facilities. Bill Cannings is managing director of Valid Information Systems.The computer industry now takes up 27 halls at the Hanover Trade Fair.With today's increased use of electronic document storage, the Internet and intranets, security is on the top of everybody's agenda.Out of 200 exhibitors showing ...

  • It's not OK to KO QCs

    4-Jul-1998

    A silk cut could seriously damage the health of the UK's legal culture, according to Bruce Houlder QC. Bruce Houlder QC is vice-chairman of the Bar Council's public affairs committee.Derek Fatchett MP, Britain's Foreign Office Minister and proclaimed "ambassador of cool", said last week: "We must not be seen just as a country of new, trendy ideas. We are trying to build on the past and on the future."A few professions and their associated seats ...

  • Judge and jury for a day

    4-Jul-1998

    What do solicitors think of the QC system? We get some forthright quotes from lawyers at the front lineWhile the 500 junior barristers who applied for the 1998 silks list will be celebrating or commiserating this week, their solicitor colleagues are likely to give an indifferent shrug.In the firms of England and Wales, the silk system engenders antagonism and apathy but very little enthusiastic support for its retention.With tongues loosened by the ...

  • Justice award winners

    4-Jul-1998

    Human rights barrister Edward Fitzgerald QC of Doughty Street Chambers was awarded the Justice award, sponsored by The Times, for outstanding contributions to criminal justice last week. Fitzgerald is known as an advocate for unpopular causes, including Myra Hindley. Fellow barrister Michael Grieve, who nominated Fitzgerald, said: "His only criteria is that it's a person who doesn't have the means to help themselves." Francesca Klug and the ...

  • Law Soc figures skewed in favour of holding on to SIF

    4-Jul-1998

    FIGURES published by the Law Society, which purport to show that most firms would be worse off buying insurance on the open market, are biased in favour of the Solicitors Indemnity Fund (SIF), it has emerged.The figures are presented in the form of a table which has been sent out to every solicitor in the country along with the society's consultation paper on the future of professional indemnity insurance. The table compares how a "range" of firms would fare if they ...

  • Law Soc profits from students

    30-Jun-1998

    The Law Society, which has recently raised LPC fees, is making a profit out of legal students - the ones who are least able to afford it, argues Nick Armstrong. Dr Nick Armstrong is a trainee at Irwin Mitchell, Sheffield, and the Chair of the TSG.The Trainee Solicitors Group's (TSG) discovery that the Law Society is making a profit out of Legal Practice Course (LPC) students goes beyond the immediate scandal, deserved though that is. It should provoke a fundamental ...

  • LawSoc to hear super watchdog plan

    30-Jun-1998

    THE president of the Institute of Chartered Accountants is to call for the introduction of an independent super watchdog to police the regulation of all the professions at a private Law Society conference held this week.Chris Swinson is to outline his controversial plan at a special Law Society brainstorming session on regulation on Friday attended by academics and policy makers.Swinson, who first suggested the idea of a super watchdog when he was elected president ...

  • Let the market decide

    4-Jul-1998

    This week The Lawyer questions the worth of the Bar's long-cherished silk system. We also present our own QC list, as recommended by 50 firms, and ask: is it time for a silk cut?No other event fuels quite so much gossip, tension, joy and despair at the Bar as the silk round.Every year a new batch of hopeful junior barristers applies for silk and every Easter the lawyers are either rebuffed or invited to join the ranks of the privileged elite of advocates ...

  • Litigation Disciplinary Tribunals 30/6/98

    30-Jun-1998

    John Simm Mather, 57, admitted 1970, practising at material times as John S Mather, Wigan, struck off and ordered to pay costs of £3,180. Practice ceased on 10 May 1997 on intervention by Law Society. Allegations substantiated that he failed to maintain properly written accounts, wrongly drew monies from client account and unreasonably delayed registration title. Tribunal expressed sympathy for position in which he found himself. Despite personal ...

  • Litigation Disciplinary Tribunals 7/4/98

    4-Jul-1998

    Richard David Andrade, 47, admitted 1973, practising at material time in partnership as Nicholas Barrett, London SW7, until 30 September 1992, and since October 1992 on own account as Andrade & Co, London SW7, struck off and ordered to pay costs. Allegations substantiated that he wrongly used client account money, failed to pay professional agents and failed to act in accordance with undertakings given by him in course of practice. The tribunal ...

