Reputation is key

first_img Michael Vincent, Jasper & Vincent, Southampton As a solicitor of over 50 years’ qualification, I have a very different take from that expressed by 360 Legal Group’s Viv Williams in a recent blog. Mr Williams is the latest in a long line of doom-mongers. Deregulation merely opens the door to commercial interests. It does not release solicitors from the ever-increasing burden of regulation, reflected in the latest round of COLP and COFA requirements. It will not assist commercial interests unless ‘outcomes-focused’ becomes another way of saying ‘the end justifies the means’. The truth is that ‘commercial interests’ view the provision of legal services as rich pickings. Competition is not new and indeed solicitors are far more resourceful and competitive than Mr Williams credits. How else could we have survived all the cuts, increases in overheads, and the maize of regulation and bureaucracy? I am not in a position to judge whether ‘many firms have provided the same below par services, charged by the hour, at an unacceptable standard’. However, we do have to declare our hourly rate, which reflects to a significant degree the overheads imposed upon us. I wonder how many chief executives in industry would be prepared to disclose their hourly rate. They are even paid a bonus for failure. We are not. Those now eyeing the legal profession perhaps believe ‘the grass is greener’ – forgetting that it still needs mowing. Remember how they poured into estate agency then back out again? ‘Predictions are that solicitor numbers will decline,’ says Mr Williams. The real reasons for this are:As for ‘below par services’, it is an unfortunate fact that there has been a consistent demand for the profession to produce the highest possible standards at cut-price costs. It is an equation that simply does not balance. The truth is you cannot expect Rolls Royce treatment at ‘old banger’ prices. The huge cost of qualification, allied with years of study, followed by poor rates of pay that will deter many potential entrants; Those solicitors looking to retire are faced with very significant problems; including the necessity of securing six years’ runoff on PII. They will wisely jump ship when the opportunity arises.center_img Mr Williams says other national brands will succeed ‘by providing services at a price those customers can afford, which offer exceptional client care’. However, he forgets the fundamental principle that ‘you get what you pay for’. Provided we have a genuinely level playing field, we will beat the institutions hands down. Unfortunately, the stranglehold of regulation means we always have both hands tied behind our backs. Goodwill may not be as assured as in the past, but a good reputation built on trust, integrity, hard work and talent will go a very long way. These attributes are still to be found embedded in the legal profession but are in danger of being sacrificed on the altar of the changing legal services market. last_img read more

Solicitor, 67, jailed and struck-off for taking £1.2m from dead clients

first_imgLinda Mary BoxA veteran solicitor who repeatedly dipped into the estates of deceased clients to pay off debts has been jailed for seven years and banned from practising.Linda Mary Box, 67 (pictured), admitted 12 offences of fraud, theft and forgery while a senior partner at Wakefield firm Dixon, Coles & Gill.She was sentenced on Friday at Leeds Crown Court to seven years in prison. It has since emerged that she was  struck off the roll of solicitors at an SDT hearing in October.Box admitted to dishonestly misappropriating a total of £1.16m from the estates of two clients, leaving beneficiaries without their legacies and costing the profession almost £1m in compensation fund payments.The solicitor made a total of 41 payments to other firms not named in the will of either client, primarily, she said, to pay off loans and credit card debts.She was confronted in January 2016 by two partners at the firm, which has since closed, and resigned immediately.The tribunal said there could be no question about banning Box from the profession, following misappropriation on an almost unprecedented scale.The SDT judgment said: ‘[Box]’s conduct involved planned, deliberate, systematic, repeated dishonesty over a long period of time. She had breached the trust placed in her by vulnerable people, of whom she had taken advantage, as well as the trust placed in her by fellow partners.’Box appeared in person at the SDT hearing to express her ‘abhorrence’ at her own behaviour and  her apologies and remorse. She said the perception of her success had pressurised her to feel she had to provide for her family and friends, and her ‘generosity in later years’ extended far beyond her means and created a lifestyle she could no longer afford.In addition to misappropriating money from clients, it was also heard in court that Box had taken more than £63,000 from the Church of England while acting as a registrar for the Diocese of Wakefield.Simon Higginbotham, of the CPS specialist fraud division, said: ‘Linda Box used her position as a trusted partner in a law firm to steal millions of pounds from the estates of those who had died, depriving their grieving friends and families of their rightful inheritance.’To date the compensation fund – paid for by contributions from solicitors – has reimbursed £300,000 to former clients of Box and has claims worth £600,000 still outstanding. Insurers of the firm have so far paid £800,000 but will seek to aggregate further claims.last_img read more

