26.12.12

Book Recommendation: Sweet Tooth by Ian McEwan



Serena Frome, the beautiful daughter of an Anglican bishop, has a brief affair with an older man during her final year at Cambridge, and finds herself being groomed for the intelligence services. The year is 1972. Britain, confronting economic disaster, is being torn apart by industrial unrest and terrorism and faces its fifth state of emergency. The Cold War has entered a moribund phase, but the fight goes on, especially in the cultural sphere.
Serena, a compulsive reader of novels, is sent on a 'secret mission' which brings her into the literary world of Tom Haley, a promising young writer. First she loves his stories, then she begins to love the man. Can she maintain the fiction of her undercover life? And who is inventing whom? To answer these questions, Serena must abandon the first rule of espionage - trust no one.
McEwan's mastery dazzles us in this superbly deft and witty story of betrayal and intrigue, love, and the invented self.

Available from Amazon

19.12.12

Book Recommendation: Tarka the Otter by Henry Williamson



The classic story of an otter living in the Devonshire countryside which captures the feel of life in the wild as seen through the otter's own eyes.



Available from Amazon

14.12.12

Travel Law – Company compliance and regulations to avoid liability


Brought to you by our friends at ASB Law

The range of sector specific laws and regulations applicable to the travel industry in addition to the universal legislation applicable to all types of businesses means that travel firms face a considerable amount of liability. In order to operate legally and provide safe and adequate services, companies must be aware of all aspects of travel law and ensure the company complies with the relevant legislation and guidelines.

There are numerous types of businesses operating within in the industry. Travel agents, airlines, engineering firms and manufacturers all require varying legal services and are subject to different travel law regulations. It’s essential that any business operating within the industry commissions the services of an experienced travel law firm who is familiar with the nuances of the travel sector and understands the way the industry operates. In order to work effectively on behalf of the business, it’s vital that a lawyer appreciates the commercial objectives of the firm and where the company stands within the industry. An experienced travel lawyer can not only ensure the company complies with all relevant travel law, but assist in the company in gaining a competitive advantage and meeting its objectives.

Whilst many of the issues travel companies face are sector specific, they must also deal with generic issues relevant to all businesses. For example, many companies have numerous employees. The employment relationship is governed by legislation and certain guidelines must be observed in order to avoid complaints or employment disputes. Specialist lawyers recognise the issues faced by travel companies and their staff and can assist in drafting contracts, reducing employment risks, undertake negotiations on behalf of the firm and ensure all company employment policies are effective and appropriate. Similarly, travel lawyers can provide corporate support and restructuring services.

Travel companies must also satisfy the additional responsibilities of increasing regulation and compliance. For example, when the Package Travel Regulations were introduced many businesses required expert advice from specialist travel lawyers in order to determine how the Regulations would affect the functioning of their businesses and whether they needed to make any changes to operational processes in order to comply. Regulation is never likely to diminish, and travel companies will probably become more reliant on specialist travel lawyers due to the increasing amounts of liability they face.

The scale of technology used within the travel industry often requires specialist knowledge, advice and support relating to issues such as data protection, patents, intellectual property, IT infrastructure and e-commerce. As technology develops further and new technologies are used within the industry it’s likely that even more legislation will be introduced and travel law will expand significantly. For example, as our commitment to space travel increases, a new area of law is introduced. New technologies and methods of travel will lead to an increase in law, regulation and liabilities. It is essential, therefore, that travel companies obtain specialist advice from a lawyer to ensure they are complying with all relevant areas of travel law and prepared for the introduction of new legislation. By engaging the services of an experienced travel lawyers, companies can ensure they are operating as efficiently and as effectively as possibly in order to achieve company objectives and increase overall profitability.

ASB Law are legal experts in travel law and are accredited as an ABTA travel industry partner. Their expertise in the sector goes far beyond a good grounding in all things legal. Every member of the ASB travel law team is immersed in the industry.

