30 January 1995

The Lawyer

  • 'Mini Maxwell' case begins

    5-Feb-1995

    A major pensions civil trial involving fraud allegations and dubbed a "mini Maxwell" by lawyers, started in the High Court last week.Due to last up to 10 weeks, it has already cost around £5 million in lawyers' fees with another £2 million in trial costs expected on top of that.The lawyer-intensive trial centres on litigation by seven pension holders alleging breach of contract against private company Melton Medes Group, its owner, ...

  • A&O set for TI Group's US defence

    5-Feb-1995

    Allen & Overy may soon be defending its client TI Group against fraud allegations in the US courts. New York sources say the US Justice Department is about to file an official complaint against the company.The US Government is expected to be wading in on a $60 million action originally arising from a former employee of TI Group subsidiary Dowty Woodville Polymer, which ...

  • All change at top for London firms

    5-Feb-1995

    TWO London-based firms of solicitors have announced the appointment of new senior partners.Lyddon Simon takes over the helm at Westminster practice Radcliffes & Co, while City-based Field Fisher Waterhouse has appointed Paul Honigmann.Simon was educated in South Africa, but came to the UK more than 30 years ago and joined Radcliffes in 1967.A specialist ...

  • Any time, any place, anywhere?

    5-Feb-1995

    John Dickey

  • Bar Council motion to drop Mills

    31-Jan-1995

    BAR Council members were due to vote on Saturday on a motion to oust Crown Prosecution Service head Barbara Mills QC from the council.The motion, put by council member Bob Sheddon, says her position as a senior civil servant "has been shown by recent events to be incompatible with her ex-officio membership of this council".The motion, which requires a change in the constitution, needs a two-thirds majority to be passed.It follows the suspension by ...

  • Bar tenders

    31-Jan-1995

    The Bar is one of the few areas of the profession to benefit from the upheaval in local government. Tim Miller reportsThe risk of potential surcharge and financial ruin is part and parcel of life in local government.That's bad news for councillors and senior officers, but it's good news for the Bar.Faced with the threat of financial penalties, local authority leaders are keen to cover their backs. District auditors have hinted ...

  • Birmingham lawyers step in to advise on final USM flotation

    31-Jan-1995

    Birmingham firms Wragge & Co and Edge & Ellison have advised on the last flotation on the Unlisted Securities Market (USM).Innovative Technologies Group was formed in 1991 to produce high-performance polymers for the health care, "intelligent dressings" biomaterials market.A total of 4,446,310 shares at 120 pence were placed on the market, raising u4.5 million and achieving a market ...

  • Blair launches group for young lawyers

    31-Jan-1995

    LABOUR leader Tony Blair is to take time out from his campaign to change the party constitution to launch a new group for young Labour lawyers.The Labour leader will be the star guest at the launch in the House of Commons of the Young Labour Lawyers on 7 February.And the organisers are hoping his presence will help to kick start the new younger members' section of the well-established Society of Labour Lawyers.Blair is himself a member of the ...

  • City firms do battle over NRG u380m damages claim

    31-Jan-1995

    Top City litigators drew battle lines last week at the start of Dutch reinsurer NRG's action for damages against financial advisers totalling around u380 million.City firm Allison & Humphreys is acting for NRG (Nederlandse Reassurantie Groep), which is suing Swiss Bank Corporation, accountants Ernst & Young and actuaries Bacon & Woodrow.The case centres on the reinsurer's u122 million takeover of Victory Reinsurance from Legal & General in 1990, and ...

  • Clifford Chance posts an Internet first

    31-Jan-1995

    Clifford Chance has staked its claim to be the first international law firm to launch into cyberspace by setting up an Internet-based information server.The giant firm has established the server on the World Wide Web (WWW). It contains descriptions of the firm and its area of work, specialised articles by lawyers and details of publications. The WWW allows Internet users to retrieve ...

  • Conference sets sights on equal rights

    31-Jan-1995

    LONDON barrister Margaret McCabe has signed leading lawyers as speakers at a controversial conference on sex discrimination.The Lord Chancellor will provide the keynote address at the 8 April conference - 'The Woman Lawyer: Benefit or Burden?' - also involving Law Society President Charles Elly and Bar Chairman Peter Goldsmith QC.McCabe, a civil and commercial lawyer based at 2 King's Bench Walk, says the problem of sex discrimination in the profession ...

  • Corporate

    5-Feb-1995

    Reading property company Dares Estates was advised by Halliwell Landau on a rights issue, a major group reorganisation, a share capital reconstruction and group borrowing arrangements, as well as the acquisition of a number of properties and two companies, for a total of £23m.

  • Corporate

    5-Feb-1995

    Air Bristol subsidiary Air Belfast was advised by Bond Pearce on the new airline's scheduled service from Stansted to Belfast.

  • Cracking the whip

    31-Jan-1995

    If the Lord Chief Justice needed any confirmation that he is on the right course with his High Court changes, it came with the results of a survey of the 400 biggest UK corporates.The survey, commissioned by City firm Herbert Smith, reveals nearly all respondents said the system had deterred them from pursuing good cases.In fact, their views are practically a carbon copy of Lord Taylor's. There is severe criticism of the pre-trial process ...

  • Day takes on Japanese over former POWs

    31-Jan-1995

    PERSONAL injury specialist Martyn Day has flown out to Japan to start proceedings in the Tokyo District Court on behalf of former war-time prisoners suing the Japanese government for compensation.Day, joint senior partner in London practice Leigh Day & Co, is working with an eight-member Japanese legal team to present the case for former prisoners of the Pacific War from the UK, US, Australia and New Zealand.Day says the lawyers, who are working on a no win-no ...

