Shropshire Lawyer July 2022

Page 1








President’s Foreword Summer 2022


ne of the stranger aspects of becoming president of the Law Society is taking on the role of custodian of the society’s memorabilia. A three-handled ‘tyg’ and an impressive ceremonial medal. I was sure that each of these splendid artefacts was valuable and must have an interesting backstory, but I had only very scant information about either of them. Fortunately, I am an avid follower of Bargain Hunt on TV, so I knew just who to ask. Christina Trevanion’s auctioneering & valuations business is based in Whitchurch, and to my delight she not only offered to give a view on valuation and provenance, but volunteered to write an article too. Her fascinating piece is on page 16 and the medal is on this edition’s cover. On 6th October I will be hosting the President’s Annual Dinner at the Mercure Hotel in Telford. Proceeds from the evening will go to my chosen charity for the year, Shropshire Domestic Abuse Service, and it was because of this connection that I invited Nazir Afzal OBE to be my guest speaker at the Dinner. I was thrilled when he accepted the invitation. Mr Afzal has had an incredibly distinguished career prosecuting perpetrators of violence against women and girls, including honourbased violence. A brief biography of Mr Afzal appears on page 6. This edition also contains features on the perils of work emails; Eton fives alive and kicking in Shrewsbury; how you can support the Access to Justice Foundation; a Diary of a Baby Lawyer; a Case Study by Andy Howarth; a Junior Lawyers’ update; Gardening and Life Tips from the wonderful Tim Wilderspin; and of course our Prize crossword and the best of Legal Twitter. The first edition of the magazine was very well received; in my opinion the second one is even better. I do hope you agree. With all best wishes, Gemma Hughes President 2 SH ROP SH IR E L AW YER

Gemma Hughes


PUBLISHER Benham Publishing Aintree Building, Aintree Way, Aintree Business Park, Liverpool L9 5AQ Tel: 0151 236 4141 Fax: 0151 236 0440 Email: Web: ACCOUNTS DIRECTOR Joanne Casey SALES DIRECTOR Karen Hall



The Prosecutor

PUBLISHED Summer 2022 © The Shropshire Law Society Benham Publishing Ltd. LEGAL NOTICE © Benham Publishing. None of the editorial or photographs may be reproduced without prior written permission from the publishers. Benham Publishing would like to point out that all editorial comment and articles are the responsibility of the originators and may or may not reflect the opinions of Benham 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 Shropshire 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 members and should not be relied upon as an accurate statement of the law, are of a general nature and do not constitute advice in any particular case or circumstance.

13 16

Members of the public should not seek to rely on anything published in this magazine in court but seek qualified Legal Advice. COVER INFORMATION Image supplied by the Shropshire Law Society.

NEXT ISSUES OCTOBER 2022 JANUARY 2023 Advertising Anyone wishing to advertise in the Shropshire Lawyer please contact Catherine McCarthy before the copy deadline. 0151 236 4141 Editorial Anyone wishing to submit editorial for publication in the Shropshire Lawyer please contact

02 President’s Foreword 04 Your Committee 06 SLS welcomes


07 Event: President’s Dinner 08 Justice SOS 10 On it like a bonnet 11 Junior Lawyers Division 12 Event: JLD 13 Diary of a baby Lawyer 16 If tygs could talk 19 Brief Encounters 20 Tim’s Top Tips 24 Outside of work 26 News 28 Book Review 29 The Cyber House Rules 30 Interest 31 Legal Twitter




Your Committee Hannah Lowe VICE PRESIDENT & TREASURER Terry Jones Solicitors, Abbey House, Abbey Foregate, Shrewsbury, SY2 6BH Jennifer Richards HONORARY SECRETARY PCB Solicitors, Trevithick House, Stafford Park 4, Telford, TF3 3BA Robert Adams Wace Morgan Solicitors, 21 St Mary’s Street, Shrewsbury, SY1 1ED David Raymont MFG Solicitors, Padmore House, Hall Park Way, Telford Jenny Bromwich Shropshire Family Law, 47 Whitehall Street, Shrewsbury, SY2 5AD

Praveen Chaudhari Lanyon Bowdler Solicitors, Kendal Court, Ironmasters Way, Overdale, Telford, TF3 4DT Lucy Speed Lanyon Bowdler Solicitors, Chapter House North, Abbey Lawn, Abbey Foregate, Shrewsbury, SY2 5DE Gemma Williams Lanyon Bowdler Solicitors, The Business Quarter, Eco Park Road, Ludlow, SY8 1FD Victoria Pugh Hatchers Solicitors, Welsh Bridge1, Frankwell, Shrewsbury, SY3 8JY Christine Rimmer Hatchers Solicitors, Welsh Bridge1, Frankwell, Shrewsbury, SY3 8JY,

Mark Turner Aaron and Partners, Lakeside House, Oxon Business Park, Shrewsbury, SY3 5HJ

Hannah Harrison NFU Mutual, Mutual House, Shrewsbury Business Park, Sitka Drive, Shrewsbury

Samantha Roberts FBC Manby Bowdler, Juneau House, Sitka Drive, Shrewsbury Business Park, Shrewsbury, SY2 6LG

Zoe Smith Terry Jones Solicitors, Abbey House, Abbey Foregate, Shrewsbury, SY2 6BH

Danny Smith PCB Solicitors, Cypress Centre, Shrewsbury Business Park, Shrewsbury

Katie Hughes-Beddows Aaron and Partners, Lakeside House, Oxon Business Park, Shrewsbury, SY3 5HJ

Samantha Millea PCB Solicitors, Trevithick House, Stafford Park 4, Telford, TF3 3BA

Hannah Fynn Aaron and Partners, Lakeside House, Oxon Business Park, Shrewsbury, SY3 5HJ

Charlotte Nutting Roy Thornes Solicitors, Crossway, 156 Great Charles Street, Queensway, Birmingham, B3 3HN

Nicola Davies Agri Advisor, Glynton House, Henfaes Lane, Trallwng, Powys, SY21 7BE

Debbie Thomas-White Telford & Wrekin Council 4 SH ROP SH IR E L AW YER


Meet your Committee Jennifer Richards When you were younger what did you want to be? I wanted to be an au pair and do some travelling. I did a paralegal/ilex courses alongside other courses and really enjoyed learning about the law so concentrated on that area instead. If I didn’t work in law now I would probably be working with children. What career advice would you give to your younger self? What’s the worse career advice you have received from someone? What’s the best/worst career decision you have ever made? To my younger self, travel don’t settle down too early on, as once you start paying bills there is no end to them. Worst career advice, there is money in law. Best career decision was moving to crime as no day is the same. If you could change one thing in your job, what would it be? That the police respond more efficiently to outstanding criminal matters. What’s the best bit about your job/work highlight? We have a great team in Telford, we are very much a ‘work family’ so going to work is easy. If you were a Judge for the day/what law would you change? Financial penalties, if someone needs to take something to sell or eat, what is the point on giving them a fine that will only put pressure on them to become repeat offenders. Favourite quote Judge Onions himself “this isn’t a pick and mix society, you don’t get to choose which laws you abide by”. Jennifer Richards

Favourite movie Memphis Belle. Interests/hobbies Love to read and go on city breaks. Greatest Achievements Four children, three grandchildren and a home. Jennifer Richards is the Honorary Secretary of Shropshire Law Society and Criminal Legal Assistant at PCB Solicitors.




e are beyond delighted to announce that our guest of honour at the President’s Dinner on 6th October will be Nazir Afzal OBE.

During a 24 year career, Nazir prosecuted many of the most high-profile cases in the country and advised on many others. He was Chief Crown Prosecutor for NW England and formerly Director of Prosecutions in London. Most recently, he was Chief Executive of the country’s Police & Crime Commissioners, and led nationally on several legal topics including Violence against Women & Girls, and child sexual abuse. His prosecutions of the so called Rochdale grooming gang and hundreds of others were groundbreaking and changed the landscape of child protection. In 1999 he began working with groups like Karma Nirvana and Southall Black Sisters to address honour-based killings which often went unprosecuted or, when they did come to court, were seen as somehow less serious than ordinary murders. It soon became clear to him that as well as honour killings, the law also had to address a range of other abuse, and to wake up to honour-based suicides. What shocked him most was that the perpetrators of these violent acts were seen in their communities as heroes. “The rights of the vulnerable” he says, “of children, women and all of us individually must always trump the demands of any culture.” Among many current roles, he is the new Chancellor of the University of Manchester, National Adviser on Gender Based Violence to the Welsh Government, Independent member of Oxfam’s Safeguarding & Ethics Committee, independent Chair of the Catholic Church’s Safeguarding Agency.


