Compensation Advice UK

February 13, 2010

Solicitors In – Law Firm Cuts Maintenance Grant

Filed under: Uncategorized — ticketortickets @ 12:13 pm

Linklaters signs up to shortened LPC as firm cuts maintenance grant

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Author: Jeremy Hodges

Linklaters’ future trainees will see their Legal Practice Course (LPC) slashed from a year to just over seven months as part of a new-look course with the College of Law.

The law school will run the fast-track LPC course for Linklaters’ students from January 2011, taking on two intakes a year in January and July.

Those due to start their training contract in September 2011 will start the course in January – rather than September under the current system – with those due to join in March 2012 to start the course in July next year.

The firm has also cut its maintenance grant from £7,000 to £5,000 to take account of the shortened course, which combines traditional classroom teaching alongside an online tutorial system that will see students studying online only for the first three weeks of the programme.

Linklaters said it made the decision following feedback from trainees.

Linklaters trainee partner Simon Firth told Legal Week: “It will mean there will be a shorter time between recruitment and joining the firm. Plus trainees will benefit from the continuity of learning they will gain, as they will join the firm straight after their LPC.”

Linklaters’ move comes 12 months after BPP Law School launched its own shortened LPC. The City consortium firms, comprising Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer, Herbert Smith, Lovells, Norton Rose and Slaughter and May, all signed up to the seven-and-a-half month course.

For a List of Local Solicitors please follow this link:
Specialist Will Solicitors London

Article Source: legalweek .com/legal-week/news/1591695/linklaters-signs-shortened-lpc-cuts-maintenance-grant
Photo Source: legalweek .com/IMG/570/60570/linklaters-silkstreet-185×114.jpg?1246611431

Labels: Solicitors in Maida Vale

January 24, 2010

Solicitors In Sheffield – Making a Will

Filed under: Uncategorized — ticketortickets @ 8:15 am

Making a Will – Your Legacy will end up … where?

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Without a will, the State directs who inherits your estate, so your friends, favourite charities and relatives may get nothing.

It is particularly important to make a will if you are not married or are not in a registered civil partnership (a legal arrangement that gives same-sex partners the same status as a married couple). This is because the law does not automatically recognise cohabitants (partners who live together) as having the same rights as husbands, wives and civil partners. As a result, even if youve lived together for many years, your cohabitant may be left with nothing if you have not made a will.

A will is also vital if you have children or dependants who may not be able to care for themselves. Without a will there could be uncertainty about who will look after or provide for them if you die.

Could one or more of these scenarios be relevant to your situation?

* several people could make a claim on your estate when you die because they depend on you financially;
* you want to include a trust in your will (perhaps to provide for young children or a disabled person, save tax,
* or simply protect your assets in some way after you die);
* your permanent home is not in the UK or you are not a British citizen;
* you live here but you have overseas property; or
* you own all or part of a business.

Once you have had a will drawn up, some changes to your circumstances, for example, marriage, civil partnership, separation, divorce or if your civil partnership is dissolved (legally ended), can make all or part of that will invalid or inadequate. This means that you must review your will regularly, to reflect any major life changes.

Who do you want to leave your assets to? How do you want to divide your property between your loved ones, friends or charities? Are there any conditions you want to attach to these gifts (for example, that young people must reach a particular age before they are paid money you have left them)?

You need to consider the details of your family and status. Are you divorced or has your civil partnership been dissolved? Have you remarried or entered into a new civil partnership? Or are you living with someone without being married to them or being their civil partner? Do you have any children or any other dependants? Anyone who depends on you financially can ask a court to review your will if they feel you have not provided properly for them.

If you have any children that may still be under 18 when you die, you may need to name someone as their legal guardian.

Do you have any particular wishes for your funeral? Do you want to be buried or cremated? Are there any other instructions? For example, if you want to be an organ donor this can be included in your will. However, it is also a good idea to record your wishes on the organ-donor register, or to carry an organ-donor card.

