7 October 1996

The Lawyer

  • A loan but not forgotten

    9-Oct-1996

    Recent victories by local authorities over banks have left their mark and may result in tighter controls, believes Roy AmbroseIn recent months, attention has been focused on a handful of cases brought by banks against local authorities that have borrowed money from them.The authorities won, but the critics say the law is too loose to pin their obligations down. The cases are likely to bring about a change, to make local authorities comply with both the letter ...

  • A&O scores in Germany and US

    9-Oct-1996

    Allen & Overy's international practice has scored a double coup, hiring a top US lawyer to beef up its project finance practice in the US, and poaching a partner from a top German law firm.The firm recruited New York-based Milbank Tweed Hadley & McCoy project finance partner David Slade in a bid to stake its place in the fast-growing international project finance arena. And it ...

  • Arthur Andersen casts a net for prestige Spanish merger

    9-Oct-1996

    Firms across Europe are reeling from the news that Big Six accountancy firm Arthur Andersen is seeking to hitch up with top Spanish law firm A&J Garrigues in a move which will create the largest law firm in Spain. The proposed merger between Arthur Andersen's Spanish legal arm, Arthur Andersen ALT, and Garrigues is one of the largest jumps into the European legal market by an accountancy firm.The firms have been discussing a merger for several months and ...

  • Asim company visits

    9-Oct-1996

    The company visit scheme of the Association of Solicitor Investment Managers continues on 24 September when the head of group investment relations and finance director of Reuters news agency will meet four association members. The visits involve an analysts' briefing to keep investment managers up-to-date with market trends. British Petroleum is offering a similar visit on 15 October.

  • Barbara Hewson slams judges' ordering of caesarean births

    9-Oct-1996

    Some recent forced caesarean cases in the Family Division show that family judges are keen to extend the categories in which non-consensual surgery can be authorised, under intense pressure from doctors and their lawyers. The latest cases to be reported are Rochdale Healthcare (NHS) Trust v C and Norfolk and Norwich (NHS) Trust v W, heard by Justice Johnson on 3 July.In Tameside & Glossop Acute Services Trust v CH (1996) FLR 762, Justice Wall ...

  • Battle to keep land value at a premium

    12-Oct-1996

    A hearing is expected early next year in a major farm land pollution test case. The action will centre on Government policies relating to nitrate levels in drinking water.Mr Justice Harrison has given a group of 140 farmers from Essex, Suffolk and Norfolk leave to challenge the policies. The farmers claim these are causing millions of pounds to be wiped off the value of their land.They say the value of their land has been "decimated" by the Government ...

  • Be a better investor

    9-Oct-1996

    Cripps Harries Hall investment and compliance manager Marcia Rye will be speaking at Asim's course on "Improving investment performance with equity options" at the London Chamber of Commerce on 15 November.

  • Berrymans moves closer to heart of commercial centre

    12-Oct-1996

    City firm Berrymans is lightening its load by moving 10 of its lawyers to a new office on the second floor of number 2 Minster Court, next to the London Underwriting Centre and on the doorstep of Lloyd's.The firm has just taken nine insurance fee earners from marine firm Ingledew Brown Bennison & Garrett.The office will serve the practice's professional indemnity, insurance and marine clients. Four partners and six solicitors will move from its main ...

  • Boateng in threat to impose pro bono rules

    12-Oct-1996

    PAUL Boateng is threatening to introduce legislation to force the Law Society to do more pro bono work if it does not respond to Labour's calls for action.In correspondence with Law Society president Tony Girling, seen by The lawyer, Labour's legal affairs spokesman praised the Bar Council for setting up its own pro bono unit but regretted "the Law Society would appear to have done nothing to build on the recommendation of its own pro bono working party in 1994."

  • Boot Lord Chancellor out of Cabinet, argues group

    9-Oct-1996

    Demonstrators will descend on the Royal Courts of Justice this week to mark the launch of a campaign group that wants to see the Lord Chancellor booted out of Cabinet.The Campaign for a Fair Hearing is an umbrella organisation, set up by Action for Justice, which is pressing for complete separation of powers between the judiciary and the executive, and an end to parliamentary sovereignty.It plans to hold weekly gatherings outside courts throughout the UK in a ...

  • Bristol court gives top marks to tele-hearing

    12-Oct-1996

    Solicitors involved in Bristol's first court-based tele-hearing have welcomed the new development as "an excellent idea".The tele-hearing, a pre-trial review of a commercial case, was the first to be heard at Bristol's Mercantile Court. It was suggested by Judge Raymond Jack QC, who presided over it at the end of November.The hearing was conducted over a BT conference line, which allowed the solicitors and judge, who ...

  • Bristol firm looking for corporate expansion

    9-Oct-1996

    South-WEST firm Bevan Ashford has recruited a corporate partner to spearhead a drive for new business.George Wilkinson, a former partner at Bristol firm Lyons Davidson, joined the South West firm last week.Wilkinson, 43, who is a specialist in company law, corporate finance and occupational pensions, joined the firm's Plymouth office which is traditionally strong on public sector work. But Simon Rous, head of Bevan Ashford's South West company ...

  • Bury council must clarify grant allocation

    9-Oct-1996

    Bury metropolitan council may be forced to pay exemplary damages for refusing to provide a postgraduate law student with information about the criteria it uses for allocating grants.The council has until the end of the month to provide a written policy on discretionary grants, after a promise it made at a judicial review hearing in July 1996.The hearing was requested by former student Jacqueline Panter after the council refused to fund her legal practice ...

  • Carlsberg-Tetley

    9-Oct-1996

    In last week's issue of The Lawyer it was incorrectly reported on the City page under the headline "Linklaters forced out of brewery bid work" that Ashurst Morris Crisp was advising Bass, and Simmons & Simmons was acting for Allied Domecq during negotiations for Bass to acquire Allied Domecq's half share in Carlsberg ...

  • Carswell rises to top Northern Ireland post

    12-Oct-1996

    Lord Justice Carswell has been appointed as the Lord Chief Justice of Northern Ireland.He will replace Sir Brian Hutton, who is leaving the post to become a Lord of Appeal in Ordinary.The changeover is reported to have come as a surprise to Northern Ireland lawyers. But the choice of successor was no surprise - in the words of one lawyer "he is a very respected judge and a first class lawyer".And although he predicted that Lord Justice Carswell would ...

  • CD-ROM has EU law covered

    12-Oct-1996

    All European Union legislation is now available on CD-ROM. European Law contains all EU legislation, treaties, directives and regulations, as well as European Court of Justice cases and references to national implementation measures.Guidelines from the DTI on the likely impact of legislation are also included, together with proposals and contact points at the DTI to assist with enquiries.The disc, which is produced by Technical Indexes, ...

  • Chambers fight shy of disclosing fee figures

    12-Oct-1996

    JUST 20 sets of chambers have decided to break tradition and publish details of their barristers' fees in the new edition of the official Bar Directory.This year is the first time chambers have been invited by the directory, published by FT Law & Tax, to include their fee rates.The vast majority declined to include specific fees and instead invited readers to contact their clerks.Among those who chose to outline their rates were 10-11 Gray's ...

  • Chancellor ignores Step's appeals to rationalise personal taxation system

    12-Oct-1996

    Kenneth Clarke has ignored the calls of trust lawyers to end inheritance tax iniquities and to institute relief on the costs of self assessment.Lawyers and accountants represented by the Society of Trust and Estates Practitioners (Step) had asked the Chancellor to simplify capital gains and inheritance tax legislation and to correct an imbalance whereby people with large amounts of money tied up in businesses escape the inheritance tax that falls on owners of large houses.