  • Litigation Personal Injury 30/6/98

    30-Jun-1998

    Dillon v Ministry of Defence (MoD) - QBD 20 March 1998Claimant: Christopher Dillon, 41 yearsIncident: Road traffic accidentInjuries: Claimant, a former RAF corporal, suffered spinal injuries when he was thrown through roof of Land Rover while serving in the Falkland Islands. He is now confined to a wheelchair. The vehicle was owned by GEC Marconi, but MoD was responsible for its maintenance. Judge held MoD 20 per cent liable on ...

  • Litigation Personal Injury 7/4/98

    4-Jul-1998

    Pearson v British Midland Airways QBD 9 February 1998Claimant: Graham Pearson, 39Incident: Post-traumatic stressInjuries: Claimant has suffered post-traumatic stress disorder ever since the Kegworth air disaster in 1989, which killed 47 people. For three and a half hours he helped rescue people dead, alive and seriously maimed. As a result he has given up his job as a kitchen salesman and suffers nightmares. Court told he suffered ...

  • Litigation Recent Decisions 30/6/98

    30-Jun-1998

    Request by television interviewee for injunctionsRobert Bunn v (1) British Broadcasting Corporation (2) Victor Gollancz Ltd (1998)Ch.D (Lightman J) 19/6/9The plaintiff applied ex parte but on notice to the defendants for injunctions. The first was to restrain the first defendant, "the BBC', from including in a television broadcast, any material contained in an interview under caution with the City of London Police given by the plaintiff ...

  • Litigation Recent Decisions 7/4/98

    4-Jul-1998

    Assignment of non-assignable chose in actionDon King Productions v (1) Frank John Warren (2) Christopher Nigel Roberts (3) Centurion Promotions (formerly Sports Network) (4) Sports Network USA (5) Time Warner Entertainment Co LP (1998)ChD (Lightman J) 27/3/98Summary: Whether agreement to assign contracts was effective in law or equity where such contracts involved the rendering of personal services or included express provisions prohibiting any assignment ...

  • Litigation Writs 30/6/98

    30-Jun-1998

    Julie Holgate of Staines, Middlesex, has issued a High Court writ accusing doctors DM Bridger, M Salahuddin, Lillian Johnston and Swinglehurst, all of Staines, of negligence between 1983 and March 1995. Writ does not specify the incident giving rise to the claim.Writ issued by Owen White and Catlin, Middlesex.Two women are set for a High Court battle over ownership of a greyhound. Lorraine Howard of London SW19 has ...

  • Litigation Writs 7/4/98

    4-Jul-1998

    Eurotunnel, the Channel Tunnel Group, France-Manche Societe Anonyme and Eurotunnel Developments are suing the Secretary of State for the Environment, Transport and the Regions, over plots of land near the English Channel Tunnel entrance. They have issued three High Court writs seeking unlimited compensation for the value of the land, taken near Folkestone, and compensation for severance, injurious affection and disturbance in amounts which may be decided ...

  • Manches suffers triple loss as prized partners depart from firm

    4-Jul-1998

    Manches & Co has suffered a triple loss its head of banking Andrew Knight, and head of insolvency Andrew Visintin are to join Edge & Ellison in London, while regulatory partner-designate Maeve Bromwich has left after only two months to go in-house at Merrill Lynch.Manches recruited Andrew Knight from Hammond Suddards two years ago amid great fanfare. Visintin had joined a few months earlier from Wilde & Partners and worked on a number of deals at Manches, including the ...

  • Mary Pinder on the issues of delay and the abuse of process. Mary Pinder is a barrister at No. 1 Sergeants' Inn

    4-Jul-1998

    In the advent of the implementation of case-flow management by the courts, a line of authority arising out of Grovit v Doctor & ors (1997) has seen the court using its inherent jurisdiction to strike out stale actions for abuse of process.In Grovit it was found that the plaintiff had no interest in pursuing his defamation action. The House of Lords held that such lack of intention to pursue the matter to trial, evidenced by delay, was an abuse of process entitling ...

