Archive for October, 2012

A recent YouGov survey conducted on behalf of Duncan Lawrie Private Bank has revealed a groundswell of discontent amongst High Net Worth Individuals with a majority of respondents (70%) confirming that they have less faith in the UK banking industry than they had a year ago.


Duncan Lawrie hopes that its survey will once again highlight the appeal of an independent private bank that still prides itself on traditional values and service with long term client satisfaction taking priority over the sort of sales target culture that appears to have embedded itself in high street banking.


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The Trial of Charon QC ! 21st November

The Trial Of CharonQC from Jon Harman on Vimeo.



Gentoo Group takes a holistic approach to property development – and we do this by taking care of the properties, the planet and the people.  Please take a look at us if you’re trying to find a home, or call us – we’re more than happy to help.

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The last two weeks of planning since my move to Kent have been both enjoyable and productive.

The UK Tour will begin in about ten days time with a series of podcasts with lawyers based in London. As with Phileas Fogg, I plan to start the tour in London and end it in London in 12+ months time. I will slowly work my way from the South-east, across to the West, into Wales and back over towards Oxford and East Anglia by March 2013 – ready for the Spring and Summer journey north.

My first podcast in the UK Tour series will be with Andrew Hopper QC (pictured). Andrew Hopper is a solicitor and Queen’s Counsel; still a rare combination.  He is also an expert in the regulatory and disciplinary field and we will be shining a bright light on The Solicitors Regulation Authority and The Bar Standards Board’s recent activities.  I anticipate that this podcast will be recorded at the end of October.

Collaboration is a useful concept…

And here is a perfect example of collaboration from Jon Harman – who has designed an advert for the tour – please do click – he has done great work!

Van Rouge from Jon Harman on Vimeo.

I am very keen that this analysis of law, practice and profession be thorough, analytical and informative – with the lighter side of law thrown in.

I am delighted to report that a number of fellow academics, practising lawyers, bloggers and tweeters have agreed to act as ‘roving reporters’ and participate by podcasting and contributing analysis and comment. They are all very experienced in their field and I very much hope you will take a look at their blogs (many of them blog)

I would like to thank, specifically:  Jez (@Badearth) for his expertise in advising me on the technical requirements of recording high quality face to face podcasts and Jon Harman (@Colmmu )for his invaluable assistance in sourcing broadcast standard television equipment, providing technical advice and for his excellent ideas.


Claims Compensation Firm in UK


The ‘Roving Reporters’…

In no particular order:

Nicky Richmond:  Joint managing partner, Brecher

Nicky is a property and property finance lawyer with over 25 years experience in the field.  She worked for many years in a prominent City firm, specialising in property finance and development transactions, and now regularly manages the firm’s largest and most active developer clients, whilst retaining and expertise in property finance.

She has a reputation for giving pragmatic, straightforward commercial advice and is particularly noted for her skill in managing large transactions where her organisational skills, breadth of knowledge and attention to detail is much appreciated by her clients. In common with the other partners of the firm, Nicky actively cultivates an extensive range of contracts, particularly in the property finance and development sectors. Nicky is recommended in Legal 500 as someone who “articulates complex legal issues clearly”.

Nicky regularly writes for the property and legal press and has been published in the Daily Telegraph and the Financial Times as well as blogging regularly for Estates Gazette and The Lawyer. She is also the Lawyer’s regular restaurant reviewer and has her own food blog on http://nicolarichmond.wordpress.com/. Her legal commentaries are found at http://saysitstraight.wordpress.com/ You can follow also her on Twitter @saysitstraight and @thefoodjudge

Firm: Brecher
Blog: The Food Judge
Twitter: @saysitstraight

John Cooper QC: 25 Bedford Row, London
Leading in serious crime including murder, serious violence, drug trafficking, terrorism, fraud, human rights and media. Regulatory work including fraud and sports regulation. Inquest work including Judicial Review. John Cooper QC has been named by The Times as one of the Top 100 Influential Lawyers of 2012 in the UK. He is also visiting Professor of Law at Cardiff University and a Master of the Bench at Middle Temple.

