29 November 1999

The Lawyer

  • ...as it raids rivals for Australian offices

    29-Nov-1999

    BAKER & McKenzie has poached four partners from rival firms in an attempt to bolster its Sydney and Melbourne offices.Leading construction partner Robert Leacock is joining with his team from US firm Coudert Brothers' Sydney office.Baker & McKenzie has also poached litigation partner Andrew Christopher and an associate from Australian top-10 practice Corrs Chambers ...

  • ..and holds South African merger talks

    4-Dec-1999

    Linklaters is in merger talks with a South African firm, believed to be Edward Nathan & Friedland.Linklaters' South African Business group (SAB) has regular business from South African clients and a 30-strong legal team.Top commercial firm Edward Nathan is understood to be pushing for full merger at the talks with the international firm. With a 33 partner count, Edward Nathan ...

  • A passport to more business?

    29-Nov-1999

    Corporate immigration work can be the hook that brings in the big clients. Claire Smith reports on a booming sector that City firms ignore at their peril.Julia Onslow-Cole sits relaxed at her desk, surrounded by bulging files detailing the movements of an enormous range of corporate clients.A member of the inner circle of the chief executives and managing directors of some of the world's leading businesses, she does not worry about competition from other ...

  • A serious case of mistaken identity

    29-Nov-1999

    I feel compelled to reveal that the Taylor Joynson Garrett IP partner's faux pas at Legal Monte Carlo '99, reported by The Lawyer last week, may also have had the taint of calumny.The partner may initially have thought that he was waxing lyrical to the head of legal for Warner Music. Disheartened and defeated, he may have accepted the explanation that the recipient of his "guff" was the head of legal at Southern Water.With some ...

  • A&O works on HK stock exchange merger

    29-Nov-1999

    Allen & Overy has been instructed by the Hong Kong regional government to advise on the restructuring of economic institutions.Its first project is to give legal advice on the merger of the territory's stock exchange, futures exchange and three clearing houses.The five bodies will be merged into a single market operator called Hong Kong Exchanges and Clearing Limited. ...

  • Addleshaws reaches £50m in its annual fee income results

    4-Dec-1999

    Addleshaw Booth & Co has hit the £50m fee income barrier in its end of the financial year results, despite persistent speculation over imminent departures.The results reveal an 18 per cent increase on its last financial year, with its main growth area, corporate fin-ance, showing a 19 per cent growth in income to £8.5m.The corporate finance department also advised on £3bn worth of deals in 1998.Addleshaws' other core area, banking, ...

  • Allen & Overy and Slaughters advise on £7bn media merger

    29-Nov-1999

    Allen & Overy and Slaughter and May are pushing through the merger of United News & Media and Carlton Communications - which could result in the slashing of law firms used by the companies.The proposed merger will form a £7bn group which plans to review its arrangements with outside law ...

  • Appeal Court action for SIF

    29-Nov-1999

    The Solicitor's Indemnity Fund must go to the Court of Appeal in a compensation battle against a property developer. The move follows a payout made in a claim in respect of a property venture between the developer and a solicitor. The Court of Appeal set aside a £304,777 High Court award for damages and interest against the developer, and given it leave to appeal, ruling that the developer, represented by Holmes Hardingham Walser Johnston Winter, ...

  • Appeal Court backs disabled employees

    4-Dec-1999

    Employment lawyers are warning business clients to handle dismissals of disabled staff with extreme care, after a landmark ruling that has turned discrimination law on its head.In the first disability discrimination case to go before the Court of Appeal, employee Darren Clark brought a case against Novacold, which fired him after he had been off work for five months with a back injury. The Employment Tribunal, in line with previous rulings and with sex and race discrimination ...

  • Architects' fees go to appeal

    29-Nov-1999

    A battle over architects' fees for one of the most ambitious private developments in London is heading for the Court of Appeal. Leave has been granted to Christopher Moran to challenge an order by the Technology and Construction Court that he must pay architects Carden & Godfrey £82,500, which they claimed is owing. The money is said to be owing for, among other things, formation of a quadrangle at Crosby Hall, Cheyne Walk, Chelsea, and ...

  • B&M plans Indian office despite limit on licences

    29-Nov-1999

    Baker & McKenzie is in talks with an Indian law firm to link up with an office in the subcontinent, as other firms battle to stay there.The global firm is also scouring firms in London in a bid to recruit Indian-qualified lawyers.The ambitious move comes as Ashurst Morris Crisp and

  • B&M to set up UK insolvency group

    29-Nov-1999

    Baker & McKenzie is setting up its first corporate recovery division in the UK.Jeremy Goldring, an insolvency partner who joined the firm from Dibb Lupton Alsop (The Lawyer, 9 August), is spearheading the move.Goldring plans to recruit partners from finance, corporate, dispute resolution and other departments which fall under the insolvency umbrella.He adds ...

  • Berrymans wins top county council role

    29-Nov-1999

    Berrymans Lace Mawer is joining forces with Eversheds to head employer and public liability for Lancashire County Council.The insurance litigation specialist beat five other firms to win the work under the Labour Government's Best Value Initiative.Ian Fisher, legal services manager ...

  • Bizarre week

    4-Dec-1999

    Divorcing couples in the UK could soon be haggling over kidneys, liver and intestines donated between spouses, according to medical experts who say it is only a matter of time before couples put a price on the organs they have lovingly donated to their sickly spouse. Sir Roy Calne - the surgeon who performed the UK's first liver, pancreas and intestine transplants - predicts organs will come to represent a percentage of the divorcee's estate.

  • Book of the Week

    4-Dec-1999

    It's a revelation. Even lawyers will soon be able to reach into their inner self and find meaning in their lives. Stress, aggravation and sleepless nights could be a thing of the past once a new book hits the shops. Due on the shelves in September, US lawyer Steve Keeva's book Transforming Practices: Finding Joy & Satisfaction in the Legal Life offers six spiritual practices for lawyers, aimed at making them happy to not be money-grabbing. Perhaps they could ...

  • Business in paradise

    29-Nov-1999

    Matt Barnard finds that the Atlantic-Caribbean islands offer companies more than just sun, sand, sea and tax breaks.The seven islands that comprise the offshore jurisdictions in the Atlantic-Caribbean are part of a world-wide community.The most well-known of the islands include Bermuda and the Cayman Islands, and they share their special low tax or zero tax status with such European jurisdictions as Luxembourg, Jersey and the Isle of Man, and others around ...

  • Case of the week

    29-Nov-1999

    Jeremy Guscott, the former England rugby star and presenter of Gladiators, entered the witness box to tell a jury he acted in self-defence when he grabbed hold of an antiques dealer who stepped in front of his car. Guscott denies causing actual bodily harm. Ken Jones' ankle was broken in the alleged attack which happened in Bath. Bristol Crown Court heard that Guscott thought Jones was wielding a "large and dangerous" object. It turned out to be a ball of string. ...

  • Case of the week

    4-Dec-1999

    Mardi Gras bomber Edgar Pearce was finally convicted. Chiswick resident Pearce, who was described during the trial as posing a threat comparable to the IRA, planted home-made bombs as part of a motiveless series of offences, including blackmail, causing an explosion, possession of firearms and unlawful wounding.

  • CFAs should not affect objectivity

    4-Dec-1999

    Your article on barristers' fears about Conditional Fee Agreements (The Lawyer 29 March) suggests that "if their income is riding on the outcome of cases, barristers will not be objective in the advice they give". So what's new?Under the old legal aid system which is now being dismantled, barristers' incomes were also dependent on the advice they gave. An optimistic assessment of success meant the cases would run for longer and the barrister ...

