HAMPSHIRE LAW SOCIETY
1892 - 2017
JOURNAL OF THE HAMPSHIRE LAW SOCIETY
C E L E B R AT I N G
DAN GEDDES THE RETURN OF THE DISPUTE RESOLUTION SPECIALIST (see page 8)
Inside this issue:
Y E A R S
■ Legacies ■ Mediation ■ Property ■ Financial ■ Conveyancing
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PUBLISHED May 2017 © The Hampshire Incorporated Law Society Benham Publishing LEGAL NOTICE © Benham Publishing. None of the editorial or photographs may be reproduced without prior written permission from the publishers. Benham Publishing would like to point out that all editorial comment and articles are the responsibility of the originators and may or may not reflect the opinions of Benham Publishing. No responsibility can be accepted for any inaccuracies that may occur, correct at time of going to press. Benham Publishing cannot be held responsible for any inaccuracies in web or email links supplied to us. DISCLAIMER The Hampshire Incorporated Law Society welcomes all persons eligible for membership regardless of Sex, Race, Religion, Age or Sexual Orientation. 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 member 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. Members of the public should not seek to rely on anything published in this magazine in court but seek qualified Legal Advice.
COVER INFORMATION The cover image: Dan Geddes, Blake Morgan
COPY DEADLINES Autumn Winter Spring
18th July 2017 18th October 2017 18th January 2018
Members wishing to submit material please contact the Editor, Alison Plenderleith, before copy deadline. Email: email@example.com Anyone else wishing to advertise or submit editorial for publication in Hampshire Legal please contact Anna Woodhams before copy deadline. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Tel: 0151 236 4141
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CONTACTS INTRODUCTION HAPPENINGS IN HAMPSHIRE JUNIOR LAWYERS DIVISION ARTICLES FINANCE LEGACIES EVENT MANAGEMENT MEDIATION
24 27 28 29 30 32 33 34
PROBATE PROPERTY FINANCIAL PROPERTY LAW CONVEYANCING TECHNOLOGY BOOK REVIEW NOTICES
HAMPSHIRE LAW SOCIETY CONTACTS The following is an up-to-date list of committee membersâ€™ names and addresses and the sub committees to which they belong: PRESIDENT
LAW SOCIETY COUNCIL MEMBERS
Russell Evans Resolve UK Summerlands House Botley Road, Curdridge Southampton SO32 2DS Tel: 01489 797073 Email: email@example.com
VICE PRESIDENT Kristina Colmer Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
DEPUTY VICE PRESIDENT Joe Robertson Jasper Vincent 44 Queensway Southampton SO14 3GT DX 2005 Southampton Tel: 02380 633225 Email: email@example.com
HONORARY SECRETARY Rod Hursthouse 10 Hudson Close, Liphook Hampshire GU30 7UW Tel: 01252 622122 Fax: 01252 774409 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
HONORARY TREASURER Ian Robinson Churchers Bolitho Way, 13-18 Kings Terrace, Portsmouth PO5 3AL DX 2205 Portsmouth Tel: 02392 882001 Email: email@example.com
IMMEDIATE PAST PRESIDENT Matthew Robbins Jasper Vincent 44 Queensway Southampton SO14 3GT DX 2005 Southampton Tel: 023 8063 3225 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Heppenstalls 75 High Street Lymington SO41 9YY DX 34053 Lymington Tel: 01590 689500 Email: email@example.com Razi Shah (North Hampshire) Appleby Shaw Trinity House 15a Trinity Place Windsor SL4 3AS DX 3830 Windsor Tel: 01753 860606 Fax: 01753 860620 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Nick Gurney-Champion (Residential conveyancing) Gurney-Champion & Co Champion House 104 Victoria Rd North Southsea PO5 1QE DX 117953 Portsmouth Central Tel: 023 9282 1100 Fax: 023 9282 0447 Email: email@example.com
ADMINISTRATOR Nicola Jennings 92 Chessel Crescent Bitterne Southampton SO19 4BS DX 52766 Bitterne Tel: 023 8044 7022 Fax: 023 8044 7022 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT OFFICER
COMMITTEE MEMBERS AND SUB COMMITTEES EDUCATION & TRAINING
Anthony Harris (Chair) email@example.com Kristina Colmer Katharine West Alison Plenderleith Nicola Jennings Joe Robertson Milly Bygrave (Co-opted)
LITIGATION & DISPUTES RESOLUTION
Russell Evans (Chair) firstname.lastname@example.org Wendy Hewstone (Co-opted) Steven Wood (Co-opted)
Roderick Hursthouse Alison Plenderleith Deglan Rowe
Nick Gurney Champion Matthew Robbins Simon Whipple
Adrienne Edgerley Harris (Chair) Adrienneedgerleyharris@gmail.com Roderick Hursthouse Ian Robinson Jennifer Williamson
Emilie Holland email@example.com Sarah Hallett (Co-opted) Mo Aldridge
Kristina Colmer firstname.lastname@example.org
Joe Robertson email@example.com Simon Whipple James Gleisner
Mo Aldridge (Chair) firstname.lastname@example.org Katharine West Kristina Colmer Alison Plenderleith Nicola Jennings
STUDENT UNIVERSITY LIASION
Kristina Colmer email@example.com
Lanchet Cottage, Stuckton, Fordingbridge SP6 2HF Tel: 07429 523183 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
David Ankcorn James Kitching Tom Mitchell Victoria Whelan
OTHER COMMITTEE MEMBERS
PRESIDENT’S REVIEW SPRING 2017 Spring is here in full sweet scented bloom and the dawn chorus a symphony in full melodious swing. A time for growth, for the emergence of life and hope. A time for both action and reflection. Today I have witnessed 3 deer dance ever playful in the hedgerows. Not only lawyers but nature is here twittering its welcoming, enchanting embrace. How time flies. It seems only yesterday that I was being adorned with my chain of office a symbol of the Hampshire Law Society’s proud 125 year history. As I gaze upon the clouds floating by and the trees swooning in the warming breeze I am transported back to my youth and to garden bliss with my grandparents. Easter rhythmically comes our way and causes us to reflect not only on times past but the future. Time can of course lead us down many paths. As a Mediator I have travelled to the enchanting northern realms of York. As a Parent immersed in important anniversaries I have visited Harry Potter World in my home town. Again it seems only yesterday that I watched the inaugural film there with my youngest daughter Miriam cradled in my arms bouncing upon my knee. Now she is almost a womanly 18. As President I have met with the Heads of Law at Southampton, Portsmouth and Southampton Solent Universities to explore engagement and the journey from legal study to legal practice. I have similarly met with the Presidents of ICAEW, RICs and SOSCA to explore working together. I have also begun my tour of the County to meet with and take soundings from fellow solicitors both in private practice and in house. We all need to
talk, to think and explore needs and opportunities. Together we can make a difference. Southampton University has jointly agreed to host with us a talk by Lord Justice Briggs author of the Civil Courts Structure Review about the proposed civil justice changes. Announcements will be made about this in due course. As a Society we are in discussion with MPs in Westminster to arrange Afternoon Tea for members and a meeting with MPs at the House of Commons hopefully in October. As a Society we are here to work with and for you. I have had the great pleasure of speaking with BBC presenter Jim Al-Khalili OBE who will be our guest speaker at our 125th Anniversary Annual Dinner & Awards Evening at Southampton Football Club on 25 May. It promises to be a very special evening. We will be transported through time to the Edge of the Universe and beyond. I do hope that you can come and join with us. It will also be an opportunity to support our nominated charity SightSavers and to help save many people’s sight. Help us make a difference. Join with us.
Russell Evans Hampshire Law Society President
HAMPSHIRE LAW SOCIETY
BIG Quiz 2017 20 teams from across Hampshire attended the annual quiz at the Dancing Man in Southampton. Teams enjoyed 6 rounds of tough questions with 2 picture rounds identifying film and TV pets and well known logos. A full pie supper was enjoyed half way through the evening
One point behind them were “no dietary requirements” from Trethowans with 77 and in fourth place No 18 Chambers “the eightheam” with 75 points
Once again after a hard won battle the victors were from Abels Solicitors, “one short of a picnic” and “the A team” who took both first and second place with 81.5 points and 78 points respectively. Who can beat them?
The evening was kindly sponsored by Quantuma who also provided our excellent quiz master Simon Campbell
Happenings in Hampshire
LAW SOCIETY COUNCIL MEETING SUMMARY: 22 MARCH 2017 Council met on 22 March for its second meeting of the calendar year. As usual, a wide range of activity was reported on by the Board Chairs and the Chief Executive. In addition to ongoing discussions on governance, Council also had the opportunity to discuss and vote on two Council member motions. Governance After a brief report in February 2017 from the governance review group chaired by the President, Council had the chance in March to have a fuller discussion of the role of Council, the Main Board and the Executive, emphasising among other points the key role of Council as the voice of the profession. There is still more work to do, but we are hopeful of bringing more definite proposals to Council in May. We remain keen to hear the views of the wider profession, and the e-mail address: email@example.com is still open for your thoughts.
Council member motions The first motion, proposed by the Chair of the Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Committee and seconded by the Deputy Vice President (DVP), invited Council to agree to create a seat on Council for the recently established Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Lawyers' Division. Council passed the motion by a very large majority, subject of course to the future of the seat being considered as part of the wider governance review in due course if required. The second motion, which was proposed by the Chair of the Human Rights Committee and also seconded by the DVP and overwhelmingly passed by Council, registered Council's concern at the risks to the independence of the legal profession and the rule of law in Turkey, and invited the Turkish authorities to respect due process and international standards in relation to any disciplinary proceedings against judges and lawyers.
Promoting the profession - market and regulatory change Council noted our response to the Legal Services' Board's draft business plan, which had stressed the view that the LSB's main role is oversight of the front-line regulators, rather than a focus on competition at the expense of other regulatory objectives. You can view the response here: http://www.lawsociety.org.uk/policy-campaigns/consultationresponses/legal-services-board-draft-business-plan-lawsociety-response/ Council also noted that work continues to develop the Law Society's strategy in response to the Competition and Markets Authority report on the legal services market, particularly its focus on consumer information and greater transparency on price and quality. A number of issues in civil justice came to Council's attention, among them the Law Society's representations in relation to fixed recoverable costs (Jackson LJ's review, to which you can read our response here: http://www.lawsociety.org.uk/policycampaigns/articles/fixed-recoverable-costs-call-for-evidenceresponse/) and specifically in regard to the Department of Health consultation on clinical negligence. The Department 6
had modified its pre-consultation proposals somewhat in the light of Law Society arguments, but we remain concerned at the impact on access to justice unless the scheme excludes complex cases and unusual circumstances. As clinical negligence cases are complex and lengthy by nature, we would want to ensure that correct exemptions are put in place to recognise this, and would be concerned about limits on access to specialist advice. We believe that fixed costs should be applied in a proportionate and appropriate way, and that any regime should not restrict the economic viability of solicitors undertaking these cases to the highest professional standards.
Representing and supporting the profession Council was updated on our continuing engagement with government and others on Brexit. This included an ongoing programme of meetings with key stakeholders including select committees, and hosting a meeting of the Lord Chancellor's Brexit taskforce at the Law Society. It was noted, from the Director of Relationship Management's report, that Brexit remained a key issue of concern to the profession at large. Council noted that a practice note had been published on 23 February 2017 on legal professional privilege (LPP), in the main as a response to increasing challenges to LPP from a variety of sources. It may be found here: http://www.lawsociety.org.uk/support-services/advice/practicenotes/legal-professional-privilege/ and it provides a detailed tool for the profession in understanding and applying the rules relating to LPP. Council noted that the Membership Board had received a presentation on the activity of Law Works, which collaborates with law schools and law students to support and facilitate pro bono work, and is one of a number of organisations to which the Law Society has made grants for some years. The Membership Board had also approved planned enhancement to the Law Society website to make it easier for members of the profession to contact Council members from their own geography or area of practice. In advance of holding its May 2017 meeting in Cardiff, Council noted the passage of the Wales Act on 31 January 2017, with increased powers for law-making in Wales. In the context of this, the Law Society had met with the head of the Welsh Government Justice Policy team, with whom we are working to monitor the effect of the Her Majesty's Courts and Tribunals Service change programme on access to justice in Wales. HAMPSHIRE LAW SOCIETY
1892 C E L E B R AT I N G
Y E A R S
Happenings in Hampshire
Churchers Southsea Promotes Hannah to Partner Churchers Solicitors has promoted Hannah Jones to Partner and joint head of its Criminal Department alongside Bridget O’Hagan. Hannah, who is based at Churchers’ Southsea office, specializes in criminal law in the South Hampshire and West Sussex regions, and is familiar with community issues. Her experience ranges from shoplifting allegations to complex matters that require forensic analysis of evidence. Hannah said: “I am honoured to have been promoted and am looking forward to bringing my wealth of experience to this new and exciting role.” Hannah was admitted as a solicitor in 2007 before joining Churchers in 2009. She has been an accredited member of the Duty Solicitor scheme since 2010, and a qualified Higher Court Advocate, entitling her to represent clients in the Crown Court, since 2012. She is also a member of Hampshire Incorporated Law Society, supports local charities in her spare time and is an ardent Arsenal FC supporter. She added “It has been an exciting start to the year for Churchers, with the firm undergoing a rebrand, and I can’t wait to see the opportunities that the rest of the year brings.”