  • Deas labels Government's CSA changes 'major disappointment'

    31-Jan-1995

    THE LAWYER who brought the country's attention to the failings of the Child Support Agency has criticised the Government's reform package, saying it has not adequately dealt with the issue of clean break settlements.Susan Deas, partner at Liverpool-based Brabner Hol-den, represented clean break father Gary Crozier in a high-profile test case against the CSA.She says: "one of the major disappointments of last week's announcement is the decision ...

  • Drop in applications for QC

    5-Feb-1995

    John MalpasSilk round bypasses Liverpool chambers THE TRADITIONAL rivalry between Manchester and Liverpool has spilled over into the silk round. Liverpool was a notable exception in a generally good year for barristers outside London. Nineteen QCs were awarded to tenants in regional sets compared to 15 last year. Six Manchester barristers were successful. Senior Liverpool barristers are reluctant to criticise Lord Mackay over the apparent ...

  • Drop in applications for QC

    5-Feb-1995

    John MalpasA SHARP decline in applications for silk has prompted speculation that a shortage of work for QCs is preventing successful juniors from putting their names forward.But opinion is divided on the causes of the drop in QC hopefuls which has brought a historic year-on-year increase in applications to an abrupt halt.Some attribute the decline in applicants from 539 in 1994 to 492 this year to a greater awareness among candidates of the criteria ...

  • EC ruling may redefine staff transfer

    31-Jan-1995

    A QUESTION referred to the European Court of Justice by a Belgian tribunal could give employers some influence in deciding which members of staff transfer automatically under the Acquired Rights Directive.Barnett Alexander Chart employment solicitor Ruth Harvey says the terms of the the ARD could be radically redefined if the ECJ favours employers in its preliminary ruling on interpretation of Article 3 of the directive.She says oral hearings on the issue could ...

  • Euro MPs look positive on establishment

    5-Feb-1995

    EURO MPs have shown initial signs of supporting a permanent right of cross-border establishment for EU lawyers following a debate in the European Parliament last week.The move has been welcomed by the law societies of England and Wales and Scotland, which have long opposed the European Commission's proposal that lawyers should be subject to compulsory integration into the host state profession after five years.Parliament has asked its draftsmen to prepare ...

  • Eversheds' appointments ups stakes in European IP league

    5-Feb-1995

    EVERSHEDS has built up its intellectual property group with two appointments, including partner Isabel Davies who becomes group head.Davies is joined by former Turner Kenneth Brown solicitor Lynda Farmer, who starts as head of the new IP unit in Birmingham.The firm has identified IP as one of its key business areas and it now employs 40 specialists throughout the national practice. Another assistant joins in July, and additional recruitment is expected.

  • Firms hit back at cost claims

    31-Jan-1995

    A LAW firm which handled the privatisation of a government computer agency has hit out at National Audit Office claims of soaring legal costs during the sale.Dibb Lupton Broomhead is smarting at last Thursday's report on the sale of the IT agency DVOIT which saw legal costs rise to u545,000 from an initial Department of Transport estimate of between u30,000 and u80,000.It says it is unfair of NAO head Sir John Bourn, who was advised by Denton Hall, to conclude ...

  • Firms rush to join pensions action group

    31-Jan-1995

    THE PERSONAL pension steering committee of law firms acting for victims of mis-sold pensions products continues to grow, with two new firms joining and another nine waiting in the wings.Wolverhampton-based Foster Baxter Cooksey and Girlings in Margate have joined the three other firms - Ringrose Wharton in Bristol, Wolferstans in Plymouth and J Keith Park & Co in St Helens - to form a national group.The firms have around 550 clients who claim to have lost money ...

  • Flotation

    5-Feb-1995

    Tool and plant hire company Torex was advised by Stones of Exeter on its full listing and subsequent £3m rights issue. Sponsor Allied Provincial Securities was advised by Bond Pearce.

  • Following their homing instincts

    5-Feb-1995

    The two key factors that marked out the recession of the early 1990s from its predecessors were the damage it caused to hitherto secure areas such as the legal profession and the fact that its effects were felt harder in the South of England than in the North. The result of this 'double-whammy' was that many ambitious lawyers, frustrated by the downturn of business in London, followed Lord Tebbit's advice and got on their bikes (or into their BMWs) and headed for the ...

  • Franchise firms score double whammy in legal aid pay rises

    31-Jan-1995

    FRANCHISED firms look set to receive double the pay-rise of non-franchised firms, it has emerged.The Lord Chancellor's Department (LCD) is offering the profession an increase of between 1.5 and 3 per cent - the first top-up on legal aid rates for three years.And despite a Law Society call for bigger pay-rises across the board, the LCD is proposing to discriminate between firms which have franchises and those which do not."There are a very high ...

  • Funds pour in for Lawrence action

    5-Feb-1995

    LAWYERS handling the private prosecution of four youths for the murder of black teenager Stephen Lawrence have set up a special fighting fund to pay for the investigation.The eight-strong team of barristers and solicitors have set up the Stephen Lawrence disbursement account alongside the existing fund which pays for other aspects of the Lawrence family's campaign.Stephen died two years ago after being stabbed by a gang of white youths in south London.

  • Glaxo opts for Clifford Chance

    31-Jan-1995

    Clifford Chance's appointment to advise Glaxo on its u9 billion offer for rival company Wellcome - the City's second biggest-ever bid - has got the City talking.Lawyers agree Clifford Chance would be one of the top four names to appear on the shopping list for players in big merger and acquisition deals.But while the firm is a strong all-rounder it is better known ...

