The Board of Directors

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					                                                                           July/
                                                                          August
Birmingham                                                                 2011




                                  The Birmingham Law Society’s Membership Magazine




The Board
of Directors
                                                                      Justice for All -
                                                                Why Legal Aid Matters

                                                                     Future Regulation
                                                                     of Legal Services

                                                                        Burp and Hare
President’s Charity of the Year     BSG Summer Garden Party
                                                                          at Al Faisals

 One Region I One Profession I One Voice
AON
                                                                                                                                               Contents



                Editor’s Letter
I hope that you enjoy reading this issue of the Bulletin. It is
something of a tall order to produce a magazine which both
informs its readers on serious topics (such as the ongoing
threat to Legal Aid) and also contains items of interest such as            04                                             05
what other lawyers and firms are getting up to but I feel that we          President’s Report,                            President’s Charity
have achieved a balance with recent issues of the Bulletin.                                                               of the Year
                                                                           Andrew Lancaster

In this issue we have included an amusing restaurant review
and we hope to include these and wine reviews in future on
a regular basis. We intend to include more life style features
and members’ news but rest assured that we don’t intend to
turn the Bulletin into a legal version of “Hello” magazine - it will
still include articles and comment on current legal issues.

If you have visited a restaurant recently which                             12                                             21
has left an impression on you (whether a good or
bad one) we would like to hear from you.                                   BLS Networking Event                           BSG Summer
                                                                                                                          Garden Party
                                                        Judy Bonegal




                                              PRESIDENT | 04
                             Andrew Lancaster | President’s Report


                                                  FEATURE | 05
             Pete Lowen | Justice for All - Why Legal Aid Matters


                                                  FEATURE | 08               07
           Giles Cross | J.V. or not J.V... Now That is a Question!        The Board of Directors
                                                                           Editorial Copy to:                                    Designer
                                           LEGAL NEWS | 10                 Birmingham Law Society,                               Paul Blyth
                                                                           Cornwall Buildings,                                   Tel: 01905 727906
                                 New Rights For Agency Workers             45/51 Newhall Street,                                 paul@pw-media.co.uk
                    Equality Act Puts Summer Holidays in Danger            Birmingham, B3 3QR.
                                                                           Tel: 0121 222 4190                                    Advertising Sales
                                                                           Fax: 0121 222 4197                                    Alison Jones
                                                                           DX 13100 Birmingham                                   Tel: 01905 727902
                                   MEMBER’S NEWS | 14                                                                            ali@pw-media.co.uk
                                                                           Editor
      Weightmans associate adds another trophy to the cabinet              Judy Bonegal                                          Publisher
                                            Singapore Sling!                                                                     PW Media & Publishing Ltd
                                                                           Assistant Editor                                      2nd Floor Richardson House,
                                                                           Rebecca Lynch                                         21/24 New St,
                                                                           becky@birminghamlawsociety.co.uk                      Worcester. WR1 2DP.
                            REGULATION REPORT | 16                         Internal Editor
                                                                                                                                 Tel: 01905 723011
                                                                                                                                 Fax: 01905 780103
              Jayne Willetts | Future Regulation of Legal Services         PW Media and Publishing Ltd:
                                                                           Dawn Pardoe                                           Print
                                                                           Tel: 01905 727909                                     Printed By WPG, Welshpool
                                                                           dawn@pw-media.co.uk
                                                    REVIEW | 17
                                           Burp and Hare at Al Faisals   ERRATUM: Birmingham Law Society would like to apologise to Amanda
                                                                         Naughton of Williamson and Soden for her photograph appearing in the
                                                                              wrong Member News item in the June issue of The Bulletin.
            LEARNING AND DEVELOPMENT | 18
                       Glenda Rogers | September - October 2011            The articles published in the Birmingham Bulletin represent the views of the contributor
                                                                           and are not necessarily the official views of the Birmingham Law Society, or of the
                                                                           editorial board. The magazine or members of the editorial board are in no way liable
                                                                           for such opinions. Whilst every care has been taken to ensure that the contents of this
                                      GENERAL NEWS | 22                    publication are accurate, we cannot be held responsible for any inaccuracies or late
                                                                           changes. No article, advertisement or graphic, in whole in or print may be reproduced
                                                                           without written permission of the publisher.
                                     Jaffa Cakes: Biscuits or Cakes?

                                                                                                                                 www.birminghamlawsociety.co.uk | 3
President




                                PRESIDENT’S REPORT
                                By Andrew Lancaster | President, Birmingham Law Society

Did you catch us on Law in Action                    currently being rushed through Parliament.          We have a new Events Committee which
towards the end of last month? It                    Visit www.soundoffforjustice.org                    is representative of all of our membership
was so good to have a national radio                                                                     and I hope that this will continue to
programme on the future of legal                     • Signs the on line petition and asks our           ensure that the events that take place
services based in Birmingham and                     family and friends to do the same                   appeal to everyone! We have some fun
reporting on the Birmingham legal                                                                        networking events coming up after the
community. BLS now has a national                    • Writes to our local MP.                           August break and by popular demand, the
voice as well as a strong regional                                                                       Legal Eagles Quiz to look forward to.
one and we will need to make full                    I believe that this is a time to let our voices
use of this over the coming months.                  be heard on these important issues that             We will provide more information about
                                                     really matter. We are exploring ways of doing       events and dates soon and in the meantime,
In this edition, you will want to read the article   this better and I hope that we will all stand       I do hope that you will be able to enjoy
written by Pete Lowen, the Chief Executive           up and be counted on this critical issue.           some rest over the Summer period. n
Officer of the Birmingham Law Centre. Publicly
funded work is now under serious threat and          We have had another active month at                                              Andrew Lancaster
with it the many poor and vulnerable in our          BLS and I am pleased to include a report                      President of Birmingham Law Society
society who will no longer have access to            from our new Board on their priorities
justice if the new legal aid bill becomes law.       for this year. I am immensely grateful to
                                                     Bernard and the team for all of their hard
At this point you may be thinking – legal aid is     work in ensuring that we continue to have
not my bag and so I can skip to the next page!       a Society that can meet the needs of its
I fully appreciate that most of you will not         members in a fast changing climate.
undertake publicly funded work but you will all
be concerned about access to justice issues.         We all continue to work through how change
The Legal Aid and Sentencing Bill that was           is going to play out in the post 6 October
published recently should be a very serious          era. After the Summer break, we are planning
cause for concern for us all, whatever legal         a lunch with the Legal Ombudsman with a
work we undertake and whatever the shape             slightly different slant; the LeO is collecting a      President’s Dinner 2011
or size of our clients that we serve. The Law        lot of data about what the consumer (clients
Society describes the bill as ‘the single biggest    to you and I) really want from their legal
attack on state-funded legal advice for the          services and what they do not want. I think
                                                                                                          Thursday 3rd November 2011
poor and vulnerable since the legal aid system       that this will be a useful presentation and
was introduced.’ There are alternatives to           dialogue to inform us as we work with our
                                                                                                             Crown Plaza, Birmingham
what is being proposed that still saves money.       clients to deliver legal services in the most
Currently, in its rush to reduce the deficit, I      appropriate way for them. We also have a visit
                                                                                                                      7pm to 12pm
do not believe that the Coalition Government         from the Attorney General to look forward to
is listening as well as it could do and as a         at the end of October. With the recent rule            To book tickets please
result, I believe that there will be serious         of law issues that have arisen from super              contact Becky Lynch at
unintended consequences for sections of our          injunctions, this will be an interesting meeting.    becky@birminghamlawsociety.co.uk
society. I would urge you therefore to support
the Law Society’s Sound Off For Justice              We are taking steps to reinvigorate our Student
campaign without delay. I ask that each of us:       Membership category for law students. It is
                                                     important that we support the profession of
• Reads and understands the issues                   tomorrow. I will ask our student committee
                                                                                                           Patronage sponsor for 2011-2012
and why we need to oppose the bill                   to report to you in our September edition.


4 | www.birminghamlawsociety.co.uk
                                                                                                                                         Feature



                     JUSTICE FOR ALL – WHY LEGAL AID MATTERS
                     By Pete Lowen | Chief Executive |,Birmingham Law Centre

