THE CITY OF WESTMINSTER AND HOLBORN LAW SOCIETY
of Newly Qualified Solicitors see page 7
Inside this issue:
■ Property ■ Commercial Conveyancing ■ Local News
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Introduction 4 5
President’s Foreword New Officer Profiles
Westminster & Holborn Events
Westminster & Holborn Events
Movers and Shakers 9-11
Council Members and Sub-Committees 12 13
ADVERTISING AND FEATURES EDITOR Anna Woodhams
Council Members Sub-Committees
DESIGN AND PRODUCTION MANAGER John Barry ACCOUNTS DIRECTOR Joanne Casey
14-15 “The Rise of the Solicitors” ...Just a Thought! 16 Data Protection The Government is to restrict the availability of Capital Gains Tax relief for principal private residences from April 2020
MEDIA No. 1639 PUBLISHED
FEBRUARY 2019 © Benham Publishing Ltd.
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Ebl miller rosenfalck welcomes delegation of lawyers/ arbitrators and academics from the People’s Republic of China EUROPE IS STILL OUR OYSTER! Trial Observation in Turkey Brexit – what we can learn from the film Speed and the perils of prediction
Junior Lawyers Division
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.
Junior Lawyers Division Committee Profiles Shared Parental Leave: A one-way ticket to a more diverse workforce
Property Insurance 22
Why we don’t require you to carry out any property inspections...
Members of the public should not seek to rely on anything published in this magazine in court but seek qualified Legal Advice.
COVER INFORMATION View from the Iconic Bush House.
10 reasons to use document management software The SOLUTION to the existing Problem Are YOU in control of YOUR data?
Land and Property
Photograph © Ben Wilkin (Benkin Photography)
28 29 30
Stamp Duty Land Tax - Are you sure you’re getting it right? The misty world behind Land Registration
Why the Right Time is Right Now
Commercial Conveyancing 33 34
Copy Deadlines Summer Autumn Winter
19th April 2019 13th July 2019 16th October 2019
Members wishing to submit material please send to
email@example.com Editor: Ivan Ho Editorial Board: Coral Hill, Rowan Cope & Suzanna Eames Anyone else wishing to advertise or submit editorial for publication in Central London please contact Anna Woodhams before copy deadline.
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The NEW transparency rules – two months on Japanese Knotweed – The Plant that Can Cost your Clients Thousands Commercial Development: Opening up Brownfield Land Opportunity Time is now up for solicitors to comply with the SRA price transparency requirements
New SRA rules - the problem with ‘guidance’
Wills and Probate 40 42 44
A lesson learned... A love that lasts forever British paedophile is ordered to pay compensation to his foreign victims in the first legal case of its kind
The City of Westminister & Holborn Law Society is focussing on improving its presence on Social Media Please follow us on Twitter @CWHLawSociety And LinkedIn https://www.linkedin.com/groups/12087037
CENTRAL LONDON LAWYER 3
February 2019 M
Laura Uberoi signing the twinning agreement with the Bilbao Bar Association
I consider it a great honour to be writing my first foreword as President to a magazine filled with reflections on so many great events held in the past few months, insights from a wide range of our members and a packed schedule of events for the upcoming year.
y involvement with the Law Society started in 2015 when I joined the International Sub-Committee and was keen to participate in the vast network of lawyers created by the Society across Europe. It was therefore very fitting that my first job as President was to sign a twinning agreement with our colleagues from the Bilbao Bar in October (you can also see details of our earlier twinning with the Milan Bar on page 8). The whole of my professional career has been spent in Holborn - I trained and spent many years at Farrer & Co before moving to Macfarlanes. In any spare time, you will find me in the Law Society on Chancery Lane, where I also sit as Council Member.
My key priorities for this year are to expand the variety of events on offer for all members of the Society, increase member interactions with our Sub-Committees and raise the profile of the Society not just within Westminster and Holborn but nationally and internationally. We already have a packed schedule of events for 2019 and you can find the full list on our website (www.cwhls.org.uk). These are all promoted through our active Twitter and LinkedIn feeds, which I would encourage you to follow. You can find a number of our planned events on page 6 so please save the dates and, of course, get in touch with me on email@example.com if you have any suggestions to add or would like to host an event. Our events are also a great way to meet members, our great team of Officers (see page 5) and our Sub-Committees. I am delighted to announce recent key appointments in the Society, including Shaila Pal of Kings College London as Chair of our newly formed Pro Bono & CSR Sub-Committee (the launch event is on Tuesday 2 April) and Ben Longworth of Farrer & Co as Chair of our Litigation Sub-Committee. I also express sincere thanks to Shams
Many thanks to our sponsors:
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Rahman of Edwin Coe for his years of service as Chair of the Civil Litigation Sub-Committee before Ben. We also recently established a full Junior Lawyers Division and you can read all about this new Sub-Committee on page 20. Please do get in touch if you would like to join these or any of our other Sub-Committees.
For decades we have had active SubCommittees producing countless consultation responses and news items, including the Law Reform Sub-Committee led by Arthur Weir and the Professional Matters Sub-Committee led by Julian Aylmer. We are continuing to publicise all of the great work of the Society and our members, not just through our social media pages and this magazine but also the wider legal press. I recently wrote an article for The Lawyer (and republished by The Law Society) on becoming one of the youngest Presidents of a local law society - please do keep an eye out for us in the press this year and let me know if you would like to contribute to raising the Society's profile. You will all be aware that I am stepping into the very big shoes of Coral Hill, our immediate past president. I would like to extend my enormous gratitude, both personally and on behalf of the Society, to Coral for her incredible leadership, energy and good humour during her 2018 presidential year. We are very lucky that Coral is continuing to take a leading role in the Society, including as an Officer, by leading the Editorial Committee for this magazine and organising visiting delegations of our international colleagues as part of the International Sub-Committee. On behalf of the Society, I wish you all a healthy, happy and prosperous start to 2019. â–
Laura Uberoi President
Westminster & Holborn Events
New Officer Profiles Laura Uberoi President Laura is a real estate finance solicitor at Macfarlanes LLP and was previously with Farrer & Co LLP, where she qualified. Prior to her election as President of WHLS, Laura sat on the International Committee and served as Honorary Secretary. In 2017 Laura was also elected as a Council Member at the national Law Society, where she represents junior lawyers up to five years qualified. 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. 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.
Anthony Seymour Treasurer Anthony is a Solicitor in the Property Department of Pothecary Witham Weld. He acts for Charities, Company and Private Clients and deals with Commercial property, Landlord and Tenant and Residential Conveyancing. He also specialises in Leasehold Enfranchisement. He has worked at established City Firms and was for many years a Partner in the Property Department of a Central London Law Firm. He is a member of the University of Bristol Alumni Association London Branch Committee and holds a Masters Degree in Law from Kings College, University of London.
Carolina Marín Pedreño Senior Vice President Carolina is a Spanish Abogado, who cross-qualified as a Solicitor in 2006. She specialises in international cases particularly child abduction, registration and enforcement of foreign contact orders, leave to remove, residence, contact and public law cases. Carolina is a Fellow and elected Governor of the European Chapter of the International Academy of Family Lawyers, Counsellor of the Union International des Avocats Human Rights Commission, member of the International Committee of Resolution, elected Executive member for international affairs of the Bar Association of Murcia, Founder and Secretary of the Spanish Association of Collaborative Lawyers and co-chair of the European Family Justice Observatory. Carolina is a Resolution Accredited Specialist in Child Abduction and Children Law - disputes between parents or relatives. Carolina's full profile can be found at https://dawsoncornwell.com/en/the-team/partners/carolina-marín-pedreño.html
Hannah McCrindle Junior Vice President Hannah is a 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, 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 the Treasurer for the Association of Women Solicitors London, a member of Resolution and the Women Lawyers Division.
Anisha Birk Honorary Secretary Anisha is a second year trainee at Farrer & Co LLP. Anisha previously sat as Secretary of the WHLS International Sub-Committee before becoming Honorary Secretary this year. She was awarded the 2017 Gamlen Prize by WHLS for outstanding performance on the LPC. Prior to joining Farrer & Co, Anisha worked for the British Museum as a trainee curator. Anisha worked across various aspects of the British Museum's collections, chiefly completing an online documentation project of the Museum's vast Sasanian seal collection. In 2014 she was awarded a Sackler Scholarship to complete this project and a Jonathan Ruffer curatorial grant from the Art Fund to visit Sulaymaniyah Museum, Iraq, to study their Sasanian collections.
Ivan Ho Editor of The Central London Lawyer Ivan has been a member of the main committee since November 2008. He began his training with Hunters in 2004. On qualification, he joined the Property Department of Hunters and specialises in residential and commercial work. He became an Associate at Hunters in April 2010.
Coral Hill immediate Past President Coral, a non-practising solicitor, has worked in legal education for many years at The University of Law in London. She holds a number of positions outside the University including academic advisor to the Judicial College, which oversees UK judicial training, Chair of the Audit Committee for Nelson College and a trustee for the charity, Cybercare. Coral has worked as mentor for young people and is particularly interested in social mobility and diversity issues.
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Westminster & Holborn Events
EVENTS 2019 Booking is essential for all events due to restrictions of space
Tuesday 5 February 7pm
Tuesday 2 May
President’s New Year and Welcome Drinks: Wine Tasting with Armit Wines, hosted by Farrer & Co Dawson Cornwell This year our New Year and President’s Welcome Event will be hosted Put your taste buds to the test with an evening of wine tasting (plus in the new offices of Dawson Cornwell, with guest speaker Ivy Wong, cheese) – there is even a quiz with coveted prizes for the winner. Operations and Legal Product Manager at Lexoo. Michael Gillman This event is kindly sponsored by Legal Network London. will also be presenting our prestigious Gamlen Prize to our most Early June promising trainee solicitor.
Tuesday 12 February 4pm
Latest Developments in Contract Law For ten years Richard Stephens has been providing an annual update on the latest developments in contract law and his talks are attended by hundreds of lawyers every year, very often selling out: http://www.the-lors.co.uk/ This session is kindly hosted by 33 Bedford Row Chambers and will start at 4pm, with a drinks reception to follow. https://tinyurl.com/Contract2019
Wednesday 27 February
Property Law - Planning Update As part of our annual updates, Paul Addison, Managing Director of DevAssist , will be covering current planning issues and risks. This event is kindly hosted by Index Property Information and sponsored by Legal Network London. A drinks reception will follow.
Thursday 14 March
Brexit Implications for Lawyers, Edwin Coe LLP Following the success of our Brexit event last year, we will be hosting another Brexit session in mid-March. David Greene, Deputy Vice President of the Law Society, Senior Partner at Edwin Coe LLP and Chair of the Law Society's Brexit Task Force will again be leading the discussions. We are limited to 45 spaces so please do sign up through Eventbrite early: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/brexit-implications-for-lawyerstickets-54316794996 This event is kindly hosted by Edwin Coe LLP and sponsored by Lloyds Bank and will start at 6pm.
Tuesday 2 April
Property Law Update - What leaseholders say about services from lawyers This event is kindly hosted by Index Property Information and sponsored by Legal Network London.
Tuesday 4 June
How to Session - becoming a QC or a judge We are delighted to host a panel of eminent QCs and Judges who will lead this workshop. This event is kindly hosted by Radcliffe Chambers and sponsored by Legal Network London. Further details will follow.
Monday 17 June
London Legal Walk Join us as we walk 10km around central London for the London Legal Support Trust, raising funds for free legal advice charities in London and the South East. Details about the event can be found at the link below and you can join our team by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org
Thursday 27 June
The Law Society – meet your council members An opportunity to hear about the work of The Law Society from staff and ask questions of your local council members. Further details to follow.
18 - 20 September
Visit from the Barcelona Bar We will have a joint event for the Barcelona Bar Association with the Newly Qualified Solicitors.Further details to follow.
Junior Lawyers Division Drinks at Davy’s Launch Pro Bono and CSR Committee with Wine Bar (the Bunghole) JUSTICE: Farrer & Co LLP We are delighted to celebrate the launch of our new pro bono and CSR committee at this event in February. Kate Cheetham, Council Member of Justice will be our guest speaker and we look forward to welcoming you all there (free for members). This event is kindly hosted by Farrer & Co in the Prestigous Peacock Room and sponsored by Lloyds Bank and will start at 6pm.
SQE Update Further details to follow once the SRA has made its next announcement.
Property Law Update - Environmental Considerations for Commercial Sites This event is kindly hosted by Index PI and will feature a guest speaker from Landmark to cover environmental considerations for commercial sites. Further details will follow.
