THE CITY OF WESTMINSTER AND HOLBORN LAW SOCIETY
Lady Hale First Female President of the Supreme Court
Inside this issue:
H ■ Free Wills and Probate ■ Conveyancing ■ GDPR
The City of Westminster & Holborn Law Society
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MEDIA NO. 1577 FEBRUARY 2018 © Benham Publishing Ltd.
LEGAL NOTICE © Benham Publishing. None of the editorial or photographs may be reproduced without prior written permission from the publishers. Benham Publishing would like to point out that all editorial comment and articles are the responsibility of the originators and may or may not reflect the opinions of Benham Media. No responsibility can be accepted for any inaccuracies that may occur, correct at time of going to press. Benham Publishing cannot be held responsible for any inaccuracies in web or email links supplied to us. DISCLAIMER All views expressed in this publication are the views of the individual writers and not the society unless specifically stated to be otherwise. All statements as to the law are for discussion between members and should not be relied upon as an accurate statement of the law, are of a general nature and do not constitute advice in any particular case or circumstance.
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Cover image: Lady Hale (Credit © supremecourt.uk)
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THE PRESIDENT’S FOREWORD OFFICERS OF THE SOCIETY WESTMINSTER EVENTS SEMINARS JLD (Junior Lawyers Division) ARTICLES SPOTLIGHT ON FINANCE WINE COLUMN FREE WILLS MONTH WILLS AND PROBATE CONVEYANCING FOCUS GDPR TECHNOLOGY
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Coral Hill Coral.Hill@law.ac.uk
Hon Secretary: Laura Uberoi email@example.com Editor:
Ivan Ho firstname.lastname@example.org 020 7412 0050 Please send all member queries to email@example.com https://www.linkedin.com/groups/12087037 @CWHLawSociety
THE PRESIDENT’S FOREWORD Many thanks to those of you who attended our first event of the year. The welcome drinks were a great opportunity to hear from Tom Connelly, News Editor of Legal Cheek, on social media.
his evening fitted in well with my themes for 2018 of extending communication within the Society whilst having the opportunity to network and enjoy sharing knowledge.
My long-standing connection with the Society (and its predecessors) dates from working at Hempsons and Penningtons Manches, when both were situated within the locality. In 2015, I joined the International Committee and was deeply impressed by the range of contacts through its twinning arrangements and the Fédération des Barreaux d’Europe. Our regional and international connections mean that the Society is perfectly placed to host excellent networking and business development opportunities. My key priorities for the year are developing communications with members, expanding membership and widening participation in our Sub-Committees. To develop communications, we have launched our social media sites for members who use LinkedIn and twitter (@CWHLawSociety). We are also reviewing the website and Hannah McCrindle, our Junior Vice President, will be refreshing its overall look during the year. Of course, we will still use email too, so no-one should miss out on any information. To expand membership, we have published a new leaflet detailing the benefits of membership highlighting that as well as personal interest, there are career-building opportunities for all levels of experience. For example, joining and leading initiatives through the Sub-Committees undoubtedly builds confidence and leadership skills. Participating in the Sub-Committees is a fantastic way to liaise with peers, contribute to discussions and policy proposals and gain an insight into the key issues facing different legal practices and the impact on them from the multitude of reforms affecting the profession.
volunteering days provided by firms and other local charitable projects. We have a number of events organised so far for 2018 but, if you have any suggestions or would like to host an event, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org. You can find our events on page 8 so please save the dates, particularly our Annual Dinner on Tuesday 6 November. I would also like to reflect on 2017 with thanks to the immediate Past President Nicholas Le Riche and Honorary Treasurer, Bruce Clarke. At the end of last year, the Society was sorry to say goodbye to our Administrator, Susie Hust. Susie took over the role of Administrator from Elizabeth Beesley in November 2010, who herself had undertaken the role for many years. Susie has supported a number of Officers through their terms, including those from her own firm, Lee Bolton Monier-Williams (formerly Lee Bolton & Lee) which has produced three Presidents; Peter Beesley, Michael Fletcher and Edward Macey-Dare, as well as our most recent Honorary Treasurer, Bruce Clarke. On behalf of the Society, I would like to express my sincere thanks to Susie for all her hard work and dedication over the past seven years, responding to the needs of the Society, from arranging meetings, seminars, Annual Dinners and, most recently, the National Conference of Local Law Societies which was a great triumph. The 2017 Gala Dinner was particularly memorable with light jugglers, surprise singing waiters and John Sergeant as our after dinner speaker. Thanks to both Susie Hust and Nehal Vasani for the enormous dedication of time and effort to oversee all of the arrangements. Susie leaves us with our best wishes for the future and we certainly hope that she will keep in touch with old friends at our future events.
Of course, there is a business development aspect, as it enables members to make professional contacts and discuss the business side of running a practice with colleagues in other firms. It also enables members to demonstrate their knowledge and skills to an influential audience.
On behalf of the Society, I wish you all a healthy, happy and prosperous start to 2018.
A further aim for 2018 is to launch our newest Sub-Committee. Laura Uberoi, our Honorary Secretary, is taking the lead on a 'Pro Bono and CSR Sub-Committee'. This is a forum for sharing experiences of pro bono and CSR activities being undertaken in firms across our local area and provide materials, events and support for members who are already, or want to start, undertaking pro bono and/or other CSR activities. For example, how to assist at free legal advice clinics, encouraging use of
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Officers of the Society
Following the 2017 AGM the following officers are in post.
Coral Hill Title: President Email: Coral.Hill@law.ac.uk Coral is the Head of External Relations (LLB) and works with other universities for study abroad opportunities and joint programmes. Coral worked as a litigation solicitor at Hempsons and Penningtons Manches before moving into legal education with The University of Law (formerly The College of Law). Coral has developed and delivered programmes for lawyers in Europe, China and Kazakhstan for the British Council and The Law Society, as well participating in educational development with international lawyers visiting the UK.
Coral holds a number of positions outside the University, including academic advisor to the Judicial College, which oversees UK judicial training; governor at Heriot Watt University, Edinburgh; Chair of the Audit Committee for Nelson College and member of The Law Society Council Membership Committee. Coral is a mentor for the charity Career Ready and a past Chair of the Association of Women Solicitors, London.
Nicholas LeRiche Title: Immediate Past President Email: email@example.com Nick is a partner in the employment team of Bircham Dyson Bell and advises HR professionals in the transport, professional services and charity sectors. Nick has a wealth of experience of advising organisations on a broad variety of employment issues including employment disputes and Tribunal litigation; business protection and restrictive covenant issues; and equal opportunities and diversity matters. Nick has a
particular expertise and interest in advising on issues involving business reorganisations and restructures as well as on TUPE transfers. Nick regularly publishes articles and briefings on employment law matters and is a frequent speaker at training sessions, seminars and roundtable events for a wide range of businesses and charities.
Laura Uberoi Title: Honorary Secretary Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Laura is a Banking Solicitor with Farrer & Co LLP and previously sat as Secretary of the CWHLS International Sub-Committee before taking up the role of Honorary Secretary. She has also been elected as a Law Society Council Member to represent junior lawyers up to five years PQE. As well as private practice, Laura has worked as in-house counsel and served as a trustee of a national children's charity. She is particularly keen to increase engagement between Solicitors in the local area regardless of private practice, in-house or other background. Before becoming a Solicitor, she worked with young people in detention facilities across the UK and separately on capital punishment cases for the Texas Defender
Service in the USA. She has an Undergraduate Law Degree from the University of Cambridge and a Masters Degree in International Law from the University of Melbourne. Laura is passionate about social mobility and access to justice - she mentors students to encourage participation in the profession and assists with local free legal advice centres. Laura has also lectured on human rights and war crimes in The Hague and taught a variety of legal subjects, including taxation law, corporate law and international law in the UK and abroad, including in Cambridge and Melbourne.
Hannah McCrindle Title: Junior Vice President Email: email@example.com Hannah is a second year Trainee Solicitor at Expatriate Law; a specialist international family law firm which assists clients based all over the world across a broad spectrum of family law matters. Hannah spent a year seconded to Al Rowaad Advocates in Dubai, where she advised British expatriates in the region. During her time in Dubai, Hannah gained experience of Sharia laws and their implication for expatriates. She is currently part of a working party set up by Resolution to conduct legal research into the implications of Brexit on the family laws and practises of England & Wales.
The research will form the basis of a paper outlining the recommendations to the Government for family law post-Brexit. Hannah is also a Committee Member for the Association of Women Solicitors, working with the association to promote and support womens' interests in the legal profession. Hannah is a member of Resolution.
Ivan Ho Title: Editor of The Report Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Ivan has been a member of the committee of the City of Westminster and Holborn Law Society since November 2008. He began his training contract with Hunters in 2004. On qualification, he joined the Property Department of Hunters in November 2006 and
specialises in residential and commercial property work. He became an Associate at Hunters in April 2010.
New committees and committee vacancies Thank you to all our members contributing to the committees. This is an excellent way to meet other members and have a real impact on the Society. The Society particularly thanks Adam Maberly who has shown enormous dedication by chairing the Land Law and Conveyancing sub-committee for more than three decades. • Treasurer: There is a vacancy for the Treasurer role on the Main Committee for someone who would also like to be an Officer of the Society. This is a key role where you can help shape the future of the Society. If you would like to discuss this please contact the President at email@example.com. • Pro Bono and CSR Sub-Committee: We propose setting up a new Sub-Committee to provide support to members on CSR and pro bono matters. Anyone interested in this Sub-Committee should contact the Honorary Secretary at firstname.lastname@example.org. The full list of Sub-Committees is on the right and if anyone is interested in contributing to any of them, please do contact email@example.com or the Chair of the relevant committee. The Membership Development Sub-Committee and the Education and Training Committee are looking for new members.
• Education and Training Sub-Committee (Chair: Deborah Crowley) • International Sub-Committee (Chair: Jeffrey Forrest) • Land Law and Conveyancing Sub-Committee (Chair: Annabel Dean) • Law Reform Sub-Committee (Chair: Arthur Weir) • Litigation Sub-Committee (Chair: Shams Rahman) • Membership Development Sub-Committee (Chair: Gillian Fielden) • Professional Matters Sub-Committee (Chair: Julian Aylmer)
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Winner of InfoTrack trip to Australia to enjoy an early honeymoon Megan O’Neill, winner of InfoTrack’s ‘Take me to Australia’ promotion, says the prize will be an early honeymoon. Megan, legal secretary at Bowcock & Pursaill LLP has won the trip for two to Australia after being drawn as the lucky winner from over 22,000 entries across SDLT, AP1, eCOS, Indemnities and UK Company Searches. InfoTrack users were invited to take part in the live draw held by webinar on Tuesday 16th January, where the winner was drawn at random. Miss O’Neill receives a prize pack including flights to Sydney, Cairns and Melbourne, accommodation, activities for two, spending money and more.
Adam Bullion, GM of Marketing at InfoTrack comments “We are pleased to announce the winner of our Australia Prize draw. We are thrilled with how well received the promotion was in its second year, and the growth in entries in 2017. Just like last year’s winner, I have no doubt Miss O’Neill will have a fabulous time in Australia.” Megan O’Neill, legal secretary at Bowcock & Pursaill LLP says “I’m absolutely over the moon, I still can’t believe I’ve won. My Partner and I are getting married later in the year, and we weren’t going to have a honeymoon, so this couldn’t have come at a better time. We’re really looking forward to it, as we’ve never been to Australia.”