Pete Lowen is Chief Executive of                   housing, education and debt. If these problems    Massive rise in ‘litigants in person’
the Birmingham Law Centre (BLC) –                  are left unsolved they escalate and result in     There will be a massive rise in litigants in
the only law centre in Birmingham.                 far greater costs elsewhere in the system.        person i.e. those who no longer have recourse
BLC is a charity but also a legal                                                                    to a legal aid lawyer or adviser but wish
practice regulated by the SRA and                  The cost of not solving legal problems:           to bring or defend legal proceedings. This
as such can take social welfare                    • The social cost of evicting a family            will lead to a much greater burden on the
matters to the higher courts                       is estimated to be up to £34,000. The             courts in cost and time. Judges will want
                                                   current legal aid fee, which pays for up to       to refer such litigants for legal advice – but
At the ‘Justice for All’ march and day of action   9.5 hours of legal work, is just £174;            there may be no-one left to refer to.
on 3 June in Birmingham, I concluded my            • Spending £168 to help someone who
address at the public meeting in the Council       has been unlawfully denied benefits, or           What savings can be made?
House by saying that ‘we are sleepwalking          £200 to stop them spiralling into an un-          Research by AdviceUK suggests that 42%
into the dismantling of Legal Aid’.                manageable debt free-fall, saves money;           of problems are caused by administrative
                                                   • Each unresolved debt matter costs               or procedural errors made by government
I still believe this to be the case, especially    over £1,000 on average (LSRC 2009).               departments and local authorities. It is obvious
for the areas of social welfare law such as        Legal aid for debt advice costs £196.             then that savings can be made through
debt, welfare benefits and housing which                                                             increased efficiency in the public sector and
are now delivered predominantly by not-            It can be seen clearly that early provision       through improvements to the justice system.
for-profit (nfp) organisations. These are          of specialist legal advice and assistance
the areas which are largely going to be            saves money and resources.                        Conclusion
taken out of scope for legal aid and for                                                             I want to emphasise that this is not about
which most other funding is drying up.             Access to justice denied                          the not for profit sector ‘whingeing’ about
                                                   It has been estimated, based on recent            funding – but a fundamental attack on
In this short article, I intend to highlight the   Legal Services Commission data of 2009/10         the access to justice for the most needy
issues and explain why access to justice is        that up to 725,000 people nationally will be      and vulnerable people in society.
important for you as members of the BLS.           denied access. These cuts will impact on
                                                   the poorest people. People on low incomes         I am sure that members of the Birmingham Law
The bill                                           will no longer be equal before the law.           Society did not enter the profession with the
On Tuesday 21st June Kenneth Clarke,                                                                 intention that justice should only be available
presented to the House of Commons                  The Ministry of Justice estimates that            for the few - and these changes may affect
a new bill introducing changes to legal            the impact on the nfp advice sector will          you or members of your family in the future.
aid in England and Wales. Sweeping                 be a reduction in legal aid funding of
cuts to civil legal aid are proposed,              around 77%. For the Birmingham Law                For these reasons I believe that everyone in
                                                   Centre this would lead to a loss of almost        the profession whether in a large international
Legal aid for whole areas of law will disappear:   40% of funding – catastrophic when                corporate firm or a small legal aid practice,
• debt and welfare benefits                        other funding is also disappearing.               should stand up and oppose these proposed
• 40% of housing                                                                                     changes – and support the campaigns
• Immigration, unless the client is in custody;    The disappearance of agencies such as Law         against the bill in its current form. n
• Employment                                       Centres and CABx will be the unintended
• Most Education problems                          consequence of the proposed cuts,                 Pete will be running three half marathons to
• Clinical Negligence                              along with an added burden on MPs and             raise money for the Birmingham Law Centre:
• Divorce, family finance and                      Councillors in their local surgeries. This is     Wolverhampton, the Great North Run and the
contact issues, except where there                 the reality of the ‘Big Society’, locally based   Great Birmingham Run. Over the next couple
is physical domestic violence.                     and locally managed; volunteer reliant not-       of months he will be looking for Law Society
                                                   for-profit advice services will disappear.        members to join the BLC team at the Great
A false economy                                                                                      Birmingham Run. All runners will have T shirts
In order to save £350 million, the Ministry of     The ‘Big Society’ already exists, to a            with the slogan ‘Running for Social Justice’.
Justice intends to make £279 million of those      degree, within legal aid in the form of pro-
savings from civil legal aid by cutting services   bono projects such as Law Works and the           Contact Pete Lowen on 0121 766 7466 or
that help the most vulnerable people with          Pro Bono Unit. These are intended to plug         pete.lowen@birminghamlawcentre.org.uk
problems that arise in their everyday lives,       the gaps in the existing system – not to
such as family breakdown, employment,              replace properly funded legal casework!


                                                                                                                       www.birminghamlawsociety.co.uk | 5
Feature




PRESIDENT’S CHARITY
OF THE YEAR
I am delighted to announce that                   is supported. They provide emotional and           financial strain of caring for a life-limited child.
Acorns Children’s Hospice has                     palliative care for every stage of a child’s
been chosen as the President’s                    life and continue to support the families          There is no charge to families for the
Charity of the Year for 2011.                     into bereavement. The care they provide is         services but it currently costs over £8
                                                  tailored to suit each individual child and their   million a year to operate the hospices
Acorns provides care and support for children     family’s needs so they get the appropriate         and community team. Acorns needs to
and young people across the West Midlands         support at the time when it is needed most.        generate over 70% of this income itself from
who have life limiting or life threatening                                                           voluntary sources so support such as the
conditions, as well as their family. This means   Acorns has three 10 bed hospices which             commitment made by BLS this year is vital.
that they are unlikely to reach adulthood.        are located in Selly Oak in Birmingham,
                                                  Walsall and Worcester. They are designed to        I am planning on visiting the hospices
The charity currently cares for nearly 600 of     be a home-from-home with games rooms,              soon to see the fantastic work the charity
these children and young people and 800           soft-play areas, gardens and lots of toys          does first hand. I am excited by our choice
families, including those that are bereaved.      help to ensure a happy stay, alongside             and the opportunity for all members
They provide short break, emergency and           therapeutic facilities including hydrotherapy      to get behind showing our support for
end-of-life care from the hospices, with a        pools and multi-sensory rooms. The special         an extremely worthwhile charity.
dedicated community team to support the           adolescent wings also provide a separate
family 24-hours a day, seven days a week.         space and ensure privacy for older children.       I encourage you all to start thinking about
                                                                                                     what you can do to make this year’s
Since its opening in 1988, Acorns’ reputation     Children’s hospices provide a unique service,      charity support the most successful so
has been built on quality of care, and            acting as a lifeline for families as they try to   far and will keep you updated on planned
attention to detail – where the whole family      cope under the huge emotional, physical and        initiatives you can get involved in. n


6 | www.birminghamlawsociety.co.uk
     THE BOARD OF DIRECTORS
Members may recall that in April                   over the next 12 months. Some of the                 4. Review of IT Capability
2010, Birmingham Law Society was                   more important areas are as follows:                 Most of our members are reliant upon
re-structured by the appointment                                                                        email, internet and websites. Whilst BLS
of a new board of directors who                    1. Membership                                        has embraced IT, the Board believe there is
became responsible for the day to day              Membership during the last year has increased        room for improvement and we are looking
business activities of the Society. The            by around 40% and the Society now has around         at ways in which we can utilise technology
Professional Offices (i.e. President, Vice         3,500 members. However, the board wants to           to serve our members and provide them
President and Deputy Vice President)               ensure that this trend continues and it is seeking   with greater value. Webinars, online surveys
would continued to be responsible for              to further increase membership. Target areas         and social media are just some of the things
promotion of the profession/members                for this growth include focusing on the areas        that are being explored by the Board.
and generally serving the membership.              outside the city centre, engaging more of the
                                                   law student community (who are our future            5. Doing Business
The new corporate structure has proved             lawyers), engaging more in-house counsel             We are looking at new income streams as
to be a great success and it has allowed           and considering membership opportunities             a way of generating more income for the
Professional Officers to be freed up to focus      when ABS becomes a reality this October.             Society. It is quite simple: the more cash
on the Society’s members. At the Council                                                                that we have available the more we can
meeting in May, a number of directors              2. Benefits                                          do for our members. Birmingham Law
retired and a new board was approved by            Birmingham Law Society has introduced a              Society is a very strong brand both locally
Council. The new board members are:                new membership benefits package which is             and nationally and we need to harness that
                                                   available online. There are some significant         brand for the benefit of our members.
Bernard Shepherd (Gateley LLP) – Chairman          discounts/savings and it offers direct tangible
Chris Owen (St Philips Chambers) – Vice Chairman   value to members. However, this initiative           6. Sponsorship/Events
John Hughes –(Shakespeares) - Finance Director     needs to be developed and tailored to the            We are looking to work with the Professional
Angela Henry (Henry Browne) Staff Director         needs of the membership such as discounts in         Officers with a view to supporting a more
Andrew Beedham (Clarke Willmott                    restaurants, retail outlets and service providers    ambitious range of events over the year. This
LLP) – Commercial Director                         that are regularly used by our members.              inevitably requires financial support and we
Eileen Schofield (Schofield &                                                                           are looking to achieve this by providing a
Associates) - Marketing Director                   3. Temple Street Property                            greater range of sponsorship opportunities
Dean Parnell (Sydney Mitchell LLP                  One of the main issues facing the Board this         to both existing and new organisations. We
and Immediate President of the Law                 year is the management of the former Law             launched our Patron Sponsorship earlier
Society) – Non Executive Director                  Society offices at 8 Temple Street. As many of       this year and that has been well received
                                                   you will know this office served the Law Society     and we would like to develop this.
The focus of the newly appointed Board             for many years but is now vacant and has
will be to continue to build on the excellent      fallen into a state of dilapidation. The Board are   The above are just some of the things that the
work undertaken by the previous Board              considering a range of options which include         Board are hoping to tackle over the next 12
consisting of Jon Lloyd (Antony Collins)           the sale of the property; renovation and leasing     months. There should be no doubt that we
Martin Allsopp (Allsopp & Co) and                  the space to appropriate tenants. The Board          have had considerable success over recent
Bernard Shepherd. (Blakemores ).                   are very mindful of the historical attachment        years and we are looking to build upon this.
                                                   of the building and are currently undergoing a       We remain a dynamic and ambitious Society
In particular, the Board has recognised a          full review of the options. More information on      that is passionate about our profession, our
number of areas that will require attention        this project will be provided in due course.         local legal community and our region. n


                                                                                                                         www.birminghamlawsociety.co.uk | 7
Feature




J.V OR NOT J.V...
NOW THAT IS A QUESTION!
By Giles Cross | Director | The English Mutual Group | gilescross@englishmutual.com