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Wednesday 2 October
How to make your firm more profitable Tuesday 29 October
AGM Our Annual General Meeting will be held at 6pm at the offices of Farrer & Co LLP. At the meeting the President will present her annual report, new Officers will be elected and we will be presenting the prestigious Gamlen Prize to our most promising trainee solicitor. Do come along to see familiar and new faces - drinks and nibbles will follow the meeting. Additional events are under discussion. If you have suggestions or would like to host an event, please contact the committee at email@example.com The website calendar also shows our events www.cwhls.org.uk
Westminster & Holborn Events
EVENTS 2018 Autumn 2018 was particularly busy for the Society with events celebrating newly qualified solicitors, our annual dinner and twinning with two European Law Societies.
Celebration of Newly Qualified Solicitors K
ings’ College London hosted our celebration on the eighth floor of the iconic Bush House. It was a fabulously clear evening and we were able to enjoy views from the rooftop of London. This new event is to be part of the Society’s annual calendar to welcome new solicitors and ensure they feel part of our professional community.
Our key note speaker was Robert Bourns, Past President of The Law Society and current chairman of the Board. He spoke with passion about the profession and how there is more that unites us than divides, regardless of the type of work the individual solicitor might do; fundamental is our code of ethics and professionalism and that is what the public can rely on. We also heard from Chris Howard, the Director of Professional Legal Education of KCL, and Coral Hill, then President of WHLS. Both were delighted to announce this event as one of the first initiatives in working together. ■
Photographs © Ben Wilkin (Benkin Photography)
CENTRAL LONDON LAWYER 7
Westminster & Holborn Events
Twinning with Milan Bar Association and Bilbao Bar Association
ithin weeks of each other we were delighted to sign two twinning agreements. The Milan Bar Association also celebrated the 25th anniversary of its chorale and we were all impressed to hear them sing in Temple Church. The Bilbao delegates were able to join us at our annual dinner. ■
Annual dinner W
HLS joined forces with South London Law Society to host a dinner at Bank Restaurant in St James’ Park. Our key note speaker was Bob Nightingale MBE, Head Fundraiser for the London Legal support Trust. ■
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Movers and Shakers
Dawson Cornwell Move
fter nearly 40 years, Dawson Cornwell has moved from the Georgian terraces, and previous home of William Morris, in Red Lion Square to historic 11 Staple Inn, Chancery Lane. Staple Inn is steeped in history and has been linked to the legal profession since the 15th century. It is the last surviving Inn of Chancery. Red Lion Square was very much the home of Dawson Cornwell and remains close to our hearts. During the time Dawson Cornwell occupied 15 Red Lion Square, the firm expanded significantly, and for many of us it was the only ‘home’ we had known. Each room of the building had its own history, many happy memories were made and careers advanced within its walls. Leaving Red Lion Square is compensated, however, by the firm’s move to Staple Inn. The move allows Dawson Cornwell to continue its leading national and international practice within new, modern offices which have excellent facilities (and lifts!). Our spacious meeting rooms and fresh, updated offices allow us to continue to offer our clients the highest level of service. We have a large boardroom which allows us to hold seminars and other events within our own offices.
We are proud that the very first of these is the WHLS President’s New Year and Welcome Drinks on 5th February 2019. We look forward to welcoming you all on that evening and to many more such events in the years to come. As a niche family law firm, we have specialist knowledge in all areas of family law, including, high net worth matrimonial finance, complex jurisdictional disputes and areas such as surrogacy/fertility law, complex children’s cases and forced marriage. We also specialise in private client, property and court of protection work. Our previous offices were charming and full of character but, moving forward, the new, modern offices at Staple Inn will allow us to continue to build the practice in line with the ever changing demands of legal practice. Further information and updates can be found at www.dawsoncornwell.com and on our LinkedIn and Twitter pages @Dawson_Cornwell. ■
Commercial Conveyancing CPD Thames Water Property Searches are hosting an informative and interactive legal CPD providing essential information and updates by leading industry experts.
Date: Thursday 28 February 2019 Venue: Metro Bank Plc, 1 Southampton Row, London, WC1B 5HA Time: 9:00am - 4:00pm The event is designed to inform commercial conveyancers and solicitors on recent developments in the conveyancing industry, incorporating a range of topics from leading organisations and speakers including: • Hannah Mackinlay – propertylaw.guru • Groundsure Location Intelligence • Lawyer Checker • Thames Water Property Searches To reserve your space at the event, please email: firstname.lastname@example.org Quoting reference ‘FEB28CLL’. Limited spaces available. www.thameswater-propertysearches.co.uk The property search experts CENTRAL LONDON LAWYER 9
Movers and Shakers
This Too Will Pass “This Too Will Pass” is a new book by Richard Martin describing his personal struggle with anxiety and depression.
n the last few years it would be impossible to be unaware of issues of well-being and mental health. We are all lucky that there is more understanding, more resources and more acceptance than perhaps at any time before. However if we have made such good progress why do we need yet another book? I am certain that this is not just “another book” and my hope is that you will read it, change because of it, and then recommend that others read it so that they may change too. Before becoming ill, Richard was a city based employment lawyer for 20 years, a partner at Gouldens/Jones Day before joining Speechly Bircham where he ran the employment team and sat on the firm’s managing committee. In some respects Richard’s story is not so remarkable - Professional man suffers burn out, gets therapy and recovers – but Richard’s story is absolutely compelling. The autobiographical style is raw, honest, funny, human, real, charming, emotional, sad and hopeful. The narrative draws you in, it is both comfortable and unsettling at the same time, it informs but never lectures and it provides a space to think deeply, but not to dwell helplessly.
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Richard writes beautifully and if you know him already you know he is a lovely man; however a beautifully written book by a nice man, may still not be a reason enough to buy it, so let me say this one thing to try and persuade you. We are all vulnerable and we all love people who are vulnerable too. Despite there being more awareness now than ever before, we are still in the foothills of understanding with a mountain to climb. If you are not sure how precious and fragile your mental health might be, or the mental health of people you care about; if you are not sure where to look to know more, or how to start the conversation with friends or colleagues or loved ones; and if you need something real and not theoretical to help clarify your own thoughts, then please, please read this book. A remarkable man, a compelling story and truly important contribution to one of the most important issues of our time. n
Paul Gilbert LBC Wise Counsel is a leading and hugely respected coach, mentor and adviser to the in-house legal profession
Movers and Shakers
Laura Uberoi joins the Finance team at Macfarlanes
Laura Uberoi joined the Finance team at Macfarlanes at the beginning of December 2018. She was previously with Farrer & Co, where she qualified in 2015.
aura specialises in real estate finance and acts for borrowers and lenders on a range of domestic and international finance transactions. She has previously spent time on secondment as legal counsel to Deutsche Bank. Laura joins the growing Finance team which advises on an extensive range of financing arrangements and is able to accommodate both lenders and borrowers for any financing structure – from crossborder leverage finance, hybrid fund finance, complex restructurings and structured finance, through to high yield bond work. Alongside practice and acting as President of the Westminster & Holborn Law Society this year, Laura also serves as a Council Member at The Law Society where she was elected to represent qualified solicitors up to five years PQE. ■
Conveyancing Assistant, Mark Stocker wins InfoTrack’s trip of a lifetime to Australia Conveyancing assistant, Mark Stocker of law firm Stephen Rimmer LLP has won a trip to Australia after being drawn as the lucky winner in InfoTrack’s Take me to Australia promotion.
nfoTrack users were invited to take part in a live draw held by webinar on Tuesday 15th January, where Marks name was drawn at random. Mark says the prize will be a fantastic opportunity to visit a new country. Entries were automatically generated when clients used services including SDLT, AP1, eCOS, Indemnities and UK Corporate services through the InfoTrack platform. Mark will enjoy flights to Sydney and Darwin, accommodation and a number of exciting activities that can only be experienced in Australia. InfoTrack have promised a generous amount of spending money to ensure he and a friend enjoy their prize. Adam Bullion, GM of Marketing at InfoTrack comments “We’re thrilled to announce the winner of our Australia Prize draw. As with our previous
winners, I have no doubt Mark and his plus one will have an incredible experience in Australia. Growth in the promotion’s popularity has been evidenced with entries tripling this year. We’re happy to announce we’ll be giving another lucky winner the chance to head to Australia in 2020, when we launch the promotion once again later this year.” Mark says “I was certainly over the moon but also speechless as it took most of the day to sink in. It was just an unreal feeling of elation and wow! I’m looking forward to seeing Sydney and its famous icons like the Sydney Harbour bridge and the Opera House.” ■
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Council Members & Sub-Committees
Jeffrey Forrest Jeffrey is a law graduate of the London School of Economics. He was admitted as a solicitor in 1975 in England & Wales. He has also been admitted in Ireland.
e has been a Council member of the Law Society of England & Wales since 2005, representing the City of Westminster.
He is a trustee of the Access to Justice Foundation and an elected Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts (FRSA). He has many international legal connections and is a quondam Member of the Council of the Commonwealth Lawyers Associate Member of the American Bar Association and a member of ABA’s International Section. He is also a member of the Society of English & American Lawyers and the British Italian Legal Association. Jeffrey has a particular interest in corporate in social responsibility issues and pro bono activity and in 2005 he was the first recipient of the Solicitors Pro Bono Group (now Law Works) Award for an individual. He speaks French and is currently working on improving his Spanish. He has considerable general legal experience, including property law, employment matters, matrimonial disputes and general litigation. Jeffrey was the President of the CWHLS (City of Westminster and Holborn Law Society) in 2004-2005, he was a member of the Society’s Professional Matters Sub-Committee and also the Chair of the Society’s International Sub-Committee. He was one of the founders of the Columbia Caravana and a trustee of the Caravana charity. ■
Shaila Pal - Chair of the Pro-Bono Sub-Committee Shaila is the Acting Director & Supervising Solicitor at King’s Legal Clinic, Dickson Poon School of Law, King’s College.
he trained at Deighton Gudella (now Deighton Pierce Glynn) and then worked for a number of years as a solicitor practising in immigration, human rights and public law. Shaila has worked for a number of not for profit organisations, including Refugee Migrant Justice and Hammersmith and Fulham Law Centre (‘HFLC’). She then moved into the world of legal education, she worked at BPP Law School where she was the National Immigration Law and Clinical Legal Education Module Leader on the Legal Practice Course and the LLM in Legal Practice. Whilst at BPP Shaila also worked as a supervising solicitor in the Pro Bono Centre. Shaila is a member of the Anti Trafficking Legal Project which is a network of lawyers and organisations which represent, support and highlight issues facing victims of trafficking and vulnerable people. She was also a member of the management committee at HFLC for a number of years. ■
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Civil Litigation Sub-Committee Many thanks to Shams Rahman who has chaired our Civil Litigation sub-committee for many years and we certainly hope continues to be active in the Society.
hams joined Edwin Coe as a partner in the Litigation & Dispute Resolution team in September 2014, specialising in commercial and property related litigation. Shams’ expertise extends to all forms of property contracts, partnership, company, shareholders and building disputes, consumer law regulation, and all aspects of commercial and residential landlord and tenant disputes. Shams has extensive experience in acting for commercial and private clients in the UK and abroad, and is experienced in using alternative dispute resolution methods where appropriate to achieve the best results for his clients, including commercial mediation and arbitration. Shams said “It has been a privilege and pleasure to have led the Society’s Civil Litigation sub-committee. I would like to take this opportunity to thank my fellow committee members for their willingness to serve this organisation and I wish my successor, Ben Longworth and the Society every success and ongoing support.” ■
Ben Longworth Ben is a partner in the Disputes department at Farrer & Co. He trained at Farrers and was promoted to the partnership in May 2018.
en is a commercial litigator with a broad practice advising private businesses and high net worth individuals on contentious matters including contract disputes, shareholder disputes, professional negligence claims, civil fraud claims and post-M&A disputes. He has a particular interest in High Court employment litigation involving allegations of breaches of restrictive covenants and misuse of confidential information, including making and defending applications for injunctive relief. Ben also has a busy practice advising independent schools on contractual disputes with suppliers and parent disputes and on responding to claims arising out of allegations of recent and nonrecent sexual abuse. Ben said “I am very excited to be taking on this role and I look forward to meeting many more of my fellow litigators in Westminster and Holborn in the coming months.” Any members who would like to join the Civil Litigation sub-committee are invited to contact Ben directly at Ben.Longworth@farrer.co.uk
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“The Rise of the Solicitors” …Just a Thought! Phillip Taylor MBE reviews this year’s Bar and Young Bar Conferences 2018
o questions about it, of the many themes at this year’s Conferences, at the centre lurked the rise of the solicitor as both lawyer and advocate- to compliment the senior branch of the legal profession, of course.
give us a little bit of extra money for legal aid to help the Young Bar, but not a lot if one is charitable. Of the 150 or so attendees there was not much to smile about including these Treasury crumbs of comfort although the Gauke money made that day’s press headlines.
