Archive for January, 2013

How to Make Partner

How to Make Partner

For many, working in professional service firms, making partner is regarded as the ultimate achievement and a large number spend their careers chasing that goal.

Yet the route to partnership is often unclear, with hidden rules and expectations that no one teaches you as an undergraduate before you enter the professional world. It’s not simply a case of being technically brilliant, putting in the hours and hoping that you will get noticed. So what attributes are needed to make partner?

How to Make Partner is a brand new, full-day event to help you take charge of your career. It will arm you with practical techniques, skills and behaviours to achieve success AND this does not necessarily have to come at the price of your personal life.

The one-day event will include sessions on:
How do you have it all – partnership AND a life?
Lessons from the frontline
Taking the final step to partner and beyond

In addition to these three plenary sessions, you will also have the option to select from a series sessions you wish to attend – ensuring you get the maximum benefit from the day in accordance to your individual development needs.

Based on the highly acclaimed book, How to make partner and still have a life and run by the authors, Heather Townsend and Jo Larbie in conjunction with Jordan Publishing, this event is a must for all ambitious lawyers and accountants working in professional service firms.

How to Make Partner is taking place on Wednesday 24 April 2013 at America Square Conference Centre, London EC3N 2LB. For more information or to register your attendance visit the event webpage


Read Full Post »

The news today that Stobart has diversified into providing barristers has amused me….Stobart barristers.…. please form an orderly queue.


Read Full Post »

Guest Post: Occupational dermatitis claims

Occupational dermatitis figures show that a number of employers are breaching their legal obligation to protect workers from exposure to harmful chemicals and substances.
Roberts Jackson

The Government Health and Safety statistics confirm that between 2009 and 2011, there were around 40,000 new cases of occupational skin diseases per year. The high figure shows that work-related skin conditions are still common, despite the number of sufferers having fallen since 2005.

Individuals tend to develop occupational dermatitis through exposure to harmful chemicals and substances in the workplace. The Health and Safety figures show that the most common cause is ‘wet work’, where skin is in contact with soaps and cleansers.

An employer’s duty of care

Employers have a duty of care and are required to adhere to Control of Substances Hazardous to Health (COSHH) Regulations. After conducting risk assessments on any tasks involving potentially harmful chemicals and substances, they must then take appropriate action to eradicate or eliminate any possible risks to the skin.

Such measures that employers can take to protect their employees from occupational dermatitis and their business from dermatitis claims include:

  • Substitution – replacing a hazardous substance with one that presents less or no risk, or using another process where skin isn’t exposed to the chemical.
  • <li

Limiting exposure

    – controlling the amount of time an employer is exposed to a certain workplace substance.

  • Chemical safety data sheets – providing employees with information on a chemical’s potential hazards , advising on handling, storage and emergency measures in case of an accident.
  • Control and monitoring – controlling exposure through equipment, procedures and work behaviour, while monitoring these processes to ensure they remain effective.
  • Permits – setting up a permit-to-work system with previously agreed safety procedures where employers must authorise the usage of potentially harmful chemicals.
  • Personal protective equipment– providing adequate clothing, gloves, footwear, eye protection or respirators to protect individuals.
  • Health surveillance – obtaining information about employees’ health, checking for signs of occupational dermatitis and then taking relevant action.
  • Training – offering information and training on the potential hazards so that employees understand the preventive processes their workplace has in place.

Employees then have a duty to make full use of the procedures and equipment put in place to protect their skin.

Occupational dermatitis claims

If an employer breaches their duty of care and fails to control their workforce’s exposure to harmful chemicals, they are at risk of employees developing occupational dermatitis.

Industrial disease solicitors often deal with individuals suffering from the skin condition as a result of their workplace. People with dermatitis suffer from pain and the inability to function as they would normally. This can result in a loss of earnings and even stop the person from continuing in their employment. Due to the damages caused, such individuals can claim dermatitis compensation from their employers.

Medical evidence must be provided to confirm that the claimant developed dermatitis as a result of their negligent employer, while the substance used must be deemed as potentially harmful.

As the Health and Safety statistics show that there were a high number of new work-related dermatitis cases between 2009-2011, this suggests that a number of businesses are ignoring their legal requirements and putting themselves at risk of occupational dermatitis claims. By simply adhering to the regulations, organisations can protect their workers from the skin condition, while also safeguarding their business from costly and time-consuming dermatitis claims.

