A barrister has inaugurated a legal service which he claims will 'revolutionise the dispute resolution landscape' by enabling construction professionals to take advantage of recent 'no-win, no-fee' rules.
Declan O'Mahony, a barrister with 18 years' experience - whose book on the new arrangements will be published this summer - formed iiblaw to act as the go-between for clients, contractors, architects and construction lawyers, by acting for clients with good claims on the basis of a no-win, no-fee agreement. Lawyers will be encouraged to shoulder the risk and the client will have no on-going cost. This service, 'Access to Justice for Business', provides insurance to cover the risk that they might lose their claim.
'The industry is ripe for change,' said O'Mahony. 'This will revolutionise the way disputes are settled because poor claims will be rejected by the lawyers.' iiblaw engages professional investigators to look at the claim or defence by a company. An experienced solicitor or litigator from an iiblaw panel then considers the investigator's report, and whether the case is suitable for the no-win, no-fee arrangement. The arrangement can also apply to existing litigation or arbitration with more traditional fee arrangements, claims the company. If a company's lawyer is unwilling to accept conditional fee terms, then he should be questioned whether he considers the claim or defence to be a good business risk.
The Lord Chancellor gave the go-ahead for conditional fee arrangements in every sort of business or commercial dispute last July.
The cost for investigation, validation and negotiation process is £950 plus vat. Details from iiblaw on 01491 842920.
McDonald's to 'name and shame' London eyesores
McDonald's, London Tonight and Capital Radio are to take part in a 'name and shame' campaign to encourage the public to nominate 'eyesore' areas in the capital in a bid to get them improved.
Launched tonight, 'Operation Eyesore', set up by the Central London Partnership, is aimed at revitalising Central London's six most tired and neglected areas. London Tonight is to run six programmes on the selected areas in a bid to force improvements. People nominating their 'favourite' blots on the landscape should call 0870 400 22 14, but buildings, such as Centre Point or even McDonald's 'restaurants', are not allowed.
Fitzroy Robinson's Raul Curiel is on the technical panel, along with Alan Baxter. Mace is project manager of the technical committee. A longlist will be given to a celebrity taskforce including Nick Raynsford, Sir John Egan, Alastair Stewart and a 'name' architect.
Illegal 'eco-squatters' evicted from Crystal Palace site
Bromley Council has resorted to physically evicting up to 100 squatters from the site of its proposed cinema complex scheme by Ian Ritchie in Crystal Palace. It estimates the operation - a last resort after trying 'everything else' - could cost up to £1 million.
A council spokesperson said that it was dangerous and expensive to evict the campaigners because specialist personnel had to be called in to removed them from trees and tunnels. The cost will be met from council reserves rather than from a hike in council tax, but the council said it would rather have spent the cash on social services or education.
The Ian Ritchie scheme has attracted local criticism, but has been proved in a judicial review to reflect the style and spirit of the original Crystal Palace, which was three times as big. The Crystal Palace Campaign lodged an appeal with the House of Lords in January. The developer of the 18- screen cinema complex is encouraging community groups to stage exhibitions and displays in the complex.