28 April 1997

Election 97: Centres show middle way

The jury is still out on the future of legal aid, but whichever political party holds the reins of power after May 1, it is clear that there must be a major overhaul of the current system. For the last five years, the cost of legal aid has doubled annually. When the Lord Chancellor Lord […]

Ex-Castle Chambers clerk to take barristers out of chambers and into cut-price service

Exeter barristers’ clerk Jan Wood is pioneering a unique cut-price chambers-free service under which she will retain barristers, rather than being employed by them. Aiming to create a broad-based set, Wood will initially be looking to take on 10 barristers whom she will retain at her own discretion. Wood, who was senior clerk for four […]

Too many expert opinions

A witness’s opinion is only admissible with leave from the court, and such leave should only be given if necessary “to furnish the court with scientific information which is likely to be outside the experience and knowledge of a judge [or jury]”. (R v Turner (Terence (1975) cited with approval by Wilberforce LJ in R […]

Issues:Election 97

The Tories have pledged to push through the sections of the Crime Sentences Bill that fell victim to the tight parliamentary schedule before the election. These include automatic minimum sentences for third-time convicted burglars. Having opened boot-camps to curb juvenile crime, they will also introduce Parental Control Orders. The manifesto states these “might include a […]

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Zander slams Woolf

Lord Woolf’s proposed reforms of the civil justice system are doomed to failure and, far from improving civil justice, will make things significantly worse, according to a leading legal academic. Speaking at the Chancery Bar Association’s spring lecture on Monday, Michael Zander QC, professor of law at the London School of Economics, delivered a scathing […]

Settling in with experts

With the publicity surrounding personal injury suits, from the tobacco cases to claims arising out of the Hillsborough football ground disaster, it is no surprise that lawyers specialising in this area have been doing their own meticulous research before choosing an expert witness. According to a survey of PI lawyers carried out by The Lawyer […]

Population explosion

Might it not be a kindness for Tony Girling to encourage the five former leaders of the Trainee Solicitors Group to continue with their proposals to warn students off a career in the solicitors profession? The two main political parties, Hambros, the Legal Aid Board and now, the OFT, are doing their utmost in this […]

Finers settles with £8m pay-out at eleventh hour

West End firm Finers has agreed to pay more than £8m in an out-of-court settlement of a negligence claim by a former client, South Australian Asset Management Corporation. The company – formerly the State Bank of South Australia – claimed that when it made a series of commercial property loans to another Finers client, the […]

Election 97: The Contenders

The Key Player Lord Irvine of Lairg A virtual certainty to be the next Lord Chancellor if Labour triumphs, Lairg has the respect of the legal community. Lord Irvine was pupil master to Tony Blair and his future wife Cherie in 1976-77. A talented QC and head of 11 King’s Bench Walk, he has never […]

In brief: Theodore Goddard appoints new heads

City firm Theodore Goddard’s partners have elected corporate lawyer Peter Kavanagh as managing partner and entertainment specialist Paddy Grafton Green as senior partner. Corporate partner Kavanagh, at 38, is believed to be one of the youngest managing partners of a City firm. The firm has also appointed Graham Wilson, former managing director of United News […]

Ede Charlton brings in Herbert Smith's Bacon

Property specialist Professor Nigel Bacon has left the Hong Kong office of Herbert Smith to join Arthur Andersen’s fledgling Hong Kong firm, Ede Charlton & Co. Bacon has worked in Hong Kong for 15 years, training with Herbert Smith and then returning after a stint with DW Ling & Co to establish the firm’s property […]

Election 97: Manoeuvres on the inside track

Lawyers who are MPs, or who sit in the Lords, play a prominent and obvious role in drawing up their party’s policies. But their practising counterparts outside Parliament have an almost equal role, and there are many important ways they can help their party. Ashurst Morris Crisp’s head of banking Stephen Mostyn-Williams is a classic […]

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