Edward Fennell’s LEGAL DIARY

Diary items, insights and comments from the legal world

Friday 24th September

SHORT THOUGHT FOR THE WEEK

Law is the grease that enables the wheels of business to go round and provides the stabilisers which prevents society from falling over. And when crises erupt – such as the current catastrophe facing some parts of the energy industry – lawyers are there to act quickly as go-betweens with government to come up with solutions. Moreover they are increasingly pouring out legal insights and analyses to help citizens understand better what the law says and means. Hence, last year the top US law firms created more than 70,000 blogs, articles and other insights to widen awareness amongst society at large.  You might say that they provide the ‘fifth’ emergency service in keeping society ticking over. So not always the bad guys after all.

The LegalDiarist

NOTE: The LegalDiarist is away and travelling until mid-October meaning that this is a pocket/travel edition of the Legal Diary. We will get back to the normal format when we return to the office.

IN THIS WEEK’S EDITION

LEGAL DIARY OF THE WEEK

Pregnancy Loss Recognised at Royds Withy King

Farrer’s makes ESG investment as safe as the Bank of England

Irwin Mitchell’s Autumn of Apprenticeships

– MPR Gets It Together with the Romanians

– Divorce Portal a Success!

CONTRIBUTED ARTICLES OF THE WEEK

LEGAL COMMENT OF THE WEEK on NEW RIGHT TO FLEXIBLE WORKING from Stephensons Solicitors and Langley Solicitors

STRINGING ALONG MIKE LYNCH from Fladgate

E-VENTS

LEGAL DIARY OF THE WEEK

Pregnancy Loss Recognised at Royds Withy King

This week Royds Withy King joined the small but growing number of law firms with a new Pregnancy Loss Policy which offers compassionate leave to expectant mothers who lose their child before 24 weeks. Under the new scheme employees who suffer pregnancy loss (or their partner) will be entitled to up to two weeks’ paid time off. As the firm points out, “This policy announcement joins a suite of family-friendly policies the firm already has in place that go above and beyond industry standards, including enhanced maternity/paternity leave, adoption leave, leave for fertility treatment and paid care for dependant leave.”

Much was made in the media recently when the sometime-royal Meghan (and, one must say, Harry) suffered a pregnancy loss. But it is a common occurrence with about a quarter of pregnancies ending in a miscarriage. “We felt that it was important to recognise that pregnancy loss, no matter when it happens, can have a big impact on both the expecting parents,” said Jessica Parsons, HR Advisor at the firm, “We have therefore created this policy to support our colleagues and their partners, whether male or female.”

Farrer’s makes ESG investment as safe as the Bank of England

Farrer & Co’s skill set over the last four centuries has been the management of the wealth of the nation. So it is a logical development that the firm should now step in as the sponsor of trade body PIMFA’s new Environmental Social and Governance (ESG) Academy for Wealth Managers which was launched last week.

Of course it was not alone. A couple of other rather expensive names – MSCI and Fidelity International – were also sitting at the PIMFA High Table. But then ESG is the place to be right now with up to a half of the record inflow of £6.2bn into UK based-equity funds in the second quarter of this year being targeted at those focused on ESG factors.

However Farrer’s role will not be just as a passive supporter of the Academy’s CPD-accredited programmes. Partners Grania Baird and Jessica Reed will contribute directly  to the Academy’s online learning provision to give PIMFA wealth managers ‘deeper insights into the diverse and occasionally complicated nature of ESG investing.’

As Grania Baird commented, “We are delighted to be supporting PIMFA’s ESG Academy this year. Our involvement will help PIMFA members to navigate and understand the evolving legal and regulatory requirements in this area equipping them with the tools to engage with their clients on all aspects of ESG consistent with the regulatory requirements.”  

And of course it all makes good business sense. In Europe, sustainable fund assets under management are predicted to account for over 50% of total European fund assets by 2025, driven by rising regulatory focus and increased client demand. So it pays to be ESG-smart.

For more go to https://campaigns.pimfa.uk/sites/learning/esg/esg-academy/

Irwin Mitchell’s Autumn of Apprenticeships

True to form Irwin Mitchell is powering forward with its apprenticeship model which is opening new horizons in the way  people can build their careers in the legal industry.

Twenty four young people are starting Paralegal and Business Administration (Level 3) apprenticeships this Autumn on two year programmes which will be run in the firm’s offices throughout the country from Southampton to Sheffield.

The important point is that this is not just a nod towards diversity and equality but is seen as a key part of the firm’s long term growth strategy. It also embodies the fact that while legal expertise is at the core of what law firms do they must now incorporate a wide range of other skills to deliver what clients require – especially with data and the digital world.

“These developments set the wheels in motion for a significant uptick in our apprenticeship work, and gives people from many backgrounds, both internal and external, a chance to learn new skills and develop their future career path,” said Lorcan Seery, the firm’s Early Years Careers Team and apprentice manager.

“The fact that this is our biggest ever intake is a sign of our renewed focus on our colleagues of the future, across all areas of the firm and geographically across the country. The lockdown naturally made taking on new apprentices a challenge, so we are keen now to make up for lost ground, creating new opportunities and laying the groundwork for the long term success of the business.”

The news on apprentices follows the firm’s announcement of a 93% retention rate of newly qualified solicitors and the adoption of a Flexible by Choice policy, allowing all colleagues to work when and where they want, subject to client requirements.

MPR Gets It Together with the Romanians

With the exodus – post Brexit and post-Covid – of Poles from the UK it is now the Romanians who are, maybe, our most important East European community. With over one million now resident of whom more than 100,000 are registered as active business owners they make up a significant addition to the entrepreneurial class.  Meanwhile Romania itself has been changing fast with the capital Bucharest recently designated as the home of the EU’s newly established Cybersecurity Competence Centre. So unlike Poland and Hungary, the country is not on the EU’s naughty step.

Consequently there is a big and growing market here for lawyers and it is significant that MPR Partners, an award winning Romanian law firm and founding member of the British-Romanian Chamber of Commerce, is now planning for its first ‘Romanian Professionals and Business Owners’ event. It will be held at The Refinery (12 New Square Street), on Thursday, 8 October and will be the first of many, say the organisers.

Divorce Portal a Success!

Rather than crashing and causing added misery to divorcing couples the new mandatory online divorce portal  has been overwhelmingly effective according to Hannah Gumbrill-Ward of Winckworth Sherwood. By comparison with the old paper-based version the rejection rate of initial submissions has dropped from 40% to just 1%. Maybe the wedding vows should be changed to “…until portal do us part.”

LEGAL COMMENT OF THE WEEK – NEW RIGHT TO FLEXIBLE WORKING

New flexible working rights are to be welcomed says Phillip Richardson, partner and head of employment at Stephensons Solicitors but Marie Horner, Employment Lawyer at Langleys Solicitors suggests that they are not so generous as they might seem.

PHILLIP RICHARDSON

“This announcement by the government will be a welcome one and a timely intervention at a period when home working has become the norm for thousands of people. The past 12-months have underlined how productive workers can be, when given the right support, to work remotely and productively away from the traditional office setting.

“Flexible working requests would often be viewed as a daunting conversation, however this change makes for a much more upfront and transparent relationship between employer and employee.”

MARIE HORNER

 “[In brief] employers can require staff to return to workplaces even where they have been working productively during the pandemic. This is because the place of work in contracts remains as the workplace and working from home has been a temporary solution during the pandemic.

“Staff cannot assume they have a right to work from home even if they have shown that they can be productive. Parties can agree to change the place of work and many employers may face an increase in applications for flexible working on this basis.

“While there is no automatic right to work from home, employment legislation provides a number of protections. Currently, employees with at least 26 weeks’ service have the right to ask for flexible working which can include working from home for some or all of the time.

“Employers are required to consider requests in a reasonable manner and can only refuse a request for one of the eight business reasons permitted by the legislation:

·       The burden of additional costs

·       A detrimental effect on the ability to meet customer demand

·       An inability to reorganise work among other employees

·       An inability to recruit additional employees

·       A detrimental effect on quality

·       A detrimental effect on performance

·       Insufficient work at the times when the employee proposes to work

·       Planned structural changes

“Whilst the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy has recently announced plans to potentially extend the right to request flexible working, it should be noted that the proposal only removes the 26-week qualifying service period, allowing all employees to make a request from day one.

“It does not confer any greater right on employees to work flexibly, and employers will still have the ability to reject requests in the same way they can presently. This is a step in the right direction but perhaps not the huge stride that it first appears to be.”

STRINGING ALONG MIKE LYNCH

Delaying the extradition of entrepreneur Mike Lynch is not all it appears says Thomas Garner, Partner, Fladgate LLP

 “It is highly unlikely that Priti Patel will answer attempts to overrule Mr Lynch’s extradition. The reality is that the Home Secretary’s role in extradition has been greatly constrained since Theresa May blocked Gary McKinnon’s extradition to the US in 2012. Following that case and the Baker Review into our extradition arrangements, the law was amended to remove the Home Secretary’s power to consider human rights grounds which must instead be raised before and decided by the courts. Under the Extradition Act, the Secretary of State can now only consider four specific issues when considering ordering a person’s extradition: whether the individual concerned is at risk of the death penalty, whether there are ‘specialty arrangements’ in place which prevent an individual from facing proceedings for different allegations than those for which extradition was ordered and, finally, very unusual cases where an individual has been previously extradited to the UK from a third country or the International Criminal Court. Without wishing to prejudge matters it seems almost inevitable that Mr Lynch’s case is destined for an appeal in the High Court.”

E-VENTS

HOGAN LOVELLS NEW ‘PROOF IN TRIAL’ PODCAST SERIES – AVAILABLE FROM THIS WEEK

A wrongful conviction that led to a death row sentence; a politician fighting to save his reputation; a tech company whose trade secrets were stolen. In this podcast series, some of the best trial lawyers in the business share the inside stories of their most high-profile and dramatic cases. What does it take to win in the courtroom and what’s at stake if you don’t? Hogan Lovells’ Proof in Trial podcast series delves into these questions and more.

Hosted by partner Cate Stetson ‘Proof in Trial’ is available via your usual podcast service including Apple, Google and Spotify

CONTENTS

Index

Proof in Trial Trailer

Episode 1: ResMan v. Karya and Expedien

Episode 2: The People of the State of New York v. Lazar Feygin et al.

Episode 3: Gilliam and Tarlton v. Robeson County et al.

Episode 4: Federal Trade Commission et al v. Thomas Jefferson University and Albert Einstein Healthcare Network

We hope that you have found interesting and even useful this edition of the LEGAL DIARY. Please continue to send announcements of Diary events, insights and comment to:

fennell.edward @yahoo.com

We will return to our normal format in mid-October

Edward Fennell’s LEGAL DIARY

Friday 10 September 2021 Edition 72

Diary news, commentary, insights, appointments and e-vents from the legal world

SHORT THOUGHT FOR THE WEEK

IP, IP Orray at Mishcon?

Time to ‘Decolonise’ Africa House? Image courtesy of Looking at London

News that Mishcon de Reya has officially begun the IPO process en route to becoming the UK’s largest listed law firm will have given a fresh nudge to the possible transformation of the London legal scene. It is no coincidence, maybe, that the news arrives in concert with the announcement that the firm is launching a strategic partnership with Harbour, one of the largest dedicated litigation and arbitration funders. This will create a new litigation finance venture called MDR Solutions I to fund litigation and arbitration cases for Mishcon de Reya’s clients using a sophisticated data science capability built by the firm over a number of years.

Without question this is how the most dynamic law firms of the future will function with a combination of financial muscle, leading edge data and IT – plus terrific legal skills. The structures needed to drive such enterprise might well demand listed status. But the experience so far of other firms which have gone down that route has been mixed. Maybe it takes the exceptional talents at Mishcon to get it right (and will that include getting rid of those ‘colonial images’ above their HQ in Africa House?)

The Legal Diarist

PLEASE NOTE: The Legal Diarist is travelling over the next month. There will be no Legal Diary next week but we will resume on Friday 24th

In this week’s edition

+ LEGAL DIARY OF THE WEEK

– Social Audits Not Up To The Job Legally?

Irwin Mitchell Strengthens its Human Rights Offer

Departure Time for Department Stores

– The HERoes Women Role Model List

+ CONTRIBUTED ARTICLES OF THE WEEK

LEGALLY LEADING by Iain Blatherwick

LEGAL HISTORY OF MARRIAGE by Emma Nash

+ APPOINTMENTS OF THE WEEK at Fladgate and Excello

LEGAL DIARY OF THE WEEK

Social Audits Not Up To The Job Legally?

A Karachi mother with photographs of the victims of the 2012 fire

Social audit firms are doing a poor job in checking out the credentials and performance of businesses around the world according to a new report from the Business & Human Rights Resource Centre identifies which  makes a strong case for social audits to be rejected as proof of human rights due diligence. 

“The social audit industry has rightly come under increasing scrutiny for its role in sustaining tolerance of abuse in company supply chains,” it claims. “It is time the social audit industry is held to account for false or negligent claims which hide the truth of abuse against workers.”

The report is pegged to the anniversary of the fatal fire at the Ali Enterprises factory in Pakistan (11 September 2012) in 250 workers fied despite the fact that it had been declared a safe working space by a social audit firm only a few weeks before. Horribly they were trapped behind barred windows in a building which had only one useable fire exit.

So what legal redress is there when consultancies have let down so badly both their clients and the affected workers? The Business & Human Rights Resource Centre is now advocating the lodging of legal claims against social audit firms as a way of creating legal accountability for the industry. ‘New laws and regulations must not equate social audits with human rights due diligence, or see them as a plausible substitute’ it argues and, moreover, social auditing firms must be subject to mandatory Human Rights and Environmental Due Diligence (mHREDD) legislation.

“Although there remain significant legal and contractual challenges in holding social audit firms liable, there is growing appetite for reform, including the introduction of mandatory Human Rights and Environmental Due Diligence (mHREDD) legislation which offers an opportunity to address barriers to justice,” said Maysa Zorob, Corporate Legal Accountability Program Manager at Business & Human Rights Resource Centre. “We must ensure social audit firms, as companies, are subject to mHREDD, which would require them, by law, to identify, prevent, mitigate, account for adverse human rights impacts and be held liable for harm. This could provide a new basis for social audit liability, even when existing national law does not.” 

The Business & Human Rights Resource Centre’s Corporate Legal Accountability Portalexplores the legal responsibility of companies for human rights abuses, including through legislation and litigation. This hub provides latest news, analysis, resources, and cases on CLA to help advocates end corporate impunity for human rights abuses.

Irwin Mitchell Strengthens its Human Rights Offer

Irwin Mitchell has boosted the profile of its Public Law and Human Rights Team with the recruitment of new partner Angela Jackman QC (Hon) whom they describe as ‘one of the best known and respected human rights and discrimination case champions’.

Angela Jackman QC

Jackman has already enjoyed a glittering career starting with studying at Balliol College, Oxford followed by legal qualification and then going on to Hackney Community Law Centre. She then joined City Law School in 2015 as senior lecturer/CPD consultant and gained an appointment as a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy. She has also spent time at Simpson Millar. Meanwhile earlier this year she was appointed Honorary QC and named one of City’s ‘Extraordinary Women’, marking International Woman’s Day.

The move to Irwin Mitchell unites her with what she describes as a firm with a ‘reputation for success in strategic cases that have led to important changes in the law’. “I am   thrilled to be taking on this new challenge and ensuring that this vital work continues for the benefit of our clients and the wider community,” she said.

Notable among a number of Jackman’s high profile successes has been the ‘cornrows school exclusion’ judicial review, where the High Court held a school’s policy prohibiting African-Caribbean boys having their hair in cornrows resulted in indirect racial discrimination.

Departure Time for Department Stores

Is this all the future holds? Image courtesy of Derby Telegraph

What should be done when an anchor store like Debenhams shuts its doors for the last time leaving a gaping hole in the High Street? Across the land, from major regional towns to cathedral cities, that has been the ugly picture of the past year. Depending on the resilience of the immediate area it could be either a catastrophe or, in same cases, a blessing in disguise by releasing space for enterprises which, previously, could not get a look in.

