5 May 1997

The Lawyer

  • 'He is good for social justice but he sometimes goes too far"

    8-May-1997

    Pensions Ombudsman Julian Farrand's recent public attack on an Eversheds partner has unearthed deep-rooted feelings of discontent, says Robert Lindsay.There has not been anybody quite like him since Lord Denning. He is good for the legal profession and good for social justice... but he sometimes goes a little bit too far." - Taylor Joynson Garrett pensions partner Christopher Belk on ...

  • A call for independent investigations

    8-May-1997

    Leslie Thomas calls for a truly independent body to investigate deaths in police custody following the DPP's announcement that there will be an inquiry into such cases.Two weeks, ago the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP), Dame Barbara Mills QC, agreed to reconsider the CPS's failure to prosecute the police officers involved in the deaths of Shiji Lapite and Richard O'Brien. There was a blunt admission that her directorate had failed to give ...

  • Aclec calls for CPD to be compulsory

    8-May-1997

    THE LORD Chancellor's Advisory Committee on Legal Education and Conduct (Aclec) has called on the Bar Council to follow the Law Society in making continuing professional development (CPD) compulsory.The recommendation is made in an Aclec report issued last Wednesday which urges "greater commitment" by the legal profession as a whole.It calls on the Bar to consider introducing a compulsory and formal scheme of CPD, regardless of the cost.As of ...

  • Actions pending in the QBD

    8-May-1997

    Pending jury actions in the Queen's Bench Division include: Ghannouchi v Hitchen and anor (not before 8 September); Staniland v Mansfield (not before 1 October); Freud v Moore and ors (not before 1 October); Katz v Virgin Radio (not before 6 October); Jarvis v Metropolitan Police Commissioners (not before 14 January 1998).

  • Amnesty urges action over jailed Algerian lawyer

    8-May-1997

    Amnesty International is calling on British lawyers to take "urgent action" on behalf of an Algerian lawyer jailed after a trial which Amnesty said "clearly violated international standards".Human rights lawyer Rachid Mesli was sentenced to three years in prison in Algeria this month on charges of having "encouraged terrorism".But Amnesty spokeswoman Aminah Magambo claimed the charges against Mesli were changed during the trial. He was originally charged with ...

  • An unfair burden

    8-May-1997

    Has the time come for the SIF formula to be changed? asks Trevor Murray. Trevor Murray is a sole practitioner and Law Society Council member for Southend and Thurrock.Apart from my raising it in the council chamber on 17 July, it would appear that neither the Law Society's task force nor the Solicitors Indemnity Fund (SIF) have seriously reconsidered the formula by which the burden of the premium is distributed.It is assumed that the formula is, and always ...

  • Andrew Francis on fast action in rights of light claims. Andrew Francis is a barrister at 11 New Square.

    8-May-1997

    You act for a client who has an interest in a large site in a city centre. What are you going to do when:a writ is served alleging interference with the light enjoyed by an adjacent building;a Light Obstruction Notice is served on your client;the plans revealed on a planning application by an adjacent owner reveal a likely infringement of the light enjoyed by your client's building; oran adjacent building has just been ...

  • Asim committee to plan for future

    8-May-1997

    The Association of Solicitor Investment Managers (Asim) has set up a strategy committee to oversee a three-year business plan.It is the first time that the group has put resources into developing such a plan.The committee will consist of Asim chair Iain Nicholson of Iain Nicholson & Co, vice-chair John Morton of Brachers and treasurer Tim Thornton Jones of

  • Barristers' clerks and practice managers discuss closer ties

    8-May-1997

    Senior barristers' clerks and practice managers are in exploratory talks about how to set aside old suspicions and bring their two representative organisations closer together.Senior members of the Institute of Barristers' Clerks (IBC) and Legal Practice Management Association (LPMA) chair Christine Kings, the practice manager at Doughty Street Chambers, have discussed how the two groups can work together on shared interests."I have had ...

  • Beach breach of duty

    8-May-1997

    East Sussex County Council is being taken to the High Court by three local authorities in its area in a £1.3m claim over the cost of coastal protection work. Eastbourne Borough Council, Hastings Borough Council and Rother District Council are claiming damages for alleged breach of a series of agreements which relate to coastal protection schemes. The three councils are suing for £216,458, £549,967 and £563,180 respectively, which ...

