1 Liverpool Law The magazine for lawyers in Merseyside and the North West February 2015 Joint V Report Lawyer in Lights Chris Anderson of Everton FC This month s featured charity: LawCare
3 EDITORIAL 3 Liverpool Law Needs YOU Liverpool Law Society s monthly magazine Do you have something to share with other Liverpool Law Society members? Has your firm participated in an interesting or unusual case? Do you feature on the Movers & Shakers page? Have you participated in a CSR event? Share your news with the legal community. Welcome To the February edition of Liverpool Law. We have another edition, jam packed with local news from our member firms and Liverpool Law Society activities. Julia Baskerville and I headed to Everton last month to interview Chris Anderson as our lawyer in lights for this month. Walking the hallowed Everton ground was a little wasted on me although Julia took lots of photographs, my main interest was meeting Chris who is a very interesting character and I recommend reading the resulting article. This month's magazine also shows some examples of how Liverpool Law Society and the National Society work to help members. In particular, can I highlight briefing paper on legal aid cuts which was produced after a challenge by Counsellor Frank Hont to produce a paper for circulation to all political parties to try and influence the various parties manifestos for the coming general election. Follow us on All members contributions to Liverpool Law warmly welcomed. Please send your article (and photos with captions where appropriate) to the Editor Sylvia Shepherd at Photographs should be provided in the highest resolution possible to ensure good reproduction Published by Baskerville Publications Ltd 25 Southworth Way Thornton Cleveleys Lancashire FY5 2WW Tel: Deadlines for TH FEB 16TH MARCH 13TH APRIL 13TH MAY 15TH JUNE 20TH JULY 17TH AUG 14TH SEP 19TH OCT 16TH NOV We also have a report from the Joint V which I recommend to you as this month's report explains the background and reason for the organisation and the work it carries out. I should also point out the letter written by Andrew Caplen, President of the Law Society and sent through to presidents and secretaries of local Law Societies. It is a small example of their work for the benefit of the profession. Now calling all conveyancers out there, the non-contentious committee chairman is arranging for Veyo to come to Liverpool Law Society and explain what it's about and to assess whether or not people are interested. If you want to know who Veyo are or wondering what on earth I am talking about come to the Liverpool Law Society on the morning of 2 March and all will be revealed. We finish the magazine with a few reviews and can I ask anybody who has a favourite restaurant or wants to share a cultural experience to forward a review to us, at the usual address, for publication.+ Sylvia Shephed Editor Like us on Facebook LiverpoolLawSociety Join us on Linked In https://www.linkedin.com/ company/liverpool-lawsociety Dates for your Diary 12/02/2015 Revolution Bar pm Merseyside JLD & LLS Meet & Greet 09/03/2015 Redmond Building 5.30pm Final of the Merseyside Schools Public Speaking Competition 12/03/2015 City centre venue pm Merseyside JLD & LLS Quiz Evening
4 4 FROM THE PRESIDENT President s Mentions HAPPY NEW FEBRUARY! Hello everyone, One of the strange things about writing this column is that when you sit down to write it, it is at least a month before it is published and appears in the magazine. So, I am writing this month s Mentions in mid-january, when it is likely that most of you will not read it until mid-february at the earliest. This does put me in something of a quandary. By the time you have read this certain events which have not yet taken place will have occurred. So, do I play them down in case they turned out not to be a great success and everyone is fully aware of that fact by the time they get to read this article? Or do I big-up such future past events in the hope that they are a raging success? See if you can guess what I have decided to do this month, as you read on. Since my inaugural Mentions column there have been two key events which I have attended on your behalf (we can call these past past events). First, on 8 January, we hosted a meeting with local Councillors and Citizens Advice Bureaux. I regret to say that there was not much good cheer in store as Legal Aid cuts, and cuts for funding for Citizens Advice Bureau, continue to have a significant impact on access to advice (and thus to justice) on those who are most vulnerable. We did, however, agree to hold a summit meeting with local Councillors, Citizens Advice Bureaux and members of our Access to Justice Committee, focusing on welfare benefits and housing advice and how each of the various interested parties can work together more effectively to support those who are most vulnerable. If anybody would like to get involved in that summit meeting please contact the Chair of our Access to Justice Committee, Chris Topping. Chris address is On 14 January myself, Sarah Poblete and Vice President Alison Lobb, attended a Joint V meeting with our fellow Societies from Birmingham, Leeds, Manchester and Bristol at the Law Society HQ at Chancery Lane. Various members of the National Society s teams spoke about the services which they can offer to us as a local Society. Importantly, they agreed that they will seek to involve us more in their local initiatives, and keep us in the loop about key events in the future. Finally, and looking forward, by the time you read this our Pathways to the Profession event which is being held at Liverpool Town Hall on 3 February will have already taken place. The idea behind this event is to reach out to local schools to dispel the myth that a career in the law is only for those who can afford to take on huge debt at University. So far, we have over 100 local schoolchildren signed up to attend (with their teachers, of course!) and speakers from Liverpool University, LJMU, CILEX and Hill Dickinson, as well as my own firm, Weightmans, taking part. I am delighted to say that the Charity Spotlight All About LawCare Since 1997, LawCare has been helping members of the legal professions to face problems such as addition, stress, depression and emotional issues through its free and confidential helpline service. However, there are still many lawyers who are not aware of the support available, and we are often asked questions about what we offer. How are you funded? LawCare is a registered charity funded primarily by the professional bodies for legal groupings throughout the British Isles. Although we don t make big appeals for donations we do welcome any donation, however small. Is LawCare part of any of the professional bodies? No, LawCare is entirely independent of all the professional bodies and only reports statistics to them. Is it a counselling service? Callers to the LawCare helpline are provided with initial support from our staff, who all have experience of working in the legal professions, as well as training in telephone counselling skills. They can discuss problem with the callers and help them make a plan for recovery. This may include referral to a professional counsellor or another specialist service, such as a treatment centre. What problems can you help with and what don t you do? LawCare offers support on health and related personal issues such as stress, depression, addiction to alcohol or drugs, eating disorders and workplace bullying. However, we can t offer medical or legal advice, and won t tell you how to run your practice. Can anyone phone LawCare? Anyone in the legal profession, from a Judge to a paralegal, and their immediate families and staff, are welcome to use LawCare s service. Is it free? LawCare s helpline service is entirely free. The CPD accredited training we offer is free, except for expenses. However, if a caller is referred to a counsellor, other therapist or treatment unit then they will normally have to pay, though we will assist to source funds where we can if this is necessary. Is it confidential? Confidentiality is at the heart of what we do. You don t have to give your name if you d rather not, and the records we need to keep are stored on a secure and closed computer system accessible only to LawCare staff. Is there a limit to the number of times people can call? No, and many people do call back a number of times for further support and encouragement, often over a long period of time. However, there is a limit to what we can achieve and a regular caller might need to consider whether they need a higher level of support than LawCare can offer such as a mental health professional. What other services does LawCare offer? We also try to prevent problems arising by offering free (except for expenses) CPD accredited presentations on subjects such as stress recognition and management, vicarious trauma and time management. How do I contact you? Our free and confidential helpline is available on and information is also available on our website at
