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The Independent Online
Cutting out copycats

Lawyers and company brand managers will be gathering with others interested in counterfeiting in London later this week to discuss ways of combating an international problem that is estimated to cost British industry pounds 300m a year. A total of 18 speakers representing both the public and private sectors at Friday's conference organised by Euromoney and Rouse & Co, a London-based law firm specialising in intellectual property, will look at how different areas are being affected and the measures being taken to deal with the problem. Peter Rouse, managing partner of Rouse & Co, said: "We want businesses to realise that counterfeiting is theft, which ultimately means we all lose out, customers receive second-rate goods, jobs are put at risk and no tax is paid on the profits of counterfeiters' crimes."

Courting computers

Martineau Johnson of Birmingham claims to have become the first law firm outside London to use computer technology in the courtroom. It has acquired a fully computerised document management system designed to handle, quickly and efficiently, large volumes of material generated by complex litigation cases, and hopes this will enable it to compete with practices in the capital for litigation work.

Minority seminar

The QCs Philip Heslop and David Richards, along with Robin Hollington and Professor Dan Prentice, will lead a seminar on minority shareholders hosted by the Chancery Bar Association next Wednesday.

Professional advice

Practical advice on how law firms and other professional practices can "ensure the right kind of work, at the right time and the right fee level" is contained in Patrick Forsyth's book Marketing Professional Services, which is published in paperback at the next London meeting of the Professional Services Marketing Group, on Tuesday.

Green guide

A wall chart showing who is responsible under the 1995 Environment Act for dealing with contaminated land is the centrepiece of a guide to the legislation produced by the international law firm Freshfields.