Nazir has received many accolades: In 2005, he was awarded an OBE by the Queen for his work. He has also had the honour of being the only lawyer to ever prosecute a case before the Queen. In 2007, he received the UK Government’s Justice Award 2007 and was awarded the Daily Mirror newspaper “People’s award” voted for by readers. Nazir was also selected for the Asian Power 100 along with the Muslim Power 100 list. He was Asian Media Group’s “Man of the Year 2012.” Most recently, he received the Lifetime Achievement Award at the Pride of Birmingham awards 2022. He was awarded the first ever “Disruptor for Good” award at the Northern Power Women Awards 2022. Of course the pinnacle of his career was appearing as a guest on BBC Radio 4’s Desert Island Discs. His music choices may have surprised some listeners – Jump Around by House of Pain; One in Ten by UB40; Set you Free by N-Trance (before Dale Longworth made his X-It). However, anyone who has read Nazir’s memoir “The Prosecutor” will know that in the Eighties, while working for the CPS by day, he was a club DJ by night. In the book he talks of his love for bands like UB40, Soul II Soul, and the ‘Bhangramuffin fusion’ of Apache Indian. But it is his work on femicide and VAWG – what he calls ‘gender terrorism’ – which makes Nazir such an appropriate guest speaker in a year when our chosen charity is Shropshire Domestic Abuse Service.








IY SOS, the TV show hosted by Nick Knowles have you seen it? If you have, chances are you’ve shed a tear, or ‘had something in your eye’ at an inopportune time. If you haven’t seen it, consider yourself warned! The show introduces the viewer to people from around the UK, all of whom find themselves in urgent need of help with a building renovation or repair, and no financial or practical means of putting things right. Featured families have often been forced to live in unsafe accommodation, or housing that is not fit for purpose, for some time. A dire experience that has put health and family relationships under extreme pressure. The show brings together skilled tradespeople, volunteers and suppliers who are able and, perhaps more importantly, willing to assist. Hundreds of people, all keen to help to improve complete strangers’ lives, offering families hope and the chance to move into the future much better equipped to cope with everyday pressures and stress, with what is for the specialist q relatively a simple intervention. 8 SH ROP SH IR E L AW YER

During the show tears flow, social media is flooded with messages #DIYSOS I’m gone [crying emoji] what a great community spirit/restores faith in humanity … it couldn’t happen without our wonderful volunteers. Water cooler conversations (remember those) echo the sentiment ‘Did you see it, those poor people. Ah, if only I lived closer / was a plumber / was an electrician / could plaster / could fix a roof. It seems many of us feel that desire to assist but are often hampered by not being sure where to start or lacking the required skill. The great news for the Shropshire legal sector, is that you don’t need a TV Show or to be a plumber, decorator, or building engineer to help vulnerable people in the region. You don’t even need to be the lawyer or law firm providing the specialist legal advice. Simply support our work at the Access to Justice Foundation, as we raise funds to provide vital resources, and you will be doing exactly that.


The Access to Justice Foundation The Access to Justice Foundation is a charity, created by the legal professions, to support communities excluded from accessing justice. These individuals and communities often experience multiple disadvantages and are in crisis requiring many kinds of support. The Access to Justice Foundation funds interventions which break these cycles and improves people’s lives. We do this by giving grants to advice organisations to increase the availability of vital free legal advice, using expertise to work strategically across the UK to target and divert funds to area and communities who are most in need and at risk. Our work means that thousands of people, across the UK, are diverted from crisis, keep a roof over their head, remain in paid work, avoid mental health crisis, and experience positive life changes. How you can help Arrange to donate your firm’s residual client balances. Put dormant funds to active use, supporting clients without the means to access free legal advice. Our SRA approved indemnity means your firm’s donations are risk free! Participate in, or sponsor, a regional community fundraising events such as the Great Legal Quiz of a Legal Walk Deliver your own event, something that is of specific interest to you, your organisation, or your local community. Here are just a few ideas – the only limitation is your own imagination Go the Extra Mile for Justice Pro bono costs orders if you are providing pro bono advice in civil matters, be sure to utilise pro bono costs orders. They can work to redress the balance where previously there had been considered to be no costs

risk to the party that is not represented pro bono. They are also a means of securing vital funds which can be diverted back into the sector, via a Foundation grant, to support the provision of free legal advice in the region. The Access to Justice Foundation would like to support as many frontline legal advice providers as need help, we want to see access to justice to be available for all at a time when it is needed. With your support we get closer to making that happen. I’d welcome the opportunity to speak to you about how you or your firm could work with us. As one of our recent residual balance donors commented ‘if the legal sector doesn’t support access to justice, who will?’. I look forward to hearing from you, and if this article slips your mind, I hope that the next time you see DIY SOS, you will think of it once more and be reminded that, perhaps you can’t change the world, but you can help to can change someone’s world.

Lynne Squires Development Director Access to Justice Foundation Tel: 0204 522 8414



The winning team from Clarkes solicitors

On it like a bonnet


‘Ta-da!’ beamed the team’s spokesperson, and pointed to a disposable covid mask, hooked onto her ears but worn fetchingly *on top* of her head.

t was the extras that caused all the trouble. The actual clues were quite straightforward: What prohibition is written on the Welsh Bridge; how much is a dirty boy on the high street; in which pub can you find an honest lawyer? It was an Easter egg hunt after all; it wasn’t supposed to be University Challenge.

Reader, we egg-hunt judges are simple lawyers. We just want a quiet life. We are not equipped, morally or intellectually, for philosophical debates as to the quiddity of bonnets and their relationship to the Platonic Form of ideal bonnethood. So we said, ‘yeah, seems legit’ and awarded the bonus.

But in her infallible wisdom, our President decided that there should be *extras*: each team of four would have the option – entirely up to them – of not only scurrying around Shrewsbury answering cryptic clues, but also collecting a daffodil, a bonnet, something that rhymes with egg, a lawyer’s business card, and a menu. For each item they collected they would get five minutes off their finishing time. Cunningly, the President reasoned, this would give the teams an existential dilemma: do we spend time collecting these dubious trophies, or do we just hare around the circuit in the lowest possible time?

Some fifteen minutes later, the other teams began to trickle in. Each of them thought they’d done pretty darn well, thank you, and none was in any mood to give an inch to their rivals.

We didn’t reckon with the possibility that some twitching caffeinated foursome, high on Red Bull and spite, would do both. Thus it was that the judges, having set the eight teams off at six o’clock and ambled through the crepuscular streets to the Coach and Horses, had barely unpacked our coloured pens and flip chart before the gasping, lathered members of the winning team spilled through the door like four spaniels chasing half a sausage. ‘Are we the first?’ they panted, looking around the empty room. ‘Yes, yes you are, but you need to bear in mind…’ ‘We got all the extras too!’ They proceeded to show the judges their booty: a fluffy sheep mascot each of whose legs indisputably rhymed with egg; a menu; a moribund daffodil stolen from an actual graveyard; one of their own business cards. But where was the bonnet?


Bonnetgate (‘that’s never a bonnet! It’s a paper mask that she’s just put on her head!!’) gave way to Gregggate (‘Gregg’s doesn’t rhyme with egg! *Gregg* would rhyme with egg, but that bag does NOT say Gregg!’). The disputes raged on like an all-day hangover until suddenly the serving hatch rattled open and the chef announced that chilli was served. Immediately, rivalries were cast aside like used face masks and everyone was recruited to Team Spicy Beans and Rice. Which was the winning team? I honestly can’t remember. As we swayed across the market square with our arms round each other’s shoulders, drunk on comradeship and, well, beer, it scarcely seemed to matter.


