Debevoise & Plimpton has secured the release of pro bono client Ibrahim Idris, a detainee at the Guantanamo Bay detention camp.
AA (Somalia) — Supreme Court says home secretary should amend the refugee family reunion rule for children download
The Supreme Court has strongly indicated to the home secretary that she should amend the immigration rules concerning family reunion of children with refugees in the UK.
We began the year with the final chapter in the long-running series of cases on manifestation of religious belief.
There has for some years now been a campaign to include protection against caste discrimination in equality legislation.
Does the fact that a person is obese mean they are, or could be, ‘disabled’ for the purposes of the Equality Act 2010?
Welcome to the first edition of Explore, DLA Piper’s magazine for the mining sector. Three times a year, the law firm will bring you a selection of insights from its global mining team.
Debevoise & Plimpton has been awarded a score of 100 by the Human Rights Campaign Foundation’s Corporate Equality Index in its annual ranking of LGBT employment policies.
Hogan Lovells’ pro bono team has achieved a significant victory in a Fair Housing case.
In its changes to the Human Rights Act 1981, Bermuda’s parliament has added sexual orientation to the list of defined characteristics protected from unlawful discrimination.
A barrister from No5 Chambers was in the Grand Chamber of the European Court of Human Rights at the end of November, representing his client who wishes the ECHR to recognise that the French ban on wearing full-face veils is discriminatory.
Global Data Protection Index download
This is only the second time that the Data Protection Index has featured in Global Intellectual Property Index, yet a number of trends are already apparent from the results.
In P and Q v Surrey County Council & Others, the Court of Appeal approved Parker J’s suggested new ‘relative normality’ test for assessing whether or not someone was being deprived of their liberty.
S Chelvan, barrister at No5 Chambers, has provided training in Stockholm on his ‘Difference, Stigma, Shame and Harm’ model for analysing and determining LGBTI asylum claims.
The Chambers UK Bar Guide has ranked No5 Chambers in 15 practice areas.
UK Court of Appeal's award of compensation following breach of Data Protection Act could open floodgates download
In a groudbreaking case, the Court of Appeal recently awarded compensation to an individual for distress following a breach of Section 13(2) of the Data Protection Act 1998.
Eversheds has been named as one of the top 10 private sector organisations for racial diversity and inclusion by Race for Opportunity
The Public Sector Equality Duty was brought in by the Equality Act 2010 and came into force in April 2011.
Lawyers can get involved in the fight against poverty by supporting pro bono initiatives
Governance News — November 2013 download
Minter Ellison’s Governance News provides a synopsis of its weekly summary of corporate law and governance developments in Australia and overseas.
S Chelvan of No5 Chambers analysed the impact of a case concerning three gay asylum seekers on the BBC World Service Newshour program on 7 November.
Most employers have a certain standard of dress in the workplace, whether enforced through contractual terms or through customary practices.
DLA Piper and CMS Cameron McKenna have won the TrustLaw Collaboration Award for their work supporting advocacy for anti-domestic violence legislation in China.
Hogan Lovells has provided pro bono assistance in authoring Creating Equal Access to Quality Health Care for Transgender Patients: Transgender-Affirming Hospital Policies.
The owner of a news portal had been found liable by the Estonian courts for defamatory user-generated comments posted on that portal, even though it removed the comments.
In April, Mills & Reeve blogged on the Equality and Human Rights Commission’s guidance on complying with the Public Sector Equality Duty from a procurement perspective.
Wildgen has signed the Diversity Charter Lëtzebuerg, confirming its commitment to fight all forms of discrimination.
Hogan Lovells has been nominated for 11 awards at the upcoming Euromoney Asia Women in Business Law Awards 2013.
DLA Piper has been presented with the Thaddeus Stevens Partnership Award by the Public Interest Law Center of Philadelphia (PILCOP).
Debevoise & Plimpton has won a habeas case for Ibrahim Idris, a detainee at the Guantanamo Bay detention camp.
Retail e-briefing: how should pension schemes treat same-sex married couples and civil partners download
Employers and pension scheme trustees will need to consider how they will treat same-sex married couples in respect of survivors’ benefits under their scheme.
Conyers Dill & Pearman’s London office has hosted a roundtable discussion on the subject of gender diversity in the boardroom.
Minter Ellison’s Ajay Khandhar has been awarded the 2013 Australian Young Lawyer Award for Organisation.
Victoria Hutton and Hashi Mohamed from No5 have presented at the Law Society’s Junior Lawyers International Weekend.
DLA Piper has received the San Diego Volunteer Lawyer Program’s (SDVLP’s) 2013 Sustaining Justice Award, which recognises a local law firm that has provided extensive pro bono support to the organisation.
On 6 September 2013, the minister for women and equalities published a statement on the outcome of the review.
Comprising of one of the largest immigration groups in the country, the barristers at No5 are at the cutting edge of the development of the law in the field. No5 Chambers has a truly national presence, with offices in London, Birmingham and Bristol.
The No5 Chambers international human rights group is dedicated to advising and representing individuals who have legal problems that raise issues as to the implementation of human rights obligations in the domestic context as well as in the international setting.
National Legal Aid & Defender Association (NLADA) has presented Hogan Lovells with its 2013 Beacon of Justice Award.
