Changes to Collective Redundancy Consultation
Some important changes to collective redundancy consultation have now come into force.
Employee Shareholders Update
You may recall the announcement by the Government last year of the introduction of a new type of employment contract known as the “employee-owner” contract. The concept has been ping-ponging between the Commons and the Lords, but some progress finally seems to have been made.
Firm Celebrates 25 year Anniversary
In 1988, the licensing laws changed to allow pubs to stay open all day, the pound note ceased to be legal tender and Davies and Partners Solicitors opened its first office.
25 years later, Davies and Partners is now acknowledged as one of the leading law firms in the South West and Midlands, with offices in Bristol, Gloucester and Birmingham. It has continued its programme of expansion, opening its latest office in West End London, in autumn 2012.
The firm employs over 120 staff and although it offers a full range of legal services for commercial and private clients, approximately half of its work is in commercial property including land acquisition and development. It has one of the largest commercial property teams in the region which has achieved a strong national reputation in the commercial property sector.
In recent years the firm has also developed a national specialism in clinical negligence, which now accounts for more than 20% of the firm’s business. Its 12 strong, specialist clinical negligence team contains a number of the UK’s leading clinical negligence lawyers.
Commenting on the celebrations the firm’s Chairman, Tom Brennan said, “We have seen many developments over the 25 years and there have been many peaks and troughs in the economy over that period, but we are delighted that we have retained such a strong and loyal client base which has enabled us to continue to develop and expand. We are very proud to be able to offer our clients some of the country’s finest legal talent and we look forward to continuing to do so for at least the next 25 years!”
Employment Law - March Round Up and April Changes
There was one very interesting case decided last month which was Vaughan v London Borough of Lewisham & Others which dealt with Covert Recordings.
Commercial specialists see growth in franchises
Franchising has continued to grow in Britain and is now outperforming the economic downturn with franchises contributing £13.4 billion to the UK economy, which is an increase of 8% on 2010.* Commercial specialists at Davies and Partners Solicitors in Birmingham had anticipated the results of survey as they have seen a steady growth in clients seeking advice on setting up a franchise business in recent years.
Davies and Partners Senior consultant David Robinson believes the current economic climate and in particular the level of redundancies since the financial crisis began in 2008, have been the main reasons for the growth. He said, “For many, the events of 2008 acted as a catalyst for them to realise an ambition to open a business of their own. For others, the need to find an alternative source of income was the driving factor.
A franchise can, in certain circumstances, be a good way of getting in to business but, like any other business venture it requires discipline and planning and someone looking to go into a franchise should do so with their eyes wide open. It should certainly not be seen as an easy option and we have had to support a number of clients who have come to us after things have gone wrong, rather than sorting out contracts and the legalities from the outset to ensure they don’t go wrong.”
Many well-known brands offer franchises now – from chocolate retailers, to car valeting and scratch repairs, to carpet and household cleaning.
David Robinson continues, “A franchise can be a useful way in to business, saving as it does, a huge effort in building up goodwill over what may be a number of years. But this does come at a cost – both financial and in the form of the restrictions imposed on the Franchisee.
Nevertheless these arrangements can result in a successful, fulfilling and ultimately profitable business provided all parties enter the arrangement well prepared and advised, ensuring they are protected by the right contracts and terms of agreement.”
*According to a recent survey by the British Franchise Association,
'Take a Break' highlights Clinical Negligence Case
A recent case handled by Rachel Bowen specialist clinical negligence solicitor has been featured in Take a Break magazine recently.
The weekly magazine featured misdiagnosed patient Miss Slater 41, who was misdiagnosed with a life threatening form of Myelodysplasia (sub type refractory anaemia) an incurable disease with a life expectancy in the order of 5 - 10 years. Following abnormal blood test results Miss Slater was referred by her GP to Dr Tiplady a Consultant Haematologist. Although Dr Tiplady performed more blood tests he did not test Miss Slater’s folate levels which, if he had, would have shown that Miss Slater had a folate deficiency that could have been treated simply with a folate supplement. Instead, Dr Tiplady performed a bone marrow biopsy and diagnosed Myelodysplasia.
As a result of the combination of both the continuing folate deficiency and the shock of the diagnosis Miss Slater suffered severe depression, fatigue, agoraphobia and panic attacks. As a result Miss Slater was unable to work she lost her job and fell into considerable debt. Approximately a year later, further tests including another bone marrow biopsy were performed by Dr Tiplady and Miss Slater was thankfully advised that in fact she did not have Myelodysplasia but she was anaemic and had a folate deficiency.
Rachel Bowen of our specialist clinical negligence team in Birmingham helped Miss Slater take action against Dr Tiplady. Eventually, without admitting liability, Dr Tiplady made a significant out of court settlement. Miss Slater has now been able to rebuild her life with the settlement.
Impact of Religious Belief Discrimination Cases
There have been two recent announcements by Government bodies as a result of a series of Religious and Belief discrimination cases decided by the European Court of Human Rights.
Nigel Tillott Royal Appointment
Managing Partner of Gloucester Office and keen runner, Nigel Tillott, joined a welcoming party for The Princess Royal, Princess Anne, at the Official opening of the new Blackbridge Athletics Track in Gloucester last week.
Nigel is pictured (Right) meeting the Princess Royal with Simon Carey MD of Barnwood Construction.
The new track, off Podsmead Road, in Gloucester, has undergone a £380,000 makeover financed by Gloucester City Council, Sport England and local athletes.
OFT Investigation into the use of transfer fees in the Retirement Housing Sector
Davies and Partners has successfully assisted of one of the companies subject to the core Office of Fair Trading (OFT) inquiry into the use of transfer fees in the Retirement Housing Sector in reaching a satisfactory resolution to the investigation.
Gloucester 10K success
Managing Partner of Gloucester Office Nigel Tillott, braved the elements at the weekend to take part in the Gloucester 10K run, finishing in 23rd place in a field of over 600 runners.
Nigel is a seasoned marathon runner but even he found the rain and cold conditions challenging, and in particular the notorious long uphill drag along Cole Avenue at around the halfway mark of the race. But he was delighted with his very creditable finishing time of 40 mins 21 seconds.
Pictured Nigel wearing his white Davies and Partners running vest in the centre of the photo.
Fly-in Fly-out Doctors
Louise Austin, an Associate Solicitor within Davies and Partners highly respected clinical negligence team appeared on Sky News on 26 January 2013 to discuss the problem of fly-in fly-out doctors.
