Society's News


Corporate Members 2019-2020

3PB Albion Chambers Ashfords Barcan + Kirby Burges Salmon Capstones Clarke Willmott Cooke Painter Ltd DAC Beachcroft Devereux & Co Enterprise Chambers The Family Law Practice Foot Anstey (including Enable Law) Fussell Wright Gregg Latchams Ltd Guildhall Chambers Irwin Mitchell Solicitors Kelcey & Hall Lyons Davidson Marc White & Co Meade King Michelmores LLP Osborne Clarke Queen Square Chambers Simmons … more


President’s Charity of the Year – Bristol Children’s Help Society

                            The Bristol Children’s Help Society is a privately funded volunteer led charity that owns and runs Barton Camp our 100 bed residential children’s centre in the beautiful Mendip hills. Barton Camp operates through the year as a base where disadvantaged local children can enjoy a few … more


No 12, The Meeting Rooms – Conference, Meeting and Mediation Rooms for Hire

Bristol Law Society’s suite of conference and meeting rooms including a suite of mediation rooms are conveniently located in the centre between the Waterfront Area and the Old City in a modern building situated on the corner of Colston Avenue and St Stephen’s Avenue. There are a number of large public car parks within a 5 minute walk from the … more


News


Survey: NIFA’s 2nd annual forensic accounting survey of legal professionals – please take part!

Last year NIFA (the Network of Independent Forensic Accountants) successfully launched its annual survey of solicitors and other legal professionals.

The purpose of this research is to understand your experience of using forensic accountants and your views on the work they undertake for your clients. Once again, we are running this year’s survey in conjunction with a member of the University of Portsmouth’s postgraduate course in forensic accounting.

We would be very grateful if you could take 5-10 minutes to complete our questionnaire.

Click here to complete the survey


Are you a disabled person, or someone with a long-term medical condition working in, aspiring to work in (e.g. in training), or retired from the legal profession? If so, this questionnaire is for you!

Cardiff Business School are pleased to launch the next stage of research with a questionnaire for disabled people training for or working as solicitors and paralegals. This also includes those who have since left these roles in the profession.

A separate questionnaire for Barristers is being finalised and will be launched shortly. This is due to the very different qualification routes and workplace experiences.

The purpose of the research is to produce the first large scale evidence base on the career experiences of disabled people across the legal profession. This will build on and quantify the evidence obtained from one to one interviews.

Click here to fill in the questionnaire for solicitors and paralegals.

EXTENDED DEADLINE 7th JULY!

We anticipate that it will take approximately 20 minutes to complete the questionnaire. It can also be saved part way and finished off later. You have the option to skip questions or answer ‘not applicable’ as appropriate to you.

If you have any queries or require the questionnaire in a word document or other accessible format please get in touch with Dr Natasha Hirst on HirstN2@cardiff.ac.uk

Please share widely through your networks and on social media. Not all disabled people will necessarily disclose to employers or colleagues so please promote this questionnaire on your general lists to give as many people as possible an opportunity to participate.
Please note that both researchers are part-time on the project and will respond as soon as possible to any queries.

Many thanks,
Natasha

Dr Natasha Hirst
Researcher, ‘Legally Disabled?’ Project
www.legallydisabled.com
@LegallyDisabled

 


Movers and Shakers!

Foot Anstey unveils trio of partnership appointments

Top 100 law firm Foot Anstey has announced a new round of partnership promotions.

Employment solicitor Claire Holland, data law specialist Alexandra Leonidou and construction lawyer Tris Tucker have been made partners in the firm.

Existing partners Will Whitt (Banking) and Mark Rhys-Jones (Dispute Resolution) have also been promoted to mid-equity and senior equity partner respectively.

John Westwell, Managing Partner at Foot Anstey said “I am delighted to welcome Claire, Alex and Tris to the partnership and to congratulate them alongside Will and Mark on their promotions.

“Each brings different skills and styles of leadership, but one thing all have in common is that they are well-respected by colleagues and clients for their expertise and drive.”

National following

The three new partners have developed strong followings in the national legal market for their respective areas of practice.

Claire Holland focuses on employment advice to private equity clients and portfolio companies. She advises on national and international transactions, specialising in advice on business transfers, restructurings and outsourcing.

