Westminster & Holborn Law Society May 2022

Page 1






MAY 2022

The Big Reset: Responding To Change

■ Rescue my Bitcoin ■ Sanctions on Russia ■ Restorative Justice in Colombia CENTRAL LONDON LAWYER | 1


Don’t change what you do. Just make it easier to do. See how Clio makes legal practice management easier.

Discover Clio today at clio.com/uk/central-london or call +44-800-433-2546.


PUBLISHER Benham Publishing Aintree Building, Aintree Way, Aintree Business Park, Liverpool L9 5AQ Tel: 0151 236 4141 Fax: 0151 236 0440 Email: admin@benhampublishing.com Web: www.benhampublishing.com

Contents 11 05 President’s Foreword 11 Where is the


promised Employment Bill?


12 Spotlight: CWHLS

MEDIA No. 1891

CSR & Pro Bono Committee

PUBLISHED May 2022 © Benham Publishing Ltd. LEGAL NOTICE © Benham Publishing. None of the editorial or photographs may be reproduced without prior written permission from the publishers. Benham Publishing would like to point out that all editorial comment and articles are the responsibility of the originators and may or may not reflect the opinions of Benham Media. No responsibility can be accepted for any inaccuracies that may occur, correct at time of going to press. Benham Publishing cannot be held responsible for any inaccuracies in web or email links supplied to us. DISCLAIMER All views expressed in this publication are the views of the individual writers and not the society unless specifically stated to be otherwise. All statements as to the law are for discussion between members and should not be relied upon as an accurate statement of the law, are of a general nature and do not constitute advice in any particular case or circumstance.


13 In search of the first Cowrie law scholar

14 Ukraine Appeal 15 FBE Conference in Girona

17 Freedom from


Torture challenges refugees-to-Rwanda policy

Members of the public should not seek to rely on anything published in this magazine in court but seek qualified Legal Advice.

18 Rescue my Bitcoin 23 Footwear Innovation:

COVER INFORMATION Photo by Aaron Gilmore on Unsplash.

Nike’s Super Shoes

Copy Deadline 28th July 2022 For the August 2022 edition Advertising Anyone wishing to advertise in Central London Lawyer please contact Catherine McCarthy before the copy deadline. 0151 236 4141 catherine@benhampublishing.com Editorial Members wishing to submit editorial please send to: cwhlawsoc@gmail.com Co-Editors in Chief: Sarah Bradd and Kene Onyeka Allison. Editorial Board: Sarah Bradd, Matthew Allan, Lotus Kimona, Anamitra Mukhopadhyay and Sadie Thompson.


24 TLS and equality of arms – missing in action

26 Managing employee

mental health in times of uncertainty

29 Junior Lawyers Division

Follow us on social media



There’s a reason smart law firms choose Quill. Outsourced legal cashiering Legal practice management software ...and more!

info@quill.co.uk 4 | CENTRAL LONDON LAWYER


0161 236 2910


The President’s Foreword MAY 2022 Matthew Allan


elcome to the Spring edition of Central London Lawyer!

I would like to thank our guest editor Sadie Thomson of JMW for drawing together an engaging mix of articles. We have everything covered from Russian sanction to Nike’s running shoe IP, restorative justice in Colombia to English Bitcoin litigation. An international mix showcasing our members’ wide range of interests and practices. On an international note, I had the privilege of presenting two representatives from the Warsaw Bar Association with a Certificate of Honour on behalf of WHLS in early April. This was in recognition of their amazing efforts in establishing and coordinating humanitarian relief for legal colleagues in Ukraine, including medicine, food and clothing to areas not presently met by the larger humanitarian consignments. I am sure you will have contributed to supporting Ukraine in your own way already, but I encourage you to consider the Dean of the Krakow Bar Association’s letter requesting assistance (page 14) and donate if possible. Our International Committee has also been on the road again and Prof Sara Chandler provides an update on March’s Federation of European Bars (FBE) Conference in Girona, page 15. This comes hot on the heels of the Society’s formal Twinning with colleagues of the Palermo Bar Association. The Society hopes to arrange a delegation to visit the Sicilian capital soon, and members are welcome to join.

its newest member, Chris White of the Government Legal Department, to discuss volunteering and South Westminster Legal Advice Centre on page 12. In a timely piece on manging employee mental health at page 26, Rachel Phillips of JMW’s Employment Team considers some of the causes of increased mental health issues (stop Doomscrolling!) and notes that, perhaps counterintuitively, a recent report has found that more than a third of UK workers have actually felt more stressed since lockdown restrictions ended. For members unfamiliar with the Cowrie Scholarship Foundation, Jordan Lancaster of our Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Committee, explains the exciting opportunities on offer from the Foundation at page 13, which has set a mission to fund at least 100 disadvantaged Black British students through UK universities. Finally, I would like to extend a warm invitation to members to write for us or get involved with one of our committees. It’s a great way to share your knowledge and enthusiasm with our wider legal community and to showcase your expertise I hope you enjoy this edition.

Matthew Allan

President Westminster & Holborn Law Society

I am also pleased to report that the Society is returning to rude health generally. After a hiatus due to the pandemic our CSR & Pro Bono Committee is flourishing again. This edition sees our new chair of the committee, Debjani Biswas-Hawkes, interview




020 7397 4363 enquiries@conveyancinginsurance.co.uk www.conveyancinginsurance.co.uk

Explore our online portal here:

Today’s conveyancing demands instant results. Ci Self-Issue Insurance from Legal & Contingency provides an immediate solution to your conveyancing needs, offering wide-ranging Residential and Commercial cover at highly competitive premiums. Our facility gives you easy access to: • Instant issue Single and Multi-Policy cover • Backdating and shared access functionality • Online indemnity top-ups • A full quote and purchase history • A choice of payment methods … all at the touch of a button. Our team is on hand to assist you, backed up by our Fast Track bespoke service for risks that may fall outside of the self-issue criteria.

Conveyancing Insurance (Ci) Self-Issue is a portfolio of insurance products provided by Legal & Contingency Limited. 6 | CENTRALLegal LONDON LAWYER & Contingency Limited is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority. Registered in England No.03511606.


Matthew Allan President

Matthew is a solicitor-advocate and specialises in commercial litigation and international arbitration. He is also the Co-Vice Chair of the Society’s International Committee which develops professional links with lawyers and their clients throughout Europe and further afield. Matt is looking forward to helping build the Society’s network of local and international connections over his presidential year. If you or your firm are interested in hosting or sponsoring one of our events, do get in touch President@whls.org.uk.

Nicola Rubbert Vice President

Nicola is a commercial and employment solicitor. She is the Chair of our Education & Training Committee and is Council Member of The Law Society of England & Wales, representing the constituency of Westminster. Nicola is Immediate Past Chair of the London Young Lawyers Group, an organisation which ignited her passion for the legal community.

Philip Henson Deputy Vice President

Philip Henson is a Partner and the Head of Employment at international law firm EBL Miller Rosenfalck, based in Farringdon. He also heads the North America desk and the China desk of the firm. He is the Chair of the WHLS Law Reform Committee. Phil and the committee research and reply to consultations on changes to legislation. Phil is looking forward to being more involved in the Society as the Deputy Vice President. Phil is involved in various charities and he is the Editor of City Solicitor magazine (the magazine of the City of London Law Society). Outside of a busy work and family life, Phil also produces and occasionally writes short films. He has recently finished a script for a dark comedy called Viking Funeral which he plans to develop in 2022.

Anthony Seymour Honorary Treasurer

Anthony is a Locum Property Solicitor who deals with Commercial Property Landlord and Tenant and residential conveyancing. He has worked at many firms and was for many years a Partner in the Property Department of a central London Law firm. He is a member of the Bristol University Alumni Association London branch and holds a Masters degree in Law from King’s College London University.

Helen Broadbridge Co-Honorary Secretary

Helen is currently a Tax Solicitor working in the City of London and Honorary Secretary of Westminster & Holborn Law Society. She likes to read and write about organisational behaviour, gender and economics. Helen is also a fluent speaker of French and Russian and an accomplished hammer thrower.

Sarah Bradd Co-Editor in Chief

Sarah is a Paralegal and a Future Trainee at Charles Russell Speechlys working for the Development Sales and Regeneration Teams. She is currently working towards completing her Fellowship for CILEx having completed her LLB at the University of Law. She is looking forward to starting her Training Contract in 2023. If you have any contributions for the next editions of the Central London Lawyer please do get in touch with her on LinkedIn and it would be great to hear from you.

Kene Onyeka Allison Co-Editor in Chief

Kene is an in-house solicitor at Mizuho International plc, a Japanese investment bank. She is dual-qualified in England & Wales and Nigeria. Her areas of specialisation are Debt Capital Markets and Derivatives. She is the co-chair of the British Nigeria Law Forum Women’s Network and volunteers in different capacities with different organisations with the aim of improving ethnic and minority diversity.

Saskia Rock-Williams Administrative Secretary

Saskia is currently a Trainee Solicitor at Macfarlanes LLP and Administrative Secretary of the Westminster & Holborn Law Society. She has a particular interest in matters concerning Equality, Diversity & Inclusion, and regularly reads and writes about such topics. Saskia is also an accomplished equestrian in her spare time.

Paul Sharma Immediate Past President

Paul Sharma is the immediate past President of Westminster and Holborn Law Society and the Council member for Westminster & Holborn Law Society – the central London law society. Paul is the founder and managing partner of Sharma Solicitors. Sharma Solicitors is a boutique employment law practice acting for both claimants and respondents, small and multinational firms. Paul worked as a trade union official before qualifying in a firm that acts exclusively for the large trade unions for their members. Paul went on to head the employment law departments of an outer London commercial firm before doing the same for a large city practice. CENTRAL LONDON LAWYER | 7


Meet the Editorial Team W

e are pleased to introduce you to the editorial team, who have been working hard to bring this edition of the Central London Lawyer Magazine together.

We are always keen to welcome new ideas and obtain articles from a variety of sources. Should you wish to discuss this edition, or if you would like to contribute to our future editions, please do not hesitate to get in contact with us. It would be great to hear from you!

Sarah Bradd

Sarah is a Paralegal and a Future Trainee at Charles Russell Speechlys working for the Development Sales and Regeneration Teams. She is currently working towards completing her Fellowship for CILEx having completed her LLB at the University of Law. She is looking forward to starting her Training Contract in 2023. Sarah enjoys spending time on holiday exploring new places. When not working, she loves eating at restaurants and going to the cinema.

Kene Onyeka Allison

Kene is an in-house solicitor at Mizuho International plc, a Japanese investment bank. She is dualqualified in England & Wales and Nigeria. Her areas of specialisation are Debt Capital Markets and Derivatives. She is the co-chair of the British Nigeria Law Forum Women’s Network and volunteers in different capacities with different organisations with the aim of improving ethnic and minority diversity.

