5 April 1999

The Lawyer

  • A wake-up call for regional firms

    10-Apr-1999

    Having staked their claims in the capital, the US giants are descending on cities further north. The news that Reed Smith Shaw & McClay is eyeing up the Midlands comes as good news for the Government which can claim a nationwide economic recovery. But it is a salutory message for firms outside London which have been watching the partner moves and takeover fever from a distance.Regional ...

  • Arnheim Tite loses partner

    10-Apr-1999

    Arnheim Tite & Lewis partner Samantha Hampshire is moving to US firm Baker & Botts marking the start of the firm's UK poaching spree.The energy specialist is leaving Arnheim Tite, PricewaterhouseCoopers' associate practice, to go to the London office of Baker & Botts.Hampshire is moving to the Houston-based firm to develop its international energy operations.Hampshire says: "My role is to be involved in helping them create and develop their ...

  • BA to boost competition law capacity

    10-Apr-1999

    British Airways (BA) is bolstering its in-house legal team with the appointment of a senior competition lawyer.It is understood that the appointed lawyer will advise on a range of regulatory matters and will have autonomous control of the area.The new head of legal will also have responsibility for coordinating BA's outside lawyers in Brussels, the US and worldwide.However, it is not clear how the appointment will affect those panel firms which ...

  • Baker & McKenzie poaches from Deweys

    10-Apr-1999

    Baker & McKenzie has taken a London-based Dewey Ballantine partner for its South East Asia and Indian major projects practice.William Abraham has been poached from the US-based firm for a November start in Baker & McKenzie's Singapore office. Abraham will join Baker & McKenzie's regional and global projects practice as a local partner.Graeme Johnston, head of ...

  • Berwin Leighton elects new managing partner

    11-Apr-1999

    Berwin Leighton has elected Neville Eisenberg as its new managing partner. Eisenberg, who is 37, begins his three-year term this month. He replaces Bob Jones, who is returning to fee earning in the corporate department after a single term in the job.The election, which took place on Monday, was contested but Jones did not stand for re-election.Eisenberg is a partner in the corporate department. He qualified in South Africa and joined Berwin Leighton in 1989, ...

  • Bird & Bird poaches French IT team

    11-Apr-1999

    Bird & Bird has poached top telecommunications and IT partner, Frederique Dupuis-Toubol and 10-strong team of associates from French firm, Jeantet & Associes to set up a new Paris office. Dupuis-Toubol will join Bird & Bird at the end of this year and will be based in the firm's new premises in Paris. She and her team will specialise in local law.The move can be seen as part of ...

  • Browne Jacobson nabs Pinsents star

    10-Apr-1999

    National firm Browne Jacobson has poached a leading banking partner from Pinsent Curtis to head its new banking and insolvency practice.Duncan Murray is currently deputy head of banking and finance at Pinsent Curtis in Leeds, and will join Browne Jacobson at the end of November in its Nottingham office.He refuses to comment on his reasons for leaving Pinsent Curtis, saying: ...

  • BSkyB

    5-Apr-1999

    When media baron Rupert Murdoch launched satellite television broadcast company Sky on a shoestring budget in 1989, many pundits believed it would never last. He proved them wrong, and in the process Sky swallowed its main rival, BSB. A decade later, BSkyB, after a tough marketing war, is the clear leader in the pay TV sector, with particular strengths in sports coverage, news and movies. It is a leading developer of digital television.

  • Case of the week

    10-Apr-1999

    The European Court of Human Rights unanimously ruled that the Ministry of Defence's ban on homosexuals in the armed forces is unlawful. George Robertson, the defence secretary, says the ban will not be lifted immediately but about 60 cases currently being investigated will be put on hold.

  • Casting your net wider

    10-Apr-1999

    The internet is now the home of business. Even self-professed technophobe Tony Blair agrees. And, as the legal profession continues to consolidate globally, law firms are also looking at its potential.Nearly all the law firms in the top 100 now have websites. These function mainly as marketing vehicles but firms are increasingly using their virtual shop windows in order to attract new talent.A number of firms, such as

  • Celebrity Cochran plans US network

    10-Apr-1999

    Celebrity lawyer Johnnie Cochran, who represented OJ Simpson during his murder trial, is merging his 30-lawyer LA practice with a New York firm to form the biggest plaintiff's negligence firm in the US.The merger between Cochran Cherry Givens & Smith and Schneider Kleinick Weitz Damashek & Shoot to create a 61-lawyer practice, is the latest step in Cochran's campaign to build a national firm.The new firm - dubbed The Cochran Firm nationally to cash ...

