Law: Briefs

IT IS the one word that can strike fear into the heart of the most litigation-hardened company executive. McLibel, the most fearsome neologism to ever enter the legal lexicon, was uttered again last week in the High Court in the case of Mansanto and Genetix Snowball, where Mansanto, the GM food producers, are seeking an injunction against five women who allegedly trespassed on their land. One of the defendants told the court that she and her colleagues had every intention of defending the case in much the same way as the McLibel Two had done, which ended in the longest case in English legal history. But perhaps just as worrying for the company is the fact the defendants are, unlike the McLibel Two, legally represented by another name that can cause directors' pulses to race - Leigh Day & Co, the personal injury supremos.

SENIOR PARTNERS in Northern Ireland law firms seem to have trouble sewing on their own buttons and brewing up a decent cup of tea. According to a survey carried out by the Equal Opportunities Commission of Northern Ireland, one out of three female lawyers has experienced sexual harassment. Although there were a number of cases of "wandering hands" and "body brushes" in the office, most complaints concerned old-fashioned chauvinism. Women complained of being forced to carry out "stereotypical tasks" including tea-making, babysitting, and "softening up" clients, as well as sewing on buttons. These findings compare poorly with the results of similar studies recently undertaken by the Policy Studies Institute on behalf of the Law Society of England and Wales, which showed that one in 10 women solicitors had experienced sexual harassment.

SOUTH PARK, the popular American cartoon series, has joined Linford Christie's lunchbox and Gazza as the latest example of contemporary western culture to escape the attention of the judiciary. Last week, Mrs Justice Arden came face to face with the cuddly toys alleged to represent Kyle, Stan, Kenny and Cartman, when they were carried into court as evidence in a passing-off action. While the judge had to admit ignorance, Adrian Speck, counsel for the claimants, said in court: "In my chambers, all the unmarried young men are very keen on it."

THE DOUR omnipresence of Derry Irvine has done nothing to dampen the spirits of those working in his department. In this month's edition of Hearsay, the strictly in-house journal of the Lord Chancellor's Department, there is a guide to what the now defunct legal Latin terms really mean. Ad hoc, according to the magazine, is "publicity for a pawnbroker" while Doli incapax is "the work-shy underclass that's undermining the fabric of our great British society". Other suggestions are: Ultra vires - you've got a heavy cold; Prima facie - what you look like before you put your make-up on; Forum conveniens - large public toilets.

CLIFFORD CHANCE, the UK's biggest law firm, is not content with its pre-eminent status in Europe. Rumours have been rumbling along for several months that its senior partners have been in negotiations with one of New York's finest, the attorneys of Rogers & Wells. If the rumoured deal goes ahead, this would be the largest ever transatlantic merger. The strategy behind the merger would enable Clifford Chance to take on the New York law firms in their own back yard, and give the combined firm some real global clout.

Arts and Entertainment
Lena Headey as Cersei Lannister

TV reviewIt has taken seven episodes for Game of Thrones season five to hit its stride

Arts and Entertainment
Jesuthasan Antonythasan as Dheepan

FilmPalme d'Or goes to radical and astonishing film that turns conventional thinking about immigrants on its head

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment

ebooksNow available in paperback
Arts and Entertainment

ebooks
Arts and Entertainment
Måns Zelmerlöw performing

Eurovision
Arts and Entertainment
Graham Norton was back in the commentating seat for Eurovision 2015

Eurovision
Arts and Entertainment
Richard Hammond, Jeremy Clarkson and James May on stage

TV
Arts and Entertainment
The light stuff: Britt Robertson and George Clooney in ‘Tomorrowland: a World Beyond’
film review
Arts and Entertainment
Reawakening: can Jon Hamm’s Don Draper find enlightenment in the final ‘Mad Men’?
tv reviewNot quite, but it's an enlightening finale for Don Draper spoiler alert
Arts and Entertainment
Breakfast Show’s Nick Grimshaw

Radio
Arts and Entertainment

Eurovision
Arts and Entertainment
'Youth' cast members Paul Dano, Jane Fonda, Harvey Keitel, Rachel Weisz, and Michael Caine pose for photographers at Cannes Film Festival
film
Arts and Entertainment
Adam West as Batman and Burt Ward and Robin in the 1960s Batman TV show