You must also name the people you want to appoint as executors of your will, the people who carry out the administration of your will after your death. These could be friends or family members, or a professional such as your solicitor. A good combination may be a friend or family member and a professional. Ideally, you should choose someone who is familiar with financial matters. Make sure you ask your executors whether they are happy to take on this duty as there are long-term responsibilities involved, particularly if you include a trust in your will. Once the will has been drawn up it is not effective until it has been signed. There are several rules affecting the signature process which, if not followed correctly, will make your will invalid. For example, witnesses and their husbands, wives or civil partners cannot benefit under the will.

It is important to keep your will in a safe place and tell your executors or a close friend or relative where it is. People often ask their solicitor to store their wills for them. Most solicitors will do this for free, but sometimes there is a small fee.

You should review your will at least every five years and after any major life change such as getting separated, married or divorced, having a child or moving house. It is best to deal with any major changes by getting a new will drawn up. But it is also possible to make minor changes (or codicils) to your existing will.

For more information or to discuss anything in this article feel free to contact Doug McLean

For a List of Local Solicitors please follow this link:
Specialist Will Solicitors

Article Source: mcleanfinancialservices.co.uk/index.php/2008/07/17/making-a-will/
Photo Source: esmartproducts .co.uk/esm21/images/r.jpg

Labels: Solicitors in Sheffield

January 11, 2010

Solicitors In – Work Accident Information

Filed under: Uncategorized — ticketortickets @ 7:04 pm

Legal requirements

This section provides a summary of employers and employees key responsibilities for ensuring the health, safety and welfare of their employees. Further details can be obtained from publications listed in the reference section.

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Employees health, safety and welfare at work are protected by law. This means that employers have a duty under the law to ensure, so far as is reasonably practicable:

* the health, safety and welfare at work of their employees; and
* employees are consulted and informed about health and safety issues, ie issues are discussed with the employees or their safety representative, if there is one.

Employees have a duty to co-operate with their employer by using the safe systems of work correctly.
Definitions of legal terms
Substances hazardous to health

This term has a legal meaning within the Control of Substances Hazardous to Health (COSHH) Regulations. In summary, it covers substances or preparations carrying the very toxic, toxic, harmful, corrosive or irritant symbol; substances and products with occupational exposure limits known as workplace exposure limits (WELs); biological agents, dusts of any kind that have a concentration in air equal to or greater than 10 mg/m3 (inhalable) and 4 mg/m3 (respirable); and substances whose chemical or toxic properties and the way they are used or produced create a risk to health (eg wet work).
Suitable and sufficient

The measures taken are appropriate to the risk or risks involved and it is reasonably practicable for prevention or adequate control of the risk or risks involved without increasing the overall risks.
As low as reasonably practicable (ALARP)

This involves weighing a risk against the trouble, time and money needed to control it.

* More detailed explanation of ALARP[2].

Adequate control

Control measures, including PPE and welfare facilities, can be considered adequate if they can provide a level of protection required to reduce the exposure to comply with the law.
Employers general duties

In general, the duties of employers include:

* keeping the workplace safe and without risks to health;
* drawing up a health and safety policy statement if there are five or more employees;
* ensuring articles and hazardous substances are moved, stored and used safely;
* providing adequate welfare facilities;
* giving employees the information, instruction, training and supervision necessary for maintaining health and safety;
* appointing a competent person(s) to assist with health and safety responsibilities and consulting employees or their safety representative about this appointment;
* preventing or adequately controlling exposure to hazardous substances that may cause damage to the health of employees and others affected by the undertaking;
* providing free any protective clothing or equipment, where risks are not adequately controlled by other means;
* ensuring that appropriate safety signs are provided and maintained;
* reporting certain injuries, diseases and dangerous occurrences to the appropriate health and safety enforcing authority.

