5 September 1994

The Lawyer

  • Ashursts wins legal challenge race

    8-Sep-1994

    The team from City firm Ashurst Morris Crisp came first in this year's Great Legal Challenge, organised as part of the Chemical Bank Corporate Challenge, last month. Around 7,000 runners from 500 companies and firms entered the three-and-a-half mile race in London's Battersea Park. The team of five from Ashursts was the fastest of the legal entrants with a score of 100.53. In second place Simmons ...

  • Banking star flies City nest

    8-Sep-1994

    HIGH-FLYING City banking partner Maurice Allen - one of the top names in his field - has resigned from Clifford Chance.Clifford Chance managing partner Geoffrey Howe says Allen is leaving to have a break from practising law and to contemplate his career direction."Maurice has been thinking about this for some time. We decided the only way to make a decision about his future ...

  • Bar in nannies' tax deal row

    8-Sep-1994

    CLAIMS by women barristers that the tax man has struck a "no questions asked" deal giving them a 10 per cent tax allowance on their nannies' wages has been denied by the Inland Revenue.The disagreement comes from a report in the Bar's newsletter about talks between the Bloomsbury tax office and the Association of Women Barristers, the Chancery Bar Association, and the Revenue Bar Association. Bar News says barristers (in fact, any self-employed person) can claim ...

  • Barrister convicted of tax fraud

    8-Sep-1994

    LINCOLN's Inn barrister Bernard Cunningham and three others have been convicted of defrauding the Inland Revenue after the longest ever tax fraud trial.Cunningham, of Michael Jump's chambers at 24 Old Buildings, was convicted on two counts of falsely misrepresenting or concealing the true nature of purchases and commissions paid by several companies to other businesses.A tax barrister, Cunningham is the brother-in-law of high-profile barrister Helena ...

  • BLANCHE LUCAS

    8-Sep-1994

    Family lawyers are mourning the death of Blanche Lucas, Frere Cholmeley consultant and former Theodore Goddard partner. She died last month, aged 74 after a long battle with cancer.Born in Budapest, she studied at the LSE until she was returned to the Continent at the start of the second world war. Returning to London in peacetime she joined Theodore Goddard to work on Anglo-Hungarian war reparations and qualified as a solicitor in 1953. She was a partner by 1955 and became ...

  • Bristol Law Soc president to act for West

    8-Sep-1994

    President of the Bristol Law Society Tony Miles is acting for Frederick West, the Gloucester builder facing mass murder charges. Miles, a partner with Bobbetts Mackan, takes charge of the case from Cheltenham sole practitioner Howard Ogden, who was dropped by West last week. Ogden, known in the area as Oggie, refused to comment on the reasons, but says he was satisfied that his client had received the best professional advice.

  • CASE STUDY

    8-Sep-1994

    When the infamous magic circle is mentioned, Sara Robinson is a name usually missed. This is a mistake, because she has handled some of the more public divorces of the past decade.Robinson is a lawyer who bucks trends. While her fellow SFLA members are moving away from large firms, she has made a success of becoming part of one.Originally operating on her own as a niche family practitioner, she found isolation was not to her taste. "Ironically, because of the ...

  • CASE STUDY

    8-Sep-1994

    When Miles Preston left Radcliffes & Co with partners Siobhan Redhead and Julia Stanczyk to set up a family boutique firm, Miles Preston & Co, the trio took all their clients with them.This meant that "we hit the ground running", says Preston. Three months later, he estimates the firm has between 200 to 250 clients on the books. The rumour is that Preston has between 100 to 150 of these. All he will say, however, is that he has 40 to 50 cases at any one time allowing for ...

  • Cure case postponed

    8-Sep-1994

    Although he was expected to give judgment in the case in the on-going dispute among founder members of pop group The Cure by the end of last term, Mr Justice Chadwick did not manage to get round to it. Date for the judgement has been set for 16 September.