  • Government child abuse priority promise still falling short of target, reveals report

    5-Feb-1995

    THE HOLLOWNESS of a government commitment to prioritise child abuse cases is exposed by the lack of monitoring to assess its success, claims the author of a new study.Research published in ’Prosecuting Child Abuse’, by Joyce Plotnikoff and Richard Woolfson, indicates that child abuse cases take approximately twice as long as other cases to come to court.The report is based on research conducted in 1992 and 1993, and a CPS spokesman says guidelines ...

  • Grabbing technology's reins

    5-Feb-1995

    As technology becomes a more pervasive part of the US lawyer's life, incoming American Bar Association president Roberta Cooper Ramo is challenging the legal community to better understand its benefits.In her recent address to the American Bar Association section of Law Practice Techshow in Chicago, Ramo challenged US lawyers to take the lead with technology. "I suggest to you today that how American lawyers use technology, computers ...

  • Hackney housing lawyer faces u6,500 bill for rent arrears

    31-Jan-1995

    AN INQUIRY is under way at Hackney Council where a housing lawyer has run up rent arrears of thousands of pounds.Abdul Zainu Deen, a barrister at the authority since 1987, was ordered to clear the debts two years ago following disciplinary proceedings.But opposition councillors last week tabled a question on the "serious lapse of council procedures" after it emerged that Deen's debts, of u6,500, had still not been paid off. The arrears date back to 1986-88, ...

  • IBA turns spotlight on children for conference

    5-Feb-1995

    THE ROLE of children in the criminal justice system will provide the focus for the biennial conference of the International Bar Association's section on general practice.The conference, to be held in Edinburgh from 10 to 13 June, is on the theme of 'Grim tales: children in crime'.Children as victims, offenders and witnesses are among the areas to be covered by the conference, which will include Director of Public Prosecutions Barbara ...

  • Identifying fraud is key to prevention

    31-Jan-1995

    Fraud and how to spot it is the subject of a book published by accountancy firm KPMG.'Fraud Watch: A guide for business' is filled with real-life examples. KPMG wrote it in response to a request from the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales, says institute president Roger Lawson.Ian Huntington, co-author and KPMG's head of fraud investigation, describes fraud as "a hidden virus...threatening corporate life". Many frauds occur ...

  • In brief: ABA conference plays host to big names

    5-Feb-1995

    Leading members of the UK legal profession have been signed to speak at this week's American Bar Association conference in London. Lord Chief Justice Taylor, Law Society president Charles Elly and Lords Woolf and Mackay will address the conference - 'New directions in civil litigation in England and the United States' - which opens at the Old Hall, Lincoln's Inn, on 1 May. Conference organisers say the five-day programme will deal with many of the key issues facing ...

  • In brief: BBC survey says lawyers do job well

    31-Jan-1995

    Nearly 60 per cent of people questioned in a BBC survey think lawyers do a good job. More than 70 per cent of those with experience of the legal system describe their experience as good or very good. But 26 per cent say it has been fairly bad or very bad, according to the findings for Law in Action. The survey claims 83 per cent of people questioned want to settle problems informally without using lawyers. A spokesman for the Bar Council says of the survey: "This is not the legal system ...

  • In brief: Boateng to challenge conditional fees

    5-Feb-1995

    Labour's legal affairs spokesman Paul Boateng MP says he will speak out against the draft regulations for conditional fees laid before the Commons last month unless the Government agrees to amend them to give greater consumer protection to litigants. Boateng says lawyers are in a "superior bargaining position" and litigants need greater protection. "Litigants, not lawyers, must be the principal beneficiary of the new scheme," he says.

  • In brief: Cut in SIF contributions on the cards

    5-Feb-1995

    Contribution rates to the Solicitors Indemnity Fund are likely to be reduced by around five per cent this year. In an oral report to the Law Society Council last week the fund's chair Andrew Kennedy said the projected reduction in contributions was due to management savings and returns on investment. The precise rates are due to be announced at the council's June meeting.Legal aid for 'wealthy' under scrutinyh The Government has announced ...

  • In brief: Elly declares Law Soc Bristol office open

    5-Feb-1995

    Law Society president Charles Elly attended the official opening of the society's newest regional office, based at the Old Vic in Bristol. The office is run by south west regional secretary Matthew McKaig (middle). The ceremony was also attended by Neil Major, president of the Association of South Western Law Societies.

  • In brief: Eversheds appoints marketing director

    31-Jan-1995

    National firm Eversheds has appointed Fiona Inchbald to the newly-created post of national director of marketing. Inchbald, who worked as marketing services director with accountancy firm Levy Gee prior to her appointment, joined the firm last week. Her responsibilities include developing national marketing campaigns and building the national profile of the firm, which recently merged with City practice ...

  • In brief: Free software for IT conference delegates

    31-Jan-1995

    The first 200 delegates to register for The Lawyer's seventh annual 'Information Systems for Lawyers' conference in London will be given a complementary copy of Microsoft Office. Attendees can see the new software in action at the exhibition alongside the conference. The event takes place at the London Marriott Hotel on 14-15 February. Contact 071-434 3711 for details.

  • In brief: Herbert Smith on end of defamation writ

    31-Jan-1995

    Herbert Smith, which issued a libel writ on behalf of Irish businessman and lawyer Tony O'Reilly over an article published in the magazine Business Age, has become the target of a defamation writ issued by the firm's publisher Tom Rubython. Rubython claims the firm, which issued writs against both him and the Evening Standard, libelled him in a letter to the Standard on 11 January.

  • In brief: Justices clerks head to Harrogate

    5-Feb-1995

    Members of the Justices Clerks' Society meet in Harrogate this week for the annual general meeting and conference entitled 'The way ahead'. The event, starting on 2 May and running until 5 May, will cover subjects including legal aid and the enforcement of financial penalties. The society is planning to publish proposals for changes in the law relating to financial penalties.