In particular, the employer must:

* assess the risks to employees health and safety. If there are five or more employees, they must record the significant findings of the assessment;
* identify measures for controlling the risks;
* make arrangements for putting those measures into effect; and
* ensure those measures continue to work and are correctly used.

Employees duties

Employees have legal duties under the law. They include:

* taking reasonable care for their own health and safety and that of others who may be affected by what they do or don’t do;
* co-operating with the employer on health and safety;
* correctly using work items provided by the employer, including personal protective equipment;
* using all safe systems of work in accordance with training or instructions;
* not interfering with or misusing anything provided for their health, safety or welfare.

Control of Substances Hazardous to Health Regulations 2002 (COSHH)

An employer must not carry out any work, which can expose employees, by any route (skin, inhalation or ingestion), to substances hazardous to health, unless the employer has:

* carried out a suitable and sufficient risk assessment of the health risks created by that work; and
* identified the steps needed to comply with the regulations; and
* put the identified steps into effect.

Prevention or control of exposure

The risk assessment must consider whether it is reasonably practicable to prevent skin exposure. If prevention is not reasonably practicable, the assessment should identify how to ensure adequate control of skin exposure. The COSHH Regulations are ‘goal setting’ and recognise that risk cannot always be eliminated. The aim is therefore to reduce the risk of exposure to hazardous substances to a level that is as low as reasonably practicable.
Skin exposure risk assessment

A risk assessment should take account of the following:

* hazardous properties of the chemical(s);
* health effects caused by the chemical(s);
* routes, extent, frequency and duration of exposure;
* amount of chemical(s) used or produced, including those produced as by-products, released by chemical reactions during the process or found in waste products;
* type of work (such as emergency, maintenance or routine work);
* where it is carried out (eg fixed installation, temporary site or peripatetic work);
* effectiveness of controls. Those identified during the risk assessment or existing preventive or control measures;
* results of any monitoring data (eg surface contamination, skin contamination and biological monitoring);
* results of applicable health surveillance data.

Recording a risk assessment

Where there are five or more employees, the employer must record the findings of:

* the risk assessment; and
* the preventive or control steps to be put in place, including administrative measures, to comply with the regulations.

Reviewing a risk assessment

The employer must review the assessment if:

* for any reason, the assessment is considered to be not valid; or
* the work has changed and it has no resemblance to the assessment in place; or
* some other information has become available and indicates that the assessment is no longer valid.

For a List of Local Solicitors please follow this link:
Specialist Work Accident Solicitors

Article Reference: hse .gov.uk/skin/professional/legal.htm

Photo: info4security .com/pictures/web/f/q/o/iStock_000003385187X.jpg

Labels: Solicitors in Maldon

January 10, 2010

Solicitors In – Report on Outlaw Case

Filed under: Uncategorized — ticketortickets @ 6:01 pm

New UK law to outlaw violent porn
By Dr Petra

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As you may have seen in the news today a UK mother has won a battle to ban the possession of violent pornographic images after her daughter was murdered by a man who allegedly consumed violent porn regularly.

There is violent porn available that features the abuse of children, adults and animals and most people would agree it is something that needs to be targetted and controlled.

However, its not really clear if this proposed legal change will really protect those at risk.

This proposed legal change is part of the Home Offices reporting back on its controversial consultation exercise on Extreme Pornography launched last year. They didnt at the time define what exactly they meant by Extreme Pornography and now have replaced the term with Violent Pornography. Whilst all respondents to this consultation were in agreement the abuse of children and non-consenting adults was wrong, there was also concern from those involved in bondage or SM who felt the vagueness of the term extreme pornography could lead to them being prosecuted for creating or participating in consensual sexual activity that may appear violent.

They were worried such an approach might lead to people being unfairly investigated, prosecuted and judged. The police and legal system could be spending a lot of time arresting and charging people who are into safe, sane and consensual activities amongst adults that are violent but not abusive. Theres a worry that in not being specific about what violent porn is that those who are abusers may be overlooked whilst those into alternative sex are being investigated.

