5 August 1996

The Lawyer

  • 'Two strikes' proposal could undermine Scots legal system

    10-Aug-1996

    The integrity of the Scottish legal system could be compromised if Government proposals on crime and punishment are implemented north of the border, Scotland's most senior judge has warned.In his last address before becoming an appeal judge in the House of Lords, the Lord President and Lord Justice General of Scotland, Lord Hope of Craighead, attacked the proposed mandatory life sentence for someone convicted of a second violent or sexual offence. He said it was inappropriate ...

  • after the event

    10-Aug-1996

    "after the event" legal funding is a development that has caught the eye of both the legal profession and the Lord Chancellor's Department.At a time when the Government is examining all options for funding and high costs exclude middle income earners from litigation, interest shown by insurance firms in the litigation market could offer solutions.The first major plan for individual litigants - LawAssist - was introduced by Greystoke Legal Services this year. ...

  • An investment in the future

    10-Aug-1996

    Chambers are becoming more aware of the need to manage their activities. There are several reasons for this, including increased competition from solicitors as well as from other sets; the greater expectations of sol icitors and clients; advances in technology which enable changes in working practices; plus the provision of more statistical information to assist decision-making.There have also been changes in the funding of work, levels of fees and case management. Altogether ...

  • Arbitration update

    10-Aug-1996

    The pros and cons of arbitration will be discussed at a seminar on employment law in London on 31 October. Sir John Wood, chairman of the Central Arbitration Committee, will discuss the merits of binding arbitration at the session organised by LGC Training. Contact 0170-833 7327 for details.

  • Attack was unwarranted

    10-Aug-1996

    In the absence of my chairman I would like to refer to Richard Hegarty's letter in The Lawyer (17 September).It is clear that Mr Hegarty has learned much from watching Prime Minister's Question Time. He attacks our group and recounts the Law Society's lamentable attempts to support property selling instead of replying to the points raised. In simple terms this was that the Law Society, by imposing unreasonable and restrictive practice rules, had ...

  • Awaiting the sound of silence

    10-Aug-1996

    The House of Lords is being asked to consider whether the legal battle over night flights into Heathrow should end where it stands with July's Court of Appeal ruling in favour of the Government's backing for upgrading the level of flights.But a top environmental lawyer who is closely involved in the action has accused the Court of Appeal of allowing the Government "to have its cake and eat it".Cambridge-based Richard Buxton, who masterminded ...

  • Bacfi puts partnerships at top of its agenda

    10-Aug-1996

    EMPLOYED barristers are to discuss calls for barristers to be allowed to enter in to partnerships with solicitors and accountants at a meeting to test opinion in the sector on a range of contentious issues.The Bar Association for Commerce, Finance and Industry (Bacfi) has taken the unusual step of inviting its members to an open meeting later this month.On the agenda are some of the employed Bar's long-standing bugbears, such as rights of audience and rights ...

  • Book sparks libel action

    10-Aug-1996

    David Irving is to seek libel damages over a book entitled Denying the Holocaust. He is taking publisher Penguin Books and author Deborah Lipstadt, of Atlanta, Georgia, US, to the High Court. Irving's action is also against David Crank, Alistair Babb, Stanley Bromley and Colin Orr in respect of distribution and sales of the book. The book, subtitled The Growing Assault on Truth and Memory, was published by Penguin in July 994.

  • Brief

    10-Aug-1996

    Judges are neither lenient "liberal pinkos" nor "bloodthirsty old men" handing out draconian sentences, declared Lord Bingham at his first press conference as Lord Chief Justice.The country's most senior criminal judge, explaining his opposition to the extension of mandatory sentences as proposed by Home Secretary Michael Howard, said: "I don't adhere to the view that judges are out of touch. It's only a few years since judges were characterised as bloodthirsty ...

  • Brief

    10-Aug-1996

    Probably the most senior barrister still practising in this country celebrated his 90th birthday last week.John Platts-Mills QC, called to the Bar in 1932, and now a tenant of Cloisters Chambers, defended his latest clients earlier this year. All eight defendants were acquitted. A veteran of the Great Train Robbery appeal in 1964-5, and the Richardson and Kray Brothers cases, Platts-Mills said he still loves his work, and has no immediate plans to retire.Known ...

