4 November 1996

The Lawyer

  • A question of scale

    6-Nov-1996

    Charity administration has undergone massive changes during the past few decades and this has raised questions about the role of the charity trustee. For example, should the trustee be paid for work which is, by definition, of benefit to the community?Whereas trustees would have been heavily involved in the management and implementation of policy 20 years ago, today even modest charities will have a paid employee who acts as chief executive, though they may be part-time. ...

  • A Toon-ful law firm

    6-Nov-1996

    IT SEEMS Newcastle firm Dickinson Dees is simply bristling with musical talent.The firm is the principal sponsor of a week-long music festival taking place in Newcastle this month. The festival, called MIX, will feature live jazz, rock classical and folk music and will see a host of internationally renowned musicians descend on the City.However, I can't help thinking ...

  • AIJA sets agenda

    6-Nov-1996

    Secrecy in Swiss banking and confronting the problems of corruption are the opening topics for debate at the annual congress of the International Association of Young Lawyers (AIJA) in Montreux, Switzerland, this August. Other planned seminar topics will centre around sponsorship and sports law with sessions on trade mark licensing, broadcasting rights, restrictions on circulation of the athletes and their taxation, and settling conflicts in sporting matters. For details contact the ...

  • Anti-Mears candidates contest Law Society seats

    6-Nov-1996

    Controversial City lawyer David McIntosh, a fierce opponent of Law Society president Martin Mears, has been elected unopposed to a society council seat in London.Elsewhere, by-elections for council seats are being contested by both Mears supporters and his detractors. The Westminster constituency is being contested by Robert Roscoe and pro-Mears candidate Arnold Rosen.Out of the 17 constituencies that are up for re-election this year, nine are being contested.

  • Bar concedes defeat over dual role

    6-Nov-1996

    THE Bar Council has had to admit it cannot force barristers to disbar if they qualify as solicitors.The Bar Council's hand was forced after barrister Sally Hughes began practising as a solicitor last year and refused to voluntarily disbar, the usual practice for barristers becoming solicitors.The Bar sought counsel's opinion and was advised that there is no requirement for barristers to disbar voluntarily on joining the Roll of Solicitors.

  • Bar drops graduate proposal after rift

    6-Nov-1996

    The Bar Council is set to withdraw a controversial proposal that would have prevented law graduates describing themselves as barristers on completion of their studies.Critics feared that ethnic minorities and women, already poorly represented in the profession, would be further disadvantaged by the proposal, under which graduates could not be called to the Bar until they had completed six months of training or pupillage.Groups such as the Association of Women ...

  • BLA is alive and kicking

    6-Nov-1996

    Andrew Lockley expresses the hope that the Solicitors Association will "fare better than its predecessor, the British Legal Association" (The Lawyer, 28 May). That might suggest to those who do not know, that the BLA is defunct, but this is far from the truth. Under its recently elected chair, Alex Alagappa, it is now firing on all cylinders.Far from the Solicitors Association taking over from the BLA, the two are working closely ...

  • Brief

    6-Nov-1996

    Grown men playing with train sets, with a bunch of train spotters hanging around watching? No - not this time anyway. In a ceremony to mark the success of Bristol firm Veale Wasbrough in helping South Wales & West Railway issue its tender for privatisation, Nigel Campbell (right) hands a model train to the railway company's managing director John Mummery. Campbell said the issue for tender represented the first stage in the sale process. He added his lawyers had forged strong relationships

  • Brief

    6-Nov-1996

    Ship Ahoy! Kathleen Herbert is one of four art students from the University of the West of England sponsored by Bristol law firm Lawrence Tucketts to record the 'International Festival of the Sea', held recently at the city's old harbour. Tucketts awarded commissions worth £3,000 for the students to "paint from life" and record the largest maritime event ever staged in the UK. The paintings are expected to adorn Tucketts' office where a small art collection ...

