31 May 1999

The Lawyer

  • ...and makes 18 new partner promotions

    31-May-1999

    Eversheds has made up 18 partners, bringing its total to 342, in the latest round of internal partner appointments.Six of the new partners are women, which brings the total number of female partners at the firm to 60.The greatest growth has taken place in the property and litigation departments, according to the firm.The new partners are Simon Owen (banking), Melanie ...

  • Accountancy

    31-May-1999

    In a world of increasing consolidation, where the accounting "big five" hold sway, the insolvency field provides some welcome relief.The usual giants - PricewaterhouseCoopers, KPMG, Ernst & Young and Deloitte & Touche - have strong insolvency and restructuring teams. But they are being increasingly challenged by firms outside the big five - most notably Grant ...

  • Blakes toasts Inzani

    31-May-1999

    South-East firm Blake Lapthorn is setting up a specialist liquor licensing department in its London office by poaching a partner specialising in the niche area.Partner Lisa Inzani has joined Blake Lapthorn from the London office of 13-partner firm Bates and Partners.A spokeswoman for Blake Lapthorn says: "She has been appointed to establish and head a dedicated licensing ...

  • Blame culture is not the way forward

    31-May-1999

    In last week's Viewpoint a CPS employee accused the organisation of institutionalised racism. Now David Calvert-Smith replies.The viewpoint you printed last week from an anonymous Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) employee distorted the facts to an extent that was misleading about my own position and that of CPS staff generally.So I'd like to set the record straight.Racism is not tolerated within the CPS. The service's disciplinary ...

  • Browne-Wilkinson defends death row appeal remarks

    31-May-1999

    Lord Browne-Wilkinson's controversial call to scrap Caribbean appeals to the Privy Council has provoked a furious debate among appeal lawyers.Browne-Wilkinson made his comments in The Lawyer two weeks ago (17 May). He reiterates them in a letter on page 17. His latest defence of his position comes as the Privy Council rejected last week an appeal to stop the hanging of nine men convicted of murder in Trinidad.In the letter, the senior Law Lord praises the ...

  • Cabinet expected to shelve LLP Bill

    31-May-1999

    City lawyers fear the Government is planning to ditch the long-awaited Limited Liability Partnership (LLP) Bill this week, prompting fears of a further partner exodus to "protected" US firms.The Cabinet Committee is expected to decide this week which bills will make it into the crowded Parliamentary legislative programme.Sources say the LLP Bill could be ditched in favour of more eye-catching legislation on e-commerce. Lawyers are lobbying furiously to keep the ...

  • Caribbean controversy rages

    31-May-1999

    Write to: The Editor, The Lawyer, 50 Poland Street, London W1V 4AX, fax 0171 970 4640, e-mail lawyer.edit@chiron.co.uk, DX44700 Soho Square.Your issue of 17 May 1999 had a headline on the front page "Browne-Wilkinson slams City lawyers". Neither the quotations from the interview on the front page nor the full article on page 23 support that headline.It is damaging both to the solicitors and to a judge if he ...

  • Case of the week

    31-May-1999

    A 19-stone salesman who sat on a sofa has delivered a cautionary tale for insurers with shaky furniture. Maurice Leahy was visiting the Croydon offices of Direct Line Insurance when the receptionist invited him to sit on a sofa while he waited, which collapsed beneath his weight, injuring his back. Leahy has now received u80,000 compensation from the Swedish manufacturers of the sofa in an 11th hour settlement at the High Court. Leahy suffered pain and psychological trauma ...

  • CC and Linklaters act in Whitbread purchase

    31-May-1999

    Clifford Chance and Linklaters have come to the end of a midnight run to complete the purchase of Allied Domecq's retail arm by Whitbread.The u2.3bn deal was finally completed on 25 May after teams at both firms worked throughout the night to reach an agreement.Pending a completion ...

