Westminster & Holborn Law Society May 2023

Page 1

Changes in the UK Laws: What's New?

 Penalties For The Underage Sale Of Knives

 Adapting to a Changing Arbitration World

 The state of our pension

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Spring 2023 © Benham Publishing Ltd.


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Copy Deadline

28th July 2023

For the August 2023 edition


Anyone wishing to advertise in Central London Lawyer please contact Catherine McCarthy before the copy deadline. 0151 236 4141 catherine@benhampublishing.com


Members wishing to submit editorial please send to: cwhlawsoc@gmail.com

Editor in Chief: Kene Onyeka Allison. Editorial Board: Lotus Kimona, Anamitra Mukhopadhyay and Sadie Thompson & Anita Winsome.

05 President’s Foreword 08 Adapting to a Changing Arbitration World 09 Equality Diversity and Inclusion subcommittee 10 Q&A: Life as an LPC Student with Sarah Bradd 11 Junior Law Division
NEW GUILDLINES: Penalties up to £1Million for the Underage sale of knives 14 ILLEGAL VAPES: regulating The “Biggest Threat” On The High Street
A cautionary tale for dealmakers: 20 ChatGPT - is the Legal Sector ready? 21 Recent Updates in Family Law 24 Bocca di Lupo, review
Warning for Directors
Making the most out of LinkedIn as an aspiring lawyer 28 Book reviews Contents 08
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The President’s Foreword


Dear Member, Welcome to the Spring edition of Central London Lawyer. I hope you are enjoying the longer and brighter days (when it isn’t raining!). My personal thanks to Lotus Kimona, this edition’s Guest Editor, to our Editor in Chief, Kene Onyeka Allison, the Editorial Board and to our contributors for all of their work.

The Society’s Equality, Diversity and Inclusion committee hosted a wonderful event on Thursday 16 March 2023 to mark International Women’s Day at the University Women’s Club in Mayfair. Our Junior Lawyers Division (JLD) held a successful panel discussion followed by networking on ‘Helping You Navigate Qualification and Beyond’ with London Young Lawyers Group on 16 February 2023.

Details of our upcoming social and educational events including our summer party and annual dinner will be emailed to our members soon and will also be available on our website and on our LinkedIn, Instagram and Twitter pages.

WHLS will be participating again in the London Legal Walk on 13 June 2023, if you’d like to join us, please let us know. You can sponsor us by visiting https:// londonlegalsupporttrust.enthuse.com/pf/westminsterholborn-law-society-2023

We are seeking members to join our Events and Sponsorship team so please get in touch if you’re interested in hearing more about this opportunity.

We look forward to hearing from you and seeing you at an event soon.

Best wishes. 

Nicola Rubbert

Nicola Rubbert President

Nicola is looking forward to the year ahead as President of Westminster & Holborn Law Society. Nicola is a commercial and employment solicitor. Nicola is a Council Member of The Law Society of England & Wales, representing the constituency of Westminster. Nicola is a former Chair of WHLS’s Education & Training Committee and still sits on the committee, and is a former Chair of London Young Lawyers Group.

Philip Henson 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.

Nicola Wainwright Deputy Vice President

Nicola Wainwright is a specialist clinical negligence solicitor with more than 20 years’ experience. She is a Partner and Head of Clinical Negligence-London at JMW Solicitors LLP. Nicola specialises exclusively in clinical negligence claims for patients arising from medical treatment that has gone wrong, or from a failure to provide medical treatment. She has expertise in a wide range of claims, but particularly those that are complex or that result in severe, life changing injuries. Nicola has been ranked in Chambers & Partners legal directory for 14 years and has been described as a ‘highly experienced lawyer who achieves great results’ for clients. Clients describe her as ‘incredibly empathetic and understanding’ and as ‘having great communication skills’. Nicola qualified as a solicitor in 1997 after training with Pictons. She specialised in personal injury and clinical negligence at Davies & Partners, Birmingham before joining Leigh Day in 2000, since when she has specialised exclusively in clinical negligence. She was at Leigh Day for 20 years before joining JMW. Nicola is a member of the Law Society Clinical Negligence Accreditation Panel and an Association of Personal Injury (APIL) Senior Litigator. Nicola sits on the Westminster & Holborn Law Society CSR and Pro-Bono Committee. She is also a member of FOCIS (Forum of Complex Injury Solicitors), and the Association of Women Solicitors, London (AWSL).

Kene Onyeka Allison 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.

Luke Silverman Administrative Secretary

Luke is a Trainee Solicitor at Macfarlanes LLP and the current Administrative Secretary to the Westminster and Holborn Law Society. Luke has a particular interest in matters concerning cryptocurrency as well as how the legal industry can become more Green. In his spare time, Luke is a keen cyclist and can be found speeding around Regent’s Park in the early hours of the day.

Matthew Allan Immediate Past President

Matthew is a solicitor-advocate at Greenwoods specialising in commercial litigation and international arbitration. He is also the Vice Chair of the Society’s International Committee which develops professional links with lawyers and their clients throughout Europe and further afield, with a particular focus on his native Canada. As the Immediate Past President of the Society, Matt’s priority is to continue his efforts growing the commercial connections with our twinned bar associations.


Kene Onyeka Allison

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.

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.

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!

Anita Winsome

Anita is an LLM student specialising in Comparative & International Dispute Resolution at Queen Mary University of London. Her interests include domestic & international arbitration, competition law and intellectual property rights. She is a qualified lawyer in India and is a licensed member of the Bar Council. Her favourite pastime activity includes exploring the beautiful cafes, museums or the parks at South Kensington.

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

Adapting to a Changing Arbitration World

The theme for this year’s LIDW (London International Disputes Week) 2023 is all about exploring the changes the arbitration world has seen in the last couple of years. Building on the success of its three previous years, the LIDW fittingly chose this year’s theme to reflect & invite conversation on how the dispute community is, and should be adapting to a changing world.

Hitting closer to home, one of the most significant developments so far to watch out for is the Law Commission’s proposed reforms to the Arbitration Act 1996. The Act, governing arbitration proceedings seated in England, Wales & Northern Ireland is currently under review and the reforms are said to be aimed at ensuring that it remains “state-of-the art” with the changing landscape - both for domestic arbitrations, and in support of London as the world’s first choice for international commercial arbitration. January 2022 saw the 25th anniversary of the Act coming into force and this presents a good opportunity to revisit it, particularly since other jurisdictions have enacted more recent reforms.

Regarding the proposed reforms to the Act, the Law Commission published the first consultation paper last September and based on the response and feedback it received from the different stakeholders, a second consultation paper with amended proposals was published on 27 March 2023. There are a few significant proposed reforms and one of them (perhaps the most controversial) is regarding the scope of challenge concerning the jurisdiction of the arbitral tribunal deciding the matter. The Law Commission’s latest consultation revisits section 67 of the Act, which allows a party to the arbitral proceedings to challenge an award of a tribunal seated in England and Wales on its substantive jurisdiction. Based on the feedback received from the first consultation paper, the Law Commission has come to the view that restricting the nature of the challenge under section 67 would be altogether better than amending the provision itself by fully scrapping a rehearing. By limiting the scope of a challenge under section 67, the aim is to avoid potential delays and removal of costly re-runs of a full hearing, without fully curbing the supervisory powers of the court.

The proposed reforms also address a possible change in the “applicable law” to the arbitration. An arbitration clause is regarded as a separate and self-standing contract (the principle of separability) due to which, in certain cases, it can be difficult to identify the applicable law if the parties have not specified it in their

contract. The law applicable to the arbitration agreement helps to determine whether an arbitrator has jurisdiction over the matter or not. Deciding which law has to apply to the arbitration agreement is a much debated & sensitive topic which has sparked a great deal of discussion within the arbitration community (added to the UK Supreme Court’s most recent ruling in Enka v. Chubb which says that the law of the arbitration agreement follows the law of the contract, save for certain instances). Due to different views, the Law Commission has proposed that a possible solution to this conundrum would be to implement a statutory rule confirming that the law of the arbitration agreement will be the same as the law of the contract unless the parties have expressly chosen a different law to be applied to the arbitration agreement (consistent with Enka v. Chubb). This would mean that the English Arbitration Act 1996 would join that of Scotland and Sweden in having a statutory default choice when it comes to deciding the applicable law, absent any specification in the arbitration agreement. Again, there are conflicting views with respect to this proposed amendment among the arbitration community and it is yet to be seen what the possible implications might be.