  • MPs seek details of CPS' use of advisers for Glidewell response

    4-Jul-1998

    THE PUBLIC accounts committee has asked for more information on the Crown Prosecution Service's (CPS) use of outside advisers.The inquiry comes after The Lawyer's report last week that the CPS had brought in consultants to help it respond to Sir Iain Glidewell's review of the service.But the committee, which subjected Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP), Dame Barbara Mills QC, to a grilling in February after she admitted having to cancel the ...

  • New IT systems require trained users

    30-Jun-1998

    New IT requires investment in training to maximise its potential, a fact lawyers have yet to grasp, says Graham Scrivener. Graham Scrivener is sales and marketing director for Tuition Computer Training.COMPARED to other businesses the legal profession has traditionally taken a very considered approach to new technology. While the financial and retail industries, for example, have leapt to embrace the benefits of new gadgetry, the legal industry has ...

  • NHS slashes £200m med neg panel

    4-Jul-1998

    The National Health Service has struck a blow against 72 firms around the country by producing a provisional list of only 18 that it will instruct for its £200m-a-year medical negligence work.Until now individual NHS trusts have instructed their own firms 90 around the country. But following a two-year review initiated by the previous Conservative government, the NHS Litigation Authority (NHSLA) has created a provisional panel of only 18 that it will impose on local ...

  • NHSLA keeps panel of law firms on its toes

    30-Jun-1998

    LAW firms on the National Health Service Litigation Authority's (NHSLA) medical negligence panel have attacked as a waste of money a controversial "gatekeeping" scheme which brings in other law firms to scrutinise their work.The scheme was originally introduced by the NHSLA two years ago to help it slash its panel from 90 to 18, in a bid to control the NHS' spending on medical negligence claims - currently £200m per year.The six gatekeepers analysed ...

  • NI Law Society refuses to back UN call for inquiry into lawyer's murder

    4-Jul-1998

    The former partner of murdered solicitor Pat Finucane has attacked the Law Society of Northern Ireland for refusing to back a United Nations' call for a public inquiry into the killing.UN Special Rapporteur Param Cumaraswamy last week published his report into human rights abuses in Northern Ireland which called for a judicial inquiry into Finucane's killing.Separately, it condemned the Royal Ulster Constabulary for "intimidation, hindrance, harassment, ...

  • Niche M&A and tax firm to launch in Germany

    30-Jun-1998

    A new German firm, headed by leading tax lawyer Reinhold Pollath, launches this week in Munich and Berlin .The firm re-unites Pollath with eight partners from his former Munich firm RAdler Raupach Bezzenberger, which became Oppenhoff & RAdler.Pollath left RAdler Raupach in 1992 to go in-house and eventually became "of counsel" at the Munich office of Doser Amereller Noack/Baker ...

  • Offshore addition

    4-Jul-1998

    Due to a typesetters error, the piece by Michael Betley, a partner at Wedlake Bell McKean, on page 29 of The Lawyer, 31 March, should conclude: "But it is unlikely to come into force this year because the consultative process has unearthed practical problems which have not yet been fully addressed."

  • Ogier & Le Masurier opts for Guernsey

    4-Jul-1998

    Leading Jersey firm Ogier & Le Masurier has become the first Channel Islands' practice to set up a branch in neighbouring Guernsey.The firm has set up an associated firm in St Peter Port, which will be headed by local advocate Roger Le Tissier. Le Tissier joins from Guernsey International Fund Managers, a subsidiary of Dutch bank ING, where he headed the legal department.Partner Michael Lombardi said that the firm had been looking at setting up its first ...

  • Over here - in partnership

    30-Jun-1998

    Rivalry between US and UK law firms is giving way to co-operation and the formation of MNPs, says Richard Tyler."There are some real awkward Americans out there," remarks one senior partner of a UK firm. But with US firms like Cadwalader Wickersham & Taft and Weil Gotshal & Manges pioneering cross-cultural fertilisation as they hire English lawyers, times and attitudes are changing.

