Tuesday 27 April 1999
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.
Film The critics but sneer but these unfashionable festive films are our favourites
TV We're so close to knowing what happened to Oliver Hughes, but a last-minute bluff crushes expectations
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 Nigel Farage: Me vs Russell Brand on Question Time – he's got the chest hair but where are his ideas?
- 2 Harry Potter fans can apply to the Hogwarts-inspired College of Wizardry
- 3 Jessica Chambers: 19-year-old woman 'doused with lighter fluid and burned alive' in the US
- 4 Russell Brand calls Nigel Farage 'poundshop Enoch Powell' in BBC Question Time debate
- 5 Orange Wednesdays are no more
Peter Lik: The self-proclaimed 'fine-art photographer' whose work sells for millions
Best underrated Christmas movies from Trading Places to While You Were Sleeping
Grace Dent on TV: The Lost Honour of Christopher Jefferies was a beautifully shot, immensely considered drama
The Lost Honour of Christopher Jefferies, review: Jason Watkins is brilliant, but real victim Joanna Yeates is reduced to a footnote
Marilyn Manson denies involvement in shocking Lana Del Rey rape video
Disgruntled RBS worker writes hilarious open letter to Russell Brand after anti-capitalist publicity stunt leaves him hungry
Nigel Farage defends Kerry Smith 'ch***y' comment: 'If you are going for a Chinese, what do you say you’re going for?'
Nigel Farage's approval rating hits 'record low' as popularity suffers in wake of Ukip sex scandal
Pakistan school attack live: Taliban kill at least 132 children in 'horrifying' massacre
Sony hack: Angelina Jolie branded 'seriously out of her mind' in further embarrassing leaked email saga
Rozanne Duncan: Ukip expels councillor for 'jaw-dropping' comments made in BBC TV interview