Lady Hale (Credit © supremecourt.uk)
TRANSCRIPTION We were delighted that Lady Hale recorded a short message for the Fédération des Barreaux d’Europe Congress hosted by The City of Westminster & Holborn Law Society This is a transcription of the filmed message. Greetings from the Supreme Court of the United Kingdom. In this Court and in this country we have always understood the vital contribution made by the independent legal profession and particularly by the independent advocates to enabling access to justice, to assisting the courts to determine disputes fairly and in accordance with the law and to maintaining the rule of law upon which we all depend. This includes the protection of the fundamental rights of individuals and increasingly the protection of the planet on which we all live. I wish you every success in your deliberations.
The City of Westminster & Holborn Law Society
EVENTS 2018 22 - 24 February:
Barcelona FBE Congress Members book through the FBE website but please let the committee know if you are attending so arrangements can be made for CWHLS members to liaise. http://www.fbe.org/event/festivitat-de-sant-raimon-de-penyafort-6/
Edwin Coe LLP, 2 Stone Buildings, Lincolns Inn, London WC2A 3TH David Greene, senior partner at Edwin Coe LLP, will lead a round table discussion on Brexit: Implications for Lawyers. David was named Legal Personality of the Year by The Gazette and won the SJ Rule of Law Award 2017. He chairs the Law Society Brexit Task Force. He acted in the application to the Supreme Court regarding the triggering of Article 50 and recently in the challenge to the Government’s agreement with the DUP.
FBE Congress Bologna http://www.fbe.org/event/general-congress/ Members book through the FBE website but please let the committee know if you are attending so arrangements can be made for CWHLS members to liaise.
London Legal Walk This sponsored walk takes place annually for #accesstojustice. In 2017, 12,000 people walked raising £800,000. Many firms organise their own walk but if you would like to join the CWHLS group you would be most welcome. The walk ends at The Law Society with refreshments.
Advertising legal notices in the UK and overseas Arranging for legal notices to be advertised can be a time consuming and arduous task. Seeking out appropriate newspapers, finding a contact, getting prices, arranging translations. All of this takes a considerable amount of time, especially when a legal notice must appear in multiple publications across different states and jurisdictions. There is also the difficulty of obtaining copies of each newspaper as proof that the notice was actually published. Using an advertising agency to arrange publication of a legal notice will take the pain out of the whole process and also reduce the cost. One agency in particular, TMP Reynell (established in 1812) specialises in legal notice advertising and works with newspapers and official state Gazettes in the UK and overseas. Wherever a legal notice needs to be published, the Reynell team have the knowledge, experience and contacts to arrange it. They set notices to the specifications of each publication, keeping the size and hence cost of each notice to a minimum. If advertising overseas is required they will arrange translation of the notice into the requisite language by a professional translator. Following publication, TMP Reynell supply their clients with Certificates of Insertion and copies of the pages where each of the adverts has been published - all in one convenient PDF document. Should the Court, regulator or public authority involved require full printed copies of the newspapers this will also be arranged. In recent years, TMP Reynell has handled large scale legal notice advertising campaigns on behalf of law firms, accountancy firms and corporations based in the UK and overseas. Procedures requiring publication of legal notices include: • Insurance Business Transfers (Part VII FSMA) • Schemes of Arrangement
• Administration of Estates - Trustee Act notices
Legal Charities Garden Party
• Insolvencies (including Winding-Up petitions)
2018 will be the 50th anniversary of this traditional and much-loved garden party.
Visit by the Milan Bar to CWHLS. The Milan Bar choir is visiting and intend to hold a concert in Temple Church. Details TBC
AGM 6 November:
Annual Dinner Additional events are under discussion. If you have suggestions or would like to host an event, please contact the committee at firstname.lastname@example.org The website calendar also shows our events www.cwhls.org.uk
• Premises Licence Applications If you need to advertise any legal notices and would like some free advice or a quote you can contact Peter Robson of TMP Reynell on 0208 501 9706 or at email@example.com
TMP Reynell offer the easiest, fastest, most accurate and cost effective legal notice advertising service around Whatever and wherever you need to advertise, please get in touch to find out more about how we can help
020 8501 9730 firstname.lastname@example.org www.tmpreynell.co.uk
Legal Notice Advertising Trustee Act
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Communication with members We will continue to use emails, the website and the quarterly hard copy magazine. The events in the online calendar on the website are up-to-date but we are working on the overall website and intend moving to a new provider. Many people like to keep up to date through social media so we have set up a LinkedIn site to join if you wish. You can search using the Society name or use this link https://www.linkedin.com/groups/12087037
We also have a twitter account â€“ please do follow us and we will follow you/retweet appropriately: @CWHLawSociety Any queries please contact email@example.com
THE CHANGING FACE OF CIVIL LITIGATION WORLDWIDE ARE YOU PREPARED FOR MANDATORY MEDIATION? Vantage10â€™s Invitation Only Limited Places Seminar Workshops. Vantage10 (http://vantage10.com), a specialist London-based, cross-border disputes firm, is hosting two Seminar Workshops in England (Inner Temple/ St Anneâ€™s College, Oxford), on 23rd, March and Ireland - (Parliament Buildings Belfast/ Kings Inn, Dublin) on 6th of April on the theme of the current trends worldwide in mandatory mediation. They are full day events and address and aim to impart competences in early stage/ mandatory mediation clause negotiation, drafting and execution; mediation counsel skills; mediator skills and the role of the judiciary and policy makers where disputes are prescribed, or agreed to be resolved 100% by mediation.
Presenters include: â€“ â€˘ Deputy Chief Justice (Appeals) of the Netherlands, Nico Tuijn â€˘ Michael Booth QC â€“ eminent silk and Bencher of Lincolnâ€™s Inn â€˘ Dr David Sharpe, FRCS (e), FCIArb - Barrister of the Year (2014) Finance Monthly â€˘ Dr. Thomas Rihm â€“ Top Tier rated Swiss commercial lawyer and litigator. Register today http://vantage10.com/events to secure your place.
MEET THE REGULATOR OF SPECIALIST CONVEYANCERS The Council for Licensed Conveyancers (CLC) was established in 1985 to foster competition and innovation in the conveyancing market. To find out more about how our experience as a specialist regulator of conveyancing and probate could help your legal business to thrive, why not visit the CLC Stand at LAW 2018 at Westminster Town Hall on the 13th and 14th March, and also at the Legalex event at Londonâ€™s Excel on the 21st and 22nd March 2018.
Thames Water Property Searches Residential CPD: Register today to attend Thames Water Property Searches are hosting a free Residential CPD on Tuesday 24 April at the Strand Palace Hotel, London. The full day (9am until 4pm) seminar incorporates a range of topics from industry leading organisations and speakers including: â€˘ Danielle Orosa, Groundsure â€“ The digital age, future proofing data and a live demonstration of Avista, the environmental search report that's moving searches forward â€˘ Alex Barr, Third Bounce â€“ Pricing transparency. The difference between price and value, and winning new work â€˘ Emma Tait and Victoria Willoughby, Thames Water â€“ A closer look at the CON29DW, build over requirements, retrospective build overs, and identifying unmapped drains and sewers â€˘ Clare Fanner â€“ How to influence positioning
â€˘ Hannah Mackinlay â€“ Afternoon workshop session focusing on contaminated land, previous land use, fracking and wind turbines, easements, reservations, highways, and what's coming in 2018. Register today http://vantage10.com/events to secure your place. We have opened the CPD to two fee earners per firm. Our 2018 CPD event dates are: Thursday 21 June 2018 â€“ Commercial CPD Wednesday 19 September 2018 â€“ Residential CPD Thursday 15 November 2018 â€“ Commercial CPD Get in touch by calling us on 0845 070 9148 or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org to register and secure your place.
Thames Water Property Searches
â€œWe are consistently impressed with the teamâ€™s knowledge of solicitorsâ€™ practices and trends in the legal profession as a whole.â€?
MCBRIDES CHARTERED ACCOUNTANTS
registered aud it o rs s t ax co ns u lt ant s s b u s ine s s a d v i s e r s s c o r p o ra te f i na nc e s w e a l th ma na ge me nt s -C "R IDES LLP C O M
JLD (Junior Lawyers Divison)
Day in the Life of a Junior Member Anisha Birk is a Trainee Solicitor at Farrer & Co and she recently joined the City of Westminster and Holborn Law Society ("CWHLS"). Here she recounts a day in the life of a junior member of CWHLS. Morning Today I am attending CWHLS International Committee meeting and I have been asked to take the minutes of the meeting. As I am in the first seat of my training contract, this is one of my earliest opportunities to take a note of a meeting. It is great practise for me, even if I am a little nervous. It is clear from early on in the Committee's discussions that the group has developed links with legal professionals across the globe from Colombia to Barcelona. The agenda covers a variety of topics including Brexit and pressing legal problems that are that day's front page news. The Committee is made up of legal professionals from a wide variety of backgrounds (including trainees and NQs to Senior Partners and QCs) and experiences from firms and universities across the local area. Listening to their conversations on current legal issues helps to broaden my understanding of the law from an international perspective and outside of what you would expect to see solely in private practice. The Committee are also busy organising a number of events to share and exchange skills and knowledge with our overseas counterparts. The discussion turns to the Annual Congress for the Fédération des Barreaux d’Europe. The Congress is due to take place in London bringing together hundreds of lawyers from across Europe. Lady Hale is providing an introductory message to the Congress which I am going to record later that afternoon, so after the meeting I dash off to Parliament Square for my meeting with Lady Hale.
Afternoon On arriving at the Supreme Court, I am shown into the Justices' lounge by Lady Hale's assistant. Having set up my recording equipment and checked it is working at least twenty times, I wait for Lady Hale to arrive and I cannot help but feel a sense of excitement to be in such an important place meeting the President of the Supreme Court. After the recording, I speak briefly with Lady Hale and thank her for her time. In her message Lady Hale speaks of the importance of an independent judiciary and the rule of law in protecting the rights of individuals as well as the environment and safeguarding our planet. It is a powerful message which resonates with the theme and focus of the Congress. The opportunity to meet the head of the judiciary is completely inspiring and I head back to the office buzzing with excitement. Evening Skip forward and it is the day of the Annual dinner so I don an evening dress and make my way over to a hotel in St Paul’s where the event is to take place. With so many legal professionals from across our local areas and overseas guests it is a great way to meet colleagues. The discussion on my table turns from the success of today's talks at the conference to the importance of clear legal writing in being an effective practitioner. I am thrilled to be able to talk to so many specialists, develop contacts and deepen my understanding of the law in its wider setting.
Gamlen Prize We were delighted that Arthur Weir attended our AGM and presented the Gamlen Prizes to the two trainees, Anisha Birk from Farrer & Co and Selina Badiani from Bristows.
PIC • Arthur Weir presents the 2017 Gamien Prize to Anish Birk for outstanding performance on the LPC.
PIC • Arthur Weir presents Selina Badiani with the 2017 Runner Up Gamien Prize.
The Gamlen Prize was set up in 1991 under the Gamlen Charitable Trust in memory of Sir John Gamlen, the last of five generations of solicitors, and the Gamlen family. A magnificent shield and cheque is awarded to the winner and a cheque for the runner-up. Each year, these prizes are awarded to an outstanding trainee in the Westminster and Holborn area. Trainees are nominated by their legal practice course provider for being considered the most promising candidate. Nominees are assessed on their ability to explain a complicated subject in plain English and to make it easy for the lay client to understand.