There has always been a strong,                        flow and long term embedded value.                 significantly reduced. On top of that, of
unavoidable link between the                                                                              course, there is the compelling issue of both
appropriate ordering of financial                      There would also appear to be a growing            additional income and long term profitability.
affairs and the execution of legal                     realisation amongst legal practitioners that, in
practice; and it is fair to say that                   this increasingly transactional world, greater     The further attraction of the joint venture
this association is becoming                           steps must be taken in order to secure not only    solution is that all of the above can be
increasingly symbiotic.                                client relationships, but also client attention.   delivered, via the correct platform, with a
                                                                                                          minimum of financial cost to the law firm and,
Financial advisers have forever sought to              Interestingly, in recent months we have been       more importantly, with the potential for little or
attract the attention of solicitors, especially in     approached by a number of high quality law         no reputational or regulatory risk. Appropriate
the private client arena, whilst an enormous           firms interested in building and developing, in    marketing material and training can be supplied
number of solicitors have spent time trying            conjunction with us, what would, in essence,       and delivered, not to mention valuable CPD.
to ‘sort the wheat from the chaff’ in order to         become an ‘in house’ financial services
identify a suitable, accountable and reliable          solution for them via a joint venture structure.   Upon inspection, when one looks at the
financial services solution for their clients.                                                            broad scope of work undertaken by the legal
                                                       This is something we have delivered,               sector where the assistance of a qualified
Our clients have always required access to             with notable success, for a number of              financial adviser may be of use, it is easy
high quality legal advisers and, as our business       accountancy practices around the country           to identify the potential for success:
and the nature of our work has developed               over a number of years. As a result of these
and matured, so have their needs. Therefore,           recent discussions we will shortly launch one      • Pensions and Divorce
as a financial services company which                  legal ‘joint venture’ in the West Midlands,        • Long Term Care planning
traditionally prefers to ‘stick to its knitting’       with several more in the pipeline scheduled        • Trusts
and subsequently offers no legal services to           for fruition over the next 12 months.              • Inheritance Tax Planning
its clients, we consistently look to build new                                                            • Corporate Financial Planning
connections which can enhance our offering.            So what are the attractions of a                   • Commercial Finance
This is something that has served us very well.        financial services joint venture?                  • Residential and commercial
                                                                                                            property transactions
Conversely, our brand of careful, considered           For the right firm, keen to work within            • Personal injury
and unbiased financial planning, coupled with          the appropriate Law Society and                    • Court of Protection work
our outstanding reputation for customer service        FSA guidelines, there are many.
and client care has always made English                                                                   Indeed, some may argue that a large
Mutual a much valued, gratefully received and          From a client care perspective, especially         number of clients would value the
increasingly sought-after resource for legal           where clients may be experiencing a degree         assistance of their solicitor, hopefully a
professionals; whether it be in the provision of       of wealth for the first time (as, for instance,    trusted guardian, in the formatting and
guidance or in the acting as a ‘sounding board’        as the result of a divorce or the death of a       execution of their financial planning.
to solicitors, the writing of detailed financial       close relative) there is the security of knowing
reports, or the delivery of advice to their clients.   that the advising financial specialist has         However, whilst a financial services joint
                                                       been trained to act in a manner congruent          venture is most definitely not for every firm,
However, as we all know the world has                  to the style and attitudes of the referring        it may be a question worth asking and
changed somewhat in recent years and                   company. There is the securing of long term        definitely a conversation worth having.
for many, the occasional referring of                  client relationships, increasingly essential in
business to friendly, approved financial               the financial services sector, thus developing     If you would like to discuss the financial
services firms is simply not enough.                   the opportunities for future legal servicing.      planning needs of your clients or, indeed,
                                                                                                          talk to us about a possible joint venture,
Many law firms wish to look for additional             There may be the increased security of             we would be delighted to engage with
high income streams; sources of revenue                reputation built on the knowledge that the         you. Please contact us on 0845 6033679
designed to increase both immediate cash               potential of referring to a poor IFA has been      or via gilescross@englishmutual.com. n


8 | www.birminghamlawsociety.co.uk
Legal News


   NEW RIGHTS FOR AGENCY WORKERS                                                The results demonstrate strongly     interventions where necessary.”
                                                                                the link between knowledge


 E   mployers and agency workers
     need to take heed, says
 Birmingham law firm The Wilkes
                                        time, rest periods and maternity
                                        leave) once they have worked for
                                        the qualifying period of 12 weeks.
                                                                                of procedure and likelihood
                                                                                of making a complaint. Out of
                                                                                the respondents who did not
                                                                                                                     “The message from these
                                                                                                                     findings is that too many lawyers
                                                                                                                     are missing the chance to
 Partnership: the Government has        “Both employers and agency              complain, 82% were not told          learn from substantial numbers
 announced that the new Agency          workers need to think about the         about the in-house complaints        of consumers who make a
 Workers Directive will come into       implications of these changes           procedure at engagement,             complaint. Too many consumers
 force in the UK on 1 October           now – not wait until October.”          compared to just 24% of those        give up when they are unhappy
 2011 without any changes.                                                      who did make a complaint.            with the outcomes of the in-
                                        Other benefits that agency                                                   house process – despite having
 Stephen Hopkins, employment            workers will gain from the first        Even amongst those consumers         the right to escalate the complaint
 partner in Birmingham law              day of their assignment include:        who do make a complaint, results     to the Legal Ombudsman.
 firm Wilkes Partnership says:          • Information about vacancies           show that the vast majority of       Improving this situation is an
 “The regulations give agency           so that they have the same              those who remain dissatisfied        urgent priority for consumer
 workers entitlement to the same        opportunity as other workers to         fail to enforce their right to       protection, for improving the
 basic employment and working           find permanent employment;              challenge the results of the in-     service itself and for enhancing
 conditions as if they had been         • Equal access to on-site               house stage – dropping out of        public confidence in lawyers.”
 recruited directly, if and when they   facilities, such as child care          the system following that initial
 complete a qualifying period of 12     and transport services; and             result – 70% of consumers did        “A particular concern is the
 weeks in the same job. The effect      • Improved rights to protect the        not progress to the second tier.     number of clients who reported
 will be to provide equal treatment     health and safety of new and                                                 that they have been charged for
 for temporary agency workers,          expectant mothers, including            Chief Executive of the Legal         their complaints. The LSB regards
 compared with permanent                the right to reasonable time            Services Board, Chris Kenny          this as totally unacceptable, and
 workers, in terms of basic working     off work to attend ante-natal           said: “Ensuring that consumers       expects approved regulators
 and employment conditions              appointments and adjustments to         are better able to obtain redress    to take firm action in all
 (including pay, holidays, working      working conditions and hours. n         when they are dissatisfied has       cases where it is proven.”
                                                                                been one of our core priorities.
                                                                                Many lawyers already recognise       The LSB expects approved
   NEW RESEARCH HIGHLIGHTS                                                      that client feedback is an           regulators to build on this
   CHALLENGES FACING DISAFFECTED                                                invaluable way of improving their    study, both with their own
                                                                                service offering. We want to see     consumer research and, even
   LEGAL CONSUMERS                                                              this accepted across the sector.     more importantly, through


   T    he Legal Services Board
        - the independent body
   overseeing the regulation of
                                        The LSB has made improving
                                        complaints-handling across the
                                        legal services sector a key early
                                                                                For regulators too, complaints
                                                                                are an important source of
                                                                                information to help identify
                                                                                                                     communication, supervision
                                                                                                                     and, where necessary,
                                                                                                                     enforcement action in their own
   lawyers in England and Wales         priority. By October 2010, the LSB      gaps in regulation and target        parts of the legal sector. n
   – has published new research         required all approved regulators to
   highlighting the challenges          ensure those they regulate provide
   consumers face when the service      clear information to their clients       NEW FACTS AND FIGURES REVEAL
   they receive from their lawyer       both of their right to complain
                                                                                 MANY SOLUTIONS TO CRIME
   falls short of expectations.         about the service they receive
                                        and the process for doing so –           LIE OUTSIDE PRISON BARS
   The research, carried out
   by YouGov, suggests that
   consumers struggle to identify
                                        including giving them information
                                        about the Legal Ombudsman.             C     ommunity penalties are now
                                                                                     outperforming short prison
                                                                               sentences, according to statistics
                                                                                                                     a “rehabilitation revolution”.


                                                                                                                     Ahead of the House of
   how to go about making a             The research was designed to           released from the latest edition of   Commons’ second reading
   complaint when the service they      understand the experiences of          the Prison Reform Trust’s Bromley     of the Legal Aid, Sentencing
   received was unsatisfactory.         consumers who were dissatisfied        Briefing Prison Factfile. If the      and Punishment of Offenders
   Notably, results show that,          with the service provided by their     government succeeds in reforming      Bil, the Briefing indicated that
   throughout engagement, over          lawyer. The figures give a sense       the justice system, building on the   prisons will struggle to cut crime
   half of respondents (57%) were       of the proportion of consumers         success of community measures         and further reduce reoffending
   never told about their provider’s    who never enter the complaints-        including diversion into health       unless the massive growth in
   complaints procedure. Of those       handling system - whilst 33% did       treatment where appropriate,          the prison population is checked
   who did receive such information,    make a complaint, around two-          and holding prison numbers            to enable governors and staff
   fewer than half (47%) found the      thirds (64%) did not make a formal     to an unavoidable minimum, it         to work on the rehabilitation of
   procedure easy to understand.        complaint to their service provider.   could deliver on its promise of       serious and violent offenders.


 10 | www.birminghamlawsociety.co.uk
                                                                                                                                 Legal News

                                        population over the spending
The June 2011 edition of the            review period”. Previously, the      EQUALITY ACT PUTS SUMMER
Bromley Briefing Prison Factfile        impact assessment of the justice     HOLIDAYS IN DANGER
is available on the Prison Reform       green paper, Breaking the Cycle,
Trust website: http://www.
prisonreformtrust.org.uk/Portals/0/
Documents/Fact%20File%20
                                        stated: “We estimate that the
                                        package of proposals in Breaking
                                        the Cycle will lead to a reduction
                                                                             T   he question of Age
                                                                                 Discrimination takes on a
                                                                             new perspective as the closing
                                                                                                                 provide robust statistics and
                                                                                                                 evidence on the particular risks
                                                                                                                 posed by younger adults.’
June%202011%20web.pdf                   in demand of approximately 6,000     date for responses to the
                                        prison places by the end of the      Government’s latest consultation    Compromise is suggested
The bill’s impact assessment            Spending Review period, leading      on The Equality Act, (May           by means of an ‘objective
states that the proposed reforms        to an estimated prison population    25th), creeps ever closer.          justification test’ that the GEO
will reduce demand for prison           3,000 lower than it is today.” n                                         site as an option, however the
places to 2,650 by 2014/15, which                                            The draft order, implementing       English Association of Self-
will result in a “broadly flat prison                                        the age provisions of the Act, is   Catering Operators (EASCO)
                                                                             the subject of the consultation,    dispute this claiming that
                                                                             and holiday companies are           ‘to discriminate on the basis
  ROAR FORENSICS PUBLISHES                                                   hugely concerned by the impact      of “objective justification”
  FULL APOLOGY AND RETRACTION                                                it could have on business,          will be a very uncertain
                                                                             forcing some homeowners             route’ and stating that the
  ABOUT TRIMEGA’S HAIR TESTING                                               out of the market and               GEO has blatantly ignored


  T    rimega Laboratories is
       pleased to announce
  that Forensics Limited (Roar
                                        technological breakthrough of
                                        analysing human hair samples
                                        for alcohol, and it was no
                                                                             necessitating higher costs for
                                                                             insurance and changeovers.
                                                                                                                 a dossier of evidence that
                                                                                                                 they sent them in 2009.