5 LOCAL NEWS 5 National President, Andrew Caplen, has agreed to attend and speak at this event as accessibility to the profession form part of his own themes for his Presidency. I am hopeful that this will be a successful event as it means a lot to me personally. Equally, I am looking forward to a meet and greet event which we are hosting with Merseyside Junior Lawyers Division on 12 February. There is a very simple idea behind this event to give members of the JLD an opportunity to meet (and no doubt quiz!) members of the General Committee and Officers of the Society over a drink or two. I will report back next time as to whether my optimism for both of these events turns out to be well placed or misconceived.but by now you already know the answer to that question! Emlyn Williams President Follow me on Sponsored by Merseyside Schools Public Speaking Competition 2015 Liverpool Law Society is pleased to announce its sixth Merseyside Schools Public Speaking Competition is taking place with the highest number of entries to date with schools from across Merseyside taking part. The following schools took part in the January and February heats at which the topic of the advantages of remaining within the EU outweigh the detriment for Great Britain was discussed: Archbishop Blanch Birkenhead School Formby High School Halewood Academy King David High School Sacred Heart Catholic College Savio Salesian College South Wirral High School St Francis Xavier College St Michael s C of E The Belvedere Academy The Liverpool Bluecoat The Mosslands School Tower College West Kirby Grammar School Members of the judging panels for each school included current directors and former presidents of Liverpool Law Society: Nicky Benson, Bill Chandler, Glenys Hunt, Sarah Lapsley, Sarah Mansfield and Her Honour Elizabeth Steel DL. The Final of the competition will be held on 9th March 2015 in the Moot Room at Liverpool John Moores University s School of Law. Those faced with the difficult task of judging the presentations will be the Lord Mayor, Councillor Erica Kemp CBE, Dr Tony Harvey, a lecturer in law at Liverpool JMU and Liverpool Law Society President Emlyn Williams. Previous winners of the competition have included Archbishop Blanch High School, St Edward s College, the Christian Fellowship School and most recently Savio Salesian College. The winning school will be presented with a trophy, and each of the finalists will be given a certificate and gift tokens. Our thanks go to Weightmans who are kindly sponsoring this event. The Briefing Paper on Legal Aid Cuts At the meeting with local councillors in July we were challenged by Councillor Frank Hont to produce a paper setting out proposals which we would want all political parties to adopt and to get this circulated as soon as possible to influence the manifestos for the next General Election. The challenge didn t stop there because he suggested that the leaders of Liverpool, St Helens, Knowsley, Wirral, Halton, St Helens and Sefton Councils should be invited to sign up to the document and put their names to support what we were asking for. The paper was produced asking for six key commitments as follows :- 1. Reinstate Financial Eligibility for Legal Aid 2. Restrict the Mandatory Telephone Gateway which screens people out of Legal Aid 3. Reconsider the Residence Test preventing foreign nationals accessing Legal Aid 4. Restore Judicial Reviews which are a critical way of holding government to account. 5. Recognise Children, those with disabilities and other vulnerable groups who are in desparate circumstances without Legal Aid 6. Raise Awareness that Legal Aid does still exist. The leaders of Liverpool, Sefton, Wirral and St Helens co-signed the covering letter which accompanied the paper to the leaders of all political parties. The paper was then sent to our local MPs and Lords. The response was somewhat predictable however we got some feedback. Chris Topping managed an conversation with Andy Slaughter MP (Shadow Justice Minister) which gave some cause for hope. However at a fringe meeting during conference he made it pretty clear that nothing was going to change. Glenys Hunt attempted to raise the paper and our concerns with Emily Thornberry MP when she was Shadow Attorney General. This was somewhat unsuccessful but in the light of subsequent events of little consequence! Lord Hunt has raised this with Shailesh Vara MP who is the Minister for Courts and Legal Aid. Her response is attached to the Agenda for the meeting. A review in three to five years is of little comfort to those deprived of access to justice now. It may be that our efforts have fallen on deaf ears but being silent is not an option. The efforts of lawyers have shown up the failings of a non-lawyer Lord Chancellor who is going for the record of most unsuccessful judicial reviews of any Lord Chancellor. What comes next? An election is looming and once again we will be targeting our local MPs to remind them that Access to Justice is not going away as an issue. Need an expert in medical or dental negligence? Refer to us. City : Allerton : Garston
6 6 NEWS Joint V Report: January 2015 I travelled down to London on 14th January with Emlyn, our President, and Sarah, our CEO to the latest meeting of the Joint V Law societies. For those who don t know, this organisation is a grouping of Liverpool, Manchester, Birmingham, Bristol and Leeds Law Societies, and the officers of those societies meet quarterly to discuss our activities and ways in which we can work together to benefit our members. On this occasion it was Manchester s turn to host but they had arranged for us to meet Catherine Dixon, the new CEO of The Law Society, at Chancery Lane, to be followed by a programme of presentations from the senior staff at The Law Society to give us a whistle stop tour of how that organisation works, whilst we were there. After an initial comedy moment involving an unco-operative lift, which led to some of getting lost in the maze that is Chancery Lane, and being rescued by the President, Andrew Caplen, who just happened to be passing at the time, the representatives of the societies got together to start our meeting. The first part of the day was given over the usual Joint V business, sharing details of our activities since we last met in November, and as usual we all picked up new ideas to be considered as potential activities for our own societies. At lunchtime we were joined by the Vice President, Jonathan Smithers, and we had the opportunity to chat to him as well as network with the other delegates. We then embarked on the afternoon agenda of presentations. The first person to speak to us was Richard Messingham, Head of Public Affairs. Richard explained how his role involves liaising with and influencing politicians and other decision makers. He provided us with information about the Manifesto for Justice which has been prepared in advance of the election this coming May. Full details of the manifesto can be found on the Michael Gupwell Bristol Law Society, Louise Straw Manchester Law Society, Catherine Dixon, Emlyn Williams, Philip Jordan Leeds Law Society and Eileen Schofield Birmingham Law Society Law Society s website at Richard was followed by Nina Fletcher who is Head of Research at the Society and she told us about the areas which her team deals with, how they commission and conduct research and analysis, and how that information is used. She explained that they have 4 main focus areas: the UK Legal Services Market, Profiling the Profession, Evaluation of Services, and Issues Affecting the Profession, and went into detail as to what they are currently doing in each of these areas. The statistics produced