Alexandra Leonidou has built Foot Anstey’s data and information law practice since joining from Warner Bros. Entertainment. She supports clients with data protection and privacy issues, and provides pragmatic advice on digital media, digital marketing and technology related matters to a base of media and retail clients.

Tris Tucker heads up the firm’s contentious construction offering for clients in the UK and abroad. He advises employers, consultants and contractors on all aspects of construction and engineering disputes.

 

Osborne Clarke announces eight UK Partner promotions

63% of new Partners are female

Eight lawyers in Osborne Clarke’s UK business will be promoted to Partner, bringing the total number of Partners internationally to more than 260. The new Partners come from a range of sectors including energy and utilities, financial services, real estate and infrastructure and digital business.

 

 

 

 

The new partners will be:

Alexandra Gower: Real estate and infrastructure sector expert specialising in construction and engineering.

Alison Riddle: Specialist in structuring funds and joint ventures with a particular focus on the real estate sector.

Anastasia Gorokhova: Real estate sector expert who specialises in regeneration, development and build to rent.

Anna Williams: Advertising, marketing and sponsorship specialist in the digital business sector team.

Charles Crowne: Specialises in commercial disputes across the financial services and digital business sectors.

Dave Kerr: Real estate expert specialising in residential development, investment and energy projects.

Sarah Knight: Real estate and energy and utilities M&A and joint venture expert.

Tom Try: Corporate FinTech specialist.

Among the group, 63% of the new Partners are female; one successfully completed the process whilst on maternity leave and two currently work part-time.

Ray Berg, UK Managing Partner at Osborne Clarke, commented:

“I’d like to thank all of our new partners for their outstanding performance and contributions, which have helped to ensure the on-going success of our business. We’re also proud to see so many new female partners in this round, which shows our strategy is really paying off. Diversity is an important part of our 2020 vision and will continue to be key to our strategy going forward. It’s very important to our senior leadership team that people from all kinds of backgrounds, have the freedom to progress and equal opportunity to use their talents to the full at Osborne Clarke and for the benefit of our clients.”

Internationally Osborne Clarke also made a number of appointments across Europe and Asia at the start of the year including Alessandro Villa (transport and automotive, Italy), Alice Li (digital business, Hong Kong), Daniel Breuer (energy and utilities, Germany), Daniel Walter (financial services, Germany), Hadrien Chef (life sciences and healthcare, Belgium), Jens Schefzig (digital business, Germany), Johannes Ballestrem (transport and automotive, Germany), Johannes de Jong (financial services, Netherlands), Oscar Calsamiglia (life sciences and healthcare, Spain) and Sebastian Hack (digital business, Germany).


Bristol legal sector backs appeal to prevent thousands of children from going hungry

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

In a drive led by the Bristol Law Society and the office of the High Sherriff of Bristol, law firms in Bristol have come together to support a campaign that will prevent thousands of children in the city from going hungry during the holidays. Members of the Bristol legal sector have committed to supporting this appeal by providing both financial and volunteering support to the campaign.

At the launch of the appeal on Tuesday 21 May, it was made clear that an urgent response is needed to save thousands of Bristol’s children from poor health caused by ‘holiday hunger’ this summer.

The charity Feeding Bristol, which provides outreach and support across the city through a network of community groups and organisations, believes around 11,000 children face regularly going without a decent meal during this year’s summer school holidays.

Feeding Bristol launched a city-wide campaign to encourage businesses to provide funding to reduce holiday hunger this year, as part of wider more long-term efforts to tackle it in future years. The campaign aims to raise £100,000 to provide food for thousands of children who normally get free school meals in Bristol.

Business leaders met at Burges Salmon on 21 May to discuss the extent of the crisis in Bristol and how they can help. And feeding Bristol is asking the city to help it to reach its target of raising at least £100,000 over the coming weeks to address the crisis.

Feeding Bristol chairman Andy Street says: “Bristol has the highest number of children claiming free school meals in the South West and amongst the highest proportion in the country at nearly 20 per cent, with around 26,000 living in poverty.

“We are acutely aware of the devastating effects of holiday hunger on children’s mental and physical wellbeing and had put forward ambitious plans to government to continue the good work we had been doing in the city last year.

“These plans have not been supported, so we have a funding gap which could mean that thousands of children will go hungry in July and August.