  Forensics) has made a full            co-incidence that the Society        Mathew Filewood, General            “It’s not about stopping young
  apology in relation to an             of Hair Testing (SoHT) used          Manager, Cornish Traditional        people from holidaying” says Mr
  article on its website and a          our data set of 2,000 dual hair      Cottages, fears it will not only    Filewood, “but the GEO has to
  recent email circular in which        testing samples, the largest         deter some owners from letting      recognise that young adults are
  it suggested that hair alcohol        in the world, to confirm at its      out their property but could        more likely binge drink than any
  testing by Trimega Laboratories       annual conference in March           result in wider public order        other group (49% males, to 39%
  was not reliable and that the         the high levels of accuracy of       difficulties for towns already      females) with young male binge
  company was not appropriately         hair testing that Roar Forensics     rife with hen parties and binge     drinkers more than twice as likely
  accredited. Roar Forensics            has now acknowledged.”               drink weekends. “We were all        to commit a violent offence;
  has removed the article from                                               young once, but the Home            commit a crime or damage
  its website, replaced it with         The full text of Roar                Office’s own research clearly       something and it is foolhardy to
  a retraction, which it has            Forensics’ retraction and            shows links between age             pretend otherwise. I’d question
  also sent to all recipients of        apology is below:                    and alcohol and anti-social         where one person’s right starts
  its original correspondence,          “In an article on our website        behaviour. It is naïve to pretend   and another’s ends. It is all very
  and agreed not to make the            and in a recent email circular,      that a group of unsupervised        well to push this Act through, but
  same or similar statements            we suggested that hair               18 year-olds is not going to        what about the homeowner that
  about Trimega again.                  strand testing by Trimega            be tempted to party whilst on       has to clear up from a disorderly
                                        Laboratories was not reliable.       holiday. A young party in a         group? In peak summer weeks
  Avi Lasarow, CEO of Trimega           It has been pointed out to us,       holiday cottage, with access        holiday cottage owners often
  Laboratories, said: “We are           and we accept, that Trimega’s        to alcohol, is far more likely to   have to do a changeover in
  pleased that Roar Forensics           testing conforms with all            cause disruption or damage          6 hours. If the property is in
  has made a full apology               applicable standards and             than any other age group.”          disarray or damaged, and
  to us, recognised our                 is fully accredited, or, in the                                          the group renting it leaves
  accreditation and the very            case of their new laboratory,        The consultation document by        late, not only will this result in
  high levels of accuracy of            in the course of obtaining the       the Government Equalities Office    additional cost and stress for
  our hair alcohol tests, and           relevant UKAS accreditation.         says that ‘to allow a blanket       the owner but there will be a
  set the record straight on            We also accept that, rather          ban on certain age groups           knock on effect to the following
  its website and directly to           than the 20% error rate referred     using holiday accommodation         holidaymakers who have paid
  the recipients of its original        to by us, Trimega’s rate for         would be a disproportionate         good money for the property
  inaccurate correspondence.            false positives is less than         response to the concerns raised     and rightfully expect to start their
                                        1% and for false negatives           about some young adults’            holiday without disruption.”
  “We have always been a                approximately 5.75%. We              behaviour’ and claims that
  leader of the hair alcohol            apologise to Trimega for any         ‘organisations representing         Responses to the consultation
  testing market. We were the           embarrassment or damage              holiday accommodation               can be sent to the GEO via:
  first to commercialise the            caused by our article.” n            providers have been unable to       age@geo.gsi.gov.uk n


                                                                                                                    www.birminghamlawsociety.co.uk | 11
                                                 Birmingham Law Society Networking Event -
 Drinks                                          16 June 2011 at Burlington Hotel sponsored by
 Reception
                                                 Moneypenny and Wesleyan for Lawyers




       01                                                             02                                                        03




       04                                                             05                                                        06
                                                                                                                                Over a 100 people gathered for the BLS summer
                                                                                                                                networking event on the 16 June. The Burlington
                                                                                                                                   hotel kindly hosted the event providing the
                                                                                                                                 room and some tasty canapés free of charge.
                                                                                                                                   The event was supported by two sponsors
                                                                                                                                    Moneypenny and Wesleyan for Lawyers.

                                                                                                                                  Moneypenny provides firms with their own
                                                                                                                                   dedicated receptionist and small team to
       07                                                            08                                                          support in-house receptionists or act as fully
                                                                                                                                  outsourced switchboard function to reduce
                                                                                                                                   operating costs, deliver consistently high
                                                                                                                                  service levels, provide support during peak
                                                                                                                                   periods, lunch times and sickness, deliver
                                                                                                                                  a key part of your business continuity plan.
                                                                                                                                  Trial offer for members. Whether you need
                                                                                                                                 ad hoc support for your calls or a permanent
                                                                                                                                 telephone receptionist, trial Moneypenny for
                                                                                                                                  a month, based on unlimited calls - without
                                                                                                                                    obligation to commit further call 08000
                                                                                                                                  199 944.Email info@moneypenny.co.uk or


                                                                      10
                                                                                                                                      visit www.moneypenny.co.uk/legal.
       09                                                                                                                          Wesleyan for Lawyers are proud sponsors
(1) Peter Joyce, Moneypenny, Andrew Lancaster, Birmingham Law Society President, Bernard Shepherd, Birmingham                     of Birmingham Law Society. We hope that
Law Society Chairman (2) Ian Biddle, Wesleyan for Lawyers, Andrew Lancaster Birmingham Law Society President,                     all members who attended the networking
Gareth Cross, Wesleyan for Lawyers. (3) Claire Crawford, Martineau, John Croucher, Kennedys, Linden Thomas,
Martineau 4. Alastair Willcox, Blakemores, Martin Allsopp, Allsopp & Co, Ligia Bob, Sydney Mitchell, Dean Parnell,                event found it both entertaining and useful.
Sydney Mitchell, Peter Brewer, Weightmans LLP (5) Andrea Lynch, Mills & Reeve LLP, Kelly Barnett, Mills & Reeve                   As specialists in financial planning for legal
LLP, Bernard Shepherd, Birmingham Law Society Chairman, Medhi Zeadon, Mills & Reeve LLP, Ceri James, Mills &
                                                                                                                                    professionals, we’d like to offer you the
Reeve LLP (6) Kishan Pattini, Freeth Cartwright LLP, Mushtaq Khan, Freeth Cartwright LLP, Raymond Joyce, Freeth
Cartwright LLP, Frank Beeton, Freeth Cartwright LLP (7) Justin Jarmola, St Ives Chambers, Tom Lawal, St Ives                      opportunity to review your finances. Please
Chambers, Philip Hidson, St Ives Chambers, Karamjit Singh, St Ives Chambers, Alexander Jacobs, St Ives Chambers                    log on to www.wesleyan.co.uk/vouchers
(8) Felicity Parker , Price Mistry Solicitors, Kanchan Dharni, Price Mistry Solicitors, Cathy Price, Price Mistry Solicitors,
Sarah Kenyon, Mills & Reeve LLP, Hayley McCormack, Mills & Reeve LLP (9) Mushtaq Khan, Freeth Cartwright LLP,                      to book your no-obligation appointment.
Dean Parnell, Sydney Mitchell , Raymond Joyce, Freeth Cartwright LLP (10) Mushtaq Khan, Freeth Cartwright LLP,                         To thank you for your time, you will
Andrew Lancaster, Birmingham Law Society President, Raymond Joyce, Freeth Cartwright LLP
                                                                                                                                     receive a £30 Debenhams voucher. n
                                                                                                                                             Feature


               10 POINTS TO CONSIDER WHEN SELECTING A
               HOSTED / CLOUD ENVIRONMENT
               By Catherine Bailey | Head of Marketing | IRIS Legal