UK government publishes action plan implementing UN Guiding Principles on business and human rights download
On 4 September, the UK government released its Action Plan on Business and Human Rights, becoming one of the first countries to produce such a plan.
The UK is leading the way on business and human rights, but others will be following soon
Comparison on the rights, limitations and procedures related to public gatherings and demonstrations across Europe download
On a European level, fundamental rights are laid down in the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union and the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR).
Hogan Lovells has been named on the Working Mother Media and Flex-Time Lawyers ‘50 Best Law Firms for Women’ list for the second year in a row.
Working Mother has named DLA Piper as one of the 50 best law firms for women, recognising the many programmes it offers to attract, retain and promote talented female lawyers.
The ’bedroom tax’ is beginning to bite.
Almost a year ago the High Court handed down judgment in the cases of Tony Nicklinson and ‘Martin’. The two men were seeking clarification of the law relating to euthanasia and assisted suicide.
The Court of Appeal has somewhat reluctantly held in Black & Anor v Wilkinson  EWCA Civ 820 that refusing to allow an unmarried gay couple to stay in a double room at a bed and breakfast is direct discrimination.
In Project Blue Limited v HMRC the First-Tier Tribunal considered for the first time the application of section 75A to a complex and high-profile property transaction.
Whether privacy will be breached by the employer in gathering evidence with an aim of dismissing the employee will depend on the facts.
Excluding lawyers from the divorce process is a false economy that will only pile on the agony
The perceived clash of rights does not really stand up, as the law cannot protect subjective content
Outer Temple Chambers offers expertise in welfare, deprivation of liberty and property and finance cases in this fast-developing field of work.
In the 2005 case of Joseph Taylor v Lancashire County Council, the tenant pointed to the different procedures for dealing with various kinds of breach of tenancy.
As the Snatch Land Rover case ends, recognition of soldiers’ legal status abroad is welcome, if overdue
Soldiers serving in the British armed forces will be protected by the Human Rights Act (HRA) wherever they are based, the Supreme Court ruled this morning.
Allen & Overy’s Human Rights Working Group has published the second issue of the Business and Human Rights Review.
Hundreds of lawyers gathered outside the Houses of Parliament on 22 May to protest against the government’s legal aid cuts.
King & Wood Mallesons is the only large commercial law firm in Australia with a dedicated human rights practice.
The Equality and Human Rights Commission has issued guidance for employers and job applicants on pre employment health questions.
Religion at work: new ECHR ruling download
The European Court of Human Rights has handed down a judgment considering the right of individuals to manifest their religion in the workplace.
EU implements latest Iran sanctions download
On 21 December 2012, the Council of the European Union adopted Council Regulation No 1263/2012, concerning sanctions against Iran.
The preliminary hearing of the posthumous trial of Russian lawyer Sergei Magnitsky has been postponed after his family and their lawyers refused to take part in the trial.
The International Association of Privacy Professionals (IAPP) held its first European Data Protection Intensive conference on 25–26 April 2012.
A number of recent developments in the area of religion and belief discrimination merit employers’ attention.
If you pick out just one of our Hot 100 to watch this year, make it Hodge Jones & Allen partner Jocelyn Cockburn (scroll down for video interview).
The European Court of Human Rights has issued its long awaited judgment in the case of Eweida and Others v the United Kingdom.
The European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) has delivered a mixed verdict in four landmark religious liberty cases this morning, finding that British Airways (BA) discriminated against a cross-wearing employee but dismissing the other three appeals.
Top human rights barristers are awaiting a significant judgment on four landmark religious liberty cases this week.
The European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) has ruled that claims against the UK Government by Chagos Islanders are inadmissible, seven years after the case was filed.
The European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) has held that employment law in the United Kingdom does not adequately protect individuals from dismissal as a result of their political beliefs or affiliations.
The mother of Sergei Magnitsky, a Russian lawyer who died in November 2009 while being detained in a Moscow prison cell, has appealed to the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) to declare that Russia has violated the European Convention of Human Rights in relation to Magnitsky’s death.
The wife of murdered russian spy Alexander Litvinenko is understood to have dropped her longstanding human rights lawyer Louise Christian of Christian Khan in favour of a Russian firm in the West End.
Nobody fights harder in tough civil action cases than Jocelyn Cockburn, a trait that saw her crowned The Lawyer’s Partner of the Year 2012
The recently enacted Iran Threat Reduction and Syria Human Rights Act of 2012 strengthens existing sanctions on Iran.
Pursuant to a mandate in the Dodd-Frank Act, the US Securities and Exchange Commission recently issued final rules requiring issuers to account for the use in their products of so-called conflict minerals.
The growing importance of public international law and global human rights practices were examined at The Lawyer’s latest roundtable discussion
Internet service providers have frequently been caught in the cross-fire in defamation claims, with claimants increasingly targeting them to get comments removed quickly.
Taylor Wessing has taken on its first case since signing up to the Human Dignity Trust’s legal panel, representing two men arrested in Turkish-controlled Cyprus under a law that criminalized gay sex.
Grays Inn set Monckton Chambers had grown its human rights group with the addition of barrister Eric Metcalfe as a tenant.
Leading human rights silk Tim Otty QC is set to join Blackstone Chambers just six months after he quit 20 Essex Street to join civil rights set Doughty Street Chambers.
