Current NHS information and advice on COVID-19 is available here
Following the Government's advice given on 16 March, a notice was posted on DASLS website homepage with information further disseminated via social media.
Updated 18 March 2020....
Congratulations to Ashfords, winners of the ‘notoriously difficult’ annual DASLS Challenge Cup Quiz.
Held on 28th January at Las Iguanas, Exeter and overseen by Quizmaster Tony Steiner 12 teams did battle testing their knowledge of Cambridge bridges, caviar, sports personality of the year, the Large Hadron Collider, Taylor Swift and the Swallow Sidecar Company. Who knew that the study of bird eggs is Oology? Only a few knew that rugby legend J P R Williams had also won junior Wimbledon in 1966.
By the last round it was neck and neck and by close of the evening just ½ point separated Ashfords in first place and Michelmores in second. Well done also to the team from Crosse & Crosse coming in at a close third.
This was the final round of the Challenge Cup for 2019/20 and congratulations go to both Ashfords and Michelmores who are joint winners with 18 points each and will share the Cup.
Ashfords / Michelmores
Wollens & Tozers
Dunn & Baker
Pennon Group, DSJLD & Trowers & Hamlins
Beers, Gilbert Stephens & Crosse & Crosse
The Family Law Company & Browne Jacobson
We are proud to congratulate the firms and individuals that have been shortlisted for the DASLS Legal Awards 2020. The winners will be announced at the Society’s Annual Dinner and Awards Ceremony at Exeter Cathedral on 30th April 2020 hosted by David Fitzgerald.
The DASLS Legal Awards are judged by a panel of nine independent judges who commented on the high standard of entries and the number of outstanding legal firms in Devon & Somerset. The Awards recognise the achievements of those who have gone the extra mile to serve their clients, their community and their profession.
CLICK HERE TO SEE THE FULL SHORTLIST OF FINALISTS...
NOTICE TO ALL PRACTITIONERS REGARDING TIME ESTIMATES
On behalf of HHJ Robertshaw please see below a new protocol for applications made to the court.
As a result of an increase in insufficient time estimates being given by parties, practitioners are requested to note that:
1. Proper time estimates must be given. These must not be reduced in order to get an early hearing in the hope or expectation that the court will allow a longer time on the day, sit early, into the lunch period or sit late
2. All applications or requests for a hearing MUST include a time estimate. A hearing will not be listed without this. If a case exceeds, or is likely to exceed, its given time estimate, it will be vacated without being heard or will be adjourned after the time requested has expired.
3. Save in exceptional circumstances and at the discretion of the Judge, the court will not sit before 10 am, between 1pm and 2pm or after 4.30pm (4pm for District Judges)
Family Team Leader – 01752 677431
Civil, Family and Tribunals | HMCTS | Plymouth Combined Court Centre | Plymouth | PL1 2ER
20 DECEMBER 2019...
The Society's AGM 2021 will be held on Wednesday 5 May starting at 6.00 p.m. using Zoom web conferencing.
The President, Officers and Members of the Committee look forward to seeing as many DASLS members as possible.
The short business meeting will be followed by socialising with a drink and Toast to DASLS.
AGM reports and documentation were first circulated to DASLS membership on 1 April via Mailchimp.
If you are unable to attend, please complete and return your proxy form.
Further information from DASLS Administrator Monique Bertoni - firstname.lastname@example.org
Updated on 8 April2021....
Harry Martin | 25th September 2019 |
The fourth event of the 2019/20 Challenge Cup is Volleyball
Email me at Harry@dasls.com to book your team.
Date: Monday 21st October 2019
Team Size: 6
Venue: St Lukes Science & Sports College, Exeter
Price: £36.00 per team
Click here for our flyer...
Thursday 20 June saw the latest round of the Challenge Cup, footgolf. Bovey Tracey Golf Club was the venue and luckily the rain finally managed to stop for the evening.
We had seven teams take part and all participants were up for the challenge to achieve the best, being the lowest, score. The dedication to the event even extended to the majority of the footballs being kicked into the lake. Thankfully, only the footballs and no one taking part ended up getting wet.
The scores were extremely close, but the Ashfords girls team were the winners, with Wollens and WBW joint second, and Trowers & Hamlins third.