That at least is the view of optimistic Simone Protheroe, an associate in the construction team at Clarke Willmott LLP, who thinks that vacant department store properties could be the answer to the growing demand for mixed-use development sites.

“Individual retail chains are unlikely to want such large spaces anymore and department stores are often situated in areas not particularly suited to becoming purely residential units,” she says. “Enter mixed-use developments, the perfect solution to seeing these (often historic) buildings re-occupied.”

Certainly in the town where the LegalDiarist lives is there is already a lively debate as to whether recently vacated large sites should be re-occupied by a relocated street market or the long awaited cultural and historical centre.

But why not mix them all up? The traditional strict demarcation of purpose has had a restraining effect on growth. Simone believes using department stores as mixed-use sites opens up ‘a world of opportunity for innovative solutions’.

And for sure innovative solutions is what we are all looking for right now.

Waiting for a HERoe

The HERoes Women Role Model Lists – which are supported by Yahoo Finance – puts the spotlight on leaders who are championing women in business and driving change for gender diversity in the workplace.

Louise Woods

The individuals featured for 2021 range across HSBC Bank Argentina, National Grid, IBM, Goldman Sachs and other major corporates and Government departments. Also numbered amongst them is a group of of lawyers including Sultana Tafadar (barrister at No 5 Chambers), Chidi Onyeche (an associate at Latham & Watkins), Anne Collins (a senior associate at Clifford Chance), Ligia Lima Godoy (a senior Associate at Mattos Filho, Veiga Filho, Marrey Jr r Quiroga Advogados), Sarah Primrose (an Associate at King & Spalding), Amy Bird (a senior associate at Clifford Chance). Plaxides Makura, (a legal manager at Herbert Smith in South Africa), Louise Woods (a partner at Vinson & Elkins).

Commenting on the recognition Louise Woods said, “The legal sector is making progress in terms of equality but there is still some way to go. I firmly believe that diversity results in better business, and initiatives like HERoes are great tools that can demonstrate best practice, share ideas and instigate change.”

For full details go to  2021 HERoes 100 Women Future Leaders List.

CONTRIBUTED ARTICLES OF THE WEEK

LEGALLY LEADING by Iain Blatherwick

In the first in a new series of articles the former Browne Jacobson Managing Partner turned coach, Iain Blatherwick briefly outlines the pressures and responsibilities that come with leading a successful law firm and highlights the importance of why mental wellbeing should be high on every law firm leader’s personal agenda.

Law firm leaders and leaders in general often feel pressure to have a calm, reassuring, determined presence – regardless of how they may actually feel, meaning they do not take enough time to look out for themselves or ensure they have the right team around them for mutual support.

With the profile and influence to have positive and negative impact on those around them, it is essential that leaders retain the energy and passion needed for the role. No-one wants to see a leader looking ‘frazzled’, a recent high-profile incident springs to mind where the Chair of a well-known UK business had to backtrack on controversial comments he made around the way people in the firm were reacting to the impacts that the Pandemic had bought. These would have been said partly through pressure, frustrations and exhaustion, and no doubt later regretted.

It is important that leaders take time to step back from the day to day demands of their role and achieve a better balance between those tasks which are enjoyable, suit their skill set and give energy and those which drain, but simply have to be done.

Mental wellbeing is undoubtedly high on many businesses’ agenda in 2021 with various mental health initiatives to support their people but what is in place for legal leaders and leaders in general when the going gets tough? Is there still a taboo around leaders taking up on these initiatives themselves? It is progress that we are seeing a shift from the somewhat archaic heroic leader model, where weaknesses should be hidden, to one where leaders can be more open about their own challenges. A CBI report on mental health in business post-Pandemic suggests that if businesses want to encourage an open culture or a safe space for its people to share and seek support then leaders should lead the way in being more transparent about their own struggles.

Sometimes a leader can feel that all the responsibility ultimately rests on their shoulders, but in order for a legal business to thrive, a great leadership team will be in place who are equally passionate about the organisation, will happily share that burden and will be shoulder to shoulder in helping deal with all challenges a business faces. In short, alongside every good leader is a strong leadership team and both need to support each other though the tough times that they are likely to face over the next few years without worrying about who will get the credit. (415)

Iain Blatherwick spent 11 years successfully leading law firm Browne Jacobson during a period of unprecedented growth and key expansion. Since stepping down from the managing partner role, Iain has completed the Academy of Executive Coaching’s (AOEC) practitioner Diploma Programme in executive coaching and is accredited by the European Mentoring & Coaching Council (EMCC). He recently launched Space + Time, an executive coaching programme aimed at c-suite level business leaders which offers support in horizon scanning and key decision making.

Continuing our

LEGAL HISTORY OF MARRIAGE

by Emma Nash, Partner Fletcher Day

Marriage in the 17th Century – Power & Progeny

As Rembrandt saw it

During the 17th century, marriage was used by the elite families in Europe to strengthen political power, gain territories, seal alliances and produce male heirs. Romantic marriage was left to the poorer classes and in some cases was thought to be counter to marriage with romantic love sometimes being considered a form of insanity.

The political benefits of a union were often prioritised over the physical compatibility of a couple to reproduce. Such unions were prevalent throughout the Royal families of Europe. This meant that the couple were sometimes too young or too old at the tie of marriage to reproduce or too closely related to produce healthy offspring. The Hapsburg dynasty, for example, was ended after Philip IV married his niece, Marianna of Austria, and their son, Charles II (born in 1661), suffered from physical and mental difficulties and produced no children. Marianna was Philip’s second wife, as he had initially married Elizabeth of France when he was only 10 years old and she was 13.

These royal marriages were regulated by a contract which dealt with the payment of a dowry, financial provision during the marriage and in widowhood and consequences if she were ever to re-marry such as relinquishing royal entitlements.

Meanwhile, in China, which was under the Qing dynasty at the time, there was a similar obsession with producing male heirs and regulation of women within the family. Marriages were arranged by the groom’s parents with the focus on finding suitable daughters-in-law rather than a suitable partners for their sons. It was believed that the family line, and the ability to serve and preserve the ancestors, passed through male descendants only. Without a male heir, the ancestral line became extinct. To avoid this there was the option of taking a concubine. This was sometimes with the blessing of, or selected by, the wife. The relationship of both wife and concubine were regulated. While subject to the authority of the husband, a wife had power within the family including over all children regardless of whether they were born to her or a concubine. A concubine could be elevated to wife when the wife died but only if she had produced a male heir. There was also a strict prohibition on a wife re-marrying which extended to concubines and severe punishments if either committed a crime against the family such as adultery.

APPOINTMENTS OF THE WEEK

FLADGATE

Kate Troup is joining Fladgate as a Partner within the firm’s Funds, Finance and Regulation (FFR) practice. She was was previously with Charles Russell Speechlys where she worked for over 11 years as a Partner in the firm’s Financial Services team. Prior to that she was at Farrer & Co, where she began her career.

Kate Troup

Troup specialises in the investment management and private banking sectors, advising UK and international firms that wish to provide investment and banking services in the UK market. She has advised private banks on the legal aspects of lending and deposit facilities, as well as the structuring and documentation of bank account services in the UK.

Ella Leonard, Head of FFR at Fladgate, commented, “Kate’s arrival at Fladgate furthers our efforts to build out and cultivate a breadth of carefully shaped services for both business and private clients that have fast-moving, complex challenges, requiring a mix of solutions delivered with genuinely personal service from their lawyers.”

EXCELLO LAW

Alexis Colfer has joined Excello Law (winner of the Modern Law Award 2018 for ‘ABS of the Year’ and The Law Society’s Excellence Award 2017 for ‘Excellence in Law Management’) in its southern practice based in Hampshire. Colfer has spent the past five years with Konexo global, the professional resource division of Eversheds-Sutherland LLP and prior to that was in-house with the IT, marketing, e-money, pharmaceutical and manufacturing sectors. 

Alexis Colfer

“I could see how using firms like Excello could mean lower fees for clients, without sacrificing the quality of the advice,” says Colfer. “I’m really pleased to see that Excello Law’s model has proven to be so successful for its lawyers and their clients, and I now look forward to being part of a great team of like-minded lawyers.”

Joanne Losty, director at Excello Law commented, We are committed to significant expansion across the South and we’re seeing great interest from lawyers across all disciplines who are looking for greater freedom to build their practice and support their clients.”

E-VENTS

CSFI logo_blue
The City post-Brexit: with Barney Reynolds (Shearman & Sterling), Kirstina Combe (LME) and John Godfrey (Legal & General)CLICK HERE TO WATCHWhy you should watch: Barney Reynolds is one of the most senior financial services lawyers in the City – and a lot more positive on the opportunities that are opened up by Brexit than some of his peers. But he is not starry-eyed. Are we doing as much as we can to exploit the advantages that a common law tradition ought to give us? Are we imposing too many layers of regulation where fewer are needed? His prescription: ‘Fewer rules; better drafting’. He is also concerned that we may be trying to shoehorn too much into regulation – especially issues (like diversity and inclusion) that might be better left to the law. Other thoughts on GDPR, on data more generally, and on the positive messages of the Hill Report. Moderator: Andrew Hilton (Director, CSFI) 

View email online

 
 
There is an exciting opportunity for in-house lawyers to take Net Zero leadership in their organisations
Businesses and public bodies are facing increasing pressure to align with Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) criteria, and individuals want to align their work with their values. 
In-house counsel are ideally placed to help deliver meaningful climate action as internal advocates for robust application of ESG principles – often being seen as trusted advisers and the corporate conscience. 
As the UN’s Race to Zero  speeds up, governments and policy makers are increasingly using legislation, taxation incentives and public procurement to signal that climate considerations are now good business practice. Investors and corporate customers are also making increasing ESG demands.  Furthermore there is increasing public concern at the accelerating pace of the climate crisis. 
Within this context in-house lawyers are taking leadership with their organisations to accelerate the transition. 

Please join us for an interactive webinar, with
Adam WoodhallChief Executive, Lawyers for Net Zero,
Will MorrisChief Counsel of Rolls Royce, Civil Aerospace and Charlotte Phillips, Legal Advisor, Kingfisher Group.
Date:  Tuesday 12 October 2021 Time: 1100-1200 (BST) including bonus Q&A 1200-1215.
Please click the Accept button to register for this webinar. Once you have registered you will be sent a confirmation email with full details.If you have any questions, queries or comments, please contact us at admin@legalleadership.co.uk 
ACCEPT Decline invitation

IF YOU WERE FORWARDED THIS EMAIL REGISTER HERE.
Find out how in-house lawyers are:Championing legitimate Net Zero;Supporting their organisation to guard against greenwashing; andDelivering climate action, including work on contracts and supply chains. Discussing their experience will be the Lawyers for Net Zero champions: Will Morris, Chief Counsel of Rolls Royce, Civil Aerospace Charlotte Phillips, Legal Advisor, Kingfisher Group.Case studies, top tips, good practice and key learnings will be shared by the panellists.You’ll also learn how Lawyers for Net Zero help in-house counsel deliver on this agenda.After the main session finishes, there will be an additional bonus 15 minute Q&A session with the panel.
The Centre for Legal Leadership
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T: 020 3060 6000 F: 020 3060 7000 DX 600 London/City Please let us know if you have any health, disability or mobility requirements and we’ll be pleased to help.

We hope that you enjoyed this edition of the LEGAL DIARY – and maybe even found it useful. If so please relay on to colleagues.

PLEASE NOTE There will be NO Legal Diary next week while the LegalDiarist is travelling and only a slimmed down travel version until October 15th. But please continue sending your Diary stories to

fennell.edward@yahoo.com

Edward Fennell’s LEGAL DIARY

Friday 3 September 2021 Edition 71

Diary news, commentary, insights, appointments and e-vents from the legal world

SHORT THOUGHT FOR THE WEEK

FAMILY LAW: IT’S A CRIME

Make your own interpretation
Image courtesy of Maguire Family Law

Two news stories yesterday – one from a local newspaper, the other from The Times – illustrates the high price that is being paid for family law,

In the first instance an army reservist was convicted and sent to jail for four years for couriering £100K+ worth of drugs. Until fairly recently he had lived an unblemished life with a good career in catering. Unfortunately his marriage break-up led to a dispute over access to his two sons. His legal bills topped £84,000 and he was financially ruined. It was at that point he turned to crime – and then the ruin of his whole life.

The other story is even more poignant. The context was the same – a man pursuing legal action to gain access to his children. When the fees became impossible he tried to steal a catalytic converter from a BMW. He bungled the job and was crushed to death under the car. (You probably read about it).

Surely it should not be beyond the wit of lawyers and the State to come up with a better way of dealing with the repercussions of family break-ups?

The LegalDiarist

In this Week’s Edition

+ LEGAL DIARY OF THE WEEK

– Bigging it Up (with the Big 4 accountants)

– Tour de Law gets back on the saddle

– Gresham College Spotlights Medical Law

– Our Man in Kabul at RIAA Barker Gillette

+ LEGAL ANALYSIS OF THE WEEK: THE AGE APPROPRIATE DESIGN CODE by Bridget Treacy

+ APPOINTMENT OF THE WEEK: LALIVE

+ E-VENTS with Brown Rudnick and Travers Smith

LEGAL DIARY OF THE WEEK

Bigging it Up

Look out on Monday for the publication of Are the Big Four reshaping the future of legal services?’, a report from LexisNexis Legal & Professional®. This argues that the Big 4 accountancy firms are not so much nibbling at the feet of the Magic Circle et al but are instead ‘setting on an altogether different strategy and benefiting from the changing way legal services are delivered through ALSPs.’

According to this analysis the accountants have veered away from their original strategy of trying to rival the established big names but, instead, are ‘bringing disruption to all areas of the legal market by offering clients a higher integration of technology, project management and process management than traditional firms may be able to offer’.

So these accountancy/lawyer hybrids, it is suggested, are less interested in building share of big, high-profile legal work.  “Instead, they are seeking to become the engine room of professional services.” At the heart of this is the harnessing of technology, project management and process management – in other words the kind of things skills that have always been seen to belong more to accountants than lawyers. “By utilising cutting-edge technologies, such as artificial intelligence and machine learning, the Big 4 can automate the routine, low value, high volume legal tasks – winning business that is often unwanted….The Big 4 are cornering the market of solutions, rather than advice.”

Put baldly, that sounds like vacuuming up vast amounts of commodity work while leaving the bespoke mandates to the poshos over at Slaughter and May. Nonetheless, it will have a big impact on reshaping the legal sector in London. Someone out there is going to suffer – but if you don’t move with the times then maybe you deserve it.

Tour de Law gets back on the saddle

Our Summer of Sport may now be almost over but a season of activity-based fund-raising is about to begin with the announcement that this year’s Breast Cancer Now’s annual charity cycle race, Tour de Law will be on the road from Monday, 11 to Sunday, 17 October 2021.

And, of course, that is not just ‘on the road’.Barristers’ chambers and law firms can enter an unlimited number of teams (each consisting of up to 10 riders) and the mode of transport can include static bikes at home or in the gym as well as being on the public highway. (Breast Cancer Now can arrange for static bikes to be made available in the office, for those who wish).

Following a record-breaking event in 2020 which saw more firms participate and more donations than ever before Tour de Law will continue with a virtual format. Participants track their distance through Strava, which will be linked to their team’s JustGiving page and automatically update both the distance and fundraising.

“The pandemic has presented a real challenge for charities – so please join me in doing what you can to raise money and awareness,” says Toria Kendrick, a partner at Eversheds Sutherland who has personal experience of breast cancer. “Tour de Law is a great way to bring the office together and raise money for such an important charity.”

Sign up now to join many hundreds of others working in the legal sector in raising vital funds for breast cancer by visiting tourdelaw.breastcancernow.org and keep up to date using the #TourDeLaw hashtag.

Gresham College Spotlights Medical Law

Medical law – what a minefield! From the basics of medical negligence to the profundities of medical ethics we are bombarded constantly by sad and troubling stories of individual pain. And when children are involved – which they increasingly seem to be – its even more complicated.

So the announcement by Gresham College (London’s oldest higher education institution) that it has appointed Imogen Goold as Visiting Professor of Medical Law for 2021-22 promises much of interest. Goold will be giving a series of three free public lectures on issues of great topicality – children and consent to medical treatment, body part ownership and freezing eggs.  