  • Chambers breach Minimum Wage Act

    4-Dec-1999

    Chambers' practice of awarding unfunded pupillages is contrary to the National Minimum Wage Act, says an opinion produced for the Bar Council.In 1997-1998 nearly 200 pupillages out of a total of 700 were unfunded.The opinion, produced by Jeremy McMullen QC, Jennifer Eady and Sarah Moor, advises the Bar Council that pupils aged 26 and over qualify for the national minimum wage."Barristers have lagged behind solicitors for many years when it comes ...

  • Chambers' reforming zeal puts clerks' jobs on line

    4-Dec-1999

    Ask a senior barristers' clerk about the future structure of the Bar and the chances are they will draw an analogy with football.The season, they say, is reaching its climax, and a couple of indifferent results can mean the difference between staying in the Premier League and relegation. The first casualty of a failed season, they ruefully point out, is all too often the manager.Senior clerks are under constant pressure to produce the right results, which ...

  • City firms look to Libya as UN halts sanctions

    4-Dec-1999

    City firms are eyeing Libya as a new target for offices after the suspension of UN sanctions following the handover of the Lockerbie bombing suspects.Gareth Driver, a partner at South African firm Werksmans, says: "Libya is going to become of interest. But it is only this week [that the lifting of UN sanctions has been] announced."Driver says that Werksmans will be looking particularly at telecoms opportunities. He adds that a major telecoms client has expressed ...

  • City giants lose out to US firms in M&A league

    4-Dec-1999

    US firms are taking a bigger bite of the large corporate deals work as cross-border M&A work continues to give million-pound rewards.According to Corporate Money, for the first quarter of 1999 four out of the 10 largest dealmakers in the UK are US firms.Sullivan & Cromwell knocks heavyweights Cliffor

  • Clifford Chance litigation points to urgent need for limited liability laws

    29-Nov-1999

    Sean Farrell reports on reaction to a £54m suit against Clifford Chance and the role of LLP status internationally.The news that Clifford Chance has been hit by a £54m negligence claim reveals the risks faced by law firms as the Government introduces its long-awaited Limited Liability Partnership (LLP) Bill.Clifford Chance is being sued by an international consortium ...

  • Cloisters Chambers in management review

    4-Dec-1999

    Cloisters Chambers, a major employment set with 43 tenants, is understood to be appointing a management consultant to review the way that it is run.The situation of Cloisters senior clerk Michael Martin, who has been absent from chambers for some time, remains unresolved. He is currently on extended leave and is taking legal advice.The management review is the latest in a wave of restructuring at the Bar as chambers look to develop along corporate lines.

  • Clyde & Co IT head quits for media firm

    29-Nov-1999

    Henry Hepworth, the leading niche media practice, has poached Clyde & Co's head of intellectual property (IP) and IT Toni Vitale.Vitale, who was an associate at Clyde & Co, joins the media firm as a consultant with a view to becoming a partner. Clyde & Co was actively considering Vitale for partnership. The firm was due to vote on the issue in October before he had made the decision ...

  • CMS European expansion strategy stalls in Slovakia

    29-Nov-1999

    CMS Cameron McKenna's European network has delayed its move into Slovakia, while other expansionist firms are pushing ahead.The Lawyer can reveal that the anticipated November opening of an office in the central European state has been put off until next year. A CMS spokesman says: "[Austrian CMS member firm] Strommer Reich Rohrwig Karasek Hainz hasn't opened in Bratislava. It is expected ...

  • College aims for global school

    4-Dec-1999

    The College of Law has signed a transatlantic summer school joint venture with four US law schools and is planning to sign another deal with a school in New York as it bids to create the first global law school.The international initiative brings the UK law school together with California Western School of Law, New England School of Law, South Texas College of Law and William Mitchell College in Minnesota.The US law schools have already formed a consortium for ...

  • Couderts wins EBRD work

    4-Dec-1999

    The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) has appointed Coudert Brothers, a firm it dropped from its panel last year, to advise the Russian Federal Commission for Securities Markets on securities market reform.Couderts was one of more than 90 firms dropped from the EBRD panel in November (The Lawyer 24 November). But surviving law firms Cameron McKenna, Freshfields, Linklaters ...

  • CPS race discrimination case hots up

    4-Dec-1999

    A senior crown prosecutor whose application for a junior management post was rejected by the Crown Prosecution Service has been deemed fit by an independent board to take up a post five levels higher.Delhi-born Maria Bamieh, 40, is taking her case against the CPS to an employment tribunal for racial discrimination over her interview last March for the job of prosecution team leader (PTL).After being rejected by the PTL panel, she applied for the post of chief ...

  • Damages case of note

    4-Dec-1999

    In an action heading for the Queen's Bench Division, London Philharmonic clarinettist Robert Hill is taking the management of Glyndebourne to court in a damages claim. The claim stems from a fall he suffered during a performance. He broke his wrist in the accident just 20 minutes before a performance last May and claims it kept him out of work until January. His arm was in plaster for two months and he says he could not pick up a clarinet for six months. Among other things ...

  • Davis Polk plans London expansion

    4-Dec-1999

    Davis Polk & Wardwell, one of Wall Street's largest US firms is expanding its London practice after it moves to new buildings in the City.The firm, which has been based in 1 Frederick's Place for the last 12 years, will move into 99 Gresham Street in the autumn.Keith Kearney, managing partner of the firm says: "We are currently cramped in the existing offices ...

  • Davis Polk targets EU bank clients

    29-Nov-1999

    Slaughter and May's "best friend" in the US Davis Polk & Wardwell is changing its international strategy to concentrate on its merchant bank clients.John McCarthy, head of Davis Polk's international practice committee, says the change will include "an emphasis on private equity, ...

  • Democracy wins over dictatorship

    29-Nov-1999

    Michael Walker is managing partner at Maclay Murray & Spens.Winston Churchill and Bill Tudor John (former senior partner at Allen & Overy) are examples of democracy in action. The temptation of anyone managing a legal firm nowadays is to point to the slowing effect on progress that democracy ...

  • Diana Holtham

    29-Nov-1999

    Anne Mizzi meets Diana Holtham, the retiring head of construction at Berrymans Lace Mawer, who has lost her taste for construction litigation.

  • Dibbs loses equity partner

    4-Dec-1999

    Dibb Lupton Alsop's Birmingham office has lost an equity partner to Stratford-on-Avon firm Lodders.Richard Ollis was a property lawyer at the office and is believed to have handled all Allied Dunbar property work.His new firm is a small three-office practice which specialises in private client and agriculture work. Ollis' arrival in the commercial department will bring the firm up to 10 partners.Ollis says that he has moved to the firm because ...

  • Digests

    29-Nov-1999

    PricewaterhouseCoopers' legal network is expanding into South Africa. Bell Dewar & Hall in South Africa has lost six of its 17 partners as it becomes the sixth firm to join the Landwell network this year.Linklaters & Alliance's Swedish law firm Lagerlaf & Leman's ex-competition partner Jonas Bergh has joined the Swedish post office as an in-house lawyer. The privatised ...

  • Dispute stalls Eversheds' European bank contract

    29-Nov-1999

    The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) has delayed the appointment of Eversheds' Moscow office following a dispute over consultancy services.Eversheds joined a consortium including accountancy firm Arthur Andersen to bid for the contract, which involves advising the EBRD on Urals and West Siberian venture funds.The EBRD held a beauty parade for a consortium ...