Immigration and human rights boutique Gherson’s commercial litigation team, headed by partner Neil Micklethwaite, is joining the London office of Brown Rudnick.
Ince & Co has been hit with a sex and disability discrimination claim from a former reinsurance lawyer who left the firm last April.
Lewis Silkin has filed an appeal on behalf of its client Stephanie Villalba (left), the former investment banker who lost her sex discrimination case against Merrill Lynch. The firm had 42 days to appeal against the December decision of the Croydon employment tribunal, which found that Merrill Lynch had not discriminated against Villalba on grounds of gender. She had claimed £7.5m in compensation for ...
The Freedom of Information Act: social revolution or most notable for its exemptions?
Legal precedent was set last Tuesday (30 November) as a New York human rights organisation filed a complaint in Germany against US officials over alleged torture at Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq.
Cambridge Antibody Technology’s (CAT) general counsel has welcomed a Government-commissioned document on whether the UK’s existing rules on pre-emption rights hinder certain public companies.
ITALY has been criticised at the Council of Europe for failing to push through judicial reforms necessary to speed up its often tortuously slow court procedures.
Australian law firm Holding Redlich has launched the first comprehensive corporate social responsibility (CSR) service to be offered by a law firm in Australia.
Lawyers for one of the Britons imprisoned in Guantanamo Bay have filed a unique pleading demanding that the US does not use witness statements allegedly obtained by torture against their client.
Berwin Leighton Paisner’s head of public affairs and public policy has been named as the new director of private sector at the Commission for Racial Equality. Brenda Stern will take a two-year secondment from the City firm to take up the role in October. First revealed on www.thelawyer.com 28 September
The Law Society is attempting to help develop human rights in Nigeria with this week’s launch of the British Nigerian Law Forum.
Two High Court judges are among complainants challenging the Government in a possible House of Lords action over plans for a major development in Bankside, London SE1.
Web-based litigation software company iCONECT LLC has thrown its weight behind an unprecedented initiative by offering its law firm clients free licence access to its suite of products for use in pro bono cases. The move will give legal experts working on vital civil rights and justice litigation access to the same tools used in high-profile litigation cases.
The insolvency team at South West firm Foot Anstey Sargent is celebrating the news that one of its members has been awarded the Certificate of Proficiency in Insolvency (CPI). Siân Phillips, who joined the department in 2002, now becomes an associate member of the Insolvency Practitioners Association. Phillips’ success in the CPI exams represents an important step towards becoming a licensed insolvency ...
Compensation totalling more than £4m was paid out by employers last year in compensation for sex, race and disability discrimination cases.
Penningtons is advising the President of Equatorial Guinea on a civil action arising from an alleged conspiracy to overthrow the government of the oil-rich African state.
Jean Bursle and Matthew Edwards report on how the Australian property market and the recognition of native title have found some middle ground
Renowned human rights firm Bindman & Partners is advising Lloyds TSB’s workers’ union on its legal attack on the bank’s offshore outsourcing, which could threaten the future of the practice.
The Law Society and the Bar Council last week spearheaded international condemnation of the detention of terrorist suspects in Guantanamo Bay.
The Foreign & Commonwealth Office (FCO) has extended an existing panel on human rights to include child abduction cases.
As the holiday season begins, one group of lawyers has never been busier. Jon Robins meets Stephen Jakobi, the face of Fair Trials Abroad
“We do one thing and we do it exceptionally well,” says Laura Devine. “We have specialist expertise in all aspects of immigration.” Devine set up City immigration practice Laura Devine Solicitors (LDS) a year ago after splitting from Eversheds, where she was a consultant. “We don’t concentrate ...
Bevan Ashford partner Tim Hughes is jetting home to Tiverton to face the music after a 26-hour jaunt in Jordan with Saddam Hussein’s legal team.
The House of Lords last week strengthened employment rights for the disabled in a landmark ruling.
Human rights law is the vaguest, most uncertain and most unpredictable branch of our law. Everything is up for grabs, including the scope and meaning of the rights themselves. Hard-edged definitions are few and far between, and principles tend to be open to a variety of interpretations. It is a potential goldmine for the bold – but a minefield for the unwary.
Eloquently, passionately and with no little wit, the man can most certainly talk. Fortunately, on this occasion, he restricted himself to one gag, and to the delight of some in the audience, it was at Campbell’s expense. Opening his copy of the Civil Service (No 2) Bill at Section 6(3) Lord Lester turned his steely gaze on the evening’s host to quote “from one former special adviser to another: ‘Special advisers shall not exercise executive powers over civil servants’.”
On 22 June, 1400 people will crowd into the Grosvenor House Hotel on Park Lane for the most eagerly-awaited event of the year. With only one week to go, The Lawyer brings you a sneak preview of the shortlisted individuals and teams
Human rights lawyer Phil Shiner is determined to bring the UK to book over the war in Iraq. Jon Robins reports
The Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law has elected a litigation partner from Kirkland & Ellis as co-chair.
Lovells has dropped out of a case in the US Supreme Court against the might of George Bush’s legal team because of a disagreement with leading English QCs over how their arguments – concerning the US President’s treatment of Guantanamo Bay detainees – should be presented.