  • Christopher Fowkes on the advancing Human Rights Act

    10-Apr-1999

    Christopher Fowkes is a solicitor at Travers Smith Braithwaite.The Human Rights Act 1998 received royal assent last year, but implementation has been delayed to give the Government time to prepare. The act will be brought into force fully on 2 October 2000.The act will incorporate most parts of the European Convention on Human Rights into domestic law. From October 2000, ...

  • Clyde & Co partner opts for in-house post at GEC

    10-Apr-1999

    Clyde & Co partner David Bartlett is leaving the firm to go in-house as vice-president and legal counsel for a FTSE-100 company.Bartlett, who works in the aviation and finance group, will join GE Capital Aviation Services (GECAS), part of General Electric group (GEC), in January.He says: "Leaving partnership at one of the leading international law firms was not an easy decision.

  • DAC loses second head of corporate this year

    10-Apr-1999

    Davies Arnold Cooper has lost its second head of corporate in just nine months.DAC's Charles Wander is set to return to his former firm, Fladgate Fielder, as the steady flow of outgoing partners shows no sign of abating.Wander says he intends to leave DAC "some time in the new year".DAC's former head of corporate Michael Cover joined

  • Davenports forces Tory climbdown

    10-Apr-1999

    Davenport Lyons lawyers went undercover at a university freshers' fair to force the Tory Party to withdraw the Young Conservatives' logo "cfuk".The Young Conservatives created the logo on merchandise which was given out to students around the UK.But clothing retailer French Connection, which owns the trade mark "fcuk", fired off a writ alleging breach of copyright ...

  • Dentons adds to Hong Kong arm

    10-Apr-1999

    Denton Hall has raided intellectual property specialist Willoughby & Partners to bolster its depleted Hong Kong office.Bina Cunningham, an intellectual property and IT specialist, has been a partner at Willoughbys for two and a half years and her departure will leave the firm with just four partners.Denton Hall is also taking on an assistant from Willoughbys, Amanda Telfer. She will join the firm's London office in October.Cunningham's appointment ...

  • Dibbs plans to add firms to D&P union

    10-Apr-1999

    Dibb Lupton Alsop has revealed plans to add firms from Italy, The Netherlands and Madrid to its existing alliance partners within the next six months.Nigel Knowles, Dibbs' managing partner, announced the firm's ambitions at the IBA conference.Knowles also used the conference to reveal the name of its alliance with French, Spanish and Belgian firms. The network is being marketed as D&P - short for DLA & Partners.D&P is made up of Dibbs, French ...

  • Dickinson Dees eyes Tees Valley

    10-Apr-1999

    Newcastle firm Dickinson Dees is planning an expansion into the Tees Valley region within the next 12 months.The 48-partner firm is still considering how it will establish itself in the area, which covers Middlesbrough, Darlington, Stockton-On-Tees and Hartlepool.It will either give a group of Newcastle-based partners special responsibility for the Tees Valley or will establish ...

  • Ernst & Young opens Washington office

    11-Apr-1999

    Big Five accountants Ernst & Young has established an associate Washington DC law firm by luring two tax partners from Atlanta's King & Spalding. The new firm - McKee Nelson Ernst & Young - is backed by a loan from Ernst & Young and will be housed in the accountants' Washington DC offices. The American Bar Association (ABA) prohibits law firms from sharing fees, and the new firm will not be owned by Ernst & Young. But the arrangement will allow Ernst & Young to offer legal ...

  • Field Fisher woos top Richards Butler lawyer

    10-Apr-1999

    Field Fisher Waterhouse has poached a leading lawyer from Richards Butler as a partner to head its Anglo-French group.Marie-Caroline Frochot is qualified in English and French law and helped found the French desk at Richards Butler, where she has worked for 10 years.She is taking all her clients with her to Field Fisher Waterhouse.Frochot says: "Field ...

  • Financings

    10-Apr-1999

    US firm Latham & Watkins' London office acted for Japanese trading company Nissho Iwai Corporation on a number of oil-backed financings completed in the Republic of Angola. The credit facilities, totalling £224m, will be advanced to Sociedade Nacional de Combustiveis de Angola - Sonangol UEE to finance the development of crude oil production in the country. Lathams' ...