London holds international appeal as a global hub for dispute resolution. The Chartered Institute of Arbitrators, headquartered in London, has more than 17,000 members across 149 countries (See https://www.ciarb.org/about-us/) and according to the Lexis Nexis Arbitration Statistics, 2020 (See https://www.lexisnexis.co.uk/ blog/research-legal-analysis/arbitrationstatistics-2020-from-solearbitrators-to-no-arbitrators) international arbitration has grown by about 26% between 2016 and 2020, with London being the most popular seat. It is yet to be seen if the proposed reforms will help or harm London’s pre-eminence as an arbitral seat. 

Anita Winsome Photo by John Liversuch on Pexels.

Equality Diversity and Inclusion sub-committee

The Equality Diversity and Inclusion (EDI) sub-committee celebrated International Women’s Day at the University Women’s Club in Mayfair. We welcomed meeting many new and long-standing members of WHLS and Andrea Accuosto Suárez.

Andrea is a lawyer visiting from Barcelona where she practises criminal and labour law. Andrea has met with many of us in the past, as she has been part of the exchanges between our two Bar Associations, which have developed our twinning with Barcelona, our longest-standing arrangement.

Charity Mafuba was amongst the guests and celebrating her SQE success. We all congratulate Charity on her hard work in qualifying as both a New York Attorney and a solicitor in England and Wales. We hope Charity will continue to be one of our active members.

We were served drinks and refreshments in the elegant drawing room. Nicola Ruppert welcomed everyone and Coral Hill, co-chair of the EDI committee talked about the luminary women who had been entertained in the drawing room a 100 years earlier. The house was owned originally by the Russell family, the liberal peer Lord Arthur Russell and his wife, the society hostess Lady Russell. Amongst her many guests were the explorer Gertrude Bell, Vera Brittain and Virginia Woolf.

Virginia Woolf (1882 – 1941) barely needs an introduction, the world-famous novelist and essayist who pioneered the stream of consciousness narrative and of course gave the lecture A Room of Your Own in 1928 to Cambridge University (which as a female, she had not been allowed to attend as a student, unlike her brothers).

Vera Mary Brittain (1893 –1970) was a writer, feminist, socialist and pacifist. Her studies at Oxford University were interrupted by WWI and she worked as a nurse with the Voluntary Aid Detachment. She was extremely well-known for her best-selling 1933 memoir Testament

of Youth which recounted her experiences during the WWI and her journey towards pacifism. Incidentally, her daughter was Dame Shirley Williams who became a former Labour cabinet minister, Liberal Democrat peer.

Gertrude Bell CBE (1868 – 1926) was an English writer, traveller, political officer and archaeologist. She extensively travelled and mapped the Middle East. Bell believed that the British government should ally with the nationalists and advocated for independent Arab states following the collapse of the Ottoman Empire. T.E. Lawrence was seen by many as the successor to many of her ideas. She was the only woman to attend the 1921 Cairo conference which helped decide the territorial boundaries and governments of the post-War Middle.

The acquisition of the Mayfair house by the University Women’s Club after the First World War was a watershed moment in establishing the Club for the future and reflected the increased status of women brought about by the Great War. The devastation caused to a generation of young men who died or were incapable of work for physical or mental reasons mean that society was more dependent on the labour of women and it was one factor in the ushering in of a raft of changes, such as, women being able to qualify as lawyers.

If anyone has an interest in joining the EDI committee do please contact the committee secretary, Rebecca Taylor Rebecca.Taylor@ dawsoncornwell.com. You are welcome to come and meet us all without any commitment. Our aim is to cover as many characteristics as possible but to achieve that we need lots of members. Each of us can then contribute something each year and not get overloaded. So far, we’ve had articles and events on disability / ethnic differences / religion and gender parity. We would really like to expand our EDI impact on social media as well, so you are welcome to contact us with ideas.


Q&A: Life as an LPC Student with Sarah Bradd

1. Are you studying the LPC full-time or part-time?

I am studying the LPC full-time at the University of Law, Moorgate Campus. It is nice to be back at ULaw as I completed my LLB at the Bloomsbury Campus, being back in a familiar setting definitely took the nerves away.

2. How has studying post-covid been for you and what are the challenges that come with it?

During covid, I was working as a Paralegal at Charles Russell Speechlys so there has not been much of a difference for me. Teaching in person and being on campus definitely has its benefits for the type of learner that I am. It is good to be able to collaborate with my peers and ask tutors questions on topics that I am finding difficult.

3. How do you manage your time?

I treat the LPC like a job by studying in 'office hours'. By looking at my timetable and upcoming deadlines, I am able to plan my day. It is useful to try and a section of each topic in a day. When it comes to textbook reading, little and often works for me.

4. How do you make sure you look after your well-being?

Well-being is extremely important when studying. Having ‘down time’ in the evenings is particularly important. I enjoy going to the gym or to the cinema to take my mind off studying. Eating chocolate and watching Netflix is also a great way to unwind! Having time for your mind to relax and digest your learning from the day means that it is more likely to stick in your mind.

5. What modules do you enjoy most and why?

Law and Business, Commercial Disputes and Family electives have been very enjoyable.

Law and Business has given me a good basis of how law as a business works with the ‘behind the scenes’ knowledge which I wouldn’t have known hadn’t it been for this topic.

Commercial Disputes is an area I’ve not studied before so it has been great to get my teeth stuck into this and explore how Commercial Disputes can be resolved.

Family Law has also been an interest for me and being able to dive deeper into the topic. It has given me a good grounding for hopefully completing a seat in this area.

6. What aspects do you find challenging?

The volume of work is particularly challenging especially with studying with the MSc alongside the LPC. It is all about being organised and following tutors guidance. There is often a lot of textbook reading and preparatory tasks needed before the workshops however, these are crucial as these feed into the session. It is all about having the right balance.

7. Have you decided what area of Law you wish to qualify in?

At the moment, I am keeping an open mind until I start my training contract in August in order to experience different areas. For my seat rotations it would be great to do Family Law, or a Disputes seat and Employment Law.

8. When do you finish the LPC and what 3 tips would you give to aspiring solicitors?

Good question! In the summer I will finish the LPC. 3 tips I would give to aspiring solicitors would be:

1. The power of networking, attending events and making contacts. Early on in my legal journey, being able to network and creating contacts was invaluable with gaining work experience. There are many free events for aspiring solicitors whether that’s a talk at a law firm, a careers fayre or even attending City of Westminster and Holborn Events (CWHLS) events; there is plenty to get involved in!

2. Commercial awareness of the legal industry. This comes hand in hand with my first tip as this means you’ll be able to engage with legal professionals and your peers. You never know what you might learn along the way.

3. Never give up or compare yourself to your others. It doesn’t matter how long your journey is; the journey is important and will shape you as a solicitor. 

Sarah Bradd

The state of our pension

Tension emerged in France, due to a proposed pension and this seemed to have reignited a line of conversation in the United Kingdom (UK). To put this all into context, at the beginning of the year, there was growing tension in France over the then proposed pension reform by the French government. Due to the aging population, increasing life expectancy and low birth rate, this was putting pressure on the pension system and was becoming increasingly unsustainable. The pay-asyou-go system saw where workers pay for the pensions of retirees, however, there were more retirees receiving benefits than workers contributing to the pot. To combat this deficit, the proposed reform would merge the various pension schemes in the country and raise the retirement age from 62 to 64. The French government has now signed this pension proposal into law despite the widespread protests.

Similarly, the state of the UK pension situation is shaky at best, due to demographic changes, economic uncertainties and changes in pension regulations. The dissimilar pension schemes available in the UK than that of France, whereas:

1. State Pension provided by the UK government to those who have made the sufficient National Insurance contributions when a person reaches State Pension age. The current retirement age is increasing gradually and is proposed to be 67 for both men and women by 2028.

2. Private Pension such as workplace pension or personal pensions have introduced various regulations to encourage people to save for retirement, e.g., automatic enrolment in workplace pensions.

3. Pension Funding in the UK has faced several challenges which includes low interest rates, low bond yields and the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. Many pension funds have also struggled to meet their long-term funding obligations.

4. Pension Reform by the government has introduced changes in State Pension in 2016, where there were changes to the way private pensions are taxed and the age of which people can access their pension savings. There is even a new ‘flat rate’ State Pension, which aims to simplify the system and provide a more generous pension for those who have not had the opportunity to build up a large pension pot.

Despite the reforms over the years and introduction of schemes, the UK still face challenges in providing a secure and sustainable retirement income for its citizens. There are growing concerns that not many people are saving enough for retirement and that the current pension system may not be sustainable in the long term.