Three English barristers, including Sir Sydney Kentridge QC, are set to go face-to-face with the might of George Bush’s legal team in a direct challenge to his policies at Guantanamo Bay.
THE US government will have to reconsider the fate of foreign nationals on death row after the International Court of Justice (ICJ) ruled that it had breached its obligations under the Vienna Convention on consular relations by failing to inform 51 Mexican convicts of their right to contact diplomats “without delay” after arrest. The court also censured the US for failing to allow Mexican consular officials to arrange legal representation in 34 cases.
Geraldine Van Bueren has dedicated her life to protecting the interests of children. Gemma Charles reports on her significant achievements
Amnesty International is the world’s best-known human rights organisation. Joanne O’Connor meets the man who helps to keep it legal
Lawyers have been forced to take extreme measures to protect themselves against attacks from animal activists, including carrying personal attack alarms and taking alternative routes home.
A COALITION of major business groups has filed an amicus brief at the United States Supreme Court calling on it to “clarify” the US’s 1789 Alien Tort Statute, which they claim is being abused by special interest groups.
How should Saddam Hussein be tried? Jon Robins talks to the key legal opinion-formers
When data protection can kill: Information Commissioner Richard Thomas speaks out on Ian Huntley – and makes a plea for common sense. By Jon Robins
Clifford Chance partner Michael Smyth, fresh from his role as the solicitor to the Hutton Inquiry, has been given a similar role in an inquiry into aspects of alleged racism in the Metropolitan Police.
Field Fisher Waterhouse (FFW) has won out against 47 other law firms to become sole legal adviser to the General Social Care Council (GSCC), the regulator of the social care workforce.
As programme makers persist with dramatic reconstructions of court cases, the drive to broadcast the real thing is reaching fever pitch. Jon Robins reports
A powerful remedy is emerging in relation to human rights damages, says Tim Ward and Daniel Beard
The Americans’ internment of prisoners in Guantanamo Bay has highlighted the issue of international human rights. Richard Gordon QC asks whether things would be different if the US were party to the ECHR
Although the pattern varies in each of the UK's jurisdictions, human rights is weaving its way into the fabric of the legal systems
Blackstone Chambers has appointed public law, human rights and commercial litigation junior James Eadie (left). Formerly of Serle Court Chambers, Eadie was called to the bar in 1984, and since 1997 has been junior counsel to the Crown Common Law 'A' panel.
Making the Channel 4 board is just reward for Nabarros employment ace Sue Ashtiany - but she isn't making a song and dance about it. By Julia Cahill
The Lawyer Awards' lifetime achiever Clive Stafford Smith may be returning to the UK, but as Naomi Rovnick reports, there's no reprieve for US injustice
The EU is to sign a controversial extradition deal with the US, with the agreement being approved by the EU Justice and Home Affairs Council, despite concerns raised by the European Parliament.
The Athens Bar Association, which once sought to prosecute Norton Rose for its presence in Greece, is seeking to file a suit against the UK at the International Criminal Court (ICC). It claims that the UK's use of forces in Iraq constituted "crimes against humanity and war crimes".
The London office of US firm Shaw Pittman has been hit by a stampede of associates following recently departed partners Andrew Moyle and Jennifer Matt-ingly, but the office plans to bounce back with a bold new strategy.
The City Disputes Panel (CDP) has launched an employment support service offering clients alternative dispute resolution (ADR) options specifically for HR disputes.
Once again Mr Justice Collins has ruffled more than a few Parliamentary feathers. But as Jon Robins reports, the 'dictator in a wig' is unrepentant
Harrowing though her work must be, The Lawyer/Unicef Child Rights Lawyer of the Year Pat Monro still manages to keep smiling. Jennifer Currie reports
The International Bar Association (IBA) has offered its support to Nigerian lawyer Hawa Ibrahim, who is defending Amina Lawal, the woman sentenced to death by stoning for adultery in Katsina
Submissions by Finers Stephens Innocent and Doughty Street barristers to the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) in Strasbourg have led to the UK Government being asked to justify its libel laws
Edward Fitzgerald QC takes lead role in case that strips Home Secretary of his power to set minimum jail terms for convicted murderers
Kathryn Hobbs meets Robin Allen QC, who says he is determined to revamp the image of the Bar
James Oury has spent his career in efforts to save the lives of death row prisoners, but he wants to be known for more than just being a life-saver
Head of chambers at Cloisters Laura Cox QC may have a fearsome reputation, but the only people she argues with these days are her children
Europe, Pinochet, Milosevic and bananas - Michael Shrimpton has rather strong views on them all. But for some reason, we still rather like him
Louise Christian is not a woman to be taken lightly, evidenced by her latest test - demanding that the Government interjects in the Guantanamo situation
Shami Chakrabarti put human rights firmly on her agenda by departing her Government legal post to do battle with it as Liberty's only in-house counsel
Joanna Brett examines how the Human Rights Act has been interpreted over the first year of its implementation and discusses what the future holds for this controversial piece of legislation.
Human rights campaigner Bianca Jagger told The Lawyer last week that it is crucial for corporate law firms to become more involved in pro bono human rights work.