There’s an awful lot of press around                With true hosting you should be no longer             ensures that there is virtually no downtime
Cloud Solutions at the moment with                  anchored to the office or local network, giving you   with respect to the server access.
many suppliers claiming all sorts of                the flexibility to work out of hours and manage
things are best for your business at                business continuity when disaster strikes, e.g.       Many lower-cost options use equipment
varying prices and service levels. But              weather disruptions or health pandemics.              that is not of the highest specification and
which are true? How do you differentiate                                                                  can result in an intermittent service.
between the suppliers and ensure that               5. Other devices
you have all your bases covered and                 You’re running a business, and as                     10. Bespoke solutions tailored for
that your chosen solution will meet with            such, accept that you have users and                  your unique business needs
your expectations? I put together 10 key            fee earners using a wide variety of                   Can the hosting provider help you host
points to consider when making your                 devices to connect to the systems.                    additional software, not just your core
decisions. I hope you find them useful.                                                                   products? Also, can their installation
                                                    Your hosting supplier should provide the ability      and migration plans be specifically
1. Reduced costs                                    for you to synchronise your email and diary           designed to your business needs?
Do the applications you intend to have hosted       with your mobile devices including Windows
run on servers within a secure Data Centre?         Mobile, iPhone, iPad, Blackberry or PDA.              Again, these points are often overlooked by
                                                                                                          lower-cost providers, who categorise migration
Some suppliers rely heavily on the concepts of      6. Collaboration                                      plans as additional and often hidden costs.
hosting being so new that you may not be aware      Hosting allows you to collaborate in real time
of what should be included as standard. You do      with other users despite being geographically         Hosting Services should be considered as
not have to invest in servers, software, security   dispersed. So the communication between you           part of your business continuity plan.
tools, system upgrades or backup facilities; it     and your clients becomes more effective. You
should all be included in your monthly fee.         need to check that this is included in your costs     Your applications and data are hosted
                                                    and that the addition of any clients won’t mean       externally at a secure data centre, which are
2. Application management                           adding additional burden to your business.            accessed via an internet connection. As long
Will your applications be easy to manage? Do the                                                          as your staff has access to a PC or laptop,
applications include the core Microsoft products    7. Scalability                                        they’ll be able to log in and carry on, as if
(e.g. SQL Server, Office and Exchange etc)?         A good hosting provider will enable you               they were based in the office. It provides
                                                    to easily scale up (or down) user numbers             real-time data protection to ensure immediate
Many providers omit these essentials in quotes,     and applications as your business needs               continuity of your business in any event.
so you need to be aware of them and if they         change. Check contracts for minimum
are not apparent – ask! Also, you should not        users and fixed time lengths.                         Business continuity ensures that your
have to worry about installation, upgrades or                                                             critical business functions will be available
technical troubleshooting with respect to the       8. IT support costs                                   without stoppage, irrespective of any
hosted software, it should be done for you –        It is crucial to check that if something goes         adverse circumstances, events or disruption.
again, if it’s not in the quote, you need to ask.   wrong, your hosting supplier offers IT support        It is not something implemented at the
                                                    within the hosting package pricing.                   time of a disaster, but refers to those
3. Data security                                                                                          activities performed prior to maintain
Does the hosting supplier offer automatic           Often, businesses looking towards                     service, consistency and recoverability.
backup of data as well as real time monitoring      hosting do so because they do not
of the network for security threats, protecting     want to have to carry the cost of local               It is a comprehensive approach to
against hackers, viruses and other malware?         dedicated IT management personnel.                    making sure you can keep your business
                                                                                                          flourishing in any circumstances and is
Whilst it appears obvious that this would be        Therefore, it is critical when selecting a            a core element in helping you to remain
included, quite often it isn’t and can result in    supplier to replace local people that they will       compliant with the new SRA handbook. n
some very unfortunate downtime – not what           provide IT support should you need it and that
you want when you are trying to run a business!     it is included in the price and agreement.            For further information on IRIS Legal
                                                                                                          Hosted Services and book on IRIS’ hosted
4. Anywhere, any time access                        9. Enhanced performance                               free cpd accredited webinars please
Does your hosting supplier allow you to             When selecting a supplier, you need to be             contact 0844 815 5575, email legal@iris.
access your applications from anyplace and          certain that your applications are run on the         co.uk or visit www.iris.co.uk/legal
at any time, from any online connection?            latest high performance equipment. This
Member’s News


   FAMILY LAW PRACTICE                                                        SINGAPORE SLING!
   ACQUIRED BY CHALLINORS

   M      idlands law firm Challinors
          has acquired specialist
                                         Challinors opened its first East
                                        Midlands office at Colwick in
                                                                              O       nce again after a very
                                                                                      comfortable and enjoyable
                                                                              flight with Emirates, I arrived in
                                                                                                                       enjoying a luxurious lifestyle and
                                                                                                                       excellent schooling for children.


   divorce and family law practice      2008, with a civil and commercial     Singapore late evening. A car            If you are not sold yet and
   Rosleys Solicitors, which            litigation team dedicated to          had been arranged by the hotel,          packing your bags then you
   has been in Nottingham               the region, headed by Partners        so there was no delay in getting         should be aware that Singapore
   city centre for 27 years.            Jeremy Hale and Michael Knibbs.       to the comforts of my room at the        is looking for Lawyers. There
                                                                              Mandarin Orchard on Orchard              were suggestions that there is a
   Rosleys’ founder John Rosley,        According to the firm’s chief         Rd. Despite a confused body              shortage of professional skills.
   Partner Claire McLeod, with          executive Andy Hodges, this           clock I managed to make the              This is demonstrated by the fact
   the practice since 1997,             latest acquisition is a significant   extravagant breakfast feast where        that not finding a training contract
   and its six support staff,           step in Challinors plans to build     I was greeted by Steve Cunnane           is almost unheard of and there
   all move to Challinors.              a complementary family team in        of UKTI. Steven had used his             is less than 2% unemployment.
                                        the region: “The appointment of       excellent skills in arranging meetings   The country rebuilds itself almost
   The practice will continue           Pramila, a well experienced and       with high ranking members of             every 10 years so construction
   to operate from its offices in       highly regarded specialist family     both the Law Society of Singapore        along with manufacturing is big.
   Nottingham’s Bridlesmith Gate,       lawyer, has given Challinors          and the Singapore Academy of
   and will be headed by Pramila        a dynamic lead for our East           Law. Singapore’s legal system is         My advice is to take up the
   Meghani, who joined Challinors       Midlands family law team, as          yet another example of one which         opportunity of going there with the
   as an Associate last month from      well as an exceptional additional     takes its origins from the English       UKTI, they will ensure you get to
   Fraser Brown, where she was head     resource to our team operating        legal system. Unlike many parts of       meet the right people. The Emirates
   of the family team for 18 years.     throughout the Midlands.” n           Asia there is little or no corruption    flight ensures you have a leg stretch
                                                                              and the legal infrastructure is          in Dubai before connecting you to
                                                                              sound. A simple clear and no             Singapore. Matthew Mani business
                                                                              nonsense approach. English is the        and development manager at the
                                                                              legal language and the common            Mandarin Orchard has agreed UKTI
                                                                              language, so unlike China there is no    members favourable rates. Mr Mani
                                                                              forced approach to speak English,        ensured our stay was comfortable &
                                                                              it is in fact their first language.      enjoyable. He and his staff facilitated
                                                                                                                       transport and all our business
                                                                              Singapore boasts tremendous              needs. I for one shall certainly be
                                                                              growth and has not really seen any       staying there on my next visit.
                                                                              measurable decline in economic
                                                                              terms. It has a population make up       Overall a worthwhile visit
   WEIGHTMANS ASSOCIATE ADDS                                                  of Indian, Chinese, Malaysian and        and gave me the opportunity
   ANOTHER TROPHY TO THE CABINET                                              Brits amongst other. The country         to put Birmingham on the
                                                                              is so diverse I think it would be        map for legal services. n


 A    lawyer from the Midlands
      has received an award at
 the most prestigious ceremony
                                        ceremonies; she was awarded
                                        ‘Assistant/Associate Solicitor
                                        of the Year’ at the Birmingham
                                                                              difficult to be an outsider for very
                                                                              long, if at all. A safe and enjoyable
                                                                              environment with many ex-pats
                                                                                                                                              Raj Padhiar
                                                                                                                              Solicitor and Notary Public
                                                                                                                                       Carltons Solicitors
 in the legal calendar. Laura           Law Society Awards in 2010, as
 Kearsley, from Weightmans’             well as enjoying noted success
 Employment team received the           at the Women on their Way
 accolade for Assistant Solicitor of    awards in 2009, where she won
 the Year at The Lawyer Awards,         the Women in Law category.
 held on Tuesday 21st June.
                                        Laura is a prominent figure in
 The Lawyer Awards are widely           the region’s legal community
 recognised as the industry’s           and the judges said that it was
 event of the year– celebrating the     her keen involvement in the
 achievements of the country’s          profession, her mentoring of junior   BARRISTER BECOMES DIRECTOR
 best lawyers at a ceremony that        members of the team, as well          AT CARTWRIGHT KING
 unites over a thousand solicitors at   as her tireless work for clients
 London’s Grosvenor House Hotel.
  Laura is no stranger to award
                                        through her role at Weightmans
                                        that really impressed them. n         M   idlands leading specialist
                                                                                  criminal law firm Cartwright
                                                                                                                       King has promoted Harry Bowyer,
                                                                                                                       a senior barrister specialising


 14 | www.birminghamlawsociety.co.uk
                                                                                                                         Member’s News


in complex criminal cases, to         successful team of advocates at           of voluntary service for          and Stonewall Chair since
partner of the firm. The promotion    Cartwright King, handling crown           Stonewall, the lesbian, gay       2003. He is also Chair of
follows recent changes to the Bar’s   court advocacy throughout the             and bisexual equality charity.    Modern Art Oxford and a
Code of Conduct which allow           UK. In-house senior barristers                                              trustee of the Diana Princess
barristers to become partners         such as Harry are a response to           David has been a partner at       of Wales Memorial Fund. n
in firms of solicitors and Harry’s    the growing demands of clients            Pinsent Masons since 2000
is the first such appointment in      to have representation from one
the Midlands and one of only          firm of lawyers from start to finish.
a small number nationally.                                                      GATELEY STRENGTHENS BUSINESS
                                      The firm took advantage of the
                                                                                SUPPORT TEAM WITH TWO PROMOTIONS
Harry Bowyer gained 20 years          regulation changes last year to
experience at the bar before
joining Cartwright King in 2008
from the London chambers of
                                      appoint two non-lawyer director
                                      partners, John Scruton as
                                      partnership director and Rupert
                                                                              N    ational law firm Gateley has
                                                                                   strengthened its business
                                                                              support team with two senior
                                                                                                                  supporting her professional
                                                                                                                  studies. Most recently she has
                                                                                                                  held the post of HR manager and
Andrew Trollope QC. Since then he     Hawke as finance director. n            promotions in its Birmingham        will now take responsibility for HR
has been part of the increasingly                                             HR and finance departments.         and personnel for the firm’s 550
                                                                              Wendy Warburton has been            employees, as well as overseeing
  PINSENT MASONS’ PARTNER                                                     promoted to HR director while       recruitment, training and payroll.
  DAVID ISAAC MADE CBE IN                                                     Neil Smith is promoted to
                                                                              finance director for the firm.      Neil, who is a fellow of the
  QUEEN’S BIRTHDAY HONOURS                                                                                        Association of Certified Chartered

 M     Pinsent Masons’ Head
       of Public Sector, David
 Isaac, has been awarded the
                                      the British Empire (CBE) in the
                                      Queen’s Birthday Honours List.
                                      David received the accolade
                                                                              Wendy, who holds Chartered
                                                                              CIPD status, joined Gateley
                                                                              15 years ago as a PA and later
                                                                                                                  Accountants has more than 17
                                                                                                                  years’ experience working in the
                                                                                                                  Midlands professional services
 Commander of the Order of            in recognition of many years            moved into HR where the firm        industry and will head up a 24
                                                                              helped develop her career by        strong national finance team. n