  • Canada's top 10

    6-Nov-1996

    McCarthy Tetrault tops the annual list of Canada's top 10 law firms published in Canada's daily The Financial Post. Blake, Cassels & Graydon are number two and Faskin Martineau third. The biggest change in top 10 ranking was recorded by Goodman Phillips & Vineberg which went up from 10th place last year to seventh this. Pierre-Andre Themens, partner at the Montreal office, said the firm had been expanding its Asian operations in the past four years, opening an office in Beijing. ...

  • Champions of the charities

    6-Nov-1996

    For many legal professionals in the charity and voluntary sector, low pay, cramped conditions and poor administrative back-up is the reward for helping those who need help most.Expertise in charity law can command big fees. But for all but the very largest charities, the legal work associated with running a charity as a corporate entity is normally handled by private practice firms.And according to Sebastian Wilberforce, assistant secretary of the Charity Law ...

  • Contemporary Acts of Charity

    6-Nov-1996

    Part I of the Charities Act 1992 introduced a detailed statutory framework for the maintenance of accounting records by charities, requiring them to prepare and file annual accounts, reports and returns. This framework is now found in Part IV of the Charities Act 1993 and came into force on 1 March 1996.The introduction of this accounting regime has been a drawn-out affair. First, the statutory provisions were amended by the Deregulation and Contracting Out Act 1994 and ...

  • Divided loyalties

    6-Nov-1996

    The Nolan Committee, amid squeals of displeasure from certain camps, sparked a wide-ranging debate about the need for people in public life to disclose their interests. MPs, among others, have been forced to consider potential conflicts of interest in their work.And so have charity trustees. They are engaged in public life because charities are established, in theory, to benefit the public. So it is useful to remind ourselves of the principles that already apply to charity ...

  • Driving lessons in the fast lane

    6-Nov-1996

    On the face of it, the recent Chancery Division ruling that city-based firm Hextall Erskine is liable to pay £3.6 million in respect of negligent advice given to Silverstone Circuits Ltd (SCL) is a cautionary tale. The obvious moral: don't give wrong advice.But there is another lesson to be learned, according to the litigation partner from Nabarro Nathanson who masterminded ...

  • Financings

    6-Nov-1996

    Herbert Smith acted for Hambros Bank in relation to Porter Chadburn's £7 million rights issue

  • Financings

    6-Nov-1996

    Morgan

  • Firm imposes 12-hour working days to widen appeal to clients

    6-Nov-1996

    Manchester firm Slater Links has introduced 12-hour working shifts for solicitors at its Bury practice.The office is now open from 9am to 9pm from Monday to Thursday.Partner Bryan Slater said the firm had gone this route because "the old ethos of taking time off work to see your legal adviser has gone".He said: "We live in a 24-hour world, where much work is carried out on the telephone, such as banking. Already, accountants and estate agents are ...

  • Flotations

    6-Nov-1996

    Berwin Leighton advised The Maiden Group on its flotation on the stock market by way of a placing of new shares undertaken by Deutsche Morgan Grenfell. Maiden is a market leader in the UK outdoor advertising industry. Freshfields acted for Deutsche Morgan Grenfell.

  • Flotations

    6-Nov-1996

    Blake Lapthorn acted for Carisbrooke Shipping in connection with the admission of its shares to the Alternative Investment Market and a placing and open offer which raised £2 million.

  • Flotations

    6-Nov-1996

    Nicholson Graham & Jones acted for Phytopharm in connection with the admission of its ordinary shares to the London Stock Exchange and associated placing of shares which raised £13 million. The sponsor was Close Brothers

  • High Court set to plug property tax loophole

    6-Nov-1996

    A legal loophole that allows property companies to escape paying millions of pounds in stamp duty is expected to be plugged following a ruling in the High Court.Property companies have managed to avoid hefty stamp duty payments by using complex legal structures in offshore centres such as Jersey and the West Indies.The wheeze allows groups to buy properties using an "offshore declaration of trust scheme" whereby a purchaser obtains beneficial ownership of a property ...