  • Brighton duo agree on claim payout

    10-Aug-1996

    Two Brighton firms of solicitors have agreed to pay £55,000 in settlement of a negligence claim by a mother-of-two they represented in a claim against a local health authority.Julie Carey first instructed Davies & Co and later Fitzhugh Gates to sue Brighton Health Authority for medical negligence on the grounds that doctors at the Royal Sussex County Hospital were slow in diagnosing her breast cancer.Davies & Co, which issued a writ against the authority ...

  • CABx give cold shoulder to Lord Chancellor's reforms

    10-Aug-1996

    The Lord Chancellor received a cool reception at the National Association of Citizens' Advice Bureaux annual conference, where delegates said he did little to restore confidence in his legal aid reforms.At the recent conference in York, Lord Mackay said the poor could no longer rely on legal aid if they wanted to go to law. "We have to recognise that in this sense the original aim of legal aid is just not achievable."He said litigants should look to other ...

  • Call for law to stop building societies turning into banks

    10-Aug-1996

    A former bank of England economist has called for new laws to prevent the UK's few remaining building societies from being converted to banks.Rob Thomas, now a building society analyst for UBS, said the UK's "treasured" mutually-owned building societies should be saved by laws to stop members enriching themselves on conversion to bank status.The Halifax, Woolwich, Alliance & Leicester and Northern Rock building societies have all announced the intention ...

  • Channel Isle crossing for Wedlake Bell partner

    10-Aug-1996

    A large slice of Wedlake Bell's client base has been shipped across the English Channel with the appointment of Quentin Spicer as senior partner of the firm's Guernsey office.Spicer, a commercial property lawyer, transferred from Wedlake's London office last week to replace Michael McKean, who opened the Guernsey office in 1986.McKean will remain with the firm ...

  • Contamination Act puts pressure on councils

    10-Aug-1996

    COUNCIL lawyers are being urged to act quickly to prepare a comprehensive register of contaminated sites within their boundaries to avoid the threat of judicial reviews.According to Berrymans' planning specialist, Steven Francis, the government's planned new contaminated land regime will impose a great burden on local authorities.The Department of the Environment has issued a draft of the statutory guidance needed to implement the provisions ...

  • Crown Prosecution Service. All tail and no teeth

    10-Aug-1996

    Many people say the CPS has failed. The CPS idea has not failed - it has never been given the chance to work.When the 1981 Royal Commission on Criminal Justice recommended that there should be an independent prosecuting service, what was proposed was fundamentally different to the CPS created. It said that within each police force area there should be a Chief Crown Prosecutor co-equal with the Chief Constable and responsible for local prosecutions. The Government rejected ...

  • Crown Prosecution Service. Reflections on CPS's achievements

    10-Aug-1996

    A tenth birthday is a milestone for any organisation. It is also a time for reflection. What have we achieved? Where do we go from here?The CPS is at the heart of the criminal prosecution process, as the prosecutor of criminal charges and as an effective contributor to the development of the criminal justice system.Nationally, we have established an independent prosecution agency which delivers a committed, professional, high quality public service. It is delivered ...

  • Czech appointment

    10-Aug-1996

    US law firm Squire Sanders & Dempsey has appointed finance and securities specialist Vladimira Papirnik to replace Richard Sterling Surrey as the managing partner of the firm's Prague office. Sterling Surrey is moving to the London office. Since joining Squires' international corporate practice in Prague, Papirnik has specialised in bank regulation and restructuring. She was born in Kolin ...

  • Defamation. Caution is the name of the libel game

    10-Aug-1996

    The judiciary remains hostile to an extension of the law of privilege to embrace a New York Times v Sullivan-style public figure defence. It believes that such a far-reaching change requires legislation.Sir Michael Davies, in striking out a public figure plea in Bennett Ors v Guardian Newspapers (1995), said that US culture was different from other countries, including the UK, and that "what was appropriate in the US was not necessarily appropriate elsewhere".Lord ...

