MM September 2016


September 2016

October 09


North West Law

Proposal for “Ebay’ style court

This months ‘Talking

Heads’ focuses on the

issue of the introduction

of the Online Court. At the

end of July Lord Justice

Briggs published his final

report into the structure

of the civil courts: The Civil

Courts Structure Review.

The reviews was commissioned

by the Lord Chief

Justice and the Master of

the Rolls in July 2015 to coincide

with a programme

for reforming courts and

looking at civil court structures

and judicial processes.

The review makes a number

of recommendations on different

aspects of the civil

justice system, such as enforcement

of court rulings,

the structure of the courts

and deployment of judges.

The Manchester Law Society

Employment Law

Committee responded to

the government’s recent

call for evidence on the

use of non-compete

clauses, following a discussion

about the implications

of the proposals.

In the call for evidence, the

government have raised the

possibility of making noncompete

clauses in employment


unenforceable. However

the call made clear that the

government did not have

much evidence about how

such clauses were used in

practice, which is one reason

why the Employment

Law Committee felt it appropriate

and important to


The Online Court is designed

to be used by people

with minimum assistance

from lawyers, with its own

set of user-friendly rules. It is

anticipated that it will eventually

become the compulsory

forum for resolving

cases within its jurisdiction,

and on inception should be

dealing with straightforward

money claims valued

at up to £25,000. Recommendations

are made on

helping people who need

assistance with online systems.

Complex and important

cases to be transferred

upwards to higher courts.

Open justice and transparency

issues to be addressed.

Law Society President

Jonathan Smithers commented:

‘As we said in our

response to the first stage of

the review, making changes

to one part of the justice

In responding, the committee

were able to feedback

on the use of such provisions

in the experience of

the members. In referring to

non-compete clauses, the

government in fact were

talking about all types of

employee restrictive

covenants, not just traditional

non-compete clauses.

The committee felt that

some broader guidance

being made available was

something which could be

helpful for businesses and

individuals, albeit the complexity

of such provisions

and the unique nature of

each set of circumstances

where they may apply or be

enforced, meant that professional

advice was often


system may have unintended

consequences for

another part and for the

people who rely on it. In

particular, we have grave

concerns that the proposed

online court may exclude

people's ability to access

legal advice for cases up to

£25,000 in value.

‘This is a very large sum of

money. People seeking to

recover monies due and

owing to them will still need

legal advice on their claim

as well as, in many cases, assistance

with navigating

through the process,

whether online or otherwise.

‘While the online court may

not require advocacy, there

will still be a need for legal

advice to ensure that everyone,

including the vulnerable,

can access justice. We

The general view of the

committee was that the current

common law balance

around the use and enforceability

of such restrictions

was relatively successful.

The fact that, as a group, we

had extensive experience of

writing letters and corresponding

about the issues

when disputes arose, but

were aware that this only

rarely resulted in actual litigation,

was felt to illustrate

that this area of the law was

working effectively.

The committee believe that

the current flexibility of the

law appeared to be at the

right level.

will strongly oppose any approach

that reduces access

to justice and results in justice

in England and Wales

only being available to

those who can afford it.’

One of the principal author’s

of the report was Professor

Richard Susskind,

who is the President of the

Society for Computers and

Law. He said that the UK was

falling behind other countries

that have begun to incorporate

online elements

into their judicial systems.

His recommendations include

“automated negotiation”

where differences may

be resolved “without the intervention

of human experts”

by relying on blind

bidding processes.

He said “ODR is not science

fiction,” it states. “Each year

on eBay around 60 million

It was felt useful and appropriate

to respond to the

consultation, not least to

avoid the government receiving

only the views of focused


rather than an overview of

the application of the law as

a whole.

The committee also highlighted

the fact that such restrictions

are often used in

the context of corporate

transactions and in documentation

which goes well

beyond the employment relationship.

It was not immediately

obvious from the

government’s paper that

the broader use of such restrictions

had been taken

disagreements amongst traders are resolved through ODR.

This is a well established way of resolving disputes, appropriate

for the internet age.”

See our Online Court “Talking

Heads” on page 15

Employment law committee responds to call for evidence

into account. Problems

were identified with both

the wholescale abolition of

post-employment restrictions

from all contracts, and

an approach restricted to

just employment contracts.

The response provided resulted

from an interesting

debate within the committee,

and demonstrates the

importance of MLS having a

group with an employment

law focus. If anyone does

wish to be a part of the employment

law committee

please do contact MLS. The

next date in the diary is on

26 September when there

will be an update on immigration

issues for employment

lawyers to be hosted

at Weightmans LLP

Phil Allen

Partner Weightmans LLP

and member of

MLS Employment Law


Phil Allen

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e: |



Contents 3

North West Law September 2016

Manchester Law Society

64 Bridge Street

Manchester M3 3BN

Tel: 0161 831 7337

Fax: 0161 839 2631

Editor: Fran Eccles-Bech

News from the President

page 5

In this edition...


Calling all NQ’S



North West Law Firm expands with opening

Of Preston office

Legal quartet take law firm forward




Editorial Committee

Raana Afsarpour, JMW Solicitors LLP

David Anderson, St Johns Buildings

Julia Baskerville, Baskerville Publications Ltd

Fran Eccles-Bech, Manchester Law Society

Danielle Best, Weightmans LLP

Adam Entwistle, JMW Solicitors LLP

Sarah Evans, Kuits

Mark Fitzgibbon, Hill Dickinson

Jemma Goldstone, JMW Solicitors LLP

Michael Hardacre, Slater & Gordon

Helen Kanczes, Clyde & Co

Steve Kuncewicz, Bermans LLP

Adrian Kwintner, Clyde & Co

Jeff Lewis, Brabners LLP

Louise Straw, Burton Copeland

Matthew Taylor, Eversheds LLP

Published by

Ian Liddle of Farleys

page 6

Landmark ruling changes future of Asbestosis

Compensation Claims

Law Society Excellence Awards


Talking Heads

“What do you think will be the implications of the

Online Courts?”

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Regulation Update

page 7


News from the President

Regulation Update

Monthly Competition




Photographic material and manuscripts are supplied at

owners risk, neither the company not its agents accept

any liability for loss or damage.

The Society welcomes articles and letters from members

on any topic and items should be sent to the above


The views and opinions expressed in the Manchester

Messenger are those of the individual contributors and

not of the Manchester Law Society

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page 17

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4 Manchester Law Society News

News from Bridge Street

Calling all NQ’S



Manchester Law Society and the City of Manchester want to

congratulate all newly qualified solicitors and welcome them

to the profession with a Newly Qualified Solicitor Civic Ceremony

at Manchester Town Hall.

Manchester Law Society, along with the Lord Mayor of Manchester

extend an invitation to all Newly Qualified Solicitors,

from the past 12 months, to mark this milestone in their legal

career by attending the Civic ceremony in the Manchester

Town Hall at 3pm on Wednesday 19th October 2016.

Certificates will be presented by the Lord Mayor of Manchester and President of Manchester

Law Society and the ceremony will be followed by a reception with prosecco and


Order of Events

15:00 – tea and coffee upon arrival

15:30 – Ceremony begins

16:15 – Canapés served with Prosecco and opportunity for photographs with

the Lord Mayor of Manchester and President of Manchester Law


The ceremony is a unique opportunity for NQ's to celebrate their success as well as acknowledge

the friends and family who have supported them on the way.

Each newly qualified solicitor will be able to bring at least 2 guests with the option of further

guests should numbers permit. Tickets cost £20 per person for NQ’s and guests alike.

Please note that places are booked on a first come, first served basis.

The dress code for the NQ’s will be business attire (no expensive gown hire necessary!) and

a high quality photography service will be available for all those attending the ceremony

to commemorate the occasion either with a professional portrait, a photo of the presentation

on stage during the ceremony or a photo with your family or friends.

To book your tickets please email


all welcome!

The Probate Registry are holding a User Group meeting on

the 28th September and all practitioners are welcome.

The aim of the meeting is for there to be an exchange of information

between the Registry and its Users and to ensure that

both sides are aware of the requirements of the other. In order

for you to get the most out of the user group meeting please

inform us of any specific areas of Probate you would like us

to cover at the event in your booking e-mail, and where possible,

we will try to include them on the day.

The meeting will also include a more in-depth look at the workings of the Registry including

the processes that are undertaken from receiving the application to issuing the grant

and included in this will be the opportunity to actually see how things work as they happen.

It is also hoped to include a session with the registrar where you will get the opportunity to

raise questions relating to queries they may have (but not on individual cases).

If you would like to attend please reply to :

with your name and firm and any topics that you would like including on the agenda.

The event will take place at Manchester District Probate Registry 1 Bridge Street West Manchester

M60 1WJ ( if using sat nav to locate the building please use M60 9DJ ).

The exact timings are yet to be confirmed and will be circulated as soon as possible. In the

meantime please could you respond with an expression of interest to the e-mail address


If you know of any other solicitors who may be interested in attending please pass on the

details of the event.

We look forward to welcoming you on the 28th September. If you have any other questions

or enquiries please contact the registry by e-mail or on the number below.

Richard Hemsworth and Craig Millward

Manchester District Probate Registry

Civil Justice Centre, Ground Floor , 1 Bridge Street West, Manchester M60 1WJ

0161 240 5701/5702

Forthcoming Events

Excel Training Course – Intermediate

15th September 2016, Registration 09:30, Course 10:00 to 16:30

Manchester Law Society, 64 Bridge Street

Are you looking for success with spreadsheets? Become fantastic with formulae? Join us

for a practical Excel training course with RV Group.

In this one day course an expert trainer will get you up to speed on conditional formatting,

working effectively with large worksheets, and working efficiently on your databases.

Numbers on this course are strictly limited to ensure you receive bespoke and personal

tuition from our trainer.

Cost to attend:

MLS Members £125.00 + VAT (£150.00) Non-members £175.00 + VAT (£210.00)

Price includes light refreshments and course materials, please note lunch is not provided.

For more information please email

Internet and Social Media Law Conference

Wednesday 21st September 2016

Hilton Hotel, Deansgate, Manchester M3 4LQ

CPD: 5 hours

Social media and the internet provide fantastic opportunities in communicating with

clients and potential clients, as well as friends and family. But what happens when you, or

your employees, share too much? What are the legal implications? What data needs to be

protected and how do you keep it safe?

This event is kindly sponsored by

Cost to attend:

MLS Members £110.00 + VAT (£132.00) Non-members £150.00 + VAT (£180.00)

Price includes light refreshments and course materials and lunch.

For more information please email

In conjunction with “Management Matters”

Management Conference

27 September 2016

Hilton Hotel, Deansgate, Manchester, M3 4LQ

CPD: 6 hours

This annual event is a conference by leaders, for leaders and speakers will explore innovation,

new approaches that are in actual use in law firms. Delegates will have an opportunity

to learn from and engage with panellists who have led the way in the legal sector

innovation.It is a must attend conference for understanding and adapting to the challenges

that are here, now.


08.30 – 09.30 Registration, networking and exhibition

09.30 – 09.45 Chair’s Opening Statement

Fiona McKay, Seminars & Solutions

09.45 – 10.30 Achievements in a medium sized law firm

James Sheridan, Turner Parkinson

The law firm as a business

10.30 – 11.00 Business strategy and business management

Chris Moat, Fairpoint Group PLC

Partner involvement, accountabilities, measurement and review

11.10 – 11.30 Networking and exhibition

11.30 – 12.15 Achievements in a large firm

Rob Elvin, Squire Patton Boggs

Strategy, management, people, business development, working capital

12.15 – 13:00 Finance

Why Central Banks Worry

John Young, Bank of England

Dynamic financial management

13:00 – 13:45 Lunch, networking and exhibition

13:45 – 14:30 Business Development (new, existing retention and development)

David Gilroy, Conscious Solutions

Andrew Welch, Stephensons

14:30 – 15:15 Achievements in a smaller law firm

Simon Whitehead, HRC Law

Strategy, management, people, business development, working capital

15:15 – 15:30 Coffee & Refreshments

15:30 – 16:15 People Management

Rachel Dobson, Hugh Jones Solicitors

· Is it true that 30% of high achieving lawyers are sociopaths?

