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International firm Hogan Lovells has posted its ‘best ever’ annual results, with profit per equity partner up 10% in 2013 to $1.208m (£718,564), compared with 2012.Turnover increased 5.2% to $1.718bn (£1.03bn) in 2013, with revenue per lawyer up 3.7% to $742,613 (£444,661).Europe represented 47% of the firm’s billings, followed by 66% from the Americas and 7% from Asia and the Middle East.The firm said it has a number of ongoing initiatives to remain successful in a competitive market. ‘Our regulatory capabilities stand out in particular as a distinctive strength,’ it said in a statement.Hogan Lovells became one of the largest firms in the world following the merger between US firm Hogan & Hartson and City firm Lovells in 2010. The deal created a combined revenue of more than £1bn, with 2,500 lawyers in more than 40 offices.According to Thomson Reuters Legal Advisers’ annual M&A review in January, Hogan Lovells outperformed all other UK firms in the value of mergers and acquisitions (M&A) it advised upon in 2013, ranking ninth in the world.In recent months the firm has opened an office in Luxembourg, combined with Routledge Modise in South Africa and opened its second office in Brazil.
A Conservative MP has clashed with campaigners over the benefits of the criminal courts charge during an exchange in parliament.Members of four justice groups appeared before the House of Commons justice committee today to give their summary of the effects of an extra charge for convicted people since April.The witnesses said evidence is emerging of innocent people being coerced into pleading guilty because they would face a £150 charge rather than one for £520 if convicted in the magistrates’ court.It is estimated that defendants were required to pay around £5.7m from April to June – money which goes back into the financing of the courts system.Shipley MP Philip Davies (pictured), a member of the committee, accused some of the groups of struggling to ‘differentiate between personal and political opinions and evidence’.Addressing Frances Crook, chief executive of the Howard League for Penal Reform, who suggested that beggars convicted of minor crimes are subject to the charge, he questioned her evidence basis, adding: ‘You have no idea, you just made that up to be emotional.’Davies acknowledged the concerns that innocent people are forced to plead guilty, but he asked what evidence existed of the scale of that.The MP added: ‘Would you all say this is simply a one-way street?‘Would you perhaps concede that if [the charge is] encouraging innocent people to plead guilty, there’s half a chance that it may actually be encouraging guilty people to plead guilty? Does it only apply to innocent people pleading guilty? Or would anyone concede there is half a chance that it may encourage people to plead guilty rather than trying to work the system?’Phil Bowen, director of the Centre for Justice Innovation, said any system which introduces an element of ‘plea bargaining’ will convince some people to seek a ‘better deal’.He added: ‘[I’ve seen] innocent people with two or three convictions behind them who went ‘actually on this I’m innocent, but what’s the point as the system is loaded against me. There are aspects of the criminal court charge which are like that.’When Davies suggested the evidence basis for innocent people wrongly convicted was ‘one case’, Criminal Justice Alliance director Ben Summerskill replied: ‘It is a case we regard as reliable and I have to say, given my personal view of the importance of confidence in British justice, one case of someone pleading guilty to something they didn’t do is, with respect, one case too many.’Summerskill also stated that he had heard directly from a judge based in London who had reduced the amount of victim compensation the defendant was required to pay, in the knowledge that the courts charge had to be added further down the line.Malcolm Richardson, deputy chairman of the Magistrates’ Association, said judges and magistrates were supposed to consider the charge only after compensation, Crown Prosecution Service costs and any fine, but added: ‘We are only human beings and we work the sums out.’
Professional negligence lawyers should brace themselves for a flurry of work arising from a surge in the number of poorly advised private prosecutions, experts in the field have predicted.Colin Witcher and Anthony Eskander, of Church Court Chambers, told the Professional Negligence Lawyers Association conference that they expected an increase in actions against solicitors where their conduct caused the collapse of a prosecution and/or adverse costs orders. The barristers, who represented campaigner Marcus Ball (pictured above) in his private prosecution of Boris Johnson earlier this year, said there had been a ‘marked increase’ in similar proceedings brought by individuals. But with the increase has come more law firms claiming to be specialists in the field and making unrealistic promises of success.Witcher said: ‘In [our] chambers it has been about a 3,000% increase in enquiries from serious causes wanting advice in prosecutions. The risk of that is that people are running before they are walking, which is where professional negligence lawyers come in.’ He added that the courts have been quick to award costs against losing parties ‘no questions asked’ and that this may have been meant as a warning to lawyers not to bring unmeritorious cases. ‘There will be victims [who are] very unhappy a private prosecution goes wrong and they are lumbered with costs almost always in six figures.’ Witcher and Eskander attribute the increase in private prosecutions to a number of factors, including a lack of confidence in the Crown Prosecution Service, the victim wishing to retain control, and active involvement and wider public awareness of the right to bring private prosecutions. Earlier this year, all members of the Private Prosecutors Association agreed to abide by a published code that aimed to improve the standard of prosecutions and set a benchmark for best practice.