  • Dispute through the mill

    4-Dec-1999

    The Rt Hon George Villiers, seventh Earl of Clarendon, Richard and James Steel, and the Hon George Lopes are taking Roger Baylis-Duffield of Swanmore, Hertfordshire, to the High Court in a property dispute. They are suing him for specific performance of a written agreement dated November 13 last year for the sale to him of a property at Soberton Mill, Swanmore, and damages for alleged breach of contract. Alternatively, they seek a declaration ...

  • Donns acts in negligence case against US military

    4-Dec-1999

    The family of a British servicemen has sued the US military for negligence in the first ever successful case by a foreign national.The family of Lt Michael Whitley won $1.2m (£750,000) when the appeal court last week upheld an original ruling from 1996.Whitley was one of 17 members of a British rugby team in a van driven by a US Army official. The driver fell asleep causing an accident which killed Whitley and injured 16 others.Lawyers including ...

  • Druces & Attlee loses family member in move to US firm

    4-Dec-1999

    The great grandson of the named partner of a 200-year-old City law firm is quitting to join a US rival.Charles Attlee, 43, the head of the nine-strong team in the company/commercial department at Druces & Attlee is leaving the firm after more than two decades to join one of the 25 largest US firms, Bryan Cave.Attlee's great grandfather Henry Attlee became a named partner of the firm, which has a strong commercial base, in the mid-19th century.Attlee, ...

  • Equity partners quit Donne Mileham in strategy row

    29-Nov-1999

    Two equity partners at 33-partner Donne Mileham & Haddock have left in a dispute over new strategy.Michael Bailey, a top commercial property expert in the South East, and his partner in the department Simon Alldis, have left "by mutual agreement" with the firm.Donne Mileham is stopping partners working outside their key areas and reorganising the way profits are shared.Head of commercial property Martin Allen says: "Many firms work on some sort of ...

  • Family feuds and fire

    29-Nov-1999

    Matt Barnard reports on the Thyssen-Bornemisza family saga and the Commonwealth's most expensive litigation.The normally closed world of some of the richest individuals and companies associated with the island of Bermuda has been prised open.Two cases have attracted global interest and drawn a large number of the UK legal community to the other side of the world. Both, in different ways, shed light on the role offshore jurisdictions play as the base for ...

  • Felter to offer Premier's lawyers their jobs back

    4-Dec-1999

    Clyde & Co's head of energy is vowing to reinstate Premier Oil's redundant senior laywers if his bid to oust the group's management board succeeds.Peter Felter says his plans for the company will include reviewing all the job losses Premier Oil has sustained in the last six months.The losses, which total 10 per cent of Premier's workforce, include head of ...

  • Financings

    4-Dec-1999

    SJ Berwin acted on the public offering of home superstore company Home Place. The company, incorporated by SJ Berwin in 1997, capitalised at £4m. Partner Jonathan Djanogly led the transaction.

  • Financings

    4-Dec-1999

    NatWest Development Capital (NWDC) instructed Hammond Suddards on its £1m partial funding of the management buy-out of northern bingo giant Walker Group. Corporate finance lawyer Jonathan Jones led the Hammonds team, with partner Catherine McKenna advising on pensions and lawyer Andrea Neville on commercial property.

  • Financings

    4-Dec-1999

    Senior associate Janene Waudby and partner John Taylor of Theodore Goddard acted for Keystone Software on a £1.7m placing and open offer on the alternative investment market.

  • Financings

    4-Dec-1999

    David Clay of north-west firm Davies Wallis Foyster advised Reflec on its £2.5m share placing on the alternative investment market, AIM. The re-financing follows a damaging patent dispute in the US last year.

  • Firms hold legal guides to account

    29-Nov-1999

    Law firms are banding together to bring legal directories to account in the wake of a survey claiming some clients do not rely on the guides to select law firms.The Lawyer published results of a survey this month which found only 5 per cent of respondents from the in-house sector felt directories were "very important" when selecting law firms. Nearly half said they were "not important at all or not very important".The figures came from a Wheeler Associates' ...

  • Flotation

    29-Nov-1999

    McDermott Will & Emery advised Domino's Pizza UK & IRL on its intention to list shares on the Alternative Investment Market of the London Stock Exchange. The listing began on 24 November with shares valued at 50 pence each. William Charnley (pictured), managing partner at McDermotts, headed an 11-strong team. Lawyers in McDermotts' US offices were also involved due ...

  • Former Law Soc head's son struck off for theft

    4-Dec-1999

    The son of a former Law Society president has been stuck off after being convicted of stealing £200,000 from a client.Terence David Walton Liggins - the son of the late Sir Edmund Liggins, president of the Law Society in 1975 - was sentenced at Worcester Crown Court to 30 months imprisonment for the theft.Last week he was struck off by the SolicitorsDisciplinary Tribunal following his conviction in May 1998.Liggins dipped into a ...

  • Frank Ilett and Bruno Augustin discuss the Competition Act

    4-Dec-1999

    Frank Ilett and Bruno Augustin are both members of Ernst & Young's Litigation Support Services Group.Imagine that you run the only petrol station on a remote island off Scotland, with a captive market of motorists who cannot easily obtain their fuel anywhere else. If you are charging higher prices than mainland suppliers, you may soon have to justify them in court.Under the newly introduced Competition Act 1998 (the Act), which will come into ...

  • French bar rejects full blown MDPs

    4-Dec-1999

    The French bar has issued a snub to the Government by voting once again to bar lawyers from working alongside consultants.The Conseil Nationale des Barreux voted that lawyers can only work alongside regulated professions in multidisciplinary practicesWhile joint practices with accountants and architects are allowed, the real moneyspinner of joining up with business consultants is still barred.The move pre-empts a report by former justice minister ...

  • Freshfields boosts HK insolvency group

    29-Nov-1999

    Freshfields has poached corporate restructuring and insolvency partner Michael Barker from Hong Kong firm Johnston Stokes & Master.Barker is heavily involved in advising HSBC and is believed to be taking a substantial portfolio with him. Freshfields advises the bank in the UK.Peter Bloxham, head of Freshfields' restructuring and insolvency group, says Barker will build the insolvency practice in Hong Kong and China. He will be based in Hong Kong but will ...

  • Fund managers face legal leverage

    4-Dec-1999

    Peter Ford, partner, Nabarro NathansonDerek Sloan, partner, Allen & OveryAndrew White, partner, Rowe & MawUnilever's legal team is currently locked away in high-level talks, weighing the merits of a potential legal action against Mercury Asset ...

  • Further Scottish court chaos averted

    29-Nov-1999

    In a 30 second hearing, senior Scottish judges ruled that decisions made by Scotland's temporary sheriffs for the past 22 years were not invalid. The court pledged to provide reasons for its decision later.It was claimed in the case that the use of temporary sheriffs contravened the Sheriff Courts (Scotland) Act 1971, which allows for the use of temporaries only in times of emergency.The temporary sheriffs have now been made redundant following an appeal ...

  • Giving a dam for complaints flood

    4-Dec-1999

    Does the Law Society have the stomach to fight for client care or is it suffering from indigestion? Marlene Winfield has the diagnosis.Is the Law Society capable of enforcing client care? A case in point is Stuart Pilbrow. Mr Pilbrow asked a firm of solicitors for legal advice, but the firm failed to tell him the person handling his case was not a solicitor. When he found out, he refused to pay the bill. A county court decision in the firm's favour was overturned ...

  • Globalisation does not mean empire-building

    29-Nov-1999

    The loss of £54m would not exactly bankrupt Clifford Chance, even if it was not the UK branch of a US LLP after January. In the unlikely event that the lawsuit over a Chinese power station was successful and the firm had to pay the full damages claimed, it would not threaten the future of the firm nor the personal assets of partners.But the firm and its smaller rivals ...