For further information or advice, please visit: http://www.asb-law.com/what-we-do/sectors/travel/what-we-do

12.12.12

Book Recommendation: The Warden (Penguin Classics) by Anthony Trollope



Anthony Trollope's The Warden is the first of his well-loved Chronicles of Barsetshire, edited with an introduction and notes by Robin Gilmour in Penguin Classics.
The tranquil atmosphere of the cathedral town of Barchester is shattered when a scandal breaks concerning the financial affairs of a Church-run almshouse for elderly men. In the ensuing furore, Septimus Harding, the almshouse's well-meaning warden, finds himself pitted against his daughter's suitor Dr John Bold, a zealous local reformer. Matters are not improved when Harding's abrasive son-in law, Archdeacon Grantly, leaps into the fray to defend him against a campaign Bold begins in the national press. An affectionate and wittily satirical view of the workings of the Church of England, The Warden is also a subtle exploration of the rights and wrongs of moral crusades and, in its account of Harding's intensely felt personal drama, a moving depiction of the private impact of public affairs.

Available from Amazon

5.12.12

Book Recommendation: Jerusalem by Jez Butterworth



"The key British theatre work of the last decade." Time Out 2012. An Instant Modern Classic. A comic, contemporary vision of life in our green and pleasant land. BEST PLAY Evening Standard Awards BEST PLAY Critics Circle Awards. On St George's Day, the morning of the local county fair, Johnny Byron, local waster and modern day Pied Piper, is a wanted man. The council officials want to serve him an eviction notice, his children want their dad to take them to the fair, Troy Whitworth wants to give him a serious kicking and a motley crew of mates want his ample supply of drugs and alcohol.

Available from Amazon

29.11.12

Osborne Clarke and Field Fisher Waterhouse call off merger talks


 Brought to you by our friends at Osborne Clarke

Although similar approaches and ideals led many to believe a merger between Osborne Clarke and Field Fisher Waterhouse may be possible, the differences in operating structure has led to talks being abandoned and confirmation that the merger will not be taking place.

With talks ending before Field Fisher Waterhouse were due to update staff regarding the progress of the merger at their Annual Retreat, it became apparent that there were significant obstacles which rendered the merger unworkable. Although comparisons have been drawn between their corporate practices, the differences between the firms ultimately proved to be too big to facilitate an effective and feasible merger. Michael Chissick, Acting Managing Partner at Field Fisher Waterhouse stated that, “although our firms have similar ambitions, they have a number of essential differences, including those between both firms’ international structures. Those differences were marked enough to convince us that we would retain our core strengths better as separate firms.”

This view was shared by Osborne Clarke with Managing Partner Simon Beswick maintaining that, “we have a fairly similar vision of where we want to be and, between us, we have some great practices that could work well together. However, there are some differences in our approaches as to how we get there.”

Whilst there are no current plans for a merger between the firms, both Osborne Clarke and Field Fisher Waterhouse have spoken of the amicable departure from merger negotiations and confirmed that strong relationships and friendships between the firms have been forged throughout the process.

Osborne Clarke have are leading law firm with extensive experience advising on every aspect of Mergers and Acquisitions Law, including buy-outs, buy-ins, institutional buy-outs and public to private transactions.  For more information please visit: http://www.osborneclarke.co.uk/mergers-and-acquisitions.aspx

28.11.12

Book Recommendation: How the Law Works by Gary Slapper



How the Law Works is a refreshingly clear and reliable guide to today’s legal system. Offering interesting and comprehensive coverage, it makes sense of all the curious features of the law in day to day life and in current affairs.
Explaining the law and legal jargon in plain English, it provides an accessible entry point to the different types of law and legal techniques, as well as today's compensation culture and human rights law. In addition to explaining the role of judges, lawyers, juries and parliament, it clarifies the mechanisms behind criminal and civil law.
How the Law Works is essential reading for anyone approaching law for the first time, or for anyone who is interested in an engaging introduction to the subject’s bigger picture.