  • High stakes of running a practice in the 1990s

    6-Nov-1996

    Running a legal practice is an increasingly risky business. Gone are the good old days, when entry into the legal profession meant a secure and fulfilling career. When partners were partners for life and profitability was assured. When firms could practise in peace without the serious threat of competition or the need to win market share. And when professional shortcomings were resolved without resort to writs.Nowadays, running any business is risky and the legal profession ...

  • Honour for QC

    6-Nov-1996

    John Toulmin QC, of 3 Verulam Buildings, has been appointed to the services panel of the dispute resolution body of the World Trade Organisation (WTO), the successor to GATT. Toulmin, an ex-president of the Council of Bars and Law Societies, is one of six officials to be nominated by the UK Government for the WTO's dispute panels and the only practising lawyer who was nominated. Each panel consists of three adjudicators. Toulmin will sit on the service panel which will arbitrate ...

  • Hooray for the bravehearts

    6-Nov-1996

    I see in last week's issue the Solicitors Association is to contest the Law Society presidency. This is good news; the association's views are common sense to most solicitors.Although naturally a Mears supporter, I applaud Anthony Bogan for his bravery in going forward for election. The issues are of fundamental importance and should be debated at length. Elections give the ordinary solicitor a chance to participate in the process. I look forward to the campaign ...

  • How to sustain the equality lie

    6-Nov-1996

    There is a well-known belief in the fraternity of spin doctors, media consultants, publicity gurus and other twisters and turners of fact that if you tell a half-truth or downright lie, the more often you say it, the more people will believe it.The bigger the untruth, the greater the sincerity with which it must be delivered.If it is a minnow of a lie, you can allow the small-fry in your organisation to peddle it. If it is a king-size ...

  • Howard backs down on immigration

    6-Nov-1996

    IMMIGRATION solicitors have forced a last-minute climb-down from Home Secretary Michael Howard over stringent new rules for immigrants applying to remain in the country.As the solicitors were about to present their case in the High Court last Thursday for a judicial review of the new rules, counsel for Howard promised to withdraw the controversial new application forms that the rules instituted.The forms, several hundred thousand of which have been issued to ...

  • In brief: Cambridge prof gets Eversheds post

    6-Nov-1996

    A University of Cambridge professor has been appointed as a consultant to the national planning team of Eversheds. Professor Malcolm Grant is the country's leading authority on planning law and will assist Eversheds in the development of its planning practice. Grant, author of the Encyclopedia of Planning Law and Practice - considered by many to be the bible of planning practitioners - said of his ...

  • In brief: Combined role for National Grid's Smith

    6-Nov-1996

    The National Grid Company has announced the appointment of Fiona Smith to the new role of company secretary and general counsel. The roles of company secretary and group legal adviser will be combined for the first time. Smith, 37, replaces Richard Drew, company secretary since the formation of National Grid Company, who will step down at the end of June.

  • In brief: Energy partner plugs in to Bevan Ashford

    6-Nov-1996

    Leading Bristol firm Bevan Ashford has announced the appointment of Gareth Dodds as energy partner. Dodds will oversee advice to companies on a broad range of energy-related issues, from contractual arrangements for generation projects to the protection of innovative technologies. Bevan Ashford said it hoped to extend its legal services to electricity and gas producers as well as distributors and suppliers.

  • In brief: LAPG takes on executive administrator

    6-Nov-1996

    The Legal Aid Practitioners Group has appointed Anthea Batty as its new executive administrator. Batty, who has extensive experience of executive administration in the public and professional sectors, will be leaving the Society of Local Authority Chief Executives where she was executive officer. Batty will replace Hazel Davies who is leaving the LAPG after 11 years as its administrator. Davies has gone to a similar post with the charity One Plus One.

