9 December 1996

The Lawyer

  • 'No person responsible for £13m SIF shortfall'

    11-Dec-1996

    Heads will not roll following the £13m shortfall in the Solicitors Indemnity Fund because no single person can be identified as responsible, Law Society president Tony Girling has said.The SIF board met last week to hear a report on the error, which stated that the team responsible for making the projections for contributions for 1996/97 used the 1995/96 database assuming that it had been updated. In fact it had not been.A statement issued by the board ...

  • £10,000 for London court staff to get anti-racism help

    11-Dec-1996

    Staff at Outer London's 20 Magistrates Courts are to undergo compulsory training in a bid to improve race relations within the courtroom.A budget of £10,000 has been set aside for this financial year to fund the cultural sensitivity training sessions, which are designed to make magistrates and support staff more aware of issues such as oath taking for people of different cultures and religions.Regional training and development officer John Davey said ...

  • A burning ambition

    11-Dec-1996

    Alex Carter-Silk

  • A case of unfulfilled potential

    11-Dec-1996

    The best result for a client is invariably satisfactory settlement of a claim - even at the doors of the court - rather than a fully contested action.From the lawyer's point of view, however, such an outcome can result in a hearing that may have clarified an important legal point being thwarted.This appears to have been the case in a recently settled trade mark action in which the John Lewis Partnership took on Italian fashion manufacturer Gruppo ...

  • Accountants on the brink of taking law into their hands

    11-Dec-1996

    If rumours are to be believed, the UK legal market is set for one of the biggest shake-ups in its history. Coopers & Lybrand, the story goes, is talking to Eversheds about a close tie-up.Eversheds already has a relationship with Coopers and refers much corporate legal work to the firm. A tie-up would firm up the relationship, and make referrals exclusive.Eversheds, with its regional ...

  • Bahamians on death row have sentences commuted after Privy Council ruling

    11-Dec-1996

    Death Row prisoners in the Bahamas may have their sentences commuted to life imprisonment following a landmark Privy Council ruling.The council commuted the sentences of two Bahamians after ruling that the delay that had occurred between their convictions and the launching of their appeal procedures, was "cruel" and "inhumane".It has ruled that a period of three and-a-half years in prison awaiting execution "with all the agony of mind which that entails, would ...

  • Barristers on the breadline

    11-Dec-1996

    I was interested to read an article in your most recent edition on a proposed project to organise bank facilities to provide barristers with a regular salary. It is good to see that someone is looking at this subject as many barristers are struggling to make ends meet.Barristers are in a very difficult position to call in finances: they cannot afford to bite the hand which does or does not feed them. I have personal experience of this, and have been on the breadline ...

  • Book Review. Rights record pilloried

    11-Dec-1996

    In 1991 Peter Lloyd, a former Home Office minister, stated: "The rights and freedom of the individual and their protection lie at the heart of our constitutional practices. Over the years, they have developed pragmatically in response to society's needs and perceived problems and in keeping with the British tradition."In researching their democratic audit of the UK, the three authors of The Three Pillars of Liberty identified some 42 violations ...

  • BT team cuts £2bn US-UK takeover deal

    11-Dec-1996

    The in-house team of six at BT had just a couple of weeks to draw up the details of its £12bn takeover of US telecommunications company MCI to form the new company Concert.Led by BT's chief legal advisor Colin Green, the team of five corporate and one regulatory lawyer split between London and New York for the deal with Green shuttling between the two.Jeff Fisher, on the London team, said: "The team in New York worked on the merger details while in ...

  • Chadbournes hires Ashursts' oil lawyer for London office

    11-Dec-1996

    New York law firm Chadbourne & Parke has poached a leading oil specialist from Ashurst Morris Crisp as part of its drive to set up an English legal team in its London office.Ian Johnson, a member of Ashursts' energy and major projects group, is currently negotiating departure terms from Ashursts, ...

  • Chinese training

    11-Dec-1996

    Two Chinese lawyers have arrived in the UK to take part in a new advanced training scheme run by the Law Society and Bar Council's working party on relations with lawyers in China. The lawyers, Hu Xiaodong, from Beijing, and Zhu Wei, from Shanghai, will each spend nine months at City firms Simmons & Simmons and Field Fisher Waterhouse.

