4 December 1995

The Lawyer

  • 'Custody' of council house

    9-Dec-1995

    Muna DandanThe Law Lords are to consider the case of a separated Harrow couple at the centre of a dispute over a joint weekly tenancy of council property. The couple were granted the tenancy under the Housing Act 1985 in 1994 but the wife left her husband and sought to be re-housed. Her husband remained in the former matrimonial home. The borough council went to Willesden County Court seeking possession against the husband on the basis the joint tenancy had ended when the ...

  • Asim conferences

    9-Dec-1995

    London firm Bircham & Co is to host a regional conference for the Association of Solicitor Investment Managers (Asim) next month. According to the firm's head of financial services, Christopher Jones-Warner, issues for discussion include Trade Point, the alternative stock exchange currently being set up. Asim is also hosting a conference on 2 October in Edinburgh, to be addressed by David Cullen of the Scottish Law Society who will discuss the new monitoring ...

  • Association triggers row over CRE ethnic figures

    9-Dec-1995

    THE RIGHT-WING Freedom Association has been accused of petty behaviour over its "expose" of inaccurate figures on the percentage of ethnic minority lawyers.A factsheet published by the Commission of Racial Equality (CRE) had to be withdrawn after the pressure group complained that it was misleading.Association director Gerald Hartup pointed out that the sheet claimed one per cent of solicitors in England are from ethnic minorities when the real quota is actually ...

  • Bar takes up gauntlet of Woolf reforms

    9-Dec-1995

    CIVIL reformer Lord Woolf gets top billing at this year's Bar Council conference and will lead an open forum on "effective justice".Woolf, who will reveal his second set of conclusions on reforms to the civil justice system next year, will also give the keynote address at the 30 September event.A Bar spokesman said the emphasis on "effective justice" - also the title of the conference - is the result of the Bar's decision ...

  • Breachers 'family' to go separate ways

    9-Dec-1995

    LONDON firm Brecher & Co is to lose three of its four Brecher family members and a handful of senior lawyers in a shake-out prior to its expected October merger with City firm Nicholson Graham & Jones.Meetings of the Brecher partners last week discussed those who are to stay with the merger and those who are "extra to requirements", according to sources close to the firm.Founder David Brecher is expected to become a consultant at the merged firm, which will keep ...

  • Business booms in Bristol

    9-Dec-1995

    Bristol firm Burges Salmon has doubled the value of its commercial deals to a record £500 million over the last 12 months, claiming the upward trend reflects the growing demand for professional services in the city.Corporate partner David Marsh said there was "no shortage" of deals in 1994, with a strong start to 1995.Banker Edmund Bruegger, a director in the Bristol ...

  • Carol Searle and Kathy Jarvis

    9-Dec-1995

    The most recent development in South African law is the introduction of its constitution. Other important developments include the exchange control developments to protect the country's foreign exchange reserves. In March 1995, the dual currency system was abolished to allow funds held in "non-resident' accounts to be freely transferable.The constitution came into force in April 1994 and brings a Bill of fundamental rights, an independent judiciary and a constitutional ...

  • Change of direction

    9-Dec-1995

    By 1 November, the Law Society requires firms involved in discrete investment business to have a "qualified person" to conduct or directly supervise this business. To date, the number of firms signifying their intention to do so is low and the society describes the response as "disappointing".The deadline has focused attention on whether financial services will ever catch on with the legal profession.On the one hand it is surprising ...

  • City showdown for Fisons takeover bid

    9-Dec-1995

    Slaughter and May and Allen & Overy are squaring up in the £1.7 billion hostile takeover bid for Fisons by US drugs company Rhone-Poulenc Rorer (RPR).Slaughters' team, acting for RPR, is led by corporate partner Tim Clark, who headed the firm's team for investment bank Kleinwort ...