Shropshire Junior Lawyers Division


hropshire Junior Lawyers Division held their first social event post pandemic in May at Timberjacks, Shrewsbury. It was a well-attended event by junior lawyers from different areas of law across the county. Everyone enjoyed civilised conversation whilst hurling axes at targets. It was a great opportunity to catch up with old faces and meet new ones. Many of the attendees also went for a well-earned drink after. The Shropshire Junior Lawyer’s next event is an end of summer networking drinks event on Friday 2nd September at the Peach Tree, Shrewsbury, which is kindly sponsored by The Shropshire Law Society. The event is for young professionals from all different professional sectors to expand their network across Shropshire. It is anticipated to be another popular event and final details will follow! If you would like to be added to the mailing list to receive details of the event, email: Interested in a career in law? Want to get to know local professionals in Shropshire? Shropshire Junior Lawyers’ Division are opening their doors to people looking to join the legal profession, and meet local junior lawyers in a mix of social and informative events. In particular, the SJLD also hope to visit local colleges and universities in and around Shropshire to educate and encourage local talent into high street and regional firms in the county. We have been reaching out since May 2022 to

institutions to see if we could assist by offering a variety of activities, such as a mentoring scheme, workshops, practical skills sessions and talks to interested students. We are pleased to note that we are currently liaising with Telford Council, Shropshire Colleges Group and the University of Chester to name a few and we hope to work with them in some of the ways outlined above in the academic year 2022/2023. We have been delighted with the enthusiasm we have received from those already collaborating with us and we hope to be able to extend this to junior lawyers in the making across the whole of Shropshire!

If you would like to get involved, or would like the SJLD to visit your school, college or university, please get in touch with our Professional Development Team at shropshirejld@







ntering into the world of law is a daunting concept in any event, especially during a global pandemic…

By way of introduction, I am a ‘mid twenties’ first year trainee solicitor in sleepy Shropshire attempting to navigate my way into a successful legal career whilst also trying to maintain a stable relationship with my partner, family and friends, renovate a house, get in my 10,000 steps a day and sustain some level of sanity. The purpose of this article is to hopefully resonate with baby lawyers out there in the same position as me and try to keep ‘law talk’ as entertaining as possible. If I am able to continue with this article on a regular basis (as is the current plan) I shall be of course addressing ongoing and nail biting legal developments as they occur and the impact they may have on us all. However, introductions and general background on me myself and I may be more fitting for initial purposes. The year is 2020, the world is in ‘lockdown’ due to that terrifying C word we now all loathe to hear. Instead of enjoying the perfectly timed heatwave and making the most out of ‘furlough’, I was in fact sat in my bedroom completing my third year LLB exams virtually. I am one of those people who thrive during the pressure of in person exams and the switch to online assignment based assessments (with only a few days’ notice) was not my first choice. However, they were completed successfully and a glass of bubbles was poured in celebration. During this lockdown examination period I was facing Training Contract interviews and yes, these were via the beloved Zoom. As an ‘older’ third year student I was praying for success at my first round of training contract applications as I was desperate to finally get my career started. However being sat in my bedroom wearing pyjama bottoms with a shirt and blazer up top, constantly ensuring the Wifi connection was stable and the dog was not barking, was not exactly how I pictured the interview process going. Alas, after a few painstaking weeks of waiting, I finally got THAT call.

I entered my postgraduate University a grand total of once (once again thanks to the pandemic). However surprisingly thoroughly enjoyed the freedom that online learning evoked. Before I knew it, the LPC and LLM were both completed and my Training Contract began. I am not sure if you can ever prepare for your first day or even first seat. A fresh faced newbie who had never worked in a law firm properly before… The introduction to ‘time recording’ felt like learning another language but now only a few months in I calculate all of my activities in 6 minute units, including cooking and cleaning! Being thrown into an area of law you may not have any prior knowledge or experience of and trying to prove yourself as capable whilst battling ongoing imposter syndrome was testing. Those first few weeks and months are definitely eye opening. There is also a certain level of uncertainty looming over you as a trainee, especially one like me who still has not decided definitively what area to specialise in. I therefore recommend welcoming the firm’s recommendations on where to go next and I concur with the idea that you can never know what you want to do unless you get stuck in and try it out in practice. With the ongoing energy crisis, pandemic aftermath (including ‘party-gate’), hospital scandals and the distant rumble of war, I have no doubts the coming months will offer some exciting and industry altering legal updates to which I shall be trying my best to keep you and I up to date with. Eleanor Howells is a Trainee Solicitor at Lanyon Bowdler solicitors.



Hi,I'm Kate

A proposition, a little story & an explanation

Kate Bould Managing Director Index PI West Midlands

Recently, someone asked me to sum up the Index offering to law firms in a line.

words as our proposition, sitting under our Index logo.

After a bit of thought I said: “service, technology, and compliance.” It stuck, and as you can see, we now use those three

In this issue, I wanted to share with you, what this proposition means to our clients and contacts in practical terms.


More Added Value

There’s no doubt about it, our Index set up of local offices with property information specialists in every region across England and Wales has enabled us to build mutually understanding and strong relationships with our clients and our contacts, here in Shropshire and across the West Midlands.

We add value to our relationships with clients and contacts in other ways too. Examples of this include: •

throughout the year for training, advice & guidance to help conveyancers stay up to date, reduce risk & maximise compliance

A good example of this occurred when I was with one of our Shropshire clients last month…

A Little Story We met up for a face-to-face catch up to review our first few months of working together. The meeting went well and just as we were finishing up, she said something, that was music to my ears! She said, ‘if you were salespeople, you could have sold us more.’ She was right, and I was overjoyed! I was able to reiterate our ethos, which she’d heard in our first pitch meeting but was now hearing again with first-hand experience of its validity. Here it is:

not salespeople, we’re advisors. “ We’re We advise as much as we can, we don’t sell as much as we can.” 14 S H ROP SH IR E L AW YER

Our Free Webinar Programme running

Our Regional LinkedIn Page

highlighting housing schemes in the region with conveyancing opportunities, national & regional property sector news, & more Exceptional service and adding value wherever we can, wouldn’t be enough without our industry-leading technology and compliance solutions.


Technology Our agility and ability to bring in the latest best-in-class solutions to add to our digital dashboard of conveyancing solutions gives our clients a huge advantage. It helps them safely navigate legislative changes and satisfies their desire for speedier, more efficient solutions that will reduce their risk and strengthen their compliance. Excellent examples of that in 2022 are the introductions of:

Client Onboarding

Source of Funds

Lender Part II Requirements

ID Verification with ‘Safe Harbour’

Our Technology Solutions Our technology covers every aspect of the conveyancing journey: • Onboarding • AML including ‘Safe Harbour’ • Ongoing Monitoring & Compliance Checks • Source of Funds • Completion Solutions • Lender Checks • Stamp Duty • AP1s

Title Risk Analysis by Artificial Intelligence

Compliance From 1st May, all Law Society CQS-accredited practices must meet the Core Practice Management Standards (CPMS) and now, onsite CQS Assessments have begun too. We work with all the key regulatory bodies for conveyancing, and we are a trusted partner of the Law Society for CQS. As such we can provide advice & guidance, as well as the practical solutions you now must have (from May 1st), to demonstrate compliance to all requirements within the Core Practice Management Standards (CPMS) 2022.