CHINA: The Institute of Railway & Urban Transit at Shanghai Tongji University is to set up an RFID laboratory to develop and test applications for railway and mass transit systems. Located at the Jiading campus, the laboratory will investigate the use of RFID equipment from Swedish firm TagMaster in onboard and trackside applications. The campus has a 700 m section of test track which can be used to verify RFID applications developed at the university.
USA: BNSF is planning to invest $3·3bn under its 2018 capital plan unveiled on January 31. This the same level of spending as 2017, and brings the total investment to more than $60bn since 2000.Within the total figure, $2·4bn has been allocated for maintenance and renewal of both infrastructure and rolling stock. ‘Our infrastructure is strong and robust’, explained President & Chief Executive Officer Carl Ice. ‘Our efforts to normalise our maintenance investment have positioned us to replace the right assets at the right locations at the right time. This allows our maintenance investment to be at similar levels year-to-year.’Among the infrastructure priorities are the replacement of more than 800 km of rail and nearly 3 million sleepers, as well as reballasting. Track surfacing and/or undercutting will be undertaken on work on more than 20 000 route-km.BNSF expects to invest $300m in new rolling stock during 2018, including freight wagons and other equipment. Around $100m has been allocated for Positive Train Control in order to meet the December 31 implementation deadline. BNSF says it is the only Class I freight railroad to have completed the installation of PTC on all its federally mandated subdivisions.
Thousands of university and college students in Tanzania are in danger of being expelled from their learning institutions after the country’s education authorities discovered a major scam involving the enrolment of unqualified students.The country’s Education Minister Joyce Ndalikacho has announced the dissolution of the Tanzania Commission for Universities (TCU) board and suspended other senior officials.Local media report that the government has already expelled 489 students who had been admitted to St. Joseph University, amd given government loans even though they did not “even qualify to pursue a certificate in teaching”.The government has since closed the university’s campuses in northern and southern Tanzania.
Nigeria’s Children Day 49,000 children face death in northeast Nigeria – UNICEF 80,000 children will starve to death in Nigeria: UNICEF According to UNICEF more than 3,500 children were recruited between 2013 and 2017 to join battle and used as combatants and non-combatants in the war. [U.N. Images]894 children, including 106 girls, were on Friday released from the ranks of a militant group in northeast Nigeria, UNICEF said.The Civilian Joint Task Force (CJTF) is a militant group was formed in 2013 with the aim of countering the Boko Haram threat.According to UNICEF more than 3,500 children were recruited between 2013 and 2017 to join battle and used as combatants and non-combatants in the war.“Any commitment for children that is matched with action is a step in the right direction for the protection of children’s rights and must be recognised and encouraged,” said Mohamed Fall, Representative of UNICEF in Nigeria and the Co-chair of United Nations Country Task Force on Monitoring and Reporting on Grave Child Rights Violations (CTFMR).“Children of north-east Nigeria have borne the brunt of this conflict. They have been used by armed groups in combatant and non-combatant roles and witnessed death, killing and violence. This participation in the conflict has had serious implications for their physical and emotional well-being.”UNICEF said some children were maimed, raped and even killed.The agency said it would rehabilitate the freed children before they are reintegrated back into their communities.“We cannot give up the fight for the children, as long as children are still affected by the fighting. We will continue until there is no child left in the ranks of all armed groups in Nigeria,” said Fall.UNICEF said 1,727 children and young people have been released since 2017 following the signing of an action plan committing to put measures in place to end and prevent recruitment and use of children.Nigeria has been dogged by the Boko Haram insurgency for more than a decade, killing tens of thousands and displacing millions others.The most affected part has been northeast Nigeria, where the militants have carried out numerous attacks and forced people to flee their homes.A counter terrorism drive by Nigeria and a neighbouring states has forced the group into hiding, though it still manages to stage attacks occasionally, mostly by use of suicide bombers.Crushing Boko Haram remains a key agenda of current President Muhammadu Buhari.Related