Available from Amazon

21.11.12

Book Recommendation: Letters to a Law Student: A Guide to Studying Law at University by Nicholas J McBride



Letters to a Law Student relays all that a prospective law student needs to know before embarking on their studies. It provides a useful guide to those considering a law degree or conversion course and helps students prepare for what can be a daunting first year of study.





Available from Amazon

14.11.12

Book Recommendation: The Casual Vacancy by J. K. Rowling



When Barry Fairbrother dies in his early forties, the town of Pagford is left in shock.
Pagford is, seemingly, an English idyll, with a cobbled market square and an ancient abbey, but what lies behind the pretty facade is a town at war.
Rich at war with poor, teenagers at war with their parents, wives at war with their husbands, teachers at war with their pupils... Pagford is not what it first seems.
And the empty seat left by Barry on the parish council soon becomes the catalyst for the biggest war the town has yet seen. Who will triumph in an election fraught with passion, duplicity and unexpected revelations?
A big novel about a small town, The Casual Vacancy is J.K. Rowling's first novel for adults. It is the work of a storyteller like no other.

Available from Amazon

7.11.12

Book Recommendation: A Possible Life by Sebastian Faulks



Terrified, a young prisoner in the Second World War closes his eyes and pictures himself going out to bat on a sunlit cricket ground in Hampshire.
Across the courtyard in a Victorian workhouse, a father too ashamed to acknowledge his son.
A skinny girl steps out of a Chevy with a guitar; her voice sends shivers through the skull.
Soldiers and lovers, parents and children, scientists and musicians risk their bodies and hearts in search of connection - some key to understanding what makes us the people we become.
Provocative and profound, Sebastian Faulks's dazzling novel journeys across continents and time to explore the chaos created by love, separation and missed opportunities. From the pain and drama of these highly particular lives emerges a mysterious consolation: the chance to feel your heart beat in someone else's life.

Available from Amazon

31.10.12

Book Recommendation: The Racketeer by John Grisham



Given the importance of what they do, and the controversies that often surround them, and the violent people they sometimes confront, it is remarkable that in the history of the USA only four active federal judges have been murdered.
Judge Raymond Fawcett just became number five.
His body was found in the small basement of a lakeside cabin he had built himself and frequently used on weekends. When he did not show up for a trial on Monday morning, his law clerks panicked, called the FBI, and in due course the agents found the crime scene. There was no forced entry, no struggle, just two dead bodies - Judge Fawcett and his young secretary.
I did not know Judge Fawcett, but I know who killed him, and why.
I am a lawyer, and I am in prison.
It's a long story.

Available from Amazon

29.10.12

Sponsored post: Annuities aren’t the only option

Many people have lost faith in pensions. They have done so largely the income that can be derived from them is poor and they are faced with a gamble with annuity providers over how long they will live to enjoy the income they are receiving in lieu of the pension fund given up. This statement is true to some extent but it does not take into account that an annuity is only one option for pension income. The other common option is income drawdown. Income drawdown allows for a fund to remain invested while income is received. This has the benefit of the retiree retaining control over the longevity of the fund; on their death it can be passed to a dependent rather than to the coffers of the annuity provider. The situation is further improved where retirees have £20,000 guaranteed income from other sources. In this instance the entire pension fund is available as capital for the pension fund owner to use as they wish rather than being restricted to 25% tax free lump sum and the balance as income.

This blog was written by Andrew Neligan, a Chartered Financial Planner who helps legal professionals achieve their lifestyle goals.

Sponsored post: Would you turn away free money with no catch?

This is what people are doing every day by ignoring pensions as an option to boost their retirement savings. Admittedly, pensions have had a tough time recently; the Government have messed around with them so much very few people understand the rules, the 2007/8 stock market crash still looms large in people’s memories and current annuity rates are at historic lows. But this ignores the free money I was referring to. Free money that is paid by the Government as well! This free money is in the form of tax relief which is applied at 20% to all contributions. Higher and additional rate tax payers can then re-claim the 40% and 50% income tax paid via their tax return. The benefit of this tax relief is increased through compound interest; growth on growth received each year. For example, basic rate tax relief on a £50,000 contribution would be £10,000. This £10,000 alone would grow by £6,289 in ten years assuming a growth rate of 5% a year. So, £16,289 you would not have by ignoring pensions.

