Clear Law marks record turnover with Castlefield move

Clear Law is celebrating record turnover with a new £1.2m office move.

The Manchester-based firm has seen a 173 per cent surge in annual turnover, growing from £3m in 2013/2014 fiscal to hitting £8.2m last year.

The firm has attributed the growth to diversifying from its focus on personal injury claims to handling large corporate lawsuits.

Sally Dunscombe, director of Annecto Legal, has been working with Clear Law over the past eight years to provide internal resources, and guidance as they restructure, in order to effectively manage all aspects of their business.

Dunscombe explains new government legislation imposed in 2013 has driven a number of legal firms to exit the personal injury market, however, she says Clear Law’s ‘unconventional approach’ to continue in this dwindling sector has been instrumental in their success.

She said: “A lot of firms have decided to move away from the lower value, high volume work and moved into larger claims or negligence arena. By contrast, Clear Law has taken the position of rebalancing the ratios of both, since personal injury work provides churn, as they enter the commercial sector.

“They’ve got very ambitious plans to grow the workflow in the firm; one of the things we’re working on at the moment is with insurers, to derisk and fund some of those big misselling financial actions that they are taking forward. These are nonstandard insurance infractions.” Clear Law’s headcount has also grown from 40 in 2011 to 85.

To accommodate the growth and facilitate their new venture, which consists of more client-facing activities, the firm has acquired a brand new office for £1.2m and fitted for an additional £500,000.

The 5,000 sq ft premises is located in the Timber Wharf development in Manchester’s Castlefield area.

Matthew Corbett, managing partner at Clear Law said: “The new workspace is bold and confident in its design, we are a forward thinking company and we think of ourselves as business people who happen to do law rather than traditional lawyers.

“We’ve invested heavily in IT with one eye on the future of legal services, using new working methods, robust systems and a pervasive use of IT. This allows us to dedicate our time to our clients whilst running their cases in an efficient and productive manner.”

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DeVane Tidwell, Former Law Firm Partner and Senior In-House…

Tidwell to focus on recruiting partners for law firms

Hanover, MD (PRWEB) October 20, 2016

Major, Lindsey & Africa, the world’s leading legal search firm, today announced that W. DeVane Tidwell has joined the firm as a director in the Partner Practice Group in the Atlanta office. In this role, DeVane focuses on representing individual law firm partners and partner groups in the lateral market with an emphasis on the Atlanta and Charlotte markets.

DeVane has nearly 20 years of combined law firm and in-house experience. Prior to joining Major, Lindsey & Africa, he was a partner in the Charlotte office of Helms Mulliss & Wicker, now a part of McGuireWoods. His practice focused on securities and mergers and acquisitions, serving corporate clients, including Bank of America Corporation and its subsidiaries. He then enjoyed a successful career in Atlanta as a vice president and division general counsel at Newell Brands, a worldwide marketer of consumer and commercial products. In this role, he managed the legal affairs for two of Newell’s largest operating divisions.

“DeVane has a valuable blend of experience that allows him to be keenly aware of the specific career objectives of law firm partners and the needs of their corporate clients,” said Kirsten Vasquez, partner and executive director, Law Firm Recruiting – West Region. “His background as both a law firm partner and a senior in-house counsel presents a very rare set of skills, not commonly found in the recruiting industry. His many years of experience will benefit both law firms and the talented partner candidates they seek, and we are delighted he has joined the firm.”

DeVane received his J.D. from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and his B.A. from Davidson College.

About Major, Lindsey & Africa

Founded in 1982, Major, Lindsey & Africa is the world’s largest and most experienced legal search firm. Combining local market knowledge and a global recruiting network, Major, Lindsey & Africa has earned recognition for its track record of successful general counsel, corporate counsel, partner, associate and law firm management placements. The firm also provides law firms and companies with highly specialized legal professionals on project, interim and temporary-to-permanent hire basis. With 25 offices worldwide, Major, Lindsey & Africa recruiters are dedicated to understanding and meeting client and candidate needs while maintaining the highest degree of professionalism and confidentiality. The firm considers every search a diversity search and has been committed to diversity in the law since its inception. Major, Lindsey & Africa is an Allegis Group company, the global leader in talent solutions.

To learn more about Major, Lindsey & Africa, visit

For the original version on PRWeb visit:

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Legal eagles meet to celebrate 50 years of law degrees in Coventry

Legal brains across the country came together to celebrate 50 years of law degrees in Coventry and the founding of one of the first courses of its kind in the UK.

More than 130 alumni, students and staff members took part in a celebration to look back on changes and mark the anniversary of the first degree in the name of the Law School.

As well as visiting new campus buildings, guests shared photographs, memories and success spanning the history of the course during an evening at Coombe Abbey.