by Nina s team are used to provide figures such as those seen in the manifesto, setting out the value of lawyers to the economy; as well as being used in practice notes and by academics, and she explained that many of the results of the research are published on the website, but that she is also looking for new ways to disseminate that information to members. We were then joined by Lorraine Mullings who is the Governance Team Leader. Lorraine s role is to help the Council exercise their function as the governing body and she oversees all the functions and roles of Council members; she also mentioned that there are a number of vacancies coming up on various specialist committees and that there will shortly be a recruitment campaign, and she urged people to consider applying, especially as they would like to increase regional representation. We asked Lorraine to make sure that these opportunities are advertised through our local magazines, and not just in the Gazette, as is usually the case. It was then time for a well earned coffee and whilst helping ourselves to that we had the opportunity to speak with Catherine Dixon, who came to join us. She was extremely approachable and co-operative, and Emlyn and I spoke to her about improving the lines of communication and collaboration with local law societies, which was rapidly becoming a theme of the day, apparent from all the presentations. Catherine has only been in the role for 2 weeks but is already making the effort to get around the regions in order to meet as many members and representatives as possible. She said that she is really impressed with the quality and dedication of the staff employed at the Society, from what she has seen so far, but she can also see a number of opportunities for improvement and further engagement with the members. She would like to improve services to the membership and engage in a two way dialogue with them, and she is also keen to reinforce the message of what it means to be a solicitor. I have to say personally I was extremely
7 NEWS 7 impressed by Catherine, she comes across as a very dynamic, focussed and no-nonsense lady and it looks to me as though she will be a great asset to The Law Society and its members. Moving on with the series of presentations, the next person we heard from was Sherylea Walmsely who is the Membership Services and Support Centre manager. She told us about the variety of queries which her team deals with from members. I was interested to hear that the Practice Advice Line often deals with enquiries from junior solicitors, for example on court dress and etiquette, things that they are embarrassed to ask their seniors about. I can imagine I might have valued that service, had I known about it years ago! As well as the Practice Advice Line, she reminded us that there is also Lawyerline which advises members on complaints handling and matters which involve the Ombudsman, the Pastoral Care line which is also open out of hours to help solicitors with personal, financial, professional and employment problems, and a PII helpline. Then we heard from Michael Maher who is in charge of the library at Chancery Lane. He told us that the library has around 55,000 volumes, (half of which are stored in a salt mine in Cheshire, but can all be readily accessed). They can supply a copy of any article as long as it is still in copyright and the library and its services are available to any member. Most of the research they carry out takes less than 30 minutes and is therefore free to members. They had around 11,000 enquiries last year, from members as far afield as Australia. They also get enquiries from genealogists, as they have lists of solicitors going back to 1765, and last year dealt with quite a few enquiries relating to Solicitors who served in World War 1. They also do an increasing number of tours of the library, and they are planning to survey members to see what other services they can offer. Next was Nigel Spencer, Chief of Commercial Affairs. Nigel talked about the services his extensive team covers and said that his aim is to serve members by brining together suppliers and buyers, putting the best products in front of the membership and engaging in profitable commercial ventures. As a result this should reduce the Society s reliance on Practising Certificate fee which would be beneficial to all. He said that they are close to finalising My Law Society online which will allow members to personalise their information requirements and update all their own non-regulatory data on the Find A Solicitor Service. His department also deal with accreditations and he broke the news that it had been decided that morning not to proceed with the Employment Law Accreditation Scheme. Deborah Oliver, Interim Chief of Corporate Affairs, spoke to us about her department, which deals with Legal Policy, Governance, Legal Services, Communications, Public Affairs and Relationship Management. Her team are responsible for the campaigns such as the Use a Solicitor adverts. She said that she understood that the Society could sometimes be perceived as not giving value to the members and she wanted the organisation to become more effective in that way. We suggested that they could give Local Law Societies more advance information about campaigns which would enable us to advise our members so that they could make the best possible use of them. Stephen Denyer and John O Brien talked to us about the Global Law Summit which is coming up at the end of February. They have a very impressive array of speakers lined up for this three day event, and there are also numerous receptions and networking opportunities. They hope for 2000 delegates from all over the world. They explained that they would like to offer block bookings through Local Law Societies, at reduced rates, and they will also be offering day passes. If you would like information about this please contact Sarah Poblete at the Liverpool Law Society office. Finally, we heard from Mark Stobbs who is the Director of Legal Policy. He talked about the Criminal Legal Aid Judicial Review which was due to start the following day, and about the work The Law Society are doing to try and support criminal practitioners, with information on the website, tendering and merger advice, etc. They are also looking at civil legal aid issues and the options they have to put forward issues if there is a change of government in May. They are collecting evidence of problems arising from the lack of Legal Aid, particularly with regard to Social Welfare issues. They also provide advice on unbundling of services and are looking at methods of future funding of legal advice for those who can t afford it. His team have submitted responses to the Aaffordable Justice Review being carried out by the Lord Chancellor, in particular providing information about the amount of pro bono work already carried out by the profession and pointing out that an increase in pro bono is not a viable solution to fill the advice gap. They look to the future of the profession and are marshalling arguments as to the advantages of seeing s Solicitor face to face, rather than solely relying on nonqualified advisors, or indeed technology solutions. They hope that they are coming up with constructive ideas to benefit the profession. After what was a very long day we adjourned for a drinks reception when several of the speakers came back to talk to us in more detail. We then had the pleasure of a wonderful meal, where we were joined not only by Catherine Dixon and Andrew Caplen, but also by Jonathan Smithers and the Deputy Vice President, Richard Bourns, whom I was fortunate to sit next to, and was great company. All in all it was a magnificent end to what was an illuminating and informative day, and we were pleased to have been able to secure some commitment from the Society to improve communication and to collaborate more with the Local Law Societies, in the future. As well as the great job done by Manchester Law Society in arranging the day, thanks must go to our Regional Representative, Jo McLeod, for her sterling work in organising it all and arranging a great line up of speakers. 