John Cooper was lead counsel in the successful Twitter Joke Trial appeal

Chambers : 25 Bedford Row
Blog: Shadow of the Noose
Twitter: @John_Cooper_QC

John Bolch: Editor of FamilyLore.co.uk
Former practising solicitor and specialist in family law matters, John is now one of the leading bloggers in the field of family law.

Blog: FamilyLore
Twitter: @johnbolch

Carl Gardner: Head of Legal blog
Barrister, former government lawyer and author of the Head of Legal blog, Carl is a well known commentator on constitutional law and human rights issues – and a regular podcastee in my various series of podcasts.

Blog: Head of Legal blog
Twitter: @carlgardner

David Allen Green: Solicitor
Solicitor and legal correspondent of The New Statesman, David is best known for his Jack of Kent blog and as the solicitor leading the Twitter Joke Trial

Firm: Preiskel
Blog: Jack of Kent
Twitter: @davidallengreen

Nichola Higgins: Barrister at Doughty Street Chambers
Former Chair of the YBC.  Ranked as an ‘up and coming’ junior by Chambers and Partners, and chosen by Legal Week as one of the rising stars of the junior Bar, Nichola is a specialist criminal advocate regularly instructed in high profile and complex matters. Nichola has a significant experience of white collar crime with a particular expertise in serious fraud and corruption. She lectures regularly on the Bribery Act 2010 and has co-authored two articles on the subject (Archbold News June 2010 edition and July 2011). She has equally wide experience of cases involving serious violence, organised crime and extradition.

Chambers: Doughty Street Chambers
Twitter: @nichiggins

Jerry Hayes: Barrister, Argent Chambers
A former member of parliament from 1983-1997 who specialises in leading high profile murder, drugs, rape and fraud cases.

Chambers: Argent Chambers
Twitter: @jerryhayes1

Francis FitzGibbon QC: Barrister, Doughty Street Chambers
Francis undertakes all kinds of criminal cases including homicide, fraud, money-laundering, and drug trafficking. He has a particular interest in medical and scientific cases including Otway 2011, Livesey 2010 and White 2009 (complex medical & causation issues). Fraud work includes VAT (eg Hart 2011), and Lynch 2007 (the Kieran Fallon horserace fixing fraud). He contributed to A Practitioner’s Guide to the Law and Regulation of Financial Crime(Sweet & Maxwell 2011). Current work includes a 1980s ‘cold case’ involving serious child sex offences, and a police corruption/drugs wholesaling case. He advises on appeals and miscarriage of justice cases.

He sits as an Immigration Judge and has deepened his knowledge of Human Rights, asylum law, and the position of refugees and deportees in this country and abroad.

Chambers: Doughty Street Chambers
Blog: Nothing Like The Sun
Twitter: @ffgqc

Charles Christian: Editor, Legal Technology Insider
Charles Christian is a former practising barrister turned independent commentator and journalist who has been writing, reporting and advising on developments in law office technology and online legal services for over 30 years. He was described in one national magazine as “one of the top ten key individuals who act as movers and shakers in the legal IT world today… There is no doubt that Legal Technology Insider newsletter was a brainwave and has been a tremendous influence throughout the legal IT world for many years.”

Blog: Legal Technology Insider
Twitter: @ChristianUncut

Tim Kevan: Barrister and author of The Babybarista books.
Tim Kevan is the author of The BabyBarista Files, a series of novels published by Bloomsbury. Law and Disorder (2009).He practised as a barrister in London for ten years during which time he wrote or co-wrote ten law books, appeared regularly on TV and radio and co-founded two legal businesses, one of which has since been sold to Thomson Reuters. He lives by the sea in Braunton in North Devon, is married to Louise and enjoys surfing and walking his dog Jack. See also The Barrister Blog.

Blog: Tim Kevan
Blog: Babybarista
Twitter: @babybarista

Adam Wagner: Barrister, 1 Crown Office Row
Adam is ranked as a ‘leader in his field’ for his civil liberties and human rights work in Chambers and Partners 2013 and as a ‘leading junior’ for healthcare law in The Legal 500  He has been appointed to the Attorney General’s ‘C’ panel of counsel to the Crown and is a founding editor of the UK Human Rights Blog, for which he was longlisted for the 2011 Orwell Prize.