Many thanks to all who took part for the evening, and we hope to see you at our next social event, rounders.
Chair, Social Sub-Committee
Another well attended Skittles event at the Brunswick Arms in Dawlish for the first DASLS Challenge event of the 2019 year.
9 Teams battled it out for the Skittles Cup with teams such as Beers who travelling all the way from Kingsbridge to support the event as well as 2017 Winners Dunn & Baker.
At the end of the night with a total score of 117 the winners for the second-year running were Michelmores! The highest Scorers on the night were Steve of Michelmores with 17, Les of Michelmores 15, Emma Hindon and Cara White of Ashfords 14, Eleni Hallissey of Gilbert Stephens with 13, Kim May of JLD with 13, Jess of JLD with 12, Steven Came of Dunn and Baker with 11 and Marilyn Crocker of Tozers with 10.
Thank you very much for everyone’s help on the night to make it a success – picking up pins and giving encouragement to all taking part.
The scores were:
Ashfords and Dunn & Baker: 98
Gilbert Stephens: 91
Wollen Michelmore and Tozers: 90
Thursday 22nd November saw the next round of the DASLS challenge cup, ten pin bowling. We had six teams fighting for the top spot over two games. The rules are simple, the team with the highest score over the two games, wins. At the end of the first game there was only one point in it between Team Michelmores and Team WBW. However, the second game saw Team Michelmores race into the lead and ended up as winners with a clear 90 points from second place, Team Tozers, who managed to have a strong second game, just overtaking Team WBW who came third. Fourth was Team Wollen Michelmore, with fifth and sixth place going to Team Gilbert Stephens and Team The Family Law Co respectively. King Pin at the end of both games, the individual with the most strikes, was Steve from Team Michelmores, was an impressive seven strikes.
Thank you as always to everyone who took part in the event. Our next round will be the popular Quiz, details to be confirmed. And finally, if anyone is interested in being a part of the social sub-committee for DASLS, please do not hesitate to contact me, or the DASLS office. ...
The third round of the Challenge Cup was hotly contested at the Exeter Riverside Valley Park. Congratulations to WBW’s team on their win with a score of 97. In close pursuit with 96 were Michelmores and in third place with a very respectable score of 94 came Trowers & Hamlins.
We are delighted to announce a workshop run by Grow Marketing and Sampson Hall that will help members of Devon & Somerset Law Society prepare their entries for the 2019 Legal Awards.
This workshop will encourage and support legal firms across Devon & Somerset with their nominations, ready for them to be considered by the independent judging panel who will shortlist and pick a winner for all 13 Legal Awards categories.
Our workshop leaders will help you with:
What category or categories to enter?
How to make sure your nomination stands out from the competition?
Are you sure you are prepared?
By the end of the workshop you will be ready to prepare and submit your nomination(s).
Leading the workshop is one of the Directors of Sampson Hall, Phil Sampson who, over the past five years, has played a key part in the Devon Venus Awards which required Phil to be very involved from the start; visiting every nominated candidate, forming a shortlist and selecting an overall winner. Sampson Hall is focused on success and helping organisations recognise their full potential and unique attributes.
Supporting the workshop is Grow Exeter’s Head of Business Development & Events, Alice Bryan, who recently joined Grow Marketing after a regional role running events in Devon and Cornwall for Trinity Mirror. Alice project manages the DASLS Legal Awards and has done so since the start of the awards back in 2016. She will be able to share experiences, anecdotes and offer encouragement to those looking to enter. Being a part of many award programmes over the past 3 years, Alice’s insight, support and in-depth understanding will be invaluable to entrants.
28 September, 9.00-10.30 am, Grow Marketing offices, Exeter Click here to book
Sampson Hall say: “In our work with lawyers and legal firms we have seen some great results both in terms of profitability and performance whether it is WIP or business development Sampson Hall are able ...
President of Devon & Somerset Law Society, Stephen Mahoney, has used his weekly swim at the CRESTA/Kingfisher pool to raise money for the Air Ambulance services covering Somerset and Devon. On Monday 13th August, in a one hour sponsored swim, he did 56 lengths.
Stephen said " It is traditional for the President of DASLS to make a personal contribution to fund raising for the local Law Society's charitable efforts. With the Air Ambulance providing such a vital life saving service across the two counties in which our members work, it was an appropriate choice of charity to support."