  • Consenting to the scalpel

    9-Dec-1995

    Roger PearsonA RECENT out-of-court settlement, rumoured to be five figures, has prompted renewed calls from pressure groups for the law regarding medical treatment to be tightened up.Frances Henton went into hospital for the removal of an ovarian cyst and came to after the operation to find she had undergone an abdominal hysterectomy to which she had not consented.The Campaign Against Hysterectomy and Unnecessary Operations on Women and ...

  • Couderts' Berlin base opens gate to Baltics

    9-Dec-1995

    COUDERT Brothers has opened a Berlin office, moving Brussels-based Dr Karl Pilny out as resident partner.Pilny moved into the offices of local firm Murawo & Hausler & Partners last Monday to concentrate on Couderts' industrial clients in the region.The US firm has signed a "corporation agreement" with Murawo, known for its work in litigation, real estate, corporate and tax law, to co-handle cases on an ad hoc basis.The office is also expected ...

  • Courts braced for budget cuts

    9-Dec-1995

    CASH-STRAPPED magistrates courts face severe cost-cutting, redundancies and consequent damage to their service, if this autumn's budget is as bad as predicted.Members of the Justices' Clerks Society (JCS) say they have been tipped off by senior figures in the Lord Chancellor's Department about spending plans. They say reduced spending could add further problems to a service already reeling from last year's budget cut of more than £8 million.

  • Do you receive me?

    9-Dec-1995

    Back in May 1992 when live video links were used for the first time in the English civil court (Henderson v SBS Realisations), it would have cost more to fly a key witness over from Massachusetts than the £4,000 claim for damages which the court was administering over a missing antique clock.Since 1992 video conferencing has become a widely accepted practice for the presentation of evidence in civil courts and its use has been keenly observed by criminal ...

  • Dublin cheats raise hackles of students

    9-Dec-1995

    LAW students at King's Inns in Dublin have protested over what they feel is the too lenient treatment accorded five future barristers caught cheating in their Bar exams.A lengthy investigation into the cheating - discovered as a result of a major increase in exam security - was conducted by a team of senior judges and members of the Irish Bar Council.The students had been found with typed and hand-written notes while sitting their exams. One had an estimated ...

  • Eversheds seizes easy copyright

    9-Dec-1995

    LAW firms are to be offered easier access to copyrighted material under plans being developed by the Law Society.Officials are negotiating with the Copyright Licensing Agency (CLA) for an agreement which would allow firms to copy material more freely.In a separate move, Eversheds has become the first major law firm to gain a CLA license. The deal allows the firm's staff to ...

  • Film row to High Court

    9-Dec-1995

    Goldcrest Films and Television is taking Merchant Ivory Productions and A Room with a View Productions to the High Court in a damages claim over the sale of the rights of the film A Room with a View. Goldcrest claims it entered into an agreement over the film with Merchant Ivory, A Room with a View Productions, National Film Finance Corporation and Curzon Film Distributors, but that Merchant Ivory breached its exclusive rights by giving Channel Four the right to broadcast ...

  • Financings

    9-Dec-1995

    Ashurst Morris Crisp advised Westminster Health Care Holdings in its one for four rights issue to raise £33.7 million net of expenses. Baring Brothers Ltd were the underwriters

  • Financings

    9-Dec-1995

    Herbert Smith acted for the Prudential Trustee Company in its role as trustees in relation to a £2 million loan notes issue by Premier Health Group.

  • Firm 'hives off' financial arm

    9-Dec-1995

    London firm Kidd Rapinet has hived off its financial services division to set up a new company, Lewis Chambers.Kidd Rapinet senior partner Andrew Lewis said the firm took the step because of Law Society over-regulation."The financial services industry is so over-regulated... it becomes impossible to perform a proper service to the client," he said.He added that the Personal Investment Authority (PIA) was an easier forum through ...