Imogen Goold

Goold is Associate Professor of the Faculty of Law at Oxford and her doctoral research explored the use of property law to regulate human body parts. Her current focus is the legal regulation of decisions regarding children and she is currently working on a book on the law and ethics of decisions about children’s medical care (with Cressida Auckland of the LSE).

“I am a strong believer in Gresham’s mission to bring academic work to the wider community,” she says. “I’ve undertaken public engagement work on abortion law and women’s stories, on human enhancement, and on body part ownership and I believe public engagement and outreach from the academic sphere to the wider public is hugely important.”

The series of lectures starts on 25th October. For more go to https://www.gresham.ac.uk/series/medical-law/

Our Man in Kabul

I was intrigued to see the announcement this week of a merger between London firms RIAA Barker Gillette and Tibber Marks Solicitors. To the LegalDiarist’s shame these are not firms about which much was known in the Legal Diary’s office – a sharp reminder that beneath the top level of big name, big ticket outfits with worldwide client bases there is a mesh of other very good firms but who go about their work in a quieter (but maybe more satisfying) way.

The interesting thing about these two outfits, though, is that they are by no means just limited to London or even the UK. Instead their mission is largely about serving the needs of ‘high-net-worth individuals and entrepreneurial and ambitious businesses’ worldwide.

A long way from Cavendish Square

Further research revealed that RIAA Barker Gillette was not just part of a pan-Atlantic network but that it even had – or did have – an office in Kabul! Certainly it was still there on its website yesterday afternoon. “Mazhar Bangash heads our Kabul office, which services international clients operating in Afghanistan…” it announced. “Mazhar has made significant contributions towards Afghanistan jurisdiction where he advises multinational companies and NGO’s on their corporate matters in the country, including registrations/incorporations; government approvals; licensing; good governance and compliance with regulatory requirements.”

Looks like he will have his hands full over the next few weeks.

LEGAL ANALYSIS OF THE WEEK: THE AGE APPROPRIATE DESIGN CODE

The Age Appropriate Design Codekicked in this week. Organisations have had 12 months to implement the necessary changes to ensure that anyof their online services which may be accessed by children in the UK take into account the best interests of the child. BRIDGET TREACYanalyses where we now stand.

“The 12-month transition period to allow organisations to prepare for the Children’s Code (or Age Appropriate Design Code, to give it its formal name) expires this week. From now on the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) expect that organisations which provide online services likely to be accessed by children – including apps, games, and social media services – should comply with the Children’s Code.

The Children’s Code seeks to guide organisations in their design of online services so that the ‘best interests’ of children are protected. This covers a number of concepts, including the child’s right to privacy, their right to information and play and their right to freedom from economic exploitation. The Code sets out 15 technology-neutral design principles and practical privacy features that online services are expected to comply with.

“The ICO has indicated that it will monitor compliance with the Children’s Code through proactive audits but, as in other areas of data protection, it is likely that privacy activists will also monitor organisations’ compliance and bring any apparent shortcomings to the attention of the ICO. The ICO’s enforcement powers include the power to issue warnings, reprimands, ‘stop now’ orders and fines of up to £17.5 million or 4% of annual worldwide turnover for breaches of the UK GDPR.

The ICO has highlighted concerns that children’s data is being used to target children with personalised content and features, including adverts, messages and friend requests, some of which may be inappropriate. In addition, the ICO has drawn attention to ‘nudge’ techniques and other methods that organisations use to prompt children to remain online and provide additional personal data.

A range of potential harms to children have been highlighted by the ICO – not just risks of physical or emotional abuse or financial harm, but also psychological harms that may be suffered by children as a result of these nudge techniques, which exploit psychologicalbiases to encourage certain behaviour.

 “Tech and gaming organisations in other jurisdictions, such as the US, are now being encouraged by legislators to adopt voluntarily the standards set out in the UK Code, signalling a global shift in the standards of data protection expected of providers online services offered to children. As part of its work on the use of children’s data, the ICO is also considering the thorny issue of age verification, something that has proven challenging for organisations to implement in a practical way. The ICO intends to set out a formal position on age assurance in the autumn.”

Bridget Treacy, leads the UK privacy and cybersecurity practice at Hunton Andrews Kurth

APPOINTMENT OF THE WEEK:

GENEVIEVE POIRIER to LALIVE

Genevieve Poirier is joining international disputes firm LALIVE (London) LLP as a partner based in its London office. Poirier is an arbitration specialist and was previously with Skadden Arps Slate Meagher & Flom. Her recruitment is the latest step in LALIVE’s commitment to the strategically important London market, following its launch in the UK in 2018.

Genevieve Poirier

Poirier’s experience covers a broad range of commercial matters, including cross-border disputes in the telecommunications, oil and gas, insurance, shipping and financial services sectors, as well as shareholder disputes. With dual Irish and Canadian citizenship she initially trained in New Zealand, and is now a Solicitor Advocate with rights of audience before the English High Court.

“We are absolutely delighted that Genevieve has chosen to join LALIVE,” said Domitille Baizeau, LALIVE Geneva partner and chair of the firm’s Management Board. “Her disputes focus, international experience and English law expertise fit perfectly with our own practice and plan to continue growing in London as a strategic market. This is an exciting development for the firm.”

E-VENTS

Brown Rudnick’s Women in Business Series
In Conversation with Shelley Lawson
Brown Rudnick is proud to announce the next in our series of events celebrating inspirational and thought-provoking speakers, who will share their professional experiences and achievements. At our next Women in Business event, we will be joined by Shelley Lawson, Co-Founder of award winning children’s bike brand Frog Bikes, who will speak about their growth story, the challenges of manufacturing in a pandemic, and Frog’s ambitions to decarbonise.Please note this event will take place online only. As we move later in the year, we hope to host our Women in Business series in person at our Mayfair offices, while maintaining the option to join remotely for those who feel more comfortable doing so. Date: 8 September 2021
Time: 17:30 – 18:30 UK
Location: This event will take place online
RSVP Add to calendar Join the event here
TRAVERS SMITH
International employment law podcast series

Episode 1: Hiring in Ireland
Welcome to the second in our series of podcasts focusing on international employment law.In these three episodes we will be speaking to Head of Employment, Duncan Inverarity at A&L Goodbody.We will be discussing key employment law issues and things to think about when employing staff in Ireland, considering the start of employment, the end of employment and other key aspects of Irish employment law.Listen to episode 1

We hope that you’ve found this edition of the LEGAL DIARY interesting – and even useful.

We will be back next Friday but travelling the week after (which means no edition on Friday 17th) so do continue to send yout Diary news, insights and comment to

fennell.edward@yahoo.com

AND PLEASE RELAY ON THE LEGAL DIARY TO FRIENDS AND COLLEAGUES

Edward Fennell’s LEGAL DIARY

Friday 27 August 2021 Edition 70

Diary news, commentary, insights, appointments and e-vents from the legal world

SHORT THOUGHT FOR THE WEEK – AGILITY: DO YOU HAVE IT?

Agility? I’ll think about it – Image by Matthew Henry

In an article in this week’s Business Leader magazine Gill White, a Partner at Howard Kennedy comments, “The pandemic underlined how important it was for businesses to continue to have nimble reactions and an innovative mindset.” The quality which she went on to highlight most was ‘Agility’. It’s a brilliant attribute right now because it implies that businesses – including, of course law firms- must be constantly and remorselessly re-organising and re-shaping themselves, twisting and turning in response to quickly changing circumstances – whether that be Covid, WFA, equalities and, above all, client requirements.

Typical of this (as reported below) is the new office deal that Travers Smith has secured in Stonecutters Court. The agreement for nine floors of the new building can be varied up or downwards because, frankly, who can predict what might be happening in 2025 when the move takes place.

The consequence must, inevitably, that horizons get shorter and shorter. So for example, it could be unwise to read too much in the decision by Reed Smith to cut 66 legal secretary roles in the firm. The call is right for now but does not necessarily have long-term implications. By 2025 those legal secretaries might be back in favour and the firms scrabbling around to recruit. But agile employers need an agile workforce. Fixing that could be the biggest challenge of all.

The LegalDiarist

IN THIS WEEK’S EDITION

+ LEGAL DIARY OF THE WEEK

– African Paralympians On The Telly Thanks to Hogan Lovells

– Brain Injury – How Lawyers Can Help 

– Sorry kids, it’s all gone, says 007

– Snow Dissolves but Stone Cuts It for Travers Cmith

+ LEGAL COMMENT OF THE WEEK: POST-BREXIT SHAKE UP OF DATA RULES

+ LEGAL INSIGHT OF THE WEEK : UNDERSTANDING THE COMPLEXITY OF GMP EQUALISATION GUIDANCE

+ LEGAL APPOINTMENT OF THE WEEK at Browne Jacobson

+ E-VENTS with Gatehouse Chambers

LEGAL DIARY OF THE WEEK

– African Paralympians On The Telly Thanks to Hogan Lovells

As the Paralympics gets into its stride over the next couple of weeks Hogan Lovells has made its particular contribution to the success of the Games by supporting the ‘Para Sport Against Stigma’ project and the International Paralympic Committee (IPC)’s free-to-air broadcast of the Games across Sub-Saharan Africa.

If the Paralympics are going to be successful in their aim of normalising high level sports participation for those with disabilities then its reach has to be truly global. We have already seen this year the enormous impact that Africa-based sportspeople made at the Olympics but there remains a problem on the continent when it comes to stigma and discrimination against people with disabilities.

Thanks to Hogan Lovells’ backing and pro bono activity African viewers are now able to watch for the first time the live broadcasts of the opening and closing ceremonies plus daily 52-minute highlights packages of African-centred content in English, French, and Portuguese. The project also sits alongside the IPC’s “I’mPossible” campaign to work with National Paralympic Committees of Ghana, Malawi, and Zambia to deliver education programmes to assist the countries in meeting their commitments under the Convention of the Rights of the Disabled.

“The broadcast initiative of the Para Sport Against Stigma project provides leadership to address the inequalities faced by people with disabilities,” said Yasmin Waljee the firm’s International Pro Bono Partner. “Our support for inclusion and social change across Africa is an example of our strong commitment to diversity and inclusion and responsible business.”

Brain Injury – How Lawyers Can Help

‘Heads, You Lose!’ Image Irish Times

With increasing accounts of footballers and rugby players who are suffering the longterm effects of heading and scrummaging there is increasing awareness of the problems that arise from brain injury. Now the Brain Injury Group – a network of specialist lawyers providing support to brain injured people and their families – has been joined by Clarke Willmott LLP another high profile firm specialising in this work.

Gaining accreditation as a BIG member involves a robust application process and demonstrating a high level of expertise and experience in brain injury litigation. “It’s great to have this accreditation and to work with like-minded organisations across a range of professions who are experienced in dealing with acquired brain injuries to secure the best results for our clients,” said Chris Thorne, the firm’s head of personal injury and medical negligence.

Astonishingly, as many as one million people attend hospital each year suffering from some form of head trauma or brain injury. A significant number will then suffer on-going symptoms ranging from mild, short-term difficulty with memory, through to severe lifelong cognitive disability. Clarke Willmott’s team of brain injury solicitors specialise in dealing with these issues which arise including bringing claims for brain injury compensation and advising on issues relating to capacity, financial affairs and care. With its new accreditation Clarke Willmott can now provide a complete package of support to those affected.

Sorry kids, it’s all gone – I’m down to my last cufflinks

No Secret! He’s only going to give it all away

It is not clear whether the daughters of actor Daniel Craig (aka, James Bond) have the licence to kill him given his £100M+ wealth but there’s no point in doing so following his high-minded announcement that they cannot expect anything from his will. Indeed he has said that inheritance is ‘quite distasteful’.

Mind you, he has a point. There is a long and sad list of heirs to great fortune who have been ruined by being everything on a plate – everything, that is, except good judgement and a wise steer on life. A bottomless pit of money is less than it might seem.

As Ann Stanyer, a Partner at Wedlake Bell, observes, “Great wealth comes with great responsibility. Clearly ensuring your family has a good start in life is one thing but to hand over millions when they are young and able to earn for themselves can be destructive. To be remembered as a great philanthropist and to be thought well off after your death is far and away a better course to take.”

Stanyer goes on to say that many people in Daniel Craig’s position would set up a foundation to ensure that their wealth provides a lasting legacy for good causes rather than a harmful cash legacy for their children. “Involving their adult children in the foundation’s vision would ensure continuity with the parent’s goals and allow the parent’s vision to last for future generations and not just the present one.”

As Shakespeare did not quite say, some are born wealthy some achieve wealth, and some have wealth denied them by po-faced parents.

Snow Dissolves but Stone Cuts It for Travers

It’s all transparent at Stonecutter Court

Travers Smith has announced plans to move from its long-standing perch on Snow Hill to somewhere more central at Stonecutter Court, EC4 close to the Goldman Sachs building, the Deloitte campus and with better access to the courts (a move which will be appreciated by the Disputes team). It will be a sad moment nonetheless for those of us who visited Snow Hill often (as the LegalDiarist did at one time) and enjoyed the sense of being just round the corner from Covent Garden and only a stone’s throw from the site of the historic Snow Hill police station first established in 1840.

But times move on and the thriving Travers team will be moving into a new landmark 13-storey building of which the firm will take nine floors and 158,000 square feet of ‘high-quality and flexible office space’

‘Flexible’ is, obviously, the operative word these days along with ‘modern facilities for cyclists and runners’. They will also be able to add or subtract one floor as they choose. Managing Partner Edmund Reed was absolutely upbeat about the decision. “The move to Stonecutter Court shows our confidence in the future ,” he said. “[It’s an] opportunity to build on our success and allow for growth in the coming years.”

The move will take place in 2025. By then we might have a better sense of what shape the legal industry will be in for the long term.

LEGAL COMMENT OF THE WEEK: POST-BREXIT SHAKE UP OF DATA RULES

In the wake of the UK government’s announcements concerning global data plans, the nomination of the Information Commissioner and launch of an International Data Transfers Expert Council there has been plenty of comment – most of it supportive – from lawyers.

The UK is taking the lead

The UK is starting to show that there is room for diversion from EU data protection law whilst still retaining the GDPR as a framework. What this means in practice is that the way in which international data flows are approached is not identical to the way the same data flows are treated in the EU, but this doesn’t necessarily mean that the protection is going away. It does not mean doing away with the GDPR framework but adapting it to make it as progressive and effective as possible.

For example, the notice and consent model is not suited to regulating cookies and other sophisticated technological ways to gather data about our electronic interactions. The UK knows that and the EU knows that. It seems that the UK is taking the lead in finding an alternative more effective way to protect online privacy while allowing us to use the Internet without so much friction.  That is not an easy task and will require a regulatory policy that is technology-friendly but robust in enforcing data protection by design and by default.”

Eduardo Ustaran, Co-Head of the global Privacy and Cybersecurity practice at Hogan Lovells

Thumbs up

The UK plans do not necessarily mean divergence from GDPR. It is possible to improve the data privacy regime and how it works in practice without lowering the level of protection for individuals. This is a positive development and should be encouraged in the UK and in the EU, too.

 UK ambitious international data flows and adequacy plans are the right thing to do. The government recognises the importance of data flows for economy, people and society at large and wants to enable trusted and responsible data flows. Just because the UK government may be more agile, flexible, risk-based and outcomes-driven in how they determine adequacy does not mean this will result in lower level of protection for people and their data. In fact, likely the opposite is the case. Looking at a whole picture of how privacy protections work in practice in third countries may be better for individuals then a theoretical line by line comparison of legal texts. We should not be judgemental of countries doing things their own way as long as they achieve the same outcomes.

 Businesses in all sectors will welcome a more seamless regime for data transfers and adequacy decisions in respect of more countries. Data privacy officers are spending too much time and precious resources on dealing with legalities of data flows from the EU, especially in the aftermath of Schrems judgement, instead of doing more pressing work on privacy by design, risk impact assessments and building long term privacy culture and programmes for the new digital economy. I hope the UK example will inspire the EU and other countries to follow suit.

 Delighted to see the news of the new UK ICO. This will be a critically important role for the UK in the next 5 years and John Edwards is well placed to lead the new chapter for the ICO. Thumbs up for choosing a candidate with privacy, data policy and international expertise!”