This blog was written by Andrew Neligan, a Chartered Financial Planner who helps legal professionals achieve their lifestyle goals.

24.10.12

Travel and Tourism Law


Brought to you by our friends at ASB Law

Although once considered a rare luxury, the opportunity to travel is now available to more people than ever before. The increase of low cost air fares and accessibility of airports, ferries and railways means that large numbers of people regularly travel within the UK and abroad. The travel industry provides a significant fiscal contribution to many economies and is the main industry in many countries. The size of the industry, in addition to the issue of health and safety when travelling, means that it is subject to a raft of laws and regulations.

There are a number of industry specific laws aimed at regulating the travel and tourism industry such as aviation laws and laws regarding travelling cross borders with minors. Due to the nature of the industry, it is necessary to take into account the differing laws applied in each jurisdiction. In an attempt to simplify the system, there are a number of European regulations and conventions which apply across the continent, and many international conventions which include countries outside of Europe. Although there has been some attempt at unification, there are still many differences between each jurisdiction and expert advice may be required should you face a legal issue whilst travelling.

In addition to the laws governing the industry, the travel and tourism sector must also apply and adhere to other laws and regulations that apply to all businesses. For example, contract law governs the sale of holidays as well as potential cancellations and claims that the contract has been breached. Whilst these can occur between a travel business and consumer, they can also occur during a transaction between two businesses. In such an instance, both parties would be subject to the law governing contractual relations with reference to any industry specific regulations which may apply. Similarly, elements of employment law, revenue law, insurance law, equality law, consumer law and fair trading all apply to businesses and consumers operating within the industry.

Many travel companies have an in-house legal team or rely on external legal advisers to ensure they are up to date with the relevant legislation and that they are operating legally. However, disputes can arise and businesses may find themselves faced with complaints about their conduct or service and threats of legal action.

When considering legal action against a business operating within the industry it is advisable to seek advice from a professional who has relevant experience within the industry. The additional industry specific regulations can add significant liabilities to businesses or provide certain exemptions. What may appear to be a seemingly straightforward business transaction could be more complicated if the businesses involved operate within the travel and tourism sector and thus require specific legal expertise. Whilst the law governing travel and tourism is increasingly complex, it is necessary to ensure that businesses operate legally, fairly and appropriately and that consumers can travel as freely and as safely as possible.  

This post comes from Travel and Tourism Law at ASB Law.

Book Recommendation: Slapper and Kelly’s The English Legal System


Slapper and Kelly’s The English Legal System explains and critically assesses how our law is made and applied. Annually updated, this authoritative textbook clearly describes the legal rules of England and Wales and their collective influence as a sociocultural institution. This latest edition of The English Legal System presents and analyses changes made to the legal system by the coalition government, and digests recent legislation and case law. The Constitutional Reform and Governance Act 2010, the Crime and Security Act 2010, the Coroners and Justice Act 2009, new European law, and the latest decisions of the Supreme Court are all incorporated into the text, and this edition also digests recent research on the work of juries and the criminal courts, and the 2011 changes to the regulation of, and Government contributions towards, legal services. Key learning features include: a clear and logical structure with short, manageable, well-structured individual chapters; useful chapter summaries which act as a good check point for students; sources for further reading and suggested websites at the end of each chapter to point students towards further learning pathways; an online skills network including how tos, practical examples, tips, advice and interactive examples of English law in action.  Relied upon by generations of students, Slapper and Kelly’s The English Legal System is a permanent fixture in this ever evolving subject.

Available from Amazon

23.10.12

Perceptions of the UK Banking Industry

Brought to you by our friends at Duncan Lawrie

A recent YouGov survey conducted on behalf of Duncan Lawrie Private Bank has revealed a groundswell of discontent amongst High Net Worth Individuals with a majority of respondents (70%) confirming that they have less faith in the UK banking industry than they had a year ago.



