8 December 1997

The Lawyer

  • 10,000 US lawyers to attend year 2000 conference despite logistical nightmares

    8-Dec-1997

    THE AMERICAN Bar Association is forging ahead with its plan to despatch more than 10,000 US lawyers to London for its millennium conference despite fears it could prove an administrative nightmare.Both the immediate past president of the ABA, Lee Cooper, and new president Jerome Shestack, who took up the post at the IBA conference in San Francisco, are understood to have lobbied against the conference being held in London in the year 2000.And although there is ...

  • A tempting offer?

    8-Dec-1997

    Talkback Productions is developing a series about temptation for BBC Television.We wondered whether any lawyers would be kind enough to contact us by e-mail or by phone (on 0171 323 9777) if they have had any clients who have given in to the temptation of robbing a bank or stealing, say diamonds, and then were so overcome by guilt that they gave themselves up to the police. We would ask lawyers to pass on a letter to the person in question.

  • ABA urges UK to join human rights crusade

    8-Dec-1997

    Newly-appointed American Bar Association president Jerome Shestack has asked the Law Society and Bar Council to help the ABA form a loose federation of Bars dedicated to fighting international human rights abuses.The move has caused unease among some in the international legal community who fear lawyers are being asked to push US values onto an unwilling world.In an interview with The Lawyer at the ABA conference in San Francisco, Shestack said he wanted UK lawyers ...

  • Andersens' Scottish duo to merge

    8-Dec-1997

    Scottish firms Dundas & Wilson and Dorman Jeffrey & Co will merge to form a new Arthur Andersen-tied law firm.Brian Dorman, managing partner of Dorman Jeffrey which linked up with Andersens in January 1996, said he expected to be on the executive board of the merged firm."For marketing purposes the name is being kept under wraps," he said.Andersens and Dundas ...

  • Burnt fingers

    8-Dec-1997

    After past mistakes, few Canadian law firms have a taste for international expansionism, says Patrick Stewart. Patrick Stewart is a freelance journalist. Stikeman Elliott opened for business in Sydney earlier this year. One of Canada's leading commercial practices, this is its fourth foreign office in the Asia/Pacific region and its ninth in the world. Four of the offices, including two in central Europe, were opened in the last five years. So is it a trailblazer, or ...

  • Childbirth rights

    8-Dec-1997

    Barbara Hewson finds the UK is out of step with Europe when it comes to guaranteeing women's rights in childbirth. Barbara Hewson is a barrister at 12 Gray's Inn Square.A Resolution of the European Parliament passed on 8 July 1988 calls on the European Commission to draw up a charter on the rights of women in childbirth. The resolution suggests a consensus on the rights and standards of care to which pregnant women and women in labour are entitled. It expresses ...

  • Clifford Chance raids Wessings

    8-Dec-1997

    Clifford Chance is to open a Dusseldorf office in September in a move that will make it one of the few foreign law firms with a German office outside Frankfurt.Clifford Chance has poached two partners for its new office from the Dusseldorf arm of leading German firm Wessing Berenberg-Gossler Zimmermann Lange, a move that mirrors its poaching last August of 11 lawyers, including three ...

  • Court goes online

    8-Dec-1997

    A DAILY Commercial Court listing service has been launched on the Internet.The judiciary and the Court Service joined forces to launch the service last month.It is the first daily Internet listings service to be provided for the Royal Courts of Justice, according to the Courts Service, although the publishers Sweet & Maxwell already provide a daily listings service called the Court Alerting Service for the Crown Courts and the High Court First Tier Centre.

  • Courts use cartoons

    8-Dec-1997

    Disney-style animation is the latest weapon used by US lawyers to win over juries.JuriLink International produces computer-generated accident and incident reconstruc tions to help juries understand complicated cases.Images like those seen in Disney's Toy Story have been used to help explain why an explosion at an oil refinery may have occurred. The system, which costs at least $10,000 to use, works by videoing genuine images, turning them into animation, ...