EUROPE CALLING Over 160 delegates from all over Europe attended the 50th Congress of the FBE in London from 9 to 11 November, organised by CWHLS International Committee and presided over by London solicitor and FBE President Professor Sara Chandler, past president of CWHLS. CWHLS President Coral Hill was the Conference Director and Jeffrey Forrest, coordinated as Chair of the International Committee. CLIMATE CHANGE
THE INDEPENDENCE OF JUDGES AND LAWYERS IN POLAND
The Congress met in The Grange Hotel on 10 November 2017 alongside the National Conference of Local Law Societies, which was also organised by CWHLS. Delegates heard from panels of expert speakers on Climate Change, including Corinne Lepage, former Minister for the Environment in the French Government and MEP. She spoke on the Universal Declaration of the Rights of Humankind. This was a significant initiative which was adopted unanimously by the FBE at its General Assembly on 11 November in Kings College. Originally launched in Paris in November 2015, the Declaration calls on the members of the United Nations to recognise our responsibility to the future generations, and to uphold rights to a safe and sustainable environment, and the responsibility we have to ensure that the environment is protected.
The General Assembly also passed a resolution presented by David Morgan, Honorary President of the FBE Eastern Bars Commission, and former President of the CWHLS. It expressed its continuing concerns for the situation of lawyers and judges in Eastern Europe, notabily Romania, Poland, Serbia and Bulgaria, recognising the threat to the independence of lawyers, judges, prosecutors and administration of justice, as a result of government policies and the intervention of politicians concerning the appointment, regulation and dismissal of judges, interference in the prosecution service and restrictions on the rights of lawyers representing their clients.
The Declaration cites climate change, the acceleration of the loss of biodiversity, degradation of land and oceans as violations of human rights and a threat to the present and future generation. The Declaration has 4 principles in Articles 1 to 4, summarised as follows: Article 1: that States should safeguard and preserve humankind and the earth. Article 2: upholds the dignity and the satisfaction of basic needs of humankind, and the protection of intangible rights and that each generation should guarantee respect for this principle. Article 3: upholds continuity of the existence of humankind, guarantees the safeguarding and preservation of humankind and the earth, through prudent human activities which respects nature, and prevents serious and irreversible consequences. Article 4: upholds non-discrimination in respect of future generations as a result of belonging to the present generation. It requires that the activities of the present generations do not have the effect of provoking or perpetuating an excessive reduction of resources. The full Declaration can be found on: http://www.fbe.org/resolution-adopting-theuniversal-declaration-of-humankind-rights-london-11-11-17-4/
Subsequently a report has been sent to the United Nations Special Rapporteur, Diego García Sayán, on the deterioration of the situation in Romania, and a report on changes to the training of lawyers in Poland which follows the constitutional changes ending the independence of judges. CWHLS International Committee will be involved in several events this year, and all members are welcome to join us. In February members will go to Barcelona for the Festivities of San Raimon de Penyafort (22 to 24 February). CWHLS is twinned with Barcelona, and President Coral Hill will attend the event which includes a seminar on Trade Secrets, and their protection and enforcement. In May we will go to Bologna for the FBE Congress (17-19 May) and in September we will attend the FBE Intermediate Congress in Warsaw (20 to 22 September). All music lovers will be welcome to help in June with the visit of 70 lawyers from Milan who are members of the Judges and Lawyers orchestra and choir. They will perform a concert and there will be several events around their visit. If you like travel and networking in some of the most beautiful cities of Europe, then CWHLS International Committee will welcome you. Please contact the Secretary to the Committee Anisha Birk (Anisha.email@example.com). CWHLS International Committee is grateful for the continuing support of Farrer Solicitors who have hosted the committee over the last 12 months, and especially former Secretary to the Committee, Laura Uberoi.
Professor Sara Chandler QC (Hon), President of the European Bars Federation and Past President of CWHLS
University of Law Bloomsbury Campus Photography Competition 2017 For the past few years in mid-October, the Bloomsbury Festival has taken over Store Street to throw a spectacular street party. The road is closed, the mulled wine is flowing and the flamenco dancers are both twirling and tapping gracefully between the shops and shoppers alike; it’s rather unsurprising that this is enough of a distraction to tempt some of our students away from their land law revision in the library for an hour or two to find out what’s going on outside. The day after the festival last year, just before we were about to start a workshop, my students were huddled around a fellow student’s phone admiring some of the vibrant photographs taken in Store Street the night before. “You wouldn’t believe this is in London,” said one. This in turn led to a flurry of other London based pictures being shown off, all quite diverse in their subjects and composition. After much collective appreciation of the photographic PIC • Alice Kuzmenko’s “Crossed Paths of Regent Street” efforts, the students agreed that their pictures deserved to be more widely shared and so the beginnings of the Campus Photography Competition took root. winning pictures are currently on display in the University’s Store Street reception The submissions for the competition this year by our LPC, GDL, BPTC and LLB and whilst there is a temptation for them to remain there as long as possible, students on the theme of London/Winter, were consistently of an exceptionally high beautiful as they are, in early January we will be auctioning the photographs off to standard and, like the photographs shared by my students the year before, covered the highest bidders, with all profits going to the Legal Action Group. The only a very wide interpretation of the theme. Our head judge was Gary Peart, a wildlife difficulty now is to decide which to bid upon and, should the bid be a winning one, conservation photographer, who admitted that he had struggled to narrow down the where in the office more space can be found for such wonderful artwork. winners to a mere five. But eventually the overall winner was decided upon: Alice Deborah Crowley, Kuzmenko’s “Crossed Paths of Regent Street” (below) with India Atkin, Tamara Senior Lecturer in Law and Legal Practice Yuvuz, Curtly Mejias and Anika Shah’s submissions as close runners up. All the
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Does electronics fit the bill? Recovery of costs continues to be a key plank of the civil litigation landscape, despite many rule changes in recent years. or four years now the Rules Committee has been attempting to bring costs recovery into the modern world with the introduction of an electronic Bill of Costs. We now have a change of rules that makes the electronic bill mandatory. Despite a pilot scheme for some years there has been little take up from the legal profession. Based upon the results of a survey of Aestima’s clients, we found less than 5% of solicitors are familiar with the new bill format and do not know if their electronic time recording is compatible with the new bill!
The aim of the electronic bill is to reduce costs of the assessment process but, with the profession so unprepared, any savings are likely to accrue far in the future. We are also concerned that use of the new bill may carry risks of reducing costs recovery far below the current norm by ‘touch of a button’ bill production without full understanding of how it is compiled. Law Costs Consultants have been fearful that use of the new bill could bring about their demise as it could encourage an approach to costs based almost exclusively on IT skills, rather than on legal knowledge and judgment of expert professionals (as well as our technical know-how with the new bill template), all of which is crucial.
The abandonment of expert costs advice would carry other risks for receiving and paying parties. For example, to prepare a bill without extracting costs which haven’t been awarded or to include Solicitor and Own Client costs will cause the Costs Officer to be sceptical about the rest of the costs claimed, which may in turn result in a harsher assessment of costs. Lack of technical ability to manipulate the bill and discover incorrectly claimed costs could easily destroy a Solicitor/client relationship if unnecessarily high costs have to be paid following an adverse costs order. Now is the time to ensure you are planning for the future and are fully up to speed with the new developments. Good working practices will ensure your future in the market, maintain current client relationships and allow new relationships to emerge where others have not been progressive and forward thinking when it comes to the issue of legal costs. We would like to help you successfully meet these challenges.
Jill Paveley Law Costs Consultant, Aestima Law Costs Consultants www.aestima.co.uk Tel 01268 572320
To bee or not to bee? What could be more urban than tall buildings; busy streets and bee keeping –yes beekeeping. Once thought of as the preserve of country dwellers, urban beekeeping appears to be more and more popular. ot only individuals but some law firms have realised the benefits of having ‘bees in residence’. Hive rental and maintenance comes at a small price but speaks volumes for a law firm’s environmental and social responsibility values.
But don’t you need lots of space to keep bees? The hive has a footprint of less than 2 feet square, so there is room in even a ‘postage stamp’ sized garden. It does however need to be located in a secure place that is not in close proximity to or accessible by the public – office rooftops are ideal. The bees certainly don’t seem to mind where they live. Their basic requirements are food and water which they will find for themselves. They will happily travel up to 3 miles on a foraging trip to find a source of nectar. With a multitude of gardens and open spaces, every town has a plentiful supply of food. Water is available from a pond or garden water feature or even a puddle. But what about all the expensive kit you need to buy? To get started you just need the hive, a hive tool and a bee suit. Most specialist equipment, like a honey extractor, you should be able to hire from your local bee keeping society – membership is highly recommended, as is a beginner’s course. Once you have completed the course, the swarm liaison officer will probably be able to supply you with a colony of bees – for free!
But I just don’t have the time. Bees need very little upkeep. Weekly inspections from March to June will take 30 minutes per hive (less time as you gain experience) and from late autumn the bees ‘cluster’ in the hive, which is like hibernation. During this time, the less you interfere with them the better. And the rewards - is it worth it? Apart from the best honey you have ever tasted, you will be helping bees to survive and thrive. They are under threat and without honey bees pollinating our crops, humans are toast! Most of all, you will be helping yourself. Nothing could be further from the daily grind of most urbanites and time spent watching bees is the perfect rest and relaxation activity. I know, I’ve been doing it for years. If you the desire to have bees but not the time or resources, why not engage a professional beekeeper to supply and manage your hives? If you would like to find out more about beekeeping or hive rental please get in touch.
Steve Lagden Steve Lagden is a beekeeper and a Legal Costs Consultant with Aestima Law Costs Consultants. Email firstname.lastname@example.org telephone 01268 572320
The Escalating Ground Rent Problem In December 2017, the government published its response to its consultation on "Tackling unfair practices in the leasehold market". The consultation dealt with a number of issues relating to leasehold property law.
ne of the most eagerly anticipated parts of the government's report was the response to the issues surrounding high and escalating ground rents in long residential leases. The Problem Traditionally, a long residential lease granted at premium would only provide for a nominal ground rent. A landlord of a long residential lease would not have expected to earn money from the property during the term of the lease (from ground rent payments or otherwise) and would expect only to cover its costs through the service charges. A landlord might be lucky enough to secure a windfall from any statutory lease extension but otherwise the value of the landlord's interest would lie in the reversionary interest which would revert to the landlord when the existing lease (or leases) expired. However, more recently, landlords granting new long leases of residential properties have sought to include provision for higher ground rent payments or for ground rents which increase over the term of the lease. New build developers in particular have looked to price their developments on the basis of a lower initial purchase price with a higher rent due over the terms of the leases. This means that the landlord's reversionary interest is much more valuable, enabling developers to sell their interest to third party investors or to retain their interest and receive a steady income. The financing of some new build developments has been structured on this basis. Practitioners have become aware of two issues arising from a high or escalating ground rent in a long residential lease: 1. Value Does a high or escalating ground rent in and of itself affect the value of a property or its marketability? In the case of an escalating ground rent, this may be impossible to ascertain. A valuer cannot anticipate the impact of inflation and whether a future ground rent will be deemed prohibitively onerous at the time it comes into force. This makes it impossible for a solicitor to advise on whether the marketability of a property will be affected in the future and whether a purchaser should proceed with a purchase. Lenders have also been slow to react. Nationwide has said that it will not lend where the ground rent is more than 0.1% of the purchase price but, so far, it is the only lender which has introduced a blanket policy. 2. Potential termination The market has become aware that the provisions of the Housing Act 1988 (as amended by Housing Act 1996) (“the Act”) also apply to long residential leases. This has some adverse consequences when the ground rent is above a certain threshold.