  • Better cover all-round

    8-May-1997

    David Butti looks at the increasing use of indemnities to provide extra cover against litigation in property transactions. David Butti is legal indemnities manager at Greystoke Legal Services.It seems that a growing awareness of rights and entitlements is creating an increasingly litigious society. Consequently, the past few years have seen a proliferation of many different forms of specialist insurance.In particular, there has been an increasing demand for insurance ...

  • Chicago firm has designs on HK

    8-May-1997

    Chicago firm Peterson & Ross is planning to open a Hong Kong office, the senior partner at its London branch has revealed.Michael Skrbic said the move was part of an ambitious global expansion plan for the insurance specialist which includes the opening this month of an office in San Juan, Puerto Rico and a recent affiliation with a Philippines firm.Skrbic, previously an insurance partner at McKenna & Co's Hong Kong office, said he would be visiting Hong ...

  • Closing the doors on justice in the counties

    8-May-1997

    Andrew Millington charts the growing number of magistrates courts closures. Andrew Millington is a freelance journalist.Nearly a third of magistrates courts in England and Wales have closed in the past 10 years, according to a survey carried out by The Lawyer.Since 1987 more than 160 out of nearly 550 courthouses have shut in non-metropolitan areas, frequently amid controversy and claims that the age-old principle of local justice is being jeopardised.

  • CPS denies claims of undermining inquiry

    8-May-1997

    Nabarro Nathanson, Denton Hall, Linklaters & Paines and Clifford Chance celebrated the ground-breaking first-ever successful private finance initiative (PFI) financing of an NHS hospital last week.The firms advised parties ...

  • CPS denies claims of undermining inquiry

    8-May-1997

    BELEAGUERED officials from the Crown Prosecution Service have met with Sir Ian Glidewell - the retired Appeal Court judge who is leading the independent inquiry into the service - in a bid to convince him that they are not trying to undermine his inquiry.The move follows Glidewell's claim, in a letter to the Director of Public Prosecutions, Dame Barbara Mills QC, that she was pre-empting his review by pressing ahead with the appointment of 42 chief crown prosecutors ...

  • Devolution spells dilution of Lord Advocate's powers

    8-May-1997

    SCOTTISH lawyers have expressed concern that the traditional powers of the Lord Advocate - the equivalent of the Attorney General in England and Wales - are to be watered down under the Government's devolution plans.Leading Scottish lawyer Ross Harper has joined the Law Society of Scotland in highlighting the effect devolution under the current plans would have on the role of the Lord Advocate, a post held by Andrew Hardie QC.Under the plans the Lord Advocate, ...

  • Eversheds absorbs Wilkinsons to form new Newcastle giant

    8-May-1997

    Eversheds has officially announced the merger of its North East office with Newcastle firm Wilkinson Maughan.Under the merger, revealed in The Lawyer last week, the new firm is staffed by 47 partners - 23 from Eversheds and 24 from Wilkinsons - making it the biggest firm in the North East and putting it ahead of Dickinson ...

  • Financing

    8-May-1997

    Linklaters & Paines and Clifford Chance have advised on the first two international Eurobond offerings by Russian municipalities. Linklaters advised the City of Moscow on its debut $500m Eurobond offering and Clifford Chance advised the managers of the issue. In St Petersburg

  • Financing

    8-May-1997

    Gold Mann & Co acted for AIM-listed software developer AFA Systems on its £2.4m placing and open offer of new ordinary shares to raise working capital for product development. Speechly Bircham advised the underwriter

  • Flotations

    8-May-1997

    Pinsent Curtis advised computer and video games publisher Gremlin Group on its £30m flotation on the London Stock Exchange. Addleshaw Booth & Co acted for the stockbroker Beeson Gregory and Garrett & Co acted for Gremlin's major shareholder Funsoft Holding.

  • Flotations

    8-May-1997

    Coudert Brothers advised Chinese plastics and chemicals producer Beijing Yanhua Petrochemical on its dual $200m flotation on the New York and Hong Kong stock exchanges. Lead managers Bear Stearns & Co and SBC Warburg were advised by Baker & McKenzie.

