Internet Newsletter for Lawyers July/August 2017

Internet Newsletter for Lawyers July/August 2017

The latest issue of the Internet Newsletter for Lawyers is now published.

In this issue

  • Electronic evidence – Stephen Mason and George Weir describe the various mechanisms by which electronic evidence is adduced
  • Robot lawyers – Casey Flaherty of technology company Procertas is sceptical about intelligent robot lawyers
  • Robots in chambers – Stephen Ward of Clerksroom describes the features of Billy the robotic junior clerk
  • Digital marketing – Susan Hallam explains how and when you should employ competitive keyword advertising
  • Websites – Delia Venables asks What are chambers’ websites for? and reviews the current offerings
  • Digital legacies – Alex Heshmaty explains the concept of digital legacies and offers some top tips
  • Robots at large – Nick Holmes looks under the bonnet at DoNotPay, “the world’s first robot lawyer”

Access the Newsletter online

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Enjoy the Newsletter.

Regards

Nick Holmes and Delia Venables

infolaw Limited
5 Coval Passage
London SW14 7RE

The Internet Newsletter for Lawyers PDF version is sent to all Newsletter subscribers and contributors and to recent purchasers of our Internet for Lawyers CPD courses.

Word du Jour: Ineluctably

noshbrothers40Ineluctably 

Definition: Unable to be resisted or avoided; inescapable.

‘the ineluctable facts of history’
Early 17th century: from Latin ineluctabilis, from in- ‘not’ + eluctari ‘struggle out’.

 

A word I first heard when I played bad snooker with Stephen Fry years ago at The Groucho Club in London.  My friend, a restauranteur (Nick Nosh of Nosh Brothers fame)  and I were ‘over refreshed’ on wine.   Stephen Fry won the game…easily.  Nice man and interesting to chat with

I remember losing £20,000 investing in the restaurant The Nosh Brothers in Notting Hill, London.  It lasted a year. (They are not brothers).  I found out later that I was the only shareholder who actually paid for dinners consumed at the restaurant. The other investors were very wealthy City bankers earning £2m ++ a year.  Well…there we are.  Live and learn.

Rive Gauche: Is the detective single asks female juror

The Guardian reports: “A juror has been forced to leave a four-month long terrorism trial at the Old Bailey after repeatedly trying to find out if a detective who had been a witness in the case was single.

A second juror acknowledged finding the detective, DS Ryan Chambers of West Midlands police, attractive but was allowed to stay on the case after the judge, Mr Justice Globe, decided she had been forthcoming in response to questions about the incident.

Globe warned that he had considered whether he had to discharge the entire jury, abandoning a long and complex terrorism trial for the most unexpected of reasons.

A group of men from the Midlands, who called themselves the “three musketeers” in a messaging group, have spent months in the dock at the Old Bailey accused of planning a terrorist attack between May and August last year. The defence claims that the key evidence in the case, a bag containing a pipe bomb, a meat cleaver and shotgun shells, was planted in the lead defendant’s car by rogue undercover police officers.

The case, which was originally scheduled to last two months but had faced continual delays, started summing up on Monday, with the jury expected to go out for deliberations next week. One of the issues they will be asked to decide on is whether the evidence of police officers was credible.

Globe told the jury: “The information that had recently been given to me was that one amongst your number had said that DS Chambers was attractive, and another among you had then spoken to the court usher and on more than one occasion had asked the court usher to find out whether DS Chambers was single.”

The information had originated from an inquiry by the Guardian relating to an overheard conversation.

Globe continued: “The inquiries that I’ve conducted have led to one amongst your number telling me that that juror did find him attractive but had not expressed any interest in finding out whether he was single – but another juror had jokingly asked whether that was the case.

“And although the juror who found DS Chambers attractive didn’t want an inquiry to be made of the usher, nonetheless, the other juror went ahead and asked.”

No attempts had been made to seek further information about Chambers. The answers provided by the juror who was discharged were “really unsatisfactory”, Globe said. “She has not accepted that she tried to find out from the court usher on more than one occasion whether DS Chambers was single.”

He reminded the court of their responsibility to consider the questions at stake “dispassionately, impartially” and without factoring in whether they found witnesses physically attractive.

The juror who found Chambers attractive had impressed the judge with her direct answers to his inquiries, he said. Asked in a questionnaire whether she still felt she could act as a juror, she wrote: “Yes definitely!”

Globe said he believed other members of the jury may have overheard questions being asked of the usher, and he reminded them that they had a duty to report any concerning behaviour among other jurors. “To put it mildly, I am disappointed that I was not given that information,” he said. “I’ve had to ask myself whether it isn’t so important that I shouldn’t allow you as a group to continue considering this case.”

Naweed Ali, 29 and Khobaib Hussain, 25, from Birmingham, are on trial alongside Mohibur Rahman, 32, and Tahir Aziz, 38, for preparing terrorist acts between May and August 2016. They deny the charges.

The case continues.

Baroness Hale to be President of UK Supreme Court

Brenda Hale to become first female president of supreme court.

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Baroness Hale, who has campaigned for greater diversity in the judiciary, is said to be taking role as three other court posts are filled.  It will be interesting to see how she influences the future of English law. She has a background in legal academic work as well.

Full Guardian story

Female Prime Minister, Female First Minister in Scotland and female President of the UK Supreme Court.

These ‘men’ need to grow pricks, instead of behaving like pricks.

I loathe men (It is usually, invariably, men) who kill animals in Africa and elsewhere for what they call ‘sport’.  There is no excuse for killing a defenceless animal.  They won’t even eat it. No-one will.

These men need to grow up. Pathetic.

(When I worked in the Bush in Zambia before reading law in 1971 – we ‘dissuaded’  two ‘ignorant’ tourists from shooting animals for ‘sport’.  It helped that  we had guns and were friendly.  We had beers with them and they went on their way. I suspect they shot animals once they were well clear of our field area.)

Lost the plot?: Glengarry hat with silver kilt pin, Scots Lion and Soviet era cap badge

I do enjoy hats and cigars.  I wear the hat on my long walks – 30 miles tomorrow: Scone to Loch Earn if weather holds.  I will take my camera.

Here is the hat I wear.  The Green and Black tartan hat £20 from Tartan Shop in Perth.  Also the kilt pin and Scots Lion.  The Soviet badge from a local friend who sells soviet military badges from the Soviet era and other things.

How should law firms approach Marketing Integration?

Law firms should pay close attention to ensuring that their IT systems are fully integrated across all areas of the business. Digital marketing and the increasing use of social media has transformed the business landscape and created an immense amount of customer touch points which should be continuously monitored and successfully harvested. It is paramount that organisations have a solid, workable IT infrastructure that supports the objectives of the organisation, including sustainable marketing integration.

Here are just a few of the many points to consider when aligning IT systems with the marketing and digital functions of the business; Audit To start, it is good practice to audit your entire IT system and create a road map of your business processes. An audit provides a summary outlining the ability of the existing technology to support the business and identifies weaknesses alongside any immediate concerns.

Plan Create a long-term IT Plan that includes all aspects of marketing and the digital strategy and align this with your business priorities. Ensure business leaders from the organisation are engaged in this process from the start. If it’s relevant to your business to adopt an ‘Always-on’ approach, ensure that this is in the plan for an integrated IT system with 24/7 support.

Review your roadmap regularly and, at least, annually. Engage from anywhere Enable your workforce to work from anywhere, on any device, securely. Utilise cloud based CRM systems that can be accessed and updated instantly, and create a system that links staff, customers, partners and prospects, providing opportunities for increased collaboration and engagement at every stage. Consider a private legal cloud. This enables you to know where your data is, that it is secure, private and available. With a secure, well planned and highly available system that combines staff, customers, partners and prospects, your integrated marketing function will be best placed to succeed.