property as their main home. This is a problem because, if the lease qualifies as an assured tenancy at any stage and the rent is not paid, the landlord can apply to Court for possession. In these circumstances, the Court must grant an order for possession as non-payment of rent is one of the compulsory grounds for possession under Schedule 2 of the Act. The ability for a landlord to end a lease and therefore terminate a valuable asset when a (relatively) small sum has not been paid is clearly a concern for buyers and lenders. It is worth noting that no landlord, to date, has brought a claim for possession of a property held under a long lease pursuant to ground 8 of Schedule 2 of the Act (the ground which relates to non-payment of rent). However, the legislation is clear and the Court would have no option but to grant possession if a claim was brought under this ground. Tenants might accept this risk by simply ensuring that rent is always paid up to date. However, a lender has no control over whether rent is paid and so a lease which might qualify as an assured tenancy is not acceptable security because it can be terminated without reference to the lender if rent is not paid. If a lease is unacceptable security then by extension it does not have good and marketable title and the property will be difficult to sell or mortgage. Future position In the consultation response, the government states it “will introduce legislation so that, in future, ground rents on newly established leases of houses and flats are set at a peppercorn (zero financial value)”. The government will also try to broaden the support available to existing leaseholders with onerous ground rents. It will also require developers to introduce better schemes of compensation to affected tenants. We are also told that the government “will take action to address the loophole” in the Act and ensure “leaseholders are not subject to unfair possession orders”. It is not clear when the legislative changes will be implemented as the response only states that the government will “bring forward legislation as soon as Parliamentary time allows”. One assumes that this issue will not be top of the parliamentary agenda, particularly as Brexit negotiations continue! The Land Law and Conveyancing Committee will be monitoring the position closely.
Annabel Dean Partner Farrer & Co LLP
A lease will qualify as a assured tenancy under the Act if the ground rent is over £1,000 per annum (or £250 per annum if the property is outside London) and the tenant is an individual who will occupy the
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Networking: The Art of Socialising with Intent Networking: a word designed to strike fear into the heart of many lawyers. was one of them - comfortable and confident when dealing with clients and fellow professionals, less sure of myself when entering a room full of strangers.
Then in 2009, when I began managing our network, VWV approach for other law firms, I had to find a way to connect with other lawyers, and I began going to more networking events. I have outlined some of my top tips for networking. Networking is Public Relations Networking is an opportunity to prove the old adage that people buy people. Think about who needs to know about you and your firm and where you might find these people. Choose the right event for you There are numerous events to choose from, so pick the correct format for you. I'm not much of a morning person, so tend to avoid breakfast events, for example. A large room full of people you don't know might be a fun challenge for some; others will prefer a smaller group. Think about who the audience might be at a particular event and whether they are suitable for your message. Picking the wrong event will negatively impact on your belief in the power of networking - you'll feel it was a waste of your time or that networking doesn’t work. Regular attendance at events builds confidence. If you're a happy networker, why not take along a colleague who is less confident, so they can learn from what you do? Meeting strangers confidently Preparation works for me. If there is a list of attendees available in advance of an event, I'll take the time to go through it and highlight those I'd be interested in speaking with. Even if I know others in the room, I always aim to speak to at least one new person. The great thing about a networking event is that everyone is there for the same purpose, so starting a conversation before should be straightforward. There is no need to overthink it - just say hello. Be brave and you'll probably find the person you choose will be grateful you've taken the first step. Focusing and building on common ground Actively listen to what another person is saying, particularly when they tell you their name, as it shows interest in them rather than their business. Remembering a person's name and using it during the conversation will impress them and help imprint their name in your memory.
Try to avoid the temptation to make the interaction all about work - they may have had similar conversations with others and your aim is to stand out from the crowd, so share something about yourself and aim to find out more about them personally. Following up You faced your fears, you went to the event and you talked to people. The key thing now is to follow up with those you met. They may not instruct you immediately but each point of contact you have with them makes it more likely they will think of you when they need help in future. Connect with them on LinkedIn as a minimum step - this gives you exposure to their ideas and content (and vice versa) and an easy way to keep in touch. If something specific came up during your conversation, make reference to it in a phone call or email - share an article or introduce them to someone who meets their need. Generosity is always appreciated and will reflect well on you. Ten top tips • Do your homework - take a look at the list of attendees and think about who you'd like to meet • Travel light - check in your coat/bags (it is difficult to shake hands if yours are already full!) • Stand near the refreshments - people will effectively come to you • Use your host - ask them to introduce you to people, they will relish the opportunity to ensure you get the most out of their event • Be interested rather than worrying about being personally interesting! • Listen well • Break into conversations where you can and don't be afraid to move on • Good manners matter - leave your phone alone • Follow up - ask permission to add them to your database, suggest meeting up, do it! • Stay on their radar and be patient
Jo Campbell Senior associate at VWV and business development manager for the VWV approach network
Generation Why? Millennials in the Inter-Generational Workplace an Brieger, Leadership Consultant from Wickland Westcott commenced the University of Law’s series of talks with an aim to encourage discussions about Generation Y’s values and expectations of the legal profession. To contextualise, they are individuals born between 1981-1996, widely recognised as the iPhone wielding, internet savvy millennials. One guest sitting around the multi-generational table shared his surprise to have only just discovered he belongs to the cohort. Herein lies the issue. Whilst the term is ubiquitous, we might not appreciate what defines a member of Generation Y or what their skillsets can bring to the legal industry. The guest’s sentiment also resonates the sense of being out of place in an age-diverse workforce. It is these issues which Dan Brieger’s conference aimed to elicit. He invited the guests to consider solutions as to how companies can adapt to make for a better symbiosis of older and younger generations. To answer this, first we must appreciate what shapes this group of young workers. Professionally, Generation Y are taking longer to settle into a career, with CVs reflecting the “gig-economy” trend of hopping from one job to another. Meanwhile they expect to be taken seriously regardless of the experience under their belt, which can be a source of tension for established work staff. An individual belonging to Generation X expressed that often millennials appear to need constant praise and validation. Perhaps a more pivotal reason is the recession. This toppled the belief that aspiring professionals (now aged between 20-30) have limitless opportunities. The economic turmoil curbed these hopes and manifested in burdensome student loan debts and stunted home-ownership. One law student at the conference explained the disappointment felt when the job applications do not reflect the reality of the workplace. Firms market the position as one which will make a tangible difference in the industry, so when the experience does not resemble the glossy brochure, this discourages them. The resounding agreement was that managing expectations is key with regards to young people’s career development. Whilst junior solicitors are aware they will need to face the administrative “nuts and bolts” before being entrusted with bigger responsibilities, they struggle to be integral players due to their limited experience. Arguably legal firms do not have much wiggle-room to change their business structure as they are hierarchical in nature. However, they could consider making some improvements to their inclusivity. There are ways to give trainees and newly qualified solicitors responsibility so as to feel they are making a difference. “Situational leadership,” for instance, allows the trainee to lead a subject they are good at (e.g. social networking) and whilst they feel effective to the business, seniors may also take away new perspectives from the exercise. Generation Y are also characterised for being socially responsible and ethically conscious. With this in mind, it is in the business’ interest to engage more with Corporate Social Responsibility and the finance of the company. Such awareness and collaboration could boost the “bigger picture” for all parties concerned and positively shift from rigid authoritative business practice to collaborative models. Different generations can breed richer outlooks and more fruitful discussions.
Generation Y is also synonymous with the internet age and as digital natives their skill-sets are valuable. Work-life balance is a factor which appreciably influences people’s career decisions, and it seems the trainees are compelling the culture of “agile working”. Remote access is becoming more prominent with Google docs and the Cloud. This is becoming more desirable especially to city law firms offering expert services. Increased salaries creates a pressure to work longer hours. Previous generations have had to prove themselves by “putting in the time” at the office which may be generating friction towards new entrants who feel they are able to complete the work as effectively at home. Someone around the table pointed out: flexible working is not as much about the hours as it is about trust. A trust in the trainee to complete the task punctually and efficiently. Whilst law firms are not expected to transform their offices into big playgrounds with film posters and bean bags to welcome the juniors, a platform where Generation Y can voice their ideas alongside Generation X, Baby Boomers and Veterans may be beneficial to a business’ ethos and sense of unity.
Anna Freeman LPC Student
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David Greene Senior Partner of Edwin Coe was recently named Legal Personality of the Year 2017, recognising his 'outstanding public contribution' to the profession.
avid has worked for Edwin Coe in Lincoln’s Inn, Holborn for over 40 years; ‘man and boy’, from articled clerk to senior partner. He is a long standing member of the old Holborn Law Society and now CWHLS. David is on the Council of the national Law Society and chairs one of the Law Society Boards and the International Committee. As a litigator David has always been involved heavily in the policy development of civil process and was on the original Woolf Committee and then the Civil Justice Council. He’s worked on the Jackson reforms and writes and lectures on civil justice. He is consultant editor of the New Law Journal and has a regular column. As to his practice David tells us that he has been very lucky and describes it as ‘so far so good’. David has pioneered the use of group actions in the UK since the 1988 Lockerbie bombing. As head of arguably the UK’s leading collective action litigation firm, he has been the champion for the combined rights of disparate groups of claimants who might not have had the opportunity to see their cases get to court as individuals, as accessing justice via the courts still remains beyond the reach of the average person. “We seek to provide access to justice for individuals joining together to try to match the resources of Governments and multi nationals. It’s not easy and the Jackson reforms have made it much harder but it’s great to be able to practice as a claimant’s lawyer and campaign for individual rights at the same time.” Since the Lockerbie Inquiry David has acted for many groups including sex workers, shareholders in Railtrack and Northern Rock, corner shop owners against the big supermarkets, CAMRA and pub tenants, SME’s in relation to VAT import charges and South American flower growers suing British Airways for a cartel fraud. He’s also litigated in many other jurisdictions including the CJEU and the ECHR. “I’ve been lucky” repeats David “One may make one’s own luck by putting yourself in the right place at the right time but the great thing about the life of the litigator is that you simply do not know what will come through the door.”
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David describes 2017 as a really good year marked mainly by the Article 50 litigation but also by his challenge to the Conservative/DUP agreement for £1bn to be spent in Northern Ireland in return for voting support. He also recently started proceedings against Uber and HMRC in relation to their VAT position which now proceed in the FTT and is working on tax claims and claims arising from the trucks cartel. David became the public face of the profession in the high-profile and politically charged Article 50 case, representing hairdresser Deir Dos Santos. The Dos Santos claim was the only issued application for judicial review until Gina Miller joined the fray. The case charted new territory in constitutional law and the relationship between parliament and government. “It was absolutely fascinating” says David “When we started the litigation in early July 2016 we had no idea how big it was going to be or how the public and press would perceive it. It became a fulcrum of the whole Brexit debate with ‘violent’ reaction on both sides. I’ve never had to sit in court with bodyguards before. But it was the law and the constitutional questions which were the truly fascinating part of the process. For good or bad, a case like this comes along once in a lifetime.” Following the case David leads the Law Society’s work on Brexit giving evidence throughout 2017 to the European and UK Parliaments and in discussions with European bars. “I may be a Remainer but we have to prepare to leave. We know the outcomes we want and we are working to achieve those ends. The trouble comes when they come up against the negotiating and realpolitik wall. The clock is ticking and securing what we want is becoming very difficult.” As part of his practice David has worked in Eastern and Southern Africa for 30 years and as a development of his work there David acts as a consultant to Aid Agencies, Donors and Governments on civil justice and human rights. “As well as allowing us to give something back to society, aided work broadens experience and allows us to have a dialogue with practitioners and governments in different circumstances on the issue of access to justice and the rule of law. It’s important to leave at home certain attitudes and work with local policy makers on achievable change.” “I wanted to be a politician but the law took over and I’ve loved it.”