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8 8 FEATURE Lawyer in Lights This month Chris Anderson, Head of Legal Services at Everton Football Club talks to Sylvia Shepherd and Julia Baskerville... Chris Anderson, Head of Legal Services at Everton Football Club, is a Scot, but spent the majority of his childhood in Newcastle upon Tyne. Chris opted to study history at Glasgow University where he gained a first class honours degree, and says at 17 he really had little idea of what he wanted to do on graduation. However he decided to return to Edinburgh and embarked upon an accelerated LLB, achieving a distinction, before secuing a training contract with Edinburgh law firm Dundas and Wilson. Part of his training included a six month secondment at RBS. Chris says this was excellent experience for a trainee, working in the Group Legal and Secretariat at the Banks world headquarters. After qualifying Chris moved to London to magic circle firm, Slaughter & May. It was here that Chris first became involved in sports law. He says Arsenal didn t have their own inhouse legal team and I was part of the Slaughters team dealing with their day-to-day legal work. This included player transfers, disciplinary tribunals and issues around shareholdings. I enjoyed corporate work but found working in football really interesting like normal law but looked at through a fun house mirror!. With the experience of working with Arsenal FC, Chris moved to Manchester in 2009 to join the sports team at Brabners LLP. Here Chris worked with the majority of the Premier League teams including among others Manchester City FC, Manchester United FC, Liverpool FC and Everton FC. He was also involved in appeals for members of the British Canoe Union during the 2012 Olympics. Whilst at Brabners he established a close working relationship with Everton who didn t have an in house legal team. When the decision was reached to create a legal department, Chris was approached and made the move to Goodison Park Chris has now been in the role for several months and is settling into Head of Legal Services. He says Football clubs are extremely diverse and this diversity creates a whole range of legal issues. The club is a large employer, creating employment issues, as well as player contracts and transfers and of courses there are the legal aspects within the media and Chris works closely with the media team at Goodison Park on a whole range of issues, particularly crisis management. Until Chris s arrival, the club outsourced all of their legal work and had a long standing relationship, initially with Cuff Roberts, and now with Hill Dickinson. Chris continues to turn to external legal teams when the need arises, he adds I have to make decisions on a job by job basis and there are times when I need the support of other lawyers. This is Chris s dream job. He says I have always been a football fan. It is often said that football is in the DNA of those growing up in Newcastle. In fact the main maternity ward in Newcastle is just a stone s throw from St James Park. Similarly, in Liverpool it is often remarked Evertonians are born, not manufactured! Chris has also recently taken up a post as a guest lecturer in sports law at Liverpool John Moores University. He says At Brabners we were encouraged to write articles and speak at conferences and I always enjoyed this. In addition, Everton s commitment to the community is an integral part of the Club s DNA, and we are involved in many aspects of local life. In fact we run the Everton Free School for students who have been excluded from mainstream education. I see lecturing and helping out students as very much part of this commitment to the community. I will be lecturing on the sports law course on various aspects of sports law, including the financial regulation of football and players contracts and transfers. Many of the students on the course are from the area and appear to enjoy my input. Chris is married to Ruth, his childhood sweetheart. They met when they were 17 when they both worked part-time in MacDonalds in Newcastle. Chris says the job was a great experience, giving him valuable lessons in dealing with customers. Ruth is the Assistant Head of the Primary Department at Manchester High School for Girls. Chris says We had a very traditional scottish wedding at the Royal Botanical Gardens in Edinburgh - its was a very tartan affair. Since we met, we have lived in Scotland, London and now Manchester, I currently commute to Liverpool but are considering moving somewhere that is more central to both our places of work. Chris is also a huge rugby league fan and is a season ticket holder for the Leeds Rhinos. Last year the Rhinos managed to finally win the Challenge Cup after 6 consecutive defeats. They beat Castleford Tigers much to Chris s delight! Chris is anticipating a busy season ahead. He expects there could be some transfers and possibly players coming to the Club, as well as some young Everton players going out on loan, which from a legal perspective can be more complex. However, he is relishing the prospect, adding This is my dream job, what more can I ask for?
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10 10 LOCAL NEWS Co-founder of DWF awarded OBE in New Year Honours List 2015 Jim Davies, co-founder of national law firm DWF, has been awarded an OBE and recognised in the Queen s New Year Honours List 2015 for his services to charity and the community in Merseyside. Jim is a Deputy Lieutenant of Merseyside and an Honorary Fellow of Liverpool John Moores University. For many years, he has been actively involved in certain charities and public bodies on Merseyside including cofounder Trustee of Merseyside Bone Marrow Transplant Trust; Board member, Trustee and subsequent Chair of Trustees of Royal Liverpool Children's Hospital; former Council member of Tate Liverpool and former Chair of its Development Committee; and a current Patron and currently Trustee and acting Chair of Liverpool Cathedral Foundation Trustees. Commenting on the OBE, Jim said: It has come as a wonderful surprise and is a real privilege. I share this award with the many incredibly dedicated and talented people with whom I have been so lucky to work with over the years who work tirelessly for some fantastic causes supported by the generosity of the people of Merseyside. Andrew Leaitherland, Managing Partner and CEO at DWF, added: This is a well- Leading law firm Gregory Abrams Davidson LLP (GAD) has revealed that Stephen D Brine Solicitors has joined them with effect from January 1st deserved honour and a fantastic achievement, not only has Jim played an active role in shaping our business, but his charitable work has helped many in Liverpool and the wider North West region. The honours system recognises individuals who have committed themselves to serving and helping Britain. A total of 1,164 people have been recognised in the New Year Honours List 2015, with 74% of people being commended for outstanding charitable and voluntary work in their communities. Leading law firm delighted at deal with Stephen D Brine Solicitors GAD, with four offices spread across Liverpool and London also recently recruited Garry Abrams, a highly qualified and experienced property lawyer and property auctions specialist of more than 20 years standing. Now the move, which sees Stephen Brine join GAD as a residential conveyancing consultant, will further strengthen GAD's team within the property market as Gregory Abrams, senior partner explained: "Both Stephen and I are genuinely excited about working together. There has been a substantial amount of goodwill developed over the last two decades between both businesses and we'd like to take this opportunity of publicly welcoming Stephen on board along with all of his experience and knowledge of conveyancing and property law. His reputation amongst industry colleagues and clients will give us a further competitive advantage in the market in 2015." The firm of Stephen D Brine will maintain its identity and business practice on Allerton Stephen D Brine Road. Mr Brine said "I am looking forward to Stephen D Brine Solicitors being able to benefit from a larger resource in terms of the additional team GAD has...current legal regulations make it harder to run a small firm in 2015 but overwhelmingly, joining as the trading name of GAD is the culmination of many years working together, paricularly alongside Gregory Abrams. Both firms have a huge amount of respect for each other and the move is a natural progression, given our history and working relationship."