PIC • Hannah Jones Criminal Lawyers from Churchers Solicitors, recently promoted as partner
Churchers partner with Ryde rowing to help raise money for Cancer Research UK
PIC• Ryde Rowing Club set up outside Churchers Solicitors, Union Street, Ryde.
Churchers Solicitors helped Ryde Rowing Club raise more than £400 for Cancer Research UK after taking part in its Great Row in March. The club’s coastal junior squads used Churchers’ Ryde office to take on the rowing machine challenge, which encouraged rowers across the nation to get involved, and Churchers and Ryde Rowing Club held a number of events to help raise additional money such as face-painting, balloon modelling, a raffle and a cake sale.
Managing Partner, Ian Robinson, said: “We always aim to give something back. The rowing club has achieved fundraising success previously with its minibus appeal – and this presents another chance to offer a helping hand, particularly for such a precious cause.”
Alongside the fundraising activities at the office, there was an online appeal which was expected to bring the overall total to more than £700.
Churchers Solicitors, previously known as Churchers Bolitho Way, has been serving local communities across the South for more than 130 years.
The club set out to complete a marathon on the indoor machines but easily exceeded the target throughout the day.
Happenings in Hampshire
BLAKE MORGAN WELCOMES RETURN OF DISPUTE RESOLUTION SPECIALIST Blake Morgan has welcomed Dan Geddes back to the firm as a Senior Associate in its Dispute Resolution team. Dan has returned to Blake Morgan’s Southampton office in a new role as a specialist in commercial litigation. He was previously in Blake Morgan’s insolvency team for nine years before leaving in 2016. Dan brings with him a wealth of contacts, and expertise in contract and commercial disputes across the private and public sectors. Jill Bainbridge, who leads the Commercial Litigation and Dispute Resolution team, said: “Dan is highly regarded by clients and well respected within Blake Morgan, and I am very pleased that he has returned to the firm in this new role. “His appointment further strengthens our dispute resolution practice, which is recognised as a National Leader outside London by Chambers and Partners and has a reputation for outstanding client service.” Blake Morgan’s Dispute Resolution team works with national and international corporations, government departments, regulators, financial institutions, individuals, partnerships and owner managed businesses and also offers a mediation service. For more information see www.blakemorgan.co.uk/what-we-do/dispute-resolution PIC • Dan Geddes
Familiar name from past 130 years returns to high streets across the south A familiar name returned to high streets across the south last month (March 1) with the relaunch of the Churchers Solicitors brand throughout Portsmouth, Fareham and Gosport. PIC • Lawyers from Churchers Solicitors with their new branding (left to right) Managing Partner Ian Robinson, Elizabeth Moger, Nick Eve, Matthew Bailey and Lauren McIntosh. The Churchers Solicitors name has featured in high streets across the south since 1886 but its distinctive brand disappeared when the firm merged with Bolitho Way in 2013 to form Churchers Bolitho Way. After talking to clients and staff the partners of the merged firm decided to switch back to the Churchers name and relaunched as of 1 March 2017. Managing partner Ian Robinson said: “Both Churchers and Bolitho Way had long heritages when we merged but a little bit of both of them was lost when we combined the names. “We decided we should restore the Churchers name because that is a name with which many people have grown up and which has been familiar throughout Portsmouth, Fareham and Gosport for many years. It is like the return of an old friend.” The firm - which has offices in Ryde, Lee-on-the-Solent and Cosham as well as its offices in Gosport, Portsmouth and Fareham - was originally founded by two brothers in Gosport in the 19th Century.
Originally known as Churcher and Churcher it quickly became recognised as Churchers and became a familiar brand on high streets throughout the south. Ian added: “We have taken this opportunity to freshen up our brand with a new logo and a new website that we hope will enable us to be even more accessible to people across the Solent area. “There is no change to our ethos of providing the very highest quality legal services from local offices in convenient town centre locations - in fact we intend to develop the expertise we have on offer to the public and to business across the south under our new Churchers banner. “Our heritage covers 130 years of providing legal services in this area - this relaunch really sets us up for the next phase in our history on the south’s high streets.”
Happenings in Hampshire
Solicitors Set Sail for Southampton Property Cup
Pic - George Chick (Trainee), Denise Bull (Partner), Luke Coleborn (Solicitor), Abbey Rudge (Marketing)
Solicitors from Dutton Gregory are swapping the court room for the high seas this May as they take part in Southampton Sailing Week. The law firm has entered the Southampton Property Cup, which will see businesses from the region’s thriving property sector battle it out for victory on the water. More than a dozen firms, from estate agents to housebuilders, are expected to take part in the inaugural event on May 26.
Chris Rees, organiser of Southampton Sailing Week, added: “We’re excited to have Dutton Gregory taking part in the Southampton Property Cup. They’re an ambitious and determined bunch when it comes to business so we know they’ll give other competitors a run for their money on the water.”
Dutton Gregory’s Managing Partner, Andrew Tilley, a keen sailor, commented “We’re delighted to be given the opportunity to showcase not only our own skills on the water, but also the amazing sailing opportunities that are available in and around Southampton.”
The Southampton Property Cup kicks off at 8am on May 26, with breakfast in Banana Wharf at MDL’s Ocean Village Marina. To find out more about the Southampton Property Cup and to sign up visit www.southamptonsailingweek.co.uk
DOUBLE CELEBRATION FOR DUTTON GREGORY, SOLICITORS Regional heavyweight law firm, Dutton Gregory, has a lot to shout about this year. Not only is the firm celebrating its 70th birthday, but also it has just signed a deal to take a new office in Chandler’s Ford, Hampshire. The continued success and growth of Dutton Gregory necessitated the need for larger, more modern premises to replace their Southampton base in Carlton Crescent. The new offices, located at Concept House, Stoneycroft Rise in Chandler’s Ford, will see staff moving in from mid-March, once a total refurbishment has been completed. Dutton Gregory’s Managing Partner, Andrew Tilley, stated “We’re delighted to have found such great office space in a
prime location. The new facilities will enable us to provide our clients with a ‘one-stop-shop’ service with everything they could need under one roof, whilst also offering our staff an invigorating work environment.” Once open, the new Dutton Gregory office will add to the thriving business community that has sprung up in Chandler’s Ford over the last few years. The office will be in addition to the firm’s other Hampshire office, located in Winchester City centre and its two offices in Dorset.
Happenings in Hampshire
Lester Aldridge is the first UK law firm to offer Medallion Signature Guarantees Leading local law firm, Lester Aldridge, is pleased to announce it is the first law firm in the UK to be authorised to act as guarantors under the US Medallion Signature Guarantee STAMP programme. To complement the firm’s specialist services in assisting executors and beneficiaries around the world with administering estate assets located in North America, Lester Aldridge has now extended its offering and is an authorised guarantor to handle Medallion Signature Guarantee applications, without having to refer any part of the process to a third party. When an individual with shares in North America passes away, a Medallion Signature Guarantee is usually required by transfer agents to guarantee the authority of the person signing the transfer forms. The Medallion Signature Guarantee is a barcoded stamp, which also provides a certification that the signature being guaranteed is genuine. It is a statutory requirement when managing the sale or transfer of shares and mutual funds in North America. The Medallion acts to limit the liability and loss by safeguarding against forged signatures. Oliver Phipps, Partner and Head of the International Private Client team at Lester Aldridge commented: “We are delighted to be enrolled as a provider of Medallion Signature Guarantees and pleased to be the first law firm in the UK to provide this service.” “Medallion Guarantees are often not easy to obtain if you are a resident outside of the USA, however, my team can offer all the
Pic - Paul Brown, General Manager of Hockley Golf Course (left) and David Roath, Employment Partner at Paris Smith LLP
advice and expertise needed to ensure a smooth transaction under one roof, during what can often be a difficult time.” Lester Aldridge is a regulated firm of solicitors with offices in Bournemouth, Southampton and London. Its expert team is able to assist with all aspects of North America estate administration, including the completion of applications for federal estate tax clearance certificates. For further assistance with estate assets in North America, including Medallion Signature Guarantee applications, contact Lester Aldridge’s International Private Client team on 01202 786161 or email info@LA-law.com. Providing outstanding legal advice, Lester Aldridge has core practice areas in real estate, litigation, private client and commercial services, which it delivers nationally and internationally through its global alliance with MSI, a network of professional service firms. For more information on the trusted legal advice Lester Aldridge offers businesses and individuals, visit: www.lesteraldridge.com
Moore Blatch advises on entrustIT’s acquisition of Tiva IT Solutions entrustIT has completed a majority acquisition of Tiva IT Solutions Limited, with legal advice being provided by lawyers Moore Blatch. entrustIT is the UK’s leading hosted desktop provider. Based in Farnham, Surrey, Tiva IT has enjoyed significant growth over the past few years, largely down to their proactive approach to onpremises IT support which has proved popular with local businesses. Moore Blatch provided the legal support to entrustIT with the transaction supported by Partner Peter Jeffery. Jeff Dodd, CEO of entrustIT said: “Tiva’s strong local brand is a welcome addition to the entrustIT family. Our thanks to Moore Blatch for providing excellent legal advice and for ensuring this important acquisition went through as smoothly as possible.”
Peter Jeffery, Partner, Moore Blatch solicitors said: “We were delighted to provide the legal support for entrustIT’s latest acquisition of Tiva IT and wish them every success going forward.” This transaction comes off the back of a successful eighteen months of corporate transactions in the digital and technology sectors for Moore Blatch, with Peter Jeffery himself completing deals worth over £250 million.
Happenings in Hampshire
‘Modernising Today’s Law Firm: Put People First’ Having spent many years advising business leaders on how to connect effectively with their staff, when the Head of Employment at Portsmouth legal practice Verisona Law, Sue Ball was made Managing Director of the firm, she seized the opportunity to put into practice all she had been preaching. In business, modernisation is inextricably linked with productivity which, in turn, causes most organisations to focus on cost savings and efficiency drives. Instead of immediately jumping to the implementation of the latest technology or looking for ways to streamline processes, I believe it is crucial to start with people who are working for and served by the business. In this article, I will share just a few of the steps we are taking at Verisona Law to enthuse and motivate our staff which has already led to a marked improvement in moral, productivity and openness to new ways of working. Out of Office The idea that someone is only ‘working’ when they can be seen in their office and/or in front of their screens is very old-fashioned. Flexible working is most definitely the future. In every study on the subject, the results clearly show that when people are allowed to work from home or in an environment of their choosing, they are more productive. It can be the sense of empowerment, responding to trust an employer has shown, or simply being less tired and having more time from avoiding the daily commute, but when it comes to productivity, flexible working is key. Offices of major companies such as the headquarters of Lego in London, have developed new innovative ways of working such as ‘Activity Based Working’ which allows employees to choose the time, place and methods of working that best suits them. As well as saving money on traditional desk space and overheads, the flexibility for staff creates a better work/life balance which encourages enthusiasm, reduces sick time and increases productivity. For clients as well, we are seeing an increasing popularity for and appreciation of a more flexible approach to our service. Whereas we used to promote home visits for people looking to update their Wills or neutral territory for those seeking to talk privately about their matrimonial visits, we are finding an increasing number of corporate clients appreciate meeting away from office environments to allow for clear perspective, uninterrupted thinking and assured privacy. We also want our staff to attend networking functions to build new relationships with potential clients, volunteer for local projects to engage and raise our profile within our local community and feel free to sign up for seminars and training that help build skills beyond the expected CPD.