  • Peopil looks to align damages

    30-Jun-1998

    EUROPEAN personal injury lawyers have set up a think tank through which to examine the potential for harmonising personal injury damages throughout the European Union. This move followed an impassioned plea for action by the lead ing personal injury silk Dan Brennan QC.Brennan, of Edwin Glasgow QC's 39 Essex Street chambers, urged EC lawyers attending the Pan European Organisationof Personal Injury Lawyers (PEOPIL) conference in Barcelona earlier this month ...

  • Phil Shiner on a ground-breaking pollution judgment

    30-Jun-1998

    Phil Shiner on a ground-breaking pollution judgment. Phil Shiner is head of Tyndallwoods' planning and environmental department.The High Court gave judgment on 8 May 1998 in my clients' three applications for judicial review concerning the incineration of hazardous waste in the cement and lime industry (R v Environment Agency (EA) ex parte Leam; R v EA ex parte Gibso; R v EA ex parte Sellers and Petty).This practice is controversial and the subject ...

  • Privatisation

    30-Jun-1998

    Cameron Mckenna advised the Czech government on the privatisation of Investicni a Postovni Banka, the third largest bank in the Czech Republic. Allen & Overy advised Nomura International, which purchased the government's stake.

  • Property

    30-Jun-1998

    Finers acted for MWB and Manhattan Loft on the completion of the £20m first phase building contract for West India Quay. MWB and Manhattan Loft signed the deal with Lovells Construction, advised by their in-house team.

  • Property

    4-Jul-1998

    Hammond Suddards advised P&O Property Holdings on the £320m sale of the Arndale Centre in Manchester to Prudential, advised by Lovell White Durrant.

  • Property

    4-Jul-1998

    Simmons & Simmons acted for Despa on its £56m acquisition of The Marlowes Shopping Centre in Hemel Hempstead from Bourne End Properties, advised by Linklaters and Kanter Jules.

  • Property

    30-Jun-1998

    Frere Cholmeley Bischoff advised Norwich Union Pensions Management on its £7.3m sale of a retail warehouse portfolio of properties in Swansea, Wakefield, Hull and Preston. Richard Pearlman & Co advised purchaser Fir Tree Investments. Nicholson Graham & Jones acted for lenders Hypobank.

  • Pub tie system faces new challenge

    30-Jun-1998

    Two test cases have brought into question a system whereby pub landlords are dictated to by suppliers, reports Roger Pearson.Pub tenants and breweries are waiting for the outcome of two challenges to the brewery tie system, under which brewery landlords stipulate who their tenants must buy supplies from - ranging from drink to fruit machines.If the system is successfully challenged the result could be a flood of cases totalling more than £450m.

  • Red card for Halliwell Landau soccer trip

    30-Jun-1998

    MANCHESTER firm Halliwell Landau was forced to call off a corporate hospitality trip to Friday's crunch England/Colombia World Cup game, after chartering a plane for what is believed to be £5000.Corporate partner Clive Garston had invited 18 Manchester businessmen to the game.The agency through which it booked tickets - Great Portland Entertainment - turned out to be unauthorised and the DTI brought proceedings to close it when it became clear it could ...

  • Second senior official defects from SFO

    4-Jul-1998

    The Serious Fraud Office has suffered another blow, with the move of Andrew Jackson, head of mutual legal assistance, to private investigations company Kroll Associates, where he will be appointed general counsel and associate managing director of UK operations.Jackson said: "One of the reasons I joined Kroll was to get away from the raincoat and long-lens camera image of the private investigator."Jackson's is the second high-profile departure, after that ...

  • Shed some light

    30-Jun-1998

    I hope Mr Justice Lightman will sit hard on The Lawyer's reporter for reporting his disparagement of non-law graduate barristers in such a way as to make it sound much more like vapid assertion than argument in the article "Judge attacks barristers without law degrees" (The Lawyer, 9 June 1998).My respect for High Court judges is such that I am sure that his lecture was based on a considered, wide-ranging and detailed analysis of recent evidence ...

  • Significant progress on pro bono front

    4-Jul-1998

    Clifford Chance's expected appointment of a full-time administrator to co-ordinate its pro bono programme is a further positive development on the pro bono front.Lovell White Durrant has already taken a similar step with its recruitment last year of a lawyer in this area of practice, while Linklaters ...

