Rhyme and reason

first_img His erstwhile foe the litigator, Can’t resist a smirk As Tesco, Halifax and AA Queue up to nick his work He labours long and tirelessly For fees almost archaic And all the Law Gazette does Is call his job ‘prosaic’ Conveyancing Winter’s coming soon We’re left out in the cold The high street practice doomed to die Its death knell has been tolled But just when all seems doom and gloom And not much else to talk about The banks are back in trouble again Ten million’s just gone walkabout Alas, the poor conveyancer, Universally reviled His PI premium escalates, It’s ages since he smiled The Poor Conveyancer The Gazette caught it in the neck recently for describing conveyancing as ‘prosaic’. Suitably contrite, we issued a challenge to solicitors of a poetic bent to disprove that provocative description in verse. Martin Smith of Boreham­wood has duly obliged:center_img Their cut price schemes are put on hold ‘We’ll leave it for a while’ And then before you know it Conveyancing’s back in style The phones begin to ring again House prices start to rise The high street practice reappears Before your very eyes So when you’ve got a house to sell Or a pied-à-terre to let You might just need our expertise Don’t write us off just yet! Don’t denigrate conveyancers They’re jolly useful chaps They guide you through the jungle Avoiding all the traps We won’t Martin. A bit dodgy on the scansion here and there but, all in all, a game effort and you certainly rose to the challenge. You can keep your Pam Ayres…last_img read more

Ghanaian law firm opens in London

first_imgA law firm with ambitions to become the ‘Linklaters of Africa’ has become the first Ghanaian firm to open in London. Ghanaian corporate and commercial firm Oxford & Beaumont has set up in the UK to service UK law firms conducting business in Ghana.The four-partner firm, which has 12 other lawyers, said it had already established working relationships with several UK firms including magic circle firms Clifford Chance; Linklaters; and Allen & Overy; City firm Berwin Leighton Paisner and Birmingham firm Wragge & Co. Elikem Nutifafa Kuenyehia, managing partner of Oxford & Beaumont and former banking lawyer at magic circle firm Linklaters, said Ghana held huge opportunities for UK lawyers. Trade totalled £600m between Ghana and the UK in the first three quarters of 2009 alone, he said. The firm aimed to become the ‘Linklaters of Africa’ through its international links, he added.last_img read more

When nations saw red

first_imgThe traumas of the current sporting season are a far (battle) cry from the football war fought between El Salvador and Honduras in 1969, says Russell Evans, a partner at Southampton firm Eric Robinson. An immigration dispute between the two South American nations, coupled with rioting during their qualifying campaigns for the 1970 World Cup, led to an invasion, 3,000 deaths and a new border. Shame, then, on the legions of footballers at this year’s tournament who fell to the ground, clutching their faces and screaming in mock agony, the moment an opponent’s boot grazed their backside. Still, as Robinson points out, non-lethal disputes in football are rife. And cometh the dispute, cometh the solicitor. ‘What you won’t see at this World Cup is the myriad of lawyers, facilitators, mediators and arbitrators dealing not only with player, club, national and commercial interests, but also the interests of brands,’ Robinson says. ‘Sports stars will be looking where necessary to protect their privacy and promote their image.’ In 2008, former Chelsea striker Adrian Mutu received a multi-million-dollar fine from football’s international governing body, FIFA, for failing a drugs test. This year, Bayern Munich striker Franck Ribery received a three-match ban for assault and as a result, missed the Champions League final. Both cases spent time in the Court of Arbitration for Sport in Lausanne, Switzerland. Perhaps there will be more to come for the court once Brazil have lifted the trophy this year (brave prediction). There is plenty of football left in the tournament too. ‘Our hearts have set sail for foreign shores as in the days of Achilles and Hector,’ Robinson says in full Homeric mode, ‘but glory will not be the battlements of Troy, nor a fair maiden’s hand, but rather, the touch of a golden trophy.’ Or, if you’re a lawyer, the touch of gold in palm.last_img read more

Comparison website offers free legal expenses insurance

first_imgA new website that compares solicitors by price, location and customer ratings has begun offering clients a free legal expenses insurance policy for road traffic accident (RTA) claims, it emerged last week. Legalcompare.com, which launched in August after 18 months of testing by consumer panels, is one of several comparison sites to enter the market in recent weeks. The site matches consumers with law firms performing: RTA; employment; personal injury; family; wills and probate; criminal; property; and commercial. Firms signed up to the service pay 10% of their fee to the website, which vets them for quality. Ten firms have joined so far. Legalcompare.com began offering free legal expenses insurance for RTA claims last week in a bid to attract additional clients to the site. Legalcompare.com claims to be the only site to compare firms in all three categories of price, location and customer feedback. Earlier last month, Hull solicitor Nick Miller launched comparison site Wigster.com. Bid4fees.com, which allows solicitors to bid for work, was also launched recently.last_img read more

