People & Business: How to wind up a lawyer

LAWYERS ARE eunuchs, according to John Verrill, the vice president of the Insolvency Lawyers Association.

Let me explain. Most liquidators and receivers in this country tend to be accountants, but around 180 of those licensed to be "insolvency practitioners" are lawyers.

Few of the lawyers actually go out and wind companies up, since accountants are keen to keep this privilege to themselves, says Mr Verrill, who is also senior insolvency partner at Lawrence Graham, a City-based law firm.

Being qualified to liquidate companies and yet not doing so places lawyers in the same position as eunuchs, says Mr Verrill. "We know how to do it, we see it done every day, yet we don't do it ourselves."

I'll never look at lawyers in quite the same way again.

FACTORIES MAY be closing around the country as recession bites, but yesterday a Ford subsidiary opened a new pounds 40m factory in Enfield, north London, safeguarding around 1,000 jobs. And its being run by a woman.

The onward march of female equality was a key theme at the opening ceremony, as Enfield's plant manager, Oj Alvarado, was joined by Barbara Roche MP, Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Trade and Industry; Joan Ryan, MP for Enfield North; and Pauline Green, MEP for London North.

Visteon, the wholly-owned Ford subsidiary that runs the plant, has been making components at Enfield since 1963.

Mrs Alvarado is the daughter of a migrant agricultural worker from Texas. She was the first of her family to go on to higher education, gained a degree in engineering, and joined Visteon in 1977 as a graduate trainee. She sounds like a tough cookie.

Perhaps she should have a word with Eddie George, Governor of the Bank of England, about interest rates.

TO THE Teatro, a trendy private club in Shaftesbury Avenue owned by Leslie Men Behaving Badly Ash and her retired footballer husband, Lee Chapman, to celebrate the publication of The London Fashion Book by Andrew Tucker.

The party, laid on by publisher Thames & Hudson and co-sponsored by Moet et Chandon, may have been celebrating London's place in the international fashion scene, but the crush in the dimly-lit bar was more reminiscent of the Black Hole of Calcutta.

When I arrived at the club at six-thirty on Tuesday evening two over- worked bar men were trying to slake the thirst of practically everyone even vaguely connected with the London fashion scene all in one go.

The final straw came when I was actually asked to pay for my own drinks; pounds 11 for two glasses of champers. Imagine!

Needless to say I stalked out, and calmed my outrage with a couple of pints of Guinness in the Coach and Horses, the famed Soho watering hole of the late Jeffrey Barnard, the satirist, handily sited next door.

I think I'll leave fashion to the experts in future.

DONALDSON, LUFKIN & Jenrette (DLJ), the Wall Street investment bank, has just agreed to be the principal sponsor of the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment, a band of players dedicated to playing 18th and 19th century music on original instruments.

Martin Smith, chairman of Investment banking at DLJ International, was a keen supporter of the orchestra when he led Pheonix Securities, the City corporate finance boutique. Pheonix was bought by DLJ last year and Mr Smith continued his support. This will bring pounds 200,000 for the orchestra from DLJ and other businesses over the next three years.

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