4 March 1996

The Lawyer

  • 'Not just grey suits' at Olswang Web site

    9-Mar-1996

    Media, technology and entertainment firm Olswang has launched its own 150-page Web site.The site includes a search engine, a glossary of legal terms and topics, biographies and photos of all lawyers at the firm, and links to clients' Web sites. It also has a "not just grey suits" section with an interactive map of Covent Garden, details of key tourist ...

  • A question of authority power

    9-Mar-1996

    In legal terms the lessons of the recent Court of Appeal decision in Welton v North Cornwall District Council raise interesting points about the circumstances in which local authorities can be held responsible for the actions of their officers. But in terms of the accountability of local authorities for their officers' actions, the case sounds a warning that the excesses of some staff must be curbed. As North Cornwall found out, failure to do so could lead to a claim ...

  • A swinging affair

    9-Mar-1996

    Tired of the traditional Christmas party? This year why not plan something different. There are a number of party organisers that can brighten up your firm's celebrations and the huge range of events on offer, from James Bond evenings to a night at the circus, can transform a run-of-the-mill dinner into a night to remember."Firms need to focus in on what they want, not what has gone before," says Guy Rodgers, managing director of The Ultimate Experience which is this ...

  • Admissions to NI institute put under the microscope

    9-Mar-1996

    The admissions procedure of Northern Ireland's Institute of Professional Legal Studies has come under scrutiny from an independent audit team.The team is examining the vocational course which allows students to qualify as lawyers in the province and which has come under fire recently from leading law firms.The firms claim that promising students cannot take up offers of pupillage either because they are failing to get on to the institute course or because ...

  • Agent technology boosts search and retrieval systems

    9-Mar-1996

    Fulcrum Technologies, supplier of retrieval technology, has two products in the pipeline.It is releasing an "agent" technology system at the end of September based on the idea of a personal helper automatically retrieving information as it appears on the Internet or internal files which is of interest to the user. It works from a profile of the user's interests and records the type of information retrieved most often, improving the accuracy ...

  • Attorneys do battle over LSC cuts

    9-Mar-1996

    "Freedom, justice, liberty: without lawyers they're only words" - a grandiose but relevant theme for the American Bar Association's annual meeting in Florida last month.Relevant because justice and liberty for America's poor, Hillary Clinton, the US President's wife, argued at the convention, is coming under increasing threat from cuts to the Legal Services Corporation, the US equivalent of the Legal Aid Board.The LSC was founded in 1975 by ...

  • Aviation ace flies to Britannia

    9-Mar-1996

    A Norton Rose lawyer, Elizabeth Franey, has joined Britannia Airways as general counsel and company solicitor.Franey, a specialist in aviation and asset finance, spent nine years at Norton Rose, where she advised Britannia. As an in-house lawyer she will advise the company on aircraft-related contracts and purchasing agreements.Britannia said it decided to create the new appointment ...

  • Bar clearing wins vots of confidence

    9-Mar-1996

    The Bar's new computerised clearing system for trainee barristers has been given the thumbs-up by barristers and candidates.Around 1,700 applications have been received to date and 85 per cent of chambers have joined the scheme.The Pupillage Applications Clearing House (PACH) is now processing its third tranche of applications, and has set a final deadline for acceptance of offers of 1 November. Candidates not placed by then go into the 'pool' ...

  • Bar gears up for Labour govt

    9-Mar-1996

    Richard Clayton reportsBarristers are planning to set an urgent agenda for criminal justice reform at this month's annual Bar conference in anticipation of next year's general election.The conference, on 28 September, features the most substantial criminal programme for some years and boasts the Shadow Lord Chancellor, Lord Irvine of Lairg QC, as its keynote speaker.Cherie Booth QC, wife of Labour leader Tony Blair, ...

  • Benefit clawback may be ditched

    9-Mar-1996

    Legal bodies campaigning to stop social security benefits being clawed back from accident victims are hoping to see their efforts pay off later this year.Social Security Minister Roger Evans is expected to propose new legislation to change the clawback system this autumn, following years of campaigning by the Association of Personal Injury Lawyers (Apil), the Law Society and the TUC.Under the current system, victims of accidents who claim benefits during illness ...