There's nothing quite as irritating during a time of worry than a habitual optimist. The ability to conjure up silver linings where even the darkest clouds are gathering never achieves very much. But even the most ardent optimists must be having a hard time finding any kind of silver lining to the current economic situation. Every day brings or a new report underlining just how bleak the prospects of avoiding a recession are. Much of the speculation has moved away from whether ...
The relationship between large firms and the individuals who work in them has exercised the minds of management writers for decades. In the 1980s, the accepted wisdom of the supremacy of organisation over individual was turned on its head as the 'me-first' culture took hold. In the parlance of the day, the excellent firms would be those who could change the organisation to suit the needs of the key individuals. Rather than forcing these individuals to bend to the will of a ...
As Kamesh Bahl prepares for her appeal gainst the Law Society, she speaks out about how the case has affected her sanity and her finances
Art can play an important role within law firms as:
An increasing number of law firms are collecting quality works of art to display around their offices. Richard Cree asks whether the right image can help motivate your staff
The internet has transformed our lives. Office life, in particular, will never be the same.
Some believe Law Society chief executive Janet Paraskeva is giving the society a spring clean, while others believe she is denting it all out of shape
Finance directors are crucial to the smooth running of law firms. So how do you attract the right one for the job? Or should you grow your own? Kelly Harrison investigates.
There are many conflicting theories on stress in the workplace. For some, it is little more than a healthy adrenaline rush that keeps organisations ticking; for others, however, stress is a force of evil, the cause of most workplace sickness and a financial burden on any forward-thinking firm. But regardless of where you stand on the stress debate, not many would dispute that everyone needs to unwind sometimes, or in modern parlance, everyone needs to 'chill' a bit. And there ...
Sir Sydney Kentridge was defence barrister in the two highest-profile cases in apartheid South Africa. But at 78 are the energy levels starting to run low?
Sir Sydney Kentridge QC
An increase in M&A activity and the desire for a better working life mean that more are relocating to pastures new. Richard Cree discovers how to help with the move
If one phrase has come to represent the latest next big thing in management as well as human resources (HR) thinking it is that post-millennial buzzword du jour - creativity. Even the briefest of glimpses at one of the burgeoning selection of management magazines will reveal the depth of support for the current mantra of 'be creative'. Book review pages in particular are bursting with the latest selection of authors desperate to get anyone who will listen to create like mad.
Major change is taking place in the way that law firms reward staff, particularly the rank-and-file fee-earners. Pay rates and reward structures are being imported from US law firms via their London offices, and are leading to changes within City firms. One of the most noticeable changes is the greater use of bonuses.`While profit-sharing schemes are the basis of all professional partnerships, the use of bonuses in law firms for associates and assistants, and in some cases for non-fee ...
As you will have noticed over the past few weeks, we live in an age of opinion polls and focus groups. It seems that the guiding principle for New Labour is to keep everyone onside and to annoy as few as possible. And while opinion remains divided about how accurate polls are, what better way to test prospective policies than with a few well-structured focus groups?`But what impact are all these focus groups having outside of politics, besides making a few market researchers and psephologists ..
Scotland-based firm McGrigor Donald has appointed Professor Alan Miller as human rights director.
Proposals by two Bar Council committees to ban discrimination against pupil and tenant applicants on grounds of age have been slammed as "unworkable" by the Commercial Bar Association (Combar).
Customer Relationship Management (CRM) is now being allocated significant budgets by companies which understand the importance of retaining customers to improve their bottom line. Poor customer service leads to lost customers, opportunities missed through poor targeting and higher acquisition costs, but companies are still failing to make proper use of customer data and are flouting regulations at the same time.According to new research carried out on behalf of Mondex International ...
dsdgdsfgdsfgMakeGood employee communicationsCompensation programmesA clear business strategyBreakProblems with human resources integrationCompensation issuesCultural issuesSource: Hewitt Associates
The time before and after a merger is one of immense uncertainty for employees. Not only are they feeling insecure about the future of their jobs but often their entire remuneration package comes under scrutiny. The best way to deal with this uncertainty is to provide them with regular information. Even if you have got nothing to say, tell them what you are working on and when you expect to be able to make an announcement. Employees should also be told about the implications of the ...
The question of who owns an occupational pension scheme's surplus has once again reared its ugly head in the form of the recent House of Lords ruling in the case involving the National Grid pension schemes.Two National Grid pensioners objected to the use of the pension scheme's surplus to fund redundancy packages subsequent to privatisation. They argued that it was the scheme members and not the employer who should benefit from any surplus. After a long and acrimonious ...
Mergers are an unavoidable part of modern corporate life. If you have not already been through the process, the chances of you managing to avoid it much longer are slim. But what exactly is the role of human resources (HR) in a merger? It is a simple question with a complex answer.While some HR managers offer one-to-one counselling for every clerk and post boy, others want to be in the boardroom calling the shots even before the ink is put to paper on any deal. PricewaterhouseCoopers' ...
Last year's Industrial Society research entitled "Maximising Attendance" revealed that sickness absence costs the UK economy £13bn annually. It is surprising, therefore, that only 28 per cent of organisations claim to record all absences, and that there still seems to be a belief that nothing can be done to improve the situation. Companies that have tried to do so have found that the key to increasing attendance is to first discover what makes people ...