He continued "I usually go for a swim lasting 30-35 minutes once a week, so swimming for the hour was a challenge for someone like me who is not a natural swimmer. I was delighted to swim as far as I did, but even more so with the response to my request for sponsorship. I used a combination of on line giving through My Donate and old fashioned sponsorship forms. One of the messages of support which came with an on line donation was from someone whose son had only a few days before been involved in a motorbike accident and been taken to hospital by Air Ambulance. We all hope we will never need to call upon this charity, but we know how important they can be if ever we do."
On line donations can still be made using the link: www.mydonate.bt.com/fundraisers/stephenmahoney1
The second round of the 2018-2019 DASLS Challenge Cup took place on Thursday 17th May at Bovey Tracey Golf Club. We were lucky to have a glorious evening of sunshine throughout the event. Teams of three play against each other, with the collective teams scored counted up at the end of the event, the team with the lowest score (or handicap should we say) being the winners on the night. We had some strong teams on the night and in the end the winners were victorious by only one point. However, it was Tozers (pictured right) who won, with Michelmores a very close second, and OTB Eveling third. Thank you to all who took part and look forward to seeing you all at our next event, details to be confirmed.
DASLS Website provider WebBoss have alerted us to this issue that may affect members' websites. See below for further information and special offer.
Tens of thousands of websites are going to find themselves displaying an unsafe website warning unless they switch their SSL certificate before the middle of April.
Is your website one of them? Read on to find out how to protect yourself from this very serious issue.
Your connection is not private
Attackers might be trying to steal your information from yourwebsite.com (for example passwords, messages, or credit cards)
Due to a decision by Google to stop trusting certain Symantec SSL-TLS issued certificates, visitors using the Chrome browser will soon be met with the above page when they visit websites that use them.
This will also affect sites using certificates from Thawte, GeoTrust, and RapidSSL that rely on Symantec.
This change will come into effect when build 66 of Chrome is launched that is due for public release on April 17th , and even more sites will be affected from October 23rd when build 70 is released as all Symantec certificates will then be listed as not being trustworthy.
Not everyone uses Chrome, but globally almost 60% of people do, so it will become a serious problem for sites that haven’t changed their HTTPS certificates where necessary.
It is also understood that Mozilla's Firefox will also distrust Symantec-issued certs when their version 60 is released, which is due in May this year.
So, what can you do?
Special offer for all DASLS members
Local web specialist WebBoss Ltd (providers of the DASLS website and hosting facilities) are offering members a Website Health Check that will report any concerns that need rectifying, but, not just for this SSL issue. It will also cover other areas that might need urgent attention such as GDPR compliance that becomes law in May. The website health check will cover:
Winners: Trowers & Hamlins
The final round of the Challenge Cup took place on Thursday 1st February with the infamous Quiz.
DASLS President Sue Aggett
with Quizmaster Tony Steiner
The venue was the trusted Globe Inn at Topsham who provided us with, as always, a lovely lasagne and salad. Our resident Quiz Master, Tony Steiner, read out the questions for 7 rounds, along with a picture round this time being “name the artist and the title of the artwork”. I found myself scrabbling though my head trying to recall my visits to Paris and Venice over the last few years to produce at least one answer and appear cultural! I will leave you to decide whether I was successful with that. Inevitably the questions were notoriously difficult but the determination of all of our 10 teams was clear to see. However, the position at half time for the leader was the same at the last round when scores were counted. The winners were the very mighty Trowers with a very well deserved 55.5 points. Following closely behind were Gilbert Stephens with 52.5 points, and third with a very respectable 50 points were Wollen Michelmore. A big congratulations to Trowers on the night and a huge thank you to everyone that took part. That is it for another year of the Challenge Cup. The winner will be announced at the DASLS dinner and legal awards at the Riviera Centre, Torquay, on 1st March. The Challenge Cup will begin again on 15th March, so not too long to wait, with our Skittles Event.
The Globe Topsham
The penultimate round of the DASLS Challenge Cup was the ten pin bowling event where teams of three play two games against other firms competing on the night to win maximum points. It ended up being a close running between Tozers and Michelmores, who have both previously won this event.