“This should not be accepted in one of the country’s most successful, thriving cities. We are working with city and business leaders to urgently address this crisis. There is a lot to do, quickly, but we have been encouraged by the level of support we have had so far.”

Working in partnership with FareShare SW, the funding would enable Feeding Bristol to prepare and deliver food to a network of activity providers, youth and community groups across the city. The funding would enable Feeding Bristol will deliver 34,000 meals to children and their families during the summer holidays.

One such organisation that would receive the meals is the charity Young Bristol, which operates a network of community clubs across the city. These clubs are open all year round and host programmes and activities for young people during the school holidays. The charity was a key partner in a pilot project run by Feeding Bristol last year, which helped provide food for nearly 2,200 children during the holidays.

“Our youth workers have been aware of the issues surrounding holiday hunger for a long time, but we have noticed that the problem has worsened in recent years,” said Young Bristol’s Programme Manager Matt Donnelly.

“When many of our children struggle to get enough food during term, it’s clear to us that the problem will be worse during the holidays.

“That is why this campaign is so important to us, and the city of Bristol. We hope as many businesses as possible help us to tackle this crisis and stop thousands of children and young people going with meals this summer.”

Feeding Bristol will deliver thousands of meals to children and their families through a network of activities and holiday clubs on all 30 weekdays of the summer holidays.

Raising at least £100,000 will help by:

• Providing more than 34,000 meals to children during the holiday period.
• Feeding around 5,600 Bristol children in the summer school holidays.
• Ensure the meals are provided through a network of activities and holiday clubs on all 30 weekdays of the summer holidays.

Businesses who are interested in helping can contact Feeding Bristol through its website, or make a donation directly via https://feedingbritain.org/donations/donate-to-feeding-bristol/


Family Lawyers – New Non-Molestation Orders Form

Bristol Court Family Lawyers, please note the new attached form when dealing with applications for non-molestation orders.

2019 Revised non-molestation order tick box form


How to create a mentally healthy legal workplace By Elizabeth Rimmer, CEO, LawCare

At LawCare, the charity offering emotional support to legal professionals, we have listened to thousands of people tell us about the stress, anxiety and depression they are experiencing, which is often caused or exacerbated by a difficult working environment. Lack of support or supervision, an overly critical manager, being undermined after a career break, an unreasonably heavy workload, long hours and sleep deprivation are all very common issues.

Firms need to do their best to create a healthy and happy place to work, not only because it is the right thing to do, but because there is a strong proven business case for it. Happy employees lead to greater productivity, better morale, better retention of valued and experienced staff, and reduced sickness absence.

Here’s our tips for creating a mentally healthy workplace:

PROMOTE WELLBEING

  • Wellbeing is a leadership duty. Getting senior leaders on board shows staff that wellbeing matters.
  • Training senior managers in leadership and mental health – making staff wellbeing part of their job role – is the best way to begin to change the culture of an organisation.
  • Introduce mental health days or personal days as well as sick days – people will feel they can take a day off if they are struggling and this means they may be less likely to go off sick later.
  • Encourage colleagues to treat each other with respect, say hello, say thank you, not raise their voice or threaten each other. Make sure there are clear and effective systems in place for reporting bullying.

RAISE AWARENESS

  • Encourage sharing of stories from people within the firm or invite a speaker to talk, lived experiences can help break down stigma and stereotypes. It is vital people at all levels talk open about mental health.
  • Use existing internal communications channels to talk about wellbeing.
  • Sign the Time to Change pledge – this sends a clear message that it’s okay to talk about mental health.

WORK/LIFE BALANCE

  • Having the time to pursue the things we enjoy and spend time with friends and family is vital to wellbeing. Encourage everyone to work sensible hours – staff will take cues from how leaders behave .Take full lunch breaks; rest and recuperate after busy periods; avoid working at weekends; take annual leave entitlement. Make sure teams are well resourced in order to make this happen.
  • Flexible working can support healthier and more productive ways of working for all staff and lead to increased morale, commitment, productivity and reduced sickness absence. It can also be a vital early intervention to prevent mental health problems from getting worse and can support a phased return to work.
  • Have a sensible email policy in place for the sending and receiving of emails outside core working hours.

