In brief: Line-up for international banking event

Clifford Chance partner Michael Bray, William Blair QC, and New York-based Shearman & Sterling partner Ronald DeKoven are among the speakers listed for this year's International Banking Law Conference to be held at London's Claridges in October. Issues to be discussed include insolvencies in Eastern Europe, State aid and the international banking community, and rights and enforcement in foreign insolvency. For further information call 0171 793 1230.

Chancery judge available for hire in North

– Mr Justice Jonathan Parker, the vice-chancellor of the County Palatine, is calling on lawyers to contact his clerk for matters needing a Chancery Judge in northern England. He says if a matter “can be identified as justifying a hearing by a Chancery High Court judge, arrangements can be made for the attendance of a Chancery judge in the North”. His programme until the end of the year covers Liverpool (3-13 Oct); Manchester (6-17 Nov); Leeds (20-24 Nov); and Newcastle (27 Nov-1 Dec). Contact 0171 936 7087.

Environmental law handbook launched

– A book written to give solicitors crucial information on the environmental obligations and liabilities of their clients has been written by College of Law senior lecturer Trevor Hellawell. The manual – entitled 'The Law Society's Environmental Law Handbook'- explains the various effects of environmental law, including the Environment Act. The book is available through the Law Society Shop.

Firms unprepared for computer crashes

– Half of the UK's law firms have no recovery plan if their computer systems fail, according to a new survey. IT Southern, the business technology arm of Southern Water Group, says 30 per cent of practices have had a least one system crash in the last four weeks. It says out of those firms which have contingency plans, three quarters say it would be at least one day before they could

access their computer files and one in three firms say that it would take two days or more. Only 25 per cent said their own IT personnel were responsible for disaster recovery.