Until Next Time… If you’d like to chat about any of the areas I’ve covered, I’d love to hear from you, please feel free to contact me directly: e. t. 0121 546 0377 I look forward to catching up with you soon. Best regards

d l u o B e Kat

T 0121 546 0377 E





recently had the great pleasure of conducting an up-todate insurance valuation for the Shropshire Law Society’s silver trophy and ceremonial gold jewel. There is always something thrilling about conducting valuations on pieces such as these; one wonders Christina Trevanion what decisions they have witnessed, who they have been in the presence of and what stories they would tell – if only they could! The Law Society’s magnificent silver trophy is modelled in the form of a ‘tyg’, the term used in the antiques industry to describe a cup with three or more handles (three handled examples are relatively common, but some can have as many as nine!) Tygs were originally designed in pottery from the 15th century and were intended as communal drinking vessels for the use of two or more drinkers during ceremonies. Whilst I would love to suggest that the Shropshire Law Society’s tyg was used in a similar fashion, with a weight of 3.3kg even before we add any fluid contents into the equation, I would suggest that this piece was purely for presentation purposes. The tyg itself was crafted by a fine company of silversmiths by the name of C S Harris & Sons Ltd, and assayed (hallmarked) in London in 1910 during the reign of Kind Edward VII. The silversmithing business was established in 1817 by John Mark Harris, who specialized in spoon making. Harris’s business gained an excellent reputation throughout the 19th century under the direction of his succession of sons, and by 1900 C S Harris Ltd sent more silver to the Assay Office than any other maker. The prolific nature and scale of the business alludes to both the effectiveness of the financial management of the company, and the ability and foresight of its designers and craftsmen, who created high quality and exceptionally popular silverware. The base of the tyg bares an incised description for ‘Robinson, Ludlow’ suggesting that while the piece was manufactured by Harris, it was probably retailed by 16 S H ROP SH IR E L AW YER

Robinson, a well respected jewellery and silver retailer in Shropshire, with shops in Ludlow and Shrewsbury. The inscription to the side ‘Shropshire Law Society, Presented by J W Montford, President 1910-1911’ would indicate that the tyg was gifted to the society by its then president J W Montford to commemorate his term as president in the early 20th century. The tyg really is a magnificent piece, and highly unusual in its scale – it’s surprising (and a huge pleasure) to find any piece of silver of this size. At the other end of the spectrum, the gold jewel also belonging to the society is a masterpiece in miniature! Crafted in 15ct yellow gold, the jewel was also presented by a president of the society, a Philip H Minshall who was president between 1902 and 1904. The jewel was assayed in Birmingham in 1903 and was clearly a commission for the firm of William J Holmes, making the piece totally unique. Little is known about this company other than that they were registered at Hockley Hill in Birmingham, an area very close to the buzzing centre of the Internationally renowned jewellery quarter. The jewel bears the arms of Shropshire within a shieldshaped central panel. The arms were granted on the 18th June 1896 and include the distinctive leopards’ heads which are often referred to as the ‘loggerheads’ – presumably originating from the practice of carving a motif on the head of the log used as a battering ram. The arms are intricately enamelled in white and blue enclosing the three gilt leopard heads. A sword and balance scales surmount the enamelled shield, two deeply symbolic emblems held by Lady Justice representing the impartiality of the court’s decisions and the power of justice. A red enamelled ribbon surrounds this stating ‘Shropshire Law Society, founded 1877’. I hope that these two very special pieces give members of the Law Society as much pleasure to be custodians of, as they did the people that commissioned them over 100 years ago. They clearly held the society in very high esteem, as we do now.




X-Press Legal lightens the conveyancing load David Mermod


-Press Legal’s Central office is continuing to support conveyancing lawyers in Shropshire with digital tools designed to significantly reduce their workload.

Having offered digital e AP1s for over three years, X-Press Legal is well prepared for November’s Land Registry changes. Its latest product package for conveyancing lawyers pre-populates the required AML form by up to 60% and the new eAP1 form by up to a staggering 90%. “We are committed to playing a vital role in improving the endto-end speed of conveyancing,” commented David Mermod, Director of X-Press Legal’s Central office. “Our products are constantly innovating to stay ahead of forthcoming legal changes as we provide digital solutions that reduce paperwork and streamline legal workloads. We are extremely proud of this new package and its capacity to pre-populate forms in such an efficient way. We expect it will become an invaluable tool for our legal clients in Shropshire and would urge lawyers to get familiar with it now, in order to be fully prepared and compliant ready for the November changes.”

X-Press Legal Services Central carries out a comprehensive range of property searches producing the reports required for all property transactions such as flood risks, planning and environmental. The company is dedicated to providing local solicitors and conveyancing professionals with access to the most efficient and effective property and land searches. Using X-Press Legal’s Intelligence Conveyancing Online System (ICOS) clients can complete and submit the SDLT form to HMRC via one secure access point. The form is pre-populated using information that has already been input into ICOS – including a ‘check and send’ service to help minimise typing errors and miscalculations. Also included is the option to add postcompletion products such as the eAP1 form. Please get in touch today to discover more about how David and his team can reduce your workload – visit or call 0330 159 5365. ■

All your conveyancing needs in one place



The first property search company to attain a Cyber Essentials Plus accreditation

AMLs Digital IDs Source of Funds Lawyer Checker Bank Account Verification Bankruptcy


X-Press Legal Services provides expert property searches and reports to solicitors and conveyancing professionals. Their network of 27 offices provide hundreds of thousands of conveyancing searches and reports each year.


Personal and professional – X-Press is a friendly organisation and we are the only national independent search company. Established and experienced – With over 20 years’ experience, X-Press is trusted by more than 500 legal practices in England and Wales.

Residential Commercial Agricultural Environmental Mining Water and Drainage Company Utilities


Legal forms Gold Standard Partnership with FormEvo and SDLT/LTT Land Registry Gateway eAP1

Local people with local knowledge – X-Press offices are owned by people who are experts in reporting and have an in-depth knowledge of their local area.

Contact David Mermod in your local X-Press Legal Services office:

The company is continually investing in technology and security, and innovating their product offering.

E: T: 0330 159 5365





lastair’s flat was immaculate. There were guitars hanging neatly from brackets on the walls; paisley-patterned throws over the two sofas; a small Buddhist shrine in the corner. In the air there hung the heady scent of joss sticks and underneath, the headier scent of weed. The state of the flat was a reflection of Alastair’s state of mind: Orderly, somewhat eccentric and perfectly equable. He was well. Nevertheless, he was subject to a Community Treatment Order (CTO). This meant that his detention under section 3 was suspended, and he could be recalled to hospital at short notice if his consultant thought he was beginning to relapse. Alastair had applied to the Tribunal to have this Order discharged. Alastair handed me a coffee in a Hibernian FC mug. ‘Yeah I suppose I’m doing alright’ he mused. ‘I don’t go out much, cos of the tiredness and the sweatin’. If I just go the shop I’m drenched.’ The cause of the tiredness and the sweating was the antipsychotic injection which Alastair was required to accept as a condition of his CTO. Another side-effect which he was less eager to discuss was impotence. Unsurprisingly this was something he was keen to get rid of, but he was frightened to stop the medication because of the threat of recall dangling over his head. Refusing the medication wouldn’t technically trigger a recall to hospital, but it would have the community team watching him for the first hint of a symptom like a cat watching a budgie. And if you’re looking for a symptom you’re quite likely to see one. Was the medication keeping him well? Alastair didn’t think so. ‘You look at ma history,’ he said, ‘I’ve wound up in hospital roughly once every two and a half years since I was eighteen, meds or no meds. They don’t make a blind bit of difference.’ Looking at the chronology it was hard to disagree. He had a mood disorder which did seem to ebb and flow with its own rhythm, even when he was ‘concordant’ with the medication. Did the medication make the relapses less severe? It was difficult to say. But his consultant felt that the awful side-effects were a price worth paying for the possibility of a better prognosis. Of course psychiatrists are rarely on antipsychotics themselves (though I know one who is). It’s easy to focus on the gain when you’re not personally feeling the pain. And often this is justified: if you’re weighing the risk of violent aggression against drowsiness and dribbling, there’s really