  • City firm markets its own Internet guide

    11-Dec-1996

    CITY firm Fox Williams has successfully marketed a legal guide to the Internet by including an order form for the booklet on its Web site.The firm has so far received more than 100 orders for the booklet, called The Internet: a Legal Survival Guide for Business, written by its IT partner Nigel Miller."We have been giving the booklet to our clients free of charge, ...

  • City lawyer leaves for job with client

    11-Dec-1996

    Clifford Chance's head of corporate finance Peter Brooks is leaving to become general counsel for one of his clients, Deutsche Morgan Grenfell.Brooks, 49, listed in Chambers Directory as one of the top 18 corporate lawyers among London's big City firms, joined Clifford Chance's predecessor firm, Clifford Turner, from

  • Crime bill / eviction. Population crisis

    11-Dec-1996

    The Crime (Sentences) Bill was born at the Conservative Party Conference in 1995. The slogan was: "If you don't want the time, don't do the crime." The message from the Home Secretary, with vocal support from the tabloid press, was that prison deters, and more prison deters more.The crime bill has two central proposals:Real time sentencing - parole and early release will be abolished; instead prisoners will be able to earn a small good behaviour ...

  • Crime Bill/Eviction. Bad behaviour

    11-Dec-1996

    Local authorities have argued that "out of necessity" they use eviction, or the threat of it, as the primary way of dealing with anti-social behaviour on council estates.However, housing department staff have found that only a handful of the most serious cases are ever prosecuted successfully. Eviction is seen as a panacea for anti-social behaviour. Councils are seen to be doing something, and conventional wisdom says that making an example of the few will act as a deterrent ...

  • Denton Hall out of tripartite merger

    11-Dec-1996

    DENTON Hall has pulled out of merger talks with Cameron Markby Hewitt and McKenna & Co at the eleventh hour.Although the firm was last week still denying it had even entered talks with McKennas and Camerons, negotiations have been in progress between the firms for several months.It is understood that the two other firms are still in talks and have even appointed a public relations firm - Fishburn Hedges - to handle the publicity surrounding the merger if it goes ...

  • Doing the digital homework

    11-Dec-1996

    City legal practices have always been new technology adopters - most recently they have been at the forefront of moves toward data-centric network environments. However, the willingness to adopt leading-edge developments has been tempered by a more typical legal market cautiousness in the form of mandatory checks and corporate procedures. But is the present rush to adopt Microsoft Windows NT over-confident?While the general trend in the legal market is to merely dab ...

  • Euro law expert Ruttley joins Garretts

    11-Dec-1996

    Garrett & Co is on the recruitment warpath yet again following the headhunting of Philip Ruttley, head of the EC department at City firm Watson Farley & Williams.Ruttley has been appointed Garretts' head of EC and international trade practice, which has two partners and seven assistants, although he said he would be recruiting more lawyers for the department.

  • European lawyers hold Liverpool AGM

    11-Dec-1996

    More than 60 lawyers from across Europe descended upon Liverpool for the annual general meeting of The Association of European Lawyers, which was hosted by Liverpool law firm Lace Mawer. Presentations were given on quality management, investors in people and the qualities of Liverpool. Andrew Scorah, a partner at Lace Mawer, said: "The most valuable part of the AGM was the opportunity to develop contacts amongst members of the association in order to encourage referrals and create new ...

  • Financial software disappoints

    11-Dec-1996

    Law firms say their "back office computers", which deal with accounts and information analysis, are not doing the job.A survey of just under firms each with an average of 95 fee earners, that was carried out by Deloitte & Touche for the The Lawyer, has uncovered widespread dissatisfaction. Many firms complained that computer packages fail to provide the information they need.While firms appear happy with the combination of PCs and ...

  • First Russian judges arrive for UK fact-finding missions

    11-Dec-1996

    A group of top Russian judges has arrived in London for a two-week study tour of the UK judicial system.Headed by the chair of the Supreme Court of Russia, the group of 11 judges are on a fact-finding mission in preparation for a reform of the Russian judicial system.The tour is expected to be the first of a series of visits by the Russian Federation. Later delegations will focus on specific aspects of the judicial system in the UK.The judges will ...

