Law: Briefs

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The Independent Culture
NOTHING RAISES the profile of a law firm quite like a royal client. Mishcon de Reya acted for Princess Diana in her divorce, and Farrer & Co are famous as the Queen's solicitors. This week another London firm announced its royal connections. Vizard Oldham, formerly known as Vizards, launched its new family law department partly on the strength of work it has done for Queen Caroline. Not a name that springs readily to mind? That's because the firm last acted for her in 1820, in her divorce from King George IV.

NABARRO NATHANSON has raised a sticky problem for Britain's electronics industry. According to the firm's grandly titled National Centre for Law in Industry, new European Commission proposals for recycling electronic goods will require electrical shops and manufactures to take custody of every old kettle, cooker or burnt-out iron presented by former customers. The firm says this will cost the industry pounds 2bn. Many might think it money well spent.

ONE INTERESTING statistic has emerged from an interview with the outgoing Director of Studies of the Judicial Studies Board. Speaking in Counsel, the journal of the bar of England and Wales, Judge Paul Collins CBE said that of the 90,000 cases that go through the Crown Courts a year, only five resulted in "judicial bloomers". Judge Collins suggested that the 90,000 passed without comment while the five cases were "all over the papers" due to the media's disrespect for "any kind of authority, including judges". A glance through a month's newspaper cuttings suggests that the judge's "judicial bloomer rate" may err on the conservative side.

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