Monthly archives for September, 2020

City firms failing to support solicitors who want to become judges

first_imgConcern is mounting over City firms’ failure to support solicitors who want to become judges, Law Society chief executive Des Hudson was expected to tell the Law Society Council this week. In his monthly report, Hudson also suggests that a ‘similar message’ might emerge from a delayed report from the lord chancellor’s panel on judicial diversity. Baroness Usha Prashar (pictured), chair of the Judicial Appointments Commission, has agreed to address the Law Society’s City Equality and Diversity Forum on the issue in February. Prashar said it will be an ‘excellent opportunity to promote judicial appointments to the larger firms.’ Many City law firms are perceived to be unwilling to sacrifice their senior lawyers’ billable hours and allow them to sit for three weeks a year as part-time judges, a requirement to qualify for a full-time judicial post. Law Society president Robert Heslett said: ‘The Law Society and JAC are working to improve understanding across the solicitors profession of the opportunities for judicial appointments, and to help employers support their solicitors who are interested in becoming a judge. ‘We see fewer applicants from larger firms than you might expect would be proportionate, but we are working to increase applications from suitably qualified solicitors in every part of the profession.’ The lord chancellor’s panel on judicial diversity, set up in April and chaired by Baroness Julia Neuberger, was due to report in November. As part of its work to identify the barriers people face when applying for judicial posts, the panel is looking into whether support provided to prospective and new entrants to the judiciary is ‘adequate,’ among other things. However, a Ministry of Justice spokesperson said this week that discussions with a ‘significant number’ of stakeholders have taken longer than expected, and the final report will be published in early 2010. ‘The panel is aware of the issue regarding solicitors but we will wait until the findings of our report are published before commenting,’ the spokesman said. Research published in December 2008 by Dame Hazel Genn, professor of socio-legal studies at University College London, found that senior solicitors at magic circle law firms were reluctant to accept low judicial salaries, and had only a vague understanding of eligibility criteria and the selection process for judicial posts.last_img read more

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Law firms and insurers join forces to fight Jackson reforms

first_imgFive law firms and two insurers have set up a pressure group with the aim of preventing Lord Justice Jackson’s proposed reforms to the funding of personal injury and clinical negligence claims, which they claim will leave victims ‘at the mercy’ of large insurance companies. The Consumer Justice Alliance (CJA) is to lobby against Jackson’s proposal to stop claimants from recovering success fees and after-the-event (ATE) insurance premiums from losing defendants. It also opposes scrapping referral fees in personal injury cases. The group’s founding members are: Somerset personal injury firm Harris Fowler; London personal injury firm Wixted & Co; Essex medical negligence firm Gadsby Wicks; City personal injury firm ProLegal; Bristol medical negligence and personal injury firm Glynns Solicitors; and ATE insurers Elite Insurance and ARAG. Elite chief executive officer Jason Smart said Jackson’s reforms would leave injured victims at the mercy of large insurers.last_img read more

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Bar regulator proposes relaxing limits on barristers’ role

first_imgThe Bar Standards Board has set out its stall to become a ‘specialist regulator’ for those providing advocacy and related services – and proposes allowing barristers to carry out work currently performed by solicitors. In a consultation published today, the bar’s regulator proposes that barristers should no longer be prevented from providing litigation services, where litigation is ancillary to advocacy. But the BSB suggests that the current restrictions on barristers handling client money and clients’ affairs should not be removed, to preserve the distinction between the roles of barrister and solicitor. The consultation, the BSB’s third on the implications of the Legal Services Act, asks whether it should widen its remit beyond individual barristers, to regulate the new business entities permitted by the Legal Services Act: barrister-only entities; legal disciplinary practices and alternative business structures. It proposes that all managers in any of these entities would need to be ‘active’ managers, and says it would not regulate entities with external owners who are not also managers. To reinforce the requirement that all entities regulated by the BSB would be providing primarily advocacy and advice services, the BSB would require that a majority of an entity’s managers to be permitted to practise as advocates in the higher courts. It would limit the non-lawyer management in an entity to either 25% or 10%, in line with either the current transitional arrangements for LDPs regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authoirty, or the threshold for ‘low-risk’ ABSs under the LSA. The consultation also discusses other reserved legal activities, and whether the BSB should regulate entities which provide conveyancing or probate services that are ancillary to the primary provision of advocacy services. The paper says that the BSB’s provisional conclusion is that it would be in the public interest for it to establish itself as a specialist regulator of entities providing primarily advocacy and ancillary services, including legal advice and litigation. BSB chair Lady Deech said: ‘This is one of the most significant consultations we have issued to date. These decisions could have major implications for barristers and those who seek their services, as well as for the BSB as a regulator.’ ‘There could also be substantial benefits to the public and increased access to justice if we update our regulatory arrangements to reflect the act.’ Deech added: ‘The proposals in the consultation are provisional and we encourage all those with an interest to submit their views and influence the future of legal service provision.’ The consultation will run until 23 December 2010.last_img read more