David Greene Senior Partner Edwin Coe
Act soon to ensure a comfortable retirement Most of us think retirement planning is something to leave on the ‘to do’ pile. owever, some recent tax changes mean you may need to think about dealing with this sooner rather than later – or face a nasty surprise about your ability to fund your retirement tax favourably.
If you are in the fortunate enough position of earning £150,000 or more per annum, the Chancellor has decided that with effect from 6 April 2016, the amount you can contribute to your pension fund, in a tax-favoured fashion, is diminished. This means that if your earnings exceed £210,000, the maximum you can contribute and receive tax relief on is £10,000 per annum. If you fund your pension at higher levels than these, the additional contributions will be taxed at a whopping rate of 45%. For most people earning £210,000 each year, putting £10,000 aside each year to fund their dotage is hardly likely to keep them in the manner to which they have become accustomed during their working lives.
Prior to 6 April 2016 the contribution limit was £40,000. In addition to the annual contribution rules, there are carry back rules which, if you have had any sort of pension fund already open, allow you to take advantage of years where you have not made the full contributions. These go back three years, but if you don’t use them, you lose them. So, as an example if you regularly earn say £210,000, and have a pension fund to which you’ve made no contributions in recent years, you could contribute up to: 2017/18... £10,000 2016/17... £10,000 2015/16... £40,000 2014/15... £40,000 A maximum of £100,000 However, the point is, if you don’t use up the £40,000 from 2014/15 in 2017/18 you’ll lose the ability to do so and replace that allowance with a much smaller one of only £10,000 (for 2018/19).
So, can you act to boost your pension fund now if you are still working For earnings between £150,000 and £210,000, the additional £30,000 and earning more than £150,000? Well, the answer could be yes, but allowance is whittled down by £1 for every £2 of earnings, so the same applies there, but the availability of relief will depend on your you’ll need to consider this relatively soon. actual earnings for those years. Another key point to make is that, not only will these contributions receive tax relief at your highest marginal rate, they will also grow free of any tax whilst invested in your pension. Under current rules, you can take benefits from your pension from age 55 onwards. You are currently entitled to take a tax-free cash lump sum of up to 25% of the value of your pension fund (from age 55 onwards), whilst the remainder of the fund is treated as taxable income when drawing further income/capital. If for example, your future pension fund is worth £200,000 and you decide to draw your full 25% tax free cash lump sum of £50,000 in one go, the income tax saving on this lump sum would be £22,500 if you are a 45% tax payer at the time and £20,000 if you are a 40% taxpayer. This significant tax saving is also without taking into account any tax-free growth over the years. Therefore, if you have the earnings and the spare cash, you might want to think about utilising any unused relief before it expires at 5 April 2018, or is otherwise taken away by a Chancellor looking to make further savings either in the Spring Statement or the November Budget. If you don’t, you may just find you don’t have the ability to use pension funds to any degree to provide for you and your family when you retire. Every circumstance is different, and it goes without saying that you should take specific advice from a relevant professional before acting – or deciding not to act.
Nick Paterno Managing partner and head of legal services advisory, McBrides Chartered Accountants
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Armit Wines Release Sassicaia 2015 There are few greater pleasures in life than being able to dip into a well-stocked and looked after wine collection. At Armit Wines, we offer a dedicated, personal service to discuss your requirements and support you throughout the process of building your cellar.
ith a little care and attention, a wine cellar can be created to suit all budgets and tastes. But there are certain wines which really ought to be part of every collection and the recently released Sassicaia is certainly one of them. Sassicaia was first released to the world in its inaugural 1968 vintage. It has grown to become a leading Italian estate, icon of the fine wine world and a flagship Super Tuscan.
Accolades and acclaim have been bountiful during the past 50 years, with Robert Parker referring to it as “one of the world’s great wines and an extraordinarily elegant expression of Cabernet Sauvignon and Cabernet Franc” and Antonio Galloni noting that it “remains the most classic of the big Tuscan wines, with an emphasis on aromatic freshness and acidity.” Every vintage, the wine benefits from the Marchese Mario Incisa della Rocchetta noting a similarity between the stony ground of his land, as well as the sea breezes coming in off the Tyrrhenian Sea, and the terroir of Graves, before planting began in the 1940s. This foresight ensures that the vineyard produces outstanding fruit every year – with its own micro-climate adding to the annual triumph – and the production of genuinely harmonious wines whose generosity of perfume and balance alongside a spellbinding freshness create ethereal elegance. Armit Wines has had the pleasure of exclusively importing Sassicaia, to the UK for over 25 years and we were excited to release the 2015 vintage on 1st February 2018. The 2015 is a blend of 85% Cabernet Sauvignon with 15% Cabernet Franc. It was a vintage that shared several climatic similarities with the famous 1985 and it is a wine which is already in high demand.
Tasting Notes “A wealth of ripe fruit on the nose with plum and cherry and some ripe currant. Full body, fruit-driven palate with fine, silky tannins and a beautiful finish. Shows the warmth and generosity of the vintage.” James Suckling “Tasted from barrel as an unfinished wine, the 2015 Bolgheri Sassicaia is distinguished by the dark and saturated nature of its appearance. That deep, black-purple color is shared by many of the best wines of this warm vintage. Freezing temperatures in March got the growing season off to a slow start, but the summer heat hit in full by June. Those high temperatures tapered off at the end of August with cooling rains, but rose again at harvest time. The Cabernet harvest started on September 10. In the winery, fermentations were slow to start and required special attention, especially in terms of temperature control. The results are vinous and thick, with bright and immediate blackberry and pungent blueberry primary aromas. Only at the very beginning of its secondary aromatic development, this wine is scheduled to be released in July 2018. Drink 2020-2040.” Monica Larner visit www.armitwines.co.uk email@example.com 020 7908 0655
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Free Wills Month
Free Wills Month is an opportunity for both solicitors and the public Ten national charities are working together to promote Free Wills Month during March. The promotion is an opportunity for people to have their Will written free of charge by a local solicitor and at the same time to leave a lasting legacy. or solicitors the promotion is a fantastic opportunity to acquire new clients at no cost. The promotion involves a lot of local advertising, which includes participating solicitorsâ€™ details, paid for by the organisers. Solicitors average 25 new clients, though some set a lower limit while others regard it as an excellent way to add to their client list and take as many appointments as they can manage.
Many charities depend on gifts left in Wills for up to half of their funding. The Free Wills Month promotion aims to encourage those aged 55+ to have their Will written or updated (though in the case of couples making mirror Wills it is sufficient if one has reached 55).
obligation to include a gift, though the great majority of people using the promotion choose to do so. The Free Wills Month charities work exclusively with solicitors who are in good standing with the Law Society and who are regulated by the SRA. The Free Wills Month charities in the March 2018 campaign are Age UK, Arthritis Research UK, The Blue Cross, British Heart Foundation, Guide Dogs, Marie Curie, MIND, NSPCC, the RNLI, The Salvation Army and Stroke Association.
Recruitment of solicitors for Free Wills Month March is scheduled to be completed by the end of January when Free Wills Month is a great opportunity for attention turns to the October campaign. The promotion people to consider leaving a gift to one 1or 30/11/2017 16:07 runs from Thursday 1st March to Friday 30th March inclusive. more of the charities. There is no
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Appointments have to be made during March, though the actual appointments can take place any time afterwards to suit clients and solicitors. Solicitors interested in taking part in Free Wills Month should visit the campaign website at www.freewillsmonth.org.uk or call 0345 686 4309.
Free Wills Month
Building a future where no one has to cope with a mental health problem alone In any given year, 1 in 4 people will experience a mental health problem, yet fewer than half of those with a diagnosed mental health problem tell their current employer. e live in a society where mental health problems are driving some people to despair and exposing them to prejudice. About half of all long-term sick leave in the UK is due to stress, depression and anxiety. Almost 1 in 3 people in England have experienced mental health issues while in employment, but only 1 in 4 employees in the UK said they would be likely to talk to their manager if they were experiencing a mental health problem.
The statistics are staggering, but Mind is here to help anyone who feels they have nowhere else to turn. We are the leading mental health charity in England and Wales. We are at the forefront of a change in the way that society is thinking about mental health. Weâ€™re striving to improve experiences and outcomes across every part of the mental health journey, whether thatâ€™s staying well, giving people choice, improving services, or breaking down barriers for those who canâ€™t
access support. We can only continue our vital work thanks to public support, including gifts in wills. March 2018 is Free Wills Month in London and Mind is part of the consortium of charities involved this year. Clients using the offer are under no obligation to make a gift to any charity, but we hope that many will see this as a chance to support our work. Did you know that three times as many people would leave a charitable legacy if their solicitor reminded them to consider this opportunity? Solicitors promoting their clients to consider giving to charities in this way has proven to double the value of their donations too*. When speaking to your clients, please ask them if there are any causes they feel passionate about. And if they share our vision of a world where no one has to cope with a mental health problem alone, please ask if they would consider making a gift to Mind.
*Behavioural Insights Team Cabinet Office 2013
A different kind of search provider Our clients tell us that we truly understand their challenges and needs 5IJTJT because we have local offices run by local people using local knowledge and expertise to provide the level of service that other providers simply cannot. Our approach is practical and straight forward, we roll up our sleeves and provide you with the help to get the deal done.
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Wills and Probate
When youâ€™re gone... More people are realising the importance of making provisions for when they pass away, especially when it comes to taking care of their pets. any dog owners worry about what might happen if they were to pass away, leaving their beloved four-legged friend behind without an owner. Thankfully, Dogs Trust offer a fantastic free service that aims to give owners peace of mind, knowing that their dog will be loved and cared for should anything happen to them, and helps to ease the minds of friends and family during what is already a distressing time. Amy, a 14-year-old Collie cross, found herself alone when her owner sadly died and the next of kin couldnâ€™t care for her. Because Amy had been registered on the Canine Care Card, a family member was able to hand her over to the care of Dogs Trust Kenilworth. Amy had lived with her owner since she was a puppy and was understandably missing her home comforts, so was placed into temporary foster care before finding a loving new owner, 85-year-old Graham Buckingham from Brinklow, who says: â€˜I'm so lucky to have her in my life and I'm glad that I've given her a second chance." Becoming a Canine Care Card holder is easy. Dogs owners simply complete a registration form and return it to Dogs Trust, who issue them with a wallet-sized card which acts in a similar way to an organ donor card and notifies people of their wishes for their dogs, should anything happen to them.
We will arrange to bring their dog to our nearest rehoming centre, where they will be examined by our expert vet and cared for by our dedicated, trained staff. We will endeavour to find their dog a new owner whose lifestyle and experience match their needs, but if for any reason they cannot be rehomed, rest assured Dogs Trust never puts down a healthy dog, so we will look after them for the rest of their lives.
