Archive for November, 2012

Book Recommendation: How the Law Works by Gary Slapper

How the Law Works is a refreshingly clear and reliable guide to today’s legal system. Offering interesting and comprehensive coverage, it makes sense of all the curious features of the law in day to day life and in current affairs.

Explaining the law and legal jargon in plain English, it provides an accessible entry point to the different types of law and legal techniques, as well as today’s compensation culture and human rights law. In addition to explaining the role of judges, lawyers, juries and parliament, it clarifies the mechanisms behind criminal and civil law.

How the Law Works is essential reading for anyone approaching law for the first time, or for anyone who is interested in an engaging introduction to the subject’s bigger picture.

Available from Amazon

November 28, 2012 · babybarista · Comments Closed
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Monday morning with Alex Williams’ cartoons, 26th November 2012

This cartoon is by Alex Williams who draws the Queen’s Counsel cartoons for The Times and in numerous books including Lawyers Uncovered. He also does the cartoons for BabyBarista and has had two more excellent books published recently: 101 Ways to Leave the Law and 101 Uses for a Useless Banker. He offers almost all of his cartoons for sale at £120 for originals and £40 for copies and they can be obtained from this email

November 26, 2012 · babybarista · Comments Closed
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Weekend Video: Sir Ken Robinson: Do Schools Kill Creativity?

November 24, 2012 · babybarista · Comments Closed
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‘Bleak Expectations’ by Mark Evans – truly as funny as it gets! @iammarkevans

Okay, I’m going to push the boat out here and start off by saying that this book is as far as I’m concerned truly as funny as it gets. It comes off the back of a brilliant radio show which has already aired with the same name for several series on BBC Radio 4 and a BBC TV show ‘The Bleak Old Shop of Stuff’ which starred among many others Stephen Fry, Robert Webb and David Mitchell. Now, the radio and TV shows were top notch (and shame on the BBC for not re-commissioning Bleak Old Shop), but it is in writing his first novel that Mark Evans truly comes into his own. This follows the same themes as the radio series – a spoof Dickensian comedy if you will. But it is goes much further and gives the writer full rein for his comedy genius (and I don’t use the word lightly). It’s beautifully written and truly laugh out loud funny. From the first page right through to the hilarious Appendix it’ll have you not only turning the pages but having to make a list of the people you want to give it to for Christmas. Oh and for the lawyers among you don’t miss the visit to the Court of Potluckery inhabited by judges who grow their own wigs! As you’ve probably gathered by now, I can’t recommend this book more highly. Destined to become a classic. So, go on! Give it a try. You won’t be disappointed. You can buy it at

November 22, 2012 · Tim Kevan · Comments Closed
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Sponsored post: How to avoid disputes over inheritance estates

When a close family member dies, the grief can be debilitating. There are few, if any, more emotionally difficult times than when a parent, grandparent, sibling or child passes away. It’s really no surprise that at this time, when the materialism of an inheritance is juxtaposed with the grief of mourning, previously solid families can be riven with disputes.

Inter-family legacy disputes are more common that you might think. And while disputes over multi-million-pound estates and within noteworthy families grab the headlines, estates of little value can still cause fierce ruptures and long-lasting damage to family relationships.

So what can you do to make sure you avoid contributing to a dispute when you pass away?

Where there’s a will . . .
Wills are no guarantee of a dispute-free legacy, but they at least make sure that the desires of the deceased are executed.Making a will is something many of us put off, either because of the perceived effort it entails or because of not wishing to acknowledge death, but having one in place can bring considerable peace of mind.

A will is a powerful document because it protects your loved ones and establishes who you want to execute your estate. Without a will, the rules of intestacy take over, and this can mean the people you wanted to inherit your savings, property and possessions can lose out.

Intestacy is particularly dangerous for people with unmarried partners: only husbands and wives are guaranteed any inheritance, so long-standing partners might lose out in the absence of a will. Meanwhile, married partners are only guaranteed up to £250,000, so if you wanted to leave your husband or wife everything, a will is essential.

Intestacy lays the foundations for a messy inheritance, where different parties squabble over what they think is rightfully theirs, or seek to exclude people they do not believe should benefit. This can be exacerbated by unsuitable people becoming the executors of your estate.