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LSB must address unsavoury tactics

first_img It is common practice for some insurers to tell their insured that they must use a panel solicitor, even where it is apparent that the legal issue is not covered by the policy. This is a lie; Some insurers insist that non-panel solicitors enter an agreement with them which makes the average commercial lease look like The Dandy. I have seen one (32 pages of close-typed script) where the terms to which I was asked to agree would have placed me in a situation where I would have been in breach of my duty to the client; Some insist that the insured incur an ‘up front’ uninsured cost (such as counsel’s advice) before they will instruct a non-panel solicitor. I noted the items in the Gazette of 7 October relating to referral fees and legal expenses insurance. There are some insurers with whom it is a pleasure to work. However the behaviour of others does give cause for concern. For example: Howard Shelley, Bilston, West Midlandscenter_img The only reason that I can think of for such dubious tactics is to force the client to choose a panel solicitor and secure referral fees for the insurer. Whether you advocate or oppose referral fees (I am opposed), such unsavoury tactics must be addressed by the Legal Services Board.last_img read more

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Criminal

first_img The defendants, C and G, rented two properties (the properties). A term of the tenancy agreement or lease in each case was that the property should not be used for ‘immoral purposes’. Two commonplace, unremarkable and non-descript advertisements were found by the police, along with other advertisements of a similar nature, in the personal services section of a local newspaper. No addresses were given. However, two mobile telephone numbers were advertised. The officers telephoned both numbers and they were allegedly offered sexual services. Police officers attended the properties. At one house they found a scantily dressed woman and G. During the police search, C arrived. No one was found at the second house. A large number of condoms were found at both addresses. In one house one vibrator was found. No other mechanical devices or instruments were discovered. No customers were found at either house and no customers or woman offering services were observed going to or from either house. The defendants were arrested and charged with keeping a disorderly house at the two properties between 31 January and 19 February 2010. The prosecution relied on limited evidence which related to sexual services said to be offered from both addresses. The judge rejected a submission of no case to answer. The defendants were convicted of two counts of the ancient common law offence of keeping a disorderly house. The second defendant, G, was also convicted of a third count of transferring criminal property. Suspended sentences of imprisonment were imposed. The defendants appealed, inter alia, against conviction. The issue for consideration was whether the evidence in the instant case was capable of falling within the scope of the common law offence and whether the judge had erred in rejecting a submission of no case to answer. The appeals would be allowed. It was settled law that before a defendant could be convicted for keeping a disorderly house, the jury had to be satisfied that the services provided were open to members of the public who wished to partake of them, and were of such a character and conducted in such a manner (whether by advertisement or otherwise) that their provision amounted to an outrage of public decency, or was otherwise calculated to injure the public interest to such an extent as to call for condemnation and punishment. The provision of ‘straightforward sexual intercourse’ would not be sufficient to constitute the offence (see [13] of the judgment). On the evidence in the instant case, the conviction of the defendants represented a significant widening of the ambit of the ancient offence. The circumstances described, taken at their highest, were not capable of falling within the scope of the common law offence. The criminality which should have been alleged was that the defendants had allowed the premises of which they were tenants to be used for prostitution. That, however, could not be an appropriate basis for upholding the use of the common law charge. At the trial in the Crown Court, the judge should have upheld the submission that there was no case in law for either defendant to answer. It followed that the convictions were unsafe (see [9], [15], [16] of the judgment). The convictions would be quashed (see [16] of the judgment). R v Tan [1983] 2 All ER 12 applied; R v Berg and others [1927] 20 Cr App R 38 considered; R v Quinn [1961] 3 All ER 88 considered. R v Court and another: Court of Appeal, Criminal Division: 9 February 2012 Trial – Keeping a disorderly house – Defendants renting two properties allegedly used for prostitution Tom Wainwright (assigned by the Registrar of Criminal Appeals) for C; Dermot Keating (assigned by the Registrar of Criminal Appeals) for G; Geoffrey Porter (instructed by Crown Prosecution Service) for the Crown.last_img read more

