Web week – 23/10/06

The Lawyer‘s Web Week is a weekly commentary on legal activity on the web. This includes an overview of the best of the week’s blogs. If you want to direct us to useful links, email webweek@ thelawyer.com.

An energy boostMoney makes the world go round, so they say in more clichéd moments, and it certainly gets the juices flowing for the readers of www.the lawyer.com.

Last week’s exclusive on Allen & Overy‘s salary hikes had more hits than any other story in the history of The Lawyer’s website and your favourite story this week was headlined: “Energy lawyers scoop biggest pay packets.”

www.thelawyer.com reported: “The survey, conducted by recruiters GRS Group, found the average remuneration for energy companies’ heads of legal was £234,000, made up of a base salary of £160,000 and £74,000 bonus.

“The basic salary is on average 8.8 per cent higher than counterparts in the commerce and industry sector, with bonuses an average 5.4 per cent higher. Average bonuses for the energy sector grew some 19 per cent in 2005.”

Lucky them.

DLA Piper loses the competitionBut if it’s not money that’s attracting your attention, then you’re indulging in a spot of Schadenfreude. It was a grim day for DLA Piper in the Court of Appeal on Thursday (19 October). It also happened to be a momentous day for UK competition law.

www.thelawyer.com reported: “DLA Piper and Brick Court Chambers today lost two landmark cases in the Court of Appeal after two long-running cases of price-fixing were dismissed, upholding earlier decisions by the Office of Fair Trading (OFT).

“The court’s decisions are a blow to DLA Piper clients JJB Sports and Littlewoods and also to Argos, which was advised by Burges Salmon. All three companies had been fighting OFT charges of cartel activity for the past three years.

“Lord Justices Chadwick, Wall and Lloyd handed down judgment on both the appeal lodged by JJB Sports and a separate appeal lodged by Littlewoods and Argos. In both cases, the appeals had been filed after the OFT had levied heavy fines for price-fixing.”

McCartney divorce takes a beatingThe web got rather excited with the prospect of the McCartney-Mills divorce getting dirty. After court documents were leaked to The Daily Mail on Wednesday that claimed McCartney allegedly beat Mills, bloggers responded in their own inimitable style.

The Jawa Report at mypet jawa.mu.nu certainly had the dodgiest headline of the week with: ‘Will You Still Beat Me When I’m 64?’Its coverage didn’t get much more tasteful: “Anyway, here’s a little something from the divorce papers: In Long Island in August 2003 the respondent asked the petitioner if he had been smoking marijuana. He became very angry, yelled at her, grabbed her neck and started choking her.

“I’d pay to see that footage. A wasted ex-Beatle choking a wheelchair bound wife. Only, in my version, it would be Yoko Ono in the chair…”

Judgment callOn the ball as ever, IPKat noted with pride The Lawyer’s judge’s survey. Headlined “Twinkle twinkle little judge”, www.ipkitten.blogspot.com wrote: “A survey of High Court judges in England and Wales, published in The Lawyer magazine on 9 October, picks out five judges as ‘stars of the bench’. Between them, they had only one trial decision overturned by the Court of Appeal; their combined success rate is 93 per cent, against an average of 60 per cent for High Court judges as a whole. Of the five ‘stars’, two are Patents Court judges – Mr Justice Mann and Mr Justice Kitchin (neither of whom had any decisions reversed on appeal).

“IPKat says this is good news for anyone litigating IP disputes in England and Wales. Hmm, I’m not so sure, says Merpel – this approach assumes that the Court of Appeal is always right…”