The piece focused on doctors based abroad who fly into the UK to perform surgery and then fly back out. Some of these doctors cannot be traced or lack adequate insurance cover and if their treatment has been negligent, this can leave injured patients without redress. In some cases, the costs of putting right this negligence can run in to thousands of pounds and this cost has to be picked up by the N.H.S or met by the patient. For patients who cannot afford remedial treatment or access it through the N.H.S they can be left with permanent scarring.
Doctors treating patients in the U.K must be registered with the General Medical Council (G.M.C). However, whilst the G.M.C Good Practice Guide states registered doctors should have adequate insurance cover, there is no statutory requirement for them to do so. In 2010, a report for the Department of Health recommended that it should be a condition of registration with the G.M.C that doctors have insurance. Although the Department accepted the recommendation and indicated it would be implemented, it has not been. Were it to be implemented, the G.M.C could seek proof of insurance before granting registration.
Some may think that if a doctor is untraceable or uninsured the clinic through whom the treatment was arranged would step in. Unfortunately, this is often not the case as most private clinics treat doctors as independent contractors rather than employees. To hold a clinic responsible for the doctor’s actions you must be able to prove the doctor was an employee and that can be difficult, if not impossible.
The issue of insurance and the relationship between surgeons and clinics is to be looked at as part of a review into cosmetic surgery regulation due to be published in March 2013. We hope that the outcome of that will be to ensure those accessing private treatment have proper protection in the event things go wrong.
If you would like to discuss medical treatment you have had, please contact our clinical negligence team at
Inquest into death of Bethany Clemens
The media has this week focused on an inquest into the Sudden Unexplained Death in Epilepsy (SUDEP) in December 2011 of 14 year old Bethany Clemens who died whilst boarding at Dame Hannah Rogers School in Ivybridge. Davies and Partners Clinical Negligence Lawyer Frances Wright was representing Bethany's family in the case.
Following the inquest the School has made a series of changes to try to ensure something like this does not happen again and to raise awareness of SUDEP.
The case was reported by the BBC on its website http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-devon-21090167
and the story was featured in the Plymouth Herald http://www.thisisplymouth.co.uk/New-procedures-girl-died-special-school/story-17903095-detail/story.html
For a full case summary from Frances Wright please click here
Two new senior appointments
Davies and Partners Solicitors has strengthened its team with the appointment of two new senior lawyers, Ian Pettifer and Brian Hession.
Ian Pettifer (pictured right) joins Davies and Partners’ highly successful employment team with over 15 years of experience, having previously been Head of Employment at three large firms in Warwickshire, Gloucestershire and London.
During his career Ian has advised individuals and businesses including start-ups and sole traders, large
UK corporates, major multi-nationals, public sector bodies, company directors, and trade unions on many aspects of employment law.
Ian developed his language skills when he read law at Rouen University in France for a year, and studied an undergraduate degree in European Legal Studies. With an MA in Industrial Relations from Warwick University and also as a Chartered Member of the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development, Ian has a detailed and working knowledge of HR issues and advises on legal matters within the context of workplace management. He regularly provides training and lectures on legislative changes in employment law.
In taking on his new role Ian said, “I am delighted to have joined the employment law team at Davies and Partners which has an excellent reputation. I am looking forward to helping the firm expand its employment business across the West Midlands and the South West and to advise clients on a wide spectrum of employment issues.”
The second senior appointment by Davies and Partners is Brian Hession who joins the firm’s highly respected Commercial Property department. Brian has extensive and broad-based experience of acting on real estate investment deals, development projects and advising occupational tenants on the acquisition of new premises.
Brian specialises in a wide variety of commercial property work including: investment transactions, contracts for the building of new premises conditional on obtaining planning permission, joint venture agreements, granting new leases (from the perspective of the landlord and tenant) acting for banks taking property as security and the acquisition and disposal of businesses.
Brian’s experience includes advising on the pre-letting of Cabot Circus in Bristol; acting for a FTSE100 property company in the management of its £1bn retail park portfolio; and advising on the £150m disposal of a builders' merchant’s business.
Brian is fluent in French to a business level and has expertise in international Real Estate matters and has worked in Paris, advising on secured lending, property acquisitions and disposals and the French Real Estate element of international corporate transactions.
He said, “Davies and Partners has a tradition of excellence in the commercial property sector. I am keen to use my expertise to assist the firm in expanding its commercial property business further and building on the client base throughout the West Midlands, across the South West and in London.
Is gross medical negligence increasing?
Statistics show that prosecutions against doctors for gross negligence manslaughter are increasing and the latest data published by the Department of Health (DoH) on medical “never events” suggest that gross medical negligence may also be on the increase.
According to government guidelines a “never event” occurs when an avoidable medical error results in a patient’s permanent injury or death. The current list of never events is reproduced at the end of this article. A medical error that could have been avoided is never acceptable but one that falls into the category of never events can have devastating consequences for a patient and his or her family.
Whilst there is never any justification for medical negligence, treatment that is grossly negligent is at the worst end of the spectrum. It is treatment so bad that it warrants criminal prosecution. The occurrence of a medical error that should never occur therefore can be regarded as gross negligence.
The DoH never events data shows an increase in the number of never events reported to SHAs (strategic health authorities) from 166 in 2010/11 to 326 in 2011/12. Separate figures for events reported to the NRLS (National Reporting and Learning Service) show an increase from 56 in 2010/11 to 163 in 2011/12. Do these figures mean that gross medical negligence is on the increase? The answer is we don’t know and that is because the data collection is flawed.
The DoH are quick to defend the apparent increase by stating that the list of never events has been increased from 8 to 25 in 2011 and that may be skewing the figures. They also say that there may be duplication between the SHAs and NRLS’ figures as some events may have been reported to both. Neither of these points is much of a defence to the apparent increase and it is worrying that a true picture cannot be gained from the data.
The figures may actually be higher than they appear because it is recognised that a number of never events go unreported, sometimes only coming to light through a patient’s complaint about their treatment.
Is gross medical negligence increasing? The answer is we don’t know but the occurrence of even one never event is not acceptable. There is ample evidence from the statistics that the current system of preventing such events is not working and the reasons for this need to be analysed without delay in order to protect patients.