  • Govt too slow on fixed fee contracts

    4-Dec-1999

    The Bar Council has accused the Government of dragging its feet over introducing a system of fixed fee contracting for high-cost cases.A Bar Council spokesman says that a working party was set up to look into the matter by the Lord Chancellor's Department early last year, but a decision has still not been made."We are urging the Government to finalise the system of fixed fee contracting in high cost cases as quickly as possible," he says.The ...

  • Hammond Suddards in online service launch

    4-Dec-1999

    Hammond Suddards is launching a national online legal service, called HammondsDirect, which will be run from the Bradford office, in a bid to attract more clients and to generate further business for the firm.The service will provide online and telephone legal support outside working hours for clients in an attempt to replicate the services offered by financial service clients such as Halifax, Bradford & Bingley, Prudential Banking and Egg.It will offer legal ...

  • Has the age of copyright passed?

    29-Nov-1999

    In the halcyon days BC (Before Computers), the entertainment industry aggressively protected its original catalogue material. The business has conventionally been about three things: rights, rights and rights.But in the brave new world AD (After Digitisation), will the accelerating pace of technological development and the mass piracy which constantly walks in its shadow shift the focus of music, film and games producers away from the notion of protecting ...

  • Herbert Smith Bangkok hires first Thai lawyer

    29-Nov-1999

    Herbert Smith's Bangkok office has hired its first Thai partner.Top corporate lawyer Kowit Somwaiya joins the office from his own firm, George & Kowit, where he was senior partner.He joined Herbert Smith last Monday and will be followed by a team of two or three assistants. He will concentrate on financing, restructuring, banking and corporate matters.Somwaiya recently drafted the Framework for Corporate Debt Restructuring in Thailand (The Bangkok ...

  • Hodgart Consulting merges with US firm Hildebrandt

    4-Dec-1999

    A UK and a US legal consulting firm are merging to form what will be the largest consultancy of its kind in the world.UK firm Hodgart Consulting is merging with Hildebrandt of the US on 1 May to form Hildebrandt International in the first transatlantic union of legal consultants.Francis Quinlan, a senior consultant with Hodgart, says the transatlantic element of the merger is "hugely important"."At the top end of our market we are operating internationally ...

  • Illness delays Vernon hearing

    4-Dec-1999

    A former Shakespeares consultant suspected of stealing more than u300,000 from the Birmingham firm claims he is too ill to face a Solicitors Disciplinary Tribunal hearing.Solicitor John Vernon, 61, who worked at Shakespeares for more than 30 years, failed to turn up for the hearing last week, citing ill health. The hearing was adjourned for two months.Vernon, of Belbrough-ton, Stourbridge, is currently under investigation by the West Midlands Police Fraud Squad ...

  • In brief: Brooke North

    4-Dec-1999

    Brooke North, the Leeds-based firm, has taken over local firm Coates & Co, taking the number of partners to 16. David Coates and John Barket from Coates, which is a company commercial and commercial property practice, have joined the practice where they both worked as assistants in the 1970s.

  • In brief: Clifford Chance

    4-Dec-1999

    Clifford Chance is to open a training centre in Amsterdam in the next few weeks. The centre is aimed at improving the uniformity of Clifford Chance work across continental Europe in all practice areas. It is believed that all lawyers in the firm's 14 European offices will be obliged to attend for 14 days training per year. The centre, which is currently recruiting for training staff, will ...

  • In brief: Davies Arnold Cooper

    4-Dec-1999

    Davies Arnold Cooper has hired three associates as it seeks to rebuild its Manchester office. The lateral hires follow February's mass bloodletting, which saw the entire Manchester corporate department axed. DAC has now added five fee-earners in two months, taking its numbers from 13 to 18. Caroline Lindsay joins the personal injury department's motor team from Dibb Lupton Alsop. Rachel Brown, also from Dibbs, will specialise in employment liability, as will Andrew Steele, ...

  • In brief: Denton Hall

    4-Dec-1999

    Denton Hall has won a large-scale commercial criminal fraud case against the Serious Fraud Office in the first acquittal against the body since the Maxwell case. John Rosenheim, litigation partner at Denton Hall, led a team of three through a 46 day trial representing a company director accused of defrauding creditors of £9.5m.

  • In brief: Laurence Oates

    4-Dec-1999

    Laurence Oates, director of magistrates' courts and criminal policy, has been appointed as the Official Solicitor to the Supreme Court by the Lord Chancellor. He takes over the post on 1 August from Peter Harris, who is retiring. Oates's new post involves representing minors or mentally incapacitated people who cannot represent themselves.

  • In brief: Professor Martin Wasik

    4-Dec-1999

    Professor Martin Wasik is to be the first Chair of the Sentencing Advisory Panel, the Lord Chancellor has announced. Professor Wasik, a non-practising barrister, was appointed Professor of Law at Manchester University in 1992 and is co-author of the criminal practitioners' bible, Blackstone's Criminal Practice. He takes up his new post on 1 July.

  • In brief: Shearman & Sterling

    4-Dec-1999

    Shearman & Sterling. The headline "Shearman's Paris chief deserts to Hammonds" in the 29 March edition gave the impression that William Lee, Shearman & Sterling's former Paris managing partner, had quit the firm to join Hammond Suddards. Though the story stated that he had been the former managing partner of the Paris office, the headline was misleading.

  • In brief: The Lord Chancellor

    4-Dec-1999

    The Lord Chancellor has appointed a watchdog to "monitor and evaluate" the country's six pioneer Community Legal Service Partnerships. Richard Moorhead, a Research Fellow at the University of London's Institute of Advanced Legal Studies, will oversee the partnerships in Cornwall, Kirklees, Liverpool, Notts, Norwich and Southwark.

  • It's been a bad week for...

    4-Dec-1999

    Manners. Not content with the amount of free publicity it received after Lord Irvine graced his walls with its u300 a roll Pugin-style paper at taxpayers' expense, wallpaper company Walker Greenbank has ungraciously slammed the Government for enacting policies which have lost the company u600,000.The UK's human rights record. At great embarrassment to the Government, Amnesty International is considering adopting peace campaigner Lindis ...

  • It's been a bad week for...

    29-Nov-1999

    Fathers who want their sons circumcised. In a landmark legal decision, Dame Elizabeth Butler-Sloss ruled that the Christian mother of a five-year-boy was entitled to stop her son undergoing a ritual circumcision. The boy's Muslim father claimed it was his son's birthright to be circumcised in accordance with his religion.Habitual burglars. Home Secretary Jack Straw is setting up a unit to monitor judges' sentences for persistent housebreakers. ...

  • It's been a good week for...

    29-Nov-1999

    Hunt saboteurs. The European Court of Human Rights upheld the right to peaceful protest and overturned a UK court's decision to bind over hunt saboteurs Joseph Hashman and Wanda Harrup for one year after they blew a horn and shouted at the Portman Hunt. The European court said the bind-over orders were a breach of the right to "freedom of expression".Mothers who give birth after a sterilisation operation. Gail Taylor was awarded a record £1.3m ...

  • It's been a good week for...

    4-Dec-1999

    Secret agents with an identity crisis. Global giants MGM cinemas and Sony were due to go to battle in a terse courtroom thriller over who gets to make the next James Bond movie. The fight ended with a $5m (u3.12m) settlement giving MGM a licence to film - leaving Sony shaken not stirred, perhaps.Law student Aaliyah Hussein, whose star-status boyfriend Mark Morrison stood by her, praised her and called her a "passionate woman who loves her ...