  • Firm fights £1m damages bill

    10-Apr-1999

    An Appeal Court challenge is being mounted by former law firm Simpson Curtis over a High Court decision which left it facing a £1m damages bill for breach of duty. On 28 May this year, Mr Justice Park held the firm liable for losses incurred after the collapse of a 1989 property deal. Simpson Curtis was sued by Twenty Two A Property Investments which instructed the firm to oversee a deal worth £1.6m. This was dependent on another contract under which the freehold owners ...

  • Fosters legal chief tells firms to think global or lose partners

    10-Apr-1999

    Law firms must develop global capacities if they are to stop the latest generation of lawyers moving from private practice to in-house, says Peter Turner, head of legal at Fosters Brewing Group.Turner warns that national firms face being unable to keep pace with their clients' increasing global interests.Turner says: "Law firms are risk-averse and have problems identifying where their strengths lie."When we place an advert for in-house lawyers, ...

  • Hammonds partner to head internet firm

    10-Apr-1999

    Leading Hammond Suddards corporate finance partner Richard James is leaving the firm to go in-house with a major client, Sports Internet Group.James' new position is believed to be managing director of the sports division. His appointment is understood to be subject to board approval."I can confirm that discussions with them are taking place about taking up an in-house position," says James.James is highly-rated in Hammonds' corporate finance ...

  • Head of 10 King's Bench steps down

    10-Apr-1999

    High-profile criminal silk Ronald Thwaites QC is stepping down as head of chambers at 10 King's Bench Walk after 10 years at the helm.He is being replaced by former deputy Georges Khayat QC, who says: "He's a maverick and a high-flier and at first I didn't know what kind of head he would be. He's turned out to be very honourable and a terrific head."10 King's Bench Walk has quadrupled in size over the last 10 years and now has 37 tenants ...

  • Herbert Smith to deliver free advice from new legal centre

    10-Apr-1999

    Herbert Smith is launching a free legal advice centre in Whitechapel.Helene Kydd, community action partner at the firm, says that the cases dealt with at the advice centre will include employment, immigration and housing problems. She adds: "It can be anything from probate to someone who is dissatisfied with their dentist, or neighbour disputes."The service, which starts next Tuesday, will operate one evening a week and a minimum of five Herbert Smith lawyers ...

  • Hoon urges Foil head to run for Parliament

    10-Apr-1999

    The president of the Forum of Insurance Lawyers (Foil), Martin Bruffell, is considering running for Parliament as a Labour Party candidate.Bruffell is being urged to run by his close friend Geoff Hoon, the Foreign Office minister and one-time second-in-command to Lord Irvine in the Lord Chancellor's Department.Bruffell - who is also managing partner at Berrymans Lace ...

  • In brief: 11 Bolt Court

    10-Apr-1999

    11 Bolt Court has become the first set of chambers to be recommended for the BarMark by the British Standards Institute which positively audited the set on Friday. The set is understood to be in advanced merger negotiations with 7 Stone Buildings.

  • In brief: Addleshaw Booth & Co

    10-Apr-1999

    Addleshaw Booth & Co has boosted its earnings to £51.5m for the year ending 31 January 1999, an increase of 20 per cent on last year. The results also revealed £13.8m profit before tax compared to £9.9m for last year.

  • In brief: Dibb Lupton Alsop

    10-Apr-1999

    Dibb Lupton Alsop has lost an associate from its e-commerce team to internet company EarthPort.com. Simon Deane-Johns, who dealt with the company for Dibbs, will join as director and general counsel.

  • In brief: Duane Morris & Heckscher

    10-Apr-1999

    Duane Morris & Heckscher, a US firm, has entered a joint venture, Alicante Trademark Professinals SL, with Spanish firm Bufete Gimenez Torres and Latin American firm Bustamante & Bustamante, to help its US clients protect their intellectual property in Europe.

  • In brief: Linklaters & Alliance

    10-Apr-1999

    Linklaters & Alliance is giving up on its ambitions for an alliance partner in Spain, after months of searching. The firm intends to build its Spanish presence by hiring lawyers, either individually or in teams.

  • In brief: Mundays

    10-Apr-1999

    Mundays has appointed Ian Connell, a matrimonial and family law specialist, as a partner. The firm has also recently appointed senior associates Tina Smithson, also a matrimonial and family law specialist, from Schilling & Lom and litigator Richard Baldock from Wallis & Company.