  • Firm plays its cards right with credit deal

    9-Dec-1995

    Clifford Chance broke new legal ground when it advised on the UK's first-ever credit card-backed securitisation.A team headed by finance partner Chris Field acted for MBNA International Bank, the second-biggest credit card issue in the US, in a £207.5 million securitisation of credit card cash flow (receivables)."It was a highly challenging transaction in terms ...

  • Flotations

    9-Dec-1995

    Ashurst Morris Crisp advised Alco Standard Corporation in its £23.5 million recommended cash offer for Copymore.

  • Flotations

    9-Dec-1995

    Travers Smith Braithwaite advised Hill Samuel Bank on the flotation of Benicia Ports. Benicia was advised by Baker & McKenzie in the UK and Peter Asitz and Michael Midda

  • French claim establishment split

    9-Dec-1995

    THERE is no majority opinion in the debate over rights of establishment and France and Spain have strong support from a number of member States, the French have claimed.Jean-Bernard Thomas, a member of France's delegation to the Council of Bars and Law Societies of the European Union (CCBE), said claims of support being slanted toward the UK's position were unfounded.He said while moves towards regulated free trade among continental lawyers were popular, ...

  • Goldsmith in tune with worldwide legal harmony

    9-Dec-1995

    THE DIFFERENCES in world laws are a "barrier to justice" and practitioners should work towards unifying legislation across the globe, Bar chair Peter Goldsmith QC says.Goldsmith last week called for the establishment of an international standing committee to monitor, co-ordinate and promote legal unification and said lawyers should set up a "legal superhighway" to provide immediate access to multi-juris- dictional advice.His proposals, which were well-received ...

  • Good neighbours

    9-Dec-1995

    While Australian and New Zealand law firms are similarly structured to those in the US, Canada or the UK, the profession in Australia and New Zealand has been going through a number of structural changes in recent years.Australia's federal system, containing at least five significant commercial centres, has encouraged the development of national firms and the recognition of cross-border admission to practice which that involves.Partners in merged national ...

  • Graduates steer Compas course for training places

    9-Dec-1995

    John MalpasCHAMBERS A NEW pupillage clearing house scheme which started interviews this week has attracted a massive 650 applications.Compas was set up earlier this year by a group of 12 common law sets who were fed up with the current free-for-all pupillage selection system.The scheme is spearheaded by Robert Nelson QC's 1 Paper Buildings set, Raymond Kidwell QC's set at 2 Crown Office Row and Harvey McGregor QC's ...

  • I am the law

    9-Dec-1995

    Third millennium, Mega City One. Judge Dredd and his Lawgiver, a gun genetically programmed to recognise his hand and controlled by his voice, dispense what passes for justice in a savage, overcrowded metropolis.Lawbreakers are arrested, tried and sentenced on the street.There are no courtrooms, only prisons, and citizens have no right of appeal. The judges and their hi-tech gadgets are the police force, attorney, jury and executioner rolled into one. Dredd's ...

  • IBA looks to 1997 for rule of law push

    9-Dec-1995

    THE UNITED Nations will be asked to declare 1997 the Year of the Rule of Law if a proposal to be put to the International Bar Association Council later this month is approved.IBA president Ross Harper will submit the two-page resolution in Paris at the 25th conference of the Section on Business Law. The central aim of the proposal is to alter attitudes across the globe and ensure strict observance of law.The resolution follows another IBA plan to establish an ...

  • In brief: Anglia Poly addresses profession's future

    9-Dec-1995

    Legal affairs spokesmen for the three main political parties will discuss future prospects for the legal profession in a debate at Anglia Polytechnic University at 6.30pm on Thursday. Chaired by Dr John White, head of Anglia Law School, the debate will look at the policies of the Conservatives, Labour and the Liberal Democrats and question which party holds the profession's future in its hands. Taking part are Labour shadow legal affairs spokesman Paul Boateng, Lord James Meston, ...

