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first_imgThe new head of City of London Law Society (CLLS) has vowed to uphold the English ‘brand’, already so prominent throughout the world. Alasdair Douglas has been confirmed as the new CLLS chair, representing law firms that employ 14,000 solicitors and have an annual turnover of £12bn. The City firms face a number of challenges in the coming months, not least the fallout from changes to the legal market as practices are invited to become alternative business structures. Douglas, a former senior partner at Travers Smith, said few City firms will float or take in new capital to begin with, but this will change over time. ‘We’ll see unexpected new entrants backed by outside capital,’ he predicted. ‘How long before significant change happens is anyone’s guess. ‘The challenge will be to ensure that the brand – English solicitors – continues to be valued here and abroad and is not devalued as ownership is spread more widely.’ The job of defending London’s international success is both timely and essential. Three-quarters of claims brought in the English Commercial Court involve overseas parties, while one recent survey found that in international arbitration, respondents used English law more than New York, Swiss and French law combined. Douglas warned that there is a real threat to that pre-eminence if the EU Commission pushes ahead with plans for a competing EU legal system for contract law. ‘Imposing a new system would drive legal and related business away from London to New York, or perhaps Switzerland. ‘Major international transactions and dispute resolution need legal certainty most of all, and a decade of uncertainty as new law settles down is not something that anyone would choose.’ He added: ‘More than 50% of cross-border deals around Europe are now done using English law and my sense is that the same is true in Asia. ‘Common law gives flexibility and certainty and we compete with New York to be the market standard for international business deals. ‘I am keen that we are the number one choice of law in the international market.’ Douglas’ arrival comes at a period of significant change at the City of London Law Society. David McIntosh has stood down after seven years as chair, with David Hobart recruited in a new role of chief executive from the Bar Council to work alongside the new chair.last_img read more

first_imgStay at the forefront of thought leadership with news and analysis from award-winning journalists. Enjoy company features, CEO interviews, architectural reviews, technical project know-how and the latest innovations.Limited access to industry news as it happensBreaking, daily and weekly e-newsletters Get your free guest access  SIGN UP TODAY To continue enjoying, sign up for free guest accessExisting subscriber? LOGIN Subscribe now for unlimited access Subscribe to Building today and you will benefit from:Unlimited access to all stories including expert analysis and comment from industry leadersOur league tables, cost models and economics dataOur online archive of over 10,000 articlesBuilding magazine digital editionsBuilding magazine print editionsPrinted/digital supplementsSubscribe now for unlimited access.View our subscription options and join our communitylast_img read more

first_imgProposals to radically broaden qualification routes to becoming a solicitor require ‘a leap of faith’ to discern how they will work, the Law Society has cautioned.Chancery Lane was responding to plans for a revolution in professional training set out by the Solicitors Regulation Authority following June’s publication of the Legal Education and Training Review.As reported in last week’s Gazette, the SRA wants to amend regulations to create a diversity of training routes, leaving educational providers and employers to come up with routes that achieve ‘day-one’ outcomes.In its Training for Tomorrow policy document, the regulator proposes moving away from academic routes into the profession to ‘permit much greater flexibility as to how those competencies are acquired’.The Law Society welcomed the SRA’s objectives but said more detail is needed. John Wotton (pictured), chair of the Society’s education and training committee, said the SRA’s plans to implement changes by pulling back from specifying how solicitors should qualify in the future require a ‘leap of faith’.He said: ‘When you try to work out how it will be introduced, that is where you wonder how it can be done. What is left unclear is by whom or what set of people, and by what means this will be achieved consistently.’The policy statement lays out an ‘enormous programme, which could last for a decade’, said Wotton. ‘The question is how dramatic are these changes going to be and how the competency framework will be administered. The SRA does not have the resources to do this itself.’The SRA will open a consultation on its review of training regulations by January, and on its competency framework in summer 2014.The SRA proposals include:Moving away from ‘prescriptive pathways’ to qualification of law degrees, common professional examination and legal practice courses and training.Ending the ‘tick-box’ approach to post-qualification training.Ensuring those who deliver legal services meet SRA standards, but with less emphasis on process.More flexibility for higher education institutions, vocational training providers and employers to come up with innovative ways of achieving outcomes.Widening access to the profession through apprenticeships, integrated academic, vocational and ‘on the job’ training courses.Allowing individual entities to develop their own internal post-qualification professional development.See this week’s Comment by Charles Plant.last_img read more