Wills and Probate
The Association of Probate Researchers continues to grow The Association of Probate Researchers (APR), a regulatory body for the genealogy and probate research industry, is pleased to announce that it now comprises three of the biggest probate research firms in the UK: Fraser and Fraser, Treethorpe and Anglia Research.
reethorpe is a genealogy firm whose company values of professionalism, integrity and client focus are in perfect alignment with APR. Michelle Aldous, Head of Operations & General Manager of Treethorpe, commented that “the formation of the APR is an incredible step forward for our industry, and one that provides the opportunity for our team here at Treethorpe to demonstrate their capabilities and experience, whilst importantly, provide our current and future clients with reassurance that they are engaging a reputable firm, and a safeguard should mistakes be made.” Formed in 1979, Anglia Research has provided genealogy services for over 30 years and has established itself as one of the industry’s top firms. The company’s Managing Director, Peter Turvey, said: “The APR is the first and only body to introduce independent regulation to a previously unregulated industry, and we are pleased to have been pivotal in securing a robust constitution for this new organisation.” Treethorpe and Anglia Research join founding member Fraser and Fraser, a firm with over 90 years of experience, who have built a network of European offices and developed partnerships and working relationships with leading genealogists around the world. In her capacity as APR Membership Secretary, Dunni Dickie-Johnson said: “with the continuing high rate of intestacy deaths coupled with the rise of unprofessional and criminal interest in the field of probate research, industry regulation is needed now more than ever before. It is both exciting and
encouraging to welcome as APR Corporate Members, Treethorpe and Anglia Research, two of the industry’s largest and most reputable firms, joining founding member Fraser and Fraser. I am confident that, collectively, we can raise standards across the industry for the benefit of both Solicitors and beneficiaries”. The APR was established as a voluntary, self-regulatory body which aims to bring regulation to the industry and to offer protection to beneficiaries from hobby genealogists and amateurs. The APR safeguards beneficiaries from firms and individuals who believe that they can conduct probate research with very little or no legal training and experience. In the past few years, there have been several cases of fraudulent individuals posing as probate researchers and mis-administering estates which resulted in millions of pounds being stolen from members of the public. The APR provides solicitors, local authorities and the general public with the assurance that if they engage a genealogy and probate research company listed on the APR Membership Directory, that this member meets a very strict code of conduct and has the relevant experience to conduct research. APR members are also subject to independent regulation by the Professional Paralegal Register (PPR) through which heirs are provided access to an independent complaints procedure and compensation policy. For more information the on the APR and PPR, please visit www.a-p-r.org and ppr.org.uk
GENEALOGISTS AND INTERNATIONAL PROBATE RESEARCHERS Phone: 020 7832 1430
I am a Solicitor
Looking ffor or Missing Beneficiaries Missing Beneficiary Insurance Certificates Will Search Missing W Wiill Insurance Industry Regulation International Bankrruptcy Search Asset Search Share V Vaaluations, T Tra ransffers and Sales Probate Property Assistance
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Wills and Probate
A COMPLETELY BESPOKE SERVICE, BUILT AROUND YOU
Over the last three years I have spent a lot of my time meeting solicitors and law firms across the country, discussing the services Executor Solutions offer and looking at ways these services will benefit our potential new clients.
s you would expect, being a relativity young company there was quite a bit of hesitation and uncertainty as to whether a chance should be taken with us, however a good number of solicitors that had worked with our sister company Moving Made Easy recognised that we could be trusted and that the brand was one that they could rely on. As the years have passed and our reputation within the probate industry has grown, there is now much less hesitation. Naturally it is a little scary whenever you try something new for the first time, but with regular speaking slots at conferences and multiple legal events, ongoing testimonials from solicitors and beneficiaries, our audience can see we are the professional and driven service provider they have been crying out for. One thing we are particularly proud of is our ability to mould our service around the needs of our clients. There is very rarely a 'one size fits all' in any industry, so when dealing with property and a bereavement together it is even more important to listen to the needs of the executor, whether they be the solicitor or their client. It was, in fact, listening to clients in the first place that has helped Executor Solutions develop our business to cover the wide range of services we now do.
With the property usually being the biggest asset in probate, the focus to ensure the best possible price is achieved is a key factor when deciding matters such as which estate agent should be used to market. With Executor Solutions offering a multi agency approach at a sole agent fee, with no tie in period and complete freedom in One thing we choice as to who we work with, our clients tell us which agent/s they want involved and that is are particularly what we make happen. As we only pay the proud of is our successful selling agent there becomes some good healthy competition between them, this ability to leads to greater viewing numbers in a much mould our faster timescale than a standard sole agency approach usually results in. service around
We also arrange EPC's, transport items from one address to another, gas & electrical safety reports and much more. The feedback we receive regularly is that our services free up the solicitors time when they are the executor. One phone call into us and literally everything can be taken care of, meaning actual fee earning time is given back to our clients. Additionally, because we source local contractors ourselves and always obtain three quotes, we are able to ensure the best prices. When its the solicitors client that's the executor our services simply help to make what is such a difficult time less stressful. One of our USP's is our HMRC compliant Property Valuation Report that covers section 160 inheritance tax act 1984 and is quickly becoming favoured over a RICs when looking at
Following our success working with Private Client Departments for probate, we have also seen our services be called in for Court of Protection matters too. With our accurate reports, comprehensive paperwork and evidence provided in everything we do, our clients lives are made so much easier with full support from a dedicated team of property professionals that understand the process.
the needs of our clients.
• Free Vacant Property Insurance • House Clearance & Clean • Property and Garden Maintenance/ Refurbishment • Vehicle Sale/ Scrapping • Draindowns • Lock Changes
property value for probate purpose. At £150+VAT per report (refundable should ES be instructed to sell the property), this is a much more cost effective option. More interestingly, a Council recently decided the information within one of our reports was more reliable and price accurate than a RICs on a property where both had been completed. The volume of reports we are completing is constantly growing on a month by month basis, with some law firms using us for every valuation they require.
So if you have heard of Executor Solutions & Asset Management Solutions and considered using us, if Antony Singer or I have visited you to discuss our range of services and your thinking maybe now's the time then we really would love to hear from you. http://www.executorsolutions.co.uk/ See the above link to our website, you are also welcome to private message me via LinkedIn. You can also contact me on 01787 221082 or 07825162266, alternatively my email address is firstname.lastname@example.org
Guiding and supporting specialist property lawyers with tailored regulation The Council for Licensed Conveyancers (CLC) was established in 1985 to foster competition and innovation in the conveyancing market. We regulated specialist conveyancers and probate lawyers.
n doing so, we have always looked to be a proactive regulator in anticipating and monitoring the issues that affect the licensed conveyancing community. We work closely with all our licence holders and we listen to what they say, helping them to achieve the right outcomes for consumers. Today, we are still helping legal businesses to thrive by finding new ways to meet changing customer expectation. Our aim is to support firms to achieve compliance and to accommodate different ways of working wherever we can. The CLC regulates firms of all types and sizes, and has always looked to promote high regulatory standards. For example, each CLC Practice is allocated a Regulatory Supervision Manager (RSM) whose role is to guide them in all regulatory and compliance issues. We always advise firms looking to transfer to CLC regulation, to discuss their plans with us at an early stage, so that we can give them guidance about the best way to take their application forward and help them understand whether CLC regulation is right for their firm. This is just as important for established firms looking to move between regulators as it is for start-ups just entering the market. We are working with an increasing number of firms considering a transfer into CLC regulation, especially now that the requirement that a firm
TAILORED REGULATION OF SPECIALIST LAWYERS PROTECTING THE CONSUMER SUPPORTING INNOVATION, COMPETITION AND GROWTH
transferring to another regulator should take out run-off professional indemnity insurance cover has been removed. It is clear from our discussions with those we currently regulate - as well as lawyers considering transferring their practices into CLC regulation - that our model of specialist regulation is hugely appreciated, with three quarters of licensed conveyancers stating that the CLC provides value for money and supports them in developing their businesses. For example, in 2017 we increased online protection for CLC firms and their clients by establishing a secure badge scheme, which significantly reduces the risk of impersonation online through cloned or copied websites. Over the last 30 years, the CLC’s regulation of specialist conveyancing and probate lawyers has delivered high standards of consumer protection and supported innovation in the delivery of legal services. If you are thinking of becoming a CLC regulated Practice then please visit: http://www.Clcuk.org/newfirms or, should you wish to outline your Practice’s requirements, whatever your business model, then we will be more than happy to meet with you, or to discuss your proposals over the telephone. For an initial contact please email Licensing@clc-uk.org To find out more about CLC regulation then please visit: http://www.conveyancer.org.uk/Regulation-by-CLC.aspx where you will find more helpful information, including how to qualify as a CLC Lawyer: http://www.conveyancer.org.uk/trainee-lawyer.aspx.
IT’S TIME TO THINK ABOUT THAT MOVE
To find out more about how your practice could benefit from transferring to the CLC, contact us on the details below.
www.clc-uk.org/Changing-Regulators or call 020 7250 8465 CENTRAL LONDON
Conveyancing check list How to protect your clients prior to property purchase. hen your client is considering purchasing a property, are you asking questions such as: are those nearby fields safe from development or have the neighbours applied to extend their basement? Likewise, do your clients within major cities know that the rate of construction in London for example is twice the national average and that they have a one in five chance of experiencing major or significant change in their immediate area?
Or, are you able to help your clients identify hidden value through development potential in the subject property? If the answer is no, don’t worry. Thames Water Property Searches now offer DevAssist’s portfolio of planning reports that give valuable insights and clarity to legal professionals and property buyers alike on all the subjects mentioned above - and more. DevAssist is the only company that audits locations for development risks and opportunities’, ensuring the property purchase process is safer for all parties, helping to prevent costly mistakes while increasing customer satisfaction.
“What’s more, conveyancers can be safe in the knowledge that all liability for interpretation of the planning data lies with DevAssist.” The three reports cover all sizes of residential and commercial properties, with one specifically tailored to those purchasing within major UK cities. DevAssess is a bespoke report for residential and commercial properties under 0.25 acres that includes a Landmark Plansearch Plus or Groundsure planning report. DevAssess Premium is for large residential, commercial or the risk averse client/ practitioner. It goes into considerably more detail than DevAssess. DevCity is a top end, two-staged bespoke report for city buyers that also includes a Freedom of Information request to the local council about pending applications or pre-consultations that may impact the subject property. Or, are you able to help your clients identify hidden value through development potential in the subject property?
Jason Harper, Account Manager at Thames Water Property Searches To speak to our Customer Experience Team about DevAssist’s comments: “DevAssist investigates and audits a location so that portfolio of planning reports call: 0845 070 9148 or visit: buyers of property can purchase with peace of mind. The reports www.thameswater-propertysearches.co.uk educate property buyers about development risks so that they know what is changing, or may change in the future.
IGNORANCE IS NO DEFENCE
DevAssist investigates locations for development risks that could impact a property. We are an accredited CPD provider on development and planning. Our products:
For more information: t:
e: email@example.com PROTECTING BUYERS, SOLICITORS & LENDERS
Due diligence in property transactions
by Gavin Casey
Consider the difference between handling a transaction for a property in your neighbourhood and one in a city far from home. hilst the fundamentals are the same - you’re still following the Law Society Conveyancing Protocol and conducting the same due diligence checks on the property – you will have a markedly different perspective on the local transaction. The difference being local knowledge. You will already be familiar with many of the issues. The Law Society Conveyancing Protocol requires that you ‘Make such searches as required’. If it’s a local transaction, you’ll know what the obvious issues are. Search alerts from your provider flag potential issues like flood risk when you’re dealing with transactions further afield.
planning information groups have been sweeping through their portfolios and adjusting what their key reports contain, and in some cases cost. New providers are attempting to break into the market with alternative propositions. One of the first steps to deciding what searches are required is to know what is available in the first place. A review may well be long overdue. At Index we have no limitations on what we can provide you with. The conveyancing protocol also states that ‘If any further planning documentation is required, ascertain whether copies can be downloaded from any local authority or planning authority website.’ This is where being local really comes into its own. If you handle lots of transactions within a small number of local authorities, you’re all set. I’m sure you have a system for retrieving documentation where required. However, not all transactions are local, and local authorities vary widely in their approach to making documents available. With more than twenty local offices, and plans to expand, not contract our network of offices, we know how to secure them. We call it document retrieval. It’s a free service for our clients.