Chambers: 1 Crown Office Row
Blog: UK Human Rights blog
Twitter: @AdamWagner1

Giles Peaker: Solicitor, Anthony Gold

One of the most impressive housing solicitors working today” – The Legal 500

Giles works in residential and commercial property dispute resolution. He specialises in housing and public law, dealing with all kinds of housing disputes. He brings claims against landlords who have not carried out repairs, defends possession claims and challenges decisions in homelessness cases. Giles is particularly interested in claims for disrepair and judicial review in housing matters. He also advises clients on leasehold disputes concerning residential and commercial property.

Firm: Anthony Gold
Blog: Nearly Legal
Twitter: @nearlylegal

Jeremy Hopkins, Riverview Law
Formerly a barristers clerk at 3VB, Jeremy is Riverview Law’s Director of Operations and as such, is involved in just about every aspect of the business. In a nutshell, his overall role is managing the entire customer experience and the process by which it is delivered.

Firm: Riverview Law
Blog: Clerkingwell
Twitter: @jezhop

Professor Richard Moorhead:  Professor, University College London 
Richard Moorhead took up the first Chair in Law and Professional Ethics at University College London, Faculty of Laws, in 2012. He is also the Director of the Centre for Ethics and Law. He work focuses on lawyers’ ethics, professional competence, the regulation of legal services and access to justice. Often employing empirical methods, he has conducted a wide range of studies, including for the Ministry of Justice, Legal Services Board, Civil Justice Council, and the Law Society.

He has been a member of the Civil Justice Council and the Lord Chancellor’s Advisory Committee on Legal Ethics, the Legal Services Consultative Panel. He has also served as Specialist Adviser to what is now the Justice Select Committee. He sits on the editorial board of the International Journal of the Legal profession and the advisory board of the Journal and Law and Society.

He is also a keen blogger (http://lawyerwatch.wordpress.com) and writes an occasional column for the Guardian newspaper’s law website as well as featuring regularly in the legal press and mainstream media. You can follow him on twitter @richardmoorhead

Professor Gary Slapper: Director NYU
Gary Slapper is Global Professor at New York University, and Director of NYU in London. He is a door tenant at the London barrister chambers 36 Bedford Row, a Law columnist for The Times, and a legal consultant to BBC television documentary and drama. He read Law as an undergraduate and postgraduate at University College London, and gained his doctorate from the LSE. His recent books include The English Legal System (13th edition, 2012), English Law, (3rd edition, 2009), How the Law Works (2010), Weird Cases (2010), and More Weird Cases (2011). He is an Opinion writer for The Journal of Criminal Law, and a co-founder and editor of The Journal of Commonwealth Law and Legal Education.

Twitter: @garyslapper

Brian Inkster: Solicitor, Inksters
Brian is the founder of Inksters.  He is a Solicitor and Notary Public.

Brian obtained the distinction of being named Solicitor of the Year at the Law Awards of Scotland in 2006. His long running, ground breaking, legal case involving the question of a servitude right to park, Moncrieff -v- Jamieson, came to a successful conclusion for our clients in the House of Lords in 2007.  Brian has lectured on the case for the Universities of Aberdeen, Edinburgh and Strathclyde and is a visiting lecturer on the Law of Servitudes at the University of Strathclyde.

Firm: Inksters
Blog: The Time Blawg
Twitter: @BrianInkster

James Vine: Barrister, 5SAH
James Vine is a specialist in The Bribery Act with a broad based criminal practice. Involving  the preparation of many  Seminars to Solicitors and Corporate clients of Chambers in their own specialist areas, including the RICS, SME’s and Forensic Accountants, as well as advising on the design and implementation of bespoke in house procedures to prevent Bribery in anticipation of the  introduction of the offence of Failing to Prevent Bribery.