Duncan Lawrie hopes that its survey will once again highlight the appeal of an independent private bank that still prides itself on traditional values and service with long term client satisfaction taking priority over the sort of sales target culture that appears to have embedded itself in high street banking.

17.10.12

Book Recommendation: Porterhouse Blue by Tom Sharpe

Porterhouse College is world renowned for its gastronomic excellence, the arrogance of its Fellows, its academic mediocrity and the social cachet it confers on the athletic sons of county families. Sir Godber Evans, ex-Cabinet Minister and the new Master, is determined to change all this. Spurred on by his politically angular wife, Lady Mary, he challenges the established order and provokes the wrath of the Dean, the Senior Tutor, the Bursar and, most intransigent of all, Skullion the Head Porter - with hilarious and catastrophic results.

Available from Amazon

10.10.12

Book Recommendation: The First Rumpole Omnibus by John Mortimer

Who rose to enduring fame on Blood and Typewriters, told the pregnant Portia of the Chambers it would come out in the end, advised Guthrie Featherstone, Q.C. to adopt a more judicial attitude, returned in the tender gloaming of each evening via Pommeroy's and a glass of Chateau Fleet Street - to She Who Must Be Obeyed? The answer is Horace Rumpole whose legal triumphs, plundering sorties into the 'Oxford Book of English Verse' and less-than-salubrious hat are celebrated here in this first omnibus edition which includes Rumpole of the Bailey, The Trials of Rumpole and 'Rumpole's Return'.

Available from Amazon

4.10.12

Achieve the perfect balance in online payment processes

Brought to you by our friends at Osborne Clarke


As online commerce grows, so does the need for payment technology and process to keep pace with both supplier and consumer demands.

Efficiency
Increasing the efficiency of the end-to-end sales process is crucial and there are a number of areas for development. First, the payment reference and other information are likely to become more accurate and integrated into the whole process. Alongside that you have e-invoicing which facilitates in particular straight-through processing (STP). Both of these areas will require common standards and approaches and facilitation. The other area of development in relation to the sales process is for real-time transaction information being available from the suppliers.

Reduced risk
The foundation of e-commerce is security and trust and there are ongoing developments in this area in respect of authorisation and authentification. On example is MasterCard’s recent announcement regarding implementation of enhanced compliance requirements on its members, merchants and service providers with respect to its Site Data Protection Program (SDP Program). This is designed to identify vulnerabilities in security and safe storage of account data in accordance with the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS). Be aware that even the smallest merchants could be caught by significant security assessment requirements in the event of hack-or-attack.

Increased revenue
Increased revenue can come from ensuring that all likely means of payment are accepted such as (in the UK) Faster Payments and (for euro denominated transactions) the SEPA Credit Transfer and Direct Debit Schemes.

Greater convenience
The recent explosion in e-payment sites, such as e-Bay’s PayPal, Amazon’s Amazon Payments, and Google’s Google Checkout reflects the fact that they can add both convenience and trust to the transaction and increase the likelihood of repeat transactions.

The perfect balance
Best of all would be to combine all of these elements with: an internet bill; an e-mandate; and payment under either the SEPA Credit Transfer or Direct Debit Scheme. What a perfect balance it would be. No paper. End-to-end efficiency/integration. Quicker payment cycles. Certainty of timing and funds. Parties retain control. End of.

Osborne Clarke solicitors are leading specialists in payment law.