9 November 2012
List of Never Events
1. Wrong site surgery
2. Wrong implant/prosthesis
3. Retained foreign object post-operation
4. Wrongly prepared high-risk injectable medication
5. Maladministration of a potassium-containing solution
6. Wrong route administration of chemotherapy
7. Wrong route administration of oral/enteral treatment
8. Intravenous administration of epidural medication
9. Maladministration of insulin
10. Overdose of midazolam during conscious sedation
11. Opioid overdose of an opioid-naïve patient
12. Inappropriate administration of daily oral methotrexate
13. Suicide using non collapsible rails
14. Escape of a transferred prisoner
15. Falls from unrestricted windows
16. Entrapment in bedrails
17. Transfusion of ABO-incompatible blood components
18. Transplantation of ABO incompatible organs as a result of error
19. Misplaced naso- or oro-gastric tubes
20. Wrong gas administered
21. Failure to monitor and respond to oxygen saturation
22. Air embolism
23. Misidentification of patients
24. Severe scalding of patients
25. Maternal death due to post partum haemorrhage after elective caesarean section
Cerebral Palsy sailing day
A group of young people from the Bristol based charity Cerebral Palsy Plus took to the cold waters in the Cumberland Basin as part of a special sailing and power boating day which was sponsored by Davies and Partners Solicitors.
Cerebral Palsy Plus (CPP), which is based in Fishponds, works with children and adults with Cerebral Palsy, their families and carers, with the aim of helping them live independently and to live life to the full. The Sailing day was run by the Royal Yachting Association’s Sailability charity which is based at Baltic Wharf. The charity offers sailors with disabilities the chance to enjoy the same exhilaration, enjoyment and confidence felt by able-bodied sailors.
A team from Davies and Partners Solicitors, which has a dedicated clinical negligence department that specialises in cerebral palsy cases, attended the event to help out and to brew some much needed warming teas and coffees for the 50 young sailors and their families and carers who took part in the day.
Partner Suzanne Williams said, “It was a lovely for the firm to have supported this special event and it was great for some of our team to come down and join in, cheering everyone as they had fun on the boats. We handle many cerebral palsy cases and it is important for us to support the excellent work of charities such as CPP.”
Cathy Truman, the development coordinator at CPP said, “Cerebral Palsy Plus was delighted to work in partnership with Davies and Partners on this very successful day.
Members welcomed the chance to try something new, different and exciting, thoroughly enjoying the day.
Some participants will certainly be following the day up with further lessons and Sailability sessions and everyone had a great day enjoying making new friends and catching up with existing ones.”
Caption: From Left to right. Suzanne Williams and Phillip Bolton, Sharon, Lucy and Jamie Withey and far right carer, Cher Dyer.
Local schools debate Europe and the free press
Following the success of previous Gloucestershire Schools Debating competitions sponsored by Davies and Partners Solicitors, four local schools battled it out at Cheltenham College to win a place in this year's final. Of the ten Gloucestershire schools that entered the competition, four teams of two students from Cheltenham College, the Cheltenham Ladies College, Ribston Hall High School, Gloucester and Wycliffe College, Stonehouse debated the semi-final motion regarding the influence of Europe on UK legislation.
Divorce Courts' hands are tied in company case
Many family lawyers were surprised by a decision of the Court of Appeal which was handed down on 26 October 2012 in the case of Petrodel Resources Ltd & Ors v Prest & Ors  EWCA Civ 1395.
A couple both aged about 50 were married in 1993. They have 4 teenage children. They lived in London but also had other properties in London and had lived at properties in Nigeria and the Caribbean. They had a high standard of living and the husband had been successful in the international oil industry. Their home in London was worth about £4million and there were various other properties acquired by the husband in London, although the properties had been purchased in the name of various companies.
In the High Court, the wife was initially awarded £17.5million which would include properties in London held by the companies and properties abroad.
The companies appealed and by a majority of 2 to 1, the Lord Justices ruled in favour of the companies and so overturned the High Court’s decision. The Court of Appeal ruled that the Divorce Courts are not entitled to go behind the “corporate veil” save in limited circumstances. In his supporting judgment, Lord Justice Patten said “Married couples who choose to vest assets beneficially in a company for what the Judge described as conventional reasons including wealth protection and the avoidance of tax cannot ignore the legal consequences of their actions in less happy times.”
Historically Divorce Courts were quite prepared to consider and distribute assets effectively controlled by one party.
This decision could have far reaching consequences for divorcing couples and it remains to be seen whether this decision is appealed to the Supreme Court.
Social Media in the work place - Part One
Social media has revolutionised the way we communicate particularly in the work place.
Proposed reforms to the law on registering new town and village greens contained in the Growth and Infrastructure Bill (GIB)
The new Growth and Infrastructure Bill introduced by the Government in October contains proposed changes to the law on registering new town and village greens (TVGs). These changes will bar applications to register a new TVG against land which has the benefit of planning permission, where a planning application has been publicised, or where the land is identified for potential development in a local or neighbourhood plan. Landowners will also be able to lodge a statement with the commons registration authority to bring to an end any existing use of their land 'as of right' without having to physically block access.
Challenging treatment and funding decisions in health and social care
The Government’s austerity programme has resulted in cuts within the area of health and social care. This is likely to result in funding for some elements of health and social care being refused (e.g. certain types of surgery, care packages etc.)
If you are refused funding for care or treatment, it is possible to challenge that decision by way of judicial review. Judicial review involves a Court reviewing the decision of a public body such as an NHS Trust or a local authority. The Court will not look at whether the decision is morally right or wrong but whether it has been reached on the correct grounds and in the correct way.
To challenge a decision, you must have sufficient interest in the case i.e. it must directly affect you in some way. This is not a difficult hurdle to overcome if you are the person who has been refused funding for treatment or care.
Before turning to the Court, you must have utilised all other remedies. Therefore, if the public body offers you the right to appeal its decision, that right of appeal must be exercised before resorting to the Court. Once you are notified of the body’s final decision, judicial review must be commenced promptly and within 3 months at the latest. Despite the 3 month time limit, you should seek judicial review without delay because if a case brought within 3 months could, in the Court’s view, have been brought earlier, it can refuse to hear the case.
The grounds for review are legality (i.e. the body did not have the legal power to reach the decision as it did), procedural impropriety (i.e. the correct procedure has not been followed in reaching the decision) or irrationality (i.e. no reasonable public body could have reached the decision on the facts). If the application for review is upheld the Court may overturn the decision, order the public body to re-take decision or order the decision to be taken in a particular way.
Judicial review can be expensive but legal aid may be available. At Davies and Partners, we offer a free initial consultation in order to assess the likelihood of a challenge succeeding and to discuss funding options available.
Judicial review can be complicated and whether you can successfully challenge a public body’s decision depends upon the circumstances of each case. If you are unhappy with a decision of a public body, it is important to act quickly and you should seek legal advice without delay.