  • Custody

    8-Sep-1994

    Though there is an underlying note of caution about the long-term outlook among firms in Northern Ireland, lawyers in the province say they are engaged on the large amount of work generated before the ceasefire breakdown.However, others believe the ceasefire has not de facto broken in the province. They attributed this to the low police and military presence after the IRA resumed its campaign."The whole political thing is up in the air, but there is still a good ...

  • Davis Gregory formed in Cheltenham merger

    8-Sep-1994

    A KEEN interest in photography provided the flash of an idea which grew into a major local merger in Cheltenham.Davis & Co and Gregorys merged to form a 21-fee-earner outfit called Davis Gregory.Davis & Co partner Martin Davis and retiring Gregorys managing partner Peter Stone both sit on the local Law Society committee and share an interest in photography.Davis will head up the new organisation as managing partner. "We have known each other very ...

  • December workshop for partners

    8-Sep-1994

    A two-day intensive workshop aimed at partners and senior executives will be held by The Lawyer in December. Consultant Alan Hodgart, director of Hodgart Temporal & Co, will address the workshop on new approaches to partnership management, and discuss ways to maximise competitive advantage. For further details contact Centaur Conferences on 071 434 3711.

  • Derby defends course

    8-Sep-1994

    THE UNIVERSITY of Derby's law faculty has defended itself against an assessment report which claims the quality of its law courses is unsatisfactory.The statement, contained in a Higher Education Funding Council for England report, was made after assessors visited the university last year.But Derby's Dean of the School of European and International Studies, Sue Wall, says the assessment is misleading because it compares the 13-month-old Derby law division ...

  • Devon firm relocates in expansion drive

    8-Sep-1994

    DEVON-based firm Veitch Penny has announced plans to move to new offices in Exeter as part of an overall expansion of the practice.In autumn the firm, which also operates a Crediton office and an associate firm in Tiverton, will relocate from its high street premises to a new 8,000 sq ft office based in the Municipal Mutual development at 1 Manor Court.Managing partner Simon Young says the decision to move to Manor Court followed an 18-month search for a new ...

  • Dibbs partner to chase Lloyd's Names

    8-Sep-1994

    Lloyd's of London has appointed a Dibb Lupton Broomhead insolvency partner to help create a scheme to rake in the millions of pounds in unpaid debts from Names refusing to pay. The lawyer, 28-year old Philip Holden, will work with Lloyd's chief executive Peter Middleton and Bernard Bradford, a former National Westminster Bank bad debt specialist, to draft a scheme in time for the Lloyd's council meeting on 14 September.

  • Dougall to quit consultancy

    8-Sep-1994

    THE co-founder of leading legal recruitment consultancy Quarry Dougall is leaving the company to become a teacher.Alistair Dougall, who trained as a barrister before forming the consultancy in 1988 with co-director Gareth Quarry, will leave later this month.He plans to return to study to qualify as an A-level history teacher but will remain as an investor in the business and as consultant to the company.Quarry Dougall, which has offices in London, ...

  • EAT rebukes industrial tribunal chair

    8-Sep-1994

    The Employment Appeals Tribunal has ruled that an industrial tribunal chair who asked an Asian applicant if he spoke English was discourteous and disrespectful. In its judgment the EAT said chair Stella Hollis had acted irregularly when she asked former Westminster College lecturer Minya Laher about his ethnic origins. Laher was appearing at the tribunal after alleging his failure to be shortlisted for two senior teaching posts by the Hammersmith & West London College amounted to racial ...

  • Family facts in Lawyer survey

    8-Sep-1994

    FORTY per cent of family law practitioners have not signed up as members of the Solicitors' Family Law Association (SFLA), despite its role as the professional body for matrimonial lawyers.But SFLA chair Jane Simpson, a partner with Manches & Co, says of the findings of The Lawyer survey: "It is extremely encouraging that in the 11 years of the SFLA lifetime 60 per cent of those practising family law have joined the SFLA and signed our code of practice"."We ...

