4 April 1994

The Lawyer

  • 'Fundholders' still a live issue

    10-Apr-1994

    The future of the controversial "fundholders for justice" proposals remains unclear following reports that the plans had been dumped as part of the Lord Chancellor's Department's (LCD) radical review.The LCD insists that the report by the Social Market Foundation is still being considered "with interest", although insiders doubt whether the fundholders scheme can work in practice.But lawyers are now worried about its other proposals, such as the plan ...

  • 'Old boys' dominate law

    10-Apr-1994

    THE JUDICIARY is not representative of the community over which it presides, with 87 per cent of judges holding Oxbridge degrees and a large number hailing from public school backgrounds, a new survey claims.The study by Labour Research magazine says Britain's judges remain "elderly, white and overwhelmingly male".A survey of 641 judges at all levels showed just 4.6 per cent of them are female and only two are black. One in four judges is 65 or more, with ...

  • A prisoner, hoping for parole, is told that release is dependent on a place on a drugs rehabilitation scheme

    10-Apr-1994

    A prisoner, hoping for parole, is told that release is dependent on a place on a drugs rehabilitation scheme. The local authority which runs such schemes refuses to assess the prisoner's suitability until he is granted parole. Catch 22?Cases such as this indicate what the legal future may hold for community care. As healthcare is redefined and cash-strapped social services departments take on the burden of looking after the vulnerable, the time may be ripe for judicial ...

  • A&O partner elected Lord Mayor

    10-Apr-1994

    Allen & Overy is entering a float in this year's Lord Mayor's show following the election of their partner Christopher Walford as Lord Mayor of London. The float will have an Alice in Wonderland theme in honour of Walford's past position as Master of the Worshipful Company of Playing Card Makers. Solicitor Richard Nichols, senior partner in Watford firm Kelly Nichols & Blayney, has ...

  • Appeal on reporting

    10-Apr-1994

    I write to object to the article published in The Lawyer 9 August under the heading 'Secretary brands partner a "Bully" in tribunal'.The article purports to report proceedings brought by a secretary, Mrs June Hedley, against the firm, for unfair dismissal, but your report is neither fair nor accurate.Her only complaint notified before the hearing was of unfair selection for redundancy and the evidence included that:

  • Barristers transformed into solicitor-advocates

    10-Apr-1994

    Two barristers from chambers at 6 Gray's Inn Square were disbarred last week and will form a new legal aid partnership with a solicitor to specialise in Crown Court advocacy work.The two barristers, James O'Keefe and Avtar Bhatoa, will enrole as solicitors and carry on their criminal practice under a new identity as solicitor-advocates.They are joined by solicitor Louise Bullivant from Sheratt Caleb & Co who, under Law Society rules, will be able to ...

  • Bid to hone advocacy skills

    10-Apr-1994

    SENIOR QC Michael Sherrard is leading a major initiative aimed at improving the advocacy skills of young barristers.Standards have fallen so low that, according to Sherrard: "Sometimes they don't even know how to address a magistrate."Sherrard, of 2 Crown Office Row, has formed Middle Temple Advocacy (MTA) which will bring leading lights from Bar and judiciary alike to take lectures and workshops on advocacy. The first three-week ...

  • Compensation plan side-steps lawyers

    10-Apr-1994

    Plans for a no-fault compensation scheme, side-stepping lawyers and the courts, are to be looked at by a working party after they were unveiled at an insurance conference.Alan Fisher, a partner with Davies Arnold Cooper, put forward the proposals at a conference of the Liability Underwriters Group.Delegates were broadly in favour of a new study produced by the Insurance Institute of London in favour of no-fault compensation, but Fisher argued that the radical ...

  • Conjuring up an automated practice

    10-Apr-1994

    The issue now for a firm like my own is how to maximise our investment in technology and not to fall into the trap we did several years ago of purchasing a platform that was unsuitable for the commercial climate.As a practice with 22 fee earners and 30 staff, we must grasp the technological nettle or lose business to leaner and meaner competitors.Not all the fee earners in this practice have keyboard skills, but we found that when alerted to this fact ...

