Archive for April 1st, 2007

I received a telephone call today – a voice from the past – from an old friend, Professeur Flora Poli. She is a well known academic in France and the holder of a JD (Licence et maitrise en Droit), LLM (DES) from the University of Paris II School of Law and a PhD in political science from the University of Paris. We met some years ago at a conference. After the conference we discussed many things, smoked Gauloise and drank some interesting wines in the bar at Hotel Raphael, 17 L’Avenue Kleber, Paris. It was an interesting period in my life – January 1990.

Serge Gainsbourg was a regular at Hotel Raphael in those days. He came into the Bar. Later, the three of us drank brandy and talked until dawn. Of itself, that information does not matter, but I relate it, with permission from my old friend, because we were close, and maintained contact for several years after.

We went our separate ways, as can happen in life. Professor Poli asked me if I had heard any talk about a consortium, led by a leading French banking group, Crédit Larmande de Bordeaux, to establish an international ‘SuperFirm’ in London with 43 experienced partners from a number of leading City Law firms, 28 Silks fom well known commercial sets, 5 senior judges and 14 US lawyers who are currently working in London. Flora told me that the fee pricing would be ‘aggressive’, 30% of fees currently charged by City firms for a five year period on the volume revenue model with a guarantee, for a ten year period thereafter, that fees would be pegged at 50% of current mean hourly rates – and that leading PLCs in the UK and in Europe were ‘enthusiastic’.

I spent a few hours on the net – the usual sources: The Lawyer, Legal Week, and news sources. The Law Society, Bar Council, DCA and all other government agencies I could think of were closed for the weekend. I could find no information at all on this. I got through, finally, to a friend of mine, a Silk. He knew nothing about such a plan, but did say that he thought it would ‘be interesting.’

Interesting implications for legal practice in the UK if this comes to fruition.

100,000 could be in jail by the end of the decade, says ex-prisons chief. The Home Office, currently doing their best with prison policy – but soon to offload it to The new Ministry of Justice / DCA. The Home Office has provided an online virtual walk through experience – free: “What will happen when you go to prison” It is excellent…. far better than most LPC provider promotional virtual walk throughs. Alternatively you could go to Waterstones and buy Lord “Jailbird’ Archer’s books. Guardian Story 31 March

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