  • Landmark music copyright ruling due

    4-Dec-1999

    A landmark ruling is expected next week that could have major implications for the ownership of music copyright.The plaintiffs, former members of 1980s pop group Spandau Ballet, are claiming hundreds of thousands of pounds in royalties from songwriter Gary Kemp.They claim that because they assisted in the rehearsing of songs and performed on the recording they were part of the creative process and added something unique to the songs."If the plaintiffs ...

  • Landowners' liability for licensees

    4-Dec-1999

    Landowners who turn a blind eye to the unauthorised occupation of their land could find themselves facing damages claims from the owners of neighbouring land in the light of a new appeal court ruling.The case of Lippiatt & anor v South Gloucestershire Council is one which throws important new light on the rights of neighbours if their property is "invaded" by the occupants of adjoining land, authorised or otherwise.Tenant farmers Peter Lippiatt ...

  • Lawyers spurn CPS police station cover

    4-Dec-1999

    Defence lawyers have attacked plans to place Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) lawyers in police stations, and to make more defendants use duty solicitors in a new survey.The report, commissioned by the Lord Chancellor's Department, reveals that most of the 30 defence lawyers questioned feel that making more defendants use duty solicitors will undermine continuity of representation and client choice.The majority also say it would be "wrong in principle" and ...

  • Lawyers' relief on mental health law

    4-Dec-1999

    Mental health lawyers are expressing relief that the Lord Chancellor has finally announced action on mental incapacity law - they say he has been dragging his feet on the issue for far too long.The Government last week published a consultation paper seeking views on the draft Hague Convention on the Protection of Adults, which will provide protection for mentally ill people and their property from September this year.Lord Irvine says it is "desirable that there ...

  • Linklaters lands £1bn Tube telecoms deal

    29-Nov-1999

    Linklaters & Alliance, Freshfields and Norton Rose are all working on London Underground's latest billion pound PFI project.Last week London Underground awarded a £1.2bn contract for radio and transmission services for the Tube network to the consortium CityLink Telecommunications which ...

  • Linklaters starts Spanish partners poaching spree

    29-Nov-1999

    Linklaters & Alliance has bolstered its Spanish operation by poaching two senior lawyers from domestic firms.Antonio Sanchez-Pedreno joins Linklaters from the Madrid office of Cuatrecasas where he was head of corporate.He joined the Spanish practice in 1990 and made partner in 1993.Sanchez-Pedreno, who specialises in cross-border and domestic Spanish M&A work, is ...

  • Linklaters woos French duo from Gide Loyrette

    4-Dec-1999

    Linklaters & Alliance has recruited another two partners from top French firm Gide Loyrette Nouel to work in its continental offices.Olivier D'Ormesson was the head of Gide's Brussels office and will move to the Linklaters office in the city as a partner specialising in EU and anti-trust law.And in Paris, the main Gide office will lose tax specialist Philippe Derouin ...

  • Litigation Personal Injury 12/4/99

    4-Dec-1999

    Keith Diaper v Safeway Stores Plc (1999) QBD (HH Judge Walker QC) 15 MarchPlaintiff: Male, 51 years old at date of accident; 53 years old at date of trial.Incident: The plaintiff worked for Safeway as a warehouse operative. On 4 August 1997, a forklift truck, allegedly being negligently driven, ran over his right foot. The truck operated on a crab-like mechanism with the driver sitting at a right angle with an impaired view of pedestrians. ...

  • Litigation Personal Injury 29/11/99

    29-Nov-1999

    Jamie McMahon v Bolton Health Authority (1999) QBD (Hallett J) 20 October 1999Claimant: Male, 4 months old at date of accident; 11 years old at date of settlement.Incident: In 1988 the claimant underwent surgery for congenital cataracts. As a result, his vision, described as being "far from perfect" previously, was reduced to total blindness. The claimant alleged that the treatment had caused blindness and behavioural and intellectual ...

  • Litigation Writs 12/4/99

    4-Dec-1999

    Stuart Simpson, former finance director of the Old English Pub Co in Potters Bar, is suing the company and four directors for damages over an allegedly untrue trading statement. Simpson says he was concerned the company's accounting practices were of doubtful validity and he told chief executive Barry Warwick he could only permit the practices if there was adequate justification and supporting evidence. The writ says that ultimately Simpson, a chartered accountant, ...

  • Litigation Writs 29/11/99

    29-Nov-1999

    Germany-based Munster, and Deutsche Angestellten Krankenkasse and Bundesversicherungsanstalt fur Angestellte, are suing Porthleven Harbour and Dock Co of London. The two German companies - statutory health and pension insurers - are suing for recovery of payments following an accident in 1996 involving Dietmar Klebon. Klebon was severely injured when part of a flagpole in the Cornish harbour fell off and hit him between the shoulder blades. The German insurers had to pay his ...

  • Liverpool lawyers in legal aid scam

    4-Dec-1999

    Dubious practices by Liverpool lawyers have sent the city's legal aid bill for welfare cases soaring to three times the rest of the country, it was claimed last week.Figures released by the Merseyside Legal Services Committee show that in 1997/98 an average of £11.21 from legal aid funds was spent for each person on welfare within Merseyside - with Liverpool claiming £27 per person. This compares to an average of £4 in Birmingham and Newcastle and ...

  • Lord Chancellor addresses ethnic minorities shortfall

    4-Dec-1999

    The Lord Chancellor's Department is launching a research project to investigate why so few ethnic minority and women applicants become Queen's Counsel or judges.This year, of 553 applications to become silk, only 27 came from ethnic minority lawyers and 45 from women. This represents only 13 per cent of all applications.Lincoln Crawford, chair of the Bar's Race Relations Committee, welcomes the proposals and says the Lord Chancellor has already ...

  • Lord Chancellor to crack down on use of QCs

    30-Nov-1999

    Lord Irvine says he plans to introduce much tighter new criteria into the Criminal Legal Aid Regulations which must be met before an application to increase or alter the number or seniority of advocates is made to the Crown Court.In future, he says, it must be shown that the case warrants the assignment of a QC or more than one advocate.Government departments will have to fall into line with the new regulations when bringing criminal prosecutions, says Lord Irvine, ...

  • Media man oversexed, but not overruled

    4-Dec-1999

    Roger Pearson reports on a London publisher given the go-ahead to sue a drug company over radical lifestyle changes.One of the most unusual personal injury cases ever is now heading for the High Court.A north west London magazine publisher has won the go-ahead from the Court of Appeal to sue the manufacturers of the drug Bromocriptine, which, he claims, greatly enhanced his sex drive and also sent him temporarily mad.Richard ...

  • Mills joins Revenue as adjudicator

    4-Dec-1999

    Controversial former Director of Public Prosecutions, Dame Barbara Mills QC, has resurfaced as independent adjudicator to the Inland Revenue and Customs and Excise.Mills, who ran the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS), has been out of the public eye since resigning from her post in June last year on the eve of Sir Iain Glidewell's damning report on the CPS. She will take up her appointment on 26 April.At the time of her resignation, Mills was severely criticised ...

  • Morgan Cole drops legal aid practice

    29-Nov-1999

    Morgan Cole is hiving off its legal aid practice as it restructures to become more focused on corporate and commercial work.Based in Oxford, the legal aid department is setting up as an independent firm, led by the office's principal partner Kirsten Smith.A statement issued by Morgan Cole's chief executive says: "David Main confirms that as part of its restructuring ...

