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The Independent Online
One could be forgiven for thinking they don't make them like David McIntosh any more. For a start, the senior partner of the City law firm Davies Arnold Cooper is one of the few people left to have reached the higher echelons of the profession without being a graduate. And recently he has been on the attack against what he sees as American legal vices.

A strong campaigner against the introduction of US-style contingency fees to Britain, Mr McIntosh (pictured left) said: "The right and just needs of the wronged in society have become abused and exploited by hard- nosed commercial operators, who have spotted an easy buck. In doing so, they are copying the worst excesses of US legal behaviour."

Quite how this attack on "victim culture" will go down when he addresses a conference in San Francisco this week is unclear. It has certainly made him one of Britain's best-known lawyers, however.

Earlier this year, for instance, he shared a platform at the Oxford Union with Labour's legal affairs spokesman, Paul Boateng, and Helena Kennedy QC, arguing that Britain's legal system is now set up by lawyers, for lawyers and the benefit of their thickening wallets.

Not that he can have suffered from his dedication to the law. Since becoming senior partner at DAC 17 years ago, Mr McIntosh, 51, has seen the staff swell from a handful to 50 partners and more than 300 staff. He himself has acted for insurers in such cases as Piper Alpha and the Hillsborough stadium disaster, while his firm has played a role in the likes of the celebrated Elliott v Saunders football injury case.

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