11 Morecrofts takes up residence at Cotton Yard Law firm Morecrofts has relocated to its impressive new headquarters at Liverpool s Cotton Yard. The Grade II-listed space, once the international nerve centre of the city s booming cotton industry, has undergone a major refurbishment to transform into a state-of-the-art office space. Morecrofts has now moved its entire city centre-based team into the building, which was most recently occupied by Liverpool s Register Office and is accessed via a private courtyard on Old Hall Street. Cotton Yard is part of the Bruntwoodowned Cotton Quarter, which also comprises Cotton Exchange and Cotton House, in the heart of Liverpool s commercial district. Morecrofts relocation follows its 200th anniversary in 2013 and marks the beginning of a new era for the firm, which organises the annual Merseyside Independent Business Awards and has four further offices across the region in Crosby, Wirral, Allerton and Woolton, as well as an office in London. Managing partner Alison Lobb said: We have been looking forward to this moment for some time, so to finally get our feet under our respective desks is a great feeling for everyone at the firm. This is an iconic Liverpool address with such incredible history and we are excited to breathe new life into this beautiful building. The Liverpool office of international law firm Hill Dickinson has bolstered its ranks with the appointment of Philip Parker to its Property Litigation team. Philip joins the firm from Brabners, bringing with him expertise in commercial landlord and tenant disputes. Specialising in complex lease renewals, breach of covenant claims, rent review and service charge disputes, difficult These new premises give us a strategic platform to develop every area of our business and capitalise on the huge future opportunities that come from being one of the region s most established law firms. They also offer a modern, fresh space for our talented teams to explore their potential and lead us into a new phase of the business as we look ahead to another successful 200 years. Colin Sinclair, director of property marketing at Bruntwood, said: It s extremely satisfying to see this part of the Cotton Quarter begin a new chapter in its history with such an established pillar of Merseyside s professional community. Morecrofts has significant plans for future growth and we look forward to giving Alison and the team every support in achieving those ambitions. Hill Dickinson strengthens property offering in Liverpool break options, vacant site assimilation projects, valuation disputes, trespass claims and interim or terminal dilapidation disputes, he has acted for a host of well-known national retailers, a large local authority pension scheme and an international logistics company. Philip will work alongside the team in Liverpool headed up by Partner, Kevin Lee, who said: We re thrilled to have Philip on board, he has a wealth of experience in the Property Litigation sector. With confidence returning to the property market, this appointment demonstrates the drive that exists in the property and construction team to grow and expand its offering in the northwest. QualitySolicitors Jackson Canter Welcome New Chief Operating Officer Brian Cullen, the former Head of Sponsorship and Events at the Commercial Bank of Qatar, joins Liverpool based law firm Quality Solicitors Jackson Canter. Brian brings a wealth of experience in general management roles throughout senior management and board level posts. Joining CEO Andrew Holroyd, Brian will be instrumental in helping to continue the growth of the company through its new offices in Liverpool and Manchester as well as guiding the company through the transition from the traditional partnership model to a full corporate structure. Commenting on the move Andrew Holroyd, CEO of Jackson Canter said Brian s broad background and commercial experience will significantly help in allowing us to achieve our ambitious goals in the short to medium term, whilst also setting out a broader vision for the longer term. It is a very exciting time for the business and we are confident that Brian, along with our other recent hire of Andy Gorman as Business Development Director and some changes at Department Head level, will allow the firm to flourish not only within the markets that we operate but even broader afield. Cullen furthered this, saying Jackson Canter are at the cutting edge of change within the Legal Market place and I am excited by the prospect of what we can achieve the opportunities are relatively limitless, however we need to ensure that we create an environment that allows us to scale and grow aggressively whilst ensuring that we continue to delight our customers in every step of their journey CEO, Andrew Holroyd, Brian Cullen and Business Development Director, Andy Gorman.
12 12 LOCAL NEWS Riverview Law plans Manchester office opening following 100% revenue growth Following revenue growth of over 100% and a host of new contract wins, Wirralbased Riverview Law is to open a Manchester office. Kate Thomsett, Head of HR at Riverview Law says: Our main office is in Bromborough, Wirral, and with further significant growth anticipated in 2015, we will continue to grow this office rapidly. However, we ve chosen to also open a new Manchester office as part of our expansion strategy. Like Wirral, Manchester is a great catchment area for the skills we re looking for solicitors, paralegals, client managers, IT professionals. The business is currently sourcing a suitable location and expects to open in the City during Q Alongside the opening, the business expects to recruit an additional 30 people across both offices. Kate Thomsett adds: Customers are quickly adopting our approach to legal service delivery. They buy-in to our culture and our fixed-priced technology and dataled model. We re looking for talented professionals who like spending time with customers and who also know how to have fun and work as part of one team. The opening of the Manchester office follows on from the recent launch of Riverview Law In-house, which includes a range of software modules that help in-house legal teams in large organisations manage matters, evolve their operating model and improve their effectiveness and efficiency. Earlier this month Riverview Law also announced a partnership with the University of Liverpool to exploit its Artificial Intelligence expertise. Kate Thomsett says: We invest heavily in our team so that they can become the future leaders of our business. We only offer training contracts to existing team members and we have up to 10 training contracts beginning in September Budding solicitors should join us before March 2015 to be able to apply for one of these places. Steven Zdolyny, Director of Legal Services at Riverview Law, says: We offer great quality work with FTSE100 companies, flexible working hours and without the pressure of time recording and billing targets. One of our recent private practice recruits described our culture as liberating. We d encourage anyone to get in touch if they re looking to develop their career within a positive, energetic and innovative environment. Zoe Gascoyne joins Quinn Melville Specialist Criminal Law Firm Quinn Melville are going from strength to strength as they expand their team of talented lawyers. Zoe Gascoyne joins the team as a Salaried Partner. Zoe's appointment is the first made by the new Senior Partner Nick Melville. Nick took over from Peter Quinn on the 1st April Nick is delighted that Zoe is joining the team as part of his future plans to develop the firm. Zoe qualified in 2002 and has spent the past twelve years appearing at Liverpool Magistrates Court representing clients facing criminal charges. Zoe is known nationally for her campaigning against the legal aid cuts and has been selected on two occasions to meet with the Lord Chancellor, an opportunity afforded to only a handful of lawyers nationwide. More recently Zoe, who sits on the General Committee for Liverpool Law Society, has been appointed as Chair of the Criminal Practice Sub-Committee. Zoe Gascoyne said "these are difficult times for criminal lawyers however I am extremely pleased to be joining a firm who have remained strong and continue to grow. Quinn Melville have an enviable reputation nationally and I am very proud to be able to say that I am now part of their team." Zoe Gascoyne Senior Partner Nick Melville said " We are delighted that Zoe has agreed to join us. She is a very knowledgeable, experienced and successful criminal advocate. We see her as a valuable addition to an already thriving team. Pat Davies joins MSB Mediation Follow us on Pat Davies, who has been mediating since 1998 and who is well know and respected as a family mediator throughout Merseyside and Cheshire, has joined MSB Family Mediation. Pat is based at their city centre mediation suite in Silkhouse Court, Tithebarn Street, Liverpool. The mediation suite has state of the art facilities and a fantastic, panoramic view of the city. Pat has been at the forefront of mediation for many years and has contributed significantly to the development of the mediation service in the local area. Pat will work alongside Wendy Eves and together they offer the full range of family mediation services including direct consultation with children. Pat said I am delighted to be working for MSB who are extremely supportive and clearly value mediation as part of a comprehensive package of services available to their clients.
