Law: In Brief

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The Independent Culture
THE OFFICE for the Supervision of Solicitors, whose work includes uninvited visits to law firms' premises, got a taste of its own medicine on Friday. Keith Vaz, Parliamentary Secretary at the Lord Chancellor's Department, dropped in to see for himself what progress had been made in improving its record for processing complaints. Judging by Mr Vaz's comments, his visit was long overdue. "Both the Government and the Law Society accept that the current level of complaints, which is around 16,500, is pretty awful and must be dealt with," said Mr Vaz.

CONTRARY TO popular perception, lawyers are not interested in huge pay packets. A survey by the legal recruitment firm Bygott Biggs found that only 4 per cent of lawyers going for jobs at other firms were swayed by the pay. What they really cared about was avoiding an interviewer who was arrogant, rude or just plain uninterested. The survey also showed that old habits die hard. One woman lawyer recalled being turned down for a position because she had "child-bearing hips".

THE HELPFUL lawyers from the London law firm Fladgate Fielder are holding a seminar tomorrow in which, among other things, they will show bosses how to detect pornographic Internet sites. The lawyers claim it will help employers to stop misuse of the Internet at work. The event, "Big Brother May Not Be Able to Watch Any More", covers other aspects of employee surveillance.

JON SNOW, the presenter of Channel 4 News, will have his work cut out at the Bar Conference, on 9 October, where he will take charge of such legal personalities as James Stewart, chief prosecutor at the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia, and Cheryl Carolus, the South African High Commissioner. The Lord Chancellor, Lord Irvine of Lairg, will deliver the keynote speech but will make Mr Snow's job easier by not joining the panellists.

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