Archive for March 5th, 2007

Some law?…

I spent an enjoyable hour this evening, relaxing with a glass of Sangiovese, and had a wonder around a few of the blogs on my blogroll. I know little about Family law, despite a former lover’s nick name for me ‘Lord of the Aisles’ – but I found myself on John Bolch’s Family Lore blog.

He was making some rather good points about mediation and the criticism of solicitors by the National Audit Office that too many family breakdown cases are going to court, rather than being dealt with by mediation. John’s point was clear and to the point. “Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying mediation is a bad thing – it’s just not the panacea many people (and government) seem to think it is. And I’m certainly unhappy that solicitors are once again getting the blame for failure.”

John is at the coal face, dealing with complex matters and, inevitably, the wreckage of love and lives and children. I enjoyed his final paragraph: “I was amused by a mention of this report on the BBC this morning. The presenter said that “couples who divorce should resolve their differences without going to court”. Quite how they get their divorce without involving a court, I don’t know.

See full story on Family Lore


Legal Scribbles has an interesting view on Cambridge and the Muhammed cartoons matter –  I  agree, so I will leave the advocacy to Legal Scribbles.

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Catharsis on a Monday…

Tory boy…. is ‘wetting himself’ apparently… “I’ve evolved from a little whining pussy to a thrill-seeking wreckhead to a Conservative who still loves the wreck-ups.”  This is a quote from a post on a website by the youngest councillor in the UK. Full Story here

Apparently,  Chris Chapman – Wales’ youngest councillor at 19 – bragged on a website about taking drugs and stealing.  It turns out that he only took pain killers and stole a few sweets when he was younger.  He came to the attention of the political establishment when “Shadow Welsh Secretary Cheryl Gillan quoted Mr Chapman in her St David’s Day speech in the House of Commons to show how the party was becoming attractive to young people.”

Unfortunately, Labour MP Paul Flynn,  picked up on the matter and Tory Prat ended up being discussed in Parliament. One senior ‘tory source’ is reported as saying “He is a bit of a Jack The Lad character. But he is absolutely scared stiff now, the poor so-and-so, absolutely wetting himself. He’s like a rabbit caught in the headlights.”

Newport Conservative councillor, Peter Davies, has weighed in: “With regards to the theft he mumbled to me that he stole his cousin’s sweets. He offered to stand down but I told him that doing that would make him look as though he were guilty of something.”

Love it… what a way to start one’s political career.  Mr Chapman is going to have an informal ‘chat’ with party bosses.

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War of the Roses?….

BPP Law School is going to have to fight to keep the five-firm City Legal Practice Course (LPC) consortium [Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer, Slaughter and May, Herbert Smith, Lovells and Norton Rose] as a client and will face competition from the College of Law, Nottingham – Kaplan and the Inns of Court School of Law for a revamped LPC. The full story is in Legal Week

The interesting analysis is in the Editor of Legal Week’s blog

Nigel Savage, CEO of The College of Law (Pictured right) is one of the most tenacious (and effective) legal education professionals I have come across and his run at The College of Law, for well over ten years, has seen the College develop into a very high quality provider and reap the rewards accordingly in terms of recognition by Law Society course provider inspectors and others. I also know the team at Nottingham and their decision to provide a high quality LPC in London as a result of their tie up with Kaplan will certainly be of great interest to the big London firms.

Legal Week points out that the consortium “are not unhappy with BPP but rivals appear unconvinced that such a successful relationship would need reviewing after just two years. Even Slaughters’ training head, Louise Stoker, admits BPP will be given no preferential treatment in the tender process.”

The blog comment continues: “The consortium firms argue they are simply keeping their options open in light of (yet another) review of the LPC regime just launched by the Solicitors Regulations Authority. But if this really is the case, why not wait a year and discover what the new course will look like before deciding who can provide it?”

BPP has developed rapidly in the past few years and they have the resources of a very successful PLC behind them. It will be interesting to see what happens. One thing is certain: the competition will benefit the students on the consortium courses – and the general competition between these top law schools can only benefit students generally in the non-City sector.

Firm specific tailored courses have become more popular but there have been criticisms from students, reported in the legal press recently. See: Top students unconvinced by firm-tailored education reported in Legal Week 15th February

I’ll be watching this with interest.

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