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Adjudication on the home front

first_imgGet your free guest access  SIGN UP TODAY Subscribe now for unlimited access Subscribe to Building today and you will benefit from:Unlimited access to all stories including expert analysis and comment from industry leadersOur league tables, cost models and economics dataOur online archive of over 10,000 articlesBuilding magazine digital editionsBuilding magazine print editionsPrinted/digital supplementsSubscribe now for unlimited access.View our subscription options and join our community Stay at the forefront of thought leadership with news and analysis from award-winning journalists. Enjoy company features, CEO interviews, architectural reviews, technical project know-how and the latest innovations.Limited access to building.co.ukBreaking industry news as it happensBreaking, daily and weekly e-newsletters To continue enjoying Building.co.uk, sign up for free guest accessExisting subscriber? LOGINlast_img read more

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Game on

first_imgStay at the forefront of thought leadership with news and analysis from award-winning journalists. Enjoy company features, CEO interviews, architectural reviews, technical project know-how and the latest innovations.Limited access to building.co.ukBreaking industry news as it happensBreaking, daily and weekly e-newsletters To continue enjoying Building.co.uk, sign up for free guest accessExisting subscriber? LOGIN Subscribe to Building today and you will benefit from:Unlimited access to all stories including expert analysis and comment from industry leadersOur league tables, cost models and economics dataOur online archive of over 10,000 articlesBuilding magazine digital editionsBuilding magazine print editionsPrinted/digital supplementsSubscribe now for unlimited access.View our subscription options and join our community Get your free guest access  SIGN UP TODAY Subscribe now for unlimited accesslast_img read more

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Not just any old wood

first_imgTo continue enjoying Building.co.uk, sign up for free guest accessExisting subscriber? LOGIN Stay at the forefront of thought leadership with news and analysis from award-winning journalists. Enjoy company features, CEO interviews, architectural reviews, technical project know-how and the latest innovations.Limited access to building.co.ukBreaking industry news as it happensBreaking, daily and weekly e-newsletters Get your free guest access  SIGN UP TODAY Subscribe now for unlimited access Subscribe to Building today and you will benefit from:Unlimited access to all stories including expert analysis and comment from industry leadersOur league tables, cost models and economics dataOur online archive of over 10,000 articlesBuilding magazine digital editionsBuilding magazine print editionsPrinted/digital supplementsSubscribe now for unlimited access.View our subscription options and join our communitylast_img read more

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Welcome

first_imgSubscribe to Building today and you will benefit from:Unlimited access to all stories including expert analysis and comment from industry leadersOur league tables, cost models and economics dataOur online archive of over 10,000 articlesBuilding magazine digital editionsBuilding magazine print editionsPrinted/digital supplementsSubscribe now for unlimited access.View our subscription options and join our community Stay at the forefront of thought leadership with news and analysis from award-winning journalists. Enjoy company features, CEO interviews, architectural reviews, technical project know-how and the latest innovations.Limited access to building.co.ukBreaking industry news as it happensBreaking, daily and weekly e-newsletters To continue enjoying Building.co.uk, sign up for free guest accessExisting subscriber? LOGIN Get your free guest access  SIGN UP TODAY Subscribe now for unlimited accesslast_img read more

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The (un)luck of the Irish

first_imgStay at the forefront of thought leadership with news and analysis from award-winning journalists. Enjoy company features, CEO interviews, architectural reviews, technical project know-how and the latest innovations.Limited access to building.co.ukBreaking industry news as it happensBreaking, daily and weekly e-newsletters Get your free guest access  SIGN UP TODAY To continue enjoying Building.co.uk, sign up for free guest accessExisting subscriber? LOGIN Subscribe now for unlimited access Subscribe to Building today and you will benefit from:Unlimited access to all stories including expert analysis and comment from industry leadersOur league tables, cost models and economics dataOur online archive of over 10,000 articlesBuilding magazine digital editionsBuilding magazine print editionsPrinted/digital supplementsSubscribe now for unlimited access.View our subscription options and join our communitylast_img read more

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