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Archive for April 20th, 2010

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The InsiteLaw Newswire is now available for download

Sponsored by QED Law

Student Revision Course

“There are still places available at the QED Law revision seminars. Open to all students on LLB and GDL/CPE programmes they take place at University College London and there is a choice of dates in April and May. For more information

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Before I start on the law…..this video from Iain Dale and Total Politics is excellent. More please.

You be the jury — join our bribery poll

Times: British companies are not doing enough to prepare for new laws that could lead to unlimited fines if their employees pay bribes, lawyers say.

Try the poll…!

Call to change law after burglar death case

Independent: “The law should be strengthened to protect homeowners who confront burglars, the mother of a trainee builder cleared of murdering a teenage intruder said today. Omari Roberts, 23, was told by the Crown Prosecution Service that no evidence would be offered against him, the day he was due to stand trial for the murder of 17-year-old Tyler Juett.”

The professionals all say the current law is more than adequate to protect people in their own homes – yet the politicians want to change it.  Hopefully, they will have more urgent matters to attend to after 6th May.

House of Lords transformation plans leaked

• Elections for the second chamber would take place at the same time as general elections
• Number of Bishops sitting in the Lords would be halved from 24 to 12

The Guardian reports: The House of Lords should become a second chamber where just two-thirds of members are elected until fresh primary legislation in 10 years’ time decides whether all peers should be elected, according to a document drawn up by the government.

Whether these plans will ever see the light of day remains to be seen – but it would seem to my eye that Bishops should not be involved simply by virtue of their office in legislation and opportunity should be taken to remove a tier of honours – peerages – from our political life.  The Supreme Court welcomed Sir John Dyson as the 12th Supreme Court Justice yesterday.  Pleasingly (although perhaps not for him? I would hope that serving our country as a Supreme Court Justice is honour enough.  I rather suspect it will be) Justice Dyson will not be getting the usual peerage which went with elevation to what was the House of Lords Judicial Committee.   I think this is a step in the right direction – separating the Supreme Court from Parliament and honours of a political nature.

The big story for lawyers today is reported fully in The Times

Watchdog launches formal investigation into Goldman

The Financial Services Authority has opened a formal investigation into Goldman Sachs in a move which could further escalate allegations of fraud against the US investment bank.

The UK financial watchdog said this morning that it has decided to start a “formal enforcement investigation” into Goldman Sachs International, its London-based business, after an initial review of the case.

The FSA’s probe comes after America’s Securities and Exchange Commission shocked the market last Friday by accusing Goldman and one of its vice presidents, Fabrice Tourre, 31, of fraudulently selling bad loans to investors in a deal which lost $1 billion (£650 million).

The net is closing in globally on banking practices and it seems that the US is more than prepared to go for Wall Street.  Others in Europe and elsewhere will, surely, now follow? It can only work if there is global co-operation and the rule of law and regulation brings a degree of control.  Seaparting the retail banking side from the gambling side of banking might help as well?

BSB launches survey on the future of the profession

The Bar Standards Board (BSB) (16 April) launched a survey of the profession on opinions and expectations in relation to the new business structures permitted under the Legal Services Act 2007. The BSB has teamed up with leading market research group YouGov to create and administer the survey, which all barristers, clerks and practice managers will be invited to complete.

The survey follows the historic decision by the BSB last November to allow barristers to become managers of Legal Disciplinary Practices and in principle to form barrister only entities.

The BSB is now asking the profession to register interest in the full range of business structures that the Act will facilitate and to suggest what other elements of the current Code of Conduct should be relaxed to enhance the services that individual barristers can offer.

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