Indemnity insurance bill falls to three-year low

first_imgSolicitors paid less to insurers for professional indemnity insurance (PII) this year than they did in the previous two years, Solicitors Regulation Authority figures revealed today. The cost of insuring the profession on the open market this year was £214m, down from £241m in 2009/10 and £226m in 2008/09. The news comes after some solicitors reported large increases in premiums and exceptionally difficult market conditions for the third renewal period in a row. The SRA figures also show a marked difference in insurers’ participation in the market, in terms of their share of the £214m premium pool. Chartis Insurance, formerly AIG, increased its share of the market, taking slightly more than 18% of premiums this year compared with 15.2% in 2009/10. It was followed as market leader by: Inter Hannover (14.4%, up from 4.5%); XL Insurance (13.3%, up from 7.1%); Zurich (12.9%, up slightly from 12.8%); and Travelers (11%, down from 13.4%). XL and Inter Hannover entered the solicitors PII market in 2009. Before 2008/09, insurance costs fell by up to 10% each year following the abolition of the solicitors’ indemnity fund (SIF). In 2000, the last year of the SIF, the cost of insuring the profession was £255m.last_img read more

Family procedure rules published

first_imgThe Ministry of Justice has this week published the long-awaited Family Procedure Rules 2010, which will come into force on 6 April 2011. The new code provides a single set of rules for proceedings in the magistrates’ court, county court and High Court, along the model of the Civil Procedure Rules. It comprises nearly 300 pages of Statutory Instrument, which is intended to provide one set of simply expressed rules of court for family proceedings, to replace the disparate body of unconsolidated rules and guidance that have been used in different types of proceedings. The rules are to be supplemented by practice directions that have yet to be published. The Courts Service consulted on the policy that framed the new rules in 2006, and the Family Procedure Rule Committee drew up a draft set of rules, practice directions and forms for consultation in 2008/09. To rules can be found here .last_img read more

Too much of a good thing

first_imgGet your free guest access  SIGN UP TODAY To continue enjoying Building.co.uk, sign up for free guest accessExisting subscriber? LOGIN Subscribe to Building today and you will benefit from:Unlimited access to all stories including expert analysis and comment from industry leadersOur league tables, cost models and economics dataOur online archive of over 10,000 articlesBuilding magazine digital editionsBuilding magazine print editionsPrinted/digital supplementsSubscribe now for unlimited access.View our subscription options and join our community Subscribe now for unlimited access Stay at the forefront of thought leadership with news and analysis from award-winning journalists. Enjoy company features, CEO interviews, architectural reviews, technical project know-how and the latest innovations.Limited access to building.co.ukBreaking industry news as it happensBreaking, daily and weekly e-newsletterslast_img read more

What’s in a name?

first_imgSubscribe now for unlimited access To continue enjoying Building.co.uk, sign up for free guest accessExisting subscriber? LOGIN Get your free guest access  SIGN UP TODAY Stay at the forefront of thought leadership with news and analysis from award-winning journalists. Enjoy company features, CEO interviews, architectural reviews, technical project know-how and the latest innovations.Limited access to building.co.ukBreaking industry news as it happensBreaking, daily and weekly e-newsletters Subscribe to Building today and you will benefit from:Unlimited access to all stories including expert analysis and comment from industry leadersOur league tables, cost models and economics dataOur online archive of over 10,000 articlesBuilding magazine digital editionsBuilding magazine print editionsPrinted/digital supplementsSubscribe now for unlimited access.View our subscription options and join our communitylast_img read more

Everyone’s a winner

first_imgSubscribe to Building today and you will benefit from:Unlimited access to all stories including expert analysis and comment from industry leadersOur league tables, cost models and economics dataOur online archive of over 10,000 articlesBuilding magazine digital editionsBuilding magazine print editionsPrinted/digital supplementsSubscribe now for unlimited access.View our subscription options and join our community Stay at the forefront of thought leadership with news and analysis from award-winning journalists. Enjoy company features, CEO interviews, architectural reviews, technical project know-how and the latest innovations.Limited access to building.co.ukBreaking industry news as it happensBreaking, daily and weekly e-newsletters Get your free guest access  SIGN UP TODAY Subscribe now for unlimited access To continue enjoying Building.co.uk, sign up for free guest accessExisting subscriber? LOGINlast_img read more

City plans

first_imgGet your free guest access  SIGN UP TODAY Subscribe now for unlimited access To continue enjoying Building.co.uk, sign up for free guest accessExisting subscriber? LOGIN Stay at the forefront of thought leadership with news and analysis from award-winning journalists. Enjoy company features, CEO interviews, architectural reviews, technical project know-how and the latest innovations.Limited access to building.co.ukBreaking industry news as it happensBreaking, daily and weekly e-newsletters Subscribe to Building today and you will benefit from:Unlimited access to all stories including expert analysis and comment from industry leadersOur league tables, cost models and economics dataOur online archive of over 10,000 articlesBuilding magazine digital editionsBuilding magazine print editionsPrinted/digital supplementsSubscribe now for unlimited access.View our subscription options and join our communitylast_img read more