  • E&Y's £800m claim against Bank of England struck out

    8-Dec-1997

    The High Court's decision to strike out an £800m claim against the Bank of England over the collapse of the Bank of Credit & Commerce International (BCCI) has made legal history.It is believed to be the first time a judge has decided to review all the evidence in a claim and then strike it out. Judges usually make strike-out decisions rapidly but in this case Mr Justice Clarke was persuaded by the Bank of England's counsel, Nicholas Stadlen QC of Fountain ...

  • Financing

    8-Dec-1997

    Freshfields advised drinks company Matthew Clark on its £85m syndicated refinancing. Herbert Smith acted for BZW, the coordinator of the deal, and Barclays Bank, the agent.

  • Firms go surfing

    8-Dec-1997

    The Internet has arrived for lawyers, according to a survey carried out by The Lawyer. Unlike earlier responses to technological innovations, the legal profession has reacted very favourably to the Internet. Indeed, almost two thirds of respondents thought the Internet played a valuable role in the profession.It is good news that lawyers are keeping up to date on information technology - solicitors' practices have been viewed as out of touch and technologically ...

  • Flotation

    8-Dec-1997

    Gouldens advised property investor Ashtenne Holdings on its £78.9m flotation on the London Stock Exchange. Scottish firm Archibald Campbell & Harley advised on Scottish property matters while Cameron McKenna advised the sponsors to the float, NatWest Markets.

  • Former Mishcons partner launched dismissal claim

    8-Dec-1997

    A MISHCON de Reya litigation partner has taken the unusual step of launching a complaint of unfair dismissal against her firm after she left before a grievance procedure had been concluded.However Mishcons is insisting it is not in dispute with Paula Feldman - and will not comment on whether the case has settled.Feldman, an equity partner at Mishcons who had been with the firm for 11 years, left the firm in June after initiating a grievance procedure.

  • Freshfields reaches £100K settlement with Cawthorn

    8-Dec-1997

    Freshfields is believed to have paid its former trainee Kate Cawthorn in the region of £100,000 in settlement of her claim of personal injury, loss of career as a lawyer and psychological distress, following a business trip to Ghana.Cawthorn issued a High Court writ against the firm last January claiming £633,000 alleging she contracted shigella dysentery after eating a barracuda while working in Ghana.She claimed that she had neither been given sufficient ...

  • Freshfields' PFI deal aborted

    8-Dec-1997

    Freshfields has expressed bitter disappointment at the Government's decision to cancel the £500m Private Finance Initiative (PFI) deal to redevelop the Treasury, which it was advising on.The Paymaster General, Geoffrey Robinson, terminated negotiations with a consortium led by property developer Stuart Lipton to redevelop the Treasury's Whitehall headquarters even though the consortium had signed heads of agreement with the Treasury, advised by Berwin Leighton ...

  • Gazumping needs 'radical overhaul'

    8-Dec-1997

    A SOLICITOR called in by the Government to help it devise ways of cracking down on gazumping has hinted that nothing short of a radical overhaul of the system will be enough to solve the problem.But Law Society council member Kenneth Byass, the solicitor on the government-appointed panel of experts set up to tackle the house buying problem, believes solicitors will continue to play a key role in house buying.Byass and the other members of the government panel ...

  • Guidance for a healthy marriage

    8-Dec-1997

    As Simmons & Simmons links up with New York's Fried Frank, Bradford Hildebrandt analyses how to make alliances work.For those of you in the midst of final alliance negotiations with another firm, this article may be too late. But if you are considering joining or even starting an alliance, think again. Participants in strategic alliances often do not give themselves even a fighting chance of achieving the goals for which the alliance is intended.Not all ...

  • Ian Clark on the effect of UK procedures on European airlines.

    8-Dec-1997

    Ian Clark is a partner in aviation law firm Clark Ricketts - the firm was incorrectly named Clark Richards in The Lawyer, 22 July 1997.Harmonisation of aviation regulation in Europe is well advanced. The European Economic Area (EEA) and member states are standardising aspects of their flight rules.On 1 April 1997 the final phase of the "European Third Package" on the liberalisation of air transport was implemented. Now, every European airline ...