  • Flotations

    8-May-1997

    Gouldens advised designer menswear brand Ted Baker on its £55.7m flotation by placing on the London Stock Exchange. Simmons & Simmons advised Charterhouse Tilney

  • Glasgow expansion

    8-May-1997

    Increasing demand north of the border has led a commercial firm to expand its IT, intellectual property, law and Internet department. Glasgow-based commercial firm MacRoberts has recruited a recently-qualified solicitor for its Glasgow office and an associate solicitor for its Edinburgh office. Neither has been named. According to team member Elaine Kirkland, the current three-strong ...

  • Hammonds' private client lawyers move to Wrigleys

    8-May-1997

    Hammond Suddards' five private client fee earners and three support staff are to rejoin their former head Richard Archer at the Leeds office of private client practice Wrigleys.Wrigleys - founded by two Dibb Lupton Broomhead partners a year ago when Dibbs closed down its private client practice - hired Archer, a partner at Hammonds for 30 years, as a consultant at start of July.Richard Sutton, Wrigleys managing partner, said: "In a way, this represents a ...

  • Hardly a film star's fortune

    8-May-1997

    Write to: The Editor, The Lawyer, 50 Poland Street, London W1V 4AX, Fax 0171-734 0534 In The Lawyer, 29 July, Mr P Evans berates the payment of substantial fees to barristers who, because of their skill and intelligence, command these fees.Am I alone in thinking that the fees paid to barristers are modest when compared to those paid to pop stars, film stars, models and the like whose talents seems somewhat more ...

  • Head of IBA says sorry to Sri Lanka

    8-May-1997

    International Bar Association president Desmond Fernando PC has apologised to the Sri Lankan judiciary after it objected to his attack on the country's controversial criminal defamation law.Fernando launched his attack after a newspaper editor was convicted of criminal defamation. But his calls for the law to be abolished were condemned by the Sri Lankan High Court judges Association, which said they amounted to an affront on the judiciary. Fernando later apologised ...

  • Hoon calls for Labour lawyer MPs' think-tank

    8-May-1997

    GEOFF Hoon MP, the parliamentary secretary at the Lord Chancellor's Department, has asked Labour lawyers at Westminster to set up a backbench group to advise the government on legal affairs.The move signals the new government's determination to tap the legal talent in the Houses of Commons and Lords for advice on its hectic legislative programme.Hoon said the group would be a "fairly formal" gathering of back bench Labour solicitors and barristers as ...

  • Imaging system helps in fight against fraud

    8-May-1997

    The company which invented a fraud-busting computer system that analyses computer software and hardware is now marketing it to the commercial sector.The DIBS disk imaging system was designed by Computer Forensic Investigations (CFI) five years ago at the suggestion of New Scotland Yard. It has been used by fraud investigators and prosecuting lawyers throughout the world in hundreds of police investigations.The system copies hard disks and floppy disks which are ...

  • Improving the risk

    8-May-1997

    Risk management is just one of the tactics firms could use to reduce excess insurance costs, says Leo Schulz. Leo Schulz is a freelance journalist.Spiralling Solicitors Indemnity Fund (SIF) premiums have helped focus the minds of many lawyers on the pitfalls of professional indemnity insurance (PII).In May, the Law Society Council was asked to increase compulsory SIF premiums by 80 per cent, to an average of about £12,000 per partner. The council has set ...

  • In brief: Chinese partner for Hong Kong Masons

    8-May-1997

    Among five new partners elected by City-based firm Masons is what the practice believes to be the first Chinese woman lawyer to become a partner in an English firm. Wanda Tong joined Masons' Hong Kong office, where she is still based, in 1992.

  • In brief: Clients get advice from Law Soc leaflet

    8-May-1997

    The Law Society has published a new leaflet - Working with Your Solicitor - which advises clients on how to get the best out of their relationship with a solicitor. The leaflet provides information on choosing a solicitor, preparing for a first meeting and dealing with costs. It includes a checklist for clients.