  • Brief

    9-Mar-1996

    Alison Laferla reportsInternational firm Norton Rose has installed a multimedia presentation suite at its City head office. The suite seats over 100 people and includes a 2.5-metre screen, a link to the internal computer network and satellite TV reception. Chris Manners, head of marketing at Norton Rose, said: "We felt this was the sort of facility an international law ...

  • Can the Law Soc learn from PACH?

    9-Mar-1996

    The Bar Council must be delighted with the success of PACH, its centralised system for processing applications for pupillage. Some 85 per cent of chambers chose to take part in the scheme and 1,700 students, who each made only one application on disk naming up to 20 chambers, are currently being matched with compatible sets.The main advantage of a centralised system for many practices is that it banishes the dreaded heap of on-spec applications - some ...

  • City trio selects prime Heathrow site for specialist litigation practice

    9-Mar-1996

    A specialist commercial litigation firm, Curtis Davis Garrard, will be opened this week in the unusual location of Heathrow's Terminal 4.The practice's three partners, Simon Curtis, Mark Davis and Ian Garrard, said they felt they could offer a better service outside a City environment.All three formerly worked for City firm Watson, Farley & Williams - Curtis and Davis were partners there until last week and Garrard left in 1994 to join

  • Clear up agents rules

    9-Mar-1996

    Steve Sidkin's article (27 August) discusses the only two cases on the Commercial Agents Regulations to date in the UK and their deficiencies.The one question clients want answered is how much is payable in compensatory damages. It is still unclear. The recent EC report into Article 17 of the regulations is a helpful summary of the law on compensation/indemnity in member states.But for UK law all it can do is regurgitate comments to the commission, ...

  • Commercial first for northern set

    9-Mar-1996

    Two senior Manchester barristers are leaving Hollins Chambers to start the first exclusively commercial set outside London.The new set, to be known as Merchant Chambers, is the brainchild of barristers David Berkley and Stephen Cogley, who aim to provide purely specialist representation for the area's business and banking sectors.They plan to start business on 4 November with the assistance of about three or four other specialist commercial barristers, one ...

  • Conveyancers enjoy feel-good factor

    9-Mar-1996

    Domestic conveyancers are experiencing a sudden influx of business over the summer, matching reports that the house-buyers market is at the dawn of a revival.According to a straw poll of law firms, those in the south of England are optimistic about the future of domestic conveyancing and in some cases are recruiting extra staff to cope with demand.Lawyers say that because firms in the South were the first to experience the effects of the recession in the early ...

  • Criminal justice

    9-Mar-1996

    Defendant's rights are put in the dock

  • Departure of IP partners shrinks Conn & Co to four

    9-Mar-1996

    Manchester law firm Philip Conn & Co has lost one of its top intellectual property partners to Alsop Wilkinson, the second IP partner to leave the firm recently.Graeme Orchison and Lee Brierley left after helping to establish the firm's reputation as one of the leading IP practices outside London over the past few years.Their exit, which leaves the firm with just four partners, is the second blow to the firm this year. In April Manchester firm Donn & Co, ...

  • Dibbs and Alsops look to form UK giant

    9-Mar-1996

    Dibb Lupton Broomhead and Alsop Wilkinson are believed to be in merger talks to form the fifth largest law firm in the UK.Talks between the two regional firms are understood to be at an advanced stage and proposals will soon be put before partners in each practice.If a deal is struck, Dibbs will gain Alsops' two international offices in New York and Hong Kong. Dibbs, which recently forged an alliance with Chicago practice Hinshaw & Culbertson, is anxious ...

  • Downing leads Price Waterhouse's European law network expansion

    9-Mar-1996

    Former Pinsent Curtis securities partner Paul Downing takes up his post as head of the growing European network of accountancy firm Price Waterhouse's law firms this Monday just after a German law firm was added to the list.Price Waterhouse now has 350 lawyers in 29 offices, representing law practices in 17 countries in Europe. The German practice, Pachman Nehm Bilger, comprising nine lawyers in Dusseldorf, Frankfurt and Stuttgart, handles mergers and acquisitions and ...

