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Category: july 2018 (14 posts)


| 04th July 2018 | Newsletters
Two months in and what has the President been up to?   In summary: one conference, one County Societies Group (CSG) meeting, one Parliamentary visit, four meetings relating to DASLS Awards, one Twin Bars meeting, one Sunday Legal Service, three formal dinners, one 10 kilometre walk, one Sub-Committee and one main Committee meeting. The conference was for Presidents and Honorary Secretaries and meant that, for the first time, I made it over the threshold of 113 Chancery Lane.  The Friday was particularly busy, starting with the CSG Meeting at which Fraser Whitehead, Chair of the Council Membership Committee outlined the thoughts of his committee on the reform of The Law Society Council.  Between addresses and debates, there were workshops to attend as well before the black tie dinner in the Common Room that evening.      L-R DASLS President Stephen Mahoney, Law Society President Joe Egan, with CEO Paul Tennant and DASLS Hon Secretary Chris Hart I was back in London a few days later with several other DASLS Solicitors for a tea time meeting kindly sponsored by Kevin Foster, MP for Torbay.  We were, for the first time, joined by representatives from our CSG colleagues from Kent, Leicestershire and Surrey.  This enlarged deputation certainly grabbed the attention of MPs and Lords alike.  The Lord Chancellor David Gauke attended and spoke early on.  Then the Chair of the Justice Select Committee Bob Neill responded supportively on the subject of the reinstatement of legal aid for early advice in housing law and family law cases, one of the topics I highlighted in my speech.  Kevin Foster, himself a former criminal litigator, also spoke recognising the looming crisis in the criminal legal aid system, brought about by cuts in legal aid rates, the resulting low numbers of duty solicitors, ageing community of criminal law specialists and few young solicitors choosing the specialism.   Reception at Westminster...

| 04th July 2018 | Newsletters
We are excited to announce our partnership with Grow Marketing to deliver the Legal Awards Dinner to be held on Thursday 4 April 2019.    http://www.daslslegalawards.co.uk/    ...

| 04th July 2018 | Newsletters
The new DASLS Strategic Plan was approved last month by the Committee and is now published in the resources area of our website. The plan comes at a time when the Society’s income has met with challenges to our income streams and increased costs incurred in providing our services. This informed our thinking and has helped us focus our strategy on the things we do that you have told us matter most.  Please do read the strategic plan and let us have any feedback.   Planning has already commenced for the 2019 Legal Awards and Annual Dinner and as the President has already mentioned we are excited to be working in partnership with Grow Marketing to deliver this programme. Although it is early in the planning stage the date has already been agreed for Thursday 4th April 2019.  I hope that winter will have passed and we won’t have the weather issues we encountered this year.   Our annual conferences are coming up in the autumn commencing with the In-House Lawyers’ Conference on 3rd October. We have a good line-up of speakers dealing with topics including compliance, disclosure and managing external solicitors and counsel.   The Hon. Mr Justice Mostyn will be the headline speaker for The Family Law Conference on 16th October. The full programme for this event will be on our website very soon but will include sessions dealing with family businesses, pre-nups, private children matters and family finance.   Our popular Practice Management Conference is on 7th November. In addition to our Headline Speaker The Law Society’s CEO Paul Tennant we will have sessions looking at the relevance and application of artificial intelligence, digital marketing vs printed media and the new accounts rules.  Half the day will be given over to staff issues including retention and incentivising talent, the gender pay gap, individual resilience and performance management.    There is lots going on so do keep an eye on the Buzz bulletin for details.   The DASLS Recrui...

| 04th July 2018 | Newsletters
Writing this article in the first few weeks of the GDPR era, it is clear that the 25 May start date was just a milestone and that data protection will be a topic we must continue to focus on in the weeks and months ahead. I am already hearing anecdotes about subject access requests being made on 25 May in reliance on the improved rights which have been granted to data subjects. It is clear that this is a significant change in the way things are and for us, as lawyers, the consequences include even more scrutiny of our systems, processes and responses.   I would hope and anticipate that the Information Commissioner’s Office’s attention will be concentrated on the big guns – the online companies and the large-scale data processors – but we are nevertheless in the spotlight. We know that the ICO was expressing opinions about our handling of personal data long before GDPR was on the agenda. It is unlikely we will be forgotten in this new age of data protection.   Think back to 2014 if you will. The ICO published a notice directed at the legal profession. In it, the incumbent Commissioner reported that he was disturbed by the number of breach reports the ICO had received about the handling of data by barristers and solicitors.  He had received reports of 15 data breaches in 3 months and had concerns about the serious personal data we processed and our over reliance on paper files. The warning was concluded in this way: “It is important that we sound the alarm at an early stage to make sure this problem is addressed before a barrister or solicitor is left counting the financial and reputational damage of a serious breach”. At first glance, this may appear to be a helpful ‘heads up”, but the body which can instigate the financial and reputational damage is the body which was issuing the warning! You’ll understand my unease.   Having said that, I am nevertheless confident that working in the legal services profession, we have a ...