Chambers: 5SAH
Blog: The Bung Blog
Twitter: @JamesPSVine

Paul Gilbert: Chief Executive Officer, Wise Counsel
Paul leads many of LBC’s significant projects and lectures widely at events and conferences in the UK, Europe, the U.S. and South Africa. Themes include legal services strategy, skills development and the changing face of the legal profession.

Paul qualified as a UK solicitor in 1987 and for much of his career he was an in-house lawyer. Paul was the General Counsel in two major UK financial services companies and held positions as chairman and chief executive of the national in-house lawyers Commerce & Industry Group. For six years Paul was a Council Member of the England & Wales Law Society and was elected to the Society’s Main Management Board. He is currently Vice-Chairman and a Trustee of LawWorks, the UK’s national pro bono charity. Paul is a successful author with four books and over ninety published articles in the UK, Europe, the U.S. and South Africa.

Firm: Wise Counsel
Twitter: @LBCWiseCounsel

Clare Rodway: Chief Executive, Kysen PR
Clare explains her work and role here.  Clare is also author of the excellent The Conversation blog.

Firm: Kysen PR
Blog: The Conversation
Twitter: @ClareRodway

Jon Harman: Director of The College of Law Multi-media Unit
Adventurer in media, law, technology & education.

Firm: The College of Law
Blog: Digital Adventures
Twitter: @colmmu


Kim Evans: The Justice Gap
I joined the Metropolitan Police in 1979 working firstly as a beat officer and then becoming a Detective. As a Detective I was attached on secondment to the Flying Squad for the Brinks Mat bullion enquiry, and posted to the Technical Support Unit – a unit supporting squads such as the Flying Squad and Regional Crime Squads with highly specialised technical surveillance

I was attached to many murder enquiries, receiving a Commisioner’s Commendation for my part in a complex murder enquiry leading to the conviction of a man who murdered the woman he was accused of raping, to prevent her from giving evidence.
On leaving the Police I qualified as a police station representative, and worked for 10 years representing clients ranging from youths, the vulnerable and mentally unwell, through to those accused of murder, rape and robbery. I was involved in the high profile assisted suicide case of Kay Gilderdale, who was acquitted of attempting to murder her desperately ill daughter Lynette, a case which I saw through from the police station to the Crown Court.
My current role as commissioning editor of the Justice Gap requires me to keep a close eye on the legal zeitgeist. The Justice Gap is aimed at the general public, the law as it affects them, and how they access it. We have a particular interest in miscarriages of justice.

Overseas correspondents….

And to provide a comparative insight and add to the depth of the project – three good friends of mine  and lawyers from across the pond

USA – Dan Hull, Senior partner Hull McGuire PC Attorneys and author of the What about Clients? blog He is also an enthusiastic tweeter.

Blog: Whataboutclients? 
Twitter: @whataboutparis

USA – Colin Samuels: Author of the Infamy or Praise blog – a fine law blogger.  We have collaborated on a few writing projects including the social satire West London Man and a more serious analysis Unsilent Partners. 

Blog: Infamy or Praise
Twitter: @colinsamuels

Canada:  Antonin Pribetic – Litigation Counsel, Steinberg Morton Hope & Israel LLP and author of  The Trial Warrior Blog.  Twitter: @APribetic

AND Finally…

A man who likes to chuck metaphorical bog rolls onto the legal pitch… me… or rather my creation…Charon QC – a fiction, a construct of my fevered imagination.

I’m not terribly interested in me – I am far more interested in the people I will talk to, lawyers and non lawyers, on this year (+) long tour of the UK to discover what our legal system is and how people view it.

All you need to know about Mike SP is in the Charon QC ‘About’ section.  I shall continue to be writing my Charon QC blog, of course.  In fact, all tour posts will be posted on the Charon QC blog and on Charon’s Van Rouge UK Tour blog.  The pic shows me wearing an absurd tache.  I am without tache for the moment… but who knows.. the tache may have to make a ‘guest appearance’ at some point during the year.

Twitter: @charonqc


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Back later or on the morrow with a very detailed Report on The Jag Rouge UK Tour…. and news of a Mk7 kevlar rouge painted helmet and flak jacket so I am fully protected when I meet the great British public for voxpops on what they think of our legal system!