To discuss how IT can optimise the customer journey at every stage, contact info@sproutit.co.uk

www.sproutit.co.uk

@sprout_it LinkedIn:

Sprout Technologies Ltd

Rive Gauche: Paid and displayed?

Charlesthe-arab

Always good to see Prince Charles hitting the ‘Dressing-up Box’ in the cause of our country.

And this from Tony Robinson…

I met Tony in Olu Deniz on a summer holiday some years ago..  We both jumped off 9000 ft Mt Babadan at Olu Deniz  in Southern Turkey with a German Parapenter.  Great experience.  The drive up the mountain was, in fact, the most terrifying part of the morning’s entertainment – a dirt track.

Tony, after landing, ran around the beach shouting “AIRGASMIC…”.  A very nice and amusing man.

That Autumn Tony invited me and my then wife to watch the filming of the last episode of Blackadder in the First World War – which was great fun. Met Stephen Fry and the rest of the acting team after the performance. .

 

 

 

Guest Post: The Most Beautiful Places in Scotland

lochness

The Most Beautiful Places in Scotland

Rachel Summers

Scotland is home to some of the most stunning and breath-taking locations within the UK and will definitely not disappoint any passing visitor. We have created a list of some of Scotland’s most beautiful places and locations that you simply must visit whilst in the country.

Edinburgh

We are going to start off with one of the most popular destinations in Scotland; Edinburgh. You simply cannot create a list about Scotland’s most beautiful places without featuring Edinburgh. Edinburgh is home to Edinburgh Castle and contains the famous Royal Mile. If you are lucky enough to visit the city, the amazing picturesque city skylines will not disappoint any traveller and the town has often been called “olde worldly” as well as “gothic” which you can imagine what beautiful sights a place like that has to offer.

Edinburgh, being the capital city, is a place for almost every type of traveller. Whether you are in the city for business, partying, relaxing or a romantic break then you will find things within the city that suit all of your holiday or visiting needs.

Loch Ness

Popular for camping, Loch Ness is a simply stunning area that is surrounded by mountains, villages and the ruins of Urquhart Castle. Loch Ness goes on for around 23 miles so is very popular for those who are wanting to escape into the peace and quiet. Loch Ness is the perfect place to pitch a tent and have a romantic, quiet getaway for a long weekend.

While visiting, be sure to keep an eye out for Nessie! Will you be one of the lucky few to spot her during your stay?

Fairy Pools – Skye

The name by itself shows off just how magical the place is to visit. Fairy Pools, which is located in Skye, features waterfalls that have been carved through rock that runs down into the vividly turquoise pool beneath. It truly is an enchanting, magical place that will not disappoint and will live up to its name.

Ben Nevis

Ben Nevis is one of the most well-known places in Scotland and for very good reason. Once you have hiked all the way to the peak of Ben Nevis your reward is the spectacular, breath-taking views that oversee the amazing Grampian Mountains. Although, Ben Nevis certainly is not for the faint hearted as it is the highest mountaintop in the whole of the UK.

Edinburgh Castle

While visiting Edinburgh you cannot go home before going visit Edinburgh Castle. Edinburgh Castle, which overlooks the city, is the singularly most popular (paid) tourist attraction in Scotland. As you walk around the Castle you will come across exhibits such as the Stone of Destiny and the Crown Jewels.

Finnich Glen

Finnich Glen is one of the most stunning places you could visit whilst you are in Scotland. The vivid green moss covers all of the walls which offers a beautiful stage for the water that flows across the red sandstone which resembles the look of a river filled with blood – an unquestionably beautiful and yet strange sight to behold.

Discovering More in Scotland

There are far too many places within Scotland to name on this single list alone, but if you are wanting to do further research into places you would love to visit then websites such as Metro and Huffington Post are great for discovering further lists. I’m sure that you will find many more places in Scotland that you would love to have on your itinerary – perhaps a second and third visit should be on the cards to fit them all in!

If this break has inspired you to write your own review or share your experience, then you may find Best British Essays useful. They provide reviews for some of the best writing services within the UK.

Excellent: JUDGES, FACT FINDING AND GRENFELL: THE CRUCIAL QUESTION – IS THIS JUDGE A GOOD FACT FINDER

A very good article…

“If you write a blog on civil procedure it is not hard to steer a course away from the issues of the day.  However there is one issue of the day that is hard to ignore. The criticisms of the appointment of Sir Martin Moore-Bick to chair the Enquiry into the Grenfell Tower disaster.    I have looked at the criticisms of the appointment of Sir Moore-Bick with exasperation. No-one, but no-one has asked the central question that everyone affected by this tragedy needs to know – is this judge a good fact finder?

THE JUDGE AS FACT FINDER

The role of a judge as fact finder is one that is often overlooked by academics and practitioners alike.  However it is often the central part of a judge’s job in the civil courts.  The basic finding of, often hotly, contested facts requires judges to develop skills and expertise in the assessment of lay and expert evidence. In fact this is the task which society entrusts to judges most.  A judge who makes an error of law will have their findings overturned on appeal. It is extremely difficult to overturn a finding of facts.

 

The residents of Grenfell and their representatives cannot be blamed for not knowing of the important role of the judge as fact-finder. Nor can they be expected to know  and the essential skills that have to be developed by a trial judge.  It is something barely acknowledged, or studied, in legal education or training.  It is rarely mentioned in the media.  It is never  a matter of public debate. The methods by which judges go about the assessment of evidence, deal with technical evidence and contradictory witnesses are not universally discussed. (In fact this blog is one of the few places where there is a regular consideration of issues relating to fact finding and the assessment of witness credibility).

 

FACT FINDING IN THE CIVIL COURTS

In the civil courts the judge’s role as fact-finder is the  central part of their job.  A trial judge has to consider witness evidence, expert and documentary evidence before making a finding on the facts. This has to be a reasoned finding based on the evidence before the court.

 

FACT FINDING IN THE COMMERCIAL COURTS

Much has been made of the fact that Mr Moore-Bick has a background in the commercial courts – indicating that he has led a life far away from reality.  Anyone who thinks that the commercial courts  are some kind of pastoral backwater – dream on.  At times the evidence in the commercial courts make the activities at the Old Bailey look like a kindergarten class.

  • Most of the cases on witness credibility covered in this blog come from the commercial courts.
  • Witnesses are often found to be lying. Applications to commit to prison are almost commonplace.
  • The case in which witness credibility is covered in a full and definitive manner – Gestmin – was a case in the Commercial Court. (Most of the cases where Gestmin is considered are cases in the commercial courts)
  • A brief examination of the cases will see that these involve everything from forgery, perjury, the deliberate sinking of a ship, and experts who were so partisan they simply stopped coming to court.

HOW RELEVANT IS THIS TO GRENFELL?

As I write we can be certain that teams of (very expensive) lawyers are preparing the evidence on behalf of the many corporate interests involved. Similarly teams of (very expensive) experts will be instructed in an attempt to persuade the Enquiry that the party who instructs them are not at fault.

At the Enquiry itself we can be certain that many of the victims will give different, sometimes contradictory, accounts of what happened. None of these will be lying. It will need a careful and expert fact=finder to make sure every witness is treated carefully and sympathetically while the accurate parts of their evidence is fully and properly accepted.

Again we can be certain that lawyers, and pressure groups, for the multitude of parties involved will be putting through hotly contested versions of the facts, ranging from the basic terms of the contract, the technical aspects of the cladding, to what happened during teh fire.

Someone, and someone very capable, is going to have to cut through all this evidence to come to the truth as to what happened.