  • Court IT needs funding

    10-Apr-1994

    Public funds should be made available to finance use of computerised transcript systems because of their help in slashing the cost of complex City trials.Transcript systems can reduce time taken in and out of court, according to top lawyers speaking at the recent The Lawyer conference 'Operating a profitable litigation department'.However, Government funding agencies seem wary of the extra front-end costs despite overall savings, they say.

  • DAC recruits as two depart for Addleshaws

    10-Apr-1994

    BANKING head partner Cate Wood and assistant Mike Yardley have left Davies Arnold Cooper to join rival Manchester firm Addleshaw Sons & Latham. But DAC is recruiting three lawyers from top commercial firms, who will expand the banking team to five. DAC has just been joined by Turner Kenneth Brown banking partner John Nelmes. Another TKB banking lawyer is to join soon along with a recruit from McKenna & Co.

  • DAC's mag packs punch

    10-Apr-1994

    Davies Arnold Cooper (DAC) has scooped an award for its "punchy and confrontational" corporate magazine.DAC Reports, launched in 1991, won the corporate literature category of this year's Design Business Association design effectiveness awards.Barclays Bank, Smithkline Beecham, and the Home Office were among those chasing the coveted trophy.DAC's senior partner David McIntosh says: "It's good to beat other lawyers. It's even better ...

  • Dibbs set to act as Lloyd's 'gets tough'

    10-Apr-1994

    Lloyd's is to abolish its members' hardship committee as part of a new 'get tough' policy to recover u1.3 billion from indebted Names.Announcing the move, Lloyd's executives also unveiled final plans for the new financial recovery department headed by Dibb Lupton Broomhead solicitor Philip Holden. Dibbs will receive a flat fee for the work.A recovery committee will be chaired by former NatWest head of debt recovery Bernard Bradford.

  • DOs and DON'Ts

    10-Apr-1994

    LAW in Action presenter Marcel Berlins has survived a revamp of the long-running radio show.The Lawyer reported last month that the BBC was considering axing Berlins as part of the controversial scheduling shake-up at Radio 4.But, after testing out other candidates, the BBC has decided to stick with Berlins, but it does want to make the programme more consumer oriented. "It will hopefully sound somewhat different. We would like to make it more consumer friendly," ...

  • Esquire or not esquire?

    10-Apr-1994

    Referring to the Tulkinghorn item in the 27 September issue, perhaps the lady in question is an American lawyer?In the US, the title Esquire is customarily applied to lawyers and never to non-lawyers.I have had various irate lady US lawyers protest to me because I refuse to use the title Esquire after their names, pleading that my British background prevented me from such a solecism.I then attempted to solve the problem by never using ...

  • Exchange heads the Liverpool rush

    10-Apr-1994

    Andrew Burnyeat

  • FE colleges sign up to ILEX PT scheme

    10-Apr-1994

    Fifty-nine further education colleges have registered as assessment centres for a new training scheme launched by the Institute of Legal Executives' Paralegal Training (ILEX PT). The scheme, which provides legal education for non-lawyers, is expected to be assessed through 10 additional assessment centres by Christmas.

  • Financing

    10-Apr-1994

    Milsbury Care Services was advised by the Birmingham office of Dibb Lupton Broomhead on the u3m investment by 3i Group, advised by its in-house legal department.

  • Flotations

    10-Apr-1994

    Crewe-based AromaScan was advised by Halliwell Landau on its recent USM placing to raise u12m

  • Flotations

    10-Apr-1994

    Magnum Power was advised by Shepherd & Wedderburn WS on its flotation on the USM

  • Goldsmith tops Bar elections

    10-Apr-1994

    Bar Council vice chairman Peter Goldsmith QC romped home unopposed in the Bar elections to be chairman after Robert Seabrook QC for 1995. The contest for vice chairman is now a race between Bar Council treasurer Martin Bowley QC and David Penry-Davey QC, leader of the South Eastern circuit. Hilary Heilbron QC chose not to stand despite being a popular contender.

  • Henderson in move to Irwin Mitchell

    10-Apr-1994

    Leading personal injury lawyer Stuart Henderson, who won record damages in the Leung case, has joined Irwin Mitchell from Robin Thompson & Partners.Henderson, known as the u3.4 million man, will head the PI team at the firm's Birmingham office after 16 years with Thompsons."My decision to leave Thompsons was not easy but this career move will allow me to practise personal ...