Search alerts So far so good, but only up to a point. Search alerts will will tell you tell you about known issues within a postcode. But what about emerging issues? I live in Pinner in north west about known London, situated at the foot of the Chiltern hills. Some issues within a homes and at least one school were built over disused postcode. But chalk mines. There were no dramas until a sink hole what about appeared in the school's playground. Long before the emerging BBC were filming outside the school or the wider world issues? were talking about ground stability, the locals were discussing what was going to happen to house prices. And the kids being bussed to overflow school locations If you would like to review what due diligence reports are available, or if which were somewhat less desirable. This story could be replicated you would like some help retrieving those documents, give us a call. across the country. Local issues emerge and are known within the We would love to help.■ community before becoming more widely known. If you choose to work with a search provider with an extensive network of local offices, they can help you negotiate those issues as your trusted partner on the ground. For more information please contact Gavin Casey or You may not have local knowledge on every occasion, but they will. Being Peter Hercock at our office on 0208 6167251 or email local matters when it comes to local matters. firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com One of the key issues with choosing what searches are required is to balance cost with benefit. Two bed new build flat in housing zone where there is significant development occurring? A professional opinion on development risk may be disproportionate in terms of cost and unnecessary in terms of impact – expect more flats nearby. For the Town House in Prime Central London don’t leave home without said professional opinion – the costs are proportionate and the potential impact significant. You know that to which I refer. Due diligence reports come in all shapes and sizes and with and without professional opinions. When was the last time you reviewed what or who you use to assist with your enquiries? The major environmental and CENTRAL LONDON
Are You GDPR ready?
James Castro-Edwards Partner and Head of Data Protection, Wedlake Bell LLP Expertise James Castro-Edwards is a partner and Head of Data Protection at Wedlake Bell LLP. James advises domestic and multinational organisations on data protection issues. His experience includes managing global data protection compliance projects for multinationals, and advising domestic companies on complex data protection issues. He has also developed and delivered innovative data protection training programs for multinational clients, including a data protection officers’ training course which was accredited by a European government. James leads the firm’s outsourced data protection officer service, ProDPO (http://prodpo.com). James frequently speaks on data protection and cyber security issues and is widely published, having written articles for a wide variety of titles including The Times and The Guardian, and wrote The Law Society text book on the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). Background The use of personal data is regulated in England and Wales by the Data Protection Act 1998 ('DPA'). The DPA implements the provisions of European Directive 95/46/EC ('Directive'). The Directive, which came into force in 1995, has been the subject of significant reform, and will be superseded by the General Data Protection Regulation (‘GDPR’) when its provisions take effect on 25th May 2018. The principles and concepts of the GDPR are similar to those of the Directive and the DPA, however, the GDPR includes significant new obligations for organisations and grants individuals a range of new rights. Impact of Brexit The GDPR has been law since 25th May 2016 but included a two year 'sunrise period' that will expire in May 2018, intended to allow organisations time to prepare. Unfortunately, this coincided with the EU Referendum and hence some confusion, with many organisations believing that the GDPR, as a European regulation, would not take effect in the UK. However, both the British
Government and the ICO have confirmed that the GDPR will become law. The result is that a significant proportion of the potential time to prepare for the GDPR has been lost. In the UK, the GDPR will be supplemented by the Data Protection Act 2017, the provisions of which are currently being finalised in parliament. Changes the GDPR will introduce The main changes that the GDPR will introduce include the following: • Scope: The GDPR will apply to a wider range of organisations than the DPA and Directive; not just ‘data controllers’ but also data processors acting on behalf of controllers, including in some circumstances, controllers and processors established entirely outside Europe. • Accountability: Organisations must not only comply with the GDPR, but must also be able to demonstrate their compliance to the data protection authority, for example by way of policies, training, and management. • Consent: The GDPR requirements around consent are significantly more stringent, outlawing many common practices, such as pre-ticked boxes, and ‘bundled’ consent, frequently found in employment contracts and privacy notices. • Mandatory breach reporting: Organisations that suffer a data protection breach must report it to the data protection authority within 72 hours, and promptly notify affected data subjects if they face a high risk. • Mandatory Data Protection Officers (DPOs): Certain types of organisation must appoint a DPO, and voluntary appointment will often be advisable. • Privacy impact assessments: Organisations embarking on a new practice involving personal information must conduct a documented impact assessment and ensure the concepts of ‘privacy by design’ and ‘privacy by default’ are incorporated to new processes. • Penalties: The GDPR includes a range of penalties including fines of up to 4% worldwide annual turnover, or €20,000,000, whichever is greater. Data protection authorities are granted a broader range of powers, including the right to conduct compulsory data protection audits. Risks of non-compliance The high maximum fines the GDPR will introduce are explained above, however the risks a non-compliant organisation faces are not limited to financial penalties. The GDPR grants data protection authorities a wide range of powers including the ability to conduct compulsory audits and to suspend organisations' use of personal information. In addition, the UK data protection authority plans to hire an additional 200 employees,
expanding its capacity by around 40%, in anticipation of the GDPR coming into force. In practice, this expansion will significantly increase its ability to enforce the new law. Organisations face an additional risk following a development in the common law, which enables individuals to claim for pure distress (i.e. no financial loss) where they are affected by misuse of private information. In what is believed to be the first of its kind, an award for damages on the basis of pure distress was made by an Edinburgh court early in 2017, and many commentators believe this paves the way for significant 'class action' type claims against organisations. How law firms should address the risk Law firms face a particular risk under the GDPR, as they typically hold a large volume of personal information about their clients. This may include sensitive information where firms advise on matters such as personal finance, divorce, child custody, crime or medical negligence. A law firm that suffers a data protection breach concerning sensitive information would be regarded by the data protection authority as a serious matter. Law firms must be fully aware of the personal data they hold, whether about their clients or staff, and must take proactive steps to ensure such personal data is protected. A prudent initial step would be to conduct a data protection audit or review. Firms must have in place a data protection policy, including a data protection breach policy, and ensure their staff are appropriately trained. Any law firm that processes the ‘special categories of personal data’, which includes information about individuals’ health, is likely to need to appoint a DPO. DPOs must be independent, which precludes the Managing Partner, Head of HR, or Head of IT (for example). The GDPR imposes strict rules where controllers appoint ‘processors’, which process personal data on behalf of controllers (such as outsourced payroll providers, hosted software, or email marketing service providers). Failure to comply with these requirements may be regarded as a breach of the security requirements of the GDPR. There are now less than 6 months to prepare for the GDPR. Any firm that has not yet started to prepare should not delay further. As a first step, firms must identify the personal data they hold (for example, about their employees, clients, whether individuals or corporate clients, and their suppliers), and ensure it has been collected and used in accordance with the principles of the GDPR. The use of personal information is becoming an increasingly regulated activity, and failing to comply is an increasingly dangerous risk.
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Document sharing in the modern law firm Gone are the days of lawyers having to carry heavy briefcases and large folders full of documents. Technology has enabled lawyers and their clients to share and collaborate across multipledocuments with single handheld devices such as tablets or laptops. FOR THE CLIENT As clients become more adept at using cloud technology and increasingly reliant on it, law firms are expected to offer a quicker more efficient service as standard. In addition, as clients express a wish for their documents to be handled sensitively and securely, the market demand for this readily available technology is making it a necessity rather than a choice for legal practices to provide up-to-date document sharing technology to their clients. In 2017, the inaugural year of LawConnect, the document sharing system, over 63,000 documents were shared with clients by more than 800 law firms. This is a clear indication that law firms are adopting the technology offered within the LEAP practice management solution. Part of the attraction to clients in using systems such as LawConnect is that they can expect better document security and version control than email can offer. Also, lawyers and clients can collaborate in real-time by storing, sharing, reviewing and refining documents. No matter what the size of the file – the process is simple – documents can be instantly accessed from anywhere at any time by the client and from any webenabled device. FOR YOUR FEE-EARNERS Solicitors are also starting to demand shared document technology because of the added benefits it can bring to a legal practice. Featurerich technology enables a lawyer to see if a client has viewed a document, access shared documents instantly and revoke access to documents if necessary.
Offering clients instant access to their documents and case files means that all parties can locate the latest version quickly and review, collaborate and respond accordingly. An additional benefit to using LawConnect is the system integrates seamlessly with LEAP’s legal practice management platform. Lawyers can share documents directly from within the electronic matter. LEAP UK’s CEO Peter Baverstock comments: “LawConnect is a simple yet safe legal document management system. We are delighted that it is being so widely used by the legal market and we have heard of many instances of End Users recommending LawConnect to their lawyers.” Andrew Nuttall of Adlington Law Limited comments: “LEAP is constantly improving its system and you get regular updates of all changes, one recent addition at no extra cost was LawConnect which allows you to share documents to all your customers and suppliers within seconds of producing a letter/fax or PDF document. This is very useful if we require our client to sign documents and return them the same day. It is quicker than using the postal system and awaiting the return of important documents.” The simple fact is that if law firms don’t offer this technology, clients will go elsewhere, even if that means to the competition. Document sharing is now a key driver for a client base and not something that can just be ignored.
Anti Money Laundering
A passport is not enough Jonathon Bray
There is a huge problem with AML regulation. The penalties, as we know, are incredibly serious. Yet very few people know exactly what their obligations are. e very often come across firms who, with the very best intentions, are breaching their AML duties. They simply take client ID as part of the file opening process. This is usually delegated by the main fee earner, who may not ever really look at it. Conveyancing departments, where the risk is high, are often the worst offenders.
The junior staff member diligently goes off and gets the usual documents: copy passport (sometimes certified, usually not) and a recent utility bill. “There,” they think, “AML checks done”.
Don’t forget: - CDD is an ongoing process, not a one time event - The firm is also required to assess the overall financial crime risk it faces (based on its client base, practice areas, jurisdictions, internal processes etc), and that ‘firm-wide risk assessment’ must be made available to the SRA on demand. Very few firms have done this exercise.
Except of course that is a dangerous assumption.
- You must have a system for identifying PEPs and checking sanctions lists. I don’t think we are far from a position where running clients through online checks are de facto compulsory.
You have collected some identity documents – so what? Do they tell you anything about the risk of money laundering in this particular transaction?
- Not all practice areas are covered by the MLRs, but all work is subject to the main money laundering legislation (Proceeds of Crime Act and Terrorism Act). Make sure you know the difference.
Back to basics. A solicitor’s duty under the Money Laundering Regulations is all about assessing risk, then undertaking appropriate client due diligence. You cannot do the latter without having done the former. Otherwise you are just blindly collecting ID documents to tick a box.
- The Law Society published its new AML practice note in September. It should be required reading for all solicitors.