  • In brief: Clifford Chance IP expert goes to Pinsents

    9-Dec-1995

    Clifford Chance intellectual property specialist Cerys Wyn Davies has quit the City for the Birmingham office of Pinsent Curtis. Wyn Davies, who joins as a partner, qualified in 1985 and later developed an IP team within Clifford Chance's commercial department. She handled all non-litigious aspects of IP and IT work and provided advice on the privatisation of both the British Technology Group ...

  • In brief: Hodge Jones adverts go underground

    9-Dec-1995

    London law firm Hodge Jones & Allen has taken the unusual step of advertising its service on the tube. The leading legal aid firm has been running adverts on the Northern Line for the past eight weeks. Senior partner Henry Hodge, former Law Society deputy vice president, said the advertising campaign had been a success and the firm was planning to continue with it.

  • In brief: Honorary doctorate for prison inspector

    9-Dec-1995

    The chief inspector of prisons Judge Tumim will this week receive an honorary Doctor of Law from Oxford Brookes University. Tumim, who will leave his post at the end of October, was called to the Bar in 1955. In the past he has acted as a Circuit and County Court judge and is currently a bencher in Middle Temple. He has worked as chief inspector of prisons since 1987.

  • In brief: Northampton gets medico-legal society

    9-Dec-1995

    Northampton firm Shoosmiths & Harrison is launching a medico-legal society to improve understanding between the professions. Personal injury solicitor Amanda Nicoll said over 500 invitations to the 25 October launch had been sent to lawyers and health care workers in the region and district judge Roger Goodman had been invited to become the group's first president. She said the society, which already ...

  • In brief: Sixth insolvency practitioner licence

    9-Dec-1995

    Sinclair Roche & Temperley solicitor David Middleburgh has obtained his licence to act as an insolvency practitioner - only the sixth solicitor in London to take the title since the qualification criteria were tightened in 1989. Middleburgh, a commercial lawyer, has extensive experience of advising on corporate insolvencies, particularly on an international level.

  • In brief: Top job open for review commission

    9-Dec-1995

    Advertising has begun for the post of chair for the Criminal Cases Review Commission, the new body set up by the Government to consider alleged miscarriages of justice. The commission will take over the functions of the Home Secretary and the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, investigating possible miscarriages in criminal cases and referring them to the courts. The Home Office says the commission will be an independent, non-departmental body. The chair will be responsible for ...

  • In brief: Wilde Sapte hosts seminar with US firm

    9-Dec-1995

    Wilde Sapte is hosting two joint seminars with the British-American Chamber of Commerce and leading US law firm Epstein Becker & Green. The first seminar will be in Wilde Sapte's London offices on the 18 September, the second in New York on 11 October. Issues to be discussed at the first seminar are jury trials, employment related issues, US benefit issues confronting UK multi-nationals and third party sexual harassment. Epstein partners will address the London seminar.

  • Irish crack down on hard-sell adverts

    9-Dec-1995

    ADVERTISING by solicitors in the Irish Republic, which began seven years ago, is to be curbed by the country's law society following complaints about the aggressive approach adopted by some lawyers.A committee has been set up to examine the advertising issue and will publish guidelines, designed to eliminate some of the present excesses.Irish business leaders and local councils have accused the profession of contributing to a "compensation culture" by allowing ...

  • IT's no panacea

    9-Dec-1995

    The Woolf Report contains much common sense. It rightly castigates the legal profession for its handling of disputes and identifies the outrageous cost of litigation as a serious problem. But it then proposes increased use of technology coupled with judicial case management as routes to improvement. This is wrong.When I started out as a litigation lawyer almost 25 years ago, there were no such things in our business as electric typewriters, word processors, computers, photocopiers, ...

  • Jeux sans frontieres

    9-Dec-1995

    The 25th anniversary of the IBA Section on Business Law is a good chance to reflect on developments in the practice of law in Europe and to speculate about what the future may bring.Perhaps the most striking changes since 1970 have been the enormous growth in the size of firms and the extent to which lawyers have had to become more efficient and business-like. They have been forced to develop expertise in a wider range of specialities, some of which barely existed 25 years ...