  • In brief: Lloyd's goes on-line with Web site

    6-Nov-1996

    Lloyd's of London has announced the launch of a site on the World Wide Web. Starting on 7 June, the site will offer up-to-the-minute news and information about Lloyd's reconstruction and renewal programme. Lloyd's also plans to expand the capacity of the site to publicise its products and services. The site can be found at www.lloydsoflondon.co.uk

  • In brief: London market, West Country prices

    6-Nov-1996

    West country lawyers Foot & Bowden has moved into the heart of London's marine, insurance and financial sector. Situated next to the Baltic Exchange, Foot & Bowden hopes to attract more corporate clients by competing in the London market at Plymouth prices. Foot & Bowden's main offices are based in Plymouth. "We are still relatively new to the London market," said Trevor Davis, partner of Foot & Bowden. "But we are recognised as a growing force and expect to see very positive ...

  • In brief: PFI expert to join Alsop Wilkinson

    6-Nov-1996

    International commercial law firm Alsop Wilkinson has appointed Peter Rout as a new partner. Rout, 30, will bring the firm experience in contentious and non-contentious matters, including dealings with the Government's Private Finance Initiatives. Rout, who will leave Alfred McAlpine Construction, will be based at Alsop Wilkinson's Manchester office.

  • In brief: Solicitor Cowie appointed Scots advocate

    6-Nov-1996

    MacRoberts solicitors, based in Edinburgh, Glasgow and London, has announced the appointment of Charles Cowie as solicitor advocate. Cowie will now be entitled to appear in any Scottish civil court from the Sheriff Court through to House of Lords appeals. Cowie has been a partner at MacRoberts since 1987.

  • In brief: Survey reveals people don't want to move

    6-Nov-1996

    A survey of 30 City law firms has revealed why candidates turn down offers of alternative positions in private practices. Legal recruitment consultants Laurence Simons International discovered 80 per cent of candidates, when offered alternative positions, did not want to move from their present position, 17 per cent refused because they had already accepted alternative offers and 3 per cent refused for personal reasons. "It's a return to the late 1980s," said Daniel Lewis, of Laurence ...

  • Islington claims test case triumph

    6-Nov-1996

    Robert LindsayIslington Council is celebrating a landmark House of Lords victory over interest swaps which will see it receive a refund of about £500,000.The Lords last month overturned a 1993 High Court judgment which forced the council to pay compound interest on money received under a swaps agreement with Westdeutsche Landesbank. The ruling said that only simple interest - considerably less than compound interest - should have been paid and Islington ...

  • Italian job

    6-Nov-1996

    Nello Pasquini, for nine years a commercial lawyer with Middleton Potts in London and a qualified Italian and English lawyer, has moved to join the Italian group of Radcliffes Crossman Block, headed by Michael Nathanson. Susan Beadle, marketing manager at Radcliffes Crossman, said Pasquini's experience of Italian law, and commercial practice would benefit clients in the UK and Italy.

  • John Rubenstein notches up a goal against the Press.

    6-Nov-1996

    John Rubenstein is head of the IP technology and media group at Manches & Co.The Court of Appeal last week significantly protected individual human rights.The case concerned the claimed right of a newspaper to defame an individual without liability by repeating privileged communications in an unprivileged context.The law gives publishers of defamatory statements protection if the statements were spoken by others in open court or in parliamentary proceedings ...

  • Joining forces on the road to Damascus

    6-Nov-1996

    Merger mania has hit the legal profession once more. This week, The Lawyer carries stories of six firms that have headed in this direction, while a joint-survey with accountants Willott Kingston Smith indicates that nearly half the firms in the South East are planning mergers.But, as all who have merged will say, it is not an easy option to take. Nor is it necessarily the right solution for the firm that goes down this route from a position of weakness. ...

  • Judge oversteps mark in child abuse case

    6-Nov-1996

    A COUNCIL has successfully challenged a Crown Court judge who ordered a child cruelty victim to undergo psychiatric examination to help in the sentencing of her parents.Newham Council applied for Judge Timothy King's order to be judicially reviewed after the judge claimed the council's director of social services was in contempt of court for refusing to go along with the examination.The emotional state of the 12-year-old child, said her social worker, ...