  • Denton Hall takes Serbian telecoms industry contract

    10-Aug-1996

    Denton Hall has won a contract to privatise the telecoms industry in Serbia and says it could be the first international law firm to set up shop there.The six-figure contract will be carried out at an office in Belgrade, which could become permanent if it attracts enough business during the nine-month stay.Denton Hall beat US firms Weil Gotshal & Manges and Squires ...

  • Exporters air their beef about exclusion

    10-Aug-1996

    Judgment is now pending in a case which could decide the fate of several major UK beef exporters.Mr Justice Laws has been told that the future of exporters responsible for up to 40 per cent of UK beef exports hinges on his decision in a challenge to the Government's stance on those entitled to financial help after the EC ban on British beef.The judge has reserved judgment in the action in which six leading British beef exporters accuse the Government of ...

  • Filofax fights Net name

    10-Aug-1996

    The Filofax Group is heading for what could turn out to be a landmark High Court legal battle to stop its name being used on the Internet. It is seeking an order to make Netlink Internet Services disclose the identity and address of whoever registered the Internet domain name “Filofax. Co. UK”.The Filofax Group will also ask for an order to force Netlink to cancel the registration of the name or to change the name to one dissimilar to Filofax.

  • Firms to pay more after SIF blunder

    10-Aug-1996

    Firms will be asked to pay 7.5 per cent more to the Solicitors Indemnity Fund (SIF) this year than the original contribution asked for in August, following an embarrassing blunder by SIF staff.SIF chair Andrew Kennedy has admitted that its calculations failed to take into account extra discounts for low-risk work. He said they would have resulted in the Law Society raising £13 million less than the £184.9 million target set by its council in June.Kennedy ...

  • Fixed costs:Woolf's Achilles heel?

    10-Aug-1996

    For a time it was heretical to pick flaws in the Woolf Report. Lawyers felt duty-bound to welcome it, lest they were seen to be in any way hesitant about reform.Theoretically, it is a fine report. However, as was earlier pointed out, the actual implementation of the reforms is where the problems lie.Research carried out by the Association of Personal Injury Lawyers (Apil) has now thrown up one such problem, namely costing. Apil had earlier ...

  • Flotations

    10-Aug-1996

    Olswang acted as UK adviser and Latham & Watkins acted as US attorney to Ionica

  • Flotations

    10-Aug-1996

    Memery Crystal acted for Recruitment Exchange on its admission to trading on the OFEX. The company is capitalised at £1.69 million. Memery Crystal also acted for Ellis & Partners

  • Give solicitors equal rights of audience

    10-Aug-1996

    The Courts and Legal Services Act 1990 set out a statutory objective of making new or better ways of providing advocacy and litigation services and offering a wider choice of people to provide them.To achieve this, an "authorised body" - the Law Society is the only authorised body for solicitors - has the power to determine if a person has shown sufficient education, training and qualifications to be granted rights of audience.Proposed regulations ...

  • Hospital PFI deals hit by cash shortages at trusts

    10-Aug-1996

    The Government's Private Finance Initiative has received yet another blow with an official admission that many of the planned schemes for building NHS hospitals with private money will not work.Many PFI lawyers blame the Government for rushing the initiative. The problem, said Andrew Neill, head of the NHS private finance unit, was that many hospital trusts would not be able to afford the proposed annual payments to private contractors. There are 24 proposed hospitals ...

  • How winners learn their lessons

    10-Aug-1996

    As competition in the legal market increases, more and more firms are recognising the need to develop good management skills throughout their organisations to remain competitive.The ability of practices to manage themselves effectively at every level will be one of the critical factors in sorting out the winners from the losers as competition continues to intensify over the next few years.Law practices need to develop a much deeper understanding of what is really ...

  • In brief: Global head for Credit Suisse legal dept

    10-Aug-1996

    The position of global head has been created at Credit Suisse Financial Products' London legal department as part of a shake-up following the merger of two of Credit Suisse Holdings' US subsidiaries in Boston. Eoin O'Shea is the new general counsel and global head of the department. He takes over from Stephen Greene, who becomes general counsel of the new Credit Suisse First Boston bank, which owns 80 per cent of Credit Suisse Financial Products.