Make no mistake this is going to be a difficult and laborious process.  Getting to the bottom of, probably several decades, worth of policies, technical information and  numerous witnesses (some of whom will be very anxious to deflect blame).

 

SO IS SIR MOORE-BICK A GOOD FACT FINDER?

This is a proper and legitimate questions. Perhaps the only proper and legitimate question. Sir Martin spend 11 years in the Court of Appeal so I have had to go back a long way to look at first instance decisions.   The difficulties are compounded by fact that this pre-dates Baiili, and  law reporters are rarely interested in judgments based on vigorous findings of fact.  However I have read many of the first-instance decisions. These are never easy reading however, on the basis of the (many) cases I have read:

  • This is not a judge who was overawed by expert evidence.
  • This is a judge who was able to consider contractual terms and documentary evidence in depth.
  • The judgments, on findings of fact, are careful and detailed.

There are many examples, see for instance, Agapitos -v- Agnew [2002] EWHC 1558 Com where Sir Martin makes vigorous and clear findings of fact in a shipping case which involved a fatality and an investigation by Greek authorities.  I stress that this is just an example there are many more in a similar vein (and reading them was the first time writing this blog has ever felt like work).  The judgments emphasise my central point – this is someone who has the skills and ability to find facts without fear or favour.

YOU WOULD SAY THAT WOULDN’T YOU

Some people reading this, particularly outside the legal profession (if this blog is read by anyone outside the legal profession) may see this as a simple upholding of a judge – barrister as apologist. It is not. I have spend many years writing and researching on civil procedure and evidence (not to mention over 30 years in practice as a lawyer). As I have said this blog is one of the few places that looks at civil evidence, and the job of fact-finding, in any depth or detail.  The legal system, and legal profession, is far from perfect. However the basic, and as I have said  often laborious, task of fact finding has to be done by someone with the ability and experience to do the job.

What is to be done after those findings of face are made is a matter for politicians and policy makers.  The central task now is to establish the facts. There is no doubt that Sir Martin Moore-Bick is the best person for this task.

Ex Tory MP and barrister, Jerry Hayes does it again. Always amusing

jerryhayes5OUR WEST END PRODUCTIONS. THE TORIES SUNSET BOULEVARD MEETS SPRINGTIME WITH BREXIT. LABOUR SWEENY TODD WITH MCDONNELL AS THE BARBER AND ABBOTT MAKING THE PIES

 

“If I was Lloyd Webber I would bring back Sunset Boulevard for a brief West End run. And if I was the government chief whip I would require that every Tory MP went to see it provided they didn’t appear in front of the cameras and say that ‘there are lessons to be learned.’ Because there are.

I am not suggesting that May has just buried her pet monkey (Bozo is still alive after all), shot her screenwriter lover and is just about to be arrested for his murder. But there are resonances with Norma Desmond, once a Hollywood silent screen goddess whose career was destroyed when the public first heard her voice rather than be bewitched by the flash of her eyes and seduced by the warmth of her smile. Well, alright, then let’s skip the smile bit. Norma was delusional and believed that a return to the silver screen was inevitable. Everyone knew that she was doomed but when she went to visit her old studio she was shown nothing but embarrassed deference for the star that she once was. Nobody had the heart to tell her the truth.

May has murdered the Conservative party. The brand has been trashed and nobody has a clue what it stands for. And the police in the form of the Cabinet are on their way. Only the most devoted and worshipping fans really believed that Miss Desmond would really make a comeback and and transport them back into a sepia past that could never return. And when asked about a comeback she regally hissed, ‘comeback? I have never been away.’

There are a number of headlines that politicians dread. ‘Stricken, dead in the water, fight back, re launch.’ Well, we have had all of these and this morning’s offering is that she is ‘going to be bold’. Now that should send a shiver down your spine. The right wing press lauded her Titanic manifesto as bold. Next we will her that she is spending the the recess walking in the Welsh hills with Philip. Now that should scare the shit out of everybody.

You know things are bad when Andrea Loathesome, who is being tutored how to walk talk and breathe all at the same time (it’s not going well) demanded that she be either Home or Foreign Secretary. Normally, this would have people wetting themselves with derision at Number 10 rather than sitting up and listening. But that’s just a comedy side show. The real Broadway production will be the tragi comic musical Springtime with Brexit, broadly based on the Producers where a cynical impresario sets out to put together the most awful, bad taste and unworkable show designed to fail.

But you know things are really bad when professional psychopath and architect of the Brexit win, Dominic Cummings, admits that he may have made a terrible mistake. You don’t say. And you can’t run a negotiation when all your your negotiators are singing from different hymn sheets. The Tories have got to act quickly. It’s careless to wreck your party but unforgivable to wreck your country. Sadly, the Tories are pretty gutless. If May really wants to be bold she should announce her resignation until a new leader if found before the party conference. Then our country might just have a chance of escaping economic oblivion.

But Labour is not much better. They may be bad butchers but they have a terrible history of Stalinist purges. Decent moderate MPs will be deselected within a few months. They know it, but just don’t want to believe it. Somehow it will all get better. No it bloody won’t. Unless you guys form a new party Labour is dead as a movement rooted in Parliamentary democracy. And that is bloody scary.

So if you think the Tories have a resonance with Sunset Boulevard then Labour is very much akin to Sweeney Todd. John McDonnell is cutting the throats of those in the barber’s chair and Diane Abbott is downstairs making the pies.

God help us all. Politicians wake up.”

Jerry Hayes blog – always worth reading 

Jerry Hayes is a good friend – I always enjoy his blog.

 

Jerry Hayes writes on his blog…

I always enjoy reading my good friend’s blog.  Jerry usually nails it.

STOP ALL THIS HYPOCRITICAL CRAP ABOUT GRUBBY AND SHAMEFUL DEALS. ELECTIONS ARE ABOUT BRIBES AND DEALS. AND I THINK I’VE SEEN THE FUTURE. HE’S CALLED GAVIN

27 Jun 2017 at 08:31

Oh, can’t we all grow up a bit over the DUP deal? They may be a fairly ghastly bunch, but like the leaders of Scotland and Wales they want to screw as much money out of the government as they can for their own patch. They just have the opportunity. If you’ve got it flaunt it. And if you flaunt it abuse it. Even Gerry Adams had to admit that it was good news that £1bn is on its way to Ulster. And we might just get Stormont and power sharing back on track. It is a condition of payment. Who is daft enough to block that? As Claud Cockburn used to say, there is nothing more effective than a cash bribe.

I spent three happy years in Northern Ireland as a bag carrier in Paddy Mayhew’s team. The truth is we have been bribing them for years. They have a seriously good education system, public housing which is built to a far better specification than over here and if a medium sized town wanted a leisure centre in the nineties, they’d get it. It was one of the price tags of peace. I always got on well with the Ulster Unionists and actually took a member of the DUPround the Vatican. I even have the odd drink with Ian Paisley junior. But as a culture they are a little odd. But so is the Province. Last year I popped over to appear on Stephen Nolan’s television show. As I was sitting alone in my dressing room bored out of my skull I thought I’d pop into the green room for a drink and have a banter with some of the other guests. Firstly, I’d forgotten that the green rooms over there are dry, which was a terrible shock to the system. Secondly, there was a segment about a comedy play mildly taking the piss out of the bible that a DUP council had tried to ban. Not that they’d taken the time or trouble to go and see it. From what I’d heard it was all pretty tame stuff with reworked jokes like Moses coming down with the 10 commandments he had negotiated with God and saying the bad news was that adultery was still in. Gentle Two Ronnies stuff. So in I strolled in and sidled up to a kindly old boy. ‘What are you here for?’ ‘That play.’ ‘Can’t see what the fuss is all about.’ ‘So you think adultery is hilarious do you?’ Needless, to say I slagged him off to a supportive audience. The next morning I was recognised at the airport. To a man and a woman (there must have been about 20 of them) they said how nice it was to see me on Nolan, but how much they disagreed with me over the play. It’s a very different place.