  • Change for clients' sake

    9-Oct-1996

    Write to: The Editor, The Lawyer, 50 Poland Street, London W1V 4AX, Fax 0171-734 0534I am obliged to Mr Anthony Bogan for his letter published 27 August on two counts.Firstly, for having taken the trouble to read the articles and responding to them and, secondly, for acknowledging conveyancing is indeed a sinking ship. In that regard, perhaps I could answer his question in the final paragraph of his letter and make my position ...

  • Children's superstore chain to open with help from Manches

    9-Oct-1996

    Manches & Co is advising Tim Waterstone, founder of the book shops that bear his name, on his latest venture involving the creation of a chain of themed children's superstores.Waterstone, who sold his book shop empire in the late 1980s, is basing the superstores on two new child characters, Daisy and Tom, who will be used in brand merchandising, publishing and a possible TV spin-off.The new company, Daisy & Tom, is being jointly financed by Waterstone, DC ...

  • City firm opts for Telemation

    12-Oct-1996

    Alison Laferla reportsCity law firm Fox Williams is getting rid of its existing IT applications and "starting from scratch" with a firm-wide implementation of a new IT strategy known as Telemation.The Telemation programme was initiated by Irish technology management consultants The Coolfin Partnership. It aims to create an IT infrastructure in which telecommunications ...

  • City trailing US in world equity stakes

    9-Oct-1996

    Linklaters & Paines is the only City firm to challenge US dominance in equity issues around the world, according to a table compiled by International Financial Law Review.US firm Davis Polk & Wardwell advised banks on the most issues, 41, in the 12 months to June 1996, followed by Linklaters ...

  • Clyde & Co strengthens Brazilian links

    12-Oct-1996

    International law firm Clyde & Co has formed official links with Rio de Janeiro firm Prates & Carneiro to coincide with the return of its partner in Venezuela to the London office.Stirling Leech has been based in Brazil and Venezuela since 1990 and will continue to be responsible for the firm's South and Central American projects.This means he will also continue to manage ...

  • Concern over Crest dealing unfounded

    9-Oct-1996

    Richard Clayton reportsPanic felt by solicitors at the July introduction of Crest, the electronic share dealing system of the London Stock Exchange, appears to have abated for the moment.The system made a slow start, with only a few firms being forced to change their existing practices.Andrew Curtis, head of investment management at Bournemouth-based practice

  • Crime ace switches set

    12-Oct-1996

    High-profile barrister Richard Lissack QC has moved from the chambers of Anthony Donne QC at 2 King's Bench Chambers to 35 Essex Street, citing the need for greater back-up as his workload grows.Lissack, the crime and fraud specialist who prosecuted the Maxwell fraud trial, said he wanted to move from a set which specialised largely in criminal work to one which also dealt with civil law. He said he was keen to do more personal injury and commercial litigation ...

  • Crown copyright on Net comes under fire

    12-Oct-1996

    The Bar Council is lobbying Parliament for free access to legal materials for people using the Internet.The Bar Services and IT committee wants to see the government get rid of Crown copyright on statutes and related documents.Instead the Government is proposing to introduce a payment formula for reproducing Crown copyright material in electronic format. Hansard and House of Lords judicial committee judgments are already freely available on the Net.

  • Customs lawyer finds City niche

    12-Oct-1996

    A former Customs and Excise gamekeeper has turned poacher by forming his own niche practice in the City.Adrian Shryane, who for three years was one of 50 HM Customs and Excise legal advisers in its headquarters near Blackfriars, has been running Enforcement Response since he left in 1993. The company specialises in publishing and training."It had always been my intention to spin off the legal advice side of the business into a separate legal practice once the ...

  • Dibb Lupton Alsop gets seal of approval

    9-Oct-1996

    The merger of Dibb Lupton Broomhead and Alsop Wilkinson was expected to be officially announced in the next few days after going to partners' vote on Sunday.The new practice will be called Dibb Lupton Alsop, according to documents seen by The Lawyer. Public relations company Lowe Bell will handle publicity for the merger, the documents said. Sources in Manchester report the alliance is already seen as a fait accompli with partners from both firms meeting ...

  • Dirty laundry in public

    12-Oct-1996

    The House of Lords has given leave for an appeal in the case of Cockburn v Chief Adjudication Officer against refusal of an allowance in respect of laundry created by an incontinent woman. The appeal will question a Court of Appeal ruling from 26 June 1996.

  • Disability discrimination act. US experience sets the scene for UK employers

    12-Oct-1996

    The Disability Discrimination Act 1995 came into force on 2 December 1996. It outlaws discrimination against people with disabilities when providing them with goods and services and in virtually all areas of employment.Many law firms are affected because all employers with 20 or more employees are covered by the Act. However, a surprising number of legal practices do not understand the legislation or its practical implications. This is particularly true when dealing with ...

  • Doctors alerted by pill test case

    12-Oct-1996

    A major question mark has long hung over the potential side effects of oral contraceptives, which have been blamed for a variety of long- and short-term ailments.Despite this, a major personal injury test case against a doctor who prescribed the brand of contraceptive pill called Logynon has ended in defeat for the claimant.The action, which was dismissed by Mr Justice Alliott, may still end up going to the Court of Appeal. It was launched ...

  • Edge & Ellison hires former police chief

    9-Oct-1996

    Edge & Ellison has appointed Sir Ronald Hadfield, former Chief Constable of the West Midlands Police, as a consultant to the firm to oversee training and people management.Digby Jones, senior partner, disclosed that Hadfield is one of several non-lawyers who will be appointed as consultants over the next 12 months.He said:"It is our policy to appoint people from non-legal backgrounds, individuals who can bring experience from other walks of life. We have many ...

  • Electric effect

    9-Oct-1996

    The effect of electro-magnetic fields caused by power lines is to be put under the High Court microscope in a pending action involving a West Midlands child. A claim is on its way to court on behalf of Thomas Loxton, Halesowen, who is suing the National Grid Co through his mother, Jane. It will be argued that Thomas has suffered disease as a result of exposure to electro-magnetic fields from a power line close to his home between 1988 and 1993.

  • Elliott & Co PI partner heads to Hill Dickinson

    9-Oct-1996

    The London office of Elliot & Company is losing its personal injury partner, Geoffrey Keens, this week when he leaves to join the insurance litigation department of Hill Dickinson.Keens is leaving the firm after seven years to develop Hill Dickinson's personal injury presence in London.He acquired his specialism in personal injury when he was a partner at the former London firm RI Lewis.He said: "I am joining Hills for the challenge ...

  • Ernst & Young draws up legal head shortlist

    12-Oct-1996

    Big six accountants Ernst & Young has drawn up a short list of top City lawyers to head its new legal practice and is likely to make an appointment next summer.The firm, which last week published its annual accounts for the first time, has been planning to set up a separate legal practice for at least a year and a half but it is believed to have had trouble finding the right person to head it.Nick Land, E&Y's senior partner, told The Lawyer that he had yet ...

  • Europe may intervene in immunity case

    12-Oct-1996

    The European Court of Human Rights may be asked for the first time to decide if barristers can be sued for negligent conduct in court cases.The possible challenge follows the House of Lords Appeal Committee's refusal to give Mohammed Patel leave to appeal against immunity rules which prevent him from suing his barrister, Ghulam Yazdani.Patel claims he was wrongly convicted and jailed for tipping off a drugs suspect in 1987 because of a negligent defence ...