Lotus Kimona

Lotus works as a Legal Assistant in the matrimonial department at Hepburn Delaney. She has experience across different areas of commercial law but decided that family law is her preferred specialism. When not working you can find Lotus on a netball court, reading, spending time with family and friends or at her favourite coffee shops.

Anamitra Mukhopadhyay

Anamitra is a solicitor within JMW Solicitors LLP’s Commercial Litigation and IP departments. Anamitra advises clients across various sectors on a variety of matters including IP infringement issues, contractual breaches and civil fraud. Prior to entering the world of law, Anamitra completed a History degree and has a passion for the subject. Aside from History, Anamitra’s other love in life is music. She is a keen singer and enjoys performing.

Sadie Thomson

Sadie is an Associate within the Business Crime and Regulatory department at JMW Solicitors LLP. She advises individuals and companies in respect of various allegations including financial crime, violence, drug and motoring offences. Sadie joined the Manchester office of JMW in 2017, having completed a History degree at the University of York. She transferred to the London office in 2022 and is enjoying all that the city has to offer!



Upcoming WHLS Events Date 30 June 2022


Talk title and content overview

Dr Andreas Yiannaros, Programme & Student Lead, LLB at the University of Law.

Talk on Human Rights: “Russia’s exclusion from the Council of Europe: Good news or bad new first?

Dr Andreas Yiannaros is Programme & Student Lead LLB and Head of Foundation Year at the University of Law (London, Bloomsbury). He is a Senior Fellow of the Higher Education Academy and a member of the Society of Legal Scholars, the British Institute of International and Comparative Law and the Human Rights Lawyers Association. He has consultancy experience on equality and non-discrimination law. Andreas is an external expert to the Council of Europe (CoE/SOGI) and has published widely on human rights, non-discrimination, freedom of movement and human rights accountability for multinational corporations.

After 26 year of membership, the Russian Federation was excluded from the Council of Europe on 16 March 2022 under Article 8 of the Statute of the Council of Europe, following Russia’s acts of aggression against Ukraine which, according to the Council’s Committee of Ministers, constitute a serious violation by the Russian Federation of its obligations under Article 3 of the Statute of the Council of Europe. Following Russia’s denunciation of the Convention, Russia ceased to be a party to the European Convention on Human Rights as it has now lost its party status under the ECHR (Art 58(3)). In light of these seismic developments, the European Court of Human Rights rapidly decided to suspend the examination of all applications against the Russian Federation. Against this background, the talk will explore the legal, political and ethical dimensions of Russia’s cessation of CoE membership and the impact this is likely to have on human rights, civil society and the rule of law in Russia and in Europe.

7 July 2022

Leon Trayman, Voice Coach and Public Speaking Expert

Public Speaking Skills Session 1: hints, tips and techniques on how to improve your public speaking skills.

14 July 2022

Leon Trayman, Voice Coach and Public Speaking Expert

Public Speaking Session 2: in a sequel to session 1; Further hints, tips and techniques on how to improve your public speaking skills. There will also be an opportunity to masterclass your public speaking skills.

All events will be held at The University Law, 14 Store Street, Bloomsbury, WC1E 7DE, registration will start at 6.00 p.m., the session talks will start at 7.00pm, with an 8.00pm. finish. Please sign up early as places are limited to 100 per event on a “first come first served” basis. ■ CENTRAL LONDON LAWYER | 9


Why the Dissolution and Calling of Parliament Act 2022 may prove to be so important


he Dissolution And Calling Of Parliament Bill Act 2022 received royal assent today (24 March 2022). It repeals the Fixed-term Parliaments Act 2011 (the “2011 Act”). It makes express provision to make the prerogative powers to dissolve Parliament and to call a new Parliament exercisable again, as if the 2011 Act had never been enacted. As a result, a future Parliament will be dissolved by the Sovereign, on the request of the Prime Minister, as it was prior to the enactment of the 2011 Act. What this means is that whilst the electorate expect a general election to take place on 2 May 2024, the Government (via the Prime Minister – technically at the request of the Queen) will now have the power to call a General Election at a time of their choosing within the life of Parliament.

spike in inflation), then the PM may call an early election if he felt confident that he will hold, or increase, the current majority. However, as the Chancellor of the Exchequer yesterday pledged to reduce income tax “before the next election”, this may indicate the plan remains to have a general election in 2024. Now that the Government can keep the opposition guessing, as they now have the power to call a General Election at a time of their own choosing.

Philip Henson

The Law Reform Committee Partner, EBL Miller Rosenfalck

In politics timing is always key, and few questions are more important than that of the timing of a general election. So if there were a great success in domestic or foreign policy – or before the impact of any potential negative matters (such as a large

Membership Benefits Representing the 20,000 solicitors across Westminster, Holborn and Central London There are many benefits to joining the Westminster and Holborn Law Society: Y ou will be part of a welcoming, diverse and vibrant law society with links to, and events with, regional and international legal organisations. You will have opportunities to meet and network with lawyers from other bar associations and legal organisations across London, throughout Europe and around the world. Our Society is twinned with numerous foreign bars, including the Paris, Berlin, Milan, Barcelona and Palermo bar associations. We also have strong relations with many other bar associations around the globe. You will be able to attend most of our fantastic professional development and social events for free. Recent highlights include a black-tie dinner held at the National Liberal Club in conjunction with the International Association of Lawyers and a festive Holiday Party at Middle Temple Hall. You will get a free subscription to our Society's quarterly magazine, Central London Lawyer, helping to keep you informed about the latest legal developments and providing you with the opportunity to write articles showcasing your legal expertise.


Y ou will have the opportunity to apply for, or nominate a candidate for, two prestigious legal awards: the Rising Star Award and the Gamlen Prize. You will have numerous opportunities to develop your leadership skills through involvement in our International, Litigation, Law Reform, CSR & Pro Bono, Conveyancing, Equalities, Diversity & Inclusion, Education and Training, Junior Lawyers Division, Publicity and Social Media and Membership committees.

Not a member yet? Please join us! Just fill out the membership form on our website and follow the payment instructions. If you have any questions, please contact the Westminster and Holborn Law Society’s Membership Chair Joanne Skolnick via email at cwhlawsoc@gmail.com. We hope you will join us and we look forward to seeing you at our upcoming events! ■


Where is the promised Employment Bill? T

he 2022-2023 Parliamentary Session will start with the State Opening on 10 May 2022. At the State Opening the monarch formally opens Parliament and, in the Queen’s Speech, outlines the Government’s proposed policies and legislation for the coming parliamentary session. What is likely to be included?

has turned into a subdued discussion about whether the UK Government was actually serious about introducing an Employment Bill at all.

The House of Commons library has published a list of issues and bills that may appear in the Queen’s speech on 10 May 2022, or require legislation in the 2022-23 parliamentary session, which are as follows:

F lexible working – Right to request flexible working from day one. Right to request more stable and predictable contract – A new right for workers with variable hours to request a more stable and predictable contract after 26 weeks' service. Carers Leave – A new right for working carers to take up to 5 days [unpaid] carers leave each year to carry out caring responsibilities. Neonatal Carers Leave – A right for 12 weeks paid Neonatal care where babies spent time in neonatal care units. Pregnancy Rights – Improved redundancy protection for Pregnant workers Tips Regulation – Regulations governing how tips are distributed. Non-Compete clauses – Proposals to regulate noncompete clauses. Non-Disclosure Agreements – Reforms expected.

ocial Housing Regulation S Prison and probation scrutiny bodies Leasehold and commonhold reform Review of retained EU law Schools policy: – Home education – School funding – Special Educational Needs and Disability (SEND) reforms Lifelong Loan Entitlement Reform of the Mental Health Act Economic crime Digital markets reform Financial services Access to cash Audit reform Insolvency reform Parole Board reform Levelling up Local government Bill of Rights (Human Rights) Strategic Lawsuits Against Public Participation Counter-terrorism strategy: ‘Protect duty’ Conversion therapy Modern slavery Gene editing National minimum wage for ferry crews Channel 4 ownership Consolidation of immigration legislation

What was expected to be included in the Employment Bill? The Employment Bill was expected to include new rights for:

I still think that there is an outside chance that the UK Government may seek to announce new legislation which encompasses some aspects of employment rights. One would expect that after 3 years of talk, and a barrage of consultations, that any promised comprehensive draft legislation would be ‘oven ready’, or – at the very least taken out of the fridge and given an airing. I consider that it if changes to employment law do come then they are, at the moment, unlikely to be far reaching or ambitious. I think it more likely that there may be some small, piecemeal, changes in separate legislation. In the current economic climate the electorate may find it easier to embrace the spirit of a Carers Leave Bill – to allow up to 5 days unpaid leave per year – rather than a more comprehensive update of UK employment law.

So where is the promised Employment Bill? Spoiler alert. It is not there. The Employment Bill – which was originally promised in the Queen’s Speech in 2019 – is, once again, missing. Indeed, the only, directly, employment law related topic seems to be the proposed bill for the National Minimum wage for ferry crews.

However, if the UK Government experiences a heavy defeat in the local elections then perhaps the content of the proposed legislative agenda may be reconsidered, and the employment bill – or some parts of it which appeal to the electorate – may, finally, see the light of day.