Comics
Arts and Entertainment
I am flute: Azeem Ward and his now-famous instrument
music
Arts and Entertainment
A glass act: Dr Chris van Tulleken (left) and twin Xand get set for their drinking challenge
TV review
Arts and Entertainment
MIA perform at Lovebox 2014 in London Fields, Hackney

music
Arts and Entertainment
Finnish punk band PKN hope to enter Eurovision 2015 and raise awareness for Down's Syndrome

eurovision
Arts and Entertainment
William Shakespeare on the cover of John Gerard's The Herball or Generall Historie of Plantes

books
Arts and Entertainment

Game of Thrones review
Arts and Entertainment
Grayson Perry dedicates his Essex home to Julie

Potter's attempt to create an Essex Taj Mahal was a lovely treat

tv
Arts and Entertainment
A scene from the original Swedish version of the sci-fi TV drama ‘Real Humans’
tv
Arts and Entertainment
Hugh Keays-Byrne plays Immortan Joe, the terrifying gang leader, in the new film
filmActor who played Toecutter returns - but as a different villain in reboot
Arts and Entertainment
Charlize Theron as Imperator Furiosa in Mad Max: Fury Road
film
Arts and Entertainment
Jessica Hynes in W1A
tvReview: Perhaps the creators of W1A should lay off the copy and paste function spoiler alert
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

ES Rentals

    Independent Dating
    and  

    By clicking 'Search' you
    are agreeing to our
    Terms of Use.

    Blundering Tony Blair quits as Middle East peace envoy – only Israel will miss him

    Blundering Blair quits as Middle East peace envoy – only Israel will miss him

    For Arabs – and for Britons who lost their loved ones in his shambolic war in Iraq – his appointment was an insult, says Robert Fisk
    Fifa corruption arrests: All hail the Feds for riding to football's rescue

    Fifa corruption arrests

    All hail the Feds for riding to football's rescue, says Ian Herbert
    Isis in Syria: The Kurdish enclave still resisting the tyranny of President Assad and militant fighters

    The Kurdish enclave still resisting the tyranny of Assad and Isis

    In Syrian Kurdish cantons along the Turkish border, the progressive aims of the 2011 uprising are being enacted despite the war. Patrick Cockburn returns to Amuda
    How I survived Cambodia's Killing Fields: Acclaimed surgeon SreyRam Kuy celebrates her mother's determination to escape the US

    How I survived Cambodia's Killing Fields

    Acclaimed surgeon SreyRam Kuy celebrates her mother's determination to escape to the US
    Stephen Mangan interview: From posh buffoon to pregnant dad, the actor has quite a range

    How Stephen Mangan got his range

    Posh buffoon, hapless writer, pregnant dad - Mangan is certainly a versatile actor
    The ZX Spectrum has been crowd-funded back into play - with some 21st-century tweaks

    The ZX Spectrum is back

    The ZX Spectrum was the original - and for some players, still the best. David Crookes meets the fans who've kept the games' flames lit
    Grace of Monaco film panned: even the screenwriter pours scorn on biopic starring Nicole Kidman

    Even the screenwriter pours scorn on Grace of Monaco biopic

    The critics had a field day after last year's premiere, but the savaging goes on
    Menstrual Hygiene Day: The strange ideas people used to believe about periods

    Menstrual Hygiene Day: The strange ideas people once had about periods

    If one was missed, vomiting blood was seen as a viable alternative
    The best work perks: From free travel cards to making dreams come true (really)

    The quirks of work perks

    From free travel cards to making dreams come true (really)
    Is bridge the latest twee pastime to get hip?

    Is bridge becoming hip?

    The number of young players has trebled in the past year. Gillian Orr discovers if this old game has new tricks
    Long author-lists on research papers are threatening the academic work system

    The rise of 'hyperauthorship'

    Now that academic papers are written by thousands (yes, thousands) of contributors, it's getting hard to tell workers from shirkers
    The rise of Lego Clubs: How toys are helping children struggling with social interaction to build better relationships

    The rise of Lego Clubs

    How toys are helping children struggling with social interaction to build better relationships
    5 best running glasses

    On your marks: 5 best running glasses

    Whether you’re pounding pavements, parks or hill passes, keep your eyes protected in all weathers
    Joe Root: 'Ben Stokes gives everything – he’s rubbing off on us all'

    'Ben Stokes gives everything – he’s rubbing off on us all'

    Joe Root says the England dressing room is a happy place again – and Stokes is the catalyst
    Raif Badawi: Wife pleads for fresh EU help as Saudi blogger's health worsens

    Please save my husband

    As the health of blogger Raif Badawi worsens in prison, his wife urges EU governments to put pressure on the Saudi Arabian royal family to allow her husband to join his family in Canada