EDWARD FENNELL’S LEGAL DIARY

Diary news plus insights, commentary and appointments from the legal world

March 3   2023

Editorial contact: fennell.edward@yahoo.com

SHORT THOUGHT OF THE WEEK: SELF-INTEREST, BEST INTEREST?

Not so long ago it was hoped (or maybe feared) that all the leading law firms would go ‘public’ and sell themselves to investors – a very nice little earner for the existing partners and a, notional, opportunity to inject much-needed funds for growth.

Well, as yet, the experiment seems not to have worked – some big names deciding to pull out at the very last moment. So how about something completely different – and from a very different perspective?

The firm Horwich Farrelly (HF), for example, has just announced that it wants to ‘turn the traditional law firm model on its head and put its people at the centre of its success’. Its new Share Incentive Plan will enable all employees, who have been with the company for over a year, to own Shares in Horwich Farrelly Limited.

“I’ve wanted to do this for a long time, to genuinely involve all our people in the success of our business,” said Ronan McCann, CEO & Managing Partner at HF. “This is a ground-breaking move for a law firm and aligns perfectly with our culture and drive to be different and innovative.  We say that we are people, not just lawyers, and we’re wholly committed to maintaining that difference for the benefit of our people as well as our clients.”

Worth thinking about?

The LegalDiarist

In this week’s edition

+ LEGAL DIARY OF THE WEEK

 ‘Transform Legal to Transform Business’ says PwC

Modern Slavery Threat Needs Constant Vigilance

Qualification Audit and Advice Service Launched

G2 Legal 2022 Salary Survey

Law firm’s Online Quiz Tests Abusive Relationships

+ LEGAL COMMENT OF THE WEEK on the Manchester Arena Public Inquiry and Cabinet Ministers’ comments on Covid measures

+ LEGAL APPOINTMENTS OF THE WEEK at Burgess Mee and Bird & Bird

+E-VENTS at 100 Years

LEGAL DIARY OF THE WEEK

 ‘Transform Legal to Transform Business’ says PwC

“Legal is often an afterthought,”
says Teresa Owusu-Adjei

Britain’s businesses are in urgent need of a process of transformation if they are to remain competitive. However, their legal departments – who should be playing a crucial role – are lagging behind according to consultancy PwC whose new report ‘Transform Legal to Transform Business’ highlights that the transformation of in-house legal services is critical to the success of any wider business transformation.

“While businesses have invested huge amounts of money in transformation over the last five years, legal is often an afterthought,” said Teresa Owusu-Adjei, UK head of legal business solutions at PwC. “But with 22% of UK CEOs telling us their business may not be economically viable within the next 10 years if they continue on their current path, it puts huge pressure on organisations to transform; and its imperative business leaders understand the opportunities legal transformation can unlock, for a successful wider business transformation strategy.”

Central to improvement is the need for legal in-house teams to prioritise transforming themselves from ‘guardians of risk’ to ‘enablers of transformation’. “Legal leaders need to think about outsourcing, rethinking purpose and process efficiencies, technology and the right talent, which will drive successful transformation and forge closer ties between legal and the wider business,” continued Owusu-Adjei. “In tandem, the c-suite must invest in its legal function to ensure it evolves and meets the demands of modern business.”

In reality, however, that path is not being followed by most businesses. Instead, according to PwC, many have implemented cost-cutting tactical initiatives – such as relocating operations – but few have fundamentally changed their legal operating models.  Remarkably, less than one quarter of legal functions say they have outsourced any activity. And yet, the survey highlights that the 41% of legal functions that outsource elements of procurement and contract work have made significant transformation progress compared with 22% that do not. So many lessons – but so much to be done.

For a copy of the report go to: file:///C:/Users/Owner/Downloads/PwC-%20Transform%20legal%20to%20transform%20business.pdf

Modern Slavery Threat Needs Constant Vigilance

Browne Jacobson has recently held a joint meeting with The Gangmasters and Labour Abuse Authority (GLAA) and the University of Nottingham’s Rights Lab (UoN) to put the spotlight on the issue of Modern Slavery. The   audience consisted of senior leaders (responsible for their organisation’s modern slavery statement, compliance, procurement and outsourcing, safeguarding) and risk managers across multiple areas within the public and private sector.

The meeting was held at Browne Jacobson’s Nottingham office and was led by partner and employment specialist, Raymond Silverstein and featured leading experts on human trafficking including Ian Waterfield, Head of Enforcement at the regulatory body The GLAA,  Professor Alexander Trautrims and Dr Caroline Emberson of the world’s largest group of modern slavery researchers at The UoN’s Right Lab.

“It is estimated by the United Nations that over 50 million people worldwide are in modern slavery, and according to the Government, around 10,000 people are experiencing modern slavery conditions in the UK today,” said Raymond Silverstein. “These shocking figures illustrate that severe human exploitation is still very much a real and longstanding issue in many parts of modern society, despite the introduction of The Modern Slavery Act in 2015. We know perpetrators are becoming increasingly sophisticated in their approach to labour abuse. Now more than ever, it is imperative that organisations be as vigilant as possible.”