  • Jurors urged to blow whistle on racists

    9-Dec-1995

    THE LORD Chancellor is being pressed to adopt radical measures by the Society of Black Lawyers to safeguard black defendants from the views of racist jurors.A report published by the SBL last week called for jurors to complain about any colleagues who expressed racist views.If the judge refused to take the complaint seriously, investigate or discharge the panel, the juror should apply to be excused, the report says.The SBL claims the level of prejudice ...

  • Law Society condemns divorce White Paper as 'cumbersome and unfair'

    9-Dec-1995

    THE LAW Society has fired off a damning response to the Government's White Paper on divorce reform, saying it will lead to a "fragmented, unfair, unworkable and expensive system" of law.And it has called for a comprehensive pilot project to be carried out before legislation is passed to ensure planned changes are viable.The Lord Chancellor's Department has denied that the proposals are unworkable.The society's family law committee has ...

  • Lawyer seminar

    9-Dec-1995

    Steve WarshalThe Lawyer is running a seminar, Financial services, an expanding niche market for solicitors, in London on 28 September. It looks at how solicitors can expand their financial services business to build a profit centre; how to comply with new legislation and regulations and how to keep up with new data and product innovations. Speakers include John Eaton, Lupton ...

  • Lawyers call for clearer guidelines after ruling clouds eviction rights

    9-Dec-1995

    COUNCIL lawyers face delays and confusion when advising on the eviction of travellers following High Court rulings on groups in East Sussex and Lincolnshire.At least 30 authorities are trying to obtain transcripts of the ruling and some solicitors believe the Government should issue new guidelines to clarify the application of the law.The court ruled that the councils involved, Wealden and Lincolnshire, made legal errors while evicting New Age travellers under ...

  • Lawyers clash with Mears on scale fees

    9-Dec-1995

    TWO high-profile conveyancing lawyers have hit out at a campaign to reintroduce scale fees claiming it may prove deeply damaging for the profession.The Law Society's former property and commercial services committee chair Paul Marsh and Brian Marson, senior partner of the Essex firm Marsons, have accused the leadership of embarking on a wild goose chase.Society president Martin Mears and his vice-president Robert Sayer have embraced the massive campaign ...

  • Lawyers under fire

    9-Dec-1995

    Bosnian advocates Ekrem Galijatovic and Mladen Sutej slowly count off their dead colleagues' names, making sure to remember each and every one.In Sarajevo, their home and virtual prison for almost four years of siege, at least 20 lawyers have died. Some were killed by shell or bullet, with others dying through sickness and starvation.No one knows the fate of most of the country's 800, mainly Muslim advocates. Communications are non existent and the ...

  • LCD considers QC's future as recorder

    9-Dec-1995

    THE LORD Chancellor's Department is considering the future of David Cocks QC as a recorder following complaints made to the Bar Council about his role in the Roger Levitt fraud trial.The complaint centres on allegations that Cocks, prosecution counsel for the Serious Fraud Office on Levitt and head of chambers at 5 King's Bench Walk, shared responsibility with the SFO and the Attorney General for misleading Parliament over the handling of the 1993 trial.

  • Litigation Disciplinary Tribunals 12/09/95

    9-Dec-1995

    ROGER TYRONE SINCLAIR, 43, admitted 1976, practised as Sinclairs, Canterbury, Kent, struck off. Allegations substantiated that he failed to maintain properly written books, wrongly withdrew client money, failed to pay client funds into a client account, used funds belonging to the Legal Aid Board for his own purposes and gave false and misleading information to a client. Tribunal was told that as result of Sinclair's activities 270 applications .

