Weekend video: The Importance of Law – Helena Kennedy

June 20, 2015 · Tim Kevan · Comments Closed
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Book recommendation: A Certain Justice (Inspector Adam Dalgliesh Book 10) by P.D. James

From P.D. James, one of the masters of British crime fiction comes the tenth novel to feature commander Adam Dalgliesh. A Certain Justice is a chilling murder mystery packed with forensic detail, set in the treacherous legal world of London. Venetia Aldridge QC is a distinguished barrister. When she agrees to defend Garry Ashe, accused of the brutal murder of his aunt, it is one more opportunity to triumph in her distinguished career as a criminal lawyer. But just four weeks later, Miss Aldridge is found dead at her desk. Commander Adam Dalgliesh, called in to investigate, finds motives for murder among the clients Venetia has defended, her professional colleagues, her family – even her lover. As Dalgliesh narrows the field of suspects, a second brutal murder draws them into greater complexities of intrigue and evil. P.D. James, the bestselling author of Death Comes to Pemberley, Children of Men and Death In Holy Orders, once again explores the mysterious and intense emotions responsible for the unique crime of murder, with authority and sensitivity. A Certain Justice is set in the legal world of London and possesses all of the qualities which distinguish P.D. James as a novelist.

Available from Amazon.

June 17, 2015 · Tim Kevan · Comments Closed
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Small is beautiful

“You will often find that the size of the bundle of papers is actually disproportionate to the size of the case itself,” said TheCreep as he patronised a couple of the pupils who were listening politely.
“Shame that’s not true in other areas, my love,” said TheVamp as she passed by and tapped him on the head Benny Hill-style just to underline his shortened stature.
“What on earth are you talking about?” asked TheCreep in a voice which was pompous even for him.
“Oh, MrCreepyWeepy, you’re so touchy these days. Not getting enough attention in the lurve department are we?”
“I can always count on you to lower the tone. Even when I’m teaching them a very valuable lesson.”
“And what exactly was that lesson then CreepsyWeepsy? That ‘small is beautiful’, by any chance?”

June 16, 2015 · Tim Kevan · One Comment
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Monday morning with Alex Williams’ cartoons

This cartoon is by Alex Williams who draws the Queen’s Counsel cartoons for The Times and in numerous books including The Queen’s Counsel Lawyer’s Omnibus. 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 info@qccartoon.com.

June 15, 2015 · Tim Kevan · Comments Closed
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Weekend video: Julian Treasure: How to speak so that people want to listen

June 13, 2015 · Tim Kevan · Comments Closed
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Changes To Employment Law: What You Need To Know

Consideration was given for the editing and publishing of this post

After the Queen’s speech last month, the UK was made aware of Conservative aims for the coming term. Many of the proposed legislative changes are set to impact businesses; especially where employment law is concerned. What do you need to be aware of, if you own your own company or you’re an employee yourself? Here are a few take-aways to bear in mind…

Strike Action

Unsurprisingly, the Conservative Party doesn’t take kindly to strike action. As a result, we are bound to see increased restrictions on trade unions. Our government plans to reform union action and safeguard public services against strikes. All strike ballots will require a 50% turnout of those eligible to vote and, if it’s deemed that they work in an “essential public service”, they will need at least 40% backing for the proposed strike.

The Conservative Party also want to lift the ban on hiring agency workers to fill-in for striking employees. They will also restrict paid time off for union representatives, when it comes to them fulfilling their union duties.

Business Requirements

Companies employing more than 250 people will be required, in the future, to publish all the details of pay gaps in their business between men and women, to ensure a fairer working environment for all. Anyone working on the minimum wage for 30 hours a week won’t have to pay income tax, meaning that they can subsist on their small wages more comfortably. Furthermore, working parents will receive further childcare support: 30 hours a week will be paid for by the government, for children between 3 and 4 years of age, making parenthood more affordable.

The Referendum

Depending on whether or not you feel as though this will impact you negatively, the next bit of news may not be music to your ears: David Cameron has promised a referendum on whether or not we want to stay a part of the EU. This will have a huge impact on business and employment law. If we leave the EU, it will mean that we can make our own rules on corporate regulation, instead of having to adhere to the universal restrictions. Is this a good or a bad thing? That’s up to you to decide, but it will almost certainly lessen the foreign investment coming into this country, which will have a knock-on effect on business and innovation.