LEARNING AND DEVELOPMENT

  • Everyone need to feel valued, and supported and that their work is meaningful – a positive culture that values all staff and invests in their skills and development builds the trust and integrity essential to maintain commitment and productivity levels.
  • Embed mental health in inductions and training, staff will understand how mental health is managed and what support is available. This will also help them to look out for colleagues, support them and signpost them for help.

MENTORING, PEER SUPPORT

  • Peer support can allow colleagues to support one another outside the line-management structure.
  • Mentoring and buddy schemes can help new staff to understand your firm faster and can support all staff to gain confidence and develop new skills.
  • Ensure that colleagues feel able to admit any mistakes they have made.
  • Reverse mentoring – pairing a junior member of staff with a senior leader in the organisation – can be very effective.

PROVIDE GOOD SUPERVISION

  • Good line management can help manage and prevent stress.
  • Managers should make themselves available for regular work-related conversations with staff.
  • Monitor the happiness levels of your staff. Have a robust performance review system which includes a wellbeing element, consider 360 degree appraisals, and use anonymous internal surveys if necessary.
  • Be mindful if staff or colleagues are working in areas which can be emotionally difficult. They may need additional support, the opportunity to share their experiences, or advice on techniques for coping.
  • You or your organisation may also need additional support or training in order to provide adequate supervision, or may need to engage the services of a third party such as a counsellor for staff working in emotionally difficult areas of law.

LawCare provides a free confidential helpline for all branches of the legal profession, peer support and training, talks and other resources. Visit www.lawcare.org.uk or call the helpline on 0800 279 6888.
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Innovation on the agenda for Bristol law firms

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

On Wednesday 15th May top law firms gathered in Bristol for our innovation workshop in association with Bristol Law Society (BLS).

The workshop was aimed at helping firms, wherever they are on their innovation journey, focusing on creating an approach that is meaningful and delivers real value.
The session covered:

  •  “What do you mean by innovation”? Defining the scope for your firm
  • Your journey so far – assessing your maturity level
  • Defining key areas for future focus
  • Simple steps to take – practical steps to take in delivering behavioural change

Tiggy Robinson, Partner at Nine Feet Tall said “The session was very enjoyable with lots of lively debate. Many of the ideas discussed will no doubt continue to be developed back at each firm. What was clear from the conversations was some of the biggest obstacles that firms are facing are: releasing time for teams to focus on thinking and working together differently; securing the right team to develop ideas; and trying to shift the culture to promote more open dialogue, collaboration and co-design with clients. We rounded off the session with practical tips on how to overcome the challenges of trying to deliver behavioural change.”

The workshop was the first in a series of events as part of a partnership with Bristol Law Society. Details about the next event and how to get involved coming soon.

For more information about innovation for law firms, please contact Tiggy Robinson tiggyr@ninefeettall.com


Some large numbers we cannot ignore – a quick guide to the Sustainable Development Goals.

Unless you have been marooned on a remote Scottish island without Wifi you will not doubt have noticed that climate change and its impacts are in the news. Whether it is pink boats in Oxford Circus, UN Reports on bio diversity and species loss, or the more sober suited Governor of the Bank of England, the negative impact we are having on our planet is on everyone’s lips. Just a few weeks a go

Mark Carney, called on the city and financial institutions, and in turn the Government, to wake up and see the how the “enormous human and financial costs of climate change are having a devastating effect on our collective wellbeing”. He and his colleagues at Banque de France were speaking on behalf of the Network for Greening the Financial System (NGFS) – 34 central banks, representing five continents, half of global greenhouse gas emissions and the supervision of two-thirds of the global systemically important banks and insurers. The combined weight of these financial institutions represent large numbers indeed but it can be hard to see how we can affect them.

The SDGs, The Sustainable Development Goals or the Global Goals as they are more commonly known are universal big numbers that affect us all. 17 Goals, comprising 169 targets, to be achieved in the 15 years up to 2030 and signed up to by 193 countries. These UN goals offer a wealth creating opportunity which has been estimated as $13trillion potentially creating 980 million jobs a year across the world.
The goals are successors to the UN Millennium Goals designed to set us on a course towards ending poverty and inequality, improving health and wellbeing, ending the devastating decline of biodiversity and ecosystems, and reducing the impacts of climate change. They offer us a route to a better, more sustainable and just future. The goals range from Ending Hunger through to Peace and Justice, from Climate Change, Life below Water and Life on Land to Gender Equality.