  • Litigation Personal Injury 12/09/95

    9-Dec-1995

    Thorley v Lewis - QBD 12 June 199Claimant: Peter Thorley, 38, fireman - suing on behalf of himself.Accident: Fire engine in which he was travelling crashed on way to hoax emergency call on 9 July 1990. Driver killed.Injuries: Severe leg injuries which have left him unable to crouch or bend knees properly and rendered it impossible for him to return to work as fireman.Effects: Loss of ability to continue working as fireman and general reduction ...

  • Litigation Recent Decisions 12/09/95

    9-Dec-1995

    Extending time for solicitor's client's account challengeRe a solicitor (1995).Ch.D (Robert Walker J) 31/7/95.Summary: No power to extend time for challenging prohibition notice issued by the council of the Law Society vesting a solicitor's client's funds in the society.Solicitor's application for an extension of the eight-day period within which to issue an originating summons for an order directing the Law Society ...

  • Litigation Writs 12/09/95

    9-Dec-1995

    Wakefield City Council has issued a High Court writ against Gordon Eccles, of Kinsley, Wakefield in a bid to ban him from holding markets within six miles of markets run by the City Council at Hems-worth and South Elmsall.Writ issued by Sharpe Pritchard, agents for the City Council. CH 4182.A 74-year-old Solihull man who claims he was coerced into giving around £150,000 and making over a half share in his home to a woman ...

  • Moving up to the frontline

    9-Dec-1995

    With an ambitious president and the first new executive director in 15 years, what direction is the International Bar Association going to take?Think of the IBA and you may think of a monolithic organisation which provides practical support but lacks dynamism. Its two new chief officers hope not."Sometimes the IBA has been criticised as being a networking club for the profession," says IBA president Ross Harper, an industrious Scot who after being a criminal ...

  • New York firms mastermind Chase Manhattan merger

    9-Dec-1995

    Four top US corporate firms based in New York drove the legal work behind the merger of US banks Chemical Banking Corporation and the Chase Manhattan Corporation.The new institution, adopting the Chase name, will be the largest bank in the US, with nearly $300 billion in assets and $20 billion in shareholders' equity.Chase was advised by corporate firm Milbank Tweed Hadley & McCloy, with a team led by mergers and acquisitions partner Albert Lilley and employment ...

  • No such thing as free lunch

    9-Dec-1995

    Adrian PellmanYour editorial in The Lawyer 22 August is the subject of comment by your correspondent Mr Alton ('Cut-price will cut service' 5 September) who said "you rightly say that, it is time for the conveyancers to give the public what they want". He goes on to say that evidence suggests the public are more concerned with quality than fees.I think you are entirely wrong and Mr Alton not entirely right. The evidence suggests a large ...

  • No voice for Law Society in Bar event

    9-Dec-1995

    THE LAW Society has lost its platform at the Bar's annual conference after this year's organisers revamped the programme and eliminated the official luncheon.Traditionally, the Law Society president had addressed colleagues on the other side of the profession during the conference lunch.But the 1995 programme, which devotes the morning to discussion of Lord Woolf's report on civil justice, is missing an official address from the solicitor's ...

  • One of the president's men, probably

    9-Dec-1995

    "WATCH out for the Sir Humphries," is one of the pieces of "helpful" advice the new Law Society president Martin Mears received from a supporter.So impressed was the president with the tip that he decided to include it in his column in the Law Society Gazette.It was a clear jibe at the Law Society's secretary general John Hayes.Before his election Mears described Hayes as "more than the Law Society's Sir Humphrey" who had "been in place ...

  • Opposition raps Howard over caution

    9-Dec-1995

    MICHAEL Howard's "stupidity" in abolishing the unconditional right to silence is demonstrated by The Lawyer's investigation into the new law, according to Labour.But the Government has defended the law despite concern from opposition parties over the findings of last week's survey of criminal law solicitors."If someone is innocent what have they got to hide," said a Home Office spokeswoman.She said "careful consideration" had been given ...