  • Knights of Camelot

    6-Nov-1996

    From every point of view, the National Lottery has proved more significant than most of us envisaged. Its turnover has been four or five times greater than anticipated, and every hope and fear has been proportionally inflated.Much anxiety is expressed about the independence of the National Lotteries Charities Board (NLCB) and the degree to which the Government manipulates its grant programmes. As a member of the board, I can confirm that our independence on that score is ...

  • Labour barrister settles libel action

    6-Nov-1996

    LIZ DAVIES, the left-wing Labour councillor and barrister who was rejected as a parliamentary candidate by the Labour Party's National Executive Committee (NEC) last September, has accepted an undisclosed but "modest" libel payout along with a public apology from the Financial Times.Solicitor Keith Schilling, acting for Davies, told Mr Justice French that Davies, an Islington councillor, believed that a Financial Times report of her rejection published last September ...

  • Law firm lottery

    6-Nov-1996

    Charity may begin at home, but the majority of charities surveyed by The Lawyer believe it may also stretch to the offices of a law firm; 65 per cent say their legal bills are "costly but acceptable".Only 10 per cent of the charities consider the fees charged by their external legal advisers are "excessive". One respondent says: "Per hour charges of £240 can only be described as impolitely excessive." Perhaps unsurprisingly, the 15 per cent of charities that say the ...

  • Lawyers hit out at plans to boost CCT

    6-Nov-1996

    VOLUNTARILY outsourced legal work may have to be included in compulsory tenders if the Government goes ahead with plans to force the pace of local government privatisation.Local government lawyers have voiced concern about proposals to speed up compulsory competitive tendering (CCT) of legal work after suggestions that the "credit" system should be abolished.Under current arrangements, councils can include work voluntarily farmed out to private ...

  • Legal boom time is back, finds survey

    6-Nov-1996

    The market for commercial legal services is set to expand for the third consecutive year, according to a corporate survey conducted by City law firm Manches & Co.Of the more than 1,000 businesses surveyed in the annual report there is a 16 per cent net increase in the number of firms expecting to use solicitors in the next 12 months.In the survey sample, 27 per cent feel a need to increase their use of solicitors, 62 per cent feel they will retain the same level ...

  • Litigation Disciplinary Tribunals 11/06/96

    6-Nov-1996

    Peter Maxwell Durham, 39, admitted 1993, worked for a number of law firms, at one stage established his own practice in London N15 and latterly entered arrangement with the Luper Partnership, London NW1, struck off and ordered to pay £3,680 costs. Allegations substantiated he practised without supervision by a solicitor holding a practising certificate, failed to deliver accountant's report as required by rules, failed to produce ...

  • Litigation Personal Injury 11/06/96

    6-Nov-1996

    Pasfield v South Essex Health Authority - QBD 20 May 1996Claimant: Maureen Pasfield, 55Incident: Medical negligenceInjuries: Claimant, an auxiliary nurse, slipped on wet grass and fractured her ankle and lower leg; claimed she was fitted with a "tubigrip" bandage, prescribed painkillers and told to exercise her ankle, when she should have been put in plaster; claims ankle failed to mend as a result and pain became ...

  • Litigation Recent Decisions 11/06/96

    6-Nov-1996

    Garden clauses and covenants in restraint of tradeCredit Suisse Asset Management v Armstrong & ors (1996)CA (Neill LJ, Morritt LJ and Hutchison LJ) 15/5/96.Summary: Garden clauses and covenants in restraint of trade discussed in an application by employees to discharge an interlocutory injunction restraining them from working for a competitor of the plaintiff.Credit Suisse Asset Management, the plaintiff, provides investment ...