  • European guidance

    12-Oct-1996

    Lawyers hoping to practise in another European jurisdiction can take advantage of a new web site, explaining to what extent they can rely on their existing qualifications. The site, developed by Dr Julian Lonbay, of the University of Birmingham's Institute of European law, gives details of each member state's aptitude test, national regulatory bodies and information on access to the profession. The site can be found at www.iel.bham.ac.uk.

  • Experts not partisans

    12-Oct-1996

    I don't want to overreact to what may have been intended as a humorous article by Charlotte Cochrane in the supplement on Expert Witnesses (The Lawyer 19 November), but I have to say our experience of acting as expert witnesses for the prosecution or defence in criminal cases and for plaintiffs and defendants in civil matters, gained in a good number of cases over the past 15 years, has been very different.The idea that any of us could persuade the court ...

  • Fairer play on training

    12-Oct-1996

    As one of the first of the LPC graduates of 1994 and one who has been unable to find a training contract, I was interested to read Tony Holland's article in The Lawyer 19 November.I am a mature candidate with a wealth of experience in discrimination law. It is a sad state of affairs that anyone should be lost to the profession, particularly those with a strong interest in social justice.The Law Society's appeal for greater flexibility in awarding ...

  • Fate of CCT proposals hangs in balance

    9-Oct-1996

    Helen Sage reportsThe first in a series of meetings to decide the fate of the Government's White Paper on the reform of white collar compulsory competitive tendering (CCT) was due to take place last week.Officers from the Association of Metropolitan Authorities council associations were due to meet on Friday with the department of the environment.The AMA has threatened legal action against the Government unless it revises some of the proposals ...

  • Financing

    12-Oct-1996

    Lovell White Durrant acted for ABN Ambro when it arranged a 500 million euro medium term note programme for Ford's Brazilian car subsidiary

  • Financing

    12-Oct-1996

    SJ Berwin advised All American Communications

  • Financing

    12-Oct-1996

    Linklaters & Paines acted for JP Morgan Securities and SBC Warburg in arranging a $1bn Russian sovereign international bond issue. Cleary Gottleib Steen & Hamilton acted for the Russian Federation.

  • Firms face wage claim rise as Govt clamps down on profit-related pay

    12-Oct-1996

    Law firms will have to give 9 per cent rises to their salaried staff merely to keep them on the same wage when tax relief on profit-related pay is phased out in two years' time.Many City law firms have been running profit-related pay schemes as a tax break for their staff, rather than as a true bonus scheme. In a move which was widely predicted, Chancellor Kenneth Clarke's Budget announced the phasing out of tax relief applicable under the scheme over a period ...

  • First recruits for software image group

    9-Oct-1996

    The Legal Software Suppliers Association admitted its first members this month.Thirteen suppliers, including Aim Professional, Norwel Computer Services and Linetime, have joined the newly-formed trade association. The LSSA was launched in May and aims to revitalise the image of legal software suppliers. Its predecessor, the Association of Legal Technology Suppliers, was severely rapped by the Law Society last year.LSSA chair ...

  • Flagship High Street computer scheme needs massive cash boost

    12-Oct-1996

    ONE of Law Society president Tony Girling's flagship projects - a Law Society computer kit for High Street firms - will be scrapped if he cannot secure an extra £770,00 for the scheme.Girling will back the High Street Starter Kit's request for the money at this Thursday's Law Society council meeting, just weeks after a report into the society's Regis computer system highlighted chronic failures in its IT strategy.He told The Lawyer that ...

  • Flotation

    12-Oct-1996

    Dibb Lupton Alsop advised convenience store operator Dawn Til Dusk on its £4m flotation on the AIM. Hammond Suddards advised the nominated adviser Butterfield Securities.

  • Flotations

    9-Oct-1996

    Fladgate Fielder advised Gabriel Trust on its recent AIM flotation. Fladgate also advised Charles Stanley & Co

  • Flotations

    9-Oct-1996

    Garret & Co acted on the flotation of the Invesco India Growth Fund

  • Flotations

    9-Oct-1996

    Travers Smith Braithwaite and Herbert Smith acted recently in relation to the flotation of Pace Micro Technology whose principal business is the development

  • Flying in the face of untruth?

    12-Oct-1996

    A verdict is due in PR man Brian Basham's libel action over claims that he was a key player in the 'dirty tricks' campaign waged by British Airways against Virgin Atlantic. Basham is suing journalist Martyn Gregory and publisher Little, Brown and Co (UK) over allegations made in the book Dirty Tricks. The defendants in turn are leading their defence by claiming the passages were justified.

  • Former clerk wins assault case

    12-Oct-1996

    Magistrates have convicted sole practitioner Robert Layton of assaulting his clerk for failing to photocopy court papers.The clerk, who is now a freelance police station adviser, took out a private prosecution against his former boss.Last week he told Haringey magistrates how, on 17 May this year, Layton, who is a partner at Layton & Co in Acton, shouted and swore at him and then struck him because he had not photocopied the papers.Parkes said: "I ...

  • Four enter LSSA fold

    12-Oct-1996

    Four suppliers - Timeslice, Technology for Business, Solicitec Computer Systems and Axiom Business Computers - have been admitted to the Legal Software Suppliers Association (LSSA). The association, set up in May to promote self-regulation and professional standards among legal IT suppliers, now has 17 members. It is currently carrying out a customer survey to set a benchmark of buyers' satisfaction, and results are due in the New Year.

  • Four lawyers and a laptop

    9-Oct-1996

    Four lawyers, four bits of kit and four opinions about why the laptop computer has changed legal practice in the NinetiesI first used portable computers in 1982 and they were optimistically described by their manufacturers as "luggables". Weighing in at over 13kg and needing an external power supply, they were a far cry from today's laptops and had a fraction of the processing power. Today, with one PC on my

  • Four lawyers and a laptop

    9-Oct-1996

    Four lawyers, four bits of kit and four opinions about why the laptop computer has changed legal practice in the NinetiesMy laptop is a Dell XPI90 and it has its own black plastic carrying case which protects it well from the knocks and bumps of everyday use.I have had it since September 1995 and would not now be without it. I use it mainly to work at home in the evenings and at weekends, but it's also invaluable when visiting clients or other ...

  • Four lawyers and a laptop

    9-Oct-1996

    Four lawyers, four bits of kit and four opinions about why the laptop computer has changed legal practice in the NinetiesI bought a Mitac 3026E notebook computer which has a footprint no bigger than a counsel's notebook. It's about two inches deep and weighs little more than Volume 1 of the White Book. It has a disk drive built in and the only added weight comes from the AC power adaptor. On a good day, the battery life is just over two hours, ...

  • Four lawyers and a laptop

    9-Oct-1996

    Four lawyers, four bits of kit and four opinions about why the laptop computer has changed legal practice in the NinetiesI have recently been given a new toy - a Toshiba Tecra 700 CT laptop computer. For the computer buffs, it has a 1GB hard disk, 16MB RAM, one floppy disk drive, one CD-Rom drive and two PC Card slots. It runs Windows 95 and Lotus Notes, which B

  • French block plan to ease freedom to practice rules

    12-Oct-1996

    FRENCH lawyers have scuppered the latest UK bid to liberalise the restrictions preventing lawyers from practising freely in Europe.At a meeting of the Council of Bars and Law Societies of the European Union (CCBE) on 29 November, a French motion to impose restrictions on the ability of foreign lawyers to practice freely was passed by a large majority.An opposing motion tabled by the UK delegation to liberalise the practising rules was defeated.Although ...

