Thursday, October 27, 2011

Sponsored blog post: Abide by UK Divorce Rules for a Problem-Free Separation


The mere idea of filing for a divorce in the United Kingdom can prove to be an intimidating task for anybody. The picture of splitting up from your spouse can undoubtedly be a painful experience, but the actual divorce procedure can also be as painful if it is not carried out properly. If you want a successful separation from your partner without any difficulty, it is essential to comprehend the divorce rules and process in the UK. A complete understanding of the rules will assist you in getting over the impediments that you might otherwise go through.     

According to the divorce rules here, it is a mandatory that one of the partners has resided in the country all through the year preceding the split up. In case none of the parties contends the divorce, then the process for an undefended divorce will be initiated, which consumes a minimum of 6 months. In the absence of any kids or real property in common, you do not even need a solicitor. The judge will come to a decision known as decree nisi and you won’t have to present yourself before the judge at the proceeding. The UK divorce rules state that after the passing of 6 weeks from the decree nisi, the applicant will seek the ultimate decree absolute that marks the legal termination of a marriage. In case one partner contests the divorce, a defended divorce process will commence and the need for a solicitor will arise.  

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Bristol and the West Country Food Blog

There's a great food blog which covers Bristol and the West Country called South West Foodie. It's written by someone with both a passion for food and an ability to pass that on to others in a clear and enjoyable way. It's informative, funny and also a very good guide to what's hot. Restaurants covered include the following in Bristol: The Pump House, The Lido, Flinty Red, Three Coqs Brasserie, The Gastro Bar and Grill. There are also reviews of restaurants in North Devon such as The Corner Bistro, the Riverside and of course Braunton's famous Squire's Fish and Chips. You can find it at www.southwestfoodie.com.

Book recommendation: 'The Man Who Planted Trees' by Jean Giono


An allegorical tale, urging readers to rediscover the harmonies of the countryside and prevent its wilful destruction.

Available from Amazon.co.uk

Friday, October 21, 2011

RebeccasReads review of 'Law and Peace'


Very many thanks to RebeccasReads for reviewing my new book Law and Peace. You can read the review here or below. You can buy the book at Amazon.co.uk

The title of this book is a misnomer? With law and lawyers how can peace ever prevail…and more importantly how can lawyers live in a world of peace. I am reminded of the work “Utopia” wherein it is remarked that there are no lawyers in Utopia…for lawyers are persons who take advantage of misfortune- and Utopia is the perfect society, the only society were law and peace prevails.

Having read “Law and Disorder” a couple of years back, I knew that the author Tim Kevan has the stuff in him to give you a punch…but what “Law and Peace” provides is not merely a punch, but a real kick that will knock you over.

BabyBarista the protagonist whom we first met in “Law and Disorder” has learned the hard tricks of the trade…lying, cheating and all other underhand dealings to become a good lawyer. But BabyB is deep in financial trouble. He has to get out quick- come clean and save his neck…otherwise everything would be downhill. So does BabyB deal with it? Like a good lawyer he engages in shifty deals, blackmail and some share dealing techniques the types of which one might not even have heard in Wall Street.

What follows is a hilariously funny read which satires the legal profession to its maximum. Not since the days of A. P. Herbert and Laurance Polak has the humorous side of law been so much explored. The demise of John Mortimer a couple of years back left a void in pure legal fiction….and now that vacuum has been filled. Welcome Tim Kevan, the John Mortimer of the 21st century.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Book recommendation: 'The Hopeless Life Of Charlie Summers' by Paul Torday


Hector Chetwode-Talbot, Eck to his friends, has left the army and is slightly at a loss as to what to do next, when he is approached by an old army pal, Bilbo Mountwilliam. Bilbo runs an investment fund company and business is booming. Bilbo persuades Eck to join the company as a 'greeter' for moneyed clients. All Eck has to do is supply the contacts with entertainment and large G&Ts and then the fund managers will do the rest. Soon Eck is able to buy himself a luxury sports car and decadent flat. It is on a golfing trip to France that Eck first meets Charlie Summers, a fly-by-night entrepreneur whose latest scheme is to import Japanese dog food into the UK. Soon Charlie lands on Eck's doorstep with his suitcase, intent on staying and relaunching his dog food business in the area. But with the financial crash looming, Eck begins to ask himself if they are so very different...

