3 July 1995

The Lawyer

  • A case for training

    3-Jul-1995

    Barristers practising in the field of family Law may be forgiven for thinking they have become insufficiently appreciated over the last year, wondering if the family Bar might go the way of the defended divorce.For over two decades, the family Bar has flourished. The scarcely justifiable clockwork routine work of undefendeds at £12.50 for five unopposed minutes became the lawyerless rubber stamp of the special procedure decree. In its place new and real work ...

  • Albanian lawyers make tour of duty

    3-Jul-1995

    SIX Albanian lawyers are visiting a selection of legal institutions as part of a fact-finding visit to the UK starting this week.The officials, visiting the country for three weeks, aim to get a full picture of the British process of justice.Hosted by the Lord Chancellor's Department, the visit includes trips to the Old Bailey, the Royal Courts of Justice and the Crown Prosecution Service.The LCD hosted a similar trip for Albanian lawyers, including ...

  • All you ever wanted to know about Armenia

    3-Jul-1995

    AN INVESTORS' guide has been produced for UK lawyers and business people looking to move into Armenia.Solicitor Carl Ulbricht has spent the last year in the former Soviet Union working on the project financed by the Foreign Office's Know How Fund.Ulbricht, formerly with City firm Sinclair Roche & Temperley, has also produced an Armenian/English dictionary of legal terms and has been teaching English commercial law at the state university in Yerevan.

  • Appeal Court side-stepped case, claims Woods' lawyer

    3-Jul-1995

    THE SIXTEEN-year saga of Peggy Wood's fight for justice has finally ended amid claims that the Court of Appeal "side-stepped the issue".Wood hoped to establish that the Law Society owed a duty of care when investigating complaints against solicitors.But the Court of Appeal last week threw out the case on the grounds that the society's negligence in mishandling her complaint did not lead to her losses. Duty of care did not, therefore, need to be discussed.

  • Australian banking partner takes charge at firm's UK base

    3-Jul-1995

    TOP ten Australian firm Blake Dawson Waldron has appointed a new head for its London office.Justin Shmith, a partner working in the banking and derivatives sector at the firm's Melbourne office, has taken over from David Williamson.Williamson, who was in the London post for 18 months, is moving to the corporate group based at the company's head office in Sydney.Shmith, who last worked in the City about 10 years ago, will work with senior ...

  • Bar gets own personal injury voice

    3-Jul-1995

    URGENT action to lobby the Lord Chancellor's Department on conditional fee arrangements will be the first task of a new association for personal injury barristers launched this week.The Personal Injury Bar Association holds its inaugural meeting on 7 March, and organiser Matthias Kelly expects barristers country-wide to converge on the Gray's Inn arbitration room for the event.Kelly, a personal injury specialist based at John Melville-Williams' ...

  • Bar to 'get tough' on court costs

    3-Jul-1995

    THE BAR Council is calling for extra judges and more open courts to speed up case processing, in contrast to Government policy of rationalising the numbers of courts.The Bar's view is part of a wide raft of proposals for getting "tough on court costs" to be put in a submission to Lord Woolf.Other proposals include extending the small claims jurisdiction in the County Court, strong judicial control over High Court cases and case management conferences to ...

  • Bermans' City office buys out of firm

    3-Jul-1995

    LIVERPOOL firm Bermans has acknowledged the failure of its London venture with the sale of its City office to the team it hired to set it up four years ago.Bermans senior partner Alan Middleton says the firm may not have recouped all its investment with the sale to the London management team headed by David Orchard.But the office had not developed in the way Bermans envisaged and it was right to agree to a management buy-out in the face of pressure from London ...

  • Bidding for electric power

    3-Jul-1995

    Ground-breaking work by Linklaters & Paines on the Trafalgar House bid for Northern Electric is likely to have laid down the technical legal path regarding further bids for regional electricity companies (RECs).The bid has gone to the Northern shareholders, who will decide on 10 March whether to accept the improved offer of u11 cash or equivalent cash and paper.However, the most ...

  • Biddles splits top posts as Johnson bows out

    3-Jul-1995

    BIDDLE & CO senior and managing partner Hugh Johnson has announced plans to hand over the firm's leadership to younger blood with a brief to revamp the IT system.Johnson will relinquish his managing partner position, held since 1982, in June this year and his senior partner post in June 1996, when he will retire.He has held both top positions since the retirement of Robert Fawssett as senior partner in 1992, but says that it is far better for the two posts ...

