April 2012 Issue 110. The Official Journal of Leeds Law Society. LINK IN THE CHAIN The integral role planned for mediation.

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1 April 2012 Issue 110 The Official Journal of Leeds Law Society LINK IN THE CHAIN The integral role planned for mediation

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3 CONtenTS Leeds Law Society 1 Albion Place Leeds LS1 6JL DX Leeds Tel: EDITORIAL: Editor Steven Bancroft Founding Editor Ian McCombie Editorial Assistant Sophie Dilley PRODUCTION: Head of Design: Lucy Taylor Junior Designer: Jessica Horton ADVERTISING: Project Manager Martin Smith Published by: Barker Brooks Media Ltd 4 Greengate, Cardale Park Harrogate HG3 1GY Tel: PRINT: Acorn Web Offset Ltd 2012 Leeds Law Society & Barker Brooks Media Ltd. All rights in and relating to this publication are expressly reserved. PEFC/ No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system or transmitted in any form or by any means without written permission from the publishers. The views expressed in Leeds & Yorkshire Lawyer are not necessarily those of the Leeds Law Society or the publisher. While the publishers have taken every care in compiling this publication to ensure accuracy at the time of going to press, they do not accept liability or responsibility for errors or omissions therein however caused. Views 5 From the President Philip Jordan explains why it is time for all legal practitioners to join the fight against planned cuts to legal aid News 6 Society The Leeds Annual Legal Dinner is a major evening of pride and celebration 9 Headlines Leeds is the only city outside London to be visited by a delegation of Mexican lawyers 10 Business development Dickinson Dees sets sights on major growth following its move to Leeds 12 Charity Citys childrens charity receives a donation in excess of 8,000 from one firm 13 Regulation More time is granted for firms to nominate their COLPs and COFAs 14 Social Regional firms run schemes which invest in people 15 Appointments The latest round-up of who's going where at our firms 17 Chambers An alliance first for one regional set and a major honour for a leading barrister Focus on 19 Comment Patrick Walker talks breathtaking bills, Barnsley breakfasts and titanium 21 Legal update The developing role mediation has to play in helping provide access to justice 25 My career & me David Listers burgeoning career is already hitting some high notes 27 Regional spotlight Hull proves to be an innovative city at the forefront of an evolving marketplace 29 Chambers profile A mould-breaking alliance has further strengthened the hand of Chancery House 31 Residential conveyancing When it comes to flooding, conveyancers can look after the best interests of their client 33 Legal expenses insurance After-the-event (ATE) insurance is right at the forefront of controversial reform Out & about 35 Places to go Brasserie Blanc in the heart of Leeds represents France at its very best 38 The last word Medical negligence expert Stuart Hanley answers our probing questions Subscriptions are available to Leeds & Yorkshire Lawyer at 70 for one calendar year (10 issues). Unless requested otherwise, your subscription will start with the issue following receipt of your payment. To subscribe contact Jonathan Crawley at publishers Barker Brooks Media on , or Barker Brooks Media offers a full range of creative, marketing and communications services. To discuss how we could help your business, please call Ben Rushton on or Yorkshire Cancer Research is the largest independent regional medical research charity in the UK. The charity is delighted to be involved in this year's Yorkshire Lawyer Awards. Charity number: Leeds & Yorkshire Lawyer Issue 110 3

4 WE VE DONE ALL THE HUNTING, SO YOU DON T HAVE TO. REUTERS/Denis Sinyakov We scour through full-text Case Reports, select the most important information and present it to you in simple easy-to-read Case Analysis Documents, saving you much needed researching time and effort. We ve gone ahead and done the hard work for you, with each analysis highlighting Where Reported, giving a Case Digest and Appellate History as well as Related Cases and All Cases Cited including Significant Cases. You can also view All Cases Citing, Legislation Cited, Journals, Books and Looseleafs. Westlaw UK also provides you with active links to connected cases, legislation, journal articles and commentary titles mentioned, giving you one-click access to all the authority you need. Plus with our helpful visual status icons you can quickly assess whether a case is good law. With close to 400,000 Case Analysis documents and counting, covering UK, Scottish, Welsh, Northern Irish and EU case law decisions you have unprecedented access to look beyond the facts and understand what a decision really means. Just another way we are helping you to increase productivity, efficiency and success. For more information on Westlaw UK Call , or visit westlaw.co.uk