  • Pension review deadline looms

    9-Dec-1995

    The Law Society is urging firms which were involved in pensions transfers and opt-outs to ensure they meet the interim end of year deadline to review such cases.The firms are required by the SIB to investigate such cases following the pensions debacle where large numbers of clients were wrongly advised to transfer or opt out of pensions.However, there are a number of concerns about the investigations. Many firms which have given up financial services are ...

  • Political turkey comes home to roost

    9-Dec-1995

    It is now five months since changes were made which limit the rights of silence. Solicitors are left with the problem of advising suspects about an uncertain and complex new law.The Law Society's Criminal Law Committee has published guidelines which set out the circumstances in which a court should not penalise a silent suspect. A court may unfairly draw an adverse inference if a suspect remains silent because of a solicitor's poor advice and the Law Society's ...

  • Practitioners hit back at LCD 'slur'

    9-Dec-1995

    LEGAL Aid lawyers have attacked parts of the Lord Chancellor's legal aid Green Paper as a "grossly unfair slur" on solicitors' integrity.In its response to the reform blueprint, the Legal Aid Practitioners' Group (LAPG) smarts at what it claims is the impression in the Green Paper "of solicitors doing shoddy work and artificially inducing demand for their own ends".But the LAPG has joined the Legal Action Group, which has also submitted its response, ...

  • Property

    9-Dec-1995

    Macfarlanes acted for Ashby Developments in the extension of United Biscuits' warehouse facility at Flagstaff 42. BP Collins & Co acted for United Biscuits. Berwin Leighton acted for Hyfleet, part of the British Land group which provided finance.

  • Rechem Incinerator

    9-Dec-1995

    Muna DandanThe recent case of Graham & Graham v Rechem International (believed to have been the longest civil trial in English history), centred on whether the problems suffered by the Grahams’ dairy herd had been caused by a toxin allegedly emitted from the Rechem incinerator in Scotland. More than 80 witnesses of fact were called and 21 experts gave evidence on wide ranging and technical issues such as meteorology, toxicology, incinerator operation and environmental ...

  • Revolution by the back door

    9-Dec-1995

    There cannot be many people who have not heard about Windows 95 and how it is going to revolutionise the world. Yet another revolution has taken place this year and has gone unnoticed.An unprecedented number of lawyers have installed electronic document-based litigation systems. Firms such as Reynolds Porter Chamberlain, Martineau Johnson,

  • Set buys space for expansion drive

    9-Dec-1995

    BARRISTERS' set 29 Bedford Row has expanded its office space by half through acquiring the lease of its neighbours, Yorkshire Television.The purchase of the lease of 31 Bedford Row was prompted by Yorkshire TV's decision to abandon its London offices following its merger with Tyne Tees Television and the rationalisation of its London office space.The Bedford Row chambers began negotiating to acquire the premises only after a Temple set dropped ...

  • Small firms still in 'severe difficulties'

    9-Dec-1995

    Partners in the small law firms remain severely hit by falling incomes, with salaries and drawings plummeting by an average of £25,250 since 1992.The figures come from annual research by recruitment consultants Garfield Robbins. Partner Nick Robbins said: "There are small firms, relatively general practices, who are in severe difficulties."Mergers would continue to be sought by hard-hit small firms, Robbins said.Salaries in small firms (those ...

  • The bamboo curtain falls

    9-Dec-1995

    Three trends have marked the development of the legal proftssion in most Asian countries in the last 10 to 20 years. First, a large increase in the number of lawyers as Asian economies have expanded and countries have adopted commercial legal practices derived from Europe, especially the UK and US. Second is the growing resistance of local lawyers to 'legal colonialism' by European and especially US law firms. And third is the expansion of regional networks of lawyers and ...

  • The Lawyer Inquiry: Paul Lowe

    9-Dec-1995

    Paul Lowe is a partner in the banking department at Eversheds in Cardiff. He was born in Cardiff in 1959 and still lives in the city.What was your first job?Petrol pump attendant.What was your first ever salary as a lawyer?£1,750.What would you have done if you hadn’t become a lawyer?A windsurfing beach bum.Which law ...