  • Small firms get Netted

    30-Jun-1998

    Cable & Wireless has launched a new Internet and intranet installation package aimed at high street firms and sole practitioners called the CWIC Link. For £300 plus an annual subscription of around £300 C&W will advise firms, and offer 24-hour support.

  • Small firms lose out in SIF contributions

    30-Jun-1998

    SMALL firms, which already face a massive hike in their Solicitors Indemnity Fund contributions due to risk banding, will have to pay out even more money, according to figures published last week.The figures, released by the society's deputy vice-president Robert Sayer, show that a new method of calculating firms' contributions will hit smallest firms the hardest.Up until now SIF has calculated firms' basic contributions by dividing them into seven ...

  • Solicitors celebrate as Govt sweeps away Bar monopoly

    30-Jun-1998

    More than 1000 lawyers attending the 1998 The Lawyer/Hifal awards saw the Lord Chancellor, Lord Irvine of Lairg win the Personality of the Year award and Olswang scoop the Law Firm of the Year award.As he accepted his award at the gala dinner at the Grosvenor House Hotel last Thursday, hosted by Jonathan Dimbleby, Lord Irvine thanked the media for raising his profile. He joked he was particularly ...

  • Strategic decisions

    4-Jul-1998

    Patrick Stewart says that the shift towards a more business-oriented legal market has increased the competitive pressure on Australian firms. Patrick Stewart is a freelance journalist.At the start of the year, Arthur Andersen threw down a challenge to Australia's legal establishment when it announced plans to expand its ranks of lawyers from 90 to more than 200 in just two years.Andersen Legal, as the accountancy firm's legal arm is known, is not yet ...

  • Summit dodges Euro "leftovers'

    30-Jun-1998

    Richard Owen says the cordial atmosphere of the European Council summit produced a lot of talk, but what of the implications? Richard Owen is a senior lecturer of the European Law Unit, University of Glamorgan Law School.No momentous decisions resulted from the European Council's summit held in Cardiff from 15-16 June. The launch of the single currency and the start of a process of further enlargement, two of the most crucial events of the British Presidency of the ...

  • Tailoring for the year 2000

    30-Jun-1998

    You quote Mr Justice Lightman's vision of courts in the year 2025: "I see a truly diverse Bench and Bar drawn from - and representing - all sections of society... wigs and gowns are gone: judges sit in lounge suits distinguished only by their choice of ties."Do the women all wear suits and ties in the next century then?Daphne LoeblWilde Sapte

  • The Lawyer Inquiry: Declan Black

    30-Jun-1998

    Declan Black was born in Dublin in 1967. He is a Senior Associate at Mason Hayes & Curran Solicitors in Dublin.What was your first job?Ice cream factory operative.What was your first ever salary as a lawyer?IR£4,800.What would you have done if you hadn't become a lawyer?Had a better lifestyle.Which law could you live without?Nuts ...

  • The Lawyer Inquiry: Stephen Tupper

    4-Jul-1998

    Stephen Tupper was born in 1958 in Malta. He is currently the London-based partner of the European law unit at Hammond Suddards.What was your first job?Gardener "No. 5" at the Manor House Hotel in Castle Combe.What was your first ever salary as a lawyer?A brief fee of £40 for an off-licence application at Camberwell Green Magistrates Court.What would you have done if you hadn't become ...

  • The Lawyer's QCs

    4-Jul-1998

    CrimeAlex Cameron at 3 Raymond Buildings (1986)Helen Malcom at 3 Raymond Buildings (1986)Simon Farrell at 2 Garden Court (1983)Martin Meeke at Colleton Chambers, Exeter (1973)Neill Stewart at Queen Elizabeth Building, Hollis Whiteman Chambers (1973)Jill Evans at Doughty Street Chambers (1986)Vera Baird at 14 Tooks Court (1975)Martin Edmunds at Walnut House, Exeter (1983)

  • Titmuss pays dividends for Dechert

    30-Jun-1998

    Titmuss Sainer Dechert will this year have to pay its Philadelphia-based partner a proportion of its record £7.4m profits because it has outstripped it in profit growth.Titmuss and 442-lawyer Dechert Price & Rhoads effectively reward each other for work referral by making annual "transfer payments" based on a secret formula that depends on the relative profitability increase of the two ...