  • In brief: Law Soc rejects discrimination proposal

    5-Feb-1995

    The Law Society has shied away from proposals to monitor the ethnic make-up of all law firms although the equal opportunities policies of those taking on trainees will be monitored. The final proposals of the society's working party on discrimination dealing with monitoring procedures were approved by the Law Society Council last week. A report to the council said "serious consideration" was given to an annual check on all firms to monitor compliance to a new anti-discrimination ...

  • In brief: Lawyer advised on international scene

    31-Jan-1995

    The EC Lawyers' Society and the London Young Solicitors' Group will host a seminar for lawyers working in the international sector at the Law Society next month. Dual-qualified French and English barrister Gilles d'Aigremont will speak on the subject of solicitors working abroad, addressing topics including EC developments on rights of establishment, and the attitude of the French Bar. The seminar will be held on 21 February.

  • In brief: Legal aid for 'wealthy' under scrutiny

    5-Feb-1995

    The Government has announced plans to tighten the system of legal aid means assessment for the "apparently wealthy". Responding to a question in the House of Lords last week the Lord Chancellor said he was planning to amend the system after receiving more than 50 responses to his December consultation paper on the subject. He said a "special investigation unit" should be established to handle assessments in both civil and criminal cases where the applicant's financial circumstances ...

  • In brief: Lewes Court Centre open for business

    31-Jan-1995

    The £4 million refurbishment of Lewes Combined Court Centre is now complete. The Lord Chancellor formally re-opened the Grade II listed building, in Sussex, last week. The work involved improvements to the courtroom and offices, as well as renovation of the building's historic features and the installation of a new heating and ventilation system. The work took less than two years to complete.

  • In brief: New takes over from Peet at Shoosmiths

    31-Jan-1995

    GRAHAM New has taken up his post as Shoosmiths and Harrison managing partner. New has taken over the reins from John Peet, who has moved to the commercial property department. A partner since 1974, he is a member of the Law Society's specialist planning panel and chair of the Hinkely and Rugby Building Society. He says the future of the Northampton-based firm, which closes its London office in ...

  • In brief: Oxleys partners switch to Rotherham

    31-Jan-1995

    Oxley & Coward partners John Yates and Rosemary Downs are switching to the firm's Rotherham office following the sale of the Sheffield medical negligence practice to Wansbroughs Willey Hargrave. The move brings the number of Rotherham-based partners to 10 and locates the firm's services under one roof. Yates is an information technology specialist and Downs is a commercial lawyer listing health among her special areas.

  • In brief: Uxbridge firm wins sex discrimination first

    31-Jan-1995

    Uxbridge firm Turberville Woodbridge has scored an important legal point for employees suing for sexual discrimination. A client, Nadine Gardiner-Rosse, has won an industrial tribunal after being subjected to discriminatory remarks at a conference. She had refused to attend subsequent conferences and was sacked. Gardiner-Rosse lost the original case after the tribunal judged that the discrimination was not by the employer. But the Employment Appeals Tribunal over-turned the premise, ...

  • In the line of judicial fire

    31-Jan-1995

    An increasing number of authorities are facing judicial review actions. Mary Heaney examines the impact of thisThe growing number of judicial review applications against local authorities is leading some to be more circumspect about how they take decisions.Barbara Cohen, principal solicitor at the London Borough of Camden, says: "We're always aware of people looking over our shoulders. It's important to get the decision right."And while ...

  • In-house IT lawyer adds value at Fladgates

    31-Jan-1995

    IN-HOUSE computer law specialist Ian Dickson has been recruited to join the Basingstoke office of West End firm Fladgate Fielder.The move gives the firm the benefits of a qualified barrister, Dickson's expertise in computer and technology transactions, and his former employer Cimage International as a client.Cimage, a US computer company specialising in document management, ...

  • Insurance specialist heads off-shore

    31-Jan-1995

    INSURANCE specialist Lillian Boyle has moved to an off-shore company with a brief to set up an in-house legal department.Boyle has been appointed company secretary and head of legal services at Scottish Provident International, which is based on the Isle of Man.Hers is one of three senior appointments announced by the expanding insurance company which has used law firms to handle its legal affairs up until now.She was previously company secretary ...

  • Insurers issue IFA warning

    31-Jan-1995

    City lawyers and professional indemnity (PI) insurers warn that many independent financial advisers (IFAs) could face liquidation as a result of the potentially huge claims resulting from the mis-selling of personal pensions.The most immediate concern for IFAs is whether they will be able to cover potential losses on their PI insurance policies.The signs are that their worst fears may be realised, as many IFAs trying to renew their cover are reportedly finding.

  • Internal affairs

    31-Jan-1995

    Lynne Curry looks at the structural changes in local government and finds out where they leave the lawyersOn 1 April 1996 Ivor Davies, a local government lawyer for 33 years and head of legal services in one of the biggest counties in the country, will lose his job. So will the other 35 solicitors and legal executives who handle legal affairs for the county of Humberside.Humberside, along with Avon and Cleveland, will have been in existence for just over 20 years ...

  • Irish barristers deny pay was 'excessive'

    31-Jan-1995

    FIVE Irish barristers who earned a total of u2.3 million in fees at an inquiry tribunal are refusing to take a pay cut, claiming that the fees are not excessive.The five were members of the State's legal team at a judicial inquiry into allegations of fraud and malpractice in the Irish beef industry. The hearings, chaired by a judge, lasted 226 days, the longest on record.The legal fees bill met by the State totalled u7.1 million. Senior counsel were paid ...

  • Kalamazoo appoints legal adviser

    31-Jan-1995

    JANET Humphries has been appointed group legal adviser for Birmingham-based Kalamazoo Computer Group.According to the specialist computer solutions and print systems supplier, she will play a major role in an aggressive acquisition programme planned for 1995.Humphries took up her new post, heading a team of four in-house lawyers, at the beginning of January. She replaces John Perrott, who set up the department three years ago, but has now moved back to his old ...

