29 September 1997

The Lawyer

  • £1m of client money goes missing in stamp duty scam

    30-Sep-1997

    SEVERAL FIRMS in Ireland have lost about £1m of client money to a major stamp duty counterfeiting scam.Negotiations are currently under way between the Law Society of Ireland and the 20 affected firms' professional indemnity insurers to decide who should pay the money back to clients.Two firms were particularly hard hit and it is believed some may not be covered for the full amount lost.The practices paid the money to a Dublin firm of law ...

  • A special status for human rights

    30-Sep-1997

    Rabinder Singh suggests how the European Convention on Human Rights can be successfully incorporated into UK law. Rabinder Singh is a barrister at 4-5 Gray's Inn Square. His book, The Future of Human Rights in the United Kingdom, was published by Hart Publishing on 26 September.It may seem perverse, but a century which has seen unprecedented barbarism can also be regarded as the "age of rights". Since World War Two, the age-old problem of whether there are human rights ...

  • A super SFO is a small and focused SFO

    30-Sep-1997

    The Roskill Committee recommended a unified fraud investigation and prosecution agency, but Rosalind Wright says the SFO never aspired to entirely fulfil Roskill's visions. Rosalind Wright is director of the SFO.The Serious Fraud Office was created by the Criminal Justice Act 1987 - itself the product of the recommendations of the Roskill Committee, which reported in 1986.Roskill's recommendation was for a unified fraud investigation and prosecution ...

  • A&O lawyer joins 'young Turks' in PFI taskforce

    30-Sep-1997

    Allen & Overy project finance senior assistant David Lee is the only lawyer to be appointed to the eight-strong Treasury Project Taskforce, which has been set up to drive forward PFI deals.Lee, who has advised on PFI projects to build several prisons, the Docklands Light Railway and the Channel Tunnel rail link, joins seven other young recruits from industry, merchant banks and accountancy ...

  • Accountants held accountable

    30-Sep-1997

    London's exclusive St James's Club is seeking £138,000 damages from BDO Stoy Hayward. It accuses the accountancy firm of failing to detect thefts by its former deputy manager and is seeking, inter alia, damages for alleged breach of contract and negligence, along with payment of the £122,531 which it says was stolen and a further £15,500 which it says was spent in management time dealing with the matter. The club says it paid ...

  • Advice firm folds after DTI probe

    30-Sep-1997

    Access to Justice Ltd, a benevolent company that provides legal advice to those who cannot afford a lawyer but are not eligible for legal aid, has been wound up following an investigation by the Department of Trade and Industry.The non-profit-making organisation, whose patrons include 12 Old Square silk John Roberts QC, was closed exceptionally quickly, with the High Court granting a winding up order on the same day as the DTI presented its petition.Roberts, ...

  • Alan Cooklin on the lack of escape for guarantors. Alan Cooklin is a former barrister.

    30-Sep-1997

    Granted in 1976 and subsequently assigned and re-assigned, the 20-year business lease considered in Cheverell Estates v Harris & Haddon (unreported 31 July 1997) fell outside the main provisions of the Landlord and Tenant (Covenants) Act 1995, these being inapplicable to leases granted before 1 January 1996.For the two defendants, distant memories were painfully revived when, as guarantors of the original tenant company, they were presented with ...

  • Altheimer & Gray's new office adds to interest in Romania

    30-Sep-1997

    US FIRM Altheimer & Gray has added to the international legal market's growing interest in Romania by opening a Bucharest office.US partner Obie Moore has been appointed head of the new office and is being assisted by three local lawyers.Moore, a Romanian resident for nearly five years, joined Altheimers this summer from the US government-sponsored Romanian- American Enterprise Fund, where he was managing director.Altheimers' move follows ...

  • Bar raises fears of cherry-picking as Govt extends conditional fees

    30-Sep-1997

    SHARP warnings from the Bar have greeted the Government's indication it will expand the "no win no fee" scheme to include other areas of law - and may even consider a US-style contingency fees system.Speaking at a Policy Studies Institute (PSI) conference in London last week, Geoffrey Hoon MP, parliamentary secretary at the Lord Chancellor's Department, said he saw no reason why conditional fees should not be extended to commercial law.He also suggested ...