· Is managing people really about frameworks, structures and

competence matrixes?

· Why spending time in the post room achieves more than spending it

in the boardroom

16:15 – 17:00 Change Management

Duncan Forbes, Jaguar Land Rover

17:00 Close of conference

Cost to attend:

MLS Members £120.00 + VAT (£144.00) Non Members £160.00 + VAT (£192.00)

Price includes light refreshments, lunch and course materials.

To book your place please email


President’s Column


From the President

So, by the time you read

this, the Olympics will have

been and gone. As I write,

we’re still in the latter stages

of the swimming and Wiggo

is going for gold tonight.

Hopefully, we are into the

swing of winning lots of

medals in the “sitting down

sports”, as the Australians

like to call them. It’s good,

old fashioned envy, of

course - my confident prediction

is we will be looking

down at them in the medal

table when all’s said and


I’m constantly in awe of the

commitment and ability of

athletes who dedicate so

much of their lives to the

Olympic dream and particularly

someone like Katherine

Grainger, who has just won

her 5th medal, over five

Olympic Games since Sydney

in 2000 to become the

most successful British female

Olympian ever. And

she’s a law graduate with a

PhD. So not fair.

Meanwhile, best quote so

far I’ve seen has been from

Bill Murray, who suggested

that every event at the

Olympics should have one

average person competing

in them, so we can tell how

good the Olympians really

are. I’ll volunteer for following

the Brownlee brothers

around in the triathlon, taking

double their time.

However, all of that is

brought into sharp perspective

by recent events

around the world – after all,

sport is not, thankfully, a

matter of life and death.

Two events in particular

brought home to me how

lucky we are as lawyers in

England to practice our profession

without fear or


Firstly, the failed coup in

Turkey, in the aftermath of

which nearly 3,000 judges

and prosecutors were dismissed

by President Erdogan.

Leaving aside the

rights and wrongs of the

failed coup attempt, clearly

this has significant potential

implications for the development

of the rule of law in

Turkey. We forget all too

easily the rule of law, what

we take for granted here,

that a strong independent

judiciary and legal profession

underpin society and

yet are often first in the firing

line, literally and

metaphorically and an easy

target for politicians.

Secondly, the recent attack

at Quetta, resulting in the

death of 55 lawyers who

were at the hospital mourning

the murder of one of

their colleagues.

Balochistan is a place that

desperately needs lawyers,

but is the home of a

decades old separatist insurgency.

The bomb attack

was claimed by a Taliban

offshoot, but the result is

that a generation of lawyers

has been wiped out in

Quetta and it will leave

Balochistan, in more ways

than one, lawless and it will

be years until its legal community


You may not have heard the

story – it barely registered

on international news coverage,

but it is a timely reminder

of the dangers faced

by lawyers in countries

where just being the person

who helps in their small way

to uphold the rule of law

and keep the fabric of society

stitched together puts

you in danger of your life.

Meanwhile, at home, we are

still embroiled in the ongoing

saga of the Tory plans

to replace the Human

Rights Act with a new British

Bill of Rights. Lawyers play a

vital role upholding human

rights, so governments

must ensure that they can

perform their duties without

harassment, fear of arrest,

detention or

intimidation so that they

can publicly protect people

facing violations of their

human rights.

This had been one of

Theresa May’s pet projects,

shared with enthusiasm by

Michael Gove. It has been

reported that the new

Prime Minister has asked

the new Justice Secretary,

Liz Truss, to have another

think at the plans drawn up

by Gove that were expected

to have been announced

following the referendum.

The Conservative General

Election Manifesto in 2015

pledged to scrap the 1998

Human Rights Act and introduce

a British Bill of

Rights to quote “restore

common sense in the application

of human rights in

the UK”.

I understand that the Bill

has been prepared, but it is

not a priority for Mrs May.

The Ministry of Justice has

been threatening to set out

the proposal for the Bill of

Rights for months, if not

years now, and the intention

remains the official line

to consult fully on these

Michael Hardacre


But, as with the as yet not

started Brexit negotiations,

political rhetoric rarely

matches the reality of the

situation in practice. I hope

that these proposals finally

get kicked into the long

grass where they belong.

Some historical perspective

is always welcome and we

Continued on page 7


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6 Movers & Shakers

New Catastrophic Injury Practice for JMW

Full service law firm JMW

Solicitors LLP has announced

that they have

purchased the catastrophic

injury practice of

Liverpool based law firm

Cassell Moore.

Paul Breen, who was Head

of the Catastrophic Injury

Team at Cassell Moore joins

JMW as Head of Catastrophic

Injury in the Personal

Injury team along

with Solicitor Natalie Clarke.

Many of the clients of Paul

and Natalie have transferred

to JMW.

Paul has over 30 years’ experience

in dealing with large

and complex personal injury

cases, has extensive expertise

in fatal accident

claims and is a leading expert

in motorcycle accident


Paul brings with him to

JMW two major referrers of

work. Principal Insurance is

one of the UK’s fastest growing

specialist motor insurance

brokers. The business

specialises in motor bike,

van and specialist car insurance,

and is based in Sale.

Paul also receives work referrals

from The Brain Charity

based in Liverpool. They

offer emotional support,

practical help and social activities

to anyone with a

neurological condition and

their friends, families and

carers. This includes working

with people who have

experienced head and brain

injuries. Paul, Natalie and

Natalie Clarke and Paul Breen

the personal injury team at

JMW will work closely with

both Principal Insurance

and The Brain Charity going


Principal’s CEO, Dave Bowcock,

commented: “We have

known Paul for many years

are confident that our

clients are in the hands of

one of the most knowledgeable

and experienced practitioners

in the country. We

look forward to a long relationship

with him at JMW.”

Paul previously worked with

JMW’s Senior Partner Joy

Kingsley at Pannone and

commenting on Paul’s

move to JMW Joy said:

“We are delighted to welcome

Paul Breen and Natalie

Clarke to the Personal

Injury team at JMW. Having

worked with Paul at Pannone

I know that he brings

with him a wealth of experi-

Slater Heelis expands Private Client team

with two new starters

Two new starters join the

Private Client team at

Manchester and Cheshire

based law firm Slater

Heelis LLP.

Caroline Pinney and Alex

Sealy both join Slater Heelis

from Mills & Reeve LLP.

Caroline specialises in wills,

trusts & probate and Court

of Protection issues and is a

registered Trust and Estate

Practitioner (STEP) as well as

a fully accredited Member

of Solicitors for the Elderly.

Alex’s areas of expertise are

lifetime tax planning and

wills and trusts. Alex is also a

registered Trust and Estate

Practitioner (STEP).

Chris Partington, Partner

ence in dealing with multitrack

and fatal accident personal

injury claims. They

and the work referral

sources they bring with

them, Principal Insurance

and The Brain Charity, are a

welcome addition to our excellent

Personal Injury department.”

Speaking about his appointment

at JMW, Paul

Breen commented: “I am

very pleased to be joining

JMW as Head of Catastrophic

Injury along with

Natalie. The Personal Injury

team at JMW have an excellent

reputation and this was

a huge attraction for me. In

the type of cases I deal with

it is important to work at a

firm that is compassionate

and caring, which can offer

the best possible service to

my clients at a difficult period

in their lives.”

and Head of Private Client at

Slater Heelis said:“The experience

and expertise Alex

and Caroline have gained

throughout their careers

have significantly enhance

the Private Client team.

We’re delighted to welcome

them on board and introduce

them to our clients.”

North West Law Firm expands with

opening Of Preston office

Law firm Farleys Solicitors

has announced plans to

open an office in Preston –

its sixth office in the North

West – as the latest stage

in its strategic plan to

drive further growth

across the business.

The firm has purchased

premises in Winckley

Square and plans to open in

the Autumn offering corporate

and commercial legal

services, in addition to family

law and fraud and business


Managing Partner Ian Liddle

commented: “As a firm we

have seen consistent

growth over many years

and the addition of another

office allows us to maintain

our growth strategy.

“It comes in response to increasing

demand for our

legal services and we look

forward to working with the

business community in Preston

and continuing our

growing presence in the region.

Ian Liddle

We’ll be expanding the team in the coming months and

adding the full range of legal services for individuals and

businesses over time. The Preston office will give us the perfect

platform to build our market share as we become more

integrated in the local market place.”

The deadline for the October

edition of the Messenger

is 15th September

Caroline Pinney, Chris Partington and Alex Sealy

Regulatory Affairs Committee Update

By the time you read this,

the Olympics will be over

and the football season

started again. I don’t know

about you but it feels to me

as though the summer

break from football gets

shorter every year? And if

the SRA has its way, we may

well be saying the same

thing about the Code of

Conduct! As the time for the

consultation responses

draws to a close (21st September

so there is still time!)

I ask myself whether the

profession would think that

the SRA deserves any gold

medals for their proposed

radical overhaul which they

say will help improve competition?

Here’s a round up of what’s

been happening:

Solicitors firms vs ABSs

In last month’s column, I discussed

removing barriers to

competition and Justice

Minister Lord Faulks’ comments

about ABSs. Well, the

Law Society has now

broadly agreed with proposals

for ‘minor’ reform of

ABS regulation because

they consider it to be in the

public interest for traditional

firms and ABSs to be

treated the same. Current

proposals include:

• removing the requirement

that an ABS practise from an

address in England and


• allowing regulators to

make their own rules on

ownership of an ABS;

• changing the rules so compliance

officers report a ‘material’

failure rather than

‘any’ failure; and

• repealing the requirement

to meet the objective to improve

access to justice.

Catherine Dixon, Law Society

Chief Executive says “it is

critical that the regulatory

framework, including client

protection, is equal for ABS

and solicitors’ firms as this

will enable fair competition,

which benefits clients and is

in the public interest.”

The Law Society has recommended

that the ABS sector

is reviewed three years after

the proposals are implemented

as this will gauge

whether they have affected

diversity in the legal services


There is no date for implementation

but watch this

space as the legal market

and services change.

Looking to the Future

As I mentioned above, the

consultation is ongoing and

both the Law Society and

the SRA are keen to hear

members’ views. The Law

Society has already spoken

out about its concerns that

the proposals could create a

“two tier profession” and

leave consumers unprotected

but the SRA do not

accept this nor that it will dilute

the solicitor brand. I

was interested to see that

the SRA has removed the

case studies from the consultation

document and

moved them to a different

part of its website entitled

“Your Questions”. Some of

the case studies have already

changed in light of

feedback given and they

make very “interesting” (and

in some examples, concerning)

reading. The Law Society

has issued a briefing

note as to its views on the

proposals and is travelling

round the country holding

members meetings to

gauge opinion. Please do

get involved in this consultation

– I cannot stress how

important it is and the impact

it could have on every

practising solicitor and all

firms of whatever size and


Risk Outlook

The SRA has also issued its

latest risk outlook looking at

key risk priorities, trends

and horizon scanning. The

President’s Column continued...

should remember that it

was a Conservative politician

and eminent lawyer, Sir

David Maxwell Fyfe, who as

deputy chief prosecutor at

the Nuremberg trials, was

responsible for one of the

most noted cross-examinations

in history when Hermann

Göring took the

stand. His exposure to the

evidence of Nazi atrocities

hardened his commitment

to human rights.