So is this deal shabby and shameful? No more than any other political deal is. We had to ditch parts of the manifesto when we did deals with the Lib Dems in coalition. And it worked rather well. People, mostly of the Lederhosen persuasion, thought it was a disaster, but compared to today’s clusterfuck omnishambles those were the days of milk and honey. At least the DUP have buried the toxic rantings of the manifesto and will, with Ruth Davidson and her hit squad give us a fighting chance of realistic Brexit.

So everyone, let’s cut the hypocritical crap. All elections are about seeking power. All manifestos contain bribes. This deal is neither grubby nor shameful. It’s just practical. How long it will last is another matter. But with Alene Foster’s family history with PIRA I can’t see her breaking bread with Corbyn and his mob. This is personal.

In the last few days I have been pondering who should take over from May. Some commentators were saying we should skip a generation, but never made any serious suggestions. But this morning it dawned on me. It’s glaringly obvious. Who has had experience in Number 10? Who is popular with all sides of the party? Who comes from humble beginnings? Who has negotiated a deal that could save the skin of the Tories? Chief Whip, Gavin Williamson. And he has all the powers of patronage and the whips office machinery behind him. He could be formidable.This is early days and I have never even met him. I don’t even know if he is remotely charismatic. I’ve never even heard him speak. We will see. But I am am going to google William Hill and have a flutter. And don’t underestimate Green. A good man who did well at the dispatch box yesterday. And that wily old fox Davis comes over well. I could happily vote for any of those three. But buy shares in Williamson. A man to be watched.

5 things all FD’s should know about GDPR

By Sprout IT

1. Subject Access Requests – You will no longer be able to charge people for dealing with their requests and on top of that to put even more pressure on resources allocated to the task which can often be time consuming, the 40 day deadline has been reduced to just one month. Someone needs to be responsible for this!

2. Budget allocation. – Business leaders will have to assign resources into raising staff awareness of the new regulations and ensure the correct structure is in place in order to be compliant. Therefore a budget will need to be allocated to fund these compliance and training activities.

3. Significant fines – The information commissioner’s office (ICO) can impose fines of up to £17m ($20m) or up to 4% of global turnover, whichever is greater, for business who breach the regulations. This has the potential to bring a company to a standstill and severely affect the certainty of the future of the business. Given the ICO will need to fund the operations behind these fines it is highly likely they will start imposing fines as soon as the legislation goes live. A very significant factor to those in charge of the business and one not to be ignored.

4. Consent – Businesses must obtain positive indication of agreement of personal data being processed. This consent cannot be inferred from silence, pre-ticked boxes or inactivity. Sounds like a big job right? Correct – think, plan and take action!

5. Contractual changes – The GDPR insists on extra information to be supplied to individuals, including the need to identify the legal basis for processing data, the retention period and the right they have to complain. Again planning, contractual changes and communication equals time and money.

PLANNING

The theme from above is to plan your approach to the changes. Ensure there is one, make someone responsible for executing the plan, allocate a budget for it and communicate to all stakeholders of the business.

Rive Gauche: President Trump really is a very odd man

trimp2jul17

Here are sum Trump tweets from this morning.  Remarkable that he has the time for tweeting nonsense?

trumpfakenewsagain

I have time to tweet sense and nonsense – but, there again, I am not President of anything, let alone the USA. Just a thought….

President Trump should stand for the Leadership of UKIP.  He would win by a landslide and join a select bunch of nutters there…

And then there is this…

trumpbodyslam

If you’ve every travelled with young children you’ll know that keeping them entertained can be a mammoth task

PERFECT PRESENT FOR YOUNGSTERS ON THE MOVE?

 

If you’ve every travelled with young children you’ll know that keeping them entertained can be a mammoth task – but this new bag from YUU could be the solution….

 

Following the huge success of their award-winning children’s activity backpack, the manufacturer of the YUUbag is now crowdfunding to bring to market their latest exciting backpack innovation YUUgo, which cleverly combines active play with the increasingly popular tech play.  

 

The YUUgo activity backpack builds upon the much-loved multifunctional fun features of the highly successful YUUbag with the added functionality of a built-in GPS and WIFI tracker.  With a multitude of pockets and compartments (including a secret one!), a fold-down desk, an integrated whistle in the chest strap as well as a fun-filled pack of stationery and games. YUU backpacks are perfect for everyday travel and play.  

 

This latest edition to the YUU family. The integrated GPS, powered by GoTek7, opens up a new world of possibilities. Children can log their journeys and distances, check how far they have walked, cycled or travelled by car – all on their YUUgo App.  

 

The App will set educational challenges, for example, learn that going to school and back for a week is the same as climbing and abseiling the Empire State Building three times.  There is also a YUUgo adult application which will have advanced functionality, including ring-fencing alerts, and the peace of mind of always knowing where their child’s backpack is, as it can be tracked and found at the click of a button.  

 

YUU has teamed up with Gotek7, which has over 20 years’ experience in the tech industry. Gotek7 will deliver the quality service and after sales customer support YUU customers have come to expect.

 

YUUbag founders Gill Hayward and Kellie Forbes met over 20 years ago when they were both junior media executives at leading London ad agency J Walter Thompson.  The two quickly became the best of friends, vowing that one day they would start a business together.  In January 2009 Gill and Kellie, both busy working mums, came up with the concept of the YUUbag.  Kellie had moved abroad and travelled frequently with her young family, dreaming of a backpack which could double up as a portable entertainment station with a fold-down desk.  Meanwhile, Gill had climbed the corporate ladder in the media industry and approached Kellie with a business idea. Kellie had just the product for it. Like most mums, they knew how challenging it can be to keep children entertained when out and about at restaurants, airports or on car journeys.  They felt that there was a gap in the market for an activity bag that could carry all the children’s kit and caboodle in an organised way and also keep them entertained.  The YUUbag was born!

 

Gill Hayward, co-founder of YUU, comments “We believe it’s important for children to understand tech in the 21st century but we also believe it’s important that tech play is balanced with active play.  With YUUgo we set out to put the ‘fun’ into ‘functional’ and inspire children to want to get out and about and have fun tracking and learning about their adventures with the technology interface.”

 

The travel and tourism sector is growing faster than the global economy and generated US $7.2 trillion (9.8% of global GDP) in 2015*.  With more and more families enjoying holidays and days out, parents are looking for innovative solutions such as YUUgo to keep children entertained whilst on the go.  The launch of YUUgo also taps into the increasing use of mobile technology amongst children.  With 31% of children aged 7-10 now owning a mobile phone and 75% of children regularly accessing the Internet through a tablet or mobile device, tech play amongst children continues to increase rapidly*.  Coupled with ongoing concern around obesity levels amongst children, parents are becoming more conscious of the need to balance tech and active play.

 

Kellie Forbes, co-founder of YUU, adds “We have received overwhelming public support for our YUUbag since we launched six years ago, so it feels completely natural that we are now turning to the public to help support our launch of YUUgo through Crowdfunding.  Research to date has been incredibly positive with many parents ringfencing this as the perfect Christmas present guaranteed to keep their child entertained for many years to come.  We sold a YUUbag every 12 minutes last Christmas and we’re looking to top that this year with the launch of YUUgo!

