General Articles
Week on the Web - English Gossip 01 03 11
Public backs publishing complaints decisions, proposals for the reform of legal aid, first UK law firms secure quality mark and proposed rules on ABS financial penalty.

Public backs publishing complaints decisions
Focus groups jointly commissioned by the Legal Services Consumer Panel and the Legal Ombudsman reveal public support for a policy of naming law firms who regularly provide poor service to their clients.
 
As a result, the Legal Ombudsman has announced it is to begin sharing information with consumers.
 
 
 
Proposals for the reform of legal aid
The judiciary's co-ordinated response to the Government's legal aid consultation paper has been published. It was drawn up by a sub-committee of the Judges' Council (the body which represents all levels of the judiciary, and is chaired by the Lord Chief Justice).
 
 
 
First UK law firms secure quality mark
The first legal practices in England & Wales to secure membership to the Law Society’s Conveyancing Quality Scheme (CQS) practice standard have been announced. Martin Elliott & Co Solicitors (Colchester), Boys & Maughan (Kent), Hamers Solicitors LLP (Hull) and PCM Solicitors LLP (London) have become the first practices to obtain CQS status since the scheme opened for applications in January.
 
 
 
Proposed rules on ABS financial penalty
The Legal Services Board has written to the Lord Chancellor to propose the top level of financial penalty that may be imposed on an ABS by its Licensing Authority.
 
 
 
 
YBC mentoring scheme
The Young Barristers' Committee (YBC) is seeking young barristers and solicitors to volunteer as ‘buddies’ to young lawyers in Zimbabwe. Young practitioners will be matched with a view to providing moral and professional support and the exchange of views via email.
 
 
 
Judicial appointment
Melissa Sophia Clarke has been appointed a District Judge and will be assigned to the South Eastern Circuit, based at the Royal Courts of Justice on a salaried part-time working basis, with effect from Tuesday 22nd March 2011.
 
 
 
Judicial retirements
Mr Brian Mitchell retired as an Employment Judge on 28th February 2011.
 
 
Master Ian Hampden Foster retired as a Queen’s Bench Master on 28th February 2011.
 
 
Tribunal Judge Grayham Preston Smith retired as a Judge of the First-tier Tribunal assigned to the Social Entitlement Chamber on 28th February 2011.
 
 
 
Three new partners for Forsters
Forsters has announced the appointment of three new partners with effect from 1st April. This brings the total number of partners at Forsters to 39. The new appointments are Tim Taylor, who becomes partner and head of the planning group in succession to Michael Cunliffe who becomes a consultant, and Rupert Mead and Peter Golden, who become partners in the private client group.
 
 
 
New member at Chambers
9 Gough Square has announced that Gurion Taussig has joined from Lamb Chambers. Gurion specialises in personal injury law, including employer's liability, public liability and occupier's liability, fatal accidents, Animal Act claims and road traffic accidents. 
 
 
 
Eversheds announces new Leeds Senior Office Partner
Eversheds has announced that partner Paul Cotton will be taking on the role as the Senior Office Partner in its Leeds office. Paul joined Eversheds in 1998 and is the Head of the Leeds employment team.
 
 
 
Herbert Smith appoints global head of oil and gas
Herbert Smith has appointed partner Stephen Murray as global head of oil and gas. Stephen has been a partner at Herbert Smith since 1995, having joined the firm in 1990. He also spent a number of years in the firm's Singapore office.
 
 
 
Promotions at Hogan Lovells
Hogan Lovells has announced the promotion of 36 associates and counsel to the partnership, effective 1st March 2011, including seven in the London office. Thirty-one associates have also been promoted to the role of Counsel.  
 
 
 
Mills & Reeve expands real estate disputes team
Mills & Reeve has announced the appointment of Richard Hanson as a partner in its real estate disputes team, bringing the total number of partners firm wide to 93. Richard joins from Eversheds' London office.
 
 
 
BabyBarista highlight
UpTights tries to explain red tape, pink ribbons and backsheets.
 
 
 
One for the road...
 
 
Chainsaw robbery
A thief in Oklahoma tried to steal a chainsaw from a DIY store by hiding it down the front of his shorts, reports the Metro. Unfortunately, this hindered his ability to make a quick getaway, and his slow and careful walk soon attracted the attention of shop staff, who called the police...
 
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