  • Firms considering Bulger review

    8-Sep-1994

    LAWYERS acting for the killers of Jamie Bulger are considering judicial review of the Home Secretary's 15-year life sentence tariff for their clients Jon Venables and Robert Thompson.But they say that practical circumstances have made it difficult for them to work together on an appeal strategy.Sole practitioner Laurence Lee, for Venables, says the lawyers involved have never really worked together."If we had acted more as a team it would have ...

  • First advice centres get franchises

    8-Sep-1994

    Two London advice agencies are among the first wave of successful franchise applicants.Hammersmith and Fulham Law Centre and the Mary Ward Legal and Financial Advice Centre have been awarded contracts for nine categories of work.Sue Willman, law centre worker for Hammersmith and Fulham, says the agency put itself through the quality audit in order to protect its long term interests and the interests of clients. The "hidden agenda" is to restrict the outlets which ...

  • Freshfields latest to open office in Hanoi

    8-Sep-1994

    city firm Freshfields has opened an office in Hanoi, joining a growing number of practices establishing a Vietnamese branch.The office, which opened last week, is headed by fee-earner Tony Foster, hired by Freshfields from US firm Coudert Brothers in April.Foster will be helped by two Vietnamese lawyers and additional staff are expected to be recruited when the business has developed.Speaking from Hanoi, Foster says in the initial stages the office ...

  • High pass rate for first LPC exams

    8-Sep-1994

    Eighty-five per cent of students have passed the first Legal Practice Course run by the College of Law. More than 700 of the 3,339 who took the examination achieved distinctions and a further 1,549 were awarded commendations. Richard Holbrook, chairman of the College of Law's board of management, says the high pass rate is a reflection of the calibre of students on the course.

  • In my experience

    8-Sep-1994

    I wanted to practise family law because it has an extra dimension - dealing with people and people's lives. It is a great privilege to be travelling along people's lives with them, but you have to take the rough with the smooth, and acknowledge that not everybody loves you.The interesting work begins when you start taking on your own clients. The first case which came to me was a child matter, where the judge had to decide whether the child should go to a preparatory ...

  • Ireland haven for securities fraudsters

    8-Sep-1994

    A LEADING commercial investigator has launched an appeal to the nation's lawyers to help track down fraudulent investment companies.Martin Urch, head of chartered accountants Haines Watts' commercial investigations and litigation support department, adds that lawyers will benefit from information he can provide on various firms.He says securities companies operating out of Ireland, which is not subject to an equivalent of the UK Financial Services Act, ...

  • Keeping a case in the media spotlight

    8-Sep-1994

    Roger Pearson

  • Lawyers reject police 'tactical suing' claim

    8-Sep-1994

    A LEADING legal authority on civil actions against the police has hit back at claims that lawyers are “tactically” suing the force in London because it is a “soft target”.Hugh Tomlinson, a barrister at New Court Chambers, says the rise in out-of-court settlements is probably because people are becoming increasingly aware of their rights.“It is distressing that senior officers apparently haven’t come to terms with the fact that civil actions are brought because ...

  • Liberals challenge Euro election result

    8-Sep-1994

    Roger PearsonA case scheduled for November could break new ground in election law.The action has been brought by the Liberal Democrats and follows the defeat of the party's candidate for Devon and Plymouth in the European elections held in June this year.Their candidate, Adrian Saunders was beaten after a recount by Tory candidate, Giles Chichester, son of round-the-world yachtsman Sir Francis Chichester. Chichester won by just ...

  • Litigation Disciplinary Tribunals 09/08/94

    8-Sep-1994

    PETER JOHN GEORGE, 49, admitted 1971, practised on own account in Nottingham, suspended indefinitely and ordered to pay u1,861 costs. Allegations substantiated he breached undertakings to building societies and mortgage lenders in completing conveyancing transactions and forwarding title deeds, delayed or failed to deal with reasonable expedition with clients' affairs, failed to reply to correspondence from clients, building societies or ...