  • In brief: Old Square Chambers

    10-Apr-1999

    Old Square Chambers is appointing a new head, John Hendy QC, to replace founding member, the Honourable John Melville Williams QC, who is stepping down. Hendy is involved in the Southall train crash inquiry where he is acting for the victims' families.

  • In brief: Sinclair Roche & Temperley

    10-Apr-1999

    Sinclair Roche & Temperley has appointed former Shanghai admiralty judge Chen Zhensheng as its senior People's Republic of China legal consultant in Shanghai. Sinclair Roche has also appointed Adrian Clarke as its chief representative in Shanghai.

  • In brief: The Wilkes Partnership

    10-Apr-1999

    The Wilkes Partnership has agreed a referral arrangement with Challinors Lyon Clark for clinical negligence work. Its clinical negligence specialist Nicholas Tubb will move to Challinors.

  • In brief: Titmuss Sainer Dechert

    10-Apr-1999

    Titmuss Sainer Dechert failed to set a precedent in a rent review case against independent experts. The firm advised Currys in a High Court case against a senior partner of a surveyors in which the chain claimed a yearly rent for a store was negligently high. The judge ruled the lease forced the rent to be set at that level.

  • In brief: Wragge & Co's

    10-Apr-1999

    Wragge & Co's senior partner John Crabtree has hit back at claims that Midlands law firms are being squeezed by a combination of rising lawyers' salaries and demands by manufacturing clients to cut fees (The Lawyer, 27 September). Crabtree says his firm is less dependent on a manufacturing client base than the Birmingham offices of some national firms.

  • It's been a bad week for...

    10-Apr-1999

    Pinochet victims, whose "instantaneous death" does not amount to torture, according to Clive Nicholls QC, representing the General at the extradition hearing. Nicholls argued that trade unionist Wilson Fernando Valdebenito Juica may have died instantly and therefore may not have suffered enough pain to amount to torture. However, Alun Jones QC for the Crown Prosecution Service retorts: "It's offensive even to suggest such a thing."

  • It's been a good week for...

    10-Apr-1999

    London sole practitioner Jitesh Thakrar who has won almost £30,000 after Thames Valley Police threw the solicitor into jail along with the clients. Thakrar, who runs a civil law practice in Southall, was arrested and left in a cell in his underpants for 14 hours after taking clients to a police station - an experience which he says was "the most degrading thing I have ever come across". Reading Crown Court awarded the record payout after an eight-day hearing,

  • Judging the judicial selection process

    10-Apr-1999

    When the Marylebone Cricket Club ended its 212-year ban on women members in March, it represented for some the demise of a fine bastion of English tradition. For others, it was the abolition of an elitist anachronism which sustained an inequality unacceptable in modern society.And yet, according to some, a more powerful elitist club continues to flourish within the British judiciary. Not only are the members of its upper echelons - the 12 Law Lords - exclusively white and ...

  • Legality of sex offender index challenged

    10-Apr-1999

    Roger Pearson reports on an appeal brought by a social worker who was dismissed following allegations of child abuse.An appeal is pending in a case which questions the legality of the Department of Health's consultancy service index of alleged sex offenders.The purpose of the index is to assist employers in child care to decide on the suitability of a person to work with children.Reasons for inclusion on the index are not given unless ...

  • Litigation Personal Injury 4/10/99

    10-Apr-1999

    Kreibech v Department of Health sub nom in the matter of CJD litigation (1999) QBD (Morland J) 8 September 1999Claimant: Female, widow of deceased ('D') who died in July 1997 at the age of 37.Incident: D suffered from stunted growth and was treated with a growth hormone extracted from the pituitary glands of cadavers in 1976 and 1977. This hormone was subsequently discovered to be contaminated and 20 years later, in June 1996, D was clinically ...

  • Litigation Writs 4/10/99

    10-Apr-1999

    Secondhand car dealer Mario Falbo of Sherborne, Dorset, is suing East Somerset NHS Trust for damages after a life-threatening heart attack which he blames on the trust's alleged negligence. He claims he suffered a heart attack after being treated with medication instead of bypass surgery. Now Falbo, 44, says he cannot work, finds his walking is restricted, and says he is unlikely to live more than 10 years. He says his GP referred him to Yeovil District ...