Judge pleads with counsel for end to 17-year ‘orgy of litigation’

first_imgA High Court judge has pleaded directly with lawyers in a long-running claim to help put an end to the dispute once and for all.  David Stone, sitting as a deputy high court judge, said the issue before him in Popely & Anor v Popely & Ors was the latest salvo in what was described as an ‘orgy of litigation’ between two brothers concerning time share properties in Cyprus. The proceedings began 17 years ago and have made little progress since, with the present dispute seeking to decide who are the proper parties to the £4m claim. In the event, Stone rubber stamped permission to continue the claim as a derivative action, but having given his ruling, he revealed that he had urged counsel and those instructing them to help settle the dispute. Stone added: ’It does seem to be that that is in the interests of all the parties. Whilst the claim is for a substantial sum, 16 years of proceedings in England, St Vincent, France, Ireland and Gibraltar, must have put a significant dent in the sums in dispute.  ‘If settlement cannot be achieved, then steps should be taken to determine this part of the dispute once and for all. Further delay drives up costs, without driving matters forward.’ Stone outlined that proceedings were initially filed by the elder of the two Popely brothers, John, against his younger brother Ronald.Whilst Ronald denies acting in breach of an oral agreement in relation to trusts established in St Vincent and the Grenadines and has filed a defence, there has not been a submission that the claim is hopeless. The court heard little progress has been made in the dispute because of the difficulties arising in different jurisdictions where individuals or companies have an interest. Stone said Ronald’s lawyers had been unable to advance any reason for disputing the original decision of Deputy Master Lloyd, beyond the change of counsel and solicitors. Their case raised no law changes or public interest requirements, and effectively amounted to seeking ‘another bite of the cherry’. Stone added: ’The hearing conducted before me was entirely different from the hearing conducted before Deputy Master Lloyd – five arguments were put to me that were not put to him.  ‘This is not an acceptable way to conduct litigation. If it were, then any hearing before a master would, in effect, be a dry run – an opportunity to test arguments.’ The applicants to the appeal were represented by Timothy Evans, instructed by Drukker Solicitors. The respondents were represented by Christopher Boardman, instructed by Charles Russell Speechlys LLP.last_img read more

Uganda keeper hailed for champions league win with Sundowns

first_imgUganda Cranes goalkeeper Dennis Onyango has been added to the country’s list of its all time football greats following his CAF Champions League title with his South African club Mamelodi Sundowns.The 31-yearold became the first Ugandan to win the CAF Champions League title last weekend. The South African based player is to be rewarded by the local football federation. Onyango will receive a plot of land. The shot stopper has already guided his country to their first Africa Cup of Nations appearance in close to four decades. He is expected to be between the posts yet again when Uganda hosts Congo Brazzaville in the 2018 World Cup qualifiers next month. Onyango who is also nominated for the 2016 Africa Players of the Year award is now enjoying a hero status back home.last_img read more