 

YUU is planning to bring the innovation to market through a rewards crowdfunding campaign with Indiegogo.  The campaign launches week commencing 5th June 2017 in time for the YUUgo bags to be delivered for Christmas 2017 and aims to raise $50,000 in order to fund this first round of orders.  Supporters will be able to reserve a limited edition YUUgo bag – available only via the Indiegogo Crowdfunding campaign. https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/the-world-s-first-gps-integrated-activity-backpack-bag#/  (Short link: https://igg.me/at/yuu-go)

 

For more information about YUU: www.yuuworld.com

 

About YUU:

  1. YUU was founded in 2010 by ex-colleagues and mums Gill Hayward and Kellie Forbes with the launch of the first range of kid’s activity backpacks after they identified a gap in the market to create an exciting, durable and portable solution providing entertainment for children on-the-go in a caring, protective way
  2. Since then, YUUbags have been a storming success with sales exceeding 75,000 YUUbags from the website alone.  YUUbags are also sold internationally in Australia & NZ, Russia, Benelux and Scandinavia
  3. In 2012, YUU appeared on Dragon’s Den in 2012 and secured investment from Peter Jones and Deborah Meaden following a highly successful pitch which left all 5 Dragons wanting to invest
  4. The YUUgo is aimed at children aged 7-12 years
  5. visit www.yuuworld.com for more information

 

References:

World Travel and Tourism Council, Travel & Tourism ECONOMIC IMPACT 2016 WORLD

Youth TGI 2017r1 Spring

Perfect gift for the ethical lawyer?

VITAEWATCH

Perfect gift for the ethical lawyer?

The Richard Branson-backed philanthropic watch brand, Vitae London, is set to release its new Season IV range.

Vitae London will release its unisex, matte black watch exclusively through an Indiegogo crowdfunding campaign on May 30th, offering backers the timepiece at a discounted rate. https://igg.me/at/vitae

Season IV is adapted from Vitae London’s limited edition Walmer Midnight line. The brand decided to design a permanent range of similar watches – adding Gold, Rose Gold, and Silver highlights and a Swiss Movement – after the original batch sold-out within weeks.

Vitae London’s Season IV range has the following specifications:

 

  • Rose Gold, Gold or Silver highlights
  • 40mm Stainless Steel Case
  • Matte Black Colour
  • Stainless Steel Milanese Mesh
  • Swiss Movement
  • Water Resistant 5 ATM (50m)
  • Scratch-Resistant Sapphire Glass

 

“Each Season marks a new era for us,” says Will Adoasi, Vitae London’s Founder and a Virgin StartUp ambassador.

“It’s the way we’ve always done it – the natural evolution of the brand.  We’ve seen what people have really gravitated towards and we’ve taken a lot of feedback from our customers. That has allowed us to develop a product that will resonate with our customers and give them the aesthetic they love”.

Richard Branson is also a fan of Vitae London; “What you (Vitae London) are doing is great, very simple but effective.” 

Sitting at the helm of a social business, the young entrepreneur seeks to combine fashion with social justice – the sale of each watch provides a child in Southern Africa with two sets of school uniform, a bag, and footwear to see them through a year of education.

 

By offering his new watch range exclusively through Indiegogo, and by offering rewards such as limited edition gift sets and the chance to see the result of Vitae London’s charitable work in Southern Africa, Adoasi hopes to raise enough funds to grow in the retail market.

Beyond the brand’s website, Vitae London watches are currently available in London’s Utter Couture, and Les Tresor in Johannesburg, South Africa.

Vitae London has developed a large social media following and many celebrity backers. Emeli Sande, Phillip Schofield, Paloma Faith and Tinchy Stryder are among the big names sporting Adoasi’s timepieces.

As for its social impact, sales of Vitae London watches in 26 countries have funded more than 1,100 school uniforms for children in Southern Africa.

For Londoner Adoasi, the son of two Ghanaian parents, Vitae London’s success is measured by its impact in his home continent. Only second-generation educated, his father was the first in his family’s line to learn how to read and write. Education, says Adoasi, was the key to breaking a perpetual cycle of poverty in his family, something that allowed him to live in London, “one of the best cities in the world”.

“My passion is to create opportunities for other young people across Africa to break that cycle of poverty. I truly believe education is the key in order to do that. I want to help people who look just like me, but are unable to reach their full potential due to a lack of access to education and resources.” says Adoasi.

His latest drive is to use his company’s large social media following to let the world know about the unequal access to education in Sub-Saharan Africa, and invite solutions.

Adoasi’s wife was inspired by a volunteering trip to support the House of Well non-profit organisation in Port Elizabeth, South Africa in 2010. This lead to the couple donating money on a personal level and later taking action to support the cause on a more permanent basis, by combining their two passions of education and watches. And in 2015, Vitae London was born.

Adoasi says he became interested in old-school 60’s watches in his youth. While he loved brands such as Patek Philippe, he simply couldn’t afford their watches. This lead him to design his own range, which he believes are of the same high-quality aesthetic, but without the huge price-tag.

So, did he always have a flare for fashion?

“Not until I was 14. I used just to put on whatever was to hand. I was wearing a purple and yellow LA Lakers cap along with a blue t-shirt when I went to visit one of my cousins, and she insulted me. ‘What the hell are you wearing? Your colours are clashing’ she told me. From there, I developed a massive awareness to what works, and what doesn’t”.

 

About Vitae London

Vitae London is a watch brand based in London, England. It aims to design fashionable watches at affordable prices in order to advance social justice.

In 2010, one of Vitae London’s Founders traveled to the stunning vista of Port Elizabeth to volunteer with the South African based non-profit organisation (NPO), House of Wells. Created by two British missionaries in 2008, the objective of House of Wells is to improve the lives and encourage the development of children and youth across Africa.

Vitae London’s experience with House of Wells inspired the organisation to help improve the lives of youth in Africa by working with charities on the ground in supporting some of the world’s most difficult-to-reach youth. Many children across the continent lack access to the resources which people in other areas around the globe often take for granted.

Vitae London works within several provinces where education is free, but much of the youth are unable to take advantage of such learning opportunities due to their lack of access to school equipment, such as uniforms and shoes, which are required to attend school.

Each watch purchased from Vitae London’s classic range of watches supplies a child with two sets of school uniform, a bag and footwear to see them through the year.

 

Links

Indiegogo | https://igg.me/at/vitae

Web | https://www.vitaelondon.com

Twitter | https://twitter.com/vitaelondon

Facebook | https://www.facebook.com/vitaelondon

Instagram | https://www.instagram.com/vitaelondon/

YouTube | https://www.youtube.com/user/VitaelLondon

 

Stats surrounding Sub-Saharan Africa:

 

  • 27% if children are not enrolled in primary school education
  • Over 32 million children are out of education
  • 45% of the global out-of-school population are based in Sub-Saharan Africa

 

Source: http://en.unesco.org/gem-report/sites/gem-report/files/girls-factsheet-en.pdf 

 

Goatfell, Isle of Arran, West of Scotland

I have walked up this 3000 ft mountain on the Island of Arran in the Clyde estuary  – Goatfell –  10 times.   I plan to walk up it again.  I am planning to move back to the West of Scotland soon – Largs or Fairlie on the Ayrshire coast overlooking the two Cumbrae Islands.

goatfell3b

Another picture

goatfellarran5

And a picture of Nardini – a famous Cafe in Largs on the Ayrshire coast.

nardinifront

And a hat I bought a few months ago.  A fine hat…

(My ‘There’s a plot, let’s go and lose it’ Hat? )

 

“Social media and the ever increasing risks of being online By Matt Torrens, Sprout IT

When referring to ‘social media’, it’s the broad term describing internet-based tools that are used on desktop PCs, laptops, tablets and smartphones. The world is constantly, more than ever, connecting and interacting via social media and many of us are online more than we’re asleep! Facebook now has over 1.19 billion accounts registered, LinkedIn over 259 million and Twitter over 232 million that’s not without mentioning Instagram, WhatsApp, Snapchat and many of the other social media platforms and online forums – the list is endless.