Of course, there needs to be accountability, but whether that is public access to an office calendar, checking in with a line manager or simply filling in appointments on a public activity board, there are many ways for employers to ensure that no one is taking advantage of flexible working opportunities. Communication In an effort to comply with all duties of care and legislation, employer/employee relations have been dominated by the need to create a framework of policies on every aspect of working life and embed them within company practice. When communication from above is a stream of ‘dos and don’ts’, it can affect morale and stifle the enthusiasm and creativity that is crucial to productivity. Keep policies in perspective by being just a part of a company’s employee communication. There should also be congratulation for achievement (only when appropriate and relevant – ‘fake praise’ for the sake of it is easily dictated) sharing of best practice and, whenever possible, keeping people ‘in the picture’ regarding the company’s progress and future. At Verisona Law, we have taken time to create a staff handbook which was completed last year and part of our new Marketing Manager’s role is to create internal newsletters, organise events and focus on internal communications as the bedrock to our culture. Collaboration Get everyone involved in innovation. Change and development should not be top down, but result from feedback from the ground up. Whether it is suggestions from departmental meetings, asking for staff-side input on a particular issue or simply asking questions based on surveys or mystery shopping, if any change is to be effective, it needs to be endorsed and supported by all those who will expect to implement it. Involve clients in your journey. Go beyond the standard ‘client feedback form’ and engage with them on how they expect your relationship to evolve in the future, what suggestions they have to make and what you might learn from how they approach things in their business. I believe that once you have carried out initiatives in line with those I have discussed above, all the improvements necessary for your firm will become a natural result of fruitful conversation that will generate new ideas for consideration and act as a guide for future modernisation. Sue Ball is Managing Director of Verisona Law and can be contacted on 023 9231 2053 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Junior Lawyers Division
JLD: Resilience and wellbeing survey: 90% of junior lawyers say they are under stress or pressure from work At the start of April the Junior Lawyers Division (“JLD”) released a report on resilience and wellbeing. The report pulled together responses, from over 200 members of the JLD, to a survey sent out to all members in March. The results are worrying. In the month prior to the survey, due to work-related stress; • Over 33% surveyed admitted to making a mistake that would not otherwise have happened; • Over 50% surveyed admitted to having nearly made a mistake, that would not have happened otherwise; and • Over 40% of those surveyed had looked for another job; Furthermore, three quarters of newly qualified solicitors considered taking time off work to cope with mental health problems. While there will be those that think junior lawyers just need to “get used to it”, it cannot be disputed that changes in the working environment have led to a more high pressure profession. Due to improvements, such as those in time recording technology, it is far easier now, than it was two decades ago, to monitor the productivity of staff and to set and enforce targets. Similarly, the move towards email as the main form of communication, between firms and their clients, has meant timescales for the completion of work have greatly diminished. It is not uncommon for lawyers to be expected to respond within a matter of minutes, as opposed to days, to instructions that have come in from clients.
An advance in technology and change in the times cannot, however, receive all the blame for the high levels of stress that junior lawyers experience. Firms themselves are not doing enough. 49.5% of those surveyed cited ineffective management as being the cause of stress and 73% of respondents thought that their firm could do more to support staff experiencing stress. Kayleigh Leonie, the JLD’s council member at the Law Society, prepared the survey and commented: "This survey highlights the huge pressure that junior lawyers feel as they begin their careers, and the impact of that pressure on their mental health. The JLD will be producing guidance for employers to support them with tackling stress and mental health issues affecting junior lawyers in the workplace.” If you would like to know more, the full report can be found at http://communities.lawsociety.org.uk/Uploads/g/x/g/jld-resilienceand-wellbeing-survey-report-2017.pdf The JLD is acutely aware of the pressure its members are under and if any members would like support in relation to stress or other related conditions, please contact Law Care (http://www.lawcare.org.uk/) in confidence for more information.
James Kitching Executive Committee Member of the JLD & Trainee Solicitor at Coffin Mew
Paris Smith LLP Strengthens its Southampton Family Team The family team at leading law firm Paris Smith LLP continues to grow. Following the arrival of solicitor Danielle Taylor to the firm's busy Winchester office, the Southampton office has been joined by solicitor Georgina Hancock. This now makes the Paris Smith family team one of the largest, if not the largest, outside London.
Pic - Georgina Hancock
Georgina, a Winchester resident, completed her Law Degree at the University of Surrey after which she was the VP welfare at the student's union. After this she completed her LPC at the college of law in Guildford and has since specialised in family law. Frank Prior, Partner and Head of the Family team at Paris Smith, said:
"We are fortunate to be ranked the number one family law team in the region and that is down to our strength in depth and the fact that, with an office less than an hour from central London, we offer a service on par with any Magic Circle law firm but at a cost that, in relative terms, is more affordable. All that counts for nothing however if we do not look after our clients and offer them a service that is second to none. Georgina is the perfect fit. She is a specialist family law solicitor who is personable, creative, constructive and above all client focussed. I am delighted to have her on-board and know that she will maintain the high standards for which Paris Smith is renowned ."
Happenings in Hampshire
Paris Smith LLP Nominated for 2 Training & Recruitment Awards Paris Smith has been recognised for its continuing commitment to provide training in the legal sector. The South Coast firm has been nominated for Best Trainer and Best Training Principal (Sarah Passemard, Partner in the Family team). The firm currently recruit 4 trainees each year. Paris Smith LLP welcome applications from students who intend to take the conversion course following their degree, as well as those who have studied law, with a strong academic background. Pic - Sarah Passemard
Peter Taylor, Managing Partner at Paris Smith, said: "Many congratulations to Sarah for her recognition which is richly deserved and huge thanks to her and other members
of the firm's training committee as well as to others who have contributed to our training of lawyers over the years in the development of our people. It is a very important role with a great deal of responsibility. Not only is the development of our staff crucial to the success of the firm in the short term but naturally a number of our young lawyers will be the partners and leaders of the firm in the future. At Paris Smith we want to be the firm of choice for trainee solicitors when considering training contracts. I'm delighted that the hard work of our training team has been recognised by this nomination."
How are lawyers using mobile technology? LEAP undertakes survey of solicitors to find out the importance of mobility when running a successful legal practice The demand for access to business information has grown dramatically. Over 80% of the UK population has a smartphone, and over two thirds of adults have access to a tablet. Current estimates predict over 75% of internet use will be on a mobile device in 2017, with this increasing to 80% in 2018. The legal sector needs to adapt to keep up with the mobility trend. Clients are transforming their business processes and lawyers need to change accordingly. Forward-thinking practices have made the move to mobile and others run the risk of being left behind. This is reflected in a recent survey with responses from 50 legal firms using LEAP legal practice management software, results found that almost half of respondents use the available mobile app regularly to
manage their matters, correspond with clients and work with colleagues via their smartphone or tablet. The survey also provides insight into how solicitors are making the most of cloud technology and all that it offers. 96% of respondents that are using the LEAP Mobile app do so to review and append documents on matters, and to access matter and contact information, including making phone calls with associated time recording. 42% of users use the standalone time recording feature, almost 25% use the integrated scanning functionality and 15% use the devices dictation capabilities to add dictated notes and letters to LEAP.
What features are most popular to solicitors when working from their mobile device? Feature Percentage Viewing documents 96% Viewing matters 84% Viewing cards 54% Time recording 42% Emailing correspondence 42% Viewing financial data 40% Viewing key dates 24% Adding notes 22% Adding documents 16% Dictation 15% Disbursement posting 8% John Flanagan, Product Manager at LEAP UK comments: “Adopting a mobile strategy means that devices, and associated applications and software, can be capitalised to make it easier for lawyers to collaborate without being tied to their desks. Real-time communication with the office delivers significant business benefits, including more efficient use of staff time, driving an increase in billable hours. This flexibility changes where work can be done, be it home, commuting or at court.” LEAP 365 is a suite of software capitalising on LEAP’s true cloud technology. With apps available across the Windows desktop, iOS (for both iPhone and iPad), Android and the browser.
Two LEAP clients comment on the Mobile App: “The app is easy to use. Information can be obtained instantly and whilst away from the office. No need to sit waiting by the office based computer!” comments a representative from Auriga Advocates. “The mobile app has driven greater productivity, ensuring chargeable items dealt with whilst out of the office are not overlooked.” comments On Demand Lawyers.
Happenings in Hampshire
HAMPSHIRE LAW SOCIETY 1892 C E L E B R AT I N G
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The Hampshire Law Society annual dinner will take place on 25th of May 2017. Guest Speaker: BBC Presenter Jim Al-Khalili OBE Following the success of last year’s annual dinner we are delighted to be able to announce that BBC presenter Jim Al-Khalili OBE has kindly accepted our invitation to appear as our guest speaker at our landmark 125th Anniversary Annual Dinner which will take place at St Mary’s Stadium, Southampton on 25th May 2017. Musicians who have performed at the Royal Albert Hall will provide some musical entertainment. There is also the prospect of some moving digital art from a Lumen Prize finalist. Tours of the stadium will also be available. The Hampshire Law Society is proud to support Sightsavers, a Charity dedicated to saving eyesight, for the purposes of the Annual Dinner. As usual there will be a raffle as well as an auction including an opportunity to bid for a mediation in support of the charity. This popular black tie event on the professional social calendar provides an ideal entertainment and networking opportunity for you, your
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Following the dinner, we will present the winners of the 7 award categories, Law firm of the year (large and small), Solicitor of the year, Junior Solicitor of the year, Solicitors Bank of the year, Solicitor’s Accountancy firm of the year and Solicitors business client of the year. Details are attached on how to nominate your firm, colleagues or yourself for an award. Please get your nominations in by the 1 May. The price once again represents excellent value for money made possible by our sponsors IFS and College Chambers. Tickets are priced at £50/hd or £475 for a table of 10 Details of how to enter the awards are on our website
CPD TRAINING 2017
All lecture take place at the Holiday Inn Eastleigh SO50 9PG from 1345 – 1645 Employment Law Tuesday 23 May 2017 Gary Self,
Gary Self described in the Legal 500 as being "Highly technical and commercial with excellent advocacy skills" and "very good, one of the best on the Western Circuit for employment"
1 - All you ever wanted to know about Time Limits in the employment tribunal 2- Early Conciliation - Case Law Review 3 - Strike outs and deposit Orders - A practitioner's Guide.
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colleagues, business guests and partners. You and your guests will enjoy a sumptuous three course meal and coffee together with an extensive wine list and bar facilities in the luxurious Mike Channon Suite, located in the heart of St Mary’s Stadium.
Conveyancing update Tuesday 20 June 2017 Richard Snape,
Richard Snape is a consultant with Davitt Jones Bould, the largest niche real estate firm based outside of London. Richard is a renowned speaker on all aspects of Real Estate Law and he lectures nationwide to a wide audience including local law societies, solicitors firms, local authorities and government departments. As a specialist speaker to property lawyers and property professionals, Richard has a reputation for delivering practical advice in an entertaining and engaging way.
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Family Law Update Tuesday 6 June 2017 Judge Chris Simmonds,
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Property Lecture Tuesday 18 July 2017 Edward Denehan
DJ Simmonds former solicitor and member of the children panel - appointed as a DJ in 2010 as a DJ of the principal registry of the family division and transferred to the western circuit in November 2015. At the PRFD he undertook all forms of family work to include complex children and money cases (and high profile cases) He also regularly sat at the RCJ DJ Simmonds is a course director at the judicial college and a judicial appointments commission commissioner Family Law Update Private Law Children – from First Appointment to Final Hearing to include private law update, tips and traps in court and public law for the private law practitioner.