Michelmores managed to get closed in game two however it was Tozers who achieved the most points to win on the night, with Michelmores second. Third were Wollen Michelmore, Fourth Trowers, Fifth WBW. King Pin on the night scoring the most strikes was Liam from Tozers – 9 strikes in total!
A big thank you to all of those who attended. Our next and final event for this Challenge Cup year is the all-important Quiz which will take place in January; hope to see you there!
This role is part-time - 3 days a week - for an experienced injury lawyer to manage and develop a very varied caseload of personal injury and clinical negligence claims. . The successful candidate must be able to work unsupervised, and have experience in marketing/ business development in a firm which has its roots in the local community.
Call us in confidence on 01392 366444 or send your CV to email@example.com
DASLS recruitment is an agency service. All candidates are treated in strictest confidence. We will only send your details to potential employers once this has been agreed with you....
Challenge Cup Latest
The annual Pitch & Putt Golf at the Northbrook Approach Golf Course, Exeter was, after postponement, blessed with a beautiful sunny evening and once again DASLS member firms pitched up for some gentle rivalry.
Of course the usual posturing and excuses pre-empted play with mentions of dodgy backs, arthritic wrists etc.
Actually the biggest challenge for the teams was finding the holes and tee areas. The course is now severed into two areas by the flood defence work that is currently being undertaken and some holes have moved or it seemed disappeared altogether. Most teams played most of the holes but not necessarily in the right order or indeed from the right tees. But none of this mattered and no-one fell to the temptation of playing for the bucket sized footgolf holes.
As in previous years we counted the best 9 holes for each player and totalled them for a team score which gave both Michelmores and Wollen Michelmore a total of 86 and a joint first place. Tozers came in with a few more at third.
Michelmores now head the league table with Wollen Michelmore second and Dunn & Baker third but with four more events to play there is plenty of time for that to change. The next Challenge Cup event will be footgolf on 13th July at Bovey Tracey - full details to follow but please email firstname.lastname@example.org if you are interested in taking part....
WannaCry Cyber Attack - Update from Alchemy Systems
A massive cyber-attack has struck organisations around the world. Among the worst hit was the National Health Service (NHS) in England and Scotland. According to the BBC about 40 NHS organisations and some medical practices were hit, with operations and appointments cancelled. As a precaution the NHS shut down all their IT systems.
Here at Alchemy Systems we were not affected neither were any of our clients. This is largely down to the fact that we ensure Windows automatic updates are enabled for all devices by default. This particular malware is heavy with file-based executables. This makes this particular threat very easy for an application whitelister to stop. We encourage all our clients to make use of a next generation Endpoint Protection product such as Adaptive Defence 360 from Panda Security. The application whitelisting function would have blocked this threat from the outset.
How WannaCry worked
So how did WannaCry attack so many organisations in so many countries?
The specific vulnerability that WannaCry uses to propagate itself is ETERNALBLUE. This is a vulnerability discovered by the United States National Security Agency (NSA). It was initially classified because it was very easy to ‘weaponise’ – this has now become very clear. Details of the vulnerability were released into the public domain by the group “Shadow Brokers” on April 15th as part of a larger trove of information stolen from the NSA. The NSA tipped Microsoft off about this stolen data and a patch was released on March 14th as part of the automatic updates process – almost two months before being exploited by Wannacry – and a month before public disclosure. Devices with the Microsoft patch installed are not vulnerable to the malware spreading on an internal network. This significantly reduces the impact of the malware.
The use of this vulnerability makes it particularly dangerous –...
Dunn and Baker Scratch team win the Skittles Cup
Another well attended Skittles event at the Brunswick Arms in Dawlish for the first DASLS Challenge event of the 2017 year.
10 Teams battled it out for the Skittles Cup with teams such as Beers team who travelling all the way from Kingsbridge to support the event and also a special mention to teams from Teignbridge District Council and Junior Law division who were also able to attend.
After two rounds with a total score of 81 the winners were Dunn and Baker! Comprising of Steven Came (who’s previous appearance at the Skittles was also on the winning side) and Damian Gorman who also had the highest score on the night in the first round with 18 pins. Special guests making up the rest of the Dunn and Baker team on the night were David Scarrot (Wolferstans) and his partner Laura. Congratulations.