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14 14 COUNCIL MEMBERS S REPORT Council Member s Report Firstly, I take this opportunity to wish a very Happy New Year to all readers. I hope you have managed to have a good break and I wish you and your significant others health and happiness, success and prosperity in There has not been a council meeting since my last report. There have, however, been things going on. I attended a North West Council Members meeting of the North West meeting for dinner, with the President Andrew Caplen, on 6 January. We had a convivial evening, and matters discussed included the criminal law contract procedure JR s brought by the Law Society, the Criminal Law Solicitors Association, and the London Criminal Law Solicitors Association. At the time of going to print, these JR s are all in the process of being dealt with, and we have no decisions yet. We also discussed the future of the Law Society and Regulation. Should the Law Society continue to have a say in Regulation? Should we simply be a Representative body? What is your view? We also considered Council. Is it too big? What should Council be doing? Perhaps the key is that first of all the profession need to decide what Council should do, and when we know what role the profession wants Council to have, we can then decide upon the size of Council and the constituent parts of it. Again, your views are awaited. In relation to the criminal law issues above, all criminal Lawyers and indeed all Lawyers in Merseyside and District should be extremely grateful to John Ballam and Zoe Gascoigne for the very hard work they have put in, over a very long shift, on behalf of criminal lawyers and the cause, well beyond the call of duty, and not least because as well as doing hard voluntary work, they are both trying to run their own practices. Well done to them and many thanks. It is interesting that as well as trying to fleece criminal lawyers, the Lord Chancellor (although when I mentioned him as such in London recently I was scolded and told he should be known as a the Minister of Justice), is also trying to get rid of JR s. This is another typical Grayling approach, which has little regard to the Rule of Law, and perhaps again underlines why it might not be satisfactory having a non lawyer in such an important legal position who does not understand the basic concept of the Rule of Law. Some irony, also, that he should be trying to shelve JRs in the year that we mark 800 years of Magna Carta! On 14 January, I attended a meeting of the Membership Board in London. This is a day long meeting. We discussed various interesting topics, including, again, criminal lawyers. However, other issues included The Global Law Summit, the use of the corporate ( TLS ) logo, Law Works, The Consumer Credit Act, Law Care funding, the conveyancing portal (Veyo), the diversity and inclusion charter, and, an update on the President and Secretaries Conference scheduled for May 2015 (8/9)- put it in your diary. We also discussed the Excellence Awards. If anyone has any points they would like to raise in relation to these issues, please get in touch with me and I would be delighted to update you. The following day, on Thursday 15 January, I spent a day at the Civil Justice Committee meeting. This committee is akin to the Liverpool Law Society Civil Litigation Committee. The subjects of discussion included the society s approach to the Guideline Hourly Rates, whiplash reform, mesothelioma reform update, DAS project update, insurers practices update, DBA s review, QOCS review, The European Small Claims Procedure Amendment, arbitration in personal injury claims, an update on the Claims Management Portal, to name but a few. Again, I am happy to discuss any of these items/subjects with anyone who would like to discuss, but please contact me to promote such discussion. I met for the first time the new CEO Catherine Dixon, who started at Chancery Lane at the beginning of the year. She has had a very busy first three weeks, and has been focusing heavily upon the Global Law Summit, and of course upon the criminal law JR s. Our president, Andrew Caplen, is working as hard as ever. I wonder how many people saw his article in The Times on 15 January, in which he highlighted the fact that despite the terrible atrocities that have recently taken place in Paris, we should not forget the basic concept of human rights, and in our enthusiasm to prevent further such atrocities, human rights should not be shelved due to our fears. We must seek, and there must be, a proper balance. So, again, if anyone wants to discuss any of the items raised mentioned in this article, please do not hesitate to contact me. To start a New Year, I have put my details below. Finally, one sad event, John Smyth, known to many as JC Smyth, and a Senior Partner of Weightmans LLP ( well before LLP! ), in 1960 s and 70 s, sadly died on New Year s Eve 2014 age 92. He was a remarkable man, and was a very senior (but no longer SP ) Partner when I joined Weightmans in I have to admit I was desperately frightened of being given a seat to sit with him. Without doubt he was a brilliant lawyer and a very clever man. That was the cause of my fear! Rumour has it he used to do the Profit and Loss and Balance Sheet accounts for Weightmans on the back of a swan vesta box of matches as he lit his pipe numerous times during partners meetings. Perhaps there is something to be said for such a simple approach. I would like to express my sympathy to his family at his passing, and reiterate that not only to the junior members of Weightmans at the time, but also the further afield lawyers in Liverpool, he was, on any analysis, a legend. Charlie Jones Partner Weightmans LLP Co Council Member for Liverpool and District address Direct Dial :
15 INTERVIEW 15 Meet the Vice President Alison Lobb, Managing Partner at Morecrofts, was recently elected Vice President of Liverpool Law Society. Born in Liverpool, Alison attended Belvedere School and moved to St Edwards College sixth form. She was one of the first group of girls to attend what had been a boy s school. Alison says she particularly enjoyed the experience, being one of only 22 girls compared to the 80 boys. From here Alison went on to study law at the University of Essex in Colchester and studied for the Law Society Finals at Chester. She joined EAD as an articled clerk and completed her training there. Later, Alison joined the Legal Aid Board as an auditor and case worker as well as delivering training courses for other staff members. Alison says I wasn t looking for another job, but I saw an advert for a job at Morecroft Urquhart and decided to apply. This was partly on the advice of my granny who was a volunteer at the CAB. She used to say they were a very good firm and there was a lovely girl from the firm who would come in to give legal advice to clients. This lovely girl was Helen Broughton. Alison was offered the job and joined the firm in 1999 as a PI lawyer. Her main focus was on personal injury cases including claims for survivors of sexual and physical abuse, negligence claims against social services, special education needs and judicial reviews of local authorities with a particular interest in disability discrimination. Alison became a partner at Morecrofts in 2005 and took over as Managing Partner in March Alison has now partly taken a step back from fee earning and concentrates more of her time on running the firm. She says I love being managing partner, every day is different, with different challenges. I attend a lot of meetings, within the firm and externally with business organisations such as the Chamber of Commerce. However much of my time over the last few months has been spent planning for our office move to Cotton Yard. Alison joined the General Committee of Liverpool Law Society in 2008, at the time when Morecrofts partner Anne Heseltine had just reached the end of her year as President. Alison was invited to become the Deputy PR Officer and was then appointed the Editor of Liverpool Law. This was followed by two years as Honorary Secretary and now Vice President. Alison says becoming involved with Liverpool Law Society is one of the best decisions she has ever made. She says These days solicitors do not have so many opportunities to socialise with peers from other firms, especially because we do not go to court as often, which was a natural meeting place. I find that being a member of the Society provides so many opportunities to meet other solicitors. Being the COLP as well as Managing Partner for our firm, I find it really helpful to be able to meet other solicitors to discuss risk issues, regulatory matters etc. These are tough times for many firms and it certainly helps to be able to share experiences and discuss the difficulties we are all facing. Alison says that her year as Vice President will be one of learning and offering support to Emlyn Williams. She adds In 2016 the International Festival of Business is returning to Liverpool, so I anticipate it will be a hectic year and as a Society we will need to work closely with Liverpool Vision. I am looking forward to the challenge and will have to learn how to juggle! Alison is married to Chris, a retired chemistry teacher, he hails from Devon and they like to spend as much time as they can in their house there. She is also plays league tennis and is the Chair of her local tennis club; the second oldest tennis club in the UK. Alison recently spearheaded a 2 successful bids for funding for the club, from Sport England. Alison is also a keen skier and swimmer and swam competitively as a junior, at the age of 13 she represented Great Britain at the European Catholic Student Games in Dublin, where she won a silver medal. If that isn t enough, she is also the Deputy Chair of North Liverpool CAB and enjoys walking, quizzes and wildlife. Julia Baskerville