                                                                                                                    www.birminghamlawsociety.co.uk | 15
Regulation
Report



             FUTURE REGULATION
             OF LEGAL SERVICES
             By Jayne Willetts | Solicitor Advocate, Jayne Willetts & Co - Specialists in Professional Regulation


             L   ast month’s Birmingham Law Society conference
                 on the Future of Legal Services provided some
             valuable insights into the legal world as it may well
                                                                        now knows how many numbers there are and which
                                                                        is the cheapest or the best? The analogy might not
                                                                        work precisely, but we are perhaps facing similar risks
             take shape following the implementation of the main        with the market for legal services. How will a member
             elements of the Legal Services Act 2007 later this         of the public be able to evaluate a traditional law firm
             year. As you will have already read, the conference        with the ‘solicitor’ brand as opposed to a bank, a
             was populated with high profile speakers from the          supermarket or a commercial concern? Will there be
             world of legal regulation and practice. Expertly           I asked David Edmonds of the Legal Services Board,
             chaired by Joshua Rosenberg all of the speakers            an overarching regulatory ‘badge’ that all regulated
             were refreshingly open and honest about their              concerns will be able to use to distinguish them from
             hopes and fears for the new regime. It was therefore       the unregulated providers of non-reserved legal work?
             a privilege to chair one of the afternoon sessions
             and participate first hand in the debate which             Ironically, the Clementi review of 2003 that triggered
             prompted further thoughts on future regulation.            the process we are now engaged in concluded
                                                                        that there was a “regulatory maze” and the Legal
             At present the majority of legal advice given in           Services Act 2007 was introduced partly to solve
             this country is through solicitors’ practices. Many        this problem. In fact we are likely to finish up with
             firms struggle to provide the level of income that         at least eight regulators who will be permitted to
             their proprietors would hope for, but society is           license ABSs and to authorise more traditional
             served with a wide selection of legal services             practices. At present the SRA and the Council for
             more or less wherever they are required. The               Licensed Conveyancers have been approved by
             essentially local nature of solicitors’ firms means        the Legal Services Board as licensing authorities
             that most members of the public receive advice             and are awaiting Parliamentary approval. More
             from firms that are owned and run by solicitors.           regulators such as the Institute of Legal Executives,
                                                                        the Bar Standards Board and even the Institute of
             Key to understanding the complex regulatory changes        Chartered Accountants are likely to follow suit.
             that are now taking shape is to understand the
             concept of reserved legal activities – the work that       There are two fundamental questions here – should
             is reserved by law for solicitors or, in some cases,       there be one regulator of legal services just as the
             other lawyers to undertake. Where work does not fall       Financial Services Authority is the sole regulator
             under one or other of these headings there are no          of financial services? Charles Plant Chair of the
             statutory controls over who conducts it, nor are there     SRA has raised this previously and is in favour.
             necessarily any corresponding regulatory controls.         Secondly should all legal advice and services be
             Thus it is that employment lawyers find themselves         regulated? Will writing is being considered as a
             competing with HR consultancies and, perhaps more          regulated activity and more could follow suit.
             surprisingly, private client lawyers with will writing
             agencies. As from October this year, however, the new      However this would not be necessary if there
             ‘alternative business structures’ – or ‘licensed bodies’   were only one regulator. The public could then be
             as they will then be known – will be able to provide       made aware that they should seek legal advice
             whichever of the reserved legal activities that they can   only from firms authorised by the sole legal
             show they are competent to deliver and which that          services regulator instead of trying to choose
             regulator – the SRA or other- is permitted to license.     between the eight or so regulators on offer.


             One of the most interesting themes of the BLS              Only lawyers and politicians could have
             conference was how the public will fare with the new       made things so complicated! n
             choice of providers. Remember the days of directory
             enquiries at BT? There was one number that everyone
             used and the price was known, but this was felt to be
             uncompetitive and the market was opened up. Who
                                                                                                                                                 Restaurant
                                                                                                                                                    Review


BURP AND HARE AT AL FAISALS
JUST WALKING IN YOU BECOME AWARE OF
HOW VIBRANT THE RESTAURANT IS
I  have always fancied being Giles
   Coren – well just fancied him
actually, however up close he
                                        complementary (appreciated) with
                                        an array of chutneys. I then selected
                                        the chicken Makhani, pieces of grilled
                                                                                  bread which looks great but after
                                                                                  a while it’s like eating a slipper.
                                                                                                                             to Al Faisals; 136 – 140 Stoney
                                                                                                                             lane, Sparkbrook, Birmingham B12
                                                                                                                             8AQ Telephone: 0121 449 5695
doesn’t look much like his photo in     marinated chicken breast cooked           One thing I need to mention is that        www.alfaisal.co.uk/main.html
the Times and after years of mooning    with tomatoes, pistachios, almonds        the restaurant is unlicensed but they
over his photograph I must confess      and spices (£7.10). Burp ordered a        are happy for customers to bring their     Now for the rating bit;
to being a bit disappointed when I      Tak tak Tawa Dish of jeera chicken,       own alcohol. After the previous night’s    Cooking: 7 ( bit more
first saw him on TV – however, fickle   these dishes are specially prepared       BLS garden party Burp and I were           spice would be nice)
as I may be I do enjoy his restaurant   on a hot plate (I like a hot plate said   quite content not to drink but to select   Atmosphere: 9
reviews and his dry wit - therefore     Burp, who then proceeded to explain       one of the freshly squeezed juices         Smiling: 9
it was with much enthusiasm that I      to me the joys of eating food off a hot   - very tasty and thirst quenching.         Accessibility / Car Parking: 9
agreed to pen a restaurant review for   plate – I can’t remember what they                                                   Score: 46 (maths was
the BLS. I then enlisted my partner,    were but he was serious – there was       We had a thoroughly enjoyable              never my strong point)
who also became a little over           genuine warmth in his voice) – back       meal in a vibrant, relaxed and
enthused and thought we should          to his dish, it was cooked with green     modern venue and we will definitely                                Burp and Hare
adopt pseudonyms – Burp and Hare.       chillies, ginger and nutmeg – a taste     go back – go on – try it – you’ll                     (Hare is a solicitor with Averta
                                        of Lahore – neither of us have been       have fun ….and say hi to Irshad.           Employment Lawyers and member of the
Al Faisals is situated on Stoney Lane   to Lahore but it tastes lovely. (£7.30)                                              BLS and Burp isn’t either of those things)
in Sparkbrook, the road was busy but                                              All in all, I would recommend a trip
there was easy and ample parking        I also ordered the “fluffy rice “– and
outside the restaurant both on the      it was fluffy... Burp meanwhile
street (where we parked) and in the     selected pilau chawal, cooked with
small free car park across the road.    zeera seeds and garlic. I love zeera
                                        seeds he said, I love seeds too I
The restaurant was well lit and         said (not wanting Burp to dominate
rather noisy (which we liked). It       the conversation all evening).
was packed with people busy
having a relaxing evening in what       The kitchen area is completely
is an attractive, thoroughly modern     open to the restaurant so diners
spacious venue with none of worn        can wander up and watch or chat
clichés of many Asian restaurants.      to the four chefs dressed in their
                                        whites busy in the kitchen, so busy
The menu was well set out and           in fact that our food arrived steaming
rather stylish as I remarked to our     hot in a little over 10 minutes from
waiter (he thanked me and didn’t        ordering. Both dishes were flavourful
seem in the least surprised at my       but perhaps a little too mild for me,
interest in the menu design – when      thankfully there was no evidence
was he going to realise that I was a    of the red tikka food colouring or
food critic? he clearly hadn’t picked   excessive creaminess so common
up on the pen and notebook I had        in other restaurants. Burp’s dish
oh so strategically placed on the       was sizzling on a cast iron plate of
table). Our waiter was, by the way a    shredded chicken , quite dry not
delight, friendly in a quietly spoken   over sauced with strong flavours
helpful way. I must mention his         of jeera, chilli and nutmeg.
name because I was quite taken
with him, he name is Irshad which       The peshwari naan bread fresh from
as he explained to me means             dedicated naan baker was absolutely
“appreciation”, so I thanked him.       lovely. Not too sickly, full of crushed
                                        almonds, and quite thin so much
The popadums arrived unordered and      nicer than the often really thick naan
BIRMINGHAM LAW SOCIETY

Learning & Development
                 Professional Services

  Course List September - October 2011
     Date       Time          CPD Hrs     Course Title                                  Area               Speakers                                   Fees £
                                                                                                                               Members                        Non Members
     06/09/11   09.30-17.30           7   Management Course Stage 1                     Management         Doug Robinson       170                            210

     14/09/11   13.30-16.30               Law Firm Compliance                           Management         Brian Rogers        99                             115

     29/09/11   15:00-17:00           2   A Survival Guide to Anti Money                AML and SRA Visits Gary Christianson   55                             70
                                          Laundering and SRA Visits

     03/10/11   12.30-18.00           6   Criminal Law Update - Autumn                  Criminal Law       Anthony Edwards     100                            100
                                                                                                                               with discounts                 with discounts


     05/10/11   13.30-16.30           3   Risk Management for Conveyancers              Property Law       Richard Snape       99                             115

     10/10/11   14.00-17.00           6   Solicitors Accounts Rules Update              Legal Accounts     Linda Lambert       170                            210
                                          Full Day session                                                                     with disc. for support staff   with disc. for support staff



     13/10/11   15:00-17.00           2   Private Client Update                         Private Client     Matthew Hansell     55                             70
                                                                                                           John Grundy

     18/10/11   09.30-16.30           6   Management Course Stage 2                     Management         Doug Robinson       170                            210

     19/10/11   13.30-16.30           3   AML and Countering Terrorist Financing        AML                Matthew Moore       99                             115


                                                                                                         Full details of all our seminars are advertised
     Reserve a place online..                                                                            on our website and regular emailers are sent
     www.birminghamlawsociety.co.uk.                                                                     out to our members. We are currently in
     Telephone..                                                                                         the process of confirming further seminars,
     Glenda Rogers, Professional Services Manager on 0121 222 4193.                                      debates and conferences; if you have any
                                                                                                         specific training requirements or would like
     Email..                                                                                             to suggest future topics, please do email
     glenda@birminghamlawsociety.co.uk                                                                   me at glenda@birminghamlawsociety.co.uk