| 04th July 2018 | Newsletters
Whilst the planned MoJ Reforms within the claims sector remain a popular topic for after dinner discussions and are likely to be for the foreseeable future, the use of mediation in personal injury/clinical negligence matters is a regular discussion point on forums and in various trade journal articles, indicating a slight shift towards acceptance by both sides that it is a viable option to be considered within litigation.   Historically there has been a general feel that mediation was not appropriate in personal injury cases, case handlers being of the view that the standard round table type discussions between either side are sufficient.  However, it is our Panel Mediators’ experience that these cases can be successfully mediated where liability is hotly contested and a compromise based on the mixed odds of success/failure is achieved.    I should be extremely interested to hear from Members who are personal injury/clinical negligence lawyers representing either side for your viewpoints on mediation in personal injury or clinical negligence cases and to establish whether you too have noticed claims facing Insurers encouraging more cases to be referred for Mediation.   Please contact me at kendallliz@yahoo.co.uk or call 07980 316040.  I am trying to gain a general overview and all discussions will be treated with the strictest of confidence e.g. your personal views will not be shared with anyone....

| 04th July 2018 | Newsletters
Why did you join Devon & Somerset Law Society?   Conscripted by Tozers.   What is your dream job?   On a good day, this one.   What has been the most embarrassing moment during your professional career?   The adjournment of an old-style licensing application before a busy magistrates' court, the clerk pointing out my failure to serve the parish council with unimprovable timing.   Which sort of work gives you the most job satisfaction?   When I believe my advocacy has influenced a hearing.   What gets you up in the morning?   The thought of the Exeter traffic.   What do you do in your spare time?   Not as much as I should.   What book are you reading at the moment?   Mrs Dalloway.   What is the most recent film you have seen?   The Death of Stalin.   What are your favourite food / restaurant?   Sunday roast.   Where is your favourite holiday destination?   The next one (currently Porto).   What is your favourite lawyer joke?   Q. How many lawyer jokes are there? A. None – they’re all true.   What is your passion?   I asked my wife and she told me it’s caravans. We don’t own a caravan. However, my client work at Tozers is for caravan park operators.   Which famous person, dead or alive, would you most like to spend a day with?   Leonard Cohen.  ...

| 04th July 2018 | Newsletters
Earlier this year, the trustees revisited the criteria of the award to keep pace with the ever changing process of how candidates qualify to be solicitors. Traditionally and in the case of larger firms, individuals still qualify through university degree and training contract as well as the LPC and PSC from the SRA. It is increasingly common with smaller firms and Local Authorities that people qualify as solicitors through a more vocational route. For example qualification through conversion from CILEX meaning that while individuals have no law degree and did not undertake a training contract in the traditional sense, they have nonetheless undertaken an academic training and received very considerable practical experience in the law such as to satisfy the exacting standards of the SRA in qualifying as a solicitor. In addition, in future years there will be solicitors who qualify through the apprenticeship route. Often such potential candidates will have achieved solicitor status while combining study with work and families and deserve recognition.   Given the original charitable purposes of these trusts, the Trustees want make sure they do not overlook such candidates, some of whom may come from backgrounds where they might have needed to work from school rather than pursue academia.   Candidates for this year’s Prize must have been admitted to the Roll during the 12 month period ending on 31 May 2018 and nominated no later than 30th June 2018.   The definition of Somerset for the purposes of the prize, includes Sherborne and the local government administrative areas of Bath and NE Somerset,   North Somerset and, of course, Somerset.   Personal Information   Please give full details of the person whom you are nominating and confirm that they are content for their details to be publicised by DASLS including photographs, should they be successful.   Please submit your name and work contact details, title and why you are nominating this person. ...

| 04th July 2018 | Newsletters
If you look at a typical file, it is often hard to tell whether the retainer has come to an end. Instead of a definitive full stop, there are dribs and drabs of activity, with ever longer gaps between each, making it more like some garbled morse code.  This article takes a look at best practice in this important but sometimes neglected area.   Human nature being what it is, it is invariably more interesting getting your teeth into new instructions than dotting the I’s and crossing the T’s on files that are almost finished.  It can be very tempting to put them to one side: on the floor, on the windowsill, or beside your chair. But not near the bin because too many files disappear in such cases, as happened to a firm just the other day.  Files had been retrieved from archive for an SRA inspector. When the SRA wanted to review them again, the directors had to admit that the files had been disposed of with the rubbish.   It is an important part of the retainer that you bring matters to an orderly conclusion, which includes the completion of sometimes mundane but important tasks before the matter becomes stale.   Not all the tasks are purely routine though.  Perhaps the most important question you can ask is: have I done everything that was agreed with the client?   Some matters are very clear-cut and can be concluded within a matter of days or weeks, making the review very straightforward.  Others can take years to complete.  You may need to look at earlier files to find what was agreed at the outset.  This review is essential as many a potential negligence claim could have been averted if this process is followed diligently.   If it’s your file, it shouldn’t take much time at all.  If it’s one you inherited, its more problematic.  But it’s still time well spent.  If it’s a property purchase, check the title when registration is complete including the title plan.  Ensure that everything has been properly regi...