  • Litigation Writs 11/06/96

    6-Nov-1996

    Pride Valley Foods is suing its insurers after they refused to pay a £6 million claim following a fire last December at its factory in Seaham, Co Durham. In the writ, Pride Valley says it took out insurance with Independent Insurance Co and Lombard General Insurance Co last November. The fire, Pride Valley claims, caused £3 million worth of damage to buildings, £2.5 million damage to plant and machinery costing, £200,000 worth ...

  • Management. How to cope after the honeymoon

    6-Nov-1996

    FOCUS: managementIt's official - getting hitched is as popular as ever, with 86 per cent of law firms expecting merger activity to continue, according to a survey.But mergers, like marriages, have to survive the honeymoon.The survey, carried out by Willott Kingston Smith & Associates for The Lawyer, found that more law firms were willing to consider becoming the junior partner in a merger than to reward their partners for individual performance.

  • Mears asks Bogan to stand down Richard Wachman

    6-Nov-1996

    Law Society president Martin Mears has made a dramatic eleventh-hour plea to presidential challenger Tony Bogan to reconsider his decision to stand for election.Mears told Bogan, a former political ally, he risked splitting the reformist vote and "allowing the Old Guard back to power via the back door".Next month's presidential election will be a three-way fight between Mears, Bogan and deputy vice-president Tony Girling, who is dismissed as pro-establishment ...

  • Members stall IBA guidelines

    6-Nov-1996

    Guidelines issued by the International Bar Association for foreign legal consultants are to be delayed for another year after objections from several of its member countries.The IBA had intended to vote on the fourth draft of its guidelines, which set a standard for movement of lawyers across jurisdictions, during its 1 June council meeting. However, some of the association's 183 member countries said they wanted further discussion before guidelines were issued.

  • Merger fever sweeps profession

    6-Nov-1996

    One of the UK's best-known family firms, 10-partner Gordon Dadds, is to merge with a commercial firm.The merger with London firm Jepson Goff joins a spate of similar announcements.Last week, Devon firms Kitsons and Wilde & Co unveiled a merger, as did Surrey firms Green Son & Wright and Chalton Hubbard & Annis.Douglas Alexiou, senior partner at Gordon Dadds, said the merger would boost the "existing resources and experience" of the firm.

  • Nabarros picks up pieces after Facia crash

    6-Nov-1996

    Up to a dozen lawyers from City firm Nabarro Nathanson are advising the receivers to Facia, the crashed retail business empire of entrepreneur Stephen Hinchliffe.The team is led by Nabarros' head of insolvency Michael Prior, backed by London partners Ann Wright, Gavin Rabinowitz and Michael Hales.In Hinchliffe's Sheffield operating base, Nabarros is supported by regional ...

  • Nabarros pulls Dubai partner

    6-Nov-1996

    Nabarro Nathanson has effectively closed the Dubai office it opened four and a half years ago.Its Dubai-based partner Tony Pennington is to return to the UK to work in Nabarros' Sheffield office and Jeremy Key, a partner in the Dubai office of Fox & Gibbons for seven years, has moved into Nabarros' office in the Dubai World Trade Centre to form the new legal consultancy of Jeremy ...

  • New Guard takeover at London firm

    6-Nov-1996

    Philip Langford, senior partner at London firm Edward Lewis, has quit at the same time as the firm announced a new management structure.Langford, who is going to Goodman Derrick, is replaced by senior litigation partner Tony Collins who becomes chair of the partnership.Langford, who led the corporate group, is the second senior departure from the firm in recent months - ...

  • New hope for officers after Hillsborough

    6-Nov-1996

    Police officers who lost a damages claim for post traumatic stress syndrome contracted as a result of their involvement in the Hillsborough football disaster are hoping to benefit from last week's out-of-court damages settlement awarded to other officers who were at the incident.Simon Allen, a partner in Russell Jones & Walker, the firm acting for the officers who lost the claim, said the outcome of the £1.2 million settlement will encourage those who work in ...