If you would like further advice on challenging decisions in health and social care, please contact a member of our clinical negligence team on 01454 619619 or at
The Mortgage Market Review and Shared Equity Products
On 25th October the FSA has published Final Policy Statement PS12/16 concluding the Mortgage Market Review. PS12/16 includes the final rules to be added to the Mortgages and Home Finance: Conduct of Business Sourcebook (MCOB) and will come into effect on 26 April 2014. The reforms set out in the Policy Statement are intended to prevent a recurrence of the irresponsible lending (as the FSA see it) which took place in the years leading up to the financial crisis and follows a consultation which began nearly three years ago.
Employee Owner Contracts
The Chancellor of the Exchequer, George Osborne announced last week the introduction of a new type of employment contract known as the “employee-owner” contract.
Decision in Purely Creative Limited
Purely Creative Limited has today issued the following statement in relation to the ruling of the ECJ dated 18 October:-
The Companies' objective was to obtain legal certainty in relation to the correct interpretation of Paragraph 31 of Annex I to the Unfair Commercial Practices Directive and the definitive ruling from the European Court of Justice provides this.
The basic question before the ECJ was very specific. It concerned whether, if a consumer has been told he or she has won or will win a prize, it is a breach of the law if the consumer has to or may incur any cost whatsoever in claiming that prize. The ECJ has said "yes" even if it is the cost of a telephone call or a postage stamp.
TV highlight post-operative problems at Emerson’s Green
Davies and Partners has achieved a significant settlement for a client from Bristol, following the catastrophic problems she experienced after a routine diagnostic procedure performed at Emerson’s Green NHS Treatment Centre in Bristol. The case has received significant TV coverage on BBC Points West over the last week.
‘Miss R’, who wishes to remain anonymous, was referred to Emerson’s Green Treatment Centre in 2010 for a diagnostic laparoscopic
procedure. During the laparoscopy her bowel was damaged but the surgeon carrying out the procedure failed to identify the damage and Miss R was later discharged.erative problems at Emerson’s Green The following evening Miss R began to experience excruciating pain and her stomach became extremely swollen. Her partner contacted the Emerson’s Green Centre on two
occasions and was advised to give her pain relief. Miss R returned to the Treatment Centre the next morning. Surgeons at the Centre advised her that the pain was probably caused by trapped wind following the laparoscopy.
Her family became increasingly concerned and they requested a transfer to Frenchay Hospital which took 11 hours. Once at Frenchay it was diagnosed that her bowel had been perforated. She underwent emergency surgery to repair the severe damage to her bowel which had caused peritonitis. She also had to undergo a colostomy. The Emerson Green’s Solicitors admitted that the laparoscopy had been performed negligently. and that there was a delay in diagnosing the bowel damage.
Suzanne Williams said, “Our client is determined to raise awareness of this case, so that other people do not suffer in this way.
We are delighted she has received some redress for the terrible experience she has been through.”
The BBC Points West coverage of the case can be seen on iplayer from the link below for a limited period.
Nine lawyers on the run
A team of nine lawyers from Davies and Partners Solicitors were inspired by the London Olympics and Paralympics to take part in the Bristol Half Marathon Corporate Challenge recently and they completed the 13.1 mile course and were the first legal team to cross the line.
The Lawyers (pictured from left to right) Justin Crosfield, Nigel Tillott, Ewan Kilgour, Simon Pressdee, Tacey Bain and Phillip Bolton were also joined by colleagues Jude Rodrigues and Jan Grimshaw who missed out on the photo, but were an integral part of the Davies and Partners team which came in a highly respectable 4th out of the total of 46 entrants in the Corporate Team event.
Nigel Tillott, Gloucester Office Managing Partner, who captained the team, expressed his
disappointment that they had just missed out on a podium finish. He said "Watching the Olympics had inspired us all, and we all felt very sorry for those athletes who finished 4th and missed out on a medal. So initially we did feel quite low coming in 4th place.
We had all trained hard for the event and everyone achieved their target time so ultimately we were all pleased with the performance. The disappointment shows that the competitive spirit of the Olympics lives on. We also found some competitive consolation in that we did beat all the other lawyers and accountants, including Osborne Clarke and Clark Willmott!”
October 2012 Employment Changes
The 01 October each year is one of two dates during the year when new employment legislation is introduced or updated. This October there are only two changes which may come as something of a relief to some!
Davies and Partners Expands into London
Davies and Partners is opening a new office in London following the successful merger with highly respected West End practice McEwen Parkinson.
The new London office, which is located in Harley Street, opens on 1 October 2012 and will operate during the first year under the name Davies and Partners Solicitors incorporating McEwen Parkinson.
Davies and Partners’ Corporate Development Partner Ewan Lockhart, from the Bristol office, (pictured) has been made Managing Partner in London. McEwen Parkinson’s Partners Greg McEwen and Tim Parkinson will remain at the firm.
McEwen Parkinson was formed in the 1950s as L.B. Marks & co and has been in its present form since May 1993. The firm‘s strong reputation and success has been generated through the very high quality services it provides for its predominantly corporate clients, particularly in the IT and property sectors.
Davies and Partners Chairman Tom Brennan is delighted with the merger he said, “This move enables the firm to achieve its objective of expansion into London and the South East and to build on the success of our existing offices in Bristol, Birmingham and Gloucester. The development provides an important resource for our existing clients and enables our expanded team to provide the same high quality legal services we have offered clients for over 25 years, to new clients in the London and the South East.”
He continued, “The current economic climate is a difficult one for most firms around the UK but London is economically vibrant and this expansion enables Davies and Partners to reach a new client base and continue our plans for growth. For McEwen Parkinson’s clients this merger will mean a continuity of service with the added benefits of access to a wider range of specialist legal services and to our team of over 100 legal experts in the South West and Midlands.”
Greg McEwen said, “As a successful practice McEwen Parkinson has received interest from many firms over the years, but the merger with Davies and Partners was one we were delighted to progress as the firm shares very similar values and has shown a clear focus on providing the very highest standards of service to its clients, which is entirely compatible with our own business ethos.”
Employment Law: Latest Government Proposals
On 14 September 2012 the Business Secretary Vince Cable made further announcements on the Government’s future employment law reform. So what’s new?
1) No fault dismissal
Following consultation on the proposed no fault dismissal the Government has confirmed it will not take the proposals forward. However, the Government has said that it will work with ACAS to improve the Code of Practice for Disciplinary and Grievance procedures and develop an interactive tool for small businesses. This is in response for a call for greater clarity on the requirements of small businesses and more help in using the Code. Further which is also of interest is the fact that the Government has asked ACAS to consider how procedures for poor performance could be distinguished from procedures for misconduct.