Coventry’s teaching of its own law degrees began in 1966 under Dr William Frank, at what was then Lanchester Polytechnic, as one of the first institutions in the UK to offer the newly created business and law degree.

In its first year, 18 students studied at “The Lanch” and 50 years on, around 300 graduate each year from what has become Coventry Law School.

Over its lifetime the course has seen 11 heads of law and many changes, including a transformation to Coventry Polytechnic and later Coventry University, the first intake of female students in 1969, and a growing popularity internationally.

Coventry’s law graduates have gone on to become partners in their own firms, have acted as president of the Law Society of England and Wales, and been named Warwickshire Law Society Young Lawyer of the Year.

Stephen Foster, head of Coventry School of Law, said: “The 50th anniversary event was a huge success and we were delight to welcome back so many former students and staff to see how Coventry has evolved.

“A great deal has changed since 1966, and, indeed, since I arrived in 1977.

“Since that time we have become Coventry University, witnessed fundamental changes to our legal system, our law and legal technology, and have seen a massive shift in the demography of our students and the way law degrees are delivered.

“But one thing that has not changed is how we pride ourselves on teaching and our ability to educate our students in the essential skills of learning and applying the law.

“I hope that the next 50 years at the Law School are as rewarding and exciting as these have been.”

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Germany approves law for dismantling N-plants by 2022

FRANKFURT: Germany on Wednesday paved the way for nuclear power plant operators to pay 23.5 billion euros towards managing atomic waste, in a deal critics say lets firms get off too lightly.

Under a draft law approved by the federal cabinet, the four firms — Vattenfall, EON, RWE and EnBW — will pay the money into a state fund for temporary and permanent nuclear waste storage by 2022.

Chancellor Angela Merkel declared the country would shut down all remaining nuclear plants by that date in the wake of Japan’s 2011 Fukushima disaster.

Her decision has left ministers and power companies wrangling over shutdown and waste management costs ever since.

Beyond the 23.5 billion euros ($26 billion) for waste management, the firms will remain financially and legally responsible for shutting down and dismantling the plants and preparing all remaining nuclear waste for permanent storage.

The remainder of a total 40 billion euros of provisions they have set aside to cover the nuclear phase-out is earmarked for those costs. Eight power stations remain in operation in Germany.

Meanwhile, Berlin forecasts that investing the waste fund in financial assets will allow it to grow enough to cover the costs of temporary and permanent storage of the fuel remnants.

“Financing for shutdown, dismantling and waste management will be guaranteed for the long term without transferring the costs to society or endangering the economic situation of the operators,” energy minister Sigmar Gabriel said in a statement.

EON, which alone will contribute around 10 billion euros to the fund, also welcomed the deal. But Germany has yet to identify a final site to store the nuclear waste.

An expert commission warned in July that even plans to open a facility by 2050 were “ambitious” given the delay in finding an appropriate location.

The search for and construction of a permanent storage site could take many decades, with the costs hard to calculate, critics of the deal have warned.

“The companies made high profits for years and shouldn’t be released from overall responsibility,” energy policy expert Claudia Kemfert of the DIW economic think-tank said.

She added that the financially struggling energy companies may be unable to cover the costs of dismantling nuclear plants.

“With this pact only a fraction of the true costs will be covered, society will have to bear the rest,” she said.

Published in Dawn, October 20th, 2016

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Law firms demoting partners | Clinton kept distance from de Blasio | City nixes Queens homeless shelter

1. Law firms demoting, pushing out more partners

Over half of the law firms surveyed by trade publication American Lawyer said they plan to take equity stakes away from partners this year, and 67% said they will ask partners to leave. The moves by firms, which include major New York practices, are a response to client demands to reduce costs and to competitive pressures. [The Wall Street Journal

2. Clinton aides kept de Blasio at distance, hacked emails show

Hillary Clinton’s aides kept Mayor Bill de Blasio at arm’s length from the beginning of his term in 2014 through the Democratic presidential primaries earlier this year, according to hacked emails from Clinton campaign Chairman John Podesta. Clinton and her staff were wary of de Blasio’s advocacy of progressive causes. [The New York Times

3. City nixes controversial Queens homeless shelter

The city has dropped plans to convert a Holiday Inn in Maspeth, Queens, into a homeless shelter. It will instead rent rooms in the building to 30 homeless men with jobs, while the remainder of the rooms continue to operate as part of a hotel. Local officials and residents had vociferously opposed the conversion. [Daily News

4. Buffett releases tax info in response to Trump

Billionaire investor Warren Buffett released information from his income tax returns in response to Donald Trump’s claim during Sunday’s debate that Buffett had taken a “massive deduction” to avoid taxes. Buffett, who supports Hillary Clinton, challenged Trump to release his returns and scoffed at his claim that an audit prevented him from doing so. [Crain’s New York Business]