Edward is yet again recommended by Chambers and Partners (2015 Ed.) for Real Estate Litigation. It is there said of Edward: “He is a very robust advocate, who has a good way of speaking in layman’s terms and is able to get his message across.” “He is pretty impressive when he is on his feet.” He is also recommended for Property Litigation in the Legal 500 and has been for many years. The 2014 Edition describes him as having ‘An impressive understanding of restrictive covenants affecting land.’
You can find our lecture programme on our website www.hampshirelawsociety.co.uk
1.5 hour lecture - £40.00 (Non Member £55.00) 3 hour lecture - £75.00 (Non Member £115)
Members can take advantage of our CPD Smart Scheme. Book multiple places and receive greater discounts Book a total of 10 places and save a total of £150.00 against the individual booking fee.
SBA The Solicitors’ Charity publishes data on its beneficiaries for the first time SBA The Solicitors’ Charity has today (date) published its first overview of the personal and professional characteristics of some of the people it supported during 2016. The report looked at a sample group of 167 individual solicitors, former solicitors and their family members: • 59% were already in receipt of SBA funding, usually as part of an annually assessed award. However, 41% were approaching SBA for help for the first time, a substantial increase in the numbers seeking help for personal financial hardship and support with career transition.
• 52% of the solicitor beneficiaries were either sole practitioners or had worked for small firms. 20% were from larger or City firms. SBA’s most senior solicitor beneficiary was admitted in 1948. The most recent applied to SBA for help within five months of their admission ceremony.
• The majority of these new applicants (97%) were all current or former solicitors and their average age was 49. The average age for all SBA beneficiaries was 56, with a gender split of 52% female: 48% male. The youngest SBA beneficiary was 29, the eldest, 101.
• At the start of 2016, criminal and personal injury practitioners were in a clear majority when SBA asked about former practice area. By the end of 2016, the dominance of these groups had been reduced by an increase in requests from colleagues working in property, civil litigation, family and housing law.
• 17% identified as black, Asian and minority ethnic. Figures split fairly evenly between Asian lawyers (8%) and African, AfricanCaribbean & Black British lawyers (7%), with ‘Other’ at 2%. • 19% of beneficiaries lived in London and a further 15% in the South East. Figures contrast with the Law Society’s Annual Statistics Report (2015), which shows practising solicitors in London and the South East as 40.2% and 9.6% respectively. Regions outside London and the South East were strongly represented for SBA, particularly the South West (17%), North West (14%) and Eastern (10%). • 69% had health issues, the single most prevalent of which was poor mental health. There was also a noticeable incidence in the number of people dealing with a sudden diagnosis of cancer (12%).
“While it’s critically important to maintain the absolute confidentiality of everyone who approaches SBA The Solicitors’ Charity, it’s also clear that we hold a unique set of data about the people who need our help,” explains Tim Martin, SBA’s Chief Executive. “Over time, we will be able to monitor and measure any changes in trends and this will enable SBA to continue to meet existing needs as well as identify emerging issues.” To find out more, visit www.sba.org.uk or telephone in confidence on 020 8675 6440.
London Internet Exchange votes against ‘Snooper’s Charter’ with gag order - Who will be next to oppose? The London Internet Exchange (LINX) has taken steps to implement gagging orders on its directors to override the Investigatory Powers Act New research shows that three quarters of the UK public were completely unaware that the Act had been passed Corporate fraud solicitors Rahman Ravelli publishes guide on police surveillance in the UK and comments on the confusion surrounding the LINX debate The UK’s largest net peering network, the London Internet Exchange, has rejected proposals made by the recent Investigatory Powers Act, which requires them to hand customer data over to intelligence agencies. What this means for the passing of the ‘Snooper’s Charter’ is uncertain. Its members, which include high-profilers such as Google and Netflix, are sure to be keen for a decision to be reached. After stating that a frank discussion needs to be made, Adrian Kennard who runs the small ISP, Andrews & Arnold, said that “do any of us [LINX members] want to be part of an organisation that would secretly snoop on its members? I would not.” It appears that LINX is in the minority in their opposition; as research conducted by serious crime solicitors, Rahman Ravelli, has revealed that three quarters (76%) of people in the UK were completely unaware of the Act and the ramifications.
Aziz Rahman, Senior Partner at Rahman Ravelli, believes that there needs to be better communication across the board about what the new Act means: “Our research shows a real lack of awareness across the board regarding the Investigatory Powers Act and what it means for our human rights. The situation with LINX has only served to confuse things further. “LINX has since released a statement claiming that the news reports have misrepresented the situation and, in ways, overexaggerated it. “This said, I think we would all like to know where the situation stands. The Investigatory Powers Act is a drastic change for surveillance in the UK, and given that LINX are the provider of many of our most-visited sites, it affects us directly. “It begs the question, of course - given that such a high-profile body as LINX has expressed compliance issues, who will be next to follow suit?” If you would like to read more about the Investigatory Powers Act and police surveillance in the UK, you can find Rahman Ravelli’s latest article at http://www.rahmanravelli.co.uk/articles/police-surveillanceand-human-rights/
Past President James Meeke would like to appeal to members to support his daughter Jo and future son-in-law Matt with their fundraising in memory of the loss of their newborn son, Puck. They have set themselves a huge task but one that they feel is achievable through dedicated fundraising and James hopes that you will recognise the value of the woodland they are hoping to acquire.
Puck’s PromiseUsing Nature to Heal Jo and Matt’s story in their own words...
On 15th March 2017, Jo gave birth to our beautiful first-born son, Puck, at 40 weeks +9 days after an uncomplicated dream pregnancy. Due to complications during labour, Puck was born via emergency c-section and needed to be resuscitated. He was transferred to University Hospital Southampton Neo-Natal Unit but tragically died in our arms early the following morning. Whilst we are still awaiting answers as to what unfurled on that day, we feel strongly that something good must come out of this utterly devastating event that has changed our lives forever. As avid lovers of nature, we were so looking forward to sharing our passion for outdoor adventure and wildlife with our son and had made so many exciting plans. Now that this opportunity has been so cruelly stolen from us, we are adamant that Puck's spirit will live on in the natural beauty that is all around us and we find great comfort in this belief. Purchasing a woodland in memory of Puck will not only help with the long grieving process that lies ahead of our family, but will also offer a playground for other families who have experienced similar tragedy. It is our hope that we will be able to offer a special place for families and the amazing nurses at Southampton NeoNatal Unit to visit and seek solace. We intend to offer the woodland to families & nurses to come and use at their leisure, whether it be to sit and contemplate, go for a beautiful walk or to come and camp for the weekend with other families with this shared experience. As an ecologist and outdoor educator, Jo wishes to use her knowledge and experience to help other grieving families to reconnect with the wild, find peace away from the madness of the modern world and all its demands and to re-awaken a love for nature which we strongly believe can help open the heart to
healing. We hope that Puck's woodland will be a source of support & strength for all those who visit it. Please support Puck's Promise and help our son's short life to bring hope. How can you help? Jo and Matt are hoping to raise £65,000 to buy a piece of woodland which will provide a beautiful playground for grieving families and those who support them. It is their hope that reconnecting with nature can help the painful healing process that they and other families face. Purchasing this special woodland will help them to fulfil their promise to their son Puck- that something good would come from his short but precious little life. If you would like to support Jo and Matt’s mission to raise money to help other families suffering the tragic loss of a baby and to support the amazing nurses at University Hospital Southampton Neo-Natal Unit, please visit their Justgiving page: https://www.justgiving.com/crowdfunding/puckspromise Alternatively, if you know of any landowners (preferably in Hampshire) who may be interested in helping with the Puck’s Promise mission, please do ask them to get in touch. They can visit the Puck’s Promise website where they will find a contact form. www.puckspromise.com Thank you for your support
Jo and Matt X
Demise of ‘al desko’? “Al Desko” At a desk (typically used of eating). (Wiktionary) Many of us will be well accustomed with the concept of lunch al desko, and even ‘deskfast’. Seemingly too busy and without sufficient time to take even the smallest of breaks, we religiously keep our noses to the grindstone whilst consuming what are usually the least appetising of sandwiches at our work stations. But, does lunch al desko really help? Are we genuinely achieving more by arranging our days in this way? This light hearted article looks at why we’re not all taking our lunch hours, what we could do with them, and the benefits of eating!
Historical origins I have not researched the origins of al desko. I suspect it has its roots in the same place as sacrificing annual leave. As a young (ish, or at heart at least!) solicitor, I would submit that the days of wearing a badge of praise for not using all of your annual leave are generally gone. Most employers recognise the clear benefits of staff taking breaks and holidays– refreshed employees, better able to concentrate and get the job done. Not to mention increased happiness and basically feeling more human. Even most clients will agree that, so long as leave is managed properly and the work is still done, a refreshed and revived solicitor is better than a limp, stressed and depressed one (how you may feel before said break).
Productivity Having, rather geekily (I do love a good spreadsheet), compared my chargeable units from days when I have taken a ‘true’ lunchbreak against days where I lunch al desko, it is clear that my hours, and thus the firm’s profitability, do not suffer. Yet, still, more often than not, I stay in for lunch. Why is that? On the odd occasion that I leave my desk, or even (dare I say it?) the office itself, during my lunch hour I am reminded again how much better it feels to have a proper break in the middle of the day. I return ready to attack the afternoon and get my teeth into my work, rather than aimlessly drifting from morning to afternoon with little to distinguish between them.
Guilt? Some might admit to having feelings of guilt about taking full lunch breaks. This might particularly apply to those working in firms either where is a culture of not taking lunch, or where
colleagues choose not to do so. Not many of us wish to be conspicuous because of our desk being empty! In such circumstances, perhaps the answer lays in enjoying the lunch hour in a business friendly way: informal networking anyone*? No-one can deny the benefits of getting to know (and like) fellow professionals in the local area. It can pay huge dividends by enabling cases to progress smoothly and in having a healthy raft of contacts to call upon when you are considering consulting/instructing experts to assist. Plus, it’s fun! And, you can record (non-chargeable) units for it. * Should anyone wish to meet for lunch and a friendly chat in the Winchester area, I am available for informal networking!
Other uses As well as the obvious (eating a delicious lunch, to energise you for the afternoon), a full lunch hour can achieve a whole host of other objectives. Daily exercise (if you work in a location from where you could go for a walk, or run), ‘personal admin’ (e.g. getting boring chores, such as going to the bank, done), even making use of the local library if you seek peace and tranquility.
So, why still lunch al desko? Does this still have a place in today’s modern law firm? Why do so many of us remain wedded to eating at our desks, in front of our computers. Do we really prefer it? I, for one, do not. It is a bad habit that has become engrained in my day-to-day life. Scientific literature seems to suggest that it takes (at least) 21 days to break a habit, but that it can take rather longer. So, perhaps by the end of May…?
Jennifer Williamson Jennifer.email@example.com
Investing on Behalf of Others Managing money as a trustee or via power of attorney is not easy. If you retain more cash than is required for known costs and distributions then, in this era of record low interest rates, you risk the value of the holdings being eroded in real terms by rising inflation. While there can be value in investing capital for long-term returns in excess of interest rates and inflation, some professionals and many first-time trustees/attorneys understandably feel uncomfortable taking risk with other people’s money. Where it is appropriate to invest a proportion of the capital under your control, it is therefore essential to have a suitable investment strategy.
Each fund is managed by experienced, external fund management teams that are appointed after a lengthy due diligence process and we hold quarterly review meetings to monitor their performance. This The starting point for most investors is to invest in collectives such as provides us with real oversight of the funds and gives our investors OEICs and Unit Trusts. These funds pool your money with others and confidence in how the strategy is run. allow access to a range of investments that may otherwise be Explaining the remits of the individual funds and how we blend them inaccessible to an individual. to create portfolios with varying risk/return profiles is beyond the With thousands of such funds available, significant resources and scope of this article. However IFS will shortly be announcing a expertise are required to research and monitor the options available seminar specifically for HILS members to explore this in more detail. and construct suitable portfolios. With this in mind IFS launched the We also hold a ‘Meet the Managers’ evening whereby the fund Sentinel strategy in 2008; appointing a range of professional fund managers provide bi-annual updates directly to investors, with the managers to take the day-to-day investment decisions on behalf of next meeting set for the 10th of May. our clients. The five funds within the range include a low-risk fund that aims to outperform cash over a rolling three year period, a fund If you would like to know more about the strategy, or you would like that aims to produce a consistent yield for those requiring income, to meet the managers in person at our next client-facing event and a range of higher-risk funds that aim to achieve significantly please contact chartered adviser David Green on 01243 432430. higher returns over a longer period.