  • In brief: Lawyer takes tribunal to court

    10-Aug-1996

    A struck-off solicitor is planning to take the Solicitors Disciplinary Tribunal to court over a decision not to allow him to defend himself at a hearing. John Shepherd, 52, from Upton, Wirral, was struck off last year after being jailed for three years in December 1993 for fraudulently claiming green form fees at a standard rate not agreed by the Legal Aid Board. Shepherd, formerly sole partner at two Liverpool firms, Munros and Shepherds, claims that the convictions were wrong and ...

  • In brief: Legal help comes to the campus

    10-Aug-1996

    South Wales firm Hugh James claims to be the first in the country to launch free campus-based legal advice clinics for students and college staff in two South Wales colleges. But business has not been brisk at the first clinic that started at the beginning of the academic year, at Merthyr Tydfil College, which has 5,000 students. Ceri Breeze, a partner in Hugh James's Merthyr office, said the two ...

  • In brief: PI specialist wins top claim for union

    10-Aug-1996

    Bretherton Price Elgoods, the Cheltenham firm that acts for more than 5,000 members of the Transport & General Workers Union in the West Midlands region, has won its biggest-ever compensation claim for the union. The personal injury specialist firm negotiated an award of £580,000 for the claimant, a TGWU member who sought compensation from the Motor Insurers Bureau. Christopher Bourton, who worked at Rover's Cowley plant, was driving home from work when a lorry which had ...

  • In brief: Pinsents expands property department

    10-Aug-1996

    Pinsent Curtis is on the look-out for five property lawyers at all levels in its Birmingham office after reporting its best year since the start of the recession. Brian Hopkinson, managing partner at the office, said its property department, which now has 10 partners, is one of the fastest-growing parts of the firm's business after corporate and commercial litigation. His comments follow the appointment of property partner, Andrew Pike, who joins the firm from Simmons & Simmons. ...

  • In brief: Small claims gets the thumbs-up

    10-Aug-1996

    The majority of litigants who use the county court small claims procedure are satisfied with the way their cases are dealt with, according to a report, Small Claims Procedures in County courts in England and Wales, funded by the Economic & Social Research Council, the Lord Chancellor's Department and the Office of Fair Trading. The main criticism was that six months after a hearing, fewer than 33 per cent of plaintiffs had received payment. The report comes only months after the ...

  • India and Central Asia come top of Baker & McKenzie's expansion list

    10-Aug-1996

    Around 475 partners from the world's largest law firm Baker & McKenzie will converge on London this week to discuss the firm's future plans, which include expanding into India and Central Asia.Partners from the firm's 55 offices around the world will meet for three days to discuss the key decisions which affect the international partnership.Baker & McKenzie ...

  • Junior partners' salaries rise

    10-Aug-1996

    Assistant solicitor and junior partners' salaries in City firms with fewer than 25 partners increased by a massive 7 per cent on average this year, according to a salary survey by legal recruitment consultant Garfield Robbins.Lawyers in firms with between 25 and 60 partners received on average only 2 per cent more this year, while their colleagues in large firms only got 1 per cent increases.By surveying the salaries of lawyers from 100 City firms at all ...

  • Katie Bradford says valuation rulings need close scrutiny

    10-Aug-1996

    There was much rejoicing in the property world when the House of Lords ruled on BBL damages. The message was that a negligent valuer would not be liable for losses caused by a fall in the market price of over-valued land. But the jubilation was misplaced.Lord Hoffman gave the leading opinion in South Australia Asset Management Corporation v York Montague. First, analyse the nature of the duty to provide information for the lender to take into account in its decision-making.

  • Keeping a close eye on market growth

    10-Aug-1996

    Robert Lindsay watches as Charles Allen-Jones, Linklaters & Paines' head man, ticks off his aims for the firm's future in its global targets"We don't talk about threats," said Charles Allen-Jones, the new senior partner at Linklaters & Paines, "We prefer to talk about developments in the market which we have to meet."Allen-Jones moved into the office of his predecessor ...