  • CC merger approval causes upheaval at Rogers & Wells

    31-May-1999

    Rogers & Wells partners have been circulating their CVs to rival firms following its executive committee's agreement to merge with Clifford Chance.As predicted in The Lawyer (26 April) the two firms' executive committees voted for the merger on 21 May. The firms' partners will vote on the proposed union this month.Partners and associates in New York and around ...

  • Chambers managers to meet

    31-May-1999

    The Lawyer is holding its fourth annual chambers management seminar this month to tackle the raft of difficult issues facing the Bar today."It will be a very hands-on workshop looking at how chambers should best align themselves in the face of current market forces and Government restrictions," says Chris Owen, senior clerk at 9 Bedford Row and chairman of this year's seminar.The event features high-profile speakers, such as Angela Griffiths, practice development ...

  • Chapmans tops women's league

    31-May-1999

    Sports and litigation firm James Chapman & Co is billing itself as the leading practice for women in Manchester.The firm currently has 13 female partners - more than 50 per cent of the total and one of its joint managing partners is a woman.According to a survey of Manchester firms, Berrymans Lace Mawer is the second highest employer of women partners with more than ...

  • David Dalgarno

    31-May-1999

    Fiona Callister talks to David Dalgarno, the man who started his career at a textiles company but now sees that the business world is more than just material.Some years ago, I attended a conference for in-house lawyers in London which was attended by many firms.Each firm was encouraged to bring brochures which would be made available on the day.After a short speech, we all went for coffee and I followed the crowd into a large boardroom ...

  • Dentons and Eversheds lose out on deal

    31-May-1999

    Denton Hall and Eversheds have lost out to a 15-partner firm on a property contract for the Greenwich Millennium Village housing scheme.Westminster firm Campbell Hooper beat off a rival bid from 96- partner firm Denton Hall to represent a consortium - comprising Countryside Properties, Taylor Woodrow and land owner English Partnerships and Greenwich Council - setting up the 1,400 house development.

  • Diamonds no longer forever at Gouldens

    31-May-1999

    It is a case of the disappearing diamond for City firm Gouldens, which has dropped its old "G" logo and removed the "solicitors" tag as part of a full make-over.The new look for the millennium is estimated by one insider to have cost the 36-partner City firm a six-figure sum.Charters Macdonald-Brown, Gouldens managing partner, says: "Our clients, who include major corporations, property companies and City financial institutions, come to us because we deliver ...

  • DJ Freeman takes on DAC partner

    31-May-1999

    DJ Freeman has appointed Ambereen Salamat as a new partner in its insurance department.Salamat was one of the partners made redundant from the corporate team of Davies Arnold Cooper's London office in February, along with four other partners and nine assistants.DAC is making about 90 staff redundant this year and has closed down its corporate department in Manchester.Richard Spiller, head of DJ Freeman's insurance department, says Salamat ...

  • Dundas & Wilson loses IT head

    31-May-1999

    ARTHUR Andersen law firm Dundas & Wilson is losing its finance division head of IT to a leading legal IT supplier.Dundas' finance division IT project manager Jim Currie is leaving the firm in July to join Edinburgh-based Pilgrim Systems, which supplies its practice management system LawSoft to London firms Fox ...

  • Eagle Star slims legal panel

    31-May-1999

    Eagle Star's legal panel is on tenterhooks as the insurance giant has begun to scale it down by knocking firms out before the re-tendering process.This is the first move Eagle Star has made towards streamlining its panel after the company shut down its in-house legal department four months ago.According to several sources, Eagle Star has sent out a number of letters explaining to firms either that they have been dropped or they are allowed to re tender for ...

  • EU to let foreign lawyers side-step English rules

    31-May-1999

    English lawyers are concerned that an EU directive which comes into force next year will allow foreign lawyers to leap-frog established procedures to practice in England.The European Union Establishment Directive will allow all EU nationals working in the UK to become either solicitors or barristers after three years of working here.Currently, foreigners are prevented from joining the Bar or Law Society.Law Society international affairs director Jonathan ...