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Is financial services regulation in your blind spot? Jonathon Bray
The SRA recently announced that it will shortly be issuing a questionnaire on financial services conducted by solicitors*. “Questionnaire” is perhaps a kinder word than “review”. Or, in the worst cases, doing work they are not permitted to do under the Financial Services and Markets Act (FSMA) without being FCAregulated. And the SRA is right to be concerned. There are huge swathes of the profession that do not follow the specialist rules contained in the SRA Handbook. This might be because either they do not know they are there, or because they do not recognise that the work they do counts as “financial services” under FSMA. Neither is an excuse. The main areas that would otherwise sit under the FCA umbrella include financial services (e.g. financial advice), insurance mediation and consumer credit. Solicitors have the benefit of an exemption to being regulated by the FCA if their financial services work falls within narrowly defined criteria in Part XX of the FSMA. These are commonly known as the “Part 20 exemptions”. It means that most solicitors do not have to be dual regulated. There are a handful of law firms that choose to have FCA licences as well - typically because their work does not sit within the Part 20 exemptions. As a general rule of thumb, so long as the work is incidental to an underlying legal transaction, solicitors can undertake the work specified in the Part 20 exemption. The trade-off is that the specialist SRA rules must be followed. Specialist rules, the Financial Services (Scope) Rules 2001 and Financial Selling (Conduct of Business) Rules 2001, are in place and need to be followed. You will find them buried towards the end of the current SRA Handbook. The Scope Rules are important because they set out what is (and is not) included in the Part 20 exemption. In other words, whether you are permitted to undertake a particular activity without an FCA licence. The Conduct of Business Rules then set out how an SRA-regulated firm must undertake that financial services work. Requirements under the specialist rules include: - holding commission earned from recommending a product to the order of the client - appearing on the FCA Exempt Professional Firms Register - appointing an insurance mediation officer - using the prescribed wording to tell the client about your status as a non-FCA regulated firm - discussing the product’s suitability with the client - giving the client a “demands and needs” statement, setting out why a particular product has been recommended These are not particularly onerous requirements. Trouble is, the rules are often overlooked.
The SRA’s pending review no doubt seeks to assess the scale of the issue. Reading between the lines, they are concerned that widespread flouting of the rules threatens the carve outs for solicitors negotiated with the FCA. That would mean all financial work would have to be separately FCA-regulated. COLPs and ‘managers’ (i.e Partners/Directors) should also have cause for concern. Not least because the FSMA contains criminal penalties. Beyond that, Outcome 7.5 of the Code of Conduct requires the firm to comply with legislation applicable to your business, which certainly includes the FSMA. The Authorisation Rules also require COLPs to take reasonable steps to ensure compliance with statutory obligations applicable to the firm, and record any compliance failures. So there is plenty of scope for the regulators to hang you out to dry if they so wish. My recommendation is therefore to pre-empt this SRA exercise. Start by looking at the type of work your firm undertakes, and identifying whether anything could cross the line into financial services. Is financial services work purely incidental to an underlying legal service, or do we risk straying into mainstream financial services? Are the specialist rules being followed? Are there systems in place to make sure they are followed in each case? Where necessary, is the firm listed on the FCA Exempt Professional Firms Register? Is firmwide Part 20 training needed? I would also make sure your supervision and file review systems specifically targets financial services compliance. To get you thinking, see if you can identify which of these “financial services” is permissible for a solicitor to undertake under SRA regulation? What are the compliance implications? What practical steps do the specialist rules require you to take, if any? - A property solicitor puts in place a title guarantee insurance policy. - A family solicitor takes payment by instalment from a client who has fallen behind on payments. - A personal injury solicitor puts in place after the event insurance policies in most of her cases. - A private client solicitor recommends an investment product. - A property solicitor gives a client advice on mortgages. - A civil litigator recommends a litigation loan as a funding option. Feel free to contact me to discuss the answers. * At the time of writing, this questionnaire is yet to be issued. Jonathon Bray provides outsourced compliance and risk management support (“COLP-help”) www.jonathonbray.com
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Canine Care Card Some dog owners worry what might happen to their dog if they were to pass away first, leaving their beloved four-legged friend without an owner. Thankfully, Dogs Trust, the UK’s largest dog welfare charity, offers the Canine Care Card, a special free service that aims to give owners peace of mind, knowing that the charity will look after their dog if the worst should happen. Not only does this offer reassurance to dog owners, it also helps to ease the minds of friends and family during what is already a distressing time. Over the past 12 months, Dogs Trust has taken in a whole host of dogs across its 20 rehoming centres in the UK as part of the Canine Care Card scheme and helped them settle into happy new homes. One of these such dogs is ten-year-old Jack Russell Terrier, Buddy who was taken in by Dogs Trust Glasgow when his owner sadly passed away. When he first arrived at the rehoming centre, Buddy was understandably missing his home comforts and hoping to find love again with a new owner. Thankfully, the team at Dogs Trust Glasgow were able to provide the adorable boy with a home away from home while he awaited his furry-tale ending. Dogs Trust never puts a healthy dog down, and works hard to match every dog with a responsible, loving home. After being lovingly cared for by staff at Dogs Trust Glasgow, Buddy is now starting life with a new family, who have even registered themselves on the Canine Care Card scheme.
Sarah and Buddy the dog.
Adrian Burder, Dogs Trust CEO says, “Thanks to Dogs Trust’s Canine Card Card scheme, dogs in need of a new home are given a lifeline meaning that Buddy and many dogs like him are able to get a second chance at happiness and bring joy to a new family. If you decide to become a Canine Care Card holder, we will issue you with a wallet-sized card. It acts in a similar way to an organ donor card and notifies people of your wishes for your dogs, should anything happen to you. Dogs Trust also strongly recommends that you mention the care of your dog in your Will. That way, there can be no confusion about your wishes.”
Who’ll keep him happy when your client’s gone? We will – as long as your client has a Canine Care Card. It’s a FREE service from Dogs Trust that guarantees a bereaved dog a home for life. At Dogs Trust, we never put down a healthy dog. We’ll care for them at one of our 20 rehoming centres, located around the UK. One in every four of your clients has a canine companion. Naturally they’ll want to make provision for their faithful friend. And now you can help them at absolutely no cost. So contact us today for your FREE pack of Canine Care Card leaflets - and make a dog-lover happy.
020 7837 0006
Or write to: Freepost RTJA-SRXG-AZUL, Dogs Trust, Clarissa Baldwin House, 17 Wakley Street, London EC1V 7RQ (no stamp required) Please quote “333339”. All information will be treated as strictly confidential. This service is currently only available for residents of the UK, Ireland, Channel Islands & the Isle of Man
www.dogstrust.org.uk Registered Charity Numbers: 227523 & SC037843
YOUR ADVENTURE BEGINS...
Poole based Event Management Agency, Eventscape, has been organising events across the UK and Overseas since 2002. We create high end incentives and events, resulting in memorable experiences for our clients and partners. We organise Conferences & Board Meetings, Corporate Hospitality, Incentive & Reward programmes, Gala Dinners, Team Building and have our own Marine events division. With a wealth of countries, venues and activities available to the corporate market, the UK may logistically appeal but it is also worth considering overseas locations as sometimes these prove more cost effective. If your brief calls for a luxury one day incentive to ‘thank Partners’, contemplate chartering a private plane to France to taste Champagne in Reims, Fine Wines in Bordeaux or a gastronique delight in Paris… Consider a decadent evening of Champagne and fine dining prepared by a top Celebrity Chef on the Belmond British Pullman, whilst being whisked back in time to a more gracious age of travel. Golfing and Driving days can be magically enhanced…transport your guests to Lapland and let them try snowmobiling, Husky, Reindeer or Porsche driving or a very unusual game of golf on the frozen icescapes. Successful events may sometimes require interesting quirky elements to boost attendance. We can bring your next event to life, be it Annual Conference, Gala Dinner or Award Ceremony with lavish décor, fresh exciting performers and energisers. We offer a free venue finding service and the best hotel agency rates. Working closely with the stunning New Forest Hotel, Chewton Glen, this beautiful location provides a backdrop for Board meetings, which you may find are more productive held out of the office. We are proud of our new partnership with Somerley House as their preferred activity and event supplier. Look on our website www.eventscape.co.uk for ideas and dates for your diary for a quintessentially English summer: Henley Festival A unique black tie summer party set on the Banks of the River Thames to celebrate the very best of International and UK Music, Art, Food and Comedy 5th – 9th July 2017
Royal Ascot Not only a national institution for Horse Racing but a centre piece of the British social and sporting calendar 20th – 24th June 2017 The Jaeger-LeCoultre Gold Cup The premier Polo tournament in the world at 22 goal level, played to decide the British Open Polo Championship at Cowdray Park. 23rd July 2017 Cowes Week The largest Sailing Regatta of its kind in the world. 29th July – 5th August 2017 MARINE EVENTS Our specialist Marine division organises luxury Powerboat and Yacht Charters from the Solent and Poole Harbour. Our Marine staff are professionally accredited and with a wealth of experience of water based charters, we are able to offer boats of varying size and budget to suit all requirements. We offer luxury packages from our selection of powerboats, as a platform for you to bond with your corporate clients to watch your chosen regatta or enjoy VIP hospitality. We will be hosting a fantastic demo afternoon on board a stunning Sunseeker Predator 56 Powerboat, please email us if you would like to attend on email@example.com ■ Tel: 01202 853202
Employment Mediation A new landscape in a decade
This year is the 10th anniversary of the publication of the Gibbons review commissioned by the UK Government. The statutory dispute resolution processes in 2004 were considered ineffective and there was considerable interest in exploring a viable alternative to Employment Tribunals for employees and employers. Michael Gibbons felt that very many issues could be resolved at their source within the workplace and advocated the use of mediation at the earliest possible stage of a dispute. Ten years on, we look at developments in the sector.
Large group workplace mediations and many attendees involved in employment mediations are challenging to the mediators, but also are proof of the process’ adaptability. Mediations may be as short as half a day or straddle several days over weeks.
Employment and workplace mediation has been a growth area in the last 10 years, in both dispute resolution services skills training and professional development.
• A number of organisations and their managers have become more aware of mediation and how it can work. Organisations have incorporated mediation into their employment policies, contracts of employment and to their existing policies including grievance procedures.
Mediation in employment cases has been proven to deescalate conflict and reduce unnecessary costs, when used with or as an alternative to tribunals, especially where there are or have been formal procedure such as disciplinary and grievance. As a result of this growth, both ACAS and independent mediation providers have conducted thousands of successful employment mediations – the difference between the two being that many users of mediation wish to have more say around the process and bespoke it to fit the needs of the case. Some providers now also offer specific workplace mediation programmes and some mediators have chosen to specialise in employment. In this context it can be said that in the last 10 years: • Cases have become more diverse and varied, including protracted claims of bullying and multi discrimination claims; grievances; reintegration of employees after sickness or extended leave; unfair dismissal; and whistle blowing. On the interpersonal conflict spectrum there has been a steady emergence of cases where one or both parties have mental health conditions - more workplace and employment cases than ever before are routed in mental health issues. Whilst mediation is a hard and robust process, it also needs to deal with some of the softer but sensitive people issues, therefore requiring a great deal of skill. • Lawyers have become more open about engaging in mediation. Nowadays they are more willing to consider when mediation works in the best interests of both defendants and claimants. Lawyers are trained and better equipped to advocate for their clients. • Mediation adaptability and flexibility has developed considerably providing more tools and interventions for clients. In its simplest form mediation is the facilitation of a difficult conversation between two people. At its most complex, mediation may be tough bargaining and negotiating between several people with different interests, values and entrenched positions. There may be Counsel and employment lawyer instructed for both parties and in some cases numbers are large.