  • Beachcroft Stanleys foresees trouble at EC hearing on new competition policy

    30-Sep-1997

    Beachcroft Stanleys is predicting a ferocious row at a European Commission hearing on 6 and 7 October which is being held in order to find a new competition policy for Europe.The commission is considering which regulations will replace the current EC competition rules which are due to expire in 1999.In views canvassed by Beachcroft Stanleys most UK-based businesses, the EC and the Department of Trade and Industry have asked for a liberalisation of EC competition ...

  • Bristol conference

    30-Sep-1997

    The Lord Chancellor's Department (LCD) is sponsoring a three-day international conference on administrative justice in Bristol. Geoff Hoon MP, the LCD's parliamentary secretary, will address the conference, which will be held in the Grand Hotel from 26 to 2November. Lord Woolf will be guest of honour. Hoon said the conference would promote ways of resolving disputes other than through the courts. Government officials, judicial officers, practitioners, academics and foreign ...

  • Cameron McKenna advises on Energis float

    30-Sep-1997

    Cameron McKenna is acting on what is expected to be the biggest flotation this year - National Grid's sell-off of a minority stake in its telecoms arm, Energis.Corporate partner Sean Watson is leading the 26-strong team advising Energis, the same team which, when part of McKenna & Co, advised National Grid on its own flotation in 1995.However steps have been taken to deal with potential conflicts of interest.Potential Energis shareholders will ...

  • Canadian firm to be pioneer in Venezuela

    30-Sep-1997

    Calgary firm Macleod Dixon has opened an office in Caracas to become the first Canadian firm to move into Latin America.The new office will be headed by Glenn Faass, who had been head of the firm's Moscow office for the past five years. He is joined by Uisdean Vass, recruited from UK firm Clyde & Co's Caracas office, and two Venezuelan lawyers.Macleod Dixon was the ...

  • Chambers slams prosecution cuts

    30-Sep-1997

    A London chambers has presented the first hard evidence of underfunding of prosecution counsel to Dame Barbara Mills QC, the Director of Public Prosecutions.The Chambers of James Hunt QC, together with five other chambers in London and the Midlands, has collected details of 80 recent cases showing that defence counsel are being paid an average of 80 per cent more again than their prosecuting counterparts.It was spurred into action after a behind-closed-doors ...

  • Cheerful troubleshooter with a sharp business mind

    30-Sep-1997

    The Government sought an expert to sort out PFI. It found him in the shape of former Linklaters partner Adrian Montague.Former Linklaters & Paines partner Adrian Montague is a classic City deal maker. Confident, good looking and able to smile with a charming wrinkle of the eyes, he also gives little away and is the sort who drives a hard bargain.He will need all his City skills ...

  • City firms test-drive archiving system

    30-Sep-1997

    SIX major City firms are test-driving a new service which electronically stores documents before sending them to a secure warehouse.The Valid Vault service has been devised by Valid Information Systems and is designed to get over the difficulties of accessing documents quickly once they have been archived.Valid Information Systems managing director Bill Cannings said that by using the system partners and fee earners would be able to access stored documents via ...

  • City partners' majority voting axed under corporation reforms

    30-Sep-1997

    PLANS to widen the medieval franchise for election to the City of London Corporation will deprive City partners of the long cherished majorities they have enjoyed in several wards.According to Michael Cassidy, former chair of the corporation's policy and resources committee, solicitors at Baker & McKenzie, Norton ...

  • Conferences on trial

    30-Sep-1997

    Solicitors are turning to conferences for ongoing training. Leo Schulz finds out how to separate the wheat from the chaff.From November next year compulsory ongoing education will be extended from newly-qualifieds to cover the entire legal profession in England and Wales, creating an enormous wave of new demand for training. The intention is to improve the quality and reliability of the legal profession. But it is questionable whether training providers are up to the challenge.

  • Dentists and the law

    30-Sep-1997

    I was most interested to read the article "Dentist's Brush with the Law" (The Lawyer, 16 September).Hempsons has had a dental law department for many years. Our experience derives from a close association with the dental and medical professions for over 100 years. The dental department at Hempsons has a number of lawyers specialising in dento-legal topics, including two - myself and Liz Brimble - who are also qualified dentists. I spent 10 years ...

