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Finance: Briefs

Summing Up Accountancy firms need to address the questions of value for money, ability to solve problems and being proactive in their work for solicitors,firms, according to a survey prepared by the chartered accountants Baker Tilly and The Lawyer. magazine. On the positive side, accountants' understanding of law firms' requirements scored highly. A number of solicitors commented that accountancy reports were often too technical for non-accountants and could be a great deal simpler and more concise. Could this, asked Baker Tilly, be a case of the pot calling the kettle black?

Wiltshire counsel Solicitors and their clients in Wiltshire will now be able to consult counsel in their own county for the first time, with the opening of barristers' chambers in Swindon. The move, which has been widely welcomed by local solicitors, is a joint venture between two long-established sets of chambers, Guildhall chambers of Bristol and Pump Court Chambers of London and Winchester.

Look willing Some 4,000 law firms are involved in the Law Society's national Make A Will Week. Despite increased public awareness, of the importance of having a professionally prepared will, only 31 per cent of adults have made wills, and of these whom 65 per cent are aged 64 or and over. This year's campaign -the fourth - is emphasising the value of expert tax-planning advice, the dangers facing cohabiting couples who do not make wills and , the use of a will to appoint guardians for children, the cost-effectiveness of consulting a solicitor rather than a bank to administer an estate, and the risks of DIY wills.

European chair Clifford Chance is to fund a chair of European law at Oxford University. The post of professor will incorporate the directorship of the university's new Centre for the Advanced Study of European Comparative Law.

Trainee awards Eleven trainee lawyers have won Leonard Sainer Legal Education Foundation awards. The scheme, operated by Titmuss Sainer Dechert and the National Westminster Bank, provides interest-free loans of up to pounds 5,000 to help with course fees for the solicitors' legal practice course or the Bar finals.

New guidelines The Auditing Practices Board is due to publish on Friday21 oct revised guidelines for accountants producing compilation reports as a substitute for audits in larger small businesses. The move follows legislation introduced earlier this year with the aim of reducing the regulatory burden on companies outside the stock market.