  • Law groups unite to defeat ad threat

    10-Aug-1996

    The UK's law societies have joined forces with the German Federal Bar in an attempt to scupper a European Commission directive which would allow comparative advertising between law firms.The groups, which share an office in Brussels, have enlisted the support of UK MEP Philip Whitehead to table an amendment in the European Parliament to exempt lawyers from the advertising directive. First mooted in 1991, the proposed directive would allow solicitors to engage in advertising ...

  • Law Soc hits back at Which? wills report

    10-Aug-1996

    THE LAW Society and the Consumers' Association have renewed hostilities - this time over the drafting of wills - following a long-running battle over the accuracy of Which? magazine surveys.The latest Which? report covering the legal profession claims solicitors' will drafting skills are no better than those of banks, life insurers and specialist will writers.A survey carried out at about the same time last year on the quality and cost of legal advice ...

  • Law Soc's computer system runs five times over budget

    10-Aug-1996

    THE LAW Society's new computer system will cost five times more than was originally anticipated, a confidential consultants' report reveals.The implementation of the Regis system has been characterised by "time pressures" and "errors," says the report which estimates it will have cost £10m by the time it is fully installed, compared to the original £2.038m estimate.The report was commissioned by the inquiry set up earlier this year after ...

  • LEI market sees a new dawn

    10-Aug-1996

    The legal expenses insurance market is bouncing back after years of uncertainty, disappointment and crippling losses for providers.Insurers got their fingers burnt in the early 1990s when they first offered comprehensive legal expenses insurance. The upshot was a flood of expensive court actions by people the insurers branded as litigious by nature. Many smaller players collapsed, while most of their larger rivals stopped writing stand-alone LEI business.Instead, ...

  • Lincoln deal picked up by Eversheds

    10-Aug-1996

    LINCOLNSHIRE County Council has hired lawyers from Eversheds to do the legal work for the privatisation of two of its departments.The Nottingham office of the national firm will handle the "externalisation" of Translinc and Lincway.Lincway, the council's road and grounds maintenance and construction division, has an annual turnover of £17 million. ...

  • Litigation Disciplinary Tribunals 08/10/96

    10-Aug-1996

    Kenneth James Crawley, admitted 1980, practising at material times in Harrogate, North Yorkshire, struck off and ordered to pay £4,236 costs. Allegations substantiated that he wrongly drew and used client account money, failed to keep properly written books, failed to reply to letters from client and Solicitors Complaints Bureau, failed to carry out retainer using proper care and skill, and failed to deal with matter as instructed with ...

  • Litigation Recent Decisions 08/10/96

    10-Aug-1996

    Admissibility of document by one conspirator against othersR v Devonport (1996).CA (Beldam LJ, Judge J and Allen J)Summary: Admitting a document prepared by one of the defendants charged with conspiracy to defraud as evidence against the others.Appeal by defendants who, with three others, had conspired to steal money from bank accounts and were charged with conspiracy to defraud. The principal ground of appeal concerned ...

  • Litigation Writs 08/10/96

    10-Aug-1996

    Mitre Furnishing Group, of South Tolworth, Surrey, is suing its former credit controller for damages over an alleged fraud. It has issued a writ against Ashley Hardy, of Rotherfield, East Sussex, for £422,600 which it claims represents the value of goods and materials he fraudulently converted. Mitre is also suing Ganshyam Patel, of Claygate, Surrey, and Robert Berwick, of Brentwood, Essex, for damages for fraud ...

  • Liverpool firm stands by its man

    10-Aug-1996

    A LIVERPOOL firm is standing by a paralegal who was filmed playing in the same football team as a personal injury client who had just won damages after claiming he had been seriously injured tripping on a pavement.Howard Jackson & Co, which sponsors the team, said it believed its welfare adviser Steve Barton's assertion that the first time he had played with Peter Hill was when Liverpool Council filmed them together.When Judge Richard Hamilton saw the video ...