Themed as “All Bar None: Access… Development… Diversification”, the topics indicated current content and the approach of the Bar Council to our professional issues - the speeches were all good. Both events took place at the Connaught Rooms in London at the end of November 2018 to a well-attended, polite and receptive audience.
The stands were a bit thinner this time round, but it’s always good to see OUP and LexisNexis exhibiting new books and journals. Inner Temple maintained their excellent public relations record with their record on scholarships at their stand.
The main Conference was chaired by Lucinda Orr who began proceedings introducing Andrew Walker QC, Chair of the Bar of England and Wales, for his annual address. As with all the main speakers, the speeches are available on the web, so this review looks at what the event achieved this year. Walker’s speech condensed much of what he has said throughout his year which has been quite successful for him and his team at a difficult time. Our keynote speaker was Lord Sumption, just before retirement. He gave an illuminating biography of his early years at the Bar, saying “I wish that I could say that I became a lawyer out of a burning desire to right the injustices of the world and help my fellow citizens”. He went on “There are lawyers who can honestly say that, and I take my hat off to them. My own motives were more mixed, more mundane and perhaps more typical. Top of the list, I am ashamed to admit, was money”. So, let’s get straight to the real theme because he was followed by several ex-solicitors whose contributions were illuminating. We are noticing changes in way solicitors now work, by the advice they offer today as the lawyers whom clients first meet. The most revealing (and political) speech was delivered by Shami Chakrabarti, Shadow Attorney General (and ex solicitor). She set out some policy objectives for the next Labour government including a sustained attack on the way barristers are trained through the vocational course “racket” as she called it, to some applause which was generally muted throughout the day. David Gauke, Lord Chancellor (and ex solicitor), who couldn’t stay long with us, like Shami, gave us a very civil service speech. Probably it was more relevant to solicitors, but he did announce that he was to
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What are called “break-out” sessions were all well attended in generally an even split of those attending what are, effectively, specialist areas to cater for what the Bar now does as highly specialist lawyers. The Attorney General, Geoffrey “The Voice” Cox, gave a particularly delightful speech ticking all boxes on either side of the Brexit divide, and he never disappoints - he remains very much “our practitioner politician” when so many at the Bar leave once they reach Westminster. The afternoon is always tiring but no-one was asleep – there was no booze this year! But that did not make much difference as the subject-matter of the sessions, as always, is so relevant to our practices. The final discussion session reverted to our solicitor theme once more with contributions from Lord Justice Hickinbottom, HHJ Anne Molyneux MBE and Jonathan Ames from our sponsors “The Times”. It did sum up what we saw as a modest recognition that the Bar is changing, not just technologically, but practically in front of us. The role of the solicitor, and the Bar’s direct access continue to impact slowly for an altered client-base who seek different things in future. Whether that is with solicitors or barristers in the changed legal aid world we will wait to see. Do come next year and see what we get up to post-Brexit in a changed world! ■
Phillip Taylor MBE
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Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) prosecution against employee in the Motor Industry
owards the end of last year at Wood Green Crown Court a motor industry employee was sentenced to six months in prison in the first prosecution to be brought by the Information Commissioner’s Office under legislation which carries a potential prison sentence. The defendant had pleaded guilty to a charge of securing unauthorised access to personal data between 13 January 2016 and 19 October 2016. Mustafa Kasim, who worked for accident repair firm Nationwide Accident Repair Services (NARS), accessed thousands of customer records containing personal data without permission, using his colleagues’ log-in details to access a software system that estimates the cost of vehicle repairs, known as Audatex. He continued to do this after he started a new job at a different car repair organisation which used the same software system. The records contained customers’ names, phone numbers, vehicle and accident information.
NARS contacted the ICO when they saw an increase in customer complaints about nuisance calls and assisted the ICO with their investigation. The interesting aspect of this case is that the ICO usually prosecutes cases under the Data Protection legislation. However, it can prosecute under other legislation - in this case s.1 of the Computer Misuse Act 1990 - to essentially secure that a conviction would have a long jail sentence. The message from the ICO is that they are not going to be shy about seeking prosecutions where there is evidence to do so. Confiscation proceedings under the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002 have been commenced and are continuing against the convicted ex-employee. The Data Protection Act 2018 contains a number of criminal offences, including the unlawful obtaining of personal data, and the alteration of personal data to prevent disclosure to a data subject (in response to a data subject request). At present, the maximum penalty which can be imposed for either criminal or civil breaches under the Act is a fine. Despite historic attempts by the ICO to lobby government, there are currently no custodial sentencing powers for data misuse offences.
For employers, it is increasingly important to have in place even tighter controls and restrictions on personal data processed by employees. On a practical level this could include the increased use of passwords, stringent records of access, or data misuse policies and confidential information provisions to act at the very least as a deterrent. Appropriate staff training will be a key in ensuring that employees fully understand the do’s and don’ts. All such measures will help satisfy the ICO and any court that the employer has appropriate technical and organisational measures in place to help prevent the unlawful use of data and to prevent or limit any of the employer’s potential liability in the event of a breach. Employers should seek assurances from new recruits that they have not sought to access systems of their former employer, or taken confidential information/data belonging to their former employer or former clients, and consider updating their contracts and policies accordingly. ■
Steen Rosenfalck Senior Partner and Head of Commercial Team ebl miller rosenfalck
The Government is to restrict the availability of Capital Gains Tax relief for principal private residences from April 2020 In this year's Budget, the Government has introduced changes to two ancillary reliefs from Capital Gains Tax (‘CGT’) in relation to an individual's principal residence, which will apply from 6th April 2020 and are likely to affect those letting out a property that used to be their main residence.
he Government has stated that the purpose of these changes is to try to ensure Principal Private Residence Relief ('PPR') is available mainly to owners who have occupied a property throughout their period of ownership, but the changes are likely to have an impact on a number of people, including those who are finding it difficult to sell a property, those who have relocated for work or other reasons, and couples who have separated, as well as some landlords. When an individual sells his or her main residence, he or she does not have to pay CGT on any gain made because of PPR. At the moment, PPR is also available where a property is being let for part of its period of ownership, by reason of two ancillary reliefs: • Individuals are given an additional period of exemption from CGT for the final 18 months of ownership; and • Individuals can claim lettings relief, which provides up to £40,000 of relief from gains (or £80,000 for couples who own together) made on a property that used to be their main residence. From April 2020, the final period of exemption will be further reduced from 18 months to 9 months, which the Government claims is twice the length of the average property transaction, and so should give more than enough time to make full use of
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the exemption (please note that the period of exemption will remain 36 months only for individuals who are disabled, or who have moved into a care home). Before 2014 the final period of exemption was 36 months, and this was reduced to the current 18 months in April 2014. Bearing in mind the current uncertainties surrounding Brexit, this further change to the period does not seem to take into account that it may take much longer than 9 months to find a buyer, particularly at the top end of the market. Also from April 2020, lettings relief will only be available where the individual is sharing occupation of their main residence with a tenant. This means that the relief will only be available to a very small proportion of landlords – who may have been able to benefit from PPR in any case, as is the case now in shared occupation situations. The Government will consult on these changes, although no details of the consultation have been published yet. If the changes are introduced, those who are letting a property which used to be their main residence should seek advice to assess the likely effect of the changes on any capital gains tax bill when they come to sell. ■
Vanina Wittenburg Associate, Hunters
Header International Articles
Ebl miller rosenfalck welcomes delegation of lawyers/arbitrators and academics from the People’s Republic of China The partners of ebl miller rosenfalck were delighted to host a delegation of talented lawyers, arbitrators and academics from China, who were attending an executive course at the University of Law.
he delegation were given a private tour of the Karl Marx Memorial library which is in Clerkenwell Green - just across the road from our office. Lydia Gu presented in Mandarin about our growing China desk, and how we continue to be instructed by large Chinese organisations and businesses who are expanding to the UK, and mainland Europe. Our senior partner, Steen Rosenfalck, gave a thought provoking talk about Brexit and the many benefits of doing business in the UK.
We were also honoured to welcome a guest speaker Miss Winnie Cao (曹锦玥), who is a Director of Blick Rothenberg, and leads the China Business Group of Blick Rothenberg.
Photo: Miss Winnie Cao
We are grateful to the good people at the University of Law and the Holborn and Westminster Law Society for the kind introduction to this talented delegation. Thank you. ■
EUROPE IS STILL OUR OYSTER! The sounds of glorious music filled the Temple Church on 19 October as the choir of the Milan Bar, the Corale Polifonico Nazariana Milano, sang Puccini’s Messa di Gloria.
he fifty strong choir of judges and lawyers celebrated its 30th Anniversary with Westminster & Holborn Law Society in London. WHLS filled the church with members, family and friends. We were privileged to hear the Kyrie, Gloria, Credo, Santus Benedictus and the Agnus Dei, with the chamber orchestra, Vittorio Bachelet. The choir included tenor, Giuseppe Bellanea and baritone, Davide Pelissero. Afterwards the choir invited everyone for drinks in the Inner Temple, a short walk across the quadrangle from the church. It was a most memorable end to the evening, with speeches given by President Coral Hill and the Dean of the Milan Bar, Remo Danovi, together with the Joint President of the Milan Bar International Committee, Pietro Traini and the Director of the Milan Choir, Judge Dr Lucio Nardi. Remarkable for the friendly and informal occasion was the fact that the speakers climbed on chairs to give their speeches. Earlier in the day WHLS hosted a seminar in the Law Society on Brexit and other important topics for the Bilbao Bar and WHLS. David Greene, Deputy Vice President of the Law Society, WHLS member and Senior Partner at Edwin Coe gave an update on Brexit and the future of legal services. Pietro Traini, Joint President of the Milan Bar International Committee awarded medals to Coral Hill, Sara Chandler, and Jeffrey Forrest as a Memorandum of Understanding was signed to bring our lawyers together in a twinning partnership. There are a number of benefits of the twinning. There are various networking occasions WHLS members may like to attend, including the Opening of the Legal Year in Milan, which is a splendid event, held in January each year. There is usually an international conference among the January events, as well as an international conference usually held in September. WHLS has been present with a speaker in the international conferences for the last four years, represented by Sara Chandler in her role with the Federation of European Bar Associations. This January WHLS will be represented by Carolina Marín Pedreño from Dawson
Photo: Sara Chandler with members of the Milan Bar
Cornwell, WHLS Senior Vice President and Jeffrey Forrest, International Sub-Committee Chair. On 7 November WHLS hosted a visit from two members of the Bilbao Bar, including the President of the International Committee. Ignacia Delgado, and Aitzol Asla, who deputised for the Dean of The Bilbao Bar, Carlos Fuentenbro. They were greeted by incoming President Laura Uberoi and Chair of WHLS International Sub-Committee, Jeffrey Forrest. A twinning agreement was signed over lunch in the offices of Farrer & Co. In the evening our guests attended the annual dinner of WHLS which this year was held with the South London Law Society. WHLS is invited in June to visit Bilbao for the annual Bilbao Bar lunch, which is attended by various international delegates, and includes an international seminar. The Bilbao Bar organise a social programme as well including trips on the river and to interesting tourist sites such as the city of Guernica. Junior lawyers get a special benefit from twinning as they are able to apply for internships in Milan, Bilbao or indeed Barcelona. In return WHLS welcomes firms who would like to host a junior lawyer from our international twinning partners. Interested firms should contact the President. Another Bar with which WHLS is twinned is Barcelona. Coming up in February, from the 15th to the 16th is the Festival of San Raimon de Pennyafort. This is an event which includes a formal ceremony, awards, the Bar Choir, and an international seminar run by the FBE. There is also an international brunch on Saturday, 16th which last year included the ABA, UIA, CCBE and AIJA and the FBE. It’s time to find out what all these initials stand for. Interested? - please contact the WHLS Secretary, email@example.com ■
Professor Sara Chandler QC (Hon) Past President CWHLS.
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Trial Observation in Turkey On 15 December 2018, members of the Human Rights Commission of the Federation of the European Bars (FBE) met in the fascinating setting of Bilbao, hosted by the Bar Association of Bizkaia (Ilustre Colegio de le Abogacía de Bizkaia) to discuss developments and opportunities for trial observation in Turkey. The Importance of Trial Observation: Some Lessons from Turkey On 15 December 2018, members of the Human Rights Commission of the Federation of the European Bars (FBE) met in the fascinating setting of Bilbao, hosted by the Bar Association of Bizkaia (Ilustre Colegio de le Abogacía de Bizkaia) to discuss developments and opportunities for trial observation in Turkey. The meeting, which represented an excellent opportunity for British lawyers to strengthen ties with their counterparts from Spain, Italy, Poland, Bulgaria, the Netherlands and Turkey itself, shed light on the political situation in Turkey since the failed coup during the summer of 2016 and its impact on human rights and the rule of law throughout the country. It also provided an insight into the challenges of conducting trial observation in Turkey and focused on some emblematic cases.