  • Morgan Cole's head of family resigns for Boodle Hatfield

    29-Nov-1999

    London and Oxford-based Boodle Hatfield has acquired Morgan Cole's head of family law Barbara Simpson.Her departure follows the decision in July by Morgan Cole's partners to allow the management to axe up to 15 of their number.However, Simpson says she could have stayed as a partner and her decision to move was prompted by a desire for a more private client focused ...

  • Nabarros new partners down

    4-Dec-1999

    Nabarro Nathanson has appointed half the number of internal partners compared with last year.There have only been five internal promotions to partnership in the London office, in contrast with the nine partners announced last year.In April 1998 six were appointed in the London office, two in Sheffield and one in Reading.Partner David Bramson says: "The numbers are by ...

  • National Power in-house team in demerger fall-out

    29-Nov-1999

    National Power's decision to demerge has led to a rush of departures from its in-house legal team.Previously 25-strong, there are now only 18 lawyers in the department.Head of legal Stuart Wheeler describes the departures as "natural wastage".He refuses to name those who have left but says that one has returned to private practice while others have found alternative in-house positions or accepted early retirement with voluntary redundancy packages.

  • Partner brings Uxbridge firm £40m from former clients

    4-Dec-1999

    An Uxbridge firm has brought in property deals worth £40m, because of its partner's connections with his former firm.Partner David Silva joined Iliffes Booth Bennett from Frere Cholmeley Bischoff in September 1996 in the run up to the City firms merger with Eversheds.He is also advising his former partner Christopher Digby-Bell, now a consultant at Frere Cholmeley spin-off ...

  • Partners on the move....

    4-Dec-1999

    Angela Lyne has joined Trowers & Hamlins as a salaried partner. Lyne, formerly of Dibb Lupton Alsop, will head up Trowers & Hamlins' banking litigation team.Stephenson Harwood, the international firm based in the City, has announced that two of its lawyers will become partners ...

  • PC fee has fallen by more than u5

    4-Dec-1999

    YOUR story (Law Society rejects bid to shave practising fee by u5, The Lawyer 29 March) ignores the simple fact that, for the fifth year running, the practising certificate fee has not increased. Indeed, since 1995, the PC fee has reduced by u65.Robert Sayer, vice president, The Law Society

  • Perrin's View

    29-Nov-1999

    Leslie Perrin is managing partner of Osborne Clarke. He can be contacted at leslie.perrin@osborneclarke.comWhat a lovely time we all had at Legal Monte Carlo. If The Lawyer Awards are the legal sector's Oscars, this is without a doubt its Cannes. Of course, the prevailing mood was not so much topless as legless. What with the location, the stars, the charm school ...

  • Peter Curnock writes on a bid to block wasted. Peter Curnock is a litigation partner at Marriott Harrison.

    29-Nov-1999

    The Court of Appeal, ever anxious to deter expensive satellite litigation, has imposed a procedural straitjacket on parties seeking to recover wasted costs.Unless such applications can be disposed of in "summary proceedings", they will not be entertained at all. Save in exceptional circumstances, the blameworthy conduct must be readily visible without the need for a lengthy and detailed investigation, as in the 1994 case of Ridehalgh v ...

  • Post Office reviews City law firm panel

    4-Dec-1999

    The Post Office is considering bids from City firms this week for commercial advice worth millions in fees.The Post Office, which currently instructs Clifford Chance and Slaughter and May, has put out tenders to City firms and is expected to make a decision in mid-May, says director of legal ...

  • Privatisation

    29-Nov-1999

    Linklaters & Alliance represented the South African government and state-owned company Transnet on the privatisation of South African Airways (SAA). As part of the privatisation

  • Privatisation

    29-Nov-1999

    Eversheds acted for property investment group NHP on the launch and closing of a £194m fixed-rate asset-backed bond issue. Andrew Croome

  • Property

    29-Nov-1999

    CMS Cameron McKenna advised Henderson Investors on the leasing of a retail warehouse at Enfield Retail Park for £300,000 per annum to Daewoo. The deal also involved the surrender of the existing Carpetright and JJB Sports leases, with the granting of a new lease to JJB. Mark Heighton, property partner at Camerons, acted on the deal.

  • Property

    29-Nov-1999

    Wilde Sapte represented Asticus (UK) on the £21.5m purchase of 20 Soho Square, London W1. Stan Gniadkowski, property partner at Wilde Sapte, acted on the deal. The vendor, Diageo Pension Fund, was advised by Ashurst Morris Crisp.

  • Property

    4-Dec-1999

    Anthony Judge and Kelly McIntyre of Travers Smith Braithwaite advised UK equity settlement system operator CRESTCo on the £2m per annum rental of its new premises. Martin Wright and Christopher Dixon advised the landlord, property investors British Land.

  • Prosecutors may be able to appeal acquittals

    30-Nov-1999

    Attorney General, Lord Williams QC has announced that the Government has asked the Law Commission to draw up plans to allow wider rights of appeal against adverse decisions of a judge.If accepted, the Government's plans would give English and Welsh prosecutors a right of appeal if a defendant is acquitted by a jury on the direction of a judge, leaving the defendant facing a retrial.Under the present law, the Attorney General may refer a judge's ruling ...

  • Quote of the week

    29-Nov-1999

    "Thank you, Mr Fayed. For me at any rate, it has been a memorable four-and-a-half days." -Desmond Browne QC expresses his gratitude on completion of his cross-examination of Mohamed Al Fayed. The owner of Harrods has entertained the High Court with extraordinary allegations during the libel case brought against him by Neil Hamilton, the former Tory MP, who he accuses of taking cash in return for asking parliamentary questions.

  • Quote of the week

    4-Dec-1999

    "The number of people who are beyond redemption, that no amount of training or encouragement can save, is certainly in tens - I know a few."- Director of Public Prosecutions David Calvert-Smith attempts to raise morale among staff at the Crown Prosecution Service.

  • Regulation for mediation

    4-Dec-1999

    Littleton Chambers' plan to set up a company offering mediation services is the most significant move yet to exploit new business opportunities offered by the Woolf Reforms.Other high profile sets are likely to follow suit as mediation becomes more financially rewarding. But the likely boom does have a downside. While the number of big players in the market is still relatively small, consumers may unwisely choose to use cheaper bogus operators. The sector would ...

  • Rival poaches 24 Old Buildings barrister

    29-Nov-1999

    Specialist tax set 24 Old Buildings has lost one of its most respected barristers to Pump Court Tax Chambers.The arrival of Julian Ghosh, a leading senior junior tax specialist, is a coup for GR BrettenQC's 24 Old Buildings.The set is already rated alongside Gray's Inn Tax Chambers as the premier corporate tax set. Ghosh says: "I confirm that I moved to Pump Court Tax Chambers as a pure career move, which is reinforced by the fact that I was a pupil ...

  • Rival sets reignite Pach row

    29-Nov-1999

    The row between rival chambers over the future of the pupil selection system has blown up again.The Lawyer reported on 25 October that Blackstone Chambers and 4-5 Gray's Inn Square were in dispute over an alleged unfair competitive advantage relating to the Pupillage Application Clearing House (Pach) scheme.Michael Beloff QC, joint head of chambers at 4-5 Gray's Inn, protests that sets operating outside Pach can compel students to accept early offers ...

  • Scottish firms cash in on PFI projects boom

    4-Dec-1999

    Scottish law firms such as McGrigor Donald are profiting from a Scottish private finance initiative (PFI) boom.Last week McGrigors worked on three PFI deals worth u133m. It advised Stirling Water Seafield on its u100m bid in the UK's first water and sewerage PFI to be financed by bond issue on the capital markets. It also advised Kinoull House, a joint venture between Morrison Construction and The Royal Bank of Scotland, on its u20m local authority office project - ...