  • Liverpool gets tough on PI fraud

    10-Aug-1996

    LAWYERS at Liverpool City Council who filmed a bogus knee injury victim playing football say they are constantly developing new tactics to stem a steady stream of false personal injury claims.Last month a Liverpool judge ordered amateur footballer Peter Hill to repay £11,000 damages which he won after claiming he injured his knee when he fell on a defective pavement.Lawyers at Liverpool City Council secured a retrial after they filmed Hill playing ...

  • Merger creates top 10 Midlands firm

    10-Aug-1996

    Two West Midlands firms, Challinors and Lyon Clark, have merged to become one of the region's 10 largest legal firms.Challinors Lyon Clark will be based in Edgbaston and have 20 partners - 13 of whom have come from Challinors.It is understood that West Bromwich-based Lyon Clark approached Challinors, the larger firm, earlier in the year.Senior partner Trevor Lee, who previously held the same position at Challinors, said the two firms complemented ...

  • No meeting of minds on club

    10-Aug-1996

    MANCHESTER lawyers are debating this week whether to continue meeting in a club that excludes women members.The debate, which falls as solicitors across the country gather in the city for the Solicitors Annual Conference, has been forced by Oldham personal injury lawyer Carol Hepworth.She thinks the society should stop using the 19th century St James's Club. "It's quite obviously a gentlemen's club - it has that hallowed atmosphere and I do not ...

  • No political motivation

    10-Aug-1996

    I refer to the article relating to Hounslow Law Centre published in The Lawyer 24 September.Yvonne Patterson's employment was terminated and her claim settled by the law centre for reasons other than the claims of discrimination (which they deny) and so as to save the costs of a protracted hearing.Your article quoted me as saying that the report "was written from political motives". However, as you have now confirmed to me, you accept ...

  • No win, no fee - no pain

    10-Aug-1996

    Over 1,000 clients a month are choosing to fund cases under the "no win, no fee" agreements introduced 15 months ago.The next few years are likely to see a big increase in the role of conditional fees in civil litigation in personal injury, insolvency and human rights cases.But while the arrangements are still something of an unknown quantity, the response among lawyers ranges from evangelical to suspicious.S58 of the Courts and Legal Services Act ...

  • Norton Rose opts for paralegals to liberate solicitors

    10-Aug-1996

    PETER REES, the new head of Norton Rose's commercial litigation departments, wants to increase the proportion of paralegals in the department to allow qualified lawyers to focus on the most demanding work.Peter Rees took charge last week of the 70 lawyers in the department which has only eight paralegals, plus a pool of freelancers.Rees stressed that the new policy would ...

  • Notts lawyers warn about low-cost advice

    10-Aug-1996

    Nottinghamshire Law Society has launched a campaign aimed at raising public awareness of the risks of unqualified people marketing low-cost legal advice.The society, which represents 748 solicitors, is concerned about adverts by unqualified firms and claims assessors offering cheap will and probate and no win, no fee services.It has hired a local public relations firm to co-ordinate the campaign. The national Law Society says the initiative could prove a model ...

  • One for all and all for one

    10-Aug-1996

    That certain barristers' chambers are facing a crisis over attracting clients has been an open secret for some time. Any solicitor who has regular dealings with the Bar will have been the target of various attempts by chambers to market themselves more effectively and to raise the profile of their members.The chambers most affected are those with a non-specialist and general commercial practice. In some sets the problem is affecting senior juniors most severely.

  • Only an independent judiciary can preserve constitutional freedoms

    10-Aug-1996

    Commentators have expressed surprise at the election as president of the American Bar Association of a lawyer who openly opposes abortion and advocates the death penalty.But Lee Cooper, a partner at Maynard Cooper & Gale in Birmingham, Alabama, says he wants to steer the ABA away from the social issues on which it has campaigned for so long.He claims the body should direct its energy towards improving the justice system, which he considers is the real purpose ...

  • Peapod unveils all-in-one kit

    10-Aug-1996

    Alison Laferla reportsLegal IT supplier Peapod Solutions is launching an all-in-one system for high street solicitors which will compete directly with the Law Society's High Street Starter Kit.It includes a Pentium PC running Windows 95 and Microsoft Office, accounts and practice management software from Pracctice, Peapod's electronic forms system, and a time-recording package.The kit contains a laser printer and a fax/modem ...