first_imgUS-style ‘vicarious liability’ and new ‘failure to prevent’ offences are under consideration in long-awaited government proposals to reform the law on corporate criminal liability published today. Initial reaction from corporate crime specialists was divided, with some lawyers seeing the proposals as a climb-down while others described them as a new burden on business.  The call for evidence published by the Ministry of Justice seeks views on whether the prosecution of companies for wrongdoing is hindered by the need to prove a ‘directing mind’ and whether companies can be held responsible for the actions of their staff without the need to prove complicity. It also seeks opinions on extending the ‘failure to prevent’ model introduced in the Bribery Act to offences such as money laundering.The Serious Fraud Office has long argued for such measures to bring its ability to prosecute up to the level of its counterparts in the US. The consultation document admits that: ‘Under existing laws, enforcement agencies can struggle to prosecute corporations for criminal offences such as fraud, money laundering and false accounting.’Announcing the consultation, Sir Oliver Heald, justice minister said: ‘I want to restore public faith in business and make sure we have the right tools available to crack down on corporate criminality. The government will consider whether existing laws sufficiently hold companies to account for the criminal wrongdoing of their staff.‘For example, it will look at whether successful convictions are being hindered by prosecutors needing to prove the “directing mind and will” of businesses undertaking criminal activity.’Solicitors specialising in corporate crime offered differing interpretations of the proposals.  Barry Vitou, head of global corporate crime at international firm Pinsent Masons, said the call for evidence ‘looks like a victory for those who have been campaigning to block a reform of the fraud laws concerning corporate crime’.Until now there has been ‘a broad consensus that the law needed changing’, he said, noting that as recently as last month the former attorney general Sir Edward Garnier moved a private amendment to the Criminal Finances Bill to create a ‘failure to prevent economic crime’ offence. ‘In contrast today’s publication by the MoJ is at risk of creating the impression that the MoJ favours taking a softer approach,’ Vitou said. Louise Hodges, criminal litigation partner at Kingsley Napley, said: ‘This consultation has been long in coming and already has a chequered past with the proposals bouncing on and off the table over the last few years.’However Hodges noted that: ‘All options remain open including US-style vicarious liability (previously championed by the Labour party) which provides that a corporation may be held criminally liable for the illegal acts of its directors, officers, employees and agents if it is established that the corporate agent’s actions were within the scope of his duties and intended, at least in part, to benefit the corporation.‘This would present the greatest regime change and the mere fact of its inclusion will strike fear in the corporate world.’On the ‘failure to prevent’ proposals, Hodges said: ‘Although potentially attractive, the ability for a company to predict and protect itself against every possible fraud that could be committed leaves the discretion to prosecute wide open and corporates facing increasing compliance costs and red-tape.’Tony Lewis, head of fraud and corporate crime at European firm Fieldfisher, warned of ‘the continued march of criminal law into the business sphere’. He said: ‘Should the “failing to prevent” model for other economic crimes in business follow suit, it will be a further example of the continued erosion of the need for there to have been knowledge of an offence to be committed in order to be prosecuted for it.‘What’s more, this will place a significant financial burden on businesses which will need to implement and maintain thorough procedures to prevent any economic crime – but the reality is that they could be held liable for crimes committed by associated persons over whom they have no control.’Elly Proudlock, counsel in WilmerHale’s UK investigations and criminal litigation practice, said ‘Although it is early days, it is at least encouraging that the government has not ruled out comprehensive reform of the law on corporate criminal liability. Rather than proceeding in a piecemeal fashion, the government should bite the bullet and look at the law more broadly,’ she said. ‘Given the increasingly cross-jurisdictional nature of investigations, there are good reasons for bringing the UK more in line with the US.’The call for evidence will run until 24 March.last_img read more