  • Kent lawyers fight court closures

    31-Jan-1995

    LAWYERS in Kent have joined forces with trades unions in protest over plans to close up to four county courts in their area.The closures are the latest in a series occurring since last summer and are seen by court staff, users, and lawyers as a further attack on access to justice at a community level.Prominent in the protest is the local law society for Dover, Deal and Sandwich and lawyers in the Dover District Council. Solicitors spoke at a public meeting last ...

  • Law Soc pays part of Belling claim

    5-Feb-1995

    THE 850 pensioners of collapsed company Belling, victims of an alleged fraud by former solicitor Charles Deacon, will only benefit from £600,000 in Law Society compensation rather than the £2.25 million claimed.The society's decision to pay anything out at all will be some relief to the pensioners and Law Debenture Trust, which handles their fund.The payment, including legal fees, comes after the society twice decided not to meet the claim from ...

  • Law Soc rules out training cap

    31-Jan-1995

    THE LAW Society has ruled against a cap on training places despite the glut of law students without jobs.But the matter will be kept under review due to continuing concern about the mis-match between course places and training contracts.The society's training committee voted by a narrow majority against a cap which it describes as a "blunt instrument". Roger Jones, committee chair, last week told the society's council that many factors affected the ...

  • Law Society finds double flaw in EC directive

    31-Jan-1995

    The European Commission's draft directive on rights of establishment for foreign lawyers is "fundamentally flawed" in two respects, the Law Society council was told.Chair of the international committee Fiona Woolf said that there was a groundswell of opposition to the proposals.Germany, Holland, Scotland and Northern Ireland were joining forces with the Law Society and the Bar Council to lobby against the directive.Woolf, a partner at McKenna ...

  • Lawyers get their just awards

    5-Feb-1995

    LORD Woolf has been voted Legal Personality of Year by readers, in The Lawyer/ HIFAL Awards 1995.He was presented with the award at a gala function in London on Friday.National firm Eversheds was voted Law Firm of the Year and Doughty St Chambers was chosen as Barristers' Chambers of the Year.The other awards were picked by judging panels.

  • LCD heads marital think-tank

    5-Feb-1995

    THE LORD Chancellor's Department will head a new inter-departmental working group on marriage as part of the Government's plan for greater integration of policies on marriage and divorce.And responsibility for funding of marriage guidance and research organisations will transfer from the Home Office to Lord Mackay, under the provisions of his White Paper on divorce reform - 'Looking to the future: mediation and the ground for divorce'.As expected, ...

  • Lending weight to the case

    5-Feb-1995

    In recent years there has been a steady stream of conveyancing-related policy initiatives by the Law Society. For example, the 'Cost of default' paper in 1992 suggesting changes to the way the compensation fund operated and, more recently, 'Adapting for the future' which, among other things, advocated compulsory separate representation for mortgage lenders and borrowers in residential conveyancing. One by one they have been abandoned or put on hold.The ...

  • Licence not takeover

    31-Jan-1995

    Fennell Betson reportsWe have been asked to point out by Tolley that our item in the 3 January issue of The Lawyer about Ernst & Young acquiring Tolley's Tax-Link product referred to the accountants licensing the product's use for tax practitioners and not taking it over.

  • Linklaters puts down roots in Moscow

    5-Feb-1995

    LEADING capital markets practice Linklaters & Paines has established its Moscow presence as a full branch office of the firm after more than two years in the city.The partnership voted unanimously for the 14-lawyer representative office to become a fully-fledged fixture in Russia after the firm identified a growing work base in the capital.The move extends Linklaters' international ...

  • Litigation Disciplinary Tribunals 02/05/95

    5-Feb-1995

    JOHN WYN PRYS WILLIAMS, admitted 1969, practised on own account as G Roger Prys & Co, Rhyl, suspended for three years and ordered to pay £2,455 costs. Allegations substantiated he improperly used client money for his own purposes, wrongly withdrew client account money, failed to keep account books properly or file accountant's report on time. Tribunal told minimum cash shortage of £35,232 had been revealed on client account which ...

  • Litigation Disciplinary Tribunals 31/01/95

    31-Jan-1995

    LAWRENCE HUGH MARTIN LORD, admitted 1975, practised as LMH Lord & Co, London SW15, struck off and ordered to pay u2,486 costs. Allegations substantiated he failed to account to clients in respect of money held on their behalf, breached undertakings, breached investment business rules by holding himself out to be authorised when he was not, practised uncertificated, failed to deliver accountants report, failed to produce books for inspection. ...

  • Litigation Recent Decisions 02/05/95

    5-Feb-1995

    Contract interpretationJohn Mowlem & Co v Eagle Star Insurance Company & Ors (1995). (CA (Nourse LJ, Hirst LJ and Sir Ralph Gibson) 20/3/95)Summary: The use of 'or' in a building contract conjunctively and not disjunctively.Plaintiffs' appeal by John Mowlem & Co against the Official Referee's rulings on two questions on the construction of a management contract for the development of an old hospital site in favour of the ...

  • Litigation Recent Decisions 31/01/95

    31-Jan-1995

    Coopers & Lybrand: partners concern over risk to fair trialChartered Accountant's disciplinary schemeR v Michael S Chance, ex parte Smith & others (1995) (DC 21/12/94) (Henry LJ and Kay J)Summary: Whether a preliminary investigation under the Chartered Accountants' disciplinary scheme concerning the conduct of auditors of the Maxwell Group of Companies should be stayed or prohibited as a risk to the fair trial of various civil actions.