no argument about which is the greater evil. But Alistair was not a violent man. When floridly ill he had a tendency to dress a bit like Jack Sparrow, and it’s true he did at one point have a cutlass. The cutlass might just have managed to sever custard, but not if the custard had been in the fridge overnight. Alastair wasn’t a danger to anyone. On the day of the Tribunal Alastair met me at the hospital in a braided jacket and bandana. My heart sank. Then the judge arrived and my heart landed with a thud on my diaphragm. It was Mr. Eldon-Beavins. He loathed me, although to be fair I think he loathed all solicitors. What he hated most was ‘clever’ legal arguments, and if you alluded even casually to case-law he would sigh and lay down his pen until you stopped. I couldn’t recall a single occasion when he had discharged one of my clients. It was usual in pre-covid days for the patient to speak last in a Tribunal, giving him or her the right of reply to all that had gone before but also setting a test of self-restraint as he or she had to sit through the calumnies of the psychiatrist without interrupting or storming out. Alastair was a model of serenity as the hearing ground on – so much so that I wondered whether he might have had one of his roll-ups on the way in. Finally, after about an hour and a half, it was his turn to speak. Normally I would lead the patient through their evidence with a series of carefully calibrated questions, but not today. Alastair fixed the judge with a beady eye and said ‘Your honour, I’m just a man like you. I don’t ask much of life – to make love to my girlfriend; to go for a walk without feeling as if I’ve been mugged in a sauna. I know it’s more than likely that in a couple or three years I’ll be back in here raving. But I’ll take that chance. And I think it should be my chance to take. My right. I’m asking you as a fellow human being not to take that right away from me.’ I looked at Mr. Eldon-Beavins. To my profound shock, I saw that he was misty-eyed, and something was happening on his face which looked like it might have been a smile. I coughed, and the judge shot me a cold look. ‘You’re not going to ruin your client’s submissions by adding anything, are you Mr Howarth?’ No sir, no I’m not. Reader, the Tribunal discharged him. Andy Howarth is a Solicitor in the Mental Health Department at GHP Legal solicitors.

All legal professionals have cases that stick in the memory, whether it’s because they exemplify a particularly interesting legal conundrum, or just because the client was so singular. We would love to hear yours. Please send your Brief Encounters (suitably anonymised of course) to The Editor, Shropshire Lawyer, at





Dear Tim, I have a small north-facing garden with a paved seating area. Around the edge of this patio I have six hostas of various kinds in pots. I love hostas. But this year the snails are wreaking havoc with them. The leaves are as full of holes as a criminal client’s alibi. What can I do? Javid, Telford Hi Javid, Sorry to hear about your snail problem, let’s hope these 3 quick tips can protect your beloved hostas and drive those pesky snails into next door’s garden ASAP. Tip 1: As recommended by a GP friend of mine – Vaseline has many uses. Apply a line around the circumference of the pot or around the feet of the pot, then rub table salt (or if you are a completely boho gardener Maldon Sea Salt) into the Vaseline. The Vaseline keeps the salt in place and helps protect it from dissolving – snails/slugs will not cross a line of salt. Tip 2: Try using copper tape around your pots, quick and easy to apply, a roll of tape can be purchased from your local DIY shop, try Abbey Hardware in Abbey Foregate they have everything from mouse traps to four candles! Tip 3: Delve into your hostas in true David Bellamy style to find if the snails are using your hostas as their local B & B. Quickly root them out and rehome them with a friend or garden rival. Did you know Javid that the UK exports more edible snails to France than just about any other country, in fact more than they produce themselves.



But if all else fails they make a great accompaniment to a summer BBQ salad! Dear Tim, I have a fantasy of roasting freshly dug potatoes on Christmas day. Is this feasible, and if so when should I be putting the seed potatoes in the ground? Andy, Shrewsbury

and beginning of September but be sure to check carefully that there are no birds in there first. Also if you’re trimming buxus balls, spirals or pyramids make sure you do this on a dull day as doing this in the hot sun could scorch your bush. Good luck!

Dear Andy,

Dear Tim, I would love a tree fern in the garden of my small terraced house. Are they too big? Peter, Wellington

Firstly there is nothing wrong with a Christmas fantasy and this one can become a reality.

Dear Peter,

Yes it is possible to grow potatoes at Christmas. Use seed potatoes and plant in August, the best ones being Pentland Javelins and Arran Pilot. Simply grow in pots or bags and place in a frost free place and don’t forget to water. Cover with good quality compost. Make sure the little shoots are protruding from the pot and then When shoots reappear cover with more compost and repeat over a period of weeks. When they have flowered and start to die back you will be ready to harvest them for your Christmas dinner. Enjoy! Dear Tim, How can I encourage more pollinators and wildlife in general into my town garden? I don’t want to let it go completely wild, but I’d like to do my bit for nature. Michele, Shrewsbury

Certainly not! You can get various sizes from ones as big as a telegraph pole to just a few feet tall, in the world of tree ferns size really does not matter. They make a huge impact instantly and the fact these green beauties were around in the time of the dinosaurs will impress yours kids and grandchildren. They are simple to plant and easy to look after. Plant in a pot or in the garden, they only have small fibrous roots so once in the ground firm in and soak the trunk and water through the top. In winter protect the crown from frost with a scarf or bobble hat, straw can also be used. Before the first or second week of April take off the bobble hat, cut off the previous year’s fronds and watch the new ones reveal themselves as they uncurl over a few weeks. ■

Dear Michelle, Great to hear you’re doing your bit in your town garden, try these super sexy plants to attract a host of bees buzzing through your garden gate. Brightly coloured flowers especially blues and purples are excellent pollinators. Try introducing lavender, cornflowers, sunflowers, summer lilac and buddleias and I’ll guarantee you’ll have bees in minutes. Happy gardening! Dear Tim, My hedges (privet mixed with some holly and sycamore, unfortunately) are full of dunnocks, sparrows and wrens but they badly need cutting. When can I trim them so as to cause the least disruption to the birdlife? Delroy, Oswestry Dear Delroy, I recommend trimming your bush twice a year, end of May SHROP SHIR EL AWYER 21


Poppy’s second chance at love


oppy’s owner first contacted her local rehoming centre and said she needed to hand Poppy, a four year old Chihuahua cross, over to us as she had sadly recently been given a diagnosis that she had a terminal illness. She was advised to apply for a free Canine Care Card and nominate a Dog Guardian; someone she trusts to sign over the care of Poppy to Dogs Trust should she need it. She’d then be able to spend the most time possible with Poppy and feel reassured that she’d be given the best possible care at Dogs Trust when they could no longer be together. When Poppy’s Dog Guardian contacted us to advise that her owner was now receiving palliative care and that they needed to activate her Canine Care Card, Poppy was collected by Dogs Trust the very next day. After a vet and behavioural assessment we decided the best place for Poppy would be a loving foster home. We were able to advise the foster carers of all the information we’d been given by Poppy’s owner regarding her life, diet and routine to enable us to make this transitional period as stress-free as possible for Poppy. Within almost no time, we were able to find very affectionate Poppy a lovely new home for her second chance at love. Poppy’s story is one of many we come across at Dogs Trust.

Many owners are growing increasingly worried about gradually losing their independence or their health deteriorating. Dogs Trust want to offer owners peace of mind that we will be there at this difficult time to care for and rehome their four legged friends should the worst happen. Therefore we’re pleased to announce that we have extended our Canine Care Card service. Dogs Trust will care for your dog should you move into a care home, become seriously ill or pass away. For more information on our Canine Care Card service and how to register your dog please type in this link where you will find our online application form and more information on our free service. If you have any queries regarding the Canine Care Card please email or call 020 7837 0006 and we will be happy to help. ■

Who’ll keep her 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 their dog a second chance a life. At Dogs Trust, we never put down a healthy dog. We’ll care for them at one of our 21 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.

E-mail Or call 020 7837 0006

Or write to: FREEPOST DOGSTRUSTL (No stamp required) Please quote “334975” All information will be treated as strictly confidential. Service only available for residents of the UK, Ireland, Channel Islands & Isle of Man.

A dog is for life, not just for Christmas®

Registered charity numbers: 227523 & SC037843


© Dogs Trust 2021


Prizes a plenty with the spin to win game 12,000 solicitors out in force to show support for charity The Solicitors’ Charity sponsors event to raise awareness of the support it gives solicitors


ore than 12,000 legal colleagues got together and picked up the pace to support The London Legal Support Trust at the London Legal Walk on June 28th 2022 and raised more than £550,000 for legal support services. The walk, now in its 18th year, was organised by the London Legal Support Trust and brought together the legal community supporting access to justice. Sponsored by The Solicitors’ Charity, participants were invited to stop at its stand en route to find out more about how it helps solicitors who are going through difficult times. There was also a fun ‘Wheel of Fortune’ on the charity stand – giving walkers the opportunity to win big, which proved a huge hit! It was a brilliant opportunity for The Solicitors' Charity to engage with solicitors from across the UK, and visitors loved taking part in the fun and games on the interactive stand.