 Bojana Bellamy, president of the Centre for Information Policy Leadership (CIPL) – a think tank based in Washington, DC, Brussels and London founded by international law firm Hunton Andrews Kurth 

LEGAL INSIGHT OF THE WEEK : UNDERSTANDING THE COMPLEXITY OF GMP EQUALISATION GUIDANCE

Following the updating of its guaranteed minimum pension (GMP) equalisation guidance (to account for the Lloyds 2020 judgment) the Pensions Administration Standards Association (PASA) has set out the role of transferring schemes and receiving plans in individual transfers. Here Max Ballad considers whether we now have a realistic solution to the GMP equalisation question.

Max Ballad

Pension scheme trustees are still dealing with the ramifications of a judgment in 1990 (Barber v Guardian Royal Exchange) that occupational pensions must be equal for men and women. Many schemes which were contracted out of the State pension scheme provide members and their spouses with Guaranteed Minimum Pensions which are defined by statute to be different for men and women. Until recently, most schemes have ducked the GMP equalisation problem due to its complexity and uncertainty as to what needed to be done. Recent judgments in relation to the Lloyds Bank pension schemes have confirmed however that trustees must equalise benefits to remove the discriminatory effects of GMPs.

That is a big problem for trustees because they not only need to equalise current benefits, they also need to look at all the transfer values they have paid for members over the last 30 years and see if they need to make any top-up payments. The recent Lloyds judgment confirmed that there is no statutory limitation period for members’ claims to top-ups from assets held by the trustees.

Fortunately, some help is at hand in guidance which has been issued by the Pensions Administration Standards Association which does a good job of explaining the mess schemes find themselves in and how trustees may discharge their obligations in a pragmatic way.

It isn’t going to be easy and in some cases the administration costs might exceed the amounts involved. Trustees may look to forfeiture provisions in their scheme rules but in most cases these are unlikely to apply. The practical problems are likely to be considerable: data on past transfers may be missing or incomplete, former members will need to be traced and the trustees will need to find a way to discharge their liabilities, hopefully without incurring too many costs.

Max Ballad is Legal Director, Arc Pensions Law

APPOINTMENT OF THE WEEK at BROWNE JACOBSON

Kay Chand has joined Browne Jacobson as a technology projects partner as part of a further expansion of the firm’s TMT practice.Chand was formerly at DAC Beachcroft and has more than15 years’ experience of advising on complex/critical change and business transformation programmes including digital transformation projects. She has worked with a range of clients in the financial services and central government sectors, working alongside decision makers to provide commercially pragmatic advice.

Kay Chand

“Kay is a highly regarded commercial and innovative technology expert who I am delighted to welcome to the thirteen partner strong team,” said Declan Cushley, partner and head of the firm’s TMT Group. “Her specialist expertise in handling high profile complex IT projects together with her wealth of experience of working with a number of our key sectors are a great fit for the firm and our wider commercial practice.”

E-VENTS

Gatehouse Chambers Brew


Till death us do part? The problem of predatory marriages

11:00 AM – 11:30 AM | Wednesday, 15th September 2021
Online!

We are delighted to announce the date for our Private Client Team’s next Gatehouse Chambers #Brew on Wednesday 15th September 2021 at 11am.

Edward RowntreeCharlotte John and Oliver Hyams will look at predatory marriages as a species of inheritance fraud.

Predatory marriages are back in the news as a result of a campaign to change the law with the aim of giving greater protection to vulnerable people against exploitation through marriage as a means of securing an inheritance.

The brew will discuss:The test for capacity to marry;The legal consequences of a marriage where a party lacks consent, including the impact of marriage on inheritance rights;What can be done to prevent a predatory marriage or to remedy the situation in life and what, if anything, can be done following the death of the vulnerable person;The merits of the proposed changes to the law.
We will circulate the joining instructions in due course.

If you have any questions or wish to register please e-mail events@gatehouselaw.co.uk.
 

We hope that you have found this edition of the LEGAL DIARY interesting – if so, please relay on to colleagues.

And for next week please send any Diary-type stories, insights or comments to

fennell.edward@yahoo.com

Meanwhile have a great Bank Holiday Weekend 


  


  

Edward Fennell’s LEGAL DIARY

Friday 20 August 2021 Edition 69

Diary news, commentary, insights, appointments and e-vents from the legal world

SHORT THOUGHT FOR THE WEEK

– Afghan Legitimacy?

Meet the Jury Image courtesy of Council on Foreign Relations

The current horrific chaos in Afghanistan is not likely to last long. Before we know it – maybe even right now – sharia will be shaping life on the streets and , presumably, in business too. Those who believe in a rules-based system will have a new model to follow.

Already though, on the international front, attention is being paid to the $10 bn. of Afghan government central reserves held (predominantly) in US banks and which the Taliban regime will, no doubt, soon demand be repaid. This raises the murky question of the point at which the theocratic rulers gain international recognition. The British government has insisted that it ‘recognises countries not governments’ and as Anne Schuit (author of Recognition of Governments in International Law) points out, ‘The meaning of recognition of governments varies in time and between individual States.’

The long-running case in London featuring the Venezuelan gold held by the Bank of England (which is being denied to the Maduro government on grounds of its illegitimacy) is a case in point. When the Taliban start hiring London lawyers to argue for their rights under international law a signifiant milestone will have been reached. Whether or not that will be a hopeful sign is a matter of debate.

The LegalDiarist

In this week’s edition

+ LEGAL DIARY OF THE WEEK

– Screening Justice: is this remotely possible? (Berkeley Research Group)

– Ample opportunity for expansion of litigation funding (Ampla Finance)

– Doubling Up for the Law Society Excellence Awards (Bushra Ali)

– Industry focus for new trainee scheme at BCLP

– To the Manor Born? (BDB Pitmans)

APPOINTMENT OF THE WEEK – Bird & Bird

LEGAL DIARY OF THE WEEK


Screening Justice: is this remotely possible?

Multi-screen verdict

Without remote hearings the justice system would have ground to a halt over the past year or so. So was that a win for the technology?

The jury, so to speak, is still out. Supporters of screen-based justice argue that it has massive benefits in terms of saving time and expense while also enabling the legal process to continue. But no-one is suggesting that it can fully replicate the face-to-face exchanges. And, moreover, according to a new report by consulting firm Berkeley Research Group, remote hearings often had an unseen psychological impact.

The research, which consulted with expert witnesses, lawyers and psychologists from around the world, focused on the psychological impact of conducting proceedings remotely and the extent to which these had affected the outcome of hearings and tribunals.

“Expert witnesses responded positively to the additional virtual barrier and familiar surroundings during cross-examination as traditional techniques deployed by lawyers proved less effective,” commented the researchers. “However, some found themselves resorting to imagining the traditional physical environment to prepare mentally for each question and maintain focus and avoid being lulled into a false sense of security.”

Also the actual technological experience seemed to weigh on some people. These included the subliminal processes that can kick in and sway decision-making, such as associating the frustration of technical issues with those providing evidence or spending more of an arbitrator’s mental capacity on managing an unnatural situation, rather than carefully considering all aspects of the evidence provided. “It was noted that decisions were being reached considerably more quickly compared to in-person hearings.” Interestingly one commentator even suggested withdrawing video from the equation altogether, thereby allowing decisions to be made, “Based purely on speech and lessening the potential impact of unconscious bias.” Mind you, that would still leave evidence to be shaped by accent, tone of speech and fluency. No system it seems is likely to be perfect.


A copy of the full report can be found here.

Ample opportunity for expansion of litigation funding

Richard Kinnerley

Further evidence of the development of third party litigation funding comes with the appointment of Richard Kennerley as the new CEO of Ampla Finance.

The company is going thorough a period of particular growth right now maybe reflecting the growing crisis in marriages under the shadow of Covid. As the company explains, there is strong demand for its matrimonial and estate loan products, which offer individuals quick access to flexible finance to cover divorce proceedings and loans to estate beneficiaries and executors.

“I am delighted to have been appointed CEO of [Ampla Finance] at this crucial time in its evolution,” says Kennerley who has had extensive experience in the Australian market. “ In addition to developing our family and legacy products we are also excited about expanding into new markets and product offerings. One of the main attractions that drew me to Ampla is its overarching commitment to putting the customer at the heart of everything it does, which has established the business as one of the pioneers of the legal finance market in the process.”

Ampla is probably best known for its digital Hub which keeps clients and solicitors up-to-date with the loan status at all times, allowing approval in up to two days and funds to be drawn with quick client approval.

Doubling Up for the Law Society Excellence Awards

Getting on to the shortlist for one of the Law Society’s individual Excellence awards is a cause of satisfaction. Getting on to two shortlists is almost a matter of celebration in its own right regardless of the outcome. So that’s the position of Bushra Ali, Founder and Director of Bushra Ali Solicitors who is up for both the ‘Sole Practitioner of the Year’ and ‘Woman Solicitor of the Year’ categories at the awards event which takes place (virtually) in early October. Commenting on the news Ali said, “To be a finalist in both the Sole Practitioner of the Year category and the Woman Solicitor of the Year category is absolutely unbelievable and I am deeply honoured for the nomination and for the finalist place.”

Law firms have had a very mixed experience during the Covid crisis with some of the larger firms reporting especially good results. But many smaller firms have faced enormous problems.

“The entries we’ve received during a very challenging time for solicitors are a testament to the outstanding work accomplished across the legal profession,” said a spokesperson for the Law Society.  “Congratulations to all the firms, teams and individuals who have been shortlisted.”

Detailed criteria are set for all awards. For the Woman Solicitor of the Year award they include specifically ‘opening doors historically closed to women and inspiring and influencing others to pursue a career in law’. This could include initiatives such as setting up networks to support women in the profession; championing sponsorship, mentoring and other programmes promoting progression of women in their careers; and volunteering for charities and other community groups for the benefit of wider society. “I’d very much like to extend my congratulations to all my fellow finalists and wish them all good luck!  Let’s take this as an opportunity to celebrate together!” said Ali.

Industry focus for new trainee scheme at BCLP

A clear industry-specific focus is at the heart of two new trainee lawyer programmes from Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner LLP (BCLP) with applications open from next month.

The Real Estate Sector route will include a core real estate seat alongside a range of complementary seats such as planning and zoning, commercial construction, tax, investment management, real estate disputes and real estate finance.

Meanwhile the Financial Services route will have Finance Transactions Practice as a compulsory seat, with a choice of complementary seats: corporate transactions including energy, environment and infrastructure; financial services disputes & investigations; tax; technology, commercial and government affairs; and real estate finance.

In both cases there will also be the opportunity to complete an international or client secondment related to the sector.

“We remain committed to offering tailored and different career paths for emerging talent and these new sector-specific opportunities will strengthen our talent attraction for aspiring lawyers who have a clear sector interest. Many trainees won’t know which practice they want to pursue on joining BCLP, but we also understand that for some future trainees, they already have a clear practice or sector in mind,” said Senior Graduate Recruitment & Development Manager Chloe Muir.

There will also be an Innovation seat within the mix designed to increase collaboration between the practice groups and the firm’s Innovation Team.

The firm is also doubling from two to four the number of places on its legal placement programme next year which enables students join the firm for a 12-month period. Formerly exclusively with Queen Mary University of London it will now be open to all penultimate year LLB undergraduate students at institutions which permit a placement year. “Due to the success of the placements with QMUL and the high calibre of talent, we are keen to expand the programme to further diversify our intake and look forward to working with other universities on this programme,” said Grace Ambrose the Senior Graduate Recruitment & Development Advisor.

To the Manor Born?

Hugh Lumby, the high-powered former Head of Global Real Estate practice at Ashurst LLPUK is joining BDB Pitmans, as a consultant to the firm’s Real Estate practice in Southampton. In what is quite a coup for the south coast’s legal community Lumby brings with him twenty-five years high level experience including helping to deliver the infrastructure for the London Olympics and the acquisition and development of office buildings in the City of London.

Hugh Lumby

The appointment is of particular interest to the Legal Diary since, as it happens, Hugh Lumby is also now a leading politician on Winchester City Council, the home district of the Legal Diarist. We will refrain here from entertaining readers of the Legal Diary with the details of parish pump politics of central Hampshire other then mentioning that Lumby’s current role is as the shadow portfolio holder for the local economy. Given that Winchester has just been rated the most expensive area to live in the UK maybe his greatest challenge is how to counter the trend of generously-paid London lawyers coming down the M3 and inflating house prices for everyone else.

House prices in Winchester are now so high that even King Alfred is out on the street

APPOINTMENT OF THE WEEK – BIRD & BIRD

James Gong now nesting at Two Birds

James Gong, a technology, media and telecommunications specialist, has joined Bird & Bird as a Corporate partner in Beijing. Gong was previously at Herbert Smith Freehills, where he was Of Counsel.

Bird & Bird commented that his appointment was an important part of building a market-leading Corporate practice with M&A and big data capabilities in the TMT sector across the Asia-Pacific region. He will also be working closely with the international Data Protection group, focusing on providing compliance services for international network clients ahead of the enactment of the new Chinese cyber and data protection laws.

James’s region-specific expertise and impressive experience in Tech & Comms regulation and compliance will service the needs of our international clients in mainland China and help us develop our Chinese tech and comms client base,” says Ted Chwu, co-head of the international Tech & Comms team and head of China at Bird & Bird.

Hope that you have found this edition of the LEGAL DIARY interesting (and even useful). If so please relay on to colleagues.

Meanwhile, we are aiming to be back next week so please continue sending Legal Diary-style stories, insights and comment to

fennell.edward@yahoo.com

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Edward Fennell’s LEGAL DIARY

Friday 13 August 2021 Edition 69

Diary news, commentary, insights, appointments and e-vents from the legal world

SHORT THOUGHT FOR THE WEEK

“I won it playing tiddly-winks” Image Courtesy Houston DCA

Google ‘AML’ and you will be offered two options – Anti Money Laundering for lawyers but the alternative, if you are medically-minded, is Acute Myeloid Leukaemia (AML), a particularly aggressive form of cancer.

But maybe money laundering IS the cancer of our business system – after all, the drug business, fraud, corruption and modern slavery are all facilitated through it. Yet according to a recent survey of over 300 UK law sector compliance professionals, conducted by Accuity, a LexisNexis® Risk Solutions company, in association with the Law Society,Fee earners remain unsold on the value of AML compliance.’ The problems cited by the reluctant partners focus particularly on the time taken to collate relevant information and the level and quality of data available on clients.

Understandably, the grind of checking out the reliability of clients and the source of their income is an undesirable chore for law firms. Whether they like it or not, however, lawyers represent the best front line in the fight against modern criminals. They control the vital portal into the mainstream. It may be tedious but it also represents good citizenship.

The LegalDiarist

In this week’s edition

+ SHORT THOUGHT on money-laundering with Accuity

+ LEGAL DIARY OF THE WEEK

– Pioneering a fertility policy (at Phillips Solicitors)

Just managing (at Linklaters)?

Hold Up in the Fast Lane to Whiplash Reforms (says Call Brian)-

– Legal Realities Post-Pandemic (according to Bolt Burdon Kemp)

+ A LEGAL HISTORY OF MARRIAGE: ALL CHANGE IN THE 16th CENTURY – The second in Emma Nash’s series

+ APPOINTMENT OF THE WEEK with Addleshaw Goddard

+ E-VENTS

+ LEGAL DIARY OF THE WEEK

– Pioneering a fertility policy (at Phillips Solicitors)

Finding a Way

A new frontier has been opened in the field of staff welfare by Basingstoke-based law firm Phillips which has just announced what it describes as a ‘pioneering policy to support employees who are struggling to conceive’.

Under the new scheme the firm will provide financial and emotional backing at what is often an emotionally-charged time for those struggling to conceive. This includes five additional days of leave for hospital visits and for post treatment recovery and an interest-free loan of up to £5,000 to cover the costs of fertility treatment. (Recent NHS estimates put the cost of one single cycle of treatment at £5,000. However the estimated success rate of the treatment amongst women aged 38 to 39 stands at at 15%.)