  • Litigation Writs 02/05/95

    5-Feb-1995

    High Court action has been launched against Norwest Holst, Norwest Holst Construction, M Clarke trading as Marvel Services, and Marvel Services over flooding at London's Kew Gardens. The writ, issued through the Attorney General on behalf of the Crown and Crown departments, the Property Services Agency and the Crown Suppliers, seeks damages for loss and damage sustained by the Royal Botanic Gardens at Kew as a result of a flooding incident on 18 March ...

  • Litigation Writs 31/01/95

    31-Jan-1995

    Sky TV faces a claim for $1.3 million in the High Court following allegations it is in breach of a deal under which it is said to have agreed to pay more than $2.3 million for film broadcasting rights. In a writ just issued against Sky Television, Penta International (UK) and Pentamerica Communications are suing for $1.3 million plus interest of $50,858. Penta International of London W1, and Pentamerica of California, are film agents and say they entered a deal with ...

  • Lopian Wagner management system rings in the changes

    31-Jan-1995

    Client pressure was a key reason why Manchester-based Lopian Wagner went for a new case management system. "They want to find out where you are on their cases," says partner Michael Lopian.One client has direct access through a modem to the firm's case load and can see where they are at any one point. "This is a very good discipline for us," he adds.The three-partner firm believes that these pressures from clients will grow. ...

  • Lord Chancellor's white paper

    5-Feb-1995

    Lawyers are needed

  • Manchester barrister sues ex-colleagues

    31-Jan-1995

    A MANCHESTER-BASED barrister who was expelled from his chambers is now suing the head of chambers and other members, claiming they conspired to damage his business and reputation.In a writ issued at the High Court in London by Pannone & Partners, Jonathan Capp, of Windermere in Cumbria, is suing fellow barristers John Bailey, Monica Stalker, Mark Lamberty and clerk Terence Mylchreest, all of 5 John Dalton Street, Manchester.Capp claims that he entered a contract ...

  • McKennas closes Tokyo office

    31-Jan-1995

    UK-BASED McKenna & Co has announced a raft of changes to its international practice, including the closure of its Tokyo office.The office, which opened in October 1987, will close in spring and its resident head Leo Simpson and solicitor Andrew Levy will return to London where the firm operates a substantial Japanese desk.The firm will split its Japanese portfolio between London and its Hong Kong office, which will become the firm's base for work in the ...

  • Minimum wage stays to delight of trainees

    5-Feb-1995

    TRAINEE solicitors have won their battle to maintain the minimum salary for trainees after a decisive Law Society vote in its favour.Training committee chair Roger Jones last week told members of the Law Society's Council of significant support for the salary by his committee.A vote on keeping the wage, which the Trainee Solicitors' Group (TSG) supports as a vital lifeline for poorer trainees and those from ethnic minority backgrounds, was carried by ...

  • Morris swaps CMH for specialist media practice Marriott Harrison

    31-Jan-1995

    MEDIA lawyer Tony Morris this week joins specialist firm Marriott Harrison from City lawyers Cameron Markby Hewitt.Morris, who was head of the multi-media team in the intellectual property department at CMH, believes the future for specialist lawyers is in niche practices."It's quite difficult to be part of a small department at a big firm," he says."The tide is moving away from the mega-firm. The 1990s is the era of the niche practice."

  • Nabarros and TKB join forces

    5-Feb-1995

    LONDON firms Nabarro Nathanson and Turner Kenneth Brown are set to start the week as a newly-merged firm.The name of the bigger practice will be Nabarro Nathanson. In terms of size, it will be at least joint 10th with Herbert Smith in The Lawyer Top 100, but could even push the big City litigator down to eleventh place. The firms were expected to finalise the deal at ...

  • National Five-a-Side Football Competition

    31-Jan-1995

    The Lawyer is pleased to announce the 1995 Legal National Five-a-Side football tournament in conjunction with Arsenal Football Club.This is the third year of this highly popular event and last season it attracted entries from over 150 teams keen to play in a good cause. 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, courthouse staff and specialists serving the ...

  • Nevada's pro bono mandate triggers anger among lawyers

    5-Feb-1995

    RADICAL plans by US lawyers in Nevada to introduce mandatory pro bono for the State Bar have been torpedoed by strong resistance from a "vocal minority" of attorneys.The State Bar of Nevada had hoped the five-judge State Supreme Court would rule this month in favour of a scheme requiring attorneys to give 20 hours a year or $500, but withdrew its application after a rebellion among some of its 4,000 members.The Nevada rebels branded attempts to force pro bono ...

  • NHS trust panels view

    31-Jan-1995

    WIN A BOTTLEThe Lawyer is awarding a fine bottle of Jameson's smooth whiskey for the best letter published on this page each week. The winner is marked by the picture of a bottle of Jameson's.You carried an article in the 24 January issue of The Lawyer about NHS Trust legal panels.Some of the information that the contributor gave was a little misleading and as we are a firm that has been closely following the developments of the Clinical ...

  • Partners go in Dibbs blood-letting

    5-Feb-1995

    DIBB Lupton Broomhead has fired 11 partners in an act of management blood-letting at the end of the firm's financial year.The sackings, described by Dibbs as "counselling out," occur across the 128-partner firm. The partners may work out their notices, ranging from six to twelve months.They will also receive external employment counselling costing the firm £110,000.London-based managing partner Paul Rhodes says the departing lawyers are ...

  • Pembridge slams all-male ticket

    5-Feb-1995

    AN ALL-male Law Society Council line up for the forthcoming presidential elections has prompted scathing "business as usual" accusations from rival candidate Eileen Pembridge.At its meeting last week the Law Society Council backed deputy vice president Henry Hodge as its candidate for the presidency following vice president John Young's withdrawal from the race after admitting to incidents of sexual harassment. The council also rejected three shortlisted ...