  • Scuffle of week

    29-Nov-1999

    Lord Archer v Daily Star. The tabloid newspaper wants the novelist to repay the damages and costs he won following the 1987 libel action over allegations linking him to prostitute Monica Coghlan. Lord Archer's solicitor Lord Mischon (pictured) sent a letter to the newspaper, saying: "Our client denies that he is in any way liable to make any repayment to the Daily Star." The libel case reared its ugly head when it transpired Archer had asked a friend to provide a ...

  • Sema seeks in-house legal chief

    29-Nov-1999

    Global IT & business services group Sema is seeking a UK legal director to head its in-house team.The company, which has more than 17,000 employees, is reviewing which law firm to keep as its sole external adviser (The Lawyer, 15 November).But it is also addressing its internal legal department. Chief legal counsel and company secretary Nick Deeming says: "My brief is to reorganise and hone the way legal services are delivered internally and purchased externally ...

  • Service nets cybersquatters

    4-Dec-1999

    A service which allows law firms to trace owners of internet website addresses and sue them was launched this week.City firms Dibb Lupton Alsop and Ashurst Morris Crisp are among the 23 clients which have already signed up to take advantage of the new deal.The service enables solicitors to track down the owners of particular domain names on behalf of their clients who want to use ...

  • Set date for Rights Act, says Justice

    4-Dec-1999

    The director of legal human rights group Justice has called for the Government to stop "paddling around in the shallow end" and name a year 2000 date for the Human Rights Act (HRA) to start.A Home Office spokeswoman told The Lawyer the aim is to bring the Act into force sometime next year, but admits it may slip into 2001.Justice's Anne Owers concedes that a lot of preparation is required before the Act can be implemented, but says delay will only cause ...

  • Set launches mediation business

    4-Dec-1999

    Barristers at Littleton Chambers are to form a mediation services business in what is thought to be the first ever move by a set of chambers to set up its own limited liability company.Littleton Dispute Resolution Services Ltd, trading as Littleton Mediation, will be owned and operated by 12 of the chamber's 34 barristers.Michel Kallipetis QC, Daniel Serota QC and Richard Price OBE QC, will initially act as the three directors.The new company ...

  • Shipping tycoon may have to foot the bill

    29-Nov-1999

    Roger Pearson reports an Appeal Court ruling that a Greek shipping tycoon can be called to account for a £2.5m legal bill.The Appeal Court has ruled that a Greek shipping tycoon can be held personally liable for a £2.5m legal bill, even though he was not a named party in a claim against his company.Prudential Assurance has been given the go-ahead by the Court of Appeal to continue court action in a bid to recover the court costs from a Greek ...

  • Shooting the messenger

    29-Nov-1999

    The media can always count on a good libel trial to excite the public. Elizabeth Davidson reports on the memorable libel cases of the past and asks what can we expect in the future.Nothing captures the public's imagination like a libel trial. Salacious, sleazy, scurrilous. The lives of the rich and famous are prised apart, scrutinised under the microscope and then reported in far greater detail than the original story that prompted the litigation in the first place.

  • Singapore set to relax practice restrictions

    29-Nov-1999

    The Singapore government is about to give the green light to foreign lawyers to practise local law.When passed, the amendments to the Legal Profession Act currently before the Singapore parliament could open a floodgate for firms wishing to strengthen their Asia operations.Foreign firms with offices in Singapore are currently unable to practise local law.But the country's parliament is set to allow lawyers to practise local law through joint ...

  • SJ Berwin lawyers in resignation mystery

    4-Dec-1999

    Four lawyers have resigned from SJ Berwin's trademark and designs group before the group's planned move to Field Fisher Waterhouse.The Lawyer revealed on 22 March that the trademark group was moving to Field Fisher.At the time, John Olsen, the partner who heads the group, ...

  • Slap in the face for demoralised CPS staff

    4-Dec-1999

    Director of Public Prosecutions David Calvert-Smith gave a damning indictment against certain members of his staff last week, threatening to kick out those who are "beyond redemption", a number which is "certainly in tens".While he is being refreshingly honest, the CPS is still lurching from ditch to gutter. Calvert-Smith's credentials as a criminal lawyer may be impeccable, but he needs the skills of a surgeon to rescue this ...

  • Spears fly across the spires of Cambridge

    4-Dec-1999

    The rounded vowels are being twisted into growls of personal abuse and heels have been dug into the manicured lawns. Cambridge University's law faculty is divided over whether to establish a Legal Practice Course (LPC) - the final, year-long vocational training that law students must pass through before they win the right to call themselves a solicitor.That such a mundane course of action should ever be considered by such a prominent university, and that it should cause ...

  • Sport

    4-Dec-1999

    Dickinson Dees partner Simon Watts and associate solicitor Peter Clark advised Newcastle Rugby Football Club in the acquisition of a major shareholding by the trustees for Newcastle Gosforth. The team also advised the company on its refinancing by private investor David Thompson, represented by senior partner John Reid of Northshields firm Stockdale & Reid. The sporting club, a subsidiary of Newcastle ...

  • Square Mile

    4-Dec-1999

    Newcomers to the legal profession will take the need to adapt in their stride but some of us who are already senior practitioners, including members of our judiciary, will not. Experience, one of the hallmarks of a worthwhile senior lawyer, will not be enough in times when the value of familiarity with established procedures is being wiped out. This is the result of technological advances, widespread changes in client expectations, the challenge of ...

  • St Philip's poaches local QCs

    29-Nov-1999

    St Philip's Chambers has responded to criticism in the local market by enhancing its commercial team with lateral hires from Birmingham rivals.The set is acquiring two commercial barristers, Jeremy Cousins QC and senior junior Simon Clegg, from 4 Fountain Court.Cousins is one of five Birmingham barristers made QC in this year's silks list.The two represented the core of the 30-tenant set's commercial practice.Local solicitors ...

  • Summing up accountants

    4-Dec-1999

    Accountants have radically improved the services they provide to lawyers, according to the fifth annual survey by The Lawyer, in association with Baker Tilly accountants.The results of this year's survey - on how lawyers view their accountants - indicate that the majority of lawyers are happy with the services accountants provide, believing that their accountants understand their business.This year's upbeat response contrasts sharply ...

  • Swedish firm drops Cameron McKenna to join Ernst & Young

    29-Nov-1999

    The merger between CMS Tisell and Ernst & Young Sweden AB will result in a 160-lawyer practice - one of the biggest legal practices in Sweden.Thirteen partners and around 20 staff will join E&Y from 1 January 2000. Its principal offices will be in Stockholm, Gothenburg, Malmoe, Vaxjo, Karlstad and Uppsala.In line with Swedish regulations, Tisell's lawyer will cease to be members ...

  • Taking the stigma from bankruptcy

    29-Nov-1999

    The Department of Trade and Industry is considering taking a leaf out of the US statute book and cutting the penalties imposed on bankrupts. Should going bust attract its traditional stigma?The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) is seeking to reduce the stigma attached to bankruptcy by repealing laws which prevent insolvents from holding public positions for three years after they have been declared bankrupt.Under the law, insolvents are barred from holding ...

  • Thames Water takes on Debevoise for US drive

    29-Nov-1999

    Debevoise & Plimpton is riding on the wave of UK utility companies investing in the US by advising Thames Water on its acquisition of New Jersey-based E'town.The UK's largest water company has agreed to purchase US utility company E'town for £367.9m and will take on £206.7m of debt.It is the first deal that Debevoise has completed for Thames ...