16 16 NEWS Sub Committee Q & A Top 10 membership benefits Media Round-Up New for 2015, Liverpool Law hopes to included information where the Society and/or members have been featured in the press, broadcast and social media, and some of our favourite tweets... The Liverpool Echo reported on the attendance of the Chief Constable of Merseyside at the Liverpool Law Society Annual Dinner. iverpool-news/revealed-giftsmerseyside-police-officers Zoe Gascoyne of Quinn Melville discusses the cuts to legal aid in the Liverpool Echo iverpool-news/legal-aid-cuts-leaddecimate and on Twitter Why not this for a profile pic "look at this scary pic! Quote of the day - meeting - "we're all being very January today" sums it up... Have you been mentioned in the media, if so please send brief details to Committee Name Health & Safety and Environmental Law Committee Chair David Lewis (Head of Regulatory Services and Regional Office Head at Weightmans). Number of members Notionally 10, but membership is under review and interested people should contact David Lewis to express an interest in joining. Function The Committee is focussed on issues relating to the law concerning the environment and H&S. We aim to help the profession locally to be identified as leading players (in the north west and nationally) in this area of the law. Activities in the year ahead will be focussed around developing our profile, networks and expertise, with the objective of creating a community of specialist lawyers, operating in what might come to be recognised as a centre of excellence. Discussion The Sentencing Council s guidelines for sentencing in H&S cases Consultations Many come our way for review, but the Sentencing guidelines mentioned above is the most significant at present. Did you know networking opportunities are available at our Local Chambers of Commerce? For more information on membership and events visit; sefton-chamber Liverpool Law Society offers its members many services and benefits. Here are our Top 10: 1.Have your interests represented at the highest level both locally & nationally 2. Raise your profile in the local legal and business community and make a difference 3. Take advantage of links with other professional associations and the region s economic bodies 4. Meet your peers, gain knowledge and expertise, discuss topical issues and make your voice heard by joining the Society s specialist committees 5. Interact with senior members of the judiciary, and civic and business leaders from the Liverpool City Region 6. Take up free associate membership of the Liverpool, Sefton and Wirral Chambers of Commerce 7. Receive referrals from members of the public searching for legal advice who contact the Society s office or visit the website 8. Enjoy reduced prices on training, business networking and social events 9. Free subscription and the opportunity to contribute to Liverpool Law, the monthly members magazine 10. Free access to the University of Liverpool Law Library To apply online for membership, visit
17 CHARITY & CSR 17 Solicitor puts on his dancing shoes for charity Over the Christmas period, it wasn t just celebrities who were getting their dancing shoes on. Denis Stevenson, Senior Director of Rowlinsons Solicitors, wowed the crowds and took to the dance floor to raise an impressive 2,600 for the St. Rocco s Hospice in Warrington. Denis was one of 10 amateur dancer who took to the dance floor with the professional dance partners for the annual Strictly St. Rocco s event helping raise over 32,000 for the Warrington based hospice. Hosted by BBC Radio Merseyside s Roger Phillips, the event took place at Mere Golf Resort & Spa. The dancers took to the dance floor in front of judges Bennie Westwood, Beryl Rigby, Ashley Taylor Dawson, Victoria Bennett and last year s winner Vicki Stockman to see who would take home the coveted Strictly St. Rocco s Glitterball trophy. A total of 400 guests attended the event and after the judge s scores had been given and audience votes had been counted the winners were announced. Although he didn t win, Denis thoroughly enjoyed the experience. I would like to thank all those people who supported me and made donations for a great cause he said. Hospice Matron, Alison White commented: Strictly St. Rocco s was a fantastic night! It summed up everything about St. Rocco s that is so special it captured the hearts and minds of the community and raised over 32,000 towards patient care at the Hospice. We would like to thank everyone who attended and the ten dance couples who were so brave and committed to St. Rocco s Hospice! Special thanks must go to our sponsor JLL and to Cadman s Dance Centre, whose support and expertise made it all possible. The judges and hosts also did a superb job on the night. All-in-all a real night to remember! With Denis in the photograph is Jude Goodman, his professional dance partner. They performed the cha-cha-cha to Disco Inferno from Saturday Night Fever. Venue Hire Complimentary WiFi access is included. The Society is situated in the heart of -connected to the tr ain and road network. The Society is a two minutes walk from Moorfields train station (Old Hall Street exit) and there are several NCP car parks nearby. Train ing Suite At Liverpool Law Society we can offer: Professional working environment Refreshmen ts Capacity and daily hire rates: ROOO M* Classroom St yle Lunch ordering service Additional AV equipment available B oar dro om Boardroom Style Theat re Style Training Suite M embers Non-Members VAT VAT Boardroom M embers Non-Members VAT VAT Meeting room M embers Non-Members 50 + VAT 75 + VAT 19 - *Monday to Fr riday, 9.00am to 5.00p pm. Additi tional charg ges apply fo or evenin ng events. For f urther details visit verpoollawsociety.org.uk Enquiries: room Tel: Ex t 33 Liverpool Law Society, 2nd Floor, Cotton Exchange, Bixteth Street, Liverpool, L3 9LQ Mee ting Room
18 Nominate by 13 February time is now! Nominate yourself, your firm, team or individual and Awards: recognise and celebrate the achievements of our member law firms, legal departments (including in-house solicitors) and individuals include two new categories for 2015: Regulatory and Junior Lawyer culminate in a fabulous presentation evening inations must be submitted by filling in the online form by Friday, 13 th February urther information and access to the online nomination form visit: ://www.liverpoollawsociety.org.uk/social-events/2015-liverpool-law-society-legal-awards e 2015 categories are: ARGE LAW FIRM AWARD sponsored by Alternative Costs MEDIUM LAW FIRM AWARD sponsored by ARAG SMALL LAW FIRM AWARD sponsored by Blankstone Sington Commercial Law Award sponsored by Insider Dispute Resolution Law Award Employment Law Award Family Law Award sponsored by Randox Testing Services Junior Lawyer Award sponsored by Liverpool JMU Niche Law Firm Award Private Client Award sponsored by Quilter Cheviot Property Law Award sponsored by Conveyancing Data Services Ltd Regulatory Award sponsored by Riliance Software Solicitor of the Year Award* sponsored by The Law Society Work in the Community Award sponsored by BWMacfarlane Chartered Accountants Celebrating Legal Excellence -terms-and-conditions for details. Liverpool Law registered in England and Wales, Co. Number Registered Office 2nd Floor, The Cotton Exchange, Bixteth Street, Liverpool, L3 9LQ. DX Liverpool 1.
