NewsBites - October 2011

Helping riot victims

A helpline for victims of the recent riots has been set up by LawWorks with the assistance of the Bar Pro Bono Unit, Law Society and several law firms. The initiative aims to help individuals, community groups and small businesses affected by the riots and looting to obtain free legal advice on matters ranging from insurance and compensation to contractual, property and employment law. More information is available at www.lawworks.org.uk/riothelp. The helpline number is 020 7092 3949.




Law and the Bible

Lord Chief Justice Lord Judge speaks about the historic and legal context of the King James Bible on Wednesday 5 October at 6.30pm at Westminster Abbey. The lecture is one of a series of events at the Abbey to mark the 400th anniversary of the 1611 King James Bible. Free tickets are required to attend:
www.westminster-abbey.org,
T: 0207 654 4832.


Young Bar Conference

Mr Justice Eady, Lord Justice Thomas and Peter Lodder QC, chairman of the Bar, will be among those taking part in this year’s Young Bar Conference.
The theme for the conference, at London’s Hotel Russell on 8 October, will be “diversity in times of adversity.”

There will be workshops during the day covering various areas of practice and professional interest.

The conference is open to barristers under 10 years’ call, to pupils and to all students of the Bar Professional Training Course. Details can be found on the Bar Council website.


QASA roadshows.

The Bar Standards Board is taking to the road to explain its advocacy assessment scheme, which will be run by the Joint Advocacy Group. In November, it will hold a series of roadshows on QASA (Quality Assurance Scheme for criminal Advocates), appearing in Birmingham (22 November), Cardiff (23 November), Liverpool (29 November) and Leeds (30 November). The date for the London roadshow is yet to be confirmed.

Advocacy assessment requirements will apply to all criminal advocates including QCs, barristers and solicitor-advocates.


Jackson Reforms

A Civil Justice Council working party has been looking into practical solutions on costs following the implementation of the Jackson reforms. The working party has looked at three areas: conduct associated with qualified one-way costs shifting; the introduction of an additional costs sanction relating to offers to settle (Part 36), and the proposed new test of proportionality. It was due to report back to the Ministry of Justice by the end of September.


Third Party Litigation Funders

A voluntary code of conduct for third party litigation funders is being drawn up by the Civil Justice Council and is due to be completed by the end of October. Third party funding was endorsed by Lord Justice Jackson in his review of litigation costs, and is a growing market. Litigation funders have advised that the code of conduct needs to deal with capital adequacy and the circumstances in which funds can be withdrawn.



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