  • Things to come

    9-Dec-1995

    The Business Section of the IBA has raised £250,000 to mark its 25th anniversary.It set up an anniversary fund which will be used to support initiatives around the world to further the rule of law, the establishment of an independent legal profession and the practice of business law in emerging democracies.The fund backs up other initiatives introduced by the IBA, which has a continuous programme of assisting Bars in developing countries and promoting and ...

  • Thug waged grudge war on solicitor

    9-Dec-1995

    A SOLICITOR received threatening letters and telephone calls and had his car and home vandalised during a two-year hate campaign by a man with a mystery grudge.Richard Thornton, a partner with Leamington firm Blythe Liggins, received a stream of hate mail. The persecutor also daubed Thornton's house in Warwick and his car with anti-semitic slogans - even though the lawyer is not Jewish.Last week, police at Leamington cautioned 27-year-old Christopher Jeremy ...

  • Time for an image rethink

    9-Dec-1995

    In The Lawyer 1 August Tony Holland gives his views on the election of Martin Mears as president of the Law Society.It comes as no surprise that Mr Holland should express the views set out in that opinion. He probably does reflect the views of the majority of the council of the Law Society and for that reason alone we should be grateful to him for reminding us of the problem which the rank and file of the profession has with its council.I have to question whether ...

  • Tipping the balance

    9-Dec-1995

    Disputes lawyers will be acutely aware of the keen sense of contest in fighting over the issues involved in litigation.Now there is a new challenge facing litigators - the advent of computerised litigation support systems used both in the office environment for trial preparation and in the courtroom for trial presentation.Ways in which computers can be used may well provide a party with a decisive advantage over the opposition - unless and until technology becomes ...

  • Union activity on the rise

    9-Dec-1995

    TRADE unions are taking a more "sophisticated" approach to industrial action, turning away from all-out strikes and opting for discontinuous action, a new report says.Produced by Dibb Lupton Broomhead, the annual industrial relations survey shows employees are now seeking alternative methods of action to resolve industrial disputes including one-day stoppages and overtime bans.The report says unions have become increasingly active throughout the course of the ...

  • Western aid wanted

    9-Dec-1995

    Three Bosnian lawyers, a Serb, a Croat and a Muslim, came to London for a conference last week. They complained bitterly about their Western colleagues who showed no support for their plight in the past three years.Surely it is time for the profession to rectify this situation and reach out to help fellow European lawyers in a time of crisis.

  • What's on

    9-Dec-1995

    With around 2,000 lawyers from 100 countries attending the IBA's Section on Business Law conference in Paris this month, the organisers have put together a diverse programme.The conference will be opened by Robert Badinter, president du Conseil Constitutionnel, and followed by a plenary session on cross cultural co-operation and communication. The Channel Tunnel project will be used as a case study of this, introduced by Sir Alistair Morton, co-chair of Eurotunnel, ...

  • When is a terrorist no longer a terrorist?

    9-Dec-1995

    As the peace process continues in Northern Ireland the High Court is set to examine the position of jailed terrorists seeking parole.Five convicted IRA terrorists, currently serving life sentences have won the right to mount a High Court challenge over what they claim are "irrational and unreasonable" delays in the hearing of their parole applications.All five are represented by Edward Fitzgerald QC, who at the recent successful hearing for ...

  • Your secrets are safe with us

    9-Dec-1995

    The former media firm Wright Webb Syrett recently hit the headlines when stacks of client files were dumped in a building skip.Nearby drinkers who came across the files were treated to details of the affairs of a string of celebrities including Sean Connery, Gillian Taylforth and Bill Wyman.With the information super highway offering a gateway to computer-held information, firms are understandably on their guard about keeping client information confidential.