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News


14/04/14

36 Bedford Row is delighted to announce the appointment of three new Queen’s Counsel

Chambers is delighted to announce the appointment of three new Queen’s Counsel in this year’s round. 

Adrienne Lucking and Felicity Gerry are members of our Criminal team 36 Crime;  and Will Tyler is a member of our Family team 36 Family. All three will be elevated to Silk at a ceremony on 14th April 2014.

14/04/14

36 Bedford Row’s Emilie Pottle successfully completes Paris Marathon in aid of the Bar Pro Bono Unit

Emilie began running 18 months ago as a way to keep fit and blow off steam. She received a lot of encouragement from Chambers and decided to enter the Paris Marathon to both challenge herself and support the Bar Pro Bono Unit. Emilie undertakes several cases for the Unit each year and says she has always blown away by their dedication and hard work to bring together deserving applicants and Counsel.

Emilie has raised almost £400 so far for the BPBU, please continue to donate online at virginmoneygiving/emiliepottle 

 

                                 EP

11/04/14

36 Employment is delighted to announce the arrival of Stephen Bishop (2006 Call)

Stephen Bishop, formerly of Goldsmith Chambers, has joined 36 Employment and 36 Civil. Stephen’s primary focus is Employment law, although he will continue to maintain his practice in associated Commercial work and Property law.

If you would like any further information about Stephen’s practice or the services Chambers can offer, please contact our Civil Practice Manager Chris Lane or one of our helpful civil clerks, Everton Wedderburn or Zoe MacQueen.

 

10/04/14

Saoirse Townshend to be posted in Ukraine to monitor upcoming Presidential elections

Next month, Saoirse Townshend will be posted in Ukraine to monitor the upcoming Presidential elections on behalf of the Foreign and Commonwealth Office. 

See here for more details of the missions: http://www.osce.org/odihr/elections/ukraine/116624

09/04/14

Rebecca Herbert short–listed for Leicester Law Society Barrister of the year 2014

36BR are very pleased to announce that Rebecca Herbert has been short–listed for the LLS Barrister of the Year.

The results will be announced at the annual LLS dinner on 9th May.

07/04/14

36 Family in the Court of Appeal again, Hannah Markham represents the children’s guardian

Re W

This was an unsuccessful Appeal by the LA against a decision to place children in the care of family members in Poland. The family members were not represented at first instance but were parties and the lead Judgment of Lady Justice Macur reminds all that the role of the Guardian is merely that of an equal party and should not be, as the Local Authority argued in the appeal, elevated to any higher status. The advocate for the guardian bears no higher responsibility for assisting litigants in person than any other advocate and none of the advocates should find themselves assisting litigants in person by way of framing questions or displaying a reticence to challenge contrary evidence (if opposing the case of the litigants in person). All advocates do however have their paramount duty to the court to ensure that no mistake as to law or fact is made, in particular by a litigant in person or the Judge when addressing the litigant in person’s case. It is the role of the Judge, as adjudicator of fact and law to assist through all ‘reasonable assistance’ a litigant in person or ‘non represented party’ to put their case.

28/03/14

36 Bedford Row’s response to CBA announcement

The Criminal team at 36 Bedford Row welcomes the announcement today that the CBA will ballot its membership in relation to the proposals arising out of recent negotiations with the MOJ.

The negotiated position fails to recognise the changes that the MOJ continues to implement in relation to solicitors’ contracts and fees.

These are changes that will have a profoundly damaging effect on access to justice and the quality of our Criminal Justice system.

The Criminal team at 36 Bedford Row strongly support the ongoing campaigns by the CLSA and LCCSA. Individuals within the team will manifest their support in the following ways:

a. They will not take VHCC cases at the new rates;

b. They will not take returned Crown Court work from ‘striking’ HCAs;

c. They will not take returned Magistrates’ Court work from ‘striking’ solicitors.

At the same time we will be actively exploring with our professional colleagues other ways we can support the continuing campaigns.

12/03/14

36 Employment’s Richard O’Dair to speak at Employment Lawyers Association Annual Conference

36 Employment are delighted to announce that our head of the Employment Team, Richard O’Dair has accepted an invitation to speak on Age Discrimination at the Employment Lawyers Association Annual conference on 22nd May 2014

For full details of the event, please go here:

http://www.elaweb.org.uk/training-and-events/443

27/02/14

36 Family – Children Law Newsletter (Edition 1, 2014)

Please see a copy of our Children Law Newsletter (Edition 1, 2014) here. 

27/02/14

36 Family – Family Finance Newsletter (Edition 1, 2014)

 Please see a copy of our Family Finance newsletter (Edition 1, 2014) here.