Jack Gardener leading Phillips

In announcing the move Jack Gardener, the Director of the firm and himself a recent father said, “I have witnessed the emotional and financial stress that can impact couples trying to conceive. At Phillips, we strive to support staff well-being beyond the workplace and through some of life’s major milestones.”

The new policy is designed not just to raise awareness but also to recognises the importance of being able to take time away from the office, to recuperate and gives what can be a stressful process the highest chance of success possible.

“It is baffling that many large businesses support employees to purchase annual travel tickets, bicycles or cars but may not have considered helping their employees through significant periods in their lives,” said Gardener who was formerly with White & Case before returning to his home region. “I hope we will set an example for the law industry and beyond to think innovatively about the range of support they can provide their staff beyond the workplace.”

Phillips has over 70 staff and incorporates Brain Chase Coles. The fertility policy comes in the wake of significant enhancements to maternity, miscarriage and menopause policies.

https://www.phillips-law.co.uk/

– Just managing (at Linklaters)?

Back in the day there used to be a hackneyed saying around IT procurement managers that ‘Nobody ever got fired for buying IBM’. As a highly regarded global business with an enviable list of clients ‘Big Blue’ had reached the tipping point of market popularity. It was Number One and it was almost unassailable.

So time moves on but maybe the same blessed state has descended on iManage. After all, the announcement this week that Linklaters has joined the other members of the City’s Magic Circle firms in adopting iManage Work in the Cloud for its secure document and email management and collaboration does rather look like ‘game, set and match’ to the product.

So it’s out with the old and in with the new. As the supplier observes, “iManage Work 10 will replace Linklaters’ existing document management and email filing systems to deliver a single, unified platform to its 6,500 global professionals.”

Of course, what is striking is that major law firms are no longer passive customers in this transaction having nurtured their own in-house IT expertise. In Linklaters’ case they have developed innovative AI solutions powered by iManage’s advanced AI engine to automate laborious tasks, The result is that taks which used to take days now take just minutes. Hence Linklaters MFNiQ, system is able to accelerate legal data comparisons in fundraising deals. No doubt iManage will be overtaken or eclipsed in its turn. But for the time being it’s managing very nicely thank you.

– Hold Up in the Fast Lane to Whiplash Reforms (says Call Brian)

The bureaucracy is even worse then the pain

Having followed the Whiplash reforms with interest, with frustration and then with exasperation for many years the LegalDiarist could not quite believe it would all be over when the Government’s new Official Injury Claim portal opened. Surely such a saga could not conclude on such a tranquil ending?

The LegalDiarist was right. According to a leading accident management expert, the new portal has added a significant level of complexity to accident claims for young people. Indeed, less than three months after its introduction on 31st of May, Call Brian, an automated accident management company, has called into question the UK Government’s whole new ‘Whiplash Reform Programme’. In particular Call Brian highlights the lengthy admin involved with the new process, as well as the detailed knowledge required to assess the complexity and duration of any medical injuries incurred. “Young drivers are particularly vulnerable in this market,” said Russell Atkinson, Chairman of the Call Brian Group.

“Buying your first car, the insurance associated with it – it’s a big investment. But what we are really pinpointing here, in terms of the new injury claims process, is the cost of complexity.

“It’s completely impossible for drivers to understand the full cost of whiplash for example – it could have you off work or university for a days, months or even a year. Without first going to a medical professional or having that sound advice, you are completely in the dark.”

Applicants using the system must not only negotiate the complex online system they will also have to follow 64-page guide to the law. The result, says Russell, is that drivers could be receiving lower compensation claim payouts than they deserve.

“The Government introduced this new process to weed out the fraudsters looking for an easy payday, and rightly so, but I would argue that this has now come at the cost of genuine claimants.

“If a motorist has incorrectly assessed the extent of his or her injuries, which is highly likely given the lack of assistance or clarity given with the new portal, then they could be done out of thousands of pounds.”

A tricky one this. But then if the law was simple who would need lawyers?

– Legal Realities Post-Pandemic (according to Bolt Burdon Kemp)

 New research by specialist lawyers Bolt Burdon Kemp (BBK) suggests that while the legal aid system has been heavily stressed for years the pandemic has made things significantly worse.

It is worth remembering that seventy years ago, amidst the flurry of post-WW2 reforms, 80% of British people had access to free or affordable legal help. “But by 2007, this had reduced to only 27%, and in 2013, austerity measures  [ including the Legal Aid, Sentencing and Punishment of Offenders Act ] cut this even further,” points out BBK.

 Now seven out of ten of legal aid clients are from BAME backgrounds and “They’ll be the worst affected if legal aid cuts continue. “

Maybe in the light of this it is not surprising that almost half the population does not understand the legal aid system or how it works. And neither is it a surprise that the regions in England with the highest legal aid expenditure are also the most deprived. So Legal Aid – will you be out on the streets clapping for it? (Or just praying that you never need it.)

P.S. And just a reminder, for civil cases, legal aid can be used to meet the costs of legal advice for serious issues, such as: 

  • losing a home 
  • domestic violence 
  • discrimination 
  • asylum or immigration 
  • welfare benefits 
  • inquests 
  • But in order to qualify claimants must show evidence that they’re unable to meet the costs of legal help, which means: 
  • Having less than £8,000 in capital assets 
  • Earning less than £2,657 per month 
  • Having less than £733 in disposable income 

For more go to https://www.boltburdonkemp.co.uk/campaigns/inequality-in-britains-legal-aid-funding-system/

A LEGAL HISTORY OF MARRIAGE: ALL CHANGE IN THE 16th CENTURY

Henry VIII – Also a great divorce reformer?

In the second in her series about the evolving legal history of marriage EMMA NASH examines the contrast between pre- to post-Reformation attitudes

In the 4th century AD, Emperor Constantine adopted Christianity as the state religion in Rome and, over the next 1200 years, Catholicism became the dominant spiritual authority in Western Europe. The key feature for defining and regulating personal relationships was sex, or a lack thereof. Celibacy and virginity outside of marriage were extolled and sex was only permitted within marriage for the purpose of reproduction. Marriage itself was intrinsically linked to God and divorce was only available in extremely limited circumstances and only with the permission of the Church.

By the early 1500s, the Catholic Church led by the Pope in Rome wielded a huge amount of power over states, sovereigns and citizens alike. The Protestant Reformation, which started in 1517, presented an alternative doctrine for living a Christian life and weakened the power and control of Rome within Europe.

To protestants, marriage was not a divine union but an earthly one which should be subject to the law of the state. Divorce was more readily available including the freedom to re-marry thereafter. Henry VIII, having initially been rewarded by the Pope for his condemnation of Protestantism, famously broke from the Catholic Church and established the Church of England so that he could divorce Catherine of Aragon and re-marry Anne Boleyn in the hope of achieving a male heir.

The Catholic Church responded to the Reformation by holding the Council of Trent which sat from 1545 to 1563 and issued decrees reaffirming the Church’s authority and condemning protestant practices. In November 1563, the Council decreed that the Catholic Church had exclusive jurisdiction over marriage and secured that control by stating that, for a marriage to be valid, it had to take place before a priest and two witnesses.

The connection between marriage and God was reaffirmed with marriage being declared a sacrament and so indissoluble, effectively outlawing divorce for a Catholic couple. From the latter half of the 16th century onwards in Europe, who and how you could marry, divorce or re-marry became dependent largely on whether you lived under a Catholic or Protestant monarch.

Emma Nash is a partner with Fletcher Day

APPOINTMENT OF THE WEEK

Carl Posern is joining Addleshaw Goddard as a partner in its structured finance practice which has had a very busy year working on a very broad range of transactions. Having had almost fourteen years’ experience in both London and Frankfurt Carl is also German-qualified, enabling him to work alongside AG’s Germany team.

Carl Posern

Amanda Gray, divisional managing partner for finance and projects at the firm, said: “We are very excited about how our highly respected City finance practice is evolving. The development of our structured finance team is just one aspect of that. We’ve recently made a number of high-profile hires which enhance our ability to deliver for clients. We are delighted to welcome Carl to this busy and fast growing team.”

E-VENTS with Kids Law and BDB Pitmans

KIDS LAW

Have a listen to Kids Law’s BRAND NEW episode:

Listen here via our brand new website

Series 1 Episode 10: Does Parliament take the voices of children into account when it makes new laws?

In our tenth and final episode of Series 1, Alma-Constance talks to Darren Jones, the MP for Bristol North West, about his job as a Member of Parliament (MP) in the UK. Darren made the transition from being a lawyer working in telecommunications, to becoming a politician, and we wanted to find out more!

Alma-Constance asks Darren:
🔹What does an MP do?
🔹How do MPs make laws?
🔹What is the difference between being a lawyer and being a politician?
🔹How did you get elected
🔹Why are MPs allowed to shout at each other in the House of Commons?
🔹Are children’s voices heard when laws are made?
🔹Should the voting age in the UK be lowered?
 About our guest:
Darren Jones is the current MP for Bristol North West, the area where he grew up. He is the first and only MP for Bristol North West to be born in the area, and is also the Chair of the Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy Select Committee. Darren became a solicitor in 2013, specialising in technology law, before being elected as a Labour MP in 2017, becoming the first Darren ever to be elected to Parliament!
  BACK TO THE WORKPLACE: WHAT HAPPENS NEXT?

BDB PITMANS WEBINAR INVITATION

Following the launch of our HR Pathfinder webinar last month – where we discussed the challenges and opportunities for employers provided by the new world beyond COVID-19 – what are the practical HR issues that organisations need to consider as employees start to return to their workplaces in larger numbers?

We would be delighted if you could join us for our Employment Webinar where will be looking at the essential points in this area including: 
How will working patterns need to adapt to the “new normal”?
What are the new discrimination risks from hybrid working?
Can you justify compulsory vaccinations for staff?
What steps can you take if staff don’t want to return to work?
What will the end of furlough mean for employers?

This will be an interactive session where you will be able to ask questions of our expert panel.We look forward to welcoming you.

If you would like to attend, please RSVP here or click the button on this mailing.

The session will be held using Zoom, a link will be sent to you in your registration confirmation email and will also be re-sent on the morning of the webinar.Follow us @BDBPitmans #BuildingBetter

Funny old Summer, isn’t it? But we’ll be back next week so please send your DIARY style news to

fennell.edward@yahoo.com

Enjoy the weekend.

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Edward Fennell’s LEGAL DIARY

Friday 6 August 2021 Edition 68

Diary news, commentary, insights, appointments and e-vents from the legal world

SHORT THOUGHT FOR THE WEEK

Yes, but what’s lurking behind the rainbow?

Beautiful dream – time to wake up?

No doubt all of us clapped for the NHS. But however wonderful individual medics (of all kinds) might be there is a danger that the NHS gets away from real scrutiny by virtue of its quasi-sacred status.

Sadly one of the most egregious examples of this is the case of Ian Paterson who performed countless unnecessary operations over many years. Acting for many of Paterson’s victims is Pryers Solicitors which points out that between 2000 and 2010, a number of patients and colleagues raised concerns about Paterson’s practice but it wasn’t until 2011 that he was suspended from operating. A subsequent Government report acknowledged, “It is not simply a story about a rogue surgeon… it is far worse. It is the story of a healthcare system which proved itself dysfunctional at almost every level when it came to keeping patients safe, and where those who were the victims of Paterson’s malpractice were let down time and time again”.

Tamlin Bolton, a Senior Solicitor at Pryers who is representing some of Paterson’s victims, observes, “It’s abhorrent how Ian Paterson abused a position of trust to assault innocent and unknowing victims. The fact that more patients continue to be added to his list of victims a decade after he was suspended, is both shocking and appalling.”

So just how much blind trust should we give the NHS? That might be one of the questions that surfaces in the course of the Covid inquiry.

The LegalDiarist

IN THIS WEEK’S EDITION

+ THE LEGAL DIARY

Legaltech Platform to Pay Out for Small Businesses?

China Counterfeit Crisis

Remote Control of law firm management

Letting Go of London (Try Reading instead)

+ APPOINTMENTS OF THE WEEK by Eversheds Sutherland and Hunters

THE LEGAL DIARY OF THE WEEK

Legaltech Platform to Pay Out for Small Businesses?

Somehow the sums don’t add up

In a move whoch will be warmly welcomed by small businesses around the country legal technology is being applied to that problem that bugs them the most – late payments.

Today LawtechUK (a collaborative coalition involving the Ministry of Justice) has published a feasibility study and proof of concept for a new technological approach to the frustration of late payments via an ‘SME online dispute resolution’ platform.

Devised through a partnership between legal, technology and alternative dispute resolution experts from the University of Oxford, Oxford Computing Consultants, Resolve Disputes Online and Jur, it is hoped that the new platform could empower UK businesses to resolve +200,000 disputes over a five-year period, accounting for £3.4bn in debt value. Moreover, it could cut the time taken to resolve disputes to between six and eight weeks.  

The work is supported by the well-know academic and consultant Richard Susskind, a LawtechUK Panel member whose 2019 book Online Courts and the Future of Justice (OUP) is, by chance, also published today in paperback [https://lnkd.in/dy-eEWht].

 “This study offers a roadmap for the future of legal dispute resolution – an inexpensive, straightforward, online alternative to a traditional hearing but connected to the courts in case a formal judicial determination is needed,” says Susskind. “The proposed system offers SMEs an easier and more affordable solution to sorting out their late payment problems. The result – greatly increased access to justice for small businesses.” 

Despite the involvement of the Ministry of Justice in LawTechUK it is stressed that the study is independent of Government and does not represent Government policy. Nonetheless the study anticipates that a first release of the online platform could be brought to market within nine months. It recommends a private and public sector co-funding structure, setting out how the platform could become financially self-sustaining within four years.

For the full report go to:

https://drive.google.com/file/d/1VMC3xLc8sqxJ2_G3ITufvf5L5lUxl53P/view

China Counterfeit Crisis

Rouse, the Far East experts all matters related to IP, is blunt in the latest edition of its excellent INSIGHT e-magazine about the role of China in the counterfeit market.

“CHINA CONTINUES TO BE THE GLOBAL SOURCE OF COUNTERFEIT GOODS EXPORTED WORLD-WIDE AND TO SE ASIA,” it proclaims but then goes on to say that China’s role in counterfeit trade cannot be overseen.

Staggeringly counterfeit goods from China are estimated to make up approximately 12.5 % of China’s total exports and over 1.5 % of its GDP. “Several comparative analyses rank the region as the primary source of global counterfeit goods (up to 75% of all counterfeits).  Data also suggests that the size of the trade of counterfeit goods from China into SE Asia is approximately USD35 billion. The volume poses significant harm to developing economies within South East Asia where local businesses and investors suffer heavy losses due to such activities.”

That pretty well sums up the ambivalence the West must feel towards this business behemoth. It does not play by the rules but it is too big to shun. Tough one.

Remote Control

If the past eighteen months has been a period ‘flying by the seat of the pants’ then – in the aftermath of Covid – managing how teams of lawyers work effectively together into the foreseeable future is going to require a new skill set. That’s why recent research from consultancy Ezra, which provides digital coaching, is particularly interesting. What it shows is that communication skills and emotional intelligence are going to be the most sought-after skills in the post-pandemic workplace.

“Communication is the ability to talk, listen and share information effectively, while emotional intelligence is the ability to read between the lines and understand a deeper, unspoken need or expectation,” said Nick Goldberg,Founder of Ezra. “Both are going to be incredibly important as we return to the workplace after such a disruptive year and with the threat of COVID-19 remaining.”

Of course these have always been important but they are going to be more important than ever before in situations where lawyers might not be directly seeing and meeting each other for days on end (and for many months into the future). So no surprise then that communication ranked as the top area of improvement for businesses across the UK, USA, and China. Meanwhile on a national level, emotional intelligence ranks as the most important factor in a number of countries from France to Cambodia.

What was surprising amongst the findings, however, was that decision making came at the bottom of the list of skills required. Just 3.8% of global businesses consider it to be the most important outcome of coaching in the current climate. But then maybe after so much recent turbulence perhaps businesses which have survived are feeling pretty confident about their decision-making skills. Let’s hope so.

Letting Go of London

So can this really be Reading? You’re kidding me!

With fewer people coming to work daily in the City and West End it may well be that some of the towns within commuting distance might see a surge in business for local law firm offices – especially if they are part of London networks.