  • In brief: Director of Fair Trading wants tougher laws

    8-May-1997

    John Bridgeman, the Director General of Fair Trading, has called for tougher consumer protection legislation and said he would want to share his enforcement powers with local authority trading standards offices - if the government was committed to reinforcing local trading standards. Bridgeman was speaking on the publication of his annual report, which showed a 10.8 per cent increase in consumer complaints recorded by local authorities and advice agencies.

  • In brief: Guide to race relations and religion in court

    8-May-1997

    The Justices' Clerks' Society has produced a booklet in conjunction with the National Association for the Care and Resettlement of Offenders which advises magistrates courts on how to foster good race relations. The booklet, Race and Religion (right), contains advice on how to address people from different minority groups and gives information on the holy books on which oaths should be sworn. David Chandler, president of the Justices' Clerks' Society, said: "I am ...

  • In brief: Herbert Wilkes swallows up Barr Cleary

    8-May-1997

    Birmingham commercial firm Herbert Wilkes has taken over the small three-partner practice Barr Cleary. Under the arrangement, Barr Cleary senior partner David Cleary will become a Herbert Wilkes partner, boosting the number of partners at the firm to 16. He will bring Barr Cleary's staff of 10 to Herbert Wilkes. Of the two other partners one, Colin Barr, is retiring, while the other, John Cooper, has joined Dibb Lupton Alsop in Birmingham.

  • In brief: LCD takes an interest in law centres

    8-May-1997

    Geoff Hoon, parliamentary secretary at the Lord Chancellor's department, has made his first visit to a law centre since taking office. He spent two hours talking to staff at Chesterfield Law Centre. Darrell Alvey, chair of the centre's management committee, said Hoon had appeared impressed with the work the centre did. "We hope that this will influence the government when it conducts its review into civil justice and legal aid reforms to recognise the importance of law centres," ...

  • In brief: Memery Crystal lures rivals' partners

    8-May-1997

    London practice Memery Crystal is celebrating the hiring of two partners from rival firms. Greg Scott has joined the firm's corporate finance department from London-based Walsh Lawson, while Robert Clifford Holmes has joined the property department from Lawrence Graham, also based in the capital.

  • In brief: Survey shows high level of late payment

    8-May-1997

    In a survey of businesses in the north east, conducted by Newcastle firm Dickinson Dees in conjunction with accountants Coopers & Lybrand, 92 per cent of those approached admitted to late payment of their bills. Dickinsons senior partner Graham Wright said: "It is hoped that by making people more aware of the problems of late payment of debt we can help to bring about a business culture which looks ...

  • In brief: Telecoms privacy variable, says report

    8-May-1997

    The London office of US firm Sidley & Austin has completed a report for the European Commission on the national laws in the 18 member states of the European Economic Area (EEA) relating to the protection of privacy and personal data in the telecommunications sector. The report reveals that most countries have legislation in place designed to protect individual privacy in telecommunications to a limited extent, but only a few provide the level of protection required by a draft commission ...

  • Inspectors to probe chambers training

    8-May-1997

    CHAMBERS may be subjected to regular inspections to check up on how they are treating their pupils as part of an overhaul of the pupillage system designed to boost its credibility.A working party of The Bar Council and the Inns of Courts has released a consultation document which outlines a series of options for the monitoring of the pupillages.The group's most radical proposal would see a team of inspectors visit sets which undertake the training of pupils ...

  • Inspectors to probe chambers training

    8-May-1997

    CHAMBERS will for the first time be exposed to Bar Council inspection visits as part of a new scheme to improve the quality of pupillage training.Under the scheme, approved at a Bar Council meeting on 26 July, Bar Council inspection teams, headed by senior members of the Bar, will monitor the quality of the pupillages conducted by all sets of chambers.The teams will examine pupillage documentation, conduct regular reviews of chambers and send them reports on ...

  • Is joint venture a new way of saying US alliance?

    8-May-1997

    Simmons & Simmons says it has found a new way to get US law capability - form a limited joint venture with a US firm.Mention the word "alliance" rather than "merger" and apply it to US and UK law firms, and managing partners shake their heads wisely before pooh-poohing the idea."History is littered with failed alliances," commented Freshfields managing partner Ian Terry. "It's a difficult thing to make work properly."At first glance, Simmons ...