• The objections to employers paying costs and claimants feeling stifled by delaying access to a tribunal have diminished as mediation has become more effective and mediators find it easier to reassure parties to engage them in the process. • Organisations have seen that mediation can work, save time, costs and resources counteracting large numbers of grievances. Trades Unions have generally been supportive of mediation initiatives as have professional organisations and associations. • Success rate in employment and workplace cases are high (CEDR’s own is over 90%). This is partly as mediation remains a voluntary process and claimants are not forced into this situation. Employment Tribunal processes are more frequently stayed to allow for mediation, and judicial mediation has widened the spectrum of dispute resolution offerings. Late mediation, even at Employment Tribunal stage, has avoided long hearings by helping parties to reach settlements. Many Employers now use mediation when they consider the independence of a mediator may be the best way to resolve an internal conflict or difference. There are now sizeable organisations which have set up ‘mediation schemes’ using both their own and external mediators, and are committed to making mediation a progressive part of their culture. In conclusion, the last 10 years have brought considerable developments to employment and workplace mediation with a much wider spectrum of processes and resolutions than ever before. Sometimes looking though our own and our colleagues’ practices, we marvel at the range of experiences mediation offers and expect the next 10 years to embrace further changes in as meaningful and as effective a way.
By Fiona Colquhoun and Sheila Bates To find out about CEDR - www.cedr.com
Protecting Property When somebody dies, the largest element that makes up their estate is usually their home. This is often their own property, filled with a lifetime of memories, keepsakes and belongings. After the owner’s death, this building and its contents take on a very different role and to an administrator. The property is viewed in more simple terms and is very often the estates most valuable asset. As you all know, it is the role of the estate administrator to ‘manage’ and ‘realise’ these assets, but there is so much more work involved in these two words than meets the eye. They bring a whole new set of challenges to manage. These include the largely unpredictable British weather and the evenings provide criminals with perfect opportunities for acts of burglary and vandalism. Insurance company Aviva shared their claims statistics for the ten years between 2002-2012, and reported a 150% increase in claims for malicious damage to homes during this period. More vulnerable empty properties such as probate properties are at even greater risk of damage from vandalism and weather. Empty properties such as these hit the headlines last year when an article in the Telegraph stated: ‘More than 700,000 residential properties in England are left unoccupied, according to the charity Empty Homes. These vacant properties are often managed by people taking responsibility for the estate or affairs of another person or while a property is awaiting sale. However, many wrongly assume that existing buildings and contents cover would provide adequate protection should something go wrong and as a result, hundreds of thousands of homes are currently uninsured’.
With the demands of your workload you would perhaps struggle to see how you might arrange them all yourself. This is another area, in addition to our more widely known research, where our experienced staff at Fraser & Fraser would work with you, providing you with a trusted partner to offer support throughout the lifecycle of your case. Things to consider: - Maintenance & Security - Empty Property Insurance - Property Valuations - Energy Performance Certificate - Probate sales - Property Clearance If you are administering an estate with which you require our assistance or are experiencing difficulties, contact one of our case managers now to discuss how we can help: firstname.lastname@example.org or 020 7832 1430
PROBATE PURCHASERS With Tim Jackson What made you start a service specifically for purchasing probate properties? Since our inception in 2008 we have transacted over £60 million of property through SecureASale and a fair proportion of those homes have been in probate, purchased directly from executors or beneficiaries of the estate. The loss of a family member is often a very stressful time for all concerned and we wanted to differentiate our offering to ensure that we could provide the smoothest service possible in these circumstances. We are unique in the industry in that we only purchase with our own funds, not third party investors, which means that we can stand by our offers in full confidence. Where do you buy? We focus on London and the suburbs. By limiting our geographical catchment area, we can make decisions quickly and knowledgably in-house without the need for external valuation advice. This provides a level of certainty to our clients that our competitors generally struggle to match. How do probate purchases typically differ from the normal ‘quick sale’ model. Quite considerably in fact. There are a number of features common to probate sales that are often of equal importance to the vendor as the price. These include selling the house in its current condition, which is very often cluttered with old furniture, clothing, newspapers, you name it. Also, very often, time is not of the essence as probate can take weeks or months to be granted and the sale cannot complete until it does. However, in this situation vendors understandably want peace of mind that the offer will remain on the table until they are in a position to exchange contracts, which is something we offer.
We have purchased probate properties in as little as 48 hours at one end of the scale and with a 6 month completion at the other. Having the strong balance sheet we do allows us to ensure that cash flow is never an issue and because we offer a chain-free solution we can offer such flexibility. Why would a vendor sell to you rather than an end-user. In the current market, chain free purchasers are hard to come by. Many buy-to-let investors have been put off buying by the 3% Stamp Duty increase on second homes and the withdrawal of mortgage interest relief leaving owner occupiers as the main source of offers. Many probates are, by the very nature of the previous occupiers, family houses, something which rules out most first time buyers on cost alone. Older purchasers, who would be interested, usually have something to sell which means that the sale will be stuck in a chain. At what is often a stressful time for the beneficiaries of the estate, the simplicity and peace of mind that our service can offer is of paramount importance. How do you source your properties? We traditionally purchase probate properties via people contacting us through our website ProbatePurchasers.com and through estate agents on the open market. Increasingly however, we are being referred by solicitors to their clients as another option to consider. We have worked hard to cement our reputation as a reliable, straightforward purchaser and many solicitors who have acted on sales that we have been involved with recognise this. ProbatePurchasers.com is a new service from SecureASale Ltd, one of London’s longest established home-buying companies. Founded in 2008 by Tim Jackson and Eli Robinson, the firm prides itself on offering a straightforward, fast and reliable buying service and is a founder member of the National Association of Property Buyers and registered with The Property Ombudsman. How can solicitors or their clients contact you? Tel 020 7117 6660 / email@example.com
Ilott v Mitson The role of insurance
The landscape surrounding the legal framework that currently applies to disappointed beneficiaries has been the source of much recent media attention as a consequence of the landmark judgment from the Supreme Court in the Ilott v Mitson case. While this case has been ongoing, there has been a noticeable increase in the number of Personal Representatives seeking insurance cover for potential claims under Inheritance (Provision for Family and Dependents) Act 1975 (the Act). So has the judgment from the Supreme Court clarified the position with regard to the application and scope of the Act and how will it affect insurers’ willingness to offer this type of cover?
cover is required for such claims, extensive underwriting would need to take place and if the insurer is comfortable with the risk, it will have implications on the level of premium. Consequently, most policies provide cover more for the comfort of the Personal Representatives ie where there are no known potential claimants but where there is a desire to distribute the estate more expediently and not to wait for the time for making claims under the Act to expire. Under the Act a potential claimant has six months from the date of the grant of representation to make their claim but also has an additional four months to serve papers on the Personal Representatives, so it could be up to ten months before an estate becomes aware of any claim. It is worth noting that the Court has discretionary powers to permit applications after the six-month period, so the potential period may be in excess of the ten months.
By way of an abridged reminder, Melita Jackson died in 2004, leaving the majority of her estate (approximate value of £500,000) to three charities – RSPCA, RSPB and Blue Cross. She was estranged from her daughter, Heather Ilott, and had omitted her from her will (leaving two side letters explaining her decision). Consequently, Mrs Ilott made a claim under the Act and received £50,000. Mrs Ilott sought to appeal that decision and a cross-appeal by the charities quashed this award. Mrs Ilott took the case to the The repercussions Court of Appeal, which overturned the judgment and of this latest eventually awarded her the funds to purchase her decision will be far property and a capital sum on top (approximately reaching and £140,000 and £20,000 respectively). The Supreme Court has now set aside the Court of Appeal’s insurers, like many decision and reinstated the original £50,000 award. others will be
So what options are there now for the legal profession? It very much depends on whether there are known potential claimants under the Act or not. While the Supreme Court’s judgment provides some guidance regarding claims and quantum under the Act, the decision and the comments of the judges demonstrate just how wide the court’s options are when considering considering the such claims. In light of this uncertainty and what has The repercussions of this latest decision will be far been described as the unsatisfactory state of the reaching and insurers, like many others will be implications of the present law, giving, as it does, no guidance as to the considering the implications of the judgment. judgment. factors to be taken into account when considering Previously, as a rule, insurers were wary of such claims under the Act, insurers will continue to be cautious when indemnifying estates where a known individual, in the specified considering cover in respect of known potential claimants. classes of potential claimants under the Act, had been omitted from a will. This was especially true if the individual omitted is a child of the Where there are no known potential claimants though, help is more deceased. So, while this type of cover was difficult to arrange prior to readily available. In many instances it can be difficult for a Personal the Ilott case, it has become even more difficult to secure since. Representative, especially a professional one, to be certain that there This is understandable, given that a policy will typically seek to protect the insured (normally the Personal Representatives but can be extended to include the residuary beneficiaries as well) from the moment a claim is received by the insurer, whether it has merit or not. As such, and as can be seen starkly in the Ilott case, the time involved and costs of defending such a claim are not insignificant. While this is the first claim under the Act to reach the Supreme Court, litigation and settlement costs can be financially onerous, especially after the distribution of the estate. In light of the above, an insurer has to consider the approach in relation to the extent of cover a policy will provide. For example, if a deceased had remarried and the new spouse had children from a former marriage, might they be entitled to claim because they were treated as the deceased’s child or were being maintained by them? Insurers might decide to exclude claims by them from the policy or if
are not individuals who would be entitled, or believe they should have been remembered, even if there is no suggestion of a potential claimant. As a result, some professional Personal Representatives in particular, can be reluctant to allow funds to be distributed within the ten-month period. Peace of mind policies that allow early release of funds to beneficiaries and remove the risk to Personal Representatives of personal liability in the event of a successful claim under the Act, can provide comfort and certainty in uncertain times. Insurers will continue to be relatively comfortable with this type of risk and such insurance solutions will continue to be available, notwithstanding the Supreme Court’s judgment.
Neil Kevan Trust & Probate Underwriter, Legal & Contingency Limited
THE UNCERTAINTY OF OWNER’S POWERS SKELWITH (LEISURE) LTD V ARMSTRONG  EWHC 2830 (CH) CECILY CRAMPIN
When I was at law school, I was taught that the Land Registration Act 2002 was an Act designed to provide certainty. What the register said was right. The misty world of equitable interests is excluded from the register. A property interest has one owner, to the outside world, and that owner can be identified from the Register. Conveyancing is thus made clear, and the economic value of property protected.
he or she possesses” (nemo dat quod non habet); this was not appealed. Thus s24 is not a statutory provision which gives more rights than there were before.
That description of the Act has always been too purest. In part that is simply by necessity, because of the registration gap. Without econveyancing, someone buying a property won’t have legal title until some time after completion. For this reason at least, it seems, sections 23 and 24 of the Act give rights to deal with the property not just to the registered proprietor or the registered chargeholder. The rights to exercise owner’s powers are given to any person entitled to be registered as the proprietor (s24). Someone in the registration gap should be able to act as if they have title.
Presumably the point would also apply to an equitable assignee of a registered freehold or leasehold interest. Indeed Norris J has applied like reasoning to Skelwith in Stodday Land Ltd v Pye  EWHC 2454 (Ch). The equitable assignee could not serve a statutory notice to quit because the general law (the statute) did not make him the landlord. What about transfer? Presumably, the equitable assignee could only assign the registered freehold, under s23, if he could have done so under the general law. It’s not at all obvious that under the general law he would have any such power He could assign his rights, but. That does not seem to be the exercise of an owner’s power bringing with it the effects of the Act. The answer in Skelton seems to defeat the intention of filling in the registration gap.
What seems to follow is that more than one person can transfer a registered interest in the property. This is the suggestion in the judgment of Rimer LJ in Helman v Keepers and Governors of the School of John Lyon  EWCA Civ 17: if the trustee in bankruptcy has not entered a restriction Perhaps the answer on the bankrupt’s title, then, notwithstanding the automatic vesting of the bankrupt’s property in the is that “nemo dat trustee, “a bankrupt might be able to dispose to a quod non habet” purchaser of the estate vested in his trustee”.
is no longer the
The principle “nemo dat quod non habet” is central to the problem of balancing certainty and the rights of the unregistered. It seems odd that simply because someone has registered title, they should be able to transfer property free of their encumbrances, or transfer the property at all even though they were registered fraudulently. Yet that is the effect of the 2002 Act. On the other hand, if one took too seriously the nemo dat principle, all of the equitable rights that make land ownership so uncertain would have to be considered in any piece of conveyancing.