  • The firm

    29-Nov-1999

    Minutes of a partner's meeting at The Firm to discuss allegations of serious misconduct against corporate partner Alison Brett.Pratchard: ...So I advised him, deflect attention from the details of the case. When questioned in court, start ranting about MI5 killing Princess Diana, call your opponent a whore, claim Prince Philip is a German and a racist.Henderson: Ridiculous. Prince Philip's Greek. Anyway, I didn't know we ...

  • The Firm

    4-Dec-1999

    Excerpt from a recent pitch by The Firm to Bill Harris, managing director of BigCorp plc.Mr Pratchard: I read in that Lawyer rag that Weightmans and Bevan Ashford are using actors to help pitch for business. It's a bloody good idea, so I've hired a few for The Firm.Mr Henderson: Yes, we could get them to help us rehearse our diction and stage ...

  • The junk bonds are coming

    29-Nov-1999

    The high yield bond market, traditionally the preserve of US lawyers, is coming to Europe.Cahill Gordon & Reindel is New York's most notoriously thrifty law firm. It may have reported profits per partner of $1.6m (£1m), say sources, but it is reluctant to change its carpets.So when news was leaked that the firm - which opened its only office outside Manhattan in Paris in 1935 - is opening in London in the new year, eyebrows were raised.Cahill's ...

  • The Lawyer Inquiry: Cameron Fyfe is a senior partner of Ross Harper Murphy, based in Glasgow.

    29-Nov-1999

    What subjects did you fail at school?Anything and everything to do with science.What was your first job?Petrol pump attendant (before self-service).What was you first ever salary as a lawyer?£900 per annum.What would you have done if you hadn't been a lawyer?Journalist.What was your most satisfying professional moment?My first "Not Guilty" (after many attempts).

  • The Lawyer Inquiry: Mary Harmey was born in London in 1971. She is a corporate finance solicitor at Norton Rose.

    4-Dec-1999

    What was your first job?Saturday checkout girl at Bejam, Haywards Heath.What subject(s) did you fail at school?None, though I was awful at physics and home economics - all that weighing and measuring I suppose.What was your first ever salary as a lawyer?u18,000 as a trainee at a West End firm.What would you have done if you hadn't been a lawyer?I ...

  • The Mersey Docks and Harbour Company

    5-Dec-1999

    The last couple of years have been relatively quiet for the legal department of the Mersey Docks and Harbour Company (MDHC).

  • The Post Office

    29-Nov-1999

  • This week

    29-Nov-1999

    The TUC and the British Safety Council will launch a report calling for an increase in penalties for health and safety offences. Lord Irvine will give a lecture at the event held on Wednesday at Congress House.

  • This week

    4-Dec-1999

    The Society of Expert Witnesses holds its annual conference at the University of Warwick on Friday 16 April.

  • Tory Haythe presiding partner quits over sexual harassment claims

    29-Nov-1999

    Haythe was senior partner of New York firm, Haythe Curley which recently merged with Canada's Tory Tory DesLauriers & Binnington to form the 300-lawyer firm, Tory Hathe.It has not been revealed exactly what Haythe did at the party on 19 November, although a firm spokesman says his actions were directed against "more than one lawyer in the firm".He adds that the behaviour was "inappropriate" and violated the firm's policy against sexual harassment.

  • Transport

    4-Dec-1999

    Mishcon de Reya partner Grant Gordon (pictured) advised vehicle managers Minorplanet Systems on revising its option arrangements with GE Capital. Total options have an estimated value of u15m. Neil Vickers of Denton Hall advised GE Capital. Grant Gordon and assistant solicitor Clare Adams also advised Minorplanet on its strategic alliance with Integrated Transport Information Services (ITIS), valued ...

  • Two firms open in Birmingham with eye on insurance market

    4-Dec-1999

    Two more law firms are opening offices in Birmingham as the city continues to develop as a leading market place for insurers and other niche areas.South Wales firm Palser Grossman opened an office last week in Birmingham in a continued effort to hold onto its insurance clients.And 36-partner Browne Jacobson, the Nottingham and London-based firm, has announced its plans to ...

  • US firms take central European M&A deal

    29-Nov-1999

    US firms Mayer Brown & Platt and Hogan & Hartson's London offices advised on eastern Europe's biggest M&A transaction.London counsel Rob Lyons led the Mayer Brown team advising Deutsche Telekom on its $2bn (£1.25bn) acquisition of central European and Russian mobile telephone assets from MediaOne International.He was assisted by corporate partner Mark Nicolaides, ...

  • Valuation gets sent back to court

    29-Nov-1999

    A judge's calculation in a negligent property valuation case has been sent back for a closer look. Roger Pearson reports.A major property valuation dispute has been sent back to the High Court.The Court of Appeal has overturned a 1998 High Court decision by Mr Justice Wright in the case of Arab Bank v John D Wood & ors.Mr Justice Wright had ruled that the Arab Bank was entitled to damages from valuers John D Wood (Commercial) Ltd, but dismissed ...

  • Weightmans heads for Leeds

    4-Dec-1999

    Liverpool-based Weightmans is to open offices in Leeds and Bristol, following its recent expansion into Manchester.The firm, which specialises in insurance work, announced its intention to become a national firm in February following the opening of the Manchester office.The office had been formed from the consolidation of insurance companies, which led to many Liverpool offices ...

  • Whitbread rejects CC for Allen & Overy

    29-Nov-1999

    Clifford Chance has been snubbed by Whitbread after the brewing and leisure group turned to Allen & Overy for advice over its bid for Swallow Group.Whitbread, which owns the Marriott hotel chain in the UK, last week revealed that it is attempting to take over Swallow for £578m.It ...

  • White & Case lures top in-house lawyer

    4-Dec-1999

    White & Case has recruited a top in-house lawyer as a partner in its London office.Mats Sacklen has joined the firm from the Zurich headquarters of ABB Group, the global engineering and technology group, where he was senior in-house counsel.He joins the London office's corporate department, where he will specialise in cross-border acquisitions and joint ventures.

  • White & Case opens Palo Alto office

    30-Nov-1999

    Black joins White & Case from Jackson Tufts Cole & Black as partner. Roy Bartlett also joins as partner from the same firm along with Ellen McGinty King who joins as counsel.Steven Betensky brings the partner count in the new office to three. He joins from White & Case's New York base.The US firm is the latest in a line of New York practices to move into the Silicon ...

  • Will Stephens Innocent's tactics 'sink or swim'?

    4-Dec-1999

    Media law firm Stephens Innocent is using this startling image of a semi-naked old man to promote its services to clients. The firm's new brochure, designed by Spencer Landor, features an array of startling images including one of an electric chair which is captioned "revenge or justice", a painting by Francis Bacon which bears the words "original or fake". There is also a fried egg with the yolk shaped like a copyright sign which says "virtual or reality". Stephens Innocent senior ...

  • Women should stick together

    4-Dec-1999

    I was disappointed to read the macho language of Virginia Glastonbury. She may be married to the firm, but for many women solicitors, their first priority is their children. Law firms and companies seem to have an inflexible policy demonstrated by Ms Glastonbury who states that women "just have to be available". I would be interested to learn how many of Denton's women solicitors stay on after they have had a family?As a new mum and part-time worker, ...

  • Wragges beats City to BA deal

    29-Nov-1999

    Wragge & Co has triumphed over four City firms to win work advising British Airways (BA) on a major outsourcing contract.It is understood that the Birmingham-based firm secured the work after undergoing a beauty parade against Slaughter and May,