In contrast to France, the UK has a mix of pay-as-you-go and funded pension schemes and has taken steps to address its own challenges such as the introduction of the automatic enrolment scheme and increasing the state pension age. However, there are still concerns about the sustainability of the UK pension system. Ultimately, the future of the UK pension system will depend on a range of factors, including government policy, demographic trends, economic conditions and individual behaviour. It is important for individuals to plan and save for their own retirement and seek professional advice if needed, in order to secure their financial future. 

Nedra Daniel Paralegal, KMW Solicitors Photo by Lisa Fotios on Pexels.


Retailers of any size, from large multi-million pound organisations down to individual shop owners, will have to take heed of new sentencing guidelines coming into force on 1 April 2023, which relate to those convicted of selling knives to children in England and Wales.

The two guidelines, which can be found here, apply to organisations and individuals who fail to ensure that adequate safeguards are in place to prevent the sale of knives to under 18s, either in-store or online.

The prosecution of underage sales of knives falls to Trading Standards teams within local authorities. For the first time magistrates’ courts will use these specific guidelines, which aim is to ensure that courts across the country take a consistent approach to sentencing these types of offences.

The Sentencing Council have published figures relating to fines imposed under the present sentencing regime.

For individuals – between 2017 and 2021, fines ranged from £34 up to £6,000, with an average of £383.

For companies – during the same period, fines ranged from £269 to £200,000, with an average of £2,600 (after reductions for guilty pleas have been applied). 99% of all companies prosecuted received a fine (rather than a discharge).

The figures demonstrate that the risk of enforcement and significant fines is understandably much higher for organisations. A single online test-purchasing operation led by National Trading Standards concluded in 2021 with a total of 17 convictions and fines totalling £179,755.

Under the new regime, organisations face a range of fines from £500 to £1 million, with fines linked to turnover to make penalties proportionate to the size of organisation (organisations cannot be sentenced to custody or community orders). Individuals face a range of non-custodial sentences, from a discharge to a highlevel community order or fine.

It is vital that organisations and individuals who sell knives as part of their businesses are familiar with the law governing their sale, a brief summary of which is outlined below.


It is an offence for any person to sell the following bladed articles to someone under the age of 18:

• knife, knife blade or razor blade

• axe

• other article that has a blade or is sharply pointed, and is made or adapted for use for causing injury to the person

The law does not interpret these categories any further, but it is expected that they include:

• any kitchen knife

• cutlery and bread knives

Photo by Nikko on Unsplash.

• butchers knives, including meat cleavers

• hobby knives and knives for trade use

• utility and survival knives

• trade tools, including those used for gardening and farming that fit the description of a knife

• cut-throat razors

• machetes and swords

The prohibition does not apply to:

• folding pocket-knives, if the cutting edge of the blade is less than 7.62 cm (three inches)

• replacement cartridges for safety razors, where less than 2 mm of the blade is exposed

When an age-restricted bladed article is sold remotely (such as online or by phone) the package should be delivered into the hands of someone aged at least 18. There are restrictions around the use of lockers.


If you are charged with an offence of selling a bladed article to a person under the age of 18, you have the defence that you took all reasonable precautions and exercised all due diligence to avoid committing the offence. This is known as the 'due diligence' defence. However, there are some limitations to this defence where the sale was a remote sale. To prove 'due diligence' you must prove the following conditions were met:

• you operated a system for checking that the buyer was not under the age of 18 and that the system was likely to prevent such a sale

• when the product was dispatched, it was clearly marked to show that it contained an article with a blade or was sharply pointed and that it should only be delivered into the hands of a person aged 18 or over

• you took all reasonable precautions and exercised all due diligence to ensure that the package would be delivered into the hands of a person aged 18 or over

• you did not deliver, or arrange to deliver, the package to a locker


In order to keep within the law and protect yourself and your business from possible conviction, it is recommended that you conduct a thorough risk assessment and introduce an age verification policy. This should be supported effective processes and systems designed to prevent an underage sale occurring. These systems should be regularly monitored and updated to identify and put right any problems or weaknesses, or to keep pace with any advances in technology.

Key best practice features of an effective risk-management system should include most or all of the below:

• Age verification checks

• Challenge 21 or 25 policy

• Regular staff training

• Maintain sale refusal logs

• Strategic store/product layout and signage

• Electronic age verification and delivery systems

We can provide support and assistance to your business at any stage, including:

1. Risk assessing your business and introducing improved systems and controls to prevent possible underage sale of knives;

2. Early-stage support and advice following notification of an incident and investigation by Trading Standards; or

3. Representation at interview or, if charged, at court to mitigate the financial and commercial impacts of prosecution.

If you are a retailer who stocks and sells knives and you would like any advice or support in this area then please contact our Business Crime & Regulation team, who will be happy to assist 

Daniel Martin Ben Hall JMW Solicitors JMW Solicitors Photo by Ethan Rougon on Unsplash.

ILLEGAL VAPES: Regulating The “Biggest Threat” On The High Street

There is growing concern in the general healthcare and regulatory enforcement sectors regarding the increasing availability and use of illegal and potentially dangerous vapes, which are often marketed at young people.

With the popularity of vapes rapidly growing, it appears that a significant number of retailers are selling illegal products that pose real challenges to public safety.

As reported by the BBC, Westminster Trading Standards have recently conducted an operation targeting illegal vape sales, which trading standards officers describe as the “biggest threat” on the UK's high streets. This resulted in large volumes of illegal vape pens being seized, which, in addition to health risks, present significant challenges to disposing of the products safely and sustainably.

Trading Standards across London in particular are on a mission to crack down on non-compliant vapes, and as part of a wider programme are paying unannounced visits to shops to see if they are selling illegal products. In recent operations, The City of London Corporation’s Trading Standards team have seized £40,000 worth of banned vapes. Retail owners have been interviewed under caution, issued with a notice, and are faced with paying hundreds of pounds in destruction costs.


Retailers should refer to the Tobacco and Related Products Regulations 2016 (‘TRPR’), which set out several requirements relating to the sale of e-cigarette and vape products. Some of the key requirements include:


• E-cigarette capacity must not be more than 2ml

• maximum volume of nicotine-containing e-liquid for sale in one refill is 10ml

• Maximum nicotine strength of e-liquids is 20 mg/ml


• Labelling on the front and back to state ‘This product contains nicotine which is a highly addictive substance’

• No features that incorrectly promote its health effects

• No suggestion that it has vitalising, energising, healing, rejuvenating, natural or organic properties or other health/ lifestyle benefits

• No reference to taste, smell or other additives (except flavourings)

• No features that resemble a food or cosmetic product

• No suggestion of environmental advantages, such as improved biodegradability

• List of all ingredients in the product, including the nicotine content

• A recommendation to keep the product out of the reach of children

Photo by Muhammad Lutfy on Pexels

• An information leaflet setting out the instructions for use, possible side effects, warnings for specific risk groups, addictiveness and toxicity and contact details of the producer

It is a criminal offence to breach any of the regulations listed under Part 6 of the TRPR. These regulations cover:

• Electronic cigarettes and refill containers

• Product requirements

• Product information and labelling requirements


My shop has been visited by Trading Standards –what shall I do?

The enforcement process normally starts with a spot-check by Trading Standards in the form of a covert shopping visit, which may be followed by an overt visit by officers and the seizure of illegal goods being sold or stored to the premises.

Generally, the retailer will receive an invitation to attend a voluntary interview under caution (subject to the Police and Criminal Evidence Act 1984), where evidence of the breaches will be put forward.

This can be followed by the issuance of a penalty notice and fine or formal prosecution in the criminal courts, which can result in imprisonment for a term not exceeding three months, or a fine or both.

There is a statutory defence contained within section 50(1) of the TRPR, which states that, ‘in any proceedings for an offence under these regulations brought against a person who supplies any tobacco product or related product in breach of these regulations, it is a defence that the supplier exercised all due diligence to avoid committing the offence’.

It is therefore essential that any business or individual faced with an investigation seek expert legal advice as soon as possible, to mitigate the adverse impact and potentially avoid prosecution.


According to Cancer Research UK, despite there being no “good evidence” that vaping causes cancer, e-cigarettes are not entirely risk free and the long-term effects are unknown due it being a relatively new product. They are one of a number of organisations sounding the alarm and it is likely that we will see further measures brought in at some point in the future that will introduce even tighter controls on the sale of these of these products.