The European Convention

on Human Rights was overseen

by Maxwell Fyfe and

contained the fundamental

rights and freedoms that

underpin our society and

democracy: the right to life,

liberty, the freedom from

torture or inhumane treatment,

the right to a fair trial,

free and fair elections, the

main addition is a new risk

of “Lack of access to legal

services”. This is to tie in with

the regulatory reform mentioned

above. But many remain

familiar including

cybercrime, money laundering

and independence/integrity.

For those of you

involved in PI work, it confirms

that the SRA is “researching

concerns” raised

about PI work and refers to

the SRA’s warning notice issued

in March this year.

Question of Trust

The SRA has also recently released

its initial findings

from its Question of Trust

survey. You may remember

that the SRA put to both

consumers and the profession

various scenarios to

gauge the level of seriousness

of each and what

should happen when solicitors

got it wrong. The most

serious offences all related

to issues of misuse of client

money, criminal activities

and/or dishonesty, such as a

solicitor using client money

to pay gambling debts,

forging documents, or getting

an elderly client to alter

a will so the solicitor could

inherit some money.

Although both the public

and profession see the misuse

of money as very serious,

interestingly the public

were more sympathetic

than solicitors if the money

is replaced. Other areas

where the results showed a

clear difference in views between

the public and solicitors

were on client

confidentiality and solicitor

competence with the public

viewing these as more serious

than the solicitors. The

survey results were not as

conclusive around issues

that related to behaviour

outside a solicitor's working

life - such as getting involved

in a drunken fight,

fare-dodging, being found

guilty of dangerous driving,

or using racist language on

right to receive an education,

to practise your religion

and express yourself


Does anyone seriously

question that these rights

need to be protected any

less passionately today,

than 70 years ago?

Michael Hardacre


a personal blog. There was

no clear consensus on how

seriously a regulator should

treat such matters.

How this survey will inform

the SRA’s approach to enforcement

remains to be

seen – its unfortunate that

the SRA is wanting feedback

on the changes to the

Handbook without providing

what is, I believe, to be

an important piece in the


Reports from the SDT

Continuing the enforcement

theme, the SDT has

been busy recently. One of

note is a solicitor at Capsticks

who was struck off for

claiming £1,185 in false

business expenses. When

queries were raised about

receipts and meetings he

reassured his bosses that all

was legitimate. However,

once an internal investigation

commenced, he admitted

his previous assurances

were false and his expenses

claims actually related to

celebrations for his wife’s

50th birthday. In mitigation

Mr Brookes said he had

been trying to address a

number of issues in his personal

life. Nevertheless, the

tribunal found six allegations

proved, including dishonesty.

This case illustrates

the importance of having a

robust expenses policy with

appropriate approval and

review processes and not

simply taking them at face

value. How do yours stack


Enterprise Insurance

You may also have seen that

the last unrated PII insurer

collapsed recently. Around

50 firms insured by Enterprise

now have the unenviable

task of finding an

alternative insurer after it

went into liquidation. If you

are affected by this in any

way, the Law Society and

the SRA has issued guidance

on their respective


That’s it from me for another

month. The next COLP and

COFA forum will be on 21st

September at Weightmans’

office at 3 Piccadilly Place,

Manchester from 8.30 til

10am. I look forward to seeing

you there.

Michelle Garlick


Manchester Law Society

Regulatory Affairs


Weightmans LLP

My client is a well established firm with a growing presence in

the Manchester market. The firm is successful and has an

entrepreneurial culture. Typical work is based around high

net worth individuals, complex financial issues and cases

involving children.

They now seek to make key appointments into their Family team.

Partner/Senior Associate/Team

They are looking for an individual to help set the strategic direction of the

business. The individual may be an existing Partner or a senior Associate

looking to make a career move. They will also consider a small team who

wish to move as a group. A client following is less important than an

understanding of market dynamics and strong networking skills.

Family Lawyer

Family Law

They are also seeking a two to three year qualified Family Lawyer to

assist with a growing caseload. You will have a broad experience in

Family matters allied with an ambitious and positive approach. Prospects

for development are very good.

In both cases salaries are negotiable and will reflect the higher end of

market rates.

All applications will be treated in the strictest confidence.

Interested candidates should

contact Fred Howie of

Howie White Resourcing


Telephone 07968 086099

Forthcoming Events

8 Movers & Shakers

STEP in the right direction for Manchester

law firm

Following its win of the Society of Trust

and Estates Practitioners (STEP), Vulnerable

Client Advisor of the Year Award

2015/16, Manchester law firm Hugh Jones

Solicitors has again been shortlisted in the

same category for the 2016/17 Awards.

Commented Director and Head of Private

Client, Carol McBride, “We take our work on

behalf of vulnerable clients i.e. those who

have been disadvantaged through illness or

injury and require legal assistance to manage

their affairs, extremely seriously. We are delighted

to have been shortlisted for the STEP

Awards once again and see it is as a reflection

of the hard work and dedication the team

here at Hugh Jones puts in to help and advise

our clients.”

The STEP Awards take place in London on

September 8th this year.

Increased client demand leads to record turnover

and above average growth for Mills & Reeve

Leading national law firm

Mills & Reeve has announced

its 2015/16 results

with record turnover

of £87.2 million, an increase

of more than £5.5

million from last year.

The firm, which employs

more than 900 staff across

six UK offices, enjoyed a 6.8

per cent increase in

turnover, comfortably outperforming

the 5.4 per cent

average growth of the UK’s

top 100 firms.

As a result of the strong financial

performance the

firm also announced the

largest ever all staff bonus

pool of £1.28 million, equivalent

to 5.2 per cent of the

Three new Senior Associates

and one Associate

have been appointed by

Manchester law firm Hugh

Jones Solicitors. The firm

is a leading independent

specialising in Court of

Protection and Private

Client services.

Rebecca Brown and Jenny

firm’s salary bill.

Claire Clarke, Mills & Reeve

managing partner, commented:

“We are delighted

by this strong financial performance

which was

achieved through growing

demand for our services

over the last 12 months. It’s

also a great tick in the box in

terms of our 2020 firm strategy

with one of our key objectives

to grow faster than

the top 100 average.

“We are confident despite

the uncertainty created by

Brexit we can build on this

growth in the current financial

year. We are already having

some positive meetings

with clients and working

Roberts from the Court of

Protection team and Tania

McGrory from Private Client

are made Senior Associates.

Kate Forster from the Property

team is made an Associate.

Said Director Rachel Dobson,

“These appointments

are evidence of the progress

Carol McBride

with our relationship firms

across the world to discuss

the implications for their

clients in relation to their UK

based businesses, or overseas

investors seeing the

weakness of sterling as an

investment opportunity.”

“The current economic climate

makes it even more

important to pull together

as part of our collaborative

culture, to focus on core

markets and sectors, to

deepen our client relationships

and above all to make

sure we deliver commercial,

solution-focussed, pragmatic

advice which is tailored

to our clients’ needs.”

Legal quartet take law firm forward

both the individuals concerned

and the firm itself

have made since the office

opened in Manchester in

2013. We look forward to

Rebecca, Jenny, Tania and

Kate playing major roles in

the growth and development

of Hugh Jones Solicitors

in the years to come.”

Rebecca Brown, Tania McGrory, Kate Forster and Jenny Roberts

Brabners makes offers to its 2016

apprenticeship cohort

Commercial law firm Brabners

has made offers of

employment to all three

of its current cohort of apprentices.

Aimee Jones

and Hollie Millen have

been appointed archives

assistants, and Amy

Roberts a legal typist.

All apprentices gain experience

in legal administration,

front of house, knowledge

management and archives

departments, and across

the legal teams.

The three are the latest additions

to join the business

from Brabners successful

apprenticeship scheme,

which has been running

Tameside firm Bromleys is

celebrating a hat-trick of

endorsements from the

Law Society with its latest

success which acknowledges

the work of its conveyancing


Bromleys has been accredited

under the Conveyancing

Quality Scheme for the

fifth consecutive year.The

scheme recognises firms

which pass a rigorous annual

assessment and provide

excellent service to

clients during the property

buying process.

The accolade follows on the

heels of two others from the

Law Society in recent


Bromleys has again been

awarded the Lexcel quality

mark, which recognises its

commitment to excellence

in areas such as client care

and practice management.

The firm has held the accreditation


since 2005.

Meanwhile, partner

Nicholas Clough has again

since 2012. Previous alumni

include Lucie Osbourne,

who on completion of her

apprenticeship was offered

the post of Marketing Administrator.

In recognition

of her abilities, Lucie was

promoted a year later to

marketing executive, and

currently assists with Brabners’

busy events programme.


Samantha Thompson accepted

a position as a legal

administrator in the Corporate/Commercial


on completion of her

apprenticeship, and is now

studying for her law degree

on a part-time basis at the

Open University with the

support and encouragement

of the firm.

L-R Samantha Thompson, Hollie Millen, Aimee Jones,

Amy Roberts and Lucie Osbourne

Director of Human Resources

Nicola Thomas said:

“As with any business we

are very proud of our people,

and enjoy being part of

their professional development.

It is particularly enjoyable

to watch our

apprentices grow into their

roles, and to be able to offer

them positions which are

the first steps in their individual

careers. The high retention

rate of our

apprentices is testament to

the hard work they put in to

being a part of the Brabners

team and the abilities they


Bromleys gains Law Society plaudits

been acknowledged under

the Law Society’s Family

Law Accreditation Scheme.

This demonstrates he has

achieved a high level of

knowledge, skills, experience

and practice in family

law. He has held this honour

for 10 years.

The conveyancing quality

mark follows a period of

strong growth for Bromleys’

team. The surge in instructions

has been helped by

the emergence of Ashtonunder-Lyne

as a property

hotspot, with demand fuelled

by the completion of

the Metrolink line, town

centre improvements and

the appeal of new canalside


In addition, Bromleys has

strengthened its service to

clients by adopting new

technology and adding staff

to its conveyancing team.

It is currently on 24 lenders’

panels, with eight new appointments

over the past 12


Senior partner Mark Hirst

said: “We are delighted to

Mark Hirst

receive recognition from

the Law Society across three

key areas of the practice.

“These accreditations are independent

recognition of

the significant lengths to

which we go to ensure our

clients receive the best possible


“They also sit alongside

other accreditations we already

have, as well as our Investors

in People Gold




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60 Fenchurch Street, London, EC3M 4AD.

10 CAB News

CAB - Practical Issues

A few months ago I wrote

in The Messenger about

the work I do volunteering

with Salford Citizens Advice

Bureau. Experience

working as a solicitor really

does give you a head

start in advising and helping

CAB clients. However,

it is a bit of a shock to the

system moving from a situation

where you know

the answer to most questions

a client may ask to a

situation where initially

you know very little about

most questions troubling

a CAB client.

There is plenty of help for

volunteers from their manager,

from their CB training

and from an online system

called Advisernet but nevertheless

you are in quite a

different situation.

So I thought I would write a

column for The Messenger

every few months which

covers some areas where

CAB clients have particular

needs. Areas such as benefits,

immigration and debt

to name only three. Sometimes

all these three will

come in one enquiry. And

the first subject I have is the

benefit known as Universal

Credit (UC).

Despite much coverage in

the media about the delays

to the government’s major

programme of reforming

the benefit system, much of

UC has already been rolled

out across Greater Manchester.

CAB are dealing

with hundreds of people

with enquires about the

new system.

The idea behind UC is that it

will eventually replace all

other means tested benefits

such as income based Jobseeker’s

Allowance and

Housing Benefit. Instead of

a client applying for several

means tested benefits one

claim for UC will cover all

their means tested needs.

And UC is supposed to be

flexible so that when a

client’s circumstances

change then the amount of

UC will change as well.

Here are some of the new

benefit’s main features:

Universal Credit tops up

your earnings

When a client starts work

the amount of Universal

Credit they get may gradually

reduce as they earn

more. But unlike Jobseeker’s

Allowance, their payment

won’t stop just because

they work more than 16

hours a week.