  • Litigation Recent Decisions 09/08/94

    8-Sep-1994

    BT: charges for use of lines No declaratory relief when no cause of action Summary: Court will not grant declaratory relief where there is no dispute or cause of action between the parties.Defendants' appeal against refusal by the Commercial Court to strike out the plaintiffs' claim for declarations as to licensing charges for use of British Telecom lines and facilities to be made to the plaintiffs which are to be settled by the means prescribed in ...

  • Litigation Writs 09/08/94

    8-Sep-1994

    Anne Marie Fergusson, of St John, Jersey, has launched High Court action against solicitor Andrew Collins, of Northamptonshire, a partner in London-based Walker Martineau seeking return of money she claims she loaned him under undue influence.She claims that between 1988 and 1993 she relied upon the defendant for legal advice in relation to her business and private affairs.However, the writ claims that notwithstanding her marriage ...

  • Lord Williams to chair child abuse inquiry

    8-Sep-1994

    Lord Williams of Mostyn QC is to chair the National Commission of Inquiry into the prevention of child abuse announced in March by the National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children. The commission will act as an independent body and will also make recommendations for a national strategy to prevent child abuse.

  • McKennas go for growth

    8-Sep-1994

    McKENNA's new managing partner Robert Derry-Evans has unveiled plans to expand the firm at home and abroad and improve the running of the London office.The City firm is to expand its corporate and finance sections, build up the Warsaw office and encourage London staff at all levels to elect representatives to attend monthly consultation meetings.The firm is concerned that it is seen as a series of uncoordinated niche practices. "We are going to squash that ...

  • Nabarros represents environmentalist

    8-Sep-1994

    City firm Nabarro Nathanson defended environmentalist David Plumstead who was prosecuted for running a voluntary recycling scheme for 70 households in Kent. The firm's environment department took on the case, brought by Kent Waste Regulation Authority, as part of its pro bono work. Barrister Philip Mead, of 15 Old Square, agreed to act on the same basis. Partner Tom Symes says prosecuting a small ...

  • Never-ending fight for human rights

    8-Sep-1994

    When is the battle for human rights ever going to end? You might think that in South Africa the organisations which laboured long for the days of freedom could now pause to draw breath.But for bodies, such as the Legal Resources Centre (LRC), which played an honourable part as a law centre in the human rights struggle from its Johannesburg headquarters, in some ways the fight is just beginning.While the previous government's policy was based ...

  • New marketing head for Edwards Geldard

    8-Sep-1994

    Cardiff firm Edwards Geldard has appointed William Mills as marketing partner. The commercial litigation lawyer concentrated on insolvency work at the firm. It says his legal experience and his close working relationships with other partners put him in a strong position to develop new business.

  • Phonogram court bid

    8-Sep-1994

    UK record company Phonogram is scheduled to mount a High Court bid on 17 August aimed at stopping Def American Inc, a US record company, allegedly breaching a deal under which it claims it was to promote and exploit Def American's repertoire outside the US.

  • Pitmans forced to rebuild IP department

    8-Sep-1994

    THAMES Valley firm Pitmans is having to rebuild its intellectual property department for the second time this year after losing its head of department after just two months.Former Pitmans partner John Linneker has returned to Taylor Joynson Garrett where he will take over from Isabel Davies who is now heading the IP department at Jaques & Lewis.Linneker's departure so soon after joining is a blow to the Reading firm which has been trying to strengthen the ...

  • Practices to host Chinese secondees

    8-Sep-1994

    CHINESE lawyer Li Jun has been seconded to Leeds firm Eversheds Hepworth & Chadwick as part of a Law Society training scheme.The new recruit, currently employed as chief of the economic affairs department of the State Law Firm for Cuangxi Province, will join the firm for a three-month placement.Eversheds is one of only two firms outside London to provide a place on the programme. ...

  • Rev Jesse Jackson set to open 10,000 strong ABA conference

    8-Sep-1994

    THE Reverend Jesse Jackson was due to give the keynote speech on the criminal justice system at the American Bar Association (ABA) conference as The Lawyer went to press.The conference is set to be one of the biggest ever, with 10,000 delegates and 3,000 guests at the Morial Convention Center in New Orleans.William Ide III of Atlanta is handing over the ABA presidency to George Bushell ofDetroit and Roberta Cooper Ramo of Albuquerque is to be elected ...