The risks of being online can be enormous if you’re not sensible in your approach. It’s possible for a social media account to be hacked, money and identities stolen, and invasions of privacy, all of which can happen in a matter of seconds without any warning.

Whilst this is fraudulent serious crime, because it’s online, it’s often hard to think logically about what’s happened, or what the potential is, and thus many individuals aren’t adequately protecting themselves or their businesses from such risks. As most of the dangers come from groups of people interacting in unmoderated forums, or by being naïve or ignorant about the potential issues, it’s important to understand how social media works so that you can mitigate these risks and enjoy the benefits.

The challenge for organisations is how to promote and control their reputations on these channels. Considering how colleagues interact with one another online, and how the lines often get blurred or crossed when connecting on the web should be a concern at all levels of a business. The effects of social media activity can be immense, and the boundaries between work and home can often become very distorted. So the phrase ‘What goes online, stays online’ should be considered always.

The risks include:-

  • Confidential information being disclosed, often innocently.
  • Intentional disclosure of confidential information.
  • Phishing emails encouraging visits fraudulent or inappropriate websites.
  • Identity thieves or fraudsters hacking into or hijacking your account or page.
  • Accessing inappropriate content via links.
  • Online abuse in the form of bullying, stalking, trolling or other.
  • Malware contained within message attachments or photographs.

Responsible social media use should be promoted at all times. You can avoid these risks by following best practice guidelines for cyber security, as follows:-

  • Ensure there’s an up-to-date social media policy and include the training for this in every induction.
  • Train all staff in cyber awareness. Give them the empowerment to stay in control and limit their risk both individually and when representing the organisation.
  • Only give social media account access to employees who need it and who’ve been trained. Make sure there’s an audit trail of who can access accounts, and that any employees who leave the company are no longer allowed access.
  • Set strong passwords, correct privacy settings and two factor authentication.
  • Make it policy that confidential information isn’t included in any social media posts and that any announcements are signed off first.
  • Monitor what customers, employees and competitors are saying about your company.
  • Set up ongoing simple training to help staff remain vigilant.

Sprout CyberAware, powered by AXELOS, is a best practice cyber resilience training programme. It’s a portfolio of learning products which includes certified training, awareness learning for all staff, leadership insight and a maturity assessment tool that enables good and timely decision making on all aspects of information security.

Download Sprout IT’s free report titled ‘Cyber Resilience in the UK Legal Sector’. To get in touch with Sprout IT about security and other IT-related queries, please email AskTheExpert@sproutit.co.uk or visit www.sproutit.co.uk

What really happened to Tsar Nicholas II’s jewels that were stored in the Bank of England? Has there been a cover-up?

tsarbanker

What really happened to Tsar Nicholas II’s jewels that were stored in the Bank of England?  Has there been a cover-up?

As the anniversary of the murder of Tsar Nicholas II (July 1918) approaches author Stephen Davis asks – what happened to the Tsar’s jewels that were deposited in the Bank of England?

Stephen Davis’s book, ‘The Tsar’s Banker’ is inspired by real events that took place between 1913 and 1933. They are shrouded in mystery and may include a cover-up at the very top levels of society (including the Royal household and the Bank of England).

‘The Tsar’s Banker’ by Stephen Davis (published Oct 2016) chronicles the story around the journey to London of Tsar Nicholas II’s fabulous jewels and secret papers – just as the Russian Revolution of 1917 kicks off. 

The novel is fiction – but behind it lies a true tale of vast riches in gold and jewels that lay hidden in the vaults of the Bank of England – and haven’t been seen, or heard of, in nearly 100 years.

Perhaps it’s time the truth was finally revealed.

Here are the facts:
In 1914 the Tsar of Russia was the wealthiest man in the world having vast riches in Russia from timber reserves, gold and diamond mines. In addition to these it’s known that his Grandfather and father had huge deposits in gold coin in European banks such as the Mendelssohn Bank in Berlin and the Bank of England. When he ascended the throne he inherited these bank deposits. At the start of World War I it’s estimated that the money held in the Bank of England alone amounted to over £200 million in today’s figures. It’s known that some funds were repatriated to Russia during the war but as late as 1915 the Empress sent a letter to the Emperor stating that, ‘The British Ambassador from England brings me over £100,000.’ This letter alone proves that the Emperor did not repatriate all his money from England

In 1917, after the overthrow of the Romanovs, the provisional Government in Russia undertook an investigation of the Emperor’s private foreign investments. This was in an attempt to determine whether he would be able to support himself and his family in Exile. With the co-operation of Nicholas II they determined that he had 14 million in foreign deposits, in gold and jewellery in two European banks (Around $150 million today).

In 1933 seven relatives of Nicholas II, the surviving members of the Romanov family, were granted a ‘certificate of inheritance’ for the funds held at the Mendelssohn Bank in Berlin. The Bank of England, however, denied holding any assets for the Russian Imperial Family and, despite a number of attempts by distant members of the Romanov family to establish if money or property existed, none has ever been found in Great Britain.

In complete contrast to this in 1960 Sir Edward Peacock, Director of the Bank of England, stated to the newspapers: “I am pretty sure there was never any money of the Imperial Family of Russia in the Bank of England, nor in any other bank in England. Of course, it is difficult to say ‘never’.”

Peacock was obviously wrong – we know for a fact that there was, in the past at least, money from the Romanov’s in the Bank of England. If the money remained in the Bank of England after the war in 1920, when Peacock was a Director of the Bank, then either the money was still there or someone had withdrawn it…but who? None of Nicholas’s heirs were in a position to do so; they were all dead.

Could it just be a coincidence that after leaving the Bank of England Edward Peacock held a job as receiver general to the Duchy of Cornwall, the principal property management arm of the British Royal Family? Or was it a reward for keeping quiet about the jewels and their whereabouts?

In addition, it’s known that in 1905 Nicholas II deposited funds, of at least two million in gold roubles, in England and Germany on behalf of his four daughters and his son and heir Alexis.

If there was one person who would know of the existence of deposits of the Romanovs it would be Piotr Bark. He served as The Tsar’s Minister of Finance until the revolution. Bark escaped to England but maintained a discreet silence on the subject of the Romanov treasure. After the war he changed his name to Peter Bank and became the Managing-Director of the Anglo-International Bank. What is strange is that he was knighted by George V for services to banking. But what had this Russian exile done that deserved a knighthood? Being Managing Director of a Bank was hardly noteworthy, even then, unless it was as a reward for remaining silent about the Romanov fortune?

We now can move forward to facts from more recent times. At some time during the 1920s various boxes containing property that had once belonged to the Russian Imperial Family were secretly transported down the Mall in London to Marlborough House, the residence of Queen Alexandra, the sister of the Dowager Empress of Russia. At Marlborough House the contents of the boxes were inspected by King George V and Queen Mary. It was reported that the contents of the boxes were personal items. Could these be the personal jewels of the Tsar? It is known that Queen Mary was fascinated by jewellery.   


In the early 1920s jewels belonging to the Romanov’s began to appear in London. On one occasion, Queen Mary produced a pink onyx Fabergé box designed to hold cards and asked the Tsar’s sister, Grand Duchess Xenia, what she thought of it. Xenia replied: “That used to be on my writing desk.” Queen Mary, known for her acquisitive nature and not one to understand the concept of restitution, replaced the box in a cabinet without further comment.

Grand Duchess Xenia spent some fifteen years searching for her late brother’s western finances and authorised lawyers, including Sir Harold Brookes, to investigate on her behalf.

In 1952, Prince Dimitri Alexandrovich, son of Grand Duchess Xenia, declared that he’d seen a box, with some property belonging to the Imperial Family, stored at Windsor Castle.