5 FROM THE PRESIDENT Time for a united front Philip Jordan is the President of Leeds Law Society and a Partner at Ward Hadaway Solicitors P ersonally, I have never had any involvement with the legal aid system save for dealing with the occasional request while an articled clerk to assist a client to complete a Green Form. Clearly this was many years ago but, even at that point in my embryonic legal career while attending to the vagaries of company and commercial law, I recognised two things (they were obvious to be honest): first, that the availability of legal aid had to be assured if all citizens of England and Wales were to have equal access to justice, and, secondly, that the vast majority of legal aid applicants came from socially and economically deprived areas. The Legal Aid, Sentencing and Punishment of Offenders Bill, for brevity let us call it the Bill, has many and varied provisions the clue is in the name but it is in relation to the proposed legal aid reforms that most opposition has arisen. Many observers consider the Bill to be the single biggest attack on an individual s right to equal access to justice since the legal aid system was introduced. The Government has witnessed a huge backlash to the Bill. I think that we can all recognise the need to reduce public spending generally and a major part of the reforms set out is designed to save 350 million a year from the current legal aid budget. If introduced in its entirety and enacted, legal aid will no longer be available for private family law cases unless there is said to be a high risk of violence, clinical negligence, social welfare advice or for employment disputes. Millions of pounds will be saved but one cannot help but conclude that removing those areas from the legal aid scheme will mean that, as ever, it will be the socially and economically deprived that will be worst affected. Leading the opposition Opposition to the Bill is great and vociferous and the Law Society leads the charge. CEO Desmond Hudson said: The Law Society accepts the need to achieve savings and [ ] has a set of alternative proposals for meeting the Ministry of Justice s deficit reduction target which, while not without pain, would preserve access to justice in most cases. It is time for the Government to work with the Law Society and other groups to radically reshape this Bill. I wholeheartedly agree. Legal aid for criminal matters is also to be affected and the proposals to limit the scope and the extent of the legal advice that may be given at a police station, coupled with a plan to introduce means-testing of those arrested while at the police station, has produced outrage among criminal law solicitors and observers alike. Again, it is clear that most persons finding themselves in need of legal advice and assistance at a police station are from socially and economically deprived areas. It is good to hear then that the Government has scrapped the means-testing plan and is reconsidering other related proposals. Having cleared the House of Commons, the Bill now sits with the House of Lords where it is hoped that real debate on its content will take place and further significant changes can be effected. Sounding off For sure, the Bill will be enacted as the Government needs to evidence a substantial reduction in public spending on legal aid. Accordingly, to complain about the Bill as a whole and cuts to legal aid spending in general will, I believe, be pointless. Rather, we need to voice specific objections to those specific parts of the Bill that, as practitioners and/or civil libertarians, we consider to be totally unacceptable. The Law Society through its Sound off for Justice campaign is fighting the legal aid cuts proposal. Regardless of whether we are lawyers that are directly involved with the civil or criminal legal aid system or not, as legal practitioners we should all support that campaign. Leeds & Yorkshire Lawyer Issue 110 5

6 NEWS: Society Evening of pride and celebration The Leeds Annual Legal Dinner celebrated all that is good about this region s legal profession T he stunning Queens Ballroom at the city s landmark Queens Hotel welcomed 300 guests for this year s Leeds Annual Legal Dinner. On Thursday 8 March President Philip Jordan welcomed dignitaries including the Lord-Lieutenant of West Yorkshire, Dr Ingrid Roscoe; Nick Fluck, the Deputy Vice President of the Law Society of England & Wales; and His Honour Judge Collier QC, the Recorder of Leeds to the prestigious event. Following a drinks reception in the Ark Royal Room, which was accompanied by music from the Kendal String Quartet, a four-course meal was enjoyed by all. Jonathan Jones, Partner at Squire Sanders, was the recipient of the inaugural President s Award sponsored by Anakin Seal for his outstanding contribution to the Leeds legal Profession in Jordan explained: It is fitting that he is the first as he sets a standard that we should all aim for in his tireless efforts for charitable causes despite, one might easily say, an enormous workload as probably the busiest and most respected private equity lawyer in Yorkshire. Leeds Law Society Board Directors (from left to right): Deborah Green, Stuart Turnock, David Barraclough, Rosemary Edwards, Philip Jordan, David Cowgill, Ian Spafford, Matthew Tighe, Heidi Sandy, Jonathan Watmough, Philip Goldberg and Marcus Armstrong Philip Jordan (President) with Lord-Lieutenant of West Yorkshire, Dr Ingrid Roscoe Thank you to everyone at the Leeds Law Society for the highly enjoyable dinner. The company was very friendly and entertaining. The meal was excellent too. Your speaker was very entertaining and informative about life on the inside. Nick Dell, President of Bristol Law Society Philip Jordan (centre) and Tom Crampton (right) of Anakin Seal present the President s Award to winner Jonathan Jones (left) 6 Leeds & Yorkshire Lawyer Issue 110

7 NEWS: Society What a great night. Thanks to all of you Idris Mir, President Bradford Law Society The company at the top table was great and the evening flew past Robbie Glen, speaker A most enjoyable evening all round HH Judge Andrew Keyser QC The dinner was kindly sponsored by: Save the date Leeds Law Society Annual Golf Tournament Monday 28 May 2012 Ganton Golf Club Members only places limited. Teeing-off in pairs from 8.30am for the Booth Cup and in fours from 2pm for the two Middlebrook Cups To register or phone Leeds & Yorkshire Lawyer Issue 110 7

8 Specialist Accountants for the Legal Profession The Legal Sector is undergoing an unprecedented period of change with the Legal Services Act, Legal Aid Reform, Regulatory Reform, Personal Injury Reform and difficult trading conditions. Armstrong Watson has a specialist team focusing exclusively on the legal profession that understands the issues and provides proactive advice including: Formulating strategy Benchmarking Law firm mergers and acquisitions Trading structure reviews and conversions Lock-up reviews to free up your hard earned cash Partnership disputes Training courses There are many other ways we can help improve your business, contact us to arrange a free initial meeting: Call Andy Poole on Leeds Armstrong Watson is registered to carry on audit work by the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales. Registered office: 15 Victoria Place, Carlisle CA1 1EW Heslop & Platt We can help you and we can help your clients As the only firm of French law specialists in Yorkshire and with the largest team of SRA regulated solicitors and French law advisers in the UK, here are ten ways in which we can help you to help your clients. We provide: 1. Expert advice on the purchase of property in France 2. Guidance with the sale of a property in France 3. Assistance with the transfer of property arising on divorce or separation 4. Dealing with probate formalities in France 5. Providing French estate planning and drawing up French wills 6. Advising on disputes with French contractors or neighbours 7. Assistance with debt recovery and securing a charge over French property 8. Help with French tax queries 9. Arranging the gift of French assets to family members 10. Certification and legalisation of Powers of Attorney for use in France And there s more We only deal with French legal matters so we won t poach your client! We provide excellent client care so your clients will be delighted you told them about us! We will attend meetings at your office at your request We present regular seminars for professional referrers and potential clients For more information please contact Barbara Heslop