 

Our progress in the UK has been patchy with some disappointing stats just released by the UKSSD report Measuring Up – UKSSD is the network of organisations and partners from across public private and third sectors committed to ensuring the goals are delivered. UKSSD monitored progress and found that:

Out of 143 targets we considered relevant to the domestic delivery of the Goals, UKSSD found that the UK is performing well on 24% of them. There are gaps in policy or inadequate performance for 57% of them, and 15% where there is little to no policy in place to address the target, or where performance is poor.

As the UKSSD point out in their report the value of the 17 SDGs and their 169 Targets lies in their connectedness. However, it can be daunting knowing where to start. What can a medium sized law firm in Bristol, or a member of in-house Counsel for that matter, do about a global challenge of this kind? One way in is to join the free workshop on 12th June in Bristol being run by the Legal Sustainability Alliance and offering not just an introduction to the Global Goals, but practical insights into how to defined, map and develop the goals within your organisation. Designed exclusively for the legal sector by UKSSD, the workshop will help firms who have not yet started on the SDGs as well as those who are some way along the journey. For full details on how to book visit www.legalsustainabilityalliance.com or click the link here.


Request for Help! PhD Research Study – Police Interviewing of Vulnerable Suspects

Are you an accredited police station representative?

Are you willing to be interviewed confidentially to share your experiences and beliefs?

Participants will be fully informed about the study prior to any interview taking places.  All responses will be anonymised fully.  This research is conducted in accordance with the University of South Wales Ethical Procedures.  All data will be handled in accordance with GDPR.

Please contact Jennifer Holmes if you wish to participate, or if you wish to discuss any aspect of the research.  Contact details:  Jennifer.holmes@southwales.ac.uk or mobile: 07792 619283.


LAW FIRM IS BEST IN UK FOR CHARITY WILL CAMPAIGN

A law firm is celebrating after scooping the accolade of the highest donating business of all time in a charity will-writing campaign.

Bristol based-Fussell Wright have raised an incredible £21,150 for the Will Aid scheme in its 30th anniversary year after writing almost a staggering 300 wills in exchange for a voluntary donation.

This is the 17th year the firm has taken part in the month-long fundraiser and their total raised to date is £133,827 – making them the highest donating firm of all time.

Michael Dickman, from Fussell Wright, said he was over the moon that their 2018 efforts had made them the top fundraiser.

He added: “We have supported Will Aid since it started 30 years ago. As a firm we like to support charities and to give back to the community in which we practice. We always look forward to Will Aid month in November.

“We have worked extremely hard to raise as much money as possible for the nine wonderful charities involved, where every penny raised is reaching some of the most vulnerable individuals world-wide.

“Making a will with a professional solicitor is one of the most important pieces of paperwork a person can complete and yet millions of people put it off,” he said.

“This is just one of a number of reasons why we choose to donate our time for Will Aid.”

Paul Morgan, from the British Red Cross, paid the firm a visit today to present them with a certificate to thank them for their achievement.

He said: “We are very grateful to Fussell Wright and the Will Aid scheme for this generous contribution.

“The Red Cross uses donations to reach people in crisis, here in the UK and all around the world.

“£300 could help feed 10 families in Syria for a month.

“£100 could help train four people in life-saving first aid skills here in the UK.

“And with £1,000 our UK volunteers could give five people the support they need to readjust to life at home following a spell in hospital.”

Will Aid is a charity will-writing scheme that raises money for charities: ActionAid, British Red Cross, Christian Aid, NSPCC, Save The Children, Sightsavers, Age UK, SCIAF (Scotland) and Trocaire (Northern Ireland).

Campaign director Peter de Vena Franks said: “Will Aid has made an amazing contribution to the work of these nine participating charities in the last 30 years.

“Thanks to the commitment of local solicitors that took part in this year’s Will Aid, many people both in the UK and abroad will receive life-changing support and local people who used the scheme have the peace of mind that having a professionally drawn up will brings.

“I would like to offer my heartfelt thanks to Fussell Wright for their incredible efforts this year.”

Will Aid will run again in November 2019. Find out more by visiting www.willaid.org.uk