12,000 Solicitors ‘spin to win’ at London Legal Walk After crossing the finish line, the walkers celebrated at an evening street party featuring food vendors, fire jugglers and musicians. The Solicitors’ Charity Chief Executive Nick Gallagher said: “This year’s London Legal Walk had a great atmosphere created by all those taking part – including 10 of the charity’s volunteers and staff. A huge amount has been raised to help provide more free and pro bono advice to solicitors in London and the South East. “As a sponsor of The London Legal Walk again this year, we were delighted to chat to participants at our information stand and spread the word about the work we do and how it makes a positive difference to many lives in England and Wales. “The Wheel of Fortune proved popular too – it was lovely to see so many legal professionals having a fantastic time!” Find out more about The Solicitors’ Charity at:

London Legal Walk participants, including The Solicitors’ Charity team led by CEO Nick Gallagher, supporting access to justice.



OUTSIDE OF WORK W e delve into some of the more esoteric activities that our members get up to (or so they claim on their work profiles). This month Fiona Barnes tells all about Eton Fives.

How did I get into it? I started playing Eton Fives while still at school. My brothers both played at Shrewsbury School and my father ran the local club and so I joined them. And I loved it so much that I’ve been playing ever since! The club is now run by my older brother. My younger brother still plays too, but he has managed to escape from Shrewsbury and now plays mostly for the Windsor and Eton Club. What is fives? Most cultures in the world have invented games that involve hitting a ball against a wall with your hands. Fives is part of a family of handball sports that includes American Handball, Irish Handball, and the various Basque games, Pelota Vasca. In the Middle Ages, peasants played a game where a ball was hit against the walls of a chapel. These games were called ‘Fives’. Although the exact etymology is uncertain, it is most likely referring to the fingers on a hand as a ‘bunch of fives’. There are several versions of Fives such as Rugby Fives and Winchester Fives, as well as Eton Fives.

Eton Fives started, as the name might suggest, at Eton College, where the boys played their handball game up against the side of the school chapel. It is only played as “doubles”. Players wear padded leather gloves, since the ball (which is slightly large than a golf-ball and made of rubber and cork) is quite hard. In the UK, most Eton Fives clubs are concentrated in the South East, generally playing on courts at various schools, but there are also courts at Westway Sports Centre (under the A40 in West London) and a handful in other more or less surprising places (Provence, Switzerland, Brazil, Malaysia, Darjeeling, Australia et al). It is particularly popular in Nigeria.

The Origins of the Court The shape of the current court derives from one particular bay on the side of the chapel at Eton College (a bay being the area between the buttresses supporting the chapel walls). Most bays only required simple rules, but the bay at the foot of the chapel steps was different: the steps' handrail formed a hazard (seen on the left in the photo of the court). Furthermore, a landing between the two flights of steps extended the playing area. By comparing the two images above, one can see that:



it is a three-sided court; the front wall of the court is actually the side wall of the chapel; buttresses form the side walls of the court; the stone handrail for the steps up the side of the chapel juts into the court slightly and this is still the focal point of the game; and sundry ledges and edges give the court a bit of extra interest.

as well as the Festival of the Northern Championships held at Shrewsbury.

By way of comparison, Rugby Fives is played in a court much like a squash court, whilst Winchester Fives is also played in a fairly plain court, but with a vertical kink in the left-hand wall. Somewhat confusingly, the remnant of the stone handrail that projects into the left side of the court is called the “buttress”. It is roughly L-shaped, about shoulder high and is located at the step and extends into both the front and back courts. The buttress is very complex in shape, with many slopes and angles. Where the buttress meets the step it forms a small three-sided niche, called “the dead-man's hole” or just “the hole”. This is a natural place to try to send the ball when playing, as it often results in an unreturnable shot. However, because it is very small, it requires great accuracy to successfully “kill” a ball in the hole. Skilful players make great use of the features – especially the buttress – to confuse and deceive their opponents. Simple shots often become unpredictable ricochets. The front court is particularly difficult to play in, as the ball may easily change direction several times during its travel. Needless to say, the design of the Eton Fives court makes it the most interesting version by a long chalk. The seemingly random hotchpotch of surfaces and angles of the Eton Fives court brings a “marvellous complexity” to the game. Therefore, even though Eton Fives is an extremely fast game, it is also a game of great skill. Players practised in its subtleties and nuances will nearly always beat those who rely mainly on brute force and speed. Perhaps uniquely amongst ball games, left-handed players are considered to have an advantage over right-handed ones, thanks to the court's idiosyncratic design. The ambidextrous, naturally, have a huge advantage over both, since shots may be played with either hand. And now? Apart from continuing to play at the Monday Fives Club in Shrewsbury, I usually play in the annual National Ladies (in action below) and occasionally in the Mixed Championships,

In addition to our weekly local club games, Shrewsbury also hosts the annual Northern Championships, which is one of the big three tournaments and so draws in most of the top players. It’s called the Northern Championships despite Shrewsbury being further south than Repton, where the Midlands Championships are held!

To find out more about the game, or to take part, contact Andrew Mitchell on 07766 336264 or andrewmitchell@ Fiona will be around on Monday 26th September and has invited the Society to form a group where we can all give it a go. This would be followed by the traditional visit to the pub of course! If you are interested, then please let Jennifer Richards (Jennifer.Richards@ know. You can also see the Fives Courts at Shrewsbury School from the public footpath running through the School. Other links: Watch on YouTube Fiona Barnes is a partner at Wace Morgan Solicitors and specialises in Wills; Inheritance tax and estate planning; Trusts; Lasting Powers of Attorney & Living Wills; and Probate.

If you have weird hobby then we love to hear all about it!



Lanyon Bowdler congratulate two of their employees who have been promoted to associate solicitors


dam Hodson joined us just over a year ago. Adam is a solicitor with 13 years’ PQE and works in the Clinical Negligence department in Shrewsbury, he is also an Assistant Coroner for Birmingham and Solihull. As well as getting to grips with a challenging case load since he has been with us, Adam has taken a leading role in supervising and mentoring trainee solicitors during their seats in the department. Staci Robinson joined us as a paralegal, in the Dispute Resolution department in Hereford initially, before obtaining a training contract. She qualified in 2020 into the Family department and works alongside Philippa Pearson in Hereford and Ludlow. She has taken the lead on advising the Family department on electronic bundles, the new online divorce system and all things “tech” in the family world, as well as chairing the firm’s Social Committee. Podcasts The Legal Lounge has been a very busy place, after two successful seasons we are now recording for season three. If you have not visited yet you can do so here: The Legal Lounge ( there are lots of interesting topics covered so far along with episodes about work experience and how to apply to be a trainee solicitor with Lanyon Bowdler.


Getting back out at agricultural shows We were very pleased to be back out at a couple of agricultural shows recently. On 28 May we were at the Shropshire County Show and then we attended Staffordshire County Showground on 1 & 2 June. The weather was good and it was lovely to see people face to face. We look forward to being at Burwarton, Oswestry, Anglesey and Llanfyllin in August. Celebrating three years in Conwy We hosted a party at the Hilton Gardens Inn, Snowdonia on Thursday 23 June to celebrate three years in Conwy! We have expanded hugely in this time, with nearly 20 people now working there. It was great to see so many guests enjoying themselves at this super venue, we had excellent food and were entertained with magic tricks from Lofty and a local choir. Charities we support Some of our staff are taking part in the Welsh Three Peaks Challenge on 16 July. We are raising money for our chosen charities for this year, which are Crest and ELY memorial fund. If you would like to sponsor us we have two GoFundMe pages, one for each charity! For donations to Crest visit: For donations to ELY Memorial Fund visit: ELYCharity


PCB Family Solicitor obtains expert reaccreditation Left to right: Ryan Bickham, Rhian Ward, Helen Barrett, Pauline Davies.