A recent case about an equitable owner of a correct way to registered charge suggests that the effect of s24 is understand either more limited than that first glance suggests. The legal or equitable title. words of s23 - owner’s powers are powers to make a disposition of any kind permitted by the general law - appear from Skelwith (Leisure) Ltd v Armstrong  EWHC 2830 (Ch) to limit owner’s Perhaps the answer is that “nemo dat quod non habet” is no longer powers not just by reference to the kinds of dispositions there could the correct way to understand either legal or equitable title. The be of the particular property interest, but by reference to the particular answer is priorities. The legal owner of property where the equitable interest of the person entitled to be registered. interest is owned entirely by some other, does not own less of the property. It is just that someone else has a series of rights. The In Skelwith, the mortgagee assigned the legal charge by deed, but exercise of those rights is subject to rules of priority. The legal owner that assignment was not completed by registration, though the can charge or sell in a way that may postpone the rights in equity. assignee was entitled to be registered. The equitable assignee The person entitled to be registered, exercising owner’s powers, contracted to sell the property. The question for Newey J was may do so as if the owner, save that the rights he creates whether it had any power to sell. He found the assignee did, but not because that power was given to the assignee under s24. It was only are at risk of losing priority. because the assignee had that power by reason of the general law. By CECILY CRAMPIN The equitable assignee could give good receipt for the mortgage Falcon Chambers money within the meaning of s106(1) of the Law of Property Act 1925, and could exercise the power of sale arising under s101, because the mortgage had been made by deed and the money was due. Thus the powers of an equitable owner do not simply equate with those of the registered owner by reason of s24. The reason is, as per the Court of Appeal in Mortgage Business plc v O’Shaughnessy  1 WLR 1521, “a person cannot grant a greater interest than
“About half the practice of a decent lawyer consists of telling would-be clients that they are damned fools and should stop.” So said Elihu Root, the brilliant American lawyer, statesman and 1912 Nobel Peace Prize winner. His words got me thinking about how often we encounter clients, old and new, who need to be dissuaded from taking a potentially dangerous course of action, be it an unwise investment, encashment or other decisions. It can be a daunting prospect and requires a deft and diplomatic touch especially when the advice is not welcome. lanning how to offer advice without accounting for an individual’s profession is like planning to perform surgery without first taking the patient’s medical history. Well, maybe that’s a bit dramatic, as the dangers of failure are probably greater for the surgeon and the patient, but the point remains the same. Financial planning for any person will have the best-intended outcome only if performed and applied with reference to the variables that differentiate that person’s life from anyone else. In this sense, the provision of financial and investment advice for members of any profession should be approached as a specialty, specifically targeting the distinct, comprehensive needs that come with it. Lawyers particularly require financial expertise and experience focused on the unique characteristics created by successfully practicing law. A lawyer may, in many ways, be like owners or executives of a business; yet, they are also quite
different in many respects, particularly when they practice at a firm, and not in-house at a company. It is understanding and providing for those differences that sets an excellent advisor apart from an adequate one. The former will understand the unique set of challenges and opportunities presented by clients who are lawyers which include, but are not restricted to, the following; Earnings flow; the transition from salaried employment to monthly drawings and a profit share in the case of equity partners, the need for cash contingency, short-term asset management strategies and planning for irregular capital distributions. Tax planning; the pitfalls and advantages of self-employment, mitigating income tax and payments on account. Estimating tax obligations and planning for them is one of the single most important factors in a planning relationship. Tax obligations are likely to be substantial and can dramatically impact a liquidity throughout the year. Restricted lists; having an advice model flexible enough to cater for and accommodate a firm’s compliance restrictions and avoid recommendations and investments that would breach them. Risk management and assessment; in our experience, lawyers are afforded the opportunity to invest alongside their clients in private enterprises. While these opportunities may be quite attractive, they may also be unacceptably risky. The right level of due diligence, discipline, experience and balance in approaching them it essential. Understand and challenge; on many fronts. Understand that lawyers tend to be trained to minimise risk, which in financial planning and investment terms can be unwise and may require challenge. That they appreciate efficiency and brevity yet should be challenged to spend time on the critical task of attending to their own financial plans. That they are trained and predisposed to be analytical and to ask questions, never taking anything for granted and rarely relying on the opinions of others so a good advisor must be prepared to spend extra time explaining concepts, providing information and challenging beliefs. Here at S4 Financial we have often found that new clients come to us having delegated their affairs too lightly in the past and suffered as a result. Not all law firms are the same in terms of their offering, experience, range and depth of expertise and approach. The same is true of financial advisors.
Steven Vallery Business Development Director S4 Financial Limited Contact: 01276 34932
How SuDS are affecting Commercial Property Drainage Searches Local Authorities are implementing stricter planning controls in favour of more sustainable drainage on new property development. Commercial property lawyers must be alert to tightening guidance on drainage, the role of SuDS and how this could affect the drainage and water searches they require for a property transaction. Drainage requirements follow a “hierarchy” of planning approval, with a presumption in favour of SuDS, where appropriate. Because SuDS can have a significant impact on your client in terms of project cost and long-term maintenance liabilities, you should make reasonable enquiries to determine whether SuDS are an appropriate drainage solution for your client’s site. This could affect the advice given in respect of planning conditions, easements, adoption, maintenance as well as advice relating to insurance cover. Today, major developments (10 or more dwellings) must assess site suitability for SuDS, so that the additional development does not increase the level of surface water runoff and consequently increase risk of flooding. Additionally, a further review of SuDS is taking place this spring through both the Commons Environment Food and Rural Affairs (EFRA) committee and via the House of Lords review of SuDS in the Housing Bill. The key decision relates to the removal of the right to automatic connection to mains sewers by new development (section 3 of the 2010 Flood and Water Management Act). This would effectively mandate SuDS as the main solution for flood mitigation and avoid existing sewers being overloaded by extra demand.
If SuDS were to become a standard feature, then who adopts and maintains them is critical and this remains a grey area. Developers are reluctant to retain a long term interest in sites, with the maintenance of SuDS schemes falling to property management companies or the local council. There are calls for water utilities to act as adoptees by treating SuDS as an extension to the sewer network. At GeoSmart, we believe that a register of approved SuDS installations would ensure schemes were installed correctly and property owners were aware of their obligations. Precedent already exists for the adoption of private sewers by water companies in 2011, given a similar lack of knowledge about owners’ liabilities. No one is questioning the role that SuDS can play in reducing surface water flood risk and the demand on our already stretched drainage and sewer network. However discussion on how best to legislate for them and how best to implement government policy will continue for some time yet, in the meantime information is needed now to safeguard your client’s long term interests with a site or existing development.
Information to support your Duty of Care The first stage in identifying whether SuDS may play a role in a development application is through assessing the site suitability to include sustainable drainage. Until now, this has been difficult to identify in a simple fashion. GeoSmart has launched SuDSmart – the new drainage search for commercial property lawyers, revealing key information: • What the infiltration potential for surface drainage is on site. • Whether there is a groundwater flood risk to the site. • Whether there is a risk to the underlying aquifer. • Whether there is the potential to discharge to a surface water body or a sewer. SuDSmart meets the requirements of planning authorities in answering site conditions. It alerts your client to potential requirements for SuDS and supports effective management of preplanning or full planning submissions – reducing client risk and delivering clarity. For more information on SuDSmart reports for your client, visit www.geosmartinfo.co.uk, contact us on 01743 276 150 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
eConveyancing starts to take shape an interview with Adam Bullion, General Manager of Marketing & Product at InfoTrack Why is changing technology important? It has become clear that advances in technology, such as the advent of the internet and the smartphone have changed human behaviour. From our professional lives, where we work longer hours due to remote technology, to the behaviour in our personal lives, where we expect to have access to information instantly and be able to perform many tasks wherever we are, whenever. Consumer behaviour also has changed, and ecommerce has become king, so we no longer need to ever leave our homes to buy goods. These daily efficiencies are also expected by staff, and as a business owner it is our duty to implement the appropriate technology to meet these changing needs, particularly when, regardless of technological advances, many business processes remain stagnant. In terms of the conveyancing process where do you foresee the potential for change? I believe that the conveyancing industry is a legal sector that is overdue for change. Aside from searches, many parts of the process have already become electronic and are hosted online, such as the submission process for the SDLT and AP1 forms. However, no provider has taken advantage of this ability, until now. At InfoTrack, we look at the most cumbersome and form heavy sections of conveyancing and turn these into electronic versions that are easier to complete and enjoyable to use. Upon review, we identified the contract pack as the next segment of the process where administrative processes can be reduced and optimised. With this in mind, we have created eCOS (electronic Contract of Sale) which combats the time consuming process of copying information into a contract, as well as dealing with the slow and unsecured way in which these documents (including the TA6 and TA10) are handled. eCOS is a fully electronic process that conveyancers can take now advantage of and be seen by their clients as truly forward thinking. Tell us more about eCOS, what does this do? We created eCOS (electronic Contract of Sale) to be a paperless solution that gives conveyancers the ability to compile the full contract pack electronically, including the TA6, TA10, contract, title and plan. Our smart eCOS portal also allows the contract pack to be easily sent and received by both the conveyancer and the client within InfoTrack, so you can rely on it being a fast, paper-free and completely secure process that requires no printing scanning, posting or faxing. These contract packs can also be signed
electronically by all parties involved, using the latest in e-signature technology. At InfoTrack, our mission to build the end to end conveyancing process online is being enacted one process at a time, and eCOS is the next step. Are electronic signatures acceptable forms of signing legal documents? With a growth rate of over 53% annually, e-signatures are rapidly being adopted in many industries and at different levels of transactions. The Law Society recently released a practice note on the use of electronic signatures in law, and with secure, stringent measures put in to maintain the highest level of security, electronic signatures are highly regarded and are an efficient way of signing documents. The technology we use is by DocuSign, the global industry leader in e-signing. Would you offer any advice to conveyancers looking to adopt new technology? InfoTrack aspires to create technology that is not only incredibly efficient and simple to use, but also makes day-to-day processes more enjoyable. I believe that good technology should be a joy to use, as well as providing clear operational benefit. So when adopting new technology for your firm, I always suggest that a series of questions are asked; does it add value to the customer? Does it reduce operating costs? Is it relevant? Will it help us excel in our core competencies? Will it reduce cost/improve quality/provide a set of functions that did not exist before? Those technologies that will be most valuable should respond â€˜yesâ€™ to all those questions. â– By Adam Bullion, Head of Marketing
TWPS expands portfolio to include unexploded ordnance devices search Thames Water Property Searches (TWPS) is delighted to announce that it has added Bomb Search, Landmark’s preliminary and detailed unexploded ordnance threat and risk assessment reports to its portfolio. Conveyancers working with developers, individuals building a new house, or those undertaking building work (such as extensions to residential or commercial properties) in areas where bombing has historically taken place are strongly advised to add the reports to their standard bundles. The preliminary report is an initial screening that determines potential dangers. If identified, clients can order the detailed version, which analyses all factors to provide a semi-quantitative report that meets the requirements of the risk assessment framework outlined in the Construction Industry Research And Information Association’s (CIRIA) “Unexploded Ordnance (UXO) – A Guide for the Construction Industry” C681 report. Although the likelihood of an inadvertent detonation is low, the presence of an item of UXO can have significant implications. If sites with potential UXO risks are not managed properly, it can lead to project delays and increased costs, which is why proactive risk assessment is so important. For example in March 2017, an unexploded 500lb bomb from World War Two was unearthed at a construction site in Brondesbury Park, North London. The discovery prompted evacuations and caused delays to the project, as well as making national headlines.