3.10.12

Book Recommendation: Food for Free by Richard Mabey

Illustrated throughout with stunning colour photographs this fully-revised edition of a Collins bestseller explains the best ways to make use of the foods we can find in the wild.
Food for Free by Richard Mabey was first published in 1972, since then it has been reprinted 11 times. An all-colour, revised version produced in 1989 has sold over 30,000 copies in the trade. A guide to over 200 types of food that can be gathered in the wild in Britain, Food for Free explores the history and folklore of the foods as well as explaining how we identify them and the best ways to cook and eat them.
The new edition will bring the subject right up to date. Organized by season rather than food type Food for Free will take us through the year. Richard Mabey’s fully-revised text will be accompanied by stunning photographs, new recipes and a wealth of practical information on collecting, cooking and preparing.
Beautifully illustrated, beautifully written and produced in a new, larger format Food for Free is designed to inspire us to take more notice of what is around us, how we can make use of it and how we can conserve it for future generations.

Available from Amazon

26.9.12

Book Recommendation: Silks by Dick Francis and Felix Francis

There are few thriller writers who have had such long and distinguished careers as Dick Francis, and his lengthy series of books (with their zesty recreations of the racing world) are among many readers' favourite novels in the genre. Recently, ill-health seemed to threaten the author's reliable productivity, and the death of his wife (who had long been a behind-the-scenes collaborator on his books) made it appear that the golden days of the Dick Francis racing thriller were firmly in the past. However, here is Silks, the result of a collaboration between Dick Francis and his son Felix -- and it will be a welcome arrival for the legions of Francis admirers.


Julian Trent is found guilty of a violent unprovoked attack on an innocent family and a charge of attempted murder. He is accused by the judge of showing no remorse for his actions, but receives a remarkably light sentence. Surprisingly, this news is not welcome to his defence barrister, Geoffrey Mason, who was secretly hoping for a more severe judgement against his client, whom he does not like. Mason is a part-time jockey (this is a novel with Dick Francis's name on the jacket, after all), and when Mason dons his racing silks and travels to Sandown to follow his real passion -- riding a thoroughbred in a heated steeplechase -- he finds that he cannot leave the violence that is often the bread and butter of his profession behind him A fellow rider is savagely killed by a pitchfork driven through the chest, and there is a persuasive amount of evidence against champion jockey Steve Mitchell as the killer, but Mason becomes involved -- and finds all the various aspects of his life coalescing in a lethal fashion.

Dick Francis has 41 novels under his belt, and remains the consummate thriller practitioner. Felix, his son, had helped with the research on his father's novels over the last 40 years (notably Twice Shy, Shattered and Under Orders). Silks is their second full collaboration after Dead Heat, and should provides Francis aficionados with all the elements they've grown accustomed to. --Barry Forshaw

Available from Amazon

19.9.12

Book Recommendation: A Game of Proof by Tim Vicary

A mother's worst nightmare - can her son be guilty of murder?

Sarah Newby, who left school at 15, and was living as a teenage single parent on an inner-city estate, has worked her way up to begin a career as a criminal barrister. Then in a terrible irony her own son, Simon, is arrested and charged with a series of brutal rapes and murders. The evidence against him appears so strong that his QC advises a guilty plea, but Simon swears he is innocent and begs his mother take on his defence. There is no law against a mother representing her son, so Sarah agrees. The only other obvious suspect for the murders, however, is a man who has already been acquitted once - with Sarah acting as his defence lawyer ...

Has Sarah, in her single-minded determination to create a career for herself, neglected her son so much that she no longer knows him? Since he has often lied to her in the past, how can she trust him when he says he is innocent this time? And what should she do when she herself uncovers evidence that seems to suggest his guilt?

It seems that telling the whole truth must be weighed in the balance against keeping certain information well hidden ...

Available from Amazon

12.9.12

Book Recommendation: Dirk Gently’s Holistic Detective Agency


What do a dead cat, a computer whiz-kid, an Electric Monk who believes the world is pink, quantum mechanics, a Chronologist over 200 years old, Samuel Taylor Coleridge (poet), and pizza have in common? Apparently not much; until Dirk Gently, self-styled private investigator, sets out to prove the fundamental interconnectedness of all things by solving a mysterious murder, assisting a mysterious professor, unravelling a mysterious mystery, and eating a lot of pizza – not to mention saving the entire human race from extinction along the way (at no extra charge). To find out more, read this book (better still, buy it, then read it) – or contact Dirk Gently’s Holistic Detective Agency. ‘A thumping good detective-ghost-horror-whodunnit-time travel-romantic-musical-comedy epic.’ The author