9 Sponsored by: NEWS: Headlines Mexican wave for Leeds Leeds Legal welcomed a delegation of Mexican lawyers to the city on 15 March. The lawyers were part of a multi-sector business and academic mission taking part in the UK's Mexico Week a project aimed at promoting trade and investment between Mexico and the UK. Leeds was the only city to be visited outside of the capital. Leeds Legal hosted a welcome briefing at DLA Piper in Leeds which was followed by a law fair style networking event where delegates learned more about the Leeds legal market and about sourcing legal services from UK lawyers. Participating Leeds law firms were: DLA Piper, Squire Sanders, Pinsent Masons, DWF, Clarion, Lupton Fawcett, The Needle Partnership, Virtuoso Legal and Shulmans. The delegates also visited the Law School at Leeds Metropolitan University, where they were given a talk about how lawyers in the UK are trained. The visit came about as a result of relationships with Pro Mexico and with Yves Hayaux, Head of the Mexican Chamber of Commerce in London. Leeds Legal is the only city-based legal sector marketing campaign in the country and was instrumental in securing the visit to Leeds, along with UKTI and Marketing Leeds. This was a high-calibre delegation with whom we identified many synergies and opportunities, explained Rosemary Edwards, director of Leeds Legal. We ve made excellent progress in communicating the messages about the world-class legal advice our city s firms provide and the benefits of Leeds as the largest legal centre outside of London. Lexcel mark for QS Mewies A Skipton firm has been awarded the Law Society s top management accreditation Lexcel. QualitySolicitors Mewies joins just 130 other practices across the whole of the north east to gain the quality mark which is awarded, following a rigorous assessment process, only to those firms that meet the highest standards in client care and business management. Earlier this year the firm also obtained the Law Society s mark of excellence for the home-buying process. Senior Partner John Mewies said, Whilst we are proud to have secured Lexcel, it will be our clients and staff who benefit the most. They can be assured that the way the practice is managed has their interests at heart and runs efficiently. John Wotton, President of the Law Society of England and Wales, added, Lexcel acts as a beacon of quality to clients and potential clients alike. Assessor role for specialist John McQuater, head of litigation and partner at Doncaster law firm Atherton Godfrey, has been appointed by the Law Society as a Personal Injury Assessor. McQuater (pictured), who was named Claimant Personal Injury Lawyer of the Year at the 2011 Personal Injury Awards, is described in Chambers UK as maintaining an excellent reputation in both clinical negligence and personal injury matters. He provides professional training on a range of subjects including procedure, practice management, occupiers liability and clinical negligence. An accomplished author who has appeared on both television and radio, McQuater will now use his expertise to help ensure that those accredited by the Law Society meet the necessary standard. Yorkshire lawyers lead the way in family arbitration Two of Yorkshire s leading family lawyers have joined the first wave of legal experts to qualify for a new arbitration scheme that is set to revolutionise family law in England. The family law arbitration scheme covers financial and property disputes including divorce settlements, financial provision for children, property and inheritance issues. Under the scheme, arbitrators decide on a range of financial family law issues with legally binding outcomes or awards, offering a radical alternative to the court system. Peter Jones, partner and founder of Jones Myers LLP, and Marilyn Stowe, of Stowe Family Law, are two of the first Yorkshire lawyers to take on the role of informal judge for divorcing couples who want a clean break and wish to avoid the trauma associated with going to court. According to Jones (pictured top): The process is clean, relatively swift and ideal for resolving financial settlements. Because it eradicates prolonged court battles it can be less stressful and more cost effective. Stowe (bottom) believes the scheme will revolutionise the settlement of financial family law disputes in England, adding: Arbitration is swift, fair, flexible and strictly private. It is potentially significantly cheaper, and need not follow the more lengthy process adopted by the courts dealing with similar matters. Leeds & Yorkshire Lawyer Issue 110 9