  • Eversheds boosts bio-science practice

    31-May-1999

    EVERSHEDS' Cambridge office is expanding its niche areas of practice in biotechnology and intellectual property in a drive to beat its competitors.Eversheds - one of the five largest firms operating in Cambridge - added pharmaceuticals specialist Ros Cook from Bristows to its Cambridge biosciences team ...

  • Eversheds in row over Nock's fees

    31-May-1999

    Eversheds is locked in a legal wrangle with its former head of tax over claims of unpaid fees.Reg Nock, who left Eversheds in February after spending just eight months at the firm, is believed to be claiming unpaid fees due to him which accumulated during his time at the firm.However, it is understood Eversheds is disputing his claims. The firm made a non-negotiable offer to its ...

  • Firm favourites for turnaround work

    31-May-1999

    Allen & Overy

  • Firms target the new breed of private clients

    31-May-1999

    Who wants the landed gentry bringing their green wellies and probate problems to sully the pristine carpet and image of one's prestigious City practice?More than five years ago, many leading firms such as Freshfields and Slaughter and May decided that they did not and dispensed with their private client departments in order to concentrate on their "core business".It ...

  • Firms unite for Franklin Mint Di fight

    31-May-1999

    City firm Titmuss Sainer Dechert has formed an alliance with Los Angeles-based firm Loeb and Loeb to defend Franklin Mint in its multi-million pound litigation over its production of a Diana, Princess of Wales, doll.The battle is being waged in the US, but much of it hinges on UK trade mark law, says Paul Kavanagh, partner at Titmuss Sainer Dechert."Because she was domiciled in ...

  • Formby signs up for Surrey firm

    31-May-1999

    Macfarlanes' former managing partner has forsaken life in the City fast lane to join provincial firm Mundays as chief executive.Roger Formby reckons that 38 years at the City firm - his entire working life as a solicitor - and 12 years as its managing partner was "long enough" and it was time for a change.

  • Former Gide partners in share battle

    31-May-1999

    Disgruntled former Gide Loyrette Nouel partners are planning legal action because the French firm is refusing to pay back their share capital.The news will be a setback for the beleaguered French firm, which is reported to be looking for a tie-in with a US or UK practice to turn its fortunes around. A senior partner at a rival firm says: "It has spoken to around five English firms. It is talking to everyone."Sums of up to u100,000 in share capital have not yet ...

  • Freshfields offers part-time partnerships

    31-May-1999

    Freshfields is offering its equity partners up to 40 per cent of their time off as part of a package aimed at retaining female staff.The offer comes as Clifford Chance is to vote on introducing flexible working hours for all partners.Freshfields is introducing part-time equity partnerships this month. An added incentive for partners is the promise that those going part-time ...

  • Govt in U-turn on rural bonus

    31-May-1999

    The government steered away from plans to pay lawyers bonuses to practise in remote areas when it announced its Community Legal Service (CLS) consultation paper last week.Geoff Hoon told The Lawyer last year that the Government could pay lawyers incentives to work in regions where legal services were lacking, but his replacement Keith Vaz has laughed off the idea.The CLS, described as "the cornerstone of Lord Irvine's programme of legal reform", will have ...

  • Groom released from Silkin ties after a year

    31-May-1999

    TOP advertising and marketing lawyer, Stephen Groom, finally starts his new job at Osborne Clarke this week, after his previous firm Lewis Silkin forced him to serve out one year's notice.Groom, 48, says: "I gave Lewis Silkin a year's notice under my partnership deed. I hoped we could have ...

  • Hunt for top lawyers to fill Law Commissioners posts

    31-May-1999

    The hunt is on for two top lawyers to take up prestigious roles as Law Commissioners.The posts of common law and criminal law and evidence Law Commissioners will be vacant from October this year and January 2000 respectively. They pay u81,260 a year.The incumbents, Professor Andrew Burrows (common law) and Stephen Filber QC (criminal law and evidence) are stepping down after serving the usual five-year terms.The Law Commission wants judges, barristers, ...