  • Imposing start times postpones the party

    8-Dec-1997

    The licensing industry will have to wait until October for the result of a case that could turn out to be a signpost ruling determining the extent to which licensing justices can impose conditions on Special Hours certificates.Licensee Steven Shipley is fighting against the imposition by licensing justices at Cannock in the West Midlands of start time limits on a Special Hours certificate for his premises.The Cannock justices, in granting Shipley a Special ...

  • In brief: First Law Soc stand at Welsh Eisteddfod

    8-Dec-1997

    The Law Society has for the first time run a stand at the Welsh National Eisteddfod. The stand was officially opened at the beginning of last week's cultural festival at Bala in North Wales by the Welsh-speaking Attorney General, John Morris QC. It was jointly staffed by the Law Society regional offices in Wales, Gwynedd Law Society and the Associated Law Societies of Wales. Solicitors gave free advice in Welsh and English at the festival, and Welsh-language Law Society leaflets ...

  • In brief: First Legal Practice MBA graduates

    8-Dec-1997

    The first ever students to complete an MBA in Legal Practice have graduated from the Nottingham Law School at Nottingham Trent University. The 33 students on the course gained a Masters degree designed exclusively for those with management responsibility in law firms, legal departments and barristers' chambers. Students included senior partners, managing partners, senior administrators and in-house lawyers. One student, Ann Alexander, senior partner at Altrincham-based medical ...

  • In brief: Halliwells poaches rival's property lawyer

    8-Dec-1997

    North West firm Halliwell Landau has poached Mary Thakkar from Manchester rivals Gorna & Co. Halliwells claims its property business has risen by a fifth over the past year and Thakkar's appointment is part of an ongoing property recruitment drive. Halliwells' head of property Geoff Marks said: "In the last couple of years the firm has been able to attract a different calibre of property specialists - and many new heavyweight clients. Mary's appointment represents another ...

  • In brief: Law Soc to survey views on conveyancing

    8-Dec-1997

    Solicitors are being asked this month whether they want the Law Society to amend its regulations to restrict conveyancing solicitors in acting for both lenders and borrowers. The Law Society's policy committee has issued a questionnaire to all firms asking them to choose between four options: leaving the rules as they are; amending them so that joint representation of borrower and lender will only be permitted where the instructions for the lender are confined to ensuring good ...

  • In brief: Lawyer joins Horlick at new subsidiary

    8-Dec-1997

    Robert Guest is to join Societe Generale Asset Management's (SGAM) new UK subsidiary as its head of compliance and legal. Guest, who joins from domestic asset management firm Johnson Fry Holdings, where he has been for three years, will be responsible for setting up new funds and getting authorisation from the Investment Management Regulatory Organisation for the new office. He will deal with regulators, and establish and manage compliance systems. Guest said he was looking forward ...

  • In brief: Withers expands into KPMG's property

    8-Dec-1997

    City firm Withers has announced it is taking over two more floors of 70 Fleet Street from KPMG. The firm, based in Gough Square behind Fleet Street, previously occupied the third floor but has decided to "bank the extra space for future expansion". Withers will pay £25 per square foot for the space with the entire first floor sublet for five years to

  • Insurers attacked for 'sitting on the fence'

    8-Dec-1997

    After-the-event legal insurer Brian Raincock has attacked the Association of British Insurers (ABI) for "sitting on the fence" over the issue of expanding conditional fees insurance beyond personal injury cases.Raincock, managing director of Litigation Protection, said that despite a request from the Lord Chancellor's Department (LCD) the ABI had so far not come up with any ideas on how to assist with improving access to justice."The potential for 'no ...

  • Intranet first for group of North East law firms

    8-Dec-1997

    A PIONEERING group of 22 law firms in the North East has set up what they claim to be the first Intranet system among a professional group.Under the scheme, law firm members of the Northern Business Forum, a group set up to promote business in the North East, have all installed the Intranet system, ProNet North.David Laud, marketing manager at Middlesborough firm Jacksons, who oversaw the project, said the Intranet site has been visited 600 times since it opened ...