  • Fund established to research the application of IT in law

    9-Oct-1996

    The Society for Computers and Law has set aside £60,000 to fund research into computers and law in the UK.The money will be used to fund research into any aspect of computer and communications law, or the application of computing and communicating technology in law.Lord Justice Brooke, president of the society, said: "Evidence of rapid developments in computer and communications technology are all around us. Unless our law and legal ...

  • Garrett & Co woos Berwin Leighton trust practitioner

    12-Oct-1996

    Arthur Andersen-tied Garrett & Co is establishing a private client practice with the recruitment of Berwin Leighton trust partner Judith Powell.Powell, a specialist in trusts and personal taxation and a partner at Berwin Leighton for 10 years, will be Garretts' first private client partner and will head the new department.She will be based at Binder Hamlyn's offices at the Old Bailey. Accountancy firm Binder Hamlyn, which merged with Arthur Andersen ...

  • Gary Moss looks at how defence can set a rapid agenda.

    12-Oct-1996

    Gary Moss is a partner at Taylor Joynson Garrett.The recent Patents Court case of SBM v Brown Brothers and Company and Vickers (1996) was notable for two reasons.First, less than six months elapsed between the issuing of the writ and the trial. Second, in acceding to the defendants' request for an order for speedy trial, the case also demonstrated the commercial awareness of both Patents Court judges and how defendants can resolve unanswered ...

  • Gearing up for 2000

    12-Oct-1996

    City firm Rowe & Maw has published a guide to dealing with the year 2000, when many computer systems will be unable to deal with the date changeover. Partner Michael Webster recommends everyone should start damage-limitation procedures now to avoid costly litigation and to salvage existing systems. The Millennium Timebomb, which covers contracts, duty of care and other issues, is available from Chris Pullen on 0171 248 4282.

  • German trio merges to create latest premier league player

    12-Oct-1996

    The tripartite merger of three medium-sized German law firms in the New Year will add a new name to the country's super league of corporate legal practices.The new 150-lawyer firm, Hasche Eschenlohr Peltzer Riesenkampff Fischotter, will be created from the merger of Hasche & Eschenlohr, Peltzer & Riesenkampff and Fischotter Micheli & Partner.The newly formed organisation will have national offices in Frankfurt, Munich, Berlin, Hamburg, Leipzig and Dresden. ...

  • Greystoke ups its insurance cover

    12-Oct-1996

    An after-the-event litigation costs scheme has been extended to allow companies and individuals throughout the UK to get £50,000 in insurance cover to take their cases to court.Under the LawAssist scheme, devised by Greystoke Legal Services, clients who receive little or no legal aid will be able to pay a £357 premium for each £6,000 worth of legal advice.It was originally set up at the beginning of the year but was discretionary, limited to ...

  • Hague convention solicitor wins Spanish custody battle

    12-Oct-1996

    The English lawyer who helped overturn the Hague Convention to allow an English mother to gain early custody of her Spanish-born son during separation proceedings has now secured permanent custody for her.Last year Christopher Lee, who runs a small practice in Barcelona, led a Spanish legal team which overturned a Hague Convention Order made by the UK High Court requiring the mother to return with her son to Barcelona.Lee claimed it was the first time such an ...

  • Hambros deal with licensed conveyancers sparks pledge to liberalise solicitors' rules

    12-Oct-1996

    A NEW deal between a leading estate agents and licensed conveyancers to provide a seven-day-a-week conveyancing service has prompted a renewed Law Society pledge to move quickly to liberalise solicitors' practising restrictions.Hambro Countrywide and the Council of Licensed Conveyancers last week entered into an arrangement to offer the service through Hambros' 700 estate agents offices by spring 1997.Hambros will be spending £100 million to install ...

  • Herbert Smith handles £1.75bn Swiss Re acquisition of M&G

    9-Oct-1996

    Herbert Smith is advising giant reinsurance company Swiss Re which is splashing out £1.75 billion to buy rival Mercantile & General from parent group Prudential Corporation. Freshfields is acting for Prudential.Commenting on the transaction, Herbert Smith partner Mark Satterly said: "This acquisition is part of a trend in the City which has seen a wave of consolidation among both reinsurers and direct insurance companies."The deal, which will make Swiss ...

  • Hong Kong rumour mill starts to spin as Chief Justice stands for Patten's job

    9-Oct-1996

    Hong Kong's chief justice, Sir Ti Liang Yang, has put himself forward as a candidate to take over as Chief Executive of Hong Kong from Chris Patten when UK rule ends next July. The move will probably scupper the chances of solicitor Tak-shing Lo, whose firm has a joint venture with Stephenson Harwood in the Far East.Yang is expected to resign his post as Lord Chief Justice, ...

  • In brief: Ashurst Morris Crisp in moot triumph

    12-Oct-1996

    Two Ashurst Morris Crisp lawyers, Catherine Chibnall and Daniel Ross, have brought a glow of pride to the head of their litigation department by winning the Simmons & Simmons Centenary moot Competition. Chibnall and Ross beat teams from Simmons & Simmons, Ince & Co, and

  • In brief: Beedhams appoints City man as partner

    9-Oct-1996

    Solihull firm Beedham Rowe has appointed an ex-Norton Rose man as a partner. Christopher Britton-Powell, a former international corporate finance lawyer at the City firm, joined from Leamington Spa firm Blythe Liggins earlier this summer.

  • In brief: Blandy & Blandy recruits two partners

    12-Oct-1996

    Thames Valley 11-partner firm Blandy & Blandy has recruited two private client solicitors from City firms who are both mothers and who will both work partly from home. Family law partner Sian Blore joins from Farrer & Co, and tax and financial planning lawyer Jackie Watson joins from the Paris office of Simmons & Simmons. Watson said: "There is an army of women out there who, unfortunately, are faced ...

  • In brief: Cambridge conference to beat corruption

    9-Oct-1996

    Over 700 of the world's most senior law officers and government officials are in Cambridge this week for a six-day conference aimed at combating the threat to business and political stability caused by corruption. The symposium at Jesus College is organised jointly by the college, the Centre for Information and Documentation on Organised Crime, the University of London's Institute of Advanced Legal Studies and more than 24 other academic institutions. Speakers include Ray ...

  • In brief: Civil Justice Council looking likely

    12-Oct-1996

    Practitioners and the Law Society scent victory in their push for a Civil Justice Council to implement Lord Woolf's reforms to the justice system. It is believed Lord Mackay will announce he is prepared to go some way towards implementing such a body during the report stage of the Third Reading of the Civil Procedures Bill this week. Lord Irvine of Lairg, Shadow Lord Chancellor, has tabled another Law Society sponsored amendment to the civil procedures Bill calling for a council ...

  • In brief: Donns opens practice office in a hospital

    9-Oct-1996

    Manchester law firm Donns has opened its unique office inside the Hope Hospital in Salford. Three staff have been recruited and senior partner Raymond Donn (pictured on left with hospital trust chair Peter Mount) said the office would provide staff and patients with legal advice covering "everything from conveyancing to personal injury". He added: "We believe we are the first firm to open offices within a hospital in the North West but I'm sure it won't be long before others ...

  • In brief: Foot & Bowden expanding eastwards

    12-Oct-1996

    Plymouth-based firm Foot & Bowden is expanding to the east of Devon with a takeover of the Exeter office of five-partner Burd Pearse. The 25-partner firm of Foot & Bowden will keep on Burd Pearse's two Exeter lawyers, partner Simon Gregory and assistant Michael Gay, and most of Burd Pearse's Exeter administration staff. The remaining Burd Pearse lawyers will remain at their Okehampton and Torrington offices and continue their association with Tavistock firm A Craig-Mooney ...

