Wednesday, 28 November 2012

How To Stay Safe and Cut Accidents On The Road

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Can I Claim - car accidentRoad accidents are a common occurrence and in the winter festive season, when nights are longer and drivers undergo more stress, accidents are more likely to happen. In the run up to the festive season, the likelihood of driving whilst drunk or driving whilst tired are the most common causes of road accidents. They could potentially happen to anyone, whether in a car, on a bike or as an unfortunate pedestrian in the wrong place at the wrong time.

Tackle Driver Fatigue

For business owners that utilise commercial vehicles, it is important to allow your drivers plenty of rest time on long journeys. Government figures show that 40% of sleep-related accidents on the road are caused by commercial vehicles and this could lead to dangerous accidents.

Failing to take drivers rest needs into account could lead to a car accident that could damage your company’s reputation more than a late arrival would. Other drivers involved in the accident may seek compensation against your company, as it was your vehicle that was involved in the accident. For a long journey with a commercial vehicle, drivers should be allowed a 15 minute rest break for every 2 hours of the journey.

Reduce Speed

Speed is another concern which needs to be addressed – especially by commercial drivers. It is common practice to calculate a schedule for your drivers that accounts for the speed limits of all roads utilised in the journey, but in the winter, when the roads may be iced over and slippery, the vehicles will need to drive slower. Schedules should reflect this and it is important that you stress the importance of road safety to all your drivers.

Focus on the Road

It is a common scenario for business managers or employees to take important phone calls whilst driving. Whilst this is perfectly legal, provided a hands-free kit is in operation, reaction times are reduced by up to 50% as a result. Advice from the government’s THINK! campaign is to not use mobile phones whilst driving at all so encourage your drivers to park up safely before answering a call.

Failure to do this could again attract unwanted damage claims toward your company and also damage your reputation.

Stay Safe

Keeping vehicles regularly checked is another things which you should do to ensure the safety of your drivers and all those using the roads. Make sure all vehicles are given a regular service and encourage your drivers to check vital fluid levels and other important components on a regular basis. Any problems with vehicles should be reported immediately and you should have a strict policy in place to have these rectified immediately.

Sunday, 25 November 2012

RoF break an exclusive (if not so fresh) story to readers!!!

divorce lawyerFrom RoF 23/11/12:

Exclusive: Clarke Willmott no longer accepts trainee applications
Clarke Willmott has confirmed that it will no longer be accepting training contract applications from students. The firm will however continue to take on trainees from its stock of paralegals.

Shock horror – or what?!?

Well, actually, Clarke Willmott have been openly saying that on their website since May or June (and that’s just since I’ve been aware of it; this may have been the case for even longer).

I suppose it still counts as an “exclusive” if it’s been common knowledge for yonks, and nobody is interested in “breaking” it. Just not a very worthy one, that’s all.

It must’ve been a slow news day over at RoF last week!!

At first sight, this might seem a great scheme: CW can try before it buys, as it will be able to thoroughly test its candidates' pagination skills before offering a training contract. And the firm won't have to foot any students' LPC fees.

But how many students will go for a paralegal job at CW if they are offered a training contact at another firm? CW may save a few quid, but it risks scraping the bottom of the grad rec barrel.

That grad rec barrel is a big and deep one, folks. I don’t think legal talent will be in short supply any time soon. And besides that, I’m surprised that more firms haven’t adopted this approach, quite frankly. It strikes me as a logical and meritocratic way of sourcing trainee solicitors.

Monday, 19 November 2012

The Most Reputable Law Firm

(Whatever that really means!!).

best solicitor

  From Inside Buzz (News Release – 5th November 2012):

Slaughter and May has been ranked as the most reputable law firm in the UK by trainees and solicitors surveyed by career information publisher Inside Buzz in the 2013 edition of their guide An Inside Look at Law Firms, released this month.

Eye rolling smile No, don’t roll your eyes! Naughty.

In total, 1,089 practicing [sic] trainees and solicitors from across the UK were asked to rate fifty peer law firms (excluding their own) on a scale of one to ten, based on how prestigious they perceive the firms to be.





Slaughter and May



Allen & Overy



Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer






Clifford Chance



Herbert Smith



White & Case



Weil, Gotshal & Manges



Skadden Arps



Latham & Watkins


The top 5 or so were always going to occupy those slots; the only doubt, surely, was the precise order.

Worth keeping on file ready to compare and contrast repost next year.  Be right back

In addition to ranking peer firms’ reputation, trainees and solicitors were also asked to rate their own law firms in a variety of categories including salary, hours, culture, training and selectivity, among others. These rankings can be found here.

Some of the results are quite interesting.

Wednesday, 14 November 2012

Compensation Claims for Personal Injury

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Compensation claims uk
If you have been injured in an accident which wasn’t your fault, there are several ways of obtaining compensation.

The most common option is by bringing a legal action in a civil court (typically by instructing a specialist personal injury lawyer).

Your solicitor may be able to help you access financial support as quickly as possible, particularly if your injuries mean you are unable to work.

As an injured victim, you may be able to claim for two types of compensation – known as general damages & special damages.

General damages are intended to compensate for the general, imprecise effects flowing from an injury you have suffered. It follows that they are not easily quantifiable. For instance, it could include money to compensate for pain and suffering, for a loss of future earnings or for loss of enjoyment of life. The court will decide on the amount that you are to be awarded based on all the circumstances involved.

However, special damages are paid to compensate for specific financial loss caused by the accident up to the date of the hearing. For instance, these can include damage to clothing or other personal belongings, the costs of healthcare, travelling to hospital, medical expenses (including the cost of private treatment) plus the cost of hiring and/or repairing your car if it was damaged in the incident.