  • Druces & Attlee forms Euro group

    30-Sep-1997

    CITY FIRM Druces & Attlee has created a 12-firm international alliance and named it Druces International.Under the new alliance, the 18-partner firm will be joined by 11 similar or slightly smaller-sized practices from Albania, Belgium, France, Germany, Hungary, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Spain and Switzerland. The group is also looking for firms in Denmark and Italy.All firms in the group will operate under the Druces International name. Michael Pearson, ...

  • E&Y unveils MDPs plan to Dutch Bar

    30-Sep-1997

    Ernst & Young is set to provide a "blueprint" to the Dutch Bar which it is hoped will provide a framework for an acceptable relationship between accounting firms and law firms in the Netherlands.Price Waterhouse and Arthur Andersen have been involved in legal wrangles with the Dutch Bar over its resistance to the setting up of multidisciplinary practices (MDPs).Ernst & Young's blueprint will be based on an agreement with the Den Bosch Bar in the south of ...

  • Early binding contracts

    30-Sep-1997

    Leslie Dubow and the SPG are wrong if they think that an early binding contract would not operate to the advantage of English consumers. The differences he cites between the Scottish and the English markets are of highly dubious relevance or accuracy.Scots are just as anxious to coincide their sales and purchases. I am amused at the suggestion that we are more willing than the English to move in with relatives or to rent to allow a sale to proceed.To suggest ...

  • Edinburgh chosen to pilot public defender scheme

    30-Sep-1997

    EDINBURGH has been confirmed as the site of Scotland's public defender scheme, Scottish Office minister Henry McLeish has announced.Date of birth will be the criterion used to decide whether defendants use the public defender scheme or existing legal aid provision, according to current proposals from the Scottish Legal Aid Board (SLAB) to be published in November.This would mean every accused person born in October, for example, being directed to the public ...

  • First chief for Morgan Bruce

    30-Sep-1997

    London and south Wales firm Morgan Bruce has appointed a chief executive for the first time.David Main joins from medical software company Clinical Computing, where he was managing director.Main will join the management board of Morgan Bruce but as a non-solicitor he will be a salaried employee of the partnership. Managing partner Guy Clarke and chairman John Bowen will both remain in their positions.Morgan Bruce's move means it will have a similar ...

  • Flotations

    30-Sep-1997

    Herbert Smith's London and Hong Kong offices advised Zhejiang Southeast Electric Power Company on the largest ever B share listing on the Shanghai Stock Exchange and the first listing of a mainland Chinese company global depository receipts on the London Stock Exchange with an expected market capitalisation of $200m. Arthur Andersen's tied UK and Hong Kong law firms Garretts and Ede Charlton & Co advised BZW and Zhejiang Securities

  • Flotations

    30-Sep-1997

    Woking solicitors Robbins Olivey acted for Surrey-based IS Solutions on its £6.4m share placing and listing on AIM. Martineau Johnson acted for the nominated adviser

  • Flotations

    30-Sep-1997

    Baker & McKenzie advised bus maker North American Bus Industries on its $31m flotation on the Budapest Stock Exchange. Clifford Chance acted for the underwriter Credit Suisse First Boston. Duane Morris & Hedesher represented NABI in the US.

  • Freshfields sets up fund for train crash victim

    30-Sep-1997

    Freshfields has set up a memorial fund in memory of young solicitor Peter Kavanagh, who was killed in the Southall train crash two weeks ago.Kavanagh, 29, was returning from visiting a client in Wales when the high-speed train he was travelling in collided with a freight train as it approached Paddington station. He was one of seven passengers killed.Freshfields has now established the Peter Kavanagh Memorial Fund with all money raised going to St Luke's ...

  • Geldof in legal limelight again

    30-Sep-1997

    Bob Geldof is facing new High Court action over the house in which he lives. Action is now pending in which Citipak is seeking an order that a caution registered against freehold property it owns in Smith Terrace, London SW3, should be cancelled and that it should be removed from the Land Registry. It also wants an injunction restraining Geldof from registering any further caution at the Land Registry over the same matter. The claim against Geldof is being handled by

  • Graham Morris praised as a barrister with first-class mind

    30-Sep-1997

    Chris Fogarty reportsLiverpool barrister Graham Morris, who died earlier this month aged 44, has been praised as a talented lawyer with a first-class legal mind.Morris, who was with common law set Martin's Building, had been seriously ill with bone cancer."We will remember him as a devoted family man, valued friend and a lawyer of exceptional ability," said Judge David Lynch, who had belonged to Morris' ...