All these concerns were put to the Home Office who in their response document out today touches on but does not address. Nowhere in the response document does it mention how the Home Office relied on vague terms and references to evidence that were never substantiated. Interestingly the news coverage has been mostly around the change in the law rather than focusing on the consultation report.

Previous Home Office consultations on sex (specifically prostitution) were criticised for setting agendas prior to consultations and not listening to views given by the public.

Worryingly in this consultation a response was taken from The British Psychological Society that claimed the evidence is that violent pornography causes violent sexual behaviour and yet the overwhelming amount of psychological research either does not show this or is based on studies so flawed its impossible to draw safe conclusions from them.

If this current law is put in place people caught with violent porn will face up to three years in jail. However if we still arent clear what violent porn is this could lead to varying arrest rates and also stretch or legal system and overcrowded prisons. If found guilty of owning such materials people would be classed as sex offenders and getting a job post prison would become more difficult so again this could result in more costs in benefits. This is not to excuse people who consume violent and non-consensual pornography, but to make clear that such a law will have repercussions we may not be ready to deal with at this time.

It also means our attention will be focused towards those who access violent materials, who are in far fewer numbers than most of us who are fed a steady diet of sexist imagery in lads magazines, music videos and other areas of popular culture. Arguably this could have greater impact on the way women are treated and potential links to abuse and yet the focus is on the extreme end of the spectrum, not the mainstream.

We need to ask why the state would be focusing on identifying and prosecuting individuals who have violent porn rather than those involved in making and distributing it?

Where violent abuse of children, adults and animals is captured on film or photo we should prosecute all involved to protect the victim and further victims of such crime. But this law doesnt help those who are into activities that look violent but are consensual and we have to ask if it is the role of the state to interfere in such cases, particularly when those involved in BDSM have tried hard to educate Home Office staff about their lifestyle.

For a List of Local Solicitors please follow this link:
Specialist Solicitors

Article Reference: drpetra .co.uk/blog/new-uk-law-to-outlaw-violent-porn/

Photo: newsimg .bbc.co.uk/media/images/44218000/jpg/_44218865_petra203.jpg

Labels: Solicitors in Liverpool

January 8, 2010

Solicitors In – Redundancy Problems?

Filed under: Uncategorized — ticketortickets @ 8:03 pm

Worried about redundancy?

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Top 10 tips

If you are one of the unlucky employees of the one in three companies making redundancies, it is vital to know your rights otherwise you may find yourself unfairly dismissed. Your employer has two obligations the company should have fair reasons for making you redundant and they must follow a fair process.

1 Warning

First, you should receive a letter warning you of potential redundancies. The letter should make it clear that no decisions have been made yet, but explain the reasons why the business is considering this approach.

2 Consultation

To decide who will be made redundant your employer should draw up selection criteria, for which you will be given marks. You should meet with your employer to discuss the situation and explore ways of avoiding the redundancies.

3 The Meeting

You are entitled to bring along a trade union representative or work colleague if you wish. In your meeting you are entitled to ask what the selection criteria is and what marks you have received. You are entitled to challenge this and you should focus your efforts on getting your skills across to your employer.

4 Assisting your employer with solutions

At this stage a decision should not yet have been made and your employer should still be exploring ways to avoid making redundancies. You should participate fully in the process. You can assist your employer to avoid making you redundant by offering solutions such as taking a sabbatical or working part-time.

5 If the employer decides to proceed with your redundancy, what can you do?

If an alternative solution is unviable and your employer decides to proceed with redundancy then you will be invited to a final meeting. Your employer will run through your redundancy package and, again, you can be accompanied by a trade union representative or a colleague.

6 The decision should be in writing

The decision should be confirmed in writing together with the termination date. You should also be offered the opportunity to appeal the decision.

7 Appealing the decision

If you decide to appeal your employers decision you should be invited to a further meeting to explain why you disagree.