Like all managers, most notably football managers, HR managers are prone to use the odd cliché. For every football manager who revels in "a game of two halves", an HR manager somewhere is speaking with apparent sincerity about how "people are the firm's most important asset". Despite the collective cringe that follows this pronouncement, many employers still resolutely defend their claims to this effect.Of course, for ...
Traditionally, the only cases where employers paid for financial advice was for staff who were about to retire. Now one of the fastest-growing employee benefits, independent financial advice is offered to all levels of employees. It can cover any aspect of finance, from the tax implications of maturing share options to what employees should do if they have an endowment mortgage.The three biggest drivers behind this change are the move by occupational pension ...
For the modern law firm, as for many types of organisations, the need to encourage diversity has become something of a mantra for success. Whether it refers to client lists or areas of practice expertise, diversity is hailed by many as the new specialisation. It is this as much as anything that fuels the continual merry-go-round of mergers and acquisitions.Nowhere is this quest for diversity felt more keenly than in the HR office. Although last year's ...
Living Culture: A Values-Driven Approach to Revitalising Your Company Culture by Jan Thornbury, published by Random House (ISBN 0-7126-6959-0)A self-help guide for corporations, this book advises how to identify your firm's culture and "revitalise it" to maximise success.Jan Thornbury is a business consultant who assisted KPMG in their "culture change" process. Stephen Butler, KPMG's international chairman, explains the firm's objective ...
Elaine Bradley, head of tax at US law firm Dorsey & Whitney, has a very flexible arrangement with her employer.Not only is she allowed to work from her Oxford home when she is not required at the firm's London office, but she also spends one day a week running her own internet company Byabiz.com.When she is at home, Bradley works on a laptop and takes calls on her mobile or dedicated business line. "For most of my clients, it doesn't matter whether ...
Lawyers have a reputation for working long hours, and although larger law firms deny that they actively encourage staff to work late, they do not exactly persuade them to go home. In fact, they offer a range of lifestyle benefits based firmly around the workplace.The largest City firms run in-house gyms and swimming pools which, while helping to relieve stress, mean that employees frequently live their work and social lives without stepping outside ...
Some years ago, when I was working at a firm that shall remain nameless, we were each sent a pack of benefits brochures. In the folder (a dull grey one) was a letter from our human resources department telling us that because the firm cared about our health it had negotiated special discounts with, among others, a hospital cash-plan provider and a private medical insurance provider. You don't need to be a genius to work out that this went down like the proverbial lead balloon. ...
The idea behind stakeholder schemes was a good one - give low earners a vehicle in which they can save safely and at a low cost through their employer, with all contributions deducted at payroll.Like all good ideas, it is great in theory, but although stakeholder schemes do not come into force until October, it has already received heavy criticism for missing its target audience.The charges for stakeholder schemes are capped at 1 per cent ...
Ask a group of HR managers to name the most over-used word in the workplace and there is a fair chance that "stress" would appear high on the list. While we live in an increasingly pressurised world with the workplace at the centre of this pressure, stress remains an elusive concept. One of the reasons it is so hard to deal with is that it is hard to be sure exactly what we are talking about. What is stressful for one employee is merely a bit of pressure for another. ...
What exactly is a stakeholder plan?A stakeholder plan must be a defined contribution (money purchase) scheme. Its annual charges must not be more than 1 per cent of the value of the fund. The minimum contribution cannot be set at more than £20. The scheme must have its own trustees or stakeholder managers.What do employers have to do?By October 2001 employers must:- Consult with relevant employees and designate a stakeholder ...
Business is booming in Jersey and Guernsey. So says Bailhache Labesse partner Mark Lewis, echoing the sentiments of dozens of lawyers on the islands. And this is despite somewhat gloomy predictions 18 months ago that the Channel Islands would have trouble maintaining their position in light of the burgeoning euro and pressure to conform to international regulations.
Employee empowerment is a phrase that gets around. Whether it is a management text, a personnel magazine or an interview with a successful young e-business entrepreneur, everywhere you look someone is proclaiming their faith in the ideology of empowerment. And yet does anyone really know what it means? And for the few who do, are they really ready to embrace it? The fact is that we live in an age where human resource managers are desperate to prove their strategic worth to organisations. ...
One of the better guides to effective managerial behaviour, Developing Management Skills for Europe, is now in its second European edition.
It may not have a huge turnover - reserves are in the region of £2m - but EJ Legal is rapidly positioning itself as the smaller alternative to QD and ZMB for partner moves. The firm moved around 60 partners last year (unlike QD and ZMB, its partner practice is not supplemented by a focus on the assistant market), with Simon Janion the biggest biller.
You know the situation: deadline day is upon you and the nanny has just phoned to say that she is going back to Uzbekistan, immediately. Your best suit needs collecting from the dry cleaners before tomorrow's presentation and you haven't even begun to think about your dinner tonight. So what do you do? For an increasing number of staff in UK law firms, the answer is simple: you make a single phone call to sort it all out, from cover for the nanny to collecting the dry cleaning.
The chances are that many of you reading this will have used a recruitment consultant at one time or another. You may have wanted to test the water or were just intrigued by an advertisement, or you may simply have wanted an escape route. The selling point of recruitment agencies is very simple; it is based on hope. Hope for the candidates that they might get that perfect job, and hope for the law firm clients that they can get the perfect lawyer. But with recruitment becoming increasingly ...