  • Herbert Smith links up to Internet service

    30-Sep-1997

    HERBERT Smith has become one of the first City firms to install the Cable & Wireless CommunicationsInternet provider, enabling it to distribute legal documents via the Net.Herbert Smith is a member of LegalNet, a telecommunications group serviced by Cable & Wireless Communications which is composed of 13 City firms, including Allen & Overy, Simmons & ...

  • Heroes of war fall victim to trauma

    30-Sep-1997

    A war veteran, jailed over an incident brought on by trauma, is seeking judicial review of his treatment. Roger Pearson reports.The Courts martial treatment of service personnel who commit offences while suffering from medical symptoms brought on as a result of active service is to be scrutinised in a High Court test case to be heard later this year.The man at the centre of the action is former Scots Guards lance-sergeant Alex Findlay, a Falklands ...

  • Hope for Fulf War claimants

    30-Sep-1997

    Roger Pearson looks at how £1.9m damages awarded to a Hong Kong musician could help sufferers of Gulf War syndrome.A damages award of £1.9m paid to a Hong Kong musician looks set to play a major role in the pending litigation by those who claim they are suffering from Gulf War Syndrome as a result of exposure to organo phosphates.The Hong Kong action, argued by Daniel Brennan QC of 39 Essex Street chambers, centred on Kristan Phillips who ...

  • Immigration office accused of 'hidden agenda' on applications

    30-Sep-1997

    "KAFKAESQUE" bureaucracy at the immigration department's public enquiry office (PEO) has led to accusations by leading lawyers in the field of a "hidden agenda" at the Home Office to downsize the office."Ridiculous" scenes of trainee solicitors and clerks queueing from 1am in the morning to ensure delivery of documentation for foreign businesspeople's residence and work permit applications have become a daily sight outside the Immigration Directorate's PEO ...

  • In brief: DJ Freeman media expert moves to RPC

    30-Sep-1997

    DJ Freeman's head of commercial litigation Liz Hartley is leaving to join Reynolds Porter Chamberlain on 1 November. Hartley specialises in media and IT disputes. One of her major clients for the past 15 years, Associated Newspapers, publisher of the Daily Mail, is already advised by Reynolds Porter on commercial matters. Hartley said: "RPC is becoming an increasingly important ...

  • In brief: Ex-merchant banker moves to Pinsents

    30-Sep-1997

    Pinsent Curtis has appointed former merchant banker Michael Frank to its newly-created post of director of corporate client development, to help develop the business advice it provides to clients. Frank, who worked in the financial services sector for more than 30 years, was previously with NatWest Markets' corporate finance office in Leeds, and left there in April before joining Pinsent Curtis on 1 September.

  • In brief: Four line up for Bar vice-chairmanship

    30-Sep-1997

    Four candidates have put their names forward to stand for the vice-chairmanship of the Bar Council. As predicted by The Lawyer two weeks ago, Nigel Pascoe QC, Daniel Brennan QC, Julian Malins QC and Johnathan Hirst QC are all standing. Douglas Day QC, the fifth contender predicted by The Lawyer, said he had contemplated standing but decided against it. Ballots have already been sent out and the winner will be announced on 16 October.

  • In brief: Herbert Smith advises PW on Coopers link

    30-Sep-1997

    Herbert Smith is advising Price Waterhouse on its merger with Coopers & Lybrand. Partners Elizabeth McKnight and Brussels-based Craig Pouncey are advising PW and Coopers & Lybrand on getting the merger past the EU's competition directorate and the UK's Office of Fair Trading, while corporate partners Stephen Barnard and Geoffrey Maddock are advising PW on the contractual issues in Europe and Africa. PW has instructed New York firm Cravath Swaine & Moore and Washington firm ...

  • In brief: Rate hikes for conditional fee insurance

    30-Sep-1997

    Insurance premiums for the Law Society's Accident Line Protect (ALP) conditional fee insurance scheme are to rise from 1 October. ALP is to split its insurance scheme for personal injury work into a two-tier system, charging £95.68 for road traffic accident cases and £161.20 for all other PI cases. Previously, all premiums for PI work were £85. An ALP spokeswoman said the changes were intended to make the system fairer since road traffic accident cases were the ...