Since 2019 there has been speculation in the HR press about what will be included in the Employment Bill, and when it will be introduced. Over the last 3 years the frenzy of anticipation

Philip Henson

Partner, EBL Miller Rosenfalck CENTRAL LONDON LAWYER | 11


Spotlight: CWHLS CSR & Pro Bono Committee A

fter a year’s hiatus due to the pandemic, the CWHLS CSR & Pro Bono Committee returned in 2022, welcoming new Chair Debjani Biswas-Hawkes (Head of Not-for-Profits Programme and Secondary Specialisation at LawWorks – the Solicitors Pro Bono Group). As a first step, the Committee are pleased to announce the addition of an ‘Advice’ section to the Society’s website, where members of the public can be signposted to local advice services. Another focus for the Committee in 2022 will be to showcase volunteering opportunities to members of the Society; and to spotlight volunteers. Debjani begins with the Committee itself, interviewing its newest member Chris White. DBH: Hi Chris, would you start by telling us about your work? CW: I am a senior lawyer with the Government Legal Department and I am currently advising the Ministry of Defence, having previously advised the Department for International Trade and the Department for Work and Pensions. DBH: Would you also tell us about your volunteering? CW: I started volunteering with South Westminster Legal Advice Centre (SWLAC) 8 years ago as a legal advisor attending once a week. Over the years I have become more involved with SWLAC, becoming a supervising solicitor and then a trustee. SWLAC is a fantastic organisation that provides legal advice on a range of issues (apart from immigration and social security) to residents of Westminster. I have enjoyed and learnt so much from being a part of SWLAC and see it as a small way of giving something back using the skills that I have as a lawyer. DBH: Why is pro bono so important? CW: Pro bono advice is becoming the only way that most individuals can understand their legal rights and obligations. As lawyers who are trained to understand what is becoming an ever more complicated legal landscape it is important that we play our part to ensure that these people are supported. Not only this but I think that being involved in pro bono work can help us lawyers become more socially responsible and better lawyers. DBH: Shining a light on SWLAC – how did it adapt to the pandemic? CW: Having been a face-to-face only advice service before the pandemic, SWLAC was forced to develop an entirely new method of delivery to ensure that those that needed advice were able to receive it. At first that involved encouraging people to email their queries into a central inbox and these requests for advice being allocated to a relevant advisor. As the pandemic continued, we honed 12 | CENTRAL LONDON LAWYER

our service, adopting the case management system Intralinks and revamping our website to make our service more accessible for those that needed advice; and easier for those lawyers who were providing advice remotely. DBH: What lessons were learned from a pivot to digital advice delivery? CW: The key lesson has been that, despite the many benefits of a digital advice service, there is a real need for face-to-face support. There are many vulnerable people who simply cannot access the digital service and the reality is that a digital only service removes some of the (non-legal) support and reassurance that speaking face-to-face can provide. As such, SWLAC is looking to ensure that it retains some of the advantages of our digital service, but integrates this into our original faceto-face service. DBH: How have you found it returning to in-person clinic appointments? CW: After such a long time not being in front of clients, it has taken time to get back into the swing of things, but it has been really good to get back into the community and provide much needed advice to those that need it. The nature of our service has slightly changed and we are now operating from a new location (The Abbey Centre) but we are excited about how we can evolve our service to engage with as many people as possible. To do this we are always looking for new lawyers to volunteer their time and if you are interested in getting involved then please email swlac@live.com. DBH: Finally, do you have any advice for those wanting to run a hybrid advice service? CW: I think the key is not to overcomplicate things: any digital innovations should complement a face-to-face service. We have found that the digital side is best used to make it easier for volunteer lawyers to provide advice, while the face-to-face approach is still really important for clients. DBH: Thank you Chris! For information on how to get involved with local pro bono, email the CSR & Pro Bono Committee via csr.pro.bono. cwhls@gmail.com.


In search of the first Cowrie law scholar Prof. Oreffo


he Cowrie Scholarship Foundation (registered Charity 1191471) has a set mission to fund at least one hundred disadvantaged Black British students through UK universities in the next decade. There is a wealth of evidence demonstrating access to university is dramatically reduced for Black British students from disadvantaged and financially challenged backgrounds. Indeed, the statistics make for depressing reading. People from affluent areas are five times more likely to attend a ‘high tariff’ university ranked in the top third by entry requirement, than those from deprived areas. The tragic events around the death of George Floyd in 2020 brought into sharp relief a willingness of many white and nonwhite individuals for greater inclusivity. This tragic event provided the catalyst for many universities to indicate a readiness to shine a light on their activities to support, integrate and promote Black students’ education and wider inclusivity. It is very early days and there is so much to do, but the Foundation has already garnered support from eighteen universities to cover the tuition fees for sixty-two students (£1.7M) and five companies (£125,000) leading to an important first step – the first five Cowrie scholars commenced studies in 2021 (Classics, Midwifery, Journalism, Engineering and Medicine). I recently had the privilege of meeting Prof. Richard Oreffo, the founder and chair of Cowrie’s board of trustees. Richard is a professor of Musculoskeletal Science in the faculty of Medicine at the University of Southampton. Born in the UK to Irish and Nigerian parents, he spent his childhood in both countries. Richard indicated how he was fortunate to attend a wonderful Primary School, Westbury Park, in Bristol – and to have his first mentor Mr Gutsell the head teacher, who took Richard under his wing, a formative phase. Having later studied at Liverpool and Oxford, he belives firmly in the importance of educational opportunities for all. Today, Richard is internationally recognised for his work on the application of bone stem cells and regenerative medicine strategies for the repair and regeneration of damaged skeletal tissue for the patient’s benefit. Richard explained his desire to see a Law student benefit from a Cowrie Scholarship. “Quite simply, representation matters – the UK is a diverse nation and it is important we have a society and

workforce, across all areas from Health to Finance and Business to Law and Education that reflects and is representative of the nation. Diversity is a strength and indeed equality, diversity and real inclusion can only enrich us all”. There is no need to explain to readers of this publication about the importance of harnessing the best minds from all of society to shape policy and laws to improve social cohesion and equality, enhancing a sense of belonging across Black and minority ethnicities and harnessing different cultures. It would be a significant step forward for a law student to benefit from a Cowrie Scholarship. Many talented disadvantaged Black British students may not consider a career in Law because of the financial burden but a Cowrie Scholarship, covering all tuition fees and a maintenance grant of £8,000 (£10,000 in London), seeks to remove that component. Richard adds: “In return, we hope and expect Cowrie scholars to give back, to be the catalyst for change in whatever they do in the decades to come. The Cowrie Scholarship Foundation is a long-term initiative that will grow in scale, in which alumni can themselves become leaders and inspiration for new generations of Black students. As I state repeatedly, I want the Cowrie Scholarship Foundation to equip the next generation of young Black people with the education to make a difference in their life, our lives and the world.” Prof. Oreffo goes on to explain why representation matters: “I wanted to move beyond tokenism and challenge the system – it is one thing to place a black square on a social media platform – but that will not change one life. There is no doubt the appointment of Stephanie Boyce as the 177th president of the Law Society of England and Wales, becoming the first Black office-holder, shows Black Law students what is achievable. While it is a cliché you have to see it to be it (and while not always true), representation really does matter. Equality of opportunity requires us to be fair in every decision we make. We need to judge people based on ability and yet we have to recognise and challenge deep-seated conscious and unconscious perceptions of a person’s ability based on how they look and sound. Law firms have made great strides in recruiting graduates that represent the ethnic diversity of the UK population and yet ethnic diversity at entry level has not led to ethnic diversity at the higher echelons of management.” Critically, as reported by the FT in November 2021, middle management Black lawyers in the largest UK law firms are four times more likely to leave than their white and other minorityethnic peers. It’s time to ask … how can WHLS and its members help to support the first Cowrie law scholar? Your thoughts and ideas are most welcome. Please feel free to contact either myself or Prof. Oreffo directly: jordan@jordanlancaster.co.uk, info@cowriescholarshipfoundation.org. Jordan Lancaster is a member of the Equality, Diversity & Inclusion WHLS sub-committee. To join the committee please contact coralhill@btinternet.com. CENTRAL LONDON LAWYER | 13


Ukraine Appeal O

ur colleagues in Ukraine have faced unparalleled challenges in trying to uphold the rule of law in unimaginable circumstances over the past 6 weeks. Our friends at the Krakow Bar Association launched an inspiring initiative to provide assistance directly to those who need it most. This has meant coordinating logistics for the transport of food, medical and other supplies to areas that are under served (or not served at all) by larger humanitarian charities. The Dean of the Krakow Bar Association, Aleksander Gut, has written to legal friends across the globe seeking support from lawyers abroad to support their humanitarian efforts from Poland. A copy of this letter is reproduced in full here. I am sure that you have all been moved by the harrowing stories emerging from Ukraine, and that you will have likely already contributed towards supporting this cause. However, if you are able to lend further support, I would suggest that the initiative from the Krakow Bar Association is a worthy one. I was humbled to be able to present a Certificate of Honour on behalf of WHLS to two representatives from Krakow, Kinga Konopka and Joanna Wsolek, in recognition of this outstanding initiative.




The rights of the vulnerable before the courts


he conference was very well attended and provided an opportunity to network with the leaders of bar associations from other European jurisdictions. It was opened by the President of the FBE Ma Dominique Attias of the Paris Bar, with the President of the Human Rights Commission of the Catalan Bar, Mr Carles McGragh, and Dean of the Bar of Girona, and the Delegate to Cataluña of the Spanish Government, Ms Maria Eugènia Gay. Day One; first session examined the rights of the child in the first session with Dominique Attias and Alesso Sangiorg, of the Rome Bar Association, moderated by Silvia Gimenez-Salinas, of the Barcelona Bar. The speakers dealt with children’s rights when they are victims of abuse, violence in the family and the treatment of young people. It was a useful session with information to be shared across borders. The second session focused on women, and the situation of women in a male dominated society. The speakers illustrated the rights of women and in particular gave the statistics on the reporting and prosecution levels of victims of violence. There was also information about the treatment of women and girls, and the police and court’s treatment of sexual abuse and rape. There was an examination of the limitations of access to justice for women. The speakers were Cristina Manzanedo, coordinator of the ODOS programme, Jordi Espelt, President of the Human Rights Commission of Girona, and Burçin Sahan, Bar Association of Ankara and Istanbul. The session was moderated by Joan Ramon Puig, President of the Council of the Catalan Bar. The third session examined the rights of the elderly, with information from several countries about legislation protecting the elderly in law. The speakers were Jesús Sanchez, Dean of the Barcelona Bar, Carles McGragh, Dean of the Girona Bar, Christian Di Nardo Bologna Bar. It was moderated by Marti Alenar President of the Balearic Islands Bar Association.

Day two: the fifth session of the conference was focussed on the rights of victims of hate crime in respect of race, religion, gender, and sexual orientation. The speakers were Tugce Duygu KosaL, President of the Human Rights Centre of the Istanbul Bar Association, Jean-Rafael Fernandez, Dean of the Marseille Bar, Michele Calantropo, Member of the Executive of the Palermo Bar. The moderator was Blas Jesús Imbroda, Dean of the Melilla Bar. This was a very useful conference, well attended and there were bar leaders from several jurisdictions. The topic was very important for lawyers who have vulnerable clients in both criminal and civil law. The sharing of information about the legislative provisions to protect vulnerable people is very important in the current period. Future FBE conferences in 2022: 1 7 June in Palermo: International Fair Trials and the Award of the Ebru Timtik prize 23-25 June in Sofia: topic to be published shortly 2-3 Sept in Bilbao: Young Lawyers Human Rights Oratory Competition Autumn congress: Palermo dates and topic tbc Please note that any law students, trainee solicitors and newly qualified solicitors are encouraged to apply to represent Westminster & Holborn law Society in the Young Lawyers Human Rights Oratory Competition (with flights and accommodation paid).