One factor which can have a bearing on the amount of damages awarded is contributory negligence. If the court determines you were partly to blame for the accident, it may reduce the amount of damages it awards. For instance, if you were injured in a car accident but you were not wearing a seat belt at the time, it may determine that the injuries you sustained where partly as a result of your own conduct.

Another issue to be mindful of is the deduction of benefits from an award of compensation. If you have been receiving social security benefits as a result of the accident, you may be required to pay these back from any compensation you are awarded.

The rules governing deduction of damages from benefits are complex; your personal injury solicitor will be able to advise you further.

Sunday, 11 November 2012

Spray Pepper with your phone

It turns out there’s not an app for that.

spray that pepper

From the Register 09/11/12:

An Arizona man concerned for the safety of his college-bound daughter has created a personal-protection device that she's sure to carry with her everywhere: an iPhone case that doubles as a pepper-spray shooter.

No, really.

"Most [students] don't go anywhere without their smartphone," inventor Scott McPherson notes on the website of his company, Spraytect, "so the optimal solution was to combine her phone and a safety device."

If you say so, Scott.

Truth be told, McPherson did a rather slick job when designing the prosaically named Pepper Spray Phone Case, which comes in black, white, turqoise, (sic) and pink, and can deliver an eye-biting spray at a distance of six to eight feet.

Just less of a slick job when it came to naming it, then.

And if you think you might need some target practice with it, McPherson’s got that covered, too.

[It] helpfully includes a non-irritating test cartridge so that you can practice your draw, aim, and shoot skills without endangering your mates.

Being well prepared is a good thing, but I don’t think college students should be encouraged to go out on a date expecting to use their pepper spray. Shouldn’t it be reserved as a ‘last resort’ thing?

In addition to its personal protection raison d'ĂȘtre, the protruding cartridge housing also acts as a kickstand that "allows you to watch movies and videos keeping your phone upright without propping or holding it," the Spraytect website notes.

Oh, I’ve heard it all now.pepper spray phone case

Users of a nervous disposition will no doubt watch movies with their trigger finger poised over the spray button. I wonder how long it’ll be before a horror movie they’re watching causes an inadvertent release of pepper spray and a resultant claim from an enraged (and innocent) fellow passenger they were sitting next to?

Sounds like a disaster waiting to happen to me. (Then again, I was always a pessimistic one).

Thursday, 8 November 2012

College Students Present: How to become a solicitor

(Plus tips on rubbing your own belly for camera).  And that’s always a good thing, right? Be right back

And…. action!

Yes, this video extravaganza from a group of college students charts the training pathway involved in becoming a solicitor.  It seems like one needs:

1.  GCSEs,
2.  A levels,
(no previous knowledge of law is preferred)  Surprised smile (are universities really still saying that?

3.  Then a degree (a qualifying law degree or a non-qualifying law degree any old one will do when combined with the GDL,

4.  The legal practice course,

5.  And once that’s completed, a training contract for 2 years. 

Well, I’m glad they cleared that up.
Please tell me the careers advisor didn’t put them up to this?Thinking smile

Btw - hat tip to Legal Cheek for flagging this up in the first place.  (Never let it be said that I don’t give credit where it’s due.)

I took a particular interest in it when I realised the college at which this home video howler was filmed wasn’t a million miles away from where I used to live at one time.

I absolutely dread to think what this part of the syllabus making this video fell under.

Anyhow, I’ve spent the last few minutes snickering at the guy on the left who takes great pleasure (I mean really great, judging by the look on his face) at rubbing his own belly in the background. 

Become a solicitor zoomYeah baby

But he’s not the only one to get in on the belly-rubbing action.

Belly Rub Student

All we need now is for someone to pull a silly face.  Ah – there we go.


It’s strange how none of the girls partook in the silliness. Must be a maturity thing.Eye rolling smile

Wasn’t college just great? 

Monday, 5 November 2012

Young Lawyer … anything but Inspiration

I love hate to nit-pick but, you know, Young Lawyer should be setting an example and trying to encourage attention to detail – not making copywriting faux pas.

I’m sure you can imagine my disappointment, dear reader, when the following email plopped into my inbox on Friday afternoon explaining how by ‘liking’ Young Lawyer’s Facebook pic, I could get my sorry ass in the prize draw for a Dell “Inspiration” laptop.  Ahem.
Be right back

junior lawyer - dell laptop

Besides which, I’m not on Facebook and I don’t like things.  Be right back

Why the hell am I still on their mailing list anyway.  Ah, yes, I remember - so I can watch out for incidents like these.

Oh well.  Blame it on the copywriter, I say.  Bit stingy, though; the inspiron models are low-end and anything but inspiring.

Still, not all Dells are that bad.  My desktop PC is an Dell XPS 630i dating from 2008 and still going like a trooper.  It’s built like a tank and is remains one of my trusty workhorses (an American would add, “knock on wood” here). 
dell xps 630iAfter I upgraded from Vista to Windows 7 in January 2010, the Nvidia driver didn’t support the changeable chassis lights any longer, so I’ve had to leave it on the default ice-blue ever since.  Shame. 
Eye rolling smile

I also had to replace the graphics card this summer after the old SLI config it shipped with melted under the strain of me playing F1 2011 in my balmy office!!.

The law actually office ... at play

And yes, before anyone comments, I bet Lewis Hamilton doesn’t have to rely on wedging his pedals in position with a box file behind them.  Still, it works for me.