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No turning back from liberalisation

first_img John Wotton is president of the Law Society I expect that very soon the Solicitors Regulation Authority will announce that it has granted the first group of licences for alternative business structures if, indeed, an announcement to this effect has not already been made by the time this article is published. The end of the profession? I think not. At an event held by the SRA to mark the starting point of its regulation of ABSs, as it reviews the 100-plus applications it has already received, I offered the following reflections at this seminal moment in the development of our profession. ABSs are unquestionably a significant innovation in legal practice – not just in this jurisdiction, but also when viewed from an international perspective. The degree of liberalisation of ownership of legal practices which has been permitted under the Legal Services Act goes way beyond what is allowed in almost any other country. Allowing ABSs is not axiomatically either a good thing or a bad thing – they bring with them both opportunities and risks. It is primarily for the market – through the owners and managers of legal practices and those who wish to invest in them – to identify and pursue the opportunities which have been created by these new structures. The Law Society sees it as its function to do its best to ensure that the profession is fully aware of the options now available and the potential implications of change, so that solicitors can take the most rational decisions concerning the future of their practices and careers. Also, at one level, it is for the same group of people, namely those who are active in the legal services market, to manage the financial, client service and reputational risks that ABSs create. It is very much in the interests of managers of legal practices to do just this. Particular risks arise from external ownership of law firms – and the Law Society applauds the measures that have been adopted by the SRA to minimise and manage these risks. It is vital that these measures are successful, if harm to clients and to the legal profession’s standing, at home and abroad, is to be avoided. I anticipate that ABSs will accelerate a move towards greater efficiency and consolidation which is already in progress. It is essential that this consolidation does not reduce competition, or lead to inadequate client choice, or to relative inaccessibility of legal representation and advice. From the perspective of competition in the market, it is important that neither increased regulatory burdens on smaller firms, nor brand investment by larger players, raise barriers to entering the market that may eventually allow the largest businesses to charge uncompetitive prices. The possibility of new small-scale entry has always been a vital aspect of the competitiveness dynamism of our sector; of its ability to evolve to meet changing client demand; and of its ability to offer real and accessible choice to clients of all types. It is equally essential that firms which decide to close as a result of increased competition, do so in a way that poses no risk to clients and does not place an unwelcome cost burden on the profession as a whole. The cost of a single SRA intervention – borne by the profession – is substantial. The rapid change in the legal market which will evolve over the coming years will pose challenges to firms, the SRA and the Law Society alike. The Law Society looks forward to working with the managements of ABS organisations, as we do with other firms, in pursuance of our role in supporting all solicitors in whatever environment they practise. We will encourage new corporate entrants to the legal sector to engage fully with the profession in its mission to serve the rule of law, support access to justice, and ensure that a legal career remains open to all with the requisite ability and ambition. I congratulate the SRA on the intensive work it has done in bringing the ABS process to, as it were, the banks of the Rubicon, and to thank it for the responsiveness it has shown to issues of concern, which have been raised by the Law Society and others, in the course of the journey on which we have travelled together so far. There is no turning back from this Rubicon, however, and we will continue to support the SRA in meeting the challenges, both expected an unexpected, which will confront them as the liberalisation of our legal markets continues to unfold. Much work lies ahead for both the Law Society and the SRA over the coming months, as issues relating to ABSs are identified and managed, in the interests of the public and the regulatory objectives of the Legal Services Act.last_img read more

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Similar, but not the same

first_imgGet your free guest access  SIGN UP TODAY Stay at the forefront of thought leadership with news and analysis from award-winning journalists. Enjoy company features, CEO interviews, architectural reviews, technical project know-how and the latest innovations.Limited access to building.co.ukBreaking industry news as it happensBreaking, daily and weekly e-newsletters To continue enjoying Building.co.uk, sign up for free guest accessExisting subscriber? LOGIN Subscribe now for unlimited access Subscribe to Building today and you will benefit from:Unlimited access to all stories including expert analysis and comment from industry leadersOur league tables, cost models and economics dataOur online archive of over 10,000 articlesBuilding magazine digital editionsBuilding magazine print editionsPrinted/digital supplementsSubscribe now for unlimited access.View our subscription options and join our communitylast_img read more