The Turkish context – The coup d’état and its aftermath Since 15 July 2016, when an attempted coup aimed at overthrowing Turkish President Erdoğan failed, the rule of law in Turkey has been incrementally eroded. Just a few days after the attempted coup, Erdoğan declared a state of emergency, which allowed his cabinet to pass emergency legislation and to claim extraordinary emergency powers. Purges against military personnel considered hostile to the Government were immediately started. But while the state of emergency officially ended a few months later, Erdoğan and his cabinet have de facto retained their powers. The «Ausnahmezustand» (the state of exception, in Carl Schmitt’s theory) has become the new normal. So have laws increasingly restricting the spaces for opposition and dissent.
Crackdown on political opposition and lawyers In the midst of this crisis, the Government cracked down on Turkish lawyers and jurists. Shortly after the coup, over two thousand magistrates were removed from their post and two judges of the Constitutional Court were arrested on suspicion of being linked to Fethullah Gülen, considered by Erdoğan to be the mastermind behind the failed coup. Investigations and prosecutions of suspects are conducted with no regard for the most basic principles of due process: suspects are kept in long periods of pre-trial detention; the evidence against them is often weak and kept secret; they are not informed about their rights; and their right to defence is severely hindered.
Challenges faced by Turkish lawyers Turkish attorneys, especially those involved in the defence of individuals or organisations suspected of or known for opposing the policies of the Government, have experienced severe restrictions on their ability to defend their clients. The police, entrusted with extraordinary powers, regularly raids law offices by breaking in at night and confiscating files in utter disregard for the attorney-client privilege; phone calls are monitored; defence lawyers do not receive information about their clients; meetings with clients in custody are often monitored or take place in the presence of prison staff. As if that wasn’t enough, defence lawyers are often identified with their clients’ cases. A domino effect ensues, whereby lawyers of individuals suspected or accused of unlawful political activities are themselves regarded as associated with the same political ideas. And so do lawyers who agree to defend their colleagues who stand accused of participating in allegedly unlawful political activities. As a result, there is a shortage of lawyers wishing to take on this risky job.
Emblematic cases and the importance of trial observation We heard from Nardy Desloover, a Dutch lawyer based in Rotterdam, about the importance of trial observation as a way to provide international oversight and ensure that due process rights are respected throughout the legal proceedings. While neutrality is a cardinal principle in the conduct of trial observation, it is important to use this means as a way to stand by and support lawyers who are persecuted because of their clients’ political affiliation or ideas.
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For example, we heard about the ‘KCK trial’, which concerned 45 Kurdish lawyers who defended Abdullah Öcalan. They were arrested in 2007 and were detained in 2011 for up to two and a half years. Their trial, during which their passports were confiscated, and they were required to periodically report to the police, is still ongoing, Different prosecutors and judges have been reassigned to the case. Some of them were even detained on suspicion of sympathising with the 45 lawyers. We learnt about the case of Mustafa Aydin, an Istanbul-based lawyer considered a Gülen sympathiser and who investigated Erdoğan’s son. Diagnosed with cancer and hernia, he was not treated while in detention. It was only thanks to intense campaigning efforts by CCBE that he was finally released. However, since he was released, he has been severely ostracised. Other emblematic cases we discussed were ‘the Presidents case’, which involved alleged interferences with the Istanbul Bar internal policies and the arrest and subsequent prosecution of its President and other lawyers, and the ‘EHB case’, which involved the detention of some lawyers who represented the families of some individuals who joined the fight against ISIS in Syria.
Trial observation in Turkey Conducting trial observation in Turkey poses several logistical and substantive challenges. Nardy Desloover provided an insight into his experience as an experienced trial observer. It requires thorough preparation before travelling to the country, in particular the study of the case. This may be facilitated by establishing contacts with local organisations to understand the facts. An in-country network of contacts is essential to understanding the context and the functioning of the system. International observers must be prepared to exhibit lawyers passes in court (for example, those provided by CCBE) in order to gain swift access of the court premises. Once in, they must abide at all times by the court rules. Their role is that of an independent observer. Trials in Turkey are often unpredictable and chaotic. Prosecutors tend to be passive and, often, judges do not pay attention to the defence lawyers’ arguments. The decision is reached hastily and with little deliberation. We focused on the importance of reporting and following up of the final reports. This may be more efficiently done in coordination between the different bar associations. Effective reporting may also facilitate future fundraising initiatives and provide useful guidance for new participants in future delegations. It is essential to disseminate the findings also within international and European human rights official circles. The Universal Periodic Review (UPR), held by the UN Human Rights Council, the Council of Europe and the European Parliament may be privileged mechanisms with whom to share the findings. Equally important is to develop a strategy to disseminate the report within states, especially those from which delegations participated in the trial observation.
Conclusion Trial observation constitutes a powerful tool to ensure that legal proceedings are conducted according to the basic principles of due process. In a context where the rule of law is eroded daily, international oversight is essential. Not only it provides a window on the way justice is delivered domestically, but it also supports the function of lawyers by ensuring that they can do their job effectively and without fear to intimidation or harassment. Turkish lawyers have so far proven essential to preserving what remains of the rule of law in Turkey and it is essential that they can continue to do so in the future. Partnerships such as those offered by FBE are important to ensure that international monitoring and solidarity are organised effectively and to exchange best practices in initiatives such as trial observation. On top of that, it offers an invaluable opportunity to travel to some of the most beautiful cities in Europe and to participate in cultural and professional exchanges that can only enhance the international and domestic outlook of any lawyer. ■
Brexit – what we can learn from the film Speed and the perils of prediction Preparing an article about Brexit in mid-January 2019 is like submitting a review of the film Speed half way through a screening. You have been told that there is specific time when the film should end (1 hr 56 minutes for any film nerds out there) as there is a fixed date for when Brexit is scheduled to happen (11pm, GMT, on Friday 29 March 2019); but you are still unsure of how the drama may end. Photo: Philip Henson
6. Seek an extension of Article 50 and set out the timescale for a general ike the classic action film, the Brexit drama continues at fast past, election when each party will set out (if they are able to do so) their but with some very British quirks – votes of no confidence, manifesto pledges on Brexit beforehand. contempt of Parliament. Observers are not sure if the Brexit bus will continue travelling perilously at 50 mph, if an economic bomb could 7. Seek an extension of Article 50, take part in the EU elections, and seek explode; and occasionally wonder who is driving the bus. Choices had to elect MEP’s who are passionate and talented, who would have the to be made quickly and balanced against the potential losses – the power to influence EU policy, and to represent the UK fully in the EU, and people on the bus, and the impact on the community. There is no time if mandated to do so, seek to make changes from within. for reflection – or rest - if you have to keep travelling at the same speed. A modest extension of time to just before the EU elections in May 2019 In the same vein there is no time to carry out a meaningful consultation might be acceptable to our European counterparts (and can be spun to with all political parties – or your constituents - with just 30 odd sitting the domestic audience as a required step, or part of a compromise to days until Brexit day. seek consensus); but in Europe there will be little appetite to extend it It is plain as a pike staff that there is not enough time before Brexit Day to further. Even if that modest extension was agreed would that be enough consult on alternatives to the Prime Minister’s proposals. There is also not time – politicians have to take holidays too, and some have second jobs enough time to pass the estimated 800 statutory instruments before 29 and businesses to look after? March 2019. It has also been announced that there are no other trade Would we not be better – and I am sticking my neck out here – by deals on the horizon (it seems it’s not as easy as some politicians seeking broad consensus to revoke Article 50 before Brexit day and then thought). Like the government’s new found passion for buying freezers enter into a comprehensive consultation with each community (especially and chartering ferries, many of our clients are spending money planning our friends in Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland around the for a possibility which should not really be on the table at all – hard Brexit. border issue and our commitments to the Good Friday Agreement) European politicians also read British newspapers and watch UK media looking at each aspect of how we are intertwined with the EU, and the as well, so we trying to play a game of chicken is not necessary. Hard benefits/disadvantages of that relationship, and then review the Brexit Brexit is the default – and on the statute books – on Brexit day. question again. Revoking Article 50 could be a way to let the nation come So what do we do? Put our hands over our eyes, and hope that together in a measured way, and to listen to and seek to understand the everything is ok, or do we just be honest with everyone about the other person’s concerns with sensitivity. timescales. There was not enough planning or consultation at an early Whilst that suggestion will be frustrating to a great many people on both stage on what Brexit means (I hope that is not too controversial!), and sides of the English Channel, would it not be preferable to the continuing there is not enough time to iterate that now – let alone feed all the uncertainty, animosity, and in some corners sheer bubbling vitriol. It would unicorns that are running around. So, as I see it, we broadly have 7 also allow each side (and the various off shoot factions) of the debate choices, and in the same way that I suggest a range of restaurants for time to reflect, and set out their plan/vision for Brexit and if they don’t dinner, at least one of the following options is a fake option. have a plan to seek a cross party plan. 1. Chunter along (whistling Monty Pythons’ “always look on the bright Let’s not forget – seeking a tenuous loop back to my opening paragraph side of life”, or bellowing “get on with it”, (whatever “it” is)) and waste - that despite some stellar performances Speed was up against Forrest time until Brexit day and then see if hard Brexit is made of granite, Gump at the 1995 Oscars and it did not win an Oscar for best film or chalk or water. best actor in a leading or supporting. But it did win the coveted Oscars 2. Wait to see if anyone in Europe has the audacity/good idea for both best Sound mixing and best sound editing. You will, of course, [depending upon your point of view] to offer a solution to our very all remember that there was a sequel - Speed 2. Cruise Control - but British problem. Keanu Reeves was not involved in the project; deciding instead to go on tour with his band called Dogstar. 3. Knock around a few ideas about different models – Norway Minus, Canada plus plus plus – and lament the lack of time and ponder if We may also find that more of the original members of the Brexit cast, only we had more time then we could have solved this conundrum. who have not already resigned, are not involved in the next stage of the Brexit journey. If “Brexit 2 – which way now” – makes it to the silver screen 4. Ask for more time – either by asking to extend Article 50, or by then we may find that many of the key actors have decided not to be unilaterally revoking it. On the latter point, guidance from the Court of Justice in the Wightman attached to that project, or they have moved on to new opportunities in the private sector or been elevated to the House of Lords. ■ case (handed down on 10 December 2018) provides that any revocation must be “Unequivocal and unconditional, that is to say that the purpose of that revocation is to confirm the EU membership of the Philip Henson Member State concerned under terms that are unchanged as regards Partner - Head of Employment Team and China Desk, its status as a Member State, and that revocation brings the ebl miller rosenfalck. withdrawal procedure to an end”. 5. Seek an extension of Article 50 and set out the timescale for a second referendum on Brexit, with a consultation on what the questions should be.
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JLD (Junior Lawyers Division)
Junior Lawyers Division Committee Profiles Daniel Watson Chair Daniel is a Private Client solicitor at Hunters incorporating May, May & Merrimans, having trained with the firm and qualified in November 2017. His practice covers wills, tax and estate planning, trusts, powers of attorney, and probate and administration of estates. Daniel took up the role of Chair of the WHLS Junior Lawyers Division in January 2018. He is also an active member of the Franco-British Lawyers Society and the British Institute of International and Comparative Law Alumni Network.
Suzanna Eames Vice-Chair Suzanna is an Associate in Farrer & Co’s Family team who works across all areas of private family law. Having qualified as a barrister before converting to become a solicitor, Suzanna has a unique insight into the legal profession as a whole. Suzanna took up the role of Vice-Chair of the WHLS Junior Lawyers Division in January 2019 and also organises Farrer & Co’s Corporate Social Responsibility.
Olivia Longrigg Educational Events Olivia read Theology and German at the University of Leeds and spent a year of her degree working as a language assistant for British Council at two secondary schools in Rheinland-Pfalz, Germany. After passing the GDL with a commendation, Olivia achieved a distinction in the Legal Practice Course and LLM in Family Law at the University of Law. After completing the LPC, Olivia joined family law firm Dawson Cornwell as a trainee in September 2017. Olivia is delighted to be part of the JLD sub-committee as one of its educational representatives and is very much looking forward to working with the rest of the team. Olivia is a member of the Westminster and Holborn Law Society.
Rowan Cope Educational Events Rowan is a trainee solicitor at Farrer & Co. currently sitting in the Contentious Trusts department. Before transitioning into law she was an auctioneer, first in Cornwall and then at Sotheby’s in London. Rowan is a Committee Member of the Junior Lawyers Division, and took up the role of Educational Events in January 2019.
