Pandora: 'Jaws' hires Shackleton to handle his own big day in court

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The Independent Online

He is the legal shark with a passion for racehorses known as "Jaws", on account of his ruthless ability to get the best possible deal for his impressive list of illustrious clients. She is Prince Charles's immaculate, straight-shooting lawyer, dubbed by her colleagues in the legal industry as "the steel magnolia".

But Raymond Tooth and Fiona Shackleton, two of Britain's most eminent and respected divorce lawyers, recently found themselves fighting it out on the same side of the court room. For I hear that Tooth, who in the past has handled high-profile divorce cases for the likes of Sadie Frost and Irina Abramovich, has recently spilt from his second wife Debbie.

And according to friends of Debbie, an attractive former interior designer, it was Shackleton who he turned to when he was looking for someone to represent him.

"The divorce occurred two months ago, and it was all very amicable and non- confrontational," says Tooth when I call.

"Fiona is a very good friend and a great lawyer so that's why I decided to go with her."

No details have emerged yet over the couple's settlement, though marriage cynics might say Tooth failed to heed his own advice.

Several years ago, before meeting his second wife, he declared that no wealthy man "in his right mind" should ever consider getting married a second time.

"And if he is foolish enough to do so, he should be prepared to get completely clobbered by the courts if it goes wrong," he remarked.

Swank is hungry for success

Hilary Swank is to attempt what can only be described as one of the most ambitious-sounding book adaptations in recent memory.

Yesterday, it was announced the Oscar-winning actress had snapped up the film rights to French Women Don't Get Fat, the best selling diet book by French author Mireille Guiliano.

The book, which was translated into 37 differrent languages, claims to explain why French women are less inclined to be obese than Americans.

Swank apparently envisages it as great material for a romantic comedy.

Keep out! Fishing port is fed up with TV star

For years, Martin Clunes has been the friendly face of ITV's division of light entertainment.

But the former Men Behaving Badly star is currently facing angry backlash from residents of the sleepy Cornish fishing village of Port Isaac, location of his long-running series Doctor Martin.

Despite the massive boost the show has brought to their tourist industry, locals now want filming in the area to be banned.

Apparently, the influx of cast and crew staying in the area means there's problems with parking and regular visitors find they can't secure anywhere to stay.

A spokesman for ITV says they may get their wish.

"We are planning a fourth series next year, but there has been no decision where we'll be filming," I'm told.

Historic announcement

Any moment now, Cambridge University will announce the successor to Quentin Skinner as Regius Professor of Modern History, one of the most respected posts in British academia.

According to one Cambridge-based mole, the position has been offered to Professor Richard J Evans, the eminent historian of Germany who was a key defence witness in David Irving's failed libel case against Penguin books.

Says a spokesman for the university: "We're sworn to secrecy until the Queen makes an announcement."

PM's crash landing

The techie bods at Downing Street proudly unveiled the Prime Minister's all-singing, all-dancing new website on Tuesday afternoon.

The site has been several months in the making and has apparently cost around £70,000.

One of the highlights for users is the chance to take a virtual tour around the corridors of Downing Street.

So it was perhaps inevitable, then, given the Government's current credit crunch related woes, that shortly after the page became available on-line it promptly crashed.

Cameron takes a tanning

David Cameron is looking awfully healthy since his family holiday down in the West Country.

The Tory leader has returned from his little sojourn in Pastow, Cornwall, sporting an mightily impressive looking tan. It has surprised some West Country readers, who inform me the weather over the past few weeks has been pretty moderate at best.

"We saw him on telly recently and he looked very brown," says one. "I only mention it as it's not exactly been roasting down here."

No response from Cameron's spokesman was forthcoming yesterday about their boss's healthy new glow. Perhaps he's been paying secret visits to the Electric Beach in preparation for his second holiday in Turkey over the summer break.