10 NEWS: Business development Dickinson Dees sets sights on growth Dickinson Dees is embarking on a period of expansion after opening the doors of its new office in Leeds. The firm moved into No 1 Whitehall Riverside over Easter and is now seeking lawyers from across the UK to join the growing practice, in addition to the 50-strong team it brought from York. Senior partner John Marshall explained why a move to Leeds was necessary for the firm that already has offices in Newcastle, London and the Tees Valley: By moving to one of the top five financial cities in the country, we are positioning ourselves for further expansion of our business. If we are to meet our ambitious plans to grow our business, it is important for us to seize the opportunities presented in Leeds and across the region. Our move gives us the opportunity to grow by providing the very best service for our clients. To continue to provide the best possible service we must have the best lawyers, he continued. Our current recruitment drive has resulted in significant interest and we will be making a number of key appointments soon. Hole in one as Eales joins the team at Blacks Blacks Solicitors has appointed former European Tour professional golfer Paul Eales as the latest sports consultant to the niche sports practice. Eales follows a number of other high-profile sports personnel who have joined the firm in recent years, including Yorkshire wicketkeeper Gerard Brophy, Bradford Bulls international Matt Diskin, ex-international footballers Robbie Savage, John Hendrie and Brian Deane, together with former Head of Nike and ex-scottish International Jim Pearson. Managing partner Chris Allen is delighted that Eales has agreed to be part of the team: He will provide real industry knowledge to our professional and other golf clients, and supplement and support the expertise and industry knowledge we already have within our sports team, he said. Merger creates biggest debt recovery law firm Drydens Lawyers and Fairfax Solicitors, based in Bradford and Leeds respectively, have joined forces to create the UK s largest debt recovery law firm drydensfairfax solicitors with a combined workforce of around 300. Both were part of national law firms before separating to become specialist practices representing large financial institutions and key Government departments. Drydens executive chairman Philip Holden (pictured, right) will head up the new entity as CEO, while Peter Wordsworth (left) from Fairfax becomes director of client management and business development for all clients. According to Holden, this really is a merger in every sense of the word: Drydens is particularly strong on secured recoveries and Fairfax is focused on unsecured and Government work. The new operation combines an excellent debt collection business with an exceptional debt litigation practice. The merger makes perfect sense to Wordsworth, at a time when clients are looking to integrate their recoveries operations. I am very excited about the holistic solution we are now able to offer, he said. The new firm will initially operate from its existing sites in Leeds and Bradford, with plans to relocate all staff to the award-winning Drydens offices in Bradford later this year. Leaitherland reappointed DWF managing partner DWF has confirmed that Andrew Leaitherland (pictured) will continue as managing partner for a further three-year term, after being reappointed unopposed. Since his appointment in 2006, DWF has sustained double-digit, yearon-year growth in revenue and net profit. The firm s headcount has increased from 560 to over 1500 in the last five years and new offices have opened in Leeds, Birmingham, Newcastle and London. Leaitherland commented: DWF is one of the fastest growing firms in the UK and I look forward to leading the firm in the coming years, ensuring that we stay true to our values. We will also continue to recruit and retain the best people, allowing us to exceed our clients expectations. DWF chairman Alan Benzie added: Andrew has been the prominent force behind the consistent and highly successful growth. His re-appointment was uncontested, recognising the partnership s belief that with his continuing leadership the firm will achieve its strategic ambitions. 10 Leeds & Yorkshire Lawyer Issue 110

11 NEWS: Business development Pharos expands team and moves premises Following a period of rapid growth, the employment and business law specialist Pharos Legal has moved into new premises on Kirkstall Road in Leeds and taken on its first members of staff shortly after celebrating its first anniversary. Solicitor Emma Hammond, who qualified with Walker Morris in 1998, advises on the full spectrum of employment law issues, while Practice Manager Adele Dickinson, the newest member of the team, brings many years of experience of working within a law firm environment. Pharos founder, Natalie Saunders, says: The last year has been incredible and I am very proud of what we have achieved. We re going from strength to strength and with Emma and Adele now on board, we re looking forward to growing the business even further. Fixed-price first for family law matters The Leeds office of Mills & Reeve has launched the UK s first fixedprice package for its services, designed to help families that are feeling the economic squeeze to access advice. The move comes in the wake of a recent publication from the Legal Ombudsman stating that one in five of the complaints it receives are related to costs. The package covers the full range of family law advice including financial court proceedings on divorce, mediation and financial settlements. It aims to keep costs to a minimum for clients and includes resolving disputes out of court and litigating only where necessary. Clients will be given a fixed price tailored to their individual circumstances, including where complex matters such as trusts or foreign assets are involved. Partner Philip Way commented: We are pleased to be the first to offer clients an alternative to the traditional fee structure. The new fixed-price service allows clients to maintain control over their important life decisions ensuring compromises are not made purely due to the challenging financial climate. To support the new fixed-price offering, Oxford University graduate Anna Heenan (pictured) has been appointed as solicitor within the family law team and will be heavily involved in the running of the new service. Firm advice In association with: In response to calls for advice, particularly with so many changes currently underway within the legal sector, Andy Poole, the Legal Sector Director at Armstrong Watson, answers your strategic and financial questions in the first of his monthly columns. I m a partner in a high street firm. How can I make ABS work for me? There are many ways in which firms can take advantage of the terms within the Legal Services Act 2007, some of which I am working with high street firms to achieve. However, in most cases, direct private equity investment into general high street practices is not on the immediate horizon. One possible way to diversify investment is to transfer part-ownership of a practice to the partners spouses which could reduce the practice s tax bill. In order to transfer ownership to spouses, firms will first need to apply to become an ABS and we are helping firms through the process. The first stage is fairly simple. The second is more complicated, potentially including the provision of forecasts and business plans; however, the tax calculations prepared illustrate that the savings to be made do make undertaking the process worthwhile. I m a partner approaching retirement. How can my firm plan for the required capital payment? In general, cashflow is a major concern for firms in the current economic climate. Concerns are magnified when partners capital account balances are increasing and there are a number of potential retirements on the horizon. My work with firms to plan the funding of such payments revolves around reducing lock-up, identifying potential capital introductions from others and arranging specific finance for the payments, but also reviewing the trading structure of the practice. Where part or all of the soon-to-retire partner s ownership in the practice is transferred to a corporate entity, it is likely that tax savings can be achieved which can be part-used to fund capital payment. It is also possible for the partner to do the opposite of what many think logical to under-draw in the years approaching retirement in order to have a capital distribution upon retirement at much lower tax rates. If the reduced drawings and tax savings are set aside in the period up to retirement, then funds should be available to go towards the capital payment on retirement. Andy acts for a number of firms across the UK, particularly focusing on advising lawyers in response to the current changes in the marketplace. To ask Andy a question that may be featured in this column, the editor at To contact Andy directly, call or Leeds & Yorkshire Lawyer Issue