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Wonders & blunders

first_imgGet your free guest access  SIGN UP TODAY Stay at the forefront of thought leadership with news and analysis from award-winning journalists. Enjoy company features, CEO interviews, architectural reviews, technical project know-how and the latest innovations.Limited access to building.co.ukBreaking industry news as it happensBreaking, daily and weekly e-newsletters Subscribe to Building today and you will benefit from:Unlimited access to all stories including expert analysis and comment from industry leadersOur league tables, cost models and economics dataOur online archive of over 10,000 articlesBuilding magazine digital editionsBuilding magazine print editionsPrinted/digital supplementsSubscribe now for unlimited access.View our subscription options and join our community Subscribe now for unlimited access To continue enjoying Building.co.uk, sign up for free guest accessExisting subscriber? LOGINlast_img read more

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Fairstar describes Dockwise tactics as “hostile and nasty”

first_imgThe loan was concluded with a group of banks led by ING, creating a new phase in the takeover saga.In announcing the deal, Fairstar stated its belief that ‘Dockwise has been trying to talk down the value of our business in order to acquire it at the cheapest possible price’. It added that “hostile and dirty tactics are not in the best interests of creating value for all of our stakeholders.”The deal signed with the banks provides the necessary liquidity to satisfy the outstanding payment obligations toGuangzhou Shipbuilding International (GSI) due under the construction contracts for the 50,000 dwt semi-submersible vessels Forte and Finesse. In addition, the facility provides Fairstar with a USD20 million tranche for the performance bonds required under the Gorgon, Ichthys and Golden Eagle contracts.Ingmar den Blanken, treasurer of Fairstar negotiated the deal with the banks and provided the following additional details: “The facility has a one year term and is priced for the first nine months at LIBOR plus 400 basis points, rising to LIBOR plus 600 basis points after nine months. In addition to providing the funds we need to pay our obligations for the Forte and Finesse; it re-finances the current loans we have with HSH Nordbank and ABN AMRO. The banks will hold first mortgages over the Fairstar fleet once funding has been made. While the terms are not nearly as attractive as the DNB Bank facility we signed last year, in light of the recent disruption to our business caused by Dockwise, we are pleased to be able to satisfy our obligations to GSI as well as our obligations to our “red box” clients.”Philip Adkins, Fairstar’s ceo provided further elaboration: “We were very clear to the market last week that the payments we are obliged to make will be made and the performance bonds we are obliged to issue will be issued. At Fairstar, we keep our promises. Fairstar is a very valuable company.”The Fairstar statement clearly shows it believes that Dockwise ‘exploited the financial instability of one of our large shareholders (Oceanus) and the naivety of others in order to acquire a large stake in Fairstar, before making their intentions public’. This ‘has nothing to do with the value of our business. More importantly, the accretive value of our business to Dockwise has been completely overlooked in their Offer Document.”We have invited representatives of Dockwise to meet with Fairstar and discuss in a constructive way how best to end the current hostile stalemate. Now that our financial obligations have been met, Dockwise must be prepared to address the facts that 46 percent of our shareholders have not accepted the NOK9.3 “offer” and Fairstar’s shares have been consistently trading above that level since the attack on Fairstar began.”Our clients have been very uncomfortable with the tactics that have been used by our competitor. It seems inappropriate to suggest to our partners that Fairstar needs to be saved by Dockwise. I am certain our clients knew what they were doing when they chose to award almost USD300 million in contracts to Fairstar. The Fairstar Boards are preparing a formal rebuttal to the Offer Document that is now in circulation. In the meantime our invitation for a constructive dialog goes unanswered,” Adkins added.www.dockwise.comwww.fairstar.comlast_img read more