Professor Sara Chandler QC (Hon) Past President of the FBE

The last session of Day One examined the rights of people with disabilities. The speakers were Jacques Malavialle, Dean of the Bar Association of the Eastern Pyranees, Carmen Diaz, Alicante Bar. Carmela Piemontesei, Executive Member of the Lucca Bar Council who spoke on accessibility, and support for communication and understanding in the judicial system. CENTRAL LONDON LAWYER | 15


Twinning with Palermo Bar Association


fter an overdue return to London for our friends from the Palermo Bar Association, we finally hosted Michele Calantropo, President of their International Committee at a signing ceremony on 1 April. This cooperation agreement formalises our long-standing friendship and collaboration with the largest law society in Sicily. It also provides our members with new opportunities to engage with colleagues and strengthen our relationships with European counterparts. WHLS is planning a reciprocal visit to Palermo in the near future. Please get in touch if you are interested in joining this delegation.

International Update


he WHLS International Committee held a well-attended black-tie dinner at the National Liberal Club on 1 April. This event was in conjunction with the UIA (The International Association of Lawyers) and was the culmination of the twoday international conference on family law co-hosted by the Law Society of England & Wales. It was excellent to meet and socialise with colleagues again from across Europe and as far afield as South America. We also managed to raise over £700 cash on the night for the Krakow Bar Association’s Ukraine Appeal. If you are interested in building your professional network or contributing to the great work our International Committee does, please contact cwhlawsoc@gmail.com to express your interest.


Lawyers assist Ukraine D

uring the Westminster & Holborn dinner in the National Liberal Club at the end of the UIA conference on 1 April, guests heard from Kinga Konopka and Joanna Wsolek of the Krakow Bar with which WHLS is twinned. The Krakow lawyers told guests about the initiatives of their members in supporting lawyers in Ukraine. Their members have been assisting refugees in finding accommodation, giving legal advice, and responding to the requests for help from small bar associations which are cut off from the central depots where the big shipments of humanitarian aid arrive. They have already organised three vehicles filled with medicine, clothes, food and blankets to take to towns in Ukraine. Guests in the dinner donated over £700 and €130 in cash, and many took away the information to make direct bank transfers. It was a clear way that lawyers could help lawyers. Ambulance on its way The money raised has been used to buy and supply an ambulance with medical supplies and has gone with volunteer doctors to the Ukrainian city of Mykoleiv, between Odessa and Cherson. An announcement was made paying tribute to the support of WHLS members during the international webinar with the Ukrainian National Bar Association (UNBA) on 20 April. Another way of helping is in providing legal advice on immigration rules. During the 20 April international webinar organised by the FBE with panellists from Poland, Germany, France, Spain, Italy, Romania, Bulgaria, Switzerland, Austria and the UK participants heard from President of the UNBA Mrs Lidiia Izovitova. These experts answered questions from the UNBA, and the webinar was very successful and the recording can be found on the FBE website for anyone interested in assisting refugees to find safe havens across borders.


Freedom from Torture challenges refugees-to-Rwanda policy F

reedom from Torture has launched a challenge to the government’s plan to send asylum seekers to Rwanda with a legal letter from Leigh Day human rights lawyers. The letter sent to the Home Secretary this week asks to see underlying policy, risk assessments and related documents that were used to help formulate the controversial policy on cooperation between the governments of the UK and Rwanda. It was sent immediately after the Home Office dropped its Channel boats pushbacks policy just days before the High Court was due to hear applications for judicial review brought by Freedom from Torture and other organisations. The letter says Freedom from Torture has serious concerns about the policy to relocate refugees to Rwanda and asks for copies of the following: A ny document which sets out or contains the policy of relocating asylum seekers to Rwanda for their cases to be processed Operational guidance, internal protocols, handling arrangements and/or rules provided to Home Office staff and/or other UK officials in relation to relocation decisions under the Memorandum of Understanding Documents/agreements relating to cooperation with Rwanda in relation to the policy, other than the Memorandum of Understanding Equality impact or risk assessments carried out in relation to the decision to authorise removals under the Memorandum of Understanding

Sonya Sceats, chief executive at Freedom from Torture, said: “The outpouring of compassion for those fleeing Ukraine and Afghanistan has shown that the public wants people seeking safety to be welcomed. But instead, this government is planning to ship refugees halfway around the world to Rwanda. We shouldn't have to resort to legal action for this government to treat refugees with basic human dignity – but here we are again. “This cruel plan is not only deeply immoral and likely unlawful, it would also deny torture survivors and others access to vital trauma services like those provided by Freedom from Torture. Up and down the country, people are beginning to mobilise against this government’s cynical efforts to stoke fear and xenophobia against refugees. This action is one part of a wider fight by the caring public to tell the government that this is not in our name”. Leigh Day partner Tessa Gregory said: “Our client, Freedom from Torture, has serious concerns about the lawfulness of the Government’s policy in respect of relocating asylum seekers to Rwanda. Although a Memorandum of Understanding has been published, further details and documents relating to the policy have not been made publicly available. Urgent disclosure is needed for our client to understand the exact terms and scope of the policy and properly formulate its legal challenge. “It is hoped that after the recent climbdown on pushbacks and the criticism of the Home Secretary’s approach on disclosure in that case, the requested documents will be provided without delay.” Freedom from Torture is crowdfunding to cover the costs of the legal challenge, which it hopes will lead to the Home Office policy being withdrawn. This article can be found on Leigh Day’s website. CENTRAL LONDON LAWYER | 17


Rescue my Bitcoin – Tulip Trading Ltd v Bitcoin Association for BSV and others


ulip Trading Ltd is a remarkable cryptocurrency claim. Never before have the English courts had to grapple so deeply with what cryptocurrencies are and how they work. Nor has cryptocurrency litigation ever threatened to upend the cryptocurrency landscape so completely.

with these issues in due course. Institutional interest in stablecoins is growing. For example, it is clear from the UK Treasury’s plans announced on 4 April 2022 that it envisages stablecoins being a recognised form of payment in future. For the time being, we await a test case.

Key issues The claimant (“TTL”) alleges that it owns Bitcoin worth, at one point during the proceedings, approximately USD4.5 billion, and that the private keys needed to access the Bitcoin were deleted in a hack. TTL also happens to be owned by Dr Craig Wright and his family. Dr Wright is the infamous Australian computer programmer who purports to be Satoshi Nakamoto. Nakamoto, of course, being the author of the Bitcoin White Paper, which sets out how Bitcoin was to work.

Jurisdictional challenge The developers were successful in their jurisdictional challenge, on the ground that TTL’s claim raised no “serious issue to be tried” ([2022] EWHC 667 (Ch)). Although there were extensive factual disputes between the parties, the substantive merits of the claim were the focus of the Court’s decision.

TTL’s claim is against software developers who it alleges exercise control over four separate Bitcoin blockchain networks. It alleges that the developers owe TTL fiduciary and tortious duties to restore TTL’s access to the Bitcoin by amending the Bitcoin software. By way of analogy: TTL alleges that it has lost the keys to a safe, and is suing those who it says have the ability to break into the safe and rescue the contents. The key issues in the claim go to the heart of cryptocurrency and its relation to the law. Do Bitcoin software developers owe such fiduciary or tortious duties to Bitcoin owners? If so, how would developers be required to manage the millions of ensuing claims? Further, what would be the implications for Bitcoin of amending the software in the way sought by TTL? Is such an amendment consistent with the principles set out in the Bitcoin White Paper? Do Bitcoin software developers exercise sufficient control over the Bitcoin networks to ensure that Bitcoin users will accept such an amendment? Most broadly of all, should a court enter into these issues when the Law Commission is considering law reform in relation to digital assets? Security for costs The claim has required engagement with cryptocurrency issues from the start. Certain developers successfully obtained security for costs of their planned challenge to the court’s jurisdiction ([2022] EWHC 2 (Ch)), and TTL proposed paying in the form of Bitcoin. This was rejected by the Court because it exposed the developers to the risk of the security deteriorating in value ([2022] EWHC 141 (Ch)). This is unsurprising, given the well-publicised volatility of cryptocurrency, but raises a further question: could a “stablecoin” (cryptocurrency that offers price stability by being backed by a reserve asset), or “fiat-collateralised stablecoin” (cryptocurrency which follows the value of a fiat currency), suffice as security? The courts will inevitably need to grapple 18 | CENTRAL LONDON LAWYER

The Court held that TTL’s fiduciary duty claim was not seriously arguable even if the facts were assumed in TTL’s favour. Imbalance of power, the foundation of TTL’s case, was insufficient to establish fiduciary duty. There was no reasonable expectation that developers would only act in TTL’s interests. Moreover, under TTL’s position, developers would be required to make software amendments in TTL’s favour but potentially to the detriment of other users to whom developers would also owe fiduciary duties; this was inconsistent with the obligation of undivided loyalty which defines fiduciary duty. The Court also held that TTL’s tortious duty claim was not seriously arguable on the assumed facts. The claim was that developers were liable for omitting to address harm caused by a third party; this required both a special relationship between developers and users and an obligation to take positive action, neither of which were established. Moreover, the alleged duty was not an incremental extension of the law, there was insufficient assumption of responsibility by the developers and the loss was purely economic. There was also indeterminacy in relation to the scope of the alleged duty, the potential class of persons to whom the duty would be owed and the developers who would be liable at any one time. Having said all of that, the Court concluded that it “would have been satisfied that England is the appropriate forum” had there been a serious issue to be tried. The Court also held that there was a good arguable case that jurisdiction was established under CPR Practice Direction 6B on the basis that the tort claim was in respect of damage sustained within the jurisdiction, the same applied to the fiduciary claim because it was in substance tortious, and the Bitcoin was property situated within the jurisdiction. Ramifications The Court’s decision on the jurisdictional challenge is, unless overturned on appeal, a potentially fatal blow to the Tulip Trading litigation. It constitutes a High Court decision, from the leading jurisdiction in the cryptocurrency space, that the substance of TTL’s claim is not seriously arguable even if the facts are assumed in its favour. This makes it particularly difficult for TTL


to bring its claim in another jurisdiction or against the many other Bitcoin software developers who were not joined to the claim. The Court’s obiter comments could also have broader relevance. The Court considered it potentially arguable that developers could be under some form of duty not to introduce malicious software bugs, act in their own interests to the detriment of users, allow software defects to go unremedied, or compromise the security of a Bitcoin network. These comments may indicate that there is space for claims which are less ambitious than TTL’s and where it is clearer that developers have acted improperly. In further obiter comments, the Court interpreted the two interim decisions that had considered the question of where cryptocurrency is situated. For the Court, the better view was that they had decided that cryptocurrency is situated not where its owner is domiciled, but where it is resident. This interpretation will be significant if it is followed in future; in respect of a corporation, country of residence can be much more difficult to ascertain than domicile. Of significance for English lawyers in particular is that this jurisdiction remains at the vanguard of a nascent area of dispute resolution. It will be difficult for serious practitioners to ignore these implications for long. Advising clients in this space The cryptocurrency space raises difficult issues for clients and practitioners and is very likely to require specialist advice. It involves complex technology, cross-border issues, novel questions of law and regulatory developments which are gathering pace domestically and abroad. Moreover, when digital assets are lost, there are particularly significant barriers to recovery. Such assets can be moved out of reach with speed, and through a mix of “on-chain” transactions (publicly but anonymously recorded) and “off-chain” transfers (not so recorded). Most cryptocurrency litigation in this jurisdiction has followed a similar model: a victim of a digital asset loss seeks a proprietary injunction and freezing and/or disclosure orders against persons unknown and/or the cryptocurrency exchange with which the assets were held. Tulip Trading is a different breed of case and may be part of a wider expansion in the sorts of cryptocurrency litigation arising in this jurisdiction.