8 When you are made redundant what should your financial package be?

If you are made redundant you are entitled to three payments: A full notice period, a redundancy payment and unclaimed holiday leave.

Full Notice Pay You are entitled to your full notice pay which is usually in your contract, but in the absence of such a provision you can receive statutory notice.

Redundancy Pay There is a statutory amount payable calculated using a specific formula but it is also worthwhile checking whether you have a contractual entitlement to an enhanced redundancy payment. Click here to work out your statutory entitlement.

Unclaimed Holiday Leave You are also entitled to payment for any accrued, but untaken holiday.

9 What to do if you have been treated unfairly

If you feel you have been treated differently from other employees you should consult an employment solicitor as early as possible. There is a time limit of three months from the day you were dismissed to launch a challenge.

10 Reasons for appeal

Anyone who is made redundant should appeal the decision. Failure to do so could mean that any compensation received, should you win your case at a tribunal, is reduced by between 10% and 50%. If your employer did not take the requisite steps in the redundancy procedure or the selection criteria were discriminatory then you could have a case for unfair dismissal. Examples are if there was not a genuine need for redundancy and misapplication of objective criteria. Selection criteria meanwhile are not defined under law but decided upon by your employer, must be performance based and avoid any criteria that may be deemed discriminatory. Under new age discrimination a last in, first out policy is no longer permissible. You should consult your employers policies and procedures guidelines to help get an idea of whether you have a case.

For a List of Local Solicitors please follow this link:
Solicitors in Maidenhead

Article Reference: takelegaladvice .com/news-and-information/legal-articles/Employment/Redundancies/Redundancy-Employment-solicitors-explain-your-rights/

Photo: gad123.files .wordpress.com/2007/10/redundancy_protection_14.jpg

Labels: Solicitors in Manchester

January 6, 2010

Solicitors In – Legal Update

Filed under: Uncategorized — ticketortickets @ 7:16 pm

Legal Updates
Optical radiation directive

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From April 2010 new UK Regulations are planned to transpose EU Physical Agents Directive (Artificial Optical Radiation) and will apply where workers are exposed to ultraviolet radiation, infrared radiation, visible light and lasers. Exposure to natural sunlight is NOT within the scope of the directive, neither does the directive apply to members of the public

Requirements will include assessment of worker exposure against exposure limit values (ELVs based on current ICNIRP recommendations) including, where necessary, measuring/calculating exposure levels and consideration of particularly sensitive risk groups. Likelihood of exceeding ELV’s will trigger the need for an action plan of how exposure above the limits will be prevented. Risk from exposure also triggers info/training requirements and where appropriate, health surveillance.

Impact on the BBC and the media/entertainment industry in general will depend on whether exposure from studio/location/theatre lighting is likely to exceed ELVs. Industry led research is currently underway to find this out. As far as use of lasers is concerned the new legislation is not expected to significantly alter safety standards that are currently best practice anyway within the media industry and required under existing general legal requirements.

The potential hazards associated with exposure are damage to the skin and/or eyes, including photo-retinitis (blue light over-exposure). The risks from lasers and UV light are well known but there is currently no related ill-health history for studio or location lighting.

For a List of Local Solicitors please follow this link:
Conveyancing Solicitors in the UK

Article Reference: http://www.bbc .co.uk/safety/default.aspxpage2925.shtml

Photo: ptb. de/en/org/3/37/373/gleitstiel.jpg

Labels: Find Solicitor Specialists for Compensation

October 12, 2009

New Legal Figures

Filed under: Uncategorized — ticketortickets @ 7:17 am

Prison Population Projections

The Ministry of Justice has published a prison population projection up to June 2015:

  • This bulletin presents projections of the prison population in England and Wales from September 2008 to June 2015. The projections are based on assumptions about future criminal justice trends (e.g. sentencing) and incorporate the anticipated impacts of policy and process initiatives that have agreed implementation timetables.
  • Three scenarios (High, Medium and Low) have been projected based on assumptions about future sentencing

 

To read more, please follow this link…

Andy Bolton

Solicitors in the UK | Compensation Solicitors

October 11, 2009

Saturday Divorces?