To tackle the popularity of vaping with those under the age of 18, Action on Smoking Health (ASH) have made numerous recommendations to the Government for additional control measures to help prevent underage vaping. These are:


• Taxing disposable vapes which are the cheapest and most popular vape for children

• Stricter regulation of advertising and promotion, particularly at point of sale in shops

• Stricter regulation of packaging, labelling and product design features (e.g., prohibiting cartoon characters; product names associated with sweets; and design features such as “light up” vapes


• Better funding for enforcement using MHRA e-cigarette notification fees

• Putting vapes behind the counter

• Mandatory age verification in shops for anyone looking under 25

• Prohibiting free distribution (currently legal to anyone of any age)


In order to keep within the regulations and to protect yourself and your business from possible prosecution, effective riskmanagement measures relating to the sale of vapes should include the following:

• Consideration of the requirements of the TRPR in relation to product specifications and packaging

• Challenge 21 or 25 policy

• Regular staff training

• Maintain sale refusal logs

• Strategic store/product layout and signage

If you are a retailer who stocks and sells e-cigarettes and you would like any advice or support in this area then please contact our Business Crime & Regulation team, who will be happy to assist. 

Daniel Martin Olivia Russo JMW Solicitors JMW Solicitors

Access to Justice on the agenda as the law sector unites for a 10km walk

On June 13th this year, the London Legal Walk will return to London. Organised by London Legal Support Trust (LLST), a charity that fundraises to support free legal advice agencies in London and the South East, who are already busy preparing for the biggest fundraising event in the legal calendar..

In its 19th year, this 10km sponsored walk through central London encourages walkers from across the legal community to come together to raise funds for frontline free specialist legal advice agencies.

There are two routes on offer (with a further two shorter routes available for those who require a shorter route as an adjustment), which take in the Capital’s most beautiful landmarks, with the ever popular ‘Parks Route’ a perfect choice for those wanting to take in the city’s fantastic green space. In 2022, the charity welcomed over 12,000 walkers who raised over £720,000 – a huge achievement and a real show of support for the lifechanging work free legal advice agencies do.

With the rising cost of living and funding cuts, the funds raised by the Walk will be even more vital for securing the future of free legal advice agencies and the communities they serve. Many people are facing serious issues and are in desperate need of free specialist legal advice. Debt, homelessness, unemployment and domestic violence are all contributing to the hardship faced by many. We know accessing justice makes a difference to people’s lives – for example, LLST’s 40 Centres of Excellence alone helped 187,101 people last year.

Lord Burnett- Lord Chief Justice- President of LLST, says: “The Walk has always provided essential funds for legal advice agencies to help the most vulnerable people in London and the South East. This year, the number of people needing that help is increasing rapidly. I hope we can respond to that need by increasing our fundraising once again and I look forward to seeing a huge turn-out on June 13th.”

One past Legal Walk participant says: “Legal representation must be accessible to everyone, and I truly admire the work done by LLST to support this cause.”

The Walk attracts a range of people, from advice agency staff, to lawyers, to law students, to high-ranking judiciary. On the Walk, everyone walks side by side and the camaraderie of the event is unmatched.

Aside from fundraising, the Walk is also a lot of fun! Once you’ve completed your walk, there is a fun finish and celebration of your achievements with a post-Walk street party, complete with street food vendors and entertainment.

Please join Westminster & Holborn Law Society’s team by emailing cwhlawsoc@gmail.com

Sponsorships will be gratefully received on our team’s page https://londonlegalsupporttrust.enthuse.com/pf/westminsterholborn-law-society-2023

We look forward to seeing many of you there. ■


JJ+H Accounting Services and Quill consolidated solutions make annual accounting easy for law firms

Claire Ellis FCCA at JJ+H Accounting Services is a chartered certified accountant and legal cashiering troubleshooter who specialises in helping law firms to fix errors and anomalies with their bookkeeping. As part of the solution, Claire readily recommends Quill’s legal accounting software as an all-in-one complete practice management system. Longer term, she encourages her customers to consider Quill’s outsourced cashiering service.

JJ+H Accounting Services in operation

When practices sign up for Claire’s value-added, short-term accounting support, their book-related problems are as diverse and unique as the businesses themselves. Typically working with smaller-size law firms, Claire reviews their current finance processes, identifies areas for improvement then creates a plan to implement the changes and put the actions into place.

Claire explains:

“My role is to get my customers’ accounts in a good place. It’s rare for my projects to extend beyond twelve months. There’s one primary reason for this – cost. An accountant carries a higher rate than a cashier. The way I deliver true value, then, is by completing my work in the briefest-possible window and transferring into the capable hands of a more economically priced service from the likes of Quill.”

An example joint JJ+H Accounting Services-Quill customer

A law firm approached Claire to take over its legal cashiering role from its secretary, after having a previous bad experience with a bookkeeper without legal expertise. The practice was also keen to move away from its existing case management software, which was old, complicated to use and made remote working difficult.

Describing her involvement in the project, Claire states:

“From the word ‘go’, it was obvious the customer’s incumbent technology was ill-suited to its needs. In my experience, only software designed for law will suffice. The firm and I started a project to source new case management and accounting software. We chose MyQuill.”

The beauty of MyQuill is its comprehensive functionality comprising legal accounts and case management tools in a single system. From a bookkeeping viewpoint, there are all the features necessary for fee earners to log chargeable activity and case-related disbursements with time recording and e-chits tools; cashiers to manage accounts day to day easily with intuitive money and billing screens; managers to oversee the accounting function and avoid breaches with customisable reporting capabilities; and accountants to action year-end submissions and auditing with the free accountant’s licence.

Claire continues:

“Where this shared law firm customer is concerned, I’ve witnessed MyQuill working extremely successfully. With Quill’s software in situ and my cashiering support over the course of a year, every error from the past was put right and strong processes instilled for the future.”

The benefits of add-on cashier outsourcing services

Quill’s different in its provision of legal accounts software and outsourced cashiering services under one roof. For obvious reasons, Quill’s cashiers are the most proficient MyQuill users in the country. With its Pinpoint outsourcing service, customers enter daily records of monies in and out using MyQuill; its cashiers then process client-centric reconciliation, accounting and reporting tasks thereon in.

Claire says:

“When my contract came to an end, I advised moving onto Pinpoint for its accompanying advantages including taking the onus off solicitors, having continuous cover even during summer holiday season, being able to flex the service up or down for increased or decreased caseloads, and having complianceguaranteed accounts that are audit and inspection ready.”

“To top it all, MyQuill is just so easy to learn and easy to use. It’s a sole application for complete practice management.”

An accountant’s life simplified

Having an accountant’s licence for remote access to accounting data and financial reports in MyQuill, coupled with the knowledge of precision-managed bookkeeping via Pinpoint makes Claire’s period-end services much more streamlined and straightforward.

Claire concludes:

“Under SRA regulation, firms need to review their reports regularly to assess financial stability. Knowing practices are MyQuill and Pinpoint users gives me the reassurance of robust bookkeeping processes, transparent financial information and visibility of everything from afar. I’m able to collate reports effortlessly and efficiently, so partners can complete their monthly review.”

“I’m now supporting a new customer with SRA compliance and introducing MyQuill into the mix. I look forward to collaborating with Quill in the future.”

About Quill

Quill helps law firms run their businesses better by providing simple and easy-to-use practice management and legal accounts software, as well as outsourced legal cashiering, bookkeeping, payroll, typing and post room services. To learn more about Quill, visit www.quill.co.uk, email info@quill.co.uk or call 0161 236 2910. ■


A cautionary tale for dealmakers: do you really want to work for free?

On 25 January 2023, the UK Supreme Court handed down judgment in the case of Barton and others (Respondents) v Morris and another in place of Gwyn-Jones (deceased) (Appellants) [2023] UKSC 3[1]. This matter concerned a dispute over a £1.2m introduction fee which Mr Barton claimed was due to him because he introduced a buyer of a property (known as Nash House) to the property’s owners, Foxpace Limited (‘Foxpace’).

Whether an introduction was made was not in dispute here, instead the issue was the specific terms of the introduction agreement. Foxpace, (in this case, the Fourth Respondent), claimed that payment was only due if Mr Barton introduced a buyer who agreed to pay £6.5m (specifically) for Nash House.

Despite the introduced buyer initially agreeing to pay £6.55m, for various reasons, it ended up ultimately only paying £6m plus VAT. Foxpace therefore argued it didn’t owe Mr Barton anything as the property had not been sold for £6.5m. There was a further complication in that the introduction agreement itself was purely oral, and nothing had been discussed about what would happen if an introduced buyer paid anything less than £6.5m.

The question before the court was whether Mr Barton was owed anything at all for his reasonable services?

The decision

At first instance, the trial judge held that Mr Barton was not entitled to any payment. Mr Barton appealed, and the Court of Appeal held that he was entitled to a ‘reasonable fee’ of £435,000. This decision too was appealed, which brought it before the Supreme Court to decide.