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INTELLIGENCE

first_imgAustralia: National Rail and TNT Automotive Logistics have begun moving cars between Melbourne and Brisbane in 3·2m high containers on two TRAY wagons with a deck height of 830mm and a wheel diameter of 725mm.NRC’s Trailerail has ordered 10 refrigerated road/rail trailers from Maxi-Cube and 15 curtain-sided vehicles from Air-Ride for use on the Sydney – Perth route.Rail Access Corp of New South Wales is managing a programme of feasibility studies into reactivating disused lines and restoring passenger services in rural areas. Passenger service was reintroduced to the 423 km Cairns – Forsayth route in Queensland on September 4, through an extension of the Forsayth – Mount Surprise Savannahlander tourist train.Bangladesh: Agngur Enterprise is to operate passenger and parcels services on Bangladesh Railway’s 167 km Santahar – Lamonirhat route, paying an annual fee of 12·4m taka. Bids have been invited for the Dhaka – Chittagong and Dhaka – Mymenshing routes.Canada: Canadian National is to transfer 434route-km in Alberta connecting St Paul Junction with Boyle, Grande Centre and Elk Point to RaiLink Ltd (RG 9.97 p566). CN has agreed in principle to sell the 164 km Silver – London route in Ontario to RailTex Inc, which operates the nearby Goderich – Exeter Railway.China: Chinese Railways completed electrification of the 694 km Beijing – Zhengzhou route in early August. Work began in 1992 at a total cost of 3·5bn yuan. Czech Republic: The EU is providing KC193m under the Phare programme towards 25 kV 50Hz electrification of the 11 km between Cheb and the German border at a cost of KC260m.Europe: Intercontainer-Interfrigo and CSKD-Intrans (RG 8.98 p506) are to co-operate on developing intermodal services to the Czech Republic and Slovakia.Three Netherlands Railways Class DM90 DMUs entered service on the cross-border Heerlen – Aachen route on August 14, following approval from Germany’s Federal Railway Authority.Germany: Ostholstein district has backed proposals to reopen the Eutin – Neustadt line, restart passenger services on the Malente – Lütjenburg branch, and enhance services between Eutin and Kiel.Moselbahn GmbH, operator of the Trier – Bullay local railway closed in 1968, plans to take over the DB branch from Bullay to Traben Trarbach in 2001.September 1 saw services on the Heidekrautbahn from Berlin-Karow to Liebenwalde and Groß Schlast_img read more

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SECRET studies electromagnetic security risk

first_imgEUROPE: The final conference of the three-year SECurity of Railways against Electromagnetic aTtacks research project was held in Lille last month.SECRET aimed to assess the risks and consequences of electromagnetic attacks on rail infrastructure, identify preventive and recovery measures and develop protection techniques. The project was funded by the EU, and managed by a multinational consortium of 10 research centres, manufacturers and railway representatives.The conference included demonstrations of real-time testing of the susceptibility of GSM-R systems to electromagnetic attack, demonstrations of how to cope with the effects of jamming, and an example of resilient architecture for dynamic interference protection.UIC director Marc Antoni said the SECRET project would support European interoperability by ensuring signalling systems were ‘robust and resilient’ in the face of electromagnetic attacks. He said the results of the work would be disseminated to UIC members and submitted to standardisation bodies for incorporation into industry standards ‘as practical guidelines for infrastructure managers and railway undertakings’.last_img read more

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Nigerian musician Don Jazzy launches free Wi-Fi in Lagos

first_imgNigerian musician who is also Mavin Records boss Don Jazzy has launched a free Wi-Fi service called Flobyt in Lagos, the Vanguard reports.“I have always wanted to play big in the technology space and I looked for people who were sound and had a beautiful track record in the technology space. This is my first business investment in the technology space that is public while I remain a silent partner in others,” he said during the unveiling.Don Jazzy is partnering with founder of Tsaboin, technology company, Dele Odufuye a project he says is to give back to the society.“I believe so much in this. This is one of the few other investments we are going to be sharing with you. I have been on social media for a long time. I know how expensive data is. I give free airtime, now it’s time to give free WiFi,” he added.According to Don Jazzy, at specified locations, between 10-30 people can be connected at the same time while in locations with higher traffic, Flobyt Max can provide internet service to 10-80 concurrent users.According to the CEO of Tsaboin, “Flobyt is an easy-to-use WiFi service which has been installed across several locations in Lagos. Some of these locations include eateries, parks, taxis, buses, restaurants, and cafés, Dele Odufuye, Tsaboin MD/CEO, revealed during the launch in Ikeja, Lagos.”The service, he said, was designed to replicate the home WiFi experience when people are out and about.last_img read more