PCB Solicitors completed the Yorkshire Three Peaks Challenge for charity


team of hikers from local law firm PCB Solicitors took on the Yorkshire Three Peaks challenge on Saturday 21st May 2022 to raise awareness and funds for Mind and Hope House & Ty Gobaith children’s hospices. Partner Ryan Bickham said “Our staff chose the national charity Mind and local charity Hope House as our chosen charities for 2022, we wanted to take on a big challenge to help raise important funds for them and when the Yorkshire Three Peaks challenge was suggested we thought it would be ideal.” The Yorkshire Three Peaks challenge includes the peaks of Pen-y-Ghent, Ingleborough and Whernside. The team set off at around 6:00 am to walk the circular 24 mile route completing all three peaks in one day.


ocal family law solicitor Layla Blackmore has been successfully re-accredited as a Children Law expert by the Law Society.

Head of Public Law at PCB Solicitors Layla Blackmore said “I am extremely pleased to be reaccredited as an expert in Children Law. I love the work that I do and acting for children who are going through challenging circumstances is rewarding”. The accreditation awarded by the Law Society recognises a quality standard for solicitors representing children in children law proceedings. It allows clients and professionals to know that their representative is suitably qualified when a child needs representation. Membership requires re-accreditation every 3 years. To obtain accreditation members must show that they have experience in this area and an up-to-date knowledge of guidance, legislation, case law and practice developments. Head of Family Law at PCB Solicitors Ruth Harris said “We are very proud of Layla, we can see the hard work that she puts in every day and this accreditation recognises her as an expert in her field.” Layla is based at PCB Solicitors Shrewsbury office, but she represents clients across Shropshire and Mid Wales.

Partner Ryan Bickham said “It was a tough challenge and required a lot of mental strength and determination to complete the last peak Ingleborough. At the end it was a relief and a great sense achievement to complete the challenge and raise over £1,000 for charity.” Hope House ensure that children with life-threatening conditions enjoy the best quality of life, together with their families. They provide specialist care and bereavement support, when and where people need it, and work to ensure that no one faces the death of a child alone. Mind is known as the mental health charity, working across England & Wales. They believe no one should face a mental health problem alone. They’re available to listen, give support & advice, & fight your corner. You can support Mind and Hope House by making a donation to their Just Giving pages: Hope House: Mind:

Layla Blackmore SHROP SHIR EL AWYER 27


Simple Contract Law

Stripping English Law of Complexity


n his new book, WatsonGandy has bravely done a complete about-turn on traditional dusty textbooks, writing an illustrated guide to English contract law that is fun to read, entertaining and succinct. Synopsis of Simple Contract Law: A brief introduction to English Contract Law:

This book provides an essential introduction to English contract law. Written by practising barrister and law professor, Mark Watson-Gandy, whose infectious enthusiasm for the subject permeates the text, the book simply explains all the core concepts and leading cases and what the most common terms and conditions actually do. Whether you are a law student, businessman or an international lawyer, you will find “Simple Contract Law” to be an easy-toread, concise, and informative first guide into the subject. Enlivened by the colourful back stories to the case law and with witty illustrations by Gordon Collett, this book is a welcome antidote to stale traditional contract law textbooks. “People don’t realise quite how important English contract law is for us all. English contract law has long been the preferred choice of law for international contracts – often even where the parties or transaction has no connection to the UK. The UK legal services industry is worth £60 billion to the UK economy; the UK legal services market is the largest in Europe and second only globally to the USA. Three quarters of those using London’s commercial courts during litigation come from outside of the UK” explains the author. “I wanted to write something which would cut through the complexity, to give an accessible overview of the law. A quick and easy-to-read guide like this is long overdue.” Simple Contract Law: A brief introduction to English Contract Law is available now for £9.95 on Amazon: Professor Mark Watson-Gandy K.S.G is a practising barrister at Three Stone Chambers in Lincoln’s Inn and has appeared in high-profile cases in the UK and abroad. He is a Visiting Professor at the University of Westminster and at the University of Lorraine in France. He was made a Knight of the Order of St Gregory the Great in recognition of his work as a barrister and law professor in 2007. In 2020, he was appointed as one of the UK Ministry of Justice’s “Legal Services are Great Champions” to promote English legal services internationally.


Articles of Association Guidance and Precedents


s the author, Richard Bishop, says in his introduction, “the development of modern company law and the ability for ordinary people to incorporate a company was driven by the industrial revolution” from the 1840s. Practitioners have all come a long way since then, care of massive statutory provisions. Today, nearly four million companies incorporated in the UK allow their constitution or company rule book to be dictated by the standard Articles of Association. This new book from Bloomsbury Professional Law has been constructed “to aid professional advisers, directors and shareholders make better decisions about any company’s constitution.” We were most impressed with the way in which the book is structured to follow the articles logically with useful examples in a blocked format to make the points stand out. Depending on what you might be looking for, the author reviews the following areas: the background to the articles of association, the Company Law Act 2006, business structures and their needs; reviews of the case law (without too many cases cited) and the implications for amending the articles of association; a detailed analysis of the default articles of association proscribed in The Companies (Model Articles) Regulations 2008 Table A; and a practical guide to drafting articles of association, real life examples and discussions on why companies should adapt Table A to suit specific company requirements. One splendid innovation which is becoming commonplace now is the facility to download precedents with instructions set out at the beginning of the work. There is also a licence agreement which is relatively straightforward to follow. The facility dispenses with the CD which has become obsolete for many new laptops by using the website to download what you may need for your practice. In the book, the precedents start from page 261 onwards which is approximately half-way through the book. We are confident that solicitors and accountants are presented here with the tools they need to offer sound advice to their clients on how articles may impact on the company. The key remains with what the author calls “clever drafting” on how the constitution of a company can be amended to provide clear provisions to suit its strategic position. It will always depend on the specific needs of the client, and these needs are well catered for in this book. And for those clients who may wish to consider changing the constitution of their own company, Richard Bishop’s book is full of practical examples. He covers the do’s and don’ts of drafting very pragmatically, and offers illustrations and full procedures for trustees, family investment and property companies providing guidelines for minority shareholders, investors, and directors. Indeed, it is a superior work which gets the right balance between detail and the practical requirements of the client.





he Accidental IT Guy was in a terrible funk. After the initial elation of getting his shot at the IT HelpDesk, everything had turned into an unmitigated disaster. No ticket was too simple for him to make worse. Had he blown his big chance? What if they found out that he had lied on his CV and that his previous job was not in Silicon Valley, but rather as Deputy Chief for Suitcases at 10 Downing Street? Desperate, he started rifling through his desk drawers. Under the standard jumble of old charging leads, multi-coloured network cables and a phone that some Associate had dropped down the toilet at Telford Magistrates Court, he found a ring binder… And, dear reader, the rest as they say is history. As the latest guardian of The Cyber House Rules, our protagonist could do no wrong. All he had to do was whisper the magical words “turn it off and turn it on again” and everyone’s Outlook connected to mail servers, long-forgotten billable time was suddenly retrieved from the cache meaning underperforming fee-earners were able to hit their targets. A wise man once said “with great power comes great responsibility”, so if you can handle the truth, read on as the Shropshire Law Society reveals the secrets held therein.

emails – some could cause existential threats to the firm – it can be tedious and stressful. Trawling through a screen of special offers for you from Victoria’s Secret is not just incredibly annoying, it leaves images that are seared on your retinae for far longer than anyone would wish for. Is it really that harmful? Actually it gets worse. Using your work email for personal use makes it easier for malicious parties to build up a profile of you that helps them to target you, or your firm, more effectively. Here in IT we can just about get away with saying: “I’m sorry to see from the email that the vets sent you that your hamster has had its leg amputated”. What we don’t say (no matter how tempting): Loved the photos from Jemima’s sports day (creepy) How did your date with YoungAtHeart1961 go? (salacious) How did your date with YoungAtHeart1962 go? (puerile) How did your date with YoungAtHeart1963 go? (I think we all get the idea…) YoungAtHeart1961

Rule 156: Do not use you work email for personal use Take this person who calls IT to say: “Hi IT, I’ve just requested a password reset for my Tinder account, it hasn’t been held up by the email filter by any chance?” (spoiler alert: it has, and the IT team have signed in as you, changed your profile picture from the photo of 15 years ago and 15kg lighter to the photo that your firm have used for their website and then set you up with YoungAtHeart1961). But surely it’s more secure than a gmail account because IT are protecting this email? Not necessarily so. Law firms are perceived as a very tempting target by hackers. And even if it was more secure from a cybersecurity point of view, are you really happy for a group of guys who are stuck in a windowless room knowing absolutely everything about your life?