  • Butterworths puts 'Tax Service' on CD-ROM

    3-Jul-1995

    Legal publishers Butterworths has launched the latest version of Simon's 'Direct Tax Service' in both CD-ROM format and in book form.The electronic version is part of the publisher's 'books on screen' series, and replicates the format of the printed volumes.One disk contains the 11 volumes in the set covering income tax, corporation tax, capital gains tax and inheritance tax, as well as other volumes in Butterworths' ...

  • Commission urges mental health review

    3-Jul-1995

    THE LAW Commission has called for urgent reform of mental incapacity law following its exhaustive five-year study.A nine-point plan has been put forward to plug the "glaring gaps" in the current law on substitute decision-making.And it has come up with a string of other recommendations to protect vulnerable people from harm. Commissioners claim that the current law is "outdated and ineffective".Chair Mr Justice Brooke says the report "ushers in a ...

  • Compas clearing scheme takes off

    3-Jul-1995

    COMPAS, the university-style clearing house scheme for pupillages, is creating a buzz around the Inns of Court, according to one of its chief promoters.So far, 12 common law sets have signed up to the Compas system, which aims to bring order to the current free-for-all annual pupil selection round.Christopher Purchas QC, of Raymond Kidwell QC's set at 2 Crown Office Row, says Compas has generated a great deal of interest ...

  • Competing on equal footing

    3-Jul-1995

    I read with interest the letter from David McIntosh in your issue of 25 February.There is a world of difference between accepting certain basic principles on the one hand and, on the other, apparently deliberately making attempts, in a public forum, to lay stress on practices, whether they are common or not, which are more likely to fix themselves in the minds of the public than are the many good practices which firms of solicitors employ.

  • Corporate

    3-Jul-1995

    Sturge Holdings, advised by Norton Rose, has introduced holding company Ockham Holdings, to be effected by means of a scheme of arrangement under s.425 of the Companies Act.

  • Corporate

    3-Jul-1995

    Financial adviser Samuel Montagu was advised by Herbert Smith.

  • Councils use civil courts to wage war against estate crime

    3-Jul-1995

    LOCAL authorities are increasingly looking to the civil courts to combat crime on their estates.Two councils have recently broken new legal ground by extending the scope of civil injunctions in order to keep trouble-makers at bay.Hackney has secured a county court injunction preventing an individual entering properties on an estate even though he does not face a specific criminal charge.And lawyers at Coventry have won a court order banning two individuals ...

  • Deacon petition gets thrown out

    3-Jul-1995

    A BANKRUPTCY petition against Merseyside solicitor David Deacon has been has been rejected by the court.And now the founder of Liverpool firm Deacon Goldrein Green (DGG) has issued a writ against creditor NWS Trust for malicious presentation of the petition.Deacon, who left in 1992 when the partnership was dissolved, had argued that he was not responsible for the debts run up after his departure.DGG crashed owing millions of pounds last autumn and ...

  • Departments go Dutch over work

    3-Jul-1995

    SOUTH Holland Council's legal section merges with its finance department at the end of the month as the authority divides up into business units.The Lincolnshire council is undertaking a wholesale re-organisation in the run up to the tendering of white collar services, although legal work will not be contracted out.Conveyancing and litigation was put out to the private sector when the authority was set up in 1974. Spalding-based firms, Calthrops ...

  • Dibbs faces union complaint

    3-Jul-1995

    DIBB Lupton Broomhead faces possible legal action or a complaint to the Solicitors Complaints Bureau (SCB) from a client.The complaint centres on the Leeds-based firm's decision to terminate a lawyer's involvement in a case weeks before a major High Court trial involving millions of pounds.The action is against a company, Milton Medes, over its handling of the pension funds of two businesses it acquired from Imperial Group. The client, the Graphical, ...

  • DJ Freeman hunts out multimedia whiz-kids for specialist department

    3-Jul-1995

    D J Freeman is on the look out for two senior media lawyers in a bid to boost its media operations.The City firm has created a new multimedia division, claiming the demand for media and telecommunications specialists is booming.The division will be headed by Tony Leifer, who previously led the firm's company commercial department.He says that the demand for specialists in all fields of media law has prompted the company to concentrate the majority ...