  • In brief: Solicitor advocates win commercial case

    30-Sep-1997

    Solicitor advocates have broken new ground in appearing as the first silk and junior team in a Commercial Court case. Lawrence Collins QC, who heads Herbert Smith's litigation and arbitration department, and partner Terry Mehigan won the complex insurance jurisdiction case for their Singapore client, the People's Insurance Company. Mehigan said solicitor advocates had not had a high profile in the Commercial Court in recent years but he thought that successes like this would ...

  • In brief: Stockport practice pulls out of Manchester

    30-Sep-1997

    Stockport firm Smith Fort & Symonds has closed its central Manchester office, six years after it opened. Commercial property partner Ian Fletcher said there were "myriad" reasons why it had decided to close the office, one major reason being that the majority of its clients were in the south of the city. Fletcher, who will move back to the Stockport office, said the property market in Manchester was still buoyant and the city's legal marketplace healthy.

  • In brief: Women of the Year lunch for top solicitors

    30-Sep-1997

    Janet Gaymer, head of employment law at city firm Simmons & Simmons, and Patricia Dilley, leader of a residential conveyancing team at Midlands firm Freeth Cartwright Hunt Dickins, have been invited to next week's prestigious Women of the Year lunch at London's Savoy hotel. Gaymer recently won The Times 1997 Woman of Achievement in the Law award.

  • Judges shun calls to increase sentences in race-hate cases

    30-Sep-1997

    JUDGES appear to be ignoring calls by Crown Prosecution Service prosecutors to give people convicted of offences motivated by racial hatred heftier sentences, according to a CPS report.The tendency, which flies in the face of Court of Appeal calls for judges to be tougher on racist offenders, is revealed by the CPS's new racial incident monitoring scheme, which published its first report last week.The report identified 937 occasions between April 1996 and ...

  • Learning from cradle to grave

    30-Sep-1997

    Martin Richardson looks at a shake-up of training which should lead to continual professional development for solicitors. Martin Richardson is professional development consultant at Berwin Leighton and vice-chair of the Legal Education and Training Group.Lawyers do not like change, but there is plenty of it on the training front at the moment. The colleges and universities which provide the Legal Practice Course (LPC) are in the throes of introducing the revised syllabuses ...

  • Litigation Disciplinary Tribunals 30/9/97

    30-Sep-1997

    Kanthia Kangesu Pathmanathan, 56, admitted 1987, practising at material time at Nathan (KP) & Co, Southall, Middlesex, fined £4,000 and ordered to pay £7,372 costs. Allegations substantiated he failed to keep properly written accounts, wrongly drew client money and used it for his own purposes, recklessly made a representation which he knew, or should have known, would be misleading, and recklessly made a representation

  • Litigation Personal Injury 30/9/97

    30-Sep-1997

    Decisions are taken from Lawtel's legal database. LTL: Lawtel report; TLR: Times Law Reports; ILR: Independent Law ReportHarrison v Thanet District Council - QBD 22 September 1997Claimant: Edward HarrisonIncident: Sea-front accidentInjuries: Claimant, a carpenter, dived 7ft into sea from edge of promenade. However, he hit a concrete shelf which was just 2ft beneath the surface, breaking his neck. He will now need ...

  • Litigation Recent Decisions 30/9/97

    30-Sep-1997

    Complaint of unfair dismissal ruled out of timeSothinathan v British Telecommunications (1997)Court: EAT (HH Judge J Hull QC, KM Hack JP and MT Prosser) 21/7/9Appearances: The appellant appeared in person.Summary: Appeal against finding that appellant's complaint of unfair dismissal was out of time.Appeal by female clerical officer against dismissal of her unfair dismissal claim by the London (North) Industrial Tribunal on 7 ...

  • Litigation Writs 30/9/97

    30-Sep-1997

    A prison officer who claims he was unable to work after being assaulted by three other prison officers at HMP Pentonville's staff Christmas party in 1994 is suing the Home Office for compensation. According to the writ, prison officer David Gardyne head-butted Michael Nsonwu as he was about to leave the party. The writ claims that as Gardyne was assaulting him, prison officers Peter Thompson and James Urban joined in to assist Gardyne by pinning Nsonwu against a wall.

