LONDON–April 22, 2005- LAWFUEL – The Law News Network -Herbert Smith is on course to become the first UK law firm to establish a dedicated advocacy unit following confirmation of its decision to appoint leading Queens Counsel (QC), Murray Rosen and Ian Gatt, to its partnership.
Murray will join on 26 April 2005, as head of the advocacy unit. Ian will join on 3 May 2005.
The appointments set the way for Herbert Smith to offer clients a complete litigation service, in which legal teams of solicitors and barristers work together from the outset to prepare and present cases.
Murray Rosen QC, 51, was a member and former head of chambers at 11 Stone Buildings. He was appointed Queens Counsel in 1993. He has consistently been featured in Chambers and Legal 500 as a leading practitioner in commercial litigation, commercial chancery, civil fraud and sport.
Ian Gatt QC, 41, is a member of Littleton Chambers and was appointed Queens Counsel in 2002. He has handled many large and high profile commercial cases, notably professional negligence claims. He also has a strong reputation in employment law.
Herbert Smith is committed to maintaining its strong relations with the Bar. Its clients will continue to have a choice of whom to instruct as counsel.
Both QCs will work closely with Herbert Smith’s litigation partners to grow the advocacy unit, through both external recruitment and existing solicitor advocates at the firm. Murray and Ian will have an important role developing the advocacy capabilities of the firm’s 40 solicitor advocates.
Sonya Leydecker, head of litigation elect at Herbert Smith and one of the principal movers behind the initiative, commented:
“With solicitors and barristers working side by side, we will be able to provide an integrated approach that will improve the efficiency of the litigation process and enhance client service.”
“Many of our international clients, particularly those used to a unified legal profession in their home jurisdictions, have expressed a strong interest in a one-stop shop service. The backing given for legal disciplinary partnerships in the Clementi review provides further evidence of market interest in this.”
“I am very confident that with QCs of the calibre of Murray and Ian in our advocacy unit we can now turn the idea of a complete litigation service into reality – and in doing so enhance our reputation as the UK’s leading international litigation practice.”
Notes to Editors
Further information on Murray Rosen
1. Murray Rosen has been instructed by Herbert Smith partners since he was called to the Bar in 1976; his first case was as a junior on a matter where he was instructed by Herbert Smith partner Lawrence Collins. Since then he has worked on numerous cases with Herbert Smith litigation partners.
2. Murray is a bencher of Lincoln’s Inn, a member of the London Court of International Arbitration and the Sports Dispute Resolution Panel, and chairman of the British Association for Sport and Law.
3. He was appointed a recorder in 2000 and is a fellow of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators.
Further information on Ian Gatt
1. Ian Gatt was called to the Bar in 1985. He has a broad litigation practice, with a strong focus on general commercial disputes.
2. Ian has always taken an active interest in the training and education of more junior barristers. Over the years he has been pupil master to many pupils. For the past 10 years he has been chairman of Littleton Chambers’ pupillage committee, responsible for overseeing recruitment and training. He has also trained pupil masters for Lincoln’s Inn.
3. He is a member of the professional conduct and complaints committee of the Bar Council, and was formerly a member of the Bar Council’s pupillage board.
4. Ian was a member of the working party on the re-drafting of the Bar code of conduct. He is also chairman of one of the London Pupillage Review Panels, a Bar Council committee that audits the quality of pupillage and training in London.
5. He was appointed recorder in 2000.
Roles of solicitors and barristers in England and Wales
1. Unlike in other jurisdictions, for example in the USA and France, the legal profession is a divided profession in England and Wales. Solicitors deal with members of the public and interface with the clients. They carry out all legal work for their clients but do not have rights of audience in all courts. Solicitors have rights of audience in the lower courts which consist of the magistrates courts (criminal), county courts (civil), tribunals and also interlocutory hearings which are heard in chambers (private hearings) in the High Court. They do not have rights of audience in the higher courts which comprise the Crown Court (criminal), High Court (civil), Court of Appeal and House of Lords.
2. Barristers have rights of audience in all courts and undergo different training to solicitors. Typically they do not deal with the clients directly, but through solicitors (although there are exceptions to this).
3. When barristers are instructed for a hearing or trial, the solicitor will typically agree a brief fee, on behalf of the client, with the barrister’s clerk. This will cover work done leading up to and including the hearing or trial. It is usually a large lump sum followed by a smaller amount (a refresher) for each day of the hearing after the first day. The lump sum will be payable even if the matter settles before the hearing or trial. This fee arrangement would not occur where solicitors rather than barristers were to conduct the hearing or trial.
4. The Courts and Legal Services Act 1990 introduced the possibility of solicitors obtaining rights of audience in all courts. This is implemented by a detailed set of regulations administered by the Law Society (the solicitors’ governing body). The process to qualify as a solicitor-advocate is a complicated one and generally involves a detailed application, references and a number of advocacy appearances together with courses and an advocacy assessment.
5. Once qualified as a solicitor-advocate, the solicitor will then have full rights of audience in the higher courts (although this may be limited to civil or criminal courts only).
6. Herbert Smith currently has amongst the highest number of solicitor-advocates of any City law firm.
Herbert Smith has the premier international litigation practice in the UK, with over 50 partners based in London. It has consistently been ranked as such. Last year the firm won the Chambers “Western Europe: litigation/arbitration firm of the year” award, and American Lawyer magazine gave it the UK “Litigation department of the year” award.
Herbert Smith LLP is an international law firm with 1100 lawyers (including over 200 partners) and a network of offices in Europe and Asia. It has a formal alliance with leading German firm Gleiss Lutz and leading Dutch and Belgian firm Stibbe. On 1 April 2005 Herbert Smith became Herbert Smith LLP, a limited liability partnership.
Tom Rose, +44 20 7466 3119
Head of Communications