  • IT benefits business

    8-May-1997

    The business benefits of IT for high street solicitors is the subject of a series of seminars run by Rundle Walker. The series kicks off with two full-day seminars - 'IT for the senior policy maker' and 'Hands-on IT for younger partners'. These will include hands-on computer exercises and personal coaching, and will be held in Exeter on 22 and 23 September at a cost of £295 plus VAT. Partners Mervyn Rundle and Kim Walker will be focusing on using IT to ...

  • Kazakhstan gets lesson in UK law

    8-May-1997

    THE Law Society is sponsoring a scheme by the College of Law to explain the UK and European legal systems to Kazakhstan lawyers.Coral Hill, a senior lecturer who works for the College of Law's Legal Network Television, will run a one-week course in the Kazakhstan capital, Almaty, in September for 40 senior local lawyers.She said it will be the first time Kazakhstan lawyers will have had the chance to look at European legal systems.Hill said initial ...

  • Labour for the law

    8-May-1997

    The Government is certainly keeping an interest in all things legal. Lord Irvine's Parliamentary Secretary Geoff Hoon MP's idea of setting up a parliamentary group of lawyers or those with an interest in the law is excellent. Apart from keeping backbenchers busy, it should keep legal matters high up on the Government's agenda.Indeed, a recent lunch hosted by the Law Society and Peter Temple Morris MP in the House of Commons saw almost a full show ...

  • Legal aid partner jailed for 'wicked' green form fraud

    8-May-1997

    THE FORMER head of a Lancashire firm dubbed a “den of thieves” by a Crown Court judge has been jailed for 15 months for defrauding the Legal Aid Board (LAB) of more than £1m.Gary Grosberg, whose firm Grosberg & Co was closed down by the Law Society in 1994, was found guilty of conspiracy to defraud the LAB at Liverpool Crown Court last week.The firm’s manager, Francis Jones, was convicted of the same charge and jailed for eight months. Administrator David ...

  • Linklaters to open offices in Italy and Spain

    8-May-1997

    Linklaters & Paines is to open offices in Italy and Spain as part of what it calls a "stronger commitment to continental Europe".Managing partner Terence Kyle is drawing up plans which he will present to partners before the end of the year. He was recently given the go-ahead by Linklaters' management committee to pursue the opening of the European offices.Senior partner ...

  • Litigation Disciplinary Tribunals 5/8/97

    8-May-1997

    Nancy Bone, 43, admitted 1980, practising at material time as Nancy Bone & Co, fined £3,000 and ordered to pay £5,688 costs. Allegations substantiated that she failed to keep properly written accounts, failed to pay money into client account, wrongly used client money for purposes of her practice and other clients, and failed to reply to letters from the Legal Aid Board and Solicitors Complaints Bureau. Tribunal said that Bone, ...

  • Litigation Personal Injury 5/8/97

    8-May-1997

    Gibbings v Metropolitan Police - QBD 3 July 1997Claimant: Frank GibbingsIncident: Hearing lossInjuries: Plaintiff, a former police sergeant, has suffered from tinnitus and hypersensitivity to noise for almost a decade since being medically retired from the Metropolitan Police. During his career he took part in firearms training courses and claims this was the initial cause of damage to his ears. During his last few months with the police ...

  • Litigation Recent Decisions 5/8/97

    8-May-1997

    As to rating of provender mill producing poultry feedWilliam Neville Farmer (Valuation Officer) v (1) Hambleton District Council (2) Buxted ChickenCourt: Lands Tribunal (PH Clarke FRICS) 23/7/97Summary: Whether a provender mill producing poultry feed for poultry farms between one and 110 miles from the mill was "used in connection with" the poultry farms and exempt from the rating valuation list.Valuation Officer's appeals ...

  • Litigation Writs 5/8/97

    8-May-1997

    Nottingham Trent University has issued a writ against the YMCA challenging its right to terminate the university's tenancy of the students' union basement premises at 4 Shakespeare Street. The writ says the YMCA issued a notice to the university on 27 August 1996 purporting to end the tenancy held by the university on 1 March this year. The university is already suing the YMCA in proceedings in the Nottingham County Court, seeking a declaration that the termination notice ...

