30 November 1998

The Lawyer

  • A question of claim or counterclaim

    5-Dec-1998

    The Law Lords are set to consider whether an insurer's claim can be considered a counterclaim, reports Roger PearsonA legal battle in which, in the original action, a Lithuanian insurer accused Jordan Grand Prix of conspiracy and fraud is to be probed by the House of Lords.The Baltic Insurance group has been granted leave to appeal to the Law Lords against High Court and Appeal Court decisions rejecting its counterclaim in a case of considerable ...

  • Bar Council's "back door'

    5-Dec-1998

    With the many issues confronting the Bar - legal aid changes, increasing rights of audience for crown prosecutors and the increasing numbers of solicitor advocates, one would have thought that the Bar Council had better things to do than bother about the fact that a few barristers have requalified as solicitors but have not disbarred themselves as barristers.Your story, "Dual-qualified solicitors are suspended from the Bar" (The Lawyer, 21 April), ...

  • Barrister's Rwanda facts

    5-Dec-1998

    As the subject of your article "Barrister packs bags for Rwanda trials" (The Lawyer, 28 April) I would like to add some important points. Avocats sans Frontieres (ASF) desperately needs the assistance of volunteer lawyers who can take a month off work to go to Rwanda. All that is required is at least four years criminal experience and a good knowledge of French.Any lawyer recruited by ASF will work in Rwanda only for a month at a time. He or she will be sent ...

  • Chambers merge to create super sets

    5-Dec-1998

    THE SPECIALIST chancery chambers 17 Old Buildings has been swallowed up by 10 Old Square to create one of the largest chancery sets.And in another move, Birmingham chambers 7 Fountain Court and Priory Chambers have agreed to merge to create the country's biggest set with 78 tenants.The moves, which follow the merger in March of common law sets 3 Paper Buildings and Plowden Buildings to form a 50-tenant set, are taking place against a backdrop of great uncertainty ...

  • Child abuse lawyers form group to campaign against legal aid cuts

    5-Dec-1998

    An association of lawyers specialising in child abuse cases was formed last week to campaign against the withdrawal of legal aid for personal injury claims involving child abuse.The Association of Child Abuse Lawyers (ACAL) branded as "appalling" the Government's response so far to individual approaches by child abuse lawyers.Peter Garsden, a partner with Cheadle firm Abney Garsden McDonald who set up ACAL, said grouping together would give them "more power ...

  • Commercial Lawyer

    5-Dec-1998

    The photograph of Bill Tudor John on this page last week should have been credited to Commercial Lawyer.

  • Financing

    5-Dec-1998

    Pinsent Curtis advised Lloyds Bank Capital Markets on the £32m syndicated lending facilities provided to footwear retailer Stylo

  • French lawyer bites back

    5-Dec-1998

    Following your article "Guernsey backed on French lawyer's ban", I have lodged a complaint to the European Commission on behalf of Mr Leverrier claiming that Guernsey has no right to impose island law on fishermen caught in British waters and that I was illegally prevented to address the local court.The Paris Bar is supporting my claim and has lodged a similar complaint to the European Commission to which no answer has yet been given.The important ...

  • Freres:an offer it could not refuse

    5-Dec-1998

    Robert Lindsay takes a look at the causes of Frere Cholmeley Bischoff's demise and assesses the prospects of its successor firms.The demise of the 200-year-old name of Frere Cholmeley Bischoff on 1 August will be a sad day for many. But sadder than the loss of the name is the fact that many of the partners effectively voted the firm into oblivion so they could escape.Twenty-five partners agreed to be absorbed into

  • Freshfields swoops on Madrid firm to boost Spanish operation

    5-Dec-1998

    Freshfields has swallowed the nine-lawyer Madrid firm Hervada and Klingenberg and poached a leading partner from Garrigues & Andersen - its most significant expansion in Europe after its January merger with German firm Deringer Tessin Herrmann & Sedemund.When the new partners - Joaquin Hervada, Miguel Klingenberg and Garrigues' Fernando Bautista - join in June, they will bring the Madrid office size to eight partners and 32 other lawyers.According to one ...