Available from Amazon.co.uk

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Skypecast interview No.8 with top Radio 4 poet Matt Harvey

This is the eighth in a series of Skypecasts with the wonderful Radio 4 Saturday Live poet (and fellow Devon resident) Matt Harvey. His two most recent collections of poems are Where Earwigs Dare and  The Hole in the Sum of my Parts and you can see others here. For more information about Matt visit his website at www.mattharvey.co.uk. The poem about my Dad Robin Kevan (aka Rob the Rubbish) is, with Matt's kind permission, at The Barrister Blog.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Launch of 'Official Lawyers Handbook' - the ultimate guide to surviving a legal career!

Heads up for a great new book entitled The Queen's Counsel Official Lawyer's Handbook by Daniel R.White and Alex Williams. The Queen's Counsel is a cartoon satire by Alex on law and lawyers appearing on Thursdays in the law pages of The Times. Collecting together the very best of the cartoon strip with the sagest of lawyerly advice the Handbook is the ultimate guide to surviving a legal career. Tips include: How to get into a top law firm and stay there', 'Racking up billable hours the easy way', 'Partnership: you can make it if you know what to kiss' and 'Understanding what lawyers do and how to stop them doing it to you'.

By way of background, Alex is a top animator and cartoonist whose Queen's Counsel cartoons not only appear in The Times but also in numerous books including Lawyers Uncovered. He also does the cartoons for BabyBarista and has had two more excellent books published recently: 101 Ways to Leave the Law and 101 Uses for a Useless Banker. You can buy the new Handbook at amazon.co.uk. Alex also offers almost all of his cartoons for sale at £120 for originals and £40 for copies and they can be obtained from this email info@qccartoon.com.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Book recommendation: 'Liar's Poker' by Michael Lewis


'An amazing book, readable, funny and mind-boggling ... one of the great business books of all time' (Punch )

'Read all about it: headlong greed, inarticulate obscenity, Animal House horseplay . . .' (The Sunday Times )

'Immense verve and wit' (20/20 Magazine )

'A highly immoral book' (Daily Mail )

'Wickedly funny' (Daily Express )

'As traders would say, this book is a buy' (Financial Times )

Available on Amazon.co.uk

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Book recommendation: 'Fold' by Tom Campbell


I've just finished reading Fold by Tom Campbell and couldn't recommend it more highly. It follows a bunch (or maybe a pack) of five men in their early forties who meet up every month to play poker. But really poker's just a metaphor for the lucky and luckless lives they each are leading and the existential crises they suffer as they crawl helplessly into middle age. They're all stuck in their various ruts in the suburbs of Reading and each starts lashing out at the others as if in a last roar of an ageing lion (or in some cases the last squeak of a dying mouse). But ultimately the odyssey upon which each one of them has embarked inevitably brings them back to their home shores, perhaps not wiser but at least a little more appreciative of the few good hands they've variously been dealt. It's deliciously funny, insightful and also at times terribly sad and reminded me of books such as The Dice Man by Luke Rhinehart and one of my all-time favourites Lucky Jim by Kingsley Amis. I've heard it said that if men want to try and understand women they should watch 'Sex and the City'. Well, if women want to try and understand a little more about the mid-life crisis of the suburban British male then they might do worse than start with this fantastically entertaining debut novel from Tom Campbell. You can buy it at amazon.co.uk.

Friday, October 7, 2011

How about Dominic Grieve to replace Ken Clarke as Justice Secretary?

I see that The Guardian are predicting that Ken Clarke will be given ‘enforced retirement’ at the next reshuffle along with potentially other justice ministers Crispin Blunt and Jonathan Djanogly. With the enormous changes being introduced by the Department for Justice, if the ministerial changes do happen as predicted it’s crucial that high quality ministers with a good grasp of detail are appointed. For my part, I’d like to see the Attorney General (and my former pupilmaster) Dominic Grieve take over as Justice Secretary (and with it also the role of Lord Chancellor). As for junior ministers, I don’t think they should necessarily limit themselves to former lawyers. Instead, how about going for some of the very brightest of the new intake of MPs such as Kwasi Kwarteng and Louise Mensch?