Filed under: Uncategorized — ticketortickets @ 5:40 pm

By Luke McLeod-Roberts

The family team at Birmingham-based Martineau has established a Saturday-morning practice so that rich potential divorcés can get a more discreet service.

The firm is offering the weekend surgery to target high net-worth individuals who are too busy to see a lawyer during the week.

“We had people saying they weren’t going to be in the country until the weekend,” said head of private capital Mary Kaye. “If you think of any other service, whether it be the bank or the doctor, [they are available on a Saturday]. Family lawyers can’t say, ‘I’m available nine to five or on my BlackBerry’, if they want to work with high net-worth individuals.”

Courtesy: thelawyer.com/martineau-opens-on-saturdays-for-convenient-covert-divorces/1002169.article

Divorce UK | Claiming Compensation UK

Andy Bolton

Illegal

Filed under: Uncategorized — ticketortickets @ 5:31 pm

The stage is set for Bond Traders II, another lurid story
Martin Waller

A High Court action that starts on Monday, with a claim by one big bonds dealer that a rival illegally tried to “poach” key staff, promises to provide lurid details about the way in which this corner of the City works.

A similar action in 2002, also featuring one of next week’s participants, blew the lid off the seamy, if highly paid, world of bond trading, with accounts of visits to lap-dancing clubs, constant foul language and aggressive bullying of staff, which, it was clear, both firms would have preferred to keep out of the public eye.

Court documents seen by The Times and the City rumour mill both suggest that further revelations could emerge from this case.

Tullett Prebon, the world’s secondbiggest bonds dealer, is suing BGC Partners over claims that it tried to hire at least 55 key staff, a mass defection that, had it taken place, would have destroyed Tullett’s lucrative London business.
Related Links

    * We’ve been here before, but so glad to be back

    * Tullett Prebon traders in City bonus row

It is part of a chain of litigation by Tullett, whose chairman, Terry Smith, is known in the City for his combativeness, against BGC.

Neither party will discuss the case and it is thought that they have been given advice by the courts that if they speak to the press beforehand, this may count against them in the proceedings.

Tullett is taking action against BGC and some of its former employees now working at BGC, including Tony Verrier, a former second-in-command to Mr Smith. BGC is accused of acting unlawfully in conspiring to solicit a large number of Tullett employees to breach their contracts. It is claimed that as a result Tullett suffered a large loss.

BGC counters, in a formal statement: “BGC Partners continues to expand geographically, enter new product areas and increase its broker headcount. This … means that BGC Partners is consistently sought out by some of the marketplace’s most experienced brokers, and continues to attract top talent. As such we fully contest these allegations.”

At the heart of the case is an alleged poaching raid in which BGC is accused of trying to persuade those employees to breach their contracts, which are designed to lock them in for extended periods, by changing their employer.

Mr Verrier joined BGC this year. The claim says that at least 55 desk heads and brokers were approached. In the event, only 13 agreed to defect.

In the 2002 High Court action, Cantor Fitzgerald, the firm from which BGC was spun out, sued Icap, the market leader, which was founded by Michael Spencer, who became the Conservative Party treasurer.

It was the culmination of yet another feud. Cantor lost 658 employees in the attacks on the World Trade Centre and in the aftermath, when the survival of the business was still in doubt, Icap poached three key staff.

Both sides claimed legal victory but Mr Spencer’s reputation was not enhanced by revelations of an e-mail in which he admitted he “would love to put one up their [Cantor’s] bottoms”.

In the Tullett-BGC feud, two former senior executives at Tullett in Asia are the subject of an arrest warrant in the Philippines after an earlier legal action over poaching, although neither is based there and the offence does not allow their extradition. More recently, Tullett made a complaint to the US Financial Industry Regulatory Authority over the defection of 52 brokers to BGC. One report put the damages being sought at $500 million, but this is thought to be an exaggeration.