  • Lovells' new firm shaped on original

    10-Apr-1999

    The firm created out of Lovell White Durrant and Boesebeck Droste's merger will adopt the UK firm's existing management structure, The Lawyer can reveal.Senior partner Andrew Walker says: "The management structure [we are adopting] already exists in broad terms in Lovell White Durrant. Boesebeck Droste had a three-man committee and that was all they had."We have stayed with our structure because clearly we would need something bigger than just a three-man ...

  • Making up is hard to do

    10-Apr-1999

    Beauty parades have become a fact of life for all firms of a significant size and standing.While the term may be used ironically to describe the hoops that lawyers have to jump through to convince prospective clients that their legal expertise is the best on the market, in an increasingly visual society, it is clear that law firms are becoming more concerned about the image of their lawyers.And they are not the only ones. Anecdotal evidence shows that clients ...

  • Media

    10-Apr-1999

    Harbottle & Lewis acted for producer Pola Jones Associates on the arrangements for the West End production of the Broadway show Fosse. Alice Rayman, senior associate in the company and commercial department at Harbottle & Lewis, advised on all aspects on the deal, including obtaining the rights from the US producers. She was supported by assistant solicitor Neil Adleman.

  • Merger launches Wragges into construction top five

    10-Apr-1999

    Birmingham law firm, Wragge & Co has merged with a niche construction firm, catapulting its construction practice into the UK's top five.The staff of six-partner firm Neil F Jones (NFJ), also Birmingham-based, will move into Wragges' offices in November, to create an eight-partner, 30-lawyer construction team, operating under Wragges' name.The takeover takes Wragges' ...

  • Mishcons joins global GM litigation network

    11-Apr-1999

    Mishcon de Reya is involved in a global network of law firms formed to launch a world-wide litigations against companies making genetically modified seeds.Law firms from across the globe met up in London last month at the behest of Washington firm, Cohen Milstein Hausfeld & Toll who reportedly dreamed up the class action offensive.Mishcons will oversee litigation against ...

  • Morgan Cole partners battle it out for top job

    10-Apr-1999

    Senior Morgan Cole partners are in the midst of an election campaign for the position of chairman of the recently-merged firm.Since chairman John Bowen stepped down in March, the position has been held jointly by Guy Clarke and John Moisson - partners of the firms which merged to create Morgan Cole.An inside source at the Cardiff-based firm says that candidates have been campaigning ...

  • New practice rule is a step forward

    10-Apr-1999

    I am puzzled by Marlene Winfield's attack on the new costs information rule in her article, "Too many loopholes spoil the rules" (The Lawyer, 27 September 1999).The new Practice Rule 15 is a significant step forward for consumers and was written following consultation with the National Consumer Council.Many of the points she raises are wrong. Solicitors have always been required to act in the best interests of their clients. That is Practice ...

  • News In Brief

    11-Apr-1999

    A lady magistrate has lost her job after mooning at a stable boss during an row. Josie Lewis, 45, was sacked from her post in Swindon, Wilts, by Lord Irvine who said the JP had "failed to uphold the dignity , standing and good reputation of the magistracy. The Lord Chancellor and Home Secretary, Jack Straw now plan to review the 700-year-old system which deals with 97 percent of criminal cases in the UK.The Supreme Court of Canada has for the first time appointed ...

  • Nicholson Graham settles Ryder Cup row

    10-Apr-1999

    Nicholson Graham & Jones and Herbert Smith have settled a dispute over coverage of the Ryder Cup.Nicholson Graham & Jones acted for the PGA European Tour and Ryder Cup Ltd and Herbert Smith for BSkyB.The PGA felt caught between BSkyB and competitor ONdigital, thinking BSkyB wanted to deny the tournament to ONdigital's subscribers by not showing it on one of its main sports channels. But PGA accepted this was not the case and was satisfied for BSkyB to show ...

  • Noise award appeal takes off

    10-Apr-1999

    A surveyor is appealing against damages of £10,750 awarded to East Sussex businessman Graham Farley. Farley took surveyor Michael Skinner to the High Court for failing to warn him of noise at his £420,000 home at Blackboys, Uckfield, East Sussex, from planes going in and out of Gatwick. Earlier this year Judge Peter Baker QC held that Farley, who regards the property as a country retreat, was entitled to damages. He said that Farley found ...