Work Allowance

In some cases, people may

be eligible for a work allowance.

A work allowance

is the amount that can be

earned before Universal

Credit payment is affected.

Once earnings are more

than the works allowance,

UC payments will be reduced

at a 65% taper.

Therefore for every pound

earned over the work allowance,

UC will be reduced

by 65 pence. Payments will

change as earnings change.

From April 2016, the range

of work allowances available

was simplified. People

will be eligible for a work allowance

if they (and/or their

partner) either:

• have responsibility for a

child and/or

• have limited capability for


The monthly work allowances

are set at:

£192 (per household)

If Universal Credit includes

housing support

£397 (per household)

If they do not receive housing


If people have earnings but

they (or their partner) are

not responsible for a child

or do not have limited capability

for work they will not

be eligible for a work allowance.

Total income

Total income will be their

earnings plus any new UC

payment. The more earned,

the higher total income will

be until no Universal Credit

is available.

A claim continues when

someone starts work. A

client can take temporary or

seasonal jobs without worrying

about making a brand

new claim or any gaps between

paydays as they

move in and out of work. A

claim will stay live for up to

six months, even if no UC is

awarded during such time.

Other support to help you

earn more

The government’s aim is to

support people on UC to increase

their earnings and ultimately

move off benefits

altogether. These changes

were brought in along with

a range of measures to help

clients earn more. These include:

• bringing in the National

Living Wage - which is set to

reach over £9 an hour by


• increasing the personal tax

allowance to £11,000

• increasing and providing

support for eligible costs of

childcare in Universal Credit

to 85% and doubling the

free early years provision to

30 hours a week for working

parents of 3 and 4 year olds

Practical issues

The underlying force behind

the introduction of UC

is to encourage clients back

into work and also to encourage

clients to take responsibility

for their own

personal circumstances.

There are therefore particular

areas where clients have


• All claims for UC must be

made online. Quite a number

of clients have no access

to a computer and have no

skills is using one. This is

having to change.

• When awarded, UC is paid

monthly save for exceptional

circumstances. Many

current benefits are paid on

a weekly basis so clients

have to get used to a different

way of budgeting

• When a claim for UC includes

rent the payment of

UC is made in full to the

client who is then responsible

for paying the rent. In

the past Housing Benefit

has been paid direct to the

Landlord. Clients and their

landlords are therefore not

used to the new UC regime.

This leads to many situations

where the client has

not budgeted for the rent

and there are significant arrears.

Stephen Hindmarsh

• UC is currently being rolled

out in various areas of the

UK which include Greater

Manchester. Currently not

every category of new

claimant is required to claim

UC and clients on existing

means tested benefits stay

on those benefits. So CAB

will be advising on both UC

and the existing means

tested benefits for some

time to come.

That’s it for UC. I’ll have another

topic in a couple of

months time.

Stephen Hindmarsh

CAB Volunteer

Past President of

Manchester Law Society

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Kuits welcomes local students to

its Legal Taster Workshops

Manchester commerical

law firm Kuits welcomed a

group of aspiring solicitors

onto a three-day legal

taster workshop this

month, designed to offer

students an overview of

the legal profession and

what it takes to work at

the firm.

Students from across the

Greater Manchester region

joined both senior and junior

lawyers at Kuits’ brand

new offices at Blackfriars

House to consider and practise

some of the key skills

needed by solicitors, and

experience the culture at

the UK200-listed firm.

The undergraduates were

also invited to discuss what

a typical working day looks

like with the firm’s solicitors

and trainees, receiving

guidance on the different

entry routes to qualification.

Students listened to presentations

about commercial

property, corporate, intellectual

property, employment,

banking, litigation

and licensing before working

on a central case study

that looked at a hypothetical,

newly-formed company.

Alison Pearse, Head of HR at

Kuits, explains: “The practical

exercise, where we

looked at the setting up and

running of a business, fo-

cused upon some of the

core skills the undergraduates

will need as solicitors –

such as team working, planning

and communication.

“We took students through

the sorts of legal issues

businesses face when they

are at the beginning of their

journeys – lease agreements,

licences, shareholder

agreements – to what advice

they would need on

the day-to-day running,

such as reputation management,

brand protection,

complying with employment

law, by bringing in our

teams who are experts in

these fields.

“By using one example and

applying all of the different

sorts of law we practise at

Kuits, it gave students a

unique introduction not

only to the world of law, but

to Kuits as well. We were really

pleased at how this

brought what we do to life

and by the great feedback

we received from attendees.”

A student who attended the

Legal Workshop said: “The

workshop was incredibly informative

and developed

my knowledge of different

practice areas significantly.

It was very well organised

and enjoyable throughout,

helping me understand and

learn more about the law,

Local News 11

Landmark ruling changes future of Asbestosis

Compensation Claims

Victims pursuing asbestosis

compensation claims

could now be helped by a

landmark ruling by the

Court of Appeal.

On 29 July, 2016, the Court

of Appeal decided that employers

who had only been

responsible for a small proportion

of an employee’s asbestos

exposure had to pay

compensation, even if it

couldn’t be proved that the

additional exposure they

were responsible for had

made the symptoms worse.

The case in question involved

Albert Carder, now

86, a retired electrician who

was exposed to asbestos

whilst working at Exeter

University in the 1980s.

Most of his exposure to asbestos

dust took place earlier

in his career with other

employers before he

worked at the university.

At a High Court hearing in

July last year, it was reported

that his employment

at the university contributed

2.3 per cent of the

total asbestos dose. It

caused Mr Carder to suffer

no additional symptoms

and the extent that the disease

had been made worse

by this was not measurable.

Judges found in his favour

and lawyers for the university

took the case to the

Court of Appeal.

But passing judgement,

Master of the Rolls Lord

Dyson, at the Court of Appeal,

upheld the High

Court’s ruling. He said Mr

Carder’s exposure at the

university had increased the

severity of the disease by a

‘small, albeit not measurable’


Lord Dyson added: “It is conceded

that the increase was

material. In my view this

concession is critical.In

these circumstances, the

judge was right to hold that

Mr Carder was slightly

worse off as a result of the

2.3 per cent exposure for

which the appellant was responsible.”

What Does This Mean For

People Pursuing Asbestosis

Compensation Claims?

This means that employers

cannot avoid responsibility

to pay asbestosis compensation

because they were

only one of a large number

of employers, each of

whom contributed a small

part of the total dose, on the

grounds that “their bit”

taken on its own couldn’t be

shown to have been responsible

for the symptoms.

An example of the absurdity

of the employer’s argument

can be shown in the following


An employee develops as-

but most importantly that

Kuits is a great place to


Kuits is planning to repeat

the workshops with different

groups of students

twice a year, with the next

cohort scheduled for December.

The firm is working closely

with local educational institutions

to ensure the workshops

draw students from a

diverse range of backgrounds

and circumstances.

Steve Eccleston, Managing

Partner for Kuits, said: “We

recognise that not everyone

with an interest in law follows

a set path into the discipline,

and we work very

hard to make sure our hiring

processes cater for people

with different backgrounds,

experiences and skill sets.

“While technical excellence

is important, today’s lawyer

also needs to be able to

think commercially, be a

team player and provide an

outstanding client experience

– these are the attributes

that we actively look

for in our people to ensure

we are not only the best at

what we do, but also retain

our culture and reputation

as a firm that people really

enjoy working for.”

bestosis and has a 30 per

cent respiratory disability

from the disease.

If he were exposed by only

one employer, that employer

would have to pay all

the compensation.

If he had 50 employers,

each responsible for two

per cent of the asbestos

dose, then he would recover

nothing for the same level

of disability, for each employer

would argue that

their “bit” on its own had not

made the symptoms worse.

The Court of Appeal has

stated that this approach is

wrong. If an employer has

contributed to the dose

which caused the disease,

they have to pay a proportion

of the compensation.

This is only fair.

Depending on the extent of

the damage done, the life

expectancy of a person suffering

asbestosis varies and

can get worse over time.

People with asbestosis have

a higher risk of developing

other asbestos-related diseases,

including mesothelioma

and lung cancer.

Asbestos fibres are nearly

700 times smaller than a

human hair. Asbestos dust is

odourless, tasteless and indestructible.

Asbestos dust

and fibres continue to kill

more than 100,000 workers

around the world every


Law Society Excellence Awards

Two Manchester Law Society member firms

have been shortlisted in the annual Law Society

Excellence Awards.

Jackson and Canter have been shorlisted in three

categories: Excellence in Client Service, and Excellence

in Pro Bono and Chris Topping has been

shortlisted as Human Rights Lawyer of the Year. Andrew

Holroyd, Executive Chairman of Jackson &

Canter told the Messenger: “We are delighted to be

shortlisted in three categories in the Law Society

Excellence Awards. Our Excellence in Client Service

is recognised by our only being the second law

firm to achieve Customer Service Excellence accreditation

and our Foundation has made a difference

through its work. Chris Topping who never

seeks the limelight certainly deserves recognition

for his dedicated service of Police and Human

rights law.”

Roberts Jackson have also been shorlisted for Excellence

in Client Care. Executive Directors, Gladys

Swaim-Rutter said : “Over the last 12 months, the

team at Roberts Jackson continue to work tirelessly

to improve every aspect of the client journey. By

continuously seeking to be innovative, the team

have been able to drive initiatives which have resulted

in the team securing a 23% increase in settlements

on last year. The implementation of the

firm’s balanced scorecard and trial committee has

allowed the team to lower leakage whilst ensuring

high quality and quick progression through key

milestones for the client.”

Patrick Walsh

Tragically, people who are

diagnosed with life-threatening

asbestos-related diseases

such as asbestosis and

mesothelioma will have

been exposed to asbestos

decades before doctors

were able to make the diagnosis.

It is for this reason

that any workers who suspect

they may have been

exposed to asbestos should

register their concerns immediately.

Patrick Walsh

Principal Lawyer,

Serious Injury

Slater & Gordon

Andrew Holroyd

Gladys Swaim-Rutter

12 News

Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse: What needs to happen?

The resignation of Dame

Lowell Goddard as chair of

the Independent Inquiry

into Child Sexual Abuse is

hugely frustrating and

dispiriting for survivors.

What needs to happen


The resignation of Dame

Lowell Goddard as chair of

the Independent Inquiry

into Child Sexual Abuse is

hugely frustrating and

dispiriting for survivors.

All day I have been fielding

calls from clients worried

that this hard won opportunity

to investigate and expose

the reality of

institutional abuse – and to

learn how to prevent it in future

- will be derailed.

My clients and many others

have waited so long to have

their voices heard. They

have invested great hope in

this inquiry. For the sake of

survivors, and for society as

a whole, it is essential that

the work of the inquiry continues.

What Needs to Happen


To ensure momentum is not

lost, the Home Secretary urgently

needs to appoint an

interim chair. This can be a

current panel member.

Alexis Jay, who led the inquiry

into child sexual exploitation

in Rotherham, is

an obvious candidate. An

interim chair can ensure

that the work of the inquiry

continues, pending a permanent


What Qualities Are

Needed in The New Chair?

Four come to mind. Firstly, a

professional knowledge

and understanding of the issues

involved in child abuse

and child protection. Without

that background, in my

view a new chair would face

an impossibly steep learning


Secondly, experience in

public inquiries. This inquiry

is the largest, most ambitious

and most sensitive inquiry

undertaken in the UK.

We have already seen how

inquiries can rapidly become

unmanageable. The

Bloody Sunday Inquiry – an

investigation of events on a

single day in 1972 – lasted

16 years. A new chair needs

to know the bear traps and

how to avoid them.

Thirdly, strong leadership

skills. This inquiry has a vast

remit; some would say too

vast. But we know from the

experience of the McClellan

Royal Commission in Australia

that a national inquiry

into institutional child

abuse can succeed, provided

it has the benefit of

strong and determined

leadership. This will be critical.