| 04th July 2018 | Newsletters
All companies (except certain listed companies) and Limited Liability Partnerships (LLP’s) are required to keep a register of people with significant control (PSC register) and, file relevant information at Companies House. This requirement is in addition to those in respect of existing registers. The requirement to keep a PSC register has the objective of increasing transparency over control and ownership of UK firms and companies. However, this places additional obligations on their officers and the people with significant control over them.   What are the requirements?   The requirements include: Taking reasonable steps to find out whether there are people with significant control (PSCs) Contacting people identified as relevant, or others who may know them, to confirm whether they are a PSC Obtaining or confirming relevant information to put in the PSC register Putting information obtained into the PSC register Keeping the PSC register up to date.   Though the LLP/company’s own register must be kept up to date, initially changes were recorded annually at Companies House using the Confirmation Statement. The firm/company would ‘check and confirm’ that the information held at a given due date was accurate. Now each change has to be updated on the register within 14 days and notified to Companies House within a further 14 days.   Where the LLP/ companies have elected to hold their own register on the public record at Companies House instead of in statutory records at their registered office, they must update this information in real time.   What is meant by a PSC?   A PSC is defined as an individual in an LLP that: Directly or indirectly holds rights over more than 25% of the surplus assets on a winding up, Directly or indirectly holds more than 25% of the voting rights, Directly or indirectly holds the right to appoint or remove the majority of those involved in management, Otherwise having the right to exercise, or actually...

Monique Bertoni | 04th July 2018 | Newsletters
The more flexible the better? Why law firms are rethinking office spaces   Paul Jarrett Spacious offices in highly desirable locales have long been de rigueur for London’s top law firms. But new technology and working practices are causing firms to reconsider their office design.   Increasing rents for the capital’s premier postcodes, new ways of working, and satisfying the needs of next generation talent are driving change in the way law firms think about the office spaces they occupy.   The challenge to find the most conducive – and cost efficient – working environment is no longer a binary one; new working practices and technologies are widening the perennial debate between open plan and a closed-door cellular layout. Today’s professional services firms are tapping into new trends to create collaborative activity-based offices and non-hierarchical spaces better-suited to accommodate desk sharing and agile working.   “You need to look at the bigger picture,” says Lewis Beck, Head of Workplace, EMEA, at real estate agency CBRE. “Some law firms are committing to their office spaces for up to 20 years. However, you must remain flexible. Will your building continues to suit your needs well into the future?”   It’s not just Brexit jitters, or the state of the economy or a law firm’s bottom line that needs to be considered. From the impact of artificial intelligence on head counts right through to an always-connected workforce that can operate seamlessly away from the office, technology is playing an ever-greater role in Influencing the way that professional firms should use their office space.   Millennials at work   And it’s not just how many – or how few – desks a law firm allows for, it’s what else they can provide that may soon be all-important. While relatively new to the job market, millennials will, by 2025, comprise roughly 75% of the workforce*.   “The working environment, the overall ‘experience...

| 04th July 2018 | Newsletters
The business world is now more ruthless and competitive than ever, which means that as a small business owner, it’s absolutely vital that you do all that you can to help beat away your competition and make your business really stand out in the crowds. If you get things right however, it can be an incredibly rewarding experience, both financially and spiritually as well. The problem is that many people find themselves trying to cut corners and making unnecessary, and highly avoidable mistakes in the process. When it comes to IT for example, your computer and online technology are some of your most powerful tools to have at your disposal, which means you cannot afford to make any mistakes regarding your IT in the slightest. Here’s a look at four of the most common mistakes that small law firms often make when dealing with IT issues. Asking friends to help We all have that one friend that happens to be much better with computers and technology than everybody else, but that certainly doesn’t mean that they’re qualified to deal with complex and sophisticated IT issues. Many small companies however, don’t see things that way, and will often ask their friends, or the friends of employees etc, to come-in and take a look at their computers or servers, when they experience technical issues. You may think you’re being smart by asking a friend, who will either not charge you at all, or will charge you very little, to look at your computer, but the chances are that, unless they actually specialise in IT for firms like you, (as we do) they won’t be able to solve your problem. Every second your computer/website is down is potentially a lost client, so you want to get the issue fixed as quickly as possible. By bringing in somebody under-qualified, you will be offline for much longer, and there’s no guarantee the issue will be resolved at all either. Not researching your IT Company Another common mistake that owners tend to make, is to hire the first IT company...