12 NEWS: Charity Irwin Mitchell raises over 8,000 for children s charity The Leeds office of Irwin Mitchell presented a donation of over 8,400 to the Leeds Children s Charity during the firm s annual New Year party in February. The century-old charity helps children who suffer from poverty, neglect, abuse, learning difficulties or illness, or who are themselves young carers, to meet friends and have a holiday. Every year it takes over 400 children between the ages of seven and 11 to its holiday centre in Silverdale, on the border of Lancashire and Cumbria. Irwin Mitchell has worked closely with the trustees at the charity to provide clothes, shoes, books, toiletries, washing powder and even Easter eggs to be used and consumed by many hundreds of disadvantaged children. Verlie McCann, Chairwoman at the Leeds Children s Charity, said: The money Irwin Mitchell has raised will make a huge difference to a significant number of disadvantaged children in the area. The staff at Irwin Mitchell have willingly and enthusiastically participated in many fundraising events throughout the year and we have enjoyed their friendship and fun while working together for a common cause. Legal eagles soar above target with charity skydive Two Leeds lawyers almost doubled their fund-raising target when they undertook a 15,000ft skydive. Helen Gott (left) and Stephanie Dunderdale of Clarion raised a sky-high figure of 1,650 for St Gemma s Hospice in Leeds. The jump, which they completed at a North Lincolnshire airfield, included a one-minute freefall during which they reached a heartstopping speed of 120mph. According to Dunderdale: The skydive was terrifying, but it is the best thing Helen and I have ever done on the day of the jump the weather took a turn for the worse and we had to endure a nerve-racking six hour wait for the sky to clear. On a fast track for charity A pair of Doncaster solicitors lined up in the starting grid of a world-famous Formula 1 circuit when they took part in the Adidas Half Marathon at Silverstone. Gillian Ward (left) and Lisa Hickin, both personal injury solicitors at Atherton Godfrey, took to the track to help raise funds for the Child Brain Injury Trust. The 13-mile event, staged by the same team that brings the London Marathon to life each year, regularly attracts thousands of entrants. Speaking before the race, Ward talked of her excitement at being involved: We know that every penny will go towards helping children and their families deal with the devastating effect of brain injury. The pair joined a team put together by the father of William Stones, a little boy who suffered a brain injury in 2010, as a thank you for the support the Trust has given to his family. Solicitors use hearts to raise pounds for charity Langleys Solicitors raised over 400 as part of the British Heart Foundation s National Heart Month in February. The firm took part in the charity s Red for Heart day, where members of the Langleys team paid 1 to wear red clothing. A homemade cake sale was also held. Sally Cottam, partner and head of CSR at Langleys, said: The British Heart Foundation is a great charity and it was fantastic to see so many members of the Langleys team supporting the Red for Heart day. 12 Leeds & Yorkshire Lawyer Issue 110

13 In association with Quality Briefs NEWS: Regulation No6_banner.indd 1 21/07/ :05 Delay to COLP and COFA nomination deadline The Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) has been forced to extend the deadline to nominate compliance officers for legal practice (COLPs) and compliance officers for finance and administration (COFAs). Firms in England and Wales had been expected to put forward names by the end of March, but well-documented problems with the SRA's online system for renewing practising certificates meant a knock-on delay. The new deadline has not been announced but the SRA says it remains confident of approving all nominations by the original 31 October date. The nomination extension has been granted in order to give firms more time to finalise their nominations and to allow for further checks on the application process and the SRA says an on-line nomination form is expected to go live in the next six weeks. Executive director Richard Collins (pictured) said: We regret we have been unable to provide the online form as early as anticipated, but it is important that rigorous testing takes place before it enters the live environment. In addition we recognise that, for many firms, the annual renewal process has run later than originally planned. We hope firms will be able to use this extra time to ensure they have identified the best nominees for the roles. No change to fees structure Fees structures for solicitors will not change next year, according to an announcement from the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) Board. The Board agreed to maintain the current structure for practising fees, including the proportion of Compensation Fund contributions, at a meeting held at the end of February. Mike Jeacock, SRA Chief Operating Officer, commented: This is the second year running the Board has decided against changing the fees structure. This will allow firms to plan for next year s budget. The setting of fees by the SRA is based on eight principles, which include being fair to payers, being stable, and taking account of ability to pay. They should also be based on data that can be verified, and as simple as possible so that the profession can easily calculate contributions. A fundamental review of the fees structure is planned for next year and the findings will be brought back to the Board in due course. This year s fees can be worked out using the SRA s online calculator, which can be accessed at: Bob Heslett is the Law Society Council Member for Leeds and is a Past President of the National Law Society. His monthly column explains the latest goings-on at Chancery Lane. Tipping point to be avoided Many readers will be familiar with the notion that major changes can happen when a combination of circumstances suddenly reaches a critical mass or a tipping point. I wonder if, in the context of the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) and Legal Services Board (LSB), we are that far away from such an event. Readers of this column will recall that two years ago the SRA was required by the LSB to impose Outcomes-focused Regulation (OFR) upon the profession and license ABS from 6 October (a date apparently dictated by the LSB without rhyme or reason). All of this overlaid the massive everyday requirement of policing existing regulation and pursuing two unavoidable management imperatives: reworking creaking IT structures and consolidating three premises into one. It is worth reminding ourselves of these (perhaps distant) aspects of regulatory life because the consequences affect everyone. The recent and high-profile delay (caused by IT reform) to the previously easy renewal of practising certificates is evident to every firm, large or small. Meanwhile complaints are increasing at the sloth of progress in the ABS licensing process, initially delayed through Government default. The SRA has had to concede delay in the requirement on Legal Disciplinary Practices to make up their minds whether to become an ABS or not. It now concedes delay as necessary in the requirement on all firms to appoint compliance officers for legal practice (COLPs) and for finance and administration (COFAs), which are a vital part of OFR. There must be real cause for concern at the slippage within the SRA against a very tight business plan. Within a timeframe which is difficult to gauge, the SRA is going to succeed mightily or be judged not fit for purpose. That will be the tipping point. I hold an unequivocal view that it is in the public interest and that of the profession that the SRA should succeed, and the Law Society as Approved Regulator must do all that it can to assist, because failure will bring another tipping point into view. The LSB should now be winding down to a rump oversight organisation with the purpose of ensuring that the separation of regulation from representation has been achieved. In regulatory circles there is much talk of establishing one regulator for all those providing legal services. Is it too fanciful to imagine the failure of the SRA prompting the LSB to try and use its powers under the Legal Services Act to become the regulator? The proximity of the LSB to Government makes this a tipping point to be avoided at all costs. Leeds & Yorkshire Lawyer Issue