Top tips for the online lawyer


Following on from my previous iPad and copyright tips, here's a few quick helpful technical tips for blogging:

1. Shorten the url for use on Twitter: http://is.gd/create.php

2. Re-size images for blogs: www.resizeyourimage.com

3. Sell pdfs online:  www.e-junkie.com 

4. Create a merchandise store: www.cafepress.co.uk

5. File transfer: www.yousendit.com

6. File sharing: www.sugarsync.com  amd www.dropbox.com



Sponsored blog post: Deal with Commercial Litigation Seeking Advice from a Solicitor


Litigation, a legal proceeding in a court, forms a significant facet of the law. Before becoming legally committed to any litigation, it is imperative to find a solicitor with in-depth knowledge in this field. Such a solicitor can assist your company in many different issues. In case of commercial disputes, solicitors can carry out exhaustive evaluations of the strong and weak points of claims. They can subsequently offer sensible advice for the prompt settlement of these disputes. Similarly, they advise on how the negotiations will proceed and can also perform negotiations in lieu of their clients at every level of a claim.  

Expert solicitors are able to issue and defend legal proceedings as well as offer suggestions on all the steps of the litigation process, so that claims can be resolved successfully. They extend a comprehensive and effectual service to recover debts as well. You can seek their advice on all kinds of partnership conflicts and litigation issues too. Solicitors play a prominent role in insolvency matters and perform activities like presenting statutory demands, presenting and defending, completing petitions, and counselling on company voluntary arrangements. A solicitor having expertise in property litigation can aid in property challenges, transfers and conveyances. So, get in touch with them to enforce your legal rights.       

Sponsored blog post: A Visit to the Hairdresser – Riskier than You Think

Hair dyes are used on a regular basis by people of both sexes and all ages, for various cosmetic purposes. These products contain a number of different chemicals that can cause an allergic reaction to hair dye treatment after contact with the skin. For this reason, it is essential that a person receives a skin patch test. This is the only foolproof way of determining any pre-existing allergies. Many hairdressers do not carry out such tests despite the fact that more and more people are suffering from allergic reactions to chemicals contained in colouring products each year.
Another problem that clients of hairdressers face is chemical damage to their hair. Again a test should be performed on clients' hair at least 24 hours before any treatment. Sometimes hairdressers are simply negligent by incorrectly mixing or leaving solutions on the hair for too long. The resulting personal injury is damage to the hair. The injured client could make a hair damage compensation claim against the hairdresser.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Looking for the best Self Invested Personal Pension (SIPP) Cash Accounts?

With all the ups and downs in the markets, I'm surprised how little seems to have been said about the possibility of investing your pension in cash accounts through a self-invested personal pension (SIPP). A number of pension providers or brokers seem to offer cash accounts with a minimal interest rate for the short term but what about longer term bonds? After a fair amount of searching online, I found this page which lists lots of accounts which provide bigger interest rates - including 4.25% from Scottish Widows for a five year fixed rate bond. I don't know what the charges are and whether you specifically need a financial adviser or not (I imagine you do) but it's at least a start.
Weedly and irritating legal disclaimer: None of this constitutes financial advice and you act at your own risk!

RIP Steve Jobs



Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Book recommendation: 'Other People's Money' by Justin Cartwright


The venerable bank of Tubal & Co is in trouble. It's not the first time in its three-hundred-year history - it was bailed out by Rothschilds' in 1847 - but this time will be the last. A sale is under way, and a number of rather important facts need to be kept hidden, especially from any potential buyer. Hundreds of millions of pounds are being diverted - temporarily - to shore it up, masterminded by the bank's chairman, Julian Trevelyan-Tubal. His aging father Sir Henry would be horrified, but fortunately he is in the early stages of dementia, writing admonitory letters that all say the same thing to Julian from the sunny climes of Antibes. His letters instruct his son to stick to the time-honoured traditions of the bank, and, indeed, had his son taken his advice the bank might still be solvent. Great families have all sorts of secrets, though, and this one is no exception. And whether they are lovers, old partners, or retainers who resent not being part of the family, they have a nasty habit of turning awkward. When an alimony payment from the bank to an abandoned husband, the penniless, quixotic director (currently putting on Thomas the Tank Engine, hoping to woo Daniel Day-Lewis for his new playscript), a trickle of consequences turns into a tsunami of potential catastrophe for the family, the bank and all who sail in her. Other People's Money is both a subtle thriller and an acutely delineated portrait of a world and a class. Justin Cartwright manipulates our sympathies with masterly ease, unwinding the story with gentle satire, and, as ever, acute and beautifully phrased insights into the eccentricities and weaknesses of the human condition.