A majority of 3:2 of the Supreme Court held that Mr Barton was not entitled to anything. In reaching this decision, they considered:

the express terms of the contract – the judges held the only obligation was for Foxpace to pay Mr Barton £1.2m if the property sold for at least £6.5m. There was no express obligation to pay Mr

Barton a fee if the property sold for less. whether a term had been implied as a matter of fact – here it was held that implying such a term would contradict the express obligation that was actually agreed. whether a term was implied as a matter of law – the Supreme Court held that the Sales of Goods and Services Act 1982 should not be implied here.

Mr Barton’s unjust enrichment claim against Foxpace also failed. He therefore walked away with nothing.

Our commercial takeaways

We asked one of our Commercial law specialists, Craig Kelly, for his cautionary commercial takeaways from this case:

• A contract with ambiguous terms is always a concern.

• The contract in question clearly had terms which did not fit the purpose of what had been agreed between the parties.

• Although a contract does not have to be in writing to be enforceable, it is best practice to have the terms in writing as a reference point if litigation occurs.

• Before entering into a contract, both parties need to be comfortable that all details discussed are included in the agreement and they are aware of what they are entering into.

• Clear, concise and understandable terms are the most important aspects for a contract and there should be no hidden or obscure clauses to muddy the waters.

Unless you like working for free, how to get yourself paid should always be at the front of any commercial dealmaker’s mind. It is critical to ensure your contractual terms are clear from the start and cover all eventualities. This case is yet another cautionary tale for anyone looking to cut a deal without working through how they will ultimately get paid. 

Photo by Ekaterina Bolovtsova on Pexels

ChatGPTis the Legal Sector ready?

ChatGPT is making waves in the legal sector and is recognised to have the potential to revolutionise the legal sector in various ways. Although it was temporarily banned in Italy recently due to some GDPR issues.

ChatGPT is an advanced language model AI trained by OpenAI, capable of processing huge amounts of data.

The question lawyers and others ask is - will AI replace lawyers in the legal field?

It is very unlikely that ChatGPT or other forms of AI will replace lawyers as we provide expertise, interpret complex information, empathy, creativity, intuition and human touch that an AI may not be able to replicate and we provide more than just legal advice to our clients.


Andrew Acquier FRICS FNAVA has been working as an independent valuer since 1982, specialising in fine art and antiques. Instructions for probate, divorce settlement, tax/asset and insurance valuations as well as expert witness work are regularly received from solicitors and other professionals.

Andrew has many years experience of compiling reports for litigious cases, several of which have necessitated a subsequent court appearance as an expert witness to argue quantum. Divorce valuations are a speciality, usually as Single Joint Expert. Work is carried out throughout the UK and abroad.

Here are some advantages of AI in the legal sector: Law firms and various organisations already use AI in some form to assist lawyers in tasks such as:

1. Drafting simple legal documents such as NDAs, brief policies and procedures.

2. Conducting legal research.

3. Review bulky contracts to highlight important issues, spot errors, inconsistencies or omissions.

4. Generate summaries of legal documents and cases.

5. Carrying out due diligence especially in M&A and syndicated transactions where large documents in a data room need to be reviewed to find patterns and issues.

Concerns for AI in the legal sector:

As advanced and useful as ChatGPT is, its use raises the following concerns:

1. Bias - ChatGPT is trained on massive amounts of data, its responses to queries is only as reliable as the data it originally received.

2. Accountability and responsibility - the use of ChatGPT raises the issues of who should be held accountable and responsible where issues go wrong.

3. Misinformation - as a language model, ChatGPT generates its answers by stringing pieces of texts together based on its trained language model on billions of texts retrieved from the internet. It has generated grammatically correct answers that seemed plausible but were in fact wrong. An example was when ChatGPT was asked for information about Lord Denning’s arrest, it made up facts about Lord Denning being arrested for shoplifting which was indeed false.

4. Privacy - the use of ChatGPT raises privacy concerns, cybersecurity and GDPR issues.

For firms thinking of using ChatGPT, it is important to ensure that it is compliant with data protection regulations and the ethical concerns are also addressed as well. 

23 York Street Broadstairs

Kent CT10 1PB

Tel: 0207 353 6440

Mobile: 07787 518 861

Email: andrew@andrewacquier.co.uk

Website: www.andrewacquier.co.uk

Kene Onyeka Allison in-house solicitor at Mizuho International plc Photo by Sanket Mishra on Pexels.

Recent Updates in Family Law

1. Implementation of the Marriage and Civil Partnership (Minimum Age) Act 2022

As of 27 February 2023, the Marriage and Civil Partnership (Minimum Age) Age Act 2022 entered into force. This essentially meant that minors (those who are 16 or 17 years old) will no longer be able to marry or enter into civil partnerships, regardless of parental consent.

According to the action aid website which is dedicated to promoting the rights of women and girls, there was more than 250 million women alive today who were married before their 15th birthday. Within the United Kingdom, the government’s forced marriage unit reported giving advice to 13,324 cases during a 10-year period (from 2011 to 2021). This is clearly an on-going pandemic which needed addressing as soon as possible. Many campaigners regarded having the legal aid of marriage at 16 as draconian.

However, the new Act raises the age of marriage and civil partnership to 18 in England and Wales to protect children from being forced into marriage. The Act will also expand the criminal offence of forced marriage in England and Wales to make it an offence in all circumstances to do anything intended to cause a child under the age of 18 to enter into marriage without the need to prove that a form of coercion was used.

2. Finances within a marriage?

One of the most significant developments in the Law Commission’s review of the law is to determine whether it is necessary to review how finances are distributed upon a relationship breakdown. Half a century has passed since the passage of the Matrimonial Causes Act 1973 and the government has finally asked the Law Commission to review the current law and to decipher whether there should be any updates.

It is understood that the review is likely to take 2 years (from April 2023) and will look into the current laws on financial remedies to determine whether the current framework provides for the parties and most importantly, the children. It is understood that here will be reviewing (not limited to the below) the following:

1. The powers given to Judges over the division of financial assets;

2. Whether powers should be given to the Court for children above the age of 18;

3. How maintenance payments for spouses should work;

4. Consideration into bad behaviours;

5. Orders relating to pension and whether they are being overlooked; and

6. Factors the Judge must consider when deciding which, if any, financial remedy orders to make.

3. Domestic Abuse

Another area where the government has diarised to look into in 2023 is cases involving domestic abuse/violence. Published on the government website on 20 February 2023, there are new tougher sanctions placed upon those who commit domestic abuse. These individuals will face tags and tougher management under new measures to protect women and girls.

The new proposals will govern a change in law which will mean that the most dangerous abusers will be kept on tag so that their behaviours can be closely monitored. Furthermore, any controlling or coercive behaviours will be put on par with physical violence, which means that offenders could be sentenced to a year or more imprisonment and their behaviours will automatically be monitored by the police.

This overdue change in the law now provides for those suffering from coercive and controlling behaviours with the same level of protection as those who had been physically abused. 

Mohit Vaghela Solicitor at Hepburn Delaney Photo by Mike Scheid on Unsplash

Will dispute?

Tricky beneficiary?

Feuding executors? Estate issue?

We can help.

Disputes over wills, Inheritance Act claims or other probate and estate issues can create deadlock in an estate administration, leaving cases unresolved for months or even years. With a dedicated trust corporation and top-ranked, market leading Contested Wills, Trusts and Estates team, we have a proven track record of helping our clients and referrers achieve the right result. For over 15 years, our free, dedicated referral and support service, Legal Network, has helped hundreds of law firms retain their clients and increase their revenue with our non-poaching commitment and fee sharing arrangements.

Some of the cases we’ve worked on recently include:

Pegler and Ors v. McDonald and Anor [2022] EWHC 2405, [2022] EWHC 2505 and [2022] EWHC 2288 – Being appointed as the replacement independent administrator through our dedicated trust corporation – Hugh James Trust Corporation –in an estate facing various potential issues including the removal of a hostile executor, an application for Beddoe relief, a civil restraint order against the executor, a will dispute and possible equitable claim.

Dunbabin & Ors. v. Dunbabin [2022] EWHC 241 (Ch) – Acting for the successful claimants in asserting that a severance of joint tenancy of a matrimonial home had occurred (1) by notice under s.36(2) Law of Property Act 1925, notwithstanding that the notice

had since been lost; (2) by agreement, such agreement being inferred from the execution of mirror wills the terms of which presupposed that the beneficial joint tenancy had been severed; and (3) a mutual course of dealing.