  • Draft employment Bill gets the thumbs-down

    9-Mar-1996

    Government proposals to simplify employment dispute procedures could lead to greater complexity and lack of uniformity, employment lawyers have warned.They are preparing to respond to a draft Bill on dispute resolution, published for consultation by the Department of Trade and Industry in July.The main aims of the Bill are to encourage use of voluntary alternatives to industrial hearings and to streamline industrial tribunal procedures.One of the ...

  • Fair's fare

    9-Mar-1996

    The policies behind airline fares are scheduled to come under the High Court spotlight. Easyjet Airline is taking KLM Royal Dutch Airlines to court seeking damages over an allegedly "predatory" fares policy. Easyjet is seeking an injunction and damages under the provisions of European law accusing KLM of abuse of its dominant position in scheduled air transport in the Netherlands and Amsterdam/London market.

  • Financings

    9-Mar-1996

    Allen & Overy advised a number of banks which recently provided Granada Group with a new £740 million syndicated credit facility. Lovell White Durrant advised Granada.

  • Financings

    9-Mar-1996

    Ashurst Morris Crisp acted for Hoare Govett Corporate Finance in the private placing by Axis Genetics of £5 million worth of shares to fund further research and development. Axis was represented by Garrett & Co.

  • Firm scores a conversion

    9-Mar-1996

    London firm Harbottle & Lewis was involved in a ground-breaking deal when it advised Chris Wright, chair of record company Chrysalis, on his acquisition of Queen's Park Rangers Football Club and Wasps, the rugby union club based in Sudbury.The transaction involved the formation of a new company, Loftus Road plc, to hold shares in QPR and Wasps, the first time a rugby and football ...

  • Focus on fax

    9-Mar-1996

    Hexar, a supplier of network fax and messaging systems, is holding a "Future of the fax in the legal profession" seminar. The free event, aimed at telecommunication managers, IT managers and senior partners, will look at the impact of computer technology on fax systems. Speakers will include Mike Shore, telecommunications manager at Herbert Smith and IT consultant Charles Christian. Members of Hexar senior management will give an overview of its Faxswitch fax management system, particularly ...

  • French law firms urge delay of non-lawyer restrictions

    9-Mar-1996

    The five-year deadline for French multidisciplinary practices to get rid of their non-lawyer partners is likely to be extended following lobbying from law firms.The Ministry of Justice has written to all French law firms asking for their comments on whether the law, due to take effect in the New Year, should be postponed.Francis Cavarroc, director of civil affairs at the Ministry of Justice, writes: "Law firms having the form of a societe commerciale must transform ...

  • Gary Hickinbottom calls for proper screening of group actions. Gary Hickinbottom is a partner at McKenna & Co.

    9-Mar-1996

    On 19 July, Justice Ian Kennedy struck out the last of the benzodiazepine cases as an abuse of process and for inordinate delay.The litigation began in 1988. There were about 17,000 claimants who made allegations of adverse effects against the manufacturers and prescribers of these products, which were designed to relieve anxiety and were used worldwide by millions.More than 5,500 commenced proceedings, virtually all legally aided. They ...

  • Hytner QC issues writ against senior clerk

    9-Mar-1996

    Leading silk Benet Hytner is suing his respected senior clerk Clive Hurrell for the return of money he alleges Hurrell was responsible for.Hytner, head of Byrom Chambers in London and Manchester, has issued a High Court writ on behalf of himself and other members of the chambers against Hurrell, of Eldred Road, Dover.In it he alleges that Hurrell, who in the Eighties was on the management committee of the Institute of Barristers' Clerks, breached his fiduciary ...

  • In brief: Apil appoints consumer group head

    9-Mar-1996

    Catherine Leech, personal injury partner at Manchester firm Pannone & Partners, has been elected secretary of the product liability/consumer affairs special interest group of the Association of Personal Injury Lawyers. The group concentrates on claims over defective products and how the public fares against the manufacturers in these cases. She said: "The knowledge that people will bring claims may help manufacturers improve safety standards for consumers generally."