Scotland Is Doing Its Own Thing Again

Although employment tribunals will stay the same in England and Wales, Scotland may go rogue and scrap the fees for bringing a case against an employer. This will mean that Scotland is more likely to be able to police poor corporate conduct towards employees, but it also means that businesses will live in fear of leaving themselves open to legal action, and may have to make decisions that are bad for their bottom line.

For more information about the changing legal landscape and how new laws and legislation could affect your home life or your working life, speak to a solicitor in your area.

June 11, 2015 · Tim Kevan · Comments Closed
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Book recommendation: The Two-Sided Man: A Selection of the Short Stories of Rudyard Kipling by Brian Harris OBE, QC

Somerset Maugham once described Rudyard Kipling as ‘our greatest short story writer’, adding, ‘I can’t believe he will ever be equalled. I am sure he will never be excelled.’ Known by many only for The Jungle Book and the Just So stories, Kipling’s range was in fact much wider. Most readers will be familiar with his stories about India and many know of his adventure tale, ‘The Man who would be King’ which was made into a record-breaking film, but how many are aware of his horror stories like ‘The Strange Ride of Morrowbie Jukes’, his ghost stories like ‘They’, his mystery stories like ‘The Wish House’, his revenge stories like ‘Dayspring Mishandled’, or the enigmatical, ‘Mary Postgate’? All can be found in this anthology of sixteen of his favourite Kipling stories. It comes with an introductory essay by Brian Harris setting the author against the background of his family, his school and his times, confronting head-on such issues as his political and religious views and his supposed racialism. After posing the question, why should we read Kipling today, Mr Harris answers, ‘Here is someone who paid the respect that is due, but not always accorded even now, to the alien, the poor and the oppressed. As the unofficial spokesman of the greatest empire in the history of the world he described accurately and sympathetically the lives of the peoples living under its jurisdiction. Though no orthodox believer, he prized and in his writings illustrated the great Christian virtues of charity, compassion and forgiveness, as well as the more modest British virtue of toleration. Nor is it possible to read his stories without being surprised by the light they so often throw on the eternal mysteries of love, pain and loss. Ultimately, however, we read him, as our parents did before us, for sheer enjoyment. The Two-Sided Man comes hard on the heels of Mr Harris’ anthology of Kipling’s poetry (‘The Surprising Mr Kipling’)

Available from Amazon.

June 10, 2015 · Tim Kevan · Comments Closed
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Amending the record

I gave OldSmoothie my note of his, er, case conference with BigMouth today. Basically it consisted of telling BigMouth that he should declare all the cash he’s received from his banker friend both to Parliament and probably also the taxman. However, he’d then gone on on to whisper that although that was his strict advice, it was of course up to BigMouth whether he wanted to follow it or not and of course, if he chose not to then OldSmoothie would still back him to the hilt.

From my very accurate note there was certainly no need to add in stage directions of nods and winks, since it was blindingly obvious what OldSmoothie was saying: “I’m covering myself by telling you this, but actually if I were you I’d try and wing it.”

“Why on earth did you write down every detail, BabyB?” he demanded. “You were there to take a note to protect me, not to implicate me.” He proceeded to delete the last half of my note before printing it off and handing it back. “There. That’s an accurate record of the advice I dispensed. The rest was simply two friends having a chin wag.”

“Oh.” I looked a little surprised and was definitely unsure as to what I should do. I certainly didn’t want to pick a fight with probably the most powerful person in chambers and that’s before you add a Tory MP into the mix. All the more so over something which was almost certain not to come out and anyway, it’s privileged, I figured a little uneasily.

“Excellent. Sign here BabyB.”

At that moment I had little choice but to sign my name and hope that the details of the meeting never came into question.

June 9, 2015 · Tim Kevan · 3 Comments
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Monday morning with Alex Williams’ cartoons

This cartoon is by Alex Williams who draws the Queen’s Counsel cartoons for The Times and in numerous books including The Queen’s Counsel Lawyer’s Omnibus. 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 info@qccartoon.com.

June 8, 2015 · Tim Kevan · Comments Closed
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Weekend video: My life as a barrister | The University of Law UK

June 6, 2015 · Tim Kevan · Comments Closed
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