2) Unfair dismissal compensation
The current unfair dismissal cap is £72,300 and it is being proposed to lower this cap. As such the Government has launched a consultation called “Ending the Employment Relationship”. This consultation will seek views on the proposed level of the cap and how it should be calculated. This consultation will close on 23 November 2012.
3) Settlement agreements
The proposed use of settlement agreements is not new. This is the new name for compromise agreements and if offers of settlement are made under this route it will not be admissible as evidence in a tribunal (subject to some exceptions). However, the Government under the Ending the Employment Relationship consultation has a series of proposals to simplify the use of a settlement agreement and these are:
a statutory code of practice on settlement agreements to include guidance and model letters and agreements for employers to use on a voluntary basis;
suggested model letters for employers to use to propose settlement terms in a variety of situations;
a suggested model settlement agreement and guidance notes; and
a guidance tariff to help parties set the severance payment.
4) TUPE 2006
A consultation was launched into TUPE over concerns that it was an overly bureaucratic process. As a result of a consultation the Government is now entering into a period of “policy design” where they will look at some of the suggestions raised which include (but not limited to):
whether the service provision change should be retained or repealed;
whether liability for employees should pass in their entirety or whether it should be held jointly and severally by both parties to the transfer; and
amending the regulations to ensure that a change in location of a business could now capable of constituting an economic, technical or organizational reason entailing changes in the workforce.
The Government also published a consultation regarding various Employment Tribunal rules. Many of the above proposals have triggered debates as to whether in practice they will work, whether they will assist the ailing economy or indeed whether the employee rights have been eroded. This can only be discovered in time and what is for sure, is that this is going to be a slow process and this won’t be the last we have heard of the concerns raised. Again watch this space particularly toward the end of the year when the Government publishes the results of the latest consultations.
Co-operative Family Law
The Co-op has launched a family law service with a promise that your call will be answered by a trained lawyer.
However, the Co-op does not promise that the “trained lawyer” will have any particular legal qualifications. If this is important to you, we advise you to check the qualifications of the person advising you.
Davies and Partners family law team is committed to providing a quality service by qualified lawyers. Our team currently comprises of fully qualified Solicitors in each of our three offices.
Mike Follis, Head of the family law team said “I welcome the competitive diversity which is available for clients seeking family law advice which can give clients more choice. The Co-op’s foray into family law does not promise that the client will deal with a qualified solicitor and to that extent the client has a choice. At Davies and Partners we have feedback from our clients who appreciate the fact that they are dealing with a qualified solicitor who specialises in family law”.
It's a dog's life at Frampton Country Fair
Specialist agricultural lawyers from Davies and Partners Solicitors in Gloucester sponsored the main attraction in the show arena at this year's highly successful Frampton Country Fair which was held on Sunday 9 September, 2012.
The firm sponsored the exciting Royal Signals Motorcycle Display Team, "The White Helmets" – who wowed visitors with two spectacular performances during the day.
Davies and Partners had a team of lawyers manning their stand at the event, and they all thoroughly enjoyed meeting the many clients, old and new, who took the time to stop by and say hello.
Agricultural lawyer John Fisher said, "We were delighted to have once again been sponsors at the Fair which is an integral part of the Gloucestershire countryside calendar. We all had a fabulous day and it was great to meet so many people and their dogs!. We ran a 'Best Dog' photo competition and we were overwhelmed with the number of people who wanted to enter their pooches! It's been a difficult choice to find a winner as there were some great photos - but the winner will be announced shortly!"
Photographs of the entrants in the "Fun Dog" competition can be seen here Show Pictures
New Senior Appointment in Corporate Commercial Team
Davies and Partners Solicitors has strengthened its Corporate Commercial team with the appointment of specialist corporate lawyer, David Robinson as Senior Consultant.
In his new role David will assist the firm in enhancing its leading position in corporate legal services in Birmingham, the West Midlands and the South West.
David joins Davies and Partners having worked as a Partner and Head of Corporate at a high profile West Midlands firm between 1992 and 2009. For the last three years David has been a Director with a niche commercial practice in the Midlands where he was responsible for corporate clients. His 20 years of experience cover a wide range of industry and business areas, including the engineering and automotive sectors.
Chairman and Head of the firm’s Corporate Commercial department, Tom Brennan said, “David’s experience in Corporate and Commercial work is excellent and further strengthens an already robust team. The firm’s objective is to offer client focused practical and professional advice. David’s appointment will help us continue to develop that objective.”
Davies and Partners has offices in Birmingham, Bristol and Gloucester. David will be based in the Birmingham office but as with all the firm’s fee earners, he will be available to advise clients across all three regions.
David said, “I am delighted to be joining Davies and Partners which has a strong reputation for its complete range of legal services. I am keen to use my expertise to assist the firm’s highly respected Corporate Commercial team to expand business further, throughout the West Midlands and the South West.”
Proposals for modernisation of Family Justice
The president of the family division Mr Justice Ryder has recently published a response to the Family Justice Review concerning the modernisation of family justice.
Gloucester Managing Partner appears in the European Court of Justice
Nigel Tillott, Managing Partner of Davies and Partner’s Gloucester Office, recently appeared in the European Court of Justice in Luxembourg. The case related to the interpretation of a recent European Directive relating to competitions and prizes.
Family’s Anger at Care Quality Commissions “insulting” response
The family of epilepsy sufferer James Stephens have expressed their anger at the Care Quality Commission’s response to their son’s death.
JCT Design and Build Contract Seminar
Jan Grimshaw and Simon Pressdee presented a seminar to architects in the Poole area on 29 May 2012.
"The ABC of the JCT" covered the changes to the JCT Design & Build Contract as a result of the Local Democracy, Economic Development and Construction Act 2009, bespoke changes to consider, case studies and a quiz on the new payment provisions".
The seminar will be repeated for architects in the Cheltenham area in October 2012.
Right Jan Grimshamw at Poole presentation
The Beecroft Report – what’s the buzz all about?
Parent Company's liability for Subsidiary's Employee
Two headline Age Discrimination cases recently decided
The Supreme Court has just handed down decisions in two very important cases relating to age discrimination. The first case of Seldon v Clarkson Wright & Jakes focuses on the test for justifying a retirement age and the second case of Homer v Chief Constable of West Yorkshire Police focuses on indirect age discrimination and whether someone was put at a disadvantage.
Seldon v Clarkson Wright & Jakes
Mr Seldon was a partner in a law firm and on his 65th birthday was compulsorily retired from the partnership in accordance with the partnership deed. Mr Seldon went on to claim direct discrimination on the grounds of age. Now although this case does deal with partnerships and not employee relations what is important to take note of is how the Supreme Court determined how objective justification of a retirement age should be applied.