Katjana Cleasby Social Media/Social Events After completing her undergraduate degree in History and Portuguese and Brazilian Studies at King’s College London, Katjana worked as a legal administrator in the real estate department at Bircham Dyson Bell. Katjana Cleasby is now a second year trainee solicitor at Farrer & Co LLP sitting in the disputes department. She is currently engaged in a variety of pro bono initiatives with the firm including volunteering at the Mary Ward Legal Centre.
Leah Caprani Sponsorship Leah read Law with Hispanic Law at UCL and spent a year of her degree studying Spanish Law at Universidad Carlos III Madrid. After completing the LPC at the University of Law, Leah embarked on two solo worldwide backpacking trips before joining her current firm. Leah is now a paralegal in Winckworth Sherwood LLP’s Employment team and a member of firm’s Social and Corporate Social Responsibility Committees coordinating monthly Family Law, Employment Law and Rent Arrear Clinics at Citizens Advice Southwark in addition to various social events throughout the year. In addition to her role as Sponsor Officer on the WHLS JLD Committee, Leah is an Executive Committee member of Junior Lawyers Division of the Law Society and part of the AGCAS Legal Profession Task Group.
Vanina Wittenburg International Vanina is an associate in the Private Client Department at Hunters incorporating May, May & Merrimans, having joined the firm in October 2018. Before this she trained and qualified with Veale Wasbrough Vizards on Fetter Lane, and so has spent her whole legal career to date in the Chancery Lane area, which she loves (as much for the beautiful architecture as for the great lunch options). Vanina undertakes a wide range of private client work, including drafting wills and trust documents, the preparation and registration of lasting powers of attorney, the administration of estates and trusts, and providing tax and estate planning advice. Vanina is Italian, and lived in Italy, France and Indonesia before settling in the UK. At weekends she can be found trying new restaurants, finding new bookshops or tending to her plants (indoors and outdoors).
Louise Garrett Pro Bono Louise is a fourth seat Trainee at Hunters incorporating May, May & Merrimans soon to qualify into the firm's Private Client team. Louise took up the newly launched role of representative for the CSR & Pro Bono of the WHLS Junior Lawyers Division in January 2019.
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JLD (Junior Lawyers Division)
Shared Parental Leave: A one-way ticket to a more diverse workforce
Photo: Zainab Hakim
Shared Parental Leave Regulations in 2015
Good for businesses and babies
Prior to the implementation of the Shared Parental Leave Regulations in 2015, the disparity between the 52 weeks of maternity leave offered to new mothers and the 2 weeks of paternity leave offered to new fathers quite purposefully conferred responsibility for childcare on to one parent. The regulations offered fanciful dreams of finally reversing this status quo. However, in February 2018, the Department of Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy reported that from the 285,000 couples who are eligible to take shared parental leave (SPL) each year, it estimated the take up to be only around 2%. Why haven’t parents in the UK embraced this scheme? If you have not, as the pitiful engagement would suggest, heard of SPL, in a nutshell, the scheme enables eligible parents to share care for their child in its first year. The parent who qualifies for maternity or adoption entitlement is able to turn up to 50 weeks of leave which they do not intend to use, into SPL which both parents can share (subject to meeting eligibility requirements). Of the 50 weeks of leave, 37 weeks is paid at the current rate of £145.18 a week or 90% of an employee’s average weekly earnings, whichever is lower. The SPL scheme is open to an employee who shares childcare responsibility regardless of gender, sexual orientation or how they became a parent (birth, adoption or surrogacy).
Although some businesses may offer enhanced maternity leave packages, many do not offer the same for SPL. In the 2016 case of Snell v Network Rail, where Mr and Mrs Snell both worked for the respondent, Mr Snell was awarded £28,321 in an indirect sex discrimination case where the respondent would only pay him statutory parental pay for his portion of the leave whilst his wife received an enhanced package. In the more recent April 2018 case of Ali v Capital Customer Management, the Employment Appeal Tribunal reversed this decision and found that it is not discriminatory to refuse a new father enhanced pay while on shared parental leave where women are given enhanced maternity pay. The judge found that the employment tribunal had failed to consider the purpose of paid maternity leave when it came to its decision and determined that it was not discriminatory to refuse a father the same rights as a new mother after the birth of a child. The decision over who takes childcare responsibilities is more often than not, a financial one. If a new mother receives an enhanced maternity package, whereas new parents would only receive a capped statutory minimum through the SPL scheme, and money is an issue, the decision over which leave a couple should opt for is that much simpler. Companies implementing an effective and successful SPL policy, one in line with the perks of their maternity policy, makes business sense. The diversity of our workforce at all levels of seniority is essential to business development in an increasingly globalised world. Although the legislation is a minefield, companies should have clear policies available for their employees and have open and frank conversations about what can be done to accommodate parents who want to take part in this scheme. Fair policies will remove barriers to career progression and create a diverse and inclusive working culture. Businesses who do this right, will be able to retain talent and attract the brightest and the best. Women may start earning more as a result of less disruption to their careers instead of having their earning capacity irrevocably dented by taking maternity leave. Childcare will become a gender-neutral issue. Children will have strong bonds from an early age with both of their parents. This sounds like a win for businesses, a win for parents and a win for babies. ■
Shifting status quo This kind of policy has been successfully implemented in other countries. The Swedish government first introduced SPL in 1974. In Sweden both parents are entitled to 480 days of paid parental leave at about 80% of their salary (with a cap), and both parents must share the leave i.e. Swedish dads must take at least some of those 16 months and the days do not expire until the child is 8 years old. The question for fathers in Sweden is not “will I take leave to care for my child?” but “how long will I take?” The Swedes pay a high tax rate to subsidise this generous policy. Since 19 November 2017, Aviva has offered up to one year of leave, of which 26 weeks’ is at full basic pay for each parent employed by the company within the first 12 months of a child’s arrival. This applies to all UK employees with no eligibility criteria. As a result, almost every new dad employed by Aviva in the UK has opted to take more than the statutory two weeks of paid paternity leave, with 67% of eligible fathers choosing to take six months off work and 95% taking more than a fortnight. In the UK, around 500 people have used the policy offered by Aviva, including more than 220 men. Similarly generous schemes have been adopted by companies such as Netflix, Accenture and Etsy and are being utilised by their employees. Speaking to my peers, it is evident to me that attitudes towards gender roles when it comes to childcare responsibilities are significantly shifting in the UK. An image of Daniel Craig carrying his daughter in a papoose was tweeted by Piers Morgan in October 2018 with the hashtag “#emasculatedBond”. This was met with scathing criticism, culminating with many fathers posting pictures to Piers of them carrying their child in a baby carrier and questioning his idea of what “masculinity” is. So if, unsurprisingly, new dads do care about their kids and do want to take on childcare responsibilities, why is the SPL scheme not being used more widely?
Zainab Hakim Trainee Solicitor, Jones Chase Employment Lawyers
CENTRAL LONDON LAWYER 21
Why we don’t require you to carry out any property inspections…
ue to the particularly niche nature of our insurance, we’re aware that our customers do not always know the full extent of the information regarding the property - particularly as solicitors, executors, attorneys or deputies. As such, we have created our product with ease of use in mind, with just four questions being asked about the property to be covered: Photo: Wayne Shinn
Our product is designed so that it’s easier for solicitors and executors to insure unoccupied properties on behalf of their clients. It’s also suitable for clients to insure their homes through us directly when moving into care or back in with family members.
• Postcode • Approximate year of construction • Number of bedrooms • Type of property (closest match) We’re different from many other unoccupied home insurance providers, in that we don’t require any proof of inspections to provide cover for a property. It can be highly inconvenient to have to return periodically to a property, particularly when, as the solicitor or executor, you may not be located near to the property being covered, or have to arrange for someone else to carry out the inspections. Many standard home insurance policies will cover the property for around 30 to 60 days before the cover becomes void or reduced. As
our product is designed for properties that may be unoccupied for longer periods of time, the cover can last for 3, 6, 9 or 12 months, whichever is most suitable. With this in mind, we felt it was unnecessary to ask our customers to keep checking back to the property - particularly at a time when they’ve got much bigger concerns on their minds, such as moving a beloved family member into care, or during probate. Not requiring inspections simply means that more time is spent on more important things. We’re also aware that circumstances change, which is why we offer pro-rata returns on 9 and 12 month policies. As usual, terms and conditions apply, and you can find more information, including all the details of our product at: www.unoccupieddirect.co.uk. Alternatively, send an email to one of our team members, and we’ll be more than happy to help with any queries: firstname.lastname@example.org. ■
Wayne Shinn Business Development Executive
Really, the ere’s no inspection n requiremen nt With our Unoccupied d Property Insurance, w we don’t require you to visit the home - even during gw winter
VISIT www.unoccupieddirect.coo.uk 22 CENTRAL LONDON LAWYER
to use document management software Digitisation is the process of moving from “paper” to ”data”. Businesses of all types, law firms included, are embarking upon projects to introduce electronic working and achieve their paperless office goals for a whole multitude of reasons. The primary vehicle for doing so is document management software (DMS).
ake Quill’s Interactive Documents as an example of DMS software that’s been designed specifically for the legal profession. A key component of Quill’s Interactive Cloud suite, the system comprises case management and legal accounting functionality on top of document management capabilities. That means it delivers an expansive range of benefits to clients who are effectively able to implement one fully integrated, easy-to-use application to manage their entire business whilst at the same time eliminating paper-based processes. In this latest instalment of helpful tips from Quill, here are ten good reasons to choose DMS in your practice… 1. Improve efficiencies The main driver is usually wanting to work smarter and be more productive. After all, the less time you spend creating, storing, sharing and searching for documents, including sending and recovering archived files, the more time you spend earning fees. Or performing any other task pertinent to managing and growing your business. 2. Expand profits Following on nicely from #1, any DMS worth its salt allows time recording capture when producing, sending, uploading and receiving documents and correspondence. By doing so, claim back all monies due and maximise your earning potential. 3. Save money Not only can you generate more revenue, you can save money too thereby boosting your bank balance even higher into the black. With DMS, reduce your overheads by paying an affordable monthly subscription for a cloud-based set up which is £tens-of-thousands less than in-house servers, bulky storage cabinets and associated office space, and off-site archiving solutions. 4. Increase mobility By logging in via the internet, access your documents (and contacts, matters and finances!) from any place, at any time, on any device. Your staff instantly become more mobile and you establish closer links between multiple sites. 5. Collaborate better Share documents internally with a central store of everything filed according to live and complete matters. Circulate documents to third parties by utilising convert-to-PDF and zip-and-attach features. 6. Enhance accuracy Introduce business automation by setting up popular document templates, automatically populating with database content, and assigning tasks and diary notes with relevant documents for yourself and others. That way, avoid data input errors and never miss important case actions.
Photo: Julian Bryan
7. Tighten security Exploit your cloud provider’s industrial-strength security measures, ISO certifications and state-of-the-art technologies to become more resilient. Apply user authentication and role-based authorisation at application layer for even further protection. 8. Introduce business continuity If your DMS supplier has sound emergency planning and disaster recovery processes already in place, you automatically inherit these simply by becoming a client. That’s your business continuity strategy sorted. 9. Rely on on-demand support It’s naïve to assume that you’ll never suffer any technical hiccups. Even the most robust systems go awry occasionally. Technical support team working hours, out-of-hours emergency contact details and target-to-repair times will be defined in your Service Level Agreement. 10. Enjoy automatic software updates Another huge advantage of a virtual environment is the ability for software enhancements to be automatically implemented without any intervention on your part. Be confident that you’re always running the latest software release, avoiding any disruption, downtime or upgrade charges. It goes without saying that these benefits are satisfied by Interactive Documents. Quill’s DMS add-ins are the bridge that interfaces between Word and Outlook on the one hand with Interactive Cloud on the other. To put this into perspective, once an email has been initiated from a case, all subsequent emails in the conversation are automatically saved to Interactive and time is recorded without any further user intervention. Similarly, document templates can be mapped to standard and custom fields from Interactive by embedding Quill’s unique itags within the firm’s templates and precedents. And when it comes to sending documents to clients, users have the choice of using a native document format or finalising the format through conversion to PDF. As if these ten reasons aren’t incentive enough, where Quill’s concerned, there’s an additional reason… experience true one-stopshop support. You see, with Quill, as well as getting one application to cater for all your practice management requirements, outsourced services are readily available too. Select from cashiering, payroll and typing assistance for a complete back office infrastructure with one convenient point of contact for your every business need. To find out more on Quill’s Interactive Documents software, please visit www.quill.co.uk/documents, email email@example.com or call 0161 236 2910 ■
Managing Director, Quill
CENTRAL LONDON LAWYER 23
The SOLUTION to the existing Problem LAW-WHIZ is pleased to announce the launch of its custom-designed cloud based platform which is set to revolutionise the legal profession practice and the relationship between the Barrister, Solicitor and other Professionals across all common law based legal systems.
aw-Whiz is a disruptive technology- a game changer as some would call it, that challenges traditional norms of conducting business in the legal industry. Law-Whiz connects barristers with solicitors instantly in all common law countries. It also offers direct access to barristers (subject to local Bar Rules) by corporate in-house counsel, government or other agencies, insurance companies, banks and corporate accounting firms. Law-Whiz is the SOLUTION to the existing problem. This unique platform enables: • barristers to increase their revenue without marketing; • solicitors to improve work flow by readily finding available barristers with the right level of expertise and at the right time; • clerks to do their administrative tasks without the burden of finding ways to promote their barristers. Law-Whiz was created by a high-end commercial litigator, April Arslan. With over 20 years’ experience
in the legal profession, April’s vision is to “make a difference” in the way lawyers conduct business across all common law based legal systems. In commenting on the creation of Law-Whiz, April Arslan said: “It’s a solution. Barristers no longer have to chase work to increase their revenue. Solicitors don’t have to chase barristers and clerks no longer have to chase the two to connect them. “The old system of barristers, solicitors and clerks all chasing each other for briefs and client representation is a frustrating, expensive process. Someone has to wear the costs required to find appropriate barristers for the clients. “I’ve built this platform so that everything is simplified and streamlined into an efficient process for all barristers, solicitors and clerks.” ■ firstname.lastname@example.org
CENTRAL LONDON LAWYER 25
Perfect Portal provides a quotte to completion solution that can be implemented within 24-48 hrs. 59% of home movers obtain two or m more quotes when selecting a conveyancerr.. Converting the quote to sale can be faster when you can offerr full transparency of price and service at the selection stage. Perfect P Portal ortal is a market leading, eassy to use, online platform that enables firms to quote, convert, manage and communicate throughou ut the transaction. Why not find out more?