Finally, the new inquiry

chair needs to be an effective

ambassador; someone

who can communicate the

purpose and workings of

the inquiry both to survivors

and to the wider public,

in a compelling fashion.

Dame Lowell Goddard

never quite managed this;

perhaps her overseas absences

made this harder.

The inquiry chair needs to

present a compelling narrative

to the public about

what the Inquiry hopes to

achieve, how it proposes to

go about its task, and

timescales. He or she needs

to win the public’s trust.

Clearly, it will not be easy to

find a permanent chair with

all of these personal qualities.

The Home Secretary

must do her best. Although

Goddard’s absences abroad

were a distraction, I wouldn’t

rule out looking overseas

provided the candidate is

unequivocally committed

to seeing the inquiry

through to its conclusion.

Does The New Chair Need

to be a Lawyer?

A legal background is not

strictly necessary; previous

public inquiries have been

chaired by non –lawyers.

But this is a statutory inquiry,

and the chair effectively

has judicial powers, so

one would normally expect

a lawyer for this role. The

scale of the Inquiry, the sensitivity

of the legal issues involved

– and the resistance

that will inevitably be encountered

from some of the

institutions and individuals

under scrutiny – inclines me

to think that a lawyer would

probably be necessary.

Whoever the new chair is, it

is essential that the Inquiry

remains on track. Survivors

have waited too long for

this opportunity, and it cannot

be snatched away now

Richard Scorer

National Manager of Serious

Injury and Specialist

Personal Injury


Richard Scorer

Richard Scorer is a specialist abuse lawyer at Slater and

Gordon, representing more than 50 victims giving evidence

to the Inquiry.

Why understanding your audience is key to PPC

Express Solicitors are a Leading

Firm for Personal Injury. Due to

continued growth plans, we are looking

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Candidates must have experience of

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Tailored training & development

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When it comes to content

marketing, we have long

been big believers in saying

the right thing at the right

time. Content needs to align

with the buyer journey,

whether the audience is in

the awareness, consideration

or decision stage – otherwise

you risk alienating

your potential customers.

However, understanding

your audience and their

buying journey can also

help you achieve great results

in pay per click advertising.

Keyword research

Every PPC campaign begins

with keyword research –

using Google's tools to understand

the search volume

around your services, and

the estimated cost per click

– and using this to inform

your decision on what you

will bid on. Understanding

your audience helps you develop

a list of terms to target;

do they know the

technical legal terms, or are

they more likely to search

for their problem? What will

they search for in the awareness,

consideration and decision



There are many ways of targeting

a PPC campaign to

align with the buyer journey.

As well as narrowing

down to a certain location,

you can adjust bids on mobile

devices, days of the

week and times of the day,

so it helps to know these

details about your audience's

research habits.


The ads themselves need to

be as appealing as possible

to get potential customers

to click through. That means

tailoring the ad copy to your

audience's needs and concerns

– would they be more

interested in a service that is

quick, easy, cheap, awardwinning

or highly recommended?

We always

recommend testing ad copy

to discover the most successful

variation. Extensions

can also be used to say

more in the limited space


Landing pages

The final piece of the jigsaw

is of course the landing

pages – because a click that

doesn't turn into an enquiry

is just a waste of money. The

USPs and messaging you

have identified to include in

the ads themselves should

also be included on the

landing page; you should

also consider whether your

audience will need to see

testimonials, pricing or a

friendly face before enquiring.

An initial investment in understanding

your audience

really will pay off time and

time again, resulting in a

better experience for them,

and better results for you.

theEword can offer bespoke

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Talking Heads 15

Talking Heads

This month we asked practitioners “What do you think will

be the implications of the Online Courts?”

John Dunn

Consultant Solicitor

As with every proposed IT project which is aimed at simplifying

a system, or processes, the success or otherwise of the

project will be dependent upon having a very specific concept

of the outcome which is required and a detailed specification

of the steps undertaken within the process which will

achieve that outcome. There is nothing of this nature within

the report

In fairness to him Briggs LJ was given a huge task and he has

himself identified that this is the case by referring to several

points which he has not been able to deal with.

Insofar as the online court is concerned he has provided fairly specific parameters within

which the service should be provided but he has not, and could not have been expected

to, become engaged in producing a detailed specification of precisely what is going to be


In fairness to him does refer to the need for "painstaking development, design and testing".

My answer therefore to the specific question is that that the jury is out on this one. We will

only really know what the implications will be once we know what the system and processes

actually look like once they have been designed and implemented. At the moment the only

thing we really know is what is going to be called. (the Online Solutions Court).

It could end up being a tremendous success providing inexpensive access to justice to all

but equally it could also end up being extremely complicated and as off-putting to the unrepresented

claimant as the current court system.

If it is going to succeed “Online Solutions Court” will either require extremely knowledgeable

"Case Officers" to identify the legal issues involved and assist the litigants (in which

case referring to it as an "Online Court" is to my mind something of a misnomer), or it will

need a huge investment in artificial intelligence driven systems to analyse the facts presented

by the claimants and identify what if any legal issues are to be resolved (which is, I

think, extremely unlikely).

Either way it is difficult to see how it will assist significantly in resolving cases where the

evidence of the parties is in severe conflict.

It might help the courts run more efficiently in simple cases where it is clear from the outset

that either the claim or the proposed defence to the claim is misconceived. The other

side of that particular kind however could well be that the courts could find themselves

inundated with "information" and "evidence" which since it is provided by unrepresented

parties, and in fact be completely irrelevant to the real issues.

The fact of the matter is that law is actually quite complicated and I fear the worst.

Phil Duignan

Principal Associate, Eversheds

It is understandable in theory why the proposed On-line

Court system may be attractive to some classes of litigant as,

post Jackson, the initial cost of litigation has increased, both

through the increase in Court Fees, and also the work now required

of parties in advance of the first CMC. The question of

proportionality of costs therefore certainly arises in claims

where the quantum is £25,000 and below.

There is however a real danger that the implementation of

such a system will place further burden on an already overworked

Court staff. Further the potential capping of recoverable

legal costs is likely to act as a deterrent to a party

obtaining legal advice on a matter important to them, which may result in an unfair outcome

which could otherwise have been avoided.

We should also not underestimate the important role that solicitors play at the outset of a

case when advising clients of the merits of a claim and the likelihood of success in pursuing

it. Without this filter in place, it could well lead to an increase in speculative litigation,

which would in turn take up substantial resource in an already very busy Court system.

The Final Report raises more questions than answers on this issue, and further careful

thought is required before it is implemented.

Geraldine Stephens

Solicitor, Blackstone Solicitors

I agree with the reasoning behind the proposal for the online

court. Throughout my training I have witnessed drastic cuts

to legal aid which has increased the number of litigants in

person, culminating in lay people, unable to afford legal advice

finding it difficult to navigate the court system causing

undue delay and frustration.

However, I am concerned that the financial limit of no more

than £10,000 was considered appropriate and believe that

claims valued at £25,000 or less will be treated differently.

The obvious initial implications will be setbacks, IT problems, and teething issues. It is vitally

important that online courts do not limit access to justice as I can see a decreased need

for lawyers in the not too distant future.

Law firms are more adaptable now than ever and I have no doubt we can embrace the

changes. There is little choice! A huge educational project beckons.

Calling all Criminal


The CPS are holding an open meeting on

Thursday, 8th September at 4.30 – 5.30 pm

for all criminal practitioners.

The meeting will take place at the CPS Office Manchester, 5th Floor

conference room, Sunlight House, Manchester, M3 3LU

The agenda items will include:

Jeff Lewis

Partner, Brabners LLP

· Digitisation

· Transforming Summary Justice

· Better Case Management

· Open Forum for Q&A

In the modern era, the concept of an Online Court has to be

a good one, but only if proper safeguards are put in place.

First, the amount of fixed recoverable costs must be realistic,

otherwise parties will not consult lawyers, and the Online

Court will get clogged-up with cases which are completely

unmeritorious and/or unintelligible. Secondly, the Court Service

IT needs to be ‘up to the job’; there is something of a history

of its not meeting the needs of its users; clearly, a process

which is designed to be conducted online needs the requisite

standard of IT. Thirdly, all would-be litigants, including the

vulnerable, must be able to assert their legal rights; this includes

those who do not use computers, those who cannot

access the internet, those who are visually-impaired, and those for whom English is not their

first language; indeed, it is easy to see how, if the appropriate protections are not put in

place, ordinary and vulnerable people might easily be prejudiced (in particular when claiming

against large organisations).

So, it’s a cautious approval to the Online Court – the devil will be in its implementation.

If you would like to attend could you please e-mail your name and firm


16 Charity & CSR

Law Firm takes on Charity Challenges

Kuits organise quest fundraiser for charity

Commercial law firm Kuits

has raised money for its

nominated charity, Wood

Street Mission, by completing

an interactive

quest around Manchester

city centre.

Altrincham-based Jefferies Solicitors has once again raised a significant amount of

money for charity – this time by conquering the Three Peaks challenge and Race for

Life’s Pretty Muddy.

In what has turned out to be a bumper month for charity donations, Jefferies Solicitors

raised nearly £1,500 in June for the Children’s Adventure Farm Trust (CAFT) and Cancer Research.

Solicitor Michael Mawdsley took part in the National Three Peak challenge, scaling the UK’s

highest mountains, Ben Nevis (1,344m), Snowdon (1,085m) and Scafell Pike (978m) in under

24 hours.

To round off the charitable success, an eight-strong team, led by director Nina Ramsden,

tackled Race for Life’s Pretty Muddy at Tatton Park in Knutsford. Joining thousands of women

dressed in pink from across the North West, the group ran the 5km obstacle race for Cancer


Nina Ramsden comments: “At 10,000ft altogether, taking part in the Three Peak challenge

is no mean feat. Michael did a great job completing this in 22 hours 50 minutes and raising

£1,000 for CAFT – our chosen charity at Jefferies Solicitors.

“Following on from our running success last year, we once again took part in Pretty Muddy

to show our commitment to Cancer Research. We’re proud to get involved in such a worthwhile

charity – it’s one that remains close to our hearts.”

CAFT was established in 1985 by Founding Patron Tim Grundy. It is based in the grounds

of a beautiful 17th Century Farmhouse in Millington, Cheshire and offers free adventure

breaks and activities to children who are disadvantaged by illness, disability and poverty.

For more information on CAFT, visit

SJB Sportspersons’ Dinner for Headway

St John’s Buildings are holding a charity Sportspersons’ Dinner on Friday 18 November

at Hotel Football, overlooking Old Trafford and the city of Manchester. The event

is being held as part of our year of fundraising for Headway, the charity that works

to improve life after brain injury.

The Sportspersons’ dinner will be a light-hearted evening of sports-related stories and humour.

Guests will enjoy a 3-course meal, an auction of sports memorabilia and will hear from

our special guest speaker, John Hartson, formerly of Arsenal, West Ham, Celtic and Wales,

who will share some stories from his playing days and his insight into the modern game.

The evening will also include a stand-up comedy act by Debra-Jane Appleby.

The Sportspersons' dinner is open to all, so please join us to support this excellent cause.

Tickets cost £80 each. Please visit

to find out more and book your place.

The fundraiser saw over

forty team members brave

the Manchester rain to complete

a series of tasks that

included taking the biggest

group selfie and solving riddles

dotted in several locations

around the city. The

eight teams were also

tasked with spelling out

‘Kuits’ in the most imaginative

way possible using

Manchester scenery.

While on their search, staff

were encouraged to send

photos of completed missions

back to event coordinators

at the firm’s offices at

Blackfriars House.