Any retirement age implemented by an organisation is now potentially discriminatory unless it is objectively justified. Such justifications can include economic factors, health safety and welfare of employees or training requirements of a particular job. In this case Clarkson Wright & Jakes stated that they could justify the retirement age because it:
1) ensured associates had an opportunity of partnership;
2) facilitated planning of the partnership and the workforce; and
3) limited the need to expel partners by way of performance management leading to a congenial and supportive culture.
The Supreme Court held that although the compulsory retirement age was a discriminatory measure it was capable of being objectively justified because the three reasons set out above complied with social policy.
For any organisation retaining its retirement age, it is important that they have good evidence to support why they wish to retain a retirement age and that there is not a less discriminatory or non discriminatory way of achieving the same result.
Homer v Chief Constable of West Yorkshire Police
Mr Homer who was 62, worked for the Police National Legal Database. When he joined the organisation there was no requirement for a law degree to be held by the postholder provided they had sufficient skills and experience. A new grading srtucture containing three tiers was introduced with the final tier requiring the individual to hold a law degree. Therefore unless Mr Homer undertook a part time law degree which would have taken four years he would not have achieved this grading. Further he was required to retire at 65 and therefore had no means of achieving the grading before he left his employer.
He claimed indirect age discrimination because he felt his age group would suffer a particular disadvantage compared with others. The Supreme Court held that Mr Homer had indeed been put at a disadvantage because persons in Mr Homer's position were disadvantaged because of a reason (his impending retirement) which directly related to his age.
Although he had been put at a disadvantage it is still open for the employer to justify the discriminatory position taken and so this has been remitted to the employment tribunal for their consideration. This means that the matter is ongoing and it will be interesting to see if the employer can indeed objectively justify its decision making process.
If you would like to discuss any matters arising from the above please contact the employment team on T: 01454 619619 or 01452 612345 or email
Employment Seminar - The Future of Employment Law
Davies and Partners specialist employment team is holding a seminar on The Future of Employment Law on Thursday 29 March 2012 at 4.30 p.m.
The Government has announced major changes in employment law (yet again!). Some of these will come into force as early as April this year and other changes will come into effect next year.
The changes are likely to significantly change the employment landscape. There are a mixed bag of measures. In some circumstances it will be harder for employees to bring claims, compulsory conciliation periods are likely to be introduced and employers will often face fines payable to the Government if a case is lost.
The seminar takes place at Davies and Partners Gloucester offices at Rowan House, Barnett Way, Barnwood, Gloucester, GL4 3RT from 4.30 p.m.
The seminar is FREE OF CHARGE. We will discuss the changes, both actual and proposed and look at how they are likely to impact upon your business.
Space will be limited so please contact the employment department on 01452 612345 to book
Davies and Partners Supports BiG Campaign in Gloucester
Davies and Partners Solicitors in Gloucester is supporting a new community campaign Believe in Gloucester which
celebrates all that is great about Gloucester, from its rich history and sporting prowess, to the city's fantastic events and most importantly, its people.
Gloucester office’s Managing Partner Nigel Tillott and Partner Jude Rodrigues attended the launch of the Believe in Gloucester Campaign on 29 February at Gloucester Cathedral's Parliament Rooms. The campaign was officially launched by former England Rugby Captain and Gloucester legend Phil Vickery MBE.
Commenting Nigel Tillott said, "We were delighted to be able to attend the launch of the Believe in Gloucester Campaign. This is an initiative which Davies and Partners backs wholeheartedly. The firm was established in Barnwood, Gloucester, almost 25 years ago and we remain committed to the city.
In the past the city has perhaps suffered from a negative self-image. But in recent years this has really started to turn around. There is an awful lot going on in Gloucester and a lot to be proud of. Now is a good time to mark that success and use it as a catalyst to achieve much more in the future".
Errors by Ambulance Service cause Heart Attack
A Bristol man has won the right to Legal Aid to help him pursue a claim against Great Western Ambulance Services NHS Trust and University Hospitals Bristol NHS Foundation Trust, following a severe breakdown in procedure in his treatment for chest pains, which resulted in him suffering a heart attack.
In September 2011, Mr Ward from Horfield in Bristol began to experience severe chest pains in the early hours of the morning. His wife dialled 999 and requested an ambulance. When the ambulance arrived the paramedics carried out an ECG and it was decided that Mr Ward should be transferred immediately to the Bristol Heart Institute (BHI).
Had the correct procedure been followed the ambulance crew should have contacted the BHI directly, who would have alerted its specialist Coronary Team to be prepared and waiting for Mr Ward’s arrival at a specially designated emergency entrance, where they could have taken over his care.
Unfortunately for Mr Ward, this procedure was not followed. As a result, when Mr Ward arrived at the BHI the ambulance crew were unable to gain access. The reason for this is that access to the BHI is not possible in the early hours of the morning unless they have been informed about a patient’s arrival in advance.
Mr Ward was then kept waiting outside the BHI for around 25 minutes before the error was realised and the ambulance was finally given access to the BHI. This was incredibly distressing for Mr Ward, who could see the ambulance crew becoming more and more concerned as his condition deteriorated. Unfortunately, as Mr Ward was being transferred from the ambulance onto a trolley, he suffered a cardiac arrest. He was successfully resuscitated but the attack has left him with permanent damage to his heart, which now only works to 36% of its original capacity. Had Mr Ward received the immediate treatment by the specialist Coronary Team at the BHI on his arrival, it is believed the heart attack could have been avoided.
Although it has become increasing difficult for people to receive Legal Aid, Mr Ward has been successful in obtaining Legal Aid to help him investigate his case. If, however, the government proposals contained in the Legal Aid, Sentencing and Punishment of Offenders Bill, goes through, Legal Aid will be abolished in cases such as Mr Ward’s. His specialist clinical negligence lawyer, Suzanne Williams at Davies and Partners Solicitors is now seeking compensation for him from the Great Western Ambulance Services NHS Trust and University Hospitals Bristol NHS Foundation Trust, for the permanent damage to his heart, which has reduced his ability to work and earn. Compensation is also being sought for the considerable psychological damage he suffered following the 25 minutes delay he encountered before he was admitted into the hospital.
Suzanne Williams from Davies and Partners stated “I am very pleased for Mr Ward that he has been granted Legal Aid to investigate his claim. The delay in receiving treatment has had a devastating effect upon him. He can no longer work and care for his family. I hope that Davies and Partners can assist him in obtaining some compensation which will help ease the financial difficulties that he now finds himself him.”