  • Hunt steps down at 36 Bedford Row

    31-May-1999

    James Hunt QC, the head of chambers at London set 36 Bedford Row, is stepping down just two weeks after a planned merger with two Nottingham sets collapsed.But Hunt insists there is no connection between the failed merger - which would have made his set the largest in the country - and his replacement as head of chambers. Michael Pert QC will take over in October. Hunt says: "It is not true that I have gone or there has been any acceleration of my stepping down because of ...

  • In brief: Central Law Group

    31-May-1999

    Central Law Group (CLG) has been bought by legal publisher Wilmington Group - owner of the Waterlows directory - for £25m. The management of CLG, which trades as Central Law Training and is based in Sutton Coldfield and Glasgow, will remain on the board.

  • In brief: Davies Lavery

    31-May-1999

    Davies Lavery is appointing Nish Kanwar as partner to join former Davies Arnold Cooper partner Catherine May in its City office. Davies Lavery recently took over Birmingham firm Berrymans Davies Lavery, whose managing partner is Claire McKinney.

  • In brief: DJ Freeman

    31-May-1999

    DJ Freeman has poached commercial litigation partner Kevin Perry from Barlow Lyde Gilbert, bringing the total number of new partners at the firm in the past six months to 10. Perry says: "There are far greater opportunities at DJ Freeman to develop the sort of commercial litigation that I do." He adds: "My desk is already full."

  • In brief: EMI Group's

    31-May-1999

    EMI Group's New York-based general counsel Guy Marriott is joining Denton Hall's music practice. Marriott will be of counsel to the firm, with special responsibility for new music technologies. He joins a team comprising eight music specialists from the media and technology department, headed by partner Robert Allan.

  • In brief: Legal insurers

    31-May-1999

    Legal insurers are forming a new body to represent after-the-event litigation insurance companies. The Official Forum of After the Event insurers has been formed by Greystoke Legal, Wren Insurance, Saturn Professional Risks, Amicus Legal, Indemnis and First Legal Indemnity, with another three companies set to join soon. The forum may seek regulatory powers in the future.

  • In brief: McDermott Will & Emery

    31-May-1999

    McDermott Will & Emery, the US firm, is acting for two Kosovan Albanians who are suing Slobodan Milosevic and other members of the Yugoslav government and military for genocide and war crimes. The action is taking place in the US. Professor Abram Chayes leads the McDermotts team, which also includes John Reynolds from the firm's London office.

  • In brief: Michael Scanlan

    31-May-1999

    Michael Scanlan, senior partner at Glasgow family law specialist Russells Gibson McCaffrey, has taken over as president of the Law Society of Scotland. He replaces Philip Dry, whose parting shot involved presenting the new Scottish parliament with a "manifesto for change", suggesting reforms for all areas of Scottish law.

  • In brief: Monckton Chambers

    31-May-1999

    Monckton Chambers has poached the up and coming judicial review and human rights barrister Tim Ward from 39 Essex Street. Senior junior Thomas Graham is also moving from Lamb Chambers to 1 New Square. And 14 Gray's Inn Square is losing its senior clerk Stephen Lavell to 2 Paper Buildings. The set has not yet secured a replacement.

  • In brief: Moquet Borde & Associes

    31-May-1999

    Moquet Borde & Associes, the Paris firm, is leading a pan-European alliance. Swiss firm Meyer Lustenberger & Partner, German firm Beiten Burkhardt Mittl & Wegener, and Italian firm Pavia & Ansaldo will join forces to form the alliance. It is officially being launched at the beginning of June. Meanwhile, White ...

  • Insolvency by any other name...