  • In brief: Building specialist moves to Linder Myers

    9-Mar-1996

    Manchester firm Linder Myers has appointed Tom Jones as an associate. Jones was at the Property Law Practice in Manchester and before that he was a company solicitor at the northern region of Ideal Homes Holdings, the house building arm of Trafalgar House. He will be building on Linder Myers' strength in litigation and company and commercial law to offer a comprehensive package of legal expertise ...

  • In brief: Chamber of Commerce role for partner

    9-Mar-1996

    Rob Jonckheer, a partner at Manches & Co's Oxford office, has been sworn in as president of the Oxford and District Chamber of Commerce. Jonckheer is a specialist in corporate finance and partnership law. He said: "The Oxford Chamber has approaching 700 members - many of them world leaders in their field. Together we have a powerful voice which I will use to speak up for business and its continued development."

  • In brief: Croydon firms form alliance

    9-Mar-1996

    Ormerod Wilkinson Marshall and The Heap Partnership are merging to form the largest firm in Croydon, south-east London. OWM is headed by former Law Society president Sir John Wickerson. The alliance comes as OWM loses its head of litigation, John Wilkinson, who has been appointed a district judge by the Lord Chancellor. He takes up the post in September. OWM is a broad-based general law practice offering company, commercial and residential conveyancing services while The Heap Partnership ...

  • In brief: Eversheds Nottingham office ups sticks

    9-Mar-1996

    Eversheds is relocating to new offices in Nottingham's Standard Hill. Staff are due to move into the 3,300 square metre offices in November. The firm said the move was key to its development in the East Midlands. John Sarginson, Eversheds' East Midlands managing partner, said the previous Nottingham premises was "not ideal for a modern legal practice increasingly reliant upon information technology".

  • In brief: First woman immigration chair at IBA

    9-Mar-1996

    The International Bar Association has appointed the first woman chair to its migration and nationality committee in the shape of 36-year old Julia Onslow-Cole, of Cameron Markby Hewitt. The committee consists of about 400 immigration lawyers from around the world who meet at seminars two or three times a year. The next gathering is in Berlin later this year. Onslow-Cole's tenure of office will run two years, commencing from the end of the Berlin meeting. She is regarded as a leading ...

  • In brief: Free places at credit expo seminars

    9-Mar-1996

    One hundred free places, worth £95 each, are available on seminars accompanying the Credit and Recovery Expo 1996 in October. The seminars cover topics such as commercial debt recovery, local authority finance and compulsory competitive tenders. Entry to the three-day exhibition, from 30 October at Birmingham's NEC, is free. The first 100 applicants will receive the tickets. Contact: Care '96, Freepost, BD2938, Skipton, North Yorks.

  • In brief: Malaria drug action gets LAB backing

    9-Mar-1996

    The Legal Aid Board has awarded funds to Bristol firm Lawrence Tucketts to pursue a compensation claim against the manufacturers of the anti-malaria drug Larium. The claim is made against the Swiss pharmaceutical company Hoffman-La Roche on behalf of hundreds of sufferers who allege severe side-effects from taking the drug. The controversy over Larium arose in November 1995 following a report on BBC TV's Watchdog programme.

  • Irish divorce law'Ireland's family justice is now in crisis'

    9-Mar-1996

    Ireland's legal system will come under unsustainable pressure after the enactment of the country's first-ever divorce laws unless the government appoints more judges and doubles funding for the Civil Legal Aid Board offices, the Bar Council has claimed.James Nugent, chair of the Irish Bar Council, said extra funding of about £3 million would be required and at least three more judges should be appointed if a courts deadlock is to be avoided.He ...

  • Israel law launch

    9-Mar-1996

    The lawyer who drew up the Israel-PLO peace deal is to speak on the future of the peace process at the launch of the British Israel Law Association on 9 September. Joel Singer, until recently legal adviser to the ministry of foreign affairs, drafted the Israel PLO declaration of principles. He has been involved in peace talks with Israel's neighbours over the past 23 years. Details from the Law Society's international section.

  • Jersey stirs debate on professional liability

    9-Mar-1996

    The second reading of the draft Jersey law on Limited Liability Partnerships (LLPs) will be taken up again this week.In the interim, there has been an opportunity to reflect on whether the law will provide a workable solution to the problems of unlimited liability, or whether it is merely a distraction from the real debate about law reform in the UK.One thing is certain: the draft law has stirred the debate in the rest of the UK about professional liability. ...