Thank you very much for everyone’s help on the night to make it a success – picking up pins and giving encouragement to all taking part.
The scores were:
Dunn and Baker - 81
Michelmores - 77
Scott Richards - 67
Trowers & Hamlins - 65
Beers - 64
Wollen Michelmore - 63
Hope to see you all again next year!
Adam Clinch – Othman (Social Sub-Committee / Scott Richards)
Sam Thompson (Chair Social Sub-Committee / WBW)
Click here for more information about the Challenge Cup...
Congratulations to Michelmores; winners of DASLS Challenge Cup
Congratulations Michelmores Solicitors have won the Devon & Law Society Challenge Cup for 2016/17.
The DASLS Challenge Cup is a fun tournament of six competitive events held over a twelve month period commencing March of each year.
Law Firms or other groups of DASLS members may enter as many events as they choose, and different people may enter each event, depending on individual preferences.
This year teams have enjoyed events including Skittles, Footgolf, 5-a-Side Football, Pitch & Putt Golf, Ten Pin Bowling and a Quiz Night.
The Challenge Cup will be presented at the DASLS Annual Dinner & Legal Awards at Sandy Park, Exeter on 2nd March 2017.
Click here for more details about the Challenge Cup....
Challenge Cup Quiz Night
For those who like their general knowledge tested you can’t beat a good old fashioned Pub Quiz.
DASLS Annual Challenge Cup Quiz on Thursday 26th January saw entrants agonise over which London landmark was designed so that it could act, albeit unsuccessfully as a giant telescope and from which country did different Coca Cola bottles originate from.
In the end it was the collective brains of Wollen Michelmore that took the title of DASLS Challenge Cup Quiz Champions 2017 – prestige that money can’t buy!
Congratulations also to Gilbert Stephens in second and WBW in third.
Everyone seemed to enjoy themselves, even if they didn’t know you sit in a Sulky when Harness Racing or that Megadeth were the trash metal band that released the album Dystopia. In fairness most didn’t actually know what trash metal is but did know that flamingos derived their colour from their diet of brine shrimp.
Thanks go to the Globe at Topsham which proved, once again, to be an excellent venue and to all the teams that entered and helped us raise £58 for DASLS President’s Charity; The North Devon Hospice.
Devon Leads the way in Mediation
A lot of people have heard about mediation, some people have tried it with varying degrees of success. There are now television programmes about it. Most people consider mediation when it comes to divorce. However mediation is actively encouraged by the court for people with any other type of dispute. Mediation for civil matters in Devon was actively practised between 2002 and 2008 in the Small Claims Court in the Exeter County Court with a great deal of success.
Mediation is simply a method of helping people to see if they can negotiate a resolution whatever it is that they are in dispute about - an animal, a product, or even their property rights.
In July 2002, the first mediation took place. Two people were in dispute concerning some building work. The mediator tried to persuade the parties to agree and much to his surprise, it worked, an agreement was reached and the parties left the court and walked down through the car park talking to each other and it is believed one party gave the other one a lift home.
More than half of the cases settled on that first day and the Judge pronounced the scheme a success and from then until March of 2008, Devon & Somerset Law Society members attended Exeter County Court probably two or three times a month on a rota and mediate in five or six cases each time.
The Scheme was closed down by the Ministry of Justice, by then the scheme had mediated in over a thousand cases and over six hundred of them had settled.
What was clear was that mediations undertaken by local mediators stood an infinitely better chance of success than those manned by a telephone service.
Unfortunately, things have got worse. The Exeter Judges have found that their work load has increased significantly following the increase in the small claims limit asked whether DASLS would be prepared to reinstate the small claims scheme. The Ministry of Justice unfortunately did not agree.
Lack of housing legal aid services is leading to advice deserts across Devon and Somerset
Families across large parts of Devon and Somerset are denied state-funded advice on housing issues because of legal aid deserts which have emerged due to drastic government cuts in spending, the Law Society of England and Wales said as it launched a new interactive map highlighting the problem.
Mark Roome, President of Devon and Somerset Law Society said: “Our region has just three firms of solicitors in Devon, and one in Somerset who specialise in housing and whose advice is available through legal aid.
“Advice on housing is vital for people who are facing eviction, the homeless and those renting a property in serious disrepair. Early legal advice on housing matters can make the difference between a family being made homeless or not.”