As recently as 2009 there were rumours that the Bank of England holds a number of boxes, each embossed with the Imperial Russian coat of arms, in its vaults deep below the streets of London. But if so why does the Bank of England maintain, at different times, that they have never existed or do not now exist? What would be the harm if they were now displayed…unless of course if the boxes are now empty?

Davis has written to both the Bank of England and Buckingham Palace enquiring about the whereabouts of the jewels. Both have replied but the replies, particularly from The Bank of England, stating that ‘an account for the Tsar was closed in 1900 and funds withdrawn’ increases the mystery further.

About Stephen Davis

Stephen Davis began his writing career aged 27 with a column in the South Wales Western Mail. A regular contributor to business magazines, he is also the author of two business books as well as a sought-after speaker and broadcaster on business issues. ‘The Tsar’s Banker’ is his first novel, in a series that follows the fortunes of the Tagleva family between 1912 and 1946.

See: www.thetsarsbanker.com and www.facebook.com/thetsarsbanker/

What should law firms do about ransomware?

  • “What should law firms do about ransomware?

    One of the biggest law firms in the world has been hit by the huge ransomware attack (Petya) that is currently sweeping the globe. DLA Piper has confirmed that its computer systems and phones have been taken out by the mass hacking.

    LegalT Today have published Matt Torrens’ article entitled “What should law firms do about ransomware?”

    What better time, to have a read?

    Click to read the article in PDF – LegalITToday-Article-MT-Ransonware

 

A visit to my Stateroom by two officers from Police Scotland

Two Police officers called on me today as a former girlfriend – a younger lawyer – was worried about me.  I had not been on Twitter since 5th May and had not responded to emails.  I explained that I had not been paid by a law firm, that I had no internet connection credits or telephone credits – nor did I receive any pension payment from the DWP.  The DWP will sort it out – but say that it would take them 5 weeks!  They had no idea what I could do for food in the meantime. Utterly useless department.   I asked the Police officers if they could let my friend know that I was OK.  They were very happy to do so and my friend sent me some money so I could actually buy some food to eat.

I am a fan of The Scottish Police.  Helpful men and women.

I was 64 last week.  A strange birthday eating sugar and drinking tea.  I had sugar and Tea bags! No food as law firm failed to pay and DWP failed to send money due to me.

But, life can only get better.  It certainly can’t get worse!  I plan to live until I am 100 to get as much pension money from our utterly useless Government.. onwards and upwards. Have a good week.

 

 

The latest issue of the Internet Newsletter for Lawyers is now published.

The latest issue of the Internet Newsletter for Lawyers is now published. The PDF issue is attached. Print subscribers will receive their print issues shortly.

In this issue

  • Legal services – Delia Venables reviews the 50 plus companies (as distinct from law firms) selling legal documents and services online
  • Tribunals – Jamie Anderson of Trinity Chambers reviews the Employment Tribunals Decisions now on GOV.UK
  • Websites – Sue Bramall of Berners Marketing looks at mistakes to avoid in commissioning a website
  • Intranets – Helen Dewar describes the process of commissioning a new intranet for Leigh Day
  • Technology – Alex Heshmaty of Legal Words explains what smart contracts are and the current and potential uses
  • Publications and events – Nick Holmes rounds up the latest lawtech publications, launches and events

Access the Newsletter online

The latest issue of the Internet Newsletter for Lawyers is now published. The PDF issue is attached. Print subscribers will receive their print issues shortly.

In this issue

  • Legal services – Delia Venables reviews the 50 plus companies (as distinct from law firms) selling legal documents and services online
  • Tribunals – Jamie Anderson of Trinity Chambers reviews the Employment Tribunals Decisions now on GOV.UK
  • Websites – Sue Bramall of Berners Marketing looks at mistakes to avoid in commissioning a website
  • Intranets – Helen Dewar describes the process of commissioning a new intranet for Leigh Day
  • Technology – Alex Heshmaty of Legal Words explains what smart contracts are and the current and potential uses
  • Publications and events – Nick Holmes rounds up the latest lawtech publications, launches and events

Access the Newsletter online

BEETHOVEN: Life of an Artist, by Susan Lund

beethoven

BEETHOVEN: Life of an Artist, by Susan Lund is a modern look at Beethoven and his place in our world today. It follows the author’s discovery that Beethoven had a son. He fathered a child with a married woman and the child was brought up by the woman and her husband.

Over 200 years ago, while at the Bohemian spa of Teplitz, Beethoven wrote his Immortal Beloved letter.

Leading musical scholar Maynard Solomon later discovered that Antonie Brentano was Beethoven’s Immortal Beloved. Building on Solomon’s research Susan Lund discovered that Beethoven was the father of her sixth and last child, Karl Josef.

From Bohemia, Franz Brentano took his pregnant wife back to their home in Frankfurt. Beethoven returned alone to Vienna.

Karl Josef grew up a normal, healthy child, advanced, until the age of four when he was stricken with an illness which left him partially paralysed; with the mental age of a four year old.

Without Karl Josef, and his mother’s anguish over his spiritual development, would we have had the Missa Solemnis? Not even a Christian, let alone a Catholic, Beethoven might have written a Mass for the Archduke Rudolph’s inauguration; but it would not have been that Mass.

Aimed at the general reader as well as the academic, BEETHOVEN: Life of an Artist is an easy read, accurate and informative, containing new information about the composer’s life.

The book looks at the effect of biographical events upon his music, especially his last major works: the last piano sonatas; the Missa Solemnis and the Choral; and the late quartets. Changes in society are examined, from Beethoven’s time to ours, such as the social stigma of illegitimacy, marriage within class, and the indissolubility of marriage within the Catholic Church prevalent in Vienna in Beethoven’s lifetime.

Susan Lund is author of 12 books including ‘Raptus: A novel about Beethoven’, ‘Beethoven and the Catholic Brentanos’ and ‘Passion’. NEW BOOK: Beethoven: Life of an Artist by Susan Lund

 

 

Rive Gauche: Cleaner clears up Hirst’s ashtray art

It is often said that modern art is rubbish, but never did it ring as true as when an art gallery cleaner binned a work by Damien Hirst because he thought the installation was exactly that – leftover rubbish.Emmanuel Asare thought the piles of full ashtrays, half-filled coffee cups, empty beer bottles and newspapers strewn across the gallery were the remnants of a party in the west London gallery.

Although that is what it was, this rubbish had been arranged by Hirst into an impromptu installation, which increased its value by thousands.

Hirst had arrived at the launch party of a new exhibition of his work, Painting-By-Numbers, on Tuesday night at the Eyestorm gallery. When asked how he would like his prints to be displayed in the windows, the artist, famed for his formaldehyde animals, decided to create a new work.

The next morning when Mr Asare arrived for work, he decided to clean up the mess straight away by putting it all in bin bags. Mr Asare said: “As soon as I clapped eyes on it I sighed because there was so much mess.

“I didn’t think for a second that it was a work of art – it didn’t look much like art to me. So I cleared it all into binbags and dumped it.”

Staff were dispatched to find the binbags in the rubbish, and salvaged the various objects, which they used to reconstruct the installation from photographs taken earlier.

Hirst, 35, said the piles of junk represented an artist’s studio and said the mistake was “fantastic. Very funny.”

Charles Thomson, co-founder of the Stuckist art movement, which favours the traditional skills of drawing and painting, praised Mr Asare’s action.

“The cleaner obviously ought to be promoted to an art critic of a national newspaper. He clearly has a fine critical eye and can spot rubbish, just as the child could see that the emperor wasn’t wearing any new clothes,” he said.