   Course Highlights
  Management Course Stage 1                                                        recognise what impresses clients and eradicate what upsets
  Date: 5th of September 2011
                                                                                   them; organise your relationships with clients to deliver great
  Time: 9.30am - 5.30pm lunch will be provided
  Venue: Birmingham law Society, Cornwall Buildings, 45-51                         service; delegate more effectively ; and manage meetings
  Newhall Street B3 3QR                                                            and make decisions which lead to improved performance.
  CPD: 7 Hours CPD Accredited by the SRA
  Fees: Member fee: £170 plus VAT Non-Member fee: £210 plus VAT
                                                                                   The Programme - The day is split into three sections
                                                                                   covering core elements of the SRA’s syllabus: Managing
  Who should attend? This is a compulsory course for all                           finance; Managing client relations; Managing people.
  solicitors within the first three training years post qualification.
  The course also qualifies towards the SRA’s required 12                          Using a model firm you will assess the impact of
  hours’ management training under the Solicitors’ Code of                         management decisions, develop your own approach to good
  Conduct Rule 5 The benefits of this course are: Practical not                    management and share ideas on current best practice.
  theoretical; Provides a clear explanation of the challenges
  facing law firms in the current economic climate; Explains                       Speaker: Doug Robinson is a director of Kinch Robinson
  law firm finances in a way that will help you understand how                     Limited. He is a Chartered Accountant who has worked
  your actions affect profit and cash flow; Concentrates on                        exclusively in the field of professional development since
  the way you can change your behaviour to contribute more                         2003. Doug teaches Management Course Stage 1 and 2, PSC
  effectively to your firm’s performance and financial results;                    Financial and Business Skills and a range of other financial and
  Helps your firm to develop a competitive advantage.                              management courses aimed specifically at lawyers in practice.
                                                                                   His clients include top 20 UK law firms, regional firms and
  Key Outcomes - As a result of attending the course, you                          local Law Societies. He is a consultant to the College of Law,
  will be able to: appreciate the importance of planning;                          regularly delivering training on public and in-house courses.
  understand financial data and key performance indicators;
  act confidently on information contained in financial reports;


18 | www.birminghamlawsociety.co.uk
Course Highlights Continued

Law Firm Compliance                                                    45-51 Newhall Street, Birmingham B3 3QR
Date: Wednesday 14th of September 2011                                 CPD: 3 Hours CPD Accredited by the SRA
Time: 1.30pm to 4.30pm                                                 Fees: Member fee: £99 +VAT, Non-Member fee: £115 +VAT
Venue: Birmingham Law Society, Cornwall Buildings,
45-51 Newhall Street, Birmingham B3 3QR
CPD: 3 Hours CPD Accredited by the SRA
                                                                       Why Attend? Assessing the risks involved in various conveyancing
Member Fee: £99 plus VAT, Non-Member Fee: £115 plus VAT
                                                                       transactions is becoming of increasing importance, and is a necessity
                                                                       in relation to taking out indemnity insurance. The course aims
Why Attend? The legal profession is undergoing enormous                to look at some of the risk based areas of conveyancing - when
change, including the introduction of new rules and increased          to insure and when to warn the client or refuse instructions.
competition from large retail organisations; regulatory compliance
will be at the forefront of all these changes and therefore firms      Topics include: Issues in relation to leaseholds; Indemnity Insurance
must be ready for it. This seminar will cover many aspects             implications; Situations where insurance premiums may increase;
of law firm compliance, including ABS licensing, the new               Restrictive Covenants and Easements Issues; Issues in relation to
SRA Handbook and Outcomes Focused Regulation.                          Newbuilds; Acting for co-owners; Current insurance company questions
                                                                       on indemnity insurance renewal; Mortgage company requirements
Speaker: Brian Rogers, FCMI (please see above)
                                                                       Speaker: Richard Snape LLB, LLM Richard was formerly a full-time
                                                                       lecturer of Law at the University of West England (UWE) since 1987.
A Survival Guide to Anti Money Laundering and SRA Visits               He became head of property law on the Degree and CPE courses
Date: Thursday 29th of September 2011
                                                                       in 1989 and remained in that position until he joined Davitt Jones
Time: 3pm to 5pm
Venue: Birmingham Law Society, Cornwall Buildings,                     Bould in 2002 as a Consultant. He has written extensively on property
45-51 Newhall Street, Birmingham B3 3QR                                matters notably in the ‘Conveyancer’ and the ‘New Law Journal’
CPD: 2 Hours CPD Accredited by the SRA                                 and has been a regular contributor on CPD courses since 1991.
Member Fee: £55 plus VAT, Non-Member Fee: £70 plus VAT
                                                                       He is a visiting lecturer in the Law Faculty of Bristol University.

This two hour seminar will guide you through the following
issues and will provide invaluable advice on how to                    Private Client Update 2011
                                                                       Date: Thursday 13th of October 2011
get it right AND what to do if it all goes wrong!
                                                                       Time: Registration/refreshments at 2.45pm/seminar from 3pm to 5pm
                                                                       Venue: Mills & Reeve LLP, 78 - 84 Colmore Row, Birmingham, B3 2AB
Anti Money Laundering: An update on recent legal developments; An      CPD: 2 hours Accredited by the SRA
update of Law Society AML guidance; Areas of future concern; What      Fee: £55 plus VAT for members, £70 plus VAT for non-members
happens when it goes wrong, sentencing and regulatory issues.
                                                                       Why Attend? This seminar will update busy practitioners on private
SRA Visits: Effect of the change to OFR on the SRA as our regulator;   client law and tax and will cover some of the latest ideas on estate
Areas of interest for the SRA; Their approach to their role as         planning, wills, probate, wealth protection and recent case law.
regulator; What not to do when they come to visit; What to do to
make it as painless as possible; Dealing with the aftermath.           This seminar will cover: Wills and Probate Update; Top Estate
                                                                       Planning Tips; Wealth Protection; Case Law Update; Contentious
Speaker: Gary Christianson was both the Managing Partner               Trust and Probate Issues; Taking Will Instructions and Conflicts
and the Chairman of one of the most prestigious law practices          interests; New Disclosure Rules; Family Investment Companies.
in the Midlands before recently setting up his own firm Gary
Christianson, Specialist Regulatory Lawyer www.gc-legal.co.uk.         Speakers: Matthew Hansell – Matthew is a private client partner at
For many years he has provided advice across a seemingly infinite      Mills & Reeve LLP, solicitors. Matthew is a member of STEP and SFE
spectrum of the trials and tribulations that confront members          and is a member of the Capital Taxes Committee of the Law Society.
of the legal profession on regulatory matters. Gary specialises        He frequently writes and lectures on private client issues and acts for a
in advising solicitors who are facing the Solicitors’ Disciplinary     wide range of entrepreneurs and owner managers of businesses advising
Tribunal and on money laundering issues. He has expertise in           them on inheritance tax planning, Wills and trusts. Matthew and the
regulated businesses across the financial services sector and is       team are first rated by the Legal Directories, Legal 500 and Chambers,
well versed in a broad range of professional negligence matters.       for private client work. Matthew was also named as one of the “50 most
                                                                       influential” private client practitionersby Private Client Practitioner.

Risk Management For Conveyancers                                       John Grundy - John is a Private Client Associate at Mills & Reeve LLP,
Date: Wednesday 5th of October 2011
                                                                       solicitors. John is both the Vice-Chairman and Programme Officer
Time: 1.30pm to 4.30pm
Venue: Birmingham Law Society, Cornwall Buildings,                     of the STEP Birmingham Branch. He is a full member of SFE and


                                                                                                                www.birminghamlawsociety.co.uk | 19
BIRMINGHAM LAW SOCIETY

Learning & Development
                Professional Services


Course Highlights Continued

STEP. John’s work includes estate planning, drafting and advising on      Financial Management: New funding options; A new focus
Wills, Trusts, Powers of Attorney, Administering Estates and Trusts       on financial stability; Increasing profitability; Utilisation and
and protecting assets for the benefit of the next generation. He acts     realisation; Managing cashflow in a challenging economic climate;
for both UK based and international clients. John is recognised in        Managing individual performance - from trainee Partner.
Chambers as the “Associate to Watch” in the Midlands and was
named in the Private Client Practitioner’s “Top 35 Under 35”.             Managing People: Leadership styles; Learning
                                                                          styles; Supervision – developing your skills.

Management Course Stage 2
                                                                          Client Relationships: Outcomes focused regulation – a
Date: Tuesday 18th of October 2011
Time: 9.30am - 4.30pm lunch provided                                      change of emphasis; Business development; Managing risk;
Venue: Birmingham Law Society, Cornwall Buildings, 45-51                  Billing and collecting; Client care and complaints handling.
Newhall Street, Birmingham B3 3QR
CPD: 6 Hours CPD Accredited by the SRA
                                                                          Project Management: Setting objectives;
Fees: Member fee: £170 +VAT, Non- Member fee: £210+VAT
                                                                          Organisation, planning and control.


Why Attend? What makes the best law firms successful? How do firms        Speaker: Doug Robinson (please see above)
stay ahead of the pack in an increasingly competitive environment? How
can you contribute more effectively to improve your firm’s performance?
Building on the mandatory Management Course Stage One, this seminar
explores law firm management in more detail. The course includes an
update on the new Code of Conduct (the SRA Handbook) and the other
major changes affecting the legal profession effective 06 October 2011.