John Davies (c), Edward Solomons (l) and Charles Falconer (r) at John’s Presidential Dinner, Lincoln’s Inn.

John Davies – OBI T UA RY –


e are deeply saddened to record the death of John Davies, a former President of Westminster & Holborn Law Society. John was an enthusiastic secretary of Holborn Law Society and following the merger of the Holborn and the Westminster Societies in 2001 he served as our new Society’s second President in 2002-2003.

Harmish Mehta

After reading English at St Catherine’s College Oxford he qualified as a solicitor in 1965. He joined Pattinson & Brewer in 1977 and was the firm’s much-loved and respected Senior Partner for many years until his retirement in 2019.

Matthew Allan

John’s main area of practice was commercial conveyancing, acting for many of his firm’s trade union clients. He was a long time member of the WHLS Professional Matters Committee, invariably injecting good sense and good humour into its deliberations.

Senior Legal Assistant Astraea Group

Solicitor-Advocate Astraea Group

John Wardell QC, Bobby Friedman and Sri Carmichael of Wilberforce Chambers, instructed by Ontier LLP, appeared for Tulip Trading Limited; James Ramsden QC of Astraea Group, instructed by Bird & Bird LLP, appeared for 12 defendants; Matthew Thorne of 4 Pump Court, instructed by O'Melveny & Myers LLP, appeared for two defendants.

John had a wonderful gift for friendship and his sudden death has devastated his former colleagues and friends and robbed him and his wife Brenda of a well-deserved post-retirement life of English cricket and Italian sunshine. We send our condolences to Brenda and to their sons and grandchildren. There will be a fuller appreciation in the next edition of Central London Lawyer. CENTRAL LONDON LAWYER | 19


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.

dyedurhamuk.com/about-us 20 | CENTRAL LONDON LAWYER


Setting The Standard: Climate Risk Insights for Property Transactions


he effects of climate change can already be felt all over the world. Warmer temperatures, rising sea levels, changing rainfall patterns and extreme weather conditions are all evidence of shifts in our climatic systems. Greenhouse gases, aerosol emissions and land use all affect our climate, and the impact of these hazards is only set to increase in occurrence and severity as our climate changes over the coming decades.

In October 2021 ahead of the COP26 UN Climate Conference in Glasgow, 75% of adults in Great Britain said they were worried about the impact of climate change1. This highlights how climate change is quickly becoming a growing concern for homebuyers, together with the wider property sector that helps to support them. Actionable Insight on Future Climate Risk In April, at a dedicated launch event, Dye & Durham Insight & Data introduced the Climate Report; created by its team of in-house climate risk specialists, in collaboration with industry experts, the Climate Report enables conveyancing professionals to inform homebuyers of hazards arising from climate change, which may affect their property both now, and in the future. With the Dye & Durham team already working closely with financial institutions to provide climate related insights, the Climate Report has now been launched to help conveyancers and homebuyers assess the impacts of climate change on hazards including flood risk, coastal erosion, extreme winds, and soil subsidence. It identifies when a property could be at a high exposure, to which hazard; helping to fulfil the increasing demand for knowledge on climate change, and enabling property lawyers and conveyancers to offer an extended level of due diligence to clients: Tom Backhouse, Director at Dye & Durham Insight & Data explains: “In conveyancing, there is a tendency to look backwards to determine risk levels. It’s time to start using insight and data to look forward. That is what the Climate Report is able to do. If we can increase awareness of climate change, and more people become engaged and understand how this is likely to affect their property in the future, then they can act accordingly.” Why Consider Climate Change as Part of Property Due Diligence? Increased exposure to soil subsidence, coastal erosion, extreme winds, or flood risk hazards could all impact on the value of a property or affect its marketability in the future. All of which could affect the ability to insure, enjoy, use, and potentially sell a property in the years to come. Insight and data on the impacts of climate change are already actively considered by some of the key stakeholders within a property transaction, as Backhouse continues:

“The Climate Report is an exciting addition to the proven climate and ground risk modelling work that we have been providing to a number of UK banks and building societies for some time. Increasingly, lenders are integrating that data into their mortgage origination and decisioning. What this means is there is a potential gap between the information and insight that a lender is using to generate a mortgage decision, and that which a homebuyer is able to access. The Climate Report bridges this important gap.” In October 2021, The Law Society published a Climate Change Resolution, outlining the role solicitors can play in addressing the climate crisis and including a call to action for solicitors to develop a climate-conscious approach to legal practice. All this points towards a transformational change within the industry, helping to ensure that the key stakeholders within a property transaction, particularly the homebuyer, understand the impacts that climate change might have, and helping to normalise the discussion on climate change. Climate Report: Added Value Due Diligence for Homebuyers The Climate Report is an easy-to-understand report, which can be passed to homebuyers without the need for interpretation by the conveyancer. Any queries can then be directed to Dye & Durham Insight & Data’s expert customer support team. Complete with two emissions scenarios under UKCP18; both high and medium, the report features a simple hazard score and includes intuitive dashboards throughout. It allows a swift comparison between the different hazards and time periods from present day until 2100. The Climate Report enables conveyancers to enhance traditional due diligence services, while for homebuyers, it enables them to increase their resilience to the growing threats posed by our changing climate. Backhouse concludes: “The value of the information presented by this report is invaluable. It puts homebuyers in control, by enabling them to become both prepared and resilient to climaterelated changes over the period of ownership of their property. “As an organisation, we are committed to presenting best-inclass data in a clear, concise way for all parties involved in the property transaction. This means informed decisions can be made with confidence, not just in the short term but for many years to come.” Find Out More To learn more or to obtain a free sample Climate Report for your own, or a client’s property, email Insight-sales@dyedurham. com or visit www.dyedurham.com. ■ 1. Office for National Statistics – Opinions and Lifestyle Survey. CENTRAL LONDON LAWYER | 21


Client Account & Recalled Credit Card Payments Alex Simons


want to bring this issue to solicitors’ attention as The Law Factory have recently encountered the problems this can cause. Under Section 75 of the Consumer Credit Act 1974, the credit card company is jointly liable for any breach or misrepresentation by a retailer or service provider. Under this Act, consumers can claim misrepresentation or services nor supplied, and the credit card company is liable to refund 100% of the cost of the service (providing it is over £100) even if the consumer has only paid an initial deposit. So, an example would be, if the solicitor agreed a fixed fee of £1500.00 and the client has paid £200.00 on account, the client could raise a dispute and recover the full £1500.00 and £200.00 deposit (£1700.00). The flaw in the system is that the credit card companies often act upon the sole word of the consumer. Limited analysis is done regarding the issues claimed by the consumer and the credit card companies act immediately to ensure that the consumer is safeguarded. This Act provides great protection for the consumer. However, there could be ramifications for a solicitor who has card payments set up to credit their client account. Often, although credit card companies themselves are liable under Section 75 to cover the cost to the consumer, they attempt to recover the funds from the supplier directly. This is achieved by finding the original payment and reversing it back out again. Credit card companies regularly fail to make significant contact with the supplier before acting. The first the solicitor knows about the issue is when they notice the funds being withdrawn from their client account. This action can be particularly hazardous and damaging. The biggest issue is that the client account is most regularly linked to taking credit card transactions. This means that anything received via credit card into client account could be reversed under Section 75. Monies paid into client account are there for a specific purpose as dictated by the SRA Accounts Rules. This usually means that the funds are withdrawn very shortly after receipt for the purpose that they are intended. Funds are only held for longer periods upon specific instructions from the client and for a select few case-types.


Client money therefore could be at risk to a degree under Section 75. For example, a client pays £2000.00 for solicitors’ costs via credit card. The solicitor raises their invoice and moves the funds over into office account to cover it. This leaves the client ledger showing a balance of zero. The client then has the right, under Section 75 of the Consumer Credit Act to raise a dispute, stating that services were not provided or giving another reason why they should be refunded. The credit card company refunds the client £2000.00 and then makes its own attempts to recover the same from the supplier, in this case the firm and its client account. If the credit card company does not make significant contact with the firm, then the solicitor will be unaware of the pending debit until it is too late. The £2000.00 from the example will overdraw the ledger for that client, effectively taking other clients’ funds to satisfy the dispute raised under Section 75. This is a clear breach of the SRA Accounts Rules. In this example we looked at money for costs. It could cause serious problems for the solicitor if they have to pay back large costs sums into client account unexpectedly, especially if the firm in question is struggling financially. A further question arises regarding disbursements and third-party payments. If services are disputed and disbursements are invoiced, it could cause more difficulty, especially if they were for large amounts such as experts and barristers. It is the solicitor who is liable to return the funds to client account promptly. I believe it is important to take Section 75 of the Consumer Credit Act into consideration, especially when agreeing to provide services to new clients. Although relationships generally tend to be good between solicitor and client, it is important to try and assess as early as possible any difficulties or the potential for a break down in the relationship. It is also important to keep all correspondence on file and make it known if there are issues. Hopefully this will help to avoid any chargebacks under Section 75. ■

Alex Simons

The Law Factory LLP


Footwear Innovation: Nike’s Super Shoes N

ike’s “Fly” shoe range is well known for helping to break several world records. The superiority of the shoe gained media attention in 2019 when Eliud Kipchoge broke the marathon word record, dipping under the elusive two-hour barrier wearing a prototype called ‘Alphafly’. The introduction of Nike’s game-changing shoes has Author: Marco Verch; Source: https:// raised a number of interesting www.flickr.com/photos/160866001@ questions, ranging from N07/48896989181/in/photostream/ Licence: https://creativecommons.org/ whether the revolutionary licenses/by/2.0/ technology should be considered a form of “technological doping” and the resulting ramifications for the World Athletics regulations; through to considerations about how to protect the technology. How are these trainers different to regular running shoes? The technology, taking some ideas from aerospace innovation, has taken years of development. The trainers comprise of a super-light, Source: Nike’s European Patent Application thickly cushioned sole EP3771358A1. integrated with a carbon-fibre plate, along with two layers of fluid or foam-filled chambers under the ball of the foot. Together this results in an ultraresponsive shoe, enhancing running efficiency through greater propulsion, which translates into improved performance. Effectively the shoe acts as a “spring” for athletes, providing a mechanical advantage in competition. Critics have gone as far as to say wearing the shoe amounts to “shoe doping”, providing athletes with an unfair advantage. Role of regulations The attention generated by this shoe resulted in the international governing body for the sport of athletics, World Athletics, amending the rules around the specification of shoes used in competition.