Samantha Lawson, a secretary

for the Kuits’ licensing

team and member of the

firm’s Community Involvement

Team (CIT), commented:

“A couple of CIT

members compiled a

slideshow of all of the images

as they came in, which

was very entertaining – one

team even bumped into

Girona FC and managed to

take a group selfie with the


“We judged each task on

entertainment value and

the levels of creativity that

went into the photos, before

giving points to the

best ones in each category.”

Laughs for cash: JMW Solicitors gears

up for 2nd fundraising comedy dinner

Last year, I was delighted

to have been involved

with a fundraising dinner

JMW Solicitors put on, to

raise funds for the Child

Brain Injury Trust.

The dinner, a black tie comedy

night, saw just under

200 from Manchester’s legal

and professional services

sector enjoy some fantastic

comic turns and sparkling

company, raising a staggering

£20,617.05 for the Child

Brain Injury Trust.

I’m delighted to say that

we’re holding the second

annual comedy dinner this

year, returning to the Victoria

and Albert Manchester


The dinner is set to take

place on 29th September

and once again, it will be a

black tie affair, with the goal

of raising as much money as

possible for this very worthy


We’re also pleased to say

Sarah Evans, marketing

manager and fellow CIT

member, added: “My

favourite task given to the

teams was to perform a random

act of kindness. Staff

bought food for the homeless,

coffees for construction

workers and donated their

umbrellas to passers-by,

which just added to the

charitable nature of the


Teams were given an hour

to complete the tasks before

heading back to the office

for a prize-giving


The firm raised a total of

£210 for Wood Street Mission,

which provides help to

children and families living

in Manchester and Salford

that Kings Chambers continues

to support the event

as a headline sponsor, providing

welcome drinks and

wine on the table.

The Child Brain Injury Trust

is a vital service and a wonderful

cause, which is why

we’re proud to support

them through this event

and others. Every penny

raised at this event will go

directly to supporting their

work in our region. At current,

that involves working

with 180 families who are all

in need of care, love and

hope in their darkest hours.

Not only are we supporting

this wonderful charity in

September, we’re also organising

a black tie dinner

with a dancing theme to

raise funds for Headway

Preston and Chorley. Another

great cause, and I look

forward to sharing more information

about this event

with you in the coming


Group selfie with Girona FC

with everyday items most

people take for granted.

Steve Eccleston, Managing

Partner for Kuits, said: “Getting

together outside of the

office environment is an important

aspect of our culture

and something that we

like to organise frequently

to promote team-building.

We also encourage our people

to play an active role in

helping the Manchester

community, so the two

often go hand-in-hand.

“The feedback we’ve had

from everyone that took

part has been positive, so

I’m sure it will become a regular

fixture on our charity

events list.”

If you’re interested in learning

more about either event

and buying a table, you can

get in touch with my colleague

Danielle on

who is handling bookings

and will be happy to provide

you with details of our

gold and standard packages.

We look forward to seeing

you there!

Gordon Cartwright

JMW Solicitors

Charity & CSR 17

BPP Pro Bono Centre – Calais Migrant Camp

If you google “Calais migrants” you don’t discover much

about the men and women in the Calais camps.

You learn that the Calais mayor wants the camps moved

to the UK in the light of Brexit. You learn too that French

riot police released tear gas into the camps recently,

after violence broke out. As lawyers engaged in pro

bono projects we look behind headlines and are keen to

find ways for our pro bono projects to help the most vulnerable.

We were therefore particularly struck by the following


“Right now, around 5000 refugees from war-torn and politically

unstable countries remain 20 miles from the coast of Dover.”


5000 refugees. All living in terrible conditions with little access

to water, food or sanitation. We wanted to know more

about the personal stories of the refugees. What makes a 19

year old boy leave his family in the Sudan to make a perilous

trip across the continent and through Europe to the Northern

borders of France? What makes an 11 year old boy feel

safer in a camp on the outskirts of Calais than in the embrace

of his family in his home country, Afghanistan? What

do they know of the laws that might allow them, or in fact

block them, from building a new life on our continent?

The Pro Bono Centre team

The BPP Pro Bono Centre is part of BPP University Law

School. As a team, we run around 30 projects nationwide

aimed at improving access to justice in the community by

engaging law students to deliver free legal advice and education

under supervision. In Manchester and Liverpool the

team is headed up by me, Lucy Wildig, Pro Bono Manager,

and Rachael Kirkup, Pro Bono Coordinator, both formally of

Brabners LLP. The wider team won the 2016 BPP Staff Corporate

Social Responsibility Award for their Soup Kitchen

project (through which students and staff volunteer at a

homeless shelter in London) receiving a financial award of

£2,000 to spend on a team treat.


Once committed to visiting Calais, we started to raise funds

for items identified by the charities working there as being

much needed. In total we raised over £1150 prior to our

visit. We took items such as shoes with us and much needed

trousers for 12-14 year olds. Our first stop of the day was to

deliver the items to a warehouse of the French charity, the

Auberge des Migrants. This charity aims to offer basic food,

essential clothing and assistance with other basic needs

such as shelter. They have a huge warehouse near the camp

and long-term and short-term volunteers were all around

the warehouse on our arrival. One of the volunteers was almost

in tears on receiving our donated size 42 shoes as

there was a long list of camp inhabitants in need of them

and Tuesday (the day of our visit) was “shoes day!”

Volunteering with Care4Calais

Following our trip to Auberge, we then moved on to assist

a charity called Care4Calais. This was founded by a group

of UK volunteers and aims to help any refugees fleeing war,

poverty or natural disaster with basic needs and some quality

of life. Care4Calais is self-funded and is currently seeking

charitable status in the UK.

The pro bono team signed up for moving tents to clear

space for the “delivery from Glastonbury” and for loading

the mini bus full of cleaning items for the camp to be transferred

to the Auberge des Migrants for distribution (it was

refreshing to see such collaboration of efforts between

these independent organisations). We then took part in

warehouse tidy up, emptying donation bags and sorting as

best we could. Our entire team embraced the task at hand

with some really honing their warehouse credentials by operating

the warehouse pallet jack!

After lunch the team volunteered for a variety of tasks with

roughly half aiding with the distribution of food parcels and

of clothing items and half teaching English to the camp inhabitants.

Inside the Camp

The first thing you feel when driving in – a different world

but just a few hours from home. It is immediately striking

that you 15can’t see the end of the rows of tents and that

there are very few women or very young children around.

The pictures you don’t see much of in our media are of the

inhabitants trying to create a sense of place, home and community.

There are little cafes and kitchens set up in

makeshift huts, places that we are told are often full outside

of Ramadan. It is however evident that this is no luxury

campsite. There is little provision for basic needs and shelter

varies from tents to small shacks constructed from whatever

materials were to hand. Some were sturdier than others

with tarpaulins and roofing structures, whereas others used

blankets to keep out the sun and rain.

There were also some porta cabins. These house 12 people.

To access these, they must comply with some rules including

scanning your hand. Many of the refugees are nervous

about this because of the Eurodac system and therefore

don’t enter. We are told that roughly 20% of the inhabitants

want to reach the UK and so don’t risk creating obstacles by

complying with the porta cabin requirements. This leaves

them susceptible to the terrible conditions on camp. Cold,

wet, damp conditions day in, day out.

The men varied in age and all had made perilous journeys

to reach Calais. One 19 year old told us that in Sudan he was

not safe. His father, aged 52, felt this young boy had no

choice but to leave the family to seek shelter with an uncle

in the UK. He is trying to reach him.

Care4Calais have clearly developed great relationships with

people in the camp and those who chanced their luck by

pushing in tended to be well known to them from previous

distributions. How do you deal with a situation like this?

Pretty much the same way as such incidents are handled

anywhere. The others tut and everyone ignores the person

pushing in until they realise it is faster to join the back.

Those of us actually inside the container were organising

the ‘stock’ or offering our comments on the jumpers. The

queue was well over a hundred people and it was surprising

how similar the operation ran to a normal shop; some

were dissatisfied with the colour or fit of the jumpers and

some changed their mind afterwards and wanted to have

a replacement!

After the clothes, we returned to the van and began food

distribution. We were initially in contact with a guide from

the camp and the plan was to work in pairs and deliver

packages to specific people known to be in need. The immediate

problem we faced was that, in reality, every person

in the camp is in need. Everybody there is hungry and everybody

needed the packages. As word spread that we were

delivering food, it became progressively harder to return to

the van to collect more, and impossible to explain that “no,

you cannot have this food”. Instead we had to arrange another

queue and handed out food to as many people as

would could before it ran out.

Regardless of the views you might hold on where people in

the camps should be, it is impossible not to be charmed and

stunned in equal measure as the told their stories. One

young man had fractured his leg and skull after jumping

from a lorry having realised it was heading in the wrong direction.

Apparently, this was nothing compared to his friend

who, thinking he had made it to England, found that he was

in fact in a lorry and surrounded by Belgian police, and was

duly deported to Italy. It became clear that they don’t find

the camp to be as horrifying as the places from which they

have fled.

Some of the residents we met matter of factly told us of their

days spent queuing (without knowing what aid, if anything,

would be delivered to their area that day) and sleeping, before

re-attempting to board lorries to the UK for 5 – 6 hours

each night (despite some having been recently tear-gassed

and others still carrying the physical scars from previous

failed attempts). What impossible situations had they fled

from – leaving jobs, homes and family precious to them behind

– to push them to this unforgiving daily routine?

One of the long term aid workers I spoke to was delighted

that a young male had selected a bright yellow hoody during

our distribution rather than a black hoody that would

provide the ‘cloak of darkness’. I asked why. “It means that –

at least for tonight – he won’t be risking his life to climb

aboard a vehicle heading for the UK”.

Legal projects going forward

We were fortunate enough to meet with a volunteer in the

Legal Centre on camp. Through a very productive meeting

we identified three areas where BPP students and fellow pro

bono providers can assist

1. Information

There are 8000 inhabitants and very minimal volunteer resources

to provide simple, useful information on the legal

and other options available to the camp inhabitants. Our

students will work on preparing posters in the languages of

the inhabitants setting out some clear information. The

most common languages are Arabic, Pashto, Farsi, Dari and


2. Training

There are a number of incredible volunteers based in Calais

helping long-term to assist with the distribution of goods,

basic English lessons and more. Few know anything at all

about immigration law and asylum law. We’ve agreed to

prepare online training for all charities based in Calais to

provide access for their volunteers so that they understand

the basics. We will also provide ad hoc training in person in

the UK where required.

3. Volunteer recruitment

We will prepare a job description for legal student volunteers

to help in the Legal Shelter in Calais. This will include

details on the requirements for the post, information about

the Legal Shelter and rules for volunteering. We will also provide

training on the relevant laws to the students at BPP. We

are also able to seek further pro bono assistance for example

with gaining charitable status, governance and more either

alone or with our pro bono partners.

Manchester and Liverpool’s Pro Bono Centre are always

looking to forge new partnerships with Law Firms across the

North West, for a variety of different projects and initiatives.

If you would like to get involved, or simply have a chat to

discover how you could, as a firm, work with us, please don’t

hesitate to contact me at

18 Management Issues

Management Matters

This column is now into its eighth year and feedback is still good. We would still like to receive observations and ideas for

future issues. Please mail Bill Kirby at or the publisher Julia Baskerville at

Case Studies to demonstrate firms really are

taking action on mobility, agility and productivity

Over the last few years in this column I have written a great

deal about how law firms should be taking seriously enhancements

in mobility, agility, productivity and efficiency.

Many of you get in touch with me to ask how academic I am

about the topic with a doubt as to whether other firms are

or are not adopting the latest ideas in order to become and

remain for competitive, more profitable and in control of

working capital at the same time as enhancing client experience.

This month I am going to share some real examples stimulated

by Manchester Law Society Advantage members.