Thompson v. Raggett [2018] EWHC 688 (Ch) – Successfully representing the claimant in her claim for financial provision under the Inheritance (Provision for Family and Dependants) Act 1975 against the £1.5m estate of her late long-term partner whose will left his entire estate to his tenants. The High Court awarded our client the outright transfer of a property, a lump sum for future maintenance and a further sum towards renovations, bringing the total award to over £400,000 making it one of the largest awards to a cohabitee.

So, whether there’s a caveat blocking probate, a dispute about the assets comprising an estate, a need for an independent administrator or a potential claim by someone for financial provision, drop us an email at legalnetwork@hughjames.com to see how we can help. 


Exclusively for law firms, Legal Network is a free to join referral and support service which assists members by offering expert legal advice to their clients in areas they do not practice in.

service which assists members by offering expert legal advice to their clients in areas they do not practice in.

Our network has helped hundreds of law firms to retain their clients and increase their revenue due to our non-poaching commitment and fee sharing arrangements. We’re operated by Hugh James, a full-service, top 100 UK law firm. With more than 60 years’ experience in providing specialist legal advice, we have the expertise to deliver a service you and your clients can trust. For further details on how to join Legal Network, please get in touch.

18 May | 4.15-5.30pm London, EC3A 5AF Free to attend Scan

Our network has helped hundreds of law firms to retain their clients and increase their revenue due to our non-poaching commitment and fee sharing arrangements. We’re operated by Hugh James, a full-service, top 100 UK law firm. With more than 60 years’ experience in providing specialist legal advice, we have the expertise to deliver a service you and your clients can trust. For further details on how to join Legal Network, please get in touch.

033 3016 4444 | legalnetwork@hughjames.com

033 3016 4444 | legalnetwork@hughjames.com

Legal Network is operated by Hugh James, a top 100 UK law firm which is authorised and regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA Number:303202) and is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority. Vulnerable Testators & Will
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InfoTrack adds improved Source of Funds checks to client onboarding service

Legal technology provider InfoTrack has released a new enhanced digital verification of funds solution encompassing Source of Funds, Proof of Funds, and Source of Wealth to make the whole process easier and faster for law firms and their clients.

Source of Funds and Source of Wealth checks are firmly in the spotlight as regulators like the SRA and the Law Society sharpen their focus on solicitors’ Customer Due Diligence, KYC, and AML responsibilities against a backdrop of increasing legislation.

The enhanced Source of Funds checks are embedded in the eCOS client onboarding platform which streamlines the data collection from individuals and provides solicitors with a single, convenient platform that also includes their Client Questionnaires, TA Forms, ID checks, and AML results.

The use of Open Banking technology means that eCOS can collect authenticated financial data directly from banks and building societies and provide it to solicitors with time-saving analysis and summaries of the individual’s financial position. The system also provides law firms with a digital audit trail of all the checks, data, and results throughout the onboarding process to be able to demonstrate their compliance to regulators.

InfoTrack COO, Sam Jordan comments:

“Our dream is for both our clients and their clients to have one simple, easy, and convenient way to exchange information and complete the necessary checks to make client onboarding faster and better. The enhancements to our Verification of Funds product have been designed in partnership with our clients, and we’re excited to give them more of the tools they need to do their work brilliantly.”

Amy Church, Managing Partner at Lucas & Wyllys Solicitors says:

“Enhanced VOF makes getting to the bottom of source of funds and wealth much simpler. The result is easy to understand, thanks to the breakdown on the first page. The result helps us to easily identify where the funds are held, how they were accumulated, and what further checks we need to carry out to complete our risk assessment. It makes the complicated source of funds and wealth task easier and quicker to carry out.”

For more information about eCOS and verification of funds, visit: bit.ly/42BlJSP 


Bocca di Lupo, London

Feed a cold and starve a fever, as the well-trodden aphorism tells us. A 21st-century addendum might be that a hearty lunch is quite the tonic following a booster vaccination. Admittedly, it doesn’t quite so much trip off the tongue as lugubriously waddle, but isn’t it the thought that counts?

This adage-in-the-making springs from a visit to a muchlauded restaurant named after an (Italian) idiom, Bocca di Lupo in London’s Soho, following a preprandial jab. I certainly can’t claim that it’s a hitherto undiscovered or recherché gem, and I’m undoubtedly not the first to explain that the eponymous idiom translates from ‘in the wolf’s mouth’ in Italian to ‘break a leg’ in English - perfect for the setting in theatre land. However, given the tribulations of recent years - is it still worthy of its enviably laurelled reputation?

The menus published on the restaurant’s website all feature the respective day’s date, suggesting frequent changes. This secretly delights me, as it frustrates my partner’s habit of planning her meal sometimes weeks in advance (anathema to my own practice of waiting until the very last moment before designating my dishes). I check the website a few weeks after our visit and there are conspicuous changes from the menu that we received, so it’s plausible that there are indeed daily revisions.

I promise I’ll get to the food, but the decor must get a mention first. Paintings of food in restaurants aren’t exactly novel, but the ones adorning the walls here catch the eye and clearly won’t be replicated in a dozen other trattorias in London. They depict the gamut of ingredients that one might expect (so far, so traditional) but have a genuine character too. I’m sure that the fish staring at me from one canvas has a decidedly morose expression. Usefully, when my partner has a minor coughing fit (induced by a rogue sip of water rather than anything more sinister), I can use a nearby painting to confirm that she has indeed gone as red as a lobster.

Olives which are plump to the point of lasciviousness plus a brace of breads - ciabatta and focaccia (the latter boasting a cheery contingent of onion) - get things off to a flying start. The baker is deservingly name-checked by the menu. The accompanying olive oil is sublime; calculated sacrifices have to be made between this plus the bread, and those salacious olives. Wine has arrived at this point - I’ve been tempted by the sole orange wine on the list, which goes down an absolute treat. Pleasantly, my partner isn’t ‘upsold’ when she asks for a crisp white - she’s told the house white will do the trick, and it certainly does.

Further snacks follow - jointly well-received fried artichoke and deep-fried breaded balls of pork, veal and more of the wonderful olives. The menu taciturnly describes the latter as ‘stuffed olives’ so I order a couple, expecting, well, olive-sized morsels. The golden golf-ball sized treats that arrive are very welcome, although as a consequence my appetite dwindles by dessert (as you’ll see a Herculean effort was made in the interests of journalism; bear with me).

We agree that small pasta plates will pay suitable homage (or the Italian equivalent) to the restaurant’s culinary character. My partner is suitably impressed with her pumpkin cappellacci (an unfamiliar pasta title for me - it’s essentially wonky tortellini), which has amaretti biscuits liberally sprinkled over the top, providing an enticing textural contrast. My pappardelle with venison is a velvety rapture; its parmesan sidekick delivers a puissant but not predominant layer of flavour.

Photo by Bocca di Lupo, London

At the risk of sounding inerudite, our mains are less susceptible to being pigeonholed as Italian dishes. My partner’s Caciucco is technically a Tuscan fish stew, replete with mussels, langoustines and assorted piscine treats - but it wouldn’t feel out of place (name notwithstanding) in a classical French or Spanish restaurant. This is certainly not a criticism, and it garners a rave review. I’ve gone for a beef rib dish - again, a candidate for a fair few spots in Western Europe, but the side dish of polenta with parmesan incontrovertibly drags the dish back within Italian borders. It’s a divine combination.

I did warn you that there were difficulties with dessert. At this point both time and gastric capacity are working against us (we have timed tickets for the revamped Courtauld Gallery - but that’s another review). Handily, a solution is presented by the restaurant's espresso gelatos, which offer a swift and sapid end to proceedings.

As above, Bocca di Lupo is hardly an obscurity. There have been plentiful plaudits from the usual prized pundits, and hearing from me that the meal was lovely is probably going to be more cat’s-last-trip-to-the-vet than cat-out-of-thebag material for many readers. Perhaps there is a glimmer of relevance in knowing that it’s still delightful? I’ll hope so. Although I have some doubt that my vaccination-based aphorism will catch on, I can at least be confident that you’ll come away from a lunch here feeling suitably boosted.

Simple Contract Law: Stripping English Law of Complexity

“Strips English contract law of complexity …The first law book that you will actually enjoy reading”

Business Money

In his new book, Watson-Gandy 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.


Photo by Bocca di Lupo, London

Warning for directors: be aware of your duties!

Directors are largely responsible for the management and day to day affairs of a company. However, with power comes responsibility. Directors’ primary duty lies with the company: amongst other responsibilities, they must promote the success of the company for the benefit of the company’s members (section 172 Companies Act 2006).