A good example is Reading which not only has highly regarded local firms such as Clarkslegal but also offices of outfits like BDB Pitmans which operates across London and the South-East from Cambridge to Southampton.

In fact business is thriving in Reading and the firm has just announced a raft of new appointments so that it will be up to 80 lawyers serving clients in the Thames Valley and beyond. Strong local relationships are vital and the firm boasts an extended partnership with Reading FC Women’s team which sees them as the back of shirt sponsor for the next three seasons. 

Meanwhile not too far away in Winchester are Capsticks (five offices outside London) and DAC Beachcroft (ten offices outside London) plus several other big legal names in the southern counties. Watch out for increasing traffic in these locations as lawyers opt to go local.

APPOINTMENTS OF THE WEEK

KYLE B. WEIDIE has joined Eversheds Sutherland as the firm’s Global Head of Digital Marketing in the firm’s New York office. He joins from Kobre & Kim, LLP where he was Global Head of Analytics & Digital Marketing. Prior to that, he spent 14 years in the Marketing & Business Development Department of Crowell & Moring LLP.

Kyle Weidie

In a joint statement Erin Meszaros, Chief Client Service Officer (US), and Judith Green, Chief Communications & Executive Projects Officer (International), said, “We are excited that Kyle has joined us as his deep understanding and background in digital marketing will help drive our ‘digital first’ approach. Communicating effectively in a digital world is crucial to our global firm’s high client service standards. Kyle will focus on coalescing our global digital presence into a unified platform.”

REBEKAH FRENCH is joining Hunters as an International Development Consultant. It is an interesting development for someone who was formerly with the Royal Air Force, seeing active service in Iraq and Afghanistan deploying among other places to Helmand Province with Royal Marines Commando.

Rebekah French

Having left the armed forces, Rebekah moved into the private security sector where she has worked closely with Government Agencies, International Charities, International Aid Agencies and International Development Corporations. She has spent a large portion of her career on project deployments in Eastern Africa and the Middle East and as such has a keen cultural awareness and understanding of the regions.

E-VENTS

NO E-VENTS this week, dear reader, everyone’s on staycation.

It may be August but the Legal Diary continues until a short break in the early Autumn. So if you still have any ‘Diary-type’ news or insights, comments or analysis do contact us at

fennell.edward@yahoo.com

Meanwhile, enjoy the rain!

ADVERTISEMENT – ‘CHARTER FOR MURDER’

Your holiday reading – a medieval mystery featuring a lawyer, a knight, a Wife of Bath and a prioress, all pilgrims on their way to Canterbury in time of revolt.

It all ends in the Temple

For more go to

IN UK: https://www.bookdepository.com/CHARTER-FOR-MURDER-Edward-

Fennell/9781919616117IN US: https://www.superbookdeals.com/cgi-bin/cart.cgi?item=43102405&bisac=

E-Book https://www.kobo.com/gb/en/search?query=Charter+for+Murder+by+Edward+Fennell




Edward Fennell’s LEGAL DIARY

Friday July 30 2021 Edition 67

Diary news, commentary, insights, appointments and e-vents from the legal world

LEGAL DIARY OF THE WEEK

– WINDFALL OR WIND-UP?

Maybe not so juicy in the future ?

Just as the UK seems to coming to grips with the C-Virus there is growing evidence that major law firms have done rather well for themselves over the past year. As government spending has ballooned so have law firms’ profits. ‘Correlation’ might not, of course, be identified as ‘cause’ but given that turmoil generates increased legal activity there is probably some knock-on relationship.

So should law firms be hit with a windfall tax? That is the question which has been floated across a number of publications by commentators of various political alleigances. The result is that even top management in law firms is feeling under pressure right now. As Dominic Carman of Reports Legal observes, “In my recent conversations with managing partners, the usual sense of pride in a strong financial performance has been tinged with embarrassment at just how well their firms have done over the past year. For Sunak and his Treasury team, the prospect of introducing some form of windfall tax on lawyers (and others who have benefited from excessive profits during the pandemic) must be very tempting, notwithstanding a holy trinity of obstacles: politics, protest and pragmatism.”

Many of those ‘obstacles’ are tied up with the self-employed status of partners but also the implications of singling out lawyers as opposed to other exceptionally high earners such as Premier League footballers. As Carman says, “Levying higher taxes on lawyers earning say £2m a year while ignoring, for example, the 570+ Premier League footballers earning £3m a year (the average Premier League salary) would be inequitable, unworkable, and contrary to longstanding taxation principles adhered to by HMRC and the Treasury.”

So while there is certain to be indignation among the wider public lawyers can probably sleep easy in their orchards at night. For now.

The Legal Diarist

CHARTER FOR MURDER

—– Shameless Self-Promotion!!

While not editing the Legal Diary the LegalDiarist has been busy writing a genre medieval murder mystery in which the law plays a central role – especially in the figure of William Gascoigne  (c. 1350 – 1419) a lawyer of the Inner Temple who went on to become was Chief Justiceof England.

CHARTER FOR MURDER weaves together characters inspired by the Prologue to the Canterbury Tales into a classic whodunit set in Winchester and London just before the Peasants’ Revolt and against a background of rivalry between Bishop William of Wykeham and John of Gaunt, Duke of Lancaster – and it has a legal twist in the tail. [It’s the best book ever reviewed in the Legal Diary – says the Ed.]

For more go to https://www.bookdepository.com/CHARTER-FOR-MURDER-Edward-Fennell/9781919616117

In this week’s edition

+ THE LEGAL DIARY OF THE WEEK

– Legal Costs of the NHS

– Bloodless Reaction?

– ConVincing

– Self-Employed: Really?

+ LEGAL COMMENT OF THE WEEK – THE GREAT VENEZUELAN GOLD SCAM

+ A LEGAL HISTORY OF MARRIAGE

Episode 1: Ancient Societies

+ APPOINTMENT OF THE WEEK at ADDLESHAW GODDARD

+ E-VENTS The latest Brick Court’s Centenary Podcasts

+ THE LEGAL DIARY OF THE WEEK

– Legal Costs of the NHS

Will the romance ever end?

One of the issues guaranteed to get commentators excited is the cost to the NHS of legal advice. And one of the problems is that there seems to be so much confusion about the exact figures. For example, not so long ago it was claimed in The Times that, “More than two thirds of the £2.5 billion paid out by NHS Resolution in litigation costs each year goes to the lawyers.”

However, writing this week Dr Anthony Barton, Solicitor and medical practitioner as well as a doughty campaigner over medical legal matters, rebuffed that figure as wildly inaccurate. “The right figure is 27 per cent, not “more than two thirds”, as is clear from the annual report and accounts for NHS Resolution for 2020-21,” he says. “Highly publicised reports of maternity services in Shrewsbury and hospital care in Mid Staffordshire show that the health service cannot be trusted to investigate itself. Little wonder, then, that injured patients turn to litigation.”

Just wait until the tumbrils starts to roll over Covid.

– Bloodless Reaction?

‘No blood on my hands’
Image courtesy of Daily Mail

Fans of good old Ken Clarke QC – now, of course, Lord Clarke and ‘the best Prime Minister we never had’ – will have been dismayed by his ‘state of denial’, off-hand ‘Nothin’ to do with me, Gov’ comments to the Infected Blood inquiry. But there has been an unusually powerful reaction with an application made yesterday to the Chair of the Inquiry by Mr Stein, barrister to a number of those infected, seeking to ask for Lord Clarke’s comment on campaigners’ belief that he has shown ‘arrogance, pomposity and contempt’ towards the victims.

“The application, though highly unusual in nature, is unlikely to have come as any great surprise to those who have spent the last two and a half days watching Lord Clarke give evidence,” said Des Collins, solicitor to 1500 infected and affected clients. “However the issue for the Inquiry is not so much Lord Clarke’s demeanour but the extent to which his evidence assists the inquiry in getting to the truth of matters some 40 years on. Perhaps, however, were a contemptuous attitude to have been all pervasive throughout the Department of Health for all these years, it might explain why it has taken this long to get an Inquiry.”

ConVincing

Would you trust this man to post a letter (of regret?)
Image courtesy of the Liberal Democrats

This is going to look like I am repeating myself but……

Fans of good old Vince Cable – now, of course, Sir Vince and former leader of the Liberal Democrats – will be dismayed to see that he ‘seemed on particularly shaky ground’, according to Nick Gould of AriaGrace when confronted about his oversight of the Post Office Limited (POL) in relation to the Sub- Postmasters scandal.

As boss of the Department of Business and the Cabinet Minister with ultimate responsibility for the POL over several years he seemed uncertain on the matter, wrote Gould in a long article on Wednesday,.

“ Did he and any of his junior ministers know [what was going on]?” Gould asks. “If yes, why didn’t they do something and if not, who was covering up and for how long?  And of course, the ultimate owner of Post Office Limited is the Department of Business—which is perhaps about to put its hand in its pocket to maybe make the first compensation payments. What else could it do? Once those 39 appeals were granted by the Court of Appeal on 23rd April, it had little choice. But there is much, much more to be done.”

Yes, no doubt Ken and Vince can now muse happily over these good old days at their leisure.

For more go to:

https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/piece-i-said-id-write-post-office-scandal-its-nice-nor-nick-gould

– Self-Employed: Really?

Following on from our Short Thought (above) there are interesting ideas being kicked around regarding self-employed status which might impact long term on partners in law firms.

The Labour Party has just announced that it would create a single worker status to “replace the three existing employment categories” of employee, worker and dependent contractor. Labour added the category would encompass “all but the genuinely self-employed.” So are partners ‘genuinely self-employed’?

IPSE (the Association of Independent Professionals and the Self-Employed) has responded to Labour’s proposal by warning that without clearly defining what distinguishes “false” from “genuine” self-employment, the proposals risked “seriously undermining” the 4.2 million-strong self-employed sector.

Andy Chamberlain, Director of Policy at IPSE said,While it is absolutely right to try and clear the confusion in parts of the labour market such as the gig economy and secure rights for falsely self-employed people, it is essential to engage with the question of what exactly makes someone self-employed. Without this, structural change could threaten the freedom, flexibility and livelihoods of genuine freelancers.Creating a statutory definition of self-employed status would both secure rights for falsely self-employed people and also protect the freedom of genuine freelancers.”

Partners of all stripes take note.

LEGAL COMMENT OF THE WEEK – THE GREAT VENEZUELAN GOLD SCAM (interpret to taste)

Take as many as you like! It’s on the BoE!
Image courtesy of Investopedia

The legal row continues over the Venezuelan gold held by the Bank of England on behalf of the country’s Government. But who is the legitimate Government? Juan Guaido is seen by the United States and Britain as Venezuela’s rightful leader but that view is no longer shared by the EU. So while one might not like the current Maduro regime, one cannot deny its reality.

Sarosh Zaiwalla, Senior Partner at Zaiwalla & Co., representing the Banco Central de Venezuela, comments:

“This case treads a fine line between law and politics. Mr Guaido’s legal case seeks to position him as being above the rule of law in both Venezuela and the United Kingdom on the basis of a statement made by the United Kingdom Government. It is absurd that €1.6 billion of a country’s gold held in the UK can on that basis be withheld from the government in control of that state and be given to representatives of Mr Guaido, who has no control of any apparatus of state. Such a result would have potentially serious and adverse ramifications forthe City of London as a safe place to store sovereign assets.

“The simple reality in this case is that any ruling upholding Mr Guaid6’s purported appointments, if recognised, would fly in the face of reality. His purported appointees have no ability to act on behalf of the Banco Central de Venezuela in any effective way in Venezuela.”

A LEGAL HISTORY OF MARRIAGE

Episode 1: Ancient Societies

The hottest spot in Rome to tie the knot?

In the first in a new series by Emma Nash, partner in the family team at Fletcher Day, we look at the roots of marriage in ancient and ‘classical’ societies

Ask 100 people to define marriage and they will probably give you 100 different answers. From a legal perspective, marriage is very simply, the regulation of personal relationships by the state. This type of regulation has been around for millennia. One of the oldest examples is the Babylonian code of Hammurabi, a set of rules carved on a basalt column which included rules for gifts between spouses, divorce and re-marriage of widows. It dates from 1750BC.

The regulation of family life in this way is present in all cultures in some form and is a reflection on the moral, social, political, economic and sometimes ecological issues facing that particular society at that time.  Marriage has also played its part in both building and damaging relations between nations, from the attack on Rome by the Sabines in retaliation for the abduction of their women for wives in the 8th Century BC to the strengthening of Royal families through marriage in Medieval Europe.

Marriage practices throughout the world have generated much disagreement with there often being a conflict between those wanting to preserve their cultural traditions and those wanting to ensure that progress is made and seen to be made. Polygamy, concubinage, child marriage and the ancient Hindu practice of Sita, or widow burning, have all been a source of disgust and debate in legal discourse around the world.

Gender roles and the structure of a family have been central to the regulation of marriage. In ancient Rome, the patriarch, or oldest living male, had complete control over the lives and property of all members of his household including his spouse, children, extended family and slaves.

Gender roles and indeed gender itself, remains very much part of the current discussion on what marriage should be in many countries. Marriage is continuing to evolve, often amidst much debate and disagreement, and will no doubt continue to play a key role in how societies define themselves and regulate their populations in the future.

+ APPOINTMENT OF THE WEEK


Ewen Scott has joined Addleshaw Goddard as a partner in its leveraged finance team. Previously with Jones Day, DLA Piper and Ashurst Scott is well-known in the leveraged finance market having specialised in acting for lenders (including debt funds and alternative lenders), sponsors and portfolio companies, both in the UK and internationally. This move comes as Addleshaw Goddard continues to strengthen its London and international finance team.

Alex Dumphy, head of leveraged finance, said: “Ewen is highly-respected in the market and brings with him an enviable portfolio of skills and expertise. As Addleshaw Goddard continues to grow and develop both our City practice and our comprehensive finance offering, Ewen’s first-rate knowledge of the debt advisory world will help us to deliver an ever-stronger roster of services for our client base – and we are delighted to welcome him to the team.” 

E-VENTS

BRICK COURT CENTENARY PODCASTS

Lord Phillips

The latest edition in Brick Court’s series of Centenary Podcasts is now available featuring Lord Phillips of Worth Matravers and Sir Christopher Clarke

After a career in practice at Brick Court as a commercial advocate, Nicholas Phillips, Lord Phillips of Worth Matravers, went on to a judicial career of unparalleled success, occupying all the major judicial offices. He is a former Master of the Rolls, Lord Chief Justice, Senior Law Lord (the last) and President of the Supreme Court (the first). Amongst (many) other public inquiries, he presided over the BSE Inquiry into Mad Cow Disease from 1998 to 2000.

Sir Christopher Clarke was Head of Chambers from 1990 to 2004. In practice, he was one of the leading commercial advocates of his day, and acted as Counsel in a number of inquiries. Most famously, he was Counsel to the Bloody Sunday Inquiry for six years. As a judge he sat in the Commercial Court for eight years and in the Court of Appeal for four years, retiring in 2017. 

They discuss, on the basis of their extensive first-hand experience, the nature and conduct of public inquiries, including an assessment of how the future public inquiry into the coronavirus pandemic could and should take place.

The podcast is introduced and hosted by Fionn Pilbrow QC.

https://www.brickcourt.co.uk/centenary/podcasts#episode4

If you have found this edition of the Legal Diary useful or interesting please pass on to a friend or colleague.

If you are on holiday then I hope it has given you something to distract yourself from the rain and wind.

And if you have any news, views insights or commentary for next week please send them through to

fennell.edward@Yahoo.com

Edward Fennell’s LEGAL DIARY

Friday July 16 2021 Edition 66

Diary news, commentary, insights, appointments and e-vents from the legal world

SHORT THOUGHT FOR THE WEEK – GROUP THINKING?

Are they standing together? Or standing apart? Image courtesy of the University of Pennsylvania

“Inclusion and diversity is an underpin of workplace culture,” said Monica Kurnatowska, Partner, Employment & Compensation, at Baker McKenzie earlier this week. “In a diverse and inclusive organization, group think is avoided and every day challenge is encouraged. This is a crucial part of managing risk.”