Taken over by TMP for some £40m in July this year, QD is still regarded as the market leader in private practice legal recruitment. It turned over £16m last year, £11.5m of which was in legal, and placed nearly 80 partners. The most prolific mover of lawyers was Greg Abrahams, who personally found new jobs for nearly 20 partners and who billed a total of £1m. Other major placers of lawyers include Seamus Hoar, Sarah David, Gavin Sharpe, Nick Shilton and Will Cock, all of whom billed ...
Having demerged from its secretarial recruitment division in the summer, ZMB was taken over by Hays for some £15m last month. With a turnover of around £6m, it placed approximately 30 partners last year.The rising stars at the moment are Yvonne Smyth and Andy Russell, who have stepped smoothly into the gap made by Joe Macrae's departure this summer. Smyth moved 10 partners last year, and both recruiters are thought to have each billed at least £500,000 in fees.
Strategic Human Resource Management: A Guide to Action by Michael Armstrong, published by Kogan Page (ISBN 0749433310)
The increasingly global reach of major City firms and their ever-growing size benefits clients in many ways, but only if the firms' internal communications systems are effective.
Partners in commercial law firms have never been more mobile and hiring a whole team is now common practice. Even 10 years ago, it was almost unthinkable for a partner to leave an established City practice, let alone to leave for a practice in its infancy. Now, hardly a week goes by without news of well-known lawyers joining another law practice - whether a UK or US firm, or the associated law firm of one of the big five accountants. However, it takes more than a number of bought-in heavyweights
A lack of promotion opportunities is driving lawyers into the arms of other employers, according to a survey by TMP QD Legal in association with The Lawyer, which studies motivation among private practice and in-house lawyers.
With employee benefits expenditure in the UK worth millions, it is incredible that organisations do not make more of a song and dance about their benefits, or even consult employees on which benefits they would most like.
Rollercoaster tells the story of the rise and fall of the emerging markets. Starting with a spot of currency trouble in Bangkok in 1997, the panic spread across Asia, Russia and then Latin America.
The decision of several leading law firms to take all or part of their recruitment process in-house has thrown open the debate about the best way to secure the services of the most sought after lawyers. The initiative is not universally supported, but advocates claim it offers a more focused service and can save both money and time.
After a period of sustained economic growth and increasing profitability, the legal sector, in common with many others, finds itself with a dearth of talented people and dramatically rising labour costs. One can barely pick up a legal sector news publication without registering the sense of disillusionment felt within law firms, including that of partners. The response to this has been in some respects predictable and in others, extraordinary.
The demand for the highest quality individuals and the insatiable drive towards creating bigger and better practices within the legal profession has never been greater. Individuals change jobs far more readily than they did before. But for all the job offers that are made and accepted, how often is an individual persuaded to remain by their current employer?
The sale of legal recruiter QD to TMP Worldwide and an increasingly candidate-led legal market may change the face of legal recruitment forever. Fenella Quinn reports.
The Soul at Work by Roger Lewin and Birute Regine, published by Orion ISBN0752811851
As more and more lawyers move firms, personnel departments are employing the services of independent careers consultants in a last-ditch attempt to retain staff. Alison Clarke reports
You'd have thought it was pretty obvious that hiring the right people is one of the most important strategic issues for a law firm. Look how obsessively everyone is discussing the salary hikes, for example, as if they couldn't have been predicted. After all, how else were top City firms going to try and square the US circle? (As for the medium to small firms, just make your decision. Increase pay or don't increase pay, but stop banging on about it.)
Matheu Swallow meets John Cooper, the human rights lawyer who worked on the Louise Woodward campaign and is now advising a campaign group which claims a British nanny serving 25 years in the US fir shaking a 13-month-old-boy in her care to death is innocent
Fiona Callister speaks to Sir Nigel Rodley about the tension between emotion and analysis in his role as a UN rapporteur.
Tom O’Sullivan speaks to Albie Sachs, a former ANC activust who is now a judge fighting for a new South Africa
In his first exclusive since being appointed senior Law Lord, Lord Nicholas Browne-Wilkinson talks to Robert Mendick
Shaun Pye meets Geoffrey Bindman after his double victory- for Ammnesty in the Pinochet case and in getting the Hanratty case to the Court of Appeal
Peter Weiss asks whether a new psychometric test for job applicants offers a fairer way of assessing candidates. Peter Weiss is a trainee solicitor at Nabarro Nathanson.IN An age that holds up psychology as the darling of social sciences, the use of psychometric testing is probably inevitable. Perhaps as predictable is the controversy that surrounds it.While some firms believe ...
EMPLOYMENT lawyers have predicted a big rise in contested employment hearings if proposals contained in the Government's "Fairness at Work" white paper published last week become law.Andrew Leaitherland, an employment lawyer at Davies Arnold Cooper's Manchester office, said that a number of the changes had been expected. However, he added that "few thought it would happen this quickly".The White Paper, expected ...
It is easy to look back and comment on the past 10 years of recruiting in the legal market but it is far more exciting to gaze into the crystal ball and view the future.This is especially so at the moment, because in my 15 years of experience in the legal profession - four in practice as a solicitor, the balance as a recruitment adviser - the market has never been in greater turmoil.It is a turmoil caused largely by the clash of the very different players ...