With just three providers in Devon, the situation can become very difficult. James Durston of Cartridges Law in Exeter, which does provide the service, says that the main thing he has noticed is the distance that people have to travel to get housing advice. North Devon in particular is a ‘desert’ with clients having to travel an hour or more to Exeter, which is only possible if they have a car, or lift.
“Clients, many of whom can’t drive or don’t own a car, often end up getting lifts from relatives or even support workers. Torbay and Plymouth clients can at least get a train to Exeter, but it’s still very inconvenient for them.
“The strangest example is a client who actually lives in East London but couldn’t find a solicitor locally. He has family in Plymouth, and found me that way.”
There is also an issue for cases involving possession action against joint tenants. James explained:
“In such cases, the defendants are often required to have separate legal advice; for one such case in which we are acting for the male half of a couple, we had to refer his partner elsewhere. She is in very fra...
DASLS Challenge Cup 2016: Five a Side Football
Thursday 8 September saw the DASLS Challenge Cup Football Tournament. Held indoors at the University's Sport Centre, the event was well attended with seven firms competing not only for maximum Challenge Cup points but also the 'crown' of five-a-side football champions for the year!
Competition was fierce but with good sporting behaviour shown by all. Games took the format of two ten minute halves, with each team playing a minimum of two games over the course of the evening. Stephens Scown emerged victorious after a hotly contested final with Foot Anstey, the latter aided by a sterling display from their goal keeper who, unfortunately due to injury, had to be substituted shortly after halftime.
We would like to give a special mention to Gilbert Stephens and Kitsons who both entered mixed teams, great to see.
The final result was:
1st place: Stephens Scown
2nd place: Foot Anstey
3rd place: Wollen Michelmore
4th place: Kitsons
5th place: Michelmores
6th place: Trowers & Hamlins
7th place: Gilbert Stephens
Well done to all the teams involved, and we look forward to seeing you again for a re-match next year!
Click here for more information about DASLS Challenge Cup and leaderboard....
Press Release | Don't disregard legal advice; DASLS urges SMEs to be legally prepared
SMEs across the South West are being urged to take professional legal advice to make sure their business is covered for any potential issues.
The Devon and Somerset Law Society (DASLS) suggests that, in the wake of Brexit and with continuing uncertainty about the economy, now is a crucial time for smaller businesses to make sure they are fighting fit in terms of business law.
DASLS President and commercial partner, Mark Roome said: “Many small to medium sized businesses set up without considering taking legal advice, an oversight that can come back to bite them should something go awry months, if not years, down the line.
“It is easy to understand how this happens, as unlike larger businesses that often have dedicated departments to make sure legal advice is sought, smaller SMEs don’t always have the time or resources to find out what they need to know, even though they are putting their business at risk by not doing so.”
A small or medium-sized enterprise as defined by the European Commission is a business or company with fewer than 250 employees. In the South West, as many as 90% of businesses fall into this category; figures from Somerset Intelligence suggest that the largest proportion of Somerset businesses fall in the £100-249,000 turnover bracket, whilst Devon County Council reports that a quarter of businesses in Devon are not registered to pay VAT or employ staff. Whether medium, small or even micro, too many of these businesses are overlooking the need for business law, leaving themselves wide open to potential legal problems.
Mark agrees that there is also an issue with smaller businesses shying away because of the assumed high costs of seeking legal advice. But, he says, it is infinitely better to at least make a start.
“Any business owner can have a conversation with a solicitor who will outline the issues they need to consider. ...
Challenge Cup - Footgolf Winners
The third event of the DASLS challenge cup took place on Thursday 13 July at Bovey Tracey Golf Centre.
Six teams were presented with not golf clubs and golf balls as you would normally expect at a golf centre, but footballs and giant holes. The game was footgolf and the rules are simple - the least kicks taken to place the football in the hole was the winner. The teams had to encounter hills, "the rough", a ravine, and a pond to name a few. Luckily I only know of one football which had to be rescued from the water.
The amotsphere was competitive which brought for a fun evening but although the final scores were close the winners were Trowers. A big thank you to all who took part. The next event of the challenge cup is five a side football in September; click here for details.
Chair, DASLS Social Sub-Committee