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Finnlines Invests in Sustainability, Orders Three New Green Ro-Ro Vessels

first_imgFinnlines continues to invest in increasing its vessel capacity and has signed an order for three ro-ro vessels from the Chinese Jinling shipyard. The vessels delivery is expected as from 2020-2021.The total investment will be over EUR 200 million.The vessels are 238 metres long and will have a cargo capacity of 5,800 lane metres plus 5,600m2 of car decks and a capacity of abt 300 TEU on weather deck. The vessels are designed to be flexible for all type of ro-ro cargo whilst tank top and main deck are shaped with strengthened bulkheads and free of pillar areas to accommodate paper and sto-ro concept. The vessel has also an increased DWT of 17,400 tons.The vessel will have the highest Finnish / Swedish ice class.The design has been done in cooperation with Nordic marine designer Knud E. Hansen and with the high level of technological innovation these new green ro-ro vessels will be among the most modern and environmentally friendly vessels in the Baltic. The vessels will be equipped with the latest generation of engines that ensure the lowest fuel consumption and lowest CO2 emissions, and they will be fitted with scrubbers to abate the Sulphur and other particulate matters.These new green ro-ro vessels will be a new kind of hybrid ro-ro vessels, which will use fossil fuel during sailing and electricity while in port and hence guaranteeing “zero emissions in port”. In fact, the vessels will have a lithium-ion battery bank, which will be recharged during sailing and will provide the electricity to the ship while at berth but there will be no emissions during the port stay.An innovative air lubrication system under the keel will create the bubble layers which will reduce friction and hydrodynamic resistance and consequently reduce fuel consumption and emissions as well. Optimised energy efficiency is ensured with the hull lines and propellers including the most advanced integrated propeller-rudder system.“We continue to modernise our fleet further. This investment will also help us to meet increased demand and enable us to serve our customers better. These green ro-ro vessels will be built taking all technological and environmental factors into account and thus will increase our energy efficiency further. These vessels will offer us the lowest possible fuel consumption and exhaust emissions and again, is in line with our investments in sustainable development. We are proud that these exceptional technologies on board will make the vessels the most innovative and efficient vessels in the world”, says Emanuele Grimaldi, CEO of Finnlines.Sea News, May 4 Author: Priyanka Ann Sainilast_img read more