  • Hoddinott takes over helm at IBA

    10-Apr-1994

    THE International Bar Association has appointed former British naval attachC Paul Hoddinott OBE as its next executive director.Hoddinott emerged from a shortlist of seven candidates who each faced a grilling at the hands of a panel of seven top IBA officials. He takes over from Madeleine May on 1 January, 1995. May has held the post since 1979.He says: "I am very excited at the prospect of coming to the IBA. Under Madeleine May's long tenure as executive ...

  • Human rights debate at Law Soc

    10-Apr-1994

    South Africa's deputy president FW de Klerk and Enoch Dumbutshena of the Zimbabwe Supreme Court are to take part in a special video interview to be screened at the Law Society Conference. The video, introduced by journalist Andrew Neil, will be shown before the human rights debate featuring the Hon Sir Stephen Sedley, the Rt Hon Lord Lestor and solicitor Mark Stephens. Society officials say more than 750 people have signed up for the two-day conference, which is being staged in ...

  • Lamplugh Trust calls for victims agency

    10-Apr-1994

    National charity for personal safety, The Suzy Lamplugh Trust, has called for the establishment of an agency or "victims voice" to represent the interests and rights of people affected by crime and the judicial process. Charity trustee Diana Lamplugh, also a member of the trust's executive committee, says: "There is a real need to have an independent, proactive body which can act on behalf of survivors of serious crime, to provide a collective voice and give specialist help and ...

  • Law Society slates new immigration rules

    10-Apr-1994

    The Law Society has joined the Immigration Law Practitioners Association and the Joint Council for the Welfare of Immigrants in condemning the Government's new immigration rules. The groups claim the rules, which came into force on 1 October, are incompatible with human rights and procedural fairness, and make it even more difficult for potential immigrants to come to or remain in the UK.

  • LawNet threatens expulsions

    10-Apr-1994

    THE LawNet group has announced strict new standards and threatens to expel member firms who fail to meet them.The group, set up in 1989 by chief executive Simon Maddox, has spent the past year bringing its 78 members up to the quality service standard. "Our quality standard is equivalent in commitment to BS5750, but is specifically designed to be relevant in the context of legal services," he says."We will expel members who do not meet the standard. If they ask ...

  • Legal aid solicitor offers 'Law for All'

    10-Apr-1994

    A new kind of legal services provision has been set up in west London by a young solicitor formerly with high profile legal aid firm Bindman & Partners.Called Law for All, the organisation runs the Acton Law Shop - a hybrid of a small legal aid firm and law centre. It has charitable status, and donors include City firm Clifford Chance, which has promised u6,000.It also generates ...

  • Legal issues top Labour conference

    10-Apr-1994

    Legal issues are once again to the fore at the Labour Party conference this week. The Labour Legal Services Campaign is well-represented with leading lawyers including Helena Kennedy QC and Andrew Dismore of Robin Thompson & Partners. The firm is sponsoring the event. The National Union of Civil and Public Servants Association meeting is called Justice for Sale - Deregulating the Courts. The Howard League for Penal Reform & The Association of Chief Officers of Probation will examine ...

  • Lilley has power to review CSA awards

    10-Apr-1994

    THE SECRETARY of State for Social Security Peter Lilley has confirmed his ability to use discretion in deciding whether or not to enforce child maintenance orders after a Birmingham law firm won leave to seek judicial review of the Child Support Act's discretion rules.The firm, DH Walton, received a letter from the Secretary's head of litigation Charles Blake on 12 September saying he would review the decision to enforce an assessment order made against absent ...

  • Litigation Disciplinary Tribunals 04/10/94

    10-Apr-1994

    TIMOTHY DAVID WILSON, 37, admitted 1984, practised as Wilson and Co, Harrow, struck off and ordered to pay u2,507 costs. Allegations substantiated he wrongly drew money from client account and used it for own purposes, failed to comply with professional undertaking, and failed to comply with accounting rules. Tribunal told Wilson admitted u76,103 cash shortage - since rectified - between May and July 1993, u75,591 of which was due ...

  • Litigation Recent Decisions 04/10/94

    10-Apr-1994

    THE HEAD of Herbert Smith's education department, Alexandrina le Clezio, is to join the College of Law as director of continuing professional development.She leaves next month after six years at the City firm where she took articles and practised as a solicitor before setting up and heading the education department.She says: "I'm leaving one plum job for another. To be on the college board of management is very prestigious and it's ...