Mike Lim is Legal Document Developer at Lanyon Bowdler solicitors.

Don’t I have a right to privacy? Not if it’s a work email. Come to think of it, you might as well assume that HR and anyone with managerial responsibility has actually read all these emails. So I might as well just stand outside the office in my lunch-break and broadcast all my emails? Pretty much. Oh well, at least it keeps the HelpDesk amused: Errr, no. IT can spend up to 20% of the working day filtering dodgy SHROP SHIR EL AWYER 29


Cryptic Crossword No.2 by Chippy Solutions to be sent to The sender of the first correct solution opened on 10th September will win a bottle of Hencote sparkling wine.


a bottl e of He ncote sparkli ng win e!

ACROSS 1. Swallow back stopper (4) 4. The conservative here follows Royal Academy back for easy degree (3,7) 9. Less attractive to recline in tangled rug (6) 10. (8) 11. Inherited wealth makes one moldy (3,5) 12. Secretive worker’s constant sounds like Philby or Maclean (3,3) 13. Chunky labourer in a tizz? You can work through it (4,5,5) 16. Turing caught between Country and those others – will we stand for it? (8,6) 20. See 2d 22. Cancelling scheduled hearing is dithering, losing poorly (8) 24. See 8 25. Bling is flaming around North (6) 26. Bullies bash Perseus etc (10) 27. Morning after former boyfriend is a test (4) DOWN 2. 20a Member and friend, fair, make movie (7,6) 3. Fabulating brother is miserable, I hear (5) 4. A row about kidney – it gets you fired up (9) 30 SH ROP SH IR E L AW YER

5. Faster-than-light particle throbbing inside weight (7) 6. Apple vacuum cleaner? Chippy’s rubbish at this (1,4) 7. Before coming out, baby, you’re not a person in the eyes of the Law (4,5) 8. 24 Mutant squirrel’s utopia – it speaks for itself (3,4,8) 14. Sued badly after marriage for membership fee (5,4) 15. Manacles etc in strops (9) 17. Mixed up in beer, desire is finished (3,4) 18. Cheating boyfriend in fall over a text (4,3) 19. Guitarist by loos has criminal intent (4,3) 21. Sword embedded in latest occupant (5) 23. Anxious for present or future (5) Solutions in the next issue. Crossword No.1 solution: Across 1. Dataset; 5. Rider; 8. Ancillary; 9. Cab; 10. Stoic; 12. Saladin; 13. Court hearings; 15. Seaward; 17. Iliac; 19. Lei; 20. Barrister; 22. Wight; 23. Digicam. Down 1. Drams; 3. Solicit; 4. Transgendered; 5. Royal; 6. Decidendi; 7. Rebinds; 11. Ovulating; 13. Caselaw; 14. Railing; 16. Ambit; 18. Coram; 21. 2 Tic Tac.





Ground Hazards: Due Diligence for Today and the Future By Dr. Tim Farewell, Head of Science, Dye & Durham


o ensure that home buyers have a clear understanding of possible hazards or restrictions that have the potential to affect their future home, a diligent property professional will always recommend undertaking a variety of searches for every residential transaction.

Future Insights from the Climate Report Last October, the Law Society published a Climate Change Resolution3 that outlined the role solicitors can play in addressing the climate crisis, which included a call to action to develop a climate-conscious approach to legal practice.

A contaminated land or flood search are often routinely undertaken by many, regardless of location, property type, size, proposed use or client.

But what does this mean for property lawyers and conveyancers? We believe there is the potential to help clients understand climate change impacts by providing data insights as part of the conveyancing due diligence process.

Yet, other well-known environmental issues such as subsidence, which has the potential to create a problem with lending and insurability if identified, are not always a go-to search. While this hazard may not be an issue everywhere in the UK today, we do believe it is an issue that should be taken seriously, particularly as we look into the future. We know that subsidence can be caused by a number of issues, including the shrinkage and swelling of soils in response to changing moisture conditions, the impact of trees, aging infrastructure or man-made disturbances. To date, subsidence searches have looked at historic data to understand if such risks pose a threat to a property address, however with the changing climate, we believe it is vital to instead look forward to model future hazards. Modelling Future Hazards for Homebuyers We have undertaken some analysis of our National Ground Risk Model (NGRM): Climate™, which models future climate-related environmental hazards, and identified that more than 7.65 million properties in Great Britain could be exposed to medium or high risk of soil subsidence by the 2080s. This is an increase of over 1.89 million individual properties, and is as a result of climate change1. With all climate models projecting hotter, drier summers in the future, there is increasing likelihood of soil shrinkage, which can create downward movement in buildings located on vulnerable soils. This shrinkage is worse in clay soils, which are commonly found across the south east of England, and has the potential to move foundations, cracking walls and ceilings, resulting in expensive insurance claims and repair bills. Our data suggests that more than 5.76 million properties in Great Britain are today exposed to medium or high subsidence risk. This increases to approximately 6.64 million in the 2030s. Specifically, just over half a million more properties (547,317) could be at high exposure in the next 60 years, compared to today’s figures. Looking at Surrey, our data shows that 38% of the total county area could be exposed to high or very high soil subsidence hazard in the 2050s, compared to today’s baseline data which shows it is currently at 15%. In fact by the 2050s, our data shows us that over 80 counties across the UK are likely to experience an increased risk of soil subsidence hazard to some degree, moving from low to moderate, moderate to high, or high to very high, as a result of our changing climate. In particular, additional parts of Middlesex, Hampshire, Berkshire, Hertfordshire and Surrey could move to the highest subsidence hazard classes by the 2050s2. 32 SH ROP SH IR E L AW YER

Dye & Durham’s market leading Climate Report launched to help property lawyers and conveyancers protect homebuyers’ best interests and make informed, future-facing decisions. In addition to subsidence, the Climate Report models a range of hazards for individual properties, including coastal erosion, flood risk exposure and extreme winds, over the next 60 years. The report has been designed to cover both physical hazards and delve into how extreme climate conditions could affect properties over time. Ultimately, robust climate science indicates that we will see more hotter, drier summers and wetter winters as a result of our changing climate. These conditions are of real concern as they are likely to result in an increase in both the severity and frequency of climaterelated impacts to our homes, infrastructure and, more worryingly, the health of vulnerable members of our communities. In conveyancing, there is a tendency to look backwards to determine risk levels, however it is time to start using insight and data to look forward: If we, as an industry, can increase awareness of climate change and its potential impact on our homes and communities, more people will become engaged and want understand how this may affect their property in the future and take steps to help mitigate risks posed by the changing climate. To learn more about the Climate Report or to obtain a free sample, email or visit ■ 1. Climate change data has been calculated for Unique Property Reference Numbers (UPRNs) in Great Britain, based on a Medium Emissions Scenario (RCP:4.5 Equivalent to 2.4°C global warming by 2100s) 2. Climate change data has been calculated based on a High Emission Scenario (RCP 8.5, Equivalent to 4.3°C global warming by 2100s) 3.


HELP YOUR CLIENT TO PROTECT THEIR INTERESTS, NOW AND IN THE FUTURE Informing homebuyers of the hazards arising from climate change that could affect their future property. SHROP SHIR EL AWYER 33


The Legal Practice Productivity Solution




in g




L e g al sh

Le g nting cou Ac al

Do c & M um a

mbly Asse t en gement na

P r a c tic e

n Ma


LEAP offers cutting-edge, integrated legal technology expanding beyond traditional practice management software.