Hosting and Agile Working Let’s start with Olliers -

who are comfortable to go public on their good news –

moving to a paperless office, having embraced a fully

hosted digital environment:

Matthew Claughton, managing partner of Olliers, the top

tier rated criminal defence specialist firm, is a strong advocate

of investing in the right technology to facilitate growth.

Having moved to the cloud to enable speedier and more reliable

access to IT systems, Olliers is better able to promote

agile working, providing staff and clients with greater flexibility

and benefits.

Their supplier has delivered a fully

hosted desktop service to Olliers. All fee earners are able to

access the firm’s systems from their electronic devices at

court, at home, or indeed any location where they are able

to access wifi.

Matthew explains: “We encourage flexible working and 60%

of employees including the six consultants who have joined

us in the last twelve months work flexibly in terms of hours

and/or remote or agile working. As we continue to attract

additional consultants nationwide, the flexible and agile approach

of Olliers digital working is likely to prove instrumental

in our recruitment” and “Technology enables our

London-based consultants to access our systems, and distance

becomes irrelevant as we can provide seamless representation

for our clients. Our clients benefit from a service

that is far more cost effective and we are in a position to provide

them with local representation.”

Telephony Contribution. Established for over 50 years, Solicitors is a leading

Northwest law firm with a reputation for delivering technically

excellent and innovative legal advice. With offices in

Chester (HQ) and Wirral, the firm’s reception provides a service

for over 250 users.

To maintain efficiency and enhance the client experience

they needed an investment iin upgrading telecoms with the

clear objectives of greater call control for receptionists and

everyday system users to enhance first touch client experience

and introduce the most resilient telecoms infrastructure

possible to protect client communications. Whilst of

course reducing costs. The solution came from

Following an audit of systems, contracts and line usage

which identified where operational gains and financial savings

could be made. The firm could retain an element of the

existing PBX equipment enabling previous investments to

be optimised whilst a processor upgrade was recommended

with a new hybrid call management platform at

Chester and Wirral.

Receptionists were provided with a computer-based system

enabling them to see the status of colleagues regardless of

office location, whether they were working from home or

on mobile, through a user friendly on-screen presence management

system. A communication link between locations

was provided with a centralised reception, with all calls

being delivered to two receptionists at head office, with

back-up and overflow available from two additional operators

at an alternative location. Receptionists now have full

PC screen visibility of where calls are coming from and for

whom they are intended, allowing them to answer calls in

the correct way every time.

There is enhanced performance – fast, seamless call handling

and transfer; on-screen dialling.

Print Strategy and Efficiency - Now a couple of examples

where has enhanced

client agility and reduced costs.

Pickering & Butters were able to

provide, with an audit current print usage which provided

enough information to develop and enhanced print strategy.

The number of printers have been reduced at the same

time as the implementation of enhanced data communication

and document sharing throughout the organisation.

Staff now have the ability of agile working within the organisation.

The whole resolution is applied on an encrypted and

secure platform, more importantly, at significantly reduced


Plus at – from day 1 they established

a future proof print and work flow strategy

through the use of multifunctional devices plus Equitrac

and print & management software. There are enhanced providing

a robust & highly secure print flow. There is enhanced

document sharing and reduced costs.

Outsourced Telephone Answering. David Eagle head of IT

at explains why the firm took

the decision to switch to telephone answering specialists

“Prior to outsourcing we found we had been missing around

30% of our calls so inevitably opportunities were being

missed and customer service was affected as a result. We

needed total confidence in the people taking our calls,

being absolutely sure they were portraying the right image

for our business. We now know that our Moneypenny PA

and her small team do just that. We now know we are never

missing a call or business opportunity and with spot-on

messaging, we are able to call new business enquirers

straight back which is proving to be far more effective than

previously. Emails sent directly to fee earners out of hours

also means they have the option to respond straight away

rather than have messages waiting for them at reception

the following morning.

“We do have an occasional look at Moneypenny online

which is great for management data but much of the time

we actually forget we are outsourcing as it’s so seamless an

arrangement between us. It just works – simple as that!”

Outsourced transcription and electronic signatures In

the last few months I have covered the developments at with their outsourced

DD transcription and mobile app plus their electronic signature

product – big topic with the Law Society at the moment.

I could of course quote a law firm but have chosen for

something different an author and motivational speaker –

Andy Bounds

The motivation is similar to that of a law firm “Our business’s

success hinges on me being relentless with follow-up. Every

meeting throws up next actions, documents to be created,

future diary entries etc. I simply dictate what they are, send

them through to Document Direct, then get on with my

next meeting while they are typing up what happened in

the previous one. My customers regularly tell me I’m the

fastest supplier they’ve ever worked with.

The secret? Document Direct.

Even better, their “Out Of Hours – 24/7 service means I can

dictate any sizeable stuff at the end of the day, send it

through to them to type while I have tea with the kids. Later

that evening, or the next day when I start work, it’s on my

computer and I can crack on”

“They’ve enabled me to work the way I want to”. “And this

has given me the life I’ve always wanted” “As I say… I love

Document Direct!”


Slightly different – That PI specialism factor. I was not

aware of the full range of services offered by – not Advantage suppliers but

certainly friends of MLS

The PI market is changing so fast with some giving up but

also more specialism certainly demanded. Citadel Law is

currently advising law firms, banks and accountants as they

manage the changing scene.

Advice is going into businesses of all shapes and sizes that

touch the PI market. Your business may mirror some of this

•Large commercial firm - WIP value, operational enhancements

and options be they sale, trade out or expansion

• Medium sized PI firm - Operational and WIP review to increase


• Small PI law firm for sale - Seller due diligence and


• Administrators and bank - Personal injury WIP earn out

on a law firm in administration –to maximise recoveries

and minimise timescales

• PI and general practices - Strategic review and inputting

LQC Analytics to demonstrate current and future WIP

value and operational/risk status of PI books.

• National law firm - Succession planning for a allowing

senior partners to retire (WIP valuation based on LQC Analytics

utilised by international accountancy firm)

• Numerous law firms and litigation funders - Assessing

and assisting to finance personal injury claims by way of

disbursement funding, court fees and WIP draw down

Bill Kirby is a director of Professional Choice Consultancy

offering advice to firms on business issues from

strategy, planning, business development, the effective

use of IT applications and IT hosting for compliance,

business continuity and DR. He can be contacted at

Local News


Thank You

As this is my first contribution to the Messenger magazine as the

newly-appointed Chair of MTSG, my first order of business is to

congratulate and pass on an enormous thankyou to all committee

members on the 2015/2016 committee for all their efforts

and hard work that made last year’s MTSG calendar an extremely

successful one. The committee put in a significant amount of

time behind the scenes and I think we can all agree that the array

of events held across the board demonstrates the dedication of

each committee member within their respective roles. The MTSG Summer BBQ and Election

Results Party (being the end-of-year social) was held at The Lawn Club in August,

which proved to be a sell-out event. Once again, the Social Directors outperformed themselves

in venue choice and evening entertainment.

The 2016/2017 MTSG Committee

The MTSG elections drew to a close at the end of July. Following a large volume of applications

received and the hundreds of votes cast, I am delighted to reveal this year’s MTSG

election winners and the 2016/2017 committee:

Chair – Matthew Flanagan (Turner Parkinson LLP); General Secretaries – Emily Taylor (Simpson

Millar LLP) and Didi Ogbo (TLT LLP); Sponsorship Directors – Luke Holden (JMW Solicitors

LLP) and James Kay (Slater Heelis LLP); Online Director – Sophie Burrows (JMW

Solicitors LLP); Treasurer – Lara Celensu (BLM LLP); Social Directors – Seraphina Wilkins

(Fieldfisher LLP), Loretta Woollams (JMW Solicitors LLP) and Georgina Anwyl (Freshfields

Bruckhaus Deringer); Ball Directors – Nikki Hussey (DWF LLP), Aisling Bassett (Laytons Solicitors

LLP) and Charlotte King (JMW Solicitors LLP); FELT Director – Alex Herbert (Davis

Blank Furniss); Education Directors – Grace Matthews (Lund Bennet Law LLP) and Alasdair

Jones (DWF LLP); Sports Director (Male) – Neil Munford (Bermans); Sports Director (Female)

– Catherine O’Rourke (JMW Solicitors LLP); Activities Director – Chris Berry (Solis

Law); Charities Director – Heena Kapadi (Slater Heelis LLP); JLD Representative – Adam

Hattersley (McHale & Co).

Keep an eye out for the profiles of each of the newly-elected committee members in October’s

edition of the Messenger.

The Year Ahead

Manchester is a diverse and dynamic city and I am looking forward to meeting with all

the new members in this year’s intake of trainee solicitors, paralegals and other MTSG

members. Having relocated to Manchester from Northern Ireland, I have found that MTSG

is an excellent base for those who are new to Manchester and for meeting new people,

in addition to expanding your network of professional contacts as a junior legal professional.

The Social Directors are currently in preparation mode for the launch party and if last

year’s event is anything to go by, it will be a fantastic night. Some of the opportunities we

are planning throughout this year include a variety of social, sporting, charitable, networking

and educational events, the infamous winter and summer balls, and not to forget

the MTSG ski trip. By now, you should have received the MTSG welcome packs from

your firms, however if you have not done so, please contact us via our website or via one

of our social media platforms (details provided below).

We look forward to continuing our relations with the current sponsors and supporters

of MTSG as well as working alongside new sponsors and supporters who are interested

in becoming involved with MTSG. The commitment and generosity of all our sponsors allows

MTSG to provide a magnitude of events throughout the year whilst providing networking,

development and educational opportunities to our members.

I think I speak for all of the newly-elected committee members in saying we are looking

forward to growing and developing the MTSG. We will continue to build on the success

of the previous year and we have some exciting events to look forward to.

We look forward to seeing you at the launch party!

Matthew Flanagan

Chair of MTSG

Trainee Solicitor at Turner Parkinson LLP

The Manchester Trainee Solicitors Group provides social, education, sporting and networking

opportunities for junior legal professionals in and around Greater Manchester.

If you would like to become a member, whether you are a paralegal, prospective

trainee, trainee or newly qualified solicitor, please visit the ‘Join Us’ section of our website

(, contact us via twitter (@mcrtsg) or via the facebook group

(MTSG 2016/17).


The success of Manchester Young

Solicitors Group continues to build

with tickets for their most recent

summer networking event selling

out in just over 10 minutes. This

event, held on the 27th July,

hosted 70 of our solicitors and was

in conjunction with the chartered

accountants and the young professional network. The

evening was enjoyed on the exclusive terrace of King

Street Town House and attendees were treated a live saxophone

performance and cocktails. Some great contacts

were made and it was another incredible event for our

members. Credit must be given to our sponsor, Realm Recruitment

who have shown a real interest in support Manchester’s

legal community and enabled us to put on this

fantastic event.

Looking forward in our calendar we have the following

events coming up:

6th September: Building your career breakfast briefing,

RBS Deansgate, presented by Jepson Holt.

22nd September: Newly Qualified Solicitor Event, Revolution

Parsonage Garden. All members welcome.

End of September: Netball tournament

Benefits of membership

Who are we?

Manchester Law Society is a voluntary membership organisation for the local legal

community. Instituted in 1838 and Incorporated in 1871 we are one of the oldest

local law societies in the country. With over 2700 members and associated members

we are a strong and vibrant community promoting your profession and giving local

lawyers a voice.

Why join?

• Legal Education Programme

o Members are entitled to a reduced delegate rate

o Full day and half day in depth conferences on various topics including:

• Personal Injury

• Employment Law

• Management

If you are interested or know anyone at your firm who is

looking to develop their network and business development

skills please sign up to our mailing list at and follow us on LinkedIn and

Facebook. Members are encouraged to check the website

regularly for news and updates as we are receiving an unprecedented

amount of interest in each of our events and

attendance is on a first come first served basis.