first_imgHM Land Registry has urged its customers to provide all the information it requires to make the conveyancing process simpler, faster and cheaper – publishing a charter to help deliver its mission to protect and guarantee land and property rights.The Registry said today that it wants to become the ‘world’s leading land registry for speed, simplicity and an open approach for data’.In its charter, the registry commits to delivering changes and updates to the registers within its published service delivery times and to its accuracy standards. It will respond to queries ‘promptly and professionally’. It will work with customers to ‘improve our services continuously and drive innovation’. It will be provide ‘secure, stable and highly available’ services. It will be ‘open and transparent’ in its customer dealings, ‘recognising our impartiality and treating our customers with respect’.The registry expects customers to provide all the information it requires to make changes to the register when an application is made. Customers are expected to ensure they have verified relevant information and treat staff with respect.The agency says the majority of its customers are often involved in the conveyancing process and ‘we need to work together to make conveyancing simpler, faster and cheaper’.In a blog post announcing the charter, Chris Pope, the registry’s chief operations officer, says the registry will publish its call handling times on the website. The Registry will also ‘refresh the look, feel and functionality’ of its portal so that access is ‘more intuitive’. Simpler transactions will be automated. Highlighting solutions to potential challenges, Pope says the registry will continue to work with customers to remove delays from the conveyancing process, such as those caused by the application enquiries (requisitions) that the registry needs to send to customers for additional information or clarification.The registry has also published 13 key performance indicators for 2018 to 2019. Targets include reducing the average rate for requisitions (requests to applicants for further information) from 20% to 15%, reduce the previous year’s target for the average cost per register update by 3% in real terms, complete register queries within two days, and complete register updates within five days. The registry’s digital programme is expected to ‘deliver a productivity saving’ of 65 full-time equivalents by 31 March 2019.  The local land charges service will be live and accessible by the end of this year.Last week the registry announced it was partnering with a software company to explore the potential of blockchain technology as part of efforts to automate the conveyancing process.The government said earlier this year that it wants to work with the conveyancing sector to develop digital signatures. improve the ID verification process and adopt e-conveyancing to improve the home buying and selling process.last_img read more

first_img*The Law Society is keeping the coronavirus situation under review and monitoring the advice it receives from the Foreign & Commonwealth Office and Public Health England. Find advice and updates here. Firms across the City are preparing to send staff back to the office, with plans for temperature testing, face masks, one-way corridors and flexible start times.Representatives from 14 of some of the UK’s largest practices gathered this month to develop return to work packages. The committee, which was convened by the Law Society, will meet every two weeks to exchange ideas and identify key issues to feed back to the government.Transatlantic firm Hogan Lovells, which is not part of the Law Society group, said it is likely to ask staff to wear masks in common areas, to restrict the number of people in lifts and to implement physical distancing in meeting rooms. A rota system will mean that employees only come to the office on certain days of the week.Meanwhile, Fieldfisher said only 10% of staff will return initially, gradually increasing to 25%. The firm plans to introduce a one-way walking system through corridors and between floors, and will allow flexible arrival and departure times to help staff avoid the rush hour. Temperature testing will also be available and the firm’s China office has donated a supply of face masks.However, magic circle firm Allen & Overy said staff will continue to work from home for the coming weeks. Its offices are currently being arranged to facilitate social distancing. Clifford Chance, which is based in Canary Wharf, also had nothing to announce. Despite tentative signs of a return to normality, City firms have continued to tighten their belts. Bird & Bird is the latest practice to freeze promotion and salary reviews, and only half of bonuses were paid out in May. The rest will be paid ‘at a later date’.center_img Please see the Gazette’s dedicated coronavirus page here >>last_img read more

first_imgSome South Florida motorists who are no longer required to pay tolls at toll-booths on the region’s highways may harbor the misconception they can avoid paying toll. However, this mistake could risk their driver’s license.In recent years, toll booths on segments of the Florida Turnpike and major Miami-Dade expressways have been replaced by an image-based electronic toll collection system that photographs a vehicle’s license plate to identify motorists responsible for payment – commonly called the ‘Toll-by-Plate” system.Most South Florida motorists use the system by using a pre-paid electronic transponder, SunPass, affixed to their vehicles. When one drives through a toll zone, the related toll charge is deducted from the prepaid account, which can be replenished as required.But some 10 percent of motorists without a SunPass are billed by the toll-by-plate system, when the vehicle crosses an electronic collection portal. A monthly invoice is mailed to the vehicle’s registered owner. And it’s not unusual for these invoices to take registered owners by surprise. Monique Pearle said she loaned her car to her brother for a week when he visited from Jamaica. But when he returned home, Peale said she was surprised to receive “a bunch of bills with my car’s photographs for unpaid toll charges. My brother wasn’t even aware of driving through toll zones, and the car didn’t have SunPass.”The Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) – responsible for Toll-Plate collections on the Florida Turnpike – and the Miami-Dade Expressway Authority(MDX) – responsible for collections on Miami expressways, including the Don Shula, Dolphin and State Rd 112 – have both reported sluggish payments when the program initially began. But both agencies have implemented a system to counter delinquency. If the initial invoice isn’t paid by the due date, an additional $2.50 in administrative charges are added to a second invoice. If this invoice is ignored, it’s submitted to a collection agency, which adds additional fees to the balance owed. If the invoice isn’t paid, both agencies have authority to place a hold on the debtor’s driver license.“The vehicle’s owner won’t be able to renew his/her license until the outstanding tolls are paid,” said Mario Diaz, MDX public information manager.Profits on toll pays motorists dividendsWhile Diaz was unable to provide data related to delinquent payments, he said revenue from the Toll-by-Plate system was strong. “Every day over a million trips pass through the toll zones on the MDX System,” he said.Revenue from the system is used by MDX to maintain the county’s expressways and ensure smother traffic flow. This year, revenue so exceeded budgeted expenditure that MDX’s board implemented a “Cash Back Toll Dividend Program” last July. A decision was made to refund some $2.2 million in toll charges to drivers who used the toll system.“This is a dividend because the tolls motorists pay are an investment into the MDX expressway system,” Diaz explained, stating that eligible motorists should receive dividends averaging $75 each.To be eligible for dividends under the program, the only one of its kind in the U.S., motorists, individuals and businesses must be registered, be SunPass customers in good standing, and spend over $2 weekly ($100 annually) in tolls on any of MDX’s five expressways. The dividends will be paid each year the agency makes a profit. Motorists registering this year will be automatically enrolled for future years.last_img read more