  • Global Bar conference aims to step up legal liberalisation

    5-Dec-1998

    BAR associations from the world's leading nations are being urged to attend a special forum to examine ways of speeding up the global liberalisation of the legal profession.The invitation for the gathering, scheduled for Paris this November, has been sent out to Bar leaders from all 27 member states of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) by the the American Bar Association (ABA), the Council of the Bars and Law Societies of the European ...

  • Hampel Committee's supercode lacks clarity

    5-Dec-1998

    An addition to the stock exchange's listing rules should be a guide to good practice. Instead its forerunner pulls its punches and invites misinterpretation, says Paul Manser. Paul Manser is a corporate partner at Taylor Joynson Garrett.Will the London stock exchange's proposed "supercode" improve corporate governance?Formulated by the Hampel Committee, and a consolidation of the recommendations of the Cadbury, Greenbury and Hampel committees, it will ...

  • In brief: Benson to chair Bar Counsel's CLAF study

    5-Dec-1998

    Sir Christopher Benson, chairman of Albright and Wilson and deputy chairman of Thorn Lighting Group, will chair the Bar Council's working party looking at the feasibility of a contingency legal aid fund (CLAF).

  • In brief: Elliott & Co's free insurers' advisory service

    5-Dec-1998

    Manchester firm Elliott & Co launched an advisory service for professional indemnity insurers in the construction sector last week.

  • In brief: Eversheds recruits Nock from Deloittes

    5-Dec-1998

    Eversheds has recruited well-known tax barrister Reg Nock from Deloitte & Touche to head its tax department in London. Peter Scott, Eversheds London managing partner, said the fact the firm had enticed Nock had helped it to persuade two specialist tax partners and two associates at Frere Cholmeley Bischoff to join Eversheds following Freres' disintegration.

  • In brief: Hoon to launch National Land Info Service

    5-Dec-1998

    Geoff Hoon, parliamentary secretary at the Lord Chancellor's Department, will launch the National Land Information Service (NLIS) pilot in Bristol on 1 July. NLIS is an initiative designed to provide national information on land and property for solicitors. The pilot will electronically link three Bristol firms with 12 organisations holding information about land and property.

  • In brief: Justice calls for contingency fund pilot

    5-Dec-1998

    Human rights group Justice has called for a three-year Legal Aid Board pilot scheme to test the feasibility of a contingency legal aid fund.

  • In brief: Solicitor-advocates given more power

    5-Dec-1998

    Legal Aid Board chief executive Steve Orchard has announced that solicitor-advocates are to be given equal status to counsel when counsel's opinion is sought for the purposes of applying for a legal aid certificate. The LAB is also considering giving legal aid-franchised solicitors firms greater powers to alter legal aid certificates without gaining counsel's opinion.

  • In brief: Treves to chair London Business School

    5-Dec-1998

    Vanni Treves, who last week announced his decision to stand down as senior partner of Macfarlanes, is to replace Lord Sainsbury of Turville as chairman of the London Business School's governing body, following Lord Sainsbury's decision to concentrate on politics. Treves was recently appointed as chairman of Channel Four Television.

  • In brief: Wife's attempt to halt deportation fails

    5-Dec-1998

    A woman's attempt to stop her husband being deported by judicially reviewing the Home Office has failed. Claimant Idris Patel, represented by Liaquat Malik of Manchester firm Malik Adams and Sibghatullah Kadri QC, argued that the Government's pledge to incorporate the European Convention on Human Rights rendered the deportation of Mrs Patel's husband illegal as it contravened Article 8 (right to family life).

  • In brief: Winn joins Garretts

    5-Dec-1998

    Edge & Ellison's head of financial services Tim Winn (pictured) has defected to Garretts' Birmingham office. Winn cited the international strength of the Andersen Worldwide organisation as one of his main reasons for leaving Edges.

  • Irvine launches racism probe against Appeal Court judges

    5-Dec-1998

    In an unusual move, the Lord Chancellor, Lord Irvine, is to investigate whether three Court of Appeal judges were racist towards prominent London solicitor Sarosh Zaiwalla.Lord Irvine launched his investigation after Zaiwalla, senior partner of London firm Zaiwalla & Co, wrote to him about the conduct of the Lords Justices Simon Brown, Waller and Morritt, who issued a wasted costs order against him in December last year.In his letter, which has been seen by The ...

  • Israel link support

    5-Dec-1998

    London firms are supporting efforts to strengthen ties with Israel. Paisner & Co is sponsoring British week in Tel Aviv from 10-14 May, while Nabarro Nathanson is supporting government efforts to promote business ties with Israel.