  • Foundations of sound finance

    11-Dec-1996

    The Coopers & Lybrand annual survey into the financial management of law firms for The Lawyer is now in its fifth year. The 1996 survey shows that the profit trend is continuing upwards, with more than 70 per cent of the firms that responded reporting increased profits.Performances in 1996 were particularly strong at the extremes of the size spectrum: nearly 90 per cent of the largest firms (those with 30 or more partners) reported higher profits, while 94 per ...

  • Fountain Court is latest set to bring in public relations firm

    11-Dec-1996

    Chris Fogarty reportsFOUNTAIN Court chambers is the latest of a small band of sets that have turned to public relations firms in a bid to promote themselves to solicitors and the wider public.The leading commercial set has just signed up Fishburn Hedges to handle its publicity for a trial period.Fountain Court joins two other London chambers The Lawyer knows to be using PR agencies - Cloisters and 36 Bedford Row - which have both turned to Westminster ...

  • Fountain Court is latest set to bring in public relations firm

    11-Dec-1996

    Chris Fogarty reportsFOUNTAIN Court chambers is the latest of a small band of sets that have turned to public relations firms in a bid to promote themselves to solicitors and the wider public.The leading commercial set has just signed up Fishburn Hedges to handle its publicity for a trial period.Fountain Court joins two other London chambers The Lawyer knows to be using PR agencies - Cloisters and 36 Bedford Row - which have both turned to Westminster ...

  • German moves

    11-Dec-1996

    International lawyer Reinhard Hermes has joined US firm Morgan Lewis & Bockius's Frankfurt office as the firm's first German partner. He has joined the firm from the Frankfurt office of US firm Cleary Gottleib Steen & Hamilton.Hermes is admitted to the German bar and the New York bar. His practice focuses on foreign investment in Germany, including joint ventures, cross-border financing and privatisations, and on German and international litigation.

  • Girling's letter reveals director's job hunting

    11-Dec-1996

    A LETTER dispatched to the Law Society's 70 council members by president Tony Girling has revealed details of a senior director's private job-hunting activities, including his failed bid to become head of the College of Law.The circular, which also announced the redundancy of another Law Society director, has astonished council members and staff alike.It reveals that John Randall, director of professional standards, not only applied to join the College ...

  • Government looks at setting up special environment court

    11-Dec-1996

    The Government is investigating the possibility of setting up an environment court.Professor Malcolm Grant, who heads the Department of Land Economy at Cambridge University, has been appointed to examine specialist and integrated environment courts that have been established overseas.Grant, who chairs the Local Government Commission for England and has edited a number of books on environmental law, said it was not simply a case of transposing an overseas model ...

  • Government pledges to bring in limited liability legislation

    11-Dec-1996

    The government has made its first firm commitment to introducing limited liability legislation in the UK.Ian Lang, the Trade and Industry Secretary, said in a parliamentary written answer last week that he would publish proposals for legislation before Easter, but did not reveal whether partnerships would have to disclose more financial information in return for limiting their exposure to claimants.Lang added that even if partnerships registered for limited liability ...

  • Hammonds indirect tax group takes on Big Six

    11-Dec-1996

    In a bid to take on the Big Six accountants on their own turf, Hammond Suddards has appointed two solicitors to create a VAT and indirect tax group, becoming one of the first law firms in the country with such a group.The two are Nigel Gibbon, former head of the VAT and excise division of the firm's Manchester office, and VAT specialist Beverley Tanner from the same office.Although they will be based in Hammond Suddards' Manchester office, they will ...

  • Herbert Smith appoints new man for Japan

    11-Dec-1996

    Herbert Smith has appointed a consultant from Tokyo to develop the firm's network in Japan.Professor Oda is a professor of Japanese law at University College London. He is qualified as an attorney in Japan and has received a doctorate from the University of Tokyo.He will liaise with Herbert Smith's lawyers in London and its Asia offices in Hong Kong and Singapore.Richard Fleck, the firm's head of international business, said Oda would ...

