the stock market by multinational firm DWF. The Manchester-headquartered firm was also involved in two overseas tie-ups, merging with Korosidis Lawyers to expand its offering in Australia, as well as K&L Gates Jamka, establishing the firm’s first office in Poland. In the UK market, Penningtons Manches merged with shipping specialist Thomas Cooper. The combination has been influenced by Brexit; by bringing two sets of international offices under one umbrella, the £91 million-valued Penningtons Manches Cooper is well placed to serve a global client base and maintain access to Europe. Other mergers may also have had Brexit in mind, such as Fieldfisher with Dublin- based McDowell Purcell and Ince Gordon Dadds with Gibraltar-based Rampart Corporate Advisors. Legal developments – talking points Drones New laws on the use of drones come into effect from November 2019, in response to the shutdown of Heathrow Airport during a peak time in the winter holidays in 2018 after an unknown person repeatedly flew a drone into the airport’s airspace. The new laws will make it illegal to fly a drone weighing more than 250g without first registering with the Civil Aviation Authority and passing online safety tests.
were still able to secure pupillage in contrast to 8% of BAME candidates.
Gender equality at the Bar The barriers facing women at the Bar – and some of the solutions to those barriers – are similar to those faced by women solicitors. According to a report by Suzanne McKie QC, a former barrister, and Ruth Whittaker, senior paralegal at specialist discrimination firm Farore Law, there is a “macho culture that can pervade chambers,” while “fewer women tend to move from call to practice and have a higher attrition rate once in practice (with the proportion of women falling as seniority increases).” Aserious issueat somechambers isunequal workallocation, withmalebarristers treated preferentially in theassignment of newcases byclerks. TheBSBhasproduced tools toassist chambers in theirmonitoringofworkallocationas part of itsequalityanddiversity ruleshandbook. Someare takingamoreproactiveapproach, such asmagiccircle firmFreshfields, which recently launched itsnetworkingscheme for solicitorsof all genders toconnectwithwomenbarristers, with theaimof increasing instructionsandclient recommendations towomenadvocates. Changes to solicitor and barrister training Whether you aim to become a solicitor or barrister, training is set to change over the next couple of years. For aspiring solicitors, the LPCwill be replaced with the new two- part Solicitors Qualifying Exam in September 2021, while budding barristers will be able to take new, cheaper Bar courses instead of the BPTC fromSeptember 2020, including a new programme being provided by the Inns of Court College of Advocacy. (Find out more about the changes in the “Postgraduate training”, “SRA” and “Bar Standards Board” chapters.) Mergers There have been 12 mergers in the solicitors’ profession in 2019, as well as a major float on
Supermarket equal pay claims The battle being fought by women
supermarket employees to secure equal pay with their male colleagues is creating shockwaves in employment law. Law firm Leigh Day is representing tens of thousands of store-based workers at the ‘big four’ supermarkets – Tesco, Morrisons, Sainsbury’s and Asda – as they fight in the courts to be paid equally to their warehouse-based colleagues. Women make up most store staff, while men make up the majority of warehouse workers. The
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