| 04th July 2018 | Newsletters
SUMMER BALL   The JLD hosted its annual Summer Ball on 1 June 2018.  The Masquerade Ball was held at the Mercure Exeter Rougemont Hotel and featured Venetian stilt walkers, a three-course meal, a DJ and a photobooth.  With around 100 junior lawyers in attendance, the Ball was a great opportunity for members and non-members to catch up with colleagues and friends as well as make new connections. Thank you to Ashfords, Colleton Chambers, Foot Anstey, Magdalen Chambers, Paragon Costs, Stephens Scown and Trowers & Hamlins for their generous sponsorship which helped to make the ball such a success.     CHARITY FUNDRAISING   The JLD's charity secretary, Emily Stott, organised a raffle at the Summer Ball in aid of our charity of the year, the Exeter Leukaemia Fund (ELF).  Thank you to Exeter Races, Paragon Costs, Exeter City Football Club, Somerset Gin Festival, Exeter Chiefs, the Rougemont, Travelzoo, Buff Day Spa, Ashcombe Adventure Centre, Sea Kayak Devon and Somerset Cricket Club for kindly donating such fantastic prizes. The raffle was very successful and raised over £250 for the charity.   UPCOMING EVENTS   The JLD is now working with DASLS to organise the annual JLD v DASLS rounders match - which is on Thursday 12 July at the Double Locks and will be followed by a barbeque.    July 2018 Amelia Newman, Social Secretary  ...

| 04th July 2018 | Newsletters
Top tips for self-care       Callers to the LawCare helpline often seem to put everyone and everything ahead of themselves.  A typical caller might be working excessive hours, doing work beyond their skill-set, struggling with a chronic health condition or continuing to work even when advised by their GP to have some time out.  What this means is that you as the lawyer are putting your profession and clients first and not recognising that sometimes your needs should be prioritised.   Self-care is thinking about your own needs and listening to what your body and mind are telling you.  For example if you are feeling swamped in emails, have bundles of documents on your desk and  feel exhausted  then your mind is probably saying, take a break, get a good night’s sleep or just go out for a breather.  If you plough on you are likely to become more agitated.   So how does self-care work in practice and how can lawyers use it to keep stress at bay? The International Self Care Foundation  outline seven pillars of self-care:   Health literacy — The World Health Organization (WHO) defines health literacy as “The cognitive and social skills which determine the motivation and ability of individuals to gain access to, understand and use information in ways to promote and maintain good health”.  If you recognise you need help, then you should seek it and follow any relevant advice.   Self-awareness —  Acknowledge your physical, emotional, social, spiritual, and professional needs. What do you need personally to keep you on track? Whether that’s a morning run, a drink with a friend, attending church, seven hours sleep, build it into your schedule in the same way you’d block out time for a meeting.    Physical activity — Exercise is recognised as an important activity to boost positive brain chemistry, improve overall physical and emotional health, and reduce the risk of developing diseases. Even a short break such as   gett...

| 04th July 2018 | Newsletters
Once again, from everyone at Dorset and Somerset Air Ambulance, we want to say a big thank you to the Devon and Somerset Law Society for your continued support. We thought we would use this opportunity to send over some of our latest news in hope that you will find it interesting. Additionally, we hope that it shows just how your support is making such a difference!   Mandy Bugler thanks Air Ambulance Team   On the 16th July, at 4.40pm, I was a passenger in a car accident near Somerton in Somerset. I would like to take this opportunity to say a huge thank you to each of you that attended and for taking care of me that day. I'm sorry that I don't remember your names, but I know that each of you introduced yourselves and explained what was happening each step of the way; I always felt safe and reassured. Everybody who attended that day was amazing; the Paramedics, Fire Service and yourselves! You airlifted me to Southmead Hospital in Bristol with two broken vertebrae in my neck, two broken lumbar vertebrae in my back, and bruising to my ribs and lungs which caused multiple blood clots on both lungs. I am now at home recovering but think that I’m a very lucky lady; I will never forget what you all did for me that day. Thank you again.                                             Mandy Bugler     Over £1 million raised through textile recycling   Through the generosity of the people of Somerset and Dorset, our textile recycling scheme has now generated over £1 million. The partnership with BagItUp Ltd began in 2006 and has grown from strength to strength. We continue to raise awareness of the recycling banks via our website and encourage people to donate their unwanted clothes, shoes, bags, bedding and household textile via this means.   Bill Sivewright, Dorset and Somerset Air Ambulance Chief Executive Officer said: “Fundraising for charities takes many forms, but we believe that recycling adds anoth...

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