Plus: Clinton began to oppose a carried interest loophole that lets investment managers pay lower tax rates only after she started running for president in 2007. [Crain’s New York Business]

Also: Clinton leads Trump 46% to 35% nationwide in a four-way race with third-party candidates, according to an NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll conducted Saturday and Sunday. [NBC News] 

5. Lower Manhattan bears brunt of nursing home closures

The number of beds in certified long-term nursing homes in lower Manhattan has dropped to 418 from 1,085 in 2006 , according to data from the state Department of Health. That represents most of the capacity lost citywide during the 10-year period. [DNAinfo]

Plus: New York-Presbyterian has unveiled an ambulance specifically designed to treat stroke victims. [Crain’s Health Pulse] 

6. Letitia James pushed as interim Brooklyn DA

Unidentified political leaders are urging Gov. Andrew Cuomo to appoint Public Advocate Letitia James to serve out the term of Brooklyn District Attorney Ken Thompson, who died Sunday of cancer. James, a former public defender who represented Fort Greene, Brooklyn, on the City Council, could run for a full term in 2017. [New York Post

7. Investments signal changes in city’s specialty food industry

Investments in six packaged-food startups, including four in the city, by Manhattan-based venture capital fund AccelFoods highlight how New York’s specialty food industry is changing. Such companies typically build slowly, but VC investment signals potentially faster growth. [Crain’s New York Business]

Plus: The city has chosen Bartlett Dairy & Food Service to develop a 7.3-acre site at John F. Kennedy Airport into a food manufacturing and distribution hub. [Daily News]

Also: New York could double the number of food vendor permits issued. [The New York Times

8. Younger tenants dominate downtown Manhattan

Singles, nonrelated roommates and childless, unmarried couples between the ages of 18 and 44 occupy 60% of the apartments in the financial district, Battery Park City and South Street Seaport, according to a report from the Downtown Alliance. The business improvement district hopes the finding encourages landlords to set aside more space for restaurants and entertainment. [Crain’s New York Business

9. Atlantic names Jeffrey Goldberg editor in chief

The Atlantic has tapped Jeffrey Goldberg to be its editor in chief. He succeeds James Bennet, who left in April to become the editorial page editor at The New York Times. Goldberg has been a correspondent for The Atlantic since 2007. The magazine received nearly 500 recommendations for the top editorial post. [The New York Times]

10. Arts and education patron Elizabeth Rohatyn dies

Elizabeth Rohatyn, a prolific fundraiser and organizer for New York City educational and arts organizations, died Sunday at her Manhattan home. She was 86. Rohatyn served as chairwoman of the New York Public Library and as a board member at Lincoln Center. She also started the nonprofit Teaching Matters, aimed at connecting teachers with technology. [The New York Times]

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Cosmetic surgery firms accused of behaving like 'double glazing salesmen'

New laws should ensure anyone seeking cosmetic surgery is offered counselling before they undergo procedures.

Kevan Jones, MP for North Durham, said “aggressive” marketing techniques should be banned – and said the way some cosmetic sugery firms behaved was “more appropriate for selling double glazing”.

He told the House of Commons: “We have here a classic example of the market not only failing but being used to exploit people, which is ruining their lives and costing the NHS millions of pounds a year.”

Mr Jones was speaking in the House of Commons to propose new laws to make cosmetic surgery safer.

The proposed legislation would ensure people carrying out cosmetic surgery are properly trained, establish a code to ensure patients are properly informed about any risks, and set out what sort of treatment can be offered.

And he told MPs that he “became aware of the scandal around the £3.5 billion-a-year cosmetic surgery industry” through a constituent who had surgery which left her unable to close her eyes.

To this day she needs to apply special eye-drops every two hours to stop them drying out, Mr Jones said.

But the NHS was now having “to pick up the bill” for her care, the MP said.

peaking in the Commons, the North Durham MP said: “The whole thrust of the advertising is to sell such procedures without any counselling or advice on whether it is appropriate for an individual to undergo them.

An operating theatre
An operating theatre

“Individuals who have already undergone surgery are often bombarded with more adverts, by email or on Facebook, despite the fact that that practice has been reported to the Advertising Standards Agency.

“Such aggressive marketing needs to be banned and a mandatory cooling-off period introduced once people have signed up to allow them to change their minds.

“I would go further and include mandatory counselling for individuals before they undertake any such procedure.”

In his opening remarks, Mr Jones said the Royal College of Surgeons wants only surgeons with “appropriate skills and experience” to undertake cosmetic surgery.

He told MPs: “At present, cosmetic surgery is not a defined surgical speciality in its own right.

“As the department of health has noted, the training within certain defined specialities such as plastic surgery, ear, nose and throat surgery and eye surgery includes an aspect of cosmetic training, but no qualification is available for those who perform cosmetic surgery.