The new regulations ban the use of trainers that incorporate a sole thickness greater than 40mm, and require that any shoe used in competition must have been available for purchase on the open retail market four months beforehand. Nike’s ‘Vaporfly’ appear to comply with these requirements as they have a sole thickness of 39.5mm. Given the extensive technology and innovation behind such shoes, it is no surprise that Nike have sought to protect such technology by the filing of patents. To succeed with its applications Nike will need to show the technology it describes is both novel and a significant inventive step beyond what was publicly known before. Once granted, Nike would effectively have a monopoly over the technology afforded protection by virtue of the patent. During the lifetime of the patent Nike would be able to prevent its competitors from operating within the scope of their patent claims, even if such competitors developed such technology independently. Given the value afforded to a patent there is enviably a race to be the “first to file”. Patents: The race to file Given the backdrop of the new regulations, Nike must innovate within the technical confines imposed by World Athletics and the relevant laws concerning patents. If Nike’s shoes are sold before a patent is filed this may result in the shoes becoming prior art, and therefore no longer new. This could be used to defeat a patent application. It is therefore critical that before releasing any shoes for sale, a patent application is filed first. Given the rise in sporting technology, it is important that innovators think carefully around the timing of launch of new products and the securing of their IP rights.

Lucy Marlow

Senior Associate JMW Solicitors LLP If you have any questions over the IP rights in your products, please do not hesitate to contact JMW’s Lucy Marlow (lucy. marlow@jmw.co.uk).



TLS and equality of arms – missing in action Paul Sharma


elebrations are in order – a grievous wrong has been righted. Claire Matthews can once again use her training and experience to work as a solicitor by representing clients. The disciplinary case against her, a young solicitor, was dropped and many of us can appreciate that. Yes, professional practice needs to be promoted and enforced but Claire was struck off for having the sort of lapse of judgement we could all have. Yet, her story highlights the importance of fairness for solicitors when it comes to disciplining them. The leadership of The Law Society (TLS) should be working on how they can support their members getting the fairness they need. Just think about how alone Claire must have felt when she was summoned by the Solicitors Disciplinary Tribunal (SDT) to plead for her career. The Law Society Gazette points out that when she realised she had lost legal documents, she was “overcome by uncontrollable fear, anxiety and panic”. Solicitors to the rescue of a heroine Thankfully, she decided to do battle over a two-year period, to defend herself, while having to overcome fears about her future and endure mental stress. That makes her a heroine but where would she have been without the voluntary support she received? No doubt, she’d have been left for dead like an unarmed civilian going up against an SAS hit squad. To her rescue came around £14,000 from her fellow solicitors through the GoFundMe page she set up, Gideon Habel and Emma Walker from Leigh Day, Mary O’Rourke QC and Rosalind Scott Bell from Deans Court Chambers, Mark Harries QC from Serjeants’ Inn and Marianne Butler from Fountain Court and outrage from Law Society Gazette readers. Claire was a junior solicitor without the finance needed to adequately defend herself. It cost her £7,000 to support the probono work from Leigh Day and a silk from chambers. She also needed medical experts to present to the tribunal the impact of the ordeal on her mental health. The publicity for the case may have led to a change in SRA activity and they financed medical expert witnesses.


Solicitors need representation But ordinarily, as Leigh Day have pointed out, there seems to be an assumption that since an individual solicitor is trained and qualified, he or she can do it all themselves They don’t need the representation that the public rightly expects. The Law Society Gazette quotes from a letter the SRA sent to TLS’ Junior Solicitors Lawyers Division: ‘We need to balance carefully the public interest against the interests of the individual… As you will be aware though, neither a person’s junior position, nor health, will be an answer where the person has been found guilty of culpable dishonesty.’ The Law Society needs to ask itself whether the neglect of equality of arms and the risk that this leads unfairly to some broken careers should continue. Congratulations, Claire. Well done the ordinary members of TLS. Salut to pro-bono lawyers. But where was the TLS leadership? Sheepishly, staring at their well-polished shoes? The Law Society is best placed to put in place some means whereby solicitors can receive the representation the need. The ball is in their court.

Paul Sharma

Immediate past President of Westminster & Holborn Law Society and Council member for the same – now called London Central


Six things to consider before outsourcing your legal cashiering Q

uill is the UK’s largest supplier of outsourced legal cashiering services. Here, executive chairman Julian Bryan shares his guidance on the benefits of outsourcing, as well as some specific questions law firms need to consider during the initial decision-making phase. When running a law firm, it can be tempting to want to oversee every piece of day-today admin that comes through your doors, especially when that admin relates to your legal accounts. Knowing exactly how much money is coming and going from your office and client accounts is essential for business stability, growth and, of course, compliance, which is why so many law firms rely on bringing dedicated cashiers to their team. But is performing your cashiering in-house the smartest way to do it? Here at Quill, we often talk about how managing your law firm’s cashiering in a ‘smart’ way is essential if you want to succeed in an increasingly competitive legal marketplace. There are many ways to do this, including investing in new technologies or going completely paperless. But there’s one tactic in particular which more and more law firms are employing – outsourcing. And here’s why. Why outsource your legal cashiering? There are a huge variety of reasons why a law firm might want to outsource their cashiering functions. But, to us, there’s one factor in particular which stands out – compliance. In the legal sector, accounts are governed by heavy-duty rules. That means ongoing compliance poses a huge challenge, especially for busy practices processing large transaction volumes, where the risk of making mistakes increases. By relinquishing your cashiering duties to an outsourcing expert, it’s their responsibility to help you ensure your accounts meet tough regulatory rules. You’ve got peace of mind that your accounts are up to date with no compromise on compliance. But that’s not the only reason. Some of the other major benefits are: I mproved business continuity, with no gaps in services, even during peak holiday periods or sickness absence Cost savings without the extra salary, training, office space and other overheads associated with employing an in-house cashier A strong personal relationship with outsourced cashiers that act as an extension to your team, even if they’re located miles away Tailored support that you can flex to your workload volumes and your individual processes and procedures What to consider before outsourcing As with any transition between different ways of working, there are a number of factors you need to consider carefully and seriously, before you make any major commitments. When it comes to outsourcing, there are 6 key considerations in particular which will help you ensure a successful changeover: 1. Come with a new mindset ‘Outsourcing’ can elicit images of nameless, faceless person doing subpar work from far away with little knowledge of your business. But experienced outsourced legal cashiers couldn’t be further from this stereotype. The key to a successful relationship is to change your mindset of how you see an outsourced partner. The best approach is to view an outsourced cashier as a part-time employee, who happens to work remotely. By treating them as an extension of your staff, you entrust the legal cashier to act in your best interests and with the right level of autonomy to deliver efficiencies to your business. More than that, if the pandemic has taught us anything, it’s that we need to consider how a business would cope without a skilled employee. With an outsourced cashier, you have the business continuity in place to pick up exactly where your accounts were left off with no interruption whatsoever, including any back-posting. 2. Clear communications Communication in all its guises is a fundamental concern for both you and

your outsourcing partner. It’s likely you’ll be assigned a named cashier who you can contact however you prefer and as often you need to. These lines of communication open up from the moment you start engaging with potential partners, continuing through the onboarding stage right up until you eventually team up with your chosen cashier. Proper communications guarantee that your outsourcing company delivers exactly what you want. 3. Cost and scalability Every business has their eye on the bottom line, and cost is a critical element of any professional decision. That means you need to understand where you’re spending your money and where cost savings can be made. Outsourcing providers tend to charge fees according to your transaction volumes, so they scale up (or down) depending upon how busy (or quiet) you are. This is extremely helpful in terms of budgeting and financial planning. 4. Regulatory compliance Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) compliance is at the crux of your bookkeeping. Or, at least, it should be. Not only is it important for complying with regulators, it also enables your compliance officers to perform their roles satisfactorily. One of your outsourced cashier’s tasks is to generate weekly compliance reports which go a long way to keeping your finances, compliance officers for legal practice, and compliance officers for finance and administration on the right side of industry regulators. If there’s anything to sway your decision in favour of outsourcing, it’s probably the assurance of compliance. 5. Established processes It is crucial to establish processes for the smooth maintenance of your accounts and effortless flow of information between your law firm and your outsourcing partner. These are simple but vital efficiencies which simplify who does what, and when. Some flexibility and trust may be required here; for example, conveyancing specialists might give their outsourced cashier access to their HM Land Registry portal to post transactions directly from Land Registry statements as a further timesaving measure. Read-only access to bank statements or you online payments portal are examples of streamlining as it assists greatly with bank reconciliation. 6. Adapting to change Let’s be honest, we all become set in our ways. But that doesn’t mean the usual way is the correct way. It’s easy to get accustomed to having a cashier in an adjacent office, whom you can just throw pieces of paper at throughout the course of the day. With outsourcing, that all changes, and it can sometimes be difficult to adapt to this more structured working pattern. However, the time spent familiarising yourself with a new, more streamlined process is worth it in the long run. Your outsourcing partner will collaborate to devise best methodologies which strip out inefficiencies. It’s a big change but, if you get buy-in from all concerned, the switchover to outsourced service support will be that much easier. Wrapping up – when’s the optimum time to choose outsourcing? While the majority of law firms tend to choose outsourcing when first setting up their new enterprise, in reality outsourcing can be activated at any time. Aside from start-ups looking to reduce their admin workload, the typical triggers include cashiers retiring or resigning (requiring permanent support), or staffing shortfalls due to holidays or unexpected absences (requiring temporary support). As with most disruptive business decisions, there’s no perfect time to start outsourcing your cashiering. But there is always a right time. And trust us. When the right time comes, you’ll know it. Quill’s ‘Six things to consider before outsourcing your legal cashiering’ is adapted from its ‘Guide to legal cashiering: how outsourcing works’ webinar in conjunction with guest speaker Chas Arya from Ratio Law. Learn more at www.quill.co.uk/ blog/interview-with-chas-arya-practice-manager-ratio-law. ■ CENTRAL LONDON LAWYER | 25


Managing employee mental health in times of uncertainty


ith the rising cost of living, global conflicts including war in Ukraine, and the ongoing effects of the Covid-19 pandemic, it is no surprise that the UK workforce is experiencing high levels of mental health conditions. It is important for employers to take action to recognise that workplaces are not all business – they are filled with employees who have real hopes, fears and stresses.

are well equipped to identify potential causes of stress and have effective means to manage their staff. Leadership should ensure that employees feel comfortable and are encouraged to have regular conversations about their health and wellbeing. Encouraging workplace conversations about real-world issues affecting employees will not only serve to help workers feel supported but can also strengthen a company’s culture.