Charlotte Percy

Chair of Manchester Young Solicitors Group

Family Associate at Slater and Gordon Lawyers

• Regulation

• Commercial

• Family Law

o Evening seminars focusing on business and soft skills areas

o The opportunity to provide speakers for seminars and courses and for

chambers and MLS to work together to provide seminars to our members

o For details on the current programme visit

20 News

Matrix247 WINS Corporate Social Responsibility

Award in E3 Business Awards 2016

Rossendale based

Telecommunications firm,

Matrix247 has been

awarded the “Corporate

Social Responsibility

Award” at the 2016 E3

Business Awards, which

were held on 3rd June at

the Macron Stadium in


The company, which is a

part of MLS Advantage, designs

telecom systems, supplies

mobile phones with

call & data bundles, data

networks and video-conferencing

solutions, saw off intense

competition from

nominees across the North

West. The award was presented

by Diane Elebert-

Morgan representing the

award partner Greater Manchester

Chamber of Commerce.

Receiving the award, the

company’s CEO, Stephen

Pritchard said: “Creating the

Matrix247 Foundation a

year ago to help five local

NW charities not only is of

great benefit to each cause,

but has created a great

sense of community spirit

and a tight bond in team-

work between the staff at

Matrix247. So for us, everyone

benefits out of taking

this approach and ties in

very nicely with the high

sense of morals which we

value so much with the culture

at Matrix247. We will

covet this award as a high

achievement in our 25 year


Speaking on behalf of 1

Events Media, which hosted

and organised the awards,

Managing Director Mubarak

Chati said: “Matrix247,

should be very proud of itself.

In 2016, the E3 Business

Awards attracted the highest

number of entries - and

probably the highest calibre

of entries - that our judges

had ever seen. Winning

against such impressive

competition really means


“As the host of the Awards,

we were left in no doubt

that the North West is home

to some huge talent. Companies,

social enterprises

and individual entrepreneurs

are doing great things

for the region's economy, its

people and its communities.

Matrix247 is a great example

of that and I’m

delighted that the Awards

are helping it to achieve the

recognition it deserves.”

Robots still not ready to steal your job

Despite the warnings

from Hollywood in films

like Terminator and AI, it

appears that robots are

getting that bit closer to

stealing the jobs of professionals

around the

world. The legal sector is

just one area that is rapidly

increasing its use of

technology to both lower

costs and quicken

processes. But what does

this mean for talent in the


Magic Circle firm, Clifford

Chance is the latest to embrace

artificial intelligence

by recruiting its very own

robot, Kira, which is designed

to help lawyers to

quickly analyse contracts,

identify potential legal issues,

improve speed and, ultimately,

increase efficiency.

Perhaps most startlingly,

Kira isn’t just designed to be

switched on and work, but

it also gathers information

and learns on the job, a skill

that some humans haven’t

yet fully mastered. This

means that Kira also undertakes

training, although

whether this has the same

impact as the same classroom-based

courses that

many of us are used to remains


Clifford Chance is utilising

the technology to ultimately

reduce its clients

legal expenditure and

quicken processes across

the board, particularly in the

areas of work that would

usually be undertaken by

trainees and/or paralegals.

However, while many of you

may be reading this and becoming

slightly concerned

with your own job security,

fear not, as the firm has reported

that Kira will have little-to-no

impact on its

trainee intake.

What this does mean,

though, is that legal professionals,

and those who will

move into the profession in

the coming years, will have

to put considerably more

thought into the types of

skills they develop. It’s no

longer enough to stick it out

in the office until the small

hours to show that you’re a

hard worker because, quite

frankly, Kira will get it done

much quicker and more efficiently

than you will possibly

be able to. Instead, professionals

should think

about what sets them apart

from the current level of

technology and focus on attributes

like developing a

wider personal network and

greater interpersonal skills,

if they want to survive in the

age of technology.

It’s understandable that the

speed of change would be

concerning to some. After

all, how far off are we from a

robot making partner? Or

will we eventually bow

down to robotic judges? It

remains to be seen and in all

honesty it’s likely that the

responsibilities of robots

will grow as technology

continues to develop. However,

for now, legal jobs appear

to be safe and at least

new starters at Clifford

Chance and a handful of

other firms will go into their

first day already knowing

one of their colleagues’


Lynn Sedgwick

Managing Director

Clayton Legal



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costs and disbursements.

The funds can be used by you for any purpose. Including, for

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costly, fixed term repayment loans from secondary funders.

Disbursement funding (‘DCF’)

VFS funds the ongoing disbursements incurred on PI, Clinical

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For a no obligation discussion please call 020 3747 9333

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Christmas Party Feature 21

Christmas is a coming...

This month in the Messenger we are including some fantastic ideas to create a truly

memorable Christmas Party in 2016...

22 Christmas Party Feature


The Place will tailor-make your perfect

Christmas event

Winners of ‘Serviced Apartments of the Year’ for the second year

in a row at The Manchester Tourism Awards, The Place Aparthotel

is the transformation of a Grade II listed former cotton warehouse.

The historic importance of its strategic location next to

canal and rail inks continues today with guests enjoying easy access

from Piccadilly Station, as well as easy road access and onsite

car parking.

The buildings industrial past shines

through in the architecture, which

blends old and new – the modern

self-catering apartments featuring

exposed brick walls, arched warehouse

windows and high barrel ceilings.

Perfect for extended stay

guests or corporate clients staying

in the city for one night.

Located right in the heart of multi-cultural Manchester, The Place

Aparthotel hosts a variety of events and special celebrations. With

the team embracing these occasions. With a range of Christmas dinner

and party options The Place Aparthotel is the ideal choice for

getting together with friends or family or celebrating with colleagues.

With the Christmas party events being created to suit a range of

budgets and requirements. If you can’t find exactly what you’re looking

for our experienced event coordinators will be more than happy

to tailor make your perfect Christmas event.

The Place Aparthotel, Ducie Street, Manchester, M1 2TP


Celebrate with one of our fantastic Christmas Party Nights

or for a delicious Christmas Lunch, choose

The Place Aparthotel in Manchester.

For a relaxed Christmas dining experience our lunch menus are the perfect option

for you! Dine in our bar, Victorian Garden or for larger parties our characteristic private rooms.

Or for something a little more upbeat, start your evening with a sumptuous cocktail then make

your way to tuck into a delicious three course meal. You won’t forget the evening with our

DJ and photobooth providing photos for you to take home!

Christmas Party Nights from £25

Christmas Lunch from £14

For more information or to book please enquire with our events

team on 0161 778 7500 or email

Ducie Street, Piccadilly, Manchester M1 2TP

Christmas Party Feature 23



Looking for something a little different this Christmas? Glam up, loosen those ties and

get merry with kitsch cocktails, speakeasy vibes and fresh American cooking at All

Star Lanes. It’s all about festive feasting, drinking and bowling, the new old

fashioned way.

Bring the team in for a Christmas party they won’t forget. Feast on festive takes on

American comforts (featuring the return of our epic Christmas dinner burger!) in our

diner and then head over to the lanes for a bit of bowling. Organise a tournament or

just let the team loose – it’s the perfect sport for a bit of team bonding.

For those not wanting the full diner experience, we’ve got party packages with festive

sliders and canapes too. Oh and bowling, of course… it’s what makes the party!

If you’re looking for a large party or big corporate event we’ve got our luxe private

room – The Jungle Room. Holding up to 100 people, you can book in for unlimited

bowling on your own private lanes, cocktails from your own private bar, festive sliders

and canapés…this is the ultimate way to party. Full venue hire also available for up to

500 people.

Prices start from £30 per person.

For more information:

0161 871 3600

The Great Northern, 235 Deansgate, Manchester M3 4EN




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Sarah Green: 0800 856 7792 or


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too. At Viewpoint we provide a wide range of technology solutions for legal

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3,000 staff relying on our services every day. Our services include

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A group Contact of carefully selected partners who have had due diligence

Aaron undertaken Naisbitt: 0845 to ensure 872 4400 we or are

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backed up by value pricing, easy checkout and dedicated assistance.


David Opie: 01524 220001 or

AML Training

ML Solutions provides cost effective anti-money laundering training

organise and manage their compulsory AML training obligations. All

CPD hours.


Bill Jones or Sarah Scott: 0161 828 1937 or

Telecoms : Connectivity : Mobiles

and regularity. Compliance has a high priority along with low ongoing operating costs. Our portfolio

encompasses telephone systems, low-cost landline calls, mobile packages and implementing networks for


Ste Pritchard: 08000 740 247 or




Proven delivery ery of high quality audio visual sol utions and

serv ices to the Societ

ociety and its members




MFL is a leading specialist Professional Indemnity Insurance Broker to the Solicitor profession. We concentrate on a select niche area of

operation, providing outstanding quality and practical advice on the complex and business critical issues of professional liability risk.

MFL has access to facilities for:

Sole practitioners

5-10 partner firms

2 - 5 partner firms 10 + partner firms

In additionwe can assist niche practices, those with claims history and even those undertaking ‘high risk’ work, for example conveyancing,

probate and mergers/acquistions. Our clients not only retain us for our broking expertise but also for the added value that we provide in

the areas of claims handling and risk control.

To find out how MFL Professional can assist in protecting your business, get in touch:

Richard Gledhill,



T: 0161 237 7725

M: 07984 879124

John Jones,

Development Executive


T: 0161 237 7739

M: 07872 501955

MFL Professional is a division of McParland Finn Ltd. McParland Finn Ltd is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority.

We have added a number of new benets and features to

help you along the way, the highlights of which include:






Manchester Law Society Members ONLY!!

• Discounts of up to 66% across some of

Manchester’s leading brands.

• Cards valid for up to 4 PEOPLE in all of the

restaurants in your package.

• 100

individual Manchester brands.

• Simply quote Key for the City

at the time of booking and present your




Manchester Law Society


Please check out their profiles on Manchester Law Society website member reward card page

Rosso Restaurant & Bar

Change is Now Here!









20% OFF

your total

food and

park entry

drink bill


50% OFF

total food

and drink bill


Up to 10%




Manchester Law Society Reward Card holders can

book a table please call 0161 832 1400 quoting

Manchester Law Society/Key for the City

and present your membership card on arrival.

The new A la Carte Menu sees old favourites

meet new classics. Head Chef Sanki Bayandai

has produced an incredibly seasonal menu

complete with a taste of Italy for Rosso’s take on

traditional hearty Italian dishes such as Lasagne

lamb rump marinated in mint and garlic served

autumnal feel of the menu and so allow a wide

variety for all diners to choose from.

The launch of the new A la Carte menu brings

They are one of only few restaurants in the city

to serve Italian Malbec by the glass. The new










Manchester Law Societ

Manchester Law Societ





Please check out their profiles on Manche





ofiles on Manchester Law Society website member




e member reward card page



Change is No

Rosso Restaurant & Bar

complete with a taste of Italy f

has produced an incredibly seasonal menu

meet new classic

The new A la Carte Menu sees old f

Change is Now Here!

Rosso Restaurant & Bar

omplete with a taste of Italy for Rosso’s take on

omplete with a taste of Italy for R

oduced an incredibly seasonal menu

w classics. Head Chef Sanki Bayandai

w A la Carte Menu sees old favourites

w A la Carte Menu sees old fa

Rosso Restaurant & Bar

s take on

The launch of the ne

y for all diner

variety for all diner

autumnal feel of the menu and so allo

lamb rump marinated in mint and garlic served

traditional heart

he launch of the new A la Carte menu brings

or all diners to choose from.

umnal feel of the menu and so allow a wide

lamb rump marinated in mint and garlic served

aditional hearty Italian dishes such as Lasagne

lamb rump marinated in mint and garlic served

y Italian dishes such as Lasagne

Manchester Law Society Reward Card holders can

to serve Italian M

They are one of only fe

Manchester Law Society Reward Card holders can