  • Judge resigns after drink-drive arrest

    5-Dec-1998

    John Aspinall QC has resigned as a judge following his arrest for alleged drink driving after an accident near his home in Dorset.Aspinall had been a recorder on the Western Circuit for 13 years, having been appointed an assistant recorder in 1985 and a full recorder in 1990.He is due to appear before Blandford Magistrates' Court on 20 May charged with having excess alcohol in his blood and failing to provide a specimen after a three-car crash on the A350 ...

  • Labour one year on: could do better

    5-Dec-1998

    LABOUR'S first year in office has been frenetic to say the least. But aside from shaking up the legal community with a mixture of threats to end lawyers' gravy train and sweeping promises to change the legal landscape, the Government has achieved surprisingly little in the legal field.True, the swift fulfilment of its commitment to incorporate the European Convention on Human Rights promises to boost civil liberties in this country. And Jack Straw has ...

  • Linklaters to be first into St Petersburg

    5-Dec-1998

    LINKLATERS will become the first UK firm to launch an office in St Petersburg when it opens for business there in June.The new office will be headed by Dominic Sanders, a consultant who set up the firm's Moscow office "as a one man and a dog operation" in 1992. The Moscow operation now has 35 fee earners.Sanders said that this was an "exciting venture" and that the new office would help the firm "branch out and strengthen practice areas such as projects, ...

  • Litigation Disciplinary Tribunals 12/5/98

    5-Dec-1998

    Michael Robert Campbell, 36, admitted 1988, practising at material time on own account as Campbells, St Neots, reprimanded and ordered to pay costs of £5,104. Allegations substantiated that he had been guilty of breaches of Solicitors Accounts Rules and had failed to give a sufficient explanation to the Compliance and Conduct Committee of the Office for the Supervision of Solicitors. Tribunal said he was a conscientious man badly served by his accountant,

  • Litigation Personal Injury 12/5/98

    5-Dec-1998

    Carter v Gray - QBD 16 March 1998Claimant: Sara Carter, 23Incident: Medical negligenceInjuries: Claimant suffered permanent brain damage as a result of contracting meningitis when she was 11 months old. She claimed that she should have been referred to hospital 10 days earlier by her doctor who is now deceased. Doctor said to have been contacted three times over the 10-day period. By time she was admitted to hospital it was too late to save her ...

  • Litigation Recent Decisions 12/5/98

    5-Dec-1998

    Decisions are taken from LAWTEL's Case Law database. LTL: LAWTEL report; TLR: Times Law Reports; ILR: Independent Law ReportRight to compensation under Firearms (Amendment) Act 1997David Robert Steed v Secretary of State for the Home Office (1998)CA (Beldam LJ, Ward LJ) 1/5/98Appeal by the Home Secretary against the order of His Honour Judge Cowell that the plaintiff's claim should not be struck out as disclosing ...

  • Litigation Writs 12/5/97

    5-Dec-1998

    Peter Matthews, trading as South East Demolition Contractors of Folkestone, is taking property developer Corniche Estates of London W1 to the High Court, seeking damages for alleged breach of agreement. His writ alleges that it was agreed in January 1997 that his company would demolish buildings, including the Territorial Army Centre and three houses on a site in Hythe, Kent. Matthews was to pay £1,500 and under the deal the property in the salvageable ...

  • Merger makes seventh-largest Swedish firm

    5-Dec-1998

    In the latest consolidation of the Swedish legal market, three regional law firms have merged to create a 45-lawyer outfit - the seventh largest in the country.The firm, made up of Amerius & Partner Advokatbyra in Malmo, Advokatfirman LJB in Linkoping and Advokatfirman Delphi in Stockholm, will be known as Advokatfirman Delphi & Co.According to partner Per Berglof, the new firm will take on two more offices in different cities before the end of the year, and ...

  • Michael Berrett on manufacturers' responsibilities. Michael Berrett is a partner at Charles Lucas & Marshall.

    5-Dec-1998

    Carroll v Fearon & ors established that negligence by a tyre manufacturer, involving potentially lethal tyre defects, could be demonstrated by overwhelming evidence of a defective manufacturing process or another specific negligent act being responsible for the defect, and defines manufacturers' responsibilities in cases of products causing injury.The case arose out of a road traffic accident in which a car's tyre burst. The car veered into the opposite ...