Human Rights ruling on Mental Health patients
Davies and Partners Solicitors welcome the ruling of the Supreme Court in Rabone –v- Pennine Care NHS Trust which is a significant step forward in protecting vulnerable mental health patients.
The case arose out of the death of 24 year old Melanie Rabone. At the time of her death, Melanie was suffering with a severe recurrent depressive disorder. She had made several suicide attempts in the past and had agreed to a voluntary admission to hospital to undergo psychiatric treatment. She was kept under frequent observations and noted to be a medium – high suicide risk. Although she was a voluntary patient it was felt that if she attempted to leave the ward, she was to be assessed with a view to detention under the mental health legislation.
Melanie requested a period of home leave. Her parents believed this should not be granted because of her known suicide risk. Despite this, on 19April 2005, she was granted 2 days home leave. On 20 April, Melanie hanged herself from a tree.
Her parents subsequently issued claims for negligence on behalf of her estate and a claim in their own right for breach of Article 2 of the European Convention on Human Rights. Article 2 imposes a positive duty on States to take preventative operational measures to safeguard an individual’s life in certain circumstances. The negligence claim was settled in the sum of £7,500 plus legal costs but the Article 2 claim was pursued to the Supreme Court. The Supreme Court ruled in favour of Melanie’s parents.
The Court determined that the duty under Article 2 extended to patients detained voluntarily under mental health legislation. The Hospital’s duty was to take reasonable steps to protect against a real risk of suicide. The Supreme Court heard evidence that no reasonable psychiatrist would have allowed Melanie home leave on 20 October and in those circumstances, article 2 had been breached.
Another issue before the Court was whether the parents had lost the right to bring a claim under the Convention because of the settlement of the estate’s claim. The Supreme Court ruled they had not. Under the Convention a person ceases to be a victim of a breach if the State has provided adequate redress and acknowledged the breach either expressly or by implication. In this case, the breach had not been acknowledged and the estate’s settlement was not adequate redress as it did not include a bereavement award for the parents. The Supreme Court approved an earlier damages award of £5,000 to each parent.
This decision is significant because previous case law drew a distinction between mental health patients who were detained compulsorily and those detained voluntarily. Those who were compulsorily detained benefited from Article 2 protection whilst those who were detained voluntarily did not. The reality is, as was acknowledged by the Supreme Court, that the distinction is one of form and not substance. In this case, Melanie Rabone was detained because of her suicide risk. If she wished to leave, she could not do so if assessed to be suitable for detention.
Davies and Partners welcomes this decision which addresses the injustice caused by distinguishing detained and voluntary patients in the context of Article 2. At a time when Human Rights legislation is under fire from the Government, the case demonstrates how it can be used to protect the most vulnerable in society.
If you would like to discuss any matters arising from this case, please contact the clinical negligence team at Davies and Partners. T: 01454 619619 E:
Legal Aid and “No Win, No Fee” Changes Postponed
Government proposals to change funding for civil cases, including clinical negligence claims are being deferred for six months. The Legal Aid, Sentencing and Punishment of Offenders Bill is currently going through Parliament. The Bill had been scheduled for implementation in October 2012 but is now due to come into effect in April 2013.
Davies and Partners Head of Clinical Negligence, Ewan Lockhart, commented: “If the Bill is passed as drafted victims of clinical negligence will not have access to Legal Aid. The only method of funding open to many will be new-style Conditional Fee Agreements (CFAs). These are popularly known as “No win, no fee” agreements. Under the proposed new CFA scheme victims would have to pay large sums of money, even if they were successful and needed every penny of their damages to cover their care costs.
We welcome the delay and hope that it will result in changes to the Bill. I urge anyone who thinks they may have a claim to consult a specialist clinical negligence solicitor now while more favourable funding arrangements are still available.”
Davies and Partners Launches New Family Mediation Service
Davies and Partners Solicitors has launched a Family Mediation Service at its Bristol office in Aztec West Business Park.
The demand for mediation as a means of resolving disputes between separating couples has greatly increased following the Government’s introduction of rules in April of last year which mean that anyone setting out to contest the terms of their separation in court is first required to consider mediation.
The Government’s approach to mediation is supported by the independent Family Justice Review Panel, which recently published a package of recommendations aimed at improving the Family Justice System in England and Wales. These included the increased use of family mediation.
Research shows that couples find mediation extremely useful in the early stages of separation in providing impartial information on the law and legal procedures. Some of the other benefits of mediation are that it: enables couples to examine and explore the options open to them in a confidential setting; assists couples in making informed decisions; facilitates communication and cooperation; and is a cost-effective alternative to the court process.
Davies and Partners' mediator is trained by Resolution, a member organization of the Family Mediation Council, and is a Senior Solicitor in our Matrimonial and Family Department.
For detailed information about our Family Mediation Service click here
For details of our Family Mediation Service fees click here
Davies and Partners achieves CQS Accreditation
Davies and Partners is delighted to announce that the firm has been awarded accreditation by the Law Society to the Conveyancing Quality Scheme.
The Law Society launched the CQS in December 2010 to be an immediately recognisable mark of excellence in the provision of residential conveyancing services. The big clue is in the title. It is all about quality.
Stephen McColgan, a partner based at our Bristol office has led this initiative and has been responsible for piecing together in painstaking detail the information required by the Law Society to prove the accreditation of our practice is merited. He comments:-
“This is a very important step forward for Davies and Partners. It underlines very strongly our commitment to delivering conveyancing services by highly experienced well qualified lawyers, supported by suburb staff and state of the art technology. CQS covers all of our people involved in residential property for private clients and also our large team that acts for well known names in the house-building industry conveying new homes and part exchanged properties. Our residential property teams are based in Gloucester, Bristol and Birmingham and receive instructions from every part of England and Wales. This is why, for us, CQS reaches so far into areas of practice where we offer great expertise to our clients.
Essentially CQS means that all of our colleagues undertaking this work have had their identities and professional qualifications verified. They have undergone Criminal Records Bureau checks. Their commitment to and attendance at many hours of continuing professional development courses and private study has had to be recorded and reviewed. These requirements of CQS are not one-offs but will be continuing commitments as accreditation once granted by the Law Society is subject to annual review and there are no guarantees that it will be renewed. The firm’s management procedures are subjected to detailed scrutiny as part of the process”.