  • In brief: Govt initiative for a cleaner Internet

    9-Oct-1996

    The Government has publicly called for the development of software to screen out offensive material on the Internet in response to advice from Internet specialists at Denton Hall. The Government instructed the firm to produce a study on behalf of the DTI's Information Society Initiative earlier this year. A team led by partner Nicholas Higham worked in conjunction with the Sema Group to produce the report, presented to the Government last month. The report recommended self-regulation ...

  • In brief: Jersey LLP law ready for rubber stamp

    9-Oct-1996

    The States of Jersey, the legislative assembly to the island of Jersey, has concluded its debate on the detailed articles of the draft limited liability partnerships law. The session, on 3 September, completed the work of an earlier session on 23 July, before the summer recess, when the initial articles of the law were debated and passed in the chamber. Two minor alterations were made to the draft and all that remains is to give the draft its third reading; the law has already been ...

  • In brief: John Cunliffe retires to join academia

    12-Oct-1996

    Leading pensions lawyer John Cunliffe, who is head of employee benefits at McKenna & Co, is to retire next June and is considering taking up a lecturing job overseas. He said: "I will be 62 by next June, McKennas' official retirement age. That is quite old for a City lawyer." Cunliffe said he was looking at university posts in Sydney and Canada but added: "It may or may not happen." Cunliffe, who is highly regarded as a pensions lawyer, and particularly in the field of occupational ...

  • In brief: Legal presenter offers advice on lobbying

    9-Oct-1996

    David Jessel, presenter of Rough Justice and Trial and Error, will be among a panel of experts answering questions from solicitors and others on how best to lobby those in power. The session will be chaired by BBC TV West's Chris Vacher and held at Taunton's county library on Friday 13 September. The other panellists are Geoffrey James, producer of BBC2's Out of Westminster, Michael Eavis, founder of the Glastonbury music festival, and Jackie Ballard, Liberal Democrat ...

  • In brief: McKennas appoints know-how partner

    12-Oct-1996

    McKenna & Co has created its first non-fee earning partner post with the appointment of Melissa Hardee to develop training and co-ordinate 'know-how' at the firm. Hardee joined McKennas from Clifford Chance in 1994 and has already been developing know-how support systems for the corporate practice. Managing partner Robert Derry-Evans said: "I expect that we will see more and more law ...

  • In brief: Negligence expert joins Llewelyn Zietman

    9-Oct-1996

    London firm Llewelyn Zietman has appointed its fifth partner, professional negligence expert Duncan Mcnair, who joins from Stewarts. Mcnair who was formerly with Lovell White Durrant and also has experience in the banking sector, will be a litigation partner at Llewelyn Zietman.

  • In brief: Three commercial partners at Garrett & Co

    9-Oct-1996

    Garrett & Co has appointed three new partners to its commercial arm. Dean Copley and Andrew Watson will take up their new role at the firm's Leeds office, and Ian Bowler at its Manchester office. All three appointments are effective from 1 September.

  • IN PURSUIT OF QUALITY

    9-Oct-1996

    Implementing quality management is easy for local authorities that know about PMS, says William NewboldQuality management systems are becoming common in local government legal departments. Three of the driving forces are:v council-wide initiatives to introduce Investors in People (IIP) or ISO 9000 - or both - in which the legal department is expected to take part;v the desire of the legal department to achieve a quality standard because it sees increasing ...

  • Inland Revenue - Self-assessment

    9-Oct-1996

    "It's all too easy to think that, as it's only tax, it can wait till next week to be sorted out. Well, next week has now arrived." These chilling words from the Inland Revenue heralded the beginning of self-assessment at a photocall this week to encourage taxpayers to "get up to date before it gets down to penalties".The Revenue fielded four self-employed people who volunteered to stand in goal and try to save penalties, to illustrate the Revenue's ...

  • Insolvencies on the wane

    9-Oct-1996

    Insolvencies are running at much lower levels compared with the bleak days of recession in the early 1990s - but for small businesses there is little cause for celebration.Analysts point out that though fewer big companies are going to the wall, smaller groups are still failing in large numbers.Michael Steiner, insolvency partner at law firm Denton Hall, said that small businesses often fall into the trap of overtrading when recession lifts. "Orders start to ...

  • Irish face call for life sentence shake-up

    9-Oct-1996

    Ireland's independent Law Reform Commission has embarrassed Irish government and opposition politicians by calling for an end to mandatory life sentences for murderers and a complete scrapping of minimum sentences.Its recommendations, contained in a report, would mean an end to the current 40-year term for capital murder of a police officer, although they are unlikely to be passed.In an echo of the UK debate between Home Secretary Michael Howard ...

  • Judicial review/police bill. Judgement Day for the executive

    12-Oct-1996

    Judicial review is grabbing the headlines again following the recent High Court decision that the calculation of the release dates of prisoners serving concurrent sentences had been unlawfully applied by the prison service for the past 30 years.The judgment was a further blow to Home Secretary Michael Howard, coming as it did after the Fayeds' success in getting his rejection of their application for British citizenship quashed and his defeat in the Court of Human Rights ...

  • Judicial review/police bill. Police Bill bugs lawyers and journalists

    12-Oct-1996

    The Police Bill is currently before Parliament. Part III proposes to empower chief officers of police and customs to authorise entry to or interfere with property or wireless telegraphy for the purpose of preventing or detecting "serious crime".We were asked by civil liberties watchdog Liberty to advise it on the legal and constitutional implications of the proposals in the Bill, and in particular whether they are compatible with the European Convention on Human Rights, ...

  • Laptop of the judges

    9-Oct-1996

    Lord Justice Phillips uses a Siemens Nixdorf Scenic 4NC, and a Canon bubble jet printer, supplied by the Lord Chancellor's Department, and has had this equipment for about four years.The laptop has mainly been used on the Bench, either for the judge to take notes of proceedings, or for the installation of courtroom software such as LiveNote. This program, used in the Maxwell trial, allows real time transcription ...

  • LAW IN FRANCE. Woolf gets au fait with French law

    9-Oct-1996

    With his ideas for a legal revolution that borrow much from across the Channel, Lord Woolf may have put UK justice on the block, says Geraldine GadbinLord Woolf must be a fan of Napoleon. Apart from creating the Civil Code, the French dictator implemented the Code de Procedure Civile, now the Nouveau Code, a unique set of rules applicable before all civil courts in France. Nearly two centuries later, the recently appointed Master of the Rolls is proposing to ...

  • Law Soc's Hern bides her time as redundancy package offered

    9-Oct-1996

    Former Law Society director of management planning Jane Hern - whose job was abolished by the internal shake-up of new secretary general Jane Betts in August - is expected to announce her plans for the future early this week.Hern has been offered the new post of director of policy or the option of taking a redundancy package, believed to be substantial.Late last week, Hern said she was taking legal advice but that an announcement in her future was imminent.

  • Litigation Disciplinary Tribunals 10/09/96

    9-Oct-1996

    Phyllis French, financial services consultant at material times with Sparling Ben-ham and Brough, Colchester, banned from working for any further solicitors without written consent of Law Society and ordered to pay £514 costs. Allegations substantiated she failed to establish or maintain a central register of matters to be recorded in accordance with Solicitors' Investment Rules, failed to take reasonable steps to ascertain facts about clients' ...