  • Lord Woolf gives approval to SPCs

    8-May-1997

    THE MASTER of the Rolls, Lord Woolf, has approved a Law Society request for the rules governing property selling to be deregulated, paving the way for a new national network of property shops.Under the changes approved by Lord Woolf last week, different solicitors' firms which have banded together to form property shops can now act for the two sides in a conveyancing transaction as well as offering financial advice.The changes form part of a series of measures ...

  • Nacab head is appointed legal watchdog

    8-May-1997

    The Lord Chancellor, Lord Irvine of Lairg QC, has appointed Ann Abraham, chief executive of the National Association of Citizens Advice Bureaux (Nacab), as the new Legal Services Ombudsman.Abraham will take over the post, where she will oversee complaints against members of the legal profession, in September when present Ombudsman Michael Barnes stands down.Barnes welcomed the appointment. He said: "Nacab is an excellent background for work with the Legal Services ...

  • New Manchester Bar school calls in barristers as mentors

    8-May-1997

    PRACTISING barristers in Manchester are to be invited to act as mentors to provide support and encouragement to students attending a new barristers’ training course in the city.The scheme is to be run by Manchester Metropolitan University Law School, which has won the bid to become the seventh provider of the Bar Vocational Course (BVC) after beating off competition from the College of Law.Law school head Patricia Leighton pledged that the course, due to run ...

  • No funds no defence

    8-May-1997

    I fundamentally disagree with most of Mike Dailly's article on public defenders (The Lawyer, 29 July 1997).It would take up too much space in your journal to set out my objections in full, and in any event there are many far more able than me who will want to do so.However, there are just two small but fundamental flaws on which I feel I must comment.Any comparison with the Dutch system is like comparing chalk with cheese.

  • Non-lawyers to prosecute for CPS

    8-May-1997

    ONE of the founding principles of the Crown Prosecution Service - that lawyers should be exclusively responsible for the prosecution of cases - has been swept away by the government.Last week, the home secretary, Jack Straw, announced that non-lawyers are, for the first time, to be allowed to review files and prosecute uncontested cases in the magistrates courts.The move, which will require a change in the law, is designed to speed up justice but has been greeted ...

  • Offshore firms sails into uncharted City Waters

    8-May-1997

    Cayman Islands practice Maples & Calder is establishing an office in the City in a highly unusual move for an offshore firm.The practice will operate as Maples & Calder Europe and will be headed by Anthony Travers, one of the senior partners at the Cayman Islands firm. He will be assisted by three associate lawyers.Travers said that although firms from other tax havens such as Hong Kong and the Channel Islands have established offices in London, it was the first ...

  • Oil prospectors face licensing challenge

    8-May-1997

    Greenpeace's latest crusade is against the DTI decision to grant oil prospecting licences near the Shetlands, reports Roger PearsonA major battle is set to take place in September between environmentalists and the big league oil companies over Atlantic oil prospecting rights near the Shetlands.Mr Justice Tucker has ruled that an application by Greenpeace for leave to seek judicial review of the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) decision to grant ...

  • Online law database on the cards

    8-May-1997

    Elizabeth Davidson reportsAn exhaustive database of statute and case law could soon be launched on the Internet.Civil servants have been working on plans for the database for the past six years and the government is almost ready to give the go-ahead to put it online.However, it has not yet been decided whether or not the information will be provided free of charge. It had been intended to make the Statute Law Database available to government ...

  • Pinsents lures Dibbs' commercial head to lead its national litigation

    8-May-1997

    Pinsent Curtis has brought off a coup by poaching leading Manchester litigator Nigel Kissack from Dibb Lupton Alsop to be its national head of litigation.Kissack - who is currently negotiating his departure date - was Alsop Wilkinson's Manchester managing partner until its merger with Dibb Lupton Broomhead in June last year. He then became Dibbs' head of commercial litigation for the north west.Kissack denied that his move had anything to do with the ...

  • Premium funding

    8-May-1997

    Solicitors must use the accountancy model, says Tony Howe. Tony Howe is chair of Collegiate Insurance Brokers.The 1 September renewal of SIF insurance is awaited with more interest than usual in view of the recent well-publicised difficulties it has experienced over the past year. If previous funding levels have been significantly inadequate, then firms can expect several years of high premiums to pay not only for the present but to provide for the past.Those ...