Provide transparency and win more business www w.perfectportal.co.uk/transparency 0845 556 0077
Are YOU in control of YOUR data? We are hearing from users of some legal software systems that they are unable to get a copy of their backup from their current supplier. That should set alarms bells ringing!
hatever software you use to process your records or documents, your data is just that – your data. It belongs to you. It contains your records, the result of all the work you and your staff have done. You should be able to control who can access your data, who can view your data and who can use your data. Even if it’s held on your supplier’s computer systems or in the Cloud, it still belongs to you and you should be able to control who can do anything with it. And to have a copy of it. Regularly. If you don’t have a backup of your data, what would you do if your software supplier ceased trading, discontinued support on your system or you decide to go elsewhere? How easily would you be able to get whatever records you could retrieve converted into another supplier’s format? How much work and expense would that involve for you and your staff? How would your reporting accountant react? What would the SRA do when you notified them that you were unable to access your records, either current or historical, for the statutory period?
Sad to say, we can’t determine whether the people who tell us they can’t get a copy of their data are simply being told that by a supplier who wants to be as unhelpful as possible to any customer who potentially may move away from them, or whether the supplier is actually unable to provide a copy. Either way, the business may be irretrievably damaged by the action (or inaction) of their software supplier. Our advice to all firms is to make sure you regularly receive a copy of your data and that you store the copies safely in more than one place, including off site. Make sure that you check the contract you have with your supplier and, for new software, that you are happy with all the terms of that contract before you sign or agree to it. Contact us if you would like some advice on this or to talk over your current situation. ■ email email@example.com or phone 02033 978797.
CENTRAL LONDON LAWYER 27
Land and Property
Stamp Duty Land Tax -
Are you sure you’re getting it right? The Stamp Duty Land Tax (SDLT) landscape has changed exponentially over the last five years and our experience has shown that many conveyancing firms have not kept up to date with these changes resulting in both substantial overpayments and underpayments of SDLT by their clients. This creates two main problems: 1. The legal consumers are left open to tax demands from HMRC for their underpayments together with substantial penalties and interest which arises from a lack of reasonable care in dealing with their tax affairs. The conveyancer is left open to litigation from their clients for those underpayments. 2. The conveyancers are having to foot the bill for the additional professional time taken to recover overpayments that need not have been made in the first place, and on occasion are having to claim on their PI policy as some overpayments are out of time for recovery from HMRC.
There appears to be a general lack of understanding in the profession on mixed use status, multiple dwellings relief, the 3% additional rate for second homes and the 15% rate that applies to the purchase of certain dwellings by a company. This lack of understanding can be compounded by a conveyancer’s obligations to meet the conditions detailed in paragraph 10 of the UK Finance Mortgage Lenders’ Handbook which obliges the conveyancer to fund the SDLT liability themselves in certain circumstances. This can lead to SDLT liabilities being overestimated as a self-preservation measure. Advising clients in a customer care letter that the firm “does not provide tax advice” may have been acceptable five years ago when the SDLT 1 was no more than an administrative exercise undertaken by a secretary, but this will not cut it in 2019 and beyond-there needs to be a transformation. If conveyancing firms do nothing else this year they should:
(a) not be embarrassed to ask for help on SDLT matters (b) ensure the client understands that SDLT has become very complex and is not included in the conveyancing quote but that you want to ensure they pay the correct amount (c) appoint an individual in the firm to be the go to person on SDLT matters (d) ensure the individual is at least up to date with the four areas of SDLT mentioned above (e) ensure that the individual is authorised to subcontract complex SDLT matters to a qualified and experienced tax professional outside the firm (f) subcontract the more complex SDLT matters to a tax professional outside the firm (g) sit back and relax
Stephen Griffiths Griffiths Allen Stamp Duty Advisers firstname.lastname@example.org
28 CENTRAL LONDON LAWYER
Land and Property
The misty world behind Land Registration Registration of title had as one of its purposes the move towards certainty. What is said on the title is what you need to know about the land.
or Land Registration, the misty world of what one sometimes might wish to describe as reality, should be of limited effect. Despite the aims of the Land Registration Act 2002, however, difficult cases remain. Three recent cases shed some light. The first, Sackville v Robertson  EWHC 122 (Ch), is about exercise of owner’s powers. Sections 23 and 24 of the Land Registration Act 2002 extend owner’s powers, including the power to make a disposition of any kind permitted by the general law, to a person ‘entitled to be registered as the proprietor’. In this case, the unregistered transferee sought to serve a tenant’s break notice. The landlord said service was invalid since it was the tenant who must serve. Fancourt J agreed. What mattered was the definition of tenant in the lease as including successors in title. Section 24 did not assist, just as it hadn’t in the statutory context in Pye v Stodday Land Ltd  4 WLR 168, where a notice to quit under the Agricultural Holdings Act 1986 had to be served by the legal landlord in accordance with the common law. Whatever s24 allows someone entitled to be but not yet registered to do, it isn’t to do what only a legal owner can. In Antoine v Barclays Bank  EWCA Civ 2846, the issue was whether entry of a legal charge onto a title could be removed as a mistake, when that charge was granted by a proprietor who had been registered by an order of the court obtained by reliance on forged documents. In schedule 4 of the Land Registration Act 2002, the court’s powers to alter the register include by rectification, that is an alteration correcting a mistake. ‘Mistake’ has no further definition in the 2002 Act. Its meaning has been the subject of some case law. In NRAM v Evans  1 WLR 639, Kitchin LJ referred to commentary suggesting that there was a mistake where the register showed something as a result of an act by the Registrar which he would not have done had he known the true state of affairs at the time. This description has led to a distinction being made between a void transfer and one which is voidable. If a transfer is void then the Registrar would not have registered it had he known that of the fraud. Registration would be a mistake. If, however, the transfer is voidable, but has not been avoided, at the time of its registration there is no mistake. In Antoine, the registration of the fraudster was obtained via fraud. However, unlike in a case of an application directly to the registrar, where registration would be a mistake, in this case, the fraudulent documents were relied on to obtain an order from the court an update of the register. An order of the court has to be obeyed, whatever the circumstances, until set aside. The Registrar had to register the fraudster as proprietor. He was under a duty to obey the court order. Since the registration of the fraudster was not a mistake, the
registration of the charge could not be. Though the defrauded proprietor could be returned to the register, he would take subject to the charge. The analysis in Antoine suggests an answer to the often debated question, is a charge granted by a fraudulently registered proprietor itself open to rectification, or must the defrauded proprietor take subject to the charge? The reasoning in Antoine suggests the answer is yes, though the court deliberately expressed no opinion on it. As many have argued in commentary, the fraudster once registered has owner’s powers, hence is entitled to grant the charge. The Registrar would register the charge because made by the registered proprietor. The registration of the charge would not be a mistake. The third case discusses a defence to a fraudulent registration as proprietor of an estate, reliance on adverse possession by the fraudulently registered proprietor. In Rashid v Nasrullah  EWCA Civ 2685, the fraudster was registered by relying on fraudulent transfers. This was 12 years prior to October 2003 when the law on adverse possession changed. When the defrauded proprietor claimed rectification of the title the fraudster argued that he had adversely possessed and hence the claim must fail. For the defrauded proprietor it was said adverse possession could not succeed because the possession of the fraudster, as registered proprietor, could not be adverse. It was by right. Lewison LJ disagreed. Lewison LJ asked what happened to the equitable interest on the fraudulent registration. Following Malory Enterprises Ltd v Cheshire Homes Ltd  EWCA Civ 151, he concluded that on the fraudulent registration the legal and beneficial titles split. The fraudster held on trust for the defrauded proprietor via a constructive trust. When the fraudster went into occupation, he dispossessed the defrauded proprietor who could have claimed possession against him. At the end of the 12 years, in effect the defrauded proprietor’s beneficial interest was extinguished, and the fraudster had all. The first two cases discussed above seem to promulgate the primacy of the register. It is the registered proprietor who can serve notices. It is the registered proprietor who can grant charges. The underlying transactions are not determinative. The third, however, suggests that the effect of equity, even now, is more important than the aim of registration would suggest. Presumably the analysis in Rashid could succeed now, despite the change in the law on adverse possession for registered estates. The adverse possession was of the equitable estate, not the registered title, so that, presumably, the old law would continue to apply. ■
By Cecily Crampin Falcon Chambers CENTRAL LONDON LAWYER 29
Land and Property
Keir Waddell Associate, Head of Sales email@example.com
Why the Right Time is Right Now With an ever-changing political landscape, you could be forgiven for thinking that now may not be the best time to buy property in central London.
seemingly endless stream of twists and turns has cast a cloud over the London property market for the past 18 months. However, it is for this reason that both domestic and foreign buyers have a unique opportunity to cash in at what I firmly believe to be the bottom of the market. According to Knight Frank’s latest prime central London index, from January 2016 to January 2019 there has been an average house price decline of 11.2%. This means whether you are getting on the property ladder for the first time, upsizing to a family house or buying a penthouse apartment, the current market represents the best opportunity to do so in recent years. In addition, foreign purchasers who are buying in London have a very different opportunity, which stems from the fluctuating currency markets. This is particularly true of US dollar buyers; if you are buying a £1,000,000 property today you would pay roughly $1,270,000 (30/01/2019) whereas if you were buying the same property in January 2016, it would have cost $1,480,000.
For the international market, foreign exchange is an important consideration. Our VIP relationship with foreign exchange brokers can assist with not just spot pricing, but also forwards and currency hedging. Knight Frank Finance are able to introduce you to specialists that can assist in managing currency exposure when considering deposits and ongoing property costs. A property that may be of interest to an international investor is our studio apartment in the Tapestry Building, King’s Cross. Tapestry Apartments are situated in one of the most established and wellconnected area of Kings Cross, offering Kings Cross and St Pancras station with two of the main national rail services and international high speed rail approximately 0.8 miles from the property. This particular apartment is settled on the seventh floor of the building and offers sweeping southerly views over the London skyline. The Tapestry further benefits from a resident’s gym, 24-hour concierge and a private dining room, all of which have proven popular with overseas investors.
For a buy-to-let investment, this property boasts a 4.29% yield and is The currency change between the US Dollar and the Pound along extremely popular with the rental market. with the 11.2% average decline in prime central London means If you have been considering a property purchase in central London, that you could be buying at a discount of over 25% compared to ask yourself what it is you are waiting for. three years ago. There really is no time like the present. ■
30 CENTRAL LONDON LAWYER
Move This winter get back to what you love sooner by selling or letting with Knight Frank. Knight Frank Unit 1, 9 Handyside Street ArtHouse London N1C 4AY 020 8022 3035 firstname.lastname@example.org @KF_NorthLondon
Weâ€™d love to help you. knightfrank.co.uk
Connecting people & property, perfectly.
The knowledge you need, the service you value.