  • Litigation Disciplinary Tribunals 10/12/96

    12-Oct-1996

    Doreen June Sayburn, clerk with Peter J Wilson & Co, Walsall, banned from working for any further solicitors without written consent of Law Society and ordered to pay £2,626 costs. Allegations substantiated that she misappropriated £3,545 of client money by receiving cash from clients but not entering it into firm's account books. Sayburn was jailed for nine months in September this year after pleading guilty at Wolverhampton Crown Court to ...

  • Litigation Personal Injury 10/12/96

    12-Oct-1996

    Sore v Scott - QBD, 29 October 1996Claimant: Barry Sore, 53Incident: Road traffic accident Injuries: Claimant seriously injured and wife killed in crash. Damages in respect of injuries and loss of wife. Head, chest and leg injuries forced claimant to retire from his job as a maintenance electricianAward: £300,000 (agreed damages)Judge: Mrs Justice SteelPlaintiff's solicitor: Jepp & Sons, ...

  • Litigation Recent Decisions 10/09/96

    9-Oct-1996

    R v Aylott (1996). CA (Pill LJ, Curtis J and Judge Clarke).Summary: Taking a jury's verdict after they have been discharged. Appeal against murder conviction where the appellant had been indicted with a co-defendant. After retirement the jury sent a note to the judge stating they were split equally on their verdict in relation to the appellant's co-defendant. The judge misunderstood the note and taking that it meant they were split equally in relation ...

  • Litigation Recent Decisions 10/12/96

    12-Oct-1996

    Claims for damages for wrongful detentionJeanette Ann Olotu v (1) Secretary of State for the Home Department (2) the Crown Prosecution Service (1996)CA (Lord Bingham CJ, Auld LJ and Mummery LJ) 29/11/9Summary: Claims against the Home Office and the Crown Prosecution Service for damages for wrongful detention where plaintiff's time in detention exceeded that permitted by the Prosecution of Offences (Custody Time Limits) Regulations 1987 reg.5(3)(a).

  • Litigation Writs 10/09/96

    9-Oct-1996

    The University of North London is being sued for damages by its director of research, David Taplin. Taplin, of Down Thomas, Devon, seeks damages for breach of a contract. Writ issued by Edward Lewis, London WC1. A widow whose 53-year-old husband died after falling through a skylight is suing for compensation. Alice Martirossian, of London SW19, claims against Viglen, Alperton, Middlesex. Raffi Martirossian ...

  • Litigation Writs 10/12/96

    12-Oct-1996

    Administrators of the estate of a Nottingham woman who died from an asbestos-related disease said to have been caused by a gas mask are suing Boots. Agnes Bakewell died on 13 June 1988 from mesothelioma. The writ issued by administrators of her estate claims her death resulted from the negligent manufacture and testing of gas masks by Boots in 1940. Boots is contesting the action.Writ issued by Leigh Day & Co, London WC1. Boots is contesting the claim through Davies ...

  • LLOYD'S/TAX LAWS. Estates issue cannot be laid to rest

    9-Oct-1996

    The 'final' settlement between Lloyd's and its Names is anything but when it comes to estates, says Christine MaliaLast week's news of the Lloyd's settlement should give personal representatives more hope of paying out their deceased's estate. But although the settlement describes itself as "final", the matter is by no means over for personal representatives.They should not act in haste lest they themselves become liable. They should ...

  • LLOYD'S/TAX LAWS. The plain language of tax

    9-Oct-1996

    The Inland Revenue's plan to rewrite tax laws in plain English is taking shape. Ronald Downhill examines the issuesCriticisms of tax legislation are increasing, and it is no coincidence that recent finance Acts have stretched to unprecedented lengths.As of last November, there were nearly 6,000 pages of Inland Revenue primary legislation - an increase of more than 50 per cent since 1988. But it is not just the volume that has been criticised, it is also ...

  • Lovells forms fire-fighting force

    9-Oct-1996

    Lovell White Durrant is this week putting 15 of its key partners on a standby list to act in project finance deals for clients all around the world.The firm's overseas partners had previously handled local clients from the respective bases without easily being able to call in aid from other offices.London-based energy partner Tony Higginson, who initiated the move, said: "When a job arrives, at say, our Ho Chi Minh office, the partners would try to handle ...

  • Lovells wins role in Student Loan company sell-off

    12-Oct-1996

    Lovell White Durrant has been appointed to advise the Department of Education and Employment on the controversial privatisation of the student loan scheme.The department wants to sell part of the £2bn student loan portfolio and contract out the administrative work of the Students Loan Company, which handles the accounts of 1.3 million students and is owned by the DoEE.Lovells acted for the department in an aborted plan to allow banks to offer student loans. ...

  • Mackay has a case to answer

    9-Oct-1996

    The profession's legal aid problem is little short of a crisis, believes John Perry, and the best part of the blame can be laid at the door of the Lord Chancellor, Lord MackayLegal aid work is the biggest current political problem facing the Law Society and the public.But it seems the Lord Chancellor took little notice of the stance of ex-Law Society president Martin Mears last year. And whether he will take any notice of the present president ...

  • Mears tries the 'carrot' approach with client care programme

    12-Oct-1996

    The maxim "the customer is always right" does not appear to have gained much currency among solicitors. Each year 20,000 complaints flood in to the Office for the Supervision of Solicitors (OSS)."With that number of complaints, there is something wrong," surmised former Law Society president Martin Mears, the surprise choice as the head of a new client care initiative. "What we want is to ensure the number of complaints reaching the OSS significantly diminishes."

  • Merrill Lynch wins landmark decision on fraud damages

    12-Oct-1996

    Ashurst Morris Crisp is claiming victory for its client Merrill Lynch after a House of Lords ruling which will see US bank Citibank having to pay the investment bank £14m damages over a fraudulent share sale.In 1989 broker Smith New Court, now owned by Merrill Lynch, paid Citibank Securities £23m for 28 million shares in defence company Ferranti International Signal.Smith ...

  • Morgan Grenfell calls in Slaughters

    9-Oct-1996

    Slaughter and May is advising Morgan Grenfell Asset Management, which is investigating the activities of two of its fund managers suspended last week.Morgan Grenfell, part of Deutsche Bank, suspended the managers after inquiries by City regulator, the Investment Management Regulatory Organisation (IMRO).IMRO's inquiries concern the valuation of unlisted securities ...

  • Network cuts firm's phone bill by a third

    9-Oct-1996

    West Midlands-based Waldrons solicitors has installed a new telecoms network which it claims will bring about major cost savings.The firm, with offices in Lye, Brierley Hill and Dudley, has installed a Centrex system which uses fibre optics to network the offices. It is believed to be the first firm in the West Midlands to use this system.Centrex will allow clients to contact all three offices by dialling one number and will also divert ...

  • On the ball training

    9-Oct-1996

    Michael Bowes says, in his article of 13 August, "there is little point in suggesting a tennis beginner should watch plenty of tournaments to pick up the game". In fact, Timothy Gallwey in The Inner Game of Tennis prescribes exactly this. He points to the number of players who find a major improvement in their game during the Wimbledon tournament.Demonstration of excellent technique is a vital part of effective coaching. And this applies to advocacy ...

  • On the case, on the move

    9-Oct-1996

    Today's technology is the laptop of luxury for law firms, letting their lawyers stay on the ball when out of the office, finds Linda TsangWith the revelation that over 300 judges have been surfing the World Wide Web on the 'JudgeNet', it seems that even the most technophobic of professions is learning to plug in to the latest technology.Despite its reputation for technofear, the legal profession has caught on to the technological ...

