Lawrence Tomlinson’s report on RBS lending found there was evidence it had let some small businesses default

THE SUITS: Geary's big Chance

It is perhaps fitting that Britain's largest law firm should go to the country's biggest accountancy firm for help in developing its growing worldwide business. The man chosen by Clifford Chance is Kevin Geary (below), who spent 16 years at Coopers & Lybrand's management consultancy arm advising a range of leading companies on strategic management issues before leaving last year to work as an independent consultant.

B R I E F S: War crimes and fishing row

War crimes and fishing row

Training a paralegal army

Sharon Wallach reports on the prospect of a better educational framework for legal support staff

Reporting restrictions have been lifted - by the Internet

THE INTERNET computer networks and satellite TV news are posing a growing threat to the traditional reporting restrictions usually applied in British trials and other legal proceedings.

Second nature is seeing the world through a client's eyes

Secondments are not immediately profitable, but they benefit customer and law firm, says Sharon Wallach Customers often need someone to handle legal matters full-time. secondments allow both sides to benefit, says Sharon Wallach

You can't manage with a glorified clerk

Directors and chief executives are good for chambers' business. Sharon Wallach sees a trend waiting to happen

Finance & Law In Brief

Legal aid blow The House of Commons will vote tomorrow on the decision by Lord Mackay, the Lord Chancellor, to abolish his legal aid advisory committee. Paul Boateng, Labour's legal affairs spokesman, has condemned the Lord Chancellor's move as "nothing short of scandalous" at a time when he is claiming to consult on the future of legal aid.

Finance: Briefs

Summing Up Accountancy firms need to address the questions of value for money, ability to solve problems and being proactive in their work for solicitors,firms, according to a survey prepared by the chartered accountants Baker Tilly and The Lawyer. magazine. On the positive side, accountants' understanding of law firms' requirements scored highly. A number of solicitors commented that accountancy reports were often too technical for non-accountants and could be a great deal simpler and more concise. Could this, asked Baker Tilly, be a case of the pot calling the kettle black?

Law Report: Copyright crime not just for pirates: Thames & Hudson Ltd v Design and Artists Copyright Society Ltd and others - Chancery Division (Mr Justice Evans-Lombe), 6 July 1994

It was not only 'pirates' who could be prosecuted for selling or distributing artistic material in breach of copyright, or for 'conniving' as a director in the commission of such offences by a company: under sections 107 and 110 of the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988 any commercial organisation which used artists' work in breach of copyright could be prosecuted, as could its directors.

Slaughter & May at the top

SLAUGHTER & May topped Acquisitions Monthly's league table for legal advisers in mergers and acquisitions in the first half of 1994, writes Diane Coyle. It acted for companies in five public takeovers worth a total of pounds 1.6bn - including LWT during its pounds 766m acquisition by Granada, and Westland in its takeover by GKN.

Law Report: Lloyd's names can sue agents

Arbuthnott v Feltrim; Deeny v Gooda Walker Ltd; Henderson v Merrett Syndicates Ltd. - House of Lords (Lord Keith of Kinkel, Lord Goff of Chieveley, Lord Browne- Wilkinson, Lord Mustill and Lord Nolan), 25 July 1994

Law: A very special relationship: One of America's largest law firms is forming a multinational partnership in the City, writes Sharon Wallach

In a deal announced this week, one of the largest law firms in the United States is set to become the first to take on the City giants on their own terms. Sidley & Austin has offered partnerships to John Edwards, head of information industries at Clifford Chance, and two banking partners from Cameron Markby Hewitt, Graham Penn and Howard Waterman.

Law Report: Employer liable to pay damages for 'kiss of death' job reference: Spring v Guardian Assurance and others. House of Lords (Lord Keith of Kinkel, Lord Goff of Chieveley, Lord Lowry, Lord Slynn of Hadley and Lord Woolf). 7 July 1994.

A person giving a work reference for a former employee or representative owed him a duty of care and could be liable to pay damages for negligence if the reference contained inaccuracies as a result of which the employee or representative suffered damage.

Law Report: Assignees' deposits not protected by bank compensation scheme: Deposit Protection Board v Dalia and others - House of Lords (Lord Keith of Kinkel, Lord Goff of Chieveley, Lord Browne-Wilkinson, Lord Mustill and Lord Lloyd of Berwick), 19 May 1994

Equitable assignees of small portions of large deposits in the insolvent Bank of Credit and Commerce International SA were barred from claiming compensation from the Deposit Protection Board under section 58(1) of the Banking Act 1987, because only the person making the original deposit constituted the 'depositor' of a 'protected deposit' entitled to claim under the Act.

Law Update: Chancing Vietnam

Clifford Chance has opened an office in Hanoi, Vietnam and another at Lloyd's of London in Lime Street.
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