  • Eversheds' IP expert flies solo in Stockport

    3-Jul-1995

    THE EX-CHAIR of the Eversheds National Intellectual Property Group, Philip Woods, has set up as a sole practitioner specialising in intellectual property.Woods, who left Eversheds Alexander Tatham at the end of last year, cannot practise in Manchester for a year because of a restrictive covenant.As a result, he has set up in Stockport. He is also restricted from doing work for ...

  • Financings

    3-Jul-1995

    The Bangkok Bank of Commerce

  • Financings

    3-Jul-1995

    * Hypobank was advised by Herbert Smith in the issue of Aus$75m 9.75 per cent Euro Medium Term Notes due 1997

  • Finding common ground

    3-Jul-1995

    The Trainee Solicitors' Group annual conference has been flooded with bookings for its weekend event in York starting on Friday. The organisers expect at least 200 lawyers will attend the weekend of seminars and social activities. The full delegate package including accommodation at The Royal York Hotel is now completely booked but a day pass is available at u60 for trainees and u75 for newly qualifieds. For details ring Cathy Hill at the Law Society on 0171-242 1222.

  • Firms come to blows over jail threat

    3-Jul-1995

    A LAW firm is seething over an application to have one of its legal staff locked up in jail for contempt of court.The motion to commit Paul Callan, of Barry Phillips & Co, along with the defendant he is representing in a High Court action, was launched by Clintons.Clintons alleged Callan and client Michael Dougan had committed contempt by passing documents to liquidators contrary to a High Court Master's order stipulating they should be "retained and preserved".

  • Fladgates partner heads for Wiltshire

    3-Jul-1995

    FLADGATE Fielder's head of private client work Peter FitzGerald has switched to Wiltshire firm Wilsons.A second partner, also called Peter FitzGerald and his younger cousin, has left Fladgates to join the Salisbury-based practice which is building up its agricultural estates team."I do not believe any private client, however wealthy, is happy with London charging rates. There ...

  • Football Competition

    3-Jul-1995

    The Lawyer is pleased to announce the 1995 Legal National Five-a-Side football tournament in conjunction with Arsenal Football Club.The competition is open to all members of the legal profession and those associated with it. So law firms, barristers' chambers, in-house legal departments and courthouse staff are invited to field teams.The event will kick off in the well-equipped sports centre run by Arsenal FC at its famous Highbury ground in North ...

  • Hand goes solo in pensions venture

    3-Jul-1995

    Dibb Lupton Broomhead's head of pension law Sean Hand has left the firm's City office in order to launch his own niche firm, Hand & Co.Hand's aim is to provide a service to law firms which have no pensions law expertise to allow them to provide pensions advice to commercial clients.He proposes a networking arrangement, thereby allowing those firms "to protect their client base against competition from major law firms which are able to offer the ...

  • Harper calls for Japanese reforms

    3-Jul-1995

    THE JAPANESE criminal justice system needs a complete overhaul, according to the leader of the international barristers' group.Professor Ross Harper, president of the International Bar Association (IBA), is putting pressure on Japan to reform custody procedures which he says contravene the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights.The professor has recently returned from a mission to Japan to follow up last year's report on the country's ...

  • In brief: Firms pull off largest UK pre-let deal

    3-Jul-1995

    Three law firms have completed what is believed to be the largest UK single office letting before construction. The pre-let transaction involved the acquisition and financing of Milton and Shire Houses in the City's Silk Street, and the pre-let of the majority of the forthcoming development to Linklaters & Paines for its new international headquarters.

  • In brief: Harbottles issues libel writ for Zeffirelli

    3-Jul-1995

    London-based Harbottle & Lewis has issued a writ for libel on behalf of its client, Italian film director Franco Zeffirelli. The writ, issued to the editor and publishers of Screen International, alleges the magazine's latest edition published a story suggesting Zeffirelli is a fascist member of the Italian parliament. Harbottles senior partner Michael Bowler says the allegation is "totally ...

  • In brief: Health and safety advice on offer

    3-Jul-1995

    Leading West Country businesses have signed up to a scheme offering health and safety advice set up by Bristol firm Osborne Clarke. So far 35 companies and institutions have joined the club established by Richard Bretton, head of Osborne Clarke's health and safety unit. The services offered by the club feature free advice bulletins, workshops and access to the firm's library. Club members ...

  • In brief: Knightsbridge Crown Court to be sold

    3-Jul-1995

    The Lord Chancellor is to sell the old Knightsbridge Crown Court complex located at 1 Hans Crescent. The court has been sitting in Southwark since the closure of the Knightsbridge building last year.