  • One Garden Court swells ranks as nine defect from 22 Old Buildings

    12-Oct-1996

    Chris FogartyOne Garden Court has established one of the largest family law sets in the UK after the defection of nine specialist barristers from 22 Old Buildings.The move strengthens One Garden Court to 41 tenants and leaves 22 Old Buildings, a broad-based common law set, with 22 tenants. The nine are citing the need for greater specialisation as a major reason for the move, which is understood to have taken the set by complete surprise.

  • Osborne Clarke axes funds division

    9-Oct-1996

    Osborne Clarke is to shut down its investment management division over fears of a possible conflict of interest.The firm feared its connection with a large number of corporate clients, whose shares are traded on the stock market, could lead to a conflict.The move will set alarm bells ringing in other corporate law firms engaged in financial services work, raising the question ...

  • OSS seeks funds to clear backlog

    12-Oct-1996

    The Office for the Supervision of Solicitors is asking for more than £700,000 from the Law Society to help clear a projected backlog of 370 cases.The OSS, whose operating costs account for around a third of the Law Society's budget, is to employ nine new staff, seven of whom will be investigative accountants. The total cost is £381,000 in salaries and an estimated £304,000 in potential overheads.An OSS spokeswoman said the new staff would ...

  • Pattinsons' Cockburn is appointed ELA chief

    9-Oct-1996

    The Employment Lawyers Association has appointed David Cockburn, of London firm Pattinson & Brewer, as its new chairman. He replaces Fraser Younson of Baker & McKenzie, who has completed a one-year term.Cockburn is a leading employment law specialist and has acted for trade unions and employees.He said: "Employment law is a flourishing area with the introduction of new ...

  • Pensions ace breaks firm into investment

    9-Oct-1996

    Hewitson Becke & Shaw is opening a new investment services unit, having recruited pensions expert Andrew Lowin from market leader Cripps Harries Hall.Lowin is already at Hewitsons offering corporate pensions management and advice and the firm is "actively" looking for a fund manager ...

  • Phone summons not engaged

    9-Oct-1996

    A Pilot for a telephone-summons procedure for Mercantile Lists has got off to an inauspicious start, with no bookings for its first week. The pilot was due to start on 2 September in the Liverpool and Manchester Mercantile Lists to benefit law firms located 10 miles away from the court.The procedure is aimed at summonses expected to last 20 minutes or less. Solicitors, counsel and judges will communicate by conference call for a predetermined time, and the cost ...

  • Pilot launch for fast-track court system

    9-Oct-1996

    Three separate pilot fast-track schemes are being launched next month in a bid to speed up civil procedure and reduce costs in the wake of the Woolf report. As from 1 October, 23 family courts will be running the family law ancillary relief procedure pilot scheme, which applies to all ancillary relief applications made on or after that date.Family Division president, Sir Stephen Brown, has ruled that the courts must set a date for an early "first directions appointment" ...

  • Pinsents lures City partners to beef up practice

    9-Oct-1996

    Pinsent Curtis has lured three partners from City firms as part of a major drive to beef up the practice after a stream of departures in the last year.The Birmingham firm has been hit by several high profile resignations since its creation by the merger of Pinsents and Simpson Curtis in May 1995.The new recruits are Andrew Pike, a construction specialist, who joined from Simmons & Simmons this week; Tom Whiteside, from Dibb Lupton Broomhead's Leeds office, ...

  • Plot a path to laptop land

    9-Oct-1996

    Kevin Mackay looks at the points to ponder before you splash out on that computerLawyers in Bird & Bird, use laptops for presentations - which may include multimedia and the Internet - working directly on legal documents in the office with clients, and other lawyers, and for keeping in contact with the main office while working abroad. But their requirements are unlikely ...

  • Projects

    12-Oct-1996

    Herbert Smith advised the Norfolk & Norwich Health Care NHS Trust on its signing of a £193m PFI project to build a hospital for Norwich, the first health sector PFI project. Contractor Octagon Healthcare was advised by DJ Freeman.

  • Property

    12-Oct-1996

    Taylor Joynson Garrett acted in the £11m sale of 25 of Lloyds Bank properties and two Woolworths stores for clients including British Aerospace Pension Fund and Value and Income Trust.

  • Property

    12-Oct-1996

    Nabarro Nathanson acted for Land Securities subsidiary Ravenside Properties on the purchase of the 363,000 sq ft Retail World at Gateshead, Newcastle, from Stadium City. Booth & Co acted for Stadium City.

  • Property

    9-Oct-1996

    Clifford Chance represented Burford on its exchange of contracts to buy 49-57 Berners Street, London WI, a grade II listed building. Nabarro Nathanson represented Sun Life.

  • Property

    12-Oct-1996

    Linklaters & Paines advised Lloyds/TSB Bank on the UK's biggest commercial property auction of 108 local branch offices which raised over £40m for the merged bank.

  • Put the people who pay the bills first

    12-Oct-1996

    I BELIEVE that the dispensing of justice is the most important role of government in a civilised society.From the pie poudre courts of mediaeval England to today, the ability to solve disputes in a civilised way is essential to the maintenance of safety and order in this country.The question is: what should the law deal with? Certainly the use of force and fraud against the citizen. But what of the new growth industries: injury compensation, industrial ...

  • Quality standard bearer urges Bar Council to police compliance

    12-Oct-1996

    Linda TsangA CHAMBERS which has just been awarded an international quality standard has called on the Bar Council to boost the credibility of its own quality standards scheme by policing compliance to it.The Chambers of James Hunt QC believes it is the first set to have been awarded the ISO 9002 quality standard.To obtain the quality mark, which the set can use in its marketing material, the chambers' systems were checked by an accredited ...

  • Relate scheme aims for co-operation

    12-Oct-1996

    Family lawyers have welcomed a new training scheme to help them advise clients seeking divorce on counselling and mediation options.The scheme, launched last week by the National Solicitors' Network and the marriage guidance service Relate, aims to equip solicitors with an understanding of the 'conciliatory' spirit of the new divorce reforms.Under the Relate Quality Partnership firms will be vetted after their training for a place on a quality ...

  • Relax stance on Lockerbie urges lawyer

    9-Oct-1996

    The Us and UK must relax their position on the Lockerbie trial location if they want to get the two Libyans accused of the bombing to court, the Scottish lawyer representing the two will tell a London conference this week.Alistair Duff, who is acting for the accused men, Abriel Busset ali Megrahi and Lamen Khalifa Fhimah, was to speak at Monday's joint International Bar Association/Arab Lawyers Union conference where he was to put his clients' case.Last ...

  • SA lawyers seek funds to end legal colour bar

    12-Oct-1996

    The British South African Lawyers Association (BSLA) is channelling its fund-raising activities to support the South African Legal Resources Centre. This takes on community-related legal disputes on a pro bono basis in addition to training lawyers.The Legal Resources Centre is a nationwide, non-governmental organisation which relies on outside funding. ...

  • Scottish Law Society answers critics with new code of conduct

    12-Oct-1996

    The Law Society of Scotland has published a new code of conduct for criminal practitioners in a defensive move designed to stop "unmerited criticism" from the Government and Scottish Legal Aid Board.The code, which has left some Scottish criminal solicitors "astonished" and "insulted", is understood to be a pre-emptive move, designed to end threats that the Scottish LAB would publish its own code for criminal work.The short guide, which will be sent to all practitioners ...

  • Speculation grows on Addleshaw/Booth merger

    9-Oct-1996

    Leeds firm Booth & Co is once more believed to be in talks to join forces with Manchester-based Addleshaw Sons & Latham.Despite official denials from Booth & Co, rumours persist that the two firms will ally and that Manchester IP specialist Vaudreys may later form part of a three-way merger.Booth & Co and Addleshaws, already allies in the Norton Rose M5 Group, are believed ...