What is causing the increase in employee mental health conditions? After two years of the Covid-19 pandemic and restrictions easing, many were hoping that life would return to ‘normal’. However, research conducted by Reassured has shown that more than a third of UK workers have actually felt more stressed since lockdown restrictions ended.

Developing a more general awareness of mental health among employees is also hugely important. This can be done by making information, tools and support easily accessible. Support can include access to employee assistance programmes intended to help employees deal with personal problems that might adversely impact their work performance, health and wellbeing. Training and utilising mental health first aiders is also a great way to ensure there is a real awareness of employee wellbeing embedded within the workplace. Many employers have also introduced concepts such as employee wellbeing days or offer wellness activities to give individuals the opportunity to recharge.

Social media and news feeds continue to be filled with conflict, loss, negativity and confusion, resulting in a perpetual feeling of pessimism, anxiety and frustration. ‘Doomscrolling’ – becoming fixated on monitoring news relating to an ongoing crisis – has become a coping mechanism for many individuals trying to gain control over the situation by absorbing as much information as possible, however this can become draining when individuals are left feeling powerless. Work can aggravate pre-existing conditions and stresses, causing an increase or worsening of symptoms experienced. These stresses can be a reaction to events or experiences in an employee’s home life or work life, although often it is a combination of both, and it can become hard to separate workrelated stress from existing problems. What can employers do to help? Employers should focus on prevention and take a proactive approach when it comes to mental health. One crucial step is to give meaningful training to management to ensure they 26 | CENTRAL LONDON LAWYER

Undeniably, pressures of increasingly demanding work cultures contribute massively to issues surrounding employee mental health. Start conversations with employees to ask what they feel would genuinely improve their work-life balance and offer flexible or remote working where this is possible. By encouraging a culture of openness, employees will hopefully feel able to speak up about any anxieties or pressures they are struggling with. Ensure employees are encouraged to take breaks during the working day and use their annual leave. In addition to giving employees time to switch off, having a routine can be helpful in times of uncertainty, adding structure and a sense of predictability to an employee’s day. A good work-life balance will also result in a workforce who are more efficient, productive and motivated.


Legal Requirements Depending on the particular individual, employers may have legal requirements to safeguard the wellbeing of employees. All employers have a duty of care to do all they can to reasonably support the health, safety and wellbeing of employees, which includes: – making sure the working environment is safe; – protecting staff from discrimination; and – carrying out risk assessments. A mental health issue can be considered a disability under the law (Equality Act 2010) if the following criteria apply: – it has a 'substantial adverse effect' on the life of an employee (for example, they regularly cannot focus on a task, or it takes them longer to do); – it lasts (or is expected to last) at least 12 months; and – it affects their ability to do their normal day-to-day activities (for example, interacting with people, following instructions or keeping to set working times).

It is important to be conscious of this right from the start of the employment relationship. During any recruitment process, ensure that candidates are encouraged to have open conversations about support required and offer appropriate workplace adjustments to those requiring them. Conclusion Although it is hard to prepare for the unexpected in such uncertain times with widespread geopolitical and economic fallout, employers should monitor ongoing situations carefully and make adjustments to their support as necessary. By taking action to promote positive mental health in the workplace and creating a supportive environment, employers can help ease the high levels of mental health conditions in the workforce.

Rachel Phillips

Solicitor JMW’s London Employment Team

If an employee’s mental health issue does qualify as a disability, employers must not discriminate against them because of this and must make reasonable adjustments. Reasonable adjustments can include allowing homeworking, making physical changes to the workplace or offering increased support and training.

How Legal Workflow Automation Can Improve Your Firm’s Operations


egal administrative work is crucial to running a successful firm, but it’s something law firms can struggle with. For many law firm staff, the processes at their firm make admin time-consuming and tedious and can pull their focus from building the firm. That’s where task and workflow automation comes in. According to Clio’s 2020 Legal Trends Report, 84% of legal professionals believe they could better serve their clients by automating more aspects of their firm’s operations. We also found that firms using a combination of legal technology collected an average of $19,541 (£14,334 at the time of writing) more per lawyer than those that did not use legal workflow automation. Let’s look at three legal workflow automation tools that can save your firm hours:

simply have to start and stop a timer to record how long they spend on any one particular case or matter. From there, they can create detailed (and accurate) time and expense reports in minutes, which can save hours for fee-earners and those responsible for collating and billing for time. 3. Issuing Bills Speaking of billing, legal workflow automation can be a huge boon for legal firms here, too. Instead of manually collecting and applying the information needed to client invoices, automating the process can cut hours from end-of-month billing cycles. If you use software that syncs to your accounting system (Clio, for example, integrates with Xero, QuickBooks Online, Klyant, and Cashroom), you can save even more time and admin work on your processes.

1. Document Automation and Management Creating new documents from scratch can eat up a lot of law firm time. Document automation makes it easier for lawyers and other law firm staff to create new documents from existing templates, reduces the time to create a first draft, and speeds up contracting and communication processes.

By automating what can be automated, law firm staff can spend more time on high-value tasks. If you’re seeking to maintain a competitive edge in a crowded market, embracing legal workflow automation could be the exact thing you need to take your law firm to that next level.

2. Time Recording Time recording can often fall to the bottom of to-do lists – and items can get missed. With legal time recording software, users

To see how Clio helps with workflow automation, see clio.com/ uk/central-home or, Central London Lawyer readers can take advantage of a 7-day free trial clio.com/uk/central-free. ■ CENTRAL LONDON LAWYER | 27




Financial and economic sanctions imposed by United Kingdom on Russia in light of the invasion of Ukraine


he United Kingdom has taken toughest actions by way of introducing severe economic and financial sanctions against Russia, with the view to prevent the Russian President Vladimir Putin exacerbating his unjustified aggression towards Ukraine and his ability to fund the war. His country’s military personnel have invaded Ukraine on 22 February 2022, attacking large cities by way of air strikes and destroying multiple houses, hospitals and schools resulting in loss of life of many innocent people, including children many of whom are now orphans. In view of the current situation, more than 4.5 million Ukrainians have left the country seeking refuge in their neighbouring States. Sadly, the war is still ongoing despite that many countries have united in their support for Ukraine and have expressed that President Putin should be held responsible for breaking the international law, though realistically he may never face any legal charges in spite of his barbaric actions. The UK Government has published seven Regulations in relation to the sanctions it imposes against Russia, the latest one being the Russia (Sanctions) (EU Exit) (Amendment) (No. 7) Regulations 2022 (as of 10 April 2022), which particularly focuses on the aviation sector and shipping sanctions. UK continues to apply its existing sanctions against Russia and new measures are regularly being introduced with little to no notice that seemingly have considerable impact on the Russian economy, until such time that Russia withdraws from Ukraine with an agreement to end the war and exhibit no further signs of aggression. Since the beginning of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, the UK has imposed a large number of financial and economic sanctions to punish President Putin for his brutal actions and deny him the opportunity to have access to resources that would enable him to fund the invasion and the war in Ukraine. Chancellor of the Exchequer Rushi Sunak expressed his view that these measures would “isolate the Russian economy from global trade” and place an “economic pressure on his regime”.

To further tighten the sanctions, the UK has effectively targeted wealthy individuals also known as oligarchs and has frozen their assets, as the UK Government considered that President Putin could potentially acquire funding and support for the war in Ukraine from these wealthy individuals and their businesses. For instance, Roman Abramovich who has very close ties to President Putin tried to sell his Chelsea Football Club, though he was sanctioned by the UK on the suspicion that the assets of the proceeds of the sale could likely be used to fund the invasion. The latest update is that the UK along with US have sanctioned President Putin’s daughters and the daughter of the foreign minister Sergei Lavrov by freezing their assets and adding travel ban, targeting the closest members of President Putin’s inner circle. Despite the catastrophic impact of the measures imposed by the UK on Russia’s economy leading to a deep recession, there is no sign that President Putin is prepared to cease his invasion of Ukraine anytime soon. In fact, Russia has banned exports of multiple products and President Putin has also stated publicly that the nations who depend on the imports of Russian gas would have to pay for the imports in Russian roubles as a way to increase the value of the roubles. One thing is certainly clear, we have all experienced the devastating impact of the war, particularly with the price inflation on essential household products and the rising costs of the electricity, gas and fuel. The UK is determined to introduce more sanctions on Russia, if necessary, in an effort to make it harder for Russia to sustain funding the war.

Martina Ignatova Trainee Solicitor Amnesty Solicitors

UK along with other countries such as Canada, the US and Japan have imposed sanctions to freeze all assets from all Russian banks which has led to a 40% fall of the Russian Rouble and the closure of the Russian stock market. This also means that measures have been put in place to prevent Russian companies borrowing money in the UK. World-known companies, such as McDonald’s, Starbucks and Coca-Cola have ceased trading in Russia in light of their disproving of President Putin’s actions.



Restorative Justice: Colombia and the Special Jurisdiction of Peace


ow do communities address serious human rights violations and war crimes following an armed conflict? International criminal tribunals typically adopted a retributive approach when dealing with such matters. Following the end of one of the longest civil wars in history, Colombia adopted a different, and novel, approach. Part of the peace agreement between the Colombian government and the Revolutionary Armed Forces in Colombia (FARC) was the creation of a new legal framework designed to investigate and sanction the perpetrators of serious human rights violations during the civil war. The length of the armed conflict and the extent of the violations and war crimes left the newly formed Special Jurisdiction of Peace (SJP) with a mammoth task to complete. The SJP came into force in March 2017 and was designed to sit separately from the ordinary court system and with restorative justice at its heart. Restorative justice focuses on allowing both the victims and perpetrators to communicate with one another. It can be empowering for the victim in that it gives them a voice and allows them to confront the perpetrator as part of their own healing process. For the perpetrator, it confronts them with the

personal impact of their crime and can be an effective way to see the impact of their actions on a human level and can help to come to terms with their actions. The SJP forms part of the transitional justice component of the peace agreement and has sought to encompass truth, justice, reparations and a guarantee of non-recurrence as part of its structure. One of its characteristics has been to allow victims to participate and engage directly in the process such as providing their views for any non-prison sentences which may include community-based intervention working to repair any damage caused to the victim. It remains to be seen what lessons can be learnt from the Colombian context and how restorative justice can be used as an effective means to heal and restore the social fabric of our communities.