The affair degenerated into a round of claims and counter-claims, with allegations that the staff had quit because they were not paid huge bonuses that had been promised by Tullett. For its part, the latter described the raid as “BGC’s latest global predatory effort to damage Tullett’s business”.

Claims and counter-claims as dirty laundry is aired in High Court

The tone of the court documents, seen by The Times, will only confirm the reputation of the bonds broking world for foul language and abusive behaviour.

By August last year, according to the claim, Tony Verrier had decided that he was going to work for BGC, and he informed Terry Smith, Tullett’s chairman, accordingly. On August 31, The Sunday Times reported that he was in Langkawi, Malaysia, having a holiday with his mistress. He was off sick at the time. He alleged that Tullett had placed the article with the paper, wrecking his reputation, and that so from then on his contractual obligation to his former employer was no longer. He blamed it for ruining his marriage.

One allegation is that, on January 28, Mr Verrier made a mobile phone call to encourage one of the brokers to move in which, according to the documents, he described Tullett as “a bunch of c**** … They ruined my f****** marriage.”

The Tullett documents claim that Mr Verrier’s inside knowledge of his previous employer gave BGC a “significant springboard advantage”. They say that Tullett desk heads were to be used as recruiting sergeants. The documents detail foul-mouthed dialogue at numerous meetings, often at London’s most expensive restaurants, at which millions of pounds were promised to various named senior traders.

In one meeting, he allegedly offered one individual and two of his brokers £2 million in cash and £1 million in stock provided that all three agreed to join and could persuade at least two other brokers on their desk to follow. He allegedly offered another £3 million to be spread around members of his team. At Smith’s of Smithfield, a restaurant, he offered a third £3.5 million upfront and another £1.9 million in cash to distribute among his team.

In March there was another meeting, this time at Rules, a clubby restaurant specialising in game in Covent Garden. Mr Verrier was concerned, Tullett alleges, that the brokers might change their minds and back out. Other senior BGC people were there. One broker was having second thoughts and said, “Your company’s s***, why should we do this?” Mr Verrier later privately said to the broker that he would “nail you to the f****** wall” if he tried to back out, the documents contend.

BGC, in its defence, denies conspiracy and claims that the law suit is part of a “very personal and extensive grudge” on Mr Smith’s part. It claims that Mr Smith, while in Barbados, showed a clip of the film Gladiator, in which a gladiator is killed, and said: “This is what happens to people who cross me.”

A world with money on tap

They are the Premier League players of the City. Bond traders have a reputation for aggression and high living, their testosterone-fuelled working lives are short but fantastically well remunerated — and they are the centre of endless legal rows about “tapping up”.

There are only a handful of firms in this market, which has expanded exponentially in recent years with the growth of derivatives of all sorts.

Inter-dealer brokers (IDBs) stand between banks and other institutions and provide them with a network on which to trade in bonds and other instruments anonymously. Initially trading was done by phone, with the IDB acting as intermediary; increasingly, it is done electronically.

It is a demanding job and skilled brokers are much in demand. Because of this, and because there are so few players in the market and they all know each other, it is often easier to “lift” a key player than train up your own staff. As a result, they are locked in by being kept on long contracts; two years is usual. This gives rise to legal actions when traders are urged to defect to a rival employer.

The business is known for long-running chains of legal actions and feuds, that between Tullett Prebon and BGC Partners being only the latest. It is also known, after the High Court case in 2002, for a macho, foul-mouthed culture that would not be allowed in many other areas of business life.

The legal principle, in the latest case and the earlier ones, is where the dividing line lies between an open expression of willingness to hire rival staff and interference, which amounts to breaching the contracts between them and their current employer.