New NASA Radar Technique Used to Find Lost Lunar Spacecrafts

first_imgFinding lost spacecrafts and space debris in Earth’s orbit can be a technological challenge. Detecting these objects in orbit around Earth’s moon is even more difficult. Optical telescopes are unable to search for small objects hidden in the bright glare of the moon. However, a new technological application of interplanetary radar pioneered by scientists at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California, has successfully located a spacecraft orbiting the moon – one active, and one dormant. This new technique could assist in the planning of future moon missions.Scientists have been able to detect NASA’s Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter [LRO] and the Indian Space Research Organization’s Chandrayaan-1 spacecraft in lunar orbit with their ground-based radar. Finding LRO was relatively easy, as they were working with the mission’s navigators and had precise orbit data where it was located. Finding India’s Chandrayaan-1 required a bit more detective work because the last contact with the spacecraft was in August of 2009.The Chandrayaan-1 spacecraft is very small, a cube about five feet (1.5 meters) on each side – about half the size of a smart car. Although the interplanetary radar has been used to observe small asteroids several million miles from Earth, researchers were not certain that an object this small, located as far away as the moon could be detected, even with the world’s most powerful radars. Chandrayaan-1 proved to be the perfect target for demonstrating the capability of this radar technique.While all radars use microwaves, not all radar transmitters are created equal. The average police radar gun has an operational range of about one mile, while air traffic control radars have a range of about 60 miles. To find a spacecraft 237,000 miles (380,000 kilometers) away, JPL’s team used NASA’s 70-meter (230-foot) antenna at NASA’s Goldstone Deep Space Communications Complex in California to send out a powerful beam of microwaves directed toward the moon. Then the radar echoes bounced back from lunar orbit were received by the 100-meter (330-foot) Green Bank Telescope in West Virginia.Finding a derelict spacecraft that has not been tracked for years at lunar distances is tricky because the moon is riddled with mascons (regions with higher-than-average gravitational pull) that can dramatically affect a spacecraft’s orbit over time, and even cause it to crash into the moon. JPL’s orbital calculations indicated that Chandrayaan-1 is still circling some 124 miles (200 kilometers) above the lunar surface, but it was generally considered “lost.” However, with Chandrayaan-1, the radar team utilized the fact that this spacecraft is in a polar orbit around the moon, so it would always cross above the lunar poles on each orbit. So, on July 2, 2016, the team pointed Goldstone and Green Bank at a location about 100 miles (160 kilometers) above the moon’s north pole and waited to see if the lost spacecraft crossed the radar beam. Chandrayaan-1 was predicted to complete one orbit around the moon every two hours and 8 minutes. Something that had a radar signature of a small spacecraft did cross the beam twice during four hours of observations, and the timings between detections matched the time it would take Chandrayaan-1 to complete one orbit and return to the same position above the moon’s pole.The team used data from the return signal to estimate its velocity and the distance to the target.  This information was then used to update the orbital predictions for Chandrayaan-1. Scientists found that they needed to shift the location of Chandrayaan-1 by about 180 degrees, or half a cycle from the old orbital estimates from 2009. But otherwise, Chandrayaan-1’s orbit still had the shape and alignment that they expected.Radar echoes from the spacecraft were obtained seven more times over three months and are in perfect agreement with the new orbital predictions. Some of the follow-up observations were done with the Arecibo Observatory in Puerto Rico, which has the most powerful astronomical radar system on Earth. Arecibo is operated by the National Science Foundation with funding from NASA’s Planetary Defense Coordination Office for the radar capability.Hunting down LRO and rediscovering Chandrayaan-1 have provided the start for a unique new capability. Working together, the large radar antennas at Goldstone, Arecibo and Green Bank demonstrated that they can detect and track even small spacecrafts in the lunar orbit. Ground-based radars could possibly play a part in future robotic and human missions to the moon, both for a collisional hazard assessment tool and as a safety mechanism for spacecraft that encounter navigation or communication issues.last_img read more

#UWFMBB | Moter Deng Interview

first_imgAs the team’s second-leading scorer, Moter Deng has had a remarkable season for #UWFMBB as a senior. He came by this week to talk about the year and his offseason. #GoArgos ???????Print Friendly Versionlast_img

GAME ON – Bristol Flyers v Cheshire Phoenix

first_imgAfter freezing conditions swept across Bristol following the arrival of the ‘Beast from the East’ and ’Storm Emma’, SGS College officials have deemed the WISE Campus and its surrounding area safe for use.The club advises fans to allow extra time to travel, or use public transport where available, with some local buses due to re-open their services this weekend.Tickets for the game will be available on the door from 6.30pm.last_img

Cricket News Mitchell Starc Should Be Given Reward Of ‘Husband Of The Year’ – This Is Why