Available from Amazon

5.9.12

Book Recommendation: Hostile Witness by Rebecca Forster

When sixteen-year-old Hannah Sheraton is arrested for the murder of her stepgrandfather, the chief justice of the California Supreme court, her distraught mother turns to her old college roommate, Josie Baylor-Bates, for help. Josie, once a hot-shot criminal defense attorney, left the fast track behind for a small practice in Hermosa Beach, California. But Hannah Sheraton intrigues her and, when the girl is charged as an adult, Josie cannot turn her back. But the deeper she digs the more Josie realizes that politics, the law and family relationships create a combustible and dangerous situation. When the horrible truth is uncovered it can save Hannah Sheraton or destroy them both.

"This story was inspired by a case my husband handled. As a superior court judge he had to sentence a minor to life in prison. It made me wonder how I felt about minors arrested for violent crimes. Are they most vulnerable among us - capable or horrible violence, perceived as adults and yet emotionally still children?" Rebecca Forster (rebeccaforster.com)

"An enthralling read, with colorful, well-developed characters and the unique atmosphere of the California beach communities." Nancy Taylor Rosenberg

"Blending complex psychological character portraits with spot-on accurage courtroom drmaa, Forster's riveting legal thriller keeps the plot twists coming until the last, satisfying page." - Alafair Burke

Available From Amazon

29.8.12

Book Recommendation: John Macnab by John Buchan

In 1925, John Buchan published his second most famous novel, "John MacNab"; three high-flying men - a barrister, a cabinet minister and a banker - are suffering from boredom. They concoct a plan to cure it. They inform three Scottish estates that they will poach from each two stags and a salmon in a given time. They sign collectively as 'John McNab' and await the responses. This novel is a light interlude within the "Leithen Stories" series - an evocative look at the hunting, shooting and fishing lifestyle in Highland Scotland.

Available from Amazon

22.8.12

Book Recommendation: A Legal History of the English Landscape

A Legal History of the English Landscape is an engaging account of how the law has played a pivotal role in shaping the English landscape through the ages. Adopting a broadly chronological approach, the book begins with prehistory and continues through Roman and Anglo-Saxon times. It examines the foundations of English land law as laid down by the Normans and developed throughout the Middle Ages. The author explores how landed property became seen as the focus of society by the seventeenth century and how ownership rights were protected to such an extent that they inhibited change. As society evolved, once important laws became obsolete and the author shows how later generations were able to adapt or circumvent them for their own needs. The book describes how Parliament intervened to rearrange the landscape in the Enclosure Movement, authorised the buildings of roads, canals and railways and encouraged the development of industry and towns. The account concludes with a view of the modern law in an era of public access to land, environmental protection and European legislation. By setting land law in the wider context of changes in society, A Legal History of the English Landscape will appeal not just to lawyers and historians, but to the general reader with an interest in the English landscape.

Available from Amazon

15.8.12

Book Recommendation: Citadel by Kate Mosse

From the No.1 internationally bestselling author comes the third heart-stopping adventure exploring the incredible history, legends and hidden secrets of Carcassonne and the Languedoc. Set during World War II in the far south of France, CITADEL is a powerful, action-packed mystery that reveals the secrets of the resistance under Nazi occupation. While war blazed in the trenches at the front, back at home a different battle is waged, full of clandestine bravery, treachery and secrets. And as a cell of Maquis resistance fighters, codenamed CITADEL, fight for everything they hold dear, their struggle will reveal an older, darker combat being fought in the shadows. Combining the rugged action of LABYRINTH with the haunting mystery of SEPULCHRE, CITADEL is a story of daring and courage, of lives risked for beliefs and of astonishing secrets buried in time.