    31-May-1999

    There is not going to be a recession. True, this was not the prevailing wisdom last year, when the Asian economies were crashing and observers (read: journalists) were gloomily predicting doom. But, though the looming threat of recession in the UK has receded somewhat in the last nine months, it does not mean that insolvency and restructuring specialists are any less in demand.Part of this is due to the so-called "rescue culture". Originally promoted by Peter Mandelson - ...

  • It's been a bad week for...

    31-May-1999

    Sports audiences. Regular pitch invasions are simply not cricket, according to World Cup event manager Michael Browning, who is lobbying the Home Office to extend legislation outlawing trespass on football pitches to the more civilised game of cricket.Advice from the other world. Californian convicted drug dealer Bernardo Arroyo turned down an offer of a two-year jail sentence in exchange for pleading guilty to distributing methamphetamine, after ...

  • It's been a good week for...

    31-May-1999

    Cletoris, Clafoutis and other bizarrely named French children. A French judge has forbidden a family from calling their child Zebulon, the French name for Magic Roundabout character Zebedee, after a prosecutor invoked a law allowing the state to intervene if a child is given a name judged to be against his best interests. The prosecutor argued Zebulon would "suffer inevitable sarcasm and mockery".Juries. They may be under threat and have been criticised ...

  • Jimi Hendrix's father seeks lost royalties

    31-May-1999

    Roger Pearson reports on a music industry dispute over the singer's royalty rights for six albums that has endured for three decades.A high-profile music industry battle is looming in the High Court over the royalty rights to six albums by the late Jimi Hendrix.The battle has been launched by Experience Hendrix LLC, a company owned by Hendrix's father, James Hendrix. The company is seeking injunctions restraining US-based PPX Enterprises ...

  • John Warchus on internet defamation and its repercussions

    31-May-1999

    John Warchus is an IT law partner at Lochners Technology Solicitors.In the first English judicial decision on internet defamation, the High Court struck out part of the defence of reasonable care. The decision in Laurence Godfrey v Demon Internet Ltd is significant to those responsible for web sites, intranets and, as here, an internet service provider (ISP).The claimant is a UK lecturer and the defendant is a UK-based ISP, which hosts ...

  • Land case to cut public access

    31-May-1999

    Judgment is pending in the House of Lords in a case which could have major impact on public access to privately-owned but open areas of land. The battle is over a plot of land at the Oxfordshire village of Sunningwell which was donated to the Church of England many years ago. Planning consent has been obtained to build two homes on it. But Sunningwell Parish Council has sought to have the land registered as a village green, which would block the development. A planning inspector ...

  • Legal reforms have to start right at the top

    31-May-1999

    Two weeks ago Lord Browne-Wilkinson told The Lawyer that he thought the time had come for a Supreme Court. "It is much more logical to set us [the Law Lords] out as an independent court like the Supreme Court," he said.Now the legal pressure group Justice has said the same thing. Lord Alexander of Weedon told the BBC: "You can't be a judge and a legislator at the same time." Justice went further and called for the Lord Chancellor to step down ...

  • Legal Widow

    31-May-1999

    Lydia, the Lawyer's mother, has no time for Jack Straw's detractors: "That poor maligned man is only trying to get things done," she told me at the weekend, violently snipping off a blown yellow rose that suffered badly in the recent rain. She, for one, was delighted to learn that she would be seeing more of the young men she regularly passes on for others to judge - although some of them may not be so keen to see her again.

  • Linklaters set to break into Luxembourg market

    31-May-1999

    Linklaters will be the first UK firm to move into the Luxembourg market, subject to approval from the country's bar association this week.It has signed up one of the country's largest law firms, Loesch & Wolter, to Linklaters & Alliance. Loesch & Wolter specialises in commercial, securities and banking work.Loesch & Wolter partner Alfred Brausch says his firm will join ...