first_img For all the Latest Sports News News, Cricket News News, Download News Nation Android and iOS Mobile Apps. New Delhi: Mitchell Starc is considered one of the best bowlers in the international cricket circuit at this point. The left-arm pacer, who has taken 244 wickets in 57 Tests and 178 wickets in 90 ODIs, is now in contention for getting the ‘Husband Of The Year’ award. The reason – He is leaving the ongoing tour of South Africa and going back home to support his wife, Australia women wicketkeeper Alyssa Healy for the crunch final clash between Australia and India at the Melbourne Cricket Ground on International Women’s Day. The Australia Women’s Cricket Team are the four-time ICC Women’s World T20 champions and they are gunning for a fifth against an Indian outfit that is on the cusp of securing a historic first title.Alyssa Healy is one of the core players in the side and her contribution will be vital in the final. With Australia reaching the final and an expected crowd of close to 90,000 in attendance at the Melbourne Cricket Ground, it is a golden opportunity for Alyssa Healy to create glory and Starc does not want to miss out. In a report on ESPNCricinfo, Australia head coach Justin Langer said he was supportive of Starc’s decision to be with Alyssa Healy after Australia lost the two matches against South Africa in Benoni and Bloemfontein.”It’s a once-in-a-lifetime chance for Mitch to watch Alyssa in a home World Cup final and so we were happy to allow him to return home to support his wife and be part of a fantastic occasion. It is something we have been talking about for a while,” Langer said.Starc And Healy – Power CoupleWhen Australia reached the final of the 2015 ICC World Cup against New Zealand at the MCG, Alyssa Healy was present to give her husband support. Starc ended up taking the massive wicket of Brendon McCullum for 0 in the first over and he went on to become the highest wicket-taker in that edition of the tournament along with New Zealand pacer Trent Boult. In an interaction with the official Cricket Australia website, Starc said the occasion on March 8 will be fantastic for Alyssa Healy.Alyssa Healy has been in decent form in the ICC Women’s World T20 with two fifties. (Image credit: Getty Images)”They were extremely supportive … so I’m very appreciative for that and very grateful that I can go back and support Alyssa, much like she was around for our 2015 World Cup win. That was very special for all the boys to have their families involved so it’s a fantastic opportunity to repay that,” Starc said.The Australia Women’s Cricket Team, the current reigning and defending champions, started their campaign poorly when they lost to India by 17 runs but bounced back with wins against Bangladesh, Sri Lanka and New Zealand. In the semi-final against South Africa, they overcame the conditions and a spirited fightback from the Proteas as they held their nerve to win by five runs via the DLS method to enter the final for the sixth consecutive time. Alyssa Healy married Starc on April 2016 after getting engaged in 2015.Also Read | India Vs Australia, ICC Women’s World T20 Final: Preview, Prediction, Probable 11, Past Record And WeatherAustralia have lost the ODI series with losses in Benoni and Bloemfontein after winning the three-match Twenty20 International series 2-1. Australia have lost 10 out of their last 11 ODIs against South Africa and they now have a negative head-to-head record in ODIs only against the Proteas.last_img read more

