Archive for November, 2006

Memo to all Members of the firm from Matt Muttley

Following guidelines issued recently by the Advisory Consiliation and Arbitration Service (ACAS), as reported in The Evening Standard yesterday, it appears that this firm owes a ‘duty of care’ to our staff and could face legal action if employees don’t get home safely after the Christmas Party.

Further, it is well known that quite a few employment disputes arise over incidents which take place at Christmas parties. Older members of the firm may recall a senior associate, some years ago, being asked to leave the firm for groping the wife of our senior partner in an ‘inappropriate manner’ – which, of course, begs the question as to what would be ‘appropriate groping’. Law Firm, Peninsula, according to the Standard report, has carried out a study and this has shown ‘that most bosses believed their workers drank too much at the annual festive bash.’

What is more worrying is that the ACAS pamphlet identified , and I quote from The Standard, ‘several office party situations that bosses could be held liable for such as staff stumbling out drunk and injuring themselves.’ We could also be held liable if employees are bullied by other employees during the party.

Apparently, we have to be careful about our choice of music at the party. Under new age discrimination laws, music must be chosen to reflect the interests of all people invited to the party. While Lead Zepellin may appeal to the more mature (can I say this now?) members of the firm, it may not to the younger members. While X factor wannabe music may delight the younger members, I can tell you that it it does little for me and if it were to be played at a Christmas party I may well be able to sue the firm for discrimination on grounds of age, let alone for abusing my human rights. (Are damages tax free?.. could be something in this… Eva… check this out with Tax people, please) Nor, it is recommended, should we continue our practice of providing bottles of Champagne as prizes for ‘best dressed managing partner’, etc etc on grounds that it could offend those whose religions do not permit the drinking of alcohol.

Although lights and decorations are approved, because they are not ‘inherently religious symbols’, we do, of course, have to consider possible liability in negligence in case any member of staff injures themselves on a Christmas tree, a piece of tinsel or by using a Christmas cracker.

Taking all these things into account; the managing board of the firm has decided to cancel Christmas this year. We would, however, like to wish you a Good (and profitable) New Year.

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If any of you are contemplating a career at the Bar… try Pupilblog

Interesting and amusing… a new blog, but it looks good, providing an insight into the early days at the Bar!

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Good grief… a mention in Dispatches…

I am pleased to have a brief mention in the latest Blawg Review 85 – this week by an Aussie and delighted that he picked up on Ashley’s Ashes

A most interesting Blawg Review…. followed a few of the links up – there is a wealth of useful information out there…

England will bounce back…hopefully?…possibly…. maybe? Cry God for Harry etc etc….

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Addicted….to caption competitions…

Not only am I becoming addicted to liver and mash (Infra) – I appear to be fascinated by Caption competitions. So here is another one. I have started the ball rolling, rather predictably – so, again, the winner will get a prize of a set of lectures.

Thanks to all for taking part – the standard was excellent – but, as in Strictly Come Dancing… there has to be a winner.

Post your entries to the ‘Comments’ section below – please!

I may well be running more of these… if there is any demand… but I may come up with another style of competition as well. After all, one cannot live by liver and mash alone. As before… my decision… no judicial reviews on this site!

The winner of the previous caption competion

“…but in Glasgow this IS how we kiss the bride!”

Comment by Jem Harvey — Monday, November 27, 2006

Jem – if you write to msp@spr-law.com and let Mike Semple Piggot know which set of lectures you would like access to – it will be arranged. Please mark email subject line ‘Caption Competition’

Well done… Liked it..particularly because of my Scots background. (Father was Glasgow – Mother Edinburgh.)

View other entries here

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While Christmas is not really my thing – after an all nighter on Christmas Eve last –  mercifully, I was able to miss most of the day.  I thought I would turn on the lights on my blawg as I do not appear to have that many (any) invitations to perform this ceremony elsewhere.

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Caption competition…

Have a go at the caption competition…and win a set of 20 recored one hour lectures in a subject of your choice if your caption wins from: Contract, Criminal, Constitutional, Tort, Land Law, Equity and EU Law.

Scroll up for the latest papal caption competition….

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Freedom of speech…

The Guardian reports today that The Metropolitan Police are lobbying the A-G for wider powers to “arrest protesters for causing offence through the words they chant and the slogans on their placards and even headbands.”

This rather sums it up… and I quote from the Guardian report: “A solicitor who has defended protesters, Mike Schwarz, said: “Causing offence, if there is no other ingredient, is not against the law.” He said such proposed powers would clash with article 10 of the European convention on human rights which protects freedom of expression.”

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