Yet again the legal press is full of stories about partners, teams and senior assistants moving firms. Gone are the days when lawyers joined one firm and had a "job for life".In order to retain key players, the quality of life of those individuals is an increasingly important issue for firms to address.In recent years City practices have had to contend with both accountants and US law firms poaching their key players. In order to compete with ...
Martin Warren looks at the implications of the new "Fairness at Work' White Paper. Martin Warren is an employment partner at Eversheds.Employment lawyers are having to come to terms with one of the most significant papers to emerge from the Labour government.The "Fairness at Work" White Paper has taken 12 months to propose the implementation of a 22-word sentence ...
Recruitment firms are reporting a demand for insolvency experts, says Mike Yuille.Demand for insolvency lawyers is picking up, seemingly in preparation for what many expect will be an increase in company collapses next year due to growing global economic difficulties.This renewed demand is taking two forms: demand for experienced big hitters, who can bring much-needed visibility to the handful of large firms which lack a high profile in the business, ...
Rightly or wrongly, law firms are not renowned for offering lavish employee benefits packages to their staff. Take the case of pensions. "The majority of regional law firms do nothing at all," suggests Andrew Warwick-Thompson, an associate with consultants Bacon & Woodrow. "Staff are left to do their own thing and get ripped off."He concedes, however, that: "In the City, things are better: you tend to get small, ...
Arabella McIntyre Brown discovers that not all lawyers are willing, or able, to recognise secretaries' value. Arabella McIntyre Brown is a freelance journalist. Talk of speech recognition software that will enable lawyers to dictate straight on to their desktop computers has got equity partners excited about all the typists' salaries that they will be able to claw back. But on sober reflection, most law firms recognise that even the most sophisticated computer ...
With the legal profession becoming increasingly involved in the provision of investment advice in-house, law firms are faced with the challenge of recruiting technically qualified and culturally compatible financial advisers.Experience has shown that finding the right person can prove more time consuming and traumatic for law firms than any other aspect of the development of an in-house financial services capability.Recruiting financial services professionals ...
When the president of the Law Society rails against a Conservative government times must be hard. The generation of income, it seems, is squeezed on all sides.In the present climate it is essential to use resources efficiently and one resource vital to any organisation is its staff.The greater the importance of the resource, the greater is the potential risk to the organisation. Selection procedures still depend upon academic qualifications, ...
Duncan Calow, a solicitor at Denton Hall, says: "Working with lawyers requires special skills - like a high boredom threshold and a toner cartridge fixation."Most law firms admit that a knowledge of the law is not essential but because most legal secretaries specialise they will eventually acquire a basic grasp of their particular field. Many law firms agree that this is particularly the case in property departments.In larger firms the ...
Most UK law firms have no male legal secretaries and the few men who are hired generally work for female partners. According to a legal recruitment executive at a major employment agency, only 2 per cent of the applications for legal secretaries come from men."We only get one or two applications a year from men and both were placed with female partners. For a long time in England it was an old boys' school network. When you come across a male secretary it ...
'London legal market crashes as North West takes over'. OK, not really. But do you remember the 1980's TV advert for cross-channel ferries, voice-over by Kenneth Williams, where one family is seen motoring happily along the empty, scenic M62 towards a waiting ferry in Hull, contrasted with a group of bickering South Easterners stuck in an horrendous traffic jam outside Dover? Such is the perceived difference in quality of life by lawyers in the ...
LAWYERS must change their approach to legal practice and compete for work with paralegals if they want to retain the bulk of their business, a new report says.Released by the ABA commission on non-lawyer practice, the report says paralegals have a "greater role to play" in providing legal services and lawyers must find better ways to meet the needs of people on moderate incomes.It suggests lawyers put offices in shopping malls, offer ...
As many lawyers will be aware, employment trends have changed dramatically in the past couple of years; job security is no longer guaranteed and employers are increasingly recruiting staff on a contract basis. The flexibility which the short-term market offers is highly attractive to employers, enabling them to deal more effectively with unpredictable workloads and fluctuating staff levels. In these circumstances many organisations are unwilling to commit long-term.
The hard lesson of the recession that no one can rely on a job for life has created a highly competitive and challenging recruitment market within the legal profession.Headlines in The Lawyer over the last few months give an insight into high-profile moves which have sent shock waves through the profession: 'Sinclairs shipping team sails to rival'; 'Couderts pair defect to Hammonds'; 'US firm grabs Dentons tax head'; 'TKB woos Nabarros''.
The Midlands has faired comparatively well during the recession with most of the larger commercial firms continuing to recruit throughout the last three to four years.This buoyancy has been due mainly to the shake-out in the London market. With many high calibre solicitors entering the recruitment arena, Midlands firms have been able to strengthen their profiles in key areas and are now attracting work nationwide - including the City.Recently there has been ...
Recruitment in the South East has tended to focus on specialist areas. Much of the external recruitment in the region in the last three years has been at senior level - attracting highly qualified lawyers with the aim of developing niche markets. This has largely proved successful.Areas in demand include personal injury, medical negligence, childcare and local authority work, financial services and corporate/commercial. The most encouraging sign from all counties ...