  • In brief: LAPG conference tackles Green Paper

    3-Jul-1995

    The annual Legal Aid Practitioners Group conference will debate the issues raised by the Lord Chancellor's Green Paper which is expected to be published shortly before the event. The conference is being staged in Cardiff, from 28-29 April and will feature sessions led by the Legal Aid Board's Steve Orchard and the Law Society's legal practice director Andrew Lockley. Information from administrator Hazel Davis 0223 327347.

  • In brief: LCD seeks views on privity of contract

    3-Jul-1995

    A consultation document on privity of contract has been published by the Lord Chancellor's Department (LCD). The paper seeks views on whether additional changes should be made when Law Commission reforms on landlord tenant law are introduced. Copies of the paper are available from the LCD, 4th Floor, Southside, 105 Victoria St, London, SW1E 6QT.

  • In brief: Penningtons boosts Basingstoke office

    3-Jul-1995

    Penningtons partner Franco Bosi has switched from the firm's City office to Basingstoke as part of a strategy to strengthen the

  • In brief: White & Bowker appoints top trio

    3-Jul-1995

    Hampshire firm White & Bowker has made three new appointments as part of strategic changes to itsmanagement structure. Managing partner Alastair Rhodes says the arrival of directors of personnel, marketing and information technology will let the lawyers "concentrate on what they are good at, namely giving legal advice, rather than trying to manage the practice". Anne Smith (left) is head of personnel, Martin Davies (centre) is responsible for marketing and Ray Teesdale (right) is in ...

  • Ince takes Elite path

    3-Jul-1995

    * City firm Ince & Co has ordered Elite's legal billing, nominal and purchase ledger, conflict of interest and marketing systems. They will run on a central Hewlett Packard Unix server integrated with the firm's front office PC LAN. Andrew Jennings, Ince's director of finance and IT says: "The only way our requirement for a more detailed analysis of the firm's ...

  • Law Society

    3-Jul-1995

    THE LAW Society has welcomed the end of the legal battle which it claims has been conducted "against a background of constant adverse and at times unpleasant publicity".Head of communications Walter Merricks says the coverage of the case, spanning three decades, has portrayed Peggy Wood as the poor pensioner taking on authority.But Merricks points out that when the saga began, Wood was not a poor pensioner but a property speculator."She was gambling ...

  • Law Society debates future of SCB

    3-Jul-1995

    PLANS to abolish the Solicitors Complaints Bureau (SCB) have been thrown out by the Law Society's adjudication and appeals committee.Instead, a four-part package of reforms has been put forward to make the SCB more independent and effective.The proposals form part of the fundamental Quo Vadis review - a thorough look at solicitors' complaints-handling.A one-day conference was staged last week by the adjudication and appeals committee to ...

  • Lawyers worried by misleading property ads

    3-Jul-1995

    LAWYERS have hit out at a spate of misleading advertisements which suggest that unregistered properties are "unowned".A number of solicitors have contacted HM Land Registry to complain after private clients were left thinking their homes were up for grabs.Peter Holt, a partner at Manchester-based Grundy Kershaw, says advertisements have given details of how properties could be claimed."It really is a shocker. Clients rang up thinking they were in ...

  • Litigation Disciplinary Tribunals 07/03/95

    3-Jul-1995

    DAVID JOHN KELL-EGHER, 45, admitted 1976, practised on own account as King & Co, Oldham, Lancashire, struck off and ordered to pay u2,160 costs. Allegations substantiated he practised without a current practising certificate, wrongly drew client money and used client money for own purposes, failed to keep properly written accounts, failed to deliver accountant's reports in accordance with rules. Tribunal told Kellegher moved money ...

  • Litigation Recent Decisions 07/03/95

    3-Jul-1995

    Lloyd's: reinsurance ruling. Duties of Lloyd's member agents to Names' syndicates. PJ Aiken & Ors v Stewart Wrightson Members Agency Ltd & Ors (The Pulbrook Syndicates) (Ch.D (Potter J)Summary: Eleven consolidated actions by 378 Lloyd's Names who were members of Lloyd's Syndicates Nos.333, 334, 335, 426 and 427 ('the syndicate') for the 1985 underwriting year of account against the syndicate's members agents (first to ...