Ian Waterfield added, “Modern slavery is a global problem and international crime, affecting millions of people worldwide, including many victims within the UK. We work with partner organisations who are helping to target, dismantle and disrupt serious and organised crime, so we are pleased to have teamed up with Browne Jacobson who are advising businesses across the labour market on how to be fully equipped in dealing with the prospect of modern slavery infiltrating their operations.”

Qualification Audit and Advice Service Launched

Law Training Centre (LTC) is launching a new audit service designed to help law firms find the most cost-effective and useful routes to qualification for their staff. The new audit service is believed to be the first of its kind and will be operated by LTC’s  Legal Talent Development Team in conjunction with Wilson Browne Solicitors which will become the first  law firm in the UK to receive the service.

Based on a comprehensive approach to the legal qualification framework – everyone from solicitors to legal executives and beyond –  the Legal Talent Development Team will be able to address the challenge of qualifications across board – SQE, NALP, CLC, CILEX (CPQ and Legacy) and Notary.  And as well as providing a roadmap for qualification, the Legal Talent Development Team will also identify the most appropriate and effective courses  relative to the stage of development for each individual.

Our Legal Talent Development Team is focused on helping firms and employees choose the right qualifications and courses for their team and the future growth of their business,” said Dino Dullabh, Co-Founder of Law Training Centre. “The new team is central to one our core values of breaking down barriers to the profession. In this instance, one of the key barriers is a lack of awareness by firms that there are more options than ever before to qualify and more flexible and cost-effective routes available. We are the first and only law school to offer all the major routes to qualifying (from paralegal to solicitor and notary) under one roof and are ideally placed to help firms make training budgets go further, retain staff through progression and encourage a more diverse and inclusive workforce.”

Law Training Centre was founded in 2016 and is the first provider globally to be accredited by all the main awarding bodies for legal qualifications It offers courses for CILEX, CIPS, CMC, CLC, NALP, Propertymark, SQE, and Notarial learners, which are all delivered online. Registered in England and Wales, it is a CILEX Accredited Study Centre, an SQA Approved Centre for CLC Qualifications and a CDP Provider.

G2 Legal 2022 Salary Survey

At a time when teachers,  doctors, nurses, rail staff and many other public sector workers are going on strike complaining that they are being left behind by those in the private sector it is striking that according to the latest Salary Survey undertaken by G2 Legal that more than one third of those responding said that they had NOT had any salary increase at all during the previous year. 

On top of that, 80% had not received a cost of living increase – this was despite more than three quarters saying that their firms did, indeed, have a formal salary review process. Only 18% of them said that they received a cost of living increase in the last year.

Maybe in the light of these findings it is no great surprise that 28% of those surveyed said that they were going to be looking for a new job in the year ahead!

For more information on the salary survey results, including benchmarking your own salary and benefits, please email us at:  info@g2legal.com or call us at: 0333 200 5555.

www.g2legal.com/news/item/166

 

Law firm’s Online Quiz Tests Abusive Relationships

To coincide with next week’s ‘No More Week’ (5th – 12th March) which raises awareness of domestic abuse and sexual violence  Crisp & Co has developed the Relationship Red Flags Quiz  (available free on the firm’s website) which features questions designed to reveal potential warning signs of abusive, coercive, or controlling behaviour.

“One of the first steps to tackling issues within a relationship is recognising the signs of domestic violence and abuse,” says Anuradha Kurl, Partner at Crisp & Co. “Often, victims are lulled into a false sense of security before tactics begin.

“Basic understandings of manipulation tactics can also help others spot signs in relationships close to them. It could be that a person recognises traits in family or friend’s relationships who could then offer help.”

Some questions that can be expected to come up include:

  • Do you feel that you cannot freely express your feelings, needs, or desires, without worrying about how your partner will react?
  • Are you made to feel like you can’t take care of yourself or make your own decisions?
  • Are there inconsistencies between what your partner says and what they do?

So something to do for the weekend then?

LEGAL COMMENT OF THE WEEK

TOPIC: The Manchester Arena Public Inquiry Volume Three report

COMMENT BY: Helen Boniface at Hogan Lovells which represented a number of the families of the victims

“We fully support the Chair’s findings and recommendations in the Manchester Arena Public Inquiry.

It’s clear that a lack of coordination and communication between the different services and institutions significantly contributed to the failings on the night. Such institutional errors should not have occurred, especially since some of these shortcomings were known before the attack.  We have represented bereaved families in inquiries including the 7/7 attacks, London Westminster and London Bridge inquests and it is always disappointing to see that shortcomings remain on topics that have been considered previously.  As well as the issues raised with internal MI5 procedures, we are pleased that the Chairman has repeated the recommendation from the London Bridge inquests that legislative change is needed to enable prosecution of those possessing the most serious material which glorifies or encourages terrorism, as we saw again in the online presence of Hashem Abedi and other associates of the attacker in this case.

Our Safety practice will work to ensure recommendations are implemented to reduce the likelihood of similar attacks. This inquiry has been crucial in holding those responsible accountable for their actions, and we stand with the families in their pursuit of justice and healing.”