The Spectator has a version of the story – it would appear that Virgin (who one is sure were not in any way influenced by future Government decisions on the West Coast Railway line) have another version

Spectator:  Class War: George Osborne caught in first class with the wrong train ticket

BBC: George Osborne in ‘first class ticket row’

#GreatTrainsnobbery anyone? 


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What’s the law when it comes to having an Asset Protection Trust?
Ross Stevens

Asset protection trusts enable people to protect specific assets and ensure they are used or maintained according to their wishes. Although the person creating the trust gives up legal ownership of the asset(s) once the trust is created, they are able to set out guidelines for trustees to manage the trust on its creation, thus ensuring that their intentions are carried out and the trust is managed as they would like.

Trusts can be created for any number of reasons; many people create a trust because they want to protect the asset(s), either for themselves in future years or for other beneficiaries. In addition to protecting the asset from unwanted or unexpected claims, trusts help ensure that the asset is managed appropriately on behalf of beneficiaries who are unable to manage the asset independently, such as children and minors. As they are unable to control the asset without assistance, a trust ensures they benefit from the asset in accordance with the donorís wishes and that it is managed effectively. In many instances, the trust will be dissolved once the individual reaches an age specified by the original donor, at which point the beneficiary becomes the legal owner of the asset.

Asset protection trusts can also be created when the donor wishes to ensure it is managed on their behalf should they become unable to manage the asset effectively themselves. People often use this form of trust to safeguard their future and ensure funds will be available to them in upcoming years. Of course, many simply require a trust to protect the asset from claims or creditors. This is not always successful though as courts will often ignore a trust if it has been created with the sole intention of avoiding a creditor.

When creating a trust, the donor will appoint a trustee or team of trustees ñ family, friends, professionals or even specialist corporations – who will be responsible for maintaining it.   The complexity of creating a trust means it is advisable for anyone considering one to seek financial and legal advice. Donors often have very specific wishes and instructions that trustees must follow,  which therefore need to be thoroughly documented and understood by the trustees in order to avoid future uncertainty and potential mismanagement.

Asset protection trusts can be split into two broad categories; those that are subject to reversal or change and those that are irrevocable. If the trust is revocable the donor could regain legal ownership of the asset at some point. However, if the trust is irrevocable they are severing their legal ownership of the asset permanently.

Due to the potential impact on the donor, trustee(s), beneficiaries and the asset itself, it is generally recommended that advice is sought before creating an asset protection trust. Trust creation and maintenance experts can ensure the donor’s wishes are documented appropriately and that the trust is created and maintained in a tax efficient manner whilst providing advice regarding tax and/or accounting liabilities for those involved. Although they may appear complex, when created and maintained effectively, trusts do provide a viable option for people wishing to protect and control their assets, and allow people to leave a lasting legacy that benefits future generations.


Solicitors in Kent

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Professor David Rosen write: 2020: Law and Order: A hypothetical dystopia

Some of what I am about to write, is fiction, some is theory, and some may become a reality. Can you pick out what is fact, and what is fiction for the future?

Son, let me tell you about the dearth of one of the last great British institutions: the British Police Force.

The Police Service we have today is not how it was, with H5, and Tescburys Police Steward service, and Martial Law imposed by the United States Army European Sector in England.

Many years ago, a man called Sir Robert Peel established the Metropolitan Police Force in London. Those men of honesty and integrity, became known in London as Bobbies.

They were members of the public, for the public, to give weight and to uphold those duties to be followed by all citizens, in the interests of community, welfare and existence.

10 Peelian principles were established, but over time, and a desire by a variety of Governments to treat the Police without humanity as cannon fodder, and cut costs, treating them as a luxury service, rather than as a necessity, their role changed to tourist attractions most prevalent ceremonially during the Olympic Games 2012 and the Queen’s Jubilee. They became fewer in number, as the Multi-National food chains saw a gap in the market to supply stewarding services in place of the Police.

At first, there was much sympathy with the public. Then it began…the changes were subtle at first. Crimes that were crimes, became non-crimes.

