Grapevine

Last week the City of London Police commissioner said an attack on the City was a question of when, not if.


Terror alert sees loan agreements loosen up

Last week the City of London Police commissioner said an attack on the City was a question of when, not if. So it was timely for the Loan Market Association to publish guidelines on how to prevent the collapse of loan agreements following an emergency such as a terrorist attack.

The new advice came out of a consultation process by the Financial Markets Law Committee following the 11 September 2001 attacks on the US.

Clifford Chance partners Mark Campbell and Nicola Wherity worked with regular client the Loan Market Association on the document. It encourages loan issuers and dealers to insert clauses that will allow for missed payments and other potential problems.

Campbell told The Lawyer: “After 9/11, the banks had to be pretty flexible in meeting obligations under their loan agreements, although technically they weren’t allowed to. The new clauses will allow the companies involved in these transactions to be more flexible in an uncontroversial way.”

Time called on judges’ sobering views

Judges hit the headlines last week when they voiced fears that the UK will become the new Faliraki when late-night drinking laws come in – but why so fearful now, when the Licensing Act 2003 is already storming its way inexorably into force in November?

There was considerable consternation that the judiciary was only now working itself into a lather at the new laws, long after any influence could be brought to bear. However, despite the widespread coverage given to judicial fury at the Government’s failure to consult on the new laws, it transpires that consultation had actually taken place.

The Council of Circuit Judges submitted its outrage during the Home Office consultation period months ago. “The Home Office put the submission into the parliamentary library yesterday [9 August] – they got their submission in before the end of the consultation period,” a Department for Constitutional Affairs spokesman told The Lawyer.

Licensing solicitor Julian Skeens of Jeffrey Green Russell, who sits on the bill scrutiny committee of the Department for Culture, Media and Sport, tried to put the judges’ minds at rest. “It’s oversimplistic to say that, if you allow somebody to drink four pints in four hours, they’ll drink six pints if they drink for six hours. There isn’t the correlation,” he said.

First Counsel says ‘Hi’ to Dubai

Following last week’s story about the stampede of firms into Dubai comes this from First Counsel. The London-based recruiter has had its application to open an office in the Dubai International Financial Centre accepted and is now registered there as a recognised company. In other words, it is about to become the first specialist legal recruiter to set up an office in the emirate.

Much as we would like to, The Lawyer is not about to claim the credit for giving First Counsel the idea of setting up in the sun. Chris Cayley, director of First Counsel, said he and his partners had been looking at setting up in Dubai for several months, having worked on a number of assignments in the region already. As with the law firms, expect others to follow.