  • Litigation Writs 04/10/94

    10-Apr-1994

    A woman has started High Court action for the return of videos showing her in sexual acts. Clare Denton, of London SE10, issuing Stephen Graham, of London SE18. She seeks an injunction restraining him from communicating to anyone secrets relating to her private life, personal affairs, or private conduct communicated to him in confidence and not hitherto made public property. She also seeks an injunction restraining him from publishing, divulging or disclosing ...

  • Lord Woolf reveals plans to speed up civil justice system

    10-Apr-1994

    LORD Woolf has unveiled some of the recommendations he is likely to make next year to improve access to the civil justice system.Among the formative plans could be limiting the numbers of judges, forcing them to work in teams to improve "case management", and creating a new layer of "procedural judges" to shorten cases.Woolf spoke as the National Consumer Council slammed the legal system as being "run for the benefit of lawyers", with access being denied to many ...

  • Manches links up with Rubensteins

    10-Apr-1994

    London and Oxford commercial firm Manches & Co is merging with old Gray's Inn solicitors Rubinstein Callingham Polden & Gale next week.The surprise move will combine a potent mix of specialist expertise and strengthen existing niche areas of both practices within a new top 100 firm. It is expected to have a u15 million turnover.The new firm will combine teams in commercial and property law, traditional strengths of both firms. It also adds Rubinsteins international ...

  • Masons opens up in Leeds

    10-Apr-1994

    Masons officially opens a new office in Leeds next week which will be filled with construction lawyers and a trio of computer specialists who have defected from Dibb Lupton Broomhead.Shelagh Gaskill, a leading computer lawyer, has joined Masons as a partner from Dibbs' Leeds office. Associate Zoe Ollerenshaw and assistant Ken Cooke have also switched firms.Masons says that Gaskill, editor of the Data Protection Encyclopaedia, has already helped the firm ...

  • MGN Trustees' second action

    10-Apr-1994

    On 6 October, the second of the actions commenced by MGN Pension Trustees seeking assets which the Mirror group Pension Scheme lost through the actions of Robert Maxwell comes before Mr Justice Lindsay. This action is against Bank of America and Credit Suisse for amounts up to u60 million, with credit to be given for the u25 million already paid by BoA. The BoA is trying to recover from Credit Suisse sums it paid to the MGN trustees. The case is expected to last three months. ...

  • Mishcons spawns major travel union

    10-Apr-1994

    Mishcon de Reya has acted as the main UK lawyer in the creation of the world's largest business travel agency, in a major deal between part of Paris-based Accor Group with Carlson Travel Group of the US.Mishcons acted for Wagonlit Travel, the Accor Group subsidiary involved in the 'strategic union' - essentially a joint venture.The venture has resulted in ...

  • NI Bar could face bleak future

    10-Apr-1994

    NORTHERN Irish barristers face a tougher time than solicitors if peace breaks out, according to Bar chairman Richard McLaughlin QC.McLaughlin says peace will mean less criminal work and a shift to commercial practice.Barristers will face growing competition from solicitors with High Court rights of audience next year, and an "overcrowded" Bar.This means that civil and commercial bar specialists will find their field swamped with ...

  • No such thing as 'guilty plea culture'

    10-Apr-1994

    Criminal lawyers vigorously denied the existence of a "guilty plea culture" and rebutted suggestions that they failed to act in the best interests of clients.Delegates at the conference heard Lee Bridges, author of Standing Accused, paint a picture of poor quality defence work.But the criminal specialists said it would not make financial sense to encourage clients to plead guilty.Stephen Wedd, of Harper Daniel Wedd, Brighton, said: "My business is ...

  • Police to blame for driving?

    10-Apr-1994

    The scene is set for a novel drink/drive defence on 7 October at Waltham Forest Magistrates Court. London sole practitioner Irving Brown, who practises as Irving Brown and Daughter, will defend a client who is facing a drink/drive charge, arguing that the police were to blame for what happened. He claims that after his client was arrested for being drunk and disorderly and then released her car keys were handed back to her by the police. She was then stopped a short way ...