Read Full Post »

More employees set to benefit from EMI options

More employees set to benefit from EMI options
Osborne Clarke

Although Budget proposals announced earlier this year indicated there would be an increase in the number of people eligible to claim Entrepreneur’s Relief, the draft proposals released this week have extended the eligibility criteria much further than many believed they would. According to the draft proposals, an employee who disposes of shares obtained under an Enterprise Management Incentive scheme can claim Entrepreneur’s Relief on any benefit they obtain, providing they have held the shares for the twelve month qualifying period.

The draft proposals also state that this extension of eligibility for Entrepreneur’s Relief will apply regardless of whether the shares where obtained at market value or at a discounted rate. Shareholders must normally hold at least 5% of the company’s shares to qualify for Entrepreneur’s Relief so this amendment will result in an increase in the number of people eligible to claim Entrepreneur’s Relief and reduce their tax liability.

In addition to this, the draft legislation proposes to extend the 40 day limit to 90 days for employees to exercise EMI options after a disqualifying event. Companies who have existing all-employee share schemes may also benefit from the draft legislation which introduces a number of changes intended to simplify the administration of such schemes. Another advantage for entrepreneurial businesses under the draft legislation is the proposal to allow employees who give up some employment rights to benefit from a payment of £2,000-£50,000 without capital gains tax.

If enacted, the proposed changes will enable more people to claim tax reliefs thus saving people money. However, the law and regulations regarding taxation can be complex so individuals are advised to seek specialist advice before buying or selling shares, even if the shares are obtained under an Enterprise Management Incentive scheme. With more employees benefitting from Entrepreneur’s Relief, it is possible that more businesses will launch Enterprise Management Incentive schemes. By obtaining expert advice and ensuring they fulfil the eligibility criteria, companies can successfully launch schemes which incentivise their staff and enable employees to qualify for tax reliefs as well as benefitting from a new standard of flexible employment rights.

Osborne Clarke has a team of employment lawyers with proven track record in dealing with the toughest law cases, including those where there is considerable press interest. For more information please visit

Read Full Post »

New employment laws result in changes to the workplace
Osborne Clarke

The recent changes to employment legislation mean that there are likely to be significant changes to the governance of the workplace during 2013. This, in conjunction with our requisite compliance with EU law and the recent case law, is indicative of a changing environment for workers.

One of the most notable changes to employment law concerns the decision regarding equal pay claims. Rather than being subject to the six month time limit in which to bring a claim in an Employment Tribunal, employees can bring a claim in the High Court providing it is within the six year time limit without needing to justify their reasons for missing the Tribunal time limit. The decision benefits employees, particularly if evidence of unequal pay only becomes apparent after the six month Employment Tribunal time limit.

The case of Welton v Deluxe Retail Ltd resulted in employers being subject to more stringent requirements regarding dismissals or changes to terms of contracts. In addition to specifying an economical, technical or organisation reason for the change or dismissal, employers must show that it resulted in a need to change the workforce, that it affects the employee in question and that reason is more than ‘minimal’. This increases employee protection and ensures employers do not abuse the right to dismiss employees or make changes to their contracts.

The recent case of Redfearn v United Kingdom [2012] in the European Court of Human Rights has indicated a need for change to our national law. In order to comply with the decision, it is expected that the Government will introduce measures to outlaw discrimination based on political beliefs or opinion. Similarly, the Supreme Court based their decision in British Airways PLC v Williams and Others [2012] on an EU Directive and ruled when an employee’s wages are normally comprised of commission and bonuses this should be taken into account when calculating their holiday pay.

Although there have been significant changes to employment law during 2012, there are still issues waiting to be resolved. For example, there is on-going discussion regarding the appropriate time for collective consultations to start under the Trade Unions and Labour (Consolidation) Act 1992. The differing terms used in TULCRA and the Collective Redundancies Directive have left this open to interpretation but further clarification may be necessary. Similarly, the proposed changes to employment law, such as allowing employees to give up their rights in favour of additional remuneration, have caused much discussion. It is evident, therefore, that as the nature of the workplace changes, employment law will continue to evolve accordingly with many changes expected to take place throughout 2013.

Osborne Clarke is an international law firm with a team of employment lawyers with proven track record in dealing with the toughest law cases. For more information please visit:

Read Full Post »