  • Litigation Writs 07/03/95

    3-Jul-1995

    Rushmoor Borough Council is being sued by Sonya Padgett, from Aldershot, who trades as Quality House Reproductions. She is seeking damages for wrongful interference with her goods and excessive distress from non-domestic rates. She is also seeking damages for alleged trespass to her property and a court order banning further such action by the council. Writ issued by Herrington & Carmichael, Aldershot. P123 Paul Nightingale, of London SW3, ...

  • Media firms form double act

    3-Jul-1995

    A SPECIALIST defamation firm which counts Private Eye among its clients is merging with well-known media practice Davenport Lyons.Four partners and five fee earners from Wright Webb Syrett's litigation department will make the short trip from Soho Square to the Davenport Lyons Old Burlington Street offices, also in the West End, on Monday next week.Private Eye, The ...

  • Murder trial date set

    3-Jul-1995

    * Daphne Thorn is scheduled to be tried at the Old Bailey on 3 April for murdering three of her children. The case was committed for trial from Barking, Essex.

  • Murex challenge

    3-Jul-1995

    * The House of Lords is considering an application by Murex Diagnostics to challenge a Court of Appeal ruling made last October in a patent infringement action relating to kits designed for the treatment of hepatitis. Murex in defence has argued that the Chiron Corporation abused its dominant market position and charged unfairly high prices, contrary to Article 86 of the Treaty of Rome.

  • Museum sticks neck out over grim exhibit

    3-Jul-1995

    A GENTLE reminder of the rather more clear-cut days of British justice when a criminal was "hanged by the neck until dead" has been put in place at Nottingham's Galleries of Justice .The national tourist attraction is the proud owner of a full-scale replica set of 1880 gallows, which will be the centre piece of a new exhibition, 'Condemned'.The gallows were bought from Granada Television, which used them for the crime series 'In Suspicious ...

  • Narayan takes on tribunal judges

    3-Jul-1995

    John Malpas reportsAN EX-BARRISTER is battling to force three judges to appear before an industrial tribunal to face charges that they breached race relations law when disbarring him.Rudy Narayan was disbarred in July 1994 following a Disciplinary Tribunal of the Inns of Court. He will take his case before a review hearing this month.Now he is claiming "unfavourable treatment" at the Woburn Place Industrial Tribunal Court under sections ...

  • North East gears up for CCT

    3-Jul-1995

    Tim Miller reportsTWO North East authorities are ringing in the changes at the top as they prepare for competitive tendering.Peter Watts has taken over as head of legal at Northumberland following Henry Warne's switch to Newcastle.The combined legal and administration department at Newcastle has been split in two with Valerie Dodds heading the newly-created Newcastle Law, and Warne taking over as head of administration. The departmental ...

  • Norton Rose makes French connection with securities head

    3-Jul-1995

    NORTON Rose has recruited a leading in-house lawyer from France to head its new international securities group.Gilles Thieffry has joined the firm from BNP Capital Markets where he headed the legal department.Thieffry, who has extensive experience in the eurobond markets will spearhead the development of the firm's business in international capital markets and equities.The aim of the new group is to provide clients with an integrated approach ...

  • Performance related pay on the increase

    3-Jul-1995

    A NEWLY-PUBLISHED survey reveals that 1994 was the year of performance-related pay (PRP) for large London-based law firms.Salaries are now linked to performance in nearly 60 per cent of City firms. Two-thirds of those introduced PRP last year, according to a survey of London practices with more than 25 partners.The research into employee benefits by recruitment consultants Quarry Dougall also reveals a wide variation in staff perks.Some firms offer ...

  • Police shooting claim

    3-Jul-1995

    * Former London pub manager Lee St Rose, is heading for the High Court with a claim that he was shot by police while jogging with a friend in a London park. He claims police on an armed stake-out at a pub - not the one where he worked - chased him and that during the chase he was shot. In criminal proceedings already heard he was cleared of charges of conspiracy to rob and possession of a firearm with intent.

  • Price cutting ploys will 'backfire'

    3-Jul-1995

    LAW firms are slashing fees and even offering to work for nothing in order to win beauty parades, it is claimed.But the trend for short-term price cuts will buy turnover not profit and will eventually backfire against fee-desperate practices, says a leading City lawyer.David McIntosh, senior partner at Davies Arnold Cooper, told a marketing conference that struggling law firms were competing for unprofitable work as long as it contributed to covering the cost ...

  • Property

    3-Jul-1995

    Trafalgar House was advised by Ashurst Morris Crisp in the acquisition and sale to the Baltic Exchange, advised by Norton Rose, of 38 St Mary Axe from St Mary Axe Development, advised by Denton Hall, and the purchase by Trafalgar House of the existing Baltic Exchange site from the exchange. Trafalgar ...

  • Property

    3-Jul-1995

    Speciality Shops, advised by Frere Cholmeley Bischoff, has acquired a number of freehold properties in Bishop's Stortford from Guardian Properties for u2.85m, advised by Trowers & Hamlins.

  • Property

    3-Jul-1995

    GA Properties, advised by Cobbett Leak Almond, has bought for u3.75m 12.8 acres of development land at Birchwood Science Park, Warrington, from Digital Equipment, advised by Vaudrey Osborne & Mellor.

  • Property

    3-Jul-1995

    Chesterfield Properties' subsidiary Comgrove Properties, advised by Titmuss Sainer Dechert, has bought for u22m the Castle Shopping Centre in Stockton-on-Tees as a going concern from its mortgagee Arab Bank, which was advised by Frere Cholmeley Bischoff.

  • Propping up the market

    3-Jul-1995

    Patrick Elias QC has earned the highest ever praise from solicitors in three years of The Lawyer’s specialist Bar features. Matheu Swallow finds out why.It might seem strange for one of England’s most prestigious employment barristers to be so outspoken on such a delicate issue. But Patrick Elias QC is adamant. “Hoddle must go,” he insists.There seems little chance then, that he will be representing the manager of England’s beleaguered football squad in any claim ...

  • Quill signs up firms

    3-Jul-1995

    * Quill Computers has signed up four law firms for its accounting and time recording program. Kendall firm Powell & Sykes will be running the Laudit system on a single terminal; Hexham-based Nicholson Wood & Gregg is running this and a Quill database on its network; Coopers, a three-partner practice in Newcastle-under-Lyme, has bought the Laudit and payroll program; and Manchester firm Bouchers will run Laudit and the Quill database.

  • Robson Rhodes

    3-Jul-1995

    Consultants Robson Rhodes reports a good response to its annual IT questionnaire, with over 280 firms responding already. The aim is to exceed last year's final response of 339.The consultants would like to hear from larger firms and those firms that have not previously responded to this survey.Responses will be accepted up to mid-March. If your firm has more than five partners and has not yet had a questionnaire, these can be obtained from Richard ...

  • Sheila Simison on the rise of macho tactics in the Commercial Court

    3-Jul-1995

    Those who practice in the Commercial Court are usually litigating on behalf of one of the top one thousand companies over vast sums of money. By comparison, the legal costs may represent just a small percentage of the sum in dispute. But how cost-effective are some practitioners in doing the best job for their clients?Recent stirrings among the users of the Commercial Court and warning bells of discontent from its customers, have prompted Lord Justice Woolf and ...

  • Solicitor faces fraud allegations

    3-Jul-1995

    FORMER London solicitor Geoffrey Beccle has been arrested in connection with a series of alleged property frauds involving former clients and four leading mortgage lenders and worth at least u1 million.No charges have been brought but the police and the Solicitors Complaints Bureau (SCB) are investigating his activities, which are also the subject of a separate legal action by Bristol & West building society, one of the lenders.Bristol & West is trying to recover ...

  • Speaker's corner

    3-Jul-1995

    The consequences of getting the introduction of conditional fees wrong are dire, so why is Lord Irvine rushing to introduce them? ask Richard Fox and Richard Evans. Richard Fox is honorary secretary of the London Solicitors Litigation Association (LSLA) and a partner at Kingsley Napley; Richard Evans is president of the LSLA and a partner at Beachcroft Stanleys.Extending the scope of ...

  • SPG 'sold out' to Law Society says member

    3-Jul-1995

    A FOUNDER member of the Sole Practitioners Group is considering resigning from the committee because he claims it has been hijacked by the Law Society.Leslie Dubow says the SPG, which has been beset with internal squabbles, has no future as an effective forum for small firms.In a separate development vice-chair Naomi Turl is planning to fight proposals that will force her to pay u1,500 for sending out a circular letter to members following last year's controversial ...

  • Spotlight on courts

    3-Jul-1995

    The new Courts Services agency and its first head Michael Huebner, according to the agency's corporate plan, face the twin challenges of improving quality of service while closing the gap between civil business income and expenditure.But the programme for the agency is the standard government model of more efficiency through more cuts. Huebner says he intends to cut out the bureaucratic structure. But the plan sees performance improving by "centralising, ...

  • Strike the local balance

    3-Jul-1995

    Your correspondent who writes under the name "Eurosceptic" about the question of rights of establishment for lawyers in Europe seems to have got a rather confused idea of what the argument is all about.In fact the CCBE did reach agreement on a draft Establishment Directive for lawyers in October 1992. It was the European Commission which departed from the principles of this agreement in its proposal for a directive adopted in December 1994.It is hardly ...

  • That's the way Cannes does it

    3-Jul-1995

    Since its origins as a fashionable resort at the turn of the century, Cannes has steadily built up an array of options for the entertainment and pampering of its guests in staggering proportions.

  • The Lawyer Inquiry: Cliona O'Tuama

    3-Jul-1995

    The Trainee Solicitors' Group (TSG) claimed last week that the Law Society makes a profit from students on the legal practice course. The TSG said that figures produced by the Law Society revealed that the Law Society may have made a £1m profit from students since the course was introduced in 1993.

  • Top firms cash in on Barings' crash

    3-Jul-1995

    City banking lawyers were working around the clock to advise worried institutions after the collapse of Barings, London's oldest merchant banking group, which crashed after losing more than u700 million on derivatives contracts.Literally hundreds of City clients were clamouring for legal advice at every top law firm following the failure by the Bank of England to organise a successful rescue with other banks.Bill Tudor John, senior partner and head of the ...

  • Trainees suffer long hours and insecurity

    3-Jul-1995

    TRAINEE and newly qualified solicitors are burdened with debt worries and fears they may lose their jobs, according to a report out this week.The Trainee Solicitors' Group survey based on the responses of 148 solicitors to questionnaires shows 54 per cent are worried about job security and 51 per cent concerned about debt.Less than half the respondents wanted to stay with the firm where they worked and one in five said they wanted to leave.When ...

  • Trowers upgrades

    3-Jul-1995

    Lincoln's Inn firm Trowers & Hamlins is spending u250,000 on its computer system upgrade, including hardware and software from Norwel. The hardware includes a Data General Aviion 8500 and Clariion disk array, providing mass storage for the 43-partner firm.

  • Video case seeks a fresh recording

    3-Jul-1995

    Robert Lindsay reportsDetails of deals should be sent to the City editor, Robert Lindsay. Please include all other law firms acting on deals and the value, where possible.Freshfields acted for Nestle SA on its £715m acquisition of Spillers Petfoods from Dalgety, advised by Slaughter and May.Addleshaw Booth & Co acted for the ...

  • Video rolls for Hamers

    3-Jul-1995

    Hull-based Philip Hamer & Co has installed two video-conferencing units and plans to buy more.Senior partner Philip Hamer, who has been watching the area develop for 12 years, says: "Teleconferencing has at last come of age."He attributes this to the fall in equipment prices. The Intel computer cards cost about u2,000 and the price of ISDN lines has also been falling. Hamer expects the machines to become cheaper still.The ...

  • Wandsworth legal advice 'was wrong'

    3-Jul-1995

    THE AUDITOR investigating complaints about Wandsworth council's housing policy has told counsel their advice was wrong.James Goudie QC and Nigel Giffin, of 11 King's Bench Walk, advised that the borough's policy of selling off empty council homes was "in principle capable of being lawful".But the Wandsworth auditor, in line with the view taken by district auditor John Magill who presided over the Westminster homes-for-votes hearings, takes the ...

  • Where there's a will...

    3-Jul-1995

    In an extraordinary move, all 27 tenants at 3 Paper Buildings, Samuel Parrish's chambers, have applied to join Plowden Buildings. A decision will be taken this Saturday.The expanded set will be one of the largest sets in Temple with between 55 and 60 barristers.Paul Hurst, senior clerk at Plowden Buildings, said: 'If a whole set applies to join it may look like a merger but it's not.'The new set will be ...

  • Working party set up to identify electronic issues

    3-Jul-1995

    Fennell Betson reportsThe Society for Computers & Law is examining the future of electronic communications in the profession.A working party, chaired by James Behrens of 13 Old Square, is to report on the findings in June.A questionnaire on the extent and type of communication currently in use in the legal world is being sent to the society's 1,600 members and others.The working party also wants submissions from those ...