  • Spina bifida baby claim

    9-Oct-1996

    As the number of medical negligence claims continues to rise, a Wembley woman is heading for court with what is believed to be a unique claim that she was deprived of the chance to have an abortion and instead gave birth to a spina bifida baby. Christine O'Sullivan accuses Northwick Park and St Marks NHS Trust, of Northwick Park Hospital, Watford Road, Harrow, of negligently failing to properly read an ultra-sound scan. She says as a result she was deprived ...

  • Streeter moots legal aid rethink

    12-Oct-1996

    Gary Streeter has pledged to "look again" at the Government's controversial proposals to make legally aided defendants and litigants on income support pay a minimum contribution during a fact-finding visit to a law firm.The parliamentary secretary at the Lord Chancellor's Department was invited to visit Croydon firm Atkins Hope by partner Charlotte Collier, who was worried by his apparent lack of understanding of how legal aid firms work.During the ...

  • Surprise LCD move to cut Green Form

    12-Oct-1996

    Legal aid practitioners are claiming thousands of people could be deprived of legal advice if the Government goes ahead with new proposals to remove criminal advice from the Green Form scheme.The Lord Chancellor's Department has written to the Law Society asking for its comments on the proposed change, which has taken practitioners by surprise.Last year there were 377,564 acts of criminal Green Form assistance costing £23.6m.The LCD argues ...

  • Survival problem is worse than we feared

    9-Oct-1996

    "Survival in the high street' was not just the motto of last week's Solicitors Property Group (SPG) national conference in London; it has been the profession's major preoccupation since anyone can remember. The big firms have their up and downs, but in general they jog along contentedly and their survival has never been in doubt. It is the high-street firms that are the endangered species, and virtually every row, every internal schism, ...

  • Take a break from Christmas

    12-Oct-1996

    Christmas may be sold as a magical time of family, excitement and a reaffirmation of the Christian values in life. In reality, it is a time of holidays, Bond movies and presents.As we get older and leave the childish things behind, the presents we receive become less exciting and time off work becomes shorter and shorter. For many, Christmas can become a time of over-indulgence, overwork and even stress, leaving them far from refreshed to face the New Year.The ...

  • Tall order for a tender subject

    9-Oct-1996

    Compulsory competitive tendering may not have been taken up in local authority legal circles but then it may not have been given much of a chance, say Stephen Cirell and John BennettCompulsory competitive tendering of local authority legal services has again been thrown into confusion by the results of a review by the Department of the Environment and the subsequent less than clear decision of the minister, Sir Paul Beresford, over what to do about it.It seems ...

  • Tax head quits over 'ridiculous' hours

    12-Oct-1996

    Top-four City VAT partner Stephen Coleclough is leaving Simmons & Simmons to join Coopers & Lybrand because of the "ridiculous hours" he had to work.Coleclough, who took over from Edward Troup as head of Simmons' tax group 18 months ago, said he ended up taking on part of Troup's direct tax practice as well as VAT and running the group."I had too much work," said Coleclough. "No matter how hard you try to manage the clients or your colleagues you always ...

  • The Lawyer Inquiry: Julian Knowles

    9-Oct-1996

    Julian Knowles was born in Manchester on 26 January 1969. He is a barrister at 3 Raymond Buildings and specialises in criminal and human rights law. What was your first job?Selling duty free goods at Manchester airport for £2.34 per hour.What was your first ever salary as a lawyer?Being a barrister I don't get a salary, but my first fee note was a noting for my pupil master: £50 for half a ...

  • The Lawyer Inquiry: Richard Susskind

    12-Oct-1996

    Richard Susskind was born in Paisley, Renfrewshire, on 28 March 1961. He now lives in Hertfordshire and is special adviser at Masons. What was your first job?Selling ice-cream in a Baskin Robbins shop in Glasgow.What was your first ever salary as a lawyer?As a law student in 1979, I averaged £3 per hour, taking precognitions for criminal cases in Scotland.What would ...

  • The message to conveyancers:'try not to despair'

    9-Oct-1996

    Conveyancers were told last week they could choose between suicide, bankruptcy or a change of career - unless they changed business practices.Speaking at the Solicitors Property Group (SPG) talks, "Survival in the high street", former vice-president of the Law Society Robert Sayer painted a picture of doom for the future of the conveyancer.He said the only solution was for solicitors to cut out all unprofitable business, charge fees by the hour and ...

  • Transparency is to be welcomed

    12-Oct-1996

    Big Six accountancy firm Ernst & Young's disclosure last week of its financial position is to be welcomed for a number of reasons. Although cynics will suggest that it is motivated purely by the prospect of limited liability status, transparency is nonetheless to be encouraged, if only to let clients see the type of institution they are dealing with. The firm said it was making the move primarily to be more open with staff, a point also made by KPMG last January ...

  • Unison joins pensions mis-selling war

    9-Oct-1996

    Bristol-based practice Ringrose Wharton is to pursue personal pensions mis-selling claims on behalf of 150 members of Unison, the UK's largest trade union.The additional work means Ringrose is investigating about 450 potential actions, including claims from members from two other trade unions, the Royal College of Nursing and GMB.Shacklocks in Mansfield, Girlings in Kent, and R

  • VAT MAN FACES SECOND BOUT IN REBATE FIGHT

    9-Oct-1996

    One company is refusing to let Customs & Excise off the hook over its illegal charging ofStill reeling from a judgment that left him facing a multi-billion pound pay-back, the VAT man now faces another onslaught over what are claimed to be illegal moves to make refunds.A VAT Tribunal challenge is being mounted this month over what is claimed to be "illegal refusal" to refund the money. In April, after liquidated company Primback, ...

  • Web site opens door to user feedback with personalised forms

    12-Oct-1996

    Media law firm The Simkins Partnership has set up a web site with what are believed to be the first personalised partner feedback forms.The forms lets users contact partners personally by e-mail, allowing them to ask specialist partners for more detailed information about topics of interest. The site includes a 'Hot News' page detailing forthcoming legislation and topical legal issues, and a features section.Laurie Kaye, head of new media, ...

  • Whose insult is it anyway?

    9-Oct-1996

    Roger Pearson reports on a case which will affect satirical journalism and clarify what constitutes a libelWhen it finally reaches full High Court hearing, the pending libel action in which actor and film director Steven Berkoff is suing journalist Julie Burchill and The Sunday Times over an article which he claimed indicates he was "hideously ugly" is bound to create its fair share of attention. But a preliminary court skirmish in the case has ...

  • Working out at working better

    12-Oct-1996

    From lithe trainee solicitors trying to maintain their youthful fitness to tubby senior barristers seeking to shed fat as a New Year resolution, the legal profession is being consumed by the work-out bug.Lawyers are heading for the gym in increasing numbers as they realise that staying healthy makes them enjoy life more and perform better at work. Legal firms are installing their own gyms, taking out corporate memberships of private health clubs and funding sports teams ...

  • Ymijs system passes the acid test

    9-Oct-1996

    INFOTECH Alison Laferla reportsCity firm Herbert Smith is to install an Ymijs litigation support system, RKYV, after successfully testing the product in a recent case.The firm spent about 18 months choosing the system, and decided on RKYV after using it in a large case recently. The system allowed lawyers to carry all the relevant documents - over 15,000 - to the case in a single computer.Herbert Smith partner Nick Gardner said: ...