  • Law firm plans appeal over early prison release ruling

    9-Mar-1996

    Lawyers acting for John Norton, who last week took the Home Office to the High Court over its decision to end the early release of prisoners under the 1967 Criminal Justice Act, are still waiting for the court to give its reasons for finding against him.The Divisional Court rejected Norton's application for judicial review last Thursday. But Sheffield-based firm John Howell & Co, which is representing him, has announced it will appeal regardless of the Divisional Court's ...

  • Linklaters forced out of brewery bid work

    9-Mar-1996

    Linklaters & Paines was squeezed out of the latest mega-merger in the brewing sector because of a potential conflict of interest.Bass is paying £200 million to take over Allied Domecq's half share in Carlsberg-Tetley, the joint venture brewing operation owned by Allied and Danish drinks giant Carlsberg.But Linklaters was denied a piece of the action because both Allied ...

  • Litigation Disciplinary Tribunals 03/09/96

    9-Mar-1996

    (1996) IRLR 32m Fraser Grenville Teague, 43, admitted 1967, practising as Fraser G Teague, Walton-on-Thames, Surrey, reprimanded and ordered to pay £606 costs. Allegations substantiated he failed to deliver accountant's report in time.John Stephen Brebner, 55, admitted 1983, practising at material times as Brebner & Co, London EC4, fined £2,500 and ordered to pay £1,642 costs. ...

  • Litigation Recent Decisions 03/09/96

    9-Mar-1996

    Jurisdiction over children habitually resident in ScotlandD v D (Custody jurisdiction) (1996).FAM (Hale J)Summary: An English court held not to have jurisdiction to make a residence order in respect of children who had been taken from their habitual residence in Scotland without the father's consent.After returning from Spain to the UK, a mother, with her two children and their father, rented a flat in Scotland and ...

  • Litigation Writs 03/09/96

    9-Mar-1996

    Pauline Edwards, of Darwen, Lancashire, who was badly injured in an accident at a sixth form college, is suing the college authorities. She has issued a writ against the St John Rigby Sixth Form College, of Orrell, Wigan, claiming her injuries were caused by the negligence and breach of statutory duty on the part of the college.Writ issued by Reynolds ...

  • Looking for the ideal home

    9-Mar-1996

    According to estate agents, the three most important factors when considering a move are location, location, location.For London law firms, being in the square mile of the City is close to their client-base and is convenient and prestigious.In Birmingham, the City equivalent is Colmore Row, which has been dubbed anything from the 'square inch' to the 'square quarter mile' and is still regarded as the commercial centre.National ...

  • Lovells clinches DSS sell-off work

    9-Mar-1996

    Lovell White Durrant has scooped a £1 million contract to advise the Government on the estimated £4 billion sell-off of the Department of Social Security's national property estate.Lovells won a beauty parade involving at least six other law firms, rumoured to have included Linklaters & Paines, Norton ...

  • Making sense of court divisions

    9-Mar-1996

    It is more than a century since the Courts of Common Law and Equity were merged but as far as the organisation of the High Court is concerned that merger might never have happened.The division of functions between the Chancery and Queen's Bench Division is still based on historical factors rather than logic and needs to be reconsidered as part of the general restructuring of the civil courts system being proposed by Lord Woolf's Access to Justice report.

  • Merger proves that opposites attract

    9-Mar-1996

    The news that Dibb Lupton Broomhead and Alsop Wilkinson are in merger talks has prompted the question - does it make sense? Observers believe the answer is "yes" in London. But on a national level it is more difficult to see the advantages for Alsops.Observers have tended to ask why Dibbs should want to merge with Alsops. Dibbs is the larger and more aggressively expansionist of the two. However, Alsops has a more cohesive London practice, with a good financial services ...

  • Newcastle chambers claims annexe first

    9-Mar-1996

    The Newcastle chambers of Richard Bloomfield, 148 West Road, has become the first Newcastle set to open outside the city centre.Its annexe, at 2 Lansdowne Place, Gosforth, aims to attract local business away from the other four sets based in the city centre.A chambers spokesman said: "The other chambers are around Quayside. We have been successful in west Newcastle. Now we hope to do as well in the north."There are ...