Notwithstanding the above, once a company is bordering on insolvency and/or is finally declared insolvent, the duty owed to the shareholders shifts in favour of the company’s creditors. In the case of BTI 2014 LLC v. Sequana SA and Others [2022] UKSC 25 (“BTI case”), the Supreme Court confirmed the existence of a duty owed at common law by directors to consider the interests of the company’s creditors. This case confirmed that the creditor duty arises at an earlier stage when a company is bordering on insolvency or insolvency is imminent or probable. At the point where insolvency is inevitable or unavoidable, the interests of creditors become paramount and take precedence over the interests of shareholders. Failing to protect the creditors’ interests can expose directors to claims of misfeasance (misconduct) or breach of the directors’ fiduciary duties (such claims can be brought against a director by the liquidator or creditors of the company pursuant to section 212 Insolvency Act 1986 (“IA 1986”)).

Recently, in the case of Manolete Partners Plc -v- White [2023] EWHC 567, the High Court held that the director, who was guilty of misfeasance and breaches of fiduciary duty, is liable to draw down his pension benefits to pay a judgment debt ordered against him. The judgment was provided on the grounds that (a) the principal asset within the director’s pension fund was derived entirely from funds provided by the company; and (b) the judgment debt arose as a result of the director’s misfeasance and breaches of fiduciary duty whilst he was acting as the company’s director: had the director not breached his fiduciary duties, he would not have been entitled to retain his pension pot.

In addition, directors of insolvent companies can be exposed to claims of wrongful trading under section 214 IA 1986. Wrongful trading claims arise when directors fail to take every reasonable step to minimise the potential loss to the company’s creditors when they knew, or ought to have known, that there was no reasonable prospect that the company would avoid going

into insolvent liquidation or administration. Similar to claims of misfeasance, if a director is held liable for wrongful trading, the director can be disqualified and/or be required to compensate the company’s creditors for any loss caused to the creditors.

Whilst many directors may “enjoy” a smooth ride whilst a company is operative, their “enjoyment” might be short lived once the company enters into financial difficulties and the director’s conduct falls under scrutiny. The BTI case provided guidance for what directors can do to avoid claims of misfeasance and/or wrongful trading. To avoid any pitfalls, directors should:

• have access to reasonably reliable information about the company’s financial position;

• record any decisions pertaining to the company’s finances in writing, providing reasons for such decisions;

• maintain up to date accounting information (or instruct others to do so);

• take a view as to whether the company’s cash reserve and asset base have been eroded and there is a risk that the creditors may or will not get paid when due;

• undertake appropriate training about their responsibilities, and about the penalties if they disregard such training; and

• where appropriate, seek professional advice. 

Anamitra Mukhopadhyay Solicitor, JMW Solicitors LLP Photo by SevenStorm JUHASZIMRUS on Pexels

Making the most out of LinkedIn as an aspiring Lawyer

LinkedIn may operate as a professional platform, but it is more of a lucrative tool than you think. From connecting with colleagues to reading sector-relevant articles, it’s safe to say that LinkedIn goes beyond being a form of social media, because used right, it’s an invaluable tool in the arsenal of every professional.

This is also the case for aspiring, current and the more well-seasoned legal professionals. So, here are some top tips you can use that will help you get the most out of the social media platform, beyond connecting with your current or former colleagues and classmates (not an exhaustive list):

1. Engage , engage, engage:

USE the platform beyond having a profile. Follow groups that interest you, such as the (litigation) group if that’s an area of law you are particularly interested in, the Law Society, or (shamelessly), you can follow the Westminster Holborn Law Society for updates on all stuff commercial awareness, law related and find out more about the committee. You can also find plenty updates on events too.

People and firms are always posting and sharing engaging content, so read articles, comment, and respond to posts. Give firms and follow!

If you’re applying to a firm/chamber, it might seem daunting connecting with someone who works there, but it might be a good way to gain insight from an associate or trainee at the firm/chambers you’re interested in. Sending an invite and kindly asking for 20 minutes via a video call or asking to connect to ask questions may work in your favour.

Whether the request is accepted or not, putting yourself out there is key.

2. Curate your connections:

Whilst it may seem like a great platform to have many people to engage with, it should not be seen as a contest/comparison with anyone else in terms of the number of connections. A person may have 500+ connections on LinkedIn, but not every connection may engage with them, or they may have had an account for years and slowly built up. Some people can be successful with less than 300 connections on LinkedIn – focus on quality rather than quality and don’t just add anyone for the sake of it.

3. Widen your professional network:

That said, your LinkedIn account doesn’t mean you have to solely connect with lawyers. Ensure your network is a good mix – it could range from colleagues to people you went to university/school with, and especially with intermediaries. Use the platform to engage with other professionals in different sectors (intermediaries) and also people you have met in a legal capacity, as well as Graduate Recruitment team members. This is because law as a practice doesn’t operate in silo, it involves engaging with multiple stakeholders, internal and external.

• For example, you might be working on the administration of an estate and need items valued/sold, so may need to consult with an auctioneer or an estate agent.

• Another matter might be international in scope and may rely on having documents translated and verified and may result in you getting a translation verified.

• Or finally, you might be consulting with experts in a litigious matter, such as a hotel attempting to sue a farm for noise and smell pollution from wild boar on their neighbouring farm, therefore you may need to consult a vet, a farmer, or a microbiologist to ascertain impact or potentially any damage to the neighbouring lands/properties.

Lawyers cannot and do not know everything, therefore being able to network with a range of individuals is key for practice and beyond. It also helps knowing people in certain fields/areas or at different companies, so it helps foster, build and continue meaningful and lasting rapports.

4. Following up

As mentioned above, being in the legal sector is a great opportunity to expand your network professionally and personally. But as someone who does martial arts and goes to the gym frequently in their spare time, I know any external space is a means to meet like-minded people and break away from the day-to-day. You also realise the world is incredibly small, a group of individuals I would regularly see at a spin class were at a networking event the other day.

Going to events such as panel discussions, seminars, or drinks are a great way to meet people and cover a wide range of discussion topics. Don’t hesitate after engaging in conversation to ask a person you’ve spoken to, the question “may I add you on LinkedIn?” or “it was great speaking to you today - shall we connect on LinkedIn?”. I’ve found instances where I have done that allowed me to continue a line of communication with an intermediary.

5. Interviews and Assessments:

Making the most out of networking opportunities is key, even for assessment days and interviews. Whilst I didn’t do a vacation scheme, I did do interviews for my Training Contract and at the end of each of my training contract interviews, I asked my interviewing Partners if I could keep in touch via LinkedIn. I think that not only showed I was keen and eager about the firm I applied and interviewed at, but showed I was interested in building a rapport (which is still ongoing now), whether I got the offer (I did, mind) or not.

Networking continues through your career, so it continues, from being an aspiring legal professional to one with a senior position, so having a polished and updated profile is key.

6. Updating your profile:

That noted, ensure your profile is up to date, with educational details, volunteering and/or hobbies, as well as having a professional-looking profile photo. Ideally you want a good headshot, and it doesn’t need to be one you pay for from a professional photographer, but do keep it updated, especially if your appearance has changed. Keep the photo professional looking by wearing something smart, and not a drunken picture from a night out. Make sure all qualifications are listed and up to date, as well as any job changes.

As mentioned in the first point, using your profile is key. Think of yourself as your own brand, and LinkedIn are one of many portals to pitch and sell yourself. Have a snappy bio too.

7. Be mindful

Anything can be found through the internet these days; you would be surprised where a Google search can take you. It is also worth remembering that once something is online it usually remains there forever, and even if you delete it, anyone may have taken a picture/screenshot before you take it down. A good general rule of thumb when posting anything online is to think:

1. Would my family members feel comfortable seeing this?;

2. Could I potentially offend someone? and;

3. Would I be comfortable with a (potential) employer seeing this?

Whilst LinkedIn is a professional form of social media, other social media profiles and accounts are a lucrative source of information and an avenue to other areas of your life, It is also worth noting that your social media channels will be something that can be looked at by employers. Despite the intention ‘views are my own’ may not work. Things can be interpreted in a myriad of ways, and sometimes out of context, so think before you post, and if in doubt, leave it out. 

lPhoto by Airam Dato-on on Pexels


8th Edition


A Primer for Common Law Judges


An appreciation by Elizabeth


What a book for bankers! “Mann and Proctor on the Law of Money” has been with us for a long time, being first published in 1939, and now appearing as the eighth edition from Charles Proctor. We are most grateful to Oxford University Press for continuing to publish this work as it has a special standing in monetary law for both lawyers and economists.

The title remains the premier work on monetary law obligations and monetary conduct now for the eighth edition in 2023. It’s the only comprehensive treatment of both public and private law of money from English, European, and international law perspectives, providing a single source dealing with all issues relating to monetary law. We believe it will be of interest to both experienced lawyers and those new to monetary policy for its fresh insights on money.