  • Russell Jones & Walker wins u0.5m trade union tender

    8-Sep-1994

    RUSSELL Jones & Walker has won the tender for all the legal work for a new federation of four leading trades unions.The work, expected to be worth up to half a million pounds a year, will provide a full service on all personal injury and employment-related work, and head office legal function.The firm will also be expected to come up with a variety of innovative new services for members of the 175,000-strong federation.Senior partner John Webber says: ...

  • Scots child hearings set for overhaul

    8-Sep-1994

    A NEW national structure of children's hearings is likely to be among a raft of changes in Scottish legislation facing solicitors in the autumn.The national children's reporter service is to be run by the Scottish Office and aims to replace the reporter services (similar to children's court) currently provided by local government.The service will come in as part of the Local Government (Scotland) Bill, which will completely restructure the regional ...

  • Secretary brands partner a 'bully' in tribunal

    8-Sep-1994

    AN "intimidating" partner in a law firm, who would lose his temper if his morning coffee was late, overloaded his secretary with work to force her to resign, an industrial tribunal heard.Nicolas Bellord, partner with church and charity lawyers Witham Weld, was described as a "bully" by legal secretary June Hedley, who represented herself at the hearing.The tribunal ruled that Hedley, who claimed she was sacked in April after taking up pay and conditions issues ...

  • Society to host human rights meeting

    8-Sep-1994

    A meeting to discuss the impact in practice of the European Convention on Human Rights will be held in the Law Society Hall next month. Piers Gardner, the director of the British Institute of International and Comparative Law, will discuss the range and variety of complaints which can be made to the commission and the obligation practitioners have to tell clients which claims could be successful.

  • Survey into law degrees

    8-Sep-1994

    I am writing to correct the article that appeared in the 18 July issue of The Lawyer, 'Malaysia orders probe into UK Law courses', which misrepresents the current situation regarding UK law degrees offered to Malaysian students.What the article describes as a 'probe' is in fact a survey being undertaken into all UK law degrees offered by all universities both 'old' and 'new'.The survey covers both full-time and ...

  • Susan Aslin on the arguments for regulating the media

    8-Sep-1994

    Susan AslinThere is no law of privacy in this country analogous to that in France which entitles an individual to prevent publication of information solely on the grounds that the information is private. On this basis, the Duchess of York was able to restrain publication of pictures of her in a bikini with her financial adviser, John Bryan.The operation of the law in France means that little, if anything, is published by the French media concerning ...

  • The Lawyer Inquiry: Sailesh Mehta

    8-Sep-1994

    Sailesh Mehta practises as a barrister from Verulam chambers. He is general secretary of the Society of Asian Lawyers and sits on the Bar's human rights committee. He was born in Dar-es-Salaam, Tanzania in 1963, and now lives in London.What was your first job?Dishwasher in a canteen. On day two of the job I was asked to make a chicken sandwich for a customer. Being a vegetarian, I suggested a cheese & salad sandwich instead. I was sacked.

  • TSG blasts Law Soc recruitment guide as unfair

    8-Sep-1994

    THE TRAINEE Solicitors' Group (TSG) has denounced moves to amend the Law Society's recruitment guide, saying it would give some students an unfair advantage in applying for training contracts.The group claims the change - proposed by the Association of Graduate Recruiters (AGR) - could discriminate unwittingly against some candidates.AGR wants to amend the second rule for employers included in the 'Guide to good practice in the recruitment of trainee ...

  • Zeffman finally gets to go to Olswangs

    8-Sep-1994

    TOP media lawyer David Zeffman has finally joined West End firm Simon Olswang & Co after months of legal wrangling with his former City practice Frere Cholmeley Bischoff.Zeffman, who started last week as joint head of Olswangs' media and entertainment group, has taken six members of his team with him, depleting Frere's commercial department.Specialist fee earners Selina ...