Available from Amazon.co.uk

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Charon QC review of ‘Law and Peace’


Very many thanks to Charon QC for reviewing my new book Law and Peace. You can read the review here or below. You can buy the book at Amazon.co.uk

Law and Peace is a very good read and builds upon the amusement of Tim Kevan’s regular BabyBarista column in The Guardian and the first book BabyBarista and The Art of War.(now renamed Law and Disorder)

BabyBarista is populated with wonderful characters – few a credit to the legal profession, it has to be said – each with their own perspective on the changing legal landscape.

I enjoy the regular column and I have enjoyed both of the BabyBarista books published so far. I leave you with this extract from a recent BabyBarista post… to give you a flavour of the parodic content…
Have you heard that UpTights, OldSmoothie and HeadofChambers have all applied to be judges?” said TheCreep.

“Why on earth would anyone want to be a judge?” said BusyBody. “I can’t think of anything worse than having to sit around listening to barristers self-indulgently wittering on all day.”

“Not forgetting the nervous meanderings of witnesses,” said Teflon.

“And then there’s the laborious litigants-in-person with their fifty-page long arguments and reams of irrelevant evidence,” said TheCreep.

“Which is a little rich coming from a barrister who sometimes resembles a litigant-in-person,” said TheVamp.

“So why on earth do they want to do it?” asked BusyBody.

“Pensions, of course,” said OldSmoothie. “What little pension I had left after two divorces has now been destroyed in the financial crisis and I hardly think things are going to improve. I mean, it’s not as if there are even any quangos left to sit out one’s days in some degree of comfort.”

And.. if you wish to keep up to speed with BabyBarista or order the book…. no better place than BabyBarista’s own website.

While Abraham Lincoln once said…“Discourage litigation. Persuade your neighbors to compromise whenever you can. As a peacemaker the lawyer has superior opportunity of being a good man. There will still be business enough.” This would not be an aphorism acceptable to BabyBarista. I hope you enjoy reading…..

Skypecast interview No.7 with top British film director, writer and producer Simon Rumley

This is the seventh in a series of Skypecasts with film director, writer and producer Simon Rumley. Simon is the writer/director of such films as Club Le Monde [2002]Strong Language [2000]The Living And The Dead [2006] starring Roger Lloyd-Pack (Trigger in Only Fools and Horses) and most recently Red White & Blue [2011] starring Noah Taylor (Shine, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory). He was described as "One of Britain's most important and intelligent film-makers" by Sight and Sound and "One of the great British cinematic outsiders, a gifted director with the know-how to puncture conventions" by Screen International. He is also a curator of an exhibition featuring leading young British Artists entitled The Future Can Wait which is showing at B1, Victoria House, Bloomsbury Square, London WC1 from 11-17 October 2011 in association with The Saatchie Gallery and Channel 4.

Please note that the screen freezes for a short time in the middle for which many apologies. However, the audio remained and so I decided to post it as is.

Monday, October 3, 2011

Sponsored blog post: Finding advice about injury claims

If you’ve had an accident, finding out about your rights, whether you can claim and how to go about making a claim might not be straightforward.  When it comes to injury claims, you might find that almost everyone has an opinion – friends, family members, even the infamous “bloke down the pub”.  But what really matters if you are thinking about making an injury claim after your accident is getting real advice from properly qualified solicitors and legal experts. 
Accurate professional advice about an injury claim you are considering making can be of real benefit if you are unsure of your rights or how making a claim may affect you.  If you have been injured at work, then you might want to find out whether making an injury claim against your employer will affect your employment.  Similarly, if you receive benefits or income support, you might want to know about the impact that a compensation settlement could have on these benefits.

Professional injury claims advice can help to answer these questions, and more besides.  You might find that you can claim for additional costs that you have incurred as a result of your accident beyond just claiming for the effects of your injuries or that your claim could cover the cost of additional treatments such as physiotherapy – to speed your recovery.  Finding out about injury claims could lead to a better result for you and a compensation settlement that really reflects the effects your accident has had on your life whilst giving you the financial support you need to get back on your feet. 
For professional injury claims advice, talk to the Injury Claims Advisors.
Author: Neil Worrall