The book reviews current and controversial legal matters in detail. It includes a formidable analysis of the issues which arose from the shameful financial crisis, such as the legal aspects of quantitative easing which remains a hot topic of fiscal controversy- how we would all love to print as much money as possible to get ourselves out of debt (by increasing it). It is a carefully structured book examining all the main topic areas, permitting advisers to obtain direct access to sections which will be relevant to their interests and the problems of their clients.

Charles Proctor has included some useful information for the practitioner here with the eighth edition. He has updated the material to explain most recent developments in the law of money, such as the award of interest by way of damages following the decision in Sempra Metals as just one example of many detailed caselaw authorities.

Practitioners are also given an excellent analysis of the consequences of Brexit for monetary law which educates rather than pontificates on this generational change in the UK’s position within the global community. We found that there is a useful discussion of the impact of virtual currencies such as Bitcoin on the definition of 'money'- currently a controversial area for many economists.

The book also considers 'currency wars', and a further analysis of legal restrictions against the manipulation of the international monetary system. It offers coverage of issues concerning central banking with significant updates on both the continuing role of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the European Central Bank (ECB) in relation to the Greek crisis. There is a most useful examination of the monetary law consequences of hyperinflation in Zimbabwe (formerly Rhodesia). ■

An appreciation by Elizabeth Robson Taylor MA of Richmond Green Chambers and Phillip Taylor MBE, Head of Chambers, Reviews Editor, “The Barrister”, and Mediator

The title of this excellent book from Globe is “The Art and Craft of Judgment Writing”, with the subtitle “A Primer for Common Law Judges”and it is just that! The author is a Irish judge called Max Barrett. All the usual judicial suspects are present in the book including my favourites, Lords Denning, and Reid. If you have ever wondered how judgments materialize, then this is the book for you.

As the author says, judges are increasingly aware that the best way of enhancing public confidence in court systems is not only by providing a quality service but doing so compassionately and respectfully. And the Lord Chief Justice has just reminded the judiciary of this approach!

For the twenty-first century, the art and craft of judgment-writing is a critical element of this process. This title from Globe Law reviews the judgments of historically great judgment-writers from across the world: the USA, UK and the wider common law world covering Australia, Canada, India, Ireland, Israel, and New Zealand. The book is written not from the perspective of what the Judge Barrett can teach but with the aim of “identifying essential elements of good judgment-writing in great judgments and insightful commentary”. And he does it brilliantly.

The author is Dr Max Barrett, who is a judge of the High Court of Ireland. The work contains individual chapters which focus on subjects such as judgment purpose, length, style, and structure, concurring and dissenting judgments, judgment-writing for children and vulnerable parties, as well as more general lessons in good writing offered by great authors from George Orwell (UK) to Mark Twain (USA).

Among the primers gleaned from great common law judges are these: a good judgment possesses an ability to rise above immediate facts and to see a problem in its wider perspective; a sense of empathy/ sympathy for those faring badly is always important, and that there is nothing wrong with language that is occasionally flowery and ornate. Although we are rightly advised that the best judgments are “crisp and persuasive”, and generally they are.

Celebrated authors such Twain suggest these tips: every element of a judgment should be necessary to that judgment and any unnecessary element excised; any person or event included in a judgment should be included for a reason, and that a judge should always use the right word for what she wants to state, ‘not its second cousin’.

Globe Law and Business notes that the book is “intended for novice superior court judges, their more seasoned colleagues and all with an interest in legal writing (including legal practitioners, law teachers and law students)”.

In the lower courts where cases start, the judiciary are required to write judgments which are not necessarily in the law reports but the judges should find the book of great value. And, as our colleagues agree, judges at all court levels should find the additional chapter on ex tempore judgments of help. ■


Pease, Chitty And Cousins Law Of Markets And Fairs 7th






An appreciation by

The first edition of this excellent work appeared in 1899 and was published by Charles Knight and Co. It was originally entitled “A Treatise on the Law of Markets and Fairs” by J G Pease and Herbert Chitty.

The second edition appeared much later, in 1958. This new seventh edition for 2020 has been written and edited by Edward Cousins and Graham Wilson. The current authors quote from the original edition, the aims of Pease and Chitty which is “to state in a book of moderate size the whole of the English law of markets and fairs”. For 2020, the work continues the tradition of providing a practical handbook for “clerks of urban authorities and other persons concerned in the management of markets”. Cousins and Wilson also state that owing to the original authors’ “perspicacity, erudition and insight one hundred and twenty years ago, this work still remains of considerable relevance and value today”. They add, encouragingly, that “it is relied upon by many” in this “somewhat esoteric area of law”. The book remains of great use to local authorities who deal with markets, lawyers, and members of the public.

The new edition is now published by Bloomsbury Professional Law who took the title over from LexisNexis and Tottel. It continues to offer an indepth commentary and analysis on the history of market and fair rights together with current developments in the law relating to franchise and statutory markets in the United Kingdom. We consider that this book remains the leading authority covering what is a complex area of law in the UK.

Today, the authors centre on specific aspects of practice and procedure, it provides practical guidance for local government and land law practitioners in the UK, and in Ireland, for local councils, and for private market officers. They offer useful legal analysis of all relevant UK and European legislation and case law.

For practitioners, the work covers these main areas: the practice and procedure in relation to rival markets and car boot sales by use of the tort of disturbance; United Kingdom regulation and control by means of byelaws, street trading and the laws relating to pedlars, tolls and stallage, and highway obstruction; and an important section on the law of markets, fairs, and street trading in the Republic of Ireland which we found useful for comparative studies.

Cousins and Wilson a practical toolkit of model byelaws and precedents for market officers and local authorities, in addition to a short review of EU implications post Brexit and the devastating effects of Covid-19 which are continuing. They point out that the virus has caused us all to question so many aspects of the way in which we live and go about our daily routines with the possible closure of around 400 Markets in the UK. Thank you very much for the new edition at a difficult time for many people. ■

An appreciation by Elizabeth Robson Taylor MA of Richmond Green Chambers and Phillip Taylor MBE, Head of Chambers, Reviews Editor, “The Barrister”, and Mediator

The Legal Action Group comments that when the first edition of what is now the “Manual of Housing Law” was published in 1978, it was known as “Housing: Security and Rent Control”. The title developed with the second edition, becoming “the Manual” as we now know it.

Today, the eleventh edition has been written by Andrew Arden QC and Andrew Dymond. The aim of the work as a “singular text” is to bring “together housing law as a subject for practitioners starting out in housing law, non-specialist practitioners who need ready access to the subject, lay advisers and students both of housing studies and of law as well as officers of local authorities and housing associations”. The authors succeed admirably with their mission and make our lives as practitioners much easier into the bargain!

The manual is designed to enable the reader to understand housing law as a whole and to apply it, whether it is to do with problems of individuals, or the policies and practices of landlords and local councils. That is its central message of the authors: that housing law is “a subject not to be studied in the abstract but to be applied”. We found the book to be an invaluable reference guide for busy practitioners who need a quick answer or source of reference at their fingertips. That is exactly what you get with this manual.

The “Manual of Housing Law” throughout its editions brings a history and wealth of experience. Andrew Arden has been writing about housing law for over 40 years. He is recognised as being at the forefront of the development of housing law, contributing to, and helping to shape the subject through practice in leading housing cases in the senior courts. He has variously been described as the ‘pre-eminent expert’ on and ‘godfather’ of the subject: impressive titles indeed.

Andrew Dymond, also a founding member of Arden Chambers, is a leading expert on housing law and we are grateful for his expertise. Together, “the two Andrews” provide us with the most authoritative introduction to this area of law, taking the reader through the complex landscape in a clear and accessible style.

Contents for the eleventh edition cover these areas: classes of occupation; security of tenure and eviction; rent and other charges; other terms and rights; protection against rogue landlords; anti-social behaviour; domestic breakdown; regulation of social landlords; mobile homes and houseboats; homelessness and allocations; disrepair: contract and tort; and, finally, housing conditions including standards, environmental health, overcrowding, multiple occupation, and licensing.

The manual remains an outstanding and invaluable guide to the changing nature of housing law in England and Wales for lawyers, advisers, and students of housing law: in fact, “anyone who masters this book has mastered housing law”. Thank you. ■


Poppy’s second chance at love

Poppy’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. ■

30 | CENTRAL LONDON LAWYER ADVERTISEMENT FEATURE 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” Who’ll keep her happy when your client’s gone? 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® dogstrust.org.uk Registered charity numbers: 227523 & SC037843 © Dogs Trust 2021

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