  • In brief: Accountants ask for lobbying support

    11-Dec-1996

    Accountants have called on the big City law firms to join them in asking the Government for a review of the legislation on joint and several liability. Eighteen professional bodies, including the Institute of Chartered Accountants and the CBI, last week wrote to the Trade and Industry secretary Ian Lang calling for a review. Gerry Acher, chair of the audit faculty of the ICA and KPMG's head of audit, said: "We're far more concerned about the issue of proportionate liability ...

  • In brief: Law Society appoints first policy director

    11-Dec-1996

    Russell Wallman, the Law Society's long-standing director of professional policy, has been appointed to the Law Society's new director of policy post. Wallman, a former Lord Chancellor's Department civil servant, is an expert on legal aid.

  • In brief: Legal team acts for Headingley saviours

    11-Dec-1996

    Andrew Laycock headed a legal team from Leeds firm Read Hind Stewart that acted on behalf of the consortium that obtained control of Leeds Cricket, Football and Athletic Club. The deal ensures that Leeds rugby league club will continue to play at the famous Headingley Stadium.The legal team comprised Ian Falshaw, Guy Jackson, Robert Crossley, Christopher Ross, Andrew Laycock and Jonathan Dale.

  • In brief: McKennas advises on MoD contract

    11-Dec-1996

    McKenna & Co's corporate partner Richard Price has advised a unique consortium that has won a £500m 15-year PFI contract from the Ministry of Defence to set up and run the army, air force and navy helicopter pilot training school. It is the largest PFI contract the MoD has so far awarded. Price commented: "It's an unusual contract. The forces have combined to say to industry: we'll pay you to have helicopters on the pads with instructors. I suppose it shows you ...

  • In brief: Pilot scheme for legally-aided mediation

    11-Dec-1996

    Legally-aided mediation in divorce cases will be introduced gradually over the next three years in a four-stage pilot scheme. In a consultation paper released last week, the Legal Aid Board proposes to set up 20 to 30 centres around the UK by the summer of 1997. This number will be increased each year until the year 2000, when suppliers, including law firms, will be invited to bid for three-year block contracts. Rosemary Carter, mediation spokeswoman for the Solicitors Family Law Association, ..

  • In brief: Revelation threatens minimum salaries

    11-Dec-1996

    Compulsory minimum salaries for trainee solicitors could be threatened by a revelation that the move has never had official legal backing. The news, revealed at the Trainee Solicitors Group annual conference earlier this month, could affect the group's argument to retain compulsory minimum salaries. Law Society President Tony Girling and training committee chairman Simon Baker are believed to be ready to propose a recommended minimum salary during the forthcoming consultation on ...

  • In brief: Woolf opens professional witnesses body

    11-Dec-1996

    An umbrella organisation to help professional witnesses was launched last Friday (8 November) by Lord Woolf, Master of the Rolls. The Expert Witness Institute aims to insure professionals have the necessary education, training, support and ability. The institute, set up as a rival to the Academy of Experts, aims to encourage people with relevant expertise to become witnesses in civil and criminal cases. It will also certify and approve experts.

  • International firm moves up in world

    11-Dec-1996

    International law firm Skadden Arps Slate Meagher and Flom is moving its London office and its European headquarters to Canary Wharf in anticipation of a recruitment driveThe US-based firm, which employs more than 1,150 lawyers in 21 offices around the world, has taken approximately 19,000sq ft on the 39th floor of the tower at Canary Wharf with a view to adding ...

  • Irwin Mitchell sets up freephone line for professionals wanting legal advice

    11-Dec-1996

    Sheffield-based firm Irwin Mitchell has set up a national freephone service called Professional First Call for lawyers and other professionals who need legal advice.Head of professional services Andrew Lockley said he had learned during his time as a Law Society director that there was a need for sound legal advice to be given to the very professionals whose job it was to give it.

  • Is the Law Society listening to its heirs?

    11-Dec-1996

    I have just returned from the Graduate Law Fair held at the Barbican and sponsored by The Lawyer magazine. During the two days of the fair the Trainee Solicitors Group stand was besieged by hundreds of law students, all eager to receive advice on how to gain a training contract and also to hear our opinions on current trends within the profession.All were enthusiastic, most were optimistic and yet many admitted to having only a sketchy idea as to what it was that ...