COMMENT BY: Lisa and Mark Rutherford (parents of  victim Chloe Rutherford), and Caroline Curry (mother of victim Liam Curry) who were represented by a team at Hogan Lovells, led by counsel Helen Boniface

“All we have sought from day one is the truth, an acknowledgment of the failures that occurred on the night and to ensure such errors don’t happen again.  We thank Sir John Saunders and his team for their efforts in trying to bring that truth out.  We will never forgive the attackers, or those who assisted them, and nor can we forgive those professionals who failed to act appropriately on the night.  Indeed in this volume of the report, the Chair has recognised that there was a significant missed opportunity by MI5 which, had they taken action, could ultimately have changed the course of what happened that night.  We hope lessons really will be learnt this time.  It has been 5 years, 9 months, 1 week and 1 day since we lost our kids.  Whilst nothing can bring Liam & Chloe back, we won’t let them be forgotten.”

TOPIC: The publication in The Daily Telegraph of private messages sent by Cabinet Ministers in connection with measures to combat the Covid pandemic

COMMENT BY: Dominic Crossley, Partner at Payne Hicks Beach

“The Daily Telegraph have published its story and included what would normally be private messages with forthright claims to the “public interest” they are serving.  This term is significant both in terms of selling its story to its readers, but also in a legal context given the obvious risks this publication gives rise to. 

“Aside from defamation, the editors and lawyers will have had to consider the privacy and data rights of those included in the message exchanges, and the duty of confidence imposed (one would assume) on the journalist who was given the messages to assist with Hancock’s memoir.

 “The public interest may conceivably trump all these rights and interests but is the public really better served by reading this admittedly partial account rather than waiting for the public inquiry which can compel disclosure, hear oral evidence, and examine a more complete set of information?”

LEGAL APPOINTMENTS OF THE WEEK

BURGESS MEE FAMILY LAW

Emma Morris

Emma Morris is joining Burgess Mee Family Law as a Legal Director. Formerly with Ince where she was a managing associate, Morris has had many reported cases including being one of the first (if not the first) to obtain a Civil Restraint Order in an ancillary relief case. Her clients include entrepreneurs, sports people, people in the entertainment industry, professionals, and those with trust interests. She is a member of Resolution and a trained collaborative solicitor. She had previously been a partner and head of department at Rooks Rider Solicitors, having joined Wedlake Bell as a solicitor specialising in family law upon qualification in 1995.

She will now focus at Burgess Mee on high net worth matters, financial settlements and complex children work. “I’m excited to be joining Burgess Mee, which has a stellar reputation for excellence and innovation in terms of its client work and service as well as the firm’s culture.,” said Morris. “I look forward to working with the team to further develop the practice, as we help clients to achieve the optimum solution to whatever family or divorce issue they may be facing.”

Burgess Mee was named London Law Firm of the Year at the LexisNexis Family Law Awards 2022 and Best Boutique Family Law Firm at the 2022  Excellence Awards.

BIRD & BIRD

James Moss (above) has been appointed partner in the Privacy & Data Protection practice at Bird & Bird in London.

Following his time as a solicitor in the Litigation & Regulatory Team at DLA Piper, Moss went on to the Information Commissioner’s Office, where he was Legal Director for Regulatory Enforcement.  There he was responsible for managing and overseeing the work of the ICO’s lawyers dealing with all contentious matters. This included prosecutions, DPA/UKGDPR enforcement, FoIA appeals and all other contentious advisory work. He had day-to-day experience of conducting the most complex and sensitive contentious matters and was the lead lawyer on some of the most high-profile regulatory matters conducted by the ICO at the time.

“I’m thrilled to welcome James to Bird & Bird’s London office,” said  Phil Sherrell, head of the London office at Bird & Bird. “Our market-leading Privacy & Data Protection team is seeing an ever-increasing volume of contentious work arising from GDPR, so James’s longstanding experience advising on these issues makes him a perfect fit.”

E-VENTS

Next 100 Years, in partnership with Irwin Mitchell are proud to premiere our final three videos in our “Next 100 Voices” series. We were thrilled to welcome so many supporters on 1 March 2023 and celebrate the competition of our inaugural new film project together. Thank you!

The three videos premiered were of President of The Law Society of England and Wales, Lubna Shuja, Clinical Negligence Barrister at 2 Temple Gardens, Caroline Harrison KC and, Kantar’s Group Legal Director, Landé Belo.

The premiere was followed by a Q&A conversation featuring Alison Eddy, Christina Warner, Caroline Harrison KC, Landé Belo and Dana Denis-Smith. The panel discussion was a brilliant way to hear even more stories about each of the panellists’ journeys in the legal profession.

The overriding message from them all?!
“Celebrate who you are and embrace your differences.”

This newsletter includes some wonderful photographs from the evening, and tells you what the aim of our Next 100 Voices series is, and what we hope to achieve. 

You will also be able to watch each of the 10 videos that were filmed as part of this campaign.

First 100 Years – YouTube

We hope that you’ve found this edition of the Legal Diary useful – if so please relay on to colleagues.

Meanwhile please continue to send your legal diary stories, insights and comments to

fennell.edward@yahoo.com