  • No Moore appeals, say Lords

    6-Nov-1996

    An action reported in the 'Forthcoming Case' section of The Lawyer on 30 January has now settled. Last ditch moves in the long-running battle over ownership of millions of pounds worth of work by sculptor Henry Moore have ended in defeat for the artist's daughter. The Law Lords have ruled that his daughter, Mary, who has been attempting to gain control of works of art produced by him from 1977 until his death, cannot take her action to a full hearing in ...

  • Old allegiances forgotten

    6-Nov-1996

    The legal profession has witnessed a subtle but nevertheless significant change over the last five or six years in the relationship between the partner and the firm.The cosy, club-like atmosphere has been discarded, and lawyers are under heavy pressure to perform to justify their existence. The bond of trust between partner and firm has been severed.The shedding of partners by many firms in the early 1990s was a sign that partnership could no longer be considered ...

  • Papers battle it out to be true Euroopean

    6-Nov-1996

    AS the beef war brings out a flurry of anti-European headlines, two publications are fighting in the courts to be the true European.The 'what's-in-a-name' battle between the The European and The Economist is far from over. Earlier this year, in the High Court's Chancery Division, Mr Justice Rattee threw out The European's claim that The Economist's new publication, European Voice, breached its trade mark.But ...

  • Pressure mounts to ease Dutch MDP rules

    6-Nov-1996

    ERNST & Young has joined Price Waterhouse and Arthur Anderson in trying to set up multidisciplinary practices in the Netherlands.Moret Ernst & Young Tax Advisors, the largest firm of tax advisers in the Netherlands, has drawn up a contract to share profits and losses in what it calls a "strategic alliance" with Eindhoven and Hertogenbosch-based lawyers, and public notaries Banning Van Kemenade & Holland.It has asked the Dutch Bar Association to check it complies ...

  • Projects

    6-Nov-1996

    Herbert Smith, led by head of projects Andrew Preece, has just completed the transfer of European Passenger Service to London & Continental Railways, the company selected to design, construct and operate the Channel Tunnel Rail Link.

  • QBD cases pending

    6-Nov-1996

    Cases pending in the Queen's Bench Division jury list include: Branson v Snowden (not before 15 July); Branson v G Tech UK Corporation and anor (not before 15 July); Snowden v Branson (not before 15 July); McPhilemy v Express Newspapers & ors (no date yet); Campbell v Commissioner of Police for the Metropolis (not before 4 June); Hill v Chief Constable of Surrey (not before 10 June).

  • Radical reform of judiciary rejected by 'hecklers' in Oxford Union debate

    6-Nov-1996

    Some fine legal heckling took place last week as six leading lawyers debated the need for radical reform of the judiciary at the Oxford Union debate.David McIntosh, senior partner of City law firm Davies Arnold Cooper, which sponsored the event, argued that judges are living on another planet, an assessment that was apparently confirmed when opposer of the debate Lord Slynn, Lord of Appeal in Ordinary, asked: "Who is Vinnie Jones?"McIntosh retorted: "This is ...

  • Rail management on track thanks to firm

    6-Nov-1996

    City law firm Theodore Goddard advised management in its victory over the bidding war for Freightliner, British Rail's container freight business.The buy-out was overseen by James Ballingall, head of the firm's railway group.Theodore Goddard has advised a number of parties bidding for parts of British Rail as it goes through the Government's privatisation process.The firm represented a National Westminster Bank consortium which failed ...

  • Recruitment future rosy

    6-Nov-1996

    AN INCREASE in commercial and corporate legal work could lead to a boom in the legal recruitment market, recruitment consultants Richard Owen & Harper have claimed.A survey of 43 firms by the consultants revealed that 98 per cent had recruited permanent fee earners between October 1995 and March 1996.Of those, 86 per cent cited extra work as the reason for the recruitment. And 56 per cent of London firms experienced difficulty in retaining professional staff. ...

  • Reformers on the war path

    6-Nov-1996

    Ms Forscey-Moore is to be commended for her proposals and recommendations in "War of Judicial Independence" in The Lawyer (4 June). And although it's true that "the public knows there is one law for them and another for the establishment", any political party that includes wholesale legal reform in its election manifesto - which is essentially a bid to be "the establishment" - is unlikely to garner the votes of a cynical public.On ...