14 NEWS: Social Leeds Junior Lawyers Division (LJLD) arranges educational, social, charitable and networking events for junior lawyers in the Leeds area. Each month the committee brings you the latest news in this column Work and play A host of careerenhancing events and social mixers have been enjoyed by the junior lawyers of Leeds in recent weeks. LJLD, the Junior Lawyers Division of the Law Society, successfully hosted its bi-annual student forum at BPP College, Leeds, on Saturday 17 March. Representatives from LJLD attended this event and delivered CV clinics. Feedback was extremely positive as delegates were delighted to see that members of the local legal community were willing to give up their time to offer practical advice. LJLD was also proud to host a joint speed networking event with Christine Smith from the C&I Group. The event was a major success with around 40 in-house junior lawyers attending from a range of local companies. It hasn't all been work, work, work as the Florit Brooke Social took place on 15 March 2012 at Bar Room Bar. The event (pictured) was well attended by junior lawyers from a range of firms and was sponsored by Alex Brennan and Florit Brooke. Looking to the summer and, come rain or shine, LJLD is hosting a range of sporting competitions and you are welcome to get involved. The annual five-a-side football tournament is now scheduled for the afternoon of Sunday 15 April. In recent years LJLD has also competed in a softball league so, with the season fast approaching, interest is welcomed from any members who would like to be involved. Meanwhile, for budding golfers there is a virtual golf tournament planned for May at the wonderful Golf Bar. Please either or jenny. to register your interest. Finally look out for further details in Leeds & Yorkshire Lawyer or for the latest on the infamous summer party. Giving students a head start Dixon Law has launched an initiative to give Leeds law students the opportunity of work experience in a leading Legal 500 niche property firm. In conjunction with Leeds University, the firm has set up a work experience scheme where five students will get vital work experience in the commercial and residential property sector. Colin Dixon, who heads the Leeds firm, commented: We all recognise how difficult it is for students to get a training contract in this economic climate and Dixon Law has tried to assist some students by setting up this scheme. We were inundated with applications and have chosen a selection of bright young students who will join us over the forthcoming year. Shulmans invests in people Shulmans has launched an NVQ scheme that will see nearly 20 per cent of employees across the firm get involved in a staff development programme. Nineteen people from Shulmans business support and volume remortgage and conveyancing teams have signed up to the customer service, business administration or leadership and management apprenticeships which will ultimately result in a nationally recognised NVQ level two or three qualification. Shulmans is running the scheme in association with Working Links which is a national organisation that provides in-work employee training and development. The implementation of the scheme signals the firm s commitment to employee development and we are thrilled by how many have signed up, explained the firm's new HR manager Neil Towse. Eventus Legal specialise in recruiting Legal professionals from Paralegal to Partner throughout Yorkshire and have done successfully for over a decade Whether a candidate or a client contact Siobhan Courtney on: T M E EventusLegal_strap.indd 1 26/03/ :54 14 Leeds & Yorkshire Lawyer Issue 110