  • Litigation Personal Injury 31/5/99

    31-May-1999

    Kevin Lavelle v Sir Robert McAlphine Ltd (1999) QBD (Rougier J) 10 May 199Plaintiff: Male, married, 37 years old at date of settlement.Incident: The claimant was employed by the defendant construction company to work on a project at Heathrow Airport. The claimant was driving a 40-ton truck along a dirt track on the building site when it slid into a pit 100 foot deep. He brought an action in negligence, alleging that the track along which he was required to ...

  • Litigation Writs 31/5/99

    31-May-1999

    The US government and NASA are taking Julian Higgins of London to the High Court after failing to stop him from registering a trade mark similar to the NASA logo. In a claim issued at London's High Court, they are seeking to reverse an order of the Registrar of Trade Marks, made on 13 January this year. The Registrar directed that Higgins' application for registration should be allowed to proceed and ordered the US government and NASA to pay costs. However, ...

  • Liverpool set merger spawns power player

    31-May-1999

    The fifth biggest set of chambers in the country is to be created in Liverpool and will be based in premises currently housing a pub and a lap-dancing bar.The new set, 7 Harrington Street, is the product of the long-planned merger between two of Liverpool's premier sets, Martin's Building and The Corn Exchange.It will have 65 tenants, by far the largest chambers on the northern circuit, and will mean three out of the top five chambers in the country, ...

  • Local authority must clear rubbish

    31-May-1999

    Local authorities may have to rethink their rubbish clearance strategies in the light of a new Court of Appeal ruling. The decision in the case of Leeds City Council v Gordon Hoyland Spencer last month (May) centred on the right of local authorities to refuse to clear uncontained rubbish.However, the Court’s decision appears to leave little doubt that councils, while they may be in a position to put pressure on landlords and tenants not to leave uncontained rubbish lying ...

  • Lord Irvine climbs down on Law Society trade union fees

    31-May-1999

    The Lord Chancellor has climbed down on his threat to abolish the Law Society's trade union function in the Access to Justice Bill.Rather than accepting a back-bench amendment restricting the Society's use of practising fees to regulatory and training functions, Lord Irvine plans to give himself an enabling power in the Bill, allowing him to curtail its functions in the future.The power, he says, will only be wielded after consultation with the Society ...

  • Lords call on Irvine to give up judge's role

    31-May-1999

    A panel of seven lords is calling on the Lord Chancellor to stop sitting as a judge or risk violating the Human Rights Act when it comes into force next year.In a report to the Royal Commission on the Reform of the House of Lords, a working party for legal campaign group Justice has joined calls for the Lord Chancellor to stop sitting as a judge while in office. The lords also say judges should not sit and vote in the reformed House of Lords.Lord Irvine will ...

  • Lovells beefs up New York office

    31-May-1999

    Lovell White Durrant is reaffirming its US presence by poaching a partner from a Chicago firm.David Alberts, previously a partner at Chicago insurance firm Blatt Hammesfahr & Eaton, has joined Lovell's New York office of counsel, specialising in insurance and reinsurance.The appointment comes just one month after Lovells opened a small office in Washington DC.Joe McCullough, head of the US insurance and reinsurance practice at Lovell White Durrant, ...

  • Making the rift amicable

    31-May-1999

    What can possibly be the logic in a firm holding someone to a year's notice? It is not just that such a human resource strategy creates bad feeling between someone who has decided to move on and the firm, it also creates instability in that person's department, where team members are faced with a colleague who doesn't want to be there and uncertainty over the future. Clients, too, have a right to ask whether they want their accounts handled in such ...

  • Nabarro Nathanson wins London borough contract

    31-May-1999

    The race for legal partnerships between commercial law firms and local authorities is hotting up with Nabarro Nathanson's announcement that it has signed a unique deal with a London borough.Nabarros has signed a partnership agreement to join forces with south London borough Lewisham when pitching for local legal work.Under the arrangement, Nabarros has agreed not to compete ...