Inheritance

Filed under: Uncategorized — ticketortickets @ 5:20 pm

A woman disinherited by her mother’s decision to leave the family’s £2.3 million farm to the RSPCA celebrated victory yesterday when a court declared the will invalid.

Christine Gill, an only child, wept as a judge ruled that she was entitled to inherit the 287-acre North Yorkshire farm to which she had devoted years of labour to support and care for her ageing parents. The RSPCA said that it would appeal against the ruling.

Dr Gill’s widowed mother Joyce, who died at 82, did not even support the charity. She was pro-hunting and, according to her daughter and other witnesses, thought the RSPCA “were just a bunch of townies who knew nothing about the countryside”. The High Court in Leeds ruled that the shy, reclusive mother had been bullied into the will by her ill-tempered husband, John, before his death.

The animal charity, which two years ago rejected an offer of three quarters of the estate, may have to pay both sides’ legal costs, totalling £1.3 million. The court will rule on costs later.
Related Links

    * RSPCA got my £1.5m inheritance

    * Lawyer of the Week: Yvonne Hossack

Dr Gill, 58, a part-time university lecturer whose 12-year-old son can now fulfil his ambition to become a farmer, said she was “shaking with relief” at the court’s decision.She felt that her heart and soul had been “ripped out” when she first learnt that the will said she would get no money or land.

As the RSPCA had made plans to sell the farm, the Gills wrote to its patrons, including the Queen and the Archbishop of Canterbury. It refused to negotiate, and the Gills sought an injunction to prevent the sale of Potto Carr Farm, near Northallerton.

Dr Gill had worked on the family farm since the age of 13, and came home from university to help at weekends and in the holidays. The court heard that even her choice of career — she lectured part-time in statistics at the University of Leeds — was influenced by the need to work flexible hours.

As her parents grew older, Dr Gill and her husband, Andrew Baczkowski, bought and renovated a nearby property to be close to them. She was unaware that in 1993 her father, John, and her mother had signed wills by which the farm was left initially to the surviving spouse and then to the RSPCA.

Mr Gill died in 1999. By then Dr Gill’s son, Christopher, had been born. He was “mad about farming” and his grandmother bought him toy tractors. The court was told that Mrs Gill made repeated assurances that the farm would stay in the family when she died.Dr Gill, represented by Mishcon de Reya solicitors, argued that her mother must have been coerced into making a will that was contrary to her own wishes. She died in 2006.

Ruling in Dr Gill’s favour yesterday, Judge James Allen, QC, accepted that Mrs Gill was a shy, reclusive and anxious woman who did not like mixing with people and suffered from agoraphobia and irrational fears. Her husband, the judge said, was a “stubborn, self-opinionated, domineering man” prone to outbursts of fury. His wife always deferred to him.

As the wills were signed, Mrs Gill “would have experienced anxiety of such severity that her thoughts would have been dominated by an impulse to escape back to the safety of her house”. She “could not have followed or understood what she was doing”.

The judge was satisfied that Mrs Gill had “an avowed dislike” of the RSPCA and wanted her daughter to inherit the farm, but that she had been unduly influenced by her husband.

An RSPCA spokesman said it was surprised and disappointed. “Throughout this, the RSPCA has been in an extremely difficult position. The will left by Dr Gill’s parents was very clear — in one sentence they left their entire estate to the RSPCA and in the next they said their daughter should receive nothing. In that situation the RSPCA cannot just walk away. In fact, we are legally obliged to seek the funds under charitable law.”

He said that the charity had “tried to settle the matter amicably before it even came to court”, offering to pay Dr Gill £650,000 plus all her costs.

Mark Keenan, of Mishcon de Reya, said this belated offer was made “shortly before trial” and followed the RSPCA’s rejection of Dr Gill’s earlier offer and requests for mediation.

Courtesy: business.timesonline.co.uk/tol/business/law/article6868765.ece

Solicitors in the UK | Compensation Claims UK

Andy Bolton

Legal News Reporter

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