Briefs

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The Independent Online

WHEN "Mad" Frankie Fraser needed to tell the world about his gruesome past in London's ganglands, whom did he turn to for help? Step forward James Morton, the solicitor who acted for Mr Fraser when he was in his gangster prime. The solicitor is co-author of Mad Frank's London, a book that tells the reader where Frankie and his friends "fought, robbed and sometimes killed''. According to the publishers, Virgin Books, Mr Fraser takes us to a "lost world where hundreds of pounds changed hands in nightly card games and girls could earn even more in the brothels.'' Scary stuff.

JUDGES IN this country have shown themselves to be ill-disposed toward the kind of pre-nuptial agreement favoured by Hollywood stars such as Michael Douglas and his wife, Catherine Zeta Jones. To make the pre-nuptial agreement more palatable to UK courts, the Manchester solicitors Pannone & Partners recommends that couples don't "try to have the agreement finalised the night before the wedding''. This, they say, will lead to the inference of duress.

NEARLY HALF of all children involved in disputed residence or contact proceedings still suffer from emotional and behavioural difficulties a year after the court case. A study, funded by the Nuffield Foundation, also found that almost all parents, irrespective of the outcome of the case, were dissatisfied with the court process. But parents whose cases settled before a court hearing were much more likely to be satisfied with both the process and outcome of the child contact arrangements.

Robert Verkaik