For over 20 years, Geodesys has been perfecting its comprehensive suite of conveyancing search solutions to clients throughout the UK. Today our bespoke service â€“ including impartial advice, EU-compliant due diligence, secure file management and dedicated support â€“ provides total peace of mind and total compliance every time.
Geodesys. All you need to know. Call 0800 085 8050 Email email@example.com
The NEW transparency rules – two months on With two months now passed since the new transparency rules came into play, the conveyancing industry has had time to digest the changes and decide the measures they need to implement.
At the outset, there was an understandable degree of uncertainty. Initial conversations with our customers revealed that conveyancers’ main worries were around the amount of work involved, how the new regulations will be policed and the risk of having to take their website down if not compliant. The good news is that some of these concerns have started to be alleviated. The CLC (Council for Licenced Conveyancers) and SRA (Solicitors Regulation Authority) have confirmed that they are treating this postregulation period as transitional and, that they are currently collaborating with the conveyancers rather than strict policing of the new regime.
• Personal details. The new rules state that customers should no longer have to provide their personal details to get a quote. If you’re using an online estimate generator which requires personal details for a result, please be aware that this now makes your company noncompliant. According to the new regulation, you also have to display cost information on your site in a different format. These details should be accessible without providing personal details, for instance sample prices based on a variety of property values.
The regulators strongly believe that conveyancers should view more transparency in the industry as an If you’re still working towards compliancy, opportunity rather than a burden. Greater keep in mind that there is no need to panic clarity will help you set expectations and nor do you need to carry out a complete improve your interactions with customers. overhaul of your systems. Instead, spend Conveyancers can build further some time looking at the information and competitive advantage by demonstrating assets you already have, and work out how the skills and experience of their staff on they can be adapted to meet the new their website. As a result, customers requirements. benefit from an increased understanding of the value for money they are getting and Do check that you are clear on the key they can make it part of their decisionessential actions that you need to take: making process when choosing a law firm. • Price of services It is crucial that details about what your prices do and do In a nutshell, start with the resources you already have and work your way up from not include are displayed as clearly as there, rather than worrying about additional possible on a prominent page on your software. It’s also key to be ready to ask website. If you don’t have a website, for help when needed. Quick and useful make sure clear pricing details are support can come from multiple sources, included in any marketing materials you whether it’s the SRA and CLC or your give to clients. conveyancing provider. ■ • Complaints handling Provide a clear Geodesys explanation of how potential complaints will be handled so users know what to expect.
The Report CENTRAL LONDON LAWYER33 33
Japanese KnotweedThe Plant that Can Cost your Clients Thousands The chances are you already know everything there is to know about ‘Japanese Knotweed’, given the regular news coverage it seems to receive. The main reason: Japanese Knotweed is a highly destructive plant that is difficult to kill and can cause thousands of pounds worth of property damage.
G What is Japanese Knotweed?
iven its fearful reputation, would you be surprised to hear that figures suggest only 1/5th of people can correctly identify it!
Japanese Knotweed was introduced to Britain in the 1800s by Victorians, who used it as an ornamental garden plant, oblivious to the risks we now know. It is an invasive perennial plant that if left to grow and spread, can cause major structural damage to property. Growing up to 2m in just one season, its roots can also spread to 7m underground.
Why is it so dangerous for property? Japanese Knotweed can grow through gaps in houses (floors/cracks in walls/concrete) and into drains, causing significant damage to properties. The presence of Japanese Knotweed may not only reduce the value of a property but can also lead to enforcement of remediation works being carried out for the treatment and removal of the plant. Whilst it is not against the law for the plant to grow within your property/land, it is against the law to plant or cause Japanese Knotweed to grow in the wild. If a property owner allows the plant
to spread and cause a nuisance to somebody else’s property, they can be prosecuted or given a community protection order. A property owner can be served a notice under one or more of the following: -The Environmental Protection Act 1990 -The Anti-Social Behaviour Crime and Police Act 2014 -The Infrastructure Act 2015
How can a GCS Legal Indemnity Policy help your clients? Our ‘Japanese Knotweed’ Policy has been specifically designed for the situation where a residential property may be served one or more of the notices mentioned above concerning the presence of the plant and the subsequent remediation works that may follow. The premium for this policy is just £40 (incl. IPT) for £20,000 Limit of Indemnity. This policy is available exclusively through GCS Online. Head to gcsonline.gcs-title.co.uk to register and start issuing today. All our Online policies can be issued within minutes and cover can start immediately.■
gcs-title.co.uk/WH 01435 868050 firstname.lastname@example.org
Legal Inde I mnitty Insurance a an made de e ea asy with GCS online
Whether your clients’ need co c ver for Residential or Commercial property, our Online se ervice Obtain quotes in seco onds and issue policies in minutes
Store all actual a policy documentations
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Pay immediately or monthly
clause as standard’
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Register online n for your FREE account to start issuing today.
Visit gcs-title.co.uk/WH H today to register ffor or your FREE accoun o t 34 CENTRAL LONDON LAWYER
Commercial Development: Opening up Brownfield Land Opportunity The Government has announced new funding to speed up the house building process, aiming to overcome the roadblocks from potential contamination on brownfield land.
Chris Taylor, from Future Climate Info, is one of only a small number of SiLCs (Specialists in Land Condition) in the UK. He provides an assessment on how this renewed focus on brownfield incentives will extend to commercial property due diligence. What funds have been announced? Barclays Bank has announced that they are working in partnership with the Government to offer finance to small and medium-sized housing developers. The £1 billion Housing Delivery Fund aims to support developers to make confident choices on site viability. Homes England, which is committing £125m to the funding pot, will administer the scheme and provide funding between £5m and £100m for new homes, including social housing, retirement living and apartments to rent. The funds form part of the promise to deliver 300,000 homes a year by the mid-2020s. In addition, the £1.3 billion Land Assembly Fund will be also used to acquire land that needs work and prepare it for the market. The £630 million Small Sites Fund is designed to get the right infrastructure in place to help public landowners and local authorities that are struggling to build on land in their area. Approaching Brownfield with More Confidence James Brokenshire, the new Housing Minister, recognises that developers face many perceived obstacles when it comes to seeking permission to develop on brownfield sites. The aim is to de-risk the viability concerns from potential historic contamination. Brownfield Land has been a priority in land use zoning by Local planning Authorities (LPAs) for a number of years, but it has been boosted by reinforced guidance within the revised National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) earlier this year. There are strong economic and social arguments for revitalising urban centres and placing higher density affordable dwellings for residents that can walk to work or use public transport to minimise traffic and pollution loads on cities. These initiatives are all to be welcomed, as they prevent sprawl and make good use of sites that can often be over-hyped in terms of their potential contaminative risk. With renewed funding vigour, commercial property lawyers and their developer or investor clients, should approach site viability on the basis of what can be achieved, rather than what can’t.
Combining Risk Data with Solutions This means an even handed approach to land quality due diligence ahead of site acquisition to fully understand a site’s historic use. But it also means a realistic assessment of how significant any contaminative risk really is, its proximity to sensitive receptors and the level of remedial work which may be necessary. A combination of desktop risk assessment and options for more detailed investigation including soil testing and gas monitoring is a good starting point. However, as sites get more complex, contaminated land insurance can be used to provide greater certainty to the transaction, helping the client to make an informed decision. In the event, that remediation is required, some companies can now use data and insurance to provide fixed fees, thus taking the uncertainty away from open ended contracts. We know that Government funding will not be a blank cheque for remediation, whatever the situation. Developers need assurance that other mechanisms like tailored contaminated land insurance, built on specific site risk assessment, is there to support when they them when they need it. Future Climate Info’s commercial environmental reports provide a comprehensive, yet concise and clear assessment of site history, potential for contamination and, as a result, follow-on options for more detailed testing or insurance provision. There are very few SILCs (Specialist in Land Condition) in the UK, but property professional including commercial property lawyers and their clients may find direct access to this expertise invaluable in unlocking the true potential of brownfield sites. The Government is seeking imaginative solutions to overcome obstacles in the planning and financing of brownfield projects. We are all about matching this with easy, intelligent commercial environmental risk solutions that keep the transaction going and provide support to unlock funding and planning consent quicker. ■ For more information on Future Climate Info’s Commercial Environmental Risk Reports, Site Survey and Insurance Solutions, visit www.futureclimateinfo.com contact us on 01732 755 180 or email us at email@example.com
CENTRAL LONDON LAWYER 35
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Header Commercial Conveyancing
Time is now up for solicitors to comply with the SRA price transparency requirements Yet a study conducted by Legal Futures found that only an alarming 28 per cent of solicitors in England are compliant.
ew rules were introduced on 6th December 2018 requiring all regulated law firms to publish information online involving the prices they charge and what these include, across a number of common services. Firms must now disclose prices for members of the public on conveyancing, probate, motoring offences, employment tribunals (claims for unfair or wrongful dismissal) and immigration (excluding asylum). For small businesses, the disclosure of prices for debt recovery (up to £100k), employment tribunals (defending claims for unfair or wrongful dismissal) and licensing applications for business premises are now mandatory. It is also a requirement for firms to now clearly outline typical timescales for quoted services, a complaint handling procedure, as well as providing the qualifications and experience of their fee-earners. The SRA aims to extend the transparency requirements with an introduction of an SRA digital badge to demonstrate to online visitors that a firm is compliant. The use of the SRA digital badge is currently voluntary, however, the SRA plans to make it mandatory during 2019. Those who are not yet compliant are at risk of jeopardising their firm and are not utilising this opportunity to gain a competitive advantage. Why is transparency important? The SRA has conducted research into client expectations and behaviour and found increasingly that transparency is a deciding factor when choosing a firm. To make informed decisions, having the necessary information available and accessible is key. So how will the price transparency requirements improve your competitive edge? By prominently displaying your prices potential clients can come to trust you before engaging with your firm’s services. Research finds that many consumers in the legal industry consider quality then price when choosing a legal provider. By displaying your prices, you will provide consumers with a broader vision of your firm and a chance for them to determine value for money. Is there a simple way of doing this? Although the rules demand price disclosure online, this doesn’t have to be a huge undertaking. Zaliet has designed a self-service portal which makes compliance easy. The Service Portal can be used as a standalone product or can be used in conjunction with your existing website. A Zaliet Service Portal allows you to cost-effectively comply with the regulations by providing price lists that are customisable and easy to update over time. Compliance is often resisted in the legal sector. Particularly, due to the time and effort required to address regulations. Through a Service Portal, you can comply with all of the price transparency requirements in a simple and cost-effective manner.
The benefit of the new rules is that you have control over how your prices are displayed as long as you include the fees you charge, VAT, and any applicable disbursements. With a Service Portal, you can demonstrate your prices in the same location where potential clients can make an enquiry or request an appointment - making for a seamless client experience. The Zaliet Service Portal includes appointment scheduling which allows firms to add a detailed profile of their fee-earners. Here firms can add relevant qualifications, experience, specialties and prices for services for each fee-earner. Displaying your complaint handling procedure need not be distracting - a Service Portal includes a “Complaints” button which is found in the footer of your Service Portal. Firms can upload their complaints handling process to stay SRA compliant. Stay ahead with self-service software The new rules have opened the floodgates for stronger competition. Now that consumers have access to prices at the ease of their fingertips, standing out and gaining a competitive advantage is crucial. So how will your firm differentiate itself? Make an impact. By the time someone calls your firm, you have already missed a potential chance to provide a solution. With a solid online presence, a prospective client would have been able to contact your firm online either via an enquiry form or appointment booking engine. Self-service software is a great online solution for improving communication with your existing clients and attracting new clients. For example, through a Service Portal, you can offer modern communication with appointment booking, secure document collaboration, price lists and online instruction forms. Another drawcard of self-service is firm efficiency. With a Zaliet Service Portal, you can benefit from LEAP integration, providing you with the option to convert enquiries into LEAP as soon as you are ready to start on a matter. Research indicates online instruction forms saves a whopping 15 mins of administrative time per matter - that is roughly £48,225 p.a. (based on 1000 matters per year, billed at £440 per matter on an hourly solicitor’s rate of £190 and a bookkeeper’s rate of £44). Start today Along with hefty fines, a loss of reputation is another resulting consequence of non-compliance. Further, clients do not want to engage with firms who do not meet their obligations. Don’t risk compliance any longer - get started today to accelerate beyond competition and protect your firm’s future. If you are looking for a straightforward way to comply and gain a competitive advantage, contact Zaliet to discover how the Service Portal can transform compliance. For more information, email email@example.com or call 0203 510 0857. ■
CENTRAL LONDON LAWYER 37
Bringing together all your commercial requirements
Conveyancing can be complex and even more so when looking at commercial transactions. Thames Water Property Searches endeavour to make this process as seamless as possible, whether it’s: • Acquisitions • Commercial leases, or • Development We aim to keep you informed along the way, assisting you in solving the problems as they may appearr..