And while I am on the subject of ‘nonsense’ – the current vogue for being awarded Blue Ticks on Twitter is becoming absurd.  I have no desire to have a Blue Tick or any other honour I have not awarded to myself.

I have awarded myself a RED Tick on a black background. “I have a Red Tick, therefore I exist? ”

Cogito, ergo sum?  or perhaps, after a glass or two of vino rosso… Bibendo, ergo sum?

And here is Roger Scruton: Roger Scruton – I Drink Therefore I Am, A Philosophers Guide to Wine

Scots Independence

This, sent to me by a friend, made me laugh!

 

If Scotland gains its independence in any forthcoming referendum, the remainder of the United Kingdom will be known as the “Former United Kingdom,” or FUK.
In a bid to discourage the Scots from voting “yes” in the referendum, the Government is intending to campaign with the slogan
“Vote NO, for FUK’s sake.” They feel the Scottish voters will be able to relate to this.

 

The most beautiful places in Scotland

The Most Beautiful Places in Scotland
Rachel Summers

Scotland is home to some of the most stunning and breath-taking locations within the UK and will definitely not disappoint any passing visitor. We have created a list of some of Scotland’s most beautiful places and locations that you simply must visit whilst in the country.

Edinburgh

We are going to start off with one of the most popular destinations in Scotland; Edinburgh. You simply cannot create a list about Scotland’s most beautiful places without featuring Edinburgh. Edinburgh is home to Edinburgh Castle and contains the famous Royal Mile. If you are lucky enough to visit the city, the amazing picturesque city skylines will not disappoint any traveller and the town has often been called “olde worldly” as well as “gothic” which you can imagine what beautiful sights a place like that has to offer.

Edinburgh, being the capital city, is a place for almost every type of traveller. Whether you are in the city for business, partying, relaxing or a romantic break then you will find things within the city that suit all of your holiday or visiting needs.

Loch Ness

Popular for camping, Loch Ness is a simply stunning area that is surrounded by mountains, villages and the ruins of Urquhart Castle. Loch Ness goes on for around 23 miles so is very popular for those who are wanting to escape into the peace and quiet. Loch Ness is the perfect place to pitch a tent and have a romantic, quiet getaway for a long weekend.

While visiting, be sure to keep an eye out for Nessie! Will you be one of the lucky few to spot her during your stay?

Fairy Pools – Skye

The name by itself shows off just how magical the place is to visit. Fairy Pools, which is located in Skye, features waterfalls that have been carved through rock that runs down into the vividly turquoise pool beneath. It truly is an enchanting, magical place that will not disappoint and will live up to its name.

Ben Nevis

Ben Nevis is one of the most well-known places in Scotland and for very good reason. Once you have hiked all the way to the peak of Ben Nevis your reward is the spectacular, breath-taking views that oversee the amazing Grampian Mountains. Although, Ben Nevis certainly is not for the faint hearted as it is the highest mountaintop in the whole of the UK.

Edinburgh Castle

While visiting Edinburgh you cannot go home before going visit Edinburgh Castle. Edinburgh Castle, which overlooks the city, is the singularly most popular (paid) tourist attraction in Scotland. As you walk around the Castle you will come across exhibits such as the Stone of Destiny and the Crown Jewels.

Finnich Glen

Finnich Glen is one of the most stunning places you could visit whilst you are in Scotland. The vivid green moss covers all of the walls which offers a beautiful stage for the water that flows across the red sandstone which resembles the look of a river filled with blood – an unquestionably beautiful and yet strange sight to behold.

Discovering More in Scotland

There are far too many places within Scotland to name on this single list alone, but if you are wanting to do further research into places you would love to visit then websites such as Metro and Huffington Post are great for discovering further lists. I’m sure that you will find many more places in Scotland that you would love to have on your itinerary – perhaps a second and third visit should be on the cards to fit them all in!

Lawyer 2B reports: Judges speaking up – and being slapped down

Since last year’s notorious “Enemies of the People” headline, there has been a fierce debate about how the judiciary should respond to public criticism. The Lord Chancellor, Liz Truss MP resisted calls to speak up on the judges’ behalf, saying that although she supported the independence of the judiciary it was not for her as a government minister to censor the tabloid press. Instead, she suggested judges should speak up on their own behalf. But that can cause problems, as recent events have shown.

The judiciary are “hopelessly bad at communicating with the press” and “simply won’t get engaged”, according to Sir Alan Moses, a former Lord Justice who is now chairman of the press regulator Independent Press Standards Organisation (IPSO) speaking to the BBC at the time. (It’s not the first time he’s criticised the judiciary for their failure to engage with the media, as revealed in this discussion of his 2014 lecture, Wearing the Mourning Robes of our Illusions: Justice in a Spin.)

But Moses agreed with the Lord Chief Justice, Lord Thomas of Cwmgiedd that the Lord Chancellor had not gone far enough to defend the judiciary in the wake of the High Court’s decision in the Brexit ‘Article 50’ case (Regina (Miller and another) v Secretary of State for Exiting the European Union[2016] EWHC 2768 (Admin); [2017] 2 WLR 583, DC).

Read the rest of the article here

This is both disgraceful and sad – the Judge should have dealt with Social services rather than jail the woman

Judge jails ‘fragile and vulnerable’ woman for begging despite her having no lawyer

The Independent reports: District judge Philip Mackenzie accuses legal system of ‘conspiring against a vulnerable individual’ after woman who begged ‘for 50p’ sentenced with no legal assistance

“A judge who sentenced a “fragile and vulnerable” woman to prison for begging has blasted the legal system after the defendant was unable to access a lawyer.

Marie Baker, 38 and unable to read or write, was sentenced without legal representation to five and a half months for repeatedly breaching an anti-social behaviour injunction aimed at preventing her accosting people in the streets of Worcester and in nearby Malvern.

Sentencing Ms Baker, District judge Philip Mackenzie expressed alarm at the fact that no lawyer could be found to represent her, saying it was “regrettable” that she was unable to get legal assistance.

“I am disturbed and concerned that Ms Baker attends before me today without the assistance of any public funding or a solicitor,” Judge Mackenzie told the court.

“I am particularly concerned about that because, on any view, Ms Baker is […] a fragile and vulnerable individual and that makes it all the more regrettable that she has not got legal assistance.”

He accused the legal system of “conspiring against a vulnerable individual”, saying it was “wholly unsatisfactory” that she couldn’t access the solicitor assistance that she needed.

“I have reached the conclusion that she can have a fair hearing and that every opportunity has been afforded to her to prepare a case with assistance from a solicitor, but through no fault of her own she has not been able to secure that,” he said.

“It is wholly unsatisfactory that the system conspires against a vulnerable individual like this, so that she cannot get the legal aid and solicitor assistance that she really needs.”

Leading charity the Howard League for Penal Reform branded Ms Baker’s lack of access to legal aid a “damning indictment” of the justice system, saying it was essentially “punishing poverty”.

Andrew Neilson, director of campaigns at the legal campaign group, said: “This is an utterly depressing case which highlights how all too often our courts are dealing with failings in social welfare and punishing poverty and vulnerability.

“It is quite simply a damning indictment of our justice system that a woman recognised by the courts as being ‘fragile and vulnerable’, with no legal representation, can be imprisoned for 26 weeks for begging for 50p.”

Judge Mackenzie said Ms Baker’s begging was not “aggressive” or persistent and that she had “simply asked for 50p”, but said the fact that she had repeatedly breached orders meant a more “significant” penalty was necessary. ”

In my view – this judge needs to learn a bit more about the difficulties some people face and not abuse his powers to jail someone in these circumstances.  This case has annoyed me – Social Services should have been contacted, not a Prison Van.  Absurd.  Removing  the judge might be an idea?