Share Tweet InternationalLocalNewsPrintSports PELE’S Santos Futebol Clube of Brazil returns to the Caribbean by: – December 1, 2016 Press releaseThe Caribbean Football Trust Limited (CFTL) will create a monumental event in the history of Caribbean football. In 2017 there will be the official launch of the Caribbean League Futbol (CLF) featuring the legendary Pele’s Brazilian home team of Santos FC from Sao Paulo.In 1972 Santos FC, featuring three (3) times Brazilian World Cup winner “PELE” toured the Caribbean countries of Jamaica, Suriname and Trinidad & Tobago with much success.Now, in 2017, forty-five (45) years later Santos FC will take center stage in a Best of three (3) games series kicking off January 27 at the Windsor Park in Dominica continuing January 29 at the Arnos Vale Stadium in St. Vincent and then on February 4, the final game will be played atthe Andre Kamperveen Stadium in Suriname.The final game will be for the prestigious inaugural “ISLANDS CUP OPEN” and would be versus the newly established COMBINE ISLANDS FC. CFTL is also preparing to offer fans a “Major International Friendly” bonus game featuring two (2) major International clubs scheduled for February 1 in St. Vincent at the Arnos Vale Stadium.Several International Elite Marquee players will be representing the COMBINE ISLANDS FC team as guest players in all three (3) games. The names of these players will be announced in the upcoming weeks.The Caribbean Football Trust Limited (CTFL) has announced the establishment of the CLF:-. The CLF will be a professional twelve (12) week regional tournament with eight (8) teams competing for the league title and over three million USD ($3,000,000.00) dollars in prize money. This will increase up to five million USD ($5,000,000.00) dollars after the first three (3) years.After years of planning by the Directors of the CTFL and its partners, the Chairman and CFO of the CTFL, Chris Anderson made the announcement yesterday at a Board Meeting.“This is a proud moment for all of us in the Caribbean as there will finally be a very high profile professional league in the region and our players and coaches can earn a living participating in the sport they love,” said Chris Anderson.This announcement comes after support (as it relates to the concept and structure) was garnered from several regional Associations’ presidents as well as Heads of State and Ministers of Tourism. The vision of stimulating the regional tourism product and placing focus on Sports and Entertainment Tourism as a main platform to drive their Tourism products would be of benefit to the region.CFTL’s main focus is to establish across CARICOM member states modern sports and entertainment complexes, including sports rehab centers and vacation/ residential estate homes. These will be targeted to multi-million dollar earning athletes and entertainers. CFTL is confident that this aspect of the project is of utmost importance for the region.One of the major aims of the CLF is to fast track the development of young regional footballers and to show-case their talents on the international stage. This will lead to an improvement in the performance of Caribbean players whether at club or national level. It is hoped that this will result in more Caribbean member national teams appearing at FIFA World Cup competitions.In depth discussions have been on going with entities outside of the CONCACAF region. These include entities from Europe, the Middle East and Asia with regards to investment and sponsorship in this new CLF Intellectual property initiative. CFTL looks forward to finalizing the commitment of the first set of Marquee players and Head coaches. These announcements will be made within the next few months in time for the CLF 2017 kick off.The CLF shall be operational for a twelve (12) weeks period between June and August of each calendar year. The first official competitive season shall consist of scheduled games three (3) days per week: Wednesdays, Fridays and Sundays, (all double headers) to be played in the selected countries in two (2) groups of four (4) clubs per hub. In addition to the regular season and its play-off Champions Cup titles CLF shall organize two (2) CLF All Star teams for annual friendly games at the end of each season to showcase the collective talent of the region. CFTL will host games in markets where international games are not regularly hosted.The schedule for the inaugural ISLANDS CUP OPEN Tournament 2017 will be as follows:Match Day Date Venue Game#1 January 27 Windsor Park, Dominica Santos FC vs Combine Islands FC#2 January 29 Arnos Vale Stadium, St. Vincent Santos FC vs Combine Islands FC#3 February 1 Arnos Vale Stadium, St. Vincent Potential bonus game TBA#4 February 4 Andre Kamperveen Stadium, Suriname Santos FC vs Combine Islands FC 375 Views no discussions Share Share Sharing is caring!
A parade celebrating South Farmington Baseball and Softball’s 2018 spring season will step off at 10 a.m. on Saturday, May 5, from City Hall in downtown Farmington.Players from all teams with floats and signs will cheer and chant their way across Grand River to Oakland Street, then head north on Farmington Road. They’ll turn onto Shiawassee Street and end the parade at Shiawassee Park with music, prizes for the most spirit, the announcement of Umpire of the Year and the official opening day pitches of the season. South Farmington Baseball and Softball is a non-profit Little League program that provides recreational baseball and softball opportunities to boys and girls in the Farmington/Farmington Hills area and surrounding communities. Farmington Voice Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pinterest (Opens in new window) To learn more about the league, visit southfarmington.org. Reported by