  • Trowers & Hamlin form first Western association in Jordan

    4-Jul-1998

    Trowers & Hamlin has announced an association with Jordanian firm Ziad Khalifeh & Associates, the first for a Western firm in the country and the fifth in the region for Trowers.The move comes after Trowers and the Amman-based firm worked on a legislative review, paid for by the British Embassy, of the feasibility of Buy-Operate-Transfer (BOT) projects for the Jordanian ministry of finance.Martin Amison, head of the international projects department at Trowers, ...

  • Two depart Fladgates as Basingstoke office shuts

    4-Jul-1998

    Fladgate Fielder has lost two Basingstoke-based property partners and a number of clients to Hampshire firm White & Bowker following its recent decision to close its Basingstoke office.John Russell starts at White & Bowker's Winchester office on 1 May and John Bates will join him in the summer. White & Bowker says clients such as Digital Equipment and Persimmon Homes will follow.

  • Two leading legal aid firms back Govt plans for reform

    4-Jul-1998

    TWO leading legal aid firms have broken ranks with the rest of the legal profession by going out of their way to support the government's legal aid reform proposals.Niche Manchester medical negligence practice Alexander Harris and London legal aid giant Thompsons both spoke out in favour of the government's plans to withdraw legal aid from personal injury cases at a seminar held at the Lord Chancellor's Department (LCD) last week.Geoff Hoon, the ...

  • University challenge for quantity surveyor

    4-Jul-1998

    Roger Pearson previews a case in which a firm of quantity surveyors is being challenged over the quality of its supervisory workA major damages claim which focuses on the liability of quantity surveyors' responsibilities when supervising building contracts is now heading for the High Court's Official Referees.The claim has been launched by the University of Sheffield against Sheffield-based chartered quantity surveyor the Monaghan Partnership.

  • US firms exit Budapest sparking fears for future

    4-Jul-1998

    US firms Skadden Arps Slate Meagher & Flom and Seward & Kissel have pulled out of Budapest, marking the start of what many think will be an exodus of foreign law firms from the city.New York firm Seward & Kissel has transferred its two lawyers in Budapest, Blaise Pasztory and Peter Komaromi, to Squi

  • Waiting with bated breath for a popular reform

    4-Jul-1998

    Lawyers are hoping for a public interest fund with real teeth that will boost the reach of publicly funded justice, writes Elizabeth DavidsonTHE general thrust of the Government's plans for the reform of legal aid has been met with a chorus of disapproval from the legal profession.There is, however, one promised reform the establishment of a public interest fund which offers the unusual prospect of an extension of the reach of publicly funded litigation.

  • When in London...

    30-Jun-1998

    Before foreign law firms in can really benefit from their London offices, they must adapt to the idiosyncrasies of practicing law in England.Welcome to legal life in London. Perhaps there is time for a leisurely two-hour lunch followed by a nap? Time to chat over an espresso? Space to samba on the tube? Forget it. The daily routine of Madrid, Paris or Rio de Janeiro is left on the airport tarmac when you arrive in London.Most foreign lawyers soon discover that ...

  • Wilbrahams climbs planning table but Berwins is at the top

    30-Jun-1998

    NICHE planning firm Wilbraham & Co has come third in a survey of the UK's leading planning firms - despite having only been set up in 1994.But apart from the Yorkshire firm and Leicester's Marron Dodds, which came in eighth, the rankings are dominated by major firms in the City and Edinburgh.The survey was conducted by Planning Magazine, which asked 50 solicitors with an acknowledged specialism in planning law to identify three law firms, other than ...

  • Year 2000: further info

    4-Jul-1998

    You report on the new City Disputes Panel for "year 2000" issues (The Lawyer, 31 March) the day after the computer dating Year 2000 issue arguably reached its greatest public prominence yet with Tony Blair's speech on the issue.The hardest issue in practice for client users of IT has been the inability to extract statements or responses to questionnaires from suppliers on whether their systems/products are compliant in time to ensure that the client ...