Those crimes had to be ignored by the Police because they were no longer relevant to job-security, prospects of promotion, or Government statistics to illustrate to the ignorant public that crime went down. Son, crime levels never went down. Definitions of statistics changed and figures were manipulated to show a decrease, when the very opposite was true.

Government statistics forced Police forces to fit in with statistics required by the Home Office. It started with parking offences, powers of which were handed over to traffic wardens. Local Councils saw a way of making fast money, by imposing fines on offenders who could not park elsewhere but in restricted areas designed to do nothing other than to catch those wishing to park. Speed cameras generated major revenue for Councils.

Then, burglary became a civil offence in line with trespass and nuisance, and it became a non-offence, as did shop-lifting, and mugging. With the imposition of National Identity Cards, and ubiquitous CCTV, offenders could be located and tracked without the need for Police. That was the theory, anyway.

Drugs categories became degraded to non-offences, whilst smoking was banned entirely.

Alcohol age-limits were lowered on the basis that drink and drugs mellowed Society. Systems were put in place to inject bromide and female hormones into the water supply. People became less-aggressive.

The duty of a Bobby became more defined into specific roles for certain Police Officers. As the World evolved and became more dependant upon Internet buying and selling, the high streets died, and in their place lay a wasteland of empty shops with broken glass. Civil Disorder broke out. Unemployment levels rapidly increased; The Government could no longer afford to pay for benefits, but freely sprayed anti-aggressive air pollutants to provide a haze of happiness to the millions.

Drugs Lords who developed aggression pills to combat passivity and empathy, became powerful, as corruption took over, and our great police forces could only weep in the depths of their subjugation, too weak in numbers and morale to do anything, the system hoist by its own petard, not to criticise itself internally or externally pursuant to Section 41 of the Police Act, or face charges of mutiny.

The Health and Safety Executive became so powerful that competition in schools and elsewhere was banned for fear of injury. Schools became powerless to punish children as did parents, embracing the decades of policy introducing ‘touchy-feely cotton-wool’ initiatives, that we were all winners…The children did not see this as a step forward, but rather a step towards further rebellion and disorder.

Without competition, sports, a sense of pride and belonging, there was empathy, non-competition, emptiness, loneliness.

Teenagers and young adults studied the 8 hour shift-patterns, and waged War on Police Officers’ family and friends with a view to breaking them down morally and mentally.

Morale was low, as Police began to appreciate that after the culling and dearth of their healthy numbers, they were powerless to prevent National disorder. The Army were called in; What was left of them, following cuts, because they too were considered unnecessary, as Great Britain faced its financial realities and Capitalism broke down.

People’s homes became fortresses. Few people walked the streets during the days. Nights were no-go zones anywhere. Without the real Police Force, communities who were not close-knit, broke down. No one cared. Everyone was for themselves. Survival modes took over. No care; No mercy; No manners; No loyalties; No respect for anyone or anything. We just lost our way. We lost sight of social responsibility. There was no one there to uphold the Law…

Is any part of this partial window of dystopia a possibility? I sincerely hope not.

Who are we? Who are our British Police force? What do they stand for? Is it worth protecting? Don’t let the best Police force in the World become a powerless stewarding tourist attraction.

Professor Rosen is a Solicitor-Advocate, Partner and head of Litigation at Darlingtons Solicitors. He is an associate Professor of Law at Brunel University, specialising in Civil,Criminal Fraud and Legal Theory, and a member of the Society of Legal Scholars.


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I’ve been busy for the last week since my move planning the UK Tour.  I’m delighted to say that the planning is going rather better than expected and I have been fortunate in the support of some great sponsors and participants who will contribute their skill and knowledge to make the tour a ‘collaborative experience’.

I’ll be back to law and ‘normal’  blogging this week – and the Tour starts very soon with reports on the new Charon QC’s UK Law Tour blog – which will allow me to collect everything one place – including embedded podcasts (with an iTunes upload) and Video for the vox pops.

Do please, if you have time, have a look at the new Charon QC’s UK Law Tour blog Please get in touch if you would like to collaborate by being a contributor to the blog reports or do a podcast with me as I reach your area.


For a free car valuation and no obligation cash offer visit Autovip

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