Archive for January 7th, 2010

The Guardian reports

Peter Mandelson likely winner as Gordon Brown moves to tighten grip


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Cameron touchy about being touched up?

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I really could not resist this photograph from The Vulcan’s / John Redwood’s own photostream on Flickr

Hat Tip to @BristolRed

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If you would like to keep up to date with reports direct from Helmand, Afghanistanthis is the place to do it: What Winning Looks Like

The Mongoleers: How would you like to drive in a 1.2 litre car from Goodwood to Mongolia?

This is fun – the idea, at any rate, if not the actuality – but Laura Over, a Paralegal in her fourth year of training to be a Legal Executive, and her childhood friend Paul Evans will be attempting The Mongol Rally 2010, and driving over 10,000 miles from England to the capital of Mongolia in an effort to raise money for three very good charities – The Christina Noble Children’s Foundation, Cancer Research and the Neurofibromatosis Association. As well as the money we are hoping to raise, when in Mongolia, the car itself will benefit charity. Laura works for ASB Law, a Crawley law firm – who are supporting the idea.  The trip is likely to take five weeks and includes some serious and tough terrain and exposure to the Gobi desert.  Obviously they are looking for sponsorship – so if you fancy making a modest donation… pop over to the website and have a look.
Excellent idea.  Apparently there are 300 teams from Britain and another 200 or so driving up from Italy.  Eccentricity always interests me, especially if there are lawyers involved.  Bon voyage.

Visit The Mongoleers website

MPs’ expenses report casts doubt on reform proposals

The Telegraph reports: “The head of the new parliamentary expenses watchdog has risked reigniting the row over the allowances system by casting doubt on a number of proposed reforms.”
The consultation document is available for completion online. #


And finally… England grind out the draw. The South Africans should have declared earlier.  Good, exciting Test match.  England 1-0 up with one to play. Great series

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Gordon Brown survived the attempted mutiny by the Hoon-Hewitt axis of incompetent plots – although the political hyperventilators on TV  were able to extract just a little bit more angst by filming  David Miliband giving a lukewarm response ‘hours later’.  Baron Mandelson of Foy etc etc…went onto Newsnight to give a calm, assured and only mildly sinister re-assurance that all is under his control and that Brown will continue to lead the Labour party into the next election.  Guardian

Paxman was then able to say to Geoff Hoon…“If you are Brutus…then Caesar would be OK tonight” which rather set the tone for the rest of the interview – although Hoon gamely battled on to justify his action as settling the issue once and for all.  Well, as Carl Gardner observed yesterday in a piece for the Wardman Wire – he certainly did that.

Lord Justice Jackson has handed his review of civil justice in to the Master of The Rolls

David Allen, writing in The Times, notes:“Not all the big Jackson stories last year were about celebrities. One of the biggest stories in the legal world was that of Lord Justice Jackson and his fundamental review of the costs of civil litigation and recommendations to promote access to justice at a proportionate cost. The report has been presented to the Master of the Rolls and is due to be published next week. The legal world waits with anticipation. Rightly so given that the potential for change is enormous: recommendations could stretch far beyond amendments to the costs rules. However, there is a general election looming and even without that, questions have already been asked about whether there is real political will to effect change.”

The Law Society Gazette reveals the astonishing news this morning….

LSB research reveals public ‘don’t know what lawyers do’

The even better news is that despite few members of the ‘public’ knowing what lawyers do..“The research, which was commissioned to mark the start of the LSB’s regulatory regime on 1 January, found a high degree of satisfaction with solicitors among the public.” Wunderbar.

And…it just gets better…

Amid economic gloom there is plenty of opportunity for the bar

The Law Society Gazette produces a veritable feast of opportunity for members of the Bar, most of it, it has to be said, coming from the human misery caused by the recession  – in a very interesting piece by Lucy Trevelyan – who notes… “The recession might be maintaining its grip, but in the realms of consumer credit, fraud and insolvencies – and a host of other practice areas – barristers face a busy 2010 as serious thought is given to litigation.”

Advice for 2010? Love your clients and taking nothing for granted

Times: “Last year was traumatic for many law firms. Few avoided staff cutbacks or shorter time working. In many cases partners took home significantly less than they had earned in recent years and managing partners have had to take tough decisions to deal with the downturn. So does this week represent a turn of the page? Does a new decade mean a new chance?”

On the political blogging front, Iain Dale posted a very amusing human interest story last night: That Effing Gordon Brown

If ever there was a reason for men to learn to cook it is in Today’s Independent: Jilted woman ‘laced former lover’s curry with poison’

Iceland’s president Ólafur Ragnar Grímsson announced that he would not go ahead with the October agreement to repay €4bn (£3.6bn) lost in Icelandic bank Icesave, , but would instead put the bill out to a public referendum. The Lawyer reports on  what Ashurst and Mishcon advised and noted..“As it stands at the moment the situation is seen as a political one, with no party seeking further legal advice at this stage.” Unfortunately, at this stage, no more work for lawyers on this front, then!

Paxman, on Newsnight last night, interviewed President Grimsson, describing Iceland as a country with a population the size of Wigan, castigated him for breaking an agreement which had been stitched together quite satisfactorily by the Iceland and British governments, asked him who he was to go behind that and basically put the boot in by treating Grimsson rather like a bailiff might treat a council tax debtor.  Paxman’s parting shot to Grimsson that Britain would block Iceland’s entry to the European Union did not trouble the Iceland president – but may well have given comfort to some viewers.


Blawg Watch…

John Flood has the gen on the future of global law at his RATs blog

Watch the movie

Capitalists@Work reports: Retail sales figures are looking up | Geeklawyer is up to his arse in lit­i­ga­tion but had to put draft­ing aside for a moment to com­ment on UK favouritism towards spe­cific war criminals: Yea, but they’re our sons-of-bitches

Colin Samuels, Infamy or Praise, publishes his useful Round Tuit – weekly round up from blawgs:  A Round Tuit (14) | Michael Scutt has a very comprehensive look at British law blogs. | John Bolch, Family Lore has a sardonic take on: We settled the divorce…

To crank up the legal content of his blog,White Rabbit produces a report on   the sinisterly named Minister of Justice, Jack Straw. “I’m not quite sure what he’s got there…”

Corporate Law and Governance reports: In a speech delivered yesterday at the Work Foundation,  Lord Mandelson, the Secretary of State for the Department of Business, Innovation and Skills, stated that his Department was reviewing whether changes introduced by the Companies Act (2006) – including the introduction of Section 172, which sets out the duty of directors to promote the success of the company – had changed boardroom behaviour. Lord Mandelson had much more to say, including…..” Read the post


Tales from…Tory HQ?…

Tweet of the morning…

I enjoy Paul Waugh’s blog…take look?

And a bit of snow… if you need yet more pics… this is where I do my  Smokedo exercises… and weights. It is rather bracing out here at the moment.  Like the views though.. lots of gulls, cormorants, swans, yachts and even a Castle at Upnor in the distance.The basin is an old Royal Naval Dockyard basin… they built HMS Victory and many famous warships at Chatham! This part is called ‘Chatham Maritime’ now… I like the place – but soon to leave to return to London.

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