  • Profession mourns loss of Napley

    10-Apr-1994

    Kingsley Napley is mourning the loss of co-founding partner Sir David Napley, one of the country's most famous legal household names.Sir David, a widely-respected lawyer and colourful personality, was closely identified in the public's eye with the firm he set up with the late Sidney Kingsley in 1937.Partners and staff are "devastated" by the death but the firm ...

  • Property

    10-Apr-1994

    Despa Deutsche Sparkassen Immobilien Anlage, advised by Simmons & Simmons, has bought the John Lewis headquarters at 171 Victoria St in London SW1 for u103.75m; the vendors being advised by Nabarro Nathanson.

  • Referral fees worry Bar

    10-Apr-1994

    Speaking to the Bar Council conference last weekend, Law Society president Charles Elly tried to calm barristers' fears over possible referral fees - or kickbacks - between solicitors or barristers for advocacy work.Kickback deals on court work would be against society advocacy rules, and Bar concerns may be based on a misunderstanding of the way in which standard fees in the magistrates' courts are split between solicitors, he said. Suspicions about advocacy referral ...

  • Report supports sentencing discretion

    10-Apr-1994

    A report out this week argues that judges should be granted the discretion to pass fixed sentences instead of being forced to hand out mandatory life sentences for murder. The report, published by the Penal Affairs Consortium, an alliance of 23 organisations concerned with the penal system, says that life imprisonment should no longer be the automatic penalty for murder.

  • Request on agents rights

    10-Apr-1994

    The 13 September issue refers to a survey of the effect of the new UK commercial agency law, showing that already agents are enforcing their new rights, particularly to compensation.The compensatory damages provisions of the regulations do not make clear how much compensation an agent might claim for lost commission where a contract is terminated on proper notice, nor do the recent DTI Guidelines on the Regulations (September 1994).This is because ...

  • Revamped MCCs put on back burner

    10-Apr-1994

    The setting up of new-style magistrates committees has been delayed for six months after complaints that the time-table for change is too hurried.The Lord Chancellor's Department, claiming its byword "is consensus not coercion", has bowed to pressure from the Central Council of Magistrates' Courts Committees.Parliamentary Secretary at the LCD, John Taylor MP, told the Nottinghamshire Magistrates' Association: "Both the Lord Chancellor and I are ...

  • Richard Fox on the plaintiff's offer to settle

    10-Apr-1994

    Richard FoxIt has long been an anomaly in our High Court and County Court rules of procedure that a defendant has available the powerful tactical weapon of payment into court, yet there is no equivalent procedure available to the plaintiff.It should be possible for a plaintiff to bring pressure to bear upon the defendant at a far earlier stage in the action. If a defendant can give a plaintiff cause for careful thought with a judicious (and early) payment ...

  • Saunders forces evidence review

    10-Apr-1994

    Defence lawyers specialising in City fraud expect to see a change in the way prosecuting authorities handle evidence gained under powers of compulsion, following the report by the European Commission on Human Rights on the case of former Guinness chairman Ernest Saunders.But uncertainty is the keynote for the next 18 months or so until the European Court of Human Rights rules on the Saunders case.Leading lawyer Monty Raphael, joint senior partner of

  • Scates breaks away from Rosenblatt

    10-Apr-1994

    Founding partner of London firm Scates Rosenblatt, Steven Scates, has separated from the practice in an "unamicable split".Scates, who set up the firm with Ian Rosenblatt more than five years ago, has joined Nicholson Graham & Jones as a partner. The City firm says it is also recruiting Scates's assistant Loretta Peddell next month.Scates, who says he left because of a difference ...

  • School monopoly over

    10-Apr-1994

    THE FIRST Bar training courses to operate outside of the Inns of Court School of Law could run from as soon as 1996, according to Bar Council chair Robert Seabrook.Seabrook says that although numbers have not yet been finalised, it is likely four or five additional courses will be validated at institutions around the country. He says the courses, which will end the monopoly operated by the Bar School, are likely to run from colleges already providing the Law Society's ...

  • Seminar focuses on employment law

    10-Apr-1994

    Bristol barrister Thomas Linden will host a seminar at the Law Society next month, discussing employment law and how it has been affected by the European Union. The seminar, organised by the London Young Solicitors Group, will be held on 19 October.