Brave words – especially in that ambition to avoid ‘group think’ whoch sems to be increasingly the norm across UK society. For a diverse organization to be ‘authentically’ inclusive there needs to be some common ground, something which can be held in common respect, otherwise diversity can lead to fragmentation and polarization. Managing that ‘every day challenge’ so it becomes a positive rather than a debilitating experience is a test of leadership especially in this era of cancel culture. Law firms have the great advantage in that respect for the law is a shared commitment. But what about the ‘unwritten laws’ which exist in every workplace? How many of those can be broken in the quest for diversity?

The Legal Diarist

Please note that next week’s Legal Diary will be suspended to mark term-end and also the publication of the Legal Diarist’s genre medieval mystery CHARTER FOR MURDER which has law at the core. Available now https://www.bookdepository.com/CHARTER-FOR-MURDER-Edward-Fennell/9781919616117

In this week’s Edition

+ LEGAL DIARY OF THE WEEK

– It’s ‘My place or yours?’ as firms move office with KIngsley Napley and Clarke Willmott

– Families Favourite at Irwin Mitchell

– Expansion in Major Trauma Group

– Seeing the Future of Law – It’s LawTech

+ LEGAL COMMENT OF THE WEEK

– The Diversity of the Judiciary 2021 report: Bar Council and CILEX

– The Infected Blood Inquiry: Collins Solicitors

+ CONTRIBUTED ARTICLE OF THE WEEK – TACTICS FOR LITIGATION FUNDERS by J-P Pitt of litigation funder Asertis

LEGAL INSIGHT OF THE WEEK: TICKET TO NOWHERE? From DAS Law

+ APPOINTMENT OF THE WEEK Travers Smith

LEGAL DIARY OF THE WEEK

It’s ‘My place or yours?’ as firms move office

New brand image – and new offices below

Following all the discussion and debate about how the pandemic might change perceptions and priorities for office working we are now starting to see some real life examples of how law firms are responding.

For example this week Kingsley Napley moved into its new office at Twenty Bonhill (Bonhill Street EC2). Although planned since 219 the detail of the move has been shaped by the new circumstances and the commitment to ‘agile working’.

“The firm has worked successfully on a remote basis during lockdown,” says Jemimah Cook, Kingsley Napleys HR Director. “We have seen strong levels of engagement and performance and, in many ways, have strengthened our culture as a result of the shared experience and initiatives we introduced to ensure we have maintained a sense of togetherness as a firm. We now want to retain the option of flexibility for people, trusting them to make the decision about where the best place is to conduct their work on a daily basis, whilst at the same time recognising that there is a positive case for office attendance for team working, developing and supporting relationships, and sharing knowledge and ideas, as well as for training, learning, supervision and development.”

The result is that members of the firm will work two to three days per week in the office as a guide (or the equivalent of 40-60% of their time calculated on a pro-rata basis) from September. The new offices also include a ‘Wellbeing suite’ comprising relaxation room, fitness studio, prayer and contemplation room.

Will Gareth Southgate be able to persuade them to return to the office?

Meanwhile, on Monday next, Clarke Willmott LLP will move their Birmingham office from Edmund Street to a new location at Colmore Row. As the management points out, the new office has been designed both for future growth and to support full flexible working for staff.

 “Prior to the pandemic we had plans for Birmingham including a more flexible use of our office space, but in the last 16 months we have learnt so much that we have been able to be more adventurous with our plans,” saidStephen Rosser, the firm’s Chief Executive. “Over 90% of our staff have told us via our surveys that they want to work flexibly going forward and this has given me freedom to design our new office for that purpose.”

 Rosser went on to say that staff who prefer and want to work in the office can do so. Staff who want to dip in and out as their needs change are also accommodated. “By using a desk booking system and having created a space with a full range of work environments from private booths through to a business lounge, our people can collaborate with one another, socialise or work quietly on confidential matters.“

Families Favourite at Irwin Mitchell

While some firms are going for agile working in terms of offices Irwin Mitchell has announced an upgrade in its family leave policy, designed to ‘Further improve wellbeing for colleagues, including enhancements to paternity and parental leave’. Included among a significant number of changes is the removal of the time limit for colleagues undertaking fertility treatment; plus the flexibility to take parental leave as single days, rather than in one block. “The limit for group enhanced adoption, maternity and shared parental pay has also been removed,” says the firm, “so colleagues can take advantage of these benefits from the first day they join.”

There will also be enhancements to the firm’s parental bereavement leave policy which will support colleagues through loss of a child regardless of age and miscarriage.

“These new family friendly policies come in response to feedback about what our people need and recognise the vital importance colleague wellbeing plays in the overall success of the firm,” said Susana Berlevy, the firm’s chief people officer. “As more of us work from home, this was an opportunity to enhance our policies to improve work-life balance and extend flexible working to offer greater choice and inclusion in everything, from maternity and paternity leave, through to fertility treatment and fostering. In exceeding statutory allowances, we are continually improving how it feels to work at Irwin Mitchell. These positive changes deliver equal treatment for all and provide our colleagues the very best working conditions and also allow us to attract the best talent in the legal profession.”

Expansion in Major Trauma Group

We need a lawyer Image courtesy of South Central Ambulances

The Major Trauma Group (MTG) continues to attract new member firms as part of its drive to support survivors of major trauma injury and their families through integrated legal, health and social care pathways. The latest recruits to the alliance include Burnetts Solicitors whose specialist award-winning serious injury team operates across the North East and Cumbria along with Lime Solicitors which champions individuals across the Midlands and the South East. Meanwhile HCC Solicitors is an award-winning serious injury law firm with offices in Manchester, London and Birmingham. As the group points out, major trauma injuries are the main cause of death for people under 45 in the UK. MTG is now a source of information for these individuals, and can direct them to appropriate legal, financial, and mental health services.

The work done by the Major Trauma Group is essential,” says Paul Brown, Senior Associate at Burnetts Solicitors. “Far too often sufferers of major trauma do not receive the support they require, and the situation has been made even worse as a result of the pandemic. Burnetts Solicitors is proud to be joining the Major Trauma Group at this important time, with the shared vision of helping those most in need access the rehabilitation, support and treatment they deserve.”

Seeing the Future of Law – It’s LawTech

Published this week by LawtechUK ( a government-backed initiative within Tech Nation) the report ‘Shaping the Future of Law’, highlights the rapid growth achieved within the UK’s lawtech sector and the opportunity for further growth and widespread digital transformation in law. In particular, the report emphasises the importance of a digitally-enabled legal sector to the UK with implications across many aspects of British society from business and consumer activities to the strength of the UK on the world stage. One key example, is international trade worth £1.153tr annually to the UK economy which can be streamlined through digital legal documents and effective use of data. (Although just how enthusiastic run-of-the-mill law firms are about this remains to be seen).   

In economic terms, the report places the market opportunity for lawtech to be up to £22bn annually, based on data commissioned from Frontier Economics, comprising: 

  • Unmet demand from SMEs and consumers in the UK estimated to be worth up to £11.4bn annually.  
  • Cost savings for SMEs of using lawtech products and services of up to £8.6bn each year.  
  • Productivity gains through increased use of lawtech by legal service providers estimated to be worth up to £1.7bn annually, which can be extended through tech adoption and the buying power of in-house legal departments.

 “The law is critical in all our lives and businesses and it should be easy to engage with and affordable and effective for everyone.  Lawtech is how we make that happen,” says Jenifer Swallow, LawtechUK Director at Tech Nation.  “The sector is seeing incredible growth – with lawtech startups and scaleups growing at 101% over the last three years, and adoption levels increasing during Covid-19 across our courts, legal businesses and in-house legal teams.The £22bn market opportunity of lawtech evidenced in this report only scratches the surface of the true impact we can have through digital transformation in law.” 

LEGAL COMMENTS OF THE WEEK

The Diversity of the Judiciary 2021 report was published this week. Here’s what was said about it.

When will the UK bench look like this?

DEREK SWEETING QC, Chair of the Bar Council

“This data should help us to take action to improve diversity in the judiciary. We need to understand why, when ethnic minority barrister candidates of Black and Asian backgrounds are disproportionately more likely to apply for judicial appointment, they remain consistently less successful than their white counterparts. Until we understand whether there is problem in the appointment process, or whether the issue is experience – or both – we are operating in the dark.

“To take effective action the Judicial Diversity Forum needs to better understand the varying success rates of different ethnic groups applying to the judiciary.

 “The professions are playing their part. Alongside joint work with the JDF, the Bar Council has an extensive programme of work in the areas of access, retention and progression across the profession, as well as a major project to support fairer distribution of work, focusing on under-represented groups at the Bar. We firmly believe fairer access to quality work will support both the retention and progression of under-represented groups. From the perspective of judicial careers, this work must be matched by a closer look at how judges are recruited and supported to take on more senior posts in the judiciary if the efforts to diversify the legal professions are to be reflected in judicial recruitment at all levels.

 “These statistics show that more work needs to be done to improve diversity in the judiciary, not only in relation to gender and ethnicity. More data (and work) is also required on other protected characteristics and socio-economic backgrounds if we are to change the make-up of the judiciary in England and Wales.”

PROFESSOR CHRIS BONES, CHAIR OF CILEX

“It is clear from the report that there are still considerable challenges ahead when it comes to increasing diversity in the judiciary, with women and those from Black, Asian and other minority ethnic backgrounds still underrepresented.

In senior judicial roles in particular, white men still predominate. I want to see CILEX being part of the solution. Given more than 73% of CILEX members are female, there is a real opportunity here, but the block on CILEX Lawyers applying for senior judicial appointments is holding talented candidates back.  

CILEX Lawyers have already proven themselves as effective judges yet in the last year CILEX Lawyers were only able to apply for four out of the 24 judicial selection exercises.  

CILEX continues to work hard to support and encourage our members in pursuing a career in the judiciary, increasing the number of places available on our Judicial Development Programme. The first full-time CILEX judge, Elizabeth Johnson, was appointed last month, and we know there is a growing ambition and capability amongst members to take a up a judicial career.

CILEX members need equality of opportunity. If we truly want to make progress towards a representative judiciary, now is the time to open up the judicial eligibility criteria to lawyers of all backgrounds.”

The Diversity of the Judiciary 2021 report can be found here https://www.gov.uk/government/statistics/diversity-of-the-judiciary-2021-statistics

INFECTED BLOOD INQUIRY

Needs no comment?

There’s a big fortnight ahead for the Infected Blood Inquiry with the appearance of three very senior officials/ministers who are believed to have direct knowledge of the management of thefatal policy – Dr Diana Walford (Principal and Senior Medical Officer roles), Lord Simon Glenarthur (Parliamentary Secretary of State for Health and Social Security) and Lord Kenneth Clarke (Minister of State for Health).

DES COLLINS, SENIOR PARTNER, COLLINS SOLICITORS says

 “These witnesses are central to our understanding of what went on during the critical period in the 1980s when the Government should have been responding to the AIDS crisis and considering the implications for those receiving blood products.

“We believe these individuals did know and appreciate the risks but were slow to act. However, a clear account of who knew what, when and how this impacted decisions made at the time, has never been forthcoming. There has been a lot of buck-passing and hiding behind Government protocol until now.

“Our clients have waited many years for Lord Clarke, in particular, to explain his actions – he has never given evidence on this matter before and always deflected questions by referencing advice given by Lord Glenarthur and other civil servants.

“Dr Diana Walford refused to give oral evidence to the Penrose Inquiry but again her knowledge and recollections of what happened at the time are key to understanding the history of the infected blood scandal. It is important that she shares these openly and in detail.

“I cannot emphasise enough what a massive moment this is for my clients as, finally, we may begin to get closer to the truth and the heart of the problem which led to the suffering of so many. 

“It is, of course, only right these key witnesses have been called to give evidence and the Inquiry is to be commended for bringing them to the stand.”

CONTRIBUTED ARTICLE OF THE WEEK – TACTICS FOR LITIGATION FUNDERS

Third party litigation funding is becoming increasingly important but it is a risky business and needs shrewd decision-making on the costs and benefits of how far a case should be pursued. Here J-P Pitt discusses the factors to be taken into account when persuading a litigation funder that enforcing your client’s judgment is a good investment opportunity.

J-P PITT

In simple terms, an enforcement opportunity that is ‘investible’ from a funder’s perspective, is one where the legal team have been absolutely clear from the outset what assets the defendant has from which to pay any amounts claimed or ordered by a court. To use project management terms, what is the critical path to cash.

Any legal team that has not identified in pre-action planning what the defendant’s ability to pay may be, will be facing an uphill journey to get funding for their claimant client. A funder will certainly do this exercise as part of its own due diligence. Indeed, it is without doubt the first question that every funder will ask when considering an opportunity. If there is no critical path to cash then there is no merit in considering the opportunity further. Winning the liability contest, in commercial terms, is only half the story and a court decision is a cheque that needs to be cashed.

If the critical path to cash is clear but challenging, then a funder may consider the opportunity investible. In this situation the legal team then need to put together a proposition for the funder. The proposition should set out clearly what the targets are that will be relied upon to obtain recoveries from, ideally cash, but certainly assets that can be readily liquidated from which to realise cash.

One advantage of doing this exercise early, is that it also enables a claimant to decide whether the “juice is worth the squeeze”. A further advantage from a lawyer’s perspective is that conducting such an analysis on a defendant may reveal a potential vulnerability that could be exploited, legally, either to persuade a defendant to settle sooner rather than later or to dissuade a defendant from avoiding to pay. Either way, the ancient adage of if you want peace prepare for war, is a good maxim to observe.

J-P Pitt is an Investment Manager at litigation funder Asertis

LEGAL INSIGHT OF THE WEEK: TICKET TO NOWHERE?

The ticketing and security debacle at Wembley last Sunday brought into focus the risks and dangers around buying tickets super-popular, high profile events. Here Lauren Wolf, Legal Adviser at DAS Law gives a reminder of the state of the law on these occasions.

What is my legal position in claiming a refund if the event is cancelled? (Which might almost have happened at the Euros final!)

If the event you have booked is cancelled, rescheduled or has changed location, you are entitled to a refund of at least the face value of the ticket.  If an event is rescheduled to another date, your ticket should be valid. If you can’t make the rescheduled date, then you’re entitled to a full refund. The ticket seller is responsible for giving you a refund for tickets to a cancelled event.

If the company is a member of the industry’s self-regulatory body, the Society of Ticket Agents and Retailers (STAR), it is a condition that they refund the ticket’s face value price when an event is cancelled. It is, however, unlikely that you will receive additional compensation for losses such as travel or accommodation.

Do I have any recourse if I bought a ticket from a tout or a reselling website and was refused entry to an event?

You can be refused entry to an event if you have purchased a ticket from a tout or reselling website if the ticket states ‘no resale’ or is a counterfeit ticket.  In these circumstances, you would argue a breach of contract against the seller to claim your costs back.  I would recommend that you check the terms and conditions on your tickets or booking information provided for the event that you wanted to attend.  If it is a genuine ticket and the reason for refusing you entry is not within the stated terms and conditions, you can argue the venue or organisers have broken the contract by denying you entry and you can potentially pursue them for a refund.

Are ticket touts still allowed to operate in the UK?

The general resale of football tickets is illegal under the Criminal Justice and Public Order Act 1994 unless the resale is authorised by the organiser of the match. However, the re-selling of live music tickets for profit is not against the law in the UK.

Professional touts have commonly used specialised software (known as ‘bots’) to automatically buy tickets in bulk the instant they are made available to the general public. These are then listed and sold for profit on reselling websites.

The Government has recently passed new legislation, in the form of the Digital Economy Act 2017, which bans touts from using ‘bots’ to buy tickets in bulk.  This new legislation has made it a criminal offence to use automated technology to purchase large amounts of tickets to then be sold on at inflated prices.

APPOINTMENT OF THE WEEK

 Travers Smith LLP has appointed Ben Thompson as a partner in its Infrastructure Sector Group, Thompson joins from   Weil, Gotshal & Manges where he hafd held the role of Counsel since January 2020. In 2017, he was seconded to the Leveraged and Acquisition Finance Transaction Management team at HSBC in London, advising on general leveraged finance and infrastructure finance transactions. Previously he had been at Latham & Watkins in both London and New York.