  • Pensions lawyers await outcome of SIB review

    5-Feb-1995

    Lawyers for the pensions industry are closely watching a legal challenge to the Securities and Investments Board (SIB) this week to see how far their clients will be forced to take a lead on compensating the public.The judicial review by the IFA Association, which represents independent financial advisers, and indemnity insurers LIBM, asserts that the SIB’s review of the pensions misselling scandal is onerous and illegal.If the SIB review requirements were to ...

  • Pinsent-Simpson union - it's official

    5-Feb-1995

    PINSENT & Co and Simpson Curtis have merged to form a £35 million "super-practice" with a glittering portfolio of top corporate clients.Birmingham-based Pinsents and Simpson Curtis, of Leeds, ranked 39th and 57th respectively in The Lawyer Top 100 list, joined forces this week to form Pinsent Curtis.The new operation, with 97 partners and total staff of more than 650, claims to be the third-largest regional and 16th-biggest national law practice.

  • Practitioner barred from hospital wards

    31-Jan-1995

    A MENTAL health law practitioner is taking legal action after he was "effectively banned" by hospital administrators from seeing his clients.Wigan lawyer Marshall Ronald, who claims his legal aid practice is "being shafted", was barred from using his own dictation equipment by management at Ashworth Hospital.Colin Dale, director of professional development at the psychiatric hospital, decided to limit Ronald's access to clients after patients alleged that ...

  • Property

    31-Jan-1995

    Wm Morrison Supermarkets, advised by Gordons Wright & Wright has bought land for a superstore at Market St Bilston from Hunting Gate Development, advised by its legal department.

  • Property

    31-Jan-1995

    Allied London properties, advised by Paisner & Co, has purchased for u10.5m a long leasehold office building Hagley House, Hagley Road in Birmingham, the vendors being advised by Edge & Ellison.

  • Property

    5-Feb-1995

    Standard Life, advised by Herbert Smith, has acquired the freehold of a new 380,000sq ft distribution warehouse in a £21.9m deal at Pipps Hill Basildon being developed for Argos by Gazeley, advised by McGuinness Finch in Leeds.

  • Property sector still 'patchy'

    5-Feb-1995

    Property lawyers are facing further grim employment prospects following a downbeat assessment of the sector by analysts last week.Some authorities believe the market enjoyed a surge at the beginning and middle of last year - only to turn down again towards the end.Others say the recovery has only been sporadic, with major cities enjoying steady improvement while many smaller towns remain in the doldrums.They say that although the long-term trend is ...

  • Proving liability in PI cases

    31-Jan-1995

    Roger Pearson on two personal injury cases which highlight the need to prove causation in negligence actionsThe need to prove causation in addition to negligence in personal injury actions has been brought into focus by two recent medical negligence settlements in the High Court.Both cases involved children with broadly comparable conditions, but the settlement sums were vastly different.The cases ended with one settlement of u1.425 million and ...

  • Reforms 'need early judge input'

    31-Jan-1995

    THE LORD Chief Justice's plans to cut time and costs in civil trials are good in principle but will fail if they cannot ensure that busy judges are involved earlier in cases, say London litigators.Lord Taylor's practice direction includes greater judicial control of cases. But for this to work, the trial judges must be available earlier in order to get to know the case, particularly when the trials involve complex City matters, they say.This can be ...

  • Scots Law Soc visits Brussels to put its case

    5-Feb-1995

    THE LAW Society of Scotland is hoping to bridge the gap between lawyers in Europe and those north of the border through a seminar to be held in Brussels later this month.The Palais de Justice will play host to the president of the International Bar Association, Professor Ross Harper, who will chair the day-long event on 29 May.Jointly organised by the society and the British Council in Brussels, the seminar will provide lawyers working in Europe with an overview ...

  • Search and Find

    31-Jan-1995

    Fennell Betson reportsThe Search & Find software package has been launched by Bury company Document Technology. The Windows-based product enables users to carry out searches based on one or more key words, and it can handle all the documents stored in a PC within a single archive. Search and Find retails at u69 plus VAT.

  • Senior judge wants boost in northern hearings

    31-Jan-1995

    A SENIOR judge is embarking on a public speaking campaign to persuade northern lawyers to get High Court Chancery cases heard in the North rather than in London.The Hon Mr Justice Parker, who supervises the conduct of Chancery division business in the north of England, is currently hearing cases at Leeds Crown Court.Judge Parker, the Vice-Chancellor of the County Palatine of Lancaster, will be spending nearly four months this year hearing Chancery cases in Manchester, ...

  • Sentencing council plan by penal reform group

    5-Feb-1995

    A NEW Sentencing Council is proposed as part of a radical package of reforms unveiled last week by the Penal Affairs Consortium pressure group. The council would consist of senior judiciary figures and operate as part of the Court of Appeal, the group says.Regular guidelines would be issued to courts to ensure that offences are met with appropriate sentences.The proposal is one of 40 in the consortium's 'Joint manifesto for penal reform', ...

  • Settling the score in Wales

    31-Jan-1995

    A football world test case is set to start in the High Court on 13 March. A trio of Welsh football clubs will mount a challenge to a ruling by the Football Association of Wales which effectively "exiled" them for playing in England. Newport, Caernarvon Town and Colwyn Bay football clubs went to court last year seeking an interim court order over-ruling an association ban which had forced them to play "home" games on English grounds. After Mr Justice Jacob said ...