  • More hiring at Orrick

    5-Dec-1998

    Bi-coastal US firm Orrick Herrington & Sutcliffe has continued its lateral hiring binge, with the appointment of the managing partner of US firm Shearman & Sterling's Tokyo office. Grant Finlayson, a specialist in cross-border mergers and acquisitions and licensing agreements, will ...

  • NCC unveils community law plan

    5-Dec-1998

    THE National Consumer Council (NCC) has put pressure on the government to act on its manifesto commitment to set up a community legal service, by publishing its own blueprint for one.The NCC launched its six-point plan - "A Community Legal Service: The First Steps"- last week, claiming that its model embraced "the complete range of civil legal problems".The blueprint, which was described by the Lord Chancellor, Lord Irvine, as "very positive and helpful", calls ...

  • No march on Chancery Lane

    5-Dec-1998

    Write to: The Editor, The Lawyer, 50 Poland Street, London W1V 4AX, fax 0171 970 4395, e-mail lawyer.edit@chiron.co.uk, DX44700 Soho Square. Christopher Hales, chairman, November Meeting Group working party. Shaun Pye's article, "D-day for the November Group" (The Lawyer, 28 April), noted the reluctance of the group to respond to his enquiries.This reluctance to respond arose out of a feeling ...

  • North Sea installation claim

    5-Dec-1998

    The supplier of a £17.65m offshore loading installation in the North Sea has launched a £9m High Court breach of contract claim after problems arose during its installation. Coflexip Stena Offshore, of London W1, is suing Odebrecht-Slp Engineering, of Lowestoft, Suffolk, claiming a total of £9,212,282.

  • Nortons HK break-up leaves it in the cold

    5-Dec-1998

    NORTON Rose is to be booted out of Hong Kong for three years by its long-standing partner Johnson Stokes & Master (JSM) following its decision to to end its 22-year association with the island's largest firm.The Hong Kong firm is insisting that Norton Rose honours a contractual clause which was triggered when Norton Rose terminated its association on 31 March.Roger Birkby, ...

  • Nurse made associate at Alexander Harris

    5-Dec-1998

    A MIDWIFE has been made an "associate" at niche Manchester medical negligence firm Alexander Harris & Co, in what is thought to be the first appointment of its kind.Midwife Debbie Murphy's promotion means a "rise in status" at the firm where she has worked for five years and the inclusion of her name on the firm's notepaper, although her responsibilities in heading a team of four nurses will not change.Senior partner Ann Alexander said about six firms ...

  • Peregrine high flyer

    5-Dec-1998

    A former managing partner of Herbert Smith's Hong Kong office has joined the Hong Kong office of US firm Paul Weiss Rifkind Wharton & Garrison. Fred Kinmonth will move from his current position as managing director of Peregrine Capital, the corporate finance arm of the Hong Kong-based Peregrine group.

  • Pre-action protocols are 'a total failure'

    5-Dec-1998

    A GOVERNMENT pilot of "pre-action protocols" which has been running among nine personal injury firms and six insurers since October has been denounced as a "total failure" by firms participating in it.The pilot is based on the use of protocols which set out deadlines for responses from insurance companies and require them to give plaintiff lawyers access to certain documents.The Lord Chancellor's Department intends to publish drafts of the protocols in July ...

  • Princess in rent wrangle

    5-Dec-1998

    Princess Nouf Bin Musad Bin Abdullah Al-Saud is heading for a High Court battle with holiday letting company Ivington London. She is suing it for for damages over its alleged refusal to allow her access to a flat she had rented. She claims she was to pay £78,000 to rent the three apartments for a 10-week period but although she had paid money in advance she was refused access. In all she claims she paid a total of £106,745 to Ivington in advance - £78,000 ...

  • Property

    5-Dec-1998

    Finers acted for Greycoat on the £31.5m sale of its Buckingham Estate in the West End of London to Langbourn Property Investment Services, advised by SJ Berwin & Co.

  • Property

    5-Dec-1998

    Denton Hall advised Equitable Life Assurance Society on its £40m acquisition of the entire commercial retail element of the Royal Opera House development in Covent Garden. Linklaters advised the Royal Opera House.