LSU’s Cameron, Chavis among highest paid assistants in nation

first_imgBATON ROUGE – The LSU athletic department did not get what it paid for from a major part of the LSU football program in the 2014 season.According to USA Today’s college football assistant coaches’ salary database of virtually all upper level programs released Wednesday, LSU offensive coordinator Cam Cameron is the third highest paid assistant in the nation with a salary of more than $1.3 million. His exact compensation, excluding bonuses, is $1,315,967. LSU defensive coordinator John Chavis earned $1,312,300, for fourth in the nation.The database, which excluded private schools and others that do not release such information, is available at http://sports.usatoday.com/ncaa/salaries/football/assistant.Cameron’s offense in the 2014 season, though, ranked No. 77 in the nation in yards per game at 383.4, 73rd in scoring offense with 27.6 points a game and 114th out of 125 schools in passing offense with 163.9 yards a game.“Obviously, as the season played out, there were some things we would have liked to have done better,” Cameron said during a pre-scheduled interview on the LSU Radio Network on Sunday night. “I think there were some things we did extremely well running the football and establishing an identity, but we all know there were some things we could’ve added to help us.”LSU finished 27th in the nation in rushing offense with 219.5 yards a game. It was the passing game that was a major problem throughout the season, though, as first-year starting quarterback Anthony Jennings finished 89th in passing efficiency with a 115.3 rating based on a .488 completion percentage and 10 touchdowns with seven interceptions.“I think it’s real simple,” said Cameron, who had little experience at wide receiver as well. “It’s the chemistry and the me-you element, and the completion percentage that we’ve got to solve. Our accuracy has got to improve, and I think it will. We’ve got to improve that completion percentage.”Cameron, who came to LSU after getting fired as offensive coordinator of the Baltimore Ravens late in the 2012 season following a decade in the NFL mostly as an assistant, is in the second year of a three-year contract through the 2015 season. “I think there’s no doubt that moving forward we’ll be outstanding on offense,” he said.LSU’s entire staff of assistant coaches is No. 1 in the nation for the second consecutive year in salary with a total compensation of $5,499,269, according to USA Today, with Alabama coming in second at $5,213,400. The Tigers finished 8-4 overall in 2014 and fourth in the Southeastern Conference West at 4-4. The Tigers play Notre Dame (7-5) in the Music City Bowl on Dec. 30 in Nashville, Tennessee. Alabama (12-1, 7-1 SEC) won the SEC championship and will play Ohio State in the College Football Playoffs semifinal in New Orleans on Jan. 1.Alabama first-year offensive coordinator Lane Kiffin checked in at No. 23 in the nation with a $680,000 salary, but his offense finished 16th in the nation in total yards a game with 490.5, 16th in scoring offense with 37.1 points a game and 21st in the nation in passing with 281 yards a game. And his quarterback — first-year starter Blake Sims — finished seventh in the nation in passing efficiency at 161.9 with a .647 completion percentage and 26 touchdowns against seven interceptions.With senior quarterback Zach Mettenberger and junior wide receivers Odell Beckham Jr. and Jarvis Landry last season, LSU finished 33rd in the nation in total offense with 5,893 yards and 43rd in passing offense with 251 a game under Cameron. Mettenberger finished among the nation’s leaders in efficiency at 171.4, and Beckham Jr. and Landry each went over 1,100 receiving yards. All are in the NFL along with running backs Jeremy Hill and Alfred Blue from 2013.“We had a special group a year ago as we see those guys playing on Sunday,” Cameron said.Chavis had a better 2014 than Cameron. LSU led the nation in pass efficiency defense with a 98.7 rating and finished No. 8 in total defense with 305.8 yards allowed a game. The highest paid assistant in the nation is Virginia Tech defensive coordinator Bud Foster at $1,369,500, followed by Alabama defensive coordinator Kirby Smart at $1,355,850.LSU’s third highest paid assistant is recruiting coordinator/running backs coach Frank Wilson, who is 24th nationally at $665,967, followed by defensive line coach Brick Haley at $465,967 for No. 82 nationally, offensive line coach Jeff Grimes at $377,500 for 126th, special teams coordinator/defensive assistant Bradley Dale Peveto at $360,000 for 139th, receivers coach Adam Henry at $349,634 for 154th, secondary coach Corey Raymond at $325,967 for 170th and tight ends coach Steve Ensminger at $325,967 for 171st.COLLINS HONORED AGAIN: LSU senior left tackle La’el Collins won the Jacobs Blocking Trophy from the SEC office on Wednesday after being named to the All-SEC first team by the Associated Press on Monday and by the league coaches Tuesday.last_img read more

The Supervisory Board and the Management Board of Levski approved the…

first_imgAt a joint meeting on Thursday, August 13, the Supervisory Board and the Management Board of PFC Levski voted to repay the short-term loan of BGN 199,999, which was withdrawn for operational purposes at the end of July. The amount was returned ahead of schedule with a minimum interest rate, the “blues” announced through their official website.The current financial condition of the club was discussed at the meeting, as well as organizational issues, including the security of the club’s home matches. It was decided that the next match at Georgi Asparuhov Stadium against Tsarsko Selo on August 23 will be taken over by the company that provides round-the-clock security at the stadium, as it was in the first meeting with Beroe. In the meantime, PFC Levski will organize a transparent procedure for collecting bids to determine a long-term partner in the work on security and safety of the public in our home – Georgi Asparuhov Stadium.The members of the National Assembly and the Management Board considered in detail the proposal of the Bulgarian Football Union and the Professional Football League for distribution of the money from television rights in the last year of the contract signed in 2015. PFC Levski signs this distribution with a special opinion, stating its position that it will not sign the new contract for television rights already approved by the Bulgarian Football Union and will use all mechanisms to protect its rights as the most popular and attractive football club for television viewers. in the country.As the last item on the agenda, Iliya Hristov acquainted his colleagues from the Supervisory and Management Boards with the annual report of the director of the children’s school Yoncho Arsov. The work of the academy in the last year was highly appreciated, taking into account the need to find additional sponsors to support the activities of the school in order to maintain the high professional standard imposed in it.last_img read more