AID Bank honors 3 retirees

first_img 818 Views   one comment Violet Elfreda AbrahamThree retired staff members of the Dominica Agricultural Industrial Development (AID) Bank were honored for their dedicated years of service at the 24th Annual General Meeting held on Wednesday, February 8, 2017 at the Fort Young Hotel.The honorees were Ursula McDowell-Job, Dr. Emaline Harris Collymore and Violet Elfreda Abraham. McDowell-Job accepted her placque from Minister for Planning, Economic Development and Investment, Dr Collin John McIntyre, who represented Finance Minister, Prime Minister Skerrit.Senior Manager Human Resource and Administration, Romaulda Hyacinth, and Linda Gonzalez-Peltier, Assistant Manager, Finance and Accounts (Ag.) also accepted the plaques from Dr. Collin John McIntrye, on behalf of Dr. Harris-Collymore, who is currently out of state and Violet Elfreda Abraham respectively, who was unable to attend.According to the citation read, Ursula McDowell-Job worked at the AID Bank for twenty-seven years, during which she held different positions until retirement. McDowell- Job joined the AID Bank in October 1988 as a student loans officer. In October 1991, she was promoted to the position of Senior Administrative Officer Bank Secretary. In 1999, she was appointed to the position of Personnel Officer and during that stint she acted in positions such as Chief Loans Administration Officer, and Administrative Officer.McDowell-Job holds a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Business Administration and a Master of Science Degree in Training and Human Resource Management. During the restructuring of the bank in 2009, McDowell-Job was appointed to the position of Senior Manager, Human Resource and Administration, a position she held until her retirement on 22nd January 2016,” the citation read.Dr. Emaline Harris CollymoreDr. Emaline Harris Collymore was also awarded for over thirty years of service to the AID Bank.Dr. Emmline Harris Collymore joined the AID Bank in July 1986 as an industry officer. In 1989, she was promoted to the position of Research and Information Officer and in 1996 to Chief Projects Officer. In 1997, she was appointed to the position of Manager Investments. “Dr. Collymore also acted in the position of General Manager on numerous occasions. In October 2009, she was appointed to the position of Executive Manager Cooperate Affairs with the responsibility for the Industrial Estate Unit, the Management Information System Unit, the Communications Unit and Funding. She held that position up until her retirement on December 8, 2016,” the citation stated. Dr. Collymore holds a Master of Arts and a Bachelor of Arts degree in Economics, a Master of Science degree in Agricultural economics, and a Doctor of Philosophy Agricultural Economics. Violet Elfreda Abraham, the third honoree, served the AID Bank for over thirty years.Abraham first joined the AID Bank in 1981 as a student loans officer. In January 1982, she was promoted to the position of Junior Industry Officer and in 1983 to the position of Industry Officer. Thereafter, Abraham also served as an Assistant Manager in the loans department. In 1989, upon her return from study leave, she was appointed to the position of Accountant and in spite of many organizational restructurings; she continued to serve in the highest capacity within the Accounts department. Abraham is a certified general accountant and has acted in numerous other positions within the bank, including that of Chief Loans Administrative Officer, Manager of Finance, Chief Finance Officer, and General Manager. “In 2009, Ms. Abraham was appointed to the position of Senior Manager Finance and Accounts, a position she held until her retirement on 8th December 2016,” the citation reads. BusinessLocalNews AID Bank honors 3 retirees by: Dominica Vibes News – February 9, 2017 Tweet Sharecenter_img Share Share Sharing is caring!last_img read more