Rishi Joshi

Solicitor Hodge Jones & Allen


– 28th June 2022 –


his year the London Legal Walk will take place on 28 June 2022. The walk aims at bringing together to legal community to promote access to free legal advice services.

The need for free legal assistance with various issues, including debt, benefits, housing, asylum and domestic violence is now greater than ever. The walk is always an enjoyable event; it raises money for those services that need it and provides a great opportunity to meet others in the industry. If you would like to take part in the walk alongside other members of WHLS please do get in touch. We hope to see as many of you as possible! Further information can also be found here: https://londonlegalsupporttrust.org.uk/our-events/ london-legal-walk-2022/.


Want to feature in Central London Lawyer? To advertise in Central London Lawyer, please call Catherine McCarthy our Business Features Editor on 0151 236 4141 or email catherine@ benhampublishing.com.


GCS – Legal Indemnity Insurance – 3 NEW Conveyancing Solutions G

uaranteed Conveyancing Solutions (GCS) is one of the market-leading providers of legal indemnity insurance for ‘Residential’ and ‘Commercial’ properties and ‘Developments’. As our name suggests, GCS is committed to providing the most effective solutions for the 20,000+ conveyancing professionals who rely on us across the country. Part of our commitment involves expanding and improving our ever-growing selection of legal indemnity insurance policies so that whatever risks your clients need cover for, GCS can provide. With that in mind, we have recently added THREE new policies to our already broad selection: E state Rentcharge – Lender Only: Covers the lender in the event that estate rent charges are unpaid and the property subsequently burdened by a statutory lease or the rent charge owner successfully re-enters the Property under Section 121 of the Law of Property Act 1925. A bsence of Easement – Encroachment / Overhang: Covers the buyer if the owner of adjoining land refuses to allow access to carry out essential repairs and maintenance to guttering, fascias and or soffits which overhang or encroach on the neighbouring land. L ack of Crossover Agreement (Dropped Kerb): Covers the buyer if the planning authority/highway authority take

enforcement action under Section 184 of the Highways Act 1980 to prevent the use of the crossover/dropped kerb. These policies can be issued INSTANTLY through our speedy, easy-to-use online system: ‘GCS Online’. Creating an account is straightforward and only takes a few clicks. Users have 24/7 access to their account, whether they’re working in the office or from home. One of the benefits of GCS Online is that legal indemnity quotes can be obtained in seconds and policies can be issued in minutes, or saved to your account for later. Electronic policy documents are sent instantly via email, which means your clients are on cover immediately. In addition to GCS Online, all our policies are available ‘Directly’. Conveyancers can simply contact us and our underwriters will issue policies for you from our office. Our ‘Bespoke’ service is also available for more complex risks, or if you cannot find the cover your client requires. To register for GCS ‘Online’, to obtain a Quick Quote or to view our broad range of policies, please visit www.gcs-title.co.uk. To obtain a ‘Bespoke’ or ‘Direct’ quote, or for any further enquiries, please contact us using the details below.


Estate Rentcharge Lender Only

Cover for the Mortgage Lender Up to £3m Limit of Indemnity Also known as Rent Charges Policy Premiums start from £31*

Find out more: www.gcs-title.co.uk/WH

Absence of Easement Encroachment/ Overhang

Cover for Residential Properties Automatic Inflation Clause Also known as Air Space Overhang Premiums start from £70*

Lack of Crossover Agreement (Dropped Kerb)

Cover for Residential Properties Automatic Inflation Clause Also known as Dropped Kerb Cover Premiums start from £80* *incl. IPT

01435 868 050 underwriters@gcs-title.co.uk

Guaranteed Conveyancing Solutions Limited (authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority) Registered in England & Wales No. 3623950 Registered Office: ECA Court, 24-26 South Park, Sevenoaks, Kent, TN13 1DU



Simple Contract Law

Articles of Association

Stripping English Law of Complexity

Guidance and Precedents


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 WatsonGandy, 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-to-read, 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: https://amzn.to/3kbb6Q4. ■ 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.



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. ■


Housing Possession Duty Desk ‘The practical guide that is so much more’ – an essential purchase for post-pandemic Britain Housing Possession Duty Desk – A Practical Guide By Simon Mullings and Sue James. An appreciation by Elizabeth Robson Taylor MA of Richmond Green Chambers and Phillip Taylor MBE, Head of Chambers, Reviews Editor, “The Barrister” and Mediator.


ousing repossession is quite obviously one of the prime causes of homelessness, the human consequences of which are not only horrific, but also – ironically enough – very expensive, particularly for local authorities in ways that are too numerous and complex to be listed here.

Housing law, predictably, is a continually evolving discipline which, for advisers in this area, has become increasingly complex. Fortunately, the Legal Action Group (LAG), the access to justice charity, has come to the rescue – particularly of those threatened with repossession – with clear and authoritative texts on the subject, the best known of which is ‘Defending Possession Proceedings’, which has become the definitive guide to this area of law. But for those who provide beleaguered tenants or mortgagees with timely and pertinent advice – under strained circumstances and in a large hurry (like 20 minutes before a hearing) – LAG has produced a new title: ‘Housing Possession Duty Desk’, supported by Therium Access. This new and certainly indispensable guide is aimed at ‘those on the frontline of defending possession proceedings’, namely duty advisers, whether new or experienced, who are ‘faced with the challenge of keeping a roof over peoples’ heads,’ usually at the very door of the court. The publication of this book is undeniably timely in the time of pandemic and its aftermath, when threats of repossession are reaching record levels. Writing in the foreword, Knowles J points out that ‘there are many, many thousands of possession cases,’ adding that ‘It is too easy to create a conveyor belt, to base assumptions on inferences.’ ‘In a fairer system’, write authors Sue James and Simon Mullings, ‘this book might not need to exist.’ In the meantime, tenants and borrowers need help, which is amply provided with erudition and precision in this book, which – in the words of Knowles J – is so much more than a practical guide. Rather, it is an essential reference, not only for duty advisers, but barristers, solicitors, legal professionals and indeed anyone representing a tenant or mortgagee facing repossession in these difficult times. ■ Legal Action Group – The access to justice charity www.lag.org.uk

Family Law leaves the EU A summary guide for Practitioners


n appreciation by Elizabeth Robson Taylor MA of Richmond Green Chambers and Phillip Taylor MBE, Head of Chambers, Reviews Editor, “The Barrister”, and Mediator. This new guide from the Family Law imprint of LexisNexis is most welcome at a time when so much confusion reigns in the world caused by the coronavirus pandemic. Any practitioner who is faced with trying to understand where we will be with family law matters on leaving the European Union on the last day of 2020 will be relieved to read this innovative sort work from Professor David Hodson OBE. We welcome the important additional section on public child law written by Maria Murphy for those specialists involved with local authorities. We feel that this short paperback will be highly relevant to all family law practitioners as a quick accessible guide to the law and practice which will apply on the UK’s final departure from the EU on 31 December 2020. The government has indicated that the UK will not be party to any further EU laws from January 2021, instead relying on existing international laws such as the Hague Convention, to which we will be a party in our own right. There will also be new provisions to cover issues of national law, where previously EU law existed. Inevitably, some court procedures will need to change once the final break with Europe has taken place. This invaluable title gives us an overview of the legal position and the practical issues which are judged to arise in all areas of family law, including the preparatory steps which lawyers should take in readiness for departure, to advise clients as effectively as possible in the future. The key topics cover the main substantive family law areas depending on what you are looking for: the governing laws; divorce; financial aspects including remedies; the Hague Convention 2007; the Lugano Convention; private children law; public children law; domestic violence; the service and the taking of evidence, Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR), and legal aid; and potential areas of EU/UK future co-operation in the post-Brexit era. When we woke up early on that morning of Friday 24th June 2016, many of us were looking at a most uncertain future. Hodson’s “Family Law Leaves the EU” bridges an important gap for family law practitioners as we grapple with the post Brexit era whilst fighting a world pandemic. Thank you. Family Law leaves the EU: A summary guide for Practitioners is available now from www.lexisnexis.co.uk. ■



Poppy’s second chance at love P

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 www.dogstrust.org.uk/ccc 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 CCC@dogstrust.org.uk 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 ccc@dogstrust.org.uk 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


Moving. Paper-based AP1s are stopping. It’s time to move to digital.

Perhaps you’ve heard. Paper is about to fold. From Nov 2022, HM Land Registry will only accept digital AP1 forms (no more scanned PDFs). As the leading provider of digitally submitted AP1 forms outside of HMLR, InfoTrack is here to make your transition from paper to digital as painless as possible. With 750,000 forms successfully submitted since 2016, we not only have an impeccable track record, but our software has been honed to a tee. Our digital AP1 forms can be up to 90% pre-populated, eradicating simple errors in one fell (key) stroke, reducing requisitions by up to 30%. Don’t get left behind. Visit infotrack.co.uk/digitalAP1 or call us on 0207 186 8090 to book a free demo.



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.

Visit: leap.co.uk


Turn static files into dynamic content formats.

Create a flipbook

Articles inside

LONDON LEGAL WALK – 28th June 2022

page 30

Restorative Justice: Colombia and the Special Jurisdiction of Peace

page 30

Financial and economic sanctions imposed by United Kingdom on Russia in light of the invasion of Ukraine

page 29

Managing employee mental health in times of uncertainty

pages 26-27

TLS and equality of arms – missing in action

page 24

Footwear Innovation: Nike’s Super Shoes

page 23

John Davies

page 19

Rescue my Bitcoin – Tulip Trading Ltd v Bitcoin Association for BSV and others

pages 18-19

Freedom from Torture challenges refugees-to-Rwanda policy

page 17

Lawyers assist Ukraine

page 16

International Update

page 16

Twinning with Palermo Bar Association

page 16

FBE CONFERENCE IN GIRONA | 23-26 MARCH 2022 - The rights of the vulnerable before the courts

page 15

Ukraine Appeal

page 14

In search of the first Cowrie law scholar

page 13

Spotlight: CWHLS CSR & Pro Bono Committee

page 12

Where is the promised Employment Bill?

page 11

Membership Benefits

page 10

Why the Dissolution and Calling of Parliament Act 2022 may prove to be so important

page 10

Upcoming WHLS Events

page 9

Meet the Editorial Team

page 8

The President’s Foreword

page 5
Issuu converts static files into: digital portfolios, online yearbooks, online catalogs, digital photo albums and more. Sign up and create your flipbook.