  • Olswang builds up property arm

    10-Apr-1999

    Media firm Olswang has poached its third property lawyer from City practice Berwin Leighton, as part of an ongoing expansion drive.Alan Karsberg, a three-year qualified property solicitor, will become the third ex-Berwin Leighton solicitor to join Olswang when he arrives next month.He joins his former team members, property partner Philip Olmer, who arrived at Olswang in May, and ...

  • Perrin's View

    10-Apr-1999

    The suggestion that men think about sex every eight seconds has proved pretty spot-on this week. Given the recent high profile allegations of harassment involving City law firms, and the unfavourable publicity afforded to those involved, many of us can have thought of little else.Apart from the obvious response - that a sector with an image problem like the law hardly needs this sort of press - it's been an interesting week. If nothing else, these 'sex ...

  • Pinsents wins property panel places

    10-Apr-1999

    Pinsent Curtis' property team has won a place on two high-profile panels - with the Woolwich and the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries & Food (MAFF).The national firm has bagged the job of advising MAFF on its general property work in the South of England. Nabarro Nathanson's Sheffield office has won a similar contract for the North.Adrian Barlow, who heads Pinsents' ...

  • Pittsburgh firm set to pioneer move into Birmingham market

    10-Apr-1999

    Pittsburgh-based Reed Smith Shaw & McClay is set to become the first US firm to open in Birmingham.The firm says it is in talks with both Pinsent Curtis and Eversheds to form a strategic alliance.It will be along the lines of Titmuss Sainer

  • Play it by the book or pay the price

    10-Apr-1999

    The dangers that can arise when those involved in a deal jump the gun and fail to wait for completion of legal formalities have seldom been better illustrated than in the recent High Court case of Fordgate Wandsworth Ltd v Bernard Neville & Co and Teacher Stern Selby.The case involved surrender by retailer Budget Books of a unit at the Arndale shopping centre in south London, which is owned by Fordgate and managed by Bernard Neville.Bernard Neville agreed ...

  • Property

    10-Apr-1999

    Nicholson Graham & Jones represented Nackebro AB (PUBL) on the £23.6m sale of Status Park, Nobel Drive, Heathrow to Prudential Pensions. At present, two of the buildings are let to the Secretary of State for the Environment until 2008 while Netscape Communications will occupy the third building until 2012 on terms which total an income of £1.69m per year. Lynne Hughes (pictured), property partner at Nicholson Graham & Jones, acted on the deal. Berwin ...

  • Property

    5-Apr-1999

    Mark Bryan of Maples Teesdale acted for Wates Construction, which has taken a new lease on industrial premises at Beddington Cross Industrial Estate in the London Borough of Sutton. Marc Franks and Nigel Heilpern of Nabarro Nathanson acted for the developer Quintain Estate and Development and its subsidiary Landlord Croydon Land (No 2).

  • Property

    5-Apr-1999

    Nabarro Nathanson acted for an overseas private investor in the acquisition of a portfolio of nine properties from British Land for £260m. Known as the "Bond" portfolio it includes offices, distribution warehouses and the Allders department store in Portsmouth. Alan Samson led the team.

  • Property

    10-Apr-1999

    Norton Rose advised Helical Bar on the £18m sale of 8-10 Mansion House Place, EC4 to the British Arab Commercial Bank. (The buyer intends to occupy the building by the end of January 2000.) Jonathan Ody, property partner at Norton Rose, led the team on the deal, with property partner David Sinclair and construction partner Christopher Hill. British Arab Commercial Bank was ...

  • Quote of the week

    10-Apr-1999

    "Is this the beginning of a campaign for mediocrity and the abandonment of valuable traditions?"- A peeved Dan Brennan QC defends the reputation of the bar, following an attack by the Law Society which is calling for the abolition of QCs and the end of the secret soundings system for appointing judges.

  • Rival KLegal raids firm securing three senior lawyers

    10-Apr-1999

    KLegal, the legal arm of Big Five accountants KPMG, has raided bitter rival Arnheim Tite & Lewis for three senior lawyers and is threatening to poach more at partner level from City firms.The defectors are banking lawyer Michael Dickie, employment specialist Colina Gathercole and IT lawyer Anthony Lee. They join KLegal as directors, the equivalent of salaried partner.Gathercole has already joined KLegal, and Dickie and Lee join within two months.KLegal ...