  • New-look SCB 'a privilege to prize'

    9-Mar-1996

    The Office for the Supervision of Solicitors takes over as the new regulatory body for solicitors this week in an attempt to remedy the problems of the Solicitors Complaints Bureau.Speaking at its launch, recently appointed chair Peter Ross said the organisation would concentrate on speeding up complaints handling and ensuring the independence of the decision- making process.The body is divided into the Office for Client Relations, which deals with complaints ...

  • No merit in raising limit

    9-Mar-1996

    Re: "The big issue of small claims" (Viewpoint 27 August).Raising the small claims limit to £25,000 is not the way to increase access to justice, particularly if the Legal Aid Board persist in their present view that cases being dealt with by arbitration do not merit legal aid. Going to court, whether arbitration or trial, is a difficult and stressful experience for most people and many will simply not pursue cases without legal help.

  • Ombudsman prompts EC U-turn

    9-Mar-1996

    British law firms have claimed the first successful use of the European Ombudsman in a complaint against the European Commission.A complaint lodged by the Legal Services Group (LSG), an alliance of five regional UK law firms with a joint office in Brussels, was the first the newly-appointed European Ombudsman Jacob Soderman ruled admissible, his annual report reveals.He did not have to rule on the case, however, because the EC agreed to settle in full when it ...

  • Opra targets pension scheme errors

    9-Mar-1996

    Even without the much-publicised but rare cases of pensions scheme fraud, mistakes are frequently made, including failure to comply with the ever-increasing legislation.The Goode Committee recommended that "every breach of duty should carry a sanction" and this has been carried through into the Pensions Act 1995. Indeed, there are now so many offences and sanctions it is difficult to know where to start. The DSS has produced a checklist running to 22 pages and listing 99 ...

  • Property

    9-Mar-1996

    Reynolds Porter Chamberlain acted for four Dutch companies in the sale of four freehold properties comprising the racing circuits at Brands Hatch, Snetterton, Oultern Park and Cadwell Park to Brands Hatch Leisure Holdings which currently operates the circuit. The purchasers were represented by Rosenblatts.

  • Recruits prompt Doughty Street expansion

    9-Mar-1996

    Doughty Street Chambers, the specialist civil liberties set led by Geoffrey Robertson QC, has expanded to a third building following the appointment of a new administrator and other staff.The set has now acquired 50 Doughty Street in addition to its main premises at number 11 and part of number 17. The new building has wheelchair facilities and four dedicated conference rooms.The move follows the appointment of Sam Watson, formerly of the pressure ...

  • Rights ace adds his voice to NI report

    9-Mar-1996

    London barrister Sailesh Mehta, of Verulam Chambers, was legal observer for an international delegation visiting Northern Ireland this month to monitor marches and demonstrations by Protestant and Catholic communities.The delegation, organised jointly by War On Want and the human rights group Solidar, met RUC representatives in Belfast before witnessing crowd disturbances in Derry, Dunloy and Bellaghy following the controversial Apprentice Boys' ...

  • Rugby tackle lawyer sent to face tribunal

    9-Mar-1996

    London solicitor Allen Chubb, who hit the headlines in March this year when he was convicted of assaulting a woman at his Belgravia offices, is to face a hearing by the Solicitors Disciplinary Tribunal.The Solicitors Complaints Bureau is referring the case to the tribunal, whose powers range from a reprimand to striking someone off the Roll.Chubb was ordered to pay Laura Harold £1,000 compensation after a court heard he was involved in a "Wild West" melee ...

  • Scottish play casts a spell

    9-Mar-1996

    Chris Taylor applauds the Bar Shakespeare Coterie's Macbeth

  • Shelling out on a watch

    9-Mar-1996

    A Rolex Oyster watch is at the centre of a pending claim in the High Court. The Rolex Watch Company is heading for the High Court to ask a judge to decide true ownership of the classic timepiece. The company wants a ruling on whether the watch in question is owned by PW Coggins, of Dunstable, Bedfordshire, or A Brightman, of Broxbourne, Hertfordshire. The hearing is currently scheduled for 19 September.