“In fact, the law allows any qualified doctor – they need not even be a surgeon – to perform cosmetic surgery without undertaking additional training or qualifications.

“My Bill aims to close this loophole. It has the support of the Royal College of Surgeons.”

Mr Jones’s Bill is backed by a group of Labour and Tory MPs including Northumberland MP Anne-Marie Trevelyan.

He asked for it to receive a second reading on March 24 2017, although it is highly unlikely to become law without Government support or sufficient Parliamentary time.

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Law and finance firms face big risk of collapse

NEARLY one-third of professional services firms in Scotland are still considered to be at a heightened risk of insolvency, underlining fears expressed ahead of the EU referendum in June that a Brexit vote would have a damaging effect on the sector.

Fears that the uncertainty ushered in by the Brexit vote and subsequent collapse of sterling were cited as research suggested that 30.7 per cent of law firms and accountants are facing a higher than normal risk of insolvency.

Muted economic growth was also found to have slowed demand for professional services in the last quarter.

R3, the body for the insolvency industry, said the number of Scottish professional services firms facing a higher than normal risk of hitting financial problems was down 2.1 per cent on the previous quarter.

Tim Cooper, chairman of R3 and a partner at law firm HBJ Gateley in Edinburgh, noted that, while the “marginal” decline was welcome, it still leaves a “high proportion” of firms facing a high risk of insolvency.

“My view is that a 30 per cent risk of entering insolvency in the next 12 months is still very much a higher than normal risk,” he said. “That’s suggesting nearly a third of professional services firms maybe exhibiting a higher than normal risk of insolvency.

“The current climate doesn’t do anything to mitigate those concerns – it exacerbates the risk. It is not a great time for professional services.”

Mr Cooper noted that the collapse in sterling since the Brexit vote has put pressure on firms with clients which are exposed to fluctuations in currency exchange rates. That can manifest itself in clients taking longer to pay bills.

Other factors putting pressure on firms include lessening demand for professional services from clients exposed to sectors where activity is slowing down.

Mr Cooper observed that the continuing impasse which has followed the vote to leave the EU serves to “accentuate the risk across the economy generally”.

And he expressed the view that political uncertainty has become the “new norm” for businesses, highlighting that the prospect of a further referendum on Scottish independence will also reduce certainty. He noted, however, that future restrictions on the rights of EU citizens to work in the UK after Brexit would not have a particular effect in sectors such as law, which demand staff are qualified to work under local jurisdictions.

R3, whose survey is based on data from more than 2,000 Scottish firms, found the number of professional firms at a heightened risk of insolvency in Scotland was broadly similar to the UK as a whole (32.6 per cent). But it was less than in London, where 36.1 per cent of professional services firms were said to be at a heightened risk of insolvency. London and Scotland both voted decisively to remain in the EU in the June referendum.

Mr Cooper said: “This is something that should be closely monitored. Any business in the professional services sector should really be paying close attention and working out their contingency plans [and] what they do to mitigate those risks.”

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Canadian law firms hold their own when it comes to making money, U.S. legal publication says

Canada’s homegrown law firms, the ones who have not been absorbed by the global behemoths and who still have most of their lawyers in Canada, are holding their own in international law firm rankings.
Osler, Hoskin & Harcourt comes in 77th on Legal Week’s “Global 100: By Revenue” list, with some $550 million in billings. Blake, Cassels & Graydon follows in 89th spot, generating about $425 million. By way of comparison, U.S.-based Latham & Watkins ranks first in revenues with $2.65 billion.

Firms from the U.S. and U.K. dominate the list, but otherwise only two firms from China, one from Australia and a South Korean firm rank ahead of the Canadians.
On the partner profits front, three Canadian firms rank in the Top 100. Again, Osler is the top Canadian entity, standing 70th with average partner profit of $1.045 million; Blakes is 77th, coming in at $985,000; and Fasken Martineau DuMoulin stands 98th at $795,000. U.S.-based Wachtell Lipton Rosen & Katz leads the list with partners taking home $6.6 million on average.
Border Ladner Gervais has the most lawyers of any homegrown Canadian firm. The firm’s 745 lawyers put it at 80th on the Top 100. Fasken Martineau’s 682 lawyers garner the 88th spot. Denton’s, with 6,568 lawyers, is the world’s largest law firm by headcount.

The U.S. legal publisher notes that in some instances, it estimates the totals assigned to various firms ranked in the annual list.

After this item was first published on Monday, Osler spokesperson Judy Stein-Korte contacted Legal Post to note that firm does not provide data to the U.S. publisher: “Osler has never participated in any survey in which we are asked for financial data including the recently published Global 100 List. Numbers attributed to Osler are entirely speculative.”

Financial Post

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