  • Rumours fly as third partner announces exit from Stephens Innocent

    10-Apr-1999

    Another partner is leaving Stephens Innocent amid speculation that senior partner Mark Stephens may also be planning to join another firm.Employment partner Deborah Annetts is the third partner to announce her exit from the seven-partner firm in a week, with Stephens rumoured to be in talks with another City firm about moving and setting up a new media practice.Stephens is one of the most well-known media lawyers in London, having represented celebrities including ...

  • Salans Hertzfeld lures partners for growing corporate practice

    10-Apr-1999

    International firm Salans Hertzfeld & Heilbronn has lured two partners from US and UK firms as it builds its London corporate practice.Kevin Alexander joins with two assistants from the London office of US firm Bracewell & Patterson, which he has headed since 1988. And Richard Thomas arrives from Sinclair Roche & Temperley, after 11 years as partner with the firm.Last year Salans merged with New York firm Christy & Viener. London managing partner Roger Abrahams ...

  • Scuffle of the week

    10-Apr-1999

    Home Secretary Jack Straw v the Lord Chancellor, Lord Irvine, who - seemingly oblivious to Tony Blair's uncompromising anti-drugs stance in Bournemouth - are rowing over drugs. The Judicial Studies Board is issuing guidelines suggesting judges should be lenient with cannabis users who say they are Rastafarians. It seems Straw did not know of the guidelines prior to their issue, although Lord Irvine has approved them. Straw, whose son William hit the headlines ...

  • Sensible soundings

    10-Apr-1999

    As our analysis this week shows, there are very few who still hold up the secret soundings system as an example of the way a modern society should appoint its highest legal figures. The Bar Council admits that the system needs to change preferring an advisory committee made up of judges and senior lawyers. Pressure is mounting on the LCD to make changes and now is the time that the profession needs to be most involved in the debate.It was good to see Bob Sayer speaking ...

  • Shearman & Sterling takes 13 lawyers from Paris rival

    10-Apr-1999

    Shearman & Sterling's Paris office has poached 13 lawyers from rival firm Simeon & Associes for its M&A group.The haul includes three partners, Jacques Epstein, Cyrille Niedzielski and Jacques Wantz; European counsel Bernard Carrez, and nine associates. The exodus leaves five partners in Simeon's M&A department.Emmanuel Gaillard, managing partner at Shearman ...

  • Square Mile

    10-Apr-1999

    If the various legal journals are an accurate reflection of their readership, we are a profession of extroverts obsessed by the lateral hiring of each other on the one hand and our own pubic relations on the other.In my firm's case, between May 1995 and May 1999 not one equity partner has been laterally hired, and we have lost just two salaried partners and 14 solicitors. Are we so unattractive to our competitors or can we afford golden handcuffs?

  • Swedes welcome plan to broaden LLPs

    10-Apr-1999

    Swedish lawyers at the conference welcomed their government's plans to broaden the scope of limited liability partnerships (LLP).Currently, the rules allow firms to operate as LLPs, but a clause in the country's Companies Act does not protect partners if the firm is sued for negligence.President of the Swedish Bar Association Elisabet Fura-Sandstrom says: "The provision says that lawyers assume joint and several liability together with their firms, ...

  • The Firm

    10-Apr-1999

    Henderson: ...The Firm's been stagnating for decades - working conditions here are like something out of the 19th Century.Pratchard: Tom, you're making us sound like that firm that's being done for male chauvinism. Come on, we appointed that woman person to the corporate department. I understand she makes a cracking cup of tea.Henderson: All the same, I think there's a connection between our public image and last year's ...

  • The Lawyer Inquiry: Michael Gardner was born in Hampstead in London. He is the senior litigation partner at Morgan Cole.

    10-Apr-1999

    What was your first job?Sales assistant in a West End shoe shop.What was your first ever salary as a lawyer?£5,000 per annum.What would you have done if you hadn't been a lawyer?I'd like to say a tennis professional, but more likely a salesman.What was your most satisfying professional moment?Being elected chief lawyer for three parties to High Court litigation, where the ...

  • The ones to watch

    10-Apr-1999

    Alison Laferla tracks the careers of five rising stars at the bar and finds out why their instructing solicitors rate them.Sean Jones11 King's Bench WalkCalled to the bar:1991Professional achievements/associations:Employment Lawyers Association (deputy chairman and chairman of Europe Committee); Bar European Group; Employment Law Bar Association; Industrial Law Society. Columnist for Employment Law Briefing, ...