What is meant by assessing risk? Well, it’s a big topic. But essentially it involves looking at the instructions in front of you and taking a view. Are there any clear ‘red flags’? Is there any reason why the risk level should be raised? Do you truly understand the instructions, the source of funds, the people involved and the flow of money? Does it pass the unscientific ‘sniff test’? Clearly, this must be a job for the main fee earner. And the assessment really should be written down in some way. Ideally incorporated into a repeatable process. Your risk assessment will then guide the level of client due diligence that is required. Higher risk matters are likely to involve a lot more digging before you can even start work. Low risk transactions may require very little – you might conclude that a passport and utility bill is sufficient.
AML regulation is a cost of doing business. It is not going away. For the sake of self-preservation, make sure your firm’s processes are not lulling you into a false sense of security.
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Mediating in the Organisational Maze Often conflicts start small for organisations, be they business or government. If conflict is left unchecked it can become negative very quickly and the matter becomes unwieldy and complex.
getting entrenched. Management are not distracted from core business and focus on strategic and revenue generation roles.
Who hasn't been in a situation whether they were a party, or advising a party, saying ìif only someone had done something earlierî to avoid the current mess that needs picking through.
Reputation considerations: Confidentiality and early resolution benefits any brand identity and perception and thus keep clients (and so continuity and turnover).
Early intervention with businesses and individuals can be key as many situations need proactive management of tensions or conflict before they emerge into a dispute. While the intervention required can vary depending on the specific situation, the use of mediation can be a critical tool to assist individuals and organisations create solutions to problems.
General well-being: Resolving conflicts early reduces stress, mental strain and difficulties for those involved. It can motivate and engage employees and even offer an open environment to air concerns .
s someone recently commented in a mediation, “I’m glad you asked when it started, as 7 years ago I was promised.”
Frameworks: Adapting the mediation process Due to the flexibility of the mediation, the process can be adapted depending on the relevant specific situation and considerations. There are a variety of questions that might be asked to help to determine a course of action: What is the type of dispute? How large is the aggrieved or claimant group? Who is or needs to be involved? What should the intervention be called (e.g. facilitated conversation or mediation?)? How should it be conducted? Where and when should the mediation take place? What disclosure is required before the meeting? What might an organisation need to learn from this experience? One of the strengths of mediation is the level of input and control, parties have over the process and final decision. 'Commissioners' of the mediation, whether external adviser or client, also need to consider what type of mediator would be appropriate dependent on the specific situation and context. Such as someone with detailed knowledge of the content or someone with a strong generalist background who might bring a fresh perspective to the matter. Benefits of a mediation scheme for an organisation where there are multiple claims There is not a one-size-fits all approach when introducing mediation but there are some key considerations. One approach is to introduce an 'inhouse' mediation scheme, where those with a connection to the organisation but who are independent of a dispute are trained to act as early-stage mediators. The second approach is to have an externally run and administered scheme, run by an organisation such as CEDR, where disputes are referred to it. The third approach is to have a number of internally trained mediators act on an ad hoc or full-time basis, who are in turn supported and provided with continuous professional development by a mediation organisation. In such instances the mediation organisation would also provide a selected panel of ëexternalí mediators to act in disputes when claims are issued or where there are concerns about experience, neutrality and confidentiality. There are number of benefits of such proactive mediation including: Commercial benefit to users: Long term savings in time and money for clients (which will increase their satisfaction with dispute resolution by avoiding problematic litigation and grievances, etc.) Customers and employees are more likely to be retained leading to less lost sales and recruitment costs, maintaining productivity. It allows parties to restore relationships quickly, to avoid resentment spiralling and people
Specific challenges for the mediator when an organisation mediates early 'in-house' Impartiality and perception of the mediator and mediation process Depending on the approach used for a mediation scheme, there may be concerns as to the impartiality of the mediator. Typically an ëinternalí mediator is on the organisationís payroll and may even be part of a companyís hierarchy. Having any existing history with the organisation means this mediator must be alert to their own bias and behave in a way that will safeguard against this. An external mediator may sometimes be perceived as an ìagentî of the organisation company by its clients or employees. However, this is usually countered by an external mediatorís experience and credentials. It is essential that the mediator establishes confidence, trust and reassurance early on, and behaves in an entirely impartial manner. Considerations on Confidentiality Confidentiality is a defining principle for most mediations. There must to be clarity and agreement on who in an instigating mediation organisation - but who is not attending the mediation - is allowed to know about any potential outputs. Often the terms of a ësettlement agreementí or an agreed resolution such as a change of financial terms or new ways of working together i.e. an agreed modus operandi need to be communicated to others. Next steps for mediation in organisations In its 28 year history, CEDRís mediators have always worked in organisations and dealt with pre-issue or 'early stage' disputes. CEDR has also always trained mediators from different specialisms. Today the spectrum of cases has become even more challenging and diverse but businesses have become more aware of the mediation process and they have used it effectively to enhance management capabilities. Most importantly although costs have been saved and relationships repaired, it is those organisations which started to mediate years ago with perhaps 2 or 3 cases a year which have now developed more constructive ways of dispute management.
by Fiona Colquhoun, Andrew Fiddy and Joachim Muller, CEDR Mediators
Blue is the new Green An odd thing has been happening to me recently: people I would never have thought of as “green” keep asking me “what can we do about plastic water bottles littering our oceans?” Why the sudden awareness and concern? he short answer is Blue Planet II. Not only did this extraordinary programme bring us the awe-inspiring sight of dolphin feeding frenzies and deep sea underwater mysteries, it also broadcast straight into our Sunday nights the heart-breaking scenes of exhausted Albatross parents feeding their young with scraps of shredded plastic debris. As well as the shocking discovery of micro fragments of plastic in sea creatures in the deepest parts of the ocean – scenes that emphasise the conservation crisis faced by oceans from the surface to their deepest depths. This stark reality has kick-started a huge movement to take action and although it may be far too late, and some of us have been banging on about this for years anyway, at least now it is a legitimate conversation to have with your Managing Partner or CEO. But it is no good just bemoaning the fate of the Albatross and then opening a plastic bottle of mineral water in a meeting or fetching your lunchtime salad in a plastic container. We all need to take action. So what can law firms do? At the LSA we believe small steps help bring about great change so here are some of the practical things you can do reduce plastic and start a journey towards being green. One: Sell the Benefits. Good Sustainability = Good Business – adopting a more environmentally sensitive approach can save you
money. The average LSA member saves 8% on their energy bills by reducing their carbon footprint. Two: Make a plan and set some targets – start simply. Ban plastic bottles in the office and encourage people to bring in reusable containers for lunch. Three: Sign up a Senior Champion – find and approach a senior member of the firm and encourage them to endorse your sustainability plan. Four: Spread the word encourage colleagues to talk about environmental issues and use your internal and external communications to get a conversation going. Five: join the LSA and measure, manage and reduce your carbon emissions. It’s free, it’s easy and it makes a difference. If you aren’t a member join at www.legalsustainabilityalliance.com We have the Albatross to thank – Blue really is the new Green
Amanda Carpenter CEO & Founder Achill Management, Hosts for the Legal Sustainability Alliance www.achillmanagement.com
Armit Wines 2018 Annual Italian Tasting On Tuesday 6th March we are inviting our Private Clients to Armit Wines annual Italian Portfolio Tasting, from 6:30pm-8:30pm at One Great George Street, Westminster, London SW1P 3AA Join us to taste 150 wines from 30 top Italian estates, most of which will be presented by the producers themselves. We will be featuring Tenuta San Guido/Sassicaia, Ornellaia, Tua Rita, Le Pupille, Sesti, Querciabella, Gaja, Bruno Giacosa and Romano Dal Forno, amongst many others. You will also have the opportunity to sample the much anticipated 2015s from Tuscany, including Sassicaia and an exclusive pre-release preview of Ornellaia 2015. This year we are delighted to introduce the wines of Elio Grasso and Monforte d’Alba as well as two brand new wines from the iconic Tua Rita that will be available to taste for the first time ever – a Syrah made in amphora and a Passito di Pantelleria. About Armit Wines We represent a global roll call of extraordinary wine estates in the UK including Gaja, Ornellaia, Tenuta San Guido (Sassicaia), Tua Rita, Romano Dal Forno, Fattoria Le Pupille, Querciabella and Bruno Giacosa in Italy as well as established icons of the fine wine world such as Château Lafleur, Diamond Creek, Domaine Huet and La Rioja Alta S.A. Tickets - £50, available to buy on our website: https://www.armitwines.co.uk/product/2018-italian-tasting/20322 CENTRAL LONDON 35
How hair testing can help build a history of substance use Hair tests are a reliable, fast and cost-effective way of proving drug or alcohol use.
hey’re highly accurate, with a long detection window and almost impossible to cheat. Hair tests can give rich information about the nature of, and conditions for, substance use by an individual. 1. Patterns of substance use When a person stops using drugs or alcohol, the levels of the substance in their hair drop very quickly. For this reason, it’s possible to pinpoint when a donor significantly increased or decreased their consumption levels. Laboratories typically test for changes in consumption across month-long periods. Traces of drugs or alcohol can also remain present in hair for up to four months after a person stopped using a substance. This is because hair exists in either a growing or resting phase. ‘Resting’ hairs are dead but still attached to the scalp – and can therefore test positive for substances that are not present in the growing hairs around them. 2. Concentration of substances Contrary to reports by some hair test laboratories, it is not possible to judge how much of a drug an individual used. Partly, this is because our bodies metabolise target substances at different rates. Moreover, drugs vary in their purity, in turn depositing greater or lesser concentrations of the substance in hair. Such obstacles don’t exist for alcohol. The Society of Hair-Testing agrees that hair samples with less than 7 picograms per milligram of alcohol suggest the donor has abstained from using alcohol. Readings of more than 30 pg/mg indicate that the donor uses alcohol at chronic levels. As such, hair tests offer a reliable indication of how much alcohol a person consumed in a given time period.
3. Types of substance use It is possible for hairs to test positive for cocaine or cannabis even if the donor has not used the drugs. Hairs can be contaminated on their external surfaces when a person is near another using a drug – because the molecules of the substance are in the air. The testing laboratory can prevent this from affecting the donor’s test result by washing the hairs to remove external contamination. Washed hairs that still contain drug metabolites are evidence that the donor’s body has processed the drug – and therefore, that the donor used the drug themselves. Understanding the limits Hair tests can help family lawyers understand the circumstances and nature of a person’s substance use – including patterns around use, the amount of alcohol they drank and whether or not they took substances themselves. The individual commissioning the hair test must tell their laboratory which of the three types of contextual information above they need from their hair test. Professionals must understand the limitations around these three insights, to make successful evidence-based decisions – which could have impactful real-world consequences for the individuals and families involved. By Dr.
Scientific Director of Cansford Labs Ltd., Cardiff www.cansfordlabs.co.uk
Th hree days can sa ave a lifetime off hurt Critic cal decisions require the best b evidence, quickly! We provid de competitively priced UKAS-accredited hair test re esults within 3 days of receipt of the sample in our lab. Establish a clear pattern of drug or alcohol misuse sp panning the last 6 -12 months: • Which d drugs or what level of alcohol has been used and when? • What is the pattern of misuse – is it rising ng or falling? • Has drug ug use cha changed anged in the past wee eks or mo onths?
tel: +44 (0) (0 0) 29 2054 0567 ema ail: info firstname.lastname@example.org visit: cans sfordlabs.co.uk
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Westminster and Holborn Legal Business Magazine with the Latest Legal Business News, Law Society News and Updates, Local Partnership News, P...
Published on Feb 9, 2018
Westminster and Holborn Legal Business Magazine with the Latest Legal Business News, Law Society News and Updates, Local Partnership News, P...