Stephen further comments: “This reminds us to review constantly our standards and continuously raise the bar. The client must always come first. We are in a service industry. The client is entitled to be assured that our services will be delivered to the highest standards. CQS accreditation will enable us to demonstrate this against the backdrop of independent assessment using objective criteria. For a firm of our size and complexity to have been awarded this accreditation demonstrates our commitment to providing quality services in an increasingly competitive market place”.
BBC's The One Show highlights problems of unqualified Will writers
As was evidenced on the BBC’s 'The One Show' broadcast on 11th January 2012 there are problems with making a Will with a person who is not legally qualified.
Elizabeth Stilwell, private client associate with Davies and Partners Solicitors, advises people who want to make a Will to contact a solicitor.
Elizabeth said “people who are employed by Will Writers may have completed a short course but this is nothing in comparison with the years of rigorous legal training which solicitors have to complete before they are permitted to qualify as a lawyer.
“I have come across similar cases to that highlighted in The One Show item and I have dealt with distressed relatives who have found themselves in similar situations. For example having a poorly drafted Will which renders the deceased’s wishes ineffective.
“I urge people to consider very carefully before putting themselves and the assets they have worked so hard to earn in the hands of Will Writers. By going to a solicitor to make your Will you know you are speaking to someone with years of legal experience and who has proven professional legal qualifications and is required by law to be fully insured. Solicitors also do not generally charge for the storage of Wills nor do they charge for the release of a Will to the client. It is not uncommon for Will Writers to charge for the storage of a Will and to make a further charge for the release of the Will to the client.”
Davies and Partners has a specialist Wills, Trusts and Estates team who are all fully qualified lawyers and experienced in producing wills which meet the individual needs of their clients. If you would like to discuss a will or any problems you may have in respect of dealing with rogue will writers or estate administrators please contact Elizabeth Stilwell at Davies and Partners solicitors, 01454 619619.
PIP Implant Interim report published
The interim report of the expert group set up by the Government to look into the issue of PIP (Poly Implant Prostheses) implants was published on 6 January 2012.
The report was commissioned following the discovery that the French manufacturer of PIP implants had been using industrial rather than medical grade silicone. This information came to light due to concerns about the rate of rupture in these implants. Initial advice was that there was no medical reason to remove them in the absence of clinical symptoms of rupture. However, in December 2011, the French regulator raised concerns about the number of ruptures and a possible increased cancer risk. The interim expert report, commissioned to consider whether advice on removal should be revised, has found no evidence to support this. The report therefore concludes that there is no need to revise current guidance.
In response to widespread public concern, the UK Government have confirmed it will take the following action in relation to PIP implants:
The NHS will contact women who have had a PIP implant to notify them of this and will provide information and advice;
NHS patients seeking information about the make of their implants will be provided this free of charge;
People will be able to consult their GP or the surgical team who fitted the implant for clinical advice and assessment;
If following such an assessment, the patient and doctor consider removal is appropriate, the NHS will support this. Where the original surgery was performed by the NHS, the NHS will replace the implants.
In its report, the expert group commented that it expects private healthcare providers to take the same steps.
The interim report highlights the problem of accurate data in this area which is contributed to by the fact that healthcare providers are not compelled to report incidents of breast implant failure to the healthcare regulator. At Davies and Partners, we have encountered cases where our contact with the regulator is the first notification they have received of a problem with that particular implant.
In order to address this problem, the expert group (together with other government agencies such as the National Patient Safety Agency) is to prepare a report on lessons to be learned from the current arrangements for monitoring the safety of implantable devices, and of the regulation and governance of the cosmetic surgery industry. The need for regulation of this industry has already been identified in a report by the National Confidential Enquiry into Patient Outcomes and Death in September 2010 - see our article “Cosmetic Surgery Providers Could Do Better” click here
and at Davies and Partners we hope this recommendation is now acted upon.
If you have any concerns about PIP or other implants, please contact the clinical negligence team at Davies and Partners.
Bribery Act Seminar Thursday 15 December
Davies and Partners Solicitors, in Association with UK Trade & Investment are holding a free breakfast seminar on Thursday 15 December at 8.45 am to 10.45 am, which looks at the legal implications of the new Bribery Act on international business.
Speakers include James Vine Barrister who is a specialist in the new Act and Davies and Partner’s Head of Employment, Nigel Tillott. The event is being held at the Holiday Inn Hotel, Crest Way, Barnwood, Gloucester, GL4 3RX. For further information please download Seminar flyer click here
Lawyer wins Gold Medal
The Managing Partner of Davies and Partners Solicitors in Birmingham David Stokes, has returned home triumphant from the Hockey World Masters (over 40s) Cup in Singapore sporting a well earned Gold Medal.
David, 43, and his England Squad team mates won the prestigious tournament after beating favourites Australia 4-3 in a tight game in the group stages and then defeating New Zealand 4-0 in the final. In all of the six matches the England team played they scored 33 goals and only conceded three against Australia, which is believed to be a record for England Masters.
David, who is a partner in the Land Acquisition and Development Department at Davies and Partners Solicitors in Birmingham, lives in Bromsgrove and has been playing Hockey for over 30 years. He currently plays for Stourport Hockey Club in the Midlands Premier League and previously played for Gloucester City in the National League.
David was selected for the England Masters team last spring following his performances for the West of England over 40s in a regional tournament and in the subsequent England trials.
David said, “It was a fantastic experience playing for my country in this prestigious tournament and there were some excellent matches. We played better than we could have imagined and did not let the high temperatures and humidity in Singapore put us off. Winning the Gold medal was a huge achievement as the Australian and New Zealand teams were the firm favourites. We are all extremely proud.”
Gloucester Office Open Evening
Davies and Partners' Gloucester Office opened its doors to the local community last week to welcome clients old and new to meet their team.
The Open Evening was the idea of Nigel Tillott who, since taking over the role as Managing Partner for the Gloucester office earlier this year, has been keen to highlight that Davies and Partners is very much a part of the Gloucester business community. Nigel wanted to invite clients and contacts to their Barnwood Business Park offices so they could meet the firm’s team of 137 staff.
As well as having a chance to chat with the team of solicitors from the firm’s various specialist legal departments, guests were also able to listen to a number of seminars on specific areas of the law such as employment, regulatory and planning law.
On welcoming guests to the Open Evening, Nigel said, “One of the most enjoyable tasks of being a solicitor involves visiting our clients’ premises and getting a real feel for how their businesses operate. So we wanted to reciprocate and invite all our clients and contacts to come and visit us in our offices and get to know how we all work.”
The open evening was very well attended and Nigel and the team hope that as a result clients and contacts have learned a little more about the firm and to understand a little more about the wide variety of legal services they provide. To view a selection of photos from the Open Evening please click here