  • Norton Rose wins u67m damages for Maxwell

    31-May-1999

    Norton Rose has won a u67.6m out-of-court settlement for the administrators of Maxwell CommunicationCorporation (MCC) in one of the first post-Woolf cases to be heard.Coopers & Lybrand, advised by partners Stuart Hall and Oscar Harrison-Hall at Barlow Lyde & Gilbert, have agreed to pay u5m, followed by u35m in July and the rest the following year, for negligence and breach of ...

  • Osborne Clarke loses environment expert

    31-May-1999

    Bournemouth firm Lester Aldridge has poached planning and environmental expert Andrew Hignett from Osborne Clarke.Hignett, 45, now heads the firm's planning and environmental unit as a partner.He previously headed Osborne Clarke's planning unit as an associate.Hignett ...

  • Partners on the move...

    31-May-1999

    London law firm Park Nelson has announced that Mathew Gault has been promoted to partner. Gault joined Thompson Quarrell in 1992 before the firm merged with Park Nelson in 1993. Gault will continue to practice in the private client services department of the firm.Theodore Goddard has recently appointed three new partners. Andrea Cropley joins the firm's corporate group. Cropley has extensive experience of corporate transactions, including mergers and acquisitions, ...

  • Pet crematorium in pollution war

    31-May-1999

    A pet crematorium at Guilsborough is at the centre of a High Court planning and environmental battle. Mr Justice Turner has given leave for a challenge to be mounted against Daventry District Council's decision to allow Timeright Ltd, operator of the crematorium, to expand its activities on the site to include disposal of medical and chemical waste from other veterinary practices. Thornby Farms claims that council consent for expansion of the operation was unlawful under ...

  • Pro bono appeals: a life or death issue

    31-May-1999

    I was disappointed to read the comments of the Senior Law Lord, Lord Browne-Wilkinson (The Lawyer 17 May). It is the great success of the pro bono appeals in the Privy Counsel which makes them worth hearing. I am disturbed that in matters of life and death Law Lords should be concerned about logistical considerations rather than those of human rights.S William Lister, partner, Pannone & Partners

  • Quote of the week

    31-May-1999

    "Why do you think the Law Society doesn't love us and we don't love them?Of course we love the Law Society."- Keith Vaz MP, newly-appointed parliamentary secretary of the Lord Chancellor's Department (LCD), signals at a press conference that relations between the Law Society and the LCD will improve following his appointment. Or perhaps he is thinking about his wife, Maria Fernandes, a Law Society Council member.

  • Reed Elsevier

    31-May-1999

    1999 is a year Reed Elsevier must be wishing would end quickly. So far a fruitless 10-month search for a chief executive has only served to amplify huge rifts in the management board, culminating in the resignation of two directors.

  • Report says judges old, white men

    31-May-1999

    Judges are still overwhelmingly white, middle class, old men under Labour, despite its election promises to modernise the judiciary, research reveals.The survey of the country's 692 judges shows that since Labour came into power, only seven of the 85 judges appointed by the Lord Chancellor - using the much criticised "secret soundings" system - are women.The study by the Labour Research Department shows that the pull of the old school tie is still strong ...

  • Scuffle of the week

    31-May-1999

    Cardiff solicitor and sole practitioner Jonathan Brierley, who has now been convicted of sexual assault against a dinner guest, attempted to persuade the court that the fact he is a solicitor would prejudice the jury because they would think he knew what to say when arrested and in court. An agreement between defence counsel Peter Rouch QC and prosecutor James Jenkins not to reveal Brierley’s occupation has infuriated the press, who claim he simply wanted to keep his name out of the ...

  • SJ Berwin plunders leading Spanish firm for new office

    31-May-1999

    SJ Berwin has raided a Spanish law firm to establish its own Madrid office and strengthen its Brussels team.The City firm has taken on two teams from B Cremades y Asociados in Madrid, one of Spain's largest law firms.In Madrid, senior corporate partner Carlos Pazos will bring two assistants with him to set up the office of SJ Berwin, Pazos, Gallardo & Asociados, which will ...