Ben Thompson

  “Our Infrastructure Sector Practice has been going from strength to strength in the current fast-paced environment, growing and diversifying its portfolio of work year after year,” said Spencer Summerfield, Head of Travers Smith’s Corporate Department and Infrastructure Sector Group, “Ben’s arrival will enable us to further grow our practice in order to meet the growing needs of our clients.”

E-VENTS

COLLYER BRISTOW

UK USA The latest podcast from Collyer Bristow
Episode 2: The Road to Efficiency In the latest episode in our US/UK tax focused podcast series, Senior Associate Aidan Grant is joined by Kristopher Heck and Patrick Mulhern of Tanager Wealth Management.  Together they discuss the importance of comprehensive financial planning and wealth management for US citizens living in the UK.  We hope you enjoy the episode!Listen here 
Aidan Grant Senior Associate+44 20 7470 4465aidan.grant@collyerbristow.com Peter Daniel Head of Private Wealth+44 20 7468 7351peter.daniel@collyerbristow.com

KIDS’ LAW

Have a listen to Kids Law’s BRAND NEW episode: When does a child end up in foster care?
In our ninth episode, Alma-Constance talks to MP Edward Timpson about his experience and knowledge of the foster care system in the UK.

Alma-Constance asks Ed:

🔹 Why did he decide to become a family law barrister?
🔹 What laws did he implement as Minister for Children and Families?🔹 What is the difference between fostering and adoption?🔹 Do children get a say in what happens to them?🔹 Can siblings stay together?🔹 What legal improvements are still needed to help vulnerable children?
 About our guest:
Edward Timpson CBE is the current MP for Eddisbury, and was a family law barrister in Cheshire before joining the Conservative Party and serving as the Minister for Children and Families from 2015 to 2017. When Ed was growing up, his parents fostered a large number of young people meaning he had lots of experience of the foster care system during his childhood. In 2014, Ed was named Minister of the Year after his campaign to extend the age at which individuals leave foster care from 18 to 21 years old, meaning they can be looked after for longer. 
 Listen here now!

We hope that you have found the LEGAL DIARY interesting this week. If so, please relay on to friends and colleagues.

NEXT WEEK We will take a short diversion but return as normal on Friday 30th July.

So please continue sending your news, comment and insights to

fennell.edward@yahoo.com

Edward Fennell’s LEGAL DIARY

Friday July 14 2021 Edition 65

Diary news, commentary, insights, appointments and e-vents from the legal world

SHORT THOUGHT FOR THE WEEK

INTERPOL RED LICENCES: ‘GO TO JAIL’ CARDS?

Seen one of these?

The big news last night on the south coast media was the announcement of the release from confinement in Croatia of Southampton-based whistle-blower Jonathan Taylor who had given evidence against his old employer, Dutch oil firm SBM Offshore, in 2012.

Astonishingly the UK government would not intervene on his behalf with the Croatian authorities despite his cause being championed vigorously by former Tory minister Caroline Nokes MP. In brief, Taylor had done the right thing in exposing wrong-doing and his heroism should have been celebrated. Instead he was the victim of a retaliatory Interpol red licence issued by Monaco on trumped up bribery and corruption charges.

Monaco is not the only petty state to abuse the Interpol system. It is well recognised that Gulf states do it regularly. International collaboration in the fight against crime is vital. But maybe it is also important to apply some circumspection on the motives of those who issue them.

The LegalDiarist

In this Week’s Edition

+ THE LEGAL DIARY OF THE WEEK

Levelling Up in Leeds

– Gender violence adds costs to Criminal Justice

– Harneys: New Hands on the Wheel

  • IP Give-Away with Crowell & Moring

+ LEGAL COMMENTARY OF THE WEEK

WAGS AND WIGS comment from Collyer Bristow

– FIRE AND REHIRE comment from Langleys Solicitors

+ LEGAL ANALYSIS OF THE WEEK

  • Developments in Defined Benefits pensions with ARC Pension Law

+ APPOINTMENTS OF THE WEEK at Gide and HJ&A

+ E-VENTS with Brick Court, Bingham Centre, NQ Zebra

+ THE LEGAL DIARY OF THE WEEK

Levelling Up in Leeds

Is this still the REAL Leeds?

33 Bedford Row is doing its bit for levelling up by deciding to go north of Hampstead and establish 33 Bedford Row North. The new northern annex is now officially open full time at Park House, Park Square Leeds,” they announced this week.

Leeds has, of course, always positioned itself as England’s second legal centre (rather ignoring any claims from Birmingham, Manchester or Bristol) and 33BRN explains that it can now serve ‘Manchester, Newcastle, Liverpool, York and other thriving Northern cities’ as well as Leeds itself.  

“The leading common law set look forward to continuing to build ties within these communities and will always put the client, both professional and Lay, at the heart of all they do,” they say in a slightly puzzling way. After all why wouldn’t they put the client ‘at the heart of all they do’. Should that not be the norm?

Anyway, by the sound of it the new offices in Park Square are pretty smart including ‘brand-new concept work space on the ground floor for conferences, remote hearings, lectures and events’.

In a way it is quite refreshing to see lawyers endorsing the need for an office where people actually come to meet each other. Or is it just a sign that ‘the North’ is beginning to catch up with London where smart office spaces for barrieters have been the norm for a couple of decades. In this topsy turvy world where the Red Wall has gone Blue it’s difficult to make sense of whether this is progress, regress or just catching up.

Or is THIS the really new Leeds?

Gender violence adds costs to Criminal Justice

Gender-based violence is horrific and profoundly damaging to the victims (mostly women). But it also has a wider cost to society at large. In the case of the EU that amounts to €366 billion a year according to the European Institute for Gender Equality (EIGE). And of that about one fifth is the cost to criminal justice services.

Human life, pain and suffering do not have a price. However, knowing the cost of violence can help EU countries channel money to where it’s really needed — and where it’s most cost-effective. The money spent on supporting victims is not enough, with services such as shelters making up just 0.4 % of the cost of gender-based violence. EU countries need to invest more in activities that prevent violence against women and protect victims — this is both a moral imperative, as well as savvy economics,” said Carlien Scheele, EIGE’s Director.

No doubt the same can be said of post-Brexit Britain. Given the surge in domestic violence during Covid lockdown those figures are likely to be even higher.

– Harneys: New Hands on the Wheel

Welcome to the office

Heavy hitting Harneys (motto ‘Breaking Convention. Creating Opportunity.’), which operates from those idyllic islands in the sun where everything is offshore and above board, has just appointed Ross Munro as its new Global Managing Partner (effective 1 January 2022). Having been with the firm since 2001 – starting off in the British Virgin islands – he knows his way round the business and has spent his time in London since 2014 as Global Head of Harneys Fiduciary. During that period, the firm says, Fiduciary experienced a ‘dramatic’ growth in revenue and a diversification of its client base. In fact, Munro seems to have been on quite a roll, expanding into new jurisdictions, developing new product lines, transforming service delivery and meeting the challenges of numerous regulatory changes. “His approach as Global Managing Partner will bring this same energy to the role, focusing on clients, people and business transformation,” says the firm.

As you will have guessed, the firm practises primarily the law of those hot and interesting islands -BVI, Cayman, Cyprus, Bermuda and Anguilla. But in terms of clients the firm’s latest big deals all seem to hinge on China. Indeed, Shanghai is one of their few non-island offices and Harneys is one of the largest offshore law firms in mainland China. So please don’t mention Taiwan.

IP Give-away

Intellectual property is increasingly a company’s most important asset so Crowell & Moring has cleverly developed an automated self-check app which helps businesses think critically about it.  The IP Check-Up is an automated self-check app that companies and corporate lawyers can use to get a quick and free initial overview of any IP risks the company might face. “Until now, business leaders wanting this kind of service have typically had to commission expensive, time-consuming audits, and this has had a significant deterrent effect,” says the firm.

The online app gauges the company’s industry, its key competitors, how the company markets its products, and whether or not the company possesses sensitive information that should not be shared publicly. Based on the respondent’s answers, the app produces an automated initial assessment of the IP risks the company is running. And what’s more it is completely free.

“Globalisation and digitalisation mean there are more and more competitors out there. We want to make it as easy as possible for companies to think about their IP and how they can protect it, or better protect it, or even exploit it financially,” explains Crowell & Moring’s Jan-Diederik Lindemans. Too good to be true? Check it out for yourselves. Here accessible online.

+ LEGAL COMMENTARY OF THE WEEK

WAGS AND WIGS

Search for Vardy and Rooney and you won’t easily find the footballers. But you will find their wives. This is a grudge match which might outlast England vs Germany. And in the latest round of the High Court libel battle a judge has just thrown out parts of Coleen Rooney’s defence.

 “What the court has done is not unusual,” says Steven Heffer, Partner and Head of Media & Privacy at Collyer Bristow. “The Judge has struck out what he regarded as irrelevant parts of Rooney’s defence, to avoid wasting court time at the trial, focussing only on the properly relevant issues.”

 “If the trial goes ahead, there will still be plenty to keep the media and public entertained. That is the reality when a big libel trial plays out in court in what is a dramatic and entirely public forum. Such cases are rare nowadays, the parties often appreciating the high stakes and huge cost – both financially and in terms of reputation. These cases can have a huge impact on the parties personally and even destroy careers and reputations.”

 “A public trial will only be avoided if the parties can agree a settlement.”

 FIRE AND RE-HIRE

Using a “fire and rehire” approach to change their employees’ terms of employment is becoming increasingly common. But is it lawful?

“Under current law, if an employer wishes to vary terms and conditions of a current employment contact, they must firstly seek to reach agreement to the changes by consulting with the workforce, and any trade unions as appropriate,” says Kate Hindmarch, employment lawyer at Langleys Solicitors.

“If an agreement cannot be reached, employers must terminate employees existing contracts by giving notice, and offer to re-engage on the new terms – “fire and rehire”. The employees are then effectively dismissed, and face the choice of accepting the new, usually less generous terms.

“Most employees in this situation, particularly in the current economic climate, are likely to accept the new contract, whatever the terms, to avoid unemployment. However, if an employee refuses the new terms, then they may have a claim for unfair dismissal, providing they have more than two years of service.

“Employers must be mindful that firing and rehiring can be damaging for employee relations in the long term, particularly if the situation is managed insensitively. Employer’s risk alienating their entire workforce; recent media commentary reports that employees being asked to accept a new contract on worse terms are even threatening employers with company strikes.

“Ultimately, “fire and rehire” is potentially lawful, but businesses must consider whether it is ethical. It is a high-risk strategy which employers should not take on without understanding the risks and potential reputational damage involved.”

+ LEGAL ANALYSIS OF THE WEEK

The High Court has tightened the screws in the Axminster ruling on Defined Benefit (DB) pension trustees. Anna Rogers explains the implications.

The High Court recently ruled in Punter Southall v Hazlett, in re Axminster Carpets [2021] EWHC 1652 (Ch). The casehas been a long time coming and by the time it reached the Court the parties had agreed a compromise of numerous underpayment issues that are fairly common in defined benefit pension schemes. There were however some points that needed to be decided because they affected the quantum of the arrears.

Mr Justice Morgan reconsidered and expanded on some of his own rulings in the landmark Lloyds case. Current trustees have no limitation defence if they underpay. However, forfeiture clauses are allowed, limiting recovery to six years’ arrears.

Most DB schemes allow forfeiture. Some require it, with discretion to disapply. Until Lloyds the general view was that forfeiture didn’t work, or if it did it wasn’t very trustee-like. 

The Judge gave a pretty heavy steer that any discretion should be used in favour of beneficiaries if they were not at fault and the trustees were. In an apparent swipe at the trustees, who had ignored legal advice that they were underpaying, he said it might be different for their own benefits.

DB pensions are complicated and there are systemic risk areas for underpayment, both known and unknown. Trustees who are members are now on notice that their own benefits may be at risk if they don’t act. Better then not to take legal advice? Our view is, better to amend away the forfeiture rules they never used, don’t want to use, and can’t fairly use against anyone other than themselves.

Anna Rogers is Senior Partner, Arc Pensions Law

+ APPOINTMENTS OF THE WEEK

GIDE appoints China expert de Dainville as Partner

Among a clutch of seven new partners at French firm Gide (which now has 117 partners across 11 offices worldwide) the Legal Diary was impressed by Louis Oudot de Dainville who specialises in corporate law, M&A and matters related to venture capital and private equity.

de Dainville

What’s most striking though (aside from his legal qualifications) is that he has a degree in Chinese Studies from the National Institute for Oriental Languages and Civilisations and plenty of experience in Gide’s Beijing and Shanghai offices. No wonder he’s in demand.

HJ&A appoints asbestos expert

Hodge Jones & Allen has appointed Joanne Candlish, an accredited Senior Litigator of the Association of Personal Injury Lawyers and highly experienced asbestos solicitor, to support its growing team in the north of England.

Joanne Candlish

Based in Liverpool, Joanne has close to 30 years’ experience, acting for asbestos victims and their families in mesothelioma and other asbestos related lung disease claims. She also represents those who have suffered serious and complex injuries caused by road traffic and workplace accidents. Her landmark case was representing one of the lead parties in the “Employers’ Liability Trigger Litigation” case in the Supreme Court.

E-VENTS

Webinar Invitation BINGHAM CENTRE FOR THE RULE OF LAW

A conversation with the Founding Director of the Bingham Centre, Sir Jeffrey Jowell QC: ‘Can countries succeed without the Rule of Law?’  

Wednesday 14 July 2021 | 16:00pm – 17.00pm (British Summer Time) 

This webinar has been organised by the Centre for Development and Enterprise, a leading development and policy think tank based in South Africa.
 

The recent constitutional court judgement on former president Jacob Zuma has highlighted the importance of the Rule of Law. 

The Centre for Development and Enterprise is hosting a conversation with Sir Jeffrey Jowell, Emeritus Professor of Public Law, University College London, where he was Dean, Head of the Law Faculty and Vice Provost, as well as being a founding director of the Bingham Centre for the Rule of Law, set up to advance the rule of law worldwide.

He is an international authority on constitutional and administrative law. In his role as an academic and practising lawyer, he has advised on the constitutions and human rights issues in a number of countries, including South Africa. In 2011 he was knighted for ‘services to human rights, democracy and the rule of law’.
Opening Remarks by: 
Johann Kriegler, Retired constitutional court judge

In conversation: 
Jeffrey will be in conversation with Ann Bernstein, Executive Director of the Centre for Development and Enterprise.

Registration

This webinar is free to attend, however you will need a Zoom account to register. After registering, you will receive a confirmation e-mail containing information about joining the webinar.
BOOK NOW

BRICK COURT’S third centenary podcast features Sir Sydney Kentridge QC and Lord Sumption

The relaxation of lockdown restrictions brings together two titans of the law, face to face, to discuss their careers, their cases against each other, trial advocacy vs appellate advocacy, learning how to cross-examine … and whether or not one should keep score!

The conversation turned, of course, to Sydney’s famous cases in South Africa, and whether lawyers can and should seek to bring about political change, as well as to Jonathan’s appointment direct to the Supreme Court, and the extent to which retired judges should speak out on public issues.

Listen to the episode here

Work ‘The Same’ From Anywhere With NQZebra


 We have seen the evolution of working from the office, to working from home, to working from anywhere. But now, nQ Zebraworks says, the focus needs to be on working in the same way from anywhere.

Firms have transitioned well to working from home, but what are the tools that are needed now as firms navigate a far more fluid future?

We will look at the steps that firms are taking to expand their digital toolkit, as well as how they are driving adoption.

And we’ll be conducting a few polls so we can see whether the experiences of our guests accords with those of you listening in.
 Taking Place on Tuesday 13rd July  
16:30 BST/ 9:30 MST/ 11:30 EST
Click Here To Claim Your Free Place Now!

Hope that you’ve found this edition of The Legal Diary Interesting. If so please recommend or pass on to colleagues.

And please continue to send your stories, insights, comments and appointments to

fennell.edward@yahoo.com

And if you are reading this on Friday – ‘Come on ING-ER-LAND’

But if you are reading it on Monday – ‘Bad Luck! Close but not quite good enough – despite Southgate being the one.’