  • Managers go back to school

    30-Sep-1997

    Imagine sole practitioners sitting down with the managing partners of huge city firms, each learning something from the other. This is the future of legal education, if the students who have just finished the UK's first ever MBA course for lawyers are to be believed.Nottingham Law School, from where the 33 MBA students graduated this year, started the trend. Lawyers spend up to three years participating part-time in a mixture of role playing, ...

  • Martineau Johnson takes banking role

    30-Sep-1997

    Birmingham firm Martineau Johnson has become the first practice to take the role of a merchant bank in sponsoring the stock market launch of a venture capital trust (VCT).Stock market listings usually need to be underwritten and this requires stockbrokers or merchant banks which guarantee to buy unsold shares at a minimum price.But VCTs, which invest in unlisted or AIM-quoted companies using private investors money, cannot be underwritten, allowing Martineau ...

  • Mishcons may charge for work on 'Diana' fund

    30-Sep-1997

    Mishcon de Reya may have to start charging for its work on the Diana, Princess of Wales Memorial Fund, which has up to now been carried out on a pro bono basis.It is understood that because of the enormous amount of work potentially involved, the firm is likely to charge for its professional services once a full complement of trustees is established.The first two trustees, ...

  • More dentists and the law

    30-Sep-1997

    We read with interest your article "Dentist's brush..." For the record, Alexander Harris& Co were pipped at the post by Bolt Burdon because our own dentist-turned-barrister, David Corless-Smith, has been litigating dental negligence cases since March 1997. He brings to bear eight years experience of dentistry as well as advocacy skills. Bolt Burdon takes very seriously the Legal Aid Board's concern about the costs of litigating claims of ...

  • Over here and making a mark

    30-Sep-1997

    The London property market is having to make room for US firms which are moving in and spreading out, says Mark Lethbridge. Mark Lethbridge is divisional director of international property consultancy Richard Ellis.Over the past two years there has been a significant expansion in the number and size of US firms practising in London. Most of this expansion has come from firms already in London, but a number of practices which had no presence here before have acquired units ...

  • Royal firms named in Palumbo writ

    30-Sep-1997

    A writ has been issued against Mishcon de Reya, solicitors to the late Diana, Princess of Wales, by the family trust of property tycoon Lord Palumbo, the man who introduced the princess to the firm.Rugarth Investment Trust (RIT) accuses its former legal advisers Mishcons and accountancy firm Binder Hamlyn of negligence, breach of contract and breach of fiduciary duty.Palumbo's ...

  • Russian ministry considers a clampdown on foreign lawyers

    30-Sep-1997

    THE RUSSIAN Ministry of Justice is considering plans to introduce much stricter rules for foreign lawyers working in the country.Recommendations which are understood to have found favour with the Ministry of Justice include a requirement to force foreign lawyers who want to work on domestic law to pass a Russian-language legal exam.Currently, foreign lawyers can practise international law in Russia if they have three year's experience at a firm and have ...

  • Separate roles are inefficient

    30-Sep-1997

    I refer to Mrs Nichols' letter in The Lawyer, 23 September. Her assertion that there are serious practical and management difficulties inherent in the joint appointment of a justices chief executive/justices clerk, is not shared by those I represent and of whom the majority hold joint appointments.It is our experience, rather than Mrs Nichols' opinion, which leads us to believe that joint appointments smooth the passage of both management and ...

  • Set calls in consultants to recruit head

    30-Sep-1997

    Common law set 2 Mitre Court Buildings has taken the unique step of employing a recruitment consultancy to find a silk to head its chambers.In a move labelled as "unprecedented" by legal recruitment firms, 2 Mitre Court is looking for a replacement for barrister Michael Pearson, who is retiring as head of chambers but will stay with the set.The set has hired recruitment consultancy Chambers Professional Recruitment to place the advertisement anonymously in the ...

  • Sidleys hires third

    30-Sep-1997

    US firm Sidley & Austin has appointed a third lawyer to its London corporate finance practice. Nicola Green joins as senior associate from Cameron McKenna. Sidley & Austin London managing partner John Edwards said: "She will be a valuable asset in a rapidly expanding team."

  • Simmons & Simmons goes down route of performance-related pay for partners

    30-Sep-1997

    Simmons & Simmons has become the first top 10 City firm to introduce an element of performance-related pay for its partners.In a move that will be closely watched by the other top 10 firms, Simmons & Simmons partners have decided to pool 20 per cent of their profits to be re-distributed according to performance.Alan Morris, chief executive, said the scheme would be phased in over three years, starting this financial year with a 10 per cent pool, increasing to ...