  • Jonathan Goodliffe on deciding the venue for cases in the EU

    11-Dec-1996

    The Brussels and Lugano Conventions set out a code dealing with jurisdiction issues between the courts of member states of the European Union and EFTA.The general rule under these conventions is that a plaintiff must sue a defendant in the defendant's home court. One of the exceptions to this rule is article 8(2), which provides that an insurer may be sued in the courts for the place where the policy holder is domiciled.However, Dr Peter Schlosser's ...

  • Law Society consults on call for easier access to advocacy

    11-Dec-1996

    CALLS to make it easier for solicitors who have received training in busy City advocacy departments to win higher court rights of audience look set to be taken up by the Law Society.Pressure for the advocacy training that City firms give their trainees to be treated in a similar way to a barrister's pupillage was first reported in The Lawyer in September.Now the Law Society has included the proposal in an informal consultation paper it has circulated to ...

  • Linklaters is top of table

    11-Dec-1996

    Linklaters & Paines and Baker & McKenzie are still the world's leading law firms for privately-financed infrastructure deals, according to a survey by Privatisation International magazine.Linklaters came top of the deal value table with a total value of $94.5bn, followed by Baker & McKenzie ...

  • Litigation Disciplinary Tribunals 12/11/96

    11-Dec-1996

    Carmel Ellen Geraldine Morrison, costing clerk employed at material time for Kenneth Morrison & Co, Gorse Hill, Swindon, Wiltshire, banned from working for any further solicitors without written consent from the Law Society and ordered to pay £329 costs. Allegations substantiated she had been convicted of a number of offences relating to obtaining funds from the Legal Aid Board by false reports and false claims and given a 15-month suspended jail sentence. ...

  • Litigation Personal Injury 12/11/96

    11-Dec-1996

    Page v Kingston & Richmond Health Authority - QBD, 30 October 1996Claimant: Jacqueline Maria Le Page, 29Incident: Medical negligenceInjuries: Claimant gave birth to twin girls at Kingston Hospital, 1 May 1990. Following delivery she underwent a sub-total hysterectomy which was necessary to save her life. However, it was contended that the life-threatening condition giving rise to the necessity for the hysterectomy was the result of medical negligence ...

  • Litigation Recent Decisions 12/11/96

    11-Dec-1996

    Validity of a patent for gene cloning and DNA technologyBiogen v Medeva (1996)Subject: Intellectual propertySummary: Determining the validity of inventions and patents in the fields of gene cloning and DNA technology.Court: HL (Lords Goff, Browne-Wilkinson, Mustill, Slynn and Hoffmann) 31/10/96

  • Manchester chambers taking on London

    11-Dec-1996

    Barrister David Berkley, of newly-opened Manchester set Merchant Chambers, has said that specialisation need not be the preserve of London chambers.Merchant Chambers, which opened its doors on 4 November, will focus on serving the business and banking communities and offer a greater degree of specialisation than existing Manchester common law sets."We're trying to send a message that there is room for specialisation on the northern ...

  • Manchester chambers taking on London

    11-Dec-1996

    Barrister David Berkley, of newly-opened Manchester set Merchant Chambers, has said that specialisation need not be the preserve of London chambers.Merchant Chambers, which opened its doors on 4 November, will focus on serving the business and banking communities and offer a greater degree of specialisation than existing Manchester common law sets."We're trying to send a message that there is room for specialisation on the northern ...

  • Merger repercussions

    11-Dec-1996

    Law firm mergers have been taking up a lot of column inches recently. Some may be strategic but the ones that attract the most attention are those that are forced by necessity.In the words of one senior accountant: "This is when two plus two adds up to three-and-three-quarters instead of the desired five."Alistair Rose of Coopers and Lybrand explains why some law firms may be being forced together. "There are a lot of pressures for legal mergers, especially for ...

  • National child abuse enquiry prompts accreditation calls

    11-Dec-1996

    A NATIONAL inquiry into child abuse has prompted calls for compulsory accreditation and performance monitoring for all lawyers working with at-risk children.The National Commission of Inquiry into the Prevention of Child Abuse, chaired by Lord Williams of Mostyn, published findings last month that were highly critical of the legal system's handling of child abuse cases.The Commission, which was established two years ago and funded by a national children's ...