  • Short reflection on the election

    9-Mar-1996

    The election is over for another year and, during the lazy days of summer, we can dream of more interesting events. But an inquest into what happened in July is of some interest. Three aspects in particular fascinate me.The first is that, despite the major problems facing the profession, less than 50 per cent of the profession bothered to vote. This year there was not the excuse that the voting papers were hidden away in the Gazette. They were individually ...

  • Solicitor homes in on sex-swap litigation

    9-Mar-1996

    Transsexualism is set to return to the legal stage thanks to a 59-year-old who is taking issue with Leeds Health Authority over its refusal to pay for an operation to change him from a man into a woman.The claim is still at an early stage with no writs issued. But top discrimination lawyer Madeleine Rees, a partner at the Birmingham office of Tyndallwoods, has been called in.Rees, who has played a key role in a number of high-profile actions involving ...

  • Squires fights shareholder challenge in Czech courts

    9-Mar-1996

    In one of the first signs of shareholder activism in Eastern Europe, US law firm Squire Sanders & Dempsey is fighting in the Czech courts to stop a shareholders' challenge to the region's largest ever privatisation deal.Squires Prague partner Richard Surrey said the legal challenge to the $1.3 billion privatisation of telecomms company SPT, which Squires helped broker, is part ...

  • Staff take action over lay-offs at London magistrates court

    9-Mar-1996

    The first industrial action at a magistrates court since 1987 is being taken by support staff in north London.Employees at Haringey Magistrates Court are refusing to work overtime after four of their colleagues were made redundant. Ushers, administrative staff and clerks are also taking a full hour for lunch as part of their campaign against management. They have even threatened a full-scale strike.General secretary of the Association of Magisterial Officers ...

  • Sumo, seaside and The Street

    9-Mar-1996

    For many firms, the Christmas party is simply a chance to thank staff for their work. But some break away from the traditional end-of-year celebrations.This summer, London firm Theodore Goddard hosted a summer beach party in its offices. "It was great fun," says Justine Ashby, head of marketing. "We found no one is around for the Christmas party so we had a summer party."From the reception to the dining room, the firm was set up in beach style. A surf simulator, ...

  • The Lawyer Inquiry: Katie Bradford

    9-Mar-1996

    Katie Bradford was born in Coventry on 28 February 1958. She now lives in London and is an assistant solicitor at Linklaters & Paines. What was your first job?Receptionist in a VD clinic.What was your first ever salary as a lawyer?£2,500 per annum.What would you have done if you hadn't become ...

  • The race for space

    9-Mar-1996

    With demand for space at the Inns of Court continuing to outstrip supply, the search for hidden space within the Inns carries on apace.Chair of the Middle Temple Estates Committee David Eady QC, of 1 Brick Court, says: "We are always looking for ways of expanding the space available. Every time something comes up we have four or five applicants. Our policy is to develop as much as we can."Anthony Lush, Gray's Inn Estates Bursar, says : "We have pockets of ...

  • Weil Gotshal boosts expertise at UK office

    9-Mar-1996

    The six-month-old London office of US firm Weil Gotshal & Manges has broken into UK corporate law by poaching senior associate Andrew Harting from Freshfield's New York office.Weil Gotshal recruited Clifford Chance banking partner Maurice Allen last year as a first step in building ...

  • Where's legal aid justice?

    9-Mar-1996

    The observations of Lord Woolf referred to in your 13 August edition "Curtain for combative divorcees" of the instant under the above title give cause for some concern.The judiciary is often criticised for being out of touch with the man in the street. It may be that to Lord Woolf, a hob, a washing line and some curtains are minor matters. I suspect I am alone in having clients on benefit for whom the cost of replacing the above items out of their limited ...

  • White & Case builds on Thai base

    9-Mar-1996

    The Bangkok office of US firm White & Case has poached a Thai partner from rival Baker & McKenzie.Weerawong Chittmittrapap, a Thai and US-qualified lawyer, is said to be in line to head the office.The White & Case office lost its two-year association with local Thai firm the Pacific ...