  • Theodore Goddard tipped as suitor for Euro alliance BBLP

    10-Apr-1999

    Two London firms are competing to be the first UK practice to join the 420-lawyer European alliance BBLP.Andre Moquet, a founding partner of French firm Moquet Borde & Associes, says that the alliance is now ready to expand across the Channel.He says: "We have found two potential UK firms to form an alliance with."Moquet refuses to name them. Sources say Theodore Goddard is in contention, although a spokesman for the firm refuses to comment.

  • This week

    10-Apr-1999

    The Bar Council's annual conference is being held on Saturday 9 October at the Queen Elizabeth II Conference Centre in Westminster. The title this year is "Modern Bar: Strong Future", with Lord Irvine giving the main speech. Other speakers are Channel 4 newsreader Jon Snow, Director of Public Prosecutions David Calvert-Smith QC, and James Stewart, the chief prosecutor at the international criminal tribunal for the former Yugoslavia.

  • UK must agree new media policy

    10-Apr-1999

    Lionel Stanbrook of the Advertising Association discusses the implications of the Brussels Convention on e-commerce in the UK and EU. Lionel Stanbrook is deputy director-general of the Advertising Association.In early July 1999, the UK government supported - together with other EU Member States - a European Commission proposal to adopt the amended Brussels Convention on jurisdiction as an EU Regulation according to Article 65 of the Amsterdam Treaty.

  • US calls for international law to fight corruption

    10-Apr-1999

    US law enforcers are calling for global anti-corruption measures so deals can be conducted on a level playing field.US companies have lost $20bn (£12.5bn) in foreign deals since the introduction of its Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, according to Peter Clark, deputy chief of the criminal fraud division of the Department of Justice.He says the deals have been lost because US companies are now banned from paying bribes to secure foreign trade.Businesses ...

  • Warner Cranston spurns Sonnenscheins

    10-Apr-1999

    Warner Cranston's merger talks with US firm Sonnenschein Nath & Rosenthal are off.The firm is determined not to surrender its independence easily, despite as many as a dozen offers in the past six months.Peter Alfandary, Warner Cranston's business development partner, says: "I can categorically say we are not in merger talks with Sonnenscheins."We did talk to Sonnenscheins some time ago. But we have been approached by a number of US firms, ...

  • Who will gain from whistle-blowing?

    10-Apr-1999

    Martin Chitty, head of employment, Wragge & CoChristopher Osman, head of employment, Clifford ChanceWilliam Dawson, managing partner, Simmons & SimmonsEmployment lawyers are gearing up for the results of a high-profile case which will put new whistle-blowing ...

  • Who's going to make money behind the screens?

    10-Apr-1999

    The boom in the TV industry, with the arrival of digital transmission offering more and more channels, promises a host of legal problems and potentially a new balance between in-house and outsourced work in the area.Observers believe that more programmes will be made, bought and sold, and new European and domestic regulatory issues could well spring up. And intellectual property rights will throw up more legal and conceptual problems for the TV companies' lawyers to ...

  • Woolwich and B&B axe in-house teams

    11-Apr-1999

    The Woolwich Bank and the Bradford & Bingley Building Society are making swingeing cuts to their in-house legal teams.Four lawyers and around 16 support staff out of the 32-person team at the Woolwich are being made redundant, while Bradford & Bingley are slashing their 26-person legal team - including lawyers and paralegals - by up to 15. The job cuts at the Woolwich reportedly arise from the bank's decision to cut 330 management positions as a pre-cursor to moving ...

  • Would you employ the bar?

    10-Apr-1999

    Perhaps more than in any other area of law, employment barristers have to prove their worth.Solicitors are happy to take on tribunal advocacy themselves, and so can choose whether or not to involve counsel in a case.The readiness to instruct barristers varies considerably from firm to firm. Many City lawyers say they find the employment bar good value for money and regularly instruct counsel. Jane Mann, employment partner at

  • Zurich in-house demands firms commit to pro bono

    10-Apr-1999

    Zurich Financial Services' in-house legal team says it will demand that any firms it instructs in the future must show a commitment to pro bono work.Zurich Financial Services' 19-strong Swindon-based legal team has become only the second in-house team to join the Solicitors Pro Bono Group (SPBG).William Flynn, head of the litigation team at the company, says he will now be asking its external law firms to offer free legal advice in the future.