  • Slaughters and Freshfields aid biggest Euro bank deal

    31-May-1999

    Slaughter and May and Freshfields are advising on potentially the biggest cross-boarder banking deal completed in Europe between the Alliance & Leicester and the Bank of Ireland.Freshfields is aiding the Alliance & Leicester, while Slaughter and May are working with the Bank of Ireland to advise on negotiations.A merger could culminate in creating UK's fifth largest ...

  • Square Mile

    31-May-1999

    Some years ago, I attended a conference for in-house lawyers in London which was attended by many firms.Each firm was encouraged to bring brochures which would be made available on the day.After a short speech, we all went for coffee and I followed the crowd into a large boardroom to see serried ranks of brochures laid out before us.I followed two guys and noticed from their badges that they represented two of the FTSE's largest companies. ...

  • The Americans in Paris, Frankfurt, Rome...

    31-May-1999

    Most US firms have used London as a gateway to Europe. The city's status as Europe's leading finance centre, coupled with the prevalence of English law in international transactions, has helped the UK become the staging post for a broader US invasion of Europe.There are dozens of US firms with a presence in London alone - from the big Wall Street players to niche IT operations. But among these, there is a wide range of strategies when it comes to taking on Europe. ...

  • The Bar

    31-May-1999

    In the aftermath of Woolf and with the general slowdown in insolvency work, one might think that the specialist bar would be suffering. However, this is not the case for the leading sets in this area - not least because the work is concentrated in a few hands. Chief among them is 3/4 South Square, the chambers of Michael Crystal. Barristers from the set were variously involved in most of the large collapses of the last recession, from Maxwell to Canary Wharf.

  • The brave new world of competition

    31-May-1999

    Raymond Cohen, partner, LinklatersSteven Beharrell, senior partner, Coudert BrothersRobert Lane, partner, Cameron McKennaThe opening up of the UK electricity market has finally arrived.This will mean competition will be introduced to the UK energy market, making it the first country in the world to do so.Sector ...

  • The Lawyer Inquiry: Campbell James Malone was born in Selkirk in 1944. He is a solicitor at Stephensons.

    31-May-1999

    What subject(s) did you fail at school?Physics, chemistry and biology - to my continuing regret.What was your first job?Working on a soft drinks bottling production line.What was your first ever salary as a lawyer?u7 per week.What would you have done if you hadn't been a lawyer?I turned down a job as a dustbin man when I was offered articles. I've often ...

  • This man used to do lunch with lawyers, now he makes it

    31-May-1999

    Some lawyers drop out because they have to. A Scottish husband and wife team, Gordon and Maria Thompson, took up coffee selling and hypnotism respectively after they were struck off in 1995 for making £30,000 worth of legal aid claims which they could not justify.But experts claim an increasing number of lawyers are dropping out of the legal profession because they want to."There have been a lot of lawyers coming through our doors recently, wanting to leave ...

  • This week

    31-May-1999

    The International Bar Association is holding a conference in the US on global litigation - topics include the tobacco industry, the advocate as a hired gun of the court, government liability, the millennium bug and human rights - at Boston Marriott Copley Place, Boston, on 1-4 June.

  • Warburg appoints first global chief

    31-May-1999

    Warburg Dillon Read has become the first UK investment bank to appoint a general counsel with responsibility for legal issues globally.Mark Harding was WDR's European general counsel before the new position was created for him. The promotion makes him a member of the board.He says: "I have a big role in WDR now. There are general counsels in Asia Pacific, Asia and the US, who I will be responsible for. They will have to report to me. I will also be chairing ...

  • Weil Gotshal plans major presence across Europe

    31-May-1999

    US firm Weil Gotshal & Manges is expanding into Europe.The firm is talking to possible merger partners and lateral hires in Germany and France, and is also considering opening in Italy and Spain.Managing partner Maurice Allen says the firm wants to do something "big and brave" in Europe. He says discussions should be completed in three to six months' time, when ...