  • Richards Butler heads for Azerbaijan to tap in to oil work

    5-Dec-1998

    Richards Butler is set to announce a major boost to its operation in the former CIS and south-west Asia, with the opening of its first Central Asian office in Baku, Azerbaijan.Staffed by one or two local lawyers and a UK solicitor, the office will focus on finance work generated by the country's oil and gas industries.The decision has been made against the background of growing international interest in the country's huge oil and gas reserves - sparked ...

  • Sanderson steps in to buy up LegalMIND

    5-Dec-1998

    A WELL-known practice management system used by 30 firms has been sold off to a rival supplier after owner Admiral made a "strategic decision" to withdraw from the legal IT marketplace.International IT services group Admiral sold its LegalMIND product to IT services and software company Sanderson last month.Admiral has promised its small-to-medium-sized customers a "seamless transition" to the new supplier.The company also said that support would ...

  • South East Asia - Investing in a recovery

    5-Dec-1998

    International firms are having to adapt in order to ride out the financial crisis in South-East Asia, reports Richard TylerFaced with a grinding halt in project finance work, foreign lawyers in Singapore are staying put but are having to learn new ways to earn fees from clients.The word everyone uses is "retooling". The reason - an explosion of restructuring work for both lenders and debtors in Indonesia and Thailand, the two countries hardest hit by the regional ...

  • The Lawyer Inquiry: Nick Armstrong

    5-Dec-1998

    Nick Armstrong was born in Durham in 1970. He is a trainee solicitor at Irwin Mitchell in Sheffield and also chair of the Trainee Solicitors' Group.What was your first job?Child actor. I was Drew Barrymore's stunt double on E.T.What was your first ever salary as a lawyer?£15,900.What would you ...

  • Thirteen Old Square on the move as it changes name

    5-Dec-1998

    Leading chancery set Thirteen Old Square has changed its name to Serle Court Chambers in anticipation of a move across Lincoln's Inn to 6 New Square, the current home of law firm Trowers & Hamlins.Both the move, scheduled for late 1999, and the new name, are part of a long-term policy of growth and modernisation at the chambers, headed by Charles Sparrow QC.Over ...

  • Tribunal backs migrant workers

    5-Dec-1998

    Roger Pearson examines an employment discrimination case which strengthens workers' rights to freedom of movement within the EUA recent employment appeal tribunal (EAT) ruling serves as a reminder to employers of the potential risk of provoking a discrimination action if they turn away job applicants on the basis of the EC country which they come from.Theoretically, in the light of the ruling, if a British supermarket chain were recruiting staff ...

  • Weil Gotshal poaches CC £3m corporate biller

    5-Dec-1998

    LEADING corporate finance lawyer Mike Francies, one of Clifford Chance's highest billers, is quitting the firm to head US firm Weil Gotshal & Manges' corporate practice in London.Francies, who is thought to have billed about £3m last year, has been given a mandate by his ...

  • Wise words - in any language

    5-Dec-1998

    In the global sphere of the legal profession the need for efficient and respected interpreters is constantly growing, writes Linda Tsang. Linda Tsang is a freelance journalist.With the globalisation of legal practice, good and accurate translators and interpreters are vital for lawyers if they want to provide high-quality advice and legal services. A good starting point for any practice looking for a translator or interpreter is to check whether the individual or company ...

  • Youth court pilot to join LAB's block contract plan

    5-Dec-1998

    A NEW pilot scheme for representation in the youth courts looks set to be tagged onto the Legal Aid Board's criminal legal aid block contracting pilot - currently in the final negotiations stage.The Home Secretary, Jack Straw, asked the Legal Aid Board (LAB) to run a youth courts pilot in November in his White Paper, entitled "No More Excuses".The LAB is now considering attaching this pilot to the criminal block contract pilot - using the same firms and ...

  • Youth court pilot to join LAB's block contract plan

    5-Dec-1998

    A new arbitration service for resolving business disputes will be launched next week backed by some of the top silks at the Bar.The service - Arbitration for Commerce & Industry, (ACI) - is aimed at banking, financial services and insurance disputes, according to ACI director Reziya Harrison who is a tenant at 11 Old Square.Harrison said: "We are looking at the middle ground between the City Disputes Panel and the smaller consumer claims."Among the ...