  • LAB accused of pilot secrecy

    8-Dec-1997

    CRIMINAL practitioners invited by the Legal Aid Board (LAB) to take part in a new pilot scheme to test block contracting for duty solicitors have accused the board of being too secretive about its plans.The LAB has invited duty solicitors to "express interest" in a new criminal advice and assistance contract pilot due to start before the end of this year.But solicitors' groups have said they will not take part until they know more about the scheme and warned ...

  • Law Soc pushes for US access

    8-Dec-1997

    Law Society president Phillip Sycamore is to meet next month with the judge responsible for admissions to the New York Bar, in a bid to convince him to open the way for English and Welsh solicitors to practise in the state.Following private meetings at the ABA conference, the Law Society has also been invited by the New York Bar to submit a paper to an admissions consultation that is being undertaken in the state.The moves follow years of wrangling over the difficulties ...

  • Lawyers are the stars of courtroom drama

    8-Dec-1997

    Chris Fogarty witnesses the defence and prosecution unite in the case against trial by media in the US justice system.For us attorneys the history of the world can be divided into two distinct eras: pre-OJ and post-OJ. The Simpson trial has radically altered the legal landscape.No longer is it enough to win over the jury. Today's attorneys must seduce the media and the public, with the best tactics, the cleverest strategy and the sharpest quips. Justice ...

  • Lawyers grasp the Internet

    8-Dec-1997

    LAWYERS have defied their stereotype by showing an impressive knowledge of the Internet and its potential, according to a major survey conducted by The Lawyer.The results of the nationwide survey revealed an enthusiasm in the profession for Internet technology that has surprised experts.Almost 80 per cent of the 500 lawyers questioned described the future role of the World Wide Web as "valuable" or "very valuable".More than two thirds of solicitors ...

  • Lay prosecutors:revolution by the back door

    8-Dec-1997

    John Malpas examines the impact of a wave of reforms that has hit the CPS even before the results of an independent inquiry are known.GIVEN the new Government's obvious determination to hit the ground running with a string of well-publicised policy announcements, it was remarkably coy about its decision to allow lay CPS staff to prosecute uncontested cases in the magistrates courts.The move, taken together with the decision to allow non-lawyers to review ...

  • Legal aid extended to cover mediation cases

    8-Dec-1997

    LEGAL aid has been extended to cover a pilot mediation scheme, in a bid to attract more participants. Solicitors are now able to receive payment from the Legal Aid Board for attending the scheme, which runs at Central London County Court and offers mediation for money claims of more than £3,000, with no upper limit.It is hoped the move will increase the numbers taking part in the pilot, which has suffered a slow take-up since it began a year ago. The scheme has now ...

  • Litigation Recent Decisions 12/8/97

    8-Dec-1997

    Decisions are taken from Lawtel's legal database. LTL: Lawtel report; TLR: Times Law Reports; ILR: Independent Law ReportSpecial adjudicator's decision appealed by Home SecretaryR v Immigration Appeal Tribunal, Ex parte Secretary of State for the Home Department (1997)Court: QBD (Kay J) 31/7/9Summary: Whether the Secretary of State has the power to decide to make a deportation order before serving notice curtailing limited leave to ...

  • Litigation Disciplinary Tribunals 12/8/97

    8-Dec-1997

    Charles William Marshall Bucknall, 47, admitted 1976, suspended for 12 months and ordered to pay £8,467 costs. Allegations substantiated he misappropriated client funds, wrongly used client funds for his own purposes, practised without a current practising certificate, failed to keep properly written accounts, failed to comply with the instructions received from a mortgagee and/or misled a mortgagee client, improperly requested an employee ...