  • Poor may be disadvantaged by legal aid block contracts

    10-Aug-1996

    The qUAlity of legal advice for the poor could nose-dive if block contracting proposals for criminal legal aid work are introduced, warned a top US specialist.Addressing the Law Society of Scotland conference on crime and punishment last Monday, Robert Spangenberg, chair of an American Bar Association ad hoc committee on criminal defence, said proposals for contracting criminal legal aid work raised serious concerns.Contracting systems under which firms are paid ...

  • Project financing

    10-Aug-1996

    Wilde Sapte acted for BZW and Barclays Mercantile Business Finance in project financing for an oil-fired 140 megawatt power station in Cornwall, which is being developed by Indian Queens Power, a subsidiary of Destec Energy.

  • Simmons closes net on Goldfish terms

    10-Aug-1996

    The terms of British Gas's much-publicised Goldfish loyalty card, which gives its customers reductions on their gas bills, were hammered out by a team of lawyers from Simmons & Simmons.Tax partner Stephen Coleclough said his team, which acted for HFC, the bank issuing the card, had to devise contracts that ensured "no one goes up to HFC with their card saying 'What about a reduction on my gas bill?' and no one goes up to British Gas saying 'you've ...

  • Thaw in frosty links with Labour and the profession

    10-Aug-1996

    FROSTY relations between Labour and the legal profession appear to be thawing following an amicable fringe Law Society meeting at the Labour Party conference and a well-received speech by the shadow Lord Chancellor, Lord Irvine of Lairg, at the Bar conference.In a show of mutual respect at the Law Society meeting on legal aid at Labour's Blackpool conference, shadow treasury minister Mike O'Brien thanked the Law Society for its "constructive and useful suggestions" ...

  • The Lawyer Inquiry: Sophie Hughes

    10-Aug-1996

    Sophie Hughes was born on 18 October, 1965 in Cardiff. She lives in Putney, London, and is a partner at Anthony Gold Lerman & Muirhead, specialising in family and matrimonial work. What was your first job?Selling undies in Marks & Spencer.What was your first ever salary as a lawyer?£12,000.What would you have done if you hadn't become a lawyer?

  • US giant eyes UK

    10-Aug-1996

    Chicago firm McDermott Will & Emery, one of the largest firms in the US, is planning to open an office in London following the official severing of its association with City firm Paisner & Co last month. McDermotts' chairman, Lawrence Gerber, said it no longer needed the formal link with Paisner & co to serve its clients. But he said the firm and its clients would benefit from an ...

  • Why is Bar so behind times?

    10-Aug-1996

    I attended the Bar Conference on Saturday, 28 September. As a law student, I was dismayed at what took place.One female barrister suggested that the Bar should treat women equally and that changes be made to the selection procedure to ensure equality of opportunity. It was very disappointing to note the lack of applause. It has given me an insight into the Bar and how behind the times it is.I was somewhat encouraged by the speech from shadow Lord Chancellor ...

  • Win a photocopier

    10-Aug-1996

    The Lawyer, in association with Canon, is offering the chance to win a Canon FC230 Personal Copier.The portable photocopier costs £595, plus VAT, and is designed for home use. It measures 359x397x104mm, weighs 8.4 kg, and prints at four pages a minute. The device can copy on A4 and A5 paper, tracing paper, labels and OHP sheets. It has an energy-saving automatic power-off facility and emits almost no ozone.All you ...

  • Woolf pitches PI fast-track costs too low

    10-Aug-1996

    New research has shown that Lord Woolf's proposed £2,500 maximum on costs for the fast track is likely to be far too low for personal injury cases, backing up personal injury lawyers' claims that his proposals won't work for them.In an analysis of 119 personal injury case files likely to have fallen within Lord Woolf's fast-track scheme, researchers from the Centre of Advanced Litigation at Nottingham Law School found that the mean costs were £4,116, ...