  • SIF is nailing criminal firms to wall

    10-Apr-1994

    Criminal solicitors are being "well and truly stuffed by the Solicitors Indemnity Fund (SIF)", conference delegates were told.Chair Judith Naylor, of Barnsley's Orsborn Naylor, said criminal practitioners were having to pay over the odds and that the group would be pushing for changes."There has been no claim by a criminal practitioner for at least seven years," she said.The SIF is due to review its low risk payments this autumn and the Law Society ...

  • Taking the guesswork out of costs estimates

    10-Apr-1994

    Imagine a senior executive telling his md that he has a great project that the company must take on, but he has no idea how much it will cost, how long it will take, and whether it will be profitable.This is what most companies face when they embark on litigation or arbitration. Clients deserve better.There will be unexpected twists in every case, but that should not stop lawyers planning for what they do expect.Project management/planning software ...

  • Television and the art of nuisance

    10-Apr-1994

    Roger Pearson

  • The deep 'black hole' of costs

    10-Apr-1994

    Roger Pearson

  • The Lawyer Inquiry: Gerald Shamash

    10-Apr-1994

    Gerald Shamash, 47, is a constitutional expert known for his human rights work. Born in Manchester, he now lives in London and is a partner at Steele & Shamash.What was your first job?An emergency break-down service for the Automobile Association.What was your first ever salary as a lawyer?In those days I never realised they were paid!What would you have done if you weren't a lawyer?Played up-front ...

  • The world ain't what it used to be

    10-Apr-1994

    The Law Society cannot be all things to all men and it is plain from the pre-conference comments in this week's issue (pages 12 and 13) that it certainly is not all things to all solicitors.Society-bashing is often endemic and disillusion with the body the accepted pose of lawyers, from both big and small firms. From each perspective, the society seems only to bring endless regulation and demands for cash.Lawyers are never going to be an easy breed ...

  • Tompson signs on as city ombudsman

    10-Apr-1994

    FORMER local authority solicitor Elizabeth Tompson has been appointed as the internal ombudsman to Cambridge City Council.Tompson, who left her position as lecturer in law at Cambridge Business College (CBC) to take up the post, has signed a 12-month contract. She hopes to continue teaching part-time.As ombudsman she is able to award "modest" compensation and recommend an apology in a range of cases, including applications for council ...

  • TUPE guide to get twice-yearly update

    10-Apr-1994

    A second edition of a guide providing information on the effects of TUPE has been published by City firm Lawrence Graham.The guide, which has been produced by the firm's Local and Public Authority Unit, will be updated twice yearly by computer disk for local authorities.It gives the latest position on issues such as the acquired rights directive and the Trades ...

  • UIA squares up to rival IBA

    10-Apr-1994

    THE Union International des Avocats has launched expansion plans which will set it on a collision course with its avowed rival, the International Bar Association.The UIA has always been regarded as an organisation for lawyers of the French-speaking world, whereas the IBA is seen as more anglophile.But now it has elected an Australian as its 1995 president and is holding its conference in the capital of the English-speaking world, London.In a move ...

  • US lawyers give boost to the north

    10-Apr-1994

    US LAWYERS are spreading the word about northern firms following a flying visit organised by the Cowen Group.The group is named after its founder Booth & Co joint senior partner Maurice Cowen.American members of the group gave seminars to clients of Booth's in Leeds and of Addleshaws in Manchester.One of the most interesting speakers was Valerie Hoffman, of Seyfarth, Shaw, Fairweather & Geraldson, a specialist in child abuse work. The huge firm ...

  • Women join 'gentlemans' club of MPs

    10-Apr-1994

    TWO women joined one of the most exclusive clubs in Britain last week when they became managing partners of their firms.Garrett & Co appointed its company/corporate law chief Julia Chain as managingpartner, in a move which splits the role from that of senior partner, a position retained by Colin Garrett.Chain, who has four children, says: "I am the only managing partner in the City. There are very few women with families at the top of the profession. ...

  • Yardley rules out legislation

    10-Apr-1994

    Nicole Maley reportsENGLAND'S local government ombudsmen will not press for legislation to make their recommendations enforceable because the majority of their findings are readily accepted by councils, their annual report claims.The report says half the 359 reports issued by the ombudsmen during the year from April 1993 to March 1994 involved poor communication between councils and their customers.A further 41 of the reports centred around ...