Unfortunately, this was not an isolated incident. Official figures show that approximately 15,000 items of ordnance were discovered at UK construction sites between 2006-2008. These items ranged from mortar rounds to high explosive aerial delivered German bombs. “Both Bomb Search reports are vital tools for conveyancers because they show both the probability of encounter as well as the consequence of any encounter,” says Phil Hill, Account Manager at Landmark. “No one can say for sure whether a device will be found,” adds Phil. “However, adequate mitigation measures can be put in place if the client has been forewarned that the possibility of discovery is high. Clients will be health and safety compliant while avoiding excessive delays and any associated increase in costs should any UXO be found, especially during site investigation and groundwork phases.” The Bomb Search preliminary report is priced at £195 exc VAT, while the Bomb Search detailed report is priced at £1,095.00 exc VAT. To find out more about how these reports can benefit your business call us on 0845 070 9148 or simply visit: www.thameswater-propertysearches.co.uk
Photo: Richard Hugo-Hamman LEAP Executive Chairman (L) Peter Baverstock LEAP UK CEO (R)
LEAP celebrates 1000 UK firm milestone More than 6,000 end-users of LEAP in the UK LEAP Legal Software has doubled its UK customer base in the last twelve months and has now passed the 1,000 firm mark with over 6,000 end users of its integrated case management platform. The first legal practice in the UK signed up to LEAP in January 2015, in April 2016 there were 500 firms using the software and now there are more than 1,000. This rapid growth in firms switching to LEAP has been accelerated by the recent launch of LEAP 365, which enables a lawyer to access up-to-date document, matter and accounting information, from whichever device they are using worldwide. LEAP 365 includes the UK’s largest library of automated forms, document management for the firm and clients, time recording, billing and client accounting. “We’re very proud to have over a thousand law firms using LEAP software in the UK. All these firms are using one product on one technology. We believe this is a first in the UK legal market.” comments LEAP UK CEO Peter Baverstock. “Our unique ability to electronically convert data from the old outdated system many firms are still languishing on has helped us to smoothly bring these firms into the 21st century to compete more effectively. Our conversion team in Edinburgh have done wonders!”
To help with its rapid growth LEAP undertook an independent, anonymous employee survey in February 2017, statistics show that 92% of the workforce understand the company’s mission and how they can influence it, 94% see a clear link between their work and the company’s goals and objectives and that 95% feel LEAP is a good employer. Richard Hugo-Hamman LEAP Executive Chairman adds “Success has many fathers but in this instance the popularity of LEAP amongst UK law firms can largely be attributed to Peter Baverstock and the rest of his leadership team. They have faced and conquered tremendous scaling up challenges and to have more than a thousand law firms operating more efficiently and profitably than ever before, is a testament to their skills and the quality of service they provide.
INTERNATIONAL TRUST LAWS Second Edition by Paolo Panico ISBN: 978 0 19875 422 0 Oxford University Press www.oup.com A GLOBAL APPROACH TO TRUSTS: NOW IN A NEW 2nd EDITION FROM OXFORD UNIVERSITY PRESS An appreciation by Phillip Taylor MBE and Elizabeth Taylor of Richmond Green Chambers Here, presented is a truly global approach to the subject, across no less than thirty jurisdictions worldwide (we have counted them), with the largest number of cited cases emanating from the UK and the United States. Scotland and, predictably, Jersey also loom large in this thorough and erudite examination of virtually every conceivable aspect of trusts. ‘Trusts,’ says author, Professor Paolo Panico, ‘have established themselves as the main estate planning and wealth management arrangement of the western legal tradition.’ “Trusts” along with “trade” and “tea”, he adds, ‘were one of the “three Ts” traditionally associated with British civilization.’ Good thing that Henry VIII failed in his attempt to legislate them out of existence in 1535. The author also quotes a particularly famous comment on trusts as ‘perhaps the greatest and most distinctive achievement of English lawyers.’ Since the first edition of this distinguished work was published in 2010 (and for that matter, long before that), trusts have become notable for their popularity and ubiquity internationally. To the surprise of some, they have become popular under special legislation in what the author refers to as ‘jurisdictions with no historical contacts with the rules of English equity’, such as civil and mixed jurisdictions in Asia, Latin America and, recently, Eastern Europe. Over fourteen chapters and more than 850 pages, Panico pursues this vast and complex subject with scholarly, yet cheerful thoroughness. ‘Trusts,’ he says, ‘have traditionally been used by individuals to establish rules governing the administration and enjoyment of their property after their death and in many cases, to retain a certain degree of control over said property during their lifetimes. There are of course, almost innumerable variations and ramifications pertaining to trusts which are carefully elucidated in this book.
Here then is an area of law which cannot fail to be taken seriously by serious players. So it is refreshing that we discover -- in the book’s list of dedications -that it has been written, at least partially, in memory of the author’s family cat, a Manx; a presumably tail-less and engaging creature who sadly died before the book reached its definitive printed version. However, a kindly fate intervened in the shape of Scotia, a kitten (presumably Scottish) who emerged from under a fence to provide further inspiration and encouragement as a ‘pisicotherapist’. (We neither). Fortunately, we are informed in the footnote that ‘pisica’ is the Romanian word for ‘cat!’ It cannot be coincidental that Chapter 13 of the book, in discussing the approaches taken in various jurisdictions to enforce non-charitable purpose trusts, refers to specific rules for exceptional cases, such as trusts for commercial transactions -and trusts for the care of pets! The book’s orientation is global, its subject matter vast and detailed. It covers analyses of the laws and the often parallel, as well as contrasting, approaches to trusts over a range of jurisdictions. It purports to identify trends and developments, explains the author, but does not attempt to provide ‘a comprehensive operational guidance to the laws of any particular jurisdiction.’ Its useful comparative approach, however, will obviously be of special interest to comparative lawyers, as well as academics and law students interested in, or specialising in, this rapidly expanding field. Furthermore, with its detailed index, table of contents, extensive footnoting and sixty pages of tables of cases and legislation, the book is reassuringly easy to navigate. Every international lawyer should have a copy. The publication date is cited as at 2017.
PRINCIPLES OF MEDICAL LAW Fourth Edition Edited by Judith Laing and Jean McHale Consultant Editors: Sir Ian Kennedy and Andrew Grubb ISBN: 978 0 19873 251 8 Oxford University Press www.oup.com DEFINITIVE HELP WITH A VERY COMPLICATED SUBJECT: ‘THE PRINCIPLES OF MEDICAL LAW’ OUT NOW IN A NEW FOURTH EDITION FOR 2017 An appreciation by Phillip Taylor MBE and Elizabeth Taylor of Richmond Green Chambers Medical Law: now there’s a complicated subject for you to get your head round, especially if you are a practitioner who specializes -- or intends to specialise -- in what has become a rapidly expanding area of law. Fortunately for you, the Oxford University Press has brought out a new and completely updated edition of ‘Principles of Medical Law.’ Long regarded as the definitive work in this area, this new edition, the fourth in fact, has been completely updated to encompass the new developments that have transpired since the previous edition appeared in 2010. Writing in the foreword, Ian Kennedy and Andrew Grubb recall the day when medical law was a ‘relative newcomer’, in legal specialities. In their words, it ‘barely existed, such that you were free to make it up as you went along!’ It’s something of a sobering thought that that day has long gone. Nevertheless, they add, ‘this work always had in its genesis, an ambition to serve academics, practitioners and judges alike’ and, with its depth of scholarship and coverage, has since maintained ‘a claim to have fulfilled that ambition with style.’ As medical law is dependent on specialist practitioners, the emergence of a new edition of this classic text is fortuitous; especially so when the NHS is coping with an ageing population -- and when even the man in the street can tell you that the government has set aside billions in funding for medical litigation. Private medical practitioners are of course privately insured. Developments such as these broadly coincide with what the editors refer to as the ‘fundamental rights-based approach in the courtroom….’ as (to cite only one
example), doctors are made aware of a duty to provide information to patients. Other areas of concern include end of life care and the determination of mental capacity. Given the complexity and enormous scope of the subject, the book itself is a collaborative work of a distinguished and expert writing team: two editors, two consultant editors and upwards of sixteen other contributors. Across almost 1,300 pages, seven parts and twenty-two articles, the book offers detailed analysis and commentary on a formidably broad range of other issues, from the organisation and regulation of health care, to actions arising from birth, to consent to treatment, to the regulation of medicinal products and medical devices – and of course, much more. Here is a field fraught with uncertainties and these too are dealt with in a measured, frank and analytical manner. Of additional and indeed vital assistance to the practitioner are the almost ninety pages of tables of: (as listed) cases, legislation… statutory instruments… treaties and conventions… European law… and legislation from other jurisdictions. It’s helpful, too, that a text this size is easy to navigate, with numbered paragraphs, a detailed index and table of contents and extensive footnoting. Given the pace of attitudinal and policy changes in this field, this book provides invaluable assistance to the practitioner charged with providing authoritative and carefully considered advice to clients -- and therefore a welcome addition to the well-stocked and up-to-date practitioner library. The publication date is cited as at 2017.
MacDonald Oates LLP Solicitors
SOLICITOR/LEGAL EXECUTIVE – Commercial Department
Southern Domestic Abuse Service
The Role Our Commercial Department has a growing reputation in Hampshire, West Sussex and Surrey and we are looking to strengthen the department with the recruitment of another Assistant Solicitor. The team is experienced in dealing with financing and corporate restructuring, mergers, acquisitions and sales of companies and business assets, drafting and advising on all manner of commercial contracts. The role will primarily involve company commercial/corporate with some commercial property work, assisting the Partner in a wide range of cases and in all aspects of the commercial team’s work. You will also be actively involved in business development.
Are you interested in working with victims and survivors of domestic abuse? We want to attract and recruit people who share our values and our commitment to deliver quality services to victims and survivors of domestic abuse. Southern Domestic Abuse Service is a leading provider of domestic abuse services in South East Hampshire. We currently have an opportunity within our organisation to work on an exciting new project, with a fixed term contract until 31 March 2018
Female* Paralegal/No Recourse to Public Funds (NRPF) Advocate – Post SDAS22 Location:
The Candidate Ideally the successful candidate will have 1 – 4 years’ experience of working in a Corporate/Commercial or a Commercial Property Department at a leading regional practice and will be able to demonstrate the following:• Experience in assisting in the running of a varied commercial or corporate caseload • Commitment to offering a high standard of service and legal advice • Willingness to be part of a professional, friendly and hardworking team • Desire to actively engage in business development • Good academic and IT skills • Commercial property experience would be advantageous but not essential You will assist with the current caseload in the department and grow your role within the department. You must be willing to be involved in client sourcing work and business development and be confident in promoting the firm’s values. You will be providing the highest level of service to our clients, which is tailored to their individual needs. You will also need to share our values of being ‘Open, Responsible and Fair’, which lie at the heart of what we stand for as a firm and which guide how we approach all aspects of our work.
SDAS’s Refuge Service currently covers East Hampshire, Fareham, Gosport and Havant, and may be based at more than one site.
The Role This is a new role to provide legal advice and support to SDAS’s clients particularly victims of domestic abuse with No Recourse to Public Funds, build a resource library and ensure knowledge is shared throughout the organisation. Please visit www.southerndas.org/about-us/jobs for an application form, job description and person specification for any of these roles. We particularly welcome applicants from BAME communities that are currently under-represented in our organisation. Appointment will be on merit alone.
Closing date: 20 March 2017, 9am Interviews: 29 and 31 March 2017 We will recruit the first suitable applicants, so apply early as we may close earlier. An enhanced DBS (Disclosure Barring Service) disclosure will be required for these roles. This post is exempt under schedule 9 (1) of the Equality Act 2010
We will offer a competitive salary dependent on experience and generous benefits and can offer excellent career prospects for the right candidate. Please apply via our website http://www.macdonaldoates.co.uk/vacancies/
Burley & Geach Solicitors Full Time Civil Litigation Solicitor Location: Salary:
Hampshire/Surrey A very competitive salary and benefits package is offered dependent on experience.
The Role We are a highly regarded and long established legal practice with offices in Hampshire and Surrey seeking a full time senior Civil Litigation Solicitor/Lawyer. Must have excellent client care skills and technical ability for an interesting and varied litigation caseload, including but not limited to property and neighbour disputes, contested wills and probate claims, employment, debt recovery and personal injury. Whilst the successful applicant will work largely independently, they must be a team player who contributes to both the litigation department and the firm. A very competitive salary and benefits package is offered dependent on experience. To apply please send CVs by email to email@example.com
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