  • Not barred - just ineligible

    11-Dec-1996

    I write in response to the report carried in The Lawyer (5 November) under the byline of Backstabber.While the report correctly states that the media was not permitted to attend the general meeting of the International Bar Association, which last month elected Dianna Kempe QC as secretary-general, in claiming that a "strict press exclusion zone" was imposed, your magazine is providing its readers with a wholly biased report of events.In ...

  • Partnership. End of a long relationship?

    11-Dec-1996

    Today, we take for granted the existence of large professional partnerships, while forgetting that their hectic growth was a feature of the prosperous 1980s. In the UK, until 1967 there existed an upper limit of 20 on the number of partners permitted in a professional practice. The removal of that lid caused the kettle to boil over. And 200 partners in a firm is no longer considered excessive.The partnership culture flourished in times of plenty. Collegiality coupled with ...

  • Project finance

    11-Dec-1996

    Addleshaw Sons & Latham advised Rochdale Healthcare NHS Trust in appointing the Atcare Consortium as the Trust's preferred bidder in a £15m PFI scheme to build a hospital.

  • Project finance

    11-Dec-1996

    Denton Hall advised the Department of Transport in its award of a design

  • Property

    11-Dec-1996

    Stephenson Harwood is acting for Robert Fleming Group and its subsidiary Caxtoncrest in the £2.85m sale of an 18,000sq ft Maidenhead property to Artesian Estates. Artesian was advised by Finers.

  • Property

    11-Dec-1996

    Denton Hall advised Leavesden Studios, owned by the Millennium Group, in successful negotiations to shoot the next Star Wars film at the studios.

  • Rakisons rings changes with special calling card

    11-Dec-1996

    Rakisons Solicitors has launched a custom-made phonecard in what is thought to be a world first for a law firm.Senior telecommunications lawyer Danny Preiskel said around 1,000 of the cards would be given to valued IT and telecommunications clients.Each card will have around £3.50 of initial credit on it and will be useable around the world. All calls that are less than 30 seconds will be free.Preiskel, whose department accounts for ...

  • Revealing the bottom line

    11-Dec-1996

    Although there are law firms that are changing the type of relationship they have with their auditor and are taking a more business-minded approach to their practices, many auditors believe this is not true across the whole community. Even those which are introducing changes could perhaps do more to meet the challenges posed by an increasingly financially-pressured legal market.The very term 'audit' is misleading because of the special rules applying to law firms. ...

  • Salaries up by 10 per cent for assistant solicitors, but partnership wait increases

    11-Dec-1996

    Salaries are up by between 5 and 10 per cent on average for assistant solicitors this year, but there is an ever longer wait for partnership, according to a survey conducted by The Lawyer and recruitment firm Michael Page Legal.The economic upturn has meant that almost every newly qualified solicitor in London or regional firms is now kept on or manages to find another job quickly, compared with around 30 per cent who were shed by firms a few years ago. Because the upturn ...

  • Should a music licence ban be forever?

    11-Dec-1996

    A query has been raised over the long-standing High Court Chancery Division practice of imposing permanent injunctions banning music licence infringers from playing music until they take out current licences and clear their back licence fees. Phonographic Performance (PPL) has beaten a regular trail to the High Court seeking judgment in default against those caught playing music without current licences.Once the allegations have been proved, judgment has included a ...

  • Solicitors vote for boost to pro bono

    11-Dec-1996

    Leading lawyers have voted to set up a pro bono group to boost the amount of pro bono work being carried out by the profession.The decision was made at a meeting of lawyers organised by charity lawyer Andrew Phillips and backed by the Law Society and the charity Business in the Community.The make-up of the group will be discussed over the next couple of months by a steering committee formed last week and made up of representatives from several leading City and ...

  • Step calls for taxing rethink

    11-Dec-1996

    The plight of the UK's 250,000 lay trustees has not been considered in the Inland Revenue's new self-assessment regime, the chair of The Society of Trust and Estate Practitioners (Step) has claimed.Geoffrey Shindler, trust partner at Halliwell Landau, said: "Lay trustees will be terrified when they see the amount of paperwork required. "He said the pattern in the US could be repeated, in which 80 per cent of people doing self-assessment consulted professionals. ...