Available from Amazon

25.7.12

Book recommendation: The Path to Pupillage by Georgina Woolf and Alexander Robson

The Path to Pupillage: A Guide for the Aspiring Barrister is the essential guide for anyone considering a career as a barrister, from the sixth former to those at the final stage of the BPTC. This book considers each step of the route to pupillage, the final and most competitive stage of a barrister’s training, offering detailed advice on everything from choosing the Bar as a career to succeeding in pupillage interviews. Drawing on the authors own recent experiences as well as interviews with over 50 experts law students, barristers from leading chambers, pupillage committee members and senior judges this unique insider view removes the mystery from an increasingly competitive and daunting process. Its aim is to equip the reader, regardless of background, with the knowledge and the skills necessary for success.

Available from Amazon.co.uk

18.7.12

Book recommendation: Ultimate Guide to Training Contract Success by Craig Robinson


"Ultimate Guide to Training Contract Success, is your definitive roadmap to navigating your journey into law. It is written by trainee solicitors at leading City law firms for future trainee solicitors. You will find the guide to be a useful source of reference, with key information and practical advice in an easy to read format. Our Guide walks students through every aspect of the training contract recruitment process. It gives useful tips on how to prepare quality application forms for the most competitive firms, how to improve your interviewing technique and provides an insight on what to expect as a trainee solicitor. The chapters on commercial awareness, networking and the questions asked at interview are priceless - as are the suggested answers and case studies. The Guide will ensure you become better informed about what law firms are looking for and the legal landscape, which will increase your prospects of achieving a training contract. WHAT WILL YOU LEARN FROM THIS GUIDE: 1. Understanding the legal market for aspiring solicitors and the route to becoming a solicitor 2. What makes a successful lawyer? Career Advice if you have a 2:2 in your degree. 3. Advice to prospective trainee solicitors undergoing their undergraduate degree courses, CPE, PgDL, and Legal Practice Course. 4. Explaining the different practices area in law. 5. How to become commercially aware. 6. Advice on drafting your CV, preparing effective covering letters and application forms. 7. How to promote yourself effectively through marketing techniques and networking. 8. How to get your application noticed and set yourself apart. Top tips and strategies to succeed at assessment days, group role plays and presentations. 9. Winning strategies on interview techniques and questions and answers on typical training contract interviews. 10. How to make the most out of vacation placements and legal/commercial work experience. 11. Meet our friends: A chapter from our friends who are currently training at leading law firms, giving top tips and practice advice on the key things that helped them secure a training contract. 12. Interview techniques. How to answer difficult interview questions and answers effectively. 13. Deciding between two offers of a training contract. What are the factors that make a good training contract? 14. What to do if you finish your studies without a training contract."

Available from Amazon.co.uk

11.7.12

Book Recommendation: The Art of the Legal Loophole by Nick Freeman


"Nick Freeman is Britain's highest profile lawyer. He has won more cases and attracts more media attention than any other lawyer practising in this country today.

Nicknamed Mr Loophole by the press for his success in using legal technicalities to get clients acquitted, his career as a criminal defence lawyer has been nothing short of stratospheric. His roll call of stellar defendants - which includes Jimmy Carr, Sir Alex Ferguson, David Beckham and Ronnie O`Sullivan - ranges from actors and sporting heroes to pop stars and captains of industry. Mr Loophole is famous for forming winning, quirky and innovative defences - even when a case appears indefensible. In the process, he has revolutionised the way in law -particularly motoring law - is practised.

In this book, Nick will explain his unique approach to the law and in the process will identify his killer loophole principles which make it possible to win even in the face of almost certain defeat. Each principle will be illustrated with cases that show how he has deployed his pioneering strategies to devastating effect. In the process the reader will be given a ringside seat to thrilling courtroom drama and taken on a lively and engaging journey into the heart of the judicial system.

There's no doubt that Nick's personality has significantly impacted on his approach to fighting and winning cases. His revealing personal anecdotes and backroom stories, offer a unique insight into a brilliant mind at work."


Available from Amazon.co.uk