  • Property

    8-May-1997

    Radcliffes Crossman Block acted for Hill Samuel Property Unit Trust in its £6.35m acquisition of the Brighton Road Retail Park in Redhill from Boots Properties, represented by Clifford Chance.

  • Property centre set to offer financial advice

    8-May-1997

    The Glasgow Solicitors Property Centre (GSPC) is to provide financial services to its clients in a bid to increase its presence in the local property market.The centre, which has been operating for more than three years and has over 200 law firm members, has joined the Solicitors Independent Financial Advisers (Sifa) to get assistance with running its financial arm.Ronnie Fulton, a solicitor at Hamilton Burns & Moore and a member of the centre, ...

  • Roger Pearson looks at an insurance case in which the court had to decide the point at which claims become statute-barred.

    8-May-1997

    A new Commercial Court ruling by Mr Justice Walker has sounded a clear warning to those benefiting from non-proportional variable excess stop loss reinsurance contracts.The case is believed to be the first in which the point when such claims become statute-barred has been considered by the courts. The judge has held at the trial of preliminary issues, that most of a claim for £1.69m, interest and costs had been statute-barred at the date when the proceedings ...

  • RPBs keep up pressure on super-SIB

    8-May-1997

    The Law Society will meet a treasury official later this week to discuss the proposed regulatory framework for registered professional bodies (RPBs).Law Society head of professional ethics Alison Crawley said the decision would ultimately be political but thought that there would be room for RPBs to operate. She said the society had written to outgoing Securities and Investments Board chair Sir Andrew Large and was waiting for his blueprint report.She said the ...

  • Scotland blazes the estate agency trail

    8-May-1997

    The success of lawyers undertaking estate agency work in Scotland has no doubt struck a note with English colleagues. With some property centres having 85 per cent of the market in particular regions, it is clear that solicitors can compete with other businesses in different markets.Glasgow law firms, which have only recently moved into the market, are following the lead of other Scottish regions and are planning to provide substantial competition for their ...

  • Scots pull out all the stops at ABA conference

    8-May-1997

    AN Aggressive drive by the Law Society of Scotland to sell Scotland as the gateway to Europe for US firms has seen it launch the largest promotional campaign of any foreign bar at the ABA conference in San Francisco.The society, led by president John Elliot, has teamed up with 10 Scottish firms to run the campaign throughout the week-long conference being attended by 12,000 US lawyers.It is holding a number of functions at the event, but the showpiece of its ...

  • Simmons in Fried Frank joint venture

    8-May-1997

    Simmons & Simmons is aiming to compete with the leading UK firms in international securities by forming a London-based joint venture with New York practice Fried Frank Harris Shriver & Jacobson.The venture - to be called the International Securities Unit - will be based inSimmons' London office. It will be staffed by one Fried Frank New York corporate partner who will move to London in the next few weeks with "one or two" associates, and three Simmons partners ...

  • The Lawyer Inquiry: Philip Alberstat

    8-May-1997

    Philip Alberstat was born in Calgary, Canada, on 19 April 1964. He is a senior associate at Baker & McKenzie, London, specialising in media law. He was winner of the 1997 The Lawyer/Hifal Assistant Solicitor of the Year award.What was your first job?Selling hot dogs from an outdoor stand on the waterfront in Halifax, Nova Scotia.

  • Tips for top-up

    8-May-1997

    Anthony Falcon has some suggestions for improving cover. Anthony Falcon is chair of Anthony K Falcon.There is an enormous difference between the contributions the Solicitors indemnity fund demands and the rate the commercial market could charge.As an example, one firm due to pay the SIF £250,000 for the primary £1m and facing £100,000 deductibles on the commercial market could expect to pay a maximum of £25,000 with a deductible of about ...

  • Unpaid Irish defence counsel threaten to leave state scheme

    8-May-1997

    Defence counsel in Ireland are threatening to withdraw from the state-run criminal legal aid scheme because of delays of up to two years in getting payment from the Department of Justice.According to one barrister, who protested publicly in court on the issue, in some cases no payments have been made at all. He said that the problem was peculiar to defence barristers - those acting for the Director of Public Prosecutions usually received a cheque within six weeks of the ...