  • Stress levels reduced after Hardwicke Buildings move

    11-Dec-1996

    A change of venue has resulted in a change of attitude for barristers and staff at Hardwicke Building Chambers.The 70 tenants of the Lincoln's Inn chambers moved from their cramped 6,000sq ft site to a new 17,500sq ft complex earlier this year. It was officially opened by Lord Woolf on 4 November.Chambers chief executive Tony Wells said the move had put everyone in a better frame of mind. "It's been incredible - everyone is more relaxed," he said. "They ...

  • Stress levels reduced after Hardwicke Buildings move

    11-Dec-1996

    A change of venue has resulted in a change of attitude for barristers and staff at Hardwicke Building Chambers.The 70 tenants of the Lincoln's Inn chambers moved from their cramped 6,000sq ft site to a new 17,500sq ft complex earlier this year. It was officially opened by Lord Woolf on 4 November.Chambers chief executive Tony Wells said the move had put everyone in a better frame of mind. "It's been incredible - everyone is more relaxed," ...

  • Students converge on Graduate Law Fair

    11-Dec-1996

    "WHAT is a set of chambers?" was one of a barrage of questions fired at exhibitors at the Graduate Law Fair by enthusiastic lawyers-to-be.More than 4,000 students interested in the law flocked to the fair, which was held at the Barbican and organised by The Lawyer.Some were so keen to get an edge on their rivals - or were so desperate to see Cherie Booth QC open the event - that they were spotted queueing at 7am in preparation for the opening.Exhibitors, ...

  • The Lawyer Inquiry: Julian Chadwick

    11-Dec-1996

    Julian Chadwick was born on 3 January 1957. He is the managing partner of Pennington's Newbury office. What was your first job?Greengrocer's assistant.What was your first ever salary as a lawyer?£6,000 on qualification.What would you have done if you hadn't become a lawyer?A priest.Which law could you live without?The ...

  • The track to the top is getting tougher

    11-Dec-1996

    The key message from the latest Michael Page/The Lawyer recruitment survey is very clear: career planning is essential from day one of a lawyer's entry to the profession. No longer can lawyers sit idly by and simply hope that they make the partnership grade or get into industry if all else fails.On the partnership front, firms are much more choosy, and now demand not only expert legal technical skills but also evidence of marketing ability. Furthermore, ...

  • There is accounting for taste

    11-Dec-1996

    Much like a visit to the dentist, an audit is seen by many as an unpleasant yet necessary fact of life. Yet on the face of it, the requirements of the 1890 Partnerships Act and The Law Society's Solicitors' Accounting Rules mean that law firms can escape with a much less probing examination than their commercial counterparts.However, accountants warn that not getting the right service from an audit can store up even more problems for the future than skipping a ...

  • Two US firms merge to create 370-strong team

    11-Dec-1996

    Two of the largest firms in the south-eastern states of the US will merge early next year.The merger of Atlanta-based Kilpatrick & Cody and Carolina-based Petree Stockton will create a 370-strong team of lawyers, placing it among the top 50 law firms in the US.It will have a stronghold of five offices in the south-eastern states, an office in Washington and European offices in London and Brussels.The firm will officially begin to practise under ...

  • Verdict on barristers hits TV

    11-Dec-1996

    "Justice is not only about evidence," states journalist David Rose introducing a six-part series that claims to lift the lid on the legal system.The first part of The Verdict, to be screened on BBC2 on Tuesday 12 November, shows how advocates play the jury system to win cases. In it Rose talks to "star performers in the theatre of the British courts", including QCs George Carman, Anthony Scrivener and Ronald Thwaites.

  • Writs

    11-Dec-1996

    High Court action has been launched over cancellation of proposed appearances of ice dance stars Torvill and Dean at last year's Edinburgh Festival. Phil McIntyre Promotions, (PMP) of Preston, promoter of Jayne Torvill and Christopher Dean, is suing Festival Fringe Society, of Edinburgh, for more than £170,000. The writ claims PMP paid £4,500 for a full-page advertisement promoting Torvill and Dean in the 1995 brochure Edinburgh Festival ...