26/02/14

36 Family – Father granted leave to oppose an application for an adoption order

Malcolm Macdonald represented a father in the High Court who sought a stay of an application by prospective adopters to adopt his daughter pending the determination of his case before the European Court of Human Rights or, in the alternative, leave to oppose the application for an adoption order. 

The court granted leave to oppose the application for an adoption order on the grounds that there had been a change of circumstances since a placement order had been made and  the father had solid grounds for opposing the making of an adoption order. The change in circumstances was that the cases of Re B [2013] UKSC 33 and Re B–S (Children) [2013] EWC Civ 1146) cast doubt on whether the case had been properly decided at first instance and on appeal to the Court of Appeal and the Supreme Court, The granting of leave by the court meant that the father would have the opportunity for the court to assess the ‘merits’ of making an adoption order. The granting of leave to oppose the application for an adoption order by the court called into question the need for the case to proceed in the European Court of Human Rights.

25/02/14

36 Employment Update: “The Waiting Game: Employment Tribunal fees”

The much heralded challenge to the introduction of employment tribunal fees was dismissed earlier this month. But that is not to say that the issue has gone away.

The Issue

The court was concerned with the introduction of fees for Employment Tribunals. The fees came in to force on 29 July 2013. There are two potential fees; an issue fee and a hearing fee. The issue fee is either £160 or £250 depending on what sort of case it is. The hearing fee is either £230 or £950 again depending on what sort of case. The fees can be higher again if there is more than one claimant. The purpose of this post is not to look in any detail at the various fees and how much a claimant should pay in any particular instance. The purpose of this post is instead to look at the challenge that was brought, how it was dismissed, and how it might come back again.

The Challenge & Dismissal

Unison’s lawyers argued four points.

First, they said that the introduction of fees was unlawful contrary to EU law. They argued that it made it “virtually impossible or excessively difficult” to exercise EU law rights. They relied on a number of hypothetical examples. The court had trouble in dealing with such hypotheticals. Lord Justice Moses commented that, rather than dealing with such a matter in the abstract, they can only really be considered in concrete terms. “It will be easier to judge actual examples of those who assert they have been or will be deterred by the level of fees imposed.” The Court commented that just because people have to use “hard earned savings” is not enough to say that is virtually impossible to bring a claim. The Court accepted that if the figures about the drop off in the number of claims was anything like accurate, then the impact had been dramatic. The suggestion was that in the first 3 months of the fees there had been a 56% fall in all claims compared with the same period last year. Ultimately though, the Court found that it was too early to assess the impact of the scheme. They said that the hotly disputed evidence as to the dramatic fall in claims may “turn out to be powerful evidence” that the principal of effectiveness in the fundamentally important realm of discrimination, is being breached by the present regime. In such circumstances they said they would expect, if this were clearly revealed, the Lord Chancellor would change the system without any need for further litigation.

Secondly, Unison argued that the fees were set at the wrong level compared with a case in the county court. The High Court had little difficulty dismissing this challenge. It said that they were not properly equivalent because in a county court matter a losing claimant would have to pay the winner’s costs, but a losing claimant in an employment tribunal generally does not. Also there is free alternative dispute resolution available in employment tribunals from April 2014, which there is not at a county court.

Thirdly, Unison argued that the Lord Chancellor had breached his duty under the Equality Act 2010. This is the so called public sector equality duty under s149 which places a duty on the Lord Chancellor to have due regard in exercising his functions to the need to eliminate discrimination, advance equality of opportunity and foster good relations between those who share protected characteristics (of race, religion, sex and disability) and those who do not. The court dismissed this challenge reciting the various lengths that the Lord Chancellor had gone to in consulting on the changes. The court concluded: “Unison cannot establish that an assessment based on evidence is inadequate, however much it may disagree with the conclusion of those undertaking the assessment.”

Fourthly, and finally, Unison argued that the fees were potentially indirectly discriminatory. The court found that women are more likely to bring Type B claims (discrimination claims) which attract a higher level of fees. They concluded they had a “strong suspicion” women would be disproportionately affected by fees. They went on to consider whether such a disproportionate impact could be justified. However, ultimately they decided that it would be wrong for the court to reach a conclusion on whether this was justified without properly knowing the extent of the disproportionate impact.

The Future

It is clear that this issue has not been put to bed. To mix metaphors it has merely been parked. Both unions and the Lord Chancellor will closely be monitoring the subsequent data on the impact of the introduction of fees. The court concludes, “If it turns out over the ensuing months the fees regime is having a disparate effect” the Lord Chancellor will be under a duty to take remedial steps. For all concerned, it is simply a case of, wait and see.

 

©David Ball

36 Bedford Row

24/02/14

36 Bedford Row are proud to have been accepted as legal supporters to the Armed Forces Legal Action

 

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