19 REVIEW 19 Live at Liverpool An alternative Who Review Some of you may remember the cult Who Album Live at Leeds recorded in 1970, a live album following two concerts. Well on 11 December 2014 we had Live at Liverpool. The Who came to the Echo Arena 44 years after that famous album was made. Two original band members had passed on, but other than that not much has changed! Roger Daltrey is 70 and Pete Townsend 69, but perhaps we all need a little bit of what they have been on! Their musical powers appear not to have diminished at all, save perhaps to the connoisseur. John Entwistle was replaced by Paul Paladino, and Simon Townsend gave back up to the guitar section ( in case older brother Pate had a mishap! ). Keith Moon was replaced by Zak Starkey, a drummer with a rather strong connection to Liverpool! They kicked off with Cant Explain before going in to Substitute and The Seeker seamlessly. There were of course calls from the audience.. Who are you?...it came next! We were all pleased that The Kids Were Alright and we could See For Miles, and then we were shown Pictures of Lily. The band were So Sad About Us, they next played My Generation: it seems that there had been complaints this track had not been included in the set list to date. Behind Blue Eyes, You Better You Bet, Join together, I m One and 5.15 : the hits just rocked on The Bell Boy appeared, who told us Love Reign O er Me, with the Naked Eye, and then we had A Quick One ( while he s away ), and you can imagine it was An Amazing Journey. Sparks flew when they launched into PinBall Wizard and they asked us to See Me, Feel Me, with Baba O Riley, but she Wont Get Fooled Again. For two hours and 15 minutes they entertained a crowd who were clearly on the edge of their seats and really enjoying the fayre. Daltry and Townsend had a good bit of banter, and the only tricky moment came when Townsend slipped during a guitar break, although such is his professionalism that as he recovered, he immediately pointed to his brother, who took over the guitar break. Amazingly, the late John Entwistle and Keith Moon were able to join the fun. Technology enabled them to play on a big screen tracks which the rest of the band were able to join in on. It was just like having them present. Just like the old days. After 24 tracks that was almost it. BUT..With typical Townsend aplomb and abruptness, he announced that they don t do encores. There is no point in the band waiting around back stage while the audience clap so he announced that there would be no encores and just one final track. We therefore got on the Magic Bus and went on our way. It had been some journey! I have never seen the Who before, having missed their prime in the 1960s. A pity. They are not even one of my top five bands, but I was very pleased I went to this gig. I really do hope that I am still in such good form when I am 70. Charlie Jones Weightmans LLP
20 20 REVIEW What s Cooking? Restaurant Review: Pen Factory, Hope Street, Liverpool First the Everyman Bistro. Once the quintessential place to go in town for great value food during the day or for an early tea. The ideal spot for a private function ( if you were in the know ) or drinking with an ever changing cast of actors and the local dudes, pseuds and unscreweds later on. But guess what? They RIBA d up the building, which does look great from outside, but what does it do to the bistro?. Go and have a look and see for yourself. I did. I queued up for lunch one day, upstairs. I walked out before I got to the front of the queue. It s cramped and the food looked canteen average. So I went downstairs. Once my eyes had adjusted to the gloom it was clear to see. Brown, brown and more brown. Bland and uniform, it has all the charm of a 1984 stage set. All of which makes this review of the Pen factory all the more interesting. Paddy Byrne and head chef Tom Gill have now opened their new venture right next door to the Everyman. Right next door! How great is that? Well, at first, perhaps not that great. When I first visited (admittedly on the mad Friday just before Christmas) it was absolutely rammed. Uncomfortably so. Wall to wall beards and 1980 s fashions. No real sign of food. Not great. So, it was with a degree of trepidation that I returned on the decidedly less mad first Saturday in January. The stakes were high as I was accompanied by a friend who has recently returned from a sabbatical in New York- the ultimate foodie destination. A friend, moreover, who had said she wanted to go somewhere new and interesting. No pressure there then. Happily the Pen Factory delivers. The space is lovely. Big and airy ( once the beards and Bonnie Tyler wannabes have gone With over 60 members Atlantic Chambers is able to offer a wide range of expertise within our specialist practice groups. Civil Litigation including Clinical Negligence, Family, Chancery & Commercial, Crime, Employment, Proceeds of Crime & Public Law ) even though it s in a basement with that industrial - meets sofas -meets welcoming bar - meets slightly ramshackle tables in the dining area thing going on. Service was good too. Chatty but not in your face. Knowledgeable and slightly scared of the chef. Perfect! Breton tops made the kids stand out from the pullovered masses as the hurricane winds blew outside. They may need to rethink that dress code in the summer when everyone is Breton crazy but for now it works very nicely, thank you. Oh, and the food? It s very good and will probably get better. The menu is one of those small bites/small plates/ large plates affairs that you will either know and love, know and hate or be utterly indifferent to. We began with some small plates (I think they used to be starters ) and 2 large plates (yes, main courses).i had fish fingers with lemon mayo.dirty sounding, I know, but then again that s the point. Incidentally it s not the dirtiest sounding item on the menu. They also have a cheese and onion and crisp butty on offer which our waiter confirmed is indeed absolute filth and has hangover cure written all over it. Anyway the fish fingers were not from the Cap n. They were freshly made and the mayo was zingy and delicious. Great for sharing with our potato fritter type things which came with a very scoffable raita. Mains were lovely. I had a bacon chop with bubble and squeak and the none native New Yorker had what for me was best dish of the evening. Hake with chick peas and chorizo stew. Super fresh fish with earthy chickpeas and that lovely hint of chorizo. I could wolf it down again now and I am writing this review at 7am. We shared a pud which was slightly disappointing by comparison a ginger and mango cake which was a bit dry and a tad lacking in the ginger knockout blow we were hoping for. They had no ice cream (yet which sounds hopeful!) but did supply a very nice jug of cream. My friend asked for whipped cream but me and the waiter shouted her down from such a scandalous North American excess. We also sampled the delights of the bar. A Liverpool Craft brewery IPA was duly hoptastic and the Titanic stout was liquid velvet. Wonderful stuff. All told, for just over 37 it was a bargain too. The old Everyman bistro is dead Long live the Pen Factory! Review written by E.P 4-6 Cook Street, Liverpool L2 9QU T F DX: Liverpool 1.
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