20 | www.birminghamlawsociety.co.uk
                                                                                                                                          BSG




BIRMINGHAM SOLICITORS’ GROUP –
SUMMER GARDEN PARTY
The BSG’s Wimbledon themed                     Wesleyan for Lawyers and Robert Walters,          coaching programme. They aim to engage
Summer Garden Party took place at              for making the evening such a success.            local communities and reverse the decline
Berrow Court on Friday 1 July 2011                                                               of sport in public parks, working particularly
with over 120 lawyers from across              First prize in the raffle, a signed Andy Murray   with children in deprived areas who may not
the West Midlands enjoying drinks in           t-shirt, went to lucky Sunita Dhillon from        otherwise get the opportunity to play tennis.
the beautiful gardens followed by a            Shoosmiths. Overall in excess of £450 was
delicious buffet with the ubiquitous           raised for the charity “Tennis for Free” (www.    The BSG have just finished a complete overhaul
Pimms, strawberries and cream!                 tennisforfree.com) who work with schools,         of their website (www.birminghamsolicitorsgroup.
                                               tennis clubs and local authorities throughout     com) if you would like to take a look. Details
The BSG would like to thank all of those who   the country to give children and families the     of their launch party for the new site will
attended and in particular their sponsors,     opportunity to participate in a free tennis       be circulated to members shortly. n


                                                                                                                 www.birminghamlawsociety.co.uk | 21
General News


  JAFFA CAKES: BISCUITS OR CAKES?                                              260-MILE ENDURANCE BIKE CHALLENGE
                                                                               RAISES OVER £3000 FOR CHARITY
C    ollege of Law opens up
     the debate at open days
for new LL.B law degree
                                        The College of Law in Birmingham
                                        said: “Our open days will give
                                        prospective students an insight        A     criminal law Associate Solicitor
                                                                                     with Midlands law firm
                                                                                                                        a landmark day for many reasons,
                                                                                                                        particularly as it seemed to be the
                                        into our new LL.B law degree           Challinors, Jolyon Canlin, was one       day for crashes! I slipped on some
Midlands sixth-formers aspiring to      including its focus on boosting        of five amateur cyclists to complete     very wet ground and skidded
be lawyers will get a taste of legal    their employment prospects             one of Wales’ most grueling long         along the ground for more than
argument by debating whether            and professional legal skills.         distance cycle routes and raise          ten metres, whilst Simon T took
Jaffa Cakes are biscuits or cakes                                              over £3,000 for charities Help for       a spectacular fall from his bike
during forthcoming open days at         “The course differs from many          Heroes and Cancer Research.              when his chain came off, resulting
The College of Law in Birmingham.       traditional law degrees as it is                                                in a pretty bad gash on his knee.
                                        targeted specifically at students      A Solicitor and Higher Courts            I think that was only to divert
The series of events, taking place      who already know that they want        Advocate in the Criminal Defence         attention from his fall on Day 1,
from the end of this month, will        a career in the legal profession       department of Challinors, Jolyon         whilst stationary at traffic lights!
give students a flavour of what         and emphasises the teaching of         with cycling friends Neil Griffiths,
the College’s unique two-year           essential professional skills.”        Graham Schultz, Simon Thwaite            “It was all worth it though, and
LL.B law degree has to offer.                                                  and Simon Whittam, cycled the            we are all thrilled to have already
                                        Employability is a key feature of      260-plus mile Lon Las Cycle              passed the £3,000 mark on our
The undergraduate course, being         the course design, with workshops      Route in five days last month.           fundraising for the two charities,
run at the Great Hampton Street         to help students exploit the                                                    and donations are still coming
campus from September 2012, will        career opportunities inherent in       The journey began in Cardiff and         in, both on and off-line.”
be the first of its kind, grounded on   the fast-changing legal services       included sections through the
rigorous practice-based learning        market. The College has invested       Brecon Beacons, Snowdonia                Challinors Partner and head
designed to prepare students            heavily in providing a specialist      and Carnarvon, with the group            of the Criminal Defence team,
for the modern world of law.            legal careers advice service and       cycling over 50 miles each day.          Ghulam Sohail adds: “Challinors
                                        last year 84 per cent of students                                               is delighted at the effort put into
Students attending the open days        on its Legal Practice Course           Scheduled to finish in Holyhead,         this challenge by Joe and his
will get hands on experience of         found legal employment within          the official end of the Lon Las          cycling colleagues, and is proud
putting together legal arguments by     six months of graduating*.             Route, the five cyclists opted to        to have sponsored the event. We
taking part in the Jaffa Cake debate.                                          continue cycling and head for            would encourage as many people
They will find out about the serious    All tutors are qualified lawyers       the coast, as Jolyon explains:           as possible to consider making
commercial and legal implications       and students will also benefit                                                  a donation, however small and
of whether it is classed as a           from the College’s close links         “Part-way through the challenge,         even at this stage, for the two
biscuit or a cake during law taster     with the legal profession. It has      we decided to carry on cycling           very worthwhile charities.”
sessions led by College tutors.         exclusive training arrangements        for an extra six miles to the coast
                                        with 29 major law firms, including     and make the spectacular South           The five friends have cycled
They will also have guided              three of the six biggest in the        Stack lighthouse, just outside           together for some time. Training
tours of the College’s facilities       world, and thriving relationships      Holyhead, our own final landmark         in the run-up to the Lon Las
and hear about the new degree           with hundreds of regional firms.       and end of the challenge.                Cycle challenge was based on
from course leaders. Tutors,                                                                                            an average of 30 miles road
current students and pro bono           Speaking about the launch of           “The challenge itself was at times       cycling each day Monday
coordinators will be on hand to         the College’s new LL.B, Michael        as grueling as we were expecting.        to Friday, with a minimum
answer questions and visitors           Shaw, Managing Partner of leading      Most days we were in the saddle          50-mile cycle session on the
can talk to specialist careers          law firm Cobbetts, which has an        at 9am and just kept going for as        weekends, as well as some
advisors about life in the law.         office in Birmingham, said: “This      long as we could. Day three was          training in the gym. n
                                        is extremely positive news which I
The first open day took place           am sure will deliver a high quality
on June 23 and was followed             and particularly focused offering
by events on July 2 and 6.              which will be attractive to many
The next events take place on           students wishing to prepare for a
September 17 and 21. Students           career in the legal profession. This
can book a place by visiting The        is highly innovative and is bound
College of Law website: www.            to cause many traditional providers
college-of-law.co.uk/degree/            to take a fresh look at how tertiary
                                        education in areas such as law
Prof Bernardette Griffin, Director of   is provided in the future.” n


22 | www.birminghamlawsociety.co.uk
                                                                                                                             General News

                                                                                  Expert Witnesses
  LEGAL EAGLES SPREAD THEIR WINGS
                                                                                  FORMEDECON                        Forensic Photography



A
                                                                                                                    CCTV and Video Enhancement
     ll kinds of businesses are now    well-publicised: better communication
     benefitting from the latest       with colleagues and customers when         LTD                               Handwriting and Documents
                                                                                                                    Drink Drive Toxicology
advances in mobile technology,         you’re on the move, easy access                                              Vehicle Examination
                                                                                                                    Fingerprints
says Ian Wimbush, chairman of          to documents via the Internet, the         Forensic and Economic
                                                                                                                    Evaluation of Loss of Income
the Legal Software Suppliers           ability to synch multiple computers        Services                          Glass, Paint, Soil, Foot and Toolmarks
Association (LSSA). So why should      automatically so that all your data                                          Road Traffic Accident Reconstruction

law firms be any different?            is up to date – the list goes on and       DNA                               Control and Restraint
                                                                                                                    Biological Material and Trace Evidence
                                       on. However, whilst all of these tools     Analysis                          Blood and Fibres
Mobile technology is revolutionising   may be useful for a salesperson that                                         Martial Arts Weaponry and Protocol

the way that many different            spends a lot of time on the road.                   Unit 41, Enterprise City, Spennymoor DL16 6JF
businesses operate. Only just a few                                                            Tel: 01388 811003 Fax: 01388 811918
                                                                                           www.formedecon.com DX 60185 FERRYHILL
years ago, a mobile phone was a        Applications that cater for everything
poor substitute for a desktop PC,      from time recording to document
                                                                                  Translations
and sharing documents between the      production have joined the mobile
office and a home computer often       revolution, either as dedicated
involved the use of temperamental      “apps” that are stored locally, or
USB drives or, worse still, CDs.       via new software solutions that
                                       allow mobile devices to access
Times have changed, however, and       and work with their office-based
products like the iPhone, BlackBerry   (or cloud-based) data securely.
and a variety of smartphones have
changed that way we conduct            Greater flexibility can enhance
business, in part due to the           customer service. For a start, mobile
explosion of applications (‘apps’)     technology can help to ensure that a
that can be downloaded directly        solicitor’s productivity isn’t hampered
onto the phone. At the same time,      by bad weather conditions, whether         Birmingham
the arrival of ‘cloud computing’       that means icy roads, ash cloud, or
means that important business          the “wrong kind” of leaves on the
data, forms and other documents        railway lines. By working around these
can now be accessed from virtually     pitfalls, solicitors can stay productive
anywhere, using a wide variety of      from any location (and therefore
mobile and office-based devices.       produce more billable hours of work
                                       for their firm) whilst offering a better
The upsides of mobile computing are    service to clients at the same time. n



  DON’T SHOW OFF YOUR SCARS
  DURING JOB INTERVIEWS

  D     ressing inappropriately is
        the most common interview
  mistake, according to a recent
                                       replying to a text message; and
                                       5% said they had suspected
                                       a candidate of being drunk.
  survey by office design company
  Maris Interiors. Three quarters      The survey also revealed a few
  of managers surveyed said that       more extreme mistakes made
  candidates ‘frequently harmed        during interviews. One candidate
  their chances at interview’ by       showed off his scar, one repeatedly
  poor dress, also citing lack of      called the interviewer ‘Mum’,
  preparation and an arrogant          and another filed her fingernails
  attitude as common failures.         throughout the interview. A                                   To advertise in The Bulletin
                                       manager recruiting for a Social                           please contact Alison Jones on
  More surprisingly, 13% of            Media Strategist was surprised
  managers said they had
  experienced an interviewee
                                       when one candidate announced
                                       they were live-tweeting the
                                                                                                          01905 727904
  either answering a phone call or     interview. He didn’t get the job. n                            email: ali@pw-media.co.uk

                                                                                                                      www.birminghamlawsociety.co.uk | 23
    Get your
BusIness NOTICED
If you would lIke to advertIse In tHe BulletIn
     please contact alIson Jones on:
01905 727904 or eMaIl: alI@pw-MedIa.co.uk

                                             m
                                  PW Media & Publishing

				
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