  • Litigation Personal Injury 12/8/97

    8-Dec-1997

    Grant v Moreton - QBD 3 July 1997Claimant: Stephen Grant, 21 yearsIncident: Road traffic accidentInjuries: Claimant, rear seat passenger in car driven by defendant which struck verge and crossed carriageway before ending up in woodland copse, received broken jaw and fractures to the right collar bone, left thigh and left ribs and serious head injuries. He has since made what was described in court as "a remarkable recovery ...

  • Litigation Writs 12/8/97

    8-Dec-1997

    A man who claims he was injured by medical treatment almost 30 years ago has issued a High Court writ against North Essex Health Authority. Graham Rawlinson claims he suffered personal injuries, losses and expenses as a result of alleged negligence by the health authority in its medical and surgical treatment, management and care of him in 1969 when he underwent a myelogram at Chelmsford and Essex (Broomfield) Hospital.Writ issued by Harvey Thornton & Co, ...

  • Mirror Group libel action

    8-Dec-1997

    The Law Lords are considering giving leave for appeal in a libel action against Mirror Group Newspapers. The action was brought by Lorraine Clare following stories, based on allegations by her former husband after she had removed their children to Australia, that she was connected with a drugs gang. Her husband withdrew the allegations, but they had already been published. The Law Lords will consider her application after 13 August, giving MGN an opportunity to lodge ...

  • Mr Justice Walker takes the fast track to Court of Appeal

    8-Dec-1997

    Chancery Division judge Mr Justice Walker has been appointed a Lord Justice of Appeal in what is thought to be one of the quickest promotions ever to the court.Mr Justice Walker is one of three judges to receive promotions following the retirement of Lord Justices Leggatt and Waite, and Lord Justice Saville's recent appointment as a Lord of Appeal in Ordinary.The other two judges are Mr Justice Chadwick, also of the Chancery Division, and Mr Justice Mantell, ...

  • Music has court as venue

    8-Dec-1997

    Guitarist Baron Joshua Henryck, of Sturminster Newton in Dorset, is heading for a High Court confrontation with MCA Music, Sony Music Entertainment (UK) and the Performing Right Society. He is accusing them of infringing his copyright in music called Sketch/Valse Prelude. He is seeking damages, an account of profits made from the alleged breach of copyright and orders that the companies and organisations being sued should hand over all infringing material.

  • Olswang wins place at top of Aim league

    8-Dec-1997

    Olswang is one of the leading advisers to Alternative Investment Market listed companies - second only to Nabarro Nathanson.Olswang's strong showing as a company Aim adviser emerges from an analysis of the listings in the directory Crawfords City Connections.In January the AIM Guide Quarterly ...

  • Oscar Beuselinck: Media star's final act

    8-Dec-1997

    Nick Gillies profiles the man who hogged the limelight as much as his clients. Nick Gillies is a freelance journalist.Oscar Beuselinck, who died recently, was one of the great media lawyers of the century, with a career reaching as far back as the leading libel case Youssoupoff v MGM in 1934, and as far forward as the Maxwell debacle in 1991.He had a scabrous tongue: “Come in my dear, and tell me who you’ve been ****ing” was his greeting to Penelope Mortimer ...

  • Playing at home

    8-Dec-1997

    Co-operation rather than merger is the trend in Canada, reports Patrick Stewart. Patrick Stewart is a freelance journalist.When Quebec law firm Ogilvy Renault opened an office in Toronto last year, it marked the end of the formal relationship between the firm and its longtime Toronto associate, and now competitor, Osler Hoskin & Harcourt. The most cogent example of the two firms' friendship was their international joint venture where they operated outside Canada under ...

  • Pro bono - nothing new

    8-Dec-1997

    Write to: The Editor, The Lawyer, 50 Poland Street, London W1V 4AX, Fax 0171 734 0534While I am pleased with the setting up of the Solicitors' Pro Bono Group, which can only be a good thing, I am tired of reading publicity being given to City firms who provide support, and also of reading about threats made by MPs to implement compulsory pro bono work to be undertaken by the profession.Legal aid practitioners like myself ...