first_imgAWR Corporation, the innovation leader in high-frequency EDA, will exhibit within the RF and Wireless Pavilion on August 7-8 during NIWeek 2012, being held in Austin, Texas. AWR Connected™ to National Instruments’ demonstrations will include: Behavioral Model Extraction:  A Power Amplifier Example – This demonstration showcases a PXI system being used for power amplifier (PA) behavioral model extraction that also embraces AWR’s time delay neural network (TDNN) modeling within its Visual System Simulator™ (VSS) system design software.  Signal Processing with VSS and LabVIEW: An 802.11ac Example – This demonstration shows the ability of VSS to call LabVIEW directly via a virtual instrument (VI) server interface such that additional/custom signal processing blocks are readily extended into the VSS environment. Design through Test:  An Amplifier Example – This demonstration shows how an amplifier designer can easily move from the design stage through to test, with results validated between simulation and measurements along the way.  In particular, Microwave Office™ software is highlighted as the tool used for circuit simulation, LabVIEW for signal processing and virtual control of hardware of NI’s PXI instrumentation, and VSS for system-level simulation of the amplifier In addition to the exhibition floor demonstrations, NI will also be sharing how recent synergies at Texas Tech University have resulted in AWR and NI “Enabling Microwave Education and Biomedical Research through Integrated Solutions.”  This talk, being given on Wednesday, August 8 at 10:30 a.m. in Ballroom F, will explore how a Texas Tech microwave engineering course challenged students to design, lay out, and simulate their tumor tracking radar system for lung cancer radiotherapy within the AWR Design Environment™. Students created a test bench for the system within NI LabVIEW and took measurements with the final prototype with NI PXI RF instruments.last_img read more

first_img Share By CRAIG ALANIZReporter/ The South Padre Island Chamber of Commerce hosted Coffee and Conversation with Lizzy Delagarza, a representative from the Brownsville EDC.Delagarza gave an update and presentation over the possible SpaceX Launch Site that would be located three miles away from the border of Mexico and five miles away from South Padre Island on Boca Chica Beach.The environmental impact study has been completed, but has not gone public. Delagarza said she spoke to a representative from SpaceX who indicated to her things looked good for the proposed location.The City of Brownsville and the State of Texas are currently working on incentive packages to make the site more attractive than the other two competing proposed launch sites located in Puerto Rico and Cape Canaveral, Florida, Delagarza said.“We are working to make this project is beneficial for everyone involved,” Delagarza said.Delagarza said getting the aerospace company to the Valley would provide 600 direct jobs to the area that offer very competitive pay. She said the students in the area would be also be afforded many more opportunities such as internships and partnerships if the company decided to bring their operation to Boca Chica Beach.“It is a great way to keep bright minds here in the valley,” Delagarza said.The launch site would also attract tourism to the area, Delagarza said. A launch could bring up to 10,000 people to the area. She said beach closures would be kept to a minimum and the company would provide maintenance and security to Boca Chica Beach.Delagarza said at their first town hall meeting the idea to bring SpaceX to Brownsville was well received by the community with very few opposed.“Even college students made time to attend and show their support of the project,” Delagarza said.Another town hall meeting will be scheduled after the results of the environmental study are made public which is at the discretion of SpaceX Delagarza said everyone from the area will be invited to voice their opinion.Read this story in the Jan. 24 edition of the Port Isabel-South Padre Press, or subscribe to our E-Edition by clicking here. RelatedSpaceX leaders speakBy CRAIG ALANIZ Port Isabel-South Padre PRESS The South Padre Island Chamber of Commerce met for its Quarterly Public Affairs Luncheon Thursday. The chamber presented guest speakers Gil Salinas, Brownsville EDC and County Commissioners Sophia Benavides and Dan Sanchez, who spoke about the possibility of the SpaceX rocket launch site…July 16, 2012In “Gallery”Hearing set on SpaceX legislationSpecial to the PRESS A bill critical to the effort to attract SpaceX to the Brownsville area has been set for a hearing before a Texas House of Representatives’ committee. The bill will permit Cameron County and the GLO to temporarily close Boca Chica Beach for rocket launches, should SpaceX…March 28, 2013In “News”BEDC backs SpaceX at workshopBy AARIN HARTWELL Special to the PRESS Boca Chica Beach is among the top contingents of the first ever, commercial rocket launch site in the world only five miles south of South Padre. Brownsville Economic Development Council member Lizzy De La Garza presented on behalf of Space X Thursday, Add MediaMay…May 2, 2013In “News”last_img read more

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