15 NEWS: Appointments Harrowells Ruth Griffiths (pictured, left) and Annie Noble (right) have completed their professional training at Harrowells. Griffiths practises within the company and commercial team; Noble is part of the employment law team. Jonathan Moore (centre) has re-joined the firm as a commercial property partner with specialist expertise in joint venture arrangements and private finance structures. Applebys Solicitors Applebys solicitors of Bradford and Huddersfield has appointed assistant solicitor Emma Semwayo to their accident at work team. Semwayo specialises in public and employers liability, including accidents in the workplace and cases resulting from slips and trips in public. DWF DWF has boosted its high-profile Private Client team when Steven Appleton joined as an Associate in the Leeds office. Appleton advises on all aspects of private client law from wills and probate to tax planning and Court of Protection matters, and specialises in legal matters for older people, including care funding and Lasting Powers of Attorney. AWB Charlesworth The appointment of Sara Mounsey at AWB Charlesworth strengthens its property team. Mounsey, who has 10 years experience in property law, will be based in the firm s Skipton office. Her expertise covers a broad range of residential and commercial property matters including freehold and leasehold transactions and property management work. Pryers Solicitors Tim Gorman has joined Pryers Solicitors as partner. Having founded a highly successful law firm in the north east, Gorman is a fantastic addition to the firm. Pryers has grown substantially over the last couple of years and plans further expansion into medical law, product law and personal injury work. QualitySolicitors Mewies Litigtion Specialist Naomi Duxbury- Tetley has joined QualitySolicitorsMewies as associate solicitor. She joins from McManus Seddon Runhams in Bradford and specialises in all areas of litigation, from commercial and civil litigation to personal injury, employment and landlord and tenant issues. Stewarts Law Litigation firm Stewarts Law has expanded its antitrust litigation department in London with the appointment of partner Scott Campbell. A specialist in competition litigation, Campbell has extensive experience in a wide range of complex multi-jurisdictional disputes arising out of infringements of EU and UK competition law. Taylor&Emmet Taylor&Emmet has expanded its support team with the appointment of the firm s first compliance and risk manager. Gurchan Jandu will oversee issues in response to current changes in the industry, ensuring the firm meets its regulatory and legal requirements and complies with internal and external standards. She will also become the firm s compliance officer for legal practice (COLP). Williamsons Solicitors Emma Dann, a new criminal lawyer at Williamsons Solicitors, is fulfilling a lifelong dream of working in defence advocacy. Dann joins as an assistant solicitor following a spell as duty solicitor at Hull Magistrates Court. I enjoy the cut and thrust of being in court and find it one of the most interesting, rewarding and realistic professions to be in, she said. Dickinson Dees Dickinson Dees has promoted Emma Moody to Head of Charities. Moody has worked exclusively in charity law for 10 years and advises on all aspects of charity law including mergers, incorporations, restructurings, governance and constitutional issues as well as trustee duties and responsibilities. Last Cawthra Feather Last Cawthra Feather has promoted two new partners: commercial property lawyer Deborah Finan has expertise in commercial landlord and tenant matters; Ragan Montgomery, who recently qualified as a mediator, specialises in commercial dispute resolution. LCF has also appointed Julie Evans as an associate in the commercial property team. Pictured: Managing partner Simon Stell with Finan (left) and Ragan Montgomery (right). Bhayani Bracewell Kieron Holmshaw is the latest lawyer to join the dispute resolution team at Bhayani Bracewell. Previously a legal advisor at Irwin Mitchell, he has advised on complex civil disputes, contractual and neighbour disputes, and landlord and tenant issues. Leeds & Yorkshire Lawyer Issue

16 PLP Yorkshire Lawyer X185mm_Layout 1 22/03/ :07 Page 1 NORTHERN BASE WITH A NATIONAL PRESENCE One of the largest specialist sets in the North We provide a nationwide service to all our clients and furnish them with a first class service at all levels of advocacy and advisory work. Parklane Plowden has 4 specialist teams who offer a comprehensive service in the fields: Personal Injury & Clinical Negligence Family Chancery & Commercial Employment For further information please call our clerks on: or Fomedecon 2010:Page template.qxd 25/03/ :06 Page 19 "The barristers work very much in tandem with us, are flexible in their approach and knowledgeable about many different industries," agree instructing solicitors. Chambers 2012 Commentators note that "good regional set" Parklane Plowden continues to grow in size and confidence and is "led by a good set of clerks who are very focussed on service delivery". Legal Leeds 19 Westgate, Leeds, LS1 2RD Fax: DX: Leeds Park Square Newcastle upon Tyne 4-8 Lombard Street, Newcastle upon Tyne, NE1 3AE Fax: DX: Newcastle Web: FORMEDECON LTD Forensic and Economic Services Handwriting Drink and Driving Documents Forensic Photography Forensic Photography Handwriting CCTV Enhancement and Documents CCTV DNA Enhancement Analysis Drink DNA Drive/Toxicology Analysis Drink Vehicle Drive/Toxicology Examination Vehicle Fingerprints Examination Evaluation of Loss of Income Fingerprints Glass, Paint, Soil, Foot and Toolmarks Road Evaluation Traffic Accident of Loss Reconstruction of Income Glass, Paint, Control Soil, and Foot Restraint and Toolmarks Road Biological Traffic Material Accident and Reconstruction Trace Evidence Control Blood and Restraint Fibres Biological Computers Material and Associated and Trace Matters Evidence Unit 41 Enterprise City Spennymoor, DL16 6JF DX Ferryhill Tel: Fax: Website:

17 NEWS: Chambers Lee's star continues to rise Family law practitioner Taryn Lee has been appointed Queens Counsel on the recommendation of the Lord Chancellor. Lee (pictured), who is Joint Head of 37 Park Square Chambers, is one of only two Silks to have been appointed on the north-eastern circuit and one of only a few of this year s appointments coming from the family bar. She has particular expertise in child abuse cases involving all aspects of sexual, emotional and physical abuse and is regularly instructed in family cases where there are jurisdictional and international elements to proceedings. Following news of the appointment, Leigh Royall, Senior Clerk at 37 Park Square, said: This appointment is testament to Taryn s skill, experience and dedication to family law over many years as well as recognition of the standing of our family team nationally. Axon takes the helm at Parklane Plowden Personal injury and clinical negligence specialist Andrew Axon (pictured) has been elected the new Head of Chambers at Parklane Plowden. In a series of staff moves, the Chambers has also welcomed back Gemma Meredith- Davies to the family team, where she will continue to practise in family law with a particular emphasis in matrimonial finance. Two new members have also joined Chambers: personal injury barrister Stuart Jamieson, formerly of Zenith Chambers, and employment specialist Adrian Maitra who was previously in-house barrister at Baines Wilson. Axon said he was looking forward to the challenges this role will bring over the next three years. Chambers enjoys a strong position in the market and my thanks go to Stuart Brown QC for his leadership of both Parklane Plowden and of the north-east circuit, he explained. Alliance for Chancery House Chancery House Chambers has formed an alliance with Birmingham s St Philips Barristers. The alliance, believed to be the first of its type in the UK, boasts four silks John Randall QC, Avtar Khangure QC, Lance Ashworth QC and Mohammed Zaman QC as well as 36 barristers, and is the largest Chancery/ Commercial set outside London. The geographical combination of both sets means the alliance can offer its services to a wider national clientele in its specialist areas including, but not limited to, Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR), Administrative and Public, Banking and Asset Finance, Company, Construction, Employment, Insolvency (including director s disqualification), Property and Wills, Trusts and Probate. This alliance is a meeting of minds and it was a simple decision for both of us to make, explained Senior Clerk Colin Hedley. Both are well run, business-focused chambers so there is a real synergy and what it enables Chancery House to do is offer clients a more all-round service. There will be a major pool of expertise for solicitors to call upon right on their doorstep so they will no longer have to go down to London. We ll have the right barristers in the right place. Turn to page 29 where the alliance and what it means practically to Chancery House is explained in this month's Chambers profile. Leeds barrister advises in American fraud case A local barrister is tackling judicial systems on both sides of the Atlantic after being instructed in a joint UK US investigation into the alleged bribery of surgeons by pharmaceutical giant Johnson & Johnson. Nick Johnson, a criminal barrister at Exchange Chambers in Leeds, is sole counsel for one of the company s former UK executives. Johnson & Johnson has already paid approximately US$80 million in fines in both countries and inquiries are now turning to individual executives, with one man having faced imprisonment in the UK already. Similar investigations into at least a dozen other major drug and device manufacturers are ongoing. Commenting on the case, Johnson said: My solicitor and I work here and in the US, in tandem with Manhattanbased lawyers, which is a fascinating challenge. Leeds & Yorkshire Lawyer Issue

18 Becoming an ABS? Proclaim. You need Proclaim. The UK s only Case Management Software system designed exclusively for Alternative Business Structures. Proclaim ABS is the complete, all-in-one solution catering for all areas of law. Multidisciplinary or sector specific - the choice is yours. The market leader in Case Management Software, Proclaim solutions are in use by over 15,000 legal professionals. For a free demonstration: Call

19 COMMENT Fully cooked Patrick Walker on breathtaking bills, Barnsley breakfasts and titanium Patrick Walker is the head of Squire Sander's specialist advisory and advocacy service, and is an independent mediator: D o you know the lane between Summerbridge and Brimham Rocks? It touches 25% at points and I had little breath left for breathing let alone for answering questions. How much did that bike cost? was the opening salvo from one of three youngsters straddling their mountain bikes at the brow of the hill. I didn t answer. I couldn t answer! 500 quid? came the second shot. My mouth opened, but nothing came out, mostly because it was too busy taking air in. A thousand quid?! Yesss, I managed. Not, you will understand, that I was bragging, rather it was a shameful admission for a Yorkshireman enjoying his first ride out on a titanium frame costing that much. Pedals not included is bad enough, but no wheels...? There were several moments of silence (if you ignore the slight creak from my shoes and the steady wheezing) and then came the final and triumphant pronouncement: Bet it s crap off-road! There was no arguing with that because partly it was true, and partly because the pronouncer and his mates had spun round their bikes and disappeared over the horizon. The incident reminded me of an inner quest to work out which goods or services, or real property for that matter, are too expensive. One obvious answer is if you cant afford it... But I am lucky enough to be able to afford many things that, although desirable, just cost too much. I hope to visit New Zealand and, at 6 foot 4, extra legroom doesn t seem that much of a luxury, but if I spend 14k on an upgrade (assuming I can t get away with leaving my companion in cattle class) will I enjoy it or spend half the holiday thinking about how else I could have used the money?! How much are we prepared to spend on a good bottle of wine? At what point does the price add a slight aftertaste to the most delicious vintage? Does food taste better before or after the 7.30pm earlybird watershed? And do we get more pleasure out of an expensive treat paid for out of our own hard-earned cash, or the same luxury paid for by somebody else? In one week of mediations I ordered full English breakfasts in Barnsley, London and Sheffield. Barnsley s offering was tasty, ample and at 4.20 seemed very reasonable. I suppose I should have appreciated that Borough Market on London s South Bank would be too fashionable to retain value but a bill of 52 for two left me breathless once more. And no, that didn t include any cereals, croissants or toast! Happily there is a balance to be found in most things and I found it near Sheffield s Central Market with a freshly cooked feast and a bill for Did the price make it taste even better? Probably, but I guess I would rather be programmed that way than to automatically associate higher price with more enjoyment. But there are times when I am happy to pay more. First, on the rare occasions that the product uniquely fulfils my requirements; secondly, where the accompanying service is exceptional; and, thirdly, where the provider gives me confidence that in an emergency he will pull out all the stops. Well that more or less explains my mad titanium bike moment, but perhaps it also provides the only three points we need on our next marketing presentation! Leeds & Yorkshire Lawyer Issue

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