Under intestacy laws, your next of kin can fill out probate forms and take on the role of executor(s) to your estate. This can be problematic; the role of the executor is absolutely key, as they have an onerous responsibility to fulfil, and they should be someone you trust to carry out your wishes. By writing a will and specifying your executors, you can lay strong foundations.

Speak to your inheritors
Aside from writing a will, the best way to ensure your family don’t tear themselves apart fighting over your estate is to be up front with them when writing your will.

Not surprisingly, many disputes arise when a family member has been left out of the will or received considerably less than others. There are countless reasons why you might make this arrangement – perhaps they’re considerably better off than their siblings or have benefited in some other way previously. But your decision might be misconstrued or disputed if the first your relative hears of it is when your will is being read out.

It might be difficult to bring up, but it’s the right thing to do, and can save a lot of difficulty in the long-term. And as, unfortunately, age comes hand in hand with reduced mental and physical capacity for some of us, you should have these conversations before it’s too late.

November 22, 2012 · Tim Kevan · Comments Closed
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Book Recommendation: Letters to a Law Student: A Guide to Studying Law at University by Nicholas J McBride

Letters to a Law Student relays all that a prospective law student needs to know before embarking on their studies. It provides a useful guide to those considering a law degree or conversion course and helps students prepare for what can be a daunting first year of study.






Available from Amazon

November 21, 2012 · babybarista · Comments Closed
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Field Fisher Waterhouse and Osborne Clarke abandon talks over £200m merger

Brought to you by our friends at Osborne Clarke

Despite on-going talks taking place, Osborne Clarke and Field Fisher Waterhouse have confirmed that the potential merger between the two firms is no longer considered to be viable and will not be going ahead. Relationships between the firms remain amicable with both sides citing a difference in operating models and structures as reasons for the decision not to proceed.

Simon Beswick, Managing Partner at Osborne Clarke spoke of the similar values fostered by both Osborne Clarke and Field Fisher Waterhouse but acknowledged, “The shared vision sparked exploratory talks. In the end, though, we had to recognise that our approaches are too different to combine.”

Acting Managing Partner at Field Fisher Waterhouse, Michael Chissick, confirmed the continued amicable relationship between the firms stating “the process has been positive . . . because of the strong relationships and friendships that have been formed between the two firms.” He also recognised the value the companies gained from the initial talks which allowed them to assess internal strengths and identify how best they could be served.

Although negotiations had been underway for a number of months, talks were ended before the issue had been voted on by partners at either firm. Despite strong relations between Osborne Clarke and Field Fisher Waterhouse, their shared vision and practices were not enough to overcome the discernible differences in approach and structure which ultimately rendered the potential merger unfeasible.

Osborne Clarke have are leading law firm with extensive experience advising on every aspect of Mergers and Acquisitions, including buy-outs, buy-ins, institutional buy-outs and public to private transactions.

November 19, 2012 · Tim Kevan · Comments Closed
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Monday morning with Alex Williams’ cartoons, 19th November 2012

This cartoon is by 
Alex Williams who draws the Queen’s Counsel cartoons for The Times and in numerous books including Lawyers Uncovered. He also does the cartoons for BabyBarista and has had two more excellent books published recently: 101 Ways to Leave the Law and 101 Uses for a Useless Banker. He offers almost all of his cartoons for sale at £120 for originals and £40 for copies and they can be obtained from this email

November 19, 2012 · babybarista · Comments Closed
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Weekend Video: Silk BBC

November 17, 2012 · babybarista · Comments Closed
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Book Recommendation: The Casual Vacancy by J. K. Rowling

When Barry Fairbrother dies in his early forties, the town of Pagford is left in shock.

Pagford is, seemingly, an English idyll, with a cobbled market square and an ancient abbey, but what lies behind the pretty facade is a town at war.

Rich at war with poor, teenagers at war with their parents, wives at war with their husbands, teachers at war with their pupils… Pagford is not what it first seems.

And the empty seat left by Barry on the parish council soon becomes the catalyst for the biggest war the town has yet seen. Who will triumph in an election fraught with passion, duplicity and unexpected revelations?

A big novel about a small town, The Casual Vacancy is J.K. Rowling’s first novel for adults. It is the work of a storyteller like no other.

Available from Amazon

November 14, 2012 · babybarista · Comments Closed
Posted in: books