  • Rosenblatt cashes in on HK port deal

    6-Nov-1996

    London firm Rosenblatt is trying to persuade the City to invest in a £600 million development project at the port of Huizhou in China, 50 miles north of Hong Kong.In an unusual move, Rosenblatt is playing the role of merchant bank adviser to the municipal government of Huizhou which is part of Guangdong province, close to the Crown Colony.Partner Neil Sampson believes the ...

  • Smile, you're court on camera

    6-Nov-1996

    New spy cameras at London's centuries-old Middle Temple buildings have already helped collar their first thief.The installation of a network of 43 security cameras, covering all outside walkways and entrance hallways in the Middle Temple, was nearing completion this week. Middle Temple under-treasurer Charles Wright said the security system had already proved its worth."We've got video footage of a gentleman in one of the car parks choosing his car, ...

  • South-East sets off on merger drive

    6-Nov-1996

    Nearly one in two firms in the South East are seeking mergers, according to a survey by The Lawyer and Willott Kingston Smith & Associates.The survey, conducted among 100 firms in March and April, also revealed partners were reluctant to devolve the decision-making authority.Risk is a matter of growing concern to firms, with most contemplating incorporation and/or a merger to increase critical mass. Firms also see mergers as a means of reducing overheads and ...

  • Streeter takes responsibility for troubled family Bill

    6-Nov-1996

    Former commercial solicitor Gary Streeter MP is to take charge of the controversial Family Law Bill in its final stages.Streeter inherits the job from Jonathan Evans MP after being whip on the Family Law Bill during its committee stage.Streeter, who lists "the family" as one of his interests in a parliamentary guide, was articled at City firm Clifford Chance. He joined Foot ...

  • The Lawyer Inquiry: Kate Martin

    6-Nov-1996

    Kate Martin was born in Hull on 20 June 1968. She now lives in Sale, Cheshire and is a solicitor specialising in employment law at Davies Wallis Foyster. What was your first job?Stable lad(ess).What was your first ever salary as a lawyer?£10,500.What would you have done if you hadn't become a lawyer?Set/costume designer.Which law could ...

  • Thumbs up for African court

    6-Nov-1996

    The International Bar Association has agreed to back the formation of an African Court of Human Rights, to act where African state courts have failed.Nutifafa Kuenyehia, past-president of the Ghanian Bar Association, who proposed the motion at the IBA Council's Madrid meeting on 1 June, said: "The idea for this court came from law firms in Africa. It has been discussed in Africa since 1992 when a conference on human rights in Nigeria called for its establishment. Recent ...

  • Weil Gotshal limbers up for all-out assault on City firms

    6-Nov-1996

    The fourth largest law firm in the US, Weil Gotshal & Manges, is planning to more than triple the size of its London office over the next few years, bringing its strength to about 100 lawyers by the year 2000.The expansion plans are among the most ambitious drawn up by a US firm operating on this side of the Atlantic.The next phase of Weil Gotshal's build-up ...

  • What's the point of investment in technology?

    6-Nov-1996

    First, the good news. The opportunities for profitable investment in IT systems have never been better for law firms.In the past, the market for legal IT suffered from its small size in relation to the whole IT market and was dominated by a limited number of specialist products. Now that domination is challenged by powerful and sophisticated generic products that are much closer to the cutting edge of IT development.At the same time, the UK market ...

  • Year off for robed partner

    6-Nov-1996

    Westminster councillor and Freeman Box partner Robert Davis has been elected Lord Mayor of Westminster.Davis, who has served on the council for 14 years, is a conveyancing lawyer at the London firm. He will enjoy a one-year sabbatical from his legal work to allow him time to concentrate on his role representing one of the country's most high-profile councils.His political work has concentrated on environmental and traffic safety issues. But as ...