  • Property

    8-Dec-1997

    Manches & Co acted for French property investor Bail Investissement, a subsidiary of ISM, on its £20m purchase of Russell Square House, occupied by accountants Kidsons Impey and Chantrey Vellacott. Walsh Lawson acted for the vendor.

  • Property

    8-Dec-1997

    Lewis Silkin advised advertising agency Abbott Mead Vickers on taking a lease on its new headquarters - more than 50,000 sq ft at 139-151 Marylebone Road, NW1 - from Grand Metropolitan Estates, advised by Bracher Rawlins.

  • Recommendations by ICI chair get mixed response

    8-Dec-1997

    ICI chairman Sir Ronald Hampel's recommendations on corporate governance have been welcomed by Herbert Smith partner David Paterson, who chaired the Law Society committee that made submissions to Hampel.But other lawyers have criticised Hampel for pulling back from earlier groundbreaking reports by the Cadbury committee on corporate governance and the Greenbury committee on executive pay.The earlier reports introduced stricter procedures for companies' ...

  • Strike while the iron's hot

    8-Dec-1997

    Roger Pearson looks at how changing advisers during a High Court action can delay litigation and affect the outcome of a case.The case of Mohammed Al Fayed's fake candelabra, reported in The Lawyer, 22 July 1997, ended in defeat for Al Fayed. However the case carries important messages for the profession, says Philip Rubens, litigation partner at Finers, who acted for Emanuel Antiques in the case.He says it has emphasised the ...

  • Surviving the Bre-X scandal

    8-Dec-1997

    The recent scandal involving Bre-X, a junior Canadian mining company that claimed to have found the world's largest gold deposit in Indonesia, sent shock waves through the Canadian investment community. At risk was Canada's international reputation for mining expertise, and its position as the leading market for mining investment and finance.In the days immediately following Bre-X's disclosure of the largest mining fraud in history, its $5bn market capitalisation ...

  • The Internet: stirring up a mixed response

    8-Dec-1997

    Elizabeth Davidson reportsDespite a residue of cynicism, lawyers are embracing the Internet with ever-increasing enthusiasm THE results of a survey by The Lawyer on the Internet arrive during the heart of what has been described as a technological "revolution" among law firms. Or, as The Future of Law author Richard Susskind puts it: "The results of this survey would have been very different a year ago, and will be very different ...

  • The Lawyer Inquiry: William Cawley

    8-Dec-1997

    William Cawley was born in Brighton on 2 April 1961. He now lives in London and is a partner in the litigation department of Sinclair Roche & Temperley. What was your first job?Bread slicing at a Sunblest bakery.What was your first ever salary as a lawyer?£3,150 per annum.What would you have done if you hadn't become a lawyer?A yacht builder.Which law ...

  • Time to bring discrimination to an end

    8-Dec-1997

    In the light of the Policy Studies Institute's latest report, the Law Society must take immediate action to eradicate discrimination in the profession, says Hannah Wiskin. Hannah Wiskin is chair of the Trainee Solicitors Group.The Fourth study commissioned from the Policy Studies Institute (PSI) by the Law Society has finally been published. Once again, while the conclusions it reaches make for depressing reading, they come as little surprise to ...

  • Unease in the CPS

    8-Dec-1997

    The Government's move to allow non-lawyers to prosecute uncontested cases in the magistrates courts has rightly received much criticism - particularly for the way the decision was announced (or rather not announced) by the Government.The First Division Association's CPS section was understandably peeved that it was forced to go on a "paper chase" to uncover news of the proposed major shake-up.There is also widespread surprise that the Government ...

  • US law chief warns of two-tier justice

    8-Dec-1997

    San Francisco Conference

  • World Court will be inundated with cases

    8-Dec-1997

    An international criminal court would be unable to deal with the majority of those responsible for war crimes according to delegates at the 10th annual Society for the Reform of Criminal Law conference.UN Secretary General Kofi Annan has called for the setting up of the international court to combat "crimes against humanity". But drawing on lessons learned from the war crimes tribunals for Rwanda and former Yugoslavia, speakers at the conference in London last month said ...