New SRA rules – the problem with ‘guidance’ We know that the new SRA rule book (‘Standards and Regulations’) will be with us sometime this year, probably the Spring.
t will be massively slimmed-down and simplified, with two separate codes of conduct for individuals and firms. However, the main substance of the conduct rules is largely unchanged.
Separate guidance that look like rules will make things much less certain for practitioners. ■
The format of the new rulebook is the next logical step in the drive towards principles based regulation. PBR is polarising: you either love it for the flexibility of interpretation, or hate it because of the inherent lack of certainty.
By Jonathon Bray Jonathon Bray advises law firms on risk management and compliance, and helps ABSs get authorised www.jonathonbray.com
Although it is an impressive feat of pruning and editing, the regulator’s obsession with reducing pages necessarily means losing all incorporated guidance. The SRA says that it intends to publish a whole suite of new guidance (e.g. ethics guidance, checklists, case studies, toolkits and videos) to accompany the rules, which will sit outside the rules. This could cause practical headaches. Firstly, our search for ‘the truth’ will be more of a challenge. We will have to look in multiple locations for the right answer. It will also be less certain - how will we know we have found all of the relevant guidance? For example, the 14-day rule in the current Accounts Rules is going. Great news, on the face of it. But what if the SRA issues guidance that money earmarked for costs should be transferred within 14 days? You could take the view that it’s just guidance, and so not mandatory. But would you really want to argue that position to an SRA investigator, or tribunal? If the guidance sets the SRA’s expectations, then firms will be reluctant to depart from that. In effect, creating a de facto rule. Most solicitors will want to check whether there is a corresponding piece of guidance to a rule. Does that mean trawling through entire toolkits? How do we know that something pertinent is not hiding somewhere at the end of a webinar? Have you missed an important tweet on the topic? The SRA may also decide to amend guidance at a moment’s notice, and since it is not a rule change, it can entirely sidestep the consultation process. So we'll always have to keep up to speed with guidance changes. And perhaps print or save anything of particular use, in case it disappears. CENTRAL LONDON LAWYER 39
Wills and Probate
A lesson learned... S
he had always been a charitable person and while her story did not work out for her let it be a lesson to us all.
Pic: L-R Matthew Brennan and Ken Brennan (My Paper Vault)
Peter Baker found himself in a position where he had to look after his mother’s estate. She had a short illness and was not able to finalise all her affairs before she passed on.
Peter and his mother had a few years previously sat down and had a chat about her passing on one day and subsequently wrote a will together. Peter had a copy of the will, but when it came to search for the original, he struggled to find it. After turning his mother’s house upside down he found her will. However it appears that in previous years, one of his kids had found it, and drawn all over it. Worse yet had torn the bottom of the page off destroying the signatures on the will. Peter understood that the threshold of his mother’s estate was £325 000 pounds which is tax exempt, the remainder of the estate was £175 000 which was subject to tax. His mother wanted to leave a donation to a local care home, “because not all elderly people are as well off as I am”, She used to say regularly. The copy of her will listed her donation as £100 000 and this would drop her Inheritance tax down to 36%. The donation would be tax exempt and so her final Inheritance Tax bill should have been £27 000. However because her will was destroyed, the care home as per the laws of intestacy received nothing and the full amount of £125 000 above the threshold was charged at 40%, which meant her inheritance tax bill was £70 000. It took Peter months to sort out and there were hidden costs all along the way. What galled Peter the most was knowing his mother’s final wishes were not respected. The law must be applied fairly across the board and this is where My Paper Vault comes in so handy. We offer a fully insured and comprehensively protected storage facility for wills and all life documents. We make a copy of these documents available online, that can be changed and edited online as needed. We have a clear policy on how these documents can be accessed after death, so no one is left uncertain. We also send out a notification to the executors reminding them bi-annually of their responsibilities as executors. Our online facilities have a top-notch security algorithm that is often tested to protect your information and offer you peace of mind. ■ *This is a fictitious story based on how Intestacy works. Peter and his mother are fictitious characters but the law is real.
40 CENTRAL LONDON LAWYER
TOURS & LUNCH LUNC CH Bookings available Contact firstname.lastname@example.org
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Wills and Probate
A love that lasts forever Every year, we care for around 15,000 dogs at our 20 rehoming centres across the UK. It’s only with the help of our wonderful supporters that we can give these dogs the love, care and attention they deserve while finding them the right home.
42 CENTRAL LONDON LAWYER
of their married life rescuing and caring for neglected and unwanted dogs.
A third of our funds come from gifts included in supporters Wills. One such supporter, Dr Thomas Preston, has very kindly pledged to leave a legacy to Dogs Trust in his Will. He and his beloved wife, Pat, spent 40 years
Pat had always had a strong bond with dogs, having lived with them for much of her life. She couldn’t bear to see them injured or illtreated. Sadly she passed away in 2014, leaving behind Tom and her darling dogs. It was their shared belief that every dog deserves a long, happy life that led to her making the incredibly generous decision to leave us a gift in her Will. Dogs Trust promises to never put down a healthy dog. Please help us keep this promise by considering leaving us a gift in your Will. ■
roviding expert veterinary care, specialist rehabilitation equipment and training facilities doesn’t come cheap. Not to mention all the vital everyday necessities like food, bedding and heating. Dogs Trust receives no government funding, which means we wouldn’t be able to run our 20 state-of-the-art rehoming centres without the generous donations from our supporters.
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This page should always be read in conjunction with the full report. The Professional Opinion indicates the potential risks and any other potential issues associated d with the property. The results should be disclosed to cllient and/or lender and/or insurer as appropriate. A ‘Pass’ is g given if no p potential p property p y spec p ific risk has been identified. A ‘Pass with Considerations’ is given where there are potential hazards in the locality to bear in mind d, or if there are features nearby which some clients might consider could affect them. A ‘Further Action’ is given if there is a potential property specific risk and a further action is advised.
In the event of a request to review the Professio ional Opinion based on additional information, or if there are e any technical queries, the professional advisor who ordered the report should contact us at email@example.com om, or call us on 01732 755 180.
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Wills and Probate
British paedophile is ordered to pay compensation to his foreign victims in the first legal case of its kind The abuse team at Hugh James, led by partner Alan Collins, recently obtained judgment in the High Court against notorious child sex offender Douglas Slade. Photo: Alan Collins
This landmark case is the first time that victims of child sexual abuse committed in another country have been successful in claiming compensation against a Briton in a UK court. This decision should lay the foundations for victims of child sex abuse abroad to seek civil justice in England and Wales. Douglas Slade, 77, originally from Bristol, is a convicted paedophile who campaigned for child sex to be legalised. Slade moved to the Philippines in 1985 and bought a house near a school, where he would subject his five male teenage victims to sexual assaults in return for money and chocolate. The Filipino police failed in their attempts to successfully prosecute Slade, despite numerous complaints of sexual abuse having been made against him. Slade argued both in his previous case and subsequently in the High Court, that the allegations were untrue and fabricated. However, he was forced to return to England where he was arrested and successfully prosecuted for offences committed in Bristol forty years ago. The 77-yearold was jailed for 24 years in 2016 for abusing five British teenage boys. Despite this, his victims in the Philippines were left without justice for the offences that had been committed against them as children. It was at this point that Hugh James was instructed. The team went to work knowing full well that a case such as this would be fraught with challenges. The team liaised with their client face to face in the Philippines while conducting extensive investigations; navigated difficult logistical issues arising from the defendant being in prison in the UK, while
L E T ’S WOR K TOGE T HE R ǆĐůƵƐŝǀĞůǇ ĨŽƌ ůĂǁ ĮƌŵƐ͕>ĞŐĂů EĞƚǁŽƌŬ >ŽŶĚŽŶ ŝƐ Ă ĨƌĞĞ ƚŽũŽŝŶƌĞĨĞƌƌĂůĂŶĚƐƵƉƉŽƌƚƐĞƌǀŝĐĞǁŚŝĐŚĂƐƐŝƐƚƐŵĞŵďĞƌƐ ďǇŽīĞƌŝŶŐĞǆƉĞƌƚůĞŐĂůĂĚǀŝĐĞƚŽƚŚĞŝƌĐůŝĞŶƚƐŝŶĂƌĞĂƐƚŚĞǇ ĚŽ ŶŽƚ ƉƌĂĐƟĐĞŝŶ͘ KǀĞƌ ƚŚĞ ůĂƐƚ ϭϬ ǇĞĂƌƐ͕ ŽƵƌ ŶĞƚǁŽƌŬ ŚĂƐ ŚĞůƉĞĚ ŚƵŶĚƌĞĚƐ ŽĨ ůĂǁ ĮƌŵƐƚŽ ƌĞƚĂŝŶ ƚŚĞŝƌ ĐůŝĞŶƚƐ ĂŶĚ ŝŶĐƌĞĂƐĞ ƚŚĞŝƌ ƌĞǀĞŶƵĞ ĚƵĞ ƚŽ ŽƵƌ ŶŽŶͲƉŽĂĐŚŝŶŐ ĐŽŵŵŝƚŵĞŶƚĂŶĚĨĞĞƐŚĂƌŝŶŐĂƌƌĂŶŐĞŵĞŶƚƐ͘ tĞ͛ƌĞŽƉĞƌĂƚĞĚďǇ,ƵŐŚ:ĂŵĞƐ͕ĂĨƵůůͲƐĞƌǀŝĐĞ͕ƚŽƉϭϬϬh< ůĂǁĮƌŵ͘tŝƚŚŵŽƌĞƚŚĂŶϱϬǇĞĂƌƐ͛ĞǆƉĞƌŝĞŶĐĞŝŶƉƌŽǀŝĚŝŶŐ ƐƉĞĐŝĂůŝƐƚ ůĞŐĂů ĂĚǀŝĐĞ͕ ǁĞ ŚĂǀĞ ƚŚĞ ĞǆƉĞƌƟƐĞƚŽ ĚĞůŝǀĞƌ Ă ƐĞƌǀŝĐĞǇŽƵĂŶĚǇŽƵƌĐůŝĞŶƚƐĐĂŶƚƌƵƐƚ͘ dŽ ƌĞĂĚ ĂďŽƵƚ ŽŶĞ ŽĨ ŽƵƌ ƐƉĞĐŝĂůŝƐƚ ĂƌĞĂƐ ŽĨ ĞǆƉĞƌƚŝƐĞ͕ƉůĞĂƐĞƐĞĞŽƵƌĂƌƚŝĐůĞĂďŽǀĞ͘
&ŽƌĨƵƌƚŚĞƌĚĞƚĂŝůƐŽŶŚŽǁƚŽũŽŝŶ>ĞŐĂůEĞƚǁŽƌŬ>ŽŶĚŽŶ͕ ƉůĞĂƐĞĐŽŶƚĂĐƚƵƐŽŶ͗ firstname.lastname@example.org or 033 3016 4444
>ĞŐĂůEĞƚǁŽƌŬ>ŽŶĚŽŶŝƐŽƉĞƌĂƚĞĚďǇ,ƵŐŚ:ĂŵĞƐ͕ĂƚŽƉϭϬϬh<ůĂǁĮƌŵǁŚŝĐŚŝƐ ĂƵƚŚŽƌŝƐĞĚĂŶĚƌĞŐƵůĂƚĞĚďǇƚŚĞ^ŽůŝĐŝƚŽƌƐZĞŐƵůĂƟŽŶƵƚŚŽƌŝƚǇĂŶĚƚŚĞ&ŝŶĂŶĐŝĂů ŽŶĚƵĐƚƵƚŚŽƌŝƚǇ͘
44 CENTRAL LONDON LAWYER
the Claimants remained in the Philippines, and the judge hearing the case was in London. Suing a litigant in person required extraordinary effort on behalf of the Claimants in their quest for justice as the Court was keen to ensure that all that appropriate procedural rules were considered and followed to the letter, for example, in ensuring it had jurisdiction to try the case. Following a trial in the High Court in October, the Court found that all five victims who lived in abject poverty in the Philippines had been groomed by Slade so that he could sexually abuse them. The judge went on to find that the teenagers had told the truth about the repeated sexual abuse Slade had subjected them to and awarded the victims £127,000 in compensation for their pain and suffering. The evidence presented at trial proved that he lied about his background and sexual interests, claiming he was a retired naval officer and a widower with children. Alan Collins said: “This landmark case is unprecedented for a High Court in London, showing how the legal system in England and Wales delivers justice for victims of sexual abuse whether they live in England or overseas. “The judgement has finally provided a sense of vindication for the victims after Slade avoided justice for so many years through his lying and deception and I’m sure this case will set a precedent for others in a similar situation to seek justice.”
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