  • Simmons in Lisbon

    30-Sep-1997

    In the first transaction of its kind, Simmons & Simmons' joint venture Lisbon office, Grupo Legal Portugues, advised Deutsche Morgan Grenfell on the Portuguese aspects of the structuring and implementation of an auto loan receivables securitisation for Tecnicredito - Financiamento de Aquisicoes a Credito SA, a Portuguese financing entity specialising in auto loans. Grupo Legal Portugues, created at the beginning of 1992, is a joint venture between Simmons & Simmons, J&A Garrigues ...

  • Smith Bernal puts transcripts online

    30-Sep-1997

    Elizabeth Davidson reportsALL Court of Appeal and Crown Office list case transcripts are to be provided on the Internet free of charge from early next year.Court transcript supplier Smith Bernal International, which has a contract with the Lord Chancellor's Department to supply transcripts of court proceedings, is discussing the project with web designers and hopes to launch the service at the start of 1998.Smith Bernal business development ...

  • Students slam new CPE

    30-Sep-1997

    STUDENTS at three leading law colleges have attacked the newly revised Common Professional Exam, claiming it has become too difficult to pass.Students at the University of Westminster, City University and the College of Law have sent The Lawyer a dossier of complaints about the new course. They have asked not to be named for fear of jeopardising their future, but said they wanted to make the profession aware of the problems.Complaints centre around the CPE, a ...

  • Swedes bar MDP

    30-Sep-1997

    The Swedish Bar, which is firmly opposed to multidisciplinary practices, has acted swiftly in response to the defection of seven lawyers from the Gothenberg office of leading Swedish practice Lagerlof & Leman to set up their own KPMG-affiliated firm. The Bar ordered KPMG Wahlin to drop the KPMG from its name and has refused to enter it in the 1998 Swedish Bar directory. The firm has agreed to drop the offending letters from its name.

  • The Lawyer Inquiry: Matthew Hall

    30-Sep-1997

    Matthew Hall was born in London on 1 May 1967. He is a barrister and wrote the new Channel 5 series, Wing and a Prayer.What was your first job?Gardening for pocket money (where I learned the work ethic).What was your first ever salary as a lawyer?£1,500 for a six months pupillage.What would you have done if you hadn't become a lawyer?Sown a lot of wild oats, then ...

  • The more options for access, the better

    30-Sep-1997

    Write to: The Editor, The Lawyer, 50 Poland Street, London W1V 4AX, Fax 0171 734 0534 Access to the legal system is barred to the vast majority of the population. Only the very poor or the very rich have the means to litigate. So it is heartening for the unrepresented masses to see that alternative methods of funding litigation are beginning to develop.The recent report by the Policy Studies Institute shows that conditional fees have, ...

  • the race for space

    30-Sep-1997

    Tracking down suitable and affordable new premises is becoming increasingly difficult for all firms, reports Leo Schulz. Leo Schulz is a freelance journalist.The rapid expansion of legal services over the past two-to-three years has created a serious push for space. As demand has risen and prices have increased, push has quickly come to shove. Over the past year, almost every month has seen a large firm making a major move.In the City,

  • Trophy for 1 Crown Office Row

    30-Sep-1997

    In what is likely to be the only event any football team wearing a Welsh strip will win this year, 1 Crown Office Row took the inaugural Bar 5-a-side Charity Football Tournament last week.The professional negligence set beat 10 King's Bench Walk 2-1 in what could only be described as a robust encounter.1 Crown Office Row captain Richard Booth explained that, when he was sent out to buy his team's colours, the cheapest he could find were ...

  • Two move as poaching trend at the Bar hots up

    30-Sep-1997

    TWO of London's leading commercial sets - Brick Court Chambers and One Hare Court - have poached leading tenants from each other as the latest round of the recruitment war gathers pace at the Bar.The traffic of tenants between the two highly respected sets has seen Julian Malins QC move from Brick Court Chambers to One Hare Court, which is headed by Sir Patrick Neil QC and Richard Southwell QC, swiftly followed by One Hare Court high-flyer Dominic Chambers' ...