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No rest for Negros spikers

first_img[av_one_full first min_height=” vertical_alignment=” space=” custom_margin=” margin=’0px’ padding=’0px’ border=” border_color=” radius=’0px’ background_color=” src=” background_position=’top left’ background_repeat=’no-repeat’ animation=”][av_heading heading=’No rest for Negros spikers’ tag=’h3′ style=’blockquote modern-quote’ size=’30’ subheading_active=’subheading_below’ subheading_size=’18’ padding=’10’ color=” custom_font=” av-medium-font-size-title=” av-small-font-size-title=” av-mini-font-size-title=” av-medium-font-size=” av-small-font-size=” av-mini-font-size=” admin_preview_bg=”]BY ADRIAN STEWART CO[/av_heading][av_textblock size=” font_color=” color=” av-medium-font-size=” av-small-font-size=” av-mini-font-size=” admin_preview_bg=”]Saturday, February 24, 2018[/av_textblock][av_textblock size=’18’ font_color=” color=” av-medium-font-size=” av-small-font-size=” av-mini-font-size=” admin_preview_bg=”]WHILE the gold medal they won in the WVRAA Meet 2018 has yet to warm in their hands, the Negros Occidental secondary girls volleyball team, representing Bacolod Tay Tung, are set for another competition in Western Visayas PRISAA, which will open today in Iloilo City. Joan Marie Monares, one of the key players of the squad, admitted that their while their bodies have yet to recover from the grueling WVRAA Meet, they have to exhibit the same hunger in WVPRISAA, which is a qualifier for the National PRISAA.“I must admit medyo pagod pa ang katawan namin but we have to fight for the right to represent our school and also Negros,” Monares told the Buzzer Beater on Thursday evening. “Laban lang kami.”“Ganoon naman ang buhay ng mga athletes, there is always competition. All we have to do is bring our A game dahil not everyone is given the chance to represent their school and region,” she added.The Ian Macariola-mentored squad will also not have a hard time adjusting since they will parade the same lineup that won all their seven matches in the just-concluded WVRAA Meet.Aside from Monares, also in the team are Marianne Sotomil, Shane Carmona, Alyssa Bertolano, Kiesha Bedonia, Rhean Almendralejo, Joan Doguna, Nohlin Jundana, and Marixi Maligmat.***Bacolod Tay Tung High School Thunderbolts girls volleyball team got a huge boost recently after striking a partnership with the University of the Philippines to improve further its high school volleyball program.Jose Montalbo, Tay Tung’s vice president for sports, told the Buzzer Beater that the Lady Maroons has agreed to help the school’s volleyball program after seeing its success in various competitions in Western Visayas.“The support from UP, especially from Dominic Sytin, is a welcome development for us dahil mas mapapaganda pa nito ang high school volleyball program namin,” Montalbo said.“As part of the partnership, UP will become a priority to recruit our graduating volleyball players for college,” he added. “We know that UP also has a good volleyball program so our players will be in good hands.”UP recently secured the commitment of Ilongga Marianne Sotomil, one of the key players of the Thunderbolts squad. Sotomil is expected to suit up for Lady Maroons next year.“Matagal na silang interesado kay Marianne since nakita nila the way she plays for us in one of our Manila tournaments,” Montalbo said. “And madami rin silang nakitang players na may potential from our current lineup.”“Tay Tung is very delighted with this partnership because it will push the girls further na pagbutihin pa ‘yung paglalaro nila of course for a chance to play in a prestigious team like UP,” he said./PN[/av_textblock][/av_one_full]last_img read more

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State Welcomes Proposed Changes to Hunting, Trapping Regulations

first_imgAccording to a release from the DF&G, social media posts and media reports have begun to cloud the issue with claims that the proposed changes will open the door for state predator control programs on Park Service lands. To be clear, the state does not conduct predator control in national preserves, and wildlife harvests under general hunting regulations aren’t part of predator control programs. The National Park Service’s proposed amendments to its 2015 Final Rule for Hunting and Trapping in National Preserves in Alaska. FacebookTwitterEmailPrintFriendly分享In a push to reverse yet another Obama-era regulation, the Trump administration moved Tuesday to strike rules that forbid hunting methods on federal land in Alaska. Cotton: “We look forward to working with our federal partners to maintain a cooperative relationship. “We encourage Alaskans to review and offer their comments on the Park Service’s proposed changes.” Congress gave Alaska the authority to manage its fish and wildlife with three separate laws, U.S. Senator Lisa Murkowski (R-AK), chair of the Energy and Natural Resources Committee, noted in a statement. “This is clearly our right and our responsibility, and Alaskans take that very seriously. I thank the administration for recognizing this and working to properly align federal regulations.” The state would be allowed to conduct predator control in preserves only with Park Service authorization. The proposed changes would remove regulatory provisions issued in October 2015 that significantly expanded authority given to the National Park Service by Congress for fish and wildlife management in Alaska’s national preserves. Department of Fish and Game Commissioner Sam Cotten: “The new proposed regulations acknowledge that the State of Alaska has the primary authority to manage wildlife throughout Alaska. State of Alaska and Park Service policies were consistent for decades; no conservation concern or scientific basis existed to justify the 2015 changes.” Cotton says that the state’s goal, as primary wildlife manager on all lands within its borders, will be to continue maintaining healthy and sustainable wildlife populations, both predators and prey. This is consistent with the state constitution and Alaska National Interest Lands Conservation Act provisions that maintain the historical authorities of the state to manage fish and wildlife.last_img read more