  • Shufflebottoms joins forces with Silverbecks

    31-Jan-1995

    LIVERPOOL practice Silverbeck Rymer has taken over its smaller neighbour Shufflebottoms in a move that both sides say will be beneficial.The incorporation took place on Monday when the five Shufflebottoms lawyers moved over to their new firm's offices.Shufflebottoms senior partner John Shield joins as a partner, but his two partner colleagues will initially start out as solicitors.The incorporation of the firm has led to two administrative redundancies ...

  • Simons Muirhead seeks police help over 'sinister' phone tapping fears

    31-Jan-1995

    LAWYERS defending the gym owner being sued by the Princess of Wales have contacted police over claims that two tabloid newspapers were offered the transcripts of a conversation between a partner and a private investigator for u30,000.The incident has occurred only weeks before the 13 February start date for the trial.Partner Razi Mireskandari, head of litigation at leading West End media and crime firm Simons Muirhead & Burton, says: "My primary concern is that ...

  • Simple precautions guard against computer viruses

    31-Jan-1995

    One of my clients recently suffered a computer virus outbreak. The problem was quickly contained and the point of introduction found and dealt with, but it was a great cause of concern that it happened at all.The 'post viral' inquest revealed some worrying attitudes and general ignorance of computer viruses and security procedures in general.The silver lining of this particularly nasty cloud is that everyone in the firm concerned is now aware of ...

  • Solicitors leave straight and narrow as debts rise

    5-Feb-1995

    DISHONESTY among solicitors is on the up as they struggle to cope with growing debts, claims a Law Society report.A progress report to the society's council on the campaign to crack down on fraud admits to only limited success since its launch two years ago. Though it identifies evidence defaulters are being discovered earlier with lower "shortages" on accounts, the report warns of a likely growth "in the small number of those who seek the dishonest solution".

  • Solicitors' duty of care

    31-Jan-1995

    Judgment is pending in a House of Lords appeal of considerable significance to the legal profession. The case of White and another and Jones and others centres on the duty of care owed by solicitors instructed to draw up wills and questions whether a solicitor, who failed before the death of a testator to carry out the testator's instructions for the drawing up of a will, owed a duty of care to the intended beneficiary.

  • Sound Practice 3.0

    31-Jan-1995

    Fennell Betson reportsRichmond-based Eatock Young has released version 3.0 of its practice management software Sound Practice. The package is designed for small to medium-sized legal practices and allows them to manageall aspects of their business through a software program combining communications, case processing and document management.

  • Stephen Alderson on abolishing the duality of rules between courts

    31-Jan-1995

    In recent years many legal practitioners have called for the abolition of the anachronistic duality of the rules of the High Court and the county court. Indeed, the tighter rules on transfer between the two systems and the fact that a majority of High Court cases never reach a full High Court judge highlights this need.Yet rather than advance the logical merging of the two systems the High Court and Appellate Judges appear to be pushing them apart. Is this an attempt ...

  • Swiss Bank lends support to EYBA

    5-Feb-1995

    THE SWISS Bank Corporation has been signed as the first member of the European Young Bar Association's board of sponsors.The sponsorship agreement, completed last month, will see the SBC profiled at all EYBA activities in Europe, and featured in its publicity material, books and journals.The SBC's financial backing follows last year's securing by the association of a six-figure ECU grant from the European Commission. The EYBA has declined to announce ...

  • Taylor Joynson Garrett hires Middle East expert

    31-Jan-1995

    UK COMMERCIAL firm Taylor Joynson Garrett has appointed Middle East specialist Sabah Mahmoud as a consultant.Prior to his appointment Mahmoud, an executive committee member of the British Middle East Law Council, was working from an office based at Nabarro Nathanson.His association with the firm continues in Dubai, where he operates an office in partnership with a group of practices ...

  • The Lawyer Inquiry: David Llewelyn

    31-Jan-1995

    Former McKenna and Co solicitor and intellectual property specialist David Llewelyn is the founder of new City firm Llewelyn Zietman. He was born in Warrington in 1956 and now lives in London.What was your first job?On a production line packing 24 cans of Heinz baby food into boxes. It made me determined to do well in my A levels.What was your first ever salary as a lawyer?u8,000 (as a law lecturer at Reading University in 1977).

  • The Lawyer Inquiry: James Barnes

    5-Feb-1995

    James Barnes is a property partner at the City firm Herbert Smith. He was born in Lisburn, Northern Ireland in 1955 and now lives in Blackheath, London.What was your first job?Window cleaner.What was your first ever salary as a lawyer?£94.76 a month (after tax and deductions) as an articled clerk.What would you have done if you hadn't become a lawyer?Run the marathon in 2 hrs 30 mins. I would ...

  • The understudies move in to take their bows

    31-Jan-1995

    In today's local government workplace temporary and contract lawyers are no longer helpful dogsbodies, answering telephones at otherwise empty desks.They may be the acting head of a legal section, or an expert brought in to service a client's need in a full fee earning capacity.There has been something of a revolution in local government legal departments in the last four years. Gone is the stereotypical public sector image of 10am starts and home at ...

  • The unsung local heroes

    31-Jan-1995

    Lynne Curry finds that despite the impact of CCT and structural changes, local government lawyers still have a part to playTwenty years ago a lawyer who opted for a career in local government knew the score. The starting salary would be respectable, the security impeccable, the pension handsome. Even if high office was not rewarded with the bounty accorded to successful private sector lawyers, there was always the carrot of the chief executive's chair.Ten ...

  • Women call for death of Bar's 'old boy' network

    31-Jan-1995

    THE “OLD boy” network of public school and Oxbridge-educated white male barristers is being targeted for extinction by leading women and ethnic minority barristers in submissions to the Parliamentary Home Affairs Select committee.The Association of Women